Chapter XI: finding trouble with karma
“We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are”
Harry was a strong believer in karma; it had more than kept him going throughout the war—that reliance on the fact that good would prevail regardless of whatever happened, the universe just wouldn’t let something like that go, such an imbalance was unacceptable—and he was appalled to find that it was that exact theory that he had always relied so heavily upon that was currently screwing him over. As he moodily made his way towards the greenhouses at Hogwarts he contemplated every misdeed he’d ever done.
Sure, he’d been savior of the wizarding world, but that had already awarded him with an amazing job. No, this karma, this karma was far worse than anything that he had ever anticipated.
Karma of the heart—he was sure that that was what was cursing him, keeping Hermione from him. It was that same distraction that he had used to keep himself sane while she was gone that was keeping him from a permanent state of sanity that could only be achieved through her.
Karma was a bitch, one that, albeit—he grudgingly admitted—understandably, felt a need to punish him for screwing over so many woman in the past.
He grumbled angrily, muttering incoherent words as he stalked towards his destination, trying to think of anything that would keep those thoughts, that he dreaded so much, at bay—desperately hoping that there was some hope, because if what he thought to be true was… well then he really didn’t stand a chance in hell. After all, no one, no one, goes up against karma and comes up victorious, just look at old Voldy.
He shuddered at the reminder as he quietly opened the door to the Herbology class that was currently taking place.
“Oi!” he heard Neville exclaim. “Peters, I know that you blokes are just discovering girls and all, but you may want to consider the fact that you won’t be able to take much advantage of that if the Nepenthes kills you.”
At hearing those words of advice Harry couldn’t help but let out a deep chuckle, inadvertently gaining the unwanted attention of the majority of the class. Almost instantly the class erupted in an uncontrollable chatter as all of the students “inconspicuously” discussed the newest guest—each daring one another to go up and talk to the famous wizard that had just entered the room.
Neville let out an aggravated sigh as Harry just sent him a sheepish and apologetic smile. “Well obviously you won’t be getting anything done today and I can’t have you gossiping when there are carnivorous plants in front of you, so class dismissed,” he said, immediately admitting to the imminent defeat as he really didn’t care for wasting time uselessly trying to regain their intention when it was obviously an impossible feat anyway.
His announcement, however, was only met with blank stares.
“Out, now. Mr. Potter and I have something to discuss, and unless you want to help put away these plants I’d recommend that you go.”
The class immediately left the room upon that threat, the scarce few actually trying to get up the courage to talk to Harry before giving up and leaving under the scrutinizing glare of their professor.
“So I take it today wasn’t a particularly good day for me to come in then,” Harry noted as he took a seat across from Neville, who was currently cradling his head in hands as he sat at his desk.
“Sorry about that; been having some problems with Lavender recently so I’m on edge. Plus, there’s the added bonus that I had to deal with a class of randy prepubescent teenagers that weren’t paying any attention at all when working with carnivorous plants of all things!”
“Any chance you’re willing to give some advice to a randy twenty-four year old?” he asked him with a grin.
Neville let out a slightly choked laugh, sighing as he raised his head so he was looking at Harry in the eyes. “What’s the latest in the trials and tribulations of Harry Potter’s love life?”
“Well it’s not so much-”
Neville, however, interrupted him by raising a doubtful eyebrow.
Harry clenched his jaw. “Okay, so it kind of is. Now will you let me get on with the story?”
“Why don’t you ever bother Ron with this?”
Harry winced at the reminder of that particular memory. “Well to tell him would mean that I’d have to tell him what happened when she left and, honestly, I doubt he needs that guilt. Even if she didn’t mean it, there’s some truth to those words and Ron and Hermione both don’t need something like that always overshadowing their relationship.”
“Well then, I guess all I can say is ‘yay me’,” Neville grimly muttered.
“You’re awfully sarcastic with your biting words today, Nev, when was the last time you had a decent shag?” he asked him with a grin as Neville took out a bottle of fire whiskey from his desk, along with two glasses, and poured them each a drink.
“Two weeks,” Neville muttered, a blush quickly spreading on his face as he admitted to the fact.
Harry’s eyes widened. “Bloody hell mate!—You know you do have a girlfriend, one who lives with you no less, that should come with a guarantee!”
“Doesn’t exactly work that way, mate. I mean, I know it’s been a while since you’ve been in a serious committed relationship, but when they’re mad at you for working too much, you usually don’t get to reap in the benefits of having a live in girlfriend. Anyway, I’d really rather not talk about me as that’s rehashing a lot of memories that I’d rather not revisit; what’s going on with you?”
“Well, you see, I’m having a hard time deciding where I go from here,” he told him as he took a large gulp of his fire whiskey.
Neville gave him a quizzical look. “What do you mean?”
“I guess I’d just hoped that when she came back everything would be back to how it was before, only this time she’d magically fall in love with me,” he stated simply, not even bothering to pretend to be abashed by the absurdity of the theory.
“I’ve got news for you mate: that kind of magic just doesn’t exist.”
“Yeah, slowly starting to realize that one as well,” he told him with a small smile.
“So then I guess it comes down to one question.”
“Yeah, and what’s that?” Harry asked curiously.
“Do you want to take the risk?”
He groaned; he really should have expected that one. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone, Nev.”
Neville let out a deep sigh, setting down him drink as he leaned foreword in his chair, scrutinizing Harry all the while. “I have my reservations about it-”
Harry nodded solemnly, looking down at his drink in an attempt to avoid watching Neville inspect him. “I know.”
“But you say you love her, and I want you both to be happy; so whatever you need, I’m here for you, mate.”
Harry smiled up at him. “What’s the next step then?”
“Wait, just get to know her again, you two are different people now, you know that as well as I do, Harry.”
“You know, you understand women far too well.”
Neville snorted. “Please, how else could I handle Lavender?”
Harry chuckled. “Come on; you and I have to go plan something bloody romantic that’ll get you back in her bed.”
“Oh thank God because I’m at a total loss here, feels like I’ve already done everything else all those other times she got mad at me…”
author’s note: not sure how well I pulled off this chap so I’m open to any comments lol.
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