A/N All the rights to the great JKR, all the love to my fantastic beta danceforevergirl, and all the reviews to me please :)

He visited her in the hospital wing.

"Maybe I'm dead," she said dreamily "and this is hell."

Frowning, he gripped her arm. "Feel that?" he asked.

"Yes"

"As long as you can feel that you'll know this is real."

He visited her in St. Mungo's. Her skin had yellowed like an old bruise.

"I didn't mean to do it," she whispered, playing with the edge of her blanket.

"Yes, you did."

"Yes, I suppose I did."

He visited her at her gravesite, once with the boy and once alone, in the dead of night, with a shovel. The second time he dug down into the marrow of the earth until he found her coffin. He struck it several times with his shovel.

"Feel that, Miss Granger?" he yelled. "Do you? As long as you can feel that you'll know this is real." He began to cry, rivulets of tears running down his face.

She visited him that Sunday. She played him the entirety of Aida, and he played her Born to Run. They drank lemonade from a crystal pitcher as she told him her favorite book was War and Peace. He said he would only read the peace part and she laughed, uninhibited.

The boy visited him. When Severus, jubilant, told him about her visit, his eyes misted over and he pressed the number of a woman who "could help" into Severus's cool palm.

Severus never called the woman. She continued to visit him.

In the winter, her favorite blossoms buried under mounds of snow, she started visiting him on weekdays. Childishly overjoyed at the sight of her, he would end his lessons early and escort her back to his chambers. They would watch classic movies and she would chuck pillows at him every time he said something disparaging about the acting.

What he now knew to be only a figment of his fractured mind visited him in St. Mungo's. Placing her cold thin hand on his forehead, she bent down and whispered, "Do you feel that, Severus? As long as you can feel that, you'll know this is real."

He cried and cried until they came with their potions and their calming words assuring him that nothing he held dear would ever be real.