Written for Aleysiasnape for the 2010 HP_porninthesun fic fest on LJ. Usual disclaimer: JK Rowling is such a talented and rich woman. I look and act nothing like her - just playing with her characters and twisting her story. Of course, I make nothing from doing this other than statisfying my own sadisitc sense of humor.
For as long as Hermione Granger could remember, her most life-altering occurrences had happened in a library.
That was where she had discovered the secret of Nicolas Flamel and the Philosopher's Stone. It was also where she had pieced together the clues about the Basilisk before becoming one of its victims. Several late-night excursions had allowed for her meticulous study of the characteristics of werewolves in third year. Though fourth year hadn't resulted in much, she had been glad to have at least pointed Neville in the right direction with regards to the gillyweed Harry had needed to use for the second task during the Triwizard Tournament. Circumventing Umbridge's reign of terror had found Hermione lurking amongst the stacks in search of defensive spells that Harry could teach Dumbledore's Army and, after the fall of Sirius Black, extensive examination of numerous theories that lay behind the Veil. She considered the revelation of Severus Snape to be the Half-blood Prince her greatest achievement when it came to her deductive skills, aware that if Harry or Ron had put any effort into researching obscure facts as she had, they would have known Snape was the author of Harry's infatuation in sixth year.
There was a problem, however.
Hermione Granger couldn't remember how she ended up wherever she currently was with a headache the size of Cornwall and a painful knot at the back of her skull, and she doubted she would find the answer in a library. Could she have fallen while shelving a book in the Hogwarts library? Had she taken a stray Bludger to the head during the last match between Gryffindor and Slytherin? She tried to remember the last thing she had been doing before she awoke, but everything seemed fuzzy. The most recent memory she could recall with any clarity was going with Luna Lovegood to speak with Professor Snape about invading Death Eaters. Anything beyond that made her head pulse with pain.
She did know that she was in an ornately-furnished bedchamber, complete with a four-poster canopy bed. She could see the entrance to a lavish bathroom off to her right and a set of French doors that led to a spacious balcony to her left. There were several doors situated around the room and a hearth that could easily fit five wizards or witches inside it at the foot of the bed. Glancing down, she noticed she was dressed in a satiny nightgown, and one of the largest diamonds she had ever seen graced her left hand.
But that wasn't the most bizarre sight that greeted her.
No, the one she was most fearful of—besides the strange environment—was the man sitting to her right in a throne-like chair, his head lying against the back in slumber.
That man was none other than the most vicious person alive next to Voldemort... Lucius Malfoy.
She must have made some sort of noise, for the lithe blond startled and bolted upright, his eyes worried when he looked at her.
"Hermione? How are you feeling?"
Oh, no... no... no, this was not... She swallowed audibly and found her throat parched. When he rose from the chair and perched himself on the mattress, she scrambled backwards, her vision jarring.
"What's wrong, dearest?" Lucius reached for her and she let out a blood-curdling scream.
"Stay away from me!"
Stunned, Lucius backed away slowly. "As you wish," he said quietly.
"Father, I heard—"
Another frightened shout rent the air, as Hermione struggled to remove herself from the many covers piled upon her. She succeeded in scooting to the edge of the bed, only to fall onto the floor in a tangle of sheets.
Draco and Lucius moved to the other side of the bed to help her, but once again, she skittered away from the blond wizards. "St-stay away from me!" Her gaze was wild as she searched for her wand and finding nothing. Tears filled her eyes, as she spoke through gritted teeth. "Where's my wand?"
Lucius studied her for a moment then went to a bedside table, opened a drawer, and pulled out a rather lengthy stick that, to Hermione, looked nothing like her wand. Draco stood near her, his expression perplexed.
"It is where you always keep it, Hermione," Lucius said as he handed her the wand.
She refused to take it. "That's not my wand." She glared at him. "My wand is made of vine wood and has different markings."
Draco frowned hard. "That wand was destroyed years ago."
"What?" she whispered. Her gaze darted between the two. She saw nothing overtly menacing in their stance, but she knew looks could be deceiving, especially where those two were concerned. Gathering the sheet that lay pooling in her lap, she slowly stood and wrapped the soft fabric around her, in an effort to stave off the coldness that was creeping up her spine. Once she was completely covered, she held out her hand. "If you would be so good as to give me my real wand, I won't bother you further."
"Have you gone mad, Granger?" Draco peered into her eyes, searching—for what, she didn't know.
Lucius placed a hand on his son's shoulder and squeezed. "I believe, Draco, there is something amiss. More than what we expected." He leaned close and whispered urgently in his son's ear, after which Draco nodded and left quickly.
Even with Draco gone, Hermione didn't relax. In fact, she felt unnerved. "Where am I?" she murmured, glancing around at the room.
"Malfoy Manor." Lucius' constant stare began to alarm her. "You're in our—the master bedroom."
Her vision was swimming and she felt nauseated. "Why am I here? Are you keeping me here until you summon the Dark Lord?" At his harsh look, she went on to say, "Or are you luring Harry here with my presence, hoping he'll be foolish enough to try and rescue me?"
"Neither," he choked out, looking all the while like she'd torn his heart out with the questions. "I found you unconscious in the library and brought you straight here. I suspect you fell while retrieving a book from one of the higher stacks."
She started to shake her head, to deny his preposterous conclusion, but the moment she did, the nausea turned into an overwhelming urge to retch. She immediately stopped the movement. "Why would I be in your library?" she asked, hating the weariness that laced her voice.
"Hermione—" Lucius backtracked when he saw her flinch at the use of her name. "Miss Granger," he murmured, "why don't you take a seat? You are about to collapse and do further damage to yourself." He waved his hand and a padded chintz chair shifted to her left side, waiting for her to make use of it.
Head throbbing and body aching, Hermione gingerly sat, clutching the sheets around her. "You can't keep me here. Professor Dumbledore will know that I'm missing by now," she warned.
Lucius' eyes widened, and his jaw went a little slack. Composing himself, he summoned an identical chair and positioned it several feet away from her, sitting once she stopped cringing at every move he made. "What is the last thing you remember?"
Curling into a protective huddle on the seat, she rubbed her forehead as disjointed thoughts assaulted her mind. "Luna and I were standing guard outside Professor Snape's office..." she trailed off then glanced nervously at Lucius. "You don't need to know," she said abruptly and turned away from him.
"If I am to ascertain what is ailing you, then I must know the last thing you recall."
"You don't need to know what is wrong. Just that you need to let me go!" She winced at the rising sound of her voice.
He looked—dare she say it?—saddened by her plea. "I cannot let you go, Her—Miss Granger. I believe you've suffered a concussion, and I need to determine if there was any further damage done to you."
A knock sounded on the door to the bedroom, and Hermione had never been more grateful. Instead of someone entering, however, Lucius rose, excused himself with a small bow at the waist, and left the room.
She wrapped the covers around her tightly, feeling her body began to shake. "This isn't happening," she whispered to the empty room, her confusion increasing with every passing second.
Lucius closed the door quietly and let the back of his head thump against the wood, his eyes closed in exhaustion.
The Malfoy patriarch opened his eyes again to stare at the three men now looking at him with concern. "I'm not quite sure, but I believe she has lost a great deal of her memory."
Sighing heavily, Lucius pinched the bridge of his nose. "She mentioned something about standing guard outside Severus' office." He glanced at his oldest friend. "Do you know what she's talking about?"
"Merlin!" Draco breathed. "That was when—"
"Just before Dumbledore died," Harry Potter muttered. "This doesn't bode well."
Lucius shifted his gaze between the men. "Do you mean to say that my wife has no bloody idea that we are married? That the war has been over for nigh on five years?" His expression was forlorn. "It certainly explains her reaction to Draco and me."
"And that was?" Severus questioned.
"She looked like we were about to use the Cruciatus Curse on her," Draco supplied, seeing that his normally articulate father was at a loss for words.
Giving Harry a pointed look, Lucius stated, "She believes that we have captured her to lure you here for the purpose of meeting the Dark Lord." He shuddered visibly at the thought.
All the wizards groaned. "How in Merlin's name could she have lost so much memory?" Draco asked no one in particular. "No wonder she didn't recognise her wand."
Harry laid a hand on Lucius' arm. "Maybe I should talk to her?"
Lucius nodded hesitantly. "Please don't upset her further. It's still unclear as to why she fell and if there is additional injury."
Hermione now sat on the bed, shaking. It was decidedly more comfortable than the chair Malfoy had summoned for her. The sheet still covered her as she stared out the French doors, trying to remember how she'd ended up in the worse possible place she could be.
Harry had slipped inside the bedroom and noticed her gaze. "It's beautiful in the spring time," he said quietly.
Even though he had spoken softly, obviously trying not to startle her, she trembled upon hearing his voice. Without further thought, she let the blanket drop and ran to him, so she could throw herself into his arms, wrapping her own arms tightly around his neck.
"Harry," she sobbed against his shoulder. "Tell me you haven't fallen for their trap?"
He returned her hug and then tried to extricate himself from her grip. "Hermione..." He panted for breath. "Hermione, you need to let go."
She quickly became rigid and backed away. "Harry?"
He took her hands and held them tightly, preventing her from wringing them. "Hermione, how are you feeling?"
"Feeling?" Her tone was a tad hysterical. "My head hurts, I'm sick to my stomach, and I'm sitting in what I think is Lucius Malfoy's bedroom. Do you really need to ask?"
Harry smiled sheepishly. "I can see that this may look awkward, but—"
She tugged her hands free and began pacing. "What's going on? Why are you here? I thought Hogwarts was under attack?"
"It was," he said very slowly. He stopped her pacing with gentle pressure on her arm. "But everything is under control now."
She relaxed a smidge. "That's good," she agreed, starting to nod, but then thought better of it. "So why am I here?"
"Can I look at your head?"
Touching the back of her hair, she grimaced. "It feels like a Bludger hit me."
Leading her to an ottoman, he instructed her to turn around and sit. Once that was done, he lightly felt along her skull until he came to a sizeable knot at the base. She hissed with pain when he pressed too hard. "Sorry."
"How is it that Lucius Malfoy let you past his wards?" she asked quietly while he continued to search for any other contusions.
Harry swallowed audibly. "Funny thing, that."
"What aren't you telling me, Harry?"
"I'm not sure you're well enough to know everything just yet." Finding nothing else, he withdrew his fingers and sat beside her. "What's important right now is that you're not in any danger here."
She gave him a dubious look.
"I promise." He took her hand and squeezed. "You're just going to have to trust me on this."
She wasn't completely taken with the idea, but acquiesced anyway. "I want to get dressed."
Standing, Harry looked at several doors before he opened one that was clearly a walk-in closet... one almost as large as the bedroom. "In here, I think."
"Circe's pink lacy knickers!" Hermione took in the racks upon racks of clothing, not to mention the bureaus she assumed held lingerie and other fine items. "You could clothe all of Hogwarts with this."
Harry snorted and muttered, "He probably spends more on you in a day than the sum total of a year at Hogwarts."
"Who?" She was looking over an evening gown that was the perfect shade of purple for her skin-tone.
"Erm, no one." Harry crouched down to sort through the shoes gathered. He snagged a pair of trainers. "Here."
"My Reeboks!" She narrowed her eyes. "Why are my Reeboks in Lucius Malfoy's wardrobe?"
Harry looked like he'd swallowed a frog. "He has a fetish for Muggle shoes?"
She arched a brow. "In a size five?"
Yes, Harry definitely looked like he would rather be anywhere but standing in a closet with her. "I can't plead that he has dainty feet, can I?"
"My vision may be blurry right now, Harry, but I do know that Lucius Malfoy has very long feet."
Crossing his arms, Harry smirked. "How do you know?"
Looking non-plussed, she shrugged. "I—I just know." She frowned. "I mean, his feet are narrow, the sinew and ligaments making the arch nearly faultless, the toes just perfect with buffed nails and..." She trailed off, shock registering on her face. "Oh my God! How do I know this?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Harry lamented.
"Try me." She was shaking again.
"Promise not to throw anything at me?"
"Why would I throw—"
"Fine," she grunted. "I promise."
Harry didn't have to worry about Hermione chucking anything at him. As soon as he told her that she was married to Lucius, she promptly fainted.
Lucius watched as Harry closed the door with a grimace. "I take it things did not go as smoothly as you had anticipated?"
"That's the understatement of the century." Harry mopped his face. "I'm afraid she… well, she…"
"Verbosity was never your strong suit," Severus quipped, which earned him a glare from Harry.
"Shut it, you." Harry turned to Lucius. "She fainted when I had to explain about the shoes."
"I didn't realize footwear would send her into a tizzy," Lucius said with a snort. They were all gathered in his private study, so he strode over to the sidebar and poured himself a healthy dose of port. He swallowed it in one gulp.
"Your manners are usually better than this," Severus commented before helping himself to the same port. He also poured two other glasses and handed them to Draco and Harry.
"My manners are the least of my concerns at this point," Lucius grunted. He collapsed on a leather wing-back chair and stared into the crackling fire.
"What is your main worry then?" Harry's voice was garbled after he swallowed the liquor.
Lucius ran the tip of his thumb along his lower lip. "Why was she upon the ladder in the first place? Why did she not use magic to retrieve any of the books that were out of reach?" He closed his eyes in frustration. "And for Merlin's sake, how did she fall?"
"Was there a thorough search of the area?" Severus inquired.
"I checked the section she was looking in. It was only health and biology. There's nothing detrimental about any of the books there. No Dark magic of any kind," Draco offered.
"She looked so fragile and broken, lying there," Lucius whispered to no one. He drew in a shuddering breath.
Severus and Harry looked at each other in commiseration.
Draco, clearly uncomfortable with the tense atmosphere, rose and moved to lay a hand on his father's shoulder. "I need to be getting home, Father. Ellie is uncomfortable these days."
Nodding absently, Lucius patted Draco's hand. "Do let me know if there is anything either of you need."
Draco said his goodbyes to Severus and Harry then Disapparated.
Severus pulled Harry aside and spoke in a low tone. "In light of recent events, I think it prudent that you stay here until Hermione is at ease with her surroundings and situation."
Harry groaned. "You know that could take days. Weeks, even." He laid his forehead against Severus' chest. "I won't be able to sleep."
Pressing a kiss to Harry's wayward hair, Severus murmured, "I will miss you too, brat." He straightened and indicated Lucius with a nod of his head. "I doubt he will sleep, either."
"Not bloody likely," Harry agreed. He sighed heavily. "Fine. I'll stay. Besides, being around Lucius will send her around the bend. I know it would me."
"Enough cheek!" Bending down, Severus kissed Harry languidly. "Owl me, should you need anything." He didn't say goodbye to Lucius.
After Severus Disapparated, Harry sat next to a near catatonic Lucius. "She remembers your feet for some strange reason."
That caused a reaction. "Pardon?" Lucius blinked slowly, coming out of his fog. "My feet?" A soft smile crept over his lips. "She has always been quite fascinated with my feet. It was disconcerting at first." He frowned. "How is it she recalls my feet, if she cannot remember being married to me?"
Harry rubbed his face in exhaustion. "I think certain things will trigger her memories." He paused for a moment. "Has she been seen by a Healer?"
Lucius looked at him like he was daft. "Of course she has. The one from St Mungos said she had a concussion but should otherwise be fine." He narrowed his eyes. "Why?"
"Call it a hunch, but I don't think they did a very thorough job of looking Hermione over. Could I have Madam Pomfrey take a look at her? I think Hermione would trust her enough to not question her reasons."
Lucius waved his hand. "Do what you must."
Whoever was poking Hermione in the side was going to regret it if they continued. When the prodding didn't stop with her groan, she let out an inelegant snort of laughter. "Stop! That tickles!"
"Good morning, Mrs. Malfoy."
Hermione cringed at the sound of the foreign name. "I'm Hermione Granger." She opened one eye and relaxed somewhat upon seeing Poppy Pomfrey. After prying open the other eye, she had to hold back her gasp of surprise. Madam Pomfrey was bent over her, fussing with the covers. She appeared much older than when Hermione had last seen the infirmary matron. "Madam Pomfrey?" she squeaked.
"Oh, do call me Poppy. I haven't patched you up in ages." She waved her wand slowly first over Hermione's head and then over the rest of her body. "You've had a very nasty spill."
Oh, God. Oh, Merlin! Hermione was going to hyperventilate.
"Hush, child! I won't harm you," Pomfrey soothed. "I need to find out the extent of your injuries."
Hermione lay back, tried to stay as still as she could, and bit her lip to keep from screaming. She was never one for panic attacks, even in the thick of skirmishes, but her head hurt something fierce. Pomfrey's clucking noises and head-shaking didn't help.
When the older witches' eyes widened, Hermione nearly lost it. "What?" she demanded.
"Just relax, dear. I'll make you a tisane that will help with the headache." With that, Madam Pomfrey quickly bustled out of the room.
Hermione stared at the door, non-plussed. Sitting back against the headboard, she rubbed her temples to ease some of the ache. "This is just going to get worse, I can tell."
Lucius stopped his pacing the moment Pomfrey exited the bedroom closing the door behind her. "Well?"
Poppy patted her chest in a nervous manner. "She has a sizable concussion, Mister Malfoy. She's lucky there hasn't been any brain swelling."
Paling significantly, Lucius collapsed onto a chaise lounge, head in his hands. "Dear God."
"There are several things that concern me," the woman continued, sitting next to him. "It seems, from what you and Mister Potter told me, that she's suffering from retrograde amnesia due to the injury."
"Speak English, Pomfrey, or I'll throw you out!"
"You curb your tongue, Malfoy! I wasn't afraid of you then, I'm certainly not afraid of you now."
"Fine," he ground out. "Please explain then."
She eyed him for a moment. "Retrograde amnesia means you lose a memory that you once had. It's as if someone has erased part of your past; you have lost memories from events prior to the accident. For some people, the amnesia can cover just a minute or even a few seconds, but for others, retrograde amnesia may affect longer periods of time. In general, the more significant the head injury, the greater the degree of amnesia."
"She's lost six years of her life!" He sounded strangely on the verge of tears. "She has no idea that she's even married to me."
"I was afraid of that," she said, not unkindly. "As people recover from their head injuries, long-term memories tend to return." She grimaced at the flare of hope in his eyes. "However, memories tend to return like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle—bits and pieces that return in random order. Strong emotions can trigger a memory or several, depending on how deeply the emotions were felt at the time. Sleep is important, especially now."
He frowned. "Why now?"
With a great deal of uncertainty in her gaze, she took Lucius' hand. "Because Hermione is pregnant."