DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING.
Set a few years after the epilogue. Harry's son, James meets the people who have affected his father's life in more ways than he ever imagined.
James Sirius Potter had detention. Again. It seems like every week he gets another detention. What made this one even worse was that he got a Howler from his mother. A Howler!! That is so embarrassing. James had opened it that morning at breakfast and was trying to hide his embarrassment from the rest of the Gryffindor table who seemed to delight in his misfortunes. Granted, he did try to be the number one prankster and he believed that all of his detentions were evidence of that. James also always tried to get caught. He didn't want anybody else taking credit for something that he had done. But he also didn't like being embarrassed in front of his fellow Gryffindors and his younger brother and sister who were in their third and first years at Hogwarts.
"Hagrid? It's me, James. I'm here for detention." James stood outside of Hagrid's hut. He liked visiting Hagrid. Hagrid always told him all of these stories about his father, Harry Potter, and his uncles, Ron, George, and Fred Weasley. James wished that he was as legendary as them. Some people are still talking about the things that his father and his uncles have done. He just wanted to live up to the family name. He knew that his father was famous. He knew that his uncles were famous. He just wanted to fit in with them. He wanted to be as brave as his father and his uncles.
He had learned all about them in History of Magic. Not to mention all of the stories that he had heard about them in the five years he had been at Hogwarts.
But this year, they really studied about the Dark wizard, Voldemort, and his downfall to his father. Both times. Earlier that day, they had studied about the greatest headmaster Hogwarts ever had, Albus Dumbledore. They were talking about his death today and how it was a planned death, not a murder. James had already heard a lot about Professor Dumbledore. His relatives spoke of him often, especially whenever his parents relived their memories of Hogwarts. He wished so desperately to meet this man who influenced his father so much that he named one of his children after him.
He also desperately wanted to meet his grandparents. He knew that his father had never met them either, but James held this aching feeling for them. He knew that he was named for his grandfather. His other grandmother, Molly, and grandfather, Arthur were wonderful. Even at 15 years old, James looked forward every year to the hand-knitted sweater that his grandmother made him. But he just felt a hole for his father's parents.
James also wanted to meet his father's godfather, Sirius, the other man who he was named after. And he heard about their best friend, Remus, who was a werewolf. Remus, that was Teddy's father and James absolutely loved Teddy.
"Alrigh' there, James?" Hagrid came bumbling out of his cottage, with Fang right behind him. James put his hand in front of Fang so he could lick it.
"Yeah, what are we doing tonight?"
"Forbidden Forest," Hagrid answered. "Professor Longbottom wants us to get some sprouts fer 'im."
"Why can't he do it?"
Hagrid smirked at him as he turned to look at him. "Cuz yer the one who's in detention."
James rolled his eyes and followed Hagrid towards the Forbidden Forest.
" 'S not unlike yer father, James. Yer more like 'im than yeh know. More than just the detentions."
James looked at him, surprised. "But my dad's this big hero. I'm nothing like him."
"Yer a Gryffindor, aren't yeh?"
Hagrid laughed and clapped a hand on James' back. " 'S all right. I would say yer more like yer grandfather anyway. With a bit o' Sirius. An' Fred an' George."
"No, I'm not. They're legendary. My grandfather and Sirius became Animagi when they were still at school. The swamp that Uncle George and Uncle Fred left is still up there."
"Yeh got to 'ave left school to be legendary, James!"
"Well then, I guess I've got another two years to go, then, Hagrid."
Hagrid smiled and the two of them traipsed into the Forest in silence.
James knew which sprouts Professor Longbottom needed. He still couldn't believe that he was the one who put James in detention. They saw each other over the holidays! And his mum even made him give love to Professor Longbottom at the start of every school year. As if they didn't visit with each other over the summer.
"Do yeh think yeh'll be okay alone, James? I'll go down 'ere and yeh head that way." Hagrid pointed .
James' eyes widened. "Aren't there centaurs and Acromantulas and werewolves and stuff out there?"
"Yeh look like yer father, James. The centaurs won't hurt yeh. The only werewolf that I knew o' out 'ere was Remus Lupin. An' as fer the Acromantulas, just use yer wand to alert me."
James nodded and headed toward where Hagrid pointed. He didn't want to be a coward in the Forest. Sure, he's snuck in here a few times, but James had always stuck to the outer rim of the Forest, keeping the castle in plain view, where he had always served detention before.
He walked a few paces, listening to the silence of the Forest. He used his wand to help him find the sprouts and bent to cut some. James had gathered a fairly good amount after about half an hour. He looked around and realized that he didn't know where he was. His heart began to beat faster and he felt a lump in his throat. James struggled to find his wand from his pocket to light it up. He tripped over a tree root and fell, face first, sprawled out on the forest floor. His face hit soft ground and he spat out the dirt that got into his mouth. He moved to push himself up and picked up a stone that he felt underneath his hand. He traced his finger along a jagged line down the middle and felt a circle and a triangle surrounding the line. While looking around for his wand, he unconsciously turned over the stone three times in his hand.
James froze as he heard rustling around him. He closed his eyes, hoping that whatever was near him would pass by without noticing him. He continued to hear slight movements around him and squeezed his eyes even harder.
James did not recognize this voice, but it made him feel strangely calm. He opened his eyes slowly and saw someone before him. In front of him was a man who was neither ghost nor flesh. He recognized this man for he saw him everytime he looked upon his father or even in his reflection in the mirror.
The person before him grinned widely and nodded.
"Don't forget about me now. You are, after all, named after me, too."
James turned at this voice and looked upon a handsome man with a wide smile on his face.
Sirius nodded and smiled as well. Jame clutched the stone even harder. He turned and saw a man whose face he recognized, but didn't know.
"And you're Teddy's father, right? Remus."
Remus grinned widely and nodded.
"Oi! I hope you haven't forgotten about me!"
James turned again and saw the familiar face. It was exactly like the one that he knew except it looked younger and had two ears.
Fred nodded. "Shame you got your looks after your father's side."
Sirius laughed out loud while the elder Jame glared at Fred, playfully. The younger James looked around, expectantly.
"Hello, my dear."
James' eyes almost watered at the sight of his beautiful grandmother. He looked into her eyes, the same eyes that his father and younger brother had.
Lily nodded and stretched her smile even wider.
James looked at each of them in confusion. "How is this possible? There is no spell that can reawaken the dead."
"We aren't back, James," his grandfather said gently. "We are merely here to, well, to say hello."
James stared at each of them dumbfounded. "I don't know what to say."
"What, you've never prepared yourself for the moment when you meet your dead grandparents, their two best friends, and uncle? What are you, crazy?" said Fred, playfully.
James managed a weak smile in return. "You look exactly like Uncle George."
Fred furrowed his brow. "I wonder why..."
Remus smiled and shook his head in amusement. "Let me help make this easier for you, James," he said. "How's Teddy?"
Immediately, James began to speak. He had looked up to Teddy ever since he could remember. "He's getting married this summer! To Victoire. Our Teddy to our Victoire. Finally! Now he's really in the family," said James excitedly. "I'm going to be one of the ushers! And Dad's going to be his best man."
"Tell Harry that I said thank you," said Remus. "Thank him for being the best godfather he could be."
James nodded. He knew why they were here now. They wanted to know about their family. They probably already knew everything about him and the rest of his family, but they wanted their families to know that they were alright, too.
"And tell Teddy that I love him and I'm always watching over him."
James nodded again. He looked at his Uncle Fred again. "Uncle George still misses you. He still talks about you all the time. Freddie is going to start at Hogwarts next year. Uncle George threatened to keep him back a year because he turned little Molly's teddy bear into a spider last year."
Fred smiled wistfully. "Let him know that I'm always there, too. I miss him; it's so weird without him."
James turned to Sirius and his grandfather. They both looked at him with smiles on their faces.
"How did you guys become Animagi in your fifth year?"
Immediately, James, Sirius, Remus, Fred, and Lily broke out in laughter while James stared at them, waiting for an answer.
"It's a long story," said Sirius. "Something that I wouldn't recommend."
"But I'm in my fifth year! I want to become an Animagus! I know why you guys became Animagi. Dad use to tell us all the time. And Teddy brought me to the Shrieking Shack when I first got to Hogwarts. He said Dad showed it to him."
"Fifth year, James?" said his grandmother. "Shouldn't you be studying for your O.W.L.S instead of serving detention in the Forest?" she added playfully.
"I don't need to study," answered James. "I already know it all."
"At least he didn't get Harry's brains," said Fred, laughing. "Only Harry's skill on a broom. Tell me, how's the Chaser's life?"
"It's great! In our last match, we beat Slytherin 890-870! Albus was brilliant when he caught the Snitch! Him and Scorpius were neck and neck in looking for it throughout the entire match." James paused a bit. "And did you know that the swamp that you and Uncle George made is still there? It's still roped off."
"Absolutely brilliant!" exclaimed James. He looked at Sirius. "Why didn't we ever think of turning the hallway into a swamp?"
Remus and Lily rolled their eyes.
"You two were too busy nicking food from the kitchens," said Lily. "The house-elves knew exactly what you wanted and when you wanted it."
"It's a wonder why they didn't just deliver to your beds," added Remus.
"They should have!" exclaimed Sirius.
"Speaking of house-elves," interrupted James. He looked at his grandfather's best friend. "You should hear how Kreacher tries to not talk about you. It's quite hilarious, actually."
"Why?" asked Sirius, amused. "What does he say?"
"Well, Dad said Kreacher hated you and we were not to listen to what he said about you. But Kreacher loves Dad and would never dream of crossing him so when Dad starts talking about you, Kreacher always calls you a nasty brat who broke his mistress's heart. And then he gets angry with himself and tries to punish himself even though Dad hasn't forbidden Kreacher to say bad things about you. He said Kreacher does it out of habit and thinks that Kreacher tries to forget about you. He still wears your brother's locket everywhere."
Sirius smiled. "Regulus was far more braver than I had ever imagined."
"We still can't get that Permanent Sticking Charm off of your mother's portrait, though. So Aunt Hermione charmed the curtains to stay shut when I was five."
Sirius laughed. "Figures."
"And Dad left your room as it was."
"Well I did put Permanant Sticking Charms on my pictures too."
James nodded. "He let me move in there."
Sirius smiled again.
"So how many detentions has it been, James?" his grandfather asked, smiling.
"Hey, I have a lot of people to live up to," he protested.
Lily laughed. "Don't get taken away. Having the record for the most detentions is not the greatest way to be remembered. Especially when most of those detentions are cleaning bedpans in the hospital wing or scrapping dead flobberworms off of the dungeon walls."
"You know about that?" James asked incredulously.
"Of course," his grandfather answered. "We are always watching over you. You and Albus and Lily."
James gave a small smile. "Dad said that Albus was named for--"
"For the greatest headmaster of Hogwarts? He is."
"I know...I just wish I got to meet him. My dad really looks up to him. And all of you guys. I'm glad I got to meet you guys. I've dreamed so long..."
"Please forgive me, James."
James turned at the sound of the unfamiliar voice and saw an old man with a beard that almost swept the ground. "Dumbledore?" he asked incredulously.
Dumbledore nodded. "I didn't mean to keep you waiting, but I was trying to convince someone to come along."
James turned his gaze to the man next to Dumbledore. A pale man stood there, wearing a long black cloak.
"Professor Snape?" James whispered.
"Professor? I do not recall ever teaching you."
"My dad thinks highly of you, Sir." James felt intimidated with no reason why. He saw Lily smile encouragingly at him while James, Sirius, and Remus exchanged a look with one another.
Snape looked at James for the longest time. "You look exactly like your grandfather and father." Snape's eyes flickered to the elder James. "Hopefully you can show the same bravery as we who stand before you."
"Of course, Snape," said James. "He's a Potter. And a Gryffindor." James looked at his grandson proudly and pretended to take out a sword from his waist. "But hopefully, there will never come a time when you have to test your bravery."
"I am pleased to see you, James," said Dumbledore. "Although it is for a very short period of time, I'm afraid."
"What? No, I could stay out here all night."
"But we cannot." Dumbledore smiled. "Hagrid is nearly finished with his task. And you with yours." Dumbledore looked upon James. "But, I must say that I am glad that you have made good use of the headmaster's office."
James smiled sheepishly. He heard Hagrid's voice calling for him. He looked back at the seven people in front of him with sadness in his eyes.
"I don't want to leave yet. I want to know more, I want to talk to you all for a bit longer."
"You must go, James," said Dumbledore. "You are to return to the castle and prepare for your upcoming exams, while we will be content to watch from afar."
"I know, but..."
"We are with you always. All of us."
"Especially us," said his grandfather.
James looked at all of them for the longest time.
Snape looked at him and spoke first. "Tell your father...tell him thank you. And your younger brother...make sure he succeeds in Potions." Snape smirked. "Can't have anyone with the name Severus to do poorly in that subject."
James looked at him and nodded.
"Tell George that I'm here, always," said Fred. "Let Mum and Dad know that I love them. Tell Bill, Fleur, Charlie, Percy, Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny that I said hello. Tell them that I love them and I miss them."
"Tell Teddy that I am with him," said Remus. "I love him. And tell your father thank you."
"Let your dad know that we're waiting for him whenever he's ready," said Sirius.
James looked at him in surprise.
"We'll be waiting for you, too," he continued. "Only when you're ready."
"I still can't believe my son has children," said James. "It seems like just yesterday he was a year old." He looked at his grandson, smiling. "You do well, okay? And ask your dad about a map of Hogwarts. One from Moony, Prongs, and Padfoot. And ask him about the Invisibility Cloak."
His grandfather nodded and smiled. James looked at his grandmother. She smiled lovingly at him.
"We love you," she said. "And we love your brother and sister. Let them know that we are with them always. Let your parents know that we love them."
James nodded and smiled. He looked at Dumbledore.
"Your father was one of the bravest men that I knew. His legacy lives on within you." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "You have the brains of your grandfather, the heart of your grandmother, and the bravery of your father. Good luck in everything that you do, James Sirius Potter."
James nodded at him and smiled. "Thank you."
His grandmother raised a hand. "We love you."
He barely heard her last words as the Stone in his hands slipped and disappeared into the darkness. He immediately looked down to pick it up again, but decided against it. If there was anything else he wanted to say to them, he knew that they already knew.
James turned and called for Hagrid. He couldn't wait to get back to the castle and owl his father. He was already planning on asking his parents, Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione, and Uncle George to meet them in Hogsmeade that weekend. James wanted to tell them about this in person. He couldn't wait to see his father's reaction.