|Those Carefree Days
Author: Eirinn Croi PM
December 1972 - James Potter enjoys his childhood with his three best friends. January 1981 - James Potter prays his son will have the same opportunity.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor/Hurt/Comfort - James P. & Marauders - Words: 1,469 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 5 - Published: 11-08-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7535375
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Written for Morning Lilies Photo Album Competition.
Going with the speculation that Charlus Potter and Dorea Black, from the Black Family Tree, are James Potter's parents.
Those Carefree Days
December 28, 1972
It was December, 1972 and an unusual cold had settled over the nation. People were saying it was the worst winter Britain had since in over seventy years. Almost the entire country had come to a standstill, the roads too dangerous and pathways just as bad.
In the quaint midland village of Littondale, the same could be said. The huge Christmas tree erected in the village square swayed dangerously in the wind and Christmas lights of all colours lashed the walls of the buildings, their jingling the only noise that could be heard. The streets were empty, except for the few women that braved the cold to run to the shop for food and other supplies, and the coal lorry depositing coal, logs and turf to the little houses to keep their fires lit. Smoke furled slowly from each and every chimney in the village, as their occupants gathered around the hearth in feeble attempts to keep warm. Doors and windows were kept shut tight and an unnatural silence had fallen over the village.
In one house, however, at the very end of the main road, a young boy sat in the window with his face pressed up against the glass, his breath causing a ring of fog that appeared and disappeared with his breath. Suddenly, he sat up, opened the window and stuck his head out, trying to catch some falling snow drops with his mouth.
"James! For heaven's sake, shut that window!" his mother admonished, entering the sitting room.
"Why? It's not like I'm letting the cold in. You cast a Warming Charm, remember?" James replied, still hanging out the window.
"Do you want the neighbours talking? Now, shut it, I said!" Mrs Potter insisted and with a dramatic sigh, James closed the window.
"But I'm bored," he moaned, slumping down onto the sofa.
"Then run out back and fetch me some more coal and logs for the fire," Mrs Potter suggested, returning to the kitchen.
James scoffed. "Why should I? You can summon it just as easily," he complained.
"You are the one who complained of being bored, now get to it," his mother instructed.
Hitching another dramatic sigh, James stood up, wrapped himself up in his coat, scarf and hat and exited the house through the back door. Stamping his way across the small garden to the tiny shed, he grumbled to himself. After fetching the required coal and logs and returned to the house.
But just as he was about to open the door, a quiet "Pssst" sounded from behind him and he spun around. Three people were poking out from the tangle of hedges bordering the garden, smiling mischievously.
James grinned. His three best friends, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew.
He held up one finger, then opened the door and dumped the coal and logs inside. "Mum, I'm staying out here to build a snowman!" he shouted. He didn't wait for her reply, knowing she would be pleased he was not moaning of being bored anymore. Slamming the door shut and ran to join his friends, vaulting over the hedges in a way he had accomplished by the time he was seven.
"What's going on?" he asked, as they huddled together.
Sirius shrugged. "We were bored, figured you were too."
James nodded. "Sure was. Want to go down to the village and throw snowballs and Old Missus Summers place? It's hilarious!"
"James Potter, I know that's you! Now, clear off!" Mrs Summers roared through the tiniest of opening of her front window.
Crouched down behind her garden wall, the four boys muffled their laughter and waited until they heard the window bang shut. Then Sirius reached for another snowball, stood up and threw it, ducking back down just in time for it to smash against the glass.
But this time, James' name was shouted from behind him and he turned to find his father strolling down the road towards them. James gulped and glanced at his friends. Then he heard Mrs Summers shouting again.
"Charlie, attempt to control that boy of yours! He's been throwing snowballs at my window for the last hour."
Mr Potter winked quickly at his son and looked up to Mrs Summers. "My boy? You mean James? I'm afraid you're mistaken, Mrs Summers, James is at home with his mother. I did just see three boys running off up the street, though," he offered the old lady.
Again, James and his friends muffled their laughter. Mrs Summers let out a loud "Harrumph" and banged the window shut again. Mr Potter strode away from the house, leaving the boys to crawl through the snow to escape the old lady's eagle eye. When they reached the Potter house, he was waiting for them.
Charlus Potter smiled at his son and ruffled his hair, playfully. The boy's cheeks and nose were tinged pink with the cold, his hair glistening with snowdrops and his clothes completely soaked through. With a glance at the others, he found the same was true for them. He shook his head.
"Look at you four, you're soaked! You must be freezing! And what have I told you about tormenting that poor old lady, James?" he questioned.
James laughed. "Awh dad, you know it's just too much fun," was his reply.
Mr Potter laughed and ushered the boys inside.
"Where the hell have you been? I thought you were in the back garden building a snowman! And where did you three come from? And why are you so wet?" Mrs Potter hurled questions at them as they stepped through the door.
Mr Potter chuckled and went to his wife's side and kissed her temple in welcome. "Rea, leave them be. They're just being boys," he said. He shed his coat, hung it up and clapped his hands together. "Now, who's for some marshmallows roasted on this wonderfully blazing fire?"
After setting the four boys up with sticks, marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers, he left them to it and followed his wife into the kitchen.
"You're too soft with that boy," Dorea chastised.
"Oh Rea, he's twelve! Don't you remember what it was like to be twelve?" Charlus asked, hugging her from behind.
Dorea sighed. "I do, but I fear we're spoiling him," she admitted.
"Come here," Charlus said, pulling her over to the door leading to the sitting room. James and his friends were gathered around the fire, still soaking wet, all laughing and telling jokes while their marshmallows roasted. Dorea smiled at the scene before her.
"Don't worry about James. Let him be a child while he is one because I've no doubt he will grow into a wonderful man," he kissed her temple again and then smiled. "Now, where's the camera. I want a picture of this."
January 19, 1981
James smiled down at the photograph he held in one hand, his tiny son resting in the other.
Oh how he missed the carefree days of his childhood, the trouble he got into, the fun he had. How he missed his parents.
Both had died the year before, within four months of each other. James tried not to dwell too much on the grief he felt for his parents, as he knew they had lived full and happy lives and that they were together now, somewhere.
"James?" came a voice from behind him.
Lily had entered the nursery. She approached the rocking chair where he sat with the baby, who was sleeping peacefully on his father's chest. "What's that?" she asked, pointing to the photo.
James smiled slightly. "An old photograph of me and the others. I think we're like twelve maybe thirteen. Just before this photo was taken, my dad had caught us throwing snowballs at an elderly neighbours window, and refused to rat me out to my mum afterwards," James laughed at the memory, but the laugh faded to a sigh.
Lily laid her hands on her new husband's shoulders. "You miss them?"
James nodded. "I do. But I miss those days more. I was just a carefree kid with no worries or fears, now that's all I have. And it pains me that Harry might not get to experience such a wonderful childhood as mine..." he trailed off.
Lily bent and pressed a kiss into his messy, black hair. "We can only pray," she whispered.
James nodded. "Yeah, I'm praying very hard for that."