Beautiful chapter image by strokes @
You'll always be eighteen.
Away with my heart.
~ Away With My Heart by Lady Antembellum
Anni twisted her necklace between two of her fingers. It was a necklace made of pure silver, molded to form her name, Anni. It was half of a whole, the other half belonging to the love of her life, and his had his name molded into it as well.
It was his birthday today.
Anni sat on her porch in the dead of night, the cool winter breeze of Pennsylvania sending chills through her body as she gazed up at a constellation that meant the world to her. Tears pricked her shockingly blue tender eyes, wishing she could see him.
Just one last time.
It had been years since she had seen him. Twelve, to be exact. Their best friends were murdered that night, the Aurors blamed her love. They said he gave away his best friend’s hideout in Godric’s Hollow to the Dark Lord.
That he betrayed them. His best friends. The people he loved with all his heart, the people he was fiercely loyal to.
Anni knew it wasn’t him. She knew damn well who it really was, but had no proof. He who betrayed her friends was dead.
Another thing they blamed her love for.
And her love was thrown in Azkaban.
Only to escape twelve years later.
The night he was thrown in Azkaban, he made Anni promise something. He made her promise to run. To hide. To keep their beautiful, grey eyed daughter safe in the States, where the Dark Lord had no business being. Where she could raise their daughter and be safe, living a long life.
And here she was, standing on her back porch in Pennsylvania, studying the stars intently, focusing on her love’s namesake.
Only one of her friends from her years at Hogwarts was still alive. She often wrote him. He kept in touch and made the effort to visit yearly. She loved him like a brother, and Anni couldn’t imagine how she could possibly live without him. He had informed her of his position as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, where he’d teach Anni’s godson.
She cried of joy and envy when she heard the news.
“Mom?” the voice of her daughter shook her from her deep thoughts. “It’s getting late, you’d best come inside. It’s freezing out here.”
Her daughter let the door shut and stepped out on the porch.
Anni took a deep breath, not turning around. Her daughter stepped up beside her, holding her tear-welled mother close.
“It’s dad’s birthday today, isn’t it?” Her daughter asked, remembering all the past years that her mother was like this. Anni was bombarded with memories on her love’s birthday, remembering all the happy memories. The sad memories. The memories that made her laugh at how stupid and naïve she was.
Anni looked over to study her daughter, Meissa Lily Black. Anni called her by that name, her birth name, but she had it changed to Meissa Lily Williams in fear of being tracked through the name Black. She was named after the one and only Lily Potter, of course, Meissa’s godmother and Anni’s best friend, once upon a time. Anni smiled at Meissa.
“Yes, love,” Anni whispers, her English accent still strong. “I won’t be going to sleep tonight. I know your father will be looking at these stars, Meissa. It’s his only connection to you and I. He promised he would look up every night at least once, and on his birthday would watch the whole night. I can’t leave him to look alone, Meissa,” Anni whimpers, breaking into heartfelt tears.
Anni couldn’t bare the thought of leaving Sirius to look at these stars, thinking she was too, only Anni wasn’t. She couldn’t do that to him. He deserved so much more.
Meissa held her mother close as she cried. Both of them shook madly in the other’s arms, knowing what they could have had if things were different. They could have been a happy family, living together in England. Meissa could be attending Hogwarts like she’s always dreamed. She would know Harry, James, Lily, Mary, Marlene, Dorcas and everyone else in a safe setting where they would all live.
Meissa didn’t remember her father, but she stilled loved the man with all her heart. The stories she heard about him and his friends, the stories her mother would tell her every day, made her wish more and more that she knew the man.
Anni kept a diary of all her years at Hogwarts. Every day she would write an entry, explaining what happened each and every day. Anni wrote everything that happened down in that book. On Meissa’s eleventh birthday, she gifted her with her diaries and an acceptance letter to Salem Witch Academy, a Wizarding school in America. Meissa read each entry day by day according to the dates. If it was September 4 of her first year, then she read her mother’s entry she wrote on September 4, 1969, her first year.
Meissa enjoyed reading the entries that involved all the mischief that involved her father and Anni. She loved reading about her godfather and their friends. It made her feel as if they were still there, right next to her, laughing and telling their version of the stories to her.
But they weren’t.
Meissa lifts her face from her mother’s shoulder and rests her chin on her collarbone, eyes fixing on the edge of the forest.
And that’s when she saw it.
A black figure moved against the trees. It was the silhouette of a dog, but was much larger than any dog she had ever seen. It looked up and met her eyes.
The eyes on the dog were familiar.
The same exact ones Meissa wore herself.
“Mom,” she whispers, barely audible. Anni pulled away and held her thirteen year old, teary eyed daughter at arm’s length by the shoulders.
“What’s the matter, love?”
Meissa focused her eyes on her mother.
She knew, in that moment, that it was her father she saw in the woods.
“There’s a dog in the forest,” she whispers. Anni’s eyes widened.
Meissa watched as her mother ever so slowly turned to face the woods, where the dog stood on the very outskirts. She felt her mother stiffen in front of her, and Meissa knew.
She was right.
“Go back in the house, Meissa,” her mother whispers to her.
Meissa wasn’t having it.
“What? No! It’s been just as long for me as it has for you,” Meissa responds frantically, grey eyes flashing. Meissa wanted to see her father. She knew it was selfish, but she wanted to see him.
Anni catches the dog’s eyes, ones far too familiar to mistaken for someone else’s. She turns to Meissa and cups her daughter’s face in her hands.
“You’re such a Gryffindor, Meissa. You’re so incredibly, unmistakably your father’s daughter,” she says a bit too loudly. Meissa knew why. “So brave. So stubborn. And you can most definitely be a bit too egotistical, just as he was. Is,” Anni chuckles lightly. “You have his stormy grey eyes and cocky half-smile. But you need to learn, just as he had to, that I need my space, love. There are certain situations that simply don’t involve you in a direct way. Go inside.”
Anni watches as Meissa casts a longing glance towards the forest before reluctantly turning back into the house. She then turns to face where the dog stood, chills running through her body as her adrenaline rose quickly, causing her heart to race and her body to shake. She cautiously begins to take steps toward the dog, but with every step she took forward, it took one backward.
Hanging from the dog’s muzzle, a silver chain dangled, glinting in the moonlight. It set it down on the compact dirt.
And then in retreated into the forest, gone.
Panicked, Anni raced to the edge of the forest, dropping to her knees where the dog had disappeared.
In the dirt, a fresh paw print was visible, a necklace settled in it.
The other half of her necklace.
“Sirius,” she croaked, tears running feely down her pale cheeks. She was in shock.
Anni knew Sirius had escaped from Azkaban. Remus had told her. But she didn’t know he would actually turn around, just to see her again.
A note lied beneath the silver chain. Anni picked it up and unraveled it, revealing far too familiar handwriting.
I love you. Both of you.
And that’s all there was.
“And I you,” she whispered, gazing up at the star, Sirius, bright against the black night sky.
Little did she know that Sirius stood off behind her, tears slipping down his cheeks, as he watched her sit there in the dirt, crying, cradling the necklace to her chest as she sobbed in the night, looking up at the stars.
He wanted to run up to her, to hold her in his arms the way he had dreamt for twelve years. He wanted to race to the house and hold Meissa, to study her face and find the resemblances. He wanted, more than anything, to have a family. To protect them.
And that’s why he couldn’t.
He had to stay away from them in order to protect them. He knew it was far too risky to even speak to them, in fright he wouldn’t be able to leave. Flashes of the last night he spent with Anni popped in his mind. How she was walking with Meissa grasping her fingers, toddling between Anni’s legs in attempt to walk. It was a perfect memory.
Before the Aurors came.
He instantly knew something was off. When they demanded he showed in court the following day, he was scared shitless. As soon as the Aurors left, he disapperated to the Potters’ house.
To find Aurors and Dumbledore there.
Dumbledore cradled Harry in his arms. Sirius ran up to him, demanding answers. Dumbledore explained how they suspected Sirius gave up Lily and James’ hideout, how they were giving Harry to Lily’s sister, Petunia, and how they were throwing Sirius in Azkaban.
With a kiss on Harry’s forehead and tears welled up in his eyes, he disapperated back to his home and told Anni to leave. He told her she had to leave the country, had to go to America. He explained everything to her, and she screamed. She begged, pleaded for him not to leave. She refused to go anywhere.
In the end, however, Sirius won. He had her leave.
He told Remus to keep an eye on her.
And then he was in Azkaban.
His last words to Anni were ‘I love you’.
His last words to Remus were ‘We’re going to kill him. Together’.
They both knew who gave James up to the Dark Lord. Their friend. Peter.
They trusted him.
And he betrayed them. His friends.
And now, as he sits in the forest outside of Anni’s home, he cries. He cries for Remus, who was left to face the world alone. He cries for James and Lily, who were betrayed by someone they trusted, and were murdered, their son left alone in the world. He cried for Meissa, who was forced to live without a father. He cried when he heard Anni say all those wonderful things about their daughter on the porch moments ago, before she sent her inside.
But most of all, he cried for Anni, who not only lost all but one of her friends, but was forced to watch Sirius be thrown in Azkaban, and was forced to raise Meissa alone.
He still loved her, with all his heart.
But he needed to leave. He had to get to England, where Harry was.
He needed to end this.
Starting with finding Harry.
With a final tear sliding down his cheek, he heard Anni say the words he needed to hear to move on.
“And I you, Sirius,” she cried up to the stars.
Her eyes fixed on him, and he knew she knew he was there.
“And I you.”
A/N: HERE YOU GO, GUYS! REVIEW, PLEASE! I REALLY THOUGHT THIS WAS A MAGNIFICENT IDEA! REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!
DISCLAIMER: ANYTHING YOU RECOGNIZE BELONGS TO J.K. ROWLING!