Chapter 16 : A Day in the Life
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James Potter never thought it would come to this. He never thought his family would have to hide from a man that absolutely wanted them dead. But Voldemort really didn’t seem to want Lily and him, he wanted their son and that’s what was really scary. James would do anything for his son, even if it meant dropping off the face of the earth. But it didn’t mean he wasn’t completely and utterly bored.
Their routine was very simple. There were no jobs, no missions, no parties, no nothing. Just a family of three, living day to day. This was not okay, according to James. He had thought about going on an adventure as Prongs, but he just couldn’t take the chance. He had two other people to think about. That alone, was something very different for James.
James Potter, the arrogant toerag that would carry a snitch around at Hogwarts, even though he wasn’t even the seeker. James Potter, the git that would tirelessly tease any unsuspecting victim at a whim. James Potter, the delinquent that became an illegal animagus, made a secret map of Hogwarts, frequently emptied the kitchens, harassed the ghosts and made himself a record of having the most detentions during his seven years of school, was now a loving and caring husband and father. Nobody was more shocked than James.
Harry had turned one last week and neither Lily or James could believe it. Everything was so different last year. But Harry had changed the most. He was walking (kind of) and talking (barely) but his personality was really just coming to light. He was a funny kid and smart to boot. He was almost identical to James but seemed to have picked up a lot of traits from Lily. He was almost always happy and so content with his life. But he was a little mischievous. He had gotten a hold of James’s wand the week prior and almost did some serious damage. Lily almost had James’s head for that one. James loved when Harry’s magic showed through. Harry would become so fascinated with himself that James and Lily couldn’t help but be entertained.
They knew their son wasn’t going to be an ordinary kid. Why would the Dark Lord want him if he were just ordinary? Not that there’s anything wrong with being average, at least according to Lily. There was so much they wanted to teach him and show him about the world he was going to live in. A world many dream about, but a world that could get them all killed.
This was all Harry said for the past week.
“Da! Broom!” Harry exclaimed and pulled on James’s pant leg to get his attention.
“Lily?” James called to his wife, who was in the next room.
She didn’t respond but walked into the room to see what was needed.
“He wants the broom. What’s the verdict?”
“James, he nearly flew himself into the fire last time. He just goes so fast on it,” Lily said, her forehead creased with worry.
“Let me take him outside.”
“No, he could try to fly away, then what? It could blow everything.”
“What if I make a barrier outside? Nobody will see us and he can’t get out. Look at this face Lily. Don’t make me say no to him,” James said and picked Harry up.
James held Harry and front of Lily and she couldn’t resist smiling at her son. She grabbed him from James and held him close. He had his father’s charm.
“Alright. I guess he can fly for a little bit.”
Harry was a natural on the broom and it made James beam with pride. He couldn’t wait until Harry went to Hogwarts and be eligible to play quidditch. He could see his son being Gryffindor Quidditch Captain and Head Boy, just as he was and he would score E’s on his OWLs and NEWTs because he’ll be just as smart as his mother. It was one of James’s favorite hobbies to dream about what his son would be like in the years to come. He couldn’t wait to see what would actually happen.
The more James thought about Hogwarts, the more he thought about Shay. In her last letter she told James and Lily she was getting ready to move to Hogwarts for the school year. James thought making Shay the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor was one of the most brilliant things Dumbledore had ever done. There was never somebody so perfect for the job, besides Albus Dumbledore himself. He hoped Shay would love the job and teach there forever so Harry could have her as a teacher, not that she wouldn’t teach him everything he needed to know when the time came.
That was the great thing about having such close friends. It was an automatic family for Harry. James was an only child and Petunia wanted nothing to do with Lily, so Harry didn’t have much of an extended family besides Sirius, Shay, Remus and Peter. But having such close friends made this whole hiding situation much harder. Lily cried a lot when they first went into hiding. Shay had just come back and Lily didn’t want to leave her so soon and both Lily and James were worried about the turmoil between Sirius and Remus. James often wondered if he was going to have much of a group of friends when he got back to reality and that mad him extremely sad.
He remembered the days where it was just the Marauders. Days before girls were prevalent and the Dark Lord rising was just whispers of conspiracy. Life was so simple. James still remembered the day that he was sorted into Gryffindor and realized that the boys he was sorted with, he would be friends with them forever. He just wished some of his other friends felt the same way.
James watched Harry fly around in circles. He had great form for being so young in life. Harry was ecstatic with himself. He only fell off once and didn’t miss a beat when he did. Once again, James knew his son was meant for greatness. James saw Lily watching them out of the corner of his eye. She was looking out the window with her arms folded around herself. James could tell she was trying to be calm. James knew her biggest fear was losing Harry. She had nightmares all the time. The two of them saw what losing Cillian did to Sirius and Shay. James couldn’t stomach thinking about it but he knew it would be Lily’s demise.
He waved his wife outside. He felt the sudden need to embrace her. He watched her debate then move towards the door. She glistened in the sun. James was always enthralled by Lily’s beauty. A lot of boys had been at Hogwarts. That’s part of the reason he was such a prick. Nobody wanted to mess with James, so only a few brave souls dared to court Lily Evans. She had the skin of a porcelain doll. Her hair was thick, wavy and a deep, deep red. Her eyes were the color of the world’s most perfect emerald stone. Even though James loved the way his wife looked but if she lost it all the next day, he would love her no less.
“How’s he doing?” Lily asked as she cautiously approached her family.
“He’s a pro. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get him off this thing,” James said with a smile and reached for Lily.
He pulled her towards himself and she rested her ear right over his heart.
“I’m feeling nervous about today,” Lily whispered.
Lily had a lot of these feelings. None of them turned out to be true but James understood where they came from.
“Lils, we’re allowed to enjoy the weather. Another ten minutes out here and we’ll go back inside. You need to remember that we’re in the safest place we can be right now.”
“I know James. I just can’t help it. We’ve been gone for six months now and nothing has changed. It’s just…it’s just one of those days,” Lily said and looked up at James with a weak smile.
“I’m sorry you feel so rotten today. You know if I could fix it, I would in a second. We just have to remember who we’re doing this for.”
Lily just nodded her head and stepped away.
“I think it’s time for you two to come inside. I’m going to start lunch.”
Harry definitely didn’t want to come inside. He had his mother’s temper when he wanted to. But James felt for Harry. He never wanted to get off of his broom either.
“Broom?” Harry asked with a pout.
“Later kiddo. It’s time for lunch,” James responded and locked the door behind him.
After lunch, Lily put Harry down for a nap. This gave James a chance to clean up before Lily came back. He enjoyed doing little things to make her life easier. Lily, coming from a muggle family, didn’t believe in house elves. James grew up with a pair of them, Pokey and Pinky, and they were part of the family. Lily always told him that she liked the busy work and it would help him learn some more responsibility.
James completely finished the kitchen and was wondering what was taking Lily so long. Harry never missed a nap. James walked down the hall and heard Lily sniffling. This happened every so often. Lily would let the situation get the best of her. James would usually find her sitting in the rocking chair, watching over Harry and silently crying. It absolutely tore him apart.
“Hey,” James said softly.
Lily wiped her eyes and looked up at him. She didn’t even attempt to smile.
“Come on. I have something that will make you feel better,” James said and offered his hand to her.
James guided her into the living room and went to the record player. Lily had an amazing collection of muggle records that James grew to really enjoy.
“Oh James, I don’t know if I’m in the mood,” Lily said.
“You’re always in the mood for music, Lily. You’re addicted to these records,” James said and found what he was looking for.
Lily looked uncomfortable standing in the middle of the living room but smiled a little at James’s persistence.
The song started to play and James practically swept Lily up. They held close to each other and swayed in sync with the music.
“I love these moments,” Lily said.
“I love all of our moments,” James said and kissed her on the forehead.
“I’m sorry for being so down today. These days I can’t seem to help it.”
“Lils, I would never be mad at you for that. You’re allowed to be sad or mad or even happy. We still need to live our lives because neither of us know what will happen tomorrow.”
“I couldn’t do this without you,” Lily said softly.
“The feeling is mutual, love.”
For the second time that day, Lily rested her head over James’s heart.
“I want to sing for you,” James said, trying to lighten the mood.
“Oh no. Not with that voice of yours,” Lily said with her first genuine smile of the day.
“I’m appalled. You’re supposed to support me in all of my endeavors. And I have the voice of an angel.”
“Yea, the angel of death,” Lily said and James had to laugh.
“Baby I’m amazed at the way you’re with me all the time,” James began to sing and Lily buried her head in embarrassment.
“Maybe I’m afraid of the way I leave you,” James continued even louder.
“Baby I’m amazed at the way you help me sing my song,” James egged her on.
“I’m not going to sing with you,” Lily said with a laugh.
“You right me when I’m wrong,”
“Well, that’s true,” Lily countered.
“Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you,” James finished and kissed her softly.
Lily melted in his arms.
“James Potter, I really, truly am deeply in love with you,” Lily said and felt like crying tears of joy.
“Well I hope so because Lily, I always have and always will, love you.”
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