(A/n: I know that there are a lot of stories with the same basic idea but I felt like writing this anyway, so I did. I claim nothing.)


Harry James Potter was sitting at his desk in his room at Number 4 Privet Drive when it came. It was his fifteenth birthday, and he was doing homework – at night, of course, the only time he could. He looked up as he heard the sound of an owl pecking at his window, and let it in. It had a letter in handwriting he had never seen before, and it looked to be years old. He untied it and saw that the writing clearly spelled out his name, but did not have an address on it. He opened the letter and looked straight to the bottom of the page and it clearly said, 'all my love, your father, James Potter.' Harry's hands started to shake. It had to be a trick. His father was dead. He had heard his last words himself, every time a dementor got too close. The letter read:

Hello Harry -

If I'm alive when you get this, please don't trouble yourself reading it – it'd be entirely pointless. If I'm dead when you get it, I promise you that it's not from Voldemort or something else evil. I put this in a box at the post office, to be delivered to you on your fifteenth birthday. I have no spectacular words of wisdom for you. I don't know who you grew up with or where you are now, I can only hope you're with your mum, Sirius or another of the marauders. I pray that no one sends you to Lily's sister. She doesn't like us – magic, she thinks it's abnormal. I think I'll add that to the will that Lily and I are writing – you aren't under any circumstances to go to her or her husband.

Anyway – down to the point of this letter. Voldemort is after us, and we just went under the Fidelius charm with one of my dearest friends, a marauder, wormtail, as our secret keeper. I don't think he'll betray us, but I know that someone is, and I know it isn't Sirius. That leaves Remus and Peter – I don't want to believe it of either of them, but I know it is one of them. So you ask, why make one of the suspects our secret keeper? It's perfect ploy – no one will expect it to be him, they'll all think it'd be Sirius – so Sirius came up with this. I hope Pete doesn't betray us, because I want you to grow up – and I want to watch you do it.

I want you to know, that nothing you could do could make me ashamed of you. I will always be proud of you, and I will always love you. Right now your only just over a year old, so I can't imagine what you'll be like at fifteen. I don't know why I feel this – maybe it's Halloween coming up so soon, just two hours away, really – but I have this feeling I won't get to be there while you grow up. So I don't know what will happen, I only pray that somehow I can change it. I'm beginning to have my second thoughts about this plan – was it too perfect? I think so. Maybe we should change it – I think we will. Dumbledore can do it – that way I don't risk my family or my friends. Dumbledore can take care of himself better than anyone.

I guess I'm rambling about what I'm going to do, which is really silly, because chances are that if I make Dumbledore our secret keeper, we'll all live. (no you won't. you won't get the chance, dad.) I don't know how old I'll be when I die, but I'll write this as if today is my last day. (you have no idea.) I want you to know that we left everything to you – every little thing. There's three houses, including the one we're hiding in, four Gringotts vaults – your trust fund, the Potter family fault, Lily's personal vault – I don't know what she keeps in there, and the marauders vault, which has a few books we wrote together, and a few personal things from each of us. If no one has told you about this, do me a favor and beat it out of Sirius, Remus, or Dumbledore. I don't know why I left Pete out of that. You can beat if out of him if you'd prefer it to them. (Oh, how I'd love to.)And other than the houses and vaults, I don't think there is much – I left my cloak with Dumbledore for you. If you don't know what that is…I'm rolling in my grave! At least, I assume I am.

I don't know much about being a parent to a teenager, but I know a few things about being a teenager. Trust your instincts, Harry, they tend to be right. Trust, always, but not blindly. I don't know what else to say, except for this – Keep your friends close – don't go all noble thinking that you can't put them in danger – especially after what I'm about to tell you. There was a prophecy, soon before you were born. (A/N: No, I'm not using the one in OotP) It talked about a boy who would defeat Voldemort. So if you haven't yet – which I'll assume is the case, as you're only fifteen – here's the exact wording.

"A boy will come into the world…as July goes out…a boy born with a destiny in mind…destined to defeat the dark lord…a difficult life he will live…but he will conquer if he holds true to his morals…and keeps his friends close…losing many dear to him…gaining peace and life again…he will conquer the dark lord…"

So I know you haven't had a good life – and you've probably already lost a lot of people to the dark asshole, but I want you to know that dead or not, I love you and I always will. And chances are, I'm proud of you, too. I have a few more pieces of advice for you: 1) Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself – you've probably heard Dumbledore say that, but it's true. Call him Voldemort – or Tom, that's his real name. 2) Trust in yourself and in those you love – they will be there for you if they truly love you and 3) don't go after Voldemort with revenge in mind – it will make you bitter and hateful. That, with the amount of power that you hold – ask Dumbledore, we told no one else – could make you another dark lord – as much as you want to deny it, hate does that to people. Be angry, but pity him – he will never have the things that you have – people who love you. Don't hate. If you have to hate something, the best thing to hate is just that – hate.

All my love,
your father,
James Potter.

Harry looked up from the letter with tears in his eyes, thinking over everything that he had read…he couldn't believe some of it – his father had doubted Peter? And not had the chance to do anything about it – by the time he could've asked Dumbledore to be their secret keeper, he was dead. He wondered if anyone else knew that. Sighing, he thought of the prophecy – that was somewhat alarming. He could believe it, but he didn't want to. He decided to ask Dumbledore about it. But what he had said made sense – and he would make sure it didn't happen. He'd do his part in saving the world, and then he would get out of the saving people/killing bad guys business and live his life. Maybe teach or something. Harry cried himself to sleep and for the first time in a little over a month he slept without any nightmares of Cedric dying and Voldemort coming back.