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Title: Diversion
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sue_dreams
Written For: [livejournal.com profile] katekintail for [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti
Fandom: Harry Potter
Word Count: 629
Notes: Set post-DH.
Prompt: Neville/Charlie Weasley at the dragon preserve on Romania. I have a fondness for hurt/comfort.

Summary: Charlie hasn't stopped wondering why Neville came to Romania, but he's stopped asking.


"I'm fine," Charlie insists again, but the hands don't stop pushing at his shoulder to roll him onto his side, nor do they cease poking and prodding at his injury. He's good at his job and the dragons react well to him, but that doesn't mean the occasional mishap doesn't happen. This current mess is a simple enough accident and his training shows through; a novice would have caught more than one spike in the side.

Like everyone on the preserve, his medic knows the dangers and he doesn't waste any breath talking about being more careful or finding a different profession. Neither does he laugh it off, though, as a lot of them do. Charlie doesn't know what Neville thinks of the preserve or the trainers or the dragons.

The only things Neville willingly talks about are the plants. Charlie's okay not talking about the war or their respective childhoods, but Neville won't so much as mention England or his old friends. Sometimes, Charlie feels like Ron and Ginny are ghosts, haunting them both for all that they don't talk about them. The most baffling part is that when Charlie mentions his siblings or Harry, Neville will listen and offer his piece and he won't run away.

When Charlie came to the preserve, so many years ago, he was as much running away from home as he was running towards adventure. A lot of their fellows, witches and wizards alike, have similar stories.

"Be still," Neville says. From the corner of his eye, Charlie watches the careful, deliberate way Neville moves his wand. They wait silently while the healing charm sets to work, drawing together the ragged edges of the wound. Neville applies dittany with rough, thick fingers to the healing skin, though it's not necessary. Charlie's quite okay with scars, his own or otherwise.

Charlie relaxes into the familiar touch and admits, without prompting, "I was distracted." Neville stills, but doesn't ask. "An owl came today." Charlie waves to the table where the letter has sat all afternoon while Charlie got himself gored and Neville played botanist and then nurse.

"Evanaesco." With clean hands, Neville leaves Charlie's side. The lettering on the front of the envelope is crisp, much as Charlie has come to expect from Neville's 'Gran'. Neville reads it and tucks the missive back into the envelope before moving to put it in his trunk. Charlie mends his shirt with a flick, but doesn't put it back on.

When Neville turns back, the uncertainty on his face gives him a younger appearance. Not quite the boy he was during the Triwizard Tournament, but more of the young man he had been at his arrival. "Gran wants to come for a visit, says if I won't come to see her, she'll just have to come to me."

The last of the tension rolls of out Charlie's shoulders and he tosses the shirt aside as he lies down. He comments to the ceiling, "There's certainly room enough for her. Of course, we'll have to see when Bill and Fleur are coming with Victoire and Teddy."

"You know why she's coming?" Neville asks. He comes to stand over Charlie, their knees bumping.

Charlie tips his chin down to grin at him. "For much the same reason as Fleur, I'd guess. She wants to 'remake the acquaintance of the young man in' my life."

Color suffuses Neville's cheeks and he ducks his head. His fingers ghost over Charlie's side, followed by his lips, before he settles next to him on the bed. "If we time it right, they'll distract each other from their purposes."

Charlie hasn't stopped wondering why Neville came to Romania, but he's stopped asking. It's more important that he stays. In Romania, on the preserve, in Charlie's bed.
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