Sitting On The Baby By HPOD sufferer
Date: Saturday, 9th September, 7:11PM
Rating: K+ (Scary and Supernatural themes may scare young children), sexual implications (very minor)
Summary: Sirius bounded into the compartment, making to sink into the seat next to Lily. The seat in which a sleeping baby...well, slept. Eyes popping, James grabbed his friend's wrists, stopping him from sitting. Sirius Black was frozen in a strange, half-sitting, half-standing position. Lily grabbed the baby quickly, and James released his friend. "You know," said Lily " Baby sitting doesn't usually consist of actually sitting on the baby."
A baby has appeared. Where from? Why? Who does the baby belong to? Harry travels to Marauder Era. AS A BABY! Something went seriously wrong on that Halloween night.
Disclaimer: What do you mean, I don't own Harry Potter? I've got all the DVDs, all the books, and a figurine. Of course I own Harry Potter!!!! (I will not be held at court because of sarcasm).
Chapter 28: The Plan Unfolded
It is with great sorrow that I tell you today
A tale of a father who sent his son away
But not for schooling or safety or hate
But because he loved him before his birth date
If that weren't enough for this poor man
But now he will bring death to more of his clan
He'll keep his mouth shut I'm certain it's true
With the death of his wife he'll have nothing to do
But to perish before her, tell her that "away you must goes!"
In the desperate hope that he may change what he knows
It is quite surprising how many potions one must take after coming back from the dead, James realised, as he turned his head away from what looked like a goblet full of caterpillar innards. "Mr Potter-" said the Matron in a warning voice, and James reluctantly opened his mouth. They were quite alone in the Hospital wing - it seemed, now that James was 'alive', he was no longer of interest to anyone - that, and the fact that Madam Pompfrey had physically pushed everyone, including the headmaster, out the doors. She was very strong, for a nurse.
"There," she said, moving back as the potion came to a rest in James's stomach, which was rolling about in discomfort. "Everything should be on the mend, now."
"Was I even ill?" James muttered, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. In a louder voice he asked, "May I leave?"
The matron didn't look impressed by this idea, but since James had no more injuries for her to heal, it seemed she had no choice but to dismiss him. With a boyish grin, James leapt to the floor, staggering a bit. His legs felt like jelly. He spent a few seconds wobbling precariously before falling to the floor in a heap. The Matron rushed over, helping him to sit up, "I forgot, you might have trouble with your motor skills," she said, and James was sure he saw a look that told him she was going to push him back into bed.
"I can barely walk," James said feebly, "Is there a potion that-"
The matron fluttered her hand, "No, the only cure is to practise."
James gave her a wide eyed look. It was not often that she let a patient go, especially if they were falling to the floor every few steps. With her help, he got to his feet, swaying unsteadily. His head was swimming and he could barely feel the ground beneath his feet. He gave her a half-hearted wave, and lumbered towards the doors like a wounded animal. At the doors he paused, catching his breath, hating every fibre in his being for its weakness. Just how long had he been asleep to get this affect?
With a pant, his pushed the door open.
Outside, a small crowd was gathered. Seeing James, Sirius rushed over, gathering him into a brotherly embrace. James gratefully draped his arms around his friend's shoulders, and gave up on trying to hold himself up. With a grunt of surprise - for James had given no warning - Sirius caught his weight. "What the-"
"I've lost control of my motor skills," James mumbled. He felt himself being propped up between Sirius and - a glance to his left told him - Lily. She smiled up at him, wedging her shoulder under his arm.
"It's not surprising," she said very softly, as if the sound might hurt him, "You've been out for almost a month."
James gave a small yelp. "Seriously? - But I thought- well, it was only like an hour in the-" his voice trailed off. Should he tell Lily now? Could he? Looking for something to distract himself, he saw a bunch of papers clutched in Lily's other hand. "What're those? Please tell me I haven't got homework!"
Lily smiled as she and Sirius helped him down the corridor, Remus, Peter and several curious others trailing behind them. "No, they're..." she trailed off, looking uncertain. "They're adoption papers."
James's heart stopped for a moment and he looked sharply at her from where he was concentrating on the floor. A slight blush crept into her cheeks. "I'm going to adopt Harry," she said in a stronger voice.
"You what?" James said, his mouth dropping open. He looked at Sirius for confirmation. "Please tell me this is a dream." Sirius shook his head, giving Lily a fond look - where had that come from? thought James.
"No, you're not dreaming. It's a great idea, isn't it?"
"Are you insane?" James said, turning back to Lily. "You haven't even finished school yet- you haven't got a job, and- Harry can't stay with you!" It felt like everything was going out of control. He was supposed to fix the situation with Harry. He was supposed to send Harry back to his time, then marry Lily and live happily until their death. Without telling Lily that he knew they were going to die, of course.
"So?" sniffed Lily. "I've talked to Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, and they're fine with it - I've written to my parents-"
"What about his parents, huh?" James shot in.
"James, it's been three months since Harry's come here. Legally, I'm allowed to adopt him after three months has passed without contact from the parents, granted I can prove that I can physically and finically care for him." Her eyes went shiny with tears. "I thought you'd approve of me becoming his mother."
"I do," James said. "But- why?"
"I thought you were dead," Lily said fiercely, turning away, wiping her eyes on her shoulder. "What else did I have to live for?"
They had reached the portrait of the fat lady, and Sirius uttered the password. Lily and Sirius helped James into a chair, and his friends settled around him, yet Lily remained standing.
"Everybody was saying it was only a matter of time," she said, her voice cracking. "And I thought, what else did I have?"
"You have lots of things-" James protested weakly, still feeling like what he was experiencing was not real.
"No, James," Lily said, "Just when I'd set my heart on you- poof, you went and got yourself comatose! Harry was - Harry is the only thing that came from, or brought our relationship together. I thought, if you did wake up that you'd- you'd-" she paused, "I thought you'd want to help."
James closed his eyes. Lily couldn't do this. Harry was his son- her son. He hasn't been born yet!
"And," Lily gulped, "he's our son. I'm not sure if you've figured it out yet-"
"That's exactly why you can't adopt him!" James yelled, getting to his feet. His whole body swayed, and Lily jumped forwards to help. James swatted away her hand, leaning on the arm of the chair. "If you haven't figured it out yet, he's a time-bloody-traveller! Doesn't that bother you that one day- if you adopt Harry, you're going to give birth to another him? And then what?"
"You saw what happened," Lily whispered. "In Dumbledore's office. I might have stayed outside the house, but I know you saw what happened." James's eyes widened. He'd forgotten about that. He'd forgotten that everybody, at this point, still remembered everything. He really needed to set off the trinket. But why can't I talk to them about it first?
Lily's eyes were wide and pleading, tears rolling down her cheeks. Remus, Peter and Sirius sat behind her, silent and wary. "Please James," she whispered, "let me do it. Where's he going to go anyway?"
James turned away from her, his heart doing a jig worthy of the national tap-dancing competition winner. She was convincing him, of all things, even though he knew, that if he did it Lily's way, something bad would happen.
It was breaking his heart in the very literal sense.
"I can't support you in this choice, Lily," he said, looking at the carpet, "I'm so sorry." Then, using the furniture and the walls, James limped over to the staircase and crawled up them, feeling weak not only physically, but because of what he'd done. Once in his dormitory, his rolled into his bed and shut the curtains. He rolled onto his side, then sat up sharply, something digging into his hip. He pulled out a small, silverly item, half the size of a dinner plate. The trinket that he'd made in the room. It was exactly as he remembered it. He pushed it under his pillow, laying back down. Then he closed his eyes, waiting for time to pass him by.
It was later that evening, when James knew everyone would be in the great hall, that he sat up. Now was the time to do it. He would get the map, then find Harry and then-
He froze, the curtains opened a crack. In the middle of his dorm stood Lily, looking forlorn. In her arms was Harry. Lily turned to see his face peeping out of his curtains. "Aren't you coming down to dinner, James?"
He shook his head, "I'm not hungry," he said in a low voice.
"Oh," Lily said, "Well, I was just thinking - maybe you needed some help -" she stopped. "It doesn't matter." She looked into his eyes, still with that expression of hope and longing. Did she expect him to change his mind now? She stood there for a few moments, then her shoulders sagged a bit, and she went to the door.
"Wait!" James said, and she turned around, her eyes hopeful. "C-could I- could I look after Harry?" he said softly, hating himself for crushing Lily's hopes, and for deceiving her. But instead, her eyes shone brighter, and she crossed the room quickly, eagerly pushing the infant into James's arms. Harry twisted to look up at James.
"Have fun," Lily said airily, leaving the room quickly. James shifted Harry in his lap easily, and climbed out of bed. He could stand a little bit easier this time, and despite the occasional sway, James doubted he would fall over. He went through his trunk for the Marauder's map, but came up empty handed. He went through Remus's things, then Sirius's and then, in a desperate attempt, through Peter's he came up empty handed. Running his hands through his hair in frustration, James growled, and looked over to Harry, who was sitting on Remus's dresser, looking perplexed. Then James remembered- the battle- Filch.
Filch had the map.
James worried his lip, going over to Harry. Surely nobody would be in the Headmaster's office? Everyone would be down in the Great Hall, having dinner. James looked out the window, to find it was snowing outside. He'd forgotten that it would soon be Christmas. It seemed that he'd forgotten a lot of things.
Gritting his teeth together in determination, James went to his bed and fished out the silver trinket from under his pillow, placing it carefully in his pocket. He found his spare pair of glasses in his trunk, and put them on, leaving his other pair in his other pocket. Picking up Harry, he made his way, slowly, out of Gryffindor Tower. His feet would sometimes trip, or not move at all, but soon he was nearing the Headmaster's office.
The gargoyles saw him coming, and one said, "You won't find him up there, boy."
"Exactly, Pecan Nougat," James said, and the gargoyle had no choice but to allow him past. James let the stairs take him up, panting heavily. He pushed his way into the office, and stood, wheezing slightly.
The portraits on the wall were all sleeping, some snoring, some muttering. A magnificent scarlet and gold bird dozing on a perch, merely opening an eye as James entered before burying it's head into its feathers once again.
James was unnerved by the lack of commotion. It was almost like he'd been expecting to be stopped, for someone to ask him what he was doing.
Yet it seemed the only person who would be asking him that would be himself, thought James with dismay. He walked around the room carefully, looking at all the painting as the tables with various bric-a-brac. He found a small circular table covered in blood red velvet in the corner, and pulled the silver trinket from his pocket. He carefully placed it between an ancient looking sneakoscope and what looked like a silver carrot turned upside-down on top of a bed of glitter. James stepped back to view the result, and was pleased to note that, had he not placed it there, he would never have given it a second glance.
Harry was squirming in his arms. "Hey son," James said softly, sitting down in one of the chairs. "Ready to go back yet?"
Harry burst into wails. "Yeah, me too," James said, patting him on the back until the infant was hiccuping. "But I have to do it- and I'll see you, as soon as you're born. I'll try to make it happen as fast as I can, but i wouldn't rush your mother- nice as she is, I don't think she'll have any qualms with making me sleep on the couch."
"When you're older, you'll understand," James said wisely. "But don't you worry about it a bit until then."
Harry gave him a smile his single tooth sticking out awkwardly. James fished out the enchanted pair of glasses and put them on Harry- the glasses did not fit in the slightest. James put on his spare pair of glasses, and the world came into focus again. James grinned at the cheeky image, then moved over to the small table again. He pulled out his wand, then glanced at Harry.
Harry's green eyes looked at him, full of trust, and James couldn't help himself. He gathered the small boy into his arms, burying his nose into the tuft of jet black hair, so like his own. Tiny hands gripped his robes, and James squeezed his eyes shut. He didn't want to do this - it was cruel, not only to himself but to everyone around him.
He didn't want Lily to die. He loved her too much.
But he loved Harry too.
Harry pulled back, his tiny button nose resting against James's own, bigger nose. Green eyes stared into hazel.
"Dada," Harry said, so softly. "Dada okay."
"Yeah," James whispered back, "Daddy's going to be okay." Harry grinned, apparently pleased at this answer.
James shifted, holding one hand over the silver dish, his other arm holding Harry in place, his wand held out. With a quick, slashing motion, he brought his wand downwards across his palm. Blood spurted out, red a vibrant, splashing across the disk. The blood formed geometric lines and patterns, and James held Harry tight as blood dribbled in a thick, steady flow onto the trinket. Was it enough?
A red glow seemed to be shining off the blood. It throbbed like the pain in James's hand, in tune with his heart beat. Every time, the throb got bigger and the glow got bigger.
Then a shock wave of light radiated from the trinket, knocking James back. Wave after wave battered into James, until he was on his back on the floor. The light surpassed the windows, the walls, and James knew they must be sweeping across the country, wiping memories from people's minds. Waves were bright red, warm, and almost comforting.
In James's arms, Harry began to glow too. Instead of waves that sprung out, like earthquakes form an epicentre, it was more of a light, dancing around the child. James gave a moan, "No..."
The light spread outward suddenly, bathing the whole office in a red light. For a moment, it hovered, and James wondered (and perhaps hoped) that Harry was going to stay.
Then, faster than it had spread outwards, the light rushed back, the orb surrounding Harry tightening.
With a flash, Harry was gone.
James lay on his back, gasping and sobbing. He's gone, he's gone, he's gone, chanted in James's head. His eyes screwed up at the pain in his chest. It felt like there was a wild animal locked up inside him, crying to get out. James got to his feet, staring at his palm.
His slashing spell had done the tick, and there was a long, thing cut horizontally across his palm, in the shape of a lightening bolt. He glanced over to the silver trinket, and saw that it was glistening oddly, but there was no trace of blood. Outside, snow fell peacefully. Had the trinket worked? Had everyone forgotten? Was Harry really back to where he'd come from?
James crept quietly out of the office, back to Gryffindor tower, not even noticing that he could walk steadily, for his nerves made him shake like an old man.
He sat in the common room, waiting for dinner to be over. Soon, students started to trickle into the common room, chatting and laughing. Every time he heard the portrait open, James woudl look up to see if it was his friends or Lily.
It seemed forever, but a short while later, four seventh years came in, and spotting James, hurried over, looking quite worried.
"I have got the biggest headache," Sirius announced, flopping into a chair opposite James. "James, you seriously shouldn't have made me do all that studying- first you, now me!"
"Err, what?" James said, bewildered and Lily settled next to him on the couch.
"Uh, Potions essay?" Sirius said. "Does that jog your memory?"
"What was it about again?" Lily said dreamily, and James turned in panic to her. He wouldn't call her a swot, but Lily never forgot what an essay was about.
"I can't remember either," muttered Remus. "Which is really weird, because I did it just before dinner."
"You did?" James said. The four gave him weird looks.
"Maybe you should visit the nurse," Peter said, fiddling with his thumbs nervously.
"Uh, but she gave me a clean bill of health," James pointed out.
"She did?" Sirius said. "Did you go to her during dinner?"
"No," said James in irritation. "You know? Me being in a coma for a month?" His friends gave him looks showing that they clearly thought him mad. Lily put a hand on his knee, looking into his eyes in confusion.
"It wasn't a month James, it was only a few hours," she said with a small laugh. "You don't go into a coma just because you bump your head with me."
"Oh, I don't know, you've got a very hard head," Sirius joked.
"I bumped my head with you?" James said in confusion.
"When you tried to kiss me, remember?" Lily said, her eyes narrowing.
"No, I missed that part," said James, his stomach curling as he realised the truth of his situation. Nobody remembered anything. Except him.
"Well, I think you should have another lie down," Lily said, pulling him to his feet. "I'll escort you."
Sirius gave a couple of wolf-whistles s Lily lead a bewildered James up to his dormitory. "Get into your pyjamas," she ordered, fixing up his bed. James hurried into his flannel pants and shirt, feeling acutely embarrassed all of a sudden. He gave a small cough when he was done, and Lily turned around.
Suddenly he found her lips on his, and instinctively he pulled her closer to him. It was fast, it was slow, it was loving and passionate and frantic and careful all at the same time, just like he'd always imagined his kissed with Lily to be. But one thing was missing. James pulled back with a gulp, realising just how Harry had brought them together. He didn't understand how Lily was still- well, she loved him just as much as she had earlier that day, when Harry was still there.
"How did we get together again?" he wondered out loud, cradling her face between his hands.
"I don't know," Lily said breathlessly, "It's all foggy. But I'm glad we are."
James lowered his lips towards hers again, and realised something. Everything he'd ever known was a lie. He'd changed the past, but he couldn't stop the future. The impossible was possible. And sometimes, when you love someone, you have to lead them to their death, even when you don't want to, without even telling them you were going to do it. Before, he would have thought such an act was evil. Now he knew different.
But what really mattered was Lily, and he knew, one day, he would tell her the truth.
Their lips met again, and everything from the past few months flew completely from his head, just as thoroughly as any magic could have, and he understood what Harry had said in the locked room about Love being the key.
A/n: Please forgive me for the lateness of this chapter. There are a bunch of reasons. THIS IS THE SECOND LAST CHAPTER. Please tell me what you think and feel free to question me about ANYTHING.
Now, I very much doubt that I'll do a sequal to this. Perhaps a one shot, or triad or soemthing, but not a full fledged fic. I don't have the time or energy. BUT if I do, I'll be writing an alternate ending to this one in order for it to work with the idea of an AU. So thankyou.
Just now, I'd like to thank all the people who have constantly been reviewing as I wrote this- if it weren't for you I honestly (yeah, you hear this all the time, but I'm going to have my Oscar's moment and I don't care what you say) wouldn't have finished this. It would have sat there with ten or so chapters, gathering dust. Instead, I've spent just over six months pouring my heart and soul into this, in four different countries and countless airspaces. I've been through a winter and a spring and a summer. I've had 16 exams, 5 projects due. I've read over 500 fics in that time (believe me, it's possible). I've been through a New Year's Eve and a Christmas. I've brought at least four friends over to fandomness.
But now I'd like to tell you a very special story, which happened on the ninth of July exactly a year ago. It was 3:14 in the afternoon and I was incredibly bored. The temperature, if I recall, was very hot, even for a Sydeny summer day. I'd been reading my all time favourite book, Haryr Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. While it was my faourite book, I wasn't mad about it. I'd started to read the series a few months before the first movie came out. But curious, I got onto the computer and typed 'Harry Potter" into the Google homepage. First site I visited was Mugglenet.
I've never been the same since. Yes, you see, it's been a year since I discovered just how many people loved Harry Potter. I soon caught the fever and within a week, had introduced myself to this wonderful thing: FANFICTION. By February, after nearly a month of reading this, this, magic, I registered myself onto February 23rd, to be exact. It's in my diary. Maybe, when my first anniverary of comes around, I'll tell you how I got my name, HPOD Sufferer. But for now, I'd just like to thank ALL the people in the Harry Potter fandom for being so crazy about Harry Potter, and allowing me to become a part of it.
Now, I just need to find a guy who loves it as much as I do and won't get bored, and I'll live happily ever after. But then again, with Harry Potter, why would I need that?