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25 July 2009 @ 03:44 am
Fic: Problem Solving - Neville/Luna - PG  
Title Problem Solving
Fandom Harry Potter
Pairing Neville/Luna
Prompt Fire Escape (fireworkfiasco)
Summary Neville plants a garden.
Author's Note I don't know that I've written any of these characters before (pretty sure I haven't), so hopefully this isn't too out of character. And again with the rustiness. Also, while all the plants mentioned are either real or taken from HP canon, I made up the effects.


Neville had know it was a bad idea to grow a magical garden on the fire escape, known it from the moment Luna suggested the rickety metal ledge just outside their flat’s one window. But plants were the one thing in the whole of the world that Neville understood, and living with Luna Lovegood…well, he needed something like that.

Of course, then they wake up one morning to find three small sparrows frozen stiff as boards on their windowsill…petrified.

Neville knows that it’s Herbology 101 to watch what you plant, to make sure you never pot Asphodel with Mallosweet, and not to dig too shallow a whole for Mandragora. He knows that certain plants are poisonous, of course, and that there’s nothing so valuable as a shielding charm when you’re planting something where all of nature can get to it. He had checked over his plan for their small garden fifteen times, even conjured a small model of the design, poked and prodded at it with his wand until he was certain there was no chance of a faulty interaction. And still, he’d created a mess.

Luna is certain it’s got nothing to do with the garden. Or not with the plants, anyway. Living, as they are, on the fringes of the muggle world, she’s learned about all the creatures that were foreign to both of them with their wizarding upbringings. Pill-bugs, especially, fascinate her, with their tiny armor, the way they roll into themselves. She had never seen them before, certainly not in her garden at home where the gurdy-roots kept them from appearing too near the house.

In their garden, though, pill-bugs are plentiful, and more than once Neville’s found her perched out on the fire escape, crouching close to the garden to remain within the reach of the small bulbs they had conjured to radiate heat during cold London winters, and examining pill-bugs enlarged to the size of her hand.

“They’re not magical, Lun,’” he tells her, when she insists, again, that the small bugs are responsible for the sparrows. “They’re just plain old bugs.”

“Of course they’re magical,” Luna replies. “I sent an illustration off to father and he agrees with me.” She climbs back into their flat, bringing the crisp scent of the arriving winter with her. “They bear a remarkable resemblance to Crawkets.” She sets her wand down on the small table beside their couch and it rolls along the wood. “Only rather smaller, and more bug-like.”

Neville sighs a little and resists the urge the shake his head at her. She is Luna, after all, and to call her strange, he knows, would make him a hypocrite. Neville learned a long time ago that, to be happy, he needs people like Luna around, people who see past the part of him that’s not like everyone else, and accept him just as he is, and he knows that Luna needs him right back.

In the end he sends an owl to Professor Sprout, his small model of the garden included, as well as one of Luna’s Pill-bug illustrations (“you never know”). Her reply arrives in the middle of the night, a Howler already whistling with her fury.

“DID I NOT TEACH YOU, ANYTHING, LONGBOTTOM!” comes her shout in so good an impersonation of Professor McGonnagal that they both jump, glad they had the foresight to soundproof the flat before opening the envelope. “YOU DO NOT POT SCREECHSNAP UNDER ANY SORT OF ARTIFICIAL HEAT. YOU ARE LUCKY YOU DIDN’T KILL YOURSELF.” Her voice quiets a little, calms. “I expect you’ll remedy the situation immediately,” she says, much more the friendly professor.

Neville reaches up a hand to slap himself on the forehead, but Luna stops him before he has a chance.

“It’s just a small mistake,” she says, though they both know Professor Sprout was right, that probably the only thing protecting them is the rather impressive shielding charm surrounding the garden, and that even that is, most likely, stretched to its limit.

“We’ll fix it, Neville,” she says, “and then it won’t be a problem anymore.”

And they do.