mystery is solved and a happy ending.
I reached out to the nightstand and felt for my wand. I groped... and grabbed... and patted... But I didn't feel it. I pulled back my hangings and found that it was not there. I checked the floor to see if it had fallen, but no. Under my pillow? No. I checked the sheer garments I wore and hid, but it wasn't tangled within them. I ran to the bathroom but it wasn't there either. Realization struck-- I lost my wand.
I snuck and snagged Millicent Bulstrode's wand to return my eyes to their original color and cut my hair back to its regular flipped-out style. A vanishing charm on the hair cleared all evidence.
I replaced Millicent's wand then hastily dressed in a pair of jeans and a thin sweater. I wished that I was like other witches and wizards who did not quite dress properly, but I blamed the same Muggle-loving cousin that taught me about the Disney princesses. I left the Slytherins' Dungeon for the seventh floor. Possibly-- hopefully-- I forgot it i the place where I was hiding what would have been my Cinderella costume. That would be great. Marvelous. Freaking awesome.
Too good to be true.
I retreated to the Great Hall thinking that some food might help me figure things out. I was there for a full seven minutes before he came and scared the heck out of me.
"Is this yours?" Harry was asking a group of girls at the Ravenclaw table. "Does anyone know who this belongs to?" He was brandishing a thin piece of ebony ten and one-four inches long, flexible, with a core of sphinx hair. I knew all of that because it was MY wand. He stole it! He just could not be happy no knowing my identity so long as he got what he wanted. Potter will probably gag in disgust when he finds out that it's the Slytherin Pansy Parkinson whom he was dancing with last night. Gods, I'm ruined.
"Give me your wand," I bullied a first-year-- I loved being an older student that way sometimes-- and took a scrap piece of parchment from my pocket. That spell Draco used to taunt Potter about the Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match in third year, with the origami swan and the cartoon? Yeah, I taught him that. It was also the one I used now. First the message flashed, THAT'S MY WAND. Then, because I knew he was going to, it read, DON'T LOOK!!! Finally, going by so fast that he would probably have to read it twice, I CAN NOT HAVE YOU SHOWING THAT THING AROUND. MEET ME ON TOP OF THE ASTRONOMY TOWER AT MIDNIGHT. I signed it Princess Jasmine because that was what he knew me by. For right now. I folded my not into the swan, blew it over, and watched under my lashes while pretending to be engrossed with my breakfast. I was grateful for the two tables between us so Potter didn't know exactly which girl sent the note. There was also the added bonus that my hair was no longer, er, long, so my identity was even more ensured-- for now.
I know who you are. The words from weeks ago whispered in my head. Who the hell said that? Potter. He said that when I saw him at Phoenix Eye. Potter had seen me use that illusion charm, or so he claimed. I he did see me use the spell, paid attention to my selections and knew what my costume was-- or part of it-- then he probably knew who I was. Probably. and he danced with me, so he probably does like me. Or finds me tolerable. Probably. Not repulsive, at the very least.
I hid out in the library for the rest of the day. Twelve hours was a long time, but by the time Madame Pince kicked me out, I still had two hours to kill. Realizing there was no place that would be open to students this late at night, I retreated to the west wing of the castle.
I stood on the Astronomy Tower's balcony gazing up at the stars. I had a full hour of anonymity left and I intended to enjoy as much of it as possible. The moon was full, and the stars were bright; a perfect night.
A perfect night soon to be ruined.
"I guess you're this illusive Princess Jasmine, huh?" I jumped. I had no idea that he was behind me, was caught totally off-guard. I took in a quick breath, preparing for the extreme blow he was about to deliver. I turned around. It was a surprise because Potter didn't jump back, his eyes did not pop out of his sockets; he didn't react at all.
"It's dark," he said. "Half of your face is in shadow." I rolled my eyes. I knew very well that it was not that dark at all. Plus with his glasses, I was willing to bet that he could see clearer, sharper, and farther than I could!
"Harry Potter," I huffed, complying with his request, "you are such a prat." Potter grinned a lop-sided smile, something I found adorable. I realized that "adorable" was not a word that I should be applying to any Gryffindor, let alone the Harry Potter himself. Then, startlingly, I also realized, I did not care.
"So I've been told."
"I believe that you have something of mine." I held my hand out to receive my wand. Harry-- Potter-- (okay, so I care a little, miniscule amount)-- held it out, placed it in my hand for a split second, then snatched it away.
"Is that really all you wanted?" Harry moved his head so our sights were even. He was about three to four inches taller than me, but at that moment, emerald eyes bore into mine and I knew he had me. I couldn't lie if I wanted to.
"No, it isn't" I admitted. I turned my head to break the connection before I spoke too much. "I want something I can't have, even if I could."
"Really?" Thick eyebrows came up questioning. "Sounds interesting. You can't have it even if you could.... Like what?"
"Remember that girl you flirted with at Phoenix Eye? You said you knew who she was. Do you?"
"The same girl I danced with last night," he shrugged. I rolled my eyes mentally.
"And do you know who she is? Really know?" I asked.
"Well, er, actually," Potter turned his head down seemingly out of embarrassment. Really, Harry Potter, embarrassed? And I managed to do it. What a night. "I was kind of... hoping... that possibly... she might have been you?" It was a statement yet his voice came up in a question.
"You're not serious," I said, backing away as far from him as the small space allowed. "You're considering me? No. This is some cruel, sick joke created by you and those friends you hang with. You cannot like me, you're joking, right?" Harry was going to get back with the Weaselette or find another girl, a Gryff or a Ravie, not a Slytherin, not me. He was supposed to hurt me so bad that my hear hurt for a week and he was not supposed to care. That's the way the universe worked.
"Why should I be joking?" Harry asked softly. He lifted his head to look back at me. "Pansy-- this is really you and not another disguise-- I really don't play about these things. My name is on the top of too many hit lists for me to even consider it. And as for ron and Hermione being in on some joke, Hermione would never let us and Ron and I would never be brilliant enough to pull it off." Potter's expression changed from pleading and humorous to pained. "Unless, of course, you don't want me?"
"Does this look like a girl who doesn't care either way? Do you think I would have put so much energy into all this-- making sure I wasn't followed, keeping a costume secret, concealing my identity, disappearing before the unmasking-- if I did not want you?" My words came out fast in almost a screech, and I didn't realize what I was saying until after I'd said it. "Dammit," I blurted that too, then covered my mouth to keep it from betraying me further. The lop-sided grin returned to Harry's face.
"I'm pleased to hear that," He walked forward again and pulled my hands from my lips. I looked up and his set of emeralds caught me once more. "And I'll be even happier to give you your wand back-- if you'll be happy to give me a date."
"Are you serious?" I asked again. Harry only repeated his former statement, "I'm on too many hitlists to joke about this."
I removed my hand and, suppressing a grin, held it out to receive my wand. "I should curse you," I informed him, "for dragging me around in circles like that. And making me think you wouldn't touch me with a nine-and-a-half foot pole. Yet, I shall maintain my dignity and just say yes."
"Seriously?" Now Harry appeared to be properly shocked.
"Do I have to repeat myself?" I sighed. "Besides, it's the only way I can get my wand back."
Harry pulled my wand from his pocket and placed it in my palm. "I should be offended." A familiar energy flowed through me, along with relief from tension I had not known I had.
"you should be," I replied. "You should also run." Harry's brows shot up and I repeated myself. He really should have ran-- because I jinxed him.
I sincerely hope that Behind the Veil was not severely horrible. Not that I actually believe that it is, but I'm sort of nervous. sigh
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