Harry Potter - Series Fan Fiction ❯ Harry Potter and the Werewolf Prophecy ❯ FATHER ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Eleven-year-old Alex Fyng sat alone at a table in the crowded café, nursing a Coca-Cola with a straw in it. There was an astonishingly beautiful young woman across the room who was laughing loudly. She sounded French. He tried to make himself not stare at her.

He had turned up twenty minutes early, and he’d now been sitting there for nearly an hour. This was his third drink, and he was feeling the effects. He didn’t dare get up from the table though.

He felt a tickle on his neck and flinched. There was an insect of some kind on his shoulder. He leaned around and flicked it off, and suddenly saw his father standing behind him. His father sat down, then half stood and awkwardly gave Alex a quick hug.

“Alex. Good to see you. Do you want a drink, or something?”

Alex shook his head rapidly.

“Well. It’s been quite a while.”

Alex nodded. It had been a long time. He’d been at various times angry, then sad, then resigned. He’d almost given up on seeing his father again.

“I know what you must have thought. It’s common enough. A divorce, and the dad moves on. Gradually loses touch. It’s not like that, Alex. There’s a reason why I haven’t been able to keep contact.”

Alex waited. He wanted to tell his father that it was all right – that it didn’t matter – but he couldn’t.

“There’s someone... there’s a person, a kind of person, associated with me. Closely associated with me. I’m a wizard, Alex, but I gave that up, to get away from him. Then, later on, something happened. I had to hide again. I had to leave your mother and you.”

Alex’s father was glancing around, nervously.

“I couldn’t have him know about you, about your mother. He’s a very bad man, Alex. Very bad.”

“Who is he, Dad?”

His father sighed. “I didn’t want… well, I suppose you’re entitled. It’s my dad, Alex. Your grandfather.”

“But you said grandfather was dead! Both your parents were dead, before I was born!”

“Yes, I said that. I’m sorry, Alex. He’d lost contact with me, and my mother. Then my mother died. As far as I was concerned, he was dead. Then I heard rumours about what he was. Something terrible.”

“Was it to do with… you know who? The Death Eaters.”

“It was, but also something worse than that. More horrible.”

Alex couldn’t imagine something worse than the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort.

“He wouldn’t hurt us, though? His own family?”

His father shook his head. “It depends what you mean, Alex. When people go bad in a particular way – sometimes they want other people to go bad with them. Sometimes… doing bad things can be worse than having bad things done to you. I know you’re a good boy, Alex. You’ll be a good man. I don’t want anyone to threaten that. That would be as bad as…”

“I wouldn’t! I mean… I know I’m not perfect, but I’d never be a Death Eater or anything like that, Dad.”

His father reached across the table and grasped Alex’ hand. “I know, son. It’s just… you shouldn’t have to encounter these things. Promise me… if anyone tries to get in touch – someone you don’t know – you’ll keep away.”

Alex could feel the heat of his father’s hand on his. It was comforting. He felt a sudden upsurge of sadness – having his father’s presence reminded him of how much he’d missed him when he was absent.

“I promise, Dad. I mean… he can’t have really cared about you, can he – to have gone off like that?”

His father winced. Alex hadn’t meant to hurt him, but the words had obviously stung.

“Dad – I know you’re thinking of me. That’s important.”

His father patted his hand. “Anyway. Just had to warn you. Probably nothing to worry about, but I had to ...”

He suddenly stopped talking and sniffed the air, looking around.

“Dad?” said Alex, uncertainly.

His father was staring at the table with the beautiful young woman and the scarred young man sitting beside her. He held his gaze for almost a minute, then relaxed and turned back to Alex. “Sorry, son. I thought… it doesn’t matter. Now, I hear you’re off to Hogwarts in September! That’s exciting, eh?”

Alex nodded. He was looking forward to Hogwarts, though with some trepidation.

“I loved it there. You’ll make friends that last all your life, and that’s more important that all the NEWTs and OWLs. Work hard though!”

“I will, dad. I’m a bit worried about the sorting, though.”

“Don’t be. Look, I was in Slytherin, and, yes, there were some nasty people there – maybe more than the other houses. But there were good people too, and the important thing is to be where you learn most. I learned what I should do from some of my house, and what not to do from some others. You’ll be fine. Your mum made sure of that. You’re a good kid.”

Alex didn’t say anything. He knew it was silly to hope that his parents would somehow get back together, and he tried to tell himself he didn’t want it – he just wanted them to be happy. But when he thought about what would make him happiest, that was all he could think of. It was easier, sometimes, when his parents said unpleasant things about each other. It kept hope at bay.