Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling. Anyone whose name you don't recognize from the books is one of mine. Will be rated 'T' for now. Much later chapters will likely be rated 'M.'
FOR A BIT OF RESPONSE TO A COUPLE OF REVIEWS I COULD NOT RESPOND TO IN PERSON:
First, SeanHicks4: Thanks for the review. How are Ginny and Hermione going to meet Harry if he is in America? Well, you will just have to wait and see…
Secondly, to suezq21643yahoo: I appreciate guest reviews too, it is just harder to respond to them, but here goes: His adopted name is James, but he prefers Jamie, not Jimmy (probably because he has subconscious memories of which he isn't aware of Lily referring to James as Jamie).
-Note to my readers: I am going to start skipping some time from here on out, touching only on important details from the past as flashbacks.
Chapter 7: Quidditch and Other Things
MSML – Saturday, September 9th, 1989
"Look at him go."
"Did you see that?"
"Is that a first year?"
Professor Lupin's sharp ears caught the whispers and he turned around to look at the students gathered by the window. There were about fifteen of them crammed together, staring out the window at something taking place outside. Moving to the window, Lupin looked out.
Flying lessons were taking place beyond the window. Most of the students clumsily manipulated their brooms a few feet above the ground, but a group of three students were playing tag in the air, swerving and looping and diving. A blur of movement passed the window and Lupin's sharp eyes identified the rider as James Stevens, the boy he suspected was the son of his childhood friend. The boy led his friends in a series of death defying loops and dives that would put many of the chasers and seekers to shame.
He watched them for several minutes, his mind churning with memories of playing tag with James and Sirius.
"I couldn't believe my eyes," Professor Carter whispered across Lupin to Professor Pratchet, "the boy says he's mundaneborn and he's never ridden a broom in his life. If I hadn't seen his file, I would have thought he was pulling one over on me. The teams are going to be fighting to have him as seeker when he turns eleven. I told Bill that he should start teaching the boy about quidditch early, train him up a bit and have him ready for tryouts in his third year. I have never seen anyone fly like that who has never been on a broom before. Hell, I rarely see anyone fly like that with years of experience. The boy's a natural."
Professor Pratchet smirked, "I guess I'll have to go down and watch the next lessons then won't I?" She enjoyed watching quidditch and flying contests, though her clumsiness left her with little skill in that area herself. Professor Lupin made a mental note to attend the next flying lesson himself.
"He's really smart," Mike Peters' baritone broke in. "He's the only first year to really understand the theory behind charms. I know he's already read the book; I glanced at it the other day in class. The whole thing is annotated and the handwriting matches his. He really seems to understand it too. I'll know for sure next week when I set the quiz over what they've read."
"I overheard him explaining transfiguration theory to one of his friends as they were walking out of my class the other day," Sam Riker commented, shoveling stew into his mouth.
"He's quite healthy and fit too," Lupin interjected, "I asked the students to tell me what sort of sports or exercises they do. Apparently he likes to run. He and his mother go running every morning rain or shine from what he tells me. I think she's also a health nut. He said something about her being a nurse, so it doesn't surprise me."
The others nodded. A moment later, Abigail Addams, a slender, black-haired woman with skinny braids sat down at the staff table. "So what's the topic of the night?"
"James Stevens," the writing teacher, Nikki Darcy cut in.
"Black hair, green eyes, Funny scar?" Abigail asked, pulling the tureen of stew towards her.
"That's the one. Did you catch his flying class?"
"No, I was brewing, but I've heard the rumors going around. Is he as good as everyone thinks?" she asked.
"We think with a little training the boy will be ready for professionals right out of school. It would be the first time in fifty years we had a student that the professional teams would be fighting to get their hands on, and not just as a back-up player but as a starter," Theresa Stuart, the astronomy professor added, "the last one was Bob Williams."
"Yeah, but I didn't even last the season, if you recall," Robert Williams replied, "I landed bad after that botched feint and blew out my knee. Even magical healing wasn't able to repair all of the damage."
"That's because the idiot sabotaged it, remember?" his wife, Elizabeth replied, "he was in the pay of U.S. United. It was a huge scandal," she told the others.
"Stevens is really smart, but he's struggling with potions theory. I'm thinking of writing to his mother and suggesting she get him cooking lessons over the summer," Abby said.
The others looked at her oddly.
"What? You haven't noticed that students, especially mundane born students who have a background in cooking tend to do better in potions classes?" She asked, shocked.
"Nope, but then most of us don't teach potions, either," Lupin pointed out.
"True. By the way, if you come by my classroom this evening, I'll have your potion for you," she replied.
September 9th, 1989 – Granger Residence, London England
"Uncle John!" Hermione exclaimed running at her uncle and throwing herself into his arms.
"How's my little princess?" John Stevens asked, scooping up his niece and spinning her around.
"John, what brings you here?" Hamlet Granger asked his brother-in-law, reaching out to hug the man.
"I have to go out of town, so I thought I'd drop Hermione's present off a bit early. I don't know when I will be back and I thought she might want me to drop off her present. It isn't every day our princess turns ten," he pulled a thick package out of his padded jacket and handed it to her. Hermione gave him an odd look, wondering how he'd managed to conceal it inside the coat. She looked up at her dad.
"May I open it now?"
"Why don't you put it on the table and you can open it after dinner. Your mum should be home soon and I'll have supper ready by the time she gets here," he turned to her uncle. "You are staying for dinner aren't you?"
John Stevens sniffed the air, "Cherry cobbler? Of course I'm staying, I wouldn't miss your cobbler for the world. I don't know why you gave up cooking to become a dentist," he laughed.
Hamlet Granger smiled at his friend's words. This was an ongoing argument they'd been having since Uni. "I couldn't stand getting up before dawn every morning just to cook for strangers. Dentistry has much better hours, especially now that Emily and I own our own practice."
John and Hermione both laughed at that. John removed his coat and shoes and they traipsed into the kitchen where Hermione began to set the table using her mother's best china. The sound of the front door slamming startled Hermione, and she dropped the stack of plates. She watched with horror as they tumbled from her hands in a mad dash for the floor. She was completely shocked, therefore, when they stopped in midair and reversed direction, piling themselves back into her hands.
She shrieked and shoved the plates onto the table with shaking hands. With hands over her face and tears spilling from her eyes, she dashed out of the room and up the stairs. John exchanged a worried glance with Hamlet who shrugged, "that's been happening a lot lately."
"What has?" Emily's voice came from the doorway, "what was Hermione crying about?"
"Another bit of weirdness, dear," Hamlet replied, moving to embrace his wife. John rolled his eyes and turned his back to give them a moment of privacy.
"Are you sure she's going to be alright?" Emily whispered.
"She thinks she's the one causing all of these things to happen," Hamlet whispered back.
"What happened this time?"
"She was startled when the front door slammed and dropped the plates – your best china ones, by the way – before they could hit the floor, they stopped, reversed course and piled back into her hands. Weirdest thing I've ever witnessed," John answered, one eyebrow raised in Vulcan fashion.
"I'll go talk to her while you finish up dinner. Call us when it's ready," Emily said, turning toward the stairs.
A/N: Well, that's a wrap as they say, another chapter done. From here on out, we are going to be skipping a bit of time and focusing more on what is going on at Hogwarts with just a little bit of focus on what is going on with Jamie.