The Trouble With Being Perfect
Ne Plus Ultra-The perfection or the most perfect state to which a thing can be brought.
To all my admirers, the people who flock to my Quidditch games, ones I will undoubtedly win, I am above mere ground-mortals. I have that special spark that helps me breeze across the pitch.
To my teachers, I'm the best student they could ask for…aside for that small, small preference for, shall we say, troublemaking?
To the groundskeeper, Appolyion Pringle, I am the most frequent detention server.
To my parents, I am the ideal son. I carry on the honorable Potter name and do so with dignity and pride. I understand my role in wizarding society. I nick my mum's fresh-baked desserts and she always knows it is me and I ask my dad if he has in any Quidditch tips…which he does…bad ones.
To my friends, The Marauders, I am the core member. I never back down from mischief and I always have their backs. I can cheer them up and give them hope.
To strangers, I am a rather dashing young man with a quick smile and a 'hello'.
My name is James Potter and I am perfect.
…Or so I thought.
Ne Plus Ultra. I believed that, perfection was my mantra until midways into my fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Everybody's actions around me led me to believe that, and I fell hook, line, and sinker. I had no reason to believe that I wasn't. I was supreme at my game, every last one of them. I could prank without being caught. I succeeded without trying. And now I was trying my tender hand at the dating scene, and let me tell you, I was, to put it politely, doing damn well there. I felt prepared for my Ordinary Wizarding Levels.
And then I met Lily Evans.
My perfection went downhill from there.
She is the singly most frustrating specimen of the female population imaginable. She hates me. I always thought I hated her, too, and then I realized exactly how amazing she is. She was a Prefect for Gryffindor, along with my buddy Remus Lupin, and she caught me, well, she caught me putting a perma-stick spell on the Slytherin portrait so they couldn't get into their common room. As if that is a problem, snakes love sleeping on rocks, and the floor is obviously made of rock. Some people just don't see things the way I do, but Professor Dumbledore says I have a unique mind. He decided that whenever I tried to introduce the idea of themed corridors to Hogwarts. That didn't go over so well by a certain teacher, but you will meet that stick in the mud later.
Back to the point, I have never heard a girl yell as loud as she did at that moment. She told me off right good, and somewhere between assigning me detention and subtracting house points, I became infatuated.
You might ask how I could allow myself to admire someone such as her, I mean, she was hostile, surly at times, she hated me and always pointed that out, was disgustingly smart, an atrocious rule-follower, and pretty much as opposite as me as one girl could get. She was perfect.
Apparently, the girl had a real penchant for authority. I could tell she just adored screaming at me. Her eyes lit up, and Merlin, have I mentioned her eyes yet? They were the exact same color as the clear glass jar filled up with pickled toads…the fresh ones, that is. You could just stare and stare and stare in them and drown.
I think she nearly passed out from lack of oxygen she yelled so long. Then she nearly made me go to the hospital wing when I mutely accepted whatever punishment she decided to give me, most likely the most vile imaginable. Sirius Black, my best pal, likes to point out I was most likely entranced by her beauty. Or her heaving bosom.
I like to think I was entranced by her spirit, the sheer life in her.
Anyway, that was the beginning of the beautiful relationship between Lily Evans and myself.
And yes, I know that deciding upon her as the object of my adoration was the single stupidest thing I could have ever thought of doing. This comes from the person who bought their mother a Devil's Snare. Man, was that a mistake. She nearly killed me, but she had to kill that demonic plant first, before it ate my dad.
After the recognition of my deep respect for Lily Evans, I asked Sirius what he thought. He laughed.
I didn't ask Sirius what he thought for awhile after that.
So then, I began my pursuit of an endangered species. It nearly killed me.
The first time I asked her to Hogsmeade she stared then walked off without saying anything.
The second time, she looked me over and said, "I could do better in Slytherin." That stung.
I decided Hogsmeade was too big of a step for a first date, she was probably shy. The third time I approached her, I asked her to watch the Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw Quiddith match with me. She put the jelly-legs curse on me and left me wiggling in the charms corridor.
I gave her a little time to cool off then went in for my fourth attempt: she told me to quit stalking her.
The fifth time was by far the worst, though. It was public humiliation, and for someone such as myself, that is unbearable. The memory is clearly imprinted in my mind, it's under the title Things NEVER to do Again as Long as You're Alive. It was right after our Defense OWLs and Peter was being his usual thick self and was lamenting to us that he did terribly. Me being me, thought I'd pick on my good friend Snivellus. The introduction of him into this little drama demands an explanation.
Snivellus is our group's pet name for the world's grossest, meanest, most conniving excuse for humanity you could ever even DREAM of meeting. He is all about purifying bloodlines and Dark Arts. The second one would be enough to hate him, but the first brings on absolute revulsion. No matter how awful I am, I have moral limits, but Severus Snape doesn't.
Someone who harasses Hogwarts students because their parents aren't magical deserve to be played with a bit, in my opinion, and Sirius's too. So that is exactly what we did.
After OWLs, basically the entire fifth year population is keyed up, my friends and me included. Well, Peter was just worried, Remus was keyed, and Sirius and I were bored. Seeking a form of distraction, I caught my Snitch that I had managed to sneak out of Madame Hooch's office. Now that was a trick. Anyway, Peter found that just the most fascinating thing ever, and honestly, it amused me to see him fall all over himself in awe of the great and wonderful me. Sirius found it nauseating, and since it was Sirius, I stopped. We were friends, and that's what friends were for. Needing another form of entertainment, we watched the crowd for a bit. And then we spotted Snape.
I was rather sore at him from a previous incident where he poked fun of my obsession with my favorite Prefect, anyway, so boredom was added incentive. It appeared that Remus wasn't going to stop me as he occasionally did, so I took the initiative.
Now, the story I tell is different from the one Sirius tells, which is really different from the one Snivellus tells, which is distantly similar to the one Evans tells. Damn it anyway.
See, what happened was that he called me a Mudblood-lover, which is really true, but it was not necessary to say it like that. Nobody remembers that part of the story. I did the only honorable thing; I was going to defend the honor of my true-love.
Evans and Snape both like to point out that Sirius came over there with me, but the both of us do try to fight fair. We were certainly not going to double team one person; Sirius was just there to heckle him a bit.
Well, a few curses and hexes later, Snape was getting his mouth washed out with a rather nifty little curse, and who walked over but Lily Evans. God, she was gorgeous then, but she was terrifying. I tried to put on my best front and act mature and cool, but that doesn't work out so well with her. She asked me what he did to me.
Does trying to make my life hell count?
I tried to explain that, but she just didn't get it. Lily called me an arrogant, bullying toerag. She was on his side! UNBELIVABLE!
She wanted me to stop, so I resorted to bribery. I was desperate, I swear I couldn't help it. I asked her out with me in return for immunity for Snape from me.
She happened to mention that the giant squid was more desirable. Ouch.
Then Snape attacked me! He made me bleed! Precious drops of Potter blood falling to the ground. So I did the only logical thing…hung him upside down in the air.
Lily almost smiled when she saw that, VICTORY!
She told me let him down, and since I had had a small success, I complied with her wishes.
And then Sirius Dumbass Black had to curse him, just when things were going so well. I was torn between who to favor, the most amazing girl in the world or my best friend, and I chose the girl after a brief shot at backing Sirius up. He's still mad about that.
Then Lily really got a shot in…she told Snivellus to wash his pants AND note she called him Snivellus. I don't want you to get the wrong impression about her, though. She is the most decent person imaginable; she didn't even say what everyone was thinking until he called her a Mudblood. Now, had I been in a position to do so, namely that her boyfriend, I would have beaten the crap out of someone like Snape for saying that to her, but I wasn't, so I could only try to make him apologize.
That didn't make her happy either. Is anyone surprised? Nothing makes that girl happy. She is the most stubborn female ever created. I can see why I used to hate her.
She started in on how I was arrogant and conceited and how I think I rule the school. She said I make her sick, and then she walked away.
Now, I was faced with a daunting task: I was completely mortified by what she had said, but I couldn't let everyone else know that. Most people actually thought I was joking with this Lily thing. So I went ahead with bothering Snivellus. Sirius knew I was upset about my public humiliation with Lily, so he took over after I threatened to depants Snape; something nobody wanted to see. Yuck, what was I thinking?
After I left there, I went to the Quidditch pitch where I could think a bit. It became apparent for the first time that if I was going to win over Lily Evans, I was going to have to do something different than my usual stunts.
A/N: Well, that was fun. I enjoyed that. It's a nice break from the drama of WDBTN and The Ruse. I'm not really sure how often I'll update this, so no promises that it'll be weekly like my others have been.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any related articles.