For Rainy via the Monthly Oneshot Exchange (ParvatiLavender, New Years ball drop, romance). Enjoy, darling

Also for

Insane House Competition: ParvatiLavender

365 Prompts Challenge: midnight

Word Count: 1007


"What are you doing?" Lavender asks, sitting next to Parvati on her bed.

Parvati looks up at her girlfriend, a small smile on her lips. With the Carrows having control of Hogwarts, she has so few reasons to smile these days. Lavender is the only person who never fails to make the world feel a little happier.

"Neville asked me to work on some plans for DA while he's away on winter break," she answers. "He'll be coming back soon, and I've sort of forgotten about it until now."

Lavender grins and presses a gentle kiss to her lips. "Wonder what could be so important that you'd forget about it," she says, a teasing lilt in her voice.

Parvati groans, but her smile stays firmly in place. "Well, there's this gorgeous girl," she answers. "Lovely smile, great arse…"

"Funny."

"I thought so too," Parvati says smugly before turning her attention back to her notes.

She really needs to get this done. There hasn't been much news from the outside except that Luna was taken, and no one has heard from Ginny in a week. The world keeps growing darker, and this is all she can do to fight.

"Hey!" The door to their dormitory opens, revealing Mariana Entwhistle. "You will never believe what Thomas has done! Come see!"

With that, she runs off, leaving the door wide open. Parvati and Lavender exchange glances. Though she's curious, Parvati would rather not go down to the common room. She has to finish her notes and work out a new plan. On the other hand, she's been at it for an hour now, and her eyes feel sore. Maybe a quick break wouldn't hurt.

Lavender is the deciding vote. She slides off Parvati's bed and extends her hand to her lover. "Come on," she says. "It's New Years Eve, after all. What's the harm in celebrating?"

"If they don't have chocolate, I'm coming back up here," Parvati says, taking Lavender's hand gently in her own.

"I bought you a huge box for Christmas! What did you do with it?'

"Ate it." Parvati rolls her eyes, leading Lavender to the stairs. "What else was I supposed to do with it?"

The conversation drops, but Lavender continues to stare at Parvati with some mix of amusement and shock. Once they reach the common room, however, expression shifts. Lavender's eyes widen, and her jaw drops slightly. "It's beautiful."

There, in the middle of the common room, is a ball of red and gold lightly. Above it, numbers flash, slowly ticking away. Parvati assumes it's a countdown timer.

"Are you sure it's accurate?" Mariana asks her boyfriend in a huff.

"Of course I am. Five minutes to go!" Thomas announces proudly, poking his tongue out in triumph.

"What is it?"

Parvati expects Lavender to be just as surprised and clueless. Though her girlfriend is skilled at Charms, this doesn't seem the type of thing Lavender would know about. To her surprise, though, Lavender grins. "Muggles sometimes do a ball drop," she explains. "It's this big deal; thousands of people gather to watch. Dad took me to Times Square to watch it once."

Sometimes Parvati forgets that Lavender is a half-blood and knows about things from Muggle culture. Whenever Lavender has a chance to explain something, Parvati tends to fall in love a little more. Though few others seem to realize it, her girlfriend is so much more than a pretty face.

"Not sure what this one will do," Lavender continues. "They usually just fall, but this one is pure light…"

All thoughts of her notes and plans fade away. Parvati holds Lavender's hand, kissing her on the cheek. "I guess we'd better stick around to find out then," she says.

They find a spot by the fireplace and watch as the numbers shift, decreasing with each passing moment. A new year will be here soon. It doesn't look like it's going to be a bright one filled with joy, but that doesn't change her excitement. She still gets to great a new year with Lavender by her side. Whatever darkness has plagued them does not matter in this moment. Lavender is by her side, and she feels invincible.

"One minute left," Lavender squeals, clapping her hands together. Her excitement is contagious, and Parvati finds herself mirroring that broad grin.

"We're going to make the world better," Parvati says.

Lavender leans in closer, wrapping her arms around the other girl. "You already made my world better," she whispers.

"Ten! Nine!"

Parvati pushes her hands through Lavender's honey blonde hair. Not for the first time, she wonders how she could be so lucky. So few people have the joy of falling in love with their best friend.

"Eight! Seven!"

The world is not a happy place. She doesn't know if it ever will be again. Some days, that bothers her. Mostly, though, she thinks she can survive as long as Lavender is with her.

"Six! Five!"

That smile grows brighter. Parvati leans in, ready and eager.

"Four!" She and Lavender join in the countdown. "Three! Two! One! Happy New Year!"

The ball drops, bursting into an explosion of light. Red and gold fireworks whistle and explore, filling the common room with light and noise. Parvati barely has time to appreciate its beauty; Lavender pulls her close until the only things separating them are the thin layers of clothes between them. Their lips meet, and Parvati feels herself melting at the touch as she always does.

The world fades away. There is no more common room, no more people. The war cannot reach them here; the world cannot cast its dark shadow upon them.

It's just Lavender and Parvati in this moment, and that's enough for her.

"Happy New Year," Lavender says softly when they finally pull apart. Her fingers graze Parvati's cheek lovingly.

"To many more to come," Parvati adds, pressing one last chaste kiss to her girlfriend's lips.

Her plans and the rest of the world could wait another day. Tonight, she is all Lavender's.