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Chapter 2 : I'll Give a Little Bit of My Life For You (Ye - Wait! What?!)
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So I’ll give a little bit
I'll give a little bit of my life for you
So give a little bit
Give a little bit of your time to me
Now's the time that we need to share
So send a smile, we're on our way back home
- Goo Goo Dolls
“Those wretched Dursleys are at it again,” Sirius blustered, storming through the door.
“Sirius, watch out!" I cried, reaching forward and hoping to stop his stumble. But, alas, it was too late.
Sirius’ foot had gotten lodged in one of Aldan’s toys. And it had wheels. It was amazing that the toy didn’t crack under Sirius’ weight. Instead, the wheels started moving, and it was as if Sirius was skiing on a single, plastic ski for a few seconds, before the wheels shot out from under him, and he landed hard on his back.
Sirius groaned and shifted around uncomfortably on the floor. “Well, I did say ‘watch out.’ Besides, you should know better by now.”
It was the fifth time in the past six months or so that Sirius had stormed angrily into the house, complaining about the Dursleys, and fell on a toy. He was just that dumb.
But, Sirius climbed gingerly to his feet and rubbed his back. He leaned quickly back, and I heard his spine crack. He was about to say something else, when the pitter-patter of little feet became audible.
Aldan had grown a full head of black hair, just like his Dad. His eyes, also like Sirius’, were bright and gray.
William’s hair was so light that it was practically blond, and his eyes were blue. Sirius, Remus, and I liked to joke about the ‘secret love affair’ I was having with Remus, and how William was Remus’ child. We did stop joking around the kids, though, when Aldan heard and went blabbering around to everyone, not knowing what the hell he was saying.
“Aww! Come here, guys!” Sirius said, opening his arms and dropping down to his knees so he could hug the two boys. “What did you guys do today?” he asked.
“Alley! Alley!” Aldan shouted excitedly.
“Diagon Alley?” Sirius asked. At this, Aldan cheered and William nodded.
He chatted with the boys for a few minutes, before sending them off and promising to take them flying later. He then walked over to me.
“And how’s our little Lupin today?”
“I’m fine.” Sirius and I turned around to see Remus, who had just walked in through the still-open front door.
“Oh, well that’s good to know. But how’s the other little Lupin?”
I laughed and gave the cooing baby girl to Sirius.
Lupin, who had been born on New Year ’s Day, seven months earlier, was named after Lupin. Lupin Jamie; we’d managed to get two of our best friends name into one kid. And, except for the fact that the poor girl would go through life with the name Lupin (which, personally, I thought was pretty cool,) it had all worked out wonderfully.
Sirius held Lupin tight, and ran his hand over her soft, thin hair, which was very similar to William’s colour.
“And how are you, baby girl?” he asked, touching his nose lightly to her tiny nose - giving her an Eskimo kiss.
Lupin smiled and laughed shrilly. Sirius played with her for a few moments more before Remus cut in. “Alright, alright. Give me some time with my namesake, please.”
As he took Lupin from Sirius’ arms, I led Sirius away. I was going to show him an advertisement that I had seen in the daily prophet; it was for a house, in Hogsmeade.
As we were walking from the entranceway to the kitchen, Sirius tripped on another toy. But that was the perfect segue into why we needed a new house.
I picked up the Daily Prophet and shoved it into his face, pointing at the house. “Us. There. Let’s go.”
Sirius took the newspaper from my hands and looked confusedly at it. “Wait, what?”
“We need to move,” I told him simply. “One day, you’ll fall on a toy, and won’t get up again. One day, we won’t be able to shove our three kids into one bedroom. So, we need to move.”
“Er, Anastasia? I don’t necessarily know if moving is something you decide to do at the tip of a hat.” Sirius looked over the information on the house I had picked out. Five-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathrooms. And it had a finished basement. It was a pretty, white colonial house, with two pillars in the front.
“I do everything that way,” I pointed out. “Let’s do it; you got all that money from your Uncle. It’s more than enough, and now you’re training to be an Auror and all . . . Let’s just do it ”
Sirius knew a long time ago, that he would have to deal with me. It was probably made easier, though, that he was quite similar.
“What the hell! Let’s!” He threw up his hands in excitement. “Let’s tell Remus.”
“Hey! Hey! Remus!” I yelled, galloping through our too-small house and skidding to a stop in front of Remus, who was sitting on the couch, holding Lupin. “Guess what!”
“What?” he asked, looking amusedly at me.
“We’re moving ”
It was a bright, sunny August day. Outside our new home in Hogsmeade, I held Aldan’s hand, Sirius had William hoisted on his hip, and Remus held Lupin gently in his arms.
The old, white house was surrounded by acres of lush, green grass, and the stone walkway up to the front door was lined by small trees.
“Mommy? What happened to the old house?” three-year-old Aldan asked, tugging on my hand.
“We’re going to live in this house, now,” I explained. “You’re going to have your own room. And, we’re going to have a pool ”
After seeing our neighbours' pool, all Aldan had ever wanted was a pool, but we could never get one because we’d had hardly any yard. But there was more than enough room here.
Aldan jumped happily up and down, clapping.
“Well, let’s go in,” Sirius suggested. I followed Sirius and Remus up the pathway, Aldan trailing beside me, still clutching my hand.
William, who had recently turned two, insisted on walking on his own without the aid of a parental hand.
Sirius unlocked the front door, and I stepped inside. It was freshly painted; I inhaled the crisp scent.
“It smells nice in here,” I remarked, as everyone followed me in. “This is a good party house; much better than the old one.”
“Maybe now I won’t trip over toys every time I take a step,” Sirius muttered, stepping up beside me and placing his hand on my arse.
I raised my eyebrows at him and he winked.
I think Remus noticed, because he then said, “You know what? Why don’t I take the boys and Lupin to Diagon Alley and we can go pick out a pet for them to have. On me.”
Without waiting for our response, Remus whisked the quite-confused children away. Sirius and I wasted no time.
Of course, there was no furniture, but neither of us found anything wrong with this. However, Sirius insisted that I follow him. Sighing heavily, I did.
We climbed the polished, wood stairs and Sirius pulled what seemed to be a trapdoor in the upstairs ceiling open.
A ladder slid down and he chided me up it.
As soon as my head poked out of it, I knew where I was. From the outside, there was a fantastic turret at the top of the house; and this was it.
“I didn’t know you could go up here!” I exclaimed excitedly, running over towards the window.
Okay, perhaps I should have figured it out by the window . . . But that’s not the point.
Our new street was so pretty. Technically, it was in Hogsmeade, but it was a bit outside of the village. Being in such a close proximity to Hogwarts thrilled me. I smiled just thinking about it.
Maybe I’ll go visit tomorrow . . . Perhaps Minnie can career counsel me.
Because I was so indecisive and had trouble with long-term commitments, I still did not work. I had no idea what I wanted to do.
“I like our new house,” I whispered to Sirius, sitting down cross-legged on the floor and gazing out of the window onto the red house with a white-picket fence across the street.
“Do you?” he asked, nuzzling in my neck.
“And you want to stay in it forever?”
I smiled. “Yes.”
“And do you like chocolate?”
“And will you marry me?”
“Ye- wait What? ”
This time, he dropped to his knee, pulled out a velvety black box, and presented a diamond ring to me on his open palm. “Anastasia, will you marry me?”
Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. My breath was hitching in my throat. Sirius catching me off-guard like that was not cool. Not cool at all.
“You said you wanted to stay here forever. I’m assuming (though, I may be making an ass out of ‘u’ and ‘me’) that you meant that you wanted to stay here forever with me and the kids. Let’s make it official.”
Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.
There was little else running through my mind.
Sure, what he had said made sense. And, no, at this point, I couldn’t see myself with anyone else.
But how did I know that marriage would not ruin the perfect little life that we’d created for ourselves? Maybe it would trigger my old tendencies back. Maybe it would confuse the kids.
It just seemed like a genuinely bad idea.
But there was something in the back of my mind that really, really liked the idea. I mean, a wedding did sound fun. And I really did love Sirius. (His body, his mind - all of him.) And, in some slightly sickening way, marriage just felt right.
Sometimes officialness could be nice.
Sirius was (at least) no longer on his knee and presenting the box to me. He tucked it back into his hand and was now squatting in front of me, probably waiting for an answer.
Perhaps we could try being engaged for a while. You know . . . Not actually get married for a few years, but see how being almost married felt.
Yes . . . That’s the ticket.
Sirius dropped the box in excitement and jumped on top of me in a huge hug. “Oh, Anastasia! This is fucking fantastic!”
I laughed at his child-like response. “Yeah, I think we’re going to make it alright. Can we just . . . Can just we just not get married right away?”
He kissed me lightly, his bright grey eyes open and leering happily into mine. “We can wait as long as you’d like.”
“Perfect,” I whispered against his lips. “But, I was under the impression that we were on our way up here for a little fun, and that is something I am not willing to wait for.” I winked.
Sirius slid his hand devilishly up my thigh and began to kiss my neck. “Well, that’s good to hear. Because neither am I.”
“Sirius, we have to send him to Primary School.” Aldan was five and it would officially be time to start his pre-Hogwarts schooling. Sirius wanted to teach him ourselves, but I wasn’t into that.
“Oh, come on! All you have to do is teach him maths and that stuff!”
I shook my head. “Sirius, I can barely do my multiplication tables. Besides, you work. And I’m working on working ”
In understandable terms, I was training to become a Healer. My N.E.W.T. scores had been atrocious. However, Minnie had pulled some strings for me. I took them again. And I got an ‘E’ on all the required N.E.W.T.s.
“Well, I don’t want to send him to school! What if he tells someone his parents do magic?! He’ll blow the cover of the whole wizarding world!”
Sometimes, Sirius was a bit melodramatic.
“Sirius, he’s five,” I pointed out.
He threw up his hands in frustration. “Fine! We’ll send him to school!” Then he stormed out of the room.
I always win.
Five years later, I was a Healer.
Sirius was an Auror.
Aldan was rambunctious and a year away from Hogwarts.
William was grumpy and didn’t like to talk.
And Lupin was starting a food fight in our kitchen.
“Lupin! What did Mummy and Daddy tell you about throwing food during dinner?” Sirius reprimanded, throwing Aldan a towel to wipe his face clean. He was fairly good-natured about it.
However, before he could get to cloth up to his face, Jake - the seven-year-old black lab dog we had - cleaned up his face for him. Aldan laughed as Jake's big pink tongue slobbered all over his face.
Seven-year-old Lupin pursed her lips and her tongue poked out the side. She looked thoughtful, seemingly trying to recall what we’d said. But we all knew that she knew. Finally, she sighed. “That I have to ask you first.”
“Good girl.” Sirius smiled.
That was the rule in our house, only because Sirius and I decided it would be quite hypocritical to deprive the kids of the fun that we had during our Hogwarts days.
Remus constantly told us we were bad parents.
Speaking of . . . “Hello, you lot!”
And, cue the almost-always-present, lycanthropic best mate.
He walked in through the back door, smiling, and took a seat next to Aldan. “What’s going on, buddy?” he asked.
“Exactly one year ‘till I’m at Hogwarts!” Aldan yelled excitedly, jumping up and knocking his plate from the table. Food went flying (for the second time in two minutes) and the plastic plate hit the floor with a clatter.
Jake repappeared in less than an instant.
Across the table, William groaned and sent an exasperated look towards his brother.
Sirius sighed. “Alright, Al. Pick up the plate and get some more food.”
Sirius always made extra food. He had to. We never knew when Remus would drop by (although it was most nights.) Almost everyone had second helpings, and Al and Sirius often had thirds. Not to mention, it was almost daily that a plate of food would go flying in excitement for one reason or another.
“Don’t worry about it, Al. I’ll get it.” Remus got up and got himself a plate of food, as well as one for Al. William sat, picking grumpily at the chicken.
“Mum, why aren’t you and Dad married?”
Of fucking course. Brilliant timing, Lupin.
“Because Mummy is completely mad,” I explained.
“Now’s not the time, Lupin. Who wants dessert?”
Everyone jumped up excitedly and began to scarf down anything they hadn’t finished. Everyone . . . except William. “May I be excused?”
William was different from the whole family. He lacked the enthusiasm that coursed through our veins. Something that should have been in him both by nature and nurture.
He pulled away from any family activities, cringed at the childishness that we all valued so much, and seemed to enjoy being alone than with people.
It worried Sirius and I (and Remus, as well, who we’d asked to help if he could.) But, at the moment, none of us could come with a viable fix to the problem. “Of course,” Sirius said.
Will took his plate, emptied the scraps into the rubbish bin and placed his plate in the Muggle dishwasher we had.
Another thing: he didn’t find any excuse to get out of cleaning or doing work. It was something Sirius and I also found unsettling.
I sighed and handed everyone their plates of cake. I ate mine, wondering if whatever was bothering Will’s mind was really a problem, or if was just a grumpy personality.
“Staying tonight, Remus?”
Remus didn’t have an apartment - no one would rent to a werewolf.
Remus didn’t have a job - no one would hire a werewolf, even one who got five ‘Outstanding’ N.E.W.T.s.
It was weird to think that my irresponsible, almost-didn’t-pass-Hogwarts self had a job before Remus did.
“Fantasti! We can play Monopoly!”
I loved playing Monopoly. I was such a good Monopolist.
So, as we all finished dessert and tossed the plastic plates haphazardly into the sink, we called Will down to see if he wanted to play. He predictably declined.
“Anna do you want to be the banker?” Remus asked.
Why does he always ask that? Huh!?
Because he knows it annoys you. A-duh!
“No, thanks.” I hated being the banker. Maths made me cry.
So, we started playing. My Monopoly skills were very off that night - I was being whooped by my seven-year-old daughter.
“You know,” Sirius said thoughtfully, all of a sudden. “You could be a shrink, Moony. I mean, St. Mungo’s is pretty good at not discriminating, and if Anastasia can work there and not kill people, I’m sure they’d trust you to.” Then, he turned to me. “Yeah, Moony’s a really good shrink.”
He turned back to Remus. “And if Mungo’s won’t take you - the stupid bastards - then you can be a Muggle shrink ”
Remus was thoughtful for a few moments. “Actually, you may have something there, my slightly dumb friend.”
Sirius smiled pridefully. “Thank you.”
The game went on for another hour (with a grand total of two-and-a-half hours) by which time Lupin had won. And she wouldn’t shut up about it, either.
“Alright, alright. Who wants to watch Star Wars?” It was unanimous. I sent Sirius up to Will’s room to ask him. I would’ve done it, but I always seemed to say the wrong thing.
Sirius came back down a few moments later just as I was polling the audience as to which one we should watch. “He was already asleep,” he said.
I sighed, and pushed Return of the Jedi into the new VCR we had bought.
Maybe when Remus is a shrink we’ll just sic him on Will . . . Yeah, that’s a good idea.
And with that slightly comforting thought, I fell back into the couch, my arms around my two best men, and two out of three kids crawling around on our laps.
I think things were going pretty well.
A/N: And, chapter 2! Next chapter will be from Aldan's POV, and as I write it, I think it'll be a pretty entertaining one for you guys. Don't expect an update for a few weeks . . . On Saturday I shall depart for vacation (hooray!) and be gone for a week.
A/N2: Fun Facccccts! :D
Darren: Married Connie and has a baby girl named Katherine who is three months younger than Lupin.
Anna: Decided to become a Healer after visiting Jason at work and thinking it looked like fun. They now work together in the spell damage ward.
Sirius: Got promoted above the Aurors who tried to arrest him eight or-so years earlier. As he walked into his new office, he mooned them.
Aldan: Once worked together with Lupin to hang Will to the back of his bedroom door. Sirius and Anna laughed and took pictures. (And then helped him down.)
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