Hi all, here is the first chapter of my sequel to HP and the Phoenix Burning. (To everyone who hasn't read that story, please do because you won't understand this one.)
I really hope that you'll like the story, many thanks for reading. Mina
There was nothing better in life than having a sleep-in, followed by a lazy breakfast, knowing that you had nothing planned for the rest of the day.
Harry and James, who were on their second week of holiday, were enjoying themselves immensely.
"You won't catch it in time!" James called out in warning, watching Harry hurtling towards the ground at high speed.
Harry laughed as he snatched the snitch from the air and rolled over to avoid hitting the ground. He evened out and flew over to the awed James leisurely.
"Can too." He gasped, still trying to catch his breath after his wild descent.
"That was so…so…you're sure to be on the team Harry!" James stuttered, lost for words. Harry pulled a hand through his hair and laughed at the look on James's face.
"Boys! Come and have some ice-cream!" Mrs Potter called from the house.
"Race you!" James said, before speeding off, leaving Harry to quickly follow. They were laughing as they touched down in the little court yard garden by the kitchen.
"I don't understand how you boys do it! It's sweltering outside, you'll get a heatstroke for sure." Mrs Potter said, placing two bowls full of ice cream on the table, next to the large jug of lemonade that already stood there.
"Thank you mum." Harry said, accepting the cold treat gratefully, it really was rather hot outside. James, who had already started on his, mumbled a thank you. Harry laughed at the dribble of ice-cream that ran down James's chin and Mrs Potter sighed.
"Honestly darling." She said, shaking her head before wiping his chin with a napkin.
Harry sniggered even more as her action made James look like an overgrown baby, having his mouth wiped by his mummy.
James gave Harry the evil eye, but clearly decided that the ice-cream was more important as he didn't retaliate.
"Where's dad? He said we could go to Diagon Alley this week." James asked, making his mother sigh again.
"In the library as usual, you can try to get him out if you want." She answered, before re-entering the house with an irritated huff. The boys eyed each other quietly and there was a short moment of silence.
"You should ask him Harry! You got the best grades out of the two of us." James suggested, making Harry roll his eyes.
"Please! I really need some new Zonko stuff and he promised that we could go get a treat as a well done." James whined, giving Harry a pleading look. Harry rolled his eyes again and nodded before stuffing his mouth full of ice-cream. James smiled, pleased that he'd gotten out of that one.
An hour later, Harry quietly entered the library and looked around at the books that had been strewn around the room. Mr Potter sat by his desk muttering to himself, whilst crossing things off on a scroll laid out on the table.
Harry cleared his throat and sighed when he didn't get a reaction. Mr Potter had been like this ever since they returned home. He was obsessed with his books and spent hours reading and making notes. He'd even missed dinner a few times, which had caused some friction between him and his wife.
"Um, dad?" Harry said, clearing his throat when his voice broke. He hated going through the whole becoming a teen again.
Mr Potter looked up absentmindedly and nodded.
"Yes, yes that sounds good." He said, making Harry blink confusedly.
"Can we go to Diagon Alley today?" Harry asked after a while of silence.
"Yes, yes please do." Mr Potter answered.
"Alone?" Harry asked.
"Yes, yes that sounds like a good idea." He answered waving his hand at Harry in dismissal.
Harry eyed him a moment longer before exiting the room. James, who'd hovered outside the door, gave him a hopeful look.
"Um, he said we could go. I think." Harry said feeling confused.
James eyed him, looking equally confused.
"Can we or can't we?" He asked, making Harry shrug helplessly. Mrs Potter came down the stairs and smiled at them.
"Decided to play inside after all boys?" She asked.
James pouted and crossed his arms at her words.
"I want to go to Diagon Alley and he promised we would." He grumbled.
"Well go and ask your father then!" She said with a sigh. James eyed Harry pointedly.
"We did, he said we could go." Harry said softly.
"Um, alone." He added, making both James and Mrs Potter blink.
"Cool!" James gushed, looking beyond excited before spotting his mother face.
She eyed the library door with a dangerous look on her face.
"Go and get what you need to take with you, we'll be leaving shortly." She said before entering the kitchen stiffly.
"I think mum's a bit cross at dad again." James said, making Harry nod.
"I wonder what he's doing in there." He said, eyeing the door curiously.
"He had loads of books on warding and protection charms out. So I'm guessing he's still working on that." Harry said, making James groan.
"Oh no! Not again!" He groaned, making Harry nod in agreement.
Mr Potter had gotten very interested in protecting the house, whilst they'd been at school, it seemed.
Both James and Harry had been subjected to a bit of prodding and poking before being allowed to enter the house, as they'd returned from Hogwarts.
They'd been scared half to death, on the second day back, when one of James Zonko products had set of an alarm. Harry was sure his ears were still ringing from that one.
And there was the time when Harry had left the garden, to get the ball James had thrown out and the fence had shot up from the ground with Harry dangling stuck at the top. He still had bruises around his neck from that experience.
Things had been very tense between their parents since that happened and Mr Potter had taken to hiding away in the library to work out all the little kinks in the system.
"Are you boys ready? Good, come on then!" Mrs Potter said, urging them out of the house. She attempted to apparate them out and cursed when nothing happened. Harry quickly nudged James, before the boy had a chance to point out the use of swear word to his mother, and gave him a look of warning.
" Of all the…come on boys!" She bit out, before stalking towards the gate at the bottom of the garden.
"Hands!" She ordered before they all disappeared with a loud crack.
They appeared outside Gringotts and Mrs Potter took a few deep breaths before eyeing them apologetically.
"I'm sorry boys, your father is just getting on my nerves at the moment. What do you say to having dinner here after doing some shopping?" She asked, sounding tired.
"That sounds nice." Harry answered carefully, when it became apparent that James wasn't going to open his mouth. She nodded gratefully and they soon found themselves in Zonkos with a beaming James.
"Can I get the new prank pack?" James pleaded, eyeing his mother with astonishment, when she nodded.
"Sure darling." She said, fiddling with a pack of exploding cockroaches. James eyed Harry worriedly and slowly added the pack to their basket.
"Do you think she'll be ok?" James whispered, as they waited for her to pay for his products.
"She allowed me to buy more stuff today, than all of last year put together." He pointed out, biting his lip hard.
"I think they need to work it out by themselves, but if you were to prank him she might feel better." Harry said thoughtfully, making James nod slowly.
"The bookstore next I imagine?" Mrs Potter asked, ruffling Harry's hair softly before handing James his bulging bag.
"Thank you mum." James said, before giving her a quick hug. She sniffed once and smiled at them before leading the way out of the shop.
Harry bought a book on dragons as it had caught his eye and another about werewolves.
There seemed to be a large number of new books on the subject of werewolves, everything from political standpoints to biographies. It was the first time Harry actually saw the difference Belby's work had done. Sure he'd seen the odd comment here and there in the prophet but the news hadn't really gotten that big.
Harry's name had been kept secret, on the orders of Mr and Mrs Potter who thought that it would be too much, too soon. Harry didn't mind either way, as long as Remus got the potion and his share of the money went to others who needed the help.
"Let's go and get some food boys." Mrs Potter suggested.
It felt odd knowing that they had left Mr Potter home alone, whilst they were here getting ready to go to a restaurant.
"Dad!" James exclaimed, spotting Mr Potter seated at a table in the restaurant they'd just entered.
"I'm sorry." Mr Potter said, standing up.
"I just get so focused on the wards and…" He sighed, and shook his head.
"No more work for a while, I promise." He said eyeing them all.
"I don't mind you getting a hobby and finding enjoyment, but you need to find a balance darling." Mrs Potter said softly.
"And sending the boys to Diagon Alley on their own, is not something I want you to do again." She added, making him blink.
"I didn't…did I?" He asked, looking surprised at Harry's nod.
"You said it would be a good idea." Harry defended himself, when Mr Potter continued to eye him in disbelief.
"Oh, dear. I guess I have been somewhat absentminded lately." Mr Potter agreed, making his wife snort.
"Only a little." She pointed out sarcastically, before seating herself at the table.
"Can I have some lobster?" James asked, having opened his menu, making both his parents turn in their seats. He sat trying to get his spoon to balance on his finger and nearly cracked his plate when it fell down with a loud bang. Several of the other dinners turned in their seats at the sound and Mrs Potter turned and glared at her husband.
"Can you imagine, what he would have gotten himself into if they'd left on their own?" she asked him softly, making him shudder. He mouthed a sorry, before picking up his own menu.
"That's a lobster James." Harry said, pointing at a fish tank in the centre of the restaurant.
James eyed the grey creatures within, with a look of distaste on his face.
"Ew! I don't want that! Can I have some of the Calamari thing instead?" He asked, reading from the menu again.
Harry smiled wickedly.
"Yes you really should try that!" He suggested, making James frown.
"No, you look way too happy. I'll just have some pasta and meat sauce." James finally decided, after a moment of thoughtfully observing Harry's face, making Harry sigh in disappointment.
"I think you would have liked squid." Harry said, reading his own menu.
James made a gagging noise and eyed him crossly.
"You wouldn't have let me actually eat it would you? That's gross!" James exclaimed making Harry snigger.
"I know, but the look on your face as you tasted it, would have been so worth it." Harry said, sticking his tongue out in answer to James's.
"Boys." Mrs Potter chided softly.
James kicked him under the table and Harry kicked back, making Mr Potter yelp. Both boys eyed him apologetically before busying themselves with their napkins.
A week later saw a much improved mood in the Potter home. Mr Potter had taken to sitting in the library for a few hours after breakfast and then spending the rest of the time with the family.
There had been some discussions about the upcoming party, which both Harry and James were excited about. They'd received word back on who was coming and Mr Potter had returned the bouncy castle he'd ordered. James and Harry had been in agreement that it didn't fit in at a party for two twelve year old boys.
They had agreed to two of his party games, after Harry had been brought up to speed on magical games.
He was rather looking forwards to the wizarding version of clean-your-room. He'd never been allowed to join in on any of Dudley's party games and this one had seemed fun, even without magic.
The week before the party arrived quicker than any of the boys could have guessed and the day for Remus arrival had appeared. James was just as excited as Harry, as he'd been promised to go to Frank Longbottom's house for the week as soon as Remus arrived.
"Hi Remus! Can I go now mum?" James asked, as soon as Remus arrived through the floo. Remus eyed him strangely but let it go at Harry's head shake.
"James Potter! Is that any way to greet a friend?" his mother scolded at once, making his shoulders droop.
"Hi Remus, nice to see you." James greeted, dejectedly. Harry couldn't help but laugh at his tone and had to bite his lip hard, at the chagrined look he got from their mum.
"Oh go on! But I want a hug before you disappear on me." Mrs Potter said, smiling into his hair.
"You have a nice week now and be good!" She added, handing him his bag of clothes. He smiled winningly at her and she frowned.
"Behave James! I'll hear if you don't." She warned, making him nod quickly.
"I brought all my Zonko stuff, it's going to be great. See you before the party!" James said to Harry and Remus, before disappearing in a flash of fire in the floo.
"That boy!" Mrs Potter grumbled, before turning towards Harry and Remus.
"Hello dear, how has your summer been so far?" She asked Remus, who gave her a nervous smile.
"It's been really good thank you, Mrs Potter." He answered, making her smile.
"Oh please, call me Dorea. Do you boys want some lemonade?" She asked making them nod.
"Do you want to go out to the garden?" Harry asked, making Remus smile.
They brought out blankets and had a little picnic, in the shade from one of the trees.
"And I was just hanging there! James went into a panic and then mum came out. Dad was in so much trouble after that one." Harry said, smiling as he retold the events from his summer so far.
"But everything is fine now right? I'm not going to get stuck somewhere or have alarm bells blearing at me, right?" Remus asked, looking a bit apprehensive. Harry laughed and reassured the other boy that things were back to normal. Well mostly.
"So what do you want to do?" Harry asked, making Remus shrug.
"I don't know, do you have any plans?" Remus asked, making Harry shrug in return.
"Well I do want to make a map of Hogwarts. James and Sirius never did finish theirs." Harry said, making Remus nod excitedly.
"We could do that!" He said, sitting up straighter.
"Great, I have some books that might help us and I also made some notes on what I think should be on the map." Harry said, leaning closer to Remus.
"We'll make it a secret map and it'll have everyone in Hogwarts on it." He added, in a whisper. Remus looked suitably impressed.
That evening they sat on the floor in Harry's room going through the notes he'd made. Remus was even more excited than Harry about the map and made some good suggestions on where to find good charms to place on it.
Mr Potter brought them a midnight snack, before going to bed himself, and the two boys sat giggling long into the night, planning out the best map ever.
The week went by fast and before they knew it James came stumbling out of the floo.
"I had so much fun!" He said in the way of greeting, beaming at them.
"We did too!" Harry said, making James roll his eyes.
"Yeah right! I bet you read books and made loads of notes." He guessed, snorting at the twin looks of surprise he received.
"I knew you would." He added, laughing at Harry's glare.
"We went flying too, and we helped dad pack up the treasure for the party." Harry protested, making James's eyes light up.
"You've seen the treasure? What is it?" James demanded, eyeing Harry pleadingly.
"Well, Zonko, frogs and galleons should give you a hint." Harry said, making James beam.
"I love the treasure hunt. Everyone gets something and if you don't like it, you just swap." James said, kicking his bag to the side.
"You want to play something?" He asked, eyeing them expectantly.
"Let's go outside, dad finished the preparations. It looks great!" Harry suggested, watching as James tore off towards the kitchen.
"We didn't just read all the time right?" Harry asked Remus who shrugged.
"I had fun and the map is coming along nicely." Remus answered, making Harry nod slowly. He was turning into a book worm and he didn't mind, it was actually rather fun learning new stuff. Who would have thought?
"This is so cool!" James called from outside, making the other two boys go and join him.
The next day all three of them were ready far too early, which meant they had to suffer the agony of waiting for everyone to arrive much longer. They sat in the lounge as that's where the floo would let people in.
"Are they coming yet?" James asked for the hundredth time, making everyone sigh.
The doorbell ringing made James fly out of the room at rocket speed.
"It's Lily and Sev!" James called, making Harry smile as he followed at a more sedate pace.
"Happy birthday!" Lily called, at the sight of Harry.
"Hi Remus." She added. Severus gave Harry a nod and handed him a gift.
"It's from both of us." He said when Harry accepted it. Lily handed one to James, who smiled brightly.
"You didn't get anything on your birthday so here." She said, eyeing his gleeful face with a smile.
The floo activated in the other room and James abandoned everyone and everything as he sped off to see who'd arrived.
"Hello there, you must be Harry, happy birthday!" Harry eyed the tall man standing behind Lily and smiled nervously.
"Hi, yes. Er... I mean thank you." He mumbled, feeling himself colour under the amused gaze of his maternal grandfather.
"Please come in sir." He added, breathing a sigh of relief at the arrival of his mum.
"Hello, you must be Mr Evans, please do come in. Hello children, Harry will show you to the garden." Mrs Potter said, making Harry lead the way outside.
"Hi Harry!" Sirius called, as James led him and a second boy out into the garden.
"Hi!" Harry greeted, before eyeing Sirius younger brother, who looked slightly unwilling to be there.
"This is my brother Reg." Sirius introduced, looking equally unwilling to have the boy there.
"Hi, I'm Harry. This is Remus, Lily and Severus." Harry greeted.
Regulus sneered in response.
"I'm going to be a Slytherin." He announced, giving them all a defiant stare.
"That's nice, Sev is a Slytherin too, so if you have any questions just ask him." Harry said, smiling at the now unsure Regulus.
"You hang out with Slytherin's? I thought you didn't hang out with blood purists." Regulus said, eyeing Sirius pointedly.
"Whatever, why don't you go and play on your own." Sirius said, rolling his eyes at his brother.
"Frank! Come on over!" James called at the arrival of another guest.
"Alice!" Lily called out a moment later, running up to hug her friend.
"Happy birthday!" Alice greeted, handing James and Harry a present each. Mr Potter motioned for the presents to be placed at one of the tables, to be opened later.
"We're only missing Peter and then we can start the games." James said, looking around.
"Are you really a Slytherin?" Reg asked Severus suspiciously. Severus nodded once and then glared at Harry, who smiled at the sight of the other boy being hit with a barrage of questions from the younger boy.
"You can come to my party." Reg offered, making Severus glare once more at Harry.
"They're coming and Lucius Malfoy is going to come. He's a Slytherin too." Reg motioned for Harry and James with distaste and eyed Severus speculatively, to see if the boy would stick with the story of being in Slytherin house.
"Oh is Lucius coming too? Oh well, I guess it will be fine, as long as he doesn't give any more pop quizzes." Harry said, having snuck up on the two boys.
"You know Lucius?" Reg asked sharply.
"Harry pretty much lives down with us in the common room and Lucius is tutoring us both." He said, giving Harry a pointed look.
"Well I want to say hello to…er…Alice." Severus said before leaving the younger boy with Harry.
"Oy, go and play with a stick or something." Sirius called, making Regulus glare at his older brother.
"Stop harassing my guest." Harry called back to Sirius, who eyed him with surprise.
"But he's annoying!" He defended himself.
"So are you!" Harry pointed out, before rolling his eyes and joining Remus and the girls.
Sirius eyed him with a look of insult and gave his brother a glare.
Regulus looked between his brother and Harry and slowly moved closer to the birthday boy, with an unreadable look on his face.
"Peter! Peter is here!" James cheered, making the boy in question stumble slightly as he came out of the house with his mother.
"Oh, er…hi everyone!" He greeted, blushing from being in the centre of all the attention. His mother beamed at them all and pushed him into the crowd.
"Right then, shall we begin with a game now that everyone is here?" Mr Potter asked, making James and Sirius cheer loudly.
"Does everyone know how to clean their room? Good! Two teams then!" He called, watching in bemusement as the children divided pretty evenly into two teams.
Harry had Remus and Severus attaching themselves to his side, before the words teams had left his father's mouth. Lily and Regulus joined him as well, fairly quickly leaving James with the rest. Alice looked slightly apprehensive about being on James and Sirius team. But as Peter joined her, she looked a bit happier.
"Right, rules! Whichever team catches the most socks and manage to keep them in their basket wins." Mr Potter instructed, bringing his wand out.
"Ready, set and go!" He called, making socks shoot out of the two baskets standing on the lawn.
Lily grabbed hold of Severus arm and took a step backwards as the socks launched into the air. Severus looked very pleased with the situation, until he noticed Harry's stare, at which point he started blushing.
"Ah! It's tickling me! Help!" Lily called, letting go of Severus arm and grabbing hold of the sock attacking her.
"Put it in the basket!" Remus suggested, making her beam.
"I caught the first sock!" She called out in triumph, making the boys around her act. Soon the garden was full of children climbing over each other in their hunt for socks. Lily had taken over as basket guard as the socks tried to escape. And she was so out of breath from laughing that she couldn't stand up.
Peter was stuck under one of the tables, being tickled and begging for mercy. Regulus and Severus were working together, pursuing socks stealthily. James and Sirius were more likely to attack others than hunt for the socks, Remus had already lost his own socks to the two boys after being pushed to the ground.
The adults too could be heard laughing, as they were standing on the side-line overseeing the game.
When Mr Potter finally called it an end, Harry collapsed onto the ground next to Lily, who couldn't stop hiccupping. He noticed that most of the other guys were on the ground breathing heavily.
"Well! That was very impressive, I must say. Having counted the socks, I hereby announce that Harry's team are the victors." Mr Potter called, making Harry wave his hand tiredly in victory. James who sat holding his head in his hands smiled despite losing.
"But we got Remus socks." He announced happily.
"And shoes." Sirius added, making Remus scowl half-heartedly.
"Drinks and cakes!" Mrs Potter announced, looking awed as all the children stood up and hurried towards the table.
"Where do they get the energy from?" She mumbled, summoning the cakes.
"I knew you'd get two cakes!" Sirius called as she placed them on the table, before he too joined in with the singing of Happy Birthday.
After having had refreshments, they had a game of treasure hunt. Where Lily found a bag of dung bombs and James found a galleon. Regulus looked happy with his chocolate frog as Sirius found a pink egg.
"What do I do with it?" He muttered, turning the egg round in his hand.
"Put it in a glass of water tonight and you'll see." Harry said ominously, making the other boy grin hopefully.
When it was time for the party to end a general moan of disappointment went out and Mr Potter laughed.
"I'm beat from just having watched you guys, I can't believe you'd want to do any more activities." He said, making them all eye him as if he was mad.
"I could go on all night!" James announced, getting many nods in agreement.
Harry would laugh at his brother's words later, as James fell asleep over the kitchen table whilst reading his present from Lily and Sev.
The book of muggle pranks had been a perfect gift for him and Harry loved his new quill and non-smudging ink.
All in all, it was the best party Harry had ever been to. He could hardly wait for Sirius birthday party, which was in two weeks time.
Before that they had Regulus getting-his-Hogwarts-letter party next week, which was sure to be a hit with Malfoy there...
The summer felt like an endless party.
So, what do you think? Like? It's a bit fluffy but it's only the first chapter…and it is a birthday party! They're supposed to be fluffy: )
Looking forwards to hearing what you think. Many thanks, Mina