Author's Note: This chapter is short, and a glimpse into the future. For those of you who love Sirius and Anwen, it's a rough chapter to read. See you next week. Also, if you aren't reading it yet, my new Sirius based story is "A Year and A Day". He's found out he's destined by the Source of All Magic to be with a woman who has disliked her since their Hogwarts days. How do you convince someone who doesn't want to be in the same room with you to show her you've changed. MNF
July 31, 1980
"…and Lily, she's fine too?" Sirius asked James in his mirror. Anwen looked on, wanting so desperately to visit their friends and their new son, but she was still toxic.
"She was amazing, Sirius. Don't tell her I'm telling you, but boy did she scream at me. There was one point when I was breathing too loudly for her. You'll find out someday when you and Anwen have kids."
"Yeah, that's something I didn't want to tell you guys," he whispered, but Anwen could still hear their conversation, and the tears started again. It was the latest blow from nearly three years full of disappointments. Madame Pomfrey had confirmed that the excessive amount of magic she had basically burned away her eggs. Anwen wouldn't be having any children. Save the world but lose everything you wanted in life. "So, when Anwen can be around people again, we can look into adopting children. She's going to make such an amazing mum someday."
"I am so sorry, Padfoot," James said. "Is she still going to be able to be Harry's godmother?" Anwen walked over, her cheeks still wet with tears.
"There is nothing that would keep me away from being Harry's godmother," she said. "Dumbledore is going to oblige my magic, we hope. I've only about one and a half times as much magic as I should be. Sirius is back down to normal, although don't ask him to do any delicate spells just yet. He will be there tomorrow to see Harry. We have some gifts here for him."
"Anwen, you're giving up your magic?" James asked, sadness written on his face.
"If I could give it up completely, I would," Anwen admitted. "It isn't fair for Sirius to live in this little house, on the edge of the forest near nothing. He belongs with all of you."
"I belong with you," Sirius said. "That's what being married means. I am with you forever." Anwen nodded sadly before she walked away, going to hide in their bedroom again.
"Honestly, how are you holding up?" James asked, and Sirius walked out into the dark of the night.
"It's been three years, Prongs. I never thought it would take this long for her magic to wear down. It's nearly impossible to keep her spirits up, and now with this thing of not having children…I don't know exactly how we're going to survive. If she'd died, I could have mourned her and maybe moved on, but this is like killing her with a thousand little curses. Once she's safe, we're going to do some travel. At least we can see different forests."
"It's nothing to joke about, Padfoot."
"Prongs, if I don't joke about it…Anwen has always been so powerful and so good at magic, and now she cooks and cleans like a Muggle. I try to help, but I'm pants at household spells, except for laundry ones. The day last winter, when I saw her chipping ice away at the stream so she could wash our clothes was the day I decided I needed to take that task over."
"Merlin, didn't any of the other Anwens warn you about this?"
"I don't think they knew it would be this bad. I know there is a potion that one of your selves takes to handle the magic you were exposed to, to combat the 'radiation' of it, but it doesn't work on Winnie, and I'm protected by being bound to her. This is shite, Prongs. My girl did what everyone asked of her; she used her body as a conduit of light and magic to rid the world of Voldemort and seal the rift in time; shouldn't she have been praised? The only people who visit us are McGonagall and Madame Pomfrey, and they both stay at least ten feet away."
"Can you get away? Maybe meet us at Diagon Alley for a little while?" James asked, already knowing the answer.
"If Lils were sick, would you leave her to come galivant with us?" Sirius responded. "Remus is going to come up on the full moon since you're going to be home with your wife and new son," he said pointedly. "Anwen says she'll be fine for the night, and no one is here, so we can roam the forests freely."
"You're welcome to still run on the manor property."
"We know, but I don't want to be that far from Anwen. A bear might come after her or something."
"Lily is calling me; we can talk more tomorrow. Maybe Lily and Anwen can chat. Eva is coming over too, so maybe they can all talk? Perhaps some camaraderie would help?"
"That would be good for her. I will be over soon to see Harry and give him lots of love and kisses from his Auntie Winnie and me. Bye," Sirius said before the mirror went dark.
He stayed in the dark for a while longer, gazing up at the summer night. Sirius would be rising soon; Orion was already quite visible, making the man a bit nervous. His father had been dead for two years; he only knew because Prongs had told him. Not that it mattered. After what he and Anwen had done to him, any residual good feelings he had were destroyed. That his father had turned on his mother and nearly murdered her had sealed Sirius' contempt. He'd been to visit her a few times, and Walburga was genuinely concerned for her daughter-in-law. Reggie was taking care of her. He was thankful he had his brother back. He'd never be as close to Reg as he was with Prongs, but having his biological brother on speaking terms was good.
If he'd known that saving his mum from his dad would cost them the life of the baby Anwen had been carrying, and more importantly, it was the ONLY baby she'd ever carry, he wasn't sure what he would have done. The idea was chewing him up inside. There were so many what-if's rambling around in his mind he didn't know how to deal. The only way was to run around in his dog Animagus for a little while to at least silence them. His thoughts as a dog weren't complicated.
Inside, Anwen was contemplating her own escape. She'd heard her husband's comment about grieving her death, and it made her reflect whether it would be better if she died. This wasn't even a half-life she was living; it was a dull, lonely, monotonous existence, and it left her wishing she'd never learned she was magical and come to Hogwarts. She could have stayed in London, continued to study voice and dance. And had a respectable career. She would still have her family, too. Anwen had enough control to Disapparate out of the cottage and get herself to Heathrow. From there, she could use her Muggle money, that which she'd earned singing and performing on stage, to flee to anywhere. She could go to Berlin or New York or Sidney and get hired as a chorus member in a show. Living in a large metropolis would make her hard to find, and if she didn't do magic, she'd be nearly untraceable.
Anwen felt Sirius change into his Animagus form and wondered what she needed besides a few changes of clothes and her purse. She still had her Muggle passport, so it wasn't an issue. It was even in her Muggle name, so it might slow Sirius, Dumbledore, or whoever else might find the need to find her. She couldn't keep doing this to Sirius, living like a hermit. She was broken by magic; she didn't know if she'd ever be fixed. She stuffed a duffle with her clothes and a picture from their wedding and went outside to leave.
Sirius was still running about the forest. This was her chance. She hoped one day he'd forgive her and move on with his life. She wanted her friends to have full lives, no spending time feeling sorry for her and walking on eggshells about having their own children. "This is best," Anwen whispered to herself.
In the forest, Sirius felt something horrible happen. His magic spiked so quickly he was thrown out of Padfoot and against a tree. Unlike when he controlled the change and reassembled his clothing out of the fur, Sirius found himself naked. He had only one thought in his head: Anwen. Knowing he was magically unstable, he risked Disapparation.
Arriving at their cottage, he found Anwen on the ground, unconscious. He knew he'd need help, so he sent a Patronus to Dumbledore. He was the only other person who could be in her presence without serious physical damage, although he could only do minutes at a time. Sirius then summoned himself a pair of jeans and a tee and quickly dressed.
Just as Dumbledore arrived, Anwen fluttered her eyes open. At seeing the panic and relief in Sirius' face, she began to bawl and beg for forgiveness.
"What happened, Luv?"
"Please don't make me tell you," she whispered.
"Anwen, perhaps you would tell me instead?" asked her former headmaster. She nodded and whispered into his ear.
"Disapparating is beyond your skills at the moment," he said loud enough for Sirius to hear, and even if he was annoyed that she'd tried it, he was thankful that's all it was. "I know you wanted to see Lily and Harry, but you can't even have a look through a window." It was a believable lie. He then dropped his voice. "Your binding will not allow you to leave Sirius, Anwen. You are no longer two, but one, and you can't split your soul in half; magic will not allow it."
Anwen sighed and nodded gently. She lifted her hand closest to Sirius, and he immediately took it and came close, cradling her head and gently kissing her lips. "You can't scare me like this," he said gently. "You're my everything, Anwen Parker-Black."