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Neville Longbottom

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[30 Jun 2004|06:20am]
[ mood | happy ]

Mr. Takakura sent me her reply.

She wants to see me. She still has the bonsai tree I made for her.

Seamus and Dean, I'll see you in London. Ron and Harry, once I've found a flat, you'll come visit, yeah?

My trunk is packed and locked and ready to take to the station.

Goodbye, Hogwarts.

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[27 Jun 2004|11:22pm]
[ mood | determined ]

Went to the wake at the Three Broomsticks. Lots of people there, but the gathering was quiet at first. Subdued. Just telling stories, mostly, about our absent friends, both funny and sad. Seamus sang "I'll Be Seeing You" for Remus with tears in his eyes, but his voice stayed steady and true all the way through till the end. Things seemed to be loosening up a bit and getting rowdier as I was leaving, though.

After downing about three butterbeers to screw up my nerve, I headed over to the other side of the bar to speak to Draco Malfoy. I wanted to tell him how sorry I was about Pansy Parkinson. And I really was, too; she was always the nicest of all the Slytherins. When he saw me coming, though, he turned his back on me and walked away. Maybe he had better instincts than me. After saying something about Pansy, I might have tried to say I was sorry about his father. I'm afraid the words would probably have stuck in my throat. Which would have been far worse for both of us than saying nothing at all.

Have been thinking, ever since I saw it, about Sirius' post to the journals about what Remus told Lucius Malfoy at the end. It hits hard and it's awfully humbling to think that Remus did what he did and died for it, striking a blow for me. Well, not only for me, of course. He did it for other people, too: Mum and Dad, his friends James and Lily, and Sirius and Harry and so many others. But in a very small part, maybe, he did it for me.

I asked Sirius tonight if he knew whether Remus ever saw my last comment to his last entry, that of all the teachers I've had at Hogwarts, he'd been my favourite. Sirius didn't know whether he had or not. I'm glad at least that I told Remus what he meant to me. It hurts not to know whether he ever saw it, but whether he did or not, I'm glad I said it.

They said at the wake that though his life had been cut short, he believed in living so that he'd have no regrets. Since I read Sirius' entry, I've wondered what I could possibly do to live up to what Remus did for me, for all of us. But when I heard that, about living a life without regrets, I felt all at once as if I understood, as if everything sort of fell into place. And the decision I've been struggling with all month suddenly seemed easy.

When I was a kid, my family was afraid more than anything that I'd be a squib. But if I learned anything during those terrifying minutes under the Gryffindor table last Wednesday, it's that I'm meant to have a wand in my hand. I've spent seven years learning to become the best wizard I could be. It would be foolish to walk away now from all I've learned.

So I left the Three Broomsticks a little early to go up to the owlry and send out some notes. I sent one to St. Mungo's telling them I'm accepting the botanical/pharmacology position (assuming my N.E.W.T. scores are satisfactory). I also sent one to Mr. Takakura, turning down the assistant groundskeeper position at Heaton Hall. I can always have a garden wherever I live, and I'm sure I always will. But I need to work in the wizarding world, and I think that the job at St. Mungo's is the work I was meant to do, at least for now.

There was one other thing I had to do. Inside my note to Mr. Takakura, I enclosed another sealed letter, this one to Sara. I asked Mr. Takakura to get it to her.

I know that he will.

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Thank Merlin for Honeydukes [22 Jun 2004|09:51pm]
[ mood | manic and sugar-buzzed ]

I knew I was thinking ahead when I laid in that stash of chocolate. I've gone through most of it today. (And no, Seamus, it is not that time of month.) I haven't cracked a book all day, and of course, nobody can practice for the practical stuff right now (What were they thinking?).

I know a lot of people are saying what they got on their journals. I, um, got the same grade as Harry and Dean. Gryff boys rule. Sort of.

I'd get books thrown at me if I tried to start a game of Exploding Snap right now. Maybe I should go and shred some parchment or something. That might help my nerves. Gah.

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[21 Jun 2004|06:47am]
[ mood | nervous ]

I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I kind of wish we were taking the practical portion first, since that's what makes me most nervous, but that's not what the powers-that-be decided. (It'll be odd, too, spending the next couple days without my wand. Rather like being a Muggle, I expect. I keep reaching for it all the time, and being surprised that it's not there.)

Hmm. Those kippers at breakfast were probably a mistake. Should have stuck with the oatmeal.

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Oh, no! [16 Jun 2004|08:30pm]
A stack of books I had piled up on the table beside me toppled over when I turned and jabbed it with my elbow, and they fell over onto my inkwell, which emptied itself over all my Transfiguration notes from this past year. Which might not have been so bad, because I could always use the scourgify spell, right? Except that when the ink well went over, I stood up so fast that I knocked my stack of this year's Potion notes into the Common Room fire.

Bloody hell.

It must be a sign. I may not survive N.E.W.T.s at all.
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[28 May 2004|10:32pm]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

People have been discussing Professor McGonagall's pronouncement that we're all to be graded on the journaling project. I've heard some grousing about it. I thought about going back and sort of adding entries, back-dating them, but then I realised that was silly. I know I haven't written very often or much, but it's no use going back and pretending otherwise now.

I suppose I never felt entirely comfortable with the project, because, well. I didn't expect my thoughts were the least bit interesting to anyone else. (Sometimes they're not the least bit interesting to me, either.) It's true; I hardly ever get comments from anybody.

But, there's something there about the journaling project, something that I did pick up, that I didn't expect to. I'd never written stuff down very much before and this forced me to do it. And though I didn't like being all public about things, I found I rather liked the writing.

I've kept a gardening journal for the last three years, a parchment one. It started out as simply a sort of ledger where I kept my notes on hybridised plantings. Rather dry and technical. But when I was working on designing the bonsai for Sara, I started making sketches of bonsai, and then writing notes in the margins about them, and what with the LiveJournal project, I was thinking about writing in general.

And I started writing. I'd practised a little in this LiveJournal, and got a taste for it, but didn't like doing much publicly. So I started doing it privately, in my garden journal. It's really turned into something else, now, entirely just for me. I expect I have this project to thank for that, for the discovery I like writing for myself a bit. I reckon I'll keep doing it after I leave school.

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[20 May 2004|09:24pm]
[ mood | bemused ]

Mr. Takakura owled me to ask me if I'd made my mind up on the job. And to let me know (again, oh-so-casually) that Sara broke up with what's-his-name.

Hardly subtle on his part, I'd say. Not sure whether to be amused or irritated.

I haven't made up my mind yet. Not at all sure that this would change things anyway.

I'll probably tell him I want to have until at least the end of June, to see whether or not I'd lived through the NEWTs experience.

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Thinking about the future [12 May 2004|06:02pm]
[ mood | indecisive ]

In a desperate attempt to get my minds of N.E.W.T.s and the rat sighting this week (ugh), I am thinking about possible job offers. Specifically, and rather to my surprise, I've had two.

The first one is from St. Mungo's Hospital, an offer to join their magical botanical/pharmacology program. I wouldn't be training to be a healer or anything, nor brewing potions myself (thank Merlin), but I'd be doing research on raising magical plants to make into potions. I sent the write up of my winter herbology project to the program head--I've known her for years, actually--and they rather liked what they saw. So: that's offer number one.

The other one surprised me: Mr. Takakura owled me to offer me a job as Assistant groundskeeper at Heaton Hall. Yeah, I know, it doesn't sound like much, but Mr. Takakura reckons he could be teaching me everything he knows, about garden design, etc. and I might end up in charge of one of the greenhouses, or the orangery or something, for that beautiful Heaton Hall. Under the tutelage of one of the best master gardeners I've ever had the privilege to know.

On the other hand, Mr. Takakura did let drop in his letter oh-so-casually that Sara might be working there next summer, too. Awkward.

It was rather funny to read Gran's response when I told her about the two offers. If I took the Heaton Hall job, it would mean I'd be--well, not living back home, I'd don't plan to do that. But Gran and I would be living in the same city at least. But it's a muggle job (or at least mostly: Mr. Takakura is a wizard, and I suspect he uses magic at his job more than he lets on), and that doesn't sit well with Gran.

But if I took the St. Mungo's job, I would be living in London. And that, to Gran, means that she can't be checking that I'm clearing my dinner plate every evening. To me that's probably an advantage.

But then, St. Mungo's has other associations for me, too, some of them painful. . .

I've written them both back, and asked for a little more time to decide. But I'll have to let them know soon.

Hard to believe. Just six weeks, and we'll be leaving school (if we survive N.E.W.T.s, that is).

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[18 Apr 2004|01:29pm]
[ mood | numb ]

The room was so cold and empty last night with all my roommates gone, that I just couldn't stand it, and so I got my pillow and a blanket and left. I went to the common room, and there were just a few people there late, but although the room felt too empty, that felt too crowded, even though everyone was being really quiet. I left again. I won't apologize, Professor McGonagall, for being out after hours, you can give me detention if you want--I don't care--but I went down to the greenhouse and spent the night there.

I started trimming one of my bonsai, but I started remembering things again, and once I started I just couldn't stop. I cut every single needle and branch off that tree. It had been a really nice little tree, too, one of my best. I've been training it for five years. I ended up throwing it away. Fortunately, I retained enough sense not to start on another. I emptied the pot and planted another brand new seedling in it, and then I just wrapped the blanket around myself and watched the stars through the glass for the rest of the night.

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[30 Mar 2004|08:37pm]
[ mood | chipper ]

I'm feeling my usual spring restlessness, which I'm handling the normal way, by ripping up all my pots in the greenhouse and repotting everything. The bonsai'd venomous tentacula may not survive--doubtless to the relief of all the first and second year students who were clueless enough to get too close to the pot this past winter.

Everyone's starting to panic a bit about NEWTs (well, there are some who started panicking a year ago). I've been hitting the books hard, but I try to do at least one totally irresponsible thing every other day, just to keep myself from going totally barmy. Like going to the Ravenclaw party last Friday and making an ass of myself dancing the Wanderana until the wee hours of the morning. Or letting Hermione beat me four times in a row playing Cleudo. Or . . . well, maybe I'd better not mention that.

Got a letter from Gran, who seems to be operating under the (totally mistaken) impression that of course I'll be moving back home when I leave school. Am trying to decide how to break the news to her: Um, no. But thanks ever so much for asking, Gran.

What are the rest of you planning to live when we leave this place? (Or are you not thinking that far ahead, or totally unconvinced you will survive NEWTs?)

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[16 Feb 2004|06:40pm]
[ mood | pleased ]

I've got my tools back, a fact I celebrated by repotting several bonsai. And I found my wand again and even managed to avoid having it bite me before I transfigured it back into a wand.

Life is good.

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[14 Feb 2004|11:43am]
Still haven't found my wand, but I'm hopeful that Harry might be able to lay hands on it soon. Here's my SurveyCollapse )
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[11 Feb 2004|07:05am]
[ mood | okay ]

My panic over my garden tools turned out to be premature. Apparently when they "went up in smoke," Professor Dumbledore only meant that they disappeared from Goyle's custody and reappeared in Dumbledore's office--along with Goyle's chocolate box. Then we went to his office and he told us who are partners are, since we hadn't figured it out in time. But Professor Dumbledore said we'll get our things back at the end of the week. Great. Goyle has my tools for a week. And the chocolate box was empty.

Strange.

I supposed I could shift compost by scooping it up with the chocolate box, but perhaps that wouldn't be wise.

Anyway, for my first good deed, I cleaned and sharpened all the gardening tools for Professor Sprout yesterday afternoon. Not sure which ones I'll do with Goyle. (And I desperately hope he doesn't try to serve me breakfast in bed, now that we can get into each other's common rooms. It would put me off toast and marmelade for a fortnight.)

I think of all the other common rooms, I like Hufflepuff the best. I suppose it's because I always figured that if I hadn't been put in Gryffindor, I would have been in Hufflepuff--and sometimes, yeah, I do wonder why I ended up in Gryffindor instead. But the Sorting Hat says I should still be in Gryffindor.

(I think I still saw a little porridge in Professor Black's fringe yesterday. Wish I could have seen the tentacles.)

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[05 Jan 2004|05:49pm]
[ mood | happy ]

Well, it's nice to be back again, with the start of another New Year. Dean, thanks for visiting during hols--although, um, I have to apologize again for that scene we subjected you to on Christmas Eve. It was bloody awkward for you, I know, being in the middle of that. I felt really bad once I'd cooled down and discovered that you'd grabbed your bag and left (on Christmas Eve, no less). We're not like that ordinarily, truly. I've never blown up at Gran like that before, ever. I hope you also got Gran's apology by owl. She felt really badly, too, and she said she was going to send you one.

I think Gran's learned her lesson about trying to, well, shield me from things. It's such a relief, too, to have it finally confirmed that it wasn't Deatheaters messing with my mind with that memory block, but someone who loved me and only wanted to protect me. I still don't understand why she thought she should hide it from me. I apologized for calling her a liar and all (yeah, she was--but I should have handled it differently, I guess. More diplomatically). I suppose that blowing up at her like that isn't the best way to convince her I'm not a child anymore. But it did make her look at me differently, and in a good way in the end. Anyway, we eventually worked it out. She agreed to show me all the details of the memory block spell. And for the first time in months, I finally feel like I can talk to her, because the lie is exposed for what it is, and it can't be a barrier between anymore.

The rest of the holiday, oddly enough, went really well once the big smoky explosion was over and the air had been cleared. I was at St. Mungo's on Christmas Day and saw Professor Lupin then. I stopped at Heaton Hall to see the Christmas decorations, and we did some shopping last week. Spent a lot of time playing with some of my younger cousins.

But I was ready to come back. It's a new year, and I feel ready to crack open the books and get back to work.

Padma, I got a new chess board for Christmas. Interested in a game sometime in the next several nights before the homework piles up too far?

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Cold December flies away [03 Dec 2003|09:42pm]
I think that a good snowball fight would definitely improve everybody's mood. Harry could let out some pent up tension (not that I blame him in the least, worrying about Professor Lupin and all), and Ron could take a crack at flattening Malfoy, which would certainly cheer him up. Seamus needs to get the blood circulating again, because he's looking peaky from moping around the library too much. And Dean . . . well, Dean never needs the least excuse for a snowball fight.

The trouble is getting everyone out to enjoy the snow, though. Haven't even had as much time to play chess with Padma as I'd like because the professors are loading us up with extra essays and threatening us all with practice N.E.W.T.s tests.

I got an owl from Mr. Takakura, which was quite a nice surprise. He told me all about the improvements they made this autumn to the greenhouse and the orangery at Heaton Hall, and he put a bit in the postscript about Sara, which I think might have been the real reason he was writing to me. She's still seeing that Jeremy bloke, and Mr. Takakura thinks she seems happy. Was glad to get a little bit of news about her, even if--well. Mr. T. asked me whether I might come back to work next summer. Don't think it's likely, really. I'd be wanting a job more directly related to the work I want to do long-term after leaving school, and I couldn't get much opportunity to work with magical medicinal plants at Heaton Hall.

I toyed for a bit with the idea of staying here at Hogwarts for Christmas, until I figured out the real reason: I wanted to avoid Gran. And I realised that's not fair to her. It's one thing to avoid answering her letters, but sooner or later, I'm going to have to see her face to face and talk to her. So I've decided I'm going home after all. Best to hash it out and get it all over with.
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[10 Nov 2003|06:35pm]
[ mood | calm ]

My month of detention is almost over. I've become extremely familiar with all the cracks and pits of the stones of the dungeons floor, after a month of regular scrubbing. It's a pity that becoming so familiar with the potions classroom floor does nothing to help me with potions.

I've been thinking more about NEWTs, and worse, what's beyond them, when I leave school. Padma and I talk about it sometimes, when we get together to play chess. I've been talking about medicinal herbology with Professor Sprout, and I think that might be best for me. Not sure whether to approach it from the medical side, applying for St. Mungo's, or to see about advanced and specialized herbology programs. I must talk with Madam Pomfrey some more. It's hard to think about careers--I hate trying to imagine where I'll be next year, because that involves imagining that somehow I've lived through the NEWTs tests, and I'm not altogether convinced that I will.

Gran is getting quite irritated that I've been ignoring her letters. I suspect her next letter may be a howler, demanding to know why I don't write. I do feel rather bad about that, since it's so laborious for her to write them, but I still have no intention of replying. It's not that I'm avoiding her, quite. I'm just picking the exact right time, when I see her face to face. That won't be until Christmas.

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[26 Oct 2003|08:42pm]
[ mood | bemused ]

The nightmares have stopped.

Huh.

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Opening the curtain [16 Oct 2003|09:57pm]
[ mood | numb ]

Professor Black tried the Redige spell with me again tonight, and this time we made it work. After all those months of trying, I finally figured out the hypnotic trance, and when I imagined opening the curtain as he said the spell, I finally saw what was behind it.

I was there. I saw Mum and Dad. I saw them.

And now I remember everything.

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Awake again [14 Oct 2003|10:31pm]
[ mood | miserable ]

For the first time in weeks, I feel totally rested. Unfortunately, this time it was the waking up that was the nightmare.

I was pretty confused when I opened my eyes. I was in the hospital wing. I was really hungry, and there was a terrible taste in my mouth, and a cup was just being pulled back from my lips. Then I looked up and saw who was standing over my bed, and I just wished I could go back to sleep again right away and not wake up for maybe about a year. It was Professor Snape and Madam Pomfrey, and they didn't look the least bit pleased with me. And then they said--and then he said--well--

If anyone needs me for, oh, the next several months, I'll be in detention.

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[11 Oct 2003|05:17pm]
[ mood | depressed ]

Running in the morning is a waste of time when you gain all the weight back--and more--by gorging on chocolate frogs.

Sure enough, Madam Pomfrey said no more potion. But I have to do something, or I'm going to fail all my classes. I'm just about propping my eyelids open with toothpicks, but nothing helps. But when I'm in bed at night. . . .

I've got to find a way to get some more sleep. Without nightmares.

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