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Begin Anew

Title: Begin Anew
Author: mmmfishfingers
Prompt: Furze: Furze, or gorse was used to sweep important areas and is seen as a purifier. It is said that burning the blooms and shoots will calm the wind, it is also set on fire to burn away all the old growth and make way for the new. It is seen as a good plant to use when wanting to make new starts or begin new ventures.
Rating: PG
Warning: None
Genre: Angst
Word Count: 677
Summary: Neville loses something dear to him.
Author’s Notes: written for The Wands of the Wood Challenge at govt_stole_toad. Thanks to codenamelily for beta-ing!!

"Neville? I came as soon as I –"

Stopping in the doorway, Luna gasped at the sight before her. Hurrying to his side, she held his face in her hands. "Neville?"

Shutting his eyes tight, he let out a strangled cry, covering his face with his hands.

Luna couldn't speak. What do you say to someone who lost their parents, in many ways, for the second time? He had lost them as a child, going to visit them without their recognizing and now, now he had lost them for good.

"They're gone."

Shaking her head from her thoughts, she nodded, pulling him closer.

"I can't believe… they're gone… after all these years… kept them so safe in the box…"

Box? Luna frowned slightly, "What---"

He broke away, standing and going into the next room. She heard books hitting the floor, shattering glass. Going to stop him from destroying another room in his state, she gently took the book that he was holding in his hands. "Neville, what have you lost? The photographs are beside our wedding album."

"Gran always wanted me to throw them away but I kept them. Every one. Every visit…"

Now she understood, taking him by the hand she led them to the bedroom and handed him a wooden box that was on the top of the cabinet.

The tears continued to fall as Neville clutched it, opening it slightly to remove one of the many Droobles wrappers from inside. "Mum….Dad…."

Luna felt her own eyes water, but she forced herself to stay strong for him. Silently taking the box and wrapper from his hands, she eased him into the bathroom, washing his hands for him, as he still wasn't truly aware of his surroundings. Wrapping his hands in a towel, she couldn't do anything but watch as he stared at his now scarred hands.

"Dad... Mum..."

Neville didn't rest well that night, tossing and turning in his sleep. When he did wake the next morning, he refused to speak and ate only when Luna threatened to force feed him. After a week had passed in the same manner, with very little change, Luna went into the attic to retrieve something she had hoped to never use again.

Setting down a small black bowl in the center of their dresser, she turned to him, holding one hand out to him and carrying his coat in the other.

He said nothing as he stood, fumbling with the buttons on his coat. Sliding her fingers atop his, she buttoned it for him before Apparating together, hands held tightly. He said nothing as he looked around at their surroundings. Picking up a stick, Luna nodded to him, "Find a few more of these, Neville." Armed with a small pile of sticks, they Apparated back. She helped him with his coat again asking him to bring the branches upstairs once he was ready to follow her.

Luna broke the wood into sections, dropping them into the bowl, "Daddy and I did this for Mum. When you're ready to start again, you burn these bits. So you can start over but still keep them in your heart, just like before."

Neville said nothing but hesitantly reached a hand to take hold of one of the smaller sections, rolling it in his palm before dropping it as if it had burned him. "It's too soon," he managed to choke out.

Luna brushed her hands through his hair, certain all would heal itself soon. It would take more than one morning, one night, one month, she knew but even then she was certain that he could start anew. And she would be there by his side through all of it.

It was months later when he left for his first day as the Herbology professor that Luna saw something in the bowl that caught her eyes. The sections of branches were gone, so now the bottom of the bowl was filled with a black ash. In the middle of it, a small photograph of his parents smiled up at her.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 26th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
Wonderful use of prompt!

Interesting, how Neville took on the condition of his parents in his grief. The burning and new growth is a nice comparison as well.

Good job. :)
Oct. 2nd, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
I really liked how Neville associated with the gum wrappers with his parents and sought them out over photographs of them, as they did form the only connection with them that he could remember himself. Luna's observation that he had lost his parents twice as well as her concrete way of helping him to heal were also lovely.

A small suggestion, if I may: using a Droobles wrapper at the end instead of a picture of his parents would tie the beginning to the end better. However, thrust of the image given, a physical representation of Neville's healing, was splendid. Altogether understated and nicely done.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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