Padma wakes with her heart trying to pound out of her chest and a scream still dying on her lips. Nightmares aren't uncommon, not anymore, but she'd hoped it'd be different once she was back at Hogwarts. Apparently not.
Tonight she saw Lavender mutilated and bloody. Colin howling with pain as someone attacked him with the Cruciatus curse. Saw Penelope Clearwater flying backwards through the air and crashing through a window, heard her echoing scream as she fell five floors.
She sits up and pushes her hair back with trembling hands, wishing Parvati was here so she could crawl into her bed and let her sister's warmth lull her back to sleep. But Parvati is in the Gryffindor tower, and Padma doesn't think she can make the trek over there in the dark.
There's a sudden shuffling noise and Padma has to bite back another scream as Luna Lovegood's head pops through the gap in her curtains. There were so few students back this year that they've all been mixed up in the dormitories, which Padma hadn't minded until now.
"Luna!" she hisses. "You almost gave me a heart attack."
"Sorry. I came to check you were alright. I heard you screaming."
Padma isn't sure if it's the moonlight, but Luna's face looks very pale. Padma remembers seeing her fighting, in that last fight. She'd looked as though she was just practicing with the D.A., not scared at all. But Padma wonders now if Luna too is plagued by the faces of the dead.
"Just a bad dream."
Luna nods understandingly. "It's quite hard being back here, isn't it?" she says. "Seeing all the places they died."
Padma hasn't seen the places they died actually; she's been purposefully avoiding them.
"Would you like some chocolate?" Luna asks after a few moments of silence.
Padma shrugs and nods, moving over on the bed so Luna can sit down. She starts to feel better almost immediately, with the sweetness melting on her tongue and the weight of someone beside her.
"That's very pretty. Did you paint it? I paint too," Luna says.
Padma follows her gaze to her bedside table, where a small painting of herself and Parvati sits. "You do?" she says, unable to keep the surprise out of her voice. She can't imagine Luna having the focus it takes to paint.
"Yes. I find it relaxing."
"Me too," Padma says. "What do you like to paint?"
"Oh, this and that. Whatever takes my fancy. I'm not as good as you."
"I'd like to be an artist," Padma admits. "But I don't know if it'll ever happen."
"None of us know what'll happen. That's no reason not to try."
Padma smiles and takes another bite of chocolate. "Thanks, Luna. And thanks for checking on me."
"That's alright. I know you'd do the same for me."
Padma probably wouldn't have, actually. But she will now, she decides. Luna helped her tonight, and Padma doesn't like owing people. Besides, she's not bad company.