Disclaimer: The story icon is borrowed from Makani on Deviantart; I slightly rearranged the image so it would fit in the size allotted for the story icon, so if you would like to see the original look at Makani's Deviantart. I do not own the Marauders, Hogwarts, etc.
"That's it, we need a break," James announced loudly, tossing his textbook to the ground. It landed with a muffled whump into a pile of scribbled-on parchment that was nearly a foot high. "I say there's too much studying going on in here, and we should remedy that."
The other three Marauders looked up from their various positions around the boy's dormitory. Peter was lying on the floor, a trimester's worth of notes spread in a semi-circle around him, while Remus sat at his desk and Sirius dangled off of the top bunk with a quill in his mouth. "A study break could be nice," Remus said, slowly straightening up his notes. "Even if final exams are next week."
"That's more like it! Sirius? Peter?"
"I'm always game."
"Sure, why not."
"I propose," James started, clapping his hands together as he looked around at the other three boys, "that we play Truth or Dare."
"Isn't that a girl's game?" Sirius gave a slight frown.
James tutted in response. "Not if we don't make it one. Now who wants to go first?"
After a moment in which no one moved, Peter raised his hand in slight motion. "I'll go. I start by picking which one, right?" James nodded, and Peter promptly replied, "Truth."
"Aw, that's no fun," James pouted.
"Stand aside, James, I'll take this one," Sirius grinned. "Do you, Peter Nicholas Pettigrew, swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"
"Have you," Sirius lowered his voice to a whisper, "Ever kissed a girl?"
Peter's pale face flushed bright red. "Really, you can probably guess the answer to that." He gave an embarrassed cough, and when the other boys gave no response he haltingly continued, "I mean, I think it's pretty obvious I don't have a girlfriend or—or anything like that, and I mean, come on! I'm 12! What do you think?"
"You haven't answered yet, Peter," Sirius replied in a tauntingly sing-song voice.
"Fine. I'll answer," he stubbornly replied. "No, I've never kissed a girl."
"Oooooh, Peter's never kissed a girl," James and Sirius immediately said in unison.
"Oh, like you have," Peter promptly retorted, still red in the face, and the two other boys fell silent.
"Next round, I guess?" Remus interjected.
"I pick James," Peter stated, a mischievous grin spreading across his face.
"Oh no oh no, hold on. The rules state," James gave an official-sounding cough before switching to a mock-formal tone, "The rules officially state that the person who initiates the game, i.e. me, goes last."
"I think you made that rule up," Peter muttered. "Fine, I pick Sirius."
"Bring it on." Sirius eagerly rubbed his hands together. "Dare."
"You have to…" he pensively started. "You have to do a handstand in front of the third-year girls studying in the common room."
Sirius groaned and held his face in his hands. "Do I have to? I mean what if my robes fall down?"
"Hope you're wearing clean underwear?" Remus helpfully offered.
Sirius gave him a sharp glare, and Peter teased, "Did your mum never tell you the importance of having clean underwear?"
"I don't know what your mum is like, but my mother definitely never spent any amount of time talking with me and Regulus about our underwear."
"Time to stop stalling, Sirius," James clucked his tongue, and Sirius buried his face in his hands again.
"Please don't make me," he moaned.
"That reminds me!" James said cheerfully. "We need a punishment if someone doesn't complete their dare." Sirius began banging his head against the wall. "How about, in keeping with our theme of Sirius's underwear, if you fail to complete a dare you can't wash your underwear. For. A. Whole. Week."
"But none of us do our laundry more than once a week, anyway," Remus thoughtfully pointed out.
"Oh yeah, huh. Alright. You can't wash your underwear for a whole month!" He dramatically announced, and the other three Marauders wrinkled their noses in unison.
"But we all live together," Remus frowned. "So if any of us loses a dare it really punishes everyone."
"Shush! None of your logic here, Remus! That's the final word! That's the punishment!" James energetically finished. "Well, Sirius? What's your choice?"
Grumbling under his breath, Sirius climbed down from his bunk bed and took the stairs down to the common room. The other three Marauders heard a loud crash, several girls screaming, and a cry of pain from a male voice. A few seconds later, Sirius dejectedly made his way up the stairs and slammed the dormitory door shut behind him.
"I knocked over a coffee table, flashed Macdonald and Meadowes, and accidentally kicked Fenwick in the face, but other than that, it went pretty smoothly," Sirius nonchalantly replied.
"You don't wear underwear under your robes?" Remus exclaimed with a disgusted expression, before muttering, "Never. Borrowing. Your. Robes. Again."
"Centuries ago, purebloods used to never bother with that sort of stuff," Sirius waved a hand, oblivious to the other boy's disgusted expressions and Peter's exclamation of "I didn't need those mental images."
"My turn," Sirius continued. "And if James is saving himself for last, I suppose that just leaves you, Remus."
"Dare. But I'm not wearing your robes," Remus hurriedly disclaimed.
"I have an idea for something even better," James grinned widely. He leaned over to Sirius and whispered something, and Sirius's grin immediately became matching. "I don't know, James, that would require a lot of daring."
"On second thought, can I change from dare to tru—"
"No." James and Sirius replied to Remus's request in unison, before James continued. "You have to go find Peter's sister and admit you're in love with her."
"You're in love with my sister?" Peter exclaimed, a shocked expression on his face.
"What? No I'm not! I barely know her!" Remus exclaimed in equal shock.
"Which is what's going to make this so excellent. Really, I don't know what you're complaining about. Hot blond Hufflepuff girl, maybe you'll even get a kiss out of it—"
"Don't talk about my sister like that!" Peter paused before a puzzled frown appeared on his face and turned to James. "Wait, my sister's not blonde."
"She's not?" James's confident veneer faded slightly, before an alarmed expression appeared on his face. "Who have I been saying 'hello' to in the corridors for the past year?"
Peter shrugged. "Not my sister, that's for sure."
James was left opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water, and Remus took this opportunity to hopefully look towards James and whimper, "Please don't make me."
"Nope, that's your dare and we're not changing it. Go ahead Remus, we'll wait," Sirius said smugly. "She's probably in the Hufflepuff Common Room; go show your Gryffindor daring."
Muttering a stream of curse words under his breath, Remus left the warmth of Gryffindor tower for Hogwarts' stone corridors. By the time he reached the Hufflepuff Common Room, he was grinning evilly. He knew exactly what he was going to dare James to do. His knocks on the door to the Hufflepuff Common Room were answered by a petite blonde girl he recognized as belonging to the year below him.
"Er—hello, Pelletier. Is Alexandra Pettigrew around? I have something I need to, uh, tell her…" he uncertainly trailed off.
The girl nodded and led him into the rather comfortable black-and-yellow common room, gesturing vaguely towards a group of girls studying for their OWLs. As Peter had described, Alexandra was not blonde. She looked rather like her brother actually, with a chubby frame, watery eyes and stringy brown hair. Remus immediately thought that he certainly hoped she didn't kiss him, before chastising himself for judging her on her appearance.
"Um, hi, Alexandra."
She glanced up from her discussion with the other Hufflepuff girls, and Remus felt himself go red in the face. Why did she have to look at him when he talked? Couldn't she just pretend to not hear him? "Oh, one of Peter's friends. What brings you here?"
"I, uh, have something to tell you," he stuttered, almost having half a mind to simply walk away and never return. The image of James's expression when he issued James his dare swirled to mind, though, and instead Remus confidently continued, "I'm—I'm in love with you."
"Oh." Alexandra awkwardly looked away at this, before politely replying, "I'm—er—flattered, but you're a bit young for me. I don't date second years, sorry."
Remus heaved a huge sigh of relief. He had completed his dare, and she hadn't even laughed at him. "That's great, thanks!" he hurriedly replied, before tearing out of the common room and sprinting back to Gryffindor tower.
With a dramatic bang, Remus opened the door to the Gryffindor Boy's Dormitory.
"Well?" Sirius asked, with an unimpressed expression.
"I did it." Remus confidently smirked.
"-did it?" James and Sirius exclaimed one after the other.
"And?" Peter asked, looking rather as though he didn't want a response.
"She said, and I quote, 'I don't date second years'."
"Thank Merlin," Peter muttered. "I mean, not that I wouldn't want you as a brother-in-law or anything, Remus, just, yeah."
James and Sirius still seemed to be agape at Remus, as Remus continued speaking, a mischievous smirk working its way across his face, "And now it's your turn, James."
"Dare?" The normally infallible James Potter was beginning to feel slightly nervous at Remus's smile.
"Excellent! Because I had the whole walk to the Hufflepuff Common Room to think of a dare for you—"
"Remus, buddy ol' pal—" James gave a nervous smile
"And my first thought was to have you proclaim your love to Peter's other sister—"
"Oi!" Peter interjected.
"But she's graduated Hogwarts already, if I recall correctly—"
"Thank Merlin," Peter mumbled.
"And besides, I wanted something that would affect Sirius, too, since it was technically him daring me. So. My dare to you, James Charlus Potter," Remus dramatically paused. "Is that you have to tell Regulus Black you're in love with him."
"Regulus is a first year!" Sirius spluttered. "You'll scar his little first year mind!"
"Yeah, that!" James vehemently repeated.
"The dare stands." Remus widely grinned.
"Please don't make me," James groaned.
"Please don't make him," Sirius repeated.
"Regulus is probably in the library," Remus loudly continued, "I see him studying there a lot. Go on, James."
Mumbling under his breath that he barely even knew where the library was, James descended down the Gryffindor stairs. Maybe Regulus just wouldn't be in the library, he decided. Or maybe flying pigs would come along and make Remus forget about the dare. He could hope, after all.
When he entered the library, he had to stifle a groan. Contrary to all of his hopes there was Regulus, sitting at one of the first tables by the library entrance. Regulus was flanked on either side by a Slytherin boy from his year, one with dark hair and almost feminine features, and the other with light-brown hair and a lanky frame. James tried to assure himself that, really, it could have been worse. After all, there wasn't anyone else in the near vicinity, and—he glanced around again—neither Evans nor Snivellus appeared to be in the library at all, thank Merlin for small miracles. Steeling his Gryffindor courage, he boldly walked up to Regulus's table.
"Regulus, I need to tell you something," he whispered in a library-appropriate tone.
Regulus looked up from his book, as did the other two Slytherin boys. James resisted taking a step back; he had somehow forgotten that both of the other Slytherin boys would hear everything he told Regulus. "Er—Mulciber. Colburn," he awkwardly greeted the two boys in turn, hoping the extra few seconds would give him time to think.
"Sure, what is it?" Regulus amicably replied. Colburn returned to his textbook, but Mulciber was still looking at James intently, and James wondered if he could get into a staring contest with Mulciber instead and call it a day. After all, that would be pretty daring, right?
"I—uh—have to tell you something?" James repeated to Regulus, not sure if the next words would actually come out.
Regulus blinked. "I gathered that. Do you have a message for me from Sirius or something?"
"Yes!" he enthusiastically replied, excited by the possibility of a way out before he remembered what exactly his message was. "I mean no! Merlin no!"
Colburn looked up again at his vehement exclamation, and now it was all three boys who were looking at him inquisitively. Merlin, he couldn't do it. He just couldn't do it. James Potter had lost a dare to Remus Lupin, and now it was only a matter of saving as much face as he could. A thought suddenly struck him like a rather heavy bludger-what if it was somehow impossible to complete the dare? Then he wouldn't lose then, per se.
"YES I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU!" James suddenly bellowed, and the three other boys flinched at the change in volume. "SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT."
Within a half second, Madame Pince had appeared from nowhere. "HOW DARE YOU YELL IN MY LIBRARY? OUT! OUT AND DON'T COME BACK!" With a surprising amount of force, Pince nearly pushed James out of the library door. A relaxed grin spread across his face and, cheerfully whistling, he began his walk back to Gryffindor tower. If he wasn't allowed in the library, after all, then he couldn't complete his dare. Remus would have to give him a new dare, and James was confident there was nothing worse than having to tell Regulus—
His thoughts were interrupted by a tap on the shoulder, and he turned around to find none other than Regulus Black standing behind him, a quizzical expression on his face. "You said you had something important to tell me?" Regulus politely inquired, and when James's horrified expression kept him from speaking for a moment, Regulus elaborated, "You know, before Madame Pince threw you out of the library."
"I—uh," James hesitated before continuing in a whimper, "I'm not going to be able to wash my underwear for a month."
"I said: I'm not going to be able to wash my underwear for a month."
"I—er, see," Regulus uncertainly trailed off. "That's what you needed to tell me?"
"Yes, yes it was." James heaved a sigh of relief and, without another word, began his walk to the Gryffindor tower.
Regulus shook his head. "Sirius's friends can be so odd, sometimes."
A/N: This was written for two challenges over at the HPFC: LunaAlxyandra's Truth or Dare challenge, and Wizardology's Repetition challenge. For the latter, I had to include the phrase "Please don't make me" three or more times, and it was said once each by Sirius, Remus, and James.
Reviews and/or constructive criticism always appreciated, especially if you favorite the story.