The end of the school year came quickly, and the first month of summer flew by. Sirius and Anna spent much of June in the muggle town nearby, going to the movies, out to eat, and to the park. Except for playing occasional games of quidditch with Anna and Sirius, James mostly sat at home and sulked. Anna and Sirius always asked James to join them when they went into town, but he always said no.
Finally, at the end of the month, Anna and Sirius dragged James along with them, insisting that he was being stupid about the whole thing. They still wanted him around… most of the time.
On July 17, Anna's birthday, Sirius and James took her out to eat, and surprised her by inviting Taylor, Remus, Alice, Frank, Lily, and Peter to meet them. All 6 came, and the 9 friends enjoyed a happy reunion, filled with laughter and not a single fight between James and Lily.
The Potters lived close enough to walk to and from the restaurant, and since Anna couldn't apparate yet, that's what the three did. As they neared the Potter mansion, they could see that something wasn't right; there were lots of people around the house, and the flashing red and blue lights of police cars could be seen.
James started running towards the house, closely followed by Anna and Sirius. "What's going on?" James asked one of the cops.
"Do you live here?" James, Sirius, and Anna nodded. "Which of you are James Potter?"
"I am," James said.
"We need to talk to you." Anna had never been so worried in her life as she sat with Sirius, waiting for James to finish talking to the cops. Neither Anna nor Sirius had any idea what had happened, and James face didn't give anything away. As James finally turned away from the cops, and back towards Sirius and Anna, they both jumped up and walked quickly over to him.
"Anna, go pack your stuff. You're going to stay at Taylor's for the rest of the summer," James said quietly. When Anna and Sirius each gave him a questioning look, he sighed and continued. "Dumbledore was here. He managed to convince them that Sirius and I are of age, though we're not by muggle standards. He couldn't do anything for you though, seeing as you're only just turned 16, so he went to ask the Carson's if you could stay with them. Far as I know they said yes." Anna frowned slightly, but she and Sirius both looked confused. They could never imagine what James was going to tell them, though it shouldn't have been too shocking; both Mr. and Mrs. Potter were aurors. Shit, they're going to make me say it, James thought. "The death eaters were here," he whispered, voice cracking.
Anna gasped and collapsed, fortunately being caught by Sirius. Sirius picked Anna up, and carried her over to the grass, setting her down. He sat down next to her, rubbing his face with his hands, and biting his lip. Sirius Black does not cry.
He looked up to see James still standing where they had left him, looking completely lost and helpless. Sirius looked over to Anna and saw that she had gotten over her shock and was staring at the house, tears streaming down her beautiful face. Sirius reached out and pulled her closer to him. As she buried her face into his chest, Anna let out a sob, and Sirius finally allowed himself to cry.
"Anna, our Hogwarts letters came today, and I think yours has something special in it!" Taylor said, as she entered the guest room of her house, where Anna had been staying for a little over a month. Anna opened her eyes slowly, and looked at Taylor.
"Hogwarts letters," Taylor repeated, tossing Anna's letter at her, and sitting on the edge of the bed. Anna opened her envelope to reveal a letter, list of books, and a shiny gold badge. "I knew it! Congrats Anna!" Taylor exclaimed, then added gently, "I'm sure your parents would be proud." Anna smiled slightly and nodded,
"Yeah, thanks." Taylor hugged her best friend. "So, did you get head girl?" Anna asked.
"Of course not," Taylor laughed. "I'm almost certain Lily did. You want to go to Diagon Alley today?" Anna nodded.
"ANNA! TAYLOR!" Alice exclaimed, running towards the two girls. Alice had been on vacation in France with her family and Frank for the past month, and hadn't seen or talked to any of her friends since Anna's birthday. Anna put on a huge fake smile, and Taylor followed suit.
"Hey! How was your trip?"
"It was great! How've you two been?"
"Oh just great," Anna said. "I've been staying with Taylor for the past month. It's been a great time. You wanna shop with us?"
"Oh, well I've already got all my stuff," Alice said. "I was just heading over to Quality Quidditch Supplies to drag Frank home. I'll see you September 1st!" Anna and Taylor nodded and the three girls said their goodbyes.
"Thanks for not telling," Anna said quietly once Alice had walked away. "I just… don't want everyone to know," she explained.
"No problem." Taylor and Anna got their new books quickly. Anna kept an eye out for James and Sirius, whom she hadn't seen since the funeral, but was unsuccessful. "You know, if you want to meet them, we could always invite them over to dinner," Taylor said, as Anna craned her neck.
"I never said I wanted to see them," Anna said stubbornly. James and Sirius had tried to come visit her at Taylor's several weeks previous, but Anna, angry at having been sent away the night of her parents' death, had insisted she needed her space. Taylor sighed, but didn't say anything.
Remus came over to dinner at the Carson's the next night. He ended up staying late into the night, talking to Taylor long after everyone else in the house had gone to bed.
"She's not doing to well, is she?" Remus asked, referring to Anna, who had just gone to bed.
Taylor shook her head. "I think she'll be okay once school starts; when she'll have classes, homework, quidditch, and prefect duties to distract her. By the way, I almost forgot; did you get head boy?!"
Now it was Remus' turn to shake his head. "James got it actually. I think Dumbledore's been impressed with how he's been handling everything. Did you get it?"
"Oh, don't pretend you don't know it's going to be Lily," Taylor said, laughing slightly. "Did you see James and Sirius recently, then?"
Remus nodded, "We went to Diagon Alley today. James was acting funny though; insisting that no one find out what happened."
"Anna was the same way when we were there yesterday! She wouldn't even tell Alice!"
"Always gotta carry the world on their shoulders, those two, and not letting anyone else see what they consider to be their 'weaknesses'."
Taylor sighed, and leaned into Remus, snuggling against him. "It's gonna be an interesting year…"
A/N: Sorry it took me so long to do this! I'm not sure how happy I am with it.. It's probably a bit rushed, but I felt bad not updating in so long. This is the last chapter for this story, but I'm making a sequel about the Marauder's 7th year and beyond!! Keep your eyes out for it! I'm hoping to have the first chapter up sooner than I got this chapter up. Possibly tonight if I get my homework done… It'll probably be put up as a James/Lily story but it'll have plenty of Sirius/Anna and some Remus/Taylor. Please Review!! I think there was something else I wanted to say, but I can't remember… REVIEW!!