Disclaimer: Most of the characters and the world in which they operate belong to the great mind of J. K. Rowling.
Chapter 1: Diagon Alley Day
Harry Potter whistled quietly to himself as he threw another piece of bread on the skillet. He liked Diagon Alley day; getting the WHOLE family together to get the kids' school stuff; but it required way too much food. It was the Weasley genes.
"Little extra smoke in the kitchen today, honey?" Ginny Potter said as she glided into the kitchen and pecked Harry on the head.
"Your brother needs 6 pieces by himself, dear."
Ginny chuckled, "Which one?"
Harry laughed and kissed his wife.
"Ugh, get a room." James Potter had appeared sitting in the couch thumbing through a copy of Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches.
"FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE," Ginny screamed, "JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE ALLOWED TO USE MAGIC NOW DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO WHIP YOUR WAND OUT JUST TO GO DOWNSTAIRS!"
"You sound just like your mother, you know that right?" Harry said laughing. Ginny stared a tunnel through the back of Harry's head. The doorbell rang.
"Saved by the bell. James honey, would you please WALK to the door and let our guests in?"
"Do I have to?" James took one look at his mother and quickly amended, "Going." Ginny smiled.
"I'm not done with you, boy," Ginny said. Harry grinned at her and winked.
"Man, I'm starving!" exclaimed the red-haired tower which had walked into the room. "What's cooking, man?"
"Ronald Weasley! You will NOT stuff yourself before at least saying hello!"
"Speaking of sounding like your mother," Harry whispered into his wife's ear, producing a grin. "Morning Headmistress. I don't think I ever congratulated you on your promotion."
"No, you were too busy telling me how stupid I was being."
"You're a great Auror. I didn't want to lose you."
"Will you two quit it, I'm beginning to wonder who is married here."
"James, you have an uncanny ability to make any situation uncomfortable." Rose Weasley had entered the kitchen, walking quickly to sit on the vacant couch. Her bushy, red hair bounced into her face, she pushed it aside.
"Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches?" she asked, looking suspiciously at James.
"Give me that."
"You certainly need it."
"Give me that back!" James fought through the growing crowd, trying to get to the couch.
Rose skipped through the back of the room, gently thumbing through the pages. "ohhh, 'make a rose grow out of the dinner table in front of her.' How sweet," she ducked a tackle attempt by Hugo Weasley, "too bad you'd never pull off magic of that level." Hugo and James both rushed Rose. Rose ducked toward Hugo who had fallen on his face after being tripped by Lily Potter, who had snuck into the room during the commotion. "Thanks Lily."
"I'll show you magic!" James said, drawing his wand.
"OH NO YOU WONT!" Hermione and Ginny said in unison, drawing their own.
"ENOUGH." It was Ron. He stepped through the crowd and grabbed the book from Rose and handed it to James. "Put that away," he said, then added in a whisper, "be sure to try page 86, it worked for me."
"Breakfast is ready," Harry said. "Toast, sausage, eggs, pancakes and bacon. Everyone chow down, I'll go get Al. Probably deep in some of Hermione's 'light reading.'" Harry weaved through to the door, down the hall and up the stairs. He passed by Lily's room and waited at a closed door at the end of the hall. "Al, it's time to go." Silence. "Al, put down the book and come downstairs. Rose and Hugo are wanting to see you." Silence. Harry gently pushed the door, but it was locked. "Al, I'm coming in." He pulled out his wand and unlocked the door.
Inside the room was just as quiet as the hallway. Harry moved gently through the room. "Al?" He checked the closet, under the bed, under the covers. Finally he spotted the note on the desk. Harry gingerly picked it up.
Dad I'm sorry, but I had to leave. I know you have always loved me. I know you will come after me. Don't. You won't find me. I need to prove I belong in this family. I need to prove I am just as good as James, and Lily, and you and mom and Uncle Ron, Percy, Fred, aunt Hermione. It's the only way. I love you.
Harry stood, riveted by the desk. He didn't know how long he had been there; time didn't matter anymore. "Honey, is everything ok?" Ginny brought him to his senses. He handed her the note and watched her face pale as she read it. The sounds of a party coming from down stairs intruded on the couple as they embraced each other, giving each other strength. It was Ginny who broke the silence, "Get going. Find him. I'll tell the others. I love you." She handed him the note, turned and gently walked back to the stairs.
Harry wiped away a tear. You won't find me. "You underestimate me son," Harry said as he turned on the spot and disappeared leaving only a tear falling to the floor.
Albus heard the doorbell ring just as he was drinking a thick, black liquid from a vial. He had spent the last 3 weeks of the previous term brewing this potion, and its antidote, the purple potion safely tucked away in his travel bag. "Gross. Trace off." Albus unsheathed his wand and pointed it toward his trunk which closed and locked silently. He walked over to his closet and pulled a red jacket out; walked over to the travel bag, which also happened to be his backpack, and placed the jacket inside. He returned to the desk. As he reached into his coat and pulled out a small note, he flashed back to the previous March.
Albus was in the Great Hall, and had come over to the Gryffindor table to speak to Ashley Wright, a cute girl from his year. He had spent the last 2 weeks getting close to her, and was beginning to think he was actually getting somewhere. At least she was smiling at him as he approached.
"Get away, nerd. We don't want your kind here." His own brother, how kind.
"James, be nice to your brother for once." It was Ashley who had stood up for him. Cool.
"Brother? I don't have a brother. My family is in Gryffindor, we're brave and strong. He," James said it like the word would burn his mouth, "apparently needs a girl to fight for him."
Albus was fuming. His wand was in his hand quicker than James could possibly react. Unfortunately, Professor Longbottom knew him better than James did. "Albus Severus Potter, put that away." Albus lowered his wand slowly. Very slowly. "My office, now."
"Detention with Professor Longbottom is the worst punishment possible." Albus had found Ashley waiting for him in the entryway and she was now tending the cuts and scratches on his arms. "I mean there has to be some law against using Boa Ivy as punishment." Ashley laughed, and that made Albus feel much better than anything the potion was doing. "Thanks for standing up for me today."
"I'm sorry about your brother, that was evil."
"No he's right. I'm not worthy of the family. I mean we have a newly appointed Professor, three of the greatest Aurors and the Minister of Magic for both England and France, not to mention the greatest wizard of the age and rumor has it the future Headmistress of Hogwarts in the family. There's no room for a bookworm Ravenclaw."
Ashley had stopped. "You don't believe that do you? All those people love you, they..."
"Ashley, I appreciate what you're doing, but you don't know my family. Sooner or later I'm going to have to do something spectacular or I'm going to suffocate. I feel like I'm suffocating already."
"What has James done? He's just a student too."
"He has quidditch though. All I have is some "O's" on my report card; and honestly, that means nothing in my family."
Ashley was quiet, but Albus knew she hadn't given up. It didn't matter, he knew what he had to do, what he would do.
And now he was putting his plan in motion. He grabbed his backpack, mounted his broom and pointed his wand at the window which creaked open just wide enough. He looked back at the desk, at two pictures, both telling him not to do what he was about to do. Ashley and his dad. The pictures fell flat on the desk with a wave of Albus' wand. "Sorry guys, I have to," he said; and he flew off into the night.