It is two years after the war that Pansy Parkinson is married to Theodore Nott after months of arrangement by her parents. It's a blood purity thing. It's always been a blood purity thing, and she has to admit that it could be worse. Theodore is not exceptional in any aspect besides his general inoffensiveness and Pansy decides that as long as she is not overcome by overwhelming hatred for her husband, the arrangement is a success. Besides, Theodore has a decent job at the Ministry and was left in possession of a rather grand house after his father was dragged off to Azkaban for crimes from the war and having a husband whose only critical fault is that he's rather unmemorable isn't enough for her to complain too much. Their wedding ceremony is rather unmemorable as well, in the fact that it is like every other wedding Pansy has ever seen. She wears a lavish white gown and her grandmother's veil and her mother gushes at how beautiful both garments are before instructing Pansy to stand straighter. Theodore looks inoffensive as always and they dance to music they have both heard at every other wedding. Theodore tries his best to be charming and romantic by telling her that she looks very nice and she accepts the compliments graciously, because it could be so much worse.
After their wedding, Pansy wants for nothing. She wears fine clothes and fine jewelry, and they have a few house elves that take care of the chores around the house. Pansy enjoys trips to France and Italy and she and Theodore get along despite the fact that she finds him dreadfully boring. They host parties for their friends and Pansy reconnects with Millicent Bulstrode over lunches and drinks at her and Theodore's home after Millicent marries Gregory Goyle (it's a blood purity thing). The two fall back into a delightful friendship that reminds Pansy of her school days. They gossip about former classmates and go shopping in Diagon Alley and discuss their respective husbands. They talk about music mostly and Millicent declares that she wants her children to play instruments. Pansy grins and, to outdo her, announces that she wants her children to sing. She wants them to sing like birds or angels or something grand like that. Millicent laughs, because there isn't any control over whether or not a child is a talented singer, but Pansy wants it badly even so.
When Pansy hears that she has given birth to a baby girl, she is delighted. She finally has someone to pamper the way she always enjoyed. The baby has Theodore's inoffensive face, and her dark hair, and they name her Edith after Theodore's late mother and Pansy opts to give her a much more unique middle name: 'Morganna'. Theodore protests, saying that the name is gaudy, but Pansy stands firm in her decision, and he eventually relents. Millicent and Gregory have a son a few months later and name him Vincent after their late friend from Hogwarts. The two women meet at the Nott family home and Edith and Vincent play together on the floor of the nursery. Millicent mentions once again that she wants Vincent to be a musician, and has decided that his instrument of choice will be the cello. Pansy nods as they watch the two children as they knock over each other's block creations, still holding hope in her heart that her baby girl will sing.
Edith Morganna Nott grows up to continue to look exceptionally inoffensive. She has a heart shaped, eternally red face, and dark eyes like her mother. However, in Pansy's eyes, Edith is nothing less than extraordinary. She is clever and polite and in love with life. As she and Vincent grow older, their musical talents are quickly realized. Vincent takes to the cello like a fish to water, and Edith sings almost constantly. The two also depend on each other in a way that their mothers have never seen before. Edith softens the antisocial and icey Vincent, and Vincent cools Edith in her hot headed moments, and grounds her in reality. They treat each other like siblings and are never seen without one another. The two of them have problems that can't be overlooked though. Vincent barely speaks to anyone other than Edith and uses his cello as some sort of social crutch. Edith is a bit too cunning for her own good and she is far too willing to bend the rules and shed a tear before her mother to get what she wants. Still, Pansy loves her baby girl more than life itself and gives her anything she desires, because she is the one thing she has that is truly extraordinary. When Edith and Vincent go off to Hogwarts, they are both sorted into Slytherin and Pansy and Millicent are not surprised, because their children are clever and ambitious and wouldn't dare leave the other's side for even a moment. What does surprise them however, is the torrent of letters they receive about a boy in their year named Hugo, who has started a music club. Vincent gushes about how Hugo plays the violin and the two play together in the Room of Requirement on weekends, and Edith talks endlessly about Hugo's talents as a composer and that he wants her to sing his newest piece. Pansy and Millicent are both concerned by the letters, not because of the music club specifically, but because of their children's growing friendships with a boy whose surname is Weasley.
Pansy becomes determined to distance her precious, golden-voiced daughter from Hugo Weasley. When Edith is home for winter and summer holidays, she throws countless parties and has Edith sing at them all. Every guest gushes at her daughter's talent, and everything is going smoothly until one of her guests compliments Edith on her performance in "Parade" as Lucille Frank. Edith explains to her mother that it was a group project for her Muggle Studies class and Hugo was the musical director. She recounted how Hugo had cried after her performance of the heart wrenching ballad Lucille sings about her husband Leo, and how he had invited her to spend a week of her holiday with him and his family. Pansy immediately schedules three more parties during that week. Edith acts differently when she receives letters from Hugo. She smiles brightly and pours over the pages of parchment endlessly. He sends her pages of music, dotted with notes that she plunks on the family's grand piano. She sings unfamiliar songs and laughs to herself during luncheons with her grandparents. Pansy revokes Edith's owl privileges, because she will be damned if her daughter is stolen away from her by a blood traitor, because, in the end, it's always a blood purity thing.
By Edith's fourth year, Pansy has arranged for her to be married to Philip Selwyn, a pureblood Slytherin one year above Edith. Pansy and Theodore are both delighted when his family accepts the engagement and both Philip and Edith consent to the courtship. Afterall, Philip is charming, clever and traditional. A perfect choice for her sparkling girl. Edith would never have opposed the match, Pansy knows. Edith loves her little world, filled with nice things and constant praise, but there is a change about her after she accepts the proposal. She doesn't talk at luncheons anymore, and she never sings unless she's made to. Pansy breaks under her daughter's sad eyes, and gives her back her owl privileges. As soon as Hugo's letters start coming, Edith comes back to life. She talks to Philip about music and he tries to keep up with her. She and Vincent practice Hugo's compositions with incredible enthusiasm, until she and Phillip barely see each other anymore.
The summer before Edith's seventh year, Pansy and Theodore throw a banquet. Everyone attends and the family home is alive with color and conversation. A band plays waltzes and Pansy watches her daughter dance with Philip, not quite catching the glances she throws towards the violinist in the band, whose face is hidden under an old black bowler hat. Pansy lets her attention drift to other things, conversing with guests and picking at some of the food when she suddenly notices that Philip is standing to the side of the dance floor nursing a glass of fire whiskey alone and that Edith is nowhere to be seen. She hurries over to him to ask where she's gone, to which he shrugs.
"I don't think it's going to work out between us, Mrs. Nott." He remarks as she's about to turn away, "The two of us don't really have much chemistry, you know." She ignores him and continues her search until she finds herself deep in the labyrinth of roses in the garden watching from a distance as she spots Edith sitting in the dirt with the young man who had been playing the violin, his face still hidden under his hat. The two talk quietly and laugh, and they both pick food off of a plate they had smuggled outside. Their conversation goes quiet and to Pansy's shock she sees Edith wrap her arms around the young man and kiss him, knocking the hat from his head, revealing a mop of reddish curls and a faceful of freckles. Pansy feels her blood go cold as she recognizes the traits of her former classmates in the boy who has his hands on her daughter's waist. Her daughter is kissing Hugo Weasley, the blood traitor, and she is horrified that her worst fear has come true. She shrieks and startles the two apart. She's furious and saying all sorts of nasty things to the freckled boy in her garden, but he doesn't waver. He never even flinches, and Pansy can swear that the glint in his eyes almost looks like a challenge. A dare to continue her tirade and just see what would happen. Edith finally steps between them, flushed and angry. She tells her an abbreviated story about late night music rehearsals and lunches shared by the greenhouses and friends who slowly but surely grow up into better people, doing so because of one another, only to end up so woven into each other's stories that it's impossible not to love the other. It's a story not unlike one Pansy had imagined for herself around her age, and maybe even a bit after if she's being completely honest with herself. It's a story Edith has found for herself.
Pansy looks at her daughter. Her exceptional, striking, perfect daughter. The one thing she has loved more than herself. The girl with the golden voice and steely determination. She looks at her baby girl, who stands firm under her gaze, despite looking like she may cry, and she knows what has to be done. Pansy knows what her decision must be. She gives Edith an hour to pack her bags and get out of her home.
Pansy hears nothing about Edith for two months, and when she does all she hears is that she is renting a room at the Leaky Cauldron under the name Edith Morganna. It makes sense, Pansy supposes. She's no longer a Nott after all. According to Vincent, she is doing well, but she seems eternally shaken from being ripped from her world. Vincent and Hugo try to help her adapt to her new life and Edith clings to them, because they are her only family now. Pansy doesn't attend Edith's graduation, despite the fact that Vincent is also graduating. All she hears about her is in the bits that Millicent hears from Vincent. She hears about how she is now working in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, after impressing one of Hugo's uncles with her quick wit and ambition, and how she and Vincent still meet to play music almost everyday after work, and how Hugo joins them when he is not too occupied being Hogwarts' first music professor. The first thing she learns on her own is three years after Edith is disowned, when she spies The Daily Prophet open on Theodore's desk and notices a small red star next to an announcement of the engagement of "Hugo Weasley and Edith Morganna". Pansy waits until Theodore is out and throws the paper away, because her daughter is a blood traitor, and in the end, it has always been a blood purity thing. As she sends one of the house elves to empty the wastebasket, the house is silent and Pansy suddenly realizes that she hasn't heard music in a long time.
Years move by and the world moves with them. Milicent tells Pansy that Vincent has settled down with a nice boy somewhere in London and that the two are discussing marriage. He isn't a pureblood and Millicent admits that she's surprised she doesn't much mind. Her boy is happy. Pansy nods politely, but says nothing as she stirs her tea, ignoring the thoughts of the wedding she missed just a few short years ago. Pansy meets Vincent's boyfriend during one of their visits. He's whip smart, a potioneer, handsome, and though she hates to admit it, very charming. She has to hide her expression when conversation turns to Edith, who Vincent's boyfriend apparently adores.
"We got to visit her, Hugh, and the baby last week." He says with a seemingly oblivious smile. Vincent turns to Pansy, his expression a bit less empathetic.
"A little girl." He tells her, his tone gentle, despite the lack of compassion in his gaze, "They named her Daisy. She's lovely." Pansy's eyes narrow at his words but Vincent's expression doesn't change as he takes a sip of his tea, sliding a photograph towards her from across the table. She fights the urge to look, but gives in, gazing down at the image of smiling faces on a front porch. Hugo looks much the same as he did the last time she saw him. Taller maybe, somehow, and a little more put together, but nearly identical despite the glasses that are now perched on his nose. Edith's hair is cropped short and she wears it tucked behind her ears, a pudgy infant balanced on her hip, smiling her own toothless smile beside her parents. The photograph moves slightly, showing Edith waving her daughter's small hand at the camera as Hugo laughs beside them. Pansy studies the baby. Her granddaughter, she realizes bitterly. She swallows against the strange sick feeling in her chest and slides the photo back to Vincent with a polite "hm". He takes it and says nothing in reply. Milicent asks Vincent if he would play for them after lunch and he politely declines, much to Pansy's disappointment. She is starved for music, but Vincent and his boyfriend both agree that work is busy and they'll have to leave straight after the meal. Once they've all eaten they thank Pansy for her hospitality and leave. As she navigates the now empty house she finds her way to the piano and presses down on a few of the keys experimentally. It's out of tune and a few of the keys only reward her with a hollow, echoey silence for her efforts.
Pansy doesn't see Edith again until Theodore's funeral. She doesn't notice her during the service, but as the attendees begin to filter away, she notices a slight woman in a simple black dress, her hair pinned back neatly. She lingers at the grave silently, her hands folded before her, as though she was waiting. Waiting for something. At her side is a tall, thin man with dark auburn curls, parted to the side. He keeps his hand on the small of her back, firm but gentle. After a long while she speaks, and Pansy can't quite hear her, but she sees the man nod, gently brushing her fringe out of her eyes, and they turn back towards the entrance to the small church cemetery. It's then that Pansy recognizes her daughter. Edith looks at her, and smiles sadly. Hugo pauses at her side, his jaw set tightly, his eyes not unlike those of the frightened young man in her courtyard, but not entirely the same either. They look at each other in the quiet for a long while before Edith takes a step towards her, and Hugo lets his arm fall to his side.
"It's a little cold isn't it?" she remarks, glancing around at the overcast skies that surround them, "Good weather for tea," her eyes flick back to Pansy. Brown eyes that she remembers so vividly filled with tears and hate now regard her with a soft kindness she could never have expected, "If you'd like to join us, that is."
"The children would love to meet you." Hugo adds softly with a gentle smile. She looks at both of them and feels her chest expand and her face warm in a way that she almost can't remember. Pansy, for all she is worth can't muster up the humility to graciously accept her daughter's invitation to tea ( to meet her grandchildren, to catch up, to be a part of her life again) and instead purses her lips and replies with a slightly cold "Well, I suppose, if I don't have a prior appointment." To her surprise, Edith laughs at this. And on that cold November day, in a small grassy cemetery, she'd swear it sounded like music.