Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series and will not make any money off my writing.
By Ponytail Goddess
What a vague statement. How did one know if he was living a whole life in the first place, and if he was not, would he notice a difference?
Did it mean he was handicapped in some way? Physically? Mentally? Emotionally? Would it happen to him immediately or would he go through a horrifically slow digression over time?
These are the thoughts I'm left with as I flail helplessly between the murky lines of consciousness and unconsciousness. As my headache brutally attacks my perception, I am left with the cold floor and dank scent as my companions.
Slowly, my discernment of reality returns and I find myself catching vague glimpses of memories from my torturous hour. I remember being kicked, pummeled, and beaten ruthlessly. Who the aggressors were, I will never know. There were so many people and so many legs and arms pounding me forcefully from different angles that I was unable to pick out individual faces.
I can still hear their voices in my head though. I can still hear their biting retorts and bitter screams.
"How could you, you monster?! How could you do something like that to your own son?"
"You sick, sick fuck!"
"Of all the stupid-"
"Traitor! I cannot believe he ever trusted you with him!"
"You've ruined his life and he didn't even have a say in the matter!"
Panic rises up in me and I can feel my heart beating faster as I stare into the blackness before me. There isn't a flicker of light in the dungeon cell, not even that of single star through a barred window. What's done is done and the crime I've committed is irreversible.
Is it really a crime though, if you think you've done the right thing? If you acted out of desperation? If you had only the best interests of another in mind?
What had started out as a wonderful day soured quickly. We took off into the Forbidden Forest together yesterday morning with hopes of finding Potioneers' treasures. Baskets in hand, we spent the morning gallivanting through weeds and picking only the best-looking ingredients for our future endeavors.
It was just the two of us, just like he requested.
My son and I together, for the very last time.
After lunch, while I was putting out our small fire and packing our things, he spotted something of interest in the distance.
He said he'd only be a minute…
My back was only turned for a minute…
A minute was all it took.
I ran to him when I heard the thing attack, but I was too late. There was my beloved son, mauled into red-streaked pulp on the ground. I screamed and cried like a man possessed, unable to control my utter shock and horror. How could such a lovely boy have been torn asunder? He was hardly recognizable even to my fatherly eyes.
What was worst of all though, was that he still breathed. Anything that looked like that clearly should have died, yet my son's strong will seemed to push him on, breath by breath through his torn lungs.
I knew he only had minutes, if not seconds left.
Then, as if to create some sort of perverse miracle, my eyes caught sight of another creature in the brush; a creature that was white as snow and pure as a newborn babe.
My brain formulated the plan before any sort of rationalization kicked in. It was there, an omen if ever I saw one, and I didn't hesitate to do what I know any loving father or mother would do.
I killed the unicorn; a conjured knife and desperation was all it took to bring the angelic creature down. A moment later, I was pouring hot, silvery liquid down what was left of my son's mutilated throat.
I saved us both.
I damned us both.
Pandemonium broke out when I returned carrying his living remains. They said I should have let him die. They said he'd never look or act like Harry again and that by saving him, I had only prolonged his suffering.
Then, there was also the conundrum of the half-life, as no one knew exactly what that entailed. Who would be forced to endure this pain, my son or myself? I was the one who murdered the most innocent of all creatures, but Harry was the one who drank the blood. Though his role in this travesty was unwilling, his lips were still soiled.
Would he undergo the curse of a half-life because of my mistake?
Because of my love?
Ironically, even now, I do not regret my actions. I endured physical and emotional jabs from every person I knew, all of whom now regretted giving me a second chance. I endured killing a beast I had always admired, yet I knew I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'd do it a thousand more times, in fact, if it meant that my child could live for another hour.
Because in the end, having a half-life is much better than having no life at all…
Thanks for reading—please let me know what you think of it.