Disclaimer: You know discalimers are actual hard to write. It's more than just saying you don't own the characters in this fic (unless they are your creation) and you don't make any money from writing it. People exept something to make them smirk in the disclaimer, something that makes them shake their head in disbelieve. Oh well, what can I say... but I don't own the Harry Potter series and I don't make any money from this fic.
Bad Author's Notes: A long time ago I started this fic with a friend who used the pen name of Relle but due to problem Relle could no longer work on the fic. She has given me full control and right of the fic to me, therefore I am re-posting the fic under my name.
Behind the Trash Can
by Lady FoxFire
July 17, 2004
Officer Sean O'Connell strolled briskly down the quiet street, whistling cheerfully, as the small stores that lined both sides of the winding road began to close for the night. His shinny, highly polished shoes scuffed against the dusty pavement as he precariously wound his way around the puddles left from the April showers earlier that afternoon.
"Oi! Officer O'Connell, can you come here for a wee bit?" One of the shopkeepers shouted from across the street at him.
Glancing around, Officer O'Connell saw the short, slightly plump form of Joe, the owner of the Laughing Wizard—the most popular joke store in the area—waving at him madly.
With his brow furrowed slightly, he strode across the cobbled street, wondering what on earth was the matter. Straightening his cap, Sean sped up a little bit.
"What's a matter, Joe?" O'Connell asked, as he reached the old, amiable man.
"I... Well..." Joe said, running a wrinkled, work worn hand across his affable face. "Just come inside and see," he continued, stroking his dark bushy mustache before shuffling quickly into his store without beckoning the officer to follow.
Sean's frown deepened in concern and confusion as his eyebrows knitted together—he had never seen this normally jovial old man so upset before. Still perplexed at Joe's sudden change of character, Sean wearily accompanied the old shopkeeper inside.
Threading his way past piles of whoopee cushions, rows of fake vomit and an entire aisle devoted to rubber chickens, Joe slowly led Sean towards the back of his store.
The old shopkeeper paused in front of his office, resting a worn hand on the brass doorknob with a sigh. "In all my years in Edinburgh, I never expected to see this," he uttered softly, swinging the door open as he spoke.
They entered the office—a small yet comfortably furnished room. A large cluttered desk sat in the darkest corner, overflowing with mounds of paper and boxes. The metal cabinet stood beside this, brimming with more stacks of paper and a few of the newest pranks that had not been shelved yet. A few wooden chairs, littered with files, sat in front of the desk, beside a wilted houseplant desperately in need of water.
A small child sat quietly huddled in the middle of a small pool of water between the desk and cabinet, soaking wet due to the rain. The dripping water didn't seem to bother him, though, as the boy sat there perfectly still, staring off into space. Sean made his way around the desk to get a clearer view, and to his surprise saw a few bruises marking the boy's face, even as his black mop-top blocked them, almost, from view.
"I found him behind some bins earlier while I was chucking the litter out." Joe whispered as they stared at the small, seemingly catatonic child.
Sean nodded in understanding as he knelt down and peered into the child's eyes. "Hello there," he began. "Are you lost? Where are your mummy and daddy?" he asked kindly, not wanting to startle the poor boy.
Finally noticing the two men before him, the boy's emerald eyes widened as he took in O'Connell's uniform, his badge and the baton he carried on his belt. Suddenly he scrabbled back away from the two men even after his back was pressed firmly against the wall. "I'll be good. I'll be good. Please…" he whispered desperately to himself as he closed his eyes and slowly started to rock himself back and forth, drawing his arms around his knees.
Joe and Sean shared a look of concern and suppressed anger as they realized what was going on. "Damn parents, trying to scare their children into behaving by telling them that they'll be put into jail if they don't behave." Joe cursed softly, as he watched the child before them with sympathy.
Straightening up, Sean started to take off his uniform and belt. "Don't be afraid. Look, I'm not a policeman any more," he voiced gently a kind smile on his face. The smile widened as he saw the boy cautiously open his eyes from behind the parted fingers hiding his face. "My name is Sean. what's yours?"
"Boy, sir." the child whispered, peering at both men carefully.
Joe and Sean shared a confused glance. Frowning, Sean took a step closer and slowly sat down. "What did your mummy and daddy call you?"
The child blinked a couple of times as he thought. "Mummy and Daddy dead," the boy answered hastily. "Unc... Uncle Vern... they call me boy."