Chapter 1 : My Heart's Desire
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Author’s Notes: Wrote this for a soliloquy challenge. Just a crazy one-shot I wrote during the wee hours of the morning, which is why I think it’s more of an inane rambling than eloquent prose. ;)
Story Summary: I always snatch the Snitch. I'm always a winner, golden and perfectly round and armed with wings, forever meant to fly, because I am the James Potter.
My Heart's Desire
Down, left, right, left again, and then down, and then right. I am perfectly aware how to get to the Great Hall from the Gryffindor tower, thank you very much. I know the path by heart, can get there even with my eyes closed and my hands and feet tied. Yes, feet tied. I can use my broom and fly extremely well, don’t you know? I own one of the latest broom models, actually; there’s nothing like the best for me. I yawned as I pulled the cloak more tightly around me and struggled to open my eyes in an attempt at humility and caution. What if I end up getting injured before the final match of the year? I simply cannot let Gryffindor down! The team would be nothing without me!
Gathering my wits around me—it’s quite difficult, as I have a lot to gather—I try to recognise where I am, where those traitorous stairs have led me. Why am I suddenly standing in front a great, oval silver door? Beats me. Hey, wait. Nothing and nobody has ever beaten me, and this door would definitely be unwise to try. I blinked and rubbed my bleary eyes—my irresistible hazel eyes—and scrutinised the latch suspiciously. The door wasn’t locked.
A sly grin spread over my face, and I pondered all the possibilities an unforeseen door could hold. All of them seemed wonderful and positively terrifying at the same time. Never one to shrink back from an adventure, I pulled the lever up and nudged it open, wincing at the rusty creak it made. I pushed it only far enough so that my muscular frame could fit through.
Lumos. I need not speak the incantation aloud, of course. I am the best and brightest student in the year. Don’t listen to Sirius Black when he says the same thing because he’s lying. He’s good, as he’s my best friend and I never would think of befriending some greasy git, but I’m still better. There is only one person I’m willing to concede to in that aspect of being the best and brightest in my year, and well, I don’t think I want to think about her right now.
See? This is all your fault! Now I am thinking about her, feeling this incredible pain burst inside my chest… What’s that? I never feel pain. I am immune to anguish that stems from such trivial matters of the heart. Honestly, I am better of without her. Honestly.
I step inside the room with my wand aloft, just in case there’s a three-headed dog or some other creature who’s lurking behind the shadows. You can never really trust anybody these days, can you? Especially with—what’s his name? Oh, yeah, Voldemort. Especially with that old prat and his little band of Death Eaters around. Why everybody fears to speak his name, I don't think I'll ever understand. As if he can possibly defeat us, or even compare with us. As if a better circle of friends other than the Marauders’ could exist. I know, I know. Four points—I mean four boys—don’t really make a circle. They make a square. I heard that in Arithmancy class one time. See? I’m not all pranks and jokes like most people believe. I listen too and can get serious—no, not Sirius, that’s my best mate—even if I don’t really need to, what with brains like mine.
The room seems to be bare, except for something glinting off a shiny surface at the far end. I push my glasses up my nose and approach it bravely. I am a Gryffindor, and a prefect at that, mind you. Nothing can scare or hurt me.
I almost dropped my wand in surprise when I saw what it was. A mirror? To think I had been a little—just a tiny bit—worried. What’s a mirror doing here in one of the more obscure parts of the castle anyway? This room had to be obscure; there was no other explanation for it. After all, my friends and I have searched every nook and cranny of Hogwarts, and in all of my six years here, this is the first time I’ve come across this.
Pointing the bright end of my wand so that the mirror would be better illuminated, I notice the engravings around its corners. Oh, goody. Are those Ancient Runes? I am so pleased to finally have the chance to apply everything I’ve learned while sleeping through that class. I stepped closer.
Uh, no. Turns out I was mistaken. Stupid dark, misleading me to believe that they were other than the usual characters of the alphabet. My eyes travelled over them as I tried to read and make sense of what was written. I could not.
Instead of getting annoyed, I felt more excited. Finally, a challenge worthy of my abilities. I attempted to unscramble all the letters as my super brain sifted through them, hoping to uncover a hidden message. After maybe half an hour of doing so, I slumped and sat down on the floor, exhausted. Discouraged, yes, but definitely not unbeaten.
For the first time since I got there, I looked into the mirror.
I saw myself.
Wow. What a surprise.
No, I wasn’t being sarcastic. Whenever I look into a mirror, I always see my face staring back at me, and I am amazed anew each time. I really am handsome, with my dark, messy hair falling ruggedly all over my forehead, my twinkling hazel eyes speckled with gold, the glasses that frame them, giving me the aura of an intellectual, my impish smile… Merlin, if I was a girl, I would probably be in love with myself.
And I haven’t even really started listing all the attributes that make me the ultimate heartthrob. I’m a pureblood—not that it really matters, of course—and I’m rich. I can buy anything, own everything if I want to. I’ve got the best brains I have ever encountered, am the best Quidditch player I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, and I definitely have the hottest, to-die-for body that even those loose Hogwarts robes couldn’t hide.
Face it, folks. I’m golden.
An image beside my reflection started to form, and I quickly glanced at my left and right, wondering if some spectre suddenly decided to accompany me without notice. Ugh. If this turns out to be Myrtle…
Oh, how can I ever mistake her for Myrtle? She looked so alive, dressed in white, her fiery red hair and her brilliant green eyes her only accessories. I must be dreaming, seeing her sit beside me and smile at me—at my reflection, rather—lovingly. This was bizarre; this had to be a trick of some sort. How can she smile like that after breaking my heart into a thousand pieces only earlier today, after she told me she hated me?
Right. I was exaggerating. Nobody can really break my heart into a thousand pieces. How about nine hundred and ninety-nine then? It sure does feel like it.
I watched, transfixed, as this beautiful woman intertwined her fingers with me… Well, with that lucky bloke who stole my face anyway. What does that moron have that I don’t? I mean, sure, he looks different somehow—maybe less arrogant, although I hardly think of myself as arrogant, but still. We still both look incredibly attractive, and he’s obviously as smart as I am, choosing her, the best girl in this school, to fall in love with.
Jealous, I stood up and walked to where I would only have a peek at the mirror. I still saw him… With her.
I’m being stupid, working up a storm over nonsense. Obviously, this mirror has been hoodwinked into making me jealous of him. Well, I’m not, whoever you are! I’m not envious of you!
I ran out of the room and rushed down to the Great Hall to do what I had originally woken up in the middle of the night for. Pathetic mirror, resorting to a dirty trick to try and derail me from my mission.
After almost an hour of working, I stepped back and admired the streamers I had slaved away for to decorate the Great Hall with.
Tomorrow, the moment she walks in, flowers as red as her hair and confetti as green as her eyes will fall to announce her presence. Birds readily conjured out of air will hum a melody as sweet as her voice, and bells will tinkle like her laughter. What a glorious symphony. And then the streamers will cascade, all of them professing my undying love for her.
I smile in satisfaction; I can just imagine what will happen next. She will undoubtedly be overwhelmed, all of her senses going into overload, and she will finally realise just how sincere I am, how much I really adore her. And then she can’t, wouldn’t be able to refuse me. Me, future candidate for Witch Weekly’s Most Charming Smile Award, Seeker Extraordinaire, Quidditch Captain, future Head Boy, Head of Auror Division and Minister of Magic. Oh, no, she wouldn’t.
But wait, before that goofy smile on my lips stretches it into something unsightly, I have to stop. Not because I’m getting ahead of myself, of course. After all, when have I really failed to make my dreams come true? Oh, don’t bother counting those three hundred something times I tried to win her heart. See, even I myself lost count. Do you know why? Because I didn’t really try.
Unlike now. Unlike what I have planned for tomorrow, the most wonderful day of both our lives.
I have to stop now because it’s past midnight and I do need to rest my muscles. How can I hold her tight in an embrace tomorrow when they’re cramped? Besides, Filch or his cat might catch me. I certainly don’t have any plans of spending detention with him tomorrow night… Not when I’m sure I would be spending it with her, curled up on one of the couches, kissing her madly. Ick. Can you imagine kissing Filch? Like I said, I don’t even want to think about it.
A crazy urge overpowered me on my way back up to the Gryffindor tower. For some unfathomable reason, I wanted to visit that mirror again. Perhaps it was because I wanted to check once more if the image was real or if it even was plausible. I decided not to dwell on my motives.
Thanks to the wonderful recall I have been blessed with, I found myself back there in no time at all.
Bloody dolt. He wasted no time in embracing her right before my eyes the instant I looked into the mirror. But like I said, I enjoy being challenged. I simply smirked at him, controlling my patience admirably by restraining myself from punching him in the face.
“You might have my heart’s deepest, most desperate desire,” I conceded, wanting to give him a nasty piece of my mind. “But I refuse to spend the rest of my time here, wasting away, fantasising about me holding her. Instead, I am going to do everything I can to make that fantasy come true—starting from finding out what made her like you in the first place. Do you understand? I’ll take her away from you, free her from that prison you’re keeping her in.”
Nothing can stop me. Do you know why?
Because I’m always a winner. I always catch the Snitch.
Not that Lily Evans is a Snitch, of course, But she’s precious and small and she has wings like an angel, and we’re meant to be together because don’t you see? She’s golden, just like me.
Because I’m the James Potter.