Disclaimer: I DO NOT own Harry Potter or any of the characters everything belongs to J.K. Rowling!
James couldn't recall the last time his brother had spoken to him. No one could really. They couldn't blame him after what he had been through. James was starting his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Lily his little sister and spirit of the Potter household was beginning her first year. Albus was supposed to be a third year, but he had to be home schooled for personal reasons.
When Albus was younger he wandered off from his parents during a visit to Diagon Alley and ran into some death eaters who had recently escaped from Azkaban. They kidnapped and tortured him for days. Harry and the other aurors tried to find him in time. They feared the worst. He was in St. Mungo's for most of his childhood from the affects of the cruciatus curse. Once he came home he was different. A once fun and adventurous boy was now shy and reclusive.
The only person that Albus had ever talked to was his godfather Neville Longbottom once or twice. Their parents had been home schooling Albus because they were worried about the separation. Not just from their son, but if Albus got sorted into a house other than Gryffindor.
"James, Lily family meeting in the den now!" Ginny yelled as James and Lily came running down the stairs.
Harry and Ginny had already told Albus about the changes this year. They felt that he could handle it. "What's going on? You look all tense." James smirked.
"Well James I'm glad you asked. As you all know I love my job, but recently I've been thinking about going in a bit of a different direction." Harry knew James wouldn't like his choice to come and teach at Hogwarts.
Lily gasped and put her hand over her mouth. "Did you get sacked?"
Harry and Ginny both laughed, "No, just listen to me for a minute. I was recently offered a new job that I think would be better suited for this family. No long missions. I'd be home on the breaks."
"Oh Merlin's beard!" James shouted. "No! No!"
Lily looked at James still confused. "No, what? Will someone tell me what's happening!" She cried.
"It's alright dear you're brother is just being a little overdramatic." Ginny said kissing her head.
"Hogwarts Lily!" James hollered. "He's going to be teaching, defense is what I'd put my galleons on."
Harry laughed and nodded his head. It wasn't that James hated his father. In fact he loved hearing stories about the Marauders and the castles secrets. But with his father at school he wasn't going to get away with anything. It was bad enough his dad was best friends with his head of house Professor Longbottom.
"Daddy's coming to Hogwarts!" Lily sang, but suddenly stopped. "Wait if you're going to be at school with us who's going to be teaching Al?"
This was the part that Harry still wasn't sure about. The only reason Harry took the job was so Albus could go to Hogwarts and try to have some normalcy. "With some special arrangements from the headmistress your mother and I thought it was best that he start up school with you." Ginny took a deep breath.
She was worried about Albus being so far away. There was still so many threats on Harry's life. Even with her husband being there Hogwarts was a mighty big place. "Wait." James interrupted. "What year is he going to be in? What house?"
"He will fall under a transfer student category and will be sorted privately before the feast. It has all been taken care of James." Harry reassured his son.
Although James wasn't thrilled that his dad would be at Hogwarts he was happy for Al. He deserved to go to Hogwarts. "And what if he ends up in a house other than Gryffindor Dad? What if he doesn't know anyone? You know how he gets panic attacks when he's nervous." James argued.
James loved his brother and desperately wanted him to be happy. However no one besides Harry or Neville had ever really had Albus respond to them. Most of the family just talked to him as if he could talk hoping one day he would trust them. "James your mother and I have talked to your brother and Professor McGonagall has assured me every precaution will be taken." Harry liked how James was only serious when it came to his brother.
"Ok now upstairs to pack! I don't want anyone running about shouting tomorrow morning because they forgot something!" Ginny scolded staring at James.
Every single year for the past four years James had waited to pack at the last minute. It drove Ginny and Harry crazy. Albus was up in his room reading when his brother burst in. "Hey heard your coming to Hogwarts with us this year." James tried not to sound taunting, but it was in his nature.
Albus gripped the edges of the book tighter and continued reading. "Any idea what house you want?...The sorting, it's not so terrible... Most people try to stick with their parent's houses, like me, Gryffindor through and through..." James hoped his brother could understand him. He wanted his brother to be around people he could trust. "You'll probably be in Ravenclaw with all the reading that you do... Nothing wrong with Ravenclaw..."
"James! You're supposed to be packing if your Mum finds out you've decided to pack at the last minute again she'll hex me." His father begged. "Then hex you."
James got up and headed to his room to spare Al the lecture. His brother was used to it by now. James and his mother always bickered at each other. Their dad on the other hand rarely got upset. Ginny came upstairs to check on James's packing situation. Lily had been packed for a week already. "Are you sure you're alright with this sweetheart? We can wait another year if you want?" Ginny asked her youngest son.
He was slowly packing his stuff into his trunk. He never stopped to look at her, but put a hand on her shoulder. It was rare for him to touch people much less acknowledge people when they spoke. The healers said he may not have the ability to process the information or it might be uncomfortable for him to be touched. They really knew very little about what Albus was like on the inside.
After Ginny was done harping James about being lazy she came downstairs to make dinner. "Has Albus started packing yet?" Harry inquired rubbing his wife's shoulders.
She nodded continuing to make dinner. "I think he's happy." Ginny concluded.
Harry gave her a confused glance. "What makes you say that?" Albus usually never showed emotion.
Ginny turned around smiling. "He touched me, right here." She pointed to the spot on her arm where Albus had touched her.
Harry kissed her passionately. It was the best communication their son had shown since Neville came to visit a few years ago when Albus was 10. "Ugh! Really this is a kitchen! Mum is preparing food and you are infecting it!" James complained making Ginny and Harry laugh.
Harry had always told his son how much he took after his namesakes. Every time Harry looked at James he could see the Marauders living on. James had even stolen the map from Harry's desk. Lily on the other hand was much more like how Ginny had been growing up. She was smart and curious, but never liked pulling pranks. James usually pulled all his pranks on Lily since Albus was off limits. Once James had set a firecracker to go off in Lily's room when she sat on the bed. It scared Albus so bad he had a panic attack and had to be hospitalized for a week.
It wasn't long before Teddy Lupin walked in to the kitchen. "So how did James take the news?" He laughed knowing the answer.
"Oh you know that kid and his flair for the dramatic. You would think I was shipping him off to live with his grandparents for a year." Harry concluded.
After a small chat with his godfather Teddy headed upstairs to talk to James about packing. They had enough on their minds with Albus going to Hogwarts. "Did Dad tell you he's ruining my life!" Teddy tried not to laugh, but gave in.
"James he's not going to ruin your life. If anything you should see this as a challenge. He was a pretty good trouble maker in his day. Imagine if you could get one over on him." Teddy knew James loved a challenge.
James continued throwing random things into his trunk. "I just don't get it. Dad loves being an auror. Why would he quit something he loves?" James knew his dad and Teddy had more information than they were telling him.
Teddy put on a stern face. "Ok fine, but you can't tell your Dad I told you this or Lily because it would scare her." James sat up and moved closer to his god-brother. "One of the death eaters who kidnapped your brother escaped. We're not sure how or why, but your Dad is concerned that he may be coming after Albus again."
"But that doesn't make sense! If Dad thought we were in danger why is he leaving Mum here?" James wasn't stupid.
His god-brother didn't want to say too much. "She is going to stay with your Uncle Ron and your Aunt Hermione for a while, help Uncle George run the joke shop and work on her articles from home." James's mother used to be a chaser for the Holyhead Harpies before she was pregnant with James. Then she decided quidditch was too dangerous and settled for writing the sports page in the Daily Prophet.
That night James didn't sleep well at all. He was even up early to finish packing to make things easier on his Mum. "Ok who are you and what have you done with James?" His father questioned.
"Teddy told me about the breakout." He admitted.
Harry wasn't surprised Teddy had mentioned it. If he hadn't told him Harry was. James was 15 and old enough to be cautious. "Dad you don't think they're going to come after Al again do you?" James wasn't worried about his Mum as much as he was about Lily and Albus.
"Al will be fine. I'm not going to let anyone hurt him again. Keep your eyes open and look out for your sister." Harry didn't want to scare his son, but he wanted him to know.