You caress the child cuddling beside you. Your chocolate brown eyes meet his bright green eyes; eyes that never cease to bring back bittersweet memories whenever you gazed into them. “Are you sure you want to do this, dear? You can choose not to. Miss Williams will understand.”
“Yes, Mummy. I’ve made up my mind. It’s a Father’s Day gift for Daddy. Though we’ve never met, I know daddy loves me,” the child chokes out.
“Yes, those that loves us never truly leaves us,” you whispered, echoing Dumbledore’s words to your husband when he lays in the Hospital Wing at the end of his First Year. Was it only sixteen years ago that your husband was a First Year? It had seemed an eternity to you. “It’ll be an insult to daddy’s memory if you choose not to.”
Tears begin to well up in your eyes. For a child of seven years old, Sirius was amazingly mature. You try to control your emotion but the dam of tears is threatening to crack. All these years, after your beloved died, you have promised yourself that you will be strong for little Sirius’ sake. You will care for him, you will be his pillar of strength, and you will fight tooth and nail for him. A mother’s love knows no bounds. Poor Sirius lost his father before he was even born into this world. Life has been anything but easy for Sirius. Wards need to be strengthened every so often. Precautions have to be taken.
His father has lost his childhood because of the war and you don’t want your son to suffer the aftermath of the war.
Nobody save your family knows where you and Sirius lived. You shifted every so often. You are your own secret Keeper. Lily and James Potter learnt at a terrible price that their Secret Keeper couldn’t be trusted, betrayed by their own best friend, and so you did not trust anyone to be your Secret Keeper, not even your own family. Not that you don’t trust them, but you fear for their safety as well. You feared for Sirius’ life until last fall when Malfoy, the Death Eater who was your husbands’ archenemy since school days, his killer and the last remaining Death Eater at large was captured.
Silent tears fall as you fiddle with your Alexandrite locket, your husband’s last gift to you on your wedding anniversary. Concealed beneath its heart-shaped face is your wedding photo. You remember his words as if it were only yesterday…
“Do you like it? It’s green by the sunlight and red-violet by artificial light, green and red to represent both of us.”
“Mummy, please don’t cry. I didn’t mean to make you sad.” He has mistaken your tears of anguish for tears of frustration. “But I am Daddy’s only child. I will not hide anymore. Daddy never hid, even when he knew of the role he must play to save the wizarding world. This is my way of thanking Daddy. Without him, I would not be here today.”
You wipe away your tears and looked at your son; your only child. He has grown up now, no longer the little boy that ran to your room seeking comfort when nightmares struck. He is truly his father’s son. Your husband would be so proud of Sirius if he was still here today.
“It’s all right dear. Mummy’s not angry with you. Mummy was thinking of your father. You are right, your daddy never runs away from his responsibility. You will tell the truth about you daddy.” Not that reciting a poem on Father’s Day was anything wrong, but the boys at Sirius’s little wizarding school had often jeered him because his father never appeared at any school function. They thought that he was an illegitimate child, born out of wedlock. “If there’s ever a time that that you regret your actions, remember that papa is with you, he has not truly left you. Loved ones will always remain in our heart, protecting us when we need it most.”
Sirius nodded in understanding. “I understand, Mummy.” With that, he went to his room.
A small sigh escapes you. You wonder whether you have made the right decision to reveal that your husband died in the war. What will others think? Seven years ago, a part of you died when your husband died. You felt like dying with him, too. Pulling yourself together was hard during the lonely months after that, but you did it for the baby you were carrying in your womb.
Sirius walks up to the stage alone. Students start to whisper to each other. Parents stare at him, revolted that his father did not come. “Another father that cares for Galleons more than his own child,” someone from the back row exclaims in a voice not meant to be heard, but heard all the same.
Sirius takes no notice of the offending remark. Taking a deep breath and glancing at you for encouragement, he nods. You smile and nod in return.
“In my humble eyes my daddy’s a hero; He is strong and wise and he knows no fear And the truth is plain to see. He was sent to rescue us; A beacon of hope In the darkest time.
Coz of daddy's role everyone is equal. Darkness turns to light and the world is at peace. This miracle God gave to us gives me strength when I am weak, Though he’s not here with me Coz I’m my daddy's son
And when I think of him; When I’m confused, Oh it puts a smile in my heart. Everything becomes a little clearer; I realize what life is all about.
It's hangin' on when your heart has had enough. It's giving more when you feel like giving up. That’s who daddy was, In our loving memory.
Through my daddy's eyes I can see the future; A reflection of who he was and what will be, Though he’s gone and we’ve never met. But I find reasons to believe He’ll always be in my heart, protecting me when I need him most Though my daddy Perished in the war…
“I love you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day”
When Sirius finished, every eye in the hall was wet. The parents and students realized now that Sirius’ father was a hero, someone who stood in the path of darkness so that peace will be once more be upon them.
You look at your child with pride. Tears are streaming down your cheeks. He is truly his father’s son, Harry’s son.
A/N: The poem is an adaptation from the song ‘In My Daughter’s Eyes’ by Martina McBride Many thanks to my pre-beta Robert and Sarah for betaing this. Without both of you this will not be what it is today. Not forgetting my PS beta, Arnel, who never seems to sleep. Her replies are always prompt.