A mass of blonde rushed forward and hugged Hannah tightly. The tallest dropped their wand to their side, but the third; battered, bruised and noticeably edgy because on it kept their wand raised.
“Oh thank goodness” said Hannah hugger; their voice muffled “we thought you were a death eater!” Lavender Brown’s words jogged Hannah’s memory suddenly.
“Amycus, he was right behind me…”
Seamus Finnegan jolted suddenly, as if his nerves had kick started an engine.
Sparks flew from Seamus’s wand and nearly hit Hannah in the face. She flinched.
Lavender grabbed Seamus’s arm like a mother would do with a misbehaving child. She looked down on him in disgust.
“Seamus, it’s only Hannah.”
Neville’s voice was soft and calm; he had the situation under control. It surprised Hannah that he remembered her name.
“Yeah. Right. Sorry.”
Seamus lowered his arm slowly, staring at his wand in disbelief with empty eyes.
“So have you all been hiding out here?” Hannah asked, cutting through the tension.
“Yeah, we were on the run from the Carrows and needed a place to hide. It was Neville’s idea: apparently it only appears to those who need it.” Seamus explained, the recent incident forgotten: he was almost a different person.
Neville blushed “Don’t exaggerate Lavender”
“You’re too modest mate.” Interjected Seamus, as he clapped Neville on the back.
Hannah agreed. Neville never wanted to admit how brilliant he was on certain occasions: a trait which other Gryffindors seemed to sometimes lack.
Her eyes found Neville’s and he bowed his head shyly. Hannah then scanned the room. Behind Neville, in the corner, were three hammocks and above them, a huge Gryffindor banner emblazoned with a lion. Covering the wooden floor were multicoloured cushions and scattered everywhere were books and odd belongings
Although Hannah had been in the room of requirement before with the D.A., she barely recognized it. The room was small and cozy, a contrast to the large open space in which D.A. lessons were held. Next to the hammocks was a large wooden panel in the middle of the wall, covered by a painting of a sunlit field.
“Looks a lot different from what it used to doesn’t it?” Neville commented, reading Hannah’s mind. “It gets bigger when more people arrive. Your hammock should be…” Neville looked expectantly around the room and sure enough there was a fourth hammock that had appeared out of nowhere. Above it was a grand yellow and black Hufflepuff hanging that sported a furry badger. “There. If you’re staying.”
Hannah hesitated. Should she stay? She needed to, considering her fallout with the Carrows, going back outside would mean instant punishment.
“Well, if it’s all right with everyone…”
“Of course you can stay Hannah!” Lavender smiled, glancing at Neville for a sign of approval (obviously he was the leader of the group).
Neville and Seamus both retreated to their bunks, as did Lavender, signaling for Hannah to follow. She sat down. Next to her hammock was a small wooden chest of drawers with rusty handles. Each hammock had an identical set next to it. The other three in the room were bulging with clothes and knickknacks (Seamus even had a broomstick wedged inside his) but Hannah’s was empty. Not wanting to risk retrieving her belongings, Hannah sighed and placed her wand down on to top of the wood.
“Oh, Hannah?” Lavender began…
Hannah screamed, lost her balance and landed on the floor with a thud. All three drawers had shot out of their sockets at great speed full of clothing, various paraphernalia flying around the room. The others span around suddenly, shocked, but when they saw what had happened they calmed down. Seamus gathered up the scattered objects and Lavender helped Hannah to her feet, expressions of sympathy on their faces. Neville, however, was still on his hammock (just), beside himself with laughter. His bright eyes danced.
“That has to be… the best…reaction so far!”
Seamus and Lavender scowled at him, the same thing must have happened to them too. Hannah couldn’t help but giggle, there was something in Neville’s laughter that made her want to smile and soon she was laughing along with him.
Seamus and lavender rolled their eyes and went back to their bunks. Neville caught Hannah’s eye and grinned, making her blush. She turned away bashfully, pretending to be occupied by the newfound contents of her drawers.
Inside them was an assortment of muggle clothes, toiletries and parchment and quills. Hannah set about arranging them, letting her mind wander.
Strangely, she found herself thinking about Neville. Hannah had always found Neville a lot more approachable than most of the Gryffindors, not that she didn't like the Gryffindors of course, after all, Lavender was a good friend and so was Seamus. Hannah had never gotten close to Harry, Ron and Hermione, but Hannah suspected this was due to her wearing a “Harry Potter stinks” badge in her fourth year. Hannah regretted that deeply now, someone who devotes their life to destroying the Dark Lord can’t possibly “stink” can they?
Hannah had only begun to notice Neville properly in her fifth year at D.A. meetings. He was shy and clumsy but you couldn’t help liking him. In her sixth year, Hannah had got to know the person underneath the goofy teeth and blundering exterior, and now (with the absence of the protruding incisors and slightly less accident prone) he was surprisingly attractive.
Looking over to Neville’s bunk, Hannah watched as he summoned a book from the other side of the room, attempted to float it into his lap but hit an unsuspecting Seamus in the back of the head as he did so. Hannah smiled to herself, that was so typically Neville, as was his reading material, Herboligy Across the Ages.
The air of content on Neville’s face reassured Hannah, and for the first time in a long time she felt truly happy.