A/N: This was written
as a birthday present to St. Margaret’s. A group of writers that habit the
fluffy thread took a task (Write a letter to Harry on his seventeenth birthday
about love from a canon character of your choice) and it became a huge surprise
birthday present to our fearless leader, St. Margaret’s. Here’s my
hoping this letter finds you well. Seventeen years old. How does it feel? It
was many years ago that I was seventeen, but I’ve not forgotten the wonders of
my youth. Ah, youth. It seems, at the time, that those days would never pass.
That we are mired down in the day to day of living, but you will soon find that
time passes quickly – the pages of your history will fly by. Oh dear, forgive
my ramblings, Harry. There are so many things I wish to tell you, but alas, my
younger years are not the particular correspondence for this time.
is what I want to talk to you about today, Harry. To convey an old man’s
lessons to a young man’s heart. In your short life, you have been so harshly
robbed of things that are near and dear to you – and yet you have persevered -
but I wonder, with all these losses if anyone could ever impart to you the
lessons in loving open and wholeheartedly? I hope you will hear what I am
trying to tell you, Harry. As a young man, I acted foolishly in many a
situation when it came to matters of the heart. Of particular note, I acted
out in anger at a refusal to a proposal, and I lost her forever. You may ask
yourself why I was alone all of these years. I’ve asked myself that question
many a time. Pride, Harry, pride is a dangerous emotion. Don’t let it rule
you. The earnest need to heed the call of those around you, to protect, to
defend what is dearest to us is a noble aspiration, but when it becomes all
that you know, it will be a cold comfort. Again, I believe I’ll leave that tale
to another time.
all my years, I have come across so many versions of love. Pure and passionate
as Lily and James Potter, warm and welcoming as Arthur and Molly Weasley, dark
and disturbing as Merope and …. But the love that struck me most, and has
stayed with me year after year, was a love between a parent and a child. Sit
with me as I tell you this story, Harry. Hear of your first days on this
walked into the door of the small cottage with a soft swish of my robes. The
unbearable heat wave that had struck the United Kingdom was left on the
doorstep as the inside of the minute abode had been magically cooled.
“Professor Dumbledore.” I was greeted with a handshake
and a smile by Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.
hear congratulations are in order. We have a new member of the Potter family.”
Greeting this makeshift family, I handed over a package of cigars to the two
young men who greeted me.
Potter strolled out of a doorway to the left and gave a small tired smile. “Come
in, Professor. Come see him.”
into the bedroom, I found the proud mother sitting in a rocker with a small
swaddled bundle in her arms. She stood even as I bade her sit.
and hold him, Professor.”
I couldn’t possibly. I have twitchy limbs, the folly of being old, you know.”
with the pleading look from the young parent’s eyes imploring me, I sat.
Accepting the small bundle, I looked at the black hair sticking in all
directions. Looking at James, I gave a small huff of laughter. “It would seem,
Mr. Potter, that young Harry has your hair.”
Lupin and Sirius Black stood at the threshold watching the tableau in front of
them, shadowed by Peter Pettigrew. Muted snickers soon filled the room as we
discussed poor Harry’s plight of having his fathers’ hair. I watched as Lily,
reverently, touched her son’s unruly hair. And she whispered, so softly:
wouldn’t change a thing. Not a thing.”
blurred my vision for a moment.
differences are what make us unique, Mrs. Potter. It is good to note that your
son will be loved, it is a wonderful legacy to leave our children.”
looked at me with those green eyes. I shall never forget that look she gave
well, Professor, you gave us a grand example. We are, after all, your legacy
of love.” She then stroked Harry’s pink cheek. “And he is our legacy.”
you see, Harry? All of this love, and even from Peter. I believe at one time,
he might have even cared for you. I’m sure this is the hardest bit to see. Recognizing
evil and betrayal will always be the hardest to identify, especially concerning
those we choose to trust with things that are dearest to us. I dearly hope
that you will never know this degree of betrayal. Even when we are aware,
life will spring unpleasant elements into our lives. It is up to each of us to
determine what we are to do with the strife that we are afflicted with. The
moment I shared with you is a great tool for you to draw upon, Harry. When
your parents were surrounded by death, grief and fear they chose to believe in
have been surrounded by so much love at all times in your life. It may not
have been evident, but as you know, you were protected by your mother’s love.
And when you became eleven and eligible for attendance to Hogwarts, you were
soon surrounded by another kind of love. Friends. I could tell you of
how the older Gryffindors looked out for you even during moments that you were
not present. Fred and George Weasley were mainly responsible for many attacks
upon … Well, again, a subject better left for another time - let us say, that
you were well looked after. Picking friends for you was something I was
prepared to do, believe it or not. Although I do not think I could have found
two truer companions for you than Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
know that during your years of friendship there have been so many trials and
tribulations for you, and yet you persevered, your trio has been unbroken. Ron
and Hermione have given you loyalty, courage and a willingness to risk
themselves for you. This will remain with you always. I have no direct moment
to share with you of your friendship with these two that would outdo the ones
you have. But it did my heart good to be able to look out the window of my
office and see your dark hair crowded in with a bushy-haired little girl and a
red headed young man. Yes, it did my heart good, as I imagine it helped yours,
of red hair, that brings to my last and maybe most important lesson. Love,
just love, Harry, is a hard thing to obtain. I know you will continue to do
what is right where the fight for our world is concerned. But do not forget
how your mother and father stood together in dire times – do not throw away
what is most precious to you. Here is my lesson to you, Harry.
Once upon a time there was a very powerful wizard
who fell in love with a very powerful witch. They had plans to marry, to have
a family. They would whisper late into the night of their dreams for their
life. Darkness soon spread over their world, like a storm stealing in through
the guise of night. The wizard knew he had to fight against this man, this evil.
But in doing so he turned away his true love, his soul, and his equal. And in
doing so, it would be his greatest regret, this life unlived with this woman.
will not be so boastful to say that I won wars, Harry. Nor will I say that I
was the greatest wizard of all time, I could list you many that were greater
than I. But I, too, have regrets, Harry. Do not turn away from those who would
love you, they could be your greatest accomplishments of all.
will now put down my quill and wish you the happiest of birthdays, I am quite
sure you will have many, many more.