Summary: Real beauty is on the inside, she supposes, but she does pretty well on the outside, too.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

They try really, really hard to make it work, but it's a little less exciting when all that's happening are doctor's appointments and burned dinners and picking up the pieces they've got left. Lavender and Seamus have always been well-suited for the extraordinary; the mundane suits them much less, and four weeks after Lavender leaves the hospital for the last time, their romance turns like the leaves and falls just as fast.

She tries. (God, does she try.) So does he. They both give it their all—give this failing romance everything they have. They are war-torn Gryffindors—they do not surrender so easily, but when the sun sinks and their relationship lays in tatters on the floor, it's plain to see that some battles aren't worth fighting.

They part amicably. It's nothing personal, nothing bitter or broken about their relationship, but it worked better when the world was falling down around their ears. Now, in the bright sunshine of another era, their relationship is just one more relic from a darker time. Their parting is only the natural progression of things; the DA was the glue that held their relationship together and now that its dissolved, they are nothing more than pieces that don't quite fit.

Lavender is passion—she is ripe red splashes on the page. She loves and fights with all that she has, but with Seamus, that passion fades. There is only one fight, only one screaming, knock-down, drag-out fight that leaves Lavender a little breathless and makes her wonder if it's worth fighting for after all, but Seamus sees the light in her eyes and he shakes his head. "There are better things out there, for both of us, Lav."

And she can't help but agree, because the fire in her veins from the fighting fades with the sunrise, and she has to find other reasons to live. (Lavender is a romantic. She wants Seamus to be the end and the beginning of her world.)

Single feels better than she thought it would. Independence feels good. She can do whatever the hell she pleases whenever the hell she pleases, and that almost makes up for the scars that paint her back in red and white lace. Almost.

It hurts, when Seamus introduces her to his "better thing." She wears golden curls and deep brown eyes and she is barely 18. She is untouched—she's some witch from South Africa Seamus met at a Quidditch match. Lavender resents her—she resents this pretty, unblemished face—the perfect hair and the trusting smile. Lavender has only ever had "pretty" and this girl claims beautiful as a birthright. But more than that, Seamus has traded Lavender in for innocence; those deep brown eyes are a shade darker than Lavender's own, but Lavender's house ghosts; this girl's are bright and happy. To her, Lord Voldemort is nothing more than a childhood terror; a threat to chase her into her bed at night.

And Lavender is jealous, if only for a minute, that this girl would claim her hero's affections when she was the one to fight beside him; she was the one to have endured so much for the cause.

But green was never her color and Lavender tries to let it go. She designs clothes and marches around with her scars on display. (Lavender loves attention. That, at least, hasn't changed.) If they want to stare, Lavender will give them a reason.

Her something else takes his sweet time coming around. He has Weasley-red hair and crinkly brown eyes. He stares at her smooth arms, her long legs, the arch of her spine, and he sees the scars, but he sees the lioness underneath. He wears scars all his own, but his burns are from fighting with dragons and the other scars he wears where no one can see. They swap stories and Lavender feels like she can claim beautiful as her own, now.

Real beauty is on the inside, she supposes, but she does damn well on the outside, too.

Thank you for reading!