I can remember the day when the Healer came into me and broke the news that would shatter my world. In one single sentence she announced my faith.
“I’m sorry. You have cancer.”
At these simple words, my body froze over, my lungs- the place where it all started stopped moving. I sat there numb, looking up at the young woman, waiting for her to say something, something meaningful- something to get the world to start spinning again. But she didn’t, she looked down for a second and when she looked back up, her eyes told me everything.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, placing a hand on my arm. Was that all she could say? All she could say was the two most commonly used words in the English language?
I wanted to hit her, I wanted to grab her in my hands and yell at the top of voice “You have the wrong person... That news was meant for a two-hundred year old patient who was in one of the neighboring beds. It couldn’t be meant for me?
I was just hitting forty; I had three wonderful children who I would die for. I had a successful career and I had my whole life to live...It can’t end now. But sadly, the Healer pulled back the curtains hanging around my bed to reveal my beautiful wife walking up to us, her eyes swollen from crying. I felt as if I was dreaming, as I slid off the bed and embraced my sobbing wife.
“It can’t be.” she choked into my chest, but I couldn’t answer as I buried my face into her flaming red hair and let off a mournful howl. How could you fight an enemy you couldn’t see?
The days in the ward felt like months, the minutes felt like hours and I could feel my body get ever frailer as the days turned to night.
Saint Mungos didn’t have special treatment for cancer, it was the rare Muggle disease, so I took a range of medicines five times a day each, which added up to a total of thirty pills a day, and some days I was given different pills. By week two, I was already sick at looking at those brown tubes, and plastic cups. But if they were the only way of saving me, I was going to zip it and swallow as many that were needed.
Every Tuesday I was wheeled down to a special, sealed room. Where a Professional Healer, took out his wand and did a spell against my chest, he explained that it was same as the Muggle Radiotherapy- without the big machines.
My hair slowly started to fall out, the first time I found this out was when I woke up and out of habit I brushed my hand smoothly through my hair, but this time it was different, my hand felt warm and when I looked down at it, it was covered with clumps of my ‘famous’ jet-black hair. Of course, I cried- Your emotions get out of hand. I showed the Healer what had happened and we both agreed to shave off all my hair, and as I watched the black mass land at my feet, I refused to cry. I had to be strong, I couldn’t show my weak side, not yet.
On a daily basis, as I sat in bed, the smell of the lovely succulent bacon that was made for dinner drifted into my ward, and I watch with my mouth watering as it’s landed in front of me, covered with gravy and surrounded by cream potatoes, sprouts and peas. I wolf it down in a matter of minutes and then I would wash it back with a glass of cold milk. Just to find myself ten minutes later, running to the nearest toilet and unwillingly throwing it all back up.
Ginny came in every day with the kids, who would often bring flowers, books, chocolates- which they would end up eating themselves and a lot of gossip. I could lay there forever and listen to Lily ramble on about how her brothers had annoyed her and then James or Albus arguing with her about that it wasn’t their fault. In the end Ginny would always step in and stop the argument before it ended up in tears.
Every night Ginny would return by herself, with a photo-album under her arm. She would sit at my bedside and we would reminisce on the days gone by. I would always say the things that I couldn’t say in front of the children at the end of this visit. I always told her, that no matter where I was- I would always love her, but if it was really my time to ‘kick the bucket’ I wanted her to move on and have a happy life and I would ask her to tell the children every single day of their lives, that I loved them.
Near to the end of my treatment, I dropped to a measly seven stone, my complexion had a sickly, yellow tinge to it and I barely had enough energy to move. Ginny still came in daily to me, but on one daily visit she came by herself... She already knew what I knew, but she forced herself to smile and she chatted about Lily, and how she loved Hogwarts. About James and how he was breaking every school rule imaginable, At this I had whispered ‘Tell him he’s like his grandfather’ and how Albus was enjoying school, and getting good grades but was slowly being a trouble maker. Ginny had said that he had both James and Lily in him. I smiled at this and with Ginny holding my hand. I closed my eyes, ready for my eternal sleep...
The parade of people sat silently in the row of seats, as the small man said the mass. I spotted my family sitting in the front row, and I started to walk toward them. I bent down to Ginny and whispered ‘I’ll always be here,’ into her ear. I turned and kissed Lily on the cheek, but she didn’t feel a thing, she just rubbed away the tears which ran down her face with her hand.
“Harry?” I turned away to find my mother standing beside the oak tree. “It’s time.”
I nodded and walked away from my funeral. But I knew already that my little girl, who now sat innocently in the front of the crowd, would vow to find a cure for cancer, and she would when she was twenty-eight. She would be known throughout the Wizarding and Muggle world for her great achievement.
But no matter how many years went by, every single night, after a long days work, Lily would sit down and talk to her daddy about her life, and her problems... because she knew her daddy would always be there listening