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Polychromatic by HarryPotter is my LIFE
Chapter 77 : If I Ever Have To Go Through This War, Then I'll Survive
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 110


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A/N: Here it is - the last chapter. Never fear, dear readers. The moment I post this chapter, the first chapter of the sequel shall be posted immediately afterwards. Now, in honor of the last chapter, I have two sets of lyrics, because I really just couldn’t choose between one. Be forewarned, this chapter is probably the most serious, depthy one you’ll ever read from me, with only one slightly funny moment. But out of the many, many chapters I have, I think it’s alright to have a few, right?

Also, I want to throw out a HUGE thanks to my beta, tara.seanan. She’s been looking over every chapter up from Chapter 56 and has been helping me through this since then. And dudes, that’s a lot of chapters.  Not to mention, how quickly she’s gotten these chapters back, especially considering the quick updates I’ve been having. So if you leave a review, shout out a thanks to her, as well. :D

At this point, feel free to skip ahead and ignore the rest of my long pre-story A/N if you want. However, I just want to address something I think is very important. Through this almost a year-and-half that I’ve been writing this story, it’s always been about fun, drama-free times; and when there is drama, it’s taken care of quickly. And I think there’s a good message hidden in between the lines that lots of people seem to miss: Don’t be the one to assume that the bad situation you’re in is the worst. If you really want to, there is always a way to find something good about a situation. And, sometimes in life, you just need to have fun. I leave you to think about that . . .

Anyways, I just wanted to thank each and everyone of my readers and reviewers. I’ve never quite had an audience respond to one of my stories like this one before, and I love you all so much for keeping me going and giving me all those encouraging words. So, without further ado - the final chapter of Polychromatic.





If I ever have to go through this war,
They will talk about me, talk about.
If I ever have to go through this war,
Then I'll survive.
-Divide the Day                       



“Sirius?” I stepped tentatively towards him, where he sat slumped in an armchair, absently staring into the fireplace. I had just woken up a little while ago from a deep sleep.

In his hands, he clutched the cooling tea that Remus had given him before stepping out for a little while.

“Sirius?” I stepped a little closer, and put my hands on his shoulders.

He made no move to shake me off or embrace the gesture. He made no move at all.

“Sirius, it’s going to be okay.”  I wasn’t sure of anything myself, but Sirius had done what he could to calm me when I needed it. And now he needed me. “We’ll get to visit Harry in a few years, maybe even have him stay with us sometimes,” I attempted to assure him. “I bet him and Aldan will be best friends . . . And William, as well ”

Sirius twitched a slight bit, but there was no other response. He took a small sip of his cold tea.

“Sirius? You’ve got to get over this-”

I don’t think I’d ever seen Sirius as angry as I did in the following five seconds. He threw his tea across the room; it shattered against the stone border of the fireplace and tea went flying everywhere. He jumped up from the chair and whipped around to face me. “What the hell is wrong with you, Anastasia!?”

I didn’t have an answer, so I just cowered away from the unexpected anger.

“What the bloody hell! Two of our best friends died, Anastasia. Died! This isn’t good times at Hogwarts anymore; it’s the real fucking world! You can’t go around like nothing matters anymore!”

I had never seen Sirius that angry, that . . . well . . . serious.

“You’re not a Fifth year anymore, Anastasia  We have two fucking kids! People kill! People die! They die! And it’s not something you can just brush off!”

Is he insinuating that I’m not upset? Does he really think I’m not going to be upset when this sinks in? And what is he doing yelling at me; who the fuck does he think he is?!

I stepped forward so that I was pressed up against Sirius and glared into his eyes. “Don’t yell at me,” I commanded.

“I know they died, and I’m sad. But sitting there like a lump, throwing tea around and messing up our sitting room is not going to make it better!"

Sirius seemed to be biting back some scathing comment or yell. Instead, he said, in a forced calm. “That’s what people do when people die; they mope.

“Think about it! Lily and James are gone! Gone! And they’re never coming back!”
Sirius screamed at me. I sneered at him, stomped on his foot and marched out the front door.

___

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 tell 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 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. "
                               
___

I inhaled and my breath hitched in my throat. Damn, Sirius. Damn Sirius to hell for making me think about this.

___

I smiled lovingly at my favorite people. "And we are the elite," I proclaimed.

"Well that’s a little arrogant, don’t you think?"



Oh, bollocks. No one needs a dose of Lily Evans this morning. I got up from the couch to confront her, but found myself laughing instead.

James was standing at the bottom of the staircase, under a bit of Mistletoe. Evans had begun to cross the threshold, but must have been stopped.

"Potter! What is this nonsense? Let me out of this - this . . . Whatever this is!" She was continuously walking into nothing in her desperate attempts to gain back her personal space. Honestly, for someone so supposedly brilliant, she was lacking common sense.

"Why, Lily dearest, I believe that it’s some mistletoe that you’re stuck under," Sirius informed the enraged red-head.

"What!?" she cried. "Potter, you better let me out!"

James, who had yet to say anything, gave us all the surprise of the day. He took out his wand, and waved it a few times. Suddenly, Evans was able to step out of the barrier.  "Potter," she asked. "Did you just let me go?"

He nodded silently. Then, if James had given us the surprise of the day, then Evans had given us the surprise of the decade. She lifted herself up on her tippy-toes, and gave James a swift peck on the cheek. "Mistletoe is a rule of Christmas; I always follow the rules."

James stood, staring at Lily with the widest eyes I had ever seen him with. He looked as if he’d been slapped across the face, but, in a good way, if it was possible. He had goofy smile on his face.

"You know, Potter, that was actually quite a good bit of magic. And you really proved something to me when you let me go. Maybe, Potter, you’re not as bad as I thought."

She smiled at him, and James smiled back, looking as if his face would break from the excitement.


___

I felt one, single tear leak from the corner of my eye and took off down the pathway that lead to our house. My bare feet pounded on the gravel and I didn’t know what hurt worse - the memories, or the fresh cuts and holes in my feet.

I tried to hold them back, but the rush of memories over-powered me.

___

"Hey, Sirius," I replied, slowing my stride a bit so I was walking in line with him. Darren did the same. "You on your way to practice, too?"

"We have practice?" Sirius stopped walking and paused. "Shit." He then proceeded to spin around and run extremely fast back to the common room. I began to laugh. 

"Should we wait for him?" Darren asked.

"And risk getting our heads eaten by James? Not on Sirius’ life."

When we finally got our brooms from the shed and arrived on the pitch, everyone was there. (Save for Sirius, whose shouts could be faintly heard as they echoed through the castle, getting louder and louder with each passing second.) James looked slightly annoyed. "Well, we’re just going to have to wait for that git to get his arse down here, then we can start."

About a minute later Sirius burst onto the pitch, his Quidditch robes only half done up.  "I’m here!" he cried.

"I noticed, Black!" James sounded angry, and the entire team gave him a funny look because of it. He was never angry.

Sirius looked down right petrified.

"Hehe," James tittered. "Just kidding. Alright, let’s get this going quick  To start, I want everyone to do a nice, easy six laps around the pitch."

We all went to mount our brooms, eager to get into the air. It was an easy request, something to get us all warmed up for the first practice of the season.

Then the bomb was dropped. "No, you lot; get off your brooms. I meant running."  Although the following minutes were very blurred, I vaguely remember tackling James, rolling around in tears, and being slapped across the face by Sirius, before begrudgingly running that six laps. I was not a bad runner, and I finished somewhere in the middle, but just the fact that we had to run was enough to upset my mental health.

Everyone collapsed onto the ground of the pitch- when we finally finished - back at the base of the goals, panting and sweating. We gasped to each other, none too used to running, how we couldn’t wait to get into the air and start the real practice. James looked almost timid and afraid as he approached us.

"Ahem, er, now it’s time for push-ups?"

This time, everyone attacked James. Except Darren, who was, apparently, too mature. Psh, maturity - how overrated.

"And my beaters . . . Do double!" James managed to say through the tangle of arms and legs. The Beaters of course meant Sirius and I; and as we finally stomped away to do fifty push-ups, we decided that James had done this personally to spite us.

"Or maybe he just figured you guys should do more since you’re Beaters, and need more upper-body strength," Darren, who was nearby (doing his stupid twenty-five) suggested. Sirius and I gave him simultaneous looks, that clearly said what-the-fuck-are-you-talking-about? It was one we wore often when people pointed out annoyingly logical things.

Despite the already difficult start, as we all met again in the center of the field, James was not done. We had to warm up for the next half-hour before the bastard even let us near our brooms. The practice, which totaled three hours, was long and grueling, and ended in the near death of James.

We tried to drown him in the shower.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

Ah well, there’s always next practice.


___

We were all having dinner in the Great Hall when an owl swooped down and dropped something in front of James. “That’s odd,” he said. “There’s never mail at this time - especially for people who don’t go to this school.”

He picked up the scroll of parchment and poked it gingerly with his wand, as if afraid it might explode or something. Nothing happened. He looked and me and the Marauders and shrugged before unrolling it and beginning to read.

From the moment his eyes touched the parchment, he was frowning. We all watched his eyes continue downwards, and the more he read, the more upset he grew. When he was done, he threw down the scroll of parchment and stared at the table. His jaw was set, and he was biting his bottom lip so hard that he was drawing blood - I could see a faint red rim forming around his teeth.

“James? Mate?” Sirius tentatively put his hand on James’ shoulder; he violently shook Sirius off and said nothing.

Although the rest of the Great Hall continued to chatter incessantly, our little group of five had gone completely quiet. Sirius reached worriedly for the parchment that had gotten James in a way that none of us had seen before.

His reaction was identical to James'. A frown at first, and his face steadily grew more distraught. My eyes darted back-and-forth between James and Sirius. James was still staring intently at the table, and I could see a small muscle in his jaw twitching.

Sirius, unlike James, didn’t try to bite his lip off, or pull a muscle in his jaw. He roughly got up from his seat, knocking a few things over and fast-walked out of the Great Hall.

I looked at Remus curiously. He shrugged.

“Oh, shit.”

“What?” Remus asked, worried.

“Mrs. Potter died.” I got a chill down my spine just saying it. Mrs. Potter had been such a motherly figure to me - I was sad, but more than that, I was terrified. I’d never experienced the death of a loved one before; it was all too real.

At that point, James got up in a manner similar to Sirius, although his roughness seemed a bit more intentional. He got up and stormed out. We watched him kick the door on his way out.


___

“Anna Xanthis! What the hell!?” 


Cue the babbling, bumbling band of baboons. AKA - the idiots. AAKA - the dumbarses. AAAKA - my best mates.

James was marching into the library, completely ignoring the shrill, screeching tones of Madam Pince, the middle-aged librarian. He was followed shortly after by Remus who just looked amazed.

“Uhh, hi?” I cowered under the confused wrath of James. Across from me, Seamus was nearly on the floor in laughter.

Before James could get a chance to respond, Darren strutted in, watching the scene happily, and cackling.

“What the bloody hell?! Where is he?! Why didn’t you tell us?! What the bloody hell?!”

Still behind James, a rather tired and scrawny-looking (except for his disproportionally muscled upper torso) Remus was mouthing incomprehensible words. Not, of course, that any words mouthed were comprehensible to me.

James had gotten so worked up that his glasses had fogged, his cheeks had reddened, and his hands were twitching. I don’t think he was so much angry, as he was a combination of surprised, shocked, and upset about not being told right away. But, at the very least, the transpired events seemed to temporarily distract him from the devastation of the night before. 

“Darren!” James now rounded upon the traitorous informant. Darren looked dazedly up at James, his blue eyes sliding in and out of focus.


Wow, that bloke really has focus issues . . . I wonder how stoned he is?

“Wha?”

“Where’s Sirius?” James bellowed.

“Dunno. Probably in the Great Hall.”

And all while this conversation was held, and James marched noisily out of the library, with a still gob-smacked Remus in tow, Madam Pince was screeching and whining; most others had left the library.

For the full five minutes that James, Remus, and Darren were gone, Pince stalked over to me and Seamus, and yelled incomprehensible, angry things at me. When the posse returned (this time, with Sirius), she rounded on them.

Before we knew it, Minnie had arrived on the scene. She rushed in from the corridor, probably checking in on the ruckus. When her eyes searched out the culprits, she seemed to almost smile.

“Now, really, boys! I would’ve thought that you - upstanding boys who fight for what’s right in the world - would know enough to not cause a scene in the library!” Minnie was tapping her foot impatiently, probably concentrating all her effort on that; I saw her lip twitch a few times. “Now tell me, Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, Mr. Lupin . . . What is the cause of this chaos?”

James. Tactless, lovable, dumbarse James.

“Sirius and Anna did it!”

I think it may have taken Minnie a few moments to catch on, but the look on her face clearly illustrated that she did.

Perhaps James’ awkward confession was what cracked her. She burst out laughing, and through her guffaws, claimed, “You three boys - as well as Miss Xanthis, and Mr. Wood, who I’m sure was a part of the problem, as well - will be in detention with me tonight, for disturbing the peace.”

This put the Marauders in heaven, making it the first time, ever, that someone not attendng Hogwarts recieved a detention there.

Then, without another word, Minnie left the library to a confused group of boys (and girl - me,) and a pleased librarian. 

Before the conflict and confusion could escalate again, Pince kicked the Marauders, Darren, myself, and Seamus (for good measure) out of the library.


Yay! Happy days!

. . .

“Alright. Now, Anna, I expect you to cooperate fully with this operation.”

Cooperate fully? Cooperate fully?! FUCK cooperating fully!

James, the bloody, curious bastard, had me tied to a chair, and I was unable to maneuver myself out.

“I will not cooperate fully!” I insisted.
                            
“Neither will I!” Next to me, James had Sirius in a similar position. Sirius, however, was much closer to bursting from his captivity, and pummeling James. Remus was attempting to linger innocently in the background, and Darren did nothing but laugh hysterically.

“This is all your fault,” I accused. 

He nodded, looking pleased with himself. “Yeah, I know.”

James looked warily at Sirius, probably taking into account the fact that Sirius was much taller, and much stronger than him. “Alright, let’s do this quick . . . Anna Xanthis, did you, or did you not, sleep with Sirius Black.”

I pursed my lips, making fishy faces and crossing my eyes at James.

“Is that your final answer?” I managed to get enough movement in my left hand to flip James off. He saw.

“You are not cooperating fully with this investigation!”

And, finally, Sirius broke free and tackled James to the ground.

Perhaps I forgot to mention - this was all taking place in a secluded corner in the Entrance Hall.

However, once Twitchy began to make her rounds-of-hell (keep in mind, this was in the early afternoon - there was no reason to be doing rounds,) our interrogation corner was no longer so secluded.

“What in the world do you students think you’re doing?!”

In case you can’t imagine the scene that Twitchy found before her, here it is: Remus, standing a few meters away from everything, leaning against a wall and looking at his feet. Darren, standing a bit closer than Remus, and, at the moment, on the ground, refereeing the wrestling match between James and Sirius. James, squished under the heavy weight that was Sirius Black, crying out in discomfort, and trying to breathe properly. Sirius, his entire weight resting on scrawny James. Not yelling, like James was, but growling, and mumbling about invasion of privacy. And then there was me - bound to a chair, with no prospect of escaping.

Darren looked lazily up at Twitchy, probably before deciding he didn’t give a shit; he continued to ref the match between James and Sirius. 

Remus also glanced lazily at Twitchy, before looking back to his feet.

James and Sirius paid no attention to her.

I had no choice in what I did, really, as I was strapped to a chair.

I said, what in the world do you students think you are doing?!”


Still, completely ignored. Except by Remus, who chose that moment to point out, “Well, we’re, not students.” He gestured to himself and the wrestling boys.

Twitchy’s face, previously pink, escalating to a dull, red color. “Then you shouldn’t be in this school.”

“McGonagall said it was okay.” Remus shrugged.

From dull red to bright red.

“Stop it!” Twitchy screeched, directing it at James and Sirius.  Her sunken, wide eyes and bat-like, black dress robes gave her the appearance of the bad-guy in a horror film.

They ignored her. It was funny.

Finally, she pulled her wand out and blasted the two apart. James went flying across the Entrance Hall, and Sirius went flying the other way. They both dropped to their butts and skidded another meter or two before stopping, getting up, and walking back to where we all were.

“Miss Xanthis!”

I sighed, exasperated before she even started her rant. “What?”

“What is the meaning of this!?”

I raised my eyebrows at her. “You’ve got to be kidding. Does it really look like I was involved in this?” I fidgeted wildly inside my binds, showing my inability to get out.

Twitchy laughed evilly. Actually, I don’t think it would be possible for her to laugh not evilly. She shook her pointer finger at me all the while, nodding like she’d figured out something important. “Aha! That’s what you’d like me to think! But, in actuality, you’ve orchestrated this entire event yourself, having your-” she paused, “-
friends pretend they’ve done it all-”

“You’ve got to be bloody kidding me!” I growled through clenched teeth.

It’s lunchtime . . . I really want a sandwich.

Get out of my head, stomach. There are more important things to think about right now.

“Profane language!” Twitchy cried, more in the tone of someone worried about a bomb.

Grrr . . . It wasn’t even that bad.

So, at that precise moment, both Twitchy and I began yelling at each other at the top of our lungs; I heard nothing she was trying to say. I think she might have heard some of my stuff, though, because I was much louder.

I think that I am the only Head Girl ever to get into an argument like this with a teacher. Oh, well, they should be happy I’m giving them a good name.

In a fit of excitement I was able to break my hands and arms free from captivity. With no better ideas, I grabbed my shirt and shouted, “Don’t tempt me! I’ll let them out, again!”

“Miss Xanthis, Professor Tsacria - may I ask what is happening?” Minnie appeared around the corner.

Hmm . . . Guess this isn’t quite as secret and secluded as we thought . . . Or, maybe, we’re just being really loud.

“Miss Xanthis is-”

“Twitchy’s being bitchy!”

Minnie heaved a sigh and looked tiredly at me. “Miss Xanthis. You do realize that this is atrocious behavior for a Head Girl . . . Not to mention any student at all.”

I pouted and crossed my arms (the only part that I could move.)

“Yeah? Well she blasted James and Sirius apart!” And, it seemed that Minnie noticed the wrestling pair for the first time.

“Potter, Black! Stop, now!” And they did.
 

See? All you have to do is not be a complete fuckhead and they’ll listen to you, I thought towards Twitchy.

Minnie looked exasperatedly at the scene. At least, at that point, Darren and Remus had stopped conversing, and both were looking quietly on at the moment.

“Now, Miss Xanthis, do you care to tell me why you are partially tied to a chair?”

I nodded
. Yes, Minnie, I would like to tell you.

“They did it,” I pointed to all the boys.

She raised an eyebrow at all of them. Then she shook her head.

“Boys. You’re in detention tonight! Again! Yes, Lupin, Black, Potter - that means you, too.

“No, I don’t care that you’re no longer in this school, just as I didn't care 
less than an hour ago in the library, where I already gave you a detention! You must be quite proud of yourselves; I’m pretty sure no one else has managed to get one detention, let-alone two, after they’ve graduated.”

____

“Truth or dare?” James asked me. It was Halloween of ‘81. We had gotten together (almost the entire group - Darren, Connie, Stephen, Sirius, me , Peter, Lily, and James - Remus was frolicking with werewolves at the moment) for a celebration. And we’d run out of fun, mature people things to do. There were a surprisingly small amount of those.

“Psh! Dare.” I always chose dare. Mostly because they were more fun. Partially because I usually didn’t know the truth well enough to tell it. And slightly because I was afraid of the truth, in case I could actually tell it.

James - the lovable, dumb lug - sat there with his pondering face on. He stroked his chin and looked to be thinking hard.

“Oh!” We all turned to look at the skinny, be speckled man-boy. “I dare you to kiss a girl . . . And like it ”

I smirked.

Oh, James. How you make me laugh.

“Which one?”

It could be Connie. Poor, sweet, prim and proper Connie. Who had just recently (Darren excitedly informed me) decided to breech her morals and upbringing and shag.



And then there was Lily. Not quite as prim and proper, but almost certainly not comfortable with snogging a girl. Particularly one whose sanity was questioned constantly.

I was almost positive that James would chose Connie. No matter what Sirius did, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed. If anything,
I would leave. However Lily was the type to make James take shelter on the couch for the night if he fucked up. And choosing her to kiss a girl would definitely be fucking up.

“Connie.”

Oh, I was so right.

So, without warning (because that is the way you go about these things) I put my lips on Connie’s, and gave the guys just what they were looking for. Tongue and all.

And I was comfortable enough in my sexuality to admit that it was quite fun.

Darren definitely did some work on this one . . . I’m very familiar with his work.

All the boys were thrilled by it. They yelled excitedly and cat-called.

Even in their twenties, boys will be boys.

Eventually, I quit it, quite proud of Connie that she hadn’t pushed me off. And quite proud of myself that I wasn’t creepy enough for Connie to want to push me off.

Everything was silent . . . Until Darren chimed in. “I’m not going to lie . . . That was hot.”
I smirked. Next to me, Connie did as well. We all laughed.

James commented to me later on that I had a problem with my mouth moving faster than my brain. But I’d never really thought of that as a problem.

I decided to observe the reactions of my mates. Next to me, Sirius looked slightly uncomfortable. But he also had the look on his face that he had when we were both about to jump each other’s bones.

Lily looked a cross between shame and amusement.

James actually seemed to be following my gaze, and winked at me when his eyes caught mine.    

Peter was laughing. I wanted to hit him, but I suppose it was funny. He had all the right to be laughing. Besides . . . I needed to stop using violence as the answer.

Yeah, right. A little bit of roughness never hurt anyone.

Oh, how I loved innuendo.


Stephen was congratulating Darren in that manly way that happens when a guy gets some. Except that this time it was just a mentioning of it. Darren was sitting there looking all smug and satisfied.

And Connie. Connie. The look on her face made me want to laugh. She looked completely pleased with the attention and praise, and simultaneously mortified by it.

I couldn’t see my own face. But I imagined it would be excited. I loved causing a ruckus like that.

And I loved being with my mates. We were young, alive, and ready to rumble.


___

I couldn’t even run anymore. I collapsed against the wide trunk of a tree, somewhere down the road. I was never the sobbing type; even when I cried a lot, I was silent about it, except for the occasionally squeak or sniffle.

So I’ll never know how Sirius found me, quiet, in the dark shadowy woods.

“Anastasia?”

I didn’t say anything, but he still knew I was there.

“Anastasia?” he called again, louder.

I quickly wiped the tears on my face and eyes with my sleeves and tried to push Lily and James from my mind. “What do you want?” I mumbled.

I heard the crackle of dry leaves and twigs as Sirius stepped through the brush to get to me, where I was crouched down against the base of a tree.

“To talk to you.”

“Well, I don’t want to talk to you.” I crossed my arms protectively over my chest and turned away from Sirius. He reached his hand out to touch me and I hit it away.

“Well, you’re going to have to; we live in the same house,” he reminded me.

“May I remind of that time when you dated Alex, and ignored the rest of us, and we lived in the same dorm and I ignored you effectively for a good three months after you decided you were sorry and wanted us back?”

I heard Sirius sigh. “Case and point. However, you’re doing a bad job of not talking to me right now.”

I sneered at Sirius (though he probably couldn’t tell) and said nothing.

“Come on.” He offered his hand to help me up. I ignored it, but stood up on my own. “I’m sorry I yelled,” he said, sounding sincere. “But sometimes, I just have trouble getting a hold of my emotions.”

“I do too, and that’s why, sometimes, I prefer to ignore things like this. Because it’s easier for me,” my voice squeaked as I explained this to Sirius.

Sirius and I were best friends. We talked about everything . . . Except my feelings. This was possibly the first time I'd ever mentioned them at all.

“I’m so sorry.” He wrapped his arms around me and I let him. He let me cling protectively to him for a little while before he said, “I’m really sorry, Anastasia. I just . . . didn’t know.”

“It’s my fault.” I took a deep breath, feeling like I was about to cry again. “I never really told you that that’s how I deal with things. This is pretty much the biggest tragedy of my life - I’ve never really had any problems before.”

“I love you so much, my little emotional nutcase.” I laughed, and set off the waterworks at the same time. It was the first (and hopefully last time) that I cried in front of Sirius.

Luckily, my lovable little dumbarse was smart enough to not point that out, though I’m pretty sure it didn’t go unnoticed to him. I don’t know quite how long we stood there, me sobbing out all of the bad things that had ever happened, and Sirius standing there, holding me tightly, so I didn’t feel anymore vulnerable than I already did. At some point, we sat down, and Sirius let me crawl into his lap like a little child.

Eventually, the crying was done, and I only hiccoughed every so often.

“Are you alright?” he asked tentatively.

I could just make out the contours of his expression. His grey eyes glowed with concern and he had that ‘I’m ready to go to the other side of the world for you if you need me to’ look.

So then I jumped him and we shagged in the middle of the woods. I’m totally serious . . . Don’t give me that look - traumatized people are very vulnerable and need lots of love.

However, afterwards, I regretted it just a tiny bit; it was quite uncomfortable with the twigs trying to get up our arses and such.

I was too drained to walk home from the little spot in the woods (both from crying my tear-ducts dry and from other explicit activities,) so Sirius let me climb onto his back, and he gave me a piggy-back-ride home. I hooked my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist and rested my head on his shoulder. His hair smelled like strawberries; it usually did.

“Are you feeling less sad?” He sounded so much like a loving little five-year-old at the moment that I couldn’t help but smile.

“Yeah,” I replied. “I think I just cried out every single thing that has made me the tiniest bit sad since the start of Hogwarts.”

“Well, that’s good then.” He slid me off his back and crashed onto the couch before pulling me down carefully on top of him. I threw my arms around him and made him my oversized, life-sized teddy bear.

“And how are you feeling?” I asked, remembering the shattered teacup and yelling with a grimace.

“I’m a little better,” he said. “I was so concerned about you that it took away some of the hurt. I just can’t believe Lily and James are gone. James. He was my brother.” I heard a crack in Sirius’ voice. I made to tell him that it was his turn to cry, but I knew that Sirius would have no qualms doing so if he felt the need.

And sure enough, I heard a muffled sniffle behind me.

“It’s okay,” I whispered, hoping to be comforting.

“I just keep remembering the good times,” he admitted.

“I know, but remember them for the good times that they are.” I kissed him on the cheek. “You’ve got to be optimistic, Sirius. Lily and James’ lives may be over, but ours aren’t yet. We’ve got two kids who are going to want their parents. We’ve got Harry to visit and bring up, because Godric knows that Harry's aunt and uncle are going to do a crap job of it.”

A spurt of laughter interrupted Sirius’ sadness.

I held his hand. “This ends the story of the Marauders, but what great story doesn’t have a sequel?

“Up until now, we’ve had the most colorful, wonderful lives of anyone we know. Just because we’ve lost three characters doesn’t mean we loose color. For Godric’s sake, Sirius, don’t let us become colorless.

“You can be sad and live at the same time,” I tried to convince Sirius. “You just have to want to . . . Like I said, you have to remember the good times for what they were then, not what they are to you now.”
           
Sirius grabbed my hands and laced his fingers with mine. I looked down, noting for probably the thousandth time how much bigger his hands were than my own. “I’ve got the best friends in the entire world, and they’ve just gone through the same thing I just have. Somehow, I think I’m going to make it; and I promise you, we’ll keep things plenty polychromatic.”

A/N2: And that’s it. I sat here, finishing up this chapter and thought about how much time I’ve spent writing this story. It’s probably an unbelievable amount of time, if I added it all up. I’ve spent so much time with these guys that I feel like I know them; it’s weird. But, sometimes, you’ve just got to have another little world, and another set of best friends that you can escape to if need be, and that’s what I’ve got right here. Anyways, like I said before, I love all of you guys so much for the support you’ve given me, and hope that you’ve grown to love these guys just as much as I have. That said - onto the sequel  :D

P.S. - Sorry for the A/Ns that total more than the actual chapter. XD


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