"How dare you?"
Hermione really did intend to do an about-face and walk out at the sight of him, but she was so irate at the reason for his arrival at St Mungo's, she turned on her heel again and walked right back into the room.
"I swear it isn't that bad."
She made a sound of frustration.
"Really Hermione, I think you're overreacting," Harry said, in an infuriatingly matter-of-fact tone, and the assisting medi-wizard at his side actually snorted. Good, Hermione thought sourly, at least someone knows.
Inhaling a calming breath, the witch quietly reminded, "You're in the hospital in case you didn't realise, Harry, and your bone is definitely not meant to be sticking out of your skin like that. So tell me again, why I shouldn't be overreacting when all you were meant to do today was buy fucking milk?"
"Well, you see... about that..."
She held up a hand. "I don't actually want to know, I can already feel a headache brewing right here." She made a circular motion around her eyes, an indication of a migraine in the making. "Just hold still."
Suddenly, he looked alarmed. "Wait-wait-wait!"
"Harry, there's no time. Your adrenaline rush is wearing off, and Merlin knows how painful this is going to be so if you could just stay bloody still!"
When Harry made the unwise decision to try and escape anyway, the medi-wizard held him down with a firm hand.
"Don't worry Mr. Potter, this won't hurt a bit," he tried to soothe, and if Harry hadn't pissed her off by landing himself here in the middle of a groundbreaking one-of-a-kind curse breaking on a woman that was experiencing severe aftereffects of an imperio, Hermione might have left it at that.
However, she was still impossibly livid with the Boy-Who-Did-Stupid-Things.
How can someone who was asked to get milk, end up involved in a curse breaking exercise? And end up with a bone sticking out? She huffed.
Looking directly at him, she flatly informed, "This'll hurt like a bitch."
Hermione ran along the corridor, robes billowing out like sails behind her as she tried to reach Theatre One in time to see the last of the operation taking place. She mentally kicked herself when the healer charged with the case came towards her, clearly finished with the task.
Nooo, Hermione practically felt her entire body fall forward in dismay.
Unlike St Augustine's, St Mungo's was not a teaching hospital and the opportunity to see new techniques and interesting cases were few and far between. Her rotation had been relatively quiet and Hermione was looking forward to seeing this particular treatment in action, only for Harry bloody Potter to walk in with a broken collar bone.
Why, oh why, did she tell him about preferred Healer-Client privilege considering his rap sheet of injuries in school?
Merlin knew how he managed to get to the hospital earlier, calm as can be, considering the amount of pain he must've been in. Hermione consoled herself that her best friend was actually physically invincible despite his wiry build. Perhaps she should have let him sit in the waiting room until the OP was over.
Ugh, not professional Granger, get a grip! He's your best friend, and your patient, and he gets preference over the opportunity to see, in person, how one would begin to reverse the effects of a dark curse and – No, I'm going to stay positive! She reprimanded herself firmly, forcibly willing her deep frown to be replaced by a deep breath and a confident smile. The day might have been filled with figuratively kissing boo-boos, not to mention Harry Potter and his annoying need to play hero, but at least her shift was almost over.
In fact, she could safely change out of her hospital robes right about...
"Healer Granger," Healer Andrews interjected, slowing in her perpetually brisk step to hand over a clipboard. "You have a patient in room 302."
She perked up, and eagerly asked, "Who is it?"
A recently returned traveler with some kind of creature poisoning? An overzealous student trying out a spell too advanced for them? Aftereffects of a werewolf transformation? Was there even a full moon? Oh, I hope we have enough wolfsbane –
Luckily Healer Andrews had walked away already and hadn't seen her face fall all over again.
With a sigh of annoyance, Hermione tightened her hold on the clipboard and walked towards the allocated room.
The banes of her existence: Harry Potter doing grocery shopping and bloody Quidditch players.
Whoever hired medical staff for the bloody sport should be fired, she thought.
Ever since November, players had made up the bulk of St Mungo's patients and they walked in and out as if the hospital had a revolving door installed.
It was Thursday, she recalled. Quidditch match day. Brilliant.
As per usual, when she entered the room, the player-turned-patient was reclining on the bed; still decked out in their dragon hide boots and gloves. In her experience, players were usually taken off the pitch with their helmets still on and beaters in hand. A flurry of profanities and verbal abuse directed at the medi-witches were also an expected accompaniment to players' arrivals, this athlete being no exception, except for one thing:
The very pale blond, with the instantly recognizable pointy features, was sporting a bloody nose.
A bloody fucking nose.
Goddess, give me strength, she prayed.
"I swear to Merlin's bloody bollocks," he snapped, "I can do this myself."
Well at least someone knows that, Hermione thought, finding herself sharing his irritation as two medi-witches and three residents fussed over him. They seemed to be fighting over who got to be at his side. Idiots!
Breathe in. Count to ten. In. Out. "Excuse me."
And then a giggle erupted and – No. I do not have time for this.
With a loud whistle, the noise stopped. The five so-called medical professionals paused in their futile attempts to grab the Chaser on the plinth, and each of them turned to Hermione with wide eyes.
"Everyone who doesn't need to be in here needs to get out."
"But Healer Granger -"
"I didn't stutter, did I?" She interjected firmly, sending a glare their way. When the residents still looked a little reluctant, Hermione exhaled slowly. "Leave. Now. Or I'll whip your arses with disciplinary warnings for disorderly conduct and harassing a patient."
Opening and closing their mouths, one of the medi-witches ushered them out whilst the one charged with the room sullenly remained.
"As I live and breathe," Draco Malfoy drawled. "Still saving lives, Granger?"
"I wouldn't exactly rank fan-girl control as lifesaving," Hermione replied dryly as the medi-witch handed over the results of the few tests she had managed to do.
It was fortunate that Hermione was immune to the athlete's famed good looks (having him as a childhood nemesis will do that) although it might also have been as a result of the blood covering the lower half of his evidently defined features. She had endured many younger medi-witches' gushes in the staff canteen about those since his debut two years ago.
"Occupational hazard," he said with a shrug, considerably calmer.
Her eyes ran over the results: No circulatory conditions; normal blood-sugar levels; no signs of infection; no virus or contagious disease identified; absolutely no fun at all. The medi-witch's pout seemed to agree as she reluctantly left the room.
Signing off on the data, Hermione asked, "Broken nose?"
"Cut it a bit too close with a Bludger, and didn't completely avoid it."
She raised a brow. "They couldn't have treated you on site?"
He raised hands slightly off the bed to physically express his exasperation. "That's what I said!" He frowned. "My mother's going to have a heart attack. You called her already, I assume?"
"I didn't, but that is protocol."
He groaned. "As if she didn't already have a reason to hate my job."
"Can't imagine why," Hermione replied loftily, "your medical team couldn't even repair a broken nose."
"I'm inclined to think the same of your residents," he retorted.
"I'm inclined to think similarly." Putting aside the clipboard, she raised her wand to him and thought he flinched before his nose was set.
Conjuring a cold cloth, she offered it to him. "Would you rather, or should I?"
"Wouldn't want to make your job too easy," Malfoy remarked with that trademark smirk of his.
Hermione snorted. "Of course."
As she lightly dabbed the blood from his upper lip and around his fixed nose, he said, "Rather ironic, don't you think? You broke my nose back in Third Year and now you've fixed it."
Surprised, she raised her eyes from her task to meet his as a corner of his mouth twitched upwards in amusement.
"That was years ago," she defended.
"How many years has it been?"
"Is that a rhetorical question?"
"Haven't seen you in ages," he continued anyway, "and now here we are. You as my Healer; me as your patient; arrived under the circumstances of my noteworthy occupation with a broken nose, only to be fixed by you, the girl who once despised me, and coincidentally, broke my nose when we were children."
"Will you be narrating the rest of our encounter, Malfoy?" she asked, bemused.
"Oh?" he asked, brows raised in amusement. "Is there more?"
She snorted again, spelling the bloodied cloth away. "Goodbye, Malfoy."
"You do work here though, don't you?"
"Now I know that's a rhetorical question," Hermione said, picking up the clipboard again and handing it to him. "Name, initials, and signature," she indicated.
"Well then, saying goodbye is a bit redundant considering we'll be seeing each other again," he pointed out, taking the quill from her.
"Seeing as your medical team isn't competent enough to fix a broken nose, I wouldn't be surprised," she agreed. "You really should do something about that."
"And be accused with having the best medical team in the industry because I bought them?"
She rolled her eyes. "Do you remember every conversation?"
"Only the ones with you."
Cheeky little shit.
"Until next time then."
He smirked. "It's a date."
A/n: To Rachel, my heart goes out to you. Truly. I'm terrible at tenses and grammar, and you've made my mess so much easier to read!
So this story is mostly done, just going through edits before posting. If you like Healer Granger/Quidditch Malfoy, I also have a one-shot called Bedside Manner for those interested. Also, this story is technically complete so expect updates on Thursdays!
Thank you so much for reading! If you are so inclined, please do leave a review!