Author's notes: Um…my first MWPP & Lily fanfiction. Now this is angst-free. At least, I think it is. I hope you like it. It's very Christmas-y, which is odd, since I started it over the summer. Beware of typos…
Won't Always Be There to Show It
Snow trickled lightly from the sky, sweeping about in the soft wind before it settled swiftly onto the brown grass. The sky was powder, and though Lily Potter normally hated hazy weather, she loved it now.
Her nose pressed against the cool glass as she stared out the window at the gathering snowflakes, palms growing sweaty with anticipation. Harry's first snow, and Harry's first Christmas combined.
She smiled happily to herself, turning back to her work at tidying the house. Her little baby of five months, Harry, was watching her with bright green eyes through the crisscross strings that made up the walls of his playpen. His small mop of wild, curly black hair quivered as the heat emitting from the grate above blew upon him and the rest of the room.
Lily gave him a grin. "Excited, Harry?" she cooed to him, straightening some magazines on the corner table.
He giggled at her, rolling over, his small, baby hand griping the blue blanket that he'd fallen in love with. As he was only five months old, he couldn't reply to Lily's inquiries with words, but she got the idea, and hummed cheerfully to herself as she flicked her wand about, filling candy bowls and conjuring up Christmas-y pillows and decorations.
Still young, only twenty, Lily was an average sized woman with long, wavy dark red hair pulled back into a ponytail by a ribbon etched with reindeer and bells. Her eyes, the same color as her baby's, sparkled with excitement.
Not only was this Harry's first Christmas, it was also hers and her husband's, James, second together. So now that all the stress of making it perfect had passed, her heart felt light and elated, and she was practically skipping as she added more Christmas spirit here and there.
James had gone off somewhere with his best friends, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew, but he'd promised to be back for Christmas Eve dinner. Sirius and Remus were going to join them for Christmas, but Peter had other plans.
This was for the best, as the Potter's home, though large for a newly wed couple and their baby, wasn't quite roomy enough for three guests.
Finished with primping the great room, Lily turned her attention to Harry, who cooed and giggled as she came over to him, knowing he was going to get attention and cuddling again for being so quiet while his mommy had cleaned up.
He was right, of course, as Lily bent into the pen and scooped him, wiggling and laughing, up. He still clutched his blanket in his hand, and Lily reached out with her free hand to bring the bottom up so it wouldn't drag on the ground, placing it on top of Harry's plump little stomach.
"You want to see the snow, Harry?" whispered Lily. She hitched him up so she held him more easily, his hand brushing against her face. She kissed it and he gave her a pouting look. She laughed, shaking him gently, and walked slowly over to the window, careful not to drop him. "Look, Harry."
He decided it was more fun to grab her nose, though, and she could have sworn James had taken his place. The little boy was practically cackling with glee as he tiny fingers closed around his mother's nose.
"Harry," she whined, laughing. She pulled her face out of his grip and he grinned a toothless grin.
I cannot believe my son is turning into James Potter, she thought in an amused way. Not only does he look exactly like him, but he acts like him too. Oh Lord, I don't think I can survive with two James running around…
She loved James dearly, but through a large portion of her years with him at Hogwarts she had suspected she hated his guts, and he, hers. They'd literally fought daily.
So Lily wasn't sure if she could live with two James Potters, especially in the same house.
She shook her head wonderingly.
It was then that Harry caught sight of the snow, and he gave up on his mummy's nose, finding the white specks falling outside far more interesting. He struggled in Lily's grip, blowing air out of his mouth and sounding like a rudder of a Muggle boat.
She couldn't help but laugh. "Okay, we'll go outside, alright, Harry?"
He didn't answer, just reached out a tiny hand to touch the cold window. As Lily stepped away, his little fingers streaked across the glass, finally pulling away completely and leaving a tiny handprint.
"Harry, you smeared the window just when Mummy had it clean," Lily admonished him. With her free hand, she reached into her pocket and drew out her wand. She pointed it at the window and muttered an incantation, and soon the window was squeaky clean again.
Harry, seeing the stick that his mother always carried around with her, that little twig he so wanted to hold, reached out to steal it from Lily.
"No, Harry, you get yours when you're eleven. Mummy and Daddy will take you to see Mr. Ollivander. We'll have a great time, and then you'll go to Hogwarts and learn to be a great wizard like your daddy!" Lily told him as she headed down the hall to his nursery. "You'll get to go to Hogwarts during the year, and then Mummy and Daddy will take you on vacations during the holidays. Won't that be fun?"
He just giggled.
Lily smiled as she pushed her way through the blue door into his room. It was a very pretty room. Lily had designed it while on leave from work, a month before Harry was born. During the day, the walls and ceiling were covered in perfect blue sky and fluffy white clouds. At night, velvety black sky spread across the room, soothing, winking stars speckling it.
She came in here often, and not just because Harry was in it. She'd always wanted a room like this. It was just as well to bestow it upon Harry. He'd grow up in the room of her dreams…
As she laid him on the changing table, an odd pang, something of regret, shot through her heart and a depressing gloom seemed to settle over her. She straightened, eyes scanning the blue skies and cotton balls for danger. Everything was normal. Harry didn't seem to notice anything, just continued to kick and writhe about.
Shivering slightly, she pulled back her cheery face for her son, pulling open a drawer and removing a pair of woolen pants, a sweater, some woolen socks, and some boots from it. She then proceeded to dress Harry in these clothing articles, finishing by tying the booties with a great flourish.
Her hair fell into Harry's face as she bent to scoop him up, and he sneezed. This broke the blanket of fear that seemed to have fallen over Lily, and she laughed genuinely.
"That's what you get for wriggling about like that," she chided him, sweeping out the room with him in her arms.
The sight of the snow through the windows brought back a bit of the elated feel she'd had earlier, but she couldn't quite shake the feeling that Harry might not actually grow up in the room she'd so studiously prepared for him.
A tiny, warm hand pressed against her cheek, and she was jerked back into the present. Her eyes fell to the bundle in her arms, and wide, solemn green eyes stared into her own. He looked so serious for a baby of five months.
She smiled, the foreboding mood lifted, and she and Harry stepped outside into the swiftly thickening snow.
Christmas carols belted out the tiny radio perched on the shelf above the sink as Lily danced about the kitchen, adding a bit of this and a bit of that to the meal she was preparing. Harry lay, half-prone, half-upright, in his seat, watching his mother while sucking on the blue pacifier in his mouth. His chubby little hand gripped a small, stuffed reindeer he'd christened "Bah."
The house smelled of cinnamon and sugar as the cookies Lily had placed in the oven baked steadily. Through the window, snow fell, ghost-like in the growing darkness.
Looking up from the soup she was stirring, Lily checked the clock. Six-thirty. James should have been home by now.
She bit her lip. That feeling was coming back again. The feeling that life wouldn't always be as happy as it was now. She wondered if it had anything to do with Voldemort.
She chewed on the inside of her cheek as she lazily wove her wooden spoon through the frothing liquid of her own special soup.
Just as she was considering calling a friend, she was startled out of reverie by the slamming of the door that marked the arrival of her rambunctious husband and friends.
"Lily, dahlin', I'm home!"
James. Exaggerating his love, as usual. He found great pleasure in that.
She rolled her eyes, put her spoon on the countertop, swept Harry up in her arms, and stepped into the great room to greet her husband and guests.
James stood on the stone square in front of the door before the floor turned to carpet, stomping snow off his boots and shaking what looked like white flower petals off his jacket and hat. Two men stood behind him, both doing mild concoctions of her husband's actions. One had light brown hair, speckled with white, gray eyes, and was tall and rather lanky.
"Hello, Remus," she said cheerfully, addressing him. "Merry Christmas."
Remus looked up from the cleansing of his boots and sent Lily a gentle smile. She and Remus had always gotten along best out of them all, which made it even more ironic that it was James and her, the two who'd gotten along worst, who fell in love.
"Merry Christmas to you too, Lily," said Remus in return. "Hello, Harry, how are you?"
"That means, 'I'm fine, thank you,'" Lily translated. She pointedly ignored the other two men in the threshold.
"What?" The man who wasn't her husband, with dark, wavy black hair, looked to Lily with crystal eyes that sparkled in mirth. "No 'Merry Christmas, Sirius'?"
"Merry Christmas, Sirius," she said grudgingly, holding back a grin.
"Thank you," he said, shaking off his coat and boots. He discarded his coat and boats, stepped right over the wet marble to the dry carpet, and came up close to Lily in order to see Harry. "Hey, buddy," he said to the bubbling baby. He took Harry carefully from Lily's arms, bundling him into his own. "'Sup? How's life treating you?"
He wandered away from the foyer, plopping down into a couch and chatting to a cooing Harry. Harry absolutely adored Sirius.
James had an odd obsession with snow. She'd realized it the winter before, when every time he came in from the snow outside, he stood in the foyer for a full five minutes to make sure all the snow flakes had melted. It didn't make sense, but that was James for you.
As he was caught up in this activity at the moment, and as she secretly enjoyed acting incompatible with James when his friends were around to experience it, she ignored him completely, turning her attention, rather, towards his friends.
Remus had taken off his jacket and was holding it with a look on his face that said clearly he didn't wish to act like the house was his, like Sirius, but didn't want to seem as if uncomfortable either.
"Coat closet, right behind the door," Lily supplied to his blank gaze.
He smiled gratefully
James, having finished with his thorough "snow-be-gone" attitude, kicked off his boots and threw his coat and hat to the floor, stepping onto the thick white carpet.
"What? No 'hi James'?" he asked Lily, arms open and wondering. "No 'I've missed you, dear'? No 'I love you, James'?"
"Of course not," Lily said in a chaste sort of way. "Why on earth would I say that?"
James shook his head sadly and looked around at his friends (Remus was still at the coat closet and Sirius was comfortable on the couch). "Do you see what treatment I get?"
"Ah, you know you love it," Sirius piped over Harry's laughing as he bounced him gently on his knee.
Remus said something muffled from the closet, but it sounded along the lines of Sirius's comment.
"It's what you love about it all, Prongs," Sirius went on. His eyes twinkled as he regarded the couple warmly. "What you love about her."
"Love? Her? Me?" James teased. "No way."
"You just decided to get married and have a baby because you hated her, right?"
"Exactly." He grinned, grabbing a pouting Lily's hands and tugging her closer to him. "That and her hair."
"My hair?" Lily asked in some surprise. She hadn't heard this one before.
"Yeah," said James softly, pulling her so close against him she got the shivers. "Your hair." He paused. "And your eyes."
"My 'extremely over-bright, huge, odd eyes'?" she asked, taking a direct quote from the past that James had once said to her.
"Yeah, those…" His voice dropped to a whisper, lips so close to her ear that she shuddered against him. "And…your body, of course."
"You're a pervert, you know that?" Lily said just as softly.
He squeezed her hands and smiled. "'Course I am. Don't you know that by now?"
"Isn't that what I just said?"
James decided not to comment, just lowered his lips to hers in a visibly passionate kiss.
"Hey, knock it off, the kid's in the room," sniggered Sirius.
James pulled away, leaving Lily breathless and trembling, and released his hold on her hands. He turned to grin at his friend. "What? You think he's never seen anything as innocent as that before?"
"You call that innocent?" said Sirius derisively.
James teeth gleamed in the light, as his grin grew wider. "That was a simple peck, Padfoot, my dear friend."
"Then I do not want to know what a real kiss looks like," Sirius commented, bouncing Harry on his knee.
Remus emerged from the closet, appearing a bit ruffled, and looked around, confused. "What?" he asked.
"Nothing," Lily replied, glaring at Sirius and James. "Nothing at all, Remus."
"Then why do I feel as though I've missed something?"
"You're the only one who hasn't," Lily snapped.
"Only Lily and Prongs traumatizing my buddy Harry, here," Sirius quipped.
"Traumatizing him?" James said, turning a skeptical eye on Sirius. "Hey, we were teaching him to love."
"Hah, yeah, right," Sirius snorted. "You're just so hormonal still that you couldn't keep your hands of poor Lily."
"Hey, look who's talking, Mr. All Hands On Petunia Dursley!" James said angrily.
"WHAT?" Lily shrieked.
"I didn't know it was her!" Sirius cried. "All I saw was a pretty blond!"
"WHAT?" Lily's face was the color of the snow outside.
"Er," said Remus uncomfortably.
"Yes, you did!" James accused.
"Then how come you kept going, 'Petunia, baby, I'm more of a man than he is'?"
Sirius turned pink. "You must have misunderstood!"
James crossed his arms. "Uh-huh."
Harry started wailing because his godfather was dangerously close to dropping him onto the floor.
Lily, looking disgusted, hurried to her son and took him front his purple godfather's hands. "Ew," she commented to Sirius, heading away to the kitchen with Harry in her arms. "Come on, Remus, let's leave these two to themselves."
Remus, looking horribly puzzled, trailed behind Lily into the kitchen, leaving two very hyped up friends arguing.
"That soup was actually pretty good," Sirius remarked, propping his legs up on the small coffee table in front of the couch. "Lily, I must say I'm shocked."
"Oh, thanks, Sirius," Lily said dully, rolling her eyes. "I'm honored, really." She shifted Harry, who was sleepily playing with a loose lock of her hair, in her arms. He had energy to sigh contentedly.
"It was good, Lil," James told her. Just proving more to her theory that James and Harry were just alike, James was also playing with Lily's hair, twirling her waves around his fingers as she leaned against him. They both sprawled comfortably across the carpeted floor, Lily leaning against James with Harry in her arms, and James leaning back again the sofa Sirius sat on. Remus rocked in an armchair.
All warm and sleepy after a nice meal, they sat around for a bit, doing nothing but talking. Lily had grown up opening presents on Christmas Eve for lack of a Santa Claus (Petunia had told her the first chance she'd gotten that there was no Santa Clause), so present opening had been planned for that night. But as all of them were so content to just sit there and talk, the gifts had yet to be opened.
"I wonder what they're doing at Hogwarts right now," Remus said wistfully.
"I know! Haven't you always wondered what Dumbledore does to celebrate Christmas Eve?" Sirius piped in. "Think McGonagall and Trelawney entertain him?"
"Sirius!" Lily cried, appalled. "The way your mind works!"
James laughed. "I can't say I've wondered that, Padfoot."
"I have," Remus said with a grin. "And I came to the conclusion that they did, Sirius."
"Really?" Sirius looked thoughtful. "I think they do too."
Lily was obviously mortified, as she adored both McGonagall and Dumbledore (though she rather…er…disliked…Professor Trelawney). "McGonagall's only thirty! She's probably over thirty years younger than him!"
"What's wrong with that?" James asked, grinning. "What? You don't think it's romantic?"
Lily turned her head to glare at him. "That is not funny."
"Ah, you know you think it is, my little love muffin," he replied, kissing her nose.
"Stop making fun of me," Lily snapped, turning away. She addressed Harry, who looked to her with sleepy green eyes that mirrored her own. "At least one of my boys love me, right?"
Sirius and Remus both looked bewildered.
"What happened?" Remus asked. "How's he teasing you, Lily?"
"I'm not saying," Lily sniffed, choosing to attend to her baby instead of her friends.
"Lily was very…how should I put this? She was very…sentimental when she was pregnant with Harry," James answered. "She found everything romantic and called me her little love muffin…"
Sirius burst into laughter. "Little love muffin? Love muffin? Lily? To you?"
James nodded. "Yes."
Lily glared, scooting away front James. "I wasn't in my right mind," she said stiffly.
"Did you really say that?" Remus said, trying not to laugh.
"Oh, look at the time!" Lily cried. "Time to open presents!"
"Ooh, ooh, presents!" Sirius stopped laughing immediately, falling on his knees and crawling to the tree.
Remus shrugged, and followed his suit.
James looked on with a humored expression and Sirius and Remus dug through the piles of gifts under the tree.
Lily looked smugly to him. "Your teasing me has failed, Prongs," she told him.
"Oh, it was enough just to see you that worked up," James replied.
"Didn't work," Lily repeated. "My little love muffin."
Lily's free hand groped for a light switch as she held a peacefully snoozing Harry close to her. She loved how it felt to hold him; so warm and cuddly, and it was even better when he smelled good, like he did then. The poor baby was exhausted after such a long night, and slept soundly against his mother.
Her fingers caught the switch and a soft light filtered through the dark room, blending the twinkling stars and moons into the ceiling. Humming softly, Lily made her way to Harry's crib, and, reaching it, lay him gently down. She took his blanket and wrapped it snugly around him, and placed Bah, who he clutched in his hand, at his side. Then she stood there for a moment, watching him sleep.
He looked so much like James… They even slept the same way, face set so peaceful. The only difference was that Harry sucked on his thumb while James just looked like he did.
She smiled and reached out to gently touch Harry's cheek. "You'll grow up in here," Lily whispered almost defiantly. Her finger traced his forehead. "I'll see you grow up to be exactly like James. We'll get daily owls from Hogwarts telling us all the horrible things you've done… And then summer will be for us, and after Hogwarts, I'll see you married and see my grandchildren and James and I will grow old together just knowing that our baby boy turned out just fine… Who knows? Maybe you'll have a sister…"
She blinked a few times, surprised to feel tears in her eyes. Maybe not, said a curious voice in her mind. Maybe you won't always be happy. Maybe you'll die and Harry's life will be ruined…
"We'll all grow up together," Lily said forcefully against the voice.
Then she stopped and her eyes glued to Harry's softly snoozing face.
"Or maybe not…" Her breath caught in her throat, she could barely speak. "But we'll always love each other…no matter what…right, Harry?"
He rolled over in his sleep.
She smiled and bent to kiss his forehead.
Turning to head out the door, switching off the lights…she could have sworn she heard a soft voice say, "Yes, Mum."
"Why do you always take so long to get ready for bed?" Lily complained from where she lay snug under her covers. "I'm tired."
James, doing something in the bathroom, stuck his head out to give his wife a quick grin. "I have to prepare for my beauty rest."
"Please," Lily snapped. "There isn't enough sleep in the world to make you beautiful."
She heard the light switch in the bathroom click off, and James entered to bedroom, wearing a T-shirt and boxers. His hair was frizzy and damp, and his face a bare of his glasses. He frowned at Lily. "I'm hurt," he said, hands on his hips.
James rolled his eyes and padded across the carpet to crawl into bed. It squeaked under his weight. "Such abuse I get," he said in a sniffling voice.
She leaned across to him. "You know you love it," she whispered.
He raised his eyebrows. "You sound like Sirius."
Her eyebrows pulled up in an abashed expression. "Do I really?"
James grinned. "Yes, you do." He reached out to switch off the lamp on his nightstand.
Lily sat back, still looking rather sick. "See what you've done to me?" she cried, hitting him in the chest with Witch Weekly. "By God, I'm turning into you!"
His teeth gleamed in the darkness penetrated only by the nightlight in their bathroom. "And I'm turning into you."
"Now that's not such a horrible thing," Lily commented, settling down under her blankets. She rolled on her side, facing James, as he, too, got comfortable.
"Yes, it is," James said, nodding against his pillow. His face was so close to hers that their noses almost touched. "Soon I'll be calling you 'my little love muffin.'"
Lily narrowed her eyes. "You're awful."
"Isn't that why you married me?"
"For that matter, I don't know why I married you. Because by marrying you, now I have to live with two of you."
"How so?" James wondered, confused.
"Harry's turning out just like you!" Lily wailed, poking his shoulder with her hand.
"That's my boy," he said, grinning.
James kissed her. Really long, really hard, really passionately.
She pulled back, breathless, and continued to glare.
And James just closed his eyes and went to sleep.
Lily turned over on her back and watched the ceiling, thinking for a moment. James was annoying, but she loved him so much…and she loved Harry just as much. That was why the thought that she wouldn't always be there, watching them grow, terrified her so.
"I'll always be there," she whispered to the darkness.
Yet again, it chided her. Maybe you won't.
"I'll always be there." She paused, then added, "Or at least I'll always love them."
That you will, that little voice in the back of her mind agreed. But you won't always be there to show it.
My first pre-Hogwarts fanfiction. My first Christmas fanfiction. My second completely PWP fanfiction. Ooh, three new things in one. If you read this, you're wonderful. If you review it, you're the best person in the world… (Hint, hint.)