Chapter 1 : Once Upon A Frog
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The dance music played on, and Neville stood in the corner. This year Ginny was with Harry, but that was okay. They were his friends and they were in love. He watched as the couples danced around him; Harry with Ginny, Hermione with Ron, Malfoy with Parkinson and many others with their seemingly uninterested dates.
He held Trevor by his webbed foot and made a lazy turn, imagining it was his true love and smiled as Trevor croaked with the music. She had long, blonde hair Trevor seemed to say. A blue dress was what she wore, Neville was told. But Neville was certain he would be fine with what ever love came his way.
He felt a small touch on his shoulder and turned with a start.
“You know, frogs are great dancers. My father says that they keep perfect rhythm.” Luna Lovegood said, a dazzling smile on her face.
“Eh, hi Luna.” Neville greeted her, a small blush staining his cheeks. Had he just been caught dancing with a toad? Even if he had, Luna didn't seem to mind. He took in her pretty blue dress and saw how it complimented her eyes.
"You're all alone," Luna pointed out from her place beside Neville, "My father says to be careful when you stand alone, the nimfants can get you,"
"Hasn't your Gran told you about them? They're nasty things, although they are quite beautiful. That's how they reel you in," Luna's big eyes turned towards him, wider than ever, "You see their beauty and then they kill you,"
Neville swayed a bit, looking back towards the dance floor, "Just like that?"
"Just like that,"
Neville swallowed hard, suddenly aware of the tight tie around his neck. He reached up and loosened it a bit, wondering what a nimfant looked like. It was rare that Luna rattled him, but he was nervous enough tonight to believe anything, "Maybe I shouldn't stand alone then," he said off handedly.
"Come on," Luna disappeared from his side. Spinning around, Neville caught sight of her heading to one of the many empty tables. He could feel the nimfants swooping in so he followed her.
The dancing continued before them, neither speaking a word. Neville stoked Trevor's back while Luna twirled a hair about her finger, "I'm not as mad as everyone things I am, you know," she whispered, staring intently at the dancers. Neville's attention shifted to her, fingers still on Trevor's back.
"The lot of them think I'm mad, I know. But just because they can't see everything doesn't mean I can't," Luna looked towards Neville, dropping the strand of hair, "You don't think I'm mad, do you?"
Neville bit his lower lip, looking back out towards the crowd. Did he? He should, he knew that much. But was sure truly as insane as everyone saw her. He smiled softly, turning his body back towards her, "Not at all."
“Would you like to dance?” Luna asked nearly minutes later. She waited.
“Sure,” Neville tucked Trevor in his pocket and took her hand to lead her on the dance floor.
“Trevor would like to be on your shoulder, you both can be my partners.” Luna giggled and grinned as Neville did as she asked. With Trevor perched on his black clad shoulder, he took Luna in his arms and gracefully led her in the dance. He had seemed to improve since the horrid Yule ball two years before. The music slowed, and he pulled her closer, and Trevor's webbed foot touched her shoulder.
“See? He likes to dance.” Luna said, placing her head on his shoulder as they moved with the music.
“Ribbit,” Trevor croaked out happily, and it looked as if his head moved in time with the beat.
The dance finally ended, and Luna looked up into Neville's eyes. They stood there for a moment, their surroundings unnoticed. A small cough from the beside them broke their trance and they saw everyone looking at them.
“Would you like to go get some punch?” Neville asked her.
“Sure,” Luna replied tucking her arm with his, Trevor looking on, "You know toads are extremely clever,"
"Of course. Except for Fudge,"
Luna took a sip of the punch as Neville frowned at her, "What?" he questioned.
"Didn't you know?" She asked, a wide smile on her face, "That's why Scrimgeour became the minister. Couldn't have a toad running the Wizardry world,"
Neville watched the dancers, nodding his head, "That explains a lot, doesn't it?"
The rest of the night was spent watching people twirl and spin around the Great Hall. But Luna, Neville and Trevor stood to the side, talking. A ribbit or two came from the toad, each seeming to spark something new and impressive thing Luna knew about Fudge's treachery.
"Oh! His entire staff were toads too. That's why we never knew about it. But my father says..."