Sunday Morning

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The floor was cold on her bare feet when she stepped off the damp rug. She should have worn socks, she supposed, but she’d not wanted to wake James to find them. He’d had another rough night so she knew he needed his rest. This time, it had been a small Muggle school near Dover. When they’d heard it was a school, she’d known it would be bad for him. He always reacted worse when there were children involved.

Lily moved her palms over her expanding belly and sighed. He hadn’t told her how awful it had been nor had she asked. It was evident in the smell of Firewhisky on his breath and the way he’d pulled her against his chest. She knew everything he had felt just from the touch of his rough palms against her bare belly, the way he had remained soft instead of reacting to her, the way he simply hugged her tight. It had taken her years to see beyond the image, but she’d been determined and stubborn.

Now, though, she knew him, knew him better than he knew himself most the time, and she didn’t have to hear from him how devastating the Death Eater attack had been. She felt it in the way he touched her, the warm tears on her neck as he’d gently held her belly, and the way he’d unconsciously tightened his arms around her even this morning when she’d gotten up to shower. She wished it would end, but a part of her knew it wasn’t going to be that easy.

A part of her looked at him lying on their bed and wondered if it would be the last time she saw him like this. Would she even survive long enough to give birth to their child? Would she watch their baby grow up, say its first word, take its first step, read its first book? There were times she wanted to charm the doors shut, lock the world outside and never let him go, just keep them safe by keeping everything else out.

Then she’d remember the old man James had saved during an attack in Kensington and the expectant mum that she’d managed to protect in Oxford. If she locked them away in their little house, those people would be dead as would many others. It would be selfish to think only of her and James, of their child. She didn’t want their child growing up in a world full of hate, prejudice, and tyranny from dark wizards.

So she left the doors unlocked and watched James leave whenever Sirius came by or they received an owl. She sometimes felt guilty for no longer going, too, but knew it wasn’t worth the risk of endangering their baby. When he has gone, she walked the length of their sitting room or sat on the sofa or busied herself with plans for possible ways to defeat their enemy. During it all, she lived on the hope that they would somehow survive this crazy War and see another day.

Until it was over, she did her best to live each day as if it was their last. If she died tomorrow, she’d go knowing she’d lived and never let the fear and worry control her. She had loved, God had she loved, and she’d been loved by a man who infuriated her as much as he made her feel as if she were the only woman in the world.

Lily dropped her towel and crawled onto the bed beside him. He was now on his back, his arm across his forehead, his mouth open as he snored softly. The sheet was down around his waist and she could see that he was losing weight. Dark circles beneath his eyes, skin lacking its usual perpetual golden hue, and she still found him handsome. Lily leaned over, her wet hair touched his chest, and she kissed his belly. She moved her lips higher and kissed again.

He stirred beneath her, shifted, the snoring stopped, and she looked up to find his eyes on her. He grinned, a crooked smile that never failed to make her fall in love with him again, and his fingers brushed through his messy black hair as he yawned. Lily smiled at him, her fingers touched his cheek, and she decided today they’d spend the morning in bed.

A lazy Sunday morning while they had the chance, she decided. Enjoy it while they could. Before another owl arrived or Sirius stumbled through the floo with news of another attack they’d been unable to prevent. Today, they were alive and in love. They had a baby on the way, a child they were determined to bring into a world far better than what it was like now.

The End