Chapter Three – General
Lily opened her eyes to the sound of crying. A glance to her bedside told her that it was only half past six; she had had a total of six hours sleep. As she forced herself out of bed she supposed that it was getting better, after all she had been up twice the night before.
“I’m coming sweetheart,” she sighed as she pulled on her dressing gown and left her bedroom with a glance back at James. Sleeping soundly, as usual. Lily sometimes wondered whether he feigned sleep to ensure that he was not the one who had to tend to their son. As the crying became quieter next door, she quickly entered his room. Anxiety always overtook her when Harry was quiet as a thousand terrible things which could have happened ran through her mind. She knew that the men were beginning to mock her for this but she was too tired to care.
“Honestly Lily, you get so worked up about the littlest of things!” Sirius told her as he leaned back into the sofa, putting his feet up just before Remus had chance to sit down.
“Move it,” Remus snapped and shoved Sirius’ legs out of the way as he seated himself in the corner of the large sofa.
“Oooh! What’s got your goat?” Sirius demanded, grinning at his friend who didn’t so much as smile.
“Full moon tomorrow, moron,” James informed him as he sat down on the floor next to Harry. His son was gurgling happily as he played with a set of brightly coloured blocks, which occasionally changed shape or colour. “But I agree with Sirius, you worry way too much, darling.”
“I don’t! You don’t worry enough, James Potter!” she told him as she curled up on her chair, watching her son out of the corner of her eye.
“You do, you’re watching him even now, Lils,” Sirius said lightly as he twirled his wand between his fingers and then dropped it. “You’re forever wondering if he’s got the flu or if he’s going to hurt himself…”
“You’ll be putting sunglasses on him soon for fear that the blocks are too bright,” Remus said as he idly transfigured a candle on the table into a small wolf.
“Oh, shut up,” Lily scowled as she flicked her wand, sending the wolf straight at Remus’ face.
As Lily walked through their darkened landing she wondered if she really did worry too much, now that even Remus had taken to adding in his own light insults to their conversations. Still, it had been just before a full moon, he was always short tempered around then.
When she entered Harry’s small room to the side of theirs, Lily was surprised to find that her son was slowly tottering across the floor on shaky legs. She opened her mouth and let out a cry of delight, only to cause Harry to fall over backwards.
“Oh Harry! You’re walking!” she laughed as she bent down towards her small child who was staring up at her with a mixture of shock at his sudden fall and happiness at her presence. Her tiredness forgotten, she knelt down by his side and assisted him back to his feet. She didn’t wonder how he had got out of his cot or how he had managed to get onto his feet in the first place; the child was a quick learner and had been exploring the house in his own fashion for two weeks now.
Lily smiled as Harry stumbled forwards for a few steps towards the door before falling forwards. She leant out and caught him just before he landed on the floor and scooped him into her arms.
“You amazing child you, just wait until I tell your father about this,” she smiled as she picked him up, “he’ll wish he’d been the one to get up this time.”
Lily put Harry back in his cot and kissed his forehead as she left him to sleep but no sooner had she crossed the room to the door, she turned to see that Harry was already climbing out after her. She sighed as she went back towards him, wondering whether Muggle children developed this quickly.
James opened a sleepy eye as his son crawled across his chest and tugged at his overlong hair. Lily smirked as she slid back into bed beside him.
“Thank you for waking me,” he sighed as he leant back into his pillows, “but just because you’re awake doesn’t mean that everyone else has to be as well.” Lily wondered briefly whether he was speaking to her or Harry as he looked at neither of them. His son came to a halt by his head and curled up beside him.
“He was walking,” Lily said quietly and James’ eyes widened as he looked to her and then to Harry.
“No, he can’t have been!” he said, sounding as shocked as he could. “Are you sure?”
“You think I’m hallucinating now?” she asked, intending it to sound cold but she was still too happy from the sight of Harry tottering around the room to really mean it.
“That’s not what I meant,” he sighed, and turned to Harry. “I can’t believe you were walking!” He grinned and Harry smiled sleepily in return as his eyes shut.
“You know you could have got up,” Lily told him as she snuggled back under the covers, James opened his mouth to respond but she cut him off, “although then I wouldn’t have seen him walking so I don’t mind so much.”
“Perhaps I ought to start getting up during the night then,” he yawned and a slight smile touched his lips.
“The kid walks with more skill than you do, Padfoot,” Remus smiled as they watched Harry walking around the room. He seemed to have picked up the skill of turning corners early on and was walking around in circles. Remus, Sirius and Lily sat watching him get dizzier and dizzier as his circle got smaller and smaller until eventually he fell down.
Lily glanced across to Sirius who pulled a face but didn’t comment as he walked over to Harry and helped him back on his feet.
“Where’s Peter today?” Lily asked as she yawned; her lack of sleep was taking its toll on her.
“He’s probably at work,” Remus replied, “although I’ve not heard from him recently.”
“Speaking of work…” Lily began but she didn’t need to continue.
“Not yet,” Remus sighed, “for reasons I’m sure you can fathom.”
“So, can he say anything yet?” Sirius asked Lily as he kept his eyes carefully on Harry who was walking around him in circles.
“No, not so much as a word,” Lily told him. “I hope he says something soon though, if only so that I can teach him to tell James to shut up.”
“Say ‘Sirius’, Harry,” Sirius said to him but Harry merely stared at him and fell over. Sirius reached out to assist him back to his feet again but Harry pushed away his hand and chose to scramble back to his feet by himself.
“I don’t think he likes you, Sirius,” Remus said to him and Sirius looked suitably horrified by the idea.
“I’m sure he does,” Lily told him. “Now one of you come and help me get dinner ready.”
“Have you ever considered getting a job, Sirius?” James asked him as he took his cloak off and hung it up in the hallway.
“That’s code for: ‘I don’t like seeing you when I get in’ Sirius,” Remus told him as he made room for his friend on the sofa next to him. They really needed to do more during the day, he decided. Considering the fact that he and Sirius had spent their afternoon watching Harry trying to run before he could walk and attempting to get words from him he was probably right in that more daily activities were necessary.
“Very well deciphered, Moony,” James grinned at him and Sirius pulled a face. “Where is my darling wife?”
“Your darling wife has retired to bed after Sirius drove her ever so slightly insane, leaving us with your son, who is considerably harder to send over the brinks of madness,” Remus informed him. Between the two of them on the sofa, Harry was playing with a wand he had extracted from Sirius’ pocket. He gave it an experimental wave and streams of bubbles erupted from the end.
“No, that’s mine!” Sirius took his wand back from Harry who put up a good fight for the piece of wood even as more bubbles filled the room. It took a joint effort of Remus pulling Harry onto his knees and Sirius pulling his wand away from the child to finally regain possession.
“Look on the bright side,” Remus told James, “it could have been a lot worse.” On his lap, Harry was reaching out for any bubbles which came near him, taking delight in popping them and trying to eat them. He had yet to manage the latter but he was quickly removing the bubbles from their part of the room whilst James tried to get rid of the rest.
“He could have set the whole room alight,” Sirius said lightly as he popped a few of the bubbles himself.
“Just because all your accidental magic involved fire doesn’t mean that everyone else’s does,” James said to him as he gave up and threw himself down into a chair by the fireplace.
“You look exhausted.” Remus noted the shadows under his eyes as the firelight danced across his face.
“He’s peaceful now,” Sirius snorted as James motioned at Harry who had just filled the room with bubbles after stealing his wand, “but he wakes up every single night about three times.” He yawned.
“Lily was saying that he almost slept through the night last night,” Sirius said and James smiled.
“I know,” he answered dully and leant his head against the side of the chair, “but she’s not the one who gets up most of the time.”
They nodded in understanding and glanced towards Harry. The young child who seemed so intent of depriving his parents of sleep was curled up against Remus dozing himself.
“Anyway, it’s late so we’ll be going now,” Remus said and glanced at Sirius. It was a look which said ‘just leave without a fuss and let them sleep’. James smiled at his friends as he took Harry from Remus without waking him.
“I presume you’ll both be here tomorrow when I return home,” James said and they nodded; things never seemed to change around Godric’s Hollow. “Night.”
They echoed his parting as they stepped through the fireplace and to their own homes.
“Come on kiddo, let’s get you to bed.” He dimmed the lights with a flick of his wand and left the room.
A wail filled the house of the Potters and in the space of a second, James had opened an eye, cast a silencing charm over the room and resigned himself to another painfully early morning. He swung himself out of bed and glanced back at his wife. Lily was still sleeping like an angel, although James doubted that any angels snored, even lightly.
He pulled on his dressing gown and padded silently out of their room, not bothering to flick on a light in the house he knew in the dark, as he was proving and quite well. Well, he thought that he was until he cracked his foot on the door frame of Harry’s room for the third time that week. Seeing as it was only Monday, that was quite an achievement and he mentally reminded himself to turn on the lights in the future.
A series of gurgles met his ears as he walked into the room and saw Harry staggering round and round. He was clearly trying to get to the door but he appeared to have forgotten how not to walk in circles. James smiled at the sight of his son walking. It was the second night he had walked in to see him happily making his own way around, not that he would ever tell Lily that he had seen him walking first; it would break her heart to know otherwise and she had been so happy the morning before.
“Come on Harry, just go back to sleep, please.” He had tried pleading with his son too many times but it was as if he didn’t understand a word he was saying. James would be very glad when Harry could actually sleep through the night. He tucked him back up in bed but, as Lily had found the previous night, Harry was becoming rather partial to midnight wanderings. James sighed.
Well if I have to be awake then Lily can join me, he finally decided and carried his son back to bed with him. He was less than pleased to discover that the moment he and Harry had returned to bed with Lily, Harry went straight back to sleep. James seriously contemplated prodding Lily in the face to wake her up and then pretending that Harry did it but in the end he decided against it. She had had a long day, just as they all had, and she deserved some sleep, especially since they were both likely to wake when Harry did at the crack of dawn.
James yawned as he curled back up in bed. Another day was beginning but he didn’t fancy facing it just yet, they were all the same anyway… Little did he know that he would have very little time until things got rather more interesting; as much as James craved a more interesting life, he wasn’t aware that he wouldn’t like it when he got what he wanted.
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