Parvati closed her ink vial and put both it and her quill into her book sack, then put her text book away. She watched her classmates move toward and out the door. As she moved to follow Lav, and join in the innane conversation now that she and her former best friend had gotten over their differences, but she paused. "Go on," she whispered in Lavender's ear. "I'll be right out."
Lavender nodded, smiled (almost flirtatiously) at their professor, before latching onto Ron's arm and exiting the classroom. Warrington slowly turned around as he finished charming the blackboards clean, and looked at Parvati. "And how are you doing, Miss Patil?"
Parvati, unlike her mate, smiled genuinely at her teacher, putting down her things. "Surviving," she said honestly. "And you?" she paused, then added: "Sir?"
"The same," he replied, a slight (was that a smile?!) playing at the corners of his lips. "Alive, content not to see any more masked murderer types for the time being, and so on and so forth."
Chuckling, Parvati nodded. "I understand what you mean," she agreed. "I shall be happy not to have to run around the Great Hall and see to my . . . badly injured peers. So why in the world I'd go into Healing--" she paused and shrugged, then slid into a seat.
"Healing," he murmured, nodding slowly. "From what I've heard from a former housemate of mine, you've done quite well with that during the last week."
"I tried. Not sure if I did that much, though." She looked around his classroom. Only a few more days and then Parvati would never see the inside of these walls again. Or, not as a stupid, at least. "Were you frightened?" Parvati asked slowly, then turned her gaze on her teacher, hoping he understood what she meant.
"I'd have to be completely brainless not to be," he replied seriously, "And 'Slytherin gittiness' aside, I don't think I'd reached that point, yet. It wasn't... the most pleasant of scenes out there. Death Eaters aren't renowned for killing people humanely."
She nodded slowly. "I imagine," she said with a whisper. "That's not exactly what I was talking about, though . . . I meant something in a much more selfish sense. When . . . when you were about to graduate. Were you afraid?"
He gave her a long look. "Yes," he said simply. Although there were other reasons... that no longer existed... that would have been cause for dismay. "Graduation means leaving this... somewhat structured environment that all the students become more or less accustomed to, among other things."
Parvati stared down at her folded hands awkwardly, nervous and already feeling sick although she had at least another full week before she had to say goodbye to school forever. "Professor . . . ."
"Yes?" he looked at her expectantly, "What's the matter, Miss Patil?"
"I owe you an apology, I think . . . just one last one. And some thanks. An apology for the times I might have not be the most productive student or the most pleasant teenager . . . and thanks for all the help you've given me. I really appreciate it, sir. More than you can guess, probably." Parvati glanced up at her teacher then laughed slightly and looked back down. "I think I gave you quite a bit of trouble."
"Apology accepted," he gave her a wry smile, "And you're welcome. And as for any trouble or unpleasantness... well. I know quite well that I'm not the most amiable and kindhearted of professors, either."
She grinned. "Then we're even, and it's okay," Parvati laughed. She paused again, gathering her nerve to stare Warrington in the face. "Could I ask you one favor, though? Perhaps . . . perhaps you could disregard all the times I might have not been a pleasant student and pretend I was always good and productive and that I was a joy to teach. And with that in mind, could you offer some . . . some reassurance about the future? That after graduation things will be . . . all right?" Her eyebrows turned upward as she pleaded.
"What sort of reassurance might you have in mind, Miss Patil?" he asked, looking at her with a hint of amusement in his eyes, "If it has anything to do with giving the Potter boy of yours 'The Talk', I'll have to politely decline."
She turned bright red and dropped her head to the desk. "Nevermind," she declared after a moment, looking particularly irritated that her final attempt to communicate with her teacher failed just as miserably as those she made before. "You win," she laughed finally. "But for the record, you know what I meant, I'm sure, Professor. I think someone along the way gave Harry 'the Talk.'"
He laughed slightly. "That's good to hear. 'The Boy Who Lived' is a SLIGHTLY better title than 'The Boy Who Impregnated', I'd say." After a few moments of mirth, he sobered up. "But... yes. If you were seeking such things as recommendations... or advice, that is all right. Although you will have to be more clear and give me the specifics."
"I just mean . . . I've never had to do so much as provide myself with a few extra tissues when I've had a cold. Of course, that's an exaggeration, but I've never had to make sure I had somewhere to live, something to eat, a job, money . . . up until now, that's all been provided. How can I possibly just get a diploma a week from now and all of a sudden be an adult and take care of myself?"
He nodded. "It takes a bit to get accustomed to... but with determination and sufficient funds, it shouldn't be a problem for you."
She looked at her teacher for a moment, then nodded, looking content. "Thanks," she answered. "I appreciate it."
"You're welcome," he replied, "And... IS there anything you need, in the way of recommendations or such? I can't pretend that Healing is my field, but nevertheless..."
"You mean to tell me?" said Parvati in mock-awestruck tones, "That after all the trouble I caused you this year, you'd actually give me a recommendation?"
He laughed. "Seeing as to how you, unlike several others, never, oh... tried to kill me, main me seriously, write love notes on the margins of your homework, anything of the sort, you've been relatively easy to deal with. Sorry if that disappoints you."
She paused and looked in her bag for her school forms. "I was accepted, but . . . if you gave me a recommendation, I could apply for the Healing program specifically, instead of the joint program, which I wasn't too keen on doing." Parvati walked over to Warrington, holding it out. "If you have the time, I'd apprecaite it."
He nodded, glancing through the forms. "All right then... I'll return this to you in a day or two." Placing the forms neatly on top of the stack of papers he'd collected from the students, he filed all of them into his briefcase.
"I should hurry up and get to Potions before I get maimed," Parvati remarked, looking at the clock. "I think I forgot I have class . . . ." She grabbed her things off the desk.
He gave her a look of amusement, "Do you need a pass?"
She grinned widely. "Would I be pushing my luck? Otherwise, I could sprint and deal with a detention." Parvati paused and laughed. "For old times sake or . . . something."
He shook his head wryly. "Most of the teachers, unless I'm mistaken, aren't in the mood for dealing with detentions these days." Taking out a sheet of clean parchment from a desk drawer, he scribbled out the words "I, Cassius Warrington, excuse Parvati Patil of Gryffindor for ten minutes' tardiness to Potions class." Signing and dating it, he handed it to her.
Parvati took it and backed up toward the door. "Thanks a lot, Professor Warrington," she said. And then giving a quick, weird little wave, she turned, opened the door, and ran for the dungeons.