Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Fic: I Am My Brother’s Keeper (Part 4 of 4)
3k words, rated G
Being the son of Harry Potter isn’t easy and being the brother of James Sirius “Golden Boy” Potter doesn’t make it any better. However, as obnoxious as his brother can be, Albus wouldn’t trade him for the world. When Albus accidentally stumbles upon a secret, it threatens to break apart his already complicated and messy relationship with James.
@abradystrix and @autumn-of-ilvermorny, thank you, thank you, and thank you! Your insightful feedback really helped shaped this story, and for that, I cannot express how grateful I am for you two! You’re both so lovely.
For everyone who read, liked, commented, and reblogged, thank you for joining the journey! You’re awesome! Enjoy!
Sunday evening, Spring 2025
The evening does not go well. After their non-existent Sunday dinner, things goes from bad to even worse. Scorpius barely utters a word to him after they arrive home together.
“Scorpius…” Albus says as he watches the blond loosen his tie. He doesn’t know why Scorpius insists on being so formal at these dinners.
Scorpius properly ignores him.
“ Scorpius please–”
Scorpius is shaking his head silently. He slips the tie from around his neck. His eyes barely meet Albus’s. “I don’t even know what to say to you…”
“I lost it for a second. I mean, you heard what James said–”
“You don’t pay evil with evil, Albus. You pay it with kindness.”
“What was I supposed to do?”
“Say nothing. Turn the other cheek. Be mature.” Scorpius replies. “Do you realize that you’ve probably lost James’s trust tonight? No, he’s not perfect, and yes, he said awful, hurtful things tonight.”
Scorpius looks up to the ceiling as he formulates his next train of thought.
“I get it. It hurts, coming from James. Albus, I–I just wish that you saw yourself the way that I see you. Clever. Thoughtful. Resilient. You’re not perfect, but I think you’re brilliant. Maybe if you thought of yourself that way, you wouldn’t see yourself as any less than Harry or Ginny or Lily or James. Maybe tonight wouldn’t have been such a disaster. I wish that you–you knew how amazing you really are.”
Scorpius’s kindness painfully twists and knots inside of him, worse than any cruel words or powerful hex.
“I’m going to bed,” Scorpius says quietly before he retreats to his room.
Albus is left alone.
The present, Spring 2025
Albus is astonished to find Rose waiting for him in the quad after classes. He doesn’t know why she would be here, but when she spots him in the crowd, she smiles and waves Albus over.
“What are you doing here?” Albus jogs over to her, and Rose’s smile slips easily.
“Well, hello to you Albus,” she huffs.
“You surprised me is all–not that I’m not excited to see you. I just…”
Rose raises a hand to silence him.
“Seriously, why are you here?”
“Can’t I be friendly and stop by?”
Rose sighs before she leads them over to a bench on the campus quad. She waits for Albus to sit before she speaks.
“I’m worried about you. Well, James and you…”
Albus’s shoulders sag as he groans in response. “Why am I not surprised that the news has spread quickly?”
“Albus, you should know better. There are no secrets in the Weasley family.”
Albus can think of a secret that a specific someone has been keeping the Weasleys in the dark about.
“My mother says that the argument was quite awful.” Rose continues quietly.
“Yeah,” he responds. He doesn’t know what to say. He couldn’t possibly confide in Rose, nothing stays secret in their family long. Then James would really hate him.
As irrational as James is being about this, Albus did something awful by risking James’s secret. He’s probably lost most, if not all, of James’s trust. To top it off, Scorpius is avoiding him.
“You know, you can talk to me about it.” Rose offers.
“I just don’t feel like talking about James right now.”
For a second, Albus is surprised by how easily she lets the subject drop.
“So let’s talk about something else.” She suggests.
Albus looks at her strangely.
She grins at him coyly.
“I refuse to chat with you about my feelings for Scorpius like a pair of gossiping school girls.”
“So you do have feelings for Scorpius?” She asks.
Albus feels his cheeks burn hot. He looks away from Rose.
“I refuse to answer that.”
“How would you feel about me asking about Yann?” Albus asks.
Rose’s smile quickly fades.
“My point, exactly,” Albus says.
The two sit in an awful and long silence before Rose says, “You know how I told you that there are no secrets in the Weasley family?”
“Well, I lied.” She says, sinking a little into the bench.
“Yeah. I’m…” Rose sighs deeply before looking up to the sky as if the rest of her sentence would be up there, flapping in the wind. “I’m not like most people.”
Albus looks around them. “Of course you’re not like most people, Rose–you’re the fiercest witch that I have ever known. The greatest Chaser of our generation–”
Rose stops him.
“No. That’s not what I meant–” Rose sighs and shakes her head.
“I haven’t told anyone this. It’s hard to explain to others.” Albus doesn’t know the words to comfort her. He doesn’t trust himself with words.
You don’t have to say anything. Just be there for them.
Albus reaches across and takes Rose’s hand in his own and squeezes gently.
“I’m asexual.” Rose quietly admits.
“That’s why I make up all of those excuses. It’s easier that way. Instead of people looking at you like you’re broken or something.”
“Why would people think that? I don’t understand why–”
“Sex, Albus. Sex.” It dawns on Albus, and suddenly he feels like he is the wrong person to be having this conversation with Rose. His cheeks grow warm.
“Oh. Um… do you even like Yann? Not um, sexually. Obviously, but…”
Rose laughs. “Yes. I like him, a lot.”
“Why should it matter if you’re asexual then? If want to be with him, then be with him. It should be that simple.”
“Because,” she pauses. “People break up over sex. There will be a day when he’ll want to take that step with me, Albus. I don’t want to face the disappointment and humiliation. It’s better to spare myself the heartbreak. “
“That’s stupid!” Albus says sharply.
“That’s stupid. And unfair.”
“You never gave him a chance. Yann is a big boy, and he can decide for himself what type of relationship he wants to be in. You’re making this decision for him without even talking to him first. If he cares about you, I think he would understand, and you two would make it work and I don’t know–fall in love. You’ll never know until you talk to him.”
Rose scrutinizes him for a long moment before bursting into laughter. Albus doesn’t get it.
“Did I say something funny?”
“If only you actually took your own advice.”
Albus furrows his brows as thinks about what could Rose possibly mean by–
Albus abruptly stands up much to Rose’s surprise.
“I have to go.”
“Where?” Rose asks.
“I have to… take my own advice.”
Rose smiles before standing up too. Unexpectedly, she pulls Albus in a tight hug.
“What was that for?” He asks, looking at her with surprise and wonder when she pulls away.
“For listening. It was the first time I ever told anyone. Now,” she says, “go.” Rose gives him a good push in the right direction.
Saying that you’re going to woo someone is a lot easier than actually wooing said person. Albus loses all courage when he sees Scorpius reading quietly at the kitchen table as sunlight pours in from their window and casts a soft halo around him,
“You’re studying?” Albus asks tentatively from the kitchen threshold. Scorpius shakes his head.
“Just reading,” Scorpius says curtly, not lifting his eyes from his book.
A part of Albus knows how much Scorpius hates to be disturbed from reading, but Albus doesn’t know how much more he can take of Scorpius not speaking to him.
Albus swallows thickly. Now. He has to tell him now.
Merlin’s beard, where does he start? What words does he say? He could really use James’s advice right now. His brother would know exactly what to say–
You don’t have to say anything.
Now or never.
Okay, that’s a little dramatic.
Now or lose all his resolve.
Striding over to their table, Albus gently presses Scorpius’s book close.
“I was reading–”
Albus takes Scorpius’s face into his hands and kisses him. His mouth writes an unspoken love letter across Scorpius’s lips. Paragraphs and paragraphs of adoration. Run-on sentences of desire. Messy scrawlings of ‘I love you’.
When Scorpius kisses him back, it feels like the first stroke of color on a blank canvas. Exhilarating. His heart thrums with excitement, and he’s afraid that it might burst inside his chest from over-exertion. Scorpius’s hands are in his hair as his mouth presses hungrily against his own. His lips are softer than any fantasy that Albus could have conjured up, and his face is warm from where the sunlight has bathed him. Albus imagines this must be what falling in love feels like.
He is more than content to stay like this all day, kissing Scorpius and letting himself be kissed by Scorpius, but there is this silly little thing called air.
When they pull away, they are both flushed and panting. The room is silent except for the quiet sounds of their breathing.
“How did you know?” Scorpius asks quietly, his eyes darting around the room. “Was I that obvious?”
“Know what?” Albus asks.
“Oh.” Scorpius breathes before drawing his gaze back to Albus
Scorpius’s face grows rosier before he stands. This time, it is Scorpius who takes Albus’s face in his hands and kisses him. It is a brief press of the lips. Scorpius lingers when he pulls away, and Albus feels dizzy with happiness.
“Um, so does this make us…” Albus trails off.
“Boyfriends?” Scorpius asks, and Albus nods. “Would you like that–”
“Yes!” Albus exclaims, and he feels embarrassed by how eager he sounds. Scorpius is supposed to be the geek, not him. “Um, yeah..” He says a little more casually.
Scorpius laughs. Oh, Albus has missed that laugh. It’s been too long since he has heard it.
“I hate not talking to you.” Albus says softly.
“I hate not talking to you either. There’s just so much that I’ve wanted to tell you. So much has happened, and I couldn’t talk to the only person that I wanted to.”
“Scorpius, I made a mess of everything.”
“Well, you’re fixing it. That’s what counts.”
“I have to talk to James,” Albus says before finds the courage to quickly kiss Scorpius again.
“When I get back, you’ll tell me everything, right?”
Scorpius smiles. His smile is all dopey and warm and bright. It makes Albus want to kiss him again.
“Yeah, I’ll wait for you.”
He’s not even sure that James will be there when he floos to his flat. For all Albus knows, he could be working late at the Auror Department. Lucky for Albus, James is standing by the doorway, looking surprised as Albus steps out of the fireplace.
Albus doesn’t let his brother get a word in.
“I don’t care if Teddy and you are together. It’s never bothered me, okay? I don’t care as long as you’re happy, as long as Teddy makes you happy. I did a terrible thing by almost betraying your secret to Dad. I was hurt. I–I don’t know, I’m used to people saying things like that about me. For the most part, I brush it off. I just didn’t expect it to come from you. Still, I shouldn’t have– I’m sorry.”
James takes time to process this all. Seconds tick by like hours waiting for him to respond.
“I should apologize too. That was a low blow. I don’t think you’re a dark smudge on the Potter legacy.”
“No, I said it because I knew that it would hurt you. I was…”
“Scared. That I would think less of you.”
James looks surprised that Albus guesses correctly before nodding.
“I would have been okay with it, I am okay with it.”
“I just… panicked when I saw you. I’m not as perfect as you think, Albus. I have flaws, lots of them. I have problems. Not like the ones that Dad or you had to face, but things still bother me. I know what people think of me: the easy-going ‘Golden Boy’. And sometimes, that pressure is a lot to live up to. It feels like I would be letting people down if they were to know that Teddy and I…”
“You don’t have anything to be ashamed of–”
“I’m sure that’s not how other people or the newspaper would see it. Teddy is our godbrother.” James says, walking over to the sofa before sitting down. Albus sits next to him.
“Yeah, well, who cares about them? Our dad is one of the most influential wizards in the world. Our mum has the meanest Bat-Bogey Hex. Then there’s Lily, and Merlin’s beard, no one wants to get in a fight with Lily.”
“She’s terrifying.” James agrees.
“And you have me. I’m not that impressive, but I’m here.”
“You’re more impressive than you give yourself credit for, and you’re braver than you think, Al. Maybe there is a little Gryffindor in there.”
“I hope not.” Albus grins.
Silence settles over them before James speaks again.
“Mostly, I’m afraid of what Mum and Dad would think.”
Albus cannot predict how his parents will act.
“I know that they will always love you, and they would want you to be happy. Teddy makes you happy. Do you love him?” Albus asks.
He observes as the tips of James’s ears turn a scarlet hue. Looking down at his lap, a small smile tugs on his brother’s lips. His eyes glimmer with something warm and affectionate.
“Yeah, I love him.”
“You’re absolutely vomit-inducing to watch right now.”
“Falling in love does that to you. You should try it.”
There is a lot that he wants to ask James. About love. He doesn’t feel that courageous yet. Also, a part of him just really wants to keep Scorpius all to himself for now. He’ll tell James soon, maybe at the next dinner.
“Do you think you’ll tell the others any time soon?” Albus asks quietly, and James shrugs his shoulders.
“One day. I kind of like it the way that it is for now.“ James says before he pauses to think of something. “Hey, Teddy has a meeting to discuss creating a habilitation and study center for magical beasts at Hogwarts. He’s going to be a while. Do you want to go and grab a drink with me?”
Albus thinks of Scorpius back at their flat, reading by the kitchen window.
I’ll wait for you.
“That sounds great. So we’re good?” Albus asks, and James throws an arm around his shoulders before tousling Albus’s hair. James smiles, and Albus can’t help the smile tugging on his own lips.
“Yeah, we’re good.”
“James,” Albus whispers faintly, his small hands wrapping around James’s shoulder and shaking him slightly. James groans and bats Albus away, rolling over.
“James,” Albus whispers a little louder before he shakes James harder. Turning his head, James opens one eye and glares half-heartedly at his brother in the darkness.
“Al, it’s late. What are you doing?”
“Can I sleep here tonight?”
“Please?” Albus’s lips puffs up in a little pout as he blinks those wide green eyes at James.
“Fine.” James says quietly before he pulls the blanket back for Albus to climb in. Once they were both settled in the bed, Albus watches James’s eyes slide closed once more. He admires the way that a patch of moonlight illuminates his face in the darkness. He tries to commit the image of James’s chest slowly rising and falling to memory. He wants to remember this moment.
“Could you not watch me?” James grumbles into his pillow after a long while.
“I’m sorry.” Albus murmurs. James sighs heavily before he opens his eyes.
“You’re being weird. What’s eating at you?”
“Nothing,” Albus replied quietly, and James tiredly pokes Albus’s cheek before yawning.
“You’re a bloody liar.”
“You’re not allowed to use that word.”
“Well, I’m leaving for Hogwarts tomorrow. I’m practically an adult. So that means I can do whatever I want. “
Albus pulls the covers up to his chin, his eyes shifting over to James. He hasn’t forgotten. It is all that he can think about. James is leaving tomorrow.
“What do you think Hogwarts will be like?” Albus asks.
James rolls on his back, staring up at the ceiling. Albus copies the action so that their shoulders press together.
“I don’t know. I can’t even begin to imagine. But I’ve been talking to Dad. He says it’ll be the best years of my life, and the people that I meet there will turn out to be the best friends that I will ever have.”
“Friends?” Albus asks quietly, grasping the blankets tightly. There is a terrible sore lump in his throat.
“Yeah. I’m going to make so many friends! You know, personally, I always thought it was kinda lame that Dad only had two friends. Everyone is going to want to be my friend. Especially once I make Seeker my first year just like Dad– are you crying?”
Quickly, Albus rolls over on his side, his face turned away from James, embarrassed.
“No.” He says as he wipes his tears on the sleeve of his nightshirt. He feels James pull on his shoulder until Albus rolls onto his back.
“Hey, what’s eating at you?”
Looking up at James’s earnest brown eyes, it all seems to just spill out of him.
“What if you go to Hogwarts and forget all about us?” A few stray tears slip down his cheeks. Albus sniffles before wiping his nose on his sleeve. Albus feels his cheeks flushed with shame.
“Al, I’ll be home on holidays, and soon you’ll be there with me too. How could I possibly forget about you?”
“What if you stop being my friend because you made so many?”
“That’ll never happen. You’ll always be my friend.”
Albus sniffles. “You promise?”
“I promise.” James nods before settling back down into the blankets. His eyes slide close again.
James opens his eyes to look over at Albus, and he doesn’t look annoyed. Instead, he smiles tiredly.
“Stay awake until I fall asleep?”
James opens his arms, and Albus snuggles into his side.
“Yeah, sure. That’s what big brothers are for.”