Disclaimer: all Harry Potter related themes and characters belong to JK Rowling and WB. In no way whatsoever will I ever be lucky enough to ever own something so fabulous. I've already asked if I could buy the Malfoys for a reasonable price... but they refuse. -sigh-

Questions of Science

Chapter 1: 'Science and Progress'

Isabelle Paine watched as her coworker and friend, Hermione Granger, rummaged around her locker looking for a clean pair of scrubs. Isabelle and Hermione had met on their first day as Healer interns at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Hermione was the first person to point out that Isabelle would be known as Healer Paine…quite ironic and a bit tiresome after hearing the same joke for the nth time.

Hermione felt someone watching her and looked up from her task of finding at least one scrubs top that didn't have wrinkles. She saw Isabelle looking at her curiously.

"Are you going to keep staring, Belle, or are you going to help me out?" asked Hermione, a hint of a smile on her face.

"I seem to remember looking for my stetho-wand the other day and then you berating me for my carelessness and disorganization. I think I'll sit back and watch you unearth the storage nightmare that you call your locker," said Isabelle, leaning back in her chair and grinning at her brunette friend.

Hermione just rolled her eyes and continued pulling out the accumulated rubbish she had thrown into her locker over the three years she had worked at St. Mungo's. She had met Isabelle at the introductory meeting for all incoming interns. They had been paired as 'rounds' partners and had grown quite close, saving each other's hides from the attending healer that they had named Dr. Whore, secretly of course, insulting her on two levels: the fact that they called her a doctor, which is something of a joke to the magic health profession, and by calling her a whore, an insult within itself.

Isabelle was a very loyal friend and Hermione found her interesting and exciting. Compared to Hermione's dull brown-rust hair color, which even Isabelle agreed to jokingly, Isabelle had soft golden curls that Hermione just wanted to shave off and spello-tape to her own head. Isabelle was also more athletic than Hermione, always forcing her to go running, which Hermione absolutely refused to do. Running seemed pointless to Hermione if you weren't going somewhere or running from something. She much rather preferred to have a routine of eating at odd hours of the day, due to her hospital shifts, and then walking back to her flat as exercise. Sure, it wasn't the healthiest of habits, but Hermione wasn't one to stress over how many carbohydrates she had had for breakfast.

This didn't mean she was fat or let herself go. Hermione kept an average womanly figure with a narrow waist, standard sized hips and medium length legs. She was happy with her average height: not too short and not too tall, just an average woman. That was Hermione; an average, kind, altruistic, hard-working, smart and relaxed 20 year old. That's another thing: she was relaxed. Anyone who knew her from school would have said that Hermione was quite uptight, anal retentive, and tense. That had changed though. Working in a hospital had changed her outlook on life. Seeing so many people die and so many die at young ages, Hermione thought twice about making mountains out of molehills, stressing over the little things, and living life to the fullest.

Even though they were 'rounds' partners, they had each chosen a different field to study during their internships. Isabelle had chosen pediatric internal healing and Hermione had chosen neuropsychiatric healing. After reading a book on clinical depression and bipolar disorder, Hermione had taken a fascination with the mental illnesses of the mind which was also present in the magical world. Isabelle and Hermione had finally become resident healers the previous month, earning them the title of 'Healer' and the opportunity to treat patients unassisted.

"Found one!" said Hermione, pulling a light green scrubs top from the bottom of her locker. "Shit! It has blood on it."

Most resident Healers chose to wear the muggle equivalent of the scrubs uniform, simple cotton top and pants, instead of the long light green Healer robes that the attending Healers wore.

"Are you stupid, Herms?" asked Isabelle, enjoying the cringe on Hermione's face at the annoying nickname.

"I hate when you call me that," said Hermione. "Why do you question my stupidity?"

"I know you hate when I call you that, but because you hate it so much, it makes it more tempting to use," she said. "I question your stupidity because sometimes I think you forget about that piece of wood we carry around. In case you forgot, it's called a wand, and it can take that bloody stain right out."

"Ha-ha, get it? Bloody…blood," said Hermione with a fake smile.

Isabelle snorted and shook her head as Hermione magicked the stain right off the fabric.

"If you're quite through with the 'Incredible Search for the Unstained Scrub,' we have to get going," said Isabelle, standing up from her seat.

"Where are we going? I know for a fact that you have two critical patients and I have a meeting with Dr. Whore," said Hermione.

"Yes, I know about my patients, thanks for the reminder," she replied dryly. "But your meeting was cancelled and Healer Brandon wants to see you in her office at two pm."

The two of them walked along the hospital halls, the smell of antiseptic and isopropyl alcohol permeating the air.

"Healer Brandon wants to see me? What would the chief-of-medicine want with me?" asked Hermione, a look of worry passing through her features.

"I'm sure it's nothing Herms. You haven't killed anyone this week," Isabelle said with a smile, but received a playful punch from Hermione. "Just don't worry. My shift ends at four, so we can go out for dinner and you can tell me all about what ol' cheify wants with you."

"That sounds great, but I have to be back by nine because I'm on call tonight," Hermione said with a scowl. "And I'm pretty sure Dr. Whore saved all the redundant cases for me. I swear Belle, that woman is out to get me."

"You and me both. The other day she gave me a youngster whose wand backfired and caused him to throw up every few minutes. I swear I almost puked right along with him," said Isabelle, earning a laugh from Hermione. "Ok, well, this is my patient's room. I'll meet you in the break room at four."

"Sounds good," said Hermione as she walked towards the front desk.

Arielle, the hospital administrative assistant, which actually meant hospital secretary, was sitting at the front desk painting her nails an extremely loud orange color.

"Hello Arielle," greeted Hermione. "Did I get any messages?"

"Um, Healer Brandon said she wanted to see you at two and Mr. Harry Potter said he would like you to floo him whenever you have free time," said Arielle without looking up from her manicuring excursion.

Hermione thanked her and went back to the break room to floo her childhood friend.

Harry Potter had finally defeated Lord Voldemort in his seventh year. Finding all of the horcruxes and eventually settling into a life of fighting the dark arts as an auror. There really was no career more suited for the savior of the wizarding world.

Even with their busy schedules, Harry, Hermione, and Ron found time to talk and enjoy each other's company. Ron had joined his father at the Ministry, working for the Department of Magical Games and Sports. All three of them were satisfied with their work and found the beginning of their adulthoods much more pleasant than the awkward, angst-filled era of their teenage years.

Hermione threw the floo powder into the public floo network set up in the break room. She called Harry's name and his head appeared within seconds.

"Hey, Hermione!" said Harry.

"Hey yourself; you wished to speak with me?" Hermione asked, kneeling down next to the fireplace.

"Yeah, I was wondering if I left my broom at your flat or at the Burrow. Have you seen it?"

Hermione rolled her eyes at her forgetful friend. "It's in my storage closet at home. You can go get it. I'm pretty busy today."

"Thanks mate! Will we be seeing you at the Burrow this weekend?" he asked.

"As if I would miss Ron's engagement party," said Hermione with a smile.

"Great! See you then!" said Harry and soon his head disappeared from the flames.

Ron had met a nice girl who worked with him at the Ministry. Her name was Ellie and she was just as sarcastic, fun-loving, and ambitious as Ron, making her a perfect match for him. Hermione thought of Ellie as a female Ron Weasley.

A failed romance between Hermione and Ron during their seventh year had affirmed their beliefs that they were better off as friends. Well, it wasn't really a romance, per se, more of an awkward relationship above friendship restricted to holding hands and gauche kisses. After about a week of the monstrosity known as their romance, they mutually agreed that their friendship was just too close and filial to be taken up a notch. Hermione loved both Harry and Ron and considered them extended family.

Hermione's love life was something she would describe as…nonexistent. It's not that she didn't want a boyfriend, it's just that with working at the hospital and sometimes having up to eleven-hour shifts, she just didn't see the priority of finding a man to fulfill her idealistic needs. Isabelle was the opposite. No matter how much work she had, she would find at least one guy to hook up with at least once a week. She claimed that it relieved stress and meant nothing, but Hermione knew that Isabelle was just a randy girl who found getting laid to be a necessity.

Isabelle respected Hermione for her principles. Hermione had confessed that she was waiting for the right guy to finally 'make her a woman'. At first, Isabelle thought Hermione was joking, claiming to be a nineteen year old virgin, which was how old Hermione was when she told Isabelle. But when she found out that she was not joking, she didn't tease her or make fun of her. Deep down she esteemed her and was a bit jealous of not having as much self-control and ethics as her brunette friend. Isabelle had jumped into the sack with the first guy that had winked at her when she was sixteen.

Modern society had reflected to their generation that sex didn't really have much meaning. It was a way to find physical pleasure and was a requirement in a relationship. Hermione considered herself old-fashioned and thought that sex was not something to be taken lightly. To her, sex was a deep emotional experience with someone who would hold her heart in their hands. Sure, it was a sexually gratifying and carnal act, but it also meant giving up one's restraints and insecurities. Sex was to trust someone with her body and to witness her when she had no restrictions or limitations, at her most uninhibited.

Call her conservative; call her a prude, but she was not going to hand over her only body to some shmuck that would use it just to knock one off. When Hermione put her mind to something, no one was going to change it.

Hermione looked down at her watch and noticed that she had ten minutes before she had to meet with the chief-of-medicine. She decided to show up early instead of risking it and being late.

She took the lift up to the sixth floor where the executive offices were located and knocked on the mahogany door that led to Healer Brandon's office. She was granted entry and opened the door.

Healer Carla Brandon was a woman in her mid-forties and was a role model to both Hermione and Isabelle. She was a feminist type and always urged the promotion of female healers in a field that was predominantly male. Healer Brandon was the head OB/GYN before she became the chief-of-medicine, making her even more of a female activist.

"Ah, Hermione dear, it's good to see you," she said, standing up from behind her desk.

"Hello Healer Brandon, I hope you're doing well," said Hermione as she shook hands with the chief-of-medicine.

"Quite well. Please do sit down; we have a few things to discuss," she said and took her own seat behind the desk. "Now, how many years have you been with us at St. Mungo's?

"Well, I became an intern as soon as I graduated from Hogwarts, so I've been here three years."

"Three wonderful years," said Healer Brandon with a smile. "Your patients speak very highly of you and so do your superiors."

"Thank you," said Hermione politely.

"Now, I have heard from the head of the Psychiatry department that you are the best neuropsychiatric Healer we have here. I congratulate you and that is the main reason I have brought you in today. Have you heard of the hospital's Domiciliary Care Program, the DCP?"

"Yes I've heard a few healers speak of it, but I'm not exactly sure what it entails," said Hermione.

"Well, St. Mungo's has implemented the DCP for as long as the hospital has been around. Now the program in itself is very revered and highly regarded as a Healer's ticket to prominence. Domiciliary care is just a fancy way of saying 'home care' and it's a way for confidential establishments and private citizens to receive health care without going to the hospital or for the treatment of terminally ill patients."

"So basically, people can pay the hospital to send a Healer to someone's home and treat a patient?" Hermione asked.

"Exactly. Now in some cases, the patient will have an untreatable ailment and we send our healer's to research and find a proper treatment plan and care regimen. We once treated a wizard who had Sorcerer's Syndrome and we sent one of our healers to monitor him, treat him, and develop a management plan for future cases."

"Ok, I think I understand," said Hermione. "I'm guessing that you want me to participate in the Domiciliary Care Program?"

"Always a step ahead," Healer Brandon said kindly. "We received a proposal from a client who wishes to have his mother submitted into the DCP. She has a history of spousal abuse and 'group' abuse. Now, I'm sure you know that Death Eaters were the ones who coined the phrase 'group abuse.' It's where they take an individual and perform unmentionable things to them, sexually, physically, psychologically."

"I did my dissertation on 'group abuse,'" said Hermione. "It was extremely difficult to find information though because the victims don't wish to speak about it and most of the Death Eaters have already been given the Dementor's kiss."

"That's true. Now, because of the abuse that this patient received, she has developed paranoid schizophrenia. You are the finest neuropsychiatrist we have and I picked you specifically for this challenging assignment."

"Thank you, Healer Brandon. I'm honored that you thought of me for this," said Hermione.

"Of course, dear; so, now all we need to do is get you to agree to the terms and you have the job."

"Terms? What sort of terms?"

"Well, since this is a Domiciliary Care Program, you will be needed on 24 hour alert, so that would require you to set up residence at the patient's home. She is also a critical patient and doesn't respond to any treatments her son and her original Healer have tried. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia about a month after the final battle took place, so she has been struggling with this for a good three years."

"That's horrible. I've researched that illness and it's a terrible thing to live with, and a dreadful thing to experience as a family member. I'll help in any way I can."

"I do thank you Hermione. I couldn't have trusted anyone else with a case as sensitive as this. The patient's son has donated a massive amount of money to the hospital and has also offered to pay extra for the Healer. He said that he will cater to whatever the Healer needs while they stay at his home and make sure they are as comfortable as possible." She took a breath for her next statement. "Another reason why I chose you is because of your connections to the Order of the Phoenix."

Healer Brandon was also an active member of the Order, being in such a high-profile position, she was valued for her inside information and the respect she earned from the community.

"What does my being in the Order have to do with this job?"

"Well, the client is someone that the Order has trust in, but someone that the public holds a grudge against, since they do not know his entire story," said Healer Brandon.

Hermione instantly knew who the chief-of-medicine was talking about. She suppressed a look of shock and breathed the name. "Draco Malfoy."

"I've heard stories from members of the Order that you and your friends were not very sociable with Mr. Malfoy, and that Mr. Malfoy, to quote your friend Ron, 'was a little piece of shit who liked to hear himself speak even when no one else did.'"

"That pretty much sums it up," Hermione said with a smile. "He wasn't the most agreeable person and I'm pretty sure he hated the air that Harry, Ron and I breathed."

"Ah, school. Where hate and love are born," said Healer Brandon chuckling. "I hope this doesn't change your mind Hermione. We still need you for this, and I know it's asking a lot of you, but I wouldn't take it out on his mother who is in dire need of treatment."

"I know," said Hermione with a sigh. "I would never jeopardize a patient's health for some personal squabble or past grievance. You have always instilled the principle of professional work before personal experience. I am still flattered to be chosen for this and I won't let you down."

Healer Brandon smiled at Hermione. "I wish all of my healers were as mature and professional as you Hermione. Now I need to go over some more details so that you'll have everything you need. Now, you're going to be moving in this Saturday night to Malfoy Manor; he's opened up the floo network for you. He said he will give the healer a wing of the house for their very own which includes two bedrooms, a living room, two bathrooms, an office, a kitchen, a dining room, and a sitting room."

Hermione's jaw dropped. "That's more than I have at my flat."

"Well, the Malfoys are an old wizarding family and gargantuan manors are not rare for them. He said he will pay 500 galleons more a month than you make at your normal salary."

Hermione's jaw was starting to hurt a bit, but this offer was more than she had ever expected. She already had enough money to let her live comfortably in a one bedroom flat near the hospital. Her parents had helped her pay off her loans and had given her furniture as a birthday present. Her salary at the hospital wasn't as much as what an attending healer would get, but it was still a decent amount.

"That is very generous of him," Hermione finally said.

"Yes, even though we told him that the program pays for you, he insisted to spoil the Healer; my words, not his," Healer Brandon said with a smile.

"So how long will I have to stay at the manor? A few days? A couple of weeks?" Hermione asked.

"Actually, according to the rules of the program, you must stay there until the patient has been treated or until they pass on."

"What?!" Hermione asked, a bit loudly, but not disrespectfully. "Paranoid schizophrenia is untreatable. Sure you can ease the symptoms and condition the patient to have fewer schizophrenic fits, but you can't treat it fully."

Healer Brandon laughed at the outburst. "Dear, it's alright, no need to fret. I know and understand that her condition is irreversible, but she has such a severe case of it that the healer who diagnosed it said that she possibly had only two years left."

"Two years to live?" Hermione asked quietly.

"Yes. Maybe three if given proper treatment. Mr. Malfoy has asked for her to live a comfortable last few years and he said he would do anything to make that happen."

"But schizophrenia doesn't lead to an early death. It's not as if her immune system has weakened," said Hermione.

"Mrs. Malfoy didn't come down with her stipulation by normal accounts. It's been noted that she had suffered numerous Cruciatus curses, and been under the Imperious curse many times. Muggles do not deal with those things, so their psychiatric diseases don't usually lead to early deaths. Those curses have caused her to lose many brain cells and to increase the severity of her schizophrenia. They also caused her internal organs to weaken along with her immunity. If her original healer didn't work as fast as he did to try and restore her internal balance, she could have died almost immediately."

"I see," said Hermione contemplatively. "Will I ever get to leave the manor or will I be constantly on call?"

"Mr. Malfoy has agreed to give you two days a week off, where he said he could watch her, but he would need you to have a mode of contact with him in case he needs you, which in that case, you will need to apparate as quickly as possible back, because the program does not usually allow our healers time off."

"That's kind of him," Hermione said. "He must really care for his mother for him to go through all of this trouble and money to make sure the person who takes care of her is happy."

"Yes. I really appreciate you doing this Hermione. I see a promotion to attending status as soon as you return."

"Thank you Healer Brandon. I really am glad to be offered this opportunity. I just hope I have the capability to do it."

"I know you have the talent and I know you have the strength to do anything you put your mind to," said Healer Brandon tenderly. "Now, all we need for you to do is sign this contract and you'll be all set."

Hermione signed the piece of parchment that was longer than any essay she had ever written. It explained everything in detail and answered any questions she might have. Healer Brandon made a copy magically and rolled it up for Hermione to take with her.

"I thank you again Hermione. I wish you the best of luck and my floo is always open if you need me," Carla said as she led Hermione to the door.

"Thank you, I'll keep you updated," said Hermione and closed the door behind her. She let out a sigh that would have given Molly Weasley a run for her money.

'What on earth did I just do?' Hermione thought to herself. 'Well, I just made the best career move I could ever possibly make, yet still the stupidest thing I have ever done.'

Hermione walked slowly to the break room and decided to catch up on her paperwork as she waited for Isabelle to finish her shift. At four on the dot, Isabelle strolled into the room, tired and covered in apple juice.

"Sometimes I regret the day I chose to work with those little brats instead of crazy people like you do Herms," said Isabelle as she stripped her scrubs top off, leaving her in a sports bra.

"They're not crazy people, Belle," Hermione said, smiling at her friend's shamelessness.

"Oh, excuse me, Healer Granger, I meant mentally unstable and mentally ill people," said Isabelle with a roll of her eyes as she pulled a blouse on.

Hermione laughed and shook her head. "Come on, I'm getting hungry and we have a lot to talk about."

"I can't wait to hear what Brandon told you; she probably placed her resignation and asked you to be the new chief-of-medicine, oh Miss Genius One."

"Yes, that's exactly what happened. I start on Monday," said Hermione. "And my first job as chief-of-medicine is to fire Dr. Whore and promote you as my co-chief-of-medicine."

"Don't tease me like that, Herms. Those are the things that only happen in my fantasies and dreams," Isabelle said with a far-away look. She smiled at Hermione and they left the break room laughing.

They managed to agree on a restaurant in downtown London that suited both of their palates. They sat down to enjoy their meals and began talking. Hermione told Isabelle everything that had happened during her meeting with Healer Brandon.

"Whoa," Isabelle said as she took a sip of her mai-tai. "I remember Clementine did that program a year ago and she is still working with her patient. But I'm happy for you Herms; this is a big step for your career and a really great opportunity for your neuropsychiatric research."

"I know and I'm actually looking forward to it. I mean, I've only read about paranoid schizophrenia, and I've never really experienced it first-hand."

"And you'll be living at Malfoy Manor for Zeus' sake. That's like living at Buckingham Palace, but better," said Isabelle with a grin.

"It's just a house Belle. Plus, the person who tormented me through my adolescent years and my friends' adolescent years will be living in the same place," Hermione said with a scowl.

"That's what I don't get. How can the hospital allow you to work for Draco Malfoy? I mean, he was a flipping Death Eater."

Hermione hadn't told Isabelle about what had actually happened during the final battle. Isabelle, not being a part of the Order, didn't know how the war was actually won.

"I think it's about time you found out the truth Belle," said Hermione, putting down her fork.

"Hit me," said Isabelle.

"Well, Draco Malfoy was in fact a Death Eater. He became one in our sixth year at school. He also found a way to let other Death Eaters into the school the night Dumbledore died, but he didn't actually kill Dumbledore."

"I knew that, it was that Snake guy right?" Isabelle asked. Isabelle had gone to a magical school in Australia, since her father was the British ambassador to the Australian Ministry of Magic, so what she knew about Hogwarts, she learned from Hermione.

"Snape, and yes, he was the one who actually performed the killing curse. I don't know where they went after they fled the school, but somehow McGonagall found out that Snape was ordered to carry out some Unbreakable Vow with Malfoy's mother and that Dumbledore knew all along."

"Wicked," said Isabelle as she nodded along to the story. "What a bleeding martyr."

"Yes well, it turned out that Snape was still on our side, and that he had convinced Malfoy to turn spy with him. I don't much about what actually happened, but they led us to the final battle, giving us the location of Voldemort's hideout and infiltrating Death Eater meetings. After the war was over, McGonagall tried hard to convince the Ministry and the public that Snape and Malfoy had fought on the light side, but they just wouldn't accept it. Killing Dumbledore and being Death Eaters in the first place really put a blemish on their records and to this day, nobody will accept the fact that they actually helped bring Voldemort down."

Isabelle sat thinking, going over everything Hermione had just told her.

"That blows," she said finally. "Nobody believing you. It's a down-right horrible feeling."

"Yes. I heard that Malfoy doesn't leave the house because there is a bounty on his head. Anyone who can capture him gets this major reward from the ministry. A similar thing happened to Harry's godfather a few years back. He couldn't leave the house and it drove him mad."

"How come people just don't go up to his house if they want him so bad?"

"His house is heavily protected by old magic, unplottable charms, and a few extra anti-detection spells put up by the Order."

"The Order is the group you're in, the Phoenix one?"

Hermione nodded her head.

"What happened to Snape? Does he also live in seclusion?"

"No, he died in the final battle. Frankly, I don't know whether it was better to have died in the battle or to have to live like a prisoner."

"Yeah," said Isabelle. They ordered desert and moved on to a more cheerful subject.

"Guess what?" Isabelle asked as she licked her spoon clean of caramel sauce.

"Chicken…" Hermione started.

"Don't even finish that god-awful joke."

Hermione smiled and gestured for Isabelle to continue.

"Harry asked me out," she said with a bit of a squeak in her voice.

"Really?" Hermione asked smiling.

"Yes, he asked me to Ron's engagement party." She paused. "Are you ok with that?" she asked with a look of nervousness.

"Why wouldn't I be ok with that? This is fantastic, Belle. It really is. Harry is a great guy and he deserves someone like you, who is equally fantabulous."

"Thanks Herms. For some reason I just thought I'd make sure to see if it was fine with you before I did anything."

"No need for that. You two really will make a cute couple. I thought he'd never get over Ginny," said Hermione with a sigh.

"What happened with her? I never really asked," said Isabelle.

"Well after the war ended, she expected Harry to take her back instantly, but he was still trying to recover from everything and she took that as a rejection. Looking back on it now as a neuropsychiatrist, it was necessary for him to take a break from reality and the troubles of his childhood."

"So what did Ginny do?"

"Well it took him about a year to finally recuperate, but by the time he was ready, she had run off to America with some Texas oil tycoon. I never ever thought in all my years knowing her that she would ever do something so foolish and hurtful."

"Poor Harry," said Isabelle with a frown. "Well I'll try and make him forget the stupid firecrotch."

"Isabelle! You are so disgusting!" said Hermione with a look of revulsion and astonishment on her face, but eventually started to laugh at her brazen friend.

"So how are we going to get you a boyfriend if you're going to be stuck with that assignment?" Isabelle asked.

"Psh. Yes, I can see the guys lining up to be with this Healer who puts more time and energy into researching Psychotherapeutic Postural Integration than she does finding which make-up and hair style actually makes her look half-way attractive."

Isabelle rubbed the tips of her pointer finger and thumb together as Hermione talked.

Hermione noticed this and raised her eyebrow. "Why are you doing that with your fingers?"

"Oh, I'm playing the world's smallest violin as you bitch and moan about how pathetic you are."

"You're a sweet friend," Hermione said with a smile.

"Yes I know. But anyways, you have to stop thinking of yourself as some sort of nerdy teenager on the bad end of a case of puberty," said Isabelle. "You are beautiful Herms. Just flipping beautiful. Sure you don't find the need to paint your face with cosmetics, but that's because you have this natural beauty that really shouldn't be covered up in the first place. And sure your hair was a god-forsaken mess when you started your internship, but with a little coaxing from yours truly, you finally agreed to get it magically straightened and now it looks wonderful. So just stop with the pitiful ugly healer rant because it's just not true and makes me want to slap you."

Hermione smiled at her friend and signed her name on the check that the waitress had brought by. "Thanks Belle, you really are a sweet friend."

"Of course I am. Now back to my original question. How on earth are we going to find Mr. Right for you? I mean, Malfoy's only giving you two days off a week. That's not enough social time to reel the perfect man in."

"I have the rest of my life to worry about which guy will finally get to claim the Virgin Queen of St. Mungo's, so let's just figure that out later and right now we'll focus on what you're going to wear for your big engagement party date."

This seemed to distract Isabelle from the subject and they left the restaurant arguing about what color went best with green. Hermione didn't really know, but found it hilarious to argue that lime green really went best with bright purple, which made Isabelle quite frustrated with her friend's lack of any style.

The engagement party was two days away and the day that Hermione would start her assignment and move into Malfoy Manor. She hoped and prayed that Harry and Ron would take the news as agreeably as Isabelle did. But that was something Hermione would worry about tomorrow.

A/N: The title of the chapter and the title of the story come from the song, "The Scientist" by Coldplay.