Birthdays and Heartaches

Warnings: Mild Violence, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Era: Pre-Hogwarts Pairings: James/Lily

Characters: Lily, James, Harry


*Was intended for the 'Female POV' Collab on HPFF which ended so I turned it into a challenge. It was to show any time from the POV of a female character, in this case Lily Potter née Evans.*
Sirius had gotten our son, his godson, a small full purpose broomstick. It turned, it flew, it was a nightmare for a mother with her first child.

Author's Notes: Lammas = Wiccan Holiday…look it up. Also, how does Lily take the picture when she is in it? Magic people = magic camera :P

The Paper was coming off in little fisted handfuls and landing in unclean piles on the floor around my son. If I hadn't cleared it away, he might have been buried in it. Sure Harry would have been laughing, but as a mother with her first child, well I was a bit over protective.

Across from my adorable son, was our adorable yellowish-orange tabby kitten named Snitch by James. The kitten sniffed curiously at the many packages tossed over the living room floor before promptly curling up inside one. It was so cute that I couldn't help but point it out, "James look! Snitch curled up in the box with the little Quidditch jumper that Bathilda got Harry."

"Cat has good taste," said James with a grin and pulled the most current obsession away from his son, a box decorated in the bright colors of Flourish and Bolts. The book that had come inside it lay discarded by Harry in favor of the packaging.

"Got a book on muggle fairytales from your parents, what a surprise," James chuckled happily before picking up the nearest unopened birthday present and set it in front of his son. "This one's from Sirius."

I immediately eyed the rectangular box with suspicion and wondered what my husband's best, but most troublesome mate had gotten his godson. James, however, didn't seem to have any worries as he leaned back contently on the couch and watched his son pull at the expensive looking paper.

As the little fist fulls of paper went flying, small images of Quidditch hoops and bludgers came into view. I couldn't watch. "James, have you seen the orange and red ornaments your mother gave me?" I asked, pulling another box towards me and trying to search through my own mess of Lammas decorations.

"I thought they were over there by the table. You know, next to that horrid vase," James snickered and I shot him the dirtiest look I could. While I may agree that it's horridly ugly, it was from my sister.

"At least she's trying," I insisted again with a glance at the ugly thing. James was not about to let my momentary grimace go unnoted though and again asked why I was trying so hard to be friends with her when she obviously wasn't.

"As much as she might think I'm a …, well she's trying and I have to respect that." I couldn't bring myself to say the word I had heard countless times from my sister and her friends growing up.

"What for?" James asked, following the same line of conversation we have gone down countless times before. "She's obviously not trying very hard, not nearly as hard as you."

My mind automatically thought the same thing it always did, "this coming from an only child who's never had to understand sisterhood." Sure he had found a blood brother in Sirius and probably Remus and Peter too, but girls were different.

"She's my sister that's why, you wouldn't understand," I said pointedly. It was the same thing I always said to end the same argument whenever it came up. I knew James would never get it and it seemed pointless to discuss something that he could never comprehend.

I stood up and went to grab the ornaments, sighing heavily. I knew that somewhere out there my sister, someone I wanted desperately to love me, was not thinking about me, was not thinking about her nephew. It hurt, but I would never let anyone else know that, not even our parents who thought we got along fine. It was all a pleasant act at family get-togethers, but I knew how she really felt.

"What I don't understand," James called from the other room and pulled my attention back to what I was doing. I hate when he yells across the house like that, "is why you waited till the last minute to decorate for Lammas."

"I've been preoccupied with Harry's birthday party," I said nonchalantly as I sat back down in front of them and pulled the ornaments out of their box.

"What party?" James sighed irritatedly, "all we did was have tea with Bathilda and open presents." I could tell he was disappointed, but it wasn't like we could just go walk the streets of Hogsmeade anymore.

"James, there will be plenty of time for outlandish parties later on," I said as I hung the ornaments in the window that faced the path up to the front door. "Besides, Harry's not old enough to even remember so it would all be for your enjoyment and you've had enough fun to last a lifetime already I think."

"We could always get a pensive and save the memories for him," James replied as causally as he could manage, but I caught his little snicker. Even though I've been married to him for almost three years, it still amazed me sometimes that such an immature toerag had become my beloved husband.

Harry's squeals of joy pulled me back again and I looked over to see him trying to open a box from Quality Quidditch Supplies. As he rolled it over in his hands the front of the package came into view and I saw what was making him so happy.

Sirius had gotten our son, his godson, a small full purpose broomstick. It turned, it flew, it was a nightmare for a mother with her first child. "What was he thinking? Harry could hurt himself," I said as I moved closer to my son.

"Oh come on Lily, Sirius would never do anything to hurt Harry, you know that. Besides, I had one of these when I was a kid," James grinned and he reached down to help Harry open the box.

"Yeah, look how you turned out. Must have fallen and hit your head I think," I remarked playfully and he threw some wrapping paper at me.

When the box was finally pulled apart and the broom lying on the ground, I couldn't help but give in to my son's face. James showed him how to use it and in moments he was hovering just off the ground.

I suppose two inches isn't that bad, but what if he fell? The thought of him getting hurt gripped my mind and so I turned to James to set up some ground rules. "You're going to have to watch him you know. He doesn't know how to fly like you do."

James, of course, agreed with every word I said, eager to teach his son about his favorite pastime. The only problem was that Harry didn't want to wait for me to finish setting up the rules and decided he would have fun while he could.

Within seconds he went off at top speed around the living room, my heart stopped. He circled the armchair and almost hit Snitch, who had poked his head out of his box to see what was going on. Then he was off into the kitchen where he knocked the legs of the table and sent Petunia's vase crashing to the floor.

James gave a small cheer, but with a glance over at me he knew he had better chase his son down. Harry just didn't want to stop though and my terror that he would get hurt was replaced with laughter as I watched them go back and forth.

Harry, even for a one year old, was very smart and quickly learned how to control his new toy. He spent the better part of five minutes staying just out of reach of his father. Harry even managed to trip up James and caused him to fall backwards into the end table which sent several ornaments and the Sneakoscope crashing to the ground just like the vase.

It was exactly the kind of mayhem that I knew Sirius would love so I quickly grabbed the camera and snapped a photo before James managed to catch his little flying ace of a son. "What a great way for you to get some exercise," I joked and James gave me a sarcastic 'ha-ha' as he put the broom back in its box.

"I suppose this is good news for you too," said James as he placed the broom on the top shelves in the closet, much to little Harry's disapproval.

"Why is that?" I asked, heading into the kitchen to grab the broom and dust pan to clean up the broken pieces of clay, glass, and metal that had been created in the chaos.

"Because now you have an excuse for not decorating," James grinned and picked up Harry as he cried for his new toy.

"Oh James," I chuckled, shaking my head. But even I couldn't deny that it was a good excuse.