Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I have ownership of any of the characters. I am not affiliated with J.K Rowling, Scholastic Books, Warner Bros, or Bloomsbury Publishing in any way. However, the plot is my own.
A/N: Thank you Scriblerian for beta-ing this chapter for me, I really appreciate it! You are the best! Also big thanks to Scribbie and Mara for listening to me yammer about this story all night, and Mara, thanks for all the help! You both rock!
The sun was just beginning to fall beneath the distant horizon, the sky taking on the various colors of a child’s crayon box as day became night. Stars slowly began to appear in the distance, manifesting out of nowhere and blanketing the otherwise empty sky. A cool summer night breeze began to kick up, wafting through the open windows of a cozy home, slowly drifting over its overheated inhabitants. The otherwise silent night was interrupted randomly as small bursts of grumbling came from a couch in the corner.
At first glance, it almost appeared as if the couch was unoccupied, but after closer inspection it became evident that the couch was not blanketed with green fabric, no, that was in fact a very pregnant woman laying across it. Not exactly her fault that she was so large she had to wear a green garment that was roughly the size of a small circus tent. Her long red locks were flung haphazardly over the arm of the couch, and the glare she was shooting at the chair across from her was deadly.
In a chair across from the noticeably disgruntled young woman sat an even more noticeably anxious young man twisting his fingers nervously. It was apparent that he was doing his best to ignore the looks being sent in his direction as he began to fiddle with his glasses and then ran a hand through his unruly hair. A small sigh escaped his lips, from boredom or irritation it was unclear, and in the end it didn’t particularly matter why.
“Great,” the young woman finally spoke, her voice laced with venom. “Why don’t you breathe a little louder James? I don’t think the people at the end of the street heard you yet.”
“Of course dear, I’ll do my best to quiet down. Unless of course you would like me to stop breathing all together, you know, so it can be completely silent in here for you,” the young man answered, sarcasm filling the strained room.
“Don’t be such a bloody wanker,” she spat back and rolled her eyes. “Honestly James, not everything is about you.”
“I don’t know how I would ever survive if I didn’t have you around to remind me that Lily,” he replied. It was evident that he was doing his best to keep his temper at bay, but she was walking a fine line. “Why don’t we just sit here in silence.”
“Oh, you’d like that wouldn’t you Potter,” she snorted loudly as she struggled to sit up. “You just want to drive me insane with your heavy breathing. Next you’ll be tapping your foot on the floor, or something equally annoying as well. Well, you can just forget about that plan mister!”
“I think we should warn the healers about your condition before you go into labor,” James muttered under his breath.
“What exactly did you mean by that?” Lily asked, her eyes narrowing. “What condition?”
“Just the fact that you are carrying Satan in your womb!” he exclaimed, and Lily gasped, placing her hands protectively on her stomach.
“You take that back James Potter,” she demanded.
“No,” he stated defiantly as he stood up and raised an eyebrow at her. “What are you going to do Lily? Make me take it back?”
“Take it back now,” Lily commanded as she glared at him. “Either take it back, or I refuse to ever share the same bed with you again.”
“Low blow even for you Lily,” he replied crossly.
“Keep up that attitude and you will not be getting any of those either,” she added.
“Fine,” he grumbled. “I’m sorry I referred to our unborn child as Satan. There, are you happy?”
“What do you mean no?” James asked, a look of annoyance crossing his face.
“Well, I do believe that no is defined in the dict--,” Lily started in a smug voice before James cut her off.
“I am well aware of what the word 'no' means Lily,” he said crossly.
“Well, you’re the one who asked,” she replied slowly.
“Don’t talk to me like I’m an idiot.”
“I choose not to comment,” she smirked.
“What on earth has gotten into you tonight?” James asked, completely and utterly fed up with these shenanigans. “Are you trying to drive me bloody insane? Are you trying to make me miserable?”
“Damn right I am!” she yelled at him. “If I have to lay here, completely and wretchedly miserable, than by all means, you’re going to be just as sodding unhappy as I am.”
“Padfoot was right,” James mumbled under his breath. “Pregnant women are bloody insane.”
“What did you just say?” Lily asked with a raised eyebrow. “Did you just say Sirius was right? James, have you already forgotten everything he has done to you in the last eight months? You are seriously going to stand there and say Sirius was right?”
“Well, maybe he wasn’t right about everything,” James conceded, remembering the hell that Sirius had put him through ever since he had found out Lily was pregnant. “But he was certainly right when he said pregnant women were insane.”
“James, the things that Sirius doesn’t understand about pregnant women could fill up a large library,” Lily snorted. “You of all people should know that. Have we already forgotten about the baby book incident of December?”
Sitting back down in his chair, James removed his glasses and sighed once again. No, he certainly had not forgotten about the baby book incident of December. Not that it mattered, his wife certainly was never going to let him forget anyways. Nope, as far as Lily was concerned, the word baby book would always go hand in hand with one of Padfoot’s most shining moments.
Snowflakes were gently falling from the sky, twinkling against the sun that was beginning to peek through the clouds, shining down on the freshly fallen snow. The pristine scenery looked inviting from outside the window, but there was a definite chill in the air, and regardless of how inviting the untouched snow looked, the warmth of the house would win out in the end. Sitting by the roaring fireplace sipping on butterbeer and Firewhiskey was clearly the more enjoyable choice for the inhabitants of the Potter household on this snowy day.
A splattering of books were splayed across the floor, various titles written in large bold letters of every color and font imaginable. Titles like, Knocked Up? Now What? and Can You Really Handle Being A Father? Too Late? 10 Tips On How To Be A Great Dad!, graced the books closest to James. He was sitting in his usual chair, one of the books lay open on his lap as he flipped through the pages, vaguely reading the words whilst still listening to the conversation between his two guests.
Sirius and Remus had come to join him on this snowy afternoon in an attempt to learn as much as they could about pregnancy and what to expect now that Lily was pregnant. They had each taken a pile of books and began browsing through them to find anything that would help James prepare for everything that was about to happen. Lily was out for the day doing goodness knows what with her mother, an activity James was all too pleased to miss, and it had seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a day with the Padfoot and Moony.
“Interesting chapter here,” Sirius remarked as he flipped through one of the books in his pile. “Very enlightening, I must say.”
James raised an eyebrow and looked over at Sirius who was lying on the floor next to the fireplace. He was sipping some Firewhiskey from a glass and looking closely at the book in front of him. James couldn’t make out what the name of the book was, but he did notice that Sirius was only a few pages into it. Remus who was sitting with his back against the couch must have noticed as well.
“What is that chapter called Padfoot?” Remus asked, obviously amused. “Please, share with us what is so enlightening.”
“What?” Sirius looked up obviously confused. “Oh, there are just some very interesting diagrams in this chapter, highly detailed diagrams.”
“Diagrams of what?” James pressed on, a smirk covering his face. “Perhaps if you shared with us what the chapter is called, we would understand better why these diagrams are so enlightening.”
“Let me see here,” Sirius commented as he looked for the name of the chapter. “Ah, yes, this chapter is called ‘The Best Position To Maximize Pleasure and Fertility’.”
“Padfoot, I think you can skip that chapter,” Remus suggested. “They already have that step covered pretty well.”
“Of course,” Sirius replied as he ripped out a few pages from the book and stuck them in his pocket. Looking up he saw that both Remus and James were staring at him. “I have a friend,” he explained. “Having a hell of a time getting knocked up, she could use a few pointers.”
Silence filled the room as James and Remus just glanced at each other and then silently went back to perusing their books. With a heavy sigh Sirius flipped forward away from his happy diagram describing chapter and began glancing at more relevant chapters.
It didn’t take Sirius the genius long to figure out that these books were incredibly boring and incredibly graphic, except not exactly graphic in the way one would hope. Not to mention some of this information was enough to give him nightmares for the next few months. Of course Remus was being a good friend and reading like he was supposed to, probably cataloging hundreds of useful facts to tell James about, Sirius noticed with a disgruntled look.
James sent a warning sort of glance in Sirius’ direction as he began fidgeting around like a fish out of water, flipping and flopping around on the carpet, sighing heavily. He certainly realized that this wasn’t the best of times the three of them had ever shared, but he was anxious about becoming a father and slightly scared. It was apparent from all of these manuals that there were hundreds of things he had to learn, and right now he needed to focus on learning all of this before the baby came.
“Find anything else interesting?” James finally asked as he looked at Sirius.
“Yes, in fact I did Prongs,” Sirius said with a sly grin as he picked up his book and tried to keep from laughing. “It says right here that you have to make sure Lily doesn’t sneeze. If she does, it is quite possible the baby might just rocket launch right out of her.”
The book James had been holding in his hand dropped to the floor as he looked wildly from Sirius to Remus, his eyes as big as saucers. He knew that Sirius liked to play pranks, and he frantically tried to remember everything he had learned about pregnancy thus far. This didn’t seem like it could be true, but hell, he was a guy, what did he know?
Of course this instantly put a mental image into his mind of him racing after Lily trying to prevent her from sneezing. How one prevents sneezing he had no clue, but in his mind it involved a kumquat and a feather boa. This then led to the age old question of, if your wife sneezes and rocket launches your unborn child from her body, where exactly does it come out?
Before James even had a chance to verify these facts with Remus, who was so engrossed in his book that he had missed the previous exchange, Sirius was spouting more facts about pregnancy for him. James nodded along knowingly as Sirius told him about the possibility of Lily’s fingers swelling, after all that seemed to be common pregnancy knowledge.
“Here’s a really good one,” Sirius continued rambling. “It says here that pregnancy will cause the feet to swell five times their natural size, sometimes taking years to return to normal sizes, and in some horrific cases they never return to normal.”
“Are you sure that’s what it really says?” James asked suspiciously, as he wondered where on earth he was going to find shoes to fit Lily’s feet when they roughly turned the size of baby dolphins.
“Prongs, why would I make this up?” Sirius asked with a straight face.
“Well, is there anything else important?” he questioned, almost scared to hear another crazy fact.
Sirius flipped through more of the pages of the book, furrowing his brow and making little comments that did little to comfort James, his least favorite being ‘ouch, wow, that doesn’t sound pleasant’. Finally Sirius reached a page, and after glancing it over he whistled softly and then sent James a sad look. Sitting at the edge of the seat, James nodded his head, as if to indicate that he wanted it straight, all the gory fact.
“I found a page with some statistics here Prongs. They aren’t pretty,” Sirius began in a solemn voice. “This book cites that only forty-four percent of women choose to continue intimate relations with their husbands after the birth of their children.”
“What!” James exclaimed, his mind whirring. That couldn’t possibly be correct, only forty-four percent of woman, that was ridiculous.
“Cheer up pal,” Sirius tried to reassure him. “There’s only a fifty-six percent chance Lily will choose to remain abstinent for the rest of her life after she gives birth. Those are good odds for you my friend.”
“Enough!” James shouted. “I can get on board with the big feet, and the chasing her around to make sure the baby doesn’t pull a Houdini and pop out while she sneezes, but I will not, I repeat not, get on board with the abstinence thing!”
“I’m afraid you don’t have a choice my friend,” Sirius said with a sympathetic look. “Not like you can trick her and call it playing Parcheesi or something to get her to do it, I’m thinking she’d notice when you didn’t pull out the board game.”
“Padfoot, what is the name of this book you are reading?” James asked, his eyes narrowing.
“Let me see here,” he answered as he flipped the book over to read the title. “Some Off Book That Knocked Up Girls Read“
“Be serious you prat,” James practically growled.
“I am serious!” he said back, and giggled, showing that he obviously still had the mentality of a twelve year old. Once he managed to get a grip he stood up and headed over to James where he promptly shoved the book into his face. Written in lovely pink handwriting the words Some Off Book That Knocked Up Girls Read jumped out at him.
Sitting back in his chair stunned, he gulped. Had Sirius been telling the truth the entire time? He looked over at Lupin who was still absorbed in his own book, and he cleared his throat. Time to get a cold dose of reality or time to look like the world’s biggest moron.
“Remus?” James asked quietly, shooting a glare at Sirius. Remus looked up with a raised eyebrow, glancing between the two and nodded his head, waiting for whatever it was that James had to say. “In your readings about pregnancy did you read anything about only forty-four percent of woman wanting to be intimate with their partners after the birth of their child?”
“No, that sounds like some asinine fact only a moron would make up," Remus answered.
“Right, of course,” James nodded. “How about the one about a woman’s foot swelling to five times it’s natural size and never going back?”
“No, are you feeling alright James?” Remus asked concerned.
“Of course, just testing you, making sure you’re reading correctly,” James said in a fake cheery voice. “Just one more. Have you ever heard about the possibility of a baby shooting out of it’s mother when she sneezes?”
“Please tell me you did not ask if a baby can be ejected from the womb by a sneeze, James Potter,” came a very feminine voice from behind him, and he froze. To his left he could hear Sirius laughing, and he silently prayed that he would choke on his own saliva. Turning he faced his wife and smiled, trying to appear boyish and not like a completely ignorant fool.
“It’s all Sirius’ fault!” came his very dignified response.
“Of course it is,” she reassured him in a patronizing tone before turning her attention to Remus. “So who’s the bigger arse? The moron who made up fake facts about pregnancy, or the moron who believed them?”
James sat back down in his chair and took a drink of his Firewhiskey. Opening up his book again, he ignored everybody else in the room. That was the very last time he ever listened to Sirius Black. The bloody git was insufferable, creating fake pregnancy facts. This was certainly the last time James was ever going to let him near the baby books.
“There we go with the heavy breathing again,” came a cross muttering from the couch. “Honestly James, if I wanted to hear a heavy breather I would have arranged for one to call me.”
“Yeah, I hear those are real arrangeable nowadays,” James commented, getting pulled back to reality by another one of Lily’s incessant mood swings. One of the things the books had grossly misinterpreted as only mildly annoying.
“And why on earth does it have to be one hundred and fifty degrees in here, Potter?” she continued on, obviously angry at him for getting her in this position in the dead of summer.
“Apparently over-exaggeration is also a side effect of pregnancy,” James muttered as he shifted in his seat.
“Fine, be a massive prat. I for one am going to get a glass of water,” Lily commented crossly as she struggled to stand. A few minutes later making her way into the kitchen, slapping the back of his head as she made her way there.
He could hear the water running, followed by a splash of what sounded like liquid hitting the floor, and he groaned. Just what he needed. She had probably spilled some water on the floor and now he was going to have to clean it up. Standing up, he headed for the kitchen where he found her standing there shocked, looking at the floor, her mouth wide open.
“My water just broke,” she managed to utter, and his heart stopped. He wasn’t ready for this yet. He hadn’t read all those books about how to be a great father yet, and more importantly he couldn’t remember what he was supposed to do now.
Then, suddenly he remembered what he was supposed to do if Lily’s water broke. It was important, and something he certainly wasn’t going to mess up. His child’s life depended on him getting this moment perfect. Racing out of the kitchen, he went to the broom cupboard and grabbed the mop and the bucket and headed back towards the kitchen.
Lily watched him for a moment as he began to mop up the mess before placing a hand on her hip and sighing heavily.
“What in the hell are you doing James?” she asked, not quite sure if she wanted the answer.
“I have to collect all of the water,” James said in a rushed voice, not remembering how long he had before the baby arrived.
“Why?” Lily questioned. “Just leave it, we can clean it up when we get home. Or you could just use your wand and clean it up.”
“I will NOT risk our child’s life!” James shouted, not believing she would suggest something of the sort.
“Okay, first off, why are we shouting, and secondly, how would cleaning this up risk our child’s life?” Lily asked, her patience waning. “Thirdly, I am trying to dislodge a human being from my body, can we please pick up the pace?”
“You didn’t read the story?” James asked, evidently stunned. “They say if when the water breaks, if you don’t collect all the water and bring it to the hospital, there is a chance your baby could wind up a scarred, bespectacled midget who is cursed by Voldermort himself. Sirius sent me a letter informing me of such just a few days ago. He said it was in your book of what to expect when you're pregnant, under superstitions. I know it’s iffy, but I don’t want to chance fate and all."
“You. Are. A. Moron.”
“Damn that Sirius Black!” James shouted as he threw the mop on the floor and helped Lily to the fireplace where they prepared to Floo to St. Mungo’s. Taking one last glance at the kitchen, James had to laugh. Sirius had gotten him good this time. Like that was really ever going to happen....
A/N: Hope everyone enjoyed that little one-shot, I was just having a bit of fun last night and decided to attempt to write a humor story. Thank you all for reading, and as always reviews are appreciated. Have a wonderful day!
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