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Chapter 3 : Lily's Revelation
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Lily sat on the edge of her bed, a pillow clutched tightly to her, and her knees drawn up. She didn’t look up when the door opened and James entered.
“What was that?” he asked.
“What was what?” she answered dryly.
“That. Downstairs. With Sirius.”
“That was my normal reaction to the man.”
James stepped closer, leaning casually against the bedpost. “You know what I mean. I’ll admit that he shouldn’t have said what he did, but you shouldn’t have either.”
Lily scowled at him.
“No, really. I know he’s not the most responsible person in the world. . . Believe me, I know,” James said, thinking back to all the times Padfoot’s immaturity landed at least half of the Marauders in detention. “But you gotta agree, he is trying. I haven’t seen him this excited about. . . anything since him, me, and Peter became Animagi.
“You should be happy,” he finished after a pause.
“Happy about what?” Lily asked, feeling the tears begin to build up again. “That we’ve already started replacing our child with one that’s not even ours?”
James inhaled as he realized what this was really all about. Slowly, he sat down next to his wife, and placed a gentle, comforting hand on her knee. “It wasn’t your fault.”
Downstairs, Sirius was still feeding Harry when the fireplace erupted in green flames.
“James?” a familiar voice called throughout the house. “Prongs, are you in?”
Looking down at Harry, Sirius smiled and walked to the fireplace. “Moony! Get over here!” he excitedly told the head of his fellow Marauder.
Appearing only slightly surprised that Sirius was at the Potters’, Remus Lupin nodded and his head disappeared. The next moment, he was standing in the living room next to Padfoot.
Grinning like a madman, Sirius said, “Remus, meet Harry.” and held out the still eating infant for Moony to see. “Harry, this is your Uncle Moony.”
Remus’ face was filled with affection as he carefully took the child into his own arms. “Harry, eh?”
Sirius nodded. “Harry James.”
“So Lily was pregnant then,” he said, nodding slightly, and not taking his eyes off the beautiful child.
“Lily?” Sirius said with surprise. “Moony, Harry’s mine.”
Remus looked up, question clearly in his amber eyes.
“Why is everyone finding this so hard to believe?!”
“It’s not that I don’t believe you,” Remus said slowly, trying to think of the right thing to say next. “It’s just. . . surprising, is all. You usually want nothing to do with responsibility, and, well. . .” He indicated the baby. “This is the biggest responsibility you’ll ever have.”
Sirius raised a skeptic eyebrow to his friend’s reasoning.
Changing the subject, Remus asked, “So who’s the mother?”
“Haven’t the foggiest.”
“You mean you don’t know?” Moony questioned indignantly.
“That’s what I just said, wasn’t it?” Sirius stated under his breath, knowing the question was meant to be rhetorical and that his werewolf friend wasn’t done.
“How could you be so shallow as to not even know the name of a woman you slept with?! And knocked up, no less!”
Sirius didn’t feel that the best thing to point out was that most of the woman he couldn’t remember sleeping with he didn’t actually go-to-sleep sleep with. “Well excuse me for not seeing the importance of remembering the name of each of my past girlfriends,” he said, staring pointedly at Remus. “Most of which I doubt I’ll ever be seeing again anyways.”
“Unlike you, Sirius, I don’t sleep with every woman I date. And I hardly classify a woman you had a one night stand with as a girlfriend. But to be fair,” Remus continued, “I’m positive James and Peter remember the names of everyone they’ve ever gone out with.”
Sirius snorted. “Lily’s the only one James ever dated; and as for Wormtail, he couldn’t get a date with a female rat, let alone a human. Unless it was his mother,” he added as an afterthought.
“Hey, Moony,” James said cheerfully, heading down the stairs with Lily behind him.
It had been about two years since the Marauders graduated from Hogwarts, and exactly one year since James and Lily had become Mr. and Mrs.
Although there were no breaks from war, they did what they could to get one on this day.
Lily, entering her sixth month of pregnancy, slowly stood and withdrew her wand when the screaming started. James was instantly at her side, and they, Sirius, Remus, and Peter Pettigrew began working their way through the crowd of battling Death Eaters, Ministry members, and Order members; most civilians watched in horror and fear, screaming for loved ones. The Marauders and Lily threw hexes and spells at Death Eaters as they passed by, but didn’t stay to outright duel in this unforeseen attack.
The five had been unbelievably thrilled when they found out about Lily’s pregnancy, and then and there decided that their primary concern was, and always would be, the baby Lily was carrying. Now, in the middle of a raging battle, they weren’t going to stick around to put Lily and her baby at unnecessary risk.
They were almost out of Diagon Alley when Lord Voldemort showed up.
The Death Eaters continued their onslaught with a renewed vigor, and a well-placed spell from one of them scattered the five-some.
Lily fell to the ground, dropping her wand so her hands could prevent her from falling on her stomach, possibly injuring her unborn child, the child whom they had all felt kick for the first time just a few weeks ago.
Voldemort saw this, and with a sick grin, shot a powerful Cruciatus Curse at the pregnant Mrs. Potter.
Screaming, Lily collapsed completely as hot knives seemed to pierce her flesh over and over, twisting her insides as they plunged in and out of every inch of her skin.
As suddenly as it had begun, it stopped. James had thrown a powerful shield charm in front of her, and although it didn’t last too long, it had done its job.
Voldemort laughed evilly as he turned his attention to James instead. He might have said something, but Lily couldn’t tell; she was in too much pain.
James might have lost the duel, had Remus and Sirius not been able to get to him in time to join in. Peter, on the other hand, knew he would not be as much help as his friends in a duel, and went to aid Lily instead. As carefully as he could, Peter pulled Lily into a sitting position and held her shaking body.
Thankfully for all of them, Dumbledore arrived soon afterwards, and what happened next was a blur of color and sound. Lily almost immediately found herself standing in James’ arms, with blood covering the lower half of her body. As if in a trance, she wiped a hand at it, willing it to disappear. But when the warm, sticky substance colored her hand blood red, she screamed again, shaking uncontrollably.
A look of wide-eyed horror from James, a Portkey from Albus, and the Potters were in St. Mungo’s.
It was soon confirmed to them that the Cruciatus Curse had cost them their baby.
The pain Lily had felt while under the curse now seemed like nothing. She had dropped her wand. If she had kept a tighter hold on it, maybe she could have defended herself. Maybe her baby wouldn’t be. . . Because of her carelessness, her first child would never be born.
It took her a few days to register the truth behind the Healer’s next words: That due to the damage inflicted by Voldemort, the possibility of her conceiving again was ‘highly unlikely’. They way in which it was said, however, gave James reason to believe what the Healer really should have told them was that the possibility was ‘near impossible’.
James didn’t blame Lily, who insisted that she should have fallen on a fist, wand still at hand, rather than on her open palm; neither did anyone else. Only Lily blamed herself.
For the next two years, the Potters had tried for a baby, but it looked like Voldemort’s spell had taken away not only the child they almost had, but also any possible children they might have had.
James never blamed Lily for what happened, and he often told her she had to stop blaming herself. For the first time, she was starting to believe him.
“Lily?” James said, gently brushing a stray piece of fiery hair back off her face. “You alright?”
Lily met his concerned eyes and smiled. “Yeah.” Tossing the pillow aside, she stood up and headed out of the room, James with her.
“Hey, Moony,” James greeted, coming down the stairs to find Sirius in the living room with Remus.
“Hey, Prongs,” Remus said, glancing up from the baby he was holding. “Good to finally see you, Lily.”
“You too, Remus,” she said, placing a hand on his arm and a kiss on his cheek.
“Feeling better?” he prompted.
She nodded. “Much.” Lily released Remus’ arm after giving it a light squeeze and approached Sirius. “Sirius. . . could I speak with you?”
Sirius nodded, feeling his throat begin to dry up. “Yeah. . . yeah, sure.” He glanced at Harry one more time before following her out of the room.
Alone in the kitchen with steaming mugs of tea in front of them, Lily and Sirius said in awkward silence.
“Sirius, I’m sorry.”
Whatever the Animagus had been expecting her say, that hadn’t been it. Lily rarely apologized to anyone; she rarely had reason to. And apologizing now to Sirius Black, no less.
“What I said to you before was out of line. What I’ve seen between you and Harry, even just in these past few hours, was, well. . . shocking. You’re not trying to shy away from your responsibilities with him, you’re living up to them; and you’re taking parenthood more seriously than I’ve ever seen you take anything. I honestly think you’ll make a good dad.” She smiled at him. “I’m proud of you, Sirius.”
Sirius’ expression was nothing short of flabbergasted. Lily Evans-Potter, proud of him?! He could hardly believe it.
Her words slowly sank in. She really thought he’d make a good father! Somehow, those words meant more coming from her than they would have from James. He and James were, in every way that mattered, brothers, and Sirius knew that James would think he’d make a good dad even before he brought Harry over. Or he would at least pretend to think Sirius would be a good father and help him along until he actually was. But Lily, she was almost as critical of him as his pureblood obsessed, Muggle hating mother. Somehow Lily’s, was it actually praise?, renewed Sirius’ belief in himself that he could, and would, raise this child well.
He smiled back. “Thanks,” was what he finally settled on saying, not being able to think of a better response. But Lily understood what hearing those words from her meant to him.
“I’m sorry too,” he finally thought to force out.
But Lily only shook her head. “I had that coming.”
From the living room, Lily and Sirius heard the familiar whoosh! of the fireplace, then James’ voice say, “Look, Wormtail! Padfoot has a kid!”
An excited squeal soon followed, and a chubby man with watery blue eyes poked his head in the kitchen door. “Congratulations, Padfoot!” Peter squeaked.
“Thanks, mate,” Sirius said, realized that that had been the first time any of his friends had said that to him.
Taking the recently burped Harry from his Uncle Moony, Sirius gently rocked him to sleep in his arms, hoping it wasn’t always going to be as hard to have his son out of his sight. It wasn’t that he didn’t truth Prongs and Moony, he trusted them with his life!, but he didn’t trust the Death Eaters. And with the Marauders as high up on Voldemort’s hit list as they were, an attack was always impending.
After all, in the past four months, there had been three attacks on heavily protected houses of Order of the Phoenix members (an organization of which each Marauder and Lily belonged to), and everyone in the houses had been ruthlessly, brutally slaughtered. Sirius wasn’t going to try and fool himself into believing he and Harry wouldn’t be next, not when they very well could be.
Voldemort wouldn’t stop making war until he either won or was defeated, he wouldn’t give his opponents a slight break, even for something as wonderful as Harry; and since the Marauders almost always had to look over their shoulders to stay one step ahead of the Dark Lord (not to mention alive), Harry would, sooner or later, have to learn to follow that habit.
Sirius would take no chances with that maniac killer still on the loose and able to hurt his son.
A/N: Kind of short chapter compared to the others, I know. The next one will be longer. In the next chapter, does anyone want it to be more of when Harry’s still a baby, or should I skip ahead a couple of years? Either way I have no problem with, and I can’t decide.
Oh, and just for clarification (since I’m not sure if it came out the way it was supposed to or not), this is NOT going to be a Lily/anyone-other-than-James fic.
Any questions I may have unknowingly created about this story, please ask. And thanks for all the great reviews, everyone! (If nothing else, they’ve helped me keep interest in writing my own story.)
Next chapter should be up sometime within the next few days, depending on whether it’s the current time or a couple years in the future.
Thanks for reading!
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