Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
AN: This is a new story I've been working on. I know it's a little weird, but I hope you like it. Please don't forget to review.
Chapter 1: Appearance
James Potter wasn't your ordinary boy, not only because he was a wizard, but because he was a Potter. I'm not saying that to make him sound conceited, I'm only stating a fact. You see, it has been a known fact throughout the wizarding world that the Potter's were the most powerful of the pureblooded families.
You would be surprised to know that it's because they didn't try to keep their bloodline 'pure'. Instead they looked for love, no matter what their blood. So the Gods' granted them a special gift, the gift of being brought back to life it they hadn't found their soul mate before their untimely death.
You see James had shared this knowledge with his close friends; Sirius Black and Remus Lupin and when he didn't come back to life after he died they assumed that Lily Evans had been the one for him.
So it was a big shock to them all when their dead friend, James Potter popped up before them the same age he had been when he had died.
His appearance at number 12 Grimmauld Place was unexpected and confusing, to everyone. Sirius Black wasn't a man known to be faint hearted, but the moment he laid eyes upon his deceased best friend he fainted. And only the quick thinking of Hermione Granger kept him protected. He wasn't expecting to see his friend after all these years. Sirius had finally gotten used to the fact that he would never see his friend ever again and now he was left confused.
No one said anything so Hermione Granger immediately took command. From the way everyone was acting the man before her had to be James Potter, the renowned marauder. When she had heard the crash in the kitchen she had run there with her wand raised defensively, ready for anything. Only to see a Harry look alike staring blankly at the kitchen's occupants. Hermione had been prepared for anything, expect for what she saw.
"Mr. Potter. If you'll please come with me?" Hermione decided to tap into her inner Professor McGonagall.
Before he really had time to think about it he found himself almost following her before he caught sight of red hair. He smiled and makes his way over to her. "Lily! I'm so glad you're here. I don't know who any of these people are." He said, ruffling his already messing hair.
Ginny's eyes were wide in shock. James Potter was talking to her and thought she was his wife, Lily. "Um… I'm not Lily." She said weakly.
"What are you talking about, Li-" He stopped when he noticed that her eyes weren't the deep green that he loved so much. "You're not Lily!" He said accusingly. Completely ignoring her earlier statement.
"That's what I was trying to tell you. I'm Ginny Weasley." She threw her hands up in exasperation. She may not know him, but she was still a Weasley and they were known for their quick tempers.
Hermione walked up to them before things got out of hand. Everyone had yet to move, much less breath. "James, can I talk you in the other room? I'll explain everything there." She cajoled, she didn't want him to do something irrational. Which she had heard he was known for doing when he attended Hogwarts.
James looked at her, his eyes burning with rage. He found himself nodding, he wanted answers. When they got to the living room he took the time to examine the dreary atmosphere, with it's dark walls and eerie shadows. The walls looked as if they needed a good cleaning and everything looked dead. There was very little homeliness about the house.
"Who are you?" He asked abruptly.
If Hermione hadn't been prepared she would have felt overwhelmed. "I'm Hermione Granger… and you're James Potter." Hermione was hoping that someone would wake up from their trance and save her.
James looked around. "How did I get here? Better yet, where is here?"
"I don't know. I was in the other room when I heard a crash in the kitchen and so far no one is in the right mind to explain to me what the situation is. We're at Grimmauld Place."
"If they're so shocked why aren't you?" James spat almost accusingly.
"Someone needs to keep a level head." She said simply.
His eyes narrowed. "So you voted for yourself?"
"It doesn't seem like anyone else is jumping for joy at the job. I don't know you like they do so I have no reason to be flabbergasted by your unexpected arrival. All I need to do is figure out how you got here so I can get a better idea of the situation." Hermione's eyes roamed his face. "I need to determine if you really are Mr. Potter."
"Why do you keep calling me that?"
"It's your name, isn't it?" Hermione said sarcastically. Just because he was confused doesn't mean he had the right to talk down to her. She was just as confused in this situation as he.
"Yeah, but we're about the same age."
Hermione winced, but her resolve hardened. "Prove to me that you're who you say you are. Prove to me that you're James Potter."
"Why do I need to?"
"Certain circumstances deem it necessary. I can't completely trust you with information until I'm positive that you're who you claim to be." Constant vigilance, Moody was always teaching them to be alert.
James was lost and didn't know how to respond to her. "How can I prove to an absolute stranger that I'm who I say I am? Why should I even trust you? For all I know you could have summoned me."
Hermione shrugged. "What choice do you have?"
"Good point." James muttered. "Ok, here goes nothing. I'm part of a group and we call ourselves the marauders."
"You can do better then that."
James winced at her sharp tone. "My patronus is a stag."
He was shocked by how much people seem to know about him. "I helped create a map of Hogwarts with Padfoot, Moony, and Wormtail."
Hermione glared. "That rat is well aware of that. I'd have thought that Voldemort's cronies would know that we're not that stupid."
James gulped. She was a difficult one. He hadn't wanted to tell anyone about this, but it was obviously necessary. "The summer before seventh year when Sirius came to live with my family we had a conversation about Lily. I had decided that I was done trying to get Lily's attention if she wasn't going to return my affections. A lot of my decision had to do with what Sirius thought." He waited patiently for her response. It was odd that he was putting so much on a stranger. As if he really cared about her opinion of him.
Hermione sighed in relief. Sirius had told her that story years ago; for some reason he thought it was necessary that she knew certain things about James. Hermione smiled warmly. "Welcome to number 12 Grimmauld Place."
"So that's it?"
"Yeah, I got what I was looking for. I have a few more questions before I answer anything you want to know though." Hermione said.
James nodded. "Ok."
"What's the last thing you remembered before you got here?"
He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on his memories. His eyes widened in shock. "I died, Voldemort killed me." He hastily touched his face, "but I'm still here. Why?"
"That, I don't know. Is there anything that could have brought you back? Any family secret that would bring about this change?" Hermione asked. Her brows knit in concentration, a look many of her friends and family knew by now meant she was trying to remember something she had once read.
"Yes, there is." A deep, penetrating voice answered from behind Hermione.
Hermione turned abruptly, almost loosing her balance in the process. "What do you know, Black?" She demanded.
"Don't get your knickers in a bunch 'Mione." Hermione's eyes narrowed. "Sorry. James had told me years ago that when a Potter died there was a possibility that they would be brought back to life if they hadn't found their soul mate." He turned to James' shocked person. "Remus and I had believed that Lily was your soul mate when you didn't immediately return to us."
James stuttered. "Who are you?"
"I'm Padfoot." He whispered quietly.
"That's not possible. You're too old." James said incredulously.
"Now that hurts. We're supposed to be best friends Prongs." Sirius swooned dramatically. Not taking in the seriousness of this conversation.
James turned to Hermione. "What are you playing at? Who is he?"
Hermione smiled sadly. "This is Sirius Black. I thought we established that you died, which would mean you didn't age. I was getting to that before we were rudely interrupted." Hermione glared darkly at Sirius and he transformed into his animagus form with a pout.
"How is that possible? I thought I had only been dead a couple of years at most." His eyes were staring at the shaggy, black dog walking around the girl who called herself Hermione. "What year is it?" He demanded. He had remembered only vaguely about some new invention to travel through time.
She slapped her hand on her forehead. "1997. Merlin. I didn't even think about that." She turned to James and pointed her wand directly at James' chest. "Change into your animagus."
"You heard me. Shift into your animagus form. I should have remembered before, but I was distracted." Hermione mentally berated herself.
James rolled his eyes before he too transformed into a stag, but changed back just as quickly. "Are you satisfied? I thought you already believed me when I first said I was James Potter."
"I did. I mean I do, but this was the best way to be 100% positive." Hermione rubbed her throbbing temples. "Ok, back to the topic at hand. Sirius, knock it off." Hermione growled.
Sirius transformed back with a grin. "But you taste delicious." James cleared his throat angrily. "Sorry, Prongs."
"I remember telling you that story, but I had believed that Lily was my soul mate as well. I guess I was wrong." James whispered solemnly. "Well, there you have it. That's the reason I'm here now. Obviously my soul mate is in this time." He thought back to the red head he had met in the kitchen.
Hermione felt bad for him. Here he was, a man back from the dead and he can't even have the comfort of his wife to sooth him. She glanced behind her and saw the Weasleys' and Harry all staring with no remorse. An then it hit her, he might not be able to have his wife with him, but maybe she could give him something better. She turned to walk away, but he stopped her from leaving.
"Yes," she asked as she followed the hand, keeping her from leaving, only to meet James' hazel eyes.
"Where are you going? You promised to answer my questions."
Her eyes flicked over to Sirius. "I figured you were going to ask him."
James shook his head. "You promised."
"Ok, I'll be right back." She tried to jerk her arm from his grasp, but he wasn't having it. Sirius chuckled lightly.
"No, I'll come with you." James insisted.
Hermione glared. "There's no need. I'm perfectly capable of coming back on my own." She despised when people belittled her, she was perfectly able to do anything any one else did.
"I know that." James said through gritted teeth, "but right now you're the only one I know. So I'm not to keen on being alone with a bunch of strangers. You're Hermione Granger, and they are people. Do you get it?" James tried to explain his predicament.
"Yeah, but you know Sirius Orion Black. I've already reintroduced you and he's your best friend."
"Was. He was my best friend, but I died and he doesn't look the same. He's not the same man I left. Please, let me go with you." James whispered pleadingly.
Hermione shook her head. "There's no point. I wasn't planning on leaving this room. I was just going to get someone for you to meet. Someone I'm sure you're dying to meet." She gently pushed his hands away. "Just wait and see."
As Hermione turned away she saw the hurt look on Sirius' face when James said he wasn't the same man, but there was also understanding. He couldn't expect James to fall back into their old routine as if nothing had happened. A lot of time had passed. Harry was standing just inside the kitchen behind all the Weasleys', hoping to blend in. Kind of difficult being the only person with black hair in a sea of red. Hermione didn't say anything, she just extended her hand to him and he took it effortlessly.
"Come on." She urged.
He took a deep breath but did as she told. It was hard not to listen to Hermione she was usually right about things. It had become a habit to let her make certain decisions in his life.
James stared unabashedly at Harry. "James, this is your son. This is Harry James Potter." She pushed Harry lightly in the back to get him to step forward.
"Are you really?" He didn't look as if he was breathing.
Harry nodded, not able to meet James' eyes. Choosing to instead look at Sirius, the only person he could see without turning around. He smiled encouragingly at him. "Yeah, I am." His voice sounded unsure of himself.
James' adams apple bobbed unsteadily. "The last time I saw you, you were so tiny. Now look at you. I don't think I'd recognize you if you didn't look almost exactly like me." James stepped closer. "You have Lily's eyes."
"Yeah, I get that a lot." Harry smiled.
"They're just as beautiful as I remember. She always hated them, said they looked like water mold. She never believed me when I said they looked like emeralds." James whispered almost as if he was trying to picture her more clearly.
Harry glanced helplessly at Hermione. He didn't know what to do next, should he hug him or stay still? Hermione tilted her head towards James.
"Can I hug you?" Harry asked his father uneasily.
"Of course. You don't even need to ask. It's a little weird having a son only a few years younger then me, but it must feel even weirder to have your dad a few years older. Hope we don't have the same taste in women?" James joked.
Sirius snickered, but quickly coughed to cover it up at Hermione's stern expression. He had always wondered like many others why Harry was attracted to Ginny. A women that could almost pass for Lily's double. A fact that James proved when he himself believed the young red head to be his deceased wife.
"She would be so proud of you." James whispered into his son's hair and Harry choked on a sob. He wanted so badly to cry in his father's arms. Something he had never been offered because his parents had died.
Hermione looked away, feeling a little uncomfortable to be witnessing something so heartfelt. "Come on you guys. We should leave them alone." She ushered the Weasley's into the kitchen. Come on Sirius, we should go."
He nodded and put his arm securely around her waist as he guided her to the kitchen. Hermione couldn't stop herself from glancing back and found James Potter's eyes watching her every move. She looked away quickly, not able to hold his penetrating gaze. Sirius felt Hermione's sudden movement and turned to see what happened. His best friend was glaring menacingly at him. He smiled, maybe James wouldn't be with Ginny after all.