|SIYE Time:19:21 on 21st April 2021|
One Year Later
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Category: Post-DH/AB, Cursed Child and beyond
Genres: Angst, Drama, General
Story is Complete
Summary: Harry takes Albus to Godric's Hollow as a way of continuing to heal the rift between them. MAJOR CURSED CHILD SPOILERS
Hitcount: Story Total: 2467
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
First of all, thank you for the Cursed Child category!! Been able to place some of my previously published stories there!
Second, I had not originally planned to post this on here as it is not an actual Harry/Ginny story. However, seeing the new category, the fact this is a follow on from "An Exploding Snap Rematch" and the fact Ginny is mentioned several times, I changed my mind. (I also haven't published anything in a while and it may be a while before the next chapter of "A New Normal" is ready to be published.)
Anyway, as already mentioned in the summary, this story does contain major Cursed Child spoilers. For those who love Scorpius, he is briefly featured. This is from Albus' point of view. I hope I have captured their characters well.
Thank you to Arnel, who has done a brilliant job of editing my story and helping me decide where to end it. Hopefully there will be a follow up as Arnel has suggested an idea for me to do.
Your presence is required in my office as soon as you have finished breakfast.
The password is Tabby Cat.
Albus sighed, wondering why he was to report to the headmistress’ office.
“Well, that is a very big sigh,” a voice came from next to him. “I thought we were going to have a happy day today to make up for what happened last year.”
Albus turned to see his best friend staring at him with a look of concern on his face.
“I’ve been summoned to see the headmistress,” he told Scorpius with yet another sigh.
“Well, you haven’t done something wrong,” Scorpius replied. “Unless, you’ve managed to get into trouble without me knowing, which couldn’t be possible because I don’t think there is much time for you to fit in something that would require you being summoned. I mean, we share a dorm, we share classes, we eat in the Great Hall at the same time. Therefore, it must be another reason than you getting in trouble.”
Albus smiled. He knew his best friend was right in what he said. They rarely spent much time apart at school for him to get into trouble without Scorpius being present. Even then, after the events of the previous Halloween, he and Scorpius had made a conscious decision to do their best to keep out of trouble by keeping their heads down and concentrating on their school work. It had gone a long way in helping them to finally begin enjoying their time at Hogwarts and even in fixing his relationship with his cousin, Rose.
“Yeah, you’re right,” he eventually replied. “I’m not sure how long I’ll be, so I meet you in the library when I am done.”
“Okie dokie,” Scorpius replied cheerily.
“I’ll see you later, then,” Albus said after he had downed the last of his pumpkin juice and stood to leave.
“Come in, Mr Potter,” the voice of Professor McGonagall called out before Albus could knock on the door to her office.
Albus pushed the door open and entered, only to find his father sitting in a chair opposite the headmistress.
“You asked to see me, Professor,” Albus politely said, ignoring the presence of his father for the moment.
“Yes, I did,” Professor McGonagall replied as she indicated that the fifth year should take the seat next to his father.
“I’m not in trouble, am I?” Albus asked cautiously as he sat down.
Professor McGonagall smiled softly at him. “For once, you are not. Your father wishes to speak to you.”
“Hello, Albus,” his father tentatively said as Albus turned to look at him.
Their relationship had improved dramatically over the summer following their visit to Cedric Diggory’s grave and his father’s revelations about his own fears. However, they were not quite back to where they had been before he had begun Hogwarts four years ago.
“Hi, Dad,” Albus replied. “If it is the blanket you want, I’ll need to go back to my dorm to get it as I didn’t bring my bag with me.”
“Oh, no, I was actually planning to take you out of Hogwarts for the day,” Harry replied with a smile. “Though, I may want to see it later when we return.”
“Oh, umm, I actually need to finish my homework,” Albus responded with a nervous glance at the headmistress.
“No worries, Mr Potter. I shall let your teachers know that it may be turned in late, but please note, this will not be something that will be allowed to become habit.”
Albus nodded his head in understanding.
“You have my permission to leave the school grounds for today,” the headmistress continued. “Though, I do expect you to return by dinner and I shall send a note to Mr Malfoy to let him know you will not be in school for the day.”
“Thank you, Professor,” Albus politely replied.
“Ok, then, I think we should get going as I have fair amount I want to show you today,” Harry said, standing from his seat. “Thank you, Minerva, for allowing me to do this.”
With a loud pop, the two Potters arrived at the edge of a village in the West Country. It only took a mere second for Albus to realise where his father had brought him.
“Godric’s Hollow,” Albus stated as he turned to face his father.
Harry scratched the back of his neck nervously as he thought about how he wanted to explain his decision to bring his second son here.
“I know we were technically here last year,” Harry began shakily. “I mean, you stood with me as we watched as your grandparents were…murdered right in front of our eyes. I never actually told you this, but your support, along with your mother’s, meant the world to me that night. Anyway, I thought I should bring you here to show you what happened in the aftermath. If that’s, umm, okay with you?”
Albus nodded, knowing this was incredibly difficult for his father to do. He had finally understood, as they had talked by Cedric’s graveside, that his father was someone who struggled to open up to people. His mother had made clear, on his return from Hogwarts in the summer, that he was to be patient with him as they took the steps necessary to repair their relationship, explaining that his father had needed to deal with the ghosts of his past before he could even contemplate taking him to the graveyard.
“What did you want to show me, Dad?” he asked as his way of showing he was fine with what his father had planned.
“We need to walk into the village first,” his dad replied, pointing down the lane in the direction of the houses that could be seen in the distance.
Father and son walked together in a companionable silence, something that would have been too difficult for either of them to do just a year ago.
After a few minutes of walking, they reached the village and Albus’ immediately noticed a war memorial in the middle of the village square. Something about it drew him to approach it. It was not until he was stood in front of it that he understood what that something was.
“First time I saw this, it was Christmas Eve,” his father said as he came up behind Albus. “Your Aunt Hermione was with me.”
“Where was Uncle Ron?” Albus asked, without taking his eyes away from the statue of his grandparents and his dad.
“Oh, umm, he wasn’t with us,” Harry nervously explained. “We’d had an argument and he stormed out of the tent we were living in at the time. Stayed with your Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur until he was able to find his way back to us.”
Albus gazed into the faces of the grandparents he would never get to know. It did not surprise him to see the very same love and happiness carved into the statues as he had seen on their faces when he had been in the time-period the previous Halloween. Whoever had created this statue had understood the family dynamic well enough to have it reflected in their faces.
“That’s the same look I saw on their faces the day I saw them,” Albus softly told his father. “I could tell they loved each other and you. I doubt anyone would not have noticed just how much they did as it was written all over their faces.”
Albus felt his father gently squeeze his shoulder, causing him to look back at him.
“I see it between you and mum as well, you know,” Albus confessed. “And I see it when you look at me, James and Lily, too. Even last year when I caused all that trouble with the Time Turner. I just didn’t want to acknowledge it then.”
Harry, to Albus’ surprise, drew him into an embrace as he whispered, “I told you before, and I tell you again, you were not the one who caused all that trouble. It was Delphi and she has been brought to justice for everything she has done and tried to do.”
Harry drew back and held Albus by his shoulders. “She gave you no reason not to trust her, until it was too late. If it is something you are still struggling with, then, I would suggest you speak to your mother. If anyone understands, it is her and there are times that she still struggles with what she went through. But she is all the stronger for it and I know you are, too.”
Harry drew his hands away from Albus, turning to take one last fleeting look at his parents’ statue before he led Albus further into the village.
The white marble shone brightly in the autumn light as Albus stood by himself in front of his grandparents’ graves. It made the dates of their births and deaths even more visible as he tried to comprehend them giving their lives for his father at the age of twenty-one. The only thing it seem to do was reinforce just how much they loved his father if they had been so willing to lay down their lives in the way they had. However, it also reinforced the very fact that his father did love him enough to risk throwing himself in front of a Killing Curse to save him after Delphi had turned her wand on him in the church.
“Mum and Dad told us, growing up, that the ones we love never really leave us, that they have their own way of being able to watch over us in the afterlife,” Albus said quietly to the graves. “I think it is one of the reasons that Dad has managed to cope all these years with the losses he has suffered.”
Albus turned to look back at where his father was stood. He appeared to be talking to another lost soul, though, Albus was unsure of who.
“I never truly understood how much Dad lost or how it affected him till last year,” Albus continued. “But then again, I never quite grasped just how much he loved me either.”
Albus paused for the moment as he reread the dates of deaths.
“I saw you,” he said with a sense of awe. “I know you saw me, too, Grandma. I know we didn’t we speak, but I got to see you with Grandpa and with Dad. I might never get to meet you in this life, but I like to think that I would have loved you both so much and that you would have loved me, too. In fact, I do love you, very much. I am proud that you are my grandparents.”
“I am certain that they would be proud that you are their grandson,” Harry said as he came and stood next to his son. “I know you have struggled with the fact that you have me as your father and the fact I have named you after two of the greatest men I knew, but do you know what?”
Albus shook his head, wondering where his father was going with what he was saying.
“I struggled, too,” his father admitted. “I struggled with the idea of living up to their names and the sacrifice they made for me. From the moment I stepped back into our world, the pressure to live up to what they had done and what I had done as baby was just too much for me to handle at times. Big things were expected of me, all because I was the Boy Who Lived. It took me time to realise our situations, at times, were similar, but then again, I was the same with your mother. If you haven’t figured it out, I can be a little bit thick at times.”
Albus laughed at his father’s confession. “I don’t think anyone can be thick as Uncle Ron, though.”
“No, I don’t think anyone can,” Harry said as he laughed, too.
“How did you cope?” Albus said as he sobered up. “With the expectations.”
“Your mum, Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione,” Harry simply answered. “You have a great friend in Scorpius. I see that now. I didn’t a year ago, because I automatically assumed he was just like his father, Draco, and even he is nothing like I thought he was. My point is, while I hated the fame and the expectations of me, I managed to survive everything I went through because I had your Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione for friends, my best friends. I managed to survive the final year of the war, because your mum gave me a reason to live and someone to fight for. Not one of them ever expected anything of me, they just wanted me to be just Harry. It is the same for Scorpius when it comes to you. He just wants to be a friend to you, Albus, not the name that comes with being who you are.”
“I hope you realise, Dad, that you are a much better father than you give yourself credit for,” Albus said as he turned to look directly at his father. “Plus, I know it has been a while since I have said this to you, but…I love you, Dad.”
Harry froze in shock as he took in the words he had been desperate to hear from his son for so long.
“I love you, too, Al,” he replied as he drew his fifteen-year-old son into an embrace and held him tightly as he appreciated the fact the rift in their relationship had mended itself just a little bit more.
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