Title: Sleeping In
Author: Aelan Greenleaf
Category: Romance, General
Rating: K, Suitable for All
Summary: Third and final companion piece in the 'Such Great Heights' series. Her mother has sent them since she can remember, and the owl comes every week bearing letters from the father she never knew. Now the daughter of the Boy-Who-Lived pens her own piece, to the man, to the part of her, that she's never known. Implied H/G
"Last week I had the strangest dream, where everything was exactly how it seemed..." - Sleeping In, The Postal Service
It seems strange to write to someone who I don't even know. I mean in the sense of having never met you, never heard your voice nor seen your face in person. I think it strange, really, that you have been such a contributing player in my life, though I don't even know if you know my name.
It's Elizabeth, just so you know.
So, now that we are formally introduced, you must wonder why you've received this letter, from a strange girl, a shadow from long ago. Mum's told me that you don't read the letters, that you simply ignore them, revelling in your own selfish fantasies. She doesn't always say that; only when she's angry and afraid, mostly around the subject of Uncle Ron. She's bitter like that, but who can blame her?
I've got so many things to say to you, speeches that I've been writing in my head since I was five, stories and lessons and complaints, all things that I've addressed to the imaginary and invisible father in my head. Of course, my Dad is my father in all the other ways, but I've always know that there was another, someone else who bore the same name as I and carried the same blood. The great, heroic, iconic Harry Potter. The saviour of our age, the hero of our generation. Somehow, I don't think you're quite everything the Daily Prophet makes you out to be.
When I was eleven, and my mom had packed all my bags, bought my robes and wrapped up my books, I got onto the train in London and chose a compartment all to myself. By the time we reached Hogwarts, a dozen other kids had crammed into it, all eager and excited and annoyingly enthusiastic about asking me all about my famous father. The funny thing is, I knew all along that it would happen, yet I never did anything to prevent it. It's happened all my life, the stares and the patronizing looks when my full name is mentioned or my last name is spoken, hanging large and looming in the air.
"Potter?", they'll whisper, as if somehow doing that makes it right, "like Harry Potter? That's his daughter? That's her?"
And then the questions come, millions upon millions, the same over and over again, until the responses become an automatic habit. But I won't trouble you with that. I'm sure you got enough of the same when you were young, didn't you? People staring at your scar, just like they stare at my eyes, recognizing and realizing the distinguishing trademarks that we so uncomfortably wear. Did they stare at your dark hair, commenting profusely, just like I, how much you looked like your parent? I'm sure you did; you were the Boy-Who-Lived, how could you not?
Look, Harry, I'm not a complainer; I'm really not. It's more like everything that's been bottled up inside for so long is all coming out in this, my only means of communication to you. I really do hope you read it; I do. I want you to read this and come to realize what you lost and what you had and what you could have had.
When I was seven, I climbed that huge tree in the woods by the Burrow, and I think I know which one I'm talking about. I know you do, because I found something up there that changed my very short-lived life, in that moment. There was a book up there, a notebook, bearing the initials H.P and in the far corner, the scribbled words 'Roonil Wazlib'. I remember my heart stopping, and I fell out of the tree, abruptly and suddenly.
Laying on the ground, shaken but fine in the old leaves of autumns past, I realized I had found my father's old History of Magic notebook. I treasured that book, that tattered piece of ripped and wrinkled paper, throughout my adolescence, a special secret of the past. This was before I gave up on the mystery, the enigma that was my birth father.
My mum was young when I was born; she was barely past being a child herself. If anything, my existence cemented her entrance over the threshold of adulthood; past the insignificant trials and the turbulent emotions that so often describe the path of the teenager. Once she held me in her arms, and these are her words, she knew that the days of her innocence were gone, and that mine had begun. These words are never spoken in bitter tones, only ones reminiscent of days long past and loves long gone.
Sometimes I do think of what could of been, it everything was as it should have been. My mum, and you, as my dad, living together, happy. No early life spent in tears, no young days wondering where my father was, no nights filled with the muffled cries of a despondent and lonely mother. Life would have been different, if everything had been exactly as it seemed.
I read one of your letters once, when my mum and dad were gone. She didn't tell me lies, Harry, she did as she swore. But history has a way of escaping, and the truths couldn't stay hidden forever. War changes people, it's a fact of life. And I know that your sacrifice gave me and the whole world their freedom, but I'm selfish and I'm stupid and I'm wrong. All I ever wanted was you to hold me in your arms, safe and true. I was a daughter, alone, without a father to ward off the dark and light the path home. I know what you did was right, Harry, but all I ever wanted in my heart was for you to come home.
I've learnt, it seems, that disillusioned dreams never seem to hold true.
Elizabeth Lily Potter