DISCLAIMER: All of the places and characters in this story belong to the genius Ms. J.K. Rowling. No profit is being made from this story. It only serves to (hopefully) entertain.

*** Note: This is told in the perspective of Dean Thomas. ***


Bubblegum is one of those things that's short-lived.
You unwrap it, chew it for a while,
maybe even blow some bubbles with it.
Then eventually it starts to lose its appeal
because the flavor weakens or
blowing bubbles gets boring.
Perhaps your jaw is just tired of chewing.
Whatever the reason is,
you spit it out into the rubbish bin,
toss it on the ground,
or stick it to the bottom of a chair.
The bubblegum is just
a forgotten piece of waste.

I was like a piece of bubblegum to my dad.
My mum says he was so thrilled,
so excited,
the day I was born.
He cried the first time he held me
and even stuck around for a while after that.
Then he found out that being a father
actually required some work.

I needed things.

I needed to be fed, changed,
rocked to sleep,
comforted, loved.
I cried sometimes. I wasn't always calm
like some babies are.
I guess he'd thought a baby was a novelty,
something to take pictures of and show to friends.
I guess that's why he left.
He didn't want to put in the effort to help my mum take care of me.

He didn't want to put in the effort to love me.

I suppose my father was the type of person
who didn't care much for bubblegum.
If he ever chewed it, I'm sure he chucked it
before it even lost its flavor.

He probably didn't even blow bubbles.

Now my mum... she's different.
She'll chew a piece of bubblegum
until her jaw hurts. She'll even chew it
when the flavor has long since disappeared.
When I was younger, she'd blow bubbles and
let me pop them with my finger
because I liked the sound.
Sometimes the gum would stick to her face
and I'd laugh
and laugh
and laugh
and she'd laugh with me.

When I was five or six,
she taught me how to blow bubbles with my own gum.
It took me a while to learn, but she was patient
and clapped the first time I did it
all by myself.

But what's really great about my mum
is that she's stuck with me through everything.
She stayed up with me during those awful nights
when I was a teething baby.
She taught me how to read.
She put up with my rebellious tantrums
when I didn't get my way growing up.

And when I got my Hogwarts letter,
she was proud of me,
even though she was nervous about sending me to a place
in a world she never knew existed.

She didn't abandon me like I was just a piece of bubblegum
to be spit into the rubbish bin,
tossed on the ground,
or stuck to the bottom of a chair.

She didn't do what my dad did.

My mum loved me through the good, the bad,
and everything in between.
She took care of me and stood by me.
And to this day, after all these years,
she still loves me,
and I'm grateful.

I'm glad my mum loves me.

I'm glad my mum loves bubblegum.

Author's Note: My first attempt at freeverse! I hope it wasn't too much of a train wreck. Much thanks to MissingMommy for being kind enough to take a look at this before it was posted and offer some advice. :)

Written for the Freeverse Competition on the HPFC. Thanks for reading!