|A Soul Blossoming
Author: courfeyracs PM
Here, in the stifling greenhouse, surrounded by potted plants and flourishing bushes, Neville thinks he has found where he belongs.Rated: Fiction K - English - Neville L. & Hannah A. - Words: 1,192 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-07-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6804767
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Soul Blossoming
The air is misty with the overwhelming scent of plants and flowering shrubs, rooted deep into the moist, brown earth, scattered around the room. His fingers sink through the dirt and it collects under his nails and stains his fingertips. He doesn't mind this, though; he never has. In the greenhouse, it's hot and stifling, unwanted sweat collecting on his forehead as he clips away at branches and pulls effortlessly at weeds.
He loves the feel of soil and leaves under his rough, calloused fingertips. He loves to plant seeds and tend to them as though they were children, in need of loving and tender care. He loves to watch them mature, to have that feeling in his chest that this is what he has created. And when they are fully grown, he will look at them and he'll know that no one, not one other person in the class could produce such a magnificent looking plant, watered and clipped to perfection.
Here, in the stifling greenhouse, surrounded by potted plants and flourishing bushes, Neville thinks he has found where he belongs.
Sometimes, he catches her staring at him out of the corner of her eye. When he looks back, she'll have buried her head in her bush and be fighting the rising flush in her faintly freckled cheeks. He thinks that in the greenhouse, she looks most beautiful. Even when there are twigs caught in her blonde hair, small scratches on her face from a particularly nasty shrub and earth staining her fingers and robes, she's beautiful. (And honestly, he just loves to gently tug those twigs out of her hair.)
When the news comes about her mother, he's the one that's there for her. He's not quite sure why she chose him over Susan or Ernie or even Justin, but he's glad she did. He's never had the opportunity to be there for someone before. Harry always has Ron and Seamus always has Dean, and those friendships are something he knows he cannot intrude on, something that is completely alien to him. So when Hannah comes to him, blue eyes glistening and pink lips mouthing his name, he simply takes her into his arms and lets her cry until she can't cry any more.
It's a strange feeling, he thinks to himself, being wanted. He'd like to pretend that his parents want him, but when he's brought back to earth with a dazzling crash, he remembers that they don't even know his name. He tries not to think of them, mostly, but sometimes he cannot help but wonder if they would be proud of him. In his moments of greatest self-doubt, he thinks they might not have been proud at first when he was a bumbling first year, so clumsy and easily intimidated, but he's not that little boy any more. He thinks that, under the influence of Dumbledore's Army, he has blossomed like the flowers he loves so much. He's a sixth year now, and he feels he has come a long way since losing Trevor on the first train ride in.
Yes, he thinks, his parents would be proud of him.
Seventh year is hard on him.
The DA looked to him as a substitute for Harry, for what reason, he does not know. It was Ginny's influence, he thinks, and she could be very influential when she wanted. She and Luna become his deputies and his two best friends, Seamus, still smarting from the loss of Dean, not too far behind. They start off with rather childish pranks at first, spray painting walls with messages, hexing aspirant Death Eaters in the back. But then, all of a sudden, it becomes serious, and there are people looking to him for guidance. Whatever remained of poor, bumbling Neville vanishes and he becomes a leader, a symbol of rebellion in Hogwarts (someone who would make his parents proud).
Seventh year is the year in which he becomes closer to Hannah. Hanging back to talk to each other after DA meetings turned into Hogsmeade dates that turned into a sort-of-relationship. It's because of this that he frequently puts her out of harms way, preferring to take Ginny and Luna with him when they go on one of their rebellious streaks. It's Ginny and Luna he takes with him when they break into Snape's (Dumbledore's) office to steal the Sword of Gryffindor. That caused their first fight.
Their fight did not last long. Two days without speaking and then murmured apologies and a hasty kiss in the hallway before the Carrows caught them and had them cursed. Then it was back to normal, hanging out after DA meetings as long as it was before curfew, swift kisses and secret glances over dinner like they thought no one else had worked it out yet. They're still partners in Herbology, and Hannah reminds him of soft, crumbling dirt and the earth smeared fabric of white aprons.
He doesn't know what to call this.
During his seventh year, he learns a lot about himself. He is a Gryffindor, he concludes in May of 1998, after having it almost beaten into him by Ginny every so often throughout the year. He's a Gryffindor like his mum, like his dad, and they would be so proud, Hannah tells him after they visit them over Christmastime. So proud.
The Battle of Hogwarts is a major turning point in his life. He faces Voldemort, like Harry has done so many times in the past, and he survives, just like Harry. He destroys the last Horcrux in an act of defiance and finally, he thinks as he spots his grandmother in the crowd, watching him with pride (a look he has never seen before upon her face), finally he has proved himself. He is Neville Longbottom, son of the great Aurors, Frank and Alice, and he has just opposed Voldemort and allowed Harry to come one step closer to defeating him for good.
And Harry does, just like Neville always knew he would. It's rather strange to think that Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the boy he has respected since he was eleven years old purely because he was Harry Potter, has just defeated the greatest Dark wizard of all time. And he feels a little proud of Harry, too, because he has also come a long way since first year. And Neville won't go down in history books for chopping the head off of Nagini, and he won't have a constant swarm of admirers, longing just to touch him, and he won't have fame or eternal glory, but that's okay. He doesn't want that any way. He has his plants and he has Hannah and he has his friends, and really, that's all he needs.
(And he can still hear his grandmother's voice and see her smile as she says, Neville, they'd be so proud of you.)