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“Give it here,” Padma snatched the note and dashed behind the sofa when Parvati tried to grab it back.

“Oy! It’s addressed to me.”

“It’s addressed to P Patil,” Padma grinned smugly. “And you’ve been staring at it for 20 minutes. I thought you might need some help.”

“Don’t exaggerate,” Parvati advanced, trapping Padma between the sofa and the wall. “It’s only been a few minutes and I can open my own post just fine, thank you.”

“Doesn’t look like it, who’s it from eh?” Padma attempted to wiggle over the back of the sofa, shouting with laughter when Parvati lunged and grabbed her around the waist. They tumbled onto the floor. Padma giggled helplessly as Parvati pinned her to the carpet and snatched the note back.

“‘S none of your business,” said Parvati, panting as she collapsed back on the sofa. Making sure not to let her fingers linger too long over the return address, she ripped open the note.

“Well?” Padma was still lying on the floor, dark wisps of hair stuck to her forehead.

“It’s from Lavender.” Of course Parvati already knew that. Lavender’s swirly-twirly handwriting hadn’t changed much since she’d passed Parvati a never-ending stream of notes at Hogwarts.

“Shit,” Padma sat up straight, eyes twice the size they were before. “What does she want?”

“Dear Pav,” Parvati read. “I know it’s been a while-”

“Five years,” Padma interrupted.

“Hush you,” Parvati carried on reading. “I know it’s been a while but please, please, please tell me that you are planning to attend that dreadful Magical Misery Meeting? Love and kisses, Lavender.”

“Magical Misery Meeting?”

“I think she means the Magical Menstruation Board Meeting.”

“Right.”

They sat in silence, Parvati rereading the note while Padma picked at a loose thread on the sofa.

“So are you going to reply?”

“Hmm? Oh, probably,” Parvati’s mind was racing. Five years. Five years after Lavender gone on a short holiday to Spain, her face still swathed in bandages from Greyback’s attack, promising to see Parvati in a few weeks.

“Are you going to the period meeting?”

“I don’t know. Haven’t really been invited.”

“Luna invited you,” Padma finally pulled herself off the floor, settling next to Parvati on the sofa.

“But I won’t know anyone.”

“You’ll know Luna.”

“She’ll be off with Ginny.”

“You could always go and sit with them, though,” Padma wrapped an arm around Parvati’s shoulders, gently rocking her back and forth. “Yeah? Owl Luna and say you’d like to go but are worried about not knowing anyone and-”

“What should I say back?”

“To Lavender? Dunno.”

“But you think I should go?”

“Yes,” the exasperation in Padma’s voice was to be expected. Parvati had been going back-and-forth on whether to attend the meeting ever since Luna had told her about it.

“It’s just not easy, knowing that most of them don’t want me there.”

“I know, I’m sorry. They should want you there.”

“Will you come?” Parvati turned to fix Padma with her most beseeching look. The one she used to use to get Lavender to do her nails. “Please?”

“Sorry,” Padma winced. “I just-”

“I know it’s not really your thing.”

“Exactly. It’s not that I don’t want to support you.” Padma reached over and grabbed her hand. “But isn’t there some other way I can do it?”

Before Parvati had a chance to work up a sufficient guilt-trip, tapping on the window announced a second owl. She smiled as she went to let it in. Even with all the emotions swirling in her chest and the five years of silence, it was comforting to see that at least Lavender’s penchant for sending multiple notes hadn’t changed. Once, in Muggle Studies, she’d sent Parvati 25 individual notes, each with just one word printed on it.

Dear - Pav - I - Am - So - Bloody - Bored  - I - Could - Scream - Maybe - The  - Reason - People - Hate - Muggles - Is - Because - They - Are - So - Bloody - Boring! - Luv - Lav

The fact that Parvati could still remember every single note was something that she most definitely would not be sharing with Padma. Speaking of which, her twin was looking rather grabby and Parvati quickly ripped open the note, before Padma got any ideas.

Dear Pav,

If you are going to the MMBM do you want to meet up before? Call me paranoid but I think we might need a plan of attack, remember what a nightmare Granger was at Hoggy? Are you going to the Register Protest? If yes, a few of us are going to make banners tomorrow night - maybe you can join and we can come up with a battleplan?

Love and kisses, Lavender xxxx

“Hmm.” Padma was reading the note over Parvati’s shoulder, her pointing chin digging into Parvati’s collarbone.

“Hmm?”

“Just,” Padma shrugged. “Kind of impressive that she knew you’d be into all this protest stuff. Seeing as you were never much into it when the two of you were mates.”

She wasn’t wrong. Parvati’s early years at Hogwarts had been full of the delight of having a friend to giggle about boys and horoscopes with. Then the war had arrived and the only thing she’d cared around had been keeping Lavender and Padma safe from the Death Eaters. Aside from a vague early interest in SPEW—which quickly disappeared in the face of Hermione’s self-righteous assumption she was the only one in the Gryffindor girls dorm who cared about Elf Rights.

And yet… there had been a few nights, wrapped up in blankets on the Astrology Tower and waiting for the Leonid meteor shower. Nights when she’d whispered to Lavender about how, one day, she thought she might want to, you know, do something for people like her. People who didn’t feel right in their own skin and weren’t as lucky as Parvati. Who didn’t have a kind mum to hug them and tell them it was ok. She hadn’t really known what that thing she wanted to do was, but Lavender had nodded very seriously. Like she had no doubt that Parvati would work it out and be just brilliant at it.

“Hey,” Padma jostled Parvati back to the present. “Maybe it’s a good idea. Meet up with her-” she nodded at the note “before the meeting. Clear the air. She’ll make sure no one is mean to you.” 

“I told her I loved her. How can she just... you know...”

“Act like it didn’t happen?”

“Yeah,” Parvati whispered, wincing as her voice cracked. Seven years of vocal training and all it took was a few cheerful owls from an old friend to make her sound like their cousin Param.

“Alright first of all Param would be horrified to think that he had such a squeaky, girly voice,” Padma gave Parvati’s arm a firm squeeze. “Second of all, maybe this is a chance to find out why she dropped off the face of the Earth.”

“She dropped off because I told her I loved her and-”

“You told her three weeks before the Battle!” Padma threw both hands up in exasperation. “That’s more than enough time for her to freak out, but she didn’t. Did she?”

“No, no she just carried on as normal,” Parvati admitted. She’d gone over this with Padma so many times since the battle, it didn’t appear to have got any easier.

“Well then.” Padma sighed. “I suppose I can come with you. Just to the first meeting with Lavender.” She quickly clarified. “I’m still not going anywhere near that menstruation meeting.”

“Thanks.” Parvati smiled as she felt something loosen in her chest. “Right. Suppose I should respond to these notes.”

“You suppose correctly.”

“I suppose you don’t fancy doing it for me?”

“Another correct supposition, ten points to Gryffindor!”

“And I suppose that my truly terrible twin doesn’t feel like talking about her own romantic dramas? Now that mine have been so neatly tidied away?”

“You are on fire today,” Padma laughed, bouncing off the sofa to accio parchment and a quill. “I’ll just leave these here.” She turned and made for the Floo.

“Charles really did look very sorry,” Parvati called, laughing as Padma mimed strangling herself.

“Owl me if you want outfit opinions,” said Padma, disappearing in a cloud of green smoke.

Right. Good point. Abandoning the parchment Parvati marched into her bedroom and threw open the wardrobe doors. What, exactly, did one wear to a protest banner making event with one's ex-almost-girlfriend?

***

Dear Lav,

Lovely to hear from you! Can’t wait to catch up, owl me the address and we can do some plotting. Should I bring anything?

Love, Parvati

x