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Harry Gets Charged by Rae Carson
Chapter 4 : The New Changeling
 
Rating: 12+Chapter Reviews: 3


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Dear Readers,

[This story was originally posted years ago on another fan fiction site. This might cause the original author's notes to appear woefully out of date, but I shall include them anyway--at least in some format. Anything which is included within these brackets is new material and intended for this site ONLY.

Due to the respect and devotion of one--and only one--fan friend on hpff, I've decided to post this sequel here.  Harry Gets Even and its sequel Harry Gets Charged have been, to date, the most personally intense things I've ever written. As such, it is no small significance that I'm posting HGC here and now.  Getting a measly 24 reviews for a 90,000-word novel is, quite frankly, disgusting and disrespectful of a site's participants. This is especially disconcerting when one's story has over EIGHTEEN THOUSAND hits, and said story has been on the site for FOUR YEARS. So I'll just send out a big thank-you to Delia and a big "thanks for nothing" to the remainder of you who've read my work and never even given one bloody thank-you or word of encouragement.]

Since the concept of this story began well over a year ago (dating to July 2004) and I wrote the thing well before HBP was even released (chappy 3 update for HGC was 1st July 2005) I’m going to stick with my original plot-line lest me and my readers be hopelessly confundled. I will still (accuracy is my bag, man) strive to stay canon as humanly possible with the events of book 6, as well as taking into account Jo Rowling’s exclusive 16th July interview with Mugglenet’s Emerson and the Leaky Cauldron (shameless props for the best HP sites out there :P.)

That said, LOCK AND LOAD! TIME TO ROCK AND ROLL! Lurve, RAE:D

BREAKBREAKBREAKBREAKBREAKBREAKBREAKBREAKBREAK

Harry sat and absentmindedly drummed his fingers across the top of his knees. He had been subconsciously dreading this meeting. Although it was inevitable that Harry would have to meet up with Madam Adonna again, that didn’t necessarily mean he had been happily anticipating the encounter.

A soft knock came at the door causing him to start as he said shortly, “Enter.”

The Healer Adonna walked in, dressed as a Muggle and looking even taller than Harry remembered her. It was impossible for him to know what to say to a perfect stranger who had risked their life to save his, let alone express gratitude to those he knew for doing the same thing. Harry found himself commiserating with anyone he’d helped rescue yet had subsequently found themselves incapable of speaking in his presence.

But the Madam’s warm tone of voice helped dispel much of his apprehension as she said, “It is a pleasure to formally meet you at last,” she smiled, “I am Healer Madam Adonna Tonks,” and she offered her hand.

Oddly, Harry had a fleeting intuition that he’d heard the healer introduce herself before. Only...she had used...a deeper voice? His voice? Where had that weird idea come from?

Harry blinked rapidly while he recalled his runaway train of thought, stuck out his hand and hastily replied, “As if you didn’t know, I’m Harry Potter...”

As their hands made contact, Harry was mentally jerked back into his odd impression of the healer. In an instant it became much more than impression as his mind’s eye was filled with vivid imagery...

Harry was standing in a dank hallway with Nymphadora Tonks and Lupin. They were all staring at another pale and sickly version of...Harry? The hair was longer and the eyes were different, but otherwise this individual was his spitting image.

“Do you know who you are?” asked Harry intently of his not-quite-twin in front of him.

“I am Healer Madam Adonna Danekkah Tonks,” said the double in a dull monotone...

A brief fuzziness clouded the scene and was replaced by another, no less vivid picture. This time, Harry and his twin were in a car, Ginny Weasley sitting between them, as his copy looked at him directly and said, “... it’s the romance part of Psychromancy, Harry. She knows it, too—has known since you first met...” But the lips hadn’t moved, it was a woman’s voice which had filled his mind, and the speech was within him, not without...

Then the double spoke aloud to him, “You’re a true changeling, due to your godfather’s defence of you...”

Harry abruptly tore his hand away from the healer, moving in such a rapid fashion that Madam Adonna stumbled. Though the images that passed between them had lasted mere seconds, though the two of them had barely moved, Harry’s heart was hammering and his breathing had sped up.

“Wh-what...w-was–that?” Harry demanded shakily, staring at the healer. He knew that he was sounding rude, but he couldn’t help it.

Madam was nearly as unsteady as he was, and answered back, “I...I am...n-not entirely certain. But please tell me now...what did you see?” she asked earnestly.

Harry blinked at her. Had she sensed and seen the same things he had just then?

“I...I...saw–another me? Only–only...it–it wasn’t me,” Harry explained disjointedly, “anyway...I don’t...think it was me, I think...it–it was you...but not you–-oh, I don’t know!” He broke off in agitation, frustrated with how stupid this was sounding. “It doesn’t make any sense!”

“Trust me when I say,” answered the healer, “it makes perfect sense. It is also part of the reason why I’m here to speak with you. I bid you, please continue.”

“Right then,” Harry replied warily, looking askance at Madam Adonna. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell at you. I just...freaked out...”

“It’s okay, I understand,” she said.

“Anyway, when you introduced yourself to me...and shook my hand just then, I think I saw you as me. I’m not sure, but I asked you who you were, and you looked mostly like me when you said your name. And suddenly, we were in a car–you and me, with a girl I know named Ginny sitting between us–and you said something about romance or Psyche...thingy... But you didn’t say it aloud, it was in my head like telepathically or something. And then you said something else about me being a changeling because of...Sirius’s defence of me. Sirius Black is my godfather,” he added uncertainly. He wasn’t sure why he felt the need to explain this to her, seeing as how he didn’t like discussing Sirius at all if he could possibly avoid it. Not to mention, for most intents and purposes, Madam Adonna was still a stranger to him.

Adonna nodded and replied, “Yes, I do know Sirius Black is your godfather. The Weasleys and the Order of the Phoenix have been very good to me while I have been staying at Grimmauld Place. I too was a bit disoriented when I woke up from the charm trance, and needed to have quite a few things explained for me.”

Harry knew this was something of an understatement. The Gemini Stasis Charm effects appeared to have a much more direct impact on the healer. Ginny and Ron told him the day Adonna woke up, she hadn’t even known who she was.

“How much have you been told about the Gemini Stasis Charm?” inquired Adonna, as if having read his mind.

“Not too much. Mostly that you somehow...connected the two of us with it, and that it helped you to...keep me from dying. Also that it’s illegal. From what they tell me, I must’ve been pretty bad off for you to do something like that. So I guess...thank..you...?” he said awkwardly, and gave her a sidelong glance.

Her eyes grew round as she replied, “Oh my, I didn’t come here to wring gratitude out of you, Mr. Potter. Let’s just say you’re quite welcome.” She gazed at him shrewdly and inquired, “I wager you also wouldn’t believe me if I said it was all part of the job?”

Another wave of deja vu passed over Harry as Adonna said her last few words.

He tilted his head at her, squinted, and replied, “...no, I suppose...I wouldn’t.”

The healer’s behaviour was a bit off-putting, to be sure. She seemed to anticipate what he was going to say before he said it. Yet he didn’t feel threatened by her, exactly.

“Forgive me,” continued Adonna, “I’ve been badgering you with questions ever since I came in. I imagine you’ve had it up to here with people interrogating you over everything the past few days. So instead, I offer you the chance to inquire of me. Ask any question you’d like,” she said amiably. “Only catch is, I don’t promise to answer.”

“All right,” agreed Harry cautiously.

This was certainly a refreshing twist from anybody he’d dealt with lately, except for his friends. Either he was being asked the questions, or they wouldn’t answer his very extensively, because he was supposedly too “fragile.” He decided to start with something simple.

“What should I call you? Madam Adonna or Adonna?”

“Whichever makes you feel most comfortable.”

“Are you here because Dumbledore asked you to come?”

“Yes and no.”

“Allie says you might know why I’ve been having my...nightmares?”

“I have an idea.”

“Are you going to tell Dumbledore anything I say to you here?”

“Unless it’s about something life-threatening, I wouldn’t have any reason to.”

Harry paused and looked at her contemplatively. So far, all of her answers had been vague to the point of dodginess. But she still had yet to refuse an answer. Adonna was proving to be one of the most inscrutable people he’d met in the wizard world. He tried a different tack.

“Are you deliberately trying to avoid answering my questions?” asked Harry slyly.

Madam smiled and said, “Most certainly not. Encourage you to ask better ones perhaps, but not avoid answering the ones you’ve asked.”

“Okay,” replied Harry, warming to this odd way of conversing. “Why did you want to know how much I knew of the G.S. Charm?”

“Because it is imperative that you be fully educated on the matter.”

“According to you or Dumbledore?”

“Both of us.”

Harry licked his lips and inquired, “What in particular, does Dumbledore wish me to know of the charm?”

“He wishes you to know, as I do, that it is a spell which can only be used from one Metamorphmagus to the other.”

That gave Harry something to think about. The healer was a Metamorphmagus just like Nymphadora. It made sense, if their surnames were both Tonks. But if Adonna was a Metamorph, and the G.S. Charm was only for them...

“And are you trying to tell me...” he trailed off incredulously.

“Not trying to, no. I’ll state it straight out: You’re a Metamorphmagus, Mr. Potter.”

“I’m a what? Are you certain?”

Adonna pursed her lips, darted a glance toward the doorway, and pulled a wand out of her pocket.

“Oh yes, I am absolutely sure. Since I don’t want you to try anything right now, I’m going to ask you to trust me here.” She held her wand aloft to Harry’s head.

“Well, you’re a healer aren’t you?” Harry said, a bit uneasily. “You already saved my life, so hopefully you wouldn’t want to do something to reverse that?”

Adonna smiled and replied, “Yes, I’m a fully qualified healer. No, I wouldn’t want to hurt you. Folliculus Azurum!” she chanted. “But this isn’t precisely healing, it’s just meant to prove to you that you are indeed a Metamorphmagus.”

“What did you do?” Harry asked, running a hand over his head. He hadn’t felt anything except the smallest burst of heat from her wand.

“I simply changed your hair colour. When you’re an unpractised Metamorph, you’ll subconsciously change it back in your sleep. So the effects will have reversed themselves by the time you wake up tomorrow.”

“Okay,” said Harry, briefly considering asking Adonna what colour his hair was now and deciding instead he’d look in a mirror later. “How many people know about...this?” Nobody had said word one to Harry about his being a Metamorphmagus. He suspected it wasn’t kept quiet on accident.

“Tonks hasn’t been told outright, but she’s guessed it. I know, of course, since that’s the only way I would’ve been able to perform the charm on you. A few others have remarked on the possibility, but nothing more. Dumbledore suspected and questioned me on the fact not too long after I had woken up. After I confirmed it, he swore Tonks and me to secrecy for your protection. It seems he doesn’t want the Ministry or any other unsavoury persons to know of it.”

So Harry had been right. Dumbledore didn’t want anybody to know. The wizard media would be practically drooling over this latest development and news of it would spread like wildfire. Harry didn’t wish the Ministry to know anything else about him, that was certain. They’d be breathing down his neck and force him to sign up in their registry.

“Since you performed the charm, you must’ve been the first to know I was...Metamorph. How could you know that?”

“Actually, I didn’t know. It was an educated guess.”

“How could you guess?”

“Well, do you remember how when I found you after the crash, your hair was waist-length and your eyes were grey?”

Harry considered this; precise details of what happened after being so severely injured were still a bit hazy to him. But he did remember his hair inexplicably lengthening itself that night, so he nodded at Adonna.

“It was based on that,” she continued. “And it was apparently true since the charm worked.”

“What then, precisely, does the Gemini Stasis Charm do?”

“It is actually an augmentation of a simpler charm. As you may or may not know, the term ‘stasis’ means ‘suspended animation.’ The Stasis Charm is used for Metamorphs when physical transformations become uncontrollable after they become ill. It keeps them looking the same way until they get over whatever is afflicting them.”

“What would cause those kind of drastic physical changes?” However incredible the reason, if Harry was a Metamorphmagus now, he figured it was best he learn about the subject.

“Many things can affect transfiguration in magical individuals. Sometimes it can be as simple as a nasty cold, other times it can be something much deeper, such as a great loss, hardship, or similar life trauma.” Adonna sat back in her chair. “Metamorphmagi in particular, have a tendency to take on characteristics of someone they love or care deeply for who is hurting. That worry can become so deep-seeded, it may even manifest itself in their own physical traits.”

Harry’s jaw dropped slightly and he blurted, “I’ve been thinking about..Sirius a lot lately. And he has–well, had–long black hair and grey eyes.” Harry swallowed past the lump forming in his throat. “Could that be why...I...” his words faded away as his chest constricted.

Nodding, Madam Adonna replied, “I believe that is the most likely reason why you looked like him when I found you.”

It was difficult to discuss this, especially with someone who had never known his godfather, but he pressed on since he needed to know more.

“And when I shook your hand when you came in here,” Harry continued, putting disjointed thoughts together, “I...heard you telling me I was a true changeling, due to my...godfather’s defence of me. Could that have meant after the...” he stopped again, even more hesitant about talking of the night he’d discovered the prophecy.

Once more, Adonna seemed to anticipate his unspoken words as she said caringly, “After the Department of Mysteries? Even I don’t know that one for sure, but yes. I would say that’s the reason why you resembled Sirius the night of the car crash–due to it being so close after his death. I think it awakened the dormant Metamorph abilities within you.”

His mouth opened even further in surprise. It was strange to think that he’d been a Metamorph his whole life, and not known it. Then again, there was much about Harry’s magical life he hadn’t known until it was forced on him. Most of it, in fact.

He gazed at Madam Adonna a bit and asked, “But...why would I have seen you looking as me–when I looked like Sirius–and telling me that? Does it not seem...a rather odd thing to imagine?” he said, hoping he wasn’t going nutter or anything.

The side of the healer’s mouth quirked as she answered, “To the average person, yes it might indeed seem strange. However, not to me. You see, I have looked like you before. For quite awhile, in fact. Starting shortly after I induced the Gemini Stasis Charm on the Knight Bus and ending about a day after I woke up from the trance.”

Harry’s eyes widened and he said wonderingly, “Whoa, you did? I didn’t just invent that?” He also determined to quiz his friends on why they hadn’t told him of it; they must’ve known that Adonna had looked like him. She’d been convalescing at Grimmauld Place the entire time with them.

“Oh, and don’t bother asking your friends about it. They were specifically asked to not tell you,” Adonna continued, as if having read his mind again.

Finally he could hold back no longer and asked her, “And how is it you always seem to know what I’m going to say?” His eyes narrowed suspiciously. “You’re not using...Legilimency...on me, are you?” Harry said, as if the word caused a nasty taste in his mouth.

He also recalled Adonna had reminded him of Snape once before, too. It occurred when they were on the Knight Bus together; she had stared at him intensely after finding out his eyes were the incorrect colour. She was looking at him much the same way now.

But then she smiled again slightly, very un-Snape-like, and replied, “Astute observation, Mr. Potter. While I am a skilled Legilimens–it’s part of a healer’s training, after all–I am not currently using that particular skill on you. It would also be quite difficult without a wand,” she lifted the object in her hands a little, “and you can see I’ve not used mine since I changed your hair colour.”

Suddenly, a sharp rapping came from the partially opened door and Madam stashed the wand back into her pocket.

“Come in,” said Harry, after making sure the wand was properly concealed. They needn’t have worried, however.

Nurse Allie strode into the room, looked at Harry weirdly for a bit, smirked, and then went to her task of taking his vitals.

“Sorry to interrupt anything,” said Allie with a lilt in her voice, “so how’s it going?” she leaned over to Harry’s ear and asked him conspiratorially. “She’s quite informative, eh? You learning a thing or two?”

Harry looked askance at the healer, who was politely paying attention to something else on the wall as he and Allie spoke.

Nodding intently he answered, “Oh yes, definitely that. Though it’s not anything I’d assumed I’d be learning, for sure.”

He just barely realised the original reason he’d wanted to speak to Adonna–about his dreams–had still yet to be fully answered.

The nurse gave him a hard look and replied knowingly, “Uh-huh. It’s usually that way with Madam Adonna, you know. She’s likely to always keep you guessing.”

Putting the equipment back into place and finishing notes on a clipboard, Nurse Allie did her traditional stop as she tossed back over her shoulder, “Nice dye job you gave him there, Adonna.” Then she looked at Harry, and grinned on her way out, “I never thought you’d request it, but that shade really suits your eyes quite well, Harry,” said Allie.

“Wuh–” he began, but Allie was gone.

Then he turned to Adonna and demanded, “What colour did you turn my hair?” Harry began running his hands over his head self-consciously.

Shrugging, she replied, “The subconscious switching back to natural black is most effective only if it starts out a sufficiently garish colour. I did ask for your trust, remember,” she reminded, smiling again. “I can change it if you want.”

Harry held out his hands and said, “No, no, this is fine. Really.”

But wild shades of hot pink and olive drab started dancing through his mind. For however brief a time, he had no desire to look like the Incredible Hulk, the Jolly Green Giant, or even more horrifying–have weirder things called into question if his hair were a brilliant shade of fuschia as he’d seen Tonks wear.

Then he inquired, “Er, so is it okay if I–I mean, do you mind if I still...”

“Keep asking questions?” finished Adonna. “Not at all, we still have much to go over.”

He shook his head and queried, “If you’re not using Legilimency, how is it that you know things about me, how I might be thinking, what I’m going to say, stuff like that?”

“That is one direct effect of the Gemini Stasis Charm. Let me give you a bit of background knowledge before I elabourate on that. You see, it’s a little known fact that Metamorphmagi can naturally assume appearance of another person. Hair and facial features are just the bare minimum of what can be changed. Since it’s all self-modified transfiguration–meaning not as a result of a spell or potion–it generally helps if the person being mimicked is around the same body mass and weight. Skeletal enlargement or compression is one of the most difficult things to master, and typically requires years of practise. However, most Metamorphs don’t usually care to explore something so complex, they’re content with the simplicity instead.”

“Really?” asked Harry in astonishment. He couldn’t fathom why anybody wouldn’t want to fully delve into everything such a magical talent had to offer. “So, you and Tonks can do that, then? Total transfiguration?”

“We most certainly can.”

“And...could I...see you do it?” he said, suppressing a surge of excitement.

Normally, Harry wouldn’t have asked something of someone he’d just officially met but Adonna seemed agreeable enough. Not to mention he was just dead curious, having barely found out he was a Metamorphmagus himself.

“Please?” added Harry hopefully.

“My, my,” Adonna gazed at him, “Aren’t we a little demanding?”

He shrugged up at her sheepishly and responded, “May I please see it?” He certainly hadn’t meant to offend her.

But she just grinned and replied, “Hmm, you’ve been stuck at hospital all summer, so I suppose I’ll humour you. However...” she stood up and surveyed the corridor, and making sure nobody was around to notice, proceeded to do what Metamorphmagi are best known for.

Harry thought her transformation might look like a combination of what he’d seen Tonks do with her own nose and the bubbling wax-like effect of Polyjuice Potion, but that wasn’t the case at all. Rivetted, he watched as Adonna shut her eyes as if in concentration and her features gradually changed in appearance, layer by layer. It was sort of like watching a time-lapse film of stalactite and stalagmite formation, or perhaps the effects of an unseen’s sculptor’s hands to spinning clay on a pottery wheel. Madam’s height even altered as she got a bit shorter. Then her skin texture shifted, followed by her curly hair straightening, shortening, and turning to raven black.

Finally the healer’s eyes opened, looked directly into his, and her irises swirled from storm grey to jewel green.

Harry’s mouth opened to a big round O after he whispered, “Wow, that is so...”

“Amazing, maybe?” Adonna finished, in perfect imitation of his own voice.

“No,” Harry shook his head, “it’s bloody fantastic!” he exclaimed, fighting a silly impulse to applaud her. Madam Adonna looked and sounded exactly like him, down to the moles on his jaw-line and the scar on his forehead.

Unexpectedly another knock came on the door and a bored voice called out, “Orderly,” waiting for Harry to bid him enter.

Adonna whirled around to face the wall so she couldn’t directly be seen, and Harry nervously called, “Come in.”

The little man said, “Hullo,” but otherwise ignored Harry and Adonna entirely, so apparently absorbed was he with his task of making things orderly. He reminded Harry vividly of a house-elf because of his overly knobbly facial features and large ears.

The healer pretended to be studying the greeting cards, Harry darting occasional worried looks to her out of the corner of his eye. Once she even half-turned away from the wall, and Harry swore he saw a mischievous look on her face. Was she actually enjoying this subterfuge? He blinked, sure he’d imagined the expression. If nothing else, Harry knew now what he looked like when he was causing trouble.

Just as the orderly was about to leave, Adonna said to him in Harry’s voice, “We’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Right then, Mr. Potter,” he mumbled and walked out the door.

Harry laughed as Adonna turned around and grinned hugely at him.

“That was brilliant,” he said, shaking his head and again contemplating his own morphing talents and who might teach him how to use them.

“Why thank you, kind sir,” replied Adonna, and inclined her head, the paragon of politesse. “I humbly request one moment, please.”

She then transfigured back to her own look and sat back down again.

“And you say you looked like me for...” Harry did some quick counting, “over eleven days?” That didn’t sound very good to him.

“Yes,” answered Adonna, “and it’s generally a very bad idea to do so, as it has a tendency to be very physically taxing on a Metamorph to engage in the practise of prolonged complete transfiguration. It wears on one’s endurance, and their ability to transfigure can even deteriorate so far they can no longer morph to their original state. It brings new meaning to the old adage, ‘be careful, your face could stick like that,’” she said, raising an eyebrow sardonically. “Mums aren’t always wrong about those things.”

“And what of the G.S. Charm in this?” he inquired.

“The G.S. Charm actually opens magical connections from Metamorph to Metamorph, allowing them to share their power. This is far, far deeper than just physical or even skeletal appearance, however. It mimics and maps one’s entire psychological and physiological state into another person. In a severely sick or injured person, the Stasis charm halts the deterioration, thereby allowing the healthy individual to share their stronger life force with them, and vice versa. In theory, at any rate,” said Madam ruefully. “Sometimes the ill party can be so far gone it will wind up taking both parties to their deaths, or worse yet, one sufficiently strong mind or personality can even wind up inadvertently overtaking another’s. That’s why it is crucial that the Charm Trance not be interrupted, as the likelihood of death or dominance increases if those under it aren’t allowed to naturally sort out things and wake of their own accord.”

“Yeah, I was told when you woke up, you didn’t even know who you were,” replied Harry.

Her mouth quirked again and she nodded, “That’s true. In fact, I thought I was you.”

“You did?” he asked astonishedly. Never had he thought of his mind as being powerful enough to overshadow someone else’s, and certainly not someone as dynamic as the healer seemed to be.

“Quite,” continued Madam, “There’s no easy way to sugar-coat the details of that, so again I’ll just tell you. I was so thoroughly convinced I was you, because I’ve had intense recollections of nightmarish things I know haven’t happened to me. I didn’t even know if they’d happened to you. But false memories and vivid dreams are actually a well-established side effect of the G.S. Trance. I’ve never been so deeply affected by that charm, but then again the longest I’ve been under it before is three days.”

A bit alarmed now, Harry wondered just what of his own memories that Madam had been able to remember. But suddenly it dawned on him just why Adonna was able to anticipate his answers and way of thinking with pinpoint accuracy. She had been imprinted with his very thought patterns as a result of the Gemini Stasis Charm. For days and days. No wonder the spell had been banned and declared illegal.

“I’ve been having nightmares too,” said Harry, “but I always thought it must’ve been because of...” he trailed off, lost in thought.

“Because of this?” finished Adonna, pointing to his scar. He nodded.

“Well, has it been paining you as in the past?”

As Harry jogged his memory he said amazedly, “I hadn’t even thought of that, but...no. Not at all.”

Despite the fact Voldemort had haunted him in his sleep again, it was proving to be it wasn’t because of direct outside influence. That was oddly reassuring.

Then Harry’s brow furrowed and he continued, “But until we shook hands after you came in here, I haven’t had...recollections or dreams of you at all, near as I can remember. Why could that have happened?”

“Well, I happen to be an empathic healer, as well as magic, and I had my mental ‘feelers’ on full receptivity. Since the charm bound us together for so long, I wager that connection readily flared to life in a way even I hadn’t thought it would. I apologise, and I’ll be sure to watch myself over that in future. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“Oh, well, that’s okay,” replied Harry, not knowing what else to say.

He didn’t want to appear unversed to the term, and made a mental note to ask Hermione about yet another thing...empathic healers and Psychromancy amongst them.

“You probably will have more of my memories interspersed with yours, however.” Adonna said extensively, “You were the one of us who was injured, and strong medications can also affect your psyche as well. You’ve got more to sort out than even me, seeing as how I’ve had personal experience with these matters. However, those...scenes you described to me at the beginning of our encounter were some of the very same ones I’ve seen in my own nightmares. In fact, I’m still continuing to have bad dreams, as you are.”

“In that case,” Harry said sympathetically, “I’m sorry about that.”

She smiled and answered, “Please don’t be, Mr. Potter. I don’t regret that at all, by simple virtue of the fact that we must discuss the subject with one another. For it means you are still here, and very much alive.”

Harry shrugged, for lack of an answer. Who could argue with that? True, nightmares were nasty, but then again it could be worse as Madam Adonna handily pointed out.

“Well, I suppose I’ve taken up enough of your valuable recuperation time,” the healer said as she stood up.

He couldn’t think why, but Harry found himself not wanting her to leave. Unpredictable though she was, she truly appeared to have no other motivation than wanting to help him. That was indeed a rarity, considering most people only approached him on such a guise if they wanted something out of him.

“But seeing as how you were under Charm Trance for so long, it is part of your treatment that we continue to set follow-up appointments with one another. How about this same time next week? I request that you write down anything you may remember, regardless of you seeing it while awake or asleep. It is important that we might be able to sort out the dream origins.” Then Madam smirked, “Hopefully, you won’t have anything too embarrassing about my sordid past embedded in your psyche,” said Adonna, tilting her head at him.

“I imagine you’ll be at your Muggle address next week, so I’ll be expecting an owl for confirmation. Oh, and don’t forget to keep an eye on your hair,” she reminded. “See you next week.”

“Thanks for coming,” Harry replied. “Till next week, then.”

Harry stood up and walked to the mirror in his hospital room, head buzzing with the comparably brief, yet informative conversation he and Adonna just had. Then a sound of amused consternation escaped Harry as he caught full sight of himself in the mirror.

Madam Adonna had turned his hair a shade of brilliant Anime blue.


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