The Sugar Quill
Author: jynx67  Story: A Little Hope  Chapter: Default
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A Little Hope

A Little Hope

by jynx67




Neville Longbottom was lost... again. He hated the moving stairs and disappearing hallways of Hogwarts. They always confused him. The hall he was currently in was devoid of any portraits. He was disappointed. Asking a portrait was how he usually got "un-lost". He began opening doors along the wall in search of a portrait or a ghost who might be kind enough to help him on his way.


Room after room was empty or had old, dusty desks within. Finally, he opened a door to find a large portrait standing on two clawed feet covered by sackcloth. Moving in, he uncovered the gold-framed painting only to find a mirror.


He looked at his tired and ragged reflection in disgust. He hated being lost. He hated being alone. It was how he spent most of his time, lost and alone. Just as he heaved a sigh of resignation, he noticed something happening in the mirror.


He gasped as he saw images of his parents moving up behind him. They looked so young and... alive. Spinning around on his heel, he noted he was completely alone. Slowly, he turned back to see his father's hand lying on his shoulder and a proud look on his face. If Neville thought hard enough, he could almost feel his father's hand. His father was wearing a white oxford shirt with a Gryffindor red tie and brown slacks. His dark brown hair was brushed neatly, very unlike how Neville normally saw it. His complexion was tanned and his eyes crystal blue, shimmering in the light.


His mother looked so beautiful, completely different than she did during his visits to St. Mungo's. She was wearing a white dress, her long black hair fell like silk over her shoulders. Her smile was bright and her eyes sparkled with mischeif, something he had never seen before. Normally she looked so sad and her eyes were wild. He certainly liked this look much better. She held out a closed hand towards him. Opening it, she revealed several gum wrappers all folded into shapes of different animals.


Neville smiled, "Oh Mum! So that's what you've been trying to do." He felt so warm inside at finally being able to understand his mother.


The woman in the glass smiled and nodded then leaned down to kiss the cheek of his reflection. He face flushed and he swore he actually felt her kiss him. "I miss you, Mum," he whispered, tears pricking the corners of his eyes. "And you too, Dad. Gran is great and all... I love her, but I really wish you two were better."


He sat on the floor, not even noticing that it wasn't dusty and dirty like every other room on this hall. He watched his parents doing normal, every day things. His mother washed dishes in the small kitchen of their home while his father read the Daily Prophet. He sat in a chair very familiar to Neville. It was a large, over-stuffed chair that was very comfortable. His Gran had kept it and Neville loved to climb into it and sleep. Now he knew why. It was his father's favorite chair. He watched his reflection go up to his father and sit in his lap. Together, they read the Prophet. The whole scene looked like that of a perfect family.


His eyes drifted upwards to the frame of the mirror. It was elegantly carved and painted gold. The feet that held it up looked like the claws of a bird of prey, perhaps an eagle or a hawk. Words were etched into the gold.


Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi


Neville's brow furrowed as he pondered what that might mean. He'd never seen a language like it before. Figuring it was magical, he gave up and watched his family.


Soon, his stomach growled and he realized he'd been sitting before the mirror for the better part of two hours and it was dinnertime. Sadly, he climbed to his feet and dusted off his pants. "I'll come see you again," he told his parents. "That is if I can find my way back here. But first, I have to get out of here."


The mirror images of Frank and Alice Longbottom smiled and walked to the door in the mirror. Neville stood in stunned silence as he watched them walk from the room to the Great Hall. They had just shown him how to get "un-lost".


After one last good-bye, he made his way through the halls just as his parents had. Soon, he found himself in front of the Great Hall. He smiled. "Thanks Mum and Dad," he whispered before pushing open the large, heavy doors.


He was smiling wistfully as he sat down at the Gryffindor table next to Hermione. "Hullo," he said cheerfully.


"Hello, Neville," she replied, returning his smile.


"What's got you in such a good mood," Ron asked from across the table.


Neville pulled several gum wrappers from his pocket and folded them into a swan. He placed it on the table and looked at Ron, still smiling. "Just a little hope."




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