A/N: This is written for Masquerade Doll's My Other Half Challenge. Dedicated to Bee (call-me-bee). Beta-ed by Rose (RoseScor90).

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

"Our friends say it's darkest before the sun rises.
We're pretty sure they're all wrong."
-Mountain Goats, 'Our Children'


It was so long ago when you first met him, but you remember oh so clearly.
The First Wizarding War was gone, but the Second one hadn't begun.
And when you first met him,
he was the 'famed' captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team,
and you were just a meek eleven year old.
You were new.
You were lonely.
You were afraid.

And you still remember the f i r s t time that you had looked at him ,
really looked at him.
He was so tall (you remember that of course)
and you had to look up to see him.
And when you did, you felt your breath c a t c h in your throat.
But you shook yourself; you shook yourself hard,
and pushed that thought out of your head.

(you weren't even a teenager yet-why were you thinking these thoughts?)
So you chided yourself, you scolded yourself, and tried to forget.
But there really was no need to.
After all, who would want to notice you?
A timid,
first year?

But then, a week after school had started, you met Parvati.
She was funny and gossip-y, not really like you at all.
But you shrugged; you carried on.
There really wasn't anyone else to be with,
except for that Hermione girl and her books.
(The other first year Gryffindors didn't really seem to like you)
But you weren't like Hermione, at least, you didn't t h i n k that you were like her.
So you smiled at Parvati, and headed off to class together.

Soon enough, you forgot about him (sort of, not really),
though he still (sort of, kind of)
remained in your head,
remained in your thoughts,
remained in your dreams.

Of course, you told Parvati about him, and she giggled.
So you giggled along with her.

You remember the f i r s t time that you talked with him, but it wasn't really a conversation.
You had walked with Parvati, arm in arm,
talking about Seamus Finnegan and some other Gryffindor boys.
(Parvati always seemed to start off conversations about boys)
and you saw him.

You blushed and shielded your eyes after stammering out a, "You did great."
He nodded and smiled back at you.
But you knew there was no use being embarrassed;
he wouldn't look at you like that.
He was looking at that Katie Bell girl,
the chaser,
the pretty one.
So you walked quickly away.

Parvati always used to tell you if you wanted something, to "go get him".
But you questioned yourself, "Did you really want him?"
You didn't know.

Time passed by, and soon enough, it was your third year.
It was strange how close you and Parvati had become.

People would eye you as
you turned around the corner with her, squealing about things.
It wasn't their problem, was it?

By the next time you actually had a long, real talk with him,
it was actually Parvati who pushed you into doing it.
So you stuttered a little bit, and watched
as he looked on, wondering if you were talking to him
or that lonely Hufflepuff behind his back.

But he wouldn't know about that deep twanging that you felt in your heart
every time you could have a chance,
but was too shy and timid to step up.
So you just said hello, and greeted him like a friend,
(rather than a secret admirer).

You took a deep breath that day
and told yourself firmly.
It was his last year, his seventh, and you were only a third year.
It was your last chance, ever.

But you lost that chance to Parvati one fateful morning,
and you looked on as she strutted over to him,
flipping her hair over her shoulders
as she sat down next to him.

He looked at her strangely for a moment, before glancing back to Harry
and talking about the game strategies.
You looked on.

She beckoned you towards her, and you walked slowly next to her, and sat down on the bench.
A n d you could only look on as you heard her strike up a conversation with him.
A n d so, you fiddled with the end of you curly braid, heart twanging even more
As you watched yourself lose your chance
And he didn't even know a thing.

So you settled back and looked to your right,
leaning your head against your elbow.
And you saw that Weasley boy, the one in your year.
And you smiled sadly.

And you still remember that day when your father gave you tickets to that Puddlemere United game.
You had forgotten that Oliver played on that team, and you readily agreed,
hoping that something (anything) had changed.
So you agreed to go, and you set out.

But it was terrible, oh so terrible when you saw it.
You saw Parvati and Oliver, entwined around each other,
and you felt a deep churning in your stomach as you saw
her hand reach around his shoulders;
fingers entangling in his hair.
That hair that you had always admired.
That hair that you had always dreamed of touching.
That hair that now belonged to Parvati.

And you saw h o t, messy tears fall from your eyes.
And so, you turned around and fled.
Fled into the dark courtyard, leaving that image behind.
That image that was stamped into you memory,
branded behind your eyes.

You thought it would always be you and him from the start.
Oliver and Lavender.
Lavender and Oliver.
It sounded so…right.
It sounded so…perfect.
But things weren't perfect in your world,
Oh dear, no they weren't.

You weren't perfect, far from it.
But wasn't she perfect?

You were supposed to be the best of friends, who would go through thick and thin.
You were supposed to be able to do anything for each other.
But things hadn't ended up that way, oh far from it.

They say it's darkest before the dawn,
that it's darkest right before the storm breaks, when hope is finally found.
(The dark came, and it hurt)
Oh, it hurt so much.

A/N: Thanks for reading. Please review, and tell me what you thought. :)