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Every year that Parvati was in school, she would give an extra little pat on Ganapati's head as she set him out besides the bronze statue of Lakshmi, for making sure that both she and Padma were at Hogwarts. Her younger brother was a squib, and, just like a damp firecracker, his Diwalis were spent being the poster child of his local Comprehensive's 'cultural diversity' program. Ma would enjoy dressing up in the saris all the muggles expected her to be in, instead of the normal robes she wore to fit in, but she hated having to make three dozen pedas for the class, and have to hear not-so-muttered mumblings of 'Ew' and 'Gross'.

Padma and Parvati, on the other hand, had been taken by Dumbledore their first year, through a portrait of a raja on an elephant (who beamed majestically at the password of 'khul ja simsim') through a private tunnel that led to the ramparts of the Hogwarts towers. There they found house elves hovering over earthen diyas that had been charmed to refill with ghee every three hours. Parvati knew that there hadn't been other Indian students at the school for a long time. Before the Indian war of Independence, the occasional royal son would arrive, but her father was still busy fighting the Ministry of Magic about the Integration of Post-Colonial Magics Act that had helped keep Hogwarts 'British'.

No one in Parvati's dorm noticed that she was gone, just as no one commented on the Raakhi presents her brother would send her. There was enough food on the Gryffindor tables that an owl arriving with a box of mithai prompted no interest. Parvati didn't mind. She enjoyed the moments of being left alone to share her festival with her twin, with the occasional unobtrusive assistance from Dumbledore, who seemed to extend his enthusiasm for muggle sweets to kesar pista barfi and gulab jamuns. The year that Professor Lupin had taught, he had joined them, smiling gently at the moonless sky, and saying something about having celebrated with the local curry shop owner in his distant youth.

The year after the war, Parvati found herself invited for drinks at a pub in the trendier part of magical London. Ginny was there, giggling about something with Lavender, and Parvati hesitated, before slipping into a chair besides Padma, instead of her normal spot on the Gryffindor side of the table. Hermione raised an eyebrow at her, but said nothing beyond the usual mangled version of her name. Parvati thought she had stopped noticing it, but she felt a sudden irritation whiplash throughout her.

She covered her mug when the waitress came by to refill everyone's glasses, and then stared into its empty cavern as she remembered how her brother had told everyone at school that there had been a death in his family and so there would be no Diwali celebrations this year. His classmates had been awed and curious, and Pradeep had had to explain that his parents were very close to Charity Aunty, who had taught at the school his sisters went to.

"To Remus Lupin." Padma's quiet voice startled everyone's discussion of the latest Quidditch match, and Parvati clenched her fist at the look of bemusement everyone gave her twin, who was holding up her own empty mug. Parvati remembered holding Lavender as she dissolved into tears in front of a Zonko's Christmas display window.

"And to Dumbledore," Parvati said, and as her glass touched her twin's, she reached out under the tablecloth and took her hand in her own. There was an aromatic candle in a glass jar sitting perched on the table, and no one noticed when Parvati leaned over, and snuffed it out.