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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-15 03:16 pm
Entry tags:

The Bowl of Lilacs 1 of 2; R, Remus/Lily

Summary: Remus can't give her what James can -- but he can still give her something.
Warnings: Infidelity.

Also available at AO3.

Lupercal, 1979.
Three days after the full moon.

"I should leave."

Remus Lupin stood near the window, letting the thin sliver of sunlight between the blinds and the wall illuminate his face. He was shirtless, trousers hanging on his hips loosely, as they always did; Lily had noticed that his clothes never quite fit him, but she'd never known how perilously thin he was until the first time she'd seen him undressed. He had always been firm and sure and steady, and his appearance belied the werewolf strength in his sinewy muscles.

"Already?" she asked, sleepily, curled under the duvet on her bed. She let it fall slightly, so if he turned he'd see her breasts. She loved the hunger in his eyes when he saw her naked.

"No, I didn't mean leave the flat," he said. "I meant, I should leave the country."

She propped herself up on an elbow. "You're not serious?"

He turned then, and there was indeed the want of her, in his face, as he leaned against the wall and crossed his arms. But there was something overlying it, a half-pain that she knew he tried to hide.

"This can't go on, Lily," he said quietly.

"I don't see why not."

"We can't live our whole lives like this, it won't work."

"People do."

"Only in novels and BBC miniserials."

She sighed and flopped back. "You won't leave if I ask you to stay," she said confidently. He drifted a hand out to stroke her thick red hair, affectionately.

"James is going to propose to you," he said.

"I know."

"He asked me to help him pick out the ring."

"Did you?"

"Yes. James has no taste," Remus said. It was not an insult, merely a statement.

"Good. Then when I wear it, I'll think of you."

He shook his head, seating himself on the bed. "That's why I have to leave, Lily. It isn't right."

"Well, you wouldn't marry me."

"You' being what you are," he said softly, "Which is to say, a brilliant young witch who happens to have Muggle'll be hard enough for you to be accepted by some. If you married a werewolf -- if word ever got out, you'd be shunned. You deserve to be fully a part of this world, Lily. Your life should be full of magic. I can't give you that, and you shouldn't have a share in this secret." He bowed his head. "I can't even keep a steady job, we'd starve, and you'd hate me eventually. The Potters are an old Wizarding family, rich, well-respected. You'll have status, wealth -- "

"You're James' cousin," she reproached. "First cousin."

"Yes, but James' father married another old family," Remus answered, "whereas his sister married a Muggle farmer."

"This is stupid."

"But it's still the truth. Don't marry James if you don't love him," he said. "But I think you do."

"I love you more."

He closed his eyes for a moment, and she was sorry she'd said it.

Not sorry enough to wish she hadn't, though.

"And that sort of thing is the reason I should leave England, if not the whole island," he answered.

"You won't. Not if I tell you not to."

He nodded, agreeing that this was so.

"Because you love me too much," she said, affectionately proud.

"Don't be cruel, Lily."

She tugged on his arm and he let himself be pulled down, until he was holding her, kissing her, hands exploring the familiar curves of her body. Places he'd known intimately since he was eighteen, since a fight with James had led her to his doorstep because she knew that Remus Lupin had always loved her, if not with the outward obviousness that James had. And he knew she was using him then, but he didn't care, and even after making up with James she'd come back to Remus, more often than was good for either of them.

And then there came a time when she wasn't using him, somehow.

When he was barely twenty and it was love.

But it was still her love, on her terms, and it was love stolen when James wasn't looking, and it was love that would kill him if he let it.

"Stay," she whispered into his ear.

"Not forever," he replied.

"When will you go?"

"Do you want this to die slowly, Lily? When James marries you, when I have to smile and watch you dance with him at your wedding, what we have becomes wrong -- more wrong than it is now. You and James will be two parts of one thing, and I'll be the one who comes along with Sirius and Peter and your friend Emma to dinner on Sundays. You'll know James, know every part of him, and I'll begin to fade, not because you love me less, but because you won't have time for me. You'll have children. With James. His children," he said, and she heard the first note of well-controlled bitterness in his voice. "Children you could never have with me, even if we married, because my children might...might be like me." He stopped for breath. "You'll be a family, and I'll be an interloper. And slowly things will stop. You'll love your children and your husband and...and I might die, Lily, because I can't bear to watch you stop loving me -- "

She cradled his head as his voice broke. "Never, Remus," she said quietly.

"So I have to go, because at least if I'm not here I won't see it happen. There are jobs in America, Dumbledore thinks he can -- "

She kissed him silent, watched his liquid brown eyes seemingly try to memorise her face.

"Stay," she said.

"Of course," he replied.

"Stay while I marry James -- "

" -- yes, of course -- "

"Stay and come to Sunday dinner -- "

" -- I can flirt with Emma -- "

"Stay until then." She kissed him again, felt his fingers twine in her hair. "Stay until you can see the family you say James and I will be, stay until I have a child, a family. Then you can go, Remus."

"Why are you doing this to me?"

"Because I love you best," she murmured. "Because I need you, too, just like you need me. At least then, if you go, I'll have things to keep my time full."

"So we won't talk about it again," he answered, face buried in her hair. "We'll keep on as we have. I will smile and applaud and throw rice at your wedding, and when you come back from your honeymoon -- "

" -- I'll come to you and we'll make love in your bed and nothing will have changed," she answered.

"Everything will have changed. But we can pretend otherwise."

"You think too much."

"It's your fault."

"What?" she laughed. He smiled at her, and she knew the moment had passed, the moment when either one of them might break and do something truly dangerous.

"When you're here, the world is brighter," he said. "There's more to it. There's more to do, more to think, and I move faster, think better, words come more easily. I'm not afraid of the world when it has you in it."

She listened to him, and stretched her long legs against his, and when he pressed against her and kissed her hungrily and desperately and when his hands curved around her spine, and her thighs brushed his hips -- when he made her cry out, gripped in his own silent climax, she promised herself she would never, ever have children, that she would never let Remus Lupin slip away from her.


Hallowe'en, 1979.
Four days until the full moon.


Remus, grinning behind a not-at-all-disgusing lion half-mask, set his drink on the piano and turned to greet Sirius with a hearty handshake. The other man, whose black hair fell in curls around the raven feathers of his sharp-beaked mask, seated himself on the piano bench and tossed back the rest of Remus' drink for him.

"Brilliant party," Sirius said, glancing around at the other partygoers. "How are you? I haven't seen you in weeks."

"I've been traveling," Remus answered. Sirius chuckled and tapped out a few notes. He'd learned to play as a child, Remus knew, but he didn't often play anymore.

"Hmmm, yes, I can imagine. I wish I had your freedom, mate."

"I wish I had your salary."

Sirius chuckled. "It's paltry, is what it is. If I didn't have Uncle's inheritance I don't know how I'd manage -- no idea how the other interns do it. I feed them, when I can. You should hear our dinner conversation, it isn't fit for civilised ears."

"What's on the charts this week?"

"Countercharms for potions. It's a dog's life, being a Healer," Sirius said.

"Literally," drawled James, as he appeared on Remus' left, one arm around Lily's waist. "Hullo, Lupin, up to your old tricks? You've stolen my thunder."

"Hardly," Remus replied. James had pushed his mask up on his head -- he never could stand to have that pretty face of his concealed -- but it, too, was a lion, and a much less shabby one than Remus'. His face was flushed a little, Remus guessed from the punch everyone was indulging freely in.

Lily, however, was pale -- she was wearing deep blue, and her face was painted in swirls of white and gold. He gave her a small smile of greeting, and she waggled her fingers back at him.

"Clever, isn't she?" James asked the pair, guiding her forward a little to better show her off. "No masks for my Lily."

"And you can't kiss me until I take off the makeup," she added, giving him a gentle shove. "Go get me a drink, love."

Remus did not flinch, but his muscles had tensed to move at her request; Sirius might have noticed it, but Sirius was busy working out fingerings on the piano keys. James was already hurrying off.

"Let's have some dance music!" someone called from the crowd. Sirius, obligingly, played a few notes, then a few more, until it slowly coalesced into a tune. Lily slid along the piano a little until she was standing with Remus.

"You look amazing," he murmured.

"I did it for you," she whispered back.


"Do you like it?"

"You know I do."

He stepped back a little as James approached again, bearing four glasses deftly. Remus took two and set one down for Sirius when he was done playing; Sirius acknowledged with a nod. Lily sipped idly and watched the dancers.

"Are we going out soon?" James asked Remus, who ducked his head.

"The fourth. You can come along if you like. Sirius and I had plans to go up to Hogsmeade. It's snowing there already."

"What about Peter?"

Sirius, at the mention of Peter's name, broke into an old Muggle torch song that Remus and Lily recognised, but James scowled at.

"Thought I'd visit the club," Sirius sang, as the dancers adjusted to the new beat, "Got as far as the door; awfully different without you -- don't get around much anymore..."

"He's got a new girl," Remus said, by way of explanation. "He seems a little wrapped up in her."

"I know the feeling," James said, sliding his arm around Lily's waist again. Remus gave him a faint smile. "What about you, Moony? When are you going to bring out that girl I know you've got hiding in a closet somewhere? Afraid we won't like her?"

"I'm sure you would," Remus mumbled. Lily covered James' hand with her own.

"Let's dance," she said, setting down her drink glass and taking James' out of his hand. She held it up to his lips and he drank the whole thing, then pulled her out into the crowd of people.

"Jealous?" Sirius asked, as he repeated the chorus on the piano.

"Of?" Remus inquired, mildly.

"Them. Wouldn't blame you. They make a nice couple."

"Not at all," Remus answered. "I'm glad to see them happy."

"Hmm," Sirius said noncommittally. "Been invited on dates...might have gone, but what for? It's all so different without you -- don't get around much, anymore..."

By the time the dancing had finished for the evening, Sirius was played out and James staggering a little; Remus and Sirius caught him with a grin as he nearly fell on the piano.

"Lightweight," Lily said, giggling a little. "Sirius, help him home, would you? I want to stay a bit longer."

"Dun feel so well," James muttered.

"I've been playing all evening!" Sirius protested. "Moony should do it."

"Flip you for it," Remus offered. Lily looked daggers at him. Sirius dug in James' pocket and pulled out a sickle.

"Heads," Remus called, in the air. Sirius caught it, looked at it, groaned, and wrapped James' arm around his shoulder.

"Off to the floo we go. You owe me, Moony," he called over his shoulder. Lily grinned and shooed him off with her hands.

"You were going to ruin all my careful planning," she pouted, to Remus.

"Getting James falling-down-drunk was your careful plan?"

"Well, I wasn't sure you'd be here tonight."

"I didn't know myself until this afternoon. I was hoping you'd come," he added, sipping his drink much more carefully than James had been. "Lily, does it occur to you that your relationship with James may not be entirely healthy?"

"It has once or twice," she said, with a sly grin. He grinned back, forgetting himself for a moment. "Come on, I want some fresh air and there's an enormous garden on this place. What do you suppose inspired Sirius' cousin to move in somewhere like this? She only has one child..."

"Andromeda likes room to spread out in," Remus answered, as they stepped through a side-door to the kitchen and out into the crisp October night. This close to the full moon, even being out-of-doors had an effect on him, and he was sure she knew it.

"You look good," she said. "Must be eating well, wherever you've been."

"I had a food allowance from Dumbledore while I was traveling."

"I suppose it's better than nothing."

"Worse, sometimes, I think. I don't want to talk about that."

"No, you never do," she said. The fingers of her right hand twined with his left. "It's all right."

"Are we going anywhere in particular?" he asked. She pushed off his mask and carried it herself, dangling by its strap from two fingers. He lifted his other hand to smooth his hair where it had been ruffled.

"Away from the house. Away from people. I want you all to myself for a while," she said. Her face was so pale, in the reflected light of the real moon, that it almost glowed, but he could see her blushing under the makeup and his pulse sped up, as it always did when she was this close. So he followed, letting her lead the way until they'd wandered past a small copse of trees, and into a garden full of ferns and rosebushes.

"I missed you," she said softly, turning to kiss him. His thumb smeared the gold swirls on her cheek, and she laughed, whispering a quick spell to clean it all off. That was better; he had no intention of making love to the moon.

"I missed you too."

She leaned back against a tree in the centre of the garden, and he leaned forward, pressing his hips against hers. "Going to show me how much?"

"I'd like nothing more," he said, against the skin of her throat. She swallowed and gasped, and his hands slid down to her hips, gathering the soft blue material of her skirt up. Underneath she was naked.

"You'll hurt yourself, here," he said, as one of his knuckles grazed painfully against the tree's bark. Just beyond it was a patch of dry, grassy ground, and there it was right -- right to let her wrap her arms around his shoulders and clutch at his shoulderblades, right to push against her and inside her. Right even to be more rough than he would have, because the moon was shining down and it made him a little wild, but she took the wildness away from him, Lily did, naked on the warm ground in the moonlight at midnight on All Hallow's.


Christmas, 1979
Nine days until the full moon.

There were so very many presents, that Christmas, even if the holiday cheer was somewhat lacking; there were dark mutterings among the higher-ups in the Order that things were perhaps not going as well as could be hoped, and it bred fear and uneasiness in the younger members. Still, it was a good Christmas, the best Christmas really, despite everything.

In his poverty-stricken state, Remus had gone thrift-store shopping for his gifts, and as a veteran of the second-hand-goods district, had come away with some overlooked treasures that he'd repaired or re-finished in his spare time, which was considerable when he wasn't running errands for Dumbledore. Just one or two apiece -- a necklace and a pillow shaped like a tiger (you could hardly even see the mending he'd done) for Lily, some antique firewhiskey bottles for Sirius, who was experimenting with his own brew as a way of keeping current on potions processes, a set of vintage Quidditch posters for James, and some Muggle novels for Peter, who liked second-hand books, preferably the kind with interesting notes in the margins.

They, on the other hand, had clearly coordinated to buy him winter clothing, food, enough books to keep him in literature for the next three months, and a new desk diary that gave the full and new moons as well as handy proverbs, planting tips, and wildly inaccurate weather predictions. It was nice of them, and it didn't injure his pride, which was considerable.

He was sitting on the sofa of James and Lily's living room, wrapped in his new muffler and feeling at home with the world as he watched James and Peter assemble a rocking chair Sirius had given Lily, when she sat up straight and squeaked.

"I almost forgot," she said, leaning over from her seat on the floor to rummage in the wrapping paper. "There's one more present."

She pulled a box wrapped in plain brown paper from the very back of the pile, and tore the paper off. "This is for James."

"Then why are you unwrapping it?" James asked, but he crawled over and sat crosslegged in front of her. She took four champagne flutes out of the box.

"Give one to everyone," she said, and James confusedly obeyed. Remus studied his curiously. Next out of the box was a bottle of champagne, and Sirius undertook the duty of pouring for everyone. Peter and Remus exchanged a baffled look, and Sirius shook his head as if to say he wasn't in on whatever was going on.

The third thing out of the box was a tiny shoe, a trainer in miniature. James held it in his broad palm and studied it.

"I'm confused," he said to Lily, who was the only one without a champagne flute.

"I know, darling," she answered, ruffling his hair. "I'm about to explain. Gentlemen, your glasses please?"

They raised their drinks obediently, and she smiled.

"To the new father in our midst," she said, "even if he is a little slow on the uptake."

James dropped the shoe, and Remus nearly dropped his champagne. Sirius reached over and clamped a hand on his wrist, steadying it and possibly looking for support of his own.

"Father?" James demanded. Lily grinned. "Father?"

"You remember that last week in October, that night we went out for Italian food and had all that wine?" she asked, leaning in for a kiss. He set the champagne down and held both her cheeks in his hands as he kissed her. Sirius groaned and made disgusted noises, which was just as well since Remus was looking for an excuse not to watch.

"Father!" James announced proudly, turning to them.

"Dibs on godfather!" Sirius shouted.

"We were going to ask you anyway," Lily replied, sticking her tongue out.

"We were?" James asked.

"Yes we were," Lily said firmly. "It's a bribe to get him to be my Healer when I'm ready to deliver."

"You had to bribe?" Sirius asked, beaming hugely. "I'll start reading up on it tomorrow."

"Not that we don't think you two wouldn't make grand godparents," Lily continued, looking at Remus and Peter, "But it's just that Sirius has a more stable income, and Remus..."

"Couldn't. Yeah," Remus said, without the usual bitterness he might have imbued it with. He was still getting over the shock, when two new shocks hit him at once -- the first, that this meant he would have to reconsider leaving. She'd only bound him to stay until her child was born, and while he didn't want to leave, he knew he'd have to, or this would consume him.

Two, that if it had been two months might be his.

Oh god, it might be his...

A bottle of champagne split four ways didn't last long, and Lily gathered up the glasses while Remus, doing some quick thinking and maneuvering, gathered up most of the Christmas wrapping into a ball and followed her into the kitchen to throw it out.

"Lily," he said quietly, as she rinsed the glasses.

"Don't say it," she breathed.

"Don't say which? Do you know?"


"Whose it is? Don't think that little wrangle with the dates confused me."

She was silent. "You only have to stay until he's born, I know that."

"Don't ignore the question."

"They'll wonder where we are," she said, drying her hands.

"Lily, if that boy is born with brown eyes James is going to know something's wrong."

"James wouldn't care if it was born with three eyes. In case you hadn't noticed, Remus, he's a little dim about some things. It's not like they teach elementary genetics at Hogwarts. And anyway who's to say it won't look like James? You're cousins, you know."

He opened his mouth to reply, but she was already back in the living room, accepting renewed congratulations from the others and teasing James about not understanding the shoe.

He never did get a straight answer out of her, but over time it became obvious that she did know, and that the child she was carrying had been concieved on Hallowe'en. He always suspected that she had planned it, and often wondered what made Lily want to dance along the edge of danger like that; perhaps because in those dark times there didn't seem to be much different between danger and everyday life.

And still a part of him wouldn't believe it.


July 31, 1980.
Four days after the full moon.

"Remus! Remus, wake up!"

Remus woke to someone shaking him, and flailed out with one arm; still-sore muscles twinged, and he sat up in bed, opening his eyes. Peter tumbled backwards, wide-eyed, onto his floor.

"Peter? Wha'?" Remus asked, sleepily. The clock on the wall said it was just getting on towards two in the morning. "Wha's wrong?"

"It's Lily," Peter said. Remus was suddenly awake. "The baby's coming. James said I should come get you. She's already at St Mungo's -- "

Remus shot out of bed, a little stiffly, and began undressing, throwing on a shirt and a jumper over his pyjama bottoms before pulling on a pair of trousers.

"How far along?" he asked, and Peter shook his head.

"Dunno. Sirius sent someone to floo me, I haven't talked to them."

"Right, we'll Apparate together," Remus said, pulling on the nearest pair of socks to hand and shoving his feet into his shoes. He glanced wildly around the room, grabbed his keys, and and Apparated before Peter could say anything more.

The admissions area of St Mungo's was silent in the early morning, and apparently it was a slow night; the duty witch took in the sudden appearance of a disheveled, urgent-looking pair of young men and pointed down the hallway. "Apprentice Healer Black said to let you through," she said disapprovingly.

"Thank you," Remus blurted, and ran down the hall. James was shouting somewhere in one of the rooms, and it didn't take long to find out which one; after a second James came hurtling out through a swinging door, looking stunned.

"He threw me out!" James shouted, as they skidded to a stop. "He threw me out of my own wife's hospital room!"

"Is Sirius in there?" Remus asked. "Is she okay? What's going on?"

"He threw me out! He said nobody ought to be shouting in delivery! I'll shout at my own wife's -- "

"James, for god's sake, for once in your life stop thinking about yourself," Remus snarled, and bolted through the door, leaving Peter to calm him down.

Lily, as big as a house and looking bigger in a giant white tented sheet, was moaning on the bed. Sirius was calmly setting something on fire.

"What's going on? Is everything okay?" Remus asked, stopping dead in the middle of the floor.

"If you're going to shout I'll throw you out too," Sirius said, adding powder to the little flame burning on a metal tray near Lily's face. Pale green smoke drifted up, and Lily's moans slowly subsided. "There, that's better."

"How is she?" Remus asked, suddenly filled with terror.

"You know, she really has good hips for this kind of thing," Sirius said, grinning up at him. "She's fine, Moony."

He swung the wheeled stool he was sitting on around to the foot of the bed, and lifted up the sheet. Remus looked away, politely.

"Hey Moony," Lily said, softly.

"She's drugged up," Sirius warned.

"Thank god," Lily answered. "I can still feel it though, Sirius. It doesn't hurt, but I feel it. Am I supposed to feel it?"

"That's why you're delivering here and not in a horrible Muggle butchery shop," Sirius answered smoothly. "All right, you're about halfway there already. This is going to be fast, I think. Peter fetch you?" he added to Remus.

"Yeah. Are you sure she's okay?" Remus asked, feeling as if he ought to be doing something. The room was so dark, and so quiet...

"She's fine. Go tell James. Tell him he can come in if he's not going to shout, and if he thinks he might, I'll give him a calming charm too. There we are, love," he added to Lily, as she sighed when another contraction hit. "Feeling all right?"

"Yes, thank you," she replied. "You're a lot nicer in hospital than you are in real life, Sirius."

"It's the drugs. I'm the same bastardy old dog, you just can't be arsed to care," he answered. "I'm going to check on your pulse and some things, okay? You just sit back and look after my godkid a few more minutes."

Remus put his head out the door, to find James pacing angrily in the hall.

"Sirius says you can come in if you're not going to shout anymore," he said. James pushed him out of the way and through the door. Sirius raised his wand and hit James with a charm as soon as he was fully in the room.

"You didn't have to do that," James said serenely.

"Yes I did," Sirius replied. "Go hold your wife's hand while I put my hands places I never thought I'd touch Lily."

James took the place of honour at the head of the bed, stroking Lily's hair and talking softly to her; Remus felt a twinge of jealousy as he stepped back, standing with Peter off to the side.

Of course it wasn't his. How ridiculous he was. James was her husband.

And yet...

"I think he thinks I'm fat," Lily said, lying on her back in the unbelievably green grass of the back-garden at their house in Godric's Hollow. James was gone on Order business, and had asked him to look in on her from time to time. "He doesn't even want to share the bed with me anymore; he thinks I should have the extra room."

Remus, sitting on the steps, frowned. "There's a difference between fat and pregnant," he said. "I'm sure he's just worried about the baby."

"Well, he shouldn't be," she answered, turning her head to grin at him, one hand lying possessively across her belly. Eight months along, now, and still she could just look at him, and his skin would tingle. "Sirius said it was okay to, you know, do everything right up until nine months."

"Must be weird getting pointers on your sex life from Sirius," he answered with a grin. She pushed herself up with difficulty, and touseled his hair as she walked past him into the house.

"You're the one reaping all the rewards," she said over her shoulder. He grinned to himself, and followed her into the kitchen. It wasn't impossible, after all; it was just a matter of changing positions slightly...

"Remus?" James asked, looking up at him, and Remus shook his head a little.

"Yes? Sorry," he added. "Must have got a little of that smoke myself. What did you need?"

"He said you should go get something to eat, and some coffee."

"Oh, I'm fine -- Peter can go if he wants..."

"I think they want some time alone," Sirius said softly. Peter was already tugging Remus towards the door.

"But -- "

"Go on ahead -- I'll be there with you in a minute or two. The little canteen's open twenty-four hours, just down the hall and on the right," Sirius added. "James, I'm just going to cast a charm so that I'll know when she's almost ready, okay? If anything goes wrong I'm not far away at all."

James nodded and went back to talking to Lily, but Remus saw her eyes dart past her husband, and when she smiled and touched James' chin, she was looking at Remus.

"All right, I reckon we have just enough time for a sandwich," Sirius said, rubbing his hands and plucking a pre-made sandwich out of the chilled case in the little canteen. The wizard running the till looked extremely bored as he rang up two sandwiches, three coffees, and a cup of soup (Peter) to Sirius' account.

"And you're the only one who knows if it's a girl or a boy?" Peter asked, settling into a chair next to Sirius, who unwrapped his sandwich and took an enormous bite.

"James and Lily said they didn't want to know and they didn't trust you to keep it a secret," Sirius answered once he'd swallowed, grinning at Peter. Remus nibbled at his own sandwich, but it tasted like sawdust, and the coffee was bitter and cold.

"Are you sure it's okay to just leave them?" he asked.

"I've got it, Moony," Sirius said easily, taking another enormous bite. "I've been on the Maternity rotation for two months, and Healer Doge let me deliver Alice Longbottom's kid all on my own yesterday morning."

"Oh, Frank and Alice delivered?" Peter asked, beaming. "Boy or girl?"

"Boy," Sirius answered. "Neville. Good-looking baby, considering they're all a bit squashy when you first see 'em."

Sirius had finished his sandwich in about five bites, and Remus offered half of his own.

"Eat hearty, Moony," Sirius advised. Remus shrugged, still worried, and nibbled some more. "In about -- oh, Merlin, there it is," he said, as something buzzed. "That's the charm going off. Come on lads," he added, shoving the rest of Remus' sandwich in his mouth. Peter quickly downed the rest of his soup, and they ran back to the room just as James came barrelling out of it.

"Something went all insane!" he said, as Sirius scrubbed his hands.

"That's just the charm," Sirius said over his shoulder. He cupped a handful of water over the flame still burning weakly on the tray, dousing it.

"Sorry, Lily, you have to be around for this bit," he said, shaking a clean towel at the smoke. "Shouldn't hurt too much."

"Ow -- ow!" Lily shouted.

"That's it," Sirius said. "James, go hold her hand. Peter, you stand over there with the blankets. Moony, help me?"

"Do what?" Remus asked, anxiously.

"I'm concentrating on the baby. You stand here and let Lily know how she's doing, all right?"

Remus nodded and moved to stand behind Sirius, looking over his shoulder. He tried not to wince.

"What? What's wrong?" Lily asked.

"No, no, nothing's wrong," Remus said quickly. "It's just not something you see every day -- "

"OWWWWWW," Lily shrieked.

"Speedy little brat," Sirius murmured to himself.

"It looks good, Lily, it's already, uh -- "

"Crowning," Sirius said.

"Crowning! Um, there's the head -- wow," Remus said suddenly.

"Wow? What's wow?" James demanded. "No wow, why wow?"

"Shoulders coming!" Sirius shouted. "Worthless Moony!"

"Sorry, sorry, it's uh -- "

Sirius' enormous hands moved swiftly, and in another second were cradling an entire little body, cautiously.

"Blanket, Peter," Sirius said, and Peter shuffled forward, trying not to look. James craned his head.

"Is it over?" Lily asked, breathlessly. Sirius was wiping the baby clean with an edge of the blanket.

"Hold him," Sirius ordered, and Remus couldn't even protest before there was a small, squalling creature in his arms. "I have to cut the umbilical cord..."

Sirius was moving around and touching the baby, but Remus couldn't have cared less; A tiny, black-haired little person was in his arms, Lily's son, and he wanted to cry.

"Lily, James," he said thickly, when Sirius was done, turning to carry the little baby boy to the head of the bed. "Look."

He put the baby in Lily's outstretched arms, oh-so-carefully. She beamed down at him, smoothing the little bristling black hair.

"He's so tiny," James said, worriedly.

"Well, they come in all sizes," Sirius said with a grin, doing something else down at the foot of the bed. He could have been amputating Lily's leg for all she noticed; she was rocking the baby carefully, checking each finger where the arms waved uncoordinatedly out of the blanket, totally wrapped up in him.

"Looks just like you," Remus managed, and relief flooded through him. James glanced up, smiled briefly, and returned to the baby. Sirius appeared behind Remus' shoulder, drying his hands on another towel.

"I know," he said softly, in Remus' ear. Remus turned his head slightly. "He does take after the Potters."

"How?" Remus asked.

"Don't worry about it," Sirius said. "I just want you to know that I know. And that's why you got to hold him first."

Remus wiped away tears under cover of rubbing his eyes.

"Thank you," he said. Sirius patted his shoulder, and then walked around him to where James and Lily were suddenly terrified by loud crying.

"He's hungry," Sirius said. "I can bring in a bottle, but you should try to nurse." He laid a hand on James' shoulder. "Well done, old man. What are you going to name him?"

"We agreed," James said, then swallowed, "That if it was a boy, Lily got to name him. She picked Harry, after my grandfather. And Moony's, of course."

"It's a good name," Lily added. "Don't you think, Remus?"

Remus summoned a smile from somewhere. "Yeah. I do."

Part Two

[identity profile] 2007-04-03 07:58 am (UTC)(link)
Ouch. I like this :) Going to read the second part now.

I love the relationship you've crafted between Remus and Lily- and that you didnt use the cop out of the excuse that she is cheating because James is cheating (which alot of authors do, and annoys me)

This line made me LOL so hard:

and they ran back to the room just as James came barrelling out of it.

"Something went all insane!" he said, as Sirius scrubbed his hands.

James is such an idiot xD

[identity profile] 2007-05-19 04:00 am (UTC)(link)
Is that a young!Alexander/young!Hephaistion icon, or am I reading way, way too much into it?

[identity profile] 2007-05-20 08:39 am (UTC)(link)
I have no idea in all honesty-

Might answer that for ya :) Where I got the art that is :)

(Anonymous) 2007-10-01 08:25 pm (UTC)(link)
wow. i really liked this.
especially this line:
"James and Lily said they didn't want to know and they didn't trust you to keep it a secret"

that gave me chills.
well done on a very weird pairing

[identity profile] 2007-11-04 11:19 am (UTC)(link)
*glomps* I LOVE YOU! Really. I've never considered LilyxRemus. It's so bittersweet. :D love you for this one!

[identity profile] 2009-11-22 02:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I really like your Sirius here. He's unusual.

(Anonymous) 2012-07-07 09:30 am (UTC)(link)
Amazing story!

(Anonymous) 2013-02-07 06:24 am (UTC)(link)
the line that always slays ,e is : thats why you got to hold him first.

ebery time, i feel my heart break for moony...