Jamie stood near his siblings, as he had for their entire lives, and listened to Harry Potter talk about sacrifice and remembering the lost. They had just 'celebrated' the thirtieth anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts a couple months before he and Al appeared outside Hagrid's hut. It was the oddest feeling to realize that he had attended more of these memorials on this day than Harry Potter himself, now. It was even stranger to realize their positions were reversed.
His father, too young by decades and yet still the father from Jamie's earliest memories, spoke of how Jamie's generation didn't understand the loss of the war. Then, in the next breath talked about losses that only truly seemed to affect those present who were of Jamie's generation. The older generations thought of the wars. Despite the nod to the end of the world, this memorial was mostly about the war. None of them had come from a time when they even knew the world that had been lost.
But, Jamie did. Al and Lilu did. Scorpius and Savannah and Roxanne did.
Folding his arms as he listened, Jamie tried to push down the feeling of wrongness. Somehow, it felt wrong to have the destruction of their world tied to Remembrance Day and the war. It felt...dismissive...of what his generation had lost because their parents and grandparents had tried to kill each other off entirely and then panicked when they realized what that meant. Maybe they didn't understand the war, but he thought they understood this current immediate loss far better. For thirty years his father had read the names he felt guilty for. Today the only two names spoken were for those who were alive. Jamie supposed it was because for his father and the older generations, it was as much 'just history' as the war was to the younger generation.
But, for the younger generation, those dead had names. They were his cousins, aunts, and uncles. His mother. His classmates and coworkers. They were his parents friends, the other members of the DA.
In a way, it was Jamie's father, too. For all that Harry was standing right in front of him, it would never be the same. He would never be the man who had taught Jamie how to fly, how to cast the patronus. Harry might have been impressed with the stag that first night, -- Jamie wasn't actually sure of that -- but Jamie's father had actually been there, for a rare moment he'd been present and emotionally connected when he'd said he was proud of Jamie for casting it so well, when he'd seemed pleased to have the stag run in the family. No matter what, if any, relationship he found with this younger version, Jamie was never going to earn the affection of the man who was supposed to have been there to put a plaster on his skinned knees or for Jamie to talk to when he started to realize he might not be quite as straight as he'd always believed. That man was gone, even if Harry Potter lived to be a hundred and fifty, Jamie's father was gone.
It was almost funny. His father had grown up without his parents. Jamie had, in theory, grown up with both his parents. And, yet, the one thing they had in common was not knowing much about them. Maybe it was time for Jamie to admit defeat, admit he was never going to get that father-son relationship, and just be happy that his father, at least, was getting the chance they both had wanted.