So this is my story haven't written in a while, so if its rough, I apologize! Unfortunately, I do not own newsies, although I wish I did, I do own the characters of my creation. AKA those you do not recognize from the movie. Duh.
Harp Clemanico was sitting on a very large boat with a very large stomachache in the month of May in 1900. She was headed from her town of Gaeta, Italy to New York City, not an uncommon site in those days. She was crowded in with not only the loud mouthed people she was grouped in with, called Italians, but with the other poor immigrants; more Irish and Polish than anything. She sat as she looked unto the deep water, where she was going, what she was doing and how she was doing it.
Many people knew no one in this strange new land, and Harp was grateful she did. Well, she sort of did. Her Uncle Francisco and Aunt Isabel, whom Harp had known as a child, had lived in New York before being… in an "accident." They had had one son together, Ricardo Clemanico, and from what Harp had last heard, he still lived somewhere in Manhattan. She had sent a letter to the old address of her aunt and uncle for Ricardo, stating that she was coming to America and listed the time she would be getting in. Her and Ricardo had played until he was seven and she was five, then they moved. All she had left of him was a picture of them on the docks of Gaeta together; her chunky, bucktoothed, and uni-browed, and him scrawny, greasy haired, and laughing. They had been good friends, but as the years melted into one another, they hadn't talked since he had left her.
She shivered in the air, but not from the cold, as she remembered her own family. Papa had always had a problem with gambling, and getting in to the wrong crowds. Mama tried not to show how badly they were off, but Harp and her older sister Gata, would be woken by their angry screaming matches.
They had all tried to fight together, to survive. At fifteen, Gata had been married to an Italian Navy man. They income they had made from that was spent in months, and Gata would never be seen again, as they were stationed off the coast of South Africa. Harp remembered crying for days, as she was only eight when it had happened. The family of Gitano was definitely the bad side of town. They were the mafia in small towns all over Italy. They were like cockroaches; easy to get, and impossible to get rid of. They decided one day, Papa wasn't any good anymore. They came in at night, and instead of saving himself, he left quietly, a kiss, a letter, and his heart for Harp, and as he tried to do the same for Mama… She couldn't live without him. She went with him. The Gitano family left that night with a promise to come back the next night to get both Mama and Papa. They had people stationed all around the house to make sure they didn't leave.
That day for preparation was a sad one. Mama made her favorite meals, got out all of the money, the things she was saving for Harp as she grew up while Papa played with her and sang Harp songs on his guitar. They told her not to be scared, that everything would be okay. If she never saw them again, she would know how much they loved her, but they had to leave. Harp didn't fuss, only wept quietly as the family got her belongings together. She was going to go live with her neighbor, Old Nana Gropa. With the final kiss that night, Mama and Papa left with the Gitano family.
Harp had counted to 50, and as fast as her eleven year old feet would carry her, she ran behind the only car in Gaeta- the Gitano's car. She ran all the way past the shops, the men, the bars, to the pier. She heard two splashes and prayed for Mary to give her strength as she carried on her family's name. Harp snuck quietly on the ground as she slashed the rich tires on the car. As the Gitano men laughed and joked on the pier, Harp took rocks from the ground and filled up the pipes that glared so openly at her. She scratched off the paint with her little pre-teen nails Mama had rubbed with spicy herbs so she wouldn't bite anymore. Harp slowly walked backwards with the biggest rock she could find, said another prayer, and said aloud, "For Mama and Papa." She threw the rock into the windshield and flew back into the alleyways and catacombs of her Gaeta. The men never knew who it was. Or that is what she thought, and told herself for the next four years…
The next years had been hard, but Harp had kept up. Living with Nana had been different, but she loved the woman and learned many things from her. She had learned to cook incredibly well, to sew, to clean and how to make herself look presentable, she had also gotten a very good education, by the old woman and her scholar friends from Rome. Nana Gropa had even sent her to Rome for a week to meet with her old professors. Everything went downhill from that trip because Nana had started to get sick. She died two nights after Harp's fifteenth birthday, gave her all of the money she had left (which was quite alot), and told her she was beautiful. She had gone from fat, awkward preteen to beautiful teen. And she had yet to figure that out, even after Nana's words.
"Land, ho! We will arrive in two hours!" The Irish boatman yelled with a grin. Harp said a prayer of thanks as they pulled up to Ellis Island. Harp passed the test, got on the ferry with her trunk in hand, and stepped off, hoping the boy she played with in her youth would be there.