James Potter and the Whomping Willow

James Potter is looking forward to his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, following in his Mother and Father's footsteps. Follow James in his adventures with Remus, Sirius and Peter in this fan fiction set before the famous Harry Potter series.

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1. The Boy Who Lived

Mr and Mrs Potter, of number 12, Church Lane, were far from an ordinary family. In their eyes, of course, they were, as were their friends. But if an outsider had observed their daily routine, it would have appeared very odd.

Mr Potter was not a large man as such, but others would have been afraid to take him in a fight. He was, however, quite tall, making him appear intimidating and fierce. This gave Mr Potter quite an advantage in his line of work. 
Mrs Potter was almost the opposite to her husband. She was very small, with long blond hair, down to her waist. Mrs Potter loved to gossip, and did so regularly with her friends whilst Mr Potter was at work. 
The couple had a young son named James. Like his father, James had dark hair, and a decent figure. In their opinion, he was the perfect son.
The three lived on a neat little road, which was not quite straight; rather, it was uneven and slightly zig-zagging. The houses lined either side of the cobbled road, each stone built cottage with a bit of an individual touch. The quaint gardens outside each cottage were far from pristine, but this gave the street a sense of community. At the end of the street was a church, giving the street it's name, which, despite being small for a church, was easily the largest building in the town. The town centred around a village square, with only the church, post office, pub, few shops and the cottages surrounding it. 

When Mr and Mrs Potter woke up on this sunny, warm Monday morning our story starts, there was nothing in the cloudless sky to suggest it was going to be any different to any other day. Mr Potter awoke to the sound of a bird chirping on his window sill. The bird had woken Mr Potter every morning since he had lived in the house, without fail, at seven thirty. He would roll out of bed, select one of his many suits and a tie to go with it. Then Mr Potter would wake his wife up with a kiss and a cup of tea, before going to work, although never without checking his watch multiple times. just to check he was still on schedule. 
This morning, though, Mrs Potter was already awake. Before he chose his suit, he kissed his wife, and put a hand on the bump. He could feel their child kicking. James, their one year old, looked on eagerly from his cot in the corner of the room. Mr Potter smiled at his wife, then glanced down at his wrist. Right on time. 
When he had made their daily cup of tea, Mr Potter set off for work. He picked up his briefcase, a handful of green powder and threw it into the fire place. Moments later, he disappeared in a burst of green flames.

Mr Potter strode out of the second fireplace into a wide, long hall, bustling with people. Along the two walls were dozens of fireplaces, each one emitting bursts of green flames, followed by a person walking into the crowds. Along the left hand wall, people emerged from the fireplaces; along the right, witches and wizards queued up outside the fireplaces to depart. The walls were lined with shining green tiles, almost able to give a reflection. The floor, too, was extremely clean, brown wooden tiles glinting green flashes from the fire place and shinig with the reflection from the blue ceiling.At one end of the hall, it opened out into a large circular shape, with a fountain situated in the middle. Surrounding the fountain were around twenty doors, covered in golden grilles. Mr Potter walked briskly from his fireplace, over to one of the doors, and stood outside of it, waiting. As more people began to wait outside the  door as well, Mr Potter glanced at his watch. He was not late, but, as usual, perfectly on time. Along the walls were windows, displaying the weather, although of course, the weather was simulated, as the Atrium was deep underground.  Today, the maintenance team had chosen a downpour of rain, the exact opposite the  bright sun that was really outside. 

After nearly a minute, the grate slid to one side, allowing the waiting group to walk into the lift behind it. the inside of the lift was slightly cramped, with so many people squashed into it. With a jolt, the lift began to move, speeding along. A cool female voice rang out through the lift. 

"Level Seven, Department of Magical Games and Sports, incorporating the British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters, Official Gobstones Club and Ludicrous Patents Office."

The lift doors opened, revealing a corridor nowhere near as neat as the atrium Mr Potter had just entered. Posters of quidditch teams were scattered all over the walls, many of them peeling off at the corners. Nobody got out at this floor, nor did anyone get in, which Mr Potter was grateful for. He didn't think he would be able to breathe, squashed up against the wall if anyone else crammed into the lift. 

Mr Potter sighed. his floor wasn't until Level Two, and in these cramped conditions, he couldn't even look at his watch. The grille slid shut, and the lift jerked backwards this time, then down, plunging them into darkness. As it sped along the tracks, the loft began to shudder, then slow. Light shone in through the grate as the female voice spoke again.

"Level Six, Department of Magical transportation, incorporating the Floo Network Authority, Broom Regulatory control, Portkey Office and Apparation Test centre."

This time, four people exited the lift, one of which was a boy who looked around seventeen. It briefly crossed Mr Potter's mind that the boy was here for his apparation test, when the lift clattered down again.  

After several more uncomfortable stops, during which Mr Potter had to endure being nearly crushed by a rather large witch he knew to be Melissa Argantile. Melissa chatted merrily away to him the remainder of the journey, and Mr Potter was very grateful indeed when the voice announced:

"Level Two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, including the improper Use of Magic Office, Auror Headquarters and Wizengamot Administration Services." 

Melissa was busy telling Mr Potter about her trip to Egypt, to visit the old Wizarding tombs, when Mr Potter said, 

"I'm afraid this is my stop, Melissa." She moved out the way, beaming down at Mr Potter. 

"I'm sure I'll see you again soon, Charlus!" She smiled. Mr Potter severely hoped he wouldn't be seeing her anytime soon. 

 

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary as he walked to his office. On the way, he gave a friendly nod to his squib secretary, Sara. Mr Potter strode into his office, and took his seat in the large leather chair behind the desk. Sitting on his desk was a sign that read 'Mr Potter- Head of Magical Law Enforcement'. Next to a mountain of forms to be filled. With any luck, today would be a quiet day, mainly paperwork, and he could get back to his wife and son before James' bedtime. The baby was due any day now, and he couldn't bear the thought of being away from his wife when their second child was born. 

Mr Potter found paperwork mind-mumbling boring. Form after form needed filling out. The pile never shrunk, no matter how fast Mr Potter worked. He sighed, almost wishing he was back working in the court. For three years, he had worked to getting higher and higher positions, getting better pay. Now he wanted to move back down. 
It was, however dull, a normal morning for Mr Potter. Despite working non-stop, only four forms had been filed. He finally decided to take a lunch break. 
Mr Potter took a walk down town. He didn't stand out from the masses of 'ordinary' people, he was careful about that. Muggle clothes were not as hard to come by as they were to be made convincing. Mr Potter had seen many a witch or wizard trying to pull of a muggle like outfit- and many had failed in the attempt. However, Mr Potter blended in nicely with the crowds of London. 

Mr Potter was a man of routine. Every day at precisely 12:15, he would take his stroll down the muggle streets, walk into the muggle cafe on the corner and purchase a sandwich. He was used to muggle money enough to buy his lunch everyday. Today, he decided to be a bit daring; Mr Potter went for a ham and cheese wrap instead.  

Mr Potter began to make his way back to the office, feeling full and content. 'I Shall be purchasing a wrap more often.' He thought to himself as he punched the number into the ministry of magic telephone boxes. 

However, he knew something was wrong when he returned to his office to be greeted by a formal looking, yet unfamiliar, barn owl awaiting on his desk. Mr Potter nearly always requested owls to be sent to Sara, his secretary. The owl, upon noticing Mr Potter's arrival, ruffled his feathers importantly. There was a small scroll tied to the owl's leg, which Mr Potter untied. The owl gave a small hoot, shook his feathers again and took off. It was a mystery to where the owl had gone, however, as there were no windows in the ministry. 

The small scroll had the heading- 'St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries' underneath the hospital logo of a wand crossing a bone. The letter below read;

Dear Mr Charlus Potter, 

We regret to inform you that you wife, Dolores Potter has been taken into St Mungo's Hospital on account of her pregnancy.

As you are aware, wizarding pregnancies are usually very straightforward, and rarely require medical intervention. However, due to unforeseen complications, healers have been forced to intervene. 

Please make your way to the hospital as soon as you can where we will be able to give you further details on your wife's condition. 

Yours sincerely, 

Alicia March, Healer 

 

In a blind panic, Mr Potter stuffed his papers into the briefcase on his desk. It had to be serious, for if it wasn't Mrs Potter could have sorted it out herself. She was a very able witch, who had never needed to attend St Mungo's before. 

On his way out the door, Mr Potter told Sara, he would not be coming back for a while, and to send an owl to his boss alerting him of a home problem. He was making his way over to lift, when Mr POtter realised he would be much quicker apparating, something Mr Potter hated. Taking a deep breath and closing his eyes, Mr Potter apparated. Suddenly, he was swirling around, things blurring past him. It had to be less then a split second later, however, that Mr Potter found himself by his wife's bedside. 

The healer on the other side of the bed spoke. 

"Mr Potter? Dolores' husband? I'm very sorry. it's most probably because of her age that it happened. If she had been a few years younger... But she'll be fine." He said reassuringly. Mr Potter was in a daze. What had he just heard? His wife was fine; what was the panic?  Why had he come so quickly? He glanced at his wife, who looked in a peaceful sleep. That was all that mattered, right? That his wife was all right. 

"What..what was b-because of her age?" He finally stammered. The healer looked up from examining Dolores. 

"Oh, you haven't been told." He said softly. "Here, take a seat." The healer swiftly drew up a chair in mid air, and Mr Potter sunk into it. The healer began to explain. 

 

The Potter's second child was stillborn. 
            

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