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Hair of Brightest Gold by rosebomb

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 992

Rating: 12+
Warnings: No Warnings

Genres: Fluff, General, Angst
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew, OtherCanon
Pairings: James/Lily, Snape/Lily

First Published: 01/10/2009
Last Chapter: 01/15/2009
Last Updated: 01/15/2009

Thanks to Colorkiller @ TDA

When Lily Evans was fifteen, she dyed her titian hair blonde.

Everybody noticed.

Chapter 1: Hair of Brightest Gold
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AN: This is my first-ever fic posted, so please let me know what you think!

When Lily Evans was fifteen, she charmed her hair blonde. It was the year that James Potter began his persistent pursuit of her and, as she didn't yet know that the campaign was to be fought long and tirelessly, she hypothesized that the reason for this odd fixation was her hair - it was the only thing he had ever really commented on with any consistency in the years previous. So she changed it.

When her friends asked her why (and ask they did, as her titian hair had always been a part of her upon which they looked, if not with envy, then at least interest and no little admiration) Potter was the reason she gave them. She would never admit it to herself, but perhaps the real reason for the sudden change was desire to be a little more normal, a little more ordinary. Red (not auburn, not orange, but vibrant, fiery red) was bright, stood out. Blonde was more...subdued.

Mary had been astonished, of course, at the change when it was first revealed, perhaps a minute? less? after the completion of the spell. It hadn't taken Lily very long, but on the other hand it was Transfiguration, an area in which she was no prodigy, although reasonably proficient. Once over her surprise, Mary had been unendingly supportive in that hesitant way girls often have, where they do not wish to give a particularly partisan view in the case that offence could be taken either way. So she told Lily that while she did love the red, the blonde also became her well. She was a good friend like that, Lily reflected. It was nice to have the backup before she went 'public'.

She never did find out if Mary had been telling the truth that day.

Sirius Black was probably the first one to see the difference, or at least to recognize her when she came down to the common room. He had been playing Wizards Chess with Remus, whose back was to her. Gobsmacked for a few seconds, he then broke into inexplicable laughter, and Lily was momentarily offended, until she realized that she shouldn't take anything Black said or did to heart anyway, because he was a prat, and resolved not to care. Peter, sitting between the other boys, didn't even recognize her, looking bemusedly between her and Sirius until the latter was able, between guffaws and the odd bark or two, to explain the situation, at which point Remus turned around. Spotting her, he pursed his lips slightly, tilting his head, and Lily understood this to mean that he didn't mind it, but that he thought red suited her better. She fiddled with her earlobe in response, silently letting him know that it was probably only temporary anyway, and he gave a shrug and returned to his game.

When James Potter found out, he was uncharacteristically quiet for a while, and made no comment until the end of breakfast, when he asked her what she was going to blame that temper on now, eh? But that night, after classes had finished, he went down to the edge of the Forest and set fire to an old stump, because the fire was the same colour as her real hair, and even though it had only been one day he missed it. When he finally felt like extinguishing the flames and returning to the common room, he was gruff and quiet all evening until Remus realized what was eating him, and told him quietly that 'it's only temporary, you know'. James nodded, and the next day complimented her in much his usual fashion and enjoyed the new view until the holidays.

It was a few days before Severus Snape met Lily the Blonde, and when he did, at one of their regular meetings down by the lake, he made caustic remarks that were meant to make her understand that he didn't care what her hair looked like. But he heard none of her remonstrances about his companions that day, responding in monosyllables to the complaints he had heard so many times before. Instead he watched the new way the dying sunlight illuminated her hair, the halo no longer a burnished ochre, but a bright gold, and hoped that this change was not because of the fact that not once in his admittedly short, but still illustrious, career as a ladies' man had Potter ever dated a redhead.

When Lily got home for Christmas, her mother pretended to like the change, because that is what mothers do. But when Lily came down with red hair a few days later, she was glad, because she already had one daughter with blonde hair, and Lily had never been like Petunia.

Petunia was the last one to see Lily with hair the colour of cornsilk, and even then she didn't really see Lily.

She saw herself, herself with longer, thicker, shinier hair and green eyes with an indefinable sparkle, with the ability to make their parents beam with pride about something they didn't understand, with the elusive glimmer of something more. She shook herself, reminding herself that it wasn't real, that it was just Lily's hocus-pocus, and tried to forget the sight of magic, of Petunia, witch. So she screeched at Lily for what felt like hours and shut herself up in her room, muttering the word freak to herself like a mantra until she could no longer remember why.

And because Lily was only fifteen, and therefore underage, she climbed out of the window and down the trellis, and then she ran as fast as she could to the nearest supermarket to buy a packet of the brightest Muggle dye she could find. Only James Potter and Severus Snape ever noticed that her hair was just that little bit brighter for a few months after that.