a lot of people, like neville, choose to return to hogwarts for their “eighth year”
a lot of them aren’t surprises - hermione, luna, draco…
but what is a surprise is when george weasley peeks his head into neville’s train carriage and asks if he can sit with them
and, unlike many of the people on the train, he grins and accepts a voucher for a free copy of the quibbler from luna and when he says “cool” she looks so happy she might burst
“i thought you left school,” neville says
“thought i’d come back,” george says, scratching his arm, “finish learning everything, so my products can be the best”
there’s something he’s not saying, but neville just nods
they share the jelly slugs they get from the trolley, and swap chocolate frog cards because neville has fabian prewett
“i didn’t even know he was on a card,” george says, raising an eyebrow
the room of requirement shows up to all the eighth years as another common room, for when they need the peace and quiet and time to themselves or time with those who have been through what they’ve been through
neville almost always finds george there, instead of in the common room, and he’s surprised, but he doesn’t say anything again, because he knows george is still reeling from being without fred
(the fact he’s even come back is a miracle)
but he can’t take that george is always sitting there looking miserable, so after class one day he heads over to george, feeling bold, and asks
“would you like to come and help me cultivate the dittany?”
fuck, he thinks suddenly, that’s so stupid, of course he isn’t going to want to do that, he probably thinks it’s boring-
but george smiles and nods, getting to his feet
he’s surprisingly good with the plants, and he even talks to them, just like neville
between the two of them, they take the dittany cuttings in far less time than neville would’ve taken alone
“thanks for inviting me out,” george says, leaning against the greenhouse door as neville pulls off his apron (can’t be too careful). “it’s been really hard, and you and luna and hermione have been great”
neville shrugs: “i just want to help”
“well, thank you for it”
neville’s not expecting it when george tentatively puts his arms up around neville’s back and leans in close, hugging him gingerly, like he’s scared of the contact
he’s a little nervous to do this, in case it’s wrong, but neville hugs back a little tighter and george melts into him for the briefest of moments
george starts to settle in a little, after; he stops sitting on the sofa on his own staring into space and helps luna out with making posters advertising for quidditch positions for ravenclaw
he even takes up the helm of quidditch commentator, and when neville cheers in the stands with hermione, it almost feels like nothing’s happened at all
he’s not going to forget the carrows and what they did to hogwarts, not easily, and george is never going to get over being alone in hogwarts, but it feels like - it feels like things aren’t completely awful, like there’s a light far far away at the end of the tunnel, but there, even if it’s difficult to reach
there’s a strange and utterly unpredictable mid-october heatwave, and he helps george and luna hand out ice creams to the younger students
george lights up when he’s busy, grinning at the first and second years and giving them a reassuring clap on the shoulder when he sends them off with their cute little ice cream cones
neville is struck by how sweet it is, that he’s doing his best for them, no matter how he feels on the inside
george is a people person, and always has been
“hey, nev, you want some?” he asks with a grin
“it’s for the younger students,” neville says stubbornly, but he can tell already that george isn’t giving up on this
“come onnnn,” he says, butting his shoulder against neville and giving him a playful look, and neville has to give up with a smile
“only if you’ll have some, too”
luna takes over, because the rush has died down, so neville and george sit out in one of the courtyards, basking in the peculiar heat (“the hell’s wrong with scottish weather?” george asks with a fake frown)
“how are you feeling?” neville asks, trying not to be awkward
“okay,” says george. “not feeling like i want to die, or anything, strangely enough”
“if you do, i’m here, and so is luna, and hermione, and everyone else…” he nudges george. “maybe even draco malfoy would be nice to you,” he says with half a wink, and george giggles
and they spend most of the afternoon out there, even once they’ve finished their ice creams (though george has to finish neville’s cone), just talking and laughing and reminiscing
they start spending time as a group: neville, george, luna, and hermione, and dean and seamus sometimes join them, but they’re tight-knit because they’ve been through so much
they can relate to each other
but neville and george start to stick together; neville loves george’s quirks, and george appreciates that neville wants to help and spend time with him
george helps out around the greenhouse, and neville helps test the products… even if that means being turned into a canary again (he didn’t mind so much the first time, really)
they become inseparable
neville worries he’s a replacement for fred, but hermione assures him he can’t be, because he’s so different and not exactly a bundle of excitement and energy like fred; he’s quiet and careful, sits and waters his cacti instead of making big jokes
it’s an option in seventh year to help out in the first year classes - not that most people take it, because it’s a waste of the time they could be using revising for their dang n.e.w.t.s - but neville has a go, and george waits for him to walk to their next period class, grinning
“next thing we know, you’re gonna be called professor longbottom,” he says
“you think?” neville scratches his chin, thoughtfully. “that’d be nice”
“you’d be great,” george assures him
it’s not a surprise that they get together - the only surprise is that it took them so long, but with feelings all tangled up like vines, maybe it’s understandable (but not to the younger gryffindors, anyway, who have been keeping a betting pool)
it’s in mid-december, and they’re sitting out in the rain in puffy jackets testing out george’s magical umbrella that creates more of a bubble than an umbrella, keeping the rain off completely, with no having to dump the umbrella in the bath later
neville has a flask he’s borrowed from dean, with hot chocolate and marshmallows and he’s about to share it with george when he suddenly realises how close they are and how much he wants everything for george
and wants everything about george
he just wants to be close to george, to hug him, to kiss him better
he leans in and touches his lips to george, a little uncertain just like their first hug, and george puts a hand round the back of his neck, pulling him closer
neville can feel the smile against him
they don’t say anything about it afterwards because there’s nothing they need to say to each other that they don’t know, so he takes a sip of hot chocolate
(and they kiss again because they’ve spent this long not kissing; they might as well start making use of their time)
“how are you feeling?” neville asks, just before they go back inside
“a lot like i don’t want to die,” george says, squeezing his hand, “’cause i think i’ve got something to live for”
My hands shook as I dried and styled my close-cropped hair,
agonizing over my reflection in the mirror. By force of habit, my eyes snagged
on the scars marring my hands. I was learning to love them though, thanks to
Gods, she was the perfect woman. Smart, sweet, and kind. There
wasn’t a High Lord or Lady that could come close to her effortless beauty. Soft,
sunkissed skin dusted with freckles from her time in the gardens. Lovingly warm
brown eyes that held all the wonders of the world within them. Lips that were
plump and pink, and were absolutely breathtaking to kiss.
She was everything I had ever hoped for and more. I had planned
to wait until spring, but when I got the ring back from the jeweler… I couldn’t
I checked my reflection one more time before deciding I was ready.
My heart hammered in my chest, and I swiped the small velvet box off my
nightstand before flinging open the terrace doors. The chill of the wintery air
cleared the fog from my head.
“Now or never,” I reminded myself, and took a running leap
into the sky.
The voice of Professor Sprout is drowned out of your mind as you sit miserably in Herbology class. Combined with your natural inability to be good at the subject and the god awful humidity, you can confidentially say this is your least favorite class.
But, there’s something that makes the class somewhat less dreadful. You can’t help but notice the talented Gryffindor, Neville Longbottom, effortlessly work with all the different types of plants.
Today, apparently the class is working with, what was it called? Ah, fluxweed.
The pretty green plant is tended for with the expert hands of Neville. Instead of doing the same, you open up your sketchbook and begin to draw the elegance of the plant and the attractive confidence on Neville’s face.
Before you know it, the class is dismissed. You begin to pack everything up before remembering you had a test to make up for Professor Snape. Knowing he’ll kill you if you’re late, you hurriedly gather your belongings and head to the dungeons, unknowingly forgetting something.
Neville adds a little more dragon dung to his fluxweed and sprinkles some water on it. He almost always stays after class as long as Professor Sprout allows him to. He truly felt at home here and in his element.
His eyes catch a small book on a desk. Neville looks around, but no one is there, not even Professor Sprout. She must have left for a meeting, or something.
Curiously, he opens the first page and looks for a name so he can return the possession to the owner, but frowns when he sees no name.
Determined to find whose book it is, he begins flipping through the pages. Beautiful drawings of several plants, creatures, and potions litter the pages and he stares at them in awe.
When he flips the page again, he expects to see another picture of something magical, but he gasps when he sees a drawing that looks like a mirror image of himself tending to his fluxweed plant.
Before he can marvel in the image, the loud sound of a greenhouse door closing snaps him out of his thoughts.
“What are you doing with my book?” you demand, face paling when you see the picture you drew of Neville.
His face turns bright red. “Nothing! I swear, I was just looking for a name so I could return it!”
Tears form in your eyes as you stride over and rip the book out of his hands. You run your fingers over the leather cover slowly.
Before Neville can stutter out an apology, you speak first. “I bet you think I’m some sort of weirdo now, huh?”
When he looks at you, he expects you to be somewhat angry and cold. He’s surprised when he sees your face flushed as deep as his is.
“N-No, I don’t think you’re weird Y/N.”
His answer isn’t what you’d thought it be. You bravely link your eyes with his.
“In fact, I think you’re bloody brilliant. Those drawings are amazing!” he compliments honestly, smiling.
“T-thank you”, you mutter, your face turning brighter than ever.
It’s silent for a while except for the faint sounds of the mandrakes a few greenhouses over before Neville breaks the silence.
“You know, Y/N, I was wondering if you’d teach me how to draw like that. W-we could grab something to drink at the Three Broomsticks first and then you could teach me–I mean, if that’s okay with you!” Neville’s face is scarlet red as he wrings his hands together.
You can’t help but laugh. “Neville, are you asking me on a date?”
He grins back at you. “I guess I am.”
You look down at your fateful book and can’t help but thank it for getting you and Neville together. “Then it’s a date.”
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Sure, there might be situations that look worse than being found in somebody else’s house surrounded by blood with a knife in your hand, but you struggled to think of what they were. If the doors were all messed up somehow, there must be another one, somewhere. Or, even better, a phone.
Harry abruptly apologized to a small group of 3rd years he very nearly trampled over in his attempt to get as far away from the Owlery as fast as his legs would let let him.
His cheeks still burned from the embarrassment of getting rejected by Cho Chang to go to the Yule Ball.
She looked truly sorry, and she had a good reason, but it still made his stomach plunge and his eyes slightly water at the corners.
There was no designated place he was trying to reach, but in his fit of emotions, Harry had started to run and hadn’t stopped since leaving the Owlery.
Eventually, he found himself running through the doors of Greenhouse 3, leaning against the glass door as he caught his breath. A hand tousled his already messy dark hair as he took in his surroundings.
He saw the usual plethora of fauna standing before him at various angles. Baskets of flowers hung from the ceiling and he was surprised to find himself being consumed by warmth as opposed to the whirling winter wind outside.
Harry, now finally calm, made to turn and leave, but the faint noise of humming stopped him in his tracks. The voice was melodic and smooth, making him doubt it was Professor Sprout doing some afternoon gardening.
Intrigued, Harry stepped further into the greenhouse, following the pleasant noise passed an array of greenery.
He stopped infront of a large hedge-like plant, distinctly hearing the humming coming from somewhere behind it.
In an instant the humming stopped, and Harry feared the person had heard his fumbling about, but all worries washed aside as he instead heard muffled speaking.
Slowly, Harry reached out to the plant in front of him and pulled back a section of it’s branches, peering into the scene.
There was another Hogwarts student around his age standing infront of a small wooden desk, covered to the maximum in small, potted plants of various shapes and colors.
He watched you water them and carefully trim some of the taller plants branches.
“Don’t be so fussy with me,” He heard you suddenly speak, “I didn’t mean to forget to vist, but you know I must study.”
Harry absentmindedly leaned foward, as if drawn to your presence, cranning his ears to try and hear your voice.
Unknowingly, he leaned to far and ended up tripping over the pot of the plant he was gazing through and crashed onto the floor, mere feet away from you.
The crash caused you to jump with a start, the packet of seeds you had been holding in your hand fell onto the floor, scattering seeds everywhere.
“I-I’m so sorry!” Harry cried in an embarrassingly high-pitched voice as he raced to try and shove all the miniscule seeds into his palm.
You stood for a second, somewhat frazzled at the fact that another student was in the greenhouse, on any other given day the place was as silent and empty as the grave.
Collecting yourself, you crouched down and started assisting him in cleaning up the mess. “You’re fine, you just startled me is all.” You said to him with a small laugh.
Harry looked up and your gazes met for a breif moment before he blushed furiously and kept his eyes glued to the seeds. “But it was my fault-and I didn’t mean-I wasn’t trying to intrude or anything.”
You paused your movements to look at the boy, you tilted your head as you caught of his floppy hair and circular glasses. “You must be that Harry Potter fellow.”
Harry’s hands froze and he slowly looked up at you again, cheeks still flushed. “Um, y-yes, that would be me.”
“Well I’m (Y/n).” You introduced. “I saw you face that dragon in the tournament the other day,” You said, smiling as you helped him scoop the seeds from his hands to yours. “You really are as brave as they say.”
Harry watched you as you turned to safely put the seeds back into their pouch, he ran his hand through his hair and shook his head. “You were there?”
You hummed in response, turning around to look at him. “I was standing with the Weasley twins,” You explained before a small smirk formed. “You nearly knocked my head off when you came flying out of the ring.”
Harry’s cheeks went aflame and he sputtered apologizes. “Did I really? I’m so sorr-”
“You say sorry a lot for someone who’s supposed to be a legend,” You said teasingly as you helped him off the ground, a more concerned look flickered across your face. “You weren’t hurt or anything? I didn’t get see you much after before all the Gryffindors carried you away.”
Harry shook his head slowly. “No, I’m fine. A couple scratches and lots of sore muscles but I’m fine, thank you.”
“Don’t mention it,” You brushed your hands on the beige smock you were wearing. “What brought you here then?”
Harry laughed awkwardly, scratching the back of his neck. “That really doesn’t matter,” He said, thinking of Cho’s rejection unhappily, before an idea crossed his mind.
“Uh…,” Harry started before he closed his mouth to recollect his thoughts. “I know it’s rather late, and I don’t even know if you plan to go to the Yule Ball at all or if someone’s already asked or-”
You gave him a knowing smile.
The boy’s gaze snapped to your’s and his rambling came to a stop. “Y-Yes?”
“You just have to ask me nicely.”
A wide grin broke out on his face. “Right. (Y/n), would you go to the Yule ball with me?”
You gave him a small nod, and a smile to match his own. “Sure, sounds fun.”