Chapter 20 : Harmony
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Although there was sadness (every person had lost the life of a friend or loved one), there was also a glow of warmth. Smiles were slowly creeping their way onto solemn faces, and Neville was sure he heard the first bout of laughter from a corner of the room.
An overwhelming sense of hope and renewal filled the hall. Wounds were being tended to, the grieving comforted and the brave congratulated.
After Harry had successfully destroyed the Dark Lord once and for all, anyone who had noticeably played a part in Voldemort’s demise had been swamped by admirers. Neville was surprised to be considered one such person.
People wanted to talk to him, thank him, and bombard him with questions he didn’t know the answers to.
“How did you break free of Voldemort’s spell so easily?”
Neville honestly had no idea: he just did it. He couldn’t listen to Voldemort’s lies any longer and had to stop them. He thought everyone else felt the same way; he was just the first to break free.
“Where did you get the confidence to stand up to Voldemort like that?”
Neville thought “confidence” was the wrong word. “Stupidity”? Maybe. He had not considered the consequences and look what happened, he had shouted a few things then got set on fire.
“What gave you the strength to kill Nagini?”
After rethinking what happened, Neville decided that killing Nagini was a complete fluke. If the sword hadn’t materialised out of the hat and if it wasn’t for Hannah and Harry creating distraction, then the snake would still be alive. Neville wasn’t even sure if killing the snake was on his mind at that point. All that mattered then was Hannah’s safety; Nagini just got in the way.
Hannah. Neville still hadn’t thanked her properly. She had saved his life three times in one night, as well as saving the lives of many others. Neville owed everything to Hannah.
She was easy to find, her location was like a sixth sense for Neville now. As expected, she was tending to someone’s wounds. He made his way over to her, weaving through the beds, benches, and the people that filled them.
“Neville!” someone called from behind him. The voice was melodic and dreamlike, Neville only knew one person with a voice like that.
He turned and was met with the full force of Luna Lovegood. He hugged his friend tightly, glad she was all right and that she had had made it through the battle. But had he ever really doubted that she would? If he was completely honest, he had never worried about her. Luna was the sort of person who could survive anything if she decided to, besides, she probably had a whole army of blibbering wrackspurts (or whatever they were) at her disposal.
“Luna! How are you?”
“Brilliant thanks, Neville. I only got a few Heliopath burns, but Hannah fixed them in no time. What about you?” She asked, but Neville was no longer listening.
At the mention of Hannah’s name, Neville had turned his attention to her again. He saw that she had moved closer, and was now healing Sophie Roper’s broken leg.
Neville couldn’t help but admire Hannah’s strength, kindness and beauty. Even though her golden hair was matted and burnt at the ends, Hannah still wanted to run his hands through it, and her eyes still glowed breathtakingly when she smiled. At that moment, there was nothing Neville wanted more.
But underneath Hannah’s brave exterior, was a someone badly shaken and scarred, emotionally as well as physically. Hannah’s view of the war had been more shocking than any other because she had experienced everyone else’s wounds as well as her own. Neville could see that the horror was beginning to take its toll.
“Neville? Are you there?” someone whispered in his ear.
Luna; he had forgotten all about her.
Luna found Neville’s affection for Hannah incredibly obvious; he hadn’t taken his eyes off her for a second. Luna wondered why he hadn’t told Hannah how he felt already, Luna would have done if she felt that way about someone. Luna smiled to herself, he was probably nervous, so she breathed a few words that she hoped would spur him on.
“Your head is full of Nargles, you know, Neville.”
Neville looked at Luna quizzically. What did she mean by that? Should he be worried? After all, he never had fully grasped the concept of what Nargles actually were.
Luna simply moved her eyes in the direction of Hannah and walked away, leaving Neville to figure it out.
It took a minute for Neville to realise what Luna had meant. When he did, he decided to follow her instruction.
Hannah stood by a tray of bottles, trying to distract herself from her thoughts by sorting and distributing them, but from what Neville could see, this wasn’t working. Examining the contents of the tray, he found that no sorting had been done, just absent-minded rearranging.
So when Hannah was busy tending to Sophie again, Neville took the chance to be helpful. The bottles clinked softly as he shuffled them around into various clusters; Antiseptics, Antidotes, Anaesthetics, and Curse removal.
“Wiggenweld potion is a wake promoter, not an antiseptic,” said a soft voice from above him.
Neville moved the small green bottle into its own section then looked up at Hannah.
“I was never very good at potions,” he said with a smile. Neville could see that Hannah was struggling to return it. He made a mental note: next port of call, cheer Hannah up.
He turned to face her and put on the most professional sounding voice he could muster.
“So what can I get for you madam?” he asked, as if Hannah were a customer.
Her eyes lit up a little, and the corners of her mouth twitched slightly.
“Dittany. For your head.”
Gingerly, Neville felt around his skull and to his dismay, the right side, just above his ear, was warm and sticky with blood. When he touched the wound, a sharp, stinging pain shot through his head, then disappeared as soon as it came.
“You know, I hadn’t even noticed.” He said, sitting back on the bench. He tried to remember how he acquired the injury, but his brain had no recollection of the incident. Neville concluded that he probably got it whilst fumbling around in the smoke cloud, when he had been too preoccupied with trying to breathe to notice something as trivial as a head wound.
Hannah sat down on the bench next to him, her knees brushing his. She tried not to let any inappropriate thoughts about wanting to be so much closer to him clog her mind, but it was proving difficult. She let Neville pass her the Dittany and as he did so their fingers touched, only for a millisecond, but it was enough to make Hannah forget where she was for a moment.
What’s happening to me? She thought. Only a few hours ago she had hugged him, rested her head on his shoulder, and thrown herself at him, no problem. Why was she only experiencing this nervousness now?
Cautiously, she gently dabbed Neville’s wound with the cloth, trying her best to avoid looking into his eyes, because she knew that doing so was almost suicidal.
Neville sighed as he felt the cool liquid against his reddened skin, drawing out the sting of the wound.
Hannah reapplied some dittany to the cloth, but when she raised her arm to hold it back to Neville’s head, an agonising pain like the cut of a knife spread across it. The quick spell she had cast a few minutes ago to ease her pain had worn off.
She did not let out any sound and tried to hide any pain shown in her face, but Neville saw through her.
“Hannah, are you ok? You‘re not hurt are you? Because if you are you really should heal-”
“I’m fine Neville. Really.” She assured him, but Neville wasn’t convinced. She was in pain and he was not going to let her ignore it. She was flinching now, every time she moved her arm.
“I’m not stupid Hannah.” Neville whispered and he grabbed her wrist before she could protest, pushing up the sleeve of her jumper.
Deep in the soft creamy flesh of her lower arm were two gashes glistening with blood.
“Merlin, Hannah! Why haven’t you healed these?” Neville asked, tracing the outline of them softly with his thumb.
“Because everyone else needed healing too, and they come first.” Hannah said “But it’s ok, they don’t hurt, not much.” She tried to pull her arm away, but Neville still held on.
“You’ve got to heal them, Hannah.”
“And I will, once I’ve finished healing your-”
“No, Hannah. Now.” Neville’s tone was forceful, but only because he couldn’t bear to see her in pain.
Hannah knew this, but she felt exactly the same way about him. She opened her mouth in protest, then saw the look in Neville’s eyes and had to think twice. Slowly and carefully, she took out her wand and moved it over the first cut.
She hesitated for a second: it had been a long time since she had healed a wound of her own. It dawned on Hannah that although she had treated hundreds of other people’s injuries, not once had she been asked to treat her own. Until now.
“Vulnera Sanentur.” She whispered, and three purple threads floated from the tip of her wand. The blood tricked back to the vein in which it came and the open flesh bound itself back together.
Neville nodded in approval.
“Hey, Neville!” Ron called.
Neville turned to talk to him and Hannah was given a full view of his wound.
It was worse than she thought. The whole right side of his head was covered in dark red. The skin had been partially shredded away and his hair was stuck together in shiny, congealed clumps.
All thought for her own wounds left Hannah’s mind and she grabbed the Dittany cloth and tried to tend to Neville’s wound without him noticing.
But, inevitably, he did.
“Hannah!” he said exasperatedly, pushing her hand away from his head and turning to face her. She felt something at his touch; warmth and care, and she let her hand fall to her side. Hannah’s eyes unwillingly became lost in his and her previous train of thought vanished. All she could think about was Neville.
Hannah remembered the last time she had been this absorbed by those deep pools of blue that she had often found herself craving.
It was the night they rescued half the D.A. from the dungeons. Hannah had healed the gash across Neville’s chest and then he had looked at her, properly, for the first time. She completely and utterly melted. They had leaned closer slowly, noses almost touching, neither of them fully aware of what was happening. They never got to see the outcome though, because Seamus had snored and the moment was broken.
Hannah hadn’t given any thought to what might of happened next until now, because she never dared to hope that there would be a second chance.
Would they have kissed? Or would she have froze and let Neville crash straight into her face?
Neville smiled at her, and Hannah fell in deeper.
“Honestly Hannah, I don’t think you’ve got a selfish bone in your body.” He said.
I must have, thought Hannah, because I’m thinking about what it would be like to kiss you rather than focusing on healing your wound.
Hannah felt something cool on her arm and the pain that was once there faded away.
Neville had taken the Dittany cloth from her hand, and was patting her second cut with it gently.
It was an odd feeling for Hannah, to have someone doing the healing for her. This whole time, it had been Hannah doing the caring, the cleaning, and the bandaging. Now Neville had taken over; and even though he had never healed anyone before, he was doing his best to look after her.
It occurred to Hannah that she still had not thanked Neville for everything her had done for her, and she added him healing her to the long list. Making her laugh during the long days hiding in the Room of requirement, coming to her aid when she was trying to save Lavender, comforting her over her cousins death, helping her escape from Bellatrix, and now being the only person to realise that the healer herself was hurt.
She didn’t know how to thank him enough. The words she came up with in her head could never possibly show enough gratitude.
Then, for once in her life, she gave in to selfish temptation. Hoping that he would understand all the meaning behind her actions, she leant forward and placed her lips on his.
To Hannah’s surprise, he didn’t pull back. Instead, he leaned in closer and ran his hand through her hair, something he had wanted to do since she had arrived in the Room of Requirement a few weeks ago. Neville felt a new lease of life flow through him, and could not remember the last time he had felt so good. It was as if nothing else in the world mattered, it was just him and Hannah.
“Yes! Get in there Neville!”
Hannah and Neville broke apart in time to see Hermione hit Ron on the shoulder with a book.
“Ouch! What was that for?” Ron whined, rubbing his arm.
“You’re so insensitive sometimes.” Hermione said and turned to Hannah and Neville, smiling at them apologetically. She opened her mouth to say something but Ron got there first.
“Sorry!” He said, with no attempt to be discreet about it. The word echoed around the hall and anyone who hadn’t already done so, turned to see what was going on.
Hannah felt her cheeks flush.
“Oh…um…” Ron faltered, realising what he had done “You two carry on.”
There was another THWACK.
Neville rolled his eyes and shook his head at Ron with a grin.
Hannah giggled a little, partly out of amusement and partly out of embarrassment. I need somewhere to hide, she thought to herself, wishing that everyone would stop looking at her. But before she could think of one, Neville distracted her by kissing her again.
Authors note: This is it. The end of my first fanfiction. I’m honestly close to tears right now. I just want to thank everyone that has taken the time to read this or review it, it means so much to me!!!! I’m planning on writing a sequel/follow on some time soon, but I also have a few ideas for other things so I’m not sure what will come first, but I’m going to keep writing either way. Thank you again and keep reviewing!~hufflepuffhallows