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Chapter 7 : Birthday bliss and kisses
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Hope Murphy was officially the “it” girl of the school. Her already impressive CV was now topped off by the news that she had bagged Sirius Black. The word on the street was that he could be “The One” who could actually last in a long term relationship with her. Whilst Sirius ignored all the talk, Hope relished it, soaking up the gossip like it was her ridiculously expensive skin cream. She made absolutely certain that she and Sirius were seen snogging in public. Whilst this was great for her and fun for Sirius, Amelia was suffering. Whilst she tried her best not to show how she felt about Sirius, she couldn’t help, but lose all her composure whenever Hope and Sirius started making out. Lily was trying to hold herself together as well, but Jake had refused to leave Amelia’s side in the last two days so she couldn’t help, but feel downhearted. Despite this, she continued to put on a brave face and appear cheerful and supportive of her best friend. Remus and James were spending time together as a result of Sirius’ arrangement. Remus’ attempts to get closer to Amelia were being stunted by Jake, who knew she wasn’t in the mood for anything. Jake’s birthday came along and although they had lessons in the morning, as promised, he took Amelia for a picnic in the afternoon. He was going to be given all his presents in the evening at his party. The 3 Marauders, Amelia, Lily, Hope and Hayley were all invited and it was being held in their dormitory. Amelia however, had wanted to give Jake his present early.
“How’re you feeling Amy?” Jake asked. They were sat under a huge tree out somewhere in the Hogwarts grounds. Amelia was biting into a sandwich. She’d been very quiet since her encounter with Sirius and Hope, her usual amorous appearance blighted by bloodshot eyes, lank hair and pale skin. Her perky personality was also suffering; she was still struggling to regain the use of her voice.
“I’m better, thanks,” she replied. “I dunno why I’m making such a big deal out of this; it’s only Sirius sodding Black.” Each of the last three words was punctuated with a stabbing motion with her fork. Jake hadn’t given her a knife.
“So can I have my present now?” Jake knew this might sound tactless, but he was desperate to get the subject off Sirius. It worked and Amelia smiled; her lips dry and cracking.
“I think you’ll like this.” She produced a large box, which had numerous objects inside. As Jake opened it, there was a puff of smoke. He delved his hand in and pulled out a necklace. It wasn’t much of a looker and Jake raised his eyebrow slightly.
“It’s charmed to ensure that when you’re wearing it, people don’t look at you twice, whatever you’re doing. Useful if you want to sneak off with Hayley,” she explained, throwing him a wink.
The next object Jake pulled out was a book she’d found, full of tips to charm witches. It even included a list of perfect compliments to give girls. Jake got the hint. The next object was slightly different. It was a framed photo of Jake on his dad’s shoulders with Amelia alongside. Even as Jake watched, the pictures came to life and the image of Amelia dragged Jake off his dad, jumping on his back and making Jake carry her around. Jake grinned. Nothing had changed then. Before Amelia could react, he’d pulled her into a huge hug, barrelling her to the ground as they both laughed. She kissed him lightly as they sat up. He turned back to his box of presents and saw one last object in the box. He pulled it out and smiled. It was a note from his mum.
Dear Jake. Even though you aren’t with us at the moment, we’re all thinking of you. I know you feel I don’t understand you because of who you are and to an extent you’re right, That’s why I let Amelia pick out all your presents. But you’re still my son and I love you. I hope everything goes well at Hogwarts and we’ve got a new mobile sent out to you (if wizards use phones that is). Love Mum. Xx
“Happy birthday Jake,” Amelia whispered.
Amelia managed to detach herself from Jake as soon as they headed back to the castle. He was heading off to his daily ritual of flirting with Hayley before dinner. She usually just responded with a little flirtation back, but occasionally it went slightly further. They were finally starting to connect, but most importantly, Jake was making it clear he wasn’t James. As Amelia made her way into the Great Hall, she felt a light touch on her arm. As she turned, slightly alarmed, she smiled, realising it was Remus.
“Hey Amy, are you okay? I haven’t seen you around much lately,” he said, a concerned tone to his voice. Amelia felt a huge pang of guilt at how much he cared about her.
“I’m fine thanks Remus. Things have just been really…” she paused. “Chaotic these last couple of days and I’ve really needed Jake.”
“Oh…ok,” Remus replied, still seemingly slightly down. Amelia winced and pulled him away from the hall, towards an empty classroom.
“Look, I know you feel a little bit left out Remus, but Jake’s been my best friend for 15 years. We’re great friends, but Jake’s always been there. I’m sorry if you feel a bit left out Remus.”
“Amy, it isn’t because of a guy that you were so troubled was it?” The question had been eating away at Remus for the last couple of days and he had to know if he had a chance with her or not.
“Yeah, Rem, it kind of is… you see the thing is…” She took a deep breath. “I really like Sirius and then when I saw him with Hope…”
Remus took a stunned step back heading into the classroom. Amelia followed him, desperate not to let him get the wrong end of the stick.
“Sirius? I can’t say I’m surprised, he’s always been the ‘handsome’ one!” Remus snapped.
“Don’t be like that. You’re really handsome!” Amelia replied, finding herself getting more and more embarrassed but at the same time, she found herself drawing closer to Remus.
“You really think so Amy? Because no-one else seems to think that! Everyone else seems to be in love with Sirius!” Remus now sounded a mix of angry and tearful.
“Look Remus, you’re just as handsome as Sirius and any girl would be lucky to go out with you!”
Amelia retorted, drawing even closer to Remus.
“You really think so?” Remus moved closer to her.
Before either of them knew what was happening, their lips had connected. Amelia felt Remus’ passion flooding through his lips and let all her stress and sadness of the last couple of days pour into the kiss. He had her pressed up against the wall, their kiss become more passionate and at the same time, relaxing, easing both of them of their worries. Amelia felt Remus’ arm on her bra and all her worries came crashing back down on her as she realized that this wasn’t the way. She slapped Remus’ hand off her bra and stepped back, breathless, but determined. He looked hurt and she tried to help him understand.
“I’m sorry Remus. I really like you, but I can’t do this. You and me… we just can’t work. Any girl would be lucky to go out with you, but that girl isn’t me! I like Sirius, not you and I won‘t use you to try and make myself get over him!”
“But what if I’m okay with that? What if I want to be there for you?” Remus pleaded, trying to kiss her again but she pushed him off.
“You can be there for me Remus. But not like this. This isn’t helping anyone; all this is doing is giving you false hope for us!” She knew it sounded harsh but she couldn’t let this go any further.
“What if I’ll take it? All I want is to know what it’s like for someone to love me like I love them!”
“I do love you Remus, but as my adorable, brilliant friend who I can turn to in times of need, not as some guy I turn to for an occasional snog!”
“We could be friends with benefits?” Remus tried.
“I’m sorry Remus, but that’s just not going to happen. I really like Sirius and all I want is him. And even if I didn’t, I would never want to ruin the great thing we have together! I’m sorry!”
With that, Amelia turned away from Remus. He stormed past her, trying not to let his tears show as he fled the room, with her in hot pursuit. She caught up with him but he shrugged her off, an animalistic look in his eye that told her she would just have to leave it.
James coughed loudly. Sirius and Hope broke apart long enough for Sirius to flick him off before they went back to snogging. James rolled his eyes deliberately, pleased when Lily giggled at him. Lily had apologised for the way she’d treated him a couple of days ago and the pair were getting on quite well again. Alongside them, Jake and Hayley were comparing spells for Charms. Jake was certainly making a bit of an impression on Hayley, who was sitting slightly closer to him than James would have liked. James coughed loudly and Hayley sat back a step, grumbling about how paranoid James was. As far as she was concerned, that was another great thing about Jake, he was always more than happy to listen to whatever problems she might have. They were just waiting on Remus and Amelia for the party to begin.
Remus didn’t look well when he entered, but he managed to just about keep his calm demeanour as he sat next to Sirius, who broke away from Hope for the first time when Amelia entered. She looked better than she had done at all in the last couple of days. Her hair was loosely up and she was wearing light makeup. Her eyes had managed to retain their natural beauty and were no longer bloodshot. She had regained most of her composure and was even smiling as she sat down beside Jake, which drew half a glare from Lily before she stopped herself, glad no-one had noticed.
“Great! Now we can start!” James announced. “Let's get presents done first, that’s the boring bit!”
Jake was eager to open his presents and was pleased to see what everyone had gotten him. Sirius and James had come together to buy him a giant sack of merchandise from Zonko’s joke shop, much to Jake’s amusement. Remus, on the other hand, had gone a slightly more academic route and had bought him a book full of interesting curses and jinxes. Jake was pleased to see Remus wasn’t a complete stick in the mud. Jake added these presents to the ones in the box Amelia had got him, magically enhancing it so it was bigger on the inside than the out. Hope had bought Jake a year's supply of sweets from Honeydukes, courtesy of her parents. It paid to have friends who were rich, Jake thought. Lily, meanwhile went a more heartfelt approach and made him a batch of his favourite home-made cupcakes she’d baked for him over the summer. Finally, Hayley. She’d been able to buy him the most adorable scarlet scarf by owl mail catalogue. James and Sirius teased him for a while, but Jake took it as a sign that she cared.
When Jake had opened all his presents, it was time for the fun part of the evening: drinking and daring. Sirius and James took this game very seriously. It involved truth, dares and firewhiskey. Each person had to do a truth and a dare and if the rest of the group weren’t satisfied with the outcome, they had to drink. Of course, if they were satisfied with the outcome they had to drink anyway, but still… Plus, to make it more interesting, they all had a truth spell cast on them, so they couldn’t flake out of their truths. James spun his wand to see who went first. It was Hope. She now had to pick one person to give her a truth and that person could choose who gave her the dare. Hope chose Lily to give her a truth and Lily chose James to give her the dare.
“Ok Hope, your truth is: how good is Sirius out of ten?” Lily smirked as Hope sized it up in her mind.
“And then your dare is to take your top off and run into the first years dormitory!” James added.
Hope grimaced but nodded. “I’d give Sirius an eight. He’s pretty good, but I’ve had better.”
Sirius looked offended as Hope pulled off her top to reveal a lace white bra. She then headed off up the steps, only to return several minutes later, pulling her top back over her head and laughing breathlessly.
“I think a couple of them had a heart attack. One cheeky little git asked me if I was gonna take my bra off,” she explained. At that, the entire group roared with laughter, unable to stop for several minutes.
After Hope had downed her shot, the wand next landed on James. He gave his truth to Jake, who made Sirius give him his dare.
“You’ve got to tell us how many girls you’ve slept with, who was the best and then you have to go and set off some filibuster fireworks in the library,” Jake explained. Sirius had an evil look on his face.
James sighed and grabbed his invisibility cloak. Only Sirius and Remus knew about it, so he had to be careful. However, before he could slip it on, the others were following him. Sirius winked and James groaned. He wasn’t going to be able to use the cloak. It wasn’t 8 o’clock yet, so they weren’t breaking curfew, so they didn’t have to worry about sneaking out. James had the fireworks in his backpack, along with his cloak and when they arrived at the library, he slipped inside. He managed to find a row where no-one was looking and then he pulled on the cloak, lit the firework and legged it. He dived under a table as the dragon-like flame ripped through the library, lighting up various different colours and showering everyone in the library in ash. James slipped out, nearly dying with laughter and rejoined the others, who were already halfway down the corridor, basically dying with laugher, but not wanting to get caught up in the ensuing chaos. When they got back, James faced his truth, something he wasn’t comfortable doing around Lily or Hayley.
“Well,” he stuttered. “I’ve slept with three girls: Hope, Charisa McFallin and Mary McKinnon. And the best was…” He paused, contemplating. Hope grinned, knowing the outcome. “Charisa. Sorry Hope, but she is a goddess in the bedroom. Just a shame she let herself go and became really fat!”
Hope went purple. Amelia stifled a laugh and she wasn’t the only one. James downed his firewhiskey, desperate to avoid the awkwardness as Hope shot him daggers. Sirius was up next. He wisely chose Remus to give him his truth and Remus in turn chose Hayley to come up with a dare. His dare was to properly groom himself. He had to give himself a proper manly haircut (in other words an army cut), shave, wear a suit and parade himself around the common room. Whilst Remus thought of a good truth, Sirius growled as he showed off his new look. He looked like a bit of a nutter as he showed off his smart guy look, with a murderous glint in his eye. James, Jake, Remus, Lily and Hayley were dying of laughter. Hope and Amelia were not so much. As soon as Sirius sat down, Hope pulled out her wand, restoring Sirius’ rugged appearance, despite the groans of “killjoy!” from the others.
“Ok Sirius… How far have you and Hope been?” Remus asked awkwardly. Most of the room shot Remus a dark look for being tactless, whilst James and Hayley hooted with laughter. Sirius went red.
“We’ve not really done anything beyond kissing just yet!” Sirius replied in a quiet voice. That was enough to set James off again, his laughter filling the common room and overshadowing Amelia’s sigh of relief. Jake shot her a smile, but her relief was short-lived. As Sirius downed his drink, James wand fixated itself on Amelia, who chose Lily for her truth. Lily in turn chose Jake for the dare. Amelia gulped as Jake rubbed his hands together gleefully.
“Ok Amy, I dare you to…go down to the Slytherin common room and beg to be let in because you want to declare your undying love for Severus Snape!”
Amelia’s jaw dropped as Sirius and James patted Jake on the back. Lily sighed reluctantly but then agreed to show Amelia where it was (Snape had showed her before).
“Before we go,” Lily said. “I’m giving you your truth. Has anything ever happened between you and Jake and have you ever had feelings for each other?”
Jake shot Lily a shocked look as she sat back. He’d never expected this from her. Everyone else was leaning in; they were just as interested as Lily to hear what Amelia had to say.
“Sorry for the let-down guys, but nothing has ever happened between me and Jake. We’ve been best friends for 15 years and that’s it. I love him as my best friend, but there’s nothing between us and never will be!”
The reaction was a mix. Lily, Remus and (to Jake’s elation) Hayley, looked distinctly relieved, whereas James, Sirius and Hope looked disappointed that she’d given such a boring answer. Lily showed Amelia where the Slytherins were and after publicly humiliating herself (she probably would’ve got a detention, but Slughorn loved the pair for their potions ability and was known for favouritism) they headed back to the Gryffindor tower.
“Ok, Remus, it’s your go!” James cawed as the wand landed on him.
Remus opted to let Amelia give him his truth, and she chose Jake to give him a dare.
“Ok Remus, what’s the furthest you’ve got with a girl?” Amelia asked tactlessly, letting the firewhiskey judge her decision and instantly realizing what she’d done. Praying she wasn’t going to get the answer she was expecting, she looked at Remus, the look on his face confirming her worst nightmare.
“Actually Amelia, my first kiss was with you!” Remus retorted. There was a stunned silence as Remus downed his shot of firewhiskey. Jake shot Amelia a fierce glare as she squirmed in her seat. Sirius and James were both whooping as Hope heaved a sigh of relief.
“And your dare Remus,” Jake snapped. “Is to do it again!”
A/N: Wow guys who saw that ending coming? Don't worry the rest of the truth and dare is in the next chapter. I was orignally trying to fit it all into one but it just got too long. Enjoy guys and remember, please review. Tell me, who's your favourite character of the lot and what do you think will happen in the next few chapters or beyond that? Next chapter is already on its way so it should be less than a week, depends on how busy the site is. :)
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