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         “So how’s she doing?” Harry asked, peeking through the curtains at his half-sister sleeping in her hospital bed. Draco was perched in the visitor’s chair like some sort of gymnast, and even more amazingly, he was sound asleep. Hermione, Ron, and Ginny had returned to the flat in Grimmauld Place for now, and Luna had gone home to her father. Only Harry and Draco had remained in the hospital for these three days of healers testing Keilana and arguing about the results.

         “I don’t think her life is in danger,” Jackie replied quietly. “But her magic definitely is. She’s slowly losing it, and we don’t know when it will stop.”

         “Can a wizard live without magic?” Harry asked, looking at Angie.

         “We don’t know,” she answered helplessly. “No wizard has ever lost his magic.”

         “When can she come back to Hogwarts?”

         “That depends on how much you want us to do for her,” Jackie replied, half-jokingly.

         “But you don’t know what’s wrong with her.”

         “Therein lies the problem,” Angie sighed, checking one of Keilana’s vitals and marking it on her clipboard. “I suppose we could give her a potion for the pain, and some pills for mental clarity, but you should talk to her first. That might make her even worse.”

         Harry woke Draco up and updated him on the latest theories. Draco looked stricken. He reached over and gently grasped Keilana by the shoulder. She murmured slightly. When he shook her, she rolled onto her back and glared at them.


         “Your tests came back,” Harry said gently.

         Keilana struggled upright. “Well?”

         “Jackie thinks that you’re losing your magic.”

         “What do you mean, losing?”

         “I guess, basically, you’re turning into a Muggle.”

         Keilana’s black eyes flickered just a bit lighter, looking almost brown for a moment. “If that happens, will I still be able to go to Hogwarts?”

         “You won’t be able to do anything,” Draco protested. “Why would you want to go?”

         “I’d been with you,” Keilana said, leaning back against her pillows. “I don’t want to stay with your parents.”

         “They’re not that bad,” Draco said, pretending to be insulted, as he sat on the bed next to her.

         “What about Harry? He’s the only blood family I’ve got.” She saw the look on Harry’s face. “And no, Jackie does not count as family. She’s your dad’s sister, remember?”

         “Well, not blood-related ....”

         Draco smiled tenderly. “You can stay here if you want, Kei. It’s your choice.”

         “Are you crazy?! I’ve only been here a few days and I’m already about to die of boredom. Of course I want to leave!” She leaned forward eagerly. “When do I get to?”

         “Angie says she’s could give you something for the pain and the headache, and you could leave already, but it could make you worse.”

         “Can’t they do something about me losing my magic?”

         “I don’t think so.”

         “Well, then – on with the potion!”

         Amused by her energy, Harry and Draco went to talk to Angie. She agreed to release Keilana, and Draco took her home to Malfoy Manor. Harry remained to visit Carson, and he bumped into Jackie on his way out. She was sitting next to the fountain, looking utterly dejected. Harry plopped down next to her.

         “What’s the matter?”

         “With Keilana gone, I have nothing left to do.”

         “You could come to Black Moor with us.”

         “What’s the point if Sirius isn’t there?”

         “Did you like him that much?” Harry laughed.

         “No, he had too many girlfriends. But he was fun to hang out with. I swear, we got James into so much trouble.”

         Harry laughed, and took his leave. All the same, early in the morning on Christmas Eve, he and Ron slipped into her room in the Leaky Cauldron. Harry stunned her, and using Harry’s invisibility cloak, they discreetly carried her out of the inn. Upon reaching Grimmauld Place, Ron unlocked the door of Number 12.

         “Get the door,” Harry barked, struggling under the weight of a limp form that he couldn’t see. Ron quickly found the day’s transporting closet, and the boys squeezed inside with Jackie supported precariously between them. Ron selected a portkey to a shed in the Blacks’ yard, and the stuffy closet whirled into a stuffy garden shed. When they had sufficiently regained their balance, they propped Jackie up against some sacks of potting soil. Harry quickly revived her.

         “What in the world?!” Jackie shrieked, leaping up.

         “Morning, sunshine,” Harry laughed, catching her from behind as she reeled from the rude awakening. “Tomorrow is Christmas.”

         “It is?”

         “Yup,” Ron said. “And you’re coming with us.”

         “I don’t wanna!” Jackie whined as Ron opened the doors to the sight of the far-flung manor. She whistled appreciatively as they stepped into the crisp December air. “This place never changes.”

         “Is that good or bad?” Harry asked as he helped her up the front steps.

         “Good. I’ve only seen the place a couple times, but it sure holds up to memory.”

         “I’m glad you think fondly of it. We’re used to it being dark and dirty.”

         “That’s sad. It never was a happy place, but it did used to be beautiful.”

         “OH. MY. WORD.”

         They snapped toward the balcony above. Cassi Garner stared open-mouthed down at them. Lupin walked through the doorway behind her just in time to be deafened by ecstatic screams from both women. Cassi vaulted over the railing and landed lightly in front of Jackie. Jackie threw her arms around the assistant professor and jumped up and down with her. Gripping the railing tightly, Lupin could only stare.

         “This is what happens when you pick the wrong pleasure,” Harry called up to him. “Come down and say hello, professor.”

         Lupin chose the stairs, but he arrived as quickly as he could. “Jackie?”

         Jackie’s eyes widened and she stopped squealing. “Goodness, is that you, Remus? You look awful.”

         “Thank you,” Lupin said dryly. “It’s nice to see you too.”

         “I’m just kidding, Rem,” Jackie laughed, hugging him. “I knew it would happen. I just missed it in action.”

         “We thought you were dead!” Cassi said, still bouncing in place. “What happened? How did you get here?”

         Jackie explained her story while Harry and Ron headed up to where the rest of the populace was preparing for Christmas. The girls were wrapping presents, and Ginny immediately got up to hug Harry.

         “Welcome back,” she smiled. “Did she get here all right?”

         “Yes, she’s being attacked by Cassi and Lupin right now,” Harry replied with a mischievous grin. “What are they doing here?”

         “A whole bunch of our guests for tomorrow are spending the night tonight,” Hermione informed him, looking puzzled at the almost-fake frown Ron was projecting in her direction. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

         “Why don’t you ever get up to greet me?”

         Hermione rolled her eyes and got up. After hugging him, however, she bounced up to kiss him. Ron lowered his head to give her more of a fighting chance, and Ginny and Harry averted their gazes.

         “Get a room, you two!” Ginny exclaimed. “Honestly.”

         “Oh, come on,” Hermione teased. “You two have done the exact same thing.”

         “Well, we were drunk.”

         “Crap,” Harry murmured.

         “What?” Ginny asked, turning to look at him.

         “I forgot to bring my gifts with me. Leave some tissue for me, okay, Mione?”

         “Okay,” Hermione replied.

         Ginny chased him out the door. “Harry, wait! Can I come with you?”

         He paused to stare down at her. “Okay.”

         She tucked her arm through his and they stepped into the portal.

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