Want to read this in another format? Transtlations into German and French are available! Just click on my profile and they are under my favourites.
An audiofiction is also available at /podcasts/audiofictions?page=2. It's Episode 125. Alternatively, you can download it on ITunes.
Also available in German and Italian. Links on my profile page.
Thanks to my beta's Afifia and Alyssa.
"Why am I doing this again?"
Lily gazed around the room, but no one answered her mutterings. Her long red curls were beginning to frazzle as she leaned over the cauldron, stirring the dark purple liquid. "Do you know why I am doing this?" The potion understandably didn't reply. She shook her head; she was going insane.
Lily reached for a small grey bottle from her pocket. Turning the bottle over in her hands, she pondered the label. Inachis oil was rare, powerful and very difficult to obtain. She had stolen it from Professor Slughorn's stores. Of course, she would never be suspected of the thievery, she knew Slughorn would never dream his favourite student was the culprit. But even Lily would get in big trouble if she was caught.
Crossing her fingers, she prayed to whichever God, or Ancient Wizard at least, was listening. She had successfully obtained the oil, but at any moment, someone could burst in and catch her red handed. Being caught could mean suspension or worse: her Head Girl badge.
Knowing she had no choice, Lily read the next line of instructions. For motivation she pictured Alice's face in her mind. "Please Lily," Alice's face begged, close to tears. "You have to do this for me!" Lily snorted in an unladylike way. Alice was her best friend. From the moment her eyes had filled with tears Lily was sunk. She knew she would have to do whatever Alice asked.
Alice greatly missed her boyfriend Frank Longbottom. He was older and no longer went to Hogwarts. With growing numbers of attacks from Death Eaters, security had become very tight. With all the uncertainty Alice wanted to be close to Frank, but it was almost impossible for her to see him during the school term. She wrote letters to him by the day and counted down to holidays and Hogsmeade visits. It wasn't enough. Alice desperately wanted to spend some time with him.
One week previously, Alice had come across a potion in an old textbook. When drunk the potion would bring your soul mate to your side. If Alice drunk the potion, Frank would appear next to her. They could then spend some much needed quality time together at Hogwarts. After twenty-four hours, the potion would wear off and Frank would return home. It was the perfect plan and Alice was ecstatic. The potion held the solution to all her troubles. However, there was a flaw. The potion was a very difficult to make and Alice didn't have the skills required.
That's where Lily came in. As the only accomplished potions brewer Alice trusted, Alice had begged for her help. At first Lily refused, citing all the school rules she would have to break. She was Head Girl after all and had to set an example. But slowly, Lily had begun to change her mind. She saw how much Alice missed Frank and knew Frank felt the same. Lily understood how much it would mean to both of them to just spend one day together. After only a few days, Lily caved and agreed to make the potion.
So there she was, slaving away over a hot cauldron whilst the other students were having dinner.
Lily's stomach rumbled. "Stop it!" she ordered. "I'm trying to work!" Sending a quick scowl at the offending body part, she unscrewed the lid of the Inachis oil. She carefully leaned over the potion to add one drop. It was essential she get it right. According to the instructions, adding too much could have disastrous consequences. "Alice had better be grateful," she added under her breath. She hated going hungry.
She wondered if anyone had noticed that she wasn't at dinner. Alice would obviously, but she knew very well were Lily was. The teachers would miss their favourite student but they probably thought she was off with a book. No one would ever know.
Except for him. He might miss his favourite form of dinner entertainment. She dismissed the thought from her mind. He was too wrapped up in his own world to wonder what…
"What, my darling Lily flower, are you doing down here?" a smug voice said, very close to her. Lily groaned. Of course James Potter would notice she wasn't at dinner. Of course he would track her down, like an irritating sheep dog. It was just like him to suddenly appear. Never mind that it was a deserted dungeon, or that it was almost impossible to find without knowing where it was. She refused to acknowledge him, continuing her work. Maybe if she ignored him he would go away.
Her plan failed. He made up for her silence by continuing to talk. "A potion I see. Making it the dark? Is it a love potion?" He laughed a deep chuckle that irritated her further. "Don't worry, Lily dear, I already love you."
Why is he so infuriating? Thoroughly annoyed, she turned around to lecture him. Something about him always made her snap. In her angered state, she was unaware that the bottle in her hand was slowly turning upside-down. Drops began coming out one by one.
"I'll have you know…"
The potion fizzed.
"That it is none of your…"
Bubbles began to appear.
"Damn business what I…"
It began to crackle.
"Decide to do with my free time…"
It began to swirl.
"And if I choose to spend it in a dungeon…"
The potion became still, turning a dangerous blood red colour.
"Brewing potions far beyond your meagre skill level…."
Lily only had a brief second of victory from her speech before the potion exploded into a cloud of gas. For a brief second, Lily felt as though she was weightless, soaring through the air without a care in the world. For what seemed like hours, she drifted into nothingness, before she came back to her state of mind with a thump.
She opened her eyes. Something was wrong. Her normally perfect vision had become very blurry. Worried, she searched the dungeon for James, groaning in a voice that didn't sound at all like her own. Alarmed, she felt a small hand on her shoulder. Turning around slowly, she wasn't prepared for what she saw.
Expecting James, she found herself staring into a pair of very bright and very shocked green eyes. Green eyes situated on her face.
Lily Evans was staring at herself.
Chapter End Notes:
Tune in next chapter when James and Lily find out what went wrong, we learn a little more about the potion, James annoys Lily (as usual) and they discover how long they will be stuck in each others bodies!
For those interested the Nymphalidae Inachis is a type of rare butterfly. I have always loved butterflies and that particular butterfly is very pretty and rare. I believe if you gathered the oil from their wings it would have magical properties. So I put it in my story.
Thanks for reading! Please drop me a review, they really brighten my day!