It's been a while,
since I saw you the last time
And it feels like I never will again
I told you that I am a mess,
but you didn't seem,
you didn't seem to care
No I can't hold you down,
but try to think about me as before
I am the greatest fool of all
As I watch her recount the events of the past few months to the Order of the Phoenix, I can't help but wonder who she is. What happened to my daughter? She's always been gutsy, strong-willed, stubborn, but never like this, never so strong. I notice how her eyes dart away quickly each time her gaze meets mine. It's no surprise. Our relationship since I've been back has been…strained to say the least. We barely speak to each other so basically nothing has changed between us.
Knowing all she has been through and all she has done, a strange thought pops into my mind. She is the Harry to my Dumbledore. All those times I complained about not being told what was going on, all of the whining I did when I was kept in the dark, and then I do the same thing to my daughter that was done to me, with the same outcome. Put in danger, forced to fight before she was ready, horrors beyond her imagination…and it's all my fault.
When her Hogwarts letter came, I withheld it from her. I set wards to confound the owls and keep them away. At the time I reasoned I was doing it for her own good. Better that she never know about magic or the terrible things it can do, the lives it can ruin, the havoc it can wreak. I forgot about the wonderful things magic can do, the beauty of Hogwarts, the freedom of flying, the pure exhilaration of performing your first spell (no matter how well it works), and the making of friends.
I'm sure she was surprised when I ran to Dumbledore. Draco was surprised as well. Everyone seems to be surprised at how well we're getting along. Someone, somewhere, seemed to get the crazy idea that I hate the man. Where someone would get that idea I have no idea. We fought once or twice, but doesn't every father squabble with his son now and again? Jenny and I sure squabble enough for fifty pair. Or at least we did, when we were speaking to one another.
The first time I saw Dumbledore, I instantly liked the man. I was only eleven and he was a superhero. An all-powerful, all-knowing, wizened old wizard who could solve any problem and right any wrong. Even as I fought basilisks and Death Eaters, I always believed in him as a Christian believes in God. Then my faith began to waiver as I watched Sirius fall through the veil. It was my faith that faltered, but my love only grew STRONGER! It may be hard to understand but once I realized that Dumbledore was not a superhero, but only a man, then and only then was I able to see him as a father. Fathers are human, not all-powerful super beings. They bandage scraped knees; they can't bring people back from the dead.
Jenny was never given the opportunity to meet Dumbledore. She never had the opportunity to laugh at his silly speeches and come to love his crazy obsession for sweets. The only stories she knows of him now are what she has been told secondhand. All the information has been biased but not untrue. People draw their own conclusions, only those who were there know what really happened and what they felt at the time.
She sits across from me and I notice that Draco holds her hand underneath the table. He notices that I notice and his eyes meet mine in the deadliest of glares. I can't say I'm happy with this particular arrangement but I know there's nothing I can do about it. Any sway I had over what Jenny does in her life was gone by the time she turned fifteen. Once high school hits, fatherhood is almost a spectator sport. I will keep her out of the fight though. After all, it's not her fight to begin with. This all should have been over and done with a long time ago.