Chapter 1 : Generation to Generation
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Harry had many fond memories of the invisibility cloak. From when Dumbledore gave it to him as a Christmas present in his first year, to sneaking around Hogwarts and breaking the rules; and even using it when he was a Junior Auror. But it had sat in his wardrobe for many years, untouched and it was about time it had a new owner.
Ginny and the kids would be back from Diagon Alley soon. They’d gone to get James and Albus’ books and clothes for the coming school year.
Harry sat down on his bed, pulling the cloak between his fingers. He considered how he really felt about the cloak no longer belonging to him. It had been a difficult decision to give it to James. It was one of only two items that he had of his Father’s and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to let it go yet. But he knew it was time now. Time for the next generation to use and learn about it. But he was proud too, no doubt about it. There was a time in his life where he had doubted he’d live past seventeen, forget having a wife and children. Instead, Harry had fulfilled his dream of becoming an Auror. In fact, he was Head of the Auror Department. He’d married Ginny and seen his two best friends marry each other. They were all living such idyllic lives, it was hardly believable. Of course, he knew there were still Voldemort’s supporters out there, even after all these years, but he didn’t let it worry him. He had a proper family now.
He thought back to a year ago. How well he remembered that conversation.
It had been a fairly quiet day, for Ginny and Harry anyway. The storm had continued to rage, but inside the house, the children were subdued; disappointed by the turn of weather. It was evening now and Harry and Ginny were sitting together on the sofa; one reading, the other thinking.
“Ginny, I’ve been thinking about giving my cloak to James to use when he goes to Hogwarts, next month.”
“Hmm? That’s nice, dear,” she said, clearly engrossed in her book.
“My invisibility cloak, Gin,” Harry said, nudging her.
“Oh, Harry. I don’t think that’s a good idea. He’s about to start his first year. I don’t want him getting into any more trouble than he already will.” She shifted to face him fully, concern written all over the mother’s face.
“It was very useful to Ron, Hermione and I when we were at Hogwarts. I could make him promise to be careful and not get into any trouble?” Harry asked hopefully.
“No, Harry. He’s just a child, only eleven. And he’s best friends with Fred. I mean, look at the trouble they get into and they’ve not even learnt any magic yet!” She sighed. “Look, maybe in a couple of years. He will have settled at school and may be a little less trouble.”
“But Dumbledore gave me mine-”
“In your first year, I know. But James isn’t like you. He doesn’t have to grow up as quickly as you did. Let him be a child for a bit longer,” Ginny finished softly.
Harry nodded and settled back into his seat, pulling Ginny closer to him. He didn’t want his children growing up too quickly either.
A tapping on the window distracted him and broke off his reminiscences. Artie, the family owl, was waiting outside patiently. Harry stood up and opened the window to let him in. He took the letters from Artie, while allowing him to drink from the bowl on the window sill. Leaving the window ajar, he walked downstairs to the sitting room, replacing the cloak in his wardrobe first.
“Can I come in, James?” Harry asked from the doorway of James’ bedroom.
It was easy to tell what James was into just by looking at the walls of his room. Quidditch posters became wallpaper, depicting his favourite players and their famous moves. Strewn over his bedroom floor were the many items he’d bought earlier that day. Clothes and robes were draped over the bed; his owl was flying excitedly around the room and a strange contraption was emitting small bangs and flashing lights. It was the latest product from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
“Um, yeah. Sure, Dad.” Harry moved a pile of schoolbooks from a chair and sat down. He took the bundle from under his arm and held it on his lap.
“I’ve got something for you to use at Hogwarts. I was given it by my Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, in my first year. It was my Father’s; one of the only two objects I have left of his. In fact, it’s been in our family for a very long time. Anyway, I’m handing it down to you now. This cloak has been very useful over the years, and has got me into and out of trouble many times. It’s time for you to use it.”
James looked very excited. He peered at the item on Harry’s lap, trying to work out what it was.
“I wanted to give it to you earlier, but your Mum wasn’t too keen on it. We eventually came to a compromise and decided I’d give it to you before your second year. This is my invisibility cloak, son. It’s the real thing and I know you’ll use it well.” Harry winked at James and they both knew what he meant. You can get yourself into trouble, but make sure you can get back out of it too! Harry handed it to James whose eyes were shining. He held it out in front of him in wonderment.
“Wow!” he breathed, not daring to say anymore.
He swung it around his shoulders, eyes wide as he watched the material move. Looking down, he gasped.
“Look, Dad! I’m invisible! Can you see me?” Harry laughed and shook his head. He loved to see his children happy.
James checked his reflection in a silver trophy on a shelf before remembering he had a mirror waiting in the corner of his room. He ran over to it, pulling the cloak higher up to his neck. The small boy was swamped. This cloak could hide a grown man but on this eleven year old child, it was too big. James twirled around, the cloak billowing out and his feet unhidden. He jumped up and down excitedly before running over to his father and hugging him tightly.
“Thank you Dad! This is going to be brilliant! Can I go and show it to Mum?”
James ran out of the room, without waiting for an answer. He ran down the stairs, two at a time, clutching the cloak in his hands. When he’d taken the last step, he looked around before ducking under the cloak. He crept through the open kitchen door, spotting his Mother over by the sink, washing up. He grinned to himself. Perfect! Reaching out, he tapped her on the shoulder before stepping back. Ginny looked over her should expecting to see someone waiting. When she noticed nothing, she turned back to washing the dishes. After a couple of seconds, James repeated his action, laughing silently. Ginny looked puzzled as she turned her head from side to side. James whipped off his cloak, shouting as he did so. Ginny screamed, colliding with the sink and dropped the glass she was holding, shards shooting in every direction.
“JAMES!!!” Harry heard his wife’s shout from upstairs. Oh dear. He could guess what James had just done and when he arrived in the kitchen his suspicions were confirmed. Ginny was in full flow.
“How dare you?! That could have been very dangerous, James! You know not to mess around in the kitchen. How many times do I have to tell you?” James hung his head, but whether it was out of shame or not, Harry couldn’t tell. He suspected James, like himself, was trying hard not to laugh. Harry walked over to his wife, magic sweeping up the glass fragments.
“James,” he started solemnly. “We gave you the cloak this year in the hope that you would be slightly less immature that you were this time last year. If we can’t trust you, I’ll have the cloak back.”
The little boy looked up in shock at these words.
“No! Please don’t! I’m sorry, Mum. I just wanted to surprise you and show you the cloak. I’m sorry!” He looked desperately from one parent to the other. He couldn’t believe they’d take it away from him. He’d only just got it!
Harry and Ginny looked at each other in mock consideration. They knew exactly what was going through their son’s head. Ginny spoke first.
“I know you didn’t mean to shock me, James, but you did and you need to be more careful how you use it.” James nodded eagerly.
“We’ll let you keep it on one condition. You don’t use it again until you go to Hogwarts. It stays in your trunk and that’s it. We don’t want any more surprises, alright?”
James looked stunned at them. Not use it?! Then he remembered the earlier threat of not having it at all. He quickly rearranged his face into one of agreement.
“Yes, Dad, I promise.” He ran back upstairs, this time locking the cloak inside his trunk. There was no way he was getting it taken off him this summer. Downstairs, Harry and Ginny had collapsed into giggles and laughter.
“Still think it was a good idea to give him the cloak?” Ginny asked Harry.
“We’ll see,” was Harry’s reply.
Thanks to Jenna822 for the plot bunny. And thanks to RenegadeNiffler for beta’ing. :)