For the Anything You Wanna Write Competition Round Two. My prompts: Parvati Patil, Mourn.
This is a companion to my story Painted Plastic Smiles and Pretty Pink Bridesmaid Dresses – that one is the same day, but from Padma's point of view. They can be read alone or in either order.
I own nothing.
Thanks go to WeasleySeeker for Betaing for me!
"Mourning the World"
Parvati wants to slaughter her sister.
She really, really wants to. Merlin, sometimes Padma is just so maddening, but this, this is more than Parvati can handle. How can she think this is okay? How can she not realize that this is crossing a line that can't be uncrossed?
Parvati is seeing red. She thought it was just an expression – apparently not, because everything is cloudy crimson.
How dare she? How dare she?
Parvati's maybe a little bit mad before she even sees Padma because she's late. It's Parvati's day – her wedding day – and Padma is late. But really, she's more sad than mad. Padma's late to her wedding. And Parvati feels more disappointed at that than she thinks she really should, because they've never been as close as maybe they should be. They're identical twins with identical DNA, but they're just so essentially different. Padma's bookish and smart, and all Parvati's ever wanted is to get married, to settle down with someone she loves. Padma actually wants to besomeone.And that was okay, when they were little, to have different dreams, but they haven't been super close since they were eleven. Still, Padma's her sister, and on this, of all days, Parvati thinks she should be on time.
Parvati's staring into the mirror. She twirls around, and her flowing white dress makes her smile just a little bit – though the smile is mostly painted on. Her face feels like it's made of plastic. She wonders why she isn't happier than she is. This is her day; it's supposed to be the best day of her life. And she loves him, she does. But her Maid of Honor is late, and Lavender, her only bridesmaid, is solemn and scarred, and this is not how Parvati pictured her wedding day.
She catches sight of Padma in the mirror.
She screams at the top of her lungs. After that, she just freezes, because she isn't sure what to do. She's kind of hoping it's all a dream, and that she'll wake up tomorrow and have a new chance at her wedding day, because it can't be happening like this.
Rather than wearing her beautiful pink bridesmaid dress – the one that Parvati spent weeks looking for until she finally found the perfect one – Padma is wearing black.
Padma shrugs, like, 'What can you do?'
Parvati is absolutely livid. It's probably a very good thing that Lavender chooses that moment to walk in the room, because she's not sure Padma would've survived otherwise.
Lavender gapes in abject horror at Padma's dress.
"Um... Well... It's just... It's time to start, 'Vati," she murmurs, regaining control of herself. The old Lavender, the pre-war Lavender, would've slaughtered Padma, or at least chewed her out. Parvati's painted smile slips a little bit. She plasters it back on, nods sharply, once, and flounces past Padma without a word because she just doesn't know what to say. She doesn't see Padma's smile (her painted, plastic smile) slip. She doesn't see the tear slide down Padma's face. Maybe if she had, things wouldn't have gone so wrongfrom there.
When Parvati walks down the aisle, she feels beautiful and her groom looks stunning, and everything should be perfect.
But Lavender's broken, and Padma mourns the whole world, and Parvati doesn't feel like anything is right.
She wonders where her fairy-tale world went, because their entire childhood was sunshine and rainbows, with insignificant hardships scatted miles apart. It's because of this that she doesn't know how to deal with tragedy.
That's the difference between them, though. Having been sheltered from tragedy, Parvati shies away from hardship; Padma absorbs the tragedy around her and experiences it tenfold. She mourns the whole world now to make up for mourning no one earlier in her life.
And Parvati doesn't think she can accept that, because of the way that it negatively affects her.
But right now, none of that matters. She wears her painted smile down the aisle, and the tears that roll down her face, people assume they're caused by happiness, not because everything seems to be going wrong.
And when she says "I do," Parvati means it with her whole heart, because she loves him, and she feels like she can count on him despite the fact that the rest of her world seems to me falling apart.
Later, she finally gets the chance to chew Padma out.
"In what world, Padma, in what world is this okay?" Parvati just wants to understand.
" 'Vati, it's not… It's just… No one seems to notice! No one seems to care! They're gone, 'Vati, and they aren't coming back, yet no one cares! Don't you think there's something wrong with that?"
"It's not that people don't care, Padma! It's that the rest of us know how to mourn and then move on! We aren't stuck! Padma, they wouldn't want you to spend your whole life being sad for them. They'd want you to live, because what you're doing now, that's not living!"
"It the principle of it, 'Vati!"
"And you had to choose my wedding day to make a statement, Padma? I've put up with you and your causes, your crusades over the years! I've put up with all of it, I've taken a lot of crap from you, but this is just too much! It was my day, mine, and you ruined it!"
"Sometimes, Parvati," Padma replies, her voice icy cold, "it isn't all about you." And Padma turns and walks away. It is the last time Parvati ever speaks to her sister.
A large part of Parvati wants to just blame Padma for all of this. After all, it's her… activism… that landed them here. If Padma had just been able to let things go, they'd have been all right.
And it would be so easy to just blame it all on her. But Parvati knows that isn't right. The blame is theirs to share. Either one of them probably could have stopped their relationship from spiraling out of control, but neither did.
She thought the words a thousand times, but never once did she say them aloud.