The past 16 years have been hard for Anne Cox. Not only had she gone through a divorce with her ex-husband, struggled with an unruly teenage daughter for a few years, and been the sole income earner, but she'd also had to cope with her mute son.
Although it seems as if he was a burden to her, he wasn't at all. If Anne had three wishes, she'd never wish to change her son in the slightest. Not for her benefit anyway. For his? Maybe she would.
She would never moan about it, or make herself out to be a victim of the lord's wrath; she just smiled and appreciated what she had.
It didn't matter that Harry couldn't speak; it didn't matter that he couldn't communicate with her; it didn't matter that she could never have that normal mother-son bond, because at least she had him.
She was massively proud of him, as she was of her daughter. Her two children meant the world to her, and she wouldn't have it any other way. Even when she met Robin and he became her husband, they always came first.
She realised something was wrong with Harry right from the beginning. Although she didn't know for sure, she could sense something, as any mother would be able to. His cries never reached higher than a whimper, his gargles sounded rough and wrong. Any sound peeping from the baby boy sounded painful and choked.
At first she passed it off as him being a quiet baby, thinking he was the opposite of his loud sister. But the niggle in the back of her mind scratched its way to the surface when the, then one year old, bumped his head and didn't let out a sound. His tears fell silently as he lay on the floor helpless, not alerting his mother who was rushing around try to help his sister get ready for school. When she found him, she immediately took him to the doctors, claiming it was for the bump to his head and secretly hiding that she wanted to find out the cause for his quietness.
When they told her what it was, after weeks of gruelling tests, she felt her heart break in two. She felt guilty that she hadn't done anything sooner; guilty that her child was mute and there was nothing she could do about it. It wasn't her fault; it was a hereditary disorder which was unknown to any of her family. But that didn't make it much better.
"He might grow out of it," the doctor claimed. "Harry can go through lots of training; we have schemes which have proved to be successful to remove the problem."
But they never worked. They just made it worse. When Harry started to make progress with his family relationships, he'd be sent for a day-long scheme to try and lure him out of his shell. When he returned though, he was deathly silent. He broke the eye contact he'd built since the last session; he stopped the sinking hugs; he suppressed the heart warming smiles; and he locked himself away. He locked himself in his room, and locked his emotions deep down. Things got better over time. To an outsider, they looked like a normal family. Harry smiled and laughed along with them sometimes, and Anne treasured those moments with her whole heart. She really wouldn't change him for anything.
Harry was perfect, and Anne just hoped that someone else would see past his frozen voice and love him more than anything else in the world.