Full summary: SEQUEL TO THE OTHER WOMAN! Lily's twentieth birthday has finally arrived, complete with Lily's round belly and her excitement at becoming a mother! But what happens when Sirius finds himself in his first argument with his long-term girlfriend, and Lily's water finally breaks? WON BEST HUMOR AT WIZARDTALES
Author's Note: Here it is, folks! The sequel to the one-shot, The Other Woman! (However, if you did not read The Other Woman, I wrote this story so that you could read this without that first story!) I've never done any sequels to one-shots, and this will probably be one of the few that I put any sequels up, so enjoy it!
Happy Birthday, Baby
"Watch your step, Lily."
"James," Lily growled, digging her nails into his arm, "I've lived in this house for nearly a year and a half; I should know where the steps are by now."
"Yes," James agreed automatically, not looking forward to another fight. "I just figured that in your condition, it might - "
"My condition?" Lily slammed the front door closed, nearly clipping off several of James' fingers. She pointed to her large stomach accusingly. "You call this a condition? I'm pregnant, James! Not a walking disease!"
James waited until his wife had looked away before he smiled. For the past nine months – I could beg to differ…
Their small dog, Sadelle, began barking loudly at their feet the second they had walked through the door. Frustrated, Lily kicked a ball across the floor, sending Sadelle after it.
"You're right, honey," James said, resting a hand gently in the middle of her back.
"Don't touch me," Lily snapped, waddling rather un-ladylike into the bathroom.
"Yes, ma'am…" James dragged himself to the couch and flopped down and closed his eyes, emotionally drained from the events of the day.
After exiting the restroom, Lily picked up a large, wicker basket from the center of the kitchen counter, proceeding to circle the room. With a slight hint of an attitude, she threw a bag of chips, several slices of pineapple from the refrigerator, and leftovers from a meal the night before into her basket with a lot of crunching and thunking. Opening his eyes partly, James brought a hand up to the five o'clock shadow forming on his face and hid his grin.
Lily ripped out her hair tie as she entered the living room, destroying the perfect bun she had forced to hold up her thick, red hair earlier and plopped onto the couch, kicking her feet up onto the coffee table.
James tentatively leaned closer to his wife, snuggling close to her. "Lily?" he whispered, pulling a strand of hair behind her ear lovingly.
Lily ripped open the bag of chips and popped several into her mouth at once, chewing as noisily and deliberately as possible. She did not answer.
"You understand what's going to happen to us very soon, don't you?"
Lily dropped her hands to her side, crushing her bag of chips. She rolled her head back onto the couch, closing her eyes. "I don't want it to just be soon," she answered. "I want it now!"
James nodded patiently. "The Healer said it will be any day now, Lily."
"But he originally said that I would have a baby in my arms by yesterday!" Lily held her hands out in front of her, imagining a small child lying in them. She sniffed and felt her bottom lip jut out. With any warning, Lily brought her hands dramatically up to her face and began to sob. "He said…"
"I know what he said," James soothed, wrapping his arms around his wife. "But with children, there will never be predictable answers. Everyone's different in their own little way."
After Lily had wiped off her tears onto James' sleeve, she nodded. James dropped his hand to Lily's stomach, his vision slowly beginning to blur.
"Just a few more days," he said softly to Lily's stomach. "We're going to be parents."
Lily cracked a smile for the first time in several hours.
James moved in closer to Lily's stomach and said quietly, "Hey little guy."
Immediately, Lily lost her sensitive mood. "Who says it's going to be a boy? It could be a girl, you know."
James kissed his wife on the cheek and stood up. "Of course, honey. We would be just as happy with either."
"Wait," Lily stopped him. She packed her basket again and held out her arms, in need of assistance. James grabbed her hands and pulled her up from the couch. Lily handed him the basket and began walking towards the stairs at the back of the house.
"Are we going somewhere?" James asked amused, easily catching up with his wife.
"To the bedroom," she answered, swearing as she struggled up each step.
After hearing an entire vocabulary of colorful words, James helped his wife into the bed and set her basket beside her, as was routine every night.
"Magazine, please," Lily said, propping her back against several pillows. James dropped the two most recent editions of Witch Weekly and an old novel Lily had always been meaning to read into her outstretched hands.
James kissed her on the forehead, smiling gently at her. "Everything you need? I know this has been hard the past few days because of the late arrival and all…"
Their small dog took a daring leap, managing to jump onto the bed and curl up comfortably beside Lily. Petting Sadelle affectionately, Lily nodded and grinned at her husband. "And you're the most wonderful man – no one could have put up with me." She leaned in to give him a kiss as well but pulled away, holding up on finger. "Would you be able to bring up that box of chocolate I bought this morning? It's beginning to sound really good right now. Oh, and some orange juice as well!"
James ruffled her hair playfully and jogged back down the steps. I am definitely whipped…
He ruffled a hand through his hair as found a carton of orange juice and a glass, a lopsided grin plastered onto his face. A dad, he continued to think to himself with amazement. Who would've thought my life would turn out this perfect…
James jumped, startled after being caught up in his own thoughts. He looked up at the doorway with his wand held at his side. After seeing the visitor, James deflated dropping his wand carelessly onto the counter, and continued to pour the orange juice. "How are you, Sirius?"
Sirius sauntered into the kitchen and leaned onto the counter, as if interested in what James was doing. "Rough day?"
James nodded wearily as he closed the carton and shoved it back into their refrigerator. "You could say that…"
"How was Lily?"
"You don't want to know."
Sirius laughed heartily, standing back up to his full height. "That bad, huh?"
James turned back to Sirius and began describing his day as if speaking with a child. "Sirius," he started, "I want you to imagine Lily and her attitude."
"Now, imagine Lily and her attitude along with a pregnancy – which is the same thing that everyone has dealt with for the past several months."
Grimacing slightly, Sirius nodded again.
"Now," James lowered his voice, "imagine an angry Lily and her attitude along with a pregnancy when she finds out she gets to keep the baby in her stomach for another full week."
"Wow," Sirius muttered, distancing himself from James. "Sounds like you've had a great day."
"You better stay back before I pop you one."
"Come on," James nodded toward the stairs, picking up the glass of orange juice and the box of chocolates. "You can see her royal highness right now."
"Oh, goody," Sirius muttered under his breath, just loud enough for it to not travel upstairs.
They walked up the stairs. "Lily," James spoke. "We've got company."
James reached the platform at the top of the stairs and turned, knocking on the closed door. "Lily?"
Sirius reached in front of James and turned the door handle for him, both of them peeking into the room.
"Ah…" Sirius sighed, stepping inside, almost relieved. "She's sleeping. What luck I seem to be having today…"
James glared at his best friend, shaking his head. He tiptoed quietly to the bed and picked up the food and magazines sprawled across the bed, placing them onto the floor in a general pile. The small dog's glowing eyes peered curiously up at James. "Poor thing," he muttered, watching his wife sleep and taking a swig of the orange juice he had decided to keep for himself. "She got no sleep last night." James scratched the back of his head, almost feeling guilty. "Neither of us really got sleep last night; we were waiting for the baby to come."
Sirius nodded. "As much as she complains about the baby, she can't wait."
James grinned. A new light shone through his eyes. "Hey, have you seen the finished baby room?"
Turning back towards the doorway, Sirius pointed to the room across the hallway, lifting an eyebrow. "The one painted entirely in pink?"
James nodded, maneuvering his friend into the room. "I told her to just buy everything in pink and we'll charm everything to be a different color if it turns out to be a boy. But between you and me," James whispered sarcastically, picking up a pair of pink shoes, "I think she really wants to have a little girl."
Sirius nodded and walked into the vibrant room. "Everything's pink," he said, sounding amazed. "I would have expected the pillow to at least be white," he commented, picking up a pink pillowcase.
James bent over, picking up a small teddy bear from off of the floor. "I guarantee that Lily will be sitting in that rocking chair by the window almost all day tomorrow," James said, pointing to a large chair pulled up to the window overlooking their backyard. "I should just bring the entire food supply up to this room – she would never leave."
Sirius blinked, confused. "Wait a minute," he interrupted, slapping his friend on the arm. "What about her surprise party tomorrow?"
James sighed, leaning against the baby crib and propping a small teddy bear onto the pillow. "What party?" he asked in a daze, swirling the contents of his glass around in continuous circles.
Sirius pulled his eyes away from James' glass of orange juice and threw his hands into the air. "What party? James!" He snapped his fingers in his friend's face. "Lily's birthday is tomorrow!"
"Oh, man…" James smacked himself in the forehead. "I still have to wrap all of her presents. We've been so caught up in the baby arrival that I completely forgot about it!"
"No worries, mate. Just bring Lily – we have everything else under control," Sirius muttered, slipping his hands into his pants pockets. "And you knew it would be tomorrow, on her actual birthday, unless the baby came earlier."
James shrugged, bringing a hand up to his face. He slapped his face softly, trying to keep himself awake. Blinking several times, James began to speak. "I did know. I just didn't realize it was coming up so quickly… Is there any way to postpone it until next week?"
Rolling his eyes, Sirius pointed into the bedroom where Lily was sleeping peacefully. "We would have postponed it if she were currently lying in the hospital with a kid to take care of."
"Don't mention anything about the later arrival to Lily tomorrow," James quickly interrupted, his eyes widening in panic. "No one can say a word about the baby, got it?"
Sirius nodded, understanding completely. "But I can't stop any of the girls from oohing and awing."
"No problem – just as long as there's nothing about the due date. And be sure there are lots of people," James said, growing anxious. "She won't complain or overreact in front of a large group. She's too conscious of what her friends think of her. I'll take any of her complaints after the party," James explained as if he were an expert at handling Lily while she was pregnant.
"You're a brave soul," Sirius muttered, examining the several samples of baby clothing hanging on a closet handle. "I can't believe you got married, Prongs…"
James grinned. "I still don't understand why you won't marry your girlfriend. You've been with Adette for how long, Sirius? I swear, you two are coming up on your five year anniversary, but yet I don't see any plans of marriage."
"But with a ring," Sirius pointed out as if it were common sense, "everything changes. The male species in general, after marriage, has lost all control over their life and it is now in the hands of their spouse." He tapped the glass of orange juice in James' hands with his finger. "This, dear friend, is exhibit A. You would never have done this much work for anyone who wasn't your wife."
"No," James corrected, "I would never have done this much work for anyone who wasn't Lily. I'm telling you, Padfoot," James pressed, using their childhood names, "with Lily and me, our marriage was virtually no different than dating. Even you and Adette have it better off than Lily and I did before marriage – you two have already moved in together! You guys even bicker like married couples. You might as well make it legitimate, Sirius."
Sirius smirked. "Let me tell you, my innocent young friend; bickering and moving in together are not the only things we have in common with married couples…"
James laughed, feeling like a child again. "You two be careful," James instructed, acting like an old man. "Or you could end up with a cranky, pregnant woman in the other room."
"Oh, we are, trust me," Sirius grinned. "I do not want any kids…"
"Come on – you don't know what you're missing out on, mate. You know you want them…" James said, narrowing his eyes accusingly at his bachelor friend. Sirius snorted, clearly disagreeing as James began to rant about the positive side of becoming a parent.
"You get a cute kid to cuddle with - "
" – three AM wakeup calls from a hungry infant - "
" – those adorable giggles when you make them laugh - "
" – poopy diapers - "
" – the feeling that you helped bring them into the world - "
" – those so-called "cute kids" becoming nasty teenagers…"
" – teaching them tons of pranks that Lily would murder me for - "
"Oh," Sirius paused, interested. "Now there's a plus."
James nodded, smiling. "I thought I'd get you with that one."
"Honestly, Prongs," Sirius said quietly, "what are you going to do when they get older? Do you remember us at that age?"
"Ah…" James groaned, dropping into the rocking chair by the window. "You've got a point there."
"Do you realize how much torture we put our parents through with our love of living on the wild side?"
"But our baby might not get those qualities," James muttered, frowning slightly.
"Ha!" Sirius shouted, amused. "With you as a father and me as the Godfather," Sirius proudly boasted, "there is no way that kid will turn out a perfect model student!"
James bit his lip, beginning to smile. "I can't wait."
Sirius laughed. "One more thing," he said, eyeing James' glass of orange juice.
"You going to drink that, mate?"
James rolled his eyes and passed his drink over, watching in amusement as Sirius tapped his wand on the rim of the glass twice, changing its contents into mead.
"I can't believe you didn't get more NEWT's with that trick right there, Padfoot," James muttered sarcastically.
Sirius downed the entire glass and handed it back to his friend. "I'm amazed myself, Prongs."
Sirius nodded. He had arrived home no more than ten minutes ago, and already Adette was shooting questions at him left and right about the Potters. "He even forgot to wrap her presents."
"I can't believe he would forget about that…" Adette whispered, brushing out the tangles in her long, blonde hair.
Sirius crawled into their bed, his hands behind his head. "With Lily's condition, I'm not all that surprised."
Adette dropped her brush and exited the bathroom. She propped her hands up on her hips and subjected Sirius to a fierce glare. "It's not a condition – she's pregnant. Completely different."
Sirius smirked and pulled back the covers from Adette's side of the bed, inviting her to join him. "From what I've heard from James, it certainly sounds like a condition." He chuckled to himself, shaking his head as Adette crawled into bed beside him and turned off the lights. Sirius pulled her close to him and yawned. "I still think he's crazy for wanting a kid."
Adette was silent for several minutes. Sirius thought she had fallen asleep, but was surprised when her soft voice broke the silence. "I don't think having a baby would be all that bad…"
Sirius had to fight the urge to let his jaw drop. "You want kids?"
"Well, yeah," Adette muttered, clearing her throat as if this were still a casual conversation.
"But you told me you didn't want any children, Adette," Sirius said softly, rather confused.
Adette sighed and turned over, staring directly into Sirius' face. "That was two years ago, Sirius, when we were all eighteen and graduating from Hogwarts! At the time, I wasn't ready like Lily and James were. I wanted a job and secure lifestyle before I jumped into something I wasn't ready for. And I have a great job right now in the Department of Magical Games and Sports. There's even talk about a promotion, and I'm a likely candidate!" Adette took Sirius' hands into her own. "I'm ready for a change, Sirius."
Sirius sat up, leaning on his pillow. "You want kids?" he repeated, amazed.
Hurt, Adette sighed and pulled her covers up to her chin, facing away from Sirius. "Forget it," she muttered. "I shouldn't have even brought it up. I knew you would act like this." A quiet sniff echoed in the silent room. "I should have known this would come sooner or later."
Sirius froze, trying to understand her words. What would come sooner or later? What is she thinking? Sirius panicked as the worst thought crossed his mind for the first time in several years. Does she want to break up with me?
Without a whisper goodnight, Sirius rolled over, acting like he had actually fallen comfortably asleep. While in fact, both were completely wide-eyed, unable to get to sleep after what had just happened.
"I hate driving in cars."
James smirked. "The Healer says not to use magical methods of transportation."
Lily grumbled, crossing her arms. "He said he recommends it. He never said I couldn't."
"It's only a few minutes," James said, reaching over to Lily and grabbing her hand, squeezing it.
"It takes forever," Lily complained. "Apparition takes less than a second of your time. Driving takes several minutes!"
"I would have thought a Muggle-born witch would be much more prone to driving in a car than a pureblood wizard who just got a license seven months ago."
"Being the driver is a lot better than being the passenger," Lily sulked.
James pointed towards the glove compartment in front of Lily. "I put some chocolates in there just before we left."
Lily beamed. "You did?" She opened the compartment and pulled out a thin box of chocolates. "Thank you, honey!"
Promptly, Lily began popping the small chocolates into her mouth, one by one. After the fourth chocolate she had bit into, Lily cringed. "Caramel," she muttered. "Do you want it, James?"
James opened his mouth and Lily dropped the candy onto his tongue, giggling. "You're so wonderful," Lily said, kissing her husband on the cheek. "Now tell me where we're going."
"I told you we're going out to have lunch." James grinned, turning off of the motorway and onto a smaller road.
"But where?" Lily asked, sitting back in her seat. "We always go out for lunch – why is it this time you won't tell me where?"
"Because it's special," James answered as he had practiced that morning. "This will be one of our last meals without a child to take care of, Lily!"
Lily shrugged, smiling slightly. "I guess so…" She stuck another chocolate into her mouth.
James turned on the Muggle radio, listening more closely to the ad's than to the actual music. A commercial for a local pizza restaurant came on and Lily quickly jabbed the power button, turning off the sound system. "Pizza sounds horrible," Lily muttered, trying not to think of the taste of pizza any longer. "Are there any cassettes in this car?"
"Cassette?" James took his eyes briefly off the road to give his wife a puzzled expression.
"I'll take that as a no…"
James shrugged, turning into a large, empty parking lot. "That doesn't matter anymore; we're here."
Lily looked at the broken down building in front of them, very confused. There was a sign hanging by a single bolt that read, "Rusty's Rib Shack." The windows were coated with dust and wooden boards. A large, plastic banner was strapped just below the sign, reading, "FOR SALE," in big red letters.
"James, there's no one here." She climbed out of the car with James' help, dropping the box of chocolates onto her chair. "Are you sure this is the correct address?"
"Absolutely positive," James affirmed, walking her up to the door. He turned the handle and shoved, managing to release several particles of dust in the air. During Lily's coughing fit, James found his wand and quickly unlocked the door.
"James," Lily repeated quietly, walking slowly. "There is no one here…"
Smiling slightly, James reached into the darkness, feeling around for a Muggle light switch. Grinning, James found the switch and flipped it, filling the entire room with light.
"Surprise!" hundreds of people shouted, all standing in front of them. James scanned the crowd to find several of their good friends from Hogwarts. Many of Lily's and James' co-workers from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement were holding glasses of punch and smiling at them. Even Lily's parents were able to make it to their daughter's twentieth birthday, beaming.
Directly in the middle of the room was a long table with two large bowls of punch at either end. Sitting on the floor were heaps of presents for Lily. In the center of the table, James gasped in awe; he could tell Adette had worked for hours to make the cake herself. There were seven layers of cake stacked high on top of each other, balanced precariously, and covered with pink frosting. Along the edges of each layer on the cake, edible flowers were delicately placed. James snickered as he found the bottom layer missing a rose, and Sirius' lips happened to be the same color as the roses.
James laughed and slung an arm around his wife's shoulder. He looked at her face, wide-eyed and jaw dropped. "Did we get you, or did you know it was coming?" James asked, grinning.
Lily swallowed, blinking furiously. She took in several deep breaths, fanning herself with her left hand. And then, as if frantic, she gripped onto James' jacket collar, pulling him towards her.
With a hint of a smile, Lily whispered the words James had been waiting several months for.
"My water broke."
"Make way!" Sirius shouted, running into St. Mungo's and throwing all of the doors open. "Pregnant woman – having a baby!"
Adette opened the passenger door of James' and Lily's car, helping Lily out. "Deep breaths," Adette instructed, walking Lily slowly to the door. She seemed to be much more relaxed than James, considering that she was a Healer herself, and that she, also, was not the father.
James quickly came up behind the two, taking Lily's other arm just as a man appeared from inside with a wheelchair. "Are you the pregnant woman that man was referring to?"
"If you mean Sirius Black, then yes, this is her," Adette muttered, making a face of annoyance.
Remus Lupin waved his wand at the car, shouting, "Reducio." Immediately, the car was diminished to merely three inches. Smirking, he dropped it cleverly into James' front shirt pocket, slapping him on the back. "I'll check on Sirius and make sure all of the forms are filled out correctly," he said, jogging inside.
James nodded and smiled weakly at his friend, grateful that his friends were all able to help him.
After Lily had gotten herself situated into the chair, the Healer pushed her inside, through the sets of double doors.
"Sir?" the Healer asked, facing towards James. "Are you her husband?"
James nodded eagerly, gripping his wife's hand. Lily smiled as well, looking up at the man pushing her wheelchair. "And soon to be a dad," she boasted proudly.
The Healer nodded, clearly not as overjoyed with happiness as the couple was. "Wait in these seats," the Healer instructed. "Finish the paperwork and we'll be back to get you in a little bit."
James' eyes widened. He felt himself shift uncomfortably. We're waiting? I don't think so – my wife is in labor! James opened his mouth, about to protest, but found his wife had beaten him to it.
"Look," Lily hissed, grabbing a hold of the man's uniform and pulling him down to her level, "I need those drugs the Healer told us about a few weeks ago." Lily's eyes narrowed, looking as if she were about to beat the man up. "Drug me up and get this baby out of me!" Lily shouted into the man's face.
Frightened, the wizard nodded quickly. "Absolutely – here." The man pulled away from Lily's grip and scooped up the pile of papers currently on Sirius' lap. He shoved them into James' stomach and began to push the group towards an elevator. "Mr. uh…" After pushing a button on the door, the Healer looked at his sheet. "Rotter?"
The entire group shot Sirius a death glare as he grinned innocently. "Bad handwriting…"
"It's Potter," James corrected, running a shaky hand through his hair.
"Mr. Potter, we'll have you fill out all of the information upstairs while Mrs. Potter is changing into her gown." The elevator doors opened. The five people crammed inside along with Lily's wheelchair. The Healer handed the papers to James and pushed the number five once inside the elevator. "Will you be joining her in the delivery room?"
James nodded. "Absolutely," he said, rubbing his wife's shoulder.
"Then you will need to wash up and put on an outfit as well."
"Wait," Adette said, motioning to the two boys behind her, "could we come in as well?"
The Healer shook his head. "I'm sorry. St. Mungo's rules allow only one other to be in the room during the delivery." The Healer looked down at Lily, hoping she wouldn't attempt to strangle him again.
"Where do we stay, then?"
A soft ding rang above their heads and the doors on the elevator opened, revealing a large, open room with several chairs lining the walls. "Right here," the man said, pushing Lily out of the elevator and pointing to the several empty chairs. "You all may wait here until the baby is delivered."
Sirius raised an eyebrow. "We just wait? That's it? We can't do anything?"
Adette slapped him on the arm. "You heard what the Healer said, Sirius. Why do you have to push everything?"
Sirius narrowed his eyes at his girlfriend. "I care about my friends," he said firmly. "I want to help them in any way possible."
"They're my friends as well," Adette countered, crossing her arms.
"Guys," James cut in, looking between his two friends suspiciously. He had never seen them argue; the fact that they chose to have their first fight on the day that Lily was about to give birth did not settle his stomach at all. "Could you just stay here and – and not fight." James looked to Remus for support, who nodded understanding. "I'm going to go back - "
There was a loud yell behind James. He spun, running to his wife's side. "Another contraction," he said to the Healer.
The Healer frowned. "This one and the last were close together…"
James swallowed, running a hand through his hair again. "Oh, god," he muttered. "It's happening so quickly…"
Lily reached behind her and found James' hand. She kissed it and gave it a tug, pulling him down towards her, kissing him on the lips.
"Mrs. Potter?" the Healer interrupted. "Are you ready to go, now?"
Lily waved good-bye to her friends and allowed the man to lead her and her husband away.
"Are you happy now?"
Sirius glared at Adette. "Me? You should be the one apologizing, for starting a fight in front of them! They can't handle any more problems!"
Adette looked like she had been slapped in the face. "Sirius Black, you are the most selfish, inconsiderate, and – and self-centered man I know!"
"Funny," Sirius hissed, glaring at Adette, "it sounds like you just described yourself."
"This isn't the place," Remus started, attempting to intervene.
"Shut it," Adette snapped, not taking her eyes off of Sirius.
"Oh, so you're going to yell at my friend, now, are you? You evil little - "
Adette disappeared in a pop. The room was quiet.
"Sirius?" Remus said softly, taking in his friend's crushed face. "What was that?"
Sirius paced back and forth several times before taking a seat beside Remus. He dropped his head into his hands, groaning.
"I understand," Remus comforted, patting him on the back. "It should all blow over soon, Padfoot."
Sirius did not answer.
"Where the hell are my drugs?" Lily shouted.
"Deep breaths, Lily," James said calmly. He gripped his wife's hand. Immediately, she squeezed it with all her might, screaming.
"Quiet!" Lily spat, glaring at her husband. "This is your entire fault, you know!"
James smiled. "You were the one who wanted a baby so badly, Lily," James pointed out smoothly.
Lily did not listen to his words. "Why didn't you tell me that giving birth in the wizard world is the exact same as giving birth in the Muggle world?" Lily dug her fingernails deep into James' hand. "Otherwise, I would have never let you get me pregnant!"
"I did not make you get pregnant!"
The Healer stepped into the room, smiling at the bickering couple. "She's pulling the it's-your-fault routine already?"
James nodded. His hand went numb.
The Healer shook his head sadly. "Usually that one comes during the actual delivery. I can tell we'll have a bit of work with her."
James glared at the Healer, dropping Lily's hand. "You did not spend nine months with this woman. You will have more than a bit of work."
"I see," the Healer beamed. He walked to James' side, smiling at the redhead. "Mrs. Potter, we will be giving you painkillers just briefly before the delivery, so as to minimize the amount of painkillers you will be given. It also helps with the child's health," he explained calmly to the couple.
Lily's eyes widened, furious. "I get them when? I have to wait? Look here," Lily argued, her eyes becoming very narrow, "that was not what you told us when we last spoke with you!"
"We hope the painkillers will come very soon, Mrs. Potter," the man assured, taking two steps of precaution away from the woman.
Not more than two seconds after the Healer announced this statement, Lily's hand immediately found its way back to James' hand, squeezing with all of the strength she had inside of her.
Lily let out a scream at the top of her lungs.
"Oh, man…" Remus stood up abruptly as soon as Lily's scream reached his ears. Holding a hand over his stomach, he bolted for the bathroom.
Poor guy, Sirius thought, watching as his friend tripped clumsily into the bathroom, followed by the sound of lunch being violently spewed into the toilet bowl. He never had a strong stomach…
Sirius gently pushed open the door to the men's bathroom. "Moony?" he called out.
A weak voice from the last stall managed to croak out a feeble, "I'm fine – one minute."
Sirius allowed the door to swing closed, relieved that Remus did not wish for him to help.
He shuffled his feet slowly across the floor and looked up at the plain room they had been told to sit inside. The chairs pressed against the walls were beginning to slowly fill up. Two children sat with their grandmother in a corner, playing a game of exploding snap on the floor, shouting and giggling.
Sirius could not stand the noise. Crossing his arms, he ducked out of the room inconspicuously.
"Let's see…" Sirius passed several windows that let in the bright sun from outside. He checked his watch, realizing with a start that he and Remus had been sitting in the waiting room for several hours already. His stomach began to growl, reminding Sirius of the dinner he had almost forgotten.
Food, Sirius thought, slinking through the corridors. Several Healers bustled past him with a patient rolling along in a wheelchair. I need to find some food…
The hallway came to a fork in the road; there were doors to choose from.
Making an annoyed sigh, Sirius walked through the door on his right, hoping to find a very large sandwich on the other side.
The hallway was not as bright as the other hallways had been. In fact, the hallway was rather dark, almost to the point where Sirius could barely see where it was that he was walking.
Sirius took several steps inside, curious as to what he would find. A low humming began to emit above his head and light slowly filled the room.
What on earth…?
Immediately to his left was a window that stretched several hundred feet. Sirius stepped closer, pressing his hands onto the glass window.
There were rows upon rows of cribs holding newborns. Many of the babies were sleeping calmly. Blue and pink tags hung off of their crib, revealing the children's names.
They're so tiny, Sirius marveled, feeling him press his face into the cold glass, wishing to be closer to the babies. He looked at every single child, imagining himself inside of the room, playing with them.
Sirius walked further down the hallway. He found himself face to face with a new door. Grinning, he opened it, eager to find more children.
His grin quickly disappeared. There were, in fact, more children on the other side of the door, but they did not look like the other's had.
Two Healers walked around the room, casting routine spells on the babies in their cribs.
This isn't looking good…
A man pushed his wife's wheelchair into the room, parking her just beside a small child right before Sirius' eyes. Both of their faces were covered with dried tears.
"Madelyn," Sirius whispered, reading the little girl's name tag. He stepped closer to the glass, imagining himself holding the little girl. She was nearly half the size of the children in the other room. She could fit into my hand…
A transparent bubble surrounded her crib, keeping her in a stable environment.
She can't be more than a few days old, Sirius mused, frowning. The mother sitting with the girl named Madelyn began to sob. Her husband wrapped an arm comfortingly around her shoulder, kissed her forehead, and gazed helplessly down upon their sick baby.
Sirius swallowed, unable to take his eyes off of the small baby girl. Weakly, he felt his forehead thud dully against the glass window.
"Push, Lily, push!"
"Shut the hell up, James!" Lily shouted to her husband with her eyes firmly closed. Sweat dripped down her red face. "Do you think you could do much better?"
James did not answer.
"You're doing great, Mrs. Potter," the Healer replied automatically. "I can see the head right now."
Lily squeezed James' hand, halfway between crying and yelling. "Well?" James asked, grinning. "Is it a boy or girl?"
The Healer chuckled softly. "Mr. Potter, we need to wait to figure that out…"
James nodded rapidly, unable to realize his mistake due to his excitement for their child.
"When we're able to get both shoulders out," the Healer spoke, "we should be home free."
The couple only looked slightly relieved at the news. As much as they anticipated the baby's arrival, they most certainly did not like what it entailed.
Remus emerged from the bathroom with a face as pale as a ghost. He leaned weakly against the doorway, searching the room.
"Sirius?" Remus muttered, stepping into the middle of the hallway, confused. He did not find his friend nearby.
"Just left, darling," a kind voice said behind him. Remus spun, finding he was standing before an old woman with two children.
"Ah," Remus answered, taking his seat once again. "Did you happen to see where? Did he say anything to you?"
The woman shook her head apologetically. "I'm terribly sorry. I just saw him walk out of the room."
Remus looked over towards the hallway that the woman had been pointing at, cringing. Healers hurriedly swept the hallway at top speeds. There was no way Remus would be able to find his friend in that mess.
The woman cleared her throat, hoping to get Remus' attention.
Remus looked back to the woman. She was holding her hand out to him, smiling. "I'm Beverly."
"Remus Lupin," Remus answered, shaking the woman's hand.
"These are my grandchildren," the woman said, pointing the boy. "This here is Blake. And this is Jadyn." She pointed to Blake's younger sister. Neither of the kids responded to the woman's gestures to them.
The children could not have been very old. Remus doubted the boy had even reached seven.
"Their mother is in labor at the moment," the grandmother commented, unable to hide a smile. "I can't wait any longer for another grandchild to spoil," she smirked, folding her hands across her lap. "Is your wife in labor?"
Remus quickly shook his head, blushing. "Ah – no, not my wife."
"Oh. Dear, this is awkward," the woman whispered, covering her face with her wrinkly hands. "Is it your girlfriend?" she asked quietly, as if she did not wish for the children to overhear her conversation. "Did you two have an accident several months ago?"
Oh, boy… "No, ma'am. My friend and his wife are here. She is the one in labor. I'm just a friend. That's it."
The grandmother laughed, looking much more relieved. "I see," she grinned.
There was a soft pop in the center of the room.
"Adette!" Remus nearly shouted, relieved at the sight of a friendly face. "Where were you?" he hissed, eyeing the grandmother nervously.
Adette crossed her arms over her chest, stony faced. "Where's Sirius?" she asked, breathing heavily. It did not surprise Remus that her face had left a tear residue.
"Not here at the moment. He should be back soon, I think…"
"I hope not."
The grandmother leaned over to Remus, smiling toward Adette. "Is this your girlfriend, dear? Why don't you introduce me?"
Remus could not have been happier for an interruption. The door directly across from where they sat swung open, revealing a very tall and a very tired looking man standing in the doorway with a lopsided grin. He brought both of his hands up to his hair, sighing wistfully.
"So…?" Remus stood up anxiously, joining Adette in the middle of the floor. "What happened, Prongs?"
"It's a boy."
"His name is Harry," Lily whispered to Remus and Adette, gently rocking her child back and forth in her arms. "Harry James Potter."
James grinned. "I have been waiting for this day for nine long months. And now," he said, touching his son's forehead lovingly, "it's finally here."
"What do you mean finally?" Lily narrowed her eyes dangerously at her husband, smirking. "Were those nine months longer for you than me?"
James sat comfortably beside his wife on her bed. "First of all, and the most obvious," James answered, "my son has arrived." He grinned. "You know, I like the sound of that. My son…"
"And…?" Remus pressed with a smile. He shoved his hands into his pants pocket.
"Number two," James continued, "after Lily kicked two out of the three assistant medics before having Harry, here, you should have seen the amount of that potion they gave her." James laughed. "Lily eventually calmed down to her normal behavior, which also means less abuse towards the husband."
"What's number three?" Adette asked, reaching out for the baby's small fist.
"The best," James sighed, leaning back onto the pillow that was supporting Lily. "After all of the yelling, Lily has finally lost her voice, and can only speak in a whisper."
Lily glared playfully at her husband, feigning a hurt look.
"You know I'm joking." James quickly apologized as he kissed his wife.
Adette wiped small blobs of water away from the corners of her eyes. "Lily?" she asked tentatively. "Could I hold him?"
Lily bit her lip.
"You could try to," James muttered, "but it's like trying to get past a bowtruckle guarding their tree. Trust me," James said in a good mood. "And believe me, I have tried to get past a bowtruckle."
Ignoring James' comments, Lily hesitantly held out her child to Adette. "Be careful," she said, reluctantly letting him out of her hands.
"Of course I'll be careful," Adette muttered. "I am a Healer, Lily."
Adette scooped the child into her arms and smiled down at the sleeping boy. She walked slowly around the room, growing more and more comfortable with the pleasurable weight on her arm.
Adette studied the child's face, memorizing each and every detail. This is it, she thought miserably. This will be the closest I get to a child…
"Excuse me, Miss?"
A rather large woman behind the counter dropped her Witch Weekly magazine on the desk and looked up at Sirius with a stern glare. "Mrs. Bentley," she sighed, pointing to a sign on the counter that clearly read, "Mrs. Charlene Bentley."
"Yes," Sirius quickly said, brushing her off. "I'm looking for the room that Lily Potter is staying in."
"Is she ill?" Mrs. Bentley said flatly, reciting the speech she said every day.
"Ah – no, she isn't. She's pregnant." Sirius thought back to several minutes ago when he had gone back to the waiting room to find Remus was no longer waiting there. "She might have already delivered, actually…"
"Floor five," the woman said, picking up her magazine and continuing to read.
"No, no," Sirius said, leaning onto the counter, "you must have misunderstood me. I'm looking for their room. Not the floor. I know which floor they're on."
"If you knew which floor," Mrs. Bentley said without looking up from Witch Weekly, "then why weren't you up there when she delivered?"
"I was," Sirius growled, losing his patience. "I wasn't in the waiting room, though, so I don't know which room she is in."
"Oh," Mrs. Bentley smirked, dropping her magazine a few inches so that she could look at Sirius over the top. "Are you a nervous father? I can't tell you how many times we get nervous fathers who wander away and don't know their room number."
"I'm not a father," Sirius argued, turning red. "I just need the room number!"
The woman grinned. Her job was done. "Five seventy-seven," she said, leaning back in her chair.
Sirius stalked off without a, "thank you," and jabbed the elevator button. She just had to make it difficult, he grumbled, sending a death glare to everyone that passed by.
The elevator bell made a ding and the doors slid open. Sirius quickly stepped inside and crossed his arms.
Stupid woman, Sirius muttered. Didn't she see that I've already had a tiring day? I do not need a smart-ass secretary!
The elevator bell rang again at the fifth floor. The doors opened, revealing a grinning couple, a small three year-old boy, and a baby cradled in their arms.
"Excuse me," Sirius muttered sourly, sidling past.
The man quickly grabbed Sirius' shoulder and spun him back around before he had a chance to escape. He held out a cigar and shoved it into Sirius' hand. "It's a girl," he squeaked, very excited. "Born just a few days ago!"
Sirius felt his mouth fall open, gazing at the family curiously. He didn't know these people. But still, the couple could not have been any happier.
At the time, Sirius had felt like yelling at the man. "Are you crazy?" he would have shouted. "You have two kids and you're smiling?"
If the father had noticed Sirius' face, he did not show it. He merely helped his family into the elevator and gave Sirius a kind smile as the doors closed.
Sirius was left looking into the reflection of the elevator. He was a mess. The car ride to St. Mungo's along with the stroll throughout the fifth floor had created a disheveled look about him. Large bags shadowed his eyes, along with several patches of wrinkles that had appeared onto his face over night. In the reflection, Sirius could even swear he saw the hint of a gray strand of hair protruding from the thick, black locks.
After his fight with Adette the night before, Sirius had been unable to get a wink of sleep. He had not only thought about his future with Adette, but also something Sirius had never once imagined he would catch himself thinking about.
Maybe Sirius really did want kids after all.
Impossible, he fired back at himself, taking long strides down the hallway. They're horrible little brats.
Not true, he thought rationally. You saw how happy that couple was – that's their second child!
Maybe they had a nanny…
Stop with the excuses, he argued. Face the music. You actually want a kid.
I do not. Sirius searched his mind for any one reason he no longer wanted a child. What if I do have a kid? What if they turn out like Madelyn? he wondered, remembering that sick child he had seen earlier.
You would love Madelyn whether she was healthy or not.
No! Sirius shouted at himself as he approached a door with the number five-hundred and seventy-seven on it. He reached for the handle and pushed the door open without knocking.
Adette stood in the center of the room with a small baby cradled in her arms. A look of bliss had settled across her face. She looked up suddenly, startled by the sound of the door.
That's when it hit him. It was a photo perfect moment: Adette with a child in her arms. Sirius did not want that child to go away. He did not want Adette to go away. In fact, he would have rather added himself into the scene – he wanted to be right next to her, smiling over a baby with them. Sirius didn't want a thing to change. He wanted to be with her for as long as humanly possible.
He needed to be with her.
"Sirius," Adette whispered, paling. She clutched the child closer to her chest.
James looked back and forth between his two friends, very confused.
Sirius walked towards Adette, mere feet away from her. He attained eye contact and swallowed the large lump in his throat. Sirius attempted to speak in his normal voice, but it came out as if it were scratchy and unused. He coughed and spoke again.
"Adette," he whispered, "I've been thinking."
Adette did not rock the baby back and forth as she had earlier.
"I can't stand the thought of being without you," Sirius said. "I would be a wreck. Look at me now," he pointed out, spreading out his arms, "I already am a wreck, and it's been less than a day since our, uh… mishap."
James, Lily, and Remus all felt their eyebrows shoot up in surprise.
"I fell apart without you. I couldn't function!"
Remus scratched the back of his head awkwardly. The room was suddenly becoming very small, as if everyone was intruding on Sirius' and Adette's private conversation. He eyed the door, seeing if he could exit quietly without being noticed.
"I'm ready," Sirius said finally. He approached Adette, looking down at the child in her arms. Cautiously, Sirius reached out and took her free hand into his, entwining his fingers through hers. He rested his forehead against hers. "I want this," he said, looking directly into Adette's eyes. "I want you and me to be together and a child in our arms."
Adette closed her eyes and dropped her head into Sirius' chest. She felt the tears fall.
"No, Sirius," she cut him off. "You can't do this just because I want you to…"
Sirius felt his heart stop momentarily. "I'm not," he answered truthfully. "What you said to me last night made me think. I don't want to lose you, Adette."
"That's exactly it, Sirius!" Adette pulled herself away from Sirius. "You don't really want children, and I can't make you do something you don't want to do, especially something as big as this!"
Sirius stepped closer to Adette once again, afraid that tears of his own would begin sprouting up if he did not speak quicker. "That's just it," he explained. "I do want kids, Adette! This is all I've been thinking about for the past twenty-four hours. The moment I saw you holding her kid," Sirius said, pointing roughly in Lily's direction but without taking his eyes off of Adette, "I knew what I wanted. All day, I've been back and forth, but just seeing you, it finally clicked. Everything made sense to me."
Adette hiccupped through her tears, trying to hide her smile.
"James," Lily hissed, clutching his sleeve, "get my baby." She eyed the couple warily. "Who knows what they're going to do with Harry in her arms…"
James quickly obeyed, snatching his son from Adette's grasp and returning him safely to Lily's arms.
Adette hardly noticed; because at that moment, Sirius had dropped down to his knee.
"Hey," James muttered, feeling a smile spread across his face, "watch'a doing down there for?"
Sirius took Adette's hand and held onto it. "I love you," he said. "I want to marry you, have a little girl named Madelyn, and continue having plenty of more kids."
Adette raised an eyebrow at the mention of a girl named Madelyn, but immediately ignored it. Sirius' previous statement had caught her attention. "You want to marry me?"
"Adette Mae Foster," Sirius pronounced clearly, his voice echoing surprisingly loudly in the room, "will you marry me?"
Adette fell to her knees beside Sirius, grinning through her tears. "Of course I will, Sirius." She threw her arms around Sirius' neck and kissed him.
"Hey," Remus muttered, looking away. "There are about fifty thousand other rooms in this place – you guys think you could pick a different one?"
Adette laughed and leaned closer to Sirius, ignoring their friends' protests to stop. He proceeded to lose his balance and was sent backwards, sprawled onto the floor with Adette lying on top of him.
"Not to mention," Lily said, shifting Harry so that he could not see the couple, "there is a young child in this room who does not need to be exposed to such behavior in his youth…"
"Screw it," Sirius muttered. He made himself comfortable on the floor and smiled up at his fiancée. "I'm getting married."
Adette could not stop grinning. "Let's make it big," she said. "We'll be broke afterwards, but it'll be worth it."
There was a soft knock and the door opened. "Mrs. Potter – ah," he stopped, averting his eyes away from the couple lying on the floor, "should I come back?"
"No need," Lily said, smirking. "They were just about to leave." She jumped suddenly, looking frantically at Remus. "Would you mind checking in on Sadelle – oh, I hope she didn't go to the bathroom in the house…"
James nodded and looked at his three friends. "Visiting hours are over, guys."
Remus was not hesitant whatsoever about leaving the room. In fact, he was the first one out of the door, eager to leave the odd scene behind.
The Healer approached the bed and took baby Harry into his arms. "My, my," he muttered, casting a few minor spells on the child, "look at the hair on this little guy!"
James grinned guiltily. "That would be from me," he said, smiling at his wife. "Sorry, Lily."
Lily turned to the Healer, smirking. "We didn't want Harry to have his father's hair," she explained, picking up James' hand and squeezing it affectionately. "It never stays put."
The Healer nodded, handing the small child back to his parents. He glanced at a clipboard that he had set on the bottom of the bed earlier. "Harry James Potter," he said.
Lily eagerly bobbed her head up and down.
"Date of birth," the Healer continued, "July thirty-first."
James' ears perked up. "I never even thought of that…"
Lily nodded as the Healer looked on in confusion. "My birthday," Lily said, wrapping her baby boy back up in the blanket. "Harry and I were both born on July thirty-first."
"Well," the Healer grinned, "I'll be right back. Let me go grab a cup of ice cream for us to celebrate!"
The family laughed as the Healer bustled from the room.
"Well, well," James grinned, taking Harry from Lily's arms. "It seems we'll have a party after all. And look at me," he said, speaking to Harry, "I'm not prepared! No presents for either of you!"
Smiling, Lily clasped her hands together, twiddling her thumbs. "It's fine, James. Everything was unexpected. This morning, I didn't even realize it was my birthday in the first place."
Lily moved over to the right side of the hospital bed, motioning for James and the child to sit beside her. James climbed onto the covers and threw his feet up comfortably, holding Harry with his left arm, and wrapping his right one around his wife's shoulders.
"This is the best day ever," James announced, kissing his wife.
Lily wiggled around, finding a comfortable spot on top of James' chest. Lily and Harry fell asleep in James' arms.
James smiled at his two most prized possessions and spoke in a whisper.
"Happy birthday, baby."
AUTHORS NOTE: Hope everyone enjoyed that as much as I loved writing it! I absolutely loved it - I don't think there was a second that I was bored of writing that story.
And for those wondering about Light, I'm sort-of having a bit of a hard time letting go - not to mention actually finding time to write. (This story was prewritten several months ago, all I had to do was post it...) I know exactly what I'm going to write and where I will write it, but it's so sad that it will be the last chapter! I'll try to find some time when the school play ends next week to write some more!
Thanks a ton, everyone!