A/N my brain hurts. So here's some angst.
Most Days Post Hogwarts
Tracey Davis found herself huddled under her covers clutching her latest romance novel find. Blinds are drawn, her room is a cluttered mess, so unlike the immaculate space she maintained during her years at Hogwarts. Having Pansy as a roommate in the Slytherin dorms didn't help, as she was prone to get excitable around new clothes thus flinging them about on Tracey's side of the dorm. It was unfortunate but Tracey managed. In the eyes of logic, having her own space should have meant it was easier to keep clean. But she couldn't, she couldn't bear it, she couldn't bear much these days.
They say after trauma some people find the strength to move on, to heal, to verbalize the issue and move on. Tracey never found the words to express what she saw, what she heard, what she felt. Without the words she found that it was better not to speak at all. She was better on paper anyway. One-word responses were sometimes given when her friends came to visit but she had nothing to say to the outside world. Pansy was always quick to get annoyed with her lack of response but she still came over everyday, bringing food and gossip for the two to consume. Daphne couldn't be bothered and she told Tracey that much to her face, a month after the Battle.
Daphne called her. Standing in Tracey's kitchen, Daphne's silk hair and shiny green sundress looked so misplaced in the mismatched mess that Tracey called home. The Greengrass girl told her off about being selfish, that she didn't have the right to hole herself away, people were dead. Tracey should be thankful. How dare she squander her life away being overly dramatic?
"Shame on you, Shame on you" Daphne yelled over and over. He words echoed in Tracey's mind. She wanted to hate Daphne for being honest, for being a friend but she couldn't. She was right, shame on her. Shame on her for not doing what she was told. McGonagall sending them to the dungeons was her lifeline. To not see the war, to not be around death. But she didn't take it and now she couldn't forget.
For all they knew, during the battle she was safe, hidden in the depths of the dungeons. So what trauma could she possibly understand? Those Slytherins who had publically chosen a side and gone to fight, knew their place in history. They held their heads high and went about their lives as if they never saw carnage. As if they never spilt blood. Bound by family duty and what they were taught as children, it was easier to justify, to forgive and move one. She knew even the winning side had their nightmares. They had their own demons. But as a half-blood, Tracey had always been neutral, just like her parents. She had no sides and never limited herself to deciding persons worth by blood status. She found herself judging her friends on merit; she would go and seek out friends by what they could bring to her life. She didn't need friends' per say, she needed allies.
Was the perfect ally. She had a rapid wit, wealthy family, respected by her peers and faculty alike. Tracey approached the Ravenclaw one day after charms to discuss a theory and once they had begun speaking Tracey was hooked. The girls went back and forth on everything, every subject was a debate and Tracey lived for it. Padma had a fire in her that Tracey wanted to cultivate, nurture and then use to take over the world. She didn't know when their relationship had moved from "just friends" to lovers but she knew the first time she tasted it.
The two girls were huddled in the back enclave of the library while everyone else was at Hogsmeade. They did not have to hide their friendship it wasn't necessary. Plenty of Slytherins dated and were friends with Ravenclaws but Padma was close with the mess that is Harry Potter, therefore Tracey's friends, mainly Millicent were wary of the friendship.
'You're asking for trouble' Millicent would chime in with her course voice. Tracey would wave her off and continue about her day.
"Adding frog feet to this particular brew would surely render this potion unusable. Are you even paying attention to what you are writing?" Padma implored. Reading over Tracy's essay, which seemed to be well worded nonsense. Tracey shrugged.
"Want to know a secret?" Tracey leaned in close to Padma's ear, her breath caused the dark-skinned beauty to shiver. "Blaise normally charms the answers onto my parchment before potions."
Padma's mouth opened in shock. "No way." Her face twisted in a thousand different emotions. Anger, resentment and then amusement. "Honestly, I suspected as much."
She sighed and laid her head on Tracey's shoulder. "I am tired of studying."
Tracey feigned shock and dramatically gasped. "What? A Ravenclaw tired of studying?" She placed her hand on Padma's forehead. "Shall I bring you to Madam Pomfrey?"
Swatting Tracey's hand away, Padma huffed. "I should have turned you into a pygmypuff when I had the chance." Padma chided, reaching for her wand. Tracey moved quickly and pinned Padma's hand underneath her own. Their faces were close; Tracey could smell the hazelnut coffee on Padma's breath. Inhaling Tracey's eyes flickered to Padma's lips curiously. Consciously or unconsciously, Tracey would never know but Padma licked her lips, and that sight propelled Tracey forward. The momentum from her body knocked both girls to the ground. Padma makes a small noise but doesn't pull away. Tracey felt herself grow faint as Padma's hands grazed her thigh. She didn't even realize that she was straddling her. Her fingers threaded themselves into Padma's dark locks and Tracey pulled her up roughly, wrapping her long legs around the softly moaning Ravenclaw.
Padma began to kiss Tracey's neck as her hand found it's way under her blouse.
"Is this okay?" Padma asked as nervous grin adorned her bruised lips. Tracey didn't bother to answer; she just began to undo the blouse herself.
Padma inhaled sharply and swallowed. "You know this is trouble right?"
Tracey raised an eyebrow and began to trail kisses down her neck. "You sound like Millicent." She emphasized each word with a kiss.
Padma groans at being compared to Millicent but it comes out as a strangled moan when Tracey hand skims under her skirt. Her mind could not finish its thought. The heat radiating between her thighs screamed, "Trouble is good."
No more words, just actions. The girls had their first of many orgasms on the floor of the library.
Later as the two girls lay side by side, their fingers caressing any skin they could reach.
"Things are getting bad," Padma whispered so softly Tracey wasn't sure she spoke at all. Tracey nods.
"You can't stay neutral forever." Padma pushed.
Tracey laid an arm over Padma's body. She didn't have an answer for that. She wanted to say that her loyalties were to Padma. That she'd fight side by side for her, with her. But her loyalties were also to her friends, Pansy, Daphne, Blaise and the ones she loved like family. She owed it to them. She couldn't choose. She wasn't ready.
"Can this just be our little bubble?" Tracey leaned over to kiss Padma's ear. "No war" She moved down further and to kiss her collarbone. "No sides." Tracey cupped Padma's sex. "Just us." Tracey smirked at Padma unraveling.
The bubble busted open.
They could pretend all they wanted but war was there, always in the back of their minds slowly taking over the school. Potter and his ponces had gone off somewhere and she knew the Padma was sneaking around doing god knows what, for that Dumbledore's Army club they had. She should have been loyal to her house, and told the Carrows but in the darkness of the times Tracey only felt loyalty to herself. It wouldn't benefit her to tell the Carrows that those idiots were sneaking around the castle. In short, it was none of her business.
Just like the Battle of Hogwarts was none of her business. She had no stakes in this war. She was neutral and she tried to keep telling herself that. Until Pansy in her fear offered up Potter. And she understood, she did. Us or him, Tracey understood the logic but her eyes met Padma's across the Great Hall. Like a punch in the gut, the one person whose approval she craved was looking at her with disgust.
As they were being herded out of the Great Hall Tracey couldn't look away from the girl. This couldn't be the last time they saw each other. Tracey had to pick a side. She pushed her way through her fellow Slytherins and she grabbed Pansy's hand and squeezed. To let her know that she understood, that she loved her and they would get through this. Pansy looked to Tracey thankfully and raised her chin to the sky.
"You are going to her?" Pansy sneered half-heartedly. Was she that obvious? Tracey shrugged.
"If you die, I will be very cross with you." Pansy hissed in Tracey's ear as she gave her a tight hug. Tracey nodded, wiping at a few wayward tears.
Slipping away from the group she makes her way back to the Great Hall. Wand in hand, she begins to go over every defensive spell that she knew. She didn't want to kill anyone and her heart wouldn't even let her consider an unforgivable.
The Great Hall is full of students but she realizes all DA members were nowhere to be seen. Out of the corner of her eye she sees a head of blonde run up the stairs. She could tell it was Draco and wishes him luck silently. He had his own mission, just like her that was born out of love.
So she ran, and ran around the castle. Disillusioned to avoid unnecessary confrontation. She felt a ringing in her ears and realized that someone knew she was there and sent a spell towards her. Looking around, her breath hitched as she makes out the form of Fenir Greyback. He can't see her but he smelt her, she is sure of it. He sent hex after hex in her direction; luckily Tracey's protégo was always her strongest spell. She backed herself against the wall and braced herself for a fight. But he stopped and swirled around.
Lavender Brown, who looked fiercer than Tracey could have ever imagined was throwing slicing hexes at werewolf. But her aim was off, and in seconds he had her on her back, biting into flesh. Tracey felt her body tense up and the sound of flesh being ripped from this girl's body. Lavender never stood a chance; her screams were shrill and deafening. Tracey closed her eyes tightly and tried not to sob when the screams subside.
Tracey's body wanted to throw up at the sight but that would mean giving up her location, so her mind willed her body silent. Lavender was Pavarit's best friend and they were always together. That probably meant the two twins were close by. The only reason Tracey was here was to protect Padma, if Fenir was here when the twins arrived they would engage him out of vengeance.
An emotional Padma, was a sloppy spellcaster and if she faced off against Greyback, she'd be dead in seconds. Thinking fast she knew she had to get him out of here. Looking down at him snacking on Brown's body, Tracey willed her wand arm to move and she sents a reducto towards the werewolf. He flailed as it hit him in the chest, throwing him backwards and out the window. Running toward the opening she looks down and sees that Greyback is still alive, albeit confused. His head snapped up and he saw her shadowed form. With a snarl he began to gallop to the castle. Tracey pushed herself away from the window and looked around frantically. From behind her she heard footsteps and was face to face with the horrified forms of Pavarti and Padma.
Parvarti was the first to move. She threw herself over her best friend's body and began to sob. Padma looked on as if she had been shot by a confundus.
"Who did this?" She whispered.
"Werewolf." Tracey stared simply. She didn't know how to do this. She had just watched this girl die. She should have acted faster but she froze. Her mind screamed coward.
So did Pavarti.
Tracey looked up in horror as a face similar to the one she loved screamed and sobbed in her face. "You coward. You let her die." Pavarti's hand slapped Tracey's cheek. "You let her die!" She shook and sunk to the ground.
Tracey doesn't look at Parvarti. Only Padma. "I'm sorry. I am so sorry." Tracey reaches out for Padma who recoiled. Without saying a word Padma walked over to her sister, gathered her up and ushered her out of the room.
"Padma" Tracey spoke in a pleading voice. "I-"
The girl raised a hand. "Don't," Padma kept walking away. "Just go back to the dungeons." With those parting words the twins run back towards the battle.
Tracey thought about following. She thought about screaming that she came to help. She came to protect Padma. But she felt horrified at what she had just witnessed. Lavender was her age. They were children fighting in a war. Tracey's body shook like a tremor. She wasn't build for this, and if she chased after Padma, she would only be a nuisance.
Tracey disillusioned herself again, and ran back into the dungeons, avoiding carnage, avoiding death. As soon as she reached the common room she let herself be visible. No one had apparently noticed her absence. Older Slytherins were comforting first years, speaking in soft comforting tones to calm them. They all wanted to be out there, no matter what side they were on. People they loved were fighting; it felt wrong to be stagnant. To just be waiting safe and ignorant of the horrors above.
Tracey slipped herself to the back of the room where Pansy was brooding nervously, and Tracey let herself fall apart in her best friends arms. Daphne and Theo who sat a few feet away were looking at her in shock. Tracey knew looked a mess; blood and debris stained her robes. But Pansy said nothing, and opted to rub small circles into her back.
In that moment and in most moments after the war subsided, Tracey did not have words. Her mind just screamed. Coward.
A/N One-shot from my aching brain.