A/N – Disclaimer – I own nothing...they all belong to the fantabulous JK Rowling. Please don't sue me. I'm a starving actress. I'm poor.


Chapter One – A Birthday Wish

"Hi Mum," Neville Longbottom said quietly, sliding into a chair next to his mother's bed. His mother did not look well today. She wouldn't even look at him. Instead, she was staring out of a window, looking over a busy London street.

His father's mouth kept opening and closing. "Hi Dad," Neville said, giving him a bit of a wave. It was Neville's sixteenth birthday today. His grandmother had a birthday dinner planned, but for now, he wanted to spend the time with his parents.

"I'm feeling much better," Neville started, trying to sound cheerful. "I've decided I'm not going to take any abuse from Slytherins this year. I've had enough." He continued on, hoping the sound of his voice would help his parents remember. "I got my O.W.L.S results back. Only one O, which I expected. I got an O in herbology. Grandma wanted me to become an Auror, like you both, but I don't think I'm cut out for it. I'm beginning to think I might make a good healer."

Neville let a silence fall. Gently, he reached over and picked up his mother's hand. He could swear that she squeezed it. "I wish you knew who I was, Mum," he said, wanting her to turn her head. She kept looking out the window.

"Well, I guess I should tell you, Dad. Your wand broke. I've been safe keeping for you for a while now. But I was in a fight, Dad. And your wand was broken. Grandma already told me off. I'm going to have to get a wand of my own now." He told his father.

Neville started chatting again, about unimportant things. "I need to go, Mum and Dad. I'll visit again before I leave for Hogwarts for the year." He stood up and started heading towards the door. He heard a shuffle behind him and closed his eyes. In his heart, he knew she realized that he was her son; just didn't know how to tell him. He turned around and she handed him a napkin. "Thanks, Mum," he said, patting her on the shoulder. She turned and went back into bed. He quickly put the napkin in his pocket for safe keeping.

Neville left the closed ward in a better mood. Even though his parents didn't know who he was, he still loved seeing them. This had been the first time his grandmother had let him see them on his own. He had begged to go by himself. Seeing that he was turning sixteen, she finally relented.

As he started to walk through the lobby, he heard someone call him.

"Neville Longbottom," a dreamy voice said from across the room.

"Luna," Neville stuttered. He looked at Luna. Her hair had grown longer since the last time he saw her. She was wearing a pair of bell- bottom jeans and a tank top. The sandals she was wearing had seen better days.

"Having a good summer?" she asked, her eyes focused on something behind him.

Neville nervously turned around to see what she was staring at. What was so interesting about a clock? "It's my birthday today," he finally said.

Her eyes finally left the clock and focused on his face. "Do you feel any older?" she asked.

Neville thought about that for a moment. "No, I really don't," he said. He realized she had not asked him what he was doing there, and for that he was grateful.

"I'm about to leave. Are you on your way out?" she asked.

Neville nodded.

"Would you like to get a cup of coffee with me? My fascination this summer is muggle coffee shops," Luna said.

"I don't have any muggle money," Neville said.

She waved her hand slowly, "Think of it as my birthday present to you," she said.

They walked in silence. Neville hated to admit it, but he had had a bit of a crush on Luna since they had fought over at the Ministry. I always pick people who would never like me back, he thought to himself. First Hermione, then Ginny, and now Luna.

They stopped in front of a coffee shop called Starbucks. "I've never been in a muggle coffee shop before," Neville said.

"I don't mind them," Luna said, "We can talk about what ever we'd like, because no one would ever believe us. It's quite nice, actually."

She ordered two tall coffees and paid the man expertly with muggle money. Neville was impressed. They sat down at a small table. Luna fished a pair of chopsticks out of the large handbag she was carrying. She then piled her hair on top of her head, and secured it with the chopsticks. Neville was sure that her hair would fall down, but it stayed in place.

"Much better. I wish they'd let the weather be controlled by Mother Nature again. London shouldn't be this hot," Luna said.

"Who's they?" Neville asked.

"You know who they is," Luna said, taking a sip of her coffee.

"I do?"

"Yes, you do," Luna said quietly.

Neville took a sip of coffee and instantly remembered why he hated the stuff. He choked the liquid down and decided to pretend like he was drinking.

After a moment's pause, Luna said, "Thank you for not asking why I was there."

Neville was taken aback. "You didn't ask me why I was there," he said simply.

"Then we'll agree that it was just a coincidence that we met today?" Luna asked.

He shrugged, "That's fine," he said.

"So you're sixteen. One more year till you're an adult," she said. Neville nodded. Luna looked upset with herself.

"What's wrong?" Neville asked, hoping he hadn't done anything wrong.

"I hate when I point out the obvious. It's a bad habit of mine," she said.

"When's your birthday?" Neville asked.

"I was born on Christmas Eve," she said, "When my mother was alive, she said I was the best Christmas present ever."

Neville smiled. "Did you do well in your O.W.L.S?" Luna asked. "I won't be offended if you don't want to tell me," she added.

"I did allright. I think I disappointed my grandma. I only received one O. My father got six Os."

Luna finished her coffee and was spinning the cup on her finger. "Nobody's perfect. Its just so many people want you to believe that they are."

Neville wasn't quite sure what to say after that. "My father let me write an article for the Quibbler," she said softly, "It's coming out in the next edition. I'm hoping that it will force some changes at Hogwarts."

"What's wrong with Hogwarts?" Neville asked curiously.

"Plenty," she said cheerfully.


Neville checked the newsstand everyday for a week waiting for the next edition of the Quibbler to come out. It finally did and Neville bought two copies. On page five, there was a picture of a boy and girl student in uniform. Luna had written an article about Hogwarts uniforms. More specifically, how sexist the uniforms were, since the girls wore skirts.

Neville paused, he never really gave the uniforms much thought. To tell the truth, he rather liked the skirts the girls wear. He never thought the girls minded wearing them. Luna wrote about skirts as if they were the worst things in the world. Neville had to shudder when she described wearing the skirts in the dead of winter. He wondered if the article would make a difference.

Luna was in the back of his mind for the next few weeks. He was extremely busy; trying to finish all of the homework he had received over break. When he made the trip to see his parents for the last time before term started, he half hoped she would be there too. He even exchanged some money, so that he could take her out for a coffee if they met.

When he saw his parents, he felt the familiar tug at his heart. His mother hadn't combed her hair a few days, so Neville decided to brush it for her. She seemed very relaxed as he did this. Once or twice Neville hit a tangle, and his mother would wince. But then would sigh when the discomfort had passed.

Neville talked about Luna, about what an interesting person she was. He went on to talk about other trivial things. His father didn't even notice that Neville was there. Neville reached into the back pocket of his jeans. He wasn't wearing a robe since he had been walking around muggles. He took out a photograph of his parents holding him. Neville would have been just a few days old. His parents looked happy and were smiling brightly. Neville always carried this photo with him. Usually, he had it in the pocket of his robes, where he could look at it whenever he wanted.

Saying good-bye to his parents, he went down towards the lobby hopefully. He left the hospital, head hanging. Neville had really gotten his hopes up that she would be there.

He had only walked a block, when he heard, 'Neville Longbottom, we meet again."

He turned around quickly. Luna was standing there. She was wearing a pair of enormous sunglasses. Her hair was in three braids.

"Would you like..." they both started at the same time.

Luna giggled, while Neville looked embarrassed. "Would you like some coffee?" he asked quietly.

"That would be wonderful," Luna said, taking Neville's arm.

Neville walked into the Starbucks feeling ten feet tall. When they got up to the counter, he opened his mouth before Luna could order.

"One tall coffee and one earl grey tea, please," he said to the man behind the counter.

"That'll be six pounds and seventeen pence," the clerk said.

Neville fished out his muggle money and stared at it for a moment. He couldn't remember which one was the five pound note. Luna then took a bill out of Neville's hands and handed it to the clerk.

"Three pounds and eighty-three pence is your change," the man said pleasantly, handing the money back to Neville.

"Thank you," he whispered to Luna. She just smiled.

They went to sit down at one of the small tables. After a moment's silence, Luna asked serenely, "Did you plan this?"

Neville blushed, "I hoped...well, I mean to say...maybe?" he stuttered.

Luna arched one eyebrow, "Maybe?"

"I was hoping that I might meet you again, that's all," Neville said, turning almost scarlet.

She smiled, "I've been at St. Mungos twice since we met there, and I was hoping to see you each time as well."

"Really?" Neville asked, his heart soaring.

She nodded and looked off into the distance. Another silence came between them. Neville couldn't think of what to say next.

"Did you read my article in the Quibbler?" she asked.

"I did. When you talked about walking through the snow in your skirts..." Neville started.

"It's too late this term to make changes, but I would be very happy if changes are made," she said calmly. Why did she always look at peace with herself?

"I have to go Neville. I was on my way to the hospital when I saw you," she said, standing up.

Neville stood up as well. "I'll see you on the Hogwarts Express," she said. To Neville's surprise, she stood up on tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. Neville couldn't say anything if he had wanted to.

Luna sighed, "That was obvious, wasn't it? I really need to stop doing that." A moment later, she was gone.

Suddenly, Neville couldn't wait for the school year to begin.