Harry Potter/Neville Longbottom
Neville Longbottom Remus Lupin Severus Snape Nymphadora Tonks Harry and Hermione and Ron
Mystery Adventure
The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
Published: 01/16/2006
Updated: 06/19/2006
Words: 134,451
Chapters: 37
Hits: 105,190

Becoming Neville

Jedi Rita

Story Summary:
Neville's Gran breaks her hip just after his fifth year at Hogwarts, and he must spend the summer with Harry and Remus at No. 12 Grimmauld Place. He and Harry discover a hidden message in the candy wrappers Neville's mother has been giving him over the years, and they begin to uncover secrets about the past, even as they must confront dangers in the present. Along the way, Neville learns just how much he has in common with The Boy Who Lived, and how to be his own kind of hero.

Chapter 07 - Chapter Seven

Chapter Summary:
In which Tonks gets nosy, and the boys get some more practice.

Chapter Seven

Neville didn't exactly end up having pleasant dreams, but at least they weren't nightmares, either. He dreamed that he was trying to read a book, except all the letters kept rearranging themselves.

"It won't stay still," he told Harry. They were in the library at Hogwarts, but there was no one else around.

"This is what you have to do. It's easy." Harry pursed his lips and blew gently on the pages of the book. The letters scattered and flew away, but all Neville could do was stare at Harry's mouth. It was so red.

"That's what you wanted, isn't it?"

He felt Harry's hand press against the bulge in his trousers, and his breath quickened.

"You know you want it."

But Harry was wearing the wrong tie. It was yellow, and there was a Hufflepuff badge on his robes.

"But you put me in Gryffindor," Neville said.

The hand at his crotch pressed rhythmically against him, and a hot flush spread throughout his limbs. "It's what you wanted."

"No," he panted. "I'm supposed to be in Hufflepuff." It hurt, this ache in his groin. He was terribly aroused, but he couldn't catch his breath. He wanted this with all his heart, but it frightened him, too. "Please," he begged, but he didn't know if he wanted the hand to stop or go on.

"You're supposed to be with me."

He couldn't see who it was anymore, who was pressed up against him, hand on his cock, rubbing him faster and faster. "Harry?" he moaned. "Harry, is it you?"

The hand tightened harder around him, and with a groan he woke up to find the front of his pajama pants was sticky and wet.

He draped his arm across his eyes and lay still, breathing hard. Thank heavens this hadn't happened on any of the nights that he and Harry had slept together. Sometimes he hated being fifteen.

A nearby croak roused him from his drowse, and he lowered his arm to see Trevor staring at him from the bedside table. He stretched out and ran a finger along the knobby skin between Trevor's eyes. "I bet this kind of thing never happens to you."

Trevor simply stared back at him, throat swelling and deflating with each breath.


It took him an hour to work up the courage to go downstairs for breakfast. But his dream had woken him so early that not even Lupin was up yet. Neville puttered around in the kitchen, burning toast slice by slice until Lupin finally showed up and rescued the remainder of the bread. They fell easily into conversation about the laboratory, and by the time Harry put in an appearance, Neville was too excited about the plans to be embarrassed around Harry.

They were just finishing up the breakfast dishes when they heard a loud crash in the drawing room.

"Sounds like Tonks has arrived," Lupin quipped.

Moments later, the kitchen door banged open, and the young auror appeared, her robefront stained with dirt. "I'm afraid there's a bit of a mess in the fireplace. The bag of guano caught on one of the irons and ripped." She sneezed, raising a cloud of fine dust from her robes. "That stuff's pretty fragrant, Neville. Couldn't settle for an ordinary bit of dirt, could you?"

"I'm afraid not. Professor Sprout says Madagascar fruit bat guano is the best fertilizer in the world."

"Well, you're the expert." She sneezed again. "And I got everything else on your list, too. Seeds and all. You'll have a right proper garden soon enough."

"Thanks," said Neville. "But it looks like I won't have much time to work on it. We need to get that laboratory cleaned up."

"Oh no," said Lupin. "We'll need your garden, Neville. We can buy what herbs we need, but they're much more potent when they're fresh. So by all means, work on your garden. We won't be ready for the final stages on the laboratory until August's full moon."

"Full moon?" Harry asked, his expression anxious.

"Yes. After we clean and purify the room, it will need to be consecrated. We'll be drawing on new magic and binding it to the room to create a convergence that will be conducive to the preparation of new spells. Magical currents are at the height of their power during the full moon, so that's when the final rituals will take place."

"But the full moon - you'll be...."

"I won't be taking part in the final ritual," Lupin explained.

Harry was crestfallen. "But --."

"That's the way it has to be, Harry."

He didn't seem to be satisfied, but Lupin was right: there was nothing to be done about it.

Turning to Neville, Lupin cheerfully suggested, "Why don't we all go work on the greenhouse while it's still morning? Then after lunch when the day has grown hotter, we'll come inside and work on the laboratory. What do you say, Tonks? Care to help us?"

"I'd love to! Just so long as I don't have to mess with that guano." And she gave a lusty sneeze.

So they hauled the supplies up to the roof. The others all looked to Neville to tell them what to do. It was a strange experience to be considered the expert at something, but even he couldn't deny that he knew more about gardening than the others. So he put Lupin and Tonks to work at rigging the tarpaulin over the greenhouse while he and Harry began mixing guano and soil enrichers into the beds. It was a pleasant morning, and Lupin, Harry, and Neville relished the opportunity to work outdoors.

As she tied the edge of the tarpaulin to the greenhouse frame, Tonks said, "You boys will have taken your OWLs, right? I expect you're all worked up about your marks."

"I'm trying not to think about it," Neville muttered, and Harry nodded.

"What profession are you interested in?" Tonks asked.

Harry answered, "I want to be an auror, like my parents."

"Excellent choice, if I do say so myself," said Tonks, beaming her approval. "We'll be colleagues! And you've certainly got it in your blood. Your parents were the best, they say. Yours too, Neville. Do you want to be an auror as well?"

"I might," said Neville, with more than a bit of pride. In truth, he'd never dared hope he could be an auror. Certainly he had enough people telling him he could never hope to aim that high. But Lupin seemed to think he was competent, and Harry kept talking about how crucial his help had been at the Ministry. Neville would have never admitted to anyone before that he might aspire to being an auror. Then again, he didn't have to be one just because his parents had. "I don't really know exactly. I haven't made up my mind yet."

"That's smart. Keep your options open. Maybe you'll be a potions brewer, what with all this herbology expertise. Or you'll research spells to fight You-Know-Who. Between you and Harry, the old boy had better watch out!"

If anyone else had said that, Neville would have though he was being teased. But Tonks appeared genuine in her praise. He'd never before been surrounded by so many people who thought he could be good at something. It was a nice feeling.

Tonks finally finished tying off the section of tarpaulin and started on another. "So do either of you have any particular lady friends?"

Neville hastily busied himself mixing soil, leaving Harry to stammer, "N-no."

"No?! What about you, Neville?"

Cornered, Neville blushed and said, "Um, no."

Tonks gaped. "Two good-looking blokes like yourselves, and you haven't a girlfriend between you? I'm shocked. In my day, Gryffindors were always scoring, and I'm not talking about Quidditch."

"Tonks!" Lupin reprimanded.

"What? Wasn't that true when you were at school?" She flashed him a coquettish grin, and it seemed to Neville as if her features changed slightly, her lips a bit fuller and more red, her eyelashes longer. "I bet you had a different girlfriend every week."

To Neville's surprise, Lupin blushed. "I-I just don't think that's an appropriate topic of conversation."

"Oooh, that wild, were you? You devil." Did Tonks actually growl? "But these two are good, red-blooded British lads. I'm sure they're thinking about it all the time, even if they aren't seeing much action. When I was that age, everyone knew Gryffindors were always good for a shag."


"I mean snog."

"Be that as it may, you're not that age anymore. You are considerably older." He gave her a warning look.

"Oh. Right. Set a good example and all that." She imperiously cleared her throat. "Just remember, boys: keep your trousers zipped, and you can't go wrong."

Harry and Neville exchanged embarrassed smiles.

"And my other piece of advice to you is this," she added. "Never shag a Slytherin, because she'll only turn around and tell the other girls how big your --."

"Tonks!" Lupin barked.

"-wand is." She turned to Lupin and gave him the most artfully innocent look Neville had ever seen, and given that Fred and George Weasley were in his house, he'd seen quite a few. "Why, Remus," she drawled. "What did you think I was going to say?"


They resumed working on the laboratory after lunch, and by the time dinner rolled around, Neville was exhausted. Throughout the meal, various members of the Order arrived for yet another meeting. Harry was always trying to find out what went on in their meetings, but Neville didn't really want to know. Their adventure at the Ministry had been more than enough excitement for him. As soon as he could, he slipped away from the crowd gathered in the kitchen around the dinner table and went up to his room.

He'd been lying in bed for some time reading when he was interrupted by a knock on the door. He sighed and called out, "Come in."

The door opened and in walked Harry, dressed in his pajamas, carrying a bottle of butterbeer in each hand and a bag of crisps between his teeth. He padded across the carpet to the bed and grunted. Neville reached up and took the bag of crisps, and Harry said, "Well, come on. Shove over."

Neville scooted aside for Harry, wondering what had ever happened to asking for permission. But he didn't mind too much as Harry crawled up next to him, sitting cross-legged. Of course, this also meant that his bed would end up full of crumbs.

Harry handed Neville one of the bottles and pulled the covers up around his waist. He took a sip of his butterbeer, then pointed the bottle at the book Neville held in his lap. "That doesn't look like a school book."

"It's not."

"What is it, then?"

Neville showed him.

"Fellowship of the Ring," Harry read off the cover. "That's a Muggle book."


"Well, it's just...." Harry gave a sheepish shrug. "Sometimes it seems like magic folk don't ever read Muggle books. Ron doesn't."

"Ron isn't much of a reader, though, is he?"

"True." Harry grinned widely, and Neville could feel an answering grin steal across his face.

Harry ripped open the bag of crisps and offered it first to Neville. As he took a handful, Harry asked, "So have you read it before?"

"Loads of times," he answered around licking the salt off his fingers. "I love all the books."

"Me, too. It was kind of disappointing to learn that real elves are nothing like the ones in the book."

"I can imagine."

Harry stuffed some crisps in his mouth, chewing thoughtfully. "Maybe there are other elves like the book ones?"


"But maybe there are."

"Harry," Neville sighed, "Lord of the Rings is fiction."

"Oh, yeah." Harry's cheeks turned red and he quickly took a sip of his butterbeer. "You've got to understand, though, for me growing up Muggle, everything about the magical world is like something out of a book."

Neville considered this. After all, the Muggle world sounded a lot like fiction to him, too.

They sat in companionable silence for a while, drinking their butterbeers and munching on crisps. Neville wondered why Harry had come here. He would like to keep reading his book, but he didn't necessarily mind having company. "I've got the rest of the books here, too," he offered. "They're over on the table if you want to read one."

Harry slid out of bed and browsed through the books. He came back with *The Hobbit* and arranged the covers around himself once more. "This one's still my favorite."

"Mine, too."

As he opened the book, Harry mused, "I wonder if there are any real orcs?"

Neville rolled his eyes. "It's a book, Harry. It's not real. Tolkien wasn't even a real wizard."

"Oh. Right."

"H.G. Wells was, though."

Harry's eyes widened. "He was?"

"Yeah. He invented the bubblehead charm."

"Cool." Harry considered this. "Still, I bet if there *were* real orcs, Hagrid could take them on."

Suppressing a giggle, Neville ordered, "Just read your book, Harry."

They each settled back against the headboard, books in their laps, the bag of crisps between them. Reading with company was rather nice, Neville decided, and the time passed quickly. Before he knew it, the crisps had disappeared, and the butterbeers were finished.

The ceiling over their heads creaked, and Neville glanced up. "I bet that's Lupin."

"You mean Remus."

"Right." Neville had never called a grown-up by his first name before. It was weird, but cool, too. He'd never had a grown-up friend.

"It must be late," Harry said. "You want to stop reading?"

Neville wasn't sure if he did or not, because he didn't know what, if anything, might happen next, but he said, "Okay."

They set aside their books and the empty bag, and shook the crumbs out of the covers. Harry took off his glasses and lay down, facing Neville. It looked like he was intending to stay after all. Neville didn't mind. He just hoped he didn't have another dream like the night before.

"I was thinking," Harry said as Neville turned down the lamp and settled under the covers. "Maybe we could...practice some more."

A hot tingling spread out from Neville's stomach, as if someone had just cast a warming charm on him. "More?"

"You said there was more to it. I want to learn. But - we don't have to if you don't want."

It would not do at all to disappoint Harry Potter, so Neville said, "No, that's fine."

Harry wiggled next to him, and Neville realized he was scooting closer. "So, what else is there?"

He resisted the urge to move away from Harry. He'd never kissed anybody when he was lying down, and it seemed too...too *something* that he didn't really want to think about. He sat up, resting his back against the headboard, and Harry sat up, too, facing him. "So?" Harry asked.

Neville smoothed the covers over his knees, hoping they wouldn't start knocking. "Well, there's kissing with tongues."

"Oh. Yeah." Harry visibly suppressed a grimace. "Can't say I particularly cared for that."

"Well, I guess it *can* be rather awful, but it's really great if you do it right."

Harry didn't look convinced. "Really?"


Harry looked away, brushing some crumbs off the blankets while he considered. At last he raised his chin. "All right. If you say so." There was that Gryffindor bravery again, working very strongly in Neville's favor.

They awkwardly moved toward each other, but once their lips met it got easier. The kissing felt so pleasant, and Neville could close his eyes and focus on sensation, not thought. Especially not thoughts about the fact that he was kissing a boy he fancied while dressed in his pajamas and sitting in bed. Of course, that thought did tend to intrude onto his mind, causing him to fumble a bit and feel awkward, but then he would mentally chant, "Snogging now. Don't bother me, brain," and the horny part would assert itself and smother the thinking part.

After a bit of warm up, Neville brushed his tongue across Harry's lips. Harry froze in surprise, but he didn't move away, so Neville did it again. Harry quickly warmed up to this new sensation and opened his mouth to try it himself, licking Neville's lips in a way that reminded Neville of Hagrid's boarhound before finally getting the hang of it. They practiced this new combination of lips and tongues before Neville resolutely banished his thinking brain and took the plunge, sliding his tongue into Harry's mouth.

Harry went rigid, his fingers digging into Neville's upper arms, and then met Neville's tongue with equal enthusiasm. Neville was reminded again how, done the right way with the right person, it was not even remotely like snails. Instead it was mmmm, and wet, and oh yes please. Thinking brain went into hibernation, and horny brain took over. Neville's hands sought out Harry's hair of their own accord and took up residence. He forgot about his self-consciousness and pressed closer to Harry, all but crawling into his lap. Horny brain incoherently clamored for more: more touch, more tongue, more contact, and yes, and right now, and if you shift just a bit to the left then you can press --.

Abruptly Harry wrenched himself free, though he still gripped Neville's shoulders. Both boys were panting hard, and Neville's thinking brain scrambled to make sense of what was happening. Had he done something wrong? Had Harry felt his erection and panicked? Had he messed everything up?

Harry gulped several lungfuls of air. "Wow," he panted. "That was - you were right. That tongue thing's really good."

The world stopped spinning crazily around Neville, and he relaxed a bit. "Yeah," was all he could think of to say.

Harry's grip eased, but he did not let go. On the other hand, he made no move to kiss Neville again, either. Neville let his hands slide out of Harry's hair and down to his shoulders. It seemed a little odd to be embracing Harry like this, when they weren't actively "practicing," but he wasn't ready to let go yet.

The breathing of both boys slowly evened out, and Neville stared at the V at the neck of Harry's pajamas. After a while he ventured, "You want to practice some more?"

"I--." Harry released his shoulders and leaned back, putting some distance between them. "Maybe not. I think that's enough for now."

Disappointment doused Neville's arousal. "All right."

"Is there more?"

There was a lot more, certainly much, much more he would like to do with Harry, but that began to go beyond kissing. And Harry had only wanted kissing lessons. "That's pretty much all of it," he admitted. "There's just - more of the same."

Harry nodded and leaned back on his hands, sighing heavily. "Well, that was good. Thanks, Neville. I really appreciate it."

Neville definitely did not want to be thanked, but years of Gran thumping him on the head to remind him of his manners prompted him to say, "You're welcome." He felt like an idiot saying it, though.

"Good night, then," Harry said. He lay down and pulled the covers up to his neck, and Neville did the same.

Was this normal, to practice snogging with a boy and then go to sleep with him? Ron, Dean and Seamus didn't share a bed after their practice sessions. It felt strange and a little uncomfortable, but Neville wasn't about to kick Harry out.


Neville woke in the middle of the night to something warm and solid against his back, and something damp on his shoulder. "Harry?" he yawned.

A rustle behind him, then, "Sorry." Harry's voice sounded strained.

Neville rolled onto his back. He could just barely make out Harry's profile on the pillow next to him, but the hitching in his breath was apparent. "What's wrong?"

For a long time Harry didn't answer, and Neville wasn't sure if he should press the point. Harry had had quite a few emotional scenes over the years, which wasn't surprising considering how often You-Know-Who and his cronies tried to kill him. Dean, Seamus, Ron, and Neville were all very protective of Harry when he went through a mood swing or had one of his emotional outbursts. After all, he was their dorm mate, and they wouldn't tolerate anyone else - especially Slytherins - giving him a hard time for fainting around the dementors, or crying, or having bizarre scar incidents. Nevertheless, the rest of them tended to let Ron handle Harry himself, while they manfully ignored him.

But Ron wasn't here, and it didn't seem right for Neville to pretend Harry hadn't been crying. He was just wondering whether he ought to ask again when Harry quietly said, "I dreamed about Sirius."

At least his voice sounded a bit more under control, though it was still sad. Neville still didn't know what to say, so he ventured a neutral, "Oh?"

A sibilant sigh rose in the dark. "I really miss him. He and my dad were best friends. For the first time in my life I actually had family that I wanted, someone who cared about me. We were going to live together someday, maybe here at Grimmauld Place. It's not fair. I didn't have him for long, and now he's gone."

Neville wanted to reach out, to touch Harry, but he didn't dare. "I'm sorry." It sounded lame, but there wasn't anything else to say.

"I've been through every room in this house looking for a portrait of him, and I didn't find a single one. If only I could just hear his voice again...." His pitch rose sharply, and Neville waited to see if he would cry again. He heard some harsh breaths, and then Harry cleared his throat. "Death sucks," he said bitterly.

Neville thought of his own parents, of his grandmother. If any of them died, he wouldn't be able to bear it. He didn't know what he would do.

"I'm gonna kill Bellatrix Lestrange," Harry declared.

Neville shuddered and said, "Not unless I kill her first."

The words frightened him. They reminded him of his dream, his fierce anger when he cast the killing curse. It didn't seem right to talk so lightly of killing someone, but wouldn't it be right to kill a murderer like her? Wouldn't Harry kill Voldemort if he could? Whether or not it was right, it felt good to make such a declaration, to give a focus to his anger and grief. It gave him a purpose. It meant he could do more for his parents than just mourn them. He said it again, savoring how the words felt in his mouth. "I want to kill her."

"I guess you have the right, really," Harry said. "In that case, is it all right if I help?"

Neville couldn't help but giggle. It was just as if Harry had offered to help him with his homework.

The covers rustled and Harry moved closer, gently resting his cheek against Neville's shoulder. "I'm glad you're here Neville. Would you mind if...if sometimes I talked about him?"

A warmth blossomed in Neville's chest that was quite unlike what he'd experienced when they were kissing. It felt very nice. "I wouldn't mind at all."


They lay in silence, Harry with his cheek on Neville's shoulder. Neville shifted his head slightly so he could rest his own cheek against Harry's head. "Good night then, Harry," he whispered.

Harry yawned in reply. "Night."

Within minutes they were both asleep.