Written for Cheeky's Weekly Drabbles Competition, in which it had to be trio era females other than Ginny, Hermione, Luna, and inspired, albeit somewhat loosely, by the quote: "We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone." - Orson Welles

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For Amber, because she made me want to try writing this pairing.

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She catches Hannah's arm as Hannah dashes past. "Hannah! Have you seen her?"

Taking in her panicked expression, Hannah's face turns sympathetic. "Sorry, Parvati."

She chokes back a sob, sucking in a deep breath. Her eyes frantically skim the Great Hall, but she doesn't see the face she's looking for.

A hand touches the small of her back and she jumps, spinning around, wand out. Seeing Padma causes a rush of relief.

Padma's eyes ask, Are you okay?

Parvati's answer, You're supposed to be the smart one.

"Hospital wing," Padma says. The breath catches in Parvati's throat.

"Is she…?" But she can't finish.

Without her voice, Padma tells her that she's alive. Not reassured, Parvati dashes off. Her heart feel like it's trying to beat straight out of her chest.

Alive. Alive. Alive, it beats. But what Parvati needs to know is, Okay? Okay? Okay?

She bursts through the doors to the hospital wing with a bang, facing the disapproving features of Madam Pomfrey.

"Miss Patil, really!"

Parvati doesn't have the time to look abashed.

"Where is she? Lavender, where is she?"

Madam Pomfrey purses her lips and Parvati doesn't want to think about what that means. "Fourth bed." She nods to the right side of the room. "But keep it down, Miss Patil."

Her steps are quick, clipped, and louder than Madam Pomfrey would like as she makes her way to the fourth bed on the right. Hands shaking, she slips through the closed curtains.

Her eyes immediately leap to the figure on the bed, and she hadn't realised how tense she was until she notices the slight movement of Lavender's chest; she's breathing. The tension drains out of Parvati and she collapses into the chair beside the bed, her breath escaping in a shudder.

She takes the limp hand, eyes drinking in the sight of her. "You scared me, Lav," she whispers. Her left hand lifts almost of it's own accord, tracing the raw, inflamed lines on Lavender's face. "What did they do to you, baby?"

Unconscious, Lavender doesn't reply. Parvati swallows, and her grip on Lavender's hand tightens. "I should have been there. I should have been able to stop him." She bows her head, the weight of guilt heavy on her shoulders. Why did it have to be Lavender?

"You're still beautiful, you know. No matter what they do to you, you'll always be beautiful."

She squeezes Lavender's hand. "I'm never going to let them hurt you again, okay?" Her breath is shaky as she makes the promise. "I'm not ever going to leave you alone again."

Parvati whirls around to counter a spell. When she turns back, Lavender has disappeared.

"I'm not going to let them separate us. Never again."

A deep exhale that is almost a sigh.

"I'm so sorry, love."