Harriet Potter and the Minister of Magic
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters you recognize from the HP books in this story. Everything belongs to JK Rowling.
Summary: That fateful night in Godric's Hollow, something inside James Potter had changed forever. Becoming the youngest Minister of Magic ever to be appointed, he soon became obsessed with finding the Dark Lord and avenging the death of his wife. He's about to discover, however, that his pursuits are about to lead him straight back to the daughter he's neglected for fourteen years. (AU, DM/femHP).
Pairings: DM/femHP (eventual). CD/femHP. RW/HG. BZ/GW. JP/LP (past). SS/LP (one-sided),
Warnings: Spoilers from canon (Books 4 to 7). Occasional time jumps from chapter to chapter. Mature content later on.
Notes: This is an Alternate Universe featuring James Potter, and a female Harry Potter. I will try to stick to Harry's personality and keep the character as canon as I can. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin will also be featured in the story. I'll be assuming that in this universe, Harry's first year until third year were relatively canon. Afterwards, I will be picking up the story from book 4, and will progress as the chapters go along.
Chapter 1 – The Minister's Daughter
At the sound of the impatient voice that had spoken, Harriet Potter blinked slowly and looked up, forcing a smile at the stern-looking secretary that sat in front of the Minister of Magic's office door.
"The Minister will see you now." She intoned, flicking her gaze pointedly to the door behind her.
Harriet nodded and stood up, gathering her things and making her way towards the ajar office door. Peering inside, she heard the familiar voice of the Minister of Magic blaring through the doorway – his tone sounding very agitated as he was conversing to one of his advisers over the floo network.
"I don't care if you don't know how to get it done, just get it done! I have had it up to here with these Death Eater scums, Barty! And I will no longer stand for it! Implicate them as soon as possible!"
She heard a loud popping sound before she poked her head into the room – just in time to see the Minister of Magic flick his wand at the fireplace near the end of the large office and extinguish the fire. Then, without so much as a single word to greet her, he briskly turned his attention back to the stacks of documents piled on his desk and gestured impatiently for her to sit down across from him.
Silently, Harriet had to ponder on the impressive picture the Minister made in front of her.
The man seated in front of her was in his mid-thirties, the youngest Minister of Magic to have ever been appointed into office. He had an innately intimidating presence, as was the case with most Ministry officials she had encountered, but his was an indomitable, single-minded presence that was unwavering and exuded authority – something that did not make him an easy person to be around.
Harriet recalled that most of her female classmates back in school would often call him handsome, and though she herself couldn't see it, she could understand why. He was a tall man, perhaps a little over six feet, with unruly, jet black hair and bright hazel eyes. His form was lean and toned from all his Ministry training, and his features were sharp and refined – obviously from having been born from an aristocratic family. The silver, thin-wired glasses he was wearing shielded her from the intensity of his glare and Harriet leaned back against her seat, offering him a weak, sheepish grin.
"Good morning to you too, Dad."
Lifting his gaze up to meet hers, James Potter ran a hand through his hair in mild irritation, mussing up the strands as he spoke. "Yes, Harry? What is it you needed to talk to me about?" He asked.
Before she even got a chance to respond, James let out an exasperated sigh again and continued. "I'm sorry I won't be able to talk long. I'm up over my head with all of these muggle killings as of late. I have absolutely no idea who's behind it yet and frankly, it's beginning to terrify everyone into thinking the worst." James sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Pretty soon, they'll be thinking the Dark Lord has returned from his grave and we absolutely cannot allow that to happen." He mused out loud.
Shaking her head, Harriet couldn't help the exasperated, slightly disappointed smile on her face as she glanced up at the dark-haired man in front of her and answered him in a calm, pointed voice.
"I know, Dad…You already told me." She answered, trying her best not to sound bored.
Tensing, as though he had only just realized Harriet was in the room, James finally tore his eyes from his desk and stared at his daughter for the first time since she got there – noting the disappointment in her features. If her expression bothered him at all, however, he showed no indication of it. He turned back to his desk again and addressed her in a calmer but more formal tone of voice.
"In that case, what is it you need, love? I'm sorry to be such a grinch so early in the morning, but I've got a lot of work ahead of me today. Unfortunately, I'm up to my neck with problems right now." James explained, looking up again and watching as his daughter seemed to hesitate before speaking up.
"Actually, Dad…I just came here because I wanted to ask your permission about something–" Harry paused in anticipation, already noticing the all-too-familiar way her father's fingers were tightening around his quill. "–er…Well–" Her eyes darted across the room to the gleaming Gryffindor trophies and various other Quidditch paraphernalia that lined the shelves of her father's large office.
"–Ron's invited me over to spend the weekend with his family this Saturday. We'll be watching the Quidditch Cup from the Top Box, you see." Harry paused again and took it as a good sign that the corner of her father's lips actually twitched into a restrained smile. Sensing her open opportunity, she pushed ahead. "It's Ireland against Bulgaria, Dad! It'll be really wicked! In fact, you should come with me; Mr. Weasley's invited you along too!" She rushed out, ignoring her father's attempts to protest.
"Harry, I just don't think I have the time to watch Quidditch right now–"
"Besides, you're the Minister of Magic anyway, you're kind of required to watch the game right? International relations and diplomacy and all that…So how about it, Dad? Can we go?" Harry rushed out again, looking up and watching as James seemed to struggle with indecision to himself for a few minutes.
Sighing, the former Gryffindor raised a hand to massage his temples before answering. "Harry… I love Quidditch as much as you do, sweetheart… But I have a lot of things to worry about. I don't think–"
"Dad, you always say that. What exactly do you have time for nowadays, anyway? You already missed my last birthday because of work. You owe me this one, at least." Harry pointed out angrily, her eyes narrowing as she glared at her father in frustration. Sighing, she set her face into a displeased scowl.
Trying his best not to let his irritation show, James sighed and set his quill down on his desk.
"Why don't you ask Sirius to go with you, instead? Or Remus? I think he'd appreciate that—"
"Dad, I don't want to go with Sirius or Remus. I want to go with you!" Harry cut him off sharply, her green eyes flashing with anger. "Besides… Sirius won't be here this weekend; he'll be in Romania for an Auror assignment. And Remus is busy with all of his research." She added before she stood up, placing her hands down onto her father's desk. "Dad, this is important to me…And it would really mean a lot to me if you would go. I rarely ask you for anything, you know that. I just want you to come with me just this once…At least before school starts. Then, you won't have me bothering you anymore. Please?"
Belatedly realizing that the only way it seemed she was going to get her way was to pull out all the stops, Harriet stared reproachfully at him with big, pleading green eyes that made her father wince and sigh in exasperation. Shaking his head, James groaned and leaned back against his seat in defeat.
"Aw…Don't do that, Harry. You know I hate it when you look at me like that." He grumbled.
Sensing that victory was just within her grasp, Harry bit back a smile and peered down at him again – making sure her eyes were wide and pleading as she stared into her father's wincing expression.
"Please, Dad…? I promise, I'll stop bothering you for the rest of the year." She added ruefully.
At that, James couldn't help the smile that forced its way onto his face.
"Really…the whole year?"He asked, raising an eyebrow and giving his daughter a skeptical look.
Harry seemed to relent for a moment, before she shrugged and gave him a sheepish grin.
"A month, at least."
Rolling his eyes at her, James finally shook his head and sighed, giving her a defeated smile.
"If I say yes, will you finally go away and let me work?" He asked her wryly, looking amused as her face instantly softened and she grinned cheekily, her green eyes lighting up with genuine happiness.
"Only if you follow that up by buying me that new Flashbolt model for my birthday."
James snorted in amusement at this, already reaching for his quill and beginning to work again.
"Don't push your luck, Harry. You already got a Firebolt for your birthday last year; you don't need a Flashbolt now. Besides, I would have thought you liked the birthday gifts I got you this year."
"A trunkload of new dresses? Really?" Harriet asked flatly, making a face at him as she sat back against her seat. "Girly, frilly, short dresses that looked like they were made for mannequins. Since when have you ever seen me wearing silly little dresses like that in my entire lifetime, Dad? Think about it."
"You wear dresses all the time, Harry." James answered her distractedly, his attention already wavering off as he skimmed through the report on his desk. "Besides, maybe it's about time you should be getting more interested in things other girls usually like…All this Quidditch surely can't be helping you grow up to be a proper lady. Peter told me that he noticed you were becoming a bit tomboyish lately."
"I don't give a damn what that man thinks, Dad!" Without thinking, Harry's mood turned sour and she suddenly snapped, glaring at James and causing her father to flick his gaze back at her in anger.
"Watch your language, young lady!"
Harry ignored him, however, and she scowled at James again, her eyes flashing. "And you shouldn't either! In fact, I don't care if he is your advisor; just stop listening to what he tells you all the time! Sirius says that Peter's nothing but a suck-up anyway and I think he's right. He's an annoying–"
"—slimy rat with his ears filled with horse dung and his tail tucked between his legs."
Harry and James both jumped in surprise at the new voice who had spoken, both of them looking up just in time to see a tall, black-haired man striding casually into James' office with a wide, familiar grin on his handsome face. The man was in his mid-thirties, about the same age as James, and was currently sporting a pair of black dragon-hide boots and a complete set of defensive Auror robes.
After not having seen her godfather in so many days, Harry practically leaped up out of her seat and launched herself at him, jumping up and catching the tall man in a bone-crushing, affectionate hug. Laughing and pleased at his goddaughter's reaction to him, Sirius Black looked up and shot his scowling best friend a wide grin of greeting just as he was released Harry and set her back down on her feet.
"I missed you too, little Prongs…How are you?" Sirius smiled and playfully mussed up the top of Harry's hair, inadvertently causing some of her long black strands to fall free from her loose ponytail.
"Argh, Paddy, stop that! I just fixed my hair this morning!" She protested with a growl, trying to swat his hand off. Sirius just snorted at this in disbelief but he retracted his hand from her hair anyway.
"If that was your hair 'fixed', then I'd hate to think what it looked like before you fixed it." He teased, before running a hand through his own perfectly styled, sleek black hair. Rolling her eyes, Harriet watched him with an exasperated smile – knowing that her godfather, Sirius Black, was perhaps the vainest man she had ever met. Although to be honest, she couldn't really blame him for being that way.
As the only remaining heir and son of the Black Family, Sirius was often branded by Witch Weekly as one of the most eligible bachelors in the Wizarding World today – second only to Harry's father. Together, James and Sirius were the two most notorious playboys of their generation – and though Harriet had never approved of her father's womanizing on most occasions, a part of her was also relieved that her father had no intention to replace her mother as the one woman he truly cared about.
"You've made your point. You have gorgeous hair, we got it." Harry deadpanned, laughing when Sirius just made a face at her but grinned, plopping himself down onto the seat opposite her.
"You mean I'm gorgeous, Harry. What's up, Prongs? How's my favorite, boring best friend?" Sirius turned his attention to the glaring man behind the desk, giving him a wide, cheeky grin. When James said nothing but continued to frown at him, Sirius shook his head and pointed to James' forehead.
"You know, Prongs…You should really stop all that scowling you do. It's going to give you premature wrinkles soon. Look, see that age line by your forehead already? That's not hot, at all." He joked, and James would have snapped back a retort in annoyance but Harry had interrupted them again.
"Sirius, where were you these past few days? I hardly saw you at all this week!" She pointed out, frowning slightly at him. At this, Sirius gave her an apologetic grimace but then smiled as reached over and pinched her cheek. "I'm sorry, kiddo…I have no excuse, actually. Being the Head Auror and all…Well, it comes with its ups and downs, I guess. I was busy this week and last week because of an assignment."
"An assignment you successfully completed, I hope?" James had cut in briskly, diverting both Sirius and Harry's attention back to him and killing the light mood instantly with his impatient voice.
Suddenly sobering, Sirius turned back to James and nodded, reaching into his pocket and setting a small, white envelope on his desk. "Here's that letter you wanted. I'm going back there tomorrow morning to discuss that thing we talked about. Hopefully, all of these cases are just coincidences." Sirius added ruefully, letting out a weary sigh as James inspected the envelope he had set down on the table.
"And you spoke of this to no one else?"
"Not a soul, Prongs."
"What are you guys talking about, Dad?"
Both men suddenly stiffened and exchanged a quick glance with each other before they looked at Harry again, noting the puzzled expression on her face. For a moment, James found himself staring awkwardly back at his daughter as he tried to figure out what to say. Fortunately, however, Sirius resolved the moment by grinning and distracting Harry again by jumping to his feet and yanking her up.
"Merlin's beard, Harry! Look at you, it's almost as though you've gotten bigger since the last time I saw you!" He exclaimed cheerfully, twirling the teen around and laughing when Harry just scowled and stuck her tongue out at him, crossing her arms over her chest. "I really hope you didn't mean that I was growing 'horizontally', old man. Because I'd have to punch you." She grinned at him.
Sirius snorted derisively at this, raising an eyebrow and giving her a challenging look. Taking a few steps back from James' desk, he grinned and raised his arms up at her, beckoning Harry over to him.
"Oh, I'm old, huh? Well then, let's see what you got, Potter. Come on; have at this old man!"
He challenged but unfortunately, he didn't exactly get very far as Harry had launched herself right at him – going straight for his wand arm and attempting to wrestle it behind his back. Chuckling, Sirius easily maneuvered himself out of her hold and reversed their position so that he had Harry's arm twisted behind her instead, instantly causing the Gryffindor to groan out loud and burst out laughing.
"Alright, alright! I give, I give! Let go already! You win; you're not old! You're just…mature!" Harry chimed out, still laughing as Sirius finally released her and rewarded her with a superior smirk.
"Close, kiddo…Getting closer but not quite good enough to take me down yet. In fact, you even almost hurt me this time, I'm impressed." Harry rolled her eyes at him as she sat back down. "Keep practicing and you just might manage to make me break a sweat one day." Sirius added with a wink.
Grinning back, Harry stuck her tongue out at him. "Well, you'd better watch your back, Padfoot. I'm getting better, even Tonks says so. One day, you'll be running for your position as Head Auror." She retorted in a superior tone of voice, this time causing both Sirius and James to grin at her in amusement.
Finally looking up from his work, James chucked his daughter affectionately on her chin.
"And I'm quite certain that you'll knock Sirius on his rear one day, Prongslet." He told her with a rare smile, causing Harry's eyes to soften instantly as she smiled at her father's special pet name for her.
Across from them, Sirius winced at James' words and smiled ruefully in agreement.
"You'd better believe it, Prongs…Did your darling little girl over there tell you that Snivellus actually gave her two weeks' worth detention last year for beating up a student who was picking on her friends? She was so scared you'd find out, she sent her disciplinary notice to me instead of you" He mentioned, immediately causing Harry to flinch in panic and glare sharply at her godfather in disbelief.
"Sirius! You weren't supposed to tell him that!" She screeched.
"Is that true, Harry?!"
James' affectionate smile had melted away into his usual frown as he glared disapprovingly at her, clearly demanding an explanation. When Harry offered him none and merely grimaced at him, James turned his attention back to Sirius' slightly sheepish expression and narrowed his eyes in question.
"Snape gave her detention? What did you do this time, Harry? I can't believe your recklessness!"
"Dad, it was Snivellus, of course he gave me detention! He hates me simply for being your daughter, you know that! This wasn't entirely my fault anyway, if you knew what really happened—"
"Whether it was Snape or not, I'm sure he had a perfectly good reason to give you detention, Harry. I'm disappointed with you. I told you not to draw too much attention to yourself already—"
"Now hold on a minute there, mate, I think you're being a little unfair here. I'm with Harry on this one, we know how Snivellus is, I mean…The bloody git still has a personal vendetta against you." Sirius tried to reason out but James just rolled his eyes and glared at Sirius as though he was insane.
"Oh grow up, Sirius! Don't be ridiculous, that was more than fourteen years ago, I doubt any respectable witch or wizard in their right mind would hold a grudge that long. Besides, I apologized to Severus a long time ago for the way I treated him—" James was cut off when Harry had snapped at him.
"If you paid any attention to the letters I sent you at all, you'd realize that Snape still hates you, Dad! And just to tell you, he's taking out all that revenge on me instead of you! And yet, you still blame me for it? Why can't you take my side?!" Harry raged, her pale features flushing with frustrated anger as she stood up from her seat and glared down at her father's wide-eyed, disbelieving expression in fury.
"Harry, sit down! What are you doing—"
"For once, I wish you'd just stop being the goddamn Minister of Magic all the time and just…Just… I don't know, just be my DAD again then maybe you'd understand!" Harry's voice had choked up near the last part of her sentence but she turned around to avoid James' gaze. Just as Sirius stood up talk to her, however, she had bolted out of the office – ignoring both men's loud calls after her.
She had just about enough time to hear her father's angry shout for her to come back before Harry slammed the door as loud as she could, making sure the sound echoed in the silence of the halls.
"Harriet Jamie Potter, you do not walk out on your father!" James had shouted after Harry, his eyes flashing with anger and his jaw clenched tightly in frustration as he watched her slam the door shut.
The harsh sound was almost deafening as he and Sirius stared awkwardly at each other, both men looking uneasy and sighing as they listened to the sound of Harry's footsteps running down the hall. Finally, as soon as her footsteps had faded into the distance, Sirius turned and gave James an angry glare.
"You should have listened to her, you know."
Furious with his opening statement, James opened his mouth to cut him off but Sirius continued.
"To be honest, I actually think that this time, Harry was right. That old git Snivellus has got it out for her and has been intentionally giving her a hard time in school simply for being your daughter." Sirius pointed out, causing James' scowl to deepen again as he growled and slammed his fist against the table.
"Damn it, that was such a bloody long time ago! Do you think I have time right now to be taking trips down memory lane and keep apologizing to Snape for being the bully I once was?! Merlin's beard, Sirius! I was a child back then! We all were! I've done my part, I've already apologized to that bastard before, Harry will just have to suck it up and deal with it on her own!" James reasoned out with finality.
To his surprise, Sirius' expression had hardened and he sneered at him in surprised disgust.
"So you're not even going to side with your own daughter or even help her out? Really, James? Is that what you've been reduced to now?" Sirius shook his head, giving his best friend an angry glare. "Fourteen years ago, the man I called my best friend would have sent a mountain troll on anyone who dared to hurt his daughter. Now you're just going to let Harry deal with this on her own?" He asked.
James' eyes flashed dangerously and he glared right back at Sirius in cold warning.
"The man you knew is dead. He died with his wife fourteen years ago. This is who I am now, and the sooner you understand that and stop giving me shit about it, the better." He drawled coldly. Blatantly choosing to ignore the sad resigned look Sirius gave him, James changed the subject instead.
"To top it all off, that girl gets more and more tomboyish every day." He narrowed his eyes, turning around to glare at Sirius' weak grin. "And you're not exactly helping her either with all your brutish roughhousing…How do you expect her to ever become a proper woman when you encourage her boyish recklessness all the time?" He admonished but to his irritation, Sirius just burst out laughing.
"Well, it's a little too late for that, don't you think? Considering she grew up with you, me and Remus as her only examples, I'm surprised she's even figured out she's a woman at all." He joked lightly.
James growled at him with narrowed eyes. "I'm serious, you prat! It's not funny!"
"No, actually, I'm Sirius." Sirius automatically supplied with a cheeky grin and bark-like laugh.
"I am not in the mood, Black." James gritted his teeth and clenched his quill in frustration as he watched his dark-haired best friend guffaw loudly at his own worn-out, old joke since their school days.
When James continued to glare impatiently at him in frustration, Sirius just rolled his eyes and propped his feet up onto the chair Harry had vacated. "What are you so worried about anyway, Prongs? Harry's just fourteen; she's got plenty of time to realize she's a woman once puberty fully kicks in. What's your hurry? In fact, I would have thought you'd be happy about the fact that you don't have to worry about having annoying buggers trying to court your little girl away from you just yet." He added.
At this, James' features softened slightly and he managed an amused smirk in response. "Well, I suppose there is that positive side to this issue at least." Then, frowning, he raised an eyebrow at Sirius in question. "Speaking of which, who was that bugger she beat up in her third year anyway?" He asked.
In spite of himself, James actually burst out laughing at the mock-grim smile on Sirius' face.
"Lucius Malfoy's son?!"
"The very one."
James laughed again, shaking his head in amusement. "Bloody hell, I wish I could have seen the look on Lucius' face! That would have been wicked." He managed to wheeze out through his sniggers.
Smirking, Sirius raised an eyebrow and gave him a pointed look. "So what was that about you complaining about her being too brutish and reckless again, Prongs? Care to eat your words, then?"
"Hey, I never said—"James opened his mouth to protest sharply when Sirius beat him to it..
"She's little Prongs, James! She's a miniature, girl version of you! You have to give your daughter more credit than that. If anything, you have no right to be chastising her for emulating her father!" Sirius told him, watching as all sorts of conflicting emotions began to play themselves out on James' features.
"I never said that, Sirius…I just…Well, I just want my little girl to grow up like her mother—"
"She's growing up like you, James." Sirius cut him off with an amused, pointed look.
Irritated at the truth he found in Sirius' words, James could only scowl back at him in embarrassment. "Well… I didn't exactly set the best example for my daughter. In fact, you remember that I was a horrible kid when I was her age." James chose to ignore Sirius' snort of agreement and sighed, his eyes deep in thought. "I just want what's best for her…Lily would have known what to do. She would have been the perfect role model…And Harry would have grown up to be exactly like her—"
At the weariness he heard in his best friend's voice, Sirius looked up at him with a frustrated sigh.
"You have got to stop doing that to yourself, mate. It's been fourteen years…I doubt Lily would have wanted you to live your life like this. She would have wanted you to move on. And she would have been proud of the way Harry's growing up to be exactly like her father. She would have loved Harry—"
"I thought I told you never to talk about my dead wife, Sirius!" James snapped, his eyes flashing dangerously but Sirius ignored him and continued, his expression darkening into a stubborn scowl.
"James, you know if you actually paid a bit more attention to your daughter, you'd realize that she's was never like Lily at all. On the contrary, she's always been just like you." Sirius pointed out but James was no longer listening by now and was already turning back to the papers piled on his desk.
"I really think I should be getting back to work, Sirius. You should be too—"
"She looks like you, she acts like you, hell she even inherited your natural talent for trouble and mischief, from what I hear. I'm sure Lils would have loved Harry for being exactly like her father." Sirius added with a grin. To his dismay, however, James just slammed his fist down onto the table at his words.
"I said stop it, Sirius."
Sirius shook his head.
"No, I will not. James. Most of the Death Eaters are rotting away in Azkaban already. Bloody hell, isn't it about time for you to just…move on with your life?! Just…wake up! Harry needs her father–"
"I said shut up, Sirius!" By now, James was livid with rage and he was shaking as he reached over his desk and grabbed at Sirius' robes, yanking the other man and pointing his wand warningly at his face.
Sirius just arched an eyebrow coolly at him, refusing to be intimidated. After a long, tense moment, however, he noted that James appeared to be cowering back more and more. Soon enough, the young Minister of Magic was trembling as he released Sirius and collapsed against his seat in defeat.
"Goddamn it…" James muttered weakly as he sank back down against his desk and covered his face with both of his hands. "Goddamn it, Sirius…Don't you think I know all that…? I understand what you're saying." He sighed again as he looked up, meeting Sirius' questioning gaze with a grim smile.
"But you have to understand that I have my own reasons. I'm doing all of this is precisely for my daughter." He began softly, but when Sirius looked annoyed and tried to interrupt him, he continued. "I'm her father, Sirius. I want to make sure that Harry grows up in a world that's safe from people like the man who killed her mother. A place where people like Voldemort don't exist and can never hurt her again." As he spoke, James' expression began to harden with his resolution, and he frowned at Sirius.
"And I believe that I'm making the best decision for both of us. I love Harry enough to know that if I have to sacrifice time with her to protect her, then so be it." James ended with a tone of finality to his voice. When he looked back up and noticed that Sirius was just glaring at him, he snapped again.
With an incredulous scoff, Sirius just shook his head and stared at him in disbelief.
"And I suppose that you just expect me to believe that Harry's going to understand all that? Merlin's beard, James, she's a fourteen-year-old kid! You don't even tell her anything about her mother! I hate to tell you, mate, but If you continue doing this, she's going to end up hating you forever—"
"Are you quite finished lecturing me about my own daughter, Black?" James cut him off, his voice growing icy with contempt as he snatched his glasses off his face and gave Sirius a very cold glare.
Suddenly realizing that he had overstepped his bounds, Sirius hesitated and tried to speak again.
"Look, I'm sorry if I sound as though I'm trying to interfere, I really am. But I just thought—"
"I have work to do, and if you don't leave, then I'd be glad to have you escorted out of my office." James cut him off again, already tuning the other man out as he put his glasses back on and turned back to the documents piled on his desk. Sighing, Sirius reluctantly got up and began to walk out of the room.
"There's the door, I trust you know how to use it, Black. Now get the hell out."
Annoyed at the sudden iciness of his best friend's mood, Sirius paused just as he reached the doorway, turning around to give the young Minister of Magic before him a defiant, pointed glare.
"You can't avoid this conversation forever, Potter."
With that, the Head Auror shook his head and walked off, slamming the door behind him just as loudly as Harry had done and unwittingly causing James to flinch as he was left to his own dark thoughts.
Sighing and reluctantly setting his quill back down onto the table, James buried his face into his hands. In his exhaustion, he closed his eyes, forcing himself to ignore the familiar feelings of pain and grief overwhelming him as all those beautiful, bittersweet memories of Lily began to flood his thoughts.
Opening his eyes slowly, James reached down towards the very bottom drawer of his desk, extracting from it a beautifully framed photograph. He set it down onto his table slowly, right beside another photograph, and stared at the two pictures in silence, his eyes clouding over with sadness.
The first photograph was one that James hadn't looked at in years – that of his and Lily's wedding fifteen years ago. What had once been such a beautiful, happy memory so many years ago now brought him so many feelings of grief and sorrow that before long, James had quickly snatched the photograph away, hastily shoving it back into his bottom drawer and closing it with a resounding snap.
It wasn't until a few agonizing moments later that he was finally able to take in a deep breath and pick up the other photograph on his desk. He stared at it for a long time, his eyes soft with emotion.
It was a photograph of Harry last year – just after she had won the House Cup for Gryffindor.
James remembered the memory clearly, and thinking back on it now still brought a proud smile to his face as he recalled exactly how effortlessly and gracefully his daughter had caught the winning snitch for that game. Harry was born a natural flyer, much like James was, and he had never been more proud of her in that moment as he had watched her holding that gold Quidditch trophy up in triumph.
His beautiful young daughter was his pride and joy, James could only hope she knew that too.
Since the day she was born, James knew that his little Prongslet was going to be the most beautiful Quidditch player of her generation one day – and he was right of course. With each passing day, James could only watch in anticipation as his little girl began to grow into a lovely young woman.
Like James, Harriet's long hair was mostly straight and jet-black, cascading freely down her back and ending in big curls just above her waist. Her eyes were her mother's – bright green and constantly sparkling with laughter – while the rest of her features were pale and refined, much like James' was.
She had Lily's selflessness, of course, and her easy temperament– but it was her fiery personality and knack for mischief that she had so perfectly inherited from her father, and James often found himself smiling at how much she took after him not only in appearance, but also in personality.
My little Prongslet. James thought to himself, smiling at his special pet name for her.
More than anything, James knew that it was only a matter of time before the boys in Harriet's year would sit up and begin to notice the beauty his daughter was rapidly becoming. Hell, some were already even beginning to take notice– like that Hufflepuff Harriet was always with– and that irritated James enough that he was tempted to hire a bodyguard to watch over Harry while she was at school.
As if she didn't hate you enough. James berated himself silently with a wry, humorless smile.
Shaking his head, he set Harriet's framed picture back down onto the corner of his table and sighed, leaning back against his seat in thought. In the silence, he heard Sirius' words resounding in his head again and without anyone there to see him, James covered his face, his shoulders sagging in defeat.
Am I doing the right thing Lily?
James lifted his head from his hands and stared sorrowfully at his daughter's picture again.
Will our daughter hate me forever?
Harriet breezed past the Minister's office without a word, trying her best to ignore the reprimanding glare her father's fifty-year-old secretary sent her as she stormed out. It didn't actually take long for her to reach the elevators, though she chose to stop when she reached the newspaper stand near the end of the corridor. Scowling, Harriet picked up this morning's paper in contempt.
Exclusive Interview with James Potter: Is the Minister of Magic Harboring a Rebellious, Attention-Seeking Daughter?
Written by Rita Skeeter
James Merrick Potter, age thirty-five, is certainly no stranger to anyone in the Wizarding World nowadays. The young Minister of Magic is often seen in the company of almost every Wizarding official worldwide, and is more often than not, the favorite handsome face of our own Wizarding media when it comes to our newspapers. As the former Head Boy of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, one of the top students in his graduating Class, and the only Wizard to have ever brought down most of the former Death Eaters now residing in Azkaban, James Potter has always been in the media's spotlight.
But who exactly is the man behind all the titles, some of you may ask?
A Quidditch Enthusiast and former school Champion?
A former teenage prankster?
A notorious playboy bachelor?
A loving, obliging father?
As we all know, the Minister is father to young Harriet Potter, the legendary child who unknowingly saved the Wizarding World from the threat of the Dark Lord. Born as the only living person ever to have actually survived the illegal killing curse, Harriet Jamie Potter is the one and only daughter of Minister James Potter and his late wife, Lily Evans. Sadly, Lily was murdered by the Dark Lord that fateful night, about two months after young Harry was born. Upon turning his wand to kill Harry, however, the Dark Lord's killing curse was reported to have backfired on him, killing him in the process.
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was never seen in the Wizarding World again, and we have all come to recognize our young Harriet Potter as the acclaimed Girl-Who-Lived.
At the moment, it would seem that Minister Potter is very adamant in protecting his only daughter from the watchful eye of the public. Sources have concluded the Minister's daughter has been attracting more and more attention to herself as of late. Given her recent involvement with many cases centered around Hogwarts, as well as from the claims of this reporter's classified inside sources, it would seem that the Girl-Who-Lived has been trying to covet her busy father's attention for a long time now – and has been consistently unsuccessful with her efforts. Once must wonder if this were to continue, or if Harriet Potter is merely looking for the right opportunity to divert her father's attention?
Fortunately, your correspondent was lucky enough to actually bump into the Minister himself, and below are the details of the exclusive interview with the most politically powerful father in England:
RS: So…Mr. Potter….Is it all right if I call you that? Or would you prefer , "Minister Potter"?
JP: (smiles) James is perfectly acceptable, Rita. There's no need for the formality.
RS: I'd appreciate that, James…Thank you! So…How have you been lately? Word is, you've been very busy these past few days, the rest of us have been reading about how you've been flying to and from England to talk to the other Ministry officials from around the world. Anything of concern?
JP: None whatsoever. I apologize, I'm sure everyone reading the Daily Prophet in the morning is probably sick of seeing my face by now–
RS: On the contrary, Minister…I'm sure many witches out there feel differently about seeing your face on the newspaper everyday, if you know what I mean.
JP: (laughs) Oh well, I don't know about that now. But on the part of any concerns of the public, I can assure you all, there's nothing to worry about. The Ministry and I have just been very active with our diplomacy programs and tourism promotions this year. That's why we've been moving around a lot. Especially with the anticipated TriWizard Tournament coming up, I'm sure everyone's heard by now–
RS: Ah yes! Of course, I remember! The TriWizard tournament is up to be held in England this year isn't it? And if I'm not mistaken, I've read that it will be taking place in our very own Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is that correct?
JP: You heard right, Rita. I've already spoken with Albus Dumbledore, the tournament will officially be taking place on Hogwarts school grounds. It should actually be a very interesting event so we're all very excited for it. It's something to look forward to, I'm sure.
RS: Hogwarts, huh…? That must bring back memories for you then, doesn't it James? If I recall, not too long ago, you were one of the chosen Champions to participate in the TriWizard tournament yourself during your time? Will you tell us a little more about that?
JP: (laughs) Ah, well…I was but I didn't win though. I did participate in the TriWizard tournament back in my day, but I was just second place. Although my not winning was certainly not due to lack of effort on my part, I assure you. (winks)
RS: I'm sure you were marvelous, Minister. So…If that's the case…Your daughter, Harriet, goes to Hogwarts, does she not? If I may ask, what year is she in right now?
JP: Yes, she's enrolled in Hogwarts for the coming term. She's entering her fourth year.
RS: What house?
JP: (grins) Gryffindor, of course. Just like her old man.
RS: Ah yes, of course. I read that the Potters have always been a family line of Gryffindors.
JP: Down to the very last one.
RS: I also heard she's been seen hanging around the Hogwarts school grounds with Cedric Diggory. I believe he's actually the son of another official of yours? Amos Diggory, your Head of International Relations? Are there any plans of an actual engagement in there for our young Harry?
JP: (winces) No, I don't think so, Rita. Harry is just a child right now. And I don't think she appreciates all the spotlight being given to her and her relationships for simply for being my daughter.
RS: Well, she is also the Girl-Who-Lived, Minister…I suppose her fame is unavoidable.
JP: That's true.
RS: So… On that note, any chance of having young Harry enter the tournament this year then? I'm sure she'd want to try and go after her successful father's footsteps, and with her luck, she could very well be living out her "old man's" dream, could she not?
JP: No, absolutely not. My daughter is only fourteen. If I remember my experience with the tournament correctly, and I do…It is only suitable for students seventeen years old and above. To have a student younger than that compete would prove to be dangerous. In any case, to those interested, please keep yourself updated on further announcements from your designated officials–
RS: Again about your daughter, Minister…Do you have any comments about her alleged involvement with the disappearance of the Sorcerer's Stone during her first year? Or her alleged involvement surrounding the case with that DADA professor who died in Hogwarts three years ago?
JP: I'm afraid I have no comment on the matter.
RS: But surely you must have something to tell us, Minister…Rumors have cited that Harry was actually the one who found the Sorcerer's Stone and then later, destroyed it when it was almost coveted by You-Know-Who. Is this actually true? Also, what happened to that DADA professor who died?
JP: This was an old case that was closed many years ago. Harry was involved in this matter, as it was she and her friends who found the Sorcerer's Stone and prevented it from falling into the wrong hands. That professor you speak of, however…He died because of a bad case of…parasites.
JP: Yes. Parasites.
RS:I see…And back in second year…Your daughter was implicated again when some of the muggleborns back in Hogwarts began to be petrified. This was linked to something called the 'Chamber of Secrets'. In fact, Harry was even suspected of being the Heir of Slytherin, is this all correct?
JP: This is a ridiculous and absolutely false claim, I can assure you. My daughter is my own and she is no Heir of Slytherin. My family is directly descended from Godric Gryffindor, there is not a single drop of Salazar Slytherin blood in our veins.
RS: And what of the petrified students? Have we figured out the reason for this case?
JP: We are still heavily in the middle of investigating this matter. I have my best Aurors still on the job at the moment.
RS: And have they questioned your daughter already?
JP: My daughter is not a suspect to be questioned regarding this case.
RS: I see…So does that mean you have no idea about your daughter's actual involvement with what happened?
JP: (frowning) I never said that, Rita–
RS: Or do you think that in her case, it was merely an attempt to call your attention on her part? A sign of a rebellious, teenage girl who had to resort to causing trouble to get you to notice her?
JP: My daughter is not trying to seek my attention; she had nothing to do with what happened. Look, I quite apologize Rita… But at the risk of sounding horribly rude, I must be going now. I have a scheduled meeting in five minutes. Thank you very much for this opportunity.
RS: Thank you, Minister!
I suppose for now, only time will tell us exactly what our young Miss Potter has up her sleeves to draw her busy father's attention during the upcoming school year. A new love interest, perhaps?
Till next time, Wizards and Witches!
Who does that woman think she is?!
Harry's eyes flashed in anger as she crumpled the newspaper up in her hand and tossed it into a nearby trash can. Fuming, she barely registered that she was in the middle of the Ministry corridor when she cursed again and snapped, aiming an angry kick at the trash can and sending it flying across the floor.
I can't believe she's targeting me again! And I can't believe Dad even agreed to give her an interview, he knows how much I hate her! What a stupid decision to make, what was he thinking?! Harry raged to herself, scowling and clenching her fists until her fingernails were digging into her palms.
Harry had always been doubtful about the decisions her father has been making as of late.
With all of his current radical propaganda in Dark Arts eradication and his recent ties with notorious Anti-Dark Arts political figures like Rufus Scrimgeour, Amos Diggory and Barty Crouch. It had come to that point where James had publicly announced his support of the death penalty for convicted Death Eaters – which of course, led to more controversy and political issues from all sorts of groups.
And when her father wasn't on his anti-Dark Arts campaign, he was out hunting for wizards or witches which he termed as 'Dark Potentials' – basically, any magical person who displayed even the slightest similarity to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and thus, were to become the next Dark Lord.
For her part, Harry thought that her father's destructive behavior was bordering on obsession.
He must miss Mom terribly… He loved her more than anything else. Harry thought sadly, her eyes brimming with tears as she looked back on how her father had fared for the past couple of years.
All Harry saw in her father now was a harsh, frowning man who hardly ever looked at her and always seemed to act awkward or formal whenever she was around. He hardly showed her any affection either – as though it genuinely pained him to even look at her. Harry knew why – James had loved Lily so much that every time he looked at Harry, he was only reminded of the fact that his wife was gone.
From what Harry could remember, and from what Sirius and Remus had often told her back when she was still a child, her father was never really quite the same person after her mother's death.
It was as though the mischievous, easygoing leader of the Marauders that Lily Potter had fallen in love with had died with her. In fact, Harry often found that she couldn't even associate the old school pictures of James she saw in Remus' old photo albums with the man she now knew to be her father.
The handsome dark-haired teen she saw beside her mother in those photographs was a bright, carefree spirit – with his laidback, impish grin and the mischievous sparkle in his bright, laughing hazel eyes. Those days, beside his wife, James Potter had looked as though he was the happiest man alive.
That realization about her father hurt Harry most of all.
It's no wonder Dad doesn't even want to see me at all…It was for me that Mom died. I'm the reason she's gone. And I can't really blame Dad for hating me because of that. Harry thought quietly to herself, blinking rapidly in frustration when she felt the tears beginning to pool in her bright green eyes.
Nowadays, she even considered herself lucky if she was able to see her father twice a week.
Most of the time, James would lock himself up in his office in the Ministry of Magic – only to accept important meetings and messages from appointments specifically scheduled by his secretary or his advisor, Peter Pettigrew. Even Harry had to schedule an appointment with him, it was ridiculous.
She couldn't even enjoy his company during her summer breaks from school either.
Her father would often arrive home with a scheduled meeting over dinner – and most of the time, Harriet would just be forced to sit through an entire meal of listening to them discuss their work.
More than James' dinner meetings, however, Harry particularly hated it when they had dinner scheduled with James' father – the retired Potter patriarch, Augustus Potter III. Truth be told, her grandfather – with all of his pureblood customs and strict penchants for traditional social rituals – reminded her too much of Lucius Malfoy for her liking so mostly, she chose to stay away from him.
Harry wished she could have known her muggle grandparents from her mother's side. Unfortunately, Lily parents were also gone – murdered by the Dark Lord before Harriet was even born.
Her father and grandfather were the only remaining relatives Harriet had left and although she was more than thankful that she still had them as a family, she wished they felt the same way about her.
Frankly, I'd be happy enough if Dad just knew I existed. Harry thought bitterly to herself.
Their dinners with her father's advisor, Peter Pettigrew, didn't bode well with Harry either.
Despite the fact that she knew Peter was one of her father's best friends, something about him unsettled her – not to mention the fact that she hated how he just loved to monopolize James' attention all the time. It seemed that every time Peter called on her father or wrote to him, James would be rushing off again, leaving Harry alone in their huge estate until the wee hours of the following morning.
Perhaps the only good thing she remembered about her summer vacations were those times when Sirius or Remus would come over to visit them. Though Sirius was Harry's official godfather on paper, the Head Auror was sometimes too busy to take care of her all the time. Those times, Remus took it upon himself to become her second godfather. He and his wife, Nymphadora Tonks, often took care of Harry when she was a baby and she had grown up regarding them as her godparents as well.
Sighing softly as she began to drift back from her thoughts, Harry was just about to bend down to pick up her discarded newspaper from the trash can again when a familiar voice out of nowhere suddenly spoke up from behind her, causing the small Gryffindor to jump and whirl around in surprise.
"Rummaging through the trash bin now, Potter? I must say, it suits you."
At the annoyingly familiar snide voice that had spoken, Harry instantly stiffened in annoyance.
She whirled around quickly, glaring at the smirking blonde standing in the corridor behind her.
"What are you doing here, Malfoy?"
A/N: Of course, you'd all know that a story was written by yours truly when there's a cliffhanger at the end of nearly every chapter. Wahaha. I've always wanted to write a story that featured James. He's always been one of my favorite characters. Strange that I just wrote about him now (^_^)
To readers of my other stories, I will be finishing Phoenix Tears, I promise. Just be patient with me. :D
So how about it guys, what are your thoughts about this new story? Please do give me your comments and suggestions by sending me a review, I would love to hear them! Till next time! :D
Next Chapter: What exactly happened that fateful night in Godric's Hollow?