The Sugar Quill
Author: Sammy Weasley  Story: Some Fatherly Advice  Chapter: Harry, James, Sirius
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

It had been a dream

“He knows you, you start this conversation,” James Potter was whispering to his best friend, and the godfather of James’ son, Harry.

“He will recognize you, too. I mean, he saw Snape’s worst memory of you tormenting him after the OWLs.” Sirius replied, unable to fully bring a smile to his face.

It had been a month since Sirius had fallen through the veil in the Ministry and had left Harry without much of a family again. Harry still had the Weasley’s who were more than willing to adopt him. Remus and Tonks would also look after Harry, and Moody would look in on him ever so often as well.

“Are you sure he will even realize we are here? I have tried this before and it never worked then.”

“That is because you have no faith in yourself. However did Lily manage to deal with you all these years? I mean, it is practically enough to kill me if I wasn’t already dead.”

“Then I should be grateful that you are?” James looked over at Sirius, who had settled onto Harry’s bed in the dream world. They were trying to figure out how to get Harry to talk to them. Once connection was established the first time it would be easier to do after that. Even Lily would then be able to accompany them onto this part of the afterlife.

“Ya know Prongs, I was a little surprised to find that Ron was made Prefect, but I guess Dumbledore really knew what he was doing,” Sirius commented, after a pause. “I mean Harry really does have enough stuff to deal with without…what was that noise?”

“Who is there?” a third voice spoke as another form appeared on the bed. “Dad? Sirius? How did you get here?” Harry asked, realizing who was on his bed. Almost immediately he threw himself at Sirius for a hug and then without thinking gave a quick one to James as well.

“A small perk of the land of the dead. We get to come here every once in a while and talk to a live person,” James said, shifting on the bed after Harry had released him and settled on the bed as well. “I have tried before, but this is obviously the first time I have managed to make ‘contact’ with you. With the obvious exception of when I was pulled very uncomfortably out through Voldemort’s wand. That was not fun, not that I can imagine it was much fun for you, either.”

“So where is mum? Wouldn’t she want to come and make sure you didn’t do anything too risky?” Harry asked, realizing that his mother wasn’t there.

“No, actually she sent us to hope we could make contact,” Sirius replied stretching out on the bed, or at least as much as he could. With three of them on the bed it was a bit of a tight squeeze.

“Your mother does send her love. She also wishes there was something she could do to make sure that Petunia and Vernon treated you better. But as neither of us are ghosts there is not a whole lot we can do about that,” James added, before Sirius could make further comment. “And I want to add that we are both really proud of you. In many ways you have dealt with more then your fair share of hard times and the future doesn’t look too bright.”

“Don’t forget to at least cause a little mischief. If anyone deserves that, you do.” Sirius added, looking serious. “And don’t let Snape get you down or get to you. He is beneath you and so is Malfoy.”

“Sound advice coming from the mayhem-causing Padfoot. Or are you trying to do a little more of your godfather duties?” Harry asked, looking at Sirius and making a small attempt at teasing.

“You have more problems to deal with than baiting on Snape or dealing with a snot-nosed, over-arrogant prefect like Malfoy. Just be careful of what you do around him, or make sure that Hermione and/or Ron are with you. Prefect against Prefect looks better then regular student against Prefect.” James added.

“Fine thing for you to tell him,” Sirius said, laughing a little at his friend.

“No worse then you, Padfoot. At least he will be semi-easier for Ron and Hermione to control then we were for Remus.”

“Excellent point, Prongs. Speaking of Moony, we really should pay him a visit.”

“Tomorrow night; tonight he needs to recover a little more from the moon. This one wasn’t good on him with the loss of you to deal with.”

“I know,” At this Sirius looked sad and almost lost. He and Remus had long since gone beyond brothers and best friends. They had been mates, now lost to each other till Remus too joined his friends in the afterlife.

After a little silence, Harry put in, “I am still going to try and clear your name, Sirius. I want people to know that you aren’t a murderer.”

“Thanks Harry. Can you look after Moony too? I know he probably doesn’t want it but I worry about him. And you two need each other. I will tell him where to find the other mirror so you can talk to him whenever you need him. That is, if it still will work after you broke it.”

“I didn’t know you still had them,” James put in.

“I did, but now one is with Harry, shattered mind you, and the other’s at Grimmauld Place,” Sirius said, looking at James before turning back to Harry, “You could send it to Remus for him to repair, and he can send you the other one.”

“Oh, good idea. Now, on to the real reason we are here. Harry, one piece of advice I want to pass on to you is one that has been passed on from Potter generation to Potter generation. That is, you need to laugh at least once a day. I know it can be hard, but it really does help the outlook on life.”

“I’ll try to remember that.” Harry said, thinking that at the Dursleys there was very little to laugh about.

“Another bit is one that I am told that Dumbledore has already told you. He told it to us right after we got out of Hogwarts. ‘It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.’ Dreams can become goals and then reality, but don’t get so caught up in the dream that you can’t get past it.” Sirius gave the next bit of advice, looking serious as he did so.

“When in doubt, let your heart be your guide. But also never loose faith in the abilities of others; this includes but is not limited to Dumbledore, Moody, Remus, Ron and Hermione,” James put in.

“We are only as strong as we are united. Dissention in the ranks can lead to downfall of an army.”

“And be adaptable and accepting. Don’t let your temper get the better of you and if it does try to take it out on the right person. Otherwise things can get pretty nasty and it is not fair to the ‘innocent bystander’. And I should add for your mother for you to be semi organized, and get your work done preferably in a timely manner.”

“She would have added a lot more than that. But since she didn’t come, we can save that lecture for another time.”

“Quite right, an old Irish saying is that ‘a wise head makes a closed mouth.’ At times it is better to keep the thoughts in your head to yourself, as you may have learned with Umbridge. And tell Hermione that idea of taking her to the forest was ingenious. Remember it is good to talk about your problems with other people.”

“Try to take the Irish advice to ‘Take the world as it comes’ as well. Sometimes the Irish really know what they are talking about.”

“So are you two just here to pass onto me little bits of advice?” Harry asked, stopping the flow of advice coming from his father and godfather.

“Kind of, is there something you were wanting to know?” James asked, not really sure of how to go from here. He didn’t know what to make of the contact session since it seemed that he and Sirius were doing a lot of the conversation.

“No, I was just wondering.”

“Well, we are almost done. We have been gone long enough to make Lily either worry or start to wonder how the first contact session went.”

“All right, one last little bit of advice. This quote comes from a Muggle writer, who was brought into the Wizarding World by Muggle borns and loved there too.” Sirius cut in.

“Do you want to do the honors or should I?”

“You can, he is your son.”

“Alright, here is the last little bit of advice. ‘So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you will move mountains.’ It is from a man called Dr. Seuss, and I know it was in one of his books but I don’t remember which one it was exactly. ”

“I’ll ask Hermione to look it up for me.” Harry commented. Then after a pause, he asked a question, “Are you always watching out for me, or do you just watch what I do?”

“Occasionally we can watch out for what is coming your way, but mostly we just have to ability to watch what you do,” James said, and then looking thoughtful he added, “And you were right, Harry. I wouldn’t want Sirius and Remus to become murderers just for Peter. In the end he will get what he deserves. Including playing his part in setting Sirius’ name right.”

“You really think so?” Sirius asked, looking at his friend. “And I don’t want to know what you think is the just punishment for him. I just hope that he doesn’t come here.”

“He won’t, doesn’t have the qualifications. Besides, he is probably afraid of death and therefore will become a ghost. I don’t know whom he will haunt though; just wander around aimlessly. A pointless ghost and he will probably make everyone who meets him nostalgic for Moaning Myrtle.”

“That is bad; so is that your just punishment for him? To wander around as a ghost till the end of time?” Harry asked. “Because that is not very good.”

“No, I don’t know what a just punishment for him is, but I will think on it.”

“Good, just don’t do that here,” Sirius cut in. “And Harry, I would just like to add that I am so sorry for…”

“Stop right there Sirius. I am just beginning to come to terms with your death, and I am half to blame for bringing you to the Ministry,” Harry cut in, suddenly looking like he might loose his composure.

“Whatever, you were doing what you thought was right. If we are going to blame anyone blame Voldemort, he was the one who started the whole problem.” James said, stopping all arguments that either Sirius or Harry might have been about to make. “Blaming each other or ourselves won’t get us anywhere and all you can do Harry is work on learning from it.”

“Have you been practicing your Occlumency?” Sirius asked, changing the subject a little.

“Yeah, but I fell asleep thinking about what it would be like to be back at the Burrow. That is when I can finally get there. Won’t that make it harder on you two and mum to come talk to me?” Harry responded.

“It might, we will just have to find out next time we try to make contact. There is never a guarantee that we will make contact on our end either,” James added. “I have been trying for what seems like forever to contact you, and Remus and Dumbledore over the years.”

“Wouldn’t Dumbledore use Occlumency every night, making it hard to make contact?”

“You also need to have a certain confidence on our end as well. Always thinking you will fail, and you probably will,” Sirius put in before James could. “Well, we really need to be getting back. Harry I will see you next time, James I’ll be waiting for your return to our current residence.” With that Sirius left James and Harry alone.

“Harry, there is one more piece of advice I would like to impart on you before I too leave. An American President once said that the ‘Only thing to fear was fear itself’ and Franklin D. Roosevelt couldn’t have been more right. Having a fear of the Dementors is logical and not giving all your fear to Voldemort is brave. Keep your head when things get crazy and you will do just fine.”

“Thanks dad.” Harry said, after a short pause.

James then stood up to make his leave, but before he could disappear Harry suddenly found himself on his feet and giving his father another hug. Returning the hug, James realized that he didn’t want to leave but vowed to find a way to make contact as often as possible.

As Harry slowly faded from his sight, James couldn’t help but think that maybe they should add Ron to their list of contacts. He could use the encouragement and could probably be convinced to look out and really be there for Harry. At least as much as he had been in the past, that had made all the difference in the world.

“Find something to fight for and you will do just fine,” James thought before Harry was completely lost to him and he found himself facing Sirius, who just nodded and they headed off to find Lily.


When Harry woke up the next morning he felt a little braver than he had the day before. He knew everything would be all right in the end. As he reviewed the conversation he had had with his father and godfather, he couldn’t help but wonder where one bit of advice had come from. Neither James nor Sirius had said it, but he couldn’t get it out of his head.

“Find something to fight for?” Harry asked himself out loud as he went for a walk. “I guess I will have to do that then, and let what will come, come.”



The Dr. Seuss is from Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Franklin D. Roosevelt used the fear itself quote in his first inauguration speech. My Dean of Students told me my senior year of high school to laugh at one thing every day, and I thought that Harry could use the inspiration as well. Dumbledore’s quote is from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone American Version on page 214. The other bits of advice that James and Sirius give are just a few of my thoughts or ones that I have heard, and the Irish advice came from one of my Irish quote books.  I don’t mean to take anyone’s words illegally.


I don’t own James, Sirius, Harry, or any of the other characters that were mentioned. Thanks to my beta reader, Silver Phoenix for reviewing and correcting my story.

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