Before he first got his letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry… before the snake spoke to him at the zoo… before his hair re-grew over night… before he understood what the crazy incidents in his life that made no sense was… Before his whole world changed…
There were other oddities in his life that didn’t really make sense.
Small things, that he didn’t really notice all that much. That is, of course, until the weird started to become normal.
His birthday and Christmas were of the days those oddities happen. On his birthday and Christmas day, since far back as he could remember, a raven followed him. Didn’t matter where or when (or the weather), it was always there. At first, it freaked him out… but after realizing that it did nothing to hurt him, he gradually forgot about it. It was always at the back of his mind, and he knew exactly where to look for it when he woke up in the morning. In the years to come at Hogwarts, it continued to appear. It might not have followed him inside the castle, but outside, it was never too far away from his sight.
He wasn’t too sure why, but knowing it was there, watching him, comforted him more than any of the cakes or presents he received from his friends and teachers. He liked to pretend that it had his parents’ spirits in it, letting them see him grow and be there for him on those days.
Sometimes, as a child before Hogwarts, when he went to the shops for his aunt there would be this beautiful woman waiting - black hair and eyes that matched his own. He liked to pretend it was his mother standing wait for him, despite the fact that he knew his real mother had red hair. But just for a moment, before reality sits in and she never speaks to him and never acknowledges him more than studying him as he shopped, he pretends that she is his mother.
Even at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, he swears he could see the woman with black hair and the eyes that matched his own. He doesn’t see her every time he goes, only on rare occasions. He only sees glimpses and he isn’t completely sure since every time he tries to catch sight of her again, she isn’t there. Neither Hermione nor Ron ever caught sight of her, and he stopped asking about it knowing they would worry about him, thinking she was a Death Eater. Deep down, he knew she wasn’t though. He would have been long dead if that was the case.
He both loved and hated going to the shops for his aunt or going to visit any shops in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. Loved seeing the woman, loved to pretend, but the reality crash hurt. He hated seeing the woman and hated to pretend. It became so hard to decide which he was feeling more, love or hate. It was a perfect stranger, it shouldn’t have mattered seeing her there… And yet it did.
He knew his parents were dead. He could dream a thousand dreams of them being spies and had to give him up to protect him or of them being lost at sea somewhere and they would all reunite one day. But in the end, he knew that James and Lily Potter were dead…
Nothing was going to change that.