Chapter 18

It was the middle of the night when James finally made it home. He had had to go into the ministry and sign off on the mission and give his report to Moody. First he had gone to Lily's flat but it was completely empty. He should have known that she would have moved back in with Sirius. By now he was physically aching to see her, to make sure she was okay, to hold her… he just had to see her.

He dropped his bags in the kitchen and crept upstairs. He didn't want to wake Sirius, he would see him in the morning. He had to see Lily first.

"Lily? Lily?" he said softly as he went into her bedroom. "Lily, are you asleep?"

"No," came Lily's strong reply. She hadn't been sleeping well lately, since the baby was up all night kicking. "James, is that really you?"

"Yeah, it's me," he said, squinting around in the pitch black darkness of her room. "I can't see you."

"Maybe it's best to keep it that way. Leave the light off," she said. She was definitely showing and she didn't want him to find out about the baby like that.

"Why?" asked James confused. Then suddenly the last conversation they had came to his mind. What if she had found someone else? They could be with her right now, in the room.

"I just… need to tell you something and it's easier if we can't see each other," said Lily slowly. She was on her feet and standing about 10 feet away from him.

"Okay…" he said painfully. She had found someone else, he was sure of it, and he couldn't blame her. But it still hurt. He could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. It wasn't fair: all he wanted to do was hold her, tell her how much he loved her and had missed her and tell her he would never leave her ever again. But he couldn't, someone else got to hold her, kiss her. How could he handle that?

"Um…" started Lily. How was she meant to tell him? He was so close, she just wanted to see him. She wanted to him to wrap his arms round her and tell her that everything was okay and he would never leave again.

"Maybe we should do this in the morning… when we have more time," said James painfully.

"Okay, if that's what you want," said Lily, her voice quivering. She needed him. He couldn't leave now, not when he was finally back.

"Okay," said James, turning and opening the door again, but before he went out, he added: "I know I said it was okay, and it is, but it doesn't change the way I feel about you. But I will fight for you, for us. I'm not going to let this guy have you."

"I'm pregnant!" Lily blurted out, not even taking in what he had said.

James gasped and hung his head.

"Okay… doesn't change a thing," he said, tears falling down his cheek. "I… I can't handle this now… in the morning…"

He left the room.

"James! James!" Lily called to him, catching up with him at the top of the stairs, grabbing his arm.

"I'm sorry," said James, not turning round. "I'm sorry I left."

"James, you left 6 months ago!"

"It's a long time. I shouldn't have expected…"

"I'm seven months pregnant!" she blurted out.

"What? You mean…" said James, turning round so fast so bumped his head off Lily's.

"Oufff…Ow…" laughed Lily, holding her forehead.

"I'm so sorry," said James, ignoring the pain in his head.

"Well, this isn't the reunion I expected," she laughed. "You thinking I had run off and gotten pregnant by…"

"It's my baby?" he asked desperately. He had to hear it from her.

"Of course, it's yours," she said, in happy tears now. "How could you think that I… how could think I could… with someone else? No… never."

"Oh, thank god," whispered James, reaching out and stroking her cheek.

"I could never…" she whispered, placing her hand over his. She had missed him so much. His touch was so soft and loving, it made her cry harder.

"I'm so sorry… please don't cry," he said, treasuring the feeling of her skin again.

"I'm sorry… I missed you so much… I didn't know if you would be back in time…"

"I'm going to be a dad?" said James, placing his other hand on her bump.

"Yeah in about 7 weeks," said Lily, smiling tearfully.

"Wow… just wow… whoa, what was that?"

"She kicked," laughed Lily tearfully. "She knew her Daddy was home and she kicked."

"She?"

"I think so anyway. Sirius is convinced it's a boy."

"As long as they're healthy," said James, in complete awe. A few minutes ago, he had thought the love of his life had found someone else and was starting a family with them. And now it seemed they were a family.

"I had a scan this afternoon, the baby is perfectly healthy."

"And you?"

"I'm fine too, much better now you're back."

"I am back and I'm never leaving again, never," said James, pulling his arms round Lily and holding her close.

"You better not. I can't do this again."

"You won't have to," he said, stroking her hair.

"Good."

"You know, since we are having a baby…"

"What?" asked Lily suspiciously, raising an eyebrow.

"Well I think it's only right if you marry me… again," he said, pulling a box out of his pocket. "I found this while I was away. I thought it would be better than your other one. A new start."

James pulled away but still kept one arm round Lily. He looked down at her intently, and opened the box. Inside was a beautiful white gold ring, with a simple diamond. The diamond was big, but not too flashy. It was perfect for her.

"Uh… um," said Lily eloquently. This she had not been expecting.

"So what do you say? Marry me? Marry me and I'll never ever hurt you again. I'll never break those vows again. You'll never have a reason to doubt me and how much I love you ever again," he said passionately.

"Uh…"

"Wait, wait, I need to do this right," said James, dropping down on one knee and taking hold of her left hand. "Will you make me the happiest person in the world and do me the great honor of becoming my wife, again?"

"Yes."