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Take Me Down (Make Me Strong) by Aisu Hoshino
Chapter 2 : Chapter II
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1

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Author's Notes: This chapter is a re-post. It was lost a few days ago. If you reviewed the first time, then would you please be kind enough to review again? Thank you.

Ginny, Harry, and Lily spent the next few hours alternating between calmly talking, yelling, and crying together. Harry and Ginny had taken the news harder than she had expected. They were disappointed in her, but most of all they were worried about her. She was so young, and from here on out she was responsible for another life. Furthermore, Lily and the child would always be the subject of gossip and disgraceful looks.

The thing that brought the most disappointment to Harry and Ginny was Lily’s lack of knowledge of who the father was. Or at least, the fact that Lily claimed she didn’t know. Ginny fully believed Lily was lying to them. Harry believed that although Lily probably had a better idea than what she let on, he did believe her on that point.

 As much as he hated to admit it, his daughter did see quite a few boys and partied quite a bit. The latter went along with her fame as a Quidditch player: being the best Seeker the Wimbourne Wasps have had in years made Lily the target of many social invites. Despite this, Harry would have never thought his daughter to be promiscuous.

On the subject of who the child’s father might be, Lily said it could almost be anyone. She often got drunk at the various parties she attended and had no memory of who the father might be.

Harry loved his daughter dearly, but by the time they all decided that a good night’s sleep would do everyone good, he felt very sick to his stomach. The father of his grandchild could be almost anyone in the Wizarding World. A part of Harry felt sorry for the guy and wanted to find out who he was to give him the chance to be in the child’s life if the boy wanted. A part of him thought that the potential father probably would be a horrible one. A part of him was furious at Lily, and a large part of him was furious at himself.

Harry blamed himself for this. Until now, he thought that he was a decent father, but now he began to doubt it. Not only had he failed to instill in Lily a sense of restraint and responsibility, but he also failed to notice that she had fallen too much into a wild lifestyle. On the other hand, he reasoned, Lily was a grown woman. She was responsible for her actions.

When he and Ginny retired to their room, he very much wanted to go straight to sleep and wake up to find he had dreamt it all. Ginny wouldn’t have it.

“So who do you think the father is?” Ginny asked him as soon as they shut the door. Harry, tired, sat down on the bed and sighed heavily. He didn’t want this.

“It could be anyone,” Harry answered truthfully.

“Do you really believe that?” Ginny asked skeptically. Harry shrugged.

“Honestly, I’m sure she has her suspicions on who he is, but that she doesn’t know for sure.” Harry answered.

“That’s ridiculous.” Ginny scoffed.

Harry sighed, not wanting to have this conversation again. “Well, if she does know who he is, then why is she not saying? All this is doing is making her look bad. Why would she willingly do that?” The more Harry thought about it and said the words – more to himself than Ginny – the more he believed Lily’s story.

Ginny looked thoughtful for a moment. “Maybe she wants to raise the child without him.”

Harry looked at his wife skeptically. “That’s insane.”

Ginny rolled her eyes. “No it’s not; it makes perfect sense,” Ginny paused, thinking more about it. “Maybe she knows he wouldn’t make a good father. Maybe she knows he wouldn’t want a baby. Or, maybe it’s someone things went sour with.”

“Who do you have in mind, Gin?” Harry asked, curious.

“Caleb Smith,” Ginny answered simply. “He and Lily were always getting together and breaking up.”

“That was when she went to Hogwarts.” Harry said. “We don’t know that she’s even talked to him since then.

“We don’t know that she hasn’t, either.” Ginny argued. “They were on and off for two straight years. If she saw him somewhere they could have easily hooked up. And Lily knows he wouldn’t react well to a baby with a girl he couldn’t stay with for more than a month or two at a time.”

Harry frowned. He thought – and hoped – his wife was wrong. He had never liked Caleb much, and he could easily see why Lily would keep the baby’s father a secret if Caleb was the father. If Caleb’s immaturity and his tumultuous relationship with Lily weren’t reason enough, then the drama caused by Caleb’s father Zacharias would be. At the same time he doubted Lily would keep her mouth shut about it, since they would all suspect guys they knew she had been with anyway. He was about to make this point when he heard a knock on their bedroom door.

“Come in,” Ginny and Harry said automatically and simultaneously. James walked in and shut the door behind him.

“What is it, dear?” Ginny asked in a tired voice, trying not to sound annoyed at the interruption.

“Well, I was thinking.” James said as he resisted making a joke at the line. Even in a moment he knew was serious, it was hard for him to not crack a joke. “And you know I have my flat – “

“The one you pay for but rarely stay at?” Harry questioned, welcoming the distraction of James and wondering what his eldest child was up to. James smiled.

“Yes, that’s the one.” James replied. “I was thinking that Lily could move in with me for a while. It’d give you two, as well as her, a break to think things through.”

Ginny bit her lip lightly, contemplating the idea. She met Harry’s eyes, but found no objection to the idea in them. She had mixed feelings on the proposal. On the one hand, Lily might need Ginny’s help during the pregnancy. On the other, Lily had managed the first trimester on her own and Ginny could always floo over. Ginny wanted Lily close by to see if she’d break and reveal who the father of the child was, but James could have an easier time finding out that information than she could (she would mention this to him when Harry wasn’t around, she decided). Ginny also knew her own temper well enough to know that some time away from her daughter to think clearly could be a good thing.

“It sounds like a good idea to me.” Ginny said after a few moments of debating in her head. She looked at her husband for a response.

“Same here, but the decision will have to be Lily’s.” Harry said. “Have you mentioned this to her?”

“I will tomorrow.” James answered. Harry eyed him suspiciously; something didn’t seem quite right with James’s proposal, but Harry couldn’t figure out what.

“This is very thoughtful of you,” Harry stated, hoping Ginny didn’t notice the slight accusation in his voice. James shrugged.

“Well, I know you have a lot on your plate right now,” James said. “I mean, first your niece gets engaged to a Malfoy, and now this.” Ginny rolled her eyes at the mention of Rose and Scorpius, but James said good night and left before she could say anything about it.

James passed by his sister on the way to his room. Lily had tears on her face, but she brushed by too quickly for James to console her. He let her go, knowing that she needed her own time to sort through things. After all, that was part of the reason he was offering the spare room at his flat to her, and the only reason he was telling anyone. James only felt a little guilty of his ulterior motives for his invitation. The truth was that he, like his mother, wanted to find out who the father of Lily’s baby was.

He knew that she was lying about not knowing the guy’s identity. While his parents and sister had been arguing, he and Albus had been talking. Albus had believed Lily completely, for the same reasons that Harry did. It seemed plausible given her behavior, and it didn’t make sense for her to lie when it only incriminated her more. James knew that Ginny believed Lily was lying because she didn’t believe her daughter could be that promiscuous and irresponsible.

James held his opinion for different reasons than either his brother or his mother, for neither one of them had a clear view of what Lily would or would not do. Lily had never really exposed herself to them, or at least not the side that they would not approve of. Lily had been friends with Albus but viewed him as innocent. She hid her darker side from him and he took everything she said at face value. Ginny hoped Lily was not as promiscuous or irresponsible as she said, but James knew she had her doubts. Ginny had often turned a blind eye to Lily’s actions in the past.

Although James and Lily had their differences and had never been as close as she and Albus were, he did know her better. When Lily was getting revenge for something or sneaking out or pranking someone, James knew. She never really confided in him exactly – except maybe once or twice – but she trusted him in areas she didn’t the rest of her family. Beyond that, he kept an eye on her – especially where boys were concerned. If anyone knew how far Lily would go or what her limitations were, it was James.

What bothered James was that Lily had told no one of her pregnancy. It hurt him, and he knew from his conversation with Albus that it hurt his brother as well. After reading more into it, he realized that she might not have told because she was either in denial or uncomfortable with the situation (or both).

What puzzled James was Lily’s denial of knowing the father’s identity. The only reason she would do that would be to protect the guy or herself for some reason. He could only think of one person that fit the criteria, and that was Zachary Wood. Lily had had fancied him for a long time, but had avoided a relationship with him. Since he was also a professional Quidditch player – albeit for a different team – they would have plenty of run-ins with one another. Zack was a known player and at the top of his career. Lily wouldn’t want to ruin that for him over what was likely a one-night stand that she regretted.

Of course, the father could be someone else entirely, but James was confident he would find that out. He wouldn’t rest until he did. If nothing else, he would find away to break the curses she placed on her diary. At one time that would have been what James tried first, but now he tried to respect the privacy of others, at least to an extent.

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