Note; Yes, we will be going through Harry's childhood with Anne and Crowley.. It is going to be more than just a few chapters.. But I hope to show how Harry changes and BECOMES the Prince of the crossroads before he turns 11 instead of just.. POOF! He's evil! It makes more sense to me that way. Please bare with me.
Hope you enjoy!
New York City, New york - nearly a year later.
Six-almost-Seven-year-old Conner laid comfortably in his four-poster bed. Their apartment in New York city was large, and high-class. Dad wouldn't go for anything less. And being the 'father' of the only Cambion in decades gave him a lot of awe and respect from other demons.. So, Conner, of course, got one of the biggest rooms they had as well as one of the most ornate beds money could buy. He loved it! It was like a having a place to sleep, a fort, and a small palace all in one... Which was probably why his dad had picked it out in the first place.
Curled up in bed next to him with a book in her hands was his Mummy. She wore a lovely purple gown tonight, one she insisted was "Orchid, not Purple!" Even though it looked very much like purple to Conner... He didn't dare ask what kind of fabric it was, even though he was curious. Cashmere maybe? He didn't say anything about the dress, or his mother's obvious vanity, but instead contented himself with playing with the soft hem of her long sleeve with his fingers.
This had become a nightly ritual of theirs that they started not long after he was adopted. After Anne learned that Conner was never read a bedtime story, and knew hardly any fairy tales at all. She was appalled. Before Harry knew it he had dozens of storybooks and fairytales at his disposal, and was read at least one story every night before bed.
So, here they where. Conner already tucked into his midnight blue blankets. Anne next to him, the fabric of her dress and her very presence seeming to surround him. He, playing with the soft fabric of her sleeve. She, reading another story to him.
"She leant against a tree and was determined to wait for the dove who had saved her life so many times. The ring she had stolen from the old woman in the woods firm in her hand... and, as she thus stood, it seemed as if the tree became soft and pliant and was letting its branches down.." Anne paused here just for a moment, to turn the page of the book.
"Suddenly the branches twined around her were two arms, and when she looked round, the tree was a handsome man! He embraced and kissed her heartily, and said, 'Thou hast delivered me from the power of the old woman, who is a wicked witch.'
'She had changed me into a tree, and every day for two hours I was only a white dove. So long had she possessed the ring I could not regain my human form!' His servants and his horses, who had likewise been changed into trees, were also freed from the enchantment and stood beside him. He led them forth to his kingdom, for he was a King's son, married the girl and lived happily."
"Ever After.." Conner added with a smile. Anne gave him a smile back.
"Ever after." She agreed, now shutting the book.
"Mummy?.." Conner asked, stopping her before she got up to leave. Anne, who had started to get up, settled herself back down.
"Yes, Conner?.." Anne said as she placed the book on her lap.
"Do princes HAVE to be brave all the time?" He said with a frown. Anne's eyebrow raised.
"What do you mean, Love?..."
"I mean... What if the Prince was really, really scared... Almost terrified... and messed up or failed? Would that be ok? Or does he have to be brave and do things right every time?..." Conner asked softly. Anne's eyes widened for a moment. She blinked owlishly as she thought the words over.
"Well, Conner.. A Prince does have to try to be brave every time. But I suppose being brave also takes practice... but, truthfully, there are consequences to messing up and failing, even if you are scared or not.." She anwsered. "Remember when you messed up baking those blueberry muffins?"
"I burned the pan..." Conner said, turning red.
"And smoked the entire kitchen... You had to clean the pan and do the garbage for a week. And remember when you failed your math test?"
Conner nodded again, "I was grounded for a week, and had to have you check my math homework every night until I raised my grade."
"See? Consequences." Anne added with a nod. Conner still frowned. Anne wondered what was going through his head at that moment...
"But... What if the consequences were really, really bad?.. Would dad punish me? If I was really, REALLY scared and froze up.." He said again. Anne frowned even more.
"Why do you ask?.." She said softly. She had a feeling she wasn't going to like where this was going.
"Because.. I heard the other demons talking.. They said that Dad really, REALLY hates it when people fail him.. They said his punishments are REALLY harsh..." He said, getting a little pale. Anne's eyes turned to stone cold rubies. Oh, she was going to pay a few of her fellow crossroads demons a visit soon...
"Conner; put that out of your mind. Those were you're father SERVANTS and UNDERLINGS that he punished, not you. Not the Prince.. and he had more than the right to do so. Some of those failures could have cost your father his kingdom in hell.. They would have ruined him. Do you understand?.." She said, in a firm and final tone. Her words seeming harsher than they should have.
Conner nodded back quickly.
"Good.. Now go to sleep." She said, brushing his hair softly with her hand. A complete contradiction from her attitude a moment ago. Afterwards she rose from the bed, the purple (Orchid!) fabric slipping off the blue covers seamlessly, and trailing smoothly behind her. She walked to the dark oak bookcase that had been in the room since he had moved in, and put the storybook back in its place.
She then turned her shoulder and looked back at him. Her black curls moving with her, from head to waist. Conner was sure he had the most beautiful mummy in the world..
"I want you in the study at 7 tomorrow morning.. If you want me to teach you more magic, you have to be on time. Understood?" Conner smiled happily and nodded again. Tomorrow he was going to have another lesson! He couldn't wait. Anne nodded and smiled back, walking briskly to the door. She was extent on.. having a talk.. with some of the others of the 'court' tonight.
"Mummy, One last thing?.." Conner said. Anne stilled at the door, and turned around.
"Yes, my little prince?..."
"Do you think.. If I ever got really, truly afraid again.. Like I did that night with Uncle Vernon.. That I could brave, too? Like the other princes?..." Conner said, his eyes full of hope. Anne smiled back, looking a little sad.
"Ahh, but that my little prince, is the rub... Because it is only at that time when one is truly afraid that one can be brave..."
And with that, Anne lifted her hand, and turned off the light switch. She stepped carefully out of the door, being sure to leave it open just a few inches.
Conner closed his eyes. Soon he had fallen asleep. A few moments after a rather small Hell-hound padded his way quietly into to the room. He looked around with interest until it found his charge. He made his way over to the four-poster bed, and promptly climbed into it.
Then, After finding a wonderfully warm spot next to Conner, It to curled up and fell asleep.