Sanity is Only A State of Mind
Chapter 6: Sanity is Only a State of Mind
Harry woke to a pounding head and to the distinct feeling that something massive had happened in his life. What, he didn’t know; he couldn’t remember the previous evening very well….with a sigh he furrowed his brow and searched through the deep recesses of his brain for memories, any memories. They didn’t come.
“You’re awake,” Dr. Rosenberg’s voice said quietly from the chair next to his bed. Startled, Harry turned his head and took in his doctor’s haggard appearance that, judging from his blinding headache, matched his own.
“What happened?” Harry croaked out, his voice rough from lack of use and a parched throat.
“Can’t remember any of it, can you?” Willow smiled in sympathy. With a sigh of her own, she stood up and walked over to the side of the bed, sitting down next to her patient. “You, my dear Harry Potter, had a dark magic attack last night.”
Harry paled visibly, his already dry throat drying further. “What,” he started, coughing slightly as his tongue seemed to stick in his mouth. Gladly, he accepted the glass of water that was suddenly handed to him, gulping it back before handing the now empty glass to Willow and continuing with his stammered questions. “What happened last night? What did I do?”
Willow shrugged, silent for a moment as she chose how to phrase her explanation most favourably. Truthfully, it could have been worse. Indeed, Harry was lucky he had so many good friends otherwise this morning he wouldn’t have had any left, not after what he had said to them last night. “Let’s just say that you’re going to be okay now,” Willow said finally, deciding to ease him into the harsh waters of the truth slowly.
“Willow, WHAT DID I DO?!” Harry said in a no-nonsense voice, sitting up quickly and adamantly gripping Willow’s arm in his own.
Willow sighed. Apparently Harry was one of those people who liked to jump in feet first. “You started sucking out all the magic in the books in the house, you insulted your friends and were incredibly honest when it came to how you’ve been feeling over the past few years and then, you tried to suck my magic out of me.” Willow left out the part when he had come on to her, figuring that this was probably a little much. After all, Harry was a gentleman- most of the time. Willow thought that the little display last night proved that he was as much of a horn dog as the rest of the male population but that didn’t mean that she would shock him with the news that he had insinuated that he was considering sleeping with her. That would have been rude.
Harry went silent, leaning back against the pillows in shock, and letting go of his therapists arm. “Ron and Hermione…they’re….”
“Still your friends, yes,” Willow mused, “Although why, I’m not sure. How long have you been feeling that way?”
“What do you mean?” Harry froze, terrified that he had come out and said exactly how he felt about his entire situation the night before.
Willow shot him an indulgent look. “Let’s not lie to ourselves, shall we?” She shook her head. “You told us everything Harry, all the pain you’ve been feeling. Every action that has been made against you whether it was big or small, you told us how you felt; how you REALLY felt.” She paused, thinking. “You know it’s kind of like what I do when I’m drunk. Buffy once told me that…..”
“Willow,” Harry cut in unkindly. “Please tell me that I didn’t tell Hermione, Ron, Sirius, and Remus exactly what I thought about them….”
Willow winced, and nodded affirmatively. “I wish I could but yeah, you did.”
Harry groaned, his head going down into his hands in defeat. He now officially had nothing. No friends, no family, and no job. Well, that last point wasn’t necessarily true but it would become true on Monday when he quit his job as an Auror in favour of taking up Dumbledore’s offer to teach at Hogwarts in the upcoming school year. He felt a hand come down to stroke his head comfortingly.
“Shh,” Willow murmured, knowing exactly how he was feeling right now. Perhaps if he baked some cookies later……. “It’s going to be okay. No one’s angry with you.”
Harry snorted with bitter laughter, lifting his head up to look Willow straight in the eye. “I just told a decade worth of secret opinions I’ve kept inside of me and you’re telling me that no one’s angry at me? I’m angry at me!”
Willow shrugged, not knowing what to say. When she had done what she had done, she hadn’t had the same luxury of friends who weren’t angry at her. Indeed, Willow suspected that, even though they said differently, Buffy, Xander and Giles still felt a little animosity towards her for trying to end the world. She broke herself from her thoughts however, going back to the topic at hand and the patient she was currently comforting. “Well, they’re not you, are they? Besides, everyone is in agreement that they’ve been rather selfish regarding your recovery Harry.”
“Excuse me?” Harry raised an eyebrow in disbelief.
Willow nodded and brushed a hand over her forehead tiredly. Truthfully, she hadn’t been in the mood this evening to come and see Harry. She had woken that morning feeling worse than she ever had, the pounding head and nauseous stomach only comparing to what she had felt the morning after an evening with Rack back in the old days in Sunnydale. The world suddenly began to spin slightly and she reached for the bottle of pepper-up potion that Hermione had insisted she take with her that when she had left the flat-just in case. Willow was extremely glad she had reluctantly accepted.
“Willow?” Harry sat up and placed a hand on his therapists shoulder. “I really messed you up last night, didn’t I?”
Willow considered lying for a moment but in the end, decided that honesty in this case would probably motivate the ever guilty Harry to kick his addictions and heal himself somewhat. “Yeah, yeah you did.” She took a big sip of the pepper up potion and winced as she felt steam come out of her ear.
“I’m sorry,” Harry muttered, not knowing what else to say.
Willow shook her head, trying to ease the guilt that she knew Harry was feeling. “Not your fault. If anyone, I blame the wizarding world for this.”
Harry furrowed his brow in confusion. “Why?”
“Why not?” Willow shot back, feeling immeasurably better since she had swallowed the pepper-up potion. “Harry, in order for you to heal successfully, you need a support system that is nurturing and unquestionably kind to you. You haven’t had that and that’s ultimately the reason you fell off the deep end last night.” She paused, not wanting to tell Harry that she had told him so about his addiction to the tranquilizers, but knowing that she had to if they were ever going to help him heal completely. “And we have to realize that you’re just starting the journey to recovery in terms of weaning you off of the tranquilizers.”
Harry didn’t say anything to this. He knew he had been taking too many of them, he knew. He hadn’t wanted to admit that he had been addicted though. He chuckled bitterly, he guessed he had to now.
Willow went on, coming to the reason why she had come over in the first place. With a sigh, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a key, handing it to Harry.
“What’s this for?” Harry asked quietly.
Willow shrugged. “Hermione told me you didn’t have a key to our place and since we’re going to be spending a fair amount of time together, it seemed like a good idea.”
“What?” Harry starred back at her blankly, now extremely confused.
She smiled wryly now. “I spoke to Dumbledore yesterday and he told me how you’re taking the job at Hogwarts. Since the school year doesn’t start for another month or so, I’ve decided to extend our sessions to 5 hours a day, 2 in the morning before lunch and 3 in the evening at a venue of my choice. In addition to this….”
“Addition?!” Harry retorted rather rudely in shock. This regimen seemed a little extreme, even if he knew he needed the help in the worst way possible if he wanted to be allowed around children in the next month..
“In addition to this,” Willow continued as if Harry hadn’t spoken at all. “You will be meditating in the morning when you get up and again right before bed for at least a half an hour and keeping a dream journal for both yourself and for me.”
Harry looked like he wanted to protest, but thought better of it at the last moment, as the look on Willow’s face barred protest. Finally, he simply decided to agree with her. “Fine,” he said sullenly. “When do we start?”
“Tomorrow morning, bright and early,” Willow chirped happily, the fact that she had gotten her way and Harry hadn’t reflected in the bouncy way she hopped off the bed and gathered her belongings before heading for the door. “I’ll see you later then.”
“Wait, Dr. Rosenberg what….” Harry spoke, unsure of what time he was meeting her, just that it was early.
“6 AM Harry, 6 AM. See you then,” Willow left the room, after yet again seeming to read his mind before popping her head in again. “And call me Willow. Dr. Rosenberg’s my mom and quite frankly I don’t want to be compared to her. Now try to get some sleep. You’re going to need it.”
And with that, she was gone, leaving Harry still lying in his bed, smiling slightly now that he knew subconsciously that the resentment over his family and friends had all been for naught. Indeed, he knew now, despite the fact that they had either been avoiding him or lingering too much, that they cared for him. After all, if they had forgiven him for what he had said the previous evening, than they had to have his best interests at heart.
He was interrupted from his thoughts though as Remus’s body came to shadow the door.
“How are you feeling?”
Harry grimaced at the question. He had no right to receive even the thought that had created the concern behind the question. “I’m…fine.”
Remus pursed his lips. Enough was enough, last night had been an indication that Harry was not fine and quite frankly Remus was ready to actually hear how Harry was as opposed to the eternally brooding and quiet man that sat in front of him. “Cut the crap Harry, let’s hear how you really are.”
Harry looked up at Remus in shock. He never used language like that… “What?”
“I said cut the crap,” he said for a second time, coming to sit down on the bed next to Harry. “You’re not fine, we all know it but I’m sick of playing that it isn’t there because I think that you need more help than you’re getting from us all ignoring what you’re going through.”
Harry raised an eyebrow, a slight grin gracing his face. “Did Willow make you say that?”
“No,” Remus looked down at his hands. “This is just my reaction to what happened last night,” he paused and looked up. “Why? Did Willow say something similar?”
“Yeah,” Harry nodded, “She said that the reason last night happened was a combination of things, but ultimately it was because my support system was….”
“Bad?” Remus finished for him.
Harry hesitated, unsure of how to phrase this without hurting Remus’s feelings. In the end, he went with honestly. “Pretty much.”
“I’m sorry about that Harry,” Remus was looking down at his hands again. “We should have tried harder.”
Harry shook his head, “You tried hard enough for the time it happened Remus. I was a mess remember? You could only do so much.”
“Still,” Remus said, standing up and patting Harry on the shoulder. “I should have tried harder.” He sighed, walking to the door. “We love you Harry, all of us. Just thought you should hear that.”
Harry didn’t know what to say as he blushed, his eyes going immediately to his lap in embarrassment. He looked up after a moment, meeting Remus’s smiling eyes and smiling a bit himself. “Thanks, that means a lot to me.”
Remus shrugged, “Well it’s the truth. Good night Harry.” And with that, he closed the door.
“Good night,” Harry murmured, yawning and not believing that he could be this tired after having slept for 24 hours, before leaning over and putting his glasses on the nightstand, turning off the lights as he did so. He had a big day to prepare for tomorrow morning and much sleep was in order for it. With a sigh, he closed his eyes.