Chapter 15 : Chapter 15: What If I'm Right?
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“Morning, Amb,” Lily greeted cheerfully. Amberle couldn’t help but smile, Lily had been in this crazy happy mood for days now.
“She still on a love high?” Amberle asked Gabriella who laughed.
“Of course, and I don’t think she’s coming down any time soon.”
“I am here you know, I can hear you,” Lily told them.
“Really? I thought because James just walked in that you’d drifted off,” Amberle shrugged. She couldn’t believe it when Lily actually looked around to see James walk into the Hall.
He beamed when he saw Lily and quickened his pace. He reached the table where the girls sat and kissed Lily in greeting.
“Must you do that at the table?” Sirius asked, joining them.
“Not our fault you insist on watching,” James told him and began piling food onto his plate.
“So what are you all up to today?” Remus asked, sitting across from Gabriella who was staring determinedly at her plate.
“Taking it easy, I think,” Amberle said. Lily looked at her like she was crazy. It may have been Saturday but they still had N.E.W.T’s this year and a lot of homework to do. She seemed to read her mind.
“Yes, Lily Evans, we are going to take a break from working today and chill out. Lord knows you need to.”
“We’re going to take the day off and spend it outside,” Gabriella said decisively. Lily hated not sharing a room with her friends anymore because she wasn’t able to stop their ideas before they started. When she heard about them now there was no going back, they were set. Damn them.
“Cool, we’ll come,” Sirius said.
“No you won’t!” all three girls said at the same time. Lily and Gabriella glanced at Amberle and then each other. They knew why Amberle was against the Marauders coming, they were always around now, but they had a different idea in mind. Lily had told Gabriella about what James has said about Sirius liking Amberle and they’d decided to try coax their friend into going out with him.
And they couldn’t very well do that when the guy in question was around them.
“Sorry guys, a girls day,” Gabriella told them. Sirius looked put out, Remus looked slightly sad over something, Peter didn’t seem to care, but James was smiling. As soon as he heard ‘girl day’ he knew what was being planned. Lily wasn’t going to give up a day studying for no reason.
“We could act like girls,” Sirius put in hopefully.
“As well as you could probably do that, Sirius, no you still can’t come,” Lily said smiling.
“Don’t worry, Padfoot, we’ll find something to entertain us for the day,” James said, earning a mischievous grin from Sirius and a warning glare from Lily.
“But completely within rules fun,” he added in response to Lily’s glare. Sirius looked appalled.
“Prongs! What is wrong with you!? You’re whipped already and it hasn’t even been a week!” he cried.
“Actually, Padfoot, it’s been over six years for him,” Remus said. Sirius sat back with a sulk. A girl was ruining his best friend. A girl!
“We’re gonna get going now. See you all at dinner,” Gabriella said. Lily gave James a kiss goodbye while the others waved. Sirius thought he’d make one final attempt but was cut off.
“No! You can’t come, Sirius,” Lily told him before she, Amberle and Gabriella left the Great Hall and out the main doors.
Sirius sighed. “Women; can’t live with them, can’t live without them.”
“We all know you can’t,” Remus said.
“Finally, some peace and quiet,” Amberle sighed and lay down under a tree.
Of course it was quiet, not many people were crazy enough to come outside in the cold and wet. It wasn’t exactly ideal weather conditions to plan a day out, but these were the top three witches of the year. They’d dried up the ground under the tree, placed a shield charm around them to keep the rain off them and then a heat charm to keep them warm. They were prepared, as always.
“This is the first time in ages we’ve had a chance to be together without something coming up,” Lily observed. It was true, the girls hadn’t had much time to just be together since they’d come back to school.
“And that thing was usually James,” Gabriella said cheekily. Lily rolled her eyes but smiled. That was also true.
“How are things going with you two? Pretty good by this mornings display,” Amberle said.
“Things are great! I didn’t know how much we have in common. I never thought I’d be able to have a real conversation with him-”
“Usually because you lips are otherwise occupied when around him,” Amberle added. Lily threw her a glare.
“Well what about you, then? Who’s they guy on your list this week?” Lily asked.
She shrugged. “There isn’t one.”
Gabriella and Lily exchanged quick glances.
“Nobody interesting left.”
“Sure there is,” Gabriella said. “You can’t have dated every guy in the school. There’s still Mark from the Ravenclaw Quidditch team. And there’s always Sirius.” She tried saying it lightly but both she and Lily were watching closely for Amberle’s reaction.
“He’s NEVER a choice,” she said bluntly, her eyes flashing.
“Come on, Amb, I know you like him. Why can’t you admit it,” Lily said. She knew she was walking on dangerous territory, but maybe it would work?
“I do not like him! I never have!” Amberle defended.
“That’s a lie right there,” Gabriella objected. “You liked him in second year. And you like him now, anyone can see that.”
“Second year was a mistake, we agreed on that. He was a selfish, immature, heartless, bigheaded git then and he hasn’t changed one bit since then,” she argued.
“He has changed. He hasn’t dated anyone this year, has he?” Gabriella tried.
Amberle tried to look indifferent. “I hadn’t noticed.”
“To hell you haven’t. your whole ‘I couldn’t care less attitude’ is completely see through, Amb. You like him, admit it! And he likes you,” Lily told her.
“Ok, if I was to say I liked him, it wouldn’t change a thing. He’s the same Black he always was and he does not like me. He likes no one, he just has attraction.”
“So you do like him?” Gabriella pressed.
“Are either of you listening? Yes, ok, I like him. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to act on it. I’m not going down that road again. I tried it once, it failed and I’ve learnt my lesson. I thought you both understood that.”
“We do understand, Amb. But things are different to how they were back in second year. James said Sirius likes you. He hasn’t dated anyone this year because he likes you,” Lily said.
“I don’t care what James says,” Amberle snapped.
“When did you become such a coward?” Gabriella asked mildly.
Amberle’s temper was rising dangerously. “I’m not a coward! So I don’t want to date him, big deal. You never seemed bothered about it before.”
“It’s a big deal because you’re exactly the same way I was with James, and look how well it turned out when I realised I was being stupid? It could be the same with you and Sirius. Just give him a chance!” Lily ventured. She understood Amberle’s frustration, she experienced it herself. This was coming on very suddenly from Amberle’s point of view, she knew that as well. But she too had refused to listen to her heart at the beginning and was only lucky to have James now because he was so determined. But Sirius mightn’t be the same as him. She knew Amberle liked Sirius, no matter how much she refused or insisted she hated him. All she needed was a push in the right direction and she could be happy, the same was she was with James.
“Why? He hasn’t proven anything to me that shows he’s changed. why doesn’t he say it himself?” Amberle asked.
“Come on, Amb. You know as well as we do that if Sirius came and said these things that you’d laugh at him and keep going. You wouldn’t believe him,” Gabriella said.
“But you’d believe us, because you love us and have to,” Lily added with a smile.
Amberle glared at the pair. “Maybe.”
“So, Padfoot, have you asked her out yet?”
The four Marauders had commandeered the Head common room in the absence of the Head Girl. They now were spread, quite comfortably, across the two sofas, one of the armchairs and the floor. Sirius looked up from his place of the sofa.
James sighed. “White, have you asked her out yet?”
“White? Why would I ask her out? She’d kill me!”
“Yes her, White, Lily’s best friend-”
“And the girl who happens to hate us?” Sirius interrupted. James just shrugged.
“Not any more, she likes you.”
Sirius sat up straight. “Really?” then he looked suspicious. “Did Lily tell you this?”
“Yes, Lily told me. But I guessed before that. It’s pretty obvious, Padfoot.”
Sirius grinned happily. “I knew she couldn’t resist me forever.”
Remus, who had been watching curiously, sighed at this point and shook his head. He agreed with James that Amberle liked Sirius, but she was also very like Lily and was going to be very cautious when moving into the circle of Marauders. James had seen this and knew he had to change to get Lily. Sirius mightn’t see it the way James did though. But then again, Amberle and Lily weren’t exactly the same.
One thing was certain; it was certainly going to be interesting.
“Lily, can’t we just stay outside a little while longer?” Amberle whined. As soon as dinner time came Lily was up and leading them to the castle, already discussing her homework plan for the night. The girl really needed a life outside of school work.
“No we can’t! I said I’d take the day off, which I did. It’s now the evening and we have homework to do,” Lily lectured.
“I liked it better when she was too preoccupied with James in her own room to be bothered about out homework,” Amberle whispered to Gabriella who nodded. Lily however, with her spooky hearing, heard them.
“It’s for your own good,” she said, not slowing her pace.
“I hate how things that are ‘for our own good’ always involve something boring,” Amberle complained.
Lily ignored her and made wove a path towards the Head dorms. She said the password when she reached the portrait, in record time, and crawled through the opening. She waved in greeting to the boys gathered, her mind already in her room with her books. She let out a shriek of surprise as she was seized around the waist and pulled on to the sofa. She looked up into the mischief gleaming eyes of James.
“Hello, Lily dear, nice of you to drop in,” he said, grinning widely.
“Let me go, James! I have homework to do,” Lily said, trying to squirm her way out of his strong hold. James laughed harder but never loosened his grip.
“No can do, Lils. See the Marauders have claimed today as a ‘homework free’ day, so I’m afraid you can’t break the rule either. You just have to sit here with us!” James said and, unable to avoid her since she was lying on top of him, earned a slap from Lily but she did finally settle down.
In the mean time, Amberle and Gabriella had arrived. They watched the exchange between James and Lily with the same amused expression as the Marauders. Gabriella walked over to the last free armchair, still laughing, and left Amberle standing before everyone.
For the first time in memory, Amberle White blushed. It could have been being left standing in front of everyone, or perhaps it was because she remembered the conversation down by the lake and by complete coincidence that the only seat left was on the sofa with Sirius. Just great.
She walked over and sat down, trying to pretend as though it didn’t bother her one bit. But it did bother her. Why? What was wrong with her today?
Sirius on the other hand was delighted with the arrangement. He looked over at James with a beaming expression and winked. His friend smiled and nodded his head, but Lily looked on worriedly. What were they planning?
Sirius sat up suddenly and turned towards Amberle with the same wide, charming grin. The sudden movement surprised everyone, mainly because Sirius never moved unless it was for food or a girl, and turned to watch.
“Amberle, my dearest, how are you?” he asked in his ‘charming’ voice. Amberle looked at him with faint disgust. Where did he get off calling her “dearest”?
“I’m cold. You?”
“Perfect!” he grinned. Amberle tried very hard not to role her eyes but failed miserably.
“Now, Amb dear, I’ve recently learned some interesting information about you and I’ve decided to spare you any more heartache and allow you to go out with me,” Sirius proclaimed as though this should have made Amberle’s year.
Lily stared between Sirius and Amberle in shock. The idiot did not just do that! Where did he get “be you’re same old arrogant self” from “Amberle hates the arrogant you” speech James was meant to give? She looked over at her boyfriend with a hard glare.
He was dead.
Amberle hadn’t said a word. She was staring in total surprise at Sirius. Why had he asked? And after the lecture she’d gotten off Lily and-
Lily! She’d done this! She went and told James who told Sirius who had asked her out.
She was dead.
“Now I know this is a huge honour for someone such as yourself, but the least you could do is give the answer then we can all be happy,” Sirius said, a little miffed that she hadn’t jumped into his arms straight away and kissed him with happiness. Guess he had to wait a little longer. But the grin continued.
Amberle’s eyes turned to stone. “Ok, I’ll give you an answer; no. No I’ll never go out with you, no it’s not an honour to ask and no I’m not at all sarcastic.”
With that she stood and walked out of the common room. Everyone stared after her, silence enveloping the room.
Sirius stopped grinning.
Amberle stormed down the corridor, her face blazing with anger and her eyes flashing with lightening. Everyone she met along the way flattened themselves against the wall to avoid getting in her way. No was thick enough to get in the way of an extremely pissed off Amberle White.
No one, except Sirius Black.
How dare he! How dare he do that to her! How could he even think she’d say yes, nevertheless tell her she was going to?
“Maybe because you were going to?” came the ever present in the time of crisis incredibly annoying yet truthful voice.
How Amberle despised that voice.
But, like all times, it was right now. For a moment she had considered saying yes. Why? And why didn’t she go with it? At that moment Lily and Gabriella’s argument had flashed through her mind. Could they be right? Had Sirius Black really changed? It didn’t seem that way to her. He still seemed the same arrogant, selfish, immature prat he’d always been to her.
So why did she consider it? Even for a moment?
“Because you like him.”
Was it natural to hate a part of yourself as though it was your enemy?
This time it wasn’t right. Ok, she was lying, it was. She did like Sirius. As much as she hated herself for it and the fact itself, she wasn’t able to deny it to herself. She could to everyone, but not herself.
But now she couldn’t deny it to everyone. According to Lily it was obvious. And the Marauders knew now too. She put any money they were in the common room discussing it. She could picture the scene; Lily and Gabriella spitting nails at Sirius for messing it up (she was positive they had some involvement in this) and the Marauders consoling him saying he would get her next time.
But would there be a next time? And if there was, would she resist? If he hadn’t added in that last sentence she was terrifyingly sure she would have said yes, even if she didn’t entirely want to.
So what would happen if he asked again?
Guess she was going to find out.
“What the hell was that?!” Lily yelled when Amberle was gone. She wasn’t, however, shouting at Sirius but instead at James.
“What?” he asked confused, and a little scared. Lily and Amberle were very alike in their temper tantrums.
“What did you tell him!? You were meant to tell him not to act like his arrogant self when talking to her!” Lily fumed.
“Why are you yelling at me? Sirius is the one who said it!” James retorted, casting a glance at Sirius. He’d hoped to jump the blame to him, especially since he himself was far to close to Lily for this to be safe….and painless. It wasn’t working.
“I’m yelling at you, you idiot, because you were meant to tell him! How the hell was Sirius meant to know how to act when he’s been doing it wrong for six years?” she raved.
“Hey, I managed to figure it out,” James defended. Lily only scoffed.
“Yeah right, I know very well that the only reason you changed was because Remus told you you were being a prat.”
James was about to retort but Gabriella cut him off.
“Look, we’re here to solve the Sirius and Amberle problem, not get drafted back into the never ending love story that is James and Lily,” she stated. James and Lily fell immediately silent while Gabriella turned her attention to Sirius.
“Why in the hell were you such an idiot?” she asked simply. For the first time Sirius looked up. He’d been staring at the portrait entrance since Amberle had left, as though thinking that staring would bring her back through it.
“I don’t know! I didn’t mean it….I just…I don’t know,” Sirius conceded. He’d been an idiot, he knew it, but could he make Amberle see he wasn’t always like that? That he really did like her and it wasn’t some fluke?
Suddenly he stood up and made his way out of the common room, ignoring the questions being fired at him. He had to find Amberle.
It didn’t take very long, he’d had the Marauder’s Map in his pocket. Ten minutes later he was rushing up the stairs to the Astronomy Tower and Amberle. He opened the door quietly and walked in.
She turned so fast Sirius was sure she’d gotten some form of whiplash. When she say who it was she turned back around and continued staring out over the grounds. Sirius took this as an invitation and joined her. They stood in silence for a while until Amberle decided he wasn’t going to just leave.
“What are you doing here, Black?” she asked indifferently. Or she hoped it sounded that way.
Ouch, Black, that hurt. She only called him that lately when she was really mad.
“I wanted to talk to you,” he said, glancing at her. She stared determinedly at the Forbidden Forest.
“What about? That pathetic attempt you made to charm me in the common room?” This girl really knew how to hurt Sirius Black; nothing he did was ever pathetic.
“Listen, Amberle, I can explain.”
That brought back memories.
“Listen, Amberle, I can explain.”
Twelve year old Amberle White stood like a statue, staring in shock at Sirius Black, her boyfriend.
Or rather, ex-boyfriend by the looks of things. He looked quite cosy with Vanessa Hill, another second year in Gryffindor.
“Wh-What’s there to explain?” she asked shakily.
“I think it’s time we broke things off. We’ve been dating, what, two weeks? Be happy it was so long, but you have to give someone else a turn. You understand.”
With that, he walked away, Hill clinging to his waist, grinning at though she had a grapefruit stuck in her jaws.
No, Amberle didn’t understand. She didn’t get how someone could be so cold and flippant about ending a relationship, even someone who was only twelve.
And she’d never fully understand.
“What is there to explain?” she asked.
He looked at her strangely. What was she doing? “Well about what happened back there.”
“What happened? Anything exciting?”
“Ok, Amberle, you can knock off the act now,” Sirius said frustrated. For the first time since he’d gotten there, she looked at him. And it was the coldest look he’d even seen.
“So can you.”
The worst thing about that statement; Sirius knew what she was talking about.
“Amberle, it’s not an act. I have changed. I-”
“Not from where I stand,” she muttered. Sirius chose to ignore her.
“I’m not the same person I was in second year, Amberle. And I do like you.”
“You say you’ve changed, Sirius? That you really like me this time? You’re saying you won’t drop me in two weeks again?”
“Yes,” he answered confidently. It was working!
Maybe it wasn’t.
“How? What do you want me to do? I’ll do it, I’ll do whatever it takes to get you to believe me. But if you can’t believe it on my word, then how could we ever make this work?”
Amberle looked up at him again. Maybe he really had changed. he was certainly doing a lot to get her, a lot more than he’d ever done anyway. The old Sirius would never have come out with a statement like that. So maybe he had.
But was it enough? So he wasn’t the same guy he was in second year, did that mean he was better, or worse? Could she trust him? Could she have a relationship built on doubt and previous hatred?
That was true. Lily had hated James as much as she did Sirius, yet she was now sitting comfortably with him in her common room. Could she do the same? Could she give Sirius the benefit of the doubt and take a chance?
Sirius watched her battle with herself. He knew she was trying to work out what to do so he decided it best not to interrupt. but when he saw her expression soften he thought that maybe, just maybe, he could give it another go.
“Amberle? Will you go out with me?”
She took a deep breath. “Ok, I’ll give you a chance.”
Love was a risk after all.
A/N: Well there you go, did you like it? Please review and tell me! Sorry about the long wait, my computer crashed!
Anyway, hope you enjoyed it and tell me what you think! = )
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