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Chapter 1: one for each night
The Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor. Stranger things have happened.
Others have asked why — or rather, they hissed with their simpering sneers. Silly, clingy girl, they would say. Certainly is foolish.
They were the fools, talking right behind your back. You could hear every word. But you suppose — and you blush at your past naivety — that was the point. Loud enough to prick your ears. Quiet enough to play innocent.
Even Parvati admitted you were overbearing at times, always needing a companion on the walks between classes, because you were afraid to seem alone. You only knew how to hold on tightly and the best things in life were — and still are — small like chocolate and trinkets.
You spoke these thoughts and many more aloud to the night. One day, the boys will adore you and your figure will curve the right way instead of wrong and you will be someone special. One day, you will stand in front of your picket-fenced house, tied in blue ribbon, with your husband and your beautiful daughter, smiling her father's smile. For the moment, you only hoped that people understood your voice couldn't help but whine.
Sometimes, your tinny mantras even saved you.
Like the night you cut your gleaming gold hair and spun it into straw. Rumpelstiltskin had come a-knocking. He wanted to give your firstborn back — the one you had crying in the loo when you were seventeen, given up with a hush-brewed potion, black and bitter, all in the name of being Cormac McLaggen's last shag of Hogwarts.
Or like the two years until the new millennium struck, when you were still amazed at how scars could paint a person. Red welts that divided a body in half. Every line of red led straight to your heart.
Two years, seven hundred and thirty whispers: the wolfman is dead, but you are not.
And then life likes to sneak in a last laugh.
It was supposed to be a routine check-up until the bleeding. A few tests later and the healers declared that your womb could bear no more. Irreparable trauma from its caustic scouring and too-deep gashes.
You will never get your picket-fenced house.
Some ask — and you can see an echo of those old sneers cloaked in pity — of how you can bear it, being scarred, fallow, and crushed. And you weren't anyone special in the first place. The war claimed friends and not-quite-friends and wolfmen and many more afterwards. Some succumbed to their wounds, and others to their misery, but not you.
You answer, with a rather gutsy grin, that the Sorting Hat was right.
It takes a brave soul — perhaps even a foolish soul — to hold on, and not once did your tight grip surrender. Even on the quietest nights, you didn't stop whispering. There is plenty of time to lie dead but only so much to live.
You aren't one of those girls, spontaneous and sweet and beloved at first sight, but you could learn to be them. Put on a sunhat. Charm the ribbon blue. It goes with your haircut.
The whole past can't fit in your trunk so you pluck what's necessary. Lessons and mistakes, stacked like cakes. You don't know your destination, but you didn't before and that never stopped you.
Your audience leans forward. Are you running away? No, no, you tut. You are growing wiser.
They hold one final question that you await patiently, if only so you can respond with a coy smile. What are you seeking then, Lavender Brown, scarred, fallow, and crushed?
Rumpelstiltskin is from a Brothers Grimm tale.
A/N I wrote this because I wanted to use this banner for something. Problem was, I had no idea who to write about and I had to choose someone blondish. Lav Lav is definitely in the running for most annoying character in the books, but I love writing characters like that. She was, after all, just in her silly teenage years and, in the end, as much of a war veteran as everyone else.
This is my first second-person and Post-Hogwarts piece! Exciting times. Considering Post-Hogwarts is my favorite era, I have waited much too long.
Please tell me what you think ♥