Been Like That
By
unperfectwolf
Rated: PG
Warnings: anorexia
Fandom, Pairing: Harry Potter Un. JK Rowling, Gen Fic: Pansy
Summary: Pansy didn't know when it started, or how, but she knew it had.
Disclaimer: not mine, never was mine, never will be mine. all is jk rowling's.
For: wizardtrauma's Ficathon: 12. Character A has anorexia. How does it affect character A and those around him/her?
Beta: yuniechan and flatoutdefiance – Arisa, thanks a ton, love. You're help and knowledge is much appreciated. Shannon - I love you, so much, so much for this
Word Count: 1,224
Author's Notes: I don't claim to be an expert on Anorexia. I do know that just because you restrict, that doesn't mean you're anorexic. You need to have a BMI of under 17.5 to be considered anorexic. That is skinny. Noticeably. And can very dangerous to your health and success in life. Diet can be dangerous, and what starts out as a healthy goal can mutate into a life threatening illness. I took most of this off my experiences with anorexic people and such. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from it currently, in the past, or knows someone suffering from it.

BEEN LIKE THAT

Pansy had never thought that anyone would notice until she walked in on Hermione Granger berating Lavender Brown for it. The girl was yelling, her eyes flashing. It was like she had a personal reason to care.

"Don't you see what you're doing?" she asked.

The other girl didn't. Hermione's eyes had seemingly shuddered shut. It was like someone had flipped a light switch. The emotion was gone. "If you don't start eating on your own, I will make you."

There was no doubt in Pansy or Lavender's minds about whether or not she would.

Three weeks later, she stood in the same bathroom, looking at herself in front of the mirror. She wasn't skinny enough, not yet. Despite that she could see her ribs faintly now, and that she knew she was slowly getting even skinnier. She still felt this need to be skinny. She couldn't stop, not until she was perfect. And she wasn't perfect.

She didn't know when she'd started such an obsession with being perfect. No one had flat out told her she was fat. No one had ever told her to lose weight. She'd been called a cow before, but that was always by Gryffindors and in conjunction with Draco being called a ferret.

She didn't know when she'd started not eating. It hadn't been overnight, that she knew. She thought it might have even started as far back as fourth year. Slowly she'd stopped eating a lot, until a lot became a little and slowly she ate nearly nothing.

She was turning around to leave when she realized that someone else was in the bathroom with her. It was Hermione Granger.

"What do you want, Granger?" Pansy spat at her.

Hermione didn't acknowledge her question. "I know, you know. All about the not eating, and the way you push the food around."

Pansy's eyes widening the slightest bit was the only thing that gave away her surprise. Was Granger watching her?

Hermione ignored her look. "It's not that difficult to learn, is it? You just start slowly, let people get used to seeing food left on your plate, no matter how small the portions are. You pick at it a little, move it around. Take one bite and chew it for most of dinner. Drink a lot, so it looks like you really are eating. Take a little bit more sometimes, like you ate all the first helping."

Pansy didn't say anything.

"And no one notices, do they? Or if they do, they never say anything, right?" Hermione questioned. Pansy nodded.

Hermione looked her in the eye and smiled a little bit. "I know."

She was gone before Pansy could reply.

It was two days later when Pansy cornered Hermione. "What do you mean, 'you know?' "

Hermione raised an eyebrow, in a way that somehow, against everything Pansy knew, reminded her of Draco. "I know."

Pansy huffed in exasperation. "How, though? How do you know all of that?" Hermione's face blanked. Pansy wondered what kind of subject she was getting into. "I know because I was there, okay?"

She was gone again, sweeping away like a queen. Pansy didn't even think to try and stop her. You just didn't, not to someone with presence like that.

It wasn't until later she realized that that too reminded her of Draco.

Two weeks passed. Pansy didn't eat any more than she had before, but not any less. She didn't follow her plan in getting skinnier, though she was. She didn't up her restrictions, or try anything new. It was like she was stuck in a stasis. She didn't know why she didn't. She did know, however, that it had something to do with Hermione.

When they crossed paths in the hall, neither said anything, though they'd lock eyes and Pansy knew something was passing between them. She'd started to study the other girl. She knew she wasn't like her still – she ate, and Pansy, who knew what to look for, wouldn't have been tricked.

And she wasn't as skinny as she would have been if she was like her. She didn't find pride in being skinnier than Hermione. She always had – it had been what kept her on track, when she wanted to eat, when she wanted to give in. She was skinnier – and therefore prettier – than all of the other girls. Except that she didn't feel prettier than Hermione just because she was skinnier.

She'd never expected someone to come in and turn her life upside down. She'd never thought that one person, and three conversations – ever – could change it all.

When she and Hermione ended up in the bathroom again, she was prepared. "If you know, why aren't you like me?"

She didn't know what it was called. She just was. She didn't eat much, but that was okay. She was losing weight, but she still felt fine. Sometimes.

"Because they caught it, and they stopped me," Hermione told her.

Pansy's eyebrows furled. "Who did?"

"My parents."

Pansy was even more confused. Her parents had noticed? "But, you're a muggleborn!"

Hermione had raised an eyebrow, an incredulous look on her face. "So?"

"How could they notice?"

Hermione eyed her. "Like I noticed you, with their eyes. They have a name for it, you know."

Pansy was taken aback. They had a name for what she was like? "They do?"

Hermione nodded. "They call it Anorexia. It's not all that uncommon in the muggle world."

Pansy was shocked. There were more people who did this? Enough so that they had a name for it? Enough so that people would recognize the symptoms? Oh, she knew other people in the Wizarding world were like this, but no one ever talked about it. They didn't acknowledge that it happened, that it was bad. It just was. "I…"

"Shocking, isn't it?" Hermione asked, dryly. "Muggles aren't animals, you know. In fact, in some ways, in a lot of ways even, they're more advanced than Wizards. They know a lot more about the human body – Muggle or Wizard – than the magical community does."

Pansy didn't know about that. "How did they make you… not like this? Not Anor.."

"Anorexic?" Pansy nodded. "They gave me an IV drip. And then they counseled me."

"What?" Hermione smirked. "You can find out. Because if you don't start to eat more, I will be showing you."

"What? Why? It's not like you care or anything," Pansy spit.

Hermione's eyes narrowed. "How do you know?"

And she was right. Pansy didn't know.

Hermione was gone again before Pansy could reply.

It took months before she could eat even a full plate of food. But she didn't stop. She didn't know if it was Hermione's threat, or if she had just been waiting for that push to get started again.

She'd noticed that slowly, magic she'd not even noticed she was missing, was coming back. In a packet of papers that had showed up on her bed, ones she knew Hermione had gotten there somehow, but had never confronted her on, it had told her how her body would supplement magic for energy she wasn't getting from food.

It had been weird, reading this information, reading all of the information, and realizing a Muggleborn had put it together for her.

Somehow, though, it didn't really matter.

After all, they'd both been like that.

10 October, 2005.

End Notes: I have never been Anorexic. I do not know what it is like personally, nor the mind set that you have when conquering it. I have been told that you really don't see – or you do but you pretend not to – what you're doing to yourself. This may or may not be true for all of you, but it is indeed what a very close friend of mine experienced. Her BMI was 15.7 – which is far to close to "to far gone" for anyone's comfort. You can also be that skinny and not be anorexic. Each case is different – this is not meant to encompass all of them. I do know that some people can get over it with out medical help, if they have the support system. I know that this is not true for all. Please accept my apologies if your experiences, either those of others you know, or your own, are not the same.