Disclaimer: Harry Potter and recognizable characters are the property of JK Rowling. I'm just taking them out for a spin.
The slender boy with extremely messy hair hesitated, standing on his tiptoes in order to check the doorway and staying behind after all his classmates had gone. Neville frowned at this odd behavior. "Is there a problem, Mr. Potter?"
James blinked owlishly and looked back to the Herbology Professor. "Do you have a class after this one, Sir?"
Neville frowned. "No, I don't think that I do. Yours is the last class for me in the day. Why?"
The boy let out a sigh of relief before grabbing Neville about the middle and giving him a hard, squeezing hug. The wizard wasn't sure how to respond, it happened so suddenly. Then, just as soon as it had begun, James released him and stepped back. "There. I did it. And you should tell Mum I did, so she'll know."
Confused, Neville arched a brow at the young Gryffindor. "Ginny told you to squeeze the stuffing out of me, did she?"
"Well, not in so many words. She told me to give you her love."
Longbottom couldn't stop the smile tugging at his lips. "Oh. Well. It was very brave of you to carry out that request, then."
James rolled his eyes. "I wouldn't have done it if you had another class after this one. Didn't want to risk being seen."
"Of course not. That would be unconscionable."
"Exactly! That's what I told Mum. I mean, seriously! Giving a professor love. It just isn't heard of!"
Neville gave a solemn nod of agreement. "It was rather bad of her to ask such a thing of you."
"Don't I know it!" The tall boy shook his head. "I'm worried for her, really I am. I think she's slipping in her old age." Neville gave a choking sound. "Oh, I know she's younger than you, but I think having to keep up with us three has made her age faster, you know? If she were aging normally like you and Dad then she would never have thought it was all right to ask that I give a professor love."
"I don't think I would suggest to your mother that she's aging too quickly. Witches can be very sensitive about such things."
"I'm smarter than that! I've gotten quite fond of this breathing thing that I do." The boy scuffed a shoe against the greenhouse floor. "And she said that it should be all right, because I know you and everything. I know we see you in the summers and at Christmas, but this is school. It's completely different."
Neville was surprised by his own ability not to break down into laughter. James was more like his uncles, Fred and George, than Harry. Of course, he hadn't been born with the weight of the wizarding world on his shoulders as his father had been. That likely made a huge difference. "Well, your mother is a girl. Witches are far more expressive with their affections than wizards. She likely doesn't understand the delicate nature of her request. I wouldn't hold it against her."
"Oh, I won't. I don't suppose I could expect anything else from a girl."
"Exactly." Neville grinned. "You'd best hurry along, though. I'm sure your friends are waiting for you."
The boy nodded and made his way towards the door. Professor Longbottom turned back to his flowerpots to start cleaning up, only to be tackled from behind with another firm hug. He let out an 'oomph' of surprise, patting the slender arms wrapped about his middle. Again, just as quickly, James let him go. "I suppose that one was from your father."
The boy grinned and shook his head. "Nah, that one was all me. You are just like family, after all. Pleasant evening, Professor!" With an impish grin the eldest Potter boy dashed out of the greenhouse, leaving his amused professor laughing behind him.