Disclaimer: Thankfully, these boys don't belong to me.
A/N: So I was reading through 'Gospel' and I remembered these two.
Little Albus squirmed, attempting to free himself from his brother's hold. "It's not funny, James."
James Potter smirked. "Yes it is."
Albus resigned himself to the inevitable and allowed himself to be pushed to the ground outside in their little garden. He groaned as James sat on his legs but tried to otherwise pretend he was feeling fine and dandy. The only thing that worked on his brother was reverse psychology.
After some time, sitting in silence, Albus asked, "Why are you doing this?"
James leant back against a tree, still keeping his younger brother's legs firmly under his control. "Because I can."
Their ginger cat leapt into his lap and purred loudly as James tickled under its chin. It settled on his lap and Albus winced, feeling the extra weight atop him. He watched as James slowly stroked the cat's head, playing with his ears. He looked like a Bond villain.
"You know, James, I think you should keep in mind that at some point, you're going to have to fall asleep."
James laughed. "You wouldn't dare."
He scoffed. "Al, you just can't prank. I wash my hands of you. You can't do it. You're missing some vital gene or something."
Albus sniffed indignantly. This was true enough to sting. They were allowed to bully one another so long as they never ever told the truth. The truth hurt; especially when James was older, bigger, and significantly cooler.
"Yeah, but Teddy isn't."
James frowned slightly and narrowed his eyes, prepared to bargain. After all, the last time he had engaged in a prank war with the Lupin boy he had not only failed to win the war, but also lost every single battle.
"All right," said James, shoving the cat off his lap, "let's make a deal then."
Albus sighed. This was going to take forever and - knowing James - he was probably going to have to sign a contract in his own blood. He nodded. "Okay, but get off."
James refused. "If you help me get into Dad's top drawer, I'll let you go."
Albus shook his head. "No way. We'll be grounded for like…I don't know…a year."
His brother shrugged. "I won't be. I'm going to Hogwarts in September."
This was a fact of which Albus was all ready only too aware. Both James and Teddy would be at Hogwarts in less than a month's time, taking Fred with them. Rosie was all right company-wise but she would never be the all-knowing Ted, or even (much as he hated to admit it) the fun-loving James.
"Mum will be wanting us in soon anyway."
And as for his sister, or Lethal-Lily as she was now known…
James checked his watched. "Dinner's in three hours. It's a long time for you, Al."
"Time is the same for everyone, stupid. It's a long time for you too."
James smirked and raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, but I've got a prisoner to keep me entertained."
"You're sitting on me, James. What do you want me to do? Juggle?"
James leant closer, his face looming above his. Albus turned away, writhing on the lawn.
"I know," said James, "but I can do this." He allowed a tiny drop of translucent saliva to hang from his lips, right over his brother's cheek.
"All right, all right. I'll do it."
James sucked it back in and leapt to his feet, offering a hand for his less graceful little brother. He pulled Albus to his feet. "That's more like it. Come on then, Four-Eyes. Keep up!" He grabbed hold of Albus' sleeve and dragged him up two flights of stairs, peering into his father's office.
"Is Dad in there?" asked Albus, desperately hoping he was.
"Nope. Coast is clear."
Their father's home office was a prime example of organised chaos. It made Albus wince. How anything was ever found or kept in some vague semblance of order was a mystery to him.
"What are we supposed to be looking for anyway?"
"Marauders' Map." James pulled open the top drawer of his father's desk. "It was here." The drawer contained a mountain of interestingly coloured quills, a spare wand, Muggle appliance handbooks and several receipts. No map. No old bit of parchment. Nothing of interest at all. "But I found it here. I remember finding it."
"How long ago was that?"
James frowned deeply. "Oh, years ago, but where else would he put it? I mean, what's he going to do with it anyway?"
Al grinned. "Oh well. There we are then." The smile was soon wiped from his face as the sound of footsteps just outside echoed along the corridor. "James!" he hissed.
James, too used to this to be bothered, leant casually against the desk. "Just leave this to me."
"Shut up." He smiled sweetly. "Dad, how are you? Al and I were just discussing how you seem to be very busy lately and we rarely ever see you and since I'll be away in a fortnight, we thought perhaps you might want to spend some time with me, share some tips, or hand me down a treasured heirloom or legacy. You know, something like that maybe." His eyes traveled to Teddy's arm hanging in a sling. "What the hell did you do this time?"
Harry frowned despite Teddy's laughter.
"I had a fight with a car. I reckon I won. It lost a wing mirror and I'm still roughly in one piece."
Harry rolled his eyes. "You are the luckiest human being I have ever met, you realise that?"
Teddy grinned. "Yep."
Albus shook his head. "How does it only ever happen to you?"
"Poor genes," said Teddy.
"Why don't you go home to bed?"
"I wanted to see you first," he said, raising his eyebrows and throwing James a meaningful glance.
Harry gave his eldest son a very strange smile before taking his youngest by the shoulders and pulling him toward the door. "Why don't we go for a wander round Diagon Alley?"
Albus smirked at his brother. "Can we go to Quality Quidditch Supplies?"
Harry nodded. "Don't see why not. Come on." His gaze traveled down to the green patches on his son's knees. "You might want to change your jeans. They're covered in grass stains."
James gawped. "What? What about me? What about your legacy?"
Harry laughed. "What do you mean 'legacy'?"
James cleared his throat meaningfully. "The legacy? I'm going to Hogwarts in a few weeks. I thought maybe you'd have some…pointers?"
Harry nodded, catching on. "Yeah, of course. When you meet McGonagall, always think the worst and then if you're not in trouble, it's a pleasant surprise."
Teddy waited for his godfather to close the door before he reached into his back pocket with his one good arm. "Look, I'm not sure whether it's worth missing broomsticks over, but I thought you might like this." He handed James a battered and ancient looking piece of parchment.
"Is this what I think it is?"
Teddy raised his eyebrows.
"Well, how do I open it?"
Teddy laughed. "Guess. I had to."
"How am I supposed to-?"
He grinned mischievously. "I had a little help, of course."
Teddy only winked and left James alone with a useless map.
My name is James Potter
Mr. Prongs can't help but wonder whether you are taking the piss.
James grinned. Even if he couldn't get in, this was the best thing he'd ever owned.