Hermione Granger was very well known, you could say. She'd been a major influence in the War, and many people would say that she'd been the one to tip the scale in their favor. And many people would be correct.
She lived simply, or so she tried. She had a small flat that she shared with her cat, and it overlooked a large river, making her smile when she saw it. She was best friends with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, and had very many dinners with the Weasley family. She was nineteen, and had thick curly brown hair and big brown eyes. She was fit, but rather short, and extremely intelligent.
And her head hurt.
It began a few weeks ago. It had started as a small annoyance that was easily overlooked as she tended to her very busy job at the Ministry, overlooking the new Aurors and filing paperwork. But it grew. She'd taken potions for it and even Muggle medication, but it continued to hurt. Harry and Ron both persuaded her to go to Mungo's, but she'd refused, saying that she didn't want to waste their time. But now, today, at the Burrow, it had become this skull splitting pain, causing her to crumple to the floor and cry out, scaring Victoire and Teddy and especially Percy. Harry and Ginny had rushed to her, Missus Weasley dashing for potions to alleviate it as Mister Weasley ran for help. She'd gripped Harry's hand with one hand and tried to push the pressure back into her skull without any physical harm with the other.
"Hermione, just hold on!" Harry called out, looking at his friend worriedly as her vision began to blur.
"Help," she cried, feeling her eyelashes against her cheek. It all stopped for a moment, everything taking a collective big breath and letting it out slowly.
All of the pain in her head was gone, and she could hear her blood pumping in her ears, so loud that it blocked out all other noise. There was a small pressure at the crook of her elbow, finger and also at her wrist at one arm, and her throat felt scratchy and her mouth felt dry. She inhaled deeply, thinking for a moment as to what had happened, then opened her eyes and winced against the bright, white light. She blinked through it and heard the sound of her blood lessening so that she could hear methodic beeping. She looked to her arm and saw tubes and needles, and looked beyond that to the beeping machine that charted the peaks and valleys of her heart. She blinked dazedly, looking around curiously before noticing a slight tug on her nose, causing her throat to protest a little. With a grimace, she saw that a tube was there, making her reach up and pull it out slowly with multiple gags. The beeping increased as her mind rushed, alerting a nurse that she was awake as her shaking hands moved towards the needles and tubes.
"Oh, no, love, don't do that," she said, moving forward to stop her. Hermione looked at her fearfully and grabbed her hands, making her look up as well and look at her curiously.
"Where am I?" she croaked, "What's going on, what - ?"
"Lovey, just calm down," she said slowly, taking her hands and patting them as she looked back at her, "You're at Saint Josephine's Memorial. You were transferred from a Saint Mungo's because you were suffering from a head injury. You've been out for a week and a half."
"Oh," she said, taking her hands and sitting them in her lap.
"I'll tell him you're awake and have the doctor check up on you," the nurse said politely, leaving and making Hermione give a shaky sigh and drag a hand through her hair. She shut her eyes and took deep breaths, listening as the beeping steadied and returned to its methodical, calm sound, rather than the urgent rush it had been.
"Hey," a new voice announced, making her look up and blink and look curiously at him. He had shaggy dark hair and a very good facial structure, and his grin was very wide. He had on a button up shirt with the sleeves rolled to his elbows, Muggle jeans housing his hands in his pockets, and Converse sticking out. But he had no lightning scar, and he had rectangular glasses rather than round, and he had hazel eyes, and he was certainly not Harry Potter.
"Who are you?" she asked, in a somewhat shrill voice, as the beeping turned to urgent again.
The man's eyes widened and he pulled his hands out of his pocket, looking at her with a newfound horror before the doctor chose that moment to step in.
"She – she doesn't remember me," he announced to the doctor, making him blink and usher him out of the room. The doctor spent what felt like a few hours doing tests on Hermione. He asked her what she remembered and told her that he was a Squib, so it was alright to tell him the truth, as it could help her anyway. She told him everything in a mad rush, everything about Ron and Harry and the Weasleys, which only made him purse his lips and nod for a few minutes before calling in James – which only made Hermione turn pale and the monitor to give an even more urgent beep.
"When she was unconscious, it seems that her mind made up an imaginary world somewhat similar to our own," he explained to James, who looked at him curiously and very seriously as Hermione huffed at being ignored. "If it was to try to make sense or to further confuse her, I'm not certain. But her memories are there, they're just repressed. I can give you a few exercises that will – " A loud one toned beep cut him off, making him and James look over towards the bed as Hermione pulled the tubes out of her arm and dropped daintily down to the ground, frowning with her hands on her hips.
"Look, I don't care what you think, but I know that I am not about to be ignored," she stated, walking past the bed and towards the door, "I'm going to go find answers to my questions, goodbye!"
"Hermione, wait," James said, grabbing her arm and tugging her in front of him, making her blink at his chest before frowning up at him. "I'll answer any questions you have in a few minutes, alright? But you've got to sit on the bed."
She frowned at him for a few more minutes before sighing, as this was her best bet at information, and sitting on the edge of the bed before glaring at him. He shot her a grin and followed the doctor out of the room, nodding and speaking quietly before folding the paper he gave him and stuffing it in his pocket, moving to the front desk for a moment to speak to the receptionist before walking back into Hermione's room and shutting the door behind him, slumping in the chair across from her and looking expectantly up at her.
"What do you want to know?" he asked.
"Who the hell are you and why do you look like my best friend?" she asked with a frown, crossing her arms over her chest as he blinked back at her.
"I'm James Potter," he said, "As for your best friend, I don't know who you think that is, but – "
"I know that my best friend is Harry," she interrupted, frowning at him. "Why are you so certain that I dreamed everything up? Maybe I'm dreaming you up instead?"
"Hermione, Hermione," James sat up, shaking his head and pinching the bridge of his nose before releasing it and grinning charmingly up at her, standing slowly. "Okay, I'm going to give you a night to think up as many questions as you can possibly think of. But you're going to have to go slowly and in lay-man's terms, because I'm not as smart as you."
Hermione huffed and rolled her eyes, "I have far too many questions as it is. Don't give me an opportunity to think of more."
"James?" somebody said as they opened the door. They both looked up and blinked at the woman with long, bright red hair and green almond shaped eyes, a worried look on her face as she looked to Hermione.
"Lily," James said as he stood, "I really need you to let Hermione spend the night with you. I'll be by in the morning to explain everything to her. Answer any questions she's got if you can, I've got to tell Moony, Padfoot and Wormtail the same news."
"Of course," Lily nodded before smiling to Hermione, "Well, they say you only get one first impression. They lie so hard. Lily Evans, we were in the same class and House at Hogwarts."
"I'm getting the feeling you already know who I am, so I won't bother," Hermione said, although she stepped down from the bed and shook her hand, "Hi."
Lily smiled brightly back at her, "I drove here after James called me, so I brought you a change of clothes. I've sort of but not really been meaning to return them anyway."
"Uhm…alright," Hermione nodded back as Lily handed her a small duffel bag.
"I'll go sign you out and then find the others," James announced before shooting a feeble grin to Hermione, thanking Lily again, and heading out of the room. Lily gave a curt nod, said she would leave Hermione alone to change, and that if she needed her to yell, and left as well.
Hermione sat down at the end of the bed with a loud sigh, hugging the duffel bag to her chest and looking around worriedly. Whatever was going on, she'd quite like to find out.
"Hey," Lily said, walking to James as he sat, head bent over the paperwork as he scribbled. "You alright?"
"No," he insisted with a huff, rubbing an eye under his glasses. "She doesn't remember me, Lily. We debated about whether I was being dreamed up or her dream was dreamed up. For a minute I started to believe her, and that only made my head hurt."
"Ow," Lily gave a small smile as she sat down next to him. "We'll fix her, James, don't worry. There's nothing a little bit of friendship and time won't take care of."
"Except, y'know, fixing her memories," he stated bluntly, staring up at the ceiling beyond the pale blue wallpapered walls of the hallway. He grimaced when Lily pinched his arm, grinning as she glared at him.
"Would you stop being negative?" she huffed, rolling her eyes, "Honestly, Hermione does not need you or anyone else thinking that she'll never remember anyone. If you think like that, she'll think that what she dreamed up is real, and then it will take far longer to change her mind and get her to remember. And damn it, James Potter, I want my best friend back! I mean, I know how hard it is on you, and I'm sorry, but this is the girl I spent a majority of my life with, and this is the girl who tries so incredibly hard to make everyone else happy, so if you go and muck things up unintentionally, I will hurt you!"
James blinked at Lily, gripping the clipboard as if it were a shield, as she had stood at some point and was now wiping furiously at her eyes. "I'm sorry."
"No, I'm sorry," Lily sighed, pouting down at him, "Here I am yelling at you about your own problem. Some friend, huh?"
"Yeah, you're not the best," he grinned before signing off on the clipboard and sighing, standing, "Like I said, I'll be by in the morning."
"Alright," she nodded as he went to the reception desk and she went to Hermione's room. "James?"
"Yeah?" he turned from the desk and looked questioningly at her.
"I'm sorry it happened," she said before opening the door and stepping inside, making James sigh a little before the receptionist captured his attention again.