Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. Every single last one of them belongs to the magnificent, amazing J.K. Rowling, whose brain I wish I could steal.

A/N: Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there—or Happy S.A.D.'s Day if any of you out there are celebrating that. Hope you've enjoyed reading this so far. It's coming to a close though. Let me know what you think. Without further ado, I give you the final installment of "Be Mine?" with… Lavendar.

A Contest

I bounce out of bed and triple-check my calendar to verify the date. It is outlined with little pink and red hearts. I glance around the dorm. Parvati's bed is vacant; she must have already started getting prepared, too. There's a reason why she's my best friend. On the other hand, I notice Hermione Granger, is still sound asleep in her bed, snoring softly, a bit of drool slipping out of the side of her mouth. Honestly, she should just try to care. I mean, its not that she's unfortunate looking. She's just weird. Her priorities are just all out of whack. I'm sure that if she fixed her hair like she did for the Yule Ball and maybe opened her eyes when she got dressed in the morning, she would look perfectly decent, indeed, and that she would be sure to receive at least a few valentines.

Pulling my thoughts away from Hermione Granger, of all people, I brush my hair as I consider the importance of looking flawless on today of all days.

Not that I don't look flawless on any other day, but…

Today I have to look flawless. It is of the utmost necessity. It's Valentine's Day, the one day of the year more important than Christmas, Halloween, and New Year's all rolled into one. I make different faces in the mirror, trying to figure out which one makes me look prettiest, while still conveying surprise. I pretend to accept Valentine's from various admirers, smiling and waving. After playing at that for a few minutes I check my watch. Satisfied with my hair and robe choice for the day, I sit down on my bed to wait, taking care to not crease my robes.

Timing is everything. I don't want to go down to breakfast early, in case I appear overeager and over-expectant. Going down too late would be a disaster of its own, though. People would miss the spectacle of me receiving all of my Valentine's, after all!

After about a quarter of an hour, I decide the timing is right. I make my way down to the Great Hall and sit directly in the center of the Gryffindor table, pretending to eat my breakfast just like everyone else in the Hall. When I hear the rustling of wings and the hooting of hundreds upon hundreds of owls, I refrain from looking up at the ceiling. It would be extremely unbecoming of me to gawk, especially since I haven't had the opportunity to come up with an attractive facial expression for that. It is significantly more difficult to turn something like gawking into anything remotely appealing. I push aside my half-picked at bowl of porridge in preparations for my mail. I don't want any of my mail to get dirty, and I certainly don't want any mail in my breakfast. Gifted with a few years of practice, I know to only look up when I hear owls flying directly overhead. As I look toward the ceiling, I am greeted by the sight of many envelopes spiraling their way down towards me. I feel as though I am encased in a beautiful snow globe, except, instead of fake snow or confetti or glitter flying down at me, gusts of red, purple, white, and pink envelopes flutter down and come to a rest on the table in front of me. I don't open them right away. Again, I remind myself that it is important not to appear overeager. I place them all into a neat pile, waiting until the last one has fallen, before I even dare to tear the corner off of the first red envelope. Every single one is different. My name is written a thousand different ways; "Lavendar" in calligraphy, chicken scratch, script, block letters, print. I love each one. Some are bought and some are handmade. Some are heavily perfumed with cologne and others shine and dance with glitter. I read them all, every last one. I sigh, I smile, and I laugh at every single one I open, at each profession of love, at each kindly lettered word, all for the benefit of my audience, of course.

After breakfast, I arrange them into another pile and tuck them lovingly into my bag. It is only in the privacy of my own dorm on my bed with the hangings drawn around me do I allow myself to count the tokens of love, the declarations, the pleas, the poems. I tally them up.


That's much more than Padma received, I'm sure. I remind myself to tell her, just in passing, about my Valentine's. I would be mildly annoyed if either her or Parvati managed to amass more tokens of affection than I. I reflect to myself as I add this year's batch to my ever-growing collection, tying all of them together securely with a long piece of red ribbon. The funny thing is that I don't even know half of these boys that send me letters. I don't know their names. I don't know how old they are, what they look like, or which house they're in. I don't know if they're gentlemen, creeps, pranksters, athletes, or nerds. I don't know one single thing about them. Not one.

The funnier thing is I don't care. To me, it's all about the numbers.