Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. JK Rowling does, so buzz off.
Author's note: This is an after Hogwarts fic, and I used the idea that Neville gave half the fight to defeat Voldemort-- along with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Luna and the Order, of course.
Summary: Because in reality, everybody get lonely. Set before/during/after Ron and Hermione's wedding. One Shot. Luna/Neville G/H Hr/R Fleur/Bill
Never the Bride
Luna sighed, "Always the girl that jumps out of the cake, never the bride."
"What are you talking about, Luna?" Neville asked, after taking a sip of his tea. The friends were at a decent restaurant, awaiting Ginny and Harry, Ron and Hermione, and Bill and Fleur. Not one, but two married couples and a soon to be married one...Luna and Neville being the only singles. It should be uncomfortable and it would have been, save it not be Luna and Neville.
"Just thinking about Ron and Hermione's wedding...They're nothing like the spider lovers Bill and Fleur are, are they?" Luna began moving large amounts of sugar in her tea with her wand.
"Spider lovers?" Neville asked casually, nothing about Luna seemed to faze him anymore. Not since he'd grown used to her company for eleven years...since fifth year. (It was hard for him to believe they'd been friends that long.) Not since he got a job in the Ministry working with volatile plants and, consequently, their owners. He didn't exterminate most of the vicious plants, just contained them and brought them to one of the many green houses the Ministry owned.
He was never bored with Luna.
"Fleur the female spider...Attracts a male, mates with him and eats him." Luna tasted her tea, before continuing to add sugar.
Neville chuckled, "I can see how you would think that."
They were sitting quietly until Ginny and Harry showed up, both quite late considering Luna was fifteen minutes late, and Neville thirteen. It was now thirty minutes after the set time to meet, and four of the party still had yet to show.
"Where's...everybody else?" Ginny asked, taking a seat across from Neville, Harry beside her.
"Some people read time differently." Luna said, finally finished adding sugar to her tea. A house elf stopped by, asking if they were ready to order, but they declined politely.
"Look honey!" A mother was whispering to her young daughter, "It's Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom with Ginny Potter and Luna Lovegood."
Harry involuntarily cringed and looked down at his plate, Neville flushed and looked to Harry. Ginny turned to wave at the little girl and mother, while Luna continued to concentrate on her tea.
"Maybe we should just go on back to our place..." Harry began, but Ginny shushed him.
"We'd never go out if we wanted to avoid being recognized, Harry."
"Maybe if you'd let me used that hair coloring charm like I'd wanted..."
"You're not becoming a blonde, and that's that." Ginny finished, reminding Harry distinctly of Molly Weasley.
Luna looked to Neville, her silvery eyes stared at him, "Perhaps there is more than one female spider in our group after all, Neville."
Neville coughed, and averted his eyes to his empty plate. Ginny and Harry, had thankfully not heard the comment.
Fleur finally strolled in, alone. Neville found himself wanting to laugh.
He nudged Luna, "Looks like the female has eaten the male." The blonde waited a few seconds, before blinking and grinning softly at him.
"Fleur, how're you?" The Veela sat beside Neville.
"Oh...fine. Bill haz...disappeared." She said, taking the offered tea from the house elf, who had appeared again.
Neville fought a grin, "What do you mean, disappeared?"
"Disappeared, as in, he wantz to go haf fun at work, instead of here wif us." She sniffed, "He says it was urgent...." Fleur gestured with her hand in the air.
At long last, forty-five minutes after they'd said they would meet, Hermione and Ron walked in and took their seats.
"I'm so sorry," Hermione said sincerely, looking frazzled, "But my parents insisted we stay and pick out a few more last minute decisions wedding ceremony."
Ron looked surprisingly sheepish, as the little girl and mother walked past their table, and asked for their autographs, Fleur looked miffed at their presence, seeing as she wasn't famous like they were, but she didn't complain while Luna pulled out an ostrich shaped quill and signed the little girl's shoe.
"This is...getting more and more awkward." Ron said, noticing the stares around the restaurant at their table. Anxious eyes.
"No one bothered Luna and I until Harry and Ginny showed up...Though, I think it was because they thought we were on a date, and didn't want to interrupt." Hermione and Ginny's eyes widened, while Ron and Harry laughed. Fleur looked confused, and Luna tapped her fork against the table lazily.
"How long were you two here before we showed up, anyway?" Harry asked, after they'd placed orders with the house-elf and had begun eating.
Luna didn't answer, so Neville did, "Fifteen minutes or so."
"So you two didn't show up on time either?" Ginny giggled, "We definitely hang out too much together, if we all show up late like that." She shook her head, suppressing more giggles.
Ron, Harry and Hermione seemed to be suppressing laughter as well, while Luna, Neville and Fleur all failed to see what was humorous about the situation.
"I don't get what iz so funny?" Fleur asked, looking to Neville who shook his head, confused too.
"Nothing, just having a good time, I guess." Hermione said, taking a small bite of her meal.
The rest of the meal continued on, with friendly conversation and comfortable friendship. When it came to say goodbye, Fleur left first, then Ron and Hermione, and Ginny and Harry. Leaving Neville and Luna to be the last ones.
"I'll see you at the wedding, Saturday, Luna?" Neville said, kissing her cheek before disapparating away.
Luna looked at the spot where he had been standing last oddly, "Always the girl that jumps out of the cake, never the bride."
"I don't know how those two don't see it." Hermione said, she was in her lovely white wedding dress, sitting with Ginny while Luna was struggling into the bridesmaid dress in her room down the hall. They had rented a muggle hotel for the wedding, and everybody and their brother seemed to have a room for the night.
"Probably the same reason you and Ron didn't see it." Ginny answered.
"Oh no, not true...I saw it, but Ron was too much of an idiot to notice." Hermione replied, sleeking her hair with another charm.
"Maybe it's a guy thing, because I'm starting to believe Luna knows it too...It's Neville who doesn't."
"You think so?" Hermione asked, "The other night..."
"Imagine, all of us showing up late to give them time alone - and they both arrive late enough that it gave them no time to talk at all."
"Well, Fleur didn't know, but Bill had...He must have forgotten to tell her, she didn't get why we were laughing the whole dinner." Ginny frowned suddenly, "Poor Luna, the last to get married...No wonder she was so awfully quiet. The poor love."
Hermione bit her lip, "I didn't think of that, how - " She paused, the door creaked open. Luna was peering inside, her gray eyes looking out of sorts.
"I still think you should have bought the dragon hide dresses." The blonde said, finally entering for the two women to see her dress.
Ginny looked down at the periwinkle bridesmaid dress she herself was in, she started to smile when she thought of how strange, but sort of pretty Luna looked in the same dress.
"You look adorable in it, and I'm sure some wizard will surely ask you to dance at the reception if you wear it." Ginny said comfortingly, picking up on Luna's unease.
Luna sat down, letting the dress poof out about her waist. "I feel like a Hungarian Princess."
"I feel like the Queen." Hermione whispered, twirling in her dress, "I could get married everyday, if it weren't so expensive."
"I should think getting married once would be enough for me." Luna said loftily, kicking her shoes off. Ginny frowned for the second time in five minutes.
"You brought...a date, Neville?" Ron Weasley asked, dismayed. Considering he was getting married for the first (and hopefully last) time, he, like Hermione, found time to discuss his friend's life.
"Oh come on," Neville scoffed, "It's not like I look like Hagrid or anything, and I'm not completely uninteresting either. I can get a simple date to a wedding."
"I didn't mean it like that, mate, just...Well..." Ron trailed off nervously, looking to Harry for help.
"He means, we didn't know you were seeing anyone, and were surprised is all." Harry smiled cautiously, to cover up the lie. What Ron had really meant was, 'What about Luna?'
Neville shook his head, shrugging, "She seemed interested in me, so I thought, hell, why not? And asked her to come with me. She works at the Ministry too. I thought it was a good idea. Least this way, at the reception, I'm guaranteed a dance partner, right?"
"I thought you'd just dance with Luna, again." Ron said, adjusting his tux for the tenth time.
"Luna? Well...I guess I could have, but I'm sure she'll have plenty of other offers anyway. Lots of blokes are after Luna."
"They are?" Ron asked, while they headed out to the altar, he suddenly began to sweat and panic, realizing he was getting married...now. "Keep me distracted, Harry, remember? I can't think about commitment too much, or I'll throw up...again."
At the wedding reception, the usual group of friends was sitting together added Neville's date. It managed to make the evening less comfortable than normal between them, but once Luna was asked to dance by Dean Thomas, it was seemingly more pleasant.
When the blonde got back from dancing, she looked vaguely ruffled and took a seat beside Ginny. "Hmm, nice man, Dean. Can you believe he's still single?"
Five heads whipped to face her, it was a very Un-Luna like comment, so much so that it made them all look at her.
"What, are you interested in him, Luna?" Neville asked, lurching around in his chair to look at Dean.
"No, I was just stating that he was single too. I thought I was the only person in this whole room who wasn't dating someone." Even more Un-Luna like.
"Are you alright, Luna?" Ginny asked, cocking her head to the side, worried.
"I'm wonderful, this champagne's lovely." She took another gulp, her friends relaxed realizing that Luna was getting a bit tipsy, and as they had seen before...She got a bit out of character whilst drunk. "Hmm...Maybe I should ask Dumbledore to dance..." And she got up, heading in the Headmaster's direction.
Neville turned away from his friends and date, to watch Luna waltz around the room with Albus Dumbledore. He stared, perplexed and curious for the entire three minutes she was out there. She looked beautiful, he decided.
It was on their way to their rooms after the reception, that things got even more perplexing for Neville.
Luna was quiet, walking down the long hallway beside him. His date had gone home, not having a room reserved at the hotel herself, like Neville and Luna each had.
He'd been commenting on the flowers that Hermione had picked out, when he noticed the tears streaking down Luna's face. First, he was alarmed (he never had learned what to do when a girl cried), second, he was concerned, and third he felt guilty (why? He had no idea).
"What's wrong, Luna?" He didn't think weddings would be something that would make Luna cry, as few things could make Luna cry.
She stayed silent until they got to her room, which was two doors from his, she unlocked her door. Luna looked at him before she closed the door, her eyes watering, "I didn't catch the bouquet." The lock clicked.
Neville stood there for a moment, befuddled. Did this mean...Luna wanted to get married? It was too foreign a concept to tackle that late at night, so he went to bed and dreamt of wedding dresses, Luna and a Devil's Snare that was trying to choke him to death.
He woke up with everything figured out. It made sense, of course. Everything pointed to it, he'd just been too occupied by magical plants and fame to notice. Too occupied by her strange little quirks, that he didn't realize it was love.
He loved her. Luna.
He loved her so much, that when he realized it he woke up gasping for air, clutching his heart.
He grabbed his bathrobe, halfheartedly tying it about his waist before racing two doors down to Luna's room. He knocked, lightly, suddenly unsure. Neville knocked louder before she opened the door, standing in baggy pyjamas and a Santa Claus like hat she wore to bed.
"Neville?" She asked, not budging to let him in.
"Luna...I..." What was he supposed to say? I woke up and realized I was in love with you?...Why not? "I woke up and realized I was in love with you."
"Oh?" Luna asked, resting her head on the door.
Neville glanced nervously at the maid who was pushing a cart down the hall.
"Yes...I don't know how I didn't pick up on it before. I was always thinking about you, always looking at you...And everyone else saw it. The world thinks it! Luna and Neville--the last remaining couple to get married of the Hogwarts six who defeated Voldemort! Everyone thinks we're together, why not...why not just make it true? I don't know how you feel about this...I mean, I don't really know how you think, never will know...But I love you, I know that. And I'm willing to deal with the...uh, wonder that is you...if you'll...take me." Neville finished off unsurely.
Luna grinned, slammed open her door so that it banged hard on the wall inside and bounced back towards her. She grabbed Neville by his bathrobe and pulled him inside, again slamming the door behind her. She grabbed the sides of his face and kissed him.
Neville was...surprised. He'd always thought of Luna as above kissing, being feminine, almost as if she were asexual, something so good and perfect that she need not bother with the folly of things like love. But he'd wanted to, wanted to kiss her and love her, but he didn't know how.
But Neville didn't care. It was like Snape's potions class...he never did know quite what was doing, but he kept at it. And he would keep loving Luna as long as she let him.
With luck, it would be a very long time.
End Author's Note: And that's that. The End. Thanks for reading....