22 May, 1980
You kicked me yesterday. You're probably thinking that's no way to begin a letter, but I wanted to get it out on the table. I assure you the attack was unprovoked, although Prongs'll probably say I should've kept my hands off his wife's belly. But you kicked your mum, too, so he's just havering. Anyway, your mum said it was all right, and Moony was there, so
Moony says I'll just confuse you talking (writing?) like this. Anyway, don't worry about the kick. Didn't leave a mark, although you're pretty strong for a -2 month-old. When you're older I'll teach you how to really kick. But practise on Prongs, all right? (Prongs is your dad, by the way. I'll tell you why he's called that later, too. And Moony. And Wormtail and Padfoot - me.)
So, maybe you're wondering who I am. Well, if you haven't flipped to the end of this and looked, I'm your godfather. I'm the guy you come to when your parents are being unreasonable. I'm the guy who's going to sneak you sweets when your mum says you're not allowed and who'll let you stay up late when your parents are out and who'll just generally spoil you rotten. I'm the one you're going to grow up thinking is really cool. Then one day you'll grow up and realise-you were right about me all along. (Moony says I'm the one havering now. He says that, but he's going to be as bad as I am when it comes to spoiling you. He's the chocoholic, after all!) I'll even take you for rides on the Triumph, but you're going to have to wear a helmet.
Anyway, I think that's what godfathers are supposed to do. I never had one. Come to it, I didn't have much of a father or-well. I won't tell you about my childhood now. Don't want to give you nightmares.
Moony says the quill scratching and the light is keeping him up, so I'll write more of this tomorrow. Night, mate.
At headquarters now, taking a wee breaky. Can't tell you where HQ is or what I'm doing here in case this letter falls into the wrong hands (doesn't that sound exciting?) but I'll tell you all about it in person when you're older cause by then (we all hope) this whole thing will be over.
Got a picture on my desk here. It's of us-me, Moony, Wormtail, and your folks at your folks' wedding. First time in my whole life I saw your dad with his hair lying flat. (Actually, he used to muss it on purpose, so it'd look all windblown like he'd just gotten done playing Quidditch or something. Always trying to impress Lily, he was. And Moony-Remus, I should say-calls me a berk. Ha. Worked, though, didn't it? I mean, she married the git. Looks happy in this picture, too. Lily, I mean. Well, we all do. Actually, no- James keeps frowning cause he's trying to look all dignified. Remus is trying not to cry! You can so tell! Ah, I need to show you this!)
I wonder who you'll look like. Your mum if you're lucky, although if you got your dad's hair that wouldn't be too bad. The colour, at least. Black is a very cool colour, in my humble opinion!
Will you like Quidditch? What a question! Of course you will. And you'll support the right team, of course. Your dad and I'll make sure of that! We'll teach you to fly, though, get you started right early so you can play for your house team (Gryffindor, of course) as soon as you're old enough. (If you wind up in Slytherin we'll disown you. Just kidding-but only because you'd never wind up there.) Your dad played Chaser. He was one of the best Chasers G'dor ever had. Even McGonagall (strict old bird, teaches Transfiguration) let him get away with stuff. (She has a soft spot for Quidditch players, McGonagall! A thing to remember!) Me, I played Beater. Got my nose broken seven times, though of course it doesn't show. Beaters are extremely important. (Prongs, who's here and says 'hi' also says that all the positions are extremely important.) I wonder which position you'll play.
Wish I could tell you what I'm doing. I guess by the time you're old enough to understand it'll all be over, right?
Huh. Moody was just here asking me what I was doing, like he thinks I was telling secrets or something. He's a cool guy, Mad-Eye Moody, but he's a little…uncanny. He doesn't read over your shoulder. He reads through it. You'll have to meet him-if there's anything left of him by the time you're older. Ah, he's right. Should get to work. Later, mate.
At home again. Just realised we'll have to baby proof this place-the Lair, Lils calls it. All right, it is a tad Lair-like. My fault, I suppose. Moony's the neat one. I just made a mental list of a dozen things you could potentially choke on in this one room. Merlin, you'd think we were the ones sprogged up! A truly bizarre thought, no offence, mate.
Moony just got home, too. I read him what I wrote so far. He gave me this look (you'll know what I mean by the time you're old enough to make any sense of this) and said that if I'm going to be longwinded I ought to at least clarify a few things, especially about Moony and me (and Prongs and Wormtail, I guess). But I don't think I'm going to. My feeling is, if you grow up with an idea in your head it's pretty hard to dislodge it. So you're going to grow up knowing all this is normal (well, comparatively). Actually, come to think of it, there's a few ideas my folks tried to hammer into me since birth that never quite caught on. So maybe Moony has a point… Damn, I am being longwinded. I promise I'm very cool! Sorry this is rather a crap letter. Well, by the time you read it you'll know all about me, so you won't care, will you?
I'm quite excited thinking about all the fun things we're going to do on weekends when we whisk you away from J L. I'm thinking camping. Maybe Muggle-style, maybe not. How about a weekend up in Hogsmeade? Lily will throw a fit, but we'll load you down with stuff from Zonko's and Honeydukes. We'll tell you the secret of the Shrieking Shack, but of course you won't be allowed to tell anyone else. Quidditch matches, of course. That's already decided.
Making dinner, now. Isn't it great how you can make pancakes and write a letter to your godson simultaneously? The joys of magic. What in the world do Muggles do? I never really appreciated it until I somehow managed to snap my wrist in a place where healers weren't readily available. Can you imagine having to concentrate on only one thing at a time? Horrible situation. Take good care of your limbs!
Which reminds me I should be giving you sage advice on the off-chance I'm not- Nah, never mind that. Maybe one day (maybe in History of Magic unless Binns is still teaching it!) you'll read about these times or hear about them from one of us and you'll think, 'How did they live through all that?' We just did. I mean, we do. Just, every day.
Okay, sage advice time.
- Take good care of your limbs. (Thought I'd reiterate, as it's a fairly important one.)
- The entrance to the Hogwarts kitchens is behind the picture of the giant bowl of fruit near the entrance to the Hufflepuff rooms. Tickle the pear. Ask for Orri.
- The vast majority of people believe what they're told, especially about other people. Sometimes they're right, but sometimes it's a good a idea to find out for yourself.
- If you love someone, never betray their trust, no matter what.
- And if you are a complete berk and do wind up betraying them-don't be stupid about it. Grovel.
- It's worth befriending a prefect (or being one, Moony would say) to use the prefects' bathroom. It has a diving board! (Moaning Myrtle liked to spy on me, though.)
- Never try to hoodwink a goblin. Never, never, never.
- Good marks are important, but you are only young once!
- Rubeus Hagrid is a cool guy.
- Never forget who owes you money.
- If Mundungus Fletcher tries to give you anything, make sure it's not contraband, first.
- Maintain constant vigilance! (Thought I'd throw that one in for Mad-Eye.)
- Sometimes families are great (yours will be) and sometimes they're not. Friends are vital. Know who your friends are and stand by them. No matter what. There are five people I'd die for: your dad, your mum, Remus, Peter, and you, mate. If I died for any one of you I'd consider my life to have been worthwhile.
- It takes about 20 pints of butterbeer to get a Padfoot-sized man drunk. Just so you know.
- If you ever need anything-whatever it may be-you can always come to me or Remus or Peter. But come to me first, cause I'm your godfather! Except if I do something stupid-as I've been known to do from time to time. Then go to Remus, since he knows how to deal with me best. And he's very wise. He's giving me that look again.
That's all I can think of at the moment, and anyway, Moony says I should pay attention while I eat (sorry about the syrup stains) so I'll close here. I can't wait to meet you and see how you turn out. I'm (well, all of us) are trying to make the world a better place for you. It's hard, but we're doing our best. See you in two months!
PS. I love you!
8 July, 1996
Dear Professor Lupin,
Thank you for sending the letter. I hadn't realised how close you were. I always thought he and my dad were like brothers, but I guess my dad didn't have much time for him after he married my mum. I wish I'd known. Well, there's a lot I wish I'd known.
I'm doing all right. I mean, things are pretty much the same except the Muggles stay out of my way except when they remember they're supposed to be being nice to me. They all keep looking over their shoulders whenever they talk to me, like they think someone's listening. I think my uncle has nightmares about Mad-Eye Moody.
I wish you'd read this letter (I mean his) a long time ago. It might have changed things a lot.
Thanks again for what you and the others did last month. Talking to the Dursleys, I mean. I appreciate it.
PS. You must miss him a lot. I'm so sorry.
10 July, 1996
First of all you are not to apologise. A few people are to blame for what happened, myself included, but you are not one of them. You acted out of love, and you can not be faulted for that.
Secondly, I wish I could say that the reason I never read his letter to you was that I could never in good conscience have read a letter intended for someone else. As much as I wanted to understand his thoughts at that time, I could not make myself pry. Perhaps, as you say, I should have. In truth I was afraid of what I'd find.
Yes, we were very close. I'm not sure what he might have told you. I never replaced James for him. (No, James never abandoned him after he married Lily. They didn't spend as much time together as they had as boys, but they were always brothers.) Our relationship was somewhat different. I wish we'd told you. We'd meant to, but things kept coming up.
There's a lot I wish we'd told you.
It's difficult for me to talk about him. It always has been. But I'll try to talk to you about him, and your parents, any time you want. Just say the word.
Tell me how your family continues to treat you. We should have spoken to them far earlier. We didn't know. I'm so sorry for that.
I don't know what he wrote in that letter, but he was besotted with you, Harry. From the moment Lily became pregnant you were foremost in his heart. He used to tell me he never intended to have a child of his own, that you were enough. Everything he did the last three years of his life was out of love for you. And yes, that is you and not James. Being in that house confused him a little, as did the fact that he never really had a chance to mourn James, but in his heart he knew the difference.
I can't replace him and I don't intend to try, but I shall try to do what I think he and James and Lily would have wanted me to do, and that is be there for you. I'll say it again: any time you need to talk to an adult, or simply someone who knew your parents and godfather, just send word. We can meet at Arabella Figg's house.
PS. I am no longer your teacher, so there is no need for you to call me professor or even Mr Lupin. Please call me Remus. That's another thing I should have said a long time ago.
20 July, 1996
You wrote me that letter before I was really alive, so I guess it's somewhat fitting I answer it now that you no longer are.
I'm so sorry.
Dumbledore and Remus (he said to call him that) say it's not my fault, but I was one of the five people you said you'd die for and I was the only one stupid enough to get myself into that kind of danger.
I wish I'd known.
I wish I'd known.
I would have liked living with you.
I can't write this.
21 July, 1996
I feel like I owe you a reply, even though you'll never read it. I don't really know where to begin.
I'm sorry I kicked you. How's that for a start? It's not true, though. I'm glad I kicked you. I wish I'd kicked harder. I wish I'd kicked you so hard your ribs got smashed and the splinters tore up your insides. That would be fair, I think.
That's not true, either.
22 July, 1996
I guess you know the answers to most of the questions you asked. (By the way, I got the letter from Remus, in case you were wondering. He said he found it in a box in his attic and figured he might as well send it. I wish he'd read it years ago. It might have helped get you out of Azkaban. Maybe. I don't know. The Wizengamot seems pretty…not very understanding. I can see Fudge tossing your letter in the fire. The Wizengamot doesn't make mistakes, he'd say. But maybe… Oh, it doesn't matter, now.) I'll just answer your questions.
Everyone says I look like my dad, but that I have my mum's eyes. (Yes, black is a cool colour, I suppose, but it kind of makes me stand out. Sometimes I wish it were plain brown. Sometimes I wish my eyes were just plain brown, too, and that I didn't have this scar. If Voldemort had to mark me, did he have to mark me for everyone to see? I wish everything about me were just plain and boring and ordinary.)
I play Seeker for Gryffindor. (Do I fly as well as my dad did? You never said.) I don't really have a favourite Quidditch team. I didn't even know about it until I was eleven. Ron would probably like me to say the Chudley Cannons are my favourites, but I've never seen them play and they don't seem to be doing too well these days, so I'm not all that keen on the Cannons. Ron would probably not like me to say anything nice about Bulgaria-or maybe it's just Viktor Krum he's not keen on. It was incredible watching him (Krum) play at the World Cup two summers ago. Ireland was very good, too, though. I don't know. I don't have a favourite. I feel rather stupid asking you a question, but which team did you like best? You never told me.
You had more Quidditch injuries than me, but I think mine were worse. I fell off my broom once (you saw me do it-it was at that game against Hufflepuff when the Dementors came onto the pitch). I fell about fifty feet. I didn't get hurt from that because (someone told me) Dumbledore slowed me down while I was falling. But I'd passed out from all the Dementors being there, and I was pretty sick after. The year before that, a charmed bludger broke my arm and the DADA prof (a real git) disappeared all the bones and Madam Pomfrey had to grow them back. (She did her nut, too.) That was pretty horrible.
I was scared of you the first two times I saw you as a dog. (I just remembered that because I was writing about that game against Hufflepuff.) I thought you were the Grim. Do you know what that is? It's a death omen. I thought seeing you was a sign I was going to die. I mean, a knife wielding nutter was after me, right? I was so stupid. I don't even believe in omens, really. Who could after one of Professor Trelawney's classes? Also, since when have dogs ever been bad? Besides Aunt Marge's bulldogs, of course! In the wizarding world. Well, I guess I only know two dogs that belong to wizards, Fang and Fluffy (both Hagrid's, go figure). Fang's nice and Fluffy of course bit Snape once. He deserves a medal for that, don't you think?
I think supper's ready. It smells all right, whatever it is. I'll be back.
Back. Brought my supper up here. No one objected. I know what you mean about families being pretty awful sometimes. Yours was worse, though. Not much competition there. I'd run away, too, if I thought anyone would let me. How dumb is that? If I didn't have Voldemort after me and all. I kind of wish you could tell me what my aunt was like when she was a girl. Did you know her at all? Was she always this bad? I mean, she's my mum's sister. But your brother was a Death Eater and your parents were horrible and you came out all right. I wish I could ask you more about my dad, too. When did he stop being such a jerk? Everyone except Snape always said nice things about him. Were they just trying to be nice to me? I could ask Remus, I suppose (I keep wanting to say Professor Lupin, but I'm trying to remember) but you and my dad were closer.
I'll ask Remus about you some day. There's a lot I want to know. You loved each other, didn't you? I'm sorry if that's a really bad question, but in your letter it seemed… You seemed very close. And Remus said he and you had a different relationship from you and my dad. I want to ask him, but I don't know how. Would it be rude? Would it hurt him too much? It doesn't bother me at all. I mean, I had to think about what you wrote before it hit me, but I'm all right with it. I wanted you to know. I don't know how to talk to Remus about it.
I don't know what I'm going to do with this letter when I finish it. I don't really want to finish it. (Now who's longwinded?) I could tear it up, but I don't really want to do that, either. If I gave it to Hedwig and told her to deliver it to you, what would she do? Would she go looking for you everywhere or would she know? If I snuck into the Department of Mysteries again and slipped it under the veil, would you find it? Or if I just sat there and read it, would you hear? Luna Lovegood (she's this Ravenclaw girl who went with us to rescue you) told me the dead are behind the veil. (How did you die exactly? I don't even know! Did it hurt? Where did you go?) I heard voices from behind it when I was there. Are you there now? Is there anywhere in the world I can go where you can hear me?
I'm sorry. This is getting stupid. I don't know what else to say to you.
Oh, I saw you charmed the PS on your letter. It changes when I say different things. When I said 'I hate you' it changed to 'I guess I can be a bit of a prat sometimes. Whatever I did or said, I'm sorry. Let's talk.' For a second when it did that I thought- Never mind. I was angry, that's all. When I said I was sorry it said not to apologise and when I said something else it said 'good.'
So you loved me. You didn't even know me. I wonder if you'd have said that if you'd known it would be my fault you couldn't get your sentence overturned and my fault you died.
I would have liked living with you. Maybe not in Grimmauld Place, but we could have gone somewhere else, couldn't we? I mean, I wouldn't really have cared. Anything would have been fine.
I can't think about Ron or Hermione or any of my other friends right now.
It's not fair.
That house was like Azkaban again, wasn't it? I guess I can see why you wouldn't fear death. Still, I can't help wishing you had.
There's a lot I wish.
It's almost midnight now. I don't really want to finish this letter, but I suppose I can always write another. It doesn't really matter, does it?
I understand what you and Remus and my parents were trying to do, if that means anything. It's up to me to finish the job. Did you know that? That's what the stupid prophecy was about. I can't think about that right now, either.
You said that if you died for me you'd consider your life worthwhile. You didn't die for me. You died because of me. So I guess it's up to me to make everything you did worthwhile. I'll try my best. Like you did.
PS. I hate you.
PPS. That's a lie, too. I don't hate you. I'm sorry I said that. But how could you have been so stupid? What were you thinking? Probably the same stupid things I was thinking when I thought you were in danger.
PPPS. I want you back more than I've ever wanted anything. I don't care if that's selfish.
PPPPS. I love you. The words aren't charmed. They won't change.