Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Smile3 Reviews
Neville recalls what happened after OotP at Harry and Ginny's wedding, and old bitterness surfaces. Harry/Ginny, one-sided Neville/Harry. Written for LJ's 30minutefics King of Pain challenge.
It was the only thing that Neville Longbottom could think of doing in an event such as that. The grin he wore on his face was foolhardy and wide, making him look drunk in appearance. Perhaps drunk on happiness.
For who wouldn't be happy on this beautiful day? The sun was shining brightly, the birds chirping in the distance. There was laughter in the air, and people danced around in their best formal robes, all so happy on this day. Neville was supposed to be happy as well. It was the day when two of his best friends would get married.
Harry and Virginia Potter. Everyone had expected it from the very beginning, perhaps ever since they had first set eyes on each other and Ginny had developed that crush on him- even though she had only been ten years old at the time. People suspected they would end up together in Harry's second year, when he ventured down into the Chamber of Secrets just to rescue her and save the whole school from being shut down.
Ginny had cried herself to sleep in her third year when it was Ron, and not her, who had been taken for the Triwizard Task, meaning that Harry would miss his best friend more than he would his best friend's sister.
People had been skeptical of Virginia Weasley when she declared that she had gotten over Harry Potter in her fourth year, but proceeded to follow him with her eyes. Everyone had whispered then, that this must be more than a crush- that Ginny must have been in love if it's lasted for so long. Wasn't it cute, though? Wasn't it cute that Ron Weasley's little sister was so enamored of Harry Potter?
Everyone knew by then who would end up with whom. Ronald Weasley would marry Hermione Granger, and Harry Potter would one day marry Virginia Weasley. They would all end up being one big, happy family.
That was before the war really started. That was before Sirius died, and Harry withdrew into himself so much that even his best friends couldn't get him to pretend to be normal. The beautiful raven-haired Gryffindor would not eat, would not sleep. It had been too much for Harry to lose Sirius, lose the last of family who had meant something to him.
So when Ron and Hermione could not console Harry, and his dear Ginny could not get him to even speak to her, they had all turned to Neville. Sweet, determined Neville who had shown his courage when he followed them into the Department of Mysteries. Neville, who had trusted Harry implicitly and whom Harry had trusted back as well.
Neville would be able to make everything better.
And so Neville had complied with the wishes of his friends, smiling in the darkness of Harry's gloom, and weaning the other boy out into the open, getting him to eat and sleep again, even if it was only small amounts. Neville, who opened his heart so that Harry could heal, had shared all his stories with Harry, had told the lost Gryffindor all about his parents and all the instances where he swore his mother could recognize him.
Harry had started to recover. Those green eyes would smile back when Neville smiled, even if Harry's facial expression was still vacant. The raven-haired boy would follow Neville wherever he went, sometimes clinging to the edge of his sleeves. Dear, sweet Neville who would never hurt anyone and had created the miracle of keeping Harry Potter alive. Hard-working, innocent Neville who thought that everything would be alright again once Harry was okay.
Neville had thought that once Harry was better, everything else would be better as well. After all, to him, it was Harry Potter who started and ended his days. It was Harry who sometimes crawled into his bed because he needed solstice from Voldemort's nightmares and attacks. It was Harry was depended on him to always be there, and looked at him with such adoring eyes. Harry was the one who would make everything better, would defeat the Dark Lord and return to Neville's side.
Neville had assumed that Harry would always return.
He had been furious when he came back from a Herbology project one day to find Harry and Ginny kissing. Why?! Why was something like that happening? Ginny didn't know what Harry needed! Ginny didn't know that Harry was still recovering, and wouldn't be able to commit to a relationship! Ginny was exactly what Harry didn't need at the moment! She was always pushing herself on him, especially since he had never returned her feelings in the first place!
But Neville hadn't interrupted. Instead, he left the common room once again, wandering the halls until he could calm his raging temper, trying to understand why he felt so angry. Harry and Ginny were meant for each other, after all. Everyone said so.
But what about Neville, who was always overlooked? What about the extra Gryffindor boy who always had trouble with Potions and was good at Herbology, and had BLOODY rescued Harry Potter from the dark recesses of the dark-haired boy's mind?
You're so sweet, Neville.
If anyone could help Harry, you can, Neville!
It wasn't fair. It wasn't bloody fair! He was supposed to be the one to help Harry. He was supposed to be the one that Harry needed. Ginny hadn't done anything for Harry. She bloody wasn't good enough for him! She didn't know what the shifting in those green eyes meant, what it felt like to be needed by the Boy-Who-Lived. She couldn't understand how sweet it was to wrap both arms around the raven-haired Gryffindor, to feel him sigh and relax into the embrace. She couldn't know how it felt to wake up and watch that sleeping face, so full of pain when he was awake, but so innocent and peaceful when he was asleep.
It had never been Ginny who was there to help Harry... but that didn't matter to the eyes of the public.
When Neville had gathered up the nerve to go back to the common room, he was bombarded with congratulations and hands pounding him on the back. They asked him if he had seen Harry and Ginny together, and told him he did an amazing job with Harry, that Harry seemed to be all better now.
And Neville had smiled. He had stretched his face until he truly believed that his expression would shattered into a million pieces, and then all those people would understand that no, he wasn't all kind and sweet and understanding. That he wanted to scream and rage at all of them to understand that he was the one who had helped Harry, that he was the one who should have deserved that kiss- that he was the one who knew Harry inside out... he was the one who was in love with Harry, not that bitch Ginny!
But Neville had only smiled.
And two years later, after graduation, after they had all separated their own ways, Neville received his invitation to the greatest wedding of the century. He hadn't wanted to go. He wasn't even sure he if he could still his heart when he saw Harry again. There had been a reason that Neville had moved to Southern France as a botany assistant. He wasn't sure that he could face Harry again, see Harry smile at Ginny the way that he used to smile at Neville.
But he had come.
It hurt. It hurt so much to see Harry so happy with Ginny. But this was how it was meant to be, wasn't it?
"Aren't they just perfect together?" A random person next to him had sighed. "It's like the ending to a great fairy tale, where they live happily ever after."
Neville had to resist the urge to deck that person. It wasn't fair. Life shouldn't be a fairy tale. It wasn't a fairy tale, really, considering that it was him who had saved Harry, and not Ginny. Neville still felt rage whenever he thought about that.
But he had smiled at the other person, determined to see it through. He was going to be there for Harry, because Harry had personally written the wedding invitation, pleading to see him again because they had once been so close.
So for Harry... Neville would smile again. Just like he smiled when he had first seen the small raven-haired boy; so lost and so broken.
A cheer went up as the couple kissed at the alter; sealing their marriage vow. Neville could only stare, wondering if things could have been different... wondering why it was Ginny up there.
But he smiled anyway. Smiled so much that it hurt physically as well as emotionally.