A/N: This is a collection of entries for thefirstservant's Chinese Moon Festival Competition on the HPFC. There will be seven unrelated chapters, they will vary in length and they will depict different characters and different 'slices' of the Moon Festival. There's Family, Friendship, Romance, Rebellion, Separation and Sacrifice. And there's also a bonus slice.
The first chapter, Family, is also written for the first round of Fire the Canon's Fanfiction Tournament Competition, September 2012 edition and for owluvr's Character Diversity Boot Camp Challenge, with the prompt 'light'.
Disclaimer: Not even with Polyjuice Potion will I turn into JKR. All rights go to her, naturally.
Neville opened the door of the ward and straightened his spine. You've helped defeat Voldemort, you can do this, he told himself. He looked around the ward, almost as if taking it in for the first time. And in a way it was. From childhood on, he had come here with his grandmother. But now the war was over and Neville had grown, not only psychically, but also emotionally. He had singlehandedly killed Voldemort's snake and had thus helped defeat him. This time, he had decided he would go alone, but that didn't make it any less difficult.
His parents were probably asleep, since it was almost midnight. At first, the Healer wouldn't let him in, stating that it was too late for visits.
"Look, we just won the war, Voldemort's dead," Neville said. "I've been through a lot these past couple of hours, and I would really like to see my parents." He wasn't sure, but the cuts on his face, the bloodstains on his clothes and the determination in his voice might've helped convince her.
The woman whimpered on his mention of Voldemort's name. "Is it true? Is he really gone?"
Neville nodded. "I was there. I watched him die."
The Healer walked over to him and hugged him, her eyes filled with tears.
"Thank you," she whispered. "Now my husband is finally revenged."
Neville wasn't exactly sure what to do or what to say. Here he was, once again confronted with the cruel deeds Voldemort and his followers had done. Uncomfortable with the situation, he padded her on the back.
"There, there," he muttered. It was something his Gran would do whenever he was upset when he was younger.
The Healer quickly recomposed herself and sniffed.
"Go see your parents, boy," she said quietly. "But make sure not to wake anyone else."
"I won't. Thank you."
He walked over to the corner where his parents lay. He approached them with caution, not exactly sure what he'd do once he'd reached them. They were indeed asleep, so should he wake them? The curtains weren't completely drawn and the soft light of the moon illuminated his father's face. All his life Neville had heard that he looked like his mother – and her kind and round face told him it was true every single time he saw her – but this was actually the first time that he noticed that he also looked like his father.
He stood silent for a moment, before he softly woke his parents.
"Mum? Dad?" he whispered.
His mother stirred in her sleep but his father didn't react. Neville tried again and this time he touched both of their arms. His mother opened her eyes slowly, drowsily from sleep, but his father awoke abruptly. He had a look of terror on his face and backed away when he saw Neville.
"Who-who are you?" he asked suspiciously, clutching his blankets.
Neville sighed sadly. "It's me, Dad. Your son, Neville." That was always the hardest part about going to visit his parents: they never recognised him and he had to introduce himself again and again. They couldn't speak much, but 'Who are you' seemed to be the only phrase they could still manage.
His mother was beaming, always happy with the company, although she too, didn't remember who he was. He took her hands and gently planted a kiss on top of them. He had once tried to hug her, but she had been terrified when he came near and had been upset for days. It had hurt, but he had long since decided it would be better to just go with a kiss on her hand.
"Here I am again," he said. "I never thought I make it trough the day, yet here I am." He looked at his father. "I have finally taken up your legacy Dad," he said. "I've finally shown them why I've been put in Gryffindor all those years ago." There was pride in his voice and the softness of it seemed to calm his father down. He lowered the blankets a bit and looked at Neville with a quizzical expression on his face.
"Today I was a hero, Mum," he said to his mother. "You would have been proud of me, I just know you would." He squeezed her hand. "They are finally dead. Voldemort is dead. Bellatrix Lestrange is dead. Finally I know that you both have been revenged."
A shiver had gone through his parents at the mention of the names of Voldemort and Bellatrix. Tears sprung into Neville's eyes when he realised that they didn't remember who he was, but the names of their enemies were still something they recognised. How he wished it would be the other way around!
"They can no longer hurt you," he tried to reassure his father in his most soothing voice. His mother's face lightened up and she began rummaging in the drawer of her bedside table. It didn't take long for her to proudly held up a candy wrapper and push it in his outstretched hand.
Neville gratefully accepted the wrapper. She had always done that and he had always accepted, taking for granted that this was her way of saying that she cared. But today he was truly grateful. Grateful that even though they would have to spend the rest of their lives in St. Mungo's, at least they were still alive. At least they weren't dead, like Harry's parents. At least he could still see them and talk to them, even if they didn't talk back. A warm feeling washed over him. Today he had shown the world that Neville Longbottom was brave and he felt that he had finally revenged his parents. Today would be the start of something new.
He closed his hand around the wrapper and looked at his mother. "Thanks Mum," he said. And for the first time in a very long time, he added: "I love you."