Author's Note: Okay, sorry for the wait for a simple Epi, but I've been behind recently, so I haven't written at all! Before you read, you might want to understand something: the italicised sentences are exerpts from that second letter Albus wrote - the one that came after the ANGRY one. Yeah, I had a vision for this Epi. Hope you like it.
- Epilogue -
It's as if my eyes were finally open; for the first time I could actually see the world around me for what it was. The sharp clarity of truth was almost blinding in its brilliance.
The funny thing is, even though that was almost eight years ago, I still can't believe the truth of what James and I had learned. I'm 17 now, well, almost 18, and I still look at my dad like he's a god. I'm not embarrassed to admit that - anyone who knows him (everyone) would understand. I cannot believe what he'd lived through.
Maybe I should have gotten over it years ago - the childish notions of fantasy and adventure don't really appeal to a grown wizard - but I haven't. I am awed by my father every time the stories of his childhood are brought up. I certainly wouldn't have been as brave in his shoes - when my dad was 17 going on 18, he died and came back.
I didn't know that you had died. I didn't know that I'd hurt you so much with my words. Did I hurt you worse than You-Know-Who? I was someone who took advantage of your love. I thought that by lying, you didn't trust me enough.
I always skirt around the fringes when I think about him, though. I'm ashamed at how I treated both my parents in that one anger-driven letter I sent when I was eleven. Then again . . . what if I hadn't sent it? Would James and I been told the story of Harry Potter on holiday? Over Christmas, my parents had told us the whole story through, filling in the blanks and answering questions that had been burning my tongue for ages. After all, the documents had only whet my appetite for the truth.
I wanted to know the truth, I thought I was being lied to. Being lied to for your whole life was something I was afraid of - I trusted you.
We asked obvious questions that dad had expected us to ask, but really didn't have answers for. He had looked incredibly uncomfortable and shifty the entire day - the way he always looks when the subject of his past comes up. His hand automatically shoots toward his forehead, to rub that faded lightning-bolt scar - a habit I didn't really notice until that Christmas.
To tell the truth, I had always wondered where that scar had come from. You hadn't ever given us a straight answer when we asked. I thought that you'd said 'car crash' once, but I may have heard wrong.
As for the letter - the one I'm not proud of writing, but one necessary to push my parents toward action - I asked for it back. When Mum had rummaged it out of the pile of parchment on the counter and handed it to me, I took it like it was sickly. Holding it like a poisonous adder at arm's length, I took it into the sitting room and tossed it in the fire. As I watched it burn, the edges slowly turning brown and then black before crumbling inward, I felt an unclenching in my gut. It was as if the life of that horrid letter had been constricting my insides like a snake.
The second letter didn't need such cremation. Although it proved the first letter's existence and my own mistakes in judgement, I kept it - for archival's sake. I needed the reminder to think clearly in the future, and not let my anger get the best of me.
I'm sorry that I was so angry, and that I wrote that letter. I was just . . . upset. I didn't like the idea that other kids knew more about my own dad then I did.
James and I kept the box of mementoes with us until we left for home that Christmas. When I handed it to Dad, he didn't take it - he just smiled sadly and shook his head.
Is it wrong to want to know about you're parents' pasts? I wanted to know who my dad was before I knew him, before he was my dad. You always said not to dwell on the past, but I can't help it. I like knowing what happened before.
As it turns out, Dad didn't want the box back. He told me that his time of dwelling on the past was done. He said he never really understood why he'd chosen to keep all the reminders, the portkeys to his memories.
The past is something people like to ignore - what's in the past is done and over with. So why is it dragging up all of this? The past is the reason for all of my letter-writing, all of your pain, all of, well, the past. You can't just ignore it like it never happened, no matter what people say. Time has a way of catching up to you, like a hunter.
I'm sorry about the past, I'm sorry I brought it up when you tried to so hard to forget. I just felt . . . left in the dark. When I first found out about you, it was like I was pushed into knowledge. I was kept in the dark, and shoved in the light.
RoW: So that's my finale. I hope you liked this story as much as I liked writing it. Reviews are highly appreciated (reading them gives me something to do with my life . . . besides draw)