I never thought it would be this hard.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't think it would be all that easy either. I didn't expect everything to come floating in on a platter for me; I didn't expect all the obstacles before me to simply bow down and let me pass without a fight. Hell, if my life has taught me anything, nothing ever comes easy to me. Ever.
I saw the headline of Witches Weekly the other day, as I snuck into a local magical pub. Harry Potter Found Living Luxuriously in Bermuda, the words flashed as a overhead shot of a sprawling property was plasted below on the page. I couldn't help but laugh as I sipped my Butterbeer. Luxury? I wish. It was true, of course, that I did have quite a bit of money saved deep underground in London, but that was magical money, used only for the magical world. And I was in no hurry to return to that world, no matter how many material rewards it would bring.
I thought it about it, though, in my darkest moments. Returning, I mean. Not simply for the money, but the opportunities that I would be able to provide for my son. Alone, in the depths of the night's darkness, I argued with myself for hours about it, debating inside my own head until the light of morning would shine through the window, and I would rise, facing yet another day. The argument would be forgotten, put aside, until the night crept over me once more, and the cycle began again.
Like I said, I never thought it would be this hard.
I didn't want to be a father; not really, anyways. I know girls think about that kind of thing, about the children they want and the home they'll build, dreaming of a future with endless possibilities. I never wanted children because I was afraid of the kind of parent I would be; I had no other example than the Dursleys to guide me, and that was no guidance at all. What life would I bring them, a life of danger and a life of war? No, I had decided long ago never to pursue that avenue.
And then Ginny intervened.
Oh, my Ginny. My love. My everything. In the midst of battle, she would drive me onwards, her touch fuelling me for hours on end. She gave me a solid, human reason to fight; it wasn't just the world I was fighting for, I was fighting for her. To save her, to protect her. To keep her with me, forever.
The war raged on through the seasons. Somewhere, along the way, in a tent huddled together or in a rare stay at home, we changed our lives forever. She went into hiding, away from me, to protect both me and the life we had created. I was scared then, so scared; this was too much for me, and I was too young, and she was too young. I didn't want this to happen. However, as the days and the weeks and the months passed, the idea of a family, of the possibility of a life beyond the war, grew on me. Now it was my family I fought for, now it was my child I continued on for. Every battle that threatened to stop me, every wound that threatened to kill me, I overcame, dreaming of that life the future held.
When I finally defeated him, when I finally sent his body writhing to the ground, I thought it was over. I thought I - we - had won.
Since when has anything ever come that easy? I should have realized that, before it was too late.
His followers did not simply give up with his death. They were determined to fight to the bitter end, to die in the glory of battle, martyrs to their own cause. And they found her, and they took her, before I ever got to see her again. I returned to find her buried, six feet under, cold and away from me forever. So I took my son, and I left to a different place, a different life, a life without the cruel and condemning magic that had ruled my fate since before I was born.
I hope this life will be better. I hope that a quiet, boring life in the Muggle world will keep us safe, will keep him safe. It may be selfish, but I don't want his future ruled by who his father was, and what his mother did, and the heroes that his parents were. I want for him the reality I never had, a future that is calm and unassuming, ordinary and normal. I want him to be able to decide for himself who and what he wants to be. I just want him to be happy.
That's all I ask for.
But, still, in the silence of the evening, lying in the pale light of a dying moon, I can't help but wonder what could have been. I miss my world, my friends and my family. I miss Ron and Hermione, and the life they must have together. I miss the twins, and Molly, and Arthur, and ever Percy for godsakes. I miss Remus and Tonks, and, hell, I even miss Neville and Luna. I miss the familiar faces and places of my youth, and I miss those who helped me through it.
Most of all, I miss her. Her laugh, her smile, her eyes, her body, her heart. The love I felt for her, the all-encompassing feeling of being cared and desired and wanted by another. And I mourn for the mother she was and she could of been, the mother that she never had the chance to be.
No one told me it would be this hard.
The sun rises enough to cast a shadow upon my wall, and the routine has begun. I get up from my bed, ready to face another day, ready to care for the only person I have left, and ready to live my life as the Muggle I've become.