It was awesome having a chance to hang out for awhile at TWH.
If folks want to see the "chapter art" that was kindly donated for the Harriet Potter panel by akilika, doomandnachos and rabidtolkienfan, I just posted it (with artists' permission, of course), at twh_fanart.
It's St. Margaret's birthday at the Quill--er, well, elsewhere as well, but I happen to know her at SQ. She runs the fluff thread, and we surprised her by having other characters write love advice to Harry. I wrote from Tonks.
I reckon Remus has written you--he has to bullied into keeping up relationships sometimes, but I think he's finally got the point that you don't object to hearing from him, but for Merlin's sake, don't listen to him about girls, if he tries to pass on wisdom; girls know a lot more about Remus Lupin than he knows about them--but it's my opinion that you can't have too many letters on your birthday, and seventeen? That's a big one.
McGonagall tells me you're thinking of becoming an Auror. I didn't know that. Talk to me about it sometime--it's a grand job, but it has its drawbacks, as most of the Division will mention briefly, and as most of their husbands and wives will go on about at length. It's long hours, lots of danger--I suppose you're used to that already, but remember, the girl has to be used to it as well. You pick someone who wants you right there at five o'clock sharp and will cry if you miss supper, you'll have problems. You want someone who knows what you're doing, and thinks it's important, and has a life of her own to keep her busy while you're off chasing the latest Dark Wizard, or--much more frightening--staying late at the office filling out paperwork about the latest Dark Wizard. I shudder at the very thought of it.
I've had some letters this summer myself, from a young lady who will remain nameless, though if you don't know who I'm talking about, we will really have words. I find that this young lady is making quite a lot of very familiar-sounding noises about how you probably "know what's best." I tried making those noises for awhile last year, though with noticeably less success, as I was involved with a man I already knew to need a bit of a push sometimes. You do not need obvious pushes, so if you're not careful, you may find yourself entirely unpushed, and that would lead to unpleasant places.
Here's the thing: I know you've got a lot going on, and bloody You-Probably-Wish-You-Didn't-Know-Who isn't out to make your life any easier. Going to dances and having dinners with a girl are probably not really high on your list of priorities, and that's fair. And our nameless young lady would certainly understand that. But this business of pushing someone away entirely, because you think it would be good for her?
Harry, I have instructed the owl carrying this letter to grab you by the shirt and shake you until your brains fall back into place. Which doesn't sound like a fine birthday present, but I promise, it's the best one I know how to give you.
Do you really think she's in less danger because you're being stoic and noble? Voldemort doesn't care if you're snogging her; he cares that you care about her, and unless a lot of people are wrong about you, keeping your distance isn't going to change that. All it will do is keep both of you lonely and unhappy, keep her out of the loop about what's going on, and frustrate everyone in your general vicinity who cares about either of you. So, keeping your distance has no benefits and a lot of drawbacks. All right?
I don't mean to lecture you on your birthday. We don't really know one another well enough for it, for one thing. But we have some family in common--Remus and Sirius--and I reckon that makes me your godcousin once removed or whatnot, and more to the point, I know Sirius wouldn't have been much more patient than I am. Imagine his face, if it helps, while you try to explain your position. Can't you just see the eyebrows going up?
(I'm sorry; I don't know you very well and probably ought not just assume such a thing works for you. I've missed Sirius quite a lot and have found it a comfort to imagine talking to him about any number of things. If that felt like scab-picking to you, I'm very sorry.)
Anyway, you have good heart right in your hands, and I wouldn't want to see you let it go just to spite yourself. Keep her in the loop, and let her decide what's best for her. She's not a fool, you know--she won't jeopardize the war if you're late for lunch.
Remus says he's asked you to stand up at the wedding, and I hope you'll do so. It would mean a lot to both of us. I believe it would also greatly annoy my Aunt Bellatrix, if that's an incentive.