This is my submission to alohamora080's "Daddy's Girl" Competition. My pair was Percival and Ariana Dumbledore. My quote prompt was "Someday, we'll be a happy family."
Disclaimer: I am not J.K. Rowling. What does that mean? It means that I don't own Harry Potter. That includes all of the Dumbledores. All I own is the arrangement of the words on the page.
Dedicated to Maddie.
Ariana Dumbledore was asleep with her head on her father's chest.
These were the good moments, Percival reflected. When she was asleep, when she was calm, when the only sound she made was her breath coming in and out… in those moments Percival could pretend that nothing had happened.
But three days ago, something had happened.
He had been the one to find her.
At least none of these characteristics applied to her while she was asleep.
Percival stroked her hair. She'd had a bit of an episode an hour ago. Ariana had seen her mother preparing food with magic and begun to scream and shake, like her own magic was bubbling up inside of her. Percival had managed to calm her down and led her to his bed where she'd fallen asleep.
Seeing Ariana this way erased every ounce of guilt that Percival felt over what he'd done the day before. Yes, he had attacked those boys, but they deserved it. They deserved to feel the pain that they had inflicted upon the Dumbledore family.
It just wasn't fair! Ariana would have had a long, happy life. She would have been successful and beautiful and popular and talented. She would have been normal. But those boys had to ruin her life. She could never be normal now. Everything would be a challenge. She couldn't go to Hogwarts. She couldn't learn magic.
Percival pushed the thoughts aside. He could hear Kendra cooking in the kitchen. Albus and Aberforth were in their room, probably reading. Everything else felt normal.
And for now, Percival could pretend that everything was.
"Percival!" Kendra shrieked.
Percival opened his eyes to see a blurry version of his wife bustling into the room, her dress brushing against the walls roughly.
"Percival, they're here. They're here to take you away. Oh, Percival! I told you that was a bad idea. A bad, bad, bad…" Kendra trailed off as she began to cry.
Percival gently lifted Ariana off of him and he rose to embrace his wife. "Listen to me, Kendra. It's going to be okay. No matter what they do to me, it will be okay. You just need to worry about the children."
Kendra continued to sniffle, sobs shaking her body.
"Kendra!" Percival said harshly. "You need to stop this right now. You need to wipe off those tears and get out there and greet those Aurors like there is nothing wrong. Do you hear me, Kendra?"
Kendra nodded, letting out a final whimper. She moped up her tears with the sleeve of her dress. Then she smoothed out her apron. "I will miss you."
"I won't tell them about Ariana."
More nodding was exchanged, and then Kendra left the room. Percival let out a long sigh. The Aurors had not yet reached the door. That was good. He had time to say goodbye.
Ariana had begun to stir on the bed. She peered up at the world like a newborn. She wasn't more than that, really. She had just passed her sixth birthday. "Papa?" she said softly.
Percival knelt next to the bed and held his daughter's head in between both of his hands. "Ariana. I love you, Ariana. Papa loves you."
"Papa?" she repeated. Her face showed only curiosity for a moment. (Curiosity was good. The old Ariana had been curious.)
"Listen, Ariana. Everything will be okay. I love you. Someday, we'll be a happy family. Okay?"
Tears began to trickle down Ariana's face. Percival kissed her forehead.
That's when the Aurors knocked on the door. Percival listened as Kendra opened the door and greeted the men, asking them if they'd like to come in for a drink. No, thank you, miss, they were here on Ministry business, was her husband home?
Percival reached the doorway of his room as Kendra called his name. Ariana had begun to wail by this point.
Percival took one last look at his baby girl. He'd always wanted a daughter, one who he could hold and spoil and adore. One who would chastise him, but love him. One who would take care of him when needed. One who would love him. He'd loved Ariana from the day she was born.
"Goodbye, Ariana," he whispered.
Percival began to walk towards his doom.
He passed the boys' room. "Aberforth, could you go calm Ariana down?" Percival asked.
Aberforth nodded obediently and ran past his father.
Then it was just Percival and Albus.
"Are you going to Azkaban?" Albus asked softly. Albus was perceptive. Percival wasn't sure that Aberforth even knew what was going on.
"Maybe so," Percival responded.
Albus looked down at his book for a moment. "I still think she should go to St. Mungo's."
Percival strode into the room and grabbed his son's arm. "Albus," he said angrily, "I need you to stop this nonsense right now. Your mother is going to need your help. You must listen to her. Do you understand?"
Albus narrowed his eyes at his father, but he nodded.
"Goodbye," Percival said, heading back to the hallway without one backward glance.
Percival walked into the arms of the men who arrested him. He spent the next few years rotting in a cell. But that was okay, because he loved Ariana to the day that he died.
A/N: One of the hardest parts for me was trying to work out exactly what was wrong with Ariana, but I think I finally got it in the end.
Please let me know what you thought!