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Being Alone by caapotter
Chapter 14 : Victory Lap
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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A/N: Here's my new year's present for you! I'm traveling tomorrow for 45 days and I hope I have plenty of time to write but I can't promise to post in this time. Hope you enjoy this flashback, I wrote with only love in my heart as I do love all of the Potter kids and they have a special place in my heart! Happy 2017! 

Caa xx




 

"AGAIN!" James yelled to his godbrother and cousin. He had missed the goal and wanted another try at the play Victoire was teaching him. If he wanted to enter his House team, he needed to be the best. He couldn’t just rely on the fact Vic was the Team Captain. He wanted in for his own merits. 

“Jim, it’s time for lunch!” Vic tried to reason with him. She was starving and it was never a good idea to be so far from the ground when a person is hungry. “I’ll get back with you later.” 

“Vicky, please!” James begged her, his eyes telling her just how much it meant to him. “Just this once.” 

“Fine,” she agreed with a roll of eyes. “T, are you ready?” She asked in the distance to where Teddy soared in front of the goals. He nodded and passed the Quaffle to his girlfriend (although no-one knew that yet).

Nodding to each other, James and Victoire began the play, just like they had practiced and, this time, James was able to dribble Teddy and score the goal. Albus and Lily, who were watching from the porch, started clapping their hands to their brother.

“Good one, Jim!” Teddy complimented, tapping his godbrother’s shoulder once they had already landed safely on the ground. “You shouldn’t be so worried. V knows just how much potential you have.”

“Thanks, Teddy.” James smiled. “But I want everyone else to know that too. Merlin forbids anyone thinks I’ll get on the Team because my cousin is Team Captain.” He told him, exchanging a glance with Vic. She would understand him, she always did.

That was definitely James’s biggest fear. He loved, he breathed Quidditch and that’s all he ever wanted to do with his life. And to have a good start on his Hogwarts career was essential to him. He knew Teddy thought he was overreacting, but he knew Vicky supported him. After all, his cousin wanted the same.

 




 



“JAMES!! JAMES!! WHERE ARE YOU?” Victoire screamed as she entered through the portrait hole. She had a parchment on her hands and a smile from ear to ear, happiness filling her body. And she just couldn’t wait to tell James. 

“Vicky, he’s in class.” Rose said from the couch, with a brow furrowed. “Astronomy, remember? He’s at the Tower.” She informed when she realised Vic wouldn’t care to interrupt a class. 

The Head Girl turned around in one movement and ran out of the Gryffindor common room, heading quickly to the Astronomy Tower, thanking Merlin she was Head Girl and, therefore, could excuse a student out of a class. Victoire could barely breath when she reached the top of the stairs. Her eyes glowed when she saw her thirteen-year-old cousin already smiling about being excused from class. 

“Ok, what do I owe the pleasure to be rescued from that awful class?” James asked with his pretentious grin once they reached the main ground. 

“Jim, I’m in! The Harpies want ME!!” Vic spilled to him, giving him the letter on her hands. James read it in one second before hugging her tight.

“Victoire Weasley, I’m so happy for you!!” He commemorated. “You very well deserve it! Oh, this is so exciting! My cousin will be a professional player!!”

“Your Mum was one too, you know.” Vic laughed.

“That was before I was born, so I didn’t got to enjoy it, did I?” James shot back with a blink of an eye. “Have you told Teddy? My mum?”

“No, you’re the first I’ve told.” She revealed with a loving smile. “Jim, I know this is what you want too. And I know you’ll be a professional player too. You’re a million times a better Chaser than I am.” 

“That’s quite the compliment coming from you, Vicky. Harpies' star!” James smiled, making her blush. “Specially when I'm your number one fan.” He added with a laugh.

“Well, I’m your number one fan too. I always will.” Vic guaranteed, bringing him to a side hug. “And I’ll be there on your first game to remind you of that.”

James grinned. “Well, what are we waiting? Let’s go to uncle Neville. We must tell the family!” 

 




 

Albus wasn't eating his breakfast. Not with the game he had upon him, the last of the season, the one that would decide whether Ravenclaw or Gryffindor would win that year's Cup. The two Houses were tied, a simple victory would do the trick. And Albus wanted to win, he wanted so very much, it was his first year as Team Captain, he needed that. But he wouldn't, not after Victoire's letter, telling him about the three scouts that were coming to see James. So Albus would stop Scorpius for as long as he could so James could show off all his talent and then, then Scorpius would grab the snitch and guarantee his brother's last Cup. Albus knew he could beat Scorpius, but he wouldn't. 

"Albus!" Alice called for the tenth time. "You gotta eat, come on!" 

"Yeah, mate," Evan agreed, tapping on his back. "Ravenclaw is counting on you!" 

"Great." Albus said to himself. 

On another other table, Lizzie was holding James's hand and kissing his cheek, trying her best to calm him down. Victoire had told him about the three scouts that would be there to see him and he had no idea whether she did the right thing by telling him about it. James had to perform like he never did in his life. 

"Jim, I know I'm not the Quidditch expert," Lizzie started telling him on his ear. "And you'll never believe me when I say you're the best Chaser that this school has probably ever seen. So maybe you'd take some comfort with a real professional player." 

James turned his head to face his girlfriend with a furrowed brow that soon was relaxed when he saw his parents just behind him. For the first time, James didn't care he was in the middle of the Great Hall, with the whole student body there watching him hug his mother and father tight. 

"Shall we go for a pre-game walk?" Ginny proposed with a smile only she could provide. Harry placed an arm around James's shoulder and began walking towards the Entrance Hall. "Thanks for that, Lizzie!" She added before following them. 

The three Potters walked out of the Castle and quietly strolled around the grounds until they reached the bridge. It was there where James stopped and overlooked the Pitch with its both sets of goals appearing up in the sky.

"If you could describe your Hogwarts Quidditch career in one word," Harry began, looking in front of him, in the same direction as James. Ginny smiled at both. "What would it be?" 

James sighed and then grinned, suddenly remembering everything from the last six years of his life. "Excitement." He finally told his father.

"Well, so I think that's what you should worry about today, son." Harry told him. "Your talent is connected with your passion, Jim. You're good at what you do because you love it."

"We know, darling," Ginny carried on. "That you're worried about the scouts and that it's your last game, but that ought not to be in your head when the game starts."

"I know all that, Mum." James said with sadden eyes to his mother. "It's just that- I don't know, I can't bare the thought of not getting into a team."

"I'm sure you will, Jim." Ginny laughed. "And if you don't? There's always next year." 

"And- hm, if I do," James began asking, turning to his father. "How will I know it'll be because of me and not because of James Potter?" 

Harry sighed before patting his son's back. "I'm afraid you can't know. Not with your mother being who she is, your cousin being who she is or aunt Angelina, or uncle Oliver, aunt Katie-"

"I got it." James interrupted him with a roll of eyes,

"But I assure you, time will say if you'll really deserve whatever you may or may not get." Harry completed. 

"Now, I believe we have a game to watch!" Ginny yelled.

"Thanks, guys!" James called out before his parents could start walking back. He approached them and hugged them tight. "Now, let's kick my brother's arse!!" 

"JAMES!!" 

 

~

 

"POTTER SCORES AGAIN!" Brian shouted at the microphone. The crowd went wild yet again, celebrating the incredible goal James had just performed. Albus had to hold himself not to cheer himself, instead he just yelled out to his team to regather defence. 

"James is really inspired today, isn't he?" Victoire yelled out to Teddy, clapping her hands hard. 

"He sure is!" Teddy laughed as he watched his godmother cut all circulation of Harry's hand. "Mum, I think Dad needs that hand. It's his wand hand." 

"Oh!" Ginny looked down and then up to her husband. "Sorry! I'm nervous and guilty at the same. I'm practically wishing my other son loses." 

"He still has another two years to win, Gin." Ron put in. "James needs the game!" 

"ANOTHER ONE TO GRYFFINDOR!" Brian yelled again. "And Malfoy seems to have found the snitch! Al is already after him! WOW GREAT DEFENCE FROM ROSIE WEASLEY!" 

"Mr. Lee!" Minerva warned. "No nicknames, please!" 

"That's my girl!!!" Hermione screamed to everyone's surprise. 

"IS IT POSSIBLE? Malfoy and Potter stretch their hands. POTTER SCORES AGAIN! THIS GAME IS ON FIRE. AND- ouch! FREDDIE HITS CLONE POTTER'S BROOM! MALFOY GETS THE SNITCH! GRYFFINDOR WINS THIS YEAR'S CHAMPIONSHIP AND HOUSE CUP!!!"

Victoire was the first one to get to the field and didn't hesitate to jump on her cousin and congratulate him. It was indeed one of the best games she had ever seen, including at the professional league. 

"That was a hell of a game, Jimmy!" She told him after kissing his head. "I'm so proud!" 

Soon enough, the rest of the family and Lizzie got to where they were. Harry and Ginny hugged their son tight before going to talk with Albus who seemed too happy for someone who had lost. Lizzie kissed James right in front of everyone. Rose danced around with Scorpius, making fun of Albus while Hermione and Ron exchanged an awkward smile with the Malfoy's. 

"Hm, excuse me." A man interrupted Audrey who was talking cheerfully with James. "May I have a word with Mr. Potter?" 

James kissed his aunt on the cheek before following the man out to the locker rooms, leaving everyone behind wishing they could know what was about to happen. Ginny and Victoire exchanged a look. 

"Well? Who is he?" Ron begged out of his sister.

"The Chudley Cannons' scout!" Angelina answered for Vic and Ginny. "That's the Cannons' scout!" 

"What?!?" Harry and Ron celebrated together. 

 

~

 

James found his whole family back at the Great Hall. Professor McGonnagal had been kind enough to let everyone stay until James got back. After the Cannons' scout, two other scouts came to talk with him, taking him more time than planned to get back. His cousins and brother that played were still on their Quidditch robes, all of them laughing and talking with their parents, aunts and uncles. Nana Weasley and Grandpa Weasley were already planning his and Freddie's graduation party together with aunt Fleur and Angelina. Ginny was too nervous. 

"There he is!" Teddy called out the family's attention once James came in.

"Well," James said to all his family, approaching Victoire and his mother. "Y'all are staring at the newest Quidditch professional player of the family! GO CANNONS!" 

 




 

 

James had never dreamt life could be so good to him. It hadn’t always been easy, but overall, he was more than satisfied with his life. He had been with the woman of his dream’s for over ten years, which the last four they had been happily married, and they were starting to make plans for their son’s first birthday party. 

Professionally, James found out his father was right. Time showed him that his offers for the professionals teams had been made for his talent and not for who’s son he was. He made a name for himself, and now he could safely say that no-one thinks about Ginny Potter or Harry Potter when they talk about James Potter. And he was happy, in every way possible. 

“James, don’t you dare failing us today!” Ron told him, patting him on the back.

His parents, godparents, brother and sister, as well as his wife and baby boy, Alfie, were all around him, outside the Cannon’s Stadium in Chudley. Ron and Harry were wearing the teams colours and also a supporting hat to which James was already used to. It was the last game of the season and the Cannon’s needed to win with 200 points of difference, which meant a lot of team effort. But James was confident the team could do it. 

The Chaser hugged his family and waved goodbye to the rest of the clan (the whole family would always come to the first and last game of the season) and kissed his wife on the lips and his son on the head. 

“I’ll see you all later!” James echoed so everyone could hear over the crowd that was beginning to form for the game.

“Good luck!” was yelled in unison. 

“JAMES!” He heard behind him, just before he entered the restricted area. James turned around just as his vision was blurred with a blond hair. Victorie and Teddy were late and she wouldn’t want James to go out to the game without a hug. "Good luck! If the Harpies aren't to win the Championship this year, nothing would make me happier than to see the Cannons do so." 

"Thanks, Vicky!" James said as he hugged his godbrother. "Where's Dora and Remus?" 

"They were intercepted by Nana and Grandpa Weasley." Teddy answered him, while he changed his black serious hair to yellow and orange hair, making both Victoire and James laugh (it never got old). "Good game, Jimmy!"

 

~

 

The game was on fire. The Cannons' seeker was doing a great job to hold off the other team's seeker, although the snitch had already been seen three times. But he knew he couldn't get it until they had at least a 50 points difference score. James was, by far, the biggest scorer on the game (and the season, almost at a tie with Victoire), but the other team was very good too, and the difference would never be bigger then 30 points. 

"POTTER SCORES AGAIN!" The interlocutor announced, making the whole family cheer loudly. Remus was yelling for his uncle while he sat on his father's shoulder. Dora was nervously quiet, together with her mother. "The Cannons regroup for the Falcons attack. And-ouch, RIVERSON aimed his bludger to TYSON and POTTER gets the quaffle again. The team organises themselves again. The manager has to be congratulated for his team's good strategies."

"Pity the interlocutor doesn't know most of the plays are James's ideas." Ginny commented with Harry. 

"Potter gets the quaffle again, passes, receives in one rapid movement that I almost didn't see it coming." The interlocutor yelled in excitement. Brian thought how he missed his Hogwarts' days as interlocutor and Professor McGonnagall scolding him at every moment. "RIVERSON is acting weird, what's going on? POTTER IS GOING TO SCORE AND-"

The whole stadium held their breaths as they saw James getting hit on his mid back by the bludger that apparently had been thrown by his own team's Beater. James dropped the quaffle almost immediately after the hit, the pain spreading through his body and his consciousness leaving him. He began falling from several feet from the ground. 

Harry's first instinct was to grab his wand to reduce his son's impact, so he conjured a big and fluffy mattress just as James was about to hit it. Ginny was sobbing loudly and sighed of relief when she saw what her husband had done. 

"Oh, thank Merlin!" She hugged Harry tight before they both rushed out to the field, together with Victoire, Hannah, Ellie, Tristian and Lorcan. Hermione made sure the rest of the family, including Albus and Lily, would stay put. It couldn't help to have a bunch of people surrounding James. Bernard ran to prevent the press to overwhelm the scene, while Tobias and Teddy both went to talk with the Beater. 

James was lying on the ground, unconscious, on the mattress Harry had conjured. It helped, but it didn't prevent an injury on the player. Ellie saw the blood surrounding James and immediately shouted to get them medical supplies. Victoire was the first one to get to her cousin. 

"Jimmy! JIMMY!" She yelled, kneeling to his side. "Jim, wake up!"

"Vic, move!" Tristian demanded, grabbing her shoulders so Ellie and Lorcan could start working on James. Hannah was providing the means to get him to St. Mungo's. "No, Harry, Ginny, please, let them help James." He begged, as he held Victoire.

Everything was a blur.

 

~

 

James Potter woke up at a strange place. Even opening his eyes was hard and it was hurting him. He knew immediately something was wrong, but he couldn't exactly put his finger on it. He looked around and realised he was at the hospital; Lizzie was sitting next to him, her head on his stomach, sleeping. Alfie was quietly playing at a playpen on the corner of the room. 

"Son!" Harry called him as he noticed his eyes open. He was standing behind the door and took a step forward as soon as he saw his son opening his eyes. "Oh, thank Merlin!" 

"Dad? What happened?" James wondered as he caressed his wife's head. 

"Jim, you had an accident during the game." Harry began telling him as he sat on a chair he had brought close to the bed. "You were hit on the back by a bludger and fell for several feet. I conjured a mattress to ease to impact, but still, you were pretty hurt."

"How-hm, how did the bludger-?" James tried to ask.

"It was Riverson who threw it, but he didn't mean to." Harry answered. "Teddy and Tobias took him in and it was settled that he had a blackout, due to a medication he had been taking for high blood pressure." When James furrowed his eyes, Harry explained it further. "Riverson is muggle born, he still goes to muggle doctors. He's been to the hospital everyday. He feels terrible, as you may imagine."

"And, hm- will I-" James began his question but was interrupted by Tristian walking through the door, also making Lizzie wake up.

"Oh, Jim! You're awake! I've been worried sick!" She said in a blurb, hugging him tight and kissing his lips. 

"Easy there, Lizzie." Tristian laughed. "He's still fragile."

"I believe I'm not." James tried to joke before exchanging a glance with his father. 

"I'm glad you're awake, I'm sure you have lots of doubts." Tristian supposed as he grab his wand and began checking James out with his Healer's spells. 

"I'm going to find your mother." Harry informed the room as he got up and went to pick up Alfie from the playpen. "I'm sure she'll be relieved to know you're awake, as will your siblings."

Harry left the room, leaving the couple to talk with Tristian. James's injury had been a very serious one, striking him mid back and damaging his spine, not to count internal bleeding from the fall and few broken bones (which were the easiest to be treated). Tristian had been dodging the whole family's questions about James's health status for the three days since the accident (and the time he was out), specially Dom's. It had been hard to be professional about it, specially with his own wife, but he had to. 

"So, Tris, tell me whatever bad news you got for me." James was trying to lighten the mood for Lizzie's sake, but he knew something was off. 

"Why won't we examine you first, shall we?" He proposed. "Are you feeling any pain, right now?" 

"I'm a bit dizzy, that's all." James answered, exchanging a smile with his wife. 

Tristian asked James to close his eyes and do what he asked for. First, he tested his arms - both were sensible to touch, obeyed command and had his normal strength. As he checked his heart and lungs, he was pleased to hear everything normal. His scar from the surgery was completely clean with no infection and no pain at palpation. Lastly, Tristian took the covers from his legs and asked James to close his eyes again. The healer passed his wand back and fourth on his skin and asked him to tell him when he felt something. James just stood there.

"I'm waiting, Tris." James laughed. "I'm not feeling anything yet."

Tristian exchanged a worried glance with Lizzie: her eyes showing her panic. "Hm, ok, why don't you lift your legs for me."

"Hm, ok." James said. "Is that good enough?" 

James hadn't moved his legs at all. Lizzie had to held her cry so James wouldn't hear it. 

"Ok, James, you can open you eyes now." Tristian told him as he wrote on his chart. Once he was finished, he sat down where Harry was sat before and sighed. "James, we're going to have to do some extra tests. Your injury was pretty bad and luckily your dad was fast enough to conjure that mattress, otherwise, maybe you wouldn't be here from the height you fell from." Lizzie sobbed, this time not being able to hold herself quiet. 

"Hey, hey," James brought Lizzie close, kissing her forehead. "I'm going to be fine, love." 

"I'm afraid your struggle is still not finished, Jimmy." Tristian told him with sadden eyes. "Although your surgery for the internal bleeding was a success, and so was your recovery from the broken bones, the fact is, the bludger got you on the back and I'm sorry, but it may have hurt your spine. You aren't feeling or moving your legs. But it's nothing final yet, we'll do some more tests to figure out what's going on."

"What?" James laughed. "Of course my legs are working." He counter said, pulling the covers from his body and tried to sit himself so he could get up. When he couldn't do it, James began yelling at himself. "Move, legs! It's not that hard." 

"Jimmy..." Lizzie begged, with tears in her eyes. 

James looked confused to Tristian, tears already on his own eyes. He grabbed Lizzie's hands as if his life depended on it. "What's going on? Tris, will I be able to walk again? Will I be able to play again?"  

 

~

 

James had been home for three weeks and it had been one month and a half from his injury. The game had been rescheduled for the following weekend after the incident and the Cannons won the Championship - James's teammates dedicated the victory to him, saying they wouldn't have made it if it weren't for him; this made James cry and isolate himself the rest of the day. 

After he woke and Tristian attested that James couldn't feel his legs, a series of test were made to evaluate his spine's status. Luckily, it was still intact despite the hit, but it had caused an inflammatory response, compressing the spinal cord, which meant that, with a lot of work, James would be able to walk again. 

Immediately after the results, Tristian ordered psychical therapy for James, three times a day. Although magic had its perks, it also had its limits, therefore, James was going to have to recover by himself, working hard on it. 

He had some good days and some bad. The day he could stand by himself for a whole minute was a real victory to him, but when he fell as he got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, it all fell apart again. But even on those bad days, James knew he would walk again. He never not achieved something that only depended on him, so yes, he would soon be walking again in no time. What really bothered James was the fact he wouldn't be able to play Quidditch any longer. 

"Maybe you can still teach your son a few plays," Tristian had told him back at the hospital. "But not professionally, Jimmy, not anymore." 

Those words hanged on the back of his head, weighting hundreds of pounds. James struggled with his future, what was supposed he do from that moment on? He had lived for Quidditch, he knew nothing else, nor did he want to know. In his head, he still got quite a few years before he had to worry about that. 

"Jimmy, your parents are here." Lizzie informed him as she walked into their bedroom, holding a tea cup she had done for him. She passed the mug to him and kissed his head. 

"Hey, Lizz," he called out, looking down at the tea. "I love you, you know that, right?"

The young girl smiled as she stood at the doorframe. "Yeah, I do." 

A couple of moments later, Harry and Ginny walked into their son's bedroom, smiling as they saw him. He was lying down, resting from the morning session of physical therapy. Ever since he got back home, someone of the family came by to visit him. Dom had been helping Lizzie around the house and with Alfie, Gwen came by every three days bringing food for them, so Lizzie wouldn't have to worry about cooking and Rose was always there for his afternoon therapy. But Harry and Ginny also visited him everyday.

"Hey, Mum, Dad, what's new since yesterday?" James greeted as he received a hug from his mother. 

"Well, if you must know, Maya's first tooth just appeared." Ginny told him as she sat next to him on his bed. "And Dora has been organising a party for you." 

"A party?" James repeated. 

"She's convinced that all you need is a party to get better." Harry explained it. "She went by the Ministry with Fleur, the other day and barged into my office, asking for ideas for a theme for 'my uncle Jimmy's party', she said."

James instinctually opened a grin. If there was a kid he was proud of, it was his oldest niece. He remembered all too well of the times Teddy and Vic would let him spend the day with her, ever since she was a baby. Even to this day, every once and a while, James shows up in Godric's Hallow to take Dora out for a few hours. They just had that special uncle-niece bond. 

"Well, if Dora says so, it must be true." James finally spoke. "Maybe I just need a party after all." 

"She's handwriting all the invitations." Ginny told him. "It's the cutest." 

"How are you really holding up, son?" Harry asked, without further ado. 

"As well as I could be." James said just as he finished sipping his tea. He sighed. "I'm concerned about what I'll do for the rest of my life. I thought I would still have some more solid years at Quidditch." 

Ginny grabbed his hand with both of hers. "I know how that feels, Jimmy, I really do. But you'll see things will figure themselves out. All you need to do is concentrate on your full recovery."

"And we know there isn't a thing in the world you can't get if it all depends on you, don't we?" Harry added with a pat on his shoulder. "If there's one person who can pull it off, it's you." 

"Thanks, Mum, Dad." James sincerely said. 

"Now, the real reason we are here..." Ginny began with a smile on her eyes.

"I knew you had some other agenda." James accused her with a grin. "You just had that look."

"I spoke with Nana Weasley and after lots of talking, she has excused the Potters of the Christmas party at the Burrow, this year." Ginny informed him. "Being so, I talked with Lizzie and we'll be making our own Potter Christmas Party here."

"Wow, I wonder what did you promise so Nana would be ok with that." James joked.

"Your Nana knows you're still not fit for a whole family gathering so soon." Harry assured him. "But I have no idea what she has in store for you once you are fit for it." 

"Yeah, that's what worries me." James laughed. "So, a Potter Christmas, hah? Just us, Lily, Albus and Teddy." 

"Well, and Evan, and Gwen, and Maya, and Victoire, and Dora and Remus." Ginny added. "Oh, and Bridget, of course. Is that all?" 

James chuckled. "Even just the Potters, there are a lot of us, aren't there?" 

 

~

 

The snow was covering the grounds of Chudley that beautiful Christmas day. James watched by the window as his front yard got whiter and whiter while Alfie was happily eating his banana on the playpen as Lizzie was already in the kitchen. Soon enough, Gwen and his mother would arrive to help her out. It would be the first (and most likely only) Christmas they would spent as just the core family, which means, only the Potters and Lizzie made sure their house was up to the occasion - James didn't even know they owned that many Christmas decorations.

As James watched from his window bench as walkers passed by, people rushing to their homes where it was warm and children playing in the snow, he noticed a familiar face head into his house's direction. Soon enough, James could identify the man as the Cannons' owner himself. Oh, God, I'm going to be fired, James first thought, as he felt his heart race and his forehead sweat. 

With some difficulty, James got up with the help of his crutch and tried to calm himself down. Alfie noticed his father's restlessness and stopped eating his banana to watch him. James couldn't exactly pace back and fourth (he still was a long way to walking normally again) which made him more nervous yet. 

The dreaded door bell rang. 

"Could you get that, honey?" Lizzie lovely yelled from the kitchen, unaware of her husband's minor (or major, for James) breakdown. 

"Going." He answered with the steadiest voice he could manage. At his own pace, he finally got to the door and opened, trying to sound surprise when he saw Gerard Black on his door step, the one and only owner of his team. "What a surprise, Mr. Black. Happy Christmas!"

"Happy Christmas to yourself as well, James!" Gerard greeted in response, a sincere smile on his face. "May I?" He added pointing to the inside of the house. James invited him in and closed the door behind him. "I was wondering how were you, son. I'm happy to see you back on your feet."

"Yeah, I'm pretty relieved I won't be on a chair for the rest of my life." James said, trying his best to sound laid back. He showed Mr. Black to the living room and made sure he needed anything to drink.

"Oh, no, thanks. I'm actually in a shortage of time, I have to get back to my family soon, otherwise my mother won't forgive me." He told him with a laugh. "Oh, my, Alfred is so big!" 

"Yes, too big!" James agreed, looking lovely to his son for a moment before coming to his senses to the fact his team's owner was on his living room. "So, what brings you by?"

"Well, first of all, I need to tell you how sad it made me feel when I heard of your incident." Mr. Black began, sounding serious. "You're a brilliant player, one of the best I've ever seen. And if you allow me, even better than your mother." He added with a blink of an eye. 

"That's an honour, sir." James thanked.

"And when I heard you won't be able to play anymore, it sincerely broke my heart. I can't even imagine what you've been through these last few weeks." He carried on. "But although all my investors told me to cut you lose, I just knew it would be a mistake."

"Oh." James only said, his heart beginning to break.  

"And then I received the best news ever!" He suddenly changed his tone for an excited one. "Coach Garry has been offered a place in a Australian team for next season and he accepted."

"What?" James gasped, surprised. "Coach Garry quit?" 

"Yes, and I find myself with no coach for next season." Gerard confirmed. "And after talking to everyone who ever worked with you, including Professor McGonagall, I have a feeling I would be an idiot if I didn't ask you to be the Cannons' next Coach." 

James opened and closed his mouth, trying to sink in the words he had just said. Did he just got offered a job, as the Cannons' manager nonetheless? James began sweating again and felt his hands going numb for a completely different reason, this time around. Happiness that couldn't fit inside him started to fill him up.

"So, Mr. Potter, will you make me the honour?" Mr. Black asked of him. 

"Hm, yes!!" James yelled, a big smile showing on his lips. "Yes, yes!" He started laughing, not believing what was happening. 

"Well, I'll see you on my office in January to see the details, then! Happy Christmas, Potter!" 


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Being Alone: Victory Lap

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