You stare blankly into space for a moment, and I fear you will either laugh or turn me down in front of the whole school. Yet before you humiliate me, please. Hear my story. You may find out there is more to Neville Longbottom than meets the eye.

I always pitied Harry Potter. I knew that I didn't really have parents myself, or at least ones that were "all there" as my Gran put it, but he didn't have parents at all. When I was growing up, I knew I was different than the other boys. And I didn't mean being clumsier or chubbier; I meant I knew things they didn't.

The village boys all played football, but they never once mentioned Quidditch. I once asked one of them if he owned a broomstick, but he merely stared and said I was stranger than they said I was. I cried all the way home that day, and Gran comforted me while Uncle Archie gave me his wand and told me to wave it.

Visits to Saint Mungo's were always rough on a child my age. I didn't fully grasp the concept of why my parents were there instead of home, but I grew used to it. When I was about eight, my Gran told me begrudgingly that they couldn't because they were insane. Now, Gran would usually proudly state that to everyone else because they had fought against Voldemort, but there was something that made it hard for her to tell that to someone as young as I.

I knew my mum gave me the bubble gum wrappers for a reason, but I couldn't quite remember. All I could recall was her smiling face and her dropping a pack of Drooble's gum in my hand, then leaving. Later that day, Gran got a call and took me to Saint Mungo's. That had been the last time I had ever seen her sane.

As I grew even older, I realized the significance of her "gifts". Somewhere, deep inside her, there was one sane part that remembered me. I once looked into her clear, blue eyes, and saw something not entirely crazy. But after a moment, it had gone. I mentioned it to Gran, but she told me to shush and Uncle Archie dropped a book on my head to see if it would bounce off.

I would sometimes hear hushed voices mentioning Voldemort, but they would always stop if I got too close. Once I asked Gran if it was Voldemort who tortured Mummy and Da, but she just winced and told me not to use his name. That was the first time I ever disobeyed her, for I would sit in my room and whisper it over and over. After all, I couldn't see why I should be afraid of a word. But around Gran, I would act afraid too, until it became second nature to use the act around other people. But I still wasn't afraid.

I had my own garden behind our house. The other boys called me a sissy for playing with flowers and plants, but I didn't care. It was something I really enjoyed, something I was good at for once. No one could take away my happiness when I was gardening. And I liked it that way.

One time, I saw a little blonde haired girl with a quaffle nearby, throwing it over and over again at a tree. I wanted to go over and talk to her, but I was shy and so I stayed behind a tree watching her. After a little while, I noticed she was crying. She stopped suddenly and collapsed, sobbing. All I could make out were the words, "Mum… come back… please…" I guess since I had virtually lost my own parents, it touched me. I crawled out of my hiding spot and gave her a hug and reassured her that everything would be okay. I will never forget the look of gratitude in her protuberant blue eyes.

That summer, I got my letter. I was extremely happy, but it was nothing compared to Gran's reaction. She was crying so hard I thought she would flood the house. That night, I went to sleep with a feeling of accomplishment. I actually had made Gran proud.

Trevor was given to me that August. He kept hopping away from me though, and I couldn't help but feel hurt. I cried myself to sleep in Diagon Alley that night, for I couldn't even be liked by a toad.

When I stepped onto the platform in September, I had no idea that THE Harry Potter was not far behind. Besides, meeting people had never excited me, for I almost always made a mistake or tripped, or my hands were sweaty.

When I did see him, I wasn't at all impressed. He was skinny with ugly clothes, and hair that was sticking up every which-way. But I didn't mind. He seemed nice enough, and tried to help by saying that he'd turn up. I didn't believe him at the time, but sure enough, Trevor did.

I thought the Sorting Hat must have made its first mistake ever that term. How else would I have gotten into Gryffindor? But sure enough, I awoke the next morning to scarlet hangings on the beds and a gold rug on the floor. For the second time in my life, I felt as if I had done something right.

That whole year was a very confusing time with me. When I encountered Fluffy, I almost wet my pants. But that wasn't something you did in front of the Boy-Who-Lived, so I just screamed like the rest of them and ran. I dozed off that night, not realizing that I was just as brave as the rest of them.

When I found out that they were sneaking out that night, I found myself, not shy, but indignant. They had already lost enough house points, why were they doing it again? I tried to stop them, but they had the great Hermione Granger on their side, and my pitiful fighting (not to mention losing my wand) led to me lying in the common room floor. I wasn't scared, at least not for me. But I was scared that they might go back to Fluffy, and get hurt. Later, I found out that they did, and I was mad at first, but when I found out they had also saved the Philosopher's Stone, all was forgiven. And when I won ten points for Gryffindor just for sticking up to them, I felt as if I had won the Quidditch Cup, the House Cup, and an Order of Merlin all in one go.

The next year was even scarier than the last. Of course, I knew I was a Pureblood, but that didn't change the fact that I was almost a Squib. After Hermione was attacked, I almost didn't want to leave the common room. But once again, Miracle Boy saved the world again by killing the basilisk and Voldemort's memory. I found myself wondering if he had ever loved, but that thought was pushed out of my head when Professor Sprout asked if I would like to help with the Mandrakes. My love for Herbology took over, and all deep thoughts were pushed out of my head.

Third year was almost normal, except for the fact that Hermione wasn't the only one suspicious about Professor Lupin. I was one of the few close enough to glimpse his moon Boggart, and when his secret was revealed, I resisted the urge to blow a raspberry and shout, "Told you so!"

Fourth year was a big event, and once again, I found a professor's legitimacy doubtful. When "Moody" started teaching us, I thought he was okay, but after awhile I grew wary. After all, it's not every person who teaches students about the Cruciatus Curse, and I found myself the only one in the room who knew about it besides Hermione Granger. For a moment, I thought "Moody" would reveal my secret, but he remained quiet. It wasn't that I was ashamed about my parents, but I had seen the pity showered on Harry and that he wasn't happy about it. I figured that I was okay the way I was and didn't need any more pity for being helpless.

Fifth year marked a big change in my life. For, that year, I found the girl with the quaffle. She still had those big, big eyes that looked as if they could see right through you. At first, I was scared of her, but I soon grew out of it. She was different, that was true, but for the first time in my life, I felt shivers go down my spine if I looked at a girl.

In the Department of Mysteries, I felt stronger than ever. We had defied Umbridge; we had defied the Ministry. And Harry Potter had accepted me as a friend. The Golden Trio was no more. In its place was the Superb Sextet. And now people looked at me in wonder, not disdain. But the blonde Ravenclaw's attitude toward me remained the same.

In sixth year, we grew closer, however. She was prettier than last year, and more socially accepted. I found that I could talk easily around her when the matter was serious, but whenever she looked at me, I would get a flutter in my stomach or an ache in my heart.

One time, when Harry was being particularly moody, I sat out in the rain for an hour. She came out and joined me, and instead of trying to coax me back inside, she merely sat by me and remained quiet. Without saying a word, she told me that she was always there for me. I was eternally grateful toward her that night. When the time came to depart, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me to remain strong. I slept fitfully that night, dreams ridden with images of a strange blonde girl who had captured my heart.

Once again, Harry defied Voldemort that year. I won't go into any details, however. Let's just say it was bloody and that Ginny almost died. That really scared Harry. I guess it helped him realize his true feelings for her, because I walked into the Hospital Wing to find them snogging as if there was no tomorrow. I turned around to find her standing behind me. She was blushing (if you could imagine that) and then she looked at me. There was something in her eyes I hadn't seen before. It unnerved me. Perhaps she did like me after all…

Seventh year my infatuation with her turned into more. I realized that it had turned to love. And no matter what I tried, I could not shake the feeling. So, gradually, I learned to accept it. I embraced it, and hoped against hope she would return my feelings.

That Christmas, I took her to visit Mummy and Da. She didn't pity me like I thought she would, though. She was talking to Mummy as I left for a cup of tea. When I came back, I was amazed at what I saw.

Mummy was speaking. I don't know how, but she was saying little things and my companion was blushing prettily. I managed to catch a few phrases such as,

"So- you're- a friend- of my- son's?"

"Er… you could say that…"

"Lovely- girl- glad- he knows- people- like you."

We left that day, and she was unusually quiet. She asked me if Mummy had ever talked before. Too stunned to respond, I just shook my head. That convinced me that she was the one.

My life isn't one to be very proud of, but she had given me the strength to tell myself that I wouldn't exchange it for any other. She is my source of light, my shade in the sun. My world. I love her.

You look up with tears in your eyes. Too astonished to say anything, I stand dumbly for a moment. Suddenly, you hurl yourself into my arms and start crying. You lean back and whisper into my ear, wondering why I took so long. And I am happy. Today, Luna Lovegood, after such a long wait, you are mine.