Disclaimer: I still don't own anything that you recognize from reading anything other than the first chapter and this disclaimer thingy.
And so the next day, Ranea was, once again, hanging out in the tree in Number 4, Privet Drive’s front lawn. Soon after she had climbed up, she saw the Dursley’s car pulling out of their driveway. Inside were four people- Vernon, driving, Petunia, in the passenger seat, Dudley, in the back… And someone else, next to him. Probably the cousin, Ranea thought dismissively.
Once the car was long out of both eyesight and hearing range, Ranea dropped gracefully out of the tree, landing cat-like on the floor of the room she remembered was Dudley’s from her previous excursion to her enemy’s home.
Of course, she didn’t realize that stress from normal life as well as her fighting one had, on this one occasion, made her memory a little bit faulty.
Instead of landing in Dudley’s bedroom, she had ended up in his cousin’s. At the moment, Harry was not in the back of his uncle’s car- that had been Piers. Harry was, in fact, just downstairs, getting a cup of water after a long day of trying to do more homework. And as he walked up the stairs back to his room, Ranea picked up a book entitled…
“‘A History of Magic’? But magic isn’t real. Besides, Dudley isn’t the type of person to believe in magic, is-”
She was cut off by a smashing sound. Harry Potter had walked back into his room to find a strange Muggle girl, about his age, inspecting one of his textbooks. On the floor next to her, surprisingly unseen by the normally observant Ranea, was Flying with the Cannons, its covers open- revealing the moving pictures inside. At this sight, Harry had dropped his glass of water, which shattered upon contact with the floor, spilling its contents over the floor. When Ranea heard the noise, she turned, surprised. Hadn’t she just seen four people leave the house? As she had, shouldn’t the house have been empty for her search? And yet here was another person in the house.
Quickly, her reflexes kicked in. She swiftly turned back to the window, ran toward it, and climbed back into the tree. From there, she dropped down onto the ground and immediately took off running. She was still holding the book.
Harry was in a state of shock. His mind was reeling, sending many questions through his head, none of which he could answer. Who was that girl? Why was she in his room? And most importantly, what did she know now that she had gotten a hold of his book? That book was the one that told the most about magic. He shuddered to think what she might be able to deduce from reading it.
Ranea arrived back home panting and clutching the stitch in her side. Why had there been someone else in the house? Why had they been in Dudley’s room? Unlike Harry, Ranea quickly realized the answers to her questions. That must’ve been the cousin… He was still at home. And that wasn’t Dudley’s room at all- it was his! Stupid, stupid me… So much for finding a weakness. Now they’ll know about me.
Her plans shot, Ranea had just decided to sulk for a while when she saw that she was still holding A History of Magic. Well, she thought tiredly, It might as well read this thing. It’s all I’ve got from my trip anyway.
And so she sat on her bed and opened the book. Inside the front cover, the message “This book belongs to Harry Potter” was readable, but Ranea didn’t really care. She opened the book to the first chapter and began to read.
Three hours later, Ranea was either in shock because she now believed in another world with wizards, witches, and magic, or about to burst into laughter at the thought that some people actually believed in that sort of thing. She herself was unsure of her reaction. So, to figure out which she would choose, she decided to do the unthinkable.
She decided to go and confront a possible wizard about a great secret.
Harry was still confused about what he should do when he heard a knock. Thinking someone was at the front door, he started walking over to the window to see who it was. His confusion increased when he saw a girl sitting on the branch of the tree next to his window. He opened the window, and as she dropped in, Harry realized who she was.
“Hello, magic boy. I’m here to ask you if you actually believe in magic or not,” Ranea said bluntly, yet completely truthfully.
“Get straight to the point, don’t you?” Harry asked. In reality, he didn’t care about this. He was just wondering whether she believed in magic or not.
“Yes, I do. Now, please answer my question. Do you or do you not believe magic is real?” Ranea wasn’t sure how his answer would help her decision on the matter, but she had a feeling it would affect it in one way or another.
“I- It- Well…” Harry was stammering, still unsure about what he should do. Quickly deciding that desperate times called for desperate measures, he swiftly took a step back, surreptitiously reaching for his wand at the same time. It’ll have to be the memory charm, I suppose. I guess it’s sort of a good thing Lockhart tried to use it on me then, Harry thought wryly. As Ranea looked away (she was trying to find signs of magic to answer her question, as Harry wasn’t), Harry said, quieter than a whisper, “Obliviate.”
Ranea glanced at him. “Did you just say something?”
“No,” Harry replied. He was stunned yet again. The spell had had no effect on the girl! Maybe I missed, he thought. He tried again. “Obliviate!” he whispered more insistently, making sure his wand was pointing straight at her.
Ranea turned and stared directly into his eyes, saying, “This time I’m sure you said something. What was it?”
Now Harry was downright freaked out. A spell had not affected this mysterious girl at all! Hoping it was just lack of skill that caused the girl to retain her memory, he decided to answer her question. She would only keep the memory of the answer for so long before the Ministry erased it.
“To be quite honest,” Harry started, “I do believe in magic. I believe in magic very strongly, as it changed my life and rescued me from the hell you and I are currently standing in. I do believe in magic because I am a wizard.” Ranea’s expression remained quite still—but only because of training she’d put herself through.
Underneath her shell, her mind was racing.
“Prove it,” Ranea said, glad her voice was also still. She had been afraid it would shake or become squeaky, as it would have if she’d been one of her friends instead of herself.
Sighing, Harry revealed his wand. Ranea frowned at this, but didn’t comment on the rather clichéd tool. Pointing the wand at Hedwig’s empty cage, Harry whispered,
“Wingardium Leviosa.” The cage floated in the air.
“Hm. There could always be wires there. It’s the sort of thing magicians do all the time, you know,” Ranea commented rationally.
“Fine then,” Harry growled, angry that this Muggle girl was unimpressed by a levitating birdcage. This time pointing his wand at the closed window, he said, “Ruducto!”
The window shattered behind Ranea. Shocked, she spun around, gaping at the broken window. “Repairo,” Harry said, satisfied. “Think wires did that?”
“I- It… Um…” Even if he did have some sort of machine there to break the window, Ranea thought, there’s no way he could’ve put it back together like that!
“Are you going to keep stuttering, or answer my question?” Harry said rather more sharply than was strictly necessary. He hadn’t liked the way she’d been able to surprise him, and was rather smug with Ranea being the one in shock.
“Um… Ok. Well-” Ranea’s reply was cut off by the sound of tires on gravel. She spun around to look out the window and saw the Dursley’s car pulling back into the driveway.
“You’d better get out of here,” Harry said as he joined her at the window. “They were only out for a few minutes when they should have been gone for hours. Doubtless, they’ll be in a bad mood about their early return.”
“Right,” Ranea agreed. She opened the window and swung easily out into the branches of the tree. She turned just before dropping out of the tree. “I’ll be back at midnight to talk about the whole magic thing. Don’t lock your window, or I’ll have to break it,” Ranea said quickly. Then she was gone.
A/N: I bet you're all really wondering how Ranea kept her memory, aren't you? Well, you'll find out in the next chapter, so you won't have to wait forever. In the meantime, please read and review!