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Friends of yours?

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<Present day>

Hotch was sure that the man wasn't lying but he had a feeling that there was more to it than the green eyed man had let on. He was quite sure of it, he had seen the haunted look in the young man's eyes when he had spoken of innocent children. And for a moment, those piercing green eyes darkened and Hotch could tell that the man before him had seen man's depravity and the horrors of the earth.

"Looks like I owe you an apology and a heart-felt thank you." Hotch made sure to keep his voice light, giving no indication that he had caught the haunted look.


<10 minutes earlier>

He hadn't meant to, but what else was he to do when he saw his godson's new friend chasing a soccer ball onto the busy street? It had been all too easy to predict what would happen next.

Without a second thought, he had lunged after the child and with one swift motion scooped the child into his arms, puling him back to the safety of the curb. The grey pick-up truck which they had narrowly missed swerved dangerously and the driver gestured obscenely.

He had seen too many innocent children die and the vision of the boy stepping off the curb had made his chest seize up. It was only now that his heart had stopped racing, but the firm hand gripping his shoulder startled him once again.

Rather ungracefully, he stumbled around, coming face to face with a solidly built man in his early 40s perhaps. A stern man who happened to be the kid's father and whom still had a tight grip on his shoulder

"Errr… hi" his voice squeaky, sounding much like his 12 year old self. He inwardly winced as he saw the man's eyes narrow "I take it you're his father"

Harry watched as the man relaxed slightly as his grip on the boy's forearm loosened but he could practically taste the tension in the man. It was obvious that the man was armed, What in the world is with Americans and their guns?

When the man spoke it was the same type of silken authority that Snape had once projected "What are you doing with my son?"

Before he could say anything, the kid had made a beeline for his dad, burying his face in the man's leg "m sorry, 'twas my fault". The kid's voice was soft but both of them had heard.

"Explain" The tone was neutral but Harry had a feeling it was a demand rather than a request. He was also sure that the command was aimed at him rather than the remorseful child.

He swallowed once before spilling the whole tale.

Chapter Text

<Present Day>

"Looks like I owe you an apology and a heart-felt thank you." Hotch made sure to keep his voice light, giving no indication that he had caught the haunted look.

"Aaron Hotchner but call me Hotch, and this is Jack" he introduced himself and gestured to his son who was looking sheepishly at the ground.

"Harry" the man simply replied, shaking his hand.

No last name, that was certainly interesting. Either something to hide or perhaps a shameful past. He stored that little piece of information away.

"Well thank you Harry" and he meant it.

Harry didn't miss the subtle emphasis on his first name and he knew that the man had caught the significance of his omission.

"No worries, I couldn't let my godson's first friend in the states become road kill, could I?" he said lightly, hoping to diffuse the subtle tension.

He grinned when he saw Hotch's lips twitch in amusement. Mission accomplished.

"Theo" Jack piped up, excitement lighting up in his eyes at the mention of his new friend.

Theo, that was interesting, Teddy hadn't mentioned wanting to change his nickname. He made a mental note to talk to him about it.

"Yes, Theo and I actually just moved to America from England." he said, deciding to keep the story as close to the truth as he could.

Hotch nodded, the man was certainly intriguing. A mysterious last name, a move across the North Atlantic, and he seemed to be the sole guardian of his godson despite looking like he was still in college. The man was also clearly haunted. Yes, he was definitely intriguing.

He could have easily walked away, but his gut was telling him otherwise.

"Why don't you and your godson join us for lunch?" the man had practically saved his son's life, a decent lunch was the least that he could do.

"Can we have pizza?" Jack asked looking up hopefully

"That sounds wicked" Harry smiled, waving Teddy over before Hotch could berate his son for his rudeness.


They were seated in a quiet corner of the pizzeria, a place that Jack had described as "mad as".

"Do you like pizza?" Jack asked

"My mum made it once" Teddy said, his amber eyes momentarily sparkled with grief which he quickly wiped away.

Harry saw the warning look which Hotch shot his son and he was glad for it. It was still a touchy subject for Teddy.

"So do you like pizza, Mr. Harry?" Jack asked turning his attention to him

Harry smiled sadly "I've actually never tasted pizza." courtesy of the Dursleys he thought bitterly

"and none of that mister stuff, call me Harry"


<That night>

Hotch had tucked Jack to bed hours ago but he hadn't been able to fall asleep.

He was glad that he had gotten to spend the day with Jack, ever since the divorce, he hadn't spent too much time with his son because of his job and because Haley didn't feel like being flexible.

The rest of the meal had gone by smoothly and the kids got along famously. The two adults had discovered that both Teddy and Jack would be starting first grade at the local elementary school together next week.

To be honest, Hotch was surprised that they had gotten along so well. People tended to be either intimidated by his stern persona or they quickly decided not to bother. Hotch liked the young man and was intrigued by his reluctance to talk of the past but then again, who was he to talk?

And there was something strange with the way he talked. At first he had put it down to the man's English accent but when he thought about it, something about the way he phrased things bugged him.

Like when he had said "I've actually never tasted pizza", it was like he had been offered it but was not allowed to eat it. And what type of person has never tasted pizza?

Chapter Text

<The following week>

And what type of person has never tasted pizza?

Hotch hadn't called, not that he had expected him to. He had briefly considered calling Hotch but quickly dismissed the idea.

Today would be Theo's first day at school and they had agreed that he would be introduced as Theo rather than Teddy. When Harry had asked why, Theo had simply replied "it reminds of gran and I don't want to always be sad".

The raw statement had twisted Harry's heart and to be frank he was terrified. Terrified of the past and terrified of the future. He didn't think he was equipped to look after himself let alone a 5 year old with emotional baggage. But he smiled enthusiastically when Theo had declared himself ready to go, with his shirt messily tucked into his short and peanut butter smeared over his cheek.

"Remember, you can't talk about magic" was Harry's last minute warning


Hotch had thankfully spotted the Englishman amongst the gaggle of gossiping housewives, he didn't fancy being stuck in their company. He nodded to the young man and quickly made his way his side.

"I've been meaning to call, Jack's been bugging me, but you know work, any minute, any day." he said flashing the young man a rare smile.

"no worries, what is it you do again?" Harry asked curiously

"FBI" Well if the stern mannerism didn't scare him off, this would do the trick.

And there was the signature response, eyes wide, semi-shifty.

But to his surprise, the young man simply nodded and turned to see where the children had disappeared off to.

The man was certainly strange, the declaration of FBI usually got one of two responses, they either high-tailed it out of there or they were interested, too interested.

The familiar sensation of his phone vibrating almost made him groan out loud. A mid-morning call to his cell on his day off was never a good sign. Never.

"Hotchner" his tone resigned.

"I'll be there in 25 minutes"

Snapping the phone shut, he turned to face Harry.

"Go" the man said with a light grin.

He flashed him a grateful smile and hurried towards his car.


Hotch wasn't surprised to see that he was the last to arrive. The team was huddled over Morgan's shoulder looking at something on a phone.Another victim of the infamous Derek Morgan charm no doubt

"How's Jack's first day" Reid asked spotting his boss.

"Good, he's got a friend in his class" he replied absently, flicking through the files that he had picked up on his way in.

"Did you know that 78% of all-"

Morgan groaned audibly and Reid promptly stuck his tongue out.

He looked up and rolled his eyes at the childish behaviour but didn't comment instead asking Garcia to run it.

It was a bad one, 5 bodies over 2 weeks. There was no doubt why the BAU would be called in. He could practically feel a headache coming on, and worse he had to figure out what he was going to do with Jack since Haley was still being difficult.

"Wheels up in thirty, Garcia a word" he announced dismissing the team to get everything together.

"Sir?" the bubbly tech analyst asked once the room had cleared out.

"I need you to find someone for me, first name Harry, last name unknown, came into the country from England last week with his godson Theo"

"yes sir, bossman" she replied, fingers already flying across her tablet.

"One Harrison Potter and godson Theodore Lupin arrived last Wednesday from London, pulling up their files now."

"and?"

"Harrison James Potter, born in 1980 to James Harold Potter and Lily Potter nee Evans. Both his parents were killed when Harry was just one, a domestic terrorist apparently. Custody subsequently transferred to Lily's sister, Petunia and husband Vernon Dursley. Several allegations of child abuse that never panned out. When Potter turned eleven he was invited to a private boarding school in Scotland, the same one both his parents attended. Then nothing until his recent move to the States. Oh the poor boy" Garcia finished with an exaggerated sigh.

"No criminal record?" he confirmed

"Not that I can find, which means that there isn't" Garcia nodded brightly

"Good, thank you" he picked up his go bag, satisfied with the result.

"Who is he? Sir?" Garcia asked curiously but he barely heard her as he had already flipped open his phone.

"Harry."

 

Chapter Text

<Some weeks later>

Harry had babysat Jack a couple times since the first day of school. Jack was a sweet kid and the boys had become fast friends, irredeemably inseparable. At times, the duo reminded him of the Weasley twins, mischievous, cheeky and full of energy. Nothing he couldn't handle, especially with the help of half a dose of calming draught.

Merlin, he loved magic.

He had met the BAU briefly one very early morning when he had picked up Jack from the FBI, after Hotch had been called to an emergency meeting. Jack had just had a nightmare and wouldn't let go of Hotch, so Hotch had just brought him to work. After that, he had become a regular visitor to the Hotch household, helping the man out when the BAU had a case or when Aaron had a buildup of paperwork that he had to finish, like now.

He could faintly hear voices from inside but when nobody came to the door, he let himself into the house. Hotch had given him a key after the fourth time he had had to pick up Jack, and now he followed the sound of voices to Hotch's study frowning.

Hotch had always been proud of his ability to keep an impassive face, even when he was shaking with rage inside. Right now, he was using every technique of compartmentalizing that he could think of. He had to handle this right, there wasn't any other choice.

"What's a faggy, daddy?" Jack had asked innocently.

His head had snapped up, blinking rapidly in shock.

He had noticed that Jack had been acting oddly recently but he had put it down to adjusting to school-life. But now this, even though Jack had phrased the question innocently enough, he could tell that this remark had been gnawing at his son for a while now. What kind of person calls a 5 year old a fag?

He took a deep breath, regulating his breathing. "Who called you that?" he asked, and he was pleased to hear that his voice was even.

He watched as Jack shrugged and refused to meet his eye. The sight practically broke his heart, and Hotch gently placed his hand under Jack's chin and gently lifted his face so that he was meeting his son's eye. Jack quickly looked away.

"Look at me Jack, faggy is not a nice word and your classmate should not call anybody that."

Jack's eyes watered "Adam said I was faggy because Theo was holding my hand"

"Listen to me Jack, there is nothing wrong with holding Theo's hand. It's a very nice thing to do." His voice was gentle but inside, he was seething.

"But why did he say I was faggy? Adam said that bad boys were gay and faggy and that they liked it up the ass. He said that it was unnatural. But I'm not bad am I? Miss Dunham always says I'm good then she gave Adam detention" Jack asked, now sobbing quietly.

Hotch was frankly shocked at the other boy's homophobia and hatred, it was clearly conditioned and taught to him. But he couldn't help but wonder if Adam would become a psychopath, an unsub that he would one day have to chase down and lock up, occupational hazard he mused. "No sweetheart, you're a good boy but it doesn't matter because there is nothing wrong with liking other boys, okay?"

Jack peered up at him through his fringe, still sobbing "But how do you know? Maybe I'm bad and unnatural?"

Hotch was quietly despairing, he hadn't a clue how to handle these situations. He was both shocked and relieved to hear the next line.

"Because I am" the new voice startled both father and son.

"Mr. Harry! Where's Theo!" squeaked Jack, suddenly shy and embarrassed, "because you're what?"

"Harry!" Hotch said.

Hotch watched as Harry chuckled lightly, "because I'm gay, unless you're calling me bad and unnatural, eh Jack?" the man said shooting his son a challenging wink.

Hotch stared, pleased with the way the young man had handled himself. He wasn't exactly shocked, he had guessed a while back, but judging by the look on Theo's face, it was news to him.

"Ofcourse not, but…" Jack said, still wiping at his cheeks.

"But nothing, there's nothing wrong with being gay.

Jack meekly nodded.

Chapter Text

<A week later>

The conversation with Harry and Jack the last week was somewhat of a catalyst for the development of his own feelings. The thought of themhad made him flush, and soon after found his renown concentration shattered by tantalizing thoughts. Which explained why he was sitting in his study surrounded by paperwork, obsessing.

The first time he noticed, Hotch dismissed it, citing his over imaginative mind due to working too hard. But by the time the second and third time came around, Hotch couldn't deny his growing attraction to the younger man. Frankly he didn't know what to do with his feelings, Haley had been his first love and back then marriage was forever. She had been it for him, literary his one and only. He hadn't even considered looking at a another woman, let alone a man about 20 years his junior.

Intellectually he knew that human sexuality was dynamic but he had never really put too much thought into his sexuality. But what did it matter, just because Harry was gay or bisexual didn't mean he was interested.

He let his head hit the desk.

The small giggle from the desk-side cabinet drew his attention, lifting the cover revealed a giggling Jack who informed him that he was 'working the case'.

It wasn't the first time he had found Jack there despite Hotch's initial objections about Jack in his office, he had way too many grisly crime scene photos lying around. But he knew that Jack sometimes felt abandoned in favour of his work, especially after the divorce, so he tried to indulge him.


<Later that night>

Harry once again found himself in the FBI building to pick up Jack, the BAU had apparently caught a urgent case. The conference room looked as it had the last time he were here, once again Jack was sound asleep, his head laying gently across Hotch's lap.

He gave a wave to the team and shot Hotch a quick smile which Hotch returned, "bad case?" he asked.

Prentiss snorted, Morgan scoffed, JJ frowned and Reid kept reading his file.

"You could say that" Rossi said with a hint of dark amusement.

"There's been a string of murders and rapes, the local cops hadn't been able to connect them due to multiple jurisdictions and the connection was only made when a promising journalist broke the story." supplied Hotch.

Harry cringed, it was too similar to the death eater MO.

"Oh it gets worse", Garcia added catching the grimace, "some of the incidents were reported to have happened coincidentally despite occurring on different coasts."

Harry frowned, "how do you know it's the same guy?"

Reid looked up from the file, "because they all have the same phrase carved into their back- 'dear order of phoenix'.

Chapter Text

Hotch was worried, he didn't need to see the tell-tale widening of the eyes, and the odd gasp of 'dear merlin' to know that the young man was on edge. Gently but firmly he pushed him into a chair, and Harry melted bonelessly into the chair, smiling graciously when JJ handed him a plastic cup of water.

There was no doubt that Harry recognized the strange phrase and Hotch needed that information, yesterday. Aaron, the concerned friend in him wanted to do nothing more than to comfort the man but Hotch, the SAC in him recognized the urgency of the situation. Despite the logic of the need, Hotch didn't think he could go through with it.

Surprisingly it was Reid who spoke up "Dear order of phoenix? What does it mean?" Hotch shot him a grateful look and mentally noted to give the man a raise. Apparently the young genius was far better at taking social cues than the team gave him credit for.

Hotch didn't miss the flinch but chose to not comment, instead concentrating on the answers at hand and filing that little tidbit away for later.

"The Order of Phoenix, it's a… a vigilante organization in England that fought alongside the monarchy during war."

"Whoa whoa, back up kid, what war are we talking here?" Morgan asked holding up his hands.

Harry grimaced, "domestic war in England, terrorists fixated on blood status."

"How did we not hear about this?" Reid frowned voicing Hotch's own concerns.

Harry shrugged ruefully, "the government tried keeping it hush-hush so as to not spread panic."

"So the real question is, why are they here now?" Rossi mused

Hotch watched as Harry blushed, and while intellectually he knew that this was most definitely not the time, physically he could do nothing against the uncomfortable tightening of his pants.

"Err, well actually, I think that would be my fault." Harry mumbled.

"Your fault?" Prentiss asked, disbelief scrawled across her face, an expression that was no doubt mirrored in all their faces.

Harry shifted uncomfortably and ducked his head, "Tom Riddle and his death eaters…"

"The terrorist" he confirmed at their puzzled looks, "they were obsessed with the eradication of those whom they perceived to have an inferior blood status, anyway they were merciless, killing anybody who got in their way. My parents…"

Harry took a deep breath and held it before releasing it in a quiet whoosh.

"My parents were cops and they errr, well they got in the way"

There was a collective intake of breath which awoke the previously sleeping Jack.

Rossi confirmed that he'd fill him in later and Hotch gave the group an apologetic look before leading Jack outside so that he could call Jessica.


Harry waited until Jack was out of earshot before continuing "He tried to kill me but I guess something stopped him. Don't get me wrong, it had nothing to do with the fact that I was a baby, Riddle was merciless."

Rossi snorted, "real nice guy, Riddle."

Harry cracked a small smile, "anyway, Riddle was hurt and went into hiding but he haunted me both in my dreams and in real life. He attacked my friends, my school, anybody in his way basically. And the more he couldn't kill me, the more obsessed he became."

"So 'dear order of phoenix' is him taunting you?" Morgan asked.

Harry groaned but nodded, "I became a figurehead, both to the death eaters and the order. A reminder of Riddle's failures and a symbol of hope."

Harry watched Reid analyze the information, Reid who pulled the same think face that Hermione did. The thought released some internal gateway and he staggered under the weight of his memories and guilt. Memories of a childhood that was too quickly taken away, and guilt, so much guilt, he hadn't done anything to prevent their death. He had been so stupid, so so stupid.

"Any other confrontations we're going to need to know about? We can do a more thorough briefing on the jet" Rossi's voice cut into his usual self-deprecating thought-process.

Harry snorted disdainfully before doing a quick run-through, Quirrell, the chamber, the graveyard, the ministry, Dumbledore's death and the 3 years of training with Snape. Then ofcourse his abduction, Voldemort's demise and the uproar afterwards.

The team stared at the unobtrusive meek man who sometimes looks after Jack. Harry shrugged back at them.

"You're practically a war veteran at 25" JJ gaped

"24 actually" Harry grinned shooting JJ a quick wink "and they tried to knight me too" he chuckled.

"A knightship" Garcia gaped, "that wasn't on your file"

Harry to his credit, didn't look put-off that Garcia had checked his file, rather he expected as much the first time Hotch had called for him to babysit Jack "Yeah, well that's because I declined it."

Chapter Text

"A knightship" Garcia gaped, "that wasn't on your file"

Harry to his credit, didn't look put-off that Garcia had checked his file, rather he expected as much the first time Hotch had called for him to babysit Jack "Yeah, well that's because I declined it."

Harry excused himself from the still-gaping members of the BAU, sans Hotch who hadn't returned from taking Jack to Jess and Haley's, he could fill him in once he contacted Kingsley's people.

Merlin, everything was so fucked up, he had never intended for anyone else to find out about his dark days, let alone the torture at the hands of Voldemort, even if it was the muggle-friendly version. Honestly, he didn't think he could hide it from Aaron, as the SAC, he was bound to find out at least some of it.

40 minutes later, Harry ushered the party from the ministry to the conference room, which would be acting as the base of operations.

He cleared his throat and quickly introduced the small group, "Guys, this is Kingsley Shacklebolt, minister for defence, Bill Weasley, head of the Order of Phoenix and Sherlock Holmes, ministry consultant and resident expert on everything."

He was pleased to see the group, he had worked closely with them and trusted them with his life.

The BAU quickly introduced themselves, and Harry was amused to note the evaluating look that was exchanged between Reid and Sherlock.

As Harry had expected, Hotch was sworn to secrecy and privately brought up to speed including the basic details of the magical chronology of events. To Hotch's credit, he didn't immediately call him out for his omission, instead sparing him a look that clearly screamed We are going to have a serious talk after this.


Frankly Hotch didn't know what to do or even where they stood, this certainly wasn't a "normal" case, not even by BAU standards. But his team needed his head in this despite his head having different ideas, mostly a toss-up between yelling at Harry and comforting the poor man. He sighed, he'd think about that later, he had a job to do.

"Reid, Holmes, start a geographic profile, it's a long shot but see if you can distinguish a pattern."

He watched as the two geniuses got to work.

"Morgan, Prentiss, Rossi, take Kingsley too, I want you at the crime scenes, Garcia can book your flights"

"I am so over this bossman" Garcia quipped and he gave her a token glare.

"Weasley, Potter you'll be working with our tech analyst to narrow down on the unsub, JJ and I will liaise with the LEOs"

That done, everybody promptly got to work with their assigned tasks and Hotch heaved a slight sigh of relief.


They'd reassembled in the conference room mid-morning, everybody sported matching dark shadows under their eyes and they'd all made a dash for the coffee machine.

"So what do we know?" Hotch asked, the coffee already working into his system.

"Morgan checked in earlier, he said that the writing was carved ante mortem, most likely with a ritualistic dagger. There's also electrical burns and lacerations generally around the chest area. More disturbing are the teeth marks and the traces of saliva. It's not human. And the degree of violence is escalating, he's devolving" JJ answered without even looking up from her case-file.

"He? I don't think we can rule out anything at this point" Reid asked

"I agree, most likely this is a small but powerful resistance movement, a group effort" Kingsley frowned

"How can you tell?" Hotch asked, he agreed with the statement but he had wanted to see the thought process.

Before Kingsley could respond, Sherlock cut in "Oh it's obvious isn't it?"

When nobody responded, Aaron watched on in amusement as the man gave a dramatic little sigh, "Terrorist work in cells so members are only given the information necessary to their mission, it also ensures that there is always somebody to take over the job. This group is no different, they have an agenda and a plan to pursue it. This current group has 3 members- the one in charge, who doesn't care what happens to the victim, so long as the message is clear, the muscle who is in charge of the torture and staging of the bodies."

"And the third guy?" Kingsley asked

"Ahhh, now that's an interesting chap, the other two don't care for this one, but they enjoy the dehumanization. This fellow is teeth and saliva" Sherlock mused

"How do you know that the others don't like the third unsub?" Hotch asked, even though he had worked it out.

Sherlock gave him an appraising stare, "the bite marks are done post-mortem which tells me"

"Which tell you that the third unsub's enjoyment is secondary, the fact that the others allowed this to happen tells us that they enjoy the depravity, the reduction of the human being." finished Reid nodding.

Chapter Text

Harry was sure that the third unsub was Fenir Greyback and he was willing to bet that the first unsub was Bellatrix. She had always been fond of dramatics and carving messages into victims was so… Bellatrix, even now the scars on his back and stomach from her particular brand of torture hadn't faded.

He shared a knowing look with Kingsley who nodded bleakly.

Hotch listened to Harry's suspicions and nodded thoughtfully, "any thoughts on the second unsub?"

"Could be any number of people" Bill said, "odds are Malfoy Snr, or one of the Lestrange brothers."

Hotch watched quietly as the 4 wizards argued, he still couldn't quite believe that this was happening, the murders sure, he had seen enough depravity to believe that, but magic?


The investigation dragged on fruitlessly, Strauss wanted to reassign them, the media was hounding them, dragging their name through the mud, and the taskforce helplessly watched as the body count hit 10 and then 12 and then 15.

On the seventh day, the break room had started to reek of smoke from Sherlock's cigarettes.

On the eighth day, Reid had depleted the sugar in the break room and had angrily walked to the local grocery store, returning with a economy-sized bag of sugar and coffee.

On the eleventh day, Morgan dented a locker.

On the fourteenth day, Prentiss got into a screaming match with the phone operator who refused to release the private flight manifestos.

According to their timeline, the next murder wasn't to take place until Monday. Hotch had sent them all home on Saturday night and in no uncertain terms told them not to return until Monday morning.


<Sunday>

Years ago Hotch had told Gideon "I'm a hero until my key hits my front door, and then I'm just the father and the husband who is never there. I know that I have to be as good as I can, as fast as I can. Because any minute the phone is going to ring and my time is up." (Ashes and Dust S02E19)

And he had meant it, fate seemed to conspire against him somehow and at the most inopportune moments the dreaded phone would ring. Like now.

"Hotchner."

"I'll be there in 30 minutes."

It was with practiced efficiency that Hotch managed to pick up Harry and Theo before dropping the kids off at the LaMontagne-Jareau residence, where JJ had offered to stay behind and babysit. He glared at the road as he drove, he wanted nothing more than to just fall apart but he knew that he would keep it together, at least until this was resolved. After that, all bets were off.

He could feel the worried glances that Harry kept shooting him, and selfishly he didn't want to expand, wanted to protect him with ignorance. But professionally, he knew he had to brief him, and as always the professional side won.

"3 unsubs, identified as Greyback, Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange have taken a dormitory hostage at a local boarding school for the gifted and talented."

He watched as Harry's face turned deathly pale before he visibly clenched his jaw and set a mask of livid determination. Hotch barely recognized him and he found it increasingly difficult to reconcile the image of Harry playing with Jack and Theo and this Harry.