A/N: Hello All! I am laid up at home today with an ankle injury, so I decided I'd post something I've been working on. This is the first work that I've posted and I'm very excited about it. As of now, I will be posting on a bi-weekly schedule, but if I end up being able to write more quickly than I think I will, we can see about more regular updates. I work full-time, though, so I really can't make any promises on that front, things get a bit unpredictable. I'll do my best to let you know ahead of time if anything changes or if I have to delay posting. You can follow me on tumblr at resimonfics, and I am on facebook as RE Simon. Beta love to blankfish who has been indispensable and has all but pulled the words from my head.

Chapter 1

15 September 1991

Hermione Granger had thought that once she got to Hogwarts she would find her place in the world — her people, so to speak. She had never fit in with anyone at her primary school; she had preferred to read on the swings instead of running around and pretending to be a princess waiting to be rescued by a knight, or a pop-star trying to entertain the masses. She hadn't been interested in talking about boys or hair, at the same time she hadn't been a sporty tomboy, nor did she like to climb trees or play football. On top of all of that, small but strange things were constantly happening around her: the things she dropped seemed to always land softly just before they crashed to the ground, people who were mean to her seemed to fall down or meet some other minorly unpleasant fate.

Finding out she was a witch had been a revelation in almost every sense of the word. She was told that she was one of many and that she could attend a school— a whole school— devoted to the education of other magical people. She had assumed that everyone would share her love of learning and that her struggle to fit in had been entirely because she was surrounded by non-magical students. She was rapidly disabused of this notion, however, as she quickly discovered that most girls would treat her the same no matter where she went. On top of that, there were people who didn't believe that she belonged in this world because she had Muggle parents. Her first two weeks had been challenging enough, never mind that her birthday was coming up.

She had never been particularly fond of her birthday.

For her sixth birthday, her mother had invited everyone in her class to her birthday party, purchased Hermione a new dress, and taken the time to tame her hair into two French braids. Hermione was very excited and waited patiently by the door for an hour. Then two hours. Four hours passed before her mother called her over and they had cake just the three of them, her parents singing her "Happy Birthday" with smiles on their faces that didn't quite reach their eyes. She caught her father holding her mother while she cried, sitting on their bed that evening after they thought Hermione had gone to sleep.

No, she did not like her birthday at all.

She had been struggling to make many friends at Hogwarts, which was a phenomenon not unusual to her. There were a few people she thought liked her at least okay, which was more than could have been said for her Muggle school. Her roommates did not like her. Fay Dunbar had a friend from home who had been sorted into Ravenclaw, whose name Hermione still did not know, and Lavender and Parvati seemed interested in only discussing beauty charms and whatever heartthrob was being featured in the newest edition of Witch Weekly. Hermione was the odd one out in the room and none of the other girls made a notable effort to include her. Harry Potter was nice enough, but he was always with Ron Weasley, who wasn't overly fond of her— she had embarrassed him on the train because she had known more than him about spells and then pointed out that he had dirt on his nose.

It was all of this together that brought forth tears as she sat in her favorite corner of the library a few short days before her birthday, two weeks after her arrival at Hogwarts. She was at was a small table between two stacks, away from the main area where most people studied. She was often back here alone, which suited her just fine at this moment— she did not exactly relish the notion of an audience to her tears.

"Hermione? Are you alright?" Neville asked sheepishly from where he stood at the other side of the table.

"What? Oh yes, just feeling a bit homesick is all. It's almost my birthday and I've never spent it away from my parents," Hermione said, clearing her throat and attempting to surreptitiously wipe her nose without looking too uncouth.

"Really?! I didn't know it was almost your birthday. When is it, exactly?" he asked with furrowed brows.

"September 19th— it's this Thursday, actually."

"Okay," he responded, having clearly decided something, but what, she had no clue. "Excuse me," He said resolutely before nodding and walking off. By and large, it was a strange interaction that provided enough of a distraction from her pity party to allow Hermione to refocus on her studying.

19 September 1991

On the morning of her birthday, Hermione was feeling positively glum. While she usually was a bit down on her birthday, she'd at least had her parents in previous years who would cheer her up with loving attention and extremely thoughtful gifts. Their absence this year drew attention to just how alone she was feeling so far at Hogwarts.

The Owl Post came just as she was sitting down, and a small parcel wrapped in brown paper with a bow atop it was dropped in front of her. The note attached read "To our dear Hermione — on her 12th birthday! We miss you. We love you. Happy Birthday!" Inside the box was a small, gold charm bracelet with exactly three charms on it: a book, a witch's hat, and a broom. The last was in reference to how much she told them she hated flying in her last letter. She smiled at the joke and put the bracelet on.

As she looked around the table in an attempt to decide what to eat for breakfast that morning, a hand slipped into view, placing a chocolate cake with a single candle in front of her.

"Happy birthday, Hermione!" Neville said with a small smile. Hermione gaped at him in surprise for a moment and she looked down at the cake, then back up at him.

"This is very kind, Neville, thank you!" she beamed at him across the table.

"It was the least I could do! I'll never have to spend a birthday away from my family because it's not during term, but I can imagine it makes the homesickness worse. Plus, you're my friend and I wanted to give you something nice for your birthday," his cheeks pinking a bit as he spoke. He then reached into his bag and pulled out a pack of sugar quills and licorice wands with a very small box attached.

He handed them to her, to her continued surprise, and she opened the box to find a small toad charm for her bracelet inside.

"I didn't know what you'd like, so I owled your parents and they told me what they were getting you and recommended another charm. I also remembered that you said they were, erm, tooth healers and didn't let you eat many sweets, but I thought since it was your birthday you deserved a treat. These are a couple of my favorite wizarding sweets, there's no pressure for you to like them or any—"

She cut him off by lunging across the table to embrace him. It was an unusual display from the usually reserved witch and caught a few eyes, but she didn't care. It was the best birthday she had ever had and she had Neville Longbottom to thank. Her first birthday at Hogwarts with her first friend at Hogwarts was the best she'd had in her twelve years.

19 September 2005

It had become a tradition for Hermione to spend her birthdays with Neville after that first one. Her parents swore up and down after her twelfth birthday that they were now going to give her a charm for her bracelet on every gift-giving occasion from now on, and promptly forgot by Christmas. Neville, however, had given her a charm for every birthday since. She had so many by her 26th birthday that she could not remember them all, save for a few. She would never forget her Trevor charm as it was the first, other standouts were a galleon (for the DA), a mandrake (to remind her of the good parts of second year, he had joked), and a quill (for her love of sugar quills).

Neville had managed to undo years of damage in just a few short weeks of friendship, and her birthday was now a day she looked forward to every year with relish. This year, however, she found that she would much rather spend her birthday on her couch and mope. Having recently been dumped by someone she could have seen herself getting serious with, she wanted nothing more than to curl up in front of her fire with a bottle of red wine and a blanket. Hermione knew that going to see Neville would cheer her up, but it felt like so much. She took a moment to center herself—she had not missed a birthday with Neville in 16 years, not even when she had appendicitis two years prior and they had found themselves celebrating in her hospital room, much to the chagrin of her healers. No, she would not miss tonight either, despite her desire to remain exactly as she was.

Hermione took a deep breath, grabbed her bottle of wine, and called out his floo address before she could change her mind.

"Happy Birthday!" Neville greeted her with a beatific smile. She knew that he loved this tradition as much as she did. It had long been acknowledged among their friends that he was the best at selecting gifts for Hermione—for every holiday, not just her birthday— but he got to stand out on her birthday because she was the only one receiving gifts.

"Thank you, Neville," she said quietly, returning his smile with a false one of her own, returning his hug.

"What's wrong? Why are you sad? It's your birthday, it's not allowed," he said, narrowing his eyes at her.

"Blaise dumped me last week," Hermione responded blandly, pressing the wine into Neville's chest before walking toward his couch.

"I thought things were going well, what happened?" he inquired as he moved toward his kitchen, which abutted the den where she was now lounging on his couch.

"I asked him to be exclusive, said I could see a future with him. His response was, and this is verbatim, mind you, 'Ohhhhhhhh, no,'" She mimicked his intonation as she recounted the story to Neville.

"Tosser. You're too good for him anyway. I thought so the whole time, to be honest, but you were happy and I didn't want to spoil that." Neville handed her a glass containing a generous serving of the vintage. She downed the thing in one and gestured for a second pour, this one was less generous. Hermione did not normally drink on Mondays, but it was her birthday, she was healing, and she had already taken the next day off.

"Next time please say something, I really trust your opinion and it might have saved me a lot of wasted time."

"Wasted time, pfft," he waved his hand dismissively at this, "you've only just turned twenty-six today. Why rush to settle down?"

"I'm just— ready. Of our close friends, it's only you and I that haven't settled down. I want a child of my own, which may be selfish, but it's how I feel. The women in my mother's family are prone to early menopause. It took my parents years to have me and my mother stopped being able to have children while I was still young. Granted, they started later in life than 26, it takes time to both become a dentist and set up a successful dental practice, and then there's the fact that my fertile years would possibly be longer because of being a witch, but that's no guarantee," she rambled, finally pausing to take a breath.

She took several large sips of her wine before looking over at Neville, who sat silent and wide-eyed next to her on the couch and sighed. "I am just ready to settle down and it is frustrating that no one seems to want me," she said, hiccuping into her glass.

Neville hugged her close into his side on the couch and kissed her head.

"You're wonderful and someday you'll find someone who appreciates you. Don't you dare lower your standards again and date someone like Zabini."

She nodded slowly, sighing into the embrace as she lowered her head to his shoulder. He always knew what to say to make her feel better. She noticed two things as she leaned her head against his shoulder. The first being that he smelled incredible—a mix of freshly turned soil, the green of plants in the spring, a hint of his aftershave that still lingered from his morning shave, soap, and just man— it was a heady mix.

The second was just how strong his arms were around her. She had consciously been aware that he'd slimmed down in their later years at Hogwarts, but she hadn't really thought on it very thoroughly at all because, well, it's Neville, and she hadn't previously spent much time at all thinking about Neville's body and what it might look like without clothes. She wondered if the rest of him was as hard and well muscled as his arms.

Get it together woman, good grief, she thought, shaking her head. She cleared her throat and reached to take another sip of her wine in an attempt to center herself. This was a mistake, however, because Neville saw what she was planning and picked up her glass and handed it to her, which resulted in her looking at his face. He really had grown to be quite handsome, she mused as she took her sip with a small smile, returning her glass to the coffee table. He had a mostly straight nose— it had a slight bend about halfway down the bridge where it had been broken by one of the Carrows and never healed quite right— and full lips that looked petal soft. This close to him, she could easily see clearly how striking his hazel eyes were, a mossy green on the outside that shifted to an almost ochre toward his pupil with amber streaked throughout, not quite in a true spiral, but almost.

It was also then that she noticed that her breathing had picked up and that the longer she looked at his eyes the darker they became as his pupils dilated. She pulled back, slightly embarrassed, and took one last sip of her wine before she leaned across him in an attempt to put her glass back down on the coffee table, only to spill her wine on his shirt.

"Oh no! I'm so sorry, Neville! This was a nice shirt, too. Let me take care of it," she exclaimed.

Due to the combination of confusion, embarrassment, and wine, her haste to try and wordlessly siphon the wine off of his shirt, caused her to vanish his shirt altogether.

She knew her face was blooming a bright shade of red even as she shamelessly took in the sight of him, wanting to answer her earlier question about his physique. His abdomen was impossibly more toned than his arms and Hermione felt her mouth water as she took in the peaks and valleys of his torso. He was fairly hirsute without being too hairy, his upper chest bearing a thick covering of blond hair, slightly darker than the sandy colored hair on his head, but not so thick that she couldn't see his skin underneath, and narrowing to a thinner trail below his pecs that lead past his adonis belt into his trousers.

"If you keep staring like that I might begin to think you like what you see," he teased.

"I don't know that I've ever seen you without a shirt and this is decidedly not the context in which I expected it would happen — it's taking me a moment to fully absorb what's before me."

When asked later, neither could tell you who initiated the kiss, but they both agreed it was a fairly earth-shattering one.

While he kept one arm wrapped around Hermione's back, Neville raised his left hand to her face, cupping her cheek for a moment before sliding it down her neck and shoulder to rest on her ribs below her right breast. He shifted his hips to rest between hers as he lowered her to the couch and she could feel the beginnings of his erection through her leggings and his trousers. She moaned against Neville's mouth as his hand slid up to cup her breast over her top. His thumb brushed lightly over her nipple as his tongue found its way into her mouth and she arched up into his hand with a sigh. His kisses were like wildfire and at that moment she was perfectly content to allow herself to burn.

He broke away from her mouth and began to kiss down her throat as her hands traveled down his back to grab his firm arse. His hips bucked into hers and she released a closed-mouth moan deep in her throat. At that, he wound both arms around her back and picked her up as though she weighed nothing.

It was possibly the hottest thing she could remember, she mused as he carried her to his bedroom where he deposited her on his bed. She scrambled back on the mattress toward the headboard, pulling her jumper over her head as she went.

She must have made a noise signaling her approval, because he smirked at her then, and with a cheeky grin, he pulled her toward him by her foot. His hands found the clasp of her bra quickly and divested her of the garment before latching his mouth onto one nipple while his hand plucked away gently, but firmly, at the other. It was bliss.

She began trying to shimmy out of her skirt and tights without dislodging him from her breasts and she felt him chuckle lightly against where he continued to suck at her breast before swatting her hands away as he began kissing down her stomach, intent on divesting her of the rest of her clothes — and her sanity — himself. When he reached her hips he slid a hand around to her back and lowered the zipper before grabbing the waist of her skirt, tights, and knickers at once and removing all three garments in one fell swoop. He leaned back to take in her now entirely naked form, looking like a starving man being presented with his first meal in days. His eyes began at her hair, moving over her kiss-swollen lips, following her flush down her throat to her full breasts, further down over her soft stomach to the neatly trimmed patch of hair covering her glistening pussy.

She briefly reconsidered her earlier thought about the way he carried her being the hottest thing she'd ever been party to because she was now certain that this was it, but didn't have long to consider it because in the next breath his tongue began slowly and deliberately tracing along her slit. She released a high-pitched moan and threw her head back, allowing him to explore her tongue first, all the while becoming more aggressive in his movements by the moment.

"A little lower, just to the ri—THERE. Yes! Merlin! There!" she keened as he finally found her clit, alternating between flicking it with the tip of his tongue and brushing it with broad strokes. She could hear how wanton she sounded, but couldn't bring herself to care, her world was narrowing to the exact spot where his tongue met her clit.

He seemed to be taking as many of his cues from her physical responses as from her spoken words, and it was an other-worldly experience. Most men she had been with at this point took it as a personal affront if she gave them any sort of direction in bed, as though it were a critique of their worth as a man and not simply letting them know where her clitoris was and what she would like done to it.

This line of thought was cut short by the feeling of his tongue entering her and effectively wiping her brain of any conscious thought, and she grabbed the back of his head with both hands to keep him where he was. "Keep. Doing. That. Please. Gods," she panted, her back arching up off the bed.

He draped an arm across her hips to hold her to the bed and used a thumb to rub her clit as he continued to lap at her entrance, entering her every few strokes. She felt the muscles in her lower abdomen drawing tight as she drew closer to her climax. It was within reach, but not quite.

As if sensing this, Neville changed tactics, curling two of his fingers inside of her, quickly finding a spot she only ever managed to find with toys by accident, and with this action alone she swore her heart had stopped. Before her heart could begin beating once again, he took his clit between his lips and sucked. The dual sensations were almost more than she could take as she felt herself barrelling toward her orgasm twice as quickly as before. He continued to stroke her front wall while alternating between lapping at and sucking on her clit until she felt the tension snap and came, hard, around his fingers. He continued to stimulate her as she came down from her climax, still breathing hard.

He removed his fingers from her vagina and made eye contact as he lewdly brought them to his mouth and licked them clean of her arousal. Once his fingers were clean, he pulled back to undo his belt to take off his trousers and pants. As she took in his naked form, she couldn't help the wanton, hungry moan that left her. He had what was possibly the most glorious cock she'd ever seen. Long— impossibly so, she thought with a hint of trepidation—and thick enough that she could tell just from looking that he would stretch her considerably. It was flushed pink without looking angry, well proportioned, not too many veins.

It was beautiful. It was perfect. She needed it inside her now.

At this realization, she sprung up from the bed with renewed energy and drew him into a hungry kiss. She took him in her hand and discovered that she couldn't bring her thumb to meet her fingertip around him. She moaned into his mouth and squeezed him, bucking her hips. She was lost to her desire and barely clinging on to her sanity. Neville slipped a hand into her hair and separated their faces and removing her hand from his cock so he could look her in the eye.

"You're sure? This is what you want?" he asked, searching her eyes for any sign of hesitation.

"I'm sure that if you don't put that beautiful cock inside me right now I will never speak to you again," she all but growled at him, her patience running thin. She appreciated his attempt to give her an out and that he made sure they were still on the same page, but she was so consumed by her lust at this point that if she had to live even a moment longer without knowing how his cock would feel in her pussy she might combust. He chuckled and pulled her close for a sweet kiss, laying her back on the bed.

Once Neville had her laid out beneath him, he spread her legs, bringing one bent knee to rest by his hip as he lined himself up at her entrance, rubbing himself against her in an attempt to coat his member in her arousal before also casting a wandless, wordless lubrication charm-the third thing that night which made Hermione question what the most attractive thing she had ever witnessed was.

She moaned unabashedly as he slowly began to enter her, stretching her just as deliciously as she imagined. It felt as though he was touching every inch of her pussy and it was beyond words. He had, quite literally, fucked the words from her brain and as he—unfathomably—bottomed out she was reduced to monosyllabic, pleading babbles.

He gave her a moment to adjust to his size despite her repeated invocations of "Please. Neville. God. Fuck. So good." Neville held himself above her on his left elbow, using his right hand to bring her other knee to his corresponding hip. When he was sure she was ready he began to slowly thrust and she was all but sobbing.

"Please, Neville, please, faster," she begged, with a hand smoothing along either side of his face, between pants.

He nodded, grunting, and picked up the pace of his thrusts, turning his face into one of her palms and placing a kiss there. He brought one hand to her clit and began to stroke surely, determined to bring her off at least once more before he found his end. With the additional stimulation, she began hurtling toward the cliff's edge of her climax at a breakneck pace.

From beneath lust weighted lids, she watched his face for a while, occasionally looking down to where they were joined. He was breathtaking in this state, hair falling across his face, flushed from the effort with ecstasy written across his features, almost serene looking if not for the obvious strain of his movements and heavy breathing. She could tell he was getting ready to cum when his breathing began to come in harsh pants and his moans took on an almost grunt-like quality, growing louder, almost becoming shouts.

Her orgasm took her by surprise, and she shattered unexpectedly, her vision whiting out. The only clue that Neville followed her over the edge his shouted moan and the feeling of him, heavy atop her where he collapsed. She managed to move her hands from either side of her hair to wrap them around his back and hold him closer to her as they each drifted back down into their bodies. Neville rolled off of her, cast a cleaning charm on them both, and pulled her back into his chest so they were spooning. They were both peacefully asleep within moments, the pull of the wine they had consumed earlier and the effort of their carnal activities too great to fight.