I heaved in through the solid glass doors and took in the scent of dog fur, cat vitamins, and bird feathers.
"Hello, young lady! Mind helping an awfully sick old lady through the doors?" Ms. Pearfoot, the pet counselor and director of the Animal pound walked in, her cane tapping the floor at a steady rate, "Haha! I reckon the boy is late again, eh?" She laughed and I nodded, giggling along.
"Darn that boy! He's always busy...work work work, mind him, he could use a few extra hours around here!" Her booming laughter filled the room as she stood behind the reception counter continuing to pluck out adoption papers. "Poor thing," she finally said.
"What?" I said, looking over her shoulder.
"That golden retriever over there hasn't been adopted. He's not one of the newbies," She sighed, "It seems like no one wants a full-grown dog these days, only puppies." I looked back over to her, "How long has he been here?"
"She," She corrected, "Oh I don't remember darling. I would have to guess around four to five years or so...?"
"What? No! People years! That thing's a lot older than just about four or five-"
"I'll adopt her."
"You will? I mean...I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to force you in any way to adopt a dog-"
"No no! I'll take her! Where is she?"
"Hon, there's a lot that needs to be done with that dog-"
"Please Ms. Pearfoot! Take me to her." I begged and Ms. Pearfoot finally stood, "Aw, well I guess I just can't say no to that! Right, this way..." She led me into the back and tapped on one of the black cages, a small figure stumbled into the light and I got ready to meet my dog.
A golden retriever pounded out, it was missing a leg and its tail wasn't swishing behind itself, it was bobbed and cut down. I finally realized why this dog really wasn't being adopted.
"Ms. Pearfoot, she's-"
"I know I know, we found her years back I think," She started, scratching her head to remember, "She was guarded by a male dog with scars and lashes. We took 'em back in and the male had some sort of problem, and the doctors couldn't fix him up. They were able to cut off the infection from this dog at long last then bob the tail three years later due to another possible infection." My heart stopped beating, all this dog had gone through and no one wanted to make a home for her? The door at the entrance finally swung open and a boy with blonde hair entered, "Sorry, I got held back. Am I late?"
"Later than ever, Mr. Malfoy," I scolded but Ms. Pearfoot took his hand and shook it firmly, "I reckon you met Ms. Granger?" I whispered a low 'hello' to him and he mouthed back, I love you, I giggled. Draco and I had been dating for five years, and at long last, we still remain this way.
"Actually, I wanted to see Ms. Granger outside for a bit-" Ms. Pearfoot nodded, "Yes yes, do whatever you need, just come back and start moping up these floors! They aren't gonna mop themselves!"
Draco and I left the building and he got down on one knee. I held my breath.
"Hermione Granger, you are the most amazing woman I have ever met, will you marry me?"
I almost cried then whispered, "Yes,"
"YES!" I exclaimed and fell into his arms. He pushed the ring onto my finger and I landed a kiss on his cheek, "Thank you!"
The rest of that night felt magical, I adopted the dog and named her Sugar, she lived with us for a long time until one day-
"Sugar won't eat." I explained to Draco one night, he gasped, "What?"
"She won't...I'm getting worried."
"Don't get worried I can help-"
"I'm just worried-"
A strange noise came from the room next door and I jumped to it, "Sugar?" Her stomach was silent, she lay on the floor without a word.
"Draco!" I shouted and he immediately came.
"What? What happened? D-did I miss something?" He stopped and stared at her wheezing body then immediately picked her up and raced outside and into the long automobile, "Stay here." He whispered to me and I held my breath. I looked back into the room and realized she had coughed up a lot of blood, most of it seeping into the carpet and dying it a crimson red.
A moment later, Draco returned. She was scheduled for an immediate operation and Draco had come back to get me before it was over. I jumped into the car and when we arrived at the hospital a woman with black hair and long blue scrubs greeted us, "Are you Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy?" I nodded. Draco nodded.
"Come with me, there is an emergency."
When we got into the room, she was dead asleep. "Is she...Is she d-dead?" I stammered, trying to hold back my tears. The nurse shook her head, "No, not yet. She has a few more minutes if you would like to talk to her, we put her on life support as requested by Mr. Malfoy, there is a 3% chance she will live. The odds are not in your favor."
I leaned into her ear and muttered a few words, Draco traced his fingers against her soft golden fur, "Should we leave now?"
I nodded, too afraid to say 'yes' or 'no,' as much as I wanted to stay with her, I knew she wouldn't survive.
The next morning a letter was delivered to us,
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy,
On XXXX, XX, 20XX Sugar passed away at XX:XX AM.
She lasted for twelve hours, longer than any other dog with this disease in the wizarding universe.
The Wizarding Veterinarians
I hugged Draco and he hugged back, "Hey, at least she lasted longer than expected. Whatever you said to her must've really helped." I nodded and hugged him tighter, "I said..." I began but stopped. Draco twisted his fingers through my hair and waited patiently, "I said she must go on. She must continue the fight. Otherwise, she will lose. And...and she fought as long as she could-" I noticed tears emptying from my eyes and dripping onto Draco's shirt, "Go on," He said, still patient as if he hardly noticed the tears. "I loved her. That was the last thing I said." Draco nodded, "I want that to be the last thing I say to you, whether it's you or me on the deathbed." I aimed for his lips and closed them over his at the intersection.
"For the birds," He muttered and I raised an eyebrow, "What?"
"It means whatever the bad circumstance, we have to hand it to the birds and move on." I nodded, "I like that. I really like that."
Author's Note: *Written for Midnight_Slytherin's Challenge* Hope you liked it!
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