AN: Okay, this is going to be a really, awesomely long first chapter, but it's totally worth it. I've been wanting to start this Harmony for a while, so enjoy, don't forget to review and get those alerts!
It's odd, really. The way she's dreaming, as if she isn't dreaming at all. In fact, Hermione clearly remembers doodling exactly like this during a rather dry History of Magic lecture the week before. And hadn't she just seen a glimpse of something she knew was real? The canaries, her obvious bitterness with Ron after his display of disgusting affection with Lavender Brown, of all idiots? Hadn't she just seen Harry, sitting beside her in the common rooms, reading one of her books? The fireplace is roaring just a few feet away, casting a warm glow over both of them. He looks up at her, smiling for just a brief moment before hiding back behind the tome. But then the canaries are here, too, and she's sure she wasn't practicing that charm at the time.
What is this? Hermione thinks to herself that she might be having a sort of semi-conscious dream, in which she's just replaying flashbacks of the last few days, some a little muddled. That would make more sense than anything else, she supposes. The part that seems even stranger still is that she can't help but feel that all of these things happened years ago, in some distant time. It feels like ages since she's seen Hogwarts, though she must have just fallen asleep in her four poster. It's odd. It's all very, very odd. And then it goes black.
When the light returns, however, it feels to be much, much later. And it's much too bright. It's Wednesday, if she remembers correctly. She tries to make a 'huh' sound, but nothing seems to come out. Stranger, still. From the side of her vision she can see a window, not unlike the one in her dormitory at Hogwarts. The sun, however, must be in the middle of the sky right now. She's supposed to be in Charms! Flitwick must be wondering where she is, she's never missed a class this year and it would be dreadful to do so now.
Even more puzzling - as if this day could be any more - is the figure hunched over her bed, clearly upset. It's odd, really. He looks a little like Harry's late father. Younger, of course, but strikingly similar. Messy black hair, somewhat broad shoulders on his still thin frame. She can even see glasses on the table beside him. She decides she'll deal with that later, as a quick drift of the eye has informed Hermione that she is not in her four poster at all. This room and the bedding are all completely white, some light blue, and she seems to be the only bed in the room. It's almost like... Also, it smells much too clean to be the dormitory of five teenage girls. Frustrated, Hermione realizes she'd love to take more of a look around and figure out where she is and what's going on, but everything feels extremely heavy. She can't even move her own arms. Her eyelids feel rather heavy as well... perhaps she can just sleep this off, and hope that this was all a dream as well...
Noise. There was no noise before, not in the dreams. Someone's speaking, possibly about her, directly next to her. The voice seems a little familiar, though she can't quite place it.
"I believe so." This one is a deeper voice, one she's sure she's never heard before.
"Oh, thank Merlin. Thank you, thank you!"
There seems to be a commotion. Perhaps it's her father. She realizes as her eyes flutter open and closed again that she's in a hospital room, probably at St. Mungo's. Maybe she was in an accident at school, maybe she was poisoned or something - she almost wouldn't put it past Lavender to get her out of the picture - or she fell out of bed and hit her head. It's got to be something big, as whoever this voice belongs to seems to be extremely happy that she's conscious once again.
Not her father. Not Daniel Granger. Still familiar. Eyes keep closing. Keep trying.
"Hermione, please... I know you're in there. You've got to open up. I've missed you."
But who has even missed her enough to say so?
The deeper voice again, he clears his throat first. "It could take her a few moments to recover full consciousness... but she appears to be completely fine. Should make a full recovery in a matter of weeks. Days, maybe, if you keep a close eye on her."
"I'll never take my eyes off her again." That familiar voice again, but somehow it's different.
"We've got a few tests to run, so as much as I'd love to let you stick around, we've got tests to make sure her brain activity is normal. After prolonged periods such as these... things can get complicated."
"And what about...?"
"Should be completely fine. Why don't you wait right out in the hallway, sir, and we'll call you in as soon as we can."
There's some movement to her right - the man beside her bed - and then a door shutting. Definitely a hospital door, the hydraulic noises don't belong anywhere in Hogwarts.
"Hermione, dear, it's time to wake up. This is your Healer, Dr Spalling. You were in an accident. You seem to have regained normal brain wave patterns, so we need you to wake up. Up, up, up! It's a big day. People are going to be very excited to see you." The deeper voice is so calming, though, that she just wants to sleep again. She's just so tired. And yet she just woke.
Why would people be so excited to see her? It was probably just a little spill. She's really got to get to Charms before the lesson is over, though. Despite the fact that she probably knows it, she wants to make sure Flitwick doesn't deviate from the book or plans and teach something completely new. She'd hate to be behind on a new advanced Charm.
All at once, it hits her - the light, consciousness, the heaviness of her body. She tries to rise, but can only barely move.
"Easy there, we'll lift your bed into a sitting position." And he does. And all at once, she can see - the crisp white hospital linens, the wrinkle-faced Healer standing beside her bed, smiling. "There you are, dear. Just took a little recovery time."
"How much time? I can't be late..."
His smile drops. This doesn't look good. "Late for what, dear?"
"For Charms class. Flitwick has got to be looking for me, this can't be good..."
"Hermione, what year is it?"
"It's ninety-six. November twelfth, to be exact. It's a Wednesday. I'm late for Charms. Even Harry must be looking for me, and I suppose a few others as well, especially in the class."
He shuffles to a desk, not answering any of her comments. What kind of Healer is he? He isn't being very kind. He checks a calendar, flicking his wand so that pages seem to appear from nowhere - he's putting pages back onto a calendar. Funny, she hasn't learned that one yet and probably has no use for it, but it seems rather interesting. He shakes his head.
"Oh, dear. One moment, miss. Don't make any sudden movements, your head is still a bit fuzzy."
"Understandable, sir. I'll stay put." Just as she should. The doctor takes a few moments to return, and when he does, he's alone again.
"Sir, who was that man in here with me? He and his voice seemed so familiar, but changed at the same time..."
"Miss Granger, what would you say if I asked you what had recently happened between you and a Ron Weasley?"
"Ron? Is that who's out there? Good, Lavender will have a fit. Ron decided to cast out whatever weird feelings we might have had for each other for a snotty little prat named Lavender Brown. Honestly, she's got the most annoying, girly voice on the entire planet, I can't stand her. She's always passing me in the halls now, on his arm, and I swear if they're not snogging, she's shooting daggers at me..."
"Repeat the date for me."
"November twelfth. Nineteen ninety-six."
"Perhaps my little spill put me a couple days off then. It's still November, right?"
"No, November has passed. Hermione, nineteen ninety-six is long gone as well. You have suffered a brain injury a tad more serious than we originally thought. Oh, dear... there was an accident... the year is two-thousand and five. Nine years have passed since then. I'm afraid, my dear, that you've encountered a sort of Retrograde Amnesia."
And then it all makes sense. Why those memories seemed so far away - because they were. Why that voice seemed so familiar, but had changed. It was someone from her past, for certain, but nine years had passed. They were older now. That made her... twenty six! She was twenty-six years old. But how?
"If you don't mind, I'm going to step into the hallway for a moment and explain the situation... if you'd like, I can let you see your file to see a few more things about yourself. A draught will be brought in to attempt to help you regain some of your more recent memories, and then we'll have a talk with your family."
"My parents are here?" Thank gods. I'd been hoping they were near, this was all too confusing."
He only gives her a sad little smile, handing her the file before stepping outside once more.
Her file immediately sets off alarms. Her name is wrong. It's got to be. She's twenty-six. It's two-thousand and five. She can't breathe. The name on her file does not read Hermione Granger, but Hermione Potter. Even stranger so is a clear marking under her status that sends her head spinning so fast, she feels she might fall asleep again. She doesn't. This is no dream. This, she finds, is reality.
"So, she could regain her memories?"
"She definitely could. It's actually highly common that victims of retrograde amnesia do - though a timeframe isn't guaranteed. It could be gradual, starting now, it could happen all at once, years from now."
"What about Sirius?"
"Introduce the two of them. With some prompting, from you, I'm sure she'll warm to him."
Sirius? How can Harry's godfather be here? Harry's clearly in the hallway - her husband Harry. She peeks under the blanket again, staring at the middle of her torso. Yes, still there. A rather defined little bump, round as can be.
"That's excellent. I know he's still quite young, but he's certainly not forgetful. He asks for her constantly."
"I can imagine... it's been a tough week."
So, she's been out a week. Harry and the Healer are still talking in the hallway. She has no answers. A quick glance through the file tells her a few more things. She lives in Leeds - dear gods, it gets busy in Leeds. She graduated top of her class at Hogwarts. She studied Law at a private wizarding Uni. She's listed, by occupation, as 'Ministry' - what that means, she'll figure out later. She probably has to floo into work, what a horrid commute...
Then she reaches the family section, and things become a bit more clear.
Parents: Daniel Granger (dec.) and Patricia Granger (dec.)
Spouse: Harry James Potter, b. 31st of July, 1980
Children: Sirius Daniel Potter, b. 31st of October, 2004. Baby, yet unborn, due late May 2006.
Status Remarks: Comatose. Pregnant. Baby seems to be healthy and functioning normally. Coma in day seven. Brain activity seems normal. Result of nearly-fatal auto accident, 9th of December. Contact with ice and snow caused slight frostbite of leg - cured and healed, with only minor scarring.
The door cracked open as the tears fell. Her parents are dead. She had a feeling, even from year four, that this might happen. Lost in the war, or worse. But she's married! To Harry! And they have a child, named after Harry's godfather and her own father... how lovely...
She looks up, and notices just how much Harry has grown to look like his father. His face has changed a little, he's got a shadow on his chin from not shaving. Since when has Harry had to shave? His shoulders are broader, his arms a little more muscular. He's clearly not the scrawny boy he was in his past. His hair, perhaps, has gotten messier. Eyes brighter. Crooked smile threatening to make her smile back. She gives in.
"Thank Merlin you're alright, I've been worried sick, haven't left your side... the Healer's explained to me what happened, I guess there's a bit to catch you up on..."
Her hand moves instinctively to her stomach. Like the fact that I'm pregnant?
He grins, and she can see him beaming completely. "Right. Baby number two. You've read through the file, I can see..."
"My parents... and us... what... how..." Her smile fell. She wasn't prepared to deal with all of this. And yet... Harry sat beside her again, and grabbed her hand, and held tight.
"I know. It's... there's a lot to learn. Hopefully you'll remember in time, but it's best to fill you in until then. There's so much you need to know."
She nodded. And looking at their hands intertwined, a rather odd sort of jump happened in her heart. Love. Trust. Somehow, she knew - despite all of this, despite the amnesia - everything was going to be alright.
"Mr Potter, you really should get some sleep... and food. I assure you Hermione is completely safe here with myself and the nurses, and you need to be as healthy as possible for when she's ready to go home."
"Right... I supposed I could head home for a bit. Rest up. Eat something. Shower..." He sniffed under his arm for effect, making Hermione laugh. In the last few minutes, he'd attempted to fill her in on her own life. She was working as Senior Undersecretary to the Minister - she'd resisted the post at first, since she remembered the particularly cruel toad woman who had held it before - but eventually gave in. Harry was heading the Auror department, the youngest yet to do so. They had the one son, Sirius, and were expecting another child in five more months. Hermione wanted the gender to be a surprise on this one.
While they worked, Luna - who was apparently Hermione's best friend in the entire world - watched the children. Luna had helped Hermione relax a little after uni, introducing her to relaxation techniques she'd learned while travelling with George. Luna, apparently, was married to him, and the pair had a set of twins. The daughter's middle name was Jean, after Hermione herself. She was touched, but altogether felt a little strange still.
George owned a chain of Wheeze's stores now, sixteen total. He still managed the one in Diagon Alley. Luna didn't need to work, she took care of their twins and Sirius, plus Lavender and Dean's daughter, who was three. Lavender and Dean? But then...
"Harry, what about Ron?"
Harry grimaced. He knew what year Hermione thought it was, and who her heart had belonged to as of those weeks. She didn't know how much things had changed after that.
"Ron's living in Australia - Sydney, actually. Plays for their quidditch team. He's got a steady girlfriend there, a sports reporter for the Prophet. They've been together two years now and they're doing well. He writes often, comes to visit when he's playing anywhere near."
Ron was gone. He'd left. So he hadn't been the one to make her happy, the one to change things. Harry had. But how?
"I'm going to head home, I'll be back in a few hours. I could use some sleep. I'll send over Luna if I can get a hold of her. I'm sure she's worried sick about you." He leaned forward, hugging her softly around the shoulders and kissing her forehead. "We'll... figure all that out later."
She nodded, silently thanking the heavens that he hadn't tried to really kiss her, and watched him leave. Harry. Her husband. Oh, dear.
"Where is she? Hermione! Oh thank god..."
The door flew open, and a very curly-haired Luna came bouncing in, hopping right up onto the end of her bed. Luna had matured, clearly, less like the fourteen year old girl she'd once been, and more like the mother of twins, the caretaker, the wife of a great man.
"Harry told me you were awake and I called George home to watch the kids, he closed up shop and he's probably putting them off with Seamus as we speak, arsehole works from home, he can take a break and watch the babies while we come make sure you're alright... Harry told me what's wrong. The amnesia. I can't believe it..."
Hermione could tell, immediately, that one important thing had changed about Luna - she'd lost that floaty, clueless air about her. She was shining, excited, and casually well spoken. She'd grown up. Hermione silently wondered to herself whether or not the nargles had remained...
"There's his ring now!" A low tone rang from Luna's pocket, and after a quick exchange with who Hermione surmised was George Weasley, she clicked the phone shut. Just a moment later, a head of shaggy read hair proceeded a thin, possibly even taller frame through the door of the room.
"Ah, good, the balloon woman has awoken."
Luna whipped her head around. "George!"
"Sorry, sorry, bad pregnancy joke... retrograde, ah? You remember me, then, as being about six inches shorter and a few million galleons poorer. Ah, the good old days... oh, you also remember me single, too. And childless. And... one of a set." His smile became a little sadder then, and Hermione could only think one thing - not Fred, too...
George nodded, confirming what she hadn't even said aloud. Hermione could feel tears forming. Fred, the confident, loud, usually annoying twin she'd adored as another of her own older brothers.
"There's a lot to fill you in on, Hermione... we figured we'd work on a bit while Harry's out. The rest, we'll leave for him. But first... what's this all been like for you?"
Hermione cleared her throat, beginning to think of chuckling. It seemed ridiculous.
"I woke today to find myself in a Hospital room, when I expected to be in my four poster, late for charms. When the doctor explained why I was here and what had happened, I was handed my folder, which was clearly labelled with a last name I did not recognize as my own, but Harry's. Then I realized I'd grown breasts and gotten fat - sort of. Then, I wondered who this strange man was beside my bed, and why he looked so much like Harry's late father. I figure I can't have gone into the past and messed that up or anything, real time travel is far beyond my comfort zone. I'm only seventeen! Then I hear a few other things. Retrograde amnesia. Auto accident. When did I learn to drive? I've been in a coma for a week. That's not Harry's father, but Harry. My husband. The father of TWO children of mine. Ron's nowhere to be found. I'm actually twenty-six. I'm pregnant. All of this is news to me. As far as I was aware when I woke up, I was missing Charms and Flitwick was probably looking for me."
Luna tried her best not to laugh, she did. She even covered her mouth, turned away, and kept quiet. Bless her. Hermione knew she liked her.
George, on the other hand, appeared to have not changed as much as he could have. He openly laughed, nearly running out of breath.
"Oh, dearest Hermione... how wrong you are. And no wonder you look like someone's taken a beater's bat to your head!"
Hermione frowned. "I look like... what?"
"Big lump. Swollen. Bluish. Nasty, really. Your face is all..."
"George!" Luna swatted at him, and he shut his mouth, still chuckling. Hermione grabbed a small mirror by her bedside and gasped. He was right, her upper face was a little bumped and bruised.
"Looks worse than when I was trying the head swelling sweets on first years..."
Hermione glared. As soon as she found her wand and figured out if she was actually twenty-six and able to use magic outside of school, she was going to hex this older George Weasley into next Tuesday.