They made their way down to the great hall but decided that they should be anywhere else but there. They did go in for only one reason; Neville had to make sure that Bellatrix was really dead. He found her body and confirmed that she was actually dead. For some reason he didn’t feel as good as he thought he would. He felt it was just a waste of a life. Bellatrix being dead would not heal his parents. She was dead and his parents were still insane. Nothing really gained.
Luna directed him to the kitchens and when they arrived there, they found the rest of their friends. There was Harry and Hermione, Ron and Lavender, Ginny and Dean. When Luna saw Dean, she smiled at him. They had been holed up at Shell Cottage together after they all escaped Malfoy Manner.
When she saw Ginny and Ron, she went over to them and hugged them. “I am so sorry about your brother,” she said sincerely.’ He was a very nice person and didn’t deserve to die’. Neville stood back for a moment as he felt he would be intruding. “How are you doing?” asked Harry? ‘Well I guess as well as can be expected’ said Neville.’ You again proved why you were sorted into Gryffindor ‘said Harry. ‘I couldn’t have defeated Voldemort with out you’ he said patting Neville on the back. Neville blushed.
‘We have been hearing about all your exploits this year ‘said Hermione.’ You really picked up the reins from Harry’. ‘I am very proud of you’. ‘I knew you had it in you’.’ I didn’t do that much’ said Neville. ‘Don’t sell yourself short’ said harry. ‘You kept things going and kept the younger kids safe that is a big deal’.’ They all had a place to go so that they would be safe and with everyone else’. ‘You did a wonderful job, Dumbledore would be very proud of you’.
‘I know that none of us are ready to even think about it but are we going to come back in September to finish our seventh year’ asked Hermione? ‘I am not sure if I could face being here’ said harry.’ I will think about it though’.’ I will be back next year’ said Luna. ‘I have to repeat my sixth year as I have been gone since Christmas’. ‘Me too’ said Ginny ‘I’ve been gone since Easter’. ‘Please harry come back next year’. ‘With out having to be looking over our shoulders in case of Death Eaters it would be so boring if you weren’t here’. Harry looked over at Hermione and saw how much she wanted him to come back and decided that he couldn’t handle being away from her for the entire school year.’ I guess I will come back in September’.
During the summer, Luna and Neville spent more and more time together. They would meet in Diagon Alley to go to Fortecues for ice cream once it had reopened. They would just walk along the alley and remember what it had been like the summer before while there was still the threat of Voldemort. It was just after they had both left St Mungo’s after seeing his parents and her father who had been found in very poor condition after the fall of Voldemort that they had their first real romantic kiss. Neville had been very nervous but he loved Luna so much and he had waited for a while to allow her to recover from all that she had been through during the war. The kiss was very sweet and very much anticipated by Luna. She was wondering if he was ever going to kiss her. She had decided that if he didn’t kiss her soon she would have to kiss him. He had been one of the first of the group around Harry and Hermione to accept her at face value. He was such a kindhearted soul and she saw during the previous year how much he had grown in confidence and how much some of the things he saw had hurt him.
After the kiss, they walked along the street holding hand, just looking around. Neville hadn’t really had the opportunity to do this as most every time he had visited St Mungo’s he had come by the Floo network. They enjoyed looking in all the muggle stores. As both were purebloods, they had never gone into muggle stores. It was an adventure for them. This was one adventure that they could enjoy. They each ended up buying some t-shirts with logos that seemed to them as being popular as they had seen some other people their age wearing the same and some muggle designer jeans.
They decided to go and get a cup of coffee so they went into a place that seemed very popular. When they got to the counter to order they asked for a simple coffee. What they were asked was what size, decaf for not, foam or no foam etc. This just confused them so they left and found a smaller cafe and when they asked for a simple coffee, they were only asked if they wanted it to stay or go. They decided to stay and sit outside drinking their coffee. They chatted and after a while, Luna wondered if this was how all muggle teenagers lived? If so this is a nice life thought Luna.
Soon it was time to again return to Hogwarts. The day prior found Neville and Luna sitting in the garden of Longbottom Manor. They were just sitting talking looking at all the flowers and beautiful plants that Neville had planted over the summer. “I am going to miss this when we get back to school,” said Neville. “We will still be able to spend time together,” said Luna. “I know that, what I mean is sitting looking at and working with all my flowers and plants.” “I love this garden,” said Neville. “It is very beautiful but you still can work with some wonderful plants at school.” “Yes I realize that but it just isn’t the same.” “These are mine and I grew them myself. I guess I sort of look at this garden as a symbol of my life starting anew”. “That is very poetic said Luna. I think I like that way of looking at it.”
The next day when Luna arrived at King’s Cross station she found that Neville was there already waiting for her. He smiled as soon as he saw her come through the barrier. I know I just saw her yesterday but somehow she looks even more beautiful he thought.
Neville got up from the bench he was sitting on and walked towards Luna.” It is wonderful to see you,” he said as he leaned in to give her a kiss. This was the first kiss he had given her ever in front of their fellow students. Luna thought it was a very nice kiss. “I am very happy to see you too “responded Luna. “ I can hardly believe we are going back there “said Luna. “There were times when I wasn’t sure I was going to go back” “why” asked Neville? I am not sure said Luna. It was usually for only a moment but I guess I still remember the train ride and when I was kept prisoner. You haven’t really talked about that said Neville. You do know that I am here to listen if you want. I do appreciate that but I am not sure if I am ready to talk about what went on during that time. That is fine but just know that I am here to listen.
Soon the rest of the gang arrived. Harry and Hermione were walking along holding hands. They each had silver badges on their robes. They had been made Head Boy and Girl for this year. Normally this wouldn’t have happened but as a vast majority of the sixth years did not complete their exams and with all that had gone on the year before there were not many who had been moved up to seventh year. Being Head Girl was Hermione’s dream come true and as it turns out having Harry as Head Boy was a wonderful benefit.
Ron and Lavender were walking behind them holding hands. Ron seemed very happy to have someone who loved him. He had realized that he had not been the best friend or person the last few years. He had realized that he had been very jealous and spiteful of Harry. It wasn’t until he had heard about all that Harry and Hermione had been through during the time he Ron had been holed up at shell cottage that he realized that Harry did not have the life that Ron would want. Yes, Harry had money but to get that money he had to lose his parents and his godfather. Ron decided that the loss was not worth the money. He would rather be poor than lose any of his family. He had seen what it was like from some of the other students after the final battle. They had lost siblings and some had lost parents.
Lastly following the other two couples was Ginny and Dean. They seemed very happy as they walked along holding hands. They were pushing a trolley with both of their trunks on it.
When they arrived in front of Luna and Neville they all hugged each other in greeting. It was decided that those who were not prefects would find a compartment and when the prefect meeting was over they would make their way to the head’s compartment for the remainder of the trip.
In the compartment Luna, Neville, Dean, Lavender and Ginny all sat and talked about what they had done during the summer and what they had anticipated the coming year would be like. I am just glad to be back at school said dean. He had not been able to attend school the previous year as he was a muggleborn and they were banned from attending Hogwarts and were subject to prosecution for theft of magic if they were not able to prove they had a magical relative in their recent family.
Soon after Ron came along and told them that they could all come along to the head’s compartment if they wanted. All of them made their way to the front of the train and the head’s compartment. When they all sat down and had been served a very nice lunch of sandwiches and pumpkin juice they then again started talking about their summers and what the upcoming year would bring.
Harry and Hermione spoke of their trip to Australia to bring back Hermione’s parents who had been sent there the previous summer for their safety. It turns out they were not very happy with what Hermione had done but in the end they did understand that what she had done was in their own best interest. They did feel that they should have had an option in what was to happen. This was all worked out by the end of the summer. Now their only concern was Hermione and her relationship with Harry. They felt they were getting too close.
While all this conversation was going on Neville and Luna were just sitting back and listening. They were just happy to have their friends all together and happy. After awhile the conversation came to Neville and Luna. They were asked what they had done over the summer.” Well I guess I mostly worked in my garden for the summer. It was hard to leave it but I did grow some very nice vegetables that Gran enjoyed. She was always telling anyone who would listen how brave I was and how proud she was of me. it was getting a little hard to take after a while.”
“What about you” Harry asked Luna? “Well it was a very interesting summer. After we found daddy and he was better we had to rebuild our home. That took most of the month of july. Usually daddy and I go away during the summer on an adventure but we both decided that we didn’t need an adventure this year. Just living had been an adventure . the rest of the time I just prepared for the school year and visited Diagon Alley a bit”. Then she looked at Neville who nodded slightly. “Oh also I spent a couple of weeks at Longbottom Manor.”
It was Hermione who put two and two together. “You stayed at Longbottom Manor?”She asked. “Yes I did it was very nice there if not a little old fashion. We had a wonderful time while I was there. I got to know Mrs. Longbottom and I also helped in the gardens. Oh we also did visit St Mungo’s during the summer. It seemed to me that Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom were happy when we told them that Voldemort was finally dead and Bellatix was dead also. Although I think they were a little sad. I don’t think they wanted anyone to die. I think deep down they just wanted everyone to be able to live together in peace.
They also seemed happy when they heard that Neville and I were a couple.”
“Did you know that neville’s parents and my mom went to school together?” asked Luna. “They did I found out when I was talking to neville’s gran. It seems that his mom and my mom were friends when they were at school. Mrs. Longbottom told me that when the attack on Neville’s parents happened my mom went to her and told her that if she needed to that my parents would take Neville for a while. Just so she could get things in order as they were not sure if his parents would survive the attack. “ ”Wouldn’t that have been funny if Neville had come to live with us?” He would have had a baby sister as I had been born the previous spring. It would have been nice to have grown up with a big brother.”
“I didn’t know that” said Neville. “I guess it would have made sense as Gran was not a young woman when mom and dad were injured. It would have been hard to have to look after a small child and also watch over my parents”. “I think it would have been nice to have had a sister too” said Neville smiling at Luna.
Everyone in the compartment noticed the looks both Neville and Luna were giving each other and they didn’t seem to hear Luna say that Neville and she were a couple. Finally Ginny had to say something. “ what is going on here” she asked? “ what do you mean” asked Luna? “ the two of you, the looks and smiles, the knowing glances. Some thing is going on and we want to know what it is” she exclaimed.
Luna and Neville looked at eachother and smiled. “Well I guess we cant hide it for much longer. Neville and I are going out “said Luna smiling. All the girls gathered around Luna to talk to her and the guys all patted Neville on the back saying that he found a good witch to be dating.
The girls wanted to know what had gone on during the summer. Luna told them of the walks that they took and how they talked all the time about lots of things. How they would go to Diagon Alley and have ice cream. How they would spend hours in his garden. Finally she told them about the kissing. She said how he was such a nice kisser, how he was gentle and sweet. She confessed that she felt she might be falling in love with Neville. All the girls were so happy for her.
They guys were not really into talking about relationships so they talked about quiddich. While they were talking Neville would glance over at Luna to see how she was. When she noticed his glaces she would smile at him. yes I do believe I am falling in love she thought.