A World to belong to
A/N; I don't own anything from Harry Potter or from Final Fantasy VIII or any other concept included in this story that is recognisable.
Special announcement; I give partial credit to Shivani, who inspired me to write this story. To her goes points for the concept of Harry talking to Squall in this story. I would definitely suggest reading her HP/FFVIII crossover. Thanks go to her.
Warnings; This story is SLASH. Those not wishing to read a slash story please press back and find another author to browse from. Nonetheless my scenes aren't graphic and they are well labelled. If you're the type of person that crosses the road when two guys walk towards you holding hand please don't read this.
A/N2; This is AU in the Harry Potter world. I'll let you work out how...it's rather obvious.
Chapter 1; From everything to nothing
People do strange things when something they've dreamed about for their entire adult lives is taken away. Strange things, desperate things without any real thought as to the other parties involved. Not the child they seek to have and to love, nor to those hurt by the loss of that child. Their thoughts aren't flung out to those upon other worlds that grieve for the loss nor for the wrong they have committed. But then again can you really blame them for wanting a child of their own to love?
Centra – Orphanage
Harry laughed and hooked his right leg around Zell's shin before twisting with his entire weight sending both of the young five year old boys toppling sideways into the gentle waves of the ocean. Zell came up spluttering but laughed all the same before tackling Harry who had sat up with a grin on his face.
"Matron's going to kill you two!" Irvine yelled from the sand of the beach. All of them were down on the beach that day enjoying the first day of spring and the first day the rain had let up on the Centra continent.
"What's life without a bit of fun?" Harry yelled back from under Zell, his head only just clear of the water as he yelled his trademark phrase.
"If one of you drowns..." Quistis shook her head. She was the proper one of the children, slightly older than them but not as old as their older sister, Ellone.
"Let them drown each other." Seifer mused carelessly though he was clearly enjoying watching the fight as much as Irvine or even Squall who sat quietly watching it, an amused trace of a smile on his face.
Selphie was sitting next to Ellone, she was only four whereas Quistis was already six and Ellone was nine, the big sister to them all. Harry, Squall, Zell, Seifer and Irvine were all five with Harry being the youngest and probably the most integral. They all had problems together but Harry could easily say he didn't.
Ellone was the motherly one that Harry looked up to, Quistis was the bossy one that Harry liked to listen to, Seifer was arrogant but Harry didn't let that effect him even when he bullied the others, especially Zell, Squall was the quiet brooding one but that didn't bother Harry, Zell was the hyperactive one but Harry could match him in a moment like he was doing right now. Then there was Irvine who was the dreamer but Harry would just lie beside him staring up at the stars for an entire night and talk about where they'd one day go, and lastly Selphie who was always ready to laugh but always demanded that everybody got along and was like Harry's little sister that he always protected.
In truth Harry was probably closest to Squall and for as long as either of them could remember they'd never slept apart from one another.
"Boys!" Ellone finally had enough after Harry ended up with a mouthful of salty water. "Zell! Help him up."
Harry laughed and just pulled on Zell's offered hand sending him down over his shoulder and into the water. Harry burst from the water and ran to hide behind Irvine as Zell tried to chase him. This only started a rather long and drawn out play fight that only Ellone and Quistis avoided. This was Harry's family and he wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Not even for parents.
But sometimes things never worked out the way people wish them to. As night set on the first day of true spring a fire broke out in the rooms that the children lived in. The children fled out into the courtyard where Matron found them and calmed them down but in the confusion nobody had been able to keep track of everybody else and with dawning horror they searched for Harry throughout the rain filled night. Matron searched for two weeks in the land of Centra for Harry but eventually was forced to give up her search for the young boy that had run from the fires and out into the deserted wilderness of Centra never to return.
That was the start of a change that overcame the group. The sudden loss of their brother was like a permanent rain cloud hanging over the Orphanage. The sound of laughing and play fighting slowly vanished as the year went on until eventually Ellone left in the middle of the night with a group of visitors and then Quistis, Irvine, Zell and finally Selphie were adopted into families around the world.
With only two remaining boys, Matron had no choice but to close down their home and send Seifer and Squall somewhere else. As for Matron, she vanished without a trace as if the Orphanage and their little family had been little more than a dream that the loss of Harry had awakened them all from.
Harry ducked into the shadows of a door in the small village he lived in as the group of four Death Eaters passed down the middle of the street. He stayed silent though his hand didn't stray from the Katars at his sides. He was only nine and he couldn't take on four Death Eaters but if they tried anything he'd go down fighting. Or he'd put them down long enough to run. The advantages of his small stature was that he was very good at running and hiding.
His Katars had been a gift from his Sensei who had trained him to use them as an assassin but the man had been killed in a raid of a resistance hide out Harry had been hiding in at the time. They always seemed to want to find him and Harry could remember the first few months of his life here perfectly, just like he could remember his anger at being 'summoned' here from his actual home and then his sadness when he'd found out there was no return for him. This wasn't even his world.
The couple that had worked with Albus Dumbledore, when the old Wizard had still been alive, were called the Potters. Unable to have kids and responding to a prophecy that told of their child finally using powers unknown to this world to kill Voldemort, they had used magic that Harry couldn't copy to summon him from his home at the orphanage to this place. Away from his family, his brothers and sisters, his best friend Squall who still haunted his dreams every night, and into a world that he didn't like and where hoping to win was futile unless you were a Death Eater or Voldemort himself.
Granted the Potters had wanted to love him and raise him and he'd even liked them, when he wasn't trying to run away, but the rest of the resistance members simply wanted him as a weapon and Harry didn't like doing what people expected of him. So when Voldemort heard of his arrival he'd come to kill him. James Potter had died to protect his wife and Lily Potter had died to give Harry time to run. At barely six years old Harry had disappeared forever, he'd begun travelling Britain, finding help and shelter where he could but there was nowhere in Britain, America, Europe or Asia that you could hide for long against Voldemort.
Harry shook himself from his thoughts and seeing no Death Eater patrol he slipped along the street. He stopped in one of the grocery stores near the town hall in his newest home town and smiled sweetly at the old lady behind the cash register who groaned at seeing him.
"No fights this time, Zell." She warned him. "Not even if those boys pick on you. If you're not careful their fathers will decide your too disrespectful and you know what they'll do to you."
"I'm not scared." Harry, or Zell as far as this town knew, shrugged. He always used a different name and occasionally he used one of his brothers names, though he'd never used Squall's name. It was too strange for anybody in this world. Zell, Irvine and Seifer were all fine though. It was his way of coping with his displacement.
"You're not scared of the Death Eaters." She shook her head. "That's your problem, Zell. You'll get in trouble with it too one of these days."
Harry smiled at her softly and patted his sides, each outer leg from waist to knee was shielded with one of his reddish gold Katars and she knew it even though his dirty combat trousers he always wore hid them between the linings. "Better than not being armed." He told her when she gave him a disapproving glare.
"Get on with you, Zell. Help yourself out back." Harry grinned at her thankfully. Food was normally a rather serious issue with him but people were nice to him if he did a few chores for them. "And be careful, Zell. Don't go looking for trouble."
"I never go looking for trouble, Zayna." He grinned at her impishly. "It just always finds me."
Harry tucked himself up in the exposed trunk of a half dying tree as the winter storm forced its way through the countryside. He was rather worried about his partly hollow tree surviving the night but it was an old tree and it'd held up the last few nights rather well as the storm blew up in ferocity. He was ten now and he'd have to buck up and never be scared again if he was going to survive. He also realised it was about time he looked after himself. As a child he'd been unwilling to lose that feeling of being reliant but now he was ten or so he needed to avoid people as much as possible. To keep himself safe.
He'd already taken to hunting for himself either with his Katars or when they failed to catch his prey then his Para-magic but it was rare to find lingering stocks of that energy and he preferred to keep it for emergencies. He always thanked Ellone for teaching him about magic since the magic the Death Eaters used was so strange to him and he knew it was wrong for him. He couldn't use it but Para-magic was his even if it was rather limited on this world.
The odd fire spell had kept him alive on the winter nights and a small lightning spell was good for catching fish when he was hungry. Harry sighed and let his head fall against the inside wall of the tree as the howling wind battered it harshly. Slowly sleep came to him.
Harry knew he was hopelessly lost but he'd been trekking through the Pennines for two days without a break for his ten year old body. He'd passed on the outskirts of a small village the day before but not stopped for more than fresh water from a house he'd broken into. Now it was getting dark and he'd have to start searching for somewhere to stay for the night, a cave perhaps since these places always had cave networks though many were used by people like him. People that couldn't live in towns because the Death Eaters wouldn't allow it.
He found a cave that didn't look used. In fact the opening was so small that even his small frame had to be squeezed through with his satchel bag dragging along behind him. After about ten or so feet the space widened out into a comfortable sized niche that he could easily sleep in. He drug out the small candle he kept in his bag and a lighter and lit it to see better. The niche narrowed again briefly like a door frame before opening out into a large space. Harry walked through to explore further and was surprised when the ground at his feet smoothed out. Harry knelt and brushed away the dirt only to find cobblestones.
He frowned but moved in further though now he pulled out his right hand Katar in case this was an animal's den. All of a sudden about twenty metres further in the cave exploded outwards in all directions except down. Harry's candle didn't even reach the ceiling above him or the far side. He pulled out another candle, lit it and placed it in a pool of wax just to the right of the door so even if he was on the other side of the chamber he'd be able to find the exit again. Then he started his trek across the room.
He only made it half way across the room when something reflected the light back at him. Two pinpoints of light. Harry first thought it was an animal on a ledge in front of him since the eyes were far above him but the eyes were too big for that. They watched him even as he stood frozen in shock, trying to work out whether running for the tight opening to the cave would help.
All of a sudden, as if it heard his voice, it took a step forwards bringing a cat like face into view and then sharply clawed front paws. It looked almost like a Lion except it didn't have a mane but more than that, Lions didn't have foot long canines that hung over their bottom lip. Harry staggered backwards, tripped and dropped the candle as he landed on his back. Darkness surrounded him in all directions and he turned to try to find his marker candle only to come up empty.
He rolled over and scrambled up but froze when hot breath ruffled his hair. He turned slowly but still couldn't see the creature he knew was only inches from his face. "Please don't kill me." He didn't think it would help but his imagination failed him at that moment. Imagination had always been Irvine's strong point.
"I'm not going to kill you, child." The voice was easily understandable yet oddly animal as well. Clearly not a human, and it came from just in front of him.
"You talk?" Harry almost yelped out struggling for his other Katar even as he took a step backwards and tripped yet again.
"You think me a mere animal?" It seemed to laugh at him and Harry heard an almost soundless paw movement across the rock floor of the chamber. Harry was almost blinded when light flared up all around him. Three concentric circles of fire leapt up around him and the creature, illuminating the high vaulted ceiling and the clearly man-made structure around them.
The creature was easily visible now, it definitely looked like a mane-less male lion except for its height, it's canine teeth and most shockingly of all, the two huge wings arching gently into the air above it. "What..."
"Am I?" It continued when Harry trailed off. "You should know Other-Worlder."
"You..." Harry trailed off again.
"Know that you are from the Centra's world?" He asked and pushed his head forwards into Harry again who backed up only to feel the heat of the flames behind him again. "I have sensed your travels for nearly five years now. You please me."
"Please you?" Harry shuddered not expecting it to say such a thing.
"Please me." It reiterated. "I am called Sabre. I will join you."
"Join me?" Harry gasped. "I...I don't..."
"Know what to do?" Sabre finished for him again. "I will teach you, I will train you. I will join you."
"Join?" Harry gasped. "You're a guardian force?" It clicked in Harry's mind as soon as he'd said it and it made sense to him.
Sabre curled back his lips in what seemed to be amusement before he leant forwards. Harry froze solid and Sabre touched his nose to Harry's forehead. Harry blinked in surprise but felt something in his mind that made him shake his head. Sabre was in there.
On Harry's eleventh birthday Sabre taught him something he'd never have tried on his own. Punching through to his own world with his mind. Sabre told him he'd be able to do it one day without help but for the time being Sabre told him to junction his strongest magic against his core to boost his own magic. He could boost his own physical strength in the same way and if he put elemental magic against his core it would make that element stronger or defend him from it in the same way that if he put fire magic against his strength his attacks would deal that kind of damage. This was all what Sabre had taught him in the last half a year.
He put all his fire spells against his core and felt his magic bubble under the energy and then followed Sabre's mental commands as he reached out his mind using his unbreakable link to his own world to find the barrier and punch through it. He found himself amongst a million screaming voices lost and confused and when he reached for Sabre he was nowhere to be found.
Harry hung in the voices in confusion before remembering something that Sabre had told him. He'd blended with his body but not his mind so even though he could talk to Harry in his mind when he was in his body he couldn't here. Only Harry's mind was here and that meant that Sabre was still in his body, on Earth. In the wrong world.
Harry felt his way back to the breach in the barrier making sure that he could find it before reaching out to the nearest voice. He didn't know the mind and shrunk away from it quickly. He ventured out slowly making sure he could always return to the breach in the barrier but soon he realised he was linked to his body through that breach and nothing could make him lose it.
He didn't know how long he drifted in those millions and millions of minds searching for something that reminded him of home but eventually he started feeling weak and he shrunk back into his own body on the world that had never been his. He cried himself to sleep.
He cried himself to sleep for almost six months as he searched those millions of minds for those he called his family, feeling more lonely with each mind that he didn't recognise until finally, after almost giving up hope he stumbled across a complex mind that seemed to glow for him. He edged around it for almost two hours making sure it was who he thought it was, glad that he could hang here almost endlessly now without tiring, especially with the stronger magic Sabre had been helping him find as they travelled the globe.
It was Squall. Harry didn't think he could remember ever being as happy. This was an eleven year old Squall. He delved into the mind and opened his eyes for the first time in this mind-scape as he called it. He opened his eyes onto the ceiling of a room. Square tiles made up the ceiling but Harry found them wonderful because he was seeing them through Squall's eyes.
"Squall?" Harry asked and found himself so surprised when Squall jerked and fell off the bed that he knocked himself straight back out of the mind-scape and back into his own body. But this time he had a smile across his face.
The next day Harry was back in Squall's mind, now that he'd learnt it and been in it, it was like a beacon to Harry and as soon as he entered the mind-scape he could find it with little difficultly even if it had taken him half a year to luck upon it in the first place.
"Squall?" Harry asked once again even as he looked out of Squall's eyes at the silent corridor they were walking along. He felt a bit of jealousy at the realisation that Squall was nearly a half foot taller than him but Harry had been scrounging for food for the second half of his life and he'd always been short. Plus Squall would be almost twelve by this point. Squall tripped slightly at hearing a voice in his head but simply shook it off and kept going. "Squall?" Harry asked in case his friend hadn't heard him.
This time Squall stopped and looked back over his shoulder at the empty corridor. "Who's there?" His voice was slightly different then he remembered it, it was darker and quieter than it had been at the orphanage. More introspective, which was a word he remembered Matron once teaching him.
"I'm in your head." Harry told him. Squall didn't say anything to that but Harry could hear his formed thoughts anyway.
"I don't believe you." Squall thought though the words weren't directed at him and had a slightly different feel to them.
"You don't have to believe me, Squall. I'm just glad to be able to talk to you again." Harry grinned mentally even though Squall couldn't see it. "It's been six years!"
"What the hell?" Squall thought to himself.
"It's Harry, remember?" Harry asked. "From the orphanage?"
"What orphanage?" Squall thought. Harry was stunned silent in shock. How could anybody forget the orphanage? It made up every one of Harry's happy moments, all his love was centred on that place. How could Squall have forgotten it?
"The Orphanage!" Harry gasped. "With me and the others, we used to play together..."
"It's insane." Squall was describing Harry's voice. "I'm going insane."
"No, Squall!" Harry gasped again feeling shaky even in his mind. "How could you have forgotten!?"
"Harry right?" Squall asked sarcastically. He was speaking aloud now. "I've never known anybody by that name." "Great, now I'm talking to myself."
"No." Harry whispered to himself. His emotions were out of control. Squall, who he had loved so much didn't even remember his name. Didn't remember him even when Harry remembered so much. Harry's mind recoiled out of Squall's and spun back through the barrier and back into his body. He shot to his feet, grabbed his stuff and ran from the cave, ignoring Sabre until his GF summoned itself from him and caught him in his wings.
"Stop, child." Sabre purred, keeping Harry from escaping.
"Squall doesn't remember me!" Harry sobbed. "Why doesn't he remember me?"
"It is as I feared." Sabre pushed Harry under his paw and laid down. Harry squirmed out and sat under Sabre's chin. The way he slept at night when they didn't have a cave to hide in, with Sabre's untiring eyes to watch for dangers.
"What?" Harry asked him sadly. "Didn't I mean anything to him? Do any of the other's remember me?"
"It depends on which ones have been using Guardian Forces." Sabre told him. "I am careful not to intrude on your mind to keep your memories free but other Guardian Forces lodge in the mind instead of the body and cover the memories."
"So Squall and anyone else that uses a GF has forgotten me?" Harry cried not able to control himself. His one hope in this world was one day being able to go home to his family but they didn't even remember him.
"Not forgotten." Sabre shook his head and then nuzzled Harry's cheek caringly. "They just don't recall it and you will not be able to prompt it. Doing so will only confuse them."
"I've lost them." Harry sagged as the life went out of him.
"No. You will just have to befriend him again." Sabre told him before licking his check. "Now sleep and on the morrow we will travel and then in time you can return to his mind. Befriend him and don't scare him. Maybe you will be able to see the others in time as well and you will find out which of them remember you."
Harry fell asleep curled up to Sabre's warm front leg uncaring of the world around him. He'd been so happy to discover that Squall was there and that he could talk to him and now Squall didn't care about talking to him. He'd do what Sabre suggested though, befriend Squall, build up to the relationship that they used to share so closely. Hopefully one of his friends hadn't fallen into the trap of the GFs and he could talk to them freely. If he could find them in the masses and that could take years or even a lifetime in a scape like that.
Thirteen year old Harry was scrambling quickly up a rocky outcropping trying to run from the three men that were chasing him. A Death Eater had grabbed him in the little Cornwall town but when Harry realised that simply sucking up to the man wouldn't get out of the plan the sick man had had for him he'd introduced the man to one of his Katar. He'd only done it because he thought he'd been alone but just as the one Death Eater had died another had walked around the corner calling for him only to see his friend fall off the end of Harry's bloody Katana.
The Death Eater had attacked him sending a blood-boiling curse that was a favourite to all the Death Eaters that had become the world's police force but Sabre had come to the fore replacing Harry in that instant that it takes just before summoning. Sabre had taken the blow for him and since he couldn't die he was now unconscious within Harry's mind and unable to help him out for at least a few days.
Harry had lashed out with a Fira spell he had stocked up for occasions like these and the Death Eater had been blown backwards into the street and turned into rather well done meat. Harry had stood in shocked silence for a critical second before a trio of passing people, one a Wizard by the looks of him had spotted him and come running at him. Harry had quickly turned tail and run for it, heading up the hills to try to evade the large humans.
Simply put Harry was finding himself out of his league. No matter where he ran the three people were close on his tail. The normal people were locals and knew these hills better than Harry and, to borrow a phrase from Matron, only a Sorceress knew what the Wizard was doing.
Harry slipped as he tried to glance down to find his pursuers and barked his shin painfully on a shard of slate. It tore the skin off his leg but Harry ignored the bleeding for the time being. He'd have to stop and look at it to heal it and he couldn't afford that. Harry reached the top of the hill a few minutes later and started down the other side hoping to find somewhere small he could squeeze into that the men didn't know about. He was about to duck around another hill when the Wizard stepped around from behind a rocky outcropping and lifted his wand.
Harry dove to the side but came up short when he hit an invisible wall. He spun on the spot, drew his left Katana and jumped at the Wizard only to find the man not there but behind him. Harry drew the other Katana and backed away very carefully. The man was obviously very good.
"Why don't you just calm down?" The Wizard asked.
"Why don't you?" Harry retorted. "You're the one chasing me."
"Actually you're the one running from me." The Wizard countered.
"Semantics." Harry scoffed remembering the word from Sabre when Harry was being irritating. On purpose of course.
Harry saw the two other men running up from behind the Wizard and knew his time was short so lashed out with another piece of his Para-magic. The bark of thunder was the only warning the Wizard got but he was clearly very fast as he managed to shield against the lightning.
Harry tried to run while he was distracted but his leg protested the movement and it was enough that his ankle slipped sideways. He stumbled but it didn't stop him. Before he could run though a very visible red wall sprung up in front of him and on his right. Harry tried to turn and run the other way but found himself face to face with one of the other men who grabbed his wrists. He got a slashed arm for his troubled but he was clearly much stronger than Harry.
"Jesus kid!" The man growled and shook his hand. Harry winced and couldn't help but drop his right Katar. He saw the other man wrench his left one away from him before he was twisted and held tightly against his captor's chest with an arm around his chest and the other firmly on his shoulder. He was facing away and directly at the Wizard who had been waiting, presumably in case Harry tried more magic.
"What was that magic, Kid?"
"It's just a magic trick." Harry told him. "Obviously nothing as grand as the magic you Death Eaters use."
"Death Eaters!" The Wizard laughed. "You think me a Death Eater? You're being held by muggles, kid."
Harry went still, he'd overlooked that. Muggles, or normals as Harry called them since he thought Wizards were the strange ones, would never be working with a Death Eater. They were treated as little more than low paid servants, when they were paid at all. "Then let me go."
"Not going to happen kid." The man hold him told him. "You just killed two Death Eaters and they'll be hunting you soon. You need our protection."
"And what do I have to pay for that?" Harry snarled. "The same thing as that Death Eater git asked for?"
"Just come with us." The Wizard told him kindly. "We'll get you food, water, a safe place to sleep and you look like you could use a good bath and some new clothes."
"I don't trust you." Harry told him shortly. "I swear if you try anything..."
"Wouldn't dream of it." The Wizard told him with an amused look. "Guy, let him go and give him back his weapons. If he feels safer with them he can have them."
The man holding him let go of him and in seconds Harry had his Katars back in his hands though they weren't gripped properly. "If you say so, boss." 'Guy' said dryly.
Harry studied the Wizard more closely. He was about thirty-five by the looks of him with lanky black hair and a rather immature attitude in the way he stood. Harry thought he recognised something about him from a long time ago. "Who are you?" Harry asked.
"This is Guy Drake and his brother Peter and my name's Sirius." Sirius told him. "We were out for supplies but you caught our attention.
Harry had stopped listening after the name though. That's where he'd seen somebody like him. In a photo eight years ago in the few months he'd been with the Potters. The photo had been of a younger man but the resemblance was there and James Potter had told him who his best friend was. "Sirius... as in Sirius Black?" Sirius tensed up dramatically.
"Nobody's called me that in years, kid." Sirius narrowed his eyes, all signs of the immature man had gone, hidden behind cold eyes and harsh movements. "How do you know that?"
"I saw a picture of you in the Potter house." Harry told him.
"That house was destroyed years ago, how could you have been there." Sirius asked with a suspicious glare. His two friends were eyeing the exchange in confusion.
Harry didn't really know how to word this to this man. He'd rarely even thought about it. In the end he decided to find out what Sirius knew about what the Potter's had done. "Did you know what they did to attract Voldemort?"
"What who did?" Sirius frowned.
"What James and Lily did?" Harry prompted.
"They got a kid. Everybody knows that. Voldemort got to them because he heard something about the kid and everybody died." Sirius' tone was rather clipped at that point and Harry winced.
"Not everybody died." Harry edged away slightly.
"What do you know? You would've been...what...three?" Sirius snapped.
"Six actually. When Voldemort came and blew up the front door, Lily distracted him so I could run." Sirius almost chocked when Harry said that.
"You're lying. You can't be the kid." Sirius snapped though there was a rather shifty movement of his eyes as he tried to process all of this.
"I know you're Padfoot, James was Prongs and Remus was Moony. And that Wormtail's worked for Voldemort since you left school." Harry said quietly watching as every word made Sirius take another step backwards.
"You're Harry?" Sirius gasped eventually. "Fucking hell, the kid bloody survived. Moony's going to go insane."
Sirius looked on the verge of collapse and he shook his head wearily before staring at Harry. "You are Harry, right? I'm not going mad?"
"According to James you were all mad at school." Harry told him. "But the name is Harry. It was before they brought me here into this screwed up world. Harry Leonhart."
"Maybe we should do this back at base, Padfoot?" Guy asked carefully. "I'm sure the kid is special and all of that but these hills are going to be swarming with Death Eaters in a few minutes and I'd rather not be here."
"Yeah." Sirius shook his head. "Yeah, you're right. Get back to base. I'll apparate with Harry."
Squall sat over his desk in his small cabin. He was pouring over another text book on creatures and their weaknesses, and their worth for supplies after you killed them. He didn't feel Harry arrive but jumped all the same when his friend spoke. Ever since he'd thought he'd gone insane when he was twelve he'd had the companionship of Harry in his mind at odd times of the day. Sometimes he'd be there for almost the entire day but other times just for a moment. He always found himself hoping it would be for the longer time rather than the shorter. Harry had a way about him that made him feel good about himself, it was a change from everybody else around him complaining that he was shut up too tightly and all of that nonsense. He'd always been like this and he wasn't about to change.
"You know this book is terribly boring. Can we look at something else?"
Squall's lips quirked slightly before he slipped off the back of his chair, laid down on his bed and put his pillow over his face. "That better?" He thought to his friend.
"Oh, that's just hilarious. This just makes coming here worthwhile." Harry laughed like the child he was. Sometimes Harry was so serious that Squall thought he was talking to an adult but then he'd be utterly childish and do something to remind him he was only thirteen. Squall was the same as far as the serious part when but he didn't act like a child at times.
"I thought you came to talk to me?" Squall asked.
"I do." Harry told him warmly. It had taken Squall much longer to accept his mental visitor but he'd warmed up to him eventually. With Harry he felt safe and he knew he could trust him with everything whether it was just a simple crush on one of the other students or worries about life in general. Harry had always seemed to care about him, there was no warming up period with him. Ever since that first conversation where it seemed that Harry was crazy he had mellowed out as if he'd made a mistake. Neither of them had brought it up again but Squall didn't see any need to.
Squall knew that Harry was on another world, a street rat running from what amounted to the police and military. Magic users that took power to their heads and were ruled over by a tyrant that took pleasure from slaughtering thousands. Harry had only told him once, and never again, that he didn't belong there, that it wasn't his world.
Squall realised after that that Harry came to him because he needed the contact with somebody not caught up in that hell. He needed the grounding so Squall never denied him it. "You're thinking too fast again, Squall. I can't keep up." Harry laughed at him. "Don't fret so much about why I'm here. I'm here because I like you. You're special to me and I feel relieved when I'm talking to you. Does anything else matter?"
"If you were anyone else then yes." Squall told him. "But with you that's all that counts."
Squall stood from the bed and sat in front of his mirror. He ran a hand through his hair and stared at his reflexion. The late evening light was bad but this way Harry could feel like he was actually talking to Squall directly. "I had an interesting encounter today." Harry told him. "I killed a Death Eater, had to kill a second one and then had to do a runner. Man, you wouldn't believe how hard it is to run for two hours straight with three men chasing you."
"Killed two Death Eaters?" Squall asked aloud so that Harry could see his lips moving. He knew all about what Death Eaters were. "Why?"
"I didn't really have a choice. I don't like being raped."
"Raped!?" Squall almost yelped before lowering his voice to a concerned whisper. "You can't be serious!"
"Well, it's definitely what he had in mind at the time. Didn't get to try anything though." Harry told him.
"Wait? You don't like being raped." Squall frowned. "Does that mean...?"
"No!" Harry told him abruptly. "Nothing like that's happened, I've been beaten around a bit at times but nothing so bad. I'm just a street rat to them."
Squall breathed out in relief. "Thanks for caring." Harry told him warmly.
"Of course I worry." Squall told him. "So what happened to the three men chasing you?"
"They turned out to be resistance members. They like me." Harry told him in amusement. "They took me with them into a huge network of underground caves, gave me food and stuff. I might stay for a while. It's safer to talk to you from here."
"Maybe you should settle somewhere." Squall muttered.
"Well I can't go anywhere for a while at least. Sabre took a blow and is out for the count and I don't want to risk doing a runner if I can't call him in an emergency." Harry told him.
"Harry?" Squall asked after a moment. "Do me a favour?"
"Anything." Harry assured him.
"Find out if they really are good guys and if they are let them treat you like a kid." Squall told him. "At least try to be a kid for a while, will it really hurt so much to try?"
"Don't know." Harry muttered. There was a long silence and Squall almost thought his friend had left before he spoke again. "Tell you what, I'll give it some time and I'll tell you if it ends up hurting."
"Thanks Harry." Squall breathed out in relief.
"What's life without a bit of fun?" Harry laughter rang in his ears as it faded away. Squall sighed, stared at his reflection for a while before getting ready for bed. He didn't know why but he felt that if anything ever happened to Harry he'd never feel right again.