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And, Then. by Deltaris
Chapter 1 : Blank.
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 3

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A/N:  This is terribly short, but when it's done, it's done.  It's been so long since I've written anything, that the fact that this came together overrides the briefness for me.  The way I picture this scene, it all happens in less than ten minutes.

Unbeta'd.  Feel free to point out areas and room for improvement.  Take care :)

The building was noisy and chaotic, as hospitals tend to be.  Screams and cries echoed through the hallways, footsteps forever pounded on the floors as people ran through them, beds filled and refilled at an alarming rate.  Something, something, was going, she could feel it in her bones.

The graying woman jumped out of her messy cot.  Where is my wand?  Her eyes searched her area, before turning to the rest of the room.  She gasped harshly as the image of her husband staring blankly at her from the next bed over registered.  Frank...?

And, then, mere seconds after she'd jumped up, all control she had was gone.  The frail woman stumbled, only to be caught by the attending Healer.  "Got to stay in bed, Alice," the woman mumbled, harried and frustrated, "Big, big day today."  The Healer handed her a wrapped piece of gum and adjusted her pillow before scurrying out of the ward.  Alice's bony fingers fidgeted with the wrapper on the gum, her blank mind consumed only with getting to the chewy candy.

A man pushed his way through the crowded hallways on St. Mungo's.  Like so many others, he was searching for his family, the ones he loved most.  He was still dirty, still bleeding, from the fight that had transpired, but paid no attention to those offering him help. 

Not that there was any offered; he could walk, function within his own capabilities.  By merely being in control of himself, and his only injuries cuts and scratches, the Healers overlooked him for those on the verge of death.

He breathed a sigh of relief as he came to the doorway he had come to know so intimately.  Pushing through the doors to the ward, he didn't hesitate as his feet led him to the beds that held his parents.  Pain flashed across his face as he took in the sight - his mother toying with a gum wrapper and his father staring blankly at the ceiling.

"Mum," he whispered, his voice too strained to form sound, "Dad...the war's over."

Alice's eyes wandered to the bruised man standing before her, unrecognizing and blank.  He sat upon her cot, took her hand in his and stared.  "Mum, it's me, Neville."  His eyes filled with tears as she failed to recognize him once more.  "Your son."

The woman continued to stare blankly as the man let his tears fall.  My son!  Neville's eyes clenched shut, trying to block the tears and pain, unaware of the battle still occurring within the mind of his mother.  My son...Neville...

"We did it Mum," he stroked her hand softly.  "We finally beat him.  Harry - you remember me telling you about him?  Harry Potter? . . . no. - killed him.  I fought for you, Mum, I was brave for you and Dad."

I'm so proud of you.  My little boy.  Alice screamed and cried, threw herself against the barrier within her own mind, but it went unnoticed.  Please, please, she begged from the deep recesses of her head, unable to control her mind and body.  Let me comfort my son.  NEVILLE!  Her free arm reached towards her son, a faint smile appeared on her lips.

And, then, a gum wrapper fell into his lap and she was blank again.  Neville picked up the wrapper and stuffed it into his pocket, resigned to the fact that his parents would never know him.  He squeezed his mother's hand one last time, his gaze lingered on his father.  "I have to go now.  There's still so much to be done."

He stood slowly and made his way to the door, his shoulders slumped.  Pausing, he turned to look at his parents once more.  "I love you."

I love you too, Neville, my baby boy.

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