Disclaimer: Pfft, if I owned Harry Potter I wouldn't be posting my stories online, but at a publishing company; I wouldn't be worried about paying college, probably wouldn't even worry about college. I'm just a 19 year-old college student with no life at the moment and uses this as a means of escape.
James walked hesitantly into the hospital room late that night. He'd been here earlier, but not when everyone was asleep, not when all the healers were gone and most the medi-nurses.
He found the maternity ward strangely quiet; he'd expected to hear baby's crying incessantly. Maybe all the little babies are tired form their journey like all the mummies, he theorized, chastising himself for sounding like a seven year old.
Walking to the bed where his wife lay sleeping soundly, James gave her a light kiss on her forehead before making his way to the crib nearby. Glancing back at Lily to be sure she was still asleep, James hesitantly lifted his son, barely a day old, from the little bed and moved gingerly to the rocking chair next to it.
Holding him the way the nurse had shown him earlier, James gazed down at his baby boy lying awake and quiet in his arms. "Hi," he said softly, smiling a little. Seeing the small toothless grin from his son gave him the courage to keep talking. "You got a head of hair there, don't you? Looks just like mine. Sorry 'bout that, by the way. Well, the healer guy that delivered you said that it's important for you infants to feel skin to skin contact and heartbeats and stuff, so I figured I'll hold you a bit while everyone's gone and we can have a little man to man talk. How's that sound, Harry?" His son stretched out both his legs in a small kick. "Looks like you're up for it to me. Don't worry, I'll do all the talking," he added with a grin.
James scrunched up his nose, peering closer at the infant. "You do look just like my baby pictures…uncanny, really. You'd think you'd look a bit like Lily. She's your mum, but you already knew that; you two met while you were attached to my second favorite part of her anatomy below her neck. And you came out my first favorite below her neck." He chuckled, a deep rumble in his chest, vibrations traveling through little Harry, who giggled happily. James broke out in a grin. "You really are cute, you know that? You get that from my side of the family," he dropped his voice and head lower, "but don't tell your mother. She thinks she's the cute one.
"I never had much experience with little…um, children. It was decided that I was "too rambunctious" for anything under six…even when I was six. So I'm not really sure…what to do, or how to act, or anything. I have Lily, though, and she knows damn near, I mean, darn near, I mean, she knows almost everything. She'll help me stumble through this infancy thing. When you're older…I don't know actually."
James paused a moment, contemplating what was in his mind, how to continue. "My father was never really attentive, or involved, or anything. He worked a lot. I know he loved us and my mum a lot, but he didn't show it very well; he just worked a lot to give us a luxurious lifestyle. My mum was always there when I needed her and was what a mum should be. She passed away when I was young, though.
"I know Lily will be the perfect mum, and wife. She already is the perfect wife, but she'll be your perfect mum." James stopped, gazing down at his son, looking up at him with curious eyes. "I don't know what kind of father I'll be to you. Your mum seems to have faith that I'll be a decent one at least, or she wouldn't have agreed to marry me and she definitely wouldn't have allowed me to knock her up, I mean, she wouldn't have gotten pregnant with you. I'm glad she did, though," he continued in a tone that would indicate to others he was talking to a baby or a puppy. "Yes, I'm very glad we made you. We had a lot of fun making you, too. You'll learn about that when you're older, though."
Returning his voice to a normal tone, he said quietly, "But I really don't know what kind of dad I'll be to you, I never had a very good example. I will promise you, Harry, that I will do the best I can. I will do anything and everything possible to keep you happy, safe, healthy…loved. I already love you, a lot. 'Bout as much as your mum, but in a very different way, so I have that covered. I just need to work on the rest. I'll do it, though, I will. I promise I will…"
"I know you will," said another, feminine voice. James looked up to see Lily lying in bed watching him, tears glistening in her eyes.
"You heard it all?" he asked, returning his eyes to his son.
She nodded, answering, "From head of hair on." She smiled. "You're going to corrupt our son before he's old enough to understand what you're doing. And I am the cute one."
James grinned. "Then he'll really be a Potter. You're the pretty one."
Lily rolled her eyes. "More like he'll really be his father's son."
"You're just jealous because he likes me more, and looks like me." Little Harry started to fuss in his arms, squirming and making small whining sounds.
"Oh, yes, Harry likes you best," Lily said sarcastically. "Bring him here, he wants his mother."
"Only 'cause you feed him," James reasoned, passing his son carefully to his wife. He watched as she feed Harry, amazed and completely enraptured by the process. "I wonder if it tastes good," he thought aloud after a few moments, a small smirk growing on his face. "Harry seems to like it."
"You will not be finding out," she told him pointedly, "not for six weeks at least."
"So Harry gets have all the fun?" James pouted.
"Need I remind you that Harry needs this to survive? And I'll bet he has your appetite."
"The Potter line has always had healthy eaters," he replied smugly as Harry finished his meal. James leaned over the edge of the bed, peering into his son's face. "Full, little man?" Harry looked up at him, his eyes closing slowly, tiredly and James couldn't help but smile. "Looks like someone's ready for bed," he commented, tapping Harry on the nose.
With surprising quickness for a drowsy infant that would make any Quidditch Seeker proud, Harry grabbed his father's finger, enclosing his tiny fist around it. James stopped all movement, simply staring unfocused at his finger being held by his son.
"James," Lily questioned softly as he continued to zone out, "are you okay?" She touched his arm with her hand, snapping him out of his daze.
"What?" he asked blinking at her. Harry had fallen asleep in his mother's arms, his arm slipping from James's finger. James returned his son to his crib alongside Lily's bed.
"What happened there?" his wife questioned him, shuffling over so he could sit beside her on the bed. "One minute you're perfectly fine, talking about Harry going to bed, the next, you're completely spacing out."
"Oh, well, this is going to sound a little dumb," he began embarrassed, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. "When Harry was born, I knew I was a father, I had recognized it and everything, but I didn't feel like I was one. Not until Harry grabbed my finger just now. It was just…this surge of affection or something. Like it was his way of telling me he loved me…" he trailed off. Wiping his eyes quickly, he avoided looking at Lily. "Yeah, stupid, I know."
"No, James, not stupid, not stupid at all," she told him, her hand on his arm. "Most likely very true."
"You think so?" he asked hopefully.
Lily nodded. "Yes, I really, truly do."
James looked at her, into her beautiful green eyes, and they confirmed to him she really, truly did believe that. He wrapped his arms around her waist, embracing her. "I love you," he whispered in her ear, "so very much."
"I love you, too," she told him, "more than I thought possible. And you are going to make a wonderful father."
"I will," he said confidently, gazing briefly at his son sleeping peacefully in his cradle. Hugging Lily to him, he relaxed for sleep, kissing the top of her head. "I will."
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