Chapter 7 : Harry
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Why is it always me? Why not Seamus or Michael? Why am I always the one to embarrass myself?
Neville closed his eyes and rubbed his race with his hands. He thought to himself for a moment then laughed. Why did this even matter? What would a girl like Hannah - a strong, smart and downright stunning girl like Hannah- see in him? Nothing.
Neville cast away any thoughts (and hopes) he may have had on that subject and cleared his mind. He looked down at his feet as they moved on the cobbled stone beneath him, taking him to the Hogshead. But why?
His immediate thought was Harry. Neville always said it was only a matter of time before the chosen one came to help Hogwarts. He had even prepared his galleon for sending a message to Ginny, Luna and the Order if Harry turned up; like he had promised. He reached into his pocket now and felt the warm metal, turning it in his fingers. The charm had taken him a while (Seamus’s cynical comments hadn’t helped) but he had finally managed to change the serial numbers on the coin to “he’s here”. All that was left to do was send the message when the time came.
Neville reached the door. The low voice of Aberforth the barman filled his ears. Then, just as he went to open the latch, he heard a second voice reply. A familiar one…
He pulled out his wand and let the galleon rest flat on his palm. He murmured an incantation and watched the galleon glow like molten gold, the sudden warmth making his hand flush red. Smiling to himself, he put the galleon away, thinking of Ginny and Luna’s reaction to his message, and pushed open the door.
Hannah wasn’t the sort to pace. Waiting was something she liked to do sitting quietly whilst thinking of what was to come.
Seamus, on the other hand, was the opposite. His frantic footsteps and constant changes of direction were enough to make anyone nervous and that was before you heard his voice of negativity.
“It’ll be bad news” he said “a parent’s death or Harry's capture…or worse.”
Most of the D.A -along with Hannah- were sitting down in silence, their faces drooping a little more after each of Seamus’s tragic scenarios.
“It’ll be the death eaters. Aberforth has given us away and-“
Hannah spoke suddenly, she could hear something. But no-one had listened.
She spoke again, a little louder, a few heads went up but Seamus drowned her out.
“And Neville will have walked into a trap, the death eaters will be waiting-“
“SEAMUS BE QUIET AND LISTEN!”
Hannah’s voice echoed through the sudden silence. Seamus stopped in his tracks and clamped his mouth shut. This was different from the normal Hannah Abbott. He was surprised, but impressed.
Hannah looked around, gathering herself together; she hadn’t expected quite the reaction she got; the whole room waiting with baited breath.
“Neville is going to be fine, I can hear him coming. Listen.”
Sure enough, there was the sound of footsteps. A wave of relief rippled through the room. Seconds later, a miniature Neville slowly came into view in the painting.
“He’s back!” exclaimed Lavender “l was beginning to-“
“Shhhh- listen!” Ernie had noticed something.
Neville’s footsteps were uneven, offbeat and fast. They couldn’t all be his. Neville was not alone.
“Who’s with him?”
“look- on the painting!” Romilda was pointing at three dark figures who were rushing to keep up with Neville.
“Death eaters” cried Seamus “they’re death eaters!” but for the first time, Seamus was ignored. Neville had gotten closer and he was grinning from ear to ear.
Hannah smiled, a warm feeling spreading from head to toe. But Neville’s joy was the least of everyone else’s worries. Happy that the other three figures couldn’t possibly be Death Eaters, the rest of the D.A were intrigued as to who else the figures could be.
The crowd around the painting was stirring. People were mumbling to themselves and each other, squinting, trying to determine who the three figures were. Colin had even sidestepped to the left to look at the painting side on, as if it would somehow enable him to see around Neville, who, to the room’s annoyance, was obstructing the view.
“The one on the left- the tall one- it’s not Ron is it?” Hannah heard Lavender ask, with a sense of longing in her voice.
“No- it can’t be-“Seamus broke off. The door had peen flung open by Neville and he climbed through it.
“Look who it is! Didn't I tell you?”
Lavender had been correct. The next person to climb down was Ronald Weasley; tall, ginger and more freckled than Hannah ever remembered. His eyes were as wide as dinner plates.
Lavender straightened up and beamed at him, fluttering her eyelashes. But as soon as she had lit up, her joy was snuffed out. Ron had held out a hand for Hermione Granger so she could jump down. Hannah noticed (and much to Lavender’s disappointment) that Ron and Hermione’s hands stayed held for longer than they needed to. Lavender let out a small “huff”.
But the name on everyone’s lips was that of the person who followed Hermione. Hannah looked into the face of the boy she had accused of being the heir of Slytherin, the boy she had despised for overshadowing Cedric and the boy, who despite all of this, had taught her all she knew about defense.
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