For the first time
Summary: Harry has never belonged anywhere. He was a wizard and a muggle, a halfblood. He has always been unique and where everybody else says ‘special’, he replies, quietly in his own heart, ‘alone’.
Harry woke up frowning, blinking his eyes to see the cause of the itching in his nose and saw nothing but brown. He smiled, chuckling to himself when he realised Alex must have snuck inside their bedroom again. He looked at Hermione’s side of the bed and saw that she was already up, but still in bed. They were both facing their five year old son, who had burrowed between them and was still sleeping soundly. Hermione had an exasperated but fond look in her eyes while she made soothing circles on Alex’s back, her equally brown hair in its usual unbound state in the mornings.
‘Morning,’ she mouthed at him, giving him a sleepy smile.
He reached out and tucked a stray hair out of her face, leaning over Alex slightly to give her a kiss.
“Morning,” he whispered.
He was about to settle back against the dashboard to enjoy the early morning, when the door quietly opened and a familiar head of unruly dark hair appeared between the gap.
“Hey Pops, Uncle Ron’s in the floo, been waiting for you for a few minutes now,” was the hushed statement, before the door closed again.
He stifled a groan at getting out of the bed earlier than he’d intended and turned to look at Hermione for help. She merely quirked an eyebrow at him and made shooing motions with her unoccupied hand. With an exaggerated sigh, he carefully got off the bed and slipped on his slippers. He took a second to smooth down Alex’s hair gently before exiting the bedroom.
He found Jamie in the kitchen, talking to Ron’s head in the floo while she ate her bowl of cereal. Harry ruffled her hair-so much like his- affectionately and dropped a kiss on her head before he turned to Ron.
“Good morning, mate! Sorry for the early morning call, I just wanted to make sure you remember to bring the papers we need for the Hollens case later.”
Harry yawned, pouring himself a cup of coffee Jamie had the foresight to make for him. He nodded.
“Yeah, I already put it in my coat to make sure I didn’t forget it.”
He took several gulps and poured himself another cup. He saw Ron nod over the rim of his cup.
‘Good. We’ll see you and the kids later, then.”
The fire grew for a moment, then put out.
Harry placed his empty cup on the table and turned to his daughter.
“So, ready for a new semester at Hogwarts?”
She nodded, taking a moment to thoroughly chew (Hermione had often chided her for talking through a mouthful of food as a child, and it had stuck, to everyone’s relief, especially Jamie’s herself. She really was very stubborn, still is.) before answering.
“As ready as I’ll ever be, I think. I’ve already read all the assigned books, anything more would be excessive.”
“Your mother wouldn’t agree.” Harry replied with a smirk.
She rolled her eyes, as any normal fifteen year old girl would do when faced with a mildly disapproving parent.
“Yeah, well, I have months to study anything I haven’t already studied, Pops. Besides, the only reason I read ahead was because I don’t want to cram for the OWLs, something most of my intelligent peers will undoubtedly do.” Jamie replied with a wave strangely reminiscent to her mother’s.
“Nevertheless, it pays to be prepared.” Hermione spoke up from the door, carrying a sleepy Alex in her arms.
Jamie rolled her eyes again, but stretched her arms towards Alex, who immediately squirmed to be transferred in his sister’s arms. He burrowed his head into her shoulder for a moment and squealed,
“Hey there, little man! Had a good night’s sleep?” she asked, tickling her brother’s stomach and eliciting a giggle, much to everyone’s amusement.
Harry felt arms wrap around his waist and shifted to wrap his around Hermione’s shoulders. He looked at her, his wife of seventeen years, her developing wrinkles, her happy smile, her happy eyes, and still felt very much in love. She turned to look at him, and saw that she was still very much in love with him too.
There was another squeal, and a laugh, and in that moment, he was the happiest man in the world.
Harry James Potter has always been special, for people who knew him as The Boy Who Lived, for his friends, for Albus Dumbledore and even for Lord Voldemort.
He has been thought of as ‘brave’, ‘brilliant’, the embodiment of a true Gryffindor, but in his own eyes, in his heart, he has always been just ‘Harry’.