I know...I know...I'm still not finished with 'Bad case of lovin' you'...and I discontinued my last Harry Potter story...but...TO HELL WITH IT!
It will be an experiment, you know? Everybody who might have read 'You can't be Sirius!' might like my new story, so maybe I'll send you readers out there a PM.
Linda is a muggleborn witch, who recently graduated from Hogwarts together with her best friend Cassandra - or Cassie as she prefers. For the moment Linda has no concrete plasn for her life; only goals on the road: Get a job, get married, have children and die peacefully of old age.
After she applied for a job as a researching assistent by a more or less famous wizard historian, she meets a little boy on holiday, who had been hiding in a hedge frightened and crying.
The boy in the hedge
It was late July in the year 1986. The summers heat still lingered in the dry air, although it had been already past nine o'clock and thick clouds started to cover the coming night sky.
A thunderstorm was announcing itself.
Not even the litllest corn of dust lingered on the pavement in this neighbourhood. Every grass stalk was proper trimmed on exactly one and a half inches. Not a single hedge owned a leaf out of place.
"This is ALL your faul!" The voices of two young women halled through the empty street.
"If we just had taken a port key or the knight bus or simply travelled by floo THIS would have never happened!"
"Cassie! Please!", hushed the other woman. "Don't forget we-"
"Oh you so do not need to remember me WHERE we are. Really! Out of the foolishest ideas you ever had this one topped everything!" The first woman gasped. "Really Linda! Why today! Why now?"
"B-But the taxi driver-" Linda looked guilty to the pavement as she pulled her trunk behind her.
"Oh, didn't ya' get it? That bastard scammed us! He drove purposely all around London, then out of it, and THEN into this godforsaken dump!" With an agitated stomp, Cassie rushed forward, leaving her slow friend behind.
"Please, calm down...I'm sure we reach the Inn in no time..."
"The hell I calm down. - Remind me to never ever listen to you again!" Cassie swirled around pointing her forefinger at Linda.
"NO BUTS! - I'm sick of this stupid muggle town!"
With trembling fingers Linda pulled of her tattered backpack and searched through it.
"I was so sure, I brought a map with me...", she mumbled. Meanwhile Cassie rubbed her temples, calming sightly down and then went over to her friend to help her.
"Ah! I got it!", cheered Linda, before she unfolded the piece of paper. "There!" She tipped with her forefinger at a red circle. There's the Inn...Now where are we..."
Cassie looked around for any street signs. "Look, theres a crossroad. Let's go..." Nodding Linda shouldered her backpack and grabbed her trunk. "Okay."
As they reached the streetsigns, Cassie let out a growl. "Wisteria Walk?"
"What?" Linda blinked. "It sounds lovely!"
"Please Linda...An alliteraition, that's so stuffy!"
"Shouldn't we concentrate on the map?!"
Together they searched over London's suburbs for the "Wisteria Walk", when a muffled, high pitched cry sounded out of the hedge beside him. Startled, Linda jumped almost against a lamp post.
"In the name of Circe...", breathed Cassie.
Linda was the first one to move towards the proper trimmed box tree. "H-Hello?" The next cry was louder, more defined. It was definately a child crying in that bush.
Gently, Linda pushed some branches away to glimpse inside the hedge. Sitting there was a little boy with pitch black hair, hugging his knees and crying misrealy.
"There's a little boy in there..." She stepped in the front yard and searched for the loophole, the boy had used to crawl into the hedge.
"Hey there...", hummed Linda after finding the hole and sticking her head through it. Now that she could have a better look at him, her eyes widened in shock. The boy wore an old, wide greyish – at least she hoped that it was grey and not once white - T-shirt, brown trousers and worn down pair of trainers. His left arm was covered in bruises, blood was smeared over his forehead and some of it had obviously dropped on his clothes.
What had happened to this poor boy?
"Are you allright?" Shaking, the boy looked up. He leaned further into the bush, trying to escape. "Hey..." Linda smiled warmly. „My name is Linda. What's your name?"
The boy sniffed. "Ha-Harry." With his tiny hands he wiped over his snotty nose and stared still scared over to her.
"So Harry...Would you like to come out of this hedge?"
The boy shook his head.
"Not even if I have some dinosaur plasters and chocolate?"
He seemed to think about it for a moment, but in the end the want for chocolate won. Carefully he followed Linda out of the hedge. When he spotted Cassie, Harry gasped in panic and hid behind Linda, who was still kneeing on the lawn.
"Don't worry, Harry. That's just Cassie..." Cassie smiled reassuring but didn't leave her spot next to her trunk. "She doesn't bite."
Linda opened her backpack to pull out the traveller's first aid kid she always carried around.
"First the plasters, then the chocolate, okay?!" Harry nodded dilingently.
As she cleaned Harry's forehead with a bit water and her pointed tissue, she asked him:
"So...why were you sitting in that hedge?"
"I...I was hinding..." Harry looked down to his feet.
"Hiding? From what?"
"Dudley...", he mumbled. Linda raised her eyebrow. "Is he your big brother?"
"No...he's my cou-cou-" He wrinkled his eyebrows.
"Your cousin?", asked Cassie. The boy nodded faintly.
Linda poured more water over the now bloody tissue and wringed it out. "You're a really brave boy, Harry!" Harry smiled weakly, looking shyly upt to her out of the corner of his eyes. "Really?", he asked slightly proud of himself.
"Ofcourse. - You know, when my brother once cut his finger with his pocket knife he started screaming and crying so loud, everybody in our neighbourhood thought he had chopped it actually off!" That let Harry grin slightly. His smile filled Linda's heart with a warm, fuzzy feeling. How could anybody do harm against this sweet little boy. Tears shot in her eyes, but when she pushed Harry's messy bangs aside, she froze. Right there on his forehead rested a lightningbolt shaped scar. For a moment Linda couldn't breath. What was Harry Potter, the boy who lived, the chosen one doing in a muggle neighbourhood bruised and beaten. Wouldn't his guardians choose a home, where he would be safe?
"...know...It's freaky..." Linda snapped out of her shock.
"My scar...", mumbled Harry and rubbed it with his fingertips. "Aunt 'Tunia says it's ugly."
"No, no...I don't think it's ugly."
Harry blinked surprised. "Really?"
"Really. - It looks...cool?!" Inwardly Linda could have kicked herself. The constant reminder of his parents murder shouldn't be cool. "I mean, who can say, that they have a scar, that looks exactly like a lightningbolt?" She said it loud enough for Cassie to hear. "Right, Cassie?" Linda turned around and faced Cassie with a paniked expression.
"...Uh...Yeah, it's totally awesome...", she replied with a slightly shaken voice.
Harry's grin spread from one ear to the other. "I like it too!" Linda turned back to him and picked a slim box out of the first aid kit.
"So, which one do you want to have? Red or yellow?" She showed him to plasters, one in deep red with dinosaurs and one in yellow with birds on it.
"The red one please." His grinn didn't disappear while Linda sticked the plaster over his small cut above his eyebrow.
"There...all done! - And now..." Harry's eyes practically glued to her hands, as she pulled a chocolate bar out of her backpack. "...your reward." She held it out to him.
For a short moment, Harry just stared down at the chocolate. Unbelieving to this deed, this gift. Then he slowly raised his dirty hand, let it linger only inches away from the bar and only after Linda held it nearer too him, he grabbed it.
Carefully, as if he was afraid to break it, he unwrapped it and stared at the brown sweet infont of him. He glimpsed up to Linda, who was still smiling reassuring down to him, and bit off a corner.
"Is it good?"
Harry nodded enthusiasticly, smiling wide and brightly, like child would do on christmas. Christmas...Did he even get presents on christmas? Was only the cousin so cruel or the guardians too? Did they beat him regulary or just this once? Ofcourse she couldn't ask him these questions. Or could she?
They let him eat his chocolate bar in silence, watched how he savoured every single bite on his little tongoue, so that this terrified and bullied boy could enjoy this rare moment of peace.
When he finally swallowed the last piece, Linda took the paper out of Harry's hands and pulled him on his feet. "So Harry, should we bring you home? It's pretty late you know?!"
The boy chewed on his bottom lip, calculating different scenarios in his head. In the end he nodded. "Okay."
He gladly took Linda's outstreged Hand and gripped it with all his might. The walked over to Cassie, Linda used her free hand do pull her trunk and began walking down the street.
"Where do you live Harry?", asked Cassie as they reached the crossroad between 'Magnolia Crescent' and 'Wisteria Walk'.
"Privet Drive number four..."
"You know the way?" Harry peeked up to Cassies tall frame and nodded. "Then lead the way!", chuckled Cassie.
As they walked down 'Magnolia Crescent' Harry's grip on Linda's hand gre tighter and tighter, when they passed the croosroad to 'Magnolia Road', Harry was practically glued to her legs. Linda had to be carefull not to stumble.
But when they reached 'Privet Drive', Haryy couldn't even move an inch.
"Shall I carry you?" Harry nodded faintly, as Linda wasted no time to scoope him up her arms. He was far to light for Linda's liking. She could feel his boney knees and elbows in her side and how his small head hid in her crook of the neck.
Without even asking, Cassie pulled Linda's trunk to her. Linda mouthed a 'thank you', to which Cassie only shook her head.
It wasn't long after, when they arrived the neat and proper hous of Private Drive No. 4. They left their trunks on the pavement, before they walked over the trimmed lawn to the front door.
Linda put Harry down as Cassie rang the door bell. Not a few moments later, the door opened and reavealed a tall and thin woman.
"Yes?", she asked with a sharp voice. Then her gaze fell down to Harry, who had cutched his little hands into Linda's yellow skirt. "You! What have you done this time?!"
Harry flinched, pressing his face against Linda's hip.
"Oh...he just got lost, Mrs.-" Linda glanced at the doorplate. „Dursley. We just helped him to find home." Mrs Dursley snorted scornfully.
"Please, he just tried to run away!" Wit her long, clawy hands she ripped the boy away from Linda and yanked him over the doorstep.
"Vernon!" ,shrieked Mrs Dursley. "He's back!" Someone cursed and ranted in a room farther,
but never came out.
"Come on, into the cupboard and no-" The door fell closed.
Linda and Cassie could only blink. They only heard Harry crying again and how a door was shut vehemently, but nothing more.
"Did she just say...cupboard?!", gasped Linda. She raised her hand and wanted to ring the door bell again, but Cassie stopped her.
"You can't do anything. These people are his guardians."
"But that doesn't mean they are allowed to treat him like that!" Desperately Linda shook her head. "We...We can't let him stay here..."
"I beg do differ, Linda. You can't let him stay there." Cassie stared at her for another moment right into her dark brown eyes, but then turned around to walk over to her suitcases.
"B-But Cassie-" Linda stumbled after her friend, trying to pull her back.
"Linda! - What do you plan?" Cassie snorted. "We've got no money, no home and no job! We are students through and through! No even one year out of Hogwarts and you already want to feed another mouth?! - You can't take in a boy like a lost puppie! Eventually he will have to go to school, need new clothes and stuff like that! - We are broke, Linda. Some people would consider us poor, did you know that? What could you give him that this people don't already?"
Without a warning Cassie took her wand out of her backpack and swayed it. Immedately the trunks shrunk to the sizes of puppet furniture.
"We're leaving this place, now!", barked Cassie.
Looking deafeated, Linda gave a last glance at 'Private Drive No. 4', before she tucked her own trunk into her backpack.
"I swear someday your kindheartness will bring us to the grave. - Now, let's just apparate to the 'Leaky Cauldron' and use the Floo Network." Linda swallowed. Apparently she hated both of these travelling modes.
After looking for any possible muggles, who could watch them, they disaparated with a loud CRACK!
End of the chapter
Well what do you think? Certanly better than my first try on a HP fanfiction^^
I'm currently without a beta, but if somebody is interested I can not only promise the hell of spelling mistakes and grammatic disfunctions, but also sneek peaks and confidential knowledge ;)
Thank you for reading!