It still stings. That first rejection. Play fighting with Al has always been a Christmas tradition, but apparently that's all in the past. It isn't James's fault he gets hard when they wrestle, but then it's also bad form for Al to not finish what he starts.
James stares out the window at his siblings and cousins playing in the snow, cradling a hot mug of cocoa in his hands.
Al moves as though he's favouring his left leg, as though it hurts to sit down. The sight sends warmth, more heated than his chocolate, flooding through James's body. There's no longer any worry in James's mind about Al giving him odd looks or trying to find reasons to stay apart from him. Actually, with the way Al's eyes seek James out recently, James nearly believes Al likes the feeling of giving up control and submitting to his brother.
James taps his mug with his fingertips, closes his eyes. The memory of the last curse – only hours prior – bathes him in a balm of feeling that all is right with the world. The power flooding from his deepest innards, that place inside him that burns coal black with need, shoots through his wand arm and bursts from the tip, an extension of himself. The spell hitting Al square in the heart and watching his face changing from indifference to reverence is the best feeling in the world.
When he pushes his younger brother down, yanking his trousers off just enough to bare his hole and fucks him into his mattress, James knows where the real power lies. Watching Albus come apart beneath him, come hard because of him, his eyelashes fluttering and face pink and gasping, he knows he's the reason Al can laugh so easily. Why he sleeps so soundly. Even if Albus never realises how much his brother cares for his wellbeing, James will always be there to provide.