HP; Luna, Neville
G, 1200 words
Summary: Neville's a friend with a problem, and Luna wants to help.
Notes: Winning entry in a match over at firebolt_elite, where the prompt was a story pertaining to a specific colour.
Luna sat on the lowest rocks, letting the water flow around her ankles and staring out over the mouth of the river.
"Much too green, I should think," she murmured, crossing off another possibility on the list in her lap.
"All right then," Neville replied, taking her hand and helping her to her feet. "Where to next?"
Luna consulted her list. "We've tried Madam Malkin's dress silk, the afternoon sky in Hyde Park - do you think we should go to Hogsmeade now?"
"If you like. We could even go up to school, what do you think?"
Luna considered for a moment. "I don't think so. If we have that kind of help it won't count as discovering it for ourselves. Not as powerful, you see."
Neville sighed. "I was afraid you'd say something like that. Come on then, Hogsmeade it is."
Luna smiled, took Neville's arm, and spun around until the entrance to the Three Broomsticks came whooshing in front of her.
"I think we should start here," she told Neville seriously, "for research purposes."
He grinned. "Right, of course."
They walked inside, and Luna hummed happily. "Oh, look! There's Minister Shacklebolt over there!" She turned to Neville, whispering, "He's been infected by a burrowboil, you know, you can tell by the shape of his ears. He'll be trying to overturn the embargo on Transylvanian timber import any day now."
"Luna! I thought you liked Kingsley!"
Luna raised an eyebrow. "I do! I have no prejudice against those possessed by another consciousness. Anyway, come on, aren't you going to buy me a drink?"
Neville gave her a long-suffering sort of a look, which Luna thought was most uncalled for, but he went over to the bar anyway.
"Well, this is a nice surprise!" Madam Rosmerta came clattering over, leaving the bottle she'd been serving from to finish pouring itself. "And what brings you two back to Hogsmeade?"
"Oh, we were just--" Neville began.
Luna interrupted, "We're looking for the perfect blue."
Rosmerta looked confused. "I'm sorry?"
"It's for a potion we're making," Luna explained. "One of Neville's plants isn't very well, and so I need to extract some of the essence of pure blue to make it better again."
"Really?" Rosmerta looked impressed. "I never knew you could do that - shows how much attention I paid in Herbology lessons!"
Neville glanced over at Luna. "We're not sure that - sorry, I mean I'm not sure that you can do this."
"Oh, you can," Luna said brightly. "Not a common form of magic, naturally, but the theory's sound - there's a fascinating book on the experimental research that's gone into this, actually, if you were interested. It could add some very unusual flavours to your drinks."
Rosmerta laughed. "How about I just get you two a couple of Butterbeers and leave you to the experimental magical theory, eh?"
She wandered off, and Luna shook her head. "No curiosity at all, that lady, a deep waste of an otherwise perfectly good mind. Still, never mind!" She looked around the pub searchingly, pausing to stare at a spot on the ceiling for a while, and to examine in minute detail the earrings of the witch sat next to them, who stayed very still and wide-eyed throughout, and afterwards Neville had to bustle over to apologise.
"Hmm," Luna said in discontent, taking a sip from her bottle. "Nothing quite right here either."
"You know, if you can't find it, it's ok," Neville said. "I've still got some of the spray Professor Sprout sent round, if I use a little more of that it might be just the thing."
Luna felt confused. "But I want to help you, because I'm your friend. That's right, isn't it?"
Neville smiled. "Yeah, yeah it is. Thank you."
"Always," she replied. "Well, when you're finished I think we'd best go check the sweets in Honeydukes."
Luna remained dissatisfied with all of the possibilities Hogsmeade had to offer, however, and more and more items on her list were vanishing. She glanced at the remaining options in growing concern, worried that she was going to have to let Neville down.
"Where to next, then?" he asked.
Luna read her list one more time, then folded it up and stuffed it away. "Actually," she said, "I've just had an idea." She took his hand again, and then smiled and thought of home.
The sun was beginning to set in Ottery St. Catchpole, and Luna could hear voices in the village as people sat outside in the last of the day's warm spring sun. They stood on a hillside below her home, and Luna looked around her, getting her bearings.
"This way," she said, and they walked through fields, ducking through thickets and following the path of a meandering brook.
"I've never been around here before," Neville said softly.
"It's beautiful, don't you think? Dad and I come out here all the time, it's very restorative."
"Yeah, I see that. So what's down here?"
Luna squinted in the direction of the dying sun. "This way." She strode out into another field, and Neville looked over at her with a grin. Laughing in answer, she began to run, and soon he was chasing after her as she fled over the countryside, giggling as she did so and feeling enormously young. She sped up the next hillside and came to a stop, clutching her side as she got her breath back.
"Wow," Neville said quietly behind her.
Before them stretched a vast expanse of bluebells, nestled under the shade of trees and moving gently in the breeze. Luna began to walk down towards them, eyes wide as she drank in the sight. She knelt at the edge of the spread of flowers, reaching out to gently touch one, smiling at the soft texture of the petals.
"Just right," she said, and Neville crouched beside her.
She took out her wand and conjured a small bottle that she handed to him, before reaching out to the flowers and beginning to murmur magic until jets of blue began to stream from the bluebells. She sent the colour gently over to the bottle, where it curled into a cloudlike shape and hovered in the middle of its container.
"See?" she said, putting a stopper in the top. "That should do just the trick."
As you can see, my Flitterbloom's doing beautifully, much better than she was even before she got sick. Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it.
See you at the weekend!
Luna pinned the picture of the Flitterbloom above her desk and nodded in satisfaction, it really was looking very well indeed. Then she took the plant pot Neville had sent with the note and positioned it carefully on her windowsill, where the bluebell could nod its head in the breeze.