I know, I should be updating It Runs Through the Family, but i'm not. xD
I've had this story for aaaaaaaaaaaaaages, but I've only just finished. The second half just needs editing, and then I'll put it up. So don't worry, it'll be up by next week.
Until then, enjoy! It's a little unorthodox, but the idea wouldn't let go :')
See you soon, folks! And don't forget to revieew! ;D 3

The Bet.
31st December, 1978.

All was quiet in the street; darkness had long fallen, and the only sound was the soft hooting of a night owl, somewhere in the distance. The modest houses were dimly lit by a few, scattered, faint streetlights - their orange glow casting a half-hearted light on a small area of the path beneath them, illuminating one, black cat, licking it's paws in the silence. Normally, everyone would have been in bed by now. But tonight was New Year's Eve - the eerie silence due to the fact that almost all residents of the street were out, partying, leaving only one house lit up.

Suddenly, there was a deafening crack. Followed by three more deafening cracks. The owl abruptly stopped it's hooting, and the cat scampered away into the shadows. After a beat of silence, four voices filled the darkness.

"Oh my lord, I think I'm going to be sick."

"Don't be such a wimp, Wormtail."

"I know! None of us feel sick. It's just you!"

"Hey, Pete, look on the bright side - at least you've still got all your limbs."

As they reached the illuminated circle of path, Peter Pettigrew scowled at Remus Lupin, who grinned back. James Potter and Sirius Black made no effort to hide their laughter. Peter rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, laugh it up. It wasn't funny!"

"Oh mate, it just was-"

"I could have lost an arm!"

"You did lose an arm."

"Yeah, but I got it back!"

The other three boys laughed again, before James pulled a piece of paper from his pocket.

"Number 15..." he mumbled, checking the numbers on every house. Finally, they reached Number 15 - the only house in the entire street that showed any signs of life. They stopped as they reached the drive. Sirius let out a long groan.

"Oh," he whined, "do we have to go?"

James shot him a fiery look. "Yes!" he shouted, "Of course we have to go!"

"But it'll be so booooooring." Sirius sounded like a spoilt schoolchild, only emphasized when he stamped his foot, "I mean, you'll have Lily to -" he coughed "- occupy yourself with, but me and the lads - we aint got no-one!"

"Merlin, Padfoot, how many mistakes can you make in one sentence?" Remus smiled. Sirius frowned.

"Oh what are you, the grammar police? And you wonder why you haven't got a girlfriend."

"Padfoot-" James started, but Remus cut him off with a laugh. "Neither have you!" he said, still laughing at the scowling Sirius.

"That's not my fault. I could get one if I wanted to. Right here, right now."

"Sirius, there's noone he-"

"Shut up, Wormtail." he paused, a smile dawning on his face, "There is at the party."

Remus was still looking at his friend, smiling slightly. He seemed to ponder this last statement for a while, before turning to face Sirius. "So," he said, slowly, "you reckon you can get a girl at this party?"

Sirius folded his arms across his chest. "Quicker than you can. Better than you can."

Again, Remus seemed to think about this for a moment, before smiling a full-blown grin. "Is that a challenge?"

Peter looked in-between his friends, a look of excited anticipation on his face which they decided to ignore. James ran his hand through his hair and shook his head."You'd better not ruin this party." he said, quietly.

Sirius ignored him, holding out his hand for Remus to shake, before stating the terms of the bet.

"One girl. Whoever kisses her at midnight, wins. Not only does the other have to pay him 10 galleons, but he must run around the Evans' garden nak-"

"No!" James cut in, panic in his eyes, "I'm not having that. They won't invite me back!"


"No, Sirius!"

Sirius rolled his eyes, before turning back to Remus muttering something like "you're such a bore".

"Fine," he said, now at full volume, "you just owe me ten galleons when I win."

Remus laughed, before holding his own hand out and grabbing Sirius'. "You're on," he said, before leaning in closer to his friend and continuing, "but don't be so sure you'll win."

Sirius smiled, pushing his friend away as Remus let go of his hand. "So," he said, "how do we pick this girl?"

"Leave that to me," James said, as he headed up the drive, "and don't worry - it'll be somebody so impossibly difficult that neither of you will ever have a chance in high heavens."

"Oh please," Sirius began, "I could get any-"

"Don't even start, Padfoot."

They were at the door now, and before Sirius could reply, James had knocked. As it opened, all four boys shouted simultaneously, mad smiles on their faces.

"HAPPY NEW-" they all stopped, surprised by the woman behind the door. Only James continued, "Oh! Hi, Mrs. Evans..."

The red-haired woman at the door giggled. "Hello James. Are these your friends?"

"Who these?" James gestured to the other Marauders, "No, I've never seen them before in my life -"

"Sirius Black, nice to meet you." Sirius pushed James out of the way and held his hand out for Mrs. Evans to shake. Tentatively, she took it, obviously not quite sure what to make of the strange boy on her doorstep; the one who was currently introducing the other two boys, both grinning like maniacs.

"This is Remus, and Peter. Thanks a lot for the invite, Mrs. E." He flashed her a dazzling smile, and then rubbed his hands together. "So!" he shouted, "On with the party!"

And with that, he marched into the Evans' hallway, followed by the cheering and dancing Remus and Peter, leaving a slightly bedazzled Mrs. Evans in her own doorway. Slowly, James got back on the step.

"Sorry," he said quietly, "they're rather ... energetic. They - um - take a bit of getting used to." He smiled sheepishly.

Mrs. Evans smiled. "Don't worry James," she said, not entirely convinced of her own words, "I'm sure they'll be just fine." She welcomed the boy into her house, smiling as he wiped his feet on the way in. "Lily's in the living room, by the way," she said, as he began to walk away. He turned around, flashed her the smile which her daughter had fallen in love with, and headed into the living room.

She hated it.

Not only did she have to partake in this happy-family masquerade every year, but now some of Lily's friends were going to be there. Some of them. Petunia shuddered at the thought. No doubt they'd be loud, arrogant and completely obnoxious, just like that Potter boy. Apparently he was bringing some friends too.

And, to make matters worse, Vernon was an idiot at parties. He spent his time showing off to anyone and everyone else at the party; about his school, his family, his friends - there was never enough time for Petunia to even get a look-in.

So, once again, she'd spend the night alone.


Petunia groaned. She hated being addressed like that - it made her feel six years old. However, she also hated the person who addressed her like that, so it couldn't get much worse. She turned to face her red-headed sister, her smile so wide Petunia thought she might burst. She was dragging Potter behind her, who was smiling aswell, if a little sheepishly. Following them were a group of people Petunia didn't recognize.

"I thought I'd introduce you to my friends," she said, her smile faltering as she saw her sister's developing scowl.

"I'm fine, thanks." Petunia said shortly, turning away. Vernon stood the other side of her, rocking on his heels slightly and looking over her shoulder at the group, frowning.

"Who's this then?"

Petunia put his hands on his chest in an attempt to push him away, muttering something like "just leave it", but Vernon wouldn't budge. Sighing, Petunia turned back around to face her sister. "These are Lily's friends," she drawled.

A shadow of her earlier grin washed across Lily's face as she regarded Vernon, James Potter looking on in concern. "Yeah-"

"Well?" Vernon said, obviously expecting the stupid girl infront of him to be a mind reader, "Names?"

A small crease formed between Lily's eyebrows. "I was getting to that," she said, quietly, before continuing louder, "These are the girls - Lexie and Katie," she gestured to each in turn, the first a medium-height girl with brown hair and blue eyes, the second a tall, sporty girl who had ashy blonde hair. They smiled. Petunia did not. Then, Lily turned to her left, "And these are the boys - you know James," Potter nodded to Vernon, who scowled back, "this is Peter," a short, fat, blonde boy looked up to her, "Remus," he was tall, with a tawny-brown fringe sweeping over half of his face, "and finally, Sirius." Sirius flashed Petunia a wide, sparkling smile, which she was sure had most of the girls fainting frequently where he came from. But not her. No, she didn't go for freaks. Behind her, Vernon grunted.

After that, they all stood in silence. Petunia raised her eyebrows at Lily, and seized her opportunity to escape, ducking underneath Vernon's arm without so much as a goodbye.

Bloody wizards. Even more people to avoid.

On the other side of the room, the group from Hogwarts were standing, watching the girl stalk away, slightly speechless.

"Well," Sirius said, breaking the silence, "she seems nice."

Within seconds, James was next to his ear. "And she," he said, in a whisper, very aware of the large, firmly built man before them, "is the one you shall be romancing this evening. Be sure to tell Moony."

James stood up straight, and Sirius' eyes grew wide.

Petunia Evans? Lily's sister?

From what he knew, she was a bitch.

And she had a boyfriend. A really big, strong boyfriend who could probably snap Sirius in two with one, ham-like hand.

As he looked the pompous-looking man up and down, he gulped.

This bet wasn't going to be as much fun as he thought.

But, of course, he still couldn't lose.

Remus nearly dropped his drink. If it weren't for his awesome-werewolf-reflexes, he'd be very wet indeed.

"Petunia Evans?"

Sirius just nodded. Remus' eyes were like saucers. Sirius smirked.

"Scared, Moony? Want to back out?"

Remus narrowed his eyes at the boy before him. "Never."

"Well then," Sirius said smoothly, his eyes glittering, "game on."

And he turned away, heading in the direction of Petunia Evans.

Downing another drink, Petunia scowled at the party. Last time she'd seen him, Vernon had been bragging to Potter about his school. Ha. Potter probably didn't even know what a normal school entailed.

She made a move to pour herself another drink, trying to numb herself, but found there was a hand already around the bottle. Looking up to scowl at the person holding her vodka, she groaned.

Before her stood one of the boys Lily had introduced to her moments before. He was tall - far too tall - and had long, black hair which fell in graceful curls around his face, framing his dazzling smile which he was flashing her once more. His eyes were an odd shade of grey-blue, and they sparkled in the dim light. His face was fairly handsome, and his posture quite strong, but, Petunia didn't go for freaks.

Especially freaks who wouldn't let go of the vodka!

"Hi," he said, his voice confident, deep and smooth, giving him the air of some pompous CEO or radio presenter, "I'm Sirius. Sirius Black."

Petunia raised one eyebrow. "That's a weird name," she said, shortly, wanting nothing more than for him to go away.

But his smile didn't falter. Infact, he let out a laugh which sounded even more unnatural than his fake-voice. "I know," he said, "but sometimes, weird people are the most... interesting."

He advanced a step closer, still smiling. Petunia backed away. "Excuse me?" she said, looking the boy up and down, not really believing what he was trying to do. She scoffed, flickering a glance to Vernon and smirking back at Sirius. "I have a boyfriend." At this, his smile seemed to die a little, and Petunia scowled at him, ready to turn away. Before she could, however, he spoke again.

"Your boyfriend isn't here, though, is he?" he said, regaining his confidence, shocking Petunia slightly, He immediately took advantage of this and advanced once more, putting one, smooth hand on her shoulder, smiling right into her face. He was obviously trying to charm her, but Petunia wasn't going to budge. The very idea of being any closer than three feet to any of them made her want to throw up.

Slowly, he began to lower his head. Petunia put her hand over his chin and mouth, clasping her other hand around the vodka bottle in his. She pressed herself against him so that they were chest-to-chest, looking up into the boy's shocked, slivery eyes calmly.

"Sorry," she said quietly, trying to speak with venom but fluttering her eyelashes, "but I don't go for freaks." She pushed him away.

And with that, she walked away smirking, swinging the vodka in her hand, leaving the boy rather speechless.

Remus had just rescued James from talking to Vernon.

Well, more being talked at than talked to.

"I mean, he wouldn't shut up!"

"I know, Prongs, that's why I rescued you."

James turned on his heels and raised his right hand as if holding a cigar, putting his left on his hip. Remus stopped in his tracks as James began to rock on his heels as he plunged into a very good impression of Vernon Dursley.

"You know, at Smeltings, they used the cane daily. Did they use the cane at your school, Potter? The only way to raise proper men, that is! You know, my great uncle Walter was headmaster! He brought the cane back! He was in the army! He went across the Sahara on a camel, surviving on nothing but a bottle of gin and a packet of sherbet lemons! He was a real man, Potter!"

Remus smiled at his friends impression, shaking his head as James waved his finger in his face. His smile, however, was wiped clean from his face as someone walked straight into his back. He wheeled around to face them.

"Hey! Watch where you're going, will - ...Padfoot?"

Sirius turned around, a distant, hazy look in his eyes. His head fell to one side. "Remus."

Remus frowned as he heard James come to his shoulder. "Pads," he said, "are you alright?"


"Sirius - those words don't make a sentence..." he looked his friend up and down, concern in his eyes which were buried under a furrowed brow. Sirius dropped his head to look at his shoes.

"Mate, are you okay?" James asked from behind Sirius, his concern evident in his voice. Sirius mumbled something from behind the black curls hiding his face. James sighed. "Speak up, Pads."

Lifting his head ever so slightly, Sirius looked straight at James through the newly-formed gap in his hair. His eyes were wide. "P-petunia..." he stammered. Almost instantly, a wide, slightly manic smile spread across Remus' face.

"Say what now?"

James elbowed him quite harshly in the ribs, never taking his eyes from Sirius. "What happened, mate?"

Sirius lifted his head once more, tears swimming in his eyes.

"She...she...she pushed me away. She declined. She - she stole the vodka."

Remus bit his lip to stop the laughter from spilling out. He wouldn't have bothered, but he was sure he could feel a bruise coming up where James had elbowed him. Next to him, James looked genuinely sympathetic.

"Oh, Pads, mate..." he stepped forward, putting his arm around Sirius, who was now close to tears, "I warned you, didn't I? I told you."

Sirius was muttering about "never losing" and "irresistible" under James' arm. Remus watched them walk a few steps before making his decision.

"I'll - erm," he began, catching their attention, "I'll see you guys later," he made a hitch-hiking gesture over his shoulder, "I'm just going to - erm - well, have a go."

Within seconds, Sirius was at his ankles.

"NO!" he cried, catching the startled attention of many surrounding people, "MOONY! NO!"

Remus smiled at the people who had begun to stare, letting free a nervous laugh. "It's okay," he reassured them, "he just has - um - detachment issues-"


Remus looked down to the man currently clutching at the hem of his robe, in full, dramatic tears, crying at the top of his voice. "Sirius?" he hissed out of the side of his mouth, "Get. Off. Me." Then, with a brief, awkward smile at the gathering crowd, he tried to shake his leg free.

"NOOOOOOOOOO!" Sirius got to his feet as Remus pulled himself free, clutching at the werewolf's shoulders before he could escape. Unwillingly, Remus turned to face him. His eyes were wild and spilling with tears, darting in all directions. His hair fell about his face randomly, which was etched with lines of panic. He looked like a certified, medically confirmed, madman.

"Moony - Remus, you don't understand!" he said desperately, a few inches from Remus' face, "You can't go over there! She'll kill you! She's a devil woman!" he whispered the words 'devil woman' for extra effect. Remus tried to smile, but it was more of a grimace.

"Listen, Sirius, get off me now. People are staring. Get off me or i'll be the one killing you."

"But Remus - she turned down me! Me!"

"I know, Sirius. Hard to believe. That's why I'm going over there. Now be a good dog and go back to James, will you?"

And with a final, rather forceful pat on the cheek for Sirius, Remus shook himself free, heading in the direction of the tall, thin, pristine girl in standing by the drinks table, nursing a bottle of vodka like a baby.

It was starting to hurt. That was never a good sign.

Oh, she'd regret this in the morning.

Was it morning yet? She didn't even know.

She didn't care. She had no recollection of any of the past few hours.

All apart from that boy. The flirt.

Ha. As if.

Smiling inwardly, she took another swig of vodka, straight from the bottle.

"Mind if someone else gets a bit of that?"

Startled, Petunia didn't even think to give the speaker her iciest, coldest glare, and instead just wheeled around to face them, looking like a rabbit in headlights. And, obviously, rabbits can't hold vodka bottles - so that went flying from her hands.

With one swift, skilled swipe, the man before her caught the bottle in one hand before it hit the floor. As he straightened out, Petunia looked at him in awe.

He'd saved it. He'd saved her vodka.

"I'll take that as a yes, then."

And now he was pouring it. Into a glass. He was pouring her vodka into a glass.

"Excuse me!" It came out an octave or four higher than she'd hoped, but it certainly got his attention. He looked up from the glass, tilting the bottle back before any liquid fell. With a soft, crooked smile on his face, he offered it to her.

"That's okay," he said, "I've always preferred gin anyway."

Petunia hugged the bottle to her chest. Who was this boy? And why was he talking to her?

She was sure she recognized him from somewhere. But her alcohol-ridden brain was too addled to figure out where.

Holding his glass in his hand - now full of gin and tonic - he turned back to her, the same soft smile playing with the corners of his lips. Petunia didn't smile back. Her eyes were still bugging out her head from the man's reflexes.

He was tall - taller than her - and thin - but not as thin as her - with tawny-brown hair swept across one side of his face. His face itself was littered with faint scars, as was the hand which held the glass easily. His clothes hung on him loosely - a simple shirt and jeans, nothing flashy. And before she regained her senses, Petunia would have described him as quite attractive. Unkempt, roguishly so - he wasn't neat and tidy like herself or Vernon, and he wasn't flashy like that insufferable boy with the odd name. He was mischievous, too - had that glint in his eye that told Petunia he knew how to have fun, that he didn't always play by the rules. And as much as Petunia liked rules, this excited her. He hadn't shaved that day, either, she could tell - a faint, ashen-coloured stubble was appearing across his strong jawline. But Petunia didn't admonish him for it as she would have done to Vernon - no, quite frankly, she was sick of Vernon that night. Him and his showing-off and his pompous attitude. But this man wasn't Vernon. He was different.

It was this which stopped her from giving him the same treatment as Serious, or whatever his name had been.

"So," he said, his voice deep and slightly rough from the shouting over the music in the other room, "you like vodka, huh?"

Petunia looked down. She was clutching the bottle desperately to her chest. She looked moronic.

Smiling, she put the bottle down. She couldn't help it - she didn't know whether it was the alcohol or the man, but she let out a little laugh. He laughed too. It was soft, like his smile.

"You're Lily's sister, right?"

Petunia's eyes snapped up. She felt the ice return to her stare.

Remus immediately knew he'd overstepped the mark. He tried to look innocent, but it was difficult under the intensity of her glare.

"Yes," she said shortly, her eyes dropping, "that's me."

She began tracing patterns on the tablecloth with one perfectly manicured nail. The rest of her followed suit - tidy and pristine, even under the influence of nearly a whole bottle of vodka. Her hair was curled and short, falling to about her shoulders. She had a fringe across her forehead that made her look older - added to the 50s-style make-up she was wearing. She was trying to be in a class that she wasn't, and that was clear, if only from her clothes. They were far too old for her. Under normal circumstances, Remus would have steered well clear.

But the look on Sirius' face when he won? That was too hard to resist.

He checked his watch. It was 11.30. He needed to hurry up if his plan was going to work.

He decided to drop the subject of Lily quickly, remembering that Petunia hated magic. If he gave himself away as a wizard - never mind a werewolf - she'd be running for the hills, vodka and all.

"I hate New Year's, don't you?" he tried to sound casual. It got her attention.

She looked to him quizzically, her eyebrows furrowed slightly as if she didn't know what to make of him. He took that as a cue to carry on.

"I mean, it's just an excuse to have a party with people you really don't want to see, but you have to, because it's New Year."

Petunia stood up straight, her eyebrows relaxing. "Yeah," she said, "I know exactly what you mean."

Remus gave himself a point. At least she wasn't killing him.

"When I was younger, I'd always have to go to our family's New Year's party - and I hated it."

"Me too!"

It was scary, the way they shared the same views. They'd been talking for about half an hour now about their shared hatred of New Years. And Petunia had been laughing.

Petunia Evans. Laughing.

It was a paradox.

But with him, it felt right. He was a breeze on a summer's day - a little bit of different in her life. She'd grown bored of everything being neat and tidy. And he was her bit of rough.

"I know, right?" he laughed. It was soft and husky - it made Petunia's insides squirm for reasons she didn't really get. Also, when he laughed, his eyes lit up - emeralds flecked with amber and hazel, the most interesting coloured eyes Petunia had ever seen.

She could have spoken to him all night. And she didn't even know his name.

Realizing she'd zoned out, she tried to concentrate on what he was ranting about now.

"...and then there's that whole 'kiss at midnight' thing, and I've never - ever - got anyone, and I'm always standing like a lemon on my own, because everyone's with their boyfriends and girlfriends-"

Petunia groaned, cutting him off. He stopped, turning to look at her, still smiling crookedly. "What?" he asked innocently.

"I'm dreading midnight."

"Why's that then?"

Petunia turned around, trying to locate Vernon. She saw him almost instantly - he wasn't hard to spot - rocking on his heels and swinging a glass of brandy round in one hand, talking to - no, talking at one of Petunia's cousins. She pointed him out.

"See him?" she said to the man, "That's my boyfriend."

He let out a low whistle. Petunia wheeled around.

"Got a problem with that?"

He laughed. "No," he said, holding his hands up in defence, "it's just - well, he doesn't seem like you."

"I'm sorry?"

He smiled. She swooned. "Well, from what I can tell from tonight, not only are you nothing like your sister, but you're nothing like him." He cocked his head in Vernon's direction.

Petunia narrowed her eyes a little, unsure. "What do you mean?"

"Well he seems uptight. He seems like a pompous, fat, show off. And you," he let out a soft laugh, "you're none of those things."

Petunia tried to laugh it off casually. "I think it's the vodka you've been talking to, not me."

He didn't laugh back. "No," he said, definitely, "it's absolutely you. Talkative, friendly, beautiful you."

Petunia stopped laughing, staring up into his eyes. She hadn't noticed him advance to her. She hadn't noticed just how tall he was. She swallowed in an attempt to moisten her throat.

"Now," he said, reaching forward. Petunia didn't flinch, instead allowing him to tuck a stray curl behind her ear, "I don't think that you should spend midnight with him. It's special - it's the start of 1979. And I'm not saying me, but-"

She put her hands on his chest. "Not you?"



James swivelled around, removing his arms from Lily's waist, to face the shouter.

"Vernon? Can't you see i'm busy?"


"Have you seen Petunia?"

"What?" James shouted, "No! Of course I haven't! I've been more preoccupied with her sister, if I'm honest!"

Lily hit him upside the head, scowling as she came to his side. "Ow." he said.


"Well, I can't find her!"

"Well, tough!"

They scowled at one another until the next number, and the next interruption.



Swivelling round to face the next interruption, James scowled harder. Lily turned too, and Vernon looked over their shoulders. They all shouted simultaneously.


Sirius looked quite taken aback.


"Woah. Okay."

"What, Sirius?"

"Have you seen Remus?"

James' stomach dropped a little.


"Oh, no."

Sirius frowned. "What?"

James gestured to Vernon. "He can't find Petunia."


Sirius' eyes were like saucers. "What?"

James smiled a tight lipped smile, and with a quick kiss to Lily, began pushing his way through the crowd into the next room, Sirius at his heels.


"Where are they going?" Vernon barked. Lily looked to where James was going and frowned.

"I don't know, but I think we should find out."

And so, fighting their way through, they ran after the two boys.


Lily and Vernon caught up with James and Sirius just as they got to the door.

"What's going on?"

"Where's Petunia!"

"Shut up!"


As the countdown finished, James pushed open the door.

Instantly, James' expression turned to one of pain, Lily was silenced, Vernon went a lovely shade of purple and Sirius nearly dropped dead.


"Oh, crap."

Heheheh. Remus gets around a bit in my stories, doesn't he? :')