Main Character: Neville Longbottom
Summary: Neville clings to power of wishing.
Warnings: mention of deaths
Rec Expl.: This ficlit never fails to make me cry. It is such an emotional piece of literary art work to me. It always boggles me that it can bring forth such strong feelings in so few words. I also love that this fic shows us a Neville Longbottom that we knew existed but never understood. This fic makes you ache for the lad. It makes you see what you were once too wilfully blind to recognize. It makes you see that not everything can be sunshine and roses. It makes you remember that in J.K. Rowling’s world, even death has its place.
When the children returned from the Yule holidays, Neville put a box upon the top of his trunk. He had gotten quite good at folding the cranes, though he was still having difficulties making them fly. He took out a new calendar and stuck it on his wall. Opening the box, Neville took out a smooth, shiny bubble gum wrapper. He sat down on the bed and began to fold it.
For some time after that, Neville was never seen without a wrapper. At first, everyone was fascinated to see the silver crane folded out of such a small square, but now the habit was bordering on obsessive. Neville was beginning to rival Luna in eccentricity. Even Luna helped Neville with folding the cranes at first, but he would never tell anyone what they were for. Not even in casual conversation.
“Neville, are you really planning on folding a thousand?” Hermione asked him one evening. Neville nodded as he set one finished crane aside and took up another gum wrapper.
“Your Mum gave you all those wrappers?” she said. Neville looked up to see her apologetic look.
“I don’t know if there’ll be enough,” Neville said. “I haven’t counted. But she’s given them to me every time I’ve visited. Even if it’s just been my Gran, or Uncle Algie, she’s given it to them and they always give it to me.”
“Do you see her a lot?” Hermione said. “I mean, you must if you have enough to wallpaper your room, like your Gran said.”
“Only on Christmas.”
“But how could you possibly have that many wrappers if you...”
Hermione faltered as Neville crushed the crane in his hand. He opened his hand back up and unfolded each careful crease, smoothing the paper out against his book. When the wrapper was flat once again, he started to fold.
“I’m sorry,” Hermione’s voice was meek.
“Don’t be sorry,” Neville said. He did not look up right away, but when he did look at her, his look was of pleading. “Please don’t feel sorry for me, okay?”
After dinner, instead of crocheting more hats, Hermione helped Neville fold cranes.