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 "You take honey in your tea, right Mia?" Lily called from the kitchen. She took the whistling kettle off of the flame it had been boiling on, and poured two mugs.



"Yes, please," her friend answered.


Lily fixed the tea, and re-entered the living room. Her friend was relaxed on the couch, flipping through a copy of The Daily Prophet. She looked up as Lily entered the room, and stood up to take the tea from her hands.

"I wish you woud have said it was ready, I could have helped," Mia scolded, glancing down at Lily's bulging tummy.

"Mia, I'm pregnant, not dying," she laughed, pulling her long read hair up into a pony-tail and off the back of her neck, which was now sticky with dripping beads of sweat. It had been one of the hottest summers Lily could ever remember, and of course, she was enormously pregnant, making it even more unpleasurable. Just as she took a seat on the couch, she felt a bump in the kidney. "Oh, oh oh. My little boy is going to be a beater. I'm sure of it." she smiled, rubbing her stomach.

She grabbed Mia's hand, and pressed it to her exposed belly. She laughed before asking "How much longer now?"

"Well, Molly's positive that I've only got a few weeks to go, even though I'm only seven months today. I think I'm going to trust her, though, as she's had enough to tell."

 "She just had her boy, didn't she?"

"Mmm. His name was Ron. Such a strong name. I liked it for awhile, but James refuses to even consider the idea that we're having a boy. He's sure it's a girl."

 "You've always wanted a girl." Mia smiled at her best friend, taking a bite of her sandwich. 

"Yes, I know, but I just don't think that it's going to be a girl. And I'm almost happy about that. Anyway, if it is, I hope she isn't as fair-skinned as me. I'm tired of this sunburn!" Lily exclaimed, touching her cheeks gingerly. They had been scalded red by the sun every summer since her birth, and to her chagrin, this one was no exception.

"Do you have any names picked out?"

"Well, if it's a girl, James wants to name her Azalea, you know for a flower theme. I think that's a bit corny. If it's a girl I really like Ameilia, and we can call her Mia for short. After you."

Her friend beamed brightly. "And if it's a boy?"

"James wants Sirius. I say no, I refuse to name my child after a dratted constellation, even if it is also after the kindest man I've ever met. Not to mention, naming him Sirius is just dooming him to get into trouble during his Hogwarts days." Lily stuck her tongue out and made a face at the end of this thought. After a brief spurt of laugher, she continued. "And maybe this is a bit dumb, but do you remember that day James and I first got together in Hogsmead?"

Mia nodded, "Sure I do. It was completely unexpected, even though the whole school knew you both loved each other," she teased.

"Oh hush!" Lily blushed, although it was undetectable underneath her sunburn. "Anyway, that funny chocolate frog card, the one that said the name of that wizard no one has ever heard of?"

"Oh, yeah! He had James' surname, didn't he?""Exactly," Lily grinned. "Harry. Harry James Potter."

"Oh Lily, it's perfect!" Mia clapped happily. 

"You know, Mia, that day I never would have guessed I'd be... here," she looked down at her baby bump on the last word, a look of softness crossed her porcelain face.

"That's funny, because everyone else knew you would, even Severus."

Lily frowned a bit at this. She hadn't talked to Severus since he'd owled her back in response to her wedding invitation.

I cannot, in good faith, attend the union between you and that complete idiot. I'm sorry, Lily.

Stay safe.



She had cried for days at the reply, but nevertheless went through with her wedding.

"You know, Mia- I haven't looked at the pictures from the wedding yet. I've just never felt the need to reflect. Do you want to?"

"Of course!" she jumped up. "Where's the photo album?"

"I can get it Mia. I'm not a fragile doll," Lily said, wiping her hand across the back of her neck, in an attempt to relieve the heat.

"Hush, and tell me where it is," she countered, tapping her foot

"In the den, on top of James' desk."

Mia rushed back in, carrying a large beige book that Lily recognized as her wedding album. They plopped down on the floor together, as squeezing next to Lily's belly on the couch was a feat that not even Albus Dumbledore himself could render himself master of.

Opening the book they saw picture upon picture of Lily in her gown, smiling at James. They were dancing. They were waving. They were kissing. They were in love.

"I hope one day that I love some one as much as you and James loved each other here." Mia whined enviously, touching a picture of James and Lily throwing cake at each other.

Lily's heart sank a little at her friend's comment. "Can I confess something to you, Mia?" Her voice trailed, as if she was unsure of what she was about to say was safe or not.

 "Sure," Mia said, closing the book once she sensed the sincerity in her the girl's voice.

 Lily grabbed the book from Mia, tracing her fingers along the shimmering, glittery outside. She swallowed the lump that was in her throat, and took a deep breath in. She examined her friend's short brown hair. Her purple-blue eyes shone with the questioning tone that had just escaped in her voice. This was her best friend. She had known Mia since first year. They dormed together, ate together, learned together, even dated together. Now, here she was questioning her ability to share her deepest secret. Her body seemed to be made of ice suddenly. The heat was no longer a bother to her.

"When these pictures were taken, at the wedding," she paused, a tear trickling down her face. "I wasn't in love with James."

Mia raised an eyebrow.

Lily shook her head defiantly. "That came out wrong," she sighed. Taking another breath in, she said "What I meant to say, is that I loved him, truly I did, and I still do. I just wasn't quite in love with him."

"Are you now?" Caution filled Mia's voice, as if she was unprepared for the answer. However, the answer was coming anyway.

"Of course I am, Mia," Lily grinned, absentmindedly twirling her wedding ring around her finger. The weight of the room seemed to disappear around the two young women.

"Well, when did you fall in love with him, then?"

Pure happiness rose within her at this thought. When had she fallen in love with James Potter? She knew the exact moment in time.

"Well-" Lily began.

Inky night enveloped the British air in London, where thousands of people slept soundly.The night was so black that it could have been mistaken for a large, midnight blue velvet curtain, hung about the atmosphere. Not a single star shone in the sky. The only break from the unfailingly deep night was the soft snow falling like little crystalized messages from the angels.

Snow was dropping everywhere, blanketing the town in a fresh, white wonderland. Lily Evans was awake, gazing out of the window of her rickity flat, watching the messages fly down, and whisper sweet-nothings into the ears of sleeping humans.

The apartment she sat in was small, built for a single person, but she and her husband James were blissfully unaware of its size, having only lived there for a few months since returning from their honeymoon. Their newly-wed mentalities had yet to forsake them.

She watched the street for any signs of life. She had sent her husband out to make what could quite possibly end up being the most important purchase of his life.

Glancing back and forth desparately from the clock to the window was simply doing no one any good, so she moved to the couch, and clicked on the television, trying to calm her anxiously beating heart. Before she knew it, she had dozed of.

She was awakened by the sound of the key in the lock. Her eyelids shot open, and her heart fluttered at the sight of her husband. His scarlet and gold hat and scarf were both covered in a thick layer of snow. His round-rimmed glasses were fogged slightly from the transition from chilling cold to brilliant warmth.

"Did you get it?" she asked, her voice shaking with anticipation.

He said nothing, just held out a small, brown-paper bag. Lily snatched it and ran off into the back hall.

James sat in the spot that Lily had just vacated. Some terrible public-access program was playing on the BBC. James had tried many times, but finally decided he would never understand muggles and their obsession with the television. He clicked it off, and stood up, walking towards where his wife had just disappeared.

When he reached the end of the hall, he rapped on the door lightly.

"Lily, darling? You okay in there?"

"Just another moment, James," she called in return. James placed his head against the wall, closing his eyes. He had been fully asleep when his wife had woken him to run to the nearest drug store and buy the item she had requested.

Pulling me out of bed in the middle of the night to go trudge out into the snow, he thought. This better be worth it.

Just then, the bathroom door cracked open, revealing a sliver of the woman he loved. He pushed it open further, and further still until he saw her blank face.

"Really, Lily? You're going to put your poker face on for this?"

"Yup," she replied.

"Well? Are you?"

"Why don't you see for yourself?" Lily then revealed a small, white stick. James grabbed it, and in his anticipation, took a moment to focus in on the results.

A small blue plus sign gripped his vision for what could have been the longest moment of his life.

He looked back up at his wife's smilng face.

"We're having a baby, James." she laughed. "A baby. All ours."

"I'm going to be... a father!" He cried, grabbing Lily around the waist and spinning her in circles. When he placed back down onto the ground, he immediately drew her into a deep kiss. When he pulled away he whispered "I love you, Lily Potter" to her. As he said her name, he thought of a far-off time when he had first whispered it aloud to himself. Only the reply was much different now than it was then.

"I'm in love with you James Potter."

Mia sighed happily as Lily finished her story. "Oh, to be young and in love."

It was true, Lily was both. She was barely twenty, and so in love some days she was surprised she could see straight.

As Mia prepared to leave, James and Sirius walked through the door, laughing with each other.

"Hey, hun," James grinned, rushing over to his bride and pecking her on the forehead.

"Hello Mia, Lily." Sirius said suavely. "Mia, let me make sure you get home okay. These are mad times we're living in. Mad times, indeed." Mia smiled exited through the door that Sirius was holding open for her, all the while calling her goodbyes to the Potters.

Once they were gone, James redirected himself back to his wife. "Did she give you any trouble today?" he asked, rubbing her stomach gently.

"A few kicks, nothing serious."

"You know I had the strangest notion today," said James knowingly, as he took the dirty tea mugs from the living room into the kitchen. "This child of ours; he, she, whatever it may be: it's going to be great."

He filled the sink with soapy water and began to scrub the dishes clean. For once in his life, James felt like he had a chance at being normal, thank you very much. And he was going to take this chance and run with it.

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