- Hello (noun.) A greeting that should be banned from all eternity -

- AlwaysPadfoot -


Disclaimer: Anything you recognise is not mine :(

Competition: Let's End This The Way We Started – Word: Hello AND The OC Boot Camp – Prompt: Family History

Word Limit: 2000+

Word Count: 2586

Beta: Potterwatch97

AN: ENJOY! Please R&R :)


Hello?

No. How could I do that? Imagine, just sauntering straight up to him and saying "Hello!" That's ridiculous. He already doesn't have a clue who I really am; I can't say the lamest version of a greeting known to man.

I could say I'm sorry, but what for? It wasn't my fault that my father had tortured his parents.

Besides, nobody knew that anyway. No one knew Barty Crouch Jr. had ever had a child - after all he was deemed insane by his own father just a year and a half after I'd been born. My mother hadn't even told him, she didn't want to see him; she didn't want him to even be a part of my life and to be honest neither did I.

I'm named after my mother here at Hogwarts anyway. My name is Jenni Barton (it's Barton-Crouch officially) and I'm fourteen years old. I'm in my fourth year in Gryffindor house and I really like one of my year mates.

His name is Neville Longbottom and I've watched him since first year... not in a creepy way, obviously, but I've always liked him. I didn't care that everyone else swooned over Harry Potter: to me he was just a troubled boy with a funny looking scar when I compared him to Neville. Of course, then there was Cedric Diggory, who almost every girl in the entire school wanted to get into bed with, but not me. For me I only had eyes for Neville, but the problem was did he have eyes for me?

That was exactly what I intended to find out but of course, A, I didn't have a clue what to say to him, and B, what happened when he found out who my father was?

I tried to forget about that issue for a while and instead chose to decide how to speak to him.

Maybe I could strike up a conversation about the upcoming Triwizard Tournament or talk about the schools that Hogwarts would soon be playing host to. Perhaps I could talk about classes but then that seemed like a rather boring subject. Maybe Quidditch? I'd seen him get into that a few times - in fact I'll never forget the Gryffindor v Hufflepuff match where Neville punched Malfoy right smack bang in the middle of his face.

"Miss Barton!" My head snapped to the front of the class where Professor Flitwick stood, scowling at me, "Pay attention."

"Yes sir, sorry sir." I replied apologetically, blushing deeply and trying to hide my face slightly. Charms was one of my better subjects, although, I still couldn't afford to not be listening to Flitwick.

However, it did seem the worse I was at a subject the more I daydreamed. I'm a good student. Well, a good student when I'm interested. Of course, I was desperately trying to figure out a way to speak to Neville that didn't go something like this:

Hello, I'm Jenni, my father tortured your parents and is a crazy mad man. Go out with me.

I'm thinking that really wouldn't go down well considering the circumstances. Bloody hell, why do I have to have the fucked up family history? I sighed frustratingly as Flitwick started us on an exercise about Glamours, which was about as interesting as watching paint dry.

I can't believe in all my years here at Hogwarts, (okay, in my four years at Hogwarts), that I hadn't started a conversation with him. I mean we'd spoke in passing or when a bunch of us fourth year Gryff's got together in the Common Room but I'd never spoke to him like this. I huffed under my breath: why, when circumstances changed, did things get a hell of a lot more awkward?!

Finally Flitwick called class to a close and I packed away slowly to avoid the rush up to the Common Room and I swear that was the only reason. Dean Thomas waited for me; clearly Seamus had disappeared down to the Kitchens (typical for last lesson on a Friday).

"Since when did you day-dream in charms?" He asked, raising an eyebrow with an ever so slight smirk spreading across his face. I threw my bag over my shoulder and hurried over to him.

"Since today," I scowled, trying to push Neville from my head so I could talk to Dean with a straight-ish face. He grinned at me now.

"Let's see, did you and Snape fuck in the Potions Closet?!" He said wryly.

"Ewww. Gross, Dean." I retorted. Where does he come up with this?

"No? How about Dumbledore and you in the –"

"DEAN!" I cried out loud before he could continue with his sentence.

"Okay, okay," Dean held his hands up in defeat, "What about You and Neville in the Greenhouses?" I must have blushed furiously because Dean half laughed at me before I responded.

"It's not that obvious!" I retorted, distraught even though I knew I was less obvious than that. It wasn't like I constantly stared at him and thought about him.

"I don't see what the big deal is," Dean said.

No, you bloody well don't, because I haven't told anyone I'm related to a crazy psycho Death Eater! That's what makes it a big deal!

"You wouldn't, you're a boy," I replied sourly as we headed up one of the moving staircases to the seventh floor corridor. We were now way behind the remainder of the Gryffindors in our year but I guessed that would mean that the sofas were taken. By the time we reached the Common Room we had happily moved on to chatting about the upcoming Triwizard Tournament. After all, it was Hogwarts's new favourite topic.

Most places had normal gossip like who is going out with who and who cheated with who on who but no, here at Hogwarts we've got that AND whatever major goes on each year. First year it was Quirrell being possessed by You-Know-Who. Second it was Slytherins Monster picking off Muggleborns, from which I was glad that Dean remained out of the Hospital Wing. Last year it was all about Sirius Black and this year was obviously the Tournament.

"C'mon, who do you think'll be Champion?" Dean asked me as I dropped into the window seat of the Common Room.

"If I know Potter's crap luck? Potter. No, no, erm let's see... I heard Angelia Johnson is going to put her name in, and I'm sure that Cedric Diggory will put his in," I pondered. "Truth is I don't really know until we know who's put their names in."

"I bet Harry would put his name in if he was of age - he'd be even more famous."

I snorted with distaste, "I'd put everything I own on him not entering purely because he'd be even more famous."

"Good point." Dean replied, looking deep in thought for a few moments, "Right I'm going to procrastinate my Transfiguration a little bit longer, fancy some exploding snap?"

Twenty minutes later I was still playing Exploding Snap and Seamus had returned and he had joined in too. Dean was lucky to still have eyebrows and I'd burnt my fingers several times. We often spent Fridays playing games and sometimes we even went flying but since it was tipping it down with rain flying had been a no go.

"Shite! Ouch!" I yelped as a pain seared across the palm of my hand, "Aww bloody hell. That hurt," I cursed flexing my hand and inspecting the nasty burn I now had there. Seamus leant over my shoulder with a smug look because he'd technically won now.

"I think you're going to have to see the nurse 'bout that one," he said as Dean leant over to have a look too. Unfortunately I agreed with Seamus for once, the burn on my hand was ugly and blistering.

"You and your bloody second-hand shoddy cards!" I cried, whacking him with my other hand before I stood to leave. He rubbed his arm where I hit him and scowled.

"Well if you didn't act so smug-" Dean began.

"You're supposed to be on my side!"

I left them to argue alone, after all, it might be entertaining for the rest of the Common Room to watch. Dean would probably win; he simply had a way with words.

A searing pain bit across my palm again. I can't believe Seamus still had that bloody pack of cards - they're dangerous. We only asked him to get rid of them two years ago. Personally I think he likes the danger because Dean and I had brought him two new packs and they remained unopened of his bedside table. This was getting ridiculous though, perhaps I should plan an unfortunate accident.

As I made my way through the corridor my mind wandered back into the topic of Neville Longbottom once more. I hadn't seen him in the Common Room: did that mean he'd gone down to the greenhouses to do some extra work with Sprout?

I'd go down and have a look but I didn't want to seem like I was creepy and overeager. Besides if I went down there and Neville wasn't there and Sprout was, she'd want that homework that I hadn't given her. She may be a Hufflepuff but she was still a professor first at least she'd given me an extension. McGonagall would have lynched me if I hadn't done her Transfiguration homework; that or she'd transfigure me into planner so I remembered to actually do my homework before the hand in date.

I huffed as rounded the corner but unfortunately I slammed straight into someone, which luckily was not Neville, but instead it was Professor Moody. I fell to the floor with a soft thump.

"Sorry Professor." I managed to stutter out an apology, Mad Eye Moody freaked me out a little; there was just something about him.

"You should really watch where you're going, girl." He said gruffly, pulling me to my feet roughly. The grip on my arm was a little too tight and close to being somewhat painful.

"I am really sorry." I replied, hoping he would let go so I could get to the Hospital Wing

"I didn't see you in my class yesterday, Miss Barton."

I almost visibly flinched. Damn, I was kind of hoping the dodgy eye would help me out there and he wouldn't realise I wasn't there; then again this was Mad Eye Moody – one of the best Auror's in the Ministry. He hadn't let go of my arm and had really stressed my surname. Was it possible that he knew who my father was?

"Erm, I overslept." I mumbled downwards trying to avoid his gaze; it always felt like he was reading me.

"Another one, eh?" His voice was harsh, cold even. I frowned, another one? Who was the other over sleeper?

"Detention, Barton, and I will be reporting you to Professor McGonagall."

"Yes professor, sorry professor."

"Dismissed, Barton," he barked before letting go of my arm. I quickly turned and hurried away, hearing the thudding of his false leg echo away in the opposite direction. What the hell was that? I rubbed my arm self-consciously, that was awfully out of character for the Auror; he'd never been that harsh to anyone. Even if he did know who my father was, there was no need to physically manhandle me.

He didn't even bloody notice I was injured and he's reporting me to McGonagall. She's going to kill me and then put me in eternal detention, on top of Moody's one, for this. I'd never been good at getting up on time and I had been doing really well; I'd managed to get all the way through September and halfway through October this year.

Upon reaching the hospital wing Madam Pomfrey descended on me almost immediately sensing my discomfort. I cradled the injured hand with the other as I waited for her to find the appropriate salve for the burn.

"This should do it." Pomfrey said hurrying back over and me and gently taking my hand. "You really should tell Mr Finnegan to get rid of those faulty cards before one of you ends up badly burned or blind."

"We have told him." I replied as she applied the burn salve onto my hand."And we're careful - mostly."

"This is going to scar, Miss Barton." She warned as if to answer my comment about being careful. I didn't say anything more as completed the application of the salve and wrapped a bandage around my palm without restricting the use of my fingers. I allowed her to record my injury for her records and mine. I allowed myself to smirk - my record must be mattress thick by now.

"Thanks," I said.

"I want to see you again tomorrow evening," she replied, I grinned. "Before curfew!"

I nodded and slid off the bed, escaping before she could complain about something. Usually Pomfrey wouldn't ask how we got injuries, she'd rather not know what was going on around the castle but sometimes she just dragged it out of us. Then again, sometimes, she just knew.

The corridors were empty, it was colder than usual so I guessed that most people were sensible enough to be in their Common Rooms in the warm, even the Slytherins. I thought about going down to the kitchens for some Hot Chocolate to warm me up but dinner was only an hour away; I could wait.

I quickened my pace a little, wanting to get out of the cold corridors and stairwells; frankly I was feeling somewhat shaken by my collision with Moody. Ducking into to a nearby alcove to avoid Peeves, I took a detour through a Portrait of Merlin, which brought me out on the sixth floor corridor and thankfully away from Peeves the Poltergeist. It wasn't far now, two minutes and I'll be in sight of the fat lady. I whirled round the corner and slammed straight into someone. For the second time that day I fell to the floor but lucky for me the other person did too.

"I'm so sorry." I recognised the voice that spoke and my head snapped up to see Neville on the floor opposite me. My cheeks burned as I met his dark eyes with my light green ones. His hair had darkened since first year - it had once been dirty blonde. Now it was dark brown, messy with a natural wave to it that framed his round face.

"Are you okay? Jenni, are you hurt?"

He knew my name. Of course he knows my name, we're in the same bloody year and have been for four years.

Earth to Jenni? You're staring at him. Snap out of it.

He offered me a hand and I took it. The touch of his hand made me tingle all over and I smiled stupidly at him.

YOU'RE STILL FUCKING STARING!

Neville rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously, "Erm, Jenni, you didn't answer me. Are you okay?"

I shook myself out of it quickly but I knew whatever I said next would already be a disaster. All I need to do was say that I was okay and thank him for helping me back up but no: apparently my brain wasn't set to making sensetoday.

"Neville," I squeaked.

Don't say it. Don't say it! My mouth was open again before I could even think about it.

"Hello."


Right so I really enjoyed writing that and for now it's a One-Shot, but I kind of want to make it Multi-Chapter. If anyone thinks its a vaguely good idea let me know in your review :)

Ami x