Sweet Dreams My Arse

Synopsys: After Ron departs, Hermione was devastated. She cries herself to sleep and has a dream that changes her perspective on many things. Set during DH.

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Hermione had been crying for nearly an hour. Ron, her hopeful love, had abandoned her. The worst part of the entire incident was the fact that her so called best friend had ignored her in her time of need. The last few weeks had been stressful and this sudden departure just made matters nearly unbearable. Not wanting to start an argument with Harry, for his lack of compassion, Hermione changed into her sleeping attire and cried herself to sleep. Hoping and praying the world of dreams would ease her troubled spirit.

Dream Sequence

Hermione was walking down the stairs of her child hood home. She called to her parents but received no answer. This was not an unusual occurrence but somehow it felt different. She made her way to the kitchen and poured herself a mug of freshly brewed coffee and inhaled the heavenly scent. She began to savor the taste of her morning beverage when she was distracted by a voice saying.

"Hello Hermione Granger; I'm pleased to finally meet you."

Hermione spun around quickly and gazed upon the speaker and spoke to the apparent intruder sternly.

"Who are you? How did you get in here? You need to leave immediately or there will be trouble."

The person spoke in a calm voice and said, "I think you will need this if you wish to cause any difficulties."

Hermione's eyes went wide when she noticed that the intruder was holding her wand. She suddenly became frightened; she was defenseless against this person who must be a witch for she knew what a wand was. Trying to regain her composure Hermione asked in a fear filled voice.

"Who are you? What do you want with me?"

"Who do I look like Hermione?" The woman asked politely.

Hermione took her time and studied the witch before her. They were nearly the same height, although the witch was curvier wearing muggle jeans and t-shirt. She had dark auburn hair but what made Hermione gasp aloud was her emerald green eyes. Hermione said frantically.

"You look like Harry's mum but you can't be. If you are than that means I'm . . . "

"Calm yourself Hermione; you're not dead. I am Lily Potter and we have much to discuss. Come into the living room where we'll be more comfortable," Lily said placing Hermione's wand on the kitchen table.

Hermione watched as Lily walked into the living room and took her seat on the sofa. She retrieved her wand and made her way carefully to the living room; wand in one hand, coffee in the other. She never took her eyes of the apparition of Lily Potter and once she arrived; Lily motioned to her to take a seat on the other side of the sofa. Lily spoke calmly to comfort her.

"Please try to relax. I'm not here to harm you."

"Why are you here? How did you get here? Where is here?" Hermione inquired. She needed answers.

"You're a lot like I was at your age; too many questions that needed answers. I'm here to discuss my son and to attempt to correct Dumbledore's mistakes."

"What do you mean? What has the headmaster done that been so wrong?" Hermione defended.

"Let me explain. When you die, you are put on trial of sorts. Your entire life become like a movie in a cinema. Everything, and I do mean everything, you've done is examined under the microscope. Dumbledore can not continue to his great reward until he has atoned for his misdeeds. His greatest transgressions were against MY SON; which is why I'm here. In case you are wondering, we are in your dream. I was given this opportunity to fix his mistakes regarding Harry," Lily said.

"Then why didn't you appear to Harry? Why me?" Hermione asked.

"Harry, unfortunately, would not know how to fix the problems caused. You, however, can."

"What can I do? What did the headmaster do that was so horrible?"

"HE RAISED MYSON TO BE A WEAPON OF WAR! HE DISREGARDED OUR WISHES AND PLACED HIM IN A HOUSE FILLED WITH HATE! HE USED HIM LIKE A CHESS PIECE IN HIS GAME AGAINST RIDDLE AND THAT IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG," Lily shouted angrily. Her temper would put Molly Weasley to shame.

"I'm certain he had his reasons for doing those things," Hermione said sheepishly.

"I'm sure he did. Let's play a game; twenty questions. You're a bright woman; your answers will explain what you need to do. Let's begin. Who taught you how to love and comfort others who are hurting?"

"My parents," Hermione answered quickly.

"Who taught Harry these things?" Lily said.

"I don't know," Hermione said solemnly.

"No one that's who. I told you Harry was raised to be a weapon not a person. Why do you think Harry hasn't comforted you since Ron left?"

"He doesn't know how."

"Partially correct. He won't help you because he doesn't want to take advantage of you. In Harry's eyes you're Ron's woman and have been for quite some time," Lily said.

"Ron and I aren't together. I would like us to be but we haven't done anything. Why would Harry think that?"

"Because Ron told him that you ARE together. I've been watching Harry all his life; Ron told him in third year that you and he were dating. It happened after the first Hogsmeade weekend when Harry was left behind. If you don't believe me, ask Harry when you wake. He has never and will never lie to you and you know that," Lily said.

"I never knew that. Is that why he didn't ask me to the Yule Ball?"

"Partially, he was going to but he saw Victor ask you first. He saw how happy you were and felt he couldn't compete with him. He has dangerously low self esteem thanks to Dumbledore. He was raised with the idea that he is unworthy of anything good in his life especially love," Lily said mournfully.

"But he and Ginny dated, he found love in her," Hermione defended.

"Is that what you think? He went to her because she was easy. She always wanted The-Boy-Who-Lived, no matter what she said otherwise. He knew this and gave her what she wanted because he was lonely. You were acting like a bitch in heat for Ron and he had no one else to go to. He might have gone with Luna but he respected her enough not to use her like that," Lily spat.

"I can't believe Harry would just use Ginny like that but I can't be angry at him either for being lonely. I never realized what he was really going through that year," Hermione said sadly.

"You don't know the half of it. Here's a good one; at the end of third year Sirius gave Harry a letter saying he could go to Hogsmeade the following year. How was this legal? How could an apparent murderer give permission to his intended target?" Lily asked strongly.

"I never thought about it before," Hermione said quietly.

"That's because you were all about Ron. I'll tell you; Dumbledore gave him permission. He was Harry's acting guardian; he couldn't become his actual guardian because our will would have had to been read in open court and he didn't want to lose control over Harry, but the damage was already done," Lily said.

"What damage? What happened?"

"You and Harry were being separated. One of Dumbledore's biggest mistakes was separating the two of you."

"What do you mean? Why would he want to separate us?" Hermione asked.

"Dumbledore knew that he needed Harry controlled, even his choice of girlfriends. If it were up to you, what would you have done to prepare for this war last year?" Lily asked.

"I would have tried to learn as many new spells as I could. I know Professor Flitwick was a dueling master so I probably would have asked him to help us," Hermione answered.

"Exactly, but you were all about Ron and Harry was all about Ginny instead of preparing for this war. Tell me, who are Dumbledore's most loyal and outspoken followers?"

"I would have to say the Weasleys."

"Correct, isn't it peculiar that the most brilliant witch of the age and the most famous wizard are both enamored with Dumbledore's most loyal? Do you think that is a coincidence?" Lily asked smirking.

"I never thought of it that way before," Hermione said.

"Here are some examples of your separation. You were with Ron while Harry was competing in the tournament. You were underwater together, on Dumbledore's instructions, forcing Harry to choose. He went to you first, by the way. You spent more time with Ron than with your own parents at headquarters while Harry was sequestered alone after a traumatic experience. Ron was made prefect that should have been Harry's position on Dumbledore's orders. You were forced towards Ron and away from Harry for a reason," Lily explained.

"What reason? What does this have to do with anything?" Hermione asked angrily.

"Calm down Hermione and I'll tell you. You and Harry are incredible assets to the wizarding world for different reasons. Both of you needed to be anchored here instead of the muggle world. If the two of you were together, you would more than likely live there and work here and this was unacceptable to Dumbledore. Just keep that in mind as we continue. Next question, does a portkey work on Hogwarts grounds?"

"Of course not. Hogwarts: A History states that the wards prevent such things from happening," Hermione said proudly.

"Then how did Harry get kidnapped during the tournament? I'll tell you how; what you don't know is that a portkey CAN work if the current head authorized it. To put it simply, Dumbledore authorized the portkey to take Harry to the graveyard. If it were that easy to kidnap someone then Harry would have been dead in his first year."

"But that would mean that the headmaster wanted Voldemort to return. That's insane," Hermione admonished.

"Think about the prophecy; you can't fulfill the prophecy if all the players aren't present. The head of the school is directly tied to the wards in and around Hogwarts. He knew everything that happened there and did nothing. Dumbledore was forging his weapon; it was almost entertaining to him. Next question, why was it so hard to find information on the Basilisk in your second year when it is so easy now? Nice job with the Polyjuice potion by the way," Lily finished chuckling.

"Thank you. Given what you told me so far, the headmaster removed all information about Basilisks from the library," Hermione answered.

"Correct, you found nothing until he wanted you to. Another of Dumbledore's transgressions was keeping things to himself; Knowledge is power after all. He had all the knowledge therefore had all the power. Riddle's people knew about the prophecy but the Order didn't. You have to remember he was only a man and could be corrupted like any other man. He had been in control for so long that he forgot people have free will; to him that was unacceptable. To him, people were sheep and he was the shepherd. Many people will die and suffer needlessly because of this," Lily replied sadly.

"I don't know what to say. What does this have to do with me anyway?"

"I'm getting to that. I need you to understand what has been happening around you before we get to the crux of the matter. The next few questions are going to be hurtful to some extent so I wanted to warn you in advance. Why Ron? What is so special about Ron?" Lily asked.

"I don't know really. I mean he's funny and loyal and is very tall and he's cute," Hermione said blushing.

"You forgot that you argue about everything, bloody hell you even argued about arguing. Loyal you say, ARE YOU BLOODY STUPID? Ron turned his back on Harry because of the tournament. He knew about the dragon but said nothing about it. He threw it in his face that he was a prefect and Harry wasn't. He left you because he was hungry. In fact, he wanted you to leave with him knowing Harry would fail without you. He cares more for himself than anything else and you are too bloody stubborn to admit it to yourself. How many times has he made you cry? How many times has Harry?" Lily spat.

"What do you want me to say? Harry's not interested in me; he never has been. Ron's always been there and . . . Oh Merlin what have I done? Dumbledore HAS been pushing me towards him. With Harry's upbringing he wouldn't know how to properly express himself anyway. Harry thought we were together for ages so he never said anything. Are you saying Harry has feelings for me?" Hermione said anxiously.

"He's confused about that. He doesn't understand what he's feeling. He knows you are the most important person in his life. He also knew that you were a girl long before Ron. Ron in his own way was helping his sister get her dream man by basically eliminating the competition as it were. By claiming you, Harry would look elsewhere for companionship. Harry is just too noble to take you from Ron and Ron knows this. As far as Dumbledore, separating the two of you would weaken Harry's resolve and be more reliant on him for support. In fifth year, Harry came to you for help but in the end you left with Ron on patrol because of Dumbledore. Both of them are chess masters in their own right," Lily explained.

"So what happens now what do I do about all this? I'm confused," Hermione stated.

"Let me tell you about Ron first. He is using a book entitled Twelve Failsafe Ways to Charm Witches; I know you've heard of it. He also gave Harry a copy for his birthday; what kind of a man gives a book like that to someone to use on his own sister? He is as much a bigot as that Malfoy boy if you really think hard about it. Even if he did think about someone or something other than himself; he would probably use it against Harry some way just to beat The-Boy-Who-Lived. He is petty and jealous of Harry because of what he has and ignores his own family because of it, meaning he is very materialistic. Lastly, he knew you had limited supplies but still ate like a pig," Lily said with disgust.

"What about Harry?" Hermione asked with a slight grin.

"I'll try to be as objective as a mother can be. He is kind and loyal to his friends. He has always given of himself even if he was raised to be selfish. He always thought of others before himself because he thinks he's unworthy. He may brood but he doesn't know any other way. He may be a powerful wizard and a fierce fighter but he is a scared little boy inside that can't show weakness because of my loving sister. I'm waiting eagerly to see her again. He was raised to fight and perhaps die; he wasn't raised to live. That is why I'm here. I need you to save my son; save him from himself," Lily pleaded.

"How? What should I do?"

"I can't answer that only you can. He needs to be taught how to be a person, not just a weapon. The problem is time, something you do not have much of. I'm not saying you should fall in love with him but I wouldn't be opposed to it either. If you wish to be with Ron then so be it; just remember that magical marriages are forever and can last for over a hundred years. If you wish to be with Ron then get Harry away from Ginny. She would just use him to further her status. Besides, she isn't pure enough for MY son. In fact, Luna would be a better choice; I like her," Lily said smiling.

"What do you mean about Ginny? She's still a virgin or she would have said something," Hermione defended.

"She would tell Harry's best female friend, her biggest rival for Harry that she slept with someone. Yeah right. Whether you want to believe it or not you are the number one woman in Harry's life. He left Cho for you, remember? It's the oldest trick in the books; she acts pure but she really isn't. She might not be a public broomstick but she has been ridden. She's had two long term boyfriends as a horny teenager wanting to prove something; think about it," Lily retorted.

"I don't know what to do. This is too much, too fast. Why are you laying this on me now?" Hermione was nearly in tears.

"I had to wait until Dumbledore's trial and to get authorization to be here. Bureaucracy is horrid; even in the after life," Lily chuckled then continued.

"It's nearly dawn so I'll give you this advice. If you want Harry to hold you, just ask him. He doesn't know he should. Ask him about some of the things we've talked about from his point of view. You know he won't lie to you. Ron will return somehow, I'm certain that Dumbledore had a contingency for this situation but I don't know what. Harry has every reason to die; he needs a reason to live. Think about this while you contemplate everything. Do you think that you'd still be able to do muggle things with Ron? Would Harry be able to experience any muggle things with Ginny? I didn't give up MY muggle heritage; why should you or Harry? In the end, you can only have one of them. No matter who you choose, you will end the friendship with the other. It sucks but that's the way it is; you can't have both. You can either have your own family with your own values or you can have Weasley values and lose yourself. Who do you think will let you keep your name Granger? I've said all I can, the rest is up to you," Lily said flatly.

"Thank you for scaring me like this. It's not like I have enough on my mind," Hermione said sarcastically.

"Don't get smart with me girly. If Dumbledore would have minded his own business and done his job properly, I wouldn't even need be here. You think you've got problems, look at MY SON. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders and you're worried about who you're going to shag once this is all over. WELL TOO BLOODY BAD FOR YOU! DEALWITH IT! You have to be a little cynical just to survive in the real world or people will take advantage of you. Goodbye Her-MOLLY Weasley because if you listen to Dumbledore that's all you'll ever be. Now WAKE UP!" Lily shouted.

End Dream Sequence

Hermione awoke with a start. She was trembling uncontrollably and was covered in sweat. He heart was pounding so rapidly she thought she was having a heart attack. She was a jumble of emotions and couldn't control any of them. Fear, anger, disgust, confusion and a multitude of others and she could make sense of any of them. She looked around the tent for Harry but didn't see him anywhere. She grabbed some parchment and a quill and ink then quickly wrote down everything she remembered. Her near photographic memory was both a blessing and a curse at times such as this.

Once she finished her transcript of the dream she felt an overwhelming desire to shower. She grab her things necessary for this task then headed to the lavatory. While the hot water was loosening her stiff muscles she contemplated everything that she had been told. One thing she realized was she needed to speak with Harry about some things before deciding anything. She finished her shower then dressed and left the lavatory and found Harry in the kitchen preparing breakfast. It wasn't much, due to limited supplies, but it was enough to keep them going for now. They sat in uncomfortable silence, eating their sparse meal, until Harry said quietly.

"I'm sorry Ron left. It's my fault this happened."

"It's not your fault so quit blaming yourself," Hermione scolded.

"It was my fault. If I knew what I was doing then this would all be over already. I wouldn't blame you if you left as well," Harry said sadly.

"I'm not going anywhere; we're in this together. Ron made his choice. I guess he thought this was going to be just like our adventures at school. The only difference is the fact that we aren't at school anymore; no comfortable beds; no huge meals everyday; and no Dumbledore to save us if we screw up," Hermione stated disgustedly. This was one of the things she really thought about.

"I can't believe you just said that about Ron. I mean you two have been . . . Um."

"Been what Harry? For your information we were never a couple. We've never dated; never even held hands. I don't know what you've heard but it was wrong," Hermione shot back.

"But thought that the two of you had been together for ages," Harry replied.

"Sorry never happened. Whoever told you that lied to you and I have a feeling it was Ron. Am I right?"

"Um . . . Yes. He told me back in third year that you two were dating. Why did he lie to me?" Harry said hurtfully.

"I don't know but I have a feeling. I need to know some things and I want you to tell me the truth. Even if it hurts. Will you do that please?"

"I guess so. I won't lie to you, I don't think I can lie to you," Harry said reluctantly.

"You're right I would spot it right off; you're a horrible liar but that's a good thing. Tell me, did Ron ever use his prefect's authority against you?" Hermione asked in a professional tone.

"Yes, he did it to all of us. He even told me that if I told you about it he would give me detention with Snape. It stopped when I made Quidditch Captain because he was afraid I'd kick him off the team. I wanted to but he was better than McClaggen," Harry answered solemnly.

"Prefects don't have the authority to give detentions, only the Head Boy and Girl do but you didn't know that. I have to tell you that it was my fault Ron made the team that year; I confunded McClaggen. Why didn't you ever tell me that the badge should have been yours?" Hermione continued her interrogation.

"I didn't want to sound like a jealous prat. Dumbledore promised to make the DA an official club with its leader having equal rights anyway. I guess he forgot about that. I knew someone confunded McClaggen; you just don't go flying off in the wrong direction without some help. I never thought it was you."

"I just wanted to help like you did with the fake luck potion. How do you really feel about Ginny? This is just between us," Hermione said.

"I don't know. I like her but she doesn't see me. Before we left, she seemed more concerned that I would go off and find a pack of Veela instead of worrying if I would live or die. I'm not sure how far she would have gone but I don't think I would have slept with her. She's not exactly alone and without options right now is she?" Harry spat.

"No she isn't. Why wouldn't you have slept with her? I know it's personal so don't answer that," Hermione said.

"No I'll tell you. I was afraid she'd get pregnant and I'd be forced to marry her. She always wanted the Boy-Who-Lived so I gave him to her. I know it was wrong but I came to realize that is what most girls want anyway. I'm sorry if I offended you but that's just how I felt," Harry said.

"I'm not offended and you're wrong about that. There are many girls that like just Harry and not Harry Potter BWL. I can see how you would feel that way though considering the circumstances. I'm glad we can talk like this," Hermione said in a comforting tone.

"I am too. I doubt I could talk to Ginny like this; other than Quidditch we have nothing to talk about. I just realized something; both of us helped Ron with Quidditch and he's been playing it forever. May I ask you something personal?" Harry said.

"Of course and you're right about us helping Ron. I never thought about that before."

"Did you and Victor ever . . . Well you know, been together? Ginny told me you were," Harry asked waiting for the hexes to fly.

"Did she now? Victor and I are just friends. We went to the ball together and he gave me a kiss on the cheek and that's all. He invited me to visit him in Bulgaria but not my parents so I told him no. Besides, I've read about his 'exploits' off the pitch in Witch Weekly," Hermione said with disgust in her voice.

"You read Witch Weekly? I never would have guessed that. Ron lied, Ginny lied, next thing you'll tell me that Mrs. Weasley lied," Harry said.

"What would she lie about? She loves you like a son," Hermione admonished.

"If she loved me so much then why did she turn her back on me fifth year when I needed someone the most and that includes you," Harry spat angrily.

"Because Dumbledore ordered us to. The more I thought about it the more I hated myself for listening. You had the courage to disobey him to come after me first year and I repaid you by ignoring you. I can never forgive myself for that," Hermione said sadly.

"The thing that bothered me the most about that summer was the fact that you and Ron got to spend more time with MY GODFATHER than I did," Harry said loudly.

"I never thought of that before, then again I've been blind to so many things lately. Can you ever forgive me?"

"There's nothing to forgive. I put everything on Dumbledore and that bloody prophecy. I've been cheated out of my life because of something that wasn't my fault and I'm sick of it. I just want this whole thing to be over," Harry said in a defeated tone.

Hermione looked upon the defeated form of her best friend and felt foolish. She was worrying about what to do about relationships when she should be focusing on the war. She moved over next to Harry and gently stroked his back attempting to comfort him. He looked at her and said.

"I don't deserve your compassion; I didn't give you any," Harry said sadly.

"Then here's your chance to make it up to me," She said taking his hand. She led him to the living room sofa then they sat down together and Hermione placed her head on Harry's chest, above his heart. She snaked her arms around his waist and Harry wrapped his arms around her instinctively. Hermione said.

"We both need this, Thank you."

"Thank you, for everything. What do we do now?" Harry asked.

"For now we take a break and plan our next move. We need to see what we have and what we need and then see what we can do," Hermione said; always thinking.

"Too bad we can't ask Kreatcher to bring us some supplies?" Harry said jokingly.

"Harry that's brilliant. House Elves can find their master anywhere; even through the Fidelus Charm. You can ask him to stock us with food stuffs. That would be one less thing to worry about."

"I thought you didn't like the fact I own Kreatcher?" Harry asked confused.

"Times change and if we are too weak from hunger then we wouldn't stand a chance in a fight," Hermione corrected.

"If I had thought of this before, maybe Ron wouldn't have left," Harry said somberly.

"If Ron had stayed then we wouldn't be holding each other like this now would we. Ron finally showed his true colors. This isn't the first time he turned his back on you," Hermione retorted hugging Harry a bit tighter.

"Why this change in you? What happened to change your attitude about things?" Harry asked.

"It may sound silly but I had a dream. It made me look at things in a different light and ask the questions I never wanted to before. I'll tell you about it some day, after this is all over," Hermione said.

"After this is all over, I think I'll need a long holiday; if I survive."

"I still have to retrieve my parents, you can come with me," Hermione said blushing.

"Australia sounds nice. I always wanted to see Koala Bears up close; I think they're cute. Kangaroos are just mean," Harry said snickering.

Hermione chuckled aloud and the two sat in very comfortable silence, holding each other in comfort. They stayed like this for a while then reluctantly separated. Harry called for Kreatcher who appeared instantly. Harry explained what they needed and Kreatcher was more than willing to help. Before they knew it, the pantry of their tent was filled to capacity then Kreatcher set to the task of preparing a proper meal for his master and companion.

After eating the feast Kreatcher prepared, he explained to Harry that several people attempted to gain entry to the house but he had locked it down using House Elf magic. Kreatcher also explained he was cleaning the house properly for his master's return. Harry and Hermione thanked Kreatcher profoundly, touching the old elf's heart, and then he returned to headquarters. Harry and Hermione looked over their supplies and began planning their next move.

During the time after Ron's departure, Harry and Hermione continued their mission without any luck. However, they took the time and talked about everything and anything. They both grew to understand each other better than ever. One night while laying awake in bed, Hermione came to some startling revelations. She thought sadly to herself, Harry never did well in school because of Dudley and he just replaced him with Ron. Harry's time there made him weak and easy to control. I wonder if they were in on it; wouldn't surprise me. Harry's not dumb or even lazy; he's been conditioned to think this way. I hope Lily gave Dumbledore a good scolding when he got there. After what she did to me, it was probably a hundred times worse. Am I strong enough to fix him? I'll just have to find out, besides he loves to cuddle and that is a very good thing. Damn you old man for cheating us.

They went to Godric'sHallow and the worst possible thing happened; Harry's wand was broken. Hermione tried desperately to repair it but to no avail. The two made a pact to never go off alone no matter what until Harry could obtain a replacement. One day while on guard duty, Harry spotted a silver doe patronus. He quickly informed Hermione and the two followed the apparition to a small pond. The Sword of Gryffindor was at the bottom and Harry volunteered to retrieve it with Hermione standing guard. He handed her his clothing and the locket then dove in. He quickly retrieved his prize and returned form the freezing water. Hermione was prepared for his arrival with a conjured blanket then cast a quick drying and warming charm on Harry to which he was most thankful.

Harry dressed rapidly then placed the locket on a nearby rock. He opened it using Parceltongue and two eyes appeared and a mist was forming above it. Harry wasted no time and impaled the sword into the eyes destroying the locket forever. The two celebrated their small victory but were interrupted by the return of their wayward friend Ron. Hermione was not pleased to see him. The three returned to the tent and Ron told them of his encounter with the Snatchers. He gave Harry a wand he recovered, it wasn't a perfect match but it was better than nothing. Hermione asked.

"How did you get here Ron? How did you know we were here?"

"I was playing with that Deluminator thing and I heard your voice. It made a bright light and I entered it and it brought me here. I saw the patronus and thought it was Harry's so I followed it. Where did all this food come from?" Ron asked sternly.

"I called for Kreatcher and he brought us some supplies. I didn't think of it until later, sorry," Harry said.

Ron wasn't pleased with Harry's answer but remarkably held his tongue. Hermione thought to herself, Lily was right about Dumbledore's contingency plan for Ron. He must have known Ron would run away. What was the old man up to anyway? Ron seems more interested in our food supply than the sate of our mission. How stupid was I to fall for such a petty boy? Then again I wasn't given a choice was I?

The trio continued their quest until they were eventually captured by a group of Snatchers. They were taken to Malfoy Manor where they were immediately separated. Hermione was being tortured by Belatrix Lestrange while Harry and Ron were taken to the dungeons. Ron was calling out Hermione's name in desperation while Harry kept his composure trying to find a way out. He succeeded when Wormtail opened the cell door and was dealt with by Harry.

Harry made his way to Hermione, hexing anything that moved along the way. He managed to hit Belatrix with a Sectumsempra Curse before they made their escape. They wouldn't know until later but she died from her injuries a few days later. Their escape was not without loss; Dobby had given his life to protect Harry.

While at Shell Cottage, Harry buried Dobby and Luna comforted him in his loss. Hermione also gave her support and thought; I can see why Lily likes Luna so much. She has a heart bigger than Hagrid. She would be better for him than Ginny but where does that leave me? Do I really deserve him after all this time? What does Harry want? I never even considered the possibility he may not want me. Not enough time to sort this out now I have to find Dean.

Hermione found Dean and took him into an unoccupied bedroom and spoke flatly.

"Dean I need to ask you some things and I want the truth. Did Ron use his authority as a prefect over you?"

"Why are you asking me this now? You never gave a damn in school. Hell yes he did. He punked all of us; especially Harry. He threatened to give us detention with Snape if we said anything. He even confiscated some of Seamus' Playwizard magazines and kept them for himself saying it was a perk of the job. Why the hell do you care anyway? You're shagging him," Dean spat angrily.

"Like hell I am. I don't know what you've heard but Ron and I were never together and never will be. Ron's been lying about us for a long time and I discovered more things that I can't get into right now. Have you ever slept with Ginny?" Hermione shot back venomously.

"You're joking right. Yes I slept with her and I wasn't her first. Why do you think I broke up with her? I caught her with another bloke."

"But I saw you two arguing; she broke up with you," Hermione demanded answers.

"Yeah right. She wanted to put it on me to save her reputation. She threatened to tell her brothers that I got her drunk and took advantage of her if I didn't go along with it. That's why I was so angry when she got with Harry. I knew she would do the same to him; he's too nice a bloke to be used like that," Dean answered.

"Thank you for being so candid with me. This conversation never took place," Hermione stated.

"What conversation? If you care about Harry, get him away from her before she gets knocked up. He's too bloody noble for his own good sometimes," Dean replied.

"Let me take care Miss Weasley. She's been spreading rumors about me and Victor. This is PERSONAL," Hermione spat.

"MEOW, Kitty's got claws," Dean teased.

"And don't you forget it," Hermione said with all her Gryffindor pride.

The two separated and Hermione was lost in thought, I guess the past few years has been nothing but lies. When did things become so complicated? I always thought it would be me and Ron then Harry and Ginny. One big happy family, Weasley family now that I think about it. That Her-molly remark really hurts now. Everything she said was absolutely true so what now? Let's finish this so I can sort this out.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

The battle of Hogwarts had begun. All of the Horcruxes have been found and destroyed save one; Nagini. Harry and Hermione had been separated during the battle and now she was alone with Ron. She was angry with Ron when he reminded Harry of his mistake concerning Dobby but was pleased he thought of the House Elves' safety. She was worried that Harry would do something foolish and her worst fears were realized when she seen Hagrid carrying Harry's body. She thought angrily and sadly to herself, No this can't be happening, not now. We never got a chance to sort anything out. Please give us another chance.

Hermione's heart started racing when she saw Harry alive and well, after Neville bravely destroyed Nagini. She was busy fighting some unknown DE, helping others as she could. She had seen Fred injured by some falling debris and cast a quick stasis charm on him hoping it would save him from certain death; Percy had returned to fight and evacuated his injured brother from the maelstrom along with other victims. She continued to fight having complete faith in Harry.

The battle was over and Harry was victorious. Thanks to some quick thinking by Luna, Harry made his escape from the battlefield and sought refuge in the Head's office. Hermione and others followed him and he was greeted by cheering portraits of past heads. None was more pleased than Albus Dumbledore. He spoke in his patented grandfatherly tone.

"Well done young Harry. I never doubted you for a moment."

"Thank you sir."

"I don't see young Ronald or Ginevra with you. I hope nothing dreadful happened to them," Albus said.

"Fred was injured in the battle; their all in the hospital wing," Hermione said disgustedly.

"I see. Why are you angry Miss Granger? This is a joyous occasion. You should be with your family celebrating," Albus said twinkling his eyes.

"My family is in Australia, except for Harry. We'll be leaving after everything has settled down," Hermione retorted.

"Harry needs to stay and help the Weasleys in their time of grief. There will be plenty of time for holidays later. There is still much to do," Albus instructed politely.

"They have each other; they don't need me. The prophecy is fulfilled so I'm taking a break. I've earned it," Harry replied.

"I'm not saying you do not deserve some rest but there is still much to do. The Weasleys will need you now more than ever," Albus said.

"I can't believe you're still trying to control Harry even though you're dead. He's done his duty; why can't you leave him alone?" Hermione spat angrily.

"You should be mindful of your elders Miss Granger," Albus said sternly.

"You're dead remember. What can you do to me now? Just leave us alone," Hermione shouted.

"Miss Granger why are you so angry with Albus?" Minerva asked.

"I learned that he separated me and Harry and pushed us towards the youngest Weasleys. I don't know why but I don't really care anymore. I'm not going to be with Ron so you failed sir," Hermione replied.

"I really don't want Ginny. I can't love a liar," Harry said quietly.

"Albus is this true? What have you do to my lions? ANSWER ME!" Minerva spat in a thick Scottish accent.

"I may have nudged Harry in a certain direction but it served a higher purpose," Albus said twinkling his eyes.

"The truth Albus. What have you done?" Minerva commanded.

"I will do no good Minerva. Albus enchanted his own portrait so he could keep his secrets," Phineas Black's portrait replied.

"Is this true Albus?" Minerva asked.

"Minerva you must understand. Some things must stay hidden for the greater good. I'm sorry that is all I can say on this matter," Albus said sweetly.

"I guess you were telling the truth after all. You were a dark lord in a sense," Harry said.

"What do you mean Harry?" Hermione asked.

"When I died, I met Dumbledore at a crossroads between life and death; I think. He admitted he acted like a dark lord now I know what he meant by that. I wonder if Bill can break the enchantments around the portrait." Harry said.

"No one can break MY enchantments. They will break on their own in two hundred years after my portrait has been awakened. Any attempt to remove them will destroy this portrait and another will activate elsewhere. Most clever if I do say so myself," Albus said chuckling at their dilemma.

"Then there are no worries. I spoke with Bill about his job as a Curse Breaker because I was curious. He told me of a trap ward he came across in Egypt that was time based. He used a time distortion ward to override the timer as it were. Instead of the ward taking a year to fall it only took one day. It should work with your portrait," Hermione said proudly.

Albus Dumbledore was outraged by this discovery and began shouting curses at his former students. It angered him more that they just walked away without giving him his proper respect. Harry and Hermione made their way to the hospital wing to check on Fred's condition. It would be some time but he would make a full recovery but lost a leg. Unfortunately, when they attempted to leave the ward they were confronted by Ron. He spoke graciously.

"Thank you for saving Fred. Madam Pomfrey said that was quick thinking with the stasis charm. Hermione can I talk with you in private?"

"I'm sorry Ron but I'm not interested in you that way," Hermione spoke bluntly.

"What do you mean?" Ron spat.

"You lied about us being together and not to mention using THAT book on me. I'm sorry but we can't be together like you want," Hermione said trying desperately not to hex him.

"IT"S POTTER ISN'TIT? He's with Ginny so you can't have him anyway," Ron said with his ears turning red.

This argument was heard by all Weasleys who came to see what the commotion was. Ginny was at the front of the pack and said flatly.

"What is your problem Hermione? Harry's MY boyfriend, get your own."

"We broke up Ginny, besides you lied about Hermione and Victor being together. Ron lied about him and Hermione being together. Who know what else you've done? Why would you do that to us?" Harry asked somberly.

"Is this true? Answer me now," Molly asked making her intentions clear.

Ron's face matched the color of his hair and Molly knew his answer. Ginny tried to stay calm but the intense glare of her iron willed mother broke her. She nodded slightly and began to cry. Molly said.

"I'm sorry this happened. I'll get to the bottom of this; that you can be certain of. I raised them better than this. Thank you for saving Fred, Hermione. Thank you for saving us all, Harry. Your parents would be so proud of you. Come along you two we need to have a chat about some things," Molly said sternly as she led her children away.

"That was sort of anticlimactic wasn't it?" Hermione said.

"I was ready for the hexes to start flying but I'm glad they didn't. Nothing we would have done would compare to what their mother will do. I'm knackered let's go to bed. I mean separately; in separate beds. I mean . . ." Harry stammered.

"Relax, I understand what you meant. I trust you Harry. Will you hold me tonight?" Hermione asked.

"I think we both need to be held but I'm not sure I can trust you," Harry teased.

"Maybe you shouldn't but not tonight," Hermione replied playfully.

The two walked in comfortable silence towards Gryffindor Tower, Minerva gave them the password. They made their way to the deserted seventh year boy's dorm and got into bed. They didn't have any night clothes so Hermione transfigured their clothes into the proper attire. Harry lay on his back and Hermione rested her head on his chest; wrapping their arms around each other in comfort. They were both asleep in minutes.

Elsewhere:

Lily and Albus were watching the two young Gryffindors and Lily was pleased with the outcome. She spoke to Albus.

"Why would you deny them this? You know as well as I do if they were both with Weasleys they'd be shagging right now and they didn't need that."

"I did it for the greater good," Albus replied.

"You'll never let that go will you? That excuse caused more harm than good and you know it. You aren't the first dark lord to use it to take power," Lily spat.

"Our world was in danger and I took the steps necessary to save it for future generations. I don't regret the outcome; Harry did succeed."

"What would have happened if Riddle didn't use a Killing Curse? What if he just tortured Harry like the Longbottoms? What if he cut off his head? He could have killed Harry in many different ways for his own amusement. What then?" Lily asked.

"I'll admit it was a calculated risk but it had to be done. Harry needed to sacrifice himself to defeat Tom," Albus replied.

"That's rubbish and you know it. There were other ways but you ignored them. Why?"

"To make Harry the hero our world needed. Our world needs its heroes to guide them," Albus said.

"You could have made Harry into another Riddle or worse. Why take the risk?" Lily asked.

"I knew it was a possibility but with the proper guidance he became what he is today; a hero."

"Don't you mean manipulated instead of guided? Until you admit your own sins you will never reach your great reward. You were a good man Albus, what happened to you?" Lily asked sadly.

"I got old. I liked being worshiped by everyone and I changed and not for the better. I just wanted our world to have a protector as strong as I had once been."

"You wanted another master manipulator you mean. Answer me several questions truthfully if you can. Don't bother with that truth is wonderful and dangerous garbage either. You knew about the Horcruxes since the night we died, you knew about Harry's Horcrux scar, why didn't you do anything about them sooner?" Lily said.

"Because of the prophecy, it wasn't my problem to deal with; it was Harry's responsibility."

"Why the Weasleys?"

"Young Ronald and Ginevra are very spirited individuals that needed proper grounding. Ronald could have easily become a death eater because of his pettiness and desire to surpass his siblings. Having him beat Harry gave him self confidence. Ginevra was enamored with the Boy-Who-Lived and would have doted over him. With out him to hold onto, she would have been a scarlet woman as Molly would say. They look so much like you and James I felt I was given a second chance at giving the two of you the life together that was stolen from you."

"Ginny was a scarlet woman already, in case you hadn't noticed. Hermione would have treated him well; will treat him well. Why not her?" Lily asked.

"It wouldn't be proper. You know our world and its heroes need a proper companion by their side. In short, she isn't a pure blood."

"So you are a blood purest after all."

"I am my father's son," Albus said sadly.

"I have to go. There's no telling what the Marauders are up to," Lily said with a grin.

"Will I see you again?" Albus asked hopefully.

"You can visit us once you've served your penance."

"That could be quite awhile I'm afraid," Albus said.

"You said yourself this is the next great adventure and you have no one to blame but yourself," Lily said.

Albus nodded in reluctant agreement as he watched Lily vanish. In all his years, he never thought the next great adventure would be the inside of a prison cell.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The morning after, Hermione awoke slowly. She was still in the same position she was the night before, snuggled into Harry's embrace. She opened her chocolate brown eyes only to meet the gaze of shinning silver blue eyes. The owner spoke in a whisper.

"Good morning Hermione."

"Luna what are you doing here? Why are you in bed with Harry? With us I mean?" Hermione said a bit loud.

"SHHHHHH! You'll wake Harry. He needs his sleep after all," Luna said in her dreamy tone.

"What are you doing here?" Hermione asked a bit softer but still confused.

"I came to check on Harry. I didn't want him to be alone after last night. I saw you two sleeping and you looked so peaceful I decided to join you. Harry does make a comfortable pillow," Luna said as a matter of fact.

"But why? There has to be more to it."

"I was visited in my dream by Mrs. Potter. She asked me to look after Harry. She told me that Harry would have dated me but respected me too much to use me like that; he's very sweet but a bit thick. She also told me that she didn't have much faith in you to do as she asked. I wasn't about to anger her; she could put Mrs. Weasley to shame," Luna said smiling.

"What do we do now? If Harry finds the both of us in bed with him, he'll go spare," Hermione asked.

"We explain what we went through in our dreams and let him decided."

"He's too noble and sweet to hurt either of us. You know that," Hermione said.

"Then we won't let him choose. Harry's heart is big enough for the both of us. He deserves all the love and affection that we can give him and then some. What about you?" Luna said.

"My parents raised me to be open minded and I'll admit I'm curious but we have to take it slow. We've all been through a lot, especially Harry. Besides, his heart isn't the only thing that's big enough for the both of us," Hermione said blushing.

"How would you know that?" Luna asked in her unfazed dreamy tone.

"I was Polyjuiced as him; I peeked," Hermione said blushing redder.

"Then why Ron?" Luna asked.

"That's another story and a big mistake. He's waking."

Harry stirred and found himself in the embrace of not only Hermione but Luna as well. He didn't know how or why this happened but before he could say anything Luna spoke softly.

"We know you're confused right now but if you just relax we'll explain everything."

"I don't understand," Harry exclaimed.

"We know but just trust us; you know neither of us will hurt you. Now just lay back; hold us close and let us tell you about our dreams," Hermione said comfortingly.

Harry relented and did as instructed. He relaxed his head on his pillow and gave both of his friends and loving squeeze that they returned with the same affection and they began to tell their tale.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Five year later they were all married. The Granger-Lovegood-Potter Clan was born; all parties took each others names out of respect for one another.

Ron and Ginny never bothered them again and went about their lives in shame of their past deeds.

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Disclaimer: I own nothing Harry Potter.

A/N: I just wanted to get this out of my head before returning to writing my other stories. I had some ideas I wanted to try here before trying them elsewhere first. Thanks for reading.