Paper Flowers

Disclaimer- I don't have much. Just let me be.

A/N This is about Neville's mum. It hit me the other day. I like it a lot. Who knows what Alice Longbottom is really seeing. What she knows and doesn't know. But I'd like to think that she loved her son above all else.

She is dancing. Swaying back and forth, clutching her baby so tightly. It's an old dance, her mother showed her the steps long ago. Back and forth, back and forth. Hold the baby close. Back and forth, back and forth. A pattern.

There is music. She is humming. A tune so old the words have been forgotten. He stirs in her arms and she hushes him. The music plays on.

"Hush little one. Hush." She whispers to him.

He smiles up at her, a beautiful baby smile. One chubby fist raises and she wraps her fingers around it, his skin is soft.

"Hush my little Neville."

She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a gum wrapper. With a smile she waves it for her baby to see, he laughs and reaches for the bright colors. Blue, red, green, yellow, the colors of the world, the colors of joy. She carries them in her pockets until they are worn and soft as tissue, just to keep those colors close.People used to laugh at her for it, make fun of her. Frank did not. He smiled and called them her paper flowers.

There are gum wrappers covering the floor. The colors swirling as she dances. Back and forth, back and forth. A field of paper flowers. A field of joy. She smiles and holds her baby close.

"Hush my little one."

He has grown, but he is still her baby. She imagines he is older. Ten, fifteen, twenty years old. He is always her baby. She tickles his nose with the colorful piece of paper and he laughs.

Somewhere nearby, Frank calls out. He is sleeping. Always sleeping. Always dreaming of terrible things. The baby whimpers at his cries and she continues humming the ancient song. The song with no words. Her grandmother taught her that song.

"You'll be strong." She whispers in her son's ear.

"I'm scared." His voice answers.

"You'll be strong. Like your father. Brave and true."

He is old now. Grown up. She brushes his cheeks with her fingers, they are her cheeks. He is so tall, so handsome.

"Look at the colors, little one." She says and shows him the gum wrapper again.

He laughs his baby laugh and reaches for it.

"Look at the flowers."

One day he will grow up. One day he will be strong and brave. He makes her proud. He makes her happy. In his eyes she sees the colors of joy. Her own field of paper flowers.

She is dancing. An old dance. The song with no words still plays.

"You are mine, little Neville. My little son." The colors swirl.