Mother’s Name: Lily Potter
Child’s Due Date: Late July
Child’s Gender: Male
It should have been the best thing in the world, a child’s gender reveal. They had waited impatiently to find out if it was a boy or a girl and when they did, it was both the best and worst answer they could have been given and right now, the worst part outweighed the best because it was basically a death sentence. Oh, that wasn’t new. Their whole lives since graduating from Hogwarts was basically a death sentence. That was what it meant to choose war.
But, this…this was different. This wasn’t just them, this was their child. This was what they had planned for in that oh so distant future full of what ifs and ‘when the war is over.’ This was what they had dreamed of when they had dared to dream at all. This was that dream turned into a nightmare all because they chose love and tolerance and standing up for what was right.
A prophecy wasn’t necessarily something Lily would have put much stock in once upon a time, but this one…this one was not one she could ignore. And, even if she could, their enemies most certainly would not. She had always been a target merely because she was muggle-born. Something she had absolutely no say in, something that, in their eyes, made her the lowest of the low and something to be eradicated merely for existing.
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…born to those who have thrice defied him…
Though she had no idea what that specifically referred to, she could only imagine that joining the Order was one and turning down the Dark Lord’s offer to join him was a second. Any number of things down to the very fact that they – a pureblood and a muggle-born – had gotten married. Their decision to fight and the times they had done so against his henchmen were perhaps considered defiance as well and so, no matter what actions the prophecy referred to, they were guilty as charged.
Born as the seventh month dies…
Well, that was obvious and she didn’t have to have the parchment in her hands to see the single scrawling line flash before her eyes: Child’s Due Date: Late July. Nothing so ambiguous as late July, early August. No. That would be too easy, that would not be specific enough. That would not make them enough of a target.
It was unfair to think like that. That anyone was truly to blame for this prophecy, for this sentence, for making her actually upset that her child was a boy because of the words someone else had spoken. She had never allowed such a thing to guide her thinking. Never. This was her child and she would love him unconditionally. Nothing anyone said or did could make that any less true. No prophecies or death threats or…nothing.
Her hands drifted to her stomach as her gaze dropped. This was her son, her world, and he was in the greatest of dangers before he was even born. It wasn’t fair. Not that anything in life truly was, but it seemed a cruel trick of fate that this had to happen on top of everything else. There were only two witches who could possibly fit the prophecy at this time and speaking with Dumbledore earlier today had basically cemented the fact that he was certain it was them.
It was devastating blow of the kind she couldn’t immediately rock back from. How did you digest the fact that you had put not only your own life on the line once again, but your entire family’s? The fact that the joyous occasion of a child had been blown into pieces by the target painted on your backs? How did you come back from something like that? How did you accept the fact that what should be the happiest news in your life was shadowed by the worst?
She was so lost in this swirling darkness, that it took her a moment to realize she wasn’t alone in the room. Finally glancing up, she saw James watching her and she felt tears spring to her eyes. This wasn’t fair for him either. For any of them. It was on the tip of her tongue to say she was sorry as he drifted closer to her. But, what was she sorry for? That she was pregnant with a son? No. That they had married in the first place? Again, no. That they were fighting for what they believed was right? …No.
Maybe it was an apology for being what she was, for what she had no choice in. Maybe it was for dragging him down with her because she had come to love him with all of her heart and couldn’t imagine being without him. Maybe it was because…well, she wasn’t even entirely sure, her thoughts were such a mess.
She swallowed hard, not wanting to let the tears fall. James didn’t need that, didn’t deserve that. He didn’t need her breaking on top of everything they were already dealing with because he would surely try to take on that burden as well and it was not his to take. He had more than enough to deal with as it was. She knew he was right. They needed to talk. They needed to figure out what they were going to do because they couldn’t just sit and do nothing and…they couldn’t continue on as they were.
“What are we going to do, James?” It came out more uncertain and wavering than she wanted it to, all the fear and uncertainty trying to crowd into the single question that she really didn’t expect him to have an answer to. As his hand grasped hers, she flipped her own to squeeze it, almost as if she were holding onto a lifeline, terrified of sinking without it. She met his eyes and then her own gaze skipped away because it hurt to see his emotions mirroring hers. This was not what she had ever wanted for them, for him. This was as far from it as they could get.
As much as she wanted to believe his promises that nothing would happen to her or their child, she struggled with that because he couldn’t promise that. And so she accepted the stipulation: ‘Not if I can help it.’ That was the kicker. They would do everything in their power to prevent this prophecy from coming to pass, but how much power did they really have?
As he shifted to sit next to her, she couldn’t return his smile, trying to hard not to let the ever-present tears fall. She moved to lay her head on his shoulder so that he could no longer see her face. It was harder to hold onto control when looking into his eyes. “We are together.” She murmured, voice still cracking slightly. “Forever.” No matter what they chose to do, that would always be true. She truly believed that was one promise he could keep, they both could and would.
“But…what are we going to do?” The tears were starting to fall against her better judgement now and she shifted to look at him once more. She was devastated and afraid and uncertain about almost everything and she had no idea at all where to go from here. No idea what they were going to do to protect the life of their unborn son. No answers at all. And that was the worst thing of all. Maybe there were no right answers.