Written for the Flower Challenge at HPFF :)

Characters Given: Astoria/Neville

Flower: Bluebells – Gratitude

She had been crying outside the dungeons, ashamed of what she had became, ashamed of what her sister had forced her to become in the name of "self-preservation".

"Greengrass," he said, making her look up.

"Longbottom," she straightened up, trying to hide her tears.

"What's wrong?" he tried to comfort her.

"What makes you think something is wrong?"

He sat down next to her, tracing her tear with his index finger.

"This," he replied, holding out her tear.

"Don't fool yourself, Longbottom. I am perfectly fine,"

"Nobody could be fine in the midst of a war, Greengrass,"

How right he was. How wrong her house was, trying to appear all fine. But she couldn't say that - because these things were not supposed to be told. "I am a pureblood Slytherin. I have nothing to fear," she replied instead.

"Little Astoria Greengrass. You can wear your Slytherin mask all day, but we both know truth,"

Maybe he was right. They both did know the truth, even if she could never say it with her own mouth.


"Greengrass, if you want to feel whole again, stand up for humanity. It will make you feel much better,"

"Humanity?" she let out a laugh. "I am a Slytherin, Longbottom. It's not as easy as you think. Trust me, I have thought about it million times,"

"Maybe it is easier than you think it is. I am not asking you to stand against your house. I am just telling you to stand with us,"

She had not replied him that day, but his words had an irrecoverable impact on her. So without saying anything to anyone, she did the little she could do - for her own satisfaction though. She saved little Jimmy Peakes and Dennis Creevey from the Carrows (All she did was distract them, really) and pretended to Crucio Michael Corner to save him from being tortured by Vincent Crabbe. It might be little - but Longbottom had been right - it made her feel human again.

Do review :)