Chapter 3 : Inflitrations
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Thanks to my beta for editing this.
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Lily, Clara, and I were once again sitting on the bedroom floor. We had been spending most of our time there, for my friends were trying to get me used to the feeling of my new face. Lily had taught me the spell, Ripio, to make the plaster fall away and reveal my real features. That way when it finally did come off I wouldn’t look all pale and pasty. We only saw Mr. And Mrs. Hagan at mealtimes. They had been stunned when they saw the only part of my new appearance that I couldn’t hide: my newborn stud. They had neglected to comment, but had glared at me like I was going to corrupt their daughter. Hell, this was her idea.
We only left the house to go into town and see if the boys caught the bait. A test, if you will.
They did. I was averaging four telephone numbers a day.
I had really had felt the plan was working at that point. I mean, if Violet had been seen walking down the street no one would have glanced back. But now that Viola was strolling down the road…I was getting second, third, and forth takes. They didn’t even know me. It was pathetic…and as much as I hated it — it was proving our hypothesis.
See, part of me really did have hope. I thought that not all boys were horrible. Maybe it was just my negative perspective. When I donned the mask there was a side of me that wanted to be proven wrong. I wanted to believe that there was still some good.
“Okay,” said Clara. “I sort of think we need to teach you the mannerisms for this appearance.”
I raised an eyebrow. “No. I’m supposed to keep the same personality, remember? If I get some sort of brain transplant then that would make this whole experiment completely worthless.”
“That’s not what I mean. I want to teach you how to respond when all these guys chase after you.”
Sheesh, she sounded pretty confident that it was going to work out that way. She could at least allow some room for error.
“That’s actually not a bad idea,” said Lily, looking up from her ever-present Potions book. I was stunned. Lily was taking her side? She continued. “It wouldn’t look good if you just froze up.”
I couldn’t flirt to save my life, and they knew it. I had never really had a lot of practice time. I mean, if you’re invisible at Hogwarts then you don’t make too much eye contact with the opposite sex. And when boys would talk to me, I couldn’t.
“Here’s what I was thinking,” began Clara. “If we play our cards right, people will begin asking you out as soon as term starts. You turn down all the invitations…and then maybe a few months is we can choose someone for you to begin with—,”
“We?” I asked. Wasn’t it my decision? Wasn’t I the one who would actually go out with him? This didn’t seem quite fair, or moral for that matter.
“Well, yeah. But, I think that Lily and I should have an input on which you choose. Remember, whoever you go out with will be the one hurt when you unmask yourself.”
She was right. For some reason that made me feel sort of bad. But then I remembered that boys pretty much did the exact same thing to girls, which made me reconsider my feelings.
“I agree,” I said.
“So, is it alright if we teach you a bit about interacting with guys? Not saying that you’re already doing a fine job yourself…”
I sighed and decided to finally give in. There was no stopping Clara Hagan when she had an idea, and my nose was proof of that. “Alright. But I doubt that I’ll be able to remember when I’m actually standing there…”
“We can still try,” said Clara, shrugging. “Lily, you going to help me?”
“I don’t have that much experience,” she replied, flipping a page in her book. “But I can give it a shot.”
You’ve still got more experience than me, Mrs. James Potter is in Love with Me, I thought to myself.
“Okay Violet, there are two types of flirting,” said Clara expertly. “The slutty way and the simple, provoking way. There are techniques for both—,”
“Wait a second, how do you know the slutty way?” Lily had asked the question that was on the tip of my tongue.
“I’ve seen Stella Anders in action,” said Clara matter-of-factly. Well, there you go.
There were six girls total in my dormitory at Hogwarts. Clara, Lily, and I were three. Then there was Alice Newport and Mary McDonald, who are best friends and two very nice girls, if I do say so myself. Every so often the five of us went down to Hogsmeade together. Well, they were friendlier with Clara and Lily then they were with me, but that’s beside the point.
And then there was Stella Anders. I really have no idea how she managed to get into Gryffindor. Well, I guess she could be considered brave, but she and her two friends from Ravenclaw, Abigail Monroe and Emily Blackson, have no shame. They had proudly dated and snogged every seventh year boy worthy of their presence. Actually, back when they were fifth and sixth years they dated the older boys too…and the boys who lived in Hogsmeade. I don’t even want to think about what they did over the holidays. These were the girls that hooked up in the broom cupboards and shagged in empty classrooms. These girls had probably dated Sirius Black more times than anyone in the school, the most legendary being around the end of our sixth year. Right before he had gone out with Clara he’d dated the queen herself, Stella. They had been the couple everyone talked about. This being because they snogged in the halls between every class in front of everyone, her hand visibly going up his shirt. Typical Black. Typical Anders.
His relationship with Stella was probably the peak of his ‘playboy’ attitude. Personally, I think that Clara straightened him out a lot, but still don’t know what she was thinking by going out with him fresh out of his relationship with ‘the queen’, but he did calm down quite a bit. For one, Clara refused to sleep with him. What surprised me the most was that they stayed together a full month after she denied him. He could have stayed a week…but he chose to hold out. I honestly don’t know if it was because he really did have feelings for her…or if he was just waiting to see if she changed her mind. My vote went with the latter.
“Do you plan on teaching me this so called slutty way?”
“Well…I’m just going to tell you what I’ve seen Stella do…”
“I’m not a whore,” I said, feeling dirty for using such language. “I won’t use any of her – erm, techniques.”
“I’m not saying that you have to,” said Clara, sounding somewhat surprised by my instant retaliation. “Just so you know what you’ll be up against. This is what Stella does.”
She pulled her desk out to the middle of the room. “Her target will be sitting here. Stella will clap her hands together like this and rest her head down on them.”
Clara clasped her palms together and touched her elbows as one. If she hadn’t been wearing a T-shirt, Lily and I would have gotten an eyeful.
“And then when guys see that they normally get really nervous and try to crack a joke to lighten the mood. Stella will bend over laughing so that her elbows knock against her knees.” She demonstrated and made me thank God that she wasn’t wearing a low-cut blouse.
Lily looked as disgusted, and I probably did as well. “That is so sick.”
Clara shrugged. “It works for her.”
“That wouldn’t work for me,” I pointed out, rolling my eyes. “I don’t have much to push together.”
“Oh, shut up,” said Lily. “If I ever saw you doing that, I’d smack you. That’s a promise.”
“How closely did you observe Stella?” I asked Clara.
She shrugged. “You don’t really watch her that much. I just noticed all the moves she did when she tried to win Black back from me.”
I couldn’t help but grin. Stella had been a wreck when Black had ended things, and she had gone to every means she could come up with to win him back. Because going out with Sirius Black only hightened your own reputation. Trust Clara to pick up Stella's skills.
“What else did she do?” I asked.
Clara came and stood right in front of me. Then she turned to her side. She bent down and mimed picking something up form the ground, making sure her derriere was sticking up. Then she snapped back up, bringing her half closed hands dangerously close to her cleavage. “She did that right in front of us.”
“Thank you for that image,” said Lily.
“Well, that’s how those girls worked. They usually have their hands all over the guys…they show off their own body. It’s revolting, but it works.”
I rolled my eyes. No wonder guys thought I was invisible. I mean, they had girls like Stella and her posse driving them like dogs.
“You, on the other hand,” continued Clara. “Have class. Just ask about him: his classes, his interests, his family, whatever. Smile…but you don’t want to over do it. And listen to me closely. This is the most important part:” I looked up at her before she went on. “You have to make eye contact.”
I inwardly flinched. Making eye contact wasn’t my strongest point. I felt vulnerable when the contact was established and everything I was…was suddenly exposed for everyone to see and judged. Humph, like they didn’t do that already?
I had to make Clara understand this. She cut me off before I could even start. “Don’t give me that bull that you can’t do it. You’ll have to learn and get used to it.”
Lily joined in on the conversation. “You do it with us most of the time. You’re just going to have to try it with other people. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it.”
I snorted. Sure I will. The day I can retain eye contact with the student body of Hogwarts is the day Lily decides to date Potter.
I turned to look at my two best friends. “I really doubt that I’ll be able to do that. Can’t I just refuse to make eye contact with everyone and portray the ‘mysterious girl’?”
“That’s probably how it’ll turn out,” muttered Lily. I wanted to glare at her, but knew that it’d be hypocritical.
“I’ve got another idea,” said Clara.
I rolled my eyes. “I swear. You thinking is dangerous.” I looked my body up and down. “Look where it got me!”
“Your wardrobe,” she started, ignoring me. “I am not going to let you wear Converse with your robes every day.”
Clara Hagan had messed with my face, my nose, my name. There was no way that she was messing with my Converse.
I pointed to the tattered shoes on my feet. “These are a part of my soul. You can’t take them away.”
“Oh stop being so melodramatic, Violet,” said Clara. “You don’t have to abolish them completely… you could probably have another pair or two… but look at it this way: what if someone caught on and realized who you really are?”
I had trouble believing that anyone paid enough attention to me to remember who I was because of some shoes. But I guess I could agree if I could still wear my old ones once in a while.
“Fine,” I muttered. “But you’re supplying all my outfit changes. I’m not spending my own money on preppy little garments.”
Clara smiled. “I’ve already got it covered.” She reached under her bed, pulled out a medium sized suitcase, and opened it. Inside, neatly folded (presumably by Lily) were six or seven complete outfits.
I groaned. “You didn’t.”
Lily chuckled. “She did.”
I stood up and began pacing back and forth. “This is what I don’t get. I’m supposed to keep my same personality. You two seem to keep forgetting that. I think that this constitutes as attempting to change the real ‘me’. "
Lily cut me off before I could continue. “We’re not going to change you completely, Violet. We’re just going to give you these clothes — and you can do whatever you want with them — mix them up however you’d like. We can't control you. This is your project as much as it’s ours. Even more, really. You’re free to do whatever you’d like. Clara and I are just making suggestions.”
My anger was vanishing as she spoke. Lily always had that way with words. “I’m sorry guys. I reacted kind of harshly. I just really want this plan to work—”
“We do too,” added Clara.
“— so I want to make sure we don’t mess up anywhere.”
“Understandable,” agreed Lily.
Our conversation was halted by a tawny barn owl soaring through the open window. It dropped a thick envelope in my lap.
About a week ago, Lily had written to Hogwarts requesting my transcript. She had pretended to be my foster mother and had said that I was transferring to Beauxbatons. This was where Lily’s genius came through. She knew that Dumbledore could simply send an owl to the headmistress of Beauxbatons and check to make sure my transfer succeeded. This would be lethal to our plan because Madam Maxime, or whatever her name was, would tell Dumbledore that no student in her records had my name. So Lily really did enroll me in the school in France. Then, she waited a few days and sent another owl to Beauxbatons saying that she changed her mind and was going to transfer me to a school in the States. That way my name really was in their record book, but I had simply left. Finally, Lily sent an owl to Hogwarts saying that she needed to enroll a new student. This envelope that had just come was my registration packet.
Lily flattened it out on the desk and pulled out her quill and a bottle of ink.
“Are we sticking with ‘Viola’ as the name?”
“I think so,” said Clara. She turned to me. “Is that alright? It’s sort of a spin-off of Violet, but also sounds romantic and exotic at the same time.”
“Fine.” I waved my hand as if I didn’t care. “But what about a surname?”
Lily thought for a moment, stroking her chin with the tip of her quill. “R-R-Rinelle?”
“Should I sign you up for all the N.E.W.T.s classes you were taking last year?”
“Yeah.” I thought for a moment. “But drop History of Magic. It’s too boring to continue.”
Lily began to check different boxes on the parchment. I’m saying that you’re transferring from a school in the Americas — and your parents died back there. You’re being sent to Hogwarts by your aunt and uncle…”
“Do you have to give names?” asked Clara.
Lily looked down at the sheet. “Yeah…”
“Can we make something up?” I asked.
Clara frowned. “No…they might have to verify. But what if…”
She got up and ran out of the room.
“Where’s she going?” I asked, watching the door bounce against the wall.
“Beats me,” replied Lily, still scribbling on the parchment.
“Will I have to talk with an American accent?” I asked Lily.
She looked up and scratched her chin again. “Can you do one?”
A couple of years ago I’d had a fascination with Americans…and had tried to talk like them. I could kind of do it…but not all the way.
“Well, try it. You don’t have to have a really authentic one because according to the records you have lived in London all summer. That supposedly give you time to pick up talking with a British accent. So…talk with an American accent, but sound a little British at the same time.”
“Alright,” I said. Hopefully I’d be able to pull that one off.
Clara came back into the room leading a man who looked to be a few years older than us. “You remember Phil?”
It took me a moment, but then I did. Phil was Clara’s older brother. He had graduated from Hogwarts about four years ago and owned a small café in Diagon Alley. A year ago he had gotten married to a witch named Claudia. Phil and Clara had the same blond hair, blue eyes, and cheerful smile. For as long as I’d known them they had gotten along really well.
After the greetings Clara continued. “So Phil, I need a favour. We’re going to enter Violet as a new student at Hogwarts. We need to give a guardian. Can we use you and Claudia?”
Phil looked at his sister suspiciously. “Do I want to know what you’re up to?”
“Will this in any way land me in Azkaban?”
“Then you can.”
“Aw…thank you so much Phil!” Clara gave her brother a big hug.
After he left she turned to Lily. “Put the guardians down as Phil and Claudia Hagan.”
“Okay,” she said. “I’m going to take the transcript we got last week and change all the names to Viola Rinelle, alright?”
“Perfect.” Clara clapped her hands together. “We are so ready for King’s Cross.”
I started Chapter four last night. Hopefully it will be up in the next week. Don't forget to review. You guys are amazing!
July 15, 2007 EDIT: The next chapter is coming along...I'll try and get it done soon.
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