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An Off Course Bet by just another harry potter fan
Chapter 15 : Endings Again
 
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Disclaimer: I own nothing.

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Chapter Fifteen

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"So. . .I'll see you after the holidays then?" I asked as we stood, waiting for the crowd to move.

Okay, you're probably confused now. Since when was I leaving for the holidays? And who am I talking to? Well, let's turn the time-turner back to yesteryear- I mean, yesterday.

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"Mr. Potter, are you paying attention?"

No. Not really.

"Of course, Professor Mcgongall."

"By staring out the window?"

Yeah. I, you know, pay attention better by looking out windows. Even at meals, there has to be a window nearby so I can concentrate on eating.

"Uh, well, you see, I just saw these big, green, hairy. . .thing. . .-y's. Yeah. And they were really ugly looking."

Mcgongall, along with the transfiguration class, looked out the window. Mcgongall turned away from the window after a few moments of searching for my mysterious beast. Her lips were pursed. "I'm not seeing any. . .beasts that you've described." She said dryly. Okay, so maybe Mcgongall isn't that gullible.

I mockingly looked out the window again. A fake surprised look spread across my face. "Oh, my mistake. It's only the Slytherin quidditch team praticing. You really can't tell the difference. . .I mean, they're big, green, hairy, and ugly." I heard snickers.

"I don't remember the Slytherin quidditch team being. . .hairy." Funny, she didn't say anything about not remembering the Slytherin quidditch team being ugly.

"Oh, but they are, professor. You just have to look real close." More snickers.

But was Lily one of those snicker- ers?

Yeah. Yeah, she was.

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"James, why again did you suggest sitting in the library to finish our dream journals? You hardly ever suggest coming to the library. That's what I do." Remus questioned as we four Marauders sat at a rectangular (wood) table finishing our dream journals.

You see, we don't actually write in our dreams down in the stupid thing. Writing in a journal is so lame- so. . .so girl-ish. Besides, any of the dreams we actually remember are either:

A) Embarrassing.

B) Lame.

C) Nothing but nonsense.

D) Detention-worthy (Yeah, you know what kind of dreams are detention-worthy. Insert suggestive wiggling of eyebrows. They're definitely a lot better than the ones where Christmas tree tinsels strangle you to death)

But, yeah, we don't actually write any real dreams down. Instead, we make them up. I have to say I've come up with so pretty good ones.

I just suggested coming to the library to finish our dream journals. That's all. Why would he think there's some secret reason for coming?. . .well, okay, so maybe I thought Lily'd show up sometime. I mean, the girl's just about always in the library.

"What? We leave tomorrow for Christmas break. I want to get these stupid journals finished before we leave."

Remus didn't believe me, I suppose. I wish he could be gullible once and a while. Things would be so much easier.

"Okay, what color should my murderer be wearing?" Sirius asked.

"Red?"

"No, my murderer last Thursday was wearing red. I need variety!" Only Sirius would describe what color clothes his murderer was wearing.

"Green?"

"Yeah! My murderer could be a leprechaun!"

That's got to be one scary leprechaun. I wasn't being sarcastic either. I was being sarcastic in that last sentence.

"Should I say I dreamt about dragons flying around me singing the Hogwarts school song? Wait. How about I add this: I am naked while they sing and fly around me." Peter added.

"Alright, that's a bad image, mate. I wouldn't add the part about you being naked or the astronomy professor's going to die of heart failure after reading your dream journal."

And. . .in walks my secret reason for suggesting we come to the library. Yes.

I ducked behind my super, duper, huge, dreamy dream journal (it can hide all of my head). I didn't want Lily thinking I only came to the library to see her, did I?

Of course, Sirius just had to ruin my plan and called out to Lily, inviting her to sit with us. Thanks, Sirius.

Lily, surprising (and, probably reluctantly too. Sometimes I think actually likes being alone. . .) walked towards our table and slowly sat down.

"Hello, Lily." Remus said with a smile. I wonder if Remus still fancies Lily (you know, after the whole "asked her out, but ended up just studying with her in the library for years" thing). I doubt it. That he likes her, I mean. If he still fancies her, he'd have, you know tried to ask her out again or something. But, he hasn't.

"Hi, Remus." She replied with one of her smiles.

The rest of us greeted Lily and she greeted us back too. Yeah, there were greeting all over the place.

She pulled out her transfiguration textbook and began working on an essay that probably wasn't due until after the holidays.

"Hey, when's that due?" Peter asked in panic. It was clear he had forgotten about the essay completely.

"The day after we get back from Christmas break." Lily replied, her hand scribbling neatly across the essay. She stopped writing and opened her book, turning pages randomly, looking for something.

I knew it. About the essay not being due till we get back from the holidays, that is.

I began to write out last night's supposed dream.

Last night I dreamt that I was playing quidditch and the other team players were knickers. Red knickers. We won the game and I was transfigured into a door. A wooden door.

Eh, the more details you give (red knickers, wooden door) the easier the dream is to believe.

"Finished." Sirius said triumphantly, holding up his dreamy dream journal. I grabbed his journal and read last night's entry.

I dreamt that I was murderered by a leprechaun. He suffocated me with his four-leave clover (it was quite itchy). Then, after I died, my ghost began dancing around the Great Hall.

I handed back his journal. "Pretty good, Sirius."

He leaned over the table and grabbed mine,"Let's see, is yours any better?" He read my entry. And snorted. "Nope. Not any better than mine. Let's face it, James. My dreams are so better than yours."

"We made them up!"

"So?" He asked. He fingered through my previous entries. "James, almost all of your entries have to do with A) knickers. B) quidditch. Or, C) you being transfigured into furniture."

I hastily snatched back my journal. "Oh, stuff it, Sirius. At least I don't get murdered in every other dream I make up! The astronomy professor probably thinks you're some depressed weirdo who thinks about dieing all the time."

"Yeah, she might. But she also might think you're some perverted, quidditch-obsessed weirdo who likes transfiguration."

I heard Remus and Peter snicker. I hissed a quick "shut up!" to them. Lily was still bent over her work, but I could see a rather large smile on her face as she tried not to laugh, it seemed. I hastily ducked behind my dreamy dream journal and pulled charms book out of my bag and pretended to skim through it.

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"You going home for Christmas, Lily?" Sirius asked as we all sat waiting for Peter to finish his dreamy dream journal so we could head out. Lily was just about halfway through with her essay.

"Yes, I am."

"I have a flat, but I'm staying with James." Sirius was rather proud of his flat. Just a tad. Yeah. Right. Just a tad.

Lily nodded.

"Tell me, Lily, does a chubby, red-suited, old man actually come down muggles chimney?" Peter asked.

She looked up from her essay as Remus and I also looked her way curiously.

Before she could answer, Sirius spoke,"Of course not. How could he fit down a chimney if he's chubby? What if there isn't a chimney?" He scoffed.

Remus "pfft"ed. "Maybe he's a wizard! All he'd have to do is place an enlargement charm on a chimney and he'd easily be able to fit through it."

Good answer.

"If this chubby chap is a wizard, then why doesn't he go down the wizarding world chimney's, hmmm? Why does he go down muggle chimney's instead?"

"Because he-"

Let's just say Peter's question was never truely answered since Lily could never say anything because Remus and Sirius were having a very heated debate over whether a chubby, red-suited guy actually goes muggle chimney's. It was quite interesting, I have to admit.

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I sat with Lily at dinner that night.

Alone. . .

. . .well, not really. I mean, we ate in the Great Hall obviously and since there's a few hundred other people sitting right next to you, it's sort of hard to be alone, if you know what I mean. It's just none of my other friends were sitting with me and, uh, none of Lily's friends were sitting with her either. . .even though she has about two friends who she rarely talks to in the first place. . .

Anyways, we sat together at dinner. I was surprised Ravendork didn't show up and glare me to death. But, the point is, he didn't. So. . .yeah. Cough. Cough again. Alright, that's enough coughing. We actually had a few conversations. It kept getting more "normal" between us. I could tell it wasn't going to totally "normal" between us for a long time. . .but, this was a start.

Oh, and guess what else.

Go ahead, guess. . .

Lily and I actually had a quidditch-related conversation. Yeah. Can you believe it? Merlin, I just keep liking this girl more and more. . .

"Did you know the World Cup's going to be held this summer?" I asked, inhaling a piece of bacon.

Lily took a sip of water, I guess. "Yeah, I knew that. It's between England and Ireland, right?"

She even knew the teams that were going to play in the Cup. I think I died and went to James Potter heaven at that second. "Right. Personally, I'm an Ireland fan."

"I don't watch quidditch much, but every once and a while I'll buy a quidditch magazine when I'm bored (quidditch is to be read about at all times, not just when you're bored. A point was taken from Lily for say that. I came back to life and left James Potter heaven after she said this). I think I'd have to be an Irish fan as well, though (okay, I died again and went back to James Potter heaven after she said this. Lily also got her point back)."

"I was going to go to the Cup this summer, if I can."

"That's sound pretty cool."

She said that sounded cool.

That's just. . .cool.

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It was later that night, as I laid in bed, thinking about how cool it was to fancy a girl who liked quidditch (even if she liked the library and books more), when I realized I hadn't even gotten Lily a Christms present. . .

Then I began to wonder if I should even get her a present. Should I? We were still a bit on a knobby broomstick, weren't we? And giving gifts to people was reserved more for your friends and family, right?

Then I thought, who cares? It's not as though I have to get her some really expensive necklace or anything. . .then I thought, but I shouldn't get her something cheap, either. Because, well, that'd be just lame.

So, I laid there for a while, listening to Peter snore and Sirius mumble stuff in his sleep (I swear I heard him say the words "leprechaun", "suffocate", and "four-leaf clover"). Remus was quietly sleeping (of course).

It was just as I know I heard Sirius mumble "leprechaun", "suffocate", and "four-leaf clover" in his sleep, that I came up with a pretty good gift for Lily. . .

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"Oy, move, midget!- Oh. So sorry, Professor Flitwick." Sirius apologized sheepishly as he already moved ahead, elbowing someone in the side and stepping on another someone's foot. Me and Remus and Peter using Sirius as a shield to get through the crowd outside the Great Hall.

We would be leaving for the holidays in about half an hour. Just had to wait for the carriages to take us to the station.

"Well." Someone just elbowed Remus.

"Sirius, where are we going?" I asked, gripping my trunk tighter as I felt it being pulled away from me. The pulling stopped. We really didn't have anywhere to go.

I saw Sirius' shoulders shrug,"I don't know. . .why?"

"You sure seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere with the way you're shoving people out of the way."

"Oh, shove off, James."

"You've already shoved me this morning." He'd shoved through me as soon as we stepped in the crowd outside the Great Hall.

"And I'm more than willing to shove you again!"

Well, someone's being Mr. Moodypant's today.

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"Hey, Lily!- Oy, why don't you move?" I called to some bloke who said "move" in a snotty way. He shoved past me. I'd lost sight of the Marauders a few minutes ago. I had caught sight of Lily's back. I walked in her direction. "Lily! Hey- wait!."

I caught up with Lily only to find that, in fact, it wasn't Lily but instead some girl who had red hair. . .yeah. I've made that mistake quite a few times. . .

"Er, hi. . .Bye. . .I've got to go now." I said, giving a small wave to the bewildered, red-headed girl as I back away from her, stepping onto a few feet and knocking into a few shoulders.

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Alright, I know that was Lily. I saw her from the front and that was her. It wasn't some random girl who had red hair.

"Lily!" I called over the crowd.

She turned slightly in my direction, skimming her eyes around the crowd until she spotted me. She made her way through the crowd to me.

"Hey." I said as we finally reached each other.

"Hi, James." Lily said, setting her trunk down next to her.

"Crowded in here, eh?"

"Yeah." She said.

I cleared my throat umcomfortably (what? Am I suppose to clear it comfortably?- No. I'm not going through this again) before pulling the gift I'd gotten Lily out of my pocket. I handed over the gift to Lily, who raised an eyebrow as she took it.

"What-"

"It's my Christmas present to you."

Lily examined it. "Bertie Bott Every Flavored Jelly Beans?"

I ran a hand through my hair. "Uh, yeah. You said you liked them and that day you were, you know, sorting them. . .I know it's kind of a stupid gift-"

"No, it isn't, James." Lily said, pulling the draw sting of the bag of jelly bean and dumping a few beans in her hand. "It's nice." I thought it was a pretty nice gift too. . .what can I say, though? I'm one good gift-giver.

Lily seemed to make some sort of movement towards me. Maybe to hug me? To shake my hand? To kiss me (doubting that)? To hand me some jelly beans? Anyways, whatever she tried to do, it became all of a sudden awkward and quickly stood still.

"Yeah, well. . ." I trailed off, rubbing the back of my neck.

We stood in silence for a few seconds.

It sure was getting hot in here.

Lily hesitantly held her hand that had the jelly beans out to me,"Want one?"

"Uh. . .sure." I said, picking up a red one. . .Pretty good. Tastes like strawberries. . .and ice cream.

Lily also popped one in her mouth. I saw her flinch slight in disgust. "Not good?" I asked.

She shook her head.

"Sorry."

Silence.

Geez, it really is getting hot in here. . .

It was my turn to flinch slightly as someone elbowed my back. In a manly way, of course.

"I feel bad now."

Merlin, that must have been one bad jelly bean.

"Really?" I asked. "What color was it?"

Lily shook her head,"No, I mean, I feel bad because I didn't get you a gift."

"Oh." I said, running a hand through my hair. "That's okay." Alright, what I said next, I had no idea it was coming. "Maybe we could, you know, hang out at Hogsmeade and get me a gift after the holidays together."

See? That wasn't suppose to happen. Nope.

It must have been hot in here too for Lily because her face was flushed too. "Um. . .alright. . ."

Alright. . .I just basically got a date with Lily. Yes! I can't wait till we get back from Christmas break.

Silence.

"So. . .I'll see you after the holidays then?" I asked as we stood, waiting for the crowd to move.

And back to the present, we are.

"Yeah." Lily replied.

Okay, see, what happens next, it wasn't suppose to happen either. Really, I hadn't meant to do this.

I stepped forward and awkwardly placed my arms around Lily. Yes, I had leaned over and hugged her.

I thought I'd made a huge mistake after feeling Lily tense. Her hands remained at her sides. Oh, great, I've just made the most moronic mistake I could make- actually, kissing Lily in the broom closet was the most moronic mistake I could make, but that's not the point.

Then- get this, get this- she relaxed and- get this, get this- slowly put her arms around me too. Lily Evans hugged me.

And just when I started to enjoy the feeling of Lily in my arms, we were pushed slightly. Apparently, the crowd was starting to head out of the castle- the carriages were here. We pulled away slightly and then. . .huh.

When did that happen?

When did we start kissing?

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Alright, so our unexpected kiss didn't turn into a snog session or anything. I really don't know how long it lasted. Probably just a few seconds. It didn't seem long at all.

I wish it was longer.

And I'm pretty sure Lily did too (no, I'm really sure Lily did too).

You know, that whole bet that Sirius challenged me to went way off course. I mean, I was suppose to be all cool and ask Lily to Hogsmeade, therefore winning the bet. Instead, I end up not being able to ask Lily to Hogsmeade, falling for Lily, and losing the bet.

Then again, it was never about the bet. Not really.

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Last Author's Note: There is the end. Yes, it's the last chapter. I'm sorry for taking so long to get it up, but here's what happened:

Okay, it's three days after I wrote chapter fourteen of this chapter. I sat down, got my laptop and decided to type up this chapter, all enthusiastic and everything. I even did finger exercises (no, not really X D)! Then, it happened. I was totally and utterly stumped. I couldn't see the chapter in my head. It was just blank. So anyways, I sat for a while longer before getting really discouraged. After that, I just haven't been in the mood to write. Sad story, huh? LoL.

Anyways, I hope you liked the ending. This was sort of a belated birthday present to myself. I turned fifteen last Monday. So, happy belated birthday to me. LoL.

Thank you everyone who's read and reviewed!

Just Another Harry Potter Fan

P.S. I plan to update Just the Girl very soon (maybe tomorrow if I don't have anything to do, not making any promises, though). I'll also be starting my new story, "Players One and Two" very soon too. Perhaps sometime this week maybe (again, not making any promises). School started for me last Friday (the 18th). Things will be pretty hectic, so I don't know if I'll have time to start it this week. We'll see.


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