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06 December 2012 @ 07:17 am
Fic: In the Valley of Broken Things for pitry  
Title: In the Valley of Broken Things
Author: ???
A Gift for: pitry
Rating: PG
Length: ~1000
Characters: Lavender Brown, Parvati Patil, George Weasley
Warnings: angst
Author's Notes: Thank you to my lovely beta! And thank you to the mods, for being so patient with me.



The psychiatric ward at St. Mungo's starts to feel like a prison three weeks into her stay.


“When can I leave?” Lavender asks, trying to frown. Her face is numb from the potions they give her, making it difficult to move those muscles for anything other than speaking. She almost thinks that the pain would be better. She's accidentally drooled on herself too many times to count.


“A few days,” Parvati says as she flips through last month's Witch Weekly. Harry's on the cover, of course, looking solemn and gloomy. Lavender can count the number of times she's seen Harry Potter laugh on one hand.


“But I'm fine,” she mumbles, running a hand along the lines marring her cheek. They're smooth, at least, and silvery in color.


“Of course you are,” Parvati says sardonically, finally closing the magazine. “Aside from the severe head trauma.” Harry smiles awkwardly from the glossy cover, one of his hands adjusting his glasses so that they sit higher up on his nose.


Lavender leans back into the bed, sighing. She's had this conversation at least a dozen times, each with the same result.


A few days, Lavender Brown. You're too fragile to leave just yet.


“I'm fine,” Lavender mumbles. “I can handle it. Not like Lockhart down the hall or—or Malfoy with his voices.” Parvati absentmindedly fingers the petals of a bouquet of flowers sitting on the table near the window. Roses from Seamus's visit last week, Lavender thinks. Dean brought her wildflowers, so the roses must be from Seamus.


“I know,” her friend says, pulling her hand back from the flowers, and that response is a familiar one, too. The flowers are a pale pink, a little brown at the edges. One of the petals falls off. There's a groan of pain from down the hall.


Looking away quickly, Lavender pretends her eyes aren't watering.


-


George Weasley screams in his sleep.


That's the excuse Lavender usually gives Healer Rice whenever she asks for the Dreamless Sleep. He screams through the spells meant to silence him, so loudly that the Healers have to come in and sedate him today. She watches from her doorway—he's in the room across from hers—with wide eyes, her fingers coming up to brush along those fine, silvery lines on her face. It's a nervous gesture now, one that she hopes will be easy enough to break once she's gone, gone from this wretched ward.


He's thrashing, his face like an open wound.


“Go back to sleep, Lavender,” one of the Healers tells her when he sees her watching. Foster, she thinks his name is. Healer Foster. He looks just as tired as she feels.


She tears her eyes away and goes back into her room without a word.


Sleep, as it often does these days, eludes her.


-


“When will I be able to leave?” Lavender asks, the question spilling from her lips the moment Healer Rice steps into her room. He's a tall, gangly young man with ginger hair and square glasses. Parvati fancys him a bit, not that Lavender would ever say anything.


“A few days,” he says, smiling tiredly. “We're letting you go once the full moon's passed.” Maybe it's the look on her face, but he quickly elaborates.


“You won't turn—we did go over this, I believe?—but you may experience some of the symptoms common to lycanthropy. A craving for red meat, an unusual amount of aggression.” She nods. They have gone over this.


“When will George Weasley be able to leave?” she asks. It literally comes from nowhere, and the question hangs in the air for too long. Lavender barely knows him, barely knows any Weasley but Ron (did she even know him, for that matter?). She's not sure why she asked.


“We aren't sure,” Healer Rice finally says, voice soft. “Suffice to say that he'll be here much longer than you will, for wounds that go much deeper than yours.”


It's an almost-relief to hear that she isn't like that.


-


She screams in her sleep some nights, too.


Maybe that's why they never turn her away when she asks for the Dreamless Sleep.


I'm not like that, she assures herself. I'm not.


-


“How's the Ministry?” Parvati looks up from this morning's copy of the Prophet, one eyebrow cocked.


“In shambles,” she says. “Even Granger's floundering.”


Lavender snorts, the first bit of laughter she's had in days. That tiny seed of resentment for Hermione Granger has nearly dissolved into nothing, but she still finds herself putting up the pretense. It maintains some sense of normalcy.


“The Prophet has a rather informative article on the matter,” Parvati says, folding the newspaper and setting it on the table next to the bed. Somebody must have taken Seamus's roses while she was sleeping. The table's empty save the newspaper, and she probably won't be getting any more bouquets from well-wishers. Parvati's the only one to visit with any sort of frequency and never with flowers.


Instead, she brings her newspapers and her gossip.


“I'm sure it's very enlightening,” Lavender says. “But we both know I'm not going to read it.” Parvati cracks a small, knowing smile but doesn't say anything.


They're both silent for a moment, each lost in her own thoughts. She strays to poor George Weasley, broken thing that he has become, before meeting Parvati's dark eyes once more.


“Lav?” Parvati finally says, the question clear in her voice.


“Hm?”


“I'm glad you're okay,” she whispers. Parvati's not the most emotional girl, never has been. That's what Lavender is for. Her lip is trembling now, though, eyes wet and shiny.


“Me, too,” Lavender murmurs. And she is. Her face stings—they've stopped giving her the potions, finally—and it'll never be that lovely, perfect thing that it once was, but she's found it in herself to be grateful. Her scars will fade, superficial things that they are, and those nightmares of Greyback—looming and dark and awful—will fade, too.


Without another word, she reaches over and grasps Parvati's hand in hers.
Tags: ,
 
 
 
mama_pyjamamama_pyjama on December 6th, 2012 07:44 am (UTC)
Lovely. Perfect for reading over breakfast this morning! Thank you.

Edited at 2012-12-06 07:45 am (UTC)
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:47 am (UTC)
Of course! I'm glad you liked it :)
primeideal.dreamwidth.orgprimeideal.dreamwidth.org on December 6th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
"Lavender barely knows him, barely knows any Weasley but Ron (did she even know him, for that matter?)" Good digression, this seemed to tie things together.
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
忘れな草: reading and researchingwasureneba on December 6th, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
I love seeing forays into Lavendar and Parvati's friendship, and this was such a touching one; it made me gulp a little bit at the end.
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)
I love these two so much! Actually, none of the Gryffindors in Harry's year (other than Ron and Hermione) get enough love.

I'm glad you liked it! :)
pitrypitry on December 6th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, a Lavender and Parvati friendship fic! I was hoping to get this. Thank you, mystery author! :)

I love the way Lavender and Parvati keep up the pretence for the sake of normalcy - the comments about Ron and Hermione in particular! It's such a great idea, maintaining some rivalry just to feel like nothing's changed but the little hints that it's not really like that anymore. And the hints of healing - a long process, but they're slowly getting there.

That was just lovely.
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:50 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! I immediately went for that idea, because they really don't get enough fic.

Thank you! :)
mollywheezy: Gryffindor Womenmollywheezy on December 6th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Very sad but with such a hopeful tone. I also think it rings very true for how things would be after a war. Excellent story!
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:50 am (UTC)
Thank you for such a lovely comment :)
secretsolitaire: xmas jakesecretsolitaire on December 7th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
This is lovely.
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:50 am (UTC)
Thank you :)
#!/usr/bin/girl: McBadassdelphipsmith on December 7th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
Short and melancholy but with hope at the end, at least for Lavender. It's nice to see her post-War (I was more upset than I expected about her canon death, it seemed so unfair, though why hers should seem any more unfair than others' I can't articulate). Heartwarming that she has a good friend to help her through it. Poor George...

Parvati's the only one to visit with any sort of frequency and never with flowers. Instead, she brings her newspapers and her gossip. -- And what better things to bring,really :)
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
I find her death more unfair than the others, I think, because she had so little real development in canon. She was always simply the frivolous one or, later on, Ron's crazy girlfriend.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!
sillymammomsillymammom on December 7th, 2012 08:25 am (UTC)
this seemed to tie things together.
alicia.: pic#110903092aliciadances on December 7th, 2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
This was sad and lovely. Thank you!
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
kellychambliss: Xmaskellychambliss on December 23rd, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
I like fics that examine the aftermath of the war and don't try to gloss over the inevitable costs. But there's strength, resilience, and hope here, too. Well done.
Meghan: stock: blushingmagic_knickers on January 5th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)