She knew he was looking for something she could help him find. Well, more like someone. Astoria had not been in Neville Longbottom’s shop in many months. She didn’t see anyone when she walked in, so she hopped up on the counter and situated herself in a ladylike position, despite the fact that she was sitting on his counter.
Neville jumped and barely held onto the papers in his hand when he saw Astoria on his counter. Between Mac, Lavender, and her, he was going to have a heart attack.
He cleared his throat, remembering the last time they had encountered each other. Neville kept his distance. “Hello, Miss Greengrass. Can I help you?”
“Actually, I’m here to help you,” she said.
He looked really confused.
“I happen to have what you’re looking for. Well... who.”
“Considering I just spent the past hour trying to track down a rare blue flower that grows in Africa, you’ll have to be more specific. I’ve got a lot of people I’m looking for.”
She grinned at him. “Friend of a friend? Fellow Gryffindor?”
He knew who she was talking about now. Neville blinked in surprise. “Really? But...how did you...”
“Know you were looking for her? You do know I have the gift of Sight, correct? I don’t just use it for parlor tricks and making people uncomfortable. Patil is my new neighbor in Stygion. She’s only a diviner, but the village still accepts her.”
“Oh,” he said faintly. “I knew she was still into Divination, but I didn’t...” Neville put his papers on the counter next to her and sighed. “Do you talk to her? Do you know if she’d be up to visiting with friends?”
“I can’t say about the latter, but we’ve spoken. All I can do it try. I don’t want to read her.”
He had this shocked look.
“I think my future ties into hers, and I am trying to no longer be intrusive, but it’s very difficult... and do you always think about MacDougal? You’re thinking so loudly I can hear you, and it’s... Brown? Brown’s alive? And a werewolf? You’re giving me a headache, Longbottom.”
Neville had never been good at Occlumency, and eventually gave up trying to learn, but what he did know, he tried to implement. “No reading my thoughts.” He hunched in on himself, crossing his arms. “Lavender and Parvati used to be close and now that she’s back, I thought it would be good for her to have a friend to lean on. Besides me.”
“It will be, and don’t scowl at me. It’s not my fault you don’t hide. You’re as open as any book. I can’t help but hear you.”
He wanted to slam his hands over his ears or his mouth or something. “Well put on ear muffs or something.” After a pause, he started shuffling the papers around. “So you’ll bring her ‘round?”
“I will. I think it will be good for Parvati. She’s very much alone right now and slightly damaged from wounds she won’t allow to heal. It won’t be easy, but the things most worth it never are, are they?”
Neville didn’t like the look she was giving him. He made a face at her. “No. When can I expect you to bring her by so I can make sure Lavender will be here?”
“Give me about two days. She doesn’t fully trust me yet. She still sees Daphne every time she looks at me, and you don’t have to worry about Lavender being here. I’ll see to it that she is. One good thing about being a Seer, you’re timing is usually impeccable.”
“Yeah.” He picked up his papers again, shuffling them uselessly. “I don’t suppose you need anything else? Besides to deliver cryptic messages and nearly give me a heart attack?”
“Well, I could always buy a few things if that would make you feel better? Got anything interesting?”
He leaned on the counter. “You tell me,” he said dryly. “Can’t you see what you’re going to buy?”
Astoria made a face at him. “I want to know what you’d suggest. I know Willow got the devil’s snare she gave me from you. It’s a thriving little baby, likes to grab my wrists. I’m quite fond of it.”
He’d never heard of anyone being fond of Devil’s Snare besides himself. “So you like lively ones then? Not the kind you put on a sill and only remember to water and tend once a month?”
“I take very good care of my things,” she said. “All Slytherins do.”
Neville snorted. “I’ll take your word for it.”
Astoria just chuckled.