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My Reflection by Astrid Elisabeth

Format: Novel
Chapters: 55
Word Count: 115,470

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Dumbledore, Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Voldemort
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 10/03/2004
Last Chapter: 07/02/2005
Last Updated: 01/01/2012

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Lily Evans felt her leotard hug her curves. Her hands were placed in third position and her feet in fourth. She was standing there, prepared to turn and perform a hopefully triple pirouette in front of her audience. The smile of James Potter was on her mind. After all, it was because of him she was standing on this stage. She hated it, but that was the truth. This is a different James/Lily story with quite a few twists. Hope you like it! Banner by Iced_Cherriez.

Chapter 39: Back to Ballet

Chapter Thirty-nine, Back to Ballet

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Learning to walk set you free.
Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all:
to express your whole self, the person you are.
- Melissa Hayden

I found my pointe shoes, placing the pads on my toes before pulling the hard shoes onto my foot. I led the ribbons in circles around my ankle before tying them in a neat knot which I hid under the ribbon. I found hair-pins to place my hair up in the neat bun on the back of my head, before trotting into the ballet-studio.

I was again wearing my navy ballet leotard, and it felt like it had been years since last time. It felt like it was years even since Halloween, because so much had happened. It felt like ages ago I’d felt the refreshing smell of the ballet-studio renewed my senses.

“Back to the old grind, guys,” Lindsay said as we were all gathered together on the floor around her. “Ballet exams are coming up in May, and we have a lot of polishing to do.”

A tired sigh was heard from the group of dancers, and Lindsay looked amused.

“You’ve been through this before, so you know I’ll push you hard. There’s only one thing to do, and that is to be determined and confident.”

Lindsay sent me a brief glance before continuing.

“You know this is your last exam, for grade eight. Let’s start by the barre?”

We all stood up, lining up by the barre to do the fist exercise, Pliés.

I could feel my body being weaker than it had been. My stomach muscles trembled as I kept my posture straight, pressing my legs down in the familiar diamond-form. I tensed up all the muscles in use, yet still kept my shoulders and arms relaxed. It was starting to get routine, but I knew the first weeks would be a struggle.

As all the barre exercises were finished, we moved into the centre, bodies warm.

“I think we’ll go through the study-dances, because they are very important. A high percent of your mark relies on this solo-dance, so it is important to put a lot of work into it. Who wants to start?”

She didn’t look surprised as nobody made any sight of wanting to dance a solo they had learnt just recently.

“Ok, I get the picture. We’ll do it all together.

When the almost horrible ballet-lesson was over, I felt myself being in a good mood. I had really done an effort, and my body thanked me for being in proper exercise again. I grabbed my water bottle, emptying it in one shot. As I left the studio, I smiled mysteriously as I saw who was there.

“There’s a face I think I’ve seen before? But from where?” I joked.

James grabbed me around the waist, swinging me slightly around before setting me down again. He placed a gentle kiss on me. Lindsay didn’t miss this.

“Got yourself a boyfriend, Lily?” she grinned, coming out from the studio. “Though I must admit that after all the hours you’ve spent on complaining about Mr Potter, here… I’m surprised you ended up together.”

“Oh… Lily never really hated me, did you now, love?” James said sweetly.

I raised my eyebrow in amusement.

“I guess not,” I laughed. “Can’t resist the Potter-charm, can I?”

James placed another kiss on my lips.

“Well, congratulations then, Lily!” Lindsay said before returning to the studio for another class.

I looked apprehensively at Sirius as they prepared to leave. Peter, Sirius and James had warm black cloaks around them, ready to go out into the bitter cold evening. They looked like this was routine, like it was not dangerous at all. And to some extent, they had to be.

But I wasn’t used to watch them set out into the night like this, disguised as animals. I didn’t want them to go, something wanted me to have them stay.

I looked over at James, searching for some kind of weakness. I found none.

“So let me get this straight. You’re going out there to the Shrieking Shack, to ‘meet’ Remus as a werewolf to keep him company? So he won’t be lonely?”

“Don’t worry, Lily. We’ve been doing this for years, we’re pretty used to it,” he said soothingly.

Sirius came close, looking down into my eyes as James went to get his invisibility cloak. His gaze was gentle, yet determined.

“It isn’t exactly easy for Remus to be a werewolf, Lily, as you might understand…”

I felt like a little, worthless, clueless child as he said that.

“I know that… I’ve known just as long as you! I know he struggles and it tears him apart,” I hissed at him.

He winced slightly as I attacked him in that way, but kept calm.

“He can sense our presence, we know this even though he doesn’t remember any of it. Just that he knows that we’re there for him when he transforms has made the whole world of a difference to him.”

“I understand,” I said, slightly less aggressive.

“It’s about loyalty, Lily. Loyalty to your true friends.”

“And you’ve never been caught?” I whispered.

Sirius lowered his head, not meeting my eyes.

“Yes, we have.”

“Then you shouldn’t,” I settled.

“We were put back in place as we tricked old Snivellus once. We didn’t get any punishment, McGonagall said it was enough just to live some time in regret and shame. And we did.”

I gasped. “When was this? You shouldn’t have….”

Sirius broke me off.

“We know very well, Lily. It was in fifth year. We knew the risks. And we took it. And we’ve learned our lesson, Ok?” he said firmly, almost annoyed.

Like he felt offended by the fact that I doubted him, or didn’t believe in him.

“O-Ok… just go. Where is Remus now, by the way?” I asked.

“He went out early. At this time of the year, the moon is up almost twenty-four seven. It takes all his energy, so he insisted on us coming later.”

I nodded.

“Can I come?”

Sirius sniggered slightly at this suggestion.

“Really? I didn’t think you’d have the nerve, Lily. If you want to be chased around and bit, sure, I would recommend it. But I would suggest you stay here and finish your homework.”

“Don’t get all full of yourself! Even if you fly out in danger every month, it doesn’t mean you’re any better than anyone else!” I hissed. “I’m not your daughter or anything. You can’t boss me around.”

Sirius suddenly became quiet. He retracted himself, walking over to Peter. I stood there, just looking at his hurt ego. He had deserved it. Sirius was great, but sometimes he could be so self-centred it was disgusting.

“So.. can I come?” I said carefully.

James jumped down from the stairs.

“If you hurry. You can join until we come to the Womping Willow, then you’ll have to return. I don’t want anything to happen to you,” he said, kissing my forehead in a hurry. “Go get your cloak.”

The weather was getting warmer, and the snow was almost gone. As we hurried down the grounds, through the slippery wet snow, I shivered from the cold wind. Peter didn’t say much, he just stayed somewhat behind.

As Sirius saw I was freezing, he put a warming hand around me as we walked quickly down to the big wind tree. James was many feet ahead.

“You Ok?” Sirius asked gently, warming my hands.

“Yeah, I’m perfect,” I answered.

“Sorry for being kind of… overprotective. I know you’re strong, really.”

“It’s fine, I’m glad you apologised,” I smiled, seeing my breath turn into damp as I spoke.

“Lovely, Evans,” Sirius said seriously as we kept walking.

“What, I’m suddenly Evans now?” I said in disbelieve.

Sirius sniggered.

“Just wanted to see how you reacted. That whole section got so sentimental I had to do something.”

“You’re hopeless!” I exclaimed.

“I know,” he said proudly.

As we finally reached the tree, I watched what was happening next. Peter found a very small place in the tree, pressing what seemed to be a button or something. Then an opening revealed itself, and it was time for them to creep down into the dark.

“See you later, Lily,” James said, getting ready to climb down.

“Can’t you turn into the stag?” I suddenly stopped him. “Just for a second? I want to see it again…”

James rolled his eyes, but finally turned into the white stag I remembered him as.

Sirius surveyed him for a second.

“He is kind of a good looking stag, I’ll agree on that,” he figured.

I smiled, looking into the hazel eyes of the animal.

“Can I… Can I have a ride? Just a short one? Before you leave?” I said softly.

James just stood there, doing nothing but blinking.

“Oh, look at him! He really wants you to, but he doesn’t want to admit he’s going soft. He wants to play strong and brave now, really…” Sirius said with a smirk.

James seemed a little annoyed by Sirius’s comment, but signalised to me that I should get on with a move of his head.

I climbed onto his back with a little difficulty, holding onto his silky neck.

Then he ran off with me clinging onto him. He took a few turns around the tree, then a little longer away before Sirius was starting to get impatient.

“Enough, now! You can have a romantic ride in the moonlight some other time!”

I slipped off James as Sirius and Peter turned into their animal-forms. Sirius was a shabby black dog, but he seemed kind when he didn’t flash his teeth at me. Peter was almost impossible to spot, but I reckoned he was around in the wet grass somewhere.

“Be careful,” I whispered in James’s ear, kissing his pearly neck before he transfigured back to himself. They went down under the Womping Willow, and I couldn’t help feeling a little scared as they disappeared out of my vision.

I was extremely cold when I came back to the common room. Hillary sat in a chair chatting to a chap, so I didn’t want to disturb her. I retired to my dormitory, deciding to tidy my wardrobe or something to make time pass quicker.

‘What’s the use? They won’t be back until tomorrow morning…’ I thought with a sigh.

When I entered the room, the first thing I noticed was that the window was open. I hurried over to close it, and shuddered as the wind swept past me. Second I noticed there was a letter on my bed. I looked curiously at it, maybe it was an update from mum?

But as I took it in my hands, I realised the letter within was hidden by the same type of envelope another letter I had received had. A letter I got on Christmas Day. I opened it, drawing out the paper smelling of fresh flowers. It reminded me of summer.

‘Dear Lily,

Not long ago you got my first letter. It said… that I was in love with you. What I didn’t know, was that someone else had captured your heart. I was hoping I would be the one to hold it tight.

I can see that you are happy with the Quidditch-captain, James Potter, and if that’s the way you want to stay, than I won’t prevent it. As long as you’re happy. But know this; if he ever hurts you, I’ll be waiting around. My door is always open. All you have to do is enter…

- Still thinking of you’

Who was this secret admirer? He sounded so noble and loving, and I couldn’t help but die out of curiosity for wanting to know who it was. I must obviously know him, because he said in his first letter that he hoped to talk to me soon.

‘How exiting!’ I thought against my will. ‘Someone I know, someone I walk past maybe everyday writes me these unsigned letters. I wonder who it might be?’

Even though it was intriguing to get these fancy letters, I knew the writer was right… I was happy with James. He was all I ever dreamed of.