[Neville/Ginny] Not Fade Away Title: Not Fade Away Rating: PG Pairing(s): Neville/Ginny Character(s): Neville Longbottom, Ginny Weasley, mentions of Tom Riddle and Harry Potter. Summary: Random thoughts of Ginny's about her first year. Neville-oriented. Prompt(s): 'forget me not' Word Count: 316 A/N: Originally posted June 2006.
In her first year, she'd been afraid of him. Not afraid that he would hurt her--Merlin, no, never that. She was afraid of him because he seemed to care so damned much. He seemed to have noticed that she often sat by herself in the smallest corner of the Common Room, jotting in Tom's diary.
He was the only one who'd actually asked if she was okay. At first she liked it--liked having at least one friend in all of Hogwarts. As time wore on, though, she'd begun to snap a curt "Fine," at him and dart up to her dormitory, before he could even respond. She always felt horribly guilty afterwards. He didn't deserve that kind of treatment, and she knew it.
That's when she'd had the first inkling of what the diary was really doing to her. What he was really doing to her. After she'd begun to suspect that all these horrible things happening all over the school had something to do with Tom...something to do with her, she'd ridded herself of it in the closest available place.
She'd looked horrible--hadn't brushed her hair in over a day, face swollen from crying so much. When he asked her what it was about, she lied and said that it was about Harry. Neville seemed thoughtful after receiving this information. He didn't laugh at her, or patronize her, like the others did. He'd just nodded and sat down next to her. "Fizzing Whizbee?" he'd offered, pushing a box in her direction.
Throughout the year, her guilt had gotten stronger. The sick feeling in her stomach had intensified, to the point that she began constantly missing classes. Of course, most people didn't notice, because they were too worried about being petrified--or worse, killed.
But through it all, she told herself one thing--that if Neville still liked her, she couldn't really be that bad after all.