Harry wasn't an only child, but had an identical twin, who died at birth. He's been hanging around ever since.
In the wizarding world, twins are connected by more than just birthdays and looks. They are bound by magic, by Life itself into an inseparable whole. Where one twin goes, the other follows, even into Death... especially into Death. But what happens when they decide not to leave after all?
The woman was screaming.
She arched her back in agony, throat raw from both the screaming and the never-ending stream of curses she called down on the man who had done this to her.
"James, you bastard, you are so fucking /dead/..."
Her husband hovered nervously nearby, not daring to touch anything after the mediwitch had swatted him aside for trying to help. Honestly, how was he supposed to know the thing was combustible, anyway? "C'mon, Lily, you can't really blame me... can you?"
"You better believe I damn well can, you little-" Lily broke off into a strangled gasp as another contraction hit, her knuckles glowing white where they grasped the sweaty sheets. The redhead's next words came out plaintively. "/James/..."
James moved forward, ignoring the mediwitch's disapproving glare. Grabbing his wife's hand and concealing a wince of discomfort at the crushing pressure, he leaned down. "Don't worry, love, it's almost over..."
It was another hour of screams and winces before the mediwitch straightened up with a tiny bundle in her arms. Starting up hopefully, the wizard stilled as he saw the look on her face. "No... Merlin, no."
She flinched. "I'm sorry, Mr. Potter. I... I don't know what went wrong..." Shoulders slumped, the mediwitch turned and deposited her motionless burden into another nurse's arms.
James sat staring at his stillborn son, the child who would have been his first-born, his heir... little James Jr. So many futures, hopes, dreams... all gone in an instant, like a wisp of smoke. "And Harry... what about Harry?" the Auror whispered desperately, grabbing onto the nurse's sleeve.
She shook her head helplessly, bending back down to her patient. "I'm sorry, sir, but... you know one twin doesn't survive the other..."
Shell-shocked, the father-that-was turned back to his wife, whose emerald eyes already wept for her lost children. James was almost surprised to see a single tear drop from his own eye, landing on their clasped hands. He hadn't thought you cried until after you came out of shock.
"Alright, /push/," the mediwitch crooned, hands out to receive the second child's tiny body. As the baby slid cleanly out, her eyes widened, and she gasped.
The heads of the grieving parents jerked up as the last sound they had expected to hear rang defiantly through the room.
The lusty wail of a healthy, newborn boy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. The next few chapters contain quite a few quotes from the books. If you've seen it before, I don't own it. Chapters in this story also tend to be very short.