Moments with Hanale Charday

New Beginnings

It's cold. So very cold. Licking his cracked lips the boy looks up at the grey sky. People hustle and bustle all around him. They wear thick clothing and have bright smiles. Sparkling lights cover all of the trees in the park and a huge iron structure dominates right over.

A-chu!

The boy wipes his nose off on his thin long sleeve. It's cold. He doesn't know where he is. He doesn't know who he is. The first thing he can remember is waking up in this strange place back when the leaves of the trees were reds and browns. Now the trees have no leaves. Such a strange place.

Standing the boy moves from his spot underneath the tree for an alleyway. Sitting behind a dumpster and arranging his cardboard boxes around him the little boy vanishes from the world again. He found this spot a while back, too many sunsets ago for him to remember. Both of the buildings on either side throw out a lot of food. Some of it tends to taste better than what he could find in other dumpsters but he's not picky.

Meow.

"Hi cat," his voice comes out soft and hoarse. He likes the cats –they might smell bad but their really, really warm. And they like him. Plus at least on some level he's not supposed to understand them. Not like the other humans whose words he sometimes gets and other times doesn't. Plus cats aren't as mean. The big man in his dreams is very mean. And he can understand him too…

"Freak!"

"I'm not a freak." The boy curls into a ball. Two more cats join the first. The city is lit a bright with thousands of small lights, the sun set long ago, and fresh Christmas snow brings joy to thousands. Tears run down the boy's face.

"Tell me your name boy! Tell me!"

"I don't know it, I don't know it!"

The crying gets worse. The world is already so blurry for the boy and now it is even more so. A pain erupts from his chest, it just wants it to stop.

"Hello?" A soft voice calls out. The boy doesn't notice. But the trio of cats do. Following their instincts they freeze, then pounce –leaving the boy behind in their state of flee. "Hello?"

Looking up, wet green eyes see a blurred image of an old lady, walking slowly but steadily with her filled cart. She limps and uses the cart to hold herself up right, not that the boy would notice in his hard gasps for air.

"Yes?" The boy calls out –not truly sure if the women actually sees him or not. It wouldn't be the first time. Sometimes people see him –then they don't. The boy doesn't understand why.

Setting her cart down across the thin alley from him, the old women's legs practically give out from under her as she attempts to sit slowly. "Child?" She calls out again in her native French. Lifting her arms out from under ragged and thin shawl her reaches out –her eye sight is even worse than the boy's –all she can understand is vague shapes that help her from running her cart into the various buildings, but even so she still loves to spend Christmas near the warm lights of the Eiffel tower.

Moving over the boy walks up to the older lady, "Yes?" He responses again.

"Sit. Sit, sweet child." She husks out before coughing heavily. "Are you lost…Paris? Lost…" the coughing take over again. In the shadows of the alley the boy cannot see the drops of blood. In her final hours the older lady whispers over and over again: "Lost? Paris?" until the boy fell asleep with her holding him close. It was warm.

When he woke up the next morning the boy saw the world for the first time coated in white. Separating himself from the older lady, who was now cold, the boy brushed off the snow that covers his clothing. Afterwards he brushes the snow off the other lady. In the morning sun he can make out her white hair and just as white skin. She's smiling and so, so cold.

Shaking her shoulders he realizes that the women is no longer breathing. A soft pang hurts his chest. Remembering the words she spoke in a language he cannot quite understand the boy speaks in French for the first time. "Lost. Paris. Lost. Paris. Paris." The word sounds pretty on his lips.

Smiling softly he whispers, "Bye," before leaving the alley. It seems to him while looking for breakfast he'll also need to find a new place to sleep, no doubt those strangely dressed adults will be all over the old alley once they find the lady.

Even so a smile seems to be on the boy's lips –a moment of kindness will spark him to do the same in several months' time, on the same day when he will tell an older girl his name is Paris.

AN: So this one is dark… I was just wondering how Harry would have survived at the very beginning since he has amnesia and is on the streets of Paris barely understanding the language. This story takes place around Christmas when Harry is five and about half a year before he meets Adriane in the first story.

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