Chapter rating: K+
POVs: Charlotte Evans
Word Count: 4,536 words
Date revised: 13/09/2017
"Sorry, What's your name again?" She asked with a barely contained sigh. Her head was pounding and the noise level of the great hall wasn't exactly beneficial to her hangover. Whereas most of the students were hung-over from last night's Quidditch win, Charlotte was feeling the effects of her party for one.
Her long blonde hair was knotted and tied loosely to the nape of her neck in an attempt to hide the birds' nests no doubt hidden within her locks. She had dark rings around her eyes which could tell endless stories of what excitement she could have been up to the night before, though only really sharing that she was exhausted beyond belief. Even though she had a long warm shower that morning, she still stunk of fire whiskey and for some reason, no matter how many times she cast tergeo on her robes; they refused to return to its usual cleanliness. If anything, she found her uniform to be dirtier.
All in all, she wasn't in a very good mood. She had attempted to arrive at the great hall an hour before breakfast officially started in the hopes of avoiding her classmates and students in general, yet not 5 minutes after being seated in the spectacularly quiet room, students began entering.
And here in front of her sat a boy that she had never, not once, spoken too, but managed to know far too much about. Of course she knew his name, she would have to be obliviated of the last 6 years at Hogwarts to not know his name, but she knew from past experiences that a grand total of two people in her year knew her name, and it was proven that things could turn rather awkward when Charlotte knew a lot about a person who didn't know she even existed.
"James, James Potter," He said with a dazzling smile and cheery voice. How he wasn't at all affected by last night antics, Charlotte would never know. He was captain of the bloody team, so it was highly likely that he had been intoxicated more than most, if other parties held any example.
Yet he sat before her, dark thick hair dishevelled, though that was apparently his usual style, blue eyes just as bright as any other day behind his thin wired glasses. His uniform was impeccably clean and he smelled of mint and, strangely enough, a musky wooden smell. Not a single aspect of his appearance or mannerisms suggested he had taken part in late night celebrations, so she concluded that he was either part Veela, and was doing some sort of weird mind trick on her which made him seem presentable when, all things considered, he really shouldn't be, or he had taken some sort of potion which took away the effects of a hangover. The second seemed to be more likely.
She didn't ignore the possibility of him being part Veela however, as she never usually found herself studying a boy's appearance as much as she seemed to with this particular boy. He was good looking enough that she felt awkward in his presence. The idea that someone who always seemed so out of sorts, managed to look unintentionally good, bordered on sinful.
"You're a bloody idiot James Potter," Charlotte said with fake cheeriness and a dark smile, knowing it supported, quite clearly, that she held no wish to take part in anything he had suggested. To be truthful, she'd mildly ignored most of what he'd said, more curious that he had come to her at all.
Potter's cocky smirk dropped instantly at her words and she found herself inwardly sighing in relief at the slightly less attractive facial expression. Still attractive, but not enough that she was questioning whether someone had slipped something into her porridge.
As if to solidify her rejection, she flung her spoon towards the end of the Gryffindor table where some firsties were talking animatedly about, who knows what, and who really cares. With her spoon came some of the porridge from her bowl, effectively splattering the table at least a metre in front of the both of them and luckily (for them) missing either of their uniforms.
"Now please move away, and leave me alone," she said, dropping the fake attitude and ending with a glare. Charlotte knew she was being a tad bitchy, but honestly, what did he expect. If there is one thing that others should learn about Charlotte, it's that you do NOT discuss her sister with her. Potter broke her one significant rule when he plopped his ass onto the bench across from her, changing her mood from foul to downright vicious.
Charlotte ignored his company, going back to her breakfast meal, which looked more like the vomit that stained several corners of the Gryffindor common room early that morning, then what breakfast should be. It was however somewhat healthy, and always helped her hangovers. Which is why she ignored its gag inducing appearance and focused on the taste, which truthfully, was no better.
"Look Catherine…" Potter started in a low voice.
Charlotte groaned loudly, obviously loud enough that Potter stopped whatever he was saying mid sentence to raise a brow. She was used to this, yet it still drove her up the wall every time it happened.
"It's Charlotte you prat," she growled pushing away the bowl of porridge, somehow losing her appetite for vomity bland food. Charlotte could write a list of the number of people who forgot her name, continuously introduced themselves, asked if she was new or mixed up her name. That list would likely be longer than the potions essay she had yet to finish and that was one bloody long essay. "I'm not helping you, so you might as well bugger off," She said, rubbing the sides of her head in soothing circles, hoping the action took away the throbbing pain which still hadn't faded from the moment she woke up that morning.
"Why not?" Potter moaned, his confused face turning down into a sad frown. The alcohol was obviously taking its time leaving her system, because her insides completely melted when she looked up to meet his wide, puppy like eyes.
"Well, firstly…you didn't even know my name." Potter went to interject, but Charlotte's hand which rose as fast as a whip to stop him from continuing, silencing him instantly. She had still yet to get to the most important point, and Circe be damned if she didn't make it exactly clear why she had said no in the first place. "Two, I'm not helping you get with my bloody sister!"
Yes, the incessant fool had begged her to form a camaraderie of sorts in the hopes that it would win her sister's heart. Perhaps if her sister wasn't Lily Evans, she might've helped him, and it just might have worked. As it were, she had the unavoidable disdainful pleasure of being the twin to the fabulous Lily Evans, and no amount of begging could convince her to help him win over her sister.
Charlotte loved her sister; do not forget that one simple fact. She undeniably hated her all the same. She was THE EVANS. As far as the wizarding world knew, Lily Evans doesn't have a sister. Forget the wizarding world, her bloody year never failed to forgot that Lily Evans had a twin sister who was in every class she was, the same bloody house and shared a bloody dorm with her.
Charlotte was simply the plainer version of Lily. Where Lily had voluminous ruby hair which curled against her back charmingly and never seemed to be tangled, Charlotte had dirty blonde hair which was in a constant state of knots and birds' nests no matter how many charms she put on her head. Charlottes deep blue eyes were nothing in contrast to Lily's forest green doe shaped eyes.
Lily was small and petite, Charlotte was tall and had curves which unfortunately couldn't be hidden. Honestly, the only real physical connection that the twins had was their face. They had the same button nose and plumped ruby lips. Same heart shaped face and small chin.
People still questioned their legitimacy whenever they were together however, and no matter how many times Lily told them that 'yes, we are twins', and 'no obviously not identical', 'yes we don't look alike', 'obviously because we are not identical', the conversation still resulted in the questioning in Charlotte's legitimacy as an Evans, never Lily.
This was why Charlotte, who both loved and hated her sister, refused to talk about her to anyone else. Potter certainly wasn't the first gentleman who had attempted to approach her in the hopes of getting her sisters attention. He was however doing the best, considering he was sitting before her still, un-hexed and all his bodily functions intact. This was most likely due to the fact that Charlotte couldn't quite bring herself to hex someone who, so far, had only been mildly frustrating because of his interest in her sister.
"Think of it this way," Potter offered, holding his hands out in a silent plea, his eyes still wide. "You help me out, give me tips and stuff about Lily, and I'll do something for you?"
"Potter, not that having you owe me doesn't sound riveting." Which it truly didn't. "You do realise my sister can barely stand being in your presence. What makes you think that having my help will increase your chances of dating her?"
Charlotte waited, watching with slight amusement as Potter's blue eyes glanced around the room desperately. She assumed he was looking for an excuse that would convert her to his side of thinking, but his attempts were fruitless.
Even if Charlotte helped him, Lily wouldn't stand for it. From the very moment Lily met Potter she disliked him. Charlotte only knew this because she had spent an entire night back in first year complaining about how 'Insufferable, immature, inappropriate and cruel,' he was. The insults had long since expanded and Charlotte couldn't think of a single person who disliked someone else more than she. Though considering He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was on the rise, she may have some clear competition for that regard.
Charlotte never could understand her clear disdain for him, then again, Lily was a tad of a tight ass who spent far too much time attempting to get herself made head girl, helping others and being liked by the general public to ever sit down and have a conversation with the bloke without hyper analysing everything he said. For all Charlotte knew, Potter could be a total charmer, a sweetheart in disguise. That she doubted, considering he was almost as much a man-whore as his best friend Sirius Black. Still, she liked to think she would judge a person after collecting all the evidence, unlike Lily who took what she saw at face value.
"In my opinion," Potter said with a slight smirk. "All that hate that Lily throws at me, is really her way of dealing with sexual tension, in her own way, she wants me." He gave Charlotte a wink and leaned back from the bench, smiling with a satisfied gleam to his expression. "Quite badly too. Only a matter of time."
Charlotte couldn't help it, she laughed out loud, harder than she had in far too long. In fact, it was so loud it brought most of the room's attention on her and Potter who was glowing a slight pink colour at Charlotte's complete disregard for his explanation.
Really, she couldn't think of anything more ridiculous than assuming Lily's hate towards Potter was sexual tension. Charlotte knew that sexual tension to Lily, would be talking to a boy who liked a book she liked, or discussing deeply a topic they both found passionate. Lily was an ambitious nerd and would never take the time out of her busy schedule to yell at a boy because of 'sexual tension'.
"Thank you very much Potter," Charlotte said, wiping under her eyes and flicking away the imaginary tears underneath. She could see that his embarrassed expression had turned into a scowl and it made her want to laugh all the more, but she managed to hold it back and simply grin brightly. "That was the funniest thing I have heard in a long, long, LONG time."
Charlotte slammed the table with her hand at the last 'long' for extra effect and held back her laughter when he jumped slightly from where he was sitting. She could see he was about to retort, likely something sarcastic or offensive considering the dark look he had on his face, so she stood from the bench and swung her legs out so she could stand.
"Love," Charlotte said in a condescending tone as she leant on the table with both her hands, enjoying the situation and his reaction far too much to be healthy. Lily wouldn't like how this was only making her egotistical nature grow slightly. "Let me explain this very carefully," she said slowly, as though talking to a four-year-old. "Lily doesn't do 'sexual tension'. If she says she doesn't like you. She doesn't like you. If she says you have no chance. Well… put it this way Potter, you're probably more likely to turn the entire Gryffindor Quidditch team gay for you before getting my sister."
And with that, Charlotte leaned back from the table watching as Potter sputtered for words. He was seemingly, literally speechless at her slightly offensive and highly sarcastic comment towards his theory. She realised in triumph that she was more sober than not in that moment. Somehow laughing her stomach out managed to shake the after-effects of too much alcohol and not enough sleep. If only she could enjoy this quick cure for hangovers more often.
Curiously, her realisation of Potter's good features had not lessened as her sobriety increased. She, however, disregarded this thought, saving it to analyse at a time where she wasn't standing right in front of him.
"Really Potter, great conversation," Charlotte said, sending a wink his way, watching as he grew red with anger. "I said I wouldn't help you earlier, and I bloody well-meant it."
She headed out of the great hall faster than un-magically possible and directed herself towards the Gryffindor common room. Thankfully as a side effect of waking and eating early, there was still a fair few leaving the common room, so she would have at least 30-40 minutes of silence to attempt to finish the homework she only ever did last minute. Charlotte also had a free first, which would give her another hour to hide any evidence of her activities the night before.
Weaving her way through the Gryffindor's, who all seemed to be leaving the portrait entrance at the exact same time, she found herself entering the common room just as Lily descended the stairs from their shared dorm room.
She couldn't help but roll her eyes as she saw how perfectly perfect her sister looked, knowing that she likely didn't have to do a darn thing to look that good in the morning. She looked lively and determined as she met Charlotte with a wide grin, forcing her twin to attempt a similar smile in return.
"Morning Charlotte," Lily said stepping down off the last step, walking to stand at her sister's side so that they were both leaning against the wall near the portrait. "Got a free first?"
Lily knew Charlotte's timetable back to forth and could likely recite every class she had ever gone to. The only benefit of having a twin who snuck her nose into Charlotte's business far too often, is that Charlotte often forgot where she was meant to be going, and often enlisted the help of her twin, otherwise called; her personal organizer.
Charlotte gave a simple nod in answer and scrutinised Lily for a few seconds, noting that she didn't seem remotely tired or hung-over from last night's festivities. Then again, Lily was doing her prefect rounds last night, and she refused to have any alcohol whatsoever even though they were both of age since January, likely another reason why she didn't like Potter who seemed to be getting drunk whenever the occasion arose. Which was likely every week.
"James Potter approached me at breakfast," Charlotte said with a raised brow, turning to face her sister. She could see it instantly darkened her attitude, as her happy-go-lucky mood fell instantly, along with her cheery smile, replaced by narrowed eyes that gleamed dangerously and a scowl.
"That bastard," Lily seethed looking towards the entrance of the common room as though she was preparing to storm out and hex his brains to oblivion. Sexual tension indeed. The dark aura around her eventually faded with a deep and weary sigh that was unexpected from a girl like Lily, as she slumped against the wall, her shoulders hanging forward.
"Sorry Charlotte," she said with an apologetic smile, placing a hand on Charlotte's arm. "I'll tell him to lay off. No one should have to deal with that Idiot."
And by tell she likely meant yell, by lay off she likely meant to leave both herself and her twin alone otherwise she'd burn his balls off. Actually, that's more like what Charlotte would say, Lily would just yell at him to leave her alone. Now that Charlotte thought of it, perhaps if she did send a small incendio at a certain person's privates, then maybe they would back off…
"Nah don't worry about it," Charlotte said nonchalantly patting her hand which remained on Charlotte's arm. She truly hadn't minded the conversation with Potter. It had been the funniest and most annoying conversation she had ever had with someone who wasn't Lily. Though she didn't exactly have a lot of other people to talk to other than her sister. "Can you believe it was the first time we had ever spoken?"
Lily gave an uncharacteristic scoff and rolled her eyes in a very Charlotte like manner, enough so that Charlotte raised her brows slightly. Lily wrapped her long robes, which had been curled around her arm, on her shoulders and flicked her red hair out from underneath, still as flawless as ever. "Be very thankful, He is an absolute pain in my ass," She said through gritted teeth shaking her head.
Charlotte gave a snort of laughter and rolled her eyes, not at Lily, rather at Potter thinking that the way she speaks of him could tell tales of a hidden struggle of desire she had for him.
"I have no doubt," Charlotte said thoughtfully, realising if she was on the receiving end of Potter's endless attempts at wooing her she'd likely hate the boy as well. "Now go!" She said, nudging her sister with her hip towards the portrait hole. "Go eat some healthy food and learn."
"I plan to," Lily said with a laugh, nudging Charlotte back. As Lily came close to Charlotte however, an unreadable expression passed across her face that made Charlotte furrow her brows in confusion. Lily's eyes widened and she took a step closer to her sister, standing in front of her. Slowly as though fearing what would happen, she leaned forward and sniffed the air around her sister.
"Charlotte!" she gasped taking a step back shaking her head. "Is that… firewhiskey!?"
Oh damn. This is exactly why Charlotte had attempted to remove all smells from her with that extra-long shower. She had even put on different robes, her old ones, which smelt less like alcohol. Somehow her brilliant twin managed to see through both attempts anyway.
Charlotte's smile disappeared and she shook her head strongly, the action almost robotic in its authenticity. "No."
"Damnit Charlotte!" Lily cried hitting Charlotte hard on the arm. Clearly, she hadn't believed her. "You know how I feel about you drinking!"
Yes, Charlotte knew very well how Lily felt. She told her every time she came in the vicinity of a bottle of whiskey, rum and butterbeer.
"Lily, honestly, I didn't drink anything alcohol. Just a butterbeer or two." Charlotte lied, rolling her eyes and softly rubbing the sensitive area her sister had managed to abuse. Lily may be very petite and her arms much smaller in diameter than her sister, but she could punch like an absolute beast. "I was celebrating," Charlotte explained.
"What could you possibly be celebrating Charlotte?" she asked impatiently, tapping her foot on the ground and crossing her arms in a very authorative 'I'm a prefect so answer me now' way. "Because I know damn well you were not celebrating Quidditch with the Gryffindor's Charlotte Amaryllis!"
Uh oh. Middle name used.
"Umm… I got second in my class for that potions exam," Charlotte said slowly, cautiously and with a laugh. Her sister, however, didn't look impressed by her answer at all. Her lips were pursed and eyes narrowed so thinly that her usual bright green eyes appeared dismal. For minutes the sisters stood there watching each other, Charlotte with amusement and annoyance and Lily with fear and suspicion. Lily had every right to act this way in her eyes, and Charlotte just felt like her sister was acting like her mum AGAIN.
"Lily, it's not like before," Charlotte said seriously, the humour clearing from her voice.
She knew why her sister feared her drinking habits. Ever since Charlotte had discovered fire whiskey, she had found a secret solace and pathetic friendship with the drink. At first it would just be a ¼ of a glass after studying to help her sleep better. When she felt lonely, which was often, she would drink a full glass. Then she would have several glasses and several more until she passed out.
It eventually became the only way she could get to sleep after studying all night and attempting to forget that hardly a single other person in Hogwarts other than her twin could give a rat's ass about her. Several drinks turned into several bottles until she wound up in the hospital wing, having the alcohol magically removed by the school nurse. That's when dearest perfect Lily discovered her less than perfect twin had a drinking problem.
Not that Lily could ever understand considering she had more friends and followers than ever necessary. She would never understand what it is to be invisible behind a sister who is practically worshiped. To be second place in everything to the only other person that matters. To know that the one person who knew you best was also the person who withheld you from reaching your full potential. To have to confide all your deepest, darkest thoughts to yourself because there simply was no one else.
Ever since then, which was almost a year ago, she checked on Charlotte almost every night. Looked through her drawers, and confiscated any alcohol she found in the Gryffindor common room, just in case.
Charlotte had practically 0 privacy, for months. Her parents were furious and Petunia, their older sister, thought the whole ordeal was hilarious. So Charlotte cut back on drinking for several months, taking only a small amount here or there when she found herself a small moment of time away from her perfect sister and the eyes of the worried professors. However, like everything she did, the professors forgot about the incident and her, and Lily became too absorbed with their sixth year to watch Charlotte closely. So the drinking started again, at a lesser, safer level than earlier.
Lily watched Charlotte for several moments, most likely assessing the honesty in her statement and eventually sighed, something she apparently did often these days. She grabbed Charlotte by the arms and pulled her into a tight hug. At first Charlotte smiled softly, appreciating the affection she received from her sister, but when several moments passed by and she was still gripped tightly around the neck, which meant she had to lean down to meet her midget sister height, she coughed slightly.
"Get off me." Lily laughed and softened her death grip around Charlotte until she could breathe properly again, then released her completely. Charlotte gave her a somewhat grateful smile which immediately dropped when Lily patted the top of her head like she was a little girl.
Charlotte swatted her hand away with a frown and placed her hands on her hips, pouting her lips dramatically.
"Lily your only 40 minutes older than me, why do you treat me like I'm 5!" Charlotte whined stamping her foot on the carpeted floor in mock seriousness. She sounded very much like a five-year-old and Lily laughed, her cheery mood returning. Which had been Charlotte's hopes all along. It really did irritate her the way Lily treated her sometimes, but now wasn't exactly the time to approach that topic.
"Probably because you act like it Lottie dearest," She said with a wink waggling her shaped eyebrows effortlessly. Charlotte rolled her eyes at the nickname, knowing she only said it to get a reaction out of her.
With a laugh Charlotte shoved her twin towards the portrait watching as Lily mockingly waved at her.
"Seeya Lil's!" Charlotte yelled as Lily stepped through the portrait hole and out towards the hallway, leaving her to the peaceful quiet of the empty common room that looked remarkably clean considering only last night all the upperclassman, excluding Slytherin's of course who lost the Quidditch game, had been lounging around the large space, music flowing through the room and alcohol seemingly in a never ending supply.
With a sigh she made her way to the dorm she shared with her sister, getting rid of the alcohol bottles which had thankfully rolled under her bed sometime during the night, meaning Lily wasn't aware of how much Charlotte had been drinking.
Charlotte sat down at their shared study table which, after several years of use, had carvings that Charlotte had charmed to never be removed, all over the front and sides. She pulled out some blank parchment, her potions textbook and Lily's essay which she had snagged from her bag before the Quidditch game yesterday, and began to finish the last few points of her essay with the assistance of her sister's work.
By the time she was done, breakfast was over, and it was halfway through her free class time. Really she should be studying, considering she hoped she would beat Lily in at least one of their classes this year, however, her beautiful bed began singing an unearthly tune that tugged the very strings of her heart, seemingly calling her name softly, building up a sleepiness inside her that she only ever felt when listening to Professor Slughorn rant on during his 'slug club' events, which occurred, and she went to, far too often.
"Can't exactly deny that request," Charlotte mumbled sleepily, falling face first onto her white pillow, her eyes drawing shut instantly, drowsiness overtaking her body. She fell into a blissful sleep that went on interrupted for several hours.
Several hours past her free period and into her class time.
"OH BLOODY HELL!"