Chapter 1 : Pretty As A Dandelion
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A/N: this one-shot is written in response to long_live_luna_bellatrix's Contradicting Challenge, wherein I got the following:
Title: Pretty as a Dandelion
Main Character: Frank Longbottom
Side Character: Evan Rosier
Quote: "Fortune telling makes me sick to my stomach and weak at the knees"
PRETTY AS A DANDELION
chapter image by stealingETERNITY @TDA. :)
Frank Longbottom was thankful that he had charmed himself to keep dry. He usually apparated home, but his talk with Dumbledore had left him dishevelled and bothered. His mind wasn’t ready to absorb what Dumbledore had told him tonight. There were so many things happening at the moment, the pressure was beginning to weigh heavily on his shoulders.
Wiping off his worried expression, he entered their modest home. “Alice, I’m home!” he called out.
Alice sprinted down stairs. After three years of marriage, they felt as if they were still in their honeymoon stage. “Frank, I’m glad your home.” Alice smiled at him warmly, giving him a big teddy bear hug. Frank hugged her back. “How was work?” she asked affectionately.
“Well, we still haven’t figured out where the Death Eaters were hiding, but we did found out who was responsible for the attack last week on Hogsmeade.” he said, taking his coat off.
Alice hung his coat on the coat stand beside the door. “Who?” she asked.
“Evan Rosier, Avery, Mulciber and Snape.” he spit out their names as if it was poison on his tongue.
“That’s okay Frank. You’ll get them soon enough. How did your talk with Dumbledore go?” Frank dreaded that question. He was slightly hoping she’d forget. He didn’t want to make his wife worried. He led her to sit in the couch. “Well, James was there, too.” he said, misleadingly.
“Really? Why? What was the talk about anyway?” Alice probed. Frank had that look on. Something was worrying him, she could tell. His eyes betrayed too much.
“Alice, I’m really hungry. Shall we get dinner ready?” Frank said, looking at anywhere but her. He stood up, but Alice pulled his arms and made him sit down again.
“No Frank. You have that look.” Alice said sternly. “There will be no dinner unless you tell me what’s going on.” She said with finality.
“Why don’t I tell you over dinner?”
“No dinner unless you tell me, Frank!” she half shouted stubbornly.
Frank sighed. He knew his wife doesn’t give up. After all, her determination was one of the traits he liked about her. She would’ve found out about it anyway. “Where’s Neville by the way?” he asked, looking at the direction of the stairs. Their son Neville, who was a year old, as old as Lily and James’s baby Harry.
“His upstairs, sleeping.” Alice said. “Now stop dodging my question, Frank. Talk. Now.”
“Well, Dumbledore told us about this prophecy.” Frank started, hesitantly.
“Prophecy? What about it?” Alice questioned.
“Dumbledore thinks it has something to do with our Neville.”
“Quit the talking in instalments thing, Frank. It’s annoying. Get to the point already.”
“Alice, aren’t you the impatient one.” he commented, giving her a small smile. “Well, from what I remember, the prophecy goes something like, ‘the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born to those who have thrice defied him.’”
Alice gasped. “Have we defied him three times already?” she asked, terrified. Frank nodded sullenly.
“That’s not all there is to it. He also said that the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal. The child will be born as the seventh month dies.”
“And Neville was born on the 30th of July.” Alice said, feeling the hair on the back of her neck stand up in fear.
“Neither can live as the other survive.” Frank finished quietly, his voice almost a whisper. Alice felt her eyes welling in tears. She felt fear for her son, for their family.
“Hang on, why was James there too?” she asked.
“Lily and James’s baby, Harry, was born on the 31th of July.”
“And Lily and James defied the Dark Lord thrice now, too.” Alice said, understanding beginning to dawn upon her. “Frank, what do you think should we do? Should we move? Should we go on hiding?” she asked frantically.
“There’s no need for that. Dumbledore said he got that bit covered.” he said soothingly. He was stroking the taut muscled in her back in a gentle manner. He felt them relax under his touch.
“Frank, I’m scared. We were only starting out as a family and Neville had just turned a year old. This isn’t fair.” she sobbed, unable to control the tears falling from her eyes. Frank stiffened. He wasn’t used to seeing his wife cry. She had always been strong-willed, yet another one of the traits he had liked in her.
“Don’t be scared Alice, I’ll protect you, you and our Neville.” he whispered soothingly, gathering her small frame in his arms. Then, he remembered his present for her. “Hush now, dear Alice. I have something for you.”
She looked up reluctantly “What is it?” she asked, her voice broken. Frank stood up and took something from his coat pocket. He whispered engorgio to them. Suddenly, a big bouquet of dandelions sprang up. “I charmed them so they wouldn’t be damaged.” he explained, sitting beside his wife again. “Don’t you know that you’re as pretty as these dandelions Alice? But if you cry like that, you look like a- a..” he looked around, trying to find something in contrast. Then his eyes focused on the big Pine tree outside their house. “Like a dried pinecone.” he said, grinning at her.
Alice slapped his arms in a playful manner. She took the flowers and smelled them. “They’re pretty Frank. Thank you.” she smiled warmly at him. “I’m sorry for crying. It’s just that, fortune telling makes me sick to my stomach and weak at the knees.”
“That’s perfectly okay Alice. Stop worrying. You have nothing to worry about.” he said, giving her a strong, one-armed hug for assurance. Alice smiled at him, wiping her tears off. She smelled the flowers again. Turning serious again, she looked back at Frank.
“Frank, promise me you won’t get hurt. Promise me will be one happy family.” She asked, her eyes probing his. Frank knew it was impossible to promise anything, with the war coming up. But he’d do anything, just to see his wife smile.
“I promise. I’ll take care of you.” He promised, even if he didn’t know how long his promise would stand, even if he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to fulfil them. Alice seemed satisfied though. She gave him a kiss on the cheek. Frank smiled.
“Well, do I get my dinner now?” he asked, wiping the remaining traces of tears in her cheeks. “I’m starved.”
A/N: well, what do you think? read and review. thank you! :)