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Chapter 47: I Could Have Died With You
Light that smoke, yeah, one for giving up on me
And one just cause they’ll kill you sooner than my expectations
To my favorite liar, to my favorite scar (to my favorite scar):
"I could have died with you"
-Fall Out Boy
"Sometimes, I just want to throttle that idiot."
Ever since Sirius and I decided that we weren’t going to be together anymore, the arsehole decided that it would be a good idea to ignore me . . . Or at least, that’s the impression I got.
Sure, we’d hang out sometimes - I mean, how could be not? We were friends with the same people, lived in the same, small space, we were friends; it would be impossible to completely ignore me. What I mean is, there was no severe goofing off like there used to be.
As the weather got warmer, we began to spend our afternoons outside in the lake, as opposed to inside. But Sirius, the dumbarse, stayed as far away as possible while still remaining in the little section that the Marauders and I were in. As it got closer to the end of the school year, we got fidgety, and more likely to go on midnight adventures. But I had to pester James for a majority of the time, because Sirius made a whole, big show about standing on the opposite side of the little line we formed.
It was halfway through the month of May and we were all sitting in the Great Hall, eating lunch on a particularly lazy Saturday.
"What was that, Anna?" Remus asked.
"Something about ‘that idiot?’"
"Just your dumbarse friend," I answered, not giving any further information.
"Sirius?" Remus always did have a knack for reading my mind - I suppose it wasn’t exactly hard - I was pretty much an open book. "Do you want to talk about it?"
I shook my head vehemently.
"You’re a girl, Anna; aren’t you supposed to like talking about your feelings?"
I raised my eyebrows and curled my lip at Remus. He shrugged, and must have gotten the message.
"Why don’t you ask Sirius?" I snapped. "I’m sure she’d love to talk about her feelings."
"Anna, stop talking. Your bad mood is throwing off my vibe."
"Fine!" I got up without finishing my lunch and stormed off to the dorm.
"Oh, come on, Anna!" Remus called after me. "I was kidding!"
I ignored him and kept walking. Okay, so maybe I was in a little bit of a bad mood, but how could I not be? One of my best friends was ignoring me for a completely illegitimate reason.
I was storming past a long row of Suits of Armor when I sneezed violently.
"Bless you," said one of the Suits.
"Thank you," I replied.
Sad, isn’t it, that the Suit of Armor pays more attention to me than my best friend! Stupid, bloody cad . . .
I grumbled about Sirius all the way up to my dormitory, where I sat down on my bed and grumbled some more. I suppose Remus must have told the boys to avoid the dorm at all costs, because between the entire span between lunch and dinner, not a single person came up.
I considered skipping dinner, just to show Sirius how angry I was, but then I decided that that was just ludicrous; I couldn’t skip dinner!
So, instead, I made a whole fuss of stomping into the Great Hall and sitting as far away from Sirius as I could without sitting away from our little group.
"Pass the butter, Anastasia?" Sirius asked.
Be a nice little girl and pass Sirius the butter. Maybe he’ll stop being such a twat if you do.
I reached for the butter.
Are you kidding me!?!? Tell me how the hell that makes sense? He’ll stop making things awkward if you pass him the butter? Seriously?! Where do you get your logic, woman?
I kept reaching for the butter, thinking I’d still want the butter if the situation were reversed. And then, the devil on my shoulder chimed in -
Throw it, throw it, throw it, it chanted in my ear.
Of course, being the little angel that I was, I didn’t listen to the devil, and politely passed Sirius the butter.
Instead, I pulled back my arm, and chucked it at his face. It hit him right across the nose. I thanked Sirius in my head for having helped me with my aim a couple of years ago.
"Er, thanks," he said monotonously.
I resisted the urge to get up and storm away; I hadn’t finished lunch earlier and I was extremely hungry. I remained sitting and chatted with James until dinner was over.
We got up, and began to make our way towards the dorm when I remembered. "Oh, damn, I have a detention."
"What for?" Sirius asked.
Oh, now he’s talking to me.
"Me and Darren got busted for doodling in class," I announced to the Marauders. "It was a masterpiece; very elaborate, moving. It was Slughorn growing larger, and larger because of too much crystallized pineapple. I suppose he took it offensively.
"I’ve got to run, Slughorn’s going to have a cow if I’m late. God knows he’s the size of one." I ran off, leaving the boys to the suspiciously quiet conversation that ensued as soon as I left.
It was nearly midnight when Darren and I finished alphabetizing the potion recipes in Slughorn’s office. It wasn’t so terrible; Darren was sure as hell entertaining. But still, my back hurt from so much bending over and my neck felt sore, as well.
I walked into the dorm, admittedly in a better mood than I had been earlier. I got even happier when I opened the door to see a raging pillow fight going on. Nothing made me happier than pillow fights.
Actually, that’s a lie. It might be more accurate to say that very few things make me more happy than pillow fights. Yeah, that’s it.
"Come on, Anastasia! Grab your fucking pillow, and let’s go!"
Sometimes that boy just made no sense to me.
But, despite, Sirius’ erratic behavior, it seemed that he was going to start talking to me again, and the thought made me happy. I grabbed a pillow and let loose a war cry and I jumped from my bed to Sirius’ and whacked him roughly in the back. There were barely a second in between that jump, and the one I attempted from Sirius’ bed to Remus’.
However, I’m sad to say that one didn’t go as well. I kinda sorta jumped a little too high and hit my head on the ceiling.
I clutched my head and fell down to Remus’ bed, bounced off of that, and hit the floor.
"Oww," I groaned.
"Dumbarse," I heard Sirius whisper as he jumped down from his own bed next to me. Soon I had all the Marauders circled around me.
"Anna, are you okay?" Remus asked.
I opened my eyes and saw cross-eyed. I tried to shake my head but that just made me dizzy.
Damn, another concussion.
"Guys, I think I’ve got another concussion." I kept my eyes tightly shut.
I heard a sigh; it was probably Remus. "Peter, do me a favor and get me that giant Healing book from under my bed?"
I heard someone get up a scuttle away. A minute later, Peter was back. "Thanks." I could hear Remus open the book and flip through the pages. "Aha!
"Caput capitis rememdium." My head felt oddly cold after Remus cast the spell, but I was familiar with it. It was probably the tenth time since I came to Hogwarts that I had gotten a concussion. "Alright, Anna, you know the drill. Stay there for about ten minutes and then get up.
"Who’s staying up tonight to make sure dumbarse doesn’t die?"
"I’ll do it," Sirius volunteered immediately.
I was so going to grill him about his weird behavior after everything was totally back to normal.
Ten minutes later, I was still feeling fine, and allowed Sirius to help me up. I downright refused to let him walk me to my bed; he’d be crossing the line there.
"Okay, now remember," Sirius told me, as he climbed into his own bed. "When I wake you up every hour, don’t bite my head off. I’m only doing it to make sure that you don’t fall asleep and never wake up."
"Got it," I mumbled.
I fell asleep quickly; Sirius stuck to his word and woke me up - consistently - every hour. It was probably four-thirty when he woke me up far too early, according to his schedule. "Why did you wake me up again?" I growled into my pillow.
"You were having some kind of coughing fit." He sounded nervous. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, I’m fine. I didn’t even know it. Now can you please let me go back to sleep?"
Sirius scoffed. "Touchy, touchy. Fine, next time you’re about to die of a coughing fit, I won’t wake you up."
I wasn’t even sure whether to believe him or not.
Three days later, most signs pointed to Sirius getting back to normal. We were goofing off again. He’d stay near when I swam, he’d walk next to me as we went about our adventures around the castle.
The only thing he seemed to be refusing to do was touch me. Obviously not in the way he had when we were together, but at all. There was no picking up, no piggy-back riding, no arm around my shoulders and no pinky swears. There was no grabbing my hand in excitement to lead me somewhere, and no back massages, even when my back was extra sore.
There were, however, a few high-fives.
But, despite all that, I suppose I couldn’t blame Sirius. Maybe he found the situation awkward? Somehow, him being Sirius, and all, I doubted that. But questioning had to wait for a different time. Because, at the same time, most signs pointed to the fact that I was getting sick.
The next night after my concussion, Sirius woke me twice more because I had a coughing fit. That day, I sneezed at least once per class.
The night after that, Sirius woke me twice, so did Remus.
By the third night, the Marauders all woke me at least once, and were threatening to brew a potion to keep me awake; my coughing fits were disturbing their sleep.
Regardless of the little-sleeping nights and sneezing days, I was still able to function fully. I trained hard in Quidditch practice (because there was no other option when Nazi-James was your Quidditch captain,) I kept up with my work (well, at least as much as I always did,) and complained no more or less than I usually did.
Unfortunately for myself, a few more days brought not as much luck. I was barely making it through my classes awake, the Marauders had ceased to be annoyed with my problem, and were now concerned. Even James let me off of Quidditch practice.
One day, McGonagall kept me after class. "Miss Xanthis, are you alright?"
"Yes, I’m fine," I rasped, trying not to aggravate my sore throat. "I’ve just got a little cold."
"Well . . . Why don’t you go up to Madam Pomfrey for a Pepper Up Potion?" It was kind of humourous, even in my sickly state, to see McGonagall concerned.
"Of course, I’ll go straight away," I assured her. McGonagall looked pleased with herself as I left the classroom.
I, of course, had no intentions of going. Everyone knew that Madam Pomfrey kept you in the Hospital Wing, on average, a week longer than you needed to be there. And my timetable was in no state to have a stay in the Hospital. The Quidditch championship was fast approaching (two weeks and counting) and there were exams soon. If I wasn’t going to study on my own, I was going to make at least a tiny effort to pay attention during class.
It was dinner time, and though I didn’t feel at all like eating, I trudged down to the Great Hall; I hadn’t eaten all day, and would probably pass out if I didn’t get something in me.
The Marauders were all pushing food on me (such worry-warts) but nothing was appetizing to me at all. I eventually settled with a little bit of chicken and some bread. It didn’t even taste right, my nose and tastebuds were so messed up.
Later that night, as we were all getting into bed, I felt my stomach heave. "Shit," I mumbled and ran into the bathroom with my hand clasped tightly over my mouth. I shut the door behind me, and locked out the Marauders, who I knew would attempt to follow me in and try to be all helpful. You know, that crap.
I threw myself to my knees in front of the toilet and hurled the entire contents of my stomach out.
"Ugh," I groaned.
I brushed my teeth, trying desperately to get the disgusting taste out of my mouth. When all I could taste was minty freshness, I rinsed off my toothbrush. I briefly considered sleeping on the bathroom rug, just in case, but decided against it for two reasons.
One: I was pretty sure I had emptied the entire contents of my stomach.
Two: I had no idea when the last time that rug was cleaned was. And I was afraid to ask.
Despite the miserable state I was in, I fell asleep rather quickly. By that point my coughing fits had become so violent that I would wake myself up. It was around six in the morning when I woke up to the Marauders talking quietly and dressing for class.
"Do me a favor," I whispered, because, at that point, nothing besides I whisper was at all comfortable, "and tell all the Professors that I’m dying and am not coming to class today; I expect a well attended funeral and I want everyone wearing orange. Except the Slytherins, who can wear red and gold, and the Ravenclaws, who can kiss my arse."
Yes, I did still crack a joke, even within an inch of my deathbed.
James nodded. "Sure thing, Anna. And we’ll all be up to check on you and make sure you’re not dead."
"I’d kiss you all but then you might end up like me, too. And I promise, if you guys ever get deathly ill I’ll return all the favors."
They all finished getting ready and left me alone to wallow in my illness.
Fuck, do I hate being sick.
A/N: Grrrr! You readers always seem to luck out when I'm in a bad mood - posting chapters makes me happier. But you know, this time it's not even working. Sucks for me, good for you, I suppose. I hate being a bad mood; it makes me not happy.
Anyways, now that I've ranted to you for a sufficient amount of time . . .
PS: The next chapter is my favorite in a while.