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Chapter Four: “Mercy! For the sake of Christmas, Mercy! You’ve got to stop now.” Amelia was crying and laughing through her tears. Alice Moore was sprawled on her bed, laughing helplessly and Sophie Burns the fourth seventh year they shared the room was watching absolutely aghast. “I’m sure I can get it right.” Lily said miserably. “Before I’m entirely bald?” Amelia yelped. Already her hair was just above her shoulders, piles of her formerly long locks forming a hairy pool at her feet. “Stop. We’ve got to figure out what to do.” Alice spoke up once she’d regained her breath. “I think I know someone who can help.” “Madame Pompfrey?” Amelia wailed. To say the very least, the haircut had thus far not been a success. It sounded like such a simple spell in the magazine but whenever Lily pointed her wand at Amelia’s head the result was always crooked. “No. Megan.” Alice announced and noticed the uneasy looks of the girls in the room. “Oh honestly, she’s perfectly nice. It isn’t her fault she’s got a bust the size of my backside and she understands everything there is to know about makeup and hair. Shall I get her?” There seemed to be no alternative, Amelia miserably nodded her agreement. Alice flipped gracefully off of her bed and headed to the hall outside. Sometimes it was easy to see that she was one of the top Quidditch players. “I’m so unbelievably sorry, Amy!” Lily said again. “It’s okay. I agreed.” Sniffed Amelia and then she burst out laughing. “Even after you mucked up the eyesight charm the first time I agreed. Lily, has anyone ever told you that you have exceptionally small pores?” The remaining girls doubled over with laughter and did not recover until Alice returned with a smiling Megan Hogan in tow. “What on earth did you do to her and why?” Megan said in astonishment. “I was trying to give her a new look.” Lily said quietly. “It’s new alright.” Megan eyed Amelia’s head and added, “Lily, when you cut hair and it isn’t going well for goodness sake stop before there’s a disaster.” Normally Lily would have been rather put out at being lectured by a sixth year but in this case she knew full well the girl was right. “Is there anyway to fix it?” “Oh of course,” Megan said cheerfully. “Don’t worry hon, we’ll have you fixed up proper in no time. Look at those cheekbones of yours! A shorter cut will be just the thing for you.” Immediately Amelia’s woebegone face looked cheerier. Megan stepped back, surveyed the damage and with a flick of her wand and a muttered incantation, it was fixed. Where uncontrollable waves had been that morning, there was a decidedly smart looking cut with a sharp layer landing directly below Amelia’s cheekbones. “What do you think?” Megan asked in a friendly voice. “Well, that’s the other problem, I’ve got a bit of a problem with my eyesight….I can’t see the entire cut, but I can see the length…in fact I can see individual strands of hair.” “You messed about with her vision too?” Megan asked. “Was it the myopia spell?” So much for pride. “Yes,” Lily admitted, “I was trying to make it so that she didn’t have to wear glasses.” “It’s okay, I know the spell. I’d have to wear glasses myself if my mum hadn’t taught me how to fix my vision each day.” And with that she plopped down next to Amelia, quickly reversed the spell and instructed her in the fine art of vision correction. Within five minutes Amelia had reversed the spell and successfully executed it herself several times. Amelia stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her three roommates seemed equally astonished. “Look at you, aren’t you the stunner?” Megan said happily and indeed, Amelia was stunning. She was tall, nearly 5’10” and normally she looked like a long legged spider but suddenly her long neck looked graceful, something about the shorter hair and removal of the glasses has made her look proportionate. “Thank you Megan.” Lily said humbly. “Oh you’re welcome, no problem.” She was a cheerful girl, half Muggle herself and in the off hours from school she like to run around in jeans and a T-shirt. The blue cotton of her shirt strained against her large bust and it was rather hard not to look. “Oh look now, you’re all staring at my chest. I hate these ruddy things, tried every reduction spell I know but they never seem to get any smaller.” “Could I try?” Lily asked and felt hideously awkward. Megan’s eyes were the brightest blue Lily had ever seen as she whipped around and stared intently into her face. “Alright, sure, have a go then.” Lily blushed scarlet, went to her trunk and hauled out large book. She began thumbing quickly through the pages. “What’s that?” Asked Alice. Lily mumbled something in reply so Alice asked again, “I’m sorry, didn’t quite catch that.” “It’s a spell book I got in Diagon Alley.” Lily said and wondered if you could actually catch fire from blushing. “It’s a potions book, I bought it because I was considering…uh…certain enhancements.” “You mean to tell me you were going to go mucking about with your figure?” Megan asked. “What in all the stars would make you do such a thing? You’ve got a perfect figure just the way you are. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Better than me, that’s for certain. The only thing I’m sure of is being stared at and the comfortin’ knowledge that I’ll never drown.” Pleased but still blushing, Lily thanked her quietly. Why didn’t she know more about this friendly girl? “You never asked me.” Megan said softly and Lily gave a start, she hadn’t spoken aloud. “Sorry, don’t mean to startle you, I’ve got…we’ll….some call it the sight, I just think of them as flashes. Sometimes I can tell what people are thinking. Sometimes I know what’s going to happen before it comes about.” All the girls in the dorm room had become rather quiet. “Is that so?” Alice finally broke the silence. “Sure enough. Can’t help it, it runs through my mum’s side of the family.” Megan answered easily. “Unless I hold someone’s hand I don’t get much, just the occasional thought here and there.” “Alright then, tell us something about each of us.” Alice asked eagerly perhaps with a hint of challenge in her voice. “It doesn’t always work like that, but I’ll try.” Megan said easily and she crossed the room and held Alice’s hand for a moment. Her bright blue eyes became hazy and her voice dropped, “Forget about that Sirius Black, it’s Ferngrow in Hufflepuff you want to concentrate on. He’s a good lad he’d never hurt you. Oh, and that Alex was a two-timer from the beginning, you’re best shut of him.” Alice looked as if she’d been slapped for a moment and then yanked her hand back. “Thank you.” She said stiffly but there was an edge in her voice. “Try me!” Sophie crowded in close to Megan and the younger girl took her hand. In the same tone she began, “It …it’s dangerous what you’re thinking of doing. He’s a nice boy but …you could start a baby easily and then you’d have to get married, wouldn’t you? Best to let him go for now, he’ll be there after you graduate, honestly.” Sophie gasped and yanked back her hand. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” But her face said otherwise. The other girl’s in the room knew that she dated Forest a boy who had left Hogwarts two years ago and now worked in Diagon Alley. They had seen her crying after reading the post sometimes. Megan looked around the room expectantly suddenly the entire thing seemed like a dare. Amelia swallowed heavily and then said, “Fine, now me.” Her eyes were once again bright as she crossed the room to Amelia and took hold of her hand. Her eyebrows drew together as she concentrated and when she looked at Amy they were a stormy gray. “It’ll be fine hon, just fine. There’s a secret there, with this one you like but you’ll be able to handle it. Don’t go too far from him though when the Order starts.” All of the occupants of the room suddenly had chills. Lily knew it was her turn and she was shaking in fright. “You don’t have to if you’d rather not.” Megan said cheerfully. “What do you know about your own future?” Lily asked suddenly because she was convinced that this girl actually could see things that were to come. “Nothing. Nothing at all. That’s something I can’t see no matter how hard I try.” She didn’t seem sad about it though. “Well, I can tell you something that’s in your future, a reduction potion.” Lily briefly turned the book towards her, indicating the potion she’d found. “It should take an hour to brew, want to help me?” Megan smiled at her gratefully and readily agreed to give it a try. After all she said, what could go wrong? The worst thing she could think of was them getting bigger and really, all that meant was she’d be hard pressed to find adequate bras. Already the one she had to wear had back support and it “makes me look like I’m waving my chest in everyone’s faces!” she finished with a cheery laugh. All of the girls in the room quickly tried to busy themselves with homework or the like lest this cheerful, kindhearted and rather frightening girl were to somehow know that they’d all thought that at some point or another. :::::::: “Oh do be quiet Myrtle!” Lily yelled at the ever present ghost as she and Megan sat brewing the potion in the bathroom. “You’d like me to try, wouldn’t you?” Megan asked, leaning a bit closer to Lily. “The potion?” Lily asked evasively. “Of course.” “No. You know what I mean.” Megan held out her hand and Lily, after a brief hesitation placed her own in the younger girl’s. The eyes clouded again and Lily felt her grip tighten almost painfully. She heard Megan gasp after a moment. “What is it?” Lily said anxiously. “It’s nothing. Nothing really.” Megan said, her voice perfectly normal. “When will that be ready?” “Right about now actually.” Lily said and ladled out the bright pink liquid into a cup. “Don’t worry, I’m much better at Potions than I am at hairstyles.” “I trust you.” Megan said and happily downed the contents. “Hmm. Peppermint, makes it sort of pleasant, doesn't it.” The two girls sat companionably on the floor for a minute or two waiting for the potion to take effect. Suddenly with a hiss of what sounded like steam, Megan’s estimable bust began to shrink. By the time it was done she was still a bit larger than most girls, but she looked decidedly less top heavy. “Oh, look at that!” Megan said preening in the mirror with pleasure. “I can walk into rooms without my chest arriving five minutes before I do! Is it permanent?” “Yes, unless you take the antidote potion.” Lily answered with a smile, although she was distracted. “Megan…” “Get out of my bathroom! Come to mock me in death have you? It’s all a joke to you, but I’ve been dead, dead for years and no one cares!” Myrtle moaned. “Yes, yes, Myrtle. Go ponder that why don’t you?” Lily said heartlessly. “What were you going to say?” Megan asked, but Lily could tell from her face that she knew. “Tell me what you saw…please.” Lily asked. Megan glanced down at her reduced bust and back up at Lily in gratitude. Suddenly she bent and kissed the older girl briefly on the cheek. “I saw that you’ll know more love in this life than most people can ever even dream about.” Megan said, and her eyes were clouded with tears this time. “I saw that there are hard things ahead for you, but for the rest of your life you’ll never, ever be alone.” Lily gulped down tears, it was such a lovely thought. “But you saw something else.” Megan looked away and then back, “Yes, I did but I can’t tell you everything Lily, it was all a bit hazy.” She began gathering Lily’s potion equipment together and helping her straighten up. “Please?” Lily asked, surprising herself. Once again the younger girl met her gaze without difficulty. “Fine then.” Megan’s eyes never broke contact with her own. “Tell me this, Lily Evans, have you ever given much thought to marrying young? Because you should, you really, really should.” Lily knew that whatever Megan had seen, she wouldn’t tell her any more about it. ::::::::::: In the tower room that evening was moving along a bit more slowly. “So….” Sirius asked as he raised his eyebrows. There was no use trying to beat around the bush here, the Marauders would all know by lunchtime tomorrow. “We talked. Actually, I made an ass out of myself and then we talked for a long while.” James said with a grin. “Ah and by the look on fine young Mr. Potter’s face, I would say the talk went well!” Sirius crowed. “Congratulations, another fine conquest for Prongs!” “She isn’t a conquest.” There was something steely and dangerous in James’s voice. “Of course she isn’t.” Remus answered in a calm tone. “She’s Lily and you’ve like her for ages. Besides, Padfoot, it isn’t as if old Prongs here has been racking up notches on a bedpost or something. He’s taken a bunch of girls out for butterbeers or tea.” “Moony, is it the werewolf in you that makes you want to take all of the salacious fun out of dating?” Padfoot asked. “Possibly.” Remus answered with a mischievous grin. “Fine then, Potter here’s hardly ever been kissed, although we all know that he has been. Hell, didn’t you even have a girl vomit on you once on a date? It’s a proud tradition of enthralling females for our young James.” Sirius never liked to take things too seriously, unless there was possible suspension on the line. “For the record, she threw up near me, not on me…and it was only because she was overwhelmed by my masculine appeal.” James grinned. “Right you are Prongs.” Sirius replied. “But on other matters, the first Hogsmeade trip is coming up and even though we can sneak into town when we like it’s still a good opportunity to hang around in the Three Broomsticks trying to become corrupted youth.” “Oh, about that…” James began. “Let me guess, you have a date with Lily.” Remus grinned at him. “Now that you mention it, yes actually.” “Fine then, we’re forsaken for a pretty redhead.” Sirius said philosophically. “We should all get dates and go in a group!” “Hmm, let me think about that, how about…No!” James said. “It’s bad enough that I hang about with you ruffians I don’t think I need to subject the poor girl to you on our first date. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that would make it our last date.” “That’s an excellent point, James.” Sirius said. “We’ve been known to drive off the hordes before this.” His grin was huge. “Fine then, it will just be the three of us then, having fun without our valiant leader Prongs who has forsaken us for some green-eyed damsel.” “Speaking of damsels…” Remus began. “Oh no, not you too?” Sirius said with mock concern. “No actually, about you. I know someone you ought to consider asking.” Remus was being serious again. His remarkably good looking friend sighed. “Is that so?” He finally asked. “Yes,” Remus seemed lost in thought, “I think you should ask Meg Hogan.” “That sixth year with the cosmetics shop on her face and what appear to be floatation devices in her robes?” Sirius laughed. “Why on earth would I want to ask her anywhere.” “I don’t know, there’s something about her. She seems like she’d be worth getting to know.” Remus answered. “That a fact? Then ask her yourself, Moony.” Sirius said. “Actually, I would but I’m not the one she’d like to go anywhere with, you are.” “Oh really? Because I could have sworn she was giving Prongs here the eye this morning.” Sirius huffed. “No, she didn’t seem to be to me.” Remus said quietly. “I think she’s just friendly and smiles at everyone, male or female.” “So what makes you think that she’s interested in me?” Sirius was interested in knowing despite himself. “Because you’re the only one she bothers to look at when she’s not smiling. You’re the one she looks at when she appears to be thinking.” Remus had an odd tone in his voice. “Right you are then, Moony. If it means so much to you, I’ll be happy to ask the young lady to Hogsmeade.” Sirius was staring at his friend, unsure of what he was saying exactly. “Good, I think she’d be good for you.” “Heavens forefend.” Sirius answered with a smile. “What about your Wormtail? Who’ve you got your eye on since we’re all dating up for Hogsmeade.” “Me? No one. I thought I stay here and study actually.” Peter sniffed in disapproval. Hogan was a halfbreed, Evans a Muggle, what were his friends coming to anyway? “Suit yourself.” Sirius said and then groaned loudly. “Quidditch practice tomorrow evening. Don’t forget that we’ll need to stuff ourselves stupid at lunch to be fueled for the pitch, Prongs.” “Oh, about lunch…” “Let me guess, Evans.” Sirius said, but without any malice. “We have lost him lads, we have lost him.” :::::::::::

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