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time-travel backwards | time-travel onwards

Linger (Lavender/Parvati, PG)

Title: Linger
rarepair_shorts prompt: 1. dither dather (My table)
Pairing: Lavender/Parvati
Rating: PG
Word count: 1,300
Summary: The time they spend together is languid and lazy and lovely.

What it comes down to is this: the time they spend together is languid and lazy and lovely, and in some strange (sometimes unsettling) way not of this world. The world is heavy books and dusty parchment and cutting yourself on a quill in the corner of a classroom while fighting to stay awake – this, this is lying close together in an incense-filled space of their own, at the edge of which they leave the books, the thoughts, the stifling uniforms.

Lavender can see how girls like Hermione Granger (who like the books, the thoughts, who take pride in their hunched frame and fingers formed like libraries of their own) would think what they do is vapid or vain and definitely Not The Right Thing To Do in an OWL year. She can see that – in reality, she can see a lot more than what people usually think – but she can also see how Hermione has bags under her eyes and hovers trembling fingers over unforgiving parchment, striving for that O. Lavender scrapes together her A’s and E’s and lies with Parvati, curled like unborn children in their womb of linen (waiting, or maybe: going back to a better place).

Parvati brought two things with her from home at the beginning of term: a box filled with dainty, fragile incense sticks and a box filled with stout make-up articles. Lavender likes the contrast: the sharp colour and the smooth scents, the sting of chemicals and the lull of meditation. Parvati pulls her down with long fingers, gleaming darkly in the evening light and pulls the curtains of her four-poster shut.

“I’m tired,” she breathes in the tiny space between their mouths. Lavender can’t see her face – her eyes are still adjusting to the bed-darkness – but she can imagine how Parvati’s eyes are closed and her forehead is just a little scrunched up, the lines of a long day on her young face. She can feel her friend shifting around a little, sinking into the pillows and the sheets (Parvati’s bed is like a trove, like a cave of treasures and luxuries waiting for you to come and sleep in them – the satin the silk the beautifully made linen, the carefully kept secrets of a different land).

“Can I help?” Lavender asks, still unseeing (she knows the answer is yes, but it feels right to ask for permission).

“Yes,” Parvati says and in the short silence that follows, she stretches and brushes her legs against Lavender’s. Lavender feels the direct contact and the smoothness of her skin and the rough, itchy material of her schoolgirl skirt. She shifts, feels something burning deep in her gut.

“What do you want me to do?”

“Touch,” Parvati sighs, and then: “Sleep.” No make-up today, no incense; the clear-cut yet intoxicating request of simply fingers, then rest.

Lavender smiles, already feels some of the relaxation that comes from hiding away in this private sphere stealing up her spine. She can see Parvati now in the light filtering very dimly through the four-poster curtains; she’s stretched out like a contented cat on a sunny afternoon, eyes gleaming. Lavender leans until her face is quite close to Parvati’s and begins tugging at her tie.

“Let’s breathe for starters,” she whispers, and Parvati’s eyes flutter closed.

Lavender carefully undoes the tie, folds it neatly and places it on a cushion. Leaning back in, she presses two fingers gently to the bridge of Parvati’s nose, knowing this is where her friend’s tension gathers and spreads in bursts of pain. She trails her other hand over Parvati’s neck, upward from where her now-open collar begins, over the line of her cheek, over her ears, into her hair (soft and smooth and smelling of something earthy and fresh). Carefully to not tangle the luxurious tresses of hair that she so envies Parvati for, she slides her fingers over Parvati’s scalp.

Parvati makes a sound from deep inside her throat that makes Lavender’s heart skip a beat. She removes the pressing fingers on Parvati’s nose and slides them into her hair as well, pressing and touching and rubbing small circles on the skin. Parvati hums with pleasure, her mouth slightly open, dark and shiny in the half-darkness.

“Backrub?” Lavender asks softly, gently extracting her fingers from Parvati’s hair.

“Mmm,” Parvati replies, and Lavender slides her hands under her friend’s school sweater (and oh how her skin burns) and tugs the garment clumsily over Parvati’s head, until she is a shining expanse of exquisite light chocolate skin – her slightly-too-sharp shoulders, her crisp white bra and then her slightly rounded stomach slanting down into the dull grey boundary of her skirt. Lavender has to close her eyes because the sight of it is almost too much.

She can feel Parvati shifting and turning herself over with some effort – their bodies bump into each other as they scramble around for a more comfortable position. Eventually Parvati lies on her stomach, offering up her soft back to Lavender’s hands.

There is an urgency there that Lavender hasn’t felt before, there is an excitement that is even more energising than the usual sleepy rest. She doesn’t bother with finding the lotion – it would mean leaving their secret trove – and instead of a proper massage simply slides her hands over Parvati’s skin, sometimes pressing sometimes trailing a ticklish path until Parvati giggles and shivers run up her spine.

“You look beautiful,” Lavender says, and it doesn’t even seem strange to say it – they’ve said it so often, when one of them shows off new robes or when they’ve tried a new lipstick on each other (except this time Parvati is beautiful because her clothes are gone, her skin is bare and smooth and her dark hair is spread around her like a sheet).

“Mmm,” Parvati hums again, a note of something (desperation?) in her voice, and Lavender can see her gathering the sheets in fistfuls as her body shivers under Lavender’s hands. Acting on an impulse that doesn’t seem crazy in the half-darkness, in the clear-cut desire that’s shooting through her body, Lavender leans in and kisses Parvati’s shoulders – soft, dry kisses that she angles downward until she reaches the white stretch of bra, dragging her top lip over Parvati’s skin. Parvati is mumbling something and Lavender isn’t sure what; but it definitely doesn’t sound like “stop” or “don’t” so she carefully darts out her tongue and licks with the very tip of it. Parvati’s shoulders clench, then melt into relaxation again. She doesn’t say anything, doesn’t move, so Lavender, feeling bold, licks with a broader tongue this time and marvels at the slightly salty taste of it.

“Lavender,” Parvati says suddenly, and her voice is gentle. Lavender stops her administration and pulls back, something like fear pooling in her stomach for a second. Parvati hoists herself up on her elbow and turns her face towards Lavender (and then the fear is gone, because Parvati’s face is soft and tender and oh so lovely in the dim light). She stretches out her hand and, slowly, places a finger on Lavender’s mouth.

“I love you, Lavender,” she says in the dark, and Lavender’s heart seems to be trying to break some kind of world record. “Let’s just sleep now,” Parvati continues, smiling a tiny smile, “there is time.”

Lavender isn’t sure what all this means, but she knows she is happy, happy, when Parvati pulls her head closer and kisses her cheek, and that she is happier than she has ever been before when she lies down next to Parvati and feels how her head fits into the space between Parvati’s shoulder and her chin.

They linger for far too long, draw out the slow-wheeling time spinning around in their treasure chest and sleep the evening away, curled together like newborns.


( 28 have gone here — leave an imprint )
Sep. 14th, 2008 12:09 pm (UTC)
That was gorgeous. I simply can't find words for how much I loved it. Beautiful, sensual and very touching. Thank you. *mems*
Sep. 14th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so happy you enjoyed it so much :)
Sep. 14th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
This is gorgeous, lovely and slow and delcious.
Sep. 14th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
Sep. 14th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Oh I love this! It has such lovely images, the sheets and the girls-- I loved the contrast between the makeup and the incense at the very beginning.
Sep. 15th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed :)
Sep. 14th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
Wow. This really is just lovely! I can't think of a better word to describe it.
Sep. 15th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Sep. 15th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
This was absolutely breathtaking. I can't form a more coherent review than that at the moment– it's beautiful.
Sep. 15th, 2008 08:48 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Sep. 15th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
it is always such a treat when i see something by you topping my friend's list! and this is no exception. you write so beautifully. better i suspect that jk rowling (i have to confess i've never read any harry potter, i can't bring myself to). anyway, you must be used to me gushing all over you by now. keep it up, girl
Sep. 15th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'm really glad you enjoy what I do. :) I'm not sure about JKR, actually - I still like Harry Potter, but not per se because it's well-written, it's more that I immensely enjoy the uniqueness and the vastness of the world that JK has created. I've read books with far, far more artistic merit than HP, but I still admire JKR's imagination.

Thanks for reading <3
Sep. 15th, 2008 08:55 am (UTC)
and luckily you can take something from it and make it so much better.

i am embarassingly fan girl with you, aren't i?
Sep. 15th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
In a way, I guess that's what fanfic is about - respecting the original material, but filling in the blanks and the what-ifs and the maybes and the 'this-could-have-worked-someday's.

And as long as you don't squeal and make banners, I can live with it ;-)
Sep. 15th, 2008 09:23 am (UTC)
o, and i've just taken the sheet off the bed ...

respecting the original material, and making it better.
Sep. 15th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well, come to think of it, I don't feel the need to write fanfic for my favourite books at all, so yes, maybe it is about seeing unrealised potential and wanting to realise it yourself :)
Sep. 16th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
and then one day you'll write a stellar novel of your own.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 15th, 2008 10:44 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed.
Sep. 16th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
Beautiful.... absolutely beautiful.
Sep. 17th, 2008 09:07 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
oh, that's beautiful...
Sep. 17th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Sep. 19th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
This is just what a fic about the two of them should be. Absolutely perfect!
Sep. 19th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you think it rings true :)
Sep. 21st, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
First of all, can I just say I'm really glad you chose to claim femmeslash? There really isn't enough rare femme love.

And this pairing makes perfect sense. This is so poetic and absolutely lovely, I'm excited for this series! :DD
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D I'm excited too; Lavender/Parvati is one of those Harry Potter femmeslash pairings that actually makes sense in-canon for me, so I'm all giddy and happy to write them more often.
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I found this beautiful piece of art. What I appreciate the most is that slow-paced feeling and sweet tenderness. Something that actually made me smile in these dark days. Than you..
Jan. 19th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
I'm very, very happy I was able to give you a smile in these wintery days. :) Thank you so much for reading!
( 28 have gone here — leave an imprint )


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