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06 August 2007 @ 10:59 pm
Fic: Summer Roses  
Title: Summer Roses
Rating: G
Word count: 3,995
Characters: Neville Longbottom, Augusta Longbottom, OFC
Summary: "Surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.

Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow."

Warnings: OC point of view
Notes: Originally written for hp_summergen, but didn't make it in time. Sigh. Title, summary, and a great deal of inspiration all come from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. shiiki, I tried to fit in your request for pre-Hogwarts education, but as I've no clue how the British school system works, that didn't quite pan out. I took a bit of liberty with the prompt. :) And much love to attilatehbun and queenb23more for looking it over, correcting my horrendous comma use/abuse, and assuring me that it didn't suck.

I walked up the stone pathway that led to the door, hands twitching nervously. I checked the rolled-up Daily Prophet tucked under my arm—yes, this was the right house—and took a deep breath. Timidly, I tapped the brass knocker three times and stepped back. I could hear footsteps coming from inside. The door swung open.

"Are you Anne Edwards?" A woman who was possibly a little younger than my grandmother and much more sprightly stood before me with one hand on her hip and the other on the doorknob.

"Yes ma'am," I smiled shakily, though inside I winced at the name I'd given her. "I'm here for the job?" Cringing, I tried to make the pronouncement sound more authoritative. "I've uh, come to answer your advert, Mrs. Longbottom..." Better, but still not perfect. I sighed inwardly.

"I know. Your owl said you would arrive at half-four. You're early." She paused, looking me in the eye. As if I'd passed some sort of test, she nodded once and motioned for me to come in. "I'll put the kettle on for us."

"Thank you ma'am," I murmured, but she had already turned her back to me, and I assumed that I was to follow. As we walked, I marvelled at how impeccable this woman's sense of design was. From the gilt-framed paintings on display in the hall to the prim yet comfortable-looking plush couches in the lounge, everything suggested an air of relaxed formality..

The kitchen was similarly furnished, with a marble countertop, a round dining table with a lacy tablecloth, and a pretty floral tile border around the edges. Motioning for me to sit, she flicked her wand towards a shelf. A porcelain teapot and two cups and saucers floated towards us, gently landing in perfect arrangement in the centre of the table. Mrs. Longbottom then tapped the teapot with the tip of her wand, and the spout dipped a little, pouring the right amount of tea in each cup.

"This is exactly how my mum used to prepare it," I commented after tasting. "How did you know?" I sipped again, savouring the sweet lemony tang.

"Enchanted teapot," Mrs. Longbottom said. "It's a Longbottom heirloom, and it's been in the family for generations." The barest hint of a wistful smile had begun to grace her features before a businesslike frown displaced it. "Let's get started, shall we."

It wasn't a question, but she looked at me intently. "All right."

"How much experience do you have with children?

"Loads," I assured her, leaning forward. "I've two younger brothers at home. Been their legal guardians since I left Hogwarts." I saw that her brow had drawn together concernedly, and I rushed to explain. "It was, um, because of You-Know-Who, see..." She gave me a look of deepest understanding and nodded. Usually I hated the look I'd get after divulging information like that, the look that condescending strangers thought was sympathetic but mostly made them look like bludgeoned trolls. On Mrs. Longbottom, it looked more than sincere, almost painfully so.

"Your experience certainly qualifies you for the job. I don't think anyone else who answered my Prophet ad had nearly as much familiarity with children as you have. How old are you, again?"

"Twenty-five, ma'am. My brothers are both at Hogwarts now."

"I will be on holiday for five weeks, visiting my brother." Her stern eyes bored into mine. "Do you think that you will be able to mind my eight-year-old grandson while I am gone?"

"Oh, of course! I'm sure he's a delightful boy." I smiled, thinking of my brothers at that age. Such a mischievous pair, they were. If this little boy was anything like my brothers were at eight, I knew I was going to have my hands full.

She pursed her lips and stirred her tea, staring into the cup thoughtfully. "I do love him so, my Neville. But he can be a bit... accident-prone...when left to his own devices."

"What do you mean?"

"I simply mean that he has a tendency to attract trouble if no one keeps an eye on him. He's a very well behaved boy, generally speaking—in fact, I daresay that he's mature enough to be left on his own for the duration of my absence. But I don't fancy coming home to a scorched kitchen and bits of my best china scattered across the floor."

I frowned; surely Mrs. Longbottom was exaggerating. Already I was imagining a hellion of a boy, a demon child who would wreak havoc on the Longbottom home and my sanity the minute his grandmother stepped out. I hesitated before answering. "I think I can handle him," I assured her. "Where is Neville?"

"Upstairs, in his room. I suppose you're going to have to meet him now." She sighed and barked to the ceiling. "Neville!"

In much less time than I would have thought possible, a small and chubby boy plodded his way into the kitchen—I wondered if he'd been lurking in the hallway the entire time. I winced, realising that he must have heard everything his grandmother had said about him. She didn't seem perturbed, though. Or maybe she hadn't noticed his swift arrival.

"Neville," Mrs. Longbottom started. "This is Anne Edwards. She'll be taking care of you while I visit your Great-Uncle Algernon for a while."

Neville dutifully stuck out his right hand, a look of apprehension on his round face. "Pleased to meet you, miss," he mumbled nervously.

He didn't use my name, I noticed. That was a relief. I tried to make my voice as kind as possible while I shook his hand. "It's wonderful to meet you too, Neville."

Mrs. Longbottom nodded at him, and with one last glance at me, he turned and walked out of the kitchen.

Turning to me, Mrs. Longbottom asked, "So, do you accept the—"

CRASH! She stopped mid-sentence as something in the hallway shattered.

"Oh, for heaven's sake," she muttered, and I followed her as she went to investigate the noise's source. "Neville, what have you done now?"

Just outside the kitchen entrance, a sheepish and nervous-looking Neville bit his lip and cringed as we approached him. There was dirt all over the floor and pitiful-looking green tendrils flopped blindly in the mess. .

"I'm sorry," he cried. "I didn't—I didn't mean to—just fell over, honestly...I just wanted to..."

Flicking her wand with practiced ease—I suspected that she'd done this a lot—she repaired the broken vase. With another flick, a broom from the kitchen glided to the site of the accident and swept up the spilled contents, and Neville slumped silently towards the stairs.

Mrs. Longbottom rubbed her temples and sighed. "Do you see? He doesn't mean to do these things, but it is rather trying on the nerves after a while."

"It's not a problem," I told her. "My brothers were far worse than he is, and I've become quite handy with the Reparo myself. I can even teach him how to perform it, if you'd like." At this offer, her eyes flashed with pain, and I hastened to assure her. "I won't, you know, do anything illegal if that's what worries you. I'd just give him some advice for when he's finally able to repair things himself."

"No, no—it's not that." She leaned forward slightly and lowered her voice. "It's just...Neville hasn't displayed any signs of magical activity yet."

"Really?" I asked, incredulous. My tantrum-prone brothers had both been causing miniature explosions since they were three, and I had first brought a daisy to bloom at the age of four.

"We—that is, his great-uncle and I—we fear that he might be a..." She trailed off and pursed her lips, as if she couldn't bear to finish the thought.

"A Squib?"

She winced at the word but nodded. "Of course, we will love him just the same, you know that." I smiled reassuringly, and she continued. "But his parents...they were both so gifted..." She seemed to stare at a spot on the hallway floor for a few moments then shook her head as if to clear herself of her thoughts. "Anyway. Enough of that. I'll show you around, take you to the guest room where you will be staying. You may ask Neville to help you around the house while I am gone."

The house wasn't terribly large, but it did have touches of opulence in unexpected places, such as the antique bedside table in the guest room and the heavy claw-footed bathtub I would use to shower in.

"Well, that's it," she said after we had finished. "You'll just be looking after him, making sure he doesn't cause any harm. Other than that, he's a very easy child to care for. He will entertain himself most of the time."

"So," I offered hesitantly. "When should I begin?

"Next Monday at nine in the morning. I shall see you then, Anne."

I flinched a little, covering it up with a nod and a smile.


We were approaching the end of my first week at the Longbottom house, and I'd hardly done anything worthy of being called work. Every day I woke up at seven, made tea and waffles, and waited for Neville to rise. Every day he plodded down to the kitchen and ate, awkwardly avoiding my lame attempts at conversation and eye contact. Then he would politely excuse himself and slip out to the garden, and I wouldn't see him again until the next meal, where the pattern would continue for lunch and then dinner, until I would call his name and let him know it was time for bed. He would come inside and nod solemnly, then brush his teeth and change into his pyjamas without raising the slightest bit of fuss. My brothers were never this low-maintenance—they'd have dragged their bedtime out for hours before finally giving in.

I had thought that more accidents were bound to occur, but so far, nothing had happened. No broken vases or dropped dishes had turned up, for which I was glad. Though I could usually fix things easily, whatever I was going to have to fix was likely to have cost a small fortune.

Mostly I spent the time in between meals sitting outside on the front porch and thinking. I watched the clouds pass and thought about my parents, and how things would have been different. I thought about Neville, and wondered where his parents were, and recalled the look of understanding Mrs. Longbottom had shown me. When these thoughts filled my head, it was hard not to succumb to the waves of pity, for Neville and for myself.

Sometimes I tried to push these ideas out of my head by reading the books I had brought, but they were only Dickens and just as likely to leave me depressed.

Happy endings don't matter much when the journey's that hard.


On the tenth day, I resolved to make more of an effort towards building a relationship. If I were honest with myself, I was being a crap minder. With my brothers, all the fun bits kind of came hand-in-hand with being related. I'd never had to build a relationship from scratch before.

"Neville," I said during lunch. He glanced up at me and then back down to his plate. I was beginning to wonder if the boy ever smiled. "Do you want to do something with me today?"

"Like what?" His voice carried a tone of wonder to it, as if the thought had never occurred to him.

"I don't know, what do you want to do?"

He chewed his lip nervously. "You pick."

I tried to think of something that he might enjoy. He seemed like the quiet type—hell, he was the quiet type. "How about if we read a story together? You do know how to read, don't you?"

"I'm not very good," he cautioned.

"That's okay; we can take turns."

Usually, I liked to do household chores by hand. It was a good way to pass the time, so I could feel like I was doing something for Mrs. Longbottom. Today, however, I wanted to save a bit of time. I levitated the now-empty dishes to the sink and left them to wash and dry themselves. Neville was looking at me curiously. "What?" I asked.

He gulped. "Nothing."

I smiled encouragingly. "All right. Let's go out to the garden, then. Would you like that?"

Brightening, he nodded enthusiastically, and we headed outside.

The sun shone cheerfully as we walked to the wooden bench in the middle of the garden—antique again, of course. The garden itself was lush with flowers and greenery, though the plants were mostly non-magical. Perhaps Mrs. Longbottom wanted to minimize the risk of injury by populating the garden with simple, benign flowers. At any rate, the effect was gorgeous, and with just the wind stirring the petals, I could see why Neville liked to spend his time here. It was peaceful and calming, two things I supposed that his grandmother wasn't.

We settled ourselves comfortably on the bench, and I Summoned my bookcase from my room. I noticed the guarded, curious look pass over his face again and I asked, "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," he said. But he wasn't looking at me.

I sighed. "I know it's not nothing, Neville, so come on. Tell me what's on your mind."

He fidgeted a little, squirming on his seat before responding. "Do...do you think you could teach me to do magic?"

"I'm sorry," I said with regret. "I'm afraid I can't teach you how to do any actual magic. That's against the law. You'll have to wait until you get to Hogwarts for that."

"Gran says m'not going."


"She says I might not be going to Hogwarts because I'm not magic enough."

I was overcome with outrage on his behalf. "She said that to you?"

"No...I heard her when she was talking to Great-Uncle Algie in the Floo. He—Great-Uncle Algie, I mean—tried to push me off Blackpool Pier to put some magic into me, but it didn't work. And now she wants him to help make me magic again."

"But you've plenty of time before you leave for Hogwarts. I'm sure you'll be able to do something magical by then." I reached out to pat his hand, and he started a little before curling his fingers around mine.

"Gran doesn't think so."

I brought my face down so it was level with his. "Well, what Gran says won't matter as soon as you do show some magic, so you can just hold tight until then, okay?"

He frowned doubtfully. "Okay."

I released his hand to peruse my bookshelf, which I'd left levitating during the entire exchange. "Let's see...no, I don't think Dickens would be appropriate right now...Austen? No...Ah, how about The Secret Garden?"

He perked up. "What's that one about?"

"Why don't we read it and find out? You can start."

"Okay!" He positioned the book on his lap, and I reached around him to help prop it up. Flipping to the first page, he cleared his throat and began to read. "'When Mary Lennox was sent to M—Mis—Missel—'"


"'Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen...'"

I listened to his voice stumble over the syllables, stopping to help him along when he encountered a difficult word, and watched the flowers at my feet ruffle in the breeze.


We read one chapter every afternoon after that. It was funny, the way that the smile he would give me grew in increments with the passage of time. It began as a faint twitch, nearly invisible, but by the time Ben Weatherstaff appeared, it was so insouciant that I marvelled at the change that had taken place. I could hardly believe that this was the same boy that had so clumsily knocked over the vase during our first meeting.

In fact, I noticed that he hadn't cause a single accident in the entire time I had been staying here. The way Mrs. Longbottom had described it, I had imagined that I would have to repair every single easily broken item in this house at least twice over.

The garden also seemed to be growing more beautiful with each day that passed. I could have sworn that the colours were more vivid than I remembered from the first day and that the stems were taller and stronger than I had first seen.

"Miss?" he asked after Colin Craven had taken his first step. "Do you think the same Magic that makes the flowers grow could make me magic enough for Hogwarts?"

Truthfully, I didn't have an answer for him. The book was a work of Muggle fiction and wasn't meant to be taken seriously. But I didn't want to crush the hope in his eyes. And wasn't it the point of literature to provide an escape for the dreamers among us? Instead of answering, I changed the subject.

"You know what, Neville? I'm young enough to be your sister still. Why don't you stop calling me Miss, eh? It makes me feel so old and stuffy." I pouted theatrically at him, and he smiled.

"What should I call you, then? Miss Edwards?"

I made an exaggerated face of horror, and he giggled. "Call me Anne. Just Anne." I paused, suddenly sobering. "Actually, call me Antonia."

"I thought your name was Anne." He looked up, confused.

"It is," I said. It was my turn to look down. I felt slightly ridiculous avoiding eye contact with a eight year old, but I had begun to think of him as someone who understood far more than people thought him capable of. "Anne is what I ask people to call me. My...mother used to call me by my true name. I always hated it when people shortened my name, but ever since she di...well, I think it's time to stop that nonsense, yeah?" I smiled down at him.

"Yeah." He nodded. "So, Anne... Antonia?"


"Can we finish this chapter now?"

I grinned. "Sure."


The book ended on the very last day I would spend at the Longbottom house.

We sat on the bench for a long time after he closed the book, neither of us speaking until I broke the silence.

"Well," I said. "It...it's been a marvellous summer, Neville."

The smile that I'd begun to look forward to in the mornings was gone, replaced by a sad, wistful expression. "I wish you could stay for longer."

"So do I," I comforted him, grasping one of his hands in both of mine. "But I have to leave tomorrow, and your gran will want to know all about what you did."

"Should I tell her the story?"

"I'm sure she'd love to hear it."

"I don't know...maybe I can tell her about the flowers."

My brow creased. "In the book?"

"Well, yes...but the ones in the garden here, too."

I scanned the garden, examining it with my eyes. Nothing seemed amiss. "What are you on about?"

He looked up earnestly. "Ever since you came, the flowers have been blooming so well. Look, the hydrangeas have come up better than they ever have before, and the summer rose heads are the biggest I've seen."

I gaped at him, too stunned for words. "I...I didn't do this," I finally whispered.

"Really, Antonia, you did! And I don't want you to go, because—because the garden needs you." He finished in a hushed voice, and I heard the unspoken words anyway.

I need you.

"No," I said. He looked hurt, and I rushed to assure him. "What I mean is, I didn't do this, Neville."


"I was three years old," I cut him off, "when I first had a bout of accidental magic. Do you know what happened?"

He shook his head.

"I'd been playing outside, at my mother's feet, when something she did made me stumble a little. I looked up at her, and—I don't remember this, really, but people told me after—we both burst into laughter at the same time. I laughed so hard, they told me, that...that the daisy I'd been clutching in my hand grew to be as big as I was."

"So you are doing it," Neville insisted.

"I haven't had any incidents of accidental magic since I was eight, Neville. What I'm saying...is that you did all this. Not me."

"Really? Me?" His face had such wonder in it that I had to laugh.

"Yes, you," I said, giving him an enormous hug, holding him for a few moments.

"Antonia?" he asked, his voice muffled by my shoulder.


"I still don't want you to go."

"I know," I sighed. "I know."


Morning came sooner than I expected, and I roused myself to prepare for Mrs. Longbottom's arrival. I packed my things into my trunk, made my bed, and tidied the kitchen, baking some lemon meringues as a sort of welcome-home gift. Neville stood at the kitchen entrance, watching me for a while before he slipped out to the garden again.

At noon, I heard the familiar CRACK of Apparition in the foyer, and I rushed out to greet Mrs. Longbottom. She brought a petite, round-faced woman and a large, moustached man with her.

"Hello," I said, shaking her hand. "It's wonderful to have you back."

I shook the man's hand as well, and he introduced himself. "Good day, miss. Call me Algie."

The woman didn't extend her hand; she merely dipped her head at me, though her face was friendly. "I'm Enid," she said.

Mrs. Longbottom gestured toward the couple. "This is my brother and his wife." She scanned the hallway distractedly. "Where is Neville?"

"He's out in the garden, ma'am."

Algie laughed, a big guffaw. "Ah, a miniature gardener, is he now? I'll have him sorted out in no time, Aggie!" Mrs. Longbottom grimaced as he headed toward the direction I had pointed, and Enid wandered off distractedly to the kitchen.

"Why he insists on calling me that, I'll never know," she muttered. "Anyway, how was your stay?"

"Wonderful," I answered honestly.

"Good," she said.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Algie heading towards the stairs with a terrified-looking Neville in hand. Algie was talking animatedly, and I thought I heard Algie asking Neville to show him the loo. Neville looked at me, with an almost comically pleading expression, and I winked at him. He relaxed visibly, though he paused in his step.

"Antonia?" he said hesitantly.


"Goodbye." He hurried to catch up to his great-uncle.

Mrs. Longbottom gave me an appraising look. "I thought you said your name was Anne."

"It is—I mean, that's what I ask people to call me for short. It just...makes things easier, I guess."

She pursed her lips and suddenly I felt about three feet tall. "Do you know," she began, "how many people—Algernon included—have insisted on calling me 'Aggie'?"

"Er, no..."

"Don't let people diminish you, girl. Names are important."

I nodded, lost in thought. "Thank you."

I Summoned my trunk to the door, but before I turned the knob, I looked back. Mrs. Longbottom was watching me.

"Mrs. Lo—Augusta?"

Her features softened. "What is it?"

"I...there's something you should know. About Neville, and his magic."

She frowned and took a step toward me, but before I could say anything there was a loud THUD coming from somewhere outside.

"Everything's just fine, Aggie!" called a booming voice from above. "No harm done!" This proclamation was followed by an uncomfortable laugh.

"Oh, not again," she grumbled, heading towards the source of the commotion.

I sighed and picked up my trunk, carefully shutting the door behind me. She would find out in her own time, I was sure.
Current Mood: lovedmaternal
Current Music: "Go the DIstance" - Hercules (yeah, that's right)
shiiki: nevilleawesomeshiiki on August 7th, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)
I can't believe you drew my hp_summergen request! And I'm so so so so so thrilled that you wrote it anyway - because would you know, whoever's pinch-hitting hasn't actually seemed to - well, hit, yet. But now I feel special. Wonderful Neville fic just for me! (Bring on shiiki/msmoocow, because I could snog you silly right now! *MWAH*)

I love shy Neville and how you portrayed him at this age. I love his hesitation and fear that he won't be magic enough. I love his clumsiness and how it seems to define him. I love his affinity with the garden.

Antonia is delightful, and I love her for understanding Neville and reading him The Secret Garden (and I know now why you said that would be his favourite book and I totally agree).

I love Augusta for being so amazingly Gran, and for caring about Neville so clearly. So clearly to us, at least, though Neville must misunderstand. And I love the whole theme on the names - Don't let people diminish you, girl. Names are important. Beautiful.

Need I say again that I loved this?

(And would you know, I've completely forgotten what I requested for by now ... so of course I don't mind whatever liberties you took in order to come up with such a lovely fic. Pre-Hogwarts Neville is darling.)

♥♥♥ I'm so in love with this.
i don't want to be a song. i want to be loved.msmoocow on August 7th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
Whew, what a positive review! I'm glad you liked it, even if it wasn't finished in time for the exchange. And I'll let you in on a little secret: I haven't picked up the book since I was nine--I went to Sparknotes.com to find all the info on The Secret Garden. What a researcher I am, eh?

And don't worry about your pinch-hitter. The mod said your fic was done (I emailed her when I saw the mod post, and asked if she'd received my fic) and it's probably just the posting schedule that's keeping it. I'm sure you'll get your Neville/Sirius/Ernie/Lavender/character-I-forgot pre-Hogwarts education fic soon!
exartemarteexartemarte on August 7th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
Lovely - Neville is a character with so much to explore. What helps to give this real texture is the way those around him really care for him but never get it quite right. Antonia is the perfect counterpoint.
i don't want to be a song. i want to be loved.msmoocow on August 7th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yep, Neville is my favorite character, and I don't think I'll ever run out of things to write about him. :)
dessert or disaster: DH - Chapter 33 ♥midorichi on August 7th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
Yay! It's up! And it's sooooo pretty. =D
i don't want to be a song. i want to be loved.msmoocow on August 8th, 2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Love the icon, btw. :)
rose_starrrose_starr on August 8th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
Oh! You know I just adore this fic so much!! :)

Neville is so lovely and lonely in it, and Antonia offers us such a fabulously written pov!!!

Bravo, my dear!!

i don't want to be a song. i want to be loved.msmoocow on August 8th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for all your help--I know you'll make a lot of SU authors very happy. :)
(Deleted comment)
i don't want to be a song. i want to be loved.msmoocow on August 8th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
You know, that line almost didn't make it in because I thought it wouldn't work. I'm glad that you liked it--I can breathe a little easier about that section. :) Thank you for reading!
Άγαπε δέ μή έχω: Neville - My Fandommosaic on August 12th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
This is amazing and beautiful. I love Neville at that age and I love the parallels you've drawn between him and The Secret Garden. Antonia is simply lovely, and I almost never like original characters! I'm definitely adding this to my memories!
i don't want to be a song. i want to be loved.msmoocow on August 13th, 2007 09:23 am (UTC)
Memories? I LOVE concrit and praise and everything, but memming is probably the thing that fills me with "OMG really? Me?!?"-ness. I'm so very, very flattered--especially since I was very self-conscious about Antonia. I didn't want her to be too "flat", you know? Thanks so much for reading it, and I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to keep!
grandmastrslash: marauder's mapgrandmastrslash on April 20th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
I really liked this! I'm often wary of first-person POVs, but this works nicely: Anne is sympathetic, and her observations on Neville and Augusta sharp.
your royal pie-nessentrenous88 on April 20th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this so much! Found the link via remixredux08. It does seem like Neville could have blossomed (I know, I couldn't think of another word *g*) under the kindness and patience of someone like Antonia. Nice work. :)
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical: moon househermionesviolin on April 20th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
[Here via Remix.]

Sometimes I tried to push these ideas out of my head by reading the books I had brought, but they were only Dickens and just as likely to leave me depressed.

Happy endings don't matter much when the journey's that hard.


And I love Antonia and Neville's accidental magic and how when he's at ease he doesn't klutz at all.
orngsnapdragon: nevilleorngsnapdragon on April 21st, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
Here via remix. This is a wonderful, sweet story. I really like Antonia, and I admire how human you've made Augusta in this. Also, Neville is an absolute sweetheart.

"Happy endings don't matter much when the journey's that hard."
And that's just true and wonderful.
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