Eyes on Me
Eyes on Me by Pseudonymous Entity
Summary: At five-years-old little Harry Potter experiences his first big accidental magic. One that drastically changes his worldview and the course of his life. The Harry that eventually arrives at Hogwarts is one shaped by his childhood experiences...and the darkness of a cupboard.
Warnings: I laugh in the face of 'cannon'. Other religions, cultures, races and sexualities exist. *shrug*
Character: Harry James Potter.
AN: Brace yourselves
Ever Yours, Pseu [Talented, Charming, Ridiculously Good Looking]
"I can't take back the bite this fruit was not meant for me
Deception and vice the finest I'd ever seen
But what I would do to be loved by you
You didn't ever care for me, You didn't ever care for me
You didn't ever care for me no
Now I'm sitting here wondering...why."
It was nearly three in the morning when his dad came home.
Jamie knew this because he'd been staring at the clock on his dresser for the last six hours.
It wasn't an unusual thing to come home to an empty house. His father was important with an important job that didn't conform to things like dinner time. Jamie knew that and he was used to that. He quite liked that his father was so important. Sure it was a little lonely but his dad tried to make it up to him. He always remembered Jamie's birthday and made sure there was food and snacks in the house when he wasn't home. Jamie never really wanted for anything and he was allowed to be alone because he could be trusted.
Father said so. He was nearly nine you see.
Jamie's neck twinged from the odd angle and his knuckles ached from his clenched fists. Quitely, Jamie snuck over to the door and out to the hall. He looked down the stairs and watched his father run his fingers through his messy hair. He placed his keys in the dish on the table by the door and stumbled to the couch. Shoes were kicked off and a briefcase left on the floor.
But Jamie wasn't stupid. He saw the ticket stubs beside the keys and smudge on his dad's left cheek. He'd been with her again.
Jamie went back to his room and flopped on his bed.
So it went the next week.
Apparently, he and that woman were on good terms again. Friendly terms. So Jamie walked home alone and unlocked the door with the key that hung on a chain around his neck. He unpacked his bookbag and dutifully set about finishing his homework at the kitchen table, eyes flickering over to the clock on the wall every so often. He picked up his work and put in carefully in his bag and set that by the door for the next morning.
There was a suspiciously football-shaped package on the shelf in the coat closet that Jamie would have pestered his father about if he was home. He did have a birthday coming up, after all.
Purposefully not thinking about why his father wasn't home or what he was doing instead, Jamie looked through the icebox and the cupboards and put together dinner. He knew where all the utensils were and he was tall enough now to reach the pots on his own without the little green stool he once used.
When it was ready he fixed himself a plate which he set on the table. The heating element was turned off and he scooped up the leftovers into resealable containers, labelled them and put them in the refrigerator. Jamie picked at his food, cleaned up the kitchen, ran himself a bath and put on his pyjamas. Ignoring the clock on his dresser Jamie read comic books and listened to the radio. His eyes throbbing, neck straining, throat tight. Until he heard the key in the lock downstairs, the door swinging open and his father walk in. He listed until he knew his father wouldn't be coming upstairs, then he turned over onto his stomach and willed himself to fall asleep.
Jamie decided he wasn't good at ordering himself to sleep. He must have looked pretty bad because Harry actually spoke unprompted at lunch.
His eyes dragged themselves across the table. "Hmm?"
Wide green eyes stared at him like they saw right through to his soul. "Are you alright, Jamie?"
He later supposed that was one good thing to come out of all of this. At least Harry was giving him a little attention now that he thought Jamie might fall over at any second. The small boy took to checking on Jamie between all of their classes and at the end of the day before Jamie walked home and Harry left for the library.
The thought of the library and who was waiting for Harry there put Jamie in a sour mood. It wasn't enough that that woman had to steal his father, did her son have to steal his friend too?
The next morning his father assured Jamie as they walked out the door that he could come with him on his next trip and that he hadn't forgotten his birthday was coming up. He gave Jamie a pat on the head and left. The football-shaped package was in the car as his father drove off and Jamie knew it was for Simon, not him.
Of course it was.
It was hard to focus in class. Or anywhere. He needed to get some sleep soon. He was worried all the time, about his father and where he was and whether he would really bring Jamie along this time. And then there was Simon. He was everywhere now! That was another thing. Simon and Harry. hough Jamie knew they spent time together after school neither of them ever talked at school. It made Jamie question his memory. Maybe they weren't as close as he thought?
Maybe he imagined it?
Jamie couldn't help the awful possessive ad mean feeling he got whenever he was around Harry now. Comparing the way he looked at Jamie with the way he looked at Simon. What was so great about Simon? A softer, quieter part of him wondered...what was wrong with Jamie?
Another week came and went and he'd be going on a trip with his father and everything else wouldn't seem important. That in mind, Jamie went to school with a lighter heart than he'd had for days. It didn't last. Nothing good ever seemed to.
This morning Harry agreed to play cards with Jamie until class started. With Jamie leaving the house early to avoid his father they'd managed to be a school at the same time. Jamie had only just managed to get Harry to start playing card games with him a few weeks ago. He was proud to point out he was the only one to get Harry to play any sort of game, even if it was just a card game and not sports. Harry never spent much attention on it and Jamie always won. Really he was just humouring Jamie, games weren't Harry's thing. But it was another way Jamie got Harry's attention all to himself. He couldn't put a name to why that was important, only that it felt like it was.
This morning however something unexpected happened. Harry won.
Dull green eyes stared at the cards and then up at Jamie, blinking in question. The silent language only Jamie bothered to learn.
He grinned. "Look at that Harry, you won!"
They played three more games before it was time for class. Harry actually paid attention, perhaps startled he'd managed to win, and in fact, won each game. Jamie's smile turned into a small frown. He felt...conflicted. On one hand, he was quite glad Harry was playing with him. Somehow though it seemed like just another thing Harry wouldn't find interesting about him anymore. And when had he learned? Did he always know and let Jamie win? Or...or had he learned from someone else?
Morning classes went pretty much as expected. Nothing terribly exciting happened. Lunch came. Jamie slid one of his sandwiches toward Harry only to find there was a small bento box already in front of him.
"What's that?" He asked.
Jamie didn't know for sure that Harry's home life wasn't the best but he did know for whatever reason his family didn't give him nice clothes or pack him a lunch. Maybe they were really poor or maybe he lived at a group home or something. Jamie didn't push. But he knew it wasn't nice wherever he lived, and that Harry never had lunch.
Harry gazed down a the lunch box as if just as confused as Jamie. His cheeks flushed.
It was a gift, Jamie guessed. He wanted to be pleased for Harry. He wanted to know who was giving him gifts a little bit more. Who else was with Harry when he wasn't with Jamie? Did he have a lot of other friends? Friends with moms who made nicer lunches than the sandwiches Jamie barely remembered to make in the morning? Other boys he knew well enough that they gave him things or made him laugh or played games with him?
Were they better than Jamie?
Jamie sat in the last class of the day, pensive. He kicked his legs, tapped his fingers, twisted in his chair and looked up at the clock.
He'd missed something. Somewhere something happened and he didn't know what it was and now nothing was going the way it was meant to. Harry still spoke to him. He asked if he was okay if Jamie slipped up and forgot not to look tired or accidentally wore the same shirt two days in a row because his dad hadn't been home to do the laundry and Jamie didn't how to do it. Harry still helped him study for the trip his dad promised to take him on and listened when Jamie spoke.
But something was different. In the way Harry held himself and the way he looked at people. Some internal change Jamie wasn't a part of and he didn't like it.
The next day came and went with the revelation Harry was a fast runner. Some other kids bribed Harry with a fizzy drink to get him to stand in for Kevin who was at home sick. They said all he had to do was take the ball and run to the end as quickly as he could. No one expected Harry to accept or even to be any good. But he was.
Harry was fast. Jamie whooped and cheered him on. The gym teacher pulled Harry aside and from Harry's uncomfortable smile and flushed cheeks, Jamie guessed it was a compliment. That wasn't so bad. Harry suddenly being popular with the sports kids. Jamie was a sports kid after all and he knew they'd soon grow bored with Harry when he didn't participate in their conversations and they realized he was more of a reader than a sports kids.
He'd have Harry all to himself again so he wasn't worried.
The end of the day came and the winner of the essay contest Jamie had nearly forgotten about was announced. It was Harry.
Watching Harry walked up to the front of the class to get his essay back head down and shoulders hunched because he hated attention, Jamie felt something somewhere inside of him snap like it was bending too far. He swallowed and stood from his feet when class was dismissed. Determined to at least look like he was pleased for Harry.
"Well done Harry." Said Jamie, stepping into the hall and clapping a careful hand to Harry's shoulder. Harry was odd about touch that way, you had to go slow. He pasted on a smile.
Jamie tried not to puff up at the relieved look that briefly flashed over Harry's face when he saw Jamie. Harry gave him a nod and shrugged his shoulders awkwardly. He wouldn't brag about it, Harry wasn't that sort of kid. He was really smart though and Jamie thought it was good that Harry bothered to do the essay even if he did beat Jamie out. The sour part of himself was shoved to the side for the moment.
"I was wondering-"
Jamie never got to finish his sentence. Their teacher and the principle brought Harry to the side and Jamie watched them talk to Harry about the testing required to advance a grade. He felt another little snap. If Harry went up a grade...would he still have time for Jamie? Would he meet older more interesting boys who could invite him over without worrying about whether their father was home or how they'd explain it if he wasn't?
Would he be in Simon's class?
Jamie followed after Harry in a rance. Barely aware of the students in the hall around him, going through the motions of putting his things away in his cubby. He followed Harry down the stairs and along the path by the sports field in a daze. It came back into focus and there was Harry on the ground and Jamie stood before him with his hands outstretched. Shock filtered through his system.
Had he done that? Harry's elbows and knees and bum were dirty with grass and mud. His eyes though were as dull as ever. More even.
That was the problem. As Jamie's hand shook a little and he tried to formulate an apology or an excuse. Harry regarded Jamie with confused, distant interest. Wondering why Jamie pushed him yet not terribly concerned about it.
Indifference, that's what it was. That's the way Harry used to be all the time before they became friends He'd looked straight through Jamie until then. Now here he was and Jamie could suddenly see that he didn't care as much whether Jamie liked him anymore. That was why he didn't ask Jamie questions about History anymore or sit next to Jamie with his book at break anymore.
He'd started moving on without Jamie, and Jamie hadn't even realized.
"It's not fair." The words came out in a strangled whisper.
He pushed Harry back down just as he was starting to get up shoes sliding in the muddy wet grass. He held tight to Harry's shoulder's and kept them on the ground. He didn't want Harry to leave. He wanted to talk about it. To explain, maybe.
He saw it then. A flicker of interest. Focus. So Jamie kept Harry there and just started yelling everything that was on his mind. Anything to keep his attention on Jamie. Anything to keep him there with him. One person in his life could stay, couldn't they? One person could choose Jamie.
It was stupid. Entirely the wrong way to go about it. This wasn't the way he should be having the conversation. Jamie felt bad but more than that he felt -finally felt- seen. And Jamie needed to be seen even if it was for all the wrong reasons.
"Look at me, Potter." A dark piece of him enjoyed Harry's flinch. He hated being addressed by his surname. "You were lucky, you know. I got everyone to stop messing with you. I made sure you ate at lunch every day. It was me who noticed you when no one really saw you. How..." His breath floated up in the air. Jamie felt a shiver, it was getting cold despite the sun.
"How can you forget me so easily? How could you do it, Harry? You knew I wanted to win the essay contest. You didn't even care about it! Or about school or sports or card games. You never did. Why did you have to steal it all from me? And then...and then..." His throat was tight and raw and it was hard to speak. "Why are you pulling away? I would have been happy for you. You could have told me you were entering the contest. That you knew how to play card games or run fast. You could have told me, Harry. Why are you leaving me behind? I d-don't...I don't understand..."
Harry's brows furrowed and something shadowy moved behind his dull eyes. Jamie still, watching. Would he say something? No. Harry, gently, put his hands up against Jamie's chest and moved him back until he could get to his feet. Jammie sat there on his knees, breathing heavy, eyes stinging. Harry turned away from him then as if he wasn't even there.
"Why am I doing this? Why do I hurt so bad?" Jamie's numb lips whispered. He sucked in a breath and glanced up. "Look at me, Harry. Please?"
The wind had kicked up at some point though Jamie hardly noticed it now. He struggled to his feet, staring after Harry. He felt sick. Jamie took a few steps forward, fear of being forgotten flittering through his heart, intent on coming up with some kind of apology. He took another step and then Harry sort of curled in on himself and dark clouds burst out of him Before Jamie could ask anything at all wind slammed into his back and his feet slid out from under him.
Jamie fell, hands out trying to brace himself. Something really did snap this time. Jamie used a swear he'd heard his dad use whenever he and that woman were mad at each other. Tears slid down his face and he blinked a whole bunch trying to see his wrist. It hurt bad. He tried to get up but it was too icy and slick and his feet kept threatening to slim from under him again.
Jamie paused and looked around. Ice was forming like sheets of glass over the mud and as the strange violent black cloud descended on him he saw frost twisting up the blades of grass, glittering in the sun...
"Never turn your back, better keep your eyes on me..." -Celine Dion
AN: Thoughts, Comments, Questions, Theories and Limericks always welcome
ANx2: We got another Jamie POV and a little more insight into his life. As Jamie is learning, our actions have consequences. Sometimes they're bigger than we anticipate.
Ever Yours, Pseu