FIC & ART: "Fruiting Bodies" for littleblackbow/chibitoaster Recipient:littleblackbow / chibitoaster Author/Artist:trickofthedark Title: Fruiting Bodies Rating: NWS Pairings: Firenze/Trelawney, Hooch/Slughorn, Krum/assorted. Word Count: 2130 Warnings: Weddings. Summary: Love is in the air. Also, spores.
Neville didn't drink butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks anymore, which was still full of students and spotty snogging. Neville drank whatever his fellow professors were drinking at the Hog's Head and tried not to blush too much or go home completely shitfaced. He hadn't puked in months, so perhaps he was getting used to it.
Tonight Neville unflinchingly accepted a pint of something green and smoking from Firenze and handed over in exchange a small moist sack. "Oh! Already! Thank you! I can't believe you got them to go for you so quick," said Firenze. He grinned into the open mouth of the sack and danced in delight, making an avalanche of sound which drew every eye in the room.
"What have you got there, lads," asked Slughorn.
Firenze pulled one of the large white mushroom caps out of the sack and waved it in front of the other professors. "Neville grew it for me from spores. On unicorn droppings! Isn't it beautiful!"
"Uh, well," said Neville, "I'm still trying to ascertain the exact species you gave me there; I'm not sure those are what you-"
But Firenze had already popped it in his mouth. There was a swirl of blue sparks and his horse body disappeared and was replaced with the lower half of a human man. The lower half of a naked human man. Hooch stood up, stared, and gave Firenze a standing ovation. Slughorn pulled Hooch back down into her seat. Trelawney turned bright red.
"Now why would yeh want to go a do a thing like that to yerself?" said Hagrid to Firenze.
"It's only temporary," said Firenze. "Sibyll says horse cock is too big for her, so I thought I'd give her a little present." He looked down at himself. "So what do you think? Is it little enough?"
Trelawney, redder than a tomato, stooped on his stark with fluttering shawls and bustled Firenze out the door. "See you all later," said Firenze as his gleaming white arse was whirled away inside a tangle of lace and beads.
"Such sweet young lovers," said Hooch. She squeezed Slughorn's leg under the bench and cackled.
Hagrid, muttering into his tankard about sizist little hussies who'd never heard of lube, picked up the sack of mushrooms which Firenze had dropped and placed it on the bar.
Neville eased in next to Hooch and Slughorn and cleared his throat. "Any decisions yet?" he asked.
"Oh, yes," said Slughorn. "We've got Harry Potter and Viktor Krum. It should be extraordinary."
"No, it shouldn't," said Hooch, "It should be quiet and should not disrupt your routine a bit."
"Eh? Eh? What's that about Harry Potter," said Aberforth from the other end of the bar.
Hooch leaned over the bar to call in Aberforth's direction. "He's to be one of our substitute teachers. For when we go away on honeymoon. They should be here tonight."
"I imagine Harry will love teaching flying," said Neville.
"No, Viktor Krum will take over for me," said Hooch. "Potter will be teaching Potions. Oh, and look! Here's Viktor now!"
In the commotion of Hooches's greetings and getting Viktor a drink, Neville turned to Slughorn. "Harry's teaching Potions? Seriously? Whose idea was that?"
"Why are yeh worried?" said Hagrid, frowning down at them. "Great man, Harry Potter."
Neville looked up at Hagrid. And up. "Um. Yes, I suppose. And I'm sure it will be nice to see him again."
Slughorn shrugged and grinned. "I'm sure my students will be pleased when I return," he said.
"Oh. Right," said Neville.
Hagrid, pacified, was peering into the sack of mushrooms. "Oi! These're familiar. They can transform halfies all right, but they don't do nothin' to plain-blooded wizards. Oh, except fer divination- I shouldn't have told you that."
"Shouldn't you? Why ever not? Do they have potion uses? Let me see them," said Slughorn. He grabbed the sack, pulled out a specimen, sniffed it, and put it in his mouth.
"No, no!" said Hagrid while Slughorn chewed. And shortly the mushroom morsel suddenly expanded and leapt out of Slughorn's mouth onto the bartop. There the blob shivered and halved itself. Each half then sculpted itself into rough human forms, which then threw themselves at each other lustfully.
"I tried to tell you," said Hagrid.
"So you did," said Slughorn. "How charming. It's a love divination mushroom. It sculpts itself into an image of oneself and one's best beloved. Or possibly the next person one will have sex with. Either way, how auspicious. Come see this, darling."
Hooch looked down at the tiny heaving, fucking, mushroom people and beamed. "That's quite the party trick," she said. "Or the party favour. A wedding party favour! How much of this stuff do you have, Neville?"
"Lots," Neville said and before Hooch could offer to pay for a batch, Neville had prevailed upon them to take it as a wedding gift. "I'd been having trouble thinking what to get you both anyway." Neville stood hefting the sack of mushrooms that had been returned to him and counting up in his head how many caps he had here and how fast he could force the mushroom body to produce enough for all the wedding guests. More unicorn poop, that was the ticket.
"Handsome gift," said Viktor from over Neville's shoulder.
"Did you want some? Or- or dinner?" said Neville, trying to interpret Viktor's hungry look. "They have pot pie here."
"Does it vork?"
"Vork? Pie?" said Neville. "Oh, you mean the mushrooms. I don't know. I suppose. We haven't tested them properly, have we. I reckon we'll find out if they vor- work at the wedding when we're there. That'll be a laugh, I suppose. Are you going? To the wedding, I mean. Well, of course you are or you wouldn't be here. Right?"
Viktor blinked. "Errr. Yes? May I try? Help you test?"
"Oh. Certainly." Neville handed Viktor the bag.
Viktor glanced sidelong at the other professors who had fallen hip-deep in a discussion of magical fungal theory and were not watching him at all. Viktor put a mushroom in his mouth and cooly awaited the results. It didn't take long. His morsel divided into two crudely-shaped but obviously male figures who proceeded to eat each other up.
Viktor dropped a handkerchief over them and stuffed them in his coat pocket, looking glum but unsurprised. "Vell, so much vor this vedding. Thanks for the explaining my non-existent history vith bridesmaids."
"Oh," said Neville. "My."
"Vot?" growled Viktor.
"Nothing. Nothing at all. And- And- Nothing wrong with groomsmen. You should have a proper go," said Neville encouragingly. "There's sure to be a bunch of pretty nice blokes at this wedding, who, ah, that way- Uh, you know-"
And the pub exploded into cheers as Harry Potter walked in. Harry had grown a small excrescence of a mustache, but that probably wasn't what everyone was applauding.
"-Right. Ov course," said Victor. "Yes. Good idea." He gulped some of the brew Hooch had given him, which had been forgotten in his hand, put it down on the bar, and went to go talk to Harry.
Neville looked over at Viktor's half-empty pint. "Fuck," he said.
Aberforth refilled Neville's own glass before he could stop him. "You're kind of an idiot, eh, kid?" he said.
"Can't imagine what you mean by that," said Neville blandly, and he tossed down another pint of the hideous smoking green shit.
The wedding was short and the reception was long, too long. The Professors made an oddly lovely bridal couple or else perhaps they had dosed the punch with something. Firenze caught the bouquet and nibbled it all evening.
The divination mushrooms were a hit and frolicked over all the tables. Neville, having endured far too many congratulations for them, thought to hide away from the spotlights at the outer tables against a back wall of giant hollowed-out pumpkins, but the mushrooms fondled each other in the shadows and bloomed, sequinning the dark with spores. Neville coughed and moved back into the light.
Victor found him there and plunked down next to him. Viktor was drinking straight from a bottle of something which smelled evil. Neville stole it from him, swigged, and asked, "How you getting on with Harry?"
"Enh. I travel with him yesterday. We go to joke shop in village. Is he still fourteen, that this entertains? And him all bony like skeleton and with that awful mustache, ick, I decide wrong one. I giff up. I go to Professor Trelawney for another interpretation of the small people."
"Yeah? What'd she say?"
"She say Marcus Flint."
"Oh, no," said Neville.
"You know already, do you? Yes. I go to say hello to him. We talk about Quidditch and it is all very fine, very very fine, until he notices my nailpolish and he says something which I will not repeat," said Viktor.
"He's a homophobic lout." Neville had not noticed Viktor's nailpolish before, but now his eyes dropped to Viktor's hands. The nails were blue and, oddly, that did not make him look like a zombie. Which it should, what with that shade of blue against Viktor's rather sallow skin. Maybe it was all the floating candles turning everything gold. Neville shook himself, and handed Viktor back his bottle. "I've had enough spiked potions tonight, Viktor. Here, take this back."
Viktor took back the bottle without comment. "Yes, lout, I concluded, too. And after more testing it seemed that Professor Trelawney was not giving very good divinations recently. Perhaps her horse is distracting her. Or perhaps it is that you are the one who invented them, so I properly should ask you."
"Me? I'm no good at divination."
But Viktor wasn't listening. He dug his lint-covered mushroom people out of the pocket of his robes and set them on the table in front of Neville. He dusted the spores off them, coughed, and said, "I haff had it with skinny wizards. If we assume that I am the skinny one, who is the fat one, you think?"
Neville glowered down at the little homunculi. "Dedalus Diggle?" he said.
"Ha ha. Not that fat. And, look, he has hair."
"No! Not him," said Viktor in a strangled voice.
"Oh, great. What happened with Lockhart?"
"He was a suggestion by Trelawney, or I would not have. I was thinking he liked me, but then he vas always forgetting my name. And then, when we- uh, when I was sure I haff made him remember me, that newspaper woman came along and he went away with her. She stole my date!"
"Mmm. You might have noticed that when Lockhart tried these mushrooms, his miniature had sex with itself."
"Ah," said Viktor sadly.
"So is Lockhart still the type of prat who doesn't tell you when he's coming and tries to aim for your lungs?"
"Fascinating. Is your comment in similarity to a Wronski feint with you trying to drive me into ground with shame for my suckering by Lockhart? ...But how could you be making rude comments about Lockhart if you did not also know how Lockhart is to suck. Very odd. Oh. Is that how you do sympathy, solidarity? Spectacular. Truly gentlemanly, that."
Neville was planning on explaining to Viktor that he was taking things the wrong way, probably because he was drunk, and that Neville was not explaining things well, probably because he was drunk. "Fuck you!" he said instead.
"Is that an invitation?" asked Viktor, leering.
Yes. "No," said Neville and bit his lip. He wanted to look away from Viktor's smouldering black eyes, but looking at his mouth wasn't any better, and looking down at what Viktor's little mushroom people were doing on the table was now an impossibility. "Is your bottle spiked with Veritaserum?"
"Yes. Are you going to eat one of your own mushrooms in front of me?"
"No? And no proper divination interpretation for me, either? I am to know nothing of this man for me except he has pretty hair and a huge cock." said Viktor, glancing at the impressive member of one of the mushrooms before him and then he looked with faux anguish at Neville. "Ah, I am to be left in my sad quest to find my Cinderella, and must now impale myself on all the cocks in the land to see who fits best."
"Just how drunk are you?"
"Not enough for it to be a problem."
The little black bow at Viktor's throat, sloppily tied, could have been undone with a touch. Neville raised his hand and hooked his finger into the knot. "Right. You can stop talking any time. I think we're done here. Let's go find a nice private pumpkin."