alisanne: (Nev_eyes)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: The Patriotic Type
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairing/Characters: Neville Longbottom/Ginny Weasley, Severus Snape/Harry Potter (background).
Word Count: 100 x 5
Rating: PG
Challenge: Written for [insanejournal.com profile] neville100's prompt #303: Patriot.
Warning(s)/Genre: Drama/Romance.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.


~

The Patriotic Type

~

“I’m not sure you should go,” said Augusta.

Neville continued packing his trunk. “I have to, Gran,” he said. “Everyone else is. It’s fine. McGonagall’s there. I’ll be safe there as anywhere.”

“I hope you’re right. The only reason I’m allowing it at all is because of Minerva.” Augusta shook her head. “Have you heard from your friends? Are they returning?”

Neville nodded. “Almost everyone’s returning. Not Harry, of course.”

“Naturally.” She sighed. “It’s dangerous, but you’re such a patriot I can’t deny you. Your parents would be so proud.”

Neville smiled. “Thanks, Gran.”

“Don’t thank me. Just be careful.”

~

The Hogwarts Express was halfway to Scotland when it happened. Neville, in the rear carriage with Ginny and Seamus, stood when the train shuddered to a stop. And when grim-faced, dark-cloaked Death Eaters boarded and started inspecting each student, he patriotically stepped in front of Ginny.

“Where is he?” one of them growled. “Where’s Potter?”

Neville snorted. “Oi, morons. He’s not here. He knows you’re looking for him.”

The Death Eater eyed him. “We will find him.”

Once they’d left and the train resumed its course, Ginny sighed. “That was brave of you, Neville, but be careful.”

Neville nodded. “Always.”

~

“What if Harry never returns?” Seamus asked.

Neville sighed. The long months of waiting for Harry to bring the battle to Hogwarts had taken its toll. He’d struggled to remain a patriot, but it was tough sustaining everyone’s spirit. “He will,” he said. “I’ve faith in Harry. He’ll be back. He wouldn’t just leave us here like this.”

Ginny, who’d spent more and more time at Neville’s side since confining herself to the Room of Requirement, clasped his hand. “Neville’s right. We need to have faith.”

Neville’s fingers tightened on hers. In that moment he almost hoped Harry’d never return.

~

Neville stared up at Gryffindor tower’s crumbling ceiling. It’d almost caved in during the battle, but engineers had declared it safe, so he planned to sleep there.

The battle for Hogwarts had been long, brutal. Neville had more than once thought himself done for, but he’d somehow remained a patriot, even extracting Gryffindor’s sword from the Sorting Hat to kill Voldemort’s snake.

McGonagall asked him to remain to rebuild Hogwarts. He’d gladly agreed. But just then he was rather lonely.

I wonder where Ginny is? He sighed. Probably with Harry. Maybe, with practice, I can even be happy for them.

~

Hearing someone approaching, Neville raised his head, blinking upon seeing Ginny. “Would you like company?” she whispered.

“Please.” Neville held his breath when she knelt down to slide into bed beside him. He’d never dared hope-- “What about Harry?”

She snorted. “He’s with Snape. He claims Snape’s a patriot.”

Neville smiled. He’d heard Harry defending Snape to anyone who would listen. Apparently his feelings weren’t platonic. “So you and he aren’t--?”

Ginny sighed. “Evidently, I’m not his type.”

Neville drew her close. “You’re my type,” he murmured.

“Good.” Ginny settled in his arms. “I was hoping you’d feel that way.”

~

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