Title: The Power of the Grave

Author: hoshi-tachi

Category: AU Harry Potter

Rating: PG-13

Summary: In the wizarding world, twins are connected by more than just birthdays and looks. They are bound by magic, by Life itself into an inseparable whole. Where one twin goes, the other follows, even into Death… especially into Death. But what happens when they decide not to leave after all?

Warnings: Swearing, mild child abuse (of course)… maybe more later. We'll see.

Disclaimer: I, hoshi-tachi, being of sound… /winces/ never mind. Let's just say I don't own Harry Potter and leave it at that, shall we?

The woman was screaming.

She arched her back in agony, throat raw from both the screaming and the never-ending stream of curses she called down on the man who had done this to her.

"James, you bastard, you are so fucking dead…"

Her husband hovered nervously nearby, not daring to touch anything after the mediwitch had swatted him aside for trying to help. Honestly, how was he supposed to know the thing was combustible, anyway? "C'mon, Lily, you can't really blame me… can you?"

"You better believe you damn well can, you little-" Lily broke off into a strangled gasp as another contraction hit, her knuckles glowing white where they grasped the sweaty sheets. The redhead's next words came out plaintively. "James…"

James moved forward, ignoring the mediwitch's disapproving glare. Grabbing his wife's hand and concealing a wince of discomfort at the crushing pressure, he leaned down. "Don't worry, love, it's almost over…"

It was another hour of screams and winces before the mediwitch straightened up with a tiny bundle in her arms. Starting up hopefully, the wizard stilled as he saw the look on her face. "No… Merlin, no."

She flinched. "I'm sorry, Mr. Potter. I… I don't know what went wrong…" Shoulders slumped, the mediwitch turned and deposited her motionless burden into another nurse's arms.

James sat staring at his stillborn son, the child who would have been his first-born, his heir… little James Jr. So many futures, hopes, dreams… all gone in an instant, like a wisp of smoke. "And Harry… what about Harry?" the Auror whispered desperately, grabbing on to the nurse's sleeve.

She shook her head helplessly, bending back down to her patient. "I'm sorry, sir, but… you know one twin doesn't survive the other…"

Shell-shocked, the father-that-was turned back to his wife, whose emerald eyes already wept for her lost children. James was almost surprised to see a single tear drop from his own eye, landing on their clasped hands. He hadn't thought you cried until after you came out of shock.

"Alright, push," the mediwitch crooned, hands out to receive the second child's body. As the baby slid cleanly out, her eyes widened, and she gasped.

The heads of the grieving parents jerked up as the last sound they had expected to hear rang defiantly through the room.

The lusty wail of a healthy, newborn boy.

A/N: This is just an odd little plot bunny that hopped into my mind one day while listening to my friend expound on Yu-Gi-Oh!. Don't ask me how it got to be a Harry Potter fic instead, cuz I don't really know myself.

Kou: I thought it was how disappointed you were with the Prophecy?

Oh, right! You see, the way I see it, a lot of the fics written after the fifth book came out are making it out that the only reason Harry banished Voldie, and survived all the subsequent encounters with him, was because a mentally-unstable Divinations professor made a Prophecy about him. Prophecies aren't a means to an end- you don't become all-powerful just because one happens to be about you. They're a guide, even if they are self-fulfilling half the time, and the rest so cryptic you don't understand them 'til it's too late.

/stops to catch her breath/ In any case, Neville couldn't have been the one, because the power had to have been in Harry. If Voldie had decided to go after Neville, the power still would have been in Harry. Except then you run into the Prophecy stating that Voldie would mark the one with the power, so he couldn't have marked anyone but Harry… I just succeeded in confusing myself.

Kou: You aren't the only one…

/sighs/ Oh, shut up… Anyway, I decided to make it so Harry was already the Boy-Who-Lived, even if it wasn't for what everyone thought. Just to make it simpler.

Kou: And if anyone manages to figure out that mess, feel free to explain it to me.