To dance is to be out of your self,
larger, more powerful, more beautiful.
This is power, it is glory on earth
and it is yours for the taking.
~Agnes de Mille
“Lily, no!” Anna stopped doing her short brown hair and tried to hold me back.
I turned to face her, the disappointment was clearly all over her face. She had grabbed my wrist, and wouldn’t let go.
“Lily … you promised,” she complained. “Please, don’t go!”
I stopped up and hugged her. I could smell her perfume, her hair felt soft against my skin.
“I’m sorry, but this is my decision. I need it.”
“What do you think Hillary will say? She’ll go mad!”
I struggled to suppress a laugh.
“You’re overreacting! It’s not that big of a deal!” I said to Anna.
“I know… But you were doing so well. Please? Drop it. For me?” She pleaded. She folded her hands and looked at me with puppy-eyes.
“Sorry ...” I whispered.
“Lindsay? Are you here?” I yelled into the big, empty dancing studio.
She wasn’t there yet. Noon on a Sunday was probably too early even for a busy dance teacher. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and went for the changing room.
It was empty as well. I was so relieved. For a moment I imagined Hill’s angry face yell that she had the studio for ‘personal training’ that day or something along those lines.
I quickly changed into dancewear, but I chose to let the pointe shoes have an extra day’s rest. Instead I found some white dance slippers and put them on my feet. I just hoped Lindsay would be there soon. I wanted to get back.
When I entered the studio I suddenly wondered why I had put on these clothes in the first place. All I wanted was to find Lindsay and ask for some extra lessons for the next three weeks. I wasn’t really intending to dance.
‘I know you want to..’ I heard a voice inside my head whisper.
I let my inner voice lead me for once. I went over to a little cupboard by the mirrors and found Lindsay’s things. With a tap of my wand I changed a little flat thing into a little box, and a little squeaky voice from within spoke.
“Please select a song,” it said automatically.
I looked over the list on the wall and spoke clearly:
“Number eight, Sunrise Colours.”
Three seconds later the music floated in the room. No speakers or disks like I had at home, the music simply existed. It was great, because it was so much easier to empathise with the music this way. You were totally surrounded by it, you were in it.
I felt my spirit lift me, and I danced.
I didn’t think, I just danced. It was as if I could actually imagine the colours of the sunrise, feel the morning air and breathe it.
I felt the music.
And I knew I did everything right. There was nobody there to see me. Nobody there to judge my dancing. Nobody there to decide if it was nice or ugly movements.
With my eyes closed, I continued to dance my heart out. I felt every note and every chord in the music, I smelt it. I let the music decide if my movements were soft or hard, slow or fast, high or low.
I felt free.
The leotard on my body helped my body become flexible. The tights made my legs longer and softer. The shoes on me feet made them stretch. My own breath gave it life together with the music and my limbs.
I felt naked, in a free way. There was nothing but my body and the sound of the piano playing. Nothing else. The music was the inspiration and my body was the art.
I didn’t do art. I was art.
I felt the energy flow through me and give me life. I was alive.
I prepared, and turned. I didn’t care how many turns I did, or how fast, I just knew I turned and felt my body spin into emotion.
I was walking along the corridor on the third floor, on my way back to Hufflepuff’s common room. But something stopped me. I heard music. Where did that come from? I followed the sound, trying to figure out where it came from. After a good two minutes I found out.
Of course it came from one of the dancing studios. I should have figured that out long ago. But I didn’t hear that dance teacher’s voice from anywhere. In fact, I couldn’t see anybody around. Could she have left the music on? I wanted to get back to my friends, but out of politeness I decided to turn it off. But what if there was someone in the studio after all? That could turn out truly embarrassing. So I decided to use my wand.
I muttered some words under my breath and flicked it at the door the music came from. The door at once became invisible from my side, but to whomever was in the room, the door would look just as solid.
My eyes widened when I saw who was in there.
It was Lily Evans. Alone.
She was wearing dance clothes, the blue leotard glued to her slender body. Her hips were beautifully set off. Her feet lived their own life, it was as if they were painting a picture, and the music was what it was painted on. I was stunned.
I had seen Evans dance before, and she had always amazed me, but this was like nothing I had seen her perform before. I could have been sitting there for hours just watching her move. I felt the desire grow up in me again. Maybe I’d go over and sit by her the next time she was in the library. I didn’t expect her to be as nice to me as to that Lupin bloke, but just maybe.
I suddenly realised how much I wanted that girl. I thought I had forced her out of my mind for good a long time ago, but she was entering again. I wanted Lily Evans to be mine. I wanted to be the one in that mind when she was dancing. I wondered who was these days, who was in Evans’s thoughts.
Suddenly I was interrupted from my own ocean of thinking.
Shit. It was that dance teacher. She was standing inches away from myself.
I felt my face grow hot. I lifted the spell on the door and turned around.
“Just watching,” I choked out.
“I could tell,” she smiled.
“Please don’t tell Evans?” I pleaded. I must have sounded quite pathetic.
“Ok, I won’t. But don’t spy on her from now on. I know Lily good enough to tell that would piss her off.”
“Sure,” I said, hurrying away from the studio.
As the music grew fainter, I realised what a fool I had been to let myself get caught. If Evans found out, she would yell at me even more than she had the last time.
I stopped. Just to be sure, I looked down on myself to make sure I was actually wearing clothes.
I walked over to Lindsay, who stood there in the door, speechless.
“I’m so sorry, Lindsay … I didn’t mean to,” I began. But she interrupted me.
“You’re sorry? Lily, I have never seen you dance like that! It was nothing less than brilliant!”
I gave her an embarrassed smile.
“You see? This is exactly why I gave you and nobody else that solo. When you want to, you dance with your soul, Lily, not your body.”
I sunk down on the floor, on the verge of starting to cry.
“But, Lindsay … I can’t do that in class. It’s too much pressure! I can’t manage to let myself go there.”
She leaned down and placed a comforting arm around me, lifting my face with her other hand.
“I know you can do it. Right now... when you were dancing…”
She sat down next to me, crossing her legs.
“Did you ever feel week? Did you ever think ‘I can’t do this’?”
“No, I didn’t,” I confessed. “I felt confident.”
Lindsay gave me a smile I seldom saw her use.
“That’s it, girl! Now, what did you really come here for?”
I grinned. “I was hoping for some extra lessons for the next three weeks, so I could practise on my solo.”
“Let me see,” Lindsay mumbled, finding her planner. “How many do you want? I don’t want you to get exhausted. Don’t overdo it.”
“A couple would do fine,” I said, watching her flip the pages.
“I can give you one extra on Wednesday, and one on Sunday.”
“Where does that leave me?” I asked.
“You’ll have one on Monday, two on Tuesday, and two on Wednesday. Plus the one on Sunday.”
‘That is a lot,’ I thought. ‘But it’s only for three weeks. I’ll handle it.’
On my way back to Gryffindor Tower after changing, I met Remus, who came from the library. He was heading back to the Tower as well, so we had a nice chat.
“More lessons, Lily? You are going to collapse before the show is over!”
“It’s only three weeks!” I explained. “I know six hours is very much together with my amount of homework, but I’ll be back to four after the show… I promise.”
Remus looked at me suspiciously.
“Take out the hairclips, Lily,” he said slowly.
“What?” I squeaked.
“Just do it for me.”
I gave in and removed them one after one, letting my hair run down my back. I dragged my fingers through it a couple of times to smooth it before turning to Remus again. I really didn’t see the point of this.
“What was that for?” I asked in surprise.
“Nothing, I just wanted to see Lily, not the ballerina for a moment.”
I became quiet. I didn’t dare to say a word. Was that the way it was?
“It’s just,” Remus began. “You need to take your mind off everything else sometimes.”
I sighed. Not again.
“Really, just try to be yourself. Don’t let ballet be so important you forget everything else around you.”
“Remus … I try, okay? This will be different after the show. I have to run fast now I’ve almost reached the goal. Have to give everything.”
“You promise?” he asked, slightly amused.
“I promise,” I replied, smiling warmly at him.
I reached down my pocket, putting my hair up again, to Remus’s disappointment. I just didn’t feel comfortable flashing my hair at everybody.
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