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Chapter 23: Surprise Surprise
I had ran all the way down to the lake and sat by the oak tree next to it. This tree brought back memories. It was the same tree where Sirius and I had sat months before and he had told me that he wanted to be with me. Tears pricked the sides of my eyes, but I wouldn't let them fall. I wasn't going to cry over stupid Sirius Black. After an hour I couldn't stand the February air anymore. I stood up shaking out the stiffness in my arms and legs. I trudged up to the castle not really wanting to go back to the common room, but knowing that I would have to face them all sooner or later.
"Cupid." I mumbled and my heart twinged at the stupid password made for the holiday that resided in February. The Fat Lady swung open and I stepped through the portrait hole.
"SURPRISE!" I stopped and looked at the entire Gryffindor House standing in the common room. I was in shock. I still had half my body in the portrait hole while only one foot was in the common room. Sirius stood in front of me with a guilty and sheepish smile on his face. I pulled myself together and stepped fully into the common room. James stood a few feet behind Sirius with a smug look on his face. Evans was looking at me guiltily for playing along with the rest of the Marauders. Remus was waving his wand around while sparks came shooting out to spell out Happy Birthday. A Happy Birthday banner was draped across the fireplace. I stared at Sirius wondering if this was a joke or if his latest mistake had been a dream. He looked at me trying to decipher my reaction.
"I-I," I shook my head trying to clear it and figure my thoughts out, "Is this what you and Taylor had been working on?" Sirius nodded his head and shame flooded my body and heat rose to my cheeks. I had been so jealous that I hadn't given Sirius time to explain anything. Was it really February 24th already? I hadn't even remembered that it was my own birthday! How stupid could I get? I collapsed into Sirius' open arms and sobbed against his chest.
"She's fine everybody! Reese is back to normal!" His laughter vibrated through his whole body and he nuzzled his nose against my wet cheeks. I looked up at him and kissed him. "Claire, you have to realize that I love you and only you. I would never do what you thought I was doing to you!" I bit my lip and stared up at his gorgeous face. His brown eyes looked down into my blue ones earnestly.
"I love you too, but if you ever pull a stunt like this again..." Sirius shook his head laughing. He held up two fingers and smiled down at me.
"Wizard's honor." I giggled and wrapped my hand around his and our fingers intertwined. "C'mon, let's go enjoy your birthday! Wait till you see what I got you!" His eyes sparkled like a little kid's when he has a birthday himself and pulled me towards the center of the party.
Hours later when the party had finally winded down it was just the Marauders, Lily, and I still in the common room. We had saved presents for last and a pile sat in front of me. I rubbed my hands together and watched each of my friends faces in front of me. They were so eager for me to open their presents. I shut my eyes and grabbed one of the boxes in front of me. It was from Lily. I tore off the wrapping paper and pulled out a book.
"Helpful Hints on a Young Wizard's Mind." I snickered and looked at Sirius, James, and Remus shocked faces. Peter once again was missing from the group.
"There's a book on our-our minds!" James spluttered looking at Lily shocked. She shrugged aimlessly, a smirk on her lips.
"Next." Sirius replied, dumbly still shell shocked. I giggled and grabbed for another box. This one was from Remus. I pulled open the box and pulled out a really soft blanket. It was the night sky with stars and a full moon on it. I looked up at him with questioning eyes. Remus gave me a small smile.
"You'll figure it out soon enough." I shrugged and picked up another present. This one was from James. I tore off the wrapping paper and smiled as I took out the stash from Zonkos.
"Thanks James!" I smiled wide since my last bag of tricks was running low. The last present was the largest and it was from Sirius. I pulled it towards me my heart throbbing loudly in my chest. I took off the top of the box and found a slightly smaller box inside of that one. I looked up at Sirius annoyed and he chuckled lightly. I took that one out and the pattern continued for five or six more boxes. Finally a small velvet box was laying in my hand. My stomach was twisting itself up and my heart was in my throat. I swallowed and my fingers grazed the top of the box. My fingers were shaking.
"C'mon Reese, open it!" Sirius was bouncing up and down on his knees and I chuckled.
"All right! Calm down Black don't throw a fit!" I snapped the top open and my eyes widened in shock. A ring sat in the middle of the case, a beautiful ring might I add. It had a silver band and tiny diamonds leading up to two hearts overlapping with a diamond in the middle of each heart. It was a promise ring. Sirius leaned over and slipped the ring onto my left hand ring finger. It fit perfectly.
"I had it engraved. Look inside." I pulled it off and looked inside the ring. Forever Love. I pursed my lips willing myself not to cry, but the tears betrayed me. He slipped the ring back onto my finger and pulled me into his embrace. "I want to marry you someday Reese. This is my promise to you that we will spend the rest of our lives together." I pulled his face down to mine and kissed him sweetly. James made a disgusted choking sound and Lily and Remus burst out laughing. I looked at them and stuck my tongue out at them. It didn't matter what they thought, I had gotten my prince.