The Sugar Quill
Author: jynx67  Story: Neville's Waltz  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: This story was inspired by the track "Neville's Waltz" from the Goblet of Fire soundtrack, hence the title. I know it's short, but it's just a little moment in time to give two friends a chance to bond and realize they really aren't that different. I hope you enjoy it.

Neville's Waltz
by jynx67

"May I have this dance?"

Hermione raised her head to see Neville standing before her, holding out his hand. She heard a lilting waltz playing in the background. Taking his hand, she allowed him to lead her out to the dance floor. She wasn't really in the mood to dance, not with everything that was going on in the world. But this was a wedding, Bill and Fleur's to be precise, and Neville did look very nice in his dress robes.

He placed his right hand lightly on her waist and took her right hand into his left. His head bobbed slightly as he found the rhythm of the music. Soon, he was leading her around the floor, swirling from one end to the other. Hermione felt like she was flying, his steps were so graceful. She had never realized he was such a good dancer. She vaguely remembered him stepping on Ginny's toes during the Yule Ball.

Neville kept his back straight and didn't dare to look at Hermione's face. He'd always had a slight crush on her, but knew that Ron really liked her even more. He was not one to step in the way of a friend, especially now that Ron and Hermione had become so close. She was much lighter on her feet than he had expected. He remembered watching her dance at the Yule Ball their fourth year. However her partner, Viktor Krum, had not been the most graceful dancer. They had looked awkward together, though Neville hadn't been able to tell if it was Hermione or Viktor who was more uncomfortable. Now he knew.

The music ended and was replaced by a much faster piece. Neville led Hermione back to where she had been sitting. "You're a wonderful dancer." Hermione complimented him with a smile as she lowered into the chair.

Neville's face flushed as he mumbled his thanks. "Gran insisted. Sometimes I wonder if she put Dad through all this when he was my age."

She reached out and grasped his hand. She knew how much his parents meant to him and how hard it must be for him to not have them fully in his life. "You know, she probably did. She really wants you to be your father to some extent."

He nodded, still refusing to look her in the eye. "But she won't even allow me to think about being an Auror." He shuffled his feet as he sighed in frustration.

"You can be whatever you want to be, Neville." She squeezed his hand gently. "Lately, you've really proven yourself to everyone. I know I was very grateful for your help at the Ministry last year. And how valiantly you fought the Death Eaters..." She trailed off, choking back a sob of grief.

This time he dared to look at her face. She had lowered her head and if her hair had been down, it would have fallen in her face. Instead, he could easily see the tears slipping down her cheeks. Tentatively, he reached out and brushed them away with his thumb. She looked up at him in shock.

"You don't have to worry," he said. "I won't tell anyone."

Her brow furrowed slightly, wondering just what he was talking about.

"I won't tell them you were crying," he explained.

A soft smile came to her face, brightening it through the tears. "Am I that obvious?"

He shrugged. "I don't like crying in front of anyone either. Gran always says that I need to be 'her strong little boy.' Well, I can't do that all the time."

Hermione nodded in understanding. "So, you go off and hide when you want to show emotion." He nodded. "I do too. Trust me, I know every hiding place there is in the Library."

He smirked, letting his hand rest on her cheek. Her eyes drifted from him to the dance floor. He followed her gaze to see Ron heading their way. Quickly, he pulled his hands away from her and began muttering apologies. She reached out and touched his arm as she stood. "Thanks for the dance, Neville. I really enjoyed it." She kissed his cheek as she passed by and moved towards Ron.

Neville watched the bright looks on both their faces. Ron reached up to touch her cheek as his face fell. Hermione shook her head and wrapped her arms around him. Neville sighed and moved back into the shadows he had been in previously. At least for one shining moment, he had been a knight. Though, the damsel's words had encouraged him. Perhaps his future would be a bit brighter.

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