Harry thought it time to pass on something to his children....
Harry Potter yawned and stretched and sat upright in his bed in high spirits. His wife had taken the children to their aunt and uncles for the best part of the day, which meant he could finally have some alone time for the first time in months. Not that he minded the little tykes, they were his world, and along with his wife he could not imagine life without them. He sat there for a minute, putting his hand to his forehead and over the lightning bolt shape scar that now sat uselessly upon it. For years now it had not troubled him, yet not a day had passed where he had not looked in the mirror and found himself staring at it, remembering, and thankful of what he had.
Sighing heavily Harry got to his feet and made for the bathroom off the main bedroom. As he stood under the warm, rinsing water, his mind wandered over those who were less fortunate during the Great War at Hogwarts, those who died for him. Obviously he had moved on with his life, though he sometimes couldn't help feel, much like the morning he did when it had happened, despair for those that had died. Most mornings it takes the brilliant smile of his wife, Ginny Weasley, or any one of his kids for him to smile back.
She was a strong one, Ginny was. Losing a brother had not been easy for her; Harry remembered seeing her at the funeral. She had been an absolute wreck. The line that Mr Weasley had said during his speech that day had just about summed up the way she looked: "It is cruel for any family to, after rekindling with a forgotten loved one mere hour's previous, have to leave another behind."
Harry knew exactly what that felt like. It was precisely how he had felt about what happened with his godfather, Sirius Black, killed just as Harry was getting to know him. He stepped out of the shower considerably cleaner, but still feeling utterly uncleansed. In silence he dried himself off and got dressed, hardly noticing what he was doing it took him a few minutes to realise he was trying to put his foot through the arm sleeve of his shirt. Once properly dressed he descended to the kitchen wondering what he could scramble together for breakfast. What was waiting for him, made him love his wife even more.
He had a choice of freshly cut raisin bread sitting by the toaster, or a box of cereal and a bowl sitting on the table with the Daily Prophet. A piece of parchment was sitting on the table top with a scribble that he could tell was his wife's from a mile away:
Good morning darling,
If you do in fact manage to wake up and drag yourself downstairs before me and the kids get home I have laid out some options for you. There is freshly squeezed pumpkin juice in the fridge and if you're up late and it's more lunch time than breakfast I've made a salad roll and it's sitting in the fridge also.
Don't go making me regret leaving you home alone by blowing the house up, please, dear, which I'm quite sure you're capable of doing with a toaster alone. And you're in the paper again, page number forty-eight if you're wondering; apparently you're playing for Puddlemere United next year.
I think Ron is going to laugh at this one.
I'm not entirely sure when we will be back, would be nice to come home to a cooked dinner? No pressure.
Love you lots,
Harry smiled broadly and kissed the parchment firmly. Grinning, he hastily opened the fridge and grabbed the jug of pumpkin juice and placed it on the table firmly. Deciding he was hungry and wanted to show Ginny he was able to use a toaster properly, he put in two slices of raisin bread and began to pour his cereal into the bowl. Absentmindedly he grabbed the milk from the fridge, poured a generous amount onto his cereal and sat down. A mere two spoonfuls later an odd smell wafted across his nostril. Looking around he swore, loudly; the raisin bread had burnt.
'Bloody hell,' he spat, yanking the shrivelled bits of burned toast from the toaster and chucking them in the bin. 'Shut up, Ginny,' he heard himself say.
He tried again, this time watching closely and successfully withdrawing the toast at a pre-burnt stage. He buttered them and sat down, pulling the Daily Prophet towards him to read. Eager to see what Ginny had been on about, he turned to page number forty-eight and began to scan the page. It didn't take long to find:
Potter to be United?
Currently an outstanding leader in the Auror Headquarters at the Ministry of Magic, Harry James Potter leads the field as one of the most successful Auror's of the past decade, pulling in Dark Wizards at numbers of impressive nature similar to that of the late Alastor (Mad-eye) Moody. From capturing the last of the long list of remaining Death Eaters, to giving high-educational speeches at International Wizard Warlock conventions and schools, Potter is doing it all.
Rumours float about that he will be putting even more on his plate as of this coming winter. Harry Potter could very well be playing for the Puddlemere United Quidditch team next season, and with a fellow Gryffindor House-mate from his days at Hogwarts coaching the side, the rumours aren't particularly that far-fetched. Oliver Wood played and Captained the Gryffindor Quidditch team for the majority of Potter's time at Hogwarts, and now that he has done the same for Puddlemere, he may very well be the influence Potter needed to join the team.
So far there has been no news on where proceedings stand, if any. Mr Wood, as well as the director of Puddlemere United Artius Trothmert, chose not to comment about any suspicions that there have been conversations between them and Mr Potter. Further news about Potter's potential signing with the club will unlikely be known until after the weekend, when he is due to emerge for a speaking in Winchester on Monday afternoon.
Harry snorted and folded the paper up and slammed it onto the wooden bench. He had long since lost the passion to play Quidditch professionally, maybe once, as a fourteen year old boy sitting in the top box of the World Cup, it had crossed his mind. But the game was so fast these days that he doubted an old codger such as himself could keep up. Ginny had asked on more than one occasion if he missed playing Quidditch, but thus far his answer had always been no. Yes, he missed playing for Gryffindor, but he couldn't see himself playing at such a brisk pace with the likes of Viktor Krum.
Furthermore, he hadn't talked to Oliver Wood in ages. They had received a Christmas card from him and his newly formed family, but before that it was probably the year he and Ron had taken Harry's son James to watch his first game of Quidditch. Incidentally it had been the Chudley Cannons up against Pudlemere United and despite Ron going off his rocker, the highlight of the night had been to visit Oliver in the change rooms afterwards.
However, Harry's mind told him to stick to being an Auror, probably the thing he was proud of most, besides of course his family and making it onto a Chocolate Frog Card. He didn't even care how bad the picture on it made him look, or how many hours Ron sat laughing at it, he had at least made it onto one. So did Ron and Hermione incidentally enough, Ron would determinably to this day tell anyone who listened that he looked better on a Chocolate Frog Card than Harry Potter ever would.
Once he'd finished breakfast Harry became at a loss what to do. It was too late to go back to sleep, and it was too early in the day to get started on dinner; that was of course if he actually planned on ever starting it. He drifted aimlessly through the house, wondering what to do; overwhelmed was he by having so much free time on his hand that his mind even began trying to figure out when Ginny had gotten those new curtains.
He shrugged and made his way upstairs, eventually returning to the main bedroom and arguing with himself not to go back to bed. He sat on the end of it instead and twiddled his thumbs, staring around at the walls and furniture, curiously thinking what his wife and children were doing now. He heard a noise in the distance that startled him, but when he looked around, he merely saw that it had started to rain and was pelting against the window.
He got up and crossed to it, watching the water wash over the thin glass. His mind wandered again over those who had lost their lives fighting for him. It was because of them that he was standing here, that he was able to appreciate the subtleties of life, like a wife and kids, and like the look of rain trickling down a window. He stared out over the yard for a few minutes before turning and looking back across the room. Immediately something caught his eye.
The wardrobe hung ajar, and from where he was standing he could spot something silvery lying on a top shelf, glinting mysteriously at him through the crack. Intrigued, he moved across the room and opened the wardrobe fully; sitting on the top shelf was his majestic Invisibility Cloak, the one that was passed onto him by his father, that had been passed onto him by his father and so on, all the way back to the original owner: Ignotus Peverell.
Harry took his priceless family air loom down from its shelf and let it slither silkily between his hands. It had been quite a while since he had had to use his Cloak of Invisibility, its usefulness throughout his childhood had been sufficient enough, and now he let it sit, unceremoniously in a wardrobe, un-attending its full potential. The Cloak was perfect, unlike any other Invisibility Cloak that may exist today, this one was centuries old and was utterly faultless.
He remembered vaguely what Ron once said about Invisibility Cloak's. Not just were they extremely rare, but they usually deteriorated over time, became faulty and less immune to spells. He had therefore been surprised that it remained perfect over the period of time both he and Harry's father had had the cloak. Only when they found out its true origin, where it really came from did they understand why it was such an elegant piece of material. It was the only Hallow of the three in which Harry had decided to keep in his possession.
The others were now hidden, hopefully forever lost.
Harry wrapped the cloak around himself and stood in front of the mirror. He would never forget the first time he did that. In his dormitory back at Hogwarts, his first happy Christmas with his best mate standing open-mouthed behind him and with chocolate frog dangling from his mouth. He knew he wanted that for his son, something to share with a close friend, but was it too early?
This thought had been troubling him, every time he had had the conversation with Ginny about the cloak. She knew only what he had told her about it; she had not been with him during the years he had used it. She had not seen its loyalty, its unsurpassable brilliance and its immunity to all spells. Harry had seen it do all this, its allegiance purely fixated with him, and he couldn't help wonder if it would be the same for James if he were to hand it on.
The story goes that the passer-on is usually ready to die when they hand it over. The only reason Harry got his father's so early was because he had parted with it: Albus Dumbledore had been examining the cloak on the night Voldemort had attacked them at Godric's Hallow. This might have been coincidence, but Harry had felt uneasy about passing it on since he realised all of this.
But the question was if Harry was to pass it onto James to use it now, would it work for him like it did for Harry? As far as magic goes, Harry would have thought he'd learned quite enough to know. Fact was, he didn't.
Upon asking Ron and Hermione, they were as clueless as him. Harry secretly thought himself a coward not to try, but he was not afraid of death. He was afraid for his son. Nothing more, besides perhaps Ginny, mattered to him than his children's happiness. It was then that he decided that today would be the day; the afternoon or night – whenever they decided to get back – he would pass the Cloak of Invisibility onto the next generation.
Carefully he placed it back on the top shelf of his wardrobe and went back downstairs to find a way to pass time. As he sat back down at the kitchen table, with a Butterbeer in hand and a quill and parchment ready to start writing a speech, the next few hours passed rather hastily. Harry spent the entire time thinking about the potential look on his sons face when he would pass the cloak over that he got nowhere with his speech.
He decided to start dinner instead, and because he felt lazy, he simply glazed a kitchen and chucked it in the over, hoping to start the speech at least. Next thing he knew, it was nearing five o'clock, and he suddenly heard the front door opening. Familiar voices drifted through to him, and he smiled expectantly as hurried footsteps approached and his son James led the way into the kitchen with Albus close on his heels: immediately the spotted their father.
'Hi dad!' James said happily, wondering over to hug him, 'you're finally up are you?'
Harry laughed but Ginny appeared, carrying their daughter Lily and looking quite dishevelled.
'Go wash up for dinner, James,' she peppered, 'and take your brother with you.'
James groaned but obeyed, reluctantly steering Albus up the flight of stairs and disappearing.
'Let me,' said Harry, taking Lily from his Ginny just as she struggled to put the groceries down with one arm. 'Fun afternoon?'
Ginny sighed. 'You could say that,' she said, kissing her husband, 'James made Ron yell more than once today, bless him.'
'And what have you been doing?' she asked, turning her attention towards the oven. 'Is that chicken?'
'Sure is,' Harry assured her, 'should be ready in ten. And I've been sitting in peace; actually, you should try it one day.'
'Oh great,' Ginny stood upright and looked around at him, grinning, 'next week you can take them to mums, and I'll lounge about drinking Butterbeer.'
She nodded to the empty bottles of Butterbeer sitting on the table. Harry merely shrugged and put his daughter in her high-chair. Although Lily was still too young to talk or understand conversation, she was glancing up at them both with a toothless smile.
'I also did some thinking,' Harry said, making Ginny to raise an eyebrow. 'I thought, after dinner, I might give James my Cloak. He is starting at Hogwarts next month.'
Ginny surveyed him for a moment, her eyebrow still raised.
'I thought you were hesitant about doing that?' she said seriously.
'Well I am,' Harry shrugged, 'that is to say, I was. He'll get more use out of it than if it were to just lie around here, won't he?'
Ginny bit her lip. 'You're opening up an entirely new realm of possibility for him with this though you know? They are just so many more ways for him to get into trouble.'
Harry grimaced. 'Let's face it,' he said, 'I think he would still find ways of getting into trouble.'
Ginny surveyed him for a moment before responding.
'Oh alright,' she said eventually, continuing to eye him. 'But when the letters come, they are your problem.'
She poked him in the belly before she turned back to look at the chicken.
'Alright, alright,' Harry agreed, rubbing his hands together, 'I think I will go make sure James isn't squirting water everywhere again-'
'Oh and Harry,' Ginny interrupted, making him look around. Ginny stayed bent over the oven without looking around, 'by all means tell him about the cloak, but please don't give it to him yet.'
She stood up and turned to look at him, leaning casually against the fridge.
'The last thing we need before he goes away,' she said in an important manner, 'is for him to parade about the house under the bloody thing, upturning furniture and getting lost.'
After dinner Harry led James up the flight of stairs to the main bedroom. On the way up and assuming he was in trouble, James attempted to rack his brains for the latest mischief he'd accomplished that might land him in trouble.
'Is this because of Uncle Ron?' he asked curiously as they finally reached the top step, 'I didn't mean for him to get upset. I was only looking at his Chocolate Card collection; it just sort of got jumbled up by accident.'
Harry laughed. 'Is that why he was yelling?' he asked.
James grinned, a smile to match his fathers. 'Yeah,' he said happily, 'I mixed them up quite terribly; he was putting them back in order when we left.'
Harry roared with laughter. 'Don't you worry about him, son,' Harry said, 'he'll be up all night making sure the fingermarks are gone.'
James grinned. But it didn't last for very long. As Harry opened the door for his son to walk in, James started going over things in his mind again, looking for an answer.
'Give it a rest, James. You're not in trouble,' Harry rolled his eyes and pointed to a chair, 'yet anyway.'
'Yet?' James repeated, obeying his father and sitting down.
'I have something I'd like to give you,' Harry explained, reaching the cabinet and pulling it open, 'something that will come into use during your time at Hogwarts.'
Harry pulled the old cloak from its perch and reared around to face his son. James gave it a longish stare and turned his nose up at once.
'Dad,' he said warningly, 'I don't want to walk around Hogwarts in one of your old hand-me-down cloaks! I'll get beat up! Mum said we would be getting our stuff at Diagon Ally!'
'Oh you will be,' Harry assured him, 'but this is no ordinary cloak. And you'll want it, I assure you. But there a few... ground rules we must go over.'
James' eyes widened. 'I don't like rules.'
'I know,' Harry said with a nod, 'that is why I must make them.'
James looked slightly off-put but said nothing.
'Before I show you what this is,' Harry said, carefully placing the cloak on the bed so as not to reveal its invisible side, 'let me explain to you first. It is not just some old cloak, James; it is an air-loom-'
'That is still a crappy old cloak,' James muttered under his breath, staring at the silky fabric on the bed.
It took all of Harry's will not to rile up his short temper.
'It is not crappy,' Harry assured him, 'it has been in the family since its conception. My father handed it to me, and his father handed it to him and so on.'
'But I thought grandad-' James started.
'Let's not go down that path,' Harry said sternly.
Ginny, against Harry's better judgement, had told all their kids the story of Harry Potter. Mostly she would tell them about a young boy who survived evil, who despite losing his parents grew courage from a very young age, and that by their age he had no love and no real family. She would then go on about how this boy soon found out that he was a Wizard, and that he grew up to be a brave, handsome man, eventually conquering darkness and marrying the beautiful lady. As he was the oldest, and as Ginny had let slip about a 'lightening imprint' it had been James who had guessed right about Harry, and about his grandparents demise.
'As I was saying, its tradition,' Harry said, 'I'm lucky enough to have two sons and a beautiful daughter, and therefore rule number one will be that you must share this item, at all cost, with your brother and sister. Do you agree?'
'What is this? A hearing?' James queried.
'Just, agree,' Harry breathed.
'Fine, I agree,' James said with a shrug, 'in fact, they can have it! Give it to Albus-'
'James,' Harry put a hand up so his son would stop talking. 'Rule number two. You are to, under no circumstance misuse the item for personal gain, or for another's demise. Do you agree?'
'Dad I really don't think this is nec-' James started.
'The sooner you agree, James,' Harry said through gritted teeth, 'the sooner you can go downstairs and have desert.'
'I agree,' James said instantly.
'Good,' Harry nodded, 'and finally, rule number three,' he said, picking up the cloak, 'you must promise NEVER to lose it. If you leave it in your trunk, fine, but if you take it with you at all times you must ensure you keep sight of it. Do you agree?'
'Well that's easy,' James said with a grin, 'because it's unlikely it will leave my trunk. So I agree!'
Harry chucked, mainly to himself.
'Alright,' he said, 'I suppose that will have to do. But James, I really need for you to not get into too much trouble whilst you're at school. I know you have a tinge of cheek that I have, that my father have, but you will only worry your mother if we keep getting owls of your pranks. So just remember to think, before you do. Alright?'
James rolled his eyes. 'Yes father. Can I go now?'
'Wait,' Harry said abruptly, as James had made a motion towards the door. 'You have to try it on.'
'What?' James exclaimed. 'No, dad, its fine I'll have it just put it in my trunk and-'
'James,' Harry said sternly, 'please just try it on.'
James hesitated but finally gave it in. He took it from his father's outstretched hand, and begrudgingly wrapped it around himself, looking annoyed.
'There,' he hissed, 'its fine, can I take it off now?'
'Look in the mirror,' Harry said smiling widely and holding open the dresser door and pointing at the mirror on the inside.
James stared at his father. Then, without a word, moved around to stand in front of his father so he could look into the mirror. Immediately, and much to Harry's enjoyment, James' mouth dropped open.
'Dad!' he bellowed, looking utterly bewildered, 'my body! It's-'
'Gone?' Harry laughed.
'What is this?' James queried, pulling open the cloak, and then closing it again, his body appeared and disappeared accordingly.
Harry lowered himself onto his knees and put a hand on his son's shoulder, their eyes met through the mirror.
'It's just like I said,' Harry said simply, 'a precious family heir-loom that you must at all cost protect. Do you understand why I had to give you rules James? You must obey them; follow them intently so that you have something to pass onto your son.'
'This is brilliant,' James grimaced, 'wait until I show Albus!'
James made another motion to leave the room, but Harry firmed his grasp on his son's shoulder.
'I forgot rule number four,' Harry said, a look of horror suddenly formed on James' face, 'you can't have it until you get your letter.'
Harry roared with laughter at the look on his son's face.
'I'm just kidding James,' Harry said, yet he still took back the cloak, 'though I won't have you frightening your mother or siblings, so you get it on September the first. Alright?'
James looked indignantly up at his father, as if he was about to strike in anger. However, this look passed, and another look etched across his face, one Harry had never thought he would see on his son's face.
It was the look of acknowledgement.
'OK dad,' James said, closely watching his father place the cloak on the top shelf of the wardrobe. 'I promise, I will be good with it, you will see!'
Not entirely sure he fully trusted his son; Harry still smiled and scuffled his son's hair.
'Come on,' he said, leading James to the door, 'desert is waiting for us.'
Harry opened the door and moved over the threshold. James, however, stayed put on it, staring at his father.
'Dad?' he asked, making Harry look around.
'Yes?' Harry raised an eyebrow.
James surveyed him devilishly as a hand ran through his partly messy hair.
'Thank you,' he said warmly, stepping over the threshold and hugging his father. 'I love you.'
Harry, slightly taken aback, smiled in appreciation as he hugged his son.
'I love you too, James.'