High places had become their sanctuaries. Harry loved being up high and the eyes of cameras and the world were generally sparse higher up which gave him free reign over using his magic. Parker just loved being on top of the world and free falling down to earth occasionally (though she generally had some kind of plan and security to stop her before she became a pancake on the ground).
They were sitting on top of the Empire State Building today, right on the spire and staring out across New York City. Harry had just finished filling in Parker on the events of the past two years that had kept him away from her. He had been fighting a war while she was running around pulling jobs and having fun. Then, to top it all off, he had been immediately drafted into his world's police force and had only just managed to get leave to return to her for a few weeks.
He had said he was free when he came back but it turned out he was only free for a little while. He would be pulled back.
Parker kicked her legs out into the abyss and let them fall back against the side of the building. "You could always become a thief."
"An Auror and a thief?" Harry huffed out a laugh. "How will that work?"
"No one looks for something hiding under their noses. Plus, you're one of the best, you won't get caught."
"You know, it might actually work. And I know precisely the person who I can ask to help keep the Ministry off my back. She's the one who helped me get out here. She cited Wrackspurts and even though they all think she's strange and making things up, they figured they can't take any risks with my health when they need me to save them from themselves."
"I like Luna," Parker commented, knowing who he was talking about from the stories he had told her.
Harry grinned. "She's awesome."
"I would've liked a Luna when I was bouncing around."
"Yeah?" His voice was soft, and she knew he had recognised the words for what they were.
"No one cared enough about me to be a Luna, they all wanted me for the benefit they got. Even the kids didn't care and a lot of them wanted to steal my stuff—they thought that because I was their new sister, it meant that they had a right to everything I owned. They didn't see the other side of it though. I started taking from them when they took from me.
"I got out of the system eventually, started striking out on my own and avoiding the good Samaritans that tried to bring me in and get me to a stable home. They don't realise that there are no stable homes in the system and that I was better off on my own. I could steal pretty well, but I got so much better when Archie showed me some tips."
She took a breath and didn't dare look at Harry. He was a line of silent warmth and comfort by her side and she knew he was listening intently. "Archie didn't try to keep me then. He just showed me some tips to keep me safer and warmer and then I followed him home. I thought I was stealthy but Archie knew I was following him. He left a plate of food on the kitchen table, locked everything up and then gestured to the food with a raised eyebrow."
Harry laughed a little at that—it was just like Archie to challenge a young thief to break into his home for a homecooked meal.
"I got in and ate and then the process repeated until he waited for me to come in one night and made me an offer. He'd take me under his wing and teach me all he knew and I would help him pull some heists. Even then I wasn't allowed anywhere near his family, as you know. He's our father, but we don't belong to his family. But he did bring me you and you're my family."
"Damn right I am. Just as you're mine, Pandora."
Parker finally looked at Harry, confusion on her face. "Pandora?"
Harry shrugged. "Pandora's Box, seems to suit after you just let out all the bad things and ended on a note of hope."
Parker snorted but couldn't help the warmth that came from being given a name from her brother. She had been Parker for so long that she hadn't even thought about being anyone else but now that Harry had given her another name, she found she kind of liked it. She was Archie's Parker and Harry's Pandora.
"So are you Sparrow?" she asked, not even trying to hide the laughter in her voice.
Harry grinned. "I think I prefer Snake, play into their fears about Slytherins and snakes being evil. But you, Pandora, can call me Sparrow if you want to."
Parker nodded. "Parker and Snake, Pandora and Sparrow. I like it."