Hey everyone, thank you all for the reviews and your patience in waiting for this chapter, I apologize for not posting for so long, things came up. This chapter is a bit short in comparison to the others but I wanted to post something for you guys, the next chapter will be longer.
Warnings: Unexplained time travel, pre-slash.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, I wish I did but I don't.
Beta : Storm Scripter
The walk back to the orphanage was quiet but pleasant, if one could call walking back to an orphanage pleasant when you knew what truly waited behind the cracked plaster walls.
Isobel smiled quietly and held the boys hands once again, her soft, if slightly calloused hands dwarfing their own and swallowing them completely.
Her grip was firm enough to keep them from slipping away and being separated in the busy streets of London but loose enough to not be uncomfortable or annoying.
Tom found he didn't particularly mind that she held his hand as she did Harry, that she cared enough to not want him to get lost, with no job on the line at that, Tom found this rather amazing. Adults in his life so far had only ever been watching out for their own interests and never purely out of the goodness of their hearts.
While he wasn't about to say that he thought about the woman, she was currently the best example of an adult he had seen so far.
When they finally stood at the swept but still dirty steps of Wool's orphanage they exchanged their goodbyes; a kind smile coming from Isobel that was replied to with a cool nod from Tom and a quick, almost shy hug before the woman was on her way back to that small spot of clean air in an otherwise polluted city.
The two boys watched until she disappeared down the street before they turned around to look at the faded black double doors that stood ominously behind them.
Sighing, Tom wrapped his fingers around the worn brass handle and opened the door; the dull interior of the building greeted him along with the sounds of playing children.
Harry watched as his friend stepped inside waiting for him to do the same, with one a wistful glance over his shoulder the younger boys stepped inside the grim building, the door closing behind him.
Neither boy saw the dark eyes of the man standing across the road, the rim of his hat pulled low and the collar of his jacket popped so the shadows hid what little people could see of his face. A grim smile crept over the man's lips before he slipped into the darkness of a nearby alley, no one none the wiser.
The rest of the day went fairly quickly for the boys as they slipped back into their ritual of spending time in the attic, amongst the cobwebs and dust covered furniture as they sifted through the contents of the crates, boxes and trunks that filled the majority of it.
So far they had found a large assortment of broken toys, old magazines - several of which that had pictures of smiling women on their covers that Tom had snatched from Harry's hands before he could open them, making sure to distract the younger boys while he threw them in the trash, a large box of out of date moth eaten clothes, various nick-knacks, and more dead spiders that either boy cared to count.
But things were going well; they had already succeeded in clearing the entire right front corner of the attic, the space seemingly much larger without the mounds of junk filling the space.
Harry enjoyed their time there, cleaning quietly most of the time instead of chatting about things that only filled the silence between them, here they could let the silence hang in the air without worry, there was no social obligation that either of them felt the need to fill when they were entirely alone.
There was a certain beauty in not having anyone ease dropping on them through the thin walls that filled the old building. Tom took great pleasure in knowing that Amy Benson was going mad trying to find out where they disappeared to when they weren't in their room for her to ease drop, eight years old and the girl was already a terrible snoop and gossip monger.
He was disgusted at the thought of what she would be like as a teenager, hopefully she would be adopted before then so she would be their problem anymore but her new families, Harry took this for what it was; a blunt statement that Tom couldn't wait until she was out of his hair.
Harry pulled the sheet off the old trunk that they had sat on during his first visit to the attic, blinking at the bronze letters painted on the dark blue leather that cover the wooden body of the trunk. A tingle passed through him as he traced the letters with his fingertips, 'P.J. Wool'. Perhaps it had belonged to the orphanages founder, Mr. Wool? As far as Harry knew the man who now ran the orphanage was the grandson of the original founder.
"Tom, come have a look at this." Harry called quietly to the boy across the room, his nose tucked away in a dusty book he had found on an equally dusty bookshelf.
With a sigh the older boy carefully placed a scrap of paper to mark his page before he closed the book, setting it aside before he walked over, blinking at the sight that Harry motion to when he had come to a stop beside him.
"P.J. Wool, Phillip James Wool, he's the one who started this place." Tom said wrinkling his nose in dislike, though Harry knew it wasn't for the man but the orphanage itself. His friend could never quiet his dislike when it came to the orphanage, no matter how hard he tried.
"I wonder why his trunk is up here then, instead of with his family or something." Harry said, he had always thought people with families cared about these kinds of things.
Tom frowned but shrugged.
"They probably didn't want it taking up their attic space, stuck it up here and forgot about it." He replied as his fingers traced a bronze eagle that had been carefully painted on the top of the trunk, a bronze shield like outline had been painted around it while the blue behind it was darker than the rest of the trunk, a midnight blue.
"I wonder what's inside." Harry said a frown on his lips as he played with the padlock that currently held the trunk closed.
"Let me have a look at it." The elder boy responded, nudging Harry out of the way, holding the lock so that most of its weight was cupped in the palms of his hands, his slate gray eyes narrowing with concentration, nearly glaring at the rough bit of metal that kept him from his goal.
Harry watched the older boy's movements quietly, taking in the way that Tom's breaths became deeper, the way his brow furrowed in intense concentration and the slight brightness that brought a light to his eyes that only came into his eyes when he did the strange things that only Tom was able to do.
After a few moments of silence the lock gave a gentle twitch before softly clicking open. With a self-pleased smirk, Tom unhooked it and placed on the floor beside him before looking back to his right where Harry sat watching him with wide emerald eyes.
"Open it!" Harry said with a smile nearly vibrating with excitement, not bothering to mention Tom's unique way of opening the lock.
With a determined nod, Tom flipped the latch up and opened the trunk with the loud creaking sound that seemed to accompany old things that hadn't been opened for a long time.
Curiously the boys leaned over and peered inside at the shadowed contents.
Harry reached in and pulled out a satchel that had a lovely caramel tinge to its aged leather. Opening it he was greeted with a pitch black pocket, reaching inside he expected to feel the bottom of the satchel but his questing fingers met nothing but cool air as he pushed his hand deeper, amazement filling him when it went much deeper than it should have been able to.
With wild excitement, Harry pushed arm in until his elbow was just above the mouth of the satchel. Finally his fingers brushed against something, grasping it tightly he slowly pulled his arm back out, and slightly worried if he moved to fast he would lose his grip on the object. Once it was out and the satchel closed once again, Harry looked at what he had found; it was wrapped in navy blue fabric that felt rough against his hands.
Meanwhile Tom had pulled out a simple black book, the curling silver script on its spine read ' The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection'. Raising a skeptical eyebrow Tom flipped the book open to a random page that had a detailed picture of what was titled as a mountain Hag; too detailed if anyone asked him.
Harry carefully pulled away the material and watched as a book was revealed.
"A Beginners Guide to Mirror Gazing." Harry read aloud as he turned the pale powder blue book over in his hands, its twisted gold lettering glinting in the dim light of the attic.
"What?" Tom asked, looking up from the book he was reading.
"It's a book about something called Mirror Gazing." Harry said holding out the book to him.
Tom's brow furrowed and took the book from him, gazing at the cover for a moment before handing it back.
"This one is about defense." Tom said raising the black book he had found.
"From magical creatures and spells, Harry do you have any idea what this means?" He asked, his eyes glinting what some would call madness but Harry knew to be excitement in his friend.
"That Wool was off his rocker?" Harry asked raising his eyebrow as he thought about all the stories he had heard about the old man before he had died, the rumors had quieted then as it was rude to speak ill of the dead.
"No, he was like me Harry, the things in this book is too detailed to be mere fiction. There are others like me out there too! Mr. Wool couldn't be the only one, he didn't write these books after all." Tom said, the words tumbling out of his mouth before he could stop them as he shook the black book to emphasize his point.
"Magic Harry, it's magic." He whispered in awe.
"Magic?" Harry asked, feeling rather overwhelmed with all this information, possibilities churning in his mind; what if these people took Tom away from him? Tom wouldn't leave him...right?
"That's what these books call it, Magic." Tom said with a smile.
Harry had never seen him smile like that.
So that's chapter seven of Only You, I hope you enjoyed it.