Written for thelightningstrike's Animal Challenge at the HPFC forum. Mine was butterfly. I'm sure you can figure out the characters. Enjoy.


and then there were none


june 12, 1998

You can't afford to make any more mistakes. There's no more room for stuttering or wrong words or clumsiness. You know what mistakes feel like—like the splintering of glass and tightness in your chest—and you can't afford them anymore.

Because now Fred is gone and Angelina is with George and Alicia and Katie are just one of the many faceless gravestones in newly-sprung up cemeteries.

And if she's gone, too, you'll really have nothing left, so you have no more patience for clumsy little errors. You tighten your grip on the flowers in your hand and ring the doorbell and wait.


november 9, 1995

She gave you butterflies in your stomach and you never understood why. Your gaze should have followed Alicia or Katie or the other pretty Quidditch girls, not tittering little fifth-years in the stands with red cheeks and doe eyes. You should have been distracted by Katie's impeccable Quidditch skill, not the way her braid swung around her head or her eyes sparkled when she laughed.

And you certainly shouldn't have fallen asleep thinking about doe eyes and cherry cheeks, or sat at the very end of the Gryffindor table at breakfast just to catch a glimpse of those striking features.

And finally, definitely, without a shred of doubt, you should not have half-construed ways of asking her to the Yule Ball and purposely followed her after Charms to try and get the job done, nor should you have been jealous when Harry got to her first.

These were mistakes, but you're not making mistakes anymore.


march 23, 1996

You really should have left with Fred and George, escaped when you could have, because now you're stuck here in the dark halls that always seem to glow of green and death, but worse than that there are her smiles and sparkling eyes and her damn presence that still gives you butterflies in your stomach.

And you feel that familiar sensation of splintering glass as you fail, once again, to attract her attention. You stall around outside of the classrooms until she emerges, but with a whiff of lilac and citrus, she whips by you again.

You'd like nothing more to be rid of this feeling, but you can't seem to shake it. So you keep dreaming about her cherry lips and doe eyes that are always treacherously out of reach.


may 1, 1998

This is your last chance, you can feel it—the glass is cracking in your chest and is painfully close to splintering into tiny pieces—and you can feel the butterflies fluttering beside it, whisperthin wings brushing against the insides of your stomach.

She's standing there, and her eyes don't have that same glow because she's burning out, like a star dying, and you can't bear to see something so beautiful lose its fire, so you walk over to her and start the conversation you've wanted to for years.

And at the end of that day you've talked and talked and when it's time to go to bed it's like that awkward moment at the doorway at the end of the date. And since you're not making any more mistakes, you lean over and kiss her and kiss her—

It feels so perfect and right, but this is the last day, there's no doubting that—the last safe night in the Room of Requirement, and you'd think of no one better you'd like to spend it with.


may 3, 1998

But it's the day after the battle and you can't find her—she's gone, there's not a trace of those doe eyes anywhere. You fear the worst but you don't really believe it, so you go about your business, all the while memories of red lips and laughter burned into the back of your brain.


june 12, 1998

It's her sister that opens the door, scars like thin pieces of thread down her back, and even though your left arm is mangled in the same way, you have to swallow the bile in your throat as you stare and stare.

You tell her who you're looking for and she shakes her head. Shakes her head of her sister, who's just another one swimming in a sea of graves. You can't believe you've gone this long without knowing, and when it's been minutes and you still haven't spoken, she closes the door.

This mistake, at least, cannot be undone—if there were a way to go back in time and keep her there with you, you would do it—but there's not, and the realization is painful.

And then it happens, the glass breaks and shatters into a million tiny pieces, and the butterflies' wings are shredded by the fragments; doe eyes and cherry lips—

(this mistake is forever)


I'm insanely proud of this. In case you couldn't figure it out, yes, it was Lee and Parvati Patil. I never thought of them as a pairing before, but it was extremely fun to write. Reviews are love.