MEMORIES OF EDEN

*

Since the beginning of time there has been a legendary garden set near the ends of the world, where time is forever young and the sun never seems to set. In this garden is an arrangement of magnificent proportions with weaving rivers of honey and milk, and glittering fruit trees of the grandest kind. And among these mythical trees is one of magical element, where the knowledge of what has passed and what is to come hang upon the copper branches and between the emerald leaves.

But it is not where this tree stands, or what its appearance is to the world, because more over is what it holds. For embedded into every glistening fruit, etched into the very fibers of the fresh flowers are the memories of every being who has lived or who has yet to live. Come walk with me, and we shall sit under this majestic canopy, looking up into the sunbeams shining through the branches and leaves. Smile, for this is a rare opportunity.

But go on; do not be afraid to pick the fruit, or smell the blossoms. Follow me into the towering arms of the oak, the rowan, and the cedar. Let us wallow in the memories of others, living the greatest achievements, fearing their greatest defeats. Come with me, this guarantees to be interesting.

Oh, that one looks promising. See how the fruit it sweet even to the touch? Come now, take a bite. See the memory. The girl who left that one is fascinating indeed. Her name is Pansy, I think. Pansy Parkinson. She's a magical little one, with more history than you could ever imagine. Watch now; her memories are extraordinary.

*

Pansy Parkinson hurried towards Defense Against the Dark Arts, the remnants of the first bell ringing endlessly in her ears. She hated being late to class, especially since this was her first year at Hogwarts. It awarded her with frowns from the professors and snickers from her classmates, not to mention the embarrassment one felt when they barged into a silent room.

She hiked her large bag higher onto her shoulder, groaning as the weight of her books began to press a searing ache into her shoulder; but she refused to stop and rub it out. Struggling with her over-sized satchel, Pansy hurried through the corridor, glancing down at her watch apprehensively. She was five minutes late and rising. Her feet began to hurry. She couldn't afford this.

She wasn't doing fantastic in her lessons. She wasn't living up to the Parkinson name and honor. She was the cruelest girl in her year, and she was definitely unpopular with all the houses save for her own. And to add to all that, her professors never were able to look at her without so much as a downcast glare of disapproval. Pansy knew it was partly her fault for her horrid marks. She wasn't an academic prodigy like that disgusting Mudblood Gryffindor, Granger, or whatever her name was. But today's tardiness wasn't her doing. In fact, she had woken up early today, specifically so she wouldn't be in such a situation as now.

She was the first one ready that morning, already heading out of the common room along with many of the other early birds. But before she could leave Blaise and those two oafs, Crabbe and Goyle, had told her that Draco requested her audience in his room. Her school-girl crush had obviously been apparent, for Pansy had dropped everything she was doing and rushed upstairs after them. But when they pointed her down the hallway and at the door leading to the boys' dormitories, her suspicions rose. She turned to tell them that there never used to be a door on the left only to be bombarded by hands and snickers. The next thing she knew she was pounding furiously on the door in complete darkness.

It wasn't until the bell rang that the illusion fell and she was thrown out of the brick wall. With as much coordination as she could muster, she was able to get out of the common room and up the dungeons steps at top speeds. Now her only obstacle was getting to the third floor of the west wing when she was on the first floor of the east wing.

She quickly rounded the corner and let out a sigh of relief; she had only the courtyard to cross and she'd be home free. On the other side she could see that Professor Quirrell's door was still open, meaning that her chances of making it before being marked late were very good. Quirrell was definitely a forgetful and timid man, and these traits were on Pansy's side today. He left his door open often, forgetting to close it and allowing his students to slip in, undetected, and settle down in their seats as if they had been there all along.

Smiling despite her usual smug demeanor, Pansy sprinted off towards the classroom and across the courtyard. Her good fortune seemed to have fallen in her lap once more. And so great was her minute triumph that she wasn't paying attention to where she was walking. Speeding off across the quad, her large bag moved in for the final kill. Her foot caught dangerously on the intersecting walkway and she stumbled to the ground. She threw out her hands out to stop herself as her book bag burst open, the contents spilling everywhere.

For a long while Pansy just sat there, unable to wipe the embarrassment off her face, even if no one had been watching. She couldn't move from the shock of the fall and her horrible bad luck. She didn't have the courage to look up, least the stone walls and brilliant sky taunt her in her fallen state.

She stared down at her hands, her palms stinging as they pressed into the ground. She took in a deep breath and immediately caught the putrid smell of turpentine that stung the back of her throat and she knew that all her ink bottles had shattered into nothing, the black, Indian ink probably splashed across the grass and stone walkway with glistening shadows. She gently lifted one hand and touched her knee and feeling a strange liquid that was either blood or ink as her knee stung with a vengeance.

Slowly and carefully, Pansy sat herself up a little straighter. She began to reach around the ground in a ginger haste, gathering her things together and shoving them forcefully into her satchel once more. She stole a quick glance upward towards the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom to make sure the door was still open. It was.
Grabbing all that she could salvage, whether they were drenched in ink or not, Pansy gathered all that would fit in her bag or her arms. She tried pulling herself to her feet but the weight of her things held her down. Desperate to get to class, she piled her books in one hand and made to push herself up; but as her hand pressed against the warm stone she felt a small sliver of glass sink deeply into her skin. Groaning, she withdrew her hand and glared down at the offending fragment, cursing the ink bottle that it had once been. She looked down at her palm where a red liquid began to blossom from the cut. Aggravated and upset, Pansy clenched the muscles in her jaw, forcing herself not to throw a spoiled fit, even if she was in the perfect position to do so. Things just didn't seem fair anymore.

"Need help?" a quiet voice asked from above. Surprised, Pansy jerked her head up, finding a pale hand held out to her, almost, (dare she even think it?), containing the air of friendliness. She looked farther up to look into the face of its owner and couldn't suppress the gasp that escaped her. Although the damsel-in-distress method was not what she was accustomed too, Pansy couldn't help but act in such a way. It wasn't everyday that the object of her affection acknowledged her existence. She could only shrug in response.

Taking that as a yes, Draco took hold of her hand, hauling her up to stand on her own two feet. She didn't say anything, far too captivated for words. In fact, her infatuation had gotten the better part of her attention so that she did not know that she had bled all over his hand.

"You're hurt," he stated, completely unconcerned. He reached for her trembling fingers once more and turned over her palm in his hand, noticing the garnet cut against her skin. She held her breath as he instinctively whipped out his handkerchief, wiping away the red until her skin looked untouched save for the hairline sliver left behind. "No magic in the corridors," he drawled, as if apologizing for binding her hand with his handkerchief, the embroidered green 'M' looking up at her. But she could not reply to his rather odd sympathy; her voice had simply fled from her, leaving her alone and somewhat empty inside apart from her thumping heart.

"Thank you," she tried to say, but it came out as a mime, and he did not even notice. She could still feel his cold finger gently holding her own and she quickly withdrew, too nervous to proceed with such an intimate gesture.

"Well, bye then," he said, and brushed past her without even looking her in the eye or waiting for her reply. In a sudden flash he was no longer in front of her sight, but gone, almost as if he had not been there. The meeting had been so awkward, so unplanned, that for awhile Pansy wasn't sure if it actually happened, and that maybe she was still sitting on the ground, waiting for the world to stop laughing and her knee to stop stinging.

"Hey, Pansy," Draco called from behind her. She whipped around, cursing her own eagerness but blessing his haloed head for staying behind. She saw him framed between two columns in the stone hallway, his back straight and his hair far too fair to be real. She would have responded, but he was already speaking to her. "I left the dormitories at six this morning. I haven't been back since." And with that, he turned on his heel and left, not realizing the immense weight of relief and love he had dropped at Pansy's feet.

For a long time she stared after him, the black of his robes and the lightness of his skin lingering in an afterimage between the columns. Her hand still tingled with the touch of his skin on hers, and she could still feel the searing gaze of his eyes on hers, their stormy grey shade causing the rest of the world to look far too cheery and bright for one's eyes.

The resounding thud of wood hitting stone. Pansy spun around and looked towards the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. The door was closed. She turned right around and headed back for the Slytherin Dungeons. She suddenly did not care much for lessons today.

*

There, now wasn't that sweet and satisfying? I promise you, the rest of them will be just like that, maybe even better.

What? You did not think our journey ended here, did you? Child, of course not! Look around you; there are so many more branches to visit, so many more memories to know. Now, take my hand and let us go. Watch your feet as we go upward now, to that distant bough, where the petals bloom a livid blush. You can smell their fragrance from here, can't you? They are stargazers, and they are beautiful.

Can you guess who's mind is entrapped in these beauties? Oh, but you should! Who can look so strange and charming, yet be so far out of reach to where we can barely graze their petals? Why, she is a Ravenclaw at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and she is also a friend of Harry Potter. You do know who Harry Potter is, don't you? Good. I wasn't sure for a moment.

But see, I am speaking too much. Let us fall into another's eyes, and see what they see. Come, the world of Luna Lovegood is waiting.