“Why should I have to do it? You’re the one who made things awkward.”
“Do not make me hex you because I will! He won’t even look at me.”
“No sane person would look at you for very long.”
“Confundo!” The spell hit the target perfectly. “There! Take that Mr. I’ve-Got-A-Death-Wish.”
“Wow, I feel all confused now…please help me.”
“I don’t know why I chose that spell. It didn’t change your behavior whatsoever.” She then cast the spell to heal him.
Rachel and Sirius were hanging out in the Potters’ apartment with James, Lily, and Maddie. James and Lily had something to announce to the whole group, but Rachel didn’t want to face Remus. All of last night and all day today, anytime Remus and Rachel were in the same room, Remus left without a single word to anyone. So, Sirius and Rachel were arguing about who would go fetch Remus for this announcement. Finally admitting defeat, Sirius left the apartment with a glare towards Rachel. Clearly he did not like that last statement from his ex.
Satisfied, Rachel joined Maddie on the couch across from the married couple who kept talking quietly. This was clearly big news.
“Do you think something went wrong with the surgery?” Rachel whispered to Maddie.
She shook her head. “If something came up, James would probably still be at St. Mungo’s.” They were quiet for a few seconds before Maddie got an idea. You could practically see a light bulb shining over her head. “Maybe it’s about those tests they mentioned.”
“Wow, I completely forgot about them. Those two were awfully mum about the subject.”
“Well, maybe now that they know the results, they want to tell us as a group.” Maddie gasped. “Maybe Lily’s pregnant!”
Rachel’s eyes widened. “You think so? I mean, they’ve only been married for a few weeks.”
“Some couples do that, you know. I don’t see why, though. They don’t really get the chance to adjust to married life, and all of a sudden there’s a third person in the family.”
“That makes sense,” Rachel agreed, “but Lily has wanted a baby for so long and so badly. I know that she’s only 27, but this is one of her life’s missions. And I think James supports it. He doesn’t say it, but I know he wants a baby.”
The front door opened and closed with Remus and Sirius now in the room. Despite the immediate tension, Sirius announced as he sat down next to Rachel, “Okay, the sixth and final person is here! Let’s get this show on the road.” Remus remained in the kitchen.
Standing up together, James placed an arm around Lily’s shoulders, signaling the okay to say what they wanted to say. In a slightly choked up voice, Lily informed them, “While James was in St. Mungo’s, we decided to get some fertility tests done. James and I both agreed that we wanted to have a baby fairly soon into our marriage, and that it wouldn’t hurt to see if we were both okay.” Lily paused for a moment to recompose herself. “Unfortunately, neither James nor I have the ability to create a baby.”
Sadness and pity struck the hearts of their friends listening to this heartbreaking message, but everyone remained silent so that they could finish.
James picked up, “Our Healer wants us to go in again in a few minutes or so to have a meeting with her. She’ll go over some options with us, and Lily and I will decide what to do about this issue. But we promise that we’ll keep you guys update. You’re our family, and I know you’ll support whatever we choose.”
“Of course we will.” Maddie assured them, and became the first friend to hug James and Lily. Remus, Sirius, and Rachel all followed suit.
By the time Rachel got to Lily, Lily was crying. The two stood there for awhile just hugging each other, and Rachel let her friend release the sadness she was feeling. Once Lily had stopped sniffling, Rachel pulled away and kissed her on the top of her head. “It’ll be fine, honey.” She promised. “You two will figure something out.”
“Oh, I know, Rach.” Lily told her while wiping away her tears. “It’s just devastating, that’s all. You know how much I’ve wanted to carry a baby.”
“Go see your Healer and maybe that can still happen.”
“Good-bye, everyone. We’ll see you later.” James said before Disapparating with his wife.
The couple disappeared with a soft pop and left the remaining people alone in the apartment. “Goodness,” Rachel breathed. “When they said they had an announcement, I didn’t think it would be something like this. Did you know anything about this, Remus?” She was hoping he’d actually respond.
“No, I knew as much as you guys did.” He answered shortly, before turning to leave the apartment. Rachel stood up and called after him, but he slammed the door shut.
Tears were pooling in Rachel’s eyes as she said in a frustrated voice, “That man is too stubborn! I can’t stand him being so…awkward around me. I hate it! This is bullshit!”
Pulling her into a hug, Sirius murmured in her ear, “Shh, it’ll be okay. Just give him time.”
“Hello, James and Lily,” greeted Healer Jones. “Please have a seat.” She offered, leading them to the cushioned chairs in front of her mahogany desk. “I’m sorry that we couldn’t meet under better circumstances, but I’m glad that you have come in to discuss this.”
“I actually have a question before we get too far into this,” Lily informed her. “We’re in the magical world, so isn’t there something you can do to increase our chances of conceiving?”
Healer Jones sighed. “Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do with magic. This is a subject where many Healers are working on some type of solution to this problem, but there haven’t been any breakthroughs. With this, we’ll have to resort to more of the Muggle solutions.”
Grasping his wife’s hand, James consented, “We’re open to any suggestions, Healer Jones.”
Getting out a piece of parchment, Healer Jones put on her glasses and started to read and explain suggestions. “First of all, you can always adopt. It is a long process, and there’s no guarantee, but you never know. But since you have sperm and eggs, I have another suggestion for you to consider: surrogacy.”
“What exactly is that?”
“Basically,” Healer Jones enlightened them, “we’ll take some of your sperm, James, and some of your eggs, Lily, and we’ll mix them together in a Petri dish. Following that, we’ll place the embryos into the uterus of a female of your choice. If the embryos attach, that girl will carry your child. If you go with this option, you’ll obviously need her consent. But this is the procedure I’d recommend for your case.”
Lily was facing an internal and emotional battle. She had dreamed of carrying her own child for her entire life, but she still wanted to have a baby that had the genetics of her and James. She had nothing against adoption, but she wanted to have a baby that had James’s black hair and her green eyes. It was the way she’d always pictured their child.
Suddenly, she came up with an idea. Leaning over, she whispered said idea into James’s ear. He considered it for a few moments before informing Healer Jones, “I think we might have a surrogate. But you’ll have to give us a chance to talk to her.”
“No problem.” Healer Jones smiled. “If you get her consent, please return to the office with her and we’ll go over the procedure in more detail.”
“Thank you for your help.” James said, shaking her hand. Lily also shook her hand before Apparating back to the apartment with James.
Sitting on the couch next to each other, Sirius, Rachel, and Maddie were all watching the Quidditch Channel on the Potters’ television. Their favorite team was England, and they were watching the entire team of players fly around. To be truthful, the game was quite boring. No one has even scored in the first twenty minutes of the game, and the Snitch was nowhere to be found. The front door opened, and James and Lily walked to the back of the couch.
“Ooh, this looks exciting.” James said dully.
“Yeah, it’s been this way for the last twenty minutes.” Sirius agreed. “How’d it go? Did you guys figure out a plan?”
Turning off the television, Lily told them, “Actually, we did come up with an idea. Rachel, we wanted to talk to you about it.”
James and Lily explained to her about the idea of surrogacy, and that was the plan they were hoping to go with so that their child could still have their genes. Utterly confused, Rachel asked them, “Okay, so how does this concern me?”
“Well,” James started, “we only have two females in our life that we would trust enough to carry our child. And even though you’re still our friend, Maddie, we’ve known Rachel for our entire lives. I mean, Lily and Rachel were friends years before Hogwarts. So, we were wondering if you would be our surrogate, Rach.”
For several minutes, Rachel sat there gaping at them with wide eyes that refused to blink. It almost looked like she had died in that position and was preserved that way. Sirius started waving a hand in front of her face. “Rachel? Rachel, snap out of it.” He commanded softly. When she refused to move, he adapted an evil smirk on his face. “She asked for it.” He muttered, and kissed her on the lips. Luckily, this snapped her out of her daze enough to slap him.
“What in the name of Merlin was that?” she yelled. “You’re lucky that your face is still in one piece.”
“It was the only way to snap you out of your weird realm you were stuck in.” he defended.
Rushing forward, Lily placed a hand on Rachel’s shoulder. “Don’t decide now. Please think about it. It’s a big decision, so don’t take it lightly. But please do consider it.”
“Oh, honey, you know I will.” Rachel assured her with a small smile. “It’s just a little overwhelming, that’s all.”
Suddenly exhausted, Rachel stumbled over into her apartment and onto the couch. She didn’t know what to do. Hearing noise and some groaning, Remus walked out of his bedroom and sat down next to her. “What happened?” he asked in a monotone voice.
“James and Lily asked me to be the surrogate for their baby.” She replied in the same tone. “I don’t know what to do. I mean, I want to see them become parents. They’ll be really good parents. But the first time I thought I would have a baby was totally different.”
“How so?” he questioned, starting to stroke her hair as she rested her head on his lap.
“Well, the baby would be mine. I wouldn’t have to give up a baby after I had him or her. I thought I’d be married to the love of my life, and that the baby would be a keeper. That’s the biggest thing holding me back. I can’t imagine how painful it would be to give up a baby that you’ve carried with you for nine months.”
With a comforting sigh, Remus gave her some advice. “You know, the baby won’t be out of your life. I’ll bet you anything that James and Lily will make you the godmother of their child. But you’ll be putting your body through a lot of things like labor, morning sickness, gaining weight, and many more factors.” He paused and looked into her eyes. “I promise you that if you choose to have this baby, I will be there with you the entire time. I know that everyone else will be there too, but I’ll stand beside you the next nine months.”
Practically crying, Rachel gave her friend a bear hug. “Oh, Remus, I’m so glad. Thank you so much for helping me. I think I’m going to tell them yes.”
“That’s really great, Rach.” He told her sincerely. “We’ll be here every step of the way.”
She gave him a gigantic grin, and ran across the hall. When she burst into the apartment, everyone looked away from the television and at her. Rachel jogged over to Lily and James, grabbed one hand of each Potter, and announced excitedly, “I’ll carry your baby.”
“You will?” Lily practically shrieked. Rachel nodded. Rachel then got pulled into a bone-crushing hug. “Oh, thank you so much!”
“Lily, please don’t kill me before I even have the embryos in me.” Rachel choked.
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