Written for fan-freak121's Write about your least favourite character or pairing challenge using the prompts 'lonely' and 'lie'

Written for Gamma Orionis' Favourite Genre Boot Camp (post-war) using the prompt 'Annus' (year)

Living a Lie

Her life hadn't improved that much. Not at all. She would read a new story in the Prophet almost every day by someone who had fought in the war and how perfect their lives had turned out.

Harry Potter had just married Ginny Weasley and her brother, Ron Weasley had done something remarkable in his job as an Auror. Even Luna Lovegood – or Looney Lovegood – was doing something for herself; even if it was gallivanting around the world in search of creatures that didn't exist.

At least she was doing something.

Marietta, however, had done nothing. After the war that she had been so reluctant to get involved in, she had returned to her small apartment on the outskirts of London and spoke to no one. After her betrayal of Dumbledore's Army in her sixth year, she had found herself with very few friends.

Cho, who she had once considered to be her closest friend, had somewhat abandoned her. Although they would speak to each other on occasions, their relationship had never been the same. Cho had continued with her involvement in Dumbledore's Army and had fought against You-Know-Who in the infamous Battle at Hogwarts. That had been the last time they had seen each other.

Marietta had fought too, but not out of willingness. It had been out of guilt. She had betrayed so many of her classmates that she felt like she had to at least try to make it up to them. Harry, Ron and Hermione had trekked around the world in search of ways to end the darkest wizard to ever exist. They had faced turmoils and near death experiences, while she had sat in her apartment and done nothing.

She had not spoken to a single person since leaving Hogwarts. Her mother would write to her on occasions, but Marietta would rarely respond. There was no point. She would only lie and tell her that she was fine; that everything was okay.

When in truth, of course, it wasn't. Four years, it had been. Four years of the wizarding world living in relative peace and happiness, yet Marietta had felt none of that.

She watched Harry and Ginny Potter wave happily up at her from the front page. Ginny was dressed in an elegant, white wedding gown, her red hair pulled back into a tight bun. She looked absolutely beautiful – Marietta wasn't going to deny that.

And they looked so happy.

Marietta had no happiness in her life – only loneliness. She was not married, she was in no relationship, nor did she have any friends. She rarely left her apartment.

She still had the scars across her face as a reminder of what she had done all those years ago. Although faded, they were still visible if anyone looked close enough. And anyone who recognised her would be looking close enough.

Perhaps everyone had moved on from that now. Perhaps if they did see her, they wouldn't care. But she cared. Marietta cared. She didn't want to be remembered as the one who betrayed them.

So, she had laid low for many years, living a lonely life. It was sad on occasions; other times she enjoyed it. At least she had no one else to worry about. Now that Harry and Ginny were married, they'd probably have kids soon. They'd have a family which would change everything for them. Ginny was in the prime of her Quidditch career and Harry... well, Harry was Harry. Famous wizard, Auror... he had it all.

No, sometimes Marietta was glad it was just her. She had a job in the Leaky Cauldron as a barmaid and that was all. There were no reporters constantly watching her every move, begging for an interview. They weren't following her, hoping for some anger-filled tantrum that they could write about. And there was no one in her life that they could claim she was sleeping with behind her husband's back. She had neither.

I'll meet someone eventually, she told herself almost every day. But, to do that, she actually had to leave her apartment.

And she never did; unless it was to go to work.

She took another look at the couple before her. Well, at least the hero was happy. At least he wasn't locked up in a small room feeling sorry for himself, when he, of all people, had every right to.

Their happy faces encouraged her. It had been years since it had all happened; surely no one would care. And, she had helped to fight. She had Stunned some Death Eaters.

Maybe it was time she put an end to her loneliness.

Marietta grabbed her coat and her wand.

Time to face up to everything, she said to herself.

With a loud pop, she Disapparated from her apartment, going somewhere other than the Leak Cauldron for the first time in years.

I normally love including speech in my fics, so I thought I would try something different for this. I don't necessarily believe this is what Marietta was like, but with the prompts, this is what came out. And who knows, maybe it was like this. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and I would really appreciate you reviews :D