Jily Potter and the Time They Learned They were Expecting
In the early hours of the morning, the streets of Godric’s Hollow were almost always deserted. Very occasionally, a stray cat might dip in and out of the shadows, or an owl might swoop overhead. However, most of the time, the streets were still and silent.
That was, of course, before the Potters moved in.
At precisely two-forty-three a.m., James Potter awoke to the impact of an elbow against his jaw and the slam of the bathroom door. He sat up in bed, his dark hair even more askew than normal, and squinted into the darkness.
From the bathroom across the hallway came the unmistakable sound of retching. Strange, James thought, considering his wife’s normal defiant refusal to succumb to sickness. He clambered from the bed and winced as his feet hit the cold floor. It was the middle of October, but already the cool claws of winter were beginning the grasp the air.
He made his way hesitantly towards the bathroom. As he moved, the retching became louder and accompanied the growing volume of uneasiness in his stomach. Lily was never good at accepting defeat in illness, and he was rather afraid of what he might see.
“Lily?” he murmured into the darkness of the hallway, his feet shuffling towards the closed bathroom door. It was hard enough to see without his glasses, but venturing out into the night made him certifiably blind. “Lily, are you okay?"
There was a pause in the retching, and the sound of a muffled groan replied, "Go away."
"Are… you alright?” he tried, ignoring her demand. His fingers trembled slightly as they curled around the doorknob. The door opened slightly as he pushed, letting the blinding light pour into the hallway.
The sight of Lily crouched on the floor, and leaning over the toilet basin, sent him instantly to his knees beside her. His hands reached for her hair, drawing it back from her face.
“Get off of me,” Lily grumbled, swatting his fingers away. “This is your fault!"
She straightened herself a little, reaching the flush the toilet and the evidence of her retching away. Falling back to her knees, she let out a breath.
James’ eyes widened at her flushed scowl. "How is this my fault?"
"It must’ve been that bloody chicken you cooked! I knew it wasn’t cooked properly, I knew it. I should never have let you cook."
Ignoring the stab of childish hurt in his stomach, he replied, "How do you know it was the chicken?"
Lily’s green eyes cut into him like shards of broken glass bottle. At her look, James’ eyebrows shot up and he put his hands up in defense. The red-head simply directed her scowl up at the ceiling, and let out another groan.
"I never get sick.” Concern welled in James’ stomach as he eyed the minute drops of sweat beading on her forehead. “I hate getting sick. Why’d you have to make me sick, Potter?"
Her repetitive complaints continued for the next few minutes, eventually dropping into incoherent murmurs. Lily dropped her head back against the bathroom cabinet, her eyes closed in her frown.
A few soft, stolen moments of silence passed between them, filled with nothing but the sound of Lily’s exhausted breaths. James carefully moved to sit beside her, wary of any blows she may feel the need to throw.
"You can’t keep calling me Potter whenever you’re in a bad mood,” he smiled gently, and gingerly pressed his lips against her shoulder. Lily let out a weak laugh. She lolled her head sideways to rest against his.
“And why not?”
James’ grin widened. “Because, if you recall, we’ve been married for quite a while now, and you need to remember that you’re a Potter too."
She let out a playful sound of disgust, but nestled into her husband nonetheless. Looping her arm through his, she lifted her head and opened her eyes.
"I do recall,” she said softly.
Warmth spread through every one of James’ limbs, a feeling he hadn’t quite grown accustomed to despite it’s presence in the past few years. His lips stretched into a lopsided grin. “That’s very good. Because I’m very good at remembering myself. Like, when I remember to take my shoes off at the door after a raid… or when I remember to run you a bath on Sunday…"
Lily’s eyes fluttered shut again. "Mmm."
"And when I remember to cook you dinner whenever it’s your ‘special time of the month’ because you can never be bothered…” he continued, his free hand stroking through the fiery tendrils of her hair. “Like the chicken the other night. It’s the right time, right?"
"No, it’s–” Lily’s eyes snapped open. They glanced around the room under her furrowed eyebrows, as if she was trying to remember something very, very hard. “It’s late."
"The chicken was?"
She didn’t answer. She pushed herself abruptly up to stand, and quickly began searching in the bathroom cupboard. James watched as she did, bewilderment overwhelming him. What could she possibly be looking for?
Eventually, she seemed to come across what she wanted; a small box labelled ”Granny Anne’s Tell-Tale Potion: deciphers all your conditions and ailments!“ She stared down at it, her fingers trembling.
"What’s that for?” James asked.
It took a moment for her to look at him. Her eyes flicked up, slowly and pointedly, and settled on his own hazel gaze. “I need you to step out for a few minutes."
He frowned at her again. "What?”
“Get out, James. Please."
With another confused frown, he did something rare indeed - as he was told. Lily watched him go, and the moment the door was firmly shut, she sank to sit on the edge of the bath. Fumbling the box onto its other side, she began to read the instructions:
One hair into this brew, you see, The colours will decide how sick you might be, For if you see a scarlet red, You’ll surely be sent straight to bed, But if you see the colour yellow, Your symptoms are mild, your illness quite mellow. And if you see the colour green, An allergic reaction is what it will seem! Or when you see a bright, clear blue, Well, my dear, you’ll be eating for two.
A deep breath fell through her lips. She wasn’t quite sure what the tingling in her stomach was - anticipation, excitement or outright fear. It wouldn’t be such a terrible thing if the potion turned blue, would it? After all, she was a married woman. And James would be a great dad - no, the perfect dad.
But bringing a baby into the world in the middle of a war? Was that fair? Was that sensible? She was barely an adult, and she was out fighting against the Dark Lord, for Merlin’s sake! She had been so precise, so careful, but there was no denying the dates. Lily was organized in every aspect of her life, including every cycle.
The churning in her stomach only grew worse. Her fingers, still shaking, gently uplifted the lid of the box and drew out a small pot of clear liquid. Plastered on the front of it was a cheerful, old woman’s face, with rosy red cheeks and spiralling grey hair. Lily supposed it was to make people feel better, but she only felt worse. She set the pot on the edge of the sink, and carefully unscrewed the lid. Upon opening it, the soft scent of lilac filled the room.
She took another breath. This was it. This a defining moment in her life - in both her and James’ lives - and she still couldn’t decipher how she felt. Plucking a single hair from her head with a sharp tug, she gently moved towards the pot. It was sort of frightening; everything came down to a single movement of her fingers.
The hair dropped and landed with a sizzle into the clear liquid. Lily’s eyes slammed shut, and she simply listened to the sharp, crackling noise that filled the room. Outside, she knew that James was pacing the hallway, with that adorable frustrated look that she had come to love. Once the crackling stopped, her eyes stayed clamped shut and she let the sound of her pounding heart fill her eyes.
James then knocked on the door, making her jolt a little. “Seriously, Lily, what are you doing? I’m getting a little worried.”
Her eyes peeled open, almost reluctantly, at the sound of his voice. “Nothing,” she croaked. “I’ll be out in a minute.”
She moved her gaze ever so slowly to the pot on the sink, the pot that was now a shocking shade of cerulean blue. In that moment, a thousand emotions enveloped her and she found it hard to breathe.
At three o’clock in the morning, on the 16th of October, Lily Potter stared wide-eyed at the pot in front of her. Moving towards it, she glanced at it from every possible angle, making sure that she wasn’t imagining the bottled ocean on her sink top. She didn’t say anything for a minute or two, she just stared.
That was when James decided he would barge into the bathroom.
“Alright, I’ve had enough waiting, Lily,” he said, striding in. “It’s not like you have anything to be embarrassed about. We’re married.”
She didn’t look up at him, she simply kept staring at the bottle of blue.
Eventually, his gaze followed hers and he frowned. “What?” he asked, his voice tight with concern. “Why are you looking at it like it’s something serious?”
Lily pressed her lips together and swallowed.
“Lily,” he urged when she didn’t answer. He moved to her side and gently took her forearms in his hand. “Lily, can you say something so I don’t go mad thinking you’re about to die?” Hazel eyes flicked frantically over her freckled features. “You’re not, are you?”
She shook her head, and made the quietest of sounds, “No.”
James let out a shuddered breath and kept his incredulous look on her, “Then what? What is it?”
“I…” Lily looked up at him, up at her rebellious, toerag of a husband, and let the realization of what was happening crash down onto her. The feeling shook through her, searing through every bone, every muscle and every pore, until trickles of tears began to roll down her flushed cheeks. James’ eyes widened, but before he could ask another paranoid question, she said, “I think we’re going to have a baby.”
And in that moment, James’ face split into the brightest grin Lily had ever seen. Suddenly everything felt a little better. Suddenly everything made a little more sense. It was the beacon in the night sky of doubt that she needed, a warmth that smothered the niggling sensation in her stomach. His hands moved to cup her hot cheeks, and he pressed his forehead against hers.
“Really?” he asked, the excitement of a four year old lighting his hazel eyes. “A real, proper baby?”
That’s when she knew everything was going to be okay. She rolled her eyes. “Of course, a real, proper baby, James. What other kind of baby is there?”
He let out a whoop to which she promptly hushed him, remembering that it was, in fact, nearly half past three o’clock in the morning and that they had neighbours to consider. Not that James cared, of course, but he settled down nonetheless. Still, he couldn’t control his beaming smile.
“A baby,” he said, once his excitement had softened a little and his finger was winding around a lock of Lily’s hair. “Sirius is going to love that.”
“Oh, for the love of Merlin, can you at least wait until the morning until you start planning all the ways you’re going to corrupt our child.”
James’ took her hand and kissed it firmly. “Alright, alright. Come on then, preggers. Bed time.”
With another light scowl, Lily allowed him to push her in direction of the bedroom, feeling suddenly exhausted. Her husband kept his grin behind her, stroking her lower back as they walked. Once the pair of them were in bed, Lily curled up against his side and turned off the light.
“Oh, and Lily?” came James’ voice through the darkness.
She murmured against his chest, “Yes?”
“I told you it wasn’t the chicken.”
Oh dear Merlin, that was so terrible. I’m sorry! But here you go.
I’ve been meaning to do one of these for a while. Here it finally is! Just because I love you all so much, and you have no idea how much you all mean to me. Please don’t be too frightened if we haven’t actually spoken before; my love for you is from afar.
The bottle of Kahlua dropped from her hand as he hoisted her up into his arms. “Put me down,” she slurred half-heartedly, burying herself into his neck anyway. “Oh. You smell good.” Adrian let out a small amused smile, tinged with sadness, knowing that in the morning this would all be over: “Not as good as you, Sage."
I’m not even going to rate you, BECAUSE IT’LL BE LIKE OUTSTANDING X 1000000 AND 10 BECAUSE YOU’RE PERFECT AND I LOVE YOU AND YOU’RE THE BEST WIFEY EVERRRRRRRRRR.