[of incalculable encounters]

by kaleidoscope flowers

AN: For Thorn (aka Acacia Thorn, one of the most wonderful people ever)—Merry Christmas, cyber!sister dear. :) Took me forever to come up with something for this pairing.

"I'll get us some sweets, Lavender," Parvati called, shutting the door of her Hogwarts Express compartment behind her. But upon seeing who was in the next compartment, her eyes widened and she immediately turned back around.

Of course, it had to be Blaise Zabini sitting there, the kind of bastard with a bad reputation and gorgeous cheekbones who could ruin your day with one sentence.

Her hand was on the door when he drawled out, "Oh, leaving so soon, Patil? I thought you'd like to stay and chat."

She instantly hated herself for blushing. Parvati slowly turned back around, her eyes darting all around the space. She was alone with him, for better or worse, and for some reason, her mind was refusing to work to assess the situation.

"Shut up, Zabini," was the oh-so-eloquent response she finally muttered under her breath.

He arched an eyebrow. "Articulate, aren't you? Well, I suppose it's more than I expect from Gryffindors anyway, so congratulations, darling . . ." His arm was casually draped across one of the empty seats, and his tie was askew, yet Parvati had the feeling that every element of his stance was a carefully deliberate part of his ongoing campaign to make her feel uncomfortable. Her lip curled, and her pretty face twisted into a grimace.

"Slimy Slytherin bastard," she shot back. It was a better comeback than her first, at least, and she forced herself to keep her brown eyes level with his.

"Right, and if I'm so slimy—"he enunciated the word—"why are you still here?"

"I—" she said, unable to come up with anything—"because . . . your mother?"

Blaise looked momentarily bewildered by this reply, and Parvati took a little pride in this. "My mother?"

"Yes, your mother," she went on, ad-libbing and regaining her bravado as she went. "What is it now, nine husbands? The latest one was found dead at the bottom of a cliff, I think; I read it in the Prophet . . . awfully dodgy, in my opinion."

She smiled, admiring the scowl on his face.

"That's none of your business, you filthy half-blood," he spat out.

"And if I'm a half blood, what are you? An elitist bully?"

"Oh, like it's better than being a deluded little Gryffindor with nothing but a pretty face."

Parvati paused, looking at him, and then smirked. "So you think I'm pretty."

Blaise didn't respond immediately, but he didn't seem taken off guard—his face returned to his usual self-confident expression as he spoke. "Yes, I do," he said smoothly, "but that doesn't matter when compared with the other aspects of your personality, does it?"

She bristled. "Oh, like I care about your opinion."

"You certainly seem to, darling."

"Don't you patronize me!"

"Ah, but I think you enjoy it." The boy leaned back in the seat, obviously satisfied.

Parvati's voice was indignant, but somehow she wasn't as angry as she should have been. "You don't know anything about me, Zabini," she said, and spun around facing the door to back to the other compartment, her long hair swinging over her shoulder.

"Oh, and I thought we were getting on so well!" Blaise called in a good-natured tone. "I suppose this is farewell then, Patil. You're really not as bad as I thought; I hope we meet again!" he continued, with mock cheer.

"And I hope you die in a hole," the girl muttered, turning the door handle.

"My sentiment is returned!"

Parvati walked out of the compartment without looking back at him, and slammed the door behind her shut.

She caught up to the food trolley eventually, red-faced and slightly embarrassed. "I'll have two Pumpkin Pasties and six Chocolate Frogs," she told the woman, fishing a couple of Sickles out of her jeans pocket and making the purchase quickly before dashing off down the corridor with a hasty 'Thanks!' yelled over her shoulder.

When she got back to her compartment, Lavender was still waiting there, now looking slightly annoyed. Her arms were folded across her chest. "Where in the world were you?" she demanded as Parvati dumped the sweets beside her and collapsed on the opposite seat, her head resting on her hands.

She peeled the silver wrapping off of a Chocolate Frog and took a tiny bite of the candy, balling up the trading card that came with it into a crumple of paper and tossing it aside. "I went through hell and back to get you those, so feel special," Parvati said, her voice muffled through her skin.

"Oh, really?" Lavender raised her eyebrows, not looking mollified.

"I ran into Zabini in the other compartment," she explained, sounding weary. "It wasn't the loveliest experience, if you want me to state the obvious." She popped the last bit of the Chocolate Frog into her mouth.

The other girl paused, then smirked. "Shame you don't like him back, Parvati," Lavender said, a smile quirking the corners of her lips. "You two could be the best-looking couple in the year."

" . . . oh, shut up."

"What ?" Her best friend beamed, feigning innocence.

"Oh my god, Lavender. Don't tell me you're going to start a rumor about us or something."

A devilish grin spread across her mouth and her eyes glinted with mischief. "I wasn't planning on doing that, Parvati, but thank you for the excellent idea. Now what will it be? I could always tell Padma I saw you two snogging in the Astronomy tower . . ." Lavender trailed off, looking nearly dreamy as she contemplated all the possibilities.

It was then that Parvati elbowed her sharply in the gut, color rapidly rising to her cheeks. "I said shut up."


Reviews/feedback is much appreciated, since it's my first time trying out this pairing. Thanks for reading! :)