“How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us.” ~Unknown~
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With a sigh, I closed my newly purchased Arithmancy book and looked down at my Muggle wristwatch. It was a half hour passed the half hour that Andrea promised to meet me back here so we could take the floo back home. Though I should be used to her breaking promises like this, it still annoyed me to no end. And I had a right to be annoyed, didn’t I?
Shoving my book back into the bag that it had been put in when I purchased it with the half of the money that Dad gave to me, I stood up from my seat and grabbed all of my bags before walking away from that quietest corner in Flourish and Blotts, and then walking out of the bookstore altogether and into the broad daylight of Diagon Alley.
I never minded coming into Diagon Alley — but that was usually when I came here alone or I didn’t have to worry about my sister. But those moments hardly ever happened because Dad was just too overprotective over the two of us. We were the only family he had left, to be honest.
Pushing through the crowd of witches and wizards of all ages and sizes, I tried to not to fall or trip over anyone or anything as I weaved through the crowded streets, popping into shops and trying to get this search for my sister done and over with as soon as possible because I wanted to get out of here before someone I didn’t want to meet came popping out of nowhere and I was forced to at least pretend to be nice to them so I didn’t get in trouble for hexing them in public.
Just my luck that the next store that I stumble into just so happened to be Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, which was pretty much the rendezvous point for all of those evil, demonic Weasley and Potter children. Don’t get me wrong, I knew the Weasley’s and the Potter’s very well—seeing as how I went to school with most of their children and my father was an Auror and knew those of them who were Aurors and whatnot.
Anyway, my point is, I knew them—and pretty well (or at least most of them), I might add. So, I know that not all of the Weasley and Potter children or not demons born onto this world to cause chaos or bring an end to mankind like the most of them do.
Thank Merlin that it was only Roxanne, Lily, Rose and Dominique inside the shop when I got in there, otherwise, the second I spotted a Weasley and/or Potter that I didn’t like, I was going to run out of there as fast as I possibly could until my legs broke off.
At the sound of the bell above the door ringing open, the three of them immediately whirled around. With a gasp, Lily ran forward and lunged at me, the two of us toppling to the ground just as something crashed with a loud thud to the floor.
“Damn!” someone swore loudly. “I was hoping for it to be James!” I recognized Roxanne’s voice as I stared at the ceiling of the shop, my eyes wide with shock and confusion as I tried to comprehend what had just happened.
“Are you okay?” Lily asked, suddenly staring down at me with wide eyes. “You’re not hurt or anything, are you? Here, let me help you up.” She said as she grabbed my hand and pulled me back to my feet. “Roxanne, you idiot, I told you that someone else might get hurt! The last we saw of James, he was with Andrea and the rest of them.” Lily said.
I blinked, suddenly remembering what I had come to the shop to do—you couldn’t normally find me in joke stores looking for things to prank people with; I just wasn’t that kind of person. “Do you know where they are now?” I asked, turning to the red head beside me.
She stared at me in confusion for a moment before her eyes widened. “Oh my God!” she gasped, staring at me in complete surprise. “Alexia Carlyle!” she said slowly as she stepped closer towards me so that her face was right in front of me. “Is that really you?” she asked.
I blinked again, scared and a bit confused myself. “Er — yeah...” I said slowly. “Why wouldn’t it be me?” I asked hesitantly, afraid of what Lily’s answer would be. It was Lily Potter, after all — the harebrained, reckless and wild Lily Potter. The girl who wasn’t afraid to make herself look like an idiot in front of people — not that she did that or anything — the girl who told you if she didn’t like something, whether it be rude or not.
“You never wore make before!” she screeched suddenly, attracting quite a bit of attention, but she didn’t care as she stared at me, beaming widely. “Look at you, all prettied up. Merlin, you’ve changed over the summer! I almost didn’t recognize you!” she said with a laugh as the other girls crowded around me.
“I love what you’ve done with your hair,” Dominique Weasley, a pretty blonde girl with piercing ice blue eyes in my year, said as she picked up a lock of my hair and held it delicately in her hand. “It’s not frizzy like it used to be — that’s a good thing. It’s nice and shiny too,” she said, smiling proudly as she dropped the lock.
I couldn’t help but smile proudly at my friends’ approval of my new appearance. To be honest, I didn’t care if they liked it or not when they saw me; I was just trying to be different, come out of the shell that had been the once quiet and strange bookworm and become the social butterfly that I had been around the few friends that I had — which had mostly just been Dominique, Roxanne, Rose and Lily.
Rose smiled as she came over and handed me my things. “You do look really good, Allie.” She said. “You didn’t go too heavy on your makeup — that’s a good thing, unless you were trying to go for a Cassidy Wacker look?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
I wrinkled my nose in disgust and shook my head vigorously. “No way,” I said. “I wouldn’t even go as that wanker for Halloween!” I said, causing the five of us to burst into the usual fit of laughter. “So, what just happened?” I asked, looking back towards the door.
“I was hoping that it’d be one of the boys that walked into the shop next. It was just an amateur prank,” Roxanne said with a sigh. “A bucket of dungbombs above the door trick — Dad helped, since, you know, I’m not old enough to do free magic.” She said, rolling her eyes. “Stupid laws...” she muttered grudgingly under her breath.
“Well, I don’t think it’s such a good idea — and I just proved that!” I pointed out before shaking my head and sighing. “Anyway, I have to go. Andrea and I were supposed to floo back home” — she looked down at her wristwatch — “an hour ago, and I haven’t found her.” I said. “Do any of you have any idea where she might be?” I asked hopefully. Though I didn’t want to leave my friends after just finding them, I did want to get home and take a nap before I had to cook dinner.
“She might be at that new coffee shop. That’s where they all said they were going when we saw them.” Dominique said with a shrug. “But I bet they’re still there. I wouldn’t put it past James to find some way to keep Andrea with him for as long as possible.” She said.
I wrinkled my nose as a disgusting — and very disturbing — image of the two of them snogging in public flashed through my mind. If I had caught them, it wouldn’t be the first — but it would take me an even longer time to burn the image out of my head before it became permanently etched into my memory. “Ew,” I muttered, shaking my head. “All right, thanks!” I said, waving to them as I left. “I’ll see you later!” I called before walking out of the shop.
Our whole ‘five musketeers’ group didn’t start until Lily and Roxanne finally came to Hogwarts in their first year when Dominique and I were in our third and Rose was in her third. But, you could say our group started with the ‘two musketeers’ — when it had been just Dominique and myself.
At first, Dominique and I didn’t get along really well. She had been one of Cassidy Wacker’s friends, but then, when Cassidy spread a nasty rumor around school in first year that Dominique made herself sick to look skinner and fit in, I was the one who had comforted Dom in the second floor girls’ bathroom — the one that Moaning Myrtle haunted. That ended the ‘friendship’ between Dominique and Cassidy. The girl’s hated my guts ever since then because she thought that Dominique would take it as a joke and come crawling back to her, but when Dominique told her straight to her face that she never wanted to talk to her again — it was a total Kodak moment.
Then, when I was in second year, Rose came along and she became a close friend after Dominique and I showed her all the perks of the school and saved her from Cassidy’s assaults. Rose had even stood up for me a few times when Cassidy started to torture me in front of the entire student body. It was then that Cassidy brought it upon herself to make my life hell 24/7, whenever she could — preferably when I wasn’t around someone who might try and help me.
Finally, in my third year, Lily and Roxanne came along. Cassidy had already recruited enough people who had been more than willing to torture me and she was just about to talk Lily and Roxanne into joining her and her little followers in their compartment when — low and behold Dominique and Rose saved them from her clutches by calling them into our compartment, which they happily agreed to. A little later — and by that, I mean, at the feast — I found out that my sister was now one of Cassidy’s little group. Normally, I wouldn’t have cared because it was just Andrea and she was free to live her life however she wanted, but this had been my worst enemy she was friends with.
Ever since then, I’ve been closer to my four equals than I’ve ever been with my own twin sister. But, as the months dragged on and turned into years and people continued to tease me and torture me in any way they could, I’ve grown... somewhat stronger. I’ve learned to ignore them; I’ve grown a backbone, even — much thanks to Dominique with that. And now, I was finally going to show these people the new and improved Alexia Renesmee Carlyle.
I stopped outside the new coffee shop that they had just established in Diagon Alley — The Wave. It was a strange name, I’ll admit, but at the same time, it sounded kind of refreshing. Nobody knew who the owner of the new café was, but that didn’t seem to bother all the witches and wizards crowding around inside. For a moment, I stood outside, staring up at the intricately designed sign, debating about whether or not I should go inside. Shrugging my shoulders, I marched right through the door and into the café.
“Allie!” a familiar voice called over the hustle and bustle of the inside of the Wave. I turned around and was nearly knocked off my feet at the sight of my Aunt Julie hurrying behind the counter and slamming down a piece of paper at a window in the wall before rushing over towards me. She looked tired, but at the same time happy.
“A-Aunt J-J-Julie!” I squeaked, thrilled to see her, but at the same time, really confused. Aunt Julie was supposed to be in Italy — something about vampires...? “Wh-what are you doing h-here?” I asked.
She smiled as she placed a hand on the small of my back and steered me towards a small, circular table with two seats. “I own this café, mon chéri!” she said, laughing as she untied her hair from the messy bun it had been in and retied it once more.
I blanched. “Y-you own this place?” I asked slowly, trying to comprehend it. Aunt Julie had never, ever seemed like the business type. Her job had been to travel the world; get herself into crazy, dangerous adventures that nearly got her killed!
Aunt Julie laughed and reached over the top of the table, patting the top of my hand. “Oh, Allie, Allie, Allie,” she sighed, shaking her head. “There are so many things you have to listen to when Great Aunt Gertie’s over at your house.” She said.
I blinked. “Wh-what?” I asked.
Aunt Julie stared, an inquisitive expression on her face. “You mean, Gertie hasn’t said anything about me?” she asked.
I shook my head and shrugged. “I don’t know.” I said. “I don’t pay attention when Great Aunt Gertrude talks. I just tune her out like she’s just an annoying fly that needs to be swatted at,” I said with a small laugh.
Aunt Julie — being the cool aunt she was — threw her head back and laughed. “That doesn’t surprise me,” she said. “So, how have you been, mon ami?” she asked, leaning back in her seat and closing her eyes. “I haven’t gotten a letter from you in such a long time. No more accidents, I hope?” she asked, cracking one eye open and looking at me.
I smiled and shook my head. “No more accidents,” I said, referring to the ‘accidental’ trips to St. Mungo’s that my Great Aunt Gertrude — who was one hundred and twenty-three years old — caused me. “I’ve just been busy, that’s all.” I shrugged.
“I can see that,” she smirked. “You’re not the frizzy haired, glasses wearing, brace faced girl I used to call my niece anymore.” She said. “You’re the new and improved Allie; who I still call my niece — if that makes any sense.” She said.
“Eh, we’ll work on it.” I said, causing us both to laugh. “Hey, have you seen Andrea around? We were supposed to be home at least an hour ago, and she promised to meet me at Flourish and Blotts long ago, and I have no idea where she is.” I said.
“Yeah, she’s over there.” Aunt Julie yawned, pointing somewhere behind her. “Give her my love — I didn’t really get to talk to her.” She said as she rested her head in her arms on the table.
I smiled and stood up from my seat, pushing in my chair. “Thanks,” I said. “Good luck with the new business, Aunt Julie.” I said, patting her back gently before walking away from her and towards the other side of the café. I looked around the tables, trying to inconspicuously look around the tables for my sister, and when I finally found her, I nearly hurled on the spot.
Andrea was sitting in a booth with her friends, in James Potter’s lap, snogging him senseless. And it didn’t help that all of her idiot friends that she met up with were snogging their dates/boyfriends (or whatever you want to call them) just as senselessly.
Ugh, here comes my breakfast, I muttered, cringing at the sight of all of them, my nose wrinkling in disgust as I slowly approached the table. How was I supposed to get them apart? With a sigh, I turned on my heel, grabbed my things, and walked out of the Wave and sat down on a bench in front of the window. Thank God Andrea always forgot to turn off her cell phone...
Pulling out my own Muggle cell phone — Dad got them for us for emergency purposes (see, he was paranoid) — and, after sliding it open, I quickly texted a message to my sister.
Get out now. We were supposed to be home 1 hr ago.
Once I got the OK that my message had been sent, I slid my phone back closed and waited impatiently for a text of some sort that my sister was coming out and we were free to leave.
My phone vibrated — a sign that I had a new message — and quickly, I turned my phone onto the side, flipping it open and opening the new message.
Come inside then & show the others the new u.
I was positive that my face was heated with embarrassment, and I was positive that they could see me. I didn’t want to see them, and I’m sure as hell none of her friends wanted to see me! I swear, Andrea could be a ditz, but she was never this stupid!
Resisting the urge to march in there and pull her out of the café by her hair and have people think of me as some kind of freak, I — rather violently — pushed the buttons, typing in my reply.
Like hell I’ll come inside. Just get out here so we can go.
And that was the end of that. The second I pocketed my phone, Andrea was out of the café, looking disheveled, but content, and disturbing images that would probably haunt me for the rest of my life flashed through my mind’s eye, causing me to shudder.
Picking up my stuff, I stood up from the bench and started walking towards the exit of Diagon Alley that would lead into Muggle London. Once we were through the arch that always opened itself from the brick wall with a special tapping of the bricks, Andrea and I hurried quickly and silently out of the alley and into the dingy pub — the Leaky Cauldron — that was owned by the wife of our Herbology professor.
Hannah Longbottom was a lovely woman, a little gullible at times and very imaginative about something, but still nice. She used to babysit Andrea and I when our parents went out — that’s also how we knew the Longbottoms pretty well.
When we entered the pub, Mrs. Longbottom looked up at her new customers and smiled at us. “Hello, girls!” she said, waving to us from behind the counter, ignoring the customer in front of her. “You know where to go, then.” She said, before turning back to her customer and finishing up his order.
Eager to get home for God knows what reasons, Andrea grabbed my wrist and yanked me towards the room where the fireplace was. We grabbed the pot of green powder from the mantle and stepped into the fireplace with much struggle before finally dropping our small handfuls of powder and shouting out our destination right before the green flames enveloped us and sent us back home.
“Dad!” we both called as we were thrown out of the fireplace and into the living room of our house. “We’re home!” we called as we both dusted off our clothes.
“You’re late!” Dad called back in a singsong voice as he came down the stairs, some papers in his hands as he scanned through them before looking over the top of his reading glasses to look at us.
Andrea only smiled innocently as she glided gracefully towards him and kissed him on the cheek before making her way up the staircase and towards her room. “Sorry, Dad,” she said as she moved up the stairs. “I guess we just lost track of the time. Oh, Aunt Julie opened a new café in Diagon Alley. It’s nice,” she said before her voice drifted off and the door to her bedroom opened and then closed.
Dad looked at me with one eyebrow raised curiously. “Aunt Julie has a café?” he asked.
I shook my head and picked up my things, walking past him and up the stairs. “Aunt Julie has a café.” I confirmed as I took the stairs two at a time, being careful about watching my step as I went, since Merlin only knew that I wasn’t exactly the most graceful person in the world. Once inside my room, I tossed my bag of schoolbooks and whatnot into a corner of my room and, once at the foot of my bed, I fell on top of my bed, my face buried in my pillows.
Blindly, I reached my hand to the lamp table beside my bed and struggled to find my trusty iPod. Once I found it, I continued to blindly work it; plugging my ear buds into my ears, I played a random song and continued searching through my music library before I finally decided on something I liked and just laid there, listening to my music, just... thinking.
Long ago, in some far off time and place — or, that’s what it felt like sometimes — Andrea and I used to be like most twin sisters; we used to be best friends. But then, Mum left and things started to shift between the two of us — it was like the earth had just split in two and we were both on opposite ends, unable to reach each other.
I guess, in a way, Andrea had always been the better twin. Practically everyone in our family had adored her; most of them didn’t even know that I existed, but that didn’t bother me as much as it used to. Andrea was everything a girl wanted to be. She was blonde, gorgeous, tall and leggy, popular and adored by everyone who knew her — or thought they did at least.
I was, in a way, the worst twin. Not very many people bothered to really give me a second glance; to the world, it was like I was invisible, like Alexia Carlyle didn’t exist. I didn’t blame them for not wanting to acknowledge me. To be honest, there really wasn’t anything special about me. I was quiet, and when I did talk, I was probably being sarcastic because that was just my personality type — I couldn’t help that. Though I didn’t say much, I had a lot more going on in my head than I let on. I wasn’t really athletic like my sister, though I did play a little Quidditch, I wasn’t into joining an actual team. I had always been the dorky looking, frizzy haired, glasses wearing, brace faced girl with no life.
But, over the summer, I decided to become a completely new and different person. My braces had been taken off — thank Merlin! — and my hair had grown out of all the frizz it had been and became straighter, but I still got the occasional waves. The muscles in my eyes strengthened considerably, so that meant that I didn’t have to wear glasses anymore either. With the help of the occasional visits of my friends and the shopping trips their parents took us on, I had even made major improvements on my wardrobe — or so Lily says.
It’s weird to wake up every morning and see a new person in the mirror. I always stare at my reflection for the longest of time and wonder just who is that girl in the mirror and where did she come from? Was this really supposed to be me, or was this the shell that hid the real me from the world? Would I get used to this new me?
It was confusing. I didn’t really care much about changing — everything just happened that way. But I just let it all happen, whether I liked it or not. There had to be a reason for all of this to happen, and I was determined to find out why. I had even made a vow to myself; that I would take advantage of these new changes and show the world the real Allie Carlyle — the quiet, sarcastic and intelligent Gryffindor girl with plenty of nerve and enough knowledge to know how to hurt someone with a simple flick of the wand.
Maybe this year, Andrea wouldn’t be the only one living that stupid, gorgeous, perfect life she never shuts the hell up about. Maybe this year, I’ll be living the same stupid, gorgeous, perfect life — not that it mattered, I just wanted to prove that girls like me could be like girls like my sister and her so-called ‘friends’.
Oh yes, this year was definitely going to be an interesting one...
Author’s Note: So, yeah, I rewrote this entire chapter. Truth be told, I was already debating about rewriting it or not and now, after I got the new banner, I figured, what the hell? Might as well make the banner look good by having a good story, right? I think so. If the author doesn’t love the story, what’s the point? That’s the logic I go by. Anyway, my computer won’t let me answer reviews so whatever questions you have, I’ll answer in author’s notes or something. But, before you ask (and I know one person already did) yes, I’ve read Twilight and I just love the name ‘Renesmee’ because it’s just a strange name, so, I used it. Haha, okay. Well, review please — if you haven’t already!