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A Secret Thought - Chapters 38 - 40

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1 A Secret Thought - Chapters 38 - 40 on Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:22 am


Chapter 38 - Emergency Owl Post
Malfoy groaned, lifting himself onto his hands. Looking around, it was obvious he was in a Muggle home. He couldn’t help the tiny flare of distaste that rose in his stomach, but he pushed it aside. Hermione was a mu… muggle born, and he would do anything to save her.
He stood, his robes sweeping silently at the floor beside him. His blonde hair was tussled greatly and his full moon on the water eyes scanned the room.

A man walked into the living room, holding a small glass bowl in his hands with a spoon half raised to his lips. He froze when he saw Malfoy standing there. He had short black hair that you could tell would have been incredibly thick if grown out. He was rather pale, but there was still something lively about him.
They stood there in frozen silence, staring at one another.

“Uh… what are you doing in here?” the young asked surprisingly calmly. “You’re too young to be from St. Mungo’s and I know nothing about you…”

“You’re a wizard?” Malfoy exclaimed in surprise, his eyes bulging. The man cocked an eyebrow and then laughed, dropping the spoon in the bowl.

“I have a feeling that this might have been an accident. Did you accidentally apparate here? I suspect so… don’t worry, I had a classmate who landed in some lady’s bathtub while it was occupied… though I’m not sure if that was accidental…”

“I didn’t apparate,” Malfoy said sternly. He remembered Amy’s words…

Don’t keep secrets. Say everything.

“Oh… then how’d you get here? What are you doing here?” he asked, setting his bowl of food down on the end table. He licked his lips dryly, his eyes still scanning and surveying the scene.

“I was sent here… and I was not told what I’m doing here. Someone named Billy Harris wouldn’t happen to live here, would he?” Malfoy asked, squinting a bit.

“Yea, he’s at school. But… what’d you want with him? He’s completely non-magical… pure muggle,” the man said with a shrug. “What’s your name?”

“Draco Malfoy,” he muttered. “You?”

“Nathan Harris. I know you. You attended school while I was in my last year. You were a bloody bastard, as I seem to remember,” Nathan said. “No offense or anything, of course.”

“None taken. I’m still the same,” Malfoy said with a shrug and Nathan laughed.

“Well, if that’s the case then I really do pressure you in telling me why exactly you’re here.”

“My… there’s this girl… I’m in love with someone,” he said. Nathan crossed his arms and looked at him skeptically.

“So, why is that of any importance to us?”

“She’s a friend of Billy’s,” he said. Nathan motioned for him to continue with his hands, the subject seeming to bore him. “And she’s dying.”
Nathan froze when Malfoy said this and sat down quietly on the couch next to him. They were silent for a moment, and Malfoy didn’t ask why the subject made it all so awkward.

“Is she a witch?” he asked quietly, and Malfoy merely nodded. “Has she gone to St. Mungo’s?”

“Yes, and they can’t help her. She’s been to muggle doctors and magic healers… no one can save her,” Malfoy whispered, the shock of it tearing at his heart. He was saying it out loud… it was real. Hermione was going to die.

“Jesus… I’m so sorry,” Nathan whispered. “I know how hard this is for you…” he whispered.

“NO you don’t!” Draco screamed in frustration. “You don’t know anything about what I’m going through!” he snarled.

“You think that? Why do you think I have practically no hair? Hmm?” Nathan shouted back. “Five months ago I was diagnosed with LEUKEMIA! Cancer! I thought I was dying… and then they found a cure! I know how she must feel…” he whispered and Malfoy’s shoulders shuddered.

“I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to yell. It’s just…” he brushed the tears quickly from his eyes. “Hermione… that’s her name… she’s gotten worse. She collapsed this morning. God there was so much blood…” he whispered, sobbing sadly.
Nathan stood, pacing.

“And she’s friends with Billy?” he asked. Draco nodded.

“I don’t know how… I don’t know who Billy is… but I remember Hogwarts was going to notify him… oh god, I’m scared,” Malfoy whispered, his lower lip trembling.

“How did you get here?” Nathan asked through his trembling voice, trying to change the subject.

“Have you ever heard of a girl named Amora Vinnopal?” Malfoy asked, drying his slowly falling tears. Nathan nodded.

“Yes, I used to have this fascination with legends and myths in the magical world… I know, I’m strange…”

“She’s not a myth. She’s real,” Malfoy whispered.

“That’s impossible…”

“No, she’s real alright. She sent me here because… she didn’t know. She just knew I had to come. She knew that there was something here… someone here… anything here… oh I don’t know! She told me to be honest with you and to tell you everything!” he exclaimed, pulling at handfuls of hair.

“So she exists? My god… what sorts of powers does she have?”

“I don’t really know… the only things that I’ve witnessed was the fact that she has an incredible form of telekinesis (moving things about with your mind) and the fact that I looked into her eyes and it was like I was sucked into them and spat out on your floor!” he exclaimed.
Nathan furrowed his eyebrows, at a loss for words.

“I can’t believe it… god this doesn’t make any sense! She told you to tell us everything, didn’t she? I think you should start from the beginning,” Nathan informed Malfoy quietly, who shrugged and nodded before starting on the story that began the single day his life drastically changed… the day his father took him to see Lord Voldemort…

Billy was sitting on his bus, watching the trees whiz by. The other students around him were laughing and joking about, trying to get him to join in, but he was not in the mood. He felt strange. His stomach was knotting and he couldn’t stomp out this worried feeling gnawing away at his heart and mind.

“Billy, what’s the matter?” one of his friends asked. He could tell they didn’t really care. None of them knew about Nathan. None of them knew about Hermione. They didn’t know about magic… they didn’t know about pain.

“Nothing,” he mumbled and huddled closer against the corner, pressing his forehead against the cool metal of the window frame. He squeezed his eyes shut, just wishing that he could be home to make sure that everything was alright…

“Ruddy hell, is that an OWL?!” one of the passengers on the bus exclaimed, pointing towards Billy. He jerked his head to the window and was shocked.
A small owl, about the size of his head, was flapping heartily right outside Billy’s window. It was staring directly and intensely into his eyes, one leg tucked up against its feathers and the other outstretched, with a small roll of parchment tied to it.

Billy watched in fascination as it continued to stare at him, its large yellow eyes never breaking its gaze. His stomach tightened once again. Something was wrong. Something was definitely wrong.
The entire bus was in a riot as they watched the owl.

“Billy, is that yours?”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“What’s tied to its leg?”

“I think it’s in love with you, Billy!”

It was all shouted and laughed at once. The bus slowly pulled to a stop, and the owl turned to face Billy. It hovered there, pecking at the window in annoyance. He squeezed the tabs on the window and rolled it down.
The owl fluttered and perched on the window, causing girls to scream and guys to back up a little.

“Nice, easy now,” he cooed and the owl gave out a small hoot and seemed to encourage him. In fact it did. It held out its leg for him and Billy barely even noticed the sharp talons.
He carefully untied the message, impressing everyone. He held the scroll in his hand and the owl hooted sweetly before flying off into the distance. He watched it fly into the distance, holding the message tightly in his hand.

“What was that?” one of the students exclaimed.

“Erm… homing owl. Don’t particularly like pidgins. They crap too much,” Billy shrugged and everyone laughed, going back to their own conversations.
He slowly opened the message and his eyes scanned over it, fear and sadness filling his usually happy blue eyes.

No one even noticed the single teardrop fall from his eyes and blot the message.

Chapter 39 - I'll Die If She Does
Harry sat at Hermione’s bedside, his eyes sunken in and his skin damp from all the fallen tears. She sat there, fragile and pale, a mere shadow of the beautiful girl she had once been so long ago. He clapped a hand over his mouth to stifle a sob when he pictured her the year before, smiling and laughing, her cheeks rosy from the biting wind as she cheered him when he caught the Golden Snitch.

He remembered her scowling at him for not studying for his N.E.W.T exams last year. He remembered how she had finally given up on S.P.E.W. at the end of last year with such a defeated air. He never thought that anything could overcome Hermione. Sure enough, though S.P.E.W. was a bust, she put up notices for disgruntled house elves that wished for an advocate.

Nothing could defeat her. Now here she was, lying half-dead in a bed in the hospital wing, and she was still fighting.

“Harry?” someone asked from the doorway. He looked up and saw Ron, his eyes bloodshot and his nose slightly running. “How is she?” he stepped into the room, his hands thrust in his pockets. He sniffled at the sight of her and a pained expression came across his freckled face.

“She hasn’t even moved, Ron. Not even her hair,” Harry said quietly as his eyes flickered over the unconscious girl. Ron nodded sadly and pulled a chair up, sitting across from Harry at the other side of her bed.

“Where’s Ginny?” he asked.

“She went to dinner. Said she couldn’t handle this,” Harry sighed and ran a hand through his messy black hair. He needed to be strong. Hermione didn’t need him blubbering over her. She needed him to live on with his life. That’s why she had struggled to keep it a secret for so long.

“I don’t think I can either,” Ron whispered, closing his eyes. He rest his head on Hermione’s arm, the skin cold and clammy. “Harry, she’s so cold,” he whispered and began to sob, kissing her hand and her arm, holding it tightly. Harry could barely hold back the tears.
He ran a hand across her sleeping face.

“I can’t let you go, Hermione,” Ron sobbed with a wheeze, tears falling from his swollen eyes. Harry had never seen both his friends in so much pain.
Harry looked up at Hermione and placed a soft kiss on her forehead, the skin dry and cold. She felt dead. He didn’t want to know if she was or not. She was too cold to be alive.

“Please don’t give up,” Harry whispered against her skin and sat back down. Ron’s sobs and pleading with both God and Hermione got to him and he buried his face in his hands and began to cry.

Billy burst in through the front door, tears in his eyes and hysterical. Malfoy and Nathan stood abruptly, staring at him.

“We’re going to Hogwarts!” he exclaimed, tugging at his blonde hair. “My friend… my friend is very sick! She’s dying! She might already be dead! Let’s GO!” he screamed at them all. His eyes focused on Malfoy. “Who the ruddy hell are you?”

“Draco Malfoy… Hermione’s boyfriend,” he said quietly, finally admitting that though the term was never spoken, that’s exactly what he was.

“You… you’re the boy she spoke of in her letters?” he asked, staring at Malfoy intently. Draco just shrugged unaware that there had been any form of correspondence between Hermione and this young man.

“Billy, we know more about Miss Granger than you do at this point in time. So please sit down so we can explain everything to you…”

“In the name of Merlin I just spent the last hour telling you! Now I have to tell him?” Draco exclaimed, weary and not exactly in the best mood. He had hoped to come here, find the answer within a few minutes time, and return to Hermione’s side.
Nathan rolled his eyes and looked at Billy.

“I’ll tell you the subversion. Draco and Hermione have been having a secret sort of affair since the beginning of the school year. She’s in critical condition right now. There is a young woman named Amora Vinnopal at Hogwarts right now, and she’s an incredibly powerful woman who sent Draco here, because the secret to Hermione’s survival lies within these walls.”

“Very poetic ending,” Malfoy mumbled, disliking this shortened version of the tale.

“I tried,” Nathan shrugged and sighed, waiting for Billy’s reaction. He just stood there, the tears having dried from his eyes and his face impassive. He licked his dry lips, obviously in deep thought.

“Something… here… can save Hermione?” he asked in bewilderment, his voice quiet. His concentration was impressive to Draco, though he didn’t know what the boy was pondering.
Draco nodded and watched the boy sit down and rest his head in his hands. He repeatedly ran them through his hair, tugging at it, rubbing his scalp. He was silent and made no move to comfort him. He couldn’t help but feel slightly jealous at the fact that Hermione had kept this boy a secret.

“What’s that?” Nathan asked, pointing to the piece of crumpled parchment in Billy’s hands. Malfoy’s eyes flickered to it and Billy looked at it as if he forgot he had it.

“A letter from Albus Dumbledore…” He murmured. Malfoy leapt for it, snatching it and smoothing it out. His eyes scanned over the letters.

William Harris,

It has come to our attention that you have been corresponding with one Hermione Granger, seventh year Hogwarts Students, Head Girl. She is terminally ill and is not expected to last the week. Arrangements have been made to escort you and your family to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with a student who has managed to find himself on your premises, to say your final words before her passing. Your transportation will arrive approximately at 8 p.m.


Albus Dumbledore


Draco couldn’t help but tear up when he read the words. Sure, he knew this before, but just the fact that it was written down on paper from none other than Dumbledore himself was enough to break a man.
Even if he was a loon, he was usually right.

“So what exactly are we looking for? A potion, a spell, or a person? What is going out?” Billy asked in frustration. Malfoy simply shrugged, his hand falling limply to his side and the paper fluttering from his fingertips and falling gently on the floor.
He didn’t hear Nathan and Billy argue and shout at one another for an hour. His mind was lost in an endless fog. He was lost without Hermione. He would never be able to find his way. She was his strength and she was being ripped away from him.

He would die if she did.

The door opened around seven o’clock, and a man with bright clear eyes and a nice broad smile entered.

“Hello everyone! Nathan, you feeling alright?” he asked as he set his briefcase down, his eyes scanning over the three boys. “Ah, I see we have a guest!” he exclaimed. Then he frowned, seeing all of their angry faces and the drying tears on Billy and Malfoy’s face. “Am I missing something?”

Nathan cleared his throat.

“Dad, this is Draco Malfoy. He attends Hogwarts,” he said. Benjamin Harris practically threw himself at Draco, shaking his hand eagerly and enthusiastically.

“I know you had nothing to do with it, but you… your kind… your abilities… they saved my son’s life… I can’t… I can’t thank you enough…” he said as the tears brimmed at his eyes. He pulled Malfoy into a long hug, and Draco could almost feel the bones in his back and shoulders cracking.

“Dad,” Nathan shook his head sadly, looking at the floor. Benjamin stepped back and stared at the boy who looked almost autistic. His gaze was far off and his face impassive, tears brimming his eyes. His eyes were a steely light blue/silver that Benjamin had never seen before, and in them he could only see pain.

“Son, are you alright?” he asked. Malfoy looked into the man’s eyes, pain and suffering on the verge of bursting from them in the form of tears.

“Sir, you love your son more than anything. He is your life. Magic saved him. Your life is saved. Hermione Granger is my life… she’s my reason for living. There’s nothing magic can do for her. If she dies… I die. It’s as simple as that. And she is going to die,” he whispered before sitting on the couch and staring at the floor, tears falling from his thick dark eyelashes.

Nathan pulled his father aside and explained, Billy interrupting to tell him that it was the girl he visited in St. Mungo’s with the inoperable brain tumor.
Benjamin stared at Malfoy sadly as his son’s informed him of the arrival of their transportation within the next half hour.

“Alright, pack your things,” he said quietly. The boys walked upstairs and left Benjamin with Malfoy, who still stared at the carpet, his shoulders slumped.
He walked up to his side and sat down next to him, unsure of what to say, and hoping that the young man would make the first move.

“I failed her,” he finally said.

“Of course you didn’t,” Benjamin said quietly, pitying the blonde haired boy. Malfoy shook his head and looked sadly at the older man.

“I did. I was sent here to your home to find something to save her. Instead I spent the entire time moping and not doing anything at all to help. I’ve failed her. It’s my fault she’s dying,” he whispered, a single tear clinging to his eyelash.

Benjamin could say nothing, because there was nothing he could say to comfort Malfoy. In a way he was right. He was there to find a way to save his girlfriend, and instead he just pitied himself the entire day.
They sat in awkward silence and the two others came downstairs with a small bag of clothes, Nathan carrying an extra one for his father.

Just as the bags were set down, there was a knock on the door. Benjamin walked over and opened it carefully.

“Hello?” he asked cautiously to the abandoned dark. There was not a soul there, just the trees shaking and trembling back and forth with the crisp wind.
Benjamin shrugged and almost closed the door when a cat slipped inside with a yowl.
It sat there, staring at all of them expectantly.

“Out! Out kitty!” Benjamin tried to shoo away the cat.

“Stop it, Dad. It’s nice to see you again, Professor McGonagall,” Nathan bowed his head. Benjamin cocked an eyebrow.

“A cat teaches you?” he asked in astonishment. Before he knew it the “cat” had turned into a tall woman with pursed lips and a ramrod straight back, a pointed witch hat sitting atop her head.

“Bloody hell!” Benjamin exclaimed and stumbled backwards.

“Incredible!” Billy whispered, not letting the current circumstances restrict him from being fascinated.

“Good day, Mr. Harris. Mr. Malfoy,” she inclined her head and to their astonishment she did not seem to be disapproving of him being there.

“Hello, sir, I’m Professor Minerva McGonagall, and I teach Transfiguration at Hogwarts,” she introduced herself, just ever so slightly bowing her head to Benjamin.

“Dr. Benjamin Harris, I’m a neurologist. Pleasure to meet you, also,” he took her hand and shook it, trying to keep his composure though you could see in his eyes he wanted to thank her just as he had Malfoy. “I have to say your kind is incredibly fascinating and exquisite,” he said in a mere whisper. “Saved my son’s life.”

She merely nodded.

“Well, if you all are ready, we’ll be off…”

“Mr. Harris, repeat what you just said!” Malfoy exclaimed, a new sort of life and energy in his eyes that had been missing before.

“Erm… saved my son’s life?”

“No! What you do for a living!” Malfoy practically panted.

“I’m a neurologist, why?” he asked. Malfoy broke into a smile.

“You’re a brain doctor then?” Malfoy asked. Benjamin nodded warily, unsure of what to say or do to the hysterical young man.

“What are you getting at, Mr. Malfoy?” McGonagall asked skeptically. “What have you got up your sleeve?”

With a devious and excited smile, Malfoy answered.

“I know how to save Hermione!”

Chapter 40 - Complications
When Hermione’s eyes opened, she knew that she was not back in St. Mungo’s. She was simply in the school Hospital Wing. This small fact brought a smile to her lips. Her eyes hurt and her throat felt swollen.

“Hmm…” was all she could mutter. She looked to her side. A boy with mussed blonde hair was sleeping, his arms folded, his face hidden. She smiled. She tried to say Draco’s name to wake him, but could not.
She raised a hand weakly and ran her fingers through his hair. He shot up, looking frantic, and then his green eyes rested on Hermione.


“Hermione! You’re awake!” Billy Harris exclaimed.

“Billy?” she asked hoarsely, unable to say more. He nodded eagerly and took her hand in his, stroking her fingers gently. She had to admit it felt incredibly nice. She sighed, only wishing that it were Draco here holding her hand. She was happy to see Billy, but Draco was… Draco.

“Dumbledore sent for me and my family to come and see you,” he said with a smile. “He’s a nice guy… a bit weird, but overall nice.” Hermione laughed and it hurt her throat but she tried not to let him see that.

“Draco,” she murmured before breaking off into a pretty violent cough. Billy frowned at her condition, running a hand through his hair in exhaustion.

“He’s in a meeting with Professor Dumbledore, some others, and my father,” he said in excitement, nearly breathless. Before she could ask, another young man approached her. He had short, thick black hair and a bright kind smile. She smiled at him, instantly seeing the family resemblance.

“Ah! You’re awake. Had to run off to the bathroom for a moment, but all’s well now. How are you feeling?” he asked, sitting next to her. She shrugged and gave a ‘considering-my-condition-I'm-okay-I-suppose’ smile.

“This is my brother Nathan… the one I told you about,” Billy said brightly. “After what happened with him we’re all very keen believers that anything is possible,” he laughed.

“What aren’t you telling me?” Hermione croaked out. Though Billy managed to hold it in, Nathan could not.

“They found a way to save you.”

“NO! That is entirely unacceptable!” Snape sneered, hissing at all of them cruelly. “What you are asking is strictly against the law, forbidden for centuries, and now you want to defy all of that over a girl?” he asked, snarling at all of them.

Malfoy could barely hold in his anger toward the Professor. He thought the plan was genius. Benjamin Harris stood strong and tall as the bickering continued, silent. To him it didn’t matter. To him the decision was nothing more than an order for him. He didn’t have anything to lose.

“Professor Snape, laws were made to be broken,” Dumbledore said with a smile, tapping the ends of his long fingers together. Malfoy watched him, waiting, knowing that Snape could not challenge anything the doctor ever said.

“Mr. Malfoy, you know how high the price is of what you're asking?” Professor McGonagall asked, her eyes narrowing. He wanted to yell at them all. He expected all of them to jump at the chance at being able to save her, and instead they were whimpering and scuttling about like a pathetic mutt with its tail tucked between its legs.

“Of course, Professor. I also know that the price of not asking is even higher,” Malfoy answered simply. He had to stay calm, though he had never been one to control his emotions. He could already feel the want to scream clawing at his tongue and throat.

“It would never work!” Snape cried out, his greasy hair flipping into his face. He brushed it aside angrily, flustered at all of them. “If it were meant to be this way then don’t you think that the law would not have been established?” he asked all of them. Malfoy was silent. He didn’t say a word to this.

“Professor, a law should not have been established if it meant that people had to die to keep it strong,” Dumbledore said sternly at the man who fell silent in his cold blue stare.

“So you’re saying you’ll allow it?” Malfoy asked nearly breathlessly. Dumbledore held up his hand.

“No, I haven’t said that yet. We still have to consider the effects this could have,” he said with a hefty sigh.

“I’ve already considered them and I still see nothing that should be stopping us!” Malfoy exclaimed testily, getting quite annoyed with the old loon.
Professor Snape was whispering angrily to Professor McGonagall, who seemed entirely skeptical about the entire thing.

“Mr. Malfoy, you are obviously not opening your mind to all the possibilities. What if after the procedure Miss Granger is not as she was? What if we worsen her life instead of better it?” he asked.

“How can anything be worse than death?” Malfoy asked through clenched teeth, balling his hands up into fists.

“Think of her mind, her talents, her genius. What if this operation were to remove all of that from her and she was left in a coma, catatonia, or thinking herself a small child once again. What if something goes wrong during the operation? Something like this has never been attempted before, young man. I can almost assure you that mistakes will be made and the cost could be deadly,” Dumbledore tried to reason with Draco but he could barely listen.

“I can’t believe all of you! You’re just sitting around thinking of excuses to let her die!” he cried out, stomping his foot angrily at the floor.

“It is nothing of the sort, Mr. Malfoy. We just need to take all the precautions and attempt to approach this task as levelheaded and prepared as possible.”

“It might be too late by then!”

“Yes, but if it’s not then her chances of surviving will have increased dramatically.”

“Professor, no offense or anything, but since when are you a medical expert?” Malfoy sneered.

“I am nothing of the sort, but I do assume that the man standing by your side is. Why don’t we ask his opinion?” the man asked. They all turned to face Benjamin who had been impassive until that moment.
He looked up at all the expectant faces and the young man’s desperate one. He reminded him so much of his sons. He didn’t want to put Draco through any pain.

“I can’t promise anything, you know. Nothing in life is a guarantee… but I think I can do it,” he said confidently and sincerely. Malfoy beamed at him.

“Sir, you realize that circumstances you’ll be operating under?” Professor Dumbledore asked. The man nodded.

“It would be an honor to work with the same people who saved my son’s life,” he replied honestly. He felt like if he saved this one young woman, he would no longer be in debt. He would be repaying the world for sparing Nathan’s life when he spared hers.

“This is preposterous! Albus you cannot seriously be considering combining Muggle and Magical healing to save the girl!” he cried out. Dumbledore merely smiled and nodded deeply.

“In fact, I truly am. It is not right that we have the resources at hand and not use them to save lives. The Magical healers will shut her down, so to speak. Then Dr. Harris, you will open up her cranium. The healers will use magic to keep everything together and neat. They will do what you command. You will remove the tumor manually. Do you think you can manage?” Dumbledore asked one more time.
Benjamin sighed and ran his hand over his face.

“It’s more complicated than that. I had Professor McGonagall conjure her medical files, both magical and… muggle. The tumor is so large that it weaves throughout her entire brain. It is far too complicated to simply open her up and cut it out. There will have to be dozens of operations, each opening up a different part of her skull. Even then I cannot guarantee that all of it will be removed,” Benjamin Harris explained, his confidence slowly fleeting.
Dumbledore just smiled.

“Sir, that’s what magic’s for!” Dumbledore laughed and confused Benjamin. They all looked around expectantly, Malfoy anxious. With a deep sigh McGonagall nodded her approval and Snape threw up his hands in surrender.

“Now the question is no longer about morality or legality. It’s a simple question, Dr. Harris. Please answer truthfully and honestly. Spare no feelings.”

“Yes, sir?”

“Will the procedure save her?”

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