It was the peppermint lip gloss that got me.
I remember struggling through my homework that night, while she had already finished hers long since and was sitting on the chair next to me, looking pleased with herself. It seems so long ago, but I suppose it's only been a month or so. I couldn't remember many of the secondary ways of recognising a vampire – there were so many – but of course, she knew them all, and I could sense she desperately wanted to correct me when I guessed yet another answer. The fire was making me sleepy and so I guessed another answer. I think she knew I wasn't really trying because written on my page was u ask dem if they be vampirs oky doke. I could sense her indignation.
"Now stop it, you're defecating all over the proper teachings of Defense Against the Dark Arts!" She finally burst out, after I wrote if sombodi gnaws on u then they r vampir. She leant forwards to cross out my incorrect work. Her hair, puffy as ever, fell in front of her face and she angrily pushed it back behind her ear. A minty scent invaded my nostrils and I breathed it in – it was sweet and cold at the same time.
"What's that?" I asked curiously. She waved a finger towards the parchment.
"Well, I've just added that vampires have no reflection – how could you have missed that?" She said, still indignant at my attitude towards homework.
"No, that smell. The mint one," I rephrased my question, staring at her. Was work all she thought about?
"Oh, that's my lip gloss," She said with a wave of her hand. I didn't know she even wore lip gloss. "It's peppermint scented. I made it for my Muggle friend when I was doing some extra Potions, before I remembered she's allergic to beeswax."
Extra Potions. She was one of a kind, that was for sure. But I liked this peppermint lip gloss. It smelled nice and even though I didn't usually stare at her lips, it looked nice too. She asked me what I was staring at and so I had to make up something about being so tired I fell into a trance. She looked genuinely concerned at my sleepiness and, surprisingly, offered to finish off my homework for me, but as long as I read it the next morning and promised to memorise it.
It was only a short while after that night when I got to taste the peppermint lip gloss for myself – we were looking all over the school for Harry when he didn't come back to Gryffindor Tower after a defeat at Quidditch. We just had a peek into one of the Transfiguration rooms when Peeves slammed the door on us, and held it shut. Who knew a poltergeist was so strong? She tried all kinds of spells to get us out but to no avail – we were stuck. She reasoned that he would get bored after a while. It turned out Peeves had a very long attention span and did not get bored easily. I was writing random things on the blackboard with purple chalk, when she walked up behind me and gave me a hug. I was so surprised that I jumped up and knocked her back against the teacher's desk. She laughed at me for being so skittish. Then she walked towards me again. I thought she was going to give me another hug but I was wrong. That peppermint lip gloss tasted as good as it smelled.
It was a bit weird after that day. I didn't really talk to her as much as I had done before, and I suppose she didn't talk to me as much either. Harry thought we had been bickering again and didn't try to patch things up. I think he was just sick of the constant battle between me and her. I was scared, though – what if we did get together? It would be terrifying for me. It's not as if I've ever had a meaningful relationship before. Lavender most definitely didn't count as a meaningful relationship. I wouldn't know what to do. Sometimes I thought she would be less snippy at me if we were together. Sometimes I thought she would be more snippy. Mostly I couldn't imagine a life with her, but then one waft of her peppermint lip gloss and I couldn't imagine a life without her.
She sort of… cornered me about two weeks later. She said that she meant what she did when we were both stuck in the abandoned classroom and that she was sorry if I didn't return her feelings, but that she had to get it out in the open. I told her that I was anxious and terrified of what could happen later, but that I had liked her for a very long time. Her peppermint lip gloss tasted as cold and sweet as it did the first time.
I was so scared when the final battle approached. We won, as I knew we would, but there were certainly fatalaties. I almost died myself. But it hurt the most when we lost her, my beautiful love. She was struck down by Bellatrix Lestrange, the same evil woman who had killed Sirius Black. Avada Kedavra was not used this time. It was, surprisingly, the curse which had been created by the man who murdered Dumbledore… sectumsempra. She was lying in a pool of her own blood and I knew she would not be saved… it was tricky to help someone this far gone and everyone was too engrossed in their own battle. I looked at her and started to cry, I hated seeing her covered in blood and helpless. She couldn't even talk.
"Don't go, please…" I choked out between sobs. She blinked at me, and her eyes began to adopt a vacant expression. I shrieked. She simply closed her eyes and that was it. She was gone. She was beautiful, even in death. I held her close to me, feeling my robes dampen with her blood. I couldn't bear to let her go yet.
But I had to fight, for her memory at least. I knew this from one thing – the scent of that damn peppermint lip gloss.