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Chapter 21 : It's An Endless Summer (We Wish)
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It's an endless summer
I can feel the butterflies, leading me through it
Take my heart, I'll take your hand
-Plain White T's
"James! Peter! Remus! Sirius!" I shouted, after I had stumbled into the kitchen of the house the Potters had rented in Australia. I ran through the house, yelling each of the Marauders names, hoping someone would respond.
Suddenly, I ran into someone.
"Yo!" Sirius said cheerily, and I paused, not sure I had heard him right.
"Yup," he replied. We both stared at each other for a bit, before breaking down into fits of laughter.
"Where the hell did you hear that?" I asked, holding my stomach, which hurt from laughing. It most likely wasn’t as funny as we found it, but what can I say?
"Dunno," he answered. "Probably all that TV we watched last time at your house. It’s corrupted me, it has."
He paused for a bit, then got a funny look on his face. "How did things go with Stephen?"
Something in his voice told me that he knew more than he should. "Damn, Remus," I muttered.
Sirius shook his head. "Don’t get mad at him, I practically threatened him to tell me."
I shrugged. "It went as well as that sort of thing can go. I think it was a rather good thing that this happened; if we had just stayed friends, and then he’d moved, I think it would have been far more devastating to me."
"You, devastated? I doubt that. The only way that would happen is if someone removed the words ‘fun’ or ‘food’ from the dictionary."
I just chuckled and shook my head at him, when I was struck, quite randomly, by a thought. "Oh! Sirius! Guess what I learned to do while you were all off frolicking in the Australian Outback!"
"I learned to fly!" I ran out of the house to the front yard, where there was the most perfect tree to climb. It was nearly seventy feet tall, and had thick branches escalating all the way to the top.
I jumped (slightly ungracefully) and grabbed the bottom-most one. I climbed up another few branches and looked to the ground, wobbling unsteadily, a huge grin on my face. I was probably ten feet up.
Sirius had run out after me. "Don’t jump, you dolt! You can’t fly and you know it!"
"Stop crushing my dreams!" I yelled at him, and I took off. I imagine it must have looked like it does in the cartoons, because I really did stay suspended in air for a little while, running comically in midair. Eventually, however, gravity won out; and down I came.
"You idiot!" Sirius cried, as he rushed out to where I was about to land.
In the nick of time, Sirius appeared below me, and I came crashing down onto him heavily. I landed right in his arms and at first I thought he was going to stay standing. But, he buckled under the force as we went down together.
Of course I found the entire situation hilarious and began to laugh, rolling around in the grass and dirt next to him.
"You’re going to kill yourself one day, you know," Sirius said angrily, but I knew he didn’t mean it because he was never angry with me. Before long, he began to laugh as well.
I shrugged. "Well as long as you come to my funeral . . ."
We lay on the grass for a while, far too lazy and weakened from laughter to get up. The comfy, well-cared-for grass was soft and felt good on my bare feet and in my fingers. The freshly cut smell filled my nostrils and I breathed deeply, enjoying the momentary peace.
"How about we go flying for real, like, on a broom?" Sirius suggested suddenly.
I rolled away from where I was lying against Sirius and pushed myself up to stand. "Well, if you insist."
Jumping up, he put his arm around my shoulder and steered me towards the beach house. It was quite a nice place; with the front of it bordered by a huge lawn of soft, green grass, and the back with a little verandah that led onto the shore, with its hot white sand and the warm ocean lapping in tiny waves. All of our brooms (Remus, Peter, Sirius, James, myself, and James’ parents) were lined up against the wall out the back, and Sirius and I quickly grabbed our respective brooms.
He winked at me quickly before jumping onto his broom and rising up into the air. I hopped on mine and raced up to him, eager not to miss out. "Want to have a game of catch?" he asked, as the Quaffle-shaped ball that sat at the back door suddenly appeared in his hands.
Grinning, I flew backwards quickly before throwing my hands up and shouting back, "I’m open!"
The ball was thrown effortlessly back and forth for quite a while after that, as we dove and swerved through the air. There were several fantastic catches, including one by Sirius when he was no more than a foot from the ground, until I made a particularly haywire throw and the ball, travelling rather fast, hit Sirius squarely in the head.
He jerked backwards and tipped dangerously off the edge of the broom, clutching his head.
"Bloody hell!" he cried
"Oh, shit!" I flew over to Sirius and saw an angry red mark straight in the middle of his forehead. It looked painful. "Erm, sorry?"
He rolled his eyes and hit me on the back of my head. "How do you like it?" he asked, and I pouted immaturely.
He started laughing and began to fly towards the ground. I followed and figured that the least I could do was get him some ice.
I touched the ground and tipped my broom up against the house once again. I banged the door open loudly and made my way into the kitchen, where I went over to the freezer that belonged to the Muggles we had rented the house off of. I quickly filled a bag with ice and ran back out.
Sirius was sitting in one of the beach chairs by the water and was leaning back with his hand on his head. I came up next to him and dangled the bag of ice teasingly above his head. Then I smiled, enjoying the fact that all of a sudden he was below me.
"I’m taller than you," I informed him knowingly.
He stood up and softly pushed me backwards by my shoulders, putting his hands on his hips. "Are you now?"
Without hesitation, I climbed up and stood on the chair he had just vacated. "Yeah, I’d like to think I am."
He shook his head. "You know, it’s really sad that even standing on a chair you’re not as tall as me." He jumped up onto the small table next to the chair, flaunting his height. To prove it even more, he then proceeded to jump down, pick me up as if I weighed nothing, and flip me over his shoulder.
"Let me down, you twit!" I said, unable to keep a serious voice as I laughed, because in actuality I couldn’t care less whether he put me down or not. In fact, I kind of liked being carried everywhere; I trusted Sirius not to drop me. He ran into the house, my feet into knocking into things as we went, and the bag of ice (that I had gotten for him out of the kindness in my heart) was flung from my hands and slid into a wall.
I screamed as Sirius lifted me and threw me onto the couch. I cringed into the corner and attempted to defend myself with a pillow as he pounced on top of me.
"Ugh," I groaned. "How much do you weigh?" I asked him as well as I could while muffled by the protective pillow. "I think you punctured my lungs."
He only laughed. In faux-anger I grabbed his shoulders and pushed him off the couch, but he grabbed onto my waist and we went toppling over together. He flipped me over so that I was trapped on my back. Sirius stood up and rested his foot on my stomach. He laughed and looked down at me triumphantly. "Looks like I’ve won. I should be giving you lessons on how to beat people."
I raised my eyebrows, and gave a sly smile. "Not really . . . Lesson One: Always catch your enemy off guard."
Before Sirius knew what had happened I had pulled out his feet out from under him in one swipe of my arm and he came crashing towards the ground. I rolled out of the way and knocked my head on the glass coffee table. "Ow," I groaned.
"Oh yeah? Lesson Two: Always take advantage of the enemy when she’s down." Sirius scurried backwards and pinned me to the ground by my shoulders.
"Lesson Three: Take advantage of your enemy’s anatomy." I aimed a kicked at Sirius groin but honest fear appeared on his face and he let go of my shoulders quickly so that he could dodge it.
"That’s not something to even joke about, Anastasia," he told me, out-of-breath, a strange look on his face. He was actually scared of me.
I found this incredibly funny, but Sirius didn’t think it was.
"What? You don’t think it’s funny that I find something funny that you don’t find funny?" I asked simply.
"Even if that made sense, I still wouldn’t listen to you," he said, then an evil look replaced the recent one of fear. "Lesson Four: Go in for the final kill when your enemies distracted." Sirius dove back of top of me. His hands pinned my shoulders down once again and he held my legs down with his own as he sat on me. "Now, I really win."
He was so heavy I knew I couldn’t move, but refused to admit that he won. So I just lay there quietly, glaring at him. His gorgeous bright, grey eyes smiled at me, and I knew my own hazel eyes betrayed the fun I was having, even I was going for the angry look. Sirius leaned in a bit, smirking even more as he stared intently into my eyes, his reflected in mine.
I felt a smile begin to crack on my face, and bit my lips together in an effort to keep it from forming. I couldn’t move any part of my body, but if I could have, I decided that I would have head-butted him.
Sirius leaned in more again. The smirk was still on his face and his grey eyes had lightened even more, as they tended to when he was scheming. He reached up and brushed a few strands of hair that had been lying across my face in an annoying way.
His face was only a few inches from mine now, and I smirked back at him, lightly biting the corner of my lip as he got closer. Randomly, a thought ran through my head. I suspected he was about to bite my nose off.
"Hey! We’re back!"
Sirius and I jumped apart to see James, Peter, and Remus standing in the door way, laden with bags. Mr. and Mrs. Potter followed, levitating several more.
"We have food!" yelled James. The other two boys cheered and continued farther into the kitchen to put the bags down.
I jumped up, the thought of food exciting me, and ran towards the kitchen, growling at Sirius as he passed me. I skidded into the kitchen just after him and watched him dive bomb the glass kitchen table. Mrs. Potter, always aware, cast a quick spell and levitated Sirius before he hit the table.
"You’re mad!" she yelled at him, though she was laughing far more than she was angry.
"But I was hungry!" Sirius whined, who was still chilling up in the air, looking as though he was lounging on some kind of invisible recliner. Mrs. Potter lowered her wand and rolled her eyes as Sirius felt softly into a heap on the ground. "You’re always hungry, Sirius."
"You’re an idiot, mate," James informed him, sitting down and ripping open a bag of crisps so that they went flying everywhere.
"Now, let me know if my sons are misbehaving," Mrs. Potter informed my mother, as we all stood around the fireplace in my living room. "They can be a tad immature sometimes."
We had stayed in Australia for a week, and then decided that we could give Mr. And Mrs. Potter some peace and quiet. Peter had returned home to visit his family for a few weeks; for undisclosed reasons we were never allowed to visit his house during the summer.
Just then, Jason, who was an established Healer and well into his twenties (may I remind you,) ran out of the kitchen brandishing a bright green light that was coming out of the tip of his wand like a sword. He made lots of whooshing noises as sound-effects, and stopped moving as the green light tipped dangerously close to the top of our mother’s head.
"Oh no, they’ll fit right in," my mother exclaimed, laughing. I had noticed that she loosened up a bit since last summer. I was very excited.
Jason jumped around a bit more, then ran back into the kitchen and accidentally knocked a vase off the granite island in the middle of the room. He quickly repaired it with a bit of a guilty look as everyone, including Mrs. Potter, stared at him in silence, clearly thinking he was mad.
Jason retracted the green beam of light into his wand and glared at us. "What? You’re all just jealous that I saw the greatest movie ever and you didn’t." Jason waved his wand again, and the green light reappeared. Leaving us utterly confused, he bounced out of the room quickly, performing complicated patterns with his strange little glowing weapon.
I ran after him into the next room. "Wait! Take us!"
"Why should I?" asked Jason, turning around with his hand on the door knob, the wand now stuck in his belt like a sword ready for use.
"Because we’re freaking awesome," I responded. I might as well use the truth.
Sirius, Remus, and James had joined me in the next room. Jason stopped, his hand stroking his chin, contemplating my request. "Well, alright. But only because I really want to see the movie again."
We all cheered. "To the CJ!" cried James. In a stampede, we raced back into the kitchen, and, after a quick goodbye to Mrs. Potter and my mother, we charged down the stairs and piled into Jason’s Jeep.
Jason quickly started the car and backed out of the driveway, the revving motor exciting me as it did every time, like we were starting off on a brand new adventure.
Sirius, thinking it would be funny, put his hands over Jason’s eyes, but when Jason growled at Sirius he quickly retracted them. "You think this thing drives itself? Idiot." Jason told him off.
"Just kidding. Not that it actually does drive itself, but . . ."
Luckily, for the rest of the ride, Sirius refrained from making any stupid moves that could potentially make all of us dead.
We pulled up in front of the theatre a short time later, and I eyed the keys the Jason pulled out of the ignition after he had parked the Jeep. "I get to drive in two years!" I yelled excitedly, as we all hopped out. "Which means I’ll be eighteen in two years! Which isn’t quite as exciting as being seventeen and of age, but still . . ."
"Why drive when you can ride a broomstick?" James asked, ever the wizard. "It’s way more dangerous."
"But I want to drive the CJ," I whined, then noticed we were approaching the revolving doors.
Ooo, revolving doors……
"Yay!" shouted Sirius. He ran towards the doors and began to circle his way around, bouncing up and down like a kid on a ride. Remus jumped into a different compartment to copy him, and I slid into the one next to him a moment later. Lastly, James and Jason hopped into the remaining section of door.
A good three minutes of chasing our own tails later, the manager of the theatre, wearing a red vest over her white button-up shirt, stormed over. "All five of you! Get out of there, before I throw you out of the theatre!"
We quickly got out, eager to get away from the scary lady and see the movie. Jason approached the ticket window. "Six tickets to Star Wars, please," he said, taking out a few pound notes. "Wait, I lied. Just five." The old lady behind the glass gave an annoyed look, before pushing a large red button five times, and handing a stream of tickets to Jason as he gave her the money.
"Come on," said Jason, beckoning us to follow him into the next room. "I’m hungry." We pushed through the glass doors and arrived at the snack bar.
Sirius’ eyes lit up. "Holy fuck!" he shouted. "Look at all of this; it’s a like a Muggle Honeydukes!"
I shook my head and hit him on the backside of the head. "You idiot, no one knows what either of those things are. Not to mention there are kids around."
Sirius looked around and ducked his head on shame. He openly apologized to the disgruntled parents. "Jason," he whispered. "Can we pretty pretty please buy everything?"
It took quite a bit to convince Jason that Sirius was, well, serious. But once we did, Jason was all for the idea. Behind the counter was a bored looking young girl of about sixteen or seventeen. "We’d like one of everything please," I told her.
She gave me a dirty look and turned back to her register, wiping something off of one of the countertops absently. "Let me know when you’re really getting something."
"Excuse me. I was serious."
"No, I was," Sirius whispered, next to me.
I hit him on the back of the head again. "Hello?"
"What do you want?" snarled the disgruntled girl, spinning around.
"Everything!" I told her again.
"Go take the mickey out of someone else," the blonde told me angrily.
Jason stepped in. "She’s serious, miss."
"No, I am!" Sirius retorted, louder. This time it was Jason who hit him, much harder than I had. Sirius groaned and clutched the back of his head.
The girl still looked sceptical and I was getting quite frustrated with her. The movie was already beginning, not that we’d miss anything but previews. But still.
After Jason had finally convinced the girl that we wanted everything, and handed over quite a bit of money, we each had our arms overfilling with unhealthy snacks.
Finally ready to see the movie, we quickly hobbled down the corridor to the farthest theatre in the building, Sirius dropping a bag of Mars Bars on the way. He kicked them the remainder of the way. When we got to the door I turned and rammed into it with my back, holding it open as we made our way in. There was no one else in the dark room.
"The movie’s been out for quite some time now," Jason informed us as he set all the drinks down in the cup-holders. "Most people have seen it."
Placing the food down in the seats surrounding us, we eventually picked good spots right in the middle row. And, after we had settled into our large, comfy seats, the most epic movie any of us had ever seen began.
Some two hours and some odd minutes later, the lights in the theatre clicked on and film stopped rolling.
I looked around the theatre, blinking my eyes a little to get used to the sudden bright light now that I had left the enthralling, futuristic world of Star Wars, and returned to reality.
"That. Was. Awesome!"
"Oh Godric, was it!" Sirius agreed enthusiastically. Then he grinned. "Though I have to say, even the fact that Muggles can get such a giant picture to talk is incredible!"
"It’s called a movie, Sirius," Remus informed him.
"Yeah, it’s called a movie, Sirius," James mimicked mockingly, plunging his hand into the still-full bucket of popcorn.
"You didn’t even know that," Jason said, as he grabbed some of the garbage we had created and threw it out in the nearby rubbish bins. We had done a fair job of eating all the junk and were all extremely full; although to be fair, most of it went into the garbage disposal known as Sirius Black. After the amount we had bought, we, of course, still had some food left over. But I knew it wouldn’t last long once we brought it home.
"Okay, I’m bored now," I said, as we left the theatre a few minutes later. "Let’s watch it again!"
"No! Let’s go eat," Sirius suggested, throwing some popcorn in his mouth.
We all stopped in front of the CJ, and looked at Sirius incredulously.
Then a smile formed on my face.
A/N: The world of Star Wars is not mine. Nor do I live in it. (Sadly.) Thanks to wheresmyedward for looking over this chapter, giving advice, and fixing up a few things. :D
A/N2: I'm very proud of myself for restraining and not putting up this chapter immediately. But the good news is since I'm spacing a few days in between, that's most likely the longest you guys will have to wait. (Incase I have brain spasms, writer's block, and run out of sequential chapters all in one week.)
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