Author's Note: 13 and up for language.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. These are J.K. Rowling's babies...I'm just borrowing. And distorting as I please. EMO EMO EMO EMO EMO.
Padma was a nobody. She knew it. She always had. The world seemed to love reminding her every day.
She was always outshined and outdone, if not by just one person then by everyone. She remembered the days when she was happy, back when she used to hold hands with Parvati and run around in the sunshine and let the warmth kiss her so deeply that she felt it in her bones. She remembered those days and she longed for them like a starved man longed for food, but they were nothing but the ghost of a shadow now.
She remembered the better day, the brighter days- the days she spent with her friends when they'd still been her friends and not empty husks of strangers she could no longer recognize, the days she'd spent with her beloved sister Parvati before her own twin had forsaken her and become some sort of shallow, vapid, self-absorbed beast. She remembered all the soft, sweet kisses she'd shared with Lavender Brown; all the soft giggles and the secrets and all the whispered reminders of, "We mustn't let Parvati find out." She remembered them all so clearly, so vividly. She could still see the colours, she could still feel the warmth, she could still taste Lavender so sharply on her tongue. She remembered and she cried.
She'd spent so much time with Lavender; devoted so much of her life to her. Three years- for almost three long years, Padma had thought she was in love. She thought she was happy, that she'd found that which she had so longed would fill the void inside of her that she, despite her brilliance, could never explain. She was empty, she knew that- she had long since accepted it but she never knew what made her empty, what it was that had reached into her and scooped out all her insides and left her hollow. No matter how many drawings her calloused hands sketched, no matter how many poems and stories she may have written about it, no matter how many rantings and ravings echoed silently in the halls of her skull, there was no explaining it. After all, how would you explain that which you could not comprehend- nay, even grasp?
Empty. Always so damned empty. After a while, she couldn't even feel it when Lavender kissed her anymore. She didn't want to close her eyes, didn't want to taste Lavender's tongue in her mouth, didn't want to wrap her arms tightly around her twin's best friend and lose herself in the sweet smell and warmth of her. There was just nothing there anymore. She wanted to blame Lavender, she wanted to say that it was because Lavender was a lousy kisser and didn't hold her tightly enough or kiss her hard enough. She wanted to say it was all because Lavender wasn't enough, but she knew it wasn't true. Padma knew it was her own fault, that there was nothing wrong with Lavender and it was all her. She had fallen out of love. Her hatred for herself before had been great, but after the realization dawned on her, it became overwhelming. She was drowning in it.
But she still needed her. If anything, Padma had always hated being alone, being pushed aside, being rejected, being unwanted, unneeded, empty. She'd always hated it, mostly because it left her with no one but herself. There was no one Padma despised more than Padma. And yet, it was all she ever seemed to have. Lavender's presence gave her purpose, gave her meaning. She validated Padma's existence and without her, Padma felt unnecessary. She was only half of one whole- she was incomplete, unfinished, a twin. She was a nobody; she was never "Padma" she was always "Hey you." When greeted by a stranger, it was never, "Oh, are you Padma?" it was always, "Hey, Parvati!" and "Oh...I didn't even know Parvati had a twin sister". She was never called by her own name, always Parvati's...if she wasn't completely disregarded as though she had never existed in the first place, that is. She didn't have Lavender anymore. Hell, she didn't even have Parvati.
Lavender knew. She'd known for a long time. There was always a feeling in her gut that maybe she and Padma wouldn't last forever, despite how badly Lavender wanted it that way. Forever, forever, eternity, a lifetime: that was what Lavender wanted from Padma. They were just so perfect together, so lovely, like they were meant to be together. It was beautiful the way their sweaty limbs tangled into each other in the bed, mocha skin against pale white. They contrasted so well that they blended. Dark features: black hair, brown eyes, brown skin, full lips as opposed to much lighter features: brown hair, blue-green eyes, white skin, and thin lips; uncompromising logic and the need for everything to always be explained and examined and dissected and analyzed and for the world to always make perfect sense as opposed to whimsical carelessness and gullible acceptance of everything and the willingness to take everything just as it was without analyzing it all first and childlike delight in even the tiniest of things.
Then the shattering of their perfect world began. The giggles stopped, the lengthy conversations about everything and nothing halted and were replaced by suspicion and anger and an unbearably guarded air. The "I love you"s were no longer, replaced by "I can't stand you"s and "How can you do this to me"s and "I thought you loved me"s when Lavender told Padma that she was confused.
"Don't get me wrong, Padma. I love you. But I think...I mean, look at us. We're both so young, Padma. How could we possibly know what we want?"
Lavender's plea to be heard out was met with outrage.
"What the hell do you mean? Are you breaking up with me?"
"NO! No, Padma! I would never! But...well...mum's been wondering, Padma. I think she knows. She wants me to try to get a boyfriend. She told me that there's this boy James who seems nice. She says he seems nice and polite and tidy and intelligent and... she wants me to meet him and...oh, Padma. Padma, I just don't know. I'm so scared."
"Padma, don't say that. Don't say that. You know I love you. But I'm so confused right now. I was talking to mum about it and she says it's unnatural. It's unnatural to be...to be...well...the way you and I are."
"Oh, so you're fucking dumping me because you're afraid your mummy wouldn't want a bloody Sodomite for a daughter, is that it? You don't love me. You don't love me enough not to piss yourself with terror at the thought of disappointing mother dearest."
"Padma...no. I'm not dumping you. I just...I don't know what to do anymore."
"Don't fucking 'Padma' me. You want someone nice? Teachers love me, students think I'm a darling sweetheart who'd be willing to tutor anyone remotely worth her time, parents adore me and wish their children were more like me, your grandmother adores me and your grandfather looks for me on holidays. You want someone polite? I walk with a perpetually, painfully, perfectly erect spine and speak properly in the face of any authority figure and even most peers. My table manners are impeccable. You want tidy? My friends often wonder if I have obsessive compulsive disorder. You want intelligent? I'm the smartest person you know. I'm the only reason you've passed most of your classes, with the exception of that rubbish heap of a class you call 'Divination'. You know, for some reason, I never saw this coming. But you know what? Fine. Fine. Go to your stupid little James. Run off to your stupid little boy. See if I care that you fuck his pathetic little dick. Leave. I don't want you anymore anyway."
"Leave. Leave now. I am fucking sick of all your indecisiveness. I am done with you."
"I'm done with you, you hear me? Done!"
And then they'd both dissolved into sobs. It was an August day and Padma and the rest of her dormmates had been staying with the other fourth year girls in Gryffindor for the night because the Ravenclaw tower had been attacked by dozens upon dozens of dungbombs. Filch had cleaned it, but the smell was nowhere near gone. Lavender grabbed Padma's wrists and tried to force the other girl to look in her eyes. Padma snarled and slapped Lavender's hands away, shoving her into the wall and turning and storming out of the room and slamming the door violently. Outside, the leaves were just beginning to turn yellow in their slow, decadent, cavalier death. The world was on fire and so was Padma.
Lavender's sobs were audible even though the heavy oak door.
Padma stumbled into the bathroom, scrubbing, clawing at her eyes, trying in vain to tear out her tear ducts so she'd stop crying. Lavender had become the center of her universe. She was her sun, and now, it was as if her sun had imploded and been replaced by a black hole to suck at the emptiness that had always been there. They had had difficult times, Lavender made her angry, they never agreed, they always fought, Padma wasn't even all that physically attracted to Lavender in the first place, but Lavender was all that Padma knew. As horrible as it may have been for Padma, it was hard to let go of familiarity.
Padma was grateful that her shallow sister was out somewhere with her equally shallow friends, chatting up a storm at and batting their eyelashes at all the boys, otherwise she'd have been prodding all about in Padma's business. She leaned back against the door, letting her head fall back and hit the wood with hollow thud, and screamed. She screamed like a wounded, dying animal and slid down to sit on the floor, holding onto herself. She screamed and kicked at the cabinets below the sink, at the base of the toilet, at the rugs on the floor, at the weight scale in the corner, winding her arms around herself and scratching at her shoulders and forearms with her long nails and not caring that she felt her own flesh collecting in ragged lumps beneath her nails. She sobbed, tearing off the ring that Lavender had given her years ago and flinging it at the wall.
She uncurled from the ball she'd shrunk into and stood, stretching and sniffling, to look into the bloodshot red eyes of someone she couldn't recognize. She pulled her clothes off, sucking in her breath sharply when she saw the cuts gouged into her chest and her shoulders and forearms and stepped into the shower. She turned the water on as hot as she could, not caring that it hurt and stung and turned her skin red and tried to convince herself that it was only water running down her cheeks and not tears. She ran her hands through her hair, letting water run over her and opened her mouth to try to inhale some air amid all the steam. She tasted the water, felt it burn her tongue, but there was a distinct, sour taste as well. Padma found herself vaguely wondering if that taste was her trying to swallow her pride.
She wrapped herself in a towel then in a robe, and went into the fifth year girls' room and went and sat on Alicia Spinnet's bed. There was no one there, anyway and she didn't want to go into the fourth years' room and risk confronting the hysterically bawling Lavender who was being comforted by Parvati, who had come back from wherever she had gone (she'd probably just come back from a rough fuck against the wall in the dungeons with a Slytherin; she loudly proclaimed that it was her new favourite pastime wherever she went). Padma stood up a few minutes later and got her clothes out of the bathroom and put them on again. She started heading downstairs into the common room, stopping only because she heard Parvati speaking to Lavender.
"Oh, Lav, shhh now. Shhh...it's all right."
"No. No it's not. It never will be."
"Now, now, yes it will. I know, Lav. I've always known. But you know what? Padma was no good for you anyway. She never was. You're too good for her, Lav."
More sobs and more shushing and Padma ground her teeth together and stalked down the steps and threw herself into an overstuffed armchair by the fire. She sat for a while, glaring into the flickering hearth, her thoughts riproaring around in her head in a whirlwind of violent intentions. She looked up, her rosewood brown eyes met by coffee brown eyes and a smirk.
"I knew you two wouldn't last," Parvati scoffed before turning and practically skipping up the stairs again.
It was all Padma could do to restrain herself and suppress the urge to rip her twin's legs off. Instead, she balled her right hand into a fist and slammed it into her left forearm as hard as she could, feeling her bones creak in protest and feeling the blood vessels bursting and praying vehemently against all hope that Parvati could feel it. She was more than disappointed that her twin's legs didn't buckle and she didn't fall down the steps and break her neck.
It had been months since the break up, and practically all ties between Padma and Lavender had been forcibly severed. Padma no longer spoke to Parvati unless absolutely necessary, and even then, the actual speaking was done in a monotonous voice and with as few syllables as possible and a blunt refusal to even attempt eye-contact. Parvati seemed to gloat and dance, rejoicing in the fact that she was right about her best friend and her twin's relationship. Padma tempted beyond all words and reason to spit in her face; the nearly three year long relationship was infinitely longer than any of Parvati's promiscuous fucks, even though Padma knew that there were no promiscuous fucks and Parvati had been weaving lies all this time. Parvati herself had only been in two relationships; the first was with someone Padma had also been attracted to (and that person had been a drug-addicted nymphomaniac who fucked everything and smoked everything else), the second with a quiet, reserved, uninteresting boy who wanted to wait until marriage to even finger her. Parvati was entirely too pathetic to even try to have a fling; she was far more timid than she let people had found herself healing over time, but every now and then she still picked at her own scars and wounds and scabs, forcing herself to relive it night after night at times. The guilt that came with breaking the heart of the only person that had loved her racked her and stalked her mercilessly like a demented, starved hyena with a vendetta. She felt free, as though the weight that had been settling over her heart had been lifted, only to be replaced by another weight, smaller of course, but nonetheless there.
She saw them together in the dining halls during dinner and lunch and breakfast and tea and it drove her mad. Lavender and James, Lavender and James, Lav and Jim; it made her sick. It didn't hurt Padma, per se; it was more of a sickening feeling of contempt and inadequacy. How defective could Padma possibly be for Lavender to find him, of all the damned people in the world, attractive? She shuddered to think on it, and grimaced when she saw them, even when she sat next to Hugh with her arm touching his and her heart thudding faster in her chest than it was the last time Lavender kissed her. But she hated him and she hated her, because she was left with nothing and no one but herself and her unrequited affections towards a probably oblivious boy. No one seemed to notice that her eyes flickered back and forth and that her plastic smiles were merely subterfuges, affectations and that her laughter was flat and full of lies.
Hatred wound itself around her heart like thorny vines and constricted.
It was strange that no one really seemed to be too impacted when Padma had to leave the school, that barely a person batted an eyelash when the rumours began to spread that Padma had to be transferred because she was found in the girls' lavatory standing on a toilet seat with a noose looped loosely round her neck and Moaning Myrtle yelling at her to stop hesitating and jump. No one was surprised because they all knew that Padma had never been quite right in the head and that she had never been able to deal well with tension. She was an emotional cripple, and entirely too abrasive and demanding to ever fare well in relationships with anyone. She didn't know how to treat people, especially not herself. The only person who seemed even slightly disturbed was Professor McGonagall, the one who allegedly severed Padma's rope and pulled the hysterical girl into the hospital wing. When asked about it, she gave a strange answer.
"Well," she said, "I just think that it's a damn shame what happened to Ms. Patil. I'm afraid Ravenclaw's grade point average may sag without her here."
Padma was a nobody, she'd known it all along and it was only verified by the lack of response to her leaving Hogwarts. She felt the metal of her Muggle father's gun clink against her teeth and she wondered if anyone would care to come to her funeral