Chapter 70 : You Might Think She's Bulletproof, But She's Not
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[She] took a chance, [she] took a shot
And you might think [she's] bulletproof, but [she's] not
You took a swing, [she] took it hard
And down here from the ground I see who [she is]
“Come on, Sirius, why can’t I go?” Anastasia whined.
I shook my head adamantly, putting one foot into the swirling green flames.
“Because you’re seven months pregnant! You can barely walk, let alone run if we get into trouble.”
“I can Apparate!” the stubborn git insisted.
“No, you can’t. You know what your brother said . . . Past seven months, there’s too much of a danger of leaving the baby behind when you Apparate.”
Anastasia crossed her arms petulantly and began to walk away, muttering, “Tried to convince me to join . . . Tells me I can’t . . . Bloody wanker.”
I was about to yell out the address of Order headquarters when the Floo powder I had thrown into the fire wore out, and the once-again-hot flames began to melt through my shoe.
“Fuck,” I hissed, at once pulling my foot out of the fire, hopping around and yelling, waiting for the burning to go away.
Anastasia still stubbornly ignored me. But that was nothing new. She was just so Anastasia.
“I made some sauce!” I called to her, as I made my way to Floo, once again. “Just boil some pasta and put it together, okay?”
I heard an affirmative grunt from the other room, and, satisfied, took off.
“Anastasia, I’m home!” I gently closed to door to our small home behind me. I glanced at the various clothes strew over the couch and chairs and quite a few items I didn’t even know we owned, lined up against the wall.
As I got closer to the kitchen, I smelled food. I sniffed cautiously; if Anastasia was cooking, things could be toxic around there. But it smelled safe. In fact, it smelled like the tomato sauce that I had cooked a few days earlier.
Hopefully, she’s managed to boil some pasta and put the two together.
When I walked through the kitchen doorway, I was immediately faced with a funny picture. Anastasia, nearly eight months pregnant with an absolutely huge belly, hunched over a pot on the kitchen table. She had a fork, and was tentatively poking around. She pulled an unidentified mass from the pot and stuck it in her mouth.
“Anastasia! No! What have you done! Don’t eat that!” I cried, running across our small kitchen, towards her.
“Relax,” she said, taking another bite. “It’s just pasta.”
And, upon closer look, it was pasta. She’d heated up the pasta and the sauce in one pot, and neglected to ever move it from there.
“Why not use a bowl?” I asked.
“Too much cleaning,” she replied.
“I could have done it.”
“Eh.” She shrugged.
I took the fork from Anastasia, daring a bite of the food she’d cooked up. I was quite proud that the pasta she’d cooked wasn’t one, big block. I got a couple pieces on the prongs of the fork and, quite scared, put it in my mouth.
I swear on Godric Gryffindor’s grave, I almost cracked a tooth.
“Anastasia! That’s completely raw!”
“It is not,” she defended, snatching the fork back from me and continuing to eat.
“I almost cracked a tooth!” I gestured wildly towards my mouth.
“It’s ‘al dente.’”
“Sweetie, that is way past al dente.” Anastasia stuck her tongue out at me and continued to eat her uncooked pasta.
“You’re going to bleed internally,” I warned her.
She shrugged again.
I watched her eat for another minute or so before bursting out again. “Jeez, Anastasia! I made it so easy! All you had to do was heat the sauce - fill a pot with water, put the pasta in, and stir it a few times! That’s all! And, somehow, you managed to create a meal that is dangerous to your health!”
“Shrugging! Is that all you can do?!”
And - Godric, help me - she shrugged, again.
“I was craving al dente pasta,” she explained.
I went to explain to her, once again, that un-cooked was not the same as al dente, but decided not to even bother.
“Have you talked to Lily, lately?” I asked.
Anastasia nodded. “Yeah, just a week ago when you guys all went off on that Mission for a few days, leaving me here all alone and vulnerable.”
I shook my head. “First of all, there is no way in hell you could ever be vulnerable, so don’t try to pull that crap. Secondly, have you talked to her more recently?”
I was about to answer when the phone rang.
Anastasia kept eating. She never answered the phone . . . She didn’t like it much.
“PUT ANNA ON THE PHONE!”
It was Lily.
“It’s for you.”
Anastasia used the table to get up to her feet and waddled over to where I was holding the phone out for her. “Yeah?”
I was no longer even on the phone, but I could hear every word that Lily was shouting excitedly. “She’s pregnant,” Anastasia informed me.
She waited and listened some more.
“End of July. "
“They’re getting a house."
“In Godric’s Hollow.
“But not until after the baby is born.”
Five minutes into the conversation, I could see Anastasia growing weary of it. So, I laughed at her. She flipped me off as she continued to mumble excitements into the phone at Lily.
It was probably another ten minutes or so before she managed to get away. She sat down heavily on the couch and I sat next to her. She groaned and said, “I hate you.”
“Nah, you’re just jealous that I didn’t have to listen to all that.”
“You are such a waste of space.”
“No, you are, with that big, pregnant belly of yours!”
We stared at each other for a few seconds before she pounced on top of me and began to kiss me furiously.
Wow, I’ve got to knock her up more often.
Less than two months later, Anastasia was nearly ready to pop.
I walked in one night, at nearly two in the morning (covered in dirt, sweat and grime from a raid on a known Death Eater’s home,) to see Anna sprawled on the floor of our sitting room, watching Star Wars. (Usually, that video-cassette never left the player; it was constantly playing.)
Next to her was a huge bowl of what appeared to be brown goop.
“What’cha eating, love?”
One of those confused thoughts flew around my head. “ . . . I think you forgot to cook them . . .”
“Nah, I did it on purpose. I was craving something chocolaty and something slippery. So I had to eat this.”
“Want to share?”
“Sure.” She shuffled over to the side a bit so I could lay next to her.
I looked at her and saw a couple spots of chocolate on her face. “Here, let me get that for you.”
I kissed a spot on her chin, cleaning off the chocolate. And again on the top of her nose. On the side of her lips. And then on her bottom lip.
And when Anastasia and I start, there is very rarely a stop. Except for this time.
At first, I thought I was just being my incredible self when she cried out.
And then I realized that that was not was happened. Anastasia was having her baby.
And I was freaking out.
“Holy shit! Fuck! What do I do?! What the fuck do I do?!”
Anastasia inhaled sharply, then placed her hand on my shoulder. “You could start by calming down and getting a healer.”
“Okay. Got it. I’m going to Floo Jason!” I began to speed out of the sitting room when she called after me.
“Don’t do that, you dill-hole! Jason’s my brother! I don’t want him looking down there!”
“Okay, I’m going to Floo not-Jason!”
I ran out of the room and into the kitchen. With shaking hands, I tossed the entire pot of Floo powder into the fireplace. A bit too much, perhaps, but waste was not the concern at the moment. I leapt into the fire and yelled, “St. Mungo’s!”
Not fast enough! Not fast enough!
Finally the fireplace spewed me out onto the linoleum floor of the hospital. Ironically, the first person I saw was Jason. “Jason! Jason! Anastasia’s having the baby! The baby!”
Jason turned to look at me, and immediately ceased a casual conversation he was having with a nurse and hurried over. “Are you sure? What was she doing? They could just be false contractions brought on by something else.”
What was she doing? . . . Oh shit.
“What she was doing isn’t important!” I insisted. “She’s having her baby.”
Jason motioned for me to follow him. He went back to where he had been standing before to pick up his bag full of Healer-y stuff. “It is important, Sirius. If she’s having false contractions, she may as well come into the hospital for a check-up, and false contractions are far more likely when you’re doing strenuous activity. If she’s having the baby, it’s just better off to do it at your house, unless she really wants to, I can pull some strings over here.”
I sighed heavily. I really didn’t want to tell Jason what me and his baby sister had been doing when she started having the baby.
“Well, er, yes, I suppose she was doing strenuous activity.” I skirted around the issue.
“Okay, well, what exactly was she -” Jason paused and looked at me with a bit of contempt. “Please tell me you guys weren’t shagging.”
“Um, we weren’t shagging?” I decided to play dumb; I hoped Jason would buy it.
“You know, you are the dumbest twenty-year-old I know.”
'Yeah? Well you’re the dumbes old person I know,' I wanted to say. However, I didn’t. Last time Jason had tried to beat me up (about seven months ago, when Anastasia and I told her family she was pregnant,) he’d come pretty damn near close. And since that time, he’d had more than half a year to bulk up and learn any nun-chuck tricks, or the Vulcan death grip.
At the same time, I did have to concede that he was right. “Yeah. Probably.”
“Dumbarse,” I heard Jason mutter. “I ought to rip your head off . . . Impregnating my baby sister at seventeen!”
“Well, she’s eighteen now,” I reasoned. “Almost nineteen.”
“In May,” Jason reminded me.
“Yes, that’s almost. Two months.”
Poor Anastasia, in labor on the floor of our sitting room was forgotten by both parties in the heat of the argument. I’m sure I would have remembered if I thought her helpless. In all honesty, she probably could have delivered the baby herself.
“What is your problem with this?” I asked angrily. “According to Anastasia, you weren’t the perfect little prince in your Hogwarts days, either!”
Jason looked devilish and angry. “That’s true, that’s true. I drank all the time, I partied, I had fun! I never got anyone pregnant!”
“That you know of!” I retaliated, not thinking of any potential consequence.
And, in the ultimate fit of irony, an ex-flame of Jason’s ran up to him, threw her arms around her neck, and told him all of about his seven-year-old son.
Nah, just kidding. Actually, what happened next quite surprised me. Looking rather ashamed of himself, Jason admitted, “I was a virgin until I was twenty. I did it with this girl who was training to be a Healer with me . . . So there are no little bastard children of mine running around.”
“Oh. Well . . . Okay, then. At least you’re not being hypocritical.” There was an awkward silence between Jason and I, as there tends to be with people who were related in the way that we were. “So, why is it that you hate me, besides the obvious reasons?”
Jason sighed. At this point, we’d sat down in the hard, plastic chairs of the waiting area. “I don’t hate you,” he insisted. “I suppose it’s just the protective older brother gene kicking in. You know - you shag my little sister, I beat your face in . . . That old game of cat and mouse.
“I mean, I certainly wish you guys would’ve been married before you had a kid together, but I know you asked. Twice. Anna told me. And I know that it’s completely her fault that you guys aren’t married. I mean, I do have to applaud you for stepping up to the plate the way you did . . . I know blokes who would have hit the road the second they heard the news.”
I shook my head vehemently. Over, and over again. Because what Jason had just described was the farthest thing from my mind. “I would never do that,” I told my somewhat, semi brother-in-law earnestly. “Never.”
He nodded. “I know.”
This time, the silence that befell us was much less uncomfortable. “So, how excited are you to be an uncle?”
And then it clicked in both of our pea-sized brains at the same time . . .
He began to rush towards the row of fireplaces that were used for entering and exiting the hospital.
“No!” I cried, as he made his way towards them. “Not you!
Jason hurried away to find another Healer that could tend to Anastasia. He came back a minute later with two Healers. A young-ish man, and a middle-aged woman.
“Alright! Go! I’ll let the others know!”
The two Healers and I were back with Anastasia in only a minute or two. Five minutes later, the kitchen was crowded with others. Lily (five months pregnant,) James, Remus, Pete, Anastasia’s Mum and Dad, as well as Mr. Potter (who was acting as surrogate grandfather to our little gender-unknown child - because, for God's sake, it couldn't be my parents.)
“Hey! I heard there was a party going on here!” I could recognize that voice anywhere. Darren had joined the ranks in the kitchen. The more quiet, understated voice that came after his alerted me to the fact that Connie was here, as well. I was sure that Stephen would be arriving any moment, as well.
Oh, Anastasia’s going to flip a shit when she realizes how many people are here.
I hurried into the kitchen for a moment to say ‘hi’ to everyone, and by the time I got back, Anastasia was standing up and walking around the room.
“What the bloody hell?” I yelled, running over to her and trying to get her to sit. I couldn’t believe the Healers weren’t upset about the whole thing.
“Relax,” she assured me. “I was just on the way to the kitchen to get some water. Apparently, I’m not going to have this baby for another twenty-four hours, or so, so as long as I’m not having contractions, I can still get up and walk around for a few more hours.”
“No! No, you can’t! Sit down, you bloody fool!”
But then she gave me that look. Once she gave me the Look, I pretty much realized I was lucky she wasn’t trying to start a mass Quidditch game with everyone that was crammed into the tiny house at that moment. “By the way, you can tell that whole party in the kitchen that they can come chill and watch Star Wars if they’d like to.”
I smiled. That’s my Anastasia.
As we crowded everyone into the sitting room (even Anastasia’s Mum and Dad, the former giving me a continuous death glare,) the couch and floor quickly filled up. It was a unanimous decision (more like it was a unanimous forcing,) to let Anastasia have the smaller couch all to herself, being that she’d break out into a fit of contractions every so often.
It was quite a while later (two showings of Star Wars, and one of the Godfather later) that Anastasia’s contractions became close enough that she would have to lay down, prepare to have the baby, and everyone would leave.
The stubborn git refused to turn off Star Wars, saying she wanted the baby born with a galaxy far, far away right near by . . . I couldn’t argue with her there.
So, Anastasia lay on the floor, one of the Healers by her bottom half, the other moving constantly. I sat nearby, not knowing whether I should go closer. Sometimes, Anastasia wanted affection; sometimes she didn’t. I never knew which it was.
She was still relatively calm for the half hour or so that she had to lay there. I was as calm as one could expect, given my situation. However, the situation took an unexpected turn.
“Okay, Anna . . . I’m going to have to ask you to push now,” the female Healer (Healer Thomas) asked, positioning Anastasia how she’d need to be for the birthing.
And then, all hell broke loose.
Anastasia sat up immediately, startling the healer and probably causing great pain to herself. “I can’t do this!” she cried. “I can’t do this! Bloody hell! I can’t even take care of myself!” As Anastasia sat there hyperventilating, I moved closer and closer, a centimetre at a time.
“Please, Anna, sit down,” Healer Thomas urged. “You have to have this baby.”
“I don’t want to!” Anastasia wailed. The other healer had to forcibly hold her still. “I don’t want this baby! Take it out of me! Now!”
“That’s what we’re trying to do,” Healer Thomas explained calmly. Perhaps she’d been in situations with head cases like my girlfriend before.
“No! I don’t want it! I want it out! Gone! Vamoosh! Into thin air!”
“Anna, push, or we’re going to make you.”
She pushed. Then, she continued to rant. “I can’t have this baby. I’m not ready! Why didn’t I see this before now! Sirius!”
Then, breathing heavily and frantically, “Tell her I can’t do this! Tell her!”
“Er, she can’t do this,” I half-heartedly told the healers.
Anastasia cried out (in pain or frustration, I don’t know) as she pushed again.
“Sirius! Come here!” I shuffled the remaining meter or so over to her.
“Push,” Healer Thomas repeated.
She groaned as she pushed again. Nothing was happening, which was worrying me, and sending Anastasia to tears. The healers, however, saw nothing wrong with the situation.
“Hold my hand,” she whispered.
I grabbed her hand immediately, glad that she wasn’t too terrified or angry to want me.
“Push . . . Oh, here we go! I can see the head!”
“Push again?” Anastasia asked.
“No!” Healer Thomas said quickly. “Otherwise it’ll go shooting across the room.
“Oh, yes, here it comes.”
Then, fear flitted into Anastasia’s eyes again. She ripped her hand from mine, and went to sit up, thrusting her hands around the baby and . . . Trying to shove it back in?
“Oh, no you don’t,” Anastasia said, sounding rather crazed. “Get the fuck back in there, baby.”
“Anna, it’s too late for that now!”
“Never say never!” she cried, before the second healer held her down again and put a silencing spell on her.
“Take a chill pill,” I advised her.
Obviously with Anastasia under the spell, I couldn’t hear a word she was saying, but I was sure that the things coming from her mouth were obscene . . . They usually were.
“Stop trying to move,” Healer Thomas warned, “or we’ll have to bind you. Now, just calm down while we get this baby out.”
Anastasia stopped moving on her own, but that didn’t stop her from angrily mouthing things.
“Alright! Yes! We’ve got him!”
“It’s a boy?” I asked excitedly.
“You bet.” Healer Thomas smiled, and cut the babies umbilical cord with the swish of her wand. With another swish, all the icky white stuff that covered the baby was gone, as well.
No longer needing to be held down, Anastasia was rapidly convulsing, trying to get somebody to unsilence her.
Bloody hell. She can’t even deal with not talking for a minute?
I did the honors.
Healer Thomas handed me the baby with a smile. By God, it was the ugliest thing ever.
It was all red and wrinkly, and his eyes were all squinty and he smelled funny. But after a few moments, I began to see the beauty in the whole thing.
It’d been growing inside of Anastasia for nine months and was the product of the first time Anastasia and I had been together . . . There had to be something special about it.
“Here, hold him.” I held the baby out to Anastasia.
She shook her head fervently and leaned as far away from the baby as she could. “I don’t want to hold that thing.”
“Er, Anastasia?” Uh-oh. This can’t be good.
“I was wrong. I shouldn’t have kept it. I can’t look at that baby.”
I glared at Anastasia openly. “Healer Thomas, Healer Mitchell. If you could excuse us for a moment, please.”
The two must have sensed the tension and quickly exited the sitting room, leaving me and Anastasia alone.
Usually, Anastasia was the dominant one in the relationship (well, our sex life could have told you that.) And that was good, because she was a bit more cut out to make decisions than I was, even if most of the decisions she made weren’t very good ones. I was always content to go along with whatever she decided (and those times when I dominated, she was perfectly fine with going along with me.)
However, this was one of those times when we disagreed. And this was also one of those times when I wasn’t going to take any of her shit.
“Hey, you, listen up.” Anastasia still wasn’t allowed to get up but she could sit up at that point. “You decided to keep this. You didn’t even consider any other option, and when the baby comes out is not the time to change your mind. So you’re going to have to suck it up and deal with this. I don’t care if this cuts into your stupid time, or your fun time; you made a commitment to this baby and to me, and you’re going to go through on that.”
I stared at Anastasia. She stared back at me. Then, threw her arms around my neck and yelled excitedly. “Oh, Sirius! I’m sorry! I’m such a jerk! And you took charge! I’m so proud of you!” Pretty much, she refused to let go.
Man! The weird things that hormones do to people . . .
“I’m sorry, Anastasia,” I cooed. “I didn’t mean to, er, make you feel bad. How about we go see Star Wars when it comes out in May? That’ll be something fun, right?”
Anastasia nodded, still a slight frown on her face. “Godric, Sirius. What the hell is wrong with me?”
I shrugged. “Hormones.”
So, an hour later, Anastasia was free to get up and move around if she pleased, but there was no need. Everyone had stampeded into the sitting room as soon as the doctors gave the okay.
“So, what’s his name?”
“I bet he’ll be a Gryffindor!”
“Any bets on his first word?”
The crowd continued to chatter, and I watched with a smile on my face as Anastasia held the still-unnamed baby. Shockingly, there was something so motherly about her. I suppose what they say about maternal instinct is right; all girls have it.
“Sirius. Can I talk to you for a second?”
I looked up and Jason had his hand on my shoulder. Anastasia’s Mum and Dad stood intimidatingly behind him. “Er, sure.”
They pulled me aside into the kitchen. “Sirius.” I looked up to see Mr. Xanthis. I swear on Godric Gryffindor and Merlin’s grave that I was terrified; I’d never seen such a jolly man look so scary. But, he surprised me by holding out his hand. “You messed up once, son. But I trust you to clean it up.”
I nodded, being sure to look around the tip of his nose. (A trick I had learned - don’t stare directly into the person’s eyes because it’s creepy. Just look around there.) “I promise, sir.”
“Call me Alex.”
“Alex,” I repeated, proud of myself. He nodded at me in a man-to-man sort of way and exited the kitchen. That left me with Jason and Anastasia’s Mum - definitely the scarier two of three.
Mrs. Xanthis sighed. “Sirius. Sirius, Sirius, Sirius.”
I had the overwhelming urge to reply, ‘Mrs. Xanthis,’ but I kept my comments to myself.
“I never imagined Anna pregnant and a mother at such a young age. And I want you both to know that I’m extremely disappointed in both of you.”
Ugh, note to self: Make sure Anastasia doesn’t grow up like her Mum. No offense to her Mum, of course . . .
“But she seems happy with you, and I’m willing to turn a blind eye to whatever activities you to engage in.”
“Sirius, eventually I’ll get over this little bump in the road . . . I’m not angry, just - like I said - disappointed.”
Yeah, yeah. We know.
“But, er . . . This is hard for me to say . . . Things I have expected of Anna throughout her life haven’t exactly come true. And if you’re part of that, I’d rather it be you than anyone else. So . . . Er, good luck.” She turned and left abruptly.
What an odd woman, I marveled. She doesn’t even make sense half the time.
And that, of course, left Jason.
“Mate, sorry about my Mum,” he started off with. Well, at least it was a good start. “She’s a little bit out of her mind.”
I laughed. “Dude, I’ve known that since the first time I met her.”
Jason shrugged and joined me in my laughter.
“So, what did you need me to talk about?”
Jason sighed. “Well, nothing really. I just wanted to apologize for any way I’d behaved in the past about this whole ordeal . . . I heard what you said to Anna before, and that makes me feel so good; I know you care about my sister, and my new little nephew.”
“More than anything,” I agreed.
He nodded, satisfied. “Alright, mate.” He clapped me on the shoulder. “Let’s go back and join the party.”
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” Our group was waiting outside a theater. We’d traveled to London - where James’ parents’ house was; where he and Lily were staying until they had their baby boy - to see the premiere of the second Star Wars movie.
Our group consisted of: me, Anastasia, James, Lily, Remus and Peter. (Lily had been dragged along, slightly against her will - she was quite moody when pregnant, though at least James had to worry less about her trying to bleed her insides with dangerous foods.)
Today, we’d happily left two-month-old Aldan with his Grandmum and two Granddads.
It was definitely good to get Anastasia out of the house, and she was in such a fantastic mood that it was contagious. If Lily hadn’t been running around with a giant, pregnant belly, it would have felt like old times.
“Chocolate, please!” Anastasia raced up to the snack counter. Ever since she’d been pregnant, her craving for chocolate had been increased tenfold.
The girl behind the counter gave her a strange look, then ducked under the counter to bring out chocolate. Next to the girl, there was a boy; he was probably about our age, and he was looking Anastasia up and down in a way that made me very, very angry. But I knew better than to punch his lights out. Anastasia would probably castrate me for being too protective like that.
The girl dumped an armful of chocolates on the counter. “Which one would you like?”
Anastasia beckoned everyone over. “Which ones do we want?”
“All of them,” we decided unanimously.
Remus - the responsible keeper of Muggle money - paid for the bars of chocolate and buckets of popcorn. “Oh, you might want to go in if you’re seeing Star Wars,” the boy that way eyeing Anastasia before said, “it’s about to start.”
“Let’s go! Let’s go!” Anastasia cried excitedly, tugging on mine and Remus’ hands, and running behind Pete, James and Lily as to push them forwards. “We’re missing it!”
It was opening day, and the theatre was as crowded as it could possibly be. We eyed the theatre, looking for a spot with six open seats in a row. Mostly, there were just one or two random open seats throughout the theatre. Luckily, there were six free seats all the way in the front.
Most of us grumbled (because who wants to sit with their neck cricked back the whole time?) but Anastasia was thrilled. Being close to the screen excited her.
It was hilarious to watch her stare openly and in awe at the screen as the words began to run down the screen, introducing the plot of the second movie. The last thing I remember seeing in the movie theatre was a snowy setting, before I was sucked into a galaxy far, far away.
“Oh, Aldan! Next time I’m taking you with us!” Anastasia cried excitedly when we got home. But before she could do that, she had attempted to burst in through the back door. We never locked that door, and we only locked our front door when we weren’t home.
However, apparently the adults that had borrowed our house to sit Aldan had decided to lock it. Which caused a very funny scene in which Anastasia tried to turn the doorknob and burst in at the same time. Needless to say, it didn’t work, and instead, she smashed her face into the door and stumbled backwards.
Her Dad had heard her crashing against the door and went to investigate the source of the noise. Once the door was open, Anastasia had run in and excitedly informed everyone (including the two-month-old baby that had no idea was going on) about how fantastic the new Star Wars was - even more so than the original.
“There was this guy, named Lander, and he-”
“Lando,” I corrected.
“Yeah, that’s what I said.” I was immediately brushed of in the rush to continue. “And he had this city! In the clouds! And Han Solo - God he is he good-looking - tried to leave and he got snowed in! And then he kissed Leia!”
Mr. Potter humored Anastasia, while her Dad just laughed, and her Mum shook her head in disappointment. Sometimes, during moments like those when Anastasia appeared to have the excitement and intelligence of a five-year-old, I worried for our child’s safety.
All the parents stayed to have dinner with us (we’d ordered in) before departing.
It was nearly eight o’clock when Anastasia and I retired to the sitting room. We sat simultaneously down on the couch; I had Aldan clutched carefully in my arms.
Anastasia held her arms out and motioned for me to give her the baby. I handed him slowly to her, cradling his head.
We sat there for a little while, not talking. “Sirius?” Anastasia said, after a while of silence.
She didn’t say anything for a while, again. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t love the chance to do that night over again and not get myself pregnant - believe me, I would. But . . . This isn’t so bad.”
I smiled at her and kissed her cheek. “I love you, too.”
July 31st: The day Lily Potter went into labor and had a baby named Harry James Potter.
July 31st: The day that everything changed.
It all started when Anastasia picked up the phone (which, in itself was a rare occurrence.) I should have seen that as an omen of sorts. “Hello?”
Anastasia looked taken aback. Probably at the volume of the voice of the other end. It was James, and I could hear him from across the kitchen.
“Okay. Okay. Just calm down; we’re coming over.”
Anastasia hung up the phone and turned to me. “James is freaking out. Lily’s having the baby. They want us to stop at St. Mungo’s and get a Healer on the way over. They also want Remus and Pete over. And Mr. Potter.”
I was already on my way to the sitting room to pick Aldan out of his crib. “Let’s go!”
We headed out to the street, double-checked to make sure that no one was watching, then Apparated. In retrospect, our continuous Apparating in the open street was a bad idea. Any of our Muggle neighbors could have easily been glancing out the window and seen us disappear in thin air.
The good thing about Muggles was that they always wrote that sort of thing off as hallucinations and mis-sights.
Anastasia went straight to the Potter house while I took Aldan with me to fetch a Healer. Anastasia and I had decided - together - that it was probably best if Aldan side-along Apparated with me. It was undoubtedly safer.
Anastasia - like driving - Apparated rather recklessly.
When I got to the Potters’ (two Healers in tow) Lily was already hyperventilating and spread out of the couch. Both Healers immediately converged on her, and, a minute later, declared that she was almost having the baby.
“Dammit!” Anastasia cried. “Why the hell wasn’t it that quick for me? I was bloody contracting for half a day before he came out!” She gestured to Aldan.
“Oh. Stop. Whining,” Lily grunted.
“Oh, cut it out. I went through that for a bunch of hours! It’s not that bad!” Anastasia claimed, lying back on the couch across from Lily.
“That’s. Because. You’re. Anna,” Lily reasoned. After another few moments, her contraction was over and she could breath and speak normally again.
“Alright.” One healer said. “Next one you’re going to push, and then you’ll have your baby.”
Lily nodded. She looked almost excited.
I laughed, thinking back to four months ago, when Anastasia had tried to push Aldan back inside her body in a desperate attempt to not have the baby.
“Alright. Now, push.”
One-and-a-half pushes later, the little baby boy slid easily into the healer’s hands.
“Now, tell me why mine wasn’t that easy,” Anastasia demanded, leaning against me and grimacing at the baby that hadn’t yet been cleaned.
“Because you were trying to make it go back inside,” I reminded her.
The baby was (as mentioned before) dubbed Harry James Potter.
It was a little while later, while all the women (and the two grandfathers) were fussing over the baby that James pulled us guys aside.
“Sirius. Remus. Pete . . . I have something I need to tell you.”
It took James less than ten minutes to change all of our lives forever. The previous fall, a prophecy had been made about a baby born at the end of July, to a couple who had beaten Voldemort three times.
That baby had the power to destroy Voldemort - no longer a scary, rising threat, but a full-fledged monster.
And Lily and James were quite the contenders. (Along with the Longbottoms - fellow Order members who had had a baby boy the previous day.)
“We don’t know who it’ll be,” James finished up, “but the threat is looming, and Voldemort knows the prophecy.”
“Bloody hell,” Remus, Pete and I chorused in identical, monotonous voices.
James was just about to say something else when Anastasia showed up in the little room we had secluded ourselves into. “Hey, you Marauders, lunch time!”
We all made a dash for the door, and as I was leaving, I threw my arm around Anastasia’s waist and said, “Marauders? Don’t you think we’re a little old for that?”
After a gasp of disgust, Anastasia tore away from me and glared. “Don’t. You. Dare.”
I had forgotten. Ever since Aldan was born, Anastasia had been clinging to the threads of our Hogwarts days, quite obviously distressed by the dramatic changes that being out of school brought. Especially since Aldan was born. Anastasia had officially joined the Order of the Phoenix, and we alternated who would go away on a mission, and when.
Claiming to be too old for our iconic school-day title was probably not good for her mental health.
“Relax, Anna banana.” I tried being cute, hoping it would distract her from my screw-up.
And it worked. Thank Godric for that short attention span. She laughed. “I like that.”
“You do? Well, Anna banana, want to sneak away for some fun?” I winked suggestively.
She guffawed. “When there’s food on the table? Yeah, right.”
In essence, I was denied sex in exchange for food.
Later that night, we invited Lily and baby Harry to stay with us; Mr. Potter had fallen suddenly ill and James had fled with his father to the hospital. The poor bloke had been torn between staying with his wife and new baby, and being by his father’s side at the hospital.
In a fit of selflessness, Lily demanded that James go with his father. (In actuality, there was quite a bit of selflessness that had radiated from Lily over the past few years. However, my brain - often still stuck on what I had learned during my school years - still associated Lily with ‘bitch’ sometimes.)
She was obviously quite tired, and fell asleep soon. That left plenty of opportunities for me to tell Anastasia the new news I had learned.
As soon as I told her about the prophecy, Anastasia climbed into bed, hugging her knees.
“Oh, don’t worry, Anna banana.” I tried the new nickname on her again. “Everything’s going to be fine.”
She shook her head. “Don’t lie to me, Sirius. I may be naive, but don’t take advantage of that. If Harry is marked as Voldemort’s equal, then they’re all marked for death.”
The ominous statement brought quiet to the room. “We’re not cut out for this, Sirius. We can’t do this.”
I looked sadly at Anastasia. Her gorgeous pink lips were pursed, and pretty hazel eyes were filled with sadness and indetermination. Something’s wrong here. Something is so wrong.
“Hey! What the fuck’s up with that?” I said loudly (but not loudly enough to wake Lily or either baby.)
She shrugged, looking at me like it should have been obvious.
“Was it, or was it not you who spoke to your entire year about seeing the best in the bad situation?”
“It was me,” she mumbled.
“Was it, or was not you who said that good things happen in individual lives when bad things are happening to the world?”
“It was me,” Anastasia replied, this time with a little more color.
“Lily just had a baby! It’s wonderful! If we have to kick Voldemort’s arse to keep him away from the baby - so what?! We can do it!”
“Yeah, yeah we can!”
“And did we not just see Star Wars for the second time a few weeks ago?”
Confused, “Yeah, we did?”
“And wasn’t that fantastic?” I cried excitedly.
“Now what are going to do?”
“And how are we going to do it?”
“By kicking Voldemort’s dumb little arse all the way down to hell!”
A/N: Here it is - Sunday, as promised. :D Seven more to go . . .
A/N2: And obviously all the credit for Star Wars goes to George Lucas. :D
If you haven't already seen it, set aside three hours, settle down with a bowl of popcorn and treat yourself to a movie night.
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