A/N: I think this oneshot takes place sometime during the summer before James's third year. Just a little random piece I felt like writing. ;) R&R, please!
Disclaimer: If I owned any of these characters, I'd be richer than the Queen of England. Seriously. But I don't, so I'm very much poorer than the Queen of England. Seriously. ;)
James sat at the kitchen table, doodling on a spare piece of parchment. His mum and younger siblings were out at his cousins' house, but he wasn't allowed to go as he hadn't finished his summer work yet. And his father was somewhere in the backyard, practicing Quidditch moves on his old broomstick.
James wanted to be out there flying with him, dodging between the trees as fast as he could go. He had, after all, inherited his parents' flying skills, not to mention picked up a few more tips when he had watched his mum's Quidditch team practice.
But instead he was stuck inside, forced to write a stupid essay on some stupid old witch burnings. Why do we need to know about this stuff anyway? he wondered. This was hundreds of years ago, not this day and age. Pushing his black hair out of his eyes, he involuntarily started to doodle a snitch.
Suddenly he heard his father walking into the kitchen. James shoved the parchment under a plant in front of his and began to add other sentence to his essay.
"A freezing charm was applied…" he muttered under his breath as his father sat down next to him.
"What're you writing, James?" Harry asked. James looked up, pretending to be startled by his father's sudden appearance.
"Huh? Oh, er – just an essay for History of Magic," James replied, resting his quill his ink. His father looked over at the essay and grimaced.
"Old Professor Binns still going then, I presume?" he asked. James nodded.
"I don't know if I can suffer through another one of his classes," he replied. Harry chuckled.
"You've only got it 'til your fifth year, you know," Harry said. "Unless you're like your Aunt Hermione – she took every class there was. Even Divination, though she walked out of that one." Seeing the surprised look on James's face, he chuckled again. "But that's a story for another day. Now… let's see how this essay is going," he continued. James scribbled in another sentence. His father looked thoughtfully at the essay.
"You know, James, I actually remember writing this essay back when I was thirteen," he said. James looked up again, hoping for a story to distract him. Harry grinned, and leaned back.
"I actually started to write my essay while I was still at the Dursley's. Had to write it at night, under the covers, careful not to get any ink on my sheets. They couldn't know I was doing my schoolwork, you know, or else I might have not made it back to Hogwarts with anything done." Harry paused for a moment, looking at his son. James nodded along, remembering other stories his father had told him about how anti-wizard his Uncle Vernon was.
"Well, anyway, my Aunt Marge ended up staying over for a week. She wasn't really my aunt, you know, but I had to call her that. She was terrible. She hated me, truly. I really don't know how I made it through most of that week. So, on her last night here, she started to get really mean about – about my mum and dad." Harry paused again, momentarily.
"So I kinda lost control and the next thing I know, she was swelling up to the size of a very large balloon. No, there's no spell for it, and I wouldn't teach you it anyway, James," Harry said quickly. "I want your aunts to stay normal, every one of them."
James scowled slightly, then muttered under his breath, "As normal as possible, anyway." His father chuckled once more.
"So then the next thing I remember is I'm sitting on the Knight Bus, arriving at the Leaky Cauldron. I told them I was Neville Longbottom, just in case they wanted to send the article to the Daily Prophet. First name that popped into my mind. But Neville doesn't know that, James," Harry said, spying the look on James's face. "So don't go around parading this information with everyone you know.
"Anyways, after that I got to do all my work at Florean Fortesque's ice cream parlor," Harry finished. "He knew more about witch burnings than any book I could find. It was kinda fun, actually. I think that may have been the best part of my summer. That and getting a free sundae every half hour." Harry chuckled again, and then realized that he shouldn't be distracting James from his work.
"Now, how about this essay?" Harry asked. James scratched his head.
"Well, er – " James stuttered. He looked at his father. Harry laughed.
"Alright, we'll have an ice cream sundae first. Just don't tell your mum about this," he said, and stood up. "Now, James, pass me the whipped cream, won't you?"