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Title: Keep the Slowly Fading Memories Summary: Luna and Parvati. Their last night together. Memories. Author: Anisky Archiving: Just ask me! “I love you,” I whisper in her perfect little seashell ear, delicately pierced with an emerald stone. She runs her fingers through my hair, trying to untangle one of my knots. “I’m sorry,” she whispers back. *** Then: She was perfect; she was the unattainable. Her shining golden hair was perfectly groomed and teased into the exact position. Her chocolaty eyes (I couldn’t help being cliché around her) always had the perfect golden eye shadow and deep brown eyeliner and mascara. She always looked confident and superior. She was a stark contrast to me, makeup-less, barely even bothering to brush my hair, looking always… surprised. It was like she knew what was coming all the time, and knew how to handle it, and everything just caught me unawares and I was just stumbling through life. Can you tell I was infatuated? I knew her sister, of course. One of the girls who stole my stuff. She was also the first to make sure it got back to me, though. A contradiction. I don’t know. She was trying to be someone she wasn’t. Sewing with a cloth that couldn’t be punctured. But not Parvati. Parvati might have had a sneer on her face when she spoke to me, insulted me, called me a loser or a freak, but at least she wasn’t indecisive. *** Her fingers brush against my cheek. She leans in to kiss my lips. Gently. Just a peck. For a moment, as her soft lips brush mine, I almost believe I mean something to her. Almost. *** Then: I thought I was invisible to her. I thought I was inconsequential. I thought that she never noticed I was there beyond just another piece of used gum on her shoe. I didn’t know how adoration makes itself known, how it caught her eye and she watched me almost as much as I watched her. I was so naïve. I even believed her when she told me that Trelawney wanted her to work with me in Divination since both of us had “great potential.” She took my hand and held it and traced one of her perfectly groomed fingernails along my lifeline. It tickled a little, but in a good way. “You’re not going to have an ordinary life,” she told me in that wind chime voice of hers. “You’ve had to overcome obstacles, and you’re going to keep on doing it. You’ll learn to find joy in rejection. You’ll learn to move on.” I looked up. I looked into her eyes. And I knew what I’d known all along: She wasn’t really some shallow girl obsessed with glitter. She was here. She was raw. She was real. I didn’t really have potential in divination. I know that because when I looked into those perfectly made-up eyes, I thought, ‘This girl is going to make me happy.’ I thought, ‘There’s something real here.’ I thought, ‘She sounds like she can see my soul and is planning to carve her name into it so she’ll be part of me forever.’ I didn’t think ‘She’s going to use me up and spit me out onto the ground and step on me without a second thought.’ Ah, memories. *** Things she said: “I never meant to hurt you, Luna.” (Bullshit) “This isn’t about what other people think.” (And then in the same breath…) “You know I’d be with you if there was any other way.” (So what’s the problem, she never answered me.) “Let‘s fuck. You make me hot.” (So blunt for the girl who can small talk for hours.) Things she didn’t say: “I don’t care that you don’t wear makeup or that you work for the Quibbler. I like you the way you are. I don’t want you to change.” “This is my responsibility. I was the one who sought you out.” “Let’s cuddle. You make me smile.” “I love you too.” *** I let her lips move against mine as I move my hands up to her satin hair. I run my hand under her robes and across her hips. Her skin is so soft it’s like a baby’s. She does something interesting with her tongue. No, there’s no mistaking her for a baby. I still feel so weird and awkward next to her, like a wilting, half-dead weed next to a delicate, pure white lily. My hand moving down her leg is like burlap against silk. But oh, it feels so nice to touch her. Tonight is the last night. I know this; tomorrow‘s the day everything changes. All my dreams, all my hopes about her will be forever lost in the wind, that wind that tosses my hair every which way but somehow never seems to touch her. We’re never going to cuddle, just be content in each others’ arms like I’ve wished for so often. No. Just one final farewell fuck to distract me as she tears out my heart and uses her little nail clippers to chop it into a million bloody dripping pieces to toss into the trash. I think: I love you. My fingers find their way to that special place where I know I can make you feel wonderful. This is the one time I know for sure that you’re glad I’m here. Do you feel guilty for betraying him or for betraying me? Silly question. You don’t feel guilty at all. I say: Oh, baby. Oh, yes. *** Then: She knew me well enough to know what to impress upon me. “We can’t tell anybody about this, Luna.” She took both of my hands and looked into my eyes. “This has to be a secret. Just between us.” I didn’t say anything. I could see her starting to panic. “Luna? Please answer, you’re going to keep this a secret right? Because if you don’t I’m going to deny it and then I’m going to make your life miserable and--” “Why is this so important to you?” I looked past her. Anywhere else. Not at her beautiful face as she explained to me (and I know she would) how unworthy I am to have her. I know this. I don’t want to be reminded of it every moment of each blessed kiss of yours on my cheek and lips and eyes and neck. “I don’t care if anyone knows. Why do you?” “I’m not you,” she said. “I know.” “I don’t want to be you,” she said. “I know.” “You’re going to do this for me,” she said. “What, are you ashamed of being with me?” “Yes.” *** Then: The brooms were pressing against my back. My hands were going numb from her pinning me. My face itched from the damp air in the closet and I was about to sneeze from the dust. She pushed me against the wall, her lips devouring mine hungrily. “Oh, Parvati,” I cried as she moved on to my neck. I pulled her close. “I love you, Parvati.” She kept sucking at my neck. I wait. “I love you, Parvati,” I told her again, louder this time. I push her away. She looks at me. She smiles. I frown. She shrugs and spins around, leaving the closet and slamming the door behind her. My knees buckle beneath me, and I fall to the ground, back against the wall, knees to my chest. I hug them close. I sit there in the stuffy air, crying, gasping for breath between sobs. I left after a few hours to go to dinner. My eyes were dry and red. Nobody commented at the table. To my surprise, an owl swooped down to my spot and left me a note. I recognized the delicate handwriting with little hearts to dot the i’s as Parvati’s. Meet me outside by the greenhouses, it said. *** Then: I was walking to the greenhouses. I was thinking. My heart rose. It was okay after all. She had something to say to me. My heart fell. She just wanted to tell me it was over. I knew it, deep down. My heart broke. There she was. Here is what she had to say: “Let’s fuck. You make me hot.” I fucked. I made her hot. I didn't cry until late at night in my bedroom where if anybody heard Loony Lovegood bawling her eyes out, they assumed it was because of some theory about radishes being an alien invasion. Or something. *** I watch as the satin of her robes brushes against her skin as I slide it off. I’ve done this so many times before but somehow it always feels like the first time; new, exciting, I’m on the top of the world. Except this time, of course. But knowing that this is goodbye doesn’t make me any less turned on. The sound of her voice, crying out, in ecstasy, because of me… I made her feel that good… it’s nearly enough to put me over the edge. I do all the things I know she loves. I do anything I can to just hear her call my name. Just hearing, “Luna!” come through her sweet lips, those perfect, wonderful lips, is enough to make living worth it. I think I like making her feel good even more than I like it when she does things for me. *** Then: I may not be the most perceptive girl in the world, but I can see a blank look in somebody’s eyes as well as anyone. Parvati’s eyes were so blank that I’m surprised that Zacharias wasn’t sucked right into them, a devoid black hole of abandoned want. Or maybe that was just me being self-indulgent. Yes, come to think of it, the thought of her feeling anything on my account besides physical enjoyment is sort of unrealistic. I’m not important, I’m not real, I’m just some convenient thing there for her enjoyment. But I could draw some comfort from knowing that Zacharias was just as inconsequential as I was. So I sat in the corner, watching, seeing her laugh and smile and cuddle him and do all the things I wished so desperately I could do with her around everyone else. I hated Zacharias so much… every night I went to bed wishing for no more than to be him. Parvati never offered me an explanation. She never told me that it was all for show with him. She never tried to comfort me. I was glad; I couldn’t have taken it if she’d been a friend. I couldn’t have taken it if I thought she cared and she did everything anyway. At first I expected that she’d tell me that it was over, that she had a boyfriend and that she couldn’t keep seeing me. There she was, though, every night, mine for a few hours, mine as long as I could keep her attention and make her cry out, muffling her screams in fear of being heard even when we were in the far reaches of Hogwarts where nobody could hear us. She was phobic about being heard. She was phobic about being caught in any way. *** She and I collapse, sweating, panting. I feel good for only a moment, until I remember that this is the last time. I wrap my arms around her, and my heart jumps as she wraps her arms around me as well. *** Then: “You know,” she said casually as she was getting dressed, “we can’t keep doing this when I’m married to Zacharias.” I’d been relaxing on the bed with my eyes closed, but hearing that I shot up. “What?” I asked, eyes wide. “You’re marrying him?” “I didn’t tell you?” she asked. She cast me a dismissive, sheepish smile. “Yeah, he proposed, like, months ago.” I felt faint. “When are you getting married?” “Two weeks. Hey, um, would you mind not coming though? That would be weird, to have you at my wedding. You know.” I closed my eyes and lied back down. “Luna?” she asked. I didn’t answer. *** Parvati pulls away from me and smiles. “Thanks, Luna,” she whispers. Her voice is so quiet, I’ve never heard it like that before. She looks down and stands up. My breath catches in my throat. She’s so beautiful. “Goodbye,” I tell her. “Have a happy life.” “Yes,” she says. “You too.” She looks around for a moment. She seems disoriented, almost, but the look soon passes and she’s back to her confident self. She strides across the room to get dressed. She’s about to leave. I’m still lying here, naked. I don’t want her to go. I grasp for something to say. Anything. “Maybe we could go out sometime.” She turns and looks at me, eyebrows raised. “You know, as friends,” I say hastily. She bites her lip. “I don’t think so,” she says. I don’t know the look on her face. It’s something so alien to her, but I can’t name it. “Oh,” I say. She stands there. I wait. “Luna…” her voice trails off. “Yes?” “I…” Her lips press together. Her eyes turn cold again. She suddenly whirls around and walks briskly to the door. I see her pick something up on the way out. The door slams loudly behind her as she walks out into the dreary grey of the early morning before the sun rises. I stand up, still naked, shivering in the cold of my flat. The cold feels like loneliness. I walk over to the dresser to see what she took, but nothing seemed out of place. The only thing missing was an old, stained, torn picture of me I’d left there a few days ago after I found it in a drawer somewhere. But I’m sure that’s not what she took.

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