This story is the product of my own mind (muddled though it may be). The characters are, sadly, not mine. They belong to J. K. Rowling. I just play with them, and bend them to my will occasionally. Occasionally they see fit to take over the story, and then I am at the mercy of their will. Warning: Child Abuse.
A Promise Fulfilled
Harry had his first official flying lesson today. It was during my free period. I took advantage of the close proximity of Professor McGonagall's office to the practice field. I visited the (ahem) dear lady under the guise of reviewing the performance of my Slytherins in her transfiguration class. I stood at her window watching the flying class below as McGonagall went on about how Malfoy this, and Goyle that, while Crabbe was the other. I have no idea what she was saying. I was too intent on watching Harry.
Madam Hootch had the children mount the old school brooms. They were to kick off at her whistle, but Longbottom…. Oh my, Longbottom. I almost feel sorry for that boy. His broom took off, and flew him around as if it were hexed… before dumping him rather unceremoniously and breaking his wrist. Madam Hootch took him to the Hospital Wing and admonished the remaining children to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground lest they find themselves expelled quicker than they can say "Quidditch."
Leave it to Malfoy to try to provoke trouble, and leave it to the brave little Gryffindor heart beating within Harry to try to resolve it. Malfoy, it seems, found a Rememberall belonging to Longbottom, and was planning some dastardly deed with it. Harry chose to retrieve the damn thing from Malfoy who then threw it. Harry flew like an owl and dove like a hawk catching the thing inches above the ground. My heart stood still. I just knew he would kill himself with that maneuver. But he did it. He caught the damn thing.
McGonagall was at my side silent witness to the daring display. I didn't know the old witch could move with such speed and grace, but in a second she was on the field hauling Harry inside. I didn't know where she was taking him, but I knew he wasn't in trouble. McGonagall had that certain glint in her eyes, and bounce to her step that can only spell trouble… for me.
I went to Albus. I had a plan. Albus waved me into his study, and I laid out my idea. The faculty must not know about my promise to Lily, and must never think I harbor anything less than loathing for Harry (with the duel exceptions of Albus and Remus), so I had to… "fight" for Harry's expulsion for his daring-do on the broom, though, were I to be completely honest, I was so proud of him, not for the spectacular catch, though it was world-competition perfect. No… I was proud he had stood up for someone weaker than himself.
McGonagall arrived in Albus' office in short order, panting and puffing as if she had run the entire way, and most likely she had. When she came in she found Albus and me deep in discussion about what to do about Harry's apparent disregard of rules. I lobbied for Albus to expel the child on principle alone, Albus, the ever patient, quietly-forceful wizard that he is, merely raised a hand to stem the tide of my ire. I held my tongue and permitted McGonagall to have her say.
It appears she introduced Harry to Mr. Wood, the Quidditch captain for the Gryffindor team. It seems Harry is to be the youngest seeker in the History of Hogwarts. I had quite a job pushing my pride to the side, so I could argue for his… immediate expulsion.
McGonagall was, needless to say, appalled at my behavior, and in a flurry of green robes stormed out of the office. Albus and I collapsed in fits of laughter. Dinner was a treat. Old McGonagall kept whispering to Professor Sprout about the greasy old git having it in for Harry… Perhaps I should have taken up acting as a youth.
Harry came crashing into my chambers followed by a positively beaming Lupin. Harry saw me, and without even a broom took a flying leap into my arms all the while squeaking, "I'm the new seeker, I'm the new seeker. I'm the youngest seeker in the history of Hogwarts!" Squeaking and laughing so hard he could hardly breathe, I don't suppose the bear hug I had him in had anything to do with his face turning a most intriguing shade of purple…. I must experiment with this a little more…
The little bugger nearly killed me. I saw him dive for that damn Rememberall, and thought for sure we were going to have to scrape him off the field, but the little hawk pulled up inches from the ground and with the Rememberall in his hand. Seeing he was okay my knees gave out, and I knelt thanking Merlin for watching over him yet again.
I only hoped Severus hadn't seen. Of course, I should have known he'd find a way to watch Harry's first flying lesson. How he kept from running out on the field is a mystery to me. As I said, that man never ceases to amaze me, I don't suppose he ever will, either.
I saw McGonagall storming up to Harry, and knew this was it. I was working out escape plans for Severus and me to steal the boy so he wouldn't be returned to his aunt and uncle when the old witch led him into the castle. I waited and waited for him to return. It seemed like hours before he finally emerged with McGonagall and Mr. Wood, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
I followed them to the Quidditch field, and watched in awe as Harry caught everything Wood threw at him. The boy is a natural. I suppose we have Severus to thank for that. Were it not for the previous night's little flying lesson, Harry would have been too afraid to try anything, let alone his daring dive.
Harry saw me as he finished his tryout and crashed into me, arms tight around my neck, and legs clinging to my hips. His face was flushed with success, and his voice several octaves higher than normal has he couldn't stop telling me he did it, he did it, he was the new seeker.
When he had disentangled himself from me he grabbed my hand and led me to Severus' chambers. He barley paused long enough to mutter the password before crashing through the portrait hole.
Oh the sight those two were! If only I'd had had a camera. Harry tossed high in the air like a two-year-old, Severus catching him and hugging him, both proud as could be. I can't remember ever seeing Severus so happy, smiling with complete abandon. Harry is what he has needed all these years. Who knew.? And how happy Harry is.
Harry knocked at my chamber door today. How odd he should knock. He has the password, I thought. I was sure something was wrong, and something was… but only Harry would think so.
He played his first Quidditch game today… against my Slytherins. He won the game for Gryffindor, and won it in only five minutes. It seems Harry thought I'd be mad at him for beating my Slytherin's. When I saw his face as he stood by the portrait hole, he looked like a scared unicorn colt, shaking, eyes red-rimmed.
I knelt before him and held him, rubbed his back, and got him to finally tell me what was wrong. He said he thought he was going to lose me because he beat my house. I told him the Slytherins may be my house, but he makes my chambers my home. I told him he really was spectacular on the broom, and hoped sometime he and I could fly together. That did the trick, I had my Harry back… smiles, hugs, and all.
"Father, tell us about when you and grandpa flew and…"
"Ron, that's enough, your grandpa has work to do."
I had to laugh… it has been a good visit with Harry, Ginny, and the children. Harry sat beside me on the couch as Ginny took five-year-old Ron and four-year-old Hermione to bed. "Father…."
My breath caught. I've waited fifteen years to hear that word from his mouth, "Yes, my son?"
"It is okay if I call you Father, isn't it?"
"Oh Harry… nothing has ever been more okay, son." And to my self I think, "Lily, there is your promise, fulfilled.
"Father, thank you for telling the kids about when I came to Hogwarts. They love it when you tell them stories. I am amazed at your memory."
Harry turned to Remus, "Professor Lupin…."
"Harry, isn't it time you called me Remus?"
"Remus, thank you for telling the children about it, too. I never realized how much you really were there, I always knew I loved you, and you Seve.. Father, but I just didn't know how much behind-the-scenes stuff you did."
Harry leaned into my side, and I put an arm across his shoulder, "Son, did you have a question?"
"Uh… Ginny is pregnant, it's a boy, I'd like to name him Severus."
~*~*~* THE END *~*~*~