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Ward 49 by tootsiemuffin
Chapter 1 : Mine For Life
 
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Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling is an almighty overlord who created Harry Potter and all of its magic. I only dream of being her, and the chapter title comes from a song by The Sounds.



Ward 49
Chapter One;
Mine For Life



He’d save everyone if he could; if his Gran would let him, that is, but she always made a funny face when Alice smiled and gave him another wrapper. It was as if she disapproved of it, which upset Neville to great extent. His Gran scared him, but this was his mum and these wrappers were the only thing he had to show for it. Poor Mum, what did they do to you? Alice smiled gleefully as Neville squeezed her hand, and picked up another wrapper from the table and stuck it in his hand. Neville could feel his eyes beginning to tear up, and he hurriedly shoved the bubble gum wrapper in his pocket.



“Can we go now, Neville? We’ve been here nearly half an hour, its long enough,” Augusta Longbottom asked, rising to her feet in a way that told Neville that she wasn’t really asking his permission to leave. He sniffed, and wiped his nose on his sleeve before rising to his feet. He gave his mum one last squeeze on the hand, and shuffled out of the room. He loved visiting, but it hurt him more each time.



---

June 1977



Alice looked up at the castle for the last time as a student behind its doors, for the first time in her new life. Graduate. What a peculiar word, how alien it sounded to her ears. It certainly felt like only yesterday when she’d stared up from this very spot for the first time in her life. She tightened her hold on Frank’s hand, and turned and looked into his eyes, looking for comfort, for him to show her it was going to be alright. In his eyes she saw her own reflected, full of fear, of worry, of memories that flooded through her mind.



“I love you,” She whispered, taking his other hand in hers and kissing him gently. “Promise you’ll never leave me…no matter what happens.”



“I promise, Alice, I promise. I’ll be there for you always,” Frank murmured, pulling his girlfriend into a hug and holding her against him. “We should get on the train now, before it leaves. Amelia, and Benjy are waiting for us.”



“Poor Amelia’s going to be all alone next year, I told her it was going to be bad if she went out with a 7th year.”



“You can’t fight love.” Alice’s face grew into a smile, and she started pulling Frank onto the train.



“You’d know,” She whispered, pulling him close, before turning and pulling Frank down the hall. She soon found the compartment where Amy and Ben were huddled up close on the seat, speaking in soft voices. Benjy was slowly stroking Amy’s hand, and Alice was almost afraid to interrupt, they looked so peaceful. However, Frank pulled open the door, and the other couple looked up. I hope they last forever, Alice thought as she sat down next to Frank across from their friends.



“What’ve you been up to, then?” Amelia grinned, snuggling closer into Benjy’s shoulder. Alice stuck her tongue out in an immature fashion, and took Frank’s hand in hers.



“Just looking at the castle, saying goodbye to some friends, I can’t believe I’m not going to see some of these people again. We’ve been together for seven years, and I might never see some of them after today. I saw the Marauders, and that Lily Evans girl, and I know they feel the same, I could see it in Lily’s eyes as she walked by.”



“You made eye contact with Lily Evans? You two hate each other!” Benjy grinned, and Alice scowled and shook her head.



“I don’t hate her, she just irritates me. And no, she didn’t see me…its just her eyes, they draw you in, they’re an amazing color. Merlin, I can’t believe we’re leaving, its heart-wrenching.”



“It’s alright, love, you still have me,” Frank murmured, squeezing her hand, and then looking out the window as the scarlet engine began to move. Soon enough, this too, would be just another memory.




“Hello, I’m Frank Longbottom,” He was a cute young boy, bouncy and excited. The first years were all huddled in a group, waiting to be led into the Great Hall, waiting to be sorted. Frank had just turned to the girl next to him, and stuck out his hand in a friendly fashion. She blushed and shook his hand, looking down so her blonde hair fell into her face.



“I’m Alice,” She gave a small smile, and took her hand back slowly.



“Hello Alice! Would you like to be my friend?” Frank asked, grinning from ear to ear. She looked up, her hair falling from her face, and nodded.



“I’d like that very much, Frank.”




“So, what are the N.E.W.T.s like, then?” Amelia asked suddenly, breaking the long thoughtful silence and bringing Frank back from his memories.



“Oh, let’s not talk about school,” Alice sniffed, leaning into Frank and looking out the window without really looking at anything. Amelia nodded slowly, and sighed, before standing up.



“I’m going to the bathroom, be back in a few.” Amelia Bones was the youngest of the group, just graduating her 6th year; her older brother Edgar had graduated in 1975, and she missed him terribly but she didn’t let anyone know. The two were very close, and Amelia talked about him often. Her boyfriend, Benjy Fenwick was a year older, graduating with Alice and Frank, and all four of them knew she was going to miss him terribly. However, only Alice knew how hard it was on her that they were leaving school without her.



Benjy Fenwick was a Ravenclaw, Amelia a Hufflepuff; and albeit they were an odd couple, they got along better than most and their relationship had lasted a lot longer than most teenagers’. Benjy was a quiet person, very intelligent, but rather lazy. He knew about everything, and could always lend a hand, but he didn’t much like schoolwork or anything else for that matter. Amelia was quite the opposite, always working hard to get things done, often overdoing things and putting in too much effort. She wasn’t the brightest person, but she had a good heart and that was all that really mattered.



“I’m going to miss her next year; this Auror training sounds difficult, and I don’t know how often I’m going to get to see her. You two are lucky, you know, going into the same profession. It’s as if you’re perfect for each other,” Benjy said after a moment, a small sign of resentment in his voice.



“Nothing is perfect, Benjy,” Alice whispered, and Benjy didn’t respond. “You can only dream of perfection. Just, don’t dream too much, because you’ll only disappoint yourself.”



“You’re right. Nothing is perfect, but you’re as close to it as anyone. I don’t think even Potter and Evans are as perfect as you two.”



“Forget about them, they don’t have anything to do with us. They’ll live their lives, we’ll live ours. You’ll live yours, too, Benjy, with Amy by your side the whole way. She loves you, Benjy, and she’ll stick by you no matter what,” Frank said before taking a deep breath, and wrapping his arm around Alice’s waist and pulling her closer. “You’ll be together again before you know it, and you have all summer, don’t forget.”



Benjy nodded before standing to his feet, and muttering something about going to say goodbye to some friends and that he’d find Amelia on his way there. Alice watched him leave with a heavy heart, she hated to see her best friends hurting, it was the worst thing in the world. “They’ll be alright, won’t they, Frank?”



“Yeah, they’ll be alright,” He replied before kissing the top of her head, and leaning back. “We’ll be alright too, Alice.”




“Longbottom, Frank!” Alice had been sorted into Gryffindor a few moments before, and was know watching with interest as the sorting ceremony continued. Frank stepped up to the hat, and sat down on the stool with it on his head. It didn’t take long before the hat decided and bellowed out Gryffindor into the Great Hall. Frank joined Alice, grinning from ear to ear, and sitting across from her at the applauding table.



”That wasn’t so bad, I’m glad I’m a Gryffindor. It’s nice to know where you belong.” Alice nodded,
If only I knew why I belonged here, she thought, giving Frank a small smile. “It’s nice to know you’re my friend, too.”



Alice
laughed, her eyes glistening, but not noticing the look that crossed Frank’s face as she did so. “You’re pretty.” Her eyes widened slightly, and she looked away smiling.



“Thank you.”




“Don’t forget to write, alright?” Alice whispered into Amy’s ear; the two were hugging tightly, and tears were falling freely.



“I couldn’t forget, Alice, you know that.”



“I’m going to miss you. I’ll take you shopping for your school supplies or something, but we really do need to see each other. You know where to find me,” Alice said, pulling away and wiping a tear from Amelia’s cheek. Amelia nodded, and wrapped her arms around herself, as if she was cold. “I love you, hun, I’ll never forget you.”



“You too, Alice; I’m going to miss you so much. School won’t be the same.”



Alice gave a small smile, and looked over at Frank who was beckoning, “I have to go now, or I’ll never leave. Have a good summer.” The two girls hugged again, and Alice ran over to Frank, taking his hand and walking through the barrier. She was staying at his house for the first week of summer and then his family was going on vacation to Spain, and they were taking her with them. The Longbottoms all adored Alice, and they’d adopted her as if she were theirs and took her everywhere. It really strengthened the already powerful bond that Alice and Frank shared.



Little did they know how strong their bond would need to be to overcome everything, to overcome the future.




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