The Fic That Must Not Be Named
The Hogwarts express sped through the English countryside. Within, the four Marauders moped around, regretting that passing of the summer.
"Wow, can you guys believe that this will be our last first day of school ever?" Peter asked his friends.
"Oh, yes, my soul sings for joy," Sirius replied, his blue eyes flashing. "Or at least it would, if it wasn't for one small problem."
"And what is that?" Remus asked, his grey eyes dark with concern.
"Well, we've lived through seven 'first days' here now," Sirius explained, running his slender yet powerful fingers through his jet-black hair, "and yet, somehow, we've never met any gorgeous female transfer students from another school, preferably in America."
"Oh no! That's terrible!" Peter squeaked. "What do you think, James?"
But James was silent, his violet eyes glistening behind his muscular spectacles.
"Oh, no. He's dreaming about Lily again," Sirius moaned, shaking his perfectly-proportioned head ruefully.
"I don't think so, Sirius," Remus whispered, looking very pale and interesting. "I believe he's staring at HER."
Sirius followed the line of Remus' cloudy-eyed gaze, and saw the compartment door. Right in front of it, he saw a girl. His handsome, dimpled jaw dropped.
The girl was beautiful: tall and shapely, with long golden hair gleaming like Phoenix feathers, and dark-lashed hazel eyes which sparkled with wit and intelligence. Her skin, on the other hand, did not glitter at all, as she had a naturally matte complexion. But not TOO matte, just perfectly dewy without being oily at all.
"Hot Dog!" Sirius shouted. Gracefully, he leapt to his feet and rushed to her side, vaulting over several bags and stretched-out legs on the way. Bowing before her, he grabbed at the suitcase she held in one dainty hand.
He lost his balance almost at once. The suitcase was heavy -- not too heavy for his bulging, muscular body to handle, but heavy enough to be a surprise. Sirius re-considered the girl before him. Not only was she beautiful, she was also amazingly strong! Surreptitiously, he glanced at her body. Though her well-cut Hogwarts robes were quite modest, they could not conceal the fact that she was curvy and long-legged in an athletic, slender, and yet voluptuous way.
Satisfied, he transferred the suitcase to his other hand, so that all his big manly arm-muscles rippled in an appealing way, and looked down at the new girl.
"Welcome, beautiful stranger," he said, flashing her his most charming smile. "My name is Sirius Black, and you must be the new transfer student from America."
The girl returned his smile, her eyes green in the muted light. Sirius' heart did somersaults; this was EXACTLY the sort of girl for whom he would be willing to give up bar-girls and poodles.
"Not from America," she said, her accent charmingly foreign. "From Durmstrang. My name's Anna, Anna Domina," she continued. "And I know all about you, Sirius Black -- I hear you're nothing but trouble." She looked up at him teasingly, noticing just how amazingly good-looking he really was, what with all that black hair and the tan and the bulgy muscles.
"It's all true," Sirius replied, in his devil-may-care, rebel-without-a-cause way. He was just going to ask her if she wanted to go on a ride on his motorbike, when he heard several loud
throat-clearing noises behind him.
"Are those your friends?" Anna was looking over his shoulder, craning her long, graceful neck.
"That's right," James replied, stepping around Sirius unsteadily. He'd taken off his glasses, so he couldn't really see Anna very clearly, but still it was obvious that she was gorgeous. "I'm James Potter," he said in his most manly tones.
"Oh, but I have heard about you too!" Anna exclaimed. "You're the Captain of the Quidditch team, aren't you? I play Seeker myself, you know."
"In that case, I am sure that we'll be spending a lot of time together," James beamed in Anna's general direction.
At this point, Sirius emitted a cough that sounded a lot like "Lily!"
James gave a little start, and looked around nervously. Anna looked bewitchingly confused, but, because of her excellent manners, decided not to pry.
Remus, though usually shy around girls, decided that Anna was just too fascinating to miss. Taking advantage of the moment of confusion, he stepped in front of James.
"I'm Remus Lupin," he said quietly. He had to speak quietly because, what with all the stepping around people, he ended up right in front of Anna. "And I hope you haven't heard too much about ME."
"I haven't," she replied with a little Mona Lisa smile. Being so close to him and all, she couldn't help looking right into his eyes. She noticed that, although tall, she was still slightly shorter than this Remus guy, and this cheered her immeasurably. He was just so pale and interesting! "I do hope to hear a lot about you in the future, though," she said, her eyes turning a warm brown.
Remus grinned back at her, stupidly.
"Down, boy, down!" Sirius muttered.
Anna looked over at him with an inquisitive yet knowing look, a single line creasing her perfect forehead. But, before she even had time to speak, the train lurched strangely.
The motion was quite violent, and everyone in the carriage lost their balance. Most regained it sufficiently to throw themselves into a seat; only Peter, who'd been trying to step around Remus and perform his introduction, fell to the carriage floor. His roly-poly form collided with Anna's ankles, and caused her to fall in a new and unusual direction.
"Oh, I am SO sorry!" Anna said, from her new position across the boys' laps.
"No problem," they all replied, as she rose to her feet with the grace of a panther, and took a seat across the way.
"You didn't have to move," Sirius leaned forward, a dark curl falling across his forehead. "Are you OK, though? You haven't sprained your ankle, or anything? I could massage it for you."
"Oh, I'm fine," Anna said. "But what about you?" she turned to Peter, who was scrabbling up onto the seat beside her. "I hope I didn't hurt you," she added putting a hand on his arm.
Peter turned bright red.
"Yes. Aurgh," he replied. And fainted.
Fortunately, Anna was no longer paying attention.
"Was that lurch... normal?" she asked, with a far-off expression, as if listening to something no-one else could hear.
"Well, no," James replied with a manly frown.
Anna looked out of the window reflectively. "I wonder if it could be... No, that's impossible," she muttered to herself.
"Oh, don't worry," Sirius said with a grin. "No matter what it caused it, you are surely safe in here with us. There is little we can't handle," he winked.
"That's right," James seconded. "In our spare time we have handled giant spiders, juvenile dragons, centaurs, giants, vampires... even the occasional werewolf."
"There's werewolves at Hogwarts?" Anna asked.
"Some people say they've heard howling in the forest," Remus rushed in. "But perhaps you know that already... Having heard all about James and Sirius, and all." He felt terrible about this rude behaviour, but a change of subject had clearly been required.
"Oh, no, my informant is not quite so fanciful," Anna smiled mysteriously. Suddenly, a tremor passed over her face, and her eyes--which had been an unusual greenish brown--turned red as blood, the pupils vanishing into feline slits. As she staggered backwards, even the manly arms of Sirius Black could barely hold up her rigid form.
"Beware" she intoned, trembling in his grasp so that her robes slipped off her shoulders. "The foe walketh alone, but he returneth in the fury of his wrath when the triple chariot stalls and the centaur weeps his last."
Sirius was so taken by the perfect symmetrical beauty of her collarbones that he failed to notice a very faint, heart-shaped scar hidden by the golden pendant at her lovely throat. He gently stroked her hair, imploring her to awake, bravely trying a princessus comatosus charm that failed to penetrate her horrifying trance.
Remus, always more studious than hormonal, suddenly looked up with a gasp from The Big Black Book of Really Scary Monsters. "Sirius" he breathed, his gaze somber, "do you know what this means?" Slowly, tentatively, he reached a hand towards the scar on her throat. His finger disappeared into the flesh, her entire body convulsing in Sirius' arms at the touch.
"I d-don't know what it means, but I-I'm s-scared anyway," quavered Peter in the corner, peeing his pants.
James wasn't head of his class for nothing. Standing tall, fingering the Head Boy badge pinned manfully over his valiant heart, he declared, "She's a Predictor."
"There are only three of her kind in the world," sighed Sirius, gazing into her face that was lovely in repose. "They are more powerful than Seers, yet vulnerable to control by the Dark Side. The foe I know the foe will come to haunt us." He shivered. "He may be the death of us all, unless we can keep Anna Domina safe from harm."
"But the only thing that can awake a Predictor from a trance--" James began, a charming blush invading his cheeks.
"--Is the deep French kiss of a Dark creature who is pure of heart," finished Remus innocently, the Big Black Book balanced on his knees emitting a variety of spooky noises. "Holy Hecate, guys, I don't think that's possible. We'll just have to take her to Madam Pomfrey--" He stopped as all three of his friends gave him deep, meaningful looks. "Oh no!" he exclaimed. "Not I!" Remus always had perfect grammar, no matter how upsetting the situation. "I, who would boldly lie to my friends, and skip detention without shame-- I am nothing but a monster, and would not dare sully her perfect lips with my vileness."
"Hey, I'll kiss her first, if you like," Sirius suggested.
James glared at his hormonally ravaged friend. "Sirius, be serious," he scolded with wisdom beyond his years, his large eyes seeing somewhere into a future none of them could comprehend. "Remus, you may be our only chance to save Anna, and ourselves, from a dreadful fate. We believe in you."
A large tear rolled down Remus' pale face, making him look like a starving waif in a Mary Cassat painting. "I shall make the sacrifice," he said, his voice strangled with emotion, "because you're the only ones on earth who trust me. You don't know what this means"
He took Anna's stiff body from Sirius, and she floated like a feather in his arms. If it hadn't been for her closed eyes and faint breath, the observers could have taken them for the King and Queen of the Senior Ball, so perfectly did their heights and slim builds match. With a glance at the disfiguring mark that somehow made her so much more perfect, Remus gently and hesitantly--because, of course, he'd never done this before--brought his lips to meet hers.
Anna's lids fluttered, and opened to reveal her soulful eyes returned to their normal hue. "W-what happened?" she stammered, the instant she was free of Remus' tongue.
Remus jumped back in embarrassment, leaving Sirius to catch her once again and help her to a seat.
James knelt before her. "We know," he intoned solemnly. "You made a Prediction."
"Oh no!" Anna burst into tears, pulling away from them and facing the wall. "I was expelled from Durmstrang A thing, a monster no one can bear to see himself for what he really is, and a Predictor's nature cannot hide the truth--"
"Oh, we don't mind," chuckled James. "We're all so manly and brave. Sirius' only fault is that he likes girls, Remus' is that he feels guilty even though he's never done anything wrong, and me--well, I'm just plain perfect."
"Sp-speak for yourself," squeaked Peter, throwing up.
"You could save us all," James continued. "Including my yet-unborn son, the Heir of Gryffindor. Who," he asked her firmly but gently, "is the foe?"
"Oh no" she wept, and Sirius pulled out a silk handkerchief to wipe away her tears. "No, I cannot I must not"
Remus had rummaged through his trunk for an even larger and creepier book, Creatures That See the Future then Bite Your Head Off. "The triple chariot" he said quietly. "A centaur will be killed at midwinter. At the full moon," he added, unable to hide the tremor in his voice.
"Wow, that's pretty specific," Sirius muttered. "It can't be useful all that often, though, can it? I mean, the full moon rarely falls at midwinter."
"It does this year, though," Remus shook his head grimly.
Anna, still sobbing daintily into a small handkerchief mysteriously embroidered with the Malfoy crest, heard him. And felt further despair creep into her heart, like a first-year student creeping, late, into the Potions classroom. Remus, so nice, and palely attractive, was now so distressed! And it was all her fault - but then, she could NOT tell them of the foe!
She looked up from her handkerchief, and glanced over at Remus, feeling the oddest sense that they had met - perhaps even kissed - in a previous life.
Closing his book, Remus met her eye. Oh, how beautiful her tear-brightened eyes were! Like twin mountain pools, full of seaweed and mystery! And her nose had not been reddened by weeping at all! Remus blushed, and then paled, remembering the prediction.
"Don't worry, Moony," James said, walking across the carriage to sit down between Remus and Anna. He put his arm around his friend's shoulders as he continued, "I'm sure it will all be fine. Remember, Anna said that the foe walks alone, and you, dear friend, need never walk alone!"
"Thank you," Remus gulped, fighting back tears. "I do not deserve friends like you, James."
"Damn right you don't!"
Everybody turned towards the carriage door, which had opened to reveal the tall, angular form of Severus Snape.
"A monster like you deserves NO friends, Lupin," Snape snarled. Then, suddenly, as he cast his eye around the carriage, his expression softened like ice-cream left too long in the sun.
"Anna," he said. "Could it be you?"
"Severus," Anna's eyes widened in surprise. "I haven't seen you since..."
"Young Alchemists' Summer Camp," they finished together, laughing.
"It's been a while," Anna continued. "If I remember right, I was still just a girl in pigtails... And you were, well, it's nice to see you all grown up like this."
"Yeah, a few more feet and he'll grow into his nose," Sirius muttered, rising from his kneeling stance at Anna's feet.
But Severus, his beady eyes glowing with the light of love, ignored him. "You've, er, grown up too, Anna," he said, his eyes roving over her robes. "Nice to see you, too..."
"That's it," James announced. "Stop offending our new lady friend with your perverted words and glances." He rose, and stood in front of Anna, rolling up his sleeves to reveal his tan, well-toned forearms.
"No, it's quite all right," Anna said, poking her perfect head around one of James' perfectly rounded buttocks. "I know he means no harm..."
"Don't worry, Anna," Snape smiled stoically, his face hardening like a fresh plaster cast, "I can handle them. The two muscle-boys, the monster here in the corner, and even..." his nose twitched towards Peter. It was an impressive manouver for so large a proboscis. "that smelly creature hiding under the left-hand bench."
"Severus!" Anna's smooth forehead was creased by a frown. "You go too far! Peter's just had an unfortunate accident, and Remus is certainly no monster!"
"You mean your new friends haven't told you?" Severus asked, a sardonic smile playing across his lips. "He's a werewolf."
There was a moment silence.
Remus paled. "It's true," he said, hanging his head low.
"I know," Anna said, gently, reaching across to touch his shoulder with one perfect hand.
Everyone stared at her. Even Remus looked up, hoping... yet not daring to hope...
"I figured it out when you mentioned the moon," Anna said. "And when James called you by your nickname."
Anna was clearly more than just a pretty face.
"I'd love to talk to you about it, sometime," she said, staring into Remus' eyes, grey as a winter day.
Severus saw this, and his face hardened further, like coal turning to diamond deep under the earth's crust. "I think you are making a big error of judgement there, Anna," he said darkly.
"Now wait a..." Sirius said, stepping forward, fists at the ready.
Severus cut him off short by whipping out his wand and shouting "Injuria Romantica!"
And, immediately, Sirius was falling back, blood seeping from a diagonal cut across his perfect collarbone. His Hogwarts robes opened as he fell, revealing a perfectly white shirt on which the red trickle painted elaborate patterns, like blossoming red roses.
Anna gasped, and moved forward. "Permit me, I studied Healing!" she muttered, gathering Sirius' head against her bosom.
She dabbed her handkerchief at his wound, her tears running down to cleanse it.
"Go, Severus," she said, looking up at him with perfect dignity, her eyes green as emeralds and just as cold. "Just go."
"About time, too," Sirius said, wincing and moving his head so that Anna's tears no longer fell directly into his wound.
"He's just misguided," Anna sighed, curing him with her wand. "He's had a very hard childhood - his family's much too fond of time-travel spells, and so his sister is also his uncle..."
At that moment, the train stopped.
"Firs' years this way!" cried Hagrid's booming voice. "Firs' years an' beautiful American transfers! Over here! Uh oh," he mumbled into his beard. "Awful lot o' beautiful American transfers. Won' all fit in th' boat. You," he called to Anna. "Can you swim?"
Anna waved her wand, transfiguring her Hogwarts robe into a slinky black sealskin that clung to her perfect body. Perching upon a slick black rock in the pounding storm, she executed an Olympic-caliber swan dive into the mirrored lake.
The first-years oohed and aahhhed as her golden head bobbed among the waves, her feet flicking playfully like the tail of a friendly dolphin.
Suddenly, she found herself wrapped in muscular tentacles. Only her natural Empathic ability allowed to save herself, as she struggled for the few words of Calmaritongue that she knew. "Oh great squid," she cried, imitating the sucking sounds of squid speech by kissing one of her waterlogged yet still perfect hands. "I come to fight the Foe."
The monster released her, and she held up a crystal vial to catch the stream of magical ink it sent in her direction. With a solemn wave, it disappeared.
She swam to shore to find Hagrid sobbing in front of an irate witch with a tight bun. "I'm so sorry, Professor McGonagall," he wailed. "Didn' think Sucky'd hurt a fly so gentle such lovely eyes"
"Hagrid, that girl was Hogwarts' last hope." McGonagall's voice carried to Anna, who was transfiguring her sealskin back into robes just outside the door. "If you knew what you have done--"
"--It's OK, Professor, I'm here," Anna cried, bursting through the door and finding herself enveloped by hugs from all the surrounding professors.
Even Dumbledore wiped away a tear. "Thought we were lost for sure," he murmured. "I should've gone to fetch you myself."
"Come along, dear, it's time for the Sorting," said Professor McGonagall, trying to retain her strictness even as the tears of joy poured down her still-beautiful face.
Anna found herself facing an old stool, with a crummy old hat smiling up at her. To her surprise--or not really, because she could see the future--the Hat began to sing.
For all you transfer students
Coming from the USA
I'll try to speak in Valley Girl
And help you on your way--
You might belong in Hufflepuff
But nah, that cannot be--
You won't be smart or brave enough
To save our heroes three
In Ravenclaw you'd know it all
And always top your class--
But James would sleep way down the hall
So that won't work, alas
A Slytherin girl is always hot, mysterious and sad
You'd have some dreadful secret--Lucius Malfoy as your dad?
But no--what am I thinking--how would Sirius propose?
And gag me with a silver spoon! You'd have to see Snape's nose!
So all of you to GRYFFINDOR!
Is what I will proclaim
There is no need to say much more
My God, this job is lame
Anna took her seat at the Gryffindor table, carefully protecting her vial of squid ink so it wouldn't be crushed under the manly hugs of James and Sirius. She noticed that Remus looked distant and sad, and a glance at the enchanted ceiling told her that the full moon would be the next day.
She gave him a playful wink. "Up for a game of fetch, Rover?" she asked.
Remus looked terrified. "Oh no" he exclaimed. "It's way too dangerous you have no idea!"
She stretched her arms lazily in the air--and suddenly they were wings, reflecting off the hundreds of candles in the Great Hall with shimmers of red, green, and gold. "All Predictors are natural Animagi," she said in a voice so low only our three heroes could perceive it. "I can become any animal at all, as long as the night before, I eat a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich containing a single hair, scale, or feather from that animal." She winked at Remus again. "Bet you're good with a Frisbee, big boy."
"I'm better, actually," Sirius muttered huskily, "and you should see the things I can do with a stick."
"But of course!" Anna exclaimed, hastily turning her wings back into alabaster arms before any of the remaining 996 students could notice the change. "You're an Animagus, too! My powers of prediction tell me that we will have many an hour of fun together."
"Do your powers of prediction," Sirius asked with interest, "tell you that you will be turning into a poodle, one of these days? Because I have always liked..."
"I am an Animagus, too," James' violet eyes flashed as he interrupted, trying to prevent Sirius' unseemly suggestion from sullying Anna's shell-like ears.
"Ah yes," Anna said. "But what kind of animal would YOU be, James my dear? Let me think..." Here, she half-lowered her inch-long lashes and considered the future, evenly. "That's odd... the main thing I see in you future is a girl!"
"Ah, yes," James cleared his throat. "There you are, Lily, my darling."
Another girl had walked up to join them, a beautiful redhead with creamy skin and lovely chlorine-green eyes. These eyes were pretty hard to see, however, as she preferred to keep them modestly downcast on all occasions.
"Yes, James," Lily said, blushing at her lord and master's proximity.
"Lily?" Anna asked, smiling at the shy girl before her. "Are you then my roommate, Lily Evans?"
Lily blushed and nodded faintly. This strange new girl was so brave, speaking so openly in front of a group of Boys! Lily felt a strange longing stir within her breast.
"Well, then, I just can't wait for the moment when we sit down in our room, try on each other's clothes, and giggle over boys," Anna gave a little silvery laugh. "I must tell you, my dear friend," she continued in a whisper, drawing Lily slightly aside, "that I am already very worried. These boys are all so gorgeous and wonderful, that I can't decide which one to like!"
"I like James," Lily blushed, the red in her cheeks highlighting the green of her eyes.
"Er, yes," Anna smiled encouragingly. "But Remus and Sirius... it would be awful, just awful, if their affections for me were to drive a wedge of jealousy into their otherwise perfect friendship."
"Did you mention my name?" Sirius asked, leaping before her and presenting her with a complex Origami flower he'd just fashioned out of a napkin. Deep within the flower, a single jellybean glowed, red and perfect. Anna ate it. It was rosewater-flavoured: her favourite.
"Just the man I needed," Anna sighed happily, as Lily moved past, looking at James adoringly. "Sirius my pet, perhaps you could show me the way to the headmaster's office? I need to see my father."
"Dumbledore... Dumbledore is your father?" Sirius gasped, his blue eyes widening until they resembled the endless stretches of the Pacific ocean. You don't look like him at all - that beard, for instance, would not suit you one bit. But do tell me," he continued in more intimate tones, as they left the hall, "do you, like your father, have a small scar above your
knee? And can I see it?"
"Oh Sirius, you silly boy," Anna laughed with a tinkling sound like mithril cowbells, "Dumbledore is not my father. And I never show my knee to boys I've only just met."
"What about boys you know from Alchemy Camp?" Sirius asked, feeling jealousy slither into his heart like a poisonous boa constrictor. "And who is your father, anyway?"
"Severus and I," she replied primly, cyan eyes flashing, "are Just Friends. And my father is Fawkes, of course. Mother met him while in Phoenix form."
"Your mother is a predictor, too?" Sirius gasped breathlessly. "She hasn't warned you about me, has she?"
"No," Anna said dully. "No. My mother is... dead," she confessed, tears gathering at the corners of her almond eyes. "My only consolation," she sobbed as Sirius took her into his manly arms, running his hands tenderly over her flaxen locks, "is that she died a noble death, fighting to the last to keep Voldemort at bay."
"Ah, then your mother must be..." Sirius' noble brow furrowed in thought. "She must be... Anna Domina, Senior! The valiant Predictor who gave her life so that Good could prevail!"
"Yes! Yes!" Anna sobbed into his (now pinkish) shirt, her chest heaving dramatically.
"But then you are... a half orphan," Sirius said, wiping away tears of sympathy. "But don't fear, my dearest, you will be lonely no longer... not when you have... me!" he finished, drawing her nearer and adjusting his trousers.
"Thank you, Sirius," Anna gasped, looking up at him from under her dark lashes, lashes on which large tears still glittered like diamonds on a crow's wing.
They kissed then. A long, lingering kiss, that went on and on and on as the world burst into song.
Sirius pulled away, suddenly. "OW!" he yelled.
"Is something wrong, sweetness?" Anna asked, shaking her head in puzzlement so that her golden hair shimmered in the candlelight.
"YES!" Sirius yelled, trying to get Fawkes the phoenix off his head. "Please, please, for the love of Venus, tell your daddy to leave me alone. OUCH! My intentions were honourable! Pay no attention to my pants!"
Anna once again burst into feather, and began to sing a song of such unutterable sweetness that all of the Hufflepuffs swooned, the Ravenclaws suddenly understood the most arcane secrets of Arithmancy, and the Slytherins vowed to be kind and polite forevermore. Even Fawkes himself was entranced and went to sit on Dumbledore's head.
Only Lily was saddened, her downcast eyes filling with bitter tears.
"I dare not speak," she wept, as James put one protecting arm around her.
Anna turned, still speaking the mellifluous tones of Phoenix, then mingled her own magical tears with Lily's. "The Heir of Gryffindor is among us," she said. "You're pregnant."
"It is all I have lived my life to do," Lily murmured, "such I shame that I have waited until the advanced age of sixteen to show my loyalty to my master. And I fear the child must die"
"No, Lily," Anna replied bravely. "Not with me here. Our children will grow up together--did you know that a Predictor becomes pregnant with a single, passionate kiss?"
When he heard this, Remus fell to the floor in a very cute but profound faint.
He woke up in the infirmary, looking romantic and consumptive against the white pillow. Anna was in the bed on one side of him, not wanting to take any chances in her delicate condition, and Lily was on the other.
James, whom the stress had caused to grow antlers, was sitting on Lily's bed, cradling her tiny hand in his rough strong one. Sirius was standing above Anna, reading from So You Slept With a Monster: Now What? Changelings, Moonchildren, and Freaks of Every Description.
"Really, Anna, if you're lucky, it's my child," he reassured. "And if you want to be sure, what you do is stand under an oak tree at the full moon and drink a glass of dogsbane--"
"No," she interrupted forcefully. "Remus woke me from my trance, and if I am fated to bear his child, then I shall do so."
Remus' incredibly touching display of silent weeping might have gone unnoticed if not for Anna turning her head in his direction and noting how much his eyes looked like ocean tidepools when they were swimming in hot, salty tears.
"I cannot ask such a thing of you," he whispered nobly. His voice dropped to the soft undertone of heartfelt confession. "All my life I have known I can never have a family, for fear that the child would suddenly appear delicious like a juicy slab of bacon, with crumpets and butter, and a side of potatoes--"
Anna leapt up and rushed to his side, wiping away the tears (and drool). "We shall shoulder this burden together," she declared.
Lily and Anna said lots of really goopy, mushy, girly things for the next couple of months, until the night of Midwinter arrived. Sadly, Anna was stuck in the Infirmary for the big adventure--it was definitely Remus' child she was carrying, and it tended to get rather nippy at the full moon. Lily kept her company, puking daintily into a flowered emesis basin that Madam Pomfrey kept around for the epidemic of teen pregnancy that was occurring among the American transfer students.
James, Sirius, and Remus went out to face the Foe alone.
James and Sirius waited outside the Shrieking Shack for Remus to transform.
"Damn it," said Sirius, looking at his watch. "The moon's been up for an hour."
James sighed. "Well, you know how it is, Sirius. He won't transform without a Plot Device."
At last, a huge, leathery, gray bat-like creature with buck teeth flew overhead, screeching horribly. The clouds parted, the thunder struck, and even though he was inside a room with boarded-up windows, somehow this mattered. Remus transformed at last and came bounding out to greet them, still noble and adorable despite the fangs.
The girls, meanwhile, were lounging around the infirmary, eating peas with ice-cream and discussing baby names.
"Sirius says I should name mine Harry," Anna said, chomping down on a pea, "Because we think he will be."
"It's a very nice name," Lily replied naively, blushing as she did whenever anything to do with pregnancy was mentioned. Which meant that she blushed quite a lot, but she didn't mind: it was good for the skin, and she liked to look as fresh-faced as possible for her James.
"You are welcome to it," Anna said, with a generous, twinkling smile.
"Thank you, Anna," Lily blushed. "You know, you are just wonderful! I love you like a sister. Sometimes... um... sometimes I even suspect that I love you more than I love James..."
But Anna did not hear this last, most interesting, digression, because at that very moment something flickered across her subconscious.
"The father of my child!" she cried. "He is in trouble! I must go to him!"
"Oh, Anna, you are so brave. You will surely die," Lily wept. She was soon joined by a Greek chorus of pregnant American exchange students, all weeping in harmony.
But Anna had no time to waste! Transfiguring her charming Chantilly lace nightgown into a more practical set of ceremonial silk robes, she rushed out of the room and into the velvet night.
She ran towards the forest. And then she saw him.
The wolf was running towards her, graceful in the moonlight. His sharp teeth glinted. She thought she recognized Remus' speckled coat, but what would Remus be doing, running towards the castle at midnight?
Perhaps it was Remus evil twin brother, Romulus! Ah, yes, that was undoubtedly the simplest explanation. And, if so, she was in grave danger indeed.
But what was she to do? Although she knew plenty of werewolf-killing curses, she dared not use them on her child's hypothetical uncle. She was sure that Remus would weep for his brother most bitterly, as he wept most days, usually over something she'd said.
And, although she knew well that she could transform and soothe the savage beast, she feared that such a transformation might hurt the young life quickening within her bosom.
And then it came to her: werewolves did not know how to play fetch. So, she picked up a gnarled tree-branch, gnarled as her aged grandmother's fingers, and tossed it far, far past the wolf.
He turned to chase it, and she sunk to her knees, thanking her elven ancestors for this deliverance.
But what was this? The werewolf was turning back, the branch in his mouth... but, surely, there was only one werewolf who had been thus trained.
"Remus!" she cried, running towards him through the wind-swept grass, her pale dress billowing out behind her like the sails of a fine warship.
She dropped to her knees beside the wolf, who attempted to lick her fine-featured face. Unfortunately, he was still grasping the stick in his jaws, and so he very nearly put out one of her brilliant aquamarine eyes, but Anna did not mind.
"Good Remus," she patted him. "Good Remus! Nice stick... but, oh! What is this?" she asked, retrieving the enormous diamond ring that hung off one end. "Oh, Remus, are you asking me to marry you?"
Remus panted and wagged his tail.
"Bark once for yes, and twice for no," Anna suggested
Remus barked once, and then howled for joy as Anna threw her arms around his neck, shouting "Yes! Yes! Yes!" like a thing possessed.
"Damn", though Peter, who'd been watching this from afar. "Remus got to her first." He looked down sadly at the little velvet box in his hand, which had until so recently held the key to all his hopes. He took out the ring he had purchased, and watched the small stone twinkle in the moonlight like a young waif's tear. "And I was so sure pretty Anna would agree to marry me," he sighed, "what with her being a teenage mother and all."
Kicking a nearby treestump so hard he stubbed his toe, Peter went off to weep copiously, deciding to give the ring to Voldemort instead.
He would soon learn that Voldemort despised cubic zirconium.
"Wait a moment," Anna said suddenly. "If we're both here, and Peter was, until recently, skulking in the bushes, then who is fighting the Foe?"
A bellow of pain answered her question. She dashed off into the woods, Remus following in the hopes of a tennis ball. There they found James, shot by a hunter, his magnificent antlered head lying severed on the ground.
"Nooooo!" cried Anna, feathers sprouting all over her body in her grief. "Evil foe, show thyself!"
From behind the next tree came evil, cold laughter. Anna sneaked up, faithful Remus at her heels, to find Hideous Malfoy, father of Lucius, Romulus Lupin, and Severus Snape all in hunting fatigues, aiming their high-powered rifles at a noble centaur.
"Just doin' a little huntin'," cackled Snape. "It's too bad you didn't pay attention to what really went on at summer camp."
"Or realize that I am your father," Hideous cackled.
"Fawkes is my father," declared Anna stoutly.
"Well, OK," Hideous admitted. "I am your mother there was Polyjuice Potion involved."
"Nooooo!" cried Anna again. "Sic 'em, Rover!"
Remus pounced, but his noble nature held him back--did he want to eat human flesh, or roll over and shake hands? In his moment of hesitation, Romulus fired a shot that dropped the centaur to the ground.
"Rover's my German Shepherd, and he bites," Anna declared.
"Grrr," said Remus, not very convincingly, but the hunters (who were, after all, all girls on Polyjuice) ran.
Anna dropped to her knees beside the beautiful centaur. "Please, please, can I help you?"
"I need no help from you, human," the creature hissed with cold fury belying its gentle nature.
"But--I'm not human," Anna objected. "I'm a Predictor."
The centaur laughed. "Then transform, you stupid girl," he snarled. "Your tears will save me."
Anna folded her hands across her belly. "But my baby I can't--"
She looked towards Remus to see what he would say, and saw him pouncing on the fallen centaur, jaws open. She shut her eyes; she couldn't look. Her dear gentle Remus, prey to his Dark nature at last?
"Ahh, that's much better--thanks, boy," said the centaur, and Anna looked up to see Remus licking the wound on his neck. Magic dog spit! How could she have forgotten?
"Now will you help us?" she stammered, as the centaur got to his feet.
He shook his head in disgust. "How do you expect me to read the stars at the goddamn full moon?" he snorted, and galloped away.
Anna stood, with Remus panting at her side, until she heard a shot ring out.
"Damn you! Assholes!" screamed a dying voice--the centaur.
And then she knew.
The full moon of midwinter.
The centaur breathing his last.
Shewas the foe.
Her child would grow up to slay the Dark Lord--but too soon. There would be no heroes, Cornelius Fudge would run the magical world, and a woman named Joanne would yawn and say "Magic? Nothing interesting here"
So she harnessed the last of her strength, and transformed into the glorious, weeping phoenix. Remus swiveled his ears and knitted his brow in the most adorable sad-puppy look ever to grace the features of a bloodthirsty fiend, and with the tongue designed to clean human meat from bones, caught her tears in a small puddle. Walking slowly on expert paws, he returned to where James lay and healed him.
Madame Pomfrey had some sick boys and girls to attend to, but strangely enough, it was Lily whose concern over James caused her to lose her baby. Anna's child continued to grow, and as she had promised, she named him Harry. He wasn't terribly, though, since her phoenix transformation had prevented him from becoming a werewolf the only sign of his parentage was somewhat messy curls.
When she discovered that wizard law would not allow her to marry Lily, Anna gave the baby to the Potters to raise. She hoped this would be a sincere expression of the love that dared not speak its name--and also that being a housewife at seventeen would knock some sense into Lily's ditzy red head. What was funny was how much the baby really did look like James but maybe that wasn't funny at all, because James was actually one-quarter werewolf, which explained the hair. It was his grandfather who bit Remus But that is
a story for another day.
Anna died tragically later that year. She went into another trance, but Remus--having caused a teen pregnancy--was no longer pure of heart and couldn't save her. Professor Freightwig, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, scoured the grounds for a Dark Creature with the required trait, and she ended up being messily devoured by a manticore.
Her death was followed, of course, by much weeping and gnashing of teeth, for everyone had loved Anna. Even the people who had never met her; they couldn't help it, she was so damn loveable. Those left behind found what comfort they could in each other. Sirius and Remus, for example, seemed to find each other's presence so comforting that they moved in together for a while.
The rest of the story, we think you know.
~An Evil Committee of Creatures of, if not Darkness, at least Heavy Overcast
JKR owns 'em, we abuse 'em, and I make fun of everybody OK?