"We can't even say two words without a fight anymore. How did we get here? Baby, I gotta know."
Other Side of Love by Sean Paul
HIS GREATEST HEARTACHE
It's happening again. I'm left here standing all alone in the living room – confused, sad, and to be honest – a little hurt. How many times had this happened already in just one whole month? This has got to be an entirely new record! She had never been able to rebuff his attempts to get her to talk for this long.
What did I even do? I just do not understand.
I tried to ask her what was wrong because she entered the house with a frown on her face. She only replied with one word – nothing.
It was always like that now. Every time he tries to suggest activities they could do together; she would always say no because she's just not feeling up to it – or that she has other plans made.
For seventeen years everything was perfect. They were so happy. She treated him like a superhero. He could do no wrong in her eyes. They were like two peas in a pod. She was the princess and he the hero who will slay dragons for her. So, where did he go wrong? After all this time, why now?
He remembers the first time he ever laid eyes on her…
Just like her mother.
Viola Lily Potter – his little princess.
His firstborn child.
Viola Lily had always been a daddy's girl. He used to lord it over his wife, Hermione, that even if their daughter inherited most of her features, he was Viola's favorite. And now, seventeen years later, he cannot even get his daughter to spend some time with him.
What is a clueless father to do in this dire situation?
He was looking forward to this summer because he could spend time with his three children. He even had all the activities mapped out. And his ideas were a massive hit – to his two sons, James Sirius and Harold Remus at least.
But in his attempts to spend time with his princess – all an epic fail.
Really! He just doesn't understand her now.
He tried everything. With the daddy and little princess moments, they used to do.
Camping trips in the Forest of Dean. Shopping for sports gear. Boat rides so they can go fishing.
All of his plans all fail one by one after the other. This is so weird because Viola used to love doing all of those when she was a little girl.
And the worst part, every suggestion he makes would always get the same response. "Why can't you just understand me, daddy? I don't like those things anymore!" It hurt him so much when he hears his daughter saying that she no longer likes all the fun things they used to do together. It hurts that the more he tries to bring back the good old daddy-daughter activities, she would start to get angry.
Why did Hermione have to be Minister for Magic? If only his wife were here, she will be able to solve this problem right now. But no! The International Confederation of Wizards just has to convene all heads of state for one whole month in Switzerland just so they could review the current version of the Statute of Secrecy. I mean come on! How difficult could hiding from the non-magical world be?
And the worst thing, it's been a widespread rumor that my Hermione is one of the favorite choices for the position of Supreme Mugwump. Good thing my queen only wants to rule over Magical Britain and not the entire wizarding world.
How I wish it was just me, Hermione, and our children with no complications. Really! Is that too much to ask?
Ah, whatever. Hermione says that if it's an emergency, something that I could not handle, or a life and death situation, then I can call her any time of the day. Well to me, not being able to talk to my little princess counts as an emergency, something that was obviously out of my brain cells' capabilities, and it is a life and death situation – well it is to me. The days are drawing closer and closer for the children to go back to Hogwarts soon. So, I have to fix this problem with my daughter. Maybe she is sick or something. Or worse, I did something wrong. You'll never know. Males are clueless and will never understand if they did something to offend a female. And Viola Lily is not just any female, she is the most important woman in the world, second only to his Hermione.
The wild curly chestnut-colored hair and eyes like molten chocolates are like Kryptonite to Harry James Potter. Hell! If Voldemort was clever enough to transfigure himself to look like Hermione, he would happily Avada himself because he could never hurt her. Nor his daughter. Because really, it is such a big crime to have his favorite females to be sad.
That's it! I'm calling Hermione.
"Accio smartphone!", he muttered as he raised a hand. When it flew towards him, he took a deep breath. If Hermione was in an important meeting of some sort and he cannot justify this case to fit any of her three definitions as to what constitutes as a serious issue, then he would be giving himself another problem. This time, he would be making the original curly-haired and chocolate eyed love of his life, angry at him.
Pressing the number 1 on his speed dial, he pressed the phone to his ear.
"Pick up, love. Pick up", he was pacing around the living room. Finally, he heard his wife's voice.
"Love, what's the matter?", Hermione's voice was filled with worry.
"Hermione, we have an emergency", he began.
"What? What's wrong? Is it Jamie? Or is it Harold? Were they playing pranks? Quidditch accident – What? Tell me", she was panicking now.
Come on Potter, think. How do I turn this around to make it seem like a plausible emergency?
Merlin! Why do I have to be so clueless without Hermione? This is not supposed to be hard. I've been alone with the children before. Granted that this time was the longest, but still! He promised to be supportive of his wife's career, so why can't he handle something as easy as this? The kids are older now. It's not like they needed nappy changing and all those difficult times like feeding a sick baby or something.
"Er. It's Viola, love. Something's wrong", he said awkwardly.
"What? Why?", his wife's voice was much calmer but he could still hear a tinge of worry.
"She doesn't like me anymore", he muttered like a lost little boy.
"Pardon, love?", Hermione was now obviously confused.
"Viola doesn't like me anymore", he repeated in a much louder voice this time.
"Viola doesn't like you anymore. Harry! That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard! She's your little girl. You're her favorite", her voice was incredulous but he could hear amusement as well.
"Really, she doesn't. I tried camping trips. Fishing – ", his explanation was interrupted when his daughter came running towards him. Her hair all wild. Her face was covered in snot and tears.
"Daddy!", Viola sobbed.
"Hold on a second, love. Let me set the video function on this thing. This is truly an emergency now", he said to Hermione. His eyes were frantically switching to and from his distraught daughter and to working the damn smartphone.
After what seemed like minutes of working on the phone, he finally got the video chat set up.
"There! See, Hermione!", he said as he faced the camera on a crying Viola so that her mother could see.
"Harry, I'm coming back. Prepare her favorite chocolate drink. And have ice cream ready, just in case. I'll be port keying back to the manor in a few minutes. Love you!", Hermione announced.
Finally! His savior will be back home soon.
"Vi, sweetie, could you please sit on the couch, please. Daddy will go prepare your favorite, mummy's orders. Is that okay?", he whispered to his daughter's ear as his arms were wrapped around her sobbing form.
This is what hurts the most. Seeing his loved ones crying their heart out.
"O-kay", she sniffed. He gently escorted his princess to sit on the couch before running to the kitchen to prepare Viola's favorite chocolate drink. He added extra marshmallows since it was a desperate situation.
He heard a light cracking sound followed by the clanking of heeled shoes on the wooden floors. True to her promise, his wife was back!
When he finished preparing the drink, he hurried to the living room. Despite her daughter's tears, he smiled fondly at the sight. Hermione now had her arms wrapped around their sobbing daughter. She was stroking her hair and whispering words of comfort to Viola.
Hermione's very strong sense of understanding emotional situations is one of the things he loves most about her. She always soothes their children's aches with her tender touch, loving kisses, and supportive words. Well, she had loads of practice due to many years with him. He had a truckload of issues and it had always been Hermione who had been there for him every step of the way. So of course, she would always have this instinctual knowledge on how to calm their children who inherited his hot temper and reckless dive-in without much thinking nature.
Okay, so his kids were way smarter than he was. Duh! It would be blasphemy for them to be stupid idiots with Hermione for a mother, but all three inherited his temper and recklessness in some way.
"Welcome home, love", he mouthed to his wife who gave him a big smile. She was still busy calming their daughter down.
"Here Vi. Drink this. It will help calm your nerves", he said in a gentle voice as he took the seat beside his daughter. He handed the mug of hot chocolate which she took with slightly shaking hands.
"Sweetheart, please tell mummy and daddy what's wrong", Hermione asked as she lovingly ran her fingers through their daughter's hair. He too helped by gently rubbing his daughter's back.
"It's Scorpius. He broke up with me", Viola said in between sobs.
"Oh, sweetie!", Hermione carefully removed the mug from Viola and placed it on the center table. She cradled Viola to lie down on the couch with her head on her lap. Their daughter acquiesced and he too gently placed her daughter's legs on top of his lap.
He did not know that her daughter had a boyfriend. Scorpius Malfoy of all people. The ferret's son is going to pay! No one messes with his little princess!
"He just led me on mum. It was all just a bet with his friends. They all just wanted to see who gets to date Viola Lily Potter, only daughter of the Golden Couple", her tears were drenching her mother's skirt.
"I am so sorry to hear that, sweetie", Hermione said with sadness. That's it! Ferret Junior is going down! Not only is Viola crying her heart out, now his Hermione is on the verge of tears too. Nobody messes with the Potter women – not when he is around. His magic was starting to flare. His jaw clenched. A deep frown on his face.
Hermione who was very astute to his emotions and magic immediately looked at him.
"No, Harry. You're not killing the ferret's son", she said with a stern glare. He glared back. How could she let this slide?
"I'll deal with this. I'll be talking to Malfoy about his son's actions. No one makes my little girl cry. But I'll subtly deal with this", she said with a wink. He had an evil grin on his face. No one messes with Hermione Potter. She was cunning and vicious. A bloody sexy combo to him but deadly to anyone who faces her scorn.
"What will you do to him, mum?", their daughter asked.
"It's just a stern talking to dear. I promise", Hermione said placatingly.
"What will you say?", Viola asked with worry. Hermione's stern talks are legendary!
"Well, I will tell Draco Malfoy to tell his son to stay away from you. And if Scorpius Malfoy wants any sort of career in Magical Britain, then he better not show his face and speak a single word to my daughter ever again", Hermione said with a shrug.
"What? It's not illegal. It's just words", he added his support.
"But dad! Mum's the minister. That's not words. It's a political threat", Viola countered.
"It's not a political threat until he disobeys. It's a personal threat. For now", the cold tone in Hermione's voice made him wince. He almost pitied Ferret junior. Almost.
"Sweetie, always remember, boys like Scorpius Malfoy are not worth your time. You are a smart, beautiful, kind, and an amazing young woman. You deserve so much better than him. Besides, you are young. There is still so much time in the world", Hermione said gently.
Will I ever have what you and daddy have, mum?"
"Well, your daddy's not perfect. He has streaks of idiocy but, he is my idiot. And I'm his bossy know-it-all. You will find what we have someday. I promise", she bent down to kiss their daughter's forehead.
"Daddy?", a teary-eyed Viola looked at him.
"It's alright. I'm sorry too. For being clueless. As your mother said, daddy has streaks of idiocy sometimes. I am sorry for not understanding that you enjoy grown-up girl stuff now. Like makeup or something", he chuckled.
Mother and daughter rolled their eyes at his comment about makeup or something. It's scary how they were so similar sometimes.
"You won't threaten any future boyfriends with exile, right?", their daughter's tone was filled with a little worry.
"Oh, I won't be doing anything of that sort dear. It's daddy's job to scare suitors. He'll probably hold his wand and have his magic flare or something", Hermione chuckled.
"I don't need a wand. I'll just tell the bloke about how I killed a basilisk and Voldemort. That'll do the trick", he smirked.
"Great! Now I'll be a spinster for life", Viola whined.
"Daddy will only help you sort out the bad blokes dear. He won't scare away the decent ones. He understands how hard the father and suitor talk is", Hermione smirked at him. He shivered as he remembered his scary talk with Daniel Granger – the world's scariest muggle. Hermione's father gave him a week's worth of nightmares about dental equipment when he asked permission for Hermione's hand in marriage.
"I love you mum and dad", Viola said before closing her eyes to take a nap. Crying your heart out is tiresome after all.
Suddenly, the two crazy mischief-makers, Jamie and Harold ran into the living room.
"Mum! You're back!", they chorused.
"Shhhh!", he admonished.
"What's wrong with Vi?", Jamie asked.
"She's heartbroken because of Malfoy", Hermione whispered.
"Tell Vi we love her. Come, Harold. Let's think of pranks we can cast on that wanker", Jamie grabbed his younger brother's hand as they ran upstairs to create evil plans.
"I love our family", he grinned.
"I love you, Mr. Potter", Hermione replied.
"And I love you, Mrs. Potter", he blew her a kiss.
The month when Hermione was away may have been difficult for him. He may have a hard time understanding his princess, but now that his wife was back, everything seems so much brighter in the Potter Manor.
He may have had his greatest heartache today because his daughter's pain was his own, but together as a family, they can get through anything. And well, it will be interesting to hear about Jamie and Harold's pranks. Not to mention Hermione's stern talk. His family is just awesome!