Chapter 1 : Hearts Are Better Open
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Hearts Are Better Open – A Harry Potter Fan Fic.
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” - JK Rowling
“What about Charlie?”
Harry glanced up from the Prophet at his wife, whose hazel gaze was fixed with a great adoration upon the fragile child in her arms. Dark hair dusted the top of his head, and petite hands with rosy fingers curled underneath a pale chin. Long, black eyelashes casted shadows across his small face, and his tiny lips were reddened and pouty even when asleep.
Harry’s mouth curled into a smile as he watched his second son. Only a few weeks old, but he had already developed quite a little personality. His eyes, green much like Harry’s own, twinkled when he was awake; and Ginny had told Harry about how the little boy had laughed softly upon being cuddled with after a bath the previous day.
“Harry?” said Ginny softly, meeting his pensive eyes over the breakfast table. “How do you feel about calling him Charlie?”
Harry’s gaze lingered by the child’s dark hair for a second. “I don’t know if he’s a little Charlie,” he replied after a while.
“Perhaps you’re right,” Ginny admitted and looked down again, stroking the boy’s smooth temple gently. “I’m just getting rather anxious, Harry. There’s been weeks and we still don’t have a name for him, poor guy.”
“We know that we want to call him Albus,” Harry reminded her.
James had been a given name to call their first born son, and the middle name Sirius came just as naturally. Lily had been easy to choose as well; Harry had felt rather selfish in the beginning for suggesting it but Ginny, being the generous, kind woman she was, had insisted that it wasn’t more than right that their first son and daughter should be named after Harry’s parents. Plus, she had added cheerfully, James was such a dashing name.
“But only Albus? Isn’t that a little... well, boring?” Ginny asked sheepishly.
Harry rolled his eyes. “Don’t you think Albus Charlie is a little too...”
“All right,” she laughed, pushing her red mane over her shoulders. “We won’t call him Charlie.”
Harry folded the paper and rose from his chair, walked around the table before he bent down to place a soft kiss to Ginny’s forehead. “We’ll think of something,” he promised.
“Mmm,” Ginny hummed softly as she leant into him, inhaling his scent. “Are you going to go through some more of the old Hogwarts documents today?” she asked quietly.
She was referring to Harry’s assignment which he’d been handed by the headmistress McGonagall over the summer – as the school’s Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher, Harry had been given an entire trunk of old, dusty documents which all needed to be carefully investigated - everything from forgotten rolls of parchment to letters. Voldemort was gone, but the gloomy truth was that danger always would hover over the Wizarding World if precautions were not practised. Harry went through the documents carefully, remembering grimly how a seemingly harmless diary once almost had caused him the loss of Ginny.
“Yeah,” he confirmed, smiling down at his wife. “I was just about to go upstairs and get started again. I don’t have much left.”
A few hours passed by, and Harry had reached the bottom of the trunk. He had found nothing worthy of suspicion, not that he had expected to. They lived in peaceful times. There was one document left in the spacious trunk, and the unsealed letter however did not look like it was one of recent times. Harry picked it up. It felt crisp and frail beneath his fingertips and he pulled out the yellowing parchment from the envelope, and began to read.
“I always watched you, Lily. I knew which expression you would be wearing even before you would turn to face me. I knew if you would be smiling that dazzling smile of yours, the smile you always considered me worthy of after us sharing one of those blissful moments which constituted our relationship. I knew if a scowl of disapproving would taint your beautiful features, like it always came to do whenever my fascination for the Dark Arts was mentioned.
Most would’ve dismissed it as an obsession. I, however, called it love. I wanted to believe you did, too.
But you never did, did you, love? You regarded our relationship as something unique, of that I am sure, but you never saw me as one you could ever come to love. I do not blame you, to some extent, I even understand you. Who was I, next to James Potter? He was everything I was not; he was even a Pureblood.
Not that blood ever mattered when it came to us. You would never lower yourself to the level of reflecting over something as trivial as blood status. And I, being the one admirer you will have until the end of eternity, discarded the beliefs my fellow Slytherins were so eager to support.
That was not enough for you. But then again; I will always understand you. A woman like you deserves more than what a man like me could ever offer.
I saw it before you did. I saw the sincere looks he gave you; I saw how he longed for you. He loved every bit of you, much like I did. He loved your emerald eyes and your fierce Gryffindor spirit. Potter, who could get any girl with the charm he so conveniently possessed, he wanted you. The only one I ever bothered to care for. It was you he wanted.
And I knew it. Oh yes, I knew it. But you rejected him. Every approach he attempted, every move he made, every compliment he gave you, they were all brutally and mercilessly thrown back in his face with an answer which never failed to be dripping of contempt. But he kept trying, and my biggest fear which was losing you to my tormenter, threatened to become reality.
I stumbled further into the seductive world that was the Dark Arts. I found myself captivated by the power the spells withheld, I admit that. Could you blame me? My love for you was the only thing that kept me going, the only thing I lived for. Unrequited love is worthless love. It weakens you.
Mudblood. A curious word, don’t you agree? I never thought a single word could have the power to destroy an entire friendship. But that was before I used it. As I said it, I broke something between us. That fateful day when I spoke that foul word, the word I even up to this day refuse to speak, I hurt you.
You never forgave me. I broke our special bond, shattered the pieces all around us, and walked all over them. I walked all over you.
You thought I was lost in a world of darkness.
Perhaps I was, lost in a world of darkness and heart-rending jealousy. I did not know, nor did I care. All I knew, and all that mattered, was that I had lost you. You swirled out of my life with the same violent force you had swirled in with. The loss of you was overwhelming, it left me with nightmares.
If you had been sleeping next to me during those nights, I would have hugged you, I would have hugged you so hard you would wake up, you would be gasping for air. You would sooth me; you would comfort me by telling me it had been only that. A nightmare. But I always woke up alone, only to have difficulties with telling reality and dreams apart.
Today, I look upon your son. I try my hardest to hate him; all I see is James Potter, the cause to my misery. But then I see you in Harry’s eyes, and I realise that I have brought this upon myself. And it haunts me, I cannot shrug it off. I do not want to shrug it off, I need the constant reminder of you. Because you are still my motivation, Lily Evans. Yes, you will always be Lily Evans to me.
Your pure and undamaged soul was deprived of the warm, safe enveloping of life far too soon, but your memory will always live and so will your spirit. I can see it in Harry.
Knowing that you will never read this, it pains me more than words could ever describe. You taught me the most valuable lesson in life, Lily, and I wish I would have realised this before it was too late.
You taught me that hearts are better open.
Love, now and always,
After Harry had finished reading the letter he stared at the final word, which was blurred at the edges by tears Harry hadn’t even realised clung to his eyes behind his spectacles. He felt intrusive for reading something this personal and vulnerable, and yet he couldn’t bring himself to regret it - the letter meant so much more than what the written words upon the page actually said.
Harry rose to his feet gingerly, the letter still clutched in his grip.
“Severus,” Harry said softly. He was standing in the doorway, looking at Ginny who was meeting his gaze with large, surprised eyes.
“What are you talking about?”
“Severus,” Harry repeated, walking into the living room and placed the letter in front of her on the low table. “I want his name to be Albus Severus.”
He turned to leave the room, but stopped in the door at Ginny’s voice. “Why?”
He didn’t turn around, but a small smile crept onto his face which was partly hidden in the shadows of the corridor.
“Because hearts are better open.”
AN: Guh. I should be writing the 16327 challenges I have signed up for, but my Snape muse just wouldn't leave me alone. I hope you liked this little fic. Reviews are of course love.