Chapter 1 : It's All In Her Smile
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The sun shined bright over the school grounds. The light reflected off the clean, freshly fallen snow leaving the day extremely bright. The day seemed slow and lazy. The classes inside the castle had recently come to an end and the students were taking advantage of their schedules being cleared to sleep before they would have to pack up to head home.
One figure walked out onto the grounds. A book hid the boy’s face from the world, the cover projecting in gold letters Plants of Bulgaria. He walked along slowly, not paying attention to where he was going or what was around him. This was nothing unusual. The other students were used to this boy’s absentmindedness. He was known as the unluckiest boy in the school. If something unfortunate happened he was usually caught up in it somehow. He had a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time entirely too many times. Many found his appearance unlucky as well. He was a plain boy with dark, short hair with nothing particularly special about it. He had eaten a few too many sweets, but it wasn’t as noticeable as he thought. He was of average height and a person would think that his face hadn’t changed much since he was a baby. But whatever the circumstance, this sixteen-year-old boy was more widely known as Neville Longbottom.
Neville’s mind was solely focused on a passage in his book and didn’t see the two girls coming his way. The girls were gazing at the clouds, forming different shapes in their mind, and also were not paying too much attention to their path.
Neville collided into the shorter girl and they both fell onto their rear ends. Neville immediately reached for his book before the snow could dampen it, but hesitated when he heard the other girl speak—
“Are you all right, Amelia?” asked the taller girl, holding her hand out to her friend.
“Yes, I’m all right.” She accepted her friend’s hand and then turned to Neville.
Before anything could be spoken or done, Neville gathered up his book and, mumbling an apology, ran for the lake, his face florid.
He dashed behind the nearest tree and leaned against the trunk, trying to catch his breath.
Neville’s reaction to running into Amelia was usual as well. Everyone, except Amelia herself, knew that Neville had fancied her since their fourth year.
Amelia Murdock was a Hufflepuff student who was well known because of her black, white, and yellow argyle headband. Her hair was a light brown, cut at an angle to her shoulders. Her eyes were round and a soft green, making anyone who looked into them calm. She was not very tall; she only reached to 5’4”.
Neville swallowed and slid to the ground. Last year near the end of the term Neville had ran into Amelia under a very similar setting. He hadn’t been paying attention, his thoughts in the clouds and his eyes on his shoes as he traveled across the grounds. He was carrying a small box with a tag hanging off of it, the words “TO: Amelia Murdock FROM:” written on it. Neville had bought a gift for her at Hogsmeade that past weekend and was trying to figure out a way to give it to Amelia and tell her about his crush. He had purposely left the “FROM” blank.
His plans didn’t go exactly right. Amelia did receive the gift, but Neville wasn’t able to confess. The nervous boy had run into her on the grounds, knocking them both down. In his panic to get away, he left the box lying in the grass. Amelia called after him (“You left your box!”) but didn’t pursue him.
After that he couldn’t face her. He avoided any chance of running into her and if he did meet her in a hall or some place, he’d speed up his step and try to hide his face. But he had noticed one thing.
The sterling silver, heart pendant necklace that had resided in that box now rested beautifully around her neck. Neville felt happiness at that sight, but remorse. He hadn’t been able to confess and now he didn’t think he ever would.
Neville used the tree as a prop and brought himself to his feet. He fixed his scarf around his neck and peered around the trunk. Both Amelia and her friend were no where to be seen. So, Neville set out for the castle entrance.
The only sound that accompanied him was the crunch of snow beneath his feet. But when he reached about halfway to the castle he began to hear the sound longer… He stopped and listened.
Crruunncchh…The sound seemed to fade away quickly. Neville turned around to see a flushing Amelia, looking sheepish at being caught. In panic, he turned to run but his hand was quickly captured and he was halted.
His face seemed to burn in the chilly air and he turned around slowly to look at Amelia. He was trembling from his nerves, but it could be taken as being cold.
“Neville?” Amelia cocked her head slightly to one side, the necklace gleaming in the sunlight.
“Y-Yes?” Neville stuttered.
She smiled and Neville’s stomach did a back flip. “I’ve been wanting to ask you something….” she trailed off.
“R-Really?” stumbled Neville. “W-What is t-that?”
Amelia pressed her lips together as if she had just put on lipstick and glanced away, quickly reconsidering the action she was about to do. After a few moments of silence she looked up into his eyes. His blush returned, darker than before. “This necklace,” she touched her fingers to the cold heart (causing Neville to realize that she had yet to let go of his hand), “Did you intend to give me this necklace?”
Neville’s mind raced. Now would be an opportune time to tell her what he had intended last term, but he couldn’t seem to form a proper sentence and his mouth suddenly felt very dry.
Amelia’s boldness turned into nerves and she drew away, releasing his hand. Losing the warm, comforting touch of her hand triggered something vaguely frantic inside his brain.
“A-Amelia!” he called after her. She stopped and turned around, obviously trying to not look hopeful but her visage betrayed her.
Neville approached her and swallowed hard. “I-I gave you that n-necklace….” he said in a hurry.
Amelia smiled. “I knew it was you.”
Neville felt a little more confident at her smile but his brain still was in panic. “I-I… I—um—I—”
He was cut off by Amelia holding up her hand. “I know,” she said and her smile seemed to grow warmer. She reached out and took his hands. “Let’s go get lunch, okay?”
Neville nodded, smiling sheepishly. His heart soared. Such an unexpected thing had happened on this winter day, but no words were needed. Her beautiful smile said it all.