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Chapter 2 : They'll Never Take The Summer From Me
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Well they can take, take, take the kids from the summer
But they'll never, never, never take the summer from me
It was the very first time that I lost my mind for the week
-All Time Low
It was the middle of July and Hogwarts had let out just about a month ago. In another month and a half I would once again be back in school, though as a fifth year. Having to sit at home with only my mother and father was intolerable. Nearly everyday I walked a mile to the beach and spent the day there, before walking back just as it began to get dark.
The beach held a strange attraction for me. The warm, sometimes too hot, sand tickled my feet, and I loved to stand at the shores and have the salty ocean water lick my feet. Though nothing beat paddling around in the choppy water for a bit.
Finally, I was having my friends over. I planned to bring handballs, and frisbees, and of course, Wilson, my bright yellow volleyball.
"Anastasia, I’m very worried about you having four boys over." My mother was not quite as excited as I at the Marauders coming to stay. She had long since accepted that I would not befriend any girls, but I had a feeling she did not count on me wanting them to stay over the summer.
Apparently she didn’t. Even with the strict sleeping arrangements that would definitely be enforced, my mother was a nervous wreck. I was at school ten out of the twelve months of the year and she did not know what kind of trouble I did or didn’t get into. My dad didn’t have quite the problem with it; he was still fairly in touch with his younger self, and I guess the desperation in my voice as I practically begged for my friends to stay got to him.
I suppose my mother would have said no, had it not been for my father. She had me clean the entire house, probably as punishment for having boys come stay over. However the one place I downright refused to clean was my room. I had told her that I might as well not clean it, since she didn’t plan on letting me have the boys up there. My dad told me later though, that my mom was leaving on a trip for the next month, and I could have my friends in my room whenever I want. "I think that you’re old enough to make the right choices, and if we give you the freedom to, I know you will," he had told me.
So, as my mother put her three trunks into the Ministry Car that was already filled with seven of her colleagues, she reminded my father over and over to watch me like a hawk. He assured her, over and over, that he would. I kissed my mother goodbye and waved until she was out of sight. My father had already gone back inside and was preparing to leave for work. He had a major surgery to prep for and couldn’t be late. As soon as my mother and the car had turned the corner I raced back inside the house and down to the basement. I found the giant beach bag that had gotten buried in stuff and filled it with everything I’d need for a trip to the beach.
"She’s down in the basement, you can head down," I heard my father’s muffled voice say.
"Thanks," said another.
There was a slight creak as the basement door was swung open and loud, pounding footsteps told me that someone was running down the steps. I turned around to see Sirius emerge from the staircase. "Sirius!" I yelled.
I ran and launched myself into his arms. He swung me up and hugged me. "Ah, a month has been too long," he stated.
"Yeah," I agreed.
"I never knew how much weight someone could gain in a month; you’re getting heavy." Sirius smiled a cocky grin as I stuck my tongue out at him and struggled from his arms.
"Maybe you’re just too weak," I accused with a smile.
"Psh! Me? I’m Sirius Black, I can carry the weight of the world."
I smiled. "Of course you can, Sirius." I patted his shoulder in a consoling way that made him growl at me.
"Oi! Xanthis, you down there?"
"No!" I yelled back up at the person I knew to be James.
The footsteps stopped and I assumed James was just jerking around, pretending to decide against coming. After five minutes I said to Sirius, "You don’t think that he thought that I was being serious, do you?"
Sirius shook his head and his black hair whipped him in the face. "No, he’d never think that. First of all, you’ve never been serious a day in your life. Mostly because I’m Sirius, but even if I wasn’t Sirius I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be serious either."
I nodded in a very understanding way. All of a sudden I felt two hands wrap around my waist from behind. I screamed, piercing and high pitched; the person behind me yelped and let go and I saw James whip his invisibility cloak and hold his hands up in a surrender.
"Dammit, James!" I yelled.
"Come on! How else was I supposed to get a hug?" said the brown-haired, hazel eyed boy.
"I don’t know," I whined, my voice returning to just above its normal volume. "You could ask for one like a normal person."
James looked at me if I was a particularly interesting species of, er, something, or other. "Why would I do that?"
"Just try it."
James looked around the cement walled, cardboard box filled basement as if he couldn’t understand why he’d try something as normal as asking for a hug. "Can I, er... Have a hug?"
I looked at him as if I was honestly considering it. "No."
I then picked up the beach bag and started towards the stairs. I tripped over the edge of the box but caught myself before I fell to the hard floor. "Phew."
"Haha," said Sirius, smiling his cocky grin. "I got a hug."
James stopped in his tracks. "I can’t believe what I’m hearing! Do you mean to tel me you gave that, that, THING, a hug and not me?!"
"Uh," I said. "Yes?"
"Disrespect!" he yelled. "Disrespect!" Spit flew from his mouth and landed on Sirius, who was standing nearby. This caused Sirius, who noticed the flying and landing spit, to dance around screaming and trying to wipe the offending liquid from him.
"Ew! Ew! Ew!"
"Well we can see who the girl in this friendship is," James announced after I let out a loud belch.
I laughed and without warning I dropped the beach bag and jumped into James’ arms, just as a I had to Sirius. He caught me with ease and held me tight.
"See?" I said to Sirius, who was finally calming down. "James can hold me with no trouble, unlike someone else in this room."
James smiled superiorly and set me down when I began to squirm. I picked the bag back up and went upstairs. "Remus and Peter should be here soon."
I started at a run up the wood stairs and my toe caught on the overhang of the top step. With a scream that was much more deep and playful than the one I had uttered a few minutes ago, I fell with a crash and slid down the steps to the bottom, bumping my chin on each stair going down.
I groaned and shifted over to my back. James grabbed the bag that was still latched onto my hand and Sirius scooped me up into his arms and carried me up the stairs. "See?" he said, when he had seemingly effortlessly reached the stop. "Strong like bull."
"Okay, bullshit, put me down."
"That’s no way to talk to your rescuer," Sirius informed me. "So where should I put my shit?"
I had come to notice, in the past years, that Sirius was not only abusive of the word ‘fuck’, but all other swear words as well. I have to admit that his trashy mouth rubbed off on me. But only a little bit.
"Wherever?" I was too preoccupied with the plate I saw sitting out on the granite countertop. The plate was plastic, as were most things in our house, because of my constant clumsiness. But it wasn’t the plate that had me dashing across the kitchen in excitement; it was what was sitting on top.
Chocolate fudge frosted, confetti cake. "Crrrupciiisss!" I said, demonstrating to James and Sirius what the word cupcake sounds like when cupcakes are shoved in ones mouth. There was no mirror in the kitchen, but I assumed that I had chocolate and cake crumbs all over my face since I had shoved the entire cupcake into my mouth at once.
James shook his head in mock disgust. "There is no way that you are a girl.
"And you are definitely a dog," he told Sirius after the tall boy had repeated exactly what I had done.
"Thank you," we replied simultaneously.
We all laughed for a bit and then I reached for another cupcake.
"Don’t touch that cupcake!" I looked at Sirius with a confused expression. He had his hand reaching out to me in an overly-dramatic way, even though he could have easily taken it from me. "Don’t do it!"
Slowly, painfully slowly, I lifted the delicious cupcake to my mouth and stuck my tongue out. I put my tongue on the cupcake and licked just the tiniest bit of icing, off, I continued and then -
"No! Stop it! Bob doesn’t like that!"
I stopped in shock. "Bob? Bob doesn’t like it?"
I looked at him. "Please tell me that you did not name this cupcake Bob."
He shook his head. "Thank God-"
"That’s not Bob, that’s Bob’s girlfriend."
I couldn’t take it anymore. I burst out laughing. "So where is Bob then?"
Sirius picked the biggest cupcake off the plate and held it up. I took the cupcake I had licked all over and smashed it into ‘Bob.’ "Look!" I shouted. "They’re making out!"
"Oh. My. Goodness." Remus had just walked into the room and stood next to James. "Please tell me that they’re kidding."
James shook his head sadly. "Nope. But console yourself; she’s probably just drugged up."
I pushed the giant vase of flowers that rested on the island counter in the middle of the kitchen aside. There stood Remus with a giant smile on his face. I was prepared to leap into his arms in way of greeting, but Sirius beat me to it.
"Merlin," whispered Remus as Sirius dive-bombed into Remus’ arms. My eyes widened in shock when Remus caught Sirius with little difficulty and massive muscles bulged out of his t-shirt. I could have sworn that they had just been skinny little sticks a few moments ago. He held onto Sirius for a moment as Sirius leaned up and kissed him on the cheek. Within nanoseconds of that, Remus dropped Sirius down onto his butt.
"You know, mate," Remus said, as he shifted his duffel bag from his shoulder to the floor. "That was just creepy. And so what that whole cupcake thing."
"I’m creepy," I piped up in a small voice. "And intimidating."
"Yes, of course, because all people who are five feet are intimidating."
"Excuse you’re forgetting about two other inches." Okay, so I was a little short. Big deal. "And besides, have you noticed how jacked I am?"
I lifted my arms up about my head a made a muscle. While I wasn’t nearly as big as Remus, or Sirius or James, there was a definite strength in my arm. Speaking of which...
"When did you get so huge, Remus?"
Remus, who was about average height, maybe a little more, and on the skinnier side, looked himself up and down. "Um?"
"No I don’t mean fat, I mean your arms." I walked over to him and lifted his arm up. I probably poked it a good seventeen times before he got began to get annoyed and told me to stop or he’d use his super duper superman arms to rip me in half.
"Hey, you guys wanna know where you’re staying?" They all nodded and picked up their bags, following me up the stairs and I showed them to our guest room. It was the largest room besides my parents room, and had a large bed with two smaller cots set up on an empty wall.
"Okay, well, here it is. I’ll be eating Bob."
"No you won’t!" screeched Sirius in an incredibly girly way. In fact, it was so incredible that every single person in the room stopped to look at him. Dead stopped. He took the chance to bolt past me, out of the room and down to the kitchen.
He slid down the banister and landed with an easy grace; I attempted to imitate. Let’s just say it didn’t work. From the moment I jumped, I was barely able to get my butt high enough into the air to land on the banister, once I was on I wobbled dangerously back and forth until I reached the bottom and slid off the end into a wall.
I quickly picked myself up and started running after Sirius again. In all honestly I forgot why we were running. I skidded into the kitchen just after Sirius and jumped onto his back. With one arm around his neck I grabbed Bob the cupcake from his hand and smashed it backwards into his face.
Sirius picked up the cupcake closet to him (which just happened to be Bob’s girlfriend) and tried push it into my face but missed; he only smeared my face with a bit of chocolate icing and the rest of the cupcake went flying across the room. James, coming seemingly out of no where, dove into the room and caught the cupcake between his teeth. Remus jumped on top of him trying to wrestle it from him. We were so busy that no one heard the front door open and someone walk into the room.
Cold water, very cold water was being dumped on me and Sirius. We looked up after a scream to see Peter Pettigrew standing above us with a triumphant smile. Sirius, James and Remus and I laughed out loud. Peter could be a riot - sometimes, perhaps a bit too clingy to the other Marauders, but, in general, a good guy.
"Bob and Bob’s friends fight!" I shouted. The entire plate of cupcakes was grabbed. In between bites I smothered all four of my friends with frosting and cake. Again, the door opened, unbeknownst to us. Honestly, an evil mastermind bent on taking over the world could have walked in and we wouldn’t have known the difference.
Someone cleared their throat loudly. I looked up with my head locked between Sirius knees, and my chocolatey hand on James’ face to see my older brother, Jason, standing there. "What the hell? Your only brother comes home for a visit and you can’t even take your head out from between some guy’s legs for a second to greet me?"
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