James nods in agreement, clenching his teeth to prevent them from chattering noisily. The concept of Muggle camping had seemed like a novel idea when their father first mentioned it to them a few days ago, but neither James nor Albus knew how far he would really take it. Camping mid-winter, regardless of it being a warmer December than usual, was already a struggle but James certainly didn’t expect their dad would take away their wands in an attempt to make the experience more authentic.
“Do you think if we asked nicely Dad would cast a warming charm on the tent?”
“Al, there is no way I am getting out from under these blankets for even a second. He’s not gonna agree and I’m not losing what little heat I’ve got going on.”
“Fine, but I bet him and Lily are using magic in their tent,” Albus mutters bitterly as he violently shivers and curls into a ball.
James rolls his eyes at his brother’s dramatics but can’t deny it is absolutely freezing in their small tent. How Muggles survive winter camping with no magic is a completely mystery to him.
“Make some room, I’m gonna squeeze into your sleeping bag. It may be a little tight but we are bound to warm up quicker that way.”
Albus quickly unzips the side of his bag as James squeezes in before any of the heat escapes. As soon as James has zipped the side back up and rolled over to face Albus, his brother snuggles up against him and presses his face into the crook of James’s neck.
“Aurgh! Al, your nose is freezing!”
“Deal with it,” Albus grumbles into his neck, his dark hair tickling James’s face.
The movement causes tingles to run down James’s spine; it’s strangely soothing and he finds himself scooting closer to his younger brother.
“I’m still cold,” Albus complains as he wraps his arms around James.
“You’re such a brat,” James teases but he snakes his arm under Albus and runs his hands firmly up and down Albus’s back.
“S’better,” Albus murmurs happily into his ear, his lips wet and warm as they move along his earlobe.
James’s constant rubbing falters as the sensation causes heat to pool into his belly and his skin to prickle with anticipation. He breathes in deeply, attempting to ignore the feeling and continues to warm up his brother.
Albus starts to return the favor, rubbing slow but purposeful strokes up and down his back; suddenly it feels twice as warm in their shared sleeping bag. James can feel his brother’s heart beating loudly against his chest as he fights the strange arousal that begins to creep into his body.
James feels a sense of relief as Albus’s strokes begin to slow and his breath deepens. Good. His brother is starting to fall asleep and now he can work on banishing these uninvited, bizarre thoughts rushing through him. James lets out a relaxed sigh when suddenly Albus shifts slightly and he feels a hard, warm length brush against his thigh. James freezes in place but it’s no help at all. Blood rushes from his face straight into his prick and he feels it begin to swell in spite of his wishes. To make matters worse, Albus lets out a contented sound and pushes himself closer to his brother, his hard cock now pressed firmly against his leg. James stays perfectly still, determined to end this now before it can go any further but his resolve starts to weaken as he feels cold fingertips skate along his waist band.
“Albus,” James hisses in warning but Albus responds by gently moving up and down, softly rubbing himself against James’s leg.
“I’m so cold,” Albus pleads huskily and James feels his prick throb in response despite himself.
James is aching, harder than he can ever remember being, and when Albus’s thumbs brush against his hip bones, his last resolve snaps. He presses his own hardness against Albus’s thighs and rocks against him earnest, relishing the sweet feeling of friction. Albus lets out a groan of approval as he returns the gesture and thrusts back against brother.
James slows down and repositions them so their cocks lay side to side and roughly glide against each other. This is wrong, so wrong and James nearly gets the courage to stop all together but Albus lets out a sweet sounding moan and all thoughts of morality are chased away. He firmly grips Albus’s hips and Albus, staring wild-eyed at James, mimics the action. The firmer pressure is maddening and James knows he won’t last long. Judging by the way Albus’s whole body seems to tremble, he knows his brother won’t be far behind. They grind together, several more vicious thrusts before Albus let’s out a low, long moan and James feels, rather than sees, wetness spread all along their pajama covered cocks. The sensation is maddening; James balls tighten up and it’s only a few moments more before he’s coming hot spurts over the already sticky mess.
They both pant harshly for some time, frozen and staring into each other’s faces, daring the other to move first. James finally breaks as he feels their combined come start to cool and reaches of his wand to clean up the mess when he remembers he doesn’t have one. He curses silently to himself but reaches for his sleep shirt and does his best to clean up the mess between them. Albus smiles abashedly as he snuggles against his brothers chest.
“Well, I’m not cold anymore,” Albus mumbles sleepily.
James lets out a small laugh and wraps his arms around Albus as his eyes close against his will. He feels warm and content as sleeps begins to claim him and decides he will let himself worry about the consequences in the morning.
The boys tidy up the campsite and pack up all their belongings into the rented van while Lily bounces around them, filling up the quiet with her superficial chatter. Every now and then James will lock eyes with Albus but they both quickly look away and make themselves busy when it occurs. James can feel a sick and steady guilt creep into his stomach as the morning progresses and they drive back to the house. He sits in the front seat, deaf to Lily’s retelling of the bear she swears she heard last night, and watches Albus through the rear-view mirror. His younger brother has fallen asleep, head resting against the window and mouth slightly parted. He looks so innocent in the moment that James is certain he may sick up right in the car. James should have been more careful; he’s meant to protect his younger brother, not take advantage of him. Despite Albus’s enthusiasm during the night, James is convinced he was not fully aware of his actions nor the consequences they may bring. As Albus murmurs gently in his sleep, dark lashes fluttering against his pale skin, James vows to show more self-control in the future and be a better brother.
“James? Can I come in and brush my teeth?”
James’s heart jumps, beating wildly in his chest, as he hears his brother's voice through the door. They hardly spoke the entire afternoon, both choosing to stay in their respective rooms, and the idea of encountering his brother while entirely naked is terrifying to say the least. Another knock, a bit louder than before, bounces off the door.
“Uh, yeah… yeah, come in,” James tries for nonchalance while failing miserably.
He hears the door open and shut followed by the usual rustlings as Albus searches for his toothbrush. James takes a deep breath and reins in his mild panic. There is no reason they can’t go back to how they were before. The notion is naive, James is fully aware, and yet he repeats it to himself over and over again as he vigorously scrubs his scalp. He tilts his head back into the steady stream of the shower, rinsing the suds from his hair, when he peeks his eyes open to meet bright green eyes watching him intently from the partially fogged up mirror. Albus stares at James hungrily, taking in his wet, soapy body and James, against his will, becomes undeniably aroused. He can feel blood rushing into his cock, and by the way Albus’s gaze trails south, he knows his brother is well aware of it.
“Can I join you?”
The words sound wrong coming from Albus’s mouth; his sweet younger brother who always seemed so innocent and pure now biting his lip and eyeing James so approvingly. Albus starts to move closer to the shower, hand reaching for the curtain when James, his seeker instincts ever in tact, quickly grabs his hand.
James has to put a stop to this before it can go any further. As the older of the two it is his responsibility to tell Albus to stop being foolish and leave the bathroom right away. Yet when he opens his mouth the words that escape his lips are entirely different.
“Lock the door.”
The wicked smile that spreads across Albus’s lips is obscene but James already knows he has lost this battle the moment he hears the lock click. Albus peels off his clothes and gingerly steps into shower, his hands gliding over James’s tan chest tentatively; for all his assertiveness before, he suddenly seems shy and unsure. The change of pace should wake James up but if anything it turns him on more. He smirks as he brushes Albus’s thick, dark hair, now saturated with water, from his face and trails his fingers down his cheek and across his mouth. Albus’s lips part in a soft sigh and James can see his brother’s hard cock pulsing in anticipation. He glides his hand across his neck and down his chest, careful to lightly brush his knuckles against his nipples and delighting in the small gasp that escapes from Albus’s mouth. James moves his hand further down but pauses at his lower abdomen, right above the base of his cock. Albus bites his lip and whimpers but James remains still, finding immense satisfaction in teasing his brother this way. Albus finally opens his eyes, grips James’s hips firmly, and gives in.
“Please… James, Please,” Albus pleads his fingernails digging into James’s hipbones.
James complies and grasps Albus’s hard prick in his hand before firmly stroking in a steady rhythm. Albus groans in response and loosens his grip on James, his hands now making tight fists as he digs his nails into his own palms. James’s thumb rubs under the head of his throbbing cock and Albus’s knocks his head back into the tile as he pants, the water from the shower spraying all over his torso and open mouth. James’s own cock is aching in sympathy and he takes Albus’s hand and leads it to his prick. Albus takes the hint and begins to earnestly jerk his brother as James returns the favor. Albus’s technique is sloppy but his enthusiasm more than makes up for it and James can feel his release edging ever closer. The shower rages on, steam filling the entire bathroom, and James breathes in great gulps of the damp, hot air as he feels the first signs of orgasm overtake him. A sudden loud knock of the door pulls him from the moment and he roughly pushes Albus away from him.
“Are you guys done with the bathroom yet? Dad’s hogging the downstairs one and I wanna take a bath already!”
Lily whines through the door before stomping down the hall, her heavy step vibrating through the floor.
Albus jumps out of the shower, cock still hard, and quickly wraps a towel around his waist. He shoots James a look of disappointment before unlocking the door and racing out of the bathroom. James, on the other hand, takes his time to leave the bathroom; turning the shower to ice cold until his arousal leaves him. He slowly dries off and gets dressed, his mind racing as he stares into his reflection in the bathroom mirror. James is not certain how much time passes as he gazes off in conflicted thoughts, before Lily barges into the bathroom holding her bubble bath and wearing a grumpy expression.
“Hmm?” Albus hums happily.
“What happened before… it was a mistake.”
“Which time?” Albus asks cheekily.
“Both times,” James rolls his eyes and removes his and from Albus’s hair. It figures his brother would joke around even during a serious conversation like this. “It can’t happen again, ever.”
“I don’t see why not,” Albus’s tone is still light but he can sense his brother becoming tense.
“Don’t be stupid Albus, you know why not.”
Albus opens his mouth to argue but James cuts him off before he can even begin.
“I’m not messing around. We’re brothers, Al. You and I have a special bond and all this… well it’s wrong! And beyond that, even if we were to ignore the morality of it, which we can’t and won’t, we can’t risk the strong relationship we have with this craziness.”
James sighs into the silence, glad that he was able to get it all out in one go and feeling confident his brother will see reason. Of course, James seemed to have forgotten just how headstrong and stubborn Albus can truly be.
“I want you, James.”
The words settle over James like a spell, and his skin feels on fire as it tingles from his head to his toes. A sudden flare of arousal rises in him and it takes a considerable amount of self control to tamper down the flames.
“You don’t know what you want! You’re too young and inexperienced to have any idea what you’re doing.”
“You’re wrong! It’s not like I haven’t messed around before.”
The words send an icy knife of jealousy through James and the older boy finds himself shocked at the sharp reaction. He takes in a deep breath and attempts to calm down before speaking lest Albus catch on.
“And who exactly is it you’ve been messing around with?” James asks coolly.
“It’s none of your business!” Albus bites back.
“It doesn’t matter anyway,” James remarks, attempting to reign in his envy and fury.
Albus is clearly upset; his hands are tightly gripping the sheets and his face is pink with anger. James gets up, his shoulders tight with emotion, and leaves Albus alone to steep in his surly stupor.
Albus and James had mostly been avoiding each other, and speaking only when strictly necessary. However, James had not missed the longing stares Albus would shoot his way, nor the obscene way he licked his spoon during dessert last night while slyly catching James’s eye. He certainly recalled every part of it as he guiltily tossed himself off later that night to the memory.
When did his little brother grow up so much? He always seemed so sensitive, so naive, and in many ways he still is, but there is a new confidence to Albus that James had not noticed before. Lately there have been a lot of things James had been noticing about Albus: the soft curve of his lips, the brightness of his eyes, and the slight muscles in his lower back which reveal themselves whenever he reaches high and his shirt rides up.
His brother must have been maturing to some degree. Despite his stubborn nature, and not taking into account his flirty glances, Albus had actually not brought up the situation after their talk nor made any physical attempt again. It seems his younger brother must have accepted the way things had to be. James tells himself he is glad of it and does his best to fight the traitorous side that feels disappointed.
James clears his head of such thoughts and continues to check into each compartment as he makes his way through the Hogwarts Express. Hopefully his duties as a prefect should prove to be a distraction for the remainder of the year. James moves along the train, on his way back to the front to join the rest of the prefects, when he spots Albus sitting alone in one of the compartments, staring melancholily out the window. His heart aches at the sight and he instantly regrets the distance that has grown between them. He smoothly opens the door and takes a seat next to his brother. The small smile that graces Albus’s lips is already enough to soothe the ache in James’s chest.
They both laugh a bit as they cut the other one off.
“I hate fighting with you, Al.”
“Me too. I didn’t mean to be so harsh the other day…”
“No, you were fine. I was being a little prickly myself, really.”
“Can we just let it all go?”
“I would love that,” James replies, the ache in his heart completely dissipating.
Albus beams widely and James can’t help but pull him into a hug. For the first time since the camping incident he feels at ease in his brother’s arms, like things might just be able to return to how they used to be. Albus is a warm, comforting weight against his chest and his fingers automatically slide into his hair. The air around them feels thick, charged and Albus sighs happily against James’s neck, his breath tickling his ear and sending tingles down his spine. The embrace, originally so innocent, is slowly morphing into something different and yet James can’t seem to remove his fingers as they card through Albus’s thick locks. He feels Albus shudder against him in response when the compartment door slides open with a loud bang.
A startled looking Slytherin stands in the doorway but when he catches James’s face his expression melts into relief.
“Oh James! I didn’t realize it was you,” he laughs.
The boy looks familiar enough but James can’t quite place where he has seen him before. The friendly Slytherin seems to catch on and chuckles again before introducing himself.
“I don’t think we’ve officially met before: I’m Jordan. We played against each other earlier in the year when Scorpius was injured. I’m the fill in Seeker for Slytherin.”
“Oh yes, of course,” James smiles blandly in reply, “Well I better get back to my compartment.”
Jordan nods in reply and quickly plops himself down next to Albus. James turns to say goodbye to his brother but finds he is already distracted, excitedly chatting with the fellow Slytherin. He shuts the door but stays a moment to watch the two from the window. He feels his gut twist as he sees the bright smile on Albus’s face and the way Jordan is resting his hand on Albus’s thigh.
James angrily marches back to the Prefects’ compartment to find it empty save one Rose Weasley; her plethora of luggage covering half the floor and her face buried in a book as usual.
“Stupid Jordan, who does he think he is being so friendly to Albus like that?” James mutters under his breath as he paces back and forth.
Rose looks up from her book and smiles.
“You mean Jordan Zabini? I think it’s sweet. Those two have been inseparable since the start of the school year. I hear they’re seeing each other but trying to keep secret.”
James can feel his blood boil and he irritably kicks a piece of luggage.
“Oi! Don’t take it out on my luggage.”
“Sorry,” James replies abashedly.
“Don’t worry about it. I think it’s sweet you’re so protective of your brother,” Rose smiles at her cousin before returning her attention to the heavy book in her lap.
James nods in response and takes a seat as he tries to calm his nerves. He’s just being a protective brother, that’s all. James repeats that to himself over and over again until he nearly convinces himself it’s true.
Though James’s school work continues to pile up, he still manages to find time to keep a careful eye on his brother. Over the past month James has discovered that Rose is right; the two boys are basically inseparable, sharing meals together and horsing around in the halls between classes. Yesterday he spotted them holding hands, blushing as they left the Quidditch field together and it took all his self control to not move from behind the locker room door and chase after them angrily. James settled, instead, for a simple stinging hex aimed at their clasped hands before disappearing into the changing rooms. The action satisfied James for merely a few hours; the heavy feeling in his stomach reappearing once again as he morosely stared at the dots on his father’s map labeled Albus Severus Potter and Jordan Zabini and their close proximity until late into the night.
He picks at his food during dinner, willing himself not to look over at the Slytherin table for the entirety of the meal, before heading outside and towards the Great Lake. In his distracted state, James is oblivious to the worried green eyes watching his departure.
Settling under a tree, James idly twirls his wand while he watches the Giant Squid move gracefully under the surface of the water. It’s just cold enough that a thin layer of ice has formed over the lake and the Giant Squid clearly relishes in stretching his long tentacles and sending long cracks along the ice.
The rapid succession of his growing fixation on his brother is rather alarming. He’s always viewed Albus as something of a best friend, a confidant that he would always be able to lean on. James knows there is no one in the world he is closer to than his brother but he never expected this new attraction to sweep over him. James thought he could rein himself in and control the urges that creep stronger each day and yet now that he has had a taste of this forbidden sensation, he finds himself inexorably drawn closer to the prohibited flame.
James is so lost in thought, he finds himself quite startled when he looks up and sees Albus walking towards him, a concerned frown on his face.
“You’ll catch a cold out here.”
“It’s not that chilly yet,” James answers and yet he suddenly becomes aware of the sun disappearing in the sky and shivers slightly in spite of himself.
“Here,” Albus removes his scarf and wraps it gingerly around James’s neck.
“What are you doing wearing your scarf to dinner?” James teases.
“I came straight from watching Quidditch practice, git.”
James rolls his eyes but accepts the scarf and tucks it tightly around his neck. Against his will he inhales deeply, taking in Albus’s familiar scent which clings to the scarf.
“So what’s got you out here by yourself and looking so woefully pensieve?”
“Nothing, nothing important anyway.”
“Please,” Abus scoffs as he takes a seat next to his brother, “you can’t fool me.”
“I’m fine, Al. Just leave it alone.”
“I know you better than you think James, you can’t hide things from me. You need to stop treating me like a child,” Albus states stubbornly sticking his nose into the air.
James can’t help but take the opportunity to flick his younger brother’s upturned nose.
“Well then, you’ll have to stop acting like a child.”
“Hey! Look who’s talking,” Albus pouts in return as he playfully shoves at his older brother.
James chuckles before taking the opportunity to tackle his brother to ground, rolling over a few times as they move away from the sharp roots of the tree. Albus struggles back but fails to get leverage as James moves over him and keeps him pinned to the ground. The boys laugh joyfully and Albus stops his struggles as he admits defeat with a dramatic sigh. Dusk has fully swept the Hogwarts grounds and Albus’s pale skin is painted in hues of blue. James can feel a lightness enter his heart that hasn’t been there in weeks. He wishes everything were always as simple and fun as this moment; playing blissfully with Albus, his cheeks flushed a lovely shade of pink and eyes bright with laughter.
James makes to move off his brother when he feels it; the unmistakable hardness pressed against his thigh. Danger warnings flash throughout James’s mind but he finds himself frozen to the spot. He meets Albus’s wide eyes and discovers them filled with desire. The sun is gone and with it the last traces of warmth from the day; the cold air makes their breath visible as they softly pant into each other's face. They stay locked in the moment, neither moving an inch, until Albus breaks, rolls on top and slowly begins to rock against James. The feeling is euphoric and James can feel himself harden immediately. He opens his mouth to stop Albus, to push his brother off but all that escapes is a groan and he finds himself gripping Albus’s arms as he pushes his hips up to meet him thrust for thrust.
“Please don’t tell me to stop,” Albus pleads as he grinds down, “I don’t think I’ll be able to.”
“I won’t, I won’t…” James moans in reply.
Albus’s thrusts are becoming erratic; his body begins to tremble and his hard prick starts to pulse against James’s thigh. The sensation is just enough to to push James over the edge and he pulls on Albus’s dark locks tightly as he allows his orgasm to sweep over him. Albus rolls off his brother and they lay side by side against the solid ground. James grabs his wand and mutters a cleaning spell on them both before tilting his head to observe his brother. Albus’s hair is sticking up in several directions, his pulse beating madly against his throat, and lips parted slightly as he breaths in the winter air. James can’t help but be taken aback by his brothers beauty. How could something that feels so exquisitely good be wrong? The two lay on their backs for several more minutes in comfortable silence, their shoulders touching as they watch the darkening sky.
Finally James brings himself to sit up and watches Albus cautiously as he follows suit. James knows now is the moment to say something, anything really, but his throat feels tight and no words come out.
“Let me guess,” Albus sighs as he breaks the silence, “That was a mistake, it can never happen again.”
“I’m just looking out for you, Al.”
“You shouldn’t assume you know what I want or how I feel. You’re barely two years older than me, you’re hardly an expert.”
“Oh and you are?” James inquires sarcastically.
“More than you might think,” Albus mumbles under his breath.
James can feel the familiar red hot jealousy and anger flood through him.
“Then just go back to your little boyfriend and don’t bother running to me when he can’t satisfy you.”
The moment the words fall from his mouth James is aware how petty and foolish they are yet he can’t seem to filter himself around Albus anymore. He wants to find a way to take them back, even more so when Albus angrily flushes bright red and jumps to his feet, but is unable to do so.
“Jordan satisfies me just fine!” he shouts hotly, “Even better, there is no guilt trip or remorse afterwards.”
“Great! Go then, and don’t bother coming back!” James jumps up and yells back, his mind clouding over with fury.
“You’re an idiot James,” Albus grinds out bitterly.
He snatches his scarf from the ground and James watches helplessly as his brother furiously marches back towards the castle. Now that Albus is gone all the anger has left and James feels empty and exhausted. He sits back onto the cold, hard ground and sighs before dropping his head into his hands. His ears are ice cold and his toes turn numb long before he picks himself off the floor and returns to the castle.
He is finding it more difficult to watch Albus discreetly during dinner in The Great Hall and thus has taken to hiding in the shadows of the dungeons outside the Slytherin common room after meals to catch a glimpse of his brother.
This evening is no different and James waits patiently as he hears the sound of Albus whispering excitedly down the hall. Another voice joins him and James feels the familiar twist in his stomach as he recognizes it as none other than Zabini. It’s quite late and most of the students are back in their dorms but Albus and Jordan take their time as they slowly walk towards the common room entrance, their fingers brushing with every step. The hall is deserted, save from one James Potter lurking in the shadows, and the boys take advantage of their privacy.
Jordan gently pushes Albus against the wall as he draws his lips into a kiss. The kiss begins chaste enough but before long they are full on snogging and James can feel his blood begin to boil. Jordan’s hand moves to cup the bulge forming in Albus’s pants when James sees red and rushes towards the two boys.
James grabs Jordan and pulls him off his brother, throwing him towards the common room entrance.
“Lay off my little brother!” James growls at the startled Slytherin.
“What the hell James!?” Albus cries indignantly but Jordan is already scampering off into the common room, a frightened expression on his face.
James turns around to find Albus with his arms crossed, panting angrily and glaring daggers at his older brother.
“You shouldn’t be doing that out here in public where anyone can see,” James states calmly though his body is still trembling with ire.
“Is that really what this is all about?” Albus asks defiantly.
James opens his mouth to deny Albus’s unspoken accusations but once again no words make their way out. A mischievous look spreads across Albus’s face.
“Or could it be that perhaps you’re just jealous?”
James face hardens and Albus readies himself for yet another fierce argument but to both of their surprise, James grabs Albus’s arms, pulls him close and kisses him. Somehow in their last month of shared frotting and orgasms they have yet to kiss one another and the sensation is explosive. The feel of his brother’s lips against his is weighty and heady and James feels like he is drowning. He bites and licks along Albus’s bottom lip, seeking entrance and when Albus opens his mouth the first meeting of tongues is electric. James moans in appreciation; the velvety feel of his brother’s tongue sliding into his hot, wet mouth is intoxicating. How could this ever be wrong?
“It’s not, it’s not,” Albus mumbles against his lips and James realizes he must have said that aloud.
James threads his fingers through Albus’s thick hair, cupping the nape of his neck, and both their knees weaken as they slowly slide to the floor. James doesn’t think he’s ever been so turned on from just a kiss before. His lips move to Albus’s jaw when they both hear a noise down the hall. Reality slowly fades in and James realizes they are out in the open hall where anyone can come by. James stands and grabs Albus’s hand to pull him up as well, hands straying to Albus’s neck as he fixes his tie.
“You should get back to your dorm, it’s late.”
Albus’s face clouds with disappointment but James just smirks in response. He grips onto Albus’s tie and pulls him close into a hard, quick kiss.
“Go take a cold shower, tonight. I don’t want to see you near Zabini again, got it?”
Albus bites his lip and nods in reply.
“You’re mine,” James growls against Albus’s mouth before letting him go.
Albus’s lips curve into a slow smile and he happily disappears into his common room. James feels a heavy weight lift from his chest as he walks back to the Gryffindor dorm. He feels freer than he has in weeks and his heart is light with the possibilities of what the future may bring.