"Come in, please," Mrs. Albright said.
Emily and Gilbert helped Harry into the house. Mrs. Albright shut the door behind them.
"Tawny," Mrs. Albright called to her daughter. "You have visitors."
"Be right there," Tawny called back.
Mrs. Albright turned to the trio. "I have some more preparations before my guests arrive. You will excuse me, won't you?"
"By all means," Emily said.
Mrs. Albright headed back to the kitchen. A minute later, Tawny came into the room. She stopped short when she saw Harry, Emily and Gilbert. Then she continued over to them.
"What the bloody hell are you all doing here?" she asked in a hushed voice.
Gilbert let go of Harry. He grabbed Tawny's arm and led her down the hall to her bedroom. Emily helped Harry and they followed them. Once all inside her room, Gilbert shut the door. Tawny pulled herself out of Gilbert's grasp.
"How dare you!" she yelled at him.
"You care to explain yourself?" Gilbert asked.
Tawny looked at him curiously. "Excuse me?"
"Knock it off, Tawny," Emily said. "We know."
"Know what?" Tawny asked.
"Stop playing dumb!" Emily yelled.
Emily shoved the first page of the fan fic into Tawny's hands. Tawny looked at it and then up at the others.
"Where did you find this?" she asked.
"There was a link to it on a fan site," Gilbert said.
"That's how you pulled it up so quick the other day," Emily said. "You had been to that site so many times before, it was in the computer's history. I can't believe you. You were pretending to help us out, and you were behind it the whole time."
"I didn't do anything," Tawny insisted. "I just wrote a fan fic. I didn't know it was going to cause a…shift between dimensions."
"You have to write the ending," Emily said.
Gilbert shook his head. "No time. She's got to delete it."
"I will not!" Tawny said.
"How could you be so selfish?" Emily asked. "You can't keep him in a bottle on your bureau. He has to get back to his world."
Suddenly, Harry fell to the floor, screaming. He curled up into the fetal position as the pain took over his entire body. Emily knelt down beside him, her calmness completely melted away.
"Harry!" she screamed in a panic.
"Delete the fan fic, Tawny," Gilbert said.
Tawny stood frozen to her spot, watching Harry's agony with her eyes wide. Gilbert grabbed her by her shoulders and shook her.
"He is going to disappear forever," Gilbert said. "We have to send him back. The only way to do it is to delete the fan fic."
Tawny nodded. Gilbert let her go and she went quickly to her computer. She opened the file for her fan fic. Suddenly, the room fell silent. They looked over at a ghostly pale Harry. His lips were moving, but no sound came out. Emily looked up at Tawny, tears in her eyes.
"Delete it," Emily said. Tawny hesitated. "Do it, Tawny! NOW!"
Tawny turned back to her computer and with one click, it was over.HP
In that one moment, everything melted away. The pain was gone. The panicky yelling had ended. All Harry could feel was a warm breeze dancing across his skin. All he could hear was the chirping of crickets. He opened his eyes and saw that he was now sitting on the rooftop of the burrow. He touched his face and found that he was wearing his glasses. He checked his pocket and found that he had his wand. Looking over, he saw the other two wizards sitting beside him with their eyes closed. It was then that he knew that he had been brought back before his fall.
"Ron, Hermione," Harry said.
The two wizards opened their eyes and looked at Harry.
"What did you guys wish for?" Ron asked.
Hermione laughed. "Don't you know the rules of wishing? If you tell what you wished for…"
"The wish won't come true," Harry finished.
"Ron! Harry! Hermione!" called Mrs. Weasley from somewhere inside the house. "Where are you?"
"Be right there!" Ron called back. He turned to the others. "We'd better get back inside."
Harry and Hermione agreed. They all stood and made their way back to the window. As they climbed through the window and back into Ron's bedroom, Ginny came into the room.
"What were you doing out there?" Ginny asked.
"Stargazing," Ron replied.
"Oh, OK. Cool. Well, mum says it's time for certain witches and wizards to be in bed. C'mon, Hermione. You're bunking with me again."
Hermione turned to the boys. "Goodnight, you two."
"Goodnight, Hermione," Harry and Ron said in unison.
Hermione and Ginny headed for the door. Before leaving, Ginny looked back at Harry and smiled. Harry smiled back at her.
"What was that?" Ron asked.
Harry turned to him. "What?"
Ron cocked an eyebrow at his friend. "OK, never mind."
Then Ron and Harry changed into their pajamas and climbed into their beds.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Yeah, sure. What is it?"
"Does the name Gilbert Flint sound familiar to you?"
Ron's eyes widened. He got up and closed the door. Then he turned back to Harry. "How do you know that name?"
"Because just a few minutes ago, I was Donald Bradley."
"Holy shit." Ron crossed the room and sat down on his bed. "How did that happen?"
"I fell off the roof and woke up in a muggle hospital. How is it I remember but you don't have a clue?"
Ron thought for a moment. "Because when you came back, everything is the way it was when you left. It's like nothing had happened."
There was a knock at the door.
"Are you decent?" a voice asked from the other side.
"Yes," Ron replied.
The door opened and Mrs. Weasley came in. "Just wanted to say goodnight to you both." She went over to Ron and kissed his forehead. "Goodnight, Ronald."
"Goodnight, mum," Ron said.
Then Mrs. Weasley came over to Harry and also kissed his forehead. "Goodnight, Harry."
"Goodnight, Mrs. Weasley," Harry said.
The two boys wiggled down underneath their covers. Harry removed his glasses and placed them on the nightstand. Mrs. Weasley turned off the light and left the room, closing the door behind her.
"Ron? You still awake?"
"So, tell me how it was that you got to their world."
"I don't really know. It was right before our third year. I just went to bed one night and the next morning, I woke up on the couch in Gilbert's living room with a terrible hangover."
Harry laughed. "Yeah, Gilbert told me he had been celebrating his eighteenth birthday the night before."
"But Emily and Donald helped me to get back. We tracked down a story this girl was writing. Once it was deleted, I came back."
"Bizarre. That's the same thing that happened to me. "
Just then, there was a knock at the door.
"Come in," Harry and Ron chorused.
The door opened and Hermione came into the room. She was dressed in her pajamas. She held a candle in one hand and a thick book in the other.
"Hermione," Harry said. "What's going on?"
Hermione shut the door. She crossed the room and placed the candle on Harry's nightstand. She handed Harry's glasses to him and he put them on. Then she sat down on Harry's bed.
"I wanted to show you something," she said. "I was skimming through this book the other day."
Ron got out of bed. "What is it?"
Hermione opened the book. "It's a book of all the special days in the wizarding world." She pointed to the page. "Alternus dah vacare dagis."
"What?" Harry and Ron asked.
"It means 'alternative day of vacation days'. It takes place during the last week of August. The book says that during this week only, a portal can be opened between two dimensions. In your case, the portal was opened because the writers started their stories sometime during that week, which allowed for the crossover. Once in the other dimension, you only have seven days, their time, before the portal closes. If it closes before you return, you disappear. In order to close the portal and return home, the stories had to be destroyed."
"Wait," Harry said. "How do you know about all of this?" Hermione and Ron exchanged glances. "You told Hermione and not me?"
"She was there!" Ron exclaimed. "You were still at the Leaky Cauldron. It would have been a day at least before you got an owl. And what if the owl was intercepted?"
Harry thought for a moment. "Alright, whatever. Still, you could have told me."
"That's partially my fault," Hermione said. "I advised him against telling anyone. And he swore me to secrecy."
"Do you think this will ever happen to us again?" Ron asked.
Hermione shrugged. "Hard to say."
"This has been one strange adventure, hasn't it?" Harry asked.
"Tell me about it," Ron said. "But then again, nothing has been normal for us."
"Right you are."
"Harry?" Hermione said.
"Yeah?" Harry asked.
"You didn't manage to get the book ending out of them, did you?"
"Well then, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what it is that the future holds for us."
"Suddenly interested in divination, Hermione?" Ron teased.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Goodnight, boys."
"Goodnight, Hermione," Ron and Harry chorused.
Hermione shut her book. She grabbed her candle and left the room.
Ron climbed back into his bed. Harry took his glasses off and returned them to their place on the nightstand. Ron fell asleep quickly, but Harry stayed awake, turning over his thoughts in his head. He finally realized what Emily had tried to tell him. Harry had a family here. The Weasleys, Hermione, his friends at Hogwart's; all of them cared about Harry, looked out for him and backed him up when he needed it. Harry had wanted to have a normal life and once he had it, he came to realize he didn't want it. Life hadn't been easy for Harry, but for the most part, he was content with the way things were going. Happy to be back in his life, Harry smiled to himself. He rolled over and soon fell asleep.