Disclaimer: No I DON'T own HP. Happy?
AN: This particular oneshot was inspired by a competitions prompt list and although this story wasn't used, I couldn't just leave it.
For all stories, there's a beginning of things and an end of things. For Parvati Patil, there were plenty of places that this story could be said to begin. It could be the day she was born, when she entered this world with her closest companion and friend, her sister Padma. Or perhaps her first day at Hogwarts, when the sorting hat separated her and her sister for the first time.
But for the purposes of convenience, it began one dark, stormy night, some four years after the battle of Hogwarts. Parvati was sitting inside the war memorial, looking intensely at a snuffed out candle. The candle had been lit, like so many others, in memory of a life lost during the battle. As the candle lit itself once more, playing out memories and scenes from the life it remembered. As Parvati watched, tears began streaming down her face.
The first memory came from their mother. Parvati and Padma were gibbering away in their made-up twin-ish language. It was the only language that they talked in back then.
The next scene was of the two sisters playing in a playground. Padma was the quieter of the two girls, following her sister climbing over the muggle-climbing frame.
The scene changed once more, this time Padma was sitting on her beside their father, reading a slim child's early-reader book.
"The l-l-l" Padma started, stumbling over the word in front her.
"Little." Her father read.
"Little." Padma repeated after him. He gestured for her to continue.
"Little dog fell in the puddle." Padma continued and the scene changed once more.
This time, Padma and Parvati were sitting on Parvati's bed. They were about eleven years old and Padma's face was nervous.
"Are you sure we'll be together in Gryffindor?" Padma nervously, apprehension on her face.
"Of course I'm sure!" Parvati replied excitedly. "Why wouldn't we be?"
"I was thinking that perhaps I'm not brave enough for Gryffindor." Padma murmured quietly, looking at her feet. Parvati hugged her sister.
"Of course you will silly!" she said.
While this was happening, Parvati broke down into tears, looking at the memory playing out.
"Padma, you were a true Gryffindor in your heart." Parvati sobbed. Behind her, she heard someone step into the memorial.
"You know, you shouldn't be here Parvati." Professor McGonagall chided softly. "It does you no good to live in the past like this."
Parvati rose to her feet and glared at Professor McGonagall. There was a time when she would have been too intimidated by her old professor to even THINK about glaring, but now Parvati was a young woman now and not a student any more.
"Would you have me walk away Professor?" Parvati sneered angrily. "Have me forget I was ever a twin?" Parvati paused. "My face will never let me forget that. Every time I look in the mirror, I see Padma staring back at me."
Professor McGonagall shook her head. "Parvati," she started, "Your sister was one of my students. I'm not asking you to forget her. I'm asking you to live. Your family doesn't need to lose you as well." As Parvati looked into her old professor's eyes, McGonagall pressed on. "Live, Parvati Patil. Honour her memory by living Miss Patil."
As Parvati wipes away her tears, Professor McGonagall gently lead her away to Hogwarts, where her family were waiting.