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Posted: Aug 6 2017, 11:29 AM
Played by: junkrat
One thing people could always say about Harry Potter was that he had principles. Sure, those principles grew and adapted as he aged and learned more about the world around him, but the core of them always remained the same. Do right by other people, protect other people from harm, and always give (calculated) second chances. It was hard for the people around him to tell that he would be calculating in anything; he didn't seem to be very thoughtful at all when he made smart ass remarks to people of all levels of authority or seemingly ran headlong into dangerous situations without a plan. Really, though, he just didn't talk much about his plans and thoughts. He weighed situations carefully and processed what he observed with silence, and then he acted. Perhaps if he wasn't naturally skilled at leading people he would have to explain more, but he didn't; he earned loyalty fast and once he had it, he kept it with his integrity to always treat people with respect and care.
People also noticed how emotional he was. While his hormones leveled out eventually and were not quite so robust before his teen years, he always seemed to have a great amount of fire in his belly. Arguments and discussions were always entered with passion, breakups were monstrous to deal with, and successes were joyous shots from a mountain top. While it got in his way sometimes and people tended to write him off as impulsive and emotional, it served him incredibly well as an Auror and a leader during the Second War. The most important thing about Harry was that people knew where he stood and that no matter what was going on around him, he would not be swayed from his morals and principles.
Still, his morals and principles had room to grow. He learned that, despite Hagrid's words of warning about Slytherins being true in some ways, they had been mere half truths and very generalized. He did not hold it against him; there was no point in it, and Hagrid had a good heart, but Harry did learn from it. Or rather, he learned from the people around him; maybe the people he thought were his enemies were not really his enemies, but other people trying to make their way in the world, just the same as him. Some made poorer decisions than others, yes, but most were generally good people. They worried about their families, their friends, and their goals. He learned to judge for himself what dangerous and mistrustful behavior was and also when to take a step back and accept that he had been wrong about someone. It took work, and quite a bit of cutting down his own pride, but he was pleased with himself for being able to do it. It seemed like that was going to be the only way for any true change to really happen in the world.
Harry found fatherhood to be incredibly difficult in some ways and quite easy in others. For one thing, he simply wasn't prepared for just how often he had to be in 'parenting mode', ready to take some foreign object from a tiny hand that was inches from a tiny mouth, or to repair a window broken by some accidental magic. He thought it would be a lot of the time; turned out, it was literally all the time-all the time that he was home, anyway. And even when he wasn't at home, he thought of his children often. He only pushed thoughts of them aside when on a mission. It was easy, though, in situations of discipline and talking to his children. He just thought of what Vernon or Petunia would have done or said in a certain situation and did the opposite. It seemed to work out well enough for his kids, who all were turning out to be competent, caring individuals. He knew he was biased in a way, but that he felt completely assured of. Although he and Ginny weren't very good at being husband and wife, they seemed to succeed as father and mother.
Despite the stalwart exterior of competence and compassion, both as a father and Head Auror, Harry has his own struggles. Demons that hang around, just out of reach, and come to him in the darkness. It's been decades since the Second Wizarding War and the Battle of Hogwarts, but he can still remember everything; the smells of flesh burning from curses, the building itself burning. He remembered the bodies, the experience of dying himself, the combination of fear and anger that was near constantly clutching his heart in those last months. Sometimes he wept, sometimes his hands shook from keeping himself from breaking something, but the talks he had with counselors and his wife-well former wife-helped. No one ever asked him how he was holding up after the battle; ever. It was as if the world thought The Boy Who Lived would naturally grow up into The Man Who Could Handle Anything With Stoicism And Grace. He did not hold this against them, for there was no way for them to know, but it hurt to feel as though he was alone with his sorrows, so he kept things bottled up and only let them out in very carefully chosen situations.
Harry Potter did not have an easy life. Though he was born into nothing but love, he was still born into a family in hiding. When they were killed, he moved into a family full of hatred for him and everything that he was. When he did find out what he was, his adversaries became people who wanted to kill him, not 'just' stamp the magic out of him. Life became much more complicated when he went to Hogwarts; not only was life more than just school, a prim and proper Muggle house, and a cupboard under the stairs now, but it was magical too, literally. And there, he went from being a nobody to having the weight of the world on his shoulders. A child who was expected to save the world.
As much as these difficulties hurt him, it forged a stronger heart within him. He learned to watch what was going on around him like a hawk and to be quick on his feet so he could avoid Dudley and his gang at school, learned the tics and moods of his aunt and uncle so he could avoid their punishments, and above all learned to hold fast to who he was, even when he wasn't really sure what that meant. If he hadn't learned these things with the Dursleys, the events that followed at Hogwarts would have gone much worse for him. Still, the experience of having your life threatened relatively close to once a year was rather taxing on him mentally, and it became more and more difficult for these things not to affect his moods. He was grateful for the people who did not turn their backs on him even at his weakest; among the many people who loved the drama of his existence, there were very few people he could actually trust.
His time at school was not all negativity, though. Hogwarts gave him the freedom to come out of his shell; he had a chance at making friends for the first time in his life, and school, though not always thrilling, was much more interesting than it had ever been. After all, flying on a broomstick around a dragon's head, while terrifying, was far more exciting than playing basketball in gym class, and even McGonagall's rigorous curriculum of formulas and precise wand movements were much more exciting than any class he took at a Muggle school.
When the war was won, he was more than ready to move onto something much less exciting. He got a job at the Ministry working as a Junior Auror, married Ginny Weasley (although her unexpected pregnancy made it more of a shotgun wedding than anything), and kept his head down. It didn't bother him to do this, and in fact, it was almost as thrilling as his first time flying. Just knowing he could simply go to work and go home every day to a family who loved him was something completely new and different, and he savored every moment of it. Even when things started getting rocky between them, Harry was still happy for a very long time with his life; although not perfect, it still wasn't the Dursleys or an old tent in the woods.
Still, despite their many heroic efforts to keep the relationship together, eventually Harry and Ginny came to a mutual understanding; it simply would not work out. One major point in this split was Harry's understanding, finally, that he really preferred men to women as partners, anyway, after years of denial. They were amicable still and the children stayed where they wished, though each summer the two parents each had all three children for at least part of the summer. Since they lived in the same neighborhood, it also wasn't as though they never saw a child who wasn't currently staying with them.
Harry's life was somewhat in turmoil again; the Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, had disappeared, and Harry was leading the investigation. After hearing stories of Grindlewald and Voldemort, and seeing Voldemort in action himself, Harry was suspicious and prepared for anything. Although he was older now, wiser and more capable than he'd been as a teen, he still felt some of his old anxieties well up within him. After the divorce and with what seemed like a crisis looming on the horizon, Harry felt as emotionally uncertain as he'd done 27 years ago. But he would hold it together as best he could, as he always did, and find out what happened. Hopefully it would all turn out to be much less severe than he feared.
Posted: Aug 7 2017, 07:44 AM