Chapter 1 : A name
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"I'd rather go alone than with -- with Eloise Midgen, say."
-- Ronald Weasley, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Pg 344, UK version
She stared at herself.
At the tall yet pudgy body. At the long yet wispy hair framing her round face. She was a myriad of contradictions.
And how she loathed it. Loathed herself.
The soft brown eyes in the glass were scrutinising, filled with contempt at what they beheld. The small eyes, the broad nose, the too-wide mouth. The splattering of bright red pimples over what would have been a creamy white skin.
Eloise Midgen grimaced; the expression was ugly, uglier. She couldn’t even bring herself to look at her distasteful reflection. Her white teeth had been revealed and they didn’t flatter her image either: nothing ever did, could ever do. They glinted slightly in the light from the lamp, the result of a weak attempt by her to redeem her appearance somehow, highlighting the large gap between her two front teeth.
It was lucky, people said, those oblivious, sermonizing people, unaware of how cruelly ironical the remark could be for a self deprecating girl like Eloise. It was lucky, they said, to have a gap between your teeth. That it brought fortunes and happiness to you.
What kind of happiness could it be, Eloise often wondered with a bitter sort of pleasure at finding fault with the world, that came without a smile? For she could not bring herself to smile in company. Could not bear to see the grimaces and staring of people.
Did you break half a tooth? some would ask stupidly, curiosity for meaningless gossip etched on their faces.
Eloise never knew how to respond. Or how to stop the embarrassment to show on her face.
And they said, those people to whom Eloise was perhaps as insignificant as a flobberworm, they said, supremely confident in their arrogance and belief that alone were right and knew the working of the world. They said that a smile was the most beautiful and precious gift you could ever give to someone.
How very wrong and unkindly prejudiced such a thought was when you were Eloise Midgen. Such thoughts were spoken of beautiful people: beautiful, pretty people whose world was a different one altogether. A shiny, pretty, happy world just like those attractive boys and girls she saw in the corridors and in her classes. Eloise had heard often that it was a mirage— that even beautiful people had their own problems. She was no stranger to it— she had seen it in those moving-thingy at Justin’s house. How the main actress had cried when she had chipped a nail.
What did Eloise care about such trivial things?
If I was beautiful, she often dreamed, I wouldn’t. I would be nice to people and help them out. And they wouldn’t look at me with disgust when they saw my face because it would be beautiful.
And she often prayed. To God, like her muggle mother did every Sunday at church. Except she simply knelt beside her bed, when the dormitory was empty, because it was too embarrassing to do so in front of other girls. She knelt on her knees, joined her palms and prayed, prayed to God to let her be beautiful.
I will not be mean. Promise. I will help people, and I will not kick Jenny’s cat when she isn’t looking, and I wouldn’t be rude to mum when she tries to be understanding. I will not be mean like Roger Davies or Fleur Delacour. I would be better than them. I promise, God, I promise. Just make me pretty, please God, please?
She hadn’t kicked Jenny’s cat in a month, even when she ruined her bed sheets. But she wasn’t yet pretty. She believed though, she believed still that there existed a spell to make you beautiful, to make your eyes bigger and your nose longer and straighter. Her pimples were already better due to the bobotuber pus, even though she smelled so bad for days after.
She wanted to belong in that beautiful world. For her, that world was wrapped in wonder and awe. And she wished, oh how she wished, she could be a part of it. She wished it when she saw the Patil twins covertly glancing in her direction and whispering pityingly; she wished it when she overheard Roger Davies tell his friends boisterously that Eloise Midgen was going out with a troll.
A fitting match, Roger had said, laughing raucously along with his friends.
At the time, Eloise had wondered how such a cruel thing could come out of such a beautiful mouth. Her mind had been grappling for an explanation in her bewilderment. But as Eloise had soon learnt, you could get away with anything when you were beautiful. Making cruel remarks as your forte meant being popular.
This disillusion had merely elevated her utmost desire to be one of them. To be stared at with wonder and enchantment like Fleur Delacour. To be asked to the Yule Ball and have a date.
But dreams always remain that- dreams. Those sweet things imagined that are cherished by everyone but never realised or requited- dreams.
And just like that, instead of fulfilled dreams, Eloise had faced pity, disgust and ridicule. She was a topic everybody could rely on to provide entertainment, when other topics of gossip had been exhausted.
Oh, poor girl!
Did you know she blew off her own nose?
I would rather go alone, than say— with Eloise Midgen.
She had simply become a name. It was like stale air, her name. Ever-present and ubiquitous, yet only talked of when you had nothing else to do.
That was what she was, a name, not an entity, at Hogwarts. A name that was synonymous with ugly, hideous with everyone. Nobody had ever bothered to find out what her name actually meant. It meant the sun, glowing brightly and lighting up everyone in its vicinity. Or that’s what her mother had told her. No one else knew...except Justin.
“BROC! COME DOWN!” As if on cue, the voice that carried up the stairs and resonated across her empty dormitory was so loud that she jumped, stumbling a little over a fallen lipstick.
She picked it up and stared at it for a few seconds, her face torn, then replaced it on the dressing table swiftly, unused.
“COMING, JUSTIN!” she called back, as loud as she could, then turned to put on her robes.
She didn’t glance at the mirror again, didn’t need to.
For Justin, she didn’t need to.
Because she was his Broccoli.
A/N: Another fic?
Well, what can I say,I can't resist. :P This is for a challenge in which a type of food has to be important to the main character and my clue was broccoli.
Really short chapter. And no dialogue. But that was how it was meant to be.
This was my VERY VERY first attempt at third person POV, as well my first challenge, so I'm sorta nervous. Reviews would help :)....
^Blatant Hint :P