Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and I am not JK Rowling. The following story was written for entertainment purposes only.
Silence, normal, 'everything is right in the world again' silence. As Aradia struggled out of sleep, she assumed that she was back home, probably lying on the kitchen floor, but home nonetheless. However, as her consciousness stumbled into a new day, she realized this was not the case. The same white ceiling, bubble lights and all, was above her. Sitting up with more ease then last time, she also discovered that the stranger now known as Harry was still in the room, casually reading a book in a chair against the opposite wall. Her plausible theory that this was a dream and nothing but a dream was quickly flying out the window along with her disbelief in the powers of Elmer's glue potions. She felt better, much better.
"How long have I been asleep?" Aradia questioned Harry who up to this point hadn't noticed her wakeful presence in the room.
"Oh," he gave a startled jerk, knocking the book out of his hands and onto the floor. "Well, I'd say about twelve, thirteen hours. " He reached down to the ground for his book which Aradia could just make out as something quidditch related.
"And you're still here?" she further questioned wondering if he had actually remained in the room for the entire time.
"Yes. It seems I'm in charge of you for the time being, as though I don't have anything better to do." This caustic, sarcastic remark took Aradia rather off guard. He was obviously upset or at the least agitated.
For a moment, she was simply too stunned to truly understand the meaning of his statement. Then, it dawned on her. "Wait a minute. In charge of me?"
"It's the ministry's orders. After your accident, I was assigned to keep an eye on you. I assumed I would go back to my normal duties when you awoke, but now that's not the case." Apparently, she was being held prisoner by a group of fictional characters. And her guard, who just happened to be the pinnacle of fictional characters, was now being a jerk. He seemed different then she would have imagined, though that shouldn't have surprised her since there was probably a ten year gap in her knowledge of the magical world. Ten years is a long time and people change.
She certainly had changed. The twenty-five year old woman she had become was nothing like her fifteen year old self. Over the last year in particular, she had grown as a person though in many respects not in a good way. She was more mistrusting now, even of Harry as he continued to casually sit in his chair, entirely engrossed in his choice of reading material. She wasn't going to tell him about her secret knowledge of him or her world's take on Harry Potter. For all she knew, it might throw this world out of alignment like in the movie Pleasantville where a few simple changes flipped society around. Or worse, she might be watched even closer and never allowed to go home to her family. Not that she had much family left in Florida after her husband's death, but Aradia still hated the idea of being controlled and having someone in charge of her.
"So, when will I get to go home?" she asked after a long period of silence that had become agitating.
"When the ministry says you can go. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to read my book." His eyes remained fixed on the book.
As the day continued, silence persisted between Aradia and Harry. Other then a few sparse remarks related to information the ministry needed such as her identity, nothing was said between the two. At this point she had no intention of speaking to her guard and was, in fact, quite peeved with being left in the dark about her own situation. Every now and then an owl would deliver a message through the window which Harry would immediately reply to and then return to his reading. Visitors that she assumed to be ministry representatives made regular appearances at the door and exchanged whispered words before leaving without even acknowledging her presence. It was strange, existing within a fictional book, living in a story she had read a long time ago. Though it once seemed like such an interesting and fascinating world, she now saw that it was very much like her own, based on politics, secrets, and probably even lies.
She was able to pick up on hints and pieces of information that sounded vaguely familiar. What had gone on during the years since Harry and his friends attended Hogwarts was still unknown to her. She didn't know if the war with Voldemort the dark lord was still raging or what had become of most of the characters like Hermione, Ron, Neville, or Dumbledore. No one told her anything. She was a muggle, after all, and there was no reason for her to be told. Aradia guessed that after they released her, if they ever did, her memory of these events would be erased. There were a few other memories she wouldn't mind having erased either, but doubted that the ministry would comply.
Through the day and into the night, Aradia stayed in bed as advised by the glorious healer that had relieved her back pain. The next day came, the day she was supposed to be completely healed, and Harry never left the hospital room for more then five minutes at a time. Her patience was beginning to dwindle as no one had mentioned her leave of the hospital. After breakfast, she decided to take action to find her way home.
"Do you have a phone that I could use?" It was a long shot that he would answer such a question, but it was better then the wearing silence.
"There's one outside the hospital, but I can't allow you to use it," he answered before taking a sip of his morning coffee and returning his gaze onto a newspaper.
"But…my family I'm sure is worried to death about my disappearance. Why are you keeping me?" Her voice was showing signs of obvious vexation. Finally, his firm hold on the newspaper lessened and he brought his face upwards, now staring at the ministry's hostage.
"To put it bluntly, because of the scar on your forehead and your interesting entrance into Diagon Alley. The sooner you tell me about it, the sooner the ministry will let you go." He reminded her of a hard-tack cop calloused from experience, never letting his defenses down, and always holding the appearance of the tough guy. He was also very proud and didn't like to deal with a task he thought to be beneath him, like supervising a bed ridden woman. It was understandable with the difficult role he had played in the safety of magical society from the early age of eleven. Aradia was sure he had seen more horrors by the age of twenty then most people would witness during their entire lives.
But knowing this about him, knowing the reason behind his behavior, still did not justify it in her mind. She hated to be pushed around and forced to recall a memory she had hidden away for a purpose. After her husband's death, the authorities questioned her again and again about the occurrences of that horrendous day. Playing with the edge of her sheets, a nervous habit she had developed over the past two days, she spoke in a monotone, emotionless voice. "I…I don't know." This was half the truth. She didn't know why she received the scar or how she arrived in England.
"What do you mean you don't know?" Harry retorted immediately, his tone dripping in cynicism.
Just one more time, one more time to dwell on the past and she could leave. "The scar….All I remember is a man…and a green light….and then," she paused for a moment in an attempt to not let her emotions burst into the air. "I was in the hospital…and was told my husband was dead. A few shrinks have told me I've blocked the rest out, and for a good reason. I don't want to remember any more then I already do. Can I go home now?"
Harry sighed, holding his chin in his right hand while staring at the floor contemplatively. "I'll see what I can do. Why don't you prepare to leave and…I'll return soon." With that, he stood from his seat and left the room.
Aradia stood before the mirror next to her bed combing her long hair that had become a large knot of tangles during her hospital stay. Nothing else about her appearance had changed. Her eyes were still the one facial feature she thought was attractive, her nose was slightly too large and pointy, and her lips too thin and rather peachy in color. She looked almost anorexic in the long, black robe Molly Weasley had previously dropped off. Not only was the robe twice the size it should be, but she was in fact much too thin for her height of five foot six inches due to her lack of interest in food, the source of life.
The door creaked open behind her. Aradia turned around stiffly, not yet accustomed to moving or standing after lying in bed for what she was told had been four days. Harry walked in looking as disheveled as ever and slowly closed the door.
"I have some bad news." His voice didn't hold the tinge of resentfulness and agitation it once had. "We tried to track down your family in Florida through the muggle authorities. Apparently, they don't exist anywhere in the census records. Neither do you, Aradia Moore."
A lump caught in the back of Aradia's throat. Her pulse seemed to slow down to an almost non-existent rate as the truth of what Harry had said sunk into her mind. She had feared that this would happen, though not consciously, ever since she realized that she wasn't dreaming.
"Where am I going to go?" she asked while staring at a far wall not wanting to look Harry in the eye.
"According to the ministry, you're to come with me, at least until this situation is blows over."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know what you think specifically what you like about it, what you would change if it was your story, and anything that you believe may be an error. Thanks!