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zvi_likes_tv organized the 3_ships challenge (masterlist). I wrote a backup story for elke_tanzer, who requested Ron/Harry/Neville, and the following scenario: The Weasley twins have invented sextoy candy that turns interesting bodily fluids an odd color or flavor.

Title: Not Quite Like Candy
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Harry Potter
Ship: Ron/Harry/Neville
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: He can't put a name to it without blushing.
Notes: No spoilers

Hogwarts is unusually empty this winter break, what with half of the students being pulled from classes, and the rest opting to travel home for the holidays.

As it is, Harry, Ron, and Neville are left at odds, spending their free time playing chess and Exploding Snap in the common room, while Hermione spends endless hours in the library. They only see her at mealtimes, and on the very occasional escapes to Hogsmeade.

Ron arches up under Harry's touch, clutching hastily at the bedspread. When Neville's hand slides up Harry's back, Harry startles, then looks back with a grin. Returns his attentions to Ron.

When Neville's hand slips over and between, Harry's moan of pleasure vibrates, makes Ron yelp.

One morning, Mr Weasley drops by to take Ron shopping in Diagon Alley. He offers to take Harry and Neville as well, but they're locked in a life-or-death match of chess, and decline with absent murmurs.

"You lot want anything?" Ron asks, tossing a shoe at Harry to make them pay attention.

"Oof," Harry responds.

Neville glances up briefly, but only shrugs.

Ron rolls his eyes as he leaves.

Ron bucks, flips Harry onto his back. Neville pulls back, voicing his annoyance, but Ron flashes him a look, and Neville catches it, turns it to a grin.

Which they both turn on Harry, who writhes beneath their gazes and soon, writhes for other reasons.

Three hours pass and Ron still hasn't returned, and the last round of Exploding Snap ended up being almost literally a life-and-death match.

After tending to Neville's unfortunate flesh wound, they decide a round of Gobstones is in order.

When Harry, due to a fit of laughter, misses his mark and gets sprayed in the eye, Neville scoots forward immediately, reaches out and wipes the goo off Harry's face with the sleeve of his robe.

It's an unexpectedly intimate gesture, and Harry stiffens, then relaxes into Neville's pragmatic caress.

This is the way Ron finds them when he returns from his day of shopping.

Neville is still wearing his robe. It's an oversight that, after several breathless moments, and a couple of relatively awkward ones, Ron and Harry decide to correct by seducing him into submission.

Though he's become almost lean in the past couple of years, growing tall enough to look Ron in the eye, Neville still flushes dark and turns his head when he's finally exposed to them.

Ron and Harry exchange a significant glance then, with the ease of friends practiced in last-minute strategies, split up. Ron scoots down to Neville's feet, while Harry crawls up to Neville's head.

They manage to convince Neville to open his eyes, and he's quite vocal in his assent.

Neville and Harry jerk apart under Ron's amused gaze, but he strolls into the room without a stuttered step, swings a light, but very large, box onto the table next to them.

Harry turns his head, and Neville's hand drops to his shoulder. "What's that?"

"Nicked a few things from Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes." Then, Ron mock-cringes, grins. "Tried to, anyway. Fred threatened to hex me if I didn't pay for anything." He opens the box, turns it over and presents them with a spill of candy. "They gave me a discount, though."

"A discount?"

Ron shrugs. "Said the stuff was still being tested." He frowns. "He kept laughing, though. I hope it doesn't turn us into anything weird."

With a sigh, Neville stands and holds out a hand. "I'll try one."

Ron claps him on the shoulder, then hands him a piece of the candy. "Good luck."

As Harry stands to closer examine the sweets, Neville eyes the twist of cellophane. "It looks harmless." He untwists the wrapper and bends his head to sniff the innocuous-looking sweet. "It smells..." He trails off.

"What?" Ron asks. "Disgusting, is it?"

Neville shakes his head. "No. Kind of like taffy." He breathes deeply, like a man going into battle, then pops the sweet into his mouth. Chews thoughtfully, then stops. Swallows.

The three of them stand silent, waiting for Neville to change into a scorpion. Or grow feathers. Or have a seizure.

After a full minute lacking calamity, they laugh and divide the candy into thirds. The sweets almost sparkle in the light, most of them the golden-browns of toffee and caramel. Sprinkled among them, however, are three milky-pale sweets, which they save until the end.

In a bout of fatalism, they all eat those ones at the same time, with interesting results.

Ron wrinkles his nose up, and Harry looks puzzled. Neville blushes.

"It tastes kind of like..." Ron shakes his head. "I don't know."

"Yeah," Harry says. "Kind of familiar?"

Neville continues to blush.

"Oi, Neville," Ron blurts out. "You know it?"

Neville nods. "Yeah. It's--" He ducks his head.

"Come on."

"Tell us!"

So Neville explains.

Ron and Harry blush, too.

After a few moments of averted eyes, they all three look at each other, intrigued.

It's not certain which of them proposed to test Neville's thesis. To be sure, Ron sheds his robe off first, but Harry is the one who leans over and kisses Neville. Or, perhaps, Neville kisses Harry.

They finally lie in a sleepy, sticky tangle of limbs. Night passes into day, and Neville blinks awake when sunlight hits his eyes. Then someone pounds on the dormitory door.

Ron and Harry barely stir as Neville raises his head. "Who is it?"

The door swings open, bounding against the wall with a crack, and it's Hermione.

"First you missed supper, and now breakfast is finished, and don't think you can just walk into the kitchen and ask--" She stops her tirade to take in the scene before her. "Oh."

"Er." Neville blinks, weakly pushes Harry's leg off his hip, and Ron's arm off his shoulder. "Good morning, Hermione."

"Apparently." She stares at them for a few seconds longer, then rolls her eyes. Turns. "Try not to miss lunch. I don't think I can explain that away, too."

The door shuts quietly behind her.

After several hours of testing, they conclude that Neville's hypothesis is correct.


Originally archived here and linked here.

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