Author’s Note: This idea came to me as I was skimming a magazine and I thought it would be humorous. I’m having writer’s block for "Eyes of Green, Innocent Hearts" but the second part is nearly done. The second part will be the longest as it is, so I hope it will be out soon enough! Until then, enjoy…
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Seventeen magazine.
Hermione stretched her arms behind her back and into the air, her mouth open in a wide yawn. From beside her, Ron Weasley’s confused eyes turned from his paper to her face. His eyes were tired and the smile he gave herwas weak. He turned back to his essay, biting the end of his quill thoughtfully.
As punishment for the poor work ethics supposedly performed by all of the sixth year Gryffindors, Professor Snape had assigned quite a lengthy essay to them to be due the following morning. Hermione had seen the overwhelmed look in Ron’s eyes when Snape had made this announcement. She could see that he didn’t really feel he had time for this, what with Quidditch, Prefect duties, Harry issues and all of his other classes. He was looking so worn as it was these days. Potions was his worst subject andHermione could tell that he was having difficulty concentrating. She briefly wondered if the tips of her bare toes just barely brushing his leg, as she had pulled her right leg up on the couch and folded it neatly beneath her left, was making his heart beat half as fast as it was making hers. She blushed at the thought, embarrassed that she had indulged it.
"Right. I think I’ll head up to my dormitory," she said, smiling, and gathered her books into her arms.
Ron’s smile seemed a bit grateful for the loss of distraction, but he questioned hernonetheless. "It’s only nine, Hermione. Why are you heading up so early?”
"Oh, I’ve been going to bed late every night this week. I need some rest." She smiled warily. Looking down at him she had an urge to do something, but was unsure what it was. "Good night," she said, patting him softly on the back after deciding that this was friendly enough an action, and madeher way towards the girls’staircase.
Her books were heavy as she huffed up the stairs and her cheeks were pink with exertion as she reached the sixth year girls’ dorm. Adjusting her books to let one hand go free, she reached for the doorknob and pushed the door open. The sight that greeted her was not something she’d been expecting and she paused and stared incredulously before bursting into laughter, letting her books fall to her feet with a loud thud. On the floor Lavender and Parvati lay next to one another on their stomachs, each with their legs pressed tightly together and their upper bodies lifted high above the ground and their arms extended straight outward. The surprised expression that Lavender wore was that of wide eyes and a very small ‘o’ shaped mouth, giving Hermione the hilarious mental image of a flying fish.
* * *
One Hour Previous
Lavender Brown hummed softly to herself as she sat cross-legged on the floor of her dormitory. She was happily sprinkling powder and measuring out drops of all sorts of potions into the cauldron in front of her. The door opened and Parvati glided through, shutting it behind her.
"Doing a bit of extra credit to prove your work ethic, are you?" she raised an eyebrow in Lavender’s direction. Lavender smirked.
"You know I finished that dreadful essay during History of Magic. I don’t want to hear a word about skin of boomslang or fluxweed for at least another week!"
"Ah," Parvati said, placing a finger to her lips. "Then what are you doing?" she asked, her eyebrows raised in curiosity.
Lavender smiled up at her friend, looking proud of herself, before looking back down at the bubbling cauldron with her hands steadily mixing the contents. "Well, you know Cathryn is always getting these great ideas for the Cosmagic section of Witch Weekly. She can’t put everything in, but she keeps it all," she said, her eyes glued to the almost hypnotic swirling potion. "She came across this in her drawer the other day and sent it to me. It’s supposed to do wonders for your hair, even better than Sleekeazy." As she looked up at Parvati she broke out into a huge smile and added, "And its herbal smells just drive boys wild." Lavender giggled slightly, to which Parvati smirked before crouching down next to her and looking into the small boiling cauldron.
"Your sister comes in handy." She smiled then paused thoughtfully. "Are you sure you’re mixing it correctly? It doesn’t smell quite right," she said, bringing her fingers to pinch her nose shut as the steam kept rising into the air.
"Silly," Lavender stood, holding the small cauldron with a thick cloth and casting a knowing grin at the girl sitting below her. "It’s supposed to sit for a few hours. But it will last us a long time, at least until the end of the year." She turned her back to Parvati and set it down gently on a high table on the very same cloth.
"Oh!" exclaimed Parvati, standing and moving for her bag, as she suddenly remembered something. She dug into the bag on the floor and brought out a rolled up magazine, waving it in front of her face with raised eyebrows. Lavender reached for it, but Parvati pulled back.
"My cousin sent this to me today," she said. "She told me that she found it on a Muggle newsstand and thought of me." The corners of Parvati’s mouth raised slightly. "You remember Rania; she’s interning in the States’ Ministry. Anyway, she thought we’d be interested in it."
"Let me see that." Lavender reached with anticipation for the magazine again and unrolled it, seeing a pretty girl with curly reddish-brown hair. It was strange not to see the face move; on Witch Weekly the girls on the front cover would wink or prance about modeling themselves. "Seventeen," she read aloud. "Ooh," she said, scandalized, "we’re just a year off, guess we’re not allowed to read it."
Parvati put her hands on her hips and rolled her eyes while Lavender scanned the index.
"Ooh, ‘A Perfect Pout’," she read, tilting her head and pouting over-dramatically. Parvati rolled her eyes again and sat down on her bed with Lavender sitting down right beside her. "Let’s see what it says, shall we?" She turned to the page and was met by an array of pink coloring and several pictures of lips. (Plumper Lips, step-by-step photos and instructions!)
"Hmm, I like that shade of pink. How much is the American dollar worth compared to Wizarding money?" Lavender asked, pointing out a picture of lip-gloss.
Parvati leaned her head back to think. "Eh, I don’t know, actually. We can ask Hermione later." They smirked at one another. Of course they would ask Hermione, the know-it-all. Over the past six years the girls had developed a strange relationship with one another. While Hermione wasn’t as close to Lavender and Parvati as they were with one another, they ultimately had a funny kind of friendship. Not that this meant that Lavender and Parvati wouldn’t still tease her mercilessly or that Hermione had thrown homework to the wind and indulged in late night girl talks. They had their tiffs, they got annoyed at each other and goodness knows Hermione had quite different interests than the two of them, but they had grown on each other before they had even known it was possible.
"I love that bun!" Parvati said as they turned the page. "Kind of messy—it gives the appearance that she just threw it up in a hair tie, even though she spent more time on it. I could work with that; I get so tired of such long hair sometimes."
"Hmmm, yeah that’d look fab on you, Parv!" Lavender grinned at her and turned the page.
As soon as Parvati looked down, she put a hand over her eyes. "Put it away! Put it away! I don’t want to think about that right now! Not for another month or two at least."
"What-" Lavender began, then read the page. "’Ace Those Finals.’ Oh goodness." She looked less than pleased and ripped the page out of the magazine.
Parvati gasped, "That’s mine, you know! There could be something good on the other side."
"It’s just an advert! Some kind of Muggle medicine, Midol."
"Ah, in that case-" Parvati shot a look at the door. "Why don’t you leave it on Hermione’s bed? I’m sure she would appreciate it."
Lavender giggled and leapt to her feet, moving covertly across the room as though she’d be caught in her mischievous act at any second. She placed the article beneath Hermione’s pillow and scampered back, giggling.
A little while later they came across something that really intrigued them. Horoscopes.
"Please, the girls that fall for these fake Muggle predictions- I mean, how ridiculous can they get?" Lavender asked.
"Well, they do what they can I guess. I mean, what can they do without the spirit of the art of Divination-the Inner Eye, at that," Parvati said with a shrug of her shoulders. "What does yours say, Lav?"
Lavender cleared her throat. "I’m a Virgo… Ah, here it is: ’Important people are watching you closely and someone in a position of authority- a parent, teacher or coach- will make you an offer that’s hard to refuse. However, with this will come more responsibility and a reduction in free time. You’ll have to decide: Are you ready to give up some of your social life?’" she finished, rolling her eyes. "Yes, yes, I suppose McGonagall is going to ask to speak to me tomorrow and say, ‘Oh, Ms. Brown, it seems we’ve made a mistake in making Ms. Granger a prefect for you were the one truly meant for the job.’"
Parvati laughed. "Too right!"
Lavender smirked. "Let’s see what yours says… hmmm," she scanned the page. "Right, Aries, ‘Your friends might be whispering about you this month-‘" She paused. "You’d better watch out, Parvati, I’m talking all about you behind your back," she said pointedly and turned back to the article. ‘’’So what’s the issue? They think you’re being self-centered. But make no mistake: Your boldness and confidence are Aries attributes. What you have to figure out is whether this has to do with you—or their jealousy. And it may be about them,’" Lavender finished. "Oh, Parvati, I’m so sorry, I’m just—I want to be you so badly! I can’t help being angry at you, you perfect girl!"
Parvati rolled her eyes and grabbed the magazine. "We’ve had enough of that rubbish, now haven’t we?" she said.
"Now, let’s see what else…" She thumbed through pages until she broke out into yet another wide grin. "Lav, this quiz is perfect for you." Lavender leaned over to get a closer look at the page.
"’Are you…’ Hey! I’m not immature!" she said, punching Parvati playfully on the shoulder.
"Well, we can’t be sure until we’ve tested it out." She read down the list. "’Britney’s marriage in Vegas was…’ Who in the name of Merlin is Britney?"
"Uh, I think she’s a Muggle pop star. My cousins are Muggles and we vacation with them over the holidays sometimes. They’re all into celebrity life and such." She rolled her eyes.
"Right, well, we’ll skip that one then. ‘The class clown is: a. Me! I love making everyone laugh even if I get in trouble, b. So funny! He can get annoying, but mostly he’s a sweetheart, c. A complete loser. His comments are rude, obnoxious and totally distracting.’ Hmm, Ron Weasley…" Parvati pondered.
"Well, he’s okay. I do think his comments are rude, but he’s not a complete loser. But I guess it best fits into c, so there’s my answer." Lavender shrugged.
"All right… ‘To ask a guy out, I’d: a. Are you kidding? I’d never!, b. Get my friends to find out if he’d be into it, then ca-‘ er, owl ‘him, c. Go right up to him and ask him in person,’" Parvati read.
"Probably b, I think." She sighed and looked at Parvati. "Let’s skip this one, it’s boring me."
"That tells me everything I need to know! You must be ‘acting way too old’, Lav." Parvati shot her a grin.
"Ha,ha," Lavender replied dryly. "We both know who does that." They gave each other the same smirk they wore when they made subtle innuendoes about Hermione. She hated it when they did this in front of her to tease her, so they did it all the more and it had just carried over into times when Hermione wasn’t even around.
"Ooh, ‘Exercise Motivation’. Lav, we’ve been talking about starting to exercise every day," Parvati said once she turned the next page.
"Let’s see what it says, then. " Lavender smiled in agreement.
"’1. Think Positive 2. Build a Fan club…’ Hmm, oh, it says it means just to be nice to people and they’ll be nice back and cheer you on or something. Anyway, ‘3. Brace yourself with water, 4. Shake the salt habit, and 5. Switch gears: switch the fridge raid to a quick snack and get out of the kitchen.’"
"Worth a try, let’s see this-" Lavender took the magazine from Parvati, turning the page. "Oh, perfect! It gives methods of exercising, too. What do you think, ‘Beach booty camp’, ‘Your Ab Workout’, or ‘Get Sculpted Legs’?"
"My abs are a dreadful sight right now." She lifted up a flap of her shirt, pinching the skin in her palm. "Just look at these rolls."
Lavender rolled her eyes. "Oh, it’s not that bad. But I agree, what is it about the stomach that’s so hard..." She shook her head in frustration. "Come on."
The girls sat cross-legged on the floor with the magazine spread in front of them.
"’Side crunch’," Parvati read. "’ Lie on your right side, legs together, right arm in front of you and left arm behind your head.’ All right…" They were soon holding the positions to the best of their ability. Parvati strained to read the second part. "’Lift your upper body and legs off the floor at the same time, twisting slightly. Repeat for a full set; switch sides.’" They followed the instructions, looking as though they were squirming around rather than exercising.
"All right, all right. What’snext?" Lavender questioned when she had finished, righting herself into her cross-legged position once again.
Parvati followed suit and bent over to examine the page. "’Upper and lower abs and back’," she said. "’Lie on your stomach, feet and arms together as shown—arms pointed above your head.’" They placed themselves in the position once again.
"All right, now ‘Lift your legs and upper body high off the ground, extending arms to sides and keeping feet together. Hold for five seconds. Repeat for a full set.'" Again, they followed the instructions and had only held the position for two seconds when they heard the door open and looked to Hermione in surprise. Her books fell and she let out a voluminous laugh, clutching her stomach with one hand and placing the other over her mouth.
Lavender scowled and got to her feet, sitting on her bed and setting Hermione with a glare.
"What on earth where you two doing?" she managed to ask between laughs.
Parvati, who was sitting on her own bed, answered, "We were just exercising. No need to have a hernia, Hermione."
Hermione waved a hand at them, overcoming her bout of mirth and picking up her books.
"Please continue, don’t let me distract you," she said, trying to keep her face straight.
"Well, I think we’ll finish up later when we don’t have an audience, but, Parv-" Lavender looked over to her friend. "Get the magazine, okay? I’m not done looking at it."
Parvati picked it up off the floor and sat herself next to Lavender. "What’s left, Lav?"
"We’ll just have to see,” Lavender smirked.
Hermione raised an eyebrow in their direction, but continued changing into her nightdress and pulling her hair up for the night.
Parvati and Lavender decided to ignore her and finish reading. "Ooh!" exclaimed Lavender, pointing to a page. "’ Make him open up.’ Seamus has been a bit distant lately; I try and get him to talk, but he just says that he has something else he needs to do." She scanned the page. "It has quotes from boys on what they like and don’t like… let’s see." Parvati scooted closer to get a better look at the article as Lavender was reading.
Hermione rolled her eyes as she pulled down her comforter to get into bed and found something sticking out from beneath it. She retrieved the item, which was a wrinkled piece of paper and shot a wry glance at Lavender and Parvati when she read the title. She crumbled it up and threw it into her trash bin, knowing that the girls weren’t paying any attention to her.
"’I will usually only discuss my feelings with my girlfriend when she is looking me straight in the eyes and there are no other distractions around. Though I honestly doubt most guys would admit it, it sometimes helps to hold a guy’s hand when he is trying to discuss something really deep.’ Aw." Lavender sighed and continued. "’I prefer to take time and put a great deal of thought into the deeper questions and feelings. My girlfriend never rushes me or interrupts me, even when it takes a whole minute before I start to respond.’ Hmm, well that’s something to think about then. Hold hand, eye contact, no rushing or interrupting. Got it. " Lavender closed her eyes, appearing to be making a mental note of what she should remember.
"Lav, you should read this one! It says, ‘I can really talk to a girl when she’s not pressuring me. I think it’s easier to open up to a girl with a sense of humor because the less pressure there is, the easier it is for me to talk.’ I think that really applies here, don’t you?" Parvati gave her the wise-friend look. Lavender looked guilty for a moment.
"I guess I have been pressuring him. I guess I don’t know how to approach issues as easily as it would seem to be," Lavender said, sighing. "You know, this magazine has so much good advice. You should get your cousin to send next month’s issue," she added as an after note.
From the bed across the room, Hermione snorted with her back to the two girls.
Both shot her a look and then glanced knowingly at one another.
"Oh look, Lavender. This is an interesting article, isn’t it? ‘Last chance for Love’," Parvati read.
"Hmm, yes. It does sound intriguing. What is the sub-title?" Lavender replied, sounding a tad louder than she had a moment earlier.
Parvati cleared her throat. "It says, ‘Is there one guy at school you’ve been in love with forever—but you never had the nerve to tell him? This is one girl’s story.’"
Hermione blushed from the bed, pretending to be asleep. Lavender and Parvati knew better. They looked at each other meaningfullyonce more before setting the magazine on Lavender’s bedside table.
"Well, I guess we should turn in. We all have a lot of things to think about tonight, I’d say." Parvati’s lips curled into a grin. Lavender shot her a similar grin.
With that the lights were out and soon enough two of the three girls were asleep while the other squirmed in bed, unable to fall asleep. Hermione Granger did have a few things to ponder.
Author’s Note: All right, I’d appreciate some reviews. Bad or good, I don’t mind. I took the articles that Parvati and Lavender read from several issues of Seventeen (May, June, July 2004 I think) and some from YM. I think writing this really made me see things from the kind of perspective that Lavender and/or Parvati would have. So even if no one else liked it, at least I got something out of it, eh? Review please! – Ainsley