He woke up shrieking.
He clawed at his hospital gown as though it were a vile thing. His face was twisted into a mask of agony and his screams matched this expression. His eyes remained shut. They were squeezed shut for fear of what they might see.
Nurses were by his bedside in a matter of seconds, trying to hold him down. It was to no avail. He was stronger that he looked, adrenaline causing him to use every ounce of his power to fight off anyone who approached him. He had to keep fighting, because if he stopped, then… He didn't want to think about it. He couldn't.
Abruptly, the warm touches were replaced with cold ones. He screamed anew at the alien and firm hands that were pressing him against the bed. He struck forward with his fists, then recoiled when a jolt of pain ran down his arms. He felt as though he had just rammed his wrists into a wall.
"There is no need to panic."
He cradled his hands against his chest and attempted to kick his way free.
"It's just a bad dream."
He shook his head vehemently, his screams turning from rage to helplessness. He couldn't move. So very tired. Afraid.
"You're safe here."
No. It wasn't safe yet. All he could voice was an incoherent plea, a half-whine.
"Could you open your eyes for me?"
He felt his lids pulling apart on their own accord despite his attempts to keep them shut. He couldn't see anything in any case. Everything was a vivid shade of red.
"That's better. What's your name?"
He was still now, his screams having lost all strength and turning into sobs. "H-Harry," he answered in a hoarse whisper.
"Harry. I'm Dr. Cullen. You've been in a coma for five weeks now. You are safe here. Do you understand?"
"Hmm," he murmured before fainting away.
When he awoke again, everything was so much… clearer. Clearer in his head, at least. He opened his eyes, blinking a few times before frowning. He couldn't see anything but blurry shapes.
"Something the matter?"
He turned towards the soft question and saw a vague white figure standing at the foot of his bed. "Huh?" he croaked.
"Why are you doing that with your eyes?" Dr. Cullen asked curiously.
"I… I can't see." Harry held his hand out in front of him. Blurry. "Um…"
"Do you wear glasses, Harry?" Carlisle asked, bending down and pulling down the skin under his patient's eye.
"Hmm." Carlisle nodded once. "That's quite alright. I'll talk to the optometrist about an appointment for you. Now, how do you feel?"
"Fine," Harry answered hesitantly.
"Then perhaps you can tell me what happened?"
He blinked in confusion. "What happened?" he asked.
He kept his wide eyes on the blurry image of his doctor. "What happened?" he echoed weakly.
Worry lines appeared on Carlisle's otherwise smooth face. "I'm sorry." He sat down beside his patient. "Can you tell me where you live, Harry?"
"Live?" Harry seemed lost in thought. "Here?" He couldn't be certain.
"Here. Where's here?" Carlisle inquired.
"I… um…" He was stammering for an answer now. "Here…"
"Here? in Forks?"
"With… with no one. By myself. I live here."
"Okay… That's... Alright. Thank you, Harry."
The following day, Harry was put through a multitude of diagnostic tests to check for brain damage. It was exhausting and he was quiet as a mouse through it all, appearing much too naive and utterly lost amidst the medical equipment. He never spoke to anyone unless he was asked a direct question. He kept his eyes on his hands. He couldn't see, so he figured there really was no point in looking at people.
After an entire day of drawing blood, scans, long wait times, and questions, he was back in his room. It wasn't long before his doctor walked in. He realized embarrassingly enough that he didn't remember the doctor's name. He wasn't about to ask. He let Carlisle take his temperature and check his pulse without comment.
Then it was time for more talking, like the day before.
"It appears you are suffering from amnesia, Harry. There is heavy bruising in your brain, but it seems to be quite an old concussion. Do you know what that means?" Carlisle asked.
"Yeah. I figured."
"And we can find no record of you anywhere. No fingerprints or missing persons reports," he added. "Now I want you to think really hard for me and tell me the first memory in your mind, alright?"
"Okay," Harry mumbled, twisting his fingers nervously. He closed his eyes, hoping that his concentration would increase from the deprivation of one of his senses. But he had no idea what to do. First memory? What did that even mean? But he wanted to try for the doctor, so he sat there with an intense look of concentration on his face. He counted to ten before opening his eyes slowly and hazarding a look at Dr. Cullen. He hated seeing that blurry and hopeful expression. "I'm sorry. I..."
"No, no. Nothing to be sorry about," Castiel reassured him even though he was feeling disappointed. "It's alright. You don't have to worry about anything, okay? We'll find your parents and you'll be home in no time."
Then came the police interviews. Harry was propped up in bed early in the morning and made to wait for the Chief of Police to show up. He didn't really know why, but who was he to argue?
Charlie Swan walked in with Dr. Cullen, chatting about news Harry wasn't aware of and had no interest in. He waited patiently for them to stop speaking and look at him.
"And this is Harry," Carlisle introduced while gesturing towards his patient. "Harry, this is our Chief of Police, Charlie Swan."
Harry mumbled out a greeting as Carlisle pulled up a stool for Charlie to sit on. "Hello, Harry," Charlie smiled warmly. "This is just a routine interview. It's quite alright if you aren't able to answer these questions."
"I'll be right here," Carlisle said in assurance.
Charlie flipped open his notepad and poised his pen against the paper. "Do you remember your last name, Harry?" he asked.
"No," Harry answered.
"When were you born?"
He flicked his eyes at Carlisle for a second before looking down at his hands again. He shrugged.
"Then do you know how old you are?"
He shook his head again.
"You remember waking up in the hospital, don't you?"
"Do you remember before that? When you were brought to the hospital in Mr. Plum's car?"
"How about the park? That's where you were found," Charlie urged.
"I just... I can't."
"Can you tell me your parents' names, then?"
"I don't… have parents," Harry whispered, his voice breaking.
Harry tried to clear his throat but it didn't work. "I… I don't have…" he trailed off, wrapping his arms around his stomach. "I'm sorry."
"It's fine, Harry." Charlie was quick to comfort. "That's fine. Then do you remember where you live?"
"Here," Harry insisted. "I live in Forks." He was adamant about this.
"And what's the address to your-"
"I can't do this," Harry interrupted without warning, pressing his hands to strained eyes. "Please, I'm sorry. I don't know anything."
"Maybe that's enough, Charlie," Carlisle interrupted, motioning for the officer to move away from the emotional boy. "Let's talk outside, shall we?"
"Yes." Charlie eyed Harry worriedly for a moment before following Carlisle out.
Harry slid under the covers and pulled it over his head to hide.
After lunch, he was whisked away to the optometrist. He was made to sit in the large chair by the grandmotherly lady. He looked at the black machine with its numerous dials. He was feeling a bit distrustful of that monstrous thing. He leaned against the back of the chair as the instrument was brought towards his face. But he couldn't run away from what he foresaw as impending doom.
"Now tell me which one is clearer for you, sweetie. One or two?"
Harry gasped when the letters projected onto the wall grew sharper in front of his eyes. Like magic. "Oh my goodness," he breathed, reaching forward and trying to grab the E out of thin air.
Carlisle watched on with amusement.
"Yes, isn't it marvelous?" the optometrist asked, thrilled by Harry's incredulity. "Shall we try one eye at a time as well?"
"Mhm," Harry said eagerly, sitting up close to the spectacular machine that was making his vision as clear as ever.
Elizabeth placed the lens cover off of the left side and dropped in an arbitrary lens on the right side. "See that?"
Harry blinked, seeing the world for the first time. He drank in the letters, clutching his hands to his chest as his heart pounded without reprieve. "Mhm," he nodded, his breath shaky.
"Good, dear," Elizabeth laughed. "Now let's start, shall we? One or two? Which is clearer?"
"I-I don't know. Both… both of them are amazing," Harry said in awe. "Amazing."
Elizabeth quirked her brow and looked at Carlisle. He merely shrugged with a helpless smile.
Fifteen minutes later, Harry was told that his glasses would arrive in two days. He clutched Elizabeth's hands and thanked her earnestly. "I'm just doing my job, Harry," she smiled before giving him a warm hug.
On the way back to the hospital, Carlisle couldn't keep mum any longer. "You don't remember wearing glasses?" he asked suddenly, jolting Harry out of his reverie. This was all so utterly perplexing. "You looked so surprised. I was just wondering."
"Oh," Harry mumbled as he slouched. "I... I don't know."
"From his dental check-up, Harry's in his late teens or early twenties," Carlisle informed Charlie.
"So, what do you propose we do with him?"
"Keep him here, of course," the doctor exclaimed. "He's definitely not stable enough to be discharged. And without his memories, who knows what could happen to him if he was left alone right now."
"But for how long?" Charlie argued. "We need to make arrangements. We can't have him take up a hospital bed for an extended period of time. And we aren't equipped for long-term care of a boy we don't even have funds for."
"I am not letting him leave," Carlisle was adamant.
Harry handled his new glasses reverentially, holding the delicate stems with care and admiring them from afar.
"Wear them," Carlisle urged while trying to keep his excitement down.
"Okay," Harry said. He put on the frameless spectacles that sat snug against his nose. He waited for his eyes to adjust, feeling vertigo as his vision swam. He blinked rapidly to bring everything into focus before looking up at Carlisle. "Hello."
"Hello," Carlisle murmured.
"I can see now," he announced.
"I am very glad for that."
"You look nice."
"Oh?" Carlisle laughed. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Harry said solemnly as he roved his eyes over the room.
Harry was absorbed in the book as he paced the length of his room. He would increase his pace as the suspense built up and them stop completely when the climactic part made him pause in wonder. Then he would slowly start walking again as the shock wore off and the story moved onto more mundane scenes.
Carlisle had been watching for a long while through the small window on the door. Harry hadn't stopped reading since he had gotten his glasses. His brain seemed to be starved for knowledge. He was going to fill it up with crime novels and detective fiction in a blink of an eye. Perhaps it was time for more substantial education.