Disclaimer: Everything belongs to J.K. Rowling; I'm only borrowing it all for a while.
yeah the spotlight
shines upon you.
And how could anybody
deny you anything?
-"Green Eyes", Coldplay
When Parvati Patil had heard that the great hero Harry Potter was to be in her year, she had expected someone more…well, heroic. Whatever the Boy Who Lived in her mind looked like, he certainly wasn't a scrawny, pale thing with messy hair and glasses. She had thought that perhaps his behaviour, at least, would reflect his tragic, legendary past, but was somewhat dismayed to find that he was just a boy like all the rest. After five years of knowing him, she still had trouble finding the wizard who defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in the boy who sat in front of her in Transfiguration. Somehow she never would have imagined the great Harry Potter laughing at the fact that his wand had just turned into a rubber chicken.
It wasn't that he wasn't a nice person, but he was just such a boy sometimes. Heroes were supposed to be noble and solemn and not make fun of Divination. One would think he'd have more respect for a subject that could foretell his destiny instead of making up stories about getting trampled by Hippogriffs. When he'd asked her to the Yule Ball, a little thrill had spread through her at the prospect of finally seeing him act like the hero he was. She frowned as she thought back on the occasion. He could have at least danced with her more than once. Still, she supposed, at least she'd gotten a few dates out of it. French dates, no less.
Yes, Harry Potter was, most of the time, an ordinary boy. But then there were times when disaster struck, and it was inevitably Harry who saved the school, if not the world, yet again. There were times like the end of the Triwizard tournament, when he had stumbled out with Cedric Diggory's dead body to announce that You-Know-Who was back. There were times like the ones he blew up at Umbridge, remarking in that intensely casual tone of his that the Ministry was full of liars and their first-year DADA teacher had had You-Know-Who hidden behind that ridiculous turban (which, as Parvati had lamented time and time again to Lavender, clashed hideously with the turquoise robes he always wore). There were times like this one, as he sipped his Butterbeer and maintained that You-Know-Who was gaining power, only he never said You-Know-Who, he always said the name.
Somehow, though, despite the countless legendary things he had done in his short life, he managed to stay just another boy underneath it all. She saw it in the way he tried not to take credit for his accomplishments, the way he made up stories even crazier than the true ones for his Divination homework, the way he blushed and stammered around that Ravenclaw Quidditch player. Like most boys, he talked about Quidditch more than was probably healthy, loved his friends, and loathed the Slytherins. Unlike most boys, however, he happened to have a scar on his forehead that marked him as an enemy of the most powerful Dark wizard the world had known.
Parvati wondered sometimes just why she believed him about You-Know-Who. It wasn't as if she wanted him to be back. To be totally honest, the prospect terrified her. The Ministry and the Daily Prophet both said Harry was a liar, and she had grown up believing whatever was printed in the Prophet to be true. Maybe it was because the boy the papers made fun of wasn't the boy she knew. He wasn't much of a liar outside of Divination, and though weird things happened with his scar sometimes, she'd never thought of him as particularly unbalanced. As far as she had noticed, he usually tried to avoid attention, flattening his fringe over his scar whenever possible, as if there was anyone in the wizarding world who wouldn't recognise those horrible glasses anywhere. She couldn't think of any reason why the media would make him out to be someone he so obviously wasn't unless they were trying to hide something. Padma thought she was just being paranoid, and really, she should know, being a Ravenclaw. Then again, Padma had never really spoken to Harry, and for all her brains couldn't know that the Prophet was creating a totally different person than the real one behind the scar.
The media image was definitely a factor, but sometimes Parvati thought that the real reason she believed him was because of his eyes. No, that had come out wrong; she wasn't infatuated with him or anything. It was just that when he talked about You-Know-Who, he got this sort of look, one that was wholly different from the one he usually wore. His mouth set into a thin, straight line (not unlike McGonagall's, she mused), and his eyebrows drew together. And then his eyes became even greener, until they almost glowed with conviction. She didn't think eyes that colour could be part of an act. He obviously believed what he was saying with every fibre of his being, and that was good enough for her.
Parvati liked to think of herself as a fairly simple girl. She liked kittens and sparkles and pretty things. She worked hard enough in school to do well, but never let studying dictate her life the way it did that of a certain bushy-haired roommate of hers. Hair, makeup, and boys tended to take a higher place in her mind than politics and growing up. Despite her ordinariness, though, she wasn't shallow. She would fight if she found the right cause, and as she watched Harry's glowing eyes over the rim of her glass of Butterbeer, she decided then and there that she would stand by him. She was, after all, a Gryffindor, and what's more, a Kshatriya.
"Never be ashamed of your heritage," her mother had once told her, adding unidentifiable spices to a steaming pot of curry. "You're of the warrior caste and don't you ever forget it." Truthfully, she thought her parents were a bit old-fashioned with their talk of caste systems and their outrage at her doubly-pierced ears. Nevertheless, she had always known on some level that becoming a warrior was a part of her future. And if there was one thing Parvati Patil was a firm believer in, it was destiny. She had never aspired for a place in the history books, but as she sat in the dirty bar, listening to this extraordinarily ordinary boy, she decided that a footnote somewhere might be kind of nice.