A Cry in the Night
As he hurried through the hospital hallways, Todor couldn't help thinking how much he hated hospitals. He hated the smells, the sounds, all the antiseptic white walls. They were miserable places, but Viktor and Hermione were here and hurt, so he tried to push his surroundings out of his mind and focus on finding Hermione. He'd already seen Viktor, who was still unconscious. Now, if he could only find the emergency wing. He turned a corner and suddenly he was there. A long corridor of curtained off areas lay in front of him and healers were stepping back and forth behind the curtains.
"Hermione Granger?" Todor asked the first healer to cross his path.
The healer pointed in the direction of a closed curtain at the end of the hall. "She's ready to go," the healer said. "Are you family?"
Todor shook his head. "No. Just a friend, she doesn't have anyone else to take her."
The healer pulled him aside. "She's fine to leave, but she's not well. They really did a number on her. Her physical wounds have all been healed, but emotionally…she's kind of a wreck. To be abducted like that and then brutalized, that's bad enough, but she also lost the baby.
Todor felt as though someone had punched him in the gut.
The healer handed him a box of potions. "You'll need to stay on top of her medications. She's got a lot of healing ahead of her. The instructions are in the box. Do you think you can handle all this?"
He nodded, but he didn't feel like he could handle it at all. Unfortunately, there was no one else. He looked over at the closed curtain.
"Go ahead," the healer said gently.
Todor swallowed hard and took a deep breath before knocking on the frame that was holding up the curtain. "Hermione," he said, before pulling back the curtain just enough to catch a glimpse of her.
The site broke his heart. She was curled into a tight ball at the head of the bed with her wand gripped tightly in her hand. She looked up at him and blinked. "Todor?" she asked cautiously.
"Yes," he said, stepping closer and drawing the curtain closed behind him.
She pointed her wand at him. "Tell me something, so I know it's really you." There was an edge to her voice that left him unnerved.
"You like heroin," he said softly.
She closed her eyes and lowered her wand. "How is Viktor? Have you seen him?"
"He will be fine. Was hurt bad, but will be fine."
"Viktor's parent's, they owl me to…ah…come and get you." The switch from Bulgarian to English was always hard for him, but he had been practicing his English.
She looked up at him, but then dropped her eyes again. "Not surprising. I think they rather hate me."
Todor chuckled and sat on the edge of her bed. "Yes, they hate me too." He sighed. "The healers gave me box of potions and long parchment of instruction, but say you can go. Do you want go?"
She looked at him. "Yes, but I shouldn't leave Viktor."
He sighed again. "Look, Viktor is…not awake. Come with me now. I bring back tomorrow."
She nodded and began to uncurl, but he could tell it was costing her. She grimaced with pain as she finally stood, but she remained slightly hunched over.
"Are you sure can go?"
He offered her his arm. She hesitated before taking it, but then leaned heavily on him as they made their way slowly to the hospital entrance.
He took the Floo first, giving her directions before he stepped into the green flames.
He was there to catch her as she stumbled out of the fireplace into his studio/flat a minute later. She coughed and he held her while she caught her breath.
"I will make bath for you," he said helping her to the small bathroom at the back of the flat. He flicked his wand at the tub, starting the hot water flowing. "Do you need help getting into tub?" he asked.
She shook her head.
"Fine, call if need." He turned to leave but then stopped. "Hermione, is anyone I should owl?"
She opened her mouth as if to say something, but then closed it and shook her head.
Todor nodded. He closed the door behind him and went out into his studio. He put on some water to boil for tea and then made some cheese sandwiches. He thought she probably wouldn't want to eat, but he wanted them available in case she did want something. Then he started cleaning up. The tools of his profession were all over the flat so he started sorting things and putting them away, expecting her to come out of the bath at any minute. Finally, he realized she'd been in there an awfully long time.
He tapped on the bathroom door. There was no answer. "Hermione?" he said, easing the door open. She was curled at the far end of the tub, trembling, her eyes were closed and her fists were clenched tight. "Hermione?" he asked again. He got no response. He stepped into the bathroom and touched the water in the tub. It had gone cold. He pulled his wand out and cast a heating charm on the bathwater and then on the towel she'd set out and his robe hanging on the back of the door. "Come, Hermione, time to get out, yes."
She shook her head. "I can't get out," she said through chattering teeth, but she didn't appear to be talking to him.
"Is alright, I help you." He reached for her, but she shrank away from him. "I will not hurt you." He reached again and she let him take her arm, but she trembled harder now. "Is alright," he cooed. He helped her out of the tub and wrapped her in one of the warm towels. As he dried her off, he tried to clear his mind and not notice the drops of water gracing her breasts or the wild mass of curls trailing down her back or the other mass of curls at the juncture of her thighs. It was with great relief that he wrapped her in his robe.
He took another towel and used to it to try and absorb some of the water out of her hair. "I did not know you had curly hair," he said, desperate to say something.
"Viktor prefers it straight."
Todor frowned. "Sometimes, Viktor is idiot." That got him a half smile.
He cast a detangling charm, but it didn't seem to do much with her hair. He cast it four times before he ventured a drying charm; it took three of those. He smiled at her. "Your hair is a lot."
Hermione half snorted. "That's certainly one way to look at it." She hunched over and grabbed the vanity and let out a groan.
"I will get potion."
She grabbed his arm with a surprisingly strong grip. "Todor, do you…do have anything better, stronger?"
He looked at her, knowing full well what she was asking. "The healer said –"
"I don't care what the healer said. I want something for more than just these cramps." There was a grim determination in her eyes.
He shook his head. "No, is not what you really want."
"Yes, it is."
He shook his head again.
She grimaced again and clutched at her middle. "Don't make me beg, Todor. Please."
"I only have little bit. I have been trying to quit."
She looked at him, her eyes pleading.
He sighed. "Fine. Go lay down. I get."
He was kneeling next to the bed and holding a lighter under the little foil packet for her while she breathed in the fumes from the tube. She handed him the tube and lay back, rolling away from him. He looked at the foil packet and let the rest of the heroin boil away. He didn't smoke any. He started to walk away, to let her sleep, when her hand reached out and grabbed his.
"Don't go. Please."
He set his lighter and the crumpled piece of foil on the nightstand and sat next to her.
"I lost the baby," she said quietly. "Our baby."
"I know," he swallowed hard. "The healer told. I am very sorry."
A tear slipped down her cheek. "I suppose it's for the best, really."
"No," Todor said. "No, you and me would make pretty baby, I think."
She nodded, more tears falling, and then she sobbed, great wracking sobs. He held her and felt his own tears slip down and into her hair. He knew the minute the heroin started to kick in because the sobbing stopped, but she still clung to him and he continued to hold her until they fell asleep.
It was the sound of someone pounding on the door that woke Todor. He could feel Hermione stir next to him. He got up and shouted for whoever was at the door to wait. He slipped into the bathroom, relived himself, and then got some hangover potion out of the cabinet. He pressed it into Hermione's hand as he passed the bed on the way to the door. He called his wand to him before he looked through the peephole. He looked back at Hermione, "MMBP," he said.
She looked at him blankly and pushed her hair back.
He struggled for the English equivalent. "Ah, Aurors."
She sat up, pulling his robe tighter around her.
Todor opened the door.
The three Auror's introduced themselves. A younger woman stepped forward. "Are you Hermione Granger?" she asked Hermione in perfect English.
Hermione nodded and got to her feet, her wand still gripped tightly in her hand.
"It's an honor to meet you," she stuck out her hand and Hermione shook it. The other two Auror's shook her hand as well.
"We would like to express our sympathy for your loss and to tell you that the Bulgarian Ministry is profoundly sorry that this happened on our watch."
Hermione nodded again, but didn't say anything.
There was an awkward moment of silence. The English speaking Auror continued, "We've arrested two of the Death Eaters that attacked you and Viktor Krum. I understand that you didn't recognize any of your attackers, but we think we might recognize them if we saw them. Are you familiar with a Pensieve?"
Hermione's eyes widened but she nodded again.
Todor could see her wand hand trembling. He moved to stand next to her. "Is okay," he said softly.
"Are you capable of the magic involved in removing a memory?" the Auror asked.
Hermione glanced at Todor before she nodded again.
Todor watched amazed as Hermione set her wand to her temple and removed the long silvery strand of memory. The Auror already had a bottle ready and Hermione slipped the writhing string into it and the Auror corked it. "Thank you," the young woman said. "We'll get this back to you as soon as possible. We talked to Mr. Krum this morning. Between his testimony and this memory, we won't have any problems with a conviction."
Hermione looked up sharply as did Todor. "Viktor's awake?" they said in unison.
"He was this morning, yes."
Hermione clutched her middle and let out a soft groan.
Todor took her arm and helped her back to bed. "I must get her potions."
"Of course," the English speaking Auror said. "We've got all we need, Miss Granger. We'll get these memories back to you as soon as possible."
Todor made sure she took all her potions and then he drew her another bath. Once they were both cleaned up and ready, they returned to the hospital to see Viktor, who seemed relieved to see them both, if for no other reason than his parents left the room when they arrived.
The next three days were spent almost exclusively at the hospital, except when visiting hours were over and they were kicked out and had to go back to Todor's flat. He would make a simple dinner and they would play chess or cards. They shared his bed each night, but he would only hold her until she fell asleep. He tried not to notice when she called for a man in her sleep, a man that was neither him nor Viktor.
On the fourth day, Viktor was released from the hospital. It was a miserable day that had started with a thick fog, which turned into a heavy downpour. Viktor had arranged for a Portkey in the hospital courtyard to take them back to England. Todor watched from the hospital window as he and Hermione stepped out into the rain.
She said something to him and he shook his head. They were already soaked when he turned to her and pulled her to him. He said something else and she nodded as he pulled her into a kiss.
Todor thought they looked very beautiful there in the rain locked in an embrace. When they broke the kiss, Viktor held on to her and picked up an empty can someone had left on a bench. A moment later, they disappeared. Todor wished them the best of luck, but he couldn't help wondering about the man Hermione called for in her sleep and whether or not she did that when she was with Viktor and what it meant if she did or if she didn't.