Her parents expected her to hide. So did her grandparents and her aunts and uncles. Even Parvati expected it from her.
So Lavender hid. She spent half a year hidden behind bandages in St. Mungo’s. She spent the other half in her room, swaddling her face in layers of fabric any time she had to leave its safety for the loo.
Alone, she studied the texture of her scars. She ran her fingers over them, feeling the ridges and valleys, learning her new face, her new body by touch. On good days she could stand to look at herself in the mirror for whole minutes; on bad ones, she covered them all in blankets and buried herself under the covers.
Her parents had been cutting out any articles about the Battle before they brought her the Prophet every morning. They must have missed one on that day- given that it was the one year anniversary, the oversight was understandable. It was a small piece on the other Gryffindors in Harry’s year.
Lavender Brown, presumed dead
Those four words rang around her head. Lavender Brown. That was her; she was still Lavender. Presumed dead. That was wrong- or was it? Had the last year been a life of any kind? Was she anything more than that one phrase?
The fabric covering her face dropped to the floor. She stepped over it as she yanked open the door to her room. Suddenly the house was too confining; it was a coffin and she was going to suffocate in it.
And then air. The feeling of the wind blowing through her hair. The heat of sun on her face. Her bare face.
Lavender Brown was not dead. She was alive, so alive, and she was no longer hiding.