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A Time To Fight by thegirllikeme

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 1,441
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Mild Violence, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, General
Characters: Neville, Luna, Ginny, OtherCanon
Pairings:

First Published: 05/29/2008
Last Chapter: 05/30/2008
Last Updated: 05/30/2008

Summary:


In the darkest hour Hogwarts has ever known, one boy struggles to master his fear and stand up for what he believes. But will he ever learn that there are some things worth fighting for? Will he ever decide that it is time to fight? absolutely perfect banner by angelic.


Chapter 1: He was so afraid...
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When Ginny Weasley spoke, her voice was just as fiery and as passionate as her flaming, red hair. “We have to fight them, Neville! We can't just sit back and do nothing!”

Neville glanced fearfully behind him at the closed classroom door, wondering if the professor within might have heard her. Of course, he hadn't; no one had, for the hall was empty. Still, Neville couldn't help but feel apprehensive. Ginny should be more careful. Talk like that would only get her hurt, as Neville had told her several times. Yet, that didn't stop her from fearlessly talking about rebellion, and each time she did, Neville knew the answer he had to give.

“There's nothing we can do,” Neville said with a sigh.

He hated it, but it was true. There was nothing he would like more than to stop the Carrows horrible treatment of the students and to get the Death Eaters out of Hogwarts, but there was no way to do that. Fighting wouldn't achieve that goal. Kids alone couldn't change what was happening in this school, let alone in the world outside of it. Besides, if they fought, they would end up getting hurt; the Carrows weren't the sort to be messed around with. He eyed Ginny, imagining what the Carrows would do to her if she rebelled. Neville shivered. No, he couldn't bear the thought.

He, Ginny, and Luna were purebloods. As long as they didn't fight, as long as they kept their heads down, they would be safe, secure. He'd do anything to keep his friends safe.

But no matter how many times he explained this to her, she didn't seem to understand. Even now, as the familiar reply left his mouth than Ginny froze. Neville turned to look at her, uneasily trying to brace himself for what was coming and forcing himself not to wince under her furious glare. She'd been frustrated with him before, but never like this. Never with this amount of fury.

Neville was prepared for her to yell and scream at him, but he was not ready for what she said.

“Harry would fight,” she said coldly, her words hitting him where it hurt the most. “Why won't you?”

Neville winced. He'd been compared to Harry before, and Neville knew that he would always fall short in that comparison. He'd accepted it. Harry would always be braver, smarter, and everything that Neville wasn't. He had always looked up and admired Harry for having the qualities that Neville lack, so that wasn't what hurt. What hurt was that Harry had been the one to teach them that they should fight, and Neville wasn't doing it. And why? That was just the question that Ginny had asked, and the question that Neville didn't want to answer. Because he knew, deep down in his being, that the reason he didn't fight was because he was scared. Scared of failing. Scared of his friends getting hurt. Scared of not being good enough.

If Neville didn't fight, he wouldn't have to face those fear. But he couldn't, wouldn't, tell Ginny that.

When he didn't answer, Ginny snorted in disgust. “Some Gryffindor you are,” she hissed cruelly, before spinning on her heel and storming away, leaving Neville with bruises in his heart.

Neville watched her walk away, and each of her steps added another stab of guilt in his heart. He hated seeing her mad. He hated what was happening in the school. He hated being scared all the time. But what could he do? Nothing, and that made him feel utterly helpless, just like he had always been.

“It's alright, Neville,” Luna, who had been standing quietly at their side this whole time, said softly, squeezing his wrist in encouragement. “She didn't mean it, not really. She's just angry.”

Neville was thankful for Luna's support, but he wasn't sure he believed her.

Then Luna proved to be as unpredictable as Neville knew she always was. “Don't worry, Neville,” she said wistfully, her glassy eyes shining, her thin lips pulling into a wise smile. “You'll find your courage.”

Neville blinked, not quite sure how to respond. She just gave his hand another reassuring squeeze and then skipped away after Ginny. Neville simply stood there, watching his two friends round the corner and hoping that Luna was right.

~


“Do it, Longbottom,” the voice hissed sinisterly, hungrily. “You know the incantation; you know the spell. Now point your wand and do it!”

Neville's hand shook as he stared down at Ginny who looked incredibly small as she lay helplessly on the floor. He could still remember the way his heart had felt as though it was being yanked from his chest when Ginny had been pulled before the class to serve her 'detention'. He could still remember the stubborn, defiant look on Ginny's face as she stood before Carrow, waiting for her punishment. He could feel what it had been like to watch Carrow point the wand at his friend and mumble Crucio. Watching Ginny writhe on the floor as she tried not to scream in agony was like having the Cruciatus Curse cast upon himself. Knowing that another person he cared about was suffering such pain made him wish that it was he being tortured.

Neville had stumbled to his feet, ready to do something even as his legs shook, but before he could take action, his name had been called. Carrow had told Neville that since he had never before had the chance to practice the curse, it was now his turn. He had gulped fearfully, staring into Ginny's wide brown eyes. As she looked back, she seemed to peer into his very soul.

“Do it, Longbottom,” Professor Carrow hissed impatiently.

I can't, Neville's insides whimpered.

“I promise you'll like it.”

One thought of the evil that the professor spoke so fondly of, the thing that had so cruelly ripped his parents' sanity away from them, and something in Neville's heart hardened and burned with something that was not fear or pain. It was anger.

I won't, he thought firmly.

“Do it now.”

Neville looked from Carrow to Ginny, letting his eyes linger on Ginny as she pushed herself to her knees. He did not look away, and neither did she as she mouthed a single phrase. It is time to fight. Neville swallowed hard, still unsure. Was he ready to let go of the fake, meaningless security he had wrapped himself in? Would it even do any good?

He wasn't sure.

Angrily, Carrow thrust his wand towards Ginny again. “Here. I'll show you again.”

The incantation was forming on Carrow's lips. Neville saw Ginny's eyes widening in fear, and just like that, something within Neville gave. He glared hatefully at Carrow, the one who dared to hurt his friend, and unconsciously wondered why he was no longer afraid.

“No!”

The word felt wonderful on his lips. After so long of biting it back, after so long of not taking a stand, fighting felt so good.

“What?” Carrow roared, turning his eyes toward Neville, his gaze nearly demonic with rage.

Neville wasn't afraid. Boldly, like the Gryffindor he was, Neville stepped in front of Ginny and pulled her up behind him. As he faced the evil professor, he felt strong and powerful, and no matter what Carrow did to him, nothing was going to change that. “I said no.”

Carrow's wand worked fast. Neville heard Ginny's growl of anger as he felt pain rush across his cheek. The warmth of blood spread down Neville's skin, and he reached a hand to cradle the side of his face. Yet, he barely felt the pain. He only stood there, firm and strong, and did the thing he never thought he could do in such circumstances.

He smiled.

For in that moment, something within him had changed. He had realized that there were things—his friends, the injustice of what had happened to his parents, and the hope for a better world—that were worth standing up for. He had come to understand that he was no longer afraid; that he felt strong facing this coming adventure. He didn't know what would happen if he and his friends rebelled or where any of this would lead, but he knew one thing with every fiber of his being.

It was time to fight.




Thanks so much for reading! If you liked it, I would really appreciate a review. They really make my day! Also, thanks to my betas, voldy_mort and eleven49 for beta-ing this for me, and thanks to the awesome Steph for helping me come up with my summary.

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