Harry woke up the next morning and immediately realized that he wasn’t in his bed, either at Dursleys. He looked around frantically for a minute and then spotted Angel sitting on the other bed. Suddenly the previous night’s events came back to him. He’d left the Dursley’s after getting expelled from school and Angel had offered to let him stay with him.
“Morning,” Angel greeted as he was putting his shoes on.
“Good morning. Thanks for letting me stay here,” Harry said as he started to rise from bed.
“It’s no problem. Why don’t you get dressed? We can go down to breakfast with the others,” Angel said.
“Um, I don’t have any money on me right now,” Harry said uncomfortably. He hadn’t visited his vault yet, so he had no money to speak of.
“That’s okay. I’ve got it. If you want, you can pay me back later,” Angel said. He really had no desire to take the kid’s money, but Harry seemed to be the very proud type. He probably wouldn’t accept the free meal any other way.
“Are you sure?” Harry asked uneasily. He wasn’t sure about receiving this kind of help from someone, but he was hungry.
“Yeah, it’s no problem. Go ahead and get ready,” Angel urged.
Harry nodded before grabbing his things and making his way to the bathroom.
Just as Harry left the room, there was a knock on the door. Angel immediately went and answered it. He found Cordelia on the other side. “Hey, Cordy.”
“Hey. Everyone else is waiting downstairs. You ready to go eat?” Cordelia asked.
“Yeah, I’m starving,” Angel said. It actually quite weird. He hadn’t felt hungry for actual human food in a very long time. “I just have to wait for Harry to get ready.”
“Yeah, I think we need to talk about that, Angel,” Cordelia said.
Angel sighed before stepping outside and closing the door. He didn’t want Harry to overhear what they were going to say.
“Do you really think it’s a good idea to bring this kid into our lives?” Cordelia asked.
“What was I supposed to do, Cordelia? Just leave him alone. He was about to go off on his own. That kid would’ve ended up on the streets if I didn’t offer him a place to stay. I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t let that happen,” Angel said.
“And normally, that would be fine. Hell, I’d expect it of you. But, Angel, this isn’t our world. We’re not going to be here forever. We’re leaving as soon as we find Connor. What’s gonna happen to Harry then? He can’t come back with us. It’s not his world anymore than this is ours. What happens to him when you’re not here anymore?” Cordelia asked. She understood what Angel was trying to do and why. She didn’t want to see Harry end up on the streets either, but the simple fact was that they wouldn’t be there long enough to help him.
“I…I don’t know,” Angel said. He hadn’t really thought about that. He hadn’t had time to. He’d just made a last second decision to help Harry. He hadn’t thought about anything else but helping him. “Look, I get what you’re saying, okay? But I can’t just turn this kid away. He has no one else. I have to help him.”
“Are you doing this for him or for Connor?” Cordelia asked. She couldn’t help but ask. Harry was the same age Connor now was. It was very likely that Angel thought about his son when he looked at the boy.
“Both. Even though he shouldn’t be, Connor is the same age as Harry. And like Harry, Connor doesn’t have his parents with him. I keep thinking about him. I wonder if he’s with anyone who loves him. Is he with Holtz or is he with some family? And are they taking good care of him?” Angel asked. He hadn’t been able to get those thoughts out of his head since they’d gotten there and found out how old Connor now was. Those thoughts intensified when they met Harry and found out what his home life was like. “But I’m also doing it for Harry. When I’m around him, I feel something. I can’t explain it, but I feel a connection with him. I couldn’t just turn him away.”
“So what will you do when it comes time for us to leave?” Cordelia asked again.
“I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now I guess it doesn’t matter because we’re not even close to finding Connor,” Angel said sadly. He wished they were closer to finding his son than they actually were.
Suddenly they both heard a loud noise coming from Angel’s room. They both rushed in and found an owl in the room. “What the hell?” Cordelia asked.
“Is that what I think it is?” Angel asked.
“If you think it’s an owl carrying a letter, then yes,” Cordelia said.
Angel started to cautiously go over to it when Harry came out of the bathroom. “Wait, it’s okay. It’s for me,” Harry said before going to take the letter.
Cordelia went over to Angel and started whispering in his ear. “Could this be a normal occurrence for this world?”
“Don’t ask me,” Angel said. He’d been wondering the same thing. After taking the letter and sending the owl away, Harry noticed the shocked and confused looks Angel and Cordelia had on their faces. He knew he had to say something and fast. “Oh, some owls are really smart. Some know how to get to people in a flash, so sometimes people can get them to deliver mail faster than the post can.” He knew it sounded really stupid, but it was all he could come up with in a split second.
“Uh huh,” Cordelia said, clearly not buying it. She’d been ready to believe that this was just something that happened in this world, but when Harry started stammering to come up with a reasonable explanation, she knew something was up.
“Um, alright, let’s just go. The others are waiting,” Angel said. He too knew that something was up, but he decided not to press Harry on it right then. It was obvious that the kid was hiding something, but he’d decided to wait to question him on it. The kid had been through enough in the last twenty-four hours without being interrogated, and it didn’t appear to be dangerous, so it could wait.
Harry placed the unopened letter on the bed and followed the other two out of the room.