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The Problem With Potter by We Are Padfoot and Prongs
Chapter 4 : Chapter 4: The Breaking and The Dress
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10

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Seriously broski?  Yeah, that's right!  I pulled made up names into this!  But... two reviewers?  (Thank you tons by the way, you guys are forever amazing!)  I'm hurt guys, I'm hurt.  Well, not really, but you get my drift.  Reviews would be nice.



Anyway, I wanted to include a link to a picture of the mask (those things are REALLY hard to describe right) but unfortunately, those are not allowed.  So you're stuck with my limmited descriptive skills.  Sorry guys.  The dress is based off of one I wore to Homecomig, but much longer.



I'll stop babbling now.






When I woke it was 9 o’ clock on Saturday morning. I sat up and stretched, then swung my legs over the edge of my mattress and slipped out of bed. I rubbed my eyes sleepily and walked into the bathroom to shower. I dressed in a white camisole and dark blue flannel pants with yellow and white criss-crossing lines. After brushing my teeth, I pulled out my wand and dried my hair.



After my morning routine, I went downstairs into our little kitchen, deciding I was too lazy to get dressed and go down to the Great Hall, but motivated enough to make breakfast myself. I was surprised to see Potter already there, scrambling eggs in a large pan. I was even more surprised to see the rest of the Marauders seated at our small kitchen table.



“Geez Potter, you could have given me some warning.”



“Good morning to you too Lily. Yes, I made enough for you as well. It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?”



“You are way too happy in the morning,” I groaned, slumping between Remus and Black, laying my head on the table.



“Good morning my little Muffin!”



“Quit calling me that Black,” I grumbled, not really expecting him to listen. He didn’t.



“I told you I’m not taking no for an answer Muffin!”



I began banging my head on the table. Remus slipped his hand between my forehead and the maple tabletop. “Don’t hurt yourself,” he chuckled. “Otherwise James might just have to carry you to the Hospital Wing with a concussion.” I stopped. But only because I didn’t want Potter anywhere near me. I looked up when I heard a slight bang in front of my head and found a plate of eggs and toast in front of me. They were scrambled with grape jelly on eggs and apple jelly on the toast, just the way I liked them. It was scary how well Potter knew me.



After enduring a morning with the Marauders, I kicked them out so Potter and I could plan some more. We settled most of the final details by 3, so I got dressed in actual clothes and went to find my friends, who were outside.



I saw them before they saw me, so I scooped up a handful of the 8 inches of perfect snowball snow, patting it into a ball. I narrowed my eyes and chose a target. Pulling back and releasing, I sent a perfect white ball hurtling through the air. It hit Mary right between the eyes and exploded.






She spluttered for a minute, then turned towards me. Her eyes narrowed. “THIS. MEANS. WAR!”



“Shit,” I whispered, frozen for a moment. Then I began sprinting in the opposite direction while Mary started forming a snowball of truly massive proportions. She lifted it with her wand as I ran as fast as possible away from her, screaming at the top of my lungs. Marly and Alice just stood there laughing. Fat lot of good it did me. Don’t I have wonderful friends?



Mary won, seeing as she was cheating and using magic. A snowball the size of a basketball slammed into the back of my head, sending me tumbling and thoroughly covering me in snow. I pulled my face out of the snow, spluttering, and glared at her. “We’re not friends right now. We’re fighting.”



Mary grinned, knowing I was joking. Mostly. By the time I got up, tackled her, then got up again, Marlene and Alice had joined in and we were having a snowball free for all. I spotted Amos walking past and ran over, face flushed and laughing. I grabbed his hand and said “Amos, come join our snowball fight.”



He turned towards me with an odd look on his face and I noticed for the first time that there was a girl walking next to him.



“No thanks,” said Amos in a strange tone of voice. “Have fun with your friends.”



He turned to walk away and I called after him “Wait! Aren’t you even going to introduce me to your friend?”



He faced me again. “This is Olivia. Olivia, that’s Lily.”



She giggled unpleasantly and said in a whiny voice, “Enchanted, I’m sure.” Then they simply turned and walked away again, leaving me bewildered in the snow.



I turned and walked slowly back to the snowball fight, rejoining it, but my heart and my mind stayed on the prior exchange. What had that meant?






That was my only warning. Amos avoided me in between classes and ignored me in Potions until December 19th in the Great Hall, the last day before the Ball.



I went to sit with him at breakfast, finally having decided to try and make things right, but he didn’t move over for me and the girl Olivia was sitting next to him with a nasty smile on her face.



“Um, hi Amos. Mind scootching over?” I asked hesitantly.



He turned to me with a cold expression. “Yes, actually. I do mind,” he replied, before turning back to his breakfast as if I didn’t exist.



I gaped a him, then snapped my mouth shut and glared. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?!” I demanded furiously.



He turned around with a heavy sigh. “It means that I’ve grown tired of you, Lily darling.” His voice was bitingly sarcastic. “I’ve decided to replace you with Olivia here. She at least can provide what a man wants.”



I could feel the eyes of the Great Hall on us, but I didn’t care. I laughed harshly. “So you’re dumping me because I have dignity and refuse to have sex with you?” I challenged him.



He leered. “There you go. They always did say you were a smart girl. I knew you’d understand eventually.” He turned his back to me again.



Unable to take it, I grabbed his shoulder and whipped him around, twisting his spine painfully, before punching him with all the force I had, breaking his perfectly straight nose with a sickening snap. “You will always, always regret making me an enemy, for the rest of your pitiful, sniveling existence,” I hissed vehemently, yet with a power that managed to somehow reverberate around the still room. “I will never give up on vengeance and I hope one day you love someone and she leaves you, begging and groveling on the floor, and walks away from you and never, ever comes back. I wish all of this on you, you sick bastard.” I pivoted on my heel and strode angrily towards the door, but whirled at the threshold. “And by the way, you were a terrible kisser,” I called before stalking out into the corner and running to my dorm as soon as I was out of sight.



I barely noticed the dry sobs coming out of my throat as I ignored Ethel’s concerned questions and ran up to my room, slamming the door and locking it. I flung myself down on the bed, chest heaving. I thought we’d had something and that that git had respected me at least a little when I refused to go farther than snogging. I wanted to cry, a little, but I refused myself that. I would not cry over that boy and what he’d done to me. He wasn’t worth it.



A quiet knock sounded at my door. “Lily, can I come in?” Ugh. Potter.



Instead of responding, I walked over to the huge window in my room, slamming it open with a crash that broke half the panes. I didn’t bother to fix it as Potter yelled “Lily, what was that?!” in a panicked voice and trying to open the door, yelling when the spell I’d put on it stung his hand. I ignored him and leaned dangerously far out of the window, whistling high and sharp.



With a heavy flap of wings, I saw Cicatrix rise out of the trees in the Forest and swung first one leg, then the other over the window sill so I was perched precariously on the edge. The thestral rapidly got bigger as she neared, while Potter’s voice got more frantic and his efforts to get in increased. Suddenly, before Cicatrix was getting close enough, Potter managed to break the extensive spells I’d put on the door to keep intruders out. I gave him an annoyed look.



“Lily, what are you doing?” he asked, looking at me like I’d gone insane.



I sighed heavily. “Go away Potter,” I said and edged closer to the empty space as Cicatrix got close.



He saw what I was about to do. “Lily, don’t-!” I jumped and screamed in exhilaration, but I’d barely flown through the air at all before Cicatrix caught me neatly on her back, a trick I’d been teaching her in the Forest, falling from tree branches. We soared off towards the Forest. I was SO cutting classes today.






I came back after dinner, but only because it would get too cold outside. I’d had a small stash of food in a hollow tree by where the thestrals slept, but there were no blankets or anywhere to sleep. So I had Cicatrix drop me back at the top of Gryffindor Tower, girl’s side. I had a plan for revenge, but I needed the girls’ help.



I swung from the roof, kicking the window open and landing catlike on the balls of my feet. Luckily, Mary, Marly, and Alice were all there and they were the only ones there. They immediately rushed me, offering pats on the back and violent plans against Diggory.



“Guys,” I interrupted. “I have a plan. But we’re going to need one badarse dress. I’m going to the Ball. And you’re going to help me knock every guy there flat on their backs. Including the Arsehole.”



Marly clapped her hands. “YES! I enjoy where this plan is headed. The dresses are supposed to be floor length, so that’ll limit our choices, but I think we can make it work. Even on short notice. Let’s go.”



“Right now?” I asked with surprise.



“Why not? Dumbledore gave everyone permission to go to Hogsmeade whenever they wanted to get ready for the Ball.”



I grinned slowly. “Excellent. How much do you guys trust me?”



Alice glanced at me warily. “Why?”



My grin got bigger. “Because we’re leaving through the window.” I walked over and gave the same shrill whistle as earlier, but this time I added three sharp bursts at the end. And when Cicatrix rose obediently out of the trees, three other thestrals joined her in intervals. They’re extremely smart creatures and very easy to train.



The girls had almost the same reaction as Potter as I sat on the window sill, but I assured them it was perfectly fine. I jumped and landed on Cicatrix, asking her to wheel around so I could tell each girl when to jump. They had to give me complete trust because I was the only one who could see them.



“Ok, Mary. JUMP!” Mary screamed sharply as she fell, then changed to shock as she was caught by seemingly nothing. I helped each girl onto their thestral, then we wheeled away and flew towards the village.



We reached Hogsmeade in record time, giving us plenty of time to shop. Except the girls didn’t seem in any particular hurry to get back on the thestrals. I grinned to myself. They’d get used to it. They had to with me. I may not seem it at first, but once you get to know me, I can be pretty reckless. It’s part of my nature, I can just be studious at the same time.



The four of ran excitedly into the nearest shop, Madame Drevat’s Dress Robe Emporium that had opened temporarily just for the occasion. We spent hours looking through the dresses, but struck out. They were not my size or they clashed with my hair or they were just unflattering. Undaunted, we headed on to the next store. But even Marly had to admit defeat when we’d checked the 5 clothes shops in the village. We slumped down on a park style bench as it gently started to snow. I buried my face in my hands and the girls patted my back.



“I need a dress! My entire plan depends on it! And we’ve checked in all the shops and there’s nothing!”



“Wait, that’s it!” exclaimed Alice, jumping up. “We’ve checked all the shops. But there’s one place we haven’t checked yet. Follow me!”



“Alice, what-“



“Just shut up and trust me Lily!” She grabbed my wrist and hauled me up after her, dragging me down a side street down into the heart of the residential part of Hogsmeade. I was too busy keeping my balance to ask questions and Mary and Marly just gave up asking questions after a few impatient Laters.



In just a few minutes, we emerged on a street titled Love Potion Lane and Alice clattered up the steps of a small grey cottage, knocking on the door. “Zahilda!” she called.



“What do you want?” replied an old, creaky, raspy voice as the door opened a crack. I saw a brilliantly blue eye peeking out.



“We need a dress, short notice, for my friend here.”



“Go away, can’t you see I’m busy?” Zahilda snapped, starting to shut the door.



Alice’s hand flew out and stopped it. “Oh come on. Those shops in the shop couldn’t find anything floor length, ready within a few days, for a red head.”



I was about to respond with a sarcastic comment about the allusion to my hair when Zahilda responded. “A red head? A challenge fit for my skills perhaps?” She opened the door another inch, surveying me. Mary shoved me forward and I stumbled a bit before straightening up. “Oh yes, I can see why those bumbling shopkeepers could never find anything for her. Statuesque you are, skinny but with plenty up top.” I blushed as she cackled at my embarrassment. “And your hair! Why not any old fool could just pick a dress off the rack to suit you my dear. Well? What are you waiting for? Get in here!”



The door was flung open and I finally got a decent view of the woman who’d just agreed to get me a dress. As I hurried inside, I took in her startling appearance. Like I saw earlier, she had one startlingly blue eye, but the other was a deep forest green that I’d never seen before. She was an old crone, short to begin with but also hunched over, leaning on a cane as wizened and twisted as she was. Her dress was a plain, but wonderfully cut piece in brown and orange.



She moved surprisingly fast for one so twisted, as she limped past us to lead the way into a sitting room draped with a dazzling array of fabric, with a small, circular, raised platform in the center of the room and a mirror opposite it, with yet more fabric draped over its corners. As for the fabric itself, there was every color I’d ever imagined and some I’d never even dreamed. There was flannel and cotton and leather and silk and satin and velvet and linen and some I couldn’t name. A box in the corner held as many shades of thread as I imagined could be produced and another box held beads of every shape, size, and color. A third contained lace and mesh netting.



Zahilda tottered rapidly around the room, gathering fabric and thread. She looked at me impatiently and waved me onto the platform with a brisk motion. “Well? Get on with it, we haven’t got all night! Strip.”



I looked at her with surprise, but obeyed, going down to my underwear and bra before standing on the platform. First Zahilda pulled out all the silks, satins, and velvets. She discarded the velvet with a noise of disgust and began holding colors up against my hair. Soon the room was thick with flying fabric. The other girls quickly ducked out into to the hall to watch from the relative safety of the doorway.



After narrowing the choices, she held three different fabrics up to me, but chucked them all over her shoulder in the end. But instead of looking irritated, Zahilda now looked extremely excited. “Oh I love a challenge,” she muttered, mostly to herself. “Haven’t had this much fun in years!”



Suddenly, she stopped, gazing at me thoughtfully. “I wonder…”



“Wonder what?” asked Mary.



“Shh!” Zahilda shushed her impatiently, hurrying past her and up the stairs. She returned with a bolt of strangely metallic looking deep blue cloth. “Polyester,” she muttered. “But no one will ever know. I’ve been saving this for a special dress indeed and I believe it is you who is to wear it. Now, specifications?”



“Only that it has to be floor length,” piped up Alice. “Everything else is up to you.”



“AS it should be,” said the woman with a decisive nod. “Now, let’s get started!” She pulled out a wand and began waving it, directing cloth here and scissors there. Two hours passed in a blur of cloth, thread, and decorations all covered with Zahilda’s snippy comments.



By the time the dress was finished, I had had about enough of that woman stabbing me with pis, which I suspect she did just for the fun of it. But eventually she stopped and told me to turn and face the mirror. I did, and let out a gasp.



The fabric let out a delicate rustling with each movement and was floor length as we’d asked. It was strapless, with a straight neckline that clung perfectly, ensuring that I would have to be dragging it up all night. The dress was tight to my waist, where it suddenly flared out into a tiered princess skirt. The top of the bodice was beaded intricately with flowers and vines in silver beads. I turned, and saw a short train out behind me.



“Oh my Godric,” I breathed. “Zahilda, you’re a miracle worker! How much do I owe you?”



“Free,” she responded, smiling for the first time since I’d seen her. “I always give them away to those who admire my work as much as you do.”



I gaped at her. “But how can you give away a- a work of art like this dress for free?” I asked incredulously, brushing my hand over the skirt.



She regarded me thoughtfully. “I could be one of the greatest tailors in the world, to the Minister, to a queen! And yet I choose to stay in my house and sew for those who need it. Why? Because it’s more rewarding than a thousand Galleons. Because ones as high up as those I might create for would only see another servant in a long line of servants. Because they would see clothes, not a masterpiece. Because they do not need a dress for a ball on short notice for a red head with an interesting figure. They need a suit, a robe for a boring meeting, a new dress for a conference they don’t want to attend. I make these clothes for those who need to do something they love. And they’re made by someone who loves what she’s doing. That is why I am giving you your dress for free.”



I stood there, stunned. I had definitely not expected that. I smiled as I changed back into my robes and helped the old woman wrap my brand new dress in white linen to protect it from the rain. And as she turned her back, I managed to hide a few Galleons in her pile of fabric. She’d find it eventually.



I grinned as we ran back into the falling snow. I had a stunning, beautiful, amazing dress for the Ball! “Guys, I still need accessories, including a mask!”



We altered our course, heading back to the first shop, opened specifically for the Ball. We quickly found a silver mask. There was intricate detailing standing out from the top of the mask, extending to my left into two high flourishes of stiff fabric flowers that curved back to point almost horizontally.



We added silver, strappy heels and a small silver purse and paid quickly, before running back to the thestrals. I helped each girl onto their thestral before mounting Cicatrix and instructing them to take us back to Gryffindor Tower. We dismounted and swung into the girl’s dorm window, me handing my purchases in before swinging my own body in.



“Thanks girls, especially you Alice. If you hadn’t taken us to Zahilda, I don’t know what I would have done for a dress.”



They all responded that it was no trouble at all and I gave each of them a hug. Then I gathered up my things and ran lightly through the hallways to my dorm, stowing my dress, shoes, purse, and mask in the back corner and collapsing on my bed. I fell asleep smiling, and for once wasn’t haunted by my mother’s tragic death.

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