I got my first review on this story (it's on another website) and it was a really kind one so i'm updating!
Thank you Yesssnake!
Eleonor tipped her head back and blinked rapidly as the classroom around her descended into chaos, students talking loudly as they packed up. Her hand landed heavily on the table and she flicked her textbook closed, going through the motions of slipping it back into her bag and throwing her writing utensils into her pencil case. As customary, she waited until most of her classmates had vacated the classroom, as she never felt like fighting long limbs in close, cramped desks.
It was mad – what she was going to do. Absolutely mad. Who in their right mind would do this? Every time she stood in front of the mirror and practised, she was overcome by embarrassment and terror.
The door closing spurred her out of her seat. She'd been too busy in her mind to realise that she was now alone in the room. Quickly, she raced for the door. Today was The Day, but Eleonor still had one more class to get through before…
Well. One class before she either embarrassed herself royally or… start doing something a little morally wrong.
A little morally wrong? Hah, if she was discovered, she could face some hurt and pissed people. She could easily face detention, and worse. Nobody would talk to her, ever. And maybe, if it did work, but then fall flat a few months later, she could face some serious legal repercussions.
Eleonor pushed the classroom door open, stepping into Charms. Immediately, she was assaulted with a stench, attacking her nostrils. It was putrid, enough to make her bend over and cough uncontrollably into her hand.
"The last one is a rotten egg!" crowed a familiar voice. Eleonor looked up to see Fred smirking at her from the desk that was the closest to the door. George was beside him, cackling and holding his stomach. Eleonor openly stared at them with disbelief, recognising that the stretch now clinging to her clothes did indeed resemble expired eggs.
She forced herself to stand straight, head now in the airspace the jinx was aimed at. Her hands clenched. It was without much difficulty that she called forth her magic and created a flowery smell, one that resembled the lavender perfume Jenny occasionally used. As she strode forward to the front of the classroom, she got rid of the eggy smell still attached to her.
As she passed Tinai's row, she felt another smell assault her. "Now, now," the bitch called. "That's not fair. You did come last, after all."
"Kindly fuck off," Eleonor snapped back and took her usual spot amidst the classroom laughing.
It wasn't until five minutes later that Mr Flitwick appeared and Eleonor finally came up with the comeback of 'use it on yourself; it would be an improvement.'
Eleonor took a deep breath and spread her magic out, filling in every centimetre of space in the bathroom. There wasn't anyone but her, something she was glad about. There was always a rush after classes finished, and it had only just cleared out.
She made the door vanish from anybody's view and stepped out of her cubical, stepping up to the line of mirrors above the taps.
The girl in the mirror was furious, eyebrows firmly scowled and mouth firmly in a line. Eleonor felt livid. That rotten egg thing wiped any trace of uncertainty against the twins and Tiani. Everyone else she would be okay to just become friends with, but Eleonor was firmly not going to befriend those three with good intentions.
But today wasn't the day she was going to approach them. She needed practice, and, when talking about Tiani, something to offer her to make sure their friendship would bloom.
She took out her notebook and a pair of glasses. The notebook was covered in her magic, allowing nobody but her to read. With the correct page open, she propped it against the mirror and slid on the glasses.
"My name is Hailey Kelly," her wand raised, she pointed it to her collarbone area, right at her tie and her vest. "I am from Ravenclaw, about Year 3. Don't specify." The colours of her clothes rapidly changed colours. When she first tried it, the colours looked too bright, like they had just been printed on. It had taken some effort and practice to get it to a duller, washed-out silver and blue, to signify that the robes were a little older.
"I am a muggle-born, and which will allow me to ask about the Wizarding world without any problems. I was born and raised in Pimlico, London. I have a little sister who unfortunately does not have any magic. But I love to take her to the local bookstore and read books together."
She brought forth a wig of vaguely blonde but brown colour, attaching it to her head with her Indigenous magic, rather than British. From her bag, she dug out a pair of shoes that were still uniform confirmative but had a thick sole and hidden heel. When she stood from putting them on, she was taller than normal. Holding her hands in front of her and watching her face in the mirror, she slowly lightened her skin until it was the shade 'Hailey' had. Her nose twisted until it didn't look so Aboriginal, along with other facial features.
She picked up her notebook thumbing a printed picture down. Like the girl in the picture, her face was rather oval, and she carried a pointed nose. Nodding in agreement, she placed the book back down.
Eleonor crouched down to her bag and pulled everything from her pockets, both robe and book bag. "I think myself a little dumb for a Ravenclaw, a little sore point for me. I don't like being stupid about the Wizarding World, and am rather interested in potions because it secretly reminds me of the time I use to spend with my little sister making fake potions as a little girl." Anything that was Eleonor's belongings went into the bottom of her bag, a black cloth covering everything to hide them. From there she placed all her potions books, most of them from the library.
Eleonor pulled out Hailey's inkpots and quills with distaste and slid them into the smaller pockets. Now ready, she stood up, staring at Hailey in the mirror.
It felt strange to see a white girl in the mirror. Her transfiguration skills weren't that good, so she had to use her Indigenous magic to layer a thin illusion over her entire body. The only things that were physically changed were the colour of her robes.
She leaned forward and gripped the sink's edge. "Don't overshare. Act like Hailey has every right to be there – which she is! – and others won't suspect anything. Always be thinking – how would Hailey do this?"
She – Hailey – took a deep breath and tapped her wand against her throat. The next spell was a little advanced, about fifth or sixth year, and it had taken Eleonor so long to even accomplish it. It changed her accent and voice, a little higher than Eleonor's.
"Right." She almost winced at how squeaky it was but forced down the reaction. Hailey would be used to her voice. "Good afternoon, I'm Hailey Kelly." She bent to pull her book bag over her shoulders.
Eleonor didn't like book bags, preferring a backpack. Even now she felt a little uncomfortable. But she was Hailey – who was a little insecure about being a Ravenclaw. Flexing her hands, she clenched the strap going across her body tightly and slouched her shoulders a little. Her hair fell in front of her face, as Hailey didn't really like hair ties because they hurt.
Finally, she snatched up the notebook and shoved it deep into her bag.
The walk from the bathroom to the library was nerve-racking. Her shoes got a little bit to get used to, and every time she came across a student she was convinced they would see through her magic. Her bag's strap got the strangling of its lifetime.
Finally, she was in the library. She shuffled over to the study area, using the walk she made for Hailey. Immediately she found the group of Hufflepuffs she had specifically targeted for her first... outing. They were a little sociable but also studious, coming to the library after class every Friday and all day Saturday. She had never seen anyone but Hufflepuffs sit with them and more importantly, they were pretty good at Herbology. Gripping her book bag not only as Hailey but also as Eleonor, she approached the table.
"Um, good afternoon," she squeaked, forcing to speak a little louder than a whisper, no matter how much her body's reflexes fought her. "Is – is it alright if I ask you some herbology questions?" She had this entire conversation planned out in her hand, practised several times within her room. It had been tiring to try and think up of all the ways the table of Hufflepuffs could respond.
The girl that Eleonor had pinned as leader smiled at her and shuffled around the table, making space for her. "Of course! How can I help you? I'm Ellen Norton."
"Hailey Kelly. Thank you so much. I've been wanting to work out some good specifics for the ingredients of a potion I'm going some research for, but Herbology isn't my forte. I'm really sorry to bother you, so if anyone has got any questions about potions theory, I'd be happy to help."
Eleonor ducked her head forward, trying to mimic nerves and embarrassment. Norton made a noise of concern.
"Oh, you don't need to worry about that!"
Another girl raised her eyebrow. Eleonor had gathered that she was the 'bitch' of the group. "Why don't you ask your fellow Ravens?"
"I, uh, I'm not very friendly with them... And I wanted... nevermind." Hailey sighed. Norton waved at her to sit down. Gingerly, she lifted her legs to slide between the seat and the table.
"Don't worry about Axton, you can sit with us anytime. We're here Friday nights and all day Saturday."
"I know," she answered without thinking and then clapped her hands over her mouth. Horrified, Eleonor rushed to cover her dumb ass. "I mean – I've been thinking of asking you for a while."
Norton laughed, nudging her shoulder with her own. "Don't worry. I'm sure you could become one of us. We are lacking in the potions compartment." Eleonor knew that from overhearing them complain about their potions assignment and created Hailey to be the fix to that. But she didn't say that out loud. She smiled gingerly at Norton instead.
"Thank you," she confessed, relaxing her hands around her bag strap and pulling her books out. There were three girls at the table and one boy, and now that Hailey was at the table, it was a little cramped. "Sorry for intruding. I'm Hailey Kelly. Potions."
The boy replied first. "Ashley Manley. Asking me anything about Charms!"
"Afternoon. Fay Ednie." Ednie had a thick Scottish accent, one of the thickest she had seen around Hogwarts. "I love Arithmancy."
"Just Axton. Don't care what you think, my best subject is Astronomy." The girl scowled and crossed her arms. Norton laughed and waved lightly at the work spread out in front of her.
"I'm fine with Ellen or Norton. And I'm the resident dumb ass – I can absolutely show you how to score a goal on a broomstick but outside the pitch? I'm useless." Hailey smiled at Norton. Eleonor had decided to make Hailey keep on calling everyone by their last names for a few months, as a way of showing how shy she was.
"Nice to meet you all." She greeted, and pulled her inkpot and quill out, only to realise she'd forgotten to bring parchment. "Oh darn, how silly of me." She muttered under her breath. Endie, who was on her right, heard her.
"Need parchment?" the Scot pulled a thick roll from her bag. "Use as much as you'd like."
Eleonor, who was close to pulling out her notebooks to tear out some paper, took it with glee.
"So, what do you need help with?" Manley called out, dropping his quill into an inkpot. "I'm also good at plants."
Hailey looked down at her potions book. It wasn't the official textbook, but one from the library, a theoretical piece of work from the library. For the past month, she'd been reading ahead and carefully sitting beside third and fourth years as they did their potions work to figure out where they were in the year. She'd never been so prepared for Second Year potions theory.
"Well," she stood her textbook up and faced it towards Manley, pointing to a chunk of text. He leaned forward to get a closer look, long dreadlocks brushing his work. Hailey worried if the ink was dry yet. "I just – don't understand this."
"Didn't we learn about this last year?" Axton pointed out, narrowing her eyes at Hailey. "We spent two weeks on koburn and whispering wane because they're so important in potions."
Hailey ducked her head, almost hiding behind the standing book. "I – I'm not year four, s-sorry. But my potions skills are, I swear!" she confessed. She looked up to see the table staring at her. Desperately, she turned to Norton.
The leader in question raised her hands in a 'what?' gesture. "Well, you'll be on the same level as I am then. No worries, it'll be good to go back and relearn." Manley and Endie nodded in agreement, but Axton rolled her eyes.
"So koburn and wane. On their own, koburn is good for burns and wane is a depressant. But, what makes them special for potions is how versatile these two ingredients, especially when it was discovered that growing them in various methods could change their effect on any potion..."
Three hours later, the group declared their study session over. Hailey had been tested on her potions knowledge almost immediately by Axton, but when Endie asked for help she was tested. Luckily for Hailey, some other Ravenclaws had done the homework that Monday, which meant that Eleonor had already researched the hell out of that topic.
She bid the Hufflepuffs goodnight and returned to the same bathroom. There wasn't anyone in it when she stumbled in, which was good because once Eleonor stepped into the door, she found herself sitting on the ground, back against the door.
Her heart thundered in her chest and she couldn't stop flexing her hands, searching for something to do. It shocked her down to her core that she got through it without being discovered.
After a few seconds, Eleonor forced herself up and stumbled over to the sinks. Her breath was slowly calming down, but her eyes were wide as dinner plates. She pulled off the wig and returned it to her magic, shutting down the illusion covering her. Immediately Hailey vanished, and it was Eleonor staring back in the mirror.
"Holy fuck – oh, oops." She grimaced and tapped her throat and clothes. Back to being Australian, Gryffindor Eleonor Yindi. "I ain't out of the woods yet, buddy." She squinted at her reflection, then dropped to the floor to change shoes again. "They'll ask around Ravenclaw about me, and I'll still need to read ahead in potions and several other subjects so they aren't quite sure what year level I am."
She dug out her notebook and pencil case and flipped open to Hailey's page. On the next page, she quickly scrawled down the Hufflepuff's names and their best subjects, and any other information she gleaned about them.
Eleonor stood again and took in a deep breath. Then released it. It was time to go back to the Gryffindor tower.