"I see, I see. Don't worry, Shiki-san. You're a valuable client. I will be more than happy to help you. Yes, yes. I will see you at Narita Airport tomorrow. Bye-bye." Izaya smirked his trademark smirk as he ended the call with his Yakuza friend and client. "Well, well... This should be interesting... Namie-san!"
"What now, Izaya?" his secretary answered grumpily.
"Looks like Shiki-san has some trouble with the Italian and Turkish mafia in England. This could prove to be great fun! Ooooh, I've never been to London before! You can cover for me here, right, Namie-san?" he said and spun in his chair, placing his elbows on the desk, grinning widely.
His mind was already spinning with plans as his fingers ran over the keyboard of his laptop, gathering whatever information he could find on the various mafia groups that resided in London. Namie merely sighed and grumbled to herself, as she focused on how this was all for her brother. Besides... Izaya being out of her hair for a few weeks, if she was lucky, could only be a good thing. At least she didn't have to listen to his ranting and scheming for a while. She perked up when she realized that she might even find the time to visit her brother, Izaya needn't know...
"Oh, and Namie-san... No slacking off!" Izaya ordered, having her grumbling to herself again about his freakish ESP powers.
It was a cool summer night, Izaya was exploring the streets of London when he suddenly heard the sound of someone yelling and a child whimpering coming from one of the side streets. His ears perked up. Family in-fights were always something interesting, they displayed such intriguing human emotions. Izaya all but ran after the sound and was rewarded with the sight of a family that resembled more closely a walrus walrus than human beings – not counting the anorectic, horse-faced woman –, and the small child that was being yelled at.
'Well, well, well...' Izaya thought intrigued.
Based on how spoiled the little whale looked and how malnourished and downtrodden the smaller child in the too large clothes looked, Izaya smelled something far more intriguing than a mere family fight.
Was he a child from a different marriage?
Was he the result of the wife cheating on her husband?
Izaya stealthily followed after them, intending to figure out this mystery. Why were they all treating the child so poorly, and yet dragging him with them? The child was clearly used to this, so why was there no police stopping what was so obviously either downright abuse or horrible neglect? He smirked to himself as he pulled the hood over his head and brushed past them, nicking the man's wallet in the process.
"Terribly sorry," He said in his best imitation of an American accent.
It wasn't perfect, but he spoke English better than most Japanese. it was that damned rolling R-sound he just couldn't seem to get right.
He completely ignored it when they yelled at him about modern youth and rudeness. He flipped through the wallet and pocketed the few pounds in it, and more importantly, the credit card and driver's license. Now he had the means to find them. He hurried back to the hotel-room and his ever-present laptop.
Izaya had been watching this family for more than a weak now, and despite his detachment from humans as a general, he was becoming a bit disgusted with this family. With the whole neighbourhood, to be fair. How could they not notice the child being this skinny, while his uncle and cousin was clearly the size of small whales? Or the clothes? Or how the child was always working in the garden without adult supervision? Was this normal in England?
He decided he had seen enough and made what may perhaps have been a rash decision. Tho' if he did everything right, it would certainly prove amusing. He smirked, before schooling his face into a gentle smile as he approached the kid who was trimming the hedges of the garden with tools that no child he had ever known would be allowed to use.
Izaya smiled his best friendly smile, the one that usually always put those around him at ease. The child looked up at him hesitantly. Clearly the child – Harry, if his search of the school's records proved right – was less than trusting in adults...much as he hated to view himself as such.
"H-hi," Harry said, looking up at him with a tentative look in his big, green eyes. Izaya marvelled at how innocent the child managed to look and was already calculating the many ways he could make use of that.
"I couldn't help but notice how you seem to work in this garden, making it look so beautiful! Why…I've passed by here for quite a few times, and I've never even seen your parents help you at all. Is this all your work?" He asked, smiling benevolently at Harry, whom smiled tentatively up at the stranger with the strange accent.
He had never been praised for anything in his entire life, and he felt a warm glow that felt just...amazing! Harry looked up at the stranger with wonder in his eyes and nodded slightly.
"T-they're not my parents." Harry muttered, looking down.
"They're not? Is that why they make you do all the work while they sit around being lazy?" he wondered, sounding carefully curious, with a touch of sympathy.
Harry's eyes grew even wider. They...they DID, didn't they? They always, ALWAYS made HIM do all the work, and they never did anything themselves! But he had too...they gave him food, and clothes... he didn't want to be ungrateful... He bit his lip, unsure what to say, so Izaya continued talking.
"I've seen some cruel and unfair treatment of children, but those people...whatever they are to you...Why it's practically slave labour, isn't it?" Izaya said, carefully watching Harry's face as the realization dawned upon him and a horrified and scared expression came up on him.
"Oh, no, Sir!" He protested. "It's my aunt and uncle. And they're giving me food and clothes...and a cupboard to sleep in. It's much too good for a freak like me, I have to work hard so I'm not ungrateful!" Harry replied, looking around him in fear. What if his aunt and uncle heard it? They would surely punish him.
Izaya, of course, saw it all, and understood.
"Don't worry about them. I saw your cousin run down the street with a few friends half an hour ago, and the other two are out back in their sun-chairs. They won't hear us." He smiled down at Harry reassuringly.
Harry looked up at the man in shock. Had he read his mind? But magic wasn't real, so people couldn't read your mind, right? How did he know? Izaya merely smiled and handed him what appeared to be a ball of rice, but when he bit into it, he discovered that there was some kind of...raw fish...in the middle. And some kind of green liquid he explained was chilled Japanese tea. It was slightly bitter, but to Harry anything tasted like the gods nectar after only getting the occasional strip of burned bacon, or dry bread.
"Here. Take this. I bet working in this heath is draining, isn't it? You must be thirsty and hungry, yeah?" Izaya smiled as he saw Harry stare at him in disbelief, but grabbing the food presented with the eagerness of a starving child. Which, Izaya supposed, he most likely was.
Harry felt like he could cry. Nobody had EVER been so kind to him before! Why was this strange man so nice to him?! His hesitant suspicion didn't stop him from digging into his food, savouring the strangely addictive taste of something far better than anything he had ever tasted in his life.
Izaya had to hide a wicked smirk as he noticed the child's emotions written all over his face. This might go even faster than he expected. The child was entirely too trusting, and the abuse had made him susceptible to any and all kindness...he would have to change that. Make sure the child was loyal to him, and distrustful of everyone else. He pondered a bit while Harry finished eating, before taking the empty bottle, promising Harry he'd throw it away.
"Nobody has to know," he said with a wink, showing that he understood how bad Harry had it.
Harry felt an overflowing sense of gratitude, and he didn't even know the strange Asian man's name. Somehow that unsettled him a bit.
"W...why are you being so nice? You don't even know me." Harry questioned, looking away, worried he might have offended him.
"Because I love humans!" Izaya answered with a wide grin, which grew even wider as he noticed that Harry took that to mean that the stranger, for some unknown reason, must care about him! And the sneaking suspicion in the next moment, like it all might be a cruel joke. So Izaya continued.
"As for knowing each-other, well... My name is Izaya, Orihara Izaya." He paused a second. "I guess in England it would be Izaya Orihara, at your service!" He said and made a silly, flourishing bow that made Harry laugh. Izaya could almost see the child's level of trust in him go up by the minute. "And what's your name, child?" He asked, smiling at the young boy.
"I'm..." He hesitated for a moment, as if he was unsure. "Harry," he finally said, a slight spark of anger in his eyes as he remembered how his aunt had drilled it into his head before the first day of preschool. It was always just 'boy' and 'freak' to them.
Izaya held back a smile. Good. He was worried the child might be too broken to fight, but that spark of anger told him otherwise.
After that Izaya had excused himself but promised that he would come back and see him at a later time.
Harry spent a long time afterwards just staring after the stranger...Izaya...What a strange name. He smiled to himself as he remembered all those new, warm feelings in his chest that the stranger gave him. He would cherish those feelings forever he thought. No matter how much uncle Vernon screamed at him, or how much Dudley beat him up, they could never take those warm, cosy feelings away.
As he remembered his family, he froze with fear and hurried back to his work. He couldn't be seen slacking off, they'd punish him for sure!
Over the next few weeks Izaya made a habit to drop by Harry, who was always working in the garden, or being chased by Dudley. Izaya had already helped him hide from his cousin and was teaching him this...jumping-running thing he called Parkour. Harry was beyond himself with joy the first time he scaled a super-high fence, and his fat cousin couldn't even reach the top, much less climb over it. Izaya also always, ALWAYS brought Harry something new and delicious to eat!
Izaya also made sure to never be seen by the kid's family, or anyone else whom might tell them. He could be very patient when he wanted and would always find a time when Harry was entirely alone and unsupervised. He had noticed that the old cat-lady up the road seemed suspiciously interested in watching Harry, which irritated Izaya to no end. In the end, he called in a few favours he had earned while working in London's seedy underbelly and made sure she ended up in a hit-and-run accident. The car was found to be stolen, and somehow seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth afterwards.
Izaya was GOOD at gaining favours.
After a few weeks, Izaya gave Harry a small folding-knife, and taught him how to use it. Harry was a bit hesitant about hurting anyone at first, but Izaya was very good at rationalizing it. At the same time, he was also working on the child's psyche, instilling him with more and more anger and resentment towards his so-called family, while at the same time teaching him that blood and DNA meant nothing. It was clear that they didn't care, so why should he?
Which is how Harry ended up in this mess he was in now... He choked back a slightly hysterical laugh as he looked down on the three corpses on the ground, his knife dropping to the floor with a loud clanking noise.
Harry whimpered as he heard the creaking of the door, completely sure it was the police and that they were about to drag him off to jail. He laughed through his tears. It was like they always had told him; he was a no-good delinquent. He couldn't even remember what exactly had happened. He was so angry, and so scared, and he just…. He shook his head and sank to the floor, waiting for the cops to drag him away.
What he heard instead was the sound of slow clapping.
"My, my, my... Bravo! I didn't know you had it inn you!" Izaya's voice beamed with pride, booming in Harry's mind.
"Izaya!" Harry cried and ran to hug the man...or, rather, his legs. "I didn't mean to! I swear I didn't..." Harry started sobbing, barely even noticing that Izaya pulled up the phone to make a call, placing the other hand on Harry's head. Harry sank into his touch, still sobbing.
"Don't worry, Harry. You did nothing wrong. They deserved this, for treating you the way they did." Izaya sat himself down on the floor and hugged Harry close, patting his back. He didn't seem bothered at all that Harry was covered in blood, and it made Harry feel better. Accepted.
"B..but... K...ki-hilling is wrong." Harry sobbed as he clung to him, wishing Izaya could somehow make this all go away. Make it so it never had happened.
"Harry, look at me," Izaya said and pulled Harry's face up so he could look into Harry's eyes with his own his own, darkly reddish eyes.
"Morals are a human invention. As a great writer once said; 'There is no vice that has not once been considered a virtue, and no virtue that has not once been considered a vice.' Just because some people think something is wrong, doesn't mean it is. It all depends on the circumstances."
Harry stared up at Izaya, clinging to his every word as if it was the words of god himself. Desperate to make this bad feeling of guilt go away.
"R...really?" Harry asked, eyes wide. "B...but... the cops...Jail...," Harry stuttered.
"Don't worry. I'll take care of everything." Izaya smiled as the door opened and a small group of men in suits strolled in, putting large bags on the floor, and proceeding to put on body-suits.
"Come on, Harry. Let's get you washed up. When we're done, this will all be just a bad dream." Izaya smiled down at him like a benevolent deity and Harry followed him up the stairs to the bathroom.
"How would you like to come live with me, Harry?" Izaya smiled, as he washed Harry. Harry's eyes went wide.
"CAN I?" Harry almost jumped out of the bathtub to hug him, making Izaya wet in addition to bloody.
"Well... I've always wanted a son... And haven't you always wanted a dad?" Izaya said, knowing exactly how to play every single string of the human emotion. Harry could do nothing but hug him even tighter.
When they finally came downstairs again, everything was as spotless as if it never had happened. Izaya might see himself as a god, but for the first time ever, there was now someone whom looked up to Izaya like a god. Like someone whom made miracles happen...