When You Say Nothing At All
By: azzie adams
AN: I own nothing.
Thanks to OccAmy Phyre as always. Hope you all enjoy.
Seven: The Grey Man
A loud grunt followed by a thump as a body hit the ground echoed through the field as Edward managed to secure his meal for the evening. He wiped his face as he sat to wait for his siblings to arrive, wringing his hands anxiously and silently forcing them to hurry. It was Harry's first time alone in the house. To make sure that he didn't do anything to hurt himself, they had stayed pretty close to their backyard. Edward was still nervous that Harry would get carried away with his magic.
Over the past few months Worple had been a frequent guest at the Cullen house. Sanguini sometimes accompanied him, but the vampire seemed to understand their need for privacy more than the wizard.
Honestly, Edward was concerned. Worple kept filling Harry's head with stories of Hogwarts, of its infamous Headmaster Dumbledore, trolls, goblins, mermaids, and the like. Harry had been eating it up and always ready with more questions as well as questions over when he could go to Diagon Alley. When could he go to Hogwarts?
Harry was eight. He would get his Hogwarts letter the year he would turn 11. Three years.
Three very short years before Harry would get shipped off to the place that the Cullens couldn't go. Edward couldn't see him unless it was during Christmas Break. But would Harry even want to come home? He was so fascinated by magic, it would seem that they would have to force him to come home twice a year. After all, they couldn't teach him magic, they could only teach him how to be a vampire. Which he wasn't.
Edward enjoyed the tricks that Harry had been learning from the books they had bought him. He could periodically change his own hair color. At one point he managed to turn his own feet blue. He could make Esme's pots and pans levitate and even switch burners while she wasn't looking. He could turn his owl into a pigeon and then back again, which didn't seem to please the owl. Harry had chosen to call her Hedwig from a name he had found in Hogwarts, A History. Rosalie thought it was a rather ridiculous name, but even she couldn't argue with Harry. His excitement over a pet was contagious.
Hogwarts seemed like a wonderful place. He had been reading the books Worple kept bringing Harry as presents and had read through all the books containing information about Hogwarts. The place seemed like it was perfect for Harry. There would be plenty of children of his own kind to play with, to learn from. The teachers took particular interest in their students from what he had read. If Worple was any indication, Harry would get plenty of interest from his teachers. Apparently, it was rather rare for a child to be able to do wandless magic. Worple thought that it might be because of his handicap that his magic had adapted to perform even without a wand or a verbal command.
"You could probably save yourself the money and skip buying a wand, though you don't seem like you would have any problems with buying one, of course. It's the most expensive thing Harry will have to buy. But I suppose it's good to have one, just in case one day his voice comes back," Worple had explained.
"Is that likely?" Rosalie asked. The best thing about magic, she supposed, would be getting Harry to speak again. Or at all, since she didn't actually know whether it was a mental or a magical problem.
Worple seemed uncomfortable. "Well, I could take the matter to Dumbledore and see what he thought…"
"No," Rosalie insisted. "There isn't another way?"
"I'll do some checking, but it first starts with the boy. If he really wants to speak, then his magic should correct the problem. If he doesn't want to speak, or doesn't see the need, than he won't. It could be that there is some kind of a curse on him. But the first issue is getting Harry to want to speak and then to get him to start trying to speak."
Edward shook his head, alone in the woods with no one to witness. Harry wanted to speak. He just couldn't.
"Maybe you could work some of your magic hoo-doo on him to see if he's under some kind of spell?" Emmett had suggested.
Worple shook his head. "I've tried that. The only reason I think that it might be a spell is because of that scar on his forehead."
…'That kind of a scar comes from dark magic, an untraceable magic. That is why I suggested Dumbledore. He's the only one I can think of that might know what the scar is from, and what consequences it has…'
It all came back to Dumbledore. In Edward's opinion, they should have contacted the old wizard the second they found out about the scar that could be a curse, but Rosalie was adamant about keeping it a secret.
"My Harry is not someone to be observed and studied. He's a little boy. He's my son. I don't want anyone else knowing about him and I definitely don't want some powerful and probably dark wizard to come and do Lord knows what with him!" Rosalie was practically seething.
Edward had half a mind to go and try to find Dumbledore on his own. He couldn't do it without Worple though. Non-magical folk wouldn't even be able to see the entrance to the wizarding world. While he was a vampire, he definitely wasn't magical. Perhaps he could ask Worple… or even Sanguini in secret and have them at least ask Dumbledore what the chances were that Harry was cursed and if there was a way to cure him. At least they could find a way to help him speak again.
It would mean the world to Rosalie to have Harry actually be able to talk.
"Edward! We're heading back!"
Edward followed Jasper's voice to meet the rest of them before running back. Rosalie had already sped off to make sure that Harry was still alive. How much trouble could he get into sitting and reading on the back porch, anyway?
Rosalie had been steering clear of Edward for the past few months, since her trip to Diagon Alley. Edward figured she was still mad about encouraging Harry to do magic while she wasn't looking. It had gotten strange though. She would duck out of a room as Edward entered. When he tried to read her mind it was suspiciously blank, or filled with anything but Harry and magic.
He was beginning to think that she knew something about Harry, something she didn't want him or anyone else to know.
"Well, I'll be damned."
Rosalie had stopped short, where the trees met the neatly trimmed grass of their backyard. The grass was orange.
And across the lawn Harry sat, looking foolish on the steps of the porch, clutching his book to his chest.
"Brilliant son. In your first act as a world-class wizard, you have successfully killed the grass," Emmett pretended to wipe his eyes as if Harry had done something wonderful.
It's not dead… it's just orange… Harry's confused voice floated across Edward's mind. It was supposed to grow really tall. I think I said something wrong… He squinted at the page again.
Edward relayed the information to the rest. Carlisle chuckled. "Pronunciation is key, Harry, so Worple tells me. Also it's a matter of swishing the wand the right way but since you don't have one, we can rule that out."
Rosalie was at Harry's side in a moment, watching him as he traced his index finger across the paragraph that contained the spell.
Then he looked up and stared long and hard at the grass. The blades began turning into small bubbles and blowing away,
"There's a spell for turning grass into bubbles? And wizards think we're nonsensical," Emmett laughed, waving his hands through the air and popping all the small shiny bubbles that rose from the ground.
"I'll have to tell the gardener to make another trip. We just had it done last week…" Carlisle shook his head mournfully.
'I've got it!'Harry signed rapidly. His frustration was showing through his concentration. 'I'll make it grow back…'
"Maybe you should call it a night, darling," Rosalie soothed, running her fingers through his hair.
Harry wouldn't have it though. He wanted to be perfect by the time he got to school. He didn't know when the other children with magical parents had started learning, but he was sure that he was very far behind. The other children were probably turning cars into kayaks and Harry couldn't even make the grass grow. Worple tirelessly complimented him whenever he managed to perform a spell around him, but he didn't want his inability to talk keep him from being on the same magical level as the other students.
Edward sighed. "I don't think Worple is patronizing you, Harry. He says that you are really good for your age."
Harry grumbled. I'm tired of not being like everyone else, Edward! I'm a wizard and I'm still different than them because they can talk! I'd rather be able to talk than be 'special'.
Rosalie rubbed his back, trying really hard not to think about Hogwarts, wizards, witches…
She quickly looked at Edward to see if he'd heard anything but he seemed very focused on Harry. She licked her lips, and hugged Harry closer to her side. "We can call Worple and see if he can't give you some pointers."
Harry looked up hopefully. Rosalie smiled and got up to make the call.
She didn't feel Edward's eyes burning into her back as she left.
Who is Russell Potter?
Eldred Worple paced through the halls of the Ministry of Magic. He was aware that the middle of a busy hallway wasn't the best place to ponder things, but since he didn't actually work at the ministry it was the best place he could find. He took a seat on one of the benches by the arrival fireplaces and watched as wizards and witches walked in and out. He had been fighting for a long time for the magical world to accept other creatures as equally reasonable and humane. It hadn't yielded much confidence, though.
Harry was a very special case that he had been working on diligently. The scar on his forehead was dark magic, but his resources were limited given that Rosalie didn't want anyone to know about him besides Worple. And if he were to tell most anyone else that there was a handicapped and cursed wizard child living among vampires there would be a call for removal almost on the spot.
He didn't want that for Harry. Harry loved the Cullens, but he also loved magic. Unfortunately, he would soon have to make a choice over what he loved more. Either that or the Cullens would have to become much more acquainted with wizard culture.
But before he could even think about the future for the Cullens, he had to think of something he could do for Harry.
He got up with a start, seeing the Minister of Magic standing directly in front of him. He dropped his hat as he extended his hand to the man.
"Minister! What a surprise!"
"It shouldn't be since I am the head of the building, Eldred."
Worple laughed nervously. The Minister wasn't his biggest fan. Fudge didn't think that any magical creatures deserved rights in the Wizarding world. That made the relationship between the two strained, to say the least.
"What are you up to? You seemed to be very deep in thought when I came upon you. I hear Sanguini has an interview coming up. Afraid he won't be able to control himself?" Fudge laughed at his own joke.
"Now, now, Fudge. Sanguini has been a perfect guest on many different occasions. I see no reason to condemn him before he has the time to do something wrong."
Worple gulped as he turned to face the new voice. He found himself staring directly into the sparkling blue eyes of one Albus Dumbledore. The last man he wanted to see. He turned his face away quickly, as if the man could see straight through him if he looked closely.
"Hmm," Fudge scoffed. "You're hardly ever wrong, Albus. But I still have my doubts."
"Instincts are very important to have, Minister. The best defense mechanisms really. But you don't need to instigate prejudice on a man that has done nothing wrong."
"I must be going. Thank you for your advice today, Albus. I'll take your comments into consideration," Fudge said before bowing away and walking towards the stairs.
Dumbledore turned to Worple, who was too busy cursing his luck to notice the man was staring quizzically at him. "Is something bothering you, Eldred?"
Worple swallowed, clearing his throat. What was the harm in just asking? He could always just leave out the name… right?
He turned, and once again, Dumbledore's penetrating gaze threw him off.
"W-what do you know about cursed scars?"
Albus frowned, thinking for a moment. "Cursed scars? I think you should probably go to the Magical Maladies Department at St. Mungos…"
"No, not me…" Worple's curiosity got the better of him. "There's this boy… a child. Very young… he's a wizard living with a… muggle family."
Dumbledore nodded, his thick white eyebrows raised.
"Um. He has this scar on his forehead. Apparently he's had it as long as his family has known him…"
"Known him? Was he born with the scar?"
"So the family he lives with currently is not his birth family?"
"No. My point is…"
"Perhaps he was born in a wizard family and there was an accident, is that what you are asking?"
Worple had talked himself into a corner, which he could have predicted. It was Albus Dumbledore, after all. Nevertheless, he tried to steer the conversation out of deep and personal waters.
"What I know is that his current family found him when he was a baby and that he has a scar on his forehead that hasn't faded at all since he got it… whenever he got it. I've had the chance to look at it and I believe that dark magic caused it. The boy himself is unable to talk, but he can still do wandless, wordless magic. What I would like to know is if the curse has anything to do with him being mute." The words came out in a rush, but Worple was rather pleased that he had managed to get his concerns out without letting Dumbledore interrupt him again with uncomfortable questions.
Albus stood silent for a moment, patting his beard in thought. This wasn't what he had been expecting when he entered the Ministry building that morning for his usual consultation with Fudge about the goings-on of the Wizarding World. But it was a rather welcome surprise. It also seemed very interesting that a boy—a baby apparently—had survived a dark curse, and escaped with only a scar.
"Hmmm… it's possible that the lack of speech is a side-effect of the curse. But frankly, if that is all that is wrong with him, then he's lucky. Infants don't survive dark magic, especially ones designed to leave a mark. Is there anything else about him that seems odd to you?"
Worple almost chuckled. "Well… no. Not really, sir. Other than…uh… gumption. Lots of gumption."
"Gumption…" Dumbledore eyed him oddly. "Well I suppose the first thing you should do is figure out what curse was used on him. I wouldn't mind meeting the boy myself. It's not often that a boy not even in school yet can perform wandless and wordless magic without any mentor. What's the boy's name?"
Worple almost swallowed his own tongue. "The family doesn't want that information disclosed, sir… the circumstances surrounding the boy are… complicated…" He thought for a moment he could curse himself with the Bat-Bogey Hex and quickly be excused to St. Mungo's. Dumbledore would probably see right through it, though… and it might hurt…
"Luckily I am the best there is at keeping secrets," Dumbledore smiled, waiting expectantly for an answer.
Damn those twinkling blue eyes…
"Harrison Cullen. A fine name, if I do say so myself. I have time next week since I am on break from Hogwarts. I am very anxious to meet our young prodigy. I'll see what can be done about his inability to speak." Dumbledore patted Worple on the shoulder affectionately before the Head Auror whisked him away.
This could either be really good… or very very bad…
"YOU DID WHAT!" Rosalie screamed.
"You've really outdone yourself this time, Eldred…" Sanguini laughed. Worple wasted no time in putting every available piece of furniture between him and Rosalie, including a loveseat with Harry and Jasper still on it. Harry's eyes widened as ottomans, flatscreens, and even Esme's kitchen island sailed over his head and landed directly in front of Rosalie. In fact, he couldn't even see his mother through the mountain of objects in the way.
"I specifically told you to leave the scar alone!" Rosalie ranted.
Edward watched mournfully as she wrecked havoc on his piano, turning it into kindling in the blink of an eye. "50,000 Euro, that costs…"
"Rosalie's got to get a job…" Emmett snickered, ducking as the pile of very expensive timber came flying at him.
"You don't understand! Dumbledore is the best there is. If you ever want Harry to talk again, then Dumbledore is the man you want to speak to!" Worple called over Rosalie's screaming. He winced as a lamp smashed against the wall behind him.
Esme frowned. "Really? Harry will be able to speak if Dumbledore has a look at him?"
Harry poked his head over the back of the loveseat, looking at Worple expectantly. His hair tufted from the static of the seat and stuck out at all angles. Edward snickered at him.
Worple sighed. "I can't guarantee anything, but Dumbledore did say he would be happy to help. It's really rare that an infant should survive a dark curse, especially one that leaves such a lasting mark. He's going to try to figure out what the curse was, and perhaps even answer some questions about who might have cursed him… and why…"
Esme nodded thoughtfully. "I certainly don't see any harm in having another person, a wizard, have a look at him. Rosalie, this man could cure him." She was having a hard time understanding how meeting with a wise wizard about Harry's speech could possibly hurt. From what she had seen with Worple, there were wizards that weren't bad.
Rosalie sneered behind the barricade. Worple had deliberately gone behind her back. Harry was nothing more than an experiment to him. At least that is what she made herself think so Edward wouldn't get suspicious. The truth was, she didn't want anyone else knowing about Harry. There would come a day when Harry would have to go out into the wizarding world, and people would know his name. Worse, they would have to notice the similarities between Harry and that man… James Potter.
They would know that Harry wasn't actually her child, and they would draw the connections between the disappearance of the baby and Harry, a boy of the right age that was the exact twin of his father. Then they would… they could…
… they could take him away from her.
He's my son, he's mine. They can't take him from me, they can't. I'm his mother, he loves me. I'm a good mother.
I'm his mother…
Edward frowned at the thoughts running through Rosalie's mind. Her thoughts were inconsistent. One minute she had been thinking of Worple calling Harry an experiment, and the next she was rambling about being a good mother. Who would take Harry away from her for being mute?
Emmett crawled his way over the furniture, surprised to see his wife leaning against the wall, looking desperate and fatigued. "Rose?"
"I'm a good mother…" she whispered, brokenly.
"What? Of course you're a good mother. No one's saying you're not a good mother. You want what's best for Harry. But don't you think that what's best for Harry is doing everything we can to help him get his voice back?" Emmett reasoned, feeling odd at actually needing to be rational for his wife.
She bit her lip, shaking her head. "Wizards are bad people, Emmett. They'll see he's living with vampires and take him away."
Worple looked flabbergasted. "No one is taking Harry away! I would never let that happen!"
"You let that wizard talk his way into MY HOUSE!" Rosalie screamed. Harry covered his ears, mouthing the word 'OW' to Jasper, who chuckled.
"She's just stressed out, is all. No worries," Jasper whispered.
'Mum's insane,'Harry signed, a smile on his face. He was worried about his mother's nerves, but he had grown up with the understanding that Rosalie frequently overreacted when it came to him. 'It's like she doesn't want me to be able to talk.'
Jasper shook his head. "I'm sure it's not that. She wants you to talk. It's probably the thing she wants most for you. She's just scared. You're a wizard and she's not. I think she's afraid that you'll want to leave her and not come back once you've gone off to school."
Harry frowned. He really did love magic. He wanted to learn all that he could from the people in the wizard world. It hadn't yet occurred to him that the Wizarding world and the world his family lived in were completely separate. Was he supposed to choose one?
Worple checked the clock on the wall. He had put off telling the Cullens about his blunder to the last second. He figured they would have less time to kill him if the threat of a seriously powerful wizard was imminent. Not that he would have wanted them hurt at all. It was more of a precautionary measure than anything. He wouldn't put it past the angry blonde to kill him if she got around the wall made up of home décor, furniture, and Harry and Jasper.
Dumbledore was due any second…
He looked hopefully at the door but sighed in disappointment with the expected knock didn't happen. Albus always seemed to have such impeccable timing.
I want to be able to talk! Edward, tell her! Harry glared at Edward over the back of the couch and the stack of chairs from the dining room table. Hedwig's cage was seated on top of the table itself, and the owl was screeching angrily.
"She knows, Harry. Give it a rest," Edward said distractedly. He was busy reading Rosalie's thoughts and finding more and more was out of place. It was the oddest thing…
Harry collapsed in exasperation. He turned to Jasper. 'Can you lift me over this stuff?'
"Are you sure?" Jasper was doubtful Harry could crawl over the miniature mountain by himself, but Harry nodded enthusiastically.
'I'm a wizard. I can climb over furniture.' He held his hands up expectantly.
Jasper placed his hands on Harry's sides. Harry brought his long legs up so he could get his footing on the chair at the top of the pile. When Jasper let go, he made sure everything was stable before moving forward.
Worple had resorted to desperate measures to protect himself from Rosalie. He had also unintentionally tucked Harry and Jasper deep in the pile of stuff that made it difficult to go anywhere but up. So Harry ascended the chair, Esme's favorite drawing desk and the island from the kitchen, until he got to the overturned bookshelf that was tilted in, so Harry could slide down the rest of the way.
Harry's breath caught.
A sudden stinging sensation whipped through his forehead. The scar seemed to be leeching even farther into his head until it felt as though his brain was being burned from within. Harry's mouth opened in a silent cry before he lost his balance altogether. He didn't care though. He was burning.
Through the pain, he could barely see through his tears. He vaguely registered a hooded figure standing over what appeared to be a lake. He was on the lake… standing on top of it as if the water was somehow solid. Harry's confusion fell away as the figure started to turn toward him. He wheezed as the pain increased.
And then it was gone.
He let out a shocked breath. He heard his family yelling at him, but they weren't on him. They were below him and he was…
…In the air.
His eyes were drawn to a strange grey-haired man by the door, pointing a long stick in his direction. Even from a distance, the man's eyes were distinctly bright behind his half-moon spectacles. His mouth was slightly open in wonder.
Harry felt something drip into his mouth. His tongue flicked out in response, and he winced as the taste. Like copper. It was blood. His scar was bleeding.
How did that happen?
He raised his eyes to the wizard again. He made the connection quickly, what with the wand and the fact that he was hovering a few feet above the heap. His nerves were still fried from the vision and as much as he tried to hear what his desperate family was saying, he couldn't.
He also couldn't look away from… Dumbledore, was it?
Albus Dumbledore had felt something as he had approached the house. He had always had a sixth sense when it came to danger, and he had felt it just as he raised his hand to knock on the door of the Cullen's residence.
He quickly abandoned knocking when he heard the screams inside the house. The second he entered, he was greeted with the sight of a young boy convulsing, about to fall from a rather steep pile of furniture that separated his family from the other side of the room. He watched, almost in slow motion, as the boy started to fall and the scar on his forehead began to bleed.
With the flick of his wand, the boy was stopped in the air, but his seizing didn't stop.
When the boy first opened his eyes, he looked right at Albus.
The first thought he had was how familiar the boy looked. He knew the unruly black hair, the long nose and thin face. But most of all he knew the eyes.
His mouth opened in awe.
The boy held his gaze, deaf to the cries of his family around him. Albus saw out of the corner of his eye a tall boy with dark red hair spring up towards the boy, grabbing him around his middle and holding him close. The boy, Harry, still kept his eyes on Dumbledore.
Harry thought he looked familiar. But he was sure he hadn't ever seen the man before. Maybe in a dream.
Dumbledore watched in interest as the red-haired man kept holding Harry even as they made it back to the ground. A tall blonde woman was reaching for him, but the boy wouldn't let go. He was frozen, wrapped around the smaller boy, fingers embedded in his black hair.
Harry didn't look shaken. His eyes were red around the edges, his scar was bloody, and his face was white, but he looked calm.
"Albus! Thank Merlin!" Worple, it seemed, had come out of his shock and was at the old wizard's side in an instant.
"You are Mr. Dumbledore?" He was confronted by a rather attractive woman with the fairest skin he'd ever seen.
"Albus, please," he smiled kindly. "Your hair color is exquisite. May I ask your name?"
Esme laughed, startled by his compliment. "Esme Cullen, sir. Just Esme is fine, though. And thank you. I've never had someone so passionate about my hair."
"Ah, yes. Are you Harr-ison's mother?"
"Oh no. Grandmother really. I suppose we're all mothers and fathers to Harry, but no. Rosalie is Harry's adopted mother. Emmett is his father. We're all aunts, uncles, and grandparents, respectively," she smiled.
"You have a lovely family, but I'm afraid I've stumbled in at a bad time. May I ask why there is a mountain of home goods in your living room?"
Worple had the decency to look ashamed but Esme saved him the trouble of having to explain himself by saying they were doing a thorough redecorating of the room. Dumbledore had the sense to not ask questions.
Besides, he was much more interested in knowing how Lily and James' son ended up with a family of vampires, alive and apparently mute.
Don't freak out. I've got a lot more planned for Harry and the Cullens before they finally meet the Potters.