House Category: Gryffindor
Summary: No-one really understand the level of commitment the Fat Lady has for her job. Or the hurt she suffers, when the students take her for granted.
Characters/Pairings: The Fat Lady
Genre: Family Friendly
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): None.
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When she first was given her assignment, she couldn't think of a better job. There had to be no more fulfilling purpose in life than the one she was offered, and accepted it with a full heart and anticipation. At the time things were wonderful. She was proud and excited, she was making a difference, doing her duty to Hogwarts, and helping to insure a bright future for generations of witches and wizards to come. She would talk to the students and make things fun, coming up with cute, silly and creatives passwords. And she would always be there for them, whether to protect them from danger, or themselves with a firm warning when they returned to the common room after hours. It was a roll she was meant.
But things changed over centuries, the slow passage from time taking its toll on her dedication. Her task was no longer fun. The students no longer enjoyed her presence. In fact they hardly noticed her at all, aside from mumbling a cordial hello, when she offered one in greeting, or to grumble the pass-code in impatiently, not wanting to even give her the chance to register the word before they expected her to open up for them. The respect and love the students of Gryffindor had for her was waning, and with it the love and dedication she had for the responsibility she was given, and for herself as well.
And so she took up time with other things, trying to distract herself from her disappointment. Attempting to try to drink away the pain, with fine pilfered from the painting of the jolly monks. She took up singing, though that might have been a side effect of the drinking, and often seemed just a bit too happy, to be sober. Some times she could even be seen leaving her post to visit her friend Violet in the other's portrait. Her zest for this quest was leaving her. At least by day.
At night though, oh night... When the students were sleeping and the halls were quite that's when things were different. That was when she was happiest. Watching over them, protecting them. With their cold indifference, the Fat Lady could fool herself for those few, peaceful evening hours that she was once again the great guardian of Gryffindor house. Slipping through the paintings of others, on tip toes. Silently creeping into the dormitories to check on her students. To make certain they were all tucked into their warm beds and sleeping soundly.
On those nights, when the children of her house, hadn't been rude. When they were all in on time, and she wasn't left waiting up, at all hours for them to return, so she could let them in in annoyance. It was those evenings when she seemed to remember her passion for her job. It was nights like those that she would give her life in defense of the magic world's future. It was nights like those when she almost had.
How quickly the students, and even most of the staff had forgotten her sacrifice, the night Sirius Black had attempted to enter Gryffindor Tower. The way he had slashed and cut her, almost to ribbons. Destroying her canvass in anger and savagery. She could have been killed then, or as killed a woman long since dead, but survived in a work of art could be killed anyway. But she hadn't backed down, she hadn't given in. Even against a man who at the time was thought to be one of the darkest wizards of the modern age, she had stood her ground. And she had done it for the children of her house. She had done it out of pride and a desire to shield the young lives from danger.
The next day her frame was removed from its home in front of the porthole and replaced by Sir Cadogan while she was being repaired. Only then, for that short amount of time did her charges begin to miss her and wonder when she would be back. They were happy to see her when she returned, and pleased to be free of the annoying and strange little knight. They had missed her, and only when she was gone had they realized just what she did for them and how accustomed to her they had become. After all you never really know what you have until its gone. Unfortunately for the Fat Lady though, that love and respect soon faded.
But she never gave up. She never gave in. She was there guarding the common room, and sheltering the students from harm in their dorms, the night Dumbledore was killed. She stood resolute, on the evening Hogwarts was destroyed, at Voldermort's defeat. And she remains there now, ready to protect the children of her house even still. Because even though her flesh may be oil on canvass, her heart is uniquely Gryffindor.