Author's Note: Here it is, the end of the story. Ten chapters in ten days, I'm pooped and also a little sad. As of now, this is my last FanFic. I want to dedicate my writing time to my original novel, which is nearly complete. I'm hoping it will be available for sale by the end of the calendar year. I'll definitely let everyone know when it is. Thanks to all of my readers. Thanks to my beta Arnel. Her turn around time is remarkable and I am a better writer because of her. Enjoy, our couple finally embraces their love and new relationship. MNF
Friday, 13 April, 1979
I was awake before Anwen, and I laid there, thinking of everything we'd said the day before and how we were finally, truly together. I couldn't believe how beautiful she was as she slept it seemed to be the only time that she was ever truly at peace. I desperately wanted to see her like that when she was awake as well. Anwen was never going to have to shoulder all her responsibilities by herself again. I would bear as much of that weight as she'd let me.
My little one began to stir, stretching her sinewy body. Oh man, the arch of her back, the way she points her toes, the taught muscles of her legs against me. If I wasn't already sporting a major boner that would have done it for me. She stretched again and rolled so that her face was toward me. Her eyes began to flutter open and she looked up at me with unabashed happiness. I leaned down to kiss her, and got the back side of her hand instead.
"Er, why aren't you letting me kiss you?"
"Morning breath," she muttered from behind her hand. I couldn't help but laugh at her.
"Anwen, we've been sharing a bed for years. I know what your breath smells like first thing in the morning. Come on, don't be getting all weird about being around me now, please?"
"Fine," she grumbled as she moved her hand. My lips moved over hers, but our kisses were still chaste. When we were done with the morning smooch, I wanted to ask her about her reluctance to really kiss me, when she did something surprising. She snuggled herself right up against me, leaving me nowhere to hide my morning erection.
"Anwen, what are you doing?" I asked as I attempted to shift around so she wouldn't feel it.
"I'm cuddling up with my boyfriend, since as much as I'd like to spend the day in bed again, we can't. I have errands I must run today." She burrowed her body into mine, and I know that I brushed right against her leg. I flinched and tried to move away. "Dear, you do know that's perfectly normal, don't you?"
"Huh?" Then it came to me what she was referring to. "How do you know it's normal?"
"I had sex education class when I was in primary school. Not to mention that we've been sleeping together," she said with a blush. "Er well, sharing a space while sleeping I mean, for years."
"Wait, you had a class about sex? How old were you?" This was shocking to me. We had that dumb lesson with Professors Flitwick and Slughorn in our fifth year, but honestly thinking about either of them shagging is just wrong. Even that was just about charms and how to do them.
"It's not about sex the way you're thinking," she corrected me. "It's more about body parts and how they act. You know tab A into slot B. Most of it was really about why we started growing hair where it hadn't ever been before and how to keep from smelling bad."
"Tab A into slot B? I think for us it should be tab B into slot A." Anwen giggled at that one.
"No comment," she got out while she was trying to calm herself. "I know you didn't go to primary school, but didn't your father ever explain it to you?" I was quiet, glad that she wasn't looking at my face, but rather resting her head against my chest. What I had to say here wasn't easy, but I knew I needed to be honest with her.
"Not exactly love," I responded before taking a deep breath. "My father's idea of teaching me about sex was taking me to a brothel the day I turned thirteen and hiring a nymph. He hit her some, told me to do the same and then 'do the deed' as he put it."
"Oh," she answered quietly, her fingers now stroking along my arm, "but you said your first time was when you were fourteen?"
"It was, I couldn't hurt the girl...we just talked. I've become friends with her, and I'm working to buy her freedom. The only conversation that I'd ever had was with Mr. Potter when I was sixteen. Didn't have the heart to tell him he was two years too late. Except what he was talking about was loving someone, and having sex be an expression of that. I've never felt that way before."
Anwen was quiet and I thought that I might have messed things up between us again, but as usual, she surprised me. She lifted herself up and looked into my eyes in one of her 'I see your soul' moments. "Then when we get there, it will be a new experience for both of us." Her voice was no louder than a whisper but she could have just as easily be screaming on the roof about how much she loved me. She leaned down and put another quick kiss on my lips.
"Alright," she said with a huff when she was done with my mouth, "I really do need to be getting up. I have so much to do today, since apparently I'm spending tomorrow with Lily. Really, she wants to take me shopping and then for a massage and then back to her house to do my hair and make up. I can do it myself in like twenty minutes. I don't want to spend the entire day away from you, not when I have to go back to school on Monday."
"Let her have her fun, love. She really does want to do this for you."
"I think that it's just her being the new Lady Potter has gone to her head. It's not like I would have ever been presented to the Queen, even if the practice hadn't been stopped like thirty years ago," she explained with an air of scoff in her voice. "I am the daughter of a dairy farmer from Wales, nary a bit of royal blood in me."
"What are you talking about?" The queen and royalty? Is she serious?
"The idea of dressing me up in a white dress and having a dinner dance is patterned after the practice of presenting young women who were eligible to be married to the Queen. Since I will not have a marriage arranged for me, the entire process is a tad silly."
"I'm glad that no one is planning to arrange your marriage. I've already decided that no bloke is getting your hand except me." I could feel Anwen stiffen against me, and her eyes got wide. I wasn't sure what I'd said that was wrong, but it was obvious that there was something. "Anwen?"
"Uh, sorry. It's just, when you talk like that, I get...nervous. I'm not ready to even jokingly talk about marriage...it makes me scared." Stupid man, she's told you that she's uncomfortable with taking things too fast. "Sirius, I know that you're quite sure of yourself and our relationship, but I'm still..."
"Love, stop, please," I asked her and she nodded. "I don't know what to do about your fear, except promise you that I will always be here when you need me, however you need me."
"I've never doubted that, dear. Just, take things slow, okay? At least for right now, I need this to be slow."
"Is that why you won't kiss me, really kiss me?" Anwen blushed and her lips curled upward.
"Yes," she replied. "All of this feels, my whole life in fact, feels like I have no control. Things just happen and I can't see where I'm headed or how to prepare. I'm trying, I really am, but at least if I can control how intimate we are, if I can keep us from being lost in our passions..."
"Anwen," I stopped her from rambling with my fingers over her lips, "I get it. You want your head to be in charge. That's fine for now, but at some point you're going to have to let your heart take over. It's just how it goes, love."
"I will, soon even, I'm just not there yet." She sounded so embarrassed. I needed to get her out of bed and into her day. Maybe if she felt like other things were under her control, she'd be willing to ease up on this part of her life. If she doesn't I'm going to need to find something better than cold showers to take the edge off.
We got up and while Winnie showered I made her breakfast. She was impressed that I hadn't burned the toast. I was quite proud of myself as well, considering that I threw more bricks of charcoal out than I'd care to admit.
Our first stop was Diagon Alley and Gringotts where she deposited her signing bonus from the theatre and then removed most of it to pay for things she needed for the meal on Sunday. We stopped and purchased the few things she needed for school before heading out into Muggle London. List in hand, I followed my girl to the market, the butcher and the bakery. I carried her bags and held open doors. I even smiled at the little old ladies that looked at me appreciatively for holding the doors for them as well.
"It's not nice of you to charm them so," Anwen mockingly teased. "Their hearts might not withstand such things." I didn't need to reply, I just grinned madly at her.
We put away the parcels before she started her prep work for Easter Sunday dinner. The conversation between us was easy and light and Anwen drifted by me several times, always stopping to lightly brush her lips against mine.
Eva had us all over to her parents' house for dinner that night and Anwen told the rest of the gang her news. Prongs expressed his concern for her safety, but it wasn't hard to win him over. The girls seemed to think that it was high time for more women to work in such jobs and in the end James promised to have his cousin Alice call and tell Anwen more about what she'd be doing as a female Auror.
Eva was over just after dawn on Saturday, which I was thankful for as I needed to get Anwen out of the house so that I could go pick her family up at King's Cross. Liddy was arriving at half past ten with the rest of the Hogdsons arriving at eleven. Prongs, Moony and I were taking them out to lunch and then back to our house to get ready for the party tonight.
Anwen was reluctant to leave me, which made me exceptionally happy, but in the end Eva did pull her out of the house and off to meet Lily at the tea house on the corner. Moony and I quickly cleaned the house, even the bathrooms, so that I could show her family where she lived and how well she was doing. I had hoped to have Peter with us as well, but he'd made some lame excuse last night as to why he couldn't spend the day with his mates. There is something very wrong going on with Wormtail. I don't know if it's a family thing or a girl thing or what, but he's acting as jumpy as…well, as jumpy as a rat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Liddy Hodgson reminded me very much of her older sister, save Anwen's brown hair was replaced by Liddy's spun gold. She recognized me before I had found her as she disembarked from the train and quickly made her way to us.
"Oh my gosh, Sirius, you look just like the pictures Anwen has sent me," she gushed. Liddy was a bundle of energy, just like my girl had been at thirteen. "Oh, and you're Mr. Potter and you're Mr. Lupin. It's a pleasure to meet you both." Hey, why did they get Mr.'s and I just got my first name?
"Liddy, please call me James. It's a pleasure to meet you," Prongs said as he leaned down and kissed her cheek hello.
"I'm Remus. Mr. Lupin was my father."
"Very well, then," the girl replied. "I was always taught to respect my elders." I choked down a laugh at that.
"Lid, we're not that much older than you," I reminded her.
"Well, you're all twenty, and I'm only thirteen, I'd say that's a fair bit older," she quipped back and I realized she had her sister's tongue as well.
"You, young lady, are far too much like your older sister," Moony said with appreciation in his voice. "Do you have any other bags that we need to pick up?"
"No," Liddy answered as she shook her head. "It's only one night, so besides the dress that I'm wearing tonight I just needed pyjamas. My Ma is bringing my Easter dress. Anwen will be thrilled; she's bringing one for her, too. We'll all match, Mum, Eira, Anwen and me."
"Oh," I started to laugh. "Anwen's going to hate it. Please tell me it's not pink."
"No, thankfully Eira wanted pink so Anwen got stuck with yellow."
"She'll be equally thrilled."
"What time are Ma and Da getting in?" I pulled my pocket watch out and Liddy smiled at it. Looks like Anwen might have shared much more with her sister than I'd suspected.
"In about ten minutes," I answered. "They're coming in on platform seven, we're on nine now. I suggest we get going if we're going to be there to greet them. May I take your bag?" With that I discovered that Liddy also blushed just like her sister. She handed me her bag and James offered the girl his arm and it was obvious that she was enjoying the attention.
We got to platform seven just as the train from Cardiff was pulling in. I'd never met Mr. Hodgson, and Anwen's Ma had left a rather bitter memory from my encounters with her when my girl was so sick last summer. I hoped that this visit was better.
Liddy caught sight of her family before they saw her, and she slipped her hand from James' arm and ran to greet them. She then pulled them to us.
"Mr. Hodgson," I said before he could speak as they neared us. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Sirius Black, Anwen's boyfriend. This is my best friend, James Potter and my roommate, Remus Lupin."
Mr. Hodgson cut a burly figure. Not nearly as tall as any of us, he was sturdily built with a barrel chest. He sized me up before gripping my hand so hard that I was concerned he might break my fingers. I could feel how calloused his hands were from his years of farm work.
"Nice to meet you too, young man. All of you," he said with nods to the guys. "Anwen speaks very fondly and often of you. I would hate to see my little girl get her heart broken…" I froze, unsure of where he was going with the conversation.
"Cal, stop trying to scare the boy," Mrs. Hodgson reprimanded him. "You'll have plenty of time for that later. Hello Sirius," she said turning her attention to me. "It's a pleasure to see you for a happier occasion."
"Yes, ma'am, it is." Mr. Hodgson released my hand and I took Anwen's mother's hand and kissed the top of it.
"I can see you're still a charmer. It's no wonder Anwen's been smitten with you for all these years." Anwen's brothers began to scrapple with each other behind their mother's back. "Boys, don't make me turn around." Surprisingly, they stopped.
"Why don't we get your things and then get a caravan to take us to the house. We can drop off your things before we get a spot of lunch?" I was hopeful that this plan was a good one for them. Truthfully man, you're hopeful that all of this goes well with them.
"Sounds like a plan. Cal, get the boys."
"I've got them Mrs. Hodgson," James said. "Wasn't all that different when I was their age. Sirius and I gave my Dad a very hard time." James took Haf by one hand and Wyn by the other.
"So, you've known Sirius a long time, then?" Anwen's father asked Prongs.
"We were seven or eight when we first met. Remus we became friends with us when we were eleven, same with our other mate, Peter. We all shared a dorm at school together."
"So you're all…uh…" he stumbled over what to call magic since we were among Muggles.
"Yes, we're all like Anwen," I answered. "I understand that little Eira is already showing signs of being like us." Mr. Hodgson lifted his toddler daughter up into his arms. She started stroking the whiskers on his face.
"Yes, she is," Mrs. Hodgson said quietly. "At least we knew what it was this time."
"Here, let me take that for you," Remus said as he reached for the large shoulder bag that Mrs. Hodgson was carrying. He then offered his arm to Liddy, who took it with another blush of her cheeks. I offered my arm to my sweet girl's mother.
We collected their cases and hired a ride. It thankfully didn't take long, and we stopped at the house briefly before heading to lunch. We returned to the house and Mrs. Hodgson put the two youngest down for naps while Mr. Hodgson cornered me in the kitchen.
"What are your intentions toward my daughter?"
"Mr. Hodgson, I love your daughter. Anwen is the most important person in the world to me and I will do everything I can to make sure that she's happy and safe."
He looked at me for a moment before he gave a curt nod of his head and then walked out. I guess that I answered that one right.
The Portkey with the Hodgsons was interesting. Having never really been social with Muggles made me a less than effective guide. Thankfully Prongs was there, and far more helpful.
Lily and Eva had everyone waiting in the hallway when Anwen came down with her Da. I stayed off to the side, letting her see her family and giving them all a minute to greet her. I'd seen Anwen dressed up before, but the way she looked right now, it was breathtaking. The dress was nearly the same colour as her skin and it accentuated her curves. She is definitely not a child, or a girl. That is the dress of a woman. I could barely breathe much less move at the way she looked.
The guests were shepherded into the ballroom, leaving Anwen standing there. I knew she'd been looking for me, and when I moved to stand in front of her all I could see was her look of relief and love. I touched her arm and she sighed.
"May I escort you in?"
"Of course," she answered, slipping her hand into the crook of my arm. She commented about having her family here and gently kissed my cheek. I know I said something to her, but my mind was on how desperately I wanted to really kiss her and the million reasons why I couldn't do it right now.
Once we were seated and dinner was served, Anwen seemed distracted. I thought she might not eat a whole lot, but when she appeared to only shove her food around her plate I got worried. I took her hand under the table and gave it a squeeze.
"Winnie love, are you all right? You've hardly eaten anything."
"Er, yes, fine. Just excited." There's something else going on here, I know it. Is she afraid to be affectionate around her parents? They know she's in love with me, that we're together. She's apparently been writing home about me for years.
"Are you cold? Your hand feels like ice." I started to take the jacket of my robes off so she could wear it, but Anwen pushed her chair back and got up instead.
"No, no, I'm fine, really. Will you excuse me, please?" Anwen bolted from the room. I stood to follow her, but instead Lily got up and waved me off. I tipped my head in understanding and sat back down. Remus got the conversation going again, asking questions about some Muggle sport or something. How does he know so much about such a Muggle thing?
It didn't take long for Lily to return with Anwen, and when she sat down next to me there was a difference in her body. I put my arm over the top of her chair, and she settled herself against me. I moved my chair closer and she snuggled as close as she could, given the arms on our chairs. I let my hand brush against her bare shoulders and back, my fingers tingling where they touched her.
The cake that I'd had made for her was served a while later, and I could tell that she was impressed with the chocolate and caramel concoction. I could have cared less about the dessert, it was much more interesting to watch each forkful disappear behind my love's lips and the way her tongue would remove every last morsel from her silverware.
Gifts were opened, but I couldn't tell you what Anwen received. The smouldering look in her eyes, the lingering glances made me just want to be alone with her, holding her, kissing her.
Lily arranged for dancing and Mr. Hodgson had told her about her favourite Bach piece when she was a child. She was smiling at her Da as they twirled and spun across the floor. I watched the rest of the Marauders dancing with my girl, letting her have her time with each of them, even Peter. Finally, she was done with everyone else and Remus spun her right into my arms. As she took my hand and put her other on my shoulder, a shock passed between us. She was home, I was back home.
"May I have this dance, love? I've waited all night to dance with the birthday girl."
"Of course." We began to waltz, and just like at the Yule ball, we fit perfectly together.
"I really can't thank you enough. You've made my birthday wonderful," she told me in hushed tones before she leaned in to whisper in my ear. "My family did it just right."
I turned my head just enough that our cheeks were pressed beside each other. "I told you, nothing is too much for you. I love you, Anwen Hodgson, forever."
Her breath caught and then she took an unsteady breath. "I love you too, Sirius Black, with all my heart." We stared at one another for a moment, and then I had to kiss her. I leaned down to brush my lips against hers. I was surprised when she moved her hand to the back of my head and held me against her. This was a kiss of passion. This was Anwen letting me know that she was over being careful. She was ready to dive in. I returned her passion with my own.
Finally, after months of trying, my girl was honestly, truly and finally mine.