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Chapter 1: Sunshine Day
A/N: Another one-shot :) Thanks to EnigmaticEyes16 for being an amazing beta!!
This beauty below was made by niika at tda! Isn't it amazing? Anyway, this story was written for GinevraMollyPotter 'pairing challenge' and the pairing was Neville and Luna. If you have read my one-shots before then you know that it is almost impossible for me to write a happy one-shot.
So without furthur ado, here is a story of unrequited love and bowtruckles...?
Her name was Luna. Luna Lovegood. And she was perfect. Truly perfect. The way her eyes widened when you showed her something new; the way she curled her hands up into small fists when she was angry, that dazed look in her eyes when she was staring at someone she loved. Luna was everything I wanted, except she wasn’t mine.
It had been six months since the downfall of Voldemort; six months since I had seen everyone and, surprisingly, no one had changed. Their exterior told people passing that they were coping but their eyes burned with sadness and betrayal.
“Neville, how are you?” Harry exclaimed when he saw me enter The Hogs Head. Standing to his feet, Harry walked over to me and put a hand on my shoulder, “How have you been?”
Shrugging my shoulder, I replied melancholy, “I’ve been okay. How’s everyone been?” Looking around, I saw Ron and Hermione standing in a corner talking in hushed voices, and George was sitting in a chair surrounded with empty firewhisky bottles. The bell chimed. Turning my head slowly I saw Luna enter The Hogs Head, her long hair pulled out of her eyes.
“Everyone’s...coping,” Harry said as he tried to put two words together. Nodding, I excused myself from Harry’s company and walked over to Luna.
“Hello Neville,” she said dreamily, her eyes clouded with grief.
“Hey Luna,” I opened my mouth to say more but Kingsley Shackelbot—the new Minster of Magic—called for our attention.
During the ceremony, I kept stealing glances at Luna. She was beautiful, and not beautiful like Hermione or Ginny, I mean, uniquely beautiful. She didn’t give a damn what anyone thought about her. She was fully her own. It was then that I knew I was in love.
Time progressed quickly for Luna and I and before we knew it, both of us had started working and we barely had enough time to catch up. I loved her, but I had just never found the right time to tell her.
How have you been? The countryside is astounding; the amount of wrackspurts that attempt to get into my head are endless.
Daddy is sick, so I am coming back for several weeks and I was wondering whether you wanted to catch up. I have something to tell you. You’re not going to believe it!
I was so entranced by the letter she had sent me that I hadn’t even noticed the bubotuber attacking my hand until it began to bleed pus.
Luna was coming home. Luna was coming home. Nothing else entered my mind in the weeks leading up to Luna’s arrival. I knew she wasn’t here to see me specifically; she was here to see her dad, but, she had still asked to see me.
This was the right time, I could sense it. The next time I saw Luna, I was going to swallow my pride and tell her that I love her.
Luna stepped gracefully off the train; a plain brown bag in hand. Her long, unruly blonde hair was pulled back into two ponytails and she wore large, scruffy overalls. A smile spread across my face as I scampered over to meet her. She looked so out of place, so...Luna.
“Hey.” I said, prying the bag out of her hands. “Here I’ll take your bags,”
“That would be great,” she said simply, “does your apartment have any Nargles? I can get rid of them.” Stifling a laugh, I replied that I had none.
Xenophilius passed away in his hospital bed the next day. It seemed as though he had held on just long enough for Luna to say goodbye.
“Daddy’s with mummy now,” Luna had said; sounding like a little girl. Holding her close, I allowed Luna to cry on my shoulder; and she did. Seeing Luna cry was terrible but I knew how it was to lose family—especially parents—so I allowed her to cry. Nothing that I could say would make her feel better.
Luna left within the week. She knew that she couldn’t stay for long; her work needed her. I almost told her that I loved her at the train station, but alas, I said a simple goodbye and told her to “keep safe.”
Luna was slipping away, but I didn’t realize until it was too late. She didn’t send nearly as many letters as she used to; I got, maybe, one every two months if I was lucky. I kept telling myself that she was busy with work but I knew, deep down, that something else was going on.
“You need to tell her,” Harry said after I explained my predicament to him. I carefully sprayed the mandrake before responding.
“But each time I try to tell her I stumble on my words and forget what I am going to say,” I replied, my hands steadying the screaming plant.
“Choose the right time and the words will come to you,” Harry advised, placing a hand on my shoulder, “that’s what I did with Ginny.” Then, muttering something about Ginny’s pregnancy, Harry disapparated, leaving me along with a screaming plant.
I was sure that everyone else in the train station could hear my heart beat.
What the hell am I doing here?
She had no idea that I was coming; I wanted it to be a surprise. Quickly, I walked into a dark alley and, spinning around on the spot, I left the dirty streets of Brighton. When I opened my eyes, I found myself standing in a dark forest. Luna was here, I could just tell.
“Luna?” I called out hesitantly. Straining my eyes, I saw a faint flickering light. I walked towards the light. My hands were shaking violently and my breathing was shallow, but I pressed on. I was a Gryffindor, the Sorting Hat would have put me in Hufflepuff if I wasn’t brave enough.
As I approached the light, I saw two silhouettes. Two? That’s a bit odd. Straining my senses, I heard laughter. Quickening my pace, I rushed off over to the source of the sound and then I saw the most heart-wrenching scene. Sitting on a picnic blanket, I saw Luna and a mysterious man with thick brown hair. She was smiling and running her fingers through her hair. With a jolt in my stomach, I realized who she was with. I had seen his name in the paper a few times: Rolf Scamander. I tried to tell myself that they were just workmates; that they were just talking. I closed my eyes and tried to tell myself that I was dreaming. They were still there when I opened my eyes.
Luna and Rolf were sitting on a picnic blanket by a moonlit lake. The man held a small neon firefly, which Luna was staring at with undivided curiosity. Her silver eyes shone with excitement when the man sent it flying into the air. The man pulled Luna against his body and gently kissed her; his hands caressing her hair and back. When they broke apart, the man muttered something incoherent into Luna’s ear. She smiled and nodded as though she was lost for words. She gave him her hand. Smiling, he pulled out a beautiful ring and slid it onto her ring finger. The couple smiled again and kissed.
I wasn’t sure whether to feel angry or sad. I, Neville Longbottom, had just seen Luna Lovegood become engaged to a man. And that man was not me. I disapparated before the engaged couple could see me.
His name was Rolf Scamander. Her name was Luna Lovegood. My name was Neville Longbottom.
Everyone knew about the Lovegood and Scamander love, but no one knew about mine. I kept mine hidden. It killed me at their wedding; it killed me to see Luna dressed in white when I knew that she wasn’t dressed in white for me. It killed me knowing that Luna was in love, and that she wasn’t in love with me. I had held onto our friendship too long. I had treaded too carefully around her, and now I was paying the ultimate price. From the moment Luna said, “I do,” I knew that I had no chance. All the pain and anguish was washed away when I saw Luna smile when the pastor declared them, “Husband and Wife.”
Sure, Luna wasn’t mine. Sure, she wasn’t Mrs. Neville Longbottom. But she was happy. And so she was until the day she died with Rolf happily by her side.