Author's Note: Idea came at about ten forty-five; execution occurred (intermittently) between about eleven and two. That should probably explain things.
Also, Eltea equals beta equals love.
Trevor the Toad, Matchmaker
Luna Lovegood's hair was almost the same color as Draco Malfoy's. The basic difference was that Draco's was greasy and disgusting, like his malformed soul, and Luna's was soft and light and lovely. Luna had her wand behind her ear, as she almost always did, and her hair lay wispy and feathery around it, the candles behind her lighting up the flyaway strands like a pale corona.
Neville tended to end up eating on the later side of dinnertime, because he was always trying to finish one thing or another first so that he wouldn't have to interrupt a train of thought with the meal. Luna seemed to like dinner on the late side, too, maybe because she didn't want to have to deal with the rush of people that accompanied six o'clock.
She went straight from staring off into space to looking intently at him, suddenly and without warning. He wasn't really surprised. She did that a lot. "Do you like animals?" she asked.
Neville thought about it. "I like plants better," he decided. If that wasn't the truth, he didn't know what was. Care of Magical Creatures had been mortifying, no less because Hagrid had taught it. Something about Hagrid—the big, booming voice; the massive frame; who knew—made Neville feel less than safe. Significantly less than safe. Throw some bloodthirsty monsters in there, and it was more fun than a whole barrel full of hippogriffs.
Or roughly equivalent to a whole barrel full of hippogriffs.
When Luna looked vaguely disappointed, he amended, "I have a toad, though, and I do like him."
A blue-gray flame of interest surged in her wide eyes. "What kind of toad?" she wanted to know.
Helplessly, Neville shrugged. "Never thought to figure out," he admitted. "Why don't I bring him tomorrow, and you can take a look at him?"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Neville set his skin-breathing friend down on the table. "This is Trevor," he announced, distantly sort of sad that there wasn't any fanfare.
Luna peered at the toad, setting her chin on the table to be at his level. "Hello, Trevor," she greeted him solemnly. "Neville's told me about you." She tilted her head a little, then looked up at Neville. "There are clairvoyant toads from South America that sometimes get taken along covert trading routes to Europe," she told him. "There was an article about it in The Quibbler."
"I read it," Neville reported.
Bemusedly Luna nodded, focusing on Trevor again. "He's got a knowing look in his eyes," she decided.
Neville sidled around the end of the table, maneuvering over next to her to examine his pet. Trevor tended to look kind of glazed and kind of bored. Knowing was not an adjective that usually came to mind.
As he joined Luna and contemplated Trevor, though, the toad still looked… kind of glazed and kind of bored.
Disaffected, maybe, but even that was a bit of a stretch.
"What do you think he knows?" Neville asked Luna, still looking for some uncanny glint of understanding in the bulbous eyes of his longtime croaking companion.
Luna tilted her head the other way, as if she was a very slow pendulum. "He knows," she answered absently, "that only Harry Potter can be Harry Potter, and it is not by any means disappointing if a person is someone else instead." She paused, put a finger to her lips, and then nodded. "And the world only has room for one Harry Potter, anyway."
Bewilderedly, Neville looked at her, but she was still looking at Trevor. After a moment, however, she smiled to herself, and he smiled a little, too.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sometime later that week, as Neville sidled into the Hall, he saw that it was empty but for Luna and for the usual scavenger-worthy quantities of food the House Elves hadn't reclaimed yet. He went around and sampled a few things, discovering that today's pumpkin juice was particularly good. Then he went and sat down next to Luna, setting Trevor gently on the table again. Trevor sat obediently. Or was it lazily? Hardly mattered; he sat.
"I asked Hagrid what kind of toad he was," Neville told her. He had, and it had been terrifying. Hagrid made Neville want to bolt the door, string a tripwire across the doorframe, curl up in a ball under his bed, and go into a blanket cocoon, never to be seen again. "He wasn't sure." Truth be told, Neville had been rather glad that the conversation had proved so short. It meant slightly less cowering for him.
Luna nodded, her gaze on some distant spot of air. "He's probably the psychic kind," she declared.
Neville smiled a little. "Wish he could help with my homework."
"Or with the Quidditch scores," Luna replied blithely, selecting a new spot of air now. "You could start a betting ring and make an obscene amount of money."
Neville had just taken a sip of pumpkin juice, and he sprayed it all over Trevor—and the table—laughing. It took them about ten minutes of frantic mopping, most of which Neville also spent apologizing profusely, to clean it all up.
Trevor didn't look too much worse for the experience.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The next evening, Neville found himself crawling on his hands and knees chasing Trevor down the hallway. It was very stupid, very undignified, and very unflattering; and that toad was devil-spawn, he knew it; and if he ran into Luna, he'd just—
"Hello, Neville; Trevor."
Oh, if only it were that easy.
He was pretty Gryffindor red now, no doubt about it. Pity it was all in the face. "Hi, Luna," he managed.
Trevor stopped right before Luna's untied shoes and seemed to look up at her. She bent and plucked him from the floor, and then she stroked his head a little before glancing at Neville, who was hastily getting to his feet. "Was he misbehaving?" she inquired, smiling a little.
Neville, by some feat of humanity, went a bit redder still. "Rather," he confirmed.
Luna stepped forward to hand him the toad back. She stepped remarkably close, in fact. Very, very close. Close enough for Neville to discern her individual pale eyelashes. To count them.
She put the toad in his hands, which he didn't see because her eyes had his bound. It was then that she eliminated the remaining distance between them and put her lips against his.
He was pretty sure she had no more idea what she was doing than he did. Trevor probably understood the whole concept more clearly. But somehow, that was kind of okay. Everything was kind of okay.
No, everything was amazing.
"Goodnight," Luna said, a few inches away again. She sauntered back down the hall, her hair swaying, her wand over her ear bobbing a little. Neville was glad the latter item hadn't poked him in the eye; that might have ruined the moment a bit.
Neville considered the amphibian in his hands. "Trevor," he said, "you sly dog. Sly toad."
Trevor looked pretty pleased with himself.