Chapter 1 : My Best Friend
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“Hello.” I say, smiling. I haven’t stopped smiling since I woke up this morning.
“Hey.” He replies, going back to a magazine he’s reading. I realize it’s a Quidditch magazine.
“You like Quidditch?” I ask. He nods and we begin an animated discussion that lasts the entire train ride. Even after he says his entire family have been Slytherins, I don’t care. I know I’ve just found a friend for life.
“Come on Lily!” I say, taunting the redhead. Her green eyes glint dangerously.
“I will not go out with you!” She shouts back. It hurts and Sirius sees that.
“Come on Prongs, she’s not worth your attention.” He says turning away.
“Of course she’s worth it!” I reply incredulously. “Lily’s worth it all!” I don’t see Sirius’ face but I hear his reply.
“She’s just going to keep saying no and cursing you James. She’s not worth the aggravation.” I punch him.
“Lily’s worth every hex, every glare and every no! Because even if she says no, I’ll keep on trying because she’s too special just to give up on.” I say angrily, watching Sirius wipe the blood from his nose.
“I am?” I turn and see Lily standing behind us, her eyes glistening.
“Of course. You’re worth it all Lily.” I mumble. She walks towards me and puts her lips on mine. I slide my arms around her waist and pull her closer.
“I’ll just be going then.” I detangle myself from Lily and look over at a grinning Sirius. I realize his plan and apparently so do Lily as I hear her mutter under her breath.
I grin back at Sirius. “Padfoot you dog.” I say. He winks.
“The one and only.”
This is it. The day my life changes forever.
I stare at my reflection in the mirror and anxiously re-adjust my tie. In the next room stands by wife-to-be, in her white gown. I haven’t seen it but I know she’ll look beautiful. She always does. Her red hair will cascade down her back in perfect curls. Her emerald eyes will shine like beacons, and her porcelain skin will glow.
I look at myself and realize I’m a nervous wreck. My dark hair refuses to lie flat, and my skin is slick with sweat. My circular glasses are slightly crooked, due to the fact they keep sliding down the bridge of my nose. I glance down to find my hand trembling so I clasp it tightly with the other.
This is my wedding day, so why don’t I feel happy? Why am I so nervous about giving myself totally to the woman I’ve loved since I was eleven?
My throat starts to close up, and the butterflies in my stomach turn to wild animals, trying to claw their way out. The dull throb in my temple starts to increase, pounding in my ears. I try to breathe but find my airways closed.
I have to get out.
I scramble to the door and burst out into the hallway. With the world beginning to spin and colours fading into one another, I head for the fire escape. I brush past someone and am almost knocked off my feet.
“Steady on James.” The figure says, steading himself. “Where you headed? The service starts in ten minutes.”
“Air” I manage to gasp, before I continue to stumble in the direction of the fire escape. I push on the bar and the door opens to reveal a dense wood. I walk the short distance to the forest and am soon immersed in thick pine trees. I ignore the branches that persistently attack my face and continue to the familiar clearing that lies deep within the wood.
Once I’ve reached the clearing, I sit down on a log. I take a few deep breaths and steady my shaking body. Then, I begin to assess my situation. I don’t think I’m able to get married. Did we rush things? Is this really the smartest time to have a wedding? We’re in the midst of a war, who knows what’ll happen. Tomorrow we could both be dead, so what’s the point?
“Prongs,” a concerned voice sounds from the edge of the clearing. I look up to see Sirius Black, my Best Man striding towards me. His carefully combed hair needed cutting, and his once proud face was looking worn and tired. Never the less he looked happy.
“What are you doing here? You’re about to get married!” He asks, his grin beginning to fade. I shake my head.
“I can’t do it.” I croak, looking down. Sirius sits next to me.
“What do you mean? You love Lily right?” I nod. “Then you can do it.” He says as if it’s the simplest thing in the world.
“It’s not that easy.” I reply still staring at my shoes. We sit in silence for a few minutes.
“Are we rushing into things?” I cannot help but ask. Sirius’ brow creases.
“Not really, but you don’t have the luxury of taking things slow do you?” He replies.
“What do you mean?”
“Well who knows what tomorrow will bring? This could be our last day together so wouldn’t you prefer to die, married to Lily?” He raises my doubts.
“I suppose.” I mumble, unsure of what to say. I run a hand nervously through my hair, making it stick up worse.
“Listen you know you’re my best friend right?” I nod.
“And I will support you no matter what,” I nod again.
“So if you think you can live without Lily, then don’t get married and I’ll go in there and cover for you.” He finishes solemnly.
“But if you don’t marry her, you’ll be missing out on a great thing. Lily’s the best girl I know, and I think you guys would have a great life together.”
I think about all the years it has taken me to win over Lily, all the hard work and hurt feelings. And I realize Padfoot has been there for me since the beginning.
I suddenly throw my arms around him and abandon all hopes for a manly hug, by squeezing him tight. He puts his arms round me as well and I pour everything I want to say into that hug.
“Thank you.” I say, releasing him.
“Always being there.” I reply. “For being my friend, my fellow prankster and Marauder and for being the best brother anyone could ask for.”
“We’re getting a little cheesy now aren’t we?” He grins.
I shrug. “I also want to thank you for being my Best Man. I suppose without you I wouldn’t be about to marry the love of my life.” Sirius puffs out his chest.
“No one better was there.” He jokes. I glance down at my watch and gulp.
“Dude, I’m about to be late for my own wedding.”
“James, I’m pregnant.”
I feel my mouth go dry and my stomach drop.
Lily tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and gingerly brushes her stomach. The stomach which is now carrying our baby. She looks hesitant and waits for my reaction but I’m too shocked to give one. I stand frozen for a few minutes before I smile. No, I beam and envelope her in her a hug.
“That’s fantastic!” I say, overjoyed.
“Really?” She asks nervously. “You’re okay?” I pull back and nod. Lily appears to breathe a sigh of relief and grins with me.
“Are you?” I reply.
“Absolutely!” She squeals.
“I’m going to talk to Padfoot.” I say, turning around three times on the spot and landing in Sirius’ front room.
“Padfoot!” I yell, settling myself on the sofa. He walks into the room and grins.
“What are you doing here?” He asks.
“We’re having a baby! Well Lily’s having the baby bu-”
“Lily’s pregnant?” I nod happily. He claps his hands together in excitement.
“So how are you feeling about this? It’s all rather sudden.” He says, looking at me in concern. I shrug.
“A little scared I suppose, I mean it’s a baby. A real living thing!” I reply anxiously, wringing my hands.
“Well it’s perfectly normal to be worried, this is going to be a major change. But I imagine a change for the better.” He answers smiling.
“When did you get so wise?” I ask, shoving him jokingly.
“When I found out I was going to be a Godfather.” Sirius says, winking at me.
“Who says I’ll make you Godfather? I might decide Peter would do a better job.” I joke. He pretends to look offended.
“Yeah if you want that baby either dead or learning how to burrow through walls.”
“Sirius, Lily’s gone into labour! Get down here!” I yell at my mirror. Sirius’ face appears and he looks slightly panicked.
“Okay, on my way Prongs!” He shouts back and then he’s gone from view. I pace anxiously back and forth, as I’m not allowed in the ward. I hear shouts and a great deal of cursing, and I figure it’s Lily. She’s always been a loud one.
Suddenly I see Padfoot hurrying towards me, down the white corridor. He reaches me and gives me a one-armed hug.
“Where are the others?” He asks, looking around for the remaining Marauders.
“It’s a full moon tonight and I couldn’t get hold of Peter.” I reply, looking anxiously at the door.
“How long has she been in there?” Sirius diverts my attention from the door. I bite the inside of my lip in worry.
“Three hours. It was just contractions at first but then the baby started coming out about five minutes ago and they kicked me out.” I explain.
“Why’d they kick you out?” He grins.
I looked down at the floor. “I started panicking and shouting when I saw the head.” I mutter embarrassedly.
A healer sticks her head out of the door. “Mr Potter?” She looks at me. I nod slowly. “It’s a boy.”
I feel the grin spread across my face and I look at Sirius to see it mirrored. We both sprint into the ward and over to Lily’s bed. Behind the curtains, my beautiful redhead and my beautiful baby lie absolutely exhausted. I creep over and stroke her hair, unable to tear my eyes away from my boy. He has a patch of dark hair and I can see he has his mother’s eyes.
Lily opens her tired eyes and smiles at me. “Do you want to hold him?” She whispers. I nod and cautiously take him from her arms and settle him in mine.
“He’s perfect.” I whisper back, tucking the blanket he’s wrapped in closer to his tiny body. I look up and see Sirius standing at the foot of the bed, staring at our baby. “What do you think Padfoot?”
He grins. “I think he’s bloody brilliant.”
“Harry.” Lily says. We look at her in confusion.
“His name you idiot.” She replies. “Harry Potter.
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