A/N: My first fic which actually features Harry Potter in it…ironic, isn't it? Thanks to pinkrose14 for beta-ing this story xD Hope you enjoy!
The amount of redheads and brunettes and blondes seemed to be growing around his feet, all playing and squabbling, talking and laughing. They looked small to him, and he wondered what their names were.
He knew that they were family; anyone could see that. But he lost track of the children around the time that little Lily's second daughter got pregnant. They came to him often, and called him great-grandpa Harry, and they all loved him because he made jokes and admired their drawings and gave them advice on what broomstick they should buy next. They loved him because he gave them candy when he could and spoiled them sick, and they loved him because his house was warm and friendly, and he had a dog called Hedwig, that was snowy white and covered in fur.
He looked towards her, as she lay in a little redhead's lap, nuzzling the girl tenderly. None of the people in that room knew why she was called Hedwig; few people knew he had ever owned an owl.
Ron and Hermione were gone; both dead of old age, though Harry often joked to himself that Ron had died of a severe case of spattergoit, before he felt a profound sense of guilt at making his best friend's death a joke. Ginny was still there, hobbling around as she could on a walking stick, but still making sharp comments at anyone who crossed her path and put one toe out of line. As she had grown older, Harry had become more aware of her Molly-like traits, but he loved her all the more for it.
Albus and Lily constantly brought their children and grandchildren to visit him, and so did Rose, along with her husband Scorpius. Also, once in a while, Roxanne or Fred would come along. The Potter house was the center of the family, the place where the reunions were held.
And every time, over dinner or after dinner, Harry would be asked to tell a story. "A story from when you were like us", the little ones begged. "A story about the war and when you saved the world", asked the older ones. And Harry would talk, going on long explanations about the Ministry and old Hogwarts, Dumbledore and the Order, the DA and Neville. It was by last names and history books that they would recognize things…and others, Harry knew, they would never remember.
He knew, with a brief pang of nostalgia mixed with a bit of relief, that the ones who heard him would never know anything about the war, or the terror of reading the Daily Prophet each morning, or waking up in an unknown forest and hoping that the Death Eaters wouldn't hunt you down that day. They would never see the people they loved slaughtered in front of them, and they would never have to fight for their lives against people with power twice as big as theirs.
No, they would never know, and Harry knew that nobody truly cared. His story was now more fiction than fact, and the only other times that the subject was mentioned was at the memorial day of the Battle of Hogwarts, when he was invited to give a lecture at Hogwarts or somewhere else. Then, he was a celebrity, a man more famous than anyone else. But after those days, he knew that nobody really wanted to know what was happening to Harry Potter.
And Harry was honestly glad of it. But then he would be speaking about Luna, or even about Ron, and someone would ask "who's that?", and he was reminded that they were both dead and long gone, and the only places that they would truly remain forever would be history books, things that were also deadly inaccurate in many subjects, though he knew that Hermione would have killed him if she knew he thought such things.
There were books about him, he knew, but he had never really read any of them. Who wants to read their own story, anyway? About six months after the war had ended Harry had done an extensive and exclusive interview with the Daily Prophet, simply because it would be the only way to shut people up in their speculation. He was sick of being a spectacle. Until that day, the article that had been published was in history books as a reference to many things that had happened. He knew there was a statue of him somewhere on the grounds of Hogwarts, alongside one of Dumbledore.
He wondered, even as his eyes strayed to one of the little blond twins who were flipping through a moving picture version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, if Dumbledore had ever felt like this; sort of… gracefully forgotten. After all, Harry himself had never thought to ask the Headmaster about his past before his death.
But then again, was it bad to be forgotten, really?
Harry sighed, rubbing a hand absentmindedly. His scar was still there, a pale, zigzagging strip of skin on his wrinkled forehead, but his once jet black hair was now almost completely pure white. His knees were still knobby, though, he thought with a bit of a chuckle.
All those years ago, in front of the Mirror of Erised, he had seen an old man with knobby knees smiling and waving at him from the background. Harry had thought that perhaps the man was his grandfather of some sorts.
And, come to think of it, what would Harry see now in the Mirror? Himself, widely acclaimed and receiving daily fan mail for defeating Voldemort?
No, not at all. He liked living peacefully, and he liked the simplicity of simply talking about things that didn't involve the end of the world or the slavery of a community or someone's life. He was happy.
Ron and Hermione had lived wonderful lives, with loads of children and successful careers…as if they needed jobs after everything they'd done for the Wizarding World. The last time Harry had seen both of them, they had been happy, and he knew that for them, death had truly been "the next great adventure" just as Dumbledore had said. Neville, and Luna…both renowned among witches and wizards, not only for what they had done in the war, but for everything they had done after it; they had both died, but for both the funerals had been more of a commemoration than a mourning.
So should it bother him, to be so gracefully forgotten? He didn't want his children, grandchildren or great grandchildren to learn the horrors and pains of war and battle, of betrayal and death. He wanted them to grow up and go to Hogwarts and know magic that would help them with everyday chores and such… he didn't want them to save the world.
And there's another little redhead, running towards him with her curls bouncing almost violently in the air. There's a wide smile on her face and she's holding something sticky in her hands, wrapped in a napkin.
"Great grandpa Harry!" she exclaims as soon as she's close…which to her, is still nearly the other side of the room.
"Yes?" he answers, and maybe his voice isn't as strong as it used to be (Merlin knows he used to yell quite a lot), but it certainly has enough enthusiasm. And he can't help a grin from appearing in his face when she comes to stand by his chair and extends her full hands towards him.
"We made biscuits with Davie's mummy yesterday, and I know that you can't eat sugar so I saved you a piece that doesn't have any." She suddenly looks a bit bashful, and looks away. "It's for you."
"Thank you so much!" says Harry, and taking it from her hands, eats a piece.
It's sticky, and he'll need another napkin to clean his hands later, but the biscuit tastes marvelous in his mouth because she made it…and maybe she didn't make it for Harry Potter, the Boy who Lived, the Chosen One, Voldemort's Defeater…but she made it for Great Grandpa Harry, and somehow that's more than enough.
As he manifests his delight and how wonderful the biscuit tastes, and how impressed he is with her cooking abilities, he remembers that time in front of the Mirror of Erised and it suddenly occurs to him that perhaps the old man was not family of his at all.
Maybe it was just himself, smiling at the knowledge of all the beauty that Fate had in store for eleven-year-old Harry.
Because, he realized, while the Chosen One had been gracefully forgotten. Harry Potter had not.
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