A/N- Hey all. I understand that this kind of story is slightly clichéd, but I really wanted to write something, and this, I'm afraid, is actually one of my better fics (Yes, I know. I'm ashamed of myself too, no need to rub it in.) But whatever. This fic has three possible endings, so please review and tell me which one you thought was best!
Disclaimer: Let's have a big party for all of us people who don't own Harry Potter! That way we can make J.K. Rowling feel really excluded and she'll give us the rights to Harry Potter! Whee!
My page breaks aren't working… please forgive me.
A Different Cinderella
We were sitting in the common room when my big mouth got me into trouble once again. Funny that the trouble my mouth causes usually has to do with Lily Evans. If I hadn't gone and told Sirius that I wanted another chance with Lily I would have saved myself quite a bit of trouble. But I did, so I ended up a male Cinderella, with Sirius playing the part of my fairy god- Mother? Father? Let's settle with 'brother' to keep the ugly images at bay.
"Meet her all over again?" asked Sirius, his hair covering his eyes so that I couldn't read his expression. "But then you'd have to start all over! Begin from scratch! Build up her love of your Potter charm a second time!"
I sighed at him, exasperated. "That's just it, Padfoot. She's not in love with my so-called 'charm'. If I could just start again… show her that I'm not and idiot through and though…"
"You aren't?" Sirius asked. When I didn't rise to his bait, he looked at me quizzically. "So that's what you really want? To have a second chance with Lily?" I nodded glumly. "Well then!" he exclaimed. "I think, James Potter, that you should go to the ball!"
I sighed again. The ball. I had, of course, asked Lily, but she had refused me in her usual eloquent manner. ('Stuck-up git' I think it was this time). If this had been any other year, I would have gone to the ball with another girl, even though it would have led to their dumping me due to my Lily-gazing. But this year… well… I'd rather finish the bucket-loads of homework Slughorn gave us. I'm sick of just watching Lily. "Padfoot, my showing up at the ball is not exactly the same as meeting Lily again."
Sirius rolled his eyes at me. "You're not going as yourself!" he whipped out a charms book. "I found this handy little spell in the forbidden section. Much more useful that the polyjuice potion really, because you can make a body up."
Half an hour later, I was a changed man. Literally. My hair was no longer black, but brown and, miracle of miracles, it was actually lying flat on my head for once. My face had become slightly rounder, and my eyes had gone from hazel to a deep brown. I stood taller too. I didn't really like it, this change. It didn't seem right.
Sirius checked his watch. "Look Prongs," he said, "You have an hour until the spell wears off, and it's eleven now, so when the clock strikes twelve…"
I nodded. "What about you Sirius?" I asked. He grinned at me.
"Did you really think I was doing this all for you? I didn't want to feel guilty about leaving my best mate to go dance. Plus… Moony kind of threatened to bite me if I didn't help you out."
I cuffed him lightly. "I feel so loved."
I tried to keep myself from staring at Lily when we walked in. I figured there was no need to start off on the wrong foot. Still, she looked picture perfect in her pale green dress. It wasn't showy like the other dresses in the room, but a simple cut that brought out her eyes… I slapped myself. So much for not staring.
"Done sight seeing?" I blinked. It was Lily. Somehow, while I was admiring her dress I'd failed to notice that she had been coming closer. So much starting on the right foot. Oh well.
"S-sorry!" I stammered slightly, "It's just that you look-" Stunning? Enchanting? Lovely? "-very nice." I finished lamely. Where was the Potter charm when I needed it most?
Her lips curled into an amused smile, as she scrutinized me. "Have we been introduced?" She asked. "I'm Lily Evans." 'Don't I know it.' I thought, sighing inwardly. Then I smiled back.
"Pleased to meet you Ms. Evans."
"Lily." She corrected. "We're only what, seventeen? Why be so formal? Unless you're a teacher in disguise." She gave me a teasing look I'd only seen her use with friends.
I laughed. "Nope, not a teacher. Alright… Lily." I tried not to linger to long on her name. "I'm J-" I stopped myself and blinked. "Er… Jeremy. Jeremy Porter."
She raised her eyebrow at my hesitation and I swear my heart skipped a beat. Or maybe two. Then the clock stuck quarter past and I realized, with horror, that I had forty-five minutes left to spend with Lily. Getting down to the ball had taken longer than I had expected.
"Lily…" I said, hesitating slightly before using her first name, "May I have this dance?" I cringed, waiting for the 'No.' I was so accustomed to.
"Of course! I thought you'd never ask." She replied, taking my hand. I was gob smacked. If only I were me…
"You're kind of funny Jeremy." Lily informed me as she led me to the dance floor. I blinked.
"How so?" I asked, genuinely curious.
Lily seemed to consider this as she placed her palms lightly on my shoulders. I reached out and rested my hands on her hips, my insides burning. I had never touched Lily before without her recoiling in disgust.
"Well…" she finally said, breaking the silence, "Unlike some people, you don't seem totally sure of yourself, and yet after three or four words, we're already fairly comfortable. I almost feel like know you. Despite you checking me out."
I blushed crimson. "I wasn't-!"
She giggled. "Sure you weren't. But whatever. At least you apologize for it, unlike some people." Her face darkened. "You even seemed really surprised that I was willing to dance with you. Some of the people I know are always surprised when I turn them down, as if they expect me to like them."
"Who are these nefarious 'some people' you keep referring to?" I asked innocently. I was clinging to a last, impossible shred of hope that she wasn't going to name me.
But the words out of Lily's mouth were those I knew she would say. "There's just one, really. James Potter." Her fists balled up on my shoulders and her bright eyes dimmed slightly, "He really knows how to push my buttons, and it drives me absolutely crazy." I squirmed mentally, but somehow I kept myself from blushing.
"What, Sirius's friend?" I asked, trying to keep myself from smiling.
"You know him?" she asked. I braced myself, but she didn't sound annoyed or suspicious, just curious. I decided not to lie… much.
"All too well."
Lily eyed me curiously, as if trying to work something out. Then she shook her head and tossed her hair before changing the subject.
"So tell me Jeremy, why are you at Hogwarts?" She asked. I spent the next few minutes constructing an intricate lie for an answer. It's hard to remember, but it was something along the lines of my being an unannounced exchange student who had met Sirius and James at some point during my childhood. Lily seemed to accept my story, and was perfectly content to discuss the only subject I was able to think of: Granola.
When the clock struck half past, I nearly jumped out of my skin. Lily grinned at me.
"A little jumping there, are we?" she laughed.
I blushed, something I seemed to be doing quite a bit. Then I smiled. "Sorry, it's just that I have to leave at twelve, and…"
She interrupted with a laugh. "What are you?" She asked, "Cinderella?" I looked at her until she stopped laughing. Then I grinned, but wasn't my grin. It was Jeremy's grin.
"You could say that."
A quarter of an hour later, we were still dancing. Most of the couples had taken breaks, but Lily was such a dynamic partner that I found myself unable to stop. The funniest thing was that she seemed to have no desire to switch partners, but perfectly pleased to just talk and dance.
"I've never felt quite so at ease with a dance partner." She admitted. We weren't even particularly close to one another, space-wise, and yet I felt as if Lily and I were sharing something really… intimate. At least… Lily and Jeremy were.
"Why do you have to leave at midnight?" Lily asked as the clock struck quarter to. I, James Potter (or… Jeremy Porter), was, for once in my life, rendered speechless. I couldn't think of a single lie. Precious seconds of my last fifteen minutes with Lily ticked by.
"Um… beauty sleep?" I asked. She laughed and shook her head.
"You're not beautiful enough." She teased. I feigned shock.
"I feel so… so… hurt!" I said, trying not to laugh. She pinched my cheek between her fingers and made a cute, condescending pouting face.
"Aaaw. Did I hurt ickle Jeremy's feminine side?" She asked, her eyes wide. I sniffled for effect. "Can you ever forgive me Jeremy-kins?"
"Well…" I said, going into a state of mock concentration, "Maybe if you stopped calling Jeremy-kins…"
She pouted. "Can I call you ickle Jeremy-kins?" she asked, rubbing my cheek. I paused a second to be absolutely sure that my breathing was totally under control.
"Can I call you ickle Lily-poo-kins?" I asked. She laughed.
"Alright, no more name calling." She said. I grinned. Then disaster stuck. Lily looked into my eyes.
"Jeremy…" Her voice faltered. "Is it just me… or are your eyes changing color?" I gulped, wanting desperately to check the time, but, corny as it sounds, I couldn't tear my eyes away from hers. She leaned in to look more closely and I found that I had trouble breathing properly again.
"Definetly hazel…" I heard her mumble when she broke eye contact.
Then the clock began to strike twelve. I tore my hands from their comfortable position on her delicate waist and made a break for it, like the coward I am. I ran all the way back to our common room, panting out the password to the Fat Lady. There I settled in one of the chairs and stared into the fire.
And here I am now, ten minutes later, still staring into the fire, and still hopeless. I almost wish I hadn't gone to the all in the first place, that I hadn't had a taste of what it could have been like if I hadn't spent the past six years being an idiot. I'm now wildly jealous of someone that doesn't even exist. The worst part is that Cinderella didn't end this way. Sure, Cinderella went home, but then something happened and the Prince found her again. Something to do with shoes. I wasn't really paying attention. I mean, come on, I'm a guy. I wish none of this had happened. Stupid, idiotic, big mouth.
Scratch that. I now love my big mouth, because two minutes after those thoughts, Lily walked into the Common Room.
"Hey Cinderella…. You didn't leave a glass slipper… but I'd recognize those eyes anywhere." I turned to face her in shock. The minute she spoke, I knew it was her… but I didn't believe it. I couldn't even speak for the first few seconds.
Then Lily said, "You know… you really didn't have to leave the dance Pot- James."
"But…" I faltered, "…but after midnight, I wasn't… I'm not… Jeremy Porter. I'm James Potter, stuck-up git of the century."
She rolled her eyes and grabbed my hand, dragging me out of the common room. "If you could be Jeremy once, James, you can be him again. You and Jeremy are the same person you idiot." Then she shook her head. "Look. Whatever. What I'm trying to say is…" she trailed off, mumbling to her feet as she towed me to the ballroom. Finally, she stopped herself and grinned up at me.
"What I'm trying to say is… Potter… Will you dance with me?" I think I could have floated away, right up to the stars… heck, I could have floated out of this universe. But I stayed right where I was because that was where Lily was. I could have danced… only I already was. Somehow Lily had already gotten me on the dance floor, and my hands, my real hands, were on her hips. The song was slow and I spent it staring at Lily's beautiful eyes, unable to answer her questions coherently.
Finally, she snapped, "James, if you're going to keep staring at me, I'm sitting down." That broke me out of my reverie.
"Alright ickle Lily-poo-kins" I said, laughing. She smiled and started talking again.
This time, I listened.
(A/N- Ok, this is the FIRST conceivable ending… otherwise, it CONTINUES from this ending)
We had been dancing for an hour, continuing a conversation, when suddenly I stopped and looked at Lily, dying to ask one question.
"Li-Evans…" I began, "Will you g-"
Lily snorted and clamped her hand over my mouth. "Don't push your luck… James."
(A/N- K, that was possible ending TWO… the next ending still continues from this one.)
I couldn't keep my lips from tugging upwards in the corners. Lily eyed me quizzically.
"What's so funny?" she asked, "I just rejected you!"
"You forgot to call me a git." I informed her, grinning.
She glared at me. "Prat." She grumbled.
I laughed. "There's the Lily I know." I said. 'And love' I added silently.
A/N- PLEASE review and tell me which ending you would prefer… or just review. Pretty please? –froggie eyes-
Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed my slightly clichéd fic. I luff you all, and Happy New Year!
PLEASE feel free to tell me about mistakes I've made. I'm about to catch a plane, so this is just the tiniest bit rushed. (Late note: Corrected a FEW mistakes… still looking for others!)