A/N: Quiet Summer is kicking my ass right now. Here is some fluff to (hopefully) suffice :)
Lily wonders if this is what a panic attack feels like.
Her terrycloth bathrobe slips against the edge of the tub and she almost falls backwards, cracking her head against the porcelain soap dish attached to the wall. She grips the shower curtain to pull herself upright and imagines the scene that could've followed: James' white face as he found her unconscious and bleeding in the bathtub, and the horror in his eyes as St. Mungo's revealed her secret.
She lets her wand fall to the floor as she buries her face in her hands, the purple smoke already fading from the air.
There's a life growing inside of her. She can't… what if… she doesn't know if she's happy for this miracle or sad at the thought of bringing up a child in this dark, unforgiving world. She's a little breathless. She's a lot nauseous. She's anxious. She's scared. Her mother had a miscarriage before Petunia was born – is that inheritable? Is there a chance that she'll lose her baby, too?
That's not anything to think about right now, she berates herself. But she can't help it. She pulls her robe open and presses her hand against her naked abdomen. Right there. Right under her palm is something she and James created, something they'll nurture and protect as best they can, something warm and growing and overwhelmingly tiny.
She smiles through her tears and picks her wand up off the floor. Sirius is at work, and she needs to figure herself out before she can even think about telling James, so she sends a Patronus to Remus. It's only a few short words – I need you – but she can't find the composure to say any more. They'll get him here fast, though, of that she is certain, and until then, she casts another pregnancy charm and sits on the edge of the bathtub in her pink robe and bites all her nails off and cries a little. She tries not to throw up what little lunch she was able to get down.
I'm going to have a baby.
The front door slams against the wall downstairs. "Lily?" Remus calls. "Where are you?"
She feels bad for the unease in his voice. "I'm okay, Remus. I'm up here."
"What is it?" he asks when he arrives in the doorway of the bathroom. He's disheveled and his hair is a little windswept and his eyes are wide in concern, then embarrassment, as he sees that she's not completely covered up.
"Sorry," she mumbles, pulling her robe tighter around herself. She looks up at him with a loss for words. She feels a little like a lost dog, with big, swollen, teary eyes, tousled hair, defeated shoulders. It's pathetic, and if Remus wasn't, well, Remus, he'd probably have already backed out of the room.
Instead, he sits down on the toilet seat and smoothes the hair away from her face. "What's happened?"
Nothing comes out when she opens her mouth. I'm pregnant. I'm going to have a child. You're going to be an uncle. James and I made a baby. I'm pregnant.
"Is it James? Sirius? Peter?"
She shakes her head. She motions to her wand, sitting innocently on the mat underneath her feet, and hides her face as Remus makes a noise of understanding.
"Prior Incantato," he says.
And then she hears him draw a breath. "Oh, Lily…"
It tightens her throat, the gentleness of his voice, and fat tears collect between her fingers. She's not sure what's wrong with her or why she's so emotional, and she kind of collapses into his chest when Remus kneels by her side and wraps his arms around her. He makes those little comforting "shh" sounds, "it's okay" and "you're fine" and "I'm here," and she nods and sobs and puts her palm against her stomach again. Her skin is taut and warm there, and she sniffles against Remus' neck as she pictures that distant future, months from now, when there will be a full-grown baby sleeping in her womb, the skin of her stomach stretching tight around it, a temporary shield against all the things she'll want to protect it from for the rest of her life.
So she says it aloud. "I'm pregnant."
Remus pulls back and stares at her for a long moment. "Are you happy?"
Of course he gets to the heart of things. She nods, because it's true; and then she shakes her head, because that's true, too. "I'm scared."
"Don't be," he says, picking himself up to sit beside her on the edge of tub. He puts an arm around her shoulders and she leans into him, infinitely glad that he came so quickly, that he didn't have to work today. "I take it you haven't told James yet."
"No. I – I just found out. Just now."
He nods. "This will work out. I know you're scared of You-Know-Who and everything that's going on, but we've got the Order. Nothing is going to touch you. Or," he says, looking down at her covered stomach, "your child."
"A baby," she whispers, shaking her head. "A baby, Remus."
"James is going to…" he trails off. There's a joyful light in his eyes, one she hasn't seen in a while. He looks at her and smiles. "James is going to lose his mind."
She laughs, pulling his hand into hers. "Thank you."
They sit like that for a while. Her tears dry up eventually, and her heart, a maelstrom of emotions and thoughts, grows nervous as the time James' shift ends grows near.
Remus shakes his head as James' frantic voice echoes up the staircase. "Five, four, three…"
"Lily, why is the door hanging on one hinge? And why…" he trails off as he rushes past the door, then turns back to see his wife and one of his best mates sitting in the bathroom, looking as if somebody died. Again.
"Who is it?" he asks, dread settling low in the pit of his stomach.
Remus stands and leans down to kiss Lily on the forehead. "This will work out," he says again, squeezing her shoulder.
James is confused. Remus smiles that bloody infuriating, enigmatic little smile he has as he passes James in the doorway, and he can hear Remus repairing the door and clicking the locks shut as he leaves.
"What's going on?"
"James," Lily says, standing up.
She unties that belt from around her waist and James is still confused as she walks towards him. Her robe slides open a little – and, okay, is this not the most twisted turn of events – and when she reaches him, she takes his hand and places it on her stomach.
He frowns. "What – "
And then it makes sense. Her wand's discarded on the floor of the bathroom. She's naked underneath her robe. She's teary. Her hand is on top of his, and it's not her stomach that she wanted him to feel, but something just a bit lower.
He feels like he's been kicked in the gut.
"No," he whispers. He involuntarily spreads his fingers wider across her small stomach. "Really?"
Lily nods, covering her trembling lips with her free hand.
"A baby?" he whispers, like she hasn't confirmed it already, like he can't feel it there, inside her, even though it's probably smaller than a speck of dust right now. She's so warm underneath his hand, and he stares at her soft skin, the little constellation of freckles next to her bellybutton, the scar on her hip. He pictures that distant future, months from now, when she'll be noticeably pregnant, when he'll spoon against her in their sleep with his hand splayed protectively against her belly, when he'll have to run out at all hours of the night to find her pickles and chocolate ice cream and banana peppers, when they'll have to buy cribs and bibs and formula. It's all there, right underneath his hand.
She puts her hands on his face. "We're having a baby."
"I love you," he says, pulling her to him. He slips his shaking hands inside her robe to feel her skin – never will it be close enough – and buries his face in her hair to hide the dampness in his eyes.
James wonders if his heart has ever felt this full before.