The thing is, they hadn't been trying to have a child.
Both Lily and certainly James had a streak of recklessness in them, back when they were still on speaking terms Sev and Tuny used to despair over her recklessness, always worrying about the trouble she'd find herself in. And maybe they were right to worry, because Lily did manage to find her own share of trouble but she cannot regret it. Because it is what they call her recklessness that made her question 'that's just the way things are' and had her stand up for her belief even if it would have been so much easier for her, personally, to keep quiet and keep her head down.
So, Lily Potter once Evans was reckless and was proud of it.
Still, it was one thing to tell a bully - and really, Voldemort was just a bully with too much power like a seventh year picking on a first year - that what they are doing is wrong, that no, I will not idly stand by and let this happen . That only risked her health, her life, and she was perfectly fine with that she wasn't afraid to die for what she believed.
But a child? Having a baby while war raged and both she and her baby's father had already made themselves targets, making the baby a target by association? That wasn't a risk she would have taken.
It was foolhardy, perhaps, to spend their first night as husband and wife with no extra spells - no contraceptive charms or semen banishing - but… it was their night. They’d been so careful before and it was their night , they just got married and wanted to why it was a bad idea to think about children right now. It was one night , and James’ parents took so long to conceive that they figured they would be fine. Just one night and then they’d go back to playing it safe, to reminders that their dream of raising children together - Lily figured two would be just fine but James was certain four was the perfect amount - would have to be put off for a while, years even.
Who ever gets pregnant on their wedding night?
From just one round?
Lily Potter did.
(It’s dark…. I don’t understand, why is it so dark? Did I pull my blankets over my head?
No, that’s not it but…
It’s so warm…. it’s nice here. I’ll sleep, just for a moment.
Just a moment, and then I’ll get up.)
“Lily, dearie,” Molly called, patting the cushion next to her when the younger witch turned to look at her. “Come sit for a bit, you’ll do yourself no good running yourself ragged in your condition.”
For a moment the witch was incensed, green eyes glinting and a furious flush rising on her delicate features - Molly was privately amused when she spotted Lily’s husband glance over and then cringe, obviously having been on the opposite end of his wife’s temper. But, instead of whatever angry retort that had been brewing, the witch slumped and sat down.
“Your husband?” Molly asked.
Lily grimaced, “And his friends.”
“Ah.” Molly nodded. “The first of them to have a kid then? They tend to get worked up the first time around. My Arthur didn’t, he’s blessedly calm and seen his mum get pregnant multiple times so he knows better then to fuss over me necessarily, my older brothers on the other hand… well, lets just say they got a bit of practice with their shield spells.”
The witch smiled a bit at that, still looking a bit weary the poor dear. She and little Alice, a Longbottom now, both seemed dreadfully stressed since they announced their pregnancies to the Order. First time mother worries, likely, mixed in with worry about the war going on would make for a very stressed mother-to-be.
“I know it is annoying,” Molly said, instead of trying to console the witch. She had tried with Alice previously and that… well, Alice had yet to talk to her again after storming off in a fit of tears. “The fussing, but you do need to take it a bit easier, dearie. Besides, we have to let the menfolk feel like they’re contributing what with us doing the heavy lifting.”
That made Lily’s smile widen, looking more genuine as a hand rested on her stomach.
(It’s quiet here, calm.
Sometimes though, sometimes there are voices that I can hear - loud yet distant. There are different voices but most often there are three, two that may be men and another that may be a woman.
One of the men call for a ‘Pronglet’, a nickname perhaps, and talks about flying and maps and castles - a storyteller, that one. The other man talks to a ‘Lilybud’ and tells her that she’ll grow up to be as beautiful as her mother, that she isn’t allowed to date until she is ‘Binn’s age’. And then there is the woman, who talks to ‘Harry’ but more often calls him ‘baby’ and tells him how much she loves him, how she can’t wait to see him, sometimes she tells him that she’s scared - terrified that she won’t get to see him grow up.
I’m in a coma, I think, and the voices are people visiting. Not me, but I probably have a roommate or two.
I hope whoever they’re talking to can hear them like I can.)
“Have you decided where you’re going to be having the baby?” Remus asks, entering the room with two mugs of hot chocolate.
Lily shifted, straightening a bit as she sat up properly and accepted her mug with a grateful smile. Her shirt, as huge on her as it was when she first got it, stretched over her pregnant belly, distorting the odd goblin-house elf creature on it even further and emphasizing how far along she was.
Sirius got her that shirt, got both of them one. The same, oversized shirt with the green goblin-house elf wielding a staff of light and with the words ‘May the Force be with you’ written above it. It was based off a muggle movie, now series, that they went to see together and promptly became obsessed with. Galaxy Wars or something?
(He wished he could still trust that Sirius was their friend, that he wouldn’t harm them. But… Peter saw him with his brother, alone and not arguing for once, and… and Sirius has already betrayed them - betrayed him - once before.
Who’s to say it won’t happen again?)
“Professor Dumbledore actually offered to let Alice and I give birth at Hogwarts,” Lily said, drawing him away from his darkening thoughts. He watched her take a sip of hot chocolate, earning a bit of white foam at the the edges of her mouth, before continuing. “And Madam Pomfrey offered to deliver should we decide that.”
“Hogwarts then?” Remus asked.
Lily nodded. “Yes, I think it’s the best place. It’s safer then anywhere else and, well, I trust Madam Pomfrey more then I would any random healer at St. Mungos.”
“James will be delighted.” He said, instead of commenting on the healer bit. There was no need to drag up bad memories about Marlene getting poisoned by a healer that turned out to be a Death Eater.
“Him and Sirius,” She snorted. “They’ll probably take Harry to the Quidditch pitch right away.”
It’s said so easily, as if it were the forgone conclusion that wherever James Potter would be, Sirius Black would be right there with him. And it wasn’t even wrong , more often then not it’s the truth.
And yet…. Remus can’t help but doubt.
(I’m dragged out of darkness and into the light, from warmth to cold, kicking and screaming.
It’s not a coma I was in.
(i wish it was))
For a moment, in the silence that follows the explanation - follows the question - Sirius just tucks his face into his godson’s hair and simply breathes . Harry is remarkably well behaved right now, usually he’d be kicking up a fuss or screaming for no understandable reason, but right now the baby - almost toddler, already a year old, Merlin the time has gone - is calm. Right now Harry is quiet and still, letting Sirius breath the mix of baby powder and baby shampoo and something simply Harry to reassure himself that his godson is alright.
(That Voldemort hasn’t killed him like the monster killed his little brother.)
“You’re going into hiding, because Vol-” Sirius pauses, remembering the jinx just in time. “Because the great evil git is after Harry - because of a prophecy . And you want me to be your Secret Keeper?”
“Of course.” James says immediately, and the trust there makes Sirius ache .
(Why is it that Remus can’t have the same faith, the same trust in him? What did he do ?
(you know what you did)
Maybe it’s not even his fault? Maybe Remus has something he doesn’t want them to find out, Peter’s heard rumors of him meeting with Greyback .)
“We know you won’t betray us Sirius.” Lily adds on, meeting his eyes when he finally glances up. “Not us, but especially not Harry.”
I trust you, her eyes tell him With my life and the life of my child .
“I…” Don’t deserve it . He thinks, mind flicking back to Remus and the willow and Snape. “I don’t think I’m the best choice,” Sirius says and then has to hurry before James can protest. “No, hear me out. Everyone is going to expect it to be me so I should be the last person you pick, instead you should pick-” Remus. “-Peter. No one will expect him, not when I play decoy for him.”
“It’s like a prank on the great evil git and all his death munchers.” James says after a moment, delighted. “I like it.”
Then, as if the moment of calm were only the eye of the storm, Harry starts screaming.
They’re all very distracted after that.
(Being a baby is humiliating, having to breastfeed and getting all kinds of foul thing on yourself, not to mention needing someone else to change you. It’s awful , yet the humiliation isn’t the worst part nor is being the baby version of a fictional character the worst part - though it was, at first when I realized but… well. There isn’t much to do as a baby but think about things, a full year to come to terms with my new place in the universe and I’m almost used to it.
No. The worst part is the helplessness. You can’t do anything as a baby, and no one takes you seriously. I know I can’t really speak but, honestly, you’d think someone would get the hint when I start screaming bloody murder each time that traitor shows his face.
It makes me terrified that I won’t be able to change anything.
(i don’t want to lose this family too))
“You will lead me to the Potters.”
"A baby." Sirius repeated blankly, staring at James beaming back at him. "As in a little you, a baby Prongs? Pronglet?"
"Or a baby Lily." James says, looking enthralled at the idea. Abruptly his face shifts, darkening and Sirius wondered if his friend was imagining 'baby Lily' growing up to go to Hogwarts and become the focus of several boys' - or girls' - romantic attentions.
"But, you," Peter started, floundering verbally in shock. "How?"
"Aww, do we need to give you the little wizards and witches talk, Wormy?" Sirius cooed, patting Peter's cheek and cackling when his friend shoved him in response.
"Shove off Pads, you know what I mean." Peter says, disgruntled before turning to James who seemed to have been drawn out of his head. "You two weren't trying for kids right? How did that happen with the contraceptive charm and everything?"
James colored a bit, as he always did when it was brought up that he and Lily were intimate together. "Well, uh, we didn't use them one night? During our wedding?"
"So it only took one try," Sirius whistled, watching as the color darkened further. "Good on you, mate."
The Dursley family was a perfectly ordinary family, with a neatly kept home and a concise schedule that allowed them to make the most out of their day.
It was the schedule they kept to that was the important detail here.
See, except for Sundays and every other Saturday, Mr. Dursley was gone from six in the morning until seven in the evening - working. On school days his son, Dudley Dursley, was on his way to school by seven-thirty in the morning and would return anywhere between three-thirty and five o'clock in the evening depending on if he lingered with his friends or not. Mrs. Dursley had no job nor did she have any classes to attend, being a housewife, but she too would leave the house some time after eight in the morning and not return until two-thirty in the afternoon.
This schedule remained constant, except for holidays and school breaks.
While holidays were mostly spent at home, or going out as a family, the breaks from Dudley's school weren't so unified. When he was younger Dudley, of course, spent time at home with his mother or else being dropped off to have playdates with his friends. Now, at age ten, he was old enough to go out to the park with his friends without his mother shadowing him and he did so, frequently. Thus, with her son occupied from ten to five, Mrs. Dursley took the opportunity to go about her day running errands or visiting neighbors for tea until twenty minutes before her son was expected home.
All perfectly ordinary things. All perfectly scheduled. Except for one thing.
The fourth resident of the Dursley's home: Harry Potter.
Harry didn't mind the chores, not really.
Cleaning, particularly to the illustrious Mrs. Dursley's standards, was tedious and a bit time consuming for someone used to paper plates and a single, quick scrubbing. Even barring the mass-produced disinfecting wipes he was used to, there weren't any 'magic foam' cleaners to leave sit for an hour before wiping away to reveal a clean oven or counter or whatever. Instead there were mops and scrub brushes and sinks filled with water-diluted cleaning solutions strong enough to wrinkle his nose.
Then there was gardening which, living primarily in small apartment complexes all his - previous - life, was a new territory entirely.