By: Spite the Wufei Worshipper
Challenge: Livejournal community Nevillosity's Woobies of Destiny: Harry/Neville FQF, wave 2 #128. A game or Truth or Dare lands Neville in a hot spot when he's asked who his crush is.
Warnings: Fluff, fluff and more fluff.
A/N: Un-betaed and written at the last possible moment. I twisted the challenge slightly to make my idea fit.
"Neville. Truth or dare?"
Neville looked up to see a twinkle in Seamus' eyes and a small smirk playing on his lips. Oh, no. What would be safe? Truth? If it was something really embarrassing he'd never be able to lie. There was no veritaserum involved, but there didn't need to be. The guys would look right through him, he never had been able to keep a straight face when having to lie which is why he'd quickly learned just not to bother trying and instead try to avoid such situations where a lie would be necessary.
How about dare?…No. Better not even consider that. Seamus had a wicked imagination, far worse than any of the others. Neville better just wish for the earth to open and swallow him right now instead. Safer that.
But of course while a dare could be very embarrassing it could be laughed of. There were several truths about himself he would give anything to keep to himself. Especially if the question was of a sexual nature. And Seamus was just the type of person to ask that kind of questions. No, that would be far worse than any action he could be forced to do.
As Neville thought about his two choices the smirk on Seamus' lips got wider and the twinkle in his eyes brighter, making Seamus look almost like a playful little devil in Neville's mind. Sweat began to form on his brow and he wiped it away with a clumsy movement not missed by anyone. Why had he decided being a part of a game of Truth or Dare was a good idea, anyway?
He couldn't drag it out any further.
"Er…dare?" He'd decided that with Seamus this was definitely the safe route…he hoped.
The smirk blossomed into a fullblown wicked grin. "Ooookay. You have to wear a pink tutu, go out, find Filch and tell him what a hunky piece of manly man he is. And then try to plant one on him!"
A few seconds passed by, before everyone – except Neville – burst into a fit of giggles.
Neville's eyes grew wide and his heart skipped several beats. 'Oh, no. Anything but that, please' he thought desperately. That wasn't embarrassing, it was downright dangerous. Filch would freak out and hang him upside down in the dungeon 'till he grew moss!
Neville reacted with an almost violent outburst, a sudden flare of panic overtaking him. "No way! I won't do it. That's dangerous. Filch'll kill me for that."
"You know what happens if you won't do the dare," Dean said with a slight worried frown, being no stranger to the way Seamus' mind worked. "The alternative might be much worse and you'll have to do it or else you'll have to fly naked over the quidditch pitch the next time there's a match."
Yes, Neville had not forgotten the rules. One more chance at a dare, no way to go back and take the original dare, and a highly embarrassing final alternative if the second dare was denied as well. But being naked in front of everyone was still preferable to being skinned alive by Filch. And if he was lucky the second dare wouldn't be so bad. At least the rules stated that it couldn't be something similar to the first one.
"Don't worry, I'll think of something sweet." Seamus said trying to hide the slightly evil glimt in his eyes. He took a few seconds to think the matter over and then he came up with the only dare that could possibly be worse than his first. "You have to…If there's anyone in this school you have a crush on, you have to go to them and give them one of your flowers. But you don't have to say anything to them. And you have to be followed by an Inflatable Eye so we can watch."
Neville's face turned pale and he felt his palms go clammy. It sounded sweet and innocent enough and could be if his crush was anyone than the one it was. He could just go up the person, mutter "Doing a dare" and hand them a flower while the Inflatable Eye - a new kind of spying equipment from Zonko's - would reveal to the other boys who it was. But it wasn't that easy.
The words "I don't have a crush on anybody" almost slipped from his lips, before he caught himself. Lying was not an option. His face would turn all red and he'd probably manage to stutter on every syllable and then the other boys would know he was lying to them.
In a daze he got up, blindly grabbed a flower from beside his bed and turned to face the other boys, his brain working overtime on a plan that wouldn't reveal anything. And then inspiration struck.
Maybe if he just went up to a random someone and gave them the flower. He relaxed slightly with this new plan. It could actually work. With not having to say anything it would be much easier to lie. Any redness in his cheeks could be contributed to embarrassment. He almost smiled, but managed to stop himself not wanting to give it away.
Ron took a packet of Inflatable Eye from a drawer in the nightstand beside his bed, took it out and made Neville blow lightly on it. The small innocent looking pebble grew until it was a huge blinking neon colored ball hanging behind Neville. It was invented specifically for this kind of thing. A small screen-like device was then taken from the package. It showed what the eye was seeing.
Neville received a small push toward the entrance to Gryffindor Tower from one of the guys. They were bouncing and giggling, looking forward to seeing the dare being performed. Although…Harry was slightly subdued compared to the others. If Neville didn't know better he would say that Harry was sad. But he'd no reason to be…
He made it to the door out of the tower and reached his hand out to open it. He turned around one last time to look at the guys and give them what he hoped would be a comfident smile before going out and performing his dare. His eyes met Harry's briefly before Harry looked away. Now Harry looked completely miserable.
Neville's hand touched the handle and pushed it down. Then he froze. He couldn't do it. He couldn't go out there and with his actions decieve – lie – to his friends. And Harry looking the way he did…if only it meant…it didn't, it couldn't, but if there was even the slightest chance that it did…
Neville nervously swallowed the quaffle-sized lump in his throat and took a deep breath before he did the bravest thing he'd ever done in his life. Something braver than standing up to his friends in first year, braver than facing a boggart looking like Snape. Something that definitely showed that he deserved being in Gryffindor. He handed the flower to Harry.
"It's you Harry."
He managed to say it without tripping over the words, but he had difficulty finding the courage to look up at Harry's face to see his reaction. When nothing happened for a few seconds Neville had the time to think about what he had just done and he felt panic creep up his spine. He'd just outed himself…to his crush…and the other guys in his dormitory. His Gran had always warned him that he should think things through before doing them to be on the safe side and not be so clumsy…and he hadn't been thinking.
He got ready to turn the handle and flee when he felt a pair of arms around him, holding him tight. A face was buried in his shoulder and a pair of glasses poked him slightly uncomfortably. Something wet touched the side of his neck. His own arms went around Harry and he suddenly felt very protective. He didn't want the others to see that Harry was crying and held him as close to himself as he could, shielding him from the others gaze.
Cheers erupted and pats on the back was given from Ron, Seamus and Dean. Neville looked up, gave them a weak but happy smile and tried with his eyes to tell them that he wanted a bit of privacy. Seamus nodded towards the dormitory and winked. Still holding Harry close to him, he began to move towards the stairs, all eyes in the common room following them.
Safely back in the dorm and away from prying eyes Neville and Harry laid down on Harry's bed and just held each other close. No words were said and didn't need to be said. Everything just felt right when they were holding each other.
Neville couldn't help smiling, a helpless completely happy smile and he finally looked at Harry seeing the same kind of smile on his face. He leaned forward to seal that smile with a kiss.
Hanging in the air over their heads the Inflatable Eye saw everything.