Title: Brotherly Love
Disclaim: Harry Potter and all related characters and situations belong to J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. No money is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: Alas, I have been bitten by the sibling-story bug; oh! woe to the unwary reader!
On July 31, 1980, Lily Evans-Potter gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little boy. She and her husband, James Potter, were ecstatic about the new addition to their family. Hadrian Cain Potter wasn't nearly so pleased.
After the entirety of his short life as an only child, the sudden transfer of attention to his new baby brother was irritating, to say the least. The three-year-old pouted as James and Lily cooed over the newborn Harry James, feeling very dejected indeed.
"What's with the long face, my little Shadow?" Hadrian's somber expression disappeared at the sound of his favorite surrogate uncle's voice.
"Pa'foot!" he cried, with the exuberant joy that can only be found in the very young. Sirius Black, still wearing the leather jacket he always wore in accompaniment with his motorcycle, hoisting up the toddler and twirling him around, before tossing him into the air. Hadrian giggled madly, momentarily forgetting his brother's usurpation of their parents' attentions.
"Well, now, that's better," Sirius said with a grin, once he had stopped giving Hadrian a mini-roller coaster ride. "What had you so upset, Shadow?" Hadrian paused, thoughtful, as though he had forgotten his anger. After a moment, the memory evidently returned to him, and he sent a glare in the direction of his parents and brother.
"Ah," Sirius said with a sardonic smile, "jealousy rears its ugly head." Having dealt with a younger brother of his own, Sirius was an expert on the subject of sibling rivalry. Hadrian looked at Sirius, as if confused by his terminology, but declined to make a comment. He then returned his attentions to his parents, who had yet to realize that their best friend had invited himself in.
"Say, Hadrian," Sirius said, noting the wistful look in Hadrian's eyes, "have you gotten to meet your little brother yet? Properly, I mean." Hadrian wrinkled his nose, causing Sirius to chuckle. "I'll take that as a 'no.'" Shifting the boy so that he carried him to the side, Sirius meandered over to the jubilant parents and cleared his throat.
"It's a sad, sad day for Sirius Black when his best friends don't acknowledge his arrival," the young man said, snapping James and Lily out of their blissful daze. James jumped up to give his surrogate brother a one-armed hug, taking Hadrian from him with the other arm.
"I guess we have been in our own world," James said sheepishly as Hadrian clutched at him possessively. Sirius chuckled and leaned over Lily to allow the newborn Harry to grasp his finger.
"With good reason, too," Sirius said, grinning mischievously, "This one'll be a looker. Who'd you sleep with to give your son these gorgeous features, Lil?" Lily gave a tinkling laugh as James swatted his friend good-naturedly.
Hadrian glanced at Harry's sleeping form, looking dubious about the fuss the adults were making.
"Now, Shadow over there tells me he hasn't gotten to meet his brother yet," Sirius said, reprimanding. "How 'bout you give him a chance, eh?"
"Good heavens, you're right!" Lily cried, looking shocked. James blinked, and carried the reluctant Hadrian over to the sofa where Lily sat with the baby.
"Hadrian," James began, sitting down next to Lily with the toddler on his lap, "I'd like you to meet your new brother, Harry James Potter." Lily brought Harry closer to Hadrian, allowing him to get his first real look at his baby brother.
"Be very gentle, Hadrian, he's still fragile," Lily said kindly. Hadrian didn't know what fragile meant, but he did know the word "gentle." The toddler reached out a finger to the baby, like he'd seen Sirius do moments before, allowing Harry to grip a few of his fingers.
Harry blinked his eyes open for a moment, the already emerald green meeting with Hadrian's greenish-hazel.
At that moment, when Hadrian saw the emerald eyes so like those of their mother, he knew that he would do anything to protect his baby brother.
"Hurry up, Harry!" four-year-old Hadrian called, growing slightly impatient with the toddling gait of his baby brother. He allayed this annoyance with the sight of Harry's fiercely concentrated emerald eyes, as the younger brother struggled to keep up. He couldn't fault the little one for trying. After a few more moments of attempting to catch up, Harry sat down with a stubborn thump.
"Hadrie, hun'ry," Harry said demandingly, glaring at the older boy until Hadrian attended him.
"You're always hungry," Hadrian told the baby, picking him up off the ground and setting him on his unsteady feet. Hadrian allowed Harry to use him as a brace as the two made their way back to the thatched, quaint little cottage called Godric's Hollow. "Mum!" Hadrian called as he entered the cottage through the side door in the kitchen. He received no answer, and hesitated slightly.
"Hadrie, tummy feels funny," Harry whined quietly, his emerald eyes darting around nervously.
"I know you're hungry, Harry, just—" Hadrian cut off his sentence as he saw the one-year-old's uncharacteristically tense expression. "Harry? Why does your tummy feel funny?" Harry looked slightly confused as he replied, as if he didn't know his own words.
"Bad man coming," he said mulishly, eyes glimmering with unshed, terrified tears. Hadrian gulped — his mother had told him about a particularly bad man who was after their family, and whenever Harry got like this, he was usually correct. Shaking himself to clear his head of panic, Hadrian called again, his young voice tremulous.
"M-mum? Mummy?" He set Harry on the floor, holding the younger brother's hand so he could keep up. They walked through the kitchen and into the small den, where their mother usually sat and read as her sons played in the back garden.
At first, Hadrian thought the room was empty; the lights were out, and it was silent. "Mum?" Hadrian tried again, now shivering as a result of the bad feeling he was getting from Harry's statement. Hadrian felt a low chill travel down his spine as a morbid chuckle sounded through the room.
"I'm afraid your mother isn't here right now." Hadrian watched in horror as a tall, pale figure clothed in black emerged from the shadows. He immediately stepped in front of his baby brother, who clung desperately to his jacket. The figure towered over them, the fading light from the outside lighting up a skeletal face so twisted and ugly that Hadrian felt he might scream, had he not been raised a Gryffindor. Gryffindors never got scared.
Hadrian had every reason to be terrified, for he recognized the lurid parody of a man from the scary stories his father told him when his mother couldn't hear. This was surely Voldemort, the scourge of the wizarding world.
"Sssso…" Voldemort hissed, amusement tingeing his words, "you think you can protect him from me, do you boy?"
Hadrian set his jaw, ever defiant. He had to protect Harry, just as he had always known. Voldemort's eyes narrowed, all traces of amusement gone.
"You'll regret this, boy. However… I have more important things to take care of than you." With a wave of his wand and a murmur that Hadrian couldn't comprehend, Voldemort had frozen the four-year-old in place. Harry, still hiding behind his now-rigid brother, trembled as Voldemort drew nearer. Hadrian's mind screamed, and Hadrian wished emphatically that Harry had the strength and physical ability to run for his life.
Unfortunately, a one-year-old's legs are not built for speed, and his mind is not built to function for self-preservation. Voldemort soon held his wand to the child's forehead, his malicious grin warping his face into something more sinister than anything had the right to appear.
"Avada Kedavra," the sinister apparition intoned, watching with unconcealed glee as the characteristic green light shot into Harry's head. Harry slumped slightly, causing Voldemort to laugh maniacally as he began to turn to Hadrian.
His torturing session was precluded, however, as the green light that still surrounded Harry's body arced back to the Dark Lord, causing the semblance of a man to gasp before disappearing in a bolt of green lightening.
Hadrian felt himself able to move again, and immediately rushed to his brother, who was starting to cry pitifully for their mother.
After assuring himself that Harry was merely scared, not hurt, Hadrian continued to explore the cottage, searching for his parents. He found their bodies in the next room, still glowing green with their eyes wide open in fear. Hadrian cringed and fell to his knees, eyes shining with tears.
"Mummy? Daddy?" he sniffled, reaching out his hand to touch his mother's. He drew it back quickly; her skin was already cold.
Roughly, he wiped his tears away, standing up it swallowing the sobs that threatened to return.
Harry was still downstairs, and Hadrian had to protect him. No matter what.
.t.o. .b.e. .c.o.n.t.i.n.u.e.d.
A/N: I know Hadrian seems a bit to mature for a four-year-old, but it's necessary for the story. Let's just say that Harry has that influence on people, and Hadrian is a protective person by nature.
Hadrian Cain Potter belongs to me (the name Hadrian has been used before, I know, but this one is a different person.) He is named in honor of a Roman Emperor (Hadrianus Augustus), as well as Cain from the biblical story of Cain and Abel. :mysterious, authory grin: For another hint of what may come… I will be introducing another character later in the story named Antinous.
Just a reassurance, Harry will be the main character. Hadrian was the focus of this chapter mainly because he is the only one of the brothers who can actually form intelligent thought. And also because wanted to introduce him. :D
Please tell me how I'm doing!