This is a very sweet piece. You did a really good job capturing what I think the relationship between Frank and Alice was like, and the lyrics worked well to separate the different moments.
In a way, this is a song fic. It isn’t really the ‘traditional’ type of song fic, because you only use a few lines of the song and they function as formatting, but it’s a great example of how songs can really enhance a fic. Here, the lyrics work with the words; they don’t distract the reader from the story, they remind the reader what the story is about. Another reason I love this song for Frank and Alice is that it’s a very simple love song. It’s not a sweeping ballad, it’s just this little song about love. For some reason, I’ve always associated Frank and Alice with a calm, kind sort of love, and that’s what I get from this song as well. So, good choice there, and good job integrating the lyrics into the story.
The best and worst thing about reading Frank/Alice fics is that we know how the story ends. It’s similar to reading fics about the Marauders; we know what their fates are, and so reading these sorts of happy moments about them is especially moving. The moments that you chose to show between Frank and Alice are lovely; they illustrate perfectly the type of love that I envision for this couple. You showed the progression of their relationship very well, from the beginning of their love right to their time in St. Mungo’s. It’s heartbreaking to see the change, especially the scene with the Lestranges and Crouch Jr., but it’s also some really great writing.
The idea of writing five silent moments between them is just lovely. What a great prompt to be given! I particularly like it because all that we really see of Frank and Alice in canon is unspoken. We only meet them very briefly, and they don’t say anything then; everything else we know about them is learned through others’ accounts and what Jo has told us after the fact. So it seems fitting to show them here not talking; it adds even more to that serene kind of love I associate with them. It’s almost like they don’t need a lot of words; they’re just together, and it’s enough.
I love the image of Neville playing in the dirt in the garden. Not only is it a wonderfully sweet thing to picture – how adorable Alice and Neville must have been – but it’s a nice allusion to Neville’s later love for Herbology. It’s nice to think that he always felt particularly connected to plant life because on some level he associated it with his mother. And speaking of Neville: It had been enough though. They didn't find Neville. That’s great. Sad, but great. Frank and Alice really did everything for their son. I hate to think what might have happened if Neville had been found, and this scene of Frank and Alice sacrificing themselves so that Neville could remain unharmed is beautiful. It’s also an interesting parallel to James and Lily’s attempts to save Harry. You easily could have made this scene seem unoriginal, but it didn’t at all. You did a good job showing the similarities between what the two families went through while still making it clear that this is not a copy of the Potters’ story.
Overall, I thought this was a wonderful little fic. It’s a very nice glimpse into what Frank and Alice Longbottom might have been like. The ending is heartbreaking but beautiful; it’s nice to see that somehow Frank still remembers his son and his wife, that he recognizes that they are familiar and right. This was just a lovely fic. Great job, and keep it up!
Yay! This story contains three of my favorite elements of fanfiction: short connected drabbles, minor characters, the first war, and great writing and characterization. I guess that's actually four, maybe five. But that's how wonderful your story is. I love your writing style--it's direct but still show-not-tell--and especially so in the last section. I also love the way Frank and Alice are still affectionate, even if they can't really convey it, so it's not a complete tragedy. Overall: wow.