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An Off Course Bet by just another harry potter fan
Chapter 14 : Advice Gone Wrong. . .Or Maybe Right
 
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Disclaimer: I own nothing. It's true.

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I told them.

"I" being me, James Potter and "them" being Sirius, Remus, and Peter.

What did I tell them?

That I fancied Lily, of course- Well, sort of. . .not really. . .

I kind of, sort of, told them I wanted Lily to forgive me and stop hating me and did they have any suggestions? So, no, I guess I didn't exactly tell my friends the big news (that I like Lily and all). I can barely grasp the fact, so why would they take it any better?

They gave some pretty lame suggestions, but, what else can I do? I fell asleep while Remus gave his hypothetical speech a few days ago, so I don't know what to do.

And I don't. Know what to do, I mean.

See, even though I am a totally smooth, cool bloke around everyone, girls can sometimes take the "totally smooth, cool" out of me. Yes. It's true. There's something that can breakdown even me, the Unbreakable James Potter. That something, is females.

Pretty sad.

Anyways, I really don't know what to do. Should I ask her out? No, the problem of her hating me and avoiding me just wouldn't work out. Should I apologize? Maybe, even though she probably won't forgive me.

I really am clueless at this point. I mean, I've had my share of crushes on girls and I was clueless then too. . .but, Lily's so. . .different from the girls I usually like. Previous crushes would turn me into some charming moron, but Lily- she turns me into this speechless moron. And believe me. There's a difference.

Speaking of Lily, I've been avoiding her- Or maybe, it's her that's avoiding me. Or maybe we're both avoiding each other. I'm not sure. I lost my sanity a long time ago.

Anyways, I've been avoiding her for obvious reasons. I mean, what am I suppose to do? Walk up to her and say, "Hey Lily, want to grab a broom closet again?". Yeah. That's going to work. I suppose Lily's been avoiding me for obvious reasons as well (you know, the whole bet thing, me admiting to have a "thing" for her, kissing her, stuff like that).

Back to the advice my fellow Marauders gave me last night. Here's a few (these are the least lamest, cliched ones):

1) Give her roses (Peter suggested lilies because Lily's name is- well, you know).

2) Chocolate. Give her lots of chocolate (Sirius protested against this because the chocolates would imply to Lily that she was too skinny and that I wanted to "fatten her up". Honestly, he makes Lily sound like a pig or something).

3) Compliments always work (Remus said not to overdo them though, while Sirius and Peter said to overdo them a lot. I'd rather not do them at all (not that there isn't anything about Lily I couldn't compliment, it's just, I can hardly say "hey" to her much less, "You're beautiful" or something).

4) Buy her jewelry (Remus said that I shouldn't because it would make her think I think she's too plain and needs something to make her not plain. . .yeah, I didn't get a word of that either).

5) Buy her a book (I actually thought this was a good idea, but Sirius disagreed saying that Lily would think I was making fun of her (because she reads all the time) by getting her a book. How in the world does he come up with this stuff?. . .Or wait. Maybe females really are that sensitive!)

6) Send her a poem (we all disagreed on this after a while. I am not, and never will be, a poet. Sorry, but yes, there is something I can't do (write poetry, I mean)).

Yeah. There they are. . .and, I sigh here, I am going to try them. Yes. That's right. You heard me. I am going to buy Lily flowers, chocolates, jewelry, books; give her compliments, and write a poem or two (even though we all agreed I shouldn't, I'm kind of, uh, desperate- I mean, determined).

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I waited a few more days to start buying a whole bunch of crap, complimenting Lily, and writing poems for her to let my nerves calm down some. And to let Lily calm down some too.

I snuck to Hogsmeade during the day while the Marauders covered for me in class. Got everything I needed (geez, everything was so expensive. If I wasn't so desper- determined to get Lily to forgive me, I wouldn't be spending so much money, believe me). Wasn't even caught getting back into the castle. So far, my day had went fairly well.

Of course, good things usually don't last (especially lately).

I decided to give the "Give her roses" thing a try. I waited until just about everyone had left the common room and made sure Lily was quite alone (which she usually is, duh) in a secluded corner (I'm making it sound like I'm try to get a snog out her or something) before taking her the stupid flowers.

I was embarrassed. That's right. The girl was making me go to the length of getting embarrassed (she's already done that before like with the whole "brushing of the leg" thing a few days ago). I mean, who carries a bunch of roses? The only people I know who carry around roses are the lame, cliched, buff, blokes that ride into the sunset on their stallions; long, wavy hair blowing in the breeze (the buff blokes hair, not the horses).

And believe me, I don't have long, wavy hair. And I don't have a stallion. And I don't have a sunset to ride into. And I am not lame or cliched. And I am most definitely not a pansy man.

Lily had better forgive me. I am going though a lot for her.

So anyways, I walked up to her (it was an extremely long, uncomfortable walk). My face flushed as I reached Lily's chair. Yes. It flushed. Good grief- I'm turning into Ravendork now. James Potter doesn't flush (not very often anyways).

It was probably just hot in the common room, that's why I was flushing. You know, because when you get hot (from the temperature), you get flushed.

Yeah, so anyways, after reaching Lily's chair, I kind of stood there for a second, letting Lily realize I was standing next to her. She didn't look up from her book. But, I knew, she knew, I knew, she knew I was standing next to her. She just preferred to pretend not to notice. I mean, she's not deaf and she isn't blind.

"Hey, Lily."

That's the first thing I've said to her since I ran- left the closet the other day.

Lily glanced at me for a moment before leaning her head back down, over her book. I was beganing to really think the whole "me being flushed because it was hot in here" thing was true because Lily was red in the face too. Huh.

Anyways, Lily didn't answer. Wonderful.

"I got you something." I said. Now, I'd like to say I handed the flowers to her gently, but, it more of a "shove them in her face" sort of thing. What? I just wanted to get rid of the dumb things. I didn't want to hold them.

Lily seemed to be a bit startled at flowers being shoved in her face. She sat up and hesitantly took the roses, her book falling to her lap.

"I don't know if you like roses or not- or even you like flowers at all, but I, uh, just thought-. . .I just thought I'd give them to you." And I walked away. Moronic me forgot to ask her to forgive me while I was there.

I just hope nothing goes wrong.

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"So how'd the flower advice go, James?"

"Don't even ask."

"I just did."

"Sirius, because of your brilliant advice, I found out she has allergies."

"Allergies?"

"Yes. Allergies. She's sneezed for half an hour after I gave her the bloody roses. Finally, I came over and ask her if she was okay. She said she allergies. I took the roses and threw them out the window."

"Oh. Huh. Well, so sorry- Hey, wait a minute. The flowers were suggested by Peter, not me."

"You supported the idea though."

"But, I didn't come up with the idea, James."

I suppose giving flowers to fair maidens is reserved only for the lame, cliched, buff, blokes that ride into the sunset with their stallions, long, wavy hair blowing in the breeze (blokes hair, not horse's).

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I decided to give her the jewelry and chocolate at the same time. I kind of felt that maybe with two different things to give her, things would end up even worse than the rose disaster, but, I wanted to get this embarrassing stuff over with. Also, I just want Lily to forgive me. I'm quite tired of all this "I ignore you, you ignore me" stuff.

Back to giving Lily stuff.

This time, I waited until she went outside, somewhere secluded again.

I might like attention from people, but really, I'm not going to and give Lily a whole bunch roses and poems in the Great Hall during dinner, in front of everyone. That's just stupid.

She was outside with Ravendork. They were talking. I decided get Ravendork to leave. Simple.

"Hey, Lily. . .Andrew. Nice out today, yeah?"

"Potter, it's the middle of winter. How can it be "nice out"?" Fairydork asked me dryly.

"I didn't ask you." I replied cooly. I turned to Lily. She hadn't said anything. Instead, she sat watching me and Ravendork "chat". I turned back to Ravendork.

"Do you mind leaving, Ravendork? I need to talk to Lily."

"I do mind, Pothead. Why don't you leave? Lily doesn't want to talk to you."

He did not just call me Pothead. "It's funny, Fairyman, because I think Lily can speak for herself. She doesn't need you to talk for her."

It was when we both had our wands out that I noticed something. "Lily?" I called. She had disappeared. We both turned our heads around the grounds, searching for her. Lily's back was seen heading back to the castle.

I jammed my wand back in my pants pocket and called a "See you- Actually, I hope I won't have to see you for a while, Ravendrew!" and jogged to catch up with Lily, my shoulder bag containing the box of chocolate and jewelry (I wasn't going to go around carrying a box of chocolate and a pair of ear rings in my hands, was I?) banging against my side.

"Lily, wait up!"

She didn't stop (of course).

Soon, I caught up with her and continued walking beside her. "I got you something- don't worry, it's not roses or any sort of flowers." Boy, it sure was getting warm out here. I was flushed (again). Funny how it's only around Lily. . .yeah. . .

Lily glanced at me. "James, could you. . .just leave-"

"Can't I just give you something first?"

Lily stopped. ". . .Alright. . ."

I had stopped too and was now pulling out my wonderful gifts (yeah). "Here." I handed her the box of chocolates and the pair of ear rings.

She took them cautiously.

"Please don't tell me you're allergic to chocolate or something." I said.

"Er, no. . ."

That's a relief.

"I, erm. . .I got some lady who worked in the jewelry shop to pick something out for you. If I chose something, it definitely wouldn't be something you would like. . .although, I don't know if you'll like those. . ." I explained, watching Lily examine the items given to her. She held up the ear rings.

"The ear rings are. . .er, interesting." I was surprised she actually said anything. I took this as a good sign.

"Oh, yeah. " I laughed lamely. "Uh, the lady said they were stylish or. . .something."

I had to agree with Lily. The ear rings were quite. . .er, interesting. They were in the shape of minature wands that would shoot out different colored sparks at the their tips every few seconds.

Lily turned her attention to the box of chocolate for a moment before clearing her throat awkwardly and actually looking me in the eye. ". . .Thank you, James."

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Well, it might have seemed like everything turned out fairly well with the ear rings and chocolates: Lily said thank you and actually said a few sentences to me. She looked me in the eye (she looked at me period).

But, things went wrong. Yes. They did.

You see, the sparks that shoot out of the wand? Well, they're real sparks. You know, like the ones that can start fires and all? Well, they did. The sparks caught Lily's hair on fire. Yes, Lily's fiery red hair was literally on fire for about three seconds. Luckily, I thought quickly and was able to send a stream of water to her hair, out of my wand.

The ends of her hair were singed (luckily, that was all).

Meanwhile, Lily had dropped the box of chocolates and the ear rings. They fell to the ground.

And the sparks from the ear rings set the box of chocolates on fire.

That's right. Isn't that nice? That sixteen galleon box of chocolates charred to a crisp. I suppose, if you look on the brightside, it could have been Lily charred to a crisp.

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I brought Lily the poem and book a week later, in the library. You might be wondering why I waited a week before doing this. You might not. I don't know. Anyways, it took me a week to write the bloody poem. That's my excuse.

During that week, Lily did actually look at me when we had conversations (which isn't much yet, but it's a start). She still won't smile or laugh with me. I hate that.

Anyways, back to giving Lily the poem and book.

So, I walked in and looked around for Lily. I was pretty sure she'd be there. She's in the library about sixty percent of the time (how in the world did I fall for a girl who likes the library?).

Sure enough, I found her sitting at a table in the very back of the library, Ravendork no where in sight.

I silently walked up to the table and sat down across from her.

"Hey." I said.

Lily looked up,". . .Hello."

"I came to give you something- and no, it's not roses, ear rings, or chocolates." I added hastily.

Lily raised an eyebrow. I wish she'd just smile or laugh or do something. I can't do all the work here.

I slid the book across the table to her. It was entitled: A Book Full of Books

Lily's face brightened some at the sight of a book. She took hold of it.

"I, uh, didn't really know what kind of book to get you, so I just got you this. It's just a booklist; you know, it recommends some good books you might like. . ."

She had already opened the book and was skimming through the book. I ran a hand through my hair as she closed the book and looked up, at me. And actually at me, with those green eyes of hers. . .

Her hands were on the table, figiting. Her face was slightly flushed. It was a bit warm in here (my face was flushed too). "Um, thank you, James, really." She paused. "You don't have to go and spend your money on me though. . ."

I rubbed my neck uncomfortably (what do you expect? For me to rub it comfortably? I don't think so-. . .whatever). "It's no big deal. Really. You're worth it."

That's when it happened.

She gave me a slow, slightly tight, small, smile. Long time no see. Then Lily nodded.

There was a silence between us. It was sort of the "normal" one we use to have, though, it wasn't entirely.

That's when i remembered the poem. I almost decided to just forget about it (the poem) because everything was going so well right now; I didn't want to risk ruining it now.

But, moronic me came back and I pulled out a small piece of parchment from my shoulder bag. "I've also got this, er, poem thing for you. It's kind of crappy so bear with me." I cleared my throat.

"You have green eyes and, er, red hair. . ."

Oh, this is so humiliating. Lily had better forgive me and fancy me back.

"Your name's Lily and you're, er, a lot like one- a lily flower, I mean-"

Kill me now.

"You're not like most people I know. You be yourself and that's, uh, pretty good,"

Well, I think I've just ruined any chance of impressing Lily by poetry. I think I've ruin just about any chance of impressing Lily, actually.

"You like books and the library. You're really intelligient."

Please just get me out of this cruel, cruel world.

"Your smiles are nice, they're real, not those, er, fake ones."

Please?

"Your laughs are pretty cool too. . ."

Please? Just for gillywig's sake, please just get me out of this cruel, cruel world.

I cleared my throat loudly. "Well. Er, that was all."

Okay, so maybe I just gave up on making a real poem and kind of just gave a list of Lily's good qualities. It's the thought that counts, right?

I finally looked up after a few seconds of silence. She was gazing at me in a amazed sort of way, I think.

"That was. . .that was nice, James. . ." She trailed off slowly.

Merlin, it was really getting hot in here!

"'Uh, thanks, Lily. I know it was pretty lame, but, er, thanks for, you know, not saying it was. . .Saying it was lame, I mean."

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I tackled "compliments" a day later during me and Lily's Head's patrol.

The silence between us was starting to go back to "normal". It was really awkward and uncomfortable, but. . .what can I say?

As we walked on a deserted corridor on the third floor, I tried to think up some charming ways to say the compliment.

But, you see, here's the problem:

I couldn't think of any. Oh, I could think up some compliments, sure. That was easy. It was bringing the compliments into a conversation that was hard.

"So, what did you make on your history of magic essay?"

Oh, God. I did not just ask about assignment grades again.

"An O."

"Of course." I said automatically,"I got an E." I paused. "You're so smart, Lily."

"No, I'm not. I just study and take notes. That's all."

Oh. Well. Way to totally mess up my compliment, Lily. "I didn't just mean school, but just everything in general."

Way to bring my compliment back, James. Yeah. Good one.

Lily shrugged lightly.

Silence.

More silence.

And more.

And even more.

This is getting unnerving.

More silence.

And, guess what? More silence!

"Lily, I think you're pretty." I blurted quite bluntly and abruptly.

Well. That wasn't exactly how I planned to say it. That wasn't at all how I planned to say that, actually. I continued in a rush,"I'm not lieing or anything, if that's what you think. I do. I really do. I think you're attractive and you're intelligient and sensible and nice and funny and. . .well, er, yeah."

I snuck a glance at Lily as I walked quickly along the corridor.

Even in the dark, I could see her face heated up. Of course, I'm not one to talk.

Her eyes darted around everywhere and anywhere but at me. ". . .Um, thank. . . you, James. . ."

I saw her crack a small, unsure smile before her head turned away.

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Author's Note: Guess what, everyone. I am seventy percent sure next chapter will be the last chapter of An Off Course Bet. There is a pretty good chance it will be, but, I'm still a little uncertain on one thing or another, so. . .yeah.

Just Another Harry Potter Fan


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