A/N: Romantically Inclined II will be for any challenge entries that are rated R/W/M. The following was my entry in Romancing the Wizard's February challenge--Challenge Eleven: Amortentia and Chocolate. Sorry if James and Lily come across as a little on the sappy side. JKR wrote them as one of those perfect couples that you aren't sure whether to admire or be jealous of. Then again, they did end up dying in the end...
Anyway, one stipulation of the challenge was that the characters had to be canon. Unless you're into SS/HG or putting just two characters together--which isn't my thing--you're pretty limited.
Thanks to verity and redvelvetcanopy for beta-ing.
Warning: Gratuitous Fluff and Sexual Situation--Kind of explains the rating.
Summary: When Lily's morning sickness takes its toll on their love-life, James learns to be sensitive... with a little advice from a veteran.
"My Precious One"
Early one gray February morning, James Potter stumbled into one of the many elevators in the Ministry of Magic. The young man's mood matched the day. Lily was in the fourth month of her pregnancy, and the only times her husband had seen her over the last several weeks, she was either asleep or hanging her head over the toilet. As much as he loved the idea of their expanding family, things were getting a little... frustrating.
"Hold the lift!" a harassed-looking, red-haired man called. "Thank you. Oh, it's you, James."
"Congratulations, by the way. I heard your wife is expecting. How is she feeling?" He smiled understandingly when the younger man shrugged. "Not well I take it. You have my sympathy, young man. My Molly is expecting our sixth any time now."
"Sixth?" James asked, looking both shocked and hopeful.
"You sound surprised that there would be life after the first child." Arthur smiled knowingly. "Take this time to pamper your wife, James. Do something special, just for her, without any expectations other than making her happy. The results may surprise you."
James left work a little early to make a few stops in Diagon Alley. But even though he arrived home earlier than usual, the house was dark and quiet. Setting down his parcels, he glanced around at the tidy kitchen and found a note on the counter.
Sorry I'm not here to greet you, but I feel absolutely miserable. I'm taking a nap. Your supper is in the oven.
Quietly, James tiptoed up to their darkened bedroom. Lily was sound asleep, curled up on her side. James brushed her red hair away from her face and kissed her. She stirred slightly at his touch, mumbling about a headache.
"I'll be in the bathroom if you need me," he whispered, kissing her again before slipping out of the room.
Once in the bathroom, James poured one of the potions into the bathtub and opened both taps. The warm water began to foam, and a soothingly pleasant scent filled the room. With a hopeful grin and a wave of his wand, he lit several candles. Another smaller bottle of potion, a cup of mint tea, a small box of crystallized ginger, and a few chocolates were arranged on a small table near the tub. He stood back, pleased with his handiwork. Just as he was sprinkling a handful of rose petals on the top of the foam, a knock sounded at the door.
"James," Lily asked quietly, " what are you doing in there?"
"Getting a surprise ready for you." He opened the door, his glasses partially steamed over. "You can come in and see it--if you feel up to it."
Lily stepped into the bathroom and looked around. "What's all this?"
"I've been feeling sorry for myself the few weeks, and then I realized I really should be focusing on you." He put his hands on her shoulders. "Lily, I love you, and I just wanted to show you how much. There's a potion in the bath that should help you feel better and one you can drink to help with the aches and... tenderness--yes, they're safe to use during pregnancy; I asked--mint tea and crystallized ginger for the nausea, and a few chocolates for when you feel up to it."
Lily looked at the potion in the tiny glass bottle, sniffing it before taking an experimental sip. "I can't believe you did all of this for me."
"You deserve it," he told his wife earnestly. "I wanted to show you how much you mean to me... how much this baby means to me."
Lily's eyes filled with grateful tears. James took her in his arms, whispering into her hair, "You mean everything to me."
She kissed him. "I think I'm finally feeling a little better. Maybe I should enjoy my gift before the water gets cold. Would you mind helping me get undressed?"
Not trusting himself to answer, James slid her dressing gown back from her shoulders and unbuttoned the front of her nightgown, letting them fall to the floor. He stood admiring the additional fullness her body had acquired from the pregnancy. Maybe it was the potion working on her, but he could have sworn Lily's skin had a radiant glow. He could feel his own desire rising. Reminding himself to follow her lead, he asked, "May I help you into the tub?"
"Only if you join me," she answered, her green eyes sparkling.
He tapped the bathtub with his wand, enlarging it enough to accommodate both of them. The young man quickly shed his clothing and stepped into the water. There was no way to hide how much he wanted her as he helped Lily into the bath. The pair sank into the warm water. Lily took a few sips of the tea and nibbled the ginger. Setting the empty cup on the table, she rested her head on her husband's shoulder, sighing contentedly.
James on the other hand wasn't quite as content. The touch of her bare skin and her new and intriguing curves pressing against him was pushing his frustrated body to the edge of sanity. He tried to control his slightly ragged breathing and focus on the fact that tonight was all about her. The sudden feeling of her hand brushing against him caused James to gasp.
"I haven't been the only one who's been a little neglected," Lily whispered against his shoulder, gripping him with her slender fingers. With a practiced touch, she brought him to the peak of pleasure, bringing him an intimate relief he had been missing over the last month. Lily kissed his neck. "Better?"
Trying to catch his breath, James nodded, and he was finally content to just hold her. After a time, he mumbled, "This was supposed to be all about you."
"James, there isn't a just a you or me anymore, but there is an us." She stood up in the bath, water streaming down her skin. "If you think you're up to it, why don't we take some more time for us?"
"Are you sure?"
Lily ate another piece of the crystallized ginger. "I think I've finally 'rounded the corner' as the midwife put it. I feel better than I ever did before I was pregnant." She ran her hands seductively down her new figure. "I've never felt so desirable in my life. We should take advantage of it while we can."
Dried off and chocolate in hand, the pair retreated to the bedroom. James took his time learning new ways to gratify his wife, and Lily reveled in his caring touch. When their passion reached an ardent pitch, they came together in fervent glorious union. They rested, Lily encircled in her husband's arms, James whispering, "You are my precious one."