hp: luna lovegood

HP Ficlet: Different (Neville/Luna)

Title: Different
Rating: G
Pairing: Neville/Luna
Summary: Years after the war, Neville sees Luna again at Hogwarts and can't help but be drawn to her.
Notes: For arsenicjade, with some help from a picture at the commentfic meme I hosted.



When Neville Longbottom – Professor Neville Longbottom actually, thank you -- saw Luna Lovegood ten years after the war, she was breathtakingly different and reassuringly the same. She was also asleep in the faculty lounge, which gave him plenty of time to study her. Not in a creepy way, mind, but in the sincere way that an honest man might appreciate a beautiful woman.

The fashion of wizarding Britain, such as he was aware of it, called for long and elaborate plaits, but she had cropped her hair as short as a boy's, which paradoxically emphasized the girlish delicacy of her features. He wondered when she'd gotten those high cheekbones and adorably upturned nose, but then, maybe she'd always had them and he'd been too busy staring at her hot pink glasses and butterbeer necklaces instead. By which he meant that he'd been too busy trying to fit in to notice the beautiful woman who wasn't afraid to stand out. And stand out she did. She had arrived at Hogwarts this morning wearing an orange Muggle singlet totally out of keeping with Scotland's damp and drafty climate. People had stared; it was hardly the outfit one would have expected of a guest lecturer at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but she had simply smiled and waved at them all. It wasn't the old dreamy smile Neville had remembered but a confident one that betrayed a small sharp edge of annoyance at the small-mindedness of the people around her. Neville fingered the rim of his gold pocket watch, which dangled from his very proper navy vest, and felt just the slightest trace of envy. Yes, he was Neville Longbottom, who had slain Nagini and lead the battered remnants of Dumbledore's Army against a regime that would have happily tortured them all to death. Yet, he did not know and could not imagine being different in all the ways that Luna was. He wore his Order of Merlin medallion to fit in, not to stand out.

When his fellow professors had vanished from the lounge, Neville rose from his chair by the fire and transfigured the couch cushions beneath Luna's head into soft feather pillows with a delicacy that Professor McGonagall – god rest of her soul – would have admired. By now, he could see the goose pimples rising on Luna's bare arms, so he slipped off his jacket and transformed it into a bed sheet. From the pocket of his trousers, he withdrew a strand of tiny green leaves and draped it over the pages of the book that Luna had fallen asleep reading. With a soft pitter-pat, the leaves scattered themselves across the lines of arcane text and then, with a gentle sigh, settled themselves into the crevice of the spine. Maybe she would know who had left them there, maybe she wouldn't. He did know one thing for sure: they were beautiful, and she deserved them.
All my hearts for this. <3

Yet, he did not know and could not imagine being different in all the ways that Luna was. He wore his Order of Merlin medallion to fit in, not to stand out.

This is such a good line. Oof.
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked that line because I'm still pretty unsure of my Neville characterization. I do see him as someone who really wants to fit in and be accepted, but I was worried that seemed out of step with what we saw in the film.
There is something about Neville wearing his oh-so-proper vest that just KILLS me. This is incredible, yay!! Thank you SO MUCH.