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Chapter 1: Chapter 21: Just His Shell
Okay, so this is the Alternate Ending. Chapter one, or otherwise chapter twenty-one will be the same as in To the Past, From the Future. Starting at chapter 2/22 it will be different. This chapter is the same as chapter 21 in the real ending.
Chapter Graphic by Caren at The Dark Arts
"Oh, James!" Ginny cried, throwing her arms around James' neck and hugging him tightly, completely forgetting about James kissing her just hours ago, "I'm so sorry! Why hasn't anyone ever told us?! Why didn't Sirius ever tell Harry that could have had a big sister?!"
"I-I don't know." James said, feeling uneasy with Ginny's arms around him. He already felt guilty for kissing her and calling her Lily. He didn't need her clinging onto him. James whispered, "Maybe Harry didn't need the burden that he had a sister on him. He knows that he lost me and Lily, maybe he didn't need his miscarried sister on his mind."
Ginny nodded and whispered, wiping her eyes, "Yes. You're probably right."
"Ginny, listen." James began, pulling her off of him. He brought his arms back to his own body and looked away from her, "About earlier. I know I scared you and - "
"Don't worry about it." Ginny said, shaking her head, "I know you didn't know what was going on at the time. A-And if I had seen Harry in a hallucination, I would have kissed him person in a heart beat." Ginny blushed lightly as she said that and James smiled and hugged Ginny like a daughter. Ginny smiled lightly, "What was her?"
James smiled breathlessly, "Her name was Annaleise Lily Potter, and we were going to call her Annie..."
"That's beautiful." Ginny whispered. For moments they entered silence, still holding the other, and then Ginny whispered, "James?"
"Yes?" he asked, nudging his head into her mass of red hair.
"Is Harry going to wake up?" she asked him weakly, almost less than a whisper.
It took all of James' courage to answer her question. He squeezed his eyes shut when he responded, feeling Ginny dig her nails into his back in fright, "No. I don't think he will..."
Lily cried for the next hour and when her owl flew back in the her bedroom window she quickly excused herself from James and ran to get the future James' reply. She opened up the parchment and settled herself on their bed, reading slowly, anticipating his answer.
Do not worry, my love. Everything will be all right. I am sorry it took me so long to reply. It has been a very rough day here at St. Mungo's. Ginny found your letter, and brought it to me. I have been talking to her. I know you told me to tell you everything there is to know about this pregnancy and I will do my best, but I am not sure how you will take it.
We do not loose Harry, but you are indeed pregnant right now. We visit a healer and they make a due date and all of that. The baby is to be due in February, but we have a miscarry. I'm so sorry, Lily. We were going to name her Annaleise Lily Potter, Annie for short. We miscarry in October and you become pregnant with Harry in November...
Lily folded the letter and shoved it under the rest of them. She folded her arms across her chest and sat back down on the bed. Her lips quivered up in a sob and she covered her mouth with one hand and fell back against the bed. She turned over onto her side and placed her hands on her stomach, acting as she could reach the baby inside of her, the baby that she would never hold.
She couldn't explain the feeling that began to rush through her. It was like she felt as if something was horribly wrong with her, as if her body was so horrible to kill off something so precious. And now she couldn't tell the eighteen-year-old James that she knew she miscarried, because then he would now that his older self survived, and that would be breaking her promise with the future James...
She would have to act as if she didn't know what happened to their first baby...
Now she’s had so many things on her mind that she had had absolutely no time to plan for their wedding. Everyone knew that James and Lily were getting married, but due to Lily's stress over the future, she hadn't been able to get anything done.
The door to their bedroom opened, but she did not lift her head from the safety of the satin covers, absorbing her tears, knowing it was James. The door closed softly and she heard his footsteps lightly on the wooden floor. She heard him whisper something, but she didn't bother to take it in. The covers dipped behind her back as James lay down next to her on the other side of the bed. He edged his body up against hers and wrapped his arms around her protectively. He kissed her neck sweetly, over and over, whispering to her, "I'm so sorry, Lily. I feel like this is all my fault..."
"N-No." Lily stuttered, shaking her head, "No, James. Don't say that. It's not your fault."
"But I - " James began, massaging Lily's arm facing the air to calm her.
Lily shook her head again and whispered, "We had sex and didn't use anything..."
"Lily," James whispered, pulling her body over so that she was facing him. He stroked her cheek edged his body closer to hers. Tears were rolling down his cheeks and he didn't bother to wipe them away, instead he wiped Lily's with his thumb, "Do you want this baby?"
She nodded and hiccupped. She was so close to his face that she could smell the champagne in his breath. She choked out, "I want this baby so much. I want to be a mother and I know I'm ready, but I just can't handle loosing a child when I'm eighteen or nineteen."
"Lily," he stroked her cheek and kissed her once on the lips, "Just don't worry about it for now. We'll worry about it when the time when Harry is supposed to be conceived is near. For now let's celebrate that you are carrying our first child."
Lily actually smiled as James said this and she was able to push out the letter that she had just read. She was able to wipe it clear of her mind for the moment as she smiled brightly and whispered, "We're going to be parents..."
James asked calmly, "Do you think that I got you pregnant the first time or...one of the many days every since?" He was chuckling when he finished and Lily giggled at the huskiness in his voice. Lily answered, "I think it was the first time..."
James nodded and chuckled, "Wow. When we had our first time I wasn't thinking about anything except you. I wasn't thinking about the possibility of conceiving a child."
Lily smiled, "Me neither...I was just thinking about how goddamn sexy you are."
James laughed softly as he showed his white teeth in a broad smile. He then asked, calming down, "How do you know you are pregnant?"
"I've missed two periods now..." Lily said, "We had sex in mid June and it will be August in only a few hours. I also know because I just have this feeling inside of me."
James smiled brightly, and teased, "I believe it is our son or daughter wanting to say hello to his mummy and daddy." Lily smiled but James stopped abruptly and sat up. He drew his arms away from Lily as he stared blankly ahead. He blinked many times to clear his vision of the tears that welled there and choked out, "I-I'm going to be a d-daddy..."
Lily smiled and sat up, wrapping her arms around James' stomach and playing them across his six-pack through his shirt. She whispered, "That's right. James, you're going to be a father..."
James smiled and leaned back, making Lily lay down. He cuddled up against Lily's body and placed his head on her abdomen. He felt as if he could just feel his child growing beneath her skin. James whispered, stroking her stomach, "Do you have a feeling if it's a boy or a girl?"
Lily smiled, running her fingers through James' hair as he sighed against her stomach, "I have a feeling it's a girl..."
Chuckling, James kissed her stomach and whispered to the growing baby, "Hi, my baby girl. I'm your daddy..."
The next morning when Sirius, Remus, and Peter were over for breakfast, Lily woke up very early with morning sickness and it took her forever to pry James' head away from her belly. But when she did, she bounded off to the bathroom and remained crouched by the toilet until her morning sickness was over. Deciding not to go back to bed, she showered and got dressed, leaving James to remain asleep.
She whistled to herself and skipped down the stairs happily, one hand on her belly. In the kitchen, she busied herself with making a big breakfast. The three boys would be over shortly, but she would let James sleep. That was how he preferred it. The two of them had also had a late night last night. They had stayed up discussing baby names. However, Lily, already knowing the name of their daughter played a long for a good while until she threw in the name Annaleise and James fell in love with it immediately. They had then snogged for a good while, but hadn't made love like they had done almost every night ever since they first made love together.
James had said that that territory was now his daughter's and that he respected that. Lily, however, wrinkled her eyebrows and teased him, saying how much she would miss him inside of her during her pregnancy. James had laughed and snogged her more romantically.
As she piled a plate higher and higher with pancakes, she hummed to herself, feeling extremely happy, and decided that today she would begin to plan the wedding. She didn't want a wedding planner. She wanted to do it all herself, with the help of her friends and family.
She heard her fiance yawn behind her heavily and she spun around to see his tired, yet happy face. She walked to him and kissed his lips lightly. He smiled and said happily, "Mmm, pancakes."
Lily giggled and slapped his bare chest, "Yes, pancakes, but you can't have any until you put on a shirt and the boys get here."
"Peter coming?" James glowered.
Lily rolled her eyes, "Yes. Peter is coming..."
"That little rat better learn to sleep with one eye open..." James hissed, stomping back out of the kitchen to go back upstairs and put on a shirt. Lily called up to him as he climbed the stairs, "Now, James, you know you can't act like that around him!"
"Blaaah blaah blah!" James said sarcastically. Lily giggled, knowing that he would take her seriously. The door bell rang and she licked a little spot of the pancake batter off of her finger before walking into the entrance hall and opening the door with a smile. She hugged all three of them before letting them pass inside and into the kitchen. The three boys were already laughing and smiling brightly for a new day.
When Sirius bounded into the kitchen, he barked loudly, "YES! Pancakes!!! My favorite!!!"
Lily laughed loudly and gave him a kiss on the cheek before piling three plates with pancakes. James bounded in, this time wearing a t-shirt, and swooped down, planting a large kiss on Lily's lips as the three other boys settled themselves at the table, digging into their breakfast. Lily smiled when he pulled away, looking up to him. She bit her bottom lip and snickered, "Hmmm. Well, that was lovely."
"I know." James smirked, kissing her once more softly, "It was, wasn't it?"
"Eat your breakfast." Lily snorted as James tried to kiss her again. He pouted sarcastically and did so, sitting down at the table. Lily brought out a plate for herself and found herself putting a heap load of food on her plate. She reminded herself she was pregnant so it was all right to eat more than usual. She was feeding two people, even though she probably wouldn't stomach this breakfast at all, just throw it up later.
She set her plate in the empty spot next to James and then walked back into the kitchen to get the glasses and the pitcher of pumpkin juice. When she sat back down at the table, placing them in the center, Sirius spoke with food in his mouth, "Wow, Lils. That's a lot of food for you."
Lily blushed and shrugged, "What can I say? I'm hungry!"
Sirius shrugged as James eyed her and began eating again. Lily cut a piece of one of the pancakes and ate it slowly. She could feel James' foot under the table and he was urging his leg up against hers, eyeing her. Lily looked at him and made her eyes wide, glaring as if to say "What do you want?"
James kind of gave a jerk of the head towards his friends saying "Are we going to tell them?"
Lily rolled her eyes and continued eating, ignoring him for the moment. She stopped abruptly, dropping her fork with a clank and dashed up from her seat, clamping her hands over her stomach.
"L-Lily?" James asked as she stood there for a moment.
Lily covered her mouth with her hands and quickly blurted out, "I've gotta get to the bathroom!"
James immediately pushed his chair back and grabbed her elbow as Lily sprinted out. The other three watched with confusion as Lily ran out with a hand clamped over her mouth.
She ran to the nearest bathroom, James trailing her, and collapsed in front of the toilet bowl, retching. James kneeled behind her and gathered her long flaming hair into his hands, holding it back as she threw up. James smiled though, "Morning sickness, huh?"
"Yeah..." Lily said, sighing heavily when she finished. She shook her head and then stood up, wiping her mouth and rinsing it out in the sink, "For four days now..."
James smiled and wrapped his arms around her, "I'm sorry about the morning sickness, but...just think! Our daughter!"
Lily put on a fake smile and nudged her head up against his chest. She whispered sadly, "Yeah...Our daughter..."
A knock came from the door and Sirius stood there, confused. He asked, "Sorry, but is everything all right?"
Lily turned to James for the answer. James nodded to her and then clapped Sirius on the back, "Everything is fine. No, it's more than fine. Come on, back into the kitchen. Lily and I have some news."
The three of them walked back into the kitchen and found Remus and Peter talking to the other. Sirius sat back down, but James and Lily remained standing near the table. James wrapped his arms around his fiancée’s waist and cleared his throat, "Guys, Lily and I have some news."
They quieted and Lily blushed fiercely, clinging on to James. She finished, "We're going to have a baby!"
The three of them immediately jumped up from their seats and congratulated the couple loudly. After the congratulating was over, Lily excused herself from the table and found herself sobbing as she locked herself in the bathroom.
She sat down on the floor and leaned against the wall, placing her hands on her abdomen. She closed her eyes and sought out the song her mother used to sing to her when she was younger, “Hush now, my baby. Be still, love, don’t cry. Sleep like you’re rocked by the stream…”
Months passed. It was now the mid October. Ginny had returned to Hogwarts and Ron and Hermione were now engaged. Sirius and Lacy's relationship was very serious and Ron and Hermione were now six months pregnant, carrying a girl.
Harry still hadn't awoken...
James sat by Harry's beside, staring at his son. Sirius sighed heavily before pushing the door open to Harry's ward. Sirius began as James didn't lift his head from Harry's bed, "James, Harry isn't going to wake up."
"Don't say that..." James whispered.
"Mate, he's been unconscious for almost four months now...It's not going to happen. What's here is just his shell. It's like he's already died. The Harry we know is gone..." Sirius said, squeezing his friend's shoulders. James nodded and whispered, "I know..."
Sirius patted his shoulder and whispered before leaving the ward, "Just think about it, James..."
Sirius left, leaving James to his thoughts. James sat for many moments, pondering. He was surprised when Ron and Hermione entered the ward, greeting James with a happy smile. James stood and hugged the two like his children. He smiled to Hermione, beaming, "You're getting so big, Hermione!"
Hermione giggled, "Thanks."
James talked to Ron briefly before sitting back down and taking his son's hand into his own. James entered a trail of deep thought. Was it time to finally let Harry go? He whispered, "He's not going to wake up. This is just his shell. The Harry we know is already gone..." James sighed heavily, making his decision and he stood up. He pressed the button leading to the intercom in Lacy's office and heard her answer, "Yes, James?"
He had been thinking about it for a very long time now. "Bring me the papers..." James whispered. Ron and Hermione froze immediately and began yelling at him. James ignored their yells and whispered to Lacy, "It's time to let Harry go..."
"No, James!" Hermione yelled, "You can't!"
"Hermione..." James whispered, "Look at him. He hasn't moved. This is only his shell, his skin. The real Harry has already moved on."
"Oh, but James!" Hermione sobbed, "You can't kill him!!"
"I think it's what he would want, Hermione..."
Lacy Zimmerman jumped up from her seat letting go of the intercom. Sirius was standing in her office. They had been talking about their next date, and possibly moving in together. Sirius gasped through the air that seemed to be piercing his lungs like needles, "J-James is going to kill Harry..."
Lacy sprang into action. She jumped up from her chair and bounded out of her office, sprinting down the hall. She passed her co-workers who looked at her, bewildered. She had tears running down her cheeks already. She knew Michelle was in a meeting, but she had to tell her. This was too important. She threw the door open to the conference room and found it filled with a few healers and Michelle.
Michelle stopped leading the meeting, standing in front of her co-workers, and looked to Lacy, "Lacy, good god, what's happened to you?!"
Wands, pens, and pencils fell from healers' hands when Lacy spluttered out, "James Potter wants to sign the papers to release Harry!!!"