Disclaimer: I don't own any of this. Everything should be credited to the fabulous J.K. Rowling. No copyright infringement is intended and none of this is being done for profit.
A/N: So this is just a random idea for some semi- Lily and James fluff that came to me in Biology this morning. I've just noticed that most of my random ideas come to me while I'm in Biology. Anyway, I was thinking about how Petunia thought that Harry's name was 'common', and I was kind of wondering just how Lily and James came up with his name, or what significance it had to them. Here's my take on it. Enjoy it, and let me know what you think!
What's in a Name
Lily grasped the cool doorknob in her hand and eased open the door to the nursery. A calm scene of pastel blues and greens lay before her eyes. They reminded Lily of the ocean. Of course, James had wanted a Quidditch-themed nursery, the silly man, but Lily had won in the end. The room was warm and cozy; it was the perfect place for a newborn baby. She trailed her fingers aimlessly over the smooth wooden railing of the crib and fingered the ear of a black stuffed dog that had been placed inside of it. A cool summer breeze lazily blew through the opened window, gently sweeping Lily's hair from her shoulders and turning the mobile hanging from the ceiling with a dull tinkling sound. As she seated herself in the cushioned rocking chair, slightly impeded by the sheer mass of her stomach, dust motes swirled into the air and glinted gold in the dying sunlight. She pressed a hand to her belly, patting it idly, as she felt small kicks from inside.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
A soft smile played about her lips. Many months of pregnancy and an ever-growing stomach still could not convince her that she was soon to become a mother. She felt it almost impossible to believe that she and James had created something alive. A life that, as of this moment, had yet to be named.
"James?" Lily called through the open doorway to her husband, for this was exactly the thought that had been tugging at her mind. "James," she called again, "could you bring the book in here, please?" So often had this occurred that James had no need to ask which book Lily desired. He removed his glasses and set aside that morning's paper.
"Of course, dear," he called back, rubbing his eyes wearily. He stood up from his seat at the kitchen table, the wooden chair grating nosily on the floor, and picked up a glossy-covered book from where it lay on top of the coffee table in the living room. He walked down the hallway with a certain degree of trepidation, his feet feeling as heavy as the book in his hands. They had been at this for the past several weeks. Every time was the same. They would argue, disagree, and reach no conclusion. He marveled, realizing that choosing this name might possibly turn out to be more difficult than convincing Lily to speak to him in the first place.
"Here you are." He placed the book, emblazoned with the title Baby Names: A Wizard's Guide to Naming a Child in her outstretched hands. Three pudgy, blue-eyed babies smiled toothlessly up at him from the cover. "I can't believe you actually bought this." He chuckled, pulled up the footrest, and sat down upon it.
"Well, our child has to have a proper name, James. This book is good just to get an idea of all the names out there." She opened up the book to the "M" section and removed the shred of newspaper that she had been using as a bookmark. She ran her finger down the columns and columns of names, considering each one in turn. "How about Michael?" she asked as her finger stopped, pointing to the name.
James made a face. "No, no—I'll be forever reminded of Michael Shank, and that time in our fourth year when he went and got his head stuck in the girls' toilet. No, I'd rather not. How about Rupert Thatch Potter?"
"James, we are not naming our son after a famous Quidditch player."
"Alright, then you come up with something better." He stood up to tinker with the mobile, his eyes following it as it spun.
"Fine," Lily clucked testily, moving onto the next column. "What about Morris, then? I don't think that one sounds too bad."
"Morris? We can't call our son Morris." James looked stricken and ran his hand through his hair distractedly.
"Well, why ever not? It's not bad," Lily said earnestly. "Look here," she pointed at a lengthy passage next to the name, "it says that it means a-"
"Morris makes him sound like he'd be a boring person. I don't want our son to be boring-sounding." He crossed his arms and pretended to pout. "I still don't understand why you don't want to name him after yours truly." He pointed at himself, grinned toothily, and winked at her. "Come on, you know it'd be a great name for him. I can see it now." He moved his hand in a sweeping motion, as though the words were emblazoned before his very eyes. "James Sirius Remus Peter Potter Jr."
"How about adding a few more names in there, then?" Lily said wryly, tucking the scrap of newspaper back into the book and closing it.
"Okay-" he pretended to agree, but laughed instead. "You know I just want him to have a good name, Lily." He leaned forward and kissed her softly, then touched her stomach.
"Well, if you're so dead set on it, I suppose 'James' could be his middle name." She paused for a moment as a soft 'oh' escaped her lips. "He's kicking again." Lily gestured to the left side of her stomach. "Here." She took James' hand in hers and held it to the spot.
"Wow," he grinned. "It's…it's so weird…" he trailed off, lost for words.
She smiled at him as a moment of comfortable silence passed between them in which James held his hand to her stomach until the kicking died away. She observed that his eyes were full of an almost childlike wonder. "You know, I rather like the idea of naming him after my grandfather. 'Winston James Potter' doesn't sound bad. It's a nice name."
"I'd hoped that we were done talking about this, Lily. We should honestly just open up the book to a random page and pick the first one we see." James groaned melodramatically. He pulled out his wand and lit the lamps to give light to the now darkened room and took his seat on the footstool once more. "Plus, we can't name him 'Winston' either."
"Why? Did you have a brother who had a father who had an aunt who had a sister whose son was named Winston who was mean to you, excessively boring, and who got his foot chopped off in a freak accident with a puffskein in second year?" Lily's voice was tinged with sarcasm bordering on irritation. She couldn't understand why she and James could not agree on something as simple as a baby name. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
"No, people would laugh at him." James stated simply. "I don't want to open up our child to emotional damage so early in life, especially when it is so preventable." He looked up at her, chin resting on his hand and a thoroughly infuriating expression plastered on his face—at least Lily thought it was, anyway.
"Oh get out of here," Lily was laughing now, her irritation forgotten, and liking the fact that James was so capable of wiping all vestiges of stress from her mind. She took a playful swipe at him, ruffling his hair.
"Hey, hey," James said in mock irritation. He ran his hands back through his hair, making it look even scruffier.
"Well, we can always assume that he is going to inherit your hair, so we can call him 'hairy', right?" She teased, moving to open up the baby book again. "Never mind about the 'M's, maybe we'll find something in the 'T' section. 'Thomas' has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Even 'Tyler' is pretty nice sounding." She continued looking down the columns waiting for James' response. "James?"
"What did you say before that?" he asked.
"I said 'Thomas'. Why?" She cocked her head, not daring to believe that they might have agreed on a name.
"No, no, before that one."
"Oh," Lily's face fell. They hadn't agreed after all. "I think I said 'Winston'."
"No, after that," he gazed at her imploringly, waiting for her to speak again.
"Um…I said 'hairy', James, but I was just kidding. I would take 'Rupert Thatch' over 'hairy'. You knew that I was only kidding didn't you?" Lily gazed at him intently, a look of concern on her face, but James was focused somewhere beyond her and wouldn't meet her eyes immediately.
"Not hairy, Lily, Harry. Harry James. Harry James Potter. It's perfect." James liked the way the name rolled off of his tongue. For some reason, it seemed just right.
"Harry James Potter." Lily repeated the name thoughtfully to herself. "Harry James Potter. James, I like it. I really, honest-to-God like it."
"Yes." She closed the baby book with a snap and placed it one the floor beside her. "It's settled," she said, resting her hands on her stomach. As if in confirmation, the baby kicked her just once, exactly where her hand lay. She leaned back, feeling that they had finally made a sensible decision, and closed her eyes, feeling the cool night air blowing on her face. She listened to James moving around next to her, and could hear the flip of pages.
"Lily?" James sounded worried now.
"What's the matter, James?" She opened her eyes slowly and regarded him.
"What if it's a girl?"