What Soup Can Do
For the houses competition round three:
Prompt: [Food] Bowl of Soup
Word Count of the story: 917
The total thing: 972
A shout out to the story's betas, Butterflies765, VanillaAshes. Thank you so much
I do not own HP, and this might be slightly AU?
The delightful smell of pumpkin soup filled Padma's nostrils as a bowl was placed down in front of her. "Ah, thank you," Padma politely said before tasting it. It was great, and it reminded her of her grandmother. Her Granny used to make the best soup ever.
Padma smiled over at her boyfriend of five years, Terry Boot, who also had a bowl of soup in front of him, however, his was a leek soup. They were in the Three Broomsticks, watching the snowflakes turn Hogsmeade into a Christmas card village while celebrating their five-year anniversary.
Despite how much she loved soup, Padma couldn't help but feel her heart clench at the thought of her Granny. "Thanks, this looks great." Padma vaguely heard Terry say, but he sounded so far away as she retreated into her mind, reliving the pain she'd felt ever since her grandmother had passed away.
"Padma… Padma… " It took a few moments before she registered it was Terry speaking to her.
"Padma, are you alright?" Terry asked, sounding a little annoyed but he still sounded concerned. "You're crying." Padma looked up to see him staring at her: he looked concerned, too. Padma quickly pulled out her wand and conjured a handkerchief to dry her eyes.
She flushed embarrassedly and mattered a quick 'sorry,' feeling ashamed that she had let her feelings overtake her today of all days. Padma knew it was okay to cry, but this was supposed to be a happy time. He wasn't meant to see her cry.
"He probably thinks I'm weak now," she thought bitterly. Blaise Zabini, her previous boyfriend, had thought that she was a wimp and had teased her mercilessly when she had cried in front of him. Padma had tried to put up with it, and had endured his nasty remarks for several months before she had to dump him, something which had been hard for her to do. Ever since, she had made sure she never cried in front of another boy. And until now, she had succeeded.
"Sorry, just got caught up in memories," Padma said, trying to hide her embarrassment, waiting for the degrading and unkind comments that would surely follow. "Soup reminds me of my Grandmother, and she died only last year."
"Oh," Terry said, looking at her understandingly. His reaction surprised Padma, but she was still worried he might start teasing her for crying. "I'm sorry, it must be hard for you still."
"Yeah. Granny used to make the best soup. It didn't matter the sort, Granny always aced it," Padma explained, unable to stop her silent tears.
He reached over and touched Padma's hands, rubbing them gently. She appreciated the gesture. "I didn't realise you would get upset, we can send these back and order something else?"
"No, no, it's fine," said Padma hastily, recalling it had been Terry's idea to have soup. "Thanks for the offer, though, Terry." She gave him a watery smile. "Sorry, I don't know what's come over me today. I'm normally not so emotional."
"Don't apologise. And there's no need to thank me, it's what any good boyfriend- no scratch that, any decent human being should and would do." He was silent for a moment before continuing: "I was like that when my dad died, but I was a lot more trigger happy, being a teenager."
Padma smiled empathetically at him.
"To me, your strength is impressive," Terry said kindly. "Tell me what she was like, I only met her a few times."
"Kind, funny, mischievous: Parvati and I always had the time of our lives there," Padma said, recalling the fun times she used to have with her sister. Her sister was another sore point: the two of them no longer spoke, and unfortunately, Padma didn't know why. She sighed.
"No matter how tough life got, Grandma was always happy to spend time with us and hear our stories: I miss her." She wished Terry could have met her.
"The important thing is, she lives on in your heart, Padma. I'd be more surprised if you didn't miss her. It gets easier, though, trust me," Terry said, smiling. "It took me years to get over Dad, but I had friends helping me. I'll be here for you for as long as you need me, Padma."
"Thanks, Terry." Padma smiled. "I don't know what I did to deserve you. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when your father passed." Padma had known that his father had died during their fifth-year but had never reached out. Now she wished she had.
"It's fine, we both had things to deal with back then. Besides, I did have my friends and they helped me a lot." He glanced down and picked up his spoon. "We should finish this soup before it gets cold," Terry suggested.
"Yes, let's," Padma nodded, unable to resist the urge to laugh. She loved bickering with Terry. It was always light-hearted and fun, but she made sure never to hurt his feelings.
"Glad to see your feeling better," Terry smiled. He started laughing too. "Part of my plan was to make you smile and laugh, even if it was at my own expense."
"Well," Padma started, taking a spoon full of soup and drinking it before continuing, "You succeeded."
As they drank the soup, Padma felt the warmth seep into her, expelling any lingering feelings of sadness and pain, leaving just the memories of her Granny, and hope for her future with Terry.