Pearls Don’t Bring TearsWord count:
Parvati and Astoria grow up not quite together.Warnings:
The girls belong to JKR, even though I’m often much nicer to them than she is.Author’s Notes:
This was written for sortinghatdrabs
, with the pairing “Astoria/Gryffindor” and the prompt “string of pearls”.
I came second in the competition with this ficlet; the banner is
under the cut.
Parvati and Padma have known the Greengrass girls for years. Their families are friends, though those bonds were strained to breaking point with the onset of war. Astoria, sweeter and more intellectual than her older sister, would have long, obscure conversations with Padma about their respective reading. Their mingled voices would babble like a brook, their laughter at classical puns filling the nursery.
Parvati and Daphne played with dolls. Daphne stole Parvati’s favourite purple shoes, that were meant for her
doll. But her mother always said that rude little girls did not get cake, so Parvati smiled grimly.
Midway through sixth year, Parvati was sulking by the lake. Lavender had gone off with Ron again
, even though Padma said he’d been a dead loss at the Yule Ball and he didn’t –
Astoria’s voice. She was just fifteen and had the coltish look Parvati was beginning to lose. She smiled and plopped down next to Parvati, nudging her shoulder with hers. The warmth of the contact was startling, outside in a Scottish spring. “What’s wrong?”
Parvati ranted about the stupidity of girls who fell so foolishly for boys. Boys could not be trusted with precious things. Did Astoria remember how Longbottom broke that doll of hers, a long time ago?
Astoria nodded, her blue eyes sincere. She seemed somehow on the edge of laughter, but that only made her company more appealing after months of Lavender’s sniffles.
So the two girls found a friendship they’d never had before in anything but name. As the war drew closer, and finally invaded the castle; as friends ran like rats, fleeing through tunnels and gutters; as the news grew ever grimmer and they all began to wonder if Harry was dead already, Parvati felt herself glow from the inside. Like a candle.
No, Astoria is the candle, Parvati decides. She’s asleep now, curled naked in Parvati’s bed. They could never have done this before, but in the new Hogwarts it’s easy. Astoria’s milky flesh glows, pale and luminous and warmly real in Parvati’s arms.
Pale and luminous as the pearls Astoria accepts from Draco Malfoy in May.
Still, their affair pushes the world away. Until spring of Parvati’s eighth year, when Astoria turns seventeen.
Parvati runs away from Astoria’s beam and shining ring. She flees for the dormitory where she and Astoria curled round each other.
She wipes away tears, and smiles down at the string of shining pearls curled smugly on her pillow.
Parvati wears the pearls to Draco and Astoria’s first anniversary party.