The atmosphere in the Potter household could only be described as cheerful. All five members of the family – Harry, Ginny, and their three children – were in the living room chatting animatedly with each other. Well, all except for one, that is.
Lily Potter, though she was in the living room smiling and laughing with the rest of her family, was not truly affected by the joy of the others. She tried to be. One rarely found all of the Potters at the house at the simultaneously anymore, for they were all caught up in their respective jobs most of the time. James was an Auror and Albus was currently in training for the same job, and Lily kept herself busy with her professional Quidditch career – a career which she no longer had.
She had not informed her family of this news yet. The announcement would not please them, but this was not why she found it impossible to relax in their presence. No, she was far too anxious about the other announcement she had to make – the reason why she no longer had a professional Quidditch career. Of course, she had planned the whole conversation completely, but that did not make things any easier.
“So Lil,” James began, a smile on his face leftover from some joke he had just told. “How are things with the Wasps?”
“Good,” Lily replied simply, knots tying in her stomach.
“How confident are you about making the cup next year?” James asked in a slight mocking tone. He was a fan of the Prides and hated the Wimbourne Wasps with a passion. Lily became the target of many pranks for an entire fortnight after she signed with the team.
“I’m sure they will do well,” Lily answered. This would be her opening.
“What do you mean ‘they’?” Ginny questioned, now fully aware that something was not quite right with her daughter. She stared at Lily, awaiting an answer.
“I’m not going to be playing this year,” Lily answered.
The smiles fell from everyone’s faces as Lily’s parents and brothers focused their attentions on her. All now were either concerned or curious expressions or both.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked her, knowing full well he wouldn’t like her answer.
“Just what I said,” Lily answered. “I won’t be playing Quidditch this year.”
“And just why not?” Ginny asked a bit more sharply than she had intended. Lily wasn’t making any sense; she loved Quidditch with a passion. Why would she suddenly quit without giving the family any warning?
“That’s actually something I need to talk to you about,” Lily began, inwardly preparing herself for the worst. In hindsight, she realized she probably should have picked a different way to tell her parents of her current situation. Lily had never been known for her tact. “I’m pregnant.”
She waited for the onslaught of angry voices, but for quite a few seconds none of the Potter’s made a sound. James was the first to break the silence…by laughing - loudly. The others looked back and forth between James and Lily, puzzled.
“Good one, Lil.” he said through his laughter. “You really had us going for a minute.” The others looked at Lily expectantly, hoping James was right in thinking Lily’s statement had been a joke. At the same time, all of them doubted it.
“I’m not joking.” Lily said seriously, bringing James’s laughter to an abrupt halt.
“Well, in that case,” James began as he stood up, brandishing his wand. “Who do I hex?”
Lily had to fight back a laugh at James’s reaction. She loved how James lighten up even the most difficult moments.
“I don’t know who the father is.” Lily answered.
“What!?” Ginny and Harry asked simultaneously. This was the part she had been dreading most.
“I said – “
“We heard you the first time,” Harry cut her off, unable to believe the words his daughter was saying. The whole thing seemed unreal to him. “But how can you not know who the father is?”
“She knows who he is,” Ginny said plainly. “She has to.”
“No, mum, I don’t,” Lily responded.
“How can you not know?” Ginny asked in a shout, unable to believe her daughter had been that foolish or promiscuous.
“I go out with a lot of guys,” Lily answered truthfully.
“Are you saying that you sleep with all of them?” Ginny asked angrily.
“Of course I don’t!” Lily shouted back, hurt at her mother’s suggestion. “But it was three months ago – “
“Three months!?” Ginny and Harry shouted at the same time, both wondering how they hadn’t noticed. If Lily had been pregnant that long, how could she hide it?
“And you’re just now telling us?” James asked, echoing the thoughts of the other three in the room. James was surprised at the hurt the fact caused him. Sure, he and Lily hadn’t exactly been confidants, but he never would have thought she’d keep something this big from him. He glanced at Albus’s face and noticed it held just as much shock as the rest of his family.
“Yes, three months,” Lily replied, feeling guilty for not telling them sooner.
In all honesty, it had taken Lily this long to really get comfortable with the idea. When she first found out she was pregnant, she was distraught and had no clue how she’d be able to handle it. After the shock wore off, she still had no clue how to tell her family, and eventually decided to pick a time when she could tell everyone at once. Although this had occurred a time or two, there was always something else big going on in their lives. Furthermore, it took a while for Lily to fully accept that she was pregnant. Now she had gotten to the point where she embraced it, and (to her surprise) was very much looking forward to being a mother.
Keeping her pregnancy a secret had proven difficult for Lily. Luckily, her morning sickness normally occurred so early that none of the other family members were up. The most difficult thing had been satisfying her very crazy food cravings without others getting suspicious – she had taken to eating alone most of the time.
“I was partying a lot at the time,” Lily continued to explain.
“And you got knocked up by a total stranger!?” Ginny, who was now standing, shouted again.
“Yes,” Lily answered, fighting back tears. She hadn’t expected Ginny to react quite this badly. She had expected more disappointment than anger, and at least a little understanding.
“James, Albus,” Harry spoke to Lily’s brothers. “Why don’t the two of you go to your rooms and let me and your mother talk to Lily alone?”
“I think that’s for the best,” Ginny agreed, calming down slightly thanks to the interruption.
James began to walk out, but looked back for his brother to follow. “You coming, Al?” he asked.
Albus looked back and forth between his parents and Lily, unsure what to do. He knew he should follow James out the door, but he didn’t like the idea of leaving Lily to deal with their parents alone. Yes, their anger was understandable but he still felt Lily needed help and understanding. Shouting at her would change nothing; what was done was done. Ginny and Harry both ended up giving him stares that convinced him to follow James. As he passed by Lily, he paused and gave her a nod, hoping she understood.
Author's Notes: I was going to wait to post this until I had more of it done since I have so many other things going on, but my mind was changed. That being said, do not expect quick or regular updates as I have a horrible track record when it comes to that. Thank y'all for reading, just the same.
The title of this story is taken from the song "Take Me Down" by Alabama. The song has no relation to the story as of yet; it just happened to come on shuffle while I was thinking of what to call this. I do not own the song, just like I do not own Harry Potter.
Write a Review Take Me Down (Make Me Strong): Chapter I