Aurelia had been falling for James Potter long before he crashed into her that Wednesday morning in April. The problem was, he was crazy about someone else. And either way, her pureblood family would never approve. And oh, she might as well be invisible, particularly to tall, handsome boys with messy dark hair.
Aurelia Fawley had been born into an odd family, to say the least. Her father, Charles Nicholas Fawley, was a Hufflepuff, and the son of the former minister for magic, Hector Fawley. Her mother, Ambrosia Fawley née Malfoy, twin sister of Abraxas Malfoy, was the embodiment of Slytherin. Yet the odd pair seemed to get along better than any other couple she knew of. While they disagreed on most things, they always came to an agreement in the end, and Aurelia had actually never seen them argue. Her older brother was a lot like their mother, a Slytherin with a ridiculous amount of pride of his blood status, and spent most of his time with their cousin Lucius. Thankfully, Augustus wasn’t a student at Hogwarts anymore, nor was Lucius, and so she had a place for herself, a place where she didn’t have to worry about her family’s concerns about her.
See, Ambrosia was very concerned with her daughter’s marriage prospects. If left solely up to her mother, Aurelia was to be married into another powerful pureblood family. Naturally, August agreed on this, but the thought of her brother trying to have a say in who she married infuriated her. Her father on the other hand, Mr. Fawley, could still not stand the thought of any man touching his daughter, and so her mother had agreed that they wouldn’t promise her to a Black, a Lestrange, or even her vile cousin for that matter. They would let her marry out of love, when she was old enough… to a pureblood wizard of whom they approved (which didn’t leave much of a choice in all honesty).
What her parents were completely unaware of was that they had absolutely nothing to worry about. Aurelia was just as well as invisible, particularly to boys. Her complexion was so fair it freckled at the first glimpse of sun in spring, and her white blonde hair fell flat over her shoulders, without the slightest wave or sign of life in it. To her dismay, she had inherited her mother’s skinny form, and her dull greyish blue eyes. And if you ever took the time to really look at her, you would see a Malfoy rather than a Fawley. Thankfully, no one ever did seem to take that close of a look. Perhaps that was because her eyes were always glued to the floor, or because her nose was stuck in a book. Perhaps it was because she didn’t want to be seen, because she’d much rather be invisible than being mocked, or pursued by one of those smug Slytherin boys.
Either way, there was only one boy Aurelia had eyes for. With his tall frame, dark hair and boyish grin, he was positively the most handsome boy she’d ever seen. Just thinking about him now made the sixteen-year old Hufflepuff’s heart skip a beat, as she hurried down the stairs to make it to divination on time. He was a brilliant wizard, yet people seemed to go unaware of that due to his mischievous nature. He was… He was…
He was running straight into her. She fell back on the floor, books spread out around her, and pale arms grazing against the cold stone floor. But just as soon as he had managed to knock her down, he offered her a hand in the most exaggerated gentlemanly gesture.
“Merlin! My apologies, I didn’t see you there.” He pulled her to her feet before running his hand through his hair, making it even messier than before. She was just about to tell him not to worry about it as people rarely did, when another Gryffindor caught up to him.
“Forgive my friend, Fawley. He has no grace. I swear he was raised by trolls.” To her surprise, Sirius Black began picking her books up from the floor. The fact that he remembered her name was surprising enough, but picking up her books for her, that was a miracle in its own right.
“Oh shut it, Snuffles, you love my parents!” James ruffled his friend’s hair, and immediately, Sirius’ attention was shifted to the black mess on the top of his head. They seemed to have very different preference in hairstyles, that was for sure.
“Fawley, was it?”
“Aurelia,” she responded with a small nod. James Potter had just asked for her name, and while she wanted to pinch herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming, she resisted the urge in order not to look like even more of an idiot than she already did.
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Lia. Can you find it in your heart to forgive my carelessness? I just couldn’t bare having a pretty witch like you despise me.”
Shit. He had called her pretty. He had given her a bloody pet name, and a nice one at that. Was that… was he flirting with her? Sure, in all fairness he was flirty most of the time, but with her? Surely, she was overthinking it. He was like that with all girls, and she knew that for a fact.
“I’m inclined to agree, he already has one too many of those,” Sirius explained, grinning at his friend, who wasn’t slow to punch him on the arm for making such a remark. And Aurelia knew exactly to whom he was referring. Lily Evans was on the top of the list of reasons why being in love with James Potter was pure stupidity. He was borderline obsessed with that girl, and for valid reasons as well. Lily was stunning, not even her blood-purist cousin would be able to deny that. And the girl was a genius. Aurelia wouldn’t be surprised if one day, Lily Evans became minister for magic.
“Well, can you? Forgive me?” Those bewitching hazel eyes were gazing right into hers, and a weak “I guess,” was all she could muster without melting on the spot.
“Brilliant! See you around, Lia!”
With a quick apologetic smile coming from Sirius, the both of them disappeared up the stairs, filling them with laughter. For a moment, she wondered what it must be like to have a friendship like theirs. To be that close to someone. To anyone, really. It was all she had ever wanted. If you didn’t count the troublemaking Gryffindor chaser. She wanted him, too.