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MONTH FOUR

Lily was standing at the foot of the bed, sorting through her clothes and deciding which ones she wanted to keep when James popped into their bedroom. So far, the keep pile was much larger than the discard pile, but he couldn’t say that he was too surprised by this; Lily had always been weirdly sentimental when it came to her clothes.

“Padfoot’s here,” he announced, holding onto the door jamb, “so we’ll be leaving soon.”

“Is Remus meeting you at the house?” Lily asked, not looking up from her intense inspection of the two jumpers on the bed. The grey one was old and had a hole in the cuff so large she could poke her thumb through it, but it wasn’t itchy like the blue one. But the blue one complimented her skin tone…she sighed. She hated making decisions.

Noticing his wife’s dilemma, James decided to offer up his opinion. “I like the grey one better.”

She turned her head and smiled at him. “Thanks, honey.” Then she picked up the blue one and tossed it on the top of the keep pile.

“What the - I said I like the grey one!

Tilting her head back, Lily laughed. “Which is precisely why I chose the blue.”

“But the blue one is itchy,” complained James, his nose wrinkled in distaste.

“It’s not like you’re the one wearing it.”

“Yeah, but I’m the one who has to hug you when you wear it.”

He was barely able to dodge the shoe she threw at him. Thankfully, though, his position in the doorway enabled him to duck behind the wall before the projectile could hit him in the face.

“Oi!”

Lily placed her hands on her hips, her eyes narrowing at the lanky man in the doorway. “Don’t you have boxes to move?”

“Don’t you have clothes to sort?” James shot back, a fresh smirk on his lips.

She lifted her hand threateningly. “Don’t tempt me. I will throw it.”

It was James’ turn to laugh. “No you won’t.”

Lily cocked an eyebrow. “You want to place a bet on that, Potter?”

Rolling his eyes, the man in question strode into the room, closing the gap between them in a matter of three footsteps. He snatched the shoe out of her hand before she could even protest and tossed it to the floor.

“Cheater,” grumbled Lily as she resumed her sorting.

“You love me and you know it,” James said in a sing-song voice. When she scowled at him, he dropped a quick kiss on her forehead and retreated. “I’ll be back later.”

“Don’t be too awful late,” Lily said as he backed out of the room into the hall.

“I won’t,” promised James, another smile touching the corners of his mouth as he disappeared from sight.

“And don’t break anything!” Lily called after him.

There was some indistinct chatter (Sirius was probably taking the mickey out of James as he tended to do when their marriage was concerned), a loud bark of laughter (again, Sirius) and finally the sound of the door being unlocked and pulled open.

“I mean it, James, don’t break anything!”

“I love you, too, dear! Bye!”

The door slamming shut reverberated through the small flat. To most, the sound of a door slamming would have been disheartening, but it wasn’t for Lily. In fact, it brought a smile to her face as she continued sorting through her clothes, all the while wondering what she had done to deserve a husband like James.

* * *


Halfway through her clothes sorting, Lily decided the task was too difficult and went on to tackle something far less gruelling. She was almost ninety percent sure that James had lied to her when he said he’d cleaned out his wardrobe and sure enough, when she opened the door, a large pile of dirty robes, shirts, jeans, underwear, and socks poured out and spilled on the floor.

She rolled her eyes. “James,” she growled under her breath, kicking the fallen clothes aside rather than picking them up. Her stomach might not have been huge yet, but already it was becoming more difficult than she remembered it being to bend down and pick something up. Considering she was only four months along, she couldn’t imagine what it would be when she was nearing the due date.

In all honesty, she couldn’t say that she was truly angry with him as she had expected it. After all, he had averted his eyes and did that thing with the hem of his shirt that he always did when he lied to her, which, admittedly, wasn’t very often at all. At least not about serious things. When it came to housework, however, he had a penchant for telling fibs. If she didn’t know that just about every other male on the face of the planet did the same thing, she would’ve kicked him where it counted, but she did and as begrudged as she was to admit it, she couldn’t be mad at him over something so trivial. Not when he had played a part in making the biggest gift, the greatest joy, of her life.

Unconsciously, she placed her hand on the soft swell of her stomach as she dug through the rest of the contents of his wardrobe, which consisted mostly of clean clothes and old, but beloved Quidditch gear. There were some things about her husband that she would never understand and his unreasonable attachment to his Quidditch gear from Hogwarts was one of them. He hadn’t fit into any of his kit since sixth year, yet he insisted on keeping them, saying that perhaps one day, their son (or daughter) would be able to wear it, too. It was only because of the glossy, hopeful glint in his eyes that she had agreed; space was limited in their flat, but if it meant so much to him, she would let him have it.

It was when she was rummaging through the stack of leather chest protectors and goggles with broken straps that she found the bag. It was a plain white bag with bright blue letters that exclaimed: Quality Quidditch Supply - your one-stop-shop for everything Quidditch, every day!

Lily sighed loudly, tempted to pinch the bridge of her nose and everything, but somehow she refrained. It was stupid to get angry over a simple bag, and the fact James wasn’t here for her to yell at was also stupid. It was no use being angry if she didn’t have James to take her anger out on. Luckily, he was used to it (he had put up with it for nearly six years) and even seemed to enjoy it, otherwise she was pretty sure he would’ve divorced her by now. What he could’ve possibly bought was beyond her, so she was going to do what she did best and nose around a bit to find out. It wasn’t like he would notice, anyway.

Grabbing the bag, she crossed to the bed, pushed some undecided clothes aside, and upturned the bag, its contents tumbling out onto the plain blue bedspread. There were several small parcels wrapped in brown paper as well as the newest copies of James’ favourite Quidditch publication. Naturally, she ignored the magazine and picked up the first of the wrapped parcels, which was surprisingly light in her hand.

She frowned and, without a moment’s reconsideration, began to unwrap the curious thing. Almost as soon as she saw the small yellow and black striped onesie that said “Attractive People Support Wimbourne” in hand-stitched lettering, tears began to well in Lily’s eyes, but only after she chuckled at the slogan. She wasn’t sure why she was on the brink of tears, either: She and James had bought more than their fair share of things for the baby, but this…for some reason, this meant more than the other things had.

A lot more.

Finding herself weak in the knees, Lily sat on the bed, holding the small onesie (which had a matching cap) in her hands and started to cry. She wasn’t sobbing, but it was a steady stream of tears rolling down her cheeks. Her fingers traced the delicate lettering for a bit until, her curiosity getting the better of her, Lily wanted to see what else James had bought.

This time, she wasn’t so careful in her unwrapping of the parcels; she tore the paper and tossed it to the floor. There were several more outfits, but unlike the first, which could be worn by either a boy or a girl, they were all for boys: Little tee shirts with broomsticks and Bludgers; tiny socks embroidered in Snitches and Quaffles; there was even a small scarf with a Wasp stitched at each end.

Lily’s frown deepened. There wasn’t a single thing meant to be worn by a little girl, save for the unisex onesie she’d just unwrapped. Was James so repulsed by the idea of their baby being a girl that he couldn’t even buy clothes for her? That he wouldn’t do it?

Her tears turned to sobs and, her hormones swelling, she dropped her head in her hands and cried her heart out. Her shoulders shook and her nose ran, and when the snot became too much, she wiped her nose on one of the tiny shirts, just to spite her husband and his sexist ways. It was so archaic of him to want a son so badly. It was so - so - medieval of him!

Just as her anger started to brew, she heard the front door open and her husband call out, “Lily?”

She didn’t respond, just kept crying.

Apparently, she was crying so loudly that James was able to hear her as he made it back to their bedroom in record time. “Oh, Lily!” he exclaimed once he caught sight of his sobbing, pregnant wife. He rushed over to her side, but before he could get within a few feet of her, she looked up at him.

The colour drained away from his face. She was livid.

“W-what’s wrong?” he asked, quite unwisely.

“What’s wrong?” she parroted nastily. “What’s wrong?“ Leaping down from the bed with surprising dexterity, she charged at him, backing him into his wardrobe by swatting at him with a small piece of clothing. “You’re a bloody archaic sexist who has no sense in fashion and I JUST BLOODY HATE YOU!”

“I’m not sexist!” James exclaimed as he prevented all of her blows from landing.

“You’re not, are you? Then explain this!” She thrust a small red shirt under his nose. “And those!” She threw her arm out dramatically, pointing to the tiny pile of baby clothing scattered across the bed.

Again, all of his blood rushed away from his face.

Shit. He hadn’t meant for her to find those. He didn’t think she would go through his wardrobe, especially when he had told her he had already cleaned it out.

Of course, he was a rubbish liar and she knew that, so why he had been so naïve was beyond him.

James sighed, his hand leaping to his hair to push it out of his eyes. “Lily, it’s not what it looks like.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. Because it’s pretty bleeding obvious, if you ask me!” Lily shouted, gesturing wildly with her hands. Wiping her nose, she continued, her voice increasing in volume, “I get it that every man wants a son, but are you really so opposed to a daughter that you won’t even buy her one thing?”

“What?” James scoffed. “Of course not, Lily! I think that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard you say, aside from Snape being a decent person!”

“Then why did you only buy boys’ clothes?” Her voice cracked, her anger giving way to tears again. Once again, she dropped her head in her hands as her body shook with sobs. She turned away from James.

Again he sighed, placing a hand on either of her shoulders and spinning her round to face him. She tried to turn away, but he pulled her to him and held her so tightly in her arms, it was impossible for her to do anything but sob into his shirt. He held her until her sobs turned to sniffles and only let go when she muttered a threat to blow her nose into his shirt. He may have loved his wife more than the sun loves the day and the moon loves the night, but he couldn’t handle snot.

Lily wiped her nose on her sleeve and looked up at James, her eyes red and blotchy and terribly bloodshot. She repeated her question.

“Because all of the girls’ clothes were hideous,” explained James in a tone that suggested it was the most obvious thing on the planet.

“Hideous?”

“Yeah,” James said with a nod. “The Wasps onesie, I think it’s called, was the only cute thing in there. Well,” he added, a smile on his lips, “at least by your standards. That is where I bought your blue jumper.”

Too wound up to laugh, Lily leaned her forehead against his chest and expelled a small breath of relief. “Oh, thank Merlin,” she said, tracing a heart to match the one thrumming underneath her fingertips. “For a few minutes there, I thought you only wanted a little boy and that you would be disappointed when the baby was born and it turned out to be a girl.”

Suddenly, her drawing pad was gone from her and her body felt cold. James was holding her at an arm’s length now, an incredulous - and quite frankly, hurt - expression on his face.

“You thought I would be…disappointed if the baby was a girl?”

Reluctantly, she nodded. Now that he had said it in that tone of voice, with that hurt and disbelieving look on his face, she felt ashamed for thinking something so horrible of her husband, the kindest, most remarkably loving man she had ever met.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, staring down at the floor so that he wouldn’t see her tears.

Wordlessly, he curled his finger under her chin and tilted her head so she was looking up at him. He wiped the tears away with his thumbs, his hands cupping her face. “I don’t care if our baby is a boy or a girl, I’m going to love them regardless. They could come out with giant horns and a bushy tail, for all I care, and I would still love them more than anything else in the entire world.”

Despite the fact she laughed, her mood remained sombre. “I’m sorry,” she said again.

James shook his head. “Don’t be,” he replied, smiling at her as he removed his hand from her face and placed it on her stomach. His fingertips massaged gentle circles into her skin. “You’ve given me everything in the world that I could possibly want, and as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing to be sorry about.”

“That doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad for thinking such horrible things about you,” Lily reasoned.

“True, but you can do what you always do when you say or think something completely irrational about me.”

Intrigued, Lily raised an eyebrow. “And that would be?”

He grinned. “Just blame the hormones.”

Throwing her head back, she laughed, long and loud and hard.



A/N: Sorry for the delay. I had a bit of a lag in inspiration, but a sudden burst came to me. I hope you enjoyed it!

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