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Neville sighed. Home again for summer break. His room. The room that had been the same since as far back as he could remember.

He knew very well that if any of those Hogwarts saw his wallpaper, light blue with sailboats, or the jar of seaglass on the dresser painted with ocean waves, they wouldn't understand. From what he gathered, the other boys had posters of quidditch teams, and other things that were typical of teenaged wizards. He knew his room was different.

But it was the way he liked it. Just the way his mum had designed and decorated it. And that made him feel comfortable, made him feel at home. He could run his hands over the paint on the dresser and know she'd put it there, she'd sketched it, colored it, and done it all for his room.

He wouldn't change it. And he wouldn't show it to any of his friends – he wouldn't have any of them visit his house, anyway – and who would want to visit him?

Except Harry – Harry knew about his parents....Harry might understand, just a little bit better than everyone else.

Sometimes Neville would lay on his bed and look at a picture he'd always had. His parents, sitting together on a bench, talking with each other and waving out at him. He had visited that spot before – it was just down the road from his home.

Now was just one of those days where he felt tired. So tired, so weary of not fitting in at Hogwarts. Not fitting in anywhere. It had gotten better as he'd gotten older, but no matter where he went or what he did, no matter how hard he tried not to drop things or knock things over, he always wound up being the odd-one-out, or the one who had to use a different teacup because he'd break the good ones.

He felt his legs start to buckle beneath him from the sheer weight of the emotions he was feeling – this happened to him sometimes, his emotions turned into physical reactions. And they were always slightly...strange. He knew he'd better sit down, because if he didn't, and he fainted or anything like that, he'd hit his head.

As he sat at his desk, Neville laid his head down on the smooth, cool surface and let his eyes close. He saw his parents there, smiling at him, back to the way they had been, before the Lestranges had got to them.

It was so clear, like a dream, except for the fact that he was awake, in some way. Alice walked on one side of him, Frank on the other. Alice carried a picnic basket, and chattered to him as if there was nothing in the world more important than a day spent with her son.

His grandmother called up the stairs to him, waking him out of the reverie. “Neville, are you going to come down and eat your soup? It's going to get cold. Hurry up, be a dear, don't be slow.”

He groaned slightly, and stood himself up, slowly. “Coming, Gran!” Sometimes he wished she knew how to just leave people alone to their own wishes.

Before he did, though, he went to the table beside his bed and pulled out the drawer. It was filled with bubblegum wrappers – Droobles gum wrappers. He pulled the latest one out of his pocket and kissed it before placing it tenderly in the drawer with the others.

They were the only thing he had from his mother other than the furniture in his room. And she had given them to him in person. Just this morning, for instance, at St. Mungo's. She'd handed him this one. Gran followed up with the usual, “Oh, it's...lovely, Alice. You can throw that away, Neville.”

But he put it in his pocket.

And now he added it to the collection. He'd gathered so many – she'd been giving them to him since he'd started visiting his parents at the hospital. He knew his mother had been pretty, and he still thought she was, but he knew no one else agreed with him.

Sometimes, he wished he could talk to her, ask her what she thought of him. Equally so his father. But he couldn't. There was no way to reverse what had been brought upon them.

“Neville, are you coming!?”

“Yes, Gran!”

With one last wistful glance, Neville shut the drawer. It was his keepsake drawer, and if he had anything other than the gum wrappers he'd put them in there too.

And someday, he'd take them to the hospital and show them to her...and ask her, to please, try to remember, just try to come back to who she had been.

He was always hoping that someday he'd walk into the hospital and see his mother there, waiting for him, with a smile and a, “Tell me how your school year's going.” He dreamed of finding a way to cure her and his father.

But for now, the closest he had to his mother was the little gifts she'd given him.

Bubble gum wrappers.

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