Waiting and Pacing

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Waiting is always the worst part.

There is a time nearly every evening when she paces the length of the sitting room and thinks about anything and everything. The house is quiet and she’s done all that she can to keep herself busy so she’s left with nothing but silence and her thoughts. It scares her every time he goes away even if she’s brave and never lets him see her fear. She rests her hands on her belly, growing bigger with every passing day, and she worries alone because he needs her to be strong. If she falls apart, he’ll be distracted and that’s too dangerous. Besides, she’s not the type to fall apart, at least not when anyone would see.

What if he doesn’t come back? What if he dies? What if he’s caught? What if they lose?

Question after question repeats in her mind with every step she takes. She sees a flash of green light and a world left in ruin. She sees her child never being born, killed alongside her in this world she never even knew existed until she was eleven. She sees her husband broken and pale lying on the ground at Voldemort’s feet. She sees their friends dead, slaughtered by men in grotesque masks who seek power and crave death.

Lily has never been afraid of death. She sees it as inevitable and knows she’ll die when it’s her time. She isn’t rash and reckless like Sirius but she refuses to live her life in fear. Now, though, she has another life growing inside her and she knows fear. Fear of causing the death of her child (a boy, she’s certain, though she tells James she can’t tell), of never living to see her child grow up, of so many things that enter her mind while she waits.

Her baby kicks her palm as she paces and she looks at the clock. It’s become a routine over the past two months, as she’s begun just doing research and making plans instead of going on missions because it’s not as easy to get around now, and James worries even if he’s smart enough to never force her to make such a choice.

He’ll be home soon. If he smells of Firewhisky, she’ll know Sirius whined until the boys agreed to stop at the pub. If he smells of tobacco, she’ll know he spoke to Remus after, possibly plotting the next mission for later in the week, the scent of Remus’ favorite cigarettes lingering on his clothes. If he smells of peppermint, she’ll know he went for coffee with Peter and shared a candy stick. If he smells simply of James, she’ll know the mission was smooth with no problems whatsoever and he returned to her directly. She doesn’t care what he smells like so long as he returns to her.

She smiles when the baby shifts. She speaks to him (for sure she’s positive it’s a little boy who will have his father’s eyes and crooked smile and her hair and nose, or possibly his father’s messy hair and her eyes) and tells him of many things. She tells him stories, both Muggle and Wizarding, and recites her favorite potions experiments. She describes their friends, loving them all even if they’re infuriating and she has to share James with them. She tells him of a world where blood prejudice doesn’t exist, of an ideal place she’s smart enough to know will never be more than a dream, but she wants her child to know it’s okay to dream and strive for such an ideal.

It’s another hour before the door opens and James comes inside. He smells of spice, rain, and mud as he takes off his dirty boots and grins at her. She rushes forward and hugs him tight, inhaling the scent of him, not caring that she’s getting wet and muddy because he’s alive. He lifts her up as he hugs her back, wet kisses against her throat as he tells her the mission was a success with two Death Eaters caught and no casualties.

Lily tightens her hold on him and sighs with relief that another day is over, possibly a step closer to winning this war and defeating a madman. She no longer sees defeat and destruction as she hugs her husband and feels her child kick. She sees only victory and a world where she can watch her child grow up and no longer spend her nights pacing and waiting for her husband’s return. It may not be an ideal world but, to her, it will be perfect.

The End