Title: Taking Chances
Rating: M for language, adult situations and strong sexual contant (later to come)
Summary: When Ginny leaves Harry, he is forced to leave his job as an Auror and become a teacher at Hogwarts in order to keep custody of his kids. As Harry struggles to put his life back together, his son picks a fight with the one student that could end up turning his life upside. *I'm terrible at summaries*
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters used in this story. They are all the property of the great J.K. Rowling.
Author note: This is the first Harry Potter fic I've written in over five years. I wrote three others when I was in my early teens but never finished them, then got sidetracked with writing McFly fics. Anywho, I'm back now and am very excited for this story. I hope you guys like it.
To the average wizard, Harry Potter led the perfect life. He was handsome, rich and famous. He was the man that brought peace to the wizarding world. He did not have any parents but he did have a rather large and loving extended family with the sort of friends one would find only once in a lifetime.
He had it all.
After the war, Harry had chosen to live as normal a life as possible. At twenty-three years old, he married his long time girlfriend, Ginny Weasley and, by the age of twenty-seven, had celebrated the births of his two sons, James and Albus, and daughter, Lily. As many speculated, Harry joined the Ministry as an Auror shortly after his marriage and ushered in a new era where witches and wizards did not need to live in fear, for their savior was watching over them.
But, like many things in Harry Potter's life, the happiness did not last long. Only eight years into their marriage, Ginny filed for divorce, citing that Harry's absence from the home put too much strain on the relationship with her being left to raise three kids practically on her own.
Though Harry tried to reconcile, they realized that they were only doing it for their children and not themselves. The love was gone and Harry had to wonder if it was ever there to begin with. He did love Ginny, that he was sure of. She was by his side through the aftermath of the final battle, all the trials, his Auror training and all the good and bad press. She was the mother of his children and though he loved her deeply, he could not say that he was in love with her.
The divorce shook the wizarding world to it's core as word broke that Ginny was leaving the Potter home and had every intention on taking the kids with her.
Harry struggled to keep the details of their divorce out of the press as much as possible for the sake of his kids. Even with society returning to a semblance of normalcy after those dark times, the Prophet still seemed Hell bent on finding anything to slander Harry's good name.
In the weeks following the announcement, Harry saw a side of Ginny he had never known existed and he did not like it. She was spotted out and about with a different man nearly every night and was rarely photographed sober, proclaiming to the paparazzi that she was finally free to live her life.
She was becoming more and more short tempered the more hung over she woke up, occasionally snapping at the children when they got too loud before the hang over potion could take effect.
Ron and Hermione were there to make sure the kids were being well cared for while Harry was away working on his various cases but it became increasingly apparent that he needed to sort his priorities out.
Regardless of Ginny's activities at night, she was still likely to gain custody of the kids in the divorce. His name would not be able to hide the fact that he worked fifteen hour days, disappeared for weeks at a time on assignments and ran the constant risk of retaliation from his enemies. No court in their right mind would let him raise three kids with those job risks but he could not subject them to the downward spiral Ginny was heading down so he promptly resigned from his Auror post and opted for a more stable-and safer-job as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts.
The class had not been taught since the fall of Voldemort as many believed it was no longer warranted. Harry argued, however, that in his years as an Auror, Death Eaters and supporters a like, though few, still remained at large and children needed to be able to defend themselves. He also believed that they needed to know the dangers of Dark magic. Children were curious-they were raised on stories of the War-and if they wanted to learn about the Dark Arts, they were going to. It would be safer for them to learn it in the safe environment of a classroom than risk someone getting injured or worst because they were practicing in secret.
The Ministry agreed that with Harry's change in career and his high standing in society that he would be awarded primary custody of his three children, with Ginny having custody over Lily while Harry and the boys were in school.
As much as Harry tried to keep things amicable with his ex-wife, Ginny refused any help from him or her family.
Harry spent many sleepless nights worrying about his little girl. He would write to her often with rarely a response and would always get a house elf making some excuse as to why Lily was unavailable when he fire called. It angered him that Ginny would cut him off from his own daughter because of her own personal issue with him. He never saw her as the type.
Thoughts plagued Harry at night, causing him to wake in the middle of the night, sweating and short of breath and this night was no different. Except it wasn't a nightmare that pulled Harry from his slumber. It was the sound of hurried, frantic hammering on his chamber door.
He shot up, groggily searching his bedside table for his glasses with one hand while wiping the moisture from his forehead with the other.
"Dad!" A muffled voice called from the other side of the thick wood door that Harry instantly recognized as his youngest son, Albus.
He shoved his glasses on his face and gabbed his wand and robe as he dashed to the door, pulling his robe on in his haste. He opened the door quickly and winced as Albus' fist collided with his stomach as the young boy continued knocking. "Albus, what are you doing out of bed?" He asked, crouching down so he was eye level with the eleven year old clone of himself.
Albus struggled to form words as he gasped for air and tugged at his father's sleeves. "James. Hallway. Fighting." He panted out, trying to pull his father with him down the hallways.
Harry's eyebrows creased. "Take me there." He said, his voice low and tense. He stood up straight again and let his son pull him along the various maze of hallways at a brisk jog.
As a parent, Harry's mind raced with horrible thoughts of what he was going to stumble upon. James had been the only one who was really affected by the divorce. As the oldest, he was the man of the house when Harry was away and he went through a lot when he was left with Ginny. He made sure that his brother and sister did not see the random men that snuck out of their flat in the mornings, he was there to make sure they were all up on time and fed while their mother slept in.
When he turned eleven and came to Hogwarts, Harry hoped that his son would be able to be a child finally but only found James using his freedom from his siblings to rebel. Harry spent a large portion of James' first year at school in the Headmistress' office, listening to one teacher complaint after another about his behavior in the classroom, or the hospital wing due to his countless fights with the older students.
His attitude towards Harry was hostile during school and in the summer months. He was turning into a hormonal teenage and Harry found himself wishing he had been around more, his heart aching every time James disappeared into his bedroom, missing the days when his little boy would look at him like his hero instead of his warden.
But Harry could not think as a parent at that moment - he needed to be a teacher.
As they approached the end of the hallway leading to the main entrance hall, Harry could hear the sounds of a struggle. He quickened his pace, moving passed Albus and turned the corner, freezing on the spot. James was standing there, smirking triumphantly, wand held out in front of him as a smaller student dangled in the air, held upside down as if by an invisible rope wrapped around their ankle. "James!" Harry called out, marching closer. "Put him down this instant!"
James' smirk did not falter as he made eye contact with his father and lowered his wand, thus dropping his opponent onto the stone floor, unceremoniously.
Harry's eyes flared up in rage as he bent down beside the young boy, helping him up.
"What?" James questioned, chuckling as he crossed his arms over his chest. "You told me to put him down."
Harry pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. "You are not in the position right now to get smart with me." He said through clenched teeth. "I want the both of you in my office and Albus-" He said, turning to his youngest son, who stood there in his red and gold plaid pajamas looking nervously between his big brother and his dad. "I want you to go back to the dorms and go to sleep."
"But, I saw what happened!" He said, his eyes secretly pleading with his dad not to be left alone in the castle. "Please, let me come with you."
Harry's eyes softened and his crouched down. Albus was always a shy child; quite clever for his age but shy compared the confidence of his older brother. Albus wanted to be brave like his dad and popular like his big brother. It was only the second week of school and Albus had attached himself to James' side from the moment they boarded the Hogwarts Express not wanting to get lost and devoured by the mysterious monsters that hid in the shadows of the school-or so he was told by James.
Harry laid his hand on his son's shoulder, squeezing it gently and giving him a soft smile. "Albus, I want you to go back to your dorm and get some rest unless you want the same punishment your brother is going to get."
Hunter green eyes widened in fear. "But-but I didn't do anything!" He cried, looking to James for help that would not come.
Harry shushed the young boy. "Do as I say, Albus."
Albus frowned at the finality in his dad's voice and nodded solemnly, his lips pouting. "Yes, sir." he mumbled then turned on the spot and made his way back toward Gryffindor Tower.
Harry watched him go for a moment before turning his attention back to the two boys in front of him. "You two. My office. Now." He ordered, pointing in the direction he wanted them to walk.
The smaller boy kept his head down and started walking while James rolled his eyes and followed, nudging the boy with his shoulder roughly as he stormed passed causing the other boy to aim a kick at his shin in retaliation.
"Lay a finger on each other one more time and I'm doubling whatever punishment you are about to receive." Harry said, walking behind them so that he could keep a close eye on them.
He shook his head as James strode down the hallway with his head held high and turned the corner, knowing his way to Harry's office like the back of his hand.
As he watched his son disappear from his sight, he sighed knowing that this was going to be the start of a very long school year.
So, there is chapter one!
Not the most interesting thing in the world but it's only the beginning. Give it time and trust me. :)
I'd love to hear what you guys thought of it.
Next chapter should be up in the next few days or so.