Five years later:
“Harrrryyyy,” sang a lilting voice.
Harry slowly opened his eyes to see his twin looking down on him with deep hazel eyes. Without further ado Aiden crawled into Harry’s bed, billowing under the covers seeking the warmth of his twin. He put his fingers to his lips motioning to be quiet, so Harry lay next to Aiden and waited for whatever was to come. It didn’t take long for them both to hear a scream of rage followed by a string of curses.
All to soon the door to Harry’s room was opened and in walked a very wet Sirius Black, who looked like a wet dog.
Harry couldn’t help it and let out a laugh. “Uncle Siri…you look like a wet dog.”
Of course this didn’t help much, as it just caused Aiden to laugh even harder. Sirius glared at the two, but deep down wasn’t really angry. He would just have to show these young ones how it was done.
“So…you guys think this is funny.” Drying himself off, he jumped into the bed and reached out a hand for whatever piece of flesh he could find, tickling the boys into an order of chaos.
“What’s going on in here?” a voice asked from the doorway.
The three looked up, to see James Potter leaning against the doorframe with a mischievous grin on his face. “Pads…I’m hurt that you didn’t wait for me.”
Sirius smirked, “well if you would get your old ass-“
James was mock hurt. “Why pads…I do hope that you aren’t stating what I think your stating.”
Before anyone could blink James had jumped in the bed, starting the tickle fight with a renewed vigor. Finally all four collapsed on the bed panting for breath.
James was the first to leave the bed. He turned and kissed Harry and Aiden on the forehead, “happy birthday my little griffin and little lion. Come down when your ready, your mum made all your favorites.”
He turned to Sirius, “let’s go Padfoot.” Sirius got up and the two men left for the kitchen. Aiden hopped out of bed, leaving to go to his room so that he could get ready, while Harry started to do the same. He walked over to his dresser and picked out jeans to wear with a nice deep green t-shirt. Making his way to the bathroom, he washed his face, and brushed his teeth before arranging his hair so that it fell to the side. Finished with his morning duties, he pulled on his favorite pair of white converse and went to get breakfast.
Harry walked in to find everyone already sitting at the table. His mum, Lily Potter was at the counter while Aiden was next to Sirius, who was next to his father who was feeding his little brother. William, who was just two saw Harry and gave him a big grin, splashing his father with baby food. “Hawwy.”
Harry smiled at William, going over to him and giving him a kiss on the cheek. He then went to find his seat next to Aiden when he was pulled into a hug that only could come from one person. “Happy Birthday, my little man.” This was followed by a kiss to the cheek and a whispered, “I love you.”
Harry turned and squeezed his mum in return, “I love you too Mum.” Lily smiled at her oldest as he went to find his seat at the table. After that horrible night when Lily had thought she had lost her children, things had settled down just a bit. James and her had decided to settle down away from the prying eyes of the public, only granting certain people with the knowledge.
Harry and Aiden had thrived. They were both curious, and both showed magical promising. Not only that but they were both intelligent, which they must have gotten from Lily’s side because there was no way that it came from James. It had been a surprise when the twins were three that she had become pregnant again, and nine months later William had been born. Lily wouldn’t have it any other way. She smiled to herself and wondered how James would take the knowledge that she was pregnant again. She really needed to start recording his reactions…they were really quite funny.
While his mum was lost in deep thought, Harry started on his breakfast. His mum had made all their favorites, so he couldn’t wait to dig in to those blueberry chocolate pancakes. He pulled a couple onto his plate, covering them with butter and syrup.
“Got enough sugar there Harry?”
Harry swallowed. “It’s my birthday. I’m allowed.”
Aiden giggled then asked, “Where’s Uncle Remus and Uncle Severus?”
Both James and Sirius gagged at the thought that Snape of all people would be family, but when their relationship had come out…well they had to swallow their pride for they didn’t want to lose a friend.
Lily smiled, and patted Aiden on the head. “They’re going to meet us in Diagon Ally.”
Both Harry and Aiden smiled at that. Today would be their first trip to the famed wizard ally and both boys were very excited.
James pulled William from his high chair, settling the boy on his hip. “There’s no time like the present. What do you say to opening some presents?”
Harry and Aiden squealed, and ran off towards the living room. The adults followed at a more sedate pace, and couldn’t keep the soft smiles off their faces as they watched the two young boys rip into their presents.
Harry gave a slight frown as he glanced over at Aiden’s pile of presents. His pile was slightly bigger then Harry’s…it always was. Harry sighed. What made Aiden so special that he always got more presents?
It must have shown on his face because Sirius came over and pulled Harry into his lap.
“What’s with the long face kiddo?”
Harry gave a sniffle, and cuddled with his godfather. Sirius sensing what was the issue gave Harry a soft squeeze, whispering in his ear. “Your just as special as Aiden…never forget that.”
Harry looked up. “Really?”
Sirius nodded. “People aren’t measured by how much material things they get but by their actions.”
James snickered. “Well Sirius is actually being serious for once.”
Lily rolled her eyes, slapped James on the arm and took William from him. James knelt down next to Sirius and pulled Harry into his lap.
“Sirius is right though…you’re special and we love you just for who you are.”
Aiden had come over at this and wrapped his arms around his twin. “I don’t need extra presents…I only need Harry.”
Harry smiled and hugged Aiden back. It was moments like these that Harry loved his family, and couldn’t imagine anything else. Harry turned his attention back to his pile of presents. He picked one up; this one came from Uncle Severus. He ripped open the package to find a beginner’s potions kit. Uncle Remus’s was next and they must have planned their presents together because Harry found several potion ingredients along with a beginners guide to potion making.
“Better watch this one,” Sirius playfully joked. “If we don’t do something quick…we’ll have ourselves a Ravenclaw.”
Lily frowned, setting William on the ground. “And what’s wrong with being in Ravenclaw?”
Sirius muttered, “nothing, unless you like-“
James winced as his wife turned a furious gaze onto his best friend. “Better quit while your ahead Padfoot.”
Harry turned his attention away from the adults and pulled out a long rectangular package that was from Sirius. His breath hitched in excitement, for if this was what he thought it was then his day was made. He ripped open the paper and gave a shout of delight.
Lily frowned. “Really Sirius…he’s only five.”
Sirius who had caught William from escaping grinned at Lily. “Of course. You can never start training too early. Am I right James?”
James nodded in agreement. “That’s right lily-flower. My boys are going to be the best quidditch players. Plus children’s brooms only go about five off the ground.”
Lily rolled her eyes at that exclamation, but after seeing how excited both boys were at the thought of learning to fly decided not to push the issue.
Hearing a similar whoop of joy from Aiden meant that he had gotten one as well and Harry couldn’t wait to go out and learn how to fly. Harry got to opening the rest of his gifts and found some boxes of his favorite candy, along with a few learning guides for beginners magic. He frowned at noticing that he hadn’t found his parents gift and looked at them.
At a nod from James, Sirius got up with William and headed to the kitchen. James crouched down in front of Harry while Lily crouched down in front of Aiden. Both boys waited, and James and Lily pulled two small velvet boxes from their pockets. One was given to Harry and the other was given to Aiden. Harry opened his, and drew a deep breath. Inside lying on a silken pillow was a silver necklace with a simple charm of a griffin. Harry looked over at Aiden’s to see that it was basically the same except that his charm was a lion.
James gave a sad smile as both boys placed the necklaces around their necks. Making sure that he had both boys attention, “when we can’t be there to protect you…hold these close and think of home.” James kissed each boy on the forehead, while Lily kissed them on the cheek. “Now who’s ready for Diagon Ally?”
Harry and Aiden squealed with excitement and ran to get ready. James put an arm around Lily and held her close.
“Do you think this is the right thing?” Lily glanced up at her husband. James laid his head on hers, “it was time. I feel like something is going to happen.”
A few minutes later the Potter family plus one Sirius Black were standing in the ally behind the Leaky Cauldron. James took his wand and tapped the bricks and slowly they opened to revel Diagon Ally. He watched the emotions that played on both the boys’ faces. While both were identical in look to James except for their eyes, Harry who James thought had the better end of the bargain had inherited Lily’s green eyes while Aiden had gotten his own hazel eyes.
That alone spoke of the differences between the two lads. While Aiden took after James with his carefree, playful attitude, Harry took after Lily, with his cautious and studious nature. It now showed up on their faces, Aiden’s eyes lit up like a tree covered in Christmas lights and moved forward to get a better view. Harry on the other hand looked excited yet nervous at the same time and moved closer to James as if trying to become invisible.
Harry looked up at his father. “Where are Uncle Remus and Uncle Severus?”
Lily answered. “They have a few errands to run, then they are going to meet us at Flourish and Blotts.”
Harry pouted. He really wanted to see his other two uncles. Aiden would have none of the sadness though. He grabbed both James’s and Sirius’s hands dragging them in the direction of Quality Quiddtich Supplies. Lily in tow with William followed at a more sedate pace, Harry beside her.
Holding his mum’s hand they walked, and Harry didn’t know which direction to look in. His eyes caught something and he tugged at his mum’s sleeve. She stopped, and glanced down at Harry.
“Do you want to go in?” Harry shook his head, only pointing to something in the window. She followed his finger, to see that he was pointing to a stuffed griffin. She smiled, “do you want to get that?”
A smile spreading on his face was all the answer that Lily needed. They left the store shortly with Harry keeping a tight grip on his new griffin. William as well was clutching a stuffed bear.
They finally caught up with the others in Quality Quiddtich Supplies. Aiden was running all over exclaiming his excitement for this and that. Harry ran up to his dad, wanting to show his new toy.
“Look what I got.”
James glanced down and smiled. “What’s this?”
“This is Godric,” Harry commented. James ruffled Harry’s hair, “a griffin for my little griffin.”
At that moment Aiden ran up to Harry and threw himself at his twin talking in long-winded sentences. “Harrydidyouseethenewbroom?ItgoessofastandIbetitssofuntoride,plusIgotthissnitchtopracticewith.We’regoingtohavesomuchfun…”
“Whoa there little lion. Take time to breathe.” James spoke from behind. Harry just laughed. Aiden was just always like this: cheerful and lively. Harry hoped he never changed. After Aiden calmed down, they made their way to Flourish and Blotts, where two young men were waiting outside the door.
“Uncle Remus! Uncle Severus!” Harry broke apart from his family and ran to the two men, who had smiles on their faces. Remus bent down and Harry jumped into his arms.
“Hey there cub.” Harry grinned at the nickname. “Happy Birthday.”
Harry kissed his uncle on the cheek and whispered a quiet thanks for their gifts. Remus laughed knowing that the gifts had probably sent either James or Sirius on a rant about Ravenclaws. “Your very welcome cub.”
“Stop hogging the boy Remus.” This drawl came from Severus Snape, who pretended to pout. Remus shared a glance with Harry, who then leapt from Remus’s arms to Severus’s.
“Don’t be sad Uncle Sev.” Here Harry patted Severus on the shoulder in pretend consolation, and Remus just had to laugh.
“Severus. Remus.” Lily drew up next to the men. Remus kissed her on the cheek, knowing that James wouldn’t mind, as Lily was the sister that they had never had. “Lily…dare I say congratulations?”
James heard this comment. “Congratulations? Congratulations for what?”
Lily glared at Remus, who averted his gaze. His werewolf sense of smell could tell that she was pregnant but she had obviously not gotten around to telling James yet.
“Remus…I wasn’t ready to tell yet.”
The three men just stood there in confusion. James took a step forward, “ugh…Lily-flower? Is there something your not telling me?”
She whipped around and sighed. No going back now. “I’m pregnant.”
And of course, just like the last two times she had broken the news, James fainted. Sirius laughed, while Remus and Severus shook their heads. Lily handed over William to Remus, and knelt down next to her husband.
“Really,” she muttered. “Enervate.”
James blinked owlishly. “I could have sworn that you just said you were pregnant.”
Lily shyly nodded. James grinned, and sweep his wife into his arms, starting to shower her with kisses.
“Hey now,” Sirius covered Harry and Aiden’s eyes. “We have children here who don’t want to see their parents going at it.”
Lily blushed, and James just muttered, “Shut it pads.” Never the less, they got up and the group made their way into the store.
What they didn’t know was that someone had been watching their very trip from the moment they walked into the ally. This person had been paid a lot of money to grab the green-eyed child. Now all it had to do was wait for the perfect moment.
What followed was a morning filled with laughter, fellowship and good times as they ran the errands that needed to be done for this afternoon. They went to the Apothecary to refill potions supplies and Lily even had time to make a stop at a little known music store to pick up some material for her and Harry. That was something that amazed James, after hearing Lily play Harry had wanted to start learning so Lily had let him, and Harry was quickly becoming proficient in the art of music.
It was getting late and thankfully the scar on Aiden had stayed hidden so they had managed to stay out of the limelight for the most part but the ally was quickly filling with people who would be bound to notice the Boy-Who-Lived.
Grabbing hold of Harry’s hand James pulled him close. “Stay close to me Harry.”
It was at that moment a voice proclaimed, “Is that Aiden Potter?”
The minute that was said a crowd quickly started forming around the group, people pushing so that they could get a closer look. The crowd grew thick and James didn’t notice a man dart forward in the confusion.
This was it.
This moment couldn’t have been planned more perfectly. He darted forward and grabbed the child, casting a silent stupefy causing the child to go limp. He dashed out from the crowd and in a flash of light; Harry Potter vanished from Diagon Ally.
“Harry?” James looked down to make sure that his boy was still next to him. He started to panic. “Harry!” He glanced around, but couldn’t see hide or hair of his little boy. Something squished beneath his feet. He looked down and he was filled with dread. Lying on the ground was none other then the brand new stuffed griffin; James picked it up, cradling it to his chest.
His cry alerted the and Lily shouted, “Where’s Harry? Where’s my baby?”
“Lily, I need you to calm down. Take deep breaths.” Lily did so clutching Aiden closer to her, “I’ll find him.”
Turning to Severus, “can I trust you to take my family back?”
Severus nodded, and grabbed hold of Lily. “Come along Lily.”
“I’ll go with them.” Remus placed a hand on James’s shoulder. “Just concentrate on finding Harry.”
James nodded. Lily protested but at a glance from James, calmed down. William was handed over to Severus, while Lily grabbed Aiden, who looked ready to burst into tears. Remus walked over and they vanished, and it was left to James and Sirius to find their missing loved one.
They searched the ally in vain, and James was starting to lose hope. He was close to tears, and Sirius walked up silently to offer comfort. James laid his forehead on Sirius’s shoulder, his shaking the only indication that he was crying.
Sirius was crying himself, but he knew he needed to be strong for James.
“Pads…what if we never find him?”
“Don’t think like that Prongs.” Sirius placed his hands on James’s back offering some comfort to his friend. “You gave him the charm…right?”
James lifted his head off Sirius’s shoulder, a faint ray of hope in his eyes. “That’s right.”
“For now, lets get the Aurors here. Maybe they can find something we missed.”
James nodded in agreement. They made the firecall and soon a couple of men and women wearing red robes appeared in the ally.
Time passed, the Aurors left after checking just like James and Sirius had, and coming up with nothing, went to make their report. James grew worried with every breath, thinking of the worst.
Sirius placed a hand on James’s shoulder. “It’s time to go.”
James shook his head, and clutched the stuffed griffin closer. He didn’t want to believe it, but everything pointed to the fact that Harry was gone. It was much later when James and Sirius finally came through the fireplace.
Lily shouted “James,” quickly followed by “where’s Harry?” She glanced up at his face. James did nothing but close his eyes and shake his head but that was all it took for Lily to fall to the ground in tears.
“Nooooo, Harry my sweet Harry,” she cried unable to stop. All she could think of was how sweet Harry had looked that day and that she would never see her precious boy ever again.
James made a notion to Severus who came forward,
“Here Lily,” thrusting a glass full of calming drought and something else. “I need you to drink this.”
Lily drank and slowly found herself losing out to the darkness. She fell back on James, asleep. He then took her upstairs, placing her in their bedroom, checked to see that someone had put Aiden and William to bed for which he was grateful. He didn’t fancy telling Aiden or William that Harry was gone. All his sons had a connection that never failed to amaze James.
He walked downstairs into the kitchen to find the rest of the adults in quiet discussion.
Remus saw him coming and spoke up, “Well did you find anything?”
James shook his head. “Nothing at all, its like he vanished.”
“Not even the aurors could do anything.” At this James voice cracked ever so slightly, “Harry’s gone.”
Sirius stroked his chin, deep in thought. “I don’t understand. I know you gave the boys the charm, so why didn’t it work for Harry? I mean the only way for it not to work is for someone to tamper with it.”
Remus gasped. “Sirius…your not suggesting that someone close to James and Lily planned this…are you?”
Severus shook his head. “It makes sense. I mean Aiden is the boy-who-lived, and didn’t Dumbledore want you to give Harry up?”
James’s eyes widened. “That’s right. But Dumbledore-“
“Don’t always believe that the old man knows what’s right.”
There was a tense moment of silence.
Whatever had happened, they would probably never know. James lowered his head to his arms, and tried to keep the tears at bay. Remus and Severus just closed their eyes while Sirius just sat there and covered his face in his hands. All remembering the bright-eyed beautiful little boy who liked nothing more then to just be with his family.