|SIYE Time:14:58 on 23rd September 2018|
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Genres: Fluff, General
Story is Complete
Summary: August, 2004. Harry pays a visit to Hagrid at Hogwarts.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2770
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.
Tues September first, and JKR sends the twitterverse into meltdown with her announcement that James SP is sorted into Gryffindor. A seed of an idea popped into my mind, and grew and blossomed. This is the result.
Thursday August 26th 2004
It was a quiet, peaceful morning as Hagrid made his way out of the Forbidden Forest. He had already been up for several hours, checking on all the creatures in his care at Hogwarts. He decided to head back to his cottage and have a cup of tea before heading up to the castle for lunch. After that, he had a meeting with the headmistress to discuss his lesson plans for the upcoming school year. In less than a week, Hogwarts would see the return of its students.
As he neared the exit from the forest, he saw the shape of a man, waiting on the fringes. He appeared to be wearing a cloak, so he supposed it might be one of the professors, wanting a word. He got a pleasant suprise as he got closer.
“Well, well, 'arry Potter has returned to Hogwarts. Yer a sight for sore eyes. How are yer?”
“Good Hagrid, thanks. And you? It's been awhile,” grinned Harry.
“Not since the wee one arrived. How is he going? How's Ginny? Is she with you today?” asked Hagrid eagerly.
Harry laughed. “No, but one of the reasons I'm here is that she asked me to invite you for dinner on Friday or Saturday night. We know it's a busy time for you professors, so whatever day works best for you is fine with us.”
“Well now, that's most kind of 'er. I reckon Friday might be best,” said Hagrid.
“Excellent. Ginny will start cooking straight away,” said Harry, as they both headed for Hagrid's cabin.
“I don't want her to go to too much trouble. I imagine the little 'un takes up a lot of her time these days. How is James?” asked Hagrid.
“It took her a lot longer than she thought it would to get over his early birth, but she's fine now. She's home alone now, having a rest. James is keeping us on our toes, that's for sure, but we love it,” said Harry, his voice warm at the thought of his son.
Hagrid chuckled. “I can't wait to see him.” They went up the stairs and inside Hagrid's cabin. He immediately put the kettle on the fire.
“You don't have to wait,” said Harry, grinning. He pulled aside his travelling cloak to show Hagrid the bundle he had fastened on his chest. “I brought James for a visit.”
Hagrid chuckled. “Well now, sure yeh look like one of them kangaroos from Australia, with yer young 'un in a pouch.”
Harry carefully took James out of the baby harness and handed him to Hagrid. “Here, can you hold him while I take this off?”
Hagrid quickly sat down while Harry handed him the precious little bundle. Harry was twisting and turning and cursing Ginny for making him wear the wretched thing. He finally got it off before he had to resort to blasting it off with the help of his wand. He sighed in relief and sat down, then looked at Hagrid holding his son.
Hagrid had tears in his eyes. “Look at 'im. He's grown so much since I saw him last.” he shook his head in wonder.
Harry chuckled. “Well, we'd only just brought him home from St Mungo's. He wasn't even a week old. He looked so tiny in your hands back then.”
“I can't believe that eleven year old boy I met all those years ago is now a father. Can you believe it, 'arry?”
Harry shook his head. “I didn't dare dream of a future, let alone the brilliant one I'm living now.”
“If anyone deserves it, it's you, 'arry? Knew it would all work out, I did,” said Hagrid.
“You know, last night I was bathing James and I realised he is the same age I was when my parents died. When you came to take me to the Dursleys,” said Harry.
“I hated to leave ye there, 'arry. If I'd know how they would treat yer, I would have done things different, I swear to yer,” said Hagrid vehemently.
James started at the tone of Hagrid's voice. He started to cry, but Hagrid crooned to him and rocked him. Little James stared up into the big mans face.
“Hagrid, my friend, I know,” said Harry gently. He watched as Hagrid made silly faces at James.
“You know, James is going to grow up hearing a lot about my parents, and Sirius and Remus. It won't be the same as having grandparents and uncles, though.”
Hagrid sighed. “No. Thank goodness you've got the Weasleys. Arthur and Molly will be spoiling all those grandkids like nobodys business. Little James here already has cousins, and of course Teddy.”
“I know. It's just, I want him to have a connection to my family, to me. So I got to thinking, and the answer was obvious. You,” said Harry, simply.
“Me? Me, what?” asked Hagrid, tickling James under his chin.
“Hagrid, you were the one Dumbledore trusted to get me out of Godric's Hollow that night. You were the first magical person I knew. Remember my eleventh birthday? You opened up a whole new world for me, Hagrid. You gave me Hedwig. I can never thank you enough for her,” said Harry sadly.
Hagrid sighed. “She was a special owl, that 'un. Knew she was meant to be yours the moment I saw 'er.”
“See, that's what I mean. She was the only one who knows what my life was like with the Dursleys. As long as she was with me, I still had a connection to the magical world. Thanks to you.”
Hagrid stared at Harry in surprise.
You know ME, Hagrid. You've always believed in me, you've always supported me. You refused to think that Snape was a traitor, because Dumbledore told you. Whenever I thought I doubted Dumbledore, your belief in him always remained absolute.You made my days at Hogwarts so much better, and I hated it when you weren't here. You are a great man, Rubeus Hagrid, and I can think of no better man to help my son grow up.”
“Well now,” said Hagrid, clearing his throat. “if there is anything I can do for little James, you know you only have to ask.”
Harry nodded. “I know. Do you realise in eleven years, James will be coming to Hogwarts for the very first time. It scares me already.”
Hagrid chuckled. “Ah, you and Ginny will have more young 'uns at home by then. You'll be glad to see him off, knowing that those will be the best days for him. Why, he might meet his best friends here, just like you, Ron and Hermione. Or his future wife,” grinned Hagrid, with a nudge to Harry.
“Just as long as he doesn't have any adventures like we had,” said Harry.
Hagrid shot him a look. “He's 'alf Potter and 'alf Weasley, isn't he? Grandson of a Marauder? No adventures,” scoffed Hagrid. “Least, none like you lot had.”
“On the first of September, 2015, I'll be farewelling him at Kings Cross Station. It will certainly ease my mind to know you'll be at the other end, waiting for him with all the other first years,” said Harry, running his hands over his son's head.
James leaned into his father's familiar touch. “He looks more like Ginny than you,” observed Hagrid.
“Thank Merlin,” laughed Harry.
“Maybe the next one will have more of the Potter look,” mused Hagrid.
“Talk to Ginny about the next one, and you'll be eating slugs for tea. No, she wants a nice wait in between babies,” said Harry.
“Well, the only way to ensure that is to be keeping your hands off your wife, and according to certain people, that is not likely to happen, eh?” teased Hagrid, making Harry laugh.
“Certain people? Why do I get the feeling you're talking about my brothers-in-law,” laughed Harry.
Hagrid stared at him. “It's good to see you so happy, Harry.”
Harry stopped laughing, but smiled. “What can I say, my friend. Life is good.” He hesitated. “Hagrid, I don't ever think I told you how I felt when you were carrying me out of the forest that night. You know, when-”
“Don't say it. I can't think of it,” said Hagrid, shaking his head.
Harry placed his arm as best he could around Hagrid's shoulders. “If I had died, I would have wanted it to be you to take me back to the castle. To my family and friends.”
“Don't,” cried Hagrid, sniffing. “You'll give me nightmares, for sure.”
Little James waved an arm and caught Hagrid's finger with his hand. He brought it to his mouth and sucked.
“My son,” said Harry proudly, “is as beautiful as his mother and as smart as his father. I put my trust in you, and I will tell him that here at Hogwarts, there will always be someone for him to go to. Dumbledore once said he would trust you with his life, and I feel the same. My son will know that.”
Hagrid smiled and nodded. He stared back down at little James. “So, James Sirius Potter. Class of 2015. I'll be waiting for yeh. Teddy Lupin, he'll be, what, seventh year? He'll be Head Boy, mark my words. You and Ginny are helping him to grow up to be a fine young man.”
“That's what my son needs, Hagrid. Good strong men around him. Oh, I know he'll have Arthur and the Weasley men for uncles. They will all have something individual to contribute to James' life, and I want you to be a part of that for James as well, just like you were there for me, still ARE there for me,” said Harry.
The two men sat watching little James in a comfotable silence.
“You know, it's strange not seeing you with Fang,” said Harry quietly.
“I know, dumb mutt. Merlin knows I miss him, even after all these months,” said Hagrid, sadly.
“Our department just confiscated several creatures that had been imported to sell illegally. It's a case we've been following for weeks,” said Harry.
Hagrid nodded. “I read about it in the paper. Those poor critters.”
Harry sighed. “I know. We've managed to re-locate most of them. Some we've had to send back to the country they came from, as they can't acclimate to England's conditions.A couple didn't make it.”
Hagrid shook his head angrily.
Harry continued. “We still have a couple of animals that we haven't placed. I was wondering-”
Hagrid interrupted. “Just tell me where and when, and I'll come get 'em.”
“Hagrid, one of them is a baby boarhound,” said Harry.
Hagrid stared at him. “A baby?”
Harry nodded. “Just a few weeks old. Looking for a home with plenty of room to run around, and for someone to love and train him. When I told Ginny how he reminded me of Fang, she said there was only one thing to do.”
“What's that?” asked Hagrid.
Harry smiled. “He's at our place, waiting for you. You can bring him home with you after you've had tea at ours.”
“Another Fang,” sighed Hagrid, wiping a tear away. “Best mutt I ever had. It's a lot for a little 'un to live up to.”
“I know,” smiled Harry. He spied the clock over Hagrid's fireplace. “Merlin, is that the time? I'd better be getting home. James will be needing a feed soon, and that's something I can't help with.”
Hagrid chuckled as he watched Harry struggle to get the baby carrier back on. When he finally did, Hagrid slid the baby easily into it. Little James snuggled into his daddy's chest and started rooting around, seeking sustenance.
“So, Friday night? Any time you want to come over is fine,” said Harry, stroking James' cheek.
Hagrid nodded. “It's been great ter see yer, 'arry.”
Harry tried to hug Hagrid as best he could, without squashing James between them. “We,” he indicated him and James, 'plan to make lots more visits to see you and Fang the second.”
Hagrid nodded happily. “Tell Ginny I said hello, and thanks. It'll be nice ter have company in the evenin's. Someone to ramble through the forest with again.”
“Please tell headmistress Mcgonagall that I'm sorry I couldn't stay to see her and show her James. Next time,” promised Harry.
Hagrid opened the door and they stepped out. The sun was shining, although the clouds were trying to hold it back.
“Last days of summer,” said Hagrid, looking up.
Harry threw the cloak over him and covered James. “I'll walk down to the gates and into Hogsmeade, then Apparate from there.”
James started to whimper. “I best go,” said Harry. “I'll see you tomorrow night, Hagrid.” he walked off, singing the Hogwarts song to James as he jiggled him.
Hagrid chuckled. He remembered a skinny child, worrying about fitting in. He remembered a scared young boy, with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He remembered a weary hero, scarred, but finally released from his burden.
As Harry stopped to turn back and wave, Hagrid saw a young father, confident and happy.
“It's all we could have asked for him, isn't it, James, Lily? To love and be loved. He's got that in spades,” muttered Hagrid. “I know it should be you here for him, but yer not. Old Hagrid will be there for him and his boy, and any others. That's my promise to yer both.”
A gentle wind blew.
Hagrid turned and made his way to the castle. He knew the headmistress would love to know how much little James had grown, and how Harry and his family were.
Tuesday September 1, 2015.
“Come on James, it's time to board,” grumbled Teddy, hugging his grandmother one more time.
“Don't tell me, tell Mum. She won't let me go,” groaned James, trying to worm free from Ginny. “Mum, unless you have a flying car parked outside, I need to get on the actual train or it will go without me.”
“I'm sorry,” cried Ginny, dabbing her eyes. “I just never thought this day would come. Our child, going to Hogwarts. Oh Harry. Our little James.”
“Mu-um,” groaned James, rolling his eyes.
“Come on love, he needs to board,” chuckled Harry. Ginny nodded, stepping back to let Harry have some last precious moments with James.
Ginny hugged Teddy who had to hurry off. He was Head Boy and a proud Hufflepuff, just like his mother.
“You know, you have an advantage over the other first years. You've been to Hogwarts many times before. First time was when you were only four months old. Hagrid and I talked about this day, way back then.”
“Really? Ha, I didn't know you were a seer, dad?” chuckled James.
Harry shook his head at his son. His first-born. Off to Hogwarts. Where had the time gone?
“Come on Dad, give me the speech. Best time of my life, listen to the professors, be good, yada yada yada,” sighed James.
Harry hugged him hard. James started in surprise, then hugged him back. “I love you, son.”
“I love you too, Dad,” said James, trying hard not to cry.
“You know, right now, I think your mother has the right idea. Take you home and never let you leave,” said Harry.
James smiled and shook his head.
“At least I know you'll have Hagrid waiting for you at the other end,” said Harry.
“He's already invited me to his cottage for tea on Friday night,” said James. He quickly hugged Al and kissed Lily on the cheek. “If I don't have detention,” he said cheekily as he ran off to board the train. Al laughed and Lily waved goodbye.
“What's he saying? Detention?” asked Ginny, worried.
Harry slung his arm around her shoulder, and drew Lily and Al close. “He'll be fine, love.”
James stuck his head out a window and waved as the train slowly pulled away from the platform. Lily ran after the train, calling out to her brother. James yelled something back, and Lily laughed.
“Jamie's gonna send me a toilet seat from Hogwarts. From the girl's toilet,” she laughed..
“Maybe I should send Hagrid an owl,” mused Ginny, as they headed out of the station.
“I sent him one this morning,” admitted Harry. “I just reminded him of a converation we had, oh, about eleven years ago.”
“Oh, James would have just been a few weeks old. Was that the first time you took him to Hogwarts?” asked Ginny.
Harry nodded, lost in thought.
“He'll be okay, Harry,” said Ginny softly. “Our world is safe, thanks to you and many others.”
“I know. And he'll have Hagrid.”
Harry smiled. All was well.
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