Sweaty articles of clothing haphazardly littered the floor. Steam curled up the walls, and an exotic aroma hung in the air. The full moon beamed down through the glass ceiling, softly illuminating the boy in greenhouse six.
Neville, despite the romantic ambiance, was alone with his plants.
He sat on a rough stool, his callused hands resting on the table in front of him. He was hunched over slightly, an unreadable look in his earth colored eyes. There was a bottle of expensive, chilled wine sitting forgotten on the table, looking strangely at home amongst the dirty gardening tools and scattered petals. The bottle was a lucid green, the label an aged yellow. Two delicate wine flutes sat in front of the young man. He was not expecting company, despite the fact he had brought an extra glass.
He glanced at his watch. It was almost ten. The show would start at any moment. With anticipation, he turned his eyes to the creeping vines that covered the far wall. Overhead, a cloud passed over the moon and the greenhouse was pitched into darkness.
"Lumos," A voice drawled in the darkness. Light flared brightly at the tip of a dark wand. Surprised, Neville turned on the stool clumsily and ended up toppling over. He grunted as he impacted with the floor.
"W-who's there?" he stuttered out, fumbling for his wand and shielding his eyes from the bright light that was now hovering over him.
"Scrape yourself off the floor, Longbottom. It's positively disgraceful how clumsy you are," Draco Malfoy drawled coldly.
Neville managed to stand, brushing the dirt off his black pants and his white undershirt. His robes, boots, shirt, and sweater were in a messy heap by the door. It was simply too hot in the greenhouse to sit for any length of time covered in clothing. Besides, he hadn't planned on being interrupted. With the wand light illuminating him harshly for Malfoy's perusal, he felt suddenly very self-conscious about his bared arms.
"G-get that out of my face, M-Malfoy," he stuttered, unable to speak without the impediment. With a disgusted sneer, Malfoy lowered his wand. The cloud moved, and the moonlight returned. Malfoy, never taking his eyes off Neville, quietly said the word to extinguish his wand.
As if pulled by a magnet, Malfoy's eyes moved first to the pile of clothing, then to the pair of wine glasses. His eyebrows arched when he caught sight of the wine bottle.
"Planning to propose to someone, Longbottom?" Draco asked, unable to think of any other event that would warrant such an expensive bottle of wine. Neville began to stammer something, but Draco merely brushed past him to examine the rare bottle more closely.
He nearly dropped it in shock.
Draco Malfoy was obscenely rich, but even he was impressed by the material worth of the bottle in his hands. It simply couldn't be genuine.
"Where on earth did you get this, Longbottom?" Malfoy asked, unable to keep the astonishment out of his voice. Casually, as if it were merely a butterbeer, Neville took the bottle from his hands and placed it back on the table.
"W-what are you doing here?" Neville forced out instead of answering the question, hoping he could get rid of the boy and enjoy his evening as he had planned, prior to his unexpected visitor.
Malfoy drew himself up, looking immediately haughty and commanding.
"I'm here to harvest ingredients – not that it's any business of yours."
Neville inwardly cursed. Certain potion ingredients had to be harvested at night, and of course, Malfoy would pick this night to pick and plunder. He had no right to tell the other boy to leave, but part of him desperately wanted to do just that. This was his night.
Neville was so busy wishing that Draco would leave, he didn't notice said boy staring at him intensely, a spark of surprise lighting his grey orbs.
Neville was not dashing, by any stretch of the word. It could be said, however, that his plumpness had become stockiness. He wasn't fat so much as he was broad now, but his general clumsiness made it hard for anyone to notice that he'd changed. It couldn't be said that his brown hair was soft or luxurious. It was, however, slightly wavy and thick. The humidity in the air curled it ever so slightly. His eyebrows were a bit too thick, but his brown eyes were wide and bright underneath. Unlike most of the boys, he was nicely tanned. Draco imagined it was because he spent so much of his time puttering about in the gardens. A smattering of light freckles dotted the tops of his cheeks. Draco had never noticed them before.
His appraisal moved further south. Neville's arms weren't chiseled by any means, but there was definitely some muscle definition. Draco was also surprised to note that Neville not only matched him in height, but had topped him by a few inches. If Neville had an ounce of fight in him, he probably would have come out victorious in a scuffle with Goyle. Draco was wondering to himself why he'd never noticed all this before, but then realized he'd never seen Neville without his robes on. As for the young man's face and build, Draco was still mentally picturing him as a bumbling eleven year old. It was hard to see him as he currently was.
Neville had finally decided he would simply ask Draco to hurry up his task and leave. He was working up the nerve to say the command, when the blonde boy suddenly walked past him and began examining the dark corners and shadowy areas of the greenhouse.
"Well? Where is this girl of yours, Longbottom? Unless…she didn't stand you up, did she?" Draco was smirking, despite the sympathetic tone of voice he used. Neville clenched his fists at the subtle insult, feeling his face redden.
"Nobody s-stood me up, Malfoy," Neville grated. A muscle in his cheek began to twitch. Draco, cool as a cucumber, continued inspecting the room. Much to Neville's dismay, he found Professor Sprout's record player. She and Neville were both of the opinion that playing music soothed the plants. Neville had his favorite record in – one of old, romantic songs from the forties. It had been Sprout's music collection, after all. It wasn't like she listened to the Weird Sisters. Neville blushed heatedly when Draco tapped the record player with his wand and the room filled with the sounds of a tinkling piano, a sultry voice, and a swooning saxophone.
"Never thought that you would be,
Standing here so close to me.
There's so much I feel that I should say,
But words can wait until some other day.
Kiss me once and kiss me twice, then kiss me once again.
It's been a long, long time.
Haven't felt like this, my dear, since can't remember when.
It's been a long, long time.
You'll never know how many dreams I dream about you,
Or just how empty they all seem without you.
So kiss me once and kiss me twice, then kiss me once again
It's been a long, long time…"
"Oh, this is rich, Longbottom. All you're missing is candles and a ring. Is it possible for you Gryffindors to get any more sappily romantic?" Despite his words, the scene was particularly inviting. Draco realized with dismay none of his love interests had ever gone to such an effort to woo him.
"I already told you, Malfoy. I'm here alone, and nobody's coming." Neville was just as astonished as Draco was that he had managed to get through his declaration without the stutter. Draco moved to stand directly in front of Neville, leaning casually against the table behind him.
"Then why is there an extra glass?" Draco asked smugly, only to be dismayed when he didn't receive a reaction. Instead, Neville stepped up beside him, placing his hands on the table lightly, their hips brushing. His jaw had dropped open slightly, and his eyes were full of wonder.
"It's starting," he said, his voice slightly breathless. Draco turned, putting the distance back between them, his eyes curious.
The wall, covered thickly with a creeping green plant, seemed to shine with luster under the intense moonlight. Suddenly, slivers of white appeared everywhere.
"What…what's going on?" Draco asked, his eyes narrowed. Neville looked at him then, really looked at him, and then blushed demurely. He pulled up another stool and seated himself on his own.
"That wall is covered in Moonflowers. They only bloom once a year at night, and only if they're in direct moonlight. In a few hours they'll have bloomed fully. It's rumored that their aroma heightens the senses," Neville stared at the white slivers as he spoke. His voice was calm and smooth. The sight of the unfurling blossoms had obviously distracted him from whatever nervousness he had felt previously. "That bottle of wine has been in my family for years. I inherited it a few days ago. I should probably be smart and put it back in the vault, or at least sell it and buy a mansion or something, but here I am with a glass. I'm going to watch these flowers bloom, and drink the wine, and listen to the music. I mean…you only live once, right?" Neville glanced at him beneath thick, lowered lashes. "You can join me…if you like."
Draco was stupefied for a whole host of reasons. For one, he was being offered to drink what was probably one of the most expensive bottles of wine in the world, with Neville Longbottom, in a shabby greenhouse lit by moonlight. Everything about the situation was surreal. A strange aroma tickled at his nose, and Draco imagined he was suddenly hyper aware of his oppressive robes weighing down on his skin. The blooms had opened their lips slightly wider. Was their aroma really heightening his senses? It seemed to be the case. The music washed over him like a gentle wave.
"You only live once," Draco confirmed with a light blush of his own. Quickly, before he could chicken out, he unclasped his robe and dropped it onto the pile Neville had already started. He was not wearing an undershirt, so he merely rolled his shirt sleeves up instead. He loosened his tie, then removed it completely. Noticing Neville's bare feet with a small smile, he toed off his own dragon hide boots and tugged off his socks. He had to resist the urge to remove his grey, pinstripe slacks as well.
He wondered, perhaps too late, if the blossoming moonflowers had aphrodisiac qualities as well.
When he was seated beside the other man, their thighs brushing, Draco searched Neville's eyes.
"You're really going to open it?" he asked softly. The bottle seemed almost sacred. Draco was impressed by the daring rebelliousness the other boy was displaying. Neville smiled and nodded.
"I guess I just like the idea of enjoying something extraordinary, something completely unforgettable."
"I would describe this encounter as many things, but you're right. Forgettable wouldn't be a word that came to mind," Draco watched with wide eyes as Neville reached for the bottle and uncorked it with little ceremony. Draco released the breath he'd been holding.
Neville grinned at him.
"You were expecting fireworks?" he asked teasingly. Draco allowed himself to smile. When had Longbottom grown a sense of humor? The song repeated the chorus, lushly encouraging them to kiss once, twice, then once again. Draco smirked wryly when he realized the idea didn't sound half bad.
Neville poured the glasses carefully. A humorous moment came when he passed Draco his glass, nearly dropping it. They both laughed after a few tense seconds.
"Old habits die hard, I suppose," Draco commented, grasping the glass like he'd been born with it in his hand. Neville held his more awkwardly, as if he were gripping a juice cup. His gaze returned to the flowers, slightly larger than they had been the last time they had looked upon them.
The first song ended and another lilting voice began; the words were different, but the message was the same. This was a night for kisses.
It was safe to say that by the end of the first glass, both boys got the message.
Petal by petal, sip by sip, the flowers unfurled in all their splendor. The touching thighs became grasped hands, which became wine-sweetened lips pressing and pleading. A wine glass, half full, was knocked over as Neville lifted Draco onto the table. It rolled in a tight circle and the liquid gold splashed onto the rough wood. The table had been christened for what would happen next.
Neville let the sensations wash over him and around him, until his skin and bones were gone and he was just a force of desire. Nothing real could touch him in this strange land of moonflowers and chilled wine in greenhouse six.
Draco's lithe tongue swirled down Neville's neck, over his shoulder, down his arm. A husky moan mingled with the lazy notes in the air. A moonflower exploded, expanding like a droplet of water bursting upon impact with the ground. Draco pulled Neville's face against his own, his unshaven cheeks raspy in Draco's soft hands. Neville's hand slid up the never ending planes of Draco's back, settling in the middle of his spine, encouraging the smaller boy to arch into him as their bodies pressed against each other intimately.
Clothing was discarded, and their silky black shadows danced across the white backdrop of moonflowers. When they were spent, lying entangled on the rough tabletop, not sure where their respective bodies ended and the flesh of the other began, the flower that had bloomed first drooped, detatched, and drifted to the ground. The wine grew warm, and the record ended.
Even though the ambiance was fading, the ghost of the night seemed to linger around them like a shroud. They kissed languidly, neither of them wanting to let the night end.
But it had to and eventually it did. They dressed slowly, easily distracted when one of them would feel inclined to initiate another kiss. Neither of them wanted to break the strange spell, but standing at the door, wine bottle and glasses in hand, Neville felt obliged to say something.
"There's some Queen of the Night due to bloom sometime next week in greenhouse four…if you're interested. We didn't finish the bottle, after all."
"I'll be there, but I'm not going for the flowers," Draco said softly, leaning into Neville to whisper into his ear. Neville returned his smile.
"Then that makes two of us."
The two men left greenhouse six as they had found it, with the exception of the moonflower blossoms fading on the floor.
A/N: Completely random, I know. I don't know what brought this pairing on, but I love it. What do you guys think?