Disclaimer: No ownership here.
A/N – Written and posted on Tumblr ages ago, but I'm only just now getting around to posting it here. Enjoy and let me know what you think! :)
The noise level was intolerable. Hermione sat in a hardback chair she was sure was designed by someone with an unusually cruel streak, pressing a thick bandage to her forehead, the cut behind it still bleeding sluggishly, the bandage - and her hand - stained a rusty red. Her head was pounding in time with her heartbeat, the steady thump, thump, thump of pain making her feel sick. The nurse that she'd seen when she'd come in had quickly checked her over and then sent her to take a seat, assuring her that she'd be seen as soon as possible.
That'd been an hour ago.
Hermione knew they were busy and that she wasn't a priority. At least not to them. But she was the one who'd been struck by the cyclist while crossing the road on the way home from the library, and she was the one who was reliving her head smacking into the pavement over and over. She was the one who desperately wanted the cut stitched up, to be given a mother-load of painkillers, and then to be magically transported to her own bed and handed a strong cup of hot, laced tea.
Unfortunately, it didn't look like she was going to be getting any of that anytime soon.
The woman next to her jostled her arm as she got up, sending a fresh wave of pain through her skull. Hermione moaned and closed her eyes, swallowing heavily to keep her lunch in her stomach where it belonged. Something told her that she was a bit worse off than the nurse had realised.
"Ma'am? Are you okay?
Hermione snorted silently. "I'm in the A&E with a bloody bandage stuck to my head. Do I look okay?" she answered dryly, coughing to clear her scratchy throat. Pained brown eyes opened slowly, and a jolt shot through her when she found herself looking into the soft green pair belonging to the sandy-blond man sitting across from her. He hadn't been there before she'd closed her eyes - she would've noticed, that's for sure - and he was looking at her with a startling amount of concern.
Although Hermione couldn't say she'd been in the A&E often in her 24 years, she had visited enough to realise that the other patrons usually couldn't have cared less about their fellow victims. Hermione couldn't blame them. It wasn't like she'd asked how another person was doing since she'd gotten there. So the fact that this man was asking her was a little…
Amusing? Offputting? She wasn't sure.
"You look like you need some medical attention," the man said. Again, Hermione snorted, though this time it was out loud.
"You could say that," she said, eyes widening when he got up from his chair. "What are you doing?!"
"Giving you medical treatment," the man answered, crouching down at her feet and reaching for her forehead. Hermione jerked away and then swayed, eyes fluttering.
"Don't, you're not… shit…"
"I am," she heard the man say, his voice distant and echoey as if coming from the other end of a long tunnel. "I'm a paramedic and you need attention. Now. Excuse me, this lady needs help!"
A weird sort of muffling effect dropped the noise level dramatically, and Hermione felt hands remove the bandage. Then she was moving, rolling, white walls passing rapidly; so rapidly it was making her dizzy. She closed her eyes and they stayed solidly closed, because her will, as well as her ability to open them, seemed to be fading very quickly. The darkness behind her eyelids deepened to an inky nothingness and the next thing she knew, she was blinking up at an unfamiliar ceiling in an equally unfamiliar room.
"Ah, Miss Granger, you're awake. Good. I'll let your doctor know."
"Wait," Hermione rasped, but the woman had already left the room. Thankfully, it was only a couple of minutes before she came back with another woman wearing a white coat. The dark-skinned woman smiled.
"Miss Granger, I'm Doctor Brodick. How are you feeling?"
"Right awful," Hermione answered, clearing her throat and raising her hand to touch her hairline, grimacing when she felt the bandage wrapped around her head. "I've been admitted? What happened?" she asked when the doctor nodded.
"Your status was incorrectly assessed," Doctor Brodick answered, looking apologetic. "I'm very sorry about that. The nurse who saw you has been reprimanded, I assure you. Your wound is now stitched and bandaged and you have a concussion, but now that you've woken up, you're free to go home as long as you can promise me that you've someone there to watch over you for a day or so."
"I'll find someone," Hermione replied, thinking of Harry and the large, extended Weasley family. Once Molly found out that she'd been hurt, she'd be lucky to be able to use the facilities on her own for the foreseeable future.
The doctor nodded. "Good. I'll bring you the necessary paperwork and once your someone shows up to collect you, you can be on your way."
"Thank you," Hermione said as the doctor headed for the door. "Oh, wait!" she called out as a thought occurred to her. "The man who helped me. Is he still here?"
"Mr Lupin? Yes, he is. I'm afraid that I cannot give you any information, however. Patient confidentially takes precedence."
"Of course," Hermione agreed, sitting up slowly. "But can you give him a message from me? Can you tell him I said thank you? He helped me when he didn't have to, obviously being sick himself. I'm very grateful."
"I'll pass that on," Doctor Brodick said with a smile. Hermione smiled back in thanks and the doctor left the room, the nurse staying to help the patient get up and dressed. A quick call to Harry and a quick signature later, and she was ready to go.
Two days later saw her sitting in Harry and Draco's flat, sharing a pizza and a couple of drinks. Draco had been the one to come pick her up as Harry had been stuck at work and couldn't manage to get away. The blond git had moaned the entire time, but his touch had been gentle as he'd helped her to bed once back at her flat, and when she'd woken up in the morning, he'd still been there. Harry had shown up as he'd been making her breakfast (toast and scrambled eggs, the only thing he could cook), and she'd been thoroughly told off for not letting anyone know that she'd had to go to the hospital in the first place.
Now, she was sucking back a beer, her hair covering up the bandage as best it could, when the doorbell rang. Draco got up to answer it and when Hermione saw who it was, she choked on her mouthful.
"All right there? Don't want to save your life for the second time this week," the man from A&E joked, smiling at her as Hermione coughed. Ginny slapped her on the back and Hermione sucked in a breath and wiped her mouth.
"You didn't save my life, I would've been fine," she muttered a little mulishly, flushing red and looking down. The man's eyes were gorgeous and his smile was even better - a smile that widened into a smirk at her answer. Beside her, she heard Ginny quietly hum in interest.
"While I'm sure that's a fascinating story, I've introductions to make," Draco drawled. "You lot, meet Remus Lupin, a friend of my cousins. He's staying in London for the time being. Lupin, you know Harry Potter, my partner. The others are Ron Weasley, Luna Lovegood and Ginny Weasley, Theodore Nott, Blaise Zabini, and-"
"Hermione Granger," Remus said, grinning at her when her head snapped up. "I may have asked. How's the head?"
"It's good," she answered, eyes narrowing at him. "What about patient confidentiality, huh?"
"Perks of being a paramedic," he answered breezily, taking the seat that Ginny, wearing a knowing smirk, had just conveniently vacated. "I'm joking," he laughed when Hermione frowned. "I heard them say it when they were taking you away on the gurney. It's pure coincidence that I've run into you here."
"Okay, I think you should share that story now," Harry said, looking between them. Remus raised an eyebrow and launched into it when Hermione sighed and nodded.
"Seems he did save your life," Ginny said after he'd finished, lifting her glass and toasting Remus. The blond man shook his head.
"Nah, as she said, she would've been fine," he said, smiling at her again. As the rest of her friends began to discuss the incompetency of the nurse who'd first assessed her, Hermione turned to her neighbour.
"Did Doctor Brodick pass my message on?" she asked, trying not to dwell on how blatantly fit the man was. She'd always had a thing for blonds.
Remus nodded. "She did," he said, sipping the beer Harry had just placed in front of him. "But, you know, I don't really think it's a good enough thank you."
Hermione's eyes slitted. "Excuse me?"
"Yeah, I think a drink with me would be better."
"Do you just?" the girl mused, ignoring the butterflies that had erupted in her stomach. "Aren't we drinking together now?"
"Yes, but it isn't just the two of us, is it?" Remus countered, watching her over the lip of his bottle. He leant forward a little. "I think a drink on our own is what's called for. Or a coffee. Whatever you like. I'll be in town for a while, I've got to have a bit of scar reduction surgery, so there isn't any pressure." The confidence that had bordered on cockiness suddenly seemed to disappear, and his expression became a touch anxious as he hid most of his face behind his beer. "Will you have a drink with me, Hermione Granger? I think I'd like to get to know you if you'll let me."
The butterflies burst into a flurry. Hermione felt a blush grow and her gaze dropped to the table.
"Um… yeah. Yeah, all right. I'd like that."
When she shyly looked up, Remus was grinning from ear to ear, and across for her, she heard Ginny giggle. Throwing the redhead and her softly smiling girlfriend a glare, she turned back to Remus, who was holding his drink up in a toast.
"To head injuries and hospital meets," he said, still grinning. Hermione smiled back and clinked her bottle against his.
The evening had taken a turn she hadn't been expecting. A hospital's A&E would've been the last place she'd expect to meet someone after all. But then again, she thought, sipping her beer and eyeing Remus as he turned to animatedly answer a question Theo asked him, strange and unexpected, and possibly wonderfully things happen all the time, didn't they?
She really hoped this strange and unexpected thing turned out to be wonderful as well.