A/N: This was written for the Fanfiction Tournaments, edition May 2013 (characters from the Marauder Era), round 2. It was also written for the Snakes And Ladders Challenge, where my second character to write about was Frank Longbottom.
"Heya Neville." Frank greeted his son with a big laugh on his face. One-year-old Neville wobbled towards his dad.
"Dada," he babbled.
Frank lifted him in the air. "Hey big man. My, you're getting heavy. One-year-old already, my, my."
Neville of course didn't understand a word his Dad said, but he grinned happily, like any ordinary one-year-old when they are cuddled by their Mum or Dad.
"Look, there's Mummy already with the cake."
Alice was indeed entering the garden with a birthday cake with one small candle.
Neville stuck out his hands to his Mum, who kissed him and petted him on the head.
"Do you want cake, Neville? Do you want to blow out the candle?"
Neville blew out the candle – with a little help from his Dad – and everybody cheered.
"That's a good lad," his grandmother commented.
The presents were greeted with enthusiasm, mostly because of the fancy wrapping that Neville tore apart.
Frank was glad that Neville got to have a somewhat normal birthday in the midst of war. Granted, they could not risk a birthday party like they would have liked, but his mother was there, as well as Alice's sister Marlene. That was the biggest party they could risk, but Neville was simply having a blast.
"Thank goodness he doesn't know about war yet," Frank said as he looked at his son with affection.
Alice nodded. The lines in her face – and the grey in his own hair – emphasised the toll the war took on both on them, but today, they could forget about it, if only for a short while.
In the mean time, Neville had had enough of tearing up the wrapping paper and wobbled off into the garden. They hadn't had time for gardening in the last year, so the grass was high and weed was everywhere. It was a little patch of wilderness and Neville loved it.
" 'Vil want," the one-year-old stated all of a sudden.
"What have you got there, big man?" Frank asked. He stood up and walked over to his son.
"Want," Neville repeated proudly and pointed to a blossomed-out dandelion.
Frank sat down on until he was on approximately the same level as Neville and said: "You know what you can do with them? You can blow them, and then you can make a wish."
As an example, he blew the dandelion and the fluff fluttered through the air.
"Isn't that wonderful?"
But Neville's lip was starting to tremble. "Want?" he said hesitatingly.
Frank sighed. "You like it better as it was?" He took out his wand and murmured a spell. All the fluff came back and arranged itself neatly on the dandelion again.
Neville clapped his hands at his father's trick and laughed out loud.
"You like that, little man? Want to do it again?"
Once again, Frank blew away the fluff, it fluttered through the air, he waved his wand and the fluff was back. Neville loved it, he was grinning and trying to pluck the fluff out of the air.
"Now you try it," Frank said.
After a little nudging on, Neville understood that it was now his turn to blow the dandelion, and he did so enthusiastically. Frank waved his wand and the fluff was back. They repeated this again and again. "That's a lot of birthday wishes, big man."
Frank ruffled his son's hair.
After ten minutes or so, Neville suddenly grew bored of it and decided that the passionflower was far more interesting. He tried to blow that too, to see if his Dad could do a cool trick with them as well, but to no avail.
"Isn't it funny?" Alice said, "He's got toys and birthday presents, but he seems to be only interested in plants and flowers."
Frank turned around and grinned at his wife. "Yeah, we should give him his own weeding set next year, maybe he can do the gardening for us."
He laughed. "I think he would love it. I mean, look at him."
Neville was studying the plant with a look of concentration on his face.
"Who knows, maybe he'll be a famous Herbologist one day, and then he'll say: 'It's all thanks to my parents, who gave me a weeding set on my second birthday'."
Alice laughed as well. "Sure. Well, we'll see about that next year. Maybe by then he's into broomsticks," she teased.
Frank shuddered. He was a skilled duellist on the ground, but flying a broomstick wasn't a hobby of him, to say the least. "Nah, I bet he sticks to plants," he said, before walking back to the table. "Besides, that's much safer."
He cast another look on Neville, who was now happily exploring the hedge. "He's going to be an Herbologist, I just know it."