It had been much too hot the summer of her third birthday and for that reason the Durselys' opted to go to New York. For the next couple weeks they would stay in a branch of Grunnings' employee homes as vacation from Britain. It was unusual that they would bring her with them but they had and alternate purpose of going there, to rid them of the waste of space that took up one of their few storage areas. On the plane a walrus and horse were conversing and it was very easy to understand that they were not nice people. "Vernon, do you really think this is a good idea what if they come to get her. Maybe it would be best to just keep her?" the frantic and slightly worried voice of Petunia could barely be heard over the noise inside the plane.
"No worries if they do come I have my rifle and we can just say she ran away, they have no way to prove it was us," This voice came in a low tone that prevented her argument and allowed her to relax into the soft cushion of the first class seats that they and Dudley occupied. Harri was nowhere in sight as they had bought the cheapest ticket near the end of the plane for her. What they did not know was that she unlike Dudley…was a genius. She knew how to read, write, cook and had fantastic artistic skills which would be discovered in a couple of weeks if things carried on like they were to as Fate and Destiny plotted her life. Her life was going to change and it was going to start this very day.
At the back of the plane the small child was dozing off to the sounds of many people muttering. When four hours passed the planes speaker came on announcing the upcoming arrival to the airport. As the plane landed she was jolted awake by an elderly man touching her shoulder in a way most would curve into, but due to how badly treated she was she shielded her face with her arms instead.
Eric's eyes widened as he knew the signs of abusive treatment as he once had suffered the same within the walls of the orphanage. "I have never seen a child as small as this so wary of others with such intelligence apparent in their eyes if only I could take her from the pain she endures…" As Eric came out of his thoughts he reached into his pocket grabbing a strawberry flavored lollipop, offering her the small treat hoping she would take it. To his surprise she didn't just take it and walk away but shyly looked up straight into his eyes and the voice so soft and musical broke through the air.
"Sir, I thank you for this but I can tell you don't pity me, your eyes speak true so I shall accept. Unlike most you have acknowledged me and for this I would like to give you something though I have nothing of monetary value. If you don't mind I would like to sing for you…."
For Eric this was even more of a shock she had just spoken full sentences with ease and he was certain she could not be older than three. Absentmindedly he had nodded his head eager to see how such a young child would sing. Once she saw the nod she started singing Temporary Home by Carrie Underwood.
"Little boy, 6 years old
A little too used to bein' alone
Another new mom and dad, another school
Another house that'll never be home
When people ask him how he likes this place
He looks up and says with a smile upon his face
This is my temporary home
It's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through
This is just a stop, on the way to where I'm going
I'm not afraid because I know this is my
Young mom on her own
She needs a little help got nowhere to go
She's lookin' for a job, lookin' for a way out
Because a half-way house will never be a home
At night she whispers to her baby girl
Someday we'll find a place here in this world
This is our temporary home
It's not where we belong
Windows and rooms that we're passin' through
This is just a stop, on the way to where we're going
I'm not afraid because I know this is our
Old man, hospital bed
The room is filled with people he loves
And he whispers don't cry for me
I'll see you all someday
He looks up and says "I can see God's face"
This is my temporary Home
It's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through
This was just a stop, on the way To where I'm going
I'm not afraid because I know this was
My temporary home.
This is our temporary home"
As Harri finished she opened her eyes seeing a small group of passengers listening and clapping for her song. Seeing people appreciate her voice made her very surprised, but she found herself pleased by their actions. Once the people disbursed and started to leave the plane she remember the reason for singing and turned 720 degrees around finally to stop facing Eric once more. Giggling escaped her lips as she saw his face. It was hanging open and a fly was starting to fly into it…It did. Her giggles became louder as Eric was sputtering trying to dislodge the fly in his throat making a hilarious face while at it. Once her giggles subsided she finally spoke, "Are you okay?"
Gathering himself together he looked at her again searching her face. "Did anyone ever tell you that you've got an amazing voice?"
Looking down to the floor her voice returning to the shy voice Harri answered I very quiet, "No, I've never sung for another person." Her answer seemed to surprise him and then she realized she never asked his name. Speaking again, "By the way I forgot to ask earlier but what is your name?"
The rigidness in her voice saddened him but he found himself adoring the tiny child and even gathering her in his arms easily he answered. "My name is Eric Charleston and yours little lady?" To Eric it was a gift to see the soft smile emerge in her lips, "Harri." it was spoken softly. The smile that emerged did not stay long it was wiped away quickly at the sound of heavy footsteps. Eric noticed that her smile disappeared and stiffness spread through her body so he placed her down onto her feet gently when a voice broke the moment to pieces.
"Come! Brat I mean now." Both words came out as a snarl from a large man at the bottom of the steps out of the plane. Seeing what he expected to be her guardian he saw the shuttered look in her eyes as though she were dead take over the once vivid emerald eyes as she gathered the small knapsack and walk towards the man silently. Eric watched the interaction with cold eyes. The once warm hazel eyes iced over and a barely audible growl rumbled from his chest when he saw the man lift his foot and kick the girl, no Harri in the back causing her to fall only to pop right back up without a word of complaint.
As they left the airport eyes of hazel never left the small form that picked up bags that were double her size and likely her weight and move them towards a yellow cab. It was hard to hold himself back when he saw a woman whose neck was far to long and looked like a horse slap the girl when no one other than himself was looking. The bags once inside the trunk he saw Harri move to the front seat of the cab and sit still as a board never once moving her mouth. No sound, no joy it was like she were a doll stuck in a place she did not belong. Her appearance was more angelic than most, her size far to small and as it were and the expression of utter wistfulness passed him by as the cab started to leave.
The cabs wheels spun faster and faster until the airport was no longer in sight, she knew she would never return to Britain with the horse, the baby whale and the walrus and it hurt. The only family she knew did not want her, her existence to them was meaningless so it was not a surprise when the cab stopped in front of a corner store in a less noticeable part of New York.
"Girl get out!" it was spoken in a tone of loathing. The air was heavy from the hatred that lingered, it wasn't a good feeling for Harri but she knew it was to come. She had lived with it for the first year and a bit and now she would be free of the harsh reality that the gods set her in.
Her movements were slow but elegant, stepping from the cab holding only the backpack she'd been given. Though it was just another cast away of Dudley's it was a small item she would need.
"Freak, you will stay here until someone takes you. I don't care what happens but here is a note on what their getting into. The backpack has adoption papers inside and that is all, I have no problem with the people who take you, you're their problem now." The sneer at the end of his comment made her snap. After being a slave to them as only a one year old she was free of them and they were going to know it after she was finished talking.
"Oy bastard, I've seen how much you and my dear loving aunt care about me but you sure win the prize of most heartless and conniving bastard around. You my dear aunt will have some explaining to do to my mum when you get there. Anyway toodles have a nice trip while I live here and die here I hope your happy." The explosion of her words made him speechless and it was rather funny how all he did was sneer, turn away slamming the door of the cab and leaving. It was just to funny, her life had been thrown away like a dirty rag.. Opening up the folded piece of paper her uncle had shoved into her hands she started reading.
Dear sir or lady,
You have now been presented with your new daughter, we don't want nor do we have a need for her.
You can have her, she can cook, clean and read. Make her do whatever you like.
You are the proud new parents of a child you may rename and use. The papers are in her bag, no longer our problem for now she is yours.
The writing was near illegible and the obvious uncaring for her came out clearly as if slapping her. A good day starting with her first sweet easily plummeted when she was left standing on the sidewalk. She was a beautiful child and was a person who everyone seemed to be drawn to. Not to go unnoticed by Harri, she saw two pairs of eyes staring at her in both confusion and admiration. A warm feeling surged through her that seemed to pull at the two. She turned away from the glass windows that separated them and allowed herself to calm and intently listen to the sounds of the cars passing by.