Meet HJ Potter
Disclaimer – This is a work of fan fiction. It is based off JKR’s work. I make no claims of ownership whatsoever. Enjoy the show.
Acknowledgements – Thanks again for the vast number of reviews. I do my best to respond to each and every one. Since it’s the only payment I will ever receive from this, I appreciate it. Tip of the hat for the chapter title to Lord Dwar and his excellent story.
Warnings – Liberal use of foul language and Oedipus Simplex read on to find out what that’s about. If this story offends you, I recommend you read something else.
Chapter 3 – The Summer of Change
Friday July 16, 1994
“And I wonder what revelations await us tonight, Potter? I never had Evans pegged for doggy style stuff the face in the pillow type. She always seemed like such a missionary prude. Just goes to show you how the years can change a person, doesn’t it?”
Oedipus Simplex – it’s the simple fact of remembering what James and Lily used to do together, often. I feel so dirty. That was the highlight of last night’s entertainment. I have no idea what tonight holds in store for me and the foul-mouthed Hat. I’ve been doing this for fifteen nights; drink three potions, slam the Hat on my head and scream my bloody throat raw discovering the shrinking blackness of my repressed memories. Fortunately, the ward stones prevent me from waking up the neighborhood
Arriving here at stately Number 4, I was treated to the usual stern lecture from Vernon and the same recriminating looks from Petunia. My fake trunk is currently locked up with my fake wand in my old bedroom under the stairs. Dobby has somewhat grown on me. He had my books except for Potions hidden in my closet and the rest of my trunk along with the all the ingredients in the garage. Sure enough, a quick comment to Vernon about the dingy look of the garage and I had a summer project. Well let’s be honest – Dobby had a summer project. I can look out my window at night and barely make out his shape dashing to and fro, actually had to warn him to slow down a bit. Otherwise, I’m guessing I’d be up on the roof cleaning the gutters, which is significantly harder to fake. Sadly, I told the walrus that I’d be done shortly. I’ll need a new ‘project’ soon
Dobby’s got a steady supply of food coming in to supplement the ridiculously small portions forced upon me by Dudley’s diet. It almost makes up for waking up in the morning and having him right in front of my face staring at me with those huge eyes! First time that happened I almost wet myself! It took less than three days of that for me to turn my ‘second hand obviously seen better days’ bed around and sleep facing the wall.
Still, the little psychopath keeps the house clean and somehow manages to stay out of sight. I could learn a thing or two from him about stealth. Though, I’ve gotten a few strange looks when I come back out of the kitchen in five minutes and the dishes are washed, rinsed and put away. I can see it’s starting to get to Petunia. She came behind me the other night and checked for anything she could find, while looking at me suspiciously. To the other two ‘cleaning the plates’ involves using their tongue, so no worries there.
As for the Hat, Flitwick came through with the literal ‘feather in my cap’. He charmed a feather so that when I touch it there’s a potent glamour that makes it look like a simple ball cap with the Manchester United logo on it. We take a spin through the park and slip out on the town, in the early afternoon when the oaf’s at work, the pig’s scrounging for food from his little thug friends, and the horse is having her afternoon ‘lie in’. It’s either a nap on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or tea with all the other busy bodies and trading lies on the other days.
It’s kind of odd playing tour guide to a Hat, especially when the blasted thing can pick up my surface thoughts. Walking around the town, I’m treated to such fascinating dialogue as, “Tell me HJ, might there be any places in this misbegotten pisshole that you haven’t gotten the shit kicked out of you?” It calls me HJ, because it knows that it is mildly annoying, but either it’s mellowing or I’m just becoming numb to it, because I find myself starting to enjoy its company. The two of us took in a bit of a football game the other day and it regaled me with a story of it going to Afghanistan at one point and watching a game on horseback played with a dead calf. Apparently, that was a real game and not this ‘Nancy Boy’ shit. I recommended that he try and hang out next summer with Dean Thomas and make certain to tell him that.
I’ve done my best to keep up with Ron and Hermione. I’m sure they’ll still complain that it’s not enough. I can’t exactly tell them what I am really up to and how I’m beginning to question their role in my newly discovered, or is that rediscovered life.
So far what I’ve learned is that history does in fact repeat itself. Hermione might as well be Remus, the brains in the outfit. She’s already got the freaky hair thing going on, but she’s a sharp one and the one most likely to pick up on all my changes. Ron quite literally is a poor man’s Sirius Black, though every once in awhile he too shines through with something utterly brilliant. Then, there is my relationship with Neville Longbottom. If someone had asked me what I thought of Frank and Alice’s boy a few weeks ago, I’d have said, ‘Quiet bloke, a bit clumsy, frightening in a good way in Herbology and frightening in a bad way in Potions.’ Subconsciously, he must remind me of the Rat and I’ve always kept my distance from him.
So yes, history does repeat itself – I have my own dysfunctional version of the Marauders. I suppose at some point I’d start chasing after my own version of Lily. Sue Bones has the right hair color, but Tracy Davis has more of the look complete with the ‘stay the hell away from me Potter’ attitude. That said; James Potter was a spoiled rich boy. He was a real Casanova. He had it, used it, and on more occasions than I’d like to admit flaunted it. Harry is the aloof hero; I could use that whole ‘tragically sad hero’ song and dance to get in bed with a few of the seventh years and damn near everyone below that. Problem with that being, they’re girls and I’m suddenly looking at them with an adult’s eyes, all while being stuck in a soon to be fourteen year old body. I’m reminded that the ones who are starting to develop and really lose the baby fat, well, they still have baby fat and that’s the problem.
I’ll probably need to obsess about something else. Otherwise it’s going to be a sad, sad final three years until I’m where I can comfortably date any one of these girls. The hardest hit will probably be little Ginny. Looking back, she tries so hard to get my attention. Sorry ‘kiddo’, but it’s going to be even harder now, you should try again like maybe when you’re twenty.
Hell, I’m still trying to piece together when, where, and with whom James lost his virginity. It’s no surprise that Lily avoided him like the plague! James was a man-whore with an eye for the exotic types. A certain fascination that seems to have carried over to the new me, I wonder if Cho’s aunt Cho Ri can still get her ankles up to her head? Only Sirius had more notches in his wand holster.
Anyone care to know another interesting fact that has been playing complete and utter havoc with my life? James Potter was left handed. It’s been screwing with my spell casting for years now! Give me a ‘point and shoot spell’ like the Patronus Charm; I come through like a champ. Want me to do some swish and flick stuff and the James in me is telling the Harry in me that we’re both doing it backwards. Try wrapping your mind around that a few times and get back to me. Still, now that I know it and recognize it, I’ll be able to retrain myself.
The magic itself is coming back, nicely too. Old Jimmy knew a few wandless tricks. I can already levitate the heavy barbells Dudders uses for weight training. Oddly enough, I’m using them to get stronger in a different sense. My summoner can barely bring the Hat drifting across the room from my dresser. I’d really hate to try and summon my wand back to me in the heat of battle! It needs much more work and I expected that, but even more bizarre is my wandless banisher is stronger than the elder Potter’s ever was. You certainly won’t hear me complaining about that! It’s a continuing theme of similar but different that leads me no closer to discovering my true identity. I haven’t dared try to change into my Animagus form, at least not until I can be around someone to help me if I get into a tight spot. I might be able to swear Oliver to secrecy. He’s about the only one I could trust that’s old enough to cast spells. I’ll have to see how he acts when I see him at Puddlemere’s games. Rather nice of him to send me a few tickets.
Continuing with the man-whore theme, Jimmy’s summoner well let’s just say from the right angle, it could pull a pair of knickers off a pretty bird say from the other side of the Gryffindor common room, not rip them and leave them twirling on his finger two seconds later. Let’s just say that and leave it alone, okay? Alice didn’t mind so much, she always was a good sport, but Frank damn near killed me. It also got Lily’s attention something fierce in a bad way at first, but then she started demanding to know everything I knew about wandless magic. Those first few lessons at the end of our fifth year coupled with the loss of my parents, or should I say grandparents in the sixth year were turning points in our relationship. This is all one big bloody riot coming from a soon-to-be fourteen year old, not yet in his fourth year.
The memories aren’t all bad or disturbing in a squicky way. I remember so many pranks – the good times. Most of them were before the war really heated up at the beginning of JP’s sixth year. Hell, the best prank I can remember, thus far, was actually from the Rat. He convinced three other fifteen year olds, including the sheltered Halfblood, who were all quite ignorant of the Muggle world to imbibe some aging potions and go to a club in London to see an American Disco band. He failed to identify the type of club or the orientation of the crowd, but at least I learned how to do the YMCA so it wasn’t a complete loss.
It’s also nice to remember what real parents and a real home life was like, not this grotesque abomination I am currently experiencing. I’ll be fixing that soon. There are going to be a few changes here at Number Four.
“Well HJ, are you going to man up and take the damn potions or are you just going stand there and wait for the rest of your memories to come back to you?”
“You really are a piece of work aren’t you?”
“I’m Godric’s finest achievement. Don’t let the myth fool you, he was as nasty as they came a thousand years ago. He drank excessively, cheated on Helga with both of her sisters, but he was positively lethal with wand, staff and sword. Winning the battles made him feel alive. It was the times of peace killed him. He didn’t need to go after Slytherin when he left. The drunken fucker wanted to! Ravenclaw stuck his sword inside of me to hide it from him, but he left anyway. Stupid dickless bastard paid the price for his pride!”
I digested that little tidbit about the founders as the Hat continued, “That’s right HJ – not all that glitters is gold. They all had their flaws. You’d do well to remember that. Now are we going to do this or not?”
I grab the slam the three potions down my throat one after another and pull the Hat onto my head wondering what waits on the other side of the Darkness in my mind.
I recognize the place, the Potter Cottage at Godric’s Hollow. I see Lily playing with baby Harry. She’d lost a good deal of weight since the Harry’s birth; so much that I was beginning to seriously worry about her. The war and the pressure were getting to her. I remember feeling bitter, that the war and the forced exile were driving a wedge into our marriage. I’d leave home to go train as a professional duelist and come home to find her in tears or in the middle of some obscure ritual.
Lily was an obsessive type. There was no ‘halfway’ with her. It was one of her most endearing qualities. It was also rather scary. If we weren’t Unplottable, I’d venture to guess that there were at least three separate occasions that I know of where she’d have been carted off to Azkaban for the kind of shit she pulled in her ‘private chamber’.
One time that would have put me in Azkaban for a different reason hurts the most. I didn’t want to think about the occasion I caught her with Remus Lupin. Sirius always thought I agreed with him that Remus was a Dark Creature and that’s why he shouldn’t be our Secret Keeper. No, the real reason was I came home early from training and found him ‘comforting’ Lily. It was the last time James Potter ever spoke to Remus Lupin and the words exchanged were not pleasant. I wasn’t about to trust a man, who’d sleep with another man’s wife with our safety. Hell, I almost sent Lily and Harry into hiding alone. Alice and Frank talked me out of it. I visited them often. They were the only ones that could understand. Maybe it was the difference being two years older could make, but they were handling it better than we were.
Lily tried, but failed to excuse her behavior. She blamed the pressure. She blamed me. She blamed the blasted prophecy. She blamed everything and everyone, but herself. Her need to justify herself was her least endearing trait.
That thrice cursed prophecy, Harry or Neville – one of them, or is that us, was destined to be the undoing of Voldemort. Needless to say the last month of James Potter’s life had been the worst. Outside, my friends were dying. Inside, my marriage was falling apart at the seams. Some days I prayed that it would be Frank and Alice’s burden. Other days I just wanted it to end and didn’t care how either. How blasted brave and noble is that? We were trapped like Peter in that ridiculous cage that Sirius bought for him in our fifth year hoping that the jogging wheel would help alleviate his baby fat problem.
The realization of the prophecy itself brought with it a tidal wave of memories; Dumbledore breaking the news, followed by denial, panic, anger, anguish and finally acceptance. The old Wizard always had a piss poor way of breaking bad news. It was right after hearing that Marlene and her entire family had been slaughtered that he delivered that little gem. Guess who overheard it and ran running to his Master? I’ve stumbled on yet another reason for me to hate that sniveling greasy fucker. My guess is that it was only his life debt owed to me that forced him to go running back to Dumbledore after Harry was born.
Somehow, I know the coming memories are very important. I feel myself reacting as the wards are breached. I see the panic in Lily’s eyes as she tries to Apparate with Harry and then tries to use the Emergency Portkey. I order her upstairs and see her flee not even stopping to grab her wand. I throw a few of my best reinforcing charms on the door, hoping to hold until Dumbledore and the Order get here. I move all the furniture in the room towards the door as it buckles and collapses.
I feel the fear and anticipation churning in the pit of my stomach. It’s him! I had hoped and prayed that it was the underlings. It wasn’t! I stave off the panic. I had prepared for this. Stick to the plan! Little Harry’s stuffed dog looking rather like a certain grim, morphs into the real thing, as ‘Enrico’ the stuffed vulture Lily detests so much swoops from its perch into the path of his killing curse. There’s no way I’m going down that easy! Not in my house!
I dive away from the powerful blasting curse hurled at the floor sending a shower of debris into the air and opening a fissure into the cellar below. He’s so fast that I didn’t even see him kill the transfigured grim. On my command, my favorite recliner charges him morphing into a wild boar. A cutting curse splits it in two, but the momentum of the body forces Voldemort to leap over the hog.
Forcing power into my casting I bellow, “Lacero! Impactus!” Would I succeed in defying him a fourth time?
I expected my cutter to come back at me off his shield, but not the bludgeoner too! How bloody powerful is he? I barely dodge my own volley of spells, but it costs me the initiative. I’m on the defensive now. I banish an end table in the path of his next curse and feel the pain of the splinters of cherry digging into my flesh like hot needles when he obliterates it.
I dive behind the couch bleeding everywhere. Get out of here Lily! Save our son!
I gather my wits while he gloats, “Oh James, you’re just a poor deluded boy. Where is your confident swagger now? Where is Dumbledore’s little lapdog with your money and family connections who turned down my generous offer? I told you I’d take it all from you and so I have. Am I not a man of my word? Your family’s great manor? Put to the torch. Your rich and powerful parents? Executed at my command. Now, all you have left is this quaint little cottage and a collection of vaults you’ll never see again. You should have known Prongs, never trust a rat…”
The white hot anger purges my fear. I banish the couch at him and wandlessly summon the bookshelves behind him hoping to crush him, but the green light streaking towards me is unavoidable….
“The elf has already cleaned your vomit. You went into convulsions coming out of the trance. If it hadn’t unblocked your airway, you’d have died.” Am I imagining things or do I detect a hint of pity from the Hat’s voice in my head.
“Maybe that would have been for the best. Fuck! How about that shit? What god did I offend to get this kind of karma?” I pull the Hat up on my forehead enough to see the quivering house elf in the corner of the room and give him a weak, grateful smile.
“Done feeling sorry for your lot in life yet? If not, take me off until you are. This maudlin, whiny ‘woe is me’ yank your wanker routine was old a week ago.”
I fire back, “Way to kick a guy when he’s down you worthless piece of shit!”
“Ah but now, you’re angry at me and not crying about shit you can’t change. Welcome back to the present HJ. Unless you were actually closet fudge packer and Snape was trying to pay off his debt to you on his knees, that’s probably the most startling revelation coming our way. Now that it’s out of the way, you can start thinking about what you are going to do about it!”
I pull the Hat off my head. It prefers to talk in my head, I’d rather act like a human instead of the ‘freak’ I’ve actually turned out to be. It’s the end of the world! Vernon Fucking Dursley was right about me all along! I am a freak. The end all beat all is that when Riddle does return; I’m the one that has to put an end to him! I catch myself mentally berating Dumbledore for never telling Harry. I’m Harry!
“Here I thought I was three and oh against Riddle; all along, I was really six and one. What do I do about the eventual rematch? I don’t know. I suppose I need to train. James lasted just over one bloody minute against him in a room he had prepared to fight someone in! Not exactly the best endorsement of my newfound abilities. At least, he’ll expect me to be a wet behind the ears ickle school kid.”
The Hat nods sagely, “That’s right HJ. Let’s look at how you can use this to your advantage. Harry’s much stronger than James ever was. You get back in form and you throw in that power and your enemies will be in for a shock.”
The two of us fall silent for a time. I ask Dobby for a drink and he brings me some milk to wash the taste of vomit out of my mouth. I only have enough for two more nights of potions. The rest of JP’s memories will have to trickle back on their own. I need to get out of here. I need to get some things. I need to go back – there.
“Hat, tomorrow we’re going to see the Hollow. I had some stuff stashed elsewhere on the property. If Sirius hasn’t raided it already, it’ll come in handy.”
And now chapter 3 is out of the way! As for the contest, Vash has withdrawn his participation and though Bioplague mentions that he is still in, I have yet to see any actual production from him. My updates on this will be rather sporadic as completing my first two stories takes precedence. If by the next month, I haven’t seen anything from my competition, I will go ahead and start working with my team to make the story have more polish. Thanks for all the reviews, let me know what you think of this one.