A/N This is written as a Junior school essay of Rose Weasley's. Italics are Hermione's corrections and comments.
White Lies and Black Truths
The truth isn't as straight forward as you might think.
At school a boy was naughty and did something wrong. The teacher asked him if he'd done the naughty thing and he said no. The teacher asked him if he was lying and he said no.
The teacher told us all that the truth and a lie are like black and white. White is the truth and black is a lie.
I told mummy and daddy this and mummy teleph-aloned the school to complain that this plants the seed of racial stereotypes and she was disgusted that an educator of children was perpetrating such a thing.
Perpetuating, Rosie, but you've done brilliantly this far, the teleph-alone bit is entirely your father's fault – Mummy.
Daddy told me that lies can be white too. I thought he was sucking up to mummy and trying to be racially equalital.
No such word as equalital but good logic in coming up with that one, love. By the way daddy was sucking up.
When mummy left he said it again and sat me down to explain it to me. It turns out lies can be white for non racial reasons. A white lie is a lie you tell when you don't want to be rude. When mummy's food tastes bad and we say 'Mmmmmm…' we are telling mummy a white lie.
When daddy's team are losing we say the other team are cheats or that the ref is a wanker.
NOT TO BE USED EVER YOUNG LADY!
These are white lies because it hurts daddy's feeling to tell him his team are rubbish.
I asked daddy if there were such things as black truths. He thought about this for so long he ended up walking away and I think he forgot.
Rosie… yes daddy probably did forget, it's okay. Keep this bit in for teacher, it's very perceptive.
I was thinking about black truths and I thought I knew what a black truth was and why daddy didn't want to give me an example.
A black truth is the thing that comes with a white lie. Mummy told me that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If she sent a spell from her wand that pushed forward with great force it would knock her back with equal force.
We'll work on a Muggle friendly example for you to put here. Very good though. I'm very impressed.
Ivor Mitchell, in my class, told me that there is no Father Christmas. He said it's our mums and dads pretending to be Father Christmas and leaving us presents. My friend Julie said he was saying that because he was naughty and the only reason his mum and dad had to do it was because Father Christmas doesn't come to naughty boys. My friend Michelle said she'd seen her daddy putting the presents in her room on Christmas Eve at night. She said she hadn't been naughty at all.
So I thought daddy might have been telling me about white lies and black truths but not wanting to tell me that he's really Father Christmas.
Him pretending him and mummy are Father Christmas is them telling a white lie because we enjoy the lie. It makes me and Hugo happy.
Him and mummy is wrong, me and Hugo is right. Oh sweetheart, I'm sorry.
But when we find out about the lie it's a black truth because we know we were lied to. We know something we loved so much was a lie and it makes us sad. This was the black truth daddy wouldn't tell me about I thought.
Hugo still believes the white lie. I don't want to tell him the black truth so I don't. I am a white liar like mummy and daddy now.
I was going to sit and write my Christmas essay and keep that I know Father Christmas isn't real to myself. I think it might upset daddy if he knows I know he's lying. It would be a black truth for him, so I am telling another white lie.
Mummy will know because mummy reads everything I write for school and I think she will keep a white lie from daddy too.
After I decided not to tell, and to stop spoilsports from telling Hugo and ruining his belief, I went to school and talked to Julie and Michelle about it. We all talked about pretending to our mums and dads that we still believe. It means we are all white lying and protecting them from black truths.
We kept talking during lunch time, about how we were going to go to the Father Christmas at the Muggle shop and tell him what we want for Christmas and have our picture taken. We know he's not Father Christmas. That would be bigger than a white lie to pretend that. I will be putting on a whole act for mummy and daddy.
Take out Muggle.
It would be for daddy really, mummy reads this before we go to the Muggle shop and she will already know I know.
Take out this Muggle too.
So I went home and came to finish this. I thought about what to write. I wrote the bit you just read and then I thought some more.
I don't want mummy to know all these things, white lies and black truths and what I know and what I think, and not be telling daddy anything at all.
But I like that daddy is my Father Christmas. I want him to keep doing it, even just for this last time if he stops when he knows I know the black truth.
I decided to talk to daddy without ruining things. I decided to talk to him about the Father Christmas at the shop.
So we sat in the garden and I showed him the picture from last year and the one from the year before and the one before that. I asked him why the Father Christmases looked different every year.
I looked at him because I've never seen daddy lie to me before, not knowing he was doing it.
But, you see, there is a reason my daddy is Father Christmas.
My daddy didn't lie to me. He didn't tell a white lie or a black truth. He told me something that made me understand.
If I had still believed it would have been a good explanation and not a lie. I don't believe but it was still a good explanation and he didn't lie to me.
This is what my daddy told me.
When we wait in the queue to see the Father Christmas at the shop we stand outside WH Smith. There are lots of people inside working. They know what they are doing and they belong there and you ask them for things and they get them for you. If they don't have them they can get them sent to the shop for you later on.
None of those people are called WH Smith. That doesn't mean WH Smith isn't real. That doesn't mean the people inside don't really work for WH Smith. You don't have to be WH Smith to be able to sell something to a person as a representative of WH Smith.
I think my mummy will be very impressed that daddy said representative, and especially that he said it to me.
So I read about Father Christmas in a book at the grown up library, not the school library. That said he was a real man who did give presents to children. But he was real and real people die. So the real Father Christmas died but people took his place and did what he did for the children. Then more people did it for more children. Then everybody did it for their own children.
So Father Christmas is real, in that he was a real person, and the people working for him in his name are alive and real. The people who work for WH Smith aren't really WH Smith, WH Smith is dead. It doesn't mean the people aren't really working for him.
My daddy isn't really Father Christmas. The man at the shop who has his photo taken with me isn't really Father Christmas. They both work for him though, they do what he did when he was alive.
Father Christmas doesn't exist, but he did once.
My daddy isn't father Christmas, he didn't lie to me, and he is working for Father Christmas in his memory. Granddad Weasley would have been Father Christmas for him and Grandie Granger must have done it for mummy.
So, this is my conclusion.
White lies aren't bad things. Black truths might feel horrible but when you put them next to the white lie they don't seem to hurt at all anymore. Father Christmas is real. My daddy didn't lie to me. You don't have to be called WH Smith to work there.
That boy at school who did the naughty thing lied to the teacher about the thing he did.
It wasn't a white lie, he just didn't want to get into trouble.
He'll never get a job at WH Smith.
Perfect Rosie, rewrite it all neatly with the changes I said and I'll look it over again.
Keep Hugo downstairs while you do, daddy and I have to test the mattress in the bedroom again.
Don't either of you come upstairs while we do that…you don't need another black truth.