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The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by leopard
Chapter 1 : Chapter 1 ~ Hair Dye, Death Glares and Ginger Ninjas
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2

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A/N: So I’ve had this idea going around in my head for a while, I’m not sure I’ve done it justice, but here you go. Enjoy!

P.S. Everything belongs to J.K.Rowling, none of it’s mine (apart from Ella).

Chapter 1~ Hair Dye, Death Glares and Ginger Ninja’s

The Dare: To skate board up and down our road three times without falling off or crashing into anyone.

The Punishment for Failure to Complete the Dare: To dye my hair dark brown using one of the muggle hair dying kits that mum uses.

The Complication: I can’t skate board.

Oh I’m sure it will be fine so long as the old lady who lives at number seventeen isn’t walking around.


I glanced once more into the bathroom mirror, gulping rather loudly and holding the box of hair dye in my shaking hands. This was a really bad idea.

Damn my brother Jack and his stupid bet. This was all his fault (except maybe for the fact that I agreed to the bet even though I knew I couldn’t skate board).

I had been doing so well until the German couple reversed out of their driveway without a second glance in their rear view mirror. I rubbed my hand over my bruised bum as I relived the painful memory.

Lucky for me I had been wearing my helmet… and shin pads and knee pads and elbow pads and protective gloves (I wasn‘t going to take any chances).

But unfortunately I couldn’t find a bum pad, hence the sore bum.

“You didn’t have to do this you know Ella,” said Jack trying to not to laugh as he leaned in the door way watching me as I read the instructions on the packet.

“Shut up Jack. Go make someone else miserable for a change,” I muttered as I poured the dark brown dye from Tube A carefully into Tube B and then shook vigorously until it formed an even colour throughout the bottle.

How muggles manage to dye their hair by themselves amazes me- none of the instructions make sense, there are far too many different tubes and nozzles!

“Are we getting an incy wincey bit cranky because someone couldn’t ride a little skate board?” he said in a mock baby voice pinching my cheeks.

“No, and I said shut up! Anyway you will be eating your words in an hour when I have gorgeous brown locks and you are stuck with that blonde mop on top of your head that you call hair.”

I smiled to myself as Jack unconsciously ruffled his hair. He had always been very protective over it. “Now if you will excuse me, I have unfinished business here so you need to get out.”

Jack left grumbling. Honestly, the boy complains about everything! While I’ve had to endure sore bums and having to dye my hair, his hair has been compared to a mop and he thinks he has a hard life.

Returning my attention to my reflection in the mirror, I played absentmindedly with a strand of my hair. This would be the last time it would ever be blonde again (until I got back to Hogwarts and I can switch it back using magic that is).

‘There’s still time to back out you know,’ said a small voice in my head.

‘No,’ I thought ‘Ella Barker does not back out of dares. She will see it through,’ and taking a deep breath, I poured the entire bottle of dye onto my head.


Knock. Knock. Knock.

“Go away,” I mumbled. I was lying in the bath tub with my newly dyed hair sprawled out around my head like some sort of weird halo.

“Ella, you’ve been in there for ages. Will you please come out?” came the anxious voice of my mum.

“I don’t want to come out. Nothing can make me!”

“I’m baking apple pie.”

Well this changes things.

Heaving myself to my feet and pulling up the hood from my jumper over my hair; I opened the door. I didn’t want mum to see it until Jack had looked at the carnage he had wreaked on my poor unsuspecting hair.

Mum was standing outside dressed in a floor length, wavy skirt; a dirt-coloured top with a large ‘peace‘ sing printed on it; and bangles half way up her arms. This odd attire is nothing unusual for her. She likes to thing of herself as a hippy, but it doesn’t really work. She looks more like Professor Trelawney, except without the huge glasses (and with better hair). I’m pretty sure that if she had half the chance she would change her name to ’Flower’ or whatever hippies like call themselves.

Downstairs, Jack was waiting expectantly to see how my new hair looked.

“Well?” I said, lowering my hood. “What do you have to say for yourself? This,” indicating to mess on top of my head, “is all the fault of you and your stupid dare.”

But Jack wasn’t taking the matter quite so seriously. The moment I had lowered my hood, he had burst into uproarious laughter. “Hello… ginger… ninja,” he managed to gasp, eyes watering and clutching his stomach.

“Well I’m glad to see that you feel fully responsible for my current appearance. At least mum wondered what was wrong with me and why I wasn’t coming out of the bathroom,” I snapped.

“That and she really needed to pee,” said Jack still giggling at me.

I shot him a nasty look and flung myself down at the kitchen table to await my mum’s reaction.

There are several words I could use to describe mum’s face when she saw what had become of her daughters hair, and pleased is not one of them. “What…what happened?” she stammered.

“The box said ‘Chocolate Brownie!’ ” I wailed clutching my hair as my mum tried to soothe me by cutting me a large slice of pie. But not even pie could fix me now. I was gone, lost, a hopeless case, I should just thrown in the stocks with a sign above my head reading ‘Ella Barker, the girl who can’t even dye her hair without screwing it up’.

Instead of the luscious brunette hair the model was sporting on the front of the box, my hair had turned entirely ginger. Not one strand of brown hair to be seen on my head. Damn advertising companies and their photo shopping skills.

“Darling, I’m sure it will be fine. It’s hardly noticeable.” said my mum sounding as though she did not believe herself one bit. I still hadn’t touched my pie.

Hardly noticeable? It’s fucking ginger?”

“The box should have said ‘Autumn Leaf ’” said Jack laughing at his own joke.

Ha ha you’re hilarious. Note the use of extreme sarcasm. I seriously don’t get what all these girls at Hogwarts see in him. And I shot him a death glare that Draco Malfoy would have been proud of, which shut him up- for once.

“I’m sure no one at school will mind,” said mum again trying to be the voice of reason. The only problem with this was that my mum didn’t understand. She was a muggle, as was my dad, and therefore had never set foot inside Hogwarts. She didn’t understand that not only would I be the laughing stock of the school until I could get someone to fix it for me, but also, James ‘The King of Almighty Pratness’ Potter would use it against me for the rest of my entire fucking life.

And no, I don’t think I’m being over dramatic at all thank you very much.

Ohh Jack’s going to pay for this.

A/N: So there you go. I hope you enjoyed it.
And yes I did try to dye my hair dark brown once… and yes it did go ginger.
Please review, I’d love to hear what you thought.
Love leopard






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