Chapter 2 : Death Eaters, a Princess, and an Evil Sorcerer
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“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.”
Dr. Lily Porter led Harry past many other rooms with glass doors, some with people staring out at him with dead-looking eyes and frizzled up hair. They begged to be let out, and Harry felt fear for the first time since he was here that he really was crazy. He slowed down as he neared people with wand-looking objects. He didn’t have his wand, he was vulnerable and unprotected. He should have started practicing physical defense rather than just magical in the DA (Dumbledore's Army).
“Come, Harry,” Dr. Porter lead him closer.
“You’re mad!” Harry glared. “They could be Death Eaters! You’re leading me right towards them! Let go of me!”
“Avery, Nott, put those away for a second, please,” she ordered, pulling him along.
“They are! They’ll kill me! Stop!” Harry pleaded as she got closer. “Stop! Stop! No!” He dragged his feet. He knew very well it was childish, but if he got close, they could take him straight to Voldemort and he couldn’t do a thing to defend himself.
“We won’t hurt you, come on,” Avery soothed, his voice kinder than it normally was.
“Liar!” Harry snapped. “You’ll kill me!”
“Harry, knock it off now!” she was impatient. “They are here to make sure you don’t hurt anyone, most likely yourself.”
“Open the gate,” Lily ordered them and Harry darted through, making his way past them as quickly as possible. He regretted doing so as soon as he did. More people he knew as Death Eaters were guarding all the other doors. Crabbe Sr., Goyle Sr., Lestrange, Dolohov, Jugson, Macnair…
“Damn!” Harry cursed. “It was a trap! You tricked me!” he glared at Dr. Porter.
“How did I trick you?”
“There are Death Eaters guarding every door! I’m trapped!”
“You had a bad experience with the guards, yes, but you tried to run. In your mind, you interpreted them as Death Eaters, followers of this Voldemort,” she explained. “They had to stun you-”
“Ah ha! Stunner spell!” Harry triumphantly said. “You think I'd fall for that?”
“Stun guns, Harry,” she said. “They keep you contained until we get you back to your room if you try anything stupid. You believed them to attack you, but they weren’t there to hurt you.”
Harry looked around at his surroundings. There were people in white tee-shirts and light blue pajama pants, and he soon realized he wore the exact same thing. Most were sitting in chairs, muttering to one another or to themselves or playing with paints or doing other activities. The atmosphere was intense.
“HARRY!” he was half hugged, half tackled by a frizzy-haired girl with an overly large t-shirt. “Oh! I missed you!”
“Hermione!” Harry felt relieved when he hugged her back, familiar with her bone-crushing hugs. “Do you know what’s going on?”
“You’ve been gone for so so so so so so long!” she jumped in his arms.
“What’s gotten into you?” Harry asked. Hermione pulled him to a bench by the wall and sat down, expecting him to sit down next to her. She had an overly happy grin on her face. He sat down and she instantly hugged him again and rested her head against his arm. “Er…”
“I can’t wait until we get out of here and can buy a house and live happily ever after for ever and ever!” She squealed.
“Um… yeah…” he felt uncomfortable. “Do you know why we are here?”
“Of course!” She grinned and looked up at him. “I was captured by this evil sorcerer and you came to save me! You were caught, but when you overcome these guards, we can be free again!”
“Evil sorcerer? You mean Voldemort?”
“No, silly! The sorcerer who betrayed my father and wants to marry me!” Hermione giggled. “You came against my father’s wishes and came to save me so you could free me and we could get married!”
“Oh… er… right… are you feeling okay?” Harry asked.
“Dandy!” she played with his short hair. “Dandy, dandy, dandy.”
“Hermione…” Harry’s mouth felt dry and his eyes watered.
“What’s wrong, my sweet Harry?” she looked up with fearful eyes. “They aren’t going to kill you yet, are they? We still have time?”
“Yeah…” Harry tasted salt in his mouth and he felt his throat clench tight as he tried to hold his emotions in. “We’ll be okay.”
“Good!” her smile was back. “But what’s wrong?”
“I-” he realized he might upset her if he told her what he was really feeling. “I just can’t wait to get you out of here.”
“Oh, you’re so sweet!” she gave him a peck on the cheek and seemed to fall asleep on his shoulder as he began to weep.
Hermione, what happened to you? How can I get through this without you? How could this have happened to me? I know my life was not perfect before… but I’ll do anything to get it back…
“Harry?” his eyes snapped open and saw Dr. Porter sitting in front of him, a face so full of pity, he felt more helpless. “Do you want to go back to your room and talk?”
His eyes faded out, her image got even more blurry as more tears came. He numbly nodded and wiped his tears with the back of his hand. She held her hand out for him to take and he accepted and began to rise from his seat as a loud wail sounded.
“HARRY! NO!” Hermione dug her fingers into his upper arm as if holding on for dear life. “THEY’VE COME TO TAKE YOU! FIGHT THEM!” Tears formed in Hermione’s eyes as she clung harder.
“Hermione, calm down… I’m not here to harm Harry or you…” Lily soothed and tried to softly pry her from him. Harry held Hermione’s hand lightly, which she also clutched.
“It’s okay, Hermione,” he sniffled. “She’s not here to harm me. She’s only here to…” his voice choked. “…help…”
“She always takes you away and I don’t get to see you for so long! Please, Harry, don’t give in!” she pleaded. “Harry, please…”
“I have to, I promise I’ll return!” Harry got up from his seat, Hermione did as well and he felt his arm feel cold from lack of blood flow. She jerked his head into her hands and kissed him forcefully on the lips, her tears mixing with his. “Don’t go!”
He stood in shock that she had kissed him, that he stopped trying to push her away.
“Hermione, let go!” Lily took her hand and tried to pull her away. “Hermione!” Lily was slapped in the face by Hermione when she succeeded in ripping one hand from him. “GUARDS!”
“NO!” Hermione screamed. She wailed so loudly he felt his eardrums pound. “HARRY!”
A guard was quick and pulled one of her arms behind her back and nearly had the other arm in his grasp. Harry felt the pressure of her fingers leave and pain took its place. They held her kicking and screaming without the use of her hands as Lily ushered Harry to follow her. He felt torn and he fell to his knees and felt more tears of angst fill his eyes and he pounded the floor with his fist.
The people around him seemed to swirl, and then everything went black.
Harry heard Hermione’s screams fade into his aunt’s shrieks.
“BOY! Breakfast!” she screeched.
“Aunt Petunia?” Harry felt hopeful for the first in his life that she was there. He was laying in his bed, his hair stuck to his head with sweat and his cheeks felt sticky with tears. A bad dream… that’s all it was…
He welcomed his tiny bedroom, taking in the atmosphere. He welcomed the sights, and even the smell, which had a stench of Hedwig’s little ‘presents’ collected in the corner. He bolted from his room, still in his pajamas down the stairs and sped into the kitchen, which had changed.
“Eat your food, Harry,” Aunt Petunia said, almost warmly. Harry felt his stomach clench. It wasn’t Aunt Petunia’s voice. Her eyes had changed too. They were a rich, emerald green.
“No… it wasn’t real! It was a dream!” he whispered as he looked at the plate that was shoved towards him. Instead of eggs, toast and bacon, there were three disgustingly large pills and a glass of water. His eyes darted around the room. His uncle wasn’t there, and neither was his cousin. When he looked back at his aunt, she was no longer there, but Lily was in her place. “What are you doing here? Am I still dreaming?”
“No, Harry. You’re in the Private Room, where you can let all your emotions out,” she sat next to the table and pushed the dish of pills closer to him. “Don’t put up a fuss.”
“We’re in Aunt Petunia’s kitchen,” Harry stated, emotionless. “And I’m hallucinating.”
“No, we are in the Private Room. You’re seeing the kitchen?” she said, as if deep in thought. “Hmm…”
“We’re in a kitchen, yes,” Harry said, but he felt dread seeping in.
“Harry…” Lily said, as if testing something. “Let's talk about magic…”
“We’re not allowed in Aunt Petunia’s house,” Harry stated. Lily looked as if he said something correct.
“No wonder you would never talk about how you felt in this room!” Understanding flashed across her face. “You think you’re not allowed… Harry, you need to tell me what you can about life at the Dursleys'. Maybe you can help me understand what you’re interpreting this to be, so I can help you see what’s really going on around you.”
“I’ve already told you, this is the kitchen, what more can you interpret this to be?” Harry snapped, realizing he was once again being told he was crazy and he did not like it one bit.
“Where is this place to you?”
“The Dursleys'…” Harry rolled his eyes.
“Where do the Dursleys live?” she asked, tapping her pen against her cheek.
“Uh… Number Four Privet Drive?” Harry stated. She grinned.
“Now we’re getting somewhere!” She smiled. “Harry, look around you. This is room number four in the Private Room. How could I have not seen it before? Private is interpreted as Privet!”
“Okay, wow, what a breakthrough!” Harry snapped sarcastically. “That doesn’t explain anything.”
“I wasn’t able to make the connection about why you were so reluctant to talk in these sessions, you felt you weren’t allowed…” she smiled to herself and scratched her pen on one of Aunt Petunia’s napkins. “Harry, I want you to concentrate now…”
“Maybe I don’t want to!” Harry snapped, annoyed. “This is my life, and you’re trying to take it away from me!”
“Harry, calm down,” her face looked older and worn. “Don’t make me get Dr. Weasley, you’ve really got on his bad side this morning and I don’t think he wants to give you another visit any time soon.”
“Leave my life alone! I have friends! Friends who don’t think I’m crazy, they stick by me no matter what! They aren’t doctors or mental!” Harry seethed.
“Harry…” Lily tried to sooth him.
“NO!” Harry cried. “I’m not crazy! I’m Harry Potter, the bloody Boy-Who-Lived!”
Lily took out a walkie-talkie solemnly and it squawked. “Doctor Weasley to room four-” she couldn’t finish everything she was going to say because Harry smacked it out of her hands.
“JUST LET ME BE!” he screamed at her, chucking the two-way radio against the Dursleys' refrigerator, which had opened at that very second, but instead of foods and leftovers, there was Ron Weasley, armed with a little white stick.
“Calm down, Mr. Potter…” he said as if this were an everyday occurrence.
“Ron, she’s trying to make me give up my friends!” he screamed at him as the room flickered into a room with only a table, and instead of a napkin, Lily clutched a clipboard with many notes written on it.
“You have friends in this world too, Harry!” Lily held her hand up to stop Ron’s advancing. “A few of them, actually. Maybe your aunt would bring them along with her later for a visit!”
“I want Ron and Hermione and Ginny and-” Harry kicked his chair towards the wall, which caused Ron to lunge at him with the white stick that looked like a wand.
“They are real people, just different from what you know!” Lily pleaded with him. “Please, Harry, let us prove it to you!”
“I don’t want proof! I want my wand, my friend and my school!” he growled.
“Harry, Ron’s either going to sedate you, stun you or you can start behaving,” Lily cooed. Harry snarled at her, teeth bearing but folded his arms.
“Are you going to behave?” Ron echoed.
“Yes!” he spat.
“Pick up the chair,” Ron ordered.
“Why don’t you?” he took a step away from the turned chair.
“Don’t be such a git, Potter!” he poked the stunner towards him threateningly.
“Don’t you threaten me!” Harry snapped.
“Pick up the chair!” Ron yelled. Lily glared at Ron, but Harry obliged, although not very willingly. He set it upright and pushed it to the table with his foot.
“I want to see Ginny, you told me she was real,” Harry mumbled after a period of silence or staring at the wall. “I want to see her.”
“I’ll tell Petunia to bring her along,” Lily made her way to the door, stopping for a second. “Should I bring the others?” she asked Ron and he thought for a second.
“Yes,” he muttered. “Make sure she brings them all.” Ron cryptically said.
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