Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language
Pairing(s): Alice/Frank, Neville/Luna
Word Count: 2,795
Warnings: none except the language bit
Authors notes: I'm so sorry, Liv. I know this wasn't the pairing you asked for and it's pretty long, but I just couldn't pull myself to write anything else but these. I hope you enjoy it anyway. It's also based on Fall Out Boy's "I've Got a Dark Alley and a Bad Idea That Says you Should Shut Your Mouth."
Alice sits confused as all hell. She can’t remember the reason she was dragged to this boring party anyway. Lily had told her that it gave her a chance to talk to Frank more, seeing as how his family was throwing it. Listening to her best friend wasn’t such a smart idea though, especially when that best friend was preoccupied with their boyfriend twenty-four-seven. She feels uncomfortable in her thin-strapped blacked dress. Worse, she barely knows anyone at the party.
Frank could see Alice from where he sits across the room, but makes sure she can’t see him. He hates these formal parties more than anything. He hates how his tie feels like it keeps getting tighter and how random drunken strangers keep coming up to him and trying to start a conversation. He wants nothing more than to leave the ballroom and just go anywhere. He just doesn’t want to do it alone.
His eyes are solely on Alice though. He can’t get over how stunning she is with her hair straight down her back and her dress stopping a little higher than her knees. He’s so used to seeing her in her school robes with her hair tied up. Her eyes catch his after a long moment of staring and she suddenly begins to walk in his direction. She ignores the dancing couples on the floor, similar to how he ignores the increasing tempo of his heart.
Alice wonders what she’s doing. She can’t stop looking at Frank and his rather perfect brown hair. She knows she shouldn’t think like this, but she can’t help it. He looks absolutely gorgeous, yet terribly bored. Her mind’s telling her to just go and dance with him already. The logical side of her mind tells her that he’s her best friend and that she can’t ruin that. But everyone’s already used to them being together all the time, and it was only their fifth year of school. She’s just not used to it yet. She’s never had a chance to think about him like that.
“Frank,” she nods. She stands before him and smiles. “I’m glad to see you. I don’t know anyone here.”
“Neither do I. It’s all distant family. James and Lily are here... somewhere...” He chuckles before continuing. “It’s the pureblood way –you’re related to everyone.”
“Not me though.” Alice smirks at him. “Being a half-blood gives you options.” A second of awkward silence passes between them. Frank lets his eyes dart around the room. His mother and father are talking to one of his aunts. He’s free to move.
“Alice, do you want to get out of here?” Frank says it so quietly that she barely hears. She doesn’t doubt it’s real though. He begins to walk in the direction of the door. Alice watches him walk for a moment before joining him. She has no idea if any of this is a good idea at all, but she’s willing to follow him anyway.
He leads her down a long hallway, eventually ending up at the front door. He holds it open for her and her eyes show him her confusion. Although Alice doesn’t know it, he’s just as confused as she is. He has no idea what or why he’s doing any of this. It’s like some force has taken over his body ever since he spotted her looking lonely across the room.
Once outside, he begins to realize that this might not be the best idea. The last traces of summer still hang in the air, but he knows Alice will be cold soon. She always is. He also knows the location of every single window, which means he knows every way someone could see them. None of it seems to matter though. Alice just keeps smiling at him.
Frank finally stops her around the back of the house, behind a large shrub. Alice gives him a quizzical look, but his lips are on hers long before he can think of a practical response. He feels Alice freeze, but only for a second. She kisses him back with a fire that almost scares him. It assures him that she’s wanted this as long as he has. He stops only to kiss her cheek, then down to her neck.
What makes him stop completely was the realization that this was his best friend. He was kissing his best friend and enjoying it. They could destroy this relationship on that aspect alone.
“Alice,” he whispers. “Is this okay? Us being like this?”
“You have no idea...” She trails off. Alice grins, kissing him again. “...how wonderful this is.”
“It’s not awkward or against the best friend code?” Frank asks, joking.
“We’ve been against the best friend code since day one. It was only a matter of time until we became like this.” Alice smiles. “And I don’t think anyone will mind at all.”
Alice feels like she’s going crazy. Everything around her is slowly falling apart. She hasn’t seen Frank since her parent’s funeral, which he’d left early from for an Order mission. She had her own Order missions all the time, on top of her school work. She hadn’t even had the time to mourn for her parents.
And now it was finally catching up to her. She sat with her nose in her History of Magic textbook, her eyes blurring at the words on the page. Huge purple circles were under her eyes. No one really cared though. They all had their own dark circles. All the seventh year Gryffindors sat in corners of the common room with their books scattered everywhere. Alice hadn’t left for hours.
She’d seen Frank come and go, but that was it. Once he joined the Order, their relationship no longer mattered. There were no secret kisses in the library or studying together every chance they got. He wasn’t the Frank she’d fallen in love with anymore and that fact was tugging on her mind.
He catches her eye as he walks through the common room. She mouths his name. He crosses over to her and sits on the floor in front of her. HIs dark brown hair is in every direction and she wonders if his eyes have always been this intense. It looks like a fire is driving him. She remembers when that look used to be from her.
“How’s studying going?” Frank asks, trying to sound happy. Even she can tell he’s faking it.
“I don’t know. It’s not like I can get any studying done with you sitting here beside me. I’m so used to studying alone now that you won’t help me.” She hates being so mean to him, but she’s just so sick of him not being here.
“Alice, you know I’ve got my missions. There’s no time for this schoolwork or for moments alone and all. We’ve got a war going on outside of our school.”
“I know that, Frank.” Alice snaps. “Do you think I’m that stupid?”
“Just stop with your excuses! I haven’t talked to you in ages and you’re my boyfriend! Don’t you see anything wrong with this?” She hears her voice breaking, tears on the edge of her eyes.
“I’ve got work, Alice,” Frank retorts, staying confident.
“This is over then. Come back and find me when you’re not a hopeless, brainwashed work addict.” Alice glares at him. Her words hit him the way she wants them to. HIs face sort of crumples and his confidence disappears. She feels like they were hopeless from the start.
Alice knows better than to walk down Diagon Alley in the late evening. Yet, here she is, darkness falling rapidly, each alley between the shops more terrifying as she goes along. Her pace increases. She desperately wants to make it to the Leaky Cauldron before the sunlight disappears completely. She knows from her four months of staying at the Leaky Cauldron that you did not want to be out at night alone.
Her mind keeps jumping topics, trying to distract her from the darkness. Strangely enough, it drifts to Frank Longbottom. They’d broken up a few months before she graduated, but he keeps popping into her head at times like these –times when she missed having someone to guide her along. She’d dumped him to study more and to get over her parent’s murder. The anger over the wizarding world’s opposition hadn’t subsided yet, but she was an Order member now, ready to fight.
Being in the Order had changed her. She’d only been an official member since graduation four months ago, yet she felt like it was an eternity. She sincerely missed the easy days before this war, when boys and grades were the only things that mattered. There were no families killed in the dead of night, no constant attacks, no fear...
Alice’s eyes instantly dashed forward to the Leaky Cauldron. It was so close, but the darkness was catching up. She couldn’t move much faster. She’d never been an athlete. She had to keep moving though.
A hand is suddenly on hers, an unknown force pulling her into the alley before the Leaky Cauldron. She had been so close. Panic instantly sweeps over her body as she is pushed gently against the familiar brick wall of the Leaky Cauldron. The light is dim, but she could still see her attacker’s face.
Frank Longbottom stands before her, looking frantic and lost. His normally kind and joking blue eyes are staring into hers with utter desperation. His clothes are covered in dirt and mysterious red patches that look like dried blood.
“Frank, are you okay?” Alice speaks, concern sweeping over her.
“N...not really... ohfuck, Alice. My last mission... they told me I’d find you here.” He groans, looking nervously up and down the alley.
“Frank, what happened to you?” Alice puts a hand on his cheek, gently stroking his cheek. Frank seems comforted by this. He begins to relax into her touch.
“I need you, Alice.” He whispers. He kisses her, too rough and passionate, and catches her off guard. She lets him though. The panic subsides in her solely because of him.
“I’m so sorry to scare you like. I just really needed to talk to someone and you were the only person I would think of that would even listen to me anymore.” Frank keeps his hands on her waist, looking at her still.
“It’s okay. Really. Why don’t we go into the Leaky Cauldron and I’ll buy you something. You must be cold, or at least hungry.” Alice knows she’s finally got control of the situation from the look on his face. He’s smiling warmly at her. She feels this overwhelming need to take care of him, and she’s sure as hell going to. Alice tugs his hand to her lips and kisses his knuckles, not caring about the dirt and blood on his fingers. “Come on.”
“You’re too good, Alice. I don’t deserve to be treated like this after what I’ve done.” Frank follows her against his words. He needs someone now, but Alice is too perfect for him to try again.
“No, I’m not.” Alice laughs. She even holds the door open for him. His mind instantly flashes to how he used to do this for her. She even orders soup and water for him before he can even sit down. “Now what happened?”
“The Order sent me out to Azkaban to investigate the MInistry’s effect over there. Someone started snooping and Emmeline and I were surrounded by Death Eaters right as we were leaving. She’s okay, but I really haven’t been. It’s been close to a week...”
“Did they injure you?” Alice’s wide eyes make Frank feel awful. He never meant to scare her like this.
“No. But... I killed one of them. They fell right into the ocean. I had to watch their body sink. It was absolutely awful.” Frank can’t focus his eyes on anything. The image of the body is burned into his mind.
“Oh god, Frank. You’ve been like this for a week? Why didn’t you find me sooner?” Alice’s disbelief is apparent in her worried face.
“I don’t know. It took me a while to get any information on where you are. You’re a mystery, Alice.” Frank gives a dry chuckle. Alice gets up off of her chair next to him without thinking and stands behind him, her arms slipping over his shoulders comfortably. Frank loves how much warmth she gives off. She kisses the top of his hair.
“I’m so sorry.” She whispers into his hair. “From now on, I’ll fight with you on every assignment you go on. I’ll tell Dumbledore that I’ll only fight at your side.”
Frank barely believes it. It seems too good to be true.
“Alice.” He sighs, looking up at her with tired eyes. “I should be the one apologizing. I picked work over you and look where it got me. I’m no different now than the hopeless fifteen-year-old you fell in love with.”
Alice puts a hand on his chin, tilting it towards her own face. “You were never hopeless. I always had hope in you.” She then kisses him soundly on the mouth, restoring his hope in an instant.
Alice can’t believe it’s happening. It cannot be happening. She is not being held down by Rodolphus Lestrange. Bellatrix does not have her want at her husband’s throat and their backup plan did not fail them.
She couldn’t die here. No on Christmas Eve. Not when she had a baby waiting for her at Frank’s mother’s house. They were supposed to be safe too! Voldemort had vanished. Rodolphus and Barty’s hands digging into her wrists felt real though.
Frank uses every ounce of strength he has to move closer and closer to Alice. Bellatrix knows his wand is crushed somewhere in the snow. He knows it’s the end. But it doesn’t stop him. He still has room to back up before Bella has him against the stone wall. He almost laughs at the memory of his worry when he bought the house of how his son could fall of the wall and die. Now he was about to die against that same wall.
Frank manages to make it to be beside Alice. He can’t look away from Bellatrix or she will kill him, but he can see that Rodolphus and Barty have a hand on each of Alice’s arms and are holding her down. Frank’s hand fights for Alice’s and it finds it.
He’s so thankful that no one notices their hands connected. There’s no time for I love you’s or goodbyes. He just squeezes her hand as Bellatrix casts the spell.
Neville walks out of the meeting feeling miserable. He’s a member of Dumbledore’s Army and a fifth year and yet, he can’t cast spells as well as everyone else. HIs parents, if they could even remember what a spell was, wouldn’t be proud of his failure. They were fantastic wizards and he was just their loser of a son.
He gets to see them again soon. The holidays are only a day away. Maybe they could help him learn his spells. Gran had always told him to not give up hope in his parents, that one day they’d wake up from their insanity and take care of all his problems.
“It’s hopeless.” He sighs, turning a corner. He’s instantly on the floor, his books flying everywhere. Luna Lovegood stands across from him, unable to move.
“What’s hopeless?” She asks, tilting her head to the side. Her eyes are wide and so blue. He can’t help but think she’s cute.
“Me.” He mutters, picking up his papers. “I’m no good at spells and my parents...” He can’t finish. He talks to no one about his parents. He doesn’t want to embarrass himself any further. He keeps his eyes cast down until he’s finished collecting his papers.
“Don’t say that. You’re fantastic at herbology. You’re not hopeless. You’re a work in progress.” Luna actually giggles. It’s then that his eyes see why Luna hasn’t moved. Above her head is a sprig of enchanted mistletoe. His cheeks instantly turn bright pink. Luna notices and smiles. “No worries. I won’t tell anyone that the great Neville Longbottom had to kiss me.”
“Uh... yeah... thanks.” Neville’s suddenly more nervous now than he was casting spells ten minutes ago. He awkwardly stands up and moves his face towards hers. He closes his eyes before their lips even meet, hoping he won’t fail at this.
Their lips brush so delicately and then it’s over. Luna smiles at him before skipping off down the corridor. Neville drops his books again, but this time, he really doesn’t mind.