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Wait and See by Bobby Dazzler
Format: Short story
Chapter 2: II
"What do you mean she just kind of went quiet?" Sirius asked as he, James and their friend Remus Lupin sat around the small round dining table in Godric's Hollow later that night, tumblers of firewhisky set before them in generous amounts. Lily had gone to spend the night with her parents, to try and explain everything to them and also to, in her own words, get a hold of reality about the unsuspected news she had learnt only yesterday and had not had the time to properly take in. This of course left James at home and under strict instructions from his wife that he was to stay home alone until she returned.
Sirius had walked through the fire only seconds after Lily left and Remus not long after.
James shrugged somewhat and ran his thumb around the brim of his glass. "I don't know. I said I was sorry, and I meant it – really Padfoot, so stop snickering – and then all she said was I wasn't sorry yet. I think she's going to kill me."
Sirius laughed, a loud, barking sound that was filled with mirth as he clutched onto the table with one hand, head bent back and howling at the ceiling. Remus rolled his eyes, smiled tiredly at James and refilled both their glasses with a swish of his wand. "I think you should probably try and make it up to her properly James; the last thing you want is an angry wife, especially one carrying your child."
James let out a deep breath, feeling the enormity of the situation sink in for the first time since he'd found out from Lily that they were expecting a child. His child. Her child. Their child.
"Bloody hell," James said, eyes bulging as he reached for his glass and downed half of it in one large gulp that burnt all the way down his throat until it landed in the pit of his stomach, feeling heavy but strangely welcome. "I'm going to be a father."
This seemed to sober Sirius a little, but only for a moment; once he'd calmed himself down enough to glance at James' horrified expression, he burst out laughing once more and thumped his palm upon the table. Remus stealthily moved the bottle of firewhisky and Sirius' glass out of reach, thinking his friend had had quite enough for one night as he focused his attention on James instead. "You've got nothing to be worried about James. It's clear as day that you're obsessed with Lily and she is with you – even when you send drunken messages to her parents – so why is it such a big deal?"
James looked at the amber liquid remaining in his glass, still wobbling slightly from when he placed it upon the surface moments ago. He knew Remus spoke sense at a time when he needed to hear it the most, but the fact of the matter was he was going to be a father in only a few short months time, and that scared him more than any Dark Lord ever could. The fear of the unknown was far greater than he could ever have imagined.
"Lily said I wasn't sorry, not yet..." James mused quietly as he continued to watch the alcohol wobble, as if somehow its movements unlocked a Pandora's Box and all the secrets of the universe were suddenly known to him. "Do you think that means that she's not happy about this?"
"James," Sirius said, calm enough to lean forward and restrict his humour to just a teeth-baring grin, "I'm sure she's happy about being in the pudding club, just not what we did."
James glanced at Sirius from the corner of his eye, then back to Remus, thinking he would be of more use with the conversation at hand. He waited patiently for Remus to answer him, but feared what he would say as well. "I don't think so James; I agree with Sirius, she's happy, but I don't know how easy she's going to make all this for you... You really did put your foot in it this time around."
"Yeah," James said dully and sat further back into his chair with a sigh, "that's the last time I listen to old Padfoot here when we're drunk. Honestly, what a stupid idea that was-"
"You have to admit though Prongs," Sirius said as he reached forward and stole the remaining firewhisky sitting before James, "it was a beauty." With a raise of his stolen glass towards James, Sirius leant back and tilted his head, downing the liquid as if it were as harmless as water, and promptly fell backwards upon the timber flooring underfoot, out like a light.
James and Remus looked at one another, cast one glance towards their drunken friend, and refilled their glasses, quite content to leave him there and continue with their discussion well into the night.