A/N: Okay, so I've gone a little crazy here… I'm actually starting a multi-chaptered story that isn't just oneshots or drabbles or character sketches linked together, but an actual story… With a plot! Insane, I know… Since I have had so little time updating all the stories I've already got going on lately. But I don't know, I just got hit by inspiration with this one two weeks ago, and somehow, it's been writing itself. I've been working it out basically all the way, and I actually think I'll finish it, or at least get a good bit into it before too long. If someone's interested in reading it, of course.

Well, what can I say? It's Padma Patil's story, of growing up, friendships, love and war. With lots and lots of appearances from Michael Corner, Terry Boot and Anthony Goldstein (three boys who I've come to love through WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's stories), but also most other DA members in various degrees. And, obviously, it follows the events of Harry and the others' years, so you'll recognize some things, but just get it from Padma's perspective. For readers of my other stories, this as always stays in that same universe, but it can definitely be read alone.

Even if it's a bit crazy to write a story from such a minor character's POV, I hope you'll give it a chance.

1. First Year

Padma was blinking back tears. When she opened her eyes properly again, swallowing, Parvati's eyes were there, mildly sympathetic, but mostly just plain excited. Still, she stopped, took her sister's hand and smiled softly at her.

"C'mon. We'll see them for Christmas. It's not that long, you know. And plus, we'll have way too much fun to bother about them. Okay?"

Padma only gave a watery nod. She knew Parvati could make out the still lingering doubtfulness, but she also felt sure that her sister would not realize that it had to do with something more than the obvious parental separation.

Parvati was – just as she had expected – way too thrilled about the prospect of Hogwarts to notice anything of the sort. So they kept walking along the corridor, in search for an empty compartment. Or, at least that was what Padma had assumed they were looking for, until Parvati pushed one door open, a devilish grin creeping onto her features, ignoring Padma's protest that there was in fact an unoccupied compartment just ahead of them.

"Hey, boys," Parvati grinned at the two pretty awkward-looking boys who had already taken up two of the seats in the compartment. "Sorry, but there's like no room anywhere else, so I was just wondering if maybe we could sit in here? If you don't mind, of course," she finished off, flashing her most winning smile. Padma, still half-hidden outside, rolled her eyes. She had never really been able to comprehend her sister's extreme fascination with boys, or, for that matter, the effect Parvati seemed to have on them.

The two boys shared a quick glance, then the taller, black one gave a short, supposedly casual nod. His slightly agape mouth gave him away, though.

The other boy, who had sandy-coloured hair, recovered faster. "We?" he questioned, raising his eyebrow, as Parvati was still apparently alone.

Padma took this as her cue to enter, knowing that it was too late to protest anyway. No matter that she would have preferred to share this ride with her sister and her sister only. Besides, she supposed anything that took Parvati's mind from the worrying she was overcome with herself was a good thing.

"Woah. There's two of you," the sandy-haired boy pointed out stupidly, turning his head from one twin to the other.

"Oh, really? I didn't know," Parvati rolled her eyes, as she slumped down in the seat opposite the boys, gesturing for Padma to follow her.


The train ride seemed to go on forever. The first hour, Padma was only half paying attention to the conversation where Parvati and the sandy-haired boy, who was apparently called Seamus, were both enthusiastically attempting to explain the wizarding world to the taller boy, Dean, who was Muggleborn.

Padma didn't bother trying to join in. The boys were too wrapped up in their growing friendship, and the fact that a pretty girl was talking to them, to notice that the other girl was staring out the window.

However, it was only a matter of time before her sister was snapped out of her boy-reverie enough to –

And there it was. Parvati's hand on her shoulder, her eyes in hers, her silent question of "what's wrong?".

Padma simply shrugged and attempted a smile. If she was lucky, Parvati would trust that it was still the parent thing, and nothing else.

Seemingly, she did, because she did not ask anything, she merely squeezed her shoulder for a moment, and then started what Padma recognized as her most intense version of a cheering session. She decided on the spot that the black boy was hers and the sandy-haired one was Padma's, and then began to plan out their lives together in a whisper. And even if Padma could care less about the sandy-haired boy, she couldn't help but giggle as Parvati started describing their first kiss – which would occur in third year, in a broom closet, and which would be extremely slobbery.


It was time now, for what she had been dreading immensely, but which Parvati seemed not to be concerned about at all. It had always been like that, she supposed. When their mother had said that most families ended up together, and that since they were twins, the chance was probably even greater – Parvati took it as a sure thing, while Padma got stuck on the wording that there was only a chance that they'd be together and nothing was certain.

Ever since, Padma had been making it her top priority to not have her sister sharing her worry, and to hide it as properly as she could. Not that she hadn't needed her – she had, a lot. But she couldn't bear to bring her sister down with her. Not when it was probably just her being silly and stupid and overly hysterical.

So, she had instead listened to her sister's eager debates about which house they would end up in – Ravenclaw, like their father, or Hufflepuff, like their mother. Or something completely different (Parvati pointed out that the hottest guys were bound to be found in Gryffindor).

And now, she refrained from grabbing her sister's hand in support as the P's drew closer, while she herself felt all the colour draining from her face and her knees wavering. Parvati, however, was still shooting furtive glances at the pair of boys.

"Padma Patil!"

Oh, no. Avoiding her sister's encouraging eyes, she stepped forward, trying to focus her mind on putting her left foot in front of her right foot, her right foot in front of her left foot. But then she almost collided with a red-haired, tall boy, who was glancing as longingly as Parvati was at the boys. However, his eyes were directed towards the Gryffindor table. She supposed he had family there, as she had thought she had detected similar hair colours over there earlier.

Coming to the realization that she had momentarily stopped, Padma hurried on, but then her eyes fell upon the shorter, black-haired boy next to the redhead, with glasses and – a lightning shaped scar? Since now really was not the time to ponder about celebrities, she quickly slumped down on the chair, but with a last fleeting thought that if Parvati had only known that Harry Potter was here, she surely wouldn't have spent all of her attention at Dean and Seamus.

Then it was all black, and the hat said something about her intelligence and curiosity to learn that was there, even if she was right now too distracted to see it. Before she knew it, she was stumbling towards the Ravenclaw table, greeted cheerily by a brunette she recognized from the line, who introduced herself as Mandy Brocklehurst. Padma barely nodded in response, her sole focus on her twin's face disappearing behind the rim of the Sorting Hat.

She held her breath. Some part of her knew, already, but she pushed that thought away. Didn't it seem to take an extraordinary long time?

And then – "GRYFFINDOR!". Padma's heart stopped, and as she met her sister's horror-struck eyes, she saw that her sister really had been as sure as she had seemed.


The rest of the night passed in a blur. Padma and Mandy were soon joined by Lisa Turpin, a quiet blonde, who soon loosened up as Mandy took her in (after having recognized Padma as a lost cause). Before long, the two of them were whispering together as though they had known each other for years.

Padma barely ate. She just sat there, like she was supposed to. Because what else could she do? And then, when dinner was finished, she followed her Prefect in the opposite direction of Parvati's longing face, because that was what she was supposed to do. While, really, every part of her was dying to break every stupid rule of this stupid school, and just screw it all. Because she needed her sister.


The common room had been empty when she had finally gotten tired of listening to Mandy and Lisa exchanging life stories. It had been empty when she had curled herself into an armchair, hugging her knees and letting the tears fall.

Now, however, her sanctuary was interrupted. A black-haired, thin boy was staring at her curiously.

"Are you crying?" he asked after a moment, wrinkling his forehead.

Padma simply shrugged, wanting him to go away.

"Looks like you are," the boy pointed out. "Wanna tell me why? I'm Michael, if that helps," he added when she gave him a sceptical look. "Michael Corner. I'm a first year, too. I saw you get Sorted. And then at the table. You didn't look very chatty."

"Guess I'm not the chatty type," she mumbled, turning away from him. She was really not in the mood for this.

He was silent for a few seconds, still gazing at her as though trying to use Legilimency on her. It made her feel highly uncomfortable, and she was just trying to work out a polite enough way to ask him to leave her alone when he spoke again.

"You're still crying." He received no reply. "Are you homesick or something? Or," he hesitated, "is it because you didn't end up in the same House as your twin?"

She almost fell to the floor, jumping at his ability to actually read her mind. For a moment, she considered that he had somehow managed to use Legilimency. Then she remembered that they were both first years, who hadn't even started lessons yet. He must just have had a lucky guess.

"Don't look so panicky. You do look the same, and well, we all saw the Sorting, didn't we? And we saw your faces when you didn't end up together. It doesn't take a mind reader to figure that one out."

Despite all of her reservations, Padma suddenly heard herself whisper; "We're supposed to be together. It – it's supposed to run in families, and we – we're twins! I – I c-can't do this without h-her." Her voice broke, and she buried her face in her hands.

She had expected Michael to run away rather than witness her actual sobbing, but he surprised her by placing a small hand on her knee.

He didn't say anything until she looked up, but then he met her watery eyes steadily. "It'll be all right, y'know."

"How?" she blurted out, her voice weak and trembling. "I don't even have anyone to sit with at the breakfast table tomorrow, because I didn't even try to talk to the girls in my dormitory and now they're going to be best friends and hate me and – "

Michael bit his lip for a second, then broke into a grin as if he had just figured out the meaning of life or something equally huge. "You'll sit with us," he settled simply, and then added; "You really are kind of a pessimist, you know that?"

Padma actually chuckled, before taking his offered hand and letting him pull her out of the chair.


"Hey, Padma! Over here!" Michael bellowed the moment she entered the Great Hall the next morning, before she even had time to start reconsidering.

Glancing over at the Gryffindor table, where Parvati was sitting with her back to her, whispering closely with some blonde girl, Padma made her way over to Michael and his two friends.

"This is Padma," he introduced her simply as she sat down beside him with a hesitant smile. "That's Terry," he continued, gesturing to a grinning boy with brown hair and glasses, "and this is Anthony," he finished, pointing at a shorter, paler boy who, for some reason, reddened slightly as she turned to him.

"So," Terry said, his elbow on the table, studying her. "You're one of those twins, eh?"

She merely nodded.

"Cool," he nodded appreciatively. "Too bad we only got one of you, though. Even if we did get the smart one." He flashed her a grin.

She wasn't sure whether to smile back or not when Michael elbowed his friend in the ribs, and she caught a "you insensitive git!" that she was probably not supposed to have heard. Still, she gave them both a small smile when they turned back to her, Terry still rubbing his chest.


Outside the Great Hall, she found Parvati waiting eagerly for her. Before Padma could say anything else, however, Parvati was all over her with questions about the three boys she'd seen her talking to at breakfast (I mean, the one in glasses was awfully cute, and the dark-haired one too, wasn't he?"), and when Padma answered none, she simply went on, telling her that the two boys from the train were in her house and that she hadn't had a chance to talk to them more yet, but that she hoped she would later, as she and Lavender ("the blonde girl, have you seen her – she's really nice and fun too, you'll love her, I promise") were planning to corner them sometime during the day.

"I'll have the tall one, of course, and she can have the sandy-haired one. They'll look good together, don't you think?" Parvati grinned.

Padma was saved from having to respond by Lavender's arrival. With a quick hug that did tell Padma Parvati might not be as completely unfazed as she seemed, she was gone. But it was a small comfort, that hug.

Even if Padma had never had any interest in the Seamus boy, it had still been her who Parvati had paired him up with just yesterday. And that was the way it was supposed to be. Before that stupid hat had ruined just about everything.

A/N: Please let me know what you thought, and if you are interested in reading more of this or not. I'm really nervous about this, so it would mean a lot.