STRANGER IN PARADISE

It had started like that: a simple brush, fingertips against fingertips, and three words out of the mouth of a pretty girl. It had ended like this: Neville vomiting in the boy's lavatory, trying to piece together just why a girl like Talia Trinder might fancy him. He was, after all, the sort of boy who sometimes tossed his lunch when sweet girls touched him, or talked to him, or looked at him, or breathed in his general direction.

"Come now, Neville, it really isn't so bad." Talia called, rapping softly on the stall door. "It happens all the time."

"Not it doesn't." Groaned Neville, who was currently hunched over the toilet, a thread of saliva and vomit dangling from his lower lip. He wiped it away with the back of his hand. "I'm just a git when it comes to girls."

"Are not. Listen, when I told you that I--"

"Don't say it!"

"--that I you know what'd you, I meant it. That isn't anything to be scared of or…vomit over. Now open this door right this instant."

There was a pause, and then a quiet creak as Neville pushed open the door and allowed Talia to come in and sit down. The stall was just big enough for the two of them, if they kept their knees tucked up under their chins. "I'm sorry I freaked out when you said that you fancied me." He sighed quietly "But we've, y'know, we've been friends since third year. And you're quite pretty. Pretty girls make me vomit sometimes, it's a fact of life."

Talia smiled and nudged his foot with hers. "Maybe I shouldn't have done it so sudden like while we were studying. Doesn't change the fact that it's true." She paused again. "I'm taking it that all of the bodily fluids you've expelled today means that you fancy me, too?"

Neville smiled.

All The Usual Suspects

"D'ya here that, Fred? "Sure do, George." Both twins grinned. George reached out to open the door, only to find it locked. As soon as he jimmied the knob, the ruckus in the broom closet stopped. Two voices could be heard murmuring frantically, but they were too muffled for anybody to hear quite who it was. "Come out, come out, kidlets. We promise we won't tell McGonagall if you show yourselves."

Minutes passed. The two beings who had been, by the sounds of it, snogging furiously in the broom closet, kept inside.

"I don't think they're coming out." Shrugged Fred. "Maybe we should go."

"Sure, but," another sly grin crept onto George's face "I think this calls for a little investigation, don't you?"

"I couldn't agree more, brother."

"So, little WonWon finally got some action in the broom closet." George announced rather unceremoniously. Ron choked on his chocolate pudding. "Wha?" He managed before Hermione, well-versed in the language of heimliching boys, began to slap his back harshly.

"Don't try and deny it. We heard you and Hermione just yesterday."

Ron hacked up a glob of pudding, and Hermione blushed a bright Scarlet. "Don't be ridiculous!" She huffed indignantly. "Ronald and I are just friends. Why in Merlin's name would we be…snogging in a broom closet, of all places."

"…Because you could no longer control your lust?" Fred suggested. Harry's forehead made acquaintance with his palm.

"It couldn't have been them." He said. "We were studying for OWLS together all evening. We barely broke to use the loo, let alone snog."

"Well, we heard two people getting randy in the broom closet."

"That we did, brother, that we did."

"Why not just let it go?" Ron shrugged, taking another bite of pudding. "Coulda been anybody!"

"But if it wasn't you and Hermione, and it wasn't Harry and Ginny, then who--?"

"Hey, guys." Just then, Neville walked passed, hand in hand with Talia Trinder. She smiled winningly at them.

"Hey, Neville." The group chorused distractedly.

Neville looked skittishly at Fred and George before leaning over to Talia to whisper: "D'you think they figured out it was us?"

Talia giggled and urged him over to where Hannah was sitting "No, Honey, I don't think those boys could be more clueless if they tried."