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Chapter 1: The Final Score
The Final Score
The thirty-year-old, Albus Potter handed over his money to the girl to pay for the bag of groceries he had just gotten, and then he left the shop. It was a mid-summers day- the blue sky was dotted with white fluffy clouds, the sun was beaming down onto the t-shirt gladded England; windows were pushed wide open to let the cool, soft breeze blow into their homes. Dogs were hiding under any little shade they could find, panting loudly to cool down. Albus couldn’t help to feel happy, and without realizing that he had a small smile on his face as he walked down the street.
It took him twenty minutes to get to the apartment block. His smile got wider as he looked up to see that the window of his father’s apartment was opened and the Muggle song, Thriller was being blasted out so that passer-bys could clearly hear every single lyric. Then in a second, Albus remembered something and the wrinkles on his forehead deepened with confusion.
“Dad? What are you doing?” Albus asked, as he stood just outside the wide-open door to his father’s apartment. His elderly father didn’t hear him over the music and he continued to put away dishes. Albus sighed and walked over to the Muggle CD player, knocked it off with a tap of his finger.
“Hey!!” Harry shouted spinning around to see who had interrupted his music, the glass he was holding toppling out of his hand and smashing into pieces on the floor. Albus gave a cheeky smile. “I didn’t think it was that time already,” Harry mumbled, giving his wand a flick, and with a soft rustling sound, the glass repaired itself.
“Yea, it is. I brought over some milk, fruit and a box of Bertie Botts,” Albus said, settling the bag onto the table, and he looked across at his father. Harry was leaning against the kitchen counter silently watching his son.
“Are you going to put them away, or will I?” Al asked and he received a shake of the head from his father.
“No it’s OK, sit down. I’ll get two cups and a drink,” and Harry turned around.
Albus sighed; ‘drink’ could only mean alcohol when it came to his father because after his mother had died by a freak Quidditch accident, Harry had turned to alcohol for comfort. He also never played a game of Quidditch ever again. He went missing for two months a few weeks after the funeral; Albus thought he had done himself in. But he showed back up at the Burrow, looking like shit and from then on he was never the same person as before.
Albus heard the far-away clang and he was brought out of his thoughts by his father settling the two glasses down on the table.
“Dad.” Albus pleaded and for the first time in years he looked properly at the old man.
Strips of silver were streaking through his black, messy hair, mature wrinkles dug into the creases around his eyes and mouth and the famous lightning bolt scar was still visible on his forehead.
“Fine.” Harry said, snatching up one of the glasses, but Albus stopped him. “No dad. Just give it to me,” he said. Without another word, Harry sat down on the wooden chair across the table from Albus. He poured out the whisky into the two glasses, sliding one of them across the dusty surface of the table. Albus gave a fake thankful smile to him and Harry smiled back before taking a swig of the drink. He smacked his two lips together “So what’s wrong son?” he asked, and Albus bit back the tears that were stinging the back of his eyes as he watch his father drink for the billionth time.
“When did I come here?” he asked in a whisper, and Harry stopped moving. A thick blanket of silence fell over them.
Harry twitched awkwardly, and after a few minutes he was the first one to break the silence with a husky cough. “Emm…,” his features deepened as he tried to think. “An hour ago,” he stated, sounding as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Albus’s heart sank to the pit of his stomach, even though he already knew, he always wished that one day he would get a right answer. He placed his head in his two hands. “No, dad.” He said sadly. “I came a minute ago. I brought you some food,” and he pointed at the white bag beside them.
“Oh,” was all Harry said.
Albus looked back up at Harry- his old man was slowly loosing his mind.
“Dad, will you please move to Saint Mungos or a home?” Albus asked. Harry let off a rumble of a laugh.
“What are you talking about boy? There’s nothing wrong with me!” he said a smile spreading across his face.
Albus sat up straight on his chair. “Dad, You can’t remember what happened two minutes ago!” Albus declared, watching as his dad rubbed his hand through his hair.
The tone of Harry’s voice got serious “I am not a flippin’ dog you can just throw into some ruddy home,” he barked angrily. Without warning, he sprang quickly to his feet, making the chair he was sitting on crash to the floor. He turned on his heel and stormed towards the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.
Albus slowly stood up and followed. He slid down the wall beside the door and sat on the ground in silence for a while.
“You do know you’ll have to come out sooner or later!” Albus shouted. His father didn’t answer.
“Dad, I’m sorry that I care about you too much to let something bad happen to you in here! I’m sorry for not letting you rot away!” he yelled into him.
“If you cared about me or would leave me alone!” Harry yelled back out to him, Albus leaned his head against the wall.
The silence yet again fell between them.
“Dad?” Albus asked.
“Did you hear that the Canons won the match yesterday?” this was a total white lie, there had been no match yesterday and the canons hadn’t played in nearly four months.
“Did they?” Harry’s curious voice asked from the other side of the door.
“Yea, David McCormack caught the snitch while he was hanging from his broom by one hand. I heard that it was the best catch ever!” Albus said, surprise at how the lies slipped through his teeth so easily. “Dad? What’s it like the catch a snitch with thousands of people cheering?” Albus asked thinking back on the time Harry had stood in as seeker for Puddlemere United in a cup match. “Can you remember?” Albus added in a whisper.
There was a click, Albus remained seated on the ground as the bedroom door swung open and his father stood in the doorway.
Albus looked up at him, and before he could stop himself he heard the words “Want a game?” come from his mouth, but after he had said them he felt stupid, of course his father would say no. But to his shock, for the first time in over fifty years, Harry Potter nodded his head for a match…
Albus walked out onto his parents Quidditch pitch, which was located beside their now vacant home as Harry said that the building was too big for one person to live in. He turned around to see his father walk out of the cloak-room, with his ancient Firebolt tucked safely under his arm. The soft wind ruffled his dark hair and his baggy clothes which hung around his skinny frame. Albus noticed how frail his father looked, this was a bad idea- he was going to blown away the minute he got air-born.
“Dad, we can always leave this till tomorrow or something.” Albus said feeling horrible as his dad struggled a bit to stand his broom up.
“What? After me having the guts to say yes, you’re the one that’s backing down? You’re afraid that your old man will beat you?” Harry asked, another cheeky smile coming onto his face.
Albus smiled, this was the dad he missed so much.
“Fine. But no crying when you loose!” Albus said, mounting his broom and quicker than expected his dad was in the air beside him. He pulled out a small golden snitch from his pocket.
“The first one to catch it wins. Ok?” he asked, Harry nodded. Albus let go off the snitch which fluttered for a second in front of him before zooming away.
He moved higher up, before he started his search for the snitch. The sun was slowly setting sending an orange glow down onto the pitch. His dad was slowly flying around the perimeter miles below him.
An hour passed by and there was no sign of the golden ball. Albus was on the verge of given up while Harry had taken out a flask of soup and was now sipping it slowly, sitting on the broom as if it was a sofa and not a piece of wood. Albus looked at him amused, but was interrupted when something caught the corner of his eye and he looked at his father’s left ear to see the snitch fluttering inches away from it. How could he not hear it? Was the man completely def?
Albus went into a dive, when all of a sudden his ears were filled with a roaring sound and he yanked the broom back up out of the dive, his heart beating wildly in his chest. He looked around the pitch, before looking back down at his dad, the snitch was still there fluttering beside him.
He went into a dive again, and the roaring sound shook his whole body. He closed his eyes and shook his head from side-to-side trying to get rid of it. When he opened his eyes, the pitch beneath him had change; he looked around and saw navy blue and shocking pink banners covering the stands, bright flashes of light were hitting his eyes. He closed his eyes and opened them again, to see the thousands of spectators gathered together in the stands, all chanting ‘Potter’ at the top of their voices, the loud rumbling was being made from their feet stamping to ground. Albus spurn around to where his father had been, and saw that he was still sitting there.
Albus felt like he was about to burst with happiness, when his father winked at him and the scene fell away.
Albus walked up the stairs to his father’s apartment, and he banged his knuckles against the red colored door. No one answered.
“Dad! It’s me, Al!”He shouted the envelope clutched tightly in his hand. Still no-one answered. He got down on his hand and knees and peeked through the letter-box. What he saw would haunt him for the rest of his life.
His dad was sprawled out on the ground, his legs bent in odd angles. Albus’s blood ran cold.
“DAD!!!” He yelled, and without thinking of taking out his wand, he stepped back from the door and threw his whole weight against it, the wood at the side splintering but the door didn’t open. He stood back and ran at it again, this time there was a loud bang and the door flew open, he tripped into the room, wood flying across his head.
“Dad!” he yelled running over to his fathers form, and falling down on his knees, he rolled Harry over onto his back.
His lips were a light blue and his skin was a pale ghostly white.
“Dad?!” he screamed, as tears filled the bottom of his eyes. He placed his fingers against the spot on his neck where his heartbeat should have been, but there was none.
Albus pulled out his wand and pointed it directly at his dad’s still chest “Rennervate!” he yelled, the white light falling from the tip of his wand and hitting his dad directly on the chest. Nothing happened. He wiped away the tears from his cheeks, with the back of his hand and shouted the spell a second time; it lit his father’s form before dying away.
Albus started having a panic attack; he was unable to breath. He turned away from his father’s form and while still down on his hands and knees he tried desperately to catch his breath. The salty tears ran down his cheeks and made dots on the carpet beneath him. The envelope with the two tickets Albus had bought as a present for his dad, for an upcoming Canons game laid beside Harry’s cold hand.
“Is there anything else?” the black, curly haired woman asked the man sitting across from her, he shook his head.
The woman nodded and looked down at her knees.
“Albus,” she said, looking back up at the man, she tilted her head to one side.
“It wasn’t your fault.”
Albus took a great gulp before he answered “It was my fault,” he paused, taken in a deep breath “I should have brought him back to life, I should of tried even more. I shouldn’t have upset him the day before he died.” and he bit his lower lip.
“You said he was lonely? Maybe it was just his time to go.” She paused and gave him a smile. “I’m sure he’s happy now. He’s finally with the people he loves.”
Albus turned and look out the window, his life had been ruined from that fateful day. He was now a lonely, divorced, middle-aged man who was currently sitting in a room with a psychiatrist.
Something on the table over at the far side of the room caught his attention. He stood up from the chair he was sitting on, and walked over. Sitting on the smooth, wooden surface among the other bits-and-bobs, was a yellow toy Golden Snitch; Albus picked it up in his hand and smiled. He decided then that he wasn’t going to end up the same way as his father. ..