Chapter 9

Title: When Will I matter

Description: Harry has a twin brother who is the one who can bring down Voldemort, so Lily makes the choice. Years later when his brother is in the spotlight Harry is still suffering from the affects of the attack.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, mistakes are mine though.

a/n: A bit of my supernatural fan-girl side came out in this chapter…can anyone catch it?

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Harry smiled as he walked down the stairs. His four year old mind clouded with happy feelings as he had just been released from the hospital the night before. It had been quite a while since he had slept in his own bed. Yesterday felt like a reunion with his room.

Aside from that, while at the hospital one of the nurses had taught him how to play with clay. It was a muggle sort of thing that kids would mold into shapes to make whatever they wanted. Since Harry was too young to use magic, the nurse thought this would be a great way to pass the time. It was everything that four year olds loved, messy, sticky, and creative.

Harry spent hours playing with the clay, and in the end he decided to make a tiny phoenix for his brother, on the account that Charlie loved animals and the phoenix was his favorite. When it was done, the phoenix was odd looking and it took a while for it to stand on the table without flipping over. Alicia had commented that it looked more like a dog standing on it's hind legs with wings, while Skandar swore it was a bunny with large ears. However, Harry was quite happy with it, and he was sure that Charlie would be too.

He meant for the wings to look like it was about to soar into the sky but he was only four, so there was very little credit to what it looked like and what it was supposed to be. Everyone would just have to take the artist's word for it. If Harry said it was a phoenix then everyone would have to pretend that it looked like so.

This little clay phoenix was what Harry carried down with him as he went to greet his brother. His face in a bright form of glee as he handed it to Charlie with the declaration that it was a phoenix before he rushed back up the stairs.

Charlie Potter could only smile at the thing as he stared at it. Nothing about the mound of clay made it look like it was a phoenix, but Charlie did like it, and he was happy about it. Something his little twin had worked hard on for him. What was not to like? It was sometime while he was looking at his new present when his father grabbed his arm and pulled him along telling him they were late going to some sort of ministry outing. Charlie dropped the bird to the ground and his father stepped on it, breaking it to tiny little pieces. As his father dragged him away Charlie could only stare at the clay in dismay and protest in short stutters.

A little while later when Harry came back down the stairs, the first thing his eyes laid on were the shattered clay pieces. He frowned at them before deciding to ignore it. As he walked past the broken bits of clay Harry had what would be his last concrete thought about his brother for a long time.

'If he didn't like it, he could have just told me, he didn't need to break it…Maybe it's not the present…maybe it's me. Because I'm not as important or as famous as him…Maybe he doesn't like me anymore…

…yeah, it has to be me.'

Charlie Potter never got a chance to correct his brother's thoughts, because after that Harry tried to avoid him, and his parents were always dragging him away. Years later there would be such a rift between him and his siblings that none of them would ever realize what had actually started the rift.

And after a while, none of them really cared.

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It had been decided a few hours ago.

Harry, Hermione, and J.D. were supposed to leave the next evening to begin their adventure. Still Hermione and J.D. didn't know exactly what they were going after, they only knew that Harry was on a mission to take down Voldemort. It had been decided that they would try to find some sort of a hideout while they researched their work. Together they were going to destroy the most evil wizard of all time.

But that had been decided by Hermione and J.D.

Harry had no part in that decision.

No, Harry had decided, that in the late hours of the previous night he would sneak away from his friends. He would stumble out of the walls of Hogwarts castle and do things his way. He didn't want anyone in the crossfire with him. He didn't want anyone getting hurt because of him. He was doing this for them, because their lives had become important to him. That's why he had to do this alone.

Harry stood in front of the huge glass containers that showed how many points each house had. He was supposed to have already left but he just wanted to have one good look here before so.

Over the past few years he had made so many memories in just this hall alone. Memories with Skandar, Alicia, Lachlan, J.D., Pierce, and even the dreaded Draco Malfoy. This castle contained them within its walls, and Harry felt pain on leaving them behind.

"Harry?" came a small voice from behind.

Harry turned and cursed before his eyes widened at the sight of his brother standing behind him looking, if anything, determined.

"Charlie…" said Harry calmly, "What are you doing here?"

"Harry I know what you're doing, I heard J.D. and Hermione yelling at you…let me go with you."

Whatever Harry had been expecting it surely wasn't this, but now that he took notice he caught his brother holding luggage just as he was.

"…Wait, what?" was all that Harry could reply.

"Harry let me go with you." Charlie begged.

"For what?….the glory? For the greater good?" asked Harry tonelessly.

Charlie's expression became dark as he turned his eyes to meet Harry's, "Those are dad's words."

"You should know them well."

"Harry it's for none of that. Damnit! You just automatically write me off as one of them don't you?! You always have!"

"One of who-?"

"Like mum, dad, and Dumbledore! You, Alicia, and Pierce, you'd all already formed your own opinions about my character a long time ago! You never even thought to ask me if I was enjoying the fame or basking in the glory, neither which I've done!"

Harry sighed, "Charlie you can't come with me."

"Why not?!" Hissed Charlie as he actually stomped his foot on the ground.

"I…I-"

Charlie waited.

"Charlie you just can't come with me!"

"Harry why not?!"

"Your place is here with mum and dad," said Harry, "It always has been. When we were little and you used to pick on me and Pierce. You always thought you were better than us, now you hear I'm going after Voldemort and you want to come with? What am I supposed to think?"

"I never thought I was better than you guys!" Charlie steamed.

"Then why were you always picking on us?"

"Merlin Harry! All my life I've been side by side with mum and dad by you, Alicia, and Ben. You think I enjoyed that? I wanted to be on the other side, with the rest of you."

"What? We all wanted to be in your shoes. Having all that attention from mum and dad…we craved it." Harry blurted out, "You seemed to enjoy it enough!"

Charlie shook his head, "I did enjoy having the attention from mum and dad, but you had so much more attention from each other. You guys made bonds that I became jealous of."

Harry laughed, "So we've always been jealous of one another."

"Ironic, when it happens." Charlie said with a small smile.

Harry took a deep breath, "Why do you want to come?"

"Mostly to escape mum and dad….but I also want to help the cause. I really do."

Harry took in Charlie's expression. Any which way he looked at it, he could tell that the emotion was sincere.

"Damnit Charlie, I just can't take you away from here."

"Yes you can! I'm seventeen just like you are. Mum and Dad don't have any authority over me anymore."

"We've only been seventeen for like a week." Harry grinned.

"Please…I'll beg…" said Charlie as he got down on his knees, "Please."

Harry sighed, "Charlie get up." he groaned.

Charlie stayed on his knees with his pleading puppy dog eye look. Harry groaned again as he turned away and grabbed his hair. He began pacing the floor, every now and then he'd turn to Charlie and say a jumble of words that came out as a mess.

"You can't just….urgh…..what do you?….But…." Harry sighed as he stopped in his pacing, "Fine, you can come."

Charlie leapt up in joy, "All right let's leave now before-"

"Charlie?"

Harry and Charlie turned towards the stairs to see James walking down them looking confused.

"What's going on here?"

Charlie looked defiant, "I'm going with Harry."

"Going with Harry…Going with Harry where!?"

"That's none of your business, I'm seventeen."

"Be that as it may you still got a year of school to finish!" James retorted.

"This is war now dad, who cares about that?" asked Harry.

"You…You did this!" said James as he pushed Harry, "Every time, you're always trying to bring your brother down!"

"No dad," said Charlie, "I decided this."

James grabbed Harry by the front of his robes and began shaking him violently, Charlie's words were lost to him, "Harry, why do you always have to do this kind of thing? Why can't you leave your brother alone? Are you trying to get him killed faster? Are you that jealous!?"

James let Harry go and the boy fell backwards on the ground stunned. He tried to shake the dizziness away but for all he knew there were two James standing in front of him.

"I won't let you guys leave…Charlie you're staying here, even if I have to have Harry taken away, even if I have to tie you down, even if I-"

With that Charlie swung his fist right into his father's face. James went down like a bag of rocks in a lake and hit his head with a sickening thud when he hit the ground. Harry had to admit that the sound was slightly satisfying.

"Way to go." said Harry with a grin.

"Oh Merlin…I hit dad… I hit dad!" Charlie panicked.

"Forget about it, we've got to go before he wakes up or someone else comes down here."

"But…dad!"

"He's fine, look he's not even bleeding. He'll just have a bump on the back of his head, now let's go!"

"Where?"

Harry stopped for a fraction of a moment, "Erm…I don't know." he said suddenly looking a bit guilty.

Charlie rolled his eyes and sighed, "Here I know a place."

"What would I do without you?" asked Harry sarcastically.

"You'd been fine. The real question is, what would I do without you?"

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"Are you sure no one's going to go there?" asked Harry hesitantly.

"Yes, it was our old grandparents' home. On mum's side. They died a while ago. A couple people have moved in since but no one has stayed for long. After a few years it just got abandoned. They boarded up the windows and left it alone."

"I never knew that."

"Mum and Dad told me."

Harry sighed quietly. This was the kind of thing they should all know, not just Charlie. They were all a family. Even though Charlie was working with Harry he couldn't help but feel resentful when Charlie said those kind of things.

"Sorry," said Charlie, "I guess I never realized how much you guys missed out on when mum and dad were focused on me."

"Well, we're even because we never realized how much you missed out on."

They were sitting down at the table in a small pub. Everything about it was dusty, and the people looked a bit shifty. Charlie was telling Harry about the possibility of using the ex-house of their deceased grandparents. So far it was the best and only place they had to run too. Harry could put some charms on the house so that they would at least be safe in it. As soon as they finished up breakfast here they were planning on apparating to the house. Once there Harry was going to get all his research and spread it out all over the place in hope of finding their next step.

Charlie was pulling the early morning daily prophet towards him, and Harry took a bite out of the egg he had ordered. He glanced at his brother who was sitting awkwardly in his chair, so Harry brought up the first thing that came to his mind to break the tension.

"So…that night when you got into Slytherin." Harry began.

"What about it?" asked Charlie looking surprised that Harry was bringing this up.

"How mad did dad get?" Harry asked, "I've always wondered you know."

Charlie laughed, "Like you wouldn't believe, he wouldn't even let me near the Slytherin common room for the longest time. It was hard for a while because all of my Slytherin classmates made fun of me."

"Charlie the-boy-who-lived-wonder Potter, got made fun of?…I don't believe it."

"Well I did, and it didn't make it better that dad bought my way into the Qudditch team. Anyone with eyes can see I'm dreadful at the thing. Ended up making us lose a lot of our games. I'm just not the Keeper dad wanted me to be."

"I know," said Harry with a grin, "I've seen you fly remember. It's like watching a hippo trying to fly on a sparrow. Awkward, silly, and clumsy."

"And…this is what would be referred to as sibling teasing?" Charlie asked shyly.

Harry rolled his eyes, "Yes Charlie, I'm only teasing."

"Good." he said before opening up the morning paper.

A moment later Charlie yelped in surprise, "No! No, no, no, no!" he muttered to himself.

"What?" asked Harry as he walked around to see what his brother was so distraught by.

A moment later Harry's eyes widened in shock as he read the headline of the front cover in the Daily Prophet.

CHARLIE POTTER KIDNAPPED!

It was reported today by the headmaster Dumbledore, that Charlie Potter the Boy-Who-Lived has been kidnapped by none other than his brother Harry Potter! This startling revelation has made an angry outburst in the wizarding community. Questions have begun to arise about the character of Harry Potter. Is the boy going down a road of no return? Well his mother had this to say-

"Dumbledore has warned us of the possibility of Harry going dark because we gave Charlie more attention….but I didn't want to believe him."

While Lily Potter sobbed through the interview over the grief of her lost son, and the even further loss of the other, James Potter told the Daily Prophet exactly what went down.

Last night a little after midnight, James Potter reported that he tried to stop his son from leaving the castle only to be confronted with a fist to his face.

"I'm sure they were arguing about something, the next thing I knew Harry was pulling Charlie along with him. When I tried to stop Harry he raised his fist and punched me so hard that I fell back and hit my head on the ground. When I came to both boys were gone!"

Is Harry Potter in league with Voldemort? What will he do with our golden boy? This is just proof that no one can be trusted in times of turmoil, not even your own blood!

Harry looked up from the paper in disbelief. His brother was looking more sick than anything.

"Oh Merlin…how could he?" Charlie whispered.

"Ok…ok this is bad." said Harry, "At first we had to worry about dark wizards catching us, and now we have to worry about the light wizards as well?"

"Wait…you mean there's no one on your side?!" Charlie yelled, "There's no one who will read this and disregard this as rubbish?"

"Yeah there's you, Alicia, and Skandar. This is great." Harry said sarcastically, "Since we don't know where Alicia or Skandar are, and right now you're probably the third most wanted wizard out there!"

"Third?"

"Right after Voldemort and me."

"Ah," said Charlie before going back to his distressed state, "I don't believe it…how could dad? He knew I was the one who punched him."

"Are you just realizing that our parents aren't always the wisest people?" Harry grumbled, "I'll tell you why he did it though. Dad knew that no one would try to find you if he reported you'd gone off with me to help vanquish the dark lord. But this way, with this story, everyone is after you. He can always dismiss charges on me later. Once you tell them I didn't kidnap you all he'd have to do is say, oh I was mistaken. Later on I'd be free to do whatever I want as usual but they'd never let you alone."

"But that's still not a good reason!"

"When has anything our parents done been within reason?" Harry asked.

The two boys sat next to each other quietly. Harry was nervously pulling at the hood of his cloak, praying that no one in the pub would recognize him, not that there were many. There was a stumpy old woman sitting two tables away, and a beaten looking boy sitting at the counter talking to the bar man. Charlie watched Harry silently as his brother sighed and seemed to come to a decision.

Charlie sighed, "All right then….I'm ready."

Harry frowned his eyebrow, "Ready for what exactly?"

"You're going to bring me back right? So you won't be hunted down like a dog."

"Interesting choice of words, but no…I'm not taking you back."

"You're…not?" Charlie asked in surprise.

Harry shook his head, "No…that would waste to much time, besides I'm always up t a challenge."

For a moment Charlie just started at his twin brother. Harry wasn't sure what Charlie saw as he stared at him but a moment later Charlie's face broke out into the most honest grin that he had ever seen grace his brother's face.

"Thank you, Harry." said Charlie.

"Don't mention it." Harry mumbled.

Harry could finally see it now. Charlie wasn't an enemy, he never had been. Charlie wasn't someone to be ignored, Charlie was on Harry's side. They had the sibling bond. He could feel it now. James hadn't become successful in severing it. It may had been unused and rusty but Harry could see it dimly. It was working just as hard to connect the two of them, as it connected Harry to Alicia, or Harry to Pierce, and even Harry to Benjamin.

"Come on Charlie," said Harry with a smile of his own, "We've got work to do."

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