Chapter 9 : 9. A Girl Worth Fighting For
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Characters; Anna, Sirius
Image by: Ladywolf at TDA
Chapter 9: A Girl Worth Fighting For
Anna didn't expect Alex to pick her up that evening, so it was no surprise to her when he didn't show up. Sirius would meet up with James, Remus and Peter somewhere, and then go together to the Leaky Cauldron - Lily had told this to Anna - so Anna decided to call her back-up team, too.
She knew why Sirius wanted to meet up with his friends; he wanted to tell them about the kiss, and so would Anna.
No matter what kind of hell she would face.
"Hi!" Cat called out loudly, and Anna stood up from the table. "You look stunning!" Cat went on, hugging Anna tightly.
"Hey," Anna whispered, and looked at Lily who tried to keep up with Cat. "Hey, Lils," Anna said and embraced her other friend.
"I barely had time to change!" Cat complained, as they sat down at the table.
"It's true," Lily put in, shaking her head. "We ended up shopping on the snobby side of London for some reason - and you know I don't like that area one bit! - so there we were, stuck between two equally knock-out dresses for Cat to pick--"
"Hey now, they were both very pretty, admit it!"
Anna looked over Cat's semi-casual outfit (a yellow t-shirt under her leather jacket and mini-skirt with black boots), raising her brows. "What, no circus costume this time?"
"Oh, very funny, Anna!" Cat muttered, as Lily giggled.
"Trust me, she did almost pick one."
"Oh, the horror!" Anna said sarcastically.
"Anyway!" Cat pressed on. "By the time I'd made my choice, we realized we were going to be late if we went by our homes to change, so we had to change at the store, and put on the make-up in the changing rooms. Let me just say, that sharing a changing room with Lily Potter is not the easiest thing! She started huffing and puffing like she had just ran a marathon, and trust me, the other women there thought we were having sex!"
"They did not!" Lily argued, her cheeks red.
"I kissed Sirius," Anna blurted out, and Cat and Lily looked around at her with wide eyes. "Okay, you can go on, now..." Anna said, sipping her water quietly.
"Did you just say--" Lily started, astonished.
"Yeah, I think she just did," Cat put in, her lips suddenly pursed. "You are in so much trouble, young lady!"
"It's not like I planned it!" Anna exclaimed, burying her face into her hands. "Seriously, I had no idea I would ever fall for--"
"Him again?" Lily cut off. "But to be honest... I don't think you ever stopped falling for him," she said kindly, giving Anna a look of pity, before sighing. "Honestly, Anna - what the hell did you expect when you agreed on this idiot's stupid idea?" she demanded, nodding her head at Cat, who looked bemused.
"Hey, I'm right here!" she complained.
"I don't exactly know, but... but not this, that's for sure," Anna muttered, and ran her hand through her hair. "I feel so bad. I love Alex - I really do, but I can't help but... think about the... kiss, over and over again. It was..."
"Wonderful? Brought back the good ol' times, huh?" Cat asked quietly, and smiled faintly. Anna looked up at her and nodded, her eyes wide. "Yeah, I know about that feeling..." Cat sighed.
"I'll get back to you, McKinnon, but now I'm going to deal with this missy first!" Lily warned, her face twisted in sudden worry. "Anna, I think you should move back with James and me."
"No, no, no, no," Anna assured her, shaking her head. "I'll be fine, I just need you guys to tell me I'll be fine, and that it will never happen again, okay?"
"You'll be fine, and it will never happen again, Anna," Lily murmured, taking Anna's hand in her own. "I believe in you - you'll do the right thing, trust me."
"I think it'll happen again," Cat blurted. Lily glared at her, and narrowed her eyes. "Don't give me that look, Potter."
"So Cat," Lily said, tilting her head to the side. "Kissed any Marauders lately?" she demanded promptly.
Anna looked at Cat with wide eyes, and it was her turn to gape. "Oh, no - you didn't...?"
"I did," Cat said, folding her arms with a firm look on her face. "It was just... a one night thing, really."
"I knew it," Lily said smugly.
"And you're starting to look like James more and more everyday with that smile on your face," Cat shot back, and Lily's smug look vanished. "It was a few days ago, when Remus was over at our place," Cat started, glancing at Anna. "After Sirius went off to bed, we kind of... didn't, and we had loads of drinks left, and... it just happened," she finished, shrugging once. "No biggie."
"YOU DID IT ON THE SOFA!?" Anna exclaimed loudly, making all the people around them to glare at her. "You did it on the sofa!?" she hissed.
"God, no!" Cat said and rolled her eyes. "One, it's uncomfortable, and two, I have some class."
"Oh, do you?" Lily snorted. "Didn't you two have sex in the broom closet once?"
"That was one time - one time!" Cat growled. "When will you forget about that one, Lils?"
"The minute I get the images out of my head," Lily muttered, shaking her head.
"Cat--" Anna started, but fell silent as Cat held up her hand to silence her.
"I'm fine," she said, and Anna bit her lip. "I'm not in love with him anymore, so it's all good. See, I'm not as fucked up as you, Anna... trapped between two guys and all," she added, chuckling to herself.
"Thanks, Cat," Anna said stiffly, and rolled her eyes. "Except that I'm not, I'm not trapped between two guys, I'm--"
"Hey, honey!" Lily exclaimed suddenly, grinning widely somewhere behind Anna.
Anna looked around with wide eyes, only to see the Marauders stand there, looking as dashing as ever. "Hello, beautiful," James murmured, and leaned down to kiss Lily quickly. "Hey, girls," he greeted, giving both Anna and Cat a hug.
Everyone greeted everyone, and Anna felt several pairs of arms embrace her, each of them equally different. James' embrace had been warm and strong, whereas Remus hugged her carefully, patting her back as he did so. After Remus followed Peter, who gave Anna an awkward hug. He introduced Anna to his date - Anna stiffled a giggle, as she noticed who his date was; Anya Volchok.
"Anya!" Anna exclaimed, and grinned. "What--?"
"Oh, Peter asked me to come with," Anya said, blushing faintly.
"Oh," Anna said, her eyes flashing between the two of them. A smile appeared on her face, as she realized how smitten Anya was - you could see it in her eyes. "Wonderful - really... great!"
Anya giggled, and moved around the table with Peter, hand in hand. Anna looked after them, laughing silently to herself.
It was hard to believe that she had once been convinced that Anya was after Sirius - oh, goodness.
"Hey," came Alex's voice from behind her.
"Oh," Anna said, and turned around. "Hi," she muttered, embarrassed by the awkward way they greeted each other.
"Hey, I'm really sorry about earlier," he said, trying to smile.
"I know," she said, smiling quickly. "Don't worry about it - we were all a bit tense."
"Really?" he said, and sat down with her, his hand on her shoulder. She felt almost guilty of the warmth that radiated from his hand to her body. Just hours ago, she had kissed Sirius, and for the shortest time, she didn't even want it to end.
"Yeah, dad's wedding, and all... it's so weird."
"I understand," he said and nodded.
Of course Alex understood. He didn't ask any questions about it, he just... understood. Sometimes, it annoyed Anna a bit. If the person she loved said something like that, she would ask questions about it, and try to make him feel better, or just bother him until he would spill the beans. She wouldn't just 'understand', if she didn't even know what she should understand, and Alex most certainly didn't.
"Is something wrong?" she heard Alex's voice ask.
"No, why?" Anna asked at once.
"You look... nevermind."
Anna frowned, and let Alex press his lips gently to hers, before sitting down at the table. Anna sat down, her mind running one mile per hour, as she tried to figure out why Alex would think something was wrong. Had her expression mirrored the hurricane of emotions inside of her? She had no idea.
The table was filled with murmurs, as everyone talked with each other, but Anna felt so disconnected from it all. She tried to keep up with James and Lily's argument over weekend plans - Lily complained over the amount of work James had taken, and James naturally kept apologizing, and agreeing what a git he was. It made Anna smile; they were already bickering like an old married couple, with James being the less dominant counterpart.
Her attention swiftly moved over to where Cat asked straightforward questions about Anya's lovelife - making the poor girl blush, of course - while Remus kept Peter busy enough so that he couldn't be able to save Anya from Cat's claws.
Just as Anna was about to excuse herself, someone stormed past her, and she looked up. Sirius Black had arrived, and his hand was clasped with the very same girl Anna and Cat had seen on the day they had moved under Sirius' roof - the beautiful brunette. Against her own will, Anna felt her heart throb painfully, as she stared at the couple, her eyes blazing. Who was she? Why was she holding hands with Sirius? Surely he must've realized how rude it was to bring a date to a friendly gathering among old friends?
But then why didn't she feel like this when Anya had arrived with Peter? Was it because this was Sirius, not Peter? Because this was the man she had once loved?
"Hey, everybody!" Sirius greeted, and grinned wildly.
The entire table had gone silent, and Anna exchanged quick glances with Lily and Cat, both of them looking as shocked as Anna.
"Hey," Lily finally managed to get out, her eyes flying from the beautiful girl to Sirius. "How nice of you to show up, Sirius."
"Yeah, sorry I'm late," he chuckled, and pulled out a chair for the girl, who smiled widely, as she sat down next to Cat. Cat seemed to move out of the way, bumping against Remus, and quickly flinching away. "You don't mind that I brought a friend, do you?" Sirius asked Lily, but his eyes darted quickly to Anna.
"No, no," Lily assured, before anyone could suspect anything. "How... nice of you. Peter brought a date, too!" she said, waving frantically towards Anya, who seemed confused by the entire situation.
"Anya, darling!" Sirius boomed, and walked over to embrace the girl. "How wonderful to see you!"
"You too, Sirius... you too," came Anya's muffled voice against Sirius' shoulder, and everyone laughed.
Everyone except Anna, who was still too shocked to make a sound.
"Excuse me," she said suddenly, and stood up. "I need to go to the... bathroom."
"I'm quite fine, thank you, Alex," she snapped, more rudely than she meant to. "I'm fine, give me just a minute to... to..."
Anna didn't finish her sentence, but rushed towards the ladies' room as fast as she could. As soon as she had rounded the corner, she leaned against the wall, and inhaled several times to calm down. Her eyes were wide, as she stared at the bathroom doors opposite of her.
What was happening? Why did she suddenly get a panic attack when Sirius showed up with that other girl? She was supposed to be happy with Alex, but then why did she feel like this?
Five minutes, ten minutes... fifteen minutes passed, and Anna still didn't feel okay. Before she could even comprehend what was happening, she heard footsteps come closer. She assumed it would be another customer, but to her great shock, it was the devil himself; Sirius Black.
"What are you--"
Sirius was the expert of cutting people off, especially Anna. He had his own way of doing so; by silencing her with his own mouth.
Anna let out a moan, her eyes fluttering shut as she let herself surrender to him. Her hands automatically went around his neck, as if she couldn't control them. His tongue felt so warm and familiar, that Anna almost felt like crying. She had been so used to Alex's careful and safe way of kissing, that Sirius' was almost... dangerous.
Dangerous and wrong. So wrong, that she felt almost criminal for not letting go.
She flinched away, pushing him away from her with all the strength she could muster, her eyes wide as she gasped for air. "Stop it!" she hissed, wiping her mouth furiously. "My boyfriend is out there - and your date, for that matter!"
"Your boyfriend, my... date?" he asked, frowning deeply. He looked so confused, and it only annoyed Anna more.
"That girl out there!" Anna almost screamed, but fought the urge to do so. It would catch too much attention if she let herself explode here.
Sirius crossed his arms over his chest, and gave her a calculating look. A smile slowly spread on his face, and Anna felt frustrated with him. There was nothing even remotely funny to this, how could he smile like that - and make her knees weak under her? This was all so silly.
"What's funny?" she demanded, crossing her own arms.
"Are you jealous, Anna?"
The question seemed to outrageous to Anna, that she snorted ungracefully. She ran a hand through her dark hair, avoiding Sirius' grey eyes. "No!" she said at once, shaking her head. "I'm just happy with Alex, thank you very much, Sirius!"
"Oh, really?" Sirius drawled. "I think you are jealous, though."
"Maybe... I..." Anna stuttered, staring right into his eyes, which she realized had been a mistake.
"Tell me, Anna," Sirius said dryly, never taking his eyes away from her. "Just where do you get to be the jealous one, when you're the one being in a happy relationship, while I watch from the sidelines, never even allowed to tell you how much I hate myself for letting you go like that?"
"Who said I was happy?" Anna whispered, feeling defensive with Sirius' accusations. Of course she was happy - but what gave him the right to evaluate her relationship with Alex?
"It's pretty obvious!" Sirius said loudly, and Anna flinched back. "Has he ever made you cry? No! Has he ever demanded something from you that was against your own will? No!"
"You never made me cry, you never demanded anything against my own will!" Anna cried out, letting the tears build up in her eyes.
"Oh, I made you cry," he said harshly, and winced slightly, as if the memory was too painful. "I just made you cry," Sirius murmured, taking a hesitant step forward, but stopped, as Anna sniffled helplessly, wiping the tears away herself. "And I did steal your heart against your own will. That was the worst thing I could do..."
"I gave it to you," Anna said childishly. "It was my own choice, and whatever happened to it, was all my own fault."
"You don't love him like you loved me... or still love, I don't know," he said, and Anna recognized how his voice slipped into a smooth, persuasive one. "With me you were alive, Anna. He's holding you back - always making all the decisions for you, protecting you from... from what? There's nothing out there you couldn't face - you're stronger than he gives you credit for. You don't need him to protect you from everything, you're capable of doing that yourself. He's suffocating you, smothering you."
"N-no," she said weakly, biting her lip as she avoided his piercing stare. "T-that's not t-true..."
Sirius stared at her, and took another step forward, as Anna felt her entire body tense. She watched as Sirius came forward, his arms carefully wrapping around her like a warm blanket. She let out a reluctant sigh, and nuzzled his neck, inhaling his scent like air.
It felt so good.
"Do you love him?" Sirius murmured into her hair. "If you don't... then..."
"I do love him," she whispered. "But I also... love... you."
"Oh," he said, sounding oddly cheerful. "Then you should know that he's carrying a ring with him tonight."
Anna gasped, and pulled away to look up at his face. "W-what?"
"He's going to propose," Sirius said, and smiled wryly. "And you're going to say no, because you love me. Maybe not as much, but still - you do love me."
All the warm thoughts she had had for Sirius disappeared with those words. A new, unfamiliar fury, built up inside of her, as she glared at him, not believing a word he said. "W-what!?"
"You can't marry him, if you still love me!" Sirius said.
"Don't tell me what I can or cannot do!" Anna snapped, squirming out from his embrace. "How dare you!?"
"You just told me you--"
"I know!" Anna cut off, narrowing her eyes. "But that doesn't give you an excuse to tell me what to do - I can decide for myself!"
"Oh, yeah?" Sirius demanded. "Are you going to say 'yes', then?"
"You'll just have to wait and see," she growled, and stomped back towards their table, Sirius right behind her.
As they sat back at the table, no one seemed to notice the tension between them. Alex took Anna's hand gently, and smiled to her. "Are you okay?"
"Of course," Anna said, forcing a smile on her face. She glanced at Sirius, who looked almost smug. It was true; Alex maybe worried over her more than needed, but she refused to let Sirius' voice in her head and remind her of it. "I'm fine," she said, and leaned suddenly closer, kissing him.
If there was something Alex didn't like that much, then it would be public display of affection. Anna felt him grow tense, and very carefully pull away, his eyes slightly wider than before. He smiled to her, and started a conversation, leaving a very hurt looking Anna stare at him in disbelief.
She held back the tears, as she bit her lip, her eyes staring down at the table. She was fully aware of Sirius' eyes on her, but she couldn't look up at him - she refused to.
A/N: GAAH! I am SO sorry for abandoning you guys! I have no excuse :( I'm going to post two chapters just because of that. I hope there are still readers out there to read this :)
- Lily xxx
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