What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
- Mohandas Gandhi
Parvati felt pressure against her forehead, cool and slick. Soft.
The last thing she remembered was seeing Harry…
…but why would Harry be at her house?
….They hadn't spoken in weeks…
Parvati's limbs felt heavy. Her mind was a mess. There was a confusion of voices above her, and she decided she must be dreaming.
A familiar, male voice floated in through the black.
"You said she's been okay these past few weeks?"
"At the start she was really lethargic, and Mum took her to a healer, but they had no clue. Just said her iron levels were probably low. But I think she figured something out with her visions, because up until now she's been okay."
Parvati snapped her eyes open. At first, the light was blinding, but soon her eyes adjusted and focused on her surroundings. She was staring at her ceiling.
"What happened?" Her voice was croaky. At least she couldn't taste blood.
Padma helped her sit up. Parvati lowered her gaze, feeling somewhat embarrassed to see Harry Potter lurking in the doorway.
"You collapsed," Padma explained. "And…uhhh…"
Padma averted her gaze and squirmed physically.
"Just tell me."
It was Harry that spoke. "You made a prophecy, Par."
Harry looked up and recalled what he had heard. "'He will be defeated by he who has thrice defied him…He will be defeated by those who have been destined…He will be defeated….and They will rise again…'"
Parvati swallowed heavily. Echoing words haunted her mind. "I think I remember, now."
Padma frowned. "What do you suppose it means?"
Parvati pushed herself upright on her bed and sat cross-legged. She didn't want to think about the prophecy she had just voiced: something inside her told her it was not pertinent.
"I don't really want to talk about it right now," she hedged, looking at Padma. Padma understood the look her twin sister was giving her, and nodded.
"I'll leave you two to it," she said softly, closing the door behind her.
Parvati heard Harry gulp: she looked up, and smiled softly.
"Hey, you," she started, amused at how terrified Harry seemed to be. "Are you scared of me or scared for me?"
Harry ran his fingers through his raven hair. "For you. This whole Seer thing really takes it out of you."
"Mmm. Sometimes. Uhmmm….so….you brought me flowers."
Harry looked taken back at the sudden change in conversation topic. "Uh, yeah, I brought you flowers."
Sometimes boys were so daft! "Why did you bring me flowers, Harry?"
"I wanted to apologise to you for being a stupid self-obsessed arsehole."
Parvati grinned. "I forgive you."
"You aren't mad? You aren't going to chuck books at my head? Scream for me to never return?"
Parvati patted the mattress, motioning for Harry to sit in front of her. He did so obediently.
"Harry…I've been Seeing you all holidays."
"Like, Seeing with a capital 'S'?"
"Yeah…I was, understandably, thinking about you a lot, and I hadn't gotten a vision in ages, not since before the whole Sirius incident. I was up one night, doing my Divination homework-"
"I'm so glad I dropped that subject, what were you doing, working out moon phases?"
"-No," Parvati said impatiently, her voice rising with excitement, "the textbook was describing how when someone thinks really hard and gets into a certain state of mind they can control their Inner Eye.
"So I sat there in my room for, like, four hours, and concentrated on you, and then, I could See you! I kept trying and trying…and Harry…I think I've figured out a way to control what I See."
Harry stared at her widely. "Really?"
"Yeah! All this time I was just totally bewildered by what was happening I never really stood up and took control - I didn't think I could. It's like that Occlumency and Legimency stuff - once you know how to do it, and master the skill, you can block things out and force things too. Oh, I'm sure I'll get the odd vision when fate really wants to knock me sideways, like that prophecy, but that's not important now, because apart from that I won't live my life wondering when next I'll be put into a precognitive daze!"
Harry's jaw had slackened. "You're really excited about this aren't you?"
"Yes!" Parvati squealed excitedly.
"Then I'm ecstatic for you," Harry replied sincerely.
Then, suddenly, Parvati leaned over and kissed Harry straight on the lips.
Harry moved away, shocked.
"Oh, come on Harry, you're going to ask me out again in seventeen seconds anyways, and I know I already say yes!"
"…You are quite scary when you are overjoyed," muttered Harry, unnerved.
"Sorry. I'll calm down, now."
"I think it's been seventeen seconds. Will you take me back?"
"Yes, I will," Parvati said softly. She moved over so she was leaning against him. It felt to both of them like a very natural, comforting yet desired gesture. It felt right for them to be so at ease with one another.
"Listen to your heart!" Harry remarked. "It's still going a million miles an hour."
Parvati smiled, and looked up into Harry's eyes. "So, tell me all about your holidays. I know Sirius charmed your driver's license to put up your age."
Harry laughed. "You Saw that?"
"You bet I did, you cheeky bugger. And who's the lady you went to?"
Parvati waited for Harry to continue explaining.
"It's called psychotherapy, which sounds scary, but it's not really," Harry assured her. "I just talk to this nice woman about all the stuff that's happened and she helps me sort out how I feel about it and how I can deal with it. She offers an objective point-of-view."
Parvati reached up and stroked the length of Harry's jaw. "I think that's a really smart idea. Did Hermione think of it?"
"Yeah, no surprises there, huh?"
"She is a smart one. Will you continue you the sessions during school?"
"Yeah, through the Floo or by post, I think."
"And…." Parvati took a deep breath. Here was the big moment. "You've sort of figured out you probably have to kill Voldemort because that's the most likely reason why he wants to eliminate you."
Harry rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, before mumbling, "Killing Voldemort…it's strange. He's such a figurehead…if we kill him, it will stop a large amount of this- this impending war. But there's still followers out there, all part of a crazy cult who want to get rid of a group of innocent people. Killing Voldemort won't bring back all the people who have died, and I won't make up for all the suffering that he's caused people - or the suffering I might cause people in my quest to kill him. And I mean, after I kill him, can I just leave the rest up to Aurors? When does my responsibility end?"
"You don't want to be a murderer, either," Parvati whispered.
"No," he admitted softly. "That would make me as bad as him. But what choice do I have?"
"There's always another way, Harry. We'll figure it out."
"I hope so," Harry sighed. He smiled tiredly, lacing his fingers in between Parvati's. He changed the subject. They would have ages to talk about what would happen in the future.
"How's Lavender been?" he questioned.
"She's alright. She's living in the middle of London now; she took up that Witch Weekly modelling gig."
"She's not coming back to school?"
"Well, if it makes her happy…"
"I think it will."
Parvati moved from her position and stood up off the bed, smoothing down her messy hair.
"What else have you seen about me this summer?"
"Well, I knew you were going to bring me flowers - thank you, by the way, the colour is lovely. Aaaand…I know in two days we'll be going into Diagon Alley and doing something fun…"
"What type of fun?"
"Surely you know, Harry. You're getting a tattoo."
Harry went red. "I was thinking about it, yeah."
"I like the design Dean drew for you. It's very simple, yet it says a lot."
"Well, it is only one word…"
"Imagine Malfoy's face if he ever learned you got a tattoo! That ferret is such a broody git, he'd sook for weeks!"
"I 'spose that's what you get for having Death Eater parents."
"He was in the paper the other day, did you see? He looked pretty angry at the idea of his father in prison."
Harry agreed with Parvati. "Sirius said to watch out for - apparently a taste for revenge is something that runs in pureblood families."
"Oh!" Parvati's went blank for a moment, then white, as quick as lighting, the gold band slipped onto her finger -
Parvati was shocked into immobility.
Harry was going to propose.
Was she going to die!
Was she going to get pregnant!
Another vision of the proposal flashed before her eyes.
Okay, she reassured herself. No babies. Yet. Just a ring.
"Parvati?" Harry called in a singsong voice. "What did you See?"
Parvati quickly fixed her features into a hasty smile. "Um, nothing. Just you showing off your tattoo to Ron."
Parvati squeezed his hand, laughing nervously. Harry didn't notice her voice went up an octave.
"Yeah, cool," she tried to say in a normal voice.
On the inside, Parvati almost took a deity's name in vain.
By the end of the year I'm going to be engaged to Harry Potter.
Parvati giggled nervously. "You sure you're ready for this?"
It had been two days since Harry and Parvati had gotten back together, and were spending the day, as prophesised, in Diagon Alley. Parvati had picked up a new Charms textbook, Harry had drooled over the new Firebolt model, and now Harry had just finished getting his tattoo at a parlour on the fringes of the magically concealed entrance to Diagon Alley.
Parvati looked over the inked word: it was positioned on his chest over where his heart was. The redness around it looked painful.
"Always," she mouthed, tracing the loop of the 'y' with her finger in the air.
"I like it," she decided. "It's very simple."
Harry smiled. "I wanted something nice, something I can remember and honour my mum and dad and Cedric and Seamus with. Where'd you just come back from?"
Parvati had snuck out of the tattoo parlour minutes earlier. She moved her hair back from her face and revealed her earlobes. Dangling from them were lightning-bolt shaped silver earrings.
"You know you love it."
"You've stolen my trademark!" he cried in mock outrage.
Parvati grinned and leant over to kiss her boyfriend.
"Well," she said decisively, "now it's ours."
"I'm not sure if I like the fact you're wearing a token from a mass-murderer…" Harry said after a moment as they walked through the Leaky Cauldron on their way to re-enter Diagon Alley.
Parvati huffed, and stopped Harry in his tracks. "Harry, shut up."
"You heard me. Shut up. There is no doubt that this year is going to suck just as badly as the last two have - Voldemort's gaining power quicker than ever. So, because this year is going to be so shitty, I forbid you to mope about things unless you are talking to your therapist or we are actually having a full on conversation about it. Not when I am about to treat you Fortescue's ice cream, okay?"
Parvati had respected a meek 'Okay' in response, but Harry replied rather hoarsely, "God, I love you."
Parvati couldn't help the smile that flitted on her face at those words.
"Come on, Potter, let's have some fun!"