A/N: how long has it been since i've done an author's note oh god who knows! um okay so i really like to write about tragedy and harry potter so why not just write this. it's basically going to be a series of drabbles and one-shots about loss, and it will be updated sporadically (read: whenever i feel like writing about harry potter and tragedy) so be aware that it could go for weeks without an update and so on. any character, any pairing, anything at all is possible. i don't write about harry potter very often (read: only once really) so the characterization may be shabby and the content very weak, but i do what i can.

the subject of each drabble will be labeled in the chapter title. there will be spoilers for those who have not read the last book or seen the last movie, but they're pretty general.

They don't recognize him anymore, but he visits them anyway, like he expects something to change now that everything else has. They have brief lapses of sanity, moments where they look at him with recognition in their eyes, but those moments are small and far in between. He swears he once saw his mother start to say his name, before the dull look in her eyes replaced the clarity and she began to rock back and forth, and not another word was spoken.

But he visits them anyway.

He doesn't know how to convey exactly what's just happened. He's not sure how to tell them what he's just done, what the world has just done. There will be more dark wizards and there will always be bloodshed, but the peace lulls him for a moment, and he thinks anything's possible.

"Mum," he begins, clawing the words out of his throat, "I've just — I've just done something amazing."

The woman across from his — his mother, but also not his mother — stops rocking and looks clearly at him. Hope burns in his stomach.

"He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named —" He stops. "Lord Voldemort," he says instead, "I've just — we've just — he's dead."

He can't tell her how he destroyed the snake, how he helped drown thousands of Death Eaters, how he fought for everything with courage he wasn't aware he possessed. He can't tell her how Harry killed Voldemort. How Luna looked at him when it was over. How suddenly, he felt like he'd avenged his parents, when he watched Bellatrix Lestrange's body explode into a million fragments of dust.

But he can tell her that it's over.

And though her eyes are still dull and blank with an ignorant bliss, she says, "My Neville is a brave boy."

She doesn't say another word and the rocking resumes, and though he knows she'll never truly understand who he is, he takes her hand and nods.

"I am."

But she doesn't look at him again.