Chapter 20 : Lonely, So Lonely Part 2
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-The Rasberries: Go All The Way
He had not one clue as to how he had done it. He just knew why he had done it. He needed to protect his godson, Harry Potter. That was the important thing. After he made sure that Harry was okay, he would go to Alina.
He needed desperately to go to her. He missed her more than anything in the world. Her laughter rang through his ears every day that a letter from her arrived. He never did reply them, though. It hurt too much, even if he knew that it was hurting her much more.
Walking down the eerily silent Muggle street in his shaggy, black dog Animagus form, he felt more alone than ever. No one was there as he hid behind a bush quickly at the sound of footsteps. He slowly and cautiously peered from behind him when the figure had sat down. From behind the bush, he could see the figure of a skinny young man with round glasses. Slowly, Sirius walked a little further out from his post to look for the lightning bolt scar. He saw it as the Knight Bus sped in front of the boy. Quickly, Sirius sprinted away. Somehow, he was going to get to the flat that he and Alina had shared. He was just unaware of that how.
The old fashioned way would surely do. Unless he could get a hold of a broomstick and learn how to fly it in his Animagus form, there simply was no other way. So that’s what he did; he walked each of the miles between Little Whinging and the outskirts of London where the little neighborhood of Elephant and Castle that he and Alina had lived was located. It was a far journey by his four, pawed feet, but he knew that he owed her an explanation.
As he walked, he thought.
Well, well, well, Padfoot. Going back to our old ways, are we?
For a while, at least. I need to take care of Harry and see Alina. I need to taste her kiss at least once more. I need to know if she still loves me or not, because I still desperately love her. I need to know if she’ll still feel the same way about me when I show up looking like this. Azkaban isn’t good for anyone and I’m no exception. I look awful. She probably won’t even recognize me. Unless, of course, she still gets the Prophet every day. Maybe she’ll recognize me and still believe me. She always believed me.
The last time he had seen Alina’s soft, feminine features was a month after he had been put in the arctic and secluded Hell. Though he was under high security, they still managed to have a conversation. He didn’t allow her to say much, which now tore him apart inside. The last thing that he had ever said to her was, “Don’t come back. I don’t want you to see me like this.” Tears filled her delicate, hazel eyes as he said this. She reluctantly let go of his hand as she turned to leave. He remembered this clearly. Two Aurors were standing watch at the door and opened it for her. She was hesitant to leave, so she turned around one last time. Her last words to him were, “I love you.”
It ripped him apart inside to know that she had said those three words that meant the world to him and he hadn’t said them back. He had told her to go away and to never come back, yet she still loved him.
Shaken from his thoughts by the cool night wind, he looked up. He wasn’t quite there, but he was getting close. He immersed himself once more into his thoughts.
She didn’t deserve any of this. She deserved only a man who would love her, cherish her for all she was worth (which Sirius thought was everything and anything), give her the children she had wanted, and be a friend to her. Those are the precise things that she deserved. Sirius could only give her two of those things: love and friendship. He would always love her, even if she had moved on from him. Something in his gut told him that she had, but he was still going to go to the flat that they had shared; he needed to see it, and maybe even her, one last time. Maybe it wouldn’t be the last time, though. No, he wouldn’t let her slip away.
Looking up at the lights that beckoned him, he was home. He was at the place that he had felt at home at: Elephant and Castle. Standing in front of him was the brick building that housed his and Alina’s fourth floor flat. He waited impatiently outside the door to the building for someone to go in so that he would be enabled to sneak in the building.
Soon, a young man, perhaps just out of Hogwarts, opened the door widely to let the young woman in front of the door out. This is when Sirius had made his move. He bolted into the building while the man and the woman chatted for a moment. His eyes darted around for the stair case that he had been up so many times. He eventually found the cold, cement stairs and walked up them, albeit awkwardly.
After four flights of stairs, he had finally gotten to the desired floor. He prowled the endless hall way until he finally came to the burgundy door that was his. He jumped up on it pawed so that she could perhaps hear him. The answer came when he heard someone fumbling at the door; he could only pray that it was Alina.
As the door opened slowly, Sirius saw her beautiful face for the first time in twelve years. She hadn’t aged a year since he had seen her last. She looked the same, though perhaps a bit careworn.
“Snuffles! There you are!” she said as a woman walked by, looking at Sirius’s dog form strangely. “I’ve been looking for you all day.” Sirius quickly scrambled into the flat. It was exactly as he remembered it, right down to the rug that covered some of the hardwood floor. Once he heard Alina shut and lock the door, he transformed back into a human. Alina simply stared at him for what seemed like forever.
“You look good,” Sirius said, grinning boyishly. Smiling, Alina ran over to him and hugged him tightly, as though she hadn’t seen him in centuries.
“You came back,” she whispered tearfully into his ear. He nodded, his dirty hair brushing in her face. She slowly backed away and examined him, her smile turning bittersweet rather than happy. Taking his hand, she led him through a familiar hallway. As they passed the bedroom, Sirius glanced inside it. The same, as he had expected. Nothing was different; even his picture of baby Harry was still there.
“C’mon, that bath isn’t going to take itself,” Alina said, yanking him into the bathroom. That also looked the same, from the flavor of hand soap to the salmon tiles on the floor. She started running the water and left the room, leaving Sirius to grasp her arm. Turning around, Alina faced him, a few of her honey locks falling into her hazel eyes.
“I really want to talk to you,” he pleaded.
“If you promise to take a bath, we’ll talk in bed,” she said, leaving him to the steamy bathroom.
He stripped his grimy clothes from his even dirtier body and eased himself into the welcoming bath tub. He hadn’t felt this good in twelve years. He let the steam warm his body while he rubbed a bar of soap over each inch of his tall, thin body. Relief washed over him as he watched the dirt turn the water black. This is when he decided it time to get out of the tub.
Alina must have been in while he was absorbed in his pitiful luxury, for a clean pair of pajamas was sitting on the edge of the sink, along with a toothbrush and toothpaste. He picked up the old tee shirt and held it to his now clean nose. It smelled precisely how he remembered laundry smelled for the years Alina had done his laundry. The ever so faint scent of lavender drifted into his nose as he breathed it in deeply. He had missed the tiniest aspects of freedom and everyday life while in Azkaban. Never did he think he’d miss something as simple as the scent of laundry.
He hastily brushed his teeth and slipped into the soft, clean pajamas so that he could talk to Alina.
As he jumped on the bed, where he belonged, Alina laughed kindly as she set down her newspaper. Though she was still sitting up and he was lying down, Sirius reached up and cupped his hand on her cheek. Oh, how he had missed her. He felt empty inside when he didn’t have the option of waking up next to her every day. She slowly allowed herself to lie down next to him. As their touch broke, Sirius felt lost. He was relieved when she pulled herself close to him, as she had done every night when they lived together.
“I missed you so much,” she whispered, her fingers tracing every line of his face.
“I know,” were the only words that he could find to answer her with. She kissed him, stopping him from saying any more. It was as though she didn’t want to hear what he had to say yet, and he didn’t mind. Her warm, sweet kiss was all that he needed to keep his mouth shut.
“So much,” she said, tears filling her eyes.
“Are you okay?” Alina said as Sirius awoke the next morning. The sunshine made him feel like a shiny, new galleon as it shone on his body. He hadn’t woken up to sunshine in twelve years and it felt as though he was just now experiencing the warmth penetrating through his body.
“Yes,” Sirius said, smiling.
“What did you want to talk about last night?”
“How has life been treating you?” He received a smack across the cheek for that.
“I’ve been brilliant! Two weeks after you left, I found out I was pregnant!” she shouted, throwing her arms in the air.
“You…you gave up the baby?” Sirius stuttered.
“There never was a baby. I had a miscarriage.” Her shouting stopped as tears fell out of her eyes. Sirius should have been there for her. Remorse sank into his heart.
“Don’t be. I couldn’t have given a child everything it needed alone. We’re just lucky we’re getting a second chance.”
“You mean…you don’t care that I’m running from the law?”
“Sirius, even if you weren’t running from the law, I would still tell you that we have been given a second chance. We’re going to do it right this time around, okay?”
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