Summary: "Of course I wouldn't have told you, America. See, the British are different from you Americans. We do not air our dirty laundry for others to hear. It's simply the British way of dealing."
Pairing(s): America/Harry, France/England
Warning(s): AU!Harry Potter universe, slight AU!Hetalia universe
Author's Note: So yes, this is a bit shorter than what I would've liked, but it seemed like a good stopping point. Keep in mind please that I will admit to being a relatively slow updater. It's not that I don't write nor am I holding the chapters for reviews, but I juggle two jobs as well as having a social life. That said, be prepared for a scene change in this chapter, and enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nada. ._.
The Dead Have no Answers
It was night, and a cold front had rolled in, causing the window to fog up with each breath.
Most, except for one or two, of his fellow housemates had already gone to bed, wanting to be well rested for another day of classes.
He had all his assignments done already, but he couldn't yet bring himself to leave his position on the window seat.
Gazing down at the Forbidden Forest, he kept a silent vigil in respect for the dead.
He heard the portrait door open and close, but did not turn to see who it was. He felt more than heard footsteps approaching him before an airy voice spoke up, "He would not want you to close yourself off like this."
He felt himself stiffen before tearing his gaze away to look at the concerned blonde, "What would you know about what he would've wanted, Luna?" He spat the words out, uncaring of how he might've hurt her feelings with them.
"But Neville," Luna, the now named blonde began, "he could have easily died at any of the other tasks. He knew that, and took it into consideration, before signing up for the tournament."
Neville gave a bitter smile, "Yeah, but there's a stark difference between that and getting killed by a revived Voldemort simply because he was the spare."
Luna bit her lip, knowing she was getting close to dangerous territory, "Neville Longbottom. Cedric's death wasn't your fault, just as Voldemort's revival wasn't your fault. So you stop feeling responsible right now, or I'll drag you to Madame Pomphrey myself. The way you can honor Cedric Diggory is by focusing on your studies and let us, your friends, know that you are still alive. "
By the end of her speech, her breathing was ragged and she had a livid look in her eyes. Startled by her sudden fierceness, Neville reared back his head before shaking his head, looking abashed.
"I guess I have been neglectful towards my friends, and I'm sorry, but I can't just forget about what had happened."
Calming down now that her words seemed to have had at least some affect on Neville, Luna smiled gently before hugging him. "Nobody is asking you to forget, Neville. We only ask for a chance to help you."
Neville hugged her back, before teasing her gently. "Well, I'm heading to bed now. Conversing with you can be pretty intense sometimes."
Luna smiled and let go of her classmate, watching him as he headed up towards the boy's dorm room. Her words may have had an affect on him tonight, but whether he takes them to heart in the following week, well…she would just have to wait and see.
Neville shuffled into the dorm he shared with the other guys in his class year. Pausing to look at the bronze and blue of Ravenclaw, he had to admit that sometimes he wondered how he got to be sorted into this particular house.
Not that he minded at all, of course. He could remember back on the train ride, heading to Hogwarts for the first time. While the majority of the student, pre-student, and teacher population assumed he'd be sorted into Gryffindor, he himself had honestly thought he would be sorted into Hufflepuff.
Aside from being labeled as the Boy-Who-Lived, he never showed the Gryffindor courage that his parents had. Looking back on it now, he would easily admit that it was silly being scared of being stereotyped for the rest of his student life at Hogwarts.
But he had never been coddled before during his childhood.
As a child, getting his first scrape, he could remember crying, hoping his grandmother would kiss it better the way he had seen some of the children get their wounds kissed by their mothers.
His grandmother merely shook her head before scolding him, "Dry those tears, child. That's no way a Gryffindor would act. If you continue crying over a tiny scratch like that, you'll be sorted into Hufflepuff."
That was his grandmother, a no-nonsense old woman who would sooner go to a Turkish bath with a troll rather than token her own grandson with a simple word of praise or encouragement.
"The day you make something of yourself, boy, will be the day you get praised. These young parents nowadays coddle their children too much, and look at what happens? A spoilt child who thinks things should be given to them on a golden serving tray. No child of mine will behave that way. If you want something, you shall have to work for it."
Though he wasn't sorted into the Gryffindor house, he knew that she was at least mollified that he got into the house of knowledge.
And he was grateful for his placement in Hogwarts.
Whereas before, he couldn't get a good read on his fellow classmates, now he understood that Ravenclaw was, really, the best place for him.
Slytherin would have eaten him alive. No question about that, though he found Draco to be a good acquaintance as a study partner. Boy-Who-Lived, he may be, but he still grew up in a pureblooded family line, and so, as expected, he was made to attend play-dates as a child with several other pureblooded families.
Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, his first playmates as children, were tolerable, but- he will admit- it probably helped that he wasn't in the house of the lions.
Gryffindor…well…perhaps, if he wasn't the boy-who-lived, he could imagine himself as a Gryffindor. But he was, and quickly found that the ones who were clingy to him on the train the most were also the ones who were sorted into Gryffindor. That Dean Thomas wasn't so bad, but Ronald Weasley had a…bit of a brother complex….that, and he wouldn't stop staring at his scar.
He was almost sure that, had he gotten into the same house as Ron, he'd wake up to find the other boy in his bed or something. Also, Ron had a bit of a temper. So, no, he was glad he wasn't a Gryffindor, after all.
And as for Hufflepuff…well, he was a bit of a bumbler throughout his childhood, and he did NOT want his teenager years to be known as the Bumbler-Who-Lived-in-Hufflepuff.
Surprisingly, throughout the turbulent events of the Triwizarding Tournament, Ravenclaw house became a safe haven for him.
His fellow Ravens stood up for him, going to Dumbledore when his name was first called to state how he couldn't have possibly put his own name in- he was with a fellow student most of the time and, if not, then was sleeping in the dorms- as he couldn't have been in two places at once. Stating loopholes of how he couldn't have possibly brewed an aging potion that would work since they had yet to learn them in Potions, and how could he brew a potion that he hadn't tried in Potions before when his skills were mediocre at best?
When the Ravenclaws failed to convince the head proctor and the judges of the tournament to let Neville off the hook, they banded together, going over possible spells and strategies for whatever obstacle he might be up against.
Even Draco and Blaise helped him somewhat, though the rest of the Slytherins were neutral.
All-in-all, what could have been a bad year of antagonizing and hazing for Neville, turned out to be somewhat tolerable for him until the last event.
With a house like Ravenclaw, what other house could I have possibly wanted to be sorted in? Neville mused as he changed into his pajamas and tucked himself into bed.
Friends like Luna and Hermione and Terry, who were understanding and patient with him during the summer. They understood his need to avoid the subject and, instead, wrote letters of vacation trips and homework and clippings of new plants they needed care suggestions on.
Luna's right, Neville thought as he turned his bedside lamp off, I will try and put the past behind me. Dealing with Voldemort is what's important for now.
And, with that in mind, Neville drifted off to sleep.