Someone noticed… the woman who dragged a boy behind her like a pack mule, the man at the office who only spoke of one child when he had the taxes saying two. Someone noticed the little boy that limped, twisted, and cushioned himself from the bruises left by violent hands, the fear, and the abuse he took with steely reverence and razor wit. It took years, it took longer than it ever should have for someone to notice Harry James Potter.
The one who did, had him pointed out her by a tour guide. His sweat about the secrecy of magic spiking to a masculine musk that repelled her, the coffee shop so tightly packed with other customers -mostly other students and professors - she couldn’t escape it permeating into her clothing. He stage whispered, as if anyone would understand or care about what two particular scholars would be chatting about, the little boy there, trailing behind a family set, close enough to keep track but out of arms reach. She read up on the wizarding history of her new home country, but she really didn’t care about the passing life of a figure still in his early years portion of his history book. He deserved some space to experience his youth, something so often withheld from people of note. She didn't know a lot of things, he was sure to not know many things, he should be allowed that... its often not.
"Oh, does he study magic yet?" is all she responded.
"No, no, not yet that doesn't begin until year seven. Got some time yet-he does, not that he'll need much, eh?" the chicken wing nudge to her bicep wafted perspiration into her nostrils, ringing them dry and leaving them begging for a sneeze.
"Is there no help for young accidental magic? Primary schools equipped to handle that?" her voice raising a feathers' width from loud, scandal dripping from the spikes of judgment, like hot blood.
The man panicked, darted his eyes like he was a shitty double-O-seven, and she had blown their cover. She peered back at the boy, would exposure to magic early enough -like his- affect his accidental magic? Or even his magic in general?
OOH, now there's a research question!
His shoulders slumped into a giant question mark, a slightly distended stomach sticking to the front of his shirt, sloppily draped around him. He took quick steps, yet still fell behind, having to look in front with his head pointed at the ground, gravity pulling the bent, wiry frames of glasses that do not suit his face down and almost off his straight, but bumped nose. She suspected a nose fracture at the least, maybe broken but overlooked, like hers just after her 18th birthday.
"No, no, families can handle that, when non-magical parents get an explanation about their child attending Hogwarts is their introduction to the... new world."
"That seems irresponsible and risky for the statute of secrecy." she worked hard to raise her eyebrows as high on her forehead as possible, trying to act as comically as possible, push him to think about it beyond an explanation by the society that told him these rules.
She hopes his curiousity is piqued, but she sips the London fog tea mixture in her biodegradable cup thinking that might be the end of this conversation. She felt a stone fill her stomach, then empty out like she was emulating Harry's own reality.
Hunger, it was a reality for her at one point, sometimes she falls into it again, just as she falls into gluttony. Has he ever been gluttonous? as every child should at some point. Suddenly she saw every action of the quartet as dangerous, the swing of arms the snappy words, nails digging into flesh. Was this just her survivors brain? Honestly she didn't have enough time to truly unpack that, she was up and out of the vinyl seat with her bag swinging around her hips.
Hand reaching into her bag, "Apparentia" a business card being formed from the molecules around her fingers, held between the index and middle.
I want to help, I want to help, I want to help
hear me hear me hear me
She prayed, to powers that patronage was in thievery, love, mothering, protection.
The pace of her walk faltered into step for the drop, it was in the boys hands now.
Now was her penance for butting into something that doesn't have to be about her. Circling back to where she came from.
"What did you do?!?!" Jeffery was gripping the table as she sat back down.
"Just left a connection is all." as she used the warm sup to calm herself down again.
Harry didn't recognize the woman, he never recognized the people who came up to him oddly. She dressed normally, if a little alternative, but not the mismatch bomb that the odd people usually wore.
She said no words, and had bent around him just as he was bending around her in the crowded street. The Dursley's dragged him along with only the promise that being homeless would be worse.
The strange people prove that, with their wide smiles and the hands brushing his arms. There are worse things, he knows that it could be his reality if he leaves the Dursley's. If they think he's locked away, he can rest, not be on guard for attacks. What is a life with any more dangers than his beatings? He doesn't want to experience it, he can survive this.
The card merely said, Meave Dubhan in what could be a slightly bigger font that let the smaller type underneath go a little more unnoticed.
Rip up card, Put under wood.
He left the card on his pillow. For 3 days he stared this sliver of card stock before going to bed and waking up. What could he lose, nothing could get so bad that he could deal with it right?
He ripped it up.
Placed it under the floorboard beside his pillow.
He went about his day.