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An Off Course Bet by just another harry potter fan
Chapter 1 : Just as Free as a Hippogriff
 
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Disclaimer: I don't own a thing.

A/N: Hi. This is yet another James/Lily story. I'd really appreciate your opinions on the story,if I should continue it or not. . .


Chapter 1-The Talk and The Bet

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Hello friends,enemies,trolls,banshee's,mom,jello unicorns,broomsticks I'm James Potter. AKA-Merlin/never-follow-the-rules/best quidditch player ever/smart/brilliant/handsome(anyone could agree to that)/Minister of Magic.

Ok,maybe I'm not really Merlin and maybe I'm not the Minister of Magic,but I'm a great guy(anyone would agree to that too,by the way).

I will be going to to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,7th year,in a week. Quidditch captain of the Gryffindor House team(I was made captain in 5th year,impressive?). Top student-well,I rival with Remus Lupin(one of my best friends,more on him later) and Lily Evans(more on her later too). I'm an animagus too. Cool,eh? Impressed? Ha,thought you would be.

I'm head boy.

Don't ask me why or how I got it,because I have no clue.

I don't even want it. Patrolling late at night with some girl,who's probably some stuck-up,know-it-all(Of course I'm not stuck-up or a know-it-all)isn't on my list of favorite things to do. Neither is planning school activities or being in charge of stupid prefect meetings.

I found out about a month ago,at breakfast.

The news just hit me in the face. Literally.

Breakfast,about a month ago

"Oh,look,an owl,James can you get it dear? I have to go ask the house elves if they've found your father's missing sock yet. I don't know how that could have just disappeared." My mum asked.

My mum's cool actually. Well,until she hugs me or recalls some embarrassing moment when I was a tiny tot to my friends. Funny how she remembers that stuff just when my friends are around. . .

"Oh,I just remember the time Jamie(my mum calls me Jamie,unfortunately)was four years old and ran around the quidditch pitch naked. It was so cute! He'd just finished his bath and ran out the bathroom door and to the pitch just as free as a hippogriff-"

Thanks,mum.

Other than that she's cool((also because she put's chocolate chunks in my pancakes,and when I say chocolate chunks I mean chocolate chunks. Not the measly chocolate chips like Peter's mum puts in his,take that Peter!)(more on Peter later)).

"Ok." I replied. What else was I suppose to say? "Of course I'll walk over and open the window,just for you,mother dearest!"? Don't think so. Besides it was 8:00 in the morning. I can barely remember to blink in the morning much less give a snazzy reply to anyone.

She nodded and walked out of the kitchen and to the laundry room. To the house elves. We have house elves as you've already figured out. Interesting little guys. They can whip up one mean chocolate cake too. No offense mom.

I got up and stumbled to window,stubbing my toe twice on the way. After unlatching the window the owl burst in the room dropping the letter right in my face.

Let me tell you. Being hit in the face by a roll of parchment just after you rolled out of bed is worse than you think. I swear there was bump the size of bludger right in the middle of my forehead for a week. Mum said there wasn't one there,so did dad. But parents are like that. They lie to you to make you feel better. Or at least mine do. . .

"Oh,James that's a lovely drawing of a snitch!" Mum said to me when I was three and barely knew what a snitch was.

The picture((which to my embarrassment is permanently stuck right above the fireplace in the living room)(I tried to take it down,but mum put a sticking charm on it,hence the word permanently))is purple first of all.

Dad has said before,many times,(thank Merlin never in front of any of my friends)that purple was my favorite color when I was little. I even asked to have my walls in my room to be made purple(lavender if you must know).

I deny it all the way.

All the way.

Besides purple really doesn't go with my ey-nevermind.

Anywho,we're getting off topic.

Who wants to know about a 'lovely' purple drawing of a snitch that I drew when I was three? Although the texture of the picture was fairly good,it shows the softness of the right wing. Not too much purple here,a bit too much purple there. . .nevermind. I'm beginning to sound like Professor Wicker,the muggle studies teacher,when she gets into one of her rants and raves about some muggle portrait.

It get's scary sometimes,I have to admit. She gets all red in the face and starts to pace(stomp,if you ask me)around the classroom breathing fast,pointing to the portrait. Telling about all muggle ways of painting.

It's especially scary when she see's something good about the portrait.

I pray,when she 'discusses' paintings,that the portraits she's 'discussing' over is awful,just horrible. When the paintings are good and have 'fine muggle qualities' she just goes crazy with joy about them. Her voice goes all high pitch and she squeaks loudly to the class.

"Look at the detail,class! Just look at it! Look! The green surrounding the red is just exquisite! Do you see the details here? Yes,right there. Aren't they marvelous? There simply gorgeous! Look there,class! Look! That texture is just-"

Spiffy.

When there's a bad looking painting with 'bad quality muggle techinques' she gets all depressed and sits at her desk explaining the color and how they 'just don't go together' and what not. Usually we don't get homework on those days either.

When Professor Wicker isn't going crazy over sky blue and light blue mixed well to make the water,she's a pretty nice lady. A little strange,but nice in her own way.

I really don't know why I took that class. Well I do.

Remus.

He said and I quote,"It'll be an inspiring journey through the muggle heritage."

Pfft. The only interesting thing about muggles is their process of making ice cream.

Mainly because we got to make ice cream in class. . .

Muggles are so boring. I don't know how they survive without magic.

Anyways,back to my head injury that was the size of a bludger. Just no one else could see it. It was there though.

The owl landed in my pancakes to my displeasure((which I didn't notice till after I'd conjured some ice for my head injury)(I should have went to St.Mungo's I know I should have)).

I shooed the stupid,pancake-stealing,pigeon(I'm still ticked off with it) away from my pancakes and continued eating,totally forgetting about the parchment,lying innocently on the floor two feet away.

It wasn't till my mum came back from laundry land that I remember it.

After she nearly tripped over it. . .

"Jamie,dear,what did the owl bri-AAAAHHHHH!" She screamed as her foot slipped over the paper and she grabbed at the first thing closest to her.

The table cloth. On the table. With all the food. With the chocolate chuck pancakes(not chips).

Mum was able to straighten herself before she fell,but the table cloth was a different story.

It went down.

Way down.

All the way down.

To the floor.

All of the wonderful chocolate chunk pancakes wasted. They had a nice texture too. The pancakes peru color blended in so well with the saddle brown colored table cloth. . .sorry,another Wicker moment.

I stared wide eyed and open mouthed at the food. The color just clashed horribly with powder blue color floor,if you know what I mean. It was awful. . . another Wicker moment. Thank Merlin I'm not taking muggle studies this year.

"The pancakes. . ." I trailed off.

Mother Dearest,mean while,was staring at the roll of parchment,still laying innocently on the floor,a little syrup splattered on it.

She breathed in deeply then out deeply,"James,is this what the owl sent to us?" Mum asked,slowly bending down and picking the parchment up.

I look away from the food color clashing disaster and stared at the parchment.

My mouthed did a 'oh' shape just before I laughed nervously,"Oh. . .yeah. That is. I must have forgotten about it. . ."

Mother shook her head and begin to open the parchment.

She silently mouthed words as she read the letter.

"What is it mum?" I asked as I watched her gap at the parchment.

Instead of answering she fainted.

That's right.

That goes to show just how much I'm not meant for the head boy job. My own mother doesn't think I'm cut out for it. Nice,eh?

Yeah. . .

I immediately knelt down next to her and grabbed the letter she had dropped in the mist of being shocked(or a very,very small heart attack,not sure).

My reaction?

Let's just say 15 minutes later when my dad came down to have a normal breakfast just like everyday he was suprised to see both his wife and son lying on the floor unconcious,surrounded by food(I saw later as I looked in a mirror to check on my head injury,that there was some chocolate chunks,covered conviniently(sp?)in syrup. Boy,was that hard to get out).

I had fainted.

That never leaves the house.

Unless my mother remembers the event and decides to tell the oh-so-amusing story to my friends.

Thanks,mum.

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(September 1st)

After hugging my mum and dad goodbye(at home,not at the train stain)I apparated(I got my apparation license this summer)to platform 9 3/4 to board the train to Hogwarts. Too many to's.

The head boy letter said that I had to get to the train station at least an hour and a half before it left,to help everyone get aboard,because everyone would be in a rush.

Pfft.

I got there an hour before the train left and no one there. I was already hating this position. Usually I'd make it to the train station just at 10:56 and run full speed ahead to the train. Just jumping aboard before the train was fully out the station.

The only other people around were Morriannabathatabatha Millington and Lily Evans.

Honestly.

Who names their kid Morriannabathatabatha?

What about a normal name like George? Or Mary? Or how about James? James is a good name,isn't it? Has a nice ring.

No instead they come up with Morriannabathatabatha. I feel sorry for her. It would take forever just to write her name down,I bet.

Morriannabathatabatha was. . .different. Nice enough,but different. Just like her name,I guess. Always asking questions.

"Is it raining?"

"Is that essay for Mcgongall due today?"

"Is it snowing?"

"Did you were matching socks today(she ask me that once,I was,just for the record)?"

"Is the sky blue today(when is ever anything else?)?"

"Is there a troll under my bed(Jill Baconcona swears she asked that once)?"

When she wasn't asking a zillion and one questions she was also very random. And opinionated.

Oh Merlin.

"That shirt doesn't go with your tie."

"Your horrid at charms,aren't you(thanks,Morriannabathatabatha)?"

"Your short(that's coming from Miss Shortie herself)."

"Boy,that's a HUGE pimple right there in the middle of your forehead(thanks again,Morriannabathatabatha)."

I guess she's like Professor Wicker. Morriannabathatabatha is nice in her own way.

Good Ol' Morriannabathabatha was sitting on a bench next to Lily Evans having a chat.

Lily Evans.

Three words:

Quiet,nice,and studious.

Lily Evans was nice,really she was. She didn't have friends. Well,she did. Just she didn't have friends. They were more like acquantices(sp?).

A friendly 'hello' here. A wave there. A study session once and a while. Sure she had a few people she'd talk to at lunch and stuff like that,but usually Lily Evans was a quiet person,who kept to herself.

I don't know why. Maybe she just liked doing essays and reading books,compared to going outside with friends and talking about your latest crush(ok,us men don't do that,we talk about girls that are 'hot' and who's going to set off the dungbomb. More mature,eh?)or playing a game of quidditch.

Ok,I was being sarcastic.

Who in the world-wait,scratch that-who in the universe likes to study? Not me. No I prefer to set off dungbombs and draw purple snitches. . .pretend I didn't said that last part,okay?

Lily could be popular I bet. I mean it's not like she's hideous or anything. And from being around her for 6 years she seems to have a pretty good sense of humor and all that stuff.

I bet she's even had a few guys ask her out. Though from what I've seen,unless she secretly goes out with someone,Lily's never gone out on a date.

Peter and Remus.

Hee hee.

They've had crushes on Lily before((me and Sirius(more on Sirius later) haven't)(correction:Sirius and I haven't,happy Moony(that's Remus' nickname,because of his. . .furry problem)?)(Think I've got enough parentheses going here? Oh well. Good practice,eh?)).

Peter began to have 'deeper,more inspiring feelings'(that's how Remus put it.Sirius thought it was more like Peter turning into a tomato everytime she was in a 5 mile radius) for Lily way back when(2nd year,if you have to know).

Poor guy. He didn't know about girls then(still doesn't,if you ask me). We all didn't. We were young and stupid. . .we're still young,but not stupid. Nah.

Actually I think I've been a genius since birth. I just don't show it. You know by wishing for purple walls in your room and running around naked 'just as free as a hippogriff'. Yep.

I really didn't notice girls till my dad told me. . .you know what I'm talking about. The Talk.

Yeah,The Talk.

Oh Merlin.

I swear on my broomsticks grave I had nightmares for months after he told me.

I remember it perfectly. It was the morning after I had left Hogwarts for home at Christmas Break,3rd year. . .

"James,we need to talk." Good Ol' Dad said,sitting down on the edge of my bed as I was unpacking my trunk from Hogwarts.

"What about,Dad?" I asked,pulling out an apple I had hurridly stuffed in there just after breakfast yesterday and taking a bite.

"Well about. . .things,James." He replied slowly.

"What things?" I asked.

"Girls."

"Girls? What about them?" I asked cluelessly. See,a hidden genius.

"Have you seen them lately,James?" Dad asked.

I raised an eyebrow,took another bite of my apple and replied,"Yeah,sure. I see them in classes,at lunch,by the lake,their all over the place. Why? Have they changed lately?"

"Well,I'm sure they have. You know into young ladies." My dad replied slowly tossing around my snitch.

Don't ask how I got it. . .well,if you insist.

See,I had accidently kept it after quidditch lessons in 1st year,and somehow just didn't return it. Funny,eh?

That's how I was considered one of the 'cool' kid. Because I accidently kept a snitch and somehow didn't find time to return.

That's how it all started. Amazing. I know.

"Young ladies?" I question,really confused now.

"Yes. There comes a time. . .in a girls life. . .when she changes. . .and. . .and-James can you stop chewing your apple?" My Dad asked.

I didn't think I was chewing that loud. Maybe Dad was just worked up with the whole Talk and everything.

"The girl changes,James. Her body changes and-"

I cut him off,"They look the same to me."

"Well,on the inside,James. Your changing too."

"I look the same to me." I stated,looking at a reflection of myself in a window.

"Well,you start seeing things differently then before-"

I cut him off again,"You mean I'll see green or become color blind?" Another genius in the spotlight moment.

"No,you'll see people differently. Like girls,James. You'll start to feel differently about them. . ."

I tuned him out after that. Never was much of a talk about feelings and all that mushy stuff kind of guy. Instead I begin to pull out some no heat fireworks from my trunk and pretend like I was listen intently. I'm good at that. It wasn't until-

"When a man and a women love each other very much they try to show their feelings for each other ". . .inserts rest of talk,because the author just can't write it in. . ."and that's how you were-James,no!" Dad yelled as I accidently set off the fireworks in shock from The Talk.

I was in horror. And to think my parents room was just 5 door down. Ugh.

Back to the whole Peter and Remus thing.

Peter,poor guy,stumbled up to Lily one late afternoon and had just stuttered "W-Will Y-Y-You go-go t-to-" before he threw up. Right on Lily.

At least Lily was nice about it. I guess. Peter never has talked to her again.

Then there's Remus. He had a little better attempt than Peter,I'm happy to say.

"Lily,I was wondering if you'd like to study together(that's what Remus considers as dates,he doesn't date much)sometime."

Lily said yes to Remus,but had the wrong idea. She thought he just wanted to study together. As friends. And that's how it's been since 3rd year(when he asked her out). Never anything more.

Back to present.

Lily Evans wasn't on my favorite list of people. Oh sure,she was nice enough. Smart enough. A bit on the plain side,if you ask me. She just wasn't my type of person to be around. She was. . .boring to around. Always studying or reading about some dead guy that inventing a hair growth potion or some thing.

We'd only had a few conversation in the 6 years of knowing each other.

"Pass the salt."

"Past the potatoes."

"Pass the jello."

"Good luck at the game." Lily was always at the Gryffindor quidditch matches to cheer the team on.

"Can I borrow a quill?"

Of course Lily would always be polite and say 'thank you' or 'your welcome'.

That's one thing that irritated me about her. She was perfect. The perfect role model. The perfect 17-year-old. The kind of kid every parent wanted. The kind of student professors wanted.

For that she was teased by some. Not alot. And not very often. But every once and a while when a professor had just praised to the class for 15 minutes about how wonderful she did on an essay. Then the teasing would come.

Lily would ignore it all and walk off with her books.

Really back to the present.

Lily looked like she was trying to be nice to Morriannabathatabatha as the girl asked a zillion and two questions a second and told her opinions.

I shook my head and turned away looking for someone,anyone else to talk to. No one. That's right. Morriannatabathatabatha Millington had some to talk to while James Potter the 'cool' kid had no one.

Where were my fellow Marauders?

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(10:50am)

After settling in,and putting my trunk away I pinned my gleaming gold head boy badge to my shirt and kind of pulled my jacket over it,so no one would see it. Mainly so Sirius and my friends wouldn't see it.

That was one detail I left out over the summer from my friends. They'll never stop joking about it. Never. I know it.

Another reason was so no one would come up and ask for help. . .even though that was why I was suppose to come early. To help people. But I didn't want to. I didn't want the job.

"Jamesie boy!" A voice yelled as I walked past the barrier between platform 9 and 3/4 and the muggle train station(yet again).

I turned and grinned. I knew that voice.

"Siri boy,don't call me Jamesie boy!" I exclaimed happily as we exchanged a 'manly' hug.

"You let your mum call you Jamie,why can't I call you Jamesie Boy?" He asked amused.

I looked around,"Whatever you say,Siri-poopoo. Have you seen the others?"

"Both actually. Their saying bye-bye on the other side." Sirius replied looking around as well."How long have you been here? Usually your not here till just after the train starts moving."

Oh no.

"Well,mum. . .wanted me to be here early this year. You know since it's my last year and all." I told the truth. Sort of. Kind of. I just lefted out the small tiny part about being head boy.

"Really?" He asked skepically.

"Oh yeah-Remus,Peter!" I yelled quickly changing the subject as Remus and Peter walked through the barrier with their trunks.

They searched around for moment beforing making their way over.

We also exchanged 'manly' hugs. Then exchanged 'manly' greetings.

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(The Marauders still outside,since I'm still 'helping' people)

"So. . .any snazzy dates this summer,James?" Sirius asked,watching two 6th years go by.

I rolled my eyes,"No. You?"

I had only been on a few dates the past few years and only had one real girlfriend. I could flirt and be all charming though. I did that alot.

"Oh no. Just,you know,spent my summer at the flat I got. Pretty nice. But,"Sirius said casually,"I had many offers."

"I bet." I replied,and then laughed with Remus and Peter.

Sirius wasn't big on dating either. More flirting and being all charming.

"Do you want to?" Sirius asked after he had scowled at us enough,to stop us from laughing.

"What?" I asked confused. See,I'm right on top of stuff. Just a pure genius. . .

"Do you want to make a bet?" He asked.

"A bet? What sort of bet?" I asked.

"I'll pick any girl,anyone and you have to get them to go on a date with you in. . .4 months,December 1st,before midnight-no bribing them and no telling them about the bet,though,James you little sneak. Think you can handle it?" He asked with a knowing grin.

I have never been one to turn down a dare or a bet.

"Your on. Get ready to lose. What's the stake?"

"If you lose,it's 100 galleons and all the Honeyduke's chocolate I want. If you win-"

I cut Sirius off,"The newest broomstick available,shooting star 5000. Oh and a few 8 oz boxes of Honeyduke's chocolate." I said.

Sirius whistled,"Geez,man. I'm not the richest person alive,you know. By the time I could get that broomstick it'll already be long gone and history."

"Doubtful,are we?" I asked with a smirk. Remus and Peter looked at Sirius.

"No. Just saying. . .anyways,your dream date will be. . ." Sirius trailed off searching the station for my 'dream date'. Remus,Peter, and I watched his gaze until it landed on where Morriannabathatabatha and Lily were standing talking with the trolley lady. Huh,Lily hadn't got rid of Morrianna yet.

My eyes widden and I stepped back,"No way. No way. I am not going on a date with Morriannabathatabatha Millington,no way. No broomstick or chocolate is worth it."

Sirius smirked at me,"Who said I was thinking of Millington?"

"What?" I asked confused,then the pieces of the puzzle began to come together.

Lily Evans.

He wanted me to woo Lily Evans into a date.

Piece of cauldron cake.

She was too nice to say 'no'. Too nice.

I can already imagine flying around on the shooting star 5000,impressing everyone around me. . .

"Look at him! Look at how he flies!"

"The midnight blue sky color really goes with his hair color,don't you think?"

"Wow!"

"Hello? James? Already thinking about all the money your losing,are you?" Sirius asked waving a hand in front of my face.

I shook myself from the wonderful day dream,"This'll be a piece of cauldron cake."

I glanced at Lily,who had finally gotten rid of Morrianna and was now helping a first year to the train,smiling kindly to him.

This was too easy. Get ready to lose Sirius.

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How was it? Just to let everyone know,this isn't James' diary or journal or anything. Just his point of view. Well,reviewing if you want(hope you do) and night-night!

Just another harry potter fan


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