Author’s Note: This was once told from Fiona’s point of view, but I hated it. I don’t know what I did wrong, but whatever it was, it was baaaadd. I really, really hated it but wanted to do a next-generation piece. So now it’s from James Jr’s point of view. I wonder if it’s actually any better?
Disclaimer: The idea of Hogwarts, a few characters, and many last names belong to JK Rowling. I do not claim credit for anything but the storyline and my original characters
Ch. 1 | Family, Friends, & Enemies
Ever since he had been able to parrot the word, James Potter had been obsessed with Hogwarts. At the tender age of four, he was the one to finally break the bind of his father’s dusty copy of Hogwarts: A History (that still had a card reading ‘Happy Birthday, Harry! Love, Hermione’ stuffed inside the front cover), and would read all the way to page one-thousand, three-hundred and forty-six before flipping back to page one and beginning to re-read. By the time he was eleven and finally received his letter, he had read it a total of 39 times and had the first twelve chapters and chapter twenty-six (describing the more gruesome and less-pleasant aspects of Hogwarts) memorized.
On July 30th, James woke up to his alarm screeching in his ear at six o’clock as it had the every day that week.
“Get up!” the annoyingly high-pitched voice shrieked, “Up, you lazy piece of kneazle dung! Oh, no you don’t, you had better not fall back asleep! In the old days, we were getting up before dawn to help our elders with – oomph!”
James swept his arm out abruptly and knocked the alarm under his bed where it continued to shout in a muffled voice as he slowly propped himself on both elbows.
Why, in the name of Merlin, does that thing have to make so much noise? he thought to himself before dropping his head back onto his pillow, only to shoot back up, eyes wide opened as he remembered.
“Hopefully,” he added under his breath as followed his nose towards the smell of morning bacon.
At the stove, holding her wand like the conductor of a symphony of knives, pots, spatulas, and dishes, Ginny Potter looked back at her son’s descending feet as they tromped down the stairs, making as much noise as possible.
“Good morning, James,” she said, planting a kiss on top of his head as he passed her to look out the window.
“It hasn’t come yet,” she added, knowing what he was looking for, “but it will within the hour, I’d say, if today’s the day. And your dad’s home too. He’s just having a bit of a lie-in for a bit longer, though I don’t know if he can resist the smell of breakfast,” she continued.
“Mum,” James interjected, “I really need a new alarm clock. Mine is so annoying.”
”Is that what that racket was a few minutes ago? Well, we’ll see what there is when we go to Diagon Alley to get your school supplies, if your letter ever gets here,” she said, throwing a glare out the window and making the shade tremble under the force of her look.
“Oh, hello, Harry,” she added as her sleepy husband plodded down the stairs with half-closed eyes.
James stared out the window and didn’t even blink when his dad dropped a hand on his shoulder as a way of a good morning. Mrs. Potter shouted upstairs for everyone else to come for breakfast and waved her wand so that food flew onto plates on the table. James selected a piece of toast that was halfway to his mouth when he leapt up and ran to the window.
”Look!” he yelled, pointing to a black spot on the horizon that was steadily growing bigger until he was forced to jump aside as a great barn owl swooped through the window to land on the perch just inside. It stuck its leg out to James, who stared at the rolled parchment and made no move to remove it.
“Are you actually going to take the letter or are you just going to stare at it all day while the owl slowly and painfully dies from boredom?”
It was Lily, James’ eight-year-old sister, who had arrived in the kitchen and promptly sat down to crunch on a ribbon of bacon.
James turned red and stuck his tongue out before quickly relieving the impatient owl of its burden. The animal made a business of turning its back towards James before taking flight again.
“Stick your tongue out again and I’ll glue it to the top of your mouth,” Mrs. Potter warned.
Albus Potter presented himself just as James was sitting back down, the letter cradled in his hands as if it was his newborn baby.
“I am ten years old and seventeen days!” Albus announced, as was his habit to do so every morning.
Only Mrs. Potter murmured her assent. Lily glared at him.
“Do you know how annoying that is?”
“It’s not annoying, its fact!”
And so started the morning bickering.
But for once, James was not partaking; instead he painstakingly peeled the seal off his Hogwarts envelope and slowly drew out the letter. The first sheet that he smoothed out read,
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: MERRICK MERRYTHOUGHT
(International Confed. of Wizards,
Ex-Head Dep. of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes)
Dear Mr. James Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a lost
of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later
than August 5.
“They’re out a bit late, aren’t they?” Mr. Potter asked, peering at James’ letter.
“Neville’s the one getting the letters out since he’s the new Deputy Headmaster,” Mrs. Potter said.
“Well that sure seems like a serious mistake.”
“He’s perfectly up to the job, Harry. Neville just needs to get used to the system, I’m sure.”
Diagon Alley had never seemed so exciting to James as when he got his school supplies. The apothecary was more even more exciting than ever, and James begged his parents to let him bring toad intestines and kneazle dung with him to school. Alas, they stoutly refused, but he was placated by the polished gleam of his very own pewter cauldron and scales and the shiny stamped trunk that carried his basic potion ingredients. The stop at Madam Malkin’s found him so boundingly excited that the seamstress herself had to struggle to avoid stabbing him with pins as she measured his robe lengths. And then they were at Flourish and Blott’s, where a beautiful new stack of books caused James' jaw to practically unhinge as he dreamed of all the amazing magic inside. There was even a side-stop to Enid’s Enchanting Embellishments where James got a new alarm clock that hummed softly to wake him up. Mrs. Potter disapproved, saying that it would probably hum him back to sleep. And then lastly, a wand. James was nearly foaming at the mouth as he walked out with an eleven-inch Ash wand with a dragon’s heartstring embedded in its core (“It took me three whole days just to capture the dragon, and another two to get its heartstring!” the ancient Ollivander had complained).
The day that the train left for Hogwarts began with quite a bit of the normal anarchy, but eventually all the Potter family made it into the ministry car that Mr. Potter had secured for the trip to the station. James pestered his parents with questions and reassurances the whole way.
“So you’ll write me, right? Wait, how often do people get letters? Do they get them everyday or just once a week? Or is it once a month even? You know, I think I could get by with twice a month…” James was saying.
Meanwhile, Lily was carrying on with her one-sided conversation with Mrs. Potter, who seemed to be making every effort to avoid her begging.
“Oh, please, mum, please? It’s not fair! I want to!”
Albus stared out the window as the scenery jumped by, occasionally commenting on an odd-shaped cloud or challenging an unwarranted claim made by either of his siblings.
When they arrived on platform 9¾, the incessant chatter had not abated.
“I reckon I’ll get into Gryffindor, don’t you think, Dad?” James asked.
“Sure, James,” came the weary reply.
“How many times are you going to ask that?” Albus asked, annoyed.
“Mum, Mum, can’t I please go on the train, please?”
“No, Lily, you’re not old enough!”
“Please, pretty plea-“
“James, you’d better put that trunk on the train,” Mrs. Potter called over Lily’s pleads.
James clambered onto the train to put his trunk in the emptiest compartment he could find, even though it had one other trunk in it, then returned to the platform in time to see his best friend arrive.
Leo Scamander had the fortune of being brought up in a culturally diverse fashion. Both his parents were Darwans (the wizarding equivalent of a naturalist), and had brought him around the world on their studies. He had been born while Luna and Rolf Scamander were in Greece on a Chimaera scout, and had been named ‘Leo’ after Luna had passed one of the slain creatures, stuffed and mounted on a wall, as she made her way out of the delivery chamber.
“Leo!” James yelled, running over to smack the dirty-blonde boy’s back.
“Oi, James, what kind of a decent hello is that?” Leo asked, wincing from the sting of James’ slap.
Leo’s voice consisted of a multitude of different accents that he had picked up from his travels and, as a result, his words were extremely noticeable (proved as several head swiveled towards him). And as hard as James tried (and he tried more often than seemed healthy), he could not imitate his friend.
“I’ve been putting my stuff on the train, come – oh, hello Mr. and Mrs. Scamander,” James added when his mother coughed pointedly, “Anyway, let’s go!” he said, turning to run away as the warning whistle blew.
“James!” Mrs. Potter chided and he grimaced as obligingly walked into her open arms and said quick goodbyes to everyone else (making sure to extract a quick reassurance from his dad to write everyday, as had been decided).
James pulled Leo behind him as he went to where he had left his trunk. He slid the compartment door open and stopped as he spotted two girls. Both, who sat straight-backed in what appeared to be a very uncomfortable manner, stopped talking abruptly and looked at him expectantly.
“Oh, er, sorry, but do you mind – er, I’ve already put my stuff in here… I can take it out if you mind, but er—” he stuttered, surprised at being put on the spot by the two girls.
One of the girls, with dark hair and pale skin, raised her eyebrows. The other girl, whose hair was so white-blonde that it was nearly blinding, sniffed. “I suppose we can share,” she said, sounding like a disapproving teacher.
James looked at Leo with bafflement.
“Er, thanks, I guess,” he finally mumbled and sat down with an equally mystified Leo.
Leo and James continued to stare as the girls continued to talk about mundane things with hardly an interesting slant until the blonde girl glared at them. Leo hurriedly searched for conversation, resorting to the ever-handy topic of Quidditch. Their discussion quickly escalated into an argument over defensive tactics, and the blonde girl continued to glower at them as they continued to get louder and frequently broke into rounds of tearful laughter.
Around lunchtime, when Leo had left to visit a friend in a different compartment, James’ found he had nothing better to do than listen in to the girls’ conversation.
“Really, Fiona, pink and purple sparkly ink?” The blonde was saying with an air of dissatisfaction, “it’s much too flashy.”
James watched the girl named Fiona pause for a moment before producing a tolerant smile.
“It was a gift. And it’s only appropriate that you use a gift at least once, don’t you agree?”
James had to interrupt; he couldn't help himself.
“Do you always talk like that? It sounds so… fake.”
He realized that it was probably a mistake to have said something that when both girls turned their heads, glaring daggers at him.
“It’s not fake; it’s civilized, unlike your raucous conversation. You sound like a herd of animals,” the blonde said haughtily.
James raised his eyebrows, baffled at the meaning of ‘raucous,’ and glanced to Fiona to see (rather doubtfully) if she would put it into eleven-year-old English.
“It’s not polite to stare,” she sniffed.
James blinked and continued to stare at the two for another second, perplexed. Then, with no reduction of hostility in either of their expressions, he turned away, confused by the girls’ lack of normality, and did his best to ignore them for the rest of the trip.
James, as expected, was placed in Gryffindor at the sorting and Leo, staying true to his name, followed him. Two other first-year boys joined them: Neil Lynch, whose father, a past seeker for Ireland, made him instantly popular, and a boy who was very familiar with the Potters, Colin Creevy. They spent their first night as friends, laughing while challenging Nearly Headless Nick try to guess the accents in Leo’s voice then imitate them.
“Hmm, am I hearing a bit of Egyptian?” Nick asked, squinting and tilting his head to the side so that his head wobbled dangerously, “Oh, bother.”
“You should hear my sister do an Egyptian accent. She’s brilliant! We had the referee for the Quidditch World Cup over a few years ago, and Àine mastered it.” Neil said casually, as if providing residence for a World-Class Quidditch Referee was completely normal.
“Your sister?” Colin asked.
“She’s over there – HEY, AINE! – yeah, see, there.”
James followed his finger to a long-haired, slightly more feminine version of the blonde-haired, green-eyed Neil saw that just past Àine was Fiona. She caught his eye and frowned at him. He was surprised to see that she had been placed in Gryffindor and looked at the other table for her blonde friend, who he found at the Ravenclaw table.
“Hey, Nick, can you do it?”
James shook his head of his thoughts as Nick began his best impersonation of an Egyptian.
That night, once a prefect had led the way to their common, they met the fifth and last boy with whom they would share their dormitory. He was personalizing his wall with posters of the Puddlemere United Quidditch team when their group of four stumbled into their room, laughing. He glared at them, quieting their laughter.
“Er, who’re you?” James asked, slightly put off by the less-than-warm feelings directed their way.
“Not meaning to be rude, of course,” Leo added.
“What’s it to you?” the boy demanded. His dark eyes flashed dangerously.
All four boys simultaneously made expressions of surprise and Colin actually squeaked.
“Hey, we were just wondering…” Neil said, holding up his hands in alarm.
“You weren't wondering anything, you just wanted to get close to my brothers,” the boy said accusingly.
“What?” James asked in confusion, “what do you mean, we wanted to get close to your–”
“My brothers, yeah; my older, cooler, much-more-popular-than-you brothers who are mine,” the boy yelled.
“Hey, it’s fine by me, mate, they’re all yours!” Neil said, looking at the boy as if he was dangerous and slowly making his way to his own bed.
The boy sneered at them before yanking his curtains shut to decorate in private.
“What’s stuck up his–” James began, but his last words were cut off by a loud yawn from Leo.
“I think I’m going to bed. Long day tomorrow.”
Author's Note: Ah, I’m much more satisfied with this version. What do you think (If you ha the misfortune of reading the last one) of the change of views? REVIEW TO LET ME KNOW!! Please, if it makes a difference.