Chapter 74 : On This Perfect Day, Nothing Can Go Wrong
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They tell me to act my age,
On this perfect day,
When nothing can go wrong,
Tomorrow's gonna come too soon
“What’s hanging, Potter family?” Anna’s dulcet tones echoed throughout the first floor of our new home in Godric’s Hollow.
She had let herself (and, presumably, Sirius, Al and Will) in with the key with gave to Sirius. We didn’t give Anna a key. Lily and I decided quite quickly that that would be a bad idea.
Then, Sirius announced himself. “Guess what I got! Guess what I got!” he cried, running straight past Anna and into the sitting room where Lily and I were with Harry.
“Lemme guess . . . A flying motorbike?”
Sirius frowned, and looked dismayed. “Well. Yes. How’d you know?”
“It was from us.” I smiled.
Sirius’ face brightened again. And as he jumped into the air, Lily snatched Harry away from me. I couldn’t understand why until Sirius came crashing down onto me in a crushing hug. “Aww! Thanks, buddy!”
“Your welcome, fat arse,” I joked.
Anna came in next, holding Will, and Aldan toddled in just behind her, occasionally tripping over himself.
I almost didn’t recognize Sirius and Anna’s few month old baby at first. I gave Lily a look, to see what she thought. Will (who had been born with jet black hair,) had light brown locks that could certainly be considered blond in a bright sunlight.
Neither Sirius nor Anna had a blond hair on their body.
“What’d you do? Procreate with the mailman?” I asked, laughing.
Anna made a ‘whoops, you caught me face,’ and scoffed at me. “You know it.”
“Nah,” Sirius said. “We decided it’s because her Mum has blond hair. Jason said it can happen sometimes.”
I shook my head, smirking. “I still think she shagged the mailman.”
“Great to hear the faith,” Anna chimed. Then she paused. “Anyone else here yet?”
“Nope,” I responded, just as Darren burst through the door. He was shortly followed by Connie, who was holding Oliver’s hand and leading him inside.
“Alright! It’s okay!” Darren held up two large paper bags over his head. “Everyone can calm down . . . The alcohol is here.”
Ha, what a dumbarse.
Anna scoffed jokingly. “Psh! We don’t need that to have fun!”
“True . . . But it can’t hurt!”
“Darren, stop trying to influence everyone to do bad things.” Stephen had just appeared in the doorway. I decided it was a good thing that Lily and I (well, mostly me,) were open kind of people. Otherwise, friends bursting in without warning could be a problem.
“Psh, coming from you,” Darren defended himself.
We were gathering the whole group to celebrate Halloween. Sirius - who had become quite the chef since Anna couldn’t cook to save her life - was helping Lily in the kitchen.
Peter was a bit late in coming, but he showed up eventually. He knocked, which I found quite odd, seeing as everyone from the invasive Anna to the usually-more-reserved Stephen barged in.
I was the one to get up and answer the door, since everyone else was either two busy fussing over the four cute little kids or making a dent in the ‘gift’ that Darren had brought.
“Hey, man,” I greeted Pete friendly and clapped him in the back. “No need to knock, my man. You’re always welcome here.”
He cringed and mumbled something before shuffling away.
Hmm . . . He can be so odd at times.
He certainly hadn’t been like that before the infamous kidnapping, back when Anna was still at Hogwarts. We all chalked it up to trauma and tried not to bother the poor fellow about it.
“Alright! It’s time to party!” I declared.
Lower! Lower! Lower! Aha! Yes!
We were playing Limbo.
Go James! Go James! Go James! It’s your birthday!
“Oh, James. We haven’t even moved it down a notch!” Anna admonished me, mocking me.
I looked at the elongated broom handle and watched Anna walk under it without so much as a slight bend of her back.
“Not fair! You’re short!”
“And so are you . . . Compared to Sirius.”
And it was quite true. After Anna had walked straight under, it was Sirius’ turn, and he was having a more difficult time that I had.
Five minutes later, Anna was about to win. (For the record, she was the shortest there, and therefore had an unfair advantage.) The only thing that could have stopped her was the massive mountains on her chest that loomed dangerously close to the broom handle even after she bent her back nearly in half.
But, I did have to hand it to her; she was quite flexible. As she bent her back fluidly and shuffled under the much-lowered handle Sirius cheered, “I do it with her! I do it with her!”
Bloke’s bloody insane. Anna’s going to hit him.
Five seconds later.
Ha! I was so right!
“Hey! What was that for?!” Sirius whined.
Anna rolled her eyes. “It’s not a day complete if I haven’t bodily harmed you in some way.”
“I’ll bodily harm you,” Sirius growled and winked at Anna.
Oh, dear . . . I hope they don’t turn the sitting room floor into a bedroom. Well, actually, they’ll probably just turn it into the sitting room floor. I don’t think they need a bed.
Lily seemed to sense the same thing I was. “Oh! Well, er, how about some ice cream?”
Our always ravenous friends stampeded straight to the kitchen. Every last one of them (including Connie, who had gotten just a little plump - apparently, Darren was training her to eat like us,) rushed past Lily and by the time we got to the kitchen, they were all pulling bowls and spoons and the like out of the cupboard.
We were all far too comfortable in each other’s houses.
And it was good that way.
What we did next is something that I’m very proud of. It pretty much screamed, ‘World! It doesn’t matter how much crazy shit we do to help you! We still know how to have fun . . . In a very juvenile manner.’
What to know what we did? We played Truth or Dare.
Anna, of course, volunteered to go first.
“Truth or dare?” I asked her.
“Psh! Dare.” I thought about it. There were very few things I could dare her to do anymore. I could no longer dare her to snog Sirius in an effort to bring out their true feelings for her. I couldn’t dare her to snog Darren because, well, it would be unethical and upsetting to at least two people in this room. I couldn’t . . .
“Oh!” The crew looked towards me. (Minus the kids, of course. Who had conveniently fallen sleepy and were in the other room . . . Or, maybe possibly, Anna and I had given them a sleeping draught . . . Don’t tell.) “I dare you to kiss a girl . . . And like it!”
Anna smirked at me. But it wasn’t my fault that she wasn’t phased by my dare. It was very difficult to make Anna uncomfortable, unless it was in talking about her feelings, or something.
She then gestured to Lily and Connie. “Which one?”
Lily glared murderously at me. And as much as I would have liked to take the mickey out of her, and choose her, I didn’t want to be sleeping on the couch at night. And Lily was the type of sweetheart that would do that. “Connie.”
Ah, poor, prim, proper Connie . . . I almost feel bad, putting her in the clutches of Anna.
I expected some sort of prelude. Perhaps a, ‘Well, here goes nothing.’ But, no. She just grabbed Connie and began to snog her.
And, because we were all mature, adult men, no one whooped or cat-called… Yeah, right. There wasn’t a single male in the room (which included Sirius, Darren, Stephen, Peter and me,) that didn’t express their appreciation in some way.
It was a good ten seconds before Anna and Connie stopped going at it. I was rather surprised that Connie didn’t scream and push Anna away.
Silence. Then, Darren, ever-so tactful, said, “I’m not going to lie . . . That was hot.”
Anna smirked. Connie smirked. It may have been the first ever time I’d seen her smile. “You taught her well,” Anna said to Darren.
Sirius sat awkwardly by Anna’s side. Oh, Anna and that mouth-that-moves-faster-than-brain problem.
Then, she looked around. I followed her gaze.
Sirius seemed to be caught somewhere between, ‘Crap! I didn’t want to hear that!’ and ‘I love that nutter.’
Lily was shaking her had, disbelieving at Anna’s stupidity.
I was, well, I was looking at everyone else.
Peter was laughing hysterically.
Stephen was giving Darren a congratulatory punch in the arm.
Said receiver of the punch was looking quite satisfied.
Connie looked absolutely mortified, and slightly pleased at the fanfare.
Anna. Oh, and Anna just looked on top of the world from having caused such a ruckus.
She would be quite a lot for Sirius and the rest of us to handle during the upcoming years. And we all knew that Anna and Sirius would be together forever, even if Anna couldn’t even stomach the thought.
“Okay, Connie.” It was Anna’s turn. “Truth or dare?”
“Bye, guys! Bye! Anna and Sirius’ place for Christmas, right? . . . Not that we won't see you lot before then!” It was nearly eleven o’clock at night, and everyone was finally leaving.
Harry was sound asleep, and Darren was carrying the slumbering Oliver home over his shoulder.
“Bye, Pete!” I called happily, clapping my mate on the back in a manly sort of way.
“Bye,” he squeaked, before rushing out. As he walked down the pathway, he looked sadly back at Lily and I, standing in the doorway.
As always, Anna and Sirius were the last to leave, each carrying one tot on their hip.
“Goodbye, fair maiden.” Sirius kissed Lily swiftly on the cheek.
Lily talked to Anna about possibly brining Harry over for playtime tomorrow.
We each kissed William and Aldan - both sleeping just as deeply as the other two children. I kissed Anna lightly on the cheek, and she carried William out and placed him in the little safety seat of Sirius’ new motorcycle.
A cry from Harry’s room sent Lily running, and gave me the chance to say a proper, non-manly goodbye to Sirius. I felt a bit like a woman, holding my best mate tightly in my arms, but it was okay, because in those times, we needed comfort.
“Everything’s going to be okay, mate,” Sirius reassured me.
We both knew that he didn’t know for sure what he was saying, but I appreciated the sentiment all the same. He nodded to me, and walked out the front door. Lily rejoined me at my side, holding Harry loosely in her arms. I watched him put Aldan in the seat next to Will, climb onto the front, and drive away into the sky.
I put my arm around Lily’s shoulder and together we made our way back inside. I checked the doors and windows to make sure they were locked. Out of habit - surely they wouldn’t keep anyone bad out if they really wanted to get in.
When I got to the bedroom, Harry was already sleeping soundly in his crib and Lily was tucked in under our covers. I didn’t even bother changing out of the jeans I was wearing, I simply crashed - exhausted - into bed.
I turned off the light next to my bed and stroked Lily’s gorgeous red hair. I prayed while I lay there with her.
Dear God . . . Or, whatever you are.
I thank you for being alive here and now, in this moment. A wonderful son, and beautiful wife. And if I should die tomorrow, I will be dying happy.
Oh, how I loved to say her name.
“Anna told me something today; that she had a bad feeling about . . . Something. She didn’t really know what. And you can’t ignore the fact that her subconscious usually knows more than she does. Not to mention, I think I can feel it, too.”
“Nonsense,” I argued. “We’re safe. No one can find us unless Peter tells them how to.”
Lily shifted uncomfortably. “Well, here’s the thing -”
We both stopped, dead silent, upon hearing the squeak of our front gate.
Don’t worry - I’m sure Anna just forgot something . . . She always does.
Beside me, Lily was shaking.
Relax. You’re just jumping to conclusions because of what you were talking about.
I got up, turned on the light, and quietly made my way to the window. I glanced out discreetly. It was simply a black cloaked figure . . . None of our friends wore black cloaks.
. . .
And then, as if sensing my presence, the figure stopped walking towards the door and looked up at me. He smiled his twisted smile. With that face - so inhuman. And that smile - so pointed and sadistic.
It was unmistakable.
I rushed from the window.
“Take Harry,” I whispered harshly to Lily. ***“Take Harry and run. Lily, get out of here . . . It’s him.”
Lily’s face fell into despair. It pained me so much to see the love of my life in such a state. “Take him! Go! I’ll hold him off!”
I had no idea where my wand was, and no time to get it. I took off at full speed, thundering through the corridor and down the stairs.
I had only fleeting thoughts as I raced Voldemort to the door. Firstly, I knew my attempts were futile. I had perhaps less than a minute to live. But if I could even hold the sick bastard off for a few seconds, it might be enough for Lily and Harry to escape.
Secondly, I thought of Harry. Barely a year old, already like his old man - glasses at such a young age. (We had realized that he needed them when he began crawling into walls, months before.) He was already growing a Marauder sense of humour, too. I pitied not being able to see him grow up.
And lastly, I thought of Lily. I’d made countless attempts over the years to make her fall in love with me. Even just a simple date would have satisfied me . . . Only temporarily, though. She was such a perfect specimen of human being. Kind, loving, and (sometimes) able to realise her mistakes. I loved her to death.
I thought not about my own demise, or my own unfulfilled wishes in life - for there were none. I thought not about Peter, the ultimate traitor, who’d walked out of my house less than a half-an-hour before and cowardly left without informing me of his fatal mistake. I just thought of any way I could save the two loves of my life.
I didn’t have time to run outside and distract him as I’d hoped. Voldemort blasted the front door apart just as I arrived in front of it.
He removed his hood, and looked as if he might’ve been smiling . . . If such a creature could do such a thing. No matter what it was, it was sadistic and bloodthirsty.
“Thrice defied me . . .” He drawled, in that sick, slimy voice of his. “But not again.”
He raised his wand and in one fluid motion, hissed, “Avada Kedavra!”
There was no time to hide. No time to run.
The green shot of light hit me square in the chest, and I was no more.
A/N: And there was James’ valiant death. Obviously, we know how the rest of this night plays out. However, we’re not quite done with Halloween of ‘81 yet.
A/N2: And, in honour of one of the last chapters (3 more after this, I believe) I give you one last, final . . . FUN FACTS! (Some of them very much thanks to tara.seanan!)
Aldan: His first word was ‘fuck,’ courtesy of Daddy.
Anna: Wants to have a baby girl so she can grow up just like Anna and influence other girls to have more fun in their lives. (Like she did for Bria, Connie and Lily.)
Sirius: Is afraid of having a baby girl for fear that she’ll grow up like Anna and want to be with lots of different boys.
Dora: Has been missing for years and has been presumed dead.
Remus: Once called a girl by the wrong name and tried to play it off as a ‘pet name.’ It did not work.
Lily: Once shaved off her sister’s eyebrows, just before Prom, for calling her fat.
James: Wanted 7 kids so he could have his own Quidditch team.
Peter: Can belch the alphabet, and proved so during transfiguration in 3rd year.
Stephen: Is still mentally scarred from the drunken kiss that he and Darren had. Whenever possible, he likes to keep a 2 metre radius from all other males.
Connie: Aspires to become a journalist . . . And one day be the editor of The Daily Prophet.
Darren: Went exactly four years without sex. (From summer of ‘77 to summer of ‘81.)
Oliver: Unlike his father, seems to think girls have cooties.
Jason: Is getting married to the girl that Anna met at graduation - Stella.
A/N3: Also, if any of you have read the little mini-prequel that J.K. wrote, you know that Sirius getting the flying motorcycle so late isn’t compliant since they were flying around and having fun on it. However, once I wrote all the chapters, I couldn’t fit it in anywhere else, and it was important, so, hopefully those who are canon-nazi like me can forgive this little transgression.
A/N4: *** Denotes a direct quote from the books. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Page 34, J.K. Rowling
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