Disclaimer: I own nothing but the fingers with which I type.

Expecting

Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

I told Crouch it was an awful idea, but, as per usual, he ignored me.

Lily and James are headed for Godric's Hollow tomorrow. I admit I'm glad to see them go. London is too dangerous right now and you know how reckless James can be. He and Lily seem to be fighting constantly. The city brings out the absolute worst in those two.

Which reminds me… I must tell you about my encounter with Lily the other week. How she manages to make everything so complicated, I can't imagine. She was bad enough at Hogwarts, but now that she and James are married, she seems to have made it her personal mission to get herself in every sort of dilemma possible. James will be lucky if he still has a wife in ten years.

Who could believe that Lily would be so badly confused by…


"It's positive."

The nurse beamed, handing the small stick to her patient. Lily took it, looking at the green cross in dismay. She shifted her weight onto her left leg, her hand unconsciously moving to her flat stomach.

"Damn," she mumbled, slumping into the hospital bed in her waiting room.

The nurse's smile flickered. "Is everything all right, dear?" she asked hesitantly, taking a seat next to the red headed witch.

Lily turned her green eyes to the kind woman beside her. "I don't know," she admitted softly.

"Is it the father?" The elderly muggle's voice hardened, her hand reaching out to hold her patient's comfortingly.

"No!" Lily exclaimed, pulling away and standing up. "No! Of course not!"

The white haired nurse didn't look convinced, as she gracefully lifted herself from the bed. "If something is the matter, then—"

"It's not," Lily insisted defensively. She added softly, almost to herself, "James will be thrilled."

"Then?" The lady prompted gently.

Lily's emerald eyes didn't move from her stomach, as she sat down again. "I don't know if I'm ready…"

"You know, we offer many options for pregnant women… you can look at adoption, abortion—"

Lily shot out of her seat, looking horrified. "Are you…? You can't be…?" Her hand once again protectively rested on her stomach.

The nurse smiled sadly, her warm eyes understanding. "How old are you, dear?"

Lily's voice shook as she answered.

"Nineteen."


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

I feel no shame in saying that I wasn't pleased. It's bad enough that Lily kept it a secret for so long, but for someone to actually suggest getting rid of it? James, of course, didn't seem to mind Lily's wait. He was delighted by the news.

Not that his restraint held for long. When he heard what the muggle healer had offered…

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. First I must tell you how I found out.


The smell of breakfast wafted into the bedroom the moment Lily opened the door.

For a man who had spent his entire life served to by house elves, her husband was an excellent cook.

"Morning," Lily greeted, lovingly wrapping her arms around the former quidditch star's torso. She rested her cheek in the crook created by his neck and shoulder. "Eggs?"

"And bacon," James supplied, lifting one of her hands in order to kiss her palm.

Lily grinned, separating herself so that she could set the table. She gave her bespectacled spouse a small peck on the cheek and tousled his already unruly hair. "If I had known how well you prepared food, there's no way I would have rejected you fifth year."

The black haired wizard turned, a naughty sparkle in his hazel eyes. His right arm snaked around her waist, pulling her into his chest. He moved his face forward, so that his lips were barely an inch away from hers, and murmured, "I always knew you only married me for my cooking."

Lily blushed at James' proximity. Her reaction to his advancements hadn't lessened after their years together. His hand cupped her red cheek.

"I am quite partial to this color on you," he drawled, drawing her in for a short, sweet kiss. Then, with a flourish he released her. "Now, if you'll excuse me, milady, I believe our breakfast is burning."

James spooned the last set of eggs onto a plate and carried it to the table, calling behind him, "Grab the bacon, yeah?"

Lily brought the dish over, and James removed the cover he had used to keep the meat warm. As the smell filled Lily's nose, her stomach heaved violently. She had barely made it to the kitchen sink, when her stomach emptied itself.

"Lily!" James exclaimed, at her side in an instant, keeping her auburn hair from her face.

She moaned, her hands clenching the counter keeping her upright.

"Lily," James repeated anxiously. "What happened?"

She was panting as she straightened up, her hands wrapped around her stomach. "It was the smell," she said, sounding surprised.

"The smell?"

"Of the bacon. The moment I smelled it…"

"But you love bacon!" James was confused.

"I know."


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

Apparently, Lily had been getting sick every morning for a week. I don't claim to be an expert on diseases, but I certainly know that what Lily was going through was not healthy. Not that she was particularly worried about it, and I was inclined to leave it alone. The bird is definitely able to take care of herself. The prat on the other hand... well, you know how he is when it comes to Lily. A small sneeze might as well be a death sentence.

About a week after James first told me of Lily's stomach virus, he asked if I could stop by his apartment with some groceries. I wasn't too busy—Moody had given me the day off—so I agreed.

So, I got into their apartment to drop off the bags…


Sirius let out a cry of shock as he dropped the paper bags of food on the floor and rushed to Lily. He fell to his knees next to the vomiting redhead slumped over the toilet, and gently began rubbing her back, hoping that his actions didn't worsen Lily's conditions.

"Lily…"

The Black heir heaved a sigh of relief when Lily finally stopped. He checked her forehead for signs of fever. His frown deepened when he felt the sweat that had matted the roots of her hair. He felt his mirror vibrating, signaling James' call. Exactly what he needed, the most overprotective prat in England agonizing about what was going to happen to his beloved wife.

"Not now," he snapped into the mirror. "Let me look at her, and then I'll let—"

But is she all right? The voice from the mirror demanded.

"She'll be fine!" Sirius said through gritted teeth, ignoring the mirror's words and stuffing it back into his pocket. He turned his attention to the green eyed beauty leaning on him, wheezing.

"Lily? Lily. Lily!"

Lily groaned and opened her eyes.

"Sirius?" she said weakly.

"Good." Sirius was pleased; at least she wasn't suffering from any sort of delusions. "Where are we?"

"Apartment two blocks from Mallord street," Lily responded absently. At Sirius' worried look, Lily expanded. "That's what James calls it. He has to distinguish it from all of his other properties, right?"

Sirius shook his head.

"Mad prat. All right, I'm going to check for any internal injuries. Are you all right?"

"Fine."

Sirius rolled his eyes, as he took out his wand. "No, Lily, I'm serious. I'm only doing general healing spells, and they won't recognize certain ailments. So I need to know exactly how you feel."


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

She insisted that she was fine, but I was reluctant to take her word for it… I might be an auror, but I was shaking at the thought of having to tell the prat that Lily died on my watch.

In the end I had to accept that Lily was hale. None of the spells came out positive, she could see, count, and even managed to recite the twelve uses of dragon blood (she actually recited thirteen; Professor Dumbledore failed to include 'Slughorn attractor' in his research. I suspect that he never gave that one to Lily either. I think she just added it to see my reaction.)


Sirius helped her into a chair in the living room.

"You need to go to St. Mungo's."

"I'm fine," Lily said offhandedly, summoning a book from the shelf.

"Lily," Sirius warned, sitting on the foot rest across from her. "This could be serious. Wizards aren't normally affected from simple muggle diseases."

"It's not a wizarding illness," Lily said calmly, flipping the book open.

"You need to see a Healer." Sirius stated, his gray eyes leaving no room for argument.

She sighed, putting the book onto the table next to her. "I've already been to the hospital, Sirius. They said this was perfectly normal and would go away on its own."

Sirius raised a finely shaped eyebrow skeptically. "You went to the hospital?"

"Yes."

"Which Healer did you see?" Sirius questioned, suspiciously.

Lily flushed.

"I didn't see a Healer. I went to a muggle hospital."

"What! Why?"

"Everyone at St. Mungo's knows James. There's no privacy," Lily said defensively. "Besides, I used to go to muggle hospitals all the time—"

"Before you found out you were a witch. How in Agrippa's name is a muggle supposed to diagnose a magical condition?"

"I know."

Something in the young witch's voice made Sirius look at her sharply.

"What did they say?"

Lily reddened again.

"Nothing. Like I said, they told me it would go away in a couple of weeks."

Sirius sighed. "One day, I am going to insist that you listen to me." He stood from his seat. "I'm going to put away the food. Just, take it easy, while I'm gone, yeah?"


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

She must have felt worse than I thought; she actually listened! By the time I returned from the kitchen, she had fallen asleep on the sofa.

Not that I'm complaining, because that gave me plenty of time to dig through James' potion cabinet. The number of useless droughts he has there… and I'm fairly sure one of the vials in there contained some of Gregory's Unctuous Unction. I'm beginning to rethink my entire friendship with the prat.

At any rate, I found some stomach relieving solutions—I can't believe he hadn't already thought to give her some.


"Don't complain," Sirius ordered when Lily grimaced at the taste of the liquid. "It should calm whatever is bothering your stomach till James gets home. Hopefully he can reason with you better than I can."

"Thanks, Padfoot," Lily said, grinning.

"Don't mention it," he shrugged, running a hand through his short black hair in a manner strangely reminiscent of his best mate.

"Don't you have anywhere to be?"

"Moody gave me the day off," Sirius answered, cutting off her next statement before she had even opened her mouth. "And no, I'm not leaving until someone else can be here to care for you."

Sirius flitted around the room, clearing piles of papers and books, while keeping an eye on the weary female. As a curious and powerful witch, Lily had gotten into a fair number of scrapes, even attempting to befriend a giant, monster of a dog. The fact that the potentially dangerous grim turned out to be him didn't belay the point. But this was the first time Sirius had seen the witch truly ill.

And her response to the inquiries about her muggle hospital visit had been less than satisfactory. She was hiding something, and Sirius had a strange feeling that it wasn't good.

Something had to be done before she got any worse.


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

I considered calling James. I gave her more of that potion; I tried some healing spells; I even prodded her for more information!

Of course, none of it worked.

By the late afternoon, I was truly terrified. A fine thing it would be if the aurors' star novice was killed by a prat—and not just any prat, but James Potter—for being an inadequate healer!


"Do you want to try eating something?"

Sirius was sitting on the foot rest again, his face drawn and anxious.

Lily nodded. "By all rights, I should be starving. I haven't eaten since morning!"

"I'll warm up something from that ice box, yeah?" Sirius said, leaving the room.

"It's called a refrigerator, Sirius," Lily called after him, laughing.

Sirius searched the 'refrigerator' for meals, calling out whatever he found. "There's some left over chicken? Or some sort of meat pie."

"The chicken sounds brilliant," came her disembodied response.

Sirius removed two plates from a cabinet and dished out generous helpings of the garlic chicken. Warming it up in another one James' muggle devices, he carefully carried it to the family room.

He knew, the moment Lily smelt the chicken, it was a mistake.

"Garlic," she breathed, her face blanching.


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

I don't think I've ever seen someone shoot out of a chair that quickly.

Honestly, she was already hunched over the toilet when I reached the loo, and I all but sprinted there.

At this point, I'd just about had enough.


"I'm taking you to St. Mungo's."

Sirius was once again on his knees, holding Lily's hair from her face. He figured it would be easier to persuade her while she was still heaving and unable to argue.

"This is enough. I don't bloody give a damn what those muggle healers said, this isn't normal."

Lily shook her head, her emerald eyes wide with panic.

"You can't," were the first words out of her mouth once she had finished.

"I'd like to see you stop me," Sirius sneered.

"Sirius," Lily pleaded. "You can't take me to the hospital."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm—"

"You're not fine!" Sirius shouted, his hand clenching into a fist.

Lily looked miserable. "It's just the garlic."

"Garlic?"

"I haven't been able to stand the scent of garlic all week," Lily clarified, before rinsing her mouth.

"You haven't…"

Then, realization dawned.


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

I still can't believe it took me that long to figure it out.

I had been apprenticing with Alice when she went through her week and a half of this. I'd had to ensure that no smell of anything remotely similar to warm bread made it into the office. And you know how Moody enjoys his morning sandwiches… And now Alice can't go the day without a grilled ham and cheese panini. Funny how fickle they are at this stage.

But I digress…


"You're pregnant!"

The words slipped out before Sirius had a chance to think through the implications of that statement.

Lily's shocked eyes were confirmation enough.

"I can't believe it," Sirius was saying, his lips stretched into a wide smile. "James is going to be ecstatic!"

Lily didn't respond, instead preferring to study the floor.

"No wonder you weren't worried! Oh—you shouldn't be standing," Sirius said, easily lifting her into his arms and carrying her back to her couch. "Merlin, Prongs is going to be a dad! And—Lily?"

Her lack of excitement was finally noticed.

"Lily, is everything all right?"

She shook her head, her hand resting atop her stomach.

"Do you… do you not want this?" His question was hesitant, but pertinent. "Is that why you haven't told James yet?"

She shook her head again, not sure which question she was answering.

"I don't know if I'm ready, Sirius," Lily's voice was soft. Small. "I'm only nineteen… and there's a war… Is it the right time?"

Tears welled in her bright green eyes.

"Am I a horrible person for being scared of this?"

Sirius' comforting hand grabbed hers and gave it a squeeze. "No. No! Of course not! It's completely natural that you'd be worried… it is a dangerous world to bring a baby into.

"But, Lily. If we don't continue to live, we're letting Voldemort win. If you give up this chance, you're giving in to his tyranny. This baby," his hand moved to her stomach, "will give the world hope."


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

I promised I would let her tell James in her own time.

The next day, James comes barging into the auror office… really, if anyone else came and went from the ministry departments the way he does… the prat gets away with far too much.

You should have seen him. The soon-to-be-father was bursting with pride as he announced his news to the entire ranks.

Moody even allowed a small celebration and let me out early. I joined them for dinner that night…


"She nearly killed me when she told me."

James was relaying the story, his arms gesturing wildly.

"To be fair, I hadn't expected you to leap out of the bed like that."

Lily was glowing. She and her husband had stopped by St. Mungo's earlier that day and received several potions that had mostly cured any ill effects of her morning sickness.

"What's a bloke supposed to do?" James' grin could not have been bigger. "Anyway, did you hear, Lils? Frank and Alice are expecting, too!"

"Alice Longbottom?" Lily asked, surprised.

"She just announced it last week," Sirius informed. "Your little kid already has a mate to play with."

Lily' lips turned upwards, just barely.

"I think he'll like that."

"He?" James joked.

"Call it mother's intuition."


Excerpt from a Letter from Sirius to Remus

Of course, now James is insisting that it's a girl. The way those two argue…

They asked me to be godfather. I accepted immediately, obviously. Can you believe it? Me? Godfather… I'm already planning all the pranks and tricks that kid and I are going to get up to. Personally, I'm hoping for a boy; someone to continue the Marauder tradition with. Although, if it is anything like its mother, then I imagine gender won't really matter.

This kid's going to be something special, Moony. I can feel it.


To James' dismay, and Sirius' delight, Lily bore a son on the last day of July in 1980.

Although he only spent a little more than a year with his parents, Harry James Potter grew to espouse the same values as his brave parents before him. Between the ages of one and eighteen, he faced Lord Voldemort six times and survived each encounter.

Sirius' foresight did not go unanswered. Harry Potter did, indeed, become the most powerful symbol of hope during England's Second Wizarding War.


I haven't yet decided where Remus is, and why Sirius must write to him. Just assume he's on some mission for the Order and wasn't around to hear it first hand.

Just for those of you who are curious, Gregory's Unctuous Unction is a potion which persuades the drinker that the giver is his/her best mate.

I wanted to try writing a story in this style, and this plot bunny fit quite perfectly. It is a new style for me, though, so please let me know what you think of it.

Please Review!

The Third Marauder