Chapter 1 : Don't Prank A Prankster
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that laughter is the best form of medicine. Jokes rousing a chuckle, pranks creating pandemonium and good spirited fun all keep children in good health. Laughter was known to make the world go around, cure world peace and bond people forever. A good sense of humour is essential in childhood, as well as in life. Nobody liked a humourless person.
James Potter was very aware of those facts; his father had told him about them for a whole eight years. He felt poorly. His head was pounding, his stomach churning and vomit was his new acquaintance. James felt as if he was dying. His mother refused to give him a health potion, which upset James. He just wanted to get better. He hadn’t laughed in days, hadn’t cracked a gap-toothed smile.
James wanted to smile, he wanted to play, but he didn’t have the energy. He had been stuck in his bedroom for years, or so it felt. He had slept, he had cried, he had moaned. He had begged, he had pleaded, he had moped. It seemed as if nobody listened, as if the world was deaf to his protests.
Boredom was worse than all of his ailments combined. Boredom made him think, but he had exhausted all the possible imaginative thoughts. Hogwarts no longer seemed fun, now that he’d explored all the possibilities, all the friendships, in his mind. Quidditch was boring, now that England had captured the World Cup in his thoughts. Even magic, the most wonderful thing in the world, was boring. He had defeated dragons with his sword, duelled goblins and even met Merlin himself.
The only thing that seemed remotely interesting to James was masterminding a prank. He had seen his father prank his mother countless times, but James had never had the ideas of confidence to play a prank on somebody. Pranking was a form of art, his father insisted, but James couldn’t draw. If he couldn’t draw, how in Merlin’s name could he play a prank on somebody?
James’ mind went into overdrive thinking of all the magnificent options at his fingertips. He could hide his parents wands. That was a brilliant idea at first, but then he remembered the last time he’d hidden his Mum’s wand; she had gone berserk, thinking a troll had stolen it. She had always been a bit dramatic. He then thought about the possibility of stealing his father’s invisibility cloak and hiding, but then remembered what had happened the last time he’d done that. His mother had Floo’d to the Ministry of Magic and reported him missing. Her embarrassment when the Ministry found him with a simple spell was all James heard for months after that incident.
Those were not pranks; they were nasty. He needed to think of something mind-blowing to do, something creative. He was eight now, after all.
James thought hard, ignoring the rumbling of his stomach. Thinking was distracting him from his illness, which was perfect. Thinking was actually painful, especially when it involved trying to conjure up an idea for the best prank to ever hit the magical world. It took what felt like hours before James finally came up with a suitable idea. The idea would need him to be quiet like a dragon slayer, but he was confident he‘d manage it.
Giggling for the first time in a day, James jumped from his bed. He cursed Merlin, hoping that his mother didn’t hear the curse, when his landing made a loud thud sound. Hastily, James rushed from his room, being careful to keep his earlier giggling to a minimum.
His stomach continued to rumble, it was going to give him away.
He crept down the stairs, standing on his toes in an attempt to keep silent. James needed to be able to sneak up on his parents, it was the only way it would work. Quietly, he made his way to the kitchen, where he found his Dad’s stash of exploding water balloons. They were just what he was looking for, the jackpot. He filled the balloons, careful not to fill them to the limit; he didn’t want them to explode over him, after all. That would be a disaster.
James took a few seconds to compose himself, before he left the quaint kitchen for the living room, where his parents were conversing. Suppressing a fit of laughter, the boy threw the balloon in the direction of his parents. He had always been good at throwing.
“Protego!” exclaimed his father, his wand trained on the flying object.
James gasped, any expression of excitement removed from his face; he knew that spell. He knew the consequences and they were disastrous. He tried to move, but he felt as if his feet were charmed to the ground. His body was stiff as he waited. With an excruciatingly loud bang, the water bomb exploded, drenching James to his core. He was soaking, water dripping from his messy locks.
Strangely, instead of being angry, he found himself laughing hysterically, manically, as if being tickled mercilessly by an invisible hand. He couldn’t stop, couldn’t breath between the giggles. It was just too funny, too hilarious not to laugh. His prank had gone wrong, horribly wrong, but young James saw the upside.
“You don’t prank a prankster, son,” chortled his father, walking over to him and ruffling his sopping hair. James’ mother had joined in with the laughter too, the joy creasing her already wrinkled face. James would get his father back one day; he would be the best prankster that ever lived. He would be Captain Prank, a marauder of the lands of prank.
Laughter may not have cured illnesses, but it did make one forget and bring families closer together.
Author's Note: I hope that you enjoyed this story. It is my first attempt at a light, possibly humour, fic, so any critique and comments are appreciated. The first sentence is paraphrased from Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice.