Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Lucky1 Reviews
Neville is a fake of the worst kind, and he knows it. But that doesn't stop him from wishing.
"Here," Neville says, placing a mug of cocoa in front of Ginny and pulling the blanket she had tossed on the back of her chair up around her shoulders.
Ginny take the mug gratefully with one hand. The other is securely clasped around the fingers of an unconscious Harry Potter that sleeps in the bed beside her, head bandaged and propped up with pillows so his breathing is easily monitored.
"Thanks, Neville," the girl sighs, eyes still fixed intently on the gentle rise and fall of Harry's chest. He watches the creases on her forehead shift from lines of weariness, to fear, to anxiety and back again, and he has to stop himself from smoothing them out with his thumb.
"He'll pull through," he says instead. "Harry always does."
"It's different this time," Ginny says, stroking the pale fingers slightly, hand gliding up to caress Harry's wrist.
"I can hex anyone I have to in order to help him," she continues, "But I can't protect him from what's in his mind. Oh Neville, I feel so useless!"
He puts a hand on her shoulder, feeling soft strands of ginger-coloured hair brush against his knuckles, and tries to focus on the way Harry's lashes flutter as he battles his dreams and not the cluster of freckles below Ginny's earlobe, or the way the lamplight turns her hair to glossy brass.
"You're doing a lot for him, just by being here. He's even looking better than he did when we brought him off the field."
This is a lie. Harry Potter looks exactly the same, albeit with a swathe of bandages covering the raw wound where his scar had split. But Ginny needs Harry to be better, and so he will be better. Neville will make sure he is better, even if a small part of him wonders what it would feel like to have Ginny's hands clasp his like that, to have her press comforting kisses to his closed eyelids and cheeks.
Neville squashes that part of himself ruthlessly.
"What time is it, anyway?" Ginny mumbles, taking a sip of her cocoa absently.
Neville removes his hand from her shoulder to check his watch, nerve endings screaming at the loss.
"It's four o'clock."
"Drat. I promised to help Hermione with her horcrux research at four thirty, didn't I?" Ginny puts the mug down at her feet and wipes a hand over her eyes, rubbing tiredly at her forehead.
Harry moans and shudders and does not wake, just like all the other times he moaned and shuddered and did not wake, and Ginny clutches at his limp hand with bone white knuckles.
"I'll help take research duty for you," Nevilled offers. "You stay here. Watch over Harry."
Ginny's eyes turn to him for the first time since he came into the room and Neville feels something flutter and rise from his stomach into his throat and choke him.
"R-really," he manages, and Ginny smiles.
"You're a good friend Neville," she tells him. "Harry's lucky to have you."
"Yeah," Neville whispers, as Ginny turns away from him to smooth the sweat-soaked fringe of hair on Harry's forehead. "Harry's lucky."
As Neville leaves the room he wonders if he's ever hated himself more than this very moment.