Erised

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Lily Evans has always been cool and collected. But when a letter from her sister arrives, it sends our favorite Head Girl into a frenzy. To make matters worse, there's the annoying James Potter, who picks the wrong time to start acting decent. In an attempt to clear her head, she goes for a midnight walk around the castle and stumbles across a mysterious mirror in an empty classroom that may provide the solution to all her problems...

Submitted: February 14, 2008

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Submitted: February 14, 2008

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The girl passed through the dark corridors like a ghost, as if she was destined to wander these halls forever. Most of the animate portraits that hung from the walls were sleeping; a few of them snored loudly; breaking the ghastly silence that always fell around at this time of night.

Lily Evans couldn’t sleep. She had tried reading, but even that couldn’t hold her attention for long. The letter she had received from her sister that morning rang through her mind like a Howler. It had been surprising enough to even receive a letter from Petunia, but what it said had shocked Lily beyond belief.

Petunia had written informing her younger sister that she had become engaged to Vernon Dursley, a burly young businessman. Lily didn’t care for the man much, and was happy for her sister, but that wasn’t what disturbed her. The thing that hit this young woman so hard was the fact that Petunia had no wish for her witch of a sister to be in her wedding at all.

Lily could almost hear her older sister’s smug voice. “I know it’s a tradition for the bride’s sister to be the Maid of Honor, but Vernon’s sister Marge insists on being her, and there’s no way I can say no. She’s such a charming woman, and she’ll fit the position perfectly.” Lily had instantly felt betrayed and hurt, scanning the rest of the letter as if searching for a “just kidding”, but found nothing but more words that stuck like daggers. “I know that it would seem natural for you to then be a bridesmaid, Lily, but I want to have pink dresses, they would look lovely on my friends Judy and Wanda, but they would clash so horribly with your hair. I don’t want to put you through that kind of embarrassment.”

Lily had snorted at this. Sure, she didn’t want to embarrass Lily. Petunia gloried at the idea of ruining Lily’s image and was simply making excuses. Ever since discovering that Lily was a witch, Petunia had turned against her sister. To this day, Petunia treated Lily like an inferior, as if people with magical blood were spoiling her reputation.

Upon hearing this upsetting news, Lily had been unable to concentrate the rest of the day. She merely floated her way through classes and after being yelled at quite a few times, the day was done. Lily struggled her way through her homework and trudged up to bed, completely exhausted. But her mind wouldn’t let her body rest. It played again and again through Lily’s mind: a brief conversation with James Potter.

Lily had no idea why this meeting stood out like it did. It wasn’t like she hadn’t walked away from him before. Yet, the look in his eyes when he asked her if she was okay… it made Lily stop and think. He must have noticed that she wasn’t herself, that something was troubling her. Naturally, Lily had denied everything he had said and walked away, but for the first time ever, he let her go without another word.

Now as Lily paced the dim corridors, she stopped by a window, gazing out onto the moonlit grounds. She thought about Petunia, recalling all the cruel words her sister had spoken to her over the years. She also pondered James… and the mystery surrounding her feelings towards him. For the longest time, she had hated him, but he seemed to be different during the past few months. Perhaps he had grown up at last? No, Lily thought, remembering one of the phrases she had learned as a child: A zebra can’t change his stripes. James Potter would always still be the same big-headed idiot he had always been. Something deep down inside Lily disagreed with this, but she kept it locked away in fear of the truths it concealed.

Over the years, Lily had noticed that a person will often give another person qualities they wanted to see, blinding them from seeing what the person was truly like inside. Standing in the night, it occurred to Lily that she was in danger of this happening to her. Yet, Lily couldn’t help feel mixed emotions when it came to James.

She sighed, leaning against the windowsill, gazing at the stars and working her way through all the emotions that had been plaguing her all day long.

~~~

James knew that he shouldn’t be there. Every reasonable part of his mind was screaming for him to get back to the Gryffindor common room where he belonged, but his heart kept him standing there, watching her. He knew fully well what would happen when she realized that she wasn’t alone: she would have a fit. Still, she looked so beautiful standing there, bathed in silvery moonlight. Her fiery red locks were tousled as if they hadn’t been brushed in awhile and her skin looked a shade paler than usual against her bright green eyes. For a moment, James thought that he had died and moved on, for she looked far more angelic than usual. That is…until she glanced down at her feet and he could see the troubled expression as she closed her eyes, letting a single tear slip down the side of her lovely face. James yearned to reach out to her and wipe the tear away, he longed to take her into his arms and just hold her, but he didn’t. Instead, he just watched in silent desire.

James knew that he couldn’t stand there watching her forever, despite how much he wanted to. To keep from the humiliation of standing there, simply gawking at her, he decided to step inside the nearest classroom. If Lily decided to keep walking, James figured he would hear her footsteps. As sliently as he could, he opened the door and slipped inside.

Glancing around the classroom, his eyes lingerd on a very large mirror in the corner of he room. Something about this strange classroom asset sent a chill down his spine, but James swallowed hard and crossed the room, stopping in front of the mirror. Glancing up at the large glassy surface, his mouth fell open at what he saw.

~~~

Lily glanced up, her body tensing immediately. Something wasn’t right… had she been imagining it, or had she heard a door squeak?

Seeing that the door to the closest classroom was slightly ajar, Lily pushed it open fully. As she did this, her mind played a trick on her. She could have sworn that she heard footsteps, no, her mind wasn’t playing tricks, and Lily knew that there was someone else inside this room. As Head Girl, it was her duty to round up nightwalkers, and so she stepped inside.

“Who’s there?” she called into the empty room. “I’m Head Girl, I can report you to Professor Dumbledore!”

Her words simply echoed through the large area, making it seem emptier than it first appeared to be. Raising her wand, and whispering a spell, the tip of Lily’s wand lighted, bathing the empty classroom with a faint yellow glow.

“I know you’re in here!” she shouted. “If you don’t reveal yourself, I’ll give you detention!”

The large mirror in the corner of the room immediately grabbed Lily’s attention. It was very tall, outlined in golden metal. On the very top were letters that seemed to be etched randomly into the shimmering gold surface.

Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

It made no sense, but something about the strangeness of the mirror tempted Lily to step closer, and she gave in, slowly stepping forward.

She glided across the room as if in a trance, captured by the aura of the mirror. Lily was soon standing before it, gazing into its glassy surface. Her wand fell out of her hand, the light going out immediately, but she could still vaguely see the image in the mirror. It seemed to be a reflection, but was it really? Lily’s head spun, and she took a deep breath, steadying herself. She then sunk to her knees and simply sat there, gazing up at what only she could see.

Reflected in the mirror’s glassy magical surface stood Lily Evans. She wasn’t slumped over like the true Lily had been all day, but stood tall and happy. Her face was rosy and alight with happiness, a sort of joy that Lily had never before seen on her own face. Sure, she had seen it on other girl’s faces, but never on her own. But… the Lily in the mirror wasn’t alone, and that was what made the real Lily so terrified. The Lily in the mirror, laughing and smiling with glee, was pressed up against the tall, thin, and handsome form of James Potter. She looked up into his eyes, kissing him gently on the lips, and then glanced down at the real Lily tantalizingly; as if she knew something that the real Lily did not.

Green eyes wide, the real Lily whipped her head around, scanning over the empty classroom. She was alone. Lifting her eyes to the mirror once again, she felt an ache in her heart. All the emotions from earlier: the hurt from Petunia’s letter and the confusion regarding her feelings for James seemed to flood over her. It was too much.

Leaning her forehead against the glass, determinedly not lifting her eyes to the reflection, she closed her eyes and whispered. “Damn you, James Potter.”

And with that, she snapped.

~~~

James was frozen. Even if you asked him to, he wouldn’t have been able to move an inch.

He had been gaping at the image reflected in the mysterious mirror, watching as his reflection embraced Lily Evans, comforting her, wiping away her tears, when the real thing entered the room. She must have heard his footsteps, but once he had scurried to safety at the other side of the room, the girl of his dreams seemed to lose interest in the footsteps that called her into the room.

She approached the enchanted mirror, and James watched in silent horror as her wand slipped from her hand and she sunk to her knees, sitting on the stone floor, her eyes wide as saucers, gazing at the mirror. The curiosty that filled James was nearly unbearable. What did she see that caused this reaction?

The room was deathly silent, but even from a few yards away, he had herd Lily whisper, pain and confusion in her soft voice. “Damn you, James Potter.”

At these four words, James froze; sliding slowly through his mind. He knew instantly what she had seen in the mirror: the same thing that he had seen.

Lily looked so small and vulnerable next to the giant glass pane that stretched above her. Her body was now shaking with silent sobs, which slowly grew to a small crying noise. Whatever had been troubling her all day had been eating her away inside, and she was letting it out.

James’s heart ached at the sight of his fire-haired angel. Without thinking, he pulled off his Invisibility Cloak and quietly approached her.

~~~

There were girls who cried after a breakup, after a bad grade, and after a pet’s death, and Lily was not among them. The last time she had cried was in first year, after hearing her sister’s cruel insults for the first time. Now, she just let it all go. Lily knew that she was being foolish, but she couldn’t help it. So she sat and cried like a little child. She cried for Petunia and all the hurt that he sister inflicted. Lily cried for James, for how much she realized that she wanted to be with him, how much he loved her, and how terrified she was to accept him.

There was a shuffle of footsteps, but Lily pretended not to hear them. Whoever was in the room could leave freely, she wasn’t going to stop them and turn them in. But, the footsteps didn’t head towards the door, they headed towards her.

She dimly felt the other person’s presence, but it was warm and calming. It started with a comforting hand on her shoulder, causing Lily’s insides to tingle slightly, and then the person pulled Lily into their arms. Surprisingly, Lily didn’t pull away. Her heart pounded and her blood rushed with an unknown pleasure. He seemed vaguely familiar, and she knew that he could be trusted. He smelled faintly of sweet, intoxicating cologne and the world suddenly felt calmer, as if all Lily’s troubles weren’t as severe as expected. She relaxed, resting against his strong chest, listening to the steady beat of his heart. Unlike most guys, he didn’t seem too affronted by the fact he was holding a crying girl. He simply stroked her hear, resting his chin against her forehead and clutched Lily to his chest ass her sobs resided to sniffles. She sobbed into his shirt, getting it all wet, but he didn’t seem to care.

“Shh, it’s okay.” He whispered, his voice husky and soft. He ran his fingers through Lily’s thick red hair, and her heart skipped a beat.

“No it’s not!” Lily whispered. “She hates me! What did I ever do to her?”

“It’ll all be fine.” He said quietly. “Just let it out.”

Lily nodded, swallowing hard. “She… she’s getting married.” She let out a small sob. “And… and sh-she’s not letting me be in it. She made up all these lies to keep me out, because she hates me!”

They mysterious stranger let his hand trail down her hair and to her back. It sent a shiver through Lily, but it was a good kind of shiver. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, closing her eyes and letting the person hold her closer, melting into his warm arms.

“Who’s getting married?”

“My sister.” Lily whispered with a small sniffle. “She’s never forgiven me for being a witch, and now she’s getting revenge.”

The stranger put his hand under her chin and lifted her face to meet his. “Lily,” he said, his voice lingering on her name. Lily’s heart flip-flopped in her chest. “Do you really think that your mum will let her do this to you?”

Realization dawned over Lily. Why hadn’t she thought of that before? She had been so intent on believing it and she played right into her sister’s hands. Mum loved both Lily and Petunia, she would never allow for one to hurt the other like this.

“No, you’re right.” Lily whispered. She looked up at him, barely making out the features of his face. His hand gently caressed the side of her face, and Lily closed her eyes, savoring the warmth of his fingers on her skin. “Who are you?”

He sighed. “Do you really want to know?”

Lily nodded slowly. She wanted to know who this person was, and why he was being so intimate, and why she felt no need to stop him. He smelled so good and his arms were so comforting, she wanted to stay there forever.

The person dug in their pocket, and pulled out a wand. He lit the tip, and for the first time she could see him clearly. It was him, the one she had thought about all day. He had a thin face that was pulled into a soft expression and his hazel eyes, conealed slightly by a pair of spectacles, had a soft tender feel to them. Atop his head was the messiest black hair she had ever seen in her entire life, and oh how she loved it. Surprisingly, Lily knew that it was him the whole time. Even more shocking, she didn’t feel a pang of anger or shame at the sight of his handsome face.

“James Potter.” Lily whispered softly.

He nodded.

Lily sighed, and once again, didn’t feel the anger that she expected to come. If James Potter could hold her like this every day for the rest of her life, being with him wouldn’t be so bad.

Realizing this, Lily looked back at the tall mirror. The mirror versions of herself and James hugged happily, and the mirror Lily shot one last smile at the real one before the image changed. Lily gave her mirror self a small grin, and it swam before her eyes. When the blur reformed, Lily saw in it what any normal mirror would show: a dark room, a crying girl, and a boy comforting her. Lily looked back at James, who was eyeing her nervously, as if waiting for some sort of explosion.

Sighing slightly, she smiled up at him. “Did we see the same thing in this mirror?” she whispered so softly, it seemed as if she hadn’t spoken at all.

James nodded slowly. “I think so.”

Green eyes met hazel, and Lily’s face broke into the fist genuine smile all day. Here she was, in the arms of the hated James Potter, and loving every second of it.“Well, I guess this means I have to go out with you.”

Catching the joke, James leaned over so that their foreheads touched. “You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.” He whispered, trailing his hand down the small of her back, causing her to squirm happily.

Lily slipped her arms around his neck, sliding her fingers through his messy black hair. It was the first time James had ever given her a choice in this matter, and for the first time, she intended to give him a new answer. “But I want to.” She whispered back.

Raising her head slightly, Lily touched her lips gently to his.

The effect of this action was instant. Lily’s heart pounded as hot sweetness poured through her body, reaching her very soul. She had been kissed before, but not like this. Never in her wildest dreams had she been kissed like this. Ages upon ages passed, for time seemed to stop completely, only starting back up again as the two broke apart. “So, what excuse did Petunia give for not letting you be in her wedding?” He asked, his voice quivering slightly.

Lily smiled. “It was stupid, and it doesn’t matter anymore. Like you said, my mum will never allow it. Right now, I’m all about enjoying the moment.” With that, she leaned in and kissed him again.

The Mirror of Erised shows you what your heart truly longs for. For Lily Evans and James Potter, what they saw changed in a night. They stayed like that for the rest of the night, gazing at their true reflection, knowing deep down that they had found what their hearts truly desired.


© Copyright 2019 Lady Alanna. All rights reserved.

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