“Potter!” It was Uncle Vernon’s roar. Harry stirred from his slumber by the noise. The clock read 5:30 A.M.
“What in Merlin’s name…?” Harry gaped at the time. He tapped its screen to make sure that it was correct, having been chucked at the wall six years prior. The house was unnaturally quiet, usually he would hear kitchen utensils clanging together or the painful scrape of a fork against a nice plate, but all was still.
His room changed, it was white, pure white, for only a split second, before changing back.
“Calm down, Harry, it’ll be over soon…” It was a low voice next to his ear. Harry turned his head in the voice’s direction so fast he got whiplashed. “If you are good, you may see Hermione today, would you like that?”
“Who…?” Harry turned again, seeing his room change into the eerie white room he saw for the split second before. He wasn’t standing next to his bed, but by a large mat on a metal frame. The walls were white with nothing on them. There weren’t many things in his room; he turned his head slightly to find a tall man with a white coat with many pockets holding out a tray.
“Hermione Granger….” The man said. He had red hair and very familiar freckles. “Your friend…?”
“Ron!” Harry gasped. “What are you doing here?”
“Where are we?” Harry patted the wall, making sure he wasn’t dreaming.
“We’re in Hogwarts Sanitarium,” Ron explained.
“We are where?!” Harry yelped.
“Hogwarts Sanitarium,” Ron repeated. “You’ve been here for five years, going on your sixth. I’m Ronald Weasley, and you’re Harry James Potter.”
“Really? Who’d have guessed?” Harry sourly snapped. “What’s going on, Ron! Why are we here? Is this a trap by Voldemort? Where’s your family and the Order-”
“Harry, there is no Voldemort. There is no chool for witchcraft and there is no magic, nor is there any order,” Ron said calmly, unfazed.
“Excuse me!” Harry yelled. “Do you not remember?! I’m Harry Potter, the one who vanquished the Dark Lord as a baby and left with a scar? THIS SCAR!” He jabbed his finger towards his forehead.
“There is no scar, it’s all in your head,” Ron explained.
“It’s ON my head, not in it, are you mad?” Harry glared. “Maybe you’re a Death Eater in disguise, trying to trick me. It won’t work, Voldemort!” He yelled to the air. “I’ve figured it out, I’ve-”
“There are no such things as Death Eaters, Harry,” Ron solemnly said. “It’s part of your imagination. Voldemort does not exist!”
“Ah ha!” Harry grinned manically. “I caught you. You’re sneaky! You probably thought I’d fall for that! Who are you? Lucius Malfoy? Peter Pettigrew? Lestrange? Well you won’t fool me! Ron would never say Voldemort’s name!”
“Harry, listen to me!” Ron impatiently said. “Magic isn’t real! There is no Hogwarts, there never was!”
“Liar!” Harry hissed. “You’re here, and so is Hermione, don’t lie!”
“I’m not lying!” Ron was really impatient. “I’m calling Dr. Porter!” he took a walkie talkie out of his back pocket and spoke into it. “Dr. Porter! I need Dr. Porter in Potter’s room immediately!”
A few accusations and cursings later another red-head entered with a cup of water.
“Hey, Harry, how are you today?” She said in a soothing tone. She too was noticeable, especially her gleaming green eyes…
“Mum?” Harry stared in awe. “But – but – you’re dead! You died! I – I need to sit –”
“You can go now, Dr. Weasley, I’ll take it from here,” she smiled at Harry. His mouth was open, staring with teary eyes.
“But – no… something’s wrong!” Harry stared.
“Calm, Harry, we don’t want to have to sedate you, do we?” she was kind, smoothing his hair down. “And Hermione’s been throwing a fit, wanting to see you.”
“I… what’s going on! Please, you’re…you’re… Mum!” Harry babbled.
“No, Harry,” she sadly said. “I’m not your mother; your mother is on vacation to Majorca.”
“Lily Potter?” Harry asked. “Are we talking about the same person? I think you are confused. I’m Harry Potter, your son!”
“No, no,” her voice was pained. “I might be in your fantasy world. Your mother is… well she’s…. it doesn’t matter-”
“You don’t think I’m crazy, do you?” Harry asked.
“I’m sorry, Harry. Just look at yourself! You think I’m your mother, but your fantasy mother died when you were very young, but you have a mother and she is alive and well!”
“I’m dreaming then!” Harry tugged at his hair.
“No, Harry!” she was calm, but had a pleading tone in her voice. “Your mother is alive, there is no magic, no Hagrid, no scar, no Voldemort or Death Eaters. They are in your imagination.
“I do have a scar!” Harry pointed to his forehead. “Right here!”
“There isn’t anything there,” she soothed as she took his hand and made him touch his forehead. His scarless forehead.
“No… no, give me a mirror!” he batted her hand away.
“You must calm down then,” she ordered.
“Fine,” he huffed. “Fine, just give me a bloody mirror!” She ignored his cursing and took out a small, compact mirror from a large manila folder with his name on it. He looked at himself, his forehead didn’t have a blemish at all. He examined his face. It looked pretty much the same, his hair was slightly shorter than he was used to, and his eyes… his eyes were grey!
“No! What did you do to me!” Harry threw the mirror at the windowed door; however, the glass didn’t break, but the mirror did.
“Harry! That’s the third mirror you’ve broken this month!”
“I wasn’t here this month! I was in Hogwarts!”
“You are at Hogwarts!” Dr. Porter explained. “This is Hogwarts Sanitarium!”
“I was at school talking to my friends Hermione and Ron!”
“You mean Dr. Weasley?”
“Yes – I mean no! Ron isn’t a doctor! He’s sixteen bloody years old!” Harry pounded the wall with his wrist, which didn't do much except for causing a lot of pain.
“What good is it hitting walls and ignoring everything I say when you could be concentrating on getting better?” Dr. Porter said, exasperated. “You could move back in with your Aunt Petunia!”
“Why would I want to move back with that woman!” Harry snapped. “All she has done was attempt to make my life horrible! Why can’t I live with my so-called real mother!”
“Your mother, Rita Evans-Potter isn’t the best mother in the world,” Lily replied bitterly. “Even if she wanted you back, which isn’t likely, we wouldn’t allow that. She can’t give you the attention you need.”
“What are you talking about?” Harry snapped.
“Your mother is a wretched woman. She hasn’t visited you since you were fourteen years old!” she snapped, angrier at what she was saying than at him. “All she cares about is finding a story. The only reason she visited two years ago was because she was doing a story about the life inside a sanitarium. She cares more about her articles than she does for her family.”
“That’s her pseudonym, yes.”
“I’d rather spend time with her than with Aunt Petunia,’ Harry shivered. “I hate her.”
“Your aunt loves you; she’s been fighting to adopt you since you were three and left on her doorstep by your mother. She visits constantly.”
“Why would Aunt Petunia want me?” Harry asked.
“Your aunt could never have children and when she took you in, it was an answer to her prayers. She’s been paying for you to stay here. Your mother hasn’t pitched in a cent.”
“If she’s paying to keep me locked up, I don’t think she’s that great of person.”
“Your twisting my words around. You have to stay, you’re ill. She is stuck with the costs.”
“I want to speak to Hermione!” Harry grumbled. “She’ll know what’s going on.”
Dr. Porter sighed. “You’re in for quite a shock then.”