Written for the Light and Darkness Competition, round one. (It's overdue. Big surprise.) Prompts used were Bellamort, drinking a cup of tea, stupefy, honeydew, eternity, "I'm sure I will visit your grave", satisfaction, and Neville Longbottom. I used the lifeless pony prompt too. It's 552 words, which is short, even by my standards.

It's not my best piece of work, but it's something, at least. Takes place the summer after 5th Year.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.


Neville Longbottom sat by his mother's bed, fingering a chewing gum wrapper.

"It was crazy," he told her softly, as though she could hear him. As though she could comprehend his words. "There were spells flying everywhere and I was so scared, mum. I could barely fire a stupefy straight, that's how bad I was shaking."

His mother showed no sign that she heard him.

Not that Neville expected any different –he couldn't remember a time when his parents had talked to him at all. He knew what had happened to them, of course, but it didn't stop him from hoping that one day his mother would recognize him.

It was apparent that today would not be that day.

"Everything was happening so fast," he whispered. "One minute we were just standing there, and the next we were running for our lives. And –and she was there. Bellatrix Lestrange. She said she enjoyed torturing you the way she did."

He glanced over at his grandmother, who was sitting by his dad's bed. He couldn't hear what she was telling him, if she was telling him anything at all. "It felt like an eternity when she used the cruciatus on me. I don't know how you withstood that torture for as long as you and dad did. I didn't want to cry out, I didn't want to give her the satisfaction of knowing she was hurting me, but I couldn't help it."

He studied his mother's face carefully, but still she gave no response, and he couldn't help but sigh. His throat was getting dry, so he helped himself to a cup of the tea from the teapot on the bedside table. It was a strange honeydew green, but he wasn't a picky guy.

"I'm gonna get stronger," he promised, after taking a sip. "I'm going to get so strong that I'll be able to take her on and tell her, 'I'm sure I will visit your grave' and I will enjoy the look of fear on her face. I'll avenge you, mum, I swear she won't get to torture anyone else for much longer."

He continued drinking his tea. "Does wanting to see her lying on the ground like a lifeless pony make me a bad person, mum? What kind of person thinks about killing someone else with this much determination?"

Shaking his head, Neville decided to go for a slightly different topic. "Ginny Weasley thinks Bellatrix is probably in the bedroom with Voldemort now. I'm not too sure myself. I think he's planning his next move, but it's sort of funny when you try to imagine them… you know."

It was funny, but it wasn't fair, he thought, that Voldemort and Bellatrix could be screwing around, but his parents could never do that again. "I think you'd like Ginny, mum," he says, trying to take his mind off what had happened in the Hall of Prophecies. "She's a nice girl. You'd like Luna too –Luna Lovegood. She's a good friend. We're both in the DA."

He finished his tea, and set the cup back on the table. "Sometimes I wonder if you'd be proud of me. Are you?"

His mother gave him no answer, and, leaning back into his chair, Neville had to wonder if he'd ever get one at all.