Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the amazingly talented J.K Rowling. I'm only borrowing the characters and world that she has so brilliantly created.

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Beta by: ilovethedotgame

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"Unexpected Joy"

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"Mrs. Potter?"

Lily looked up to see a short, brown-haired woman wearing a pleasant smile standing in the doorway of the examination room.

"Yes?" Lily replied, dreading what the woman's smile meant.

"I'm happy to say that your tests have come back positive," the Healer announced, and although Lily had known in her heart that the test would affirm her suspicions, her stomach still clenched painfully. She forced herself to smile I response.

The Healer proceeded to tell her about all the precautions she would need to take, the foods that would be high in vitamins and nutrients, as well as other important information. She was given a large stack of pamphlets, brochures, and a calendar with the last week of July and the first week of August circled in red.

"We'll need to schedule check ups to make sure that you remain healthy and monitor your progress, of course," the Healer said finally.

"Yes, of course," Lily answered automatically. Collecting her coat from the chair in the corner, she made her way to the front desk where a wizened witch sat dictating a letter to quill, which was scratching its way across a roll of parchment.

After scheduling a follow-up appointment, Lily returned to the flat she and James were renting in London. Shrugging out of her coat, she placed the brochures and pamphlets in the bottom drawer of her dresser. Returning to the living room, she sank onto the couch in front of the fireplace. Poking half-heartedly at the dull embers with her wand, she rekindled the fire.

"What am I going to tell him?" she questioned out loud, as she stared into the dancing flames. She pressed her hands gently against her abdomen. It was hard to believe that there was a child growing within her. Under any other circumstances Lily would have been thrilled to know that she was carrying James' child. She wanted children, truly she did. Just not right now.

Each morning the Prophet brought news of more attacks, death, and destruction. Voldemort's army of followers and dark creatures was growing, and he was rapidly gaining more and more power. It was terribly unsafe to bring a child into the world at this time, but that's exactly what she would be doing.

What would happen to her at work? The ministry was extremely short of Aurors, but a pregnant woman could hardly be sent into the field to fight Death Eaters. And what about her work with the Order of the Phoenix? She knew James would never allow her to go on assignments in her condition. She would be delegated to cleaning headquarters and cooking meals for those on duty, never mind that her cooking was mediocre at best.

A tear slipped down her cheek, unbidden. This was supposed to be a happy occasion that she could share with her husband. Instead, it was solemn and isolating. How was she ever going to tell James that they were going to bring a child into this unstable world?

"This isn't how it's supposed to happen," she whispered to herself.

L … J

"It's nice to get out, isn't it?" James asked, taking Lily's hand in his. He had seemed to sense her tense and solemn mood and had suggested taking a walk and doing some window-shopping in downtown London.

"Hmm," Lily replied, lacing her fingers through his, enjoying the feel of his warm skin next to hers.

A week had passed, and still Lily had not found the opportunity to tell James about her pregnancy. It had constantly been on her mind, and as a result she had been distracted and forgetful. She knew that James realized that something was wrong. After all, he was her husband and knew her better than anyone. She felt guilty for not telling him yet for he deserved to know. It was his child too, after all.

A young couple with a small child stepped out of the nearest shop. The young boy was crying hysterically while both of his parents attempted to soothe him, kneeling in front of him and stroking his hair.

After they had passed by the family James glanced back at the little boy, who was still crying. Turning to Lily, he smiled. "Makes you glad we don't have kids, huh?"

Lily stared at James, hurt welling like a pool within her. James was still grinning from his comment, which made Lily hurt all the more. Pulling her hand from his, she turned and stormed away, leaving him standing in the middle of the sidewalk.

"Lily!" His voice sounded panicked, and she took satisfaction in the knowledge. "Lily, wait!"

She refused to reply. She didn't trust herself not to scream at him and tell him she didn't want to see him ever again. It wasn't true anyway. To never see James again would kill her, but at the moment, with his words ringing in her ears, she didn't trust herself not to say things she would later regret.

A hand grasped her elbow, and she gasped, whirling to face him. "Don't touch me!"

Despite her words, his hand remained firmly on her arm.

"Tell me what's wrong."

It wasn't a suggestion; it was an order.

"Don't you try and boss me around, James Potter!" Lily snarled, feeling defensive.

He slowly removed his hand, and she turned away from him, folding her arms stubbornly across her chest.

"What's wrong with you?" he asked harshly. "You've been acting strange all week and now this. You just…completely flew off the handle about nothing."

"It wasn't 'nothing' to me!" Lily retorted, well aware that he didn't know what the problem was.

"Just…" His voice became quiet and contrite. "Please tell me what I've done wrong, Lily."

Lily felt her anger melt away at the sadness in his voice. She was hurting him, and he didn't even understand why. She turned to face her husband. He looked sad and lost, staring at her with a helpless expression.

She hastily swiped tears away from her eyes. She hated crying in front of other people. It always made her feel exposed and vulnerable. "Do you really dislike children?" she choked out.

"What?" James questioned, apparently taken off guard by her inquiry. "That's completely irrelevant!"

"Just answer the question!" Lily cried, closing her eyes momentarily.

James sighed and stepped forward, stroking her cheek with the back of his fingers. "If this is about wanting children, I do hope that someday that we can start a family of our own. But right now we're fighting a war. After Voldemort is defeated, we can think about children. We've talked about this."

Lily felt tears run down her face and James wiped them away. Pulling her close, he rested his chin on top of her head. "Do you want a baby that badly, Lily?"

"No," Lily shook her head against his chest. It was true, what she said, but the matter was out of her hands.

"Then what's this all about?" he asked, pulling away to look in her eyes as he spoke to her. His hazel stared down at her, silently pleading for an answer.

"We don't have a choice whether we want to wait for the war to be over or not, James," she told him. "I'm pregnant."

And with that she dissolved into a fit of sobs, wrapping her arms around his neck and burying her face in his chest. She couldn't bear to look at him to see his reaction.

"But…" he started, but she interrupted him.

"I'm sorry, James!" she wailed, a week's worth of pent of emotion bursting forth. "Please don't be angry!"

"Lily!" he said sharply, and she was so startled that she stopped crying. He had never spoken to her in that voice before. It was demanding and more than a little intimidating. He pulled away from her and held her at arms length. He looked directly into her eyes.

"Why would you ever think I would be angry?"

"I - what?"

His tone and facial expression had changed to one of tender confusion and Lily was temporality at a loss for words, staring into his face.

"I – I didn't know what you would think," she finally stammered. "We had always planned on waiting until Voldemort was defeated to start a family. But now all that's changed, and I'm sorry."

She would have continued to ramble on, but he stopped her by placing his hand gently over her mouth.

"Stop saying that you're sorry," he told her kindly. "It took both of us to make this child."

Lily felt her face grow warm, and he grinned, seeing the blush stain her cheeks. She removed his hand from her mouth so that she could speak, but didn't let go.

"But aren't you worried, James?" she asked, needing to voice her fears aloud to her husband. "The world isn't exactly a safe at the moment."

"Lily…" he paused, as though searching for the proper words to assuage her worries. It was a rare sight, James Potter without the proper words. "What's done is done. And I know that things are very unstable right now, but it may be this way for years; we don't know. But we can't let fear dominate our lives. If we do, then Voldemort and his followers have already won, and we can't allow that to happen."

Lily nodded, understanding what he was saying. But what about the comment that had started this entire conversation?

"Yes…but–"

"What I said earlier?" His eyes glinted with the knowledge that he had accurately predicted her words. "Didn't you hear what I said about wanting to someday start a family?"

"Well, yes," Lily conceded, "but what about when that little boy was crying? You – you made it sound as though you detested children."

James merely shook his head, smiling slightly. "I just meant…well, we had planned on waiting. And…it was a stupid comment. Forgive me?"

"Of course I do," Lily said, leaning forward and placing a soft kiss on his lips. She pulled away, but he grabbed her by the waist and captured her lips again.

For the first time in a week, Lily felt completely free of worry. The current world might be an unstable place, but she knew that together she and James could handle whatever came their way.

"I love you, Lily Potter," James whispered against her mouth before his lips continued to gently caress her own. A strong wave of happiness overcame Lily, and she thought that she might explode from it. Her legs felt like jelly, and she clung to James to keep herself from collapsing.

This was how it was supposed to happen.

The End


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