Neville’s office isn’t in the castle. Well, there is technically a room assigned to him (third floor, fifth door on the right, mind the re-located portrait of Sir Cadogan). But if you needed help with your Herbology assignment or were sent to see the Head of Gryffindor House about that parakeet you snuck into the fifth floor girl’s toilets, you would never find him there.
Neville had a small cottage near the greenhouses. There had been some grumbling about its creation when Neville first started teaching, but it was hard to argue with the Minister’s favorite advisor who just happened to be a hero. So the cottage was built and young Mr. Longbottom and his new wife moved onto the Hogwarts grounds.
There was a steady stream of students coming in and out of the little house during class breaks. Some carried odd potted plants, some looks of guilt etched on their faces, and some simply dropped by to say hello. The windows had bright curtains and the chimney always cheerfully puffed smoke. It was hard not to feel welcomed by the cozy exterior.
Things were different after night fell. Students still weren’t allowed to wander the grounds at night, but everyone turned a blind eye to those who knocked on the cottage door under cover of darkness. These students carried no gifts and bore no cheery smiles. Their faces were tear-stained or bruised or fearful. They were hunched over, trying to make themselves as small as possible. They knocked on the door with shaking hands and trembling lips.
When they entered they would find a crackling fire, a squashy armchair, some of Hannah Longbottom’s famous ginger biscuits and a steaming cup of tea. And they would find Professor Longbottom, smiling kindly. He heard stories of homesickness, of bullies and taunts, of fears and failures. He dried tears and patted backs. And most importantly, he listened.
He might quietly find a bully and intervene. He might Apparate from the Three Broomsticks to the nearest Muggle town and place a call to a concerned parent. He might consult with Madam Pomfrey on the best way to help manage the anxieties of an overwhelmed fifth year. He might simply sit and give a firm and thoughtful piece of advice. But this is not why students came to Professor Longbottom’s house when life was bleak and Hogwarts was too much to bear.
They came because he had once, so many years ago, been like them. And because they, unlike him, would never have to be alone.
(written and submitted by ppyajunebug. This is another very sweet submission from this author. ppyajunebug’s wizarding world always feels like ultimately a good place, where wrongs are righted and people do kind things. It’s an inviting, pleasant look at canon; thank you, ppyajunebug!)
Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.
But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.
He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.
“He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, ‘Here you go,’” Diaz says.
As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”
The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, “like what’s going on here?” Diaz says. “He asked me, ‘Why are you doing this?’”
Diaz replied: “If you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me … hey, you’re more than welcome.
“You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help,” Diaz says.
Diaz says he and the teen went into the diner and sat in a booth.
“The manager comes by, the dishwashers come by, the waiters come by to say hi,” Diaz says. “The kid was like, ‘You know everybody here. Do you own this place?’”
“No, I just eat here a lot,” Diaz says he told the teen. “He says, ‘But you’re even nice to the dishwasher.’”
Diaz replied, “Well, haven’t you been taught you should be nice to everybody?”
“Yea, but I didn’t think people actually behaved that way,” the teen said.
Diaz asked him what he wanted out of life. “He just had almost a sad face,” Diaz says.
The teen couldn’t answer Diaz — or he didn’t want to.
When the bill arrived, Diaz told the teen, “Look, I guess you’re going to have to pay for this bill ‘cause you have my money and I can’t pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I’ll gladly treat you.”
The teen “didn’t even think about it” and returned the wallet, Diaz says. “I gave him $20 … I figure maybe it’ll help him. I don’t know.”
Diaz says he asked for something in return — the teen’s knife — “and he gave it to me.”
Afterward, when Diaz told his mother what happened, she said, “You’re the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch.”
“I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It’s as simple as it gets in this complicated world.”
FAITH IN HUMANITY RESTORED
ALL THE SLOW CLAPS GO TO YOU
My god, a social worker who hasn’t lost their way in it all. Bless.
In Honor of International Women’s Day: Favorite one liners from bad ass females.
I mean, or you could have just made this all Mcgonagall.
you missed the best one
…did he just do the hammer shuffle on ICE SKATES?
holy shit he DID.
this is the ice riverdance kid too
Heck yeah, I needed to know about this.
That time in which Mamrie, Grace, and Hannah absolutely NAIL it.