Friends Are Like Flowers, They Bloom in Color
Luna poked her head into Neville’s shop and looked around. Her friend was not in the front, which was fortunate. It gave her a few more minutes to gather her courage.
She wasn’t even sure why she was so nervous about telling Neville that she was dating Draco. Considering the fact that everyone at the Council knew, it was likely that he had already been told. Either by Mac or by Pevensie. Or, Rowena, by any one of the slayers that giggled whenever they saw Draco in the library.
Still, Neville was quite possibly her best friend, and he deserved to hear it from her first hand.
When Neville heard the small bell over the front door ding, he looked around the corner from the back to see who had come in. He smiled when he saw it was Luna. “Hello, Stranger. I haven’t seen you in quite a while. Come on back.”
Luna followed him into his workspace and hopped up onto a stool as he continued to prune a plant.
“I’m sorry about that, I feel like I’ve been a horrible friend. How have you been?”
“Busy and also a horrible friend. I’ve been by the Council and there’s no reason I couldn’t stop by Flourish’s to see you, so none of that,” he said, waving around the pruners for effect. “How are you? Nothing bad has happened, has it?”
“No, nothing bad. Well, yes, one thing bad. Do you remember Mrs. Wintourfall? I’m sure I at least mentioned her to you before. She used to frequent Flourish and Blotts. She died, I’m sorry to say, and I ended up adopting her three crups. It was a bit stressful for awhile as we got used to each other, but they seem settled now. They love going to the Council library with me and all of the slayers seem to adore them.”
“Oh, Luna, I’m so sorry,” he replied. Neville went to give her a hug, but he was covered in dirt. “Just imagine me hugging you, yeah? But I think I remember Pevensie mentioning the crups. I didn’t know where you got them from though.”
He felt terrible that he hadn’t inquired more when Pevensie mentioned it, but he had thought nothing of it. “So it’s just the one thing bad?”
“I appreciate the imaginary hug,” she assured him. “And... No, nothing else is bad news. I’m dating someone new, and that’s good. At least, I think it’s good.” She was babbling. She couldn’t help it. Telling Neville was difficult. Part of her wanted to keep the information to herself forever, but she knew that she could not do that.
Neville had a small grin on his face as he moved to prune another plant. They said it every time they ran into each other, but they didn’t visit each other enough. “Do you like him? Does he make you happy?”
“It would be silly of me to date him if I didn’t like him. It’s still pretty new, but yes, so far he makes me happy. We’ve done things like watch moo-vees and taken the crups for walks in the park. It’s very low key.”
Neville nodded. He needed to take Mac out on a proper date. He was going to have to ask Luna for dating advice, that is, if he or Mac ever had a free night. “Where did you meet him?”
“Oh... He went to Hogwarts with us. But I didn’t really know him then. Separate houses and years, you know how it goes.” She started lining up the tools near her on the bench, arranging them by size, then rearranging them by color.
Neville reached over for a smaller tool and chuckled when he saw them being arranged. “Trade you for the blue one,” he said, holding up the pruners with the red handles. She handed him the appropriate tool and rearranged them again, adding the red. “What year was he in then? And what house?”
Luna didn’t answer right away, instead she rearranged the tools once again, trying to buck up her courage. She took so long that when she glanced over at him, Neville was no longer pruning. He was looking at her with a frown on his face.
“It’s Draco Malfoy.” She said it in a rush and hoped that he would not be so shocked.
If he had been cutting still, he would have snipped off the top of the plant in shock. “You’re joking,” he said after a moment, breathing a sigh of relief. “No, really,” Neville laughed, “who are you dating?”
“Is it so hard to believe that he would like me?” She had thought that she was past that, but Neville’s disbelieve brought a twinge back to her stomach. The thought that she was just Loony Luna left a sour taste in her mouth.
Neville saw the hurt in her eyes after he said it and immediately, the laughter died off. “I don’t think it’s you. I used to think Malfoy only cared for himself, but he obviously cares about Pevensie, if how she acts is to be believed. Of course, he did tell Oz my name was Nigel Fatbum, and that was a wonderful first meeting.” He sighed. “I don’t think I know him well enough to say if he does or doesn’t really like you.”
“Nigel Fatbum?” Luna shook her head. She thought the family name Longbottom cruel enough. Not that Lovegood was any better.
“He hides his emotions rather well. Apparently he fancied me for quite awhile, but I never knew.” She rearranged his tools once again, this time by amount of dirt they showed. They were obviously well taken care of, but it was obvious which ones he had used the most that day.
“You’re not too upset?”
Neville took a deep breath. “I don’t think I have a reason to be upset. Do I think it’s a wise choice? Not really, but in my mind, Malfoy is still the annoying little berk from school. I know that’s not true, because Malfoy from school wouldn’t care so much about a 15 year old girl like he does. I would
like to talk to him, though. That last thing that you need is to be hurt.”
He didn’t talk about how he thought after their seventh year, Draco Malfoy would be the last person he ever thought Luna would fancy. But if she truly wanted to date him, Neville wouldn’t do anything about it, unless Malfoy hurt her.
Luna blinked at him. “I’ve heard slayers mention a shovel speech in association with significant others. I’ve not heard it, but it’s supposed to be impressive. Are you going to give him a shovel speech?”
Neville grinned. “Well, I am handy with one.”
She glanced at the shovels propped against the back wall and smiled. “I have a feeling that the shovel speech does not involve planting trees.”
“No, not really. At least the one I received didn’t. I got one when I started dating Mac, which I thought was rather pointless. If she’s not happy with me, she could toss me around like a fly.”
Neville picked up his tools and started pruning again. “But has he treated you decently so far? Opened doors, pulled out chairs, the complete package? I know he was raised with manners.”
“Yes, he’s been perfectly gentlemanly. We’ve not gone out to dinner yet, so there’s been no chair pulling out, but he does open doors for me and such.”
“Good,” he replied. “The moment he’s not, hex him.”
“I’ll turn his hair purple instead,” she joked. “I think that would probably have more of an impact on him.”