A departure for rubiesandduels……….fan fiction – my lovely Yrs 7 & 8 & 9 writing group have set themselves a half term challenge – a 300 word story using a favorite character from a book they love.
So, i am joining in and have chosen a book I know many of them have enjoyed.
Apologies to any fans of the Harry Potter cycle.
Hermione sighs and decides to risk another glance in the mirror, thinking that perhaps this time the angle will be better, the lighting more forgiving, but it is still her face that stares back at her, eyes just that tiny bit too small, lips tight, skin pale and of course the hair, thick, ill disciplined, out of control.
For a moment she thinks about the other girls at Horwarts, the Slytherins, impossibly tall,slim, poised, They move through the corridors, quads and staircases like long legged racehorses, their size zero jeans, this seasons’ Converse peeping out beneath their wizarding robes, even the Hufflepuffle girls work a look, ankle socks, Irregular choice shoes and quirky rucksacks.
Hermione looks down at her own sensible supermarket trainers, as her mother said, trying to disguise the slight shudder that any contact with magic seems to produce in her
“well, you’ll only get potions and stuff dropping on them”
and of course she is right, but not in a cool geek way, more in a I get easily distracted and forget where my body begins and ends sort of way.
Hermione knows it shouldn’t matter, knows that she is smart, hardworking, reliable, but for one mad moment she wishes she was beautiful too and once the thought is there, she cannot get rid of it.
Which is why, 2 weeks later, at the start of the Easter holidays she finds herself walking down Diagon Alley, telling herself that this is a sensible errand, that she needs to pick up a potions revision guide, that all she is doing is getting ahead with her incantations coursework.
The shop is still there, its pink sign reads
“Totally Nu U – charms and incantations for a new, beautiful you”
Hermione looks around, although the alleyway is busy with shoppers, there are no face she recognizes, so she takes a step toward the door, it springs open with a perky ping – it’s a easy bit of magic, but effective and she almost falls into the shop.
The girl behind the counter, an ex-Slytherin if ever there was one thinks Hermione, moves with that easy grace towards her and smiles, showing perfect white teeth.
” A basic complete makeover package, I guess” she says before Hermione can even speak
” come over to the mirror, let me show you what we can do” ans she gestures to the huge mirror that cover the whole back, wall of the tiny shop.
Hermione cannot help herself, she looks in the mirror and yes it is still her, but somehow more, Hermione to the power of ten.
She is slightly taller, slightly thinner, her skin glows with health and confidence, her eyebrows have reshaped themselves to perfection and her hair, her hair is straight, shiny, under control.
The girl clicks her finger and the reflection vanishes to be replaced by the real Hermione, mad hair, worried face, chainstore jeans just an inch or two too short, Hermione can hardly bear to look at herself.
“of course, there are costs” says the girl with just a tiny telling pause,
Hermione draws herself up to her full, less than impressive height and fingers the bag of coins in her pocket – the money she has earmarked for a new bestiary, earned from hours of private tuition to the most glossy, most thoroughbred of the Slytherin girls, but the assistant catches the movement and shakes her head
“oh no, this isn’t about money, the magic has other costs” she pauses and then continues “this costs smarts” and then seeing Hermiones’ confusion, she explains slowly and clearly and in great detail.
Later, travelling home on the packed underground train, Hermione leans back in her seat, tired but pleased with a task well done, the new revision guides, the bestiary, a pocket guide to magical beasts weighing heavily but satisfyingly in her knee as the man beside her pushes her further into the corner.
The train stops between stations and she looks at her reflection in the window, pale face, unruly eyebrows, hair defying a half hearted attempt at a tidy in the station loos only ten minutes ago and Hermione smiles at herself, yes perfection would have been nice, but give up the brain the size of a plant, become ordinary, a little dim – no thank you and teh she dips happily into the advanced potions revision book.