Disclaimer: All that belongs to me is the ever bizarre Elly, the bitter Robert, Amber Harper, the blond girl in the dress shop and the very unfortunate Becky Bloomwood. Otherwise, ask JK Rowling. Oh, and the twisted plot is mine.
Chapter I- Stranger in My Mirror
It's maddening, frustrating.
That's what they say.
I mean, really, out of every single face, every single nice, handsome bloke, it had to be him. I guess it is fate, even if it sounds a bit dodgy in my opinion. It could have been nice, quiet Remus Lupin, the first guy I ever loved. Or loud, hilariously funny Sirius Black, my ex-best friend, jaded ex-boyfriend, and the only person that could me laugh so much that I had urges to collapse and roll around in the mud.
But, no, it had to be him, the only person who can get my blood really pumping, who matches me in everything equally and often beats me with my own set of rules. But I guess that's how it works, in the game of love. My mum told me, a while back, when I was but a wee little girl, that sometimes you just had to stop fighting against the current, stop battling against everything sent my way and just let it sweep me away, at least for a little while.
She was right. But now, because I listened, I'm stuck. Really, honestly, completely stuck. I mean, there's nothing left, no doors open, no hopes left, all my guardian angels are on vacation. I've tried everything, tried it all. But, no matter what, I'm still crazy for him.
I, Lily Evans, am totally, completely, and recklessly in love with James Potter. And there's nothing you can do about it, I've tried it all.
The redheaded girl finished writing with a flourish of her eagle feather quill and reclined back into her seat, pleased with what she had accomplished. She watched the fire dwindle, flames flickering merrily under her intense gaze. Then she glanced down at the book that lay open on her knees, rereading the words that she had written earlier.
She looked exhausted, her eyes lacklustre, her skin missing its usual warm glow. Her red tresses lay lank around her pasty skin, and she looked as if she had lost a bit of weight. Apparently, the war raging on outside the castle walls had affected her more then she let on.
"Lily…?" A voice drawled from behind the redhead. The fair-skinned girl swiftly shut her book and turned to see who called her name. Her face brightened and a smile appeared from nowhere as she recognized the owner of the voice.
"Elly!" The girl, Lily, bolted up, and embraced the much taller girl.
Elly rolled her mismatched eyes, though her smile was equally warm and friendly, and she good-naturedly replied. "It's Elladora, stop giving me those sissy nicknames." She gave Lily an once-over, and suddenly lost her pleasant composure. "Lily, what happened? You look horrid!"
Lily glared, pouting at Elladora childishly. That was her Elly: brutally honest and very opinionated. "Thanks Elladora, you're too kind. You don't look so fabulous either."
"Lily," Elladora said firmly. "Stop changing the subject."
She glanced away from her friend's commanding presence, watching two third years play chess. "I've been ill, it's nothing."
"Nothing? You look like your best friend died, or your house burned down to a crisp." Elladora retorted, her eyes flaming.
"It's nothing," Lily muttered feebly, "Though I do sometimes wish you'd bugger off once in a while."
Elladora made a small huffing noise and gave Lily one last sour look, before she stomped away furiously. Her faded blond ponytail swayed along with her irritated steps, and a few first years sidestepped her, apprehensively inching away. Both seventh year girls had a reputation for being hot-blooded and having quick tempers.
Lily collapsed back into her seat, worn out from the brief argument. It was always like this, maybe her friend was right. Lily did look horrid, and she felt even worse inside. All the stresses of being Head Girl, top student, role model and caring, flawless girlfriend were taking their toll on her. Not to mention the fact that Robert had recently begun pressuring her to give up her virginity, even though she wasn't ready yet.
Then there was that tiny fact that she was in love with James Potter, who probably hated her for everything she had said to him these past years.
Yep, Lily definitely had her hands full. Now, to top it all off, Elly was mad at her.
Quietly, as though she didn't want to surrender yet, but was being forced to, Lily packed up her bag. Stuffing loose sheets of parchment, half-empty bottles of ink, thick textbooks and a small leather-bound notebook into her brand-new carrier bag (a present from her Great-Aunt Camille), she stood up and cast one last look at the almost-empty room. Finally, she heaved a tired sigh and marched up the staircase that led to her old room, smiling softly at the thought of a good-nights sleep.
When she finally made it into her shared room, she slipped off her shoes and dropped her heavy bag before collapsing onto her bed, falling into a deep slumber the minute her head hit the plush pillow.
Down below, a young woman with mismatched eyes grinned impishly and laughed.
The first thing Lilyheard when she awoke the next morning was happy, cheerful singing, ear-splitting rock music blasting and the rushing of water. She blearily cracked her eyes open, wincing when she realised that she had drooled on her pillow, and half-heartedly tried to wrestle her way out of her tangled bed sheets. Her head felt like a science experiment. Suddenly, a freckled face popped into her vision, smiling the best it could with a toothbrush dangling from her mouth.
"'Ello Lils, morning." She vanished again, bouncing away with a smile and hopping onto the nearest bed, enthusiastically playing air guitar, all the while still brushing her teeth.
Gosh. Elly was such a bloody freak. Lily idly watched her friend join in the chorus of the song, stumbling through the words, but not caring much. Her red tartan baggy pyjama pants hung low on her narrow hips, almost sliding off, and her black tee shirt was four sizes too big on her. Finally, Elladora stumbled on the hem of her loose-fitting pants and collapsed on the ground beside the bed, panting from the exertion.
"Have you calmed down enough?" Lily said dryly as she slid out of her bed sleekly and stuffed her feet into the fuzzy slippers that lay beside her bed. She noticed distastefully that she was still wearing her uniform from the day before, which was now wrinkled and smelled like the dungeons.
Elladora rolled her eyes and snorted, "Freak" under her breath. "Haven't even started. Just wait 'till I get some food in my system, then I'll go crazy." She adjusted her pyjama pants and waltzed back into the bathroom, humming along with song that had replaced the first contentedly.
Lily shook her head in amusement. No matter how much Elly annoyed her, she still adored her for being so… bizarre. She waited for a few minutes, shedding her old clothing and slipping into a new set. Then she ambled to her mirror, which had given her a rather rude remark on her hair ('You call that hair? It looks like a rat's nest, that does!'), and brushed the tangled brambles quickly, before tossing it into a high ponytail.
At last, Elladora slipped out, dressed in another slightly shapeless black top and form-fitting stone-washed jeans. Dozens of bracelets jangled at her bony wrists, and on her long fingers thick, chunky rings winked up at Lily. Her straggly bleached hair was falling around her oval face, swaying with each brisk step. "Well, I'm off, Lily, meet you at breakfast."
Before Lily could respond, Elladora had already flown out the door. She walked into the bath lightly, quickly washing her face and teeth with quick, brief movements. She smeared moisturiser onto her skin before applying a thick line of brown eyeliner right above her almond-shaped eyes and brushing at her long lashes with a mascara brush. As a final touch, she smeared some pink gloss on her lips and smiled at her reflection, surveying it for any mistakes.
The short-sleeved top, a soft peach shade, fit her well, complimenting her shapely body. Her jeans were too tight, but she was having separation anxiety about parting with them. The jeans were old, three or four years spent in her closet, and faded naturally from much wear. Length-wise, they were perfect, which was horribly embarrassing for Lily, as that was incriminating evidence that she had barely grown in height in the last few years. Meanwhile, waist-wise, it squeezed her to death. She had developed hips, something she hadn't had at fourteen, and gained a stone, which she was endlessly trying to loose. Still, she adored them.
With a spray of her favourite fragrance, Lily was ready to go for the day. In a flurry of sweet-smelling perfume and curly ruby locks, she was gone.
"I personally think that cute Ravenclaw fourth-year, Hestia Jones, is Diggory's new girlfriend. Any takers?" Elladora concluded, taking a bite of her scrambled eggs.
Lily chewed her honey-smeared toast thoughtfully, glancing over at the dark-haired girl Elladora had indicated earlier. "Nah, I think Amber Harper seems so much more likely." She jerked her head in the direction of a sandy-haired girl sitting at the Hufflepuff table, eating a slice of fruit as she chattered to her friends contently, unknowingly being watching by two critical seventh years.
"Hmm, that's true. Jones is too young for him, and she's much too naïve." Elladora admitted, forking a piece of sausage and stuffing it into her mouth.
Lily nodded, as her mouth was full of toast. Both girls sat there, satisfied with the relaxed atmosphere surrounding them. They could hear a milk jug crash to the ground and spill the cool white substance all over the stone tiles, to soon be absorbed by the ground.
"Hiya Lily, Ella," an ebullient voice chirped from behind the twosome. "You alright?"
Elladora bit the inside of her cheek to keep herself from correcting the girl's fatal mistake and instead busied herself with a chocolate chip scone.
"Alice!" Lily exclaimed, a bit too enthusiastically, "We're good, you?"
Alice Wells, soon to be Longbottom, was probably the perkiest girl Hogwarts had ever seen. Her straw-coloured hair was constantly wavy and bouncy, her round eyes a bright blue-green and her mouth always set in a sweet, childlike smile. Today, she had opted for a soft beige skirt and a trumpet-sleeved pale pink blouse. Her shoulder-length curls were pulled back with a three-pearl hairclip.
"Oh, I'm swell, Frank just bought me this lovely dress robe," she gushed. "It was much too expensive, but he didn't mind." Alice's fiancée, Frank, was an Auror-in-training, and constantly bought lavish gifts for Alice. When his measly pay check allowed, that was.
"You're so lucky, Alice," Lily exclaimed, as genuinely as she could. "You've got to show me it sometimes!"
While Alice erupted into an extensive narrative of the dress, nibbling on a peaches and cream scone delicately, Lily met Elladora's apathetic, sulky gaze and exchanging a sympathetic look. She noticed Alice's pearl-drop earrings matched her hairpin, necklace, ring and bracelet perfectly and rolled her eyes. But, the thing was, you really couldn't blame her.
Alice was just too naive and ingenuous to help it. She was earnest, and disliked lying for any reason. She was pleasant, but overly so.
Finally, Alice trailed off, still grinning warmly. "Anyways, I must be off. I'm meeting Frank at Hogsmeade, and I'd hate to be late."
She slipped off the bench and pranced off gaily, quickly being accosted by her friends. Soon, the twittering group left the hall, leaving the room quite a bit quieter.
"Well, day can't get any worse, can it?" Elladora muttered, stabbing her cold sausage with vengeance.
Lily rolled her eyes. "Stop acting like that Elly, really, she didn't do any harm."
"Except making me look and feel like a fat cow," Elladora responded gruffly, pushing her food around her plate unhappily.
Merlin, if there was anyone scrawnier then Elladora, they'd be nothing but skin and bones.
"You aren't fat Elly, stop being an idiot. If anyone should complain about their weight, it should be Becky Bloomwood."
Becky was an extremely obese seventh year Ravenclaw, who was avoided by all males like the plague. With her chunky arms and legs, face made of pasty dough, owlish glasses and limp brown hair she was one of the least attractive girls in the entire school.
"Well, I eat like a bloody horse," Elladora said, eyes dulled. "And compared to Wells, I'm such a bloody bitch to everyone."
Lily heaved a heavy sigh. "Well, you've got a brilliant digestive system, you're lucky. And, Elly, compared to Alice, everyone seems like an evil bitch. Stop whining."
That seemed to work.
Elladora stuffed a final scone into her mouth, brushing off any remaining crumbs off her shirt and stood, waiting impatiently. "You're right, Lils. That was incredibly pathetic. Now, lets go, or we'll miss the carriages."
Since Elladora always had mood swings like this, Lily just accepted the sudden change and joined her mate freely. "You scare me sometimes, Elly, you really do," she commented as the two ran outside, catching the final carriage and jumping inside.
"Thank you, Lillian. Now, what did I say about nicknames again?"
"So, Robbie, love, d'you like it?" Lily asked as she spun around, the navy dress she had tried on swirling around her feet. She cast a hopeful look over at her handsome boyfriend, who looked very uninterested.
"It looks nice. How much is it?" He asked as his gaze settled at the tightly-drawn fabric covering her breasts.
"Only twenty-five galleons!" Lily exclaimed happily, knowing that she had gotten half-price on the deal, since she was a Hogwarts student and a friend of Elladora's. The shopkeeper was her aunt.
Robert's dark, straight brows shot up, disappearing into his wavy golden-brown hair. "That much? Just get some nice dress for ten galleons, it doesn't matter." He waved his hand dismissively and soon let his attention waver to a tall, thin blonde who was trying on skimpy black dresses with matching three-inch spiky heels.
Lily blushed and muttered a muffled agreement before slipping into the changing room, mortified. It did matter. It mattered a whole lot to her. She hated when Robbie acted like this, so cold and impressive, as if he were so much better then her.
She quickly removed the navy gown and fingered the last gown's silky fabric. She had saved for last, as she liked it best. It was much too expensive, but she really wanted to try it on. It was long and straight, with a sweeping skirt, a rich, forest green. With a daring neckline, tight bodice and subtly hidden sequins decorating the top, it was too risqué for her usual tastes. But she could see herself in it, dancing with the man she loved, grinning like a love struck fool.
Shaking her daydreams away, Lily decided to try it on. If she looked like a bloody dimwit, she would take it off, and her mind wouldn't be so riddled with want. She quickly slipped on the gown, wrinkling her nose at the sight of her flabby stomach. It zipped up with little difficulty. Lily pulled her bobble out of her frizzy curls and with a bated breath spun around, her eyes widening at the girl in the mirror. She looked like a complete stranger.
All her flaws seemed masked and wiped away, from her flabby stomach, wide hips and short legs. Instead, the dress emphasised every single good quality and made her look… fabulous. Her full breasts were pushed up pertly, the smooth, creamy skin tempting. Her eyes seemed brighter and bigger, and her cherry-red hair, which normally clashed with almost every single colour, looked miraculous.
Lily gulped and eyeballed the price tag, feeling remorse flood through her stomach. 250 galleons. She had nowhere near that much money to spend. And she knew Robert would never waste his precious money on something as frivolous as a dress. She took one last look at the beautiful stranger in the mirror, sighing dejectedly, before she gathered her regular clothing, stripped off the robe carefully and dressed quietly.
She didn't want him to see her in the dress. That would somehow make everything seem much more final. She would keep the dress as her own little secret, something to daydream about on dreary days.
In her jeans and top, she looked quite commonplace and dreary, nowhere resembling the dazzling young woman that had stood there moments ago. She glared at the familiar freckled features and strode out of the changing booth, suddenly furious. She scanned the room for her boyfriend, eager to leave the store, and saw him talking to James Potter, gesturing madly, and checking out Potter's blond companion, who was prancing around the area in a tight red dress, the hemline barely a few inches below her well-rounded bottom.
"Robbie!" She called, running up to him. "Let's go, I've picked my dress."
"Hi Lily-," James Potter gave her an appraising look, smiling cockily at her, "-you alright?"
Lily blushed furiously and looked away from his esoteric hazel eyes. She really couldn't deal with this at the moment. "Hello Potter, I'm fine."
Gosh. When did he turn so goddamn gorgeous? Lily couldn't help it. She gave his very fit body a look over, gulping down any proclamations of love that might escape from her lips.
His black hair looked more windswept then usual, and his eyes were so bright they seemed almost feverish. His chiselled, handsome face was lightly tanned from the days he spent playing Quidditch in the warm sunlight. His body was lean and tall; Lily barely reached his collarbone and every muscle seemed defined and firm.
His eyes sparkled and his generous lips quirked into an amused smile as he noticed her interest, but he didn't voice it, "That's a nice dress robe, Lily, are you buying it?" He gestured to the dark green gown that hung off the crook of her arm, resigned to its fate.
Lily shook her head regretfully, "No, it's much too steep for my wallet."
He nodded, a frown riddling his charismatic face. "Oh, that's a pity."
"Yeah, I really love it." Lily sighed, not really realising that this was probably the first time in their entire history that they were agreeing on a common subject.
"Ehm," Robert cleared his throat, his blue eyes looking straight at Lily, "Well, we'd better go."
"Oh, yes," Lily asked absentmindedly, breaking eye contact with James. "We've got to, don't we?"
"Alright, well, I'll see you later Rob, won't I?" James said, grinning as if nothing was wrong.
"Yeah, see you later Potter." Robert swiftly hooked his arm with Lily's and swept her away, towards the cash register.
Lily gave the pale-haired woman, Elly's Aunt Clarice, the navy dress, smiling warmly at the petite woman.
"Lily! I see you've chosen your graduation robes!" She exclaimed merrily, as she surveyed the dress through narrowed amethyst eyes. "Do you need it hemmed, dear?"
Lily nodded. "Yes, an inch and a half from the bottom and I need the straps shortened."
"It'll be ready in a week, if you'd like it done by hand. They usually turn out better that way." She explained.
Lily handed Clarice the money required, stuffing the much lighter wallet in her purse, smiling briefly. She felt the sinking feeling of depression in the pits of her stomach as she took one last needy look at the gorgeous dress, before Clarice whisked it away.
The twosome, a forlorn Lily and a protective Robert, ambled out the door, hand in hand. They were soon joined by an enthusiastic, loud girl with sun-bleached locks and her much calmer companion.
Still, neither was particularly content that day.
AN- Review if you'd like me to continue, or else this will vanish in the next few weeks. Take that as a threat. Ooh, and for those curious, a stone equals about 13 pounds. Remember …
0 – Say your farewells.
1-5 – I'll think about it.
5-10 – Two weeks, at the least.
10-30 – One week, guaranteed.
30 – Above – Give me three days. At the most.
That would be the update scale. I shall attempt to follow it. You have been warned.
Btw, this originally had lyrics, but because of the new banning, it no longer contains any. If you'd like some, may I suggest 'He Wasn't' by Avril Lavinge?