Fairy Tale Ending

Why did James Potter join the Order of the Phoenix? Short, sweet and rather fluffy.

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James Potter and Lily Evans were going for a walk. It had been meant to be a romantic last saunter 'round the lake before the Leaving Feast, but they had ended up at the Quidditch pitch after discovering just how many other couples were taking a last romantic saunter 'round the lake as well. It had also meant to be a hand-in-hand walk, but James had let go so many times to wave directions at the group of first-years having a last Quidditch practice that Lily had given up, and folded her arms across her chest in resignation.

"You should be a Quidditch coach," she said as James held out both hands to demonstrate the proper grip to the first-year Keeper struggling by on a wandering broom. "You'd be good at it."

"No," said James abruptly.

"Why not?" Lily frowned in suspicion. "The temptation to jump on your own broom and show off be too much, hey, Potter?"

"I shouldn't be a Quidditch coach," James replied slowly, his eyes still fixed on the struggling Keeper, "because I could be a Quidditch coach." He put up one hand and ruffled up his hair in the way Lily had always found so infuriating but had become rather endearing – not least because it meant she got to put up a hand and smooth everything back into place again.

James captured her hand when it was done. "I could be a Quidditch coach," he said, tracing a finger gently along her knuckles. "And as you kindly said, Evans, I'd be good at it. But – I'd be a pure-blood wizard doing a pure-blood wizard's job in a pure-blood wizard's sport, and no matter what I said, I wouldn't be defying the Dark Side's lies and wickedness, I'd be supporting them by default!"

He looked up, hazel eyes suddenly fierce. "You defy them, Lily, you prove them wrong every day you live in this world! So does Remus! But I don't, I'm a pure-blood – so I've got to do something! Sirius took his stand, he walked out and left his family and all the evil and anti-muggle stuff they stand for! And I have to, too!" The fire suddenly dropped, and James looked away with a half-sheepish grimace. "That's why I'm joining Dumbledore's order, not the Chudley Cannons."

Lily laughed, and leaned against his arm. "Where was the nice guy, all these years, Potter?"

"Being the frog," said the eloquent speech-maker promptly.

"What?"

"Being the frog," James repeated. "You know, in the muggle fairy tales, the frog that lollops round for years being all ugly and leggy and a right jerk." He grinned, his old, infuriating, endearing grin. "Waiting for the princess to kiss him."

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