Hermione lay unconscious in the hospital wing of Hogwarts. Surrounding her were Harry Potter, Ron and Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, and Neville Longbottom. Minerva McGonagall, who had discovered the injured ex-student, was standing off to the side, discussing important matters with Poppy Pomfrey. Hermione knew she was unconscious; she heard voices, but she couldn't comprehend what they were saying. One voice in particular stood out to her unconscious mind; it voice that was familiar and comforting, yet she could not figure out to whom it belonged.
Hermione finally regained her senses and woke from her unconscious state. She hadn't opened her eyes yet, but she could sense people around her. There was a strong comforting hand gripping hers; she assumed it was Ron's and her stomach started to flutter. She opened her eyes and it wasn't those blue eyes and fiery red hair she so longed to see; instead she saw untidy raven colored hair and sparkling emerald eyes staring back at her. She moved her eyes from her best friends face down to their entwined fingers. She was confused; it should be Ron sitting next to her, not Harry.
She looked up at the other people around her bedside. Ginny was standing next to Neville, and his arm was draped around her shoulders. Again she was confused, why would Neville's arm be around Ginny when Ginny and Harry were together. Then she saw Ron, her heart jumped, but he was next to Luna, and their fingers were interlaced. 'How could he! I bloody kissed him!' She thought. Anger was boiling inside her when someone finally spoke.
"Hermione! Oh, thank Merlin; I was so worried about you!" It was Harry. Then he moved forward and enveloped her in an embrace. She didn't mind, they've hugged loads of times, but she still couldn't understand why it was Harry doing this and not Ron. 'Then again,' she thought. 'he is holding hands with Luna BloodyLovegood.' Harry pulled back from their embrace and grinned at her. Before she could react, his head was coming towards hers and their lips touched. She was startled and she pulled away instantly, covering her mouth with her hand. Harry looked at her, utterly confused.
"Harry James Potter! What are you doing?!" Hermione yelled her face getting redder with every passing moment. Everyone was completely stunned, and Harry looked the worse.
"I-I well I k-kinda thought that y-you and I w-were..." Harry tried to answer. Then Hermione turned on Ron.
"And you, Ronald Bilius Weasley!" She said. Ron had an alarmed and confused expression on his face. "How could you?! I thought you..." Tears started to form in her eyes, everyone around her looked alarmed and at a complete loss for words. Harry tried to grab her hand, but she snatched it away; the tears beginning to fall. Madame Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall were at her other side in an instant. The elderly witch placed her hands on Hermione's shoulders.
"Shh... Calm, child, let Madame Pomfrey take a look at you." The professor said. Hermione stopped the tears and laid back down, still breathing heavily. Madame Pomfrey placed her hand on Hermione's forehead.
"She is quite warm." She stated, and then she pulled out her wand and placed it on Hermione's forehead. A white glow came from the tip, then, turning blue, faded away. "It appears Miss Granger is suffering from amnesia. The memories she does have are only half right." Hermione gasped.
"What?! No that's impossible!" Hermione exclaimed.
"I'm afraid, Miss Granger, that it is quite true." Madame Pomfrey said.
"W-what happened?" Hermione stuttered. Madame Pomfrey looked at Professor McGonagall.
"I entered my office to find you lying on the ground with a few heavy books by your head. I called for help, and Mister Longbottom and Miss Weasley came to my aid. Mister Longbottom helped me move the books and carry you here while Miss Weasley rushed off to get Mister Potter, Mister Weasley, and Miss Lovegood." Professor McGonagall answered. Madame Pomfrey continued to tell her that she was unconscious for around three and a half hours, and that her friends never left her side.
"Now," Madame Pomfrey said, her tone becoming business-like. "It is time Miss Granger here got some rest, so off with you." She made shoving motions and everyone but Harry and Ron left. Luna gave Ron a little peck on the cheek, which made Hermione boil with anger again. Ron stepped up next to her and patted the top of her hand.
"Good to have you back." He said. He smiled at her and she smiled back, and then he turned to leave. Harry put his hand on her cheek. She looked into his eyes... They no longer held the joy they did earlier, instead, they were sad. Then, he slowly bent down towards her forehead. Before he reached her skin, though, he hesitated, and then stood back up.
"I'm glad you're okay." He said and, giving her one last smile, he turned to leave. Professor McGonagall and Madame Pomfrey both had sad smiles on their faces as they watched him leave. Madame Pomfrey turned to Hermione and held up a bottle of potion.
"This is Sleeping Draught; it will help you sleep tonight. I will let you leave tomorrow morning, but regaining your memories will be no easy task. It will take time, but you must regain them on your own." Madame Pomfrey said while setting the phial on the end table next to Hermione's bed. Then, Professor McGonagall and Madame Pomfrey left her, and drew the privacy curtains closed.
"Regain my memories." Hermione muttered to herself. "I'm completely fine; it's everyone else who's gone bonkers." She finished. She closed her eyes, thinking that she did not need the potion. She could not sleep, however, because her mind was completely restless. She couldn't stop thinking about what had happened to her. Then, she realized that this was all just a dream, and that, if she pinched herself, she would wake up. Instead of waking, though, Hermione just hurt her arm. Looking at the potion next to her, she decided she might as well take it, for when she woke up, this nightmare would be over, and she could fling herself into Ron's arms, and everything would be okay again. She reached for the phial, opened the top, and drank. She lied back down and fell into a dreamless sleep.
When she awoke the next morning, Hermione hoped that the night before was only a dream. When Madame Pomfrey noticed Hermione was awake, she gave her a potion that would help with headaches. Hermione accepted the potion, and Madame Pomfrey sent her away. As she left the hospital wing, Hermione's mind was busy trying to piece together what was going on. It was obviously not a dream, or she would have woken up when she fell asleep the night before. She could not accept the fact that she was suffering from memory loss. Her mind was still wandering when she realized that she was quite hungry. Putting her thoughts to rest for the moment, she began walking towards the Great Hall, where she hoped they would be serving food for the survivors.
The Great Hall was almost unrecognizable. Some of the walls had holes in them and parts of the tables were broken. There was a crowd of people having breakfast, each spread out in groups among the four house tables. Despite the state of the room and how many people had been lost, the crowd seemed almost happy. The Dark Lord had been purged from the land, and even though so many had lost their lives and almost everyone was mourning, more lives were saved; that was something worth celebrating.
Hermione scanned the crowd for her friends. At the edge of the Gryffindor table sat all the Gryffindors in her year that had survived and Luna Lovegood. There was an empty seat between Harry and Ginny, so Hermione took it. Everyone greeted Hermione, those at the hospital wing the previous night a little more cautious. Hermione grabbed some eggs and bacon and began eating and listening to the conversations around her. Her eyes hadn't failed to notice the way Ron and Luna were acting towards each other. She could feel the anger boil up inside her again, but she pushed it back down, being angry wasn't going to help anyone. She tuned back into the conversation when Neville was talking.
"It was like the universe was telling me-" Neville was saying when Hermione jumped out of her seat with a loud gasp. The table was looking at her and she mumbled,
"I need to go to the library." And she turned away and quickly left. She had an idea when Neville said 'universe'. Almost everything was backwards from the way she remembered it, so that had to mean she was in some sort of alternate reality.
As she drew nearer to the library, she heard footsteps behind her. She turned around with her hand resting on her wand. "Oh, Harry, it's you." She said.
"Yeah," he said as he fell into step with her. "What are you going to look for in the library?" He asked. Hermione really hoped that no one would ask her that because she would have to lie. If she said 'well, I think I'm in an alternate universe', people were bound to call her crazy; and Hermione Granger was not crazy.
"Er... I'm going to learn what I can about memory loss." She lied.
"That's what I thought." Harry said. "Mind if I join you?" He asked, and Hermione sighed.
"Harry..." She began, but he cut her off.
"Look, I just want to help. You forgot some pretty great stuff." He explained. Hermione thought about it. If he helped her, he was more likely to figure out she thought she was in a different universe. "Please," he said. "You won't even know I'm there. Unless I find something of course..." She looked at him; he did seem genuine. And she could always give him the memory books while she searched for books on alternate realities.
"Oh, all right." She said, and they walked together to the library. When they got there, the doors were locked. Hermione pulled out her wand and said the spell that unlocked the door. She and Harry entered, and to her surprise, the library was destroyed as well. She heard faint footsteps that grew louder and louder. Madame Pince came from around the corner with a scandalized look on her face.
"What are you doing here?! The door was locked for a reason you know." She said.
"We were just hoping to find some books." Hermione said.
"Well, as you both can see, my library has been destroyed. I must repair all the walls and shelves and books! Now shoo!" Madame Pince said.
"I really need to-"
"I do not care; no one can fix these books but me!"
"Look, Madame, we really need to find these books. Hermione has lost her memory, and we need to regain it." Harry explained.
"And I could help you repair the books." Hermione added.
"No! I do not trust anyone but myself with these books. You'll just have to wait until I'm done with repairs. Now, if you would be so kind." She said while motioning at the door. Hermione huffed and left the room, Harry following close behind. Hermione walked over to wall opposite the library and plopped down- rather ungracefully- on the floor. Harry came and sat next to her.
"We don't need the library." He said. 'Oh yes we do.' Hermione thought. "I'll find another way to help you." He said. They sat there for a moment, both thinking about two separate things. "Wait," Harry said. "There's a pensive in the headmaster's office, maybe we can use that."
"Yeah, maybe." Hermione said half heartedly. Harry stood up.
"I'm going to go see if we can use it. Will you be okay by yourself?" He asked. Hermione nodded. "Okay." He said, and he turned to leave. Before he got to the end of the hallway, he turned and gave Hermione a questioning look.
"Go," she said. "I'll been fine." He waited a second, and then continued walking. Once he was out of earshot, Hermione put her head on her hands. She had hoped she could go into the library, find what she needed, and be on her way home. It may take months for the library to open again. But for now, she decided the only thing she can do is play into this "memory" thing for who knows how long.
A/N: If you've got any questions, comments, suggestions, rude remarks, etc., you know what to do!