The Snitch of Secrets Three

Big Brother James

The days that followed were amazing. They spent most of their time outside; either in the pool or playing Quidditch. Lily spent a ridiculous amount of time in the Potters' library. Her friends had laughed at her saying that you can take the witch out of Hogwarts but you can't take Hogwarts out of the witch. James had been secretly glad that she liked the library. They hadn't argued at all in the few days that she had been at his home and he was enjoying it immensely. There was a peaceful camaraderie between them and he was getting quite comfortable with it. Mr Potter had been called away on auror business on their first morning and had yet to return. James didn't appear worried. This was normal. He was probably off on a raid of some kind. In the pit of his stomach however anxiety was building as it always did when his father was away.

The girls spent hours cooing over baby Mippy whilst the boys laughed at their "womanly behaviour." Although when no one else was around James and Sirius were both equally mystified by the small elf child. The elf had taken to Lily and would barely leave her alone. He would sleep in her arms as she read a book in the library. Missy had apologised repeatedly but Lily had smiled reassuringly. She didn't mind in the slightest.

On their third day at the manor house on the boarder of the Forest of Dean, they had received bad news. Charlus had finally returned; exhausted but otherwise fine, with the bad news that one of his aurors had died during the raid. He had already written to Steins' widow but he asked Mrs Potter to visit her. So the very next day the third years were left alone all day as Mr Potter was at the ministry and Mrs Potter was visiting Mrs Steins with a basket of food. The girls couldn't believe how peaceful the house was. However that peace didn't last long when just after lunch Nancy arrived with her younger siblings. She greeted James and Sirius with a quick kiss on the cheek. They had become like siblings. "Hello loves… where's mother?"

"She had to go visit Steins' widow," James began to explain.

"Bugger…" Nancy frowned, "she must have forgotten. She's supposed to be having this lot for the day. Dorian is visiting friends for the holiday. I took a few days off work but I've got to get back – the paperwork is mounting up…"

"Is the rumours true?" Sirius asked. "I heard you've found yourself a new boyfriend."

Nancy blushed, "I don't know what you're talking about Si."

Sirius laughed. James offered to look after the girls, "besides Milly and Missy are here – they practically raised me…"

"That is not true and you know it Mr James Charlus Potter!" Dorea said from the doorway.

"Aw Dori," Nancy smiled, "thank Merlin. How is Mrs Steins?"

"Terrible… absolutely grief stricken," Dorea shook her head sadly. "Here they are – my beautiful girls. How are you two?"

"Great Aunt Dori," Doreen replied.

"Mummy!" Cynthia had taken to calling Dorea mummy ages ago. She was very young and didn't completely understand what had happened to her own parents. Dorea didn't correct her and neither did Nancy. Nancy was just happy that her sisters had the family they needed.

"We'll see you later then love," Dorea said to Nancy, "have a good day at work. Are you staying for tea tonight?"

"That would be lovely Dorea. Thanks for doing this. I could have left them with Molly but I think she has her hands full with her two. Bill's started walking…"

Dorea laughed knowingly, remembering when James had started walking. It had been the beginning of his mischief making. "It's my pleasure, dear."

"Thanks mum," Nancy said before kissing her adoptive mother on the cheek. They had developed a very close relationship over the last year and a bit.

Cynthia and Doreen joined the Gryffindors for an afternoon swim. Cynthia although sweet and innocent looking was incredibly mischievous and James and Sirius encouraged her more mischievous nature. They had the innocent looking child do all their dirty work. The girls were sat sunbathing by the side of the pool. Cynthia walked up to the girls and started to tug on Lily's arm. At six years old she was quite adorable and was usually able to get her own way easily. "Lily… Lily, I want to go swim," Cynthia told her.

Lily opened her eyes smiling at the small child, "the boys are in the pool. Why don't you swim with them?"

"No. No, I want to swim with you," Cynthia looked like she might start crying any moment. Lily stood up and followed the little girl to the pool's edge. She sat on the edge before lowering herself in before pulling Cynthia in as well.

James swam over to them, "Oi Thia, should we show Lily your magic?"

Cynthia nodded. James helped her back out of the pool. James stepped back before swimming to the middle of the pool. "Potter – what are you doing?" Lily felt suddenly nervous.

"Come on then Thia," James smiled.

Thia jumped but instead of splashing in the water, she appeared to fly just above the water until she landed on James' shoulders. "Impressive right?" James asked as Lily floated dumbfounded.

"Blooming heck," Lily frowned, "how did she…?"

"Magic – the magic shows itself in all of us differently. I first showed signs of magic when I was three. I stole my mum's wand and turned our cat green… and later when mum insisted I get my hair cut I'd always magically grow it back," James told her. "What was yours?"

"Er… I don't know. There was a flower. I opened and closed its petals. Petunia made me stop doing it though. She was scared," Lily thought back.

"Magic does have a tendency of terrifying muggles," James nodded understandingly.

"Yeah I guess," Lily smiled.

Cynthia tugged on Lily's hair, "I want to do jumps."

"You're not demanding at all are you Thia?" Lily laughed.

James and Lily inched away from each other in the water so that there was a big enough gap between them and Thia stepped onto James' knee before jumping over to Lily's lap and back again. They carried on doing jumps with Thia until the small girl got tired. James pulled her up into his arms and wrapped her in a towel. "Time to go in I think," he said authoritively.

"No James. No!" Thia complained as she nuzzled into his neck, drifting off to sleep.

"Oi you – don't sleep. It's almost dinner time!" James tickled her on the tummy.

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