See previous chapters for stuff that's normally up here.
That night, after Neville finally managed to untangle himself from Ginny's bone-crushing hugs, he made his way up to the dorm, only to turn around and find Ron closing the dorm door behind him.
I wonder what he wants. Another yell-fest?
That is so not a word.
The normal rules of vocabulary and grammar don't apply to me. I'm way above all that.
"Neville." Something about the way Ron said his name made Neville decidedly nervous. It reminded him strongly of Hermione's 'we-need-to-talk' voice. Not such a happy thought.
"Look, Hermione told us that you're gay."
"I don't care and Harry doesn't care. And we spoke to Seamus and Dean and they're cool with it too."
Of course they would be…
According to your logic, four out of five of the guys in our dorm are gay.
I know, it's weird, isn't it?
I give up.
"Oh. Well…that's good." Neville noticed Ron was starting to look a bit uncomfortable.
Is he going red?
I think he is…
Maybe he's gay too!
That's just plain stupid.
That's why he wants to be alone in the dorm with you!
Oh that's disgusting. Just stop, right now!
He wants some love!
You're revolting. I'm ignoring you.
"I…I actually wanted to apologise." Neville blinked. Ron, apologise? This day was becoming surreal beyond belief.
"For…for shouting at you." Ron looked a little embarrassed. "About Ginny."
"It's just…I was…"
"It's okay." Neville grinned. "I'd almost forgotten about it anyway."
It won't hurt.
You're way too nice to him.
You're way too mean to him. Actually you're just too mean in general.
That's because you're too nice. I'm here to balance things out. You have to have some mean in you, and that's me.
That…makes sense. In a weird, twisted way.
"Oh cool." Ron looked far more relieved than his tone suggested. "So, we're alright?"
I hate that name.
Nev, Nev, Nev. Nevvy, Nev, Nev.
Stop it now.
For the love of Merlin, stop it!
Sorry. Got a bit carried away there.
"No problem." Ron grinned and clapped him on the shoulder.
Neville spent the rest of the evening lying behind his curtains thinking about Hogsmeade with Colin. He couldn't decide whether to feel euphoric or slightly nauseous.
You've already kissed him. That's the hard part over with.
I am not going to argue with you for hours over what could go wrong. You have a date with him. Everyone important has been told and doesn't care, or in the case of Ginny, thinks it's the best thing that's happened since she discovered Chocolate Frogs. Hermione doesn't count as important so don't even start. Ron actually apologised. Enjoy the moment, dammit!
It has been a good day.
Yes it has. Jump for joy, do a jig, play the harmonica and stop coming up with useless 'what if's.
I don't have a harmonica.
Oh just shut up and go to sleep.
It was sunny and bright. The students flocking to Hogsmeade strolled through the warm glow of sunshine and enjoyed the cool breeze ruffling through their hair. Honeydukes was packed with people stocking up on Ice Mice and a brand new product, Every Flavour Ice Shots. Two boys smiled shyly at each other as they walked down the street, hands clasped tightly.
"Where do you want to go next?"
"I don't mind. You pick." Colin rolled his eyes, grinning.
"You always say that! Come on, pick!" Neville sighed and glanced around.
"How about the Three Broomsticks? We can have a drink before heading over to Honeydukes. Maybe the queues will have gone down." He eyed the crowded shop nervously. Colin laughed and squeezed his hand.
"Sure." He caught sight of something over Neville's shoulder and frowned suddenly.
"What is it?" Neville followed his line of sight to three people seated on a bench on the other side of the street. One red headed boy was in the midst of telling a story to the other boy with bright green eyes, who smiled and nodded distractedly. The bushy haired girl had her eyes fixed on Neville and Colin, her arms folded, her posture rigid. Neville couldn't quite make out her expression, but he was willing to bet a lot of money that she was scowling. Sighing he tugged on Colin's arm.
"Ignore her. Don't let her ruin it." Colin glanced back at Hermione for a second. Then, slowly, a sly smile spread across his face. Neville watched it grow, a little apprehensive. He opened his mouth to say something then, for the second time in a week, he found his lips pressed against Colin's instead. Although a little surprised, he was nonetheless quite open to that particular idea.
Parting his lips, he allowed Colin access into his mouth. He slipped his arms around the younger boy to pull him a little bit closer and felt Colin's hand winding into his hair. He could feel the steady beat of Colin's heart thumping irregularly next to his own. They kissed almost lazily, relishing the feeling.
Finally they drew apart, slightly breathless. Neville leant his forehead against Colin's.
"That was evil." Colin smirked.
"I know. Fun, right?" Neville chuckled and dropped a small kiss on the corner of his mouth.
"I think I might need a few more tries before I'm convinced." he said teasingly. Colin laughed and grabbed his hand again. Grinning broadly, they set off towards the Three Broomsticks. Neville didn't see Colin turn slightly and give Hermione a cheeky wave.
Hermione watched them from across the street, nose wrinkled.
"Where next then? Hermione? Hermione?" Ron waved a hand in front of her face as Harry followed her gaze to the couple entering the pub. He looked at her carefully.
"You're not still upset about Neville and Colin, are you?" Hermione sighed heavily.
"It just doesn't seem right to me." Ron rolled his eyes.
"Lighten up. If it's right for them then what does it matter?" he said irritably. "Stop obsessing over it. You can't change how they feel." Hermione opened her mouth to make a sharp retort then closed it again. Ron, seemingly satisfied, turned back to Harry, who was staring off into the distance, worrying his lip.
"Harry, mate? You okay? You've been quiet all day."
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Sure?" Harry paused then took a deep breath and looked at his friends seriously.
"Actually, there's something I've been meaning to tell you…"
Ramble time: Tis short but tis also finished! My first chaptered fic is finished! At last! Ahem. And just so you know, that kiss wasn't originally even going to be in there…but some people requested slash and I felt mean not giving them anything at all. Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks especially to those reviewers who have stuck with me and this story, even with its weird pairing and infrequent updates. You all get hugs and mwahs! Love xxx