Harry of Halloween Town
05/17/10 - 1636 words
Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter (Rowling) or Nightmare Before Christmas (Burton).
AN: The bunny finally woke! Yes! -does happy dance-
"This is Halloween, this is Halloween," the little child hummed under his breath as his tiny fingers worked the soil. "Halloween, Halloween, Halloween..." If his Uncle could hear him he'd be under the stairs for sure but as it stood Uncle was at work and would not return until evening. Auntie was over at Mrs. Two's having tea and gossiping leaving Cousin over at Mr. Twelve's to play with his son. That left him all alone outside to work on the yard chores - nothing new.
Halloween was a special time for him. Voices that whispered to him from the dark of his cupboard became clear and crisp at the end of October. There was always one song sung at that time, ringing clear and crisp at midnight. Such a strange yet comforting song was the closest thing he had to a lullaby. It was nothing like those breathy diddies Auntie sung to Cousin at night but lively and spirited. If the lyrics were somewhat unpleasant well, he had no one to tell him so.
"Pumpkins scream in the dead of night."
He always wondered where this Halloween Town was but he had never found it in the four years he had searched. But this year...this year he was certain he would find his way to Halloween Town and then he could see the Pumpkin King in person.
Uncle never let him out on Halloween no matter how mad he was and Uncle was always mad around Halloween. But this Halloween was special in more ways then one. It was the first time he used his freakishness on purpose and the first Halloween he spent the night outside. It was also the first time Uncle really hit him. His eye purpled and swelled immediately and, if his eye was visible, turned bright red from burst blood vessels.
It was the only time in four years Auntie defended him. Auntie snatched his arm and dragged him away from Uncle into the kitchen where she put a bag of frozen peas against his eye.
"Hold that there boy and don't leave this seat," Auntie hissed. With a last glare, albeit weaker than normal, she stormed back into the living room where Uncle was. He learned a lot of new words and phrases in the next thirty minutes which he knew he could never repeat for fear of being severely punished.
Auntie shoved him out the door that evening, stuffing a raggedy little bag into his hands and glaring at him viciously until he trotted away into the flow of children and their parents. While at first he was desperately worried someone would question the bruise on his face and arm no one did. When he passed by a partially eaten zombie child he understood why no one commented, they thought it was just part of a costume. His heart felt tight and his tummy got squishy and he wasn't sure if he was relived or sad that no one inquired about his face. That feeling just got worse as he watched groups of laughing and screaming kids run around being watched over by their parents with indulgent patience in their eyes. How he wished…
Harry shook his head. He was six already! He didn't need to anyone look at him like that; he was a big boy and could weed, and garden, and cook, and use the vacuum and none of those other kids could. With that in mind he shoved the squishy feeling as deep down as he could and followed one of the groups of kids to the door of Number 9.
Keeping his head down and letting his hair hide his face, like he learned at home when the Dursley's said something mean and he didn't want them to know how much it hurt, he let the other children scream out "Trick or Treat!" to the door. Mrs. Nine opened the door dressed like a witch holding a cauldron full of candy. With a beaming grin she commented on how adorable the costumes were and went about dropping candy into various sacks, pails, and pumpkin heads. As Harry followed the group back to the street he grinned – Mrs. Nine never even noticed him! Halloween was even better than he always imagined it to be.
The little child dressed like a hobo did this many more times, always breaking off from one group to join another when they returned to the street. He followed the children across to Magnolia Crescent which most children without parents to guard them tended to avoid. This was for a very simple reason – a graveyard butted up against the last houses on the cul de sac. Those specific homes had huge privacy hedges planted cheek to jowl to block the depressing sight. After all, out of sight is out of mind as far as adults are concerned.
He made it most of the way down Magnolia Crescent before reality intruded on his wonderful fun.
Harry stopped dead in his tracks and craned his neck around. Two houses down on the sidewalk was a very round Superman. The screaming fit Dudley had to throw to get that particular costume still rung in his ears all these weeks later. A Royal Air Force pilot stood to Dudley's left, he was a new kid that had promptly fallen into Dudley's gang of bullies, and Piers Polkiss was on Dudley's right dressed as a ninja. The grin spreading across his cousin's fat face promised pain so Harry didn't stick around.
"You freak! Get back here!" Dudley shouted as the trio started chasing his much smaller cousin.
Harry ignored his cousin and kept running further down the cul de sac. Unlike his cousin who had to shove kids out of his way and made him slow down even more, Harry was small enough and fast enough to dodge the kids surrounding him. However, the further he came to the dead end the fewer children there were between him and Dudley until no more children dared to tread the haunted street.
Harry looked back only once to see his cousin's cronies gaining on him and didn't look back again, just ran even faster. His sneakers hit grass as he crossed the lawn at Number 14, Dudley's gang just steps behind him but he had a plan. He panted harshly, the air rubbing his throat raw and a stich building in his side but he just kept running, green eyes trained on the hedges just a few feet in front of him. A hand grabbing at the back of his shirt startled him and with a mighty lunge he dived into the hedges separating Magnolia Cresent from the cemetery.
With a wriggle and kick he managed to slip out of the hedges and onto the immaculate lawn of the cemetery. Bending over to catch his breath while his cousin tried to get through Harry grinned in triumph when he saw all the headstones. He would have no problems hiding from Dudley here.
"Boys and girls of every age, would you like to see something strange?"
Harry's head jerked up. Sighing on the wind, louder than he ever heard it before was his song! It twisted around him, tugging at his hair and clothes seeming to draw him further into the graveyard. He followed the singing wind without a second thought, trusting it to lead him safely.
"Come with us and you will see, this our town of Halloween."
His steps were unwavering, following the singing deeper and deeper, from the lush manicured lawn to the furthest corner where the grass was longer, the headstones older with the names long since worn away from the surface. Romanesque mausoleums with cracked pillars and crumbling foundations grew up from the ground reminding Harry of a poem Miss Kendrick had read to them in honor of Halloween before school let out.
"We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarely visible,
The cornice but a mound."
He had enjoyed the poem, even if most of the other children didn't. But he was a freak so no one was really surprised.
He wandered further still, humming along with the wind until it finally stopped at what looked to be both the biggest and oldest mausoleum of them all. Gargoyles stood sentinel at the four corners, looking outwards to ward off evil. Large vases will long dead flowers stood beside a dark doorway so dark it seemed a void in space. A section of the roof was caved in and the steps leading up to the doorway was missing chunks. One of the pillars holding up the front part of the roof had a crack running through the middle and the pillar had since settled more firmly along the line, not moving but the roof was no longer straight in the front. The wind stopped its playful guidance but the music still rang through the air, caressing his hopeful face. Now, after four years of searching ,he was finally going to see Halloween Town and nobody was around to stop him.
"In this town, we call home, everyone hail to the Pumpkin Song…"
Grinning widely, Harry carefully trod the steps until he stood on the threshold of the mausoleum. With a last glance back at all the tombstones and further, in his mind's eye, to Auntie and Uncle and Cousin Dudley, he stepped across the threshold singing his song in time with the echoing voices on the wind.
"Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back and scream like a banshee make you jump out of your skin. This is Halloween, everybody scream! Won't you please make way for a very special guy…."
You know the drill. Read, review, and tell me what you think. Thanks!
For those who follow my other stories:
APT is heading to the cat show next - not too much longer until he's human again.
SLK's bunny is being stubborn. I've got Harry into Konoha at least.
FSS is done except I'm really not happy with what I have and I don't want to put it up.
Nibbles has finally started moving again.