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Jealousy

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Neville wasn’t sure who he was jealous of – Seamus, for Lavender’s bubbly, pretty attention, or Lavender, for being the type of person that everyone, or almost everyone, liked. Neville had never been popular or overly noticed. He tended to move awkwardly, speak uncomfortably, and spent most of his time in the greenhouses with Professor Sprout. Plants were a poor substitute, but they took to him in a way that people didn’t.

As he watched Lavender toss her hair and giggle at some joke Seamus told, Neville decided he was tired of being ignored. He was going to do something big, something important. No one was doing anything to stand up to the Carrows.

That was going to change tomorrow, he decided.

***

Lavender knew things were going wrong with her and Seamus when he started getting jealous at the smallest things. She knew he was frustrated – she’d gone absolutely frigid after the attack, and it was a big change from all the sneaking around they’d done before. But for months, her body hurt, and then, once it didn’t, she hurt when she looked at it.

She just - couldn’t.

Seamus had said it was fine, at first. He’d been lovely and brought her flowers, even if he didn’t look her in the face entirely. Lavender knew he was squeamish over blood, and she knew how bad she looked.

But as the months wore on, and Lavender made attempts to get out of the house, to visit Parvati so that she didn’t feel entirely alone, Seamus grew less understanding. He was always jealous of the time she spent with her, pressing for more than Lavender was ready to give.

They blew up, and Lavender caught Seamus with Parvati the next she went to visit her best friend. Seeing her exposed throat, even without Seamus lips attached, made Lavender’s stomach twist.

It was her who was jealous now, Lavender realized.

***

She was skittish, but he was no longer shy when they met again. He’d faced down Voldemort and come away more confident than before. Lavender had faced far less, and had lost all the confidence she’d had.

She couldn’t help but be a little jealous.

Still, when he looked her in the eye, instead of at her scars, Lavender felt a stirring of hope.

Maybe she wasn’t as awful to look at anymore, Lavender thought.

***

He felt fifteen again inside, that day at the Leaky, but he couldn’t stop looking at her pretty face. She had changed – her confidence not for the better, but traces of her bubbly self remained.

When she looked at him with wide eyes, seeing only him, he didn’t have to be jealous any more, Neville realized.

***

Seamus polished a glass behind the bar at the Leaky, looking over at the couple in the booth in the corner.

The woman lit up with a laugh, her smile brightening her entire face. The man smiled back, self assured, and took her hand. Seamus shifted uncomfortably, trying to ignore the stirrings of jealousy.

He’d made a big mistake, he decided.