PLOT: Harry Potter is no longer the Chosen One. He's just someone who can't sleep and finds himself growing more apathetic by the day. Draco Malfoy is a wizarding psychiatrist who does everything he should but feels like he's merely going through the motions. What happens when Harry ends up with Draco as his healer?
AUTHORS' NOTE: We are starting a new story! Yay! Enjoy :-)
Bright grey eyes popped open, the morning sun shining brightly in from a large, nearby window. Draco Malfoy blinked several times.
He rolled over abruptly, shoving himself off his bed and falling out from under his white comforter. He caught himself by his fingertips and toes, and pushed himself away from the clean, dark hardwood floor.
Mentally, he counted.
One, two, three, four, five…
The sunlight filtered in from the window in front of him, reflecting brightly off the white walls.
He pushed himself up and walked barefoot across the cold wooden floors into the attached white marble bathroom, moving past the bathtub and turning on the glass encased shower. He slipped off his hunter green, silk pajama pants and stepped in before the cool water had time to heat.
Blood-shot green eyes opened slowly and then closed again. Harry Potter mumbled unintelligibly, covering his head with his pillow.
"Harry Potter needs to wake up now."
The tired wizard rolled over and let out a surprised cry as he fell to the ground, tangled in his bedsheets. He groaned as he considered staying on the floor and going back to sleep.
"Harry Potter has an appointment with his friends, he asked to be awoken and so he will," the house-elf, Kreacher, snarled the word 'friends' scornfully as he walked over and pulled the heavy black curtains open forcefully, flooding the dark room.
Harry slowly cracked open his eyes, which stung as the light from the window hit them. He winced, holding up a hand in front of his face to block out the sun.
"Master Potter is running late," Kreacher said again, this time directly in front of Harry. The wizard reached up as far as his arm could stretch, fumbling on the top of his nightstand and knocking down his glasses. They clunked angrily against the floor, sliding underneath the table.
Harry grumbled expletives and rolled on to his belly, peering half-blind underneath the piece of furniture. Next to a stained, crumpled shirt sat his glasses. He reached for them, dragging them out from beneath the table and crammed them on his face.
He blinked, eyes strained against the light from behind his smudged lenses. "Thanks Kreacher," he croaked. The house-elf seemed satisfied that his master was awake, and promptly disapparated from the room.
Harry struggled to his feet, muttering grumpily as his tired legs swayed slightly beneath him. He made a mental note never to allow Hermione to schedule breakfast time for him ever, ever again.
He headed toward the bathroom, stepping habitually around a pile of dishes and accidentally stepping on a stray fork. He cursed angrily, hopping away on one foot and then bumping into the wall next to the door of his bathroom.
Harry fumbled for the doorknob as he gingerly touched his injured foot with his other hand before walking slowly into his bathroom with a slight limp. He stumbled into the room, not bothering to turn on the light. The exhausted wizard twisted the knobs to his bathtub, sitting on the rim, until the water pouring out of the faucet was steaming. He stood, pushed down the slacks he hadn't bothered to change out of the night before and slid into the warm water, reclining and closing his eyes as the water filled the bath.
Draco Malfoy tapped his quill with his right hand against his dark wooden desk, humming to himself, flicking through old paperwork.
Pansy Parkinson popped into the room, a mischievous grin turning up the corners of her red lips. She handed Draco a new folder and the blond looked at her curiously.
"Did you do something?" he asked casually, lifting one eyebrow as he opened the folder and ignored the name. He skimmed to the patient history.
"Nope," she said cheerfully, making a popping sound on the 'p' and turning to head out the door.
Maybe it's something interesting, he thought hopefully, eyes scanning the page.
Orphaned, war trauma.
Draco arched an eyebrow.
Phobia of fear.
Draco paused, staring at the paper blankly. "Well, at least they're open," he mused aloud thoughtfully, regarding his possible new patient.
Poor mental coping mechanisms.
No solid family environment.
Rebellious, impulsive behavior throughout childhood.
Denial of problems.
The Healer leaned back in his chair, blinking slowly, his eyebrows furrowed. He tapped his quill a few times, deep in thought. He leaned forward once more, reading the last few lines, hastily scrawled in a distinctly different handwriting.
Possible sexual orientation confusion.
Fear of people dying and coming back to life.
In denial that killing Voldemort several times kinda screwed him up in the head. Do horcruxes count?
Draco flipped over the paper quickly, pinning it to the desk and staring at the neatly printed name at the top of the form, his eyes widening in disbelief.
"Harry James Potter."
Harry walked into the small, crowded café a few minutes late, making his way over to Ron and Hermione, who were already sitting at a booth. His childhood friends didn't notice his entrance as they spoke in hushed tones, leaned over in a seemingly heated conversation.
"-No, no, let me tell him – Harry!" Hermione's familiar chirp of a greeting seemed very uncharacteristically tense as she looked up, flashing him a bright smile.
He offered a small, sleepy smile in response and Ron looked up with a bad attempt at a casual expression. He leaned back, stretching his hands into the air and folding them behind his head.
Hermione elbowed him and shot him a glare.
Harry ignored his friend's odd, yet typical, behavior and slid into the other side of the booth, sighing.
"Well, let's eat!" Ron said loudly, in his voice that said he was trying to hide something.
A pretty waitress walked over to their table to take their order, a small smile on her face. Her eyes settled on Harry, flicked up to the exposed scar on his forehead and then back to his face.
"-No," Harry said. He crossed his arms and laid his head on the table.
"We need more time," Hermione cut across the girl.
Ron smiled at her winningly earning him a smack on the shoulder from Hermione.
The waitress gave one last pouting look at Harry, who still had his forehead pressed against the table, and turned, walking off.
"Are you still not sleeping, Harry?" Hermione asked quietly, her tone laced with concern.
"Hm?" Harry asked, pulling his head up sharply. "Oh. Yeah. I mean, no."
Ron frowned. "What happened to you last Saturday, mate? We were worried about you."
"Oh, I decided to stay home and take a nap."
"For Christmas?" Hermione asked in soft concern.
Harry looked taken aback for a moment before nodding, slowly. "So, what did you want to meet for?" he asked, changing the subject.
Hermione and Ron exchanged a quick, unreadable glance.
"Well, Harry-" Ron started.
"-No, Ron. Well, Harry-"
Harry clenched his jaw. He'd always hated the shouting matches between the two. How they had ever ended up a couple was still a mystery to Harry.
"-That's what I said-!"
A headache throbbed dully in the back of Harry's head, and he repressed a groan.
"-You see Harry," Hermione said, shooting Ron a warning glance before continuing, "we're worried about you."
Harry stood up, glaring forcefully at the two. "Well, don't be," he said shortly.
"Harry, mate," Ron said softly. "We just think you seem a little… down, lately, yeah? We're still here for you," he said.
Hermione smiled at him proudly. "You… you put that really well Ron," she said with a soft smile.
"Why do you sound so surprised?" he asked, offense clear in his tone.
Harry shook his head. "I'm fine," he said. He remained standing, and shot a hesitant look at the door.
Hermione noted his anxious glance to the exit and rifled through her bag, quickly pulling out a small silver card before he bolted. "Here, take this," she said hurriedly, sliding the card across the table to him.
Harry picked it up, blinking to clear his fuzzy vision. It was a crisply designed card, with a thinly drawn green snake on the right.
"What's this?" he asked warily, turning the card over and glaring at the snake as it looked up at him.
"George mentioned that you thought your sleeping potions weren't working."
Harry bristled. If he had wanted to tell Hermione that he wouldn't have told George.
"I went there for potions when I was pregnant with Rosie, and well, this place is great," she said.
"Oh, yeah, sure," he mumbled, stuffing the card into his jacket pocket, surely to be forgotten. "I'll firecall, or something, today or tomorrow."
Hermione looked at him knowingly. "Well, don't worry, I already scheduled an appointment for you."
He glared at her.
"In the afternoon," she added quickly, hoping to soften the blow. "It's just a consultation. You need to get more rest."
"I don't know," he said begrudgingly, admitting his hesitance to the idea, and sunk tiredly back into his side of the booth. It would be nice to sleep a full night.
"Harry, it's just a Healer's office. They aren't going to force anything on you. I filled out the paperwork for you and everything, anyway. All you've got to do is show up."
"Ah. Thanks," he said unsurely.
"And I helped!" Ron chirped, smiling.
Harry stepped out of the flaring green fire and into the grey, white and silver waiting room. The walls had paintings of snakes on them. Behind a white desk sat none other than Pansy Parkinson.
She looked up and smiled, her teeth looking piercingly white against her red lips. "Can I help you?" she asked cheerfully.
Harry blinked a few times before clearing his throat and nodding. "Yeah, um, hi," he said as he approached the desk. "I'm here for a, um, consultation?" He waited apprehensively for the girl he had attended six years at Hogwarts with to notice him.
"Of course. Name?"
She nodded thoughtfully. "What a nice name," she said, flicking through the files in front of her.
"Oh. Thanks," he said distractedly, confused by the girl and the office. I thought Hermione said this was a potions shop of sorts.
"Here we are," she said with a smile. She pushed a form across the desk, spinning it around so it faced him and handed him a quill. "Just need you to sign here," she said with a small smile.
He looked at the quill reluctantly.
"Would you prefer a pen?" she asked curiously.
"Oh, yeah, sure," he said, smiling for the first time.
The paintings on the walls began to rustle suddenly. Harry ignored the snakes as they woke.
"What, quillaphobic?" the one nearest to Harry taunted. The rest of the snakes then began to laugh in raspy, hisses.
Harry jumped, spinning around, eyes wide with horror. He stared at the snake as it looked at him, tilting its head inquisitively.
"Ah, this one understands us!"
"This is even better!" one of the snakes by a bench cheered. "Now we can help him!"
"I don't need help," Harry snapped angrily at the paintings, eyes flashing. The snakes all seemed to giggle at the statement.
Pansy cleared her throat from where she stood behind him. He spun around, blinking. She smiled sadly, extending a ballpoint pen to him and nodding to the paper.
He opened then closed his mouth, thanking her sheepishly. He scrawled down his signature on the line just as Pansy snapped her fingers, startling him.
"Oh, my mistake, I'm so sorry, that was actually – he said to give you this one instead, oh, yes, here it is."
"I'm, I can talk to snakes you know," he said as she handed him another piece of paper.
"Oh, of course you can," she said thoughtfully, her eyes filled with pity.
Harry scrawled his name on the bottom of the new paper, not bothering to look at the contents of the page. "No, really, I'm a parselmouth," he insisted.
"Oh, yes! So am I," she said warmly. She stood from her seat behind the desk, walking around with a clipboard in hand. "Right this way, Mr. Potter."
"You are?" he asked curiously, furrowing his eyebrows.
"Oh, well, I mean, I didn't realize-"
"-Just through this door, Mr. Potter," she said, offering him a final smile. She tucked the clipboard into a bin that was attached to the door, knocked twice and then turned the knob, gesturing him inside with a sweep of her arm.
He peered inside the room. It was white with dark wood floors. This room had no paintings, but many windows.
He walked in hesitantly, unsure if he should shut the door behind him.
There was a dark leather couch and an ebony wooden desk pressed up against a wall. Facing the wall, sat a wizard with platinum blond hair.
He shifted uneasily from one foot to the other as the man scribbled notes hastily on his desk.
Harry ruffled his own, already messy hair. He exhaled deeply as he fought the urge to leave. Hermione was right. They were just Healers. They only wanted to help.
Unless they throw me in St. Mungo's, he countered his own thoughts miserably.
No, no, he was just there for potions.
"So, I don't know what's wrong," Harry began hesitantly when the healer didn't turn around. "But, well, I have some sleeping potions. And, they don't seem to be working anymore. I'm thinking I may need something stronger." He cleared his throat uncomfortably when he received no response.
The scribbling stopped and the man bent over the desk sat up straight. "Tell me, do you often confide in people before you've met them face to face?" a familiar drawl inquired as the man spun his chair around.
A small smile lit up the healer's face and a chuckle escaped his lips at the scathing greet that they had shared so often in the past.
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