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Title: Coping
Pairing: Cho/Neville
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 305 words
Warnings: None!
Summary: The war made everyone more aware of each other, Neville thinks. Or, aware of vulnerabilities, perhaps. Aware of the importance of coping mechanisms.
Author's Notes: Written for the Wishlists thingy-magig at [livejournal.com profile] rarepair_shorts for [livejournal.com profile] magic_knickers for the prompt, 'methods of coping'. Thanks Kiss - you lovely thing you - for the beta!
Disclaimer: All characters from the Harry Potter series are owned by J.K. Rowling. No profit is being made.


Neville sometimes watches Cho’s flying lessons from the corner of the greenhouse. The glass is frosted with chalk and dirt, so the students are no more than whirring specks in the distance; like a flock of awkward birds. Sometimes he thinks he can almost make out Cho looking down at him, as though his stare was somehow tangible, reaching out and tapping gently on her shoulder even through all the distance between them.

The war made everyone more aware of each other, Neville thinks. Or, aware of vulnerabilities, perhaps. Aware of the importance of coping mechanisms. Luna chases wild creatures across raw landscapes, or runs away on the pretense of doing so; he’s never sure with Luna. Harry and Ron chase criminals in much the same way. Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil are never seen in anything other than black these days.

Neville plants things, helping them to grow into healthy shapes. Cho flies. Occasionally Cho cajoles him into flying on the back of her broom and he does it, but not for the feeling of flying through the air or the sharp bite of wind on his face. He agrees for the benefit of closeness.

And if Cho offers to get her hands soiled planting some wild Singing Succulents, or re-potting Mandrakes, how can he refuse her? Perhaps it has something to do with the warmth that spreads across both sides of his bed now, or the understanding in her eyes when he says, “Not tonight.” It might be as simple as the soft press of another pair of lips to the corner of his mouth, and a hand held under the table at dinner.

The heart of it though, and he knows this as he watches her flying, is that she knows how to cope, and together they are coping just fine.

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