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SIYE Time:16:50 on 23rd May 2017


Identity Crisis
By HPmum2014

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Category: Post-Hogwarts
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, James Potter
Genres: Angst, Comedy, Crossover, Drama, Fluff, General, Humor
Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 13
Summary: James loved his dad, but sometimes, he hated Harry Potter
Hitcount: Story Total: 4185
Awards: View Trophy Room


Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.



Author's Notes:
This is a part of my 'The Potters' series, but can stand alone.




ChapterPrinter


“Harry — achoo, are you-ah, ah, ahchoo, sure about this?” rasped Ginny Potter to her husband.

“It'll be fine, Gin. James used to love coming with me to the office when he was little. Besides, you're sick, and amazingly, there's no-one else available to look after him.”

“I know but — ahchoo — what will he do — cough, cough — while you're in meeting and things?” sputtered Ginny.

“Mum, I'm thirsty,” cried Lily, from her room.

“Me too, Mum,” rasped Al, with a cough.

“He'll be fine. Hopefully the meeting won't take long, and I can come home and look after you all. I really hate to leave you, but, well, I've got a couple of meetings scheduled, and the new recruits start today.”

“I know. Have you,” cough, cough, “told James about this?” asked Ginny.

Harry nodded. “He seemed...okay with it,” he assured his wife.

In truth, James hadn't wanted to go. In fact, lately, he didn't seem to want to do anything with Harry anymore. He was nine, nearly ten. Hogwarts was just around the corner for his first-born, realised Harry.

“Why don't you go have a quick shower before I leave for work? I'll get Al and Lily sorted, and get James ready,” suggested Harry.

“Thank you, love,” said Ginny, gratefully. She got out of bed and headed for the ensuite bathroom.

Harry cast a cleansing charm on the sheets and made the bed, turning down Ginny's side for her.

He popped his head into James's messy bedroom. “Leaving in twenty minutes, James.”

James just grunted from under the covers.

Al and Lily were still in their beds too, their faces flushed. They asked their dad for juice, but declined any toast.

He brought them juice, but told them they had to have a dose of Pepper-Up Potion first. They screwed up their nose at the taste, but drank it quickly. They thanked their dad, who headed back to see Ginny.

He passed James's room again. There was no sign that James had moved. “Leaving in ten minutes, James.” He didn't wait to hear any grunts this time.

Ginny looked better after her shower. “Oh, that feels much better. Thanks, love,” she said.

Harry handed her a dose of Pepper-up Potion as well. She drank it, and climbed into bed. “I can't believe that there's no-one to look after James. Bill and Fleur are away. Mum's looking after Percy, Audrey and their two, while Dad is helping Angelina with Freddie and Roxie while Angelina opens WWW. With Ron and George away, Hermione is looking after her two, who I think got sick from our two. I just can't believe we're all sick!” said Ginny, in between coughs.

“Well, the kids are always together, no wonder they've all come down with it,” said Harry.

“Except James,” said Ginny. “Is he ready to go?”

“Oh yeah, he can't wait,” lied Harry.

“Harry,” drawled Ginny, in a disbelieving voice. Harry shrugged.

“What can I say? For some reason, he doesn't want to be around me. Maybe we can talk a bit today?” said Harry.

“Harry, James loves you. I think he just got really hurt, with what happened with Jackson,” said Ginny.

James had met Jackson at his magical primary school. Up till then, James had considered his cousin Freddie his best friend, and they always hung out. Then James met Jackson, and started hanging out with him at school. They'd become best friends, and James had even invited his new friend to his house for a sleepover.

Harry and Ginny had always encouraged friendships for their children, and they'd tended to be the children of parents they knew. Jackson, however, was someone new. Still, they had spoken to his parents, and they'd seemed okay. So they had said yes to the sleepover.

Unfortunately, Jackson had been so totally in awe of meeting his hero, Harry Potter, that he'd paid no attention to James. Harry, thinking that he was being nice to his son's friend, had encouraged him, which made matters worse. Jackson nearly tripped over every word that Harry said, agreeing with him about everything. Even Al and Lily thought there was something strange about him, and Lily had asked if he came to play with James or Dad.

James got more and more sullen throughout their dinner and by the time the boys were ready for bed, he'd had enough.

“I can't believe I'm sleeping in Harry Potter's house,” exclaimed the boy, not for the first time. “You're so lucky, James, that Harry Potter is your dad.”

“Yeah, well, I wish he wasn't,” muttered James, unaware that Harry was at the door, coming to wish the boys a goodnight.

“Lights out boys. Goodnight, Jackson, James,” said a hurt Harry, trying to keep a small smile on his face.

Jackson sat up. “Goodnight, Mr Potter. Thanks again for letting me sleep here. That was the best dinner I ever ate. Your house is lovely. I wished I lived here all the time,” he gushed.

“Suck up,” he thought he heard James say.

“James,” said Harry, in a warning tone. James turned on to his other side, facing away from his dad.

The next day, Jackson couldn't leave soon enough for James. He continued following Harry around, and telling Ginny that her breakfast was the “Best breakfast he'd ever had.” James just rolled his eyes.


So James was relieved when Jackson finally left. When he went to school on Monday, he heard Jackson telling the other kids what it was like being in Harry Potter's house. How Harry had been so nice to him. How Jackson was sure that he would make a better son for Harry Potter than James, who had been so mean to him.

James had heard this, and a red rage came over him. He ran at Jackson, knocking him over. Jackson had got up and taunted him. So James had clenched his fist and punched him. Freddie pulled James off Jackson, and the teacher arrived, sending the pair to the office. The parents arrived; Ginny for James. James had gone home with his mother, to 'think about his actions'.

He'd got a stern talking to from both his parents that night. He'd gone to his room directly after tea. He lay there, thinking. He was aware, to a degree, that his dad was someone important in the wizarding world. Dad seemed to know everybody, and they all knew him. People wanted to shake his hand, or get him to sign his name on stuff. James didn't get it.

He loved his dad, but he hated Harry Potter. Which didn't make sense, because that's who his dad was.

Harry Potter was some amazing wizard who could do anything. He defeated the world's worst wizard in a huge battle, so James heard. Harry Potter was ten feet tall, the world's best flier, could control snakes by speaking their language, had giants for friends, and elves, goblins and centaurs who helped him to fight.

His dad still stumbled out of the Floo when they went to the Burrow to visit Nan and Grandpa. His dad was shorter than most of his uncles. His mum would tell his dad off for not hanging up his cloak, and his dad would simply say “yes, dear.” His dad was a good flier, who had played seeker at Hogwarts, but his mum was better; she was a Harpy's champion. His dad was happy to goof around with James and Al, camping in the back yard, or have a tea party with silly Lily and her dolls.

This Harry Potter always seemed to attend Ministry functions, dressed up like he was going to some fancy party. He was always meeting important people, some who came just to meet him. He often met with the Minister for Magic, and even the Muggle Prime Minister. He was often called to give his advice with the headmistress and professors at Hogwarts. Harry Potter took his dad away from home. From him.

His dad mostly had his uncles for friends. Well, except for Uncle Neville. Or Uncles Seamus and Dean. Then there was Kingsley, who always had a sweet for James, when he used to visit his dad at work. Aunt Minnie was the oldest person James knew, but she just laughed when he told her that. And Hagrid always some interesting stories to tell the Potter kids when he came to visit them.

Harry knocked loudly on James's door. “It's time to go, James. NOW!”

James shrugged the covers off. “I'm ready,” he said, grabbing his backpack.

“Gin, love, we're going. Owl if you need anything. We'll be home as soon as we can. Bye, Lil, Al,” called Harry.

“Bye Dad. Bye, James,” called Al, followed by a coughing fit.

“Bye Daddy, bye Jamie,” called Lily. James scowled. He was nearly ten; when was Lily going to learn he was nearly a man? Jamie was such a baby name.

Ginny shuffled out, smoothing down Harry's collar. “James, please be good at your dad's work.”

“Jeez, Mum,” scowled James.

“James,” warned Harry. “Love, I'm sure everything will be fine. Come on, James. Bye, love,” he said, leaning over to kiss Ginny.

She broke out in a coughing fit, and he pulled back. She shooed them away, smiling regretfully at him. She waved to James, as she went to check on Al and Lily.

Harry and James went to the Floo. Harry handed James some green powder. “Take a handful and say 'Ministry of Magic'. You'll arrive in the Atrium on level eight. Wait for me, okay?”

James nodded, and took a handful of floo powder. “Ministry of Magic,” he called, and was whisked away.

He stumbled out of the Floo, and moved aside so his dad could get through. He looked around in wonder; so many wizards and witches were arriving for work. James felt excited, a feeling he always used to get when he would visit his dad when he was younger.

He heard his dad exit the Floo behind him, and he felt his hand on his shoulder. “All right, we're heading for the-”

“Second level. I know, Dad,” said James, as they walked off.

“Mornin' Mr P,” said a man, tipping his hat. “'Ere's your paper.”

“Thanks, Stan. How's the family?” asked Harry, handing over a knut.

“All good, thanks for askin'. The little 'un turns four next week. Time goes by too quickly,” quipped the man.

“I know what you mean. This here is my eldest, James. He's heading for Hogwarts in another year or so,” said Harry, placing his arm on James's shoulder.

“Well, now, tis a pleasure to be meeting you, young Mr P. Well, I better be letting you men get on your way. I'll be seeing you tomorrow. Best wishes to your missus,” he nodded, then turned around to yell, “Daily Prophet here! Get your Daily Prophet here!”

“Dad, who was that?” asked James, as they headed for the elevator.

“His name is Stan Shunpike. He used to drive the Knight Bus; it's where I first met him. He, er, had some trouble during the war, and he couldn't do that job anymore. He likes to be around people, so when I heard that this job was available I suggested him for it. Nice bloke. Now, hold on tight.”

“Second level, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, also including the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office, and the Wizenmagot Administration Services, ” said the elevator welcome witch. “Have a good day,” she said as witches and wizards got out.

“Thank you,” said James, “you too.”

The lady blinked. Usually, people just hopped on and off her elevator. Nobody ever spoke to her. James smiled at her and he waved. She smiled back. James thought she had a friendly face. The doors shut, and she headed off to the next level.

Many witches and wizards greeted Harry as he arrived, and looked curiously at James. Harry ushered James into his office and shut the door.

“Good morning, Mr Potter,” breathed a female voice.

Harry and James turned to see a young witch seated at his secretary's desk. Her top was low cut, and she was showing an impressive amount of cleavage. Her make-up was quite heavy for day-time and she was staring at Harry like Jackson had; with stars in her eyes. James hated her instantly.

“Who are you? Where's Mary?” asked Harry, startled.

“Mary called in sick. I'm your temp, my name is Ginger,” breathed the witch.

Harry sighed. Mary had called in sick at least two days of every week for the last month. He really needed to find a competent secretary, and he knew this Ginger wasn't it. Merlin knew what Ginny would say if she saw her.

“And who's this cutey pie?” gushed Ginger, looking at James.

“My son, James,” said Harry.

“Well now, aren't you as handsome as your daddy,” gushed Ginger.

“My mum thinks so,” agreed James, in a not very friendly voice.

Harry chuckled, steering James into his office. “Please send in my reports,” he called out to Ginger.

Harry conjured up a chair, and cleared a space for James at the end of his desk. “Hear you go, son.”

Ginger came in, leaning over and placing the reports on Harry's desk. “Is there anything I can do for you, Mr Potter?” she breathed huskily.

Harry didn't look up at her as he went through his mail. “What meetings do I have scheduled for today?”

Ginger looked at her notepad. “Your meeting with the Minister for Magic has been moved forward to nine-thirty, and then you're due to speak to the new recruits. You have a meeting with the Minister for Trades, scheduled for three this afternoon. Mrs Hermione Weasley has cancelled your lunch meeting, as she is home sick today. That's it.”

“Please owl the Minister for Trades, see if we can move his meeting forward, preferably before lunch. He likes some tea and cake, so please make sure that will be on hand. I'd like to leave early today, if nothing urgent comes up.”

“Big date?” asked Ginger, smiling suggestively.

“No, my wife and two youngest children are sick. I'd like to be home with them,” said Harry, unpacking his briefcase.

“That's so sweet,” said Ginger, in a syrupy tone. James knew she didn't mean it.

“James, would you like a drink, or something to eat?” asked Harry, settling into his chair.

James shrugged. “Juice would be nice.”

“Ginger, a juice for James, and I'll have a coffee, white with one, please. Then you can get on with your tasks,” said Harry.

“Yes, Mr Potter,” said Ginger, bowing as she left.

James smirked, and Harry shot him a look. James unpacked his back pack, taking out his books.

“What did you bring?” asked Harry.

“I have to draw a picture of someone important in my family for school,” said James, getting out his magical markers.

“Oh? Who did you draw?” asked Harry.

“I was gonna draw Uncle Charlie and his dragons, but I did him last time. So I drew Uncle George at WWW, I just gotta finish it. See?” James held it up for Harry.

“Love the fireworks,” said Harry. “Good job.”

Ginger came back, placing James's juice on the desk. “I'll be at my desk if you need me for anything else,” she breathed in Harry's ear as she leaned over to place his coffee on his desk, giving him a good look at her chest.

Harry froze. She sashayed out. Harry looked at James, who looked at Harry. “Mum's heaps prettier than she is,”declared James.

Harry sighed. “Yes, son, she is. Now, let's get some work done, shall we?”

They worked quietly together. Every now and then, an owl would come in, and Harry would deal with the note. James asked him questions from time to time, and Harry answered. Finally it was time for Harry to go to his meeting with Kingsley.

“James, the meeting should go for half an hour or so. Please, just stay in here. I'll be back as soon as I can, and we'll go have an early lunch, okay?”

“Okay, Dad,” said James, concentrating on his colouring.

Harry left. James hopped into his Dad's chair, twirling around and around. It was fun. Then he realised he had to go to the toilet. He went outside, and heard Ginger talking to someone.

“-yes, Harry Potter. He couldn't keep his eyes off me,” she giggled.

James frowned. Giggling girls annoyed him. He had loads of girl cousins, and when they got together, it's all they did.

“I need to go to the loo, can you tell me where it is, please?” asked James. Ginger waved him away, and kept talking.

He decided to go into the hall, and see if he could find the loo himself. As he wandered down, the elevator opened, and James saw the friendly lady from earlier. She was alone. She smiled at him. “Hello, are you coming in?” she asked.

James shrugged. “Please, can you tell me where the loo is?”

The lady smiled sympathetically. “Sure honey, it's down the hall, second door on the right.”

“Thank you...?”

“Nancy. My name is Nancy. Let me know if you need anything else, I'm up on this level a lot.”

“Is that what you do all day? Take people to the right level?” asked James.

Nancy nodded. “You must know everyone in the whole Ministry,” said James, looking impressed

Nancy chuckled. “You know, I think I do. I best be off. I'll see you later.”

“Bye Nancy,” called James.

He left to find the toilet, and after finishing there, went back to his dad's office. Ginger was still talking to someone. “-got one of his brats with him today. I had to get him juice...”

James decided to go find something fun to do. He wandered back to the elevator, and sure enough, within minutes, Nancy was back. James hopped in. “What level would you like to go to?” she asked him.

“Can I just ride with you for a bit?” asked James. He knew Auntie Hermione and Uncle Percy weren't at work today, as they were home, sick.

“Does somebody know you're here?”asked Nancy, doubtfully. James nodded. “I told Ginger I was going to the loo.”

“Hmm, that young witch needs a...good day, Minister. What level, sir?” asked Nancy.

“Level Three please, Nancy. And who is this young man?” asked the Minister.

“I'm James, Nancy's assistant,” said James, holding out his hand. “Hello.”

The Minister chuckled, and shook James's hand. “A pleasure. Ah, here we are. Thank you Nancy, James.”

“Good day, sir,” said Nancy.

The door shut, and they whizzed away. “Is there lots of Ministers here, Nancy?” asked James.

“Oh my, yes,” said Nancy.

“My dad is in a meeting with the Minister for Magic, and then he has a meeting with the Minister for Trades, whatever that means.”

“Well now, the Minister for Trades is on this level, level five,” said Nancy.

“Ginger was supposed to change the meeting time, I wonder if she did it? Dad wanted it earlier, so we could leave to look after Mum, Al and Lily,” mused James.

Nancy hesitated. “Maybe we should go check. The office is just there. You stay here, I'll pop in and see, I know the secretary there.”

Nancy was back in minutes. “Right, the meeting is now set for twelve-thirty. Ginger hadn't changed it.”

James looked at her. “Thanks, Nancy. I wish you were Dad's secretary, instead of Ginger.”

“I trained to be a secretary, but there wasn't any jobs available, except this one. I'll probably be doing this job forever,” sighed Nancy. “Well, better be off.”

They got back in the elevator, and went down to the ground level. A familiar face got into the elevator. “Aunty Gwen,” cried James.

“James! What are you doing here? Oh, level six, please.”

“Certainly, Miss Jones. Congratulations on a great victory last weekend,”said Nancy.

“Thank you. James, why are you here?” asked Gwenog Jones, current coach of the Holyhead Harpies.

“Mum, Al and Lily are sick, so I came to work with Dad today. He's in a meeting, so I'm helping Nancy. She knows everyone,” said James, smiling at his new friend.

“Level six, Department of Magical Games and Sports,” announced Nancy.

“Tell your Mum I said hi. I'll send over some tickets for our next game. Bye James. Bye Nancy.”

“Have a good day, Miss Jones,” said Nancy. The door shut. “I meet so many famous people, and here you are, calling her Aunty Gwen

James shrugged. “That's how I've always known her.”

“I suppose it's like that with your dad. Speaking of, you probably should go back, he'll be worried about you.”

“Okay,” agreed James. He was thinking about what Nancy had said.

They went back to level two, with James talking to Nancy about his family. “-and that's why I had to come to work with my dad today.”

“Lucky you didn't get sick too,” said Nancy. “Oh, here we are, level two. Go on now, I might see you later. You made a very good assistant, James, thank you.”

“Bye Nancy,” said James, heading off to his Dad's office.

He passed a room, with a lot of men in there. They were all wearing cloaks like his dad, so he guessed they must all be Aurors too. His dad was at the front, and all the men were listening to him intently as he talked. James watched his dad for awhile.

Ginger wasn't in the office when he got back. James sat and finished his colouring, then packed it away. He took a note from an owl, meant for his dad. He stroked it, and gave it some owl treats he found in his dad's desk. Soon, he got bored.

He went back out of his dad's office, but Ginger still wasn't there. He went into the hall, and went to see if his dad was still in the meeting with all the Aurors.

“Well hello, there, James”, boomed a voice.

James turned around. He saw the Minister for Magic with an entourage. “Hiya Kinglsey,” he greeted.

Some of the witches and wizards gasped at James's familiarity with the Minister for Magic, but Kingsley just chuckled. “What brings you to the Ministry today, young James?”

“Mum, Al and Lily are sick, so I came with Dad. I thouht he was in a meeting with you, but I just saw him talking to some other Aurors,” said James.

“Yes, your dad's talking to the new Auror recruits. That might be you, in a few years,” said Kingsley, walking James back to Harry's office.

“Me?” asked James. He had liked to pretend he was an Auror like his dad when he was little, but he hadn't given it much thought since he was about seven, and still a kid.

“Sure, why not? Here we are,” said Kingsley, walking into Harry's office.

To James's surprise, Nancy was there. “I just brought up a small plate of cakes. I know which one the Minister for Trades likes the best. Oh, good morning, Minister. Jam tart?” asked Nancy, offering Kingsley a cake.

“I see you know which ones are my favourite, too. That's the sign of a good secretary,” said Kingsley.

Harry appeared at the door. “Kingsley, hello again. James, everything all right? Hello, Nancy. What's all this?”

“Your meeting with the Minister for Trades has been moved forward to twelve-thirty. I took the liberty of ordering a plate of sandwiches and cakes, and there's a pot of English Breakfast tea brewing, it's his favourite. I placed a warming charm on it. I've set it all up in your office. Oh, and I ordered a sandwich for you too, James.”

“That's some secretary you've got there, Harry. Once you've had your meeting, why don't you go home to Ginny and the kids. Looks like Nancy here has got it all covered,” said Kingsley.

“Sure, thanks Kingsley,” said Harry.

“Bye, Kingsley,” called James.

Harry turned to Nancy. “How did you-why did you-where's Ginger?”

James shrugged. “I went to the loo, and haven't seen her since.”

“I need to get back to the elevator. I just popped up on my break to bring these up. The Minister should be on his way. I'll whizz up and get him.” Nancy hurried away.

“Nancy changed your appointment, cos Ginger forgot. She's got the coolest job here, Dad, and she knows everybody,” said James, munching on the sandwich Nancy had brought for him.

Just then Ginger came into the office. “Oh!” she said, when she saw the two Potter men in the outer office. “Hi.”

“Ginger, where have you been?” asked Harry, sternly.

“I broke a nail. I just popped out to get it fixed,”smiled Ginger, holding it up for them to see.

“I see. Did you change the appointment for the Minister for Trades, like I asked?”

“Huh?” asked Ginger, looking confused.

“Ginger, you can have the rest of the day off,” said Harry, shaking his head.

“Really?” asked Ginger, perking up. “Thanks,” she said, getting her purse.

“In fact, you won't need to come back. Ever. James, my office,” said Harry, going into it and holding the door open for his son. He shut the door behind them.

“The Minister for Trades should be here soon. Then we'll go home. But I'd like to speak to Nancy before we go. Would you go and tell her, please? You may ride with her on the elevator while I take this meeting, if you like.”

“Nancy's not in trouble, is she? Cos she was just trying to help. You know, Dad, she should be your secretary, she's way better than Ginger.”

“No, she's not in any trouble. Ah, there's the Minister. Run along now, and don't forget to stay with Nancy.”

“Okay Dad. Hello Minister, my dad's waiting for you,” said James, extending his arm to let the Minister in. He shut the door behind him.

“Merlin, Harry, he really is the perfect mix of you and Ginny, isn't he?” chuckled Ernie MacMillan.

“That he is, Ernie. Now, what news do you have from Romania?” asked Harry, handing him the plate of sandwiches and cakes.

Half an hour later, Ernie came out. A department memo went out from Harry's office ten minutes later. James then returned with a nervous looking Nancy.

“You wanted to see me, Mr Potter?” she asked.

“Have a seat please, Nancy. James, please wait outside, and do not go wandering. Once I'm done here, we'll be heading home.”

James waited, wondering if he had gotten Nancy in trouble. Ten minutes later, she came out sniffing.

“Nancy, I-”began James, but Nancy cut him off, tears in her eyes.

“I have to get back to work, James,” she said, hurrying off.

Harry came out, carrying his briefcase and cloak. He handed James his backpack. “Ready?” he asked.

James nodded, wondering if he should say something about Nancy.

They walked to the elevator, and waited for a moment. The doors opened, and Nancy called out, “Level Two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Including the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office and the Wizenmagot Administration Services.”

Several people got out, and Harry and James went in. “Atrium please, Nancy,” said Harry.

The door shut and they whizzed away. They had a stop on the fifth level, and then one on the sixth level.

“Eighth level, the Atrium. Have a pleasant afternoon,” said Nancy.

“I'll see you tomorrow, Nancy,” smiled Harry.

“Yes sir, Mr Potter. Thank you. Bye James,” said Nancy.

“Bye Nancy, and thanks,” called James.

Harry and James began to head for the Floo. A group of school children about James's age walked past.

“Harry, James,” boomed Kingsley.

They turned to look at the Minister for Magic.

The children whispered, “Wow, isn't that the Minister for Magic, himself? Merlin, he's so big. And he's talking to Harry Potter. Who's the kid with them?”

“Please, give my best wishes to Ginny and the kids for a speedy recovery. If you need to take a couple of days off, I understand. Just send an owl to my office”

“Thanks, Kingsley. I'll see how things are at home,” said Harry.

“Hello, gentlemen,” said Gwenog Jones.

“Gwen, how are you?” asked Harry, kissing her cheek.

“Good, although I'd kill to have your wife back playing for me. Our team of chasers has never been as strong since she left,” said Gwenog.

“She wouldn't be any good to you at the moment, she's ill,” chuckled Harry.

“So I heard from young James, here,” said Gwenog, putting her arm around his shoulder.

The children were standing nearby watching. Their eyes were wide, as they saw a young boy standing among the Minister for Magic, a Quidditch legend and Harry Potter.

“We must be going, I really want to get home to check on Gin and the kids,” said Harry.

“Of course. Bye now,” said Kingsley, holding out his hand to James, who shook it.

The children gasped. They stared agog as Harry steered James over to the Floo.

Something fell out of James's pocket. One of the kids picked it up. “Here, you dropped this. Are you really Harry Potter's son?”

“I'm just James,” said James.

“That-that's,” stammered the boy, pointing to Harry, then Kinglsey and Gwenog, who were still talking together

James shrugged. “That's my dad, and my friends.”

“Wow, you know lots of cool people,” said the boy.

James caught Nancy's eye, as the elevator opened again. “Yeah, I do. Bye.”

James hurried to Harry, and they stepped into the floo. Within seconds, they were in their lounge room.

“Harry, is that you?” croaked Ginny. “Don't forget to hang up your cloak.”

“Yes, dear,” called Harry, with a wink to James. He picked his cloak up off the lounge, and hung it up.

“Damn, I meant to stop and get your Mum some flowers,” said Harry.

James smiled. “Got you covered, Dad.”

He pulled a bunch of flowers from his back pack, a little bit bent, but mostly okay. “Nancy's idea.”

Harry chuckled. “Thanks, son. Nancy saved the day, didn't she?”

“I think she's got the most important job at the Ministry, Dad,” said James.

“I'll be sure to tell Kingsley that,” said Harry, dryly. “Besides, Nancy won't be doing that job anymore.”

“You didn't get her fired, did you Dad?” asked James, worriedly.

“No son, I asked her to come and work with me, as my secretary. I'm happy to say she agreed. She's starting tomorrow,” said Harry.

“That's so great, Dad. She always wanted to be a secretary. She's really nice,” said James, happily.

“Yes, she is. Thanks to you, you brought her to my attention. I always saw her as Nancy, the friendly witch on the elevator, but you showed me she's more than that.”

“Well, people can be more than one thing. Like with Mr Shunpike. And Aunty Gwen, and Kingsley. And, well, you're my dad, but you're also an Auror, and you're Harry Potter. I get that that's a big deal,” said James, looking his dad in the eye.

Harry sighed. “I know you've had some trouble dealing with all that, James. Just so you know, first and foremost, I'm Mum's husband, and yours, Al's and Lily's dad. That's what's most important to me. Okay?”

“Okay Dad,” said James, nodding.

“Too old for hugs?” asked Harry, holding out his arms.

“Maybe after this one,” laughed James, walking into his dad's arms.

“I love you, son,” said Harry, softly.

“Love you too, Dad,” said James, still enjoying the feeling of his dad's hugs.

“Harry, James, are you coming up?” coughed Ginny.

“Yes, dear,” they called out, in unison. They grinned at each other, and headed for the stairs.

“So, Dad, what are you going to tell Mum about Ginger?” asked James, innocently.

“There's nothing to tell. Your Mum is the most beautiful witch in the world, as far as I'm concerned,” said Harry.

“Good answer, Dad,” chuckled James, as they entered the master bedroom.

“Hello, beautiful. How are you feeling?” asked Harry.

James looked at his mother. Her hair hung limply, her nose was red and there were purple marks under her eyes. Yet, James knew his father was right. His Mum was the most beautiful witch in the world. The way she looked at them both right then, James could feel the love surround him.

“I'm feeling better. How was work?” she asked, looking between them.

“Good. I met the most important person at the Ministry today, Mum,” said James.

“Oh, you met Nancy. She's lovely, isn't she?” asked Ginny.

James's mouth dropped open.

“You know, Harry, you really should consider making her your secretary. She would be a valuable asset to you. She knows everybody at the Ministry. Just think about it, if Mary should ever leave.”

Harry's jaw dropped open.

“Ginger Snap?” asked Ginny, handing them a plate. “I made them today.”

James and Harry looked at each other, and burst out laughing.

“What did I say?” asked Ginny.




























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