Existence

All Grown Up

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

A/N: Well, I did it again. I started another story when I haven't even updated any of the other ones I've started. I appreciate all the reviews and I haven't forgotten any of my stories, not at all. It's just that, all of a sudden, real life has caught up with me. I tried not to let it affect my writing, and it didn't…to an extent. It's easy to write things in my notebook, which I carry everywhere, but it's a whole nother story to find time to type and edit them. I really need an editor…Anyway, enjoy the latest plot bunny, hopefully it's completely original and you've never read anything like it. Remember, if there are any questions, comments or criticisms, please review. Also, I just want to mention one thing about the birth scene. I'm an EMT, but I had to take major liberties with the scene, so yes, it's not incredibly realistic, but for the purpose of the scene, it works.

Summary: Single mother, Lily Evans is raising her son, Harry, by herself, but when the father gets a whiff of his son's existence, he wants more than just a glance…

1980: Lily Evans, tears streaming down her face, pushed hard once more and collapsed back onto her hospital bed, clenching the sweaty white linen. The doctor sitting at the foot of her bed smiled as sudden wailing filled the small room.

"Well, it looks like you have a boy, Mrs. Evans." she said, handing the small baby boy to a nurse who cleaned and wrapped him in a light blue blanket.

"Th- thank you," Lily gasped, "and it's Ms. Evans. Can I see him?"

The nurse nodded and carefully handed the crying baby over to her. "He's beautiful ma'am. You're very lucky."

Lily's mouth curved into a tired smile at the compliment and nodding at the nurse, she took the baby from her. Looking at her son, she wiped away her final tears and smiled sadly at him. "He is, isn't he?"

Placing a soft kiss on the infant's head, she laughed softly as he looked around in bewilderment until finally focusing on his mother. Slowly, his scrunched up face smoothed out and he smiled at her, gurgling. He was perfect. He had ten perfect little fingers; ten perfect little toes, one absolutely adorable button nose, tufts of untidy brown hair, and gorgeous green eyes. He was the perfect combination of Lily and-

"Ms. Evans?" Startled, Lily looked up "Do you have a name yet?"

"Um, well yes, actually." Lily smoothed the baby's hair out of his eyes, "His name's Harry, Harry Evans."

"Wonderful." the nurse commented, "Now just give Harry to me and if there's a father or family member I could talk to-" Lily shook her head, red hair swinging limply, "Ah, well then, I'll take Harry while you fill out these forms."

"Of course." Lily said, reluctantly handing Harry over to the nurse, "But…you won't- when…"

The nurse laughed. "Don't worry Ms. Evans, you'll get to see Harry again in a hour or two."

"Yes, I know." Lily hesitated, "But…you won't let anyone take him, will you?"

"What?"

"I mean, I just- he's mine, right? Mine and no one else's?" Lily asked, pleading.

The nurse frowned and then smiled sympathetically at her. "He's all yours. No one is going to take him from you." she said, patting her arm.

"Thank you." Lily murmured, relaxing onto the bed.

The nurse smiled and left the room, holding Harry close to her breast.

Lily turned to the papers, now assured that Harry was safe. Filling out the papers steadily, she stopped suddenly when she came to the slot marked father. Her heart ached. But this would work; this would have to work. No, she would make it work. Looking at the blank space under the name, Father, she sighed: unknown.


1991: "Hey Harry, awesome game!"

"And what a goal at the end! You're going to pave the way to the nationals for Hogwarts!"

"Keep up the good work!"

Harry Evans ducked his head and scurried over to his two best friends who were waiting for him near his locker. Noticing their mirthful faces, he slipped off his backpack, opened his locker with a clang and buried his head in the anonymousness of his locker.

"Tell me when everyone's stopped staring." he moaned.

Hermione laughed, curly brown hair bouncing energetically. "You're a celebrity now, Harry." she teased, "Soon I'm going to have to start making appointments to see you."

"I know," Ron quipped, and then turning to Hermione, he mock seriously asked, "Do you think that if I make a couple goals during the next game, I'll have girls throwing themselves at me?"

Hermione whacked him hard with her purse. "You don't need girls hanging off you," she sniffed, "You'd get a big head; Harry, on the other hand, can handle it."

"What! So you think-"

"Oh honestly," Harry grumbled, taking out some books and slamming his locker shut, "You score a couple of goals, win a few games, and-"

"A few games?" Ron said incredulously, "You're the star of the soccer team, Harry!"

"And," Hermione said smugly, "You're going to lead us to the national championship."

"Oh please." Harry waved his hand as if brushing the fact away, "It's a team effort. We all worked very hard to make the semifinals. I mean, last game you stopped at least half the opposing players from making it to the goal, Ron. The defense is just as important as the offense; in fact, it's probably even more important."

"Oh please," Ron scoffed, "You're the reason we've gotten this far. I told you that Hogwart's was going to have the best team ever when you joined."

"Don't-"

"Harry!" Oliver Wood, the captain of the soccer team, converged upon the trio, seemingly everywhere at once, "We have to have a team meeting."

Harry blanched and put his books in front of his body as a shield. "We can't now, Oliver. I have math class. McGonagall will kill me if I'm late."

"McGonagall's the coach of the soccer team. She'll understand if we need a last minute meeting. The semifinal match is in a week!"

"Wood-"

Ignoring him, Oliver grabbed his hand and dragged him down the hall. "You too Weasley," he called over his left shoulder, "Move it."

Harry sighed. Ever since he had started Hogwarts eight months ago, life had just gotten more and more hectic. It wasn't soccer; he loved soccer. It was all the pressure that came along with soccer. It all the popularity soccer had suddenly given him- the pictures in the newspapers, the interviews on local TV; it was the entire school expecting him to lead them to victory…he was only a first year, for god's sake!

And it was his mom. Oh yes, it was definitely his mom. He loved his mother; she had worked two jobs since he was born to get them where they were and he owned everything to her, but sometimes he couldn't help wondering when soccer had gone from a way to keep him out of her hair for a couple of hours to an all time consuming sport that had gone from kicking a ball around to the key to his future for his mom. It seemed like-

"Oliver…is this a broom closet?" Harry asked suddenly, interrupting his own thoughts.

Oliver looked around furtively. "I couldn't be sure that the locker room wasn't booby trapped."

"Booby trapped?" George and Fred Weasley entered the broom closet, pushing Ron, Neville, and Seamus, before them, "Oliver, have you lost your mind?"

"What are you talking about, dear brother?" Fred chimed in, "It's completely normal to meet in an cramped dusty broom closet when there's a huge locker room just waiting for us down the corridor."

"Of course, but Oliver just really likes the décor." Ron added.

Oliver rolled his eyes. "Everyone here?"

Seamus shook his head. "Dean has an English test."

"An English test?" Oliver cried out disbelievingly, "How is an English test more important than this meeting?"

"Oliver," Harry said, interrupting the soon to come tirade, "why don't you try telling us why you brought us here."

"Glad you asked, because it involves you." Oliver said reaching into his backpack.

"Me? What is it?" Harry asked, perplexed.

"Look at this." Oliver said, holding out a newspaper.

Taking the newspaper, Harry moaned unhappily. Splayed across the front page of the L. A. Times was the heading: Soccer Phenomenon to Lead Hogwarts to Victory. Below the headline was a full-color picture depicting Harry in mid scissor kick, mud spraying upwards, covering almost everything except a blurred outline of his body and his determined green eyes.

"Don't they have anything better to write about. Wars? Natural disasters? Anything but a small town soccer player?" Harry groaned.

"Must have a slow news day." Ron commented, slinging an gangly arm over Harry's shoulder, "Nice picture though."

"No, no, bad picture." Oliver said hysterically, "Don't you see, Harry isn't our secret weapon anymore. We can't trot him in at halftime and pulverize the other team whenever we want. Now everyone knows how good he is." Oliver gasped suddenly. "There could be attacks." he grabbed Harry's shirt, "how much time do you spend alone?"

"Uh…Oliver," Harry started, "I don't think anyone's going to attack me. It's just a soccer match."

"JUST A SOCCER MATCH!" Oliver yelled, his voice reverberating in the small closet, "It is not just a soccer match, Harry. It's the soccer match, the nationals. The two best teams in America play in it and almost every member becomes a pro afterwards. So, do you spend much time alone?"

Harry threw up his hands. "My mother works. I'm alone until after soccer practice till about eleven at night. On weekends, we usually have practice, but I do spend the rest of the weekend with mom, so-"

"That's horrible!" Oliver said feverishly, "From now on you need to be with someone at all times. Never be alone. Someone could kidnap you or injure you or maybe-"

"Alright, alright," Harry burst out, "I'll stay with someone when my mom's not home. Just…calm down before you have an attack."

"Great," Oliver smiled, "Now, on to practice."

"Umm Oliver," Neville piped up for the first time since the impromptu meeting began, "Don't we still have school?"


Miles away, another man, suspiciously similar to a certain soccer star was looking at the same picture. His name was James Potter, and he was not only a movie star, but the movie star. And currently, he was staring at the picture splashed across the front page with mounting curiosity.

"Pettigrew!" he shouted, walking throughout his multimillion dollar home, "Where are you?"

"Right here sir." A short dumpy man flew through the door, fumbling with a cache of papers, "Actually I'm glad you called. The Academy called again. They want you to give some of the awards away and also, the director of that movie you showed interest in sent us an email. They already have a lead actor for the role, but they'd be happy to offer you another smaller role, or if you want, you can have the pick of any other movies the studio is producing. A couple of them look like-"

James ignored Pettigrew completely. "Has Sirius arrived?"

"I…uh…hold on, let me check." Pettigrew haphazardly opened his briefcase, dropping half the papers in the process, "Umm…"

"Pettigrew!" James snapped, "Just check the parlor, will you?"

"Oh," Pettigrew squeaked, "Right away!"

Rolling his eyes, James brushed a piece of invisible lint from his Armani suit, smoothing it out completely. "Jimbo!" Sirius came up and slapped him on the back, wrinkling the suit again.

James grimaced and turned and gave Sirius the same treatment. "Good to see you again, Siri."

"Yeah, it's been a while, but at least I've got a tan." Sirius turned, showing off all his muscles.

Sirius was an old friend of James from high school. He had gone through the same acting challenges as James had and was a formidable actor in his own right. Now he lived nearby and even though the two were busier than ever before, they still saw each other at least once a week.

"So," Sirius asked, blue eyes dancing, "What's got Pettigrew in a tiff now?"

"Just the usual." James said dismissively, "Forget about him and take a look at this picture."

"High school soccer?" Sirius wrinkled his nose, "I never thought you'd be into-"

"The picture, you idiot." James said irritably.

Sirius's eyes widened. "He's the splitting image of you, James!"

"He is, isn't he?" James said self-satisfied.

"Yeah," Sirius flipped through the paper trying to find the related article, "Who is he? Maybe he can be your younger double in movies."

"His last name's is Evans." James said, his mouth grim.

"Evans?" Sirius questioned, "Wait, here: At Hogwarts, life is defined by soccer, soccer and more soccer. Finally, after a seven-year dry streak, Hogwarts finally has a chance at the national title and it's all due to young soccer prodigy, Harry Evans…" Sirius skipped ahead, "…Harry, son of single mother, Lily Evans, lives on the lower west side in-"

"Lily Evans, do you see, right there? James pointed out the sentence for emphasis, "Remember Lily Evans?"

"Yeah sure," Sirius said slowly, "You dumped her when you found out that you got the part for that movie."

"Yes, and it was a good move too; I won my first Oscar for that movie." James said tightly.

"I'm not saying that it wasn't," Sirius placated, "But…you did ever…do you think he's yours."

"Well, he's the right age, and he certainly looks like he is." James muttered, "We did have sex a couple of times."

"Wow!" Sirius whistled, "If he is…then, well…wow. This is big; this is really big. I mean, what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to speak to my old fame." James said, rolling up his newspaper.

"And then?" Sirius said worriedly.

"If she admits it…then, well, Harry seems like a good kid, and I can certainly give him a better life than one on the lower west side. And if she doesn't admit it, then I'll make the accusation public and order a DNA test."

"Be careful James," Sirius said, "You might end up with more than you bargained for."

Deep brown eyes narrowed, "I don't care. If Lily Evans has been hiding something of mine from me then I swear upon all that's holy, I'll bring hell upon her with the swiftness and force of a lighting strike."

James Potter turned and stalked from the room, planning to leave disaster in his wake.


"And so now, I have to stay at Ron's until you come home, because Oliver's afraid that someone's going to kidnap me or something stupid like that." Harry complained, kicking his feet against the worn wooden table, "He's so obsessed."

Lily Evan laughed, her tired smile hidden by a chipped coffee mug. It was late, almost twelve, but it was one of the only times mother and son got to spend a few scant moments together in their small one bedroom apartment, so they lit a few candles, warmed up dinner and made do with the half an hour they had before Harry would fall asleep at the table from exhaustion and Lily would drag him off to bed, tucking him in like she did when he was young.

Harry wouldn't say they lived in the slums; it wasn't as if there were knifings and drive-bys every five minutes. Those things only happened in movies anyway. On the other hand, Harry couldn't say they lived the high life either. All he could say was that they loved each other and in the end that was all that mattered, wasn't it?

Lily got up stretching her tired muscles, and swept the last of dinner into the garbage, before starting the clunky dishwasher. "Dinner was delicious as usual, sweetie. Thank you."

"No problem. Mom, the next game is going to be in two weeks on Sunday…do you think you'll be able to come?" Harry asked hesitantly.

Lily frowned, small lines appearing on her pretty face. "I'm working double shifts for the next month, Harry. Some of these new expenses have cleaned us out. I'm sorry, but tell you what, if you make the finals, and you will, I'll most definitely come to that."

"Well you're going to have to. It's on the east coast." Harry snapped suddenly.

"Harry…" Lily sighed, "I know-"

"No." Harry said softly, "You don't. I started playing soccer to make you proud, but if you even come to the games anymore because you're so tired or still working, then there's no point to playing," Harry broke off, "Maybe…maybe I should quit soccer. I can go to a public school and get a job after school and-"

"No, Harry," Lily said firmly, "I'm not going to let that happen. Who knows how many stars were born and never got the chance to shine, because they never got farther than a job at a gas station. I don't want that to happen to you. Even if you decide not to follow a career in soccer, by that time you'll have more choices. You could go to college…"

Harry tuned out the rest of the litany as his mother latched onto her favorite topic: college. It was her mother's dream for him to go, probably because she had never went herself. Percy had told him once that his mother's desire for him to go to college stemmed from the fact that she had never gone to college herself. Harry supposed that this was another one of those if-your-parents-didn't-do-it-you-will things that parents foisted on their kid's shoulders every once and a while.

Finally Harry sighed and slipped off his stool, tracing the faded fabric of his nightshirt. "Let's not have this conversation again. I'm going to go to bed; we have to get up early tomorrow for practice."

"Alright baby," Lily said, smoothing his raven hair away from his eyes, "I'll be in soon to tuck you in."

Harry stared at his mother solemnly. "Night mom."

Lily looked back at him, framed by the light of the dying candles. It gave her an almost ethereal appearance. As if she was both old and young at the same time. In one moment, she looked as if she had the weight of the world on her shoulders; in another, the candles flickered and she was once again a lively eighteen year old, her entire life ahead of her.

"Good night." she whispered, standing and kissing him softly on the head.

Then, after Lily was sure that Harry had left, she opened the liquor cabinet.

To Be Continued…