Chapter 24 : Opportunities
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“Ginny, what the hell?!” Harry stumbled back, clutching his face. “What was that for?!”
“That is for scaring me half to death, Potter!” she glared, but tears were running down her face. Either they were tears of anger or tears of sadness. Harry never was good at reading all the emotions that girls felt. After all, Hermione used to be prone to these outbursts.
“I didn’t –”
But the wind was knocked out of him. He suspected, for only a moment, that she had punched him in the stomach. But when he looked down, he found her arms clamped around his chest and her chin pressing into the side of his neck. She went from slapping to hugging him in one second?!
“Oh, Harry! I was so scared! You are such and idiot. Such an idiot. What were you thinking?! Do you have any idea how much pain you caused everyone? I barely get to talk to you for so long… really talk to you and I keep thinking of what I’m going to say when I finally get to visit and then I hear you had tried to commit suicide? Everything I ever wanted to say, what if I never got to say them? You don’t know that feeling, Potter!”
Harry suspected that it wasn’t a good thing that she was switching between calling him ‘Harry’ and ‘Potter’ so he decided that this was the time to calm her down.
“Ginny, I wasn’t trying to kill myself,” Harry patted her back, awkwardly. She only held tighter and started shaking. “It was an accident. I was… er… sleepwalking. I didn’t know what I was doing. I would never try to kill myself.”
‘Because that would disappoint all the people who wanted to do it themselves,’ he thought bitterly.
“I kept trying to… aw, shoot. Look… what you… made me do? Now I’m a wreck!” she took a step away, and Harry’s arms fell by their sides loosely. She looked up at the ceiling lights as if hoping that the tears would slide back in. It seemed to work, whatever she did.
“I thought that too,” she breathed hollowly, “I kept thinking… Harry wouldn’t do that. I knew he wouldn’t. But I just couldn’t ignore the situation. I mean, you’re on so much medication, your life has been turned around, and you were stuck in the house of the person you hated most. What is everyone supposed to think?”
“Everyone jumps to conclusions.”
“And some people just jump.”
“Ginny, I didn’t!”
She heaved. “I know.”
“So why are you acting like this?”
“Don’t you try to tell me how I should or should not be acting! Have you ever been in my situation? No, so just shut it,” she sniffled, angrily.
“Have you ever been in my situation?! Everyone thinks I’m nuts! I keep trying to explain but nobody believes me, nobody ever believes me!”
“If you’re still trying to convince me that you didn’t try you off yourself, you’re doing a shoddy job,” she snapped. “I believe you, okay? Maybe it was a mistake coming here.”
She spun around and marched towards the door. Harry quietly muttered:
“No, it wasn’t.”
Ginny just stood by the door, her forehead resting on it and her hand clenched around the doorknob. She was still shaking, but nobody said a word. They just stood there in silence.
“Draco wanted to come with me, you know,” Ginny murmured so quietly, that Harry had almost missed it. He surprised himself by feeling no resentment towards him. Everything with Sirius has caused him to understand that the Draco here was not the Draco in his world.
“Why didn’t he?”
“He didn’t want you to get more depressed.”
“I’m not depressed!”
“You sound like you actually wish he had come. Are you sure you’re really Harry?”
“Come off it. But… yeah, I suppose I do now that I think of it. I have some apologizing to do. I realize that he’s not the guy I thought he – ouff!”
Ginny was jumping once again, into his arms, happily. “You really mean it? Oh, he’s going to be so happy! Maybe he can come by tomorrow. I should see if everyone can come! Oh, but Seamus can’t make it, he’s on vacation,, but… oh! I’m so happy!”
“You’re freaking me out, Gin,” Harry smiled to let her know he was only teasing her. She slapped his shoulder playfully. They both sat down next to each other in silence, mostly only enjoying each other’s company.
“Harry, there’s something I have to tell you,” Ginny suddenly said.
Harry paused to listen, but after a few seconds he questioned, “What?”
“It’s just that…”
“…yeah?” Harry stared at her, waiting for he to continue.
“Never mind. Forget I said anything,” Ginny twisted her watch on her wrist, not looking at him.
“No, tell me, what’s wrong? Is everything okay?” Now he was concerned. It looked like something was bothering her. He desperately hoped she wasn’t hurt or anything.
“What? Yes! I mean, nothing’s wrong. So, when do you think they’ll release you? Soon, I hope?”
“I think they’ll have me do tests, but don’t change the subject. What is it? Did I do something?”
“No, Harry. Stop thinking about it. It was a mistake. Do you think you would be out by Luna’s birthday?”
“Er, when’s that?”
“The eleventh,” she replied, looking hopeful.
“Two weeks? Hmm…. Maybe. You’ll have to be the one who asks Lily, she’s not going to listen to me. I’ll be on my best behavior!” He crossed his fingers, but that only earned a poke from Ginny.
“Only kidding. I’ll be good,” he grinned.
“And you might want to look overly happy and well and jolly, too,” she stood up, hands on her hips like a scolding mother. Harry gave her the widest smile he could without hurting himself, and she snorted, trying to hold back her laughter. “Well, I really have to go. Mum’s picking me up to go to Charlie’s for his promotion party or something. I’ll call you… er, I mean, I’ll contact the doctors tomorrow and see if you can come. Best behavior, remember? And smile wider; I can’t see your wisdom teeth.”
“Bye, Ginny,” he grinned and she left, smiling happily at Lily, who had her hands folded, leaning against the wall outside of the door. When she saw the girl, the doctor looked amused.
“Somebody had fun,” she pushed herself off of the wall as Harry heard some guards down the hall open a few doors for Ginny. “Are you willing to stop being so stubborn and start working with Dr. Lupin now?”
“Stubborn? What makes you think I’m stubborn?” Harry asked, smirking.
“That’s the Harry I want to see. Well, maybe not. There’s a glint in your eye I don’t like very much,” she brushed her hair behind her ear and ushered for him to leave the room.
“It’s just my charm, Doc,” Harry grinned. “But yeah, I’ll talk to Remus and whatever you want. Can I request visitors too? I’d like to see my father.”
“That must have been some big talk you had with Ginny. Maybe she should visit more often. Dr. Lupin is in a session right now, but I think he’ll be available before his shift is over.”
“And my father? You’ll contact him for me?” he asked.
“Yes, yes, that too,” she agreed.
They walked him back to his room, which had a few things to keep him entertained – they seemed to think he was no longer a hazard to himself. There was a puzzle on his bedside table and a few books that looked extremely boring.
He didn’t touch them, though. His mind was working too fast for him to have any patience for games. By going to Luna’s birthday party, he might just have time to escape. Two weeks seemed too long in his opinion, but it was the only chance that he seemed to have at the moment.
His father would have to be contacted before it happened – so that Harry could escape with him and they could all concentrate together. How could he have forgotten everything? He must have bumped his head a little too hard. As much as he loved this world (it was a sarcastic thought) he really needed to get back to his world. People needed him. It was he, after all, who would have to defeat Voldemort. Not only that, but he really missed his friends.
And now he had Sirius. Sirius would have to come back with him! He would have his godfather back and life would be much better. Now that he had a plan, Harry became even more restless. It had always been this way, when he was anticipating something it always took its toll on his nerves.
What would he get Luna, though? He wasn’t about to go to Luna’s party without a gift. Yet it seemed impossible for him to acquire something in this place. It wasn’t like they had a gift shop here or anything. Or did they? He wasn’t sure. But if there was, it probably only sold sympathy gifts and he wasn’t about to send Luna a Get Well Soon card when she’s celebrating her fifteenth birthday.
It was at that moment that his door opened and Dr. Porter entered with a, “Good afternoon, Harry.”
“Yeah,” he replied. “Did you call my dad yet?”
“We’re still getting a hold of him, but Dr. Lupin is available. He’s agreed to see you now. Hopefully we’ll have him on the phone by the time you two have finished,” she smiled, “And you do know that stuff was put there for a reason, you know.”
“The puzzle and books. They aren’t just there for decoration. You are allowed to use them.”
“Oh, right. Sorry, I guess I just didn’t notice,” he lied.
“Well, Lupin’s waiting, we should get to him before he gets bored enough to make his own ink blots,” she told him.
The session went well. Remus seemed much friendlier when Harry wasn’t snapping at him. Harry mostly talked about how much he wanted to go to Luna’s party and he supposed the doctor took it as a sign that he was recovering from his ‘depression.’ He listened and nodded, agreeing that it might help him to go.
Unfortunately, he didn’t say much about Harry’s request about maybe going shopping for a gift. He hoped Lily would allow him to look for one. It would feel rude if he went to the party without his gift, only to completely disappoint her by running away. Yes, maybe a gift might lighten her disappointment. Maybe. Probably not.
But still, the Luna from his world meant a lot to him now that he really though about it. It was only fair that he get her something, even if it wasn’t the same Luna. She kept him hoping that things would get better.
When the session was over, he almost forgot that he had asked to talk to James. They had gotten a hold of him and his talk with Remus had gone longer than what Lily had expected and James was waiting.
Now Harry found himself in a compartment with a phone which was probably being listened in on. He knew he couldn’t say his plan and he really hoped that James didn’t bring it up.
“Hey, kiddo,” James greeted.
“Hey,” he replied. “So…”
“Sorry I didn’t visit, I’ve had a lot of stuff on my mind. And all the planning about –” Ahh, so he wasn’t the smartest person in the world.
“The meeting, I know,” Harry said, smoothly.
“What are you…?” James continued, but Sirius must have been on another line and must have punched James because there was a howl on the phone. “Bloody dog!” ‘Good dog,’ Harry thought.
“Oh, yeah. That meeting,” the man grunted. “So yeah, how are things on your side. I heard about your… er… fall. What in the world were you thinking?”
“Sleepwalking,” Harry mumbled.
“With lug – ow, you little mutt! Go away! Shoo!”
“Idiot, James!” came another voice over the phone. So Sirius was in human form, after all. He had been wondering how a dog could be holding the phone.
If the situation wasn’t so tense, he would have been laughing. Really, was his father that dense?
“Well things are okay here. My friend Ginny visited. She invited me to my friend Luna’s party. I still have to get permission from the doctors but I hope I can go. It might be a good opportunity to see Snuffles, too. I miss that little mutt.”
“I’m sure he misses you too. He’s been eating all my food.” Harry sighed. Maybe they wouldn’t realize that he was trying to tell them to adjust their plans to fit the party plans.
“I’m glad you didn’t get rid of him. Are you still at Rita’s?”
“No, my own flat. I couldn’t risk being around her so much because of… er…”
“The dog,” Harry finished. “You know, if you tell the dog, ‘Dissapparate’ he’ll leave you alone.” Hopefully, Sirius would be able to pick up that he wanted Sirius to dissapparate him away from the party when it was done.
“The dog understood,” it was Sirius’s voice. Harry hoped that if there was somebody listening in, they wouldn’t notice how James’s voice had changed. Good. It made Harry feel much better.
“I think he wants to go outside. I’ll call you later, son. Be good for the doctors. I think it would be good for you to see your friends again.”
Harry muttered his own good-bye before hanging up. They had the information they needed. Now they could only wish that everything went as planned. Two more weeks…
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