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Chapter 16 : Virtual Miracle
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It's been awhile since I've got reviews ordering me to finish a story. While some authors might not like them, I can appreciate it wholly! It just means you're enthusiastic about the work. Trust me--so am I--that's why I posted another chapter so quickly. It's not quite as long as most, just consider it a "bonus chapter" since I only tend to publish one new chapter a month. What am I doing with my time you might ask? Well, I DO have a life outside of fan fiction and the internet *gasp* and I've also been writing another story/fic also published here, entitled TPR. So in between trying to have a regular life, watching 4 children, and be a judge at speech/debate tournaments, you can imagine that writing is a bit low on the priority list. What makes this chapter particularly awesome is that I have managed to post it even though my old pc has quit working. Yes, that's right. Kaput. I do not yet know if it can be revived...but thanks to your enthusiastic response, my muse is still burning very brightly and I wanted to post this "bonus chapter" as a thank-you for your reviews. They mean the world to me, you know!
The next day, Madam Adonna went to visit Harry in his cell. It seemed that week was destined to be full of surprises, since Adonna brought something unique with her. After the authorities gave her parcel much thorough examination inside and out, she was allowed to present it to Harry. His initial reaction wasn't quite what she had been hoping for, unfortunately.
Of course, she had been pleasantly surprised about Dudley Dursley's turn-around the previous day when he had come to visit Harry. However, she felt the best thing to come out of it was to see Harry's spirits bolstered. And certainly his cousin's vow to get Harry out of prison had to have meant a lot. But Adonna harboured no illusions about why Harry's meeting with Dudley went so well; it had to be since the Dementors were removed from the cell.
That brief respite for Harry's psyche had given Adonna the best hope for him yet. Hope that was was still in there somewhere, locked deep within himself.
Now, it was as though the hopeful upbeat Harry glimpsed so briefly by Dudley yesterday had never existed at all. Adonna wondered just how much more of this imprisonment he could take before the real Harry withdrew permanently.
"So what has Finkle manufactured for me in court doday?" Harry asked dejectedly. He was facing the wall as usual.
I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that," Adonna replied. Nor do I particularly care to find out what that vile man has in store, the healer thought to herself. "But I do have something for you."
"Will it help get me out of here?"
"I highly doubt it but--"
"Well then, what good is it?" Harry abruptly cut her off. "Why are you even here?" he demanded. "Come to stare at the mental prisoner?"
"Harry," Adonna began long-sufferingly, "you know that's not true. You are also well aware the main reason I come here is to help you."
Madam Adonna had grown quite accustomed to Harry's emotional outbursts. She had long since learned it was far better to engage him in conversation than allow him to stonewall her or slip into his catatonic state. She also just happened to have something in her hands that she knew would interest Harry greatly, even if he pretended otherwise.
"I have something here that is addressed to you. It has evidently had quite the journey trying to get to you, considering it was mailed approximately two weeks after your godfather died." Harry turned his head at that. Adonna continued, "The parcel has no return address on the outside, but it does have the Ministry seal on the outside box. More astonishing still are the contents inside" The healer passed the brown box to Harry. She knew she had his undivided attention. Finally he turned away from the wall and took the box from Adonna's hands.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Harry asked, suddenly wary of Adonna's keen interest in his reactions.
The healer sighed shortly. "Will you quit stalling and just open the thing already?" Sometimes Harry's moodiness could get rather taxing.
Shrugging, Harry opened the brown box only to find it contained another box. But the other box was brought yellow and was covered with images of balloons and streamers.
"It looks like a birthday present," harry said incredulously, "but why would the Ministry send one to me, of all people?"
"Go on--open it!" Adonna said excitedly.
Harry lifted the lid off the top of the yellow box and peered inside it. On the top was a piece of parchment with a Ministry letterhead on it. "Dear Mr. Potter, he read aloud, "approximately 15 years ago, your godfather, Sirius Black, was not content to let you live with your Muggle relatives. The following documents are proof of how much he truly disagreed with Professor Dumbledore on where you should go after your parents were killed. It was your godfather's intention to present you with the following papers on the day he was exonerated from his lifetime of imprisonment. As we both know, that day never came and Sirius died a fugitive. Read on and you will really see what happened the day after Lily and James passed on. Hopefully then you can understand why this was never shared with you until after Sirius's death as well. Signed, A Friend."
Utterly confused now, Harry threw Adonna a look before he picked up the mysterious explanatory letter and looked at the page underneath it. He shook his head as if he must have been seeing things.
"Official Certificate of Adoption," he whispered as he read aloud, "for Harry James Potter..." he glimpsed the names in the blanks. Evidently, Sirius had seen fit to adopt him from the Dursleys...
An inexplicably powerful tsunami of feeling, memory, and confusion crashed over Harry. Images...words...scenes...sounds...emotions...all seemingly of another time and place. It was far too much for the young man to handle in his current state. He fell off the bed to the floor and sank to his knees, trembling from head to toe. Madam Adonna rushed to his aid immediately.
"Wh-what just ha-happened to m-me?" he asked her shakily.
At first, the healer thought Harry might have been having a seizure, but to her practised eye, she quickly realised it was something else. Harry was probably experiencing more repressed memories. His next comment confirmed it.
"It...it's like I've seen that adoption cert before. But how--and when?"
"Harry," Adonna said seriously, "I think the dreams, memories, and feelings of deja vu you've been experiencing are most likely from some alternate reality you've experienced. It might sound a bit far-fetched, but I know you've experienced time travel before."
Still shaky, Harry got up off the floor and nodded in agreement to the healer, "Yes, I have."
"Well, I believe I was most likely with you in that alternate reality. That would explain the similarities and differences in our flashbacks and nightmares. One thing that helps confirm my theory is in that yellow box." She bent down to pick up the box, as it had been accidentally bumped off the bed by Harry during his tumble to the floor.
She showed Harry two small death certificates. One had Sirius Black's name on it, but the other one had his name on it! What was going on? Was he supposed to have died trying to rescue his godfather in the Department of Mysteries or something in that other reality? No, that wasn't it...somebody had cursed the car and caused it to crash...Harry had woken up hours later in the Dursley's car--or, wait. Didn't the car crash happen in their reality and not the alternate reality?
"Harry!" Adonna raised her voice, "snap out of it!" Apparently, he had zoned out again whilst simply trying to make heads or tails of what was real and what was not. The healer had been worried that Harry was becoming catatonic again.
As Harry held his own death cert in his hands, he became more and more convinced that the key to solving the whole puzzle lay with that one document. Now if they could only unlock its secrets. He told Adonna this and she agreed. She also noticed how much easier it was to communicate with Hary if one could manage to distract him from himself. The mystery she presented to him appeared to be just the trick this time.
"If only we knew who sent this stuff!" said Harry in frustration.
"Do you really think that matters? For all we know, it could just be some Ministry official who had to release the documents to you once Sirius had died."
"Hmmm," said Harry, "and furthermore, if this was sent to me in July, why did it take so long to get to me?"
"Three reasons," answered Adonna. "One-you've been moved around quite a lot this summer; two-you spent a lot of it in an unconscious state; therefore three-the parcel got caught up and lost in all of that mail you were sent following the car crash."
Ironically, the fanmail strikes again, thought Adonna. At the time that Harry was sent all that stuff from his adorers, Adonna had been unconscious herself. It had proven to be such a nuisance for Harry and his friends. But now...suddenly, magically, a plan started formulating in her mind.
"I hate to leave so abruptly, Harry, but I need to go find Dumbledore and Snape straightaway. We may have just inadvertently stumbled upon something that could help you out of this.
Harry needed a virtual miracle to happen for his case and he needed it soon.
That very day, High Inquisitor Umbirdge had threatened to pass an edict to give Veritaserum to Harry Potter. Her liberal usage of the potion at Hogwarts school the previous year had become a thing of infamy in the wizard community. One thing was certain: there was no telling what Harry would spill to everyone if fed Veritaserum in front of such a large audience. Therefore, it must not be allowed to happen. How Dumbledore and company could stop it was beyond anybody's guess.
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