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I own nothing of the Harry Potter world. Jk Rowling has my back.

Rescued-Jack’s Mannequin 
Two to none
Roads that lead away from this
I'm following myself just this once
And I've got spun
It appears you're spun as well
It happens when you pay attention
This could take all year, but 

After a year away from the place and the people he loved he was quite ready to get back to Hogwarts, more importantly he was ready to see the Marauders again. James Potter was getting ready to enter his seventh year at Hogwarts just like any other 17 year witch or wizard in England. The only difference was he had been absent from the entire sixth year and none of his classmates knew why. In fact the only people who know why he wasn’t present were his parents, Dumbledore, McGongall and some of the Order of the Phoenix. Even his best mates didn’t know exactly where he was. For that reason he was not exactly excited about the train ride to school, actually he was quite dreading all the questions he would be asked. And to his misfortune he had been made Head Boy by Dumbledore which knocked out all his chances of avoiding his fellow classmates pestering questions. 

Since the beginning of his time at Hogwarts James had shown more powerful magic than many of the other students at school, even those much older than him. Many students thought nothing of it considering most of the Marauders were exceptionally talented at school. Remus was easily one of the most accomplished duelers anyone had ever seen besides the headmaster himself; he had a way of moving with such quickness that others thought he must have a way of knowing what was coming next. Only his fellow Marauders knew it was from his heightened senses because of his monthly transformations he’d been making since an early age. Sirius on the other hand was just the type of person who learned things right away no matter how complex or demanding the task was. He rarely studied and never had to practice a spell outside of class because there was no need to when he had gotten it right or understood the first time. Peter on the other hand was not exceptional in any way but he was above many other students in classes even if it didn’t come naturally, many people assumed that the other marauders tutored him so he would fit in, which wasn’t true. 

This is where James had stood out to Dumbledore. Not only was James a natural at all things taught and studied at Hogwarts, he also had incredible abilities involving magic not taught at Hogwarts like wandless and creating his own spells. Another part of the reason James caught his attention was the fact that he could do this type of magic yet he hadn’t boasted about it like he did when it came to quidditch and the pranks he and his friends pulled, he seemed to let it go unnoticed. This is why at the end of his fifth year Dumbledore had requested to meet with him and discuss the extraordinary talents he seemed to have. 

He had been sitting at the Gryffindor table with the rest of the marauders scheming new ways to ask out Evans, discussing the pleasures of having free time again now that O.W.L’s were over and listening to a funny joke about the wrong end of a broomstick and toads by Peter when the conversation died out and he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. 

“Excuse me Mr. Potter but I was wondering if you had a spare moment to speak with me?” Dumbledore had asked him. 

“Yea, of course sir.” James got up from the table and glanced back at his friends to notice that they all looked worried, but they smiled at him none the less. He gave them a quick wink and thumbs up to let them know he wasn’t worried. 

He then followed Dumbledore out of the great hall and up the spiral stairs that went up to his office, upon entering the room Dumbledore sat down at his desk giving the indication that this wasn’t going to be a brief pep talk. So James took this as a sign he should take a seat too, hell if it was going to take awhile might as well get comfortable. 

“James what we discuss in the next few moments is something that is to stay between us and I ask that you not discuss it with Mr. Black, Mr. Pettigrew or Mr. Lupin. “
Well James thought to himself I must have failed my O.W.L.’s. He took a moment to contemplate the idea. ‘I didn’t think I did terribly badly on them, I mean sure I could have study once or twice but there is no way I failed. But on the plus side if I did I could always bum off mom and dad forever and lie around and play quidditch all day. Hmm I doubt that will impress Lily. Scratch that idea plus if I failed out of Hogwarts there is no way in hell mom would let me become a bum in her house.’ That’s when he realized he had been ignoring the headmaster and quickly responded. 

“Yes of course sir, what did you need to talk to me about?” he asked trying to sound like he was important enough to have these kinds of meetings with Dumbledore, which he knew he wasn’t. 

The headmaster smiled before looking serious again and stating. “We are entering dark times, and we have lost many great witches and wizards and unfortunately they will not be the last. Mr. Potter we are on the edge of war. This is why I have organized a group of exceptional witches and wizards to help fight Voldemort and show him that not everyone will bow before him. The Order of the Phoenix is our way of fighting back.“ 

James was shocked to say the least. This was the type of information adults usually withheld from kids his age. He had heard his parents talking about the order before but yet every time he asked about it they ignored him. And now here he is sitting with his headmaster who is telling him all about it. He smiled to himself thinking about how peeved the rest of the marauders would be if they found out he was learning about this, because they too had been told that they were too young to hear these sorts of things. And then he began to wonder why Dumbledore was even telling him. 

He ran a hand through his hair and vocalized his thoughts, “Sir my parents have spent the last two years telling me I was too young to know about any of this. I mean not that I have any objection to you filling me in on any of this I just know how my mom gets when you go behind her back. She’s got quite the temper, as you know” he finished his statement with a crooked smile. 

“Ah, yes your mother can be more than a little feisty at a times but I assure you that she is very aware of the conversation we are having even if it is something she wishes to avoid. Now to get to what you might call the good stuff” His eyes twinkled for a brief moment before fading back to a more serious expression. 

“You Mr. Potter have shown such exceptional talent as a wizard that in all my years of teaching I’ve never seen any student perform it. I’ve noticed that you have two talents that are very hard to come by in the wizarding world even for those who spend years studying it and not only are you a gifted spell maker but you can perform wandless magic with natural ease.” The headmaster paused a moment allowing James time to process all the mangled thoughts flowing through his brain. 

He had never thought of creating spells as something special nor did he know that few people could actually do it. He had written down a list of all the spells he’d created but it was stolen months ago by who he thought to be Snape since he had seen him using them. James cringed at the thought knowing some of those spells could be deadly if in the wrong hands, he regretted ever creating those. Besides he figured anyone could create spells it wasn’t that hard really, hell he would’ve almost bet money on the fact that any of the marauders could’ve done it too if they tried. And then his thoughts drifted to wandless magic. This was something he knew very limited people could actually do. He only thought of it as an interesting way to hex the Slytherins without getting caught. 

“Well to be honest sir I had never given the two much thought. They both come to me so easily that I never found it to be a big deal. But now that you mention it it’s true I’ve never seen others do these sorts of things.” James said in a voice full with wonder. 

Dumbledore broke out into a smile that James could tell meant that they were far from done talking. “Precisely my point, you have abilities that many people can only dream about and even better not many know you have them. And this puts you at a great advantage in the wizarding world, and I would like you to learn how to use them to your full advantage.” 

“Alright so what now?” James asked curiously. 

“Training” Dumbledore said in an even tone. 

“Wait…what? Training for what? Where? With who?” He asked in a rush trying to figure exactly what this old bat was getting at. Sure everyone knew Dumbledore was a little out there but training a 16 year old in advance magic was way out there. 

“Well to answer your questions let me start by saying you will of course train in not only creating spells and wandless magic but you will also learn complex spells not taught at Hogwarts, how to become better duelist, you’ll become as physically fit as possible, you’ll learn how to think in pressured situations and learn what is generally taught at Hogwarts during the six year. As for where and who, I cannot tell you just yet but I assure you that if you accept this offer then in due time you will know all these answers and more.” He finished and waited for James to comprehend everything that had just been said. 

“WOAH WOAH WOAH HOLD UP… You mean if I accept this training I won’t return to Hogwarts next year?” James was shocked to say the least. Not returning to Hogwarts meant leaving behind all that was important to him. Dumbledore must have had a little too much firewiskey if he thought James was going to go along with this. 

“No in fact you won’t even be able to tell anyone but your parents where you are going. And I decided your sixth year would be the best time for this because it is in between major exam years although you won’t be able to join the Order until after your seventh year. But I thought this year would be the perfect time for you to learn as much as you can, so upon leaving Hogwarts you will need no further training." He said in a sympathetic tone, he didn’t seem disturbed by the fact that James didn’t seem keen on the idea nor did he seem dissuaded either. 

After a long pause Dumbledore started speaking again. “James we are on the edge of a war unlike anything our world has ever seen. If you take the chance and partake in this training program you will be a stronger wizard than most ever dream of becoming, not only that but I have faith that with this training you will be a leader in the resistance against Voldemort. I can assure you that leaving Hogwarts behind won’t be easy but if you train you’ll be able to protect those that matter most to you in a way that no one else can.” He seemed to understand that James needed a moment because he stopped speaking and turned to look at the portraits hanging on the wall. 

This was nuts to say the least. I mean, not that he had any sort of grand scheme for how is sixth year should look but it sure as hell wasn’t this. As he dwelled on the subject even more he knew there was only one answer to the man’s request, he hated the dark arts more than anything had his initial plan had been to fight them when he graduated and the was a great opportunity to start. Besides James would do anything to keep his friends and his family safe even if it meant leaving them for a year to train God only knows where. Plus he’d have a leg up on the Slytherins when it came to dueling. It was set then he had made his decision. 

“When do I start?” he said allowing a huge grin to sweep across his face. 

“As soon as you get off the train actually, now James what I’m about to tell you is important so listen carefully because I will only say it once. When you get off the train you are not to give any indication that you are not returning next year. Another thing is that this training is something to be taken very seriously and I expect you try your hardest every day and not waste your instructor’s time.” He finished with a look that said he meant every word of it. 

James had one last question before he left the professors office. “Do I get to come back for seventh year?” He had tried to keep the hopefulness from showing in his voice in case he didn’t get that chance. 

“Of course you do” Dumbledore added with a smile. 

And the moment James stepped off the train and on to the platform at the end of his fifth year his life was forever changed. 

James remembered all too well how the train ride home had been heartbreaking for him knowing that it would be a year until he would be with his friends again. He remembered the strange looks his friends gave them after he had forced them all into giving him a hug goodbye. He remembered feeling so young and small considering he was still only a scrawny 15 year old. And he remembered walking away with his parents wondering if he had made the right decision. 

Now staring at himself in the mirror over a year later he noticed how much had changed about himself. His eyes were still hazel but they weren’t filled with the same mischievous look they used to hold. Lucky enough he still didn’t need glasses like his dad. There was now a scar that traced from his left eyebrow down to the middle of his cheek making him look almost rugged, but not quite. He also still had his same old jet black hair which had once looked wild and untamed since he kept it short now fell into his face even if it wasn’t near as long as Sirius’ it still went every which way giving it an almost styled look. He was also quite tan from all the physical training he had endured outside. And at 15 not only was James a mild height of 5’9” he also couldn’t grow facial hair to save his life. Now at 17 he stood at a towering 6’1” had dark scruff covering most of his face, and his voice had gotten even deeper. But the best part about looking in the mirror he noticed was the fact that he was very very fit. There was only one thing to say about training, it had done James Potter well.

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