Title: Age

Summary: They gain so much and lose it all, and maybe that's what middle-aged means. A series of drabbles, based around the idea of turning middle-aged.

Character: James Potter.

Notes: This is a series of drabbles about where particular characters are in their lives when they turned middle-aged. Some will be happy, and some will be sad, but I really hope that you'll enjoy them! Thank you!

For some reason, middle-aged sounds so old.

It sounds like grown-up children and grandchildren and abandoned houses and walking sticks and greying hair and loving glances. It sounds like love and marriage and friendship and hope and knowing that the next half of your life will be the best.

For James Potter, maybe it is.

Because for the last half of his life, he goes to Hogwarts and he meets Sirius and Remus and Peter and Lily, darling Lily. He plays pranks and has fun and goes to classes and lives like no other person has lived before.

He has friends and girlfriends and enemies, and soon he has a best man and a wife and enemies.

He has a wife, and, in some ways, he loses his friends; he has a son, and, in all ways, he loses his parents. Life is about living, and gaining, and losing, and making it all worth it.

James isn't stupid; he knows how to live. He just doesn't make the most of it while he still can.

"Come on, Prongs!"

Maybe middle-aged means getting past the first hurdle to pass the finish line and fall.

Maybe it is simply the fact that you've already lived half of your life, congratulations, please come again.

But middle-aged is just an idea, after all. Is it a day, a thousand days, or more? It's just a fantasy, something that people say for them to feel normal, safe, when they know they've got years left.

Maybe it is just that nobody knows when they'll be middle-aged, and it could be eleven or it could be a hundred and eleven, and surely, that's cruel?

James Potter, in the last half of his life, gains so much and loses it all, and maybe that's what middle-aged means.

Still, though, James has no children to grow up, and no house to abandon and no need for walking sticks, and he has messy, black hair and mischievous, adolescent glances by the time he is middle-aged.

He's only eleven, after all.