Disclaimer: Yes this is a Harry Potter story, although the Boy Who Lived only turns up once or twice. It is set a decade or so after the events in the books and films, and while it features some aspects of the character's post-Hogwarts lives as set out by canon, I've made a few alterations to fit in with the story. All characters (except the gratuitous sci-fi cross over appearance) and the universe it is set in belongs to JK Rowling, this is a fan's work, it is not to be used for anything commercial, and should not be reposted without my permission. This plot contains sexual encounters between fictional characters, some of whom may be under 18. If this kind of thing offends you, please consider what you search for.
Professor Neville Longbottom sat up straight at the High Table of Hogwart's Great Hall. Only a few of the teachers he'd known fifteen years ago when he'd been a student were left were still teaching. He'd started coming back as a guest lecturer for Defence Against the Dark Arts, and when Professor Sprout retired, she'd recommended him as her successor. Professor McGonagall, to his surprise, had no hesitation in offering him the job. That was ten years ago, the first time he'd sat at the High Table.
Hagrid, seemingly never aging, sat down net to him having guided the new batch of first years over the lake. McGonagall sat impassive in the Headmistress's chair as Professor Flitwick, her deputy, arranged the first years at the back of the hall.
This year Neville would be paying more attention to the sorting ceremony than ever, as this was the first year that he would be head of Gryffindor House. Again, he was astounded that McGonagall had chosen him, but it was dawning on him that he was actually very good at his job, and that McGonagall was actually very proud of the man he'd become.
As the new students were marched, en mass, we could hear the whispers as they looked at him. He'd joked before that they didn't need the hat, as you could sort based on what the kids called him. To the Gryffindors he was the Lion of Gryffindor, the Bravest Man of Gryffindor Tower, the man who proved that it is courage of ones convictions that overcomes evil. To the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, he was the leader of the resistance, the Great Protector, who battled against evil within the walls of the castle and who stood against injustice, guardian of the weak. To the Slytherin, he was the Serpent Slayer, the boy who got lucky and has been living off his success for years.
He was famous throughout the wizarding world, perhaps more famous than even the great Harry Potter. He was the Boy who Stayed. At first he was annoyed with Harry, Ron and Hermione for spreading the stories, trying to defect their fame, but he eventually accepted that they true. The last thing his Grandmother had said to him, before she passed on, was that there could be no prouder grandmother.
He liked Hogwarts, where his fame meant little; he could ignore it, although there was always a steady supply of eighteen year old witches who'd listen to his stories in Hogsmead when he'd venture down every other weekend.
Neville's eyes passed over the students as they one by one had the Sorting Hat placed on their head. He applauded them all, more eagerly when a Gryffindor was chosen.
As soon as her saw her face, he felt his heart pang. This girl could only be the child of Luna Lovegood, but he didn't know that Luna had a daughter. He knew about the twins, but they were only five. Luna hadn't spoken to him for years, but surely one of his friends would have said something.
The slight girl with long silvery blond hair and large blue eyes skipped forward, he caught her eye and she smiled at him, a smile just like her mother's. Neville turned away. He didn't want to be reminded of Luna
"You should talk to her..." Ginny said. It could be Ginny, Hermione, Harry, or even occasionally Ron (if Hermione had told him to), but the conversation would always be the same. At some point, almost like a ritual, the conversation would turn to Luna.
Neville and Luna had been a couple practically since the Battle of Hogwarts, so in love that the both thought it would last for ever. He was devoted to her, and she to him.
"She broke my heart." Neville would say.
"And you broke hers."
"She betrayed me."
"She made a mistake, a very bad mistake. She experimented with somebody else, she made one mistake and she regretted it at once, hence she told you and begged your forgiveness."
"She cheated on me. She was the only one."
"You could have worked through it."
"No we couldn't. How could I trust her?"
"Because you loved her."
"I still love her."
"Then talk to her."
"I won't, I can't see her again."
"Then move on, you can't just hide away at Hogwarts for the rest of your life."
"Move on, like she did. She's married. She's moved on."
"Neville. She cried for months. Six months she cried every day for you, every day, Neville. One day she accepted you weren't going to come back and she moved on and met somebody. She'd want you to do the same.
"I don't care what she wants."
"Gryffindor!" The hat announced.
Neville was shocked, he assumed she'd be a Ravenclaw like her mother. He almost didn't clap. He didn't want this reminder in his Herbology classes, let alone in his house. Then he got a hold of himself and was disgusted by though thoughts. Hogwarts welcomes everybody, it'd be an insult to Dumbledore, and to McGonagall if he didn't do his best for every student in his care.
After the feast, when all students were back in the dorms, after Neville had welcomed the new students, he retired to his study.
He still hadn't settled his rooms next to Gryffindor Tower. He liked his old rooms by the greenhouses, he liked the smell of earth, he liked that he was away from the rest of the populous. While his new rooms where larger and more finely decorated, they didn't feel as comfortable. They weren't quite home.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Harry had just brought back drinks from the bar of the Three Broomsticks. It was the first weekend of term and Harry had come along for his traditional welcome session of Dumbledore's Army (long since renamed by the students Longbottom's Army, although they were carefully not to call it that when he was in earshot) and the two old friends had headed out for an evening drink or five.
Harry took a long sip from his Butterbeer. He'd brought an American style craft Butterbeer while he liked the taste, knew that this would be a long night. Just one of these strong beers would put him over the limit for apporating, and after an unfortunate episode where he materialised in a fountain, he knew not to try it again.
"Tell you what?"
"That Luna had a daughter."
"She asked us not to."
"Why did she ask you?"
"How am I mean to know? Maybe she wanted to tell you herself, maybe she thought it was none of your business..."
"None of my..."
"I don't know. Maybe ... Look, it was a hard time for her. She was alone, heart broken, confused and found herself pregnant. You know how the wizarding community look down on single mothers. If you want to know, you could just..."
Neville had planned in his head how to deal with her. She was just another student. He'd treat her no differently from any other student. He wouldn't go out of his way to be overly friendly, and won't be harsh. He pretended her surname was Bojangles rather than Lovegood so her name wouldn't jar him every time he heard it. Still though, he could see her mother's face.
His plan may have worked better if she wasn't excelling at Herbology. First year Herbology, he was the first to admit, was pretty dull. They needed to learn the skills and the principles that would be the foundation to their studies. All the fun plants came from after Easter. Yet Selina was enthused, always doing more work, maybe not knowing all the answers, but always asking the right questions.
She sat patiently at his desk, her large eyes scanning the walls, and fixing on the large gleaming sword that was mounted high to her left.
"The sword of Godric Gryffindor," Neville tried to sound nonplussed, while at the same time trying to sound impressive, "it presents itself to a true Gryffindor in need. I was the last person it has presented itself to."
Despite having rehearsed what he was going to say a dozen or so times, he was still reading over his notes.
"How are you liking it here at Hogwarts?"
"I love it. I can see why Mother raved about it so much. She's told me so many stories."
"You were in most of them. But sometimes you weren't. Sometimes you're in it, and Mother pauses every time she thinks about you. Sometimes you're not in it, but there is a space for you in the story, like you're missing from it. When Mother talks about you, she always says you're the bravest person she's ever met. You're the reason I wanted to be in Gryffindor."
"What do you mean?"
"I wanted to learn from the Lion of Gryffindor."
"You shouldn't believe all the stories."
"All stories have some basis in fact, Sir."
.... There is more of this story ...