Hey everyone! So. I couldn't get this out of my head. I think I read too much Hermione/Narcissa fics last night. For those still waiting for updates on my other stories... I'm sorry, but I'm a little stuck with them at the moment. I'll be dedicating this period of time to writing one-shots like this one if I write at all.
Full Summary: Three months after the war, Hermione is the Potions Master at Hogwarts -and Narcissa Black is the DADA teacher. When Hermione refuses to take care of herself, Narcissa seems to feel that she must step in. Hermione, though, is more than a little unwilling to let her.
Things to note: Narcissa has been divorced as of Month 1 after the war, and neither Ron nor Harry came back for their 7th year. Mild hints at future slash, but for now it's more a platonic thing.
I do not own Harry Potter.
Hermione Granger paused her quill for a moment, looking up and out through the window. The view really was spectacular, she grudgingly admitted to herself. In fact, she couldn't wait to see the sunrise over the lake the next morning. She was sure it'd be beautiful. Damn her for being right.
She looked back down at her half-filled parchment, and, with a small sigh, continued writing.
I really don't know how I got myself into this situation, Harry. So please just hold that question for a while. At least until I'm… better.
She looked at what she had just written, and scoffed. Like she was sure that she'd even get better from this. After all, how was living with Narcissa Malfoy –no, Narcissa Black, now –going to help anything? She was sure that even living with Ron would be much better therapy. And Ron was the reason she was in this mess in the first place!
She groaned. Damn them both. She put her quill back to her paper and continued to write.
Well, that's about it, I suppose. Owl me back when you have the time. My healer will see to it that I get your letter… I think. Well, I hope she will, at least.
With a small flourish, she inked her name on the parchment before putting the quill down and rolling her letter up. She tied it to the leg of the owl that had been patiently waiting on the windowsill, and gestured that it was okay to fly off then.
Bloody hell, I wish I could tie myself to it and fly out of here as well, Hermione thought, wistfully watching as the owl became just a small speck in the sky. This whole situation is ridiculous, and embarrassing, and incredibly awkward-
A knock on the door startled her –she jumped, hand automatically going to her pocket for the familiar stick of wood as she quickly turned to face the door –but when it swung open, she realized it was only Narci- Professor Black. Damnit. She really had to stop thinking of her healer and colleague as a friend.
Because they weren't friends. Certainly not.
"Hermione, you weren't at dinner," N- Professor Black reproached, clearly disapproving.
"I wasn't hungry." It was true. Hermione was never hungry these days. She hadn't been able to feel hungry since Ron had broken up with her two months ago; she'd forever remember his withering glare and the words he'd uttered. You're nothing but a fat mudblood bitch.
Never mind that they'd just saved the Wizarding World together. Hermione had thought that, at least, the past seven –seven! –years of friendship they'd shared would have meant something to him.
"You weren't at lunch, nor were you at breakfast either," Professor Black stated.
"If you're done stating the obvious, I'll just be going back to my work now." Hermione rose, and calmly strode over to the door. When Narciss- Professor Black didn't move, she looked her in the eye and hissed, "Let me out."
"Not until you've eaten," Professor Black insisted. "You need to take care of yourself, but if you can't I'll do it for you."
"Bloody hell, woman!" Hermione exclaimed, suddenly finding herself unable to keep her cool. "Look, I have other things to do."
"Like what?" Professor Black challenged. "It's dinner time –there are no more classes for today, and I know for a fact that you've had your lesson plans for the entire week done as of last month."
"Essays to grade and a student to supervise in detention," Hermione retorted. "Said student is probably waiting for me down in the dungeons now."
"You shouldn't compromise your health because you wish to turn up for detention ridiculously early," the older professor said, calmly. "Said student is, in fact, still eating in the Great Hall."
Hermione decided to change tactics at that. "I've already had dinner," she lied, focusing on keeping her voice steady and maintaining eye contact. "I had an elf bring me something to eat just now."
The blonde woman met her gaze firmly. "Oh, is that so? And which elf did you call on?"
Hermione shrugged. "I don't know. They all look the same to me."
"Come off it, Hermione. I know full and well you've memorized the names of all the elves in Hogwarts, and that you would never call on one of them to do anything for you."
I'm going to strangle her, I swear. Unable to find words to respond to that, Hermione roughly pushed past the blonde, her heels clicking on the stone floor. "Accio essays on my table," she muttered, flicking her wand minimally under her robes. The stack of essays came zooming out at her, and she caught it neatly.
She needed to be more careful, she decided. Narcissa Black was obviously on to something, and if she slipped up just minimally she'd definitely find herself in a boiling hot cauldron.
Narcissa Black's voice came from behind her. "A cauldron of what, exactly?"
"Hot water," Hermione answered, not breaking stride. Mentally she snapped at herself. Guard your thoughts!
"Liquid energy, more like."
Hermione gritted her teeth. She knows. Merlin, the woman was resourceful.
"That's it, Hermione. You're going to take a few weeks off work and rest," Narcissa declared, placing a hand on her shoulder. Hermione tried to shrug it off, but her grip only tightened; the more she struggled, the tighter it became, until she could feel fingernails digging into her skin. "Don't struggle, dear. It'd be easier all around."
"Stop it," Hermione hissed. "I'll struggle however much I want to. And if you have a problem with that, feel free to get going on your merry way."
Narcissa Black surprised her –no, startled her –by pulling her close and holding her to her chest. Her breath seemed to catch in her throat; all she could think of was the warmth she was feeling, both physically and mentally –it had been a long time since anyone had seemed to care. It had been a long time since she had been dependent on anyone. She was Hermione Granger, war heroine. Even if she was falling apart on the inside, she could put on a brave front for the rest of the world. People claimed that the war had changed everyone. She agreed. She'd been so broken by it that she thought she was a completely different person. One who was independent enough that she didn't need anyone's help.
And damnit, she was not going to start accepting help now. Especially not from Narcissa Black.
She pulled away hastily, shooting the professor a glare as she stalked away with quick, determined steps. She could handle her problems by herself. She was doing a decent job of it, after all. She could hold out for, oh, only the rest of her life.
"You are not going to 'hold out', as you put it, on energizing potions for the rest of your life, Hermione," Professor Black admonished from behind her. Hermione didn't stop. She continued walking as though nothing had been said. She needed to guard her thoughts, though. "Don't think I haven't noticed you don't sleep at night, or that you go down to your classrooms to brew potions. And I check the stores frequently enough to know what you're taking regularly."
"Stop it," Hermione ordered. "Merlin, Professor. Just. Stop."
"I will not stop, not until I get some sense into that head of yours!"
Hermione felt her anger rising inside of her, bubbling like a volcano getting ready to explode. And the explosion would not be pretty. "And why should I listen to anything you say?" she demanded. "You are, after all, the same woman who stood, unflinching, in the parlour of the Malfoy Manor when Bellatrix Lestrange was torturing me, and I still have the scars to prove you did nothing!"
"I'm sorry!" Narcissa yelled. Narcissa hardly raised her voice, and simply the fact that she had had Hermione stopping in her tracks and turning around to look at her. Narcissa, who normally looked so calm and composed, looked flustered and –Hermione was shocked to see –truly regretful. "I'm sorry I just stood there, Hermione. But I couldn't risk Draco's life! We were already treading on thin ice with the Dark Lord, and he was simply waiting for an excuse to kill us all! But that doesn't mean I should have done nothing." Hermione watched as she took a deep breath before she continued, "I was a coward, Hermione Granger. And I'm truly sorry that I stood at the side and watched you suffer then. But I will be damned if I stand by and allow myself to watch you suffer now."
"I –I don't need your help, Narcissa," Hermione said; she tried to sound confident –cocky, and arrogant, even –but the shaking in her voice gave her away. Narcissa took a step towards her and once more pulled her into a tight embrace.
This time, Hermione didn't pull away. Not even when she remembered the student who was surely waiting for her down in the freezing cold dungeons. He could wait, she decided, as Narcissa led her back to their room.
He can wait.
I might do a sequel to this. I can sort of see one happening, but nothing's confirmed yet.
Review please! I'd love to hear from you guys.