Neville shivered as he left the greenhouse, the night was cloudless and cold now that the sun had sunk firmly behind the mountains. He eyed the ground and spotted Pansy laying in the grass, staring up at the star-speckled expanse. He stood silently as his eyes moved over her body, noting her clothes. The silken blouse clung to her curves, and once again, he could see the tiny pinpricks against the material where her nipples stood proud. He swallowed and shook his head, he honestly wished that he didn’t notice such things. She deserved more respect than being only something that made his body react in such a way.
She heard his approach and pushed her self up on her elbows. She turned to him and smiled. The light of the moon bathing them in a bright grey light. It had occurred to him how pretty she looked when her spiteful and superior façade was gone. Her shiny eyes looking almost unearthly in the night.
“That was quick. I wasn’t expecting you for a while yet.”
He shrugged as he sat on the grass next to her.
“I couldn’t concentrate.” He said as he gazed up at the face on the moon.
“I know that feeling.” She snorted as she looked back up at the sky.
“How come?” He asked as he hugged his legs to his chest.
She laughed, and it was a bitter sound. “Where would you like me to begin?”
“Good point.” He nodded with a snort.
“I remember coming here a lot last year.” She said quietly. “When it got too much inside.”
“How come I never saw you?” Neville asked as he looked down and her, following the lines and curves of her face as she spoke.
She shrugged, making the blouse ride up. The small curve of her navel caught his eyes, and he groaned inwardly as he shut his eyes.
“I guess I didn’t want to be found.” She sighed as she lifted her arms and rested her head on her hands, exposing more midriff.
Neville nodded as he watched her. He didn’t want to break the silence; to break the spell.
“Last year was a real headfuck.” She said finally as she sighed into the night. “The only thing that kept me going was coming here to stare at the stars.” She paused as her eyes gazed up, Neville felt his breath catch as he could see galaxies reflected in her eyes. “I mean, how bad could life really be in comparison to the vastness of the universe. How much could such a little speck suffer in the grand scheme of things? It helped put things into perspective as well as scaring the shit out of me.” She laughed and looked at him.
He looked back, not knowing what to say.
“Lie down with me, Neville.” She asked, her voice barely above a whisper. He felt entranced as he lay down next to her, his shoulder touching hers as the cold grass tickled his neck. She rested her head against his shoulder as she pointed into the sky. She named a couple of constellations and stars as they lay there, but Neville couldn’t focus as her warmth and smell overwhelmed his senses. The scent of cherries and violets smelling spicier and sharper in the fresh air.
“Looking into such beauty, almost any problem becomes so small in comparison; almost insignificant.”
She turned her head to look at him, her lips brushing his shoulder as their eyes met. She looked away without moving her face. “I really would like it if we became friends.”
“So would I.” Neville found himself replying as he watched her lips. He longed to kiss those lips, to hear her breath sigh as he claimed her. He ached to feel her hands in his hair as she cried out. Her lips suddenly twitched into a beautiful smile.
“Tell me a story, something you’ve never told anyone.”
He felt the pulse in his throat pound as he swallowed. “I don’t have any stories.” He said and smiled as he felt her head tilt to look at him.
“I don’t believe you, you just want to be a man of mystery.” She said as she poked him in the side. He flinched before laughing; the sensation, strange in his throat, tight like an unused muscle.
“That wasn’t fair.” He protested playfully.
“I know that we’re in the same house now, however never forget, once a Slytherin, always a Slytherin.”
“Is that so?” He asked. He felt his heart stuttered as he took a leap of faith. He reached over and tickled her exposed waist and was rewarded by a high pitched squeal.
“No, don’t” she laughed as he stopped. “I’m so ticklish.”
“You shouldn’t have told me that.” He replied with a grin as he tickled her waist again, watching as she writhed against his touch. Her chest bucking up from the ground, dragged his mind back to the thoughts he tried to suppress.
She laughed until she was breathless, her body now pressed even closer against his.
“Truce.” She cried as she wiped the tears from her eyes. Neville chuckled and nodded
“Truce.” He agreed as his eyes returned to the stars. The silence returned between them as they both lay breathing heavily.
Neville let his mind wander as he felt her warmth pressed against him. It felt so right being here like this. His mind shot back to Saturday, Hannah and the argument. He sighed as he tried to let the emotions go. He wasn’t sure whether they were still together or whether they were now broken up. He wondered what she would say if she could see him now. The thought lodged in his head as he stared up into the pinpricks of light that shone down on him.
“You’re thinking about what you’re going to do, aren’t you?” Pansy asked quietly.
Neville nodded slowly before looking down at her where she had cuddled up to him.
“What’s the plan?” She asked calmly “Remember about the stars and about how small they make problems appear.” She added.
“I don’t know, is there anything to do? I sort of assumed she broke up with me.” He muttered, feeling the keen sting again.
“That’s a good assumption.” Pansy nodded. She turned back to him and placed a hand on his chest. He almost stopped breathing as he looked at her.
“What she said. She’s trying to get into your head.” He nodded but didn’t agree with her statement. He felt like he’d let her down; hurt her by not being present enough. “Don’t nod if you don’t agree.” She said as she pushed herself up to look at him. “One thing that friends are supposed to do is be honest. If you don’t agree, say so. We can disagree and still like each other.” She said sternly. He nodded nervously.
“And don’t apologise unless you’ve done something wrong.” She continued “If you haven’t done anything wrong, don’t apologise because that is just admitting liability.” She said firmly.
He nodded again.
“Lessons to live by Neville. You would be unstoppable if you have some Slytherin cunning and ambition.” She said as she propped her head upon her arm next to him. “But I’m willing to train you.” She smirked with a wink.
He felt his stomach roll uncomfortably as he looked up into her face haloed by the moon. She was so very beautiful. He searched her face before dropping his eyes to his lips. She smiled as if she knew what he was thinking.
“Come on, we had better get back, it’s getting cold.” She pushed herself up, her blouse gaping letting Neville see that she wasn’t wearing anything underneath. Once to her feet, she offered him her hand. He looked at it for a moment before taking it. He used it to steady himself as he pushed himself up off the floor. Once up, they were face to face, and some of the awkwardness had returned. He looked down at her and smiled as he pushed his hand through his hair.
She shivered as she began to turn.
“Wait.” He called as he pushed back into the greenhouse. He grabbed his jacket and bag before rushing back to her. He draped the coat over her shoulders, and she cuddled into it.
“Thank you” She replied as she pulled it tight around herself.
The walked back to Lumos tower slowly as they talked about everything and nothing. Neville wasn’t sure that he had ever been able to have such conversations with anyone, even his friends. He smiled as they arrived outside the boy’s dorm.
“Well this is my stop,” Neville said she he turned back to her. “Thank you for listening and for your advice.”
“What are friends for?” She asked with a grin. As she tucked her hair behind her ear. She paused and began to take his jacket off to give back.
“It’s ok, keep it for tonight.” He said as he pulled it back up over her shoulders.
“Thanks.” She replied as her cheeks coloured slightly. She bit her lip for a moment before speaking again. “Ignore the rumours, and if anyone gives you any trouble, either Hermione or I want to know about it.
“What a scary thought, you two working together.” He shivered, causing Pansy to laugh.
“Scary but also a great deterrent.” They both nodded and laughed.
“Well, goodnight” Pansy said as she waited for Neville to enter through their portrait hole. “Good night, Pansy.” He smiled and was rewarded by a gorgeous, sexy smile as she began to climb the stairs. He waited as she rose, secretly hoping to see a hint of lace beneath the skirt. When he saw the black frills, he shivered and muttered the passwords before pushing through the entrance hole.
Accio Chapter 9