Disclaimer: HP belongs to ME!!! Mine, my own, my precious! No only joking, all belongs to JKR!
Be My Princess
It was a snowy afternoon in late December, the bitter cold outside making it almost impossible for any student to stay outdoors for long. The Head's common room was occupied by the Headboy, James Potter and Headgirl, Lily Evans. They both sat silently; having finished their homework earlier in the day. James was flicking irately through a glossy Quidditch magazine, sighing at the beautiful broomsticks displayed on its open pages. He tapped his fingers to an imaginary beat and ruffled his hair once in a while, a habit he had never managed to stop. Lily had a large, heavily bound book settled in her hands and was quietly reading. She traced her finger over the words, every so often flicking her red gold fringe out of her emerald eyes.
"What're you reading?" James asked, softly.
Lily looked startled at the sudden question directed at her. "Um, fairy stories," she replied, quietly before returning to the pages.
"What? You mean things like 'The Fountain of Fair Fortune,' 'The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,' 'Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump'?" James asked, looking like a child on Christmas morning.
"What!?" Lily spluttered, "I said fairy stories. Things like 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,' 'Cinderella' and 'Sleeping Beauty.' Those are fairy stories."
"No, my Mum never read me stories about Cinderselly," he insisted.
"Define a fairy story for me, if you're so certain," she challenged.
"Well, I … uh," James started.
Lily cut in, "a fictitious, highly fanciful story or explanation."
"Well, look who swallowed a dictionary for breakfast," James growled.
Lily pouted, "James," she whined.
James glanced up at her from the pages of Quidditch Weekly and raised an eyebrow at her.
"What?!" she said.
"Nothing," he grinned, raising his hands in surrender. "You know what?"
"If your muggle born and I'm wizard born, I bet we have different fairy stories," he said softly.
"I think that has to be the most intelligent thing you've ever said, Potter," she smirked, "well done."
He gave a mock bow over the top of his magazine, "anything for you, my love," he teased.
She poked her tongue out at him and he grinned deeply, "You have a beautiful tongue, Lily. But you really don't use its full potential. I can think of many things it would be good for."
"Such as," she said, rolling her eyes.
"I'd much rather show you," he replied flirtatiously.
"I'll pass," she said sweetly.
He sighed disappointedly. "If you insist."
"Nice try, Potter," she told him.
He grinned, "I'm full of 'em," he told her.
"Sure you are, Potter," she smirked, "just you keep thinking that."
"I, Miss Evans, am full of many good ideas. A derivative of being so incredibly intelligent," he told her, ruffling his dark hair.
"Hmmm, and incredibly modest also," she teased.
"Of course," he beamed. She returned to the pages of the book, not noticing James' lingering gaze.
"Uh, could you read one with me?" James asked her.
"One of what?" Lily frowned.
"A fairy tale," he asked.
"Yeah, okay," she nodded. He moved to sit by her and she moved the large bound volume in front of his eyes. She then began to read. "A long time ago there were a king and queen, the queen had a little girl who was so pretty that the king could not contain himself for joy, and ordered a great feast. He invited not only his kindred, friends and acquaintances, but also the wise women, in order that they might be kind and well-disposed towards the child. There were thirteen of them in his kingdom, but, as he had only twelve golden plates for them to eat out of, one of them had to be left at home." Lily read.
James sighed, "Did she look like you?" he asked.
"In the film I had when I was little she was blonde and very tall," Lily said.
"Oh, blondes are boring," he said.
Lily rolled her eyes and continued with the story. "The feast was held with all manner of splendour and when it came to an end the wise women bestowed their magic gifts upon the baby - one gave virtue, another beauty, a third riches, and so on with everything in the world that one can wish for.
When eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thirteenth came in. She wished to avenge herself for not having been invited, and without greeting, or even looking at anyone, she cried with a loud voice, "The king's daughter shall in her fifteenth year prick herself with a spindle, and fall down dead." And, without saying a word more, she turned round and left the room."
"That's very dramatic, Lily," James commented.
"Sh, James," Lily said, "They were all shocked, but the twelfth, whose good wish still remained unspoken, came forward, and as she could not undo the evil sentence, but only soften it, she said, it shall not be death, but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess shall fall, only to be awakened by the kiss of true love.
The king, who would fain keep his dear child from the misfortune, gave orders that every spindle in the whole kingdom should be burnt. Meanwhile the gifts of the wise women were plenteously fulfilled on the young girl, for she was so beautiful, modest, good-natured, and wise, that everyone who saw her was bound to love her.
It happened that on the very day when she was fifteen years old, the king and queen were not at home, and the maiden was left in the palace quite alone. So she went round into all sorts of places, looked into rooms and bed-chambers just as she liked, and at last came to an old tower. She climbed up the narrow winding-staircase, and reached a little door. A rusty key was in the lock, and when she turned it the door sprang open, and there in a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, busily spinning her flax.
"Good day, old mother," said the king's daughter, "what are you doing there?"
"I am spinning," said the old woman, and nodded her head."
"Oh Merlin, stupid, stupid girl," James said.
"James, sh! Don't you want to hear what happens next?" He moved closer to her as she read. "What sort of thing is that, that rattles round so merrily," said the girl, and she took the spindle and wanted to spin too. But scarcely had she touched the spindle when the magic decree was fulfilled, and she pricked her finger with it.
And, in the very moment when she felt the prick, she fell down upon the bed that stood there, and lay in a deep sleep. And this sleep extended over the whole palace, the king and queen who had just come home, and had entered the great hall, began to go to sleep, and the whole of the court with them. The horses, too, went to sleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons upon the roof, the flies on the wall, even the fire that was flaming on the hearth became quiet and slept, the roast meat left off frizzling, and the cook, who was just going to pull the hair of the scullery boy, because he had forgotten something, let him go, and went to sleep. And the wind fell, and on the trees before the castle not a leaf moved again.
But round about the castle there began to grow a hedge of thorns, which every year became higher, and at last grew close up round the castle and all over it, so that there was nothing of it to be seen, not even the flag upon the roof. But the story of the beautiful sleeping Briar-Rose, for so the princess was named, went about the country, so that from time to time kings' sons came and tried to get through the thorny hedge into the castle. But they found it impossible, for the thorns held fast together, as if they had hands, and the youths were caught in them, could not get loose again, and died a miserable death.
After long, long years a king's son came again to that country, and heard an old man talking about the thorn-hedge, and that a castle was said to stand behind it in which a wonderfully beautiful princess, named Briar-Rose, had been asleep for a hundred years, and that the king and queen and the whole court were asleep likewise. He had heard, too, from his grandfather, that many kings, sons had already come, and had tried to get through the thorny hedge, but they had remained sticking fast in it, and had died a pitiful death.
Then the youth said, "I am not afraid, I will go and see the beautiful Briar-Rose." The good old man might dissuade him as he would, he did not listen to his words."
"Is he her 'Prince Charming'?" James asked.
"If you listen to the story, you'll find out. But by this time the hundred years had just passed, and the day had come when Briar-Rose was to awake again. When the king's son came near to the thorn-hedge, it was nothing but large and beautiful flowers, which parted from each other of their own accord, and let him pass unhurt, then they closed again behind him like a hedge. In the castle yard he saw the horses and the spotted hounds lying asleep, on the roof sat the pigeons with their heads under their wings. And when he entered the house, the flies were asleep upon the wall, the cook in the kitchen was still holding out his hand to seize the boy, and the maid was sitting by the black hen which she was going to pluck.
He went on farther, and in the great hall he saw the whole of the court lying asleep, and up by the throne laid the king and queen. Then he went on still farther, and all was so quiet that a breath could be heard, and at last he came to the tower, and opened the door into the little room where Briar-Rose was sleeping.
There she lay, so beautiful that he could not turn his eyes away, and he stooped down and gave her a kiss. But as soon as he kissed her, Briar-Rose opened her eyes and awoke, and looked at him quite sweetly.
Then they went down together, and the king awoke, and the queen and the whole court, and looked at each other in great astonishment. And the horses in the courtyard stood up and shook themselves, the hounds jumped up and wagged their tails, the pigeons upon the roof pulled out their heads from under their wings, looked round, and flew into the open country, the flies on the wall crept again, the fire in the kitchen burned up and flickered and cooked the meat, the joint began to turn and sizzle again, and the cook gave the boy such a box on the ear that he screamed, and the maid finished plucking the fowl.
And then the marriage of the king's son with Briar-Rose was celebrated with all splendour, and they lived contented to the end of their days. The End." Lily finished.
"That's a sweet story," James told her.
"It is," Lily agreed.
"I love how she was saved by her Prince Charming."
"Yeah, it's really romantic." The light was fading and the sun had turned the sky shades of pink. "Well, it's getting late, goodnight, Potter."
"Night, Lily." He gave her a brief hug as she stood up.
The owls cooed as James padded into the Head Girl's room. The room was still dark, the curtains pulled across. It was still chilly and James pulled his cloak tighter around his white shirt and grey trousers. He sat on the edge of the double four poster bed.
Lily lay sleeping under the silky baby pink bedclothes. She was wearing a sleek satin, blue lace nightgown that clung to her slim figure. Her loose hair fanned out over the pillows. Her lips were parted slightly and there was a hint of red blush crossing her cheeks. He wondered what she was dreaming. Hopefully about him. Her wrist was turned upwards so she was touching the headboard. She breathed in deeply and her eyelashes fluttered vaguely.
He bent down and gave her a single kiss on her full pink lips. It was short, but full of all the emotions he felt for her.
Her eyes fluttered open and she gazed at him in wonder. "James?" she asked, her hands flying to his shoulder.
"Uh, Lily, I was just wondering, would you let me be your Prince Charming and be my Princess?" he asked nervously.
"Yes, James, I will," she smiled, bringing him down for another kiss.
And that day James Potter learnt the wonder of muggle fairy tales.
With love SG xoxo