It takes a few months for him to wrap his mind around it. One minute, he has nothing important to do besides dealing with the bundle of problems in his head. The next, Charles has found another one, and it’s not one of the nice situations that he sends one of the (far more sane) others to sort out. After that, it’s frantic and rushed and moving until he finds another scared child in another horrible place.
The others help as best as they can, but he is the shards of a young boy who had lost everything and no one can change that. As the weeks drag on, the mansion grows less cold, less quiet, less like the lab halls that trapped him for so long. Somehow, the shards come back together, and he is less angry, less hurt, less scared.
A year passes, and Erik finds a trail of damaged children following him around the mansion. The others snigger and call him Mother Duck. Erik doesn’t mind, though. The children are nice, quiet company. Slowly, Erik grows calmer and less war-torn. He’s unsure if it’s because of Charles reassuring him with telepathy or the other mutants showing him it was okay to be different or just the children giving him a reason to be not damaged.
He’s pretty sure it’s the children. They’re so innocent, even the most broken among them, that he just has to protect him. That’s what he does, day in and day out.
He is Erik Lehnsherr and he is a broken, broken man but he is getting better. Slowly but surely, Erik is healing. This is the story of how tiny hands put the shards of a metal-moving man shattered beyond repair.
It’s ironic, really, that he is the one who manipulates magnetism but they are the ones who pick up all the pins.