Pink Green Blue

So Much Lighter Now I Have Met You by Permanent Accounteverblue3

Rating: G. Created: September 1st, 2005. Updated: September 1st, 2005. Read Reviews (26)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.

So Much Lighter Now I've Met You

You're so much smaller than I expected.

You're going to change the world, and yet here you are, sleeping peacefully, tiny fingers barely curling over the edge of your receiving blanket (though we tried to get you properly clothed in Gryffindor red, the Mediwitches insisted that you be attired in proper gender-specific attire, at least until tomorrow). I guess, given the significance of all you represent, I expected you to be heavier. It's difficult to fathom the relative importance of each of your 3.5 kilos, yet my arms barely feel the weight.

Your parents want me to be your godfather, did you know? Out of all the people they know, I'm the one they chose to be your role model, your guardian should, Merlin forbid, anything happen to them. You've broken tradition, I'll have you know --- I've never been given this much responsibility before. I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to do, to say. No one would ever think of me as a disciplinarian and yet...oh. You yawned. That's so adorable, but don't think you can get your way out of things so easily when you get older, young man. I'm the expert.

I never had much opportunity to be a child. From Regulus's birth, there were responsibilities to be borne, expectations to be met, and appearances to be upheld. And, while I extracted little pleasure in this loveless routine, I thought it a normal childhood until I met your parents. I thought it was normal to only play with one's toys in the middle of the night, and to keep from laughing when inside the house. I never remember being dandled on my father's knee or sung to sleep by my mother's lullaby. Christmas morning was always a somber affair in one's dress robes, presents opened in silence and thanks given with somber gratitude. It wasn't until I met your father and saw his horrified reaction to my stories that I ever considered my upbringing to be less than was proper.

My parents taught me how to hate. I don't recall smiling much as a child; no one did, in public, anyway. Smiling was a sign of weakness of character, and so was only saved for private moments among intimate friends. I think that might have been the first indication that I had moved away from my family; around your father, I never stopped smiling. He taught me about joy, that euphoric feeling that lifts you up (sometimes in a literal fashion) and sends thrills down your spine. I always knew how to smile, but I never knew what it meant until I met your father, and I haven' t stopped smiling since you were born.

I doubt you'll ever realize exactly what you mean to all of us here. To your parents, you're the manifestation of their love. It's amazing to think about how long it's taken us to get here: all the efforts, all the rejections, that final acquiescence, and then this whirlwind of passion and euphoric love, and here you are, a testament to perseverance and love that is more powerful than anything beyond these walls. To them, you're their future, the next generation, and the most important person they'll ever know. I feel humbled knowing, even in part, how much they love you...it's a powerful thing, and I guess I'll have to swallow a bit of jealousy that I never saw that side of my parents. Perhaps they loved me as yours do you, but at least you'll never be in doubt.

We have something in common, you and me. We each owe your parents our lives. Without their love, you wouldn't exist, and I would be a shell, a ghost with fewer smiles (and detentions, though that's less significant). We're lucky to have them, I think. They're utterly amazing people, to have so much love and to share it with those around them in such abundance. Without them, I wouldn't be here, holding you, and at this moment, there is nothing more tragic to imagine.

It's difficult to fathom all the changes you've made in me, and you're not even a day old. For one, you're a sign that we're all getting older; you're going to rely on us to protect you, to feed you, to help you survive. I've barely gotten used to taking care of myself, and yet here are my friends, determined to take care of you as well. Though it might seem selfish, I don't think I'm strong enough for that, responsible enough, brave enough. Two years ago, we were students, sheltered and safe within the thick walls of security. One short blink later, and here I am, holding you, and in the space between one heartbeat and the next, I grew up. No more can I imagine living and acting as I did, not when you are here, asking me to care for you, wanting nothing but my arms to rock you to sleep, to protect you, to keep you warm. Being 'of-age' pales in significance to this swelling in my heart of pride and love and fear that I simply can't screw this up.

When your mother was pregnant with you, I used to joke about what your first prank would be, or how soon before your mother would let you ride your first toy broom. Now that you're here, all I can think about is how I hope that I won't forget your birthday or let you down. You're my one opportunity to get it right the first time. Everyone else in my life knew my name before they knew me, and I've been overcoming my past ever since. With you, it's like New Years, a clean slate. You're my chance to only have to live up to myself (let's face it, Remus and Peter will be sad competition in the 'Best Uncle' category), and that means more to me than you can imagine. Here you are, a new life just begun, unspoiled, unprejudiced; what will I be to you? What will you remember me for? What silly mannerism will you tuck in your memory when you think of my visits, and will it make you smile? I've never even seen it yet, but I already half-convinced that one smile from you will make me happier than any girl or prank or experience ever could. And perhaps that's what scares me the most; you're not even a day old, and yet I'm already hooked.

I've never been fond of commitment. Between you and me, it scares me a bit. Growing up, it was never a smart idea to become too attached to my parents (if you met my brother Regulus, I think you'd see the negative affects of such clinging). Childhood 'friends' tended to be more interested in snitching and group ridicule than making secret handshakes and keeping promises. As I got older, the tattling became thinly veiled malice and the taunts became mild sneers and deceptively light commentary that dug deep, so I learned not to hold anyone too close. With the exception of your father and our other close friends, I still maintain that distance is safer than intimacy, even if one must sacrifice the comfort of a warm embrace. I like to think I never met my Lily, but I'm practical enough to acknowledge that, even if I did, I'd prefer to protect what I'd worked to create than risk everything on some wild fantasy. So you, just lying here, doing nothing, and yet breaking all the rules I've lived by, is it any wonder that I'm frightened?

Strangely enough, I'm not at all bothered by that fear. In fact, it makes it all the more worthwhile, and that anticipation has little to do with the Marauder spirit. There's a feeling in the core of me that looks forward to watching you grow up, to keeping a picture of you wherever I go, and to visiting you at every opportunity, even when it's inconvenient, if only because you might smile. There's no threat of commitment there, because our relationship will be what we make it. I love you more than I've loved any other person, and yet I'm only your godfather. Your parents may have taught me how to live, but you, little Harry, have already done more to teach me about love than I could ever have dreamed.

Living with my family taught me to grow up. And now, here I am, grown up, and here you are, teaching me all the most important lessons that I should have learned when I was young. I'm already indebted to you, and you're not even a day old.

~~~~~

A/N: The title is, appropriately, from Coldplay's "Green Eyes" (A Rush of Blood to the Head).

Much of the inspiration came from the birth of my nephew, and anything not directly HP-related was taken from my own observations and feelings. It's an amazing feeling, the birth of a new generation, and I tried to give a little bit of that magic to this story. I hope you've enjoyed it.

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