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Chapter 1 : Overcoming Obstacles.
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Perfect Chapter Image by RoxiMalfoy @TDA!
Hannah was bustling around her tiny flat, wiping tears away as she went. She had finally managed to get her dress on, but now it was just a matter of applying make-up and trying not to smudge it.
“Mummy?” called a small voice from the doorway of her bedroom. “Why are you crying?”
Hannah smiled, wiping away the tears. Frank never saw her cry, so she knew this was probably not good for him to see.
“Because I’m sad, sweetie,” She said. There was no sense in lying to him.
“Why are you sad?” he asked. There were tears in his eyes now, and Hannah was sure it was because of her. He was such a sensitive little boy.
She sat down on the bed and patted the spot next to her, indicating to him to come and sit by her.
“Because I miss Grandpa,” she replied, giving him a squeeze.
“Where’d he go?”
Hannah sighed. She had told him the day Neville’s father passed away, but she was sure he didn’t understand. Even though Neville’s father, Frank, was struggling mentally, he came a long way when Frank Jr. was born. They would go and visit him and Neville’s mum, Alice, at least once a week, so Frank and Neville’s dad had become very close. And plus, he was six; he hadn’t yet come out of his “asking questions” stage yet.
“Up to heaven, Darling,” she finally replied. She really didn’t know any other way to put it, and Neville got upset whenever she asked him to help her with this conversation. Frank furrowed his eyebrows in confusion but didn’t ask any more questions, thankfully. She hated topics like this and she was sure there would be loads more when they got to the funeral home.
Hannah stood up, and Frank followed her lead. “Come on,” she smiled, grabbing his hand. “Let’s get you dressed!”
Frank groaned. “But I don’t want to get dressed, Mum!”
Dragging his feet the entire way, Hannah finally managed to get him to his bedroom.
“Can’t I just wear my pajamas?” he asked hopefully.
“Absolutely not,” came the voice of Neville from the doorway. He had their daughter, Alice, in his arms, dressed in a little velvet black dress and her blonde hair in two small pigtails on top of her small head. “You need to look handsome, mate.”
Frank stood a little taller, as he always did when he was around his father. He took in Neville’s appearance, and turned to Hannah at once.
“Mum, can I wear something like dad?” he asked. This boy really was too cute for his own good, she thought. Hannah glanced up at Neville and he gave her a smirk.
“We’ll see what we can do.”
Twenty minutes later, Hannah was finally able to finish getting ready. She had just finished curling her hair on her wand when she glanced at her appearance in the mirror. Sighing, she realized that she was as satisfied as she was ever going to be. She had barely put any make-up on, but that didn’t matter anyways; she’d be crying it off soon enough.
“Hannah?” Neville called. She looked around the side of the bathroom door and their eyes met. “You ready?”
Hannah nodded, and walked out to meet him. In the sitting room, Frank was sitting on the floor with two year-old Alice. He was attempting to make a house out of blocks, but Alice kept knocking it down. Instead of getting mad like a normal six year old would, he laughed along with her.
“Allie, wait ‘til it’s really big and we can knock it down together!” he said happily. Alice just giggled at her big brother, not really understanding what he meant.
“Frank,” Neville called. “Put your blocks away, it’s time to go.”
“No ‘Buts,’” he said, tiredly. Frank was about to retaliate again, but shrunk away from the look Hannah gave him. They easily could have put the blocks away with magic, but what lesson would Frank learn with that?
When all they were safely put away, Hannah grabbed Alice from the floor and Neville did the same with Frank. "Alright, Frankie," he said in a gentle tone, "make sure you hold on tight, we're going for a ride!" Neville spun on the spot, and with a loud pop, he was gone. Hannah held little Alice close and not a second later, spun on the spot and disappeared, too.
“Whoa, Dad, that was cool!” Hannah heard Frank exclaim when she appeared next to them. They had never taken him Apparating before, and Hannah guessed he was probably the only wizard on the face of the planet who enjoyed doing it. “Can we do it again?” He asked hopefully.
“When we go home we can,” Neville laughed, setting him down.
He opened the door to the funeral home for Hannah and the kids, and they walked inside. The room that they walked into was large and beautiful and Hannah felt very homey standing inside of it. There was a gorgeous chandelier hanging from the ceiling and large windows opening up the room nicely. Flowers were placed on every open surface and there were a lot of cushiony chairs placed around the room for comfort.
Neville and Hannah took a seat, unsure of what to do. They knew they wanted to see Frank before everyone else got there, so they decided to wait until someone came to greet them. It took a while, but eventually, somebody did come out to them. His name was Mr. Robertson and he was a short, happy, and chubby looking man.
“Ah, you must be Mr. Longbottom!” he said, bouncing over to them. “Nice to meet you.”
The man had shook Neville’s hand and ignored Hannah completely. Clearly, he knew who Neville was. Hannah was used to the treatment because she was never as famous as Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Neville, but it still hurt a little. “Would you like a few moments with your father before everyone else gets here?” he asked.
“Yes, please,” Neville replied, and Hannah scooted closer to him.
“Do you want me to come in with you?” She asked in a whisper. “I can give the kids to the Nanny...”
“No, I think I need to be alone,” he said sadly, and Hannah gave him a small smile. She kissed him on the cheek, and instead went to go explore the rest of funeral home with Frank and Alice.
“Mummy, what is this place?” asked Frank as they passed another room.
“It’s a funeral home.”
“Why are we here?” he asked.
“Why? Why?” chimed in Alice.
“It’s you’re Grandpa Frank’s funeral today,” she replied.
“Where is he?” asked Frank. “Can I see him?”
For a second she thought he wanted to see his body, but then she realized he still must have thought he was alive. Why did it have to be her to explain this all to a six year old? Neville knew she wasn’t good with death, especially after her mother! Frank is going to take this so hard and now she will look like the bad guy.
“Love, Grandpa Frank isn’t here,” she said, and then mentally kicked herself. Of course he is here; his body is in the next room!
“Well where is Dad then?”
“Daddy?” asked Alice.
“He’s in the other room, Frank, and please stop asking questions.”
Hannah was starting to get a massive headache and she knew it would only get worse the more Frank asked her.
“Will Grandma Alice be here?” He asked.
“FRANK, I SAID STOP WITH THE QUESTIONS!”
Frank let go of his mother’s hand, and before she could do anything, he starting crying.
“Oh, Frank,” she whispered, dropping to her knees to get down to his level. “Frankie, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled…” But Frank wasn’t having any of it. He was crying loud, now, and it hurt Hannah to know that it was her fault. She was never the one to yell at Frank. “Frank, please; I need you to be quiet…” Alice was starting to get fussy now and that was exactly what Hannah didn’t need.
Neville came out about a minute later, wiping off his face. He looked up and saw Hannah trying to calm Frank down and came over straight away.
“What happened?” he asked, also dropping down to Frank’s level.
“Mu-Mummy ye-yelled at me,” Frank explained. He rushed into Neville’s arms and Hannah felt heart broken.
“Shhh,” said Neville, rubbing Frank’s back. “Mummy didn’t mean to make you cry.” He gave Hannah a sad look. Frank had always liked Neville best, and this was just proof to her. She walked away from them with Alice, trying not to cry herself.
He began to calm down slightly a few seconds later, and Hannah was relieved. She heard a pop and spotted Harry and Ginny outside the funeral home, along with their two small boys.
Frank stopped crying at once, wiping the tears off his face. Harry and Ginny entered the room, and he ran over to Harry, grabbing onto his leg. “Uncle Harry!” he yelled.
Harry stooped down and picked up Frank with his free arm. His own son, James was in his other one. “Hey, mate, how are you?”
“Good,” Frank replied. “Hi Aunty Ginny,” he said, looking over his shoulder.
“Hi, sweetie,” she smiled, before walked over to Neville. She gave him a hug and her condolences and then came over to Hannah.
“How’s he taking it?” she asked, also giving her a hug. She was probably the sweetest to Hannah, as none of the others really talked to her back at school. Even though they were a year apart at school, they had gotten to know each other well after the war.
“Rough. He’s not showing much emotion, but I can tell how hard it’s hit him.”
“That’s usually how it is. Mum didn’t start showing much emotion until a month after Fred passed…” she said sadly, switching her youngest son, Albus to her other hip. “Are we the first ones here?”
Hannah nodded; checking the watch her mother gave her so many years ago.
“Everyone else should be arriving shortly.”
“Oh, good. Is there an area where we can keep the kids during the funeral? Albus gets fussy at all the wrong moments,” she laughed.
“Yes, the funeral home has a Nanny. It seems Alice gets fussy too.” Hannah smiled. “Looks like they’re soul mates!”
“You hear that, guys?” said Ginny, talking to the two-year olds, “We’re already setting you two up!”
Alice giggled, bouncing up and down while Al just tugged on Ginny’s hair. It really did seem that these two were the easiest of the children Hannah and Ginny had. The first two were complete nightmares as babies.
It didn’t take long for the other people to arrive, just as Hannah suspected. Even though it was a private funeral, it was starting to fill up fast. Not many people knew about Neville’s parents, and Hannah guessed that she was actually one of the few people he’s told willingly. Everyone else seemed to find out from other people, or by accidently finding out like Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Everyone who had children under six, (which there were quite a few) left their kids with the Nanny. Hannah did feel sort of bad for her. The total number of children left with her was up to nine, and that was only the Potter and Weasley clan plus Alice.
Hannah looked into the room where the coffin was and there was a long queue that led up to it. Hannah wanted to make sure she said her good-byes before the service actually started and she took Neville over to the side.
“We need to explain to Frank,” she said to him. “He needs to understand. Even though he is only six, I think he’ll be able to grasp the concept.”
“The concept?” asked Neville. “What concept? My father is dead, Hannah!”
Everyone around them grew silent and Hannah felt her face glow read.
“Neville, please,” she pleaded. “Lower your voice, people are staring…”
He looked over her head, and indeed saw people looking over at them. “I don’t know how to explain it to him, Hannah. My Gran always told me flatly when somebody died and I never really had an appreciation for what happened to them. I don’t want Frank to grow up like that, but I don’t want him to be a mess, either. I never know how to deal with stuff like this.”
“I know,” Hannah replied, “but neither do I! We need to get through this together and we owe it to him as his parents to explain.”
Neville glanced over her head once more, but this time his eyes moved over to three children playing in the corner. Ten year old Teddy and nine year old Victoire were playing with Frank who had brought out his miniature Quidditch players.
“You’re right,” he finally decided, “he needs to hear it from us.”
Slipping her hand in his, they made their way over to him and took him to the side, away from his friends.
“Frank, we need to talk to you about Grandpa Frank…” said Hannah. She really didn’t know how to start the conversation, so she just left it at that. There was no doubt in her mind that he would ask questions.
“Why?” he asked.
“Well… do you know where he is?”
“You said he was in Heaven,” he replied.
“That’s right, mate,” chimed in Neville. “But do you know what being in Heaven really means?”
Frank shook his head. “What does it mean?”
“Well, honey, it means that your grandpa has passed away…” said Hannah. She saw the confused look on his face and decided it was best to elaborate more. “His body has stopped working and he won’t be able to come back anymore.”
“But Vic said that Grandpa’s in there,” he said, pointing to the room where the casket lay.
“Yes, son, his body is in there,” Neville explained. “But he isn’t alive anymore.”
This is exactly what we get for sheltering him… Hannah thought angrily. If we had only told him about death sooner, this wouldn’t be such a hard thing to deal with.
“Well… can I see him?” asked Frank, as if he really didn't believe his parents.
“I don’t know if-” Hannah started, but Neville cut in.
“Yes, we’ll go see him now.”
He stood up and took one of Frank’s hands and after a few seconds, Hannah did too. They waited in the line that led up to the casket as Frank chatted about random things. Everyone began taking seats in the pews after they saw Frank’s body and the line slowly started to go down.
When they finally made it to the casket, Hannah tried her best not to cry. She was terrible at funerals, but she really did want to be strong for both Neville and Frank. Neville lifted Frank up so he could see his grandfather, but Frank didn’t seem to understand what was happening.
“Grandpa?” he asked. “Why are you sleeping in there?”
Hannah had to stifle a sob as Neville was left to deal with this. “Mate, grandpa isn’t sleeping,” he tried to explain.
“Why won’t he talk to me?” asked Frank. His eyes were becoming teary and Hannah finally thought he was beginning to understand.
“Grandpa isn’t coming back,” Hannah said. “I’m sorry, Frankie.”
Tears were rolling down all of their faces now, and they all went to the front pew to take their seats. The pastor came in not too long after and began the service. It all went by so fast for Hannah. She was having a hard time paying attention to what the pastor was saying because her mind kept wandering; bringing up a new memory with Neville’s father and her son.
The first time Frank and Alice had ever seen their grandson was the day after he was born. Hannah and Neville had walked from the maternity ward to their ward, and they were nervous. They didn’t know how Neville’s parents would react to a baby, but they were pleasantly surprised.
Neville’s father had taken a liking to him immediately. A little while after the war, the Healers at St. Mungo’s had started a new kind of therapy with Frank and Alice, and Frank, who was the worse out of the two, really started to come out of his shell-like state. He began slowly speaking again, but not much was known about how much he could understand.
The day he saw the baby was the day Hannah had truly seen him happy. His face lit up and he had a giant grin on his face. Neville and Hannah hadn’t named their son at that point, but Hannah wanted to make sure Neville knew how much she loved his parents and suggested he be named after Neville’s father.
“Dad, this is Frank,” Neville told him.
Frank Sr. took Frank Jr.’s tiny hand and shook it with his large fingers. He started making some odd noises and finally said “Frank.”
Neville almost lost it at that moment. He claimed their son was a miracle worker from that day forward, telling anyone who would listen.
“Frank Longbottom was a kind man,” began the pastor, bringing Hannah out of her thoughts. “We went to school together when we were young, and I am proud to say I was one of his many friends, before and after the accident. He was a strong, brave man who always believed in doing the right thing, so it wasn’t any surprise to me when he joined The Order of the Phoenix to fight for all of wizard kind. He and the love of his life, Alice, were some of the truest Gryffindor’s I’d ever had the pleasure of meeting. Even though they knew being in the Order could be dangerous, they lived life to the fullest, and I know how proud they would be of their son, Neville.”
Hannah could feel Neville shaking next to her. He never talked about his parents much, but obviously stories like this were still hard to hear. She squeezed his hand and she felt him squeeze back in reply. She then stole a glance over at her son, and saw to her surprise, Frank, listening intently. He rarely ever listened to any of the stories Hannah or Neville tried to tell him, so she was shocked at how interested he seemed when they were about his grandfather.
“Even after the accident, Frank and Alice still showed some of their same qualities I’d grown to love during those short seven years at Hogwarts. Alice was always sweet, smiling and happy to be surrounded by new visitors in the ward, just the same as she was when we were back at school; always happy, always smiling.” The pastor was smiling as he was telling the story as if he was remembering something that had just happened yesterday.
“Frank, on the other hand, was always laughing. He never did fit in with the other boys in his dorm, as they were always pulling pranks, but this man did know how to tell a good joke. After the accident he was no different. He could always manage to make me smile when I went to visit him. His smile was infectious, it was; especially after that Grandson of his was born!”
Hannah glanced at Frank again, only to see him smiling. The pastor was looking at him, and Frank was looking back. He was loving the story.
“I was saddened by the news of Frank’s death,” he went on, “but I was also happy in a way. I know he lived a long happy life, even if it wasn’t in the way he intended when he was young. He has a beautiful family, and he was married to the woman of his dreams; that was all Frank ever wanted in his life.
“Frank leaves behind a lot of people who loved and cared for him. He leaves behind a mother, who has been by his side the entire time.” Augusta Longbottom was sitting in the seat next to Neville, rubbing his back. Hannah hadn’t seen such a warm gesture from her in a while. She was such a strong woman, always trying to hide her emotions and trying to be a rock for the family. It was a nice change to see her this way with Neville.
“Another person he leaves behind is his beautiful wife. Alice couldn’t be here today, as the Healers at St. Mungos deemed it wouldn’t be good for her to, but we know how happy they were together and we hope that Alice still has memories of the times she and Frank spent together.
“Frank also leaves behind a lone son, Neville. Neville, you were the light of his life, and should know that everything Frank did was in the best interest of you. He would have been so proud of whatt you and your friends did for the world and how you were able to still fight for what you believed in, despite the fact that Bellatrix Lestrange took most of your childhood away from you. He loved you, Neville.” The pastor said, and gave him a sad look, before continuing. “Frank leaves behind a beautiful daughter-in-law, Hannah, and two beautiful grandchildren, Frank and Alice. His grandchildren were the ones who helped him get through the hard parts of his new therapy, and everyone knew he loved them dearly.”
Everyone smiled as the pastor mentioned more happy memories he had with Frank and how special he was. Hannah was so grateful she was able to find this man. Frank deserved the best funeral, and she thought it was a nice surprise to Neville, who just thought that he was getting a normal pastor for his father. He had been through so much in his life and it was nice to hear about his life in a positive light like this.
It was small moments like those in the stories that got Hannah thinking. Even though Frank was gone, she would make sure her children never forgot their grandfather.
As the pastor finished his speech, Hannah was startled by the sudden movement. Everyone had stood up to watch as Neville, Harry, Ron, and a few of Neville’s cousins got up to levitate Frank’s casket out to the gravesite that was just outside Hogsmeade village.
One by one, everyone started to leave the room. Most of the couples went to collect their children, and Hannah was among them. Alice was happy and smiling when she and Frank went and got her. She was crawling around on the floor with Albus, Rose, and Dominique, playing with dolls.
“Time to go, love,” said Hannah, sweeping her off of the ground. “Thank you for watching the kids,” she added to the Nanny, pulling some galleons out of her handbag.
“Oh, no need to pay me, I love kids!” she said, pushing Hannah’s hand away. “Plus, this is my job, I get paid anyways,” she laughed.
Hannah smiled, putting them away again. “Thank you.”
She left the room before anyone else could talk to her and took Frank and Alice outside. Everyone was Apparating to the gravesite, and she could hear the pops as they disappeared.
“Ready to go?” she asked Frank, picking him up. He half-heartedly gave her a nod and she spun on the spot with her two children.
“Wasn’t that cool, Frank?” Hannah asked him, moments later. They had only just appeared at the gravesite, and Hannah had to admit, it was beautiful. Being April, she expected it to be cold and dreary, especially for England but it was actually very nice out; just as Frank always wanted his funeral, Hannah thought.
Frank just shrugged, acting as if the last time he had Apparated didn’t happen. Hannah didn’t know what to say to make him feel better, so she put him and Alice down and once again got on his level.
“Frank, I’m sorry about you’re Grandpa, but don’t be too sad about it, love,” she improvised, “Grandpa had a great life and he loved you so much.”
Frank looked Hannah in the eyes for the first time since he discovered his hero wasn’t coming back. “I loved him too mummy. I’m going to miss him.”
He leaned into her and wrapped his hands around her neck. “It’s going to be okay,” she promised, picking him back up. “It’s going to be okay.”
Hannah watched from a distance as Neville and the rest of the men levitated Frank’s body into the ground. People were standing around, crying into hankies and throwing flowers onto the coffin. He stepped away from the group, walking with his hands in his pockets.
When Neville spotted them, he came over straight away. He watched for a moment as Hannah swayed with Frank in her arms. Without a word, he picked up baby Alice and put his arms around his wife and son. In the distance, it looked to be such a tender moment, but for Neville and Hannah, it was the start of a new beginning. They had gotten over one tough obstacle in their new life together, but Hannah was sure it wouldn’t be thier last. As long as they had each other and their family close by, they could get through anything.
Hi! I’d like to say thank you to my sister Becky for being my beta for this story. I had fun writing it and this story as basically a prologue to a Novel I am currently working on :D The novel will be set about 14 years later and will be centered around Alice’s life (Neville and Hannah’s daughter, that is) so keep an eye out for that! Anyways, thanks for reading and please leave a review if you can, they make my day! <3
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