The loss of his sight and hearing, for without a familiar tongue all sound was worthless to him, left Harry chilled. He lay quietly under the thin blanket he had woken with, fighting the urge to flinch or shake when the odd woman would stroke his hair. His eyes started to ache and the blurry forms started to cross back and forth across his vision, leaving his head pounding. He scrunched them until they were almost closed and the movement stopped but the pain in his head remained. He wondered, miserably, how long he could keep this up.
Harry had no idea where he was or who was stroking him, only that he couldn't possibly be at Number Four anymore. There was no knowing how he had gotten there, but it didn't surprise him too terribly, as he never had been able to remember much after a beating from his Uncle Vernon. If not for the stabbing in his skull he would have believed himself to be in the middle of a strange dream.
He was likely delirious from the concussion.
Eventually the hands dissappeared and were replaced by an croaky humming. It made Harry even more nervous than before but there was little he could do. The time passed, how long he didn't know, and the room had begun to darken before an orangey yellow glow struck up in the corner of his eyes. Having been in a trance of sorts, it snapped him back to reality enough to begun to feel something trickling down his neck.
He was too weak to clean himself up, too frightened to try moving on his own, and more than anything, too stupid to talk to these people and get the help he needed. He bit back the tears and swallow the burning in his throat. As if sensing his distress, the hulking figure entered his vague vision and leaned over him in order to clumsily move his head with those large hands.
Harry only just picked up on the high whine that came from his bigger caretaker's throat. It was sad whine. Pitying and guilty. It would have made Harry angry if not for the fact he'd pity the luckless bloke he had his head smashed against the floor on a nightly basis too.
After another exhausting day in the forests Gilon returned home. Caramon wasted no time in describing what had happened since the night before. "Doesn't know what I'm saying, Pa, not a word!"
Gilon pondered this bit of knowledge whilst tugging off one of his boots. Well, he thought, that will make things much more difficult. It was odd to come across someone who didn't even know common. Even the elves deigned it important enough to learn at a young age, so he'd heard in any case. But the boy certainly hadn't led a sheltered life, more the opposite.
Caramon was stirring a pot over the fire that smelled distinctly burnt, still talking over his shoulder to his father. "Can't see either! He's had his eyes all scrunched up tinier than…well, really tiny! I heard Mother saying something about him missing his glasses."
A weight was growing in Gilon's stomach. This boy was turning out to be more trouble than he was worth. Gilon shuffled through the merchant he'd come across and could only think of a few who sold glasses. They weren't cheap. He'd need to have his eyes looked at too. He rubbed his palm against his face before realizing that he had just smeared himself with dirt. A sigh rang from his mouth and he moved to clean up.
"We'll figure something out."
Caramon nodded distractedly and Gilon could hear the gears cranking in the boy's head.
"What if I went up to see Raistlin? Y'know, just to see if he-"
"Why not?" Caramon cried, and hissed has he burnt a finger while taking the pot off the fire.
"You know you can't just hang around up there. They won't like it." And I'm not comfortable with you being there by yourself either.
"They'll understand though, after all, me and Raist are twins! They can't just keep us apart all the time!" He didn't want to tell his father he already went up to visit his brother quite frequently.
Gilon just shook his head and left the room. Peering through the doorframe he wasn't surprised to find Rosamum happily rocking beside the boy's bed and felt his heart ache. She had finished mending a number of old clothes and they lay folded beside her. He notices that there were scraps of fabric all around and understood why she'd taken up the sewing so quickly. Yes. He understood.
He kissed her on the cheek and was pleased he smile stretched even wider. Even more pleased when she pecked him back on the lips. It eerily reminded him of the new parents that would sometimes frequent the bridges, showing off their newborn babe and giving each other gooey eyes. He'd hoped for that when Rosamum had been pregnant with the twins. But of course, dreams were called such for a reason.
Caramon bustled passed him with two bowls of broth and set one down of the bedside table so that he could gently pry the sewing from his mother's hands.
"Mother, time to eat."
She looked up at him a moment, still bright eyed and grinning, and took the bowl from him quite graciously. "I'm so sorry Caramon, I've been so caught up with these old rags that I've left you to the cooking! Don't you worry, I'll make something delicious for you and your brother in the morning!"
Both father and son frowned and Gilon gently rested a hand on her back. "Dear, Raistlin is at school right now, he's staying there for the colder seasons." But Rosamum shook him off.
"No, silly, I mean Harry here. He needs fattening up if he's going to be up and about soon!"
The boy jerked a little at his name and Gilon made an 'O' with his mouth. The delicate head turned on the pillow to face him, brilliant eyes unseeing. "Right," he said.
Well. It was a start.
A majority of the evening was spent trying to tempt the boy to eat the watery broth that Caramon had 'cooked'. He accepted a few spoonfuls before pursing his lips and refusing anymore, though it was hardly surprising as most of the broth had dribbled all down his chin and, if the blush staining his cheeks were anything to go by, he was too ashamed to carry on.
Bowls set aside, and the mess cleaned, Gilon settled down beside the bed and considered how to go about what he wanted to do. Finally, he reached his hand toward the boy's hand.
The flinch that followed was most upsetting.
He pushed on regardless, and gently lifted the hand to his chest and held it there. "Gilon," he said slowly. When the child just kept staring he felt his heart drop. He repeated his name three more times, patting the other's hand against his chest softly each time.
Now pushing the boys hand to his own chest, he said, "Harry."
And those eyes lit up a brighter green then any Valenwood Tree that Gilon had ever seen.
Harry seemed to regain his strength then and nodded in understanding, removing his hand from the gentle grip. Pointing at the man he whispered hoarsely, "Gilon," and back to himself. "Harry." There was devestating relief in his voice and sprinkle of hope. Feeling heartened, Gilon slowly reached his hand out again an softly patted the nest of black hair.
He kissed his wife on the cheek and muttered goodnight to Harry before taking the bowls and spoons into the kitchen where he found his oldest son, miserably slurping the last dredges of the broth from the pot, and gave him a heavy pat on the back. Caramon jumped up to help his father with the dishes and after a minute or so of silence he brought up what was plaguing him.
"Dad, I don't think I can take another day off of work."
Gilon hesitated in his scrubbing but continued a moment later.
"Don't worry about it," he said gruffly. "We'll just have to show your mother how to do things. I think she'll be able to if it's for him." He didn't have to look up to see that Caramon was even more upset by this.
"Just say it, boy."
Caramon bit his lip. "She never did anything when Raist was sick. Always said he was her favorite but she never lifted a finger to-"
"She's better now."
Caramon looked back to the spoon he was drying. Brows scrunched together but silent.
Once everything was cleaned and dried Caramon began to slump off to his room but Gilon's hand on his shoulder stopped him.
"She loves you boys. You know she does. She's only just come back to us and-…it takes time. Don't let it get in the way of seeing that kid for what he is; hurt, broken, and beaten."
"But how?" Caramon questioned. "What do I do then?"
"Take care of him like you do Raistlin." Gilon said simply and squeezed his son's shoulder. "By the sounds of it, your mother plans on him becoming part of the family anyway."
The two separated Caramon to his room to think and Gilon back to where his wife sat, too tired to rock, in order to help her to bed.