AN: Wow, it's been over a year since I've visited this story! Thanks for your sweet reviews. I was in the mood to pick it back up for the fun of it. Don't take it too seriously, as I find myself just experimenting with this fic in every way I can.
She looked at her reflection, tracing the jagged cuts on her cheek with a finger. They were green from the salve Madame Pomfrey instructed her to apply every day, and they oozed from time to time. Lavender once prided herself on her appearance. She was like any other teenage girl, reading Witch's Weekly, trying out new potions on her hair to make it behave, buying makeup products that changed her lips different shades of pink and red depending on her mood, ogling over boys like Ron Weasley.
Now what was she?
She didn't look like Lavender. She didn't even feel like Lavender, to be honest. It was as if the horrible year with the Carrows and Snape, the war, the fighting... It had cracked her hard exterior and revealed something darker and angrier within her.
Or maybe it was just teenage angst hitting her a tad late.
Lavender turned away from her ugly, disfigured face. Close your eyes, count to ten, and you're you again.
As long as she didn't venture out of the common room or glance into any mirrors, her words would ring true.
"You awake, Lav?" Parvati said sleepily from her four-poster. It was just the two of them in their dormitory now that most everyone had cleared out of the school.
"No," Lavender said, forcing a smile onto her face and coming to sit on her friend's bed.
Parvati grumbled something about it being really early. Lavender stroked her long, dark hair until Parvati closed her eyes again, then stood up and got dressed. The common room was empty when she came downstairs. She decided she may as well get a start on her Transfiguration homework, not that she really felt the need to do homework anymore. The teachers weren't giving as much as they used to, nor did they really care when someone forgot to turn it in. Lavender thought the teachers were just going through the motions of teaching, and realized that she was just going through the motions of being a student.
Lavender tried to imagine life without Hogwarts and felt her stomach clench. She had no clue what she wanted to do with her life. She had thoroughly looked into some entrepreneurial opportunities the year before, hoping to start her own salon for witches who were too clumsy performing spells on their own hair. She soon tired of this idea and thought of creating her own line of products, but she wasn't the best at Potions and would likely have to partner with someone. She even considered teaching Divination, although she didn't think she could strengthen her Inner Eye enough to be a teacher. And now she was more confused and pressured than ever. It was the end of seventh year, she would soon be of age, and she had no idea what she was going to do. Even worse, where could she work with a face like this? She honestly hadn't given it serious thought until now.
Lavender hit her palm to her forehead and cursed herself for being so stupid. She couldn't believe she hadn't thought of it sooner. She packed up her books without having read a word and climbed out of the portrait hole, running until she found herself panting in the North Tower underneath a trapdoor. "P-Professor?"
The trapdoor opened and Lavender climbed the ladder up to the classroom. "Professor?"
The room smelled more perfumey than usual. It was empty except for an armchair by the fireplace, where a frizzy-haired woman sat with a cup of tea clasped to her chest. Professor Trelawney didn't react to Lavender coming in. "I knew you'd be coming soon, dear."
There were wide cracks in the stone and in some areas the walls were crumbling from the damage done to the school. A lot of the wreckage had been cleaned up by the teachers, but Professor Trelawney seemed content with her room staying how it was.
"Professor, I have a problem that needs sorting out. Actually, more like a question."
"About your future, dear girl?"
"Well, yeah," Lavender said, and the professor looked pleased with herself. "You see, I'm almost done here at Hogwarts and... And I don't really know what I'm going to do, you know, career-wise. I can't believe I haven't asked you before! But I guess I didn't worry about it until now, and..." She trailed off, realizing she was babbling. "Do you think you could give me some answers, Professor?"
Professor Trelawney turned to look at her with her magnified eyes and put down her teacup. "My dear, your future is unclear to you for a reason. You will figure things out, but for now I do not wish to meddle with your fate. I sense that your anxiety is stemming from a different source, an uncertainty that has nothing to do with your future career."
"Please," Lavender pleaded, holding back frustrated tears. "Please, Professor, I need to know!"
"I'm sorry, but I cannot help you." She picked up her teacup again and said, "Go now, dear. Don't you fret, the worst has passed."