The Seeds You Plant
"Don't judge each day by the harvest
you reap...but by the seeds you plant!"
- Robert Louis Stevenson
Co-written by MysticBlueside and
MysticBlueside specializes in
Professor Sprout and the Mimbulus
Bribitribbit specializes in Susan
Bones and Trevor the Toad.
This fic was written for all the poor Neville
fans who never get any fuel.
Also, to enhance your reading experience (:D), <a
have found a picture that is very appropriate for
And lastly, we would like to thank an awesome
beta, Suburban House Elf, whom we have taken to calling
"SHE-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named" because we're a bit weird like that.
Chapter One: A Summons to Compartment C
“Now, are you sure you’ve got everything, Neville?” Augusta
Longbottom leaned over her grandson and picked off an imperceptible bit of
Neville sighed. Once again, he looked at the checklist that she had
drawn up for him. It said everything was packed and accounted for, but
he wasn’t sure that he trusted himself. Nonetheless he said, "Yes, Gran.
I’ve got everything." It was always around this time that he missed his
Remembrall--and he regretted that he could never remember to ask for another.
Neville patted his pocket, and Trevor gave a small, half-hearted
croak. Apparently, he didn’t enjoy this interrogation much either.
"Very well, then." Gran straightened up, and crossed her
arms, examining Neville for, perhaps, any more specks of lint. He thought in
his own mind that she was probably just lamenting that she was seeing Neville
off instead of her own son. She was always rubbing it in his face that his
father had never forgotten anything for school. Was he supposed to be
proud about that or something? All it ever did was make him feel rather sick.
She always seemed very anxious when it came time to say goodbye.
Neville sometimes wondered why, but he never dwelt long upon it. He kissed her
on the cheek. "Bye, Gran."
"Bye, dear. Keep me proud!" The corners of Neville’s lips
turned upward, not in a smile, but in acknowledgement of Gran’s request to keep
her proud. She had been proud, all summer, about the battle in the
Department of Mysteries. That wasn’t wearing off, was it? He hoped not.
He turned, lugging his trunk after him. Luna caught up with him just
before he got onto the train. "Hello, Neville," she said. Her trunk
must have already been on the train, and in its absence, her arms, hugging her
chest, were filled with an issue of The Quibbler.
"Hello, Luna. Did you have a nice time in Sweden?"
Luna smiled. "Oh, yes, it was very interesting. I’ve got pictures
of the Crumple-Horned Snorkacks. I’ll show them
to you later. They’re in my trunk right now."
"All right," said Neville, although he knew the pictures
were probably the same blurs of color that she had shown him as proof of
Billycodgers last year. He stepped onto the train, hauling his trunk on with
Luna jumped on with a certain grace, which was strange to see.
"Shall we find a compartment, then?"
Together, they moved like cattle through the rows between the
compartments. Finally, Neville saw a familiar face, surrounded by fascinated
girls, that might be willing to sit with him. "Harry!" he said,
hoping he’d be heard through the other girls.
Harry turned and looked as if he had never wanted to see Neville more
in his lifetime. "Neville!" This seemed to communicate that Neville
should come over; he and Luna struggled their way through the admiring hordes to reach
Trevor twitched inside his pocket. Neville reached inside to comfort
him, and felt a familiar, cold, smooth coin there. The D.A. Galleon--he had
almost forgotten that he’d put it in this morning, in hopes that maybe there
would be a summons to meeting--for what, exactly, Neville wasn’t sure. Over his
head, Luna and Harry exchanged salutations, and then he heard, "Let’s find
Together, the three threaded through dozens of students, all evidently
awestruck to have Harry--and, perhaps, even Neville and Luna themselves!--in
their presence. It struck Neville that this was probably the result of the many
articles which had popped up during the summer, about the Department of
Mysteries, and probably because they were about to share a compartment with, if
the press was correct (unlikely), the Chosen One, whatever that meant.
A small girl, with big brown eyes, waved shyly at Neville. He waved
back, astonished. Finally, they reached a sufficiently deserted compartment.
Neville put his luggage on the rack, and then turned. "They’re staring at us!"
he said excitedly to Harry, pointing at Luna and himself, adding, "Because
we’re with you!"
"They’re staring at you because you were at the Ministry too. Our
little adventure there was all over the Daily Prophet, you must’ve seen
Hadn’t he? Neville had already gotten a few tastes of treatment like
today’s--a memorable one being a random celebrity-obsessed lady named Doris
Crockford coming up to him and Gran one day in Madam Malkin’s. She’d begged to
have a picture with Neville, and an autograph as well.
"Yes, I thought Gran would be angry about all the publicity, but
she was really pleased. Says I’m starting to live up to my dad at long
last." This compliment was indeed a high one, coming from Gran, but her giving it didn’t succeed in making Neville feel
very proud, not like her buying him a new wand, when he’d thought she’d never
let him do magic again. He reached into his other pocket, and pulled it out.
"She bought me a new wand, look! Cherry and unicorn hair. We think it was
one of the last Ollivander ever sold, he vanished next day--" There was a
familiar croak, and then an empty absence inside Neville’s right pocket.
"Oi, come back here, Trevor!"
Trevor leapt underneath one of the benches. Several wads of Drooble’s
Best Blowing Gum were stuck onto the underside, and Neville was sure someone
could make a fortune of all the money lost in the darkness. He heard a croak
and there in a corner was Trevor, blinking
innocently at Neville. Overhead, he could hear Luna speaking. "Are we
still doing D.A. meetings this year, Harry?" she asked.
Neville reached towards Trevor. The toad croaked, probably lamenting
his fault into hopping himself into a corner. Neville grabbed him (Trevor
slipped through his fingers), at the same time hearing Harry say, "No
point now we’ve got rid of Umbridge, is there?"
In a hurry to answer, Neville tried to pull himself from under the
seat, but he hit his head in the process. He tried to keep his disappointment
(and pain) out of his voice as he said, "I liked the D.A.! I learned loads
Luna put in her own two cents, in her own dreamlike way. "I
enjoyed the meetings, too." Neville wasn’t prepared for what she said
next. "It was like having friends."
He stuck his head back underneath the seat, not quite sure what to
say. Trevor was nowhere in sight.
Luna was a very nice person, but they were, of course, in different
houses; and, well, she was just too odd for Neville’s liking at times. But he
still considered her a friend, in the broadest sense--
His thoughts were interrupted by the noise of very silly giggling.
They were arguing about something, until finally, at least as far as Neville
could tell, one pushed her way into the compartment. "Hello," he
heard. She sounded, well, a bit haughty. "I'm Romilda. Romilda Vane. Why
don’t you join us in our compartment? You don’t have to sit with them."
Neville could hear contempt in her voice, and he imagined just how stupid he
looked with his bum sticking out into the air.
"They’re friends of mine," said Harry. Neville blushed, glad
that nobody could see him. Croak.
"Oh. Oh, okay," and Romilda Vane withdrew, happily for
Croak, croak, croaked Trevor. He seemed to be hiding underneath a large pile of
dust. He might have sneezed, if toads could do such a thing--Neville wasn’t
sure that they could.
"None of them," Neville assumed Harry meant Romilda
and her friends, "was at the Ministry. They didn’t fight with me."
Luna was speaking, but Neville was so preoccupied with capturing
Trevor that he didn’t hear. Trevor burst from his dust pile, and attempted to
jolt past Neville, but Neville caught him. "Gotcha!" he whispered.
"We didn’t face him, though," said Neville, as he
crawled backwards from the seat, Trevor in hand. "You did. You should hear
my gran talk about you. ‘That Harry Potter’s got more backbone than the
whole Ministry of Magic put together!’ She’d give anything to have you as a
Harry laughed a bit nervously at these words. Neville regretted saying
them. He had meant to be funny--what he had said
must have come out in a way that made Harry pity him. Neville changed the
"What’d you get on your O.W.L.s? Mine weren’t so brilliant. My
gran’s repeated them back at me so many times I’ve memorized them--P in
Astronomy, A in Care of Magical Creatures, E in Charms, E in Defense Against
the Dark Arts, P in Divination, O in Herbology, P in History of Magic--"
Neville paused, gulping, before the next-- "T in Potions, not that
I’d expected any better, and an A in Transfiguration. They’re…well, Gran says
they’re very mediocre."
"You have an O, though, and a few Es. Those are good," said
Neville shrugged, although inwardly he agreed. He didn't want to be
too proud, however, since Gran wasn't. "Yes, well--now I can’t take
N.E.W.T. Transfiguration. Gran wasn’t very happy about that. She said my dad
was brilliant at it."
He looked away from Luna and at Harry across from him. Harry was
staring in his general direction, but not actually at Neville. "You all
right, Harry? You look funny."
Harry jumped. "Sorry--I--"
"Wrackspurt got you?" asked Luna.
"I--what?" Neville looked at Luna, bewildered, and frowned
so that his eyebrows met in the middle.
"A Wrackspurt. They’re invisible. They float in through your ears
and make your brain go fuzzy. I thought I felt one zooming around in
Luna swatted at the air, looking as if she was performing a clumsy
interpretative dance routine. Neville and Harry glanced quickly at each other.
"So, how about those Tornadoes?" said Harry.
The bright sunlight was pouring into the compartment when Ron and
Hermione came in. Ron briefly acknowledged Neville and Luna before moaning
about his lack of food. Bored, Neville, pulled a restless Trevor out of his
pocket, and watched him squirming in his hands. His eyes seemed to say,
"If you please, dear master, let me go, and frolic in yonder field with
the beautiful young frog lasses."
Neville really had no idea why Trevor was always so keen to escape; he
had always assumed it had something to do with Neville himself. Perhaps Trevor
had grown a liking for Great Uncle Algie in the time he’d been with him (what,
three days?), and was just trying to get back. Neville knew that his pet toad
must like him somewhere deep in the recesses of his toady little heart, but
that appreciation was never demonstrated. Ever.
Trevor croaked morosely. Ron, Harry, and Hermione spoke around him.
Luna seemed to be snoozing beneath her strange Spectrespecs. A third year girl
entered the compartment like a gust of wind (or lack thereof, since she sounded
as if she’d just run the length of the entire train).
"I’m supposed to deliver these to Neville Longbottom and
Harry--Potter." She faltered on the last word, and looked quickly up at
Harry’s scar, which he ignored. She held out two scrolls of parchment, which
were tied with ribbon and addressed to either one of the boys.
Bemused, Neville took his, unrolled it, and scanned the words.
It would be a pleasure if you could meet me for lunch in compartment
Professor H. E. F. Slughorn
The signature was written with several gratuitous flourishes that hurt
Neville’s eyes if he stared too long. Tearing his view from the parchment, he
looked up at Harry, who didn’t look quite as perplexed as Neville thought he,
himself, might. Harry probably had a better idea of what was going on.
"Who’s Professor Slughorn?" he asked.
"New teacher," replied Harry promptly. "Well, I suppose
we’ll have to go, won’t we?" He didn’t seem very enthusiastic at this.
Neville understood why Harry might be wanted by the new teacher. If
Professor Slughorn was for Defense, as he very likely was, then perhaps he
wanted to talk about the D.A. (which had been leaked this summer to the Daily
Prophet--the writer was "not surprised that Harry Potter, such a noble
being, wanted to continue defense lessons to his inferior classmates, when
their teacher was obviously not suited to the job").
"But what does he want with me for?" he asked nervously. Was
he in trouble for something already? Had Gran pre-warned the new teacher? It
had happened with Lockhart. But Professor Slughorn had said "it would be a
pleasure"--a talk about his grades was not in any way pleasurable.
"No idea," said Harry. "Listen, let’s go under the
Invisibility Cloak, then we might get a good look at Malfoy on the way, see
what he’s up to."
Neville frowned at Harry, but agreed nonetheless. The idea was
apparently fruitless (Neville had concentrated more on not tripping over the
fabric than watching for Malfoy), judging by Harry’s face by the time they
reached Professor Slughorn’s compartment.
Inside, a small crowd of people was already gathered, but the
eye-catching persona was a shiny-headed, shiny-faced, short, stout man who
looked more like a walrus than Neville had ever seen a man look like in his
life. He greeted Harry like an old friend; to Neville, he said excitedly,
"And you must be Mr. Longbottom!"
Neville nodded. He was rather intimidated, truthfully. He and Harry
sat down across from each other, nearest the door. Neville didn’t look up from
his lap as he sat. Professor Slughorn began introducing them to all the other
guests, which included Marcus Belby and Blaise Zabini; the only person that
Neville recognized was Cormac McClaggen. When he looked up to nod at him, he
noticed Ginny, and shot her a small smile. She rolled her eyes and shook her
head at Professor Slughorn in return, as the professor ended, "And this
charming young lady tells me she knows you!"
Ginny made an amusing face behind his back.
Slughorn settled back into his seat. It was a wonder that the springs
didn’t break from all the weight resting on them, although they did give a
creak of resistance. "Well, this is most pleasant. A chance to get to know
you all a little better." Professor Slughorn seemed most excited about the
food, which he had packed into his own basket. In fact, Neville’s own stomach
was rumbling quite a bit, as well.
Slughorn passed around a basket of rolls, and told Harry and Neville
what the conversation prior to their entrance had been like, although Neville,
for one, didn’t particularly care. Then as they ate (pheasant and pies and an
array of vegetables, with magically-squeezed lemonade to wash it all down),
Professor Slughorn spoke to each of his guests about various things. The
running theme, apparently, was good connections.
Neville didn’t look forward to his turn to be interrogated, and when
it was, he tried to speak as little as possible. When Slughorn turned his
attention on him, it was like somebody had stuck him cruelly onto the Astronomy
Tower, naked for the world to see, with a giant spotlight from the sky shining
down on him.
"Neville Longbottom, dear boy, I’m quite sure your parents were
Frank and Alice Longbottom?" Professor Slughorn used past tense. Neville
felt a bit sick again, and nodded, not trusting himself enough to open his
mouth. "Great Aurors, were those two. Three times they evaded
"Right," said Neville. He'd already known this, of course. He'd
heard it many times from Gran and even from Gramp when he'd been alive.
"They might have been the best Aurors of their time,
"Terrible thing that happened. Tortured into insanity, tut tut."
Neville felt the stares of Zabini, Belby, and McClaggen all on him. His
embarrassment was even more vivid. "Are they still at St. Mungo’s?
Augusta’s keeping them well-looked-after, I’m sure."
Neville wasn't quite sure how to answer this. There weren't many
people who knew about his parents--not that he was ashamed, it was just
that, well, he didn't want to broadcast it. He chanced an uncertain look at
Ginny, who looked to be torn between sympathy with him and anger at Professor
Slughorn. He swallowed. "Yes," he said finally.
"Do you go and visit them often?"
Neville nodded. Had someone just thrust him into the Sahara desert
like a pro Quidditch referee? His throat felt like it.
"It must be horrible for you to go and find them. Imagine what
they might have taught you! I'm sure you're quite as clever as Alice in her
"How clever was she?" asked Neville.
His curiosity got the better of him. As much as he heard of his father, he
didn't know half as much about his mother. Gran was his father's mother, after
all. Sometimes, Neville even wondered if Gran had hated Alice or
"Oh, very clever! Not too great in Potions, but that's a rare
gift, Potions is. She wasn't too good at most classes, actually--but a sharp
wit! Very sharp."
Neville nodded. He'd said too much now. He didn't want to get caught
saying more. There was silence for a few moments, until finally Professor
Slughorn cleared his throat.
"Hm, well, terrible, terrible," and Professor Slughorn
looked at him with something which made Neville feel as if he were in the
middle of a particularly grueling Potions exam, and if he added one wrong
The professor turned his attention from Neville to Harry, and Neville
silently sighed in relief as the giant spotlight clicked off. He looked into
his lap, and didn’t make eye contact with anyone else. He was sure he wouldn’t
like this teacher very much. He listened to Slughorn questioning Harry, until
they came to what happened before the summer. As Neville understood, Sirius
Black was important to Harry, and he was as good as murdered by that…that…woman.
The way Harry had reacted when Black disappeared
was scary, a ferociousness came over him that mostly seemed to happen when any
of his friends were threatened . Only this was worse,
in a way. It was one thing to be able to stand up for someone, something
Neville rarely could do himself, but another to be helpless in the situation.
Neville expected that was how Harry had felt—helpless and confused, probably
horrified. Just seeing Professor Slughorn bring the Ministry of Magic up,
putting a look of suppressed grief on Harry’s face, was enough to make Neville
want to repay the favor of loyalty that Harry had so often granted him.
"But the rest of the stories--so sensational, of course, one doesn’t
know quite what to believe--this fabled prophecy, for instance--"
"We never heard a prophecy," interrupted Neville. He flushed
as he looked up at Professor Slughorn. He knew very well that they may have
heard the prophecy if Neville, himself, hadn’t been so clumsy as to drop it,
but the Professor didn’t need to know all the details. It was probably better,
for Harry’s sake, the less anyone knew about prophecies and who they were
supposedly addressed to.
"That’s right," added Ginny, backing Neville up.
"Neville and I were there too, and all this ‘Chosen One’ rubbish is just
the Prophet making things up, as usual." Neville was grateful to
have Ginny there, suddenly. He wasn’t very good at lying to professors.
Actually, he wasn’t very good at lying to anyone.
"You were both there too, were you?" said Slughorn
excitedly. He and Ginny both kept their mouths shut, and Neville looked back
into his lap. Slughorn continued into a story about some acquaintance of his.
Neville didn’t really listen to any of the anecdotes, and neither did anyone
else but Cormac McClaggen, who laughed heartily at each and every one of
Slughorn’s completely idiotic jokes.
Neville was incredibly thankful by the time Slughorn released his
prisoners, at which time it was already dark. He walked alongside Harry and
Ginny, and said, "I’m glad that’s over. Strange man, isn’t he?"
"Yeah, he is, a bit," replied Harry. "How come you
ended up in there, Ginny?"
"He saw me hex Zacharias Smith. You remember that idiot from
Hufflepuff who was in the D.A.? He kept on and on asking about what happened at
the Ministry and in the end he annoyed me so much I hexed him--when Slughorn
came in I thought I was going to get detention, but he just thought it was a
really good hex and invited me to lunch! Mad, eh?"
"Better reason for inviting someone than because their mother’s
famous." This described Blaise Zabini, whom Harry was currently staring
at, and Neville agreed with the sentiment. "Or because their uncle--"
but Harry stopped there. He seemed to be considering something, but then he
whispered, "I’ll see you two later," and disappeared underneath his
"But what’re you--?" asked Neville.
"Later!" he heard Harry reply, and Neville wasn’t sure if he
was even there anymore.
Ginny raised an eyebrow and watched what would have been Harry's
disappearing figure, and then to Neville, said, "Come on, let’s find your
When they returned to it, Luna had taken off her Spectrespecs and was
playing with Hermione’s cat Crookshanks, Ron was eating his way through a pile
of Chocolate Frogs, and Hermione was reading a book that Neville couldn’t quite
catch the title of.
"Hullo," said Neville.
Hermione looked up. "Hello, Ginny. Hi, Neville. Where’s
Neville shrugged as he sat, and Ginny said, "I don’t know. He
just disappeared. Literally."
Ron and Hermione exchanged a glance. "He’s probably gone looking
for Malfoy," said Ron forebodingly, swallowing his sweets.
"Why, what has Malfoy done?" asked Neville curiously. Ginny
sat down next to him, apparently postponing the walk to her own compartment.
"Just being a git, you know, the usual," replied Ron, after
"Where did you go?" asked Luna from her seat. Crookshanks
didn’t seem to like her very much, for he was now facing the wall opposite her,
and ignoring her with catty snobbiness. Trevor shook inside Neville’s pocket.
He refused to come out now that a feline was in his vicinity.
"To Professor Slughorn’s," said Neville. "He’s a new
teacher, I guess--"
"He’s a right humongous idiot, he is," said Ginny. "And
he looks like a walrus. The only reason he’d asked any of us there is because
he thought we were special in some way."
"So why’d he ask you?" quipped Ron, and Ginny kicked him.
"What was he like?" asked Hermione.
"I told you--an idiot that looks like a walrus. When we were in
there, he went around and asked everyone questions about their families and
stuff. It was pretty bad, especially since--" she glanced fleetingly at
Neville-- "some people don’t get along very well with their
Hermione and Ron both glanced briefly at Neville too, and nodded
silently, understanding perfectly.
"I hope Professor Slughorn isn’t a spy for the Ministry, wanting
to know all about your families like that," said Luna, as if Professor
Slughorn’s being a spy would excite her very much.
"Right," said Neville. "Well, I think we should
probably put on our robes and things now."
"I’ll go back to my compartment then," said Ginny.
There was a meager response, and Ginny exited their compartment. Ron,
on his way to get his school robes out of his trunk, looked out the window that
faced the aisle outside the compartment. "Wonder where Harry’s got
to," he said.
Neville didn’t respond, since he didn’t know the answer. He didn’t
notice that while pulling on his robes, Trevor leaped out of the pocket of his
jeans and back underneath Luna’s seat; Hermione was the one who alerted him.
Neville caught Trevor with less difficulty this time, and finally, the
train pulled into Hogsmeade station.