11 years after Harry and Hermione were married, their son, James Sirius Potter, is ready to enter his first year of school. Harry and Hermione are offered teaching positions as the Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration professors. Harry and Hermione readily accept, taking their nine year daughter, Ginevra Lily (Lily for short) with them to live in the castle. Little do they know that Lucius Malfoy has taken over the Dark Lord’s reign. Something that is also little known is the fact that before his death, Tom Marvolo Riddle fathered a child that was born two months before James Potter. The mother of this child was Bellatrix Lestrange, who two months after the Final Battle, died for reasons unknown. Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy took this four month child in as their own and raised him. Tom Lestrange is also about to enter his first year at Hogwarts and is a danger to the Potter family. His foster father is planning something very nasty for the youngest Potter, and to save her will be a race against time.
Hermione Potter stood in the kitchen, with two letters in her hand, waiting for her husband to get home from the park with their two children. A telephone broke through her thoughts.
“Hello?” Hermione answered the phone.
“Hey, tomorrow is Lily and Harry’s birthday, are you coming over to the Crazy Irishman?” Ginny’s voice sounded on the other end of the line. Hermione almost dropped the phone; she had completely forgotten that tomorrow was July 31st, Harry and Lily’s birthday.
“Of course we’re coming over, it’s tradition,” Hermione replied, regaining her senses.
“It sounds quiet there,” Ginny said. “Where are the hellions?”
“Harry took them to the park, they were getting a bit antsy,” Hermione answered.
“Ahh, I see, I love kids, but I’m glad that Seamus and I don’t have any,” Ginny said with a laugh. “Being an aunt and godmother is enough.”
“That’s not fair, James is your only godson,” Hermione argued. Somewhere out front, a car door slammed. “Listen, I have to go, Harry and the kids are back and I have to talk to them.”
“James’s letter came, didn’t it?” Ginny asked.
“Well, yes, I’ll call you tomorrow,” Hermione said. “Goodbye.”
“Bye,” Ginny said, with a click following her voice, meaning that she had hung up. Hermione heard the front door slam and saw Harry come through the door with James slung over one shoulder and Lily over the other.
“Hello love,” Harry said, kissing Hermione on the cheek. “Look what I brought home.”
“They certainly are big packages,” Hermione said with a smile.
“Mum,” Lily whined. “Make dad put us down.”
“Lily, you know the rules, you have to ask your father,” Hermione said.
“Dad, will you please put me on the ground, you know I don’t like heights,” Lily asked, as pleasantly as she could manage. Harry swung her down.
“Alright then,” Harry said.
“Lily, could you please go to your room?” Hermione asked her daughter. “Your father and I need to discuss something with your brother.” Harry gave her a questioning glance.
”What’s wrong?” he asked through their mind connection. Hermione declined in answering him, but instead shook her head slightly. Harry’s eyes traveled down to where Hermione’s hand clutched the two letters. ”Ah, I see,” Harry said.
“What if I don’t want to?” Lily asked.
“Ginevra Lily Potter, you will go to your room this instant or I shall ground you for a week,” Hermione threatened. She and Harry had agreed long ago never to hit their children, and they stuck firm to that. Lily muttered something inaudible under her breath, but let the kitchen nonetheless. Harry then swung James down off his shoulder and set him down on a chair at the table.
“James, we need to talk to you,” Harry said sitting next to him, while Hermione took a seat on the other side of James.
“Your letter came today,” Hermione said. “But your father and I also got a job offer as professors. How would you feel if we accepted?”
“If you promised not to single me out,” James said. Harry glanced at Hermione.
“That’s very mature of you son,” Harry said. “LILY!” Harry yelled. After a few seconds Lily burst through the door, breathless.
“Lily, you know your brother is going to go to Hogwarts soon,” Hermione started. “And your father and I have been offered a job as teachers at Hogwarts. How would you feel if you got to live in the castle with your father and me?” Lily studied her parents for a moment.
“And what about me when you’re teaching?” Lily asked in a babyish whine, something that Hermione had been trying to break her of for months.
“Well, Dobby can come to Hogwarts with us and watch you,” Harry said, jumping in before Hermione could say something about Lily’s whining. “Alright, tomorrow we’ll go to Diagon Alley and James can get his stuff.” Harry pulled Lily into his lap. “Lily, do you know what tomorrow is?” Lily pretended to look thoughtful for a moment.
“Tomorrow is our special day,” Lily answered giggling. After her two month premature birth, Harry had considered it very special that one of his children shared his birthday, especially since Lily had almost died.
“That’s right,” Harry said giving Lily a bear hug. “And where are we going tomorrow?”
“To see Aunt Ginny and Uncle Seamus,” both James and Lily cried together. Even though Fred and George were the trouble makers of the family, James and Lily absolutely loved Ginny and Seamus. Ginny always spoiled James, who was her godson, but she also spoiled Lily, her namesake.
“Alright, what shall we have for dinner tonight?” Hermione asked, standing up from the table.
“How about spaghetti?” James asked.
“Sure,” Hermione said. “Do you want to help?” As much as James was Harry’s ideal son, who loved Quidditch and causing trouble, James also loved to help his mother cook, and had done so since the age of five.
“Yup,” James said smiling. James was the spitting image of his father, but he also possessed his mother’s intelligence. Lily on the other hand was almost the spitting image of her mother, with one exception, her eyes. Both James and Lily had green eyes like their father. James carefully measured out the water for the spaghetti while Hermione put the sauce in a pot. On the other side of the kitchen, Harry helped Lily set the table. This was the Potter’s routine and it always had been.
Harry led James through the bustling crowd in Diagon Alley. Hermione had taken Lily to the Crazy Irishman leaving Harry to help James purchase his school things.
“First stop, Ollivander’s,” Harry said to his son as he steered him through the crowd to the dusty shop. Harry and James entered and Harry rang the bell. A few minutes later, Ollivander came into view from behind a stack of boxes.
“Ah, Mr. Potter, I’ve been wondering when I would see you with young James. I still remember the day you came in. Holly and Phoenix feather, 11 inches, am I right?” Ollivander asked.
“Yes,” Harry said.
“Very well,” Ollivander said, and with a flick of his wand, his measuring tape began to measure James. “James, which is your wand hand?”
“Right,” James said. Ollivander shuffled through some boxes. “Here, try this one,” he said, handing James a wand. “Maple and Mahogany, 13 inches, Essence of Bog Myrtle, excellent for Transfiguration, give it a wave.” James waved it and nothing happened. “Not the one for you, well, let’s try another. Here, Ebony, 15 inches, Essence of Phoenix Talon. Give it a wave.” James waved the wand and a faint golden glow emitted from the tip. “I see that we’ve found the perfect wand for you. That will be 16 Sickles please.” Harry paid Ollivander while James placed his wand back in its box. “Have a nice day.” Harry waved over his shoulder as he and James left the shop.
Harry then steered him in the direction of Flourish and Blotts, where they purchased James his books. After a stop at Apothecary and the owl emporium, Harry and James headed for the Crazy Irishman. Upon entering, they found Hermione and Lily seated at a table talking to Ginny.
“Hello,” Harry said, kissing his wife on the cheek and then his sister.
“Happy Birthday Harry,” Ginny said. “Hello James.” James dutifully hugged and kissed his godmother. “Seamus is in the back, would you like anything Harry?”
“Sure, a glass of Firewhiskey sounds good right about now,” Harry answered, taking a seat next to Hermione.
“Oi’ Seamus, Harry wants some Firewhiskey,” Ginny yelled into the back while Hermione glared at her husband. Ginny noticed this, and intervened. “Hermione, it’s his birthday, leave him alone.” Hermione let out a sigh and slumped back in her chair. “So, Hermione told me about your teaching positions. Why isn’t McGonagall teaching any more?”
“Well, I don’t really know, but the letter said that McGonagall was retiring as Transfiguration teacher, but staying on a Deputy Headmistress and Head of Gryffindor,” Harry told Ginny as he sipped the Firewhiskey that Seamus had brought out during Harry’s explanation.
“I’m positively thrilled,” Hermione said. “Transfiguration has always been my favorite subject.”
Hermione was interrupted by commotion at the door. Fred and George were coming through, with their wives and children. Fred and Angelina’s daughters, Cristiana and Tiffany, gave their aunts and uncles hugs, then ran over to play with Lily. Both Fred and George’s children were the same age as Lily. George and Alicia’s sons, Bradley and Matthew, hugged their aunts, but ignored Harry and then ran over to James. Harry and Seamus then stood up.
“If you’ll excuse us, we’ll leave you ladies to talk,” Harry said. He and Seamus then went and joined Fred and George at the bar. Angelina and Alicia sat down at the table with Hermione and Ginny.
“I heard through the grapevine that you and Harry were offered teaching positions, Congratulations!” Angelina said.
“The grapevine, hmmm,” Hermione said.
“How about some drinks?” Ginny asked.
“I’ll take a glass of elf wine,” Angelina said.
“Bahama Mama,” Alicia said.
“Just a butterbeer,” Hermione said blushing. Ginny searched Hermione’s face.
“Why?” Ginny asked.
“Because Harry is defiantly going to get drunk tonight and that means that I will have to apparate 2 children and a drunken husband home, that’s why,” Hermione said, glaring at Ginny.
Several hours later, Harry was, as Hermione had predicted, drunk. He had had several glasses of Firewhiskey and Ron, being the best friend that he was, had made Harry do birthday shots; and when you’re 27 years old, that’s a lot of booze. Just before Hermione was about to leave, Luna pulled her aside.
“May I talk to you about something?” Luna asked.
“Sure Luna, but can you make it quick, I have three children to escort home,” Hermione said, indicating Harry.
“Well, you have known Ron longer then I have, has he ever shown a liking for alcohol?” Luna asked hesitantly.
“Well, no, not more then any normal teenager should have, why do you ask?” Hermione said.
“Well, every time we see you or Harry, Ron feels the need to go and get drunk, like tonight.”
“Wow, I don’t know what to tell you really,” Hermione said, siding a glance at Ron. “Sorry, but I have to get James and Lily home.” Hermione went over to the corner where the children where sleeping. “James, Lily,” she whispered, so as not to disturb her nieces and nephews. James looked up sleepily.
“What’s wrong mum?” James asked, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“It’s time to go home, can you pick up Lily?” Hermione asked. Both James and Lily had experienced side-along apparition. James grumbled, but picked up his younger sister. “Wait here.” Hermione headed over to the bar.
“Harry, it’s time to go,” Hermione said, stepping between Harry and Ron.
“Awww... but ‘Er…hic…mione…hic” Harry said, slurring and hiccupping badly. Hermione sighed, she hated when he got like this. Grabbing his arm, she yanked him off the barstool.
“Let’s go,” she growled, all patience lost. “Ginny,” she yelled over the din, “I’ll come by tomorrow to pick up the gifts.” Ginny acknowledged Hermione with a nod of the head. Hermione grabbed James’s hand and turned on the spot, and disappeared.
A/N: I promise that it will get better, really. I am recovering from severe writers block after Realizing, and as you can tell from the final chapters, I was struggling with it then too. Up for the next chapter; A first glimpse of Tom Lestrange and his home, Hogwarts starts for the Potters, and a little surprise.
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