7-26-03

A/N: To one of my recent reviewers, who asked why I cried...

(Somewhat OotP spoiler)

Um, maybe this is just me, but I LIKED the character who died. And if I cry when CEDRIC kicks the bucket, I definitely would for...ahem.

(6 and 1/2 hours? Pretty good - better than any of my friends so far. I got it at midnight... got home and started really reading at 12:40, and finished at 7:45, with an hour break...)

You know, my mom just finished the part where he dies, and she called me in and said, "Oh, it was just- far less upsetting than Cedric's death." Um... I am in total disbelief - I LIKED..er, him. She didn't like him... GRR!

Then again, she's a mom. I guess a kid's death would be more upsetting for her.

A/N 2: This chapter explains Harry's looks, but that's about it. I'm still working out what to present where due to the release of Book 5...

The chapters are going to start coming out much slower while I work this stuff out, plus I start summer school this week...

Prologue:

Of all the ways he had imagined starting the year, this was not one of them.

McGonagall was deeply involved in a book on personal charms. She had already attempted four charms to tidy his hair; however, none had been very successful. While this only seemed to amuse Professor Flitwick, the tiny man soon found he was just as baffled by Harry's eyes. He was taking his problems much better than McGonagall was. Harry supposed the life of a fashion consultant suited him. He had cringed appropriately when he took away Harry's glasses.

The boy in question found it hard to keep still for so long, while two of his favorite teachers attempted charm after charm on him. McGonagall had given up on her book and was now seated at the desk, looking through a thick scroll, muttering to herself. She seemed to be personally offended that his hair was warding off her magic. Finally, she stood up and strode back to Harry and cast her newest spell with a hopeful tone.

The back of his neck tickled as his head curled in tendrils. Somewhat hesitantly, he reached his hand up to feel his now-smooth hair. He looked to McGonagall in awe. "How did you find that spell, Professor? Hermione's gone nuts over it, but she's never been able to fix it!" He imagined the look on Hermione's face if she saw him now.

McGonagall smiled slightly. "My brother used to use that spell to glue his hair to his head. Luckily, it has a lesser effect on your... look."

She began to scrutinize him further, and took out a roll of magical measuring tape. She took down the measurements as the tape called them to her, then fed them into what looked like a normal sewing machine.

"Blue."

The sewing machine immediately whirred to life, but it's magic soon showed itself. Out of nowhere, it was creating a pair of dark blue robes fitted to him.

"Now, Mr. Potter, I'm no Madam Malkin. Your background is that of a magical-upbringing, so you should have some wizarding robes. I recommend you buy further sets as soon as -"

Flitwick chose that moment to place an exceptionally powerful charm on Harry's eyes.

"Ow!" Harry moved instinctively to cover them and protect them from the burning, but Flitwick jumped up and grabbed his hands. "No, no, let it set. Good, good..."

Harry sat on the stool for a moment, still yearning to scratch his own eyes out and wondering where they put his glasses. Flitwick made a frustrated squeak. "They were supposed to turn brown! Brown!"

McGonagall scrutinized him carefully. "Well, they are a lighter shade of green - honestly, Potter, what have you done to your eyes? They should be far easier to change!"

It went on in this fashion for some time. Harry estimated it had been about an hour when Flitwick stepped back from him and smiled. Harry wished he hadn't, because now he could only see a short blue mass in front of him, about Dobby's height. He mulled over the idea that Flitwick had house elf blood in him.

"Finished!"

McGonagall grabbed Harry's arm and led him to the far wall to look into the mirror. Hesitantly, he reminded her that he couldn't see without his glasses. He felt her press a pair into his hands and put them on. He looked at his reflection and started.

His hair was flat, and either McGonagall (or the sun, now that he thought of it) had brought out a couple more raven highlights. His glasses were silver now and slightly more rectangular. And his eyes - his eyes were now a very, very, pale shade of green. He had a fleeting glimpse of someone about to be sick, their face being the shade of his eyes. Harry's gaze drifted up a bit - and he sent a questioning gaze to McGonagall.

She sighed. "We couldn't actually do anything for your scar - Dumbledore said he wouln't be able to, either. Just try parting your hair differently." She handed him a brush, and he confusedly tried to use it. After all, his hair had never actually done what the brush wanted, so this was a new experience. He experimented a bit and then brushed his hair to the other side of his forehead, leaving the scar well-hidden.

He stepped back and studied himself. Perhaps Ron, Hermione, and definitely Dumbledore, but no one else would recognize him.

McGonagall sent him off to pack his things, and then to report to Dumbledore's office. On the way up to Gryffindor Tower, he ran his hand over his hair in awe.