|Albus Potter (liesbecomeus) wrote in the100,|
@ 2015-09-03 19:27:00
Are you busy at the moment?
[...] When I was eight years old, we went to see the Quidditch World Cup final. It's a huge deal because Viktor Krum was playing for Bulgaria again. But it was an even bigger deal for me because Brazil made it to the final and Gonçalo Flores was going to be there. I was going to get to see Flores in a match against Krum. [...] It was the first match where I was really invested. We'd been to plenty of matches before, what with Mum's friends and all, but this meant something to me. It was highly profiled and Mum was announcing the match alongside Rita Skeeter.
Skeeter didn't announce the match. Skeeter gave a play by play of us. I remember, I leaned over to ask Jamie why she was doing that. He shrugged his shoulders. We'd always known that people were interested in our family but I didn't understand why they'd be interested in us over the Quidditch world final. It didn't make sense to me. And even more so, I didn't know why she was talking about me. Not just me, of course, Jamie and Teddy and Lily. All of us.
"What message is Albus sending us?" She proceeded to say, her voice booming, so that millions could hear. Most kept their eyes on the game. Some didn't. I sank down and tried to keep my head hidden by Jamie's shoulder and Dad's arm. I didn't like it. It made me so uncomfortable. And I remember thinking, over and over, why would it matter if I was supporting a different team from Dad? Did people expect me to support Bulgaria just because of him?
I asked you all about it later, when it was over, and we were back home. I asked why they cared so much about me. Did they want me to be like you? You all assured me that Skeeter wasn't worth worrying over. That I was my own person. You always assured me that I could be whoever I wanted to be. You need to understand that. You've never failed me in that.
You've never failed me at all.
I've failed you.
I noticed, though, more from then on then before. People watched me when we went out. People'd comment on how similar I was to Dad. And the thing was, I wanted to be like you, Dad. I didn't see this as a negative thing. I don't see it as one. But [...] we were waiting to enter the Great Hall when I started Hogwarts. I had been so worried about being in Slytherin...Jamie never let up about it during the holidays...he knew it bothered me so he teased me about it. You had assured me, Dad, that it'd be something to be proud of if I did end up in Slyhterin. And I was surrounded by all these children I didn't know and someone mentioned being nervous about what house they'd be in. I spoke up and said, "me too."
Immediately, "what do you have to be nervous about? You'll be in Gryffindor just like your Dad and brother." Then...when I didn't get in Gryffindor, it was like I did something wrong. "Are you sure you are really Harry Potter's kid? How could the son of Harry Potter be a Slytherin?" etc, etc.
Second year...I got it into my head I'd give Quidditch a try. I wasn't ever very good but I wanted to make you two proud of me, especially you, Mum. I was on the pitch, waiting for try outs, and I kept hearing whispers. People always whispered around me. One of the older kids from my house mentioned that if I got chose to be on the team, he'd have his parents send and owl to complain about how I was getting unfair treatment. I tried to ignore it, I got up in the air and I was doing well, and someone shouted how it wasn't fair because I had lessons from a Quidditch professional.
I missed the Snitch fly past me entirely. "Ginny Potter's got to be ashamed!" [...] I didn't tell you all I was trying out, I had wanted it to be a surprise, and you only found out because Jamie opened his gob in a letter.
Children are cruel. Please don't take all of this to mean I am whining about my childhood. I loved my life, I loved my family, and we were happy. But this stuff was persistent and I didn't want to tell you. I didn't want to make you feel bad. And it just continued, on and on, not always from my peers. Constant comparisons and constant belittling of my achievements. Anything I could have obtained on my own merit was effectively tarnished.
I got to a point where I didn't try to be noticed or seen. I just [...] ignored it to the best I could. When I was finishing up school, I got this position with Gringotts. I was so proud. I actually came to visit you at the Ministry to let you know as soon as I got the letter. I was going to get to be involved with transactions, study of numerology, and so many exciting things. And...then I found out that they thought it'd get some good publicity to have me, Harry's son, as part of this relatively new program.
I reacted badly. I do that. I [...] quit without so much as saying a word to either of you. That was how I began my muggle studies career and it was never to study muggles. It was to be able to be involved in something I loved. And I spent weeks creating all these documents but the first one I created, my 'birth certificate,' I made just days after that incident. I was angry, I was fed up, and I just wanted to be able to do something on my own. That's why I became John Smith. And I chose John Smith because [...] I had two heroes in my world. I was trying to escape one, so I looked to my other, and my logic was that it was the most common of names. They'd not look too deep into trying to find out the history of John Smith, born January 3rd of 2006. I looked normal, I looked ordinary, and I needed that. I needed questions to be kept at bay.
I don't [...] I don't like talking about me. I haven't ever liked it. I'd get asked questions about myself, I'd divert the subject, and I did this even once I was in the muggle world. Like I said...people assumed. My coworkers assumed. Years go by and people had their opinions set of me. Wendy knew of me for years. I had to keep up my story with her because what if something ill happened between us? I couldn't risk her exposing me. And when she told me she was pregnant, we'd been so close to separating already, that I panicked. I didn't know what to do or how to talk about it.
I didn't want to come to tell you I had made a mistake. And...I just kept making more. I want my baby to know you. I hope she does soon. That's [...] that's all I can say about it. I know it was wrong, I know I've made a mistake, but I didn't want to disappoint you. And I didn't want to hurt you once I realized I had let this go for too long as to ever avoid hurting you. I knew it'd hurt.
I was just trying to find a way to make it hurt less.