29 May 2019
“I know how to use a wand,” the boy opposite me says grimly, placing his fist on the table.
I’m sitting opposite James Sirius Potter, listening to him tell me his involvement in the terrifying and tragic events that transpired in Diagon Alley shortly before Christmas.
James is, of course, the eldest son of the ‘man-who-was-the-boy-who-lived’, but as that’s quite a mouthful, let’s just take James on his own terms. He is, unsurprisingly quite eager for this. “To those who know me … I've made it perfectly clear that I’ll make my own limelight. I don’t need my father’s name to be a talented wizard.”
It is then no surprise that when Death Eaters descended upon the alley, snatching his younger brother, Albus Potter, James quickly swung into action, despite reckoning that “dad was getting to it”.
“There were fireworks in his pants, you see … no-heat wet starters.” James first noticed the fireworks when the family was leaving their house. “I saw he was walking funny. Asked if he has a stick up his —” I did ask at this point whether James usually thinks Albus has a stick up his —. He gave a cheeky, roguish grin. “I don’t know,” is all he says.
Regardless, James obviously cares about his baby brother a great deal. Taking a huge risk, he shot a perfectly aimed shower charm at Albus, setting off the fireworks and causing a massive uproar that bought the Ministry time to gather reinforcements and spring into action against the Death Eaters, despite outrageous vigilante interference.
Unfortunately, the boys’ mother, vivacious Virginia Potter, was “quite furious”, despite her youngest son being saved from certain death. James admits freely that he was “pretty reckless”, but points out indignantly, “It was my brother … what choice did I have?”
Sadly for James, Mrs Potter was not the only woman in his life to get upset about these heroic activities. James had been dating soft-spoken brunette beauty Anna, who left off her quiet bookish ways to get “a bit crazy” on James after the events. “I can take care of myself,” James sighs. “I don’t need her to worry.”
Older readers, remembering my own interview with Harry Potter, so many years ago, will draw effective comparisons between James’ tumultuous relationship with Anna, and Harry’s own with Hermione Granger – his long-time girlfriend who eventually fell out with him over his constant endangerment, switching her affections instead to Harry’s safer friend Ronald Weasley, who in turn traded his younger sister, the now famous Virginia Potter, to Harry.
It may be this loss of his first love that leads Harry Potter to spend so much time away from his family. “Sometimes I wish he didn't work so much,” James face softens, showing his young age for the first time in our interview. “I miss heading out to Grandma and Grandpa’s to play quidditch with him out back. But he’s busy.”
When I suggest this may be because of Harry Potter’s leadership of the auror division at the Ministry, James believes his Dad works “completely more than necessary … if he wasn't so bent on solving everyone’s problems himself, he’d have more time at home.”
This insight may explain James’ conviction that he could handle being an auror. “It’s in my blood”. He is however, determined not to work so many hours as his father. “Not anywhere near”. It’s certain that James will make sure to leave plenty of time for Quidditch – which he plays obsessively with his Gryffindor team. Despite dabbling in seeking like his father, he is looking forward to switching to a chasing position. “It’s less stressful. And I tend to get bludgers swatted at me less.”
Quidditch has a side benefit of potentially drawing his ex-girlfriend back to him. Anna is “crazy about quidditch. Really loyal Puddlemere fan. Knows probably just as much about quidditch as anyone.”
Despite Anna’s dedication to James and the game, it seems possible that the Potter boy may already have wandering eyes, shifting, to be exact, onto a fellow Gryffindor named Megan. “Look, Megan knows I love her, okay?” The boy spreads his hands in a ‘what-can-I-do-about-it’ gesture. “I think about her day in and day out.”
After seeking doe-eyed Anna Lizzerd for some time, I ask her about James, only to see her face well up. “I don’t even KNOW the twit,” she sobs, before running off. Later, I find Megan Maguire, whose gorgeous vibrancy throws Anna’s mild sweetness deep into the shadows. “How do you feel about James and Anna breaking up recently?” I ask her, my eyes already narrowing upon this hussy. “Who the HELL is Anna!” She huffs, spinning and walking off angrily.
With this vixen on the warpath, it seems doubtful James will remain faithful to Anna for long.