Always Second Best

Summary: On Halloween ten years ago, Lily and James Potter were away at an Order of the Phoenix meeting, and Voldemort entered their little house in Godric's Hollow with one intention: to kill the Chosen one. But when he fired the killing curse at Harry Potter, he shot back the spell. Dumbledore got to the house before anyone else, and thinking that Charlus, Harry's twin, is the BWL, gives Death payment for letting him live so long in the form of Harry, thinking he is giving her the unimportant twin, when he is giving her the more important one. Ten Years Later, what will happen when both twins go to Hogwarts?

Disclaimer: I am pretty sure I am not JK Rowling, because if I was I would be able to say I owned the awesomeness that is: Harry Potter.

I will try and do as little bashing as possible but there WILL be Dumbledore and Ron and James and Charlus bashing. That's all. Honest *crosses fingers behind back*.

Chapter One

Godric's Hollow, Halloween, '81

'Thank you so much Peter, I can't tell you how stir crazy James has been getting being cooped up inside all the time, hopefully he'll stop trying to do DIY without magic. Last time it wasn't pretty...' Lily trailed off remembering her husband's last attempt at making a new garden shed. It had taken about fifty spells to clear up the garden and stop James yelling about how much his thumb hurt and how ridiculous the design for a muggle hammer was.

Peter smiled wanly, his heart not really in it. Could he really stand by and let the Dark Lord kill one of his best friends children? He'd have to, Peter decided, his life was on the line. And anyway, Lily and James could have more kids. 'You just have a nice time, you deserve it. Looking after two little ones can't be easy.'

Lily then unexpectedly hugged him, and Peter wondered idly if this would be the last time that Lily ever showed such compassion towards him, or as James and Sirius like to call his type, Death Eater Scum. 'Honestly Pete, you're such a lifesaver.' she said just as James walked through the door.

'Couldn't agree more, Dumbledore said this meeting's important. I'll show it in a Pensieve later, kay?' said James, clapping his hand onto Peter's shoulder and unconsciously making the minor Death Eater Scum feel even worse than he already did. Did they know? Were they saying all these nice things to make him feel that bad as revenge? No, if they knew, James would be ripping his head off, and Sirius and Remus would help. Unless Lily got hold of him... Peter gulped at the horrifying thought.

'Anyways... ladies' first, my dear.' Lily gave James a sarcastic look and said in a loud voice to the fireplace 'Twelve Grimmauld Place, London.' and promptly disappeared in a burst of green fire. James shot one last smile at Peter and then followed his wife through the hearth.

Forgive me, he thought sadly and silently behind his friend's departure.

But he knew they never would.


Tom Marvalo Riddle, more widely known as Lord Voldemort, was having a good day.

His idiot servant Wormtail had finally, after many crucios given in and told him where the Potters lived.

It had been most annoying, Wormtail had tried so very hard to hide it from him.

He had taught himself quite strong occlumency, and concentrated it all on that one detail. He had tried running away, which failed. He had even attempted to obliviate himself.

It was quite impressive, his so called loyalty to his friends. But one powerful crucio was all it took in the end.

Now, Voldemort was making his way to Godric's Hollow, cloak masking his true intentions, wand in hand.

Honestly, muggles could accept anything if it was on Halloween.

He stopped, and looked at the little house, right in the centre of that godforsaken Gryffindor's home town. But, it was so very Potter to stay true to his Sorting, even after he left Hogwarts. But, Voldemort smiled a thin smile, so had he.

He could feel the wards pulsing around it, strong, he noted.

But not strong enough.

Lord Voldemort walked right into the Potters home, setting off several alarms he was sure. But the pathetic Order of fried chicken wouldn't get to the little Tudor house for a few minutes, and that was all it would take.

'Wormtail!' his hard voice got the rat of a man scurrying out to kneel at his feet.

'Y- yes, m- my Lord?'Wormtail stuttered, his arms shaking.

'Run, run little rat. And never return.' Voldemort intoned, and before Wormtail had time to figure out what he had just said, he banished him to Australia.

Hopefully he'd break a few bones on the way.

Black cloak billowing, he made his way up the staircase, noticing details like two toy brooms in the corner, a trickle of blood on the white carpet.

He approached a white door, with animal letters spelling 'TWINS' on the front of it, and rolled his eyes at the giraffe 'I' and the lion 'N' cowering away from him, and the snake 'S' hissing at him, enchanted with probably the same magic paintings were.

For dramatic emphasis, he blasted the door off the nursery to be met with two cribs.

The first crib had a chubby, red headed baby with hazel eyes, bawling said eyes out. On the bedstead, engraved was the name 'Charlus Sirius Potter'. The second baby was a good deal quieter, and that Voldemort was thankful for.

He was extraordinarily lean for a baby, no puppy fat in sight. On his head he had messy black hair and shockingly green eyes, the colour of the Avada Kedavra. He found himself imagining James Potter as a baby, and comparing him to the quiet child. Or 'Harry James Potter' as the bedstead read.

'Harry James Potter' now sat up, and silently looked at the man intruding his home, no fear in his eyes. More, a calculating look, and Voldemort felt as if those green eyes were looking into his very soul.

Voldemort levelled his wand towards Harry's head, and was shocked when the infant bowed his head forward, welcoming death, ready for it. The child seemed to be looking behind him, at something that wasn't there.

'Your bravery shall never be forgotten.' he promised, feeling compelled to show this one year old some recognition. He may have imagined it, but he thought he saw a small smile on the child's face. He couldn't be sure though.

'Avada Kedavra.' the hissed green spell shot towards the quiet infant, Charlus not knowing the magnitude of the situation continued bawling .

But then, just as the curse hit Harry James Potter on the forehead, a green light shot towards the spell caster, and Tom Marvalo Riddle, more commonly known as Lord Voldemort, could do nothing to stop it.


Dumbledore was the first to the destroyed home of the Potters. The roof was collapsed, and a few small fires had started. Later, people would wonder where Peter Pettigrew was, and they would eventually find his dead body in the middle of Australia.

But nobody was thinking of the unfortunate babysitter at that moment.

Dumbledore rushed inside, desperate to get to the twins before anyone else. He needed time.

They were both in the nursery, Charlus was crying fat tears going down his cheeks. Harry was quiet, asleep as if oblivious to what had just happened.

Of course, he wasn't.

It was he who had defeated Voldemort. It was he who had the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. It was he who was magically exhausted.

But Dumbledore didn't check for any of these things.

He saw an asleep baby and a crying baby. He saw a bloody X scar above Charlus Potter's heart (from falling debris). He did not see a lightning bolt scar on Harry Potter's forehead. He did not check the room for magical cores.

If he had he would've seen Charlus had a very small core, and Harry's was much bigger, even though he was magically exhausted.

If he had he would've sensed that Charlus had a very ordinary cut, and Harry's was full of dark magic.

But he did not.

And that was Albus Wulfric Brian Dumbledore's first mistake.


Death had watched the entire thing, as she had gotten a tip off from Prophecy (when he was actually speaking sense) that something very very bad would happen at Godric's Hollow, Halloween 1981.

Also annoyingly, Prophecy was right. Death liked rubbing Prophecy's face in it if he was wrong, which there was usually a 50/50 chance of.

She had watched the attack.

She had seen the death of Peter Pettigrew.

She had watched to green light seeping towards Harry James Potter.

She had smiled at the little boy, trying to comfort him in death.

She saw the spell rebound.

She saw the debris fall on Charlus Potter's chest.

She saw little Harry Potter collapse from exhaustion.

She felt his magical core.

She scoffed at Charlus Potter's pitiful magic ability.

She, and she alone, was the only witness other than Tom Riddle to that fateful night in Godric's Hollow.

She saw Albus Wulfric Brian Dumbledore rush to the scene, ignoring some important facts, coming to the wrong conclusion.

She remembered what he owed her.

Death made herself known.


Albus Dumbledore was relaxing, slowly.

He picked up the wand of Tom Riddle, he saw the ashes surrounding it.

Charlus Potter was the Boy Who Lived, and would defeat Voldemort a second time when he was older.

Harry would be a small problem, but he would soon find a way to dispose of him, all for the Greater Good of course.

But then he noticed.

That the clocks had stopped ticking.

Charlus had stopped crying, mid sob.

Dumbledore spun round, and saw her.

'My dear, what can I do for you?' it took all of his willpower not to abandon his Grandfatherly facade, and stop his eyes twinkling, and kneel at Death's feet.

'You know what I want. You debt is due.' Albus gulped, and the twinkle in his eyes lessened considerably.

'Will a child do?' he asked, almost hesitantly.

'You are a coward Albus Dumbledore.' she stated 'But you are by no means an idiot. A life is a life.' she drifted forward towards the cribs, and Albus bit his tongue so hard it started bleeding . Not Charlus. Not Charlus. We need Charlus.

But Death chose the younger, smaller twin. Harry James Potter was swept into her arms, and she made an awkward cradle with her arms. She smiled down at the sleeping infant, but when she looked up at Dumbledore, her face was full of contempt once more.

'I will see you in a little less than twenty years. This is my final payment.' Death walked into the shadows leaving the shaking headmaster thinking of her hollow eyes.

The clocks began ticking once again.


James and Lily Potter were frantic.

Were both their babies okay?

Was either of them hurt?

Was one of them the Chosen One?

They smashed into their broken home, and ran upstairs as fast as they could. To the nursery.

When they entered they saw a shaking headmaster, and a bawling child. The roof had fallen in and a black cloak and some ashes were in the middle of the floor.

Acting on instinct, Lily swooped on her crying baby. James started searching frantically for his other child.

'Albus. Where's Harry...' James voice was hoarse.

Albus Wulfric Brian Dumbledore braced himself to tell two parents that one of their children was the Boy Who Lived, and the other was dead. And no, they couldn't see his body, it was too mangled, it would just upset them more.

It wasn't like he hadn't done it before.


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