A short tale of Neville's seventh year experience with Ginny.
She came to you that day.
The day he left, maybe never to return. Her bright brown eyes were swimming with tears; they pleaded with you for help, though no words escaped her lips.
And you did the only thing you knew to do. You took her in your arms. You held her for a long time-you’re not sure how long, as all you can recall is the strength of your emotion that day. As she sobbed against your chest, you were overcome with a strong sense of protectiveness.
‘She should never have to feel like this,’ you thought to yourself. She should be happy; not having to worry about whether the ones she loved would make it through the week. That’s how the times were, back then. Everyone living in constant fear that one day they would come home to that ominous sign hanging over their home. You felt the overwhelming urge to hide her from it. To wrap her in your arms and croon to her that everything was all right. To shield her from the pain of the world. If only it were that easy.
It was the most difficult-and yet, somehow also the most meaningful-year of your life. You stayed close to her, afraid of what might happen to her if you left. She looked worse as the days went on-she almost never slept, as if she were afraid that if she did, she would never wake up. Her eyes seemed to have lost their light; there were dark circles under her eyes; she’d cut her mane of hair to rid herself of its annoyance. She looked like someone who had given up hope.
You didn’t dare overestimate your importance; but, somehow, you think that your presence that year helped her remember to live. There were even those moments-between all the death and destruction-when she would smile at you to say thanks. You lived for those moments. It’s what kept you going after your grandmother’s death that December-what kept you strong for her when Fred and George were attacked-what seemed, at that time, to be your only purpose in life.
And then he came back, worn and torn from the battlefield, and it seemed as if your whole world was falling apart. You always knew this day would come, but that didn’t make the pain of it any easier. As soon as he returned, it seemed that once again, you almost ceased to exist. You watched as they embraced, your heart clutching painfully in your chest. When he bent his head to kiss her, you had to look away-lest you stop breathing altogether.
You still haven’t gotten over the pain of that day. Your role in her life was spent, but you decided that you didn’t regret anything you’d done or felt back then. You suppose it's true, what people say. It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.