A woman was furious at her father after discovering he had taken the Harry Potter books he'd read to her as a child and tore apart the pages to use as decor for her younger sister's room.
She took to Reddit and asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for scolding her father and telling him how much she hated what he did.
The Original Poster (OP) wrote about how much sentimental value she placed on the books she grew up with.
"So, when I (20Female) was a child my dad read me Harry Potter before bed. We'd read a chapter or so and it went on for a long time, and my dad kept those books displayed in our living room."
"And I told him that if he was ever going to get rid of them that I wanted them because they are part of a very fond memory for me."
That request alone should have been taken to heart.
"Well my sister (6) is starting to get into Harry Potter now, and my dad started talking about how we used to read them when I was a kid and I told him that it would be fun for him to read them to her as well."
"So he went out and bought a box set of them. When he showed me the set, I said 'oh, since you have a new set can I have the old one?'"
"And he said 'well those ones are mine, this new set is sisters' and I was kinda bummed that she got her own set and I never did, but I got over it pretty quick."
The OP would soon find out her father may have been under the Obliviate spell – the Forgetfulness Charm – when she told him she wanted the original books from childhood.
"Well, I went back over there today and he showed me how they had redone her room: he cut out pages and cut off the front of the dust covers of our original Harry Potter books set to decorate her room, framing them and covering her bed posts in pages."
If the Sorting Hat had a say, the father might fit the characteristics as someone from the House of Slytherin for his cunning and resourcefulness.
But those qualities were not appreciated by the OP.
"When I realized that's what he had done I was furious."
It turns out, the father never forgot about her request. He never intended for her to have them.
"I ask him why he would do that when I told him that I wanted them because they were important to me, and he said 'and I told you they were my books, so I can do whatever I want with them.'"
"I literally stormed out and went home. He called me later and said 'if you're going to be such a baby about it I'll just buy you a new set, but they weren't even yours to begin with' and I told him that I didn't want any old set, I wanted the ones that he had from to me as a child."
In addition to the frustration he caused, the father also bewitched her with guilt.
"Then he said he was just trying to do something cool for my sister, and that I'm making her feel bad because I didn't like her new decorations."
"And I told him that it wasn't fair to me that he was guilting me after he destroyed something that I felt was important. He tried to argue with me and I just hung up on him."
"Am I overreacting and being an a**hole? Or is what he did f'ked up like I think it is?"
Anonymous Muggles on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
"NTA - That particular set of books holds very little monetary value, as most of it was pretty mass produced."
"It was pretty clear that you had sentimental attachment to those particular copies, and I'm assuming you would have been happy to buy them off your father if he insisted they were his, so he could freely destroy a whole new set to decorate the room."
"Those books are super common at thrift stores btw, so all 7 should run you about $20 in total depending where you live."
A**hole move on Dad's part to not see how important those were to you." – Alyswithawhy
One Redditor commiserated with a similar story.
"I asked my dad for my vintage star wars toys from the early 90s back so I could have them as keepsakes."
"He gave them to some random woman who went to his church so I couldn't come back and get them."
"He says he forgot and he was trying to help a struggling family. But then he also told me he thought I didn't deserve them because I wasn't planning on having children and 'toys should go to children so it would be wrong for you to have them.'"
"At the same time he saved all of the stuff my brother would have cared about like baseball cards and proudly presented him with these things in a grand show of 'look how much I love my son' at his wedding. So yeah." – TheOneAndOnlySelf
This Muggle thought that the father claiming ownership of the books was nonsensical.
"I think that when op asked for the set it was already too late."
"Him saying that set is mine is a super weird answer especially considering he gave her brothers the book sets he read to them as children."
"My guess is he wasn't thinking and destroyed the books to decorate little sisters room, then op asked and instead of admitting he was in the wrong he is just doubling down on his they are my books why are you so upset attitude. NTA." – balboa-constrictor
In an update, the OP said she discovered new information that only cemented her position over the conflict.
"I just found out that my younger brothers (who my dad read Percy Jackson and LOTR with respectively) both got their complete sets of their individual book series, and admitted that he bought them for us."
"So idgaf if I overreacted. My dad is the a**hole. All my siblings will get their sets except for me."
Others chimed in with theories in an attempt to make heads or tails from the situation.
"While it's possible, it could also just be that he bought and read and bought the books for himself 20 years ago before OP was old enough to be interested in them, and only later started reading them to her when she was old enough, while with the other siblings and their books the books were bought because the siblings were interested in them."
"Dad is TA anyway for destroying the books instead of accepting her offer of trading them for new ones and cutting those up instead, destroying something someone you love cares about when there's a way to get what you want without doing so is not OK, but I feel like there could be a reasonable explanation for at least some of his actions." – steave435
"The most charitable read of this I can come up with is that OP is the oldest, and father came up with the idea of buying complete sets after his time reading to OP ended, and he never felt the need to retroactively include OP in the tradition because, well, OP had outgrown that phase hadn't he? He didn't need them."
"This kind of falls flat on the fact OP clearly cared about the books his father read to him, made it abundantly clear, and father stuck to a juvenile 'they're mine' attitude that was completely unnecessary."
"Again, I can come up with a charitable read where father got caught in a defensive spiral and acted badly but with intentions that aren't quite as bad, or that father has a very specific history with those books that justified him seeing them as 'his' and ignoring OP's emotional attachment to them (and also justified him cutting them up for sister's room...)."
"Even with those charitable reads however, father ought to get his head out of his a** and see how things look from OP's perspective, and take steps to redress this treatment that is unfair on its face."
"Even if some other kid might not care that their younger siblings were treated differently from them (and I'm sure there are many such examples OP genuinely is fine with), OP clearly cares about this specific issue and father should respect that." – Lennvor
Rather than being called out as TA, the father's intellect received rough criticism.
"He clearly doesn't understand that they were sentimental. He isn't not getting it."
"He thinks they were just books and easily replaceable."
"You are NTA but he is just dense in the head it sounds like. Sorry your dad is a dope." – Heyrik1
The act of destroying books drew major scorn.
"If he really wanted to decorate your sister's room with Harry Potter stuff he should have just stuck with posters and other things meant to be used as decorations."
"Destroying books for any purpose is insidious." – KittyLune
The post has now been deleted after she waited "until the judgement has been finalized."
It looks like the Wizengamot Council of Reddit has spoken.
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