It was an odd thing, to be sure. Not that Draco Malfoy generally confessed to ever noticing Neville Longbottom, but this incident couldn't help but stand out in his mind. Draco had been sent to the greenhouses in search of some blackthorn for a potion he and Professor Snape had been working on. Having retrieved said item successfully, Draco couldn't help but be mildly distracted on his way back to the dungeons. There are, after all, some very interesting plants in the greenhouses of Hogwarts. One plant in particular caught Draco's immediate attention. It is not everyday that one comes across plants with teeth. He was in the process of prodding the betoothed plant in order to awaken it when he was caught off his guard by someone shouting it him rather loudly.
"Jesus Christ, Malfoy get the fuck away that!"
Draco managed to jump away from the plant just in time for the long sharp teeth to bite down exactly where his hand used to be. Neville Longbottom rushed up to him from behind and deliberately shoved him out of the way and started to mutter some sort of incantation which appeared to appease the plant and send it back into hibernation. Draco was very upset by this ordeal and was about to launch into a rather long diatribe on why such plants like that shouldn't be allowed to exist when a very different thought grabbed hold of his mind.
-Neville Longbottom swears?-
Draco shook his head firmly, as if it might help process this information. It wasn't helping. Neville Longbottom was a hopeless, pathetic, fat, near squib, who never used any language harsher than "darn" or when really pressed, "oh fudge" and who just told him to fuck off.
"Malfoy, did you hear what I just said?"
Draco shook his head again and was about to answer that, no, he hadn't heard, but then he realized that actually did.
"You told me to fuck off," Draco said with all the confusion, disbelief, and awe usually reserved for virgins being told that they had been visited by the Holy Spirit and were to give birth to a son via immaculate conception.
Neville himself was beginning to get weirded out. For starters, no one ever came into his corner of the Greenhouse, and if they did they most certainly did not stay long enough to stand there staring at him with their mouth hanging open as if he'd just grown a second head. For that matter, forget about staring at him, people generally never even looked his way, so all in all, this prolonged looking was making him very nervous indeed. He'd managed to finally get to the point in his seven years at Hogwarts where he avoided stupidity long enough to maintain anonymity and it was very disturbing to once again be under the scrutiny of others.
"Look, Malfoy, I'm busy and I'm not interested in these games, so please just fuck off."
With one last confused glance at the boy who never swore who just swore, Draco finally managed to wander out of the greenhouse. It's not that Draco was ever interested in anything Neville Longbottom ever did, in fact the general assumption was that he was an extremely uninteresting and completely forgettable person. All that aside, though, Draco couldn't stop trying to figure out if Neville had actually always sworn and he just never noticed it.
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Draco, as was his usual habit, once again completely forgot all about Neville Longbottom and his loquationary habits. The world had once again set itself to right and Draco was a self important prig and Neville Longbottom was an uninteresting nobody. That is, until a week later when Draco ran out of Andol Root. As Draco entered the greenhouse, he noticed Neville standing there just next to the entrance. He half expected Neville to tell him to fuck off again, but he didn't. At first this struck Draco as odd, but then he remembered that being told to fuck off by Neville Longbottom was supposed to be the odd part. Neville quietly standing by himself next to the greenhouse was the Natural Order of Things. Yes, Draco concluded that all was indeed right with the world. Neville Longbottom was simply performing his designated role in society by leaning against the greenhouse all by himself and smoking a cigarette. Draco was about to leave the greenhouse behind, Andol root in hand, when a nagging thought in the back of his mind caused him to stop.
-Neville Longbottom doesn't smoke, does he?-
Draco turned around and after a great deal of effort, managed to contort his mind to accept the fact that, at the very least, it certainly looked like Neville was smoking. Neville, for his part, was at a total loss as to why he was the subject of scrutiny. This was his place in the world, standing alone outside the Greenhouses. No one ever bothered him or even noticed him and he couldn't possibly imagine what he had done to set an unbalance in things. Neville glanced down at himself, then glanced around him, turning around to discretely check his reflection in the glass walls of the greenhouse, just to make sure that he hadn't, in fact, grown another head. As far as he could tell all was completely normal. He looked back as Draco, completely perplexed. The only abnormal thing about this whole situation appeared to be Draco Malfoy. Now that he thought about it, it occurred to him that Draco Malfoy generally was not supposed to be hanging out around the greenhouse holding freshly dug Andol Roots and staring at people with his mouth hanging open. No, this was definitely not the Natural Order of Things. Neville concluded that there most certainly was nothing wrong with himself and that this unusual situation must be a direct result of there being something amiss with Draco Malfoy.
Draco finally wandered off, muttering something to himself and shaking and scratching his head in the contemplative way that people are often wont to do. Though, Neville noted with some interest, he was using the hand which held the freshly dug Andol Root, thus leaving behind clumps of soil in his normally pristine platinum hair. Yes, there was most certainly something wrong with Draco Malfoy.
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