James Sirius Potter didn't know what to do. The flickering fire of the Gryffindor common room lit up his blank paper and topic rubric, taunting him. His hero essay for history of magic was due the next day and James didn't even have a hero to write about.
That's what you get for waiting last minute… he heard the annoying voice of his younger cousin Rose lecture in his head. Honestly, if you just worked bit by bit…
Groaning, James read the topic again, hoping for inspiration.
Many witches and wizards have contributed to the greater good of the wizardry world. Choose such a hero to research and write about. Then discuss what they mean to you."
James sighed and shook his head. He needed sleep, but he needed this grade even more. He idly gazed out the window as a flash of lightening cut across the night sky…
Lightening… That's it!
The sixteen year old couldn't believe he didn't think of it before. Maybe this explained why he was an A student and not an O student. But then again really could he really be blamed? Really, how many other students were in his situation? Well, besides his siblings, Albus and Lily, and perhaps the rest of his famous family…
"Harry!" Neville Longbottom raced up to the head auror and handed him paper. "You have to read this! James wr – what's wrong?" He frowned, seeing his friend's down casted expression.
"There's been three dementor attacks in two weeks and a family found dead this week. I've been working overtime to try to catch who's behind all this. So far, I've nothing, nada." Harry shook his head. "Maybe this lecture will cheer me up. I've always found the students opinions and stories enlightening. And Dean certainly seems to enjoy having a class period off to catch up on grading papers. It's just that it's been twenty – two years since Voldemort's downfall and humanity is still getting it wrong."
Neville gave Harry a grim smile. "Ya, it can seem like that sometimes… but Harry, you're making a difference. You always have, always will."
"Wish it would show," muttered Harry softly. Sighing and trying to mentally cheer himself up, Harry switched the conservation topic. "So what's this? James' not in trouble again, is he…?"
"Oh, nothing like that!" His friend laughed, knowing perfectly well why the father would quickly jump to that conclusion. He had sent him plenty of owls of James' many misadventures in the kitchens, halls, and classrooms. "It's actually your son's history report. I helped Professor Binns grade them and when I read James' I knew you would like to read it. It's really nice work."
Grinning, Harry took the paper, nodding to Neville. "Thank you. It's kinda nice to know that James does the exceptional work that I know he has the ability to do. And I still have time before Dean expects me.
"We can catch up with each other in my office, I don't have a class until noon and I have all the prep work done. The butter beer is on me."
Once they had settled in with a few more laughs and just general catch up, Harry took out the paper and began to read…
History of Magic
March 2, 2019
The Potter Legacy
Harry James Potter has been known as many things throughout his life: The Boy Who Lived, The Chosen One, and Hero of the Wizarding War 2 are just a few examples. And indeed, to many he is a hero. But there's far more to the man then just fighting dark wizards and that's what makes him my hero. Harry Potter is known as yet another title: my dad.
But here is the strange thing; my father has never really considered himself a hero and he rarely if ever talked about it. Any information I received I got either from an exciting war story from my uncle Ron or a reminiscing Professor Longbottom. However, after a year at Hogwarts and being stared and gapped at, I finally confronted the famous Harry Potter. Of course I already knew he was famous, but it's one of those things that I hadn't really dwelled on; why would I? As far as I was concerned he was my dad; the guy who gave me my first broom, the guy who issued a time out when I didn't share with my brother or sister, the guy who magically healed my knee after a scraped it after a fall. Of course he was famous, respected, and considered a hero, he was my father. That was all the reason for me. That is until my first year at Hogwarts. Until I finally realized that there was more than just Dad beats the evil wizard, everyone lives happily ever after. I slowly began to realize that there was a legacy that my dad had left in his wake and I was suddenly in his shadow. It wasn't the most comfortable epiphany either. So I had a nice long talk with him. And was I in for a surprise.
I knew Voldemort had lost his powers the first time when he had killed my grandparents and attempted to kill Dad. I never knew though that the reason he lived was because of grandma Potter's sacrifice for him. And I never realized that he had lived with an abusive aunt and uncle and a bully of a cousin. I never knew that he found out that his parents had been betrayed by their friend Peter Pettigrew or that his godfather, Sirius had been killed in a mission rescuing Dad.
I knew that he had seen Voldemort's return. I never knew he had to watch the murder of a classmate. I never knew that the ministry had once refused to acknowledge the dark wizard's return and discredited Dad at the same time. I never knew that Dad was there when the great Albus Dumbledore was killed.
I knew that Dad had defeated Voldemort for good at the age of seventeen. Yet I never knew that he had broken up with my mom at the time to try to protect her. I never knew that he had been briefly captured or had rescued a group of muggleborns awaiting trial under the new dark regime. I never knew he would risk his life repeatedly, making sure that he had all that he could have to defeat Voldemort, even to the point of accepting death.
And I found the legacy overwhelming me. How did I find myself worthy of that? I have no dark wizard to defeat. I'm a spoiled kid with a great family and great friends. What legacy could I leave that would even come close to the famous Harry James Potter?
And then, it comes to me, my dad was abused as a child. He saw far too many deaths by the time he was of age then anyone should in a lifetime. He had fought for his own life and the life of others for all his life. And yet, he's my dad. He's the best Dad I could ever have. Because despite all he had gone through he still made two close friends for life, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger (now Weasley). He still found a family to call his own through the ever large and ever growing Weasley clan. He still fell in love with Ginerva Weasley (now Potter), married her, and had a family with her. I feel safe in saying that Albus, Lily and I will forever be thankful for being conceived, birthed, then loved. The Potter Legacy that had crushed upon my shoulders suddenly lightened because I knew how I would carry it and ultimately pass it on, just like my dad. Sure it's cool that he defeated the most evil wizard in the twenty first century but he is my hero because he has passed on to me the ultimate legacy: love.
I know this wasn't exactly research but it is a paper on my historic hero. Half credit for half answered prompt? Please? Oh, and could this stay nice and hidden in a locked file or something? Or given back to me ASAP, I really don't want this being used this for blackmail.
"Dad, what are you doing here?"James Potter walked into the defense against the dark arts class, seeing his father chatting with Professor Thomas. He watched as the older wizard turned to face him and James couldn't help but grin to see the familiar deep care in his father's wary green eyes.
"Hi James; Dean do you mind if I take him out for a few minutes to talk?"
Smirking, the professor shook his head. "No I don't mind, but please mention that another prank like the one he pulled last week will result in a detention."
"I have no clue what you're talking about sir," James replied, trying to hold back his trademark mischievous grin as Harry raised a questioning eyebrow. Allowing himself to just grin, James followed his father out into the hall. He had the strangest look on his face as he peered into his son's gaze, his emerald eyes bright.
"Dad, are you o -?" He stopped as Harry wrapped him in a tight embrace; something that James hadn't really allowed him to do since he started Hogwarts. Deciding that since the halls were for the most part empty, he'd return the hug. Heck, he would never admit it, but he missed their routine hugs.
"Neville gave me the essay you wrote… thank you."
James felt his eyes widen and face grow warm. So much for keeping it safe in a nice locked drawer. And how did Professor Longbottom have it anyway? "How - ?" However, at the sight of his father's bright eyes he stopped realizing that he was holding back tears.
"You should go back to class," Harry told his son with a light smile. His expression fell stern, or at least it would have if his eyes weren't still bright and now lit in amusement. "And no pranks!"
Laughing, James returned the smile and knew his own hazel eyes were filled with his planned mischief. "I'll try, no promises though!"
"And James? I love you."
No one was out in the halls to hear him and even if there had been James doubted that at that moment he would have particularly cared. Maybe after Fred had teased him about it afterwards would he have even thought about his next choice of words. But Fred wasn't there, or anyone else, so he really didn't care much about it. Just that he meant what he said.
"Love you too, Dad."