Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
AN: James Potter Sr. will hence forth be known as Mr. Potter. James Junior will simply be James. Yes, I know I said this would come out sooner, but I gave into my perfectionist side and edited around some. By the way, I may need a beta to run my ideas by since my brother is at college. I would prefer a more experienced author than me. Someone nit picky that I can learn from. However, they would have to endure my irregular updates. I have a LOT of responsibilities right now, and updates may not be that frequent.
My Brother's Keeper.
"Here we are." James Potter said, dropping his bag of luggage on the marble floor of their new living room. "Our new home!" he declared, wiping dust from the floo network off his robes.
Harry glanced around and got his first glance at their new house, determined not to be impressed. It was difficult. The room was beautifully painted a light green and Harry took an immediate unintentional liking to the room.
Mr. Potter grimaced. "That'll have to go. No Slytherin colors in this house."
James however had seen the look of disappointment on his brothers face. Knowing that Harry wouldn't protest, James decided to for him.
"I kind of like it, Dad. It matches Mom's eyes." James put forward, having no idea of whether it was true or not.
Mr. Potter, dutiful husband and father, saw his wife's face take on look of curiosity at how he would respond, and knew instantly he was in danger of sleeping on the couch if he pressed further for a color change.
"And what beautiful eyes they are," he conceded, and pecked Lily on the cheek. "We'll keep it the way it is."
"Honey, you don't have to do that for me." Lily said, emphasizing certain parts of the sentence.
Harry gave James a grateful look, and the Potters moved on to the other rooms. The house had three stories, an attic and a basement, eight bedrooms, three bathrooms, two dinning rooms, one living room, a spare room, and a kitchen. Harry chose the loft bedroom in the attic for his room, and James chose a bedroom on the bottom floor. Harry's parents had the master bedroom on the second floor. Harry, James, and Mr. Potter convinced Lily that the spare room should become a workout and sparring room instead of a library. After all, they could turn a bedroom into a library, but not into a workout room as it would have been too small for Harry and James to throw each other around in.
Harry made peace with the fact that he liked the house by reminding himself that they wouldn't be spending most of their time here. The move was still a bad idea. The fact that their new house was nice didn't change a thing.
The twins met Sirius for the first time on Saturday. He came over with an old bearded man that Harry found out was Dumbledore, the Headmaster. They had a quiet evening meal, discussing the different subjects in school, and Sirius told some very funny stories about when he and father were at school.
"So then we dragged Prongs out into the front grounds of Hogwarts, tied his hands behind his back and tied another rope around his ankle, staked the other end of it in the ground, striped off all his clothes, levitated him twenty feet into the air, and left him out all night."
James and Harry almost fell off their chairs from laughing at the shade of red their father's face had turned. Dumbledore was chuckling to.
"Yes, I remember that. I had quiet an interesting time explaining that to the Board of Governors when they showed up early the next morning for the monthly meeting. I believe I told them you were a rare magical creature that showed them what they most wanted to see. Then I asked them what form it had taken for them. I got many answers, but none involved a naked young man tied to a stake."
Even Mr. Potter was laughing now. The conversation went on into the night, stories of Hogwarts flowing back and forth, tales of passage ways and corridors, pranks and detentions, Quiddich and dueling clubs, until Harry felt an excitement building in his chest. He wanted to go, he realized with a sudden shock. Harry realized that was the point of this dinner discussion. He was being manipulated. It was too late to turn back now though; too late to stop his ears to all the exciting tales. Harry began, against his will, to look forward to the school year. He should have seen this coming.
It was Monday before the reporters learned of their move back to Britain; a muggle born witch saw them walking through London. Harry and the rest of his family were on their way back from the grocery store, arms loaded down with bags when they were ambushed. Suddenly, there was a crowd of people all around them, snapping cameras, yelling questions, pushing, shoving, and circling.
"James Potter, what does it feel like to have killed the Dark Lord at age seven."
"Well, uh." James stammered, embarrassed. He felt a small swell of pride at the crowds admiration, but reminded himself that he had been lucky. Voldemort had underestimated him. And why shouldn't he have? Some idiot boy with his father's wand defeating the greatest dark lord in a century? It could never have been anything but luck, there was no doubt of that in James' mind. Still, despite the role of luck and sheer stupidity in Voldemort's downfall, James felt it as something of an accomplishment. He wanted to be remembered for more than that though. One day, he would be, too.
Harry was surprised at the resentment that swelled in his chest towards his brother. He realized what this sickly feeling bubbling in his throat was. He was jealous. Jealous of the attention his brother was receiving for killing an evil man and saving Harry's life.
"Don't answer." Mr. Potter ordered.
Harry tried to squash this emotion, but it was so sudden, so violent. He fought it with reason; why should he be jealous of his brother for saving his life? But the creature did not care for logic or truth. It wanted one thing. It wanted what James had.
"Is it true that you've been hiding in America all these years?"
"James Potter, there are some rumors going around that you're Merlin reborn. What do you say to that?"
"James Potter, is it true you were prophesied to kill You-Know-Who?"
"Yes, actually, that is true." Mr. Potter cut in for his son. "Now if you'd please…"
"Harry Potter." Harry turned to see a reporter looking right at him. "Winston Gram from the Daily Prophet. Do you ever feel envious of your brother? Does his fame create a barrier between him and you?"
Harry had heard his father say not to respond, but he needed to answer this one; the world needed to know the where he stood on this and so, he realized, did he.
"He's my brother." Harry said firmly. "There can be no barrier between us. We are blood. I'd die for him."
Silence. Harry saw James out of the corner of his vision, eyes wide open in shock.
"That's rather a strongvow for an eleven year old." Winston pointed out dubiously, breaking the silence.
"My brother kills dark lords. I can say a few words that are in my heart." Harry replied, shrugging.
"That will be all for today." Mr. Potter said, ushering his children through the crowd and into their house.
Their mom and dad rushed forward, taking the groceries to the kitchen, leaving Harry and James in the hall.
"Did you mean it?" James asked tentatively.
Harry smacked him on the back of the head. "Not a word of it, moron." He replied, trying to make light of a situation too deep to feel comfortable.
"Yeah, I guess you'd actually have to have a life in order to give it up for some one." James shot back.
"Ouch, that hurts." Harry droned, sarcasm saturating the air in the room. He turned to leave.
"Harry." James stopped him. "Did you mean it?"
Harry turned and saw the look of need in his brothers eyes. He had to know. Harry suddenly saw how important this was to James.
"From the heart." Harry held James' eyes for a moment, then left.
In the empty hall, James bowed his head and wondered if he could say the same. Would he die for Harry? Harry had a strength about him, an air of confidence James could only wish for. Was he that strong? He didn't know. But he would try to be.
Since the news of the Potter's arrival had already been uncovered, the family of four visited Diagon Alley the next day. Harry watched his brother shift uncomfortably under the gaze of the customers of The Leaky Cauldron. He shifted closer to James in an attempt to block out some of the stares. His parents followed suit. Harry was very relieved to get out of there, and he imagined James felt even more so.
Florish and Blott's was the first stop. Harry loved it at first glance. It wasn't that he liked reading that much, though he did enjoy it. It was the dusty shelves, sliding ladders, creaking floor boards, aged oak walls, and lamp lit corners. It was amazing. Harry wondered how many things there were in the world that he couldn't find a book on in this place.
Harry didn't even bother coming in with the rest of his family into the pet shop. He didn't care for pets. They had the family owl. It carried the mail. It didn't poop too much. That was really all Harry was interested in.
After his brother came out with an owl, they continued onto the potions shop. It smelled funny, but Harry found some pretty gross things in there, so it evened out.
The Broom Closet was an interesting shop, and the Twins were excited to leave it with two brand new Nimbus 2000s.
Olivander's, though, was by far the most eventful visit. After finding James' wand (Oak with Griffin Hair, good for offensive magics) Olivander hit a wall with Harry. Nothing would work.
Finally, Olivander paused suddenly. "I wonder." He said before darting to the back of the shop and coming out with a wand
"Try this one."
Harry gave it a wave and sparks issued from the top.
"Curious. Very curious… and not a little odd."
"What's curious?" Harry asked.
Olivander studied Harry for a moment, before turning away.
"Nothing, young Harry. Nothing of any true importance at all." Olivander said as he walked into his office. "If that is all you need, just leave the money for the wands on the counter. I'm afraid I have some social calls to make."
The Potters all exchanged a look, before James just shrugged.
"Yeah. Whatever. Nothing odd at all." James said in a thoroughly convinced tone.
Albus gave a start as his fire place roared to life, but masked his surprised reaction. Calmly, he greeted his old friend's head in his fire place.
"Hello, Olivander. It has been too long. I'm afraid I don't often have much time these days to visit old friends, but it is good to see you."
Olivander's face was nearly unreadable, but Albus thought he detected a hint of worry in the wand crafter's eyes.
"He's alive, Albus. Voldemort's alive."
Albus recoiled. No. No, he'd died. He had to have. That nightmare was over. James had completed the prophesy… He couldn't still be alive…
"How… Where? Where did you see him." Albus whispered.
"I didn't see him, exactly. I think he's possessing the Potter boy." Olivander's eyes glanced back over his shoulder.
"James?" Ablus' voice caught. Had they been so fooled?
"No. The other one. Harry. I could feel the touch of Voldemort saturating the air when he walked in. Voldemort must have lost his body that night and isnow living off the boy. That's all that makes sense."
"Are you sure about this? It could be something else entirely…" Albus said, dubiously. James and Lily; they would have known if Voldemort was possessing the boy. Besides, if Voldemort was in control of the boy, he probably would have killed the Potters by now. He certainly hadn't sensed anything when he visited the Potters, but then, Voldemort was accomplished in the arts of the mind, and Albus hadn't exactly been looking for dark lords…
"Albus, he has Fawkes' other feather for his core."
Dumbledore felt his blood freeze. Could it yet be possible? It was unthinkable, but it was also becoming a distinct possibility.
"Albus?" Olivander asked, awaiting instructions.
"Don't do anything. We can't be sure. I'll have him watched. If Voldemort is indeed possessing Harry's body, that long of an exposure... The young Potterwould already bedestroyed, and we will do what ever it takes to avenge his death. But we must not jump to hasty conclusions." Albus paused. "It would also be prudent to have the stone hidden at another location, for obvious reasons…" he trailed off thoughtfully.
"Be it on your head, Albus. Just remember the children you protect when you let young Potter into your school."
"I do. Everyday, I do."
To Be Continued.
Uchiha Jin: Thank you for the compliment, but if that is truly the case, you might want to look into "Fugitive Prince" by March Madness or "Promises Unbroken" by Robyn. Might also look into Neutral. There are some truly amazing AU fics out there.
Ddwelling: Glad you think so. I was afraid it was kind dumb, but went with it anyway.
E: Plan to.
Februarie: Do you have a twin or is it the sibling rivalry you relate to. If it's the later, I know the feeling, having 4 siblings of my own.
Living-the-dream: Good idea, but no. The relationship between Harry and James isn't just one of rivalry. You see it clearer in this chapter. James is very competitive, true, but he also admires Harry a lot. He's competitive because Harry's his role model and what he compares himself to.
Black's Phoenix: Me too.
CrimsonReality: Thank you.
AthenaKitty: (1)I can't tell you THAT. (2) Of course he is, they're brothers! (3) about what?
Lady Sakura Cosmos: Thank you.