stories for the ladies of hogwarts, who cry, waver, giggle, trespass, and who deserve our respect all the same
overemotional: in defense of cho chang
Cho’s was not that kind of grief. Hers was the grief of the living. She was flying and learning and loving and, yes, crying. Cedric was not. Her pretty world, at fifteen, had been shattered. It was darker than anyone had ever warned her of, but she was growing into it. She was growing up. Sometimes that takes tears.
Mourning is not selfless. We do not weep for the dead. We weep for the living–what could have been and the tragedy that is. We weep because our hearts are breaking. It is not selfless but neither are we. We are selves.
naive: in defense of hannah abbott
Hannah went out every few nights to breathe in green and work on her own projects. Sometimes Neville was there and sometimes he was away running defense lessons in the Room or, god forbid, sleeping. Sometimes they worked in companionable silence. Sometimes they talked about the DA, or wondered where Harry was. Neville told her about his disastrous early attempts with every non herbological magic. Hannah told him about her mother.
“This is where everything starts,” Professor Sprout had told them, back when Hogwarts was still a place of light, smiling under that frizzing grey hair. Professor Sprout had buried her hands in dirt and said, “This is what everything grows from. The ground up.”
Life is something you bury. Life is something you bury your hands in.
silly: in defense of parvati patil (in memory of lavender brown)
“Have you ever been Crucioed?” she asked.
The Auror opened his mouth to speak, but Parvati kept going, calm, dismissive: “I don’t mean in training, in a nice padded room with an instructor who will take you for beers after. I don’t even mean by some criminal in a dark alley when you don’t know if you’re going to make it to the end of the day. I mean have you ever been Crucioed in a classroom, in front of your sister and a bunch of terrified children. Have you ever been Crucioed by someone who enjoyed it, when you were expendable? Have you ever gasped yourself back to life when they were done and known the next morning you were going to walk right back in and sit at your desk, and wait, and hope it happened to you and not some kid half your size?”
The Auror had gone silent.
Parvati looked him over slowly. “I have been an object lesson in disobedience from people I couldn’t get away from. I have watched children scream, and done nothing, because I was in a war and it wasn’t strategic and they were soldiers too. They would survive. And most of us did. But we are not the same as we were. You will respect our war.”
lost: in defense of ginny weasley
She and Harry had both done what Voldemort could not—died and come back. Harry sacrificed, a lion’s death giving him a lamb’s rebirth. Ginny was risen in the Chamber of Secrets at the strike of a fang to a poisoned diary but she was not reborn then. Leaving the Chamber, she was as much a shade as Tom Riddle’s desperate ghost.
It was not Harry’s heroism, Ron’s desperation, her mother’s love, or her brothers’ toilet seat humor that brought her back (though the toilet seat helped). Ginny breathed deep at night. She wept. She remembered how to rage. She snuck out at night and stole each of her brothers’ brooms in turn. She took to the skies and brought herself back to life.
ugly: in defense of pansy parkinson
“Why are you here?” Parvati asked Pansy once. People asked her a lot, when they found her in Flourish and Blotts, or at work on the Prophet. Their eyes raked her, looking for green, for silver, for venom. Sometimes she’d smile back and let them see the danger.
“Because I’m not fifteen anymore,” said Pansy. “God, do you know what precious Potter Sr. got up to at school, the bully? But boys get to grow up to be men, you see, and us girls just grow up to be bitches.”
turncoat: in defense of andromeda tonks nee black
When Andromeda got married, it was in a dress that was silver, not white. The guests called her luminescent, but her cousin Sirius, who spun her with comical and affectionate abandon across the dance floor later that night, smiled, and said, “You thought green would be too obvious?”
“A snake changes it’s skin, but it’s still—”
“I’m not going to pretend I’m anything I’m not, cuz,” she said.
wallflower: in defense of susan bones
You have to make things your own, laying out new earth or filling your too-small kitchen with song. You have to live in your skin. It’s worth living in.
Susie learned the lines of scar tissue on her arm, like cracks in a ceiling, like the specific pattern of fissures and gouges that made a place its own. She traced her fingers over the raised scars while she studied obscure legal texts in her first little office, and felt like she was flicking her wand, casting ward circles, like she was circling this and claiming this, calling it her own.
loony: in defense of luna lovegood
In the spare bedroom at Shell Cottage, Ollivander made Luna a new wand. They hiked, slowly, through windswept bluffs until he found a tree he approved of.
“Willow?” Dean asked. “Or reed? I mean, it’s Luna, she’s kinda bendy, isn’t she?”
Ollivander went on Transfiguring his toolset out of bits of driftwood and sea glass. Luna smiled back, wide.
Bend and bend and never break. She could almost touch the tip of the wand to its hilt, when he was done. Ollivander gave her some oil to rub into it to keep it supple and one day, after the war, Luna curved it into a perfect circle. She held it up to her eye and thought about the last riddle she had ever used to open up Ravenclaw’s tower. A circle has no end.
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