The muscular redhead slowly made his way to the barrier between platforms 9 and 10 at King's Cross Station. He was walking against the tide of students and parents coming from Platform 9 3/4, the platform for the Hogwarts' Express. It was difficult going because of the trolleys constantly aiming straight at his legs. He decided to move off to the side and wait for the stream of people to slow.
He took up a position next to a small black haired boy. Looking the boy over, he took in the messy hair, too-large clothing and round framed glasses. The boy was sitting on his trunk next to a cage containing a large snowy white owl. He had a worried frown on his face as he scanned the people moving around him in the station. Every once in a while he would look over at the entrance to the Hogwarts platform, as if waiting for someone.
Charlie Weasley was waiting for someone himself, or rather, several people. He was waiting for his mother, sister and four brothers. The four brothers were all students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He, his older brother Bill and their little sister Ginny were the only ones who weren't at Hogwarts. he saw a head of wavy red hair come through the barrier, his younger brother Percy. He was followed by identical twins Fred and George.
"Charlie!" One of the twins, Charlie saw that it was Fred, smiled and headed over to greet him. George and Percy followed. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed the black haired boy watching them curiously, before a sad expression came over his face and he looked away, once again scanning the thinning crowd in front of him. As he neared Charlie, Fred's eyes were drawn to the smaller boy next to his brother.
"Harry! Why're you still here?"
The boy hunched his shoulders and shook his head, not answering. Fred and George looked at each other in silent conversation and bypassed Charlie to kneel next to the boy.
"Harry, why are you still here? Where's your family?"
The boy just shook his head again. He looked back at the barrier just as Charlie's youngest brother, Ron, walked through. The boy's green eyes filled with relief. Ron saw Charlie and the boy at the same time. Ron's face lit up, happy to see Charlie, but then clouded with concern as he saw the boy. He walked over to give Charlie a hug and then sat next to the boy on the trunk.
"Harry? Where're your aunt and uncle."
"They didn't come for me." The quiet voice shook.
Now Charlie knew why the boy had looked frightened. Charlie crouched down next to Ron and looked at the boy named Harry. "They knew you were coming home today, right?"
The boy nodded, looking at him. Charlie felt a strange surge of magic pass through him as he looked into the boy's emerald green eyes. Those eyes widened, making Charlie realize that the boy had felt it, too. Just then, Charlie's mother, Molly Weasley, came through the barrier with his sister. She stopped when she saw her second oldest son.
"Charlie! Oh, it's good to see you!" She wrapped her arms around him in what looked like a bone-crushing hug. He winced. "What happened? Why are you home? Are you hurt?" She held him at arm's length and slowly ran her gaze over him. Not seeing anything obvious, like bandages, she asked again, "Are you hurt?"
"Mum, I'm on a vacation. I can't come home to see my family after almost 2 years away?"
"Of course you can, but..." She broke off when she saw the rest of her sons gathered around the dark haired boy. "Hello there. Is everything alright?"
Ron spoke. "Mum, this is my best mate, Harry. You know, the one you made the jumper for. His aunt and uncle haven't come for him yet. How long have you been waiting Harry?"
Harry mumbled "Don't know."
Charlie spoke up. "I've been here for about 20 minutes, and he was here before me."
"Oh, dear! Well then, we'll just wait some more with you. Maybe they've just got hung up in a jam." She began to fuss over Charlie, trying to get him to admit that he was hurt.
Ron looked at Harry. "What are you going to do, if they don't come soon?"
Charlie heard the boy's answer and it chilled him to the bone. "They're not coming, Ron. They hate me. They've finally found a way to get rid of me." He pulled his feet up on the trunk, wrapped his thin arms around his legs and rested his head on his knees. "I should have known when they weren't here right away. Now what am I going to do? I don't have anywhere to go."
Charlie looked at his mother. She had heard the boy's words and had tears in her eyes. "Charlie, apparate to Hogwarts. Bring Albus back with you. He needs to know about this."
Charlie nodded and looked at Harry. "I'm going to get Professor Dumbledore. He'll know what to do. You just stay here with Ron and everyone, alright?"
Harry nodded and looked at him gratefully. "Thank you." He put his head back down on his knees, looking like he might cry. Ron put an arm around him and Charlie watched as the thin frame stiffened. Something wasn't right with this boy. He knelt down again.
"What's your last name, Harry? Just so that I know what to tell Professor Dumbledore."
Charlie had a hard time keeping his jaw from dropping open. This was The Boy Who Lived! He just nodded and stood. "I'll be back as soon as I can." He backed into the alcove. Harry heard a popping sound and turned to look back at Charlie. The man was gone.
He gasped and looked at Ron. "Where did he go?"