Chapter 4: Takamachi Nanoha / Is This the Beginning of a New Friendship?
After the little lunch debacle, Harry was filling out some forms for work on the dining table while Hayate was watching TV again on the couch...some kid's program where a group of five people transformed into dinosaur themed costumed super heroes and fought...wicked lifeforms or something.
The things Muggles can come up with...
However, in between scenes, she would glance up and look at the clock for a bit.
What was she...oh right.
The Takamachis said that they would bring over their youngest daughter.
"Nervous?" he asked.
"Just a little..." the girl replied.
"I'm sure she'll be friendly."
Hayate just shifted in her seat and looked down.
Harry had a small inkling of why she was acting like this. She was most likely being self-conscious about being wheel-chair bound. You couldn't exactly play too many kids games when you're in one. Like football or tag or hide-and-seek...
It might be a good idea to invest in some board games or one of those newer home consoles that Muggles were fancying over these days. What was it called again? Playstation 2? Or was there a third one coming out soon? Or maybe a portable one. He should check out a game store sometime or maybe he'll get lucky and a commercial will show it.
The ringing of the doorbell followed by Hayate jumping in her seat alerted him to the arrival of the Takamachis as Hayate started fidgeting even more in her seat.
"Try to relax," Harry said as he got up and headed for the front door. "Yes? Potter/Yagami House."
"Mister Potter? It's Takamachi Shiro," came the reply. "It's Takamachi Shiro."
"Right, just a moment," Harry replied as he walked out the door to open the gate.
Shiro was standing there with a small pair of hands clinging onto his leg before a head of brown hair and blue eyes peers around them.
"Here we are," Shiro said as he wrapped an arm around the small girl shyly clinging onto his legs.
"Hello there," Harry greeted with what he hoped was a friendly smile. "What's your name?"
"...Nanoha..." the girl replied. "Takamachi Nanoha."
"Nice to meet you, Nanoha," Harry replied with a smile. "Did I say that right?" he added, looking up to Shiro with uncertainly.
"Perfect," Shiro replied, giving him an "OK" sign with his hand. "I also brought some papers for the local schools including Nanoha's."
"Oh, thank you," Harry replied. "Well, come on in."
Harry led the two of them back inside and noticed that Nanoha was looking around curiously.
Once they entered the living room, Harry called out to Hayate.
Hayate jumped slightly in her seat as she turned her wheelchair around.
"Ah..." Nanoha let out a small gasp but doesn't say anything else.
"H-hello," Hayate greeted them shyly. "I'm Yagami Hayate..."
Nanoha looked Hayate in the eye before taking a deep breath.
"Hello, Hayate-chan," she said with a bright smile on her face as she extended her hand out to her. "I'm Takamachi Nanoha. It's nice to meet you."
"Ah...yes, nice to meet you too, Nanoha-chan."
Hayate took Nanoha's hand the two of them shook hands.
"Okay Nanoha," Shiro said to his daughter. "Why don't you and Hayate-chan go out for some fresh air while I talk to Potter-san for a while."
"Okay!" Nanoha replied as she took Hayate's hands in her own. "Let's go, Hayate-chan."
"Ah...okay!" Hayate said as the two of them left with Nanoha walking to the side of Hayate.
"Be sure to stay in the yard," Harry called after them.
""Kay~"" The girls replied before exiting the house.
Harry blinked in confusion as he looked at Shiro.
"For what?" Harry asked, slightly confused. "If anything, I should be thanking you."
"Well," Shiro began as he scratched the back of his head. He seemed to think about it for a moment before shaking his head. "Well, never mind. Let's look over these pamphlets then shall we?"
Education in Japane seemed to be different than in England.
For starters, compulsory education only lasted until the third year of junior high, or Year Nine, and high school was completely optional. High Schools also had a thing called Entrance Exams that students had to take before they were even allowed to attend the school. Harry supposed they were like OWLS in a way that you only get to progress in learning if you can pass the minimum the system sets for you.
But that stuff was years ahead. He should be focusing on the here and now.
There were two primary schools nearby that can be reached without having to take a train so Harry decided to enroll Hayate in one of those.
His two choices were Kaisei Elementary or Seishou Elementary.
Both of them were relatively the same distance from the house.
However, whereas Seishou was a public Escalator School, which allowed students to move up from primary grades to secondary grades, without having to change schools or take the aforementioned Entrance Exams, Kaisei was a private school that required students to take the Exams to move up, but would definitely look good on transcripts.
"Neither schools have elevators though, huh..." Harry sighed as he looked between the pictures of the two schools.
"Well, you wouldn't have to worry about that for the First Year," Shiro replied. "Both schools have their First Year classes on the ground floor. Next year though..."
Harry wondered how much it would cost to pay a school to install an elevator...without Shiro wondering if something was up.
Well, hopefully Hayate will be able to walk again by that time.
"Well...I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there," Harry muttered as he rubbed his eyes. "I might as well just pick one of these for now."
"If it will help you choose, Nanoha goes to Seishou," Shiro said with a smile. "It might be better if Hayate had a friend as soon as she transferred in, wouldn't it?"
"That's...certainly true..." Harry nodded.
He wouldn't know what he would have done if he didn't have Ron for a friend during his First Year at Hogwarts. If Hayate was able to make friends with Nanoha, it would certainly be good for her and stave off some of his worries.
Great...not two days and he was already feeling like Molly Weasley.
"I guess it would be better to let her have a say in it as well," Harry finally decided. And by decided, he meant pushing it onto Hayate. But still, it was far better to have her input in what was going to be her new school after all.
"Fair enough," Shiro nodded as Harry gathered up all the papers.
"Right. Thanks for helping me out with this. I really appreciate it."
"It's no problem. I would like it if Hayate-chan and Nanoha became friends though."
"It doesn't take much to become friends," Harry said, thinking about his first meeting with Ron as the two men stood up. "You just need a friendly first meeting."
Shiro just nodded as Harry walked him to the front door.
...And promptly dropped all the papers he was carrying at the sight.
Nanoha was standing on the back of Hayate's wheelchair as they were speeding around in the yard, clearly unaware that the adults were watching them.
The two men gaped at the sight before turning toward each other.
"I'm..." Shirou begins, clearly about to begin apologizing for Nanoha's behavior but Harry cuts him off before he can get a word out.
"No, it's fine," Harry says, taking a quick look at Hayate's face, taking in her bright smile. "It's good that they're having fun, right?"
Shiro opened his mouth to respond only for a screech and a crashing noise to cut him off this time, causing both men to whirl around and immediately rush out.
"Okay...whose bright idea was this?" Uncle Harry asked.
Hayate and Nanoha were sitting on the couch in the living room with Uncle Harry and Nanoha's dad standing in front of them, looking very unhappy with the situation.
The two of them had hit a small snag in the dirt, causing the wheelchair to tip over and land on its side. Luckily, neither of them were hurt...too badly...but they did have a few deep cuts and scrapes from hitting the stone path.
Uncle Harry had ran upstairs and brought down something that he called a strange bottle of...something yellow and bubbly, saying that it was an old family recipe that was good for healing cuts before soaking it in some bandages and wrapping it around one of her larger cuts, causing a sharp painful sting before a cool relief spread through her knee before helping Mr. Takamachi do the same for Nanoha.
Once their cuts were taken care of, both men turned from worried adults to very, very disappointed and very angry adults.
"Well?" Mr. Takamachi asked as well.
"It...was me..." Hayate said.
"Mine..." Nanoha admitted.
Both girls spoke up at the same time before looking at each other in surprise.
"No it was mine!
"It wasn't Hayate-chan's fault!"
A small smirk broke through Uncle Harry's disappointed face as his eyes turned toward Mr. Takamachi...who was far less amused.
"Nanoha, we'll talk more at home," he said to Nanoha. As the girl lowered her head, he turned to Uncle Harry. "Again, sorry for this, and thanks for helping with her cuts."
"It okay," Uncle Harry replied back. "You want a bottle? I have a few...don't try to find out what it made of."
"Nope...wait...are pickled tentacles illegal?"
Hayate and Nanoha's faces immediately went pale at the fact.
"That's...a joke...right?" Nanoha asked quickly.
"What? It illegal?"
"No it's not..." Nanoha's dad replied with a smile. "Come on, Nanoha."
Nanoha nodded as she stood up from the couch.
"Bye-bye, Hayate-chan," she said. "Let's play again tomorrow."
"Okay!" Hayate nodded with a smile.
"No wheelchair racing," Uncle Harry added quickly, causing Hayate to smile.
Once the Takamachis left, Hayate turned back to Uncle Harry.
"Are they really made with tentacles?" she asked.
"They are not made with octopus tentacles," the man replied.
Then it had to be a joke...but then why was Uncle Harry biting his lip like he was trying to keep himself from laughing?
He then brought a hand to his mouth and let out a small cough.
"Okay," he said as he sat down on the couch beside Hayate. "What happened?"
"Uuu...are you mad?" Hayate asked nervously.
"Mm...I'm not happy."
"I see..." Nanoha nodded as she and Hayate wandered around the yard. "So you moved to live with your uncle. I thought you moved in from outside the country."
"No, I just moved from the other side of town," Hayate replied.
"That's good then. You won't have too much trouble getting used to things then."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, it would be bad if you only knew how to speak English and suddenly had to move here, right? It would be tough on you and everyone."
Hayate realized that she was basically describing Uncle Harry even if she didn't know about it.
"Hayate-chan?" Nanoha asked as she turned over to Hayate who had suddenly stopped.
"Ah no, it's nothing," Hayate said quickly as she moved her chair forward. "What were you saying?"
"I was wondering if you were going to school here soon?"
That had been the last thing on Hayate's mind. By which she meant that she hadn't even thought about it at all. She had only just started her first year of elementary school a few months ago and already she had to leave to go to a new one due to the move...
"If you are, I hope you can come to my school!" Nanoha continued with a smile. "That way, you'll have a friend as soon as you join!"
"Yep," Nanoha nodded before turning back toward Hayate and looking a bit unsure of herself. "Umm...that is, if you want to be?"
"Sure!" Hayate replied a bit too quickly for her own tastes. "That sounds great!"
"Then, do you want me to show you around? Maybe after school tomorrow or during the weekend?"
"That would be nice."
It would be good to get some fresh air after being stuck inside for so long.
As they took a look around the garden, Nanoha pointed at a what looked like a shed standing conspicuously in the corner of the otherwise empty garden.
"What's that?" she asked.
"A shed?" Hayate offered, knowing that that was not what she meant.
"I meant the sign on it."
The two of them moved closer to the shed and glanced at the sign on the door. It seemed to have been quickly and hastily made by a single person rather than one of the ones you might find at a store. It was also written in English, telling Hayate who made it.
"K-keipu...aouto..." Nanoha tried reading the foreign words.
"You can read it?" Hayate asked in surprise.
"My dad, brother and sister speak English a lot so I asked them to teach me a bit," Nanoha admitted. "I'm still not really good at it though. I can read a bit, but that doesn't mean I understand what I read." She then turned back to the sign and read it over to herself a few more times. "I think this means we're not allowed to go inside though."
Nanoha then reached out toward the door handle and tried to open it. The door doesn't budge though.
"I guess you're right," Hayate nodded. "It makes you wonder what's inside, doesn't it?"
"Wouldn't it just be garden tools?" Nanoha asked, head tilting slightly to the right. "Like a lawnmower maybe?"
"But we don't have a lawn..."
Hayate indicated the mounds of dirt around them in place of proper grass. She supposed that it was a work in progress for Uncle Harry.
"Then maybe seeds and stuff?" Nanoha continues, not giving up.
"We could just ask?"
"But that's no fun!"
Hayate had no response to the smile Nanoha flashed her.
Eventually, they decided to move on as there didn't seem to be a way into the shed. The rest of the yard was still as barren as the back yard. There wasn't much to look at at the moment.
Nanoha seemed like a fun girl. She was energetic and friendly and didn't seem to care that Hayate was stuck in a wheelchair. She treated her...normally.
"Umm, do you mind if I ask you something about the chair?" Nanoha suddenly asked.
"How fast can it go?" she asks. "I've never seen one before."
"I don't know," Hayate replied. "I've always just moved it to keep up with Uncle Harry so...as fast as a person, maybe?"
"Can it go faster?"
An idea popped up in Hayate's head.
"Let's fine out."
Hayate looked up once she finished her story.
Uncle Harry was still sitting across from her, hand over his mouth to prop up his head.
"Are you mad?" she asked again.
"Because you and Nanoha got hurt," he replied. "I am not happy."
She lowered her head with a nod.
"So...no doing it again?"
"Because you found out how fast it can go?"
Hayate looked up and was surprised to see him smiling.
"Well?" he asked, still smiling. "How fast can it go?"
"I...I think we went as fast as a bicycle?"
"Good. Then no more reason to do it again, right?"
"Then that's it," he concludes with a clap of his hands before standing up.
Hayate stared as Uncle Harry moved around the sofas. Uncle Harry was a lot different than her parents. Her mother would have screamed herself hoarse while her father would have grounded her for a long time.
Uncle Harry just wanted her to promise that she wouldn't do it again.
She...wasn't sure she liked that.
Not that she wanted to be punished but it was still...
She looked back at Uncle Harry and saw that he had his arms folded and was thinking deeply.
"Is something wrong?" she asked as he looked back at her.
"Umm...how are you going to bathe?" he asked, looking slightly embarrassed.
In the end, Harry had gotten her a simple switch that she could press if she needed help inside the bathroom. There was no way he was going to go in with her or, god forbid, have Kreacher keep an eye on her.
That would just be uncomfortable on far too many levels.
He had also gone about waterproofing her wheelchair to make things just a tiny bit easier for her and there hadn't been too many complications and Hayate seemed to have gotten the hang of things fairly quickly. She was a good and fast learning girl.
The Takamachis have been very helpful and understanding as well. Nanoha has also been doing her part in making Hayate feel welcomed. He hadn't met the older children yet though since they seemed to be busy with their classes. Perhaps they had exams or something coming up?
In terms of meals, he had managed to get into a small routine. Quick and simple meals he could do when he couldn't rely on Kreacher due to Hayate always hanging around near the kitchen before mealtimes.
There were a few successes, but he couldn't help but wonder if Hayate would grow tired of eating western dishes. Hopefully Kreacher could find something simple, easy, and common enough to try making for breakfast.
If only he hadn't gotten lax about cooking in the last few years...meals for a bachelor living on his own were obviously not suited for a growing six year old girl.
Overall, Harry hoped he was doing a good job. Taking care of a kid was a lot harder that he had thought initially, and he was already wary about it even then. He had to give a hand to Molly Weasley, taking care of her own seven children and Harry himself on occasion.
Harry got up and walked to the sink to pour himself a drink when Kreacher suddenly appeared beside him, startling him and causing him to juggle his glass in his hand for a bit before catching it.
"Kreacher!" Harry hissed at the House Elf after heaving a sigh of relief.
"Kreacher is sorry Master!" Kreacher replied in a loud whisper. "Kreacher just wants Master to know that Kreacher thinks Kreacher found what Master wanted."
Kreacher held out a roll of parchment which Harry took after setting his glass down on the counter. Looking over the recipe, Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Is this it?" he asked, turning back to Kreacher who nodded. "A lot simpler than what I was expecting. Seems a bit much for a six year old to eat for breakfast though...I'll cut some of the extra ingredients out and see what happens then."
But for now, it's time for him to...
A small beeping rang out from his pocket and he was immediately in front of Hayate's door.
"Hayate?" he asked as he opened the door to find the girl huddled up underneath her covers and shaking. He walked over next to her bed and placed a hand on her shoulder, causing her to start as he gently says her name again, "Hayate."
"I'm sorry..." she muttered quietly, her voice barely a whisper. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
It was the third time that he found her like this.
"Shh...it's okay," he said, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her close as he takes the blanket off her head. "It's okay. Everything will be all right."
"I'm sorry...I'm sorry..."
He didn't know who she was apologizing to. It might just be him but he wasn't sure.
Finally, after about ten minutes or so, she stopped shaking.
"I'm sorry..." she repeated once more.
"It's okay," he repeated as well. "Nervous about school tomorrow?" he asks.
"A little," she nodded.
"Don't worry. You'll have Nanoha there. And if you think you're not ready, then we'll wait another few more days."
She shook her head at that.
"No...I want to go no matter what," she shook her head quickly. "If I don't...I think I'll never want to go..."
"Are you sure?" he asked and she responded with another nod. "All right then."
"You've gotten a lot better."
"Haha...thanks. By the way, did you want to buy lunch at school or shall I try to make something?"
"Make?" Hayate repeated, looking up at him with slightly bloodshot eyes.
"I got some recipes from someone," Harry replied. "Want to try them?"
"Um...then...onigiri?" came the reply after a moment of thought.
Onigiri, it was basically rice wrapped up in seaweed in a triangle-shape. He saw them from time to time in the nearby convenient store. It seems that they could both be plain with only some salt seasoning, or have some kind of fruit or meat inside.
"Would that be enough?"
He remembered that he didn't eat much when he was her age, even less than that mostly because of the Dursleys, but he certainly wouldn't complain about having a bit more.
Did girls just eat less than guys?
Hermione certainly ate a lot less than Ron during their first year at Hogwarts.
But then again...pretty much everyone ate less than Ron...
"Then...a hamburger as well?" Hayate added shyly.
"Ah, not the one with bread. It's...umm..."
"Oh! I know it."
He saw a recipe in the list that Kreacher got for him. The Japanese hamburger reminded him more of a Salisbury steak than the sandwich hamburger he was more familiar with.
"I'll do my best," Harry said with a thumbs up. "But just in case, I'll give you money to buy lunch too."
"I'll eat it no matter what!" Hayate insisted clenching her fists up in front her face. "I will!"
Harry simply smiled and rubbed her head before putting her back to bed.
After that, he returned to the kitchen where Kreacher had finished setting up all the tools and ingredients that was needed.
"Is Master's girl sleeping?" Kreacher asked as he looked out from the inside of a cupboard.
"Yeah, thanks for the set up," Harry nodded as he looked over the tools.
He would be heading to his new office in the morning after dropping off Hayate, and possibly Nanoha at school.
He'll have to make two lunches, one for him and one for Hayate, and then charm them to keep warm for the entire day.
He'll have up to two hours to practice do so if he wanted to get up on time. Any mistakes can just be vanished.
"Well, let's do our best from here on out," he muttered to himself as he rolled up his sleeves and began the cooking process.
Don't expect this to be happening again anytime soon.
This chapter has been worked on randomly and little by little over the months and there will most definitely be errors here and there.