Disclaimer: Nothing in any of this story is mine- all belongs to JKR and WB. Except custard. The custard's all mine, baby!
A/N: This is dedicated to Leila. My fanfic buddy and inspiration Nazi.
I'm sorry to say it but this is the last chapter of Stupid Boys…no, I am not abandoning it…I have FINISHED it! This is the concluding chapter of my masterpiece. Behold…
A/N: Edited as of 2 May 2011.
Chapter 12: The Masterpiece
"Custard." Sirius was deadly serious.
A corner of James's mouth twitched but the rest of his face remained distinctly unamused as he glanced down at the bowl of thick, yellow liquid that was standing between them. "Please tell me you've sustained intense trauma to the head."
James sighed and came to the conclusion that his best friend was, indeed, a moron. "Because that is the only other explanation I can come up with." At Sirius's mock-offended expression, James let out a bark of laughter and said, "Seriously, mate. You were trying to lecture me on the virtues of custard. Which would be fine, if you were talking about eating it."
Sirius was unfazed. He knew he was a genius, a virtuoso, an… innovator, if you will. He understood that not everyone would be able to grasp the pure brilliance that was his mind, but, really, he had expected more from James, a fellow Marauder. "I'm ashamed. Heartily ashamed. I thought you of all people would understand…"
James scowled, clearly in no mood for his best mate's antics. He had been waiting for Lily to send him some sign that she had stopped hating him for over a week now and it was starting to drive him mad. He had thought that the kiss had been a bit of a give-away but it seemed that she'd wiped it from her memory completely. In fact, there was a direct correlation between the amount of times that she'd growled at him (and not in a good way), and the amount of times he'd slapped Sirius on the head for being stupid. He feared that not being in Lily's favour was causing grievous mental damage to both of them.
"Sirius, shut up, please. I'm just not in the mood for-"
"It's her again, isn't it?" Sirius sighed loudly. He had done everything humanly possible and yet they remained steadfastly forlorn…well, if the Master of Disguise and Trickery couldn't get them together, who could? "God, James, if you like being miserable so much, just marry Moaning Myrtle. She'll probably be easier to handle than Evans and she already has her own place. Okay, the U-Bend isn't much to write home about but I'm sure if you add a rug here, a house plant there…" Sirius trailed off when he noticed that no one was paying him the slightest bit of attention.
"What is it?" Sirius craned his neck to follow James's gaze to where it had predictably rested further down the Gryffindor table, where a certain unhinged redhead was enjoying her evening meal. "Oh, just stop it, man. For Merlin's sake, pull yourself together!"
"Pull my what where?" James blinked at him.
"You're pathetic. Just give up on getting into her knickers- she's too unstable. Anyway, she'd probably try to exchange you for camels or something."
James frowned. "What have camels got to do with-"
"Speaking of knickers!" Sirius interrupted extremely loudly, and, catching most of the Great Hall's attention, pulled out a skimpy piece of underwear with an excited flourish. "I happened to come across a very- ahem- lovely pair, just the other day. I'd describe them as lacy, wouldn't you? Ooh, I do like a bit of lace to spice up the old unmentionables. Red lace, as well. You know, a lady wouldn't wear red lace just for herself- I wonder who else is enjoying them…"
From the corner of his eyes, Sirius saw Lily's neck snap around so quickly he was sure she'd got whiplash. To his great amusement, she flushed to the roots of her hair and started gripping the arm of the second year sat next to her so hard that they had started to cry.
James, on the other hand, was barely listening. Why should he care that Sirius had been stealing underwear again? Of course, it was slightly disturbing, but it wasn't interesting enough for him to tear his thoughts from-
"Guess who these belong to? Guess, guess, guess!" Sirius waved them under his nose and James swatted them away, impatiently. He'd had enough of this for one day.
"Padfoot, I don't care about knickers-"
"But they're lacy!" Sirius burst out. "How can you not be interested in red lacy knickers?"
"I'm just not. I prefer boxers, myself." James held back a smirk. It would definitely be sending the wrong message if he broke his forbidding demeanour now.
"You know," Sirius said, considering the undergarments he was spinning on his index finger. "Lacy knickers almost have the same amount of comedic potential as-"
"Custard?" said a deceptively innocent voice.
James's head snapped up and he instantly roared with laughter, along with most of the Great Hall. Standing there, smiling serenely and holding a now empty serving bowl, was none other than Lily Evans. One glance at Sirius's custard-streaked head was enough to send James soaring out of his bad mood and into guffaws so intense that he was sure that he was going to give himself a heart attack.
The thick, yellow sauce had smothered Sirius's head, dripping off his nose and into his open mouth. He licked his lips, slowly, and considered it, as if trying a fine wine then calmly remarked, "It's actually quite tasty." He scraped a load off his nose and offered it, politely, to his neighbour. "Want some?"
Amidst his howling with laughter, James had a sudden thought that made him freeze mid-hoot. If Lily had poured custard on Sirius…and Sirius had been loudly extolling the virtues of someone's- "They're not-?"
He flushed and stared at the still smiling Lily, then at the knickers, then back again.
"Finally, he catches on," said Sirius, knowingly.
Suddenly, the unwanted image of Lily actually wearing said underwear and nothing else flashed across his mind, making him appear as though he was impersonating a stop sign. He averted his eyes from her face in embarrassment.
"Sirius," he hissed, leaning towards his so-called friend. "What are you doing with her underwear?"
"Can't say." Sirius shrugged, smiling.
James gulped and shot a furtive glance in Lily's direction to find her staring straight at him in a way that suggested that she knew exactly what he was thinking and that she was not very impressed with it at all.
"Hello, James," she said, appearing indecently normal. "Can I have a word?"
"What?" he asked blankly.
"Really, you can't just give me a few minutes?" she snapped.
"Erm…" She was going to shout at him, he knew it. She had somehow realised that he was having indecent thoughts, had, in all honesty, been having them for the past few years, and that he was really just a sad old pervert who needed locking up.
"Oh, for Merlin's sake! I hint and hint and still you act the idiot!" she suddenly exploded at him, her face combusting into fury, and she spun away from him to stalk out of the Great Hall. "I don't know why I even bother!"
He gaped after her for a few seconds before the wave of confusion swept past him and he was engulfed in another, just as powerful, emotion. "Now wait just a minute!" he bellowed, causing her to pause and glare at him. "What was that about?" She opened her mouth to send a sharp retort, but he cut her off. "And don't give me the 'if you don't know then I'm not going to tell you' crap."
"Well, you should know," she snarled, her hair flying out of its perfect ponytail as she whirled her hands through the air in frustration. "I've been trying to talk to you for days but you just make up excuses or run away. How old are you? Ten?"
"But you told me to leave you alone!" He strode right up to where she was fuming and glared down at her with more venom than he'd remembered feeling in a long time. "I was just doing what you asked!"
"Since when have you ever done anything I've told you to do? I've never known a boy as complicated. First you were just my friend." She ticked it off on her index finger. "Then, you liked me, then you ignored me, then you liked me again, and now, you're back to being a complete moron and ignoring me all the time!"
"Me, complicated? HA! What about you?" He waggled an irate finger in her scowling face. "You-"
"I'm a girl. I'm allowed to be complicated," she snapped. "I reserve the right to change my mind whenever I want, and you can't complain because that just makes me more captivating."
"Is that right? Captivating?" He choked out a humourless laugh. Personally, he couldn't think of anything less captivating than the snarling banshee growling at him. "Let me tell you-"
"Are you going to make a move or not?"
She had blind-sided him again.
She stared at him, her brow furrowed in frustration. "Make. A. Move."
"Like-" His voice cracked in a not so manly way so he tried again, and squirmed as little as possible. "Like kiss you?"
"Now?" he whispered. Being so intent on arguing, neither Lily nor James had noticed that the entire Great Hall had become silent at the first yell of anger. Suddenly, he became acutely aware of the fact that every single person was now watching him intently. The pressure was way more than he could handle.
"It's right now or not at all," she said, looking him straight in the eyes, daring him to be brave enough. And everyone knew that it was physically impossible for James Potter to resist a dare.
So he did what a man had to do. He kissed her.
Sirius, of course, had been watching the entire exchange raptly and he especially was finding it hard to breathe in all the excitement. He had been sitting on the edge of his seat, rocking backwards and forwards maniacally, his head swivelling between his two little puppets, and when James finally stepped forward and acted like a man, he was the first to jump to his feet, cheering.
"YES! I knew it! I knew it-"
"What did I miss, Padfoot? Why is everyone cheering? And why are you yellow?" Remus sat at the table, bemusedly looking up at his friend, who was currently jiggling around on the table, still covered in custard, with one foot stuck in a bowl of mashed potato, trying to do a victory dance.
"Moony!" Sirius jumped down and threw his arms around the bewildered Marauder. "I won! I won!"
"Look at that, Moony!" Sirius pointed to the couple that was stood in the middle of the Great Hall, utterly wrapped up in each other, and Remus wondered how he could've missed them. "This is it, mate! My masterpiece, my Sistine Chapel, my Mona Lisa, my piece de resistance! That, my friend, is the work of a Master."
Sirius sat back in his chair completely satisfied that he had done a fantastic job, and that what was happening was a direct result of the workings of the Master of Disguise and Trickery. However, as he watched them steadily devour each other's faces, he had a sudden and rather unwelcome thought. The…urgh…kissing, the smooching, the hugging, the smiling, the giggling that he was witnessing now was not going to get any prettier. A rather Shakespearean realisation came to him in the few moments after his master plan had come together. He was now quite tragically doomed, by his own hands, to watch them do this disgusting act over and over and over and over and over and over…
"It's actually rather nauseating. Make it stop. Please, Moony. I think I'm going to vomit."
A/N: I hope you've all enjoyed this story. Finally, I've finished it! Please please please let me know what you think of this last chapter- I quite like it and it feels nice to actually finish something for once.
I just want to say that I've had a lot of great reviews and lots of support for this story and I totally appreciate it all. Thank you all and goodnight! *graciously/ pompously accepts roses*