Xray, my friend. I’m not giving up. Actually, you can probably expect this story to be finished soon. It’s all downhill writing from here. Not in quality, mind, but it pace. Thanks for your persistence. :D
Is Harry really going to go to Luna’s party, or is he taking a detour? – He wouldn’t be getting a present for Luna if he was just going to skip out on it. ;)
Will Sirius go back with Harry or will he stay? – What do you think? *Eye wiggle*
How do you get a story published? – I don’t know. I’m hoping someone else can tell me the same thing. :D
Wouldn’t the phones be monitored in the hospital? – Of course, that’s why they were talking so vaguely. ;P
Are Harry and Harold two different people? – Good question. Both have grown up in the same world and the same experiences. Actually, they are almost exactly the same person. Harold or ‘Other’ as I’ve used in this chapter, wants Voldemort gone as equally as Harry does and he is in no way a bad person. Delusional, is all. The only difference, I think, is that Harold is more desperate to keep himself in Harry’s world than to fight Voldemort. The thing is, he is not the person in the prophecy even though he thinks he is, so he cannot defeat him. Only Harry can, but there is one little problem: Harry has no power. Dun dun dun...
How many dimensions are there, then? – There are infinite dimensions. I don’t know if I had Sirius explain Arabella’s theory about the Choice Dimension, but there is one for every choice made. So if Harry does not succeed in one dimension, he will in others. There are so many Harrys out there, it’s amazing. But this is the one we are focusing on. And there is also a separate ‘folder’ of dimensions for personalities, so there are two of those with roles reversed in them.
Author Question – Did you become a copy-editor? – No, I’m going to college first right now. :) And I hope nobody judges my ability of copyediting on this story. It’s just that I am too impatient with my own stories to pay much attention to them. :)
2,803! Thankies, everybody! And I hope to have a lot updated over the holidays!
Chapter Twenty-Five – Connections
“I can’t give Luna this!” Harry complained when Dr. Porter brought in a gift. Rita, surprisingly, had gone out of her way to send some money to him, but Harry suspected it had more to do with James’ influence than her own good will. Still, he appreciated the gesture all the same. However, when Lily had gone out to spend it (on Harry’s request, of course) she returned with bath salts, fruity perfumes and shower gel.
“Listen, Potter,” Lily replied dryly with only a hint of irritation, “You asked me to get something sixteen year old girls like, and that’s what I got. If it’s not a manly enough gift for you to give, don’t give her anything at all and keep the stuff yourself.”
“Honey Almond? Kiwi Splash?” Harry sputtered, “I was thinking of you buying something along the lines of gift cards or books or something.”
“Oh, right. I expect you know what books she likes to read?” Lily shook her head, “And gift cards are so impersonal. Wouldn’t you like to give her something that shows you at least gave a little thought into it?”
“Gift cards are perfectly… thoughtful,” Harry folded his arms.
“Well I lost the receipt and I used up my lunch break; you can either give it to her or not. I really don’t care. Here, Petunia sent you some clothes to wear to the party. Or is this not good enough for you either?”
“I’m sorry,” Harry sighed and caught the jeans and t-shirt that she tossed to him, “I know you just did what you could to help. I appreciate it. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” Lily tried not to look like she had forgiven him, but a small smile escaped her lips, “Well, I suppose you would rather eat there, so I won’t send you down to the lunchroom today, but—”
“Actually, I think I’ll go see Hermione,” Harry interrupted.
“I told you yesterday,” she reminded him, “Hermione isn’t allowed to have company. At least not for a while. Maybe next week sometime, hmm?”
“But what did she do?” he grew frustrated.
“That’s not your concern. Your father is picking you up in two hours. I’ll try to find a bag that doesn’t say ‘get well soon’ downstairs and package this up.” As soon as Lily left, Harry fell back on his bed and let the anxiety he was holding in free.
Only a few hours from now, it would be all over. Everything would go back to normal and he would have Ron and Hermione back once more. He would be able to see his Ginny – although the one he had here was amazingly similar – and there would be Neville, Luna, Dumbledore…
But there wouldn’t be Lily, or James. His parents, although they were different people now who held no love for one another. He had lived without them for almost sixteen years now, what’s another sixteen? Besides, how many orphans end up meeting their dead parents anyway? He supposed he should consider himself lucky.
Then he thought of other things. In a few hours, he could be dead as well. Harry knew as much as anyone else how close death could get to you. And he seemed to be a target for it. What would happen when I crossed the veil? Would Voldemort be standing there waiting for him?
And goodness, how would the Other Harry react? How can he recover after truly living the life he’s only dreamt about before? It was going to be hard getting him through the veil. How would he even get him to the Department of Mysteries, anyway? Perhaps… perhaps…
Voldemort and he had a connection. They could enter the others’ mind on occasion. Why couldn’t Harry and the other Harry do the same? I mean, they are the same person. And he could see the Other when things got tough. Maybe, just maybe, he could do so again.
Harry scrunched his eyes closed, almost as if he was pushing them backwards into his head, trying with all his might to open some kind of a connection… a connection without showing too much drama on his end as to not alert the doctors. For doing so would completely ruin the entire plan…
A burst of light exploded in front of him, though it was only in his imagination. He could see himself tossing and turning in his bed, surrounded by books.
“Harry!” Ron Weasley jumped up from his own bed where he had his own books scattered about and ran to his side, “Come on, mate! Wake up! Harry!”
‘Leave me alone, Ron!’ Harry thought, trying not to break the connection that seemed to be growing weaker each time his name was called to rouse him. Ron put his hand on the Other’s shoulder and shook, trying desperately to reawaken him.
“Hospital…” the Other moaned.
“Merlin, not another vision—” Ron breathed, then spun around and bellowed out, “HERMIONE! HERMIONE, COME QUICK!”
Harry felt something so strange envelope him. It was like his soul was being ripped away and shaken about. It was disorienting and painful, yet only seconds after that, a rush of water surrounded him and calmed his nerves, and everything felt fine…
“Ron!” Harry called, but then something amazing happened. The Other had spoken exactly what he had said, as if in a daze. And Harry knew suddenly what was happening. He could feel the similarity to what he had felt in the past – in the Department of Mysteries last year…
Harry possessed himself.
“Blimey, are you alright, Harry?” Ron questioned, loosening his grip on his best friend’s shoulder, but his face remained the same, just as tight, just as frightened, “What happened, mate? What did you see?”
“Ron, listen to me,” the Other sat up quickly and anxiously, just as Harry was ordering, “I’m Harry.”
“I know you are,” Ron gaped, his voice squeaking in the way that it always did when he was unnerved and scared, “Harry—”
“Don’t say my name!” the Other ordered when Harry felt himself lose strength in the connection. It felt so similar to missing a step when walking down the stairs. It was amazing, really, the power of the name had on one’s soul. A connection even more powerful…
“Listen, Ron. When the time is right, we have to go to the Department of Mysteries. We must find the veil. It’s the only way…”
“If this is about Sirius, there’s nothing we can do, Har—mate. Your godfather’s dead, and I know it’s hard for you – it’s hard for all of us, but you have to let him go. There’s no coming back from the veil, Lupin said—”
“You don’t get it! Just listen to me, I’m trying to explain!” the Other raged in frustration. His anger seemed to strengthen the connection even further. Of course it would, Harry thought, possession was dark magic. Harry Potter, the son of light, was using dark magic. If only Dumbledore knew… the Other’s body stood up and held both of Ron’s shoulders so he would give him his full attention. Ron looked even more intimidated now than he ever had. “I can’t explain everything because the doctors can’t find out I’m here—”
“RON!” he said angrily, and ignored Ron’s whimpering ‘sorry.’ The Other closed his eyes and shuddered, his daze clearing up in his eyes slightly. Harry could feel the connection slipping from underneath his grasp, “Listen! The Harry you see is not the real Harry. I’m the real Harry, but I can’t explain it now, there’s not enough time.
“You’ll understand soon enough. I have no powers right now, because my body has been switched. I’m coming, and I won’t have a scar. I’m the person you need, trust me. The Harry in this body knows everything I know, but he’s not the one who can defeat Voldemort!”
Ron winced at the name, “I don’t underst—”
“You will,” the Other forcefully said, “Just go to the Department of Mysteries. I’ll meet you there.”
“I’m not an idiot; I know that these visions Harry has come from You-Know-Who! I can’t trust you! I can’t trust anything you say! Harry! Wake up, Harry! Harry! Harry!”
The metaphorical rope that held Harry to the Other’s body was pulled roughly from his hands and like a dream where you felt like you were falling, Harry jolted awake in his hospital bed.
He breathed heavily and sat up, trying to catch his breath. How could Voldemort do that long enough? But Harry knew that Voldemort had powers he did not, and the hate enough to completely take control. Like the time that he jumped bodies to stay alive…
Finally, only one thing remained in his mind:
He had messed up. Big time.
James was having a bad day. Things were not going at all how he wanted. First of all, he had had very little contact with his son. No plan had been properly structured. And two weeks was not nearly enough time to work these things out. Sirius had only found Arabella Figg yesterday because she traveled around so often and inconveniently. Their group now consisted of four people. Two of which had no magical ability and one of which knew nothing at all about what was going on.
That person? James himself. Now James didn’t ask for much. The company he worked at was amazingly successful, so he couldn’t complain. Although, he would have been happy with a lower position. Maybe he could ask to rekindle what Rita and he had had years ago, but still. The last thing he would ever had wanted was to be forced into a scheme that included two dimensions, a prophecy, and to find out that he had been dead for a little under sixteen years.
Second on his list of things not going well today was how Sirius had made no improvements whatsoever in trying to break into a highly protected magical government building. The furthest he had gotten into the building was the front desk, and that was when James had tagged along. Well, forced along, because he was a murgle or whatever it was called and needed the necessary papers to be able to walk freely and unaided in the Wizarding World.
Third, well, third… who else would have needed a ride to Luna Lovegood’s party but one of Harry’s little friends: Ginny.
Needless to say, it definitely hindered their plans.
“I really appreciate you doing this for me, Mr. Faust,” Ginny meekly said, “It’s just my father is busy at work, and I couldn’t think of anyone else who lived close enough who was going to the same place…”
“It’s really no problem, Ginny,” James sighed and his eyes flickered to the rearview mirror to see her innocent-looking face looking up at him. Lies, James. Lies.
“But won’t Harry be surprised?” she brightly said.
Yes, James thought darkly, yes he will.
“Here’s your gift, Harry,” Dr. Porter handed him a bag that had flowers galore and sparkly text that read, ‘Best wishes!’ on the front, “Now I know your father has a cell phone, but I want to make sure you have the hospital’s number if anything happens. Since you’re legally released right now, I can’t force any nurses to go with you, but maybe you would reconsider—”
“There’s no need,” Harry assured her.
“Well, give my number to Doctors Marcela and Jeremy when you meet up with them,” she pleaded, “Goodness, now you’ve got me worried like a mother. You said Rita’s assistants will be meeting you there, right?”
A buzz rang through Harry’s room and Albert’s voice announced over the intercom, “James Potter is here to pick up Harry Potter at the front desk. Harry Potter to the front desk, Dr. Weasley and Dr. Porter. That is all.” His voice disappeared.
Harry breathed in. Their plan had now been set into action.