Chapter 1 : Of necklaces and Filch
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5 years earlier…
“Get back here you bloody little toerag!” Argus Filch, the caretaker at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry roared, stumbling in his old age as he hurled himself full pelt down the hallowed corridors. A few steps ahead of him but rapidly gaining an advantage and pulling away, an 11 year old James Potter laughed triumphantly and skidded around the corner. James glanced backwards over his shoulder as he entered the entrance hall. Just as he had expected, Filch was falling back, heaving and sighing, unable to keep up with James’ youthful pace. James kept his eyes facing the wrong direction a little longer than he should have and then, without warning, he ran slap bang into a solid body.
James hit the floor, groaning in pain. He rolled over to see what had happened. He had ran straight into a girl he recognized, though couldn’t quite remember. He stumbled to his feet, swearing when he saw how close Filch was. For an 11 year old boy, James had developed one hell of a vocabulary. The girl grabbed his arm for support as she stood. She smiled apologetically at him but James had bigger problems.
“Run,” he muttered, haring off up the stairs, somehow dragging the girl in tow. She squealed slightly at the impact of the first jolt, and then fell into step a few feet behind him, holding on for dear life as he hurtled up the Grand Staircase. When James reached the third floor, he veered off into a corridor, peering out to ensure Filch had given up chasing them.
“What did you do to him?” the girl asked breathlessly.
“No biggy, just set off a dungbomb in his office,” James shrugged, grinning as the girl giggled. “I take it from the robes you’re in Gryffindor as well?”
“Yeah, first year, didn’t you see me at the Sorting?” the girl asked curiously.
“The Sorting?” James winced. “Ah no. Missed it. Got distracted. Had to set a trap for McGonagall.”
“You missed your own sorting?” the girl laughed, a clear laugh that made James want to smile. “That’s got to be a first. I know you from somewhere don’t I?”
“James Potter at your service,” James did a slight bow and winked.
“Ah of course,” the girl giggled. “I’m Hayley Black-Hunt. Our grandparents were siblings, James and Hayley Potter.”
“Oh yeah, you’re James and Amy’s daughter,” James replied, feeling his heart sink a touch but not knowing why. “We met a couple of times at family crap. I was usually off causing trouble.”
“You like causing trouble, don’t you James?” Hayley smiled.
“Life would be dull without it,” James blushed and kicked himself.
“Well trouble-maker, I guess I’d better keep an eye on you,” Hayley chuckled again, her slender frame making her look more like an innocent little girl than ever as she left the room leaving James to ponder exactly what had just happened…
Four years earlier…
“JAMES SIRIUS POTTER!”
James ducked for cover as the door to the girls’ dorm was viciously kicked open. Hayley looked ready to kill, a murderous look on her 12 year old face. Even at such a young age, she was terrifying, her sleek, raven hair whipping around her and her intense blue eyes ready to pierce anyone’s soul at a moment’s notice. Although in fairness, the recipient of her glares was usually James and he was currently hiding under a sofa. The reason for his hiding was obvious: Hayley was pissed off.
“JAMES SIRIUS POTTER I SWEAR TO GOD UNLESS YOU SHOW YOURSELF RIGHT NOW I WILL TEAR YOUR HEAD OFF!” Hayley screamed.
James chuckled to himself. Unlike him, Hayley hadn’t quite developed the vocabulary necessary to make decent threats. Having said that, she herself was threat enough. As she loomed over his current hiding place, James muttered a spell to try and attract her attention elsewhere, a small spark exploding in the fire. James took a chance and legged it, hoping that Hayley would be too preoccupied with the fire to notice. He thought he’d made it to his dorm when, out of nowhere, a leg tripped him up.
“Got him Hayley,” grinned a petit blonde girl standing over him, a cruel smile on her childish face.
“Thanks a lot Nicolette,” James snarled, picking himself up as Hayley stormed over.
“It’s Nicky,” Nicolette retorted as James gulped. “And I suppose you think that was funny?”
“He wouldn’t do it if he didn’t think it was funny,” Hayley replied as James opened his mouth to snap back. “He’s like that.”
“And I guess you thought she wouldn’t find out?” Nicky snapped.
“Nope,” Hayley cut him off. “He knew. It was part of the game. He wanted to see my reaction.”
“Can I get a word in?” James asked.
“No!” both girls yelled.
“So how did you do it?” Nicky growled. “I mean it must’ve been a challenge.”
“Nah,” Hayley butted in again. “For him, hanging my favourite underwear off the top of the Astronomy Tower is child’s play.”
“I wasn’t going to mention that they were your favourites,” James winced.
“How does he know which are your favourite?” Nicky raised an eyebrow.
“She’s my best friend, I make a point to know these things,” James grinned.
“I hate you Potter,” Hayley groaned.
“Love you too Hayls,” James winked. At which point, she punched him in the face.
“Dude, she actually punched you?” Fred laughed, as James nursed his wounds.
“Shut up Fred,” Hayley snapped as she dabbed James’ bleeding nose with a tissue. Fred was James’ cousin and growing up, the pair had been inseparable. This had continued to a great extent at Hogwarts, especially as they were both Gryffindors. “He was asking for it.”
“Probably,” Fred laughed. “Doesn’t mean either of us thought you’d ever do it. You’re too in love with him.”
“You’re next if you don’t shut up Weasley,” Hayley growled. Although James got on brilliantly with both Hayley and Fred, the pair didn’t really mesh. Although Hayley tolerated James’ mischievous side, Fred had no side other than mischievous and this got on her nerves.
“Fred, piss off,” James smiled, as Hayley stuck her tongue out triumphantly. “Sorry about the underwear Hayls.”
“Sorry about the nose, Trouble-Maker,” Hayley smiled. Ever since their first meeting, the nickname had stuck. “I flew off the handle too quickly. I should’ve known better.”
“Please, your completely out of control temper is one of your best features,” James smiled. “It’s also the reason I keep winding you up. It’s too funny. You’re too volatile sometimes Undies.”
“Oh you are not calling me that!” Hayley stood, pointing her finger at James.
“Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.”
“One of these days James, you’ll push me to homicide.”
“Yep. But we’re a way away from that yet love.”
Two years earlier…
“Oi Undies, hurry up!” James urged, waving his hand to encourage Hayley as she sprinted the final few metres into the common room. The portrait whipped shut behind them, cue a swearing group of Slytherins firing spells at the Fat Lady.
“Call me that…one more time…” Hayley gasped, breathless from her running.
“Oh what are you gonna do?” James laughed. “Nice to see some moves out there, you usually just refrain from any sort of fighting.”
“Yeah well my parents are spoil sports,” Hayley giggled. “They’d go mental if I got a letter home about my behaviour.”
“Yeah, it’s a good thing all mine go to my dad and he burns them before anyone else finds out,” James chuckled. “He always says: as long as you don’t kill anyone, blow up the castle, or get expelled, he doesn’t care.”
“My mum warns me every time I see her that hanging around with you will get me into trouble,” Hayley smiled. “One of these days you’ll prove her right.”
“Maybe today,” James grinned, as the portrait hole swung open.
“Or not,” Hayley smiled, as the two Slytherins were led away by Filch.
Later that evening, around half 8, James announced he was going to bed. Now normally, the announcement of an early night is nothing to be suspicious about, but James Sirius Potter going to bed before 9 on any night is strange enough, let alone a Friday night. You know something’s wrong when James Potter goes to bed before midnight on a Friday, so 8:30? Hayley was more than a touch suspicious. As James stood up to leave, Hayley pulled him into a hug. James was taken a touch aback. Although they hugged often, she rarely hugged him just to say goodnight. Although more often than not, he’d hug her anyway, crushing her lungs as he did so.
What James had failed to notice, of course, was Hayley slipping the Marauder’s Map out of his back pocket. If he’d bothered to look for it before he’d headed upstairs, pulled on his invisibility cloak and slipped out the dorm, then maybe he would have realised what she had done. But no, James being James assumed he was on top of the situation. James didn’t like lying to Hayley. He didn’t do it often, but when he did, he usually had a reason behind it. In this case, however, his reason wasn’t exactly brilliant and he couldn’t help but feel slightly ashamed. He had a date. He had arranged to meet a girl from Ravenclaw and sneak her out to Hogsmeade for the evening. He was looking forward to it, excited about it. But at the same time, he didn’t want to tell Hayley. He put it down to the fact that if things went tits up, he wouldn’t want to get hyped up over nothing. And he didn’t want to tell her until he was sure that something would happen with this girl. Her name was Sylvie. And, as far as James was concerned, she was beautiful…
Hayley was pissed off. Very pissed off. Not just pissed off that James was sneaking around with some slutty Ravenclaw. But pissed that he didn’t even have the decency to tell her the truth. He had lied to her face and she was supposed to be his best friend. How was she supposed to react to this? Obviously she was annoyed but she didn’t want the idiot thinking it was any other reason other than his dishonesty. He could go around kissing whoever he wanted. For some reason, that left a pang in Hayley’s chest. The idea of James kissing someone. Not the sort of thing she wanted to witness. He was her best friend for Merlin’s sake. Best friend. Best friend.
James and Sylvie were still laughing and giggling when they returned to Gryffindor Tower. James kissed her goodnight, a soft kiss that promised more for the next occasion. Sylvie headed back to Ravenclaw Tower as James sighed happily and stepped into the Common Room. And swore loudly. Hayley was sat in an armchair, facing him with a furious expression on her face.
“You lied to me James.”
The accusation was clear, ringing in James’ ears and true. That was the worst thing. She didn’t kick or scream at him. She didn’t explode. She just stated the truth and in doing so, left James with no choice but to come clean.
“I’m sorry Hayley. I didn’t want to tell you until I was sure something was going to happen with Sylvie.”
Hayley’s eyes narrowed.
“Swear to me James Sirius Potter that you will never lie to me again without a fucking good reason.”
“I promise Hayley. I won’t sneak off behind your back again,” James promised, pulling Hayley out of her chair and hugging her.
“So, this is your first girlfriend,” Hayley muttered. “Do you like her?”
“Of course I like her Hayls. But you needn’t worry; I’ll always need my madcap best friend, with her button nose and her crystal eyes and her crazy hair.”
“My hair is not crazy,” Hayley pouted, ruffling James’ as if to prove a point.
“You’re part Potter, it runs in your blood darling,” James chuckled, pulling her closer as the dying embers of the fire started to flicker out…
One year earlier…
The summer before James’ fifth year couldn’t end quickly enough. Hayley had been dragged off on an around the world trip with her parents and brother, leaving James in the hands of the Potter/Weasley clan for six weeks. Not that James had anything against his family; indeed he loved them all to bits. But without Hayley to slip with for a few moments of calm and happiness, he felt he was going mad. Fred was his favourite cousin but without a break from him, James was getting sick of him. Albus was being boring as hell, Lily was running around like an idiot, Dom and Rose never stopped focusing on girly stuff, Victoire was constantly abducting Teddy, Roxanne was leading Louis and Lucy on a merry quest to kill all gnomes, Molly was being Molly, in other words, a bitch and Hugo was off playing sword fights with the Scamander twins.
Basically, by the last week, James was bursting to escape the Burrow, the scene of the summer’s mayhem. He was even glad to see Nicky and ended up staying with her for a few days. Whilst Nicky had always been suspicious of James, she and Hayley got on too well for her to not get to like James and the two were good friends. The few days they spent together gave James a welcome break from the Clan, although it also made him miss Hayley more. Eventually, the day came when, two days before their return to Hogwarts, the Black-Hunt family returned from their trip. They turned up at the Burrow early in the evening and within 30 seconds; Hayley had buried herself in her best friend’s chest. James was slightly surprised by the intensity of the embrace, but chose to ignore it, hugging her back as he had missed her as much as she had missed him.
“I got you something while I was away,” Hayley said, reaching into her pocket. The pair were sat down by the lake, a little way away from the Burrow, where they had a bit of privacy. James smiled. He loved it when Hayley bought him things, because they weren’t usually cheap tack, they had some meaning behind them.
“Oh?” James asked.
Hayley smiled and produced a small, fire-red box. James opened it and inside was a Gryffindor coloured firework, pulsating with magic as James looked at it.
“I found it in Singapore,” Hayley smiled. “The most powerful magical firework ever made. Confounded its owner to get it for you. There’s a spell which sets it off, anything else that hits it is absorbed, making it stronger. The spell is written on a piece of parchment underneath it. I dare not say it aloud, just in case.”
James’ eyes were wide, teeming with mischief and pleasure. He barrelled Hayley to the ground with a crunching hug, and, after she had eventually forced him off, he smiled and dipped his hand into his own pocket, producing a piece of cloth, which was lumpy. Inside the cloth, as Hayley watched, James produced a necklace, simple and ornate, with a single, small ruby resting in the centre.
“It’s a Potter family heirloom,” he explained. “My dad fished it out of the wreckage at Godric’s Hollow. When you look into it, it will show you an image of the person who gave it to you. It means I’ll always be with you Hayls, even when it seems like I’m not. You’re my best friend and you’ll be my best friend forever, whatever happens.”
“James, you’re a dolt,” Hayley laughed, smiling and hugging him. “But you’re my dolt, so don’t you dare set that thing off without me.”
“And don’t you dare ever take that off,” James replied, grinning.
“As if I would,” Hayley winked, cuddling up to her best friend.
And then, as the pair lay on the grass outside, the sun began to set, and all was right with the world…
A/N: Hi there guys :) Another day, another new story. And the Lost Potters have hit the Next Generation. Sorry about the dodgy timing but we will return to the present day soon enough, I promise. What do we think so far? Do we like James? Hayley? As usual, I'm about half a dozen chapters ahead and gunning down more as we speak. Leave a review, it makes my day :D HP