greasy wind-swept hair. pissed off because there’s sand everywhere. sitting on driftwood and smoking and watching high tide come in. don’t wanna be here but not leaving even though you could. fell down in the water. ocean ate your flip flop. Anger. flannel tanktop
a muggleborn student gets called a mudblood, so they lick their hand and wipe it on the pureblood’s face, singing “got mud on your face, you big disgrace, somebody better put you back into your place”
all the muggleborns in the vicinity immediately go *STOMP STOMP CLAP* repeatedly gettting closer and closer to the pureblood
Later, you will say you met down by the river, that he offered to help water the sheep—oh yes, Rachel was not the first to offer that particular excuse, when a father asked why a young man with a hard mouth was before him, daring.
The truth is something closer to this—there was a man in the shade of a tree, eating a handful of dates and watching you swim. That when you emerged, he tilted his head back so he might meet your gaze, instead of his eyes lingering on your breasts, the swing of your hips.
I am called Tamiel, he says when you ask. I am a messenger of the One True God. Be not afraid.
You are not (though you thought him just a man, then) so you do not feel strange in asking, Do you have a message for me?
No, says. His face is guileless. I just like it here.
Very well, you answer, sitting beside him in the shade. After a moment, you steal one of his dates from his palm, and watch him smile.
Tamiel is still there the next day, and the day after that. You are not sure he has left, since that first meeting. You begin to tell him stories of your sisters, your father, and he shows you miracles in the dust, makes pebbles dance through the air or shows you distant sights—mountains of ice, strange creatures and whole lands covered in lush greenery.
When you ask him to show you his home, he goes cold and cruel for the first time in your knowing him. I have no home, he says.
You do not ask again.
(The first time you kiss him, he tastes like the lime he conjured from a handful of grass—sour and sweet at once.)
In the dark, he cannot always remember what shape to stay in—the number of fingers on each hand, whether his skin has scales. If his mouth should make you ache or bleed, or both. He fumbles with your body, unsure of what to do with it as with his own.
But you hold him fast, and when he thrusts inside you, there is a moment when you carry all fire and air and divinity in the circle of your arms.
Afterwards, he settles his wings around you. In your innocence, you think of it as a wedding bower.
One day, he is not there by the river. You never learn why.
Nine months later you give birth to a daughter with too-long fingers and winedark eyes, small wings slick with fluid and crumpled against her back. The midwife is the only one who will touch her, and only then to cut the cord, to set her—heavy and warm, skin tinged with green—in your arms.
Your daughter has small scales at the nape of her neck, and she does not cry.
You call her Avigáyil, her father’s joy.
Okay, just hear me out for a second.
Muggleborn kid with a talent for magic. Not real magic. Like, sleight of hand magic. And then a prefect catches them doing something like making a ball appear to vanish or whatever, and just loses their shit because this 11 year old kid has utterly mastered Vanishing Spells and what the hell how is that even possible.
Not paying bills
Naming a child brought with it a certain responsibility, but it couldn’t be that hard. Outside of names that could morph into unfortunate nicknames and names that carried certain cultural baggage, there were millions of perfectly decent ones to choose from. He’d seen and even once flipped through the baby naming books piled up on an armchair in Hermione and Ron’s living room. Neville had never actually named a baby, true, but he knew. There were options.
"I understand James and Lily. I don’t necessarily agree, but I understand," Neville said, rolling the last little beads of fire whiskey around in his tumbler. He hated this, hated himself. Because it shouldn’t matter anymore, but it did. "I would never…" He closed his eyes for a moment, then looked up at Blaise. "I couldn’t have a daughter named Alice, but I understand. This, though? Albus Severus Potter?” Neville drew out the middle name, letting the sharp V cut through the other syllables.
Blaise took the glass from him, drained it, then set it on the mantle, nudging it between two photo frames. “There is a certain cognitive dissonance to the entire notion,” he said at last. “But it is an honor, in its way.”
"Oh, a tremendous honor," Neville said. He wasn’t usually so dry, but being with Blaise brought out sarcasm Neville didn’t know he had. Blaise always thought it was funny when Neville was occasionally mean - ‘Its comforting to witness even the kindest, most generous of people talking shit. And I like knowing your secrets, Neville Longbottom.’ - but Blaise wasn’t amused right now.
He sat down close. “It is an honor,” Blaise repeated.
"It’s thoughtless," Neville said, eyes blazing. "But that’s Harry for you. He never thinks! ‘The bravest man I ever knew?’" He rattled the birth announcement placard and corresponding letter. "What about Fred? Or Mad-Eye? Or Remus and Tonks? Or anyone else? We’re not short on dead friends." Bitterness rose in the back of his throat. "Snape wasn’t brave; he was selfish and cruel. I won’t be able to even look at this kid, and Harry wants me to be his godfather? Me, of all people? I won’t do it."
"Are you quite finished?" Blaise asked. His voice was quiet and level, free of the Severus Snape baggage everyone else Neville knew shouldered.
"I suppose I am." Neville folded his arms across his chest, feeling like a petulant child, but not caring.
"Okay." Blaise took Neville by the wrists, unlocking him. "Then listen. You are the bravest man I know. And this boy is going to need someone like that in his life, someone who knows how to stand up for himself. Harry’s an idiot most of the time, but he made a smart choice here. You are the very best person to be his son’s godfather.”
Neville felt a surge of affection for Blaise, but still, he was a little confused. Blaise looked so serious, but the corner of his eyes were starting to crinkle, his high cheekbones betraying him.
"He’s going to be teased mercilessly, Neville. Albus Severus is a terrible name."