The Sugar Quill
Author: Twirlingecho  Story: Perfect Imperfection  Chapter: Default
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Perfect Imperfection

We have charms that can transform toads into teacups. We can heal broken bones in no time. We can even make an old run-down car fly over the streets of London. Why hasnít anyone come up with a spell that can combat the effects of a breezy day on curly hair?

Hermione frowned at the mirror in the girlsí lavatory. Her face was framed by a bushy, frizzy mess of hair that seemed to dwarf her face and fill up all the available space in the reflection. She had spent a good twenty minutes this morning taming her tangled tresses. Coaxing every rebellious curl to lie down properly on her head. Using water, gel and charms to force each stray hair to find a place to rest so her head wouldnít look like a drawing from a childís coloring book with crayon marks sticking out beyond all the lines. Why was it that merely walking across the grounds could undo all her efforts, and make her hair look like she just woke up from a particularly nightmare-ridden night?

"Is there a hurricane outside, dear?" the mirror asked in an innocent tone. Hermione sighed, and moved over to the mirror closest to the door, hoping for different commentary.

Anyone who knows me knows what an organized person I am. My room is always tidy. The books on my shelves are sorted by subject, and then alphabetized by authorís last name. And I have never forgotten a homework assignment. Unlike some people I know. Itís so unfair that this ridiculous hair refuses to follow my rules.

Turning on the faucet, Hermione began the process of wetting her hands to scrunch, smooth and pat her uncooperative hair into place. If only she had smooth, straight hair instead of this cursed mess. Girls like Lavender Brown didnít realize how lucky they were. She had seen Lavenderís hair tossed about by the wind outside only to fall neatly back into place upon returning to the castle, whereas Hermioneís own hair seemed to prefer the wild every-which-way condition the wind created.

"Try a little more water, honey. That might help." Clearly, this mirror was no kinder than the last. Hermione rolled her eyes, but she reached into the stream of water again nevertheless.

Everyone tells me Iím lucky to have curly hair. Lucky! Ha! They have no idea how annoying it is to have crazy frizzies flying all over the place when all I want it to do is just lay down flat for once in my life!

Frustrated, Hermione pulled down on her hair with both hands flattening it and squinted into the mirror, trying to imagine what she would look like with straight hair. She had straightened it once, for the Yule Ball in fourth year, and had rather liked the sleek updo she was able to accomplish with the newly manageable locks. She had felt very sophisticated that evening. But she also hadnít felt quite like herself- at least not until she had left the ball and returned to the common room. Somehow, she had forgotten the sophisticated image she was trying to portray when she had found herself face to face with an angry Ron.

Ron had no idea what to make of me that night. What was I thinking yelling at him in the middle of the common room like that? Itís no wonder I surprised him- I surprised myself! Served him right, though. Acting like he and Harry have exclusive rights to my time or something. Git.

Staring into the mirror with her hair pulled down, Hermione laughed. This slicked back flat-haired look didnít suit her. She released her grip and her hair bounced back to its usual bushy state with several strands twining out on their own. Hermione smiled at her reflection. Maybe she didnít have sleek, cooperative hair because she wasnít meant to be a sleek, cooperative girl. Yes, she liked to meet the expectations of her parents and teachers, but she was also willing to break the rules if that was what it took to do the right thing. Yes, she liked things organized and orderly, but she was also not afraid of change and of spontaneity. Yes, she was generally very agreeable and polite, but she would also speak her mind and stand up for what she believed no matter what the consequences. The more Hermione stared into the mirror, the more she realized that maybe her unruly hair was merely a reflection of her personality. Unique. Interesting. And with a mind of its own.

"Are you really considering going out in public like that?"

Hermione laughed defiantly at the mirror, gathered her books, and with a last satisfied glance at her less than perfect reflection, she set off to the Great Hall to meet Ron and Harry for lunch.

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