Author Note: I might end up changing the title of this story. I was having a hard time thinking of one and just picked a song from the 'Meet The Robinsons' soundtrack. Also…feedback is good! I don't write fanfic just for your responses (I write because it annoys my boss at work, j/k), but they are quite encouraging.
Disclaimer: This story is not authorized, prepared, approved, licensed, or endorsed by J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any other individual or entity associated with the Harry Potter books or movies.
Chapter One: Prologue
"Lily, you have to push."
"Not until Poppy gets here!" Curls of red hair, dampened by sweat, stuck to her face as she glared at her husband.
"Lils, honey… we went through this already. There was another Death Eater attack and Poppy was the last medi-witch they had. She can't be here. You have to cooperate with me because I got two of you here," the raven haired James Potter said with an outward air of calmness. He kept up a strong front while he panicked inwardly and his stomach felt as if it were twisted in on itself.
"How is Marguerite?" Lily asked, reminded of her sister-in-law.
"I'm fine, Lily. Let my brother take care of you first. You're further along than I am." James's twin sister, Marguerite, started her contractions a few hours after Lily and she patiently dealt with her own pain on the bed next to them.
"Lily, I need you to push now!" James yelled, counting in his head and knowing a contraction was coming. Lily did as she was told with a great pained groan and then flopped back against the pillows that supported her. Tears filled her eyes as she feared for her child and herself. In these dark times when it was risky to go to a hospital and most medi-witches and wizards were busy with attacks, more and more people were stuck with the choices of home births or muggle hospitals. She wished they'd chosen a muggle hospital.
"That was a good push, honey. I can see hair, lots of red hair. One more push should do the trick. Our baby is on the way!" With that encouragement, Lily braced herself and pushed until she couldn't anymore and she heard a sharp intake of breath from James.
"James, let me see our baby. I want to hold our-"
"Hold on, darling. I need to put you under so you can recoup some of your own magic first. The birth has exhausted you. I'll clean her up so you can hold her when you wake." And without waiting for any response, he raised his want and spoke softly and Lily fell asleep.
"James?" Marguerite's concern raing clearly through her own pain.
"It's a girl… looks just like her mummy. She- she didn't make it. I think she died a few hours ago during that back contraction that Lily said didn't feel right." His voice was monotone as he held his baby in shocked sorrow. "I… I couldn't let Lily know yet."
"Oh, James… I'm so sor- oh- ungh!" Her sympathetic words were cut off by her own sob of pain. Her voice struck James hard and he was at his sister's bed as soon as he gently laid his lost daughter down next to her mother.
"James, James, I want my husband," she cried.
"Sister, he's gone right now. You know he can't leave his spy position at this moment."
"No, you don't understand. Something is wrong. I need Severus!"
"He's not hear. You have to stay strong and deliver a child for him to come home to," James comforted his crying sister. He got down to the foot of the bed to check on her progress.
"You seem fully dilated now. Push during the next contraction," he instructed.
When the next one came, Marguerite took a breath and pushed, urgring the little life to come out and see the world. A peek of black hair and then it disappeared.
"It's got hair, I saw that much. What names did you and Severus pick out?" James asked, calming his sister when the contraction ended.
"Harold Elias for a boy. Rose Calypso for a girl." Marguerited panted. The next contraction came and James urged her to push again. This time the black haired head appeared again, accompanied with shoulders. Then everything stilled and was silent.
"Margot?" James used the childhood nickname for his sister. She didn't answer. She didn't move. The partly exposed baby squirmed in discomfort.
James felt the panic building in his body, but there was another life besides his sister's at stake and he knew he'd never be forgiven by her if he let her child die. Pulling himself together then, he reached and gently pulled the baby from his sister. He cut the cord and didn't take the time to rejoice at the first cries of life that the baby let out.
"Lay here, little one," he whispered, setting the shaking infant on the bed. He went to the head of the bed. "Marguerite?" he asked. Nothing. At a closer and more thorough examination, he saw there was no breath, no pulse, no life. His sister was gone.
"No… Margot, no!" He cried, clutching her to his chest. "I lost my own daughter. I can't lose my dear sister, my other half!"
He would have stayed there forever, wife and nephew forgotten in his grief for the only person who had been with him for all but the first three minutes of his life and who owned half of his soul if it hadn't been for the cries of the infant on the bed that pierced through his consciousness. Margot's son. Severus's son. James's and Lily's nephew.
"Little boy," he sniffled, letting his sister go and picking up the baby. He cradled him and started almost in awe of the tragic event that had just taken place. His daughter was dead. His sister was dead. This boy was alive. Lily was asleep. Severus was away. The boy's mother was dead and his father was gone. The facts ran around in James's head.
He set the baby down again, this time on Lily's bed and he picked up his stillborn dauther. August Flora they'd agreed on for a girl. He hugged the little body to himself and then put her next to Marguerite. He put a hand on his sister's head.
"Take care of my baby girl."
Then he said a small prayer and got his wand out. He recited the proper spell and the bodies vanished in flame. It was too dangerous to bury bodies with proper ceremonies these days. It was too dangerous for most activities that people took for granted.
He let out a shuddering breath, knowing he'd never see his daughter or sister again, and he turned back to where his wife and nephew lay. He picked up the baby once again and brought him into the connecting bathroom. He washed him by hand, magic being hazardous to use on newborns, and then swaddled him in a warm blanket.
The events of the night ran through his head with several facts sticking out boldly: His daughter was dead, his sister was dead and her husband was gone, his nephew was alive and here.
All sense of right and wrong flew out the window. James never would have been able to explain his reasoning for what he did next, but it didn't matter because nobody else had any knowledge of it happening.
This baby was all that James had left of his sister. He lost his daughter too and he was feeling selfish.
The baby looks like a Potter… but equally he looked like a Snape.
In that moment, James forgot any dangers or risks and he exposed the infant to magic. He used every spell he knew to hide any traits that showed the baby as a Snape. The last to go was the baby's dark brown, almost black, eyes… now vibrant green.
"James?" The soft voice of Lily startled the man. She had awakened from the sleeping spell.
"You have a son." He handed her the tiny bundle.
"I thought you saw red hair. I thought we had a girl. This little boy's hair is as black as yours and Marguerite's," Lily smiled, twirling a lock of the dark hair on the baby's head.
"I was wrong. The excitement…" James whispered, voice trailing off. It was then that Lily noticed the silence save for the little breaths of the black haired baby.
"What's wrong? Where's Marguerite… and her baby?"
"They didn't make it."
"Oh no! James, no! Severus will be devastated. His whole family gone."
"Yes." James nodded, now realizing the he'd ruined the life of the man his sister loved.
"We must name this one Harry… after the child he lost." Lily said in a determined voice. He nodded at her again and she spoke once more, "… and James… after you, my wonderful husband."
"Yes. It's a wonderful name. Harry James Potter."
James then excused himself to the bathroom where he felt his knees go weak under the weight of what he'd done. He grasped the porcelain sink until his knuckles were white and he looked at his face in the mirror, disgusted by what he saw. He saw a man who stole a baby. And he couldn't go back on it without breaking Lily's heart.
"Severus will never know."
End Chapter One
Chapter Two Title: Luke 15:24