He collapsed into the chair next to Hermione and winced as his back twinged. The walk back with Hannah had created aches all along his side where he stooped to carry her.
“You look awful, Nev!” Ginny said as she looked up from her homework.
“Yes, Neville, you look very soggy,” Luna confirmed as she appeared at the table with a couple of hefty tomes.
“I just had to walk all the way back from the other side of the black lake because Hannah sprained her ankle.”
“Oh no, is she alright?” Hermione asked without looking up from her parchment.
“She’ll be fine, Madam Pomfrey gave her a sleeping draught and sent her back to the dorms to rest.”
“Well, that’s good then.” Luna smiled before tilting her head. He watched as she narrowed her eyes thoughtfully “Is there more you need to tell us, Neville?”
He sighed heavily, earning a violent shush from Madam Pince. He held up his hand in apology and leant forward, placing his head in his hands.
He thought back to the conversation about his friends. Had he blown it out of proportion In his head? She was only looking out for him. And Hannah was right, they had never asked him whether he wanted to join them on the run. He opened his mouth to say something but stopped. It was done, there was no changing it, and everything had worked out alright in the end.
“It’s nothing, don’t worry about it, I just don’t think I’ve been sleeping properly.” He whispered as the others worked. “Mind if I stay here with you guys for a while?”
“Of course it is,” Hermione smiled.
Neville went and picked some herbology books to read through, hoping that he would be able to get some work done despite his failed trek.
When he returned back to the table, the other girls were sharing glances.
“Everything alright?” he asked quietly. They shared a glance again and nodded together.
“Everythings fine, Neville. We just want you to know that if you need anything, we’re here for you.” He nodded as he looked at the three of them, the earnest concern there put him at ease.
“Thanks.” He smiled as he opened his book and began to read.
The time seemed to fly by, but before long, it was lunchtime. Neville felt his stomach growl as Madam Pince glared at him. He smiled in appeasement as he stood up. “I’m going to go grab some lunch and carry on in the common room.”
“Alright Nev, I’ve got to stay here, some of these books are from the restricted section so I can’t remove them.” Hermione frowned. “But I’ll be back up to work in the common room later if you want to sit together?” Hermione offered.
“Sounds good.” He turned to Ginny and Luna. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow, alright?” They nodded as they offered sympathetic smiles.
“We still have the DA coins if you need us.” Ginny reminded him, he nodded.
He headed in the direction of the great hall, he’d grab a sandwich and take something back for Hannah. Hopefully, they could talk about what she’d said earlier.
He grabbed some sandwiches of various flavours, some fruit and a couple of cakes. He thought that she’d enjoy a picnic in the common room. He was feeling slightly better by the time he reached the common room. The place looked deserted as he went to leave.
“There you are!” Neville turned around and smiled. Hannah was sat in one of the chairs with her foot up. His smiled wilted when he saw her face.
“Hey,” He offered as he got closer. “What are you doing out of bed?” He asked, placing his bag down next to the opposite chair.
“I’ve been waiting for you.” She said grumpily. “I didn’t realise that you were going to dump me in the dorm and then abandon me.” She huffed as she crossed her arms.
“I didn’t abandon you, you were going to be asleep, so I went to the Library.” He offered as he sat down.
“And I bet you’ve been hanging with Granger, Weasley and Loony after I specifically asked you not to.”
He paused before pulling the food out of his bag. He was sure that she hadn’t asked him anything of the sort.
“When did you ask me that?” He asked he didn’t think he would forget something like that.
“Merlin, Neville! You don’t listen to me any more. You said that wouldn’t hang around with them any more because they’re a bad influence.”
“Is this the conversation we had before you sprained your ankle?” He asked as he racked his brain, trying to remember. “I don’t remember you mentioning Hermione, Ginny and Luna.”
“Do I need to spell it out for you, Nev? Hermione set a teacher on fire, Ginny broke into the headteacher’s office and Loony see’s things that aren’t there. Which one of those do you think is a good influence?” Once again, he couldn’t argue with her facts.
“Hermione is the best student in the school. Ginny is Quidditch team captain and gets great grades, and Luna is clever and intuitive. I’d rather you didn’t call her loony.”
There was a silence before the sniffles began. He looked up as she began to sob.
“I knew you would take their side, you always do.” She shouted. He shook his head in disagreement.
“You didn’t let me finish what I was saying!” She interrupted. “I’m supposed to be your girlfriend, not them.”
“But they’re my family-”
“But you’re the only one who thinks that. They only see you as someone that hangs around. Whereas you are the centre of my world. You ask anyone, and they’ll tell you the same. They’re not your real friends!”
She started to cry in earnest now, and Neville didn’t know what to do. He looked around, but if there were any students within hearing distance, they remained hidden. The room looked deserted.
He stepped closer and crouched as he tried to comfort her, She shook her head and stood before knocking him over.
“You need to sort out your priorities, Neville. Decide who is more important to you, them or me. Because I will not play second fiddle to a bunch of misfits and trouble-makers regardless of who they are.” She sobbed again before getting to her feet. She wobbled on her sore ankle before hobbling towards the stairs.
He sat on the floor as he stared after where he had been. He wasn’t sure what had happened. He shook his head as he got to his feet and sat on the chair again. He grabbed one of the sandwiches and nibbled it before realising that he wasn’t hungry any more.
How had this day turned into such a mess? He rubbed his face as he tried to understand her thinking. He adored her, but she had become so possessive and controlling. He couldn’t just dump his friends. He knew they weren’t bad influences. He threw the sandwich down as he stared at the ceiling. What was he going to do? He didn’t want to break up, did he? It was nice having someone that he could call his own. He pondered this as someone coughed, dragging him from his thoughts.