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Chapter 34 : Part 34: Party so Hearty!
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“S’cuse me, can I see your invitations?” he asked. James, Sirius and Frank presented them. Each male had decided to come without their respective girlfriends for the occasion, as they had to sort out some last minute plans. The bouncer nodded, satisfied. “All right now, don’t you go causing any trouble Mr Black and Mr Potter.”
Sirius and James did a double take. It was Stan from Zonkos. The rabbit bared her teeth.
“I’ve got my eye on you two,” he said as the hand on his shoulder gave a wave.
James and Sirius looked at each other nervously. Even though Stan had booted them out of Zonkos many times before, they didn’t fancy being thrown into the stone walls of the castle – at least the dirt in front of Zonkos was relatively soft and covered with snow during winter. Not to mention he was aided by a psychopathic rabbit and a strange disembodied hand. However, these thoughts were immediately forgotten when the Gryffindor girls entered the room looking ravishing and all James could see was Lily, shining like a star in a golden set of robes.
“Oh Lily, stop worrying,” Alice told her. “You look stunning.”
Lily had indeed put extra effort into her appearance this evening, as to every Gryffindor girl in 7th year’s annoyance and inconvenience. She had spent three hours in the bathroom curling her hair, deciding it looked crap, straightening it, then changing her mind and curling it again. There was also the tedious matter of the eye-make up: first purple, then gold, then a mixture of both. And don’t get me started on the various shades of lipstick. However, she didn’t just want to look good for the occasion; she also wanted to grab the attention of her boyfriend, whom she felt slightly neglected by in recent days. He wasn’t spending as much time with her as usual. She never realised how dependent she had become on his attention.
“I guess,” Lily trailed.
Alice rolled her eyes. “He’d have to be a complete and utter moron to cheat on you now after spending all those years trying to get to you.”
At this precise moment, as James was making his way to Lily, fate chose to slip him up on a piece of chicken that fell on the floor. As if this wasn’t bad enough, he tripped up an entire conga line. Bang! Bang! Bang! By the end of this catastrophe a cymbal stand had impaled the drum kit of the band performing and Peter had his face thrown into a pie rather than a pie being thrown at his face. James got up sheepishly.
“Okay he’s still an idiot Lily, but he’d be really, really, really, really stupid to cheat on you,” Alice stated as James continued as if nothing happened.
“You know you’re not meant to outshine the birthday girl on her birthday right,” he whispered into Lily’s ear. She giggled.
“I know,” Charmy grumbled as she walked past them, startling the couple and ignoring the various bruised people in her way. Up front there was a stage where the cover band was repairing their drum and a small dance floor. The desks were lined up against the walls and serving as buffet tables with all sorts of food set on them. Silencing charms had been placed on the walls so no noise would arouse the teachers’ attention. To the right side of the room it was a miniature casino. There were a few slot machines, tables for other games and a roulette one. But the most noticeable was the round table for blackjack.
“You’re not gambling, got it?” Lily told James. He deflated.
“Awe, c’mon, it’s just a little bit of fun – ” James began but they were soon interrupted by birthday girl.
“Hey is everybody present?” Charmy asked as she climbed onto the stage, knocking the lead singer of the band out of the way. He tripped and once again the drum was ruined as his wand ripped through it.
“Excuse me, but you’re in my face,” he snapped.
“It’s not my fault you’re a klutz,” she retorted. “Is everybody present?”
Of course everybody who was present said they were present and everybody who wasn’t present... well who cares about them anyway?
“Good, let’s get this party started!”
The cover band started up and soon people were semi-moshing and semi-dancing. Alice and Frank were dancing relatively innocently but James, of course, took advantage of the cosiness of the crowd to be close to Lily. Although she played resistant and slapped James’s hands away so they wouldn’t get to her behind or breasts, she immediately felt the relief of his attention. However at the sight of Sirius and Tenika they kept in mind they didn’t want to look like them. The party continued like this for half an hour before Alice, so hypnotised and disgusted by Sirius and his girlfriend, yelled, “Open the presents!”
Sirius and James exchanged worried glances. They had forgotten that detail. Quickly, Sirius grabbed some foil that wrapped the roast chicken as Charmy was busy unwrapping everyone else’s presents.
Remus, who had been avoiding Sirius and James recently, gave her an alien mask which she received with great appreciation. “Wow, a genuine alien head! Thanks Remy!”
“Umm,” Remus responded. “Yeah... Enjoy that.”
“I’ll put it in a glass jar to make sure it’s well preserved. Next!”
A line of people proceeded to get her similarly bizarre gifts which included a mysterious cube that glowed, a mind wiper that looked like an ordinary windshield wiper that had been plucked off a car, a cage that wasn’t appreciated by Whitney, and a laser gun, along with many others. Eventually Lily handed her present over. “Ooh, a genuine Star Wars light sabre! Thanks Lily!” Charmy gave her a hug. “Is this a joint present between you and James?”
“No, I bought this with Alice,” Lily said before James could even think of taking credit.
“That’s nice,” Charmy said. “Although Alice, it would have been better if you just gave me my diamond earrings back.”
“What? Frank got these for me for Christmas.”
“Hmm, I think you really want to discuss that with him then,” Charmy said as the now not-so-happy couple looked at each other. “Next!”
James and Sirius exchanged another glance. They were the last ones to give Charmy a present. And even though Remus wasn’t the strongest of friends with them right now, he couldn’t help but slap his head at their transparent idiocy.
“Sirius and I bought this together,” he said hurriedly, hoping that whatever Sirius was making would be done soon.
“What?!” Sirius exclaimed in hushed tones to James. “No way James, I’m claiming this piece of junk as my own!”
“Oh okay. Let’s see it then!” Charmy said impatiently, like a queen waiting to be served.
Sirius brandished his tin foil creation like a royal prize, kneeling like a soldier about to be knighted. Charmy stared at the lump. “Neat. What is it?”
“It’s a new tin foil hat my dear,” Sirius declared. “The reception on it is as twice as good as your old one.”
Charmy slowly picked up the hat and placed it on her head. A dribble of grease ran down her cheek. “You’re right! The reception on this thing is twice as good as my old one!”
James let out a sigh of relief while Lily looked at him strangely.
“James, you can’t take advantage of the fact that someone is delusional to get them a lousy present,” she hissed.
“But she’s enjoying it! Look!”
Sure enough Charmy had started a monologue, talking to the Slurg King of the distant planet Slurgon. “Oh thank you for calling me Slurg, it’s really nice of you to do this for me on my birthday but aren’t long distance calls expensive...”
Lily shook her head. “You know, I thought she was getting better but I guess not.”
“Come on, let’s dance.” James pulled her by the hand back onto the dance floor before she could further question the lousy present. They moved with each other in time to a bland cover of ‘Don’t Stop til You Get Enough’ and James almost forgot about the plan before a fat character yelled, “Where’s the cake?!”
It was wheeled in by the same house elf who had given James and Lily the hangover juice and a slightly smaller house elf. The cake was enormous, stacked in layers and layers, decorated with useless fancy swirls and dots on its side. Curiously though, instead of the candle number ‘Seventeen’ on top there were a plastic bride and groom.
“Did someone’s orders a wedding cake?” the gruff house elf asked.
“No,” Charmy said. “I ordered a birthday cake. Although this does look grand. Was it a lot of hard work to make?”
“It was a lot of hard work to swipe from that couple,” the smaller house elf muttered. “Did we steal the wrong cake for nothing?”
The larger house elf yanked the plastic bride and groom off the top of the cake and shoved it in the smaller one’s mouth. “Don’t mind what he said.”
The usual birthday song was sung and while everyone was enjoying the cake, Sirius and Tenika were being revoltingly dirty with the whipped cream. Charmy then climbed the stage again and yelled, “Okay let the games begin!”
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