THE DENTIST: A HARRY POTTER FAN-FICTION STORY
By Prunus Padus
Word count: 1,470
Rating: G (suitable for all audiences)
Summary: Snape unwillingly pays a visit to the dentist’s office and has his tooth extracted, courtesy of the now grown-up Dr. Hermione Granger.
“Hello, my name is Dr. Granger. How are you today, Mr. S…”
The woman in the white coat looked up abruptly when she read the name of her new patient off the clipboard.
“Oh,” her eyes widened. “It’s you.”
The man stopped on the doorstep to the little office, regarding the room with suspicion.
“Yes.” His voice was rougher than she remembered.
She was sure he recognised her, and groaned inwardly at what would surely be a very difficult examination. But at the moment, there was no trace of a surly attitude in his eyes. In fact, they were firmly fixed onto the large, blue chair in the middle of the room.
He took a wavering step backwards. “Actually…” His hands balled into fists at his side. “Actually, I’m afraid there has been a bit of a mistake…” He backed away even further.
She was almost relieved. This, she could handle.
“Don’t worry, Professor Snape.” She sat down by the computer, making sure to shield the equipment tray from his view. “I shan’t do anything to you unless we both agree upon it. Now, won’t you come inside and tell me why you’re here?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” He frowned. “My tooth hurts.”
She smiled. “Alright. When did this pain start?”
“I don’t know.”
“A week ago? Two?”
He shook his head. “I said I can’t remember. It’s been a while.”
“Ah.” She started typing. “When was the last time you saw a dentist then?”
He studied the large schematic drawing of a molar that hung on the wall with morbid fascination. “I didn’t.”
Well, that certainly explained a few things. She put latex gloves on. They were a bright pink, which she often found soothed the more skittish patients.
“Please, have a seat.”
He straightened. “What will you do?”
“I’m going to have a look at your teeth. Just a look. But I need you in this chair. You’re rather tall, you see. Now, just lie down and get comfortable.”
Hesitantly, he did as he was told, folding his hands tightly over his stomach.
She brushed away some of his hair as she fastened the dental bib. There were a few silver streaks in the black now, and they gleamed in the bright exam light.
“This is the probe.” She held out the small instrument for him to see. “I use it to feel for cavities and to remove calculus. It shouldn’t hurt at all.”
She rolled her chair so that she would sit close to his head, noticing for the first time an angry red stripe of newly healed skin that crossed from his upper lip to his nose. It was obviously from a spell of some sort.
“Did you try to heal yourself?”
He nodded warily.
“With the evanesco?”
“No, I’m not mad,” he grumbled. “It was a severing charm. Much more containable.”
“Well, that won’t work,” she tutted. “Teeth are attached to the bones of the skull and jaw. Besides, you should know better than to aim a wand at your own face, Professor.”
He sighed heavily. “Yes, yes. I’m here now, aren’t I?”
“And that is very good for you.” She adjusted his chair. “Now, open up, and I’ll have a quick peek. There you go.”
She bent closer, supporting her lower arm on his chest. “Are you a smoker?”
He couldn’t do more than hum, what with her probe occupying his mouth, but she had a lot of experience with interpreting those.
“Yes, it figures. Your teeth have quite a bit of discolouration. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad, though.” She adjusted the light. “Open up a bit wider, so I can see your molars.”
He grunted unhappily, but obeyed.
“The x-ray showed that you have two fully erupted third molars in your upper mouth. They actually don’t look too bad, which is a rarity.” She looked at him sternly. “Third molars are the most difficult to clean though, so keep that in mind when you brush.”
He looked up at her with the guilty kind of submission that is common to all dental patients.
“I don’t expect those in your lower jaw to cause any problems,” she said, “as you’re beyond the age when they usually erupt.”
She picked up the mirror. “Soo, let’s see… You have a few small cavities at the back there. Three…four… but the real problem, I think, is this cracked molar.”
His hand jerked up when she probed on a sore spot. He lightly touched her elbow before once again resting his hands on his abdomen.
“Just relax,” she soothed. “Do you grind your teeth a lot?” She gave him some space to talk.
“I used to, but not so much anymore.”
“Alright.” She continued the examination. “Bruxism often occurs during the night, so you might not know about it. An alternative explanation is that your teeth are rather uneven. It might put extra stress on certain places.”
She straightened. “It’s a rather deep fracture. It’s no wonder you’re in pain. Unfortunately, those are quite hard to treat.”
“Oh.” He made as though to get up, looking relieved. “Well, in that case-”
She stopped him with a hand on his arm. “Hold it. I’m just telling you I can’t save the tooth. There is no reason for you to continue like this, though. We’ll simply remove it.”
His eyes widened. Apart from that time in the Shrieking Shack, she’d never seen him frightened before. “You’ll pull it out?”
“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ll give you a local anaesthetic.”
His head made a soft thump against the headrest. “How can you stand this job? I never took you for the type to enjoy torture.”
She laughed brightly as she prepared the syringe and laid out the necessary equipment for tooth extraction. “I like to think that I’m helping people,” she said mildly. “I know in my heart that I do, though it’s not the kind of profession where people shower you with gratitude.”
His eyes crinkled slightly at the corners. “You grew up, Miss Granger.”
She smiled. “I suppose so. Now, this might cause some mild discomfort.”
He gripped the armrests tightly as she injected the anaesthetic, his knuckles turning as white as his face.
“You’ll feel some pressure now, but it should be manageable.”
He watched her eyes intently as she started working with the dental elevator. She could feel his heart thumping heavily beneath her elbow.
“I’m going to switch to the forceps now. Are you holding up?” She interpreted his head jerk as an affirmative.
It was not a difficult extraction, because his tooth was already somewhat loose, but as she clasped it with the forceps, it split down the middle, causing her grip to slip.
“Hn… ouch…” His eyes watered from the pain. For a moment, he squeezed them tightly shut.
Without thinking, she wiped a stray tear from his cheek. “I know. Sorry about that.”
Dark brown eyes pleaded with her to finish quickly.
“The worst part is over. I’m just going to pick out the pieces and clean it up.”
All done, she placed a piece of gauze into the hole where his tooth had been. “Keep this there for half an hour or so, then remove it carefully. It might bleed for a while, but try not to disturb it.”
He nodded, looking slightly harassed.
She almost felt sorry for him. “The cavities I mentioned, we will deal with another time. I think you’ve had enough for one day.”
He sighed. “Quite.”
“Would you like a quick polish while I’m at it, though? It’s completely pain-free, and might remove some of the discolouration.”
He shook his head empathically. “No, no. I want to go home.”
She laughed, allowing him space to sit up. “I won’t hold it against you.” She removed her gloves as he gingerly felt his jaw. “You should eat soft foods for a few days. Lay off cigarettes for seventy-two hours, and don’t use a straw to drink. If you have lingering or renewed pain after three days, come see me immediately.”
He nodded again, and she had to supress the urge to brush a stray lock of hair out of his eyes.
“Alright.” She smiled. “Have a nice day, Professor Snape, and take good care of yourself.”
“I will, Miss… Dr. Granger.”
“Please, you may call me Hermione. It’s not as though we’re strangers.”
He smiled crookedly, and she found that all in all, he was a rather handsome man. Yellow teeth and everything.
“Thank you… Hermione.”
“Now, remember to brush daily and floss at least twice a week,” she chirped.
“Yes, yes,” he grumbled unconvincingly, accepting the script for painkillers that she offered him, and hastily making for the exit.
“If you shirk, I’ll know!” she called. But when he was gone, her smile was indulgent.