A small vignette on Harry Gregson from the 2007 BBC drama 'Cranford' and the character created by Elizabeth Gaskell.

This piece is based on the scene where Harry is in Mr Carter's office for the first time - sitting in the chair and dwarfed by his surroundings. Details may be different from the original.

In the room was Harry. And in the room were Harry's thoughts. He sat. A small boy in a large chair. But his thoughts stretched to the ceiling above him. They stretched above him, behind him and beside him too. They stretched to the length of the room. Harry's thoughts were a score of drawers and shelves surrounding him. Dark, closed and secret. But knobs of gold shone out from the drawers, as did the promises of the Knowledge that Harry wanted to be a part of.

Language, Science, Mathematics, Economics, History, Ledgers, Maps and Plans. It all loomed and swirled above him; around him. And yet none of it dwarfed him. Harry fitted here among this Knowledge. He felt comfortable. He looked comfortable, almost regal. As if his spirit had risen up and was flying up there with it was not intimidated. He welcomed it all. He belonged. He felt one day it could be his - in some form.

It took his breath away to be in the same room as these treasures. The Knowledge that he so wanted to learn. The words he so wanted to be able to read; The secrets beyond the little cottage in the forest; The cottage that sheltered Harry, his parents and his brothers.

This poor ragged boy from the forest felt privileged to be sitting in this Study - his friend's place of work. But he never dared hope that he could part of this same world of Knowledge - until one day. That day, his friend, Mr Carter; his only friend, had told him, "This world can be yours, Harry. All this and whatever Knowledge you want." Then his friend had added, "I will help you."

At that moment, Harry's eyes grew wide and the small boy in the chair became as large and tall as the thoughts and dreams that surrounded him. Harry now dared to hope.

END