Harry panted as he ran, the echoing footsteps of Dudley and his gang spurring him on to run faster. He knew that it was inevitable to be caught by them, but at least he could make them work for their beating. As he sprinted past the park, and into a surrounding neighborhood, an ear-piercing whistle caused him to freeze. Glancing behind him, Harry saw that they had stopped running as well. He looked around for the source of the sound and saw that it was a woman, probably around 154cm tall, running towards them. She seemingly ignored Harry and continued marching towards Dudley and his cronies.
“What are you doing?! You don’t chase after people who obviously don’t want anything to do with you! If I see you chasing other kids around here again, you will not like the consequences! Now, I want all of you to scram!” She stepped menacingly towards the group and they started to run. Harry quailed, not wanting to experience the wrath of the woman. Her hair had seemed to bristle with irritation when she was berating the other boys and he did not want to experience that.
The woman turned around, and her face softened. She no longer seemed intimidating and surprisingly squatted down to his height. “Are you ok love? You seem a bit battered.” Harry knew that some of his bruises from Vernon and Dudleys beatings were showing due to his running, but there was nothing he could do now that the woman had seen him.
“I’m ok Miss. I feel fine.” Harry tried to sound upbeat but failed miserably. The woman easily saw through his facade and frowned. “Well, you look like you could use a bit of a break anyway. I live just around the block, and I made too many cookies when I went on a baking spree this morning. Do you want to come help me finish them?” Harry frowned, but the woman seemed honest and didn't set off any warnings. He was starving; he hadn't eaten in three days and it seemed too hard to resist her offer. He jerkily nodded and she smiled. She stood up and offered him her hand. Harry was surprised that anyone would actually touch him willingly so he grabbed it without thinking.
The woman took her time walking, setting her pace to something that was comfortable to him. Harry was again shocked that she was being considerate but didn't let that show on his face. “My name’s Wren. My friend and I just moved over here from America around a month ago since she got accepted into a medical school in London. What’s your name?”
“My name’s Harry.” He said, answering her question.
“How old are you? My friend is 21 and I’m 22, she’s going to be turning 22 this year.” Wren asked, her head cocking slightly.
“I’m 7!” Harry responded, excitement leaking through his voice. Miss Wren was actually asking questions about him and deeming him important!
“Look’s like we’re here!” Harry stopped and looked at the house in front of him. It was a creamy yellow with white trim, and the front yard was covered in fruit trees and gardening boxes. There was a small car parked in the driveway, and the garage was open.
Another woman stuck her head out of the garage and her face brightened before becoming questioning. “I thought you were going on a walk. Back so soon?” Wren shook her head and then motioned to Harry. “Oh! Sorry, I’m a bit slow-“ Wren interrupted her “from all that work for the classes your taking. Why did you choose such an intense program?” The other woman rubbed the back of her head sheepishly and smiled. The woman then switched her eyes onto Harry and walked forward.
“Anyway, what’s your name? I’m sure that you must be pretty special if Wren decided to bring you over!” She beamed, her smile almost seeming to sparkle.
“My name’s Harry and she saved me from my cousin Dudley.” He said hesitantly. Her smile dropped back into normal levels and her eyes sharpened. The woman glanced at Wren before focusing back onto Harry.
“Well, my name’s Robin! Wren, did you bring him over for the cookies?” Wren nodded, still smiling as her friend worked on bringing the too small child out of his shell. “Come on in then! It’ll be a party! Wren, I’m gonna go set the table, do you want to give Harry a tour?” Without waiting for Wren’s approval, Robin rushed into the house. Wren gave an exasperated sigh but waved for Harry to come up the driveway to the garage.
“Sorry about Robin, she’s a bit hyper. She used to be worse but she’s been working on it. How do you feel about a grand tour?” Harry nodded, both of the women had been nothing but kind and he was actually looking forward to learning more about the strange pair who seemed like nobody else on Privet Drive. She walked into the garage, giving Harry a few moments to look around. It had been turned into a workshop, and had a workbench with power tools on one side of the room, while lots of wooden rectangles on the floor took up most of the space.
“Forgive the mess, we haven’t really cleaned up lately. I’m an artist and Robin is handy with her hands. Those frames on the floor are for me! I’m an artist and she makes me canvases for my art. Just take off your shoes and leave them by the door when you come inside.” She hit the button for the garage door to close and opened the door leading to the house once Harry had finished taking off his shoes.
Harry stepped into the hallway, not sure where to go. Wren stepped in behind him, laughing as she closed the door. The hallway had artwork spaced evenly along the walls and seemed bright and open. “Why don't I take you to my studio? I think you'll have fun looking around.” Harry nodded absently, still looking at all the art. There were a lot of landscapes of tree covered mountains, as well as painted scenes of city corners. Wren led him towards the right side of the house and into a large room, with a pair of gigantic windows facing the backyard. The room had easels set up, with paintings in different stages of completion. There was a chair by the door and a modeling couch in front of the windows. There was a long table covered in art supplies in the middle of the room, tubes of paint, scraps of fabric, and other bits and bobs. On the wall were all sorts of different black and white photos of people and exotic places. Harry walked over to look at the photos. There were photos of streets with signs in Chinese, crowds bustling through streets, animals in cages for sale as well as many others. Wren walked up behind him, looking at the photos as well.
Harry turned around to look at her. “Did you take these? They're all really, really good!” Wren laughed and shook her head. “No, those are Robin’s. She loves to take photos and develop them herself.” Harry looked at the hundreds of photos hung on the wall, awed. Robin’s voice shook him out of his trance, breaking the comfortable silence.
“Guys! I set everything up! Come to the dining room!” Wren smiled and offered Harry her hand. “I guess it’s time for those cookies I promised you. The kitchen’s the other way.” They walked down the hallway and into the dining room. It was simple, just a plain wood table with four chairs around it. There was a red table cloth and in the middle sat a plate full of tiny sandwiches. Surrounding it was plates of cookies, with a pot of tea and settings. Robin was bouncing on her toes over in the kitchen area, and waited for them to sit down before coming and sitting herself.
Harry was showered with attention, and slowly began to open up. He found out that Robin was in school to be a doctor, played the viola and traveled around the world for a year with Wren, volunteering their skills as a nurse in exchange for food or housing. Wren was an artist, a very good one. She had clients all over the world and actually had a few of her paintings in museums! Wren also was very good with languages and spoke six fluently; English, Spanish, German, French, Chinese, and Indonesian, with smatterings of others from countries that they had traveled through. She also sang very well, and had done street performances with Robin in the past to make money in the cities that they stayed in.
As Harry ate, savoring the first meal that he was allowed to eat in several days, Wren and Robin exchanged uneasy looks that Harry missed. Wren motioned her head towards the kitchen and Robin nodded. “Harry, I need to go grab something from the pantry while Wren is gonna make more tea. Are you ok with us leaving for a couple minutes?” Harry nodded, concentrating on the food, not seeing anything suspicious. Wren and Robin walked together into the kitchen where they held a hushed conversation.
“Robin, do you see the bruises on his arms? He said that he’s seven but he is way too small! The way that he’s eating, it’s just like those children in India!” Wren was upset but managed to keep her voice down. Robin nodded, uncharacteristically serious. “I think he trust’s you more Wren. If you could manage to let me give him an exam, I could try and help him. I would ask you to make potions but we don’t know if he’s magical. You know what happens to no-maj’s when they try! They die, and there’s nothing we can do.”
“Anyway, if it does turn out that he’s abused, I can pull some strings at the hospital to make sure that he doesn’t go back to his family. I could try and keep an eye on him if he goes into the system-“ Wren glared at Robin, eyes ablaze.
“You can’t put him in the system! You know what it’s like! He’ll only be hurt worse and have no support, nobody to care for him!” Robin’s eyes flashed with hurt but let Wren finish her piece.
“I know exactly what it’s like! But you know what happens when the government get’s involved. They take them into foster care and there’s nothing we could do about it…. Unless you're saying you want us to take him in?” Robin’s voice rose a pitch as she finished her statement.
“Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying we should do! I know the government could find out about our relationship but that’s a risk that I’m willing to take if it means saving him.” Wren spoke passionately, trying to get her friend, her girlfriend, to understand. “I know what I’ve said about taking care of kids in the past, but Harry, he’s different! Please Robin, if you love me, please help me with this.” Wren moved closer, hugging Robin. “Please, help me make sure he doesn't have to go through what you did.”
Robin stiffened, but relaxed as Wren didn't let go. Robin sighed and rested her chin on Wren’s shoulder as she returned the hug. “Ok Wren. I’ll help. But! How are we going to tell him about magic? I know we moved here to get away from the laws preventing you from dating me since I’m a no-maj, but how are we going to tell him?” Wren shrugged, grinning at her girlfriend. “We’ll figure that out as we go along!”
Robin slapped her palm to her face but followed Wren out of the kitchen, armed with more tea and biscuits. She loved Wren to death but sometimes she was too impulsive and Robin had to fix the mess she caused. It didn’t matter though; she would follow Wren into hell if needed, and into the hell that was the British bureaucracy she would go. She straightened up as she walked back into the dining room and smiled. This would definitely change their lives, and for the better.