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Month Five

Holding the two colour pallets out in front of her, Lily Potter tilted her head to the side, squinting her left eye as she tried to imagine which colour would better compliment the dark wood of the baseboards and the trim round the windows. So far, she hadn’t had any luck whatsoever, as both shades of green neither popped against the deep mahogany nor did they make her want to vomit, which was a common occurrence as of late.

Upon realising that she wouldn’t be able to make this decision on her own, she placed a hand on the small of her back, which had started to ache from standing in one position for so long without the proper support, and looked over her shoulder towards the open door.

“James!” she shouted, her voice echoing through the empty room.

It took a minute for her husband to respond, for there was a loud crash that sounded mysteriously like the collection of pink pattern china her mother had given them as a housewarming present. She knew how much James despised the pattern and wondered vaguely if he had been waiting for this opportune moment to drop the plates. He could claim it was an accident and she wouldn’t be able to catch him in a lie.

A smile found its way onto her lips at the thought of her James, with his perpetually messy dark brown hair and seemingly smirking hazel eyes.

“Yes, dear?” came James’ belated response; it sounded as though he was struggling with something - most likely boxes.

She frowned minutely. “Would you mind coming upstairs for a minute? I need your help with something!” Lily called, wincing as a sharp pain shot through her lower back. She shifted her feet, redistributing her weight, wondering why she had insisted on leaving this room empty. What she really needed was a chair.

Another brief crash followed by a muffled curse - “I’ll be right there!”

“Okay!”

Shaking her head, Lily chuckled to herself, once again picking up the two strips of thick paper, both decorated with various shades of green. The furrow returned to her brow as she walked round the room, the old wooden floors creaking underneath her. As she paced, she absentmindedly ran a hand up and down the length of her gently swollen belly, marvelling at the fact there was a life, a little tiny life that she and James had created.

Before she could ponder the subject any longer, James began stomping up the stairs, reminding her of a petulant child and, knowing him, he was probably going to complain as soon as she told him why she’d called him to the upper floor of the house. When he appeared in the doorway, she allowed herself a smile; there was a small black smudge running the length of his cheekbone and his hair jutting up at impossibly awkward angles on the back of his head.

Catching sight of his wife’s smile, James beamed at her, releasing the door jamb from his grasp and crossing the threshold to meet her in the middle of the room. “You needed me?”

Lily nodded as he wrapped one arm and then the other around her back, sliding them down until either of his hands rested just above the curve of her bum. She raised a brow at him and he winked, giving her bottom a playful swat. “Yeah, I’ve been trying to decide which colour I wanted for the -”

James let his arms fall away from her hips and back to his side, a distinctly disgruntled expression on his face. “Lily,” he whined, pulling such a pouting face, it could rival even the most convincing five year old. Inwardly, Lily snorted; she could only imagine how talented their child would be at whinging, what with a father like James. “You know have I absolutely no interest whatsoever in wall colour.”

“I know you don’t,” Lily replied shortly.

“Then why not just pick a colour so I can go to the store and buy the paint? We still have other rooms to unpack.”

“Because, James,” she said, taking a step closer to him. She held out her hand, wiggling her fingers, and he complied, slipping his hand into hers. Smiling encouragingly at him, she pressed his palm into the curve of her belly. “This is where our baby is going to live, grow, and play. I can’t just pick any colour.”

Instinctively, his fingers splayed over the tightly stretched fabric of her tee shirt, which was technically his as she hadn’t gotten around to buying herself proper maternity clothes just yet, the same awestruck glimmer springing to his eyes, much like it always did when he touched her stomach.

“Okay then,” James sighed, lifting his free hand and running it through his hair. “What’ve you got?”

Pushing herself up onto her tiptoes, which was more of a struggle than it had any right to be, she placed a chaste kiss on his cheek before handing over the two strips of colour. As she settled her weight back on her feet, her hands immediately finding purchase on her lower back, Lily looked up at him with an expectant look. “So? What do you think?”

“Green?” His tone was oddly scandalised. “You want to paint our child’s walls green?”

“What’s wrong with green?” Lily demanded.

“It’s an ugly colour,” James said with a wave of his hand, “and it would do nothing for the dark wood. No, what colour we need to go with is -”

The low growl Lily emitted caused James to stop in the middle of his sentence to peer down at his wife. Judging by the redness of her face and the sharpness in her emerald eyes, he knew he had said something wrong.

“What?” he questioned stupidly, blinking at his wife in confusion.

Green’s an ugly colour?” she seethed through gritted teeth. “I thought you liked green! You said it was your favourite!”

James gaped at her. “I never said that -”

“ ‘I love your eyes; they’re my favourite colour.’ Did you not say that on our first date?

Swallowing nervously, James wondered if this little outburst was one of those hormone things that healers had warned them about. Though Lily was known for her quick temper, for her to get so angry over something as trivial as what he may or may not have said on their first date was just a bit ridiculous, if someone were to ask him. It was lucky for him that no one had asked his opinion, for he highly doubted that Lily would appreciate that particular response.

“I didn’t say it on our first date.”

“James!”

“All right, all right, calm down, Lils!” he chuckled despite himself. She hadn’t actually expressed her anger through physical violence in quite some time. Thankfully, her swats weren’t very painful - if anything, they were amusing, though she didn’t seem to think so.

“I am calm,” Lily insisted as she crossed her arms over her chest and looking out the window.

“You are now,” James said. After a beat of stony silence, he sighed, pushing his hand through his hair once again, causing the already messy locks to stand on end. “Lily,” he continued lowly, “look at me.”

She set her jaw and tilted her head defiantly, which caused James to laugh. Tracing his steps back towards his wife, he wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her as close as her pregnant belly would allow. Still, she kept her head turned to the side. With a brief roll of his eyes, he pressed a lingering kiss against her temple.

He repeated his request and this time, she obliged, capturing his hazel eyes with her impossibly deep emerald eyes; if he could, he would spend hours every day, running his fingers along her closed lids, relishing in the tickle of her eyelashes against his palm. It was incredibly cheesy, he knew that, but he would if the opportunity presented itself.

Smiling softly, he bent his head until their foreheads were touching, never pulling his gaze from hers. “I love you,” he said, putting as much conviction his words as he possibly could.

“I know.”

James raised a brow at her. “That’s all you’re going to say? ‘I know’?”

A smug smile overtaking her mouth, Lily nodded. “Yep. That’s it.”

“No ‘I love you, too’.”

“Nope.”

He laughed, rubbing the tip of his nose against hers. She giggled and snaked a hand up his chest until her fingers were resting on the back of his neck, pulling his lips down to hers in a sweet kiss.

When she felt the baby give a surprisingly hard kick, Lily jumped, knocking her forehead against her husband’s chin. Both cried out in shock, more over the fact they had both felt the exact same motion, despite the layers of clothes and skin between them. As Lily took his hand again and pressed his fingertips over the spot where the tiny foot had kicked her, the baby gave another kick.

Gasping in excitement, they locked eyes with each other. Despite herself, Lily chuckled at the collection of tears welling in James’ eyes. “You’re such a baby,” she teased lightly, even as a similar sensation pricked the backs of her eyes.

Rolling his eyes, James shook his head and placed his other hand on her belly, running his fingers over the swell of his wife’s stomach, wondering if the kicks would follow the path his fingers traced. The colour samples drifted silently to the floor, where they would lay forgotten until later that evening, when the expecting parents would do this all over again.



A/N: I know, I know, such a quick update! The truth is that I've had this on my hard drive since I first conceived (pun intended) the idea for this story, but I didn't think it would fit until here. So I hope you enjoy it!

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