Is it possible to love and hate someone at the same time?
Apparently. When I look at him, all I can see is his father. His arrogant, bullying father who never left me a moment's peace. And in most ways, that's the way he is. But sometimes...sometimes he looks at me with those eyes. His mother's eyes. Lily's eyes...
She never knew, of course. I was too cruel to her. She was decent, for the most part, to me, though occasionally I would overstep my bounds and invoke her wrath. I hated myself for that, but it did keep the walls up around my heart. And besides, it was how I was raised.
My parents were not the sort of people to appreciate Muggles or half- bloods. My father was as dark as Dark wizards come, and my mother was not much better. (Ironically, Sirius Black's family was rather similar to mine, a fact I try not to dwell upon.) My parents enjoyed what is commonly known as 'Muggle-baiting', or what they called 'having a little fun'. If a Muggle happened to get seriously injured, or even die, so much the better. And so I was taught that Muggles were slightly lower than pond-scum on the evolutionary scale and that half-bloods were not any better for being able to perform magic.
I first met Lily on the train to Hogwarts in our first year. I didn't know she was a half-blood until much later. I was attracted instantly; any red-blooded male would be. She had gorgeous red hair and bright green eyes, and her voice was melodic. She had a way of looking at you like she was reading your soul...
A wedge was driven between us quickly. She was sorted into Gryffindor, I into Slytherin. There could be no larger difference. I rarely saw her, except for the few joint classes we had. Occasionally we would cross paths in the hallways; she would smile at me until I managed some sneering comment about her parentage. She took it all very well. Dropping the smile, she would hold her head high and walk past as if I wasn't even there. It only intrigued me more. Such strength of character, such dignity...
It was our fifth year when she had finally had enough. The incident with Potter after the O.W.L.s had brought her to my rescue, but I was too proud and too humiliated to accept it. So, like the Dark idiot I was, I told her I didn't need help from a M-------. That was, apparently, the final straw. She left me to Potter and never smiled at me in the hallways again.
It was a dark time for me. Though I could never admit it to myself and certainly not to her, those smiles had brightened my days. The way her green eyes glowed when her mouth turned upward...I felt like she really meant it. She had that effect on everyone. But now, I had destroyed any hope I ever had of...I don't know what. Civility, I suppose. Friendship? Not likely. Romance? Impossible.
Instead of roaming the halls looking for a chance meeting with her, now I spent my limited free time brushing up on hexes or shooting flies off the ceiling of the dormitory. My mind turned from relatively happy thoughts of a certain bright someone to dark memories of my father. My father yelling at my mother, my father screaming at me in a drunken rage, my father killing a house-elf when his soup was too hot. While I had been considering, vaguely, an innocuous profession in alchemy, I now decided definitely to pursue my father's dream. I would join the Dark Lord. The worst part was, no matter how much I tried to blame my darker outlook on life on her, I knew it was my fault.
After we left Hogwarts, I saw her again only once. We were on opposite sides of a battle; I under a mask, she fiercely unveiled. The sight of her, fighting so strongly for her cause, reminded me of better times, of smiles in the hallways. I decided then that I would turn spy for Dumbledore, champion of Good, hero of Muggles and half-bloods. I did not agree with him; I did not much like him. I did it for her.
And so now, when I look at Harry Potter, I do not know who I see. The spawn of the boy I hated? Or the son of the woman I loved?