A/N: I do not own Harry Potter or any other legendary JKR character or copyrighted stuff in this fic. I am writing for fun only, and do not seek to profit!
At the time of posting, Part one of this story is incomplete. However, part two is a separate story, being set 16 years in the future, and can stand alone. (Though it's probably funnier to read both – as I do echo things down the times... ;o)
Please review – or post a comment. I really appreciate!
15th October, 1981.
My dear little soldier! If 'MouldyShorts' hasn't managed to wreck the world with his evil plans yet, you should be reading this at 8pm on the July 30th before your sixteenth birthday.But if you are reading this it will mean I have died. If, by very unhappy circumstances James has also died, you should be in the care of Sirius Black. (We chose you a Godfather with a good sense of fun - if anything happened to James, and me, at least you deserved to have a good time!) You will probably have been informed that Lord Voldemort heard of a prophecy, which predicted that a child with the power to defeat him would be born on a certain date. You were born on that date, Harry.
The only thing that Voldemort doesn't know is the credentials of the person who gave the prophesy. Sibyl Trelawney has spouted all sorts of rubbish in the past - but Dumbledore says we must take this one seriously. So James and I have moved into hiding since your birth - which has been very boring indeed! (We have been advised against throwing any more parties. Sirius is upset because he can't show off his cocktail mixing anymore. I'll warn you now - if you value your liver, don't ever drink anything he's had a hand in mixing up! James still thinks his potent brews are really funny, but I want you to live a long and healthy life.)
I hope you are doing well at Hogwarts, and that you have made many good friends. You are asleep as I write this - a tiny sweet baby. You look very peaceful. James has taken the dog out for a walk.
I suppose I must get to the very important part of this letter before the clock ticks to your sixteenth birthday. Maybe you are wondering why I am calling my husband James in this letter, where I should be using 'your father.' The truth is, I wish I could call James your father. But that would be impossible. He loves you so dearly, soI have never had the heart to tell him that the night you were conceived he had passed out on the bathroom floor just half an hour into our party. He could never hold his drink! Sirius and Remus told me they had then carried him into the bedroom where he snored the party away.
That is one truth out. I am so sorry Harry. James is a hopeless lightweight - even Remus Lupin can drink him under the table. But now I expect you will want to know another truth, who really is your father. The truth is, I don't know exactly. I'm sorry lovey. James' weakness is alcohol; my weakness has always been my looks. I was alwaysbatting the men off at school, and as I got older it only got worse. The trouble is, the more drunk I get, the harder it is to say no to them!
The night in question I had organised a big party. There were lots of men there who were invited. And as always, there were some gatecrashers. (For some reason, I vaguely remember a cowboy being there, though I could have been hallucinating.) Unfortunately Sirius was doing the drinks. It must have been a good party, but as everyone got so drunk they can't remember much about it!
I am very sorry Harry - that I could do something so recklessly stupid. I'm afraid that it is possible that any of the men at the party could be your father. Except for my poor husband, that is.
Now I know this will raise another point. Your looks. As I don't want to hurt James, I charmed you to look like him while you were still unborn. I was the best at charms in my year - but that one I knew might need to last a long time, and so it took a lot of strength out of me. And as I charmed you in the womb - I still can't tell who your father might be. And with all the scare-mongering about the prophesy at the moment, me revealing the truth might put other people in danger. So I don't know what you really look like, and as far as James knows, you are unquestionably his son.
If James and I can't live to see your sixteenth birthday, please understand that I am only telling you now, because I wanted you old enough where you can understand that adults can make mistakes too. Your parents may be magical, but we are still only human.
Despite what saintly stories Sirius and Dumbledore might tell you, I was a busybody, and a flirt at school, and James was a terrible show off who used to pick on people. Everyone makes mistakes. I understand that you will be very upset about this letter Harry, but the truth is better than a lie. Whatever we are guilty of, always remember that you are the angel of our lives, and that we love you very dearly.
I must tell you more about the charm, which I have placed upon you. It is called the Physiquous Charm. It is a very complex undetectable spell that only selected very skilled witches and wizards can do. The charm on you has probably begun to weaken about a week ago. You might have noticed your eyes changing a bit.
The spell begins torun out as the clock counts in the first minute of your sixteenth birthday. Dumbledore is the only other person who knows you have the Physiquous cast on you. And this is only because I have sent him another delayed letter, which he should be reading at the same time as you. Up to now I have never dared tell him. (But with Dumbledore, I've never been sure about what he knows and what he doesn't.) I have asked him to visit you shortly after midnight on your birthday to assess whether it is safe for you to live without the charm.
Please, please don't be angry Harry. Times are dark enough as it is. Be strong, and look to James or Sirius. I cannot stop you from seeking out your real father - but please, pleasedon't hate him for it. If you must hate anybody, hate your mother. I as likely led a drunk man on, and was unfaithful to my husband.
I am very sorry that I am not alive to tell you this Harry. But if there should be one responsible thing I do to help patch up all the mistakes in my life, it will be telling the truth to my son.
I can't tell you how you should act, but promise me you will always take care of yourself. With all my love.
P.S. It is theonly thing I can think ofto help - but I have included a list of names and photos of all the men that were invited to the party. I took them out of my school yearbook. It makes me feel pretty queasy to think about it, but I must also add the names of the two gatecrashers I knew were alsothere. Though it is very unlikely they would ever have approached me, as I know Spencer is openly gay, and I have heard enough rumours about the other. I really, really hope you've never had the misfortune to meet the second man. He is rather trying at the best of times. But with the amount of drink Sirius was mixing, I honestly can't rule anyone out. Again, I'm sorry.
Harry stared dumbly at the letter for some time. He could feel the extra piece of parchment beneath the letter. Hands trembling he pulled it out. Twenty pairs of eyes blinked, and stared up at him. And one of these pairs of eyes belonged to his true father...
Harry's eyes grew wide. Sirius was there, and Remus! He gulped as he moved on to read the names printed under the other pictures. Frank Longbottom. Stephen Bones, Edgar bones, David Boot, Ben Perks, Andy Bell, Jacob Brocklehurst, and Enos Fletchley.
Then, names he didn't recognise - Nathan Smith, John Rookley and a mysterious looking chap called Dignus Magelus who winked up at him. He looked sadly at the picture of Benjy Fenwick. Moody had told him last year he was dead. And so were Gideon and Fabian Prewett, who were identical twins with blonde hair and goatees.
Harry couldn't help spluttering as he read out the name of Andreas Zabini, but almost had a fit when he saw Peter Pettigrew's watery eyes squinting up at him. NO! To even think that it could be possible!
And then, down the bottom, separate from the rest and surrounded by little question marks - were the two gatecrashers. His mother doubted them because one was openly gay, and the other one could be - if the rumours she'd heard were true. Spencer Sharpe beamed up at him and waved. Harry smiled back - he looked nice. He cast his eyes down to the next picture.
He clapped a hand to his mouth - and swore loudly.
There, right at the bottom of the page was a very dark and sinister picture indeed. The person in this photo was making no secret that he had hated having his picture taken. Hated the photographer. Probably hated everything. He was wearing the meanest scowl Harry had ever seen on anybody. A greasy black fringe covered his forehead, and almost hid a pair of narrowed, and eerily gleaming black eyes.
Harry didn't even need to read the name to know that this malicious, wild looking man was a young Severus Snape.
His stomach lurched. He swore again. The bastard had spent five years stalking him around the school - it made sense that he stalked his parents too! Snape gatecrashing a party? Snape hated fun! And then Harry remembered what he was. How did a Deatheater manage to gatecrash his worst enemy's party?
And what was infinitely worse - he was on his mother's list of suspects! Harry gulped. She must have been drunk. Very, very, very drunk to have-
Oh Merlin - no.
No, no, no...
Harry hastily rolled up the parchment. Creepy or friendly, twinkly or glinting, he didn't want any of those little eyes staring at him until it was absolutely necessary for them to. He looked at his watch. 11pm. Dumbledore would be here shortly - he must stay calm till then.
He made his way down the stairs, feeling wobbly and weak. He could hear the Dursley's snores. Waiting for the kettle to boil his eyes rested on his uncle's drinks cabinet in the dining room. He didn't really like whiskey (Even so, he and Ron had still managed to get pretty drunk on it last Christmas) - but he was sorely tempted to help himself to some.
The kettle clicked off. He dragged his eyes away from the alcohol and poured water into the cup. Strong coffee for now. He'll save the whiskey for his birthday. He might be needing it. After all, some of the men on the list had children in his year. He might have half brothers or sisters, as well.
Could he even be Blaise Zabini's half brother? Like Blaise, he was rather scrawny and shortish for his age. Harry wondered exactly how well having a Slytherin for a brother would go down with Ron.
As he passed along the hallway, the pull of the dining room became irresistible. There was only one thing for it..
So, with a strong coffee in one hand and a double malt whiskey in the other, Harry crept noiselessly up the stairs. This wasn't the first time he had helped himself to Vernon's drinks cupboard, either.
It was late at night, and the Headmaster's office was peaceful. The portraits were all either sleeping or snoring. Dumbledore tutted again, and again as he read, and reread a letter. A letter he had never seen before, and which had magicked itself onto his desk just half an hour ago.
He smiled slightly. So- he had done at least one right thing all those years ago. People had thought him mad to do it, of course, and he had had his moments of doubt.
But maybe, if he was very careful, he could give Harry the real family he had always craved, and nowneeded desperately after theviod left bySirius Black. Now he could begin to quietly prove his critics wrong.
Because Dumbledore knew for sure that Harry Potter's father was alive.
He had always had some doubts about Lily and James' son - they had hovered round him like an instinct. (Or was that an insect? Well, both sorts hovered anyway. Particularly hoverflies. And those funny hawk moth things.)
After a century and a half, Dumbledore knew when to listen to his instincts. He had always had a feeling about this one. Maybe if he dared hope too much, he might even see a little speck of light at the end of the dark empty tunnel.
His eyes twinkled. Some little hunches were strange indeed. This one was definitely up there. Not many people would be insane enough to risk gambling on an instinctive whim about walnut ripple ice cream with extra Hundreds and Thousands...