Habits
by zahra

Harry loves the dirt that collects underneath Neville's slightly jagged nails.

He likes the taste of soil that collects around Neville's hairline, and the whimpers Neville makes when Harry thrusts just on this side of too hard.

Harry is enamoured of Neville's collection of Sunshine Daisies and the way Neville greets them every morning as though they're house pets. Harry still hopes to get a dog at some point, but if it will make Neville happy they can get a terrarium instead.

When they fuck, Harry whispers these things in Neville's ear.

With every push and pull and dirty slap of wet skin, Harry falls a little more in love with Neville Arthur Longbottom, and he tells Neville every chance he gets. Harry's learned what happens when you wait for 'the right moment' to create itself. He already loves the man and now he's learning to love the little things about him, like the freckles that dot Neville's shoulders and the Isle of Wight shaped birthmark on his left thigh.

Harry loves the sweat in the small of Neville's back. He loves licking it and tracing his initials in the sheen. Harry's addicted to the taste of Neville on his tongue after they've desecrated the toilets of their friends by having loud, noisy sex during dinner parties. Sometimes Harry's not that good with waiting. Sometimes he just doesn't care.

It's not one of his better habits.

 

Sometimes there is a prelude to the foreplay: a smile across a dinner table swarming with other people, a hand on a lower back when they're standing together, warm lips almost brushing against Harry's ear.

If Neville is feeling particularly randy he'll bite his lip suggestively, and his eyes will crinkle when he smiles. Harry will feel his trousers tightening a fraction, and he'll turn to whoever is near and start a conversation about nothing at all. Of course he won't be able to follow the conversation at all, because he'll be thinking about the feel of Neville's hair under his hand or the stubble on Neville's cheek when he wakes in the morning. Harry will completely zone out, and Hermione will laugh while Ron shakes his head.

It's like this every time they're together with other people, and more often than not, Harry sees leaving the flat as an exercise in masochism. Sometimes he prefers to stay at home, have tea, and watch strange Muggle shows on the telly.

Some mornings Harry grabs Neville's wrist and coaxes him into working from home because surely even plants can manage on their own for one day.

 

Harry likes it when Neville doesn't shave. He likes the feel of rough stubble rubbing against his stomach and bare thighs, and the softness of the short hair on Neville's head when he rests it on Harry's shoulder. Normally Harry curls himself around Neville in bed, but every now and then Neville curls up along side Harry instead, and Harry likes that. The difference. He doesn't require a lot of change or variety, just a smidgen every now and then to break up the monotony.

 

Neville fucks Harry with his eyes open, every time.

He rains tiny kisses along Harry's jaw and forehead, and nuzzles Harry's neck with his nose that shows no sign of being three-times broken. He licks the inside of Harry's elbow and nips at Harry's wrist to divert him from any discomfort he might feel when Neville slips his fingers inside Harry. Neville's fingers aren't terribly long, but they're very thick and the lube on them never seems to be cold. Harry appreciates this, but every now and then he wonders what the momentary shock of coldness would feel like.

Harry used to bite his lip to keep from making too much noise because Neville didn't strike him as the talkative type, but Neville urges Harry to make noise and so he does. He says random things and dirty things, and he watches Neville closely to see what works and what doesn't.

Neville tries to make a point of shagging Harry face-to-face, and strangely enough, it's not as limiting as Harry thought it might be. Harry can put his feet on Neville's shoulders for a sharper angle, and he has no complaints about the slow push of Neville cock when Harry climbs on top of Neville and takes matters into his own hands.

 

The first time they had sex was a shambolic confusion of events. They knew the basics of what went where and who should have done what, but it didn't translate well against the dirty stone wall of an abandoned farmhouse in Hertfordshire.

It wasn't the first time they had touched or kissed, but they'd made a habit of stopping short at the last moment for no fathomable reason apart from the fear of mucking everything up. This time, as opposed to all the others, it didn't matter.

War had a way of making everything seem irrelevant except for the immediate moment, no matter how unromantic or crude.

The kissing was desperate and frantic. They ripped robes and refused to let go of their wands. The lubrication spell created some sort of impossibly wet and runny mixture, and Harry left Neville with a vicious looking bite mark on his neck that sadly enough blended right in with all the other war wounds he had accrued.

It took them three days to look each other in the eye again.

It took an additional week for them to give it another try.

 

Neville doesn't ask for sex, instead he suggests or alludes. He'll pop up behind Harry and slip his hands inside the folds of Harry's robes or under the hem of his shirt. If he's feeling particularly horny, he'll just drag Harry along for the ride. Not that Harry would ever complain about being pulled down onto Neville's lap and molested ardently, but every now and then, he thinks it would be nice to hear the words, 'Fuck me,' or something that could be considered a different approach.

George once told him about a Verbose Charm that had come in handy for him, but Harry thinks Neville probably wouldn't appreciate the suggestion very much.

 

Neville rubs his nose when he's nervous, fidgets when he thinks people are watching, and listens better than anyone Harry has ever met.

In the wake of Past Events, he's become slightly more jumpy, but he also seems freer in his actions. When people watch them in the street, Neville looks them in the eye, and he doesn't keep his head down anymore as though he's confused about being with Harry.

Harry's not surprised. He figures that being the one that killed Voldemort has to be good for Neville's self-esteem.

Of course, he tries not to dwell on that, because that time is over and making a new life is important. Creating new traditions and habits is considered healthy and normal, and if that's what the Psychi-wizard at St. Mungo's said, that's what they're going to do.

So, Neville always kisses the top of Harry's head before he leaves for work, and Harry always holds the evening Prophet for ransom until Neville gives him a proper hello. They make sure to do the weekly shopping together, and when they fight, well, then they fight.

They're not perfect, but they are in love, and they're doing their best to fight the habit that being alone can become.

 

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