Chapter One

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One Month Ago

Sometimes, Harry awoke, and he was always cold. He felt somewhat dead. He tried to fight his way out of the darkness, but he was still in the hole. Sometimes, it was like he could recognize the place he was, but he wasn't able to grasp it. Sometimes it was dark and sometimes it was light, somewhere mixed. It got cold and his head hurt; his heart pounded in his ears. A face appeared in front of him, masked, and then Harry fell back into the darkness.

Harry woke up, groggy at first, and he had to hard time comprehending where he was. His mind couldn't understand why he faced outside slightly with clouds covering the sky. He didn't understand how rain poured down down sometimes and sometimes there was mist. It never really occurred to him, much like how he wasn't on the flat ground but seven floors up. The crackle of white almost paper cloth on his body made his mind wonder, but he couldn't place it. There this was this beeping, like a heartbeat timer. There was this constant buzzing of the bright lights above him. There was the smell of strong disinfectant, burning his nostrils, but Harry was no longer in pain.

He wished to be in pain, because then he would know where he was. He would have some wits about him. There wouldn't be this heaviness upon his chest, and there wouldn't be a sluggishness about the way he blinked. It would be better to breathe. With the pushing of painkillers, he swam in dullness, coming in and out. He hovered in thin air, and he crashed back to earth. He didn't even realize he was awake until a few moments after staring at his older brother.

William, Duke of Cambridge, stared at his younger brother, waiting patiently for the haze to ware off. He had been instructed to talk to him, which he did, as if to lead his brother out of the darkness. He talked about the things Harry missed while he had been gone in Africa. He started big, like his children and Catherine, and there were many firsts that their uncle missed. William talked about other things, whatever happened around Britain and around the world, in case the news never got to him. There was no response, with the eyes opening and closing, which matched his mouth.

Eventually, Harry remembered what was going on, and soon enough, he could speak again. "Wills," he acknowledged, slowly taking in where he was. He was home, in Britain, London most likely, away from the world he lived for a month, barely over a month. "London?"

"Yes."

"When?"

"A week ago."

Harry strained himself with panic. He had been here for a month, and it took at least two days to get back here. For maybe ten days, he hadn't seen Lucy. Where was she? She wasn't here. She wasn't waiting for him. Was she left in Africa? Who would take her place? Was she okay? She had to be worried.

"Dad wanted to be where when you woke up, like most of the family, but they still have duty," William continued.

"Wills," Harry said, making his older brother stop talking, "where is the woman I was with?" Her name wouldn't leave his tongue, like some long kept secret, when he could tell his brother anything.

His brother shifted on his chair. "You were brought here alone. I know there is a woman you were working with, and she's fine. She wasn't attacked."

"I know, but where is she?" Harry asked. "Is she still in Africa?"

William paused to collect his words. "Harry, perhaps we shouldn't talk about this now."

"Where is she?" he growled.

"From last I heard, she is no longer in Africa, but she is no longer with the charity."

"Why?"

Swallowing, he paused. "Miss Smith no longer works for the charity, which fired her. They called her irresponsible and careless. She put your life in danger and she has been fired for it. She has been removed from the situation."

"She didn't do anything wrong."

"Harry...." William stopped because he knew. "Did you like her?"

"What?"

"Harry, did you like her?"

"I love her."

The Duke of Cambridge nodded, knowing his brother very well. "She hasn't come. She hasn't called." He didn't want to call his brother out upon a passing girl, when there were many females throughout the world. He doubted that she was "the one," when so many girls had gone out of their ways to get near him. She could've just been another one.

"She wouldn't be allowed in. Her phone call wouldn't be answered."

"Yes, Harry, but...."

There was a knock, and Catherine stuck her head in. "Oh, look who is awake?" she asked. A brown box was carried in by her, which she placed down. "I have your stuff from the charity. They sent it over. I thought maybe you would want to look through it."

The box was placed in front of him, and Harry panted a little by reaching his hand in.

"They had your clothes sent over but these are the personal items found within the slum."

Most of Harry's things were within the box, but he hadn't brought any trinkets with him. There were drawings made by some of the students as well as thank you notes. There were weaved bracelets, all the small presents given to him throughout his time there. He found some new trinkets in there, with good wishes and such. His old trinkets, the little pieces of home he brought and the pictures of the past he had, were laid in there.

His hand grabbed a smooth-enough surface, with some creases and edges, and this was just the cover. It was cold a little, as if it had been rained upon. Underneath the leather, which he felt, were hundreds of pages, ripped and torn, bent over and stuffed in, all put together to create a story. Strings were wrapped around the storybook, which he pulled up.

The pages were somewhat yellowed, especially at the beginning, with pen and pencil marks drawn on the pages. Sometimes there were words and sometimes there were pictures. He never opened it, because he knew the outside. He didn't know the full content, but he knew it certainly didn't belong to him. The leather was covered in red roses, marked into the leather. This was Lucy's.

Like that, with the notebook in his hands, her life in his hands, her story in his hands, if fate allowed, Harry knew he would see her again.


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