If there was ever a moment when I knew my life had changed completely, it was in looking at you, a tiny little bundle of black hair and cotton jumpers in your dads arms. I knew it then, Harry, six weeks old and snuggled in your dad's robes - my life is changed forever.

I know to you it might sound silly now. I expect you're rather old if you are reading this, eleven at least, and far too mature to listen to your mum weeping over old nappies and socks with bobbles on them (you so hated those). I hope, if you are reading this, that I am there somewhere, perhaps downstairs making dinner, or taking a nap, reading the Prophet in the parlour. I hope I am there to explain all of this, to take care of you and see your first steps, your first day of school, your first kiss. I hope we've had good days, maybe a few OK days, but mostly good. I hope I can hang around a bit longer and see how you turn out.

Shall you be loud and fast and always on the move? Ambitious? Bold? Organised? Shall you be one of those children like I imagine your Aunt Petunia's child must be - high-strung and anxious and always jealous of the other? Maybe like your father, creative and single-minded. Shall you like Potions, or Charms? Shall you be afraid of heights, or a fearless flier? Shall you play sport, or find a quieter means with which to spend your time? Shall you find a girl one day and fall in love, or pursue someone fruitlessly, or perhaps wait for romance to simply find you?

If I'm not here to see you, which I expect I may not be, please know that it was never your fault. I am proud of you, Harry, without knowing what you shall become, without any forewarning on the future - I'm proud of you. There is nothing you could ever have done to change the way things are, and nothing I can say now to make things all right, but I think they will be. All right, I mean. And, if I'm really not around (though I hope I am), know that we love you, Dad and I. You are perfect and beautiful, and we love you. We've always loved you.

I know you are most likely grown by now, maybe fifteen or sixteen, maybe younger. You are going through awkward phases, thinking about school and girls and music and friends (but mostly girls). You've probably realised that your parents are uncool and imperfect. You want a different haircut, do things maybe we don't approve of, test the limits. I've seen so much hate and evil in the world, children turning on parents, parents on children, friend on friend. I've seen beauty, love so strong it would make you choke. I've seen bravery; I've seen miracles. Love and music and beauty will enrich your spirit, suffering will make you strong. I may not always be around to guide you through life, so follow your own instincts above all others. Be a loyal friend, Harry. Love your friends, and your family, because they are all you've got. Remember, for me, that it does not matter what social status a person is, or how pure their blood is. Remember that a bad family can turn out good people, and likewise with good families. Learn how to ask for directions, how to forgive and be forgiven, to respect others. Eat well and sleep at night. Revise for exams, but don't let yourself get carried away. Have fun. Love unconditionally. That's the only real way to love.

I know that I am hardly perfect, and I expect as much from you. You can't always help everyone, or stop every minor incident happening. You learn to live with the minor incidents, and let life work out the rest. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and for others. It's never all right, Harry, to watch someone get hurt for no reason and do nothing for it. No matter who the person is, or what he looks like, or how nasty he may seem on the outside. For this, your close friends will love you, your acquaintances with thank you, and your enemies will forever remember you.

I have faith that you have turned into a wonderful and compassionate person, regardless the hideous set of circumstances thrown together that create life. I love you, your father loves you. Remus loves you. Sirius loves you. Always. There was never any question or doubt. If I'm not there, sitting by you or in another room, know that I am here now, watching you sleep in your dad's arms and hoping with all my heart that ten years from now I shall be taking you shopping for your first set of Hogwarts robes.

So, my heart, live your life through everything, and never let anything make you stop. If I never see you again, remember that I'll always love you.

(You'll kill me for writing this) Love always and with all of my heart,

your mummy

Nothing else was left for the shaking hand and dripping quill to scratch out. No more advice to be given, no hopes and dreams to spill on a page already loaded down so heavily with them it may as well weighed a ton as the same hand lifted it, lips blowing cool air to dry the still wet ink.

In the corner slept a delicate baby, tufty hair covering a pale forehead, fists clenched over a stuffed rabbit with spotted ears and button eyes. The letter was writ, the future resolved. She smiled at her baby boy, carding feather hair between trembling fingers.

'Goodnight, Harry. Mum loves you. Mummy loves you.'

He slept on.