WARNING: Story will contain mention of abuse from the Dursleys as the Potter kids discover more and more about their parents as the chapters progress. Nothing graphic and I will put a warning up for chapters mentioning abuse, but please do not read if you don't feel comfortable about it.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own anything of Harry Potter in the story, that's ALL J.K Rowling.
Albus glared at his older brother from across the living room.
James sighed, practically feeling the heated glare from his little brother. He lowered the book he was reading –Quidditch through the Ages– and looked at Albus.
"How long are you going to keep staring at me?" he asked lazily.
Albus glare only intensified and he said nothing. James sighed again and brought his book back up to read and partly to shield himself from the glare.
He thought his brother would have gotten over the prank by now. It was their first week back home from Hogwarts for the summer holiday and Albus had so far spent them glaring and not speaking to him. It's not the first time they hadn't spoken to each other after a fight or prank war, but it tended to get a little boring and lonely without his brother talking to him. Not that he'll ever say that out loud, but he usually regrets upsetting his little brother.
Still maybe he shouldn't have stuffed exploding confetti into Al's pant pockets. But he couldn't help but find it funny when his pants exploded and about a dozen of colourful confetti exploded all around the Great Hall. Some swizzing around spelling 'Have a Good Holiday' on top of the teacher table. Albus had tried fruitlessly to conceal himself when his pants hanged on him in tatters where he sat.
His little brother had declared revenge on James, but that was nearly five days ago and he had yet to see Al's wrath. But James was sure he'll cool down soon and then he'll apologise. He had already apologised to Albus, but his brother wouldn't hear of it, refusing to talk or listen to him. James also had a talk with his father when they all got home and the story was out.
His dad always had a way of making him feel guilty about any pranks he pulled on his siblings and made comments that left him thinking about it for hours. He truly regretted the prank and hoped his brother would get over it soon.
Albus sighed and frowned at his older brother. The prank was completely cruel, he knew his brother liked a laugh but this was going too far. He knew James always liked to do something flashy before leaving school each year, but he didn't find humiliating his own brother in front of everyone in the Great Hall at all a good prank. He had a hell of a time getting out of the Great Hall with help from his best friend Scorpius and cousin Rose without anybody else noticing.
He was just glad everyone was preoccupied with the colourful confetti zooming and spreading all around the Great Hall to notice where it actually came from and the predicament it left him in. It was only when he got out of the Hall did the rest of his cousins and family come out and help him as well, but not without their own laughing and teasing.
It was so embarrassing, but he already had means to get back at his brother. A trip to their Uncle George's joke shop had been really beneficial for him. He had found a box of small purple vials labelled 'New Prank Supplies' and he had looked at the small description on the bottle. It was perfect for James, if he wants to act like a child then fine, he'll be like a child.
The bottle was currently in his pocket. All he had to do was put it in a drink and watch James act like a child for a whole day. He'll definitely make a fool out of himself and that'll teach him to stop making him his pranking victim.
"Where are mum and dad?" asked James bringing Albus out of his thoughts.
Albus only glared at him and shrugged. He knew where they were, but he wasn't going to tell.
Their parents were outside in the back garden, that he knew. The weather was really sunny today and their mother had suggested on having a picnic outside to start off their summer. Their father had agreed and now both of them were preparing everything outside.
James sighed again and got up, "you're really annoying some times. Did you know that, Al?" he said as he got up and made his way to the foyer.
Albus just stuck his tongue out at him and James chuckled lightly before a slight frown appeared on his lips, "I am sorry for the prank, Al. I don't know how many times I'm going to say it before you're satisfied, but hurry it up little brother."
Albus looked at him for a second before turning his face the other way. James rolled his eyes and smiled at his brother. He knew Albus didn't like to hold grudges and James was still waiting for the prank Al would pull on him to come. He just wish he'd do it already so they can go back to talking. Shaking his head he entered the foyer and made his way up the stairs.
Their sister Lily was upstairs in her bedroom. Probably still unpacking as all three Potter siblings had the same habit of leaving all their packing and unpacking for later. Their mother always made sure they got it all done within the first week back or going.
Albus waited for a few minutes to make sure no one else came in before he got up and made his way to the kitchen on the other side of the room. Everyone was busy now so this was the best time to get the potion ready.
He looked out the kitchen window to see his parents setting up the blanket and getting everything ready, while talking animatedly about something, judging by the way they were gesturing with their arms.
Nodding to himself, he quickly turned around and went over to the fridge. They were always well stocked of everything, something that their parents always made sure of seeing as they usually had a lot of mouths to feed including their relatives and friends that liked to come over. He reached in and took out a bottle of pumpkin juice. He closed the fridge and placed the bottle on the counter.
Reaching into his pocket he took out the small vial and looked at the purple liquid within it. Should he really do this? He played pranks before, but he never singled anyone out before. Sure he pranked his big brother before, but that was usually with Fred or Louis and he never did it by himself. He always had Lily or Rose or even Scorpius with him.
Maybe I'm was overreacting said his rational side. James had apologised and he knew that his brother could never help but play a prank and it wasn't like he got hurt or anything. Maybe he was just blowing this out of proportion, but the image of all his cousins and friends laughing at him as his tattered pants kept slipping off, the humiliation of being so violently exposed ran through his mind.
Albus' anger surfaced again and a frown graced his face as he continued to think about it. All the reasons why he should do this override his rational side and now all he wanted was to get back at his brother.
I'm definitely doing this. James needs to know that I can dish out just as much as he can.
With that strong thought in mind, Albus grabbed a glass, poured the pumpkin juice into it and opened the small vial. He looked at it for a second before shutting every sensible thought out of his mind and poured the purple liquid into the juice.
The pumpkin juice flashes a bright purple colour before turning back to normal. Albus ran a hand through his pitch black hair, staring at the drink to make sure nothing else happened to it before smiling and pocketing the small vial. He placed the pumpkin juice bottle back into the fridge and carefully placed the glass on the table, making sure not to spill a drop.
Okay now all he has to do is get James downstairs without looking suspicious. But how? He couldn't just start talking to his brother after giving him the silent treatment since they'd come back home. So how was he going to do this?
Maybe when they were all outside? It was pretty hot out as he looked out the window to see the sun shining brightly with a few clouds lazily drifting around. James would eventually feel thirsty and that's when he'll have the juice ready for him.
Albus started to concoct a plan when his sister's scream suddenly ripped through the house, making him jump. "ALBUS! JAMES IS GOING THROUGH YOUR TRUNK AGAIN."
Albus grimaced and tore through the kitchen, living room and into the foyer. He stood at the bottom of the stairs, looking up.
"JAMES, GET OUT OF MY ROOM," he yelled. He heard shuffling upstairs and his sister's scowling voice.
"I'M NOT IN YOUR ROOM, AL," he heard James yell back.
"HE'S GOT THE INVISIBILITY CLOAK," yelled Lily.
"WHAT!" exclaimed Albus angrily, "JAMES, DAD SAID IT WAS MINE NOW." And with that he ran up the stairs to his brother and sister.
At that moment Harry and Ginny were both heading back to the house after they finished setting up the picnic outside.
"… What do you think?" asked Ginny as Harry opened the kitchen door, letting Ginny come in first before coming in himself.
"I don't know Gin. It does sound like a good idea, but we haven't spent any time together as a family and I don't want to intrude on anyone's holiday plans."
Ginny smiled at her husband as they took turns to wash their hands, "we won't be intruding Harry. You know George, the more the merrier he'll say."
Harry smiled knowingly, "I know, but it's been a while since we've spent time as a family," he saw Ginny open her mouth, he knew exactly what she was going to say and quickly continued, "I know spending time with everyone is family time." His wife grinned and rolled her eyes and he smirked, he was right, "but it's been a long time since it's just been you, me and our kids. Is it wrong of me to spend quality time with my own family?"
Ginny shook her head, "there is nothing wrong with that, Harry. I understand. We've spent Christmas at the Burrow or one of the kids wanted to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays. This is the first summer holiday were we haven't planned to do anything yet. So I can understand you want to take this opportunity to spend time together. Just us."
Harry dried his hands and moved to sit on the chair at the table. He smiled at her, she always knew what he meant and felt without even saying it and that was one of the many things about her he loved. She was right thought, they hadn't made any plans, and all the Weasleys had but not the Potters.
They really didn't have time to even sit down and think about preparing for the holidays. Harry had been busy at the Auror department on a serious case which just ended recently to even think about making any plans. Ginny was swamped with the Quidditch tournaments, interviewing players and the article she needed to finish to consider what her family was planning and what she could.
James, Albus and Lily already knew what all their cousins and friends were going to do for the summer holiday. It was evident enough by their cousins' exciting chatter that they were definitely going to do something fun. So the Potter children –much like their father– didn't feel it right to intrude and just left it for their parents to decided.
Harry knew this was the best opportunity. All the Weasleys were busy, so there was no chance of the kids wanting to sleep over or spend the week at their cousins' or friends' house. Plus he and Ginny were up for their annual leave in a weeks' time so it was all the more better.
Most of the Weasleys had already left for their holidays, Arthur and Molly had gone to Romania to visit Charlie who couldn't get any time off as there was an arrival of new dragons coming to the reserve, so the Tamers had to prepare. Bill, Fleur, Victoire, Dominique and Louis had gone to spend their holiday in Paris with the Delacour family. Percy, Audrey, Molly and Lucy had gone to Spain. Even Ron and Hermione informed them a week ago that they'll be taking Rose and Hugo on a trip to Switzerland with the Grangers. The only ones left were the Potter family and George, Angelina, Fred and Roxanne in England. George and Angelina had volunteered to look after the Burrow to stop Molly worrying too much and Fred and Roxanne didn't mind as they loved the Burrow and had the Quidditch pitch to themselves for once.
Harry smiled at Ginny, "you always know what to say," he was rewarded by a beautiful smile. He had to resist the urge to get up and just take her. Even at the age of thirty nine –soon to be forty– Ginny still had her bright fiery red hair; her warm brown eyes sparkled every time he gazed into them and he still couldn't get enough of her. "So are you sure you don't want to go anywhere, Gin?"
Ginny rolled her eyes, this was one of his traits she both loved and hated. It didn't really matter what he wanted, not if the people he loved wanted something else. Their needs always came before his. She would always try to convince him that what he wanted and needed was just as important, but he would only smile at her and kiss her gently before saying that all he wanted he already had and all he needed was her and their children. She had no one but the Dursleys to blame for his mind-set, as much as her husband told her about his life before Hogwarts, she'd come to understand that they never really provided or cared for him as they should have. Only shunning him, taking no interest in him and leaving him out of everything. It was no wonder he never thought much about himself and yet she knew he wasn't telling her everything.
"No, Harry. Like you I'll like nothing more than to spend the holiday with my husband and our children," she said as she walked up behind him and circled her arms around his neck. He was still incredible handsome and humble, she couldn't help but want to be near him all the time, touching him, kissing him, giving him all the love and care he always deserved. His pitch black hair, still untidy and unruly always called for her to run her hand through and she loved looking into his beautiful green eyes. She loved him and always made sure to tell him every time.
Harry leaned into her embrace and sighed, "Thanks, Gin."
She smiled tenderly down at him and gave him a peck on his cheek. She started to run her fingers over his chest and nuzzled her cheek against his, "no problem, love. We Potters have to stick together after all," she whispered in a breathy tone right into his ear. He shivered pleasantly and closed his eyes as he relaxed into her hold.
He opened his eyes after a few seconds and gazed up at her with his bright emerald green eyes, his black tresses falling into them. She always felt a pleasured chill run through her whenever he looked at her like that and she wanted nothing more than to kiss him deeply.
Harry smiled at her, feeling the exact same as her at the moment, "speaking of Potters sticking together, is Al still giving Jamie the silent treatment?"
Ginny sighed, "Yes, as far as I know Al is still not speaking to James."
They both remembered when they went to pick up their children from the train station a week ago, as excited as they were to see them; they became slightly wary when their two sons were not talking to each other, even though both of them were happy to see their parents, greeting them with hugs and kisses. James and Al weren't even looking or speaking to each other.
Harry and Ginny knew from right there that something had happened between the brothers and gave them confused and concerned looks. Their daughter Lily was the only one not affected by her brothers attitude, greeting her parents with joy and speaking to her brothers like they were a couple of idiotic two years old with an amused grin on her face.
When they were half way to Potter Manor –he had decided to take the car– Harry finally asked what was going on and that was when Albus exploded. He pointed accusingly at his older brother and explained everything that happened.
James had tried to defend himself but was shot down continuously by his young brother and occasionally his little sister. Ginny had reprimanded their eldest and tried to calm their second child. But Albus wouldn't listen, he felt completely humiliated in front of his family and friends.
When they finally got home, Harry had a talk with James, hearing his side of the story too and found that it matched to Albus' story. Harry had sighed and told him he didn't expect that from him and he needed to apologise to his brother. James held his head low with shame after seeing the disappointment in his father's eyes and explained to Harry that he had apologise to Albus, but he wasn't having it and that he really was sorry. Harry had smiled reassuringly at his son and told him to let Al cool down, give him some time and he'll come around.
Harry had even talked with Albus after dinner. Sitting patiently on his son's bed while he watched the young boy pacing up and down his room, ranting and raving about having a mean brother who liked nothing more than to humiliate and make fun of his own brother.
Harry had shook his head and smiled at him, reminding his son that James never meant to really hurt him and just liked a laugh. But Albus didn't care, saying James had crossed the line too many times and he'd definitely get him back. Harry had frowned slightly and had told Albus that revenge or payback was never the right thing to do. He encouraged Albus to forgive his brother and let it go. He had left leaving Albus sitting on his bed, arm crossed with a sour look on his face.
As the week continued all three of their children were happy to be back home. They lounged about in the living room, the garden, their bedrooms, helping out with the chores, playing chess and arguing with each other. But James and Albus never partook in any activity together, not even a game of Quidditch offered by Harry made them forgot about their argument. No it was always Lily and James or Lily and Albus, but it was never Albus and James. They even noticed Lily getting fed-up with their attitudes and tried pointlessly to get Al to talk to James. But no luck, Al was too stubborn, a trait that all the family shared unfortunately.
Harry and Ginny knew their sons would patch things up soon; both brothers never could stay mad at each other for too long. But still they hoped they'll start talking again soon. They never liked it when their children fought or argued with each other.
Ginny had even talked to Albus, but she knew all too well what Al was going through. Being in the same spot as her son in the past many time before, she could understand how Al was feeling, so she didn't have any room to talk or convince her son to let bygones be bygones.
"Hopefully they'll patch thing up soon," said Ginny reassuringly, "they always do."
Harry nodded, "at least James is trying."
Ginny smiled, giving him one last peck before releasing him, "well we're all set up in the back garden. I'll call the kids down."
"Okay," Harry got up as Ginny left the kitchen. He was about to get himself something to drink before he noticed the glass of pumpkin juice just sitting on the table.
How'd I miss that? he thought with a raised eyebrow and picked up the glass. One of the kids must have left it. They did do that often and mostly to annoy each other. He smiled amusingly as he thought of his children fondly and decided to have the drink instead of getting more out. There was no point in wasting it and he was sure they had plenty more of the juice stocked in the fridge.
Harry leaned against the counter and drank half of the juice before holding the glass and licking his lips. The pumpkin juice was still nice and cold and he savoured the taste in his mouth. He faintly thought it tasted slightly tangy, but before he could think any more about it, his wife came back into the kitchen. He smiled at her as she walked over to him.
"They'll be down in a minute. They're still going though their packing," Ginny chuckled.
Harry's smile turned into a grin, "you mean they were arguing over something."
Ginny grinned and stood next to him, leaning against the counter, "you know what I mean."
Harry laughed and was about to raise the glass to finish off the juice before Ginny skilfully took it from him.
"Hey!" he mock protested and tried to get the glass back, but Ginny moved away from him quickly, that devious smirk in place.
"You need to learn to share, dear," she said with a wink.
Harry grumbled good-naturedly as she raised the glass to her mouth and drank the rest of the juice. "Well that was nice," she said as he noticed her lick her lips as well.
Harry smirked and moved towards her, "speaking of sharing. I'd like to share something else with you." He wrapped his arms around her waist and brought her closer to him. Ginny smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck, still holding the glass in one hand.
Harry pressed his lips to hers and electricity still ran through his body when he felt her kiss him back. It didn't matter how many times they kissed, he would never get enough of it. They parted after a few more seconds and Ginny giggled taking her husband hand and tugging it gently, "come on, let's go outside."
Harry rolled his eyes with a fond smile at his wife. They both moved to the kitchen door when suddenly they both stopped as they felt a sudden rushing feeling take over their whole body. Still holding each other's hands, they looked at each other and knew the other was feeling the same thing.
Their temperature suddenly started to rise as they felt each other's hand get warmer and warmer. It wasn't an uncomfortable heat, but it overtook their whole body, unnerving them.
"Harry?" questioned Ginny; her voice coming out faint and far away. Harry squeezed her hand and nodded. His eyes roamed to the glass she still had clenched in her other hand and her eyes followed his. It all clicked.
There was something in the juice.
Their eyes found each other's again and suddenly their vision started to get blurry and they could feel themselves getting dizzy and drowsy.
Just when darkness took them, they felt something shift inside them and felt their bodies slowly start to shrink. They collapsed onto the cold kitchen floor as they finally lost consciousness and the glass, now free from Ginny's grasp rolled away from them.