Chapter 18 : Chapter 18: Here Without You
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but your still on my lonely mind
...and I dream about you all the time
---but your still with me in my dreams
If you’ve ever been so excited for something to happen, that you couldn’t sleep all night and the morning came so very slowly, then you can imagine my pain right now. Swap the excitement with fear, and swap the couldn’t with shouldn’t and you’ve got me down to a point.
It’s been three days and three nights. And Sirius is still led in the hospital bed. His body moves slightly with his breathing, but his eyelids remain barred shut, his lips closed and his sparkle history.
And I’ve been led on this hospital bed, curled up in the crook of his body, for three days and three nights, my tears flowing, my voice faltering and my life transparent.
It was meant to be me in that bed. Why couldn’t it be me?
This was my fault. My head kept telling me this was my fault. I left the castle. I walked into the forest. I made that, that thing turn and pounce. I should have known Sirius would do that. Somehow I knew he would have done that. He would have done anything to keep me safe. He was brave and valiant, and now he was here, in this bed, battling death with every hollow note of breath that he inhaled.
Seeing his writhing body and glassy eyes had pushed me over the edge. He couldn’t die on me, could he? He was the one who kept me safe. He looked after me when things went wrong. How could I compete? How would I look after his frail body? How would I convince Death that Sirius belonged here with me?
We still have so many things to do! So many dreams to change into reality. So many more things I needed to say to him. So much more we had left to do with each other. How could I have known that I would only have three precious months to do all that in?
I moved my head, so my forehead touched his pale cheek, my nose resting against his chin. He was on his back, still staring towards the sky, still with eyes unblinking, still with eyes shut closed. Just open your eyes, I kept willing him. Open your eyes, and see me, and know I’m here, waiting for you to wake up and laugh or tell me this is all a joke or a bad dream.
How I wanted this to be a bad dream. I fell asleep countless amounts of times on this bed, waking up and looking around, hoping the horror of that night would leave. But the Hospital Wing was still around me, Sirius was still unconscious, and life was still on pause.
“Sirius,” I whispered in his ear. “You can hear me, I know you can.”
His body was still as cold as ice, as still as marble.
“Please, please wake up.” I pleaded, pecking his cheek daintily, hoping to pass some kind of life into him. Like the princess and the frog, Snow White and her Prince or Sleeping Beauty and her prince. Except, this time, it was my turn to be the brave one. The heroine. It was my turn to save the one I loved and give back what I’d taken.
“Maisy?” Madam Pomfrey had shuffled over, she touched my shoulder lightly. “Can you get up a minute sweetie? I need to check his vitals.”
I sat in the chair and pulled my knees up to my chin. The nurse shook her head and checked the thermometer three times. She sped off to her office and brought back a large bottle of potion.
“What’s that?” I asked. What was she doing?
“Nothing deary, just something to make him feel warmer.”
I rest my head on my knees and succumbed to the desire to snooze while she checked him. What if he woke up? He’d see me, I’d be right there.
I woke up to hushed voices from near me.
“He needs to go to St. Mungo’s, they can help him more there!” Madam Pomfrey was saying.
“He can’t, they would ask questions about his injuries.” Odd, it was a male voice that answered.
“Professor Dumbledore! He could die!”
“Poppy, I know you can help him.”
“What are you talking about?!” I cried, my voice thick with the swelling of my throat and the tears that were now falling.
“Sirius, he’s not doing too well…” Madam Pomfrey said, bowing her head. She was a new nurse, new to the school, and she made things seem worse than they truly were. I hoped.
“You can’t take him away. Please. YOU CAN’T TAKE HIM AWAY FROM ME!”
“Maisy, it’s okay. He’s staying here.” Dumbledore smiled, tipping his hat to both of us. “Good evening.” He said. Was he odd, or was it just me?
“Now, we need to get some food in you!” Madam Pomfrey said, ushering me away from the bed.
“NO!” I shouted at her. “What if he wakes up when I’m not here? How would you feel if you woke up and no one was here!”
“He can’t eat! So why would I want to eat?!” I exclaimed, not noticing her worried face.
“He’d want you to eat!” came a voice from the doorway. It was Lily. She came over and wrapped her arm around me and hugged me tight, smoothing my hair at the back.
“You know he’d want you to eat. And now you should feel guilty, for upsetting a pregnant woman!” she laughed, handing me a tissue to wipe my face with.
“Lily, he hasn’t woken up…” I said, oblivious to her words of comfort.
“I know, sweet, I know.”
“Help him wake up. Wake him up for me. Please? Please make him wake up,” I said, my lip trembling and my legs collapsing from underneath me. I crumpled onto the floor, leaning against the foot of the bed, tears silently falling and my breath hitching.
“Maisy, I shouldn’t really bend down, but what the hell…” she said, moving onto the floor next to me and putting her arm around my shoulder. “Maisy, he’s going to wake up. He’s Sirius! He wont miss out on the adventure of limbo, would he? Then he’ll be back, in his own pompous time, you know what he’s like. And when he’s awake he’ll see you and smile or laugh and pretend he’s fit as a fiddle.”
“So you should stop feeling so guilty, agreed?” she said, giving my shoulders a squeeze.
“But, it’s all my fault.”
“We just agreed on no feeling guilty!” she said, offended at my words. I smiled.
“Okay, no more feeling guilty.”
“Promise?” she asked.
“Promise.” I crossed my fingers from behind me.
“Good! Now help me up and get me over to that bed!” she laughed, standing up unsteadily. Her bump was only visible through her robes if you looked close enough when she walked or turned quickly.
“Right then,” Madam Pomfrey bustled over with her wand. “First scan time, I’m
guessing?” she said, smiling at Lily. Lily looked almost ecstatic.
“Yeah, we couldn’t make the other appointments at St Mungo’s. I’m so excited! But James has to be here.” She said, looking up at the clock. “Give him a few minutes, he’ll be here. He wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
I moved back toward Sirius and fell into the chair beside him, watching his chest rise and fall gradually, counting the times he inhaled, and exhaled.
“SORRY I’M LATE!” James shouted, bursting into the Hospital Wing, door slamming behind him. Lily beamed.
“It’s fine, quick quick!” she said as he ran over to her. He took her hand in his and looked at Madam Pomfrey. I felt bad, watching this moment, like an intrusion of their space, their family.
“This is going to feel really odd at first,” said the nurse, waving her wand intricately over Lily’s small stomach, which looked like it was just very very bloated.
An image was appearing next to the nurse, dissolving into view, suspended in thin air. Lily’s breath caught in her throat as the image became clearer. Sure enough, there was the baby, curled up in Lily’s womb, blissfully unaware of the environment around it.
James grinned proudly, squeezing Lily’s hand tight. She beamed back at him and he kissed her lips quickly, returning back to the picture.
“You know it’s sex?” she asked them.
They nodded, “It’s a boy.”
“He certainly is, and looking lovely and healthy. He’s about the size of a pear right now,” she said, smiling at the proud parents. “Soon you should be able to feel him moving around inside of you. It’s starts off like a butterfly sensation, but when you get to your twentieth week, he should definitely be kicking like a trooper.”
Lily’s eyes were wet with emotion, and James was nodding in approval. “Hear that, Lils, our baby boy’s a trooper!”
“I heard, I heard,” she said, equally excited at the prospect.
“You’re going to need to eat more healthily from now on, okay? Always have your five a day, even more if you can handle it.” Madam Pomfrey added, moving away from the bed and disappearing into her office.
I smiled at the pair who were still elated, Lily’s shirt still raised from the scan. Her hand was resting on her uterus protectively and James still holding her other hand. They looked so complete.
I got up and led on the bed next to Sirius. “Did you hear that?” I said to him, letting my arm lie across his body. “Lily and James are having a boy. I know, amazing huh?”
He didn’t reply. I ignore the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and kept talking. “And he’s a trooper. The size of a pear! He’ll be kicking soon. That’s exciting, huh?”
He was still motionless and ignorant. I felt a pang in my heart. He had to survive this. He was my always! We were meant to grow up and have the magical experience that Lily and James were having. We were meant to grow old with our grandchildren surrounding us, rocking in wooden chairs next to a fire place, reminiscing about falling in love, buying our first home, having our children…
“I’ll catch up with you later,” I heard James say as Lily left the wing, the door softly shutting behind her. I felt a hand on my back and looked up at Sirius. He was still unconscious, his hands still lifeless next to him. I turned and saw James smiling at me sadly. He took my hand and lifted me from the bed.
“He’s gunna wake up, Maisy.” He said, still gripping my hand. “I need him to wake up too. He’s like my brother.”
“I know, I’m sorry, I seem so selfish.”
“No, no you’re not. You shouldn’t think that. Loving someone is never selfish. He’d be delighted with the attention if he was awake.”
“I’ve got so many things I want to tell him and do with him yet. And he’s not here, he’s left me. I can’t live on my own again, he has to wake up!” I said, shuddering
at the thought.
“He wouldn’t leave you here. He jumped in front of a werewolf for you!”
I’d forgotten that bit.
“Yeah, a werewolf. And a stag. How did you know he jumped in front of a werewolf, James? You weren’t there?” But it was all clear now.
“I haven’t told Lily. I don’t want her to worry and upset the baby okay? But we’re unregistered Animagi. Remus is a werewolf.” KNEW IT.
“Remus was going to attack me?” I thought we were friends.
“No, that wasn’t Remus. Well, it was, but when he transforms he loses all human thought and instinct, and succumbs to werewolf habits.”
“Right. And You and Sirius do what? Run with werewolves?”
“Kind of. We keep him away from the open school grounds. Stop him from killing unicorns and endangered species in the forest.”
“That’s an amazing thing, to do that for your friend… For the school.”
“That should be melying there,” I said, looking over at Sirius.
“But it’s not. Could you imagine Sirius if you were the one there? He would be in pieces. He’d be beyond himself. I don’t know what he’d do if you weren’t waking up. But I know you’re stronger than you know, and we can all sit through this, and he’s going to wake up. You’ll see.” James said, smiling and rubbing my hand comfortingly.
“Congratulations, by the way, on your little boy,” I said, looking up at him, eyes wet with new tears.
“Thank you, it’s exciting isn’t it?” he said, ignoring my tears.
“It is, I’m so happy for you both.”
“Good. Now Sirius really does need to wake up, because I need to make sure he’s down with being Godfather,” he said smiling broadly.
“Of course, no other man perfect for the job!”
“He’d be delighted.”
“He would be delighted? No, Maisy. He will be delighted.”
“And he’s going to need a partner in crime…”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“So you’re gunna have to by Godmother.” He said, smiling at me brightly. I must have looked shocked as I stood up to hug him because he then said, “Don’t look too disturbed, I promise he’ll be a good boy!”
“I would love to be his Godmother. Truly love to!” I said, still hugging him. What a surprise.
“Lily refused to let Sirius be godfather if you weren’t godmother,” James sighed. “That girl has truly got me wrapped around her finger!”
“Then go back to your girl, and get your hands off of mine.” A voice croaked from behind us. I dropped my arms from around James and turned to stare at Sirius. His eyes were blinking, adjusting to the light. He winced in pain as he shuffled into a better position, his hand flying to his chest to hold his wounds as he sat up. I was in pure shock.
“Are you gunna stand there forever, or are you gunna get yourself over here and kiss me?” he said, laughing quietly, choking on his words.
I jumped onto the bed and flung my arms around him, ignoring his pitiful cries of pain and words of warning. I kissed him everywhere, all over his face; his cheeks, his chin, his forehead, his nose, his eyelids and his lips. I was gripping him so tight, and tears were streaming down my face, falling on his and mixing in our tangled kisses.
“I’ve missed you,” I said, sitting on his legs and gripping his hands tightly.
“I didn’t have time to miss you,” he croaked and coughed loudly.
“Why? What?” I said, pained by his response.
“I went to heaven, Maisy. And in my heaven, all there is is you.” He said, smiling at me. I kissed him again and again and again, delighted he was awake and here and with me.
“Get a room!” said James. I’d forgotten he was even here.
“Oh, shut up Prongs!” Sirius laughed, hitting him weakly from the bed.
“Alright, alright, I’ll be back later,” he said, turning to leave and laughing heartily.
“Oi! Prongs!” James span round to face Sirius. “Tell your kid I’m gunna be the best damn godfather there ever was.”
I laughed and touched his face. He was alive, his face was warmer, and it felt like fire under my clammy skin.
“Don’t sit there looking at me like that,” he said, grabbing my hands from his face and placing them on his chest. “What are all these things you still have to say to me? I’m intrigued.”
“You could hear me?”
“Of course, I wanted to wake up, I truly did, wanted to tell you to stop worrying,
stop feeling guilty, everything. But I couldn’t. So you got out of it. But now you have to tell me,” he said, looking up and seeing Madam Pomfrey. He shooed her away with a flap of his hand and turned back to smile at me.
“You shouldn’t be rude to her!”
“She wanted to move me to St Mungo’s, the cow! I didn’t want to move either. Didn’t want to lose the feeling of you beside me every moment of the day.”
“Still as charming as ever, aren’t you?”
“Probably even more charming, I hasten to add!”
“You’re right, you are even more charming than the last time I saw you.”
“What, when I jumped in front of a werewolf for you? You thought that was charming?” He laughed.
“I’ve never been so flattered,” I giggled.
“Well, stop being so lovely yourself – because I’m so pissed with you! We need to talk about safety during the night time, Maisy Heart!”
“I’m so…” He put his fingers to my lips.
“I told you, I don’t want to hear it anymore. No more apologies.” He said, taking
his fingers away and holding my hands above his heart again. “Now, tell me what you want to tell me, just in case I relapse or starting foaming at the mouth…”
“Don’t say that!” I shouted at him, hitting his arm.
“Okay okay, sorry. Now stop trying to get out of this, tell me! I’m so excited to hear it! Like a little kid in a sweet shop. Wait. These will be nice things I wanna hear, am I right?”
“Yes” I smiled at him.
“Possibly including your undying love for me?” he guffawed, batting his eyelids at me. I continued to beam.
“Of course. This has made me think, for nearly four days I’ve been thinking and thinking about this, us. And, I love you, Sirius Black. So much. And this is me professing my undying love for you, for now and for always.”
“Forever?” he asked, kissing my fingers delicately, making my whole body tingle in recognition of him.
“Say you, say me, say it for always,” I said, smiling down at him.
“Say it together, naturally?” he teased, bring his arm round to rest on my hip, the other holding my hand, linking his fingers through mine and softly rubbing circles in the bridge of my thumb.
“That’s the way it should be.”
“I knew you’d be the death of me.” He said, pulling me down to kiss him and mould into him, his shape, his body.
“Don’t ever scare me like that again,” I said, gripping his shoulder.
“Don’t ever go looking for werewolves again.” He laughed. He made serious things seem so light and unapparent.
“Deal.” I said, nuzzling into his soft neck, finally feeling at home again.
Lily was right, like a jigsaw, we fit – perfectly.
A/N1: There you go chickens, that's the end on Part One. But never fear, there is much more to come! I hope you enjoyed the cliche and romantic bits - I like writing corny stuff!
A/N2: Fantastic beta-ed by listentothesilence on the forums and image by weasleys_rule.
A/N3: Leave me a review, c'mon, I've finished a whole part of this story for you guys! (",)
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