Chapter 3 : Visits with Reality
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“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.
“I know we haven’t gotten off on the best start,” Ron sat next to the table, twisting a stunner in his hand. “Well, we never get off on a good start.”
“What do you mean?” Harry didn’t take his eyes from the wall, but his voice was half interested.
“This’ll be the fourth time you’ve woken up from your fantasy world,” Ron sighed, leaning back in his seat. “I don’t know if you remember each time, your mind has probably covered it over with a new memory to sustain itself, but four times you woke up, and four times you were put back in dream land when something bad happened to you.”
“When were these?” Harry said in the same, bored tone.
“Well, let’s see… the first time was in your first or second year… I think it was near the end of your second. Ginny broke up with you and she never showed up for her scheduled visits, after that you went back to thinking you went to your magic school. She blames herself for your relapse. What do you remember from second year?”
“Tom Riddle and his diary in the Chamber of Secrets,” he mumbled. “Ginny was taken and I had to rescue her.” Ron took Lily’s clipboard and began writing on it.
“Why did she break up with me?” Harry asked, strained.
“You know the answer to that,” Ron sighed. “She couldn’t stand seeing you like you were. You were still friends after that, but she still loves you. You tried to get back with her during the 4th year you were here, but she had found somebody else.”
“Why did she break up with me when I got better?” Harry looked up from the wall.
“She didn’t know. You had just come out of it, and you still didn’t believe you were crazy and you tried to explain that it was real, and she couldn’t take it anymore,” Ron explained.
“I tried asking her to the Yule ball in 4th year, but she was going with somebody else,” Harry looked back down at his fingers. Ron began to scribble away again.
“What happened the second time?” Harry stared eerily at Ron.
“Hm… I’ll try to remember…” Ron obviously didn’t even try to remember as he flipped in the back of his file. “You were here for three years. You were almost back to normal and when you tried to persuade us to let you go home to live with your Aunt Petunia, we couldn’t let you until we knew you were stable, so you took that the wrong way and went into relapse.”
“What happened then?” Ron asked.
“Sirius asked me to live with him,” he mumbled. “Of course I couldn’t go because all the evidence was taken away from us. The third time?”
“When your friend recovered from the sanitarium and was allowed to leave,” Ron said.
“When was this?”
“Hmm… just a few months ago…”
“Who was it?”
“Simon Black,” Ron told him.
“Any other questions?”
“Do you know any of these people? Albus Dumbledore… Remus Lupin… Neville Longbottom… Cho Chang?”
“Describe them to me.”
“Well… Albus Dumbledore is very old with a beard… his eyes twinkle…”
“Albert Daugherty is a receptionist here, he likes to hand you lemon drops, he has a big sweet tooth, you know,” Ron said. Harry snorted.
“Remus looks old, but he’s very young. He’s a werewolf… er… he is smart…”
“I know Remus, but I have no idea who any of the rest are,” Ron said. “Nothing seems familiar.”
Ron’s radio squawked and a cheerful old voice greeted them.
“Dr. Weasley, Harry’s aunt is here to see him – and by golly! She’s brought a circus! What kids wear these days! You would’ve thought-” it was Albus, his voice hadn’t changed a bit, but it was the manner he spoke that caught Harry off guard.
“-thank you, Albert,” Ron cut off his ranting. “Tell them we’ll meet them in the visitors' lounge.”
“Will do, sir!” he closed and the conversation ended. Harry snorted at Albus addressing Ron as his superior.
Harry sat in a room decorated in light blue walls and a grey sofa that looked very stylish but it hurt his butt to sit on. Pictures of awards the sanitarium received adorned the walls, and Harry had the suspicion that they were reassurances to family of crazies being sent to this hell hole.
The door opened, but Harry felt afraid to look.
“Harry, man! Long time no see!” it was a guy's voice, and his clothes appalled him. He wore pants that went down to practically his knees with his boxer showing. He had a red hat on backwards and his short brown hair stood up on end. It was…
“Seamus?” Harry wondered.
“Dude, you remembered!” he said, and Harry winced. He wasn’t sure if it was because he felt guilty of being mental, or if it was how the guy talked.
“Duh, you git. It’s me he always forgets, but don’t sweat it, HP,” the guy wore casual clothes, a plain oversized t-shirt and long tan shorts. “I’m-”
“Hey – I know who you are,” Harry said, unsure. “Your Viktor Krum, aren’t you?”
“I prefer Vick, but i'ts good you remembered!” he said, and Harry felt strange hearing him without his thick Bulgarian accent. “I’ll quit with the introduction then.”
“Hey Harry!” It was Ginny, or at least looked a little like her. Her hair was dyed fuchsia, but it was brown at the roots. She wore a large jean-jacket over a tank top and had a long, blue ruffled skirt. She had her nose pierced and many earrings in her ears.
“Ginny?” Harry gaped. “Since when did you – never mind… different bloody world…”
“It’s good to see you!” Ginny smiled softly.
“Yeah…” he trailed off as the next person entered. It was a shorter girl with messy blond hair. Her clothes were… strange to say the least. She had a lime green and bright pink striped tank top over a black t-shirt. She had an orange skirt over her black pants and a necklace made of bottle caps. Her eyes were large, giving her a permanently surprised look and she wore earrings that looked like turnips.
“Luna? Or – at least I think it is… it is, right?” Harry mumbled, feeling stupid.
“Yep!” she grinned.
“Your outfit is blinding,” Harry worked up the nerve to say. Seamus, Vick and Ginny sniggered and Luna just grinned.
“Good to have you back, Harry!” she gave him a quick hug and hesitated for a second.
“What?” Harry asked.
“Well… uh…” her eyes darted to the door, which just knocked. It was a much younger looking Aunt Petunia peeking through the door. The Petunia he knew always had her brown hair up in a bun with a horse-looking face, but this Aunt Petunia had her hair in a ponytail, which was moderately short. She didn’t have as many wrinkles as he remembered and she didn’t wear fancy dinner dresses, but a nice spring colored t-shirt and capris.
“Hey Harry!” She smiled at him, and then looked at Ginny. “Should we…?”
“Yeah,” he too paused. “Yeah, he’ll find out sometime.”
“Find out what?” Aunt Petunia opened the door completely to show none other than the person he wanted to forget forever.
“Draco Malfoy?” Harry gapped. “What the bloody hell are you doing here?”
“I told you this was a bad idea…” he grumbled irritably.
“Harry, now calm down, he’s your friend!” Ginny flung herself in between him and Malfoy. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a guard reach for their stunner, staring at him. Harry’s eyes darted back to the scene in his room, and he nodded numbly as he stumbled backwards a few steps.
“Okay…” he said faintly. “Okay…”
“Are you okay, Harry?” Ginny laid a hand on his shoulder.
“Do I look okay?” he was trembling. “Bloody hell!”
“Harry, you need to calm down…” his Aunt Petunia soothed.
“C’mon, man!” Seamus begged. “Chill.”
“ARGH!” Harry kicked the end table over and tore at his hair. “You expect me to calm down! Like bloody hell you have any right to tell me to calm down! When you’re locked up in this damned place, you can talk but until then, shut up! Just shut up!” Vick, Seamus and Luna all sunk in their seats, Ginny looked at him with wide eyes, Petunia looked as though she wanted to cry, but Draco looked at him with pity.
Harry took one look at Draco’s face filled with pity and began to laugh loudly. He had no more tears to shed, no more anger to be let out. All he could do was laugh, and the other occupants of the room seemed to recoil at this, which made him laugh harder. When he thought about them thinking his laughing was crazy because of his mirth, the laughter turned to howls. The last thing he saw was two men in white run into the room, and a painful shock before being sedated, and the world went black.
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