Title: A New Lease on Life
Summary: On Neville Longbottom's eighteenth birthday he gets a birthday surprise that he never expected that he would receive. Though he does find out that having his greatest wish granted would be harder than what he expected and isn't instant.
Neville wound up spending the night at the Leaky Cauldron since he couldn't stand to be with his Gran right now since she still believed that he had planned on killing his mum. He was too excited to eat the next morning since he was nervous about the outcome of his mum's surgery. He was surprised to find his Gran at the muggle hospital early the next morning since she was very adamant against his mum's surgery yesterday.
Noticing her grandson's surprised look she told him, “I'm here for your mother since you insist on doing this thing.”
Neville should have known that his Gran would want to be with his mother in what she believed to be her final hours he only hoped that she would at least be civil to him in front of the muggle healers. One of the muggle nurses came in to take both of them to visit with his mother, who looked surprisingly calm when the two of them entered the room not aware that she was going to have her head opened up in a couple of hours. Neville was surprised though when the nurse invited him to cut off all of his mum's hair in preparation for the operation. He cut his mum's hair with the scissors that the nurse had given him, but let one of the nurse's use the muggle cutter that he was too scared that it would hurt his mum if he operated that thing. The nurse seemed to understand his nervousness though she probaly didn't understand the real reason for his nervousness since he wasn't too used to muggle healing methods. His grandmother wanted to be in the same room, but she turned away when he had started to cut his mother's hair, not wanting to see her daughter in law's beautiful hair cut off. Though she couldn't stand to leave her since this might be the last time that she would see her alive or the muggle method could work and her grandson could get both his mother and father back. Frank was still in his bed in the ward, since everyone had guessed that he would want to be near his wife until she was sent to surgery. He did seem to be interested in what Neville was doing, though he did seem to trust that he wouldn't harm his wife. When Neville was done, his mum's hair was as short as it was when she was younger. The nurse stepped in and finished shaving his mum's hair off to prepare her for the upcoming surgery, when she was finished there was no hair left on her head though he was reassured by the fact that it would grow back and this sacrifice would be worth it if he could get his mum back. Augusta watched this with curiosity wondering why Neville would even agree to something like this, but she wanted to be with her daughter in law in what she considered to be the last few hours of her life. When Alice was sent away for the surgery Neville and Augusta said their goodbyes, with Neville hopeful that when she came back that she would be on the right track in order to get her back. Frank just watched her go away where it was hard to tell if he remembered that she was his wife or if he needed to work in order to remember such things. After Alice had left, an orderly came in to take Frank to his physical therapy session while Neville and Augusta went into the surgical waiting area, waiting for news of Alice. Augusta had pulled out a knitting project that she was working on, while Neville pulled out a book to read in order to pass the time. Neville had a hard time concentrating since he was worried about how his mum was doing and how everything would turn out. He took to looking around at the hospital surroundings, curious about how muggles seemed to manage without magic, though the wizarding Healers had given him no hope about his parents and this muggle Healer could. Once his parents had left for their various treatments he wanted to stay at the hospital but he didn't know what to do, though he didn't have anything to occupy the time while waiting. He was afraid that he might miss out on some important news if he left even for a little bit, since his Gran might not even let him know if anything had happened to his mum. Of course she might let him know only to blame him for anything that could happen to her. There was some sort of box in the waiting room though with moving pictures that seemed to tell a story similar to a picture show. His grandfather had taken him to a muggle picture show once before he had died. He was fascinated how the moving pictures had told a story, besides watching the pictures on the screen it would be a good way to occupy his mind while waiting on his mum. He had heard a little bit about these boxes from those who had grown up in muggle homes since they had missed it while they were hiding out in the Room of Requirement while they were hiding out and waiting for the halls to be safe in order to go back into their dorm. He dozed off a few hours later and didn't wake up until an hour later when Luna had arrived with her father. He wondered how she knew about what was going on today until he realized that his Gran must have told them since they were still staying with them in the family home.
“I'm sure that your wife would have been happy to see this day if she had lived, since she was such a proponent of searching outside our community for help,” Augusta told Xeno.
Xeno didn't know how to answer her since his late wife had encouraged him to help people like Augusta's family by writing about other forms of treatment other than that St. Mungo's had offered them, which was basically medicate them and keep them on a hospital ward for the rest of their lives.
He had even interviewed a witch who was a muggle neurologist though she was a Yank. His wife was killed tragically a couple of weeks after that article ran in The Quibbler which was ruled to be an accident but Augusta had her suspicions about that. She guessed that Xeno had wondered about the “accident” that had claimed his wife's life since he had stopped writing political pieces after that, though recently she probably assumed that his daughter had pressured him to run more political pieces. Neville though didn't know all of that but he was glad to see one of his friends there to support him he wondered if he should let his other friends know about this. He doubted though that his friends other than Hermione and Harry would know what to expect from a muggle hospital. He chuckled a little to himself at the thought that Ron would be impatient at how long muggle treatment would take, being spoiled with the instant results from wizarding medicine. Luna did know that her dad did stop writing political pieces after her mum's death though she thought that the reason was to enable her dad to spend more time with her. She did catch him up on the news from the wizarding world in the past few days and how she was glad that she was back home, though she did plan on going back to Hogwarts in a few weeks. Neville didn't want to let Luna know that he had changed his mind about going into the Auror program in the fall since he wanted to spend time with his parents while they were recovering. He didn't even ask if it would be possible for him to start the program the following year due to a family situation. He wanted to be with his parents for every step of their recovery and since they need to go to a Swiss clinic in order to receive the services that they would need he planned on going to Switzerland with them as well as he thought that his grandmother did. He know wanted to enjoy the time that he had with his parents even though he wouldn't be able to spend all of the time with them since they also had to work on their recovery, but he was excited to be able to spend the time with them after not being able to live with them for most of his life. He was lucky that Luna had found out about his mum's surgery and to come by with her father for support though his grandmother thought that Xeno was just eager to see a happy ending from a story that he had written years ago. Xeno had wanted to write up about Alice and Frank's treatment in order to encourage others in the wizarding world to seek muggle treatment for cases that couldn't be treated with magical means. He only hoped that Augusta would let him run the story since he had tried to help them earlier and his daughter was friends with their son. Neville was happy to see one of his friends to come and support them plus Luna kept him entertained with different stories of the adventures that she had went on with her father even though he had heard some of her stories this past year. At least now her stories helped him to keep his mind off his mum for the time being though he was still nervous about the outcome of the operation. He didn't even notice when it was lunchtime until his grandmother came into the waiting room with sandwiches that she had brought in the tea room of the hospital. Around five PM that afternoon, the surgeon had entered the waiting room and spoke to Augusta and Neville who had joined his Gran for the news as soon as he had seen the surgeon come in to speak with them.