"Ughhh!" James heaved a very audible and dramatic sigh as he stomped his way down the stairs. Why did his mom have to be so mean? What had he done to deserve the punishment of cleaning out the basement? All he had done was put a dungbomb in Albus’s sock drawer, and given Lily 10 arms and legs (accidentally of course). Oh, and he had stalked his cousins Lucy, Molly, and Dominique on all three of their dates. Plus he and Fred had ‘accidentally-on-purpose’ set off 17 explosives in the sitting room at the burrow. So now he had to clean out the basement. Manually. Without magic.
So, he set to work. It was very dull. James assumed his mother had known this when she set him the task. He found tons of old stuff. From frilly dress robes to dusty books, it was there. He found a box with his name on it, and searched through it. All it had was a bunch of old baby clothes and toys. He later found 2 other boxes just like it, but they had ‘Albus’ and ‘Lily’ written on them. He found his mother’s wedding dress, and some ancient cutlery. There was an old, grimy snitch, and many broken pieces of what appeared to be a Nimbus 2000. He didn’t even know there had been a Nimbus 2000. They were up to Nimbus 1G Turbos now. He even found a tiara, which he later recognized as the one on his mother’s head in a picture of his parent’s wedding.
It was dusty and gross down in the basement, with water stains on the walls and cobwebs in the corners. It was cold, too, and difficult to breathe. Several hours later, he made it down to just one more corner. This corner was farthest away from the door, and it smelled very musty. All the boxes over here were filled with photos. Weddings, births, engagements, reunions, Christmas, Easter birthdays. Pictures of everything! Finally, only one box remained. Inside of it was an old teddy bear, a cracked sneakoscope, a shard of a mirror, and one last photograph.
This photo contained a group of students who were smiling and waving. His father, mother, and several of his aunts and uncles were in the picture. Many of his friends’ parents were in the photo as well. But they looked...different. They were young. His father couldn’t be more than 15 years old. There was his mom. She was very pretty. And Uncle Ron, and Aunt Hermione. Uncle George was in the picture, along with his long deceased twin, Fred, whom James had never met.
There was Drew’s dad and mum, Dean and Padma. There was also Leigh Sybil’s parents, Lee and Parvati Jordan. And there were so many more! But what James couldn’t figure out was what this group was. It wasn’t Gobstones, his parents hadn’t been in that. There were too many people for it to be a Quidditch team. What was this? He cleaned out the rest of the box, then went back upstairs, photograph in hand. James found his mother in the kitchen.
"Mum," James said, "What is this photo a picture of?" he asked, showing her the photo.
"Well, I do know the answer. But...I think your father should ve the one to tell you.
"No buts. You will just have to wait until your father gets home. Now, help me with the laundry."
8 o’clock came around slowly. Laundry, dishwashing, and feeding the chickens was almost as boring as cleaning out the basement had been. But, finally, it arrived.
"Dad," James said, almost as soon as Harry walked in the door. "Tell me about this picture."
"Alright. Go to my office and wait for me. I need to get a cup of tea."
So, James walked into his father’s study...and waited. He really only sat there for 5 minutes, but it felt like an eternity to him.
At last, Harry James Potter entered the room. "Well, you know by now that I defeated Voldemort."
"Well, at the end of my fourth year, Voldemort returned, and I saw him do it. Most people had thought he was dead, and wanted him to be dead, so only very few people believed me, and the rest thought I was a crazy, attention-seeking 15-year-old lunatic. In my 5th year I was ridiculed, whispered at and laughed at. Also that year, we had a toad for a teacher who expected us to use theory to pass our Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L.S.; no magic was allowed in her classroom whatsoever."
"No magic? No way!"
"Yes way. So, we had to do something. We formed a secret group to practice defense, which I taught. That was us, there in the picture. Dumbledore’s Army. The D.A. for short."
"Dumbledore, let’s see, he was a goblin, right?" James asked, trying to sound intelligent.
"Oh, no, actually. I see you pay about as much attention in History of Magic as Ron did. You even have his eyes."
"At least I don’t have the hair to match."
"Yeah, well. Actually, it is quite odd. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. Lily is a mini of Ginny, and Albus looks exactly like me, but you’re the only brunette in the entire family."
"Actually, Grandma said we have a sixth cousin who has brown hair."
"That doesn’t count. They wouldn’t even be a Weasley, they’d just be, like, related to one."
"Well, anyways, who’s Dumbledore? James asked.
"Dumbledore was the headmaster at the time, and probably the best one Hogwarts ever had."
"And anyways, it worked out fine until we got caught and we payed for it. Big time."
"Yep. Now go to bed."
"Wait. How were you punished?"
"You don’t want to know."
"Is this giving me permission to form a secret society?" James asked hopefully.
"NO! Go to bed!" said Harry.
"Fine," said James grumpily.
Harry walked downstairs to the kitchen where Ginny was eating onion soup.
"Hey," said Harry quietly.
"Hi honey," said Ginny in reply. "What’d you tell him?"
"Well, basically everything he needed to know. I left out some of the really gruesome facts though, like the details of Voldemort’s rebirth and Sirius and Cedric and everything."
"Did you tell him about Cho?"
"Well, no, but I don’t think I really consider that gruesome," said Harry, chuckling.
"It was for me. That year was the worst I ever had," said Ginny darkly.
"I’m sorry about that. Here, let me make it up to you."
Harry kissed Ginny passionately.
"Just like old times," said Ginny.
"Just like old times," repeated Harry.
The story of the D.A. was passed down through the generations of every D.A. member. It wasn’t one that was particularly famous, not one that children begged to hear, but it was told. As for the picture, it was passed down through the Potter family for over a century until it was taken to Hogwarts, where it was preserved, and where it will remain forevermore.
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