A/N: Welcome to Glass Slippers, which is apparently what happens when
a theater kid writes about Harry Potter, while under the influence of
Cinderella. It is my first HP fanfic, the nature of the genre implying
that the characters belong to J.K. Rowling and NOT me. Endless thanks
to Zsenya, the best and most patient beta reader in the world. Enjoy!
Chapter 1- Harry
To tell the truth, I hadn't noticed the parchment until Hermione
pointed it out to me.
"Hey, guys, did you see this?"
Ron shrugged nonchalantly, but the sudden flush to his cheeks revealed
his shameless interest. "A Muggle play, here at Hogwarts?" he
asked, brow furrowing.
I turned to Hermione, surprised. "There are Muggles coming to
Hogwarts to perform for us?" I imagined my cousin Dudley delivering
Hamlet's soliloquy for an audience of young wizards and ghosts- worth
a laugh or two, I think.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "It's a Muggle play, but it's being
performed by us, the students. My old Muggle Studies teacher, Professor
Geary, is directing it. She paused for a second, and seemed almost embarrassed
when she continued. "And I think it sounds interesting."
Ron grinned and nudged Hermione with one elbow. "So when is
Hogwarts' number one bookworm going to find the time to become a, whadjamadiggit,
"I'll find the time," said Hermione, blushing like a Weasley,
"And anyway, I think it would be an invaluable opportunity to learn
about Muggles and their social-"
"Uh, Hermione," I reminded her, "You grew up with
"I know that!" she snapped, "I meant educational for
you guys, well Ron, anyway, but nevermind. I forgot that you don't-"
"Hey, if it means that much to you, I'll do it with you,"
Ron said, attempting an air of self-sacrifice that I didn't buy for a
Hermione raised her eyebrows and said in her loftiest tone, "Well,
don't do me any favors."
"I'm not," Ron immediately countered, "I love-".
His eyes flashed quickly to the title of the play, which he pronounced
slowly and gracelessly.
Suddenly, the dreamy smile on Hermione's face made more sense to
me. I don't claim to be an expert on females, but the one thing I know
is that they all want to be Cinderella. I guess even girl genius Hermione
Granger isn't above that.
As for me and my acting debut, I didn't think so. The whole mess
with Voldemort had given me enough attention, thank you very much. Still,
for a minute, I pictured myself in the spotlight, waltzing on a stage
with Cho Chang. But I could hardly make that kind of time commitment,
what with Quidditch and all. Anyway, I realized with some satisfaction,
neither could Cho.
I admit, however, I felt a bit left out when Ron and Hermione planned
to meet in the common room after dinner, so she could give him the gist
of the Cinderella story before they auditioned the next day. "You'll
love it," she promised, "The plot is kind of contrived, but...it's
Ron's ears turned such a striking shade of pink that I wondered,
not for the first time, if he didn't, well you know, fancy her or something.
I was surprised at how quickly the Cinderella bug spread. I suppose
they wanted to give us a nice, safe way to amuse ourselves after last
year's disastrous Triwizard Tournament. I preferred not think about the
I wondered if Professor Dumbledore thought a bit of theater would keep
Voldemort at bay. Hmmm...
Anyway, people were really getting into the idea of it. At dinner,
everywhere you looked, it was the Muggle-borns at the center of the conversation,
because they, of course, know all about Cinderella. Parvati Patil and
Lavender Brown had even brought a library book of Muggle fairy tales to
read at the table, while their food just sat there getting cold.
And from the conversation in the common room that evening, it was
evident that the Gryffindor girls had only one role in mind.
"The story is a finely tuned masterpiece," declared one
third year in a authoritative tone, "Making the ultimate statement
on the human tendency towards metamorphosis..."
"Actually, it's never struck me as more than an escapist fantasy,
pure fluff," said Hermione under her breath, "The cotton candy
of the Muggle literature world." She licked her lips, and we all
"So, naturally," concluded the smug third year, "Cinderella
is every actor's dream role."
"Not my dream role," said Ron, and I quite agreed. Hermione,
however, promptly turned red and wouldn't meet our eyes.
Ron flung his arm across her shoulders and tweaked her nose. "Cotton
candy, my bum," he said, "Our Herm-own-ninny wants the part
just as much as the rest of them." I believed he was right, but I
expected Hermione to trounce Ron for saying so, or at least for making
fun of Viktor Krum. I didn't know much of what went on over the summer,
why Hermione didn't visit him in Bulgaria; it seemed to be a sore spot
with her, so Ron and I usually tried not to bring it up.
But instead of yelling, she said, so softly she was almost whispering,
"Just because I'm smart doesn't mean I don't want to wear the dress
and be gorgeous and everything."
And with that, she slipped out from under Ron's arm and fled from
the common room. We stared after her in confusion, and I half expected
her to drop a shoe.
After that, Ron started acting weird, too. The next morning, he asked
me to tell him, honestly, did I think that maybe, just maybe, he had the
slightest chance at Prince Charming?
I choked on my pumpkin juice, then answered between coughs. "Sure,
why not? You'd make a fantastic prince." Being the supportive best
friend that I was, I opted not to tell him I'd always thought Prince Charming
was a bit of a pussy.
Evidently, Fred and George Weasley agreed with me; they had heard
his question, and were now, based on the bits of the story they had picked
up here and there, performing their own rendition of Cinderella at the
breakfast table, for Ron's benefit. By the time George had dramatically
slid Fred's old tennis shoe over his grubby sock, several Gryffindors
were applauding, and Ron's face was as red as his hair.
Finally, as an explosive conclusion to their surprisingly accurate
demonstration, Fred and George pranced over to where Ron was sitting.
Fred planted a slimy kiss on Ron's hand, while George gave him a noogie.
"Good luck at auditions, little brother," George said with a
I glanced across the table at Ginny Weasley, who was hiding a smile
behind one freckly hand. "Well, at least he doesn't want to be Cinderella,
like everyone else," I said to her with a shrug. At this, she laughed,
but the look in her eyes reminded me, strangely, of Hermione' expression
After breakfast, Professor Dumbledore surprised us all with the announcement
that, due to the overwhelming number of students signed up to audition
for the play, classes would be cancelled that morning so they could fit
everyone in. The room burst into uproarious applause, with Lee Jordan
and the Weasley twins dancing on the tables. Hermione looked like she
was going to be sick.
Our new captain Angelina took advantage of the extra few hours to
call a spontaneous Quidditch practice, so I didn't see Ron, Hermione,
or any of them until lunch. "How did it go?" I asked them, trying
to interpret their expressions.
Ron made a face. "I bombed it. But Hermione, she was fantastic.
"I was okay," Hermione said bluntly. "Not terrible,
but I won't get Cinderella or anything."
I didn't know what to say; I hadn't even seen the audition, you know.
"I'm sorry, Hermione. I mean...I mean, I'm sure you'll get the part."
She shook her head and smiled sadly. "Thank you, Harry, but
no, I won't. You should have seen some of the girls who tried out. I mean,
Ginny was incredible. She surprised all of us."
My jaw dropped. "Ginny? THAT Ginny?" I asked, gesturing
to the other end of the table, where the only Ginny I knew was sitting
with some other fourth years. She was so shy, I couldn't imagine her even
Ron nodded. "I don't see why you're so surprised, Harry,"
he said with a shrug, "I keep telling you she's only like that around
you because she-"
"Right," I cut him off, before he could embarrass me further.
He grinned and winked.
"Anyway," sighed Hermione, ignoring the death glare being
transmitted from me to Ron, "I suppose it doesn't matter who gets
the part. I'll be happy as long as it's not Lavender."
Ron and I laughed, because even I knew that Lavender had been going
around telling everyone that she was going to be Cinderella. But it was
hard to be lighthearted when Hermione looked so disappointed.
The thought of Ginny Weasley in the spotlight secretly bothered me
as well. I had her placed in her box just fine, as the timid baby sister
of my best friend, the girl with the perpetual blush. It wasn't very thoughtful
of her to bust open my perceptions.
Chapter 2- Hermione
I don't mean to brag or anything, but I knew who would play Cinderella
long before the parts were posted. I'm a pretty perceptive person, and
Professor Geary's expression as she watched Ginny Weasley's audition wasn't
hard to read.
Ginny was good, too, and I was happy for her. Very happy for her. And
when I saw her name written by "Cinderella" on the cast list,
I was so happy for her that my eyes started watering, and I forgot to
look for my own name.
I found out my part from Draco Malfoy, who hadn't tried out, but was,
of course, lurking by the cast list. "Ugly stepsister, Granger?"
he said nastily (and loudly), "No typecasting there, eh?"
"Shove it, Malfoy!" yelled Ron.
"Don't cry," I told myself, biting my lip until I could taste
blood, "You knew you wouldn't get it, and you were stupid to even
"Hey, Hermione," Harry said softly, "Um, congratulations.
You got a great part."
"Thanks," I managed. Ron enveloped me in a big, awkward hug.
"And why has he been so touchy-feely lately?" I wondered. It
was kind of nice, though. Boys can be so nice when they try.
And suddenly, I felt a bit stupid, with all their efforts to cheer me
up about something as dumb as a play. "All right, you," I said
to Ron, forcing a smile, "Go congratulate your sister."
And it wasn't until I finally read the entire cast list and saw his name
under "Ball Guests" that I remembered he had tried out for the
Rehearsals started that afternoon after classes, and the first one
was, by all accounts, a disaster. Lavender, who in my opinion should have
been satisfied with her role as Fairy Godmother, was not speaking to Ginny.
An irritated Parvati finally told her best friend that if Lavender didn't
like her part, she, a "Ball Guest", would gladly take it off
To top everything off, Prince Justin Finch-Fletchley Charming was
loudly announcing that, though he was quite happy with his part, he was
not going to be doing any of "that kissy stuff" onstage, thank
you very much.
"That git should have read the story before he auditioned,"
I muttered to Ginny, who looked like she was about to cry.
It wasn't until the first day we practiced the Godmother's big scene
what the ice was broken, and it started to look like maybe rehearsals
would actually be rather fun.
Lavender and Ginny were reading it through, you know, the whole bit
with the pumpkin, when suddenly Lavender just stopped.
"I can't do this," she said, shaking with silent laughter.
We all stared at her, and I saw Ron's lips twist like he was trying not
"Keep going," Professor Geary said, but Lavender had already
dropped to the floor, giggling helplessly into her script. "I'm sorry,"
she gasped. "But is this how they think we do Transfiguration? By
saying..." She shook her head, shoulders shaking, actual tears streaming
down her face. "I can't say it."
By this time, we were all giggling like complete fools. "Say it!
Say it!" someone started chanting, and we all joined in, even Professor
"Bibbidy bobbidy boo," Lavender whispered, with great flourish,
and the room exploded into laughter.
From then on, we were kind of like, and I don't know any better way
to describe it, kind of like a big, goofy family. Ron and I would tell
Harry about whatever had gone on that day at rehearsal, and Harry would
just shake his head and pretend to look concerned. "You guys have
finally lost it, I think."
But it was fun, more fun than anything I'd ever been a part of before.
It didn't even bother me too much anymore when Malfoy would shout across
the Great Hall, "What, Granger, dress rehearsal already?" Well,
it bothered me less, anyway. And I'd almost forgotten I had ever wanted
to be Cinderella. Almost.
One evening, a few weeks later, I was reading on a couch in the common
room with Ron sitting next to me. More next to me, I noticed, than he
usually sat. Harry was reading, too, in a comfy green chair across from
Ron sighed loudly, obviously bored by the sound of our pages turning.
"Hey, Hermione, did you tell Harry about rehearsal today?"
"No she didn't," said Harry, not looking up from his book.
"I know nothing about how Professor Geary made Justin and Ginny practice
the kissing scene today, and they had to do it seven times, because Justin
kept laughing and Ginny didn't know what to do with her nose, but at least
Justin's finally agreed to do the kissing scenes, and-"
"Touché," muttered Ron, and I tried not to giggle.
Poor Harry probably knew more about what went on at rehearsal than most
of the cast.
Ginny herself walked into the common room a moment later, still bright
red from her ordeal at rehearsal. "Hermione, can I talk to you?"
she asked in her quiet way. I noticed Harry's face turn pink behind his
book, but otherwise, he seemed not even to notice Ginny's arrival. Ron
didn't move either.
"Um, alone?" she squeaked, and cleared her throat.
"Right," said Ron, as he and Harry obediently left the
"So, wretch," I said in my shrillest stepsister voice,
"Scrub the floor and tell me what's on your mind." She flopped
down next to me on the couch and buried her head in her hands.
"Hey now," I shifted my body so I was facing her, "It
wasn't so bad. Anyone would be nervous, doing all that kissing in front
of an audience."
"It's not just that," she whispered. I waited expectantly
for her to continue, which she did, slowly and hesitantly.
"I didn't...want...that to be...I mean...that was my first kiss,"
she finally finished. I could practically feel the heat radiating from
her flaming cheeks. She was staring miserably at her feet, and her fist
was pressed up against her mouth. The kid needed a hug, my job.
After that, I didn't really know what to say. "Well," I
declared after a minute, "You made Justin's day, anyway."
"Right," she said, laughing bitterly.
"Hey, I'm not kidding. He is not complaining anymore about the
She looked at me seriously. "Hermione, Justin sees me as a little
kid. Everyone sees me as a little kid, and the thing is, they're right.
Everyone was so surprised when they cast me as Cinderella, and why wouldn't
they be? I'm not the Cinderella type. I'm a klutz, I have freckles, I'm
not at all pretty-"
"They cast you as Cinderella because you were the best at auditions,
and you're perfect now," I said slowly and deliberately. I was surprised
at how easy it was to say, how little it hurt.
"But everyone must think..."
Something about the way she said it made me think "everyone"
was just a single someone, a male someone with messy black hair, glasses,
and a funny scar on his forehead. I was quite sure she was done being
upset about Justin.
"Ginny, um, is this about-"
"No!" she said quickly, cheeks, to my amazement, turning
even redder. Right. Definitely Harry Potter.
I tried to come up with the right thing to say to her- I am so bad
at this girly stuff. "I think he likes you! I mean, I guess I really
don't k now, we don't so much talk about these kinds of things, but-"
"It's okay, Hermione," she said, cutting off my clumsy
speech with a sad little laugh. "I know he doesn't like me, not like
that. And I'll get over it, I'm sure, soon enough." She sighed. "The
whole thing just makes me feel stupid and ugly. I hate that."
And suddenly, like magic, I knew what to say.
"Ginny, let me tell you a story. Do you remember Viktor Krum?"
Chapter 3- Ron
I didn't do anything wrong, you know. I wasn't trying to- I just
happened to hear- and anyway, if it was such a private conversation, well
then they shouldn't have been having it in the common room. I mean, honestly,
Dean and Seamus were like five feet away, and even Fred and George were
in there, playing chess by the fire.
And it was just so convenient, the couch they had chosen. It was
turned so that, standing in the doorway, I could see just two bits of
hair, brown and then red, over the back of it. Planning to creep up on
them and give them a bit of a scare, I was perfectly absolutely silent.
They didn't even notice me; Hermione just kept on talking.
Well, then she brought up Victor Krum, so how could I just walk away?
I mean, she hadn't told Harry and me anything, only that she didn't go
to Bulgaria, and I was dying to know why.
I stood motionless in the doorway, concentrating on breathing as
quietly as I could. Hermione's voice was so soft, but it was loud enough
for someone with six siblings, who knew how to listen properly.
"I didn't even know him all that well," she was saying.
"But I was so flattered when he picked me for the second task. It
made me feel sort of special, you know?"
My sister did one of those murmurs that girls are always doing when
they listen to other girls talk about boys, like "Yes, I understand,
keep going," but all they actually say is "Mmhmm." Hermione
continued, and she just had no idea I was there. It was like I was under
Harry's invisibility cloak, and I kind of wished that I was. It would
have been nice to see her face while she was talking.
"He really was so nice, though, and so different when he was
around just me. He invited me to visit him in Bulgaria over the summer-
well, you know that, I guess."
"Rita Skeeter," Ginny said softly, "Yeah, I read that."
"Right," said Hermione, and you could just hear her rolling
her eyes. "Anyway, I thought about it for a long time, and my parents
thought about it for an even longer time, but finally we decided it would
be educational for me. So I sent him an owl saying okay, I was coming."
"But I thought...you didn't?" My sister's voice sounded
as confused as I felt. "Well... I hope you didn't tell Ron, at least.
Think he might've been a bit upset?"
They both giggled quietly, and I felt my cheeks go warm. Exactly
what was she getting at? I fixed upon the backs of their heads my most
ferocious glare, but Hermione continued, oblivious.
"So two weeks later, I'm all set to go, and then I get this
owl from him, and it said... it said something along the lines of-"
She lowered her voice and said the next bit in an impressive imitation
of Krum's thick accent. "Dear Herm-own-ninny. Maybe this is not the
best time to tell you this, but I am vanting you to know just the same.
I have met someone, a girl, and, vell, you can still visit me in Bulgaria
if you really are vanting to..."
Ginny gasped. "That jerk! That's a horrible way to break up
"Well, I wouldn't call it breaking up, exactly," Hermione
sounded rather annoyed, "Seeing as HE WAS NEVER MY BOYFRIEND IN THE
FIRST PLACE!" She was almost yelling by this last part, and people
in the common room began giving them curious looks. My brother Fred noticed
me in the doorway and winked.
"Honestly," said Hermione, much quieter this time, "You're
starting to sound a bit like Ron."
This was twice they had mentioned me, see, so it really was my business,
in a way. No reason for me not to stick around and listen. And Hermione
should have told Harry and me all of this, anyhow.
Ginny seemed to be thinking along the same lines as I was. "So
you didn't tell any of this to Ron and Harry?" I saw the top of Hermione's
head shake "no".
"They're boys," she said, "And it's not that big a
She paused for what felt to me like a million years, before continuing.
"But yeah, I know what you mean about feeling ugly." I heard
her take a deep breath. "But it's okay, because you know what I think?
I think every girl feels like the ugly stepsister sometimes. But we get
through it, and eventually, everyone gets a turn to feel like Cinderella."
Suddenly, I felt like the walls were closing in on me. It was definitely
time to make my exit, and I did so quietly, tiptoeing the whole way to
my dorm. Everyone else was asleep, but I lay awake for some time, staring
at the ceiling. I had a lot to think about.
Chapter 4- Ginny
It's funny, the things that happen to you. I never thought I'd get
to meet Harry Potter, for one thing, the boy who saved us all while he
was still in diapers. I grew up hearing his name and everything about
him, from the names of his parents to the shape of his scar. And now he's
my brother's best friend.
I knew about Cinderella, too, before this play. My dad brought home
a fairy tale book for me once, when I was very little, one that had belonged
to real Muggle kids and everything. I loved that book so much, and Cinderella
was my favorite. I always made my mum read it to me before I went to bed,
even though I had the whole thing memorized.
And here I was now, struggling to memorize it again in its entirety.
But I didn't mind the long hours spent poring over my script, reciting
my lines in my head, then checking to make sure I got them right. It was
nice, really, having another identity I could sort of slip into whenever
real life got too boring or stressful, or just plain crappy. Sometimes
it was much more pleasant being Cinderella than Ginny Weasley.
Like tonight, for instance. Some stupid stuff from today had put
me in such a foul mood that I couldn't sleep, so I just crept down to
the common room in my favorite yellow pajamas to read my lines to myself.
"Do you think I'll get to meet the prince? I wonder if he's handsome."
Justin was good-looking in his own way, I decided. Probably better
looking than Harry Potter- older looking, definitely. But then, Harry
had those eyes...
Not that it mattered, anyway, the way he was always looking at Cho
Chang. He knocked over Ron's juice today, staring at her. It reminded
me of a million spills of my own, especially when he was around, and it
just made me feel embarrassed and miserable all at the same time.
But I wasn't going to think about that right now. I was Cinderella,
and my fuzzy yellow slippers were really made of the sparkliest, most
delicate glass. I closed my eyes and whispered my next line. So far, I
had gotten practically every word right.
"Talking to yourself?" asked a familiar voice. I opened
my eyes, startled. Fantastic, it was Harry Potter. I was looking for another
opportunity to humiliate myself before bedtime.
I looked at him, and tried to ignore the way my stomach was getting
all knotted up. "Hey, Harry. What are you doing up this late?"
Something flashed in his eyes, I'm sure of it, but he shrugged it
away. "Couldn't sleep. Mind if I join you?" I shook my head,
trying to cover my reddening face with my script. He settled down next
to me on the couch, cross-legged, our knees just barely touching. "So,
you must have a lot of lines, huh."
I tried to think of some witty response, but ninety-five percent
of my brain was focused on that one spot on the tip of my knee, where
my pajamas touched his. "Um...yeah, I guess I do."
That's right, Ginny, you have lots and lots of lines. So stop obsessing
over Harry Potter and study them. And turn your script right side up.
But it was hard enough not thinking about him when I wasn't sitting
next to him on a couch in the common room, with our knees touching.
"I could quiz you...I mean, if you want." He rubbed that
lightning bolt scar on his forehead, expression revealing nothing.
"Oh, okay. That would be great," I managed. I handed him
the script, open to the page I had been practicing before he arrived.
"You don't mind reading the Godmother's part, do you?"
He regarded me seriously. "Ginny, I was born to play the Godmother."
God, he was adorable.
"Super. So I guess we could start right here then." And
since when did I start using words like "super"? Arg.
"Okay, ready?" he asked. I nodded, and he began in a ridiculous
falsetto Godmother voice, "Oh, Godmother, I don't know how to thank
you!" He fluttered his eyelashes at me over the script.
"Uh, that was my line," I said, giggling, and he actually
blushed a bit. "Oh. Right. Moving on, then."
He readopted the falsetto voice, and reminded me earnestly that I
must be back when the clock struck midnight.
"Don't worry, Godmother, I won't forget." I felt very pleased
with myself for remembering my lines, even in the face of the ultimate
distraction. To my surprise, however, I began to feel somewhat at ease,
and actually found myself showing off a bit as we read through the scene.
"Hey, the ballroom part is next," said Harry. "Do
you want me to be the prince?"
"Why not?" I said, trying to look nonchalant. I very much
wanted him to be the prince.
"Okay, we'll skip to the part where you come in." He flipped
the page. "Blah blah blah, okay, here we are. My lady, I couldn't
help but notice you as you entered the room. Your face is familiar to
me somehow, yet surely I would remember having encountered such a beautiful-
is this guy for real?"
"You don't think it's at all sweet?" I asked, and he made
"I mean, he doesn't even know her."
I looked away, blushing. I was pretty sure I had loved Harry from
the first time I'd met him. Getting to know him was just making me love
him more. I didn't say anything, and for a moment, there was no sound
except the soft rustle of someone's pet rat under the couch.
"Um," he finally said uncomfortably, "I guess we should
"Good idea," I agreed, and suddenly he was back to being
"My lady, you must give me the honor of dancing with you,"
he said, jumping up and extending the hand that wasn't holding the script.
Was I supposed to...did he want me to...um. Wow.
"Your Highness, I couldn't refuse," I squeaked, and I thought
I saw his eyes go wide for a second when I took his hand. Heh, you wish,
"You dance beautifully, my lady," he read in a very manly
Prince Charming voice, spinning me around in my pajamas. It was getting
harder and harder for me to remember my lines.
Suddenly, Harry cleared his throat. "Um, Ginny?" he said,
his voice cracking a bit like Ron's used to do. "It says here I'm
supposed to... I mean the prince is supposed to..."
"Oh!" I felt my face grow hot. "Um, we don't have
to do that. In fact, it's getting pretty late. We should stop here."
I realized my hand was still in his, and I pulled it away quickly. He
probably thought I had done this on purpose, that I wanted to practice
the kissing scene with him.
So what if I did.
"Uh...yeah. Definitely. We should definitely get some sleep."
"Definitely. Right. Goodnight, Harry." I practically ran
all the way to the girls' dorm.
"Ginny Weasley," I thought, burrowing miserably between
my blankets, "You are a loser."
Chapter 5- Ron
And on top of everything, something was up with Harry. Like this
morning, he slept right through the alarm clock, and finally I had to
enlist Pig to help me wake him up.
"OKAY, I'm awake!" he finally gasped, when he'd had enough
of the sharp little owl feet on his face. He stifled a mighty yawn with
one hand, and fumbled around for his glasses in the other.
"Geez, Harry, are you okay?" I asked, concerned. "You
look awful." He had these huge bags under his eyes, and his glasses
rested crookedly on his nose.
"Oh, I'm fine. Really I am." I raised my eyebrows.
"No, really, I'm okay. Just didn't get much sleep last night. I
was in the common room until pretty late."
"Why were you in the common room?"
He shifted his eyes away from me, but I noticed the way he gently
rubbed his forehead with his fingers.
"Your scar was hurting, wasn't it?"
"No!" he answered quickly. "I was just...well, actually,
I was helping your sister practice her lines."
"I imagine she enjoyed that," I said, nudging him in the
ribs. I was pretty sure he was hiding something about that scar of his,
but I decided to let it go. Frankly, I didn't like to think of it.
"Shut up," he said, his cheeks looking rather pink, if
I do say so myself. It worried me, actually, that he was letting something
as silly as my lovestruck sister bother him. It was just weird, that's
all. And then there was Hermione. I couldn't stop thinking of all that
stuff she told Ginny, the things I wasn't supposed to hear. I was going
crazy, thinking about it all.
The weeks passed quickly, and before I knew it, it was time for our
dress rehearsal. "Can you believe we're performing in just-"
Hermione paused to check her watch, "Eighteen hours?" She smiled
nervously at me, and her eyes looked so wide that I had to blush and look
away. Did she really think she wasn't pretty?
Parvati and Lavender looked particularly glum when they arrived at
the dress rehearsal that evening; I imagine it had something to do with
Professor Trelawney's premonition that tomorrow's show would result in
an unprecedented number of fatalities, including (of course) Harry Potter.
Amazing, considering he wasn't even in the play.
However, everything seemed to be going perfectly in rehearsal. "Shows
how much that old bat knows," I said to Hermione. "No one's
forgotten their lines or died or anything so far. She gave me a look that
would have been condescending if her eyes hadn't looked so terrified.
I wondered what it was that scared her so much. I thought maybe it
was something more than just stage fright; with girls, it's always something
big and secret that's bothering them, and never what you'd expect. Especially
with girls like Hermione, who you can bet are always thinking. Honestly,
it just shouldn't be legal to be as smart as she is.
All of the sudden, I remembered something she had said a long time
ago, something that didn't bother me much until now. About her still wanting
to wear a dress and be pretty, even though she was smart, something like
that. I wanted to tell her it's her smartness that makes her pretty, like
that look in her eyes when she's figured something out, or the way she
bites her lip a bit when she's thinking hard. But you can't just go up
to a girl and tell her all that, not if you ever plan on looking her in
the eye again.
My sister spilled her pumpkin juice twice at breakfast this morning,
she was so nervous. Poor kid- I suppose I'd be that jittery myself if
I was playing Cinderella in four hours. Although, I predict I'd look mighty
gorgeous in a ball gown.
As it was, my stomach was butterfly-free, not that I had any lines
to worry about messing up. Hermione, on the other hand, was as white as
Hedwig, and she didn't say a word all through the meal.
Draco Malfoy, as always, had something nasty to say to each of us,
saving until last his wittiest repertoire of ugly stepsister remarks for
Hermione. I mean, I could kill him. How could he fall asleep each night,
knowing that thanks to him, a girl thought she wasn't pretty. But wasn't
I just as bad, then, letting her just go on believing it?
We had to report backstage two hours before the show started, to
get into our costumes and such. It was crazy back there, I'm talking total
chaos. Everyone was stumbling around, halfway in costume, looking for
their props or muttering their lines to themselves. This Hufflepuff in
my year, Hannah Abbott, had all this greasy Muggle stage make-up, and
she kept smearing it on people's faces, even the boys. I got dressed quickly,
then found a nice, dark corner, where I could avoid Hannah and her smelly
pink brushes, tubes, and pots.
Everyone was just shaking by now from nerves, except Lavender, who
was acting like this was all something she did every day. Most of us got
dressed right away, for lack of anything better to do with ourselves,
but she was just flitting about, chatting with people and smooching with
Seamus "for good luck", until her costume was the only one left
on the rack. I imagine she just wanted the dressing room to herself.
I eventually spotted Hermione in her bright orange stepsister dress,
watching Ginny's cheeks get attacked with a pink powdery brush. I decided
to risk walking over there, which I soon regretted, because Hannah smiled
and evilly waved a suspicious looking tube at me before I could even say
a word to Hermione. I quickly did an about face and made like I had some
important Ball Guest business to take care of back behind the prop table.
If Hannah Abbott thought I intended to prance around before my brothers
and the whole school, all painted up like some kind of oversexed Muggle
girl, well then, she had another thought coming.
I felt a finger gently tap my shoulder, which made me jump; it was
"Hey," she said. She was all done up like a stepsister,
with a funny hat on her head and big freckles painted on her cheeks. Like
freckles were supposed to be ugly or something. Hmph.
I opened my mouth to say something for her, but Hannah must have
put some junk on her eyelashes, and it was really messing with my brain.
It was driving me crazy, how long her eyelashes looked.
"Well," she said, twirling around so that awful dress flared
out, "Do I look ugly enough?" She smiled sadly.
"No," I said, all of the sudden, "They screwed up.
You look like Cinderella. You always do."
She stared at me, her lip trembling like she was going to cry.
"Look, I'm sorry," I said quickly, "I didn't mean....I
mean...I meant what I said, but I didn't mean to-"
Then, to my surprise, her lips touched mine for just a second, so
softly I thought I'd dreamt it.
"Break a leg, Ron," she said.
Chapter 6- Ginny
So, I know you're not supposed to peek through the curtains at the
audience before the show starts, but I couldn't help it. I mean, I really
had to look.
Oh gods, shouldn't have looked. My parents were there (surprise!), and
Percy. That made two parents, four brothers, and the whole school, all
here to witness me mangle my part and ruin the whole play.
Oh, and Harry Potter. In fifteen minutes, I would have to get out
there and just scrub the floor of the stage, like I didn't even notice
Harry sitting right there between Neville Longbottom and my mum.
I needed to sit down.
Too soon, Hermione came running over to me. She was nervous, too,
I guess. I mean, her face was all flushed. "Ginny, we're on!"
I wondered what that goofy smile on her face was all about. I, for
one, wasn't smiling. We crept into our places behind the curtains and
froze, like Professor Geary had told us to. Frantically, I went over my
first few lines in my head.
I heard a few whispered words coming from stage left, and I realized
with dread that it was the spell to open the curtains. I took a deep breath
and felt the spotlight wash over my face and hair.
The audience started applauding before we even started. I could hear
my dad louder than anyone. It half made me want to grin, and half made
me want to throw up. I let my eyes flicker to the front row, and you couldn't
really see anyone's face. I knew which one was Harry, though. You can
kind of tell, the way the light hits his glasses. And I guess I can always
tell where he is, somehow.
"Focus," I reminded myself, "You are Cinderella. You can do this."
Problem was, I didn't feel much like Cinderella. I didn't even feel like
myself. The lights were so bright and warm, and all I could think of was
how everyone was looking at me. Inhale, Ginny, now exhale.
Then Hermione started off the play with her first screechy "Cinderella!",
and everything just sort of fell into place. It was the most incredible
thing, the way it was coming together. I mean, we'd practiced and practiced,
but you always expect it to be horrible when it actually counts. It's
almost disappointing, in a way, all that worrying for nothing.
But there was something so sweet about being up there with your friends
and brothers and everyone all watching you. Even if you say your line
all quiet and whispery, they still have to listen. Or if you broke into
song and started tap dancing, they'd just keep watching. They'd have no
And suddenly, my feet were just itching to tap. Oh wow. Okay, just
keep scrubbing. Back and forth. There you go.
And just like that, it was already time for Lavender's scene with
the bibbity bobbity boo. That's my favorite part of the play, because
we do all these special effects with Transfiguration right onstage. We
had quite a time talking Professor Geary into it, because she wanted to
do it just like the Muggles do it, but it was worth it. It's easy, too,
you just have someone whisper the real spells backstage, while Lavender
waves her fake wand around and says her fluffy godmother words.
Lavender walked onstage, and all of the sudden, I felt the back of
my neck go cold like a ghost had just touched it. Something wasn't right
and it took me about three seconds to figure out what. She had picked
up her real wand by mistake, instead of the gaudy prop one we had always
That made me really nervous, because I couldn't help but think she
was going to accidentally bibbity bobbity boo all my clothes off, or something
equally dreadful. "Careful, Lavender," I pleaded silently. She was acting
strange, just scanning the audience with her eyes like she was looking
for someone- Seamus, maybe? Fine time for her to be flirting.
Suddenly there was a crash from down in the audience, followed by
a soft, collective murmur. I strained my eyes to see Harry burst out of
his seat, and run towards the exit, clutching his face. Hundreds of shadowy
faces in the audience turned around to watch him.
I looked back at Lavender, who was staring at me like she's just
figured out who I was. She had that wand in her right hand, and she was
just tapping it on the palm of her left. Something about the way her fingers
curved around it made me want to jump off the stage and run, far away.
Instead, I planted my feet, took a deep breath, and said, "But I
can't go to the ball. I don't have a proper dress."
The audience tittered. I had skipped about ten lines, but I didn't
much care anymore. Lavender didn't even respond, but whoever it was backstage
said their little spell and POOF, I was wearing the ballgown and the glass
Lavender just kept staring at me, and just as I was really beginning
to panic, she suddenly ran off stage right. The audience started whispering,
but I just stood there like a lump, not knowing what to think or do. Finally,
mercifully, someone closed the curtains.
Right then, Ron came running up to me and hugged me so tight I half
thought he was trying to kill me for messing up the play. "I'm sorry,"
I started to say, my voice sounding all trembly, but he shook his head
and shushed me.
I looked up at him, then, and he looked so spooked that I just started
crying like mad into his green ball guest costume. "You're okay, Ginny,"
he kept saying, "You're okay now." He stroked my hair awkwardly, like
he was worried about messing it up, until I finally took a deep breath
and forced myself to speak.
"Something's wrong with Lavender."
Ron nodded, and turned me around so I could see a cluster of witches
and wizards, many of them dressed for Cinderella's ball, standing over
near the prop table. "Harry's back there," he said softly. "His scar started
hurting when she came onstage, so we think maybe this has something to
do with You Know Who."
So Harry was back there. Suddenly, I felt super conscious of the
wet (and no doubt very colorful) combination of tears and Muggle make-up
streaking down my face.
Oh, wonderful, Ginny. You Know Who could be poking his head through
the curtains this very minute, and the first thing you think of is washing
your face before Harry sees you. Sometimes, I make myself sick.
Hermione saw us, and came running over, almost tripping on the hem
of her long costume. "There you guys are!" she said, looking upset. Ron
met her eyes and seemed to be asking her a question, although he didn't
actually speak. Hermione stared at him, shaking her head and sighing.
"We don't know what's going on," she said, "It's like Lavender went
nuts. She started trying to attack people, and...well Professor Dumbledore's
back there, now. They've taken Lavender's wand, and some of the tech crew
guys are holding her down."
She gestured to the prop table, where I could just see Lavender's
small form struggling to escape the grip of two burly Hufflepuff seventh
"All I can think of is the Imperius Curse, "she continued, brow furrowed
in concentration. "But...I don't know, that just doesn't seem right. It
would help if I could go to the library, but Dumbledore wants us to all
stay here, together."
"A good idea," said Ron, sounding strangely hoarse. He was looking
at Hermione with wide, scared eyes. Hermione blushed, and seeing the way
they were staring at each other, I decided it was time to make my exit.
"Well, uh, I'll be going to the dressing room to wash up a bit,"
I mumbled with a quick wave. I gathered my skirts and started to walk
away, but Hermione's sudden gasp stopped me in my tracks. "Dressing room,"
she whispered, biting her lip. Her eyes flashed from Ron to me. "Who was
the last person to use the dressing room?"
"Lavender, I'm almost positive," said my bewildered brother, and
"Right. Ginny, I'm coming with you," she said, grabbing my wrist
and actually pulling me along. I turned and shrugged helplessly at Ron,
who just stood there, scratching his head and saying "huh?"
Chapter 7- Hermione
I couldn't tell you what I expected to find in the dressing room,
but I knew I would find something. I mean, I just knew, as surely as if
I'd read it in a book.
"Well, it makes sense," I told Ginny, "She was normal
when she went in, but when she came out, she was...well..."
"Not herself," Ginny supplied, her freckles looking dark
against her ghostly pale skin. "Right," I said, taking a deep
breath and twisting the doorknob.
The lights in the little room had been left on, and every surface
was covered with hairbrushes and Hogwarts robes, tossed carelessly aside
in the clamor to get into costume. Exactly as we'd left it.
I worked my way systematically from corner to corner, checking for
anything that looked, well, Dark Lord-ish. Truthfully, I didn't want to
find anything. I mean, I know Gryffindors are supposed to be brave and
all, but we do have our limits. I could tell that Ginny, who was watching
me through the mirror as she scrubbed her face, was terrified, but she
was trying hard not to show it.
That reminded me of Ron, but then, when you think about someone a
lot, everything starts to remind you of him.
My eyes drifted past Ginny to a closed door nearly hidden by a mound
of robes. "Is that a closet?" I asked her, and she shrugged,
stretching her arm to twist the doorknob. "It's locked," she
said, sounding relieved.
I reached automatically for my wand, but of course, I had left it
in my room up in Gryffindor Tower, so I wouldn't lose it after I changed
into my costume. "Well, I'll just have to open it the Muggle way,"
I declared, grabbing a wire hanger from off the costume rack. "I
think this will do the trick," I peered at the little hole in the
center of the doorknob. "I mean, I've seen it a million times on
I struggled with it for a while, feeling pretty stupid in my orange
dress, staring with such concentration at a hanger. Finally, Ginny heaved
a mighty sigh and removed it gently from my hands. "I can do this.
Fred and George taught me how."
And like the craftiest of Muggle thieves, she deftly inserted it
into the lock and CLICK, it was open.
I took a deep breath and swung open the closet door. I didn't realize
my eyes were closed until Ginny gasped, and I opened them abruptly. There,
half-hidden by a pile of clothes, sat Lavender Brown, bound a gagged by
magic, eyes wide and terrified.
"Should we...should we take her to Dumbledore?" Ginny's
voice trembled, and I squeezed her hand before turning my attention back
to Lavender. No question, this was the real Lavender.
"Can you move your lips?" I asked, and she mouthed an exaggerated
"yes!" You could tell there were a million things she wanted
to say, and it was driving her crazy, not having a voice.
"We're going to take you to Dumbledore now, and he'll be able to
reverse the spell that was put on you." By now, I was thinking Polyjuice
Potion, but a thought kept gnawing away at me. It was a gruesome thought,
but a valid one- why didn't whoever it was just kill her and be done with
Anyway, Ginny and I carried her out of the dressing room, in the
general direction of Dumbledore, Ron, Harry, and everyone. There was a
collective bewildered murmur when people saw us, as their eyes darted
from the Lavender held by Ginny and I to her wild-eyed double they currently
held captive. Amazingly enough, the only people who didn't look surprised
were the two Lavenders themselves, who just glared at each other like
Dumbledore quickly muttered a counterspell for the real Lavender,
and she sighed with relief that she could sigh, and flexed her fingers
happily. Everyone could tell by now that she was truly Lavender, and restraining
hands gripped the identical stranger even tighter.
Then, everyone began to speak at once. "Well, who is THAT, then?"
"Does Lavender have a twin?" "Polyjuice Potion, I'm sure
of it." Finally, Professor Dumbledore shushed everyone and asked
Lavender plainly, "Did you see who put the speech and motion restricting
spells on you?"
"Well, yeah," she replied, matter-of-factly, "It was
me...er...I mean her. Whoever she is." She pointed an accusing finger
at the anti-Lavender, who actually looked sort of intimidating, despite
the fairy godmother costume.
You could see that Lavender was starting to enjoy herself now, what
with everyone hanging on her every word. "I don't know where she
came from. I was in the dressing room, about to change into my costume,
and she just appeared."
"It was Polyjuice Potion!" someone shouted, and heads started
nodding in agreement. But some part of me just wasn't satisfied with that
explanation. I mean, with You Know Who, it's never your first guess.
Suddenly, Seamus burst into the center of our cluster, dragging by
the wrist...well, Seamus. "I don't know who he is," he panted,
regarding his identical captive with disgust, "But he knew I was trying
to get to Lavender, and he was trying to keep me from coming backstage..."
His voice trailed off as he noticed there were two Lavenders. "Oh
my God," he whispered, slowly shaking his head. Seamus Number Two
And that was about when I decided I was going to the library, and
they could just try to stop me. Determined to attract as little notice
as possible, I slipped away from the group and crept towards the door.
Ron noticed, though. I knew he would. "I'm coming with you,"
he said. I nodded and whispered "Fine", not wanting him to know
that I'd been hoping he would from the start.
We walked briskly across the grounds together, down the hall, and
straight into the restricted section of the library. No one was there
to tell us we couldn't; they were all at the play. I quickly grabbed a
few books off the shelf, nudging one to Ron and selecting another for
myself. "Here, we'll start with these."
I flipped methodically through the pages, looking for something,
anything, to explain the sudden duplication of both Lavender and Seamus.
I could feel Ron's eyes watching me over a book as he pretended to read,
and I tried to sound annoyed. "Ron, this is serious, you know!"
But I couldn't keep my lips from smiling the tiniest bit, and I know he
Doing my best to ignore him anyway, I flipped past page after page
of the scariest spells and potions. Spells that would make your flesh
crawl. Literally. Ron had just opened his mouth to say something, off
topic no doubt, when I stumbled across a spell called Jumelus Maleficus.
"Ron, I think I found something!" I twisted the book around
so we could both see it at the same time.
"Jumelus Maleficus," I read, "Or the Evil Twin Curse,
draws upon the age-old struggle between good and evil in our natures."
Ron nodded. "Sounds good so far."
I skimmed the lengthy explanation of the spell's history, until I
reached the part that had caught my eye flipping through. "The spell
is difficult for three main reasons," I continued, tripping over
my words a bit in my excitement, "Firstly, the words must be uttered
from lips that have kissed the victim. Um, you didn't happen to see if..."
"Lavender and Seamus? Oh yeah. They were like this before the
show started." He gave a passionate demonstration on the back of
Honestly, and how old is he?
"Anyway," I continued, refusing to laugh, "Secondly,
the victim must not know the spell is being performed. And thirdly,"
I declared, underlining with my finger the sentence that meant everything,
"Thirdly, the victim must be alive and conscious while the spell
is being performed!"
I gave Ron a triumphant look, but he just shrugged and asked, "So
what does it do?"
"If the spell is successful," I read, "The next time
the victim looks in the mirror, his or her nature will split into two
components, good and evil, the latter of which is embodied in the reflection.
This "evil twin" will then adopt the ambitions of its creator,
he who cast the spell, for his intentions are, no doubt, evil."
It made sense, I thought, in a weird sort of way. There was an asterisk,
which complied with a footnote at the bottom of the page. "This spell
is often used in conjunction with Polyjuice Potion, as the victim's kiss
must be willingly obtained."
I had stood up, by this point, and was pacing back and forth in my
excitement. "So what must have happened is that someone used Polyjuice
Potion to become Seamus, and then- what is it?" I glared at Ron who
had this amused little smile on his face.
"Nothing. So, uh...you just say these words after you kiss someone,
and they get an evil twin?"
I shook my head. "It's like any other spell, Ron. Obviously,
you have to practice to master it...and what, exactly, is so funny?"
He grinned, and I felt my anger melt away. "Well, I was just
thinking that it would be kind of nice having two Hermiones around, so
don't you think that maybe we'd better start practicing?"
Don't laugh, Hermione. Don't even smile. But I was losing this battle,
and he knew it.
"Come on, Hermione," he said smugly, taking my hand, "Let's
go show this book to someone who can use it."
I gave him the fiercest, most evil look I could muster. "I was
about to say that, you know."
"Right," he said.
Chapter 8- Harry
So there we stood, like any ordinary group of people, except Lavender
and Seamus had each somehow acquired an identical twin, and a lot of the
guys were wearing tights. We stared dumbly at each other for a while,
until Hermione, followed closely by Ron, burst into the center of our
little circle, clutching a book of advanced and dangerous spells to her
"Mystery solved," she declared, cheeks flushed. She opened the book
to a page she had bookmarked, and held it up while she paraphrased the
text. "So you," she said, pointing to the snarling costumed Lavender,"
Are the evil twin. And you," her eyes focused on Seamus's disgruntled
double, "Well, I don't know who you are yet, but we'll all find out when
the Polyjuice Potion wears off."
Amazing. I don't know how she does it.
"Hermione, Ron, I'm impressed," said Dumbledore, and they both blushed
at the praise, "And I imagine this book should be able to give us some
guidance on how we might proceed."
Hermione nodded, face already buried between the book's yellow pages.
"Well, it says here that the force of good must overcome the force of
evil. I'm pretty sure that means you, Lavender." She licked her lips.
"Yes, I'm positive. They have a counterspell here for you to say, too....Oh!"
Suddenly, she was grinning like crazy. "Let me see," said Lavender,
so Hermione showed her. "Are you kidding?" Lavender giggled, and we all
regarded her expectantly, wondering what, exactly, was so funny.
But we were quickly distracted, because just then, Seamus #2's Polyjuice
Potion began to wear off. Suddenly, I felt myself staring at the familiar
trembling figure of Peter Pettigrew.
Ron was the first to recover from the shock of it. "Wormtail!" he
hissed, "I should have guessed." Lavender looked equally horrified, and
she kept wiping her lips with the back of her hand.
"Well," I said, struggling to keep my voice calm, "I can guess you
were trying to do something to me." Wormtail stared back at me, eyes wide.
He said nothing.
"So, I was just wondering, any reason you chose to do whatever it
was you were planning during this play? Because you do know, I wasn't
in it, don't you?" It was nice being able to talk this way to the man
that betrayed my parents, I decided, while he was stuck in the firm grip
of two Ravenclaws who looked like they might have a bit of giant blood
I was all set to say something I would probably regret later, when
Ginny Weasley of all people, in that blue Cinderella dress, started talking.
"You were there that night, weren't you?" She was speaking right to Wormtail.
"When we were practicing my lines. I thought I heard a rat. Did you hear
I blushed, because at the time, I'd been thinking of other things.
Ginny turned back to Wormtail and continued. "You saw him practicing with
me, and you assumed he was the prince or something. You're a pretty lousy
spy, Scabbers, you know that? And you ruined our play." Then, she spat
in his face, turned around, and stalked off to the dressing room. And
before I knew what I was doing, I followed her, hesitating only a moment
at the sign that said "Girls".
"Um, Harry, you're a boy," was the first thing she said.
"Yes...I, er, realize that," I replied, my voice sounding higher
than I would have liked. "But I wanted to talk to you." She didn't say
anything; she just looked at me with those big eyes, so much like Ron's,
but somehow different.
"Well, I wanted to tell you I thought, I mean I didn't get to see
much of it or anything, but I thought you did a really great job. Really.
"Thank you." She smiled at me. I don't think I'd ever seen her smile
like that just at me before. It was...nice.
"I mean it. And Ginny, I'm really sorry that your play got messed
up because of Wormtail...and because of me. I feel terrible."
"Don't. It wasn't your fault, Harry. And I'm glad I practiced with
you, even if it did get Wormtail all mixed up. It was more fun with you
than with Justin. I MEAN...I mean, all those funny voices you did and
I smiled and lowered my voice. "Like this, my lady?" She laughed,
and it made me feel all funny, like it was Cho Chang standing there dressed
like Cinderella, instead of Ginny Weasley. Why was it that I'd always
thought of Ginny as so much
younger? What was she, three months
younger than me, four? I found myself noticing the way her red hair caught
the light, and the freckles that seemed to have been sprinkled across
her nose and cheeks. I looked at her, and I saw her looking at me, too.
Then the door opened, and the light reflected off another head of
red hair. "Hey, am I interrupting anything?" interrupted Ron.
"No!" we said in unison, blushing. Ron smiled. Well, anyway, Lavender's
about to overcome evil out there, if you want to watch." He gave us a
little wave, then frolicked away.
"Well," I said, in my Prince Charming voice, "Shall we?"
"Certainly," she replied, sounding very much like Cinderella. She
attempted a graceful curtsy, but her glass slipper caught on her dress,
and she tumbled to the ground, landing magnificently on her behind.
I looked at her sitting there, her face Gryffindor red, and I thought,
" Well, what do you know. She's the same Ginny Weasley she always was."
I reached down to help her up, but I didn't let go of her hand, just in
I mean, it can't be easy, walking in glass slippers.
The whole crowd we'd left behind (sans Peter Pettigrew, of course,
who was on his way to Azkaban) was still clustered by the prop table to
watch Lavender in her shining moment.
"You know," she said, living up the glory for all it was worth, "My
evil self is kind of cute. Do I really have to do this?"
"Yes," said Hermione, evidently not in the mood for jokes, "Do you
remember the counterspell?"
Lavender giggled. "Of course." She closed her eyes, raised her wand,
and said with a smile:
"Bibbidy bobbidy boo."
So with that, good triumphed over evil, the ugly stepsister turned
beautiful, Cinderella found her real prince, and they all lived happily