First of all, a Disclaimer for my entire story: I do not own these characters or the world they live in. This is all respectfully written for fun using J.K. Rowling's work and playing in her world a bit. There are some sections (such as the Sorting Hat's song) that are taken directly from the text of Harry Potter books and those belong completely to her. :)

Additionally, I am aware that this is an overused and common plot idea, and I am not aiming to plagiarize any other fanfictions; I just want to take my shot at the "Harry has a twin brother" theme. Any stores I may have read with this original idea may have been used in a part for inspiration but I am NOT intending to make mine just like theirs. Mine is a little bit different, although it will take some developing to really branch off from the original (albeit overused) idea and become completely unique. Lastly, I am aware that other stories are out there with the same title, and while I may change my title to something completely original, I feel that "Antithesis" right now describes what I'm going for the best. So work with me until I get a sudden burst of insight into an awesome title. :D

Story Info:

Title: Antithesis
Author: Wind Whisperer
Rating: R (or M, whatever you may use)
Summary: Harry has a twin brother, Eric, the hailed child of the prophecy. When they go to Hogwarts, their world both polarizes and becomes more mixed up than ever before. In such a world, it's easy to stray from the "right" path...
Pairings: Undecided as of now, but no slash for Harry (for minor characters slash is a possibility).
Warnings: AU (Alternate Universe) / language / violence / angst / darkness / sex / probably other stuff xD

That said, (wipes brow) I hope you all enjoy the ride. Please review even if to criticize - anything that will help me be a better writer is welcomed.

Chapter 1: The Second Twin

Harry Potter was lonely. It had always been a fact of life for him, really. His twin brother Eric, the Boy-Who-Lived, got all the attention from their parents, and he was regarded as a second – the other boy.

Harry was sure that Lily and James, his parents, didn't really mean to leave him out. But they never looked at him the same as they did to Eric; with Eric each glance was so full of love, pride, but also a deep anxiety over what he would have to do one day – defeat Voldemort. Harry understood that he would never be as special as his famous brother, and it hurt. He had long gotten used to the idea over his eleven years of life, however.

"Daaaad! Can I go over to Ron's to play some Quidditch with him and his brothers?" Eric burst into the house, eyes alight with excitement. "I can use the new quaffle we just bought yesterday, can I go, please, please?"

James smiled at his son from his armchair in the living room. "Go ahead, kid, have fun."

"Oh don't forget, Eric, thank Molly while you're there for the lovely carrot cake recipe she gave me last week," Lily chimed in from the kitchen.

"Okay Mum," Eric replied, already halfway out the door.

Lily and James had gotten permission a few years ago to buy a personal portkey that would take them to just near the Burrow since Eric would go there so often. The specialized portkeys were incredibly expensive and had a load of charms on them to assure the destination couldn't be changed or it couldn't be used by anyone but the family – people with Potter blood. Despite the cost, the two had agreed that it would be easier than going to the Weasleys' all the time with Eric.

Harry watched the interaction between his brother and parents detachedly and turned back to his book, Charlie Chorton's Choice Charms, and began to study one on the list. The levitating charm, it read, had the incantation 'wingardium leviosa' and a helpful diagram of the wand movement. Harry practiced the movement with a finger, adding the flick at the end with a flourish. He smiled to himself and moved on to the next one.

Harry had always liked reading about charms and other spells, even if he didn't have a wand yet and wasn't allowed to actually do them. Both Eric's and Harry's accidental magic had begun at a very early age and had continued for an unusually long time – indications that they were both going to be powerful wizards.

Though so far their magic seemed to be similar, the two didn't look like typical twins. They were fraternal, not identical, so they had marked differences in their features. Eric had dark brown hair that was tinged with deep red, and his father's sparkling hazel eyes. Harry, on the other hand, had raven black hair and stunning emerald eyes, even more green than his mother's. Harry's skin was pale, his face's features aristocratic like his grandfather Potter's, his stature average. Eric's skin was fair as well, though not quite as pale, but his facial features were soft, modeled mostly after Lily's, and he was slightly taller than Harry.

Harry supposed it was easy to see they were brothers, but hard to tell they were twins. Sometimes Harry wished that he looked more like Eric so maybe one day his parents would mistake him for his brother, and notice him for once. And maybe actually treat him like he was something special, rather than an afterthought.

Yet Harry knew that Eric was the Boy-Who-Lived, and that he could never be what his brother was. It wasn't so much that he wanted to be famous, but he wanted to be liked and maybe someone wouldn't just rush past him one day to the famous boy next to him, but they'd come to him, and smile at him like he was worth something.

Harry didn't bother to mull over it too much, though. He only felt worse when he did.

"Oh, looks like Hedwig's come back from Hogwarts," Lily spoke from the kitchen, appearing at the door with a dish and rag in hand. She preferred to do some things the muggle way – she always insisted that using tons of kitchen charms didn't make a house a home like doing things the old fashioned way did.

"Did Dumbledore answer your question, dear?" asked James, still sitting in his armchair going over the new Quidditch roster for the Applebee Arrows.

"I'll take a look," replied Lily, setting down the things in her hands. Hedwig hooted happily and stuck out a leg with not just the expected one, but three letters attached.

"James!" Lily squealed suddenly, grinning. "Hedwig brought Eric's Hogwarts letter! Quickly, James, firecall the Weasleys and tell him the news."

Harry liked watching his mother smile. She rarely smiled at him, but it was such a nice expression on her face that sometimes he could pretend that maybe his being good caused her to smile, when she seemed to be grinning for no reason. He was well aware that it was an unlikely fantasy, that she'd look like that because of him, but he hoped sometimes anyway… he didn't know why.

While James was in the midst of the firecall to the Burrow, Harry took the moment to grab his own letter from Hedwig's leg. The owl gave a low hoot and nipped his finger lovingly, her great amber eyes staring up at him. Hedwig, despite being Eric's owl, had liked Harry more right from the beginning, and he had always returned the affection when he could. At least he knew he had a friend, even if she was an owl.

"Oh Merlin, I'm so excited for him!" Lily burst out, running to hug James, her red hair spinning around as she embraced him. "This is when it all really starts, though… from now on there's no going back, is there…"

Lily trailed off uncertainly, letting go of her husband. Her emotions had quickly shifted from enthusiastic to anxious. "What if the other children are jealous of him? What if they don't like him? What if th–"

"Lily," James interrupted, "He'll be fine. We've raised him so he can handle everything that comes at him – he's friendly, noble, smart, and a pure Gryffindor. Nothing can go wrong, okay?"

She visibly relaxed. "Okay."

"Muuuuuum!!" a voice suddenly boomed from the front door. Eric rushed in, breathing hard. "I portkeyed right back as soon as I heard, where is it, Mum? Where's my letter?"

"Right here, sweetie," Lily grinned, handing the envelope to him. Eric ripped his open without a moment of hesitation, and his eyes grew wide with anticipation.

"Brilliant!! Can we go get our supplies tomorrow Mum? Please?" Eric asked eagerly after he had scanned the contents for a moment.

"Of course," responded Lily, a twinkle in her eye, not unlike the one often seen in Dumbledore's.

"How about we pick you up some more Quidditch supplies while we're there? Even if first-years can't get on the team, if never hurts to be prepared," added James, coming to stand beside his son and peer in at the letter as well.

"Does Hedwig's cage need cleaning, Mum?" Harry asked softly from his seat.

"Yes, could you do that please, Harry?" Lily responded distractedly.

"Sure, Mum."

Harry didn't like being around Eric when not just one, but both of their parents were standing there, giving him that proud smile that Harry never received. It was too much for him to take, and he had to get out of there.

Hedwig had hopped onto his shoulder, affectionately rubbing up against his cheek. Harry smiled slowly and then began proceeded to scrub the owl droppings and feathers out of Hedwig's large and spacious cage. The Potters could have only the best for Eric's owl, obviously.

He had brought his Hogwarts letter with him, which now that he was alone, he opened reverently. The beautiful green ink lettering spelled out his invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and a booklist was included, signed Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress, and Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster.

Harry let out a low whistle. He was going to Hogwarts, finally, and even more important, he was going to finally be able to use the magic that he'd always felt curling and churning just under the surface, ready to be released and channeled… with a wand of his very own.

- - -

"Come on, Eric, Ollivander's first," James pointed. "Best wandcrafter in Britain, and probably all of Europe too."

Eric hurried after his father, while Harry lagged behind a bit. Lily had gone to purchase their cauldrons and potions supplies while the boys bought their wands.

Ollivander's shop had a rather musty smell to it, Harry noticed as he stepped inside. It smelled faintly of wet wood to him, which wouldn't be surprising since all the wands were being made from various trees. The place was small and cramped, the shelves overflowing with an array of long, thin boxes. There didn't seem to be any method of order in where the wands were placed, but somehow Harry suspected that Ollivander didn't need any indication – he just knew.

"Ah, the Potter boys. I knew you two would be here soon," Ollivander winked, his pale blue eyes peering at them searchingly. "Who first?"

"Me, of course," Eric replied quickly, stepping up to the quirky old man with silver hair.

Ollivander's eyes locked onto the lighting-bolt shaped scar on Eric's forehead with interest. "Yes, Mr. Potter, I'll find a wand for you…"

The man turned and ruffled through a stack of boxes, causing more than a couple to fall to the floor. "Wand arm, Mr. Potter? This is thirteen inches, dragon heartstring, oak."

"My right."

Eric gave the wand a swish, but nothing happened.

"How about this one? Eleven and a half inches, phoenix feather, maple. Quite supple." Ollivander suggested after some more rummaging.

Swish. Nothing.

"Hm… ah. I think I know the one. Twelve inches, unicorn hair, cherry."

Eric waved the wand and brilliant red sparks appeared out of the end. "Yes, this is the one," Eric laughed. He looked ecstatic. "It just… feels right."

"As I've always said," Ollivander nodded, "the wand chooses the wizard. Now, for the second Potter, eh?"

Harry raised his eyes to the man and stepped forward. He would be getting a wand. A wand!

Ollivander disappeared behind a large pile of boxes and came striding over with a few. "Wand arm?"

Harry held up his left arm pointedly, and took the first wand from Ollivander, who was busy saying, "Thirteen and a half inches, phoenix feather, pine."

He gave the wand a wave, but nothing happened.

"Twelve and a quarter inches, dragon heartstring, cedar, very rigid."

Harry swished the next wand, but it was quickly snatched out and replaced by another when it was obvious nothing was happening.

"Eleven inches, unicorn hair, holly."

Again he waved the wand, but to no avail.

"Twelve inches, phoenix feather, oak."


"Thirteen and a quarter inches, dragon heartstring, maple, rather swishy."

The wands continued to pass through Harry's hand and then quickly out; Ollivander became increasingly more excited with each wand that didn't work, it seemed. Harry eyed him warily, and tried the next wand – eleven and three quarters inches, unicorn hair, redwood.

"Don't you worry, Mr. Potter, we'll find the right one. Tricky customer… tricky indeed…" Ollivander muttered, seemingly more to himself than to the eleven year old boy beside him. After a few more minutes and a couple dozen wands, Ollivander stopped. Harry by now was getting slightly nervous; what if there wasn't one for him; would he ever be able to go to Hogwarts if he didn't get a wand?

James and Eric were waiting behind him, looking impatient and frowning. Harry glanced back at his father and mouthed "sorry" but James just nodded politely and kept waiting, that restless look in his eyes. Eric began to fidget, looking out the window and across the street at an older boy carrying a broom. Harry turned his attention back to the wandcrafter.

"It seems I'll have to bring out some of my more obscure wands, with different cores. I haven't had to take these out in years…" mumbled the old man wildly, a crooked grin forming on his lips. After a moment Ollivander emerged from the very back of his storeroom with a variety of boxes, many of which were caked with dust.

"Right here is thirteen inches, hippogriff feather, pine, give it a wave now," Ollivander urged.

Harry tried it, but like the rest before, nothing happened.

"This one is eleven and a half inches, pixie dust, cherry."

Nothing again. Ollivander then eyed Harry with a very strange expression and handed him another wand, this time remaining silent.

Harry grabbed it from him and even before he had given it a wave, a feeling of extreme… wholeness enveloped him. Beautiful dark blue fireflies emerged from the wand tip along with a series of purple sparks. Harry smiled, feeling like he was being hugged by a mother, or reunited with a lost and very missed friend.

"This is… wonderful. What is it made of, Mr. Ollivander?" Harry asked softly.

Ollivander's expression shifted to one of reluctance. Even Eric's attention was drawn by the strangeness of the old man's actions, while James stood behind, now intrigued.

"That, Mr. Potter, is twelve inches, dementor's essence, walnut."

Harry's insides felt like they were collapsing. He heard a muffled gasp from Eric behind him. Harry looked at his wand, this beautiful wand that made him feel accepted like no other person ever had. So beautiful, but it had a core of dementor's essence?

"Now see here, Ollivander, don't go scaring my son like that…" James began, his voice shaky though, like he didn't believe his own words.

"It is true," stated Ollivander, his eyes hard.

"Er… sir, what really… what even IS dementor's essence?" asked Harry, his green eyes wide and slightly frightened.

"Dementor's essence is the piece of itself that a dementor leaves behind on the body of the person whose soul was just taken by it. The person it kissed," Ollivander explained slowly. "The essence is basically the dementor's breath left behind on the victim's lips. Very, very hard to obtain, and thus very, very expensive, Mr. Potter."

"What's wrong with you?" Eric suddenly burst out, facing Harry. "What kind of person are you, anyway, if your wand is dementor's essence, of all things!" His hazel eyes were wild and accusing.

"I'm sorry," Harry found himself saying weakly. "I don't know, I'm sorry…"

"Get Harry a new wand, Mr. Ollivander," demanded James.

"The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter. It is not young Harry's fault that this particular wand was drawn to him, but after testing all of the others, it is undeniably the only one that will work for him. The core of a person's wand does not reflect everything about the wizard who wields it, remember, for even the worst sorts of wizards have wands with pure, good cores," Ollivander explained rationally, despite still edging away from Harry himself. "Though… it will be quite expensive."

"How much?" James asked flatly, his expression flinty.

"Twenty-seven galleons," Ollivander admitted.

"Twenty-seven?!" repeated James in disbelief. "Why the hell–"

"As I explained before, it is extremely difficult to obtain th–"

"That's almost four times what Eric's wand cost! I'd understand if Eric had an expensive wand, he's the Boy-Who-Lived after all, but Harry? Harry's nothing special!" James protested, voice loud.

Harry coughed and began to blink rapidly, looking away. Wasn't it enough to know that you were rotten, that you were bound to a magical item formed from a dementor? It was too much to have your father say you weren't special so bluntly, so uncaringly….

James seemed to have realized what he had said as well, and looked in Harry's direction but avoided meeting his eye. Eric watched the scene, gaping silently. "I didn't mean that like that, Harry."

"I know, Dad," Harry replied lowly, but both of them knew that James had spoken his mind exactly the way it had come out. A moment passed, the only noise Eric's shifting his weight to the other foot.

"Your total is thirty-four galleons, Mr. Potter," said Ollivander quietly, his pale blue eyes wise and sad.

James counted out the correct amount and handed the coins to the wandcrafter in silence.

"Good day, Mr. Potter," Ollivander bowed his head as they walked out. Harry glanced back at the old man, who locked eyes with him for a moment and nodded solemnly.

The two boys and their father walked in silence for a moment, the tension obvious, until James suddenly spun around to face the twins. "Don't tell your mother of this, or speak of it to anyone, do you both understand me?"

"Yes, sir," they replied in unison, hands out in front of them like the Potters had always required, so that it was apparent that no fingers were crossed.

The three of them met up with Lily momentarily, who was carrying a small bag that contained their cauldrons, shrunken of course. "What's wrong?" she asked immediately, sensing the tension and taking in the unusual expressions on their faces.

"Nothing's wrong dear, Eric got his wand just fine, see?" responded James in a convincingly upbeat voice. Eric brightened and showed his wand to his mother eagerly, grinning as she admired it and praised him.

"Okay, what next, Eric? Where would you like to go? We have to get you… let's see…" Lily consulted her son's Hogwarts letter. "Three black work robes, a pointed hat, a pair of dragon hide gloves, a winter cloak. So those are from Madam Malkin's. Or we could get your telescope and brass scales; I already bought the cauldrons and phials. And… lastly, the books, from Flourish and Blotts. Which shall it be, sweetie?"

"Mummm, don't call me that in public," Eric huffed. "I say we get our robes next."

The four of them headed over to Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions, where they met Madam Malkin inside, a squatty, jolly witch with purple robes. Another attendant milling about hurried over to the group.

"Hogwarts, you two?" Madam Malkin asked. "We'll fix you right up with some robes right away, though don't worry if they're a little on the big side right now; boys grow like weeds in their first few years, of course…"

The attendant measured Harry quickly and pinned the long black robes to the right length for his legs, arms, and shoulders. Eric was getting treated by Madam Malkin herself, and was done just a moment after his brother.

"Finished already, dears. Those should last you through some growing, so have a good year!" the witch said with a wink, and then turned to James and Lily to negotiate the money.

While the adults were talking, Eric turned abruptly to Harry. "I don't understand you."

Harry's eyes flickered to Eric's and then lowered again, fixed on his trainers.

"Dementor's essence, Harry. I've never even heard of anyone with that core… I never even knew dementor's essences existed! I mean to get an answer to what I said before – what's wrong with you? You're strange enough even without the wand core, you're always so quiet and you never get along with perfectly friendly people, like Ron or Ginny!" Eric's voice was a fierce whisper. "Why couldn't you be with me like Fred is to George, they're best friends as well as brothers – they're twins too! But I never even know you because you don't bloody try."

"I'm not your identical twin for a reason, Eric, we're fraternal," Harry responded coolly. Eric's words had hurt him. "And I'm just as freaked out as you are about my wand. D'you think I like the fact that a dementor had to kiss someone, it had to suck out their soul, so my wand core could be gotten?"

Eric opened his mouth to retort, but right at that moment Lily came striding over to her sons. "Where next, Eric?" she asked sweetly.

"Umm… how about Flourish and Blotts?" replied Eric, looking pointedly away from Harry and down the street at the bookstore. When Lily looked away Eric glanced sourly back at Harry, then turned to follow his mother. Harry sighed, feeling his eyes prickle a little bit with tears, and then blinked them back. Crying had never done him any good before, so there was no reason to start now, he resolved.

In no time they were arriving at the bookstore, standing before shelves stacked to the ceiling with books of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Eric immediately made his way to the Quidditch section, James right behind him, while Lily started gathering the boys' school textbooks. Harry wandered to the charms section – he had always liked charms – and began to flip through some titles. As he made his way along the wall, the section soon switched into Defense Against the Dark Arts. He noticed Curses and Counter-curses (Bewitch Your Friends and Befuddle Your Enemies with the Latest Revenges: Hair Loss, Jelly-Legs, Tongue-Tying, and Much, Much More) by Professor Vindictus Viridian, Hexes, Jinxes, and Curses: Defense through Offense by Hubert Acidium, The Lethifold, Werewolf, and Vampire Compendium, by Robert Howler.

One book, in particular, however, caught his eye. Dementors: Beneath the Hood by Mordrid Vane. Quickly checking to see if anyone was watching, Harry pulled the book out of its place and opened to a random page – 167. On it there was a ghoulish illustration of a dementor from a person's memory who had gotten half of his soul sucked out; the dementor had been repelled by a Patronus mid-kiss. The person's brain had been irrevocably damaged, but there had been enough of his identity left that his memories could be drawn out by a Legilimens.

From the memories came the sketchy illustration of what he had seen of the dementor underneath the cloak. Hazy, gray, rotting flesh, it looked like, and an oval mouth (more like a hole than a true mouth though) that seemed open in the shape of a silent scream. Pitless eyes that seemed to exude darkness were set below a long, scabby forehead that appeared to be bald.

The representation made Harry want to vomit. He quickly flipped to another page, 49, which was explaining how dementors' magic worked to make people relive their worst memories. It was all very scientific according to the author; it was the creatures' method of incapacitating their prey… they were only doing what was natural – hah – as if draining a soul was something normal.

Harry shut the book suddenly and pushed it back into its spot with a shudder. He unconsciously touched his new wand, which seemed to send a wave of warmth up his arm as soon as he did so. Jerking away, he moved on along the shelves, which seemed to be getting into increasingly sketchy subjects.

This time, Born from Darkness: The Nature of Dark Magic by Wyvern Noxis caught his eye. Curious, Harry ran a finger down the well-bound spine, turning it over for a small summary only to find there was none. He opened it to flip through pages randomly, seeing stunning illustrations and complicated spells, as well as long paragraphs explaining the mechanics of the magic behind it. His parents had always been so against dark magic that, naturally, Harry wanted to know why. Would it be so wrong for him to read a book like this, if even just to understand why to stay away?

Harry picked up the book and carried it protectively at his side, looking around the corner to see his brother and father still engrossed in a new text which was analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of various obscure Quidditch brooms. Harry then continued along one of the aisles until he saw his mother, who was collecting their potions textbooks at a shelf rather close to the check-out counter.

He waited until she had picked the two out and added them to the ever-increasing stack next to her. She took the stack into her arms again, humming as she went along into the next aisle for Transfiguration books. It was far enough away that Harry could make it to purchase his book without her seeing. He strode up to the clerk and put the book on the counter.

"Hello, how are you doing today, little guy?" the young blond witch said kindly as she turned to his book. Her eyes widened at the title, and then she looked suspiciously at him.

"Oh I'm fine, thank you, how are you?" Harry responded in an upbeat, childlike voice, as if nothing were strange. He then adopted a very young, shy expression. "I like your necklace. It's really pretty."

Derailed from her original suspicion, she smiled brightly. "Oh how sweet of you, my grandmother gave it to me," she responded, touching it lightly.

"The blue matches your eyes," said Harry, making himself blush for the effect. He felt strained magic spark within him, subtly distracting her attention from the book. He looked down at his feet. "A pretty necklace for pretty eyes."

"Oh aren't you a little charmer," the witch giggled, though she looked very pleased. She had tapped the book with her wand without thinking to show her the price automatically while they were talking, so the amount due appeared in gold numbers in the air in front of her.

"That'll be twelve sickles and a knut, little guy," she smiled. He kept his eyes locked on to hers, distracting her from looking at the title again, and set down the money on the counter from his pocket.

"Thank you," said Harry earnestly, a boyish smile forming on his lips.

"Have a lovely day, dear," the witch grinned back at him, waving him goodbye.

Harry smirked as he turned around to go towards the front of the shop. The 'cute little boy' trick wouldn't work for too much longer, as he was getting older, but he was sure he'd come up with new ways to get around situations like that. He could usually keep people distracted if he looked them in the eye long enough as it was; his eyes' fierce emerald color and his ability to channel a bit of magic had ended up being quite a useful perk for him.

For some reason, though, it never had worked on his parents, for which Harry was extremely sorry.

A few minutes later Lily began to drag her husband and Eric from the Quidditch section and came out with three bags full of books. She gave two to Harry on the way out, as he was standing near the door (his book laying innocently behind him on the ground). He smiled at his mother, but she ignored him to hurry after Eric, who was now begging for an ice cream from Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor.

Harry slipped his book inside one of the bags and followed them.

- - -

Dark magic alters the perception of the caster. Traditional light spells are considered thus because they generally do not infringe upon the free will of others and do not affect the caster's well-being or mental state. The Imperius Curse is perhaps the most classic example of dark magic. Not only does it completely destroy the free will of the victim, it also begins a slow change in the caster's mind that makes him or her more prone to trying to command others and to cast the curse again. Dementors are an example of a dark creature because they alter the victim's mind by barraging it with horrible memories.

Why, you may argue, is a spell like a memory charm not considered dark then? This is where the line between dark and light magic becomes sketchy. Memory charms are most often used legally to alter traumatic memories or the memories of muggles that have seen too much. Though memory charms can be used with evil intention, they can be detected as well as broken by any wizard or witch stronger than the caster. This ambiguity between dark and light, however, is called by some 'gray magic'. Only a small population uses this term, but a memory charm is a perfect example of gray magic. Henceforth in this book spells will be classified in one of the following ways: light, gray, or dark.

Harry looked up from his reading, considering the book's logical explanations. At age eleven he had quite a vocabulary due to lots of time spent with the books in his father's study, but he still stumbled over a few of the bigger words.

He looked back at the book again. He had always loved to think about these sorts of things; magic was so fascinating in all of its forms. Whenever he would try to ask his mother or father a question about dark magic, they would either pretend not to hear him or snap a quick answer back, often consisting of 'dark magic is evil, you'd do best to stay away from it'. Harry knew his family was supposed to be the epitome of light, not only because Voldemort was to be defeated by Eric, but because of both James and Lily's amazing talent with light magic and oaths never to use dark spells.

Ever since that fateful Halloween night, his parents had been obsessed with making sure that Eric grew up the right way, equipped with everything he needed to be the icon of the light, the symbol of hope, that the wizarding world would need. Harry knew that must have been a rather overwhelming thought – to know that their son's future would not be nearly as innocent or carefree as they had hoped – but he occasionally wished that it wasn't all they cared about. They could spare a thought for their second son from time to time, at least.

Harry stretched out on his bed in his cramped little room. Eric's room, next-door, was easily three times the size of his, if not more, and was furnished much more nicely. Admirers as well as Remus and Sirius would often spoil the boy, sending him the finest comforter and latest toys.

But that was enough of that. He didn't need to think about all the things he wished he had – why bother? That was a lesson he had learned long ago.

Sometimes though, Harry broke and wondered what it could have been like, had Voldemort not arrived on that Halloween night. He and Eric had been side by side in their cribs, while James had been out at a Halloween party with his friends. Lily had been home, but it was late and she had fallen asleep on her bed after putting the twins down for the night. Harry remembered his mother's story one time when she told Eric just how he had been marked…

"I had been asleep in my room when suddenly I woke up to the noise of the door slamming open, though I didn't know it at the time. I thought James had arrived home and was making a ruckus, so I attempted to fall asleep again. When I heard more jostling and someone coming up the stairs, someone that sounded nothing like James, I began to panic. I bolted up and ran to the door to come protect you, Eric, but just as I reached the doorway Voldemort passed and sealed it shut on his way straight to you. I pounded and cried for help, but could not break his spell, even when I tried to blast the door away.

"He made his way to your room, where you were now crying, and cast the fateful spell. But you defeated him, Eric – he marked you with your scar when you bounced the curse back at him. When finally I had been released, Dumbledore, James, and I hailed you as the one from the prophecy – Voldemort had marked you as his equal, even though you had vanquished him for now.

"I'm still thankful that Voldemort did not kill me, but instead merely sealed me from getting to you two. I suspect only his anticipation about killing you caused him to focus on that, and only that, and it was easier and shorter to block me from getting to you than it was to take the time to fight and then kill me."

"I'm glad you didn't die, Mum," Eric had said, hugging Lily tightly.

"Me too, sweetie," replied Lily, rubbing his back. Harry stood to the side, and watched the two.

Harry was relieved that it wasn't he who would have to defeat Voldemort, but at the same time he thought that Eric was altogether too impulsive and reckless to go about it the right way. If there was a right way, that is. Harry sighed and then started as Lily shouted up the stairs, "Dinner!"

He groaned. Dinner was always an awkward affair for him, as he was rarely spoken to and it was a time for Eric and his parents to 'bond'. Harry would be forced to watch their expressions, silently knowing that he could never be that person that his parents wanted to speak to, to nurture, to love.

Harry wearily rose from his position on his bed and began to make his way to the dinner table. Upon reaching it, he took the seat farthest away from Eric as possible, and began to spoon some meager portions of pasta onto his plate.

"Dumbledore's decided to move the you-know-what to Hogwarts, Lily," said James as he strode into the room. He set his auror's bag down by the side of his chair.

Lily kissed her husband lightly on the cheek as he came in but then frowned. "I suppose it would be safest at Hogwarts… I just don't like the idea of it being in a place full of children. Anyone who came after it would go through them first."

Eric's eyes were wide and calculating. Harry knew he was trying to figure out what the 'you-know-what' was; he'd been trying to every time his parents had mentioned it. Harry hadn't come up with anything, but then again, he hadn't given it much thought. Eric was the one that liked to pry into other people's matters. Harry was quite content with dealing only with things that affected him.

"Ooh, Mum you made treacle tart for dessert?" said Eric excitedly.

"Yes, I thought I should prepare your favorite things for your last night before you go to Hogwarts," Lily replied lovingly, her eyes soft and somewhat sad at the thought of her beloved son being gone.

Eric's eyes lit up. He'd been looking forward to going to school with Ron Weasley and Anthony Goldstein and his other friends for years now – and it was finally going to happen, tomorrow morning.

"Oh Eric…" Lily sniffed, "I love you sweetie, I hope you have a good time…"

"I'll be fine, Mum," Eric replied in a long-suffering voice.

"I know. I just worry about you. That's what mothers do."

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