Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Harry, who was quite convinced he didn’t matter.
For as long as he could remember, that was what everybody had been telling him.
Uncle Vernon thought Harry was a lazy, arrogant little brat who deserved everything he got. Uncle Vernon thought Harry didn’t matter.
Aunt Petunia often said that Harry was a freak of nature, a weirdo, ‘just like his mother.’ She too thought that Harry didn’t matter.
Dudley thought that Harry was a ‘stupid head’, and when he wasn’t creating his own colourful insults, he was copying the ones his parents came out with. Yes, even cousin Dudley thought Harry didn’t matter.
After hearing it time and time again, Harry thought that Harry didn’t matter.
And then all of a sudden, on Harry’s fifth birthday, everything changed.
He was having a particularly miserable birthday, having been locked in his cupboard, for daring to ask if he might have some of the toast Dudley had left at breakfast. How dare
he presume to ask for breakfast, just because it was his birthday? What did it matter that it was his birthday? Harry
didn’t matter, and Harry’s birthday
didn’t matter either. That’s what Uncle Vernon had said.
So there Harry was, locked in his cupboard under the stairs. One minute, he was drawing his birthday cake in the dust on the floor. The next minute, his cupboard door blew off- blew off! Just like that, it was gone. Wondering what he had done to further anger his uncle, Harry peered up reluctantly… Only to find himself gazing into the black eyes of a different man. A man he was sure he had never met before, yet who seemed familiar at the same time. Just like his eyes, the tall man’s hair and clothes were black in colour. Harry didn’t have time to be frightened, because the man took one look at him, pulled out some sort of stick and pointed it at Uncle Vernon, muttering something in what sounded like a foreign language, and sending Harry’s uncle flying across the room.
Wondering if he was next, Harry scooted as far back as his little cupboard would allow. But the man’s face softened as he turned to look at the child again. With some gentle words, he managed to persuade the five year old to come on out- he would not hurt him, he was there to help.
“You comed to res-koo me?” Harry asked the dark man.
The dark man nodded- he had indeed, and would Harry like to go with him, to a place where everyone would be kind, and he would be taken care of?
Harry did like.
And from that day on, a lot of things ‘didn’t matter’, but Harry wasn’t one of them.
It didn’t matter if Harry slept in past 5am, because there were no chores to do.
It didn’t matter if Harry got a little bit lost in the big castle, because there was always a friendly face to guide him back to where he belonged.
It didn’t matter when Harry fell down and scraped his knee, or when he woke up in the middle of the night after a horrible dream, because his dark man would come and make it all better.
It didn’t matter when Harry made a mistake, or a silly choice, because he didn’t get beaten or locked in a cupboard anymore. His dark man would talk it through with him instead, and then they’d move on from it. Because, as his dark man often said, it didn’t matter how many bad choices Harry made- he would always be loved and taken care of.
It didn’t even matter that Harry spent months calling his new guardian his ‘dark man’, because eventually ‘dark man’ morphed quite easily into ‘Daddy.’ And to Daddy, nothing mattered anymore, except for Harry.
Yes, Harry mattered a great deal.