Disclaimer: Harry Potter is, oh so shockingly, not mine.

Author's Note: This was a response to cupid's challenge gone out of control. "Out of control" in the sense that the response was supposed to be 100-300 words. And this is over 900.

Cupid's challenge was to choose a mental illness from one list and a character from a second list and write a fic about it. I chose Lily and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I hope you enjoy my efforts. Remember to please drop a review!


You send a murderous glance towards Petunia, with her pretty blonde pigtails and her pretty blue eyes and her pretty yellow dress and the pretty red A+ shining on her essay. And you tug on a lock of your wavy out-of-control hair and try not to let the scary thing boil up inside of you, the thing that makes vegetables dance and swings rock by themselves.

The scrawled B- on your essay goes unnoticed and you mope the rest of the night.


You've been trying oh so very hard to make everything perfect. The pale dresses are lined up on your side of the closet, perfectly symmetrical and your black patent Mary Janes are sitting at the foot of your tiny bed, perfectly shined.

Petunia has made her bed so nice and neat, so she gets that pretty Mummy smile and you kick your Mary Janes and get put in time out.


The History of Magic essay you wrote was sent back home, with a glowing O on top of it. You wait expectantly for the return letter, and don't even mind when your owl knocks over the pumpkin juice.

Mum and Dad had each written a quick note of congratulations, while pretty Petunia had scribbled a scornful answer about how didn't you know that O isn't a grade, and she got straight A's this term, and aren't you proud?

That Potter boy gives you a strange look as you tear out of the hall.


In Transfiguration your parchment is stacked neatly on your desk, your inkpot beside it, a quill and a spare lined up impeccably next to them.

Then Potter stumbles in and when he comes to ask you to Hogsemeade once more his elbow makes everything go askew, and neither of you really know why you shriek at him and can't concentrate the rest of class with everything so awry.

(Petunia probably has a perfect looking desk and perfect looking notes not covered with doodles.)


Over and over you refold your napkin in stupid Madame Pudifoot's, because doesn't the woman know how to fold napkins perfectly like you? (You ignore the fact that pretty perfect Petunia taught you how to do it before that wonderful no-longer-scary thing called magic started cropping up.)

James looks at you oddly as you rearrange the silverware, but you don't know why, because this date has to be perfect, like from a fairy tale, and there are no fairy tales with silverware so ludicrously wrong, because no one puts the knives on the left.


James is watching you as you fidget in the library with your books. An Anthology of Wizarding Folk Tales is taller than Seven Foolproof Watering Charms, and you don't see why it's so odd that it must be on the bottom, because it's smallest to biggest when you stack books. (That's one of the few things that you retain from your childhood with pretty perfect Petunia, who didn't look so pretty anymore over the summer.)

"Why?" he asks suddenly, and slowly you twist around to face him.

"What?" you answer, stalling for time, since now at this very moment it's hitting you that no one else cares if every single book is flawlessly in place like you do.

"Why can't you be messy?" he wonders, striding over to you. He reaches out a hand almost as though he is testing you and reorders the books. So desperately you want to fix them ("Remember Lily, smallest to biggest when you stack books, that's how I do it all the time."), but you can't, not with James staring at you expectantly.

You swallow hard. "What?"

He shrugs. "Nothing." James turns away, and very quickly you stack the books once again, for some reason feeling much calmer when they're all in place.

Abruptly, James whips around, catching you ordering your books. You feel as though you've been caught doing something criminal.

"It doesn't have to be perfect," he tells you softly, walking back over to you. "You don't have to be perfect." Dreadfully you want to scream that you do, if you aren't perfect than you don't matter, not next to getting-less-pretty Petunia who has everything in order and if you have everything in order you can be perfect too, just like Petunia.

"It does," is the weak statement that comes out of your mouth.

"You're perfect with your flaws," he informs you, and your always on top mind goes blank. No one can be perfect with flaws, no flaws is perfect and with flaws you can't be perfect, but the one thing that stands out to you is that you have flaws (not like pretty Petunia), such huge, gaping flaws, but James likes you anyway.

Right in the middle of this revelation that you are positively, holy sure should be included in the history books, James' mouth crushes against yours, and the books you're holding drop to the ground. He's pecked you on the lips a few times, but never like this, never so warm and open-mouthed, and you surprise yourself by wrapping your arms around his neck and not caring that you're in the middle of the library.

His fingers tangle in your hair that you tied back this morning, just like Petunia showed you in that childhood that seems like centuries ago, pulling it from the hair tie and messing it up to the point of no return.

To hell with perfection, you think, and it's your last rational thought before James moves his mouth to your neck and you decide that maybe, just maybe, messy isn't so bad after all.