Chapter 3

Cats Can Escape Bags

Birds were chirping a pleasant song that Hariel was overjoyed to wake up to. With a soft sound of pleasure from the back of her throat she turned in her bed and let her eyes rest on the other one 2 feet away from her. Hermione's eyes were fluttering open and they made contact instantly.

"Good morning." They said in unison. They both giggled and slowly rose from their warm sheets to start their first day of schooling.

Hariel was glad she had time to get familiar with the layout of the Girls Dorm last night. Luckily Hermione hadn't seemed to notice her momentary bursts of confusion and awkwardness. Every room had their own bathroom for it's occupants. Lavender, Hariel, Hermione, and the Patil twins shared a large shower room with 5 shower stalls and 5 toilet stalls. The bathroom gave each girl enough privacy to not feel too awkward with sharing the same space so often. Hariel had to admit, it was way better than the Boys Dorm that lacked much, if any, privacy.

Hariel also liked how the marble floor always felt warm in the bathroom, which was like sinking your feet in warm heaven. This new world was shaping up to be way better than she initially thought.

During her morning routine of getting cleaned up and dressed, she let her mind wander to how she was going to pull off intimate conversations with people in this world that were supposedly extremely close to her. I might have to tell them I've lost my memory. The thought scared her… she liked how they all acted around her and she didn't want them to look at her differently. As if she was damaged. But they'll look at me like that anyway when I keep spazzing out on things I'm supposed to already know. The thoughts swirling in her head were starting to frustrate her.

Somehow she would have to figure it out, and soon. She wasn't sure how long she could last being so lost in how things were here. Some things came to her as if she was gaining a memory, with every fond reminder of something… but it was too rare and too far in between. If her friends and family knew, they could help jog the memories that clearly were trying to surface. What kind of magic was in that mirror? The power it seemed to hold was incredible. To construct a world based on a wish… to give Hariel a second chance at a life more worth living than the previous one, was astonishing. She had her parents. Her parents! The smile that beamed on her face brightened up her reflection, that had began to darken throughout her inner debate.

At the moment she was standing dressed in a pair of dark blue jeans and a pink blouse that read "Hide and SEEKER". She had found the shirt in her wardrobe and she couldn't help but fall in love. Whoever she was before she got here, sure had a great sense of humor and awesome arsed taste. Her Gryffindor robes were pulled open over it and she twisted her head from side to side to figure out how to do her hair. She was glad she had bangs that covered her scar perfectly, and after recalling a hairstyle on a magazine she saw on Hermione's night stand, she took the comb from off her bed and repositioned herself back in front of the full length mirror that separated her bed from Hermione's.

With ease she didn't even knew she possessed, she made a part across the front of her head, so that her bangs covered her mark and fell right before the start of her eyebrows. It looked so simple, she loved it entirely. She picked up a pink headband and placed it behind the part of her bangs.

"Have you seen my pink lip gloss?" Hermione came from the bathroom fully dressed, bending low to see under her and Hariel's bed.

Hariel turned from the mirror and shook her head. "Nope haven't seen it. Check your messenger bag." Hermione snapped her fingers and made her way to her bag while Hariel sat on her bed and pulled her dark blue wedges from underneath. She had tried them on last night and really liked how comfortable it felt, plus it gave her an added inch, which helped her feel less short.

"Pad, give me my bloody shirt!"

Hermione and Hariel turned their attention to the doorway of their dorm room and saw the Patil sisters playing tug of war with an electric blue blouse. "Oh boy." Hermione said as she began messaging her temples.

Hariel laughed. "Are they always like this?" Realizing her mistake a little too late, she hoped Hermione didn't pick up on it.

Hermione's head turned slightly to Hariel to give her a curious look. Of course… it wouldn't be Hermione if she didn't. "More than not. But then again… you know that."

Hariel made another mistake. Which was making eye contact with Hermione. Those piercing wise brown eyes bore into her and she could do nothing but try to remember to breathe. "Yeah. I do." Hariel got up quickly and swung her messenger bag over her shoulder. "Lets go or we'll be late for breakfast." She quickly strode out of the room before Hermione could stop her and she hoped the frizzy haired girl would drop it. Even though, Hariel couldn't help but notice, that Hermione's hair seemed more tame and magnificently curly, than frizzy. Wow… even the small things changed.

Loud clatter of plates and scattered voices was a very welcoming sound to Hariel. She mostly sat pushing her food around while she basked in the feeling of the liveliness. Oh how she missed the sound, who would have thought you could miss this? But she had, and she thanked her lucky stars that she was given a new lease on life. She would get it right this time. No matter what it took, she would destroy Voldemort before he could destroy this place and these people. Not again. Not ever again.

"Timetables. Here you go Thomas, Finnegan."

Hariel turned around to see Ms. McGonagall handing out their schedules. Please not Potions first thing, please not Potions first thing. Hariel only stopped her mantra when she was handed her Timetable. She let out a whoop of joy when she saw that Potions was not her first class.

"Best news so far eh, Mate?" Ron said with a laugh as he cuffed Hariel on the back.

Hariel laughed and nodded her head. "Totally. I feel like getting a butterbeer and celebrating!"

Seamus and Dean joined in with the laughs and jokes before they all started to scan their schedules more thoroughly. After a few minutes they all began eating again while talking about their classes.

"So how many Advanced classes do you have this year, Hermione." Ron asked with his mouth full of biscuits.

Hermione made a face at the flying crumbs, and sniffed in disgust before she answered. "Four actually. Much less than last year. I've decided to take a small break this year, before I swamp myself next year." Hermione took a sip of milk from her cup while trying to avoid looking at Ron's less than attractive eating habits.

"H.J.!" Hariel was quick enough to remember her nickname and turn to the person who called her. Collin Creevey stood with a camera in his hand. Before she could greet him, he snapped a picture of her and beamed a smile. "I was wondering if I could get an interview with you. About earlier in the summer, could you tell me about the bank."

"Hey! Collin I think that's enough." Fred said as he turned around on the bench and raised a hand to create space between Collin and the Girl-Who-Lived.

Hariel was confused… bank? Suddenly she felt as if something was trying to break free from this blank hole in her head. Before she could even try to grasp at it, she felt Ron pull her by the arm, hoisting her from the bench.

"Lets go, mate. Collin, not bloody cool. Fucking wanker." Ron picked up Hariel's bag and pulled her from the Great Hall with Hermione hot on their heels.

"Ugh! The nerve of him! How dare he!" Hermione looked extremely pissed off. Since Hariel had seen her during the war back in her first world, this wasn't very surprising to her.

"Ummm… yeah. What was that all about?" Hariel couldn't stop how confused she looked or felt. What the hell was going on?

Ron gave her a quizzical look. "Mate, you don't seem as angry or upset as I expected you to be."

"I -uh…" Hariel opened her mouth to come up with something, anything, but nothing seemed to be within her reach to express. She felt rising panic in her chest and she wished she could just stop the rushing of … everything. Why was she feeling this way?… she felt as if the wind had been knocked out of her.

Hermione walked over to her friend and pushed her up against the stone wall. With delicate hands she touched Hariel's cheek and stared into her eyes. "What's wrong with you? Something's wrong and you're trying to hide it from us. What is it?"

"I… I don't know … much of anything. I don't understand. I… this world is so different. But Collin… what he said…. It made something seize up inside of me… why? What was he talking about? What happened?" She wasn't sure she could breath and she was starting to see dancing multicolored spots before her eyes.

Something shattered a few yards away from them, down the corridor. The halls were empty because all the students were still eating breakfast. Ron reached out to grab Hariel just as her legs went limp. "'Mione get Mrs. Potter and see if Pompfrey is still eating." Once Hermione dashed off back towards the Great Hall Ron turned his attention to his best friend who was now lying in his lap as he sat on the cold stone floor.

Ron was feeling waves upon waves of shock and concern. He didn't know what was wrong with Hariel and her intakes of breath were so sharp and wheezy that it worried him. "Mate… tell me how to help… what's wrong? It's okay, just try and hold on, okay?"

"Tom…Volde…mort….Tom…. Ron?" And without warning she fell limp in his arms. The ginger haired boy felt chills run down his spine as he stared at the vastly paling face of his best friend.

"HURRY UP!" He screamed. As if it was a summoning charm, he heard the Great Hall doors fly open from 2 corridors down, and pounding footsteps and voices soon followed. "Just hold on H.J. We'll figure this out. We will." He didn't even notice he was rocking their bodies back and forth, but for some reason, it felt comforting.

"So what it is exactly that you're saying?"

"I'm saying Hariel is different…. She and another plane of existence has crossed paths. It's really up to her to explain the rest, Lily. From what I was told, she and Voldemort had the war in her time. It was devastating and some of the people she loved the most were killed before her very eyes."

Lily's gasp startled Hariel enough to open her eyes. With shaky movements she turned on her side and looked towards the direction the whispered voices were coming from. A tall woman stood facing her, her head bent low as she listened to what Albus was now whispering in her ear silently. The red hair and the green eyes could be seen brightly in Hariel's vision. Her mother… truly seriously her mother. Was right there, right in front of her.

"Mom!" Hariel called. Her voice didn't sound nearly as soft and strong as she thought it would.

Lily Potter's head swung up so that her eyes were now connected to her daughter's. With 3 quick strides she was seated on the bed with her arms wrapped tightly around her only child. "Oh darling you scared us something terrible."

Hariel tightened her grip around her mother and inhaled her scent. The feel of her arms wrapped around her was something she never had and something she instantly loved. She felt like she was home. For the first time since arriving, tears sprung up in her eyes and she wiped them away quickly, when her mother pulled her at arms length to look at her face.

"Bambi how are you feeling?"

"I'm okay mom. I just… I heard Dumbledore tell you…. I'm not really that bad off. I can remember certain things if my memory is jogged enough. It will come back… how my life here is with you guys."

Lily's eyes searched her daughter's for a while. "Baby… just one question and we won't have to discuss it unless you feel up to it okay?" At Hariel's nod Lily continued. "In your world… Your father and me…" It seemed as if she was too scared to even utter the words.

Hariel swallowed hard and lowered her eyes. "He killed you both on Halloween. I was one."

Lily pulled her daughter into another hug and seemed as if she was trying to express how sorry she was throughout her body. It was almost as if she could feel her mother's love radiating off of her and flowing into her own. They sat embraced for a long time, they weren't even sure how long, until the curtain moved and Remus stood before them. "I owled James and Sirius, they said they would try and Floo down here as soon as they got back to headquarters, from their current mission. They said by dinner time. How's everything Bambi?"

"I'm fine Moony. I just… have to talk to you and Sirius and mom and dad and Ron and Hermione and Dumbledore… all tonight. It's… important." Hariel hoped the night went well. She felt herself draw inwardly as she thought how to explain everything to them.

Midnight that night was brought in with eerie silence in the large Head Master office. Hariel wasn't sure who looked more shocked by the long story she had to recite to them. They had promised to keep their comments to themselves until she was finished, in order for her to get through it all with ease and absent of interruption.

Albus was seated behind his desk, his spectacles had dropped a little low on his nose, and he showed no indication of fixing the slip. Seated on either side of Hariel were her parents, both had clutched her hands through the beginning of her tale and hadn't let go yet.

Remus and Sirius were leaned against the right and left corners of Dumbledore's desk. Sirius expression had darkened considerably in concealed anger, while Remus's expression remained blank. Hariel could tell the lanky man was mulling everything over and combing over every detail in his mind, Remus was just like that.

Ron and Hermione were seated on the floor in the middle space between everyone. Their eyes had stayed locked on Hariel's throughout the whole story and Hermione's face and clothes were stained with the rivers of tears she had cried throughout it.

Hariel was the most put together, out of all that were assembled. She had managed to tell her whole life story without shedding a tear or showing any anger. It was a feat she was proud of, but she could feel her body starting to tremble. What would happen now that they knew?

"I can't even imagine how that could have been. You watched everyone in this room save Albus and Ron, die." Hermione's eyes looked plagued with sadness.

Lily made a strange sound in her throat and shook her head. "I can't believe that could have happened. It all was derived from our mistake in choosing a Secret Keeper."

"Actually Red, that would be my fault. Apparently I thought it was such a clever idea. I'm sorry I failed you in that time Bambi." Sirius' expression was one of utter defeat and sorrow.

Hariel shook her head and leaned forward in her seat. "You guys I don't want you to feel upset. You all beckoned me to that mirror and allowed me to make this wish… here things are different. Hell… I'm a bloody female." She got the laughs from around the room that she wanted and it instantly made her feel better. "This world will not have the same end result that one did. Dumbledore or whoever, put that mirror there for a reason. I am happy with thinking of that as a horrid nightmare, all I need from you guys is to help me understand who I am here."

James pulled his daughter close to him and gave her a kiss on the forehead. "I'm just sorry I failed to protect you both that night. To think of how you grew up… how you originally grew up…" James shook his head and tightened his hold on her. "I don't know how, but I'm glad it can be different for you. You didn't deserve to have everything and everyone you loved picked off and taken away from you one by one."

After a few more moments they pulled apart and Hariel saw Ron standing over her. He hoisted her up into a big hug and patted her on the back. "Mate, I knew you were too cool to be fully a woman." At the joke they both laughed and Hariel kissed his cheek.

"I'm just glad I still have you Ron." They were both knocked slightly off balance when Hermione joined the hug and kissed them both on the cheek.

"I promise not to die on you…again." Her brown eyes were filled with tears but her eyes were shining love at the both of them.

"You better not." Ron and Hariel said in unison, making the three best friends burst into fits of giggles. Pretty soon the whole room erupted into talk and light banter. After a few minutes, Hariel turned her attention to the HeadMaster.

"Sir… what happened at the bank in the summer?"

The room got quiet and Albus looked over at the three young students in the room. "Perhaps… it would be most informational coming from Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley. I also suggest the Room Of Requirement if the discussion is to last all night. As for now, I bid you all a good nights rest."

After everyone said their goodbyes to Dumbledore, the group left his office and whispered amongst themselves.

"Do you really want to know now H.J.?" The concern in Hermione's voice almost made Hariel change her mind.

"Actually I think I should hear about it on another night. I just… It sounds like it was really bad."

Ron threw his arm around his friend and pulled the Raven haired girl to him. "We'll get to it whenever you want to, okay?"

Hariel gave him a small smile in appreciation for his gentleness with her. "Thanks Mate." She gave his shoulder a squeeze before she hung back so she could get in a few minutes with her parents, before her Father and Sirius had to Floo back to the Headquarters and finish their reports on their mission earlier that day.

The day was tiring for sure and without noticing she found herself taking her necklace out of her shirt and twirling it. For some reason it gave her warmth. After a few moments of lost and unstructured thought, she looked down at the jewelry hanging from her neck and made a mental note to talk to Draco. If anyone deserved to know anything about what was going on with her, it was her soul-mate. Even though she wasn't sure how the dynamics of their current relationship worked, she remembered his overjoyed face in the mirror. The look in his eyes after saying he loved her.

If she planned on getting a strong footing in her new skin, he was a key player in that scenario. Breakfast in the Great Hall would be entertaining tomorrow, she would bet her whole family fortune on it.

A/N: Okay I know I took a while with this update but I have been going over my old stories and decided there was still my spark and love for these stories. I saw some mistakes in the old one, and I promise that those grammar and editing mistakes won't be a constant. I might even look for a Beta. Some of these will be updated, so look forward to seeing a few of the ones I favor the most getting new additions. R&R!