Disclaimer: Harry Potter etc. belongs to Rowling!


Chapter 1: Meeting

Or

Over the Picket Fence

July 2012

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. You can do this Isabelle, I told myself, you can kick the ball straight. Just like coach said, just like Pele does, just like you've seen on TV from the World Cup. All you need to do is focus.

I took another deep breath, opened my eyes, took a step forward and kicked –

"JAMES POTTER!"

The yell startled me and I kicked the football all wonky, sending it over the white picket fence and into my neighbor's yard.

I watched as a red haired woman opened a window of the neighbor's house to let out a stream of blue smoke. Then the door flew open and the woman stood in the threshold yelling at someone inside. "You are in so much trouble, young man! No! I don't care; outside for the rest of the afternoon!"

A boy about my age, with black messy hair and rectangular glasses strutted outside with a crooked grin on his face.

"And wipe that smirk off your face!" She continued "Merlin! And Angelina claims Fred is worse than you!" With that the woman, who I assumed the boy's mum, walked back inside.

"Hullo!" I called out.

The boy seems surprised by my voice and turned to look at me. "Hullo."

"Can you get my football?" I asked.

"Your what?"

"My football."

He wrinkled his nose. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Sighing, I walked over to the fence, which comes up to my chin, and leaned over the side.

"My football." I pointed to the very visible black and white ball a meter away from him. "I kicked it over the fence; can you pass it to me?"

"Oh, sure." He picked it up, walked over to the fence and handed it to me. Then he introduced himself with a flourish. "I'm James Serious Potter."

I sat the ball at my feet. "That's a weird name."

"What? My name's spectacular!"

"Well half of it is plain, that's the James part; and half of it is goofy, that's the Potter part; and half of it is weird, that's the Serious part. I mean, what kind of name is Serious? That's like saying 'Hullo my name is Boring or Excited or Relaxed."

"S-I-R-I-U-S. Not S-E-R-I-O-U-S. And I'm named after famous War Heroes that I'm actually related to. Well, I'm not related Sirius Black technically, but he was my Dad's Godfather so it counts."

"I've never heard of any famous person called James, Sirius or Potter. And there hasn't been a real war in years! A war hero can't have been your Dad's Godfather."

He just rolled his eyes. "Well what's your name?"

"Isabelle Miranda Cross." I said sticking out my hand.

He shook it. "Sounds like it belongs to an old lady."

"What? It's beautiful. Isabelle was a Queen, Miranda sounds like some movie-star and Cross is a secret service agent."

"How old are you?"

"Six." I replied.

"Well, I'm seven."

"I'll be seven in November, that's only four months away."

"I turned seven back in February. I'm over half a year older than you."

"Whatever. Was that your Mum earlier?"

He nodded.

"What did you do to make her so mad?"

He opened his mouth then thought the better of it. "Just a prank."

"Really? I like doing pranks too! At football practice I dyed all the water green. Three of the girls and one of the boys puked."

"What ninnies."

"I know, right? So why are you here anyway?" I asked.

"Visiting my Dad's family. He grew up with Uncle D."

"That must have been nice." I said. "The Dursley's are the nicest folks I know."

"I think Uncle D was mean to Dad when they were little though."

"Really? Well, Mr. Dursley is pretty big, he could beat up anyone he wanted to."

"Yeah, but my Dad could've fought him. My Dad's an auror."

"A what?"

"You know a wiz- I mean. He's a, a, a copper. A really good one."

"Oh. You want to play football?"

"What?"

"Football, do you want to play with me?"

"What's football?"

"Seriously? Football, you know: Pele, FIFA, the beautiful game, South Africa, 'when I get older I will be stronger,' Spain, 'Waka Waka,' balls and feet only. You know, the sport… You're not American are you?"

"What? No, I'm English just like you. But I know a sport's no good unless it has broomsticks. My Uncle Ron told me that."

"Brooms? There's no such thing as a sport with broomsticks. Unless you're playing street hockey I suppose..."

"Whatever. You wouldn't understand."

"Why? Cause I'm a girl? I know everything about the best sports. I know all the ways to get a foul in football."

"That wondrous broomstick-less game?" He asked derisively.

"Yeah. And football's the best sport in the world. My Dad told me that."

"I don't think so. Quidditch is the best."

"That's not even a word."

"It is too!"

You're weird."

"Well you're a muggle."

I didn't even know what a muggy was but I could tell it was a mean word."That wasn't very nice." I said and then turned around and ran inside.

Every holiday the Potters would visit the Dursleys for a day or two. More often than not James would be banished outdoors. We would greet each other thusly:

"Hullo, James Sirius Potter."

"Hullo, Isabelle Miranda Cross."

"Pull any good pranks lately?"

"Yes, and you?"

"Yes."

"Do you know what Quidditch is yet?"

"No. Do you know what football is yet?"

"No."

That was the extent of our relationship. That is until Christmas of 2015 when we were eleven. That time it went differently.

December 2015

"Hullo, James Sirius Potter."

"Hullo, Isabelle Miranda Cross."

"Pull any good pranks lately?"

"Yes, you?"

"Yes."

"Do you know what Quidditch is yet?"

"No. Do you know what football is yet?"

"No... I heard your Mum died, I'm sorry."

My Mum had died in October. I hated talking about it. So I punched him and ran inside. I was disappointed though because when I saw him leave he didn't even have a black eye.


Author's Note: Hello all. My name's Gwen. I'm pretty nervous about all this (who isn't their first time) so this is just me nicely asking for a review. And I'd like to thank alexiroseni for beta-ing for me. Check out her story! It's really good and I recommend it (if only to admire my grammar/editing skills).

Best Wishes, Gwen