Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

The Vanity of Romilda Vane
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Romilda Vane, Romilda Vane, how could anyone be so vain? The question kept on repeating itself in Astoria's head as she watched the Gryffindor trying to convince Ernie Macmillan to dance with her. She had finally realised that she'd never be able to get hold of Harry Potter, instead turning her attention towards any relatively handsome, pureblooded war-hero. It wasn't as though she wasn't going to get one of them, Astoria mused; Romilda was beautiful, with wonderfully dark eyes and a smirk and a swagger and heaps of impossibly curly black hair that reminded her almost of Blaise Zabini. Yes, she had the hair and the smirk and the swagger and the generally bad attitude – she and Zabini could have been a perfect match, at least if Zabini hadn't decided to keep out of the war as well as he could. Only a hero would do for Romilda.

Romilda Vane was laughing now, swirling around the dance-floor like a living firework – she was as bright and garish and loud as a firework, at least. Astoria grimaced when she heard Romilda laughing. Of all the girls in her year, Romilda had always been the one whose laugh really grated Astoria's ears; even the Carrow twins had enough decorum to know that laughing like that was unladylike. But this annoying Gryffindor, this annoying, beautiful, impossibly vain Gryffindor didn't have decorum; she just wanted to gain her fame by being the beautiful prize on some veteran's arm. Romilda Vane could never understand that they had just gone through a war and so it was inappropriate to be laughing whilst others mourned.

While Romilda made a spectacle of herself, Astoria made sure to do the exact opposite. She was only here because she and Daphne had no dark connections at all. They were Slytherins, yes, and purebloods as well, but they had lost everything in the war. They had suffered as much as anyone. That was why Daphne had hidden herself away in a corner and was drinking and laughing and forcing herself to talk to people, forcing herself not to think about anything that had happened. Astoria couldn't bring herself to do that though; all she could do was watch the celebrations, watch Romilda Vane laughing and wonder how anyone be so oblivious to the fact that they'd just survived a war.

Romilda Vane, Romilda Vane, how could anyone be so vain? Astoria contented herself with the fact that one day the girl's looks would wither away completely and she too would be left with nothing.