Chapter 1 : Love has no Limits
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‘’Now I know what it’s like to be Harry.’’ said Ginny sighing, looking towards their compartment door, where another first year stared in to their compartment.
‘’He’s misting the window up,’’ Luna stated, staring back dreamily, not embarrassed at all. 'I quite like the attention I think, this is a nice attention, not what I'm used to.''
‘’Just ignore them and they'll go away.’’ Neville said, without even looking up from the latest addition of the quibbler that he was pretending to read, as to not hurt Luna's feelings. She had pressed it in to his hands insisting he read it, at the beginning of the train journey, recommending a particular article on a rare magical plant found in Asia. Neville was almost certain that it didn't exist but was intrigued all the same.
He had his head resting against the window, flicking half heartedly flicking through the Quibbler, and glancing out of the frosty window as the train speed by snowy fields and dark, intimidating mountains.
The term had been hard on Neville, who had tried to protect the students from the horrific things happening at Hogwarts, even trying to get Dumbledore’s Army started again. His face was a mass of bruises and cuts, many of which were very recent, and significant. One in particular was very deep and ran from the top his right ear to the corner of his mouth. The Carrows had forbid anybody to clean it up, or stich it so it had healed nastily.
‘’Look Neville,’’ Ginny started heatedly, returning to their previous discussion on Barry who was a new recruit to the DA. ‘’ You couldn’t have helped him, he should have kept his mouth shut. Me and Luna have told him for weeks now that he's been pushing his luck, but he always lets his emotions get the better of him!’’
‘’I should have stepped up to the Carrows though!’’ Neville insisted, letting the Quibbler drop to his lap, and sighing sadly. 'I've let him down, it was my fault, I shouldn't have sent him on that last mission. I should have done it myself, and anyway he's practically a child, what was I thinking?'
‘’Neville, don’t be so hard on yourself,’’ said Luna, putting The Daily Prophet down and placing her hand on top of Neville's. ''He actually volunteered to do it anyway, and you couldn't of done it yourself, because you’ve used up all the chances that you’re going to get with the Carrows. They hate you, especially after you refused to do the cruciates curse on that second year. You wont get many more before they do something terrible to you, and I don’t know what we would do without you. I should of made Barry a good luck bracelet, I had all the ingredients, including the Pixie wings!’’
It was true thought Neville, he was being a bit hard on himself but he had a feeling he was going to have to start planning an escape if he went back to Hogwarts after Christmas. The Carrows were after his blood, and he knew he wouldn't last much longer is he kept his rebellion up at Hogwarts. Which is what he intended to do, it was his duty. Harry was off doing whatever he needed to do, and this was what he needed to do. Protecting Hogwarts, and Ginny. Neville was sure Harry would appreciate that.
‘’Alright, I know there was nothing I could have done really, but I still can’t help feeling I failed him. He trusted us. I mean what if I could have just hexed Amycus then maybe..’’
‘’You know fine well that Alecto would of killed you if you had done such a thing. I’ve been telling Barry for weeks now that he has to watch himself or he will go too far. And look what happened when he went too far. Don’t worry though Professor Sprout said he was at St. Mungos and will recover….eventually.’’ Ginny said, cutting sharply across Neville.
‘’Anyway on a lighter note…’’ she said smirking, raising her eyebrows suggestively. ‘’What’s going on between you two?’’
‘’HUH, what, nothing!’’ Neville spluttered nervously, finally turning to face Ginny, his scarred and battered face quickly turning a shade of deep red. ‘’I mean…...what do you mean?!’’
‘’Well Neville, I just thought that because your holding Luna’s hand that maybe you know..’’ Ginny replied mischievously, winking at him.
Neville dropped Luna’s hand quickly, then realising this might have been the wrong thing to do, went to grab it again, before changing his mind and letting his own hand hang in the air for a few seconds awkwardly swinging, before letting it drop to his side.
‘’Luna and I are just friends. Right Luna?’’ Neville muttered nervously, not looking her in the eye.
''Is that a statement or a question Neville?'' Ginny asked, failing to keep a smile from her voice.
Luna paused, she turned her head towards Neville at an angle before saying ‘’That’s for you to decide Neville isn’t it?’’
The look of confusion and embarrassment on Neville’s face, made the girls burst in to laughter. He quickly turned his head to look out the window again, avoiding eye contact with both girls, who were now doing some sort of complicated handshake.
‘’Come on Neville let’s play Exploding Snap for a while, ‘’ Ginny said still giggling, reaching in to her bag to get the cards. '' You'll love it, Luna's playing.''
Ginny and Luna erupted in to laughter again at this, and were soon having to hold each other up, for fear of falling of the seat.
The journey was passing surprisingly happily. For the first time in a long time the students of Hogwarts were able to laugh and joke freely, and everything seemed like it was normal. Neville, Luna and Ginny all bought some sweets of the lady who pushed the trolley round, and shared them between each other, enjoying the new freedom they felt. The fear they had felt all term at Hogwarts was slowly leaving them with each joke. Several of their friends from the DA dropped in on them, to see how they were doing, and were able to talk without fear of being overheard for the first time.
It was getting to the middle of the afternoon as they were heading further south that the train stopped suddenly.
‘‘What’s going on?’’ Neville asked, looking up from Luna's edition of the Quibbler.
‘’I'm not sure,’’ said Ginny said, sliding open the compartment door and sticking her head outside in to the corridor, which was full of people doing the same thing.
‘’Oh no!’’ she moaned, putting a hand to her mouth. ‘'NO, they're here.''
‘’What is it Ginny?’’ Luna demanded jumping to her feet, her dirigible plum-shaped earrings swinging wildly.
‘’Its death eaters!’’ she moaned letting the door slam shut. Backing up slightly, she reached in to her jean pockets for her wand. She raised her arm and pointed her wand at the closed door with a determined look in her eye.
The fear in her friend’s faces was immediate. Neville grabbed his wand from his pocket and moved in front of Luna. Something that Ginny didn’t miss. They heard a shout in the corridor from one of the death eaters.
‘’Where is she?" one of them roared. "That Looney girl, where is she?!’’
Neville's face went as white as chalk. He moved to the door and pulled it aside carefully, so that only one eye could see the death eaters when he put his head against the gap.
‘’They’ve grabbed that first year that was looking in on us earlier.’’ he whispered quickly trying to sneakily look out of the compartment. ‘’Oh no, he's cracked. Can't blame him really though, they've just stunned him. Crap, he’s pointing towards our compartment. Wands ready!’’
‘’Luna! ‘’ Neville said quickly, whipping around to look at her.
Her face didn't give to much away. She was shaking slightly, but there was determination in her eyes. He grabbed her hands with his own, and held on tightly this time. Knowing he didn't have much time, he mumbled nervously but urgently,
‘’There’s something I need to tell you.’’
‘’What is it Neville?’’ Luna asked softly, focusing on his face, surprised by the tone of his voice.
‘’Luna, well, from the ..you know..’’ Neville coughed, as he tried his best to get his words out. ‘’ I .. think .. I think.’’
‘’LOOK, we don’t have time for this’’ shouted Ginny, stepping in front of the two of them.
Neville spun around to face the door and stepped forward, with his wand raised at the door, at Ginny’s side.
‘’Luna, get down!’’ Neville ordered, somewhat hysterically.
Their compartment door was slammed open, causing the glass to rattle quite worryingly.
Two Death Eaters stood in the doorway. Their masks were on. Cloaks swaying slightly, wands pointed at the trio.
‘’We’ve come for the looney girl,’’ spat the one on the left. ‘’Stand aside and no one gets hurt..yet.’’
‘’You WILL NOT touch her’’ Neville screamed, stepping forward and leaving very little room between himself and the Death Eaters. ‘’OR someone WILL get hurt.’’
‘’Ah, Longbottom isn’t it?" one of the Death Eaters said, looking down on him unfazed. "The Carrows have told us a lot about you. I hear you're somewhat of a hero." he continued lazily putting a lot of emphasis on 'hero'.
Neville glared at him aggressively, not backing down, refusing to be pushed about this time.
"I would kill you right now, but I’m sure they would rather have that pleasure. NOW MOVE..aside...’’ the Death Eater ordered, closing the small gap between himself and Neville so that they were practically nose to nose.
His companion stayed where he was, wand pointed at Luna and Ginny, looking very calm about the whole situation.
Neville could feel the Death Eaters breath on his face, his eyes were staring defiantly at the death eater, refusing to be intimidated. He had been through to much this past term. With Barry getting tortured horribly, and being unable to do anything about it. He wasn't going to let some Voldermort following scum take either of the girls. He would protect Ginny because he loved her and cared for her like a sister, but also for Harry and Ron. He wouldn't be able to live with himself, if Harry found out Ginny had been killed and thought Neville hadn't fought for her.
He would stand up to the Death Eaters for Luna as well. He had grown close to her the last term, and whilst at first had still been rather intimidated by her, he had found that he could share his problems with her and she would comfort him. Not judging him in any way. He had even told Luna about his parents, he wasn't sure if she knew already, and she had been amazing. Opening up to him about her Mum and how she missed her, they had spent that evening by the lake content in each others company, comforting each other. She had been one of the only sources of happiness in his life recently and he come to realise that he actually really quite fancied her, something which the girls had obviously picked up on.
‘’NO. You wont touch Luna or Ginny. You are the worst sort of scum on the planet. Get off the train. NOW. Or you will regret it.’’ Neville warned taking a step back, so he was able to point his wand at the Death Eater's throat.
‘’I don’t have a problem with murdering all three of you, right now, right here, if you don’t move your fat-good-for-nothing-squid-ARSE Longbottom!’’ the Death Eater warned, barely containing his anger, also raising his wand higher.
Neville noticed with a smirk that the Death Eater getting angrier by the second.
"What the FUCK are you smirking at, I'm giving you a warning. On three move, or you're the first to die, and I assure you, her death wont be as quick." he whispered, pointing at Luna, without taking his eye of off Neville.
"One," he began counting.
‘’NEVILLE!" Luna cried, reaching out and touching Neville's arm gently, her voice cracking. "Just move, let them take me. At least you and Ginny will be safe.’’
Neville stood where he was, his heart practically splitting when he heard Luna succumbing to sobs behind him.
"Two...!" the Death Eater warned, lowering his wand now and aiming it at Neville's heart.
Neville glanced at Ginny for reassurance, advice, anything. He saw her focusing on the two Death Eaters, wand switching between each of them, not even looking at him.
"NEVILLE!" Luna screamed, clutching at his hand. Neville felt her hand on his, the sudden warmth, the frantic pull. She had made his mind up for him.
Neville moved one step to the left, lowering his wand, watching as the Death Eater, acknowledged his movement as a sign of surrender, and switched his attention to Luna who, was now on her knees, sobbing in to the same quibbler that Neville had been reading earlier.
"Now Lovegood," the Death Eater began theactrically, taking a couple of steps so that he was in front of her, the sarcasm back in his voice. "Your Father," he spat. "has become a bit of a pain to us. We are going to take you to punish him. I'm sure you understand?"
He looked to his left at Ginny, who glared at him, wand still raised. He smirked at her, before twisting his head around to Neville and locked his eyes with the angry teen. Without breaking eye contact with Neville, he gave a jaw breaking kick to Luna's face.
She slumped to the ground, seemingly knocked out. Her head between her feet, blood gushing from her face.
This was to much for Neville who gasped and heard Ginny scream.
Raising his wand again in a flash, anger flowing through his body, eyes blurry with tears, he screamed.
The Death Eater slumped to the ground, with his final smirk still wiped across his face. The blinding flash of green hitting him square in the chest.
It was a time stopping moment for Neville. As he delivered the curse, and the death eater dropped to the ground, Ginny came in to full view. He saw her mouth wide open in shock, wand by her side, staring at Neville. She certainly looked shocked thought Neville. But he didn't care, he had had enough of Death Eaters pushing him around, he had lost his parents to them he wasn’t about to loose Luna to them.
He whipped around towards the other Death Eater, who up to this point had not moved or said anything, ready to finish this.
The Death Eater, however was to quick and screaming in rage, reacted instantly casting a spell that sent Neville smashing in to the suitcase compartments. He fell with a sickening crunch, on top of the man he had just killed, the fight knocked out of him.
Ginny sprung in to action immediately, sending her specialty bat bogey hex towards her opponents head. The remaining Death Eater blocked it casually, with a flick of his wand, before sending flames roaring towards Ginny, which just missed her. Causing the compartments curtains to burst in to flames.
Ginny jumped over Neville and the dead death eaters bodies, whilst narrowly missing Luna's head on the way down, and sent a reducto spell above the death eaters head causing a pane of glass to shatter over him.
He countered it, making the broken glass turn in to a blade and fly towards Ginny. She ducked, as it narrowly missed her and heard it smash in to the wall behind her.
‘’Stupefy!’’ the Death Eater shouted triumphantly picking his moment as Ginny nearly tripped over the bodies littering the ground, causing Ginny to fall backwards landing hard on a bit of everyone.
The Death Eater smirked happily, evidently pleased with the way everything had turned out, making his way over the heap of bodies.
‘’Get up Looney!’’ the Death Eater mocked, bending down towards the unconscious girl.
'‘Oh, wait you can’t. Your all knocked out.’’ He laughed manically, as he kicked Ginny's leg that was resting on Luna's neck. He pulled her up, gasping with the effort that it took to pick up a knocked out girl.
Looking down on the two unconscious teenagers and his dead companion, he muttered, more for his benefit than anyone else's.
‘’Weasley. your lucky the Dark Lord has bigger plans for you otherwise you would be dead. And as for you ..Longottom .. Bellatrix can have you. Your death will be cruel and slow." Neville didn't stir.
"I never did like Dolohov much anyway,’’ he laughed to himself. "Talks to much! I warned him."
With that he turned on the spot with Luna, whose legs were buckled, and disapparated.
Ginny woke up after a couple of minutes to see Seamus' face in hers.
"AHHH!" she screamed in fright, as she tried to back away.
"It's ok, Ginny it's me!" Seamus said, as Ginny scurried back and used the compartments seat to pull herself up.
"What happened in here? I've been here since that scum disapperated, I put the fire out" he said nodding at the burnt curtains.
Ginny looked at the chaos in front of her. She was sat on the seat, breathing deeply. The Death Eaters corpse, was lying in the middle of the compartment. His legs and arms all facing at different angles. His mask had slipped slightly from his face.
She noticed that Seamus had moved Neville, so he was sitting up below the window to her right. His chin was resting on his jumper. He was obviously still unconscious. Between his legs were spots of Luna's blood, where her head had been. She hoped Luna was going to be okay, Neville must really care for her she thought wiping a lone tear from her cheek.
"Seamus," she whispered. "How long was I out for?"
"Only about five minutes." he answered, eyes on the Death Eater.
People were trying to get a look through the window, the spot of corridor, outside of their compartment was heaving with people trying to get a look.
"Hasn't he woke up yet?" she said, indicating to Neville, whilst getting up and walking towards him.
"No." Seamus responded quickly, still not taking his eyes of Dolohov. " Listen Ginny, what the hell happened in here, you need to fill me in, I've got a couple of the DA blocking the door, but all the same I need to know.."
Ginny smiled despite herself as she heard Seamus behind her.
"Neville's a hero, that's what happened!" she said, whilst gently nudging Neville, willing him to wake. She couldn’t contemplate what had happened to Luna, but at least she had been still alive when she had been captured. Bloody and broken, but still alive. She wouldn’t be able to cope if Neville died on them now. Now when they needed a leader.
‘’He's dead right?’’ Seamus pointed disbelievingly at Dolohov. "Who did it? I saw the green light, I was so worried thought it might have been one of you guys."
‘’He’s dead..’’ confirmed Ginny, voice cracking.
‘’They were looking for Luna, they were going to take her. They asked us to move aside, said we wouldn't get hurt if we moved. They just wanted Luna, to punish her Father.’’ Ginny breathed, a salty tear resting on her lips.
Neville was starting to stir a little. Ginny kept gently nudging him, willing him to be okay.
"So," she continued, fighting to keep her voice even. "Neville stood up to that Death Eater," she went on not even bothering to turn around and point at the dead man. " He was sticking up for Luna, and me, but mainly Luna. They were arguing, the Death Eater threatened to kill all three of us on the spot if Neville didn't move. Luna begged him to, saying that she wanted me and Neville to be safe. He moved aside and the Death Eater walked up to Luna and kicked her in the jaw, whilst looking at Neville." the tears were falling freely now, forming little streams down her pale cheeks, she didn't bother to wipe them away.
"I saw Neville's face when he kicked her, something went in his eyes, he couldn't take it. Someone he loved, being hurt. He snapped, screamed the killing curse. I'm going to be honest Seamus, it was amazing. He reacted so quickly. He must love her so much. Everything's been getting on top of him lately.."
Seamus turned away from the Death Eater, and concentrated on Ginny's words.
''You can't blame him really Ginny, look what these psychopaths did to his parents..''
"The other Death Eater cursed Neville and I tried to hold him off. I couldn't he was to good. He got me, that's all I saw." she broke down completely now, sobbing in to Neville's chest. " I should have done more, maybe then this wou.."
Seamus cut across her soothingly. " Don't blame yourself, this is war, and your a great fighter. I know you did all you could, these guys usually get their own way.."
He moved towards Ginny and gently eased her away from Neville who was waking up fully now, his eyelids fluttering showing bloodshot eyes.
"I'm going to get some help, okay?" Seamus said to Ginny, still holding her. "Stay with Neville, make sure he doesn't die, no one will be able to get in, they've got the door, okay"
With that he sprang up and ran to the door, kicking Dolohov in the process, and shoved people out of the way as he went to find help.
‘’Luna?’’ Neville whispered, eyes struggling to focus, on Ginny's face.
‘’They took her Neville. I’m so sorry.’’ Ginny sobbed, reaching for Neville's hand.
Neville moaned a single tear rolling from his left eye. ‘’I never told her how I felt about her, and are you okay, you're crying?’’
‘’Don’t worry Neville, I'm fine,and she knew. You showed her just now when you fought for her. What you just did is proof enough for her. She knows now, in fact she always knew, even before you did, she's very perceptive,’’ Ginny whispered, touched at Neville's honesty. "Who else would have fought like that for her? You killed for her, to protect her, you did amazing Neville. I want someone who will fight for me like that."
"But you do have someone who will fight for you like that," Neville insisted, wiping a tear from Ginny's face with a bloody jumper sleeve.
"I'm not so sure Neville, Harry broke up with me remember?"
"Snap out of it Ginny," Neville said, voice stronger now, both his hands holding her face, forcing her to look him in the eye. "He loves you, and you know that right there.." he whispered, pointing to her chest where he imagined her heart was.
Ginny stared at Neville and knew he was right, in her heart she knew that Harry loved her. That what Neville was saying was the truth. Harry did love her, he was only trying to protect her, like Neville had tried to protect Luna.
Neville made an attempt to stand up, using Ginny to help himself.
"Neville, no," Ginny started, clearing her throat, struggling to regain composure.
" Stay right there, okay? I'm going to find help."
Ginny turned around to face Neville, one hand on the compartment door.
''Ginny, you don't think any less off me do you?'' he whispered crying, pointing at the Death Eater.
Ginny ran to Neville, and wrapped her arms around his sobbing body.
'I think even more off you now,'' she whispered in to his ear. ''You're a true leader Neville. Now wait right here and I'll get some help.''
She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, and then Neville saw her run from the compartment and shout something at the crowd outside, that immediately moved. He couldn’t hear what she had said. He stared around at the destruction that he had started. Relieving the moment, where the flash of green had killed Dolohov.
He felt something digging in to his leg. Shifting it he found a dirigible plum earing that he knew had belong to Luna. It must of fallen of when Dolohov had kicked her in the head. A stab of pain went through his chest as he relived that moment.
Reaching out wit an unsteady hand he picked it up. It felt cold in his hand, the sharp end digging in to his palm as he squeezed as tight as he could. It felt good, pain, it's what he deserved. He hadn't done enough. Luna was gone.
Looking in front of him he saw all the people looking in on him, and remember what Ginny had said about 'feeling like Harry'. Averting his gaze towards the ground, his eyes focused on some dark red stains in the carpet. He knew what those stains were. Who they belonged to.
He couldn't take it anymore. Dirigible plum earing still tightly held in his fist, he dropped his chin to his jumper and with a heart wrenching sob cried for the girl he loved.
Guys this is my first attempt at fan fiction. If you like it or didn't please leave a review! :D