For the Song of the Week Mini-Competition Week 2
I own nothing
Prompt was JustaKiss by Lady Antebellum.
"Skipping Stones and a Simple Kiss"
He doesn't feel any different. He feels just the same as always. He looks down – he's wearing robes, so they can't be staring because he's left his zipper down (because that's happened before).
He frowns, feeling his face. Nope, he's definitely still Neville Longbottom. So why are they staring? More than that, why are they staring with such reverence?
Neville shrugs and leaves the Great Hall, opting for lunch in the kitchens. He's not comfortable with staring. More than anything, he's not comfortable with the way everything seems to have changed.
Does no one understand that Neville's been a Gryffindor all along? Yes, maybe killing Voldemort's snake was the most public thing he's done in… well, ever, but he's still the same Neville he's always been.
But even Harry treats him differently. Harry came up to Neville, after everything was said and done, and shook Neville's hand and thanked him for a job well done. Harry hardly noticed Neville, before. Not that he can blame Harry for that – Harry had more important things on his mind, after all.
He wanders out by the Black Lake and collects a sizable pile of skipping stones – the good flat kind. As he skips rocks, he thinks. It's peaceful. For once in this crazy year, it's peaceful.
After a few moments, Luna wanders up.
"Hello, Neville," she murmurs in that dreamy voice of hers.
" 'lo, Luna," he replies. For a few moments, neither of them says anything, and Neville relishes the fact that he doesn't feel like he has to. With Luna, the silence has always been just… comfortable. At least that hasn't changed.
"May I join you?" she asks absently, minutes later.
"Sure. Have a rock." He gestures to the pile. Luna inspects it, before shaking her head.
"I think I'll find my own. Yours are all too thin."
Neville frowns. "Isn't that the point of a skipping rock?"
"Is it?" Luna asks, sounding mildly shocked. "Well, I rather like the good, thick kind better. Then I can see where they land."
Neville shrugs. Luna will be Luna. She wanders off collecting rocks, and after a few moments she's back with a pile of large, round rocks. They skip rocks – well, Neville skips them, Luna… Luna launches them – for a while in silence.
Eventually, Neville asks, "Luna, do I… look different, to you?"
She looks at him properly. "Well, I do think you've grown a bit."
Neville chuckles. "That isn't exactly what I meant."
"It's what you asked," she states simply. Neville shrugs. Can't argue with that logic.
"I guess it's just… It's weird, y'know? Everyone looks at me like I'm this brave hero, just because I killed a snake."
Luna tilts her head. "That's silly. You've always been a brave hero."
"I saw him the minute I met you – the hero. He lives inside of you. But you finally let him out."
He blinks in surprise. It's refreshing, honestly – not so much that she thinks of him, and has always thought of him, as a hero, though that ignites an odd sort of warmth inside of him. What's refreshing, though, is the fact that her opinion of him hasn't changed.
She launches another rock. It lands in the lake with a great thunk, spreading ripples. He's sure there's some sort of metaphor in that.
Eventually, the piles dwindle and the light fades. Unexpectedly, though, before she skips off, Luna kisses his cheek. He stands frozen. When he finally snaps out of it, she's already gone.
He catches her the next day, wandering the grounds where they meet the Forbidden Forest. "Luna!"
She smiles at him softly. "Hello."
"Luna," he says again as he reaches her. He's out of breath from running to catch up. "What was…? Why did you…?" But he can't seem to figure out how to phrase the question.
"We don't need to rush this. Let's just take it slow," she says. But that doesn't really answer the question that he hasn't asked.
"But what is this?" he asks finally.
"Does it matter?" she counters.
His eyebrows furrow as he ponders that, but she's kind of right. What does it matter what they label… this?
"No. No, it doesn't, but whatever it is, I don't want to mess this thing up. I don't want to push too far."
She smiles. They're alike in this – both completely inexperienced, but softer for it. Their naïvety in this area makes this simple and pure.
And it all starts with some skipping stones and just a kiss.