The Cruellest Dream Is Reality

Summary: Hermione wakes from a five-year coma to find that the love of her life has left her for another woman, how will she react to the loss and what will she do to get over him? HG/DM PG-13/T.

Author's Note: For the people reading this the first time I hope you enjoy the story, for people reading this the second time you will notice that some parts will be quite similar but don't worry as I carry on I'll be changing it so bare with me as I just set the scene. I hope you like this version better than my last one. Let me know what you all think.

Chapter One.

The ground was thick with mud; the soil had mixed with blood and rain alike to form a depressing sludge of earth underfoot. For days on end it had been raining, as though the weather was in mourning for all the courageous deaths, for the bodies that lay strewn across the battlefield, but finally the bullet-like drops of salty water had eased off. Atop a hill a mile away from the raging war stood four windswept figures watching the events with grim interest watching the horror unfold. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny said nothing, there was no need to they had been together long enough to know what each was thinking: this had to be stopped. Down below them it was clear what side each individual was on, the deatheaters in jet-black and the order members in crimson.

"Well this is it then." Harry announced, unable to keep the disgust from his voice as he looked at the scene.

"Is he there? Has anyone seen him yet?" Ginny asked, referring to Voldemort as she glanced around again.

"No reports yet." Hermione said as she glanced at the piece of parchment, the method of communication between the order members.

"I'll find him soon." Harry hissed with venom, looking almost eager to get down on to the field and begin the fight. He had the look of morbid determination in his eyes, they had, unfortunately, seen it many times before – but it still scared them all slightly.

"Well are we going to do this then?" Ginny asked them, not wanting to join the fight but she equally didn't want to be stood watching, doing nothing and feeling helpless.

"Yeah come on, let's go." Ron urged, sharing in the feeling.

They had been preparing for this day for the last five years, ever since their fourth year when Harry had brought them the news that Voldemort had returned and now they wanted to get it over with. And as each year passed and Voldemort committed more and more atrocious deeds the want to eliminate him grew in the heart of everyone who was against him.

The group turned ready to make the journey down the hill and into the midst of the battle. Harry did not go with them, he grabbed Hermione's arm, causing her to stop also. "Can we talk? There's something I need to say before we go down there."

Ginny and Ron, sensing the importants moved silently away allowing the couple to talk privately.

"Hermione I just, I wanted to say I love you so much, I wanted to make sure you knew that before we go down there in case…" He trailed off unable to complete the sentence.

"Harry of course I know you love me, and I love you too, but you're talking like you don't think we're going to make it."

"Well that's the thing, what if one of us doesn't?"

"We will." She said firmly taking his hands in her own. "We're both young, fit and have a head full of hexes, we're going to win this, all of us."

"But you don't know that for sure." His face dropped into a sad frown.

"No, I don't," She sighed sharing in his sadness, "I guess no one does. You're strong Harry, so very strong, you're going to make it, because if you don't then none of us have any hope."

Harry slipped his hand inside the pocket of his robes and pulled out a small velvet red box. Nestled in its silk lined interior was a ring. The most beautiful ring that Hermione had ever seen in her entire life – it was white gold metal with a medium sized hexagonal cut diamond surrounded by tiny little red rubies.

"When all this is over I want to marry you Hermione Granger what do you say?"

"Oh Harry!" Hermione gasped happily, "of course I'll marry you! Wow, that ring is so beautiful!"

Harry's face cracked into a huge and he pulled her into a tight, warm, loving hug.

"I love you so much Hermione!" He whispered into her thick, curly brown hair before pulling back so he could slip the engagement ring onto the ring finger of her left hand.

"I know, now come on we have a world to save." She smiled and took his hand. They walked over to where Ron and Ginny were waiting for them, wordlessly they hugged one another, not need to say the things that were running through their minds as they knew that the other were feeling the exact same thing.

As they reached the bottom of the hill they saw sure signs of the battle, people lay wounded in some cases, dead in most, they helped as many as they could along their path and even managed to disengage some deatheaters from the battle, still sticking to the order's rule of only kill when necessary. A flash of light interrupted their journey and they turned to face the sky as the wispy smoke snake slithered through the skull that made the Dark Mark.

"My guess would be that Voldemort's finally made an appearance." Ron muttered darkly.

In an instant they group turned towards the mark and quickened their pace, unfortunately as soon as the deatheaters saw the mark they specified their target from any old order member to just the four. They used everything in their power to stop them, injure them, slow them down anything just to weaken them to ensure that when they inevitably go up against Voldemort they would loose. Finally they struggled their way through the crowd to an opening in the hysteria, stood alone in the middle was stood the Dark Lord.

"Finally!" His face broke into a malice grin as they broke through the barrier of people, "I was beginning to think you weren't going to arrive at all, although I would have understood that you were all too scared to show your cowardly faces before my great presence."

"Well here I am, now can I just kill you and get it over with." Harry snarled.

"I have always said you were as cocky as your bigheaded father Potter," Snape said as he emerged from behind Voldemort with a group of deatheaters all ready to commence battle, "But now it's time for my master to show how pathetic you really are."

"Don't you dare speak of my father, he's twice the man you'll ever be!" Harry yelled pointing his wand directly at Snape's chest and fired a hex.

With the first spell thrown the fight started, so many curses and counter-curses were thrown through the air the stars in the jet-black sky could hardly be seen. The sense of time was lost and for each person reality was pushed to the far corners of their minds, all that mattered was themselves and the person they were up against. It was because of this that it took Hermione several seconds to realise that Harry was calling her, several seconds that she didn't have…she turned to see the most lethal of the Unforgivables spurt from the tip of a wand and hurtle towards her as a dizzyingly fast pace, in a moment of pure panic she forgot how to control her limbs and froze completely. Realising that she would not get out of the way in time Harry began to send a flurry of spells to attack the curse, none worked though, each just bounced off as though the curse had some sort of invisible force field surrounding it. Delving inside himself he called upon all of his energy reserves and shot the most powerful reviving spell he knew at it. The two spells combined in the air and the flash of green turned blood red this new spell was the one that hit Hermione causing her whole body to convulse. For a second everyone watched as her body crumpled into itself then the battle restarted and Hermione's form was lost in the mass of action. As much as all Harry, Ron and Ginny tried to get to her they could not, they had no idea whether she was dead or alive and they had no chance to find out. The only thing that was clear to them was that for Hermione the battle was over.

But they were wrong. For the next five years all of Hermione's existencewas the battle, over and over it was repeated every action playing out again and again as she lay on the crisp white starched sheets of the hospital bed. Most of the time she was unaware of the goings on around her, unaware that she was no longer part of the real world. When her friends came to visit her, their voices could not break through the thick barrier that had surrounded her, no matter what they tried she was unreachable.

But while Hermione had slept the rest of the world trudged on, the battle ended, Voldemort was defeated, at the hands of Harry of course, and the last of the deatheaters fled for their lives. The medical teams were finally able to return to the field after being held back for so long at the outskirts of the battle ground by their enemies and they began to salvage as many lives as they could. Unbeknownst to her Hermione was rushed to St Mungo's Hospital to get the medical attention she desperately needed.

It was determined that the spell that had hit her had caused her to go into a deep coma. The next morning Harry, Ron and Ginny crowded round her bedside – both Harry and Ron in wheelchairs and Ginny on crutches due to the injuries they all had. They stared down at their best friend's face; so pale it was almost transparent apart from the dark purple and blue bruises dotted all over her body.

There was a steady high-pitched beep to match the rise and fall of the sparkling green line hovering in midair. Harry watched it with grave interest; not quite believing that it was showing the steady heartbeat of his friend before him. Silently he sat. He heaved a great sigh, wiped the corners of his deep green eyes and turned his attention to the body occupying the bed. The sheets she lay upon were crisply starched and extremely white, they looked uncomfortable and for a few seconds wondered if she could feel them against her skin. Every now and then her eye lids would flicker slightly, not showing that they were going to open or that she would wake but instead showing that her brain was active and she was deep in dreams.

"Is she going to die?" Ginny blurted asking the question they were all secretly thinking whilst Harry freely let tears stream out of hiseyes and tumble down his cheeks.

"She is going to get through this." Ron said, making his shaky voice as firm as he possibly could. "She'll wake up soon and see what good we've done for this world." Ginny nodded silently.

None of the three really believed this; they had seen far too much sadness for them to be overly optimistic about anything that happened anymore.

Four best friends sat in room 413, quietly, sadly. An hour later three of them left and Hermione was again all-alone, the heart monitor and the breathing machine the only sound in the room.

The five years passed and Hermione was the only one brought in from the last of the war that remained in the hospital, in her brightly lit lonely room, the bunches of flowers that had once filled every counter wilted and were removed until the room was bare save for the occasional bunch brought along with a visit from her parents or friends. They all of course visited, as often as they could but as they got older their work commitments became greater and they all found it harder to find the time. However when they were there they would sit, hold her hand and talk about past events hoping that she would hear them that their words would act as a trigger and she would awaken. Most of the time she was not even aware of their presence in the room let alone what they were saying to her, yet there were moments that she would sail so close to the line between her own dream world and reality that she could hear snatches of the conversations going on around her – doctors talking about her condition to each other using medical terms that she couldn't understand or her friends and family talking to her about things that she didn't understand because she didn't have all the information.

It was six months after Hermione had missed her twenty-fourth birthday and she was sailing close to the barrier as she called it in her head, the force that kept her in the coma, she could hear a distant beeping sound, wanting to know what it was she pushed further and further. It was like swimming upwards and finally breaking through to the surface, with a sudden jolt her eyes sprung open and she let in a huge gasp or air, sitting up in a panic. Taking in the sterilised white room she tried to gather the mixed up and confused thoughts currently whizzing around inside of her head. Her breath became sharper and the beeping that had pulled her back into life became more rapid as her heart rate increased.

She had no idea where she was.

She was alone.

She was very scared.