Prompts used: carcass (OTP), Muggle Studies (HeadCanon)

Word count: 1053.

Timeline: Fifth year.

- ^-^3

6: A Summer

"Are you friends with Smith or not?"

"What?" Parvati gaped at Lavender as they sat in a compartment by themselves on the train ride home. It wouldn't be long before they pulled in to King's Cross Station and went their separate ways for the summer. Though, of course, Parvati and Lavender would spend an equal amount of time at each other's house; they always had, since first year on.

Lavender rolled her eyes and huffed, not in a playful mood. "Smith. Zacharias Smith. You know. Blonde Hufflepuff. D.A. member."

"I know that," the Indian witch snapped, her cheeks warm. "But what are you talking about?"

"It's pretty obvious to me that you've become friends with him, or something, since the D.A. formed. And even after the D.A. disbanded, I've seen you hang out with him a few times."

Good Merlin. Lavender hadn't seen that sparks moment, had she? Parvati hoped not for two reasons: one, she didn't like the idea of her best mate spying on her like that, and two, she didn't really want to share that moment with anyone. It had been a sweet moment. Even if Zacharias wasn't exactly boyfriend material, he wasn't a bad guy, and no one had ever been silly like that for Parvati. Well, Lavender had come close over the years, but that was different because the two witches were good friends, almost like sisters.

"So I just wanted to know if you really are friends with him," Lavender finished.

"Why such a random question?" Parvati asked. She buttoned up her purple jumper and brushed pastry crumbs off her jeans, silently counting for once the minutes until they would arrive at the station.

"No real reason." Lavender stared out the window and dropped the subject.

Parvati looked at her friend. They'd been alone for the whole ride, and she wondered if maybe something had happened between Lavender and Seamus. But, did Parvati dare ask? "Lav," she began gently, "where's Seamus?"

"Oh, off with Dean somewhere, I'm sure. Boys will be boys, you know." Lavender smoothed her dark blonde hair back and gathered it over one shoulder. "Actually, I think I might give up on him. I've liked him for years, but maybe it's time for a change."

The other girl nodded. "We all need a change, considering what just happened at the Ministry."

"Yeah… Maybe I'll go for a Quidditch player."

Parvati raised her eyebrows. "Seriously?"

Lavender grinned. "Well, they're all quite fit, aren't they?"

They giggled like old times. "You've got a point, mate!"

"And," Lavender drawled, "you could have a Quidditch player, too."

"Lavender…," Parvati warned.

"What?" The blonde feigned innocence. "I was only going to point out that Smith's not only a player but Captain of his team."

Parvati rolled her eyes. "Get a grip, Lav. He's a friend, nothing more. You'll have to drag my desperate carcass out of this compartment before I'd go on a date with someone like him." She added to Lavender's laughter in response, but a part of her felt bad for saying it. The words had just spilled out of her mouth, but she was a little nervous. She and Lavender had fawned over boys before, sure, but Parvati had never given one some actual thought. She shook her head and changed the subject, speculating about what really had happened with Harry and his lot at the Ministry. The topic lasted them well into the station, and Parvati felt relieved to get her belongings and go.

She hugged Lavender before Lavender went off with her parents, and then she set out for finding her twin. Parvati spied Padma saying goodbye to Mandy and Morag and was on her way over when someone passed by her, and Parvati did a double-take.

It was Zacharias.

She smiled before she even knew she was smiling, and she touched his arm. "See you next year, yeah?" she asked.

That tiny grin of his that she'd begun wonder if it always lay beneath his usual skeptical sneer appeared as he recognized her. "Yeah, see you next year."

Parvati bit her lip. "Ah, do you know what classes you'll take yet?"

Zacharias looked thoughtful. "Not sure. Probably a real Defense Against the Dark Arts class," he said. "I'm done with Potions, though, ugh. I was thinking of advanced Charms, though," he added, and his brown eyes landed on hers.

She wondered if maybe he had been thinking about the red sparks, too, so her smile widened. "Yeah, Charms would be great. I'll stick with Divination, too. And maybe…maybe do something bold, you know? Like, take Muggle Studies or something. I feel as though anything's possible, since the D.A."

He chuckled. "Let me know over the summer what classes you've picked. Maybe you'll need a buddy in Muggle Studies."

"Oh, yeah, sure." Parvati hoped that her excitement wasn't showing too badly on her face.

"Parvati, there you are!"

And she cringed and hoped that her embarrassment wasn't showing too badly on her face as her parents wound their way towards her. Her father, Parminder, reached her first, and her mother, Gita, was right behind him. "Hi, Mum, Dad," she said through gritted teeth.

"It's so good to have you back home," Gita told her daughter in her slightly accented voice. "We've heard all the news and were so worried."

"And who is this?" Parminder took a long look at Zacharias as if he couldn't determine yet if he should hex the boy or not.

"He's Zacharias Smith, our classmate and friend," Padma said, popping up on Parvati's other side opposite from Zacharias. "Mamaji, Dadaji, we really should get going." Padma sent Parvati a "You're welcome" look, and Parvati was rather grateful for the save.

"Smith?" Parminder and Gita exchanged a glance. Then Parminder asked Zacharias, "Is your father Adralian Smith?"

Zacharias nodded and shook his hand. "Yes, sir," and that was all he got out before his own father turned up with his mother, and the three Hogwartians knew it'd be a little while before they finally left King's Cross.

Parvati mouthed an "I'm sorry" to Zacharias and hoped that he'd forgive her most mortifying expression.

But all he did was shrug and say, "I have a funny feeling we won't only be exchanging letters over the summer."

And Parvati didn't mind.

- ^-^3

8D My favorite chappy so far! X3 *squee* See, I've known I wanted the twins' dad's name to be "Parminder" for a few years, and I came up with the name "Adralian" a while ago and wanted to use it… And then "Gita" was so pretty… And this strengthens a notion Zach thinks of in ch1, as he correctly places that his dad and their parents are kind of acquaintances. But that's not the point, *lol*. Also, "Mamaji" and "Dadaji" are (to my knowledge, and please correct me if you genuinely know better) terms of endearment that are Hindi (?) and are akin to "Mommy/Mummy" and "Daddy." I get the feeling that the twins would still use these sometimes with their parents, and I have heard the terms used in shows and movies by Indian charries, so… And yaaay, I get to explore the Patil household and family…! So I'll stop commenting and work on the next chapter. Wow, this chapter got away from me!

-mew! XD