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Bragging Rights by EllaMennowPea

Format: Novel
Chapters: 29
Word Count: 51,395

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Romance, AU
Characters: Lily, James
Pairings: James/Lily, Remus/OC, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 11/17/2008
Last Chapter: 04/03/2010
Last Updated: 11/14/2010

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It started from a breakup and will end with one. 
They must snag the four boys. 
And the girl who finishes first gets the bragging rights. 
Everything was accounted for. 
Except love.

Chapter 24: Chapter Twenty-Four. Elsie.

“So…what do you think?” I asked him. Peter looked at me, confused and somewhat blank. I waited a few moments, tempted to wave a hand in front of his face. “Peter?”

“Yeah?” He asked, completely bemused.

“I…well, I just wanted to know what you were thinking?” I asked again.

“What do I think,” it wasn’t a question, but more of a statement. He was searching through his brain, looking for any trace of emotion that could be useful at this time.

As I waited for him to continue, I let my mind wander back. I briefly contemplated over how everything with the others was going.

“Elsie, I love you.” Definitely not what I thought he’d say. “And I know that you love me.”

“I do! I really do!” I exclaimed, perhaps a bit too happily. He took a deep breath before continuing.

“So why should I let this ruin us? If you say that it doesn’t mean anything anymore, then it doesn’t.”

“Oh, Peter!” I threw my arms around him. He detached himself, smirking just a bit.

“But, you’re on probation.”

“What?” I looked at him, confused. “Probation?”

“If the whole purpose of our relationship was sex, then I think we should stop that until I’m sure you’ve learned your lesson,” he smirked.

“Oh,” I smirked, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Okay, I agree.”

He smiled to himself, obviously happy with himself. I let my hand fall from his shoulder to his hand, gripping it a bit and looking into his eyes. Then without a warning at all, I lightly let my hand crawl, as though my middle and index fingers were legs, onto his lap. After a good minute he finally let out a breath, his eyes clouding over a bit.

“I think you’ve learned your lesson,” he took hold of my hand and pulled me up with him. I squealed as we raced up the staircase that led to the dorms.

Peter pushed the heavy wooden door open and as soon as we were in the safety of his dormitory, he pulled me to him by putting his arms around my waist. I giggled, kissing him.

“Not smart, mate,” a voice came from one of the beds, and I had to look around to figure out which one. Peter and I separated and stood there, a bit shocked.

“Prongs?” Peter asked, his hand falling back onto my waist, pulling me again over to stand by his side. “You all right?”

“Oh, I’m keen as mustard, Wormtail,” James sighed, his head falling back against the wall. I saw now that he was sitting on his bed, his legs spread out, his arms hanging uselessly at his sides.

“Wormtail?” I looked up at Peter, suddenly wondering what this strange nickname meant.

He smiled down at me for a second before saying, “I’ll tell you later.”

“James I thought you were with Lily?” I asked.

He let out a low chuckle, “No, no, she’s elsewhere.”

“Obviously?” I let out.

“You mocking me?” He asked, although I couldn’t be sure if he was serious. And then all of a sudden, I could see where his anger and aggression was coming from. It was as though a torch had clicked on in my mind.

“She told you,” I said, not bothering to add the questioning tone.

“Yeah she bloody well told me. Have you told him yet?” His chin flicked upward towards Peter, and I nodded.

“Yeah,” I paused, taking a look at Peter. I smiled and he gave a tiny, almost nonexistent smile of encouragement. “Yeah, I did.”

“Pete, how could you just let it slide?” James addressed the other boy, who had sat down on his own four poster bed and was looking down at his hands. “She lied to you, mate. They all lied to us.”

“And she told me the truth,” Peter looked up, his eyes meeting James’s own hazel eyes. I could see the reflection from the window on James’s glasses. "She regrets it."

“Oh, really?” James spat cynically.

“Peter understands that I love him. That I wouldn’t do anything to hurt him, and that I was involved in that bet way before I’d known how amazing he was. Well,” I paused, thinking back. “That’s not entirely true; I did like him a bit before Camilla suggested the dare.”

“How can you trust her?” James thought aloud it seemed, not even looking at Peter. 

“Lily loves you James. She loves you more than I think she loves anybody, and she did that all on her own. She needed to sleep with you, and she did, and then she stayed with you. She could have dumped you that afternoon, do you realize that?” I asked him. I could literally see the thought process in his eyes. “James, she’d never hurt you," I said.

A Minute passed, and then I added, "she’d never have agreed to that bet if she could have possibly known how much she would grow to care about you.”

“She loves me,” He breathed.

“Isn’t that what you wanted along, mate?” Peter asked, standing up again to come and put his arm around my shoulders.

“She loves me,” James said again, this time looking up into my eyes.

I stared at him for a long time. I don’t know if it was seconds or minutes, but our eyes were locked for a very long time. Peter used a bit of strength and pulled me closer, planting a kiss on my temple. I swayed a bit, but my eyes remained locked with James’s.

And then, I said quickly, “Go, James.”

And he got up. He stood there, swayed a bit on the spot, and then he let a hand come up and brush through his hair. I watched as he repositioned his glasses, rolled up his sleeves, and then stumbled out of the dorm.

“I can’t believe it!” I beamed up at Peter.

“That he could ever doubt her?” he guessed.

“No,” I shook my head, my smile growing wider. “I actually helped!”

“Right,” he laughed, kissing me quickly and grabbing my hands, tugging me over to his bed. “Now where were we?” 

Oh, Elsie, Elsie, Elsie. How your sweet little mind amazes me...I know this chapter was super short and you were all probably expecting some kind of awesome show-down or something....that's coming. 

I liked this chapter, because I think it shows Peter's character a bit better--he was a really sweet and cool guy. (Just so you know, I don't have a theory as to why Peter would betray James and Lily other than that he was scared, and I don't intend to add anything to show his cowardice and cruelty in this story). 

Thank you so much to everyone who has review! I'm trying to respond to all of them, so keep checking back! Thank you guys!

Please review!

Reviewer Question: What do you think about Peter's reaction? Good or not mad enough?