A/N: Ooooh, my first Harry Potter fic! This was the first fandom I started reading, but it's taken me more than 6 years to work up the courage to post my own story. I'm not really sure whether I'm happy with this because it kind of wrote itself, so feedback would be appreciated! Which is another way of saying please review! Also, sorry for any spelling mistakes; I re-read it a gazillion times, but I always seem to miss something.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. But you obviously know that, so why are you still reading this? On with the story!
Picture Perfect Life
James looked on in amusement at Lily's attempts to feed Harry.
"See Harry, it's yummy, look!" Lily cooed as she placed yet another spoonful of the mush into her mouth. Harry laughed; however as soon as the spoon approached his mouth, said mouth refused to open. Lily huffed and placed the food on the table.
"James, it's no good. You try," she said, offering the plate to James. He peered at what little food remained.
"Lily darling, I think you've eaten most of Harry's dinner," James commented neutrally, the twitching corner of his mouth the only indication that he was struggling not to laugh. Lily, well aware of this concealed mirth, glared at James as she stood and pushed the plate into his hands.
Much to her annoyance, the minute James offered Harry a spoonful of his dinner, Harry's mouth shot open.
"Mmmmm," James said with a wide grin.
"Mmmmm," Harry echoed with a toothless smile.
"Oh for the love of-" Lily threw her hands in the air as she stormed off to the kitchen to prepare some more food for Harry. Meanwhile James looked proudly at his son.
"Definitely a Potter."
Several hours later, when Lily was getting Harry ready for bed, she noticed James watching them with a strange expression on his face. His mouth was twisted into a smile; however his eyes reflected a sadness she had not seen in a while.
"James? What's wrong?" She asked as she fixed Harry's pyjamas. James shook his head.
"James," Lily pressed, turning towards him, Harry secure in her arms. "Tell me."
James walked closer to the pair but stopped a metre away, his expression now one of pain.
"I just- it wasn't meant to be like this."
"Like what?" Lily asked, confused.
"This. Us. Our home," James gestured at their surroundings. Lily's eyebrows shot up.
"What, you're trying to tell me you don't want to be married anymore? You don't want Harry anymore?" Lily's voice was already increasing in volume as she took a step forward, never one to back down from an argument. James' eyes widened.
"No, no, I didn't mean it like that! God Lily-" he rubbed his hands over his face and for the first time Lily noticed how pale and tired he looked.
"Then what did you mean James?" Lily asked, shifting Harry to her other side as he yawned.
"I meant that this isn't how I imagined our lives would be. To be living in this temporary house, always hiding, always scared that he is going to come and take Harry. Not even sure who we can trust, and everywhere around us people we know and love are dying every day. I never meant for it to be like this, I'm just- I'm sorry." James finished quietly.
"Oh James," Lily murmured as she closed the gap between them and wrapped her spare arm around him. She could feel his arms enfold her and Harry, his chin resting on Harry's head as he furiously sniffed, determined not to tear up.
"You think this is your fault? Lily whispered quietly after a few moments. "James, none of us knew how bad this war is. None of us could imagine the extent of it. You had no control over this, none at all."
"I'm meant to protect us Lil'," James whispered into Harry's hair.
"You are protecting us James. We're still here, right? We're all fine, and so are Sirius and Remus and Peter. You're doing everything you can, and no-one could ask anymore of you."
"But maybe if you'd married someone else-"
"If I'd married someone else I would still be in hiding but without you and Harry. How would my life be any better?"
The silence stretched for several minutes until-
"You're right." James said as he pulled away from Lily's embrace. Lily placed her free hand on her hip.
"Of course I'm right, I'm always right." She said loftily. James laughed softly.
"Yeah, you are." He murmured, before taking Harry from her grasp. The two young parents lay their son into his crib, each kissing him gently on the forehead. As they stood watching him, Lily voiced a thought.
"What did you imagine our life was going to be like?" She asked softly. James pondered the question for a moment.
"Well, I imagined we'd live in this massive house with a large backyard, away from Muggles. We'd have fourteen kids-'
"Fourteen?" Lily interjected in horror. "What do you think I am, a baby maker?"
"But then we'd be able to have two complete teams for Quidditch!" James protested. Lily crossed her arms.
"At this rate, you'll be lucky to get any more children mister!" She said, frowning. James laughed and kissed Lily affectionately.
"Okay, maybe not fourteen kids then. But still, Harry would have siblings."
"Go on," Lily said as she leant against James' chest. He wrapped his arms around her waist.
"Well, however many kids we had, there would be boys and girls. And all the boys would have my hair and stunning good looks- don't look at me like that, you know its true- and all the girls would have your hair and beauty. We would spend our days outside, because it would always be sunny, and all our kids would probably end up burnt because they'd have your complexion-" James stopped as Lily whacked his arm playfully.
"My complexion is not that bad!" She objected.
"Oh please, you turn into a tomato." James said dismissively. Lily could do nothing but laugh at that.
James continued to describe how he had imagined their life, his tone a mixture of happiness and wistfulness. As Lily closed her eyes and snuggled into his arms, she couldn't help but wish that somehow, someday, that life could be their own. A life without war, without fear, without death. A place where her family, her children could be safe.
A picture perfect life.