I always thought the birth of my son was to be the most nerve-wracking day of my life; after all, my childís entrance into the world at that moment depended almost entirely on me. What else could be so terrifying, yet exhilarating, as becoming a mother? Iíll tell you Ė watching that same baby boy become a father.
Iíve never seen my sonís face glow with so much pride as when they placed that squalling bundle in his arms. Though outwardly I fussed about the newborn having enough blankets and scolded Frank for not holding his son properly, inside I was beaming. In those moments also I truly felt like Alice was my own daughter, congratulating her while making suggestions for the next time around. I remember how she laughed and said she wasnít sure she wanted to go through that again any time soon. The pair of them were positively beaming with happiness, while I was privately relishing that new name Ė grandmother.
Naturally, Alice and Frank still had their lives to maintain, so I insisted I be the one to take care of Neville while they worked. He took his first steps for me, you know Ė I firmly believed that boy was going to turn out as magnificently as his father. With Frank raising him, how could he not?
I wonít even begin to describe the pain of seeing my son and his wife lying in hospital beds, oblivious to everything, tortured literally out of their minds. There are simply no words. From the moment I realized there was no cure for them, that Neville was as good as an orphan, I knew I had to be the one to care for him. I would raise Neville to be a man who would make his parents proud, since Frank himself could not.
I suppose that was why I was always so harsh with him, so desperate to force some magic out of him when it appeared as though my grandson might be a Squib. That was why I pushed him to do better, scolded him when he did not outshine his classmates as his father had. I looked to him as my second Frank, wanted him to be that same brilliant boy I had raised in my younger days. Neville was my second chance, and I was sorely disappointed in him for many years, I do not deny it.
I see him now; respected Hogwarts professor, head of Gryffindor house and admired war hero, and I will honestly say I never thought any of it possible. Neville is not my son, not the boy I birthed and reared to become an Auror. He is my grandson, one who despite all my misgivings and doubts, has surpassed everything I had thought him capable of. I tell him his parents would be proud, since I can not bring myself to admit that for the first time in many years, I am truly proud to be his grandmother.