Return to St Mungos
It turned out in the end that Irwin was one of the only people who could actually get Anne to sleep properly without any potions, she didn’t feel as scared when he was there and felt safer so didn’t have as many nightmares.
This led to Anne visiting the Scamander’s overnight a couple of times a week and Irwin coming around to Grimmauld place a few times a week as well. At least four nights out of a given week Anne and Irwin would spend together.
The Scamander’s went on their annual family camping trip for a week in late July so Anne had to drink a lot of dreamless sleep during that week.
Anne was sat in the kitchen with Kreacher helping him make shortbread biscuits, Anne’s job was to cut them into equal slices and then pierce the dough with a fork to make holes.
Suddenly a head appeared in the fire.
“Is there anyone there?” asked Neville.
“Hi Neville,” said Anne kneeling down to talk to Neville.
“Is it ok if I come through?” asked Neville.
“Sure,” shrugged Anne.
Anne got up and moved away from the fireplace so that Neville had space to get out of the fire.
“Hi Anne,” Neville waved.
“Hey Neville, um Harry’s over at Hermione’s with Ron,” Anne explained.
“No that’s ok, I wanted to talk to you,” said Neville.
“Oh, ok,” said Anne.
Anne and Neville headed up to the sitting room and both sat down.
Neville seemed to be looking nervous and was looking around frantically.
“Is there something wrong Nev?” asked Anne.
Neville sighed slightly giving into the inevitable.
“I need to talk to you about my Mum, my Dad too actually.”
“Why me?” Anne stuttered.
“Well,” Neville struggled, “you remember how last Christmas Mum thought you were Lily?”
“Um yeah,” said Anne. She was hardly going to forget that in a hurry.
“Well, Gran took me to visit them yesterday, Mum seemed to think I was Dad,” he muttered, “she kept calling me Frank.” It was clear that Neville was starting to get close to tears.
“What does this actually mean though?”
“I don’t know,” Neville said, “its almost as if they’re recovering.”
“Recovering? But how? Why?”
“I don’t know Anne, nobody does, they are the only case like this in the world, most people would kill someone either before or after torturing them into insanity.”
“But the Aurors got there before they could,” Anne sighed.
“I still don’t understand why you want to talk to me about this though.”
“Well, you were tortured by Lestrange last month, it was a pretty close call, if you had been there much longer you probably would have ended up in St. Mungos with Mum and Dad.”
Anne nodded slowly, she hated to think about Bellatrix torturing her but it was a close experience to what Alice and Frank went through.
“Secondly, Mum recognised you , well she thought you were Lily, what if Dad reacts the same way?”
“But why is this happening now?” asked Anne deeply confused.
“I don’t know, Gran asked me to come round to see if you wanted to come to St. Mungos with us today.”
“Um yeah sure, I’ll just to ask Remus.”
Remus was completely fine with Anne visiting the Longbottoms but she headed up to her room to get something before they went to St. Mungos.
“Are you sure you’re alright with this Anne dear?” asked Mrs Longbottom before they went into the ward.
“Yeah anything to help,” said Anne.
“Here goes,” said Neville heaving a deep sigh and going into the ward.
“Hello again Neville, its good to see you again so soon,” beamed a healer.
“We are trying to check whether yesterday was just a fluke or not,” explained Mrs Longbottom.
“Of course,” said the healer as they headed towards the beds.
“How are they today?” asked Neville nervously.
“They’re doing quite well,” nodded the healer, “they both ate their breakfasts without any fuss.”
“Alice, Frank, you’ve got some visitors,” said the healer.
“Frank,” muttered Alice.
“Play along,” whispered Mrs Longbottom encouragingly.
“Um hi Alice,” Neville stuttered, “I brought Lily with me.”
Neville gestured towards Anne to move forwards.
“Lily,” muttered Frank.
Neville and Anne gripped onto each other’s hands, this somehow seemed to be working.
Anne walked over to sit between Frank and Alice’s beds.
Frank took hold of Anne’s hand and looked at her hair.
He pointed at Anne’s hair, Lily didn’t have hair that long and didn’t wear it like that.
“Oh this,” said Anne pulling at one of plaits, “I’ve grown my hair out, I thought I’d try a new style.”
Frank nodded as if in understanding.
“James,” said Frank in a broken voice that sounded as though it hadn’t been used in years, “James.”
“Where’s James?” asked Alice.
“James is busy with Sirius,” explained Anne, “they’re out on that flying motorbike of Sirius’ again.”
“Probably getting arrested by the muggle police,” she laughed slightly.
Alice and Frank’s eyes lit up as if remembering something else.
“I’ve brought something with me,” said Anne pulling out a photograph of Alice, Frank and James with Harry, Neville and Anne when they were six months old.
She tried showing the photograph to Frank whilst Neville tried to talk to Alice.
“James,” said Frank pointing at the picture of his best friend who was laughing with Harry on his lap.
“Me,” he continued, pointing at himself who was helping Neville wave his fist at the camera.
“Alice,” he finished looking slightly confused.
“Where’s Alice?” he asked desperately.
Anne looked over to where Neville was sitting with Alice only one bed away.
“She couldn’t come today,” said Anne trying to hold back her sobs.
Frank nodded in understanding and then looked at the photograph again.
“Harry and Anne,” he said pointing to the baby Harry and Anne.
“Neville,” he said pointing at the baby Neville.
“Where’s Nev?” Frank asked desperately again.
“I’m right here Dad,” said Neville coming over to his Dad’s bed.
Frank looked at him confused again.
“I’m right here Dad,” said Neville starting to get upset.
“Neville,” said Mrs Longbottom, “I think we’ve done enough for today dear.”
“We’ll come back next week Neville I promise,” said Mrs Longbottom as they left the ward.
They apparated back to the Longbottoms residence.
“You alright Anne dear?”
“Yeah I’m fine,” stuttered Anne pulling at one of her plaits.
“Dad was calling for me,” Neville was muttering, “but he still didn’t recognise me.”
“These things take time Neville dear,” said Mrs Longbottom putting an arm around her grandson.
“So when did all this start again?” asked Anne.
“When Alice saw you at Christmas.”
“Its almost as if they’re stuck at the point when they lost their minds,” said Mrs Longbottom.
“Then why didn’t they recognise you all when you were first visiting with Neville when he was a baby?”
“I don’t know,” said Mrs Longbottom her head in her hands, she was just so confused.
“Wait,” said Anne a lightbulb going on in her mind, “who tortured Frank and Alice again?”
“The three Lestranges, and Barty Crouch Jr.,” growled Neville.
“Just over a year ago, Barty Crouch Jr. had his soul sucked out by dementors,” Anne said slowly trying to fit the pieces together, “it wasn’t until after that, that they started to recover.”
“Are you telling me if the three Lestranges lose their souls Frank and Alice might get their minds back?” stammered Mrs Longbottom.
“It might not have to be dementors,” said Anne still thinking, “it could have the same effect if they died, the dementors kiss is basically the death of your soul.”
“So just let me clarify,” said Neville still trying to understand, “if the three Lestranges die I might get my parents back?”
“Its only a theory Nev,” Anne explained calmly, “as each of their torturers dies or loses their souls, your parents might come one step closer to recovery.”
“And eventually once they’re all gone,” said Neville excitedly, “my parents might get their minds back?”
“I still can’t believe we’re even discussing the possibility of this,” sobbed Mrs. Longbottom, “I lost all hope of Alice and Frank getting their minds back years ago.”
“Never give up hope gran,” said Neville firmly placing his hands on his shoulders, “because when you give up hope.”
“You give up fighting,” finished Mrs Longbottom smiling slightly.
She pulled a handkerchief out of her robe pocket and dried her eyes.
“Why don’t you go show Anne your new wand Neville?” she suggested.
“Nev,” said Anne when they got up to his room, “you ok?”
“I think so yeah,” said Neville sitting down on his bed and playing with his new wand.
“Look Anne just imagine, that after nearly fifteen years, there was even a remote possibility you could have your parents back,” Neville tried to explain.
“That is pretty intense,” sighed Anne.
“Anne thanks for helping me today,” said Neville giving her a hug.
“That’s ok Nev, and don’t worry, those Lestranges will get what’s coming to them,” said Anne threateningly.