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Gryffindor's Hero

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I.

The Room of Requirement’s around them - hammocks swinging by candlelight - and Ginny's watching Neville. Again.

He glances up and meets her intent gaze, smiles from a battered face, and returns to his notes.

He's so humble it makes Ginny’s heart slow and she's bothered that this it what it takes - violence, torture, a life on the run - to make her realise. Realise that she’s always been seeking a hero, yes, but a hero who needs her back. Really needs her.

Neville glances up again. "Gin, could you give me a hand with this?"

Neville needs her.


II.

Neville has grown up during these last months.

His grandmother can see that. She’s roaringly proud of every gash and bruise, of his shadowed beard, of his limp. She was there when he confronted You-Know-Who. She'd seen him draw that sword and send it gleaming so magnificently through the air. It had fair made her cry with happiness. Yes, Neville has grown up.

He is, however, still Neville and she’s was starting to wonder if she should advise the Weasley girl to be blunter with her advances. Neville is clearly oblivious: subtlety remains wasted on him even as a man.


III.

Ginny sits in the Great Hall and feels numb. She can't think about Fred.

Instead she watches Ron and Hermione because she knows, in her core, that Harry will go to them, not her. And when they nod at thin air and leave, she knows he's been and gone without her; always without her. The decision is made.

Ginny stands and walks, somnambulant, to Neville. And his eyes light up with warmth and concern, and he shoves the sword aside to make her space at his side.

Harry Potter just missed his last chance and he doesn't even know it.