Disclaimer: I own not a thing.
My Brother's Keeper
Almost Three Years Later…
"James Potter, step forward."
The Dojo was chalk full of parents and relatives who were here for the belting ceremony. James's own parents and his brother Harry were watching from the stands. It had been nearly three years since that night on Halloween, since James had been told of the prophecy, since their lives had changed from one of hiding, to a more relaxed and terror free life.
James darted forward to the front of the classroom and stood stiff as a rod in front of Instructor Chan.
"Bow." Chan ordered, and the James did so, stiffly, hands pinned to his sides. Chan returned it.
"James Potter has completed the necessary requirements and has met the standards we set to advance to brown belt." Chan informed the audience. "Lift your arms." He said to James.
James hoisted his arms and instructor Chan untied his previous belt, and put on his new one.
"Bow." The two exchanged another pair of bows and then James darted back into formation.
"Kate Newgood, step forward…"
After the belting ceremony, Lily and James took Harry and Junior out for ice cream. This was when James and Lily broke the news to them.
"Were moving back to England. Your father and I feel it's safe enough now. There hasn't been Death Eater activity in years." Lily announced suddenly, interrupting the conversation about Karate that was presently going on.
Junior and Harry stopped eating and stared in silence for a few moments.
"When?" Harry finally asked, weakly.
"In two months, we want to be moved in by August twentieth to give you time to get ready for Hogwarts."
"Hogwarts…" Junior said slowly. "You mean the school you learned magic at?"
"Yes," James replied. "The Headmaster is a personal friend, and the school is the best in the world."
"But what about my friends?" Harry asked.
"You'll make new ones," Lily soothed. "You'll also get to meet your godfather."
Harry sighed in defeat and slouched in his chair. Junior however seemed torn between excitement and fear for his Karate lessons. "What about martial arts?"
Lily looked at James. "Well, we'll find a place for lessons during the summer, but you'll be spending a most of the time at Hogwarts. It's a boarding school, you know."
"Boarding School! Mom!" Harry moaned. "When will we come home? Who'll watch over us?"
"Their will be plenty of teachers to watch over you, and you'll have a head of house to go to for guidance."
"I don't want things to change. I like it here." Harry moaned into his hands. How could they do this! Life was perfect!
Lily reached forward and grabbed one of his hands in hers. "I know Harry. But you'll like Hogwarts. I promise."
Harry looked downcast the rest of the meal, while Junior seemed to be getting accustomed to the idea of a move.
Harry loved the night. Not that he didn't like the day. Day and night were for two different things. Day was for living. Being alive and free. Playing football and baseball. Wrestling with James and their dad.
Night was for thinking. About the day he'd just had. About how Billy Hallwell was such a jerk. About how Susan MacBee had a funny sounding voice. About the night Voldemort attacked. About how James was the Prophesied One, while he was just Harry. Sometimes that bothered him a little. Sometimes it didn't.
Regardless of what he was thinking, this was where he did it from. The roof. Under the stars. Night was so deep, one couldn't help but think deep thoughts when staring up into it.
Harry turned as his father slid down the roof next to him.
"Harry, I need to talk to you."
Harry shifted uncomfortably. "Yeah, er… What's up dad?"
"You know your brother's the Prophesied One, and you know how famous he is in Britain."
"Yeah." Harry said slowly, not entirely sure where this was going.
"That means he's going to have a lot of people staring at him… whispering about him… pointing at him. Their going to notice every little thing he does, and their going to talk about it."
Harry gave his father a weird look. "Don't they have better things to do?"
James Sr. chuckled softly. "Maybe they don't." he sighed. "My point is, Harry, I want you to be there for him. Watch his back Tell him when he's wrong. Support him when he's right. Keep no secrets from him." He grimaced suddenly. "Ah… Deflate his head if he needs it. Stand by him, Harry."
"I will, dad." Harry promised, his face serious.
James looked at his son for a moment. Harry surprised him sometimes in moments like these with sudden bouts of maturity far beyond his age. The moment passed and James Richard Potter slid back through the window.
"Goodnight, Harry. Don't stay up too late." He called.
James turned back around in the hallway to look at his son. The boy was still in the same place, staring into the night. Harry, for his part, was unaware of his father's eyes on his back. He was lost in thought.
James twisted around with a spinning crescent kick, but Harry blocked it with an arm, and swept his brother's feet out from under him. James landed with a soft thud on the soft mat of their play room floor.
"Ninjitsu is better." Harry reminded his brother.
James rolled to his feet. "We'll see about that!" He let loose a flurry of punches, but none of them got through Harry's guard.
"We 'see about that' every time we fight." Harry snagged one of his brother's right cross punches and pulled him forward, then twisted his arm behind his back. "Have you ever noticed." He whispered into his brothers ear. "That I always win?"
"Not always." James protested. "Who killed Voldemort?"
Harry shoved his brother forward onto his face and released his hold on him. "Yes, yes. I know. You know. The whole world knows. James Richard Potter II killed Lord Voldemort on October thirty-first, nineteen eighty-eight." Harry recited. "Hail! Hail the Prophesied One." Harry said, making little bowing motions.
"Damn straight." James shot back, coming at Harry with a flying kick. Harry side stepped and gave him a round house kick to the stomach as he flew by. James doubled over, the wind gone from his lungs. Harry left him there and walked out with a parting, "I win, James."
James flopped back on to his rear. "We'll see about that." He promised the empty room.
"All right people. Break out the focus mitts and partner up." Instructor Lun ordered.
Ninjitsu class had been running fifteen minuets. Actually, it wasn't strictly Ninjitsu class; Lun Academy of Martial Arts taught Ninjitsu, Free Boxing (better known as Thai Boxing), and Japanese Fencing, but Harry enjoyed the Ninjitsu aspect the most.
Harry partnered up with Ryan, his usual partner, and began throwing punches and kicks as hard as he could at the padded mitts on his partners hands. Cross. Lead hook. Jab. Jab. Uppercut. Spinning back hand. Spinning crescent kick.
Ryan held the pads while the assault went on for a few minuets before noting, "Lot of power your throwing around today, Harry. Anything on your mind?"
Ryan was Instructor Lun's son and three years older than Harry. He'd been talking Ninjitsu a four years longer than Harry had, and knew his way around a fight like nobodies business. He'd taken Harry under wing when Harry had first started Ninjitsu as a shy six year old. Their friendship had done nothing but grow since then.
"We're moving." Harry spat, adding a jump to the next spinning crescent kick that made it sloppy as hell, but added that extra bit of power. Ryan staggered a bit at the impact.
"Shit, warn a guy next time before you do that." Ryan admonished lightly. "Where are you going?"
"England." Harry puffed, throwing out three more jabs.
Ryan whistled. "Long way away from here." He paused. "Ninjitsu?" he simply asked.
Harry understood the question. "Mom and dad will try to find something during the summer. During the school year? Boarding school."
Ryan winced, then stopped. "It's not… all boys, is it?"
Harry stopped mid kick. "I don't think so… No, mom went there."
"Good." Ryan said, then seeing Harry's eye roll added, "Ah, you don't care now, but you will."
"Whatever." Harry sighed, going back to punching.
Jab. Jab. Cross. Lead snap kick. Lead round house. Another spinning crescent kick. Jab. Hook. Jab-Jab-Uppercut-Cross-Jab-Hook-Jab.
Ryan suddenly pinned Harry's next punch between his two focus mitts, yank him forward and seized him in a head lock.
"I'm gonna miss my little sparing partner." He cooed, ruffling Harry's hair.
"Ryan! Get off me!" Harry shouted, embarrassed at the attention the two were drawing.
"Your supposed to be learning Ninjitsu. Make me." Ryan laughed.
"You asked for it!" Harry broke the hold and tried to kick Ryan with a sidekick. Ryan blocked the move with on focus mitt and slapped Harry across the face with the other. Harry looked ready to really get into it before Instructor Lun came up behind them.
"We're doing drills, correct?"
"Er…" Harry said.
"A little less goofing around, please."
"Yes, sir." The two intoned, looking sheepish. They went back to drills.
Jab-Cross-Jab-Jab-Hook-Jab-Backhand-Uppercut-Lead snap kick-Jab-Cross-Spinning backhand.
"Warning." Harry blurted suddenly before leaping with another spinning crescent kick.
AN: Yes! Second chapter up.