She’d always loved Dirigible Plums. They were so useful, and beautiful. You could use them in soups, or make them into lovely earrings. She’d always asked Daddy to keep them well-pruned while she was away at Hogwarts, even if she had to ask a few extra times, because she loved to see them at the doorway when she came home for the summer. They reminded her of her mother, more strongly than they recalled her for her father.
She picked them when they were just right—not too green, not too ripe—and took them to the kitchen. She loved the smell that they made when she tenderly skinned them with a blunt knife, revealing the firm but fleshy fruit inside. It was distinct, a little spicy, a little like a carrot, and a little like a strawberry. She never understood where they had come from, like most magical plants were a mystery to her, but she rather thought that if one crossed a certain wild species of short, sweet carrots and a bouncing bulb, or perhaps an ordinary plum under magical circumstances, this might be the result.
The plum tree was all that was left.
Luna hadn’t been able to return to her home since the Christmas holidays—it was June, now, and she regarded her home for the first time since then. The haven that had been shaped, because Luna knew that nothing about the Lovegoods was very usual, like a tall cylinder, signaling comfort from far across the hills during her childhood, lay in a pile of rubbish, spread across the wild grasses like fallen soldiers. Luna hung her head as she considered that humans were never the only ones to suffer at the hand of Darkness.
She heard a sharp whistle and looked up into the grey horizon, over the tawny reeds and grasses. A line of singing, chanting people with shovels and buckets slung over their shoulders headed towards the house and Luna, like a snake, winding and dark, disappearing and reappearing as they traversed hills. Luna watched on, mesmerised, as the snake came closer and closer, allowing her hair to blow into her face.
She smiled as her father approached and stood by her side. They stood in silence, until the queue arrived and stood in front of them.
“At your service, Mr. Lovegood,” one of the men piped. He made a motion like a salute. Luna returned the motion, smiling brightly.
“Right, well, does everyone have a wand? Although we want to do as much manual labour as we can, so as not to startle the Blibbering Humdingers, you see, it will be helpful in lifting very heavy pieces of stone and transporting them.” He looked down at his daughter. Luna saw his immense relief, but a hint of what she thought was disbelief—and she thought she understood. After so long without her, it must have been hard for poor Daddy to believe that she was really back, and no one was going to take her away again. She took his hand in hers and patted it gently, smiling serenely.
“Right, sir!” another man called out. Luna noticed that like her, they were all dressed in Muggle clothing. It was much easier to move about in clothes that allowed for limbs.
“You know your places, then,” her Daddy said, nodding at the workers before him. “And on behalf of the Lovegood family, and the Quibbler, I offer you unending gratitude.” He bowed his head, and Luna smiled out at the volunteers in front of her.
She thought back to how today had come about as she neared herself to the Dirigible Plum tree, pleading with anyone who came near her to mind them, please. Daddy hadn’t the strength to rebuild the house when the Death Eaters had destroyed it; but word had spread, and he soon received owls upon owls from devout readers of the Quibbler who wanted to help him rebuild his home! Luna took careful regard of each man and woman here today, smiling at them when they caught her eye. She received nods, grunts of approval, some smiles in return. She stayed by the side of her Plum tree, occasionally helping when the need arose, shifting tons of brick and stone with her wand, thinking that together, when they moved things, they looked rather like a team of conductors.
She wondered if the Snorkack horn that Daddy had survived—she wondered if anything had survived besides her mother’s tree. But, she thought, a peace settling over her, she had all the things she needed in life. Harry Potter had lived. Voldemort was gone. For the time being, they were safe.
The Quibbler had earned freedom; the world had earned freedom.
It was a few days later that Luna found herself replanting little bushes in the garden around the base of the house, which had been reconstructed. She was down on her hands and knees, reveling in staining her elbows in the moist soil, a vehicle for life.
She wasn’t sure what drew her eyes up, but she did look, wiping her brow. The sun had been finding more confidence, she thought, since the end of the War. It had appeared yesterday, and was back today, warming her neck and back as she laboured in the dirt with the plants.
She saw a young man walking by, whistling, with a shovel over his shoulder. He looked happy. Luna smiled, thinking that she was so glad that people could be happy again. He might have sensed her watching him, because he looked over at her, his bright blue eyes traveling quickly through the space between them. Luna felt her heart give a quick, funny little beat. Rather like when she realised that there were Plimpies about, and she might miss them if she didn’t pull up the line soon enough. The man—who really looked like a boy, she thought—gave her a little smile. He had a kind face with wide cheekbones, good for smiling. His hair was a light brown and glinted in the sunlight. Luna liked the way that he had it cut, that it was a little lopsided. That was a hint of personality.
He looked on, setting down the bucket of mortar at the base of the house, and continued to work. Luna watched quietly from behind a small bush as he worked. He stayed late into the night, one of the few who did. Luna made sure to thank him before he left. He had given her the same smile.
Luna liked that smile.
The house had been rebuilt from the outside. It had taken a matter of weeks, but the team of Quibbler readers had worked marvelously together. Luna stood outside among the rushes by her Dirigible Plum tree and looked up at the house. It was almost the same shape—of course, slightly more lopsided, a little leaning, but that was alright. Luna’s room was in the same space, up at the very top. She wished that her painting had survived the crumble, but more importantly, her friends had survived the war. She could always repaint their faces. She couldn’t ever replace them if something had happened.
“Luna?” her father called from the kitchen, sticking his head out of the doorway.
“Coming, Daddy,” she replied serenely. She skipped back into the kitchen, picking up a can of paint and dipping a brush in, eager to help.
It was a slightly different shade of yellow than it had been before—creamier, easier on the eyes. Luna wasn’t sure yet if she planned to repaint the shapes that had lived on the walls before they were destroyed—those were her mother’s paintings, and she felt that she could never remake them just the same.
She saw a figure in the doorway and looked up. It was the boy, the one who had smiled at her, the one with the bright blue eyes and funny hair. She felt a sensation of lightheadedness, but smacked away the Wrackspurt before it could do any real damage. The boy walked in and headed up the stairs, mentioning that he was working on the paint up there.
“Daddy,” Luna queried after the boy was gone, “Who is that boy?”
“Boy?” her father asked, turning around and following her gaze to the stairway. “Oh, Rolf? That’s Rolf Scamander.”
“You mean Scamander, like the wonderful man who wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them?” Luna asked in admiration.
“Yes, yes, he’s the grandson or something similar,” her Daddy replied, adding another brushstroke to the wall. “Do you think that’s the right shade, dear?”
“Hm?” Luna asked, turning to him, getting a little paint in her hair. “Oh, well, it’s different than before, but I think it’s quite nice.”
Her father was quiet for a moment, and she saw he had a tear in his eye.
“Oh, don’t cry, Daddy,” Luna cooed, walking to him and wrapping her arms around his frame. “Don’t cry. Nothing can ever be the same, you know, but we can make it good.”
He nodded, pressing his cheek against his daughter’s blond head, letting out a sigh.
It was late when Luna heard steps on the stairs. She had been pointing her wand at the wall, drying the paint with a gentle heating spell. Her daddy had gone upstairs much earlier to see how the men and women were doing there, so she thought it was him.
“Hello,” she chirped in the direction of the stairway.
“Hello,” a voice quite different from her father’s responded. It was young and deep, and gentle.
“Oh!” she exclaimed gently, as she saw that it was the boy, Rolf Scamander. “You’re still here! It’s so late, would you like a cup of Plimpy Soup?”
The boy was quiet for a moment. “I should be getting home,” he replied politely. “But thank you.”
Luna wanted to give him something. She thought for a moment of what to give—a lock of her hair occurred to her in a frenzied thought, but that was no good! What could he do with a lock of her hair? Luna thought some more.
“At least let me give you some plums to take home,” she pleaded in soprano. “Everyone loves our plums, they’re very tasty.”
He bowed his head politely, smiling. The small smile. Luna really did like that smile, and thought that she would never forget it.
She walked out of the door into the warm air of the summer night and stopped by the tree. She gathered a handful of the plums in her hand, and then cut them from the tree with her wand.
“You’ll have to keep a good hold on them,” she said lightly, turning to Rolf. He was still smiling; his lips tilted up in a gentle curve, his bright blue eyes crinkled at the edges, just slightly. His dark eyebrows, shallow arrows, raised just the smallest bit.
“I’ll take care to do so,” he said in his quiet voice, and Luna handed over the plums, making sure that Rolf had a good grip on their long stems before completely letting go.
There was a moment—it was short—but there was a moment when both of their hands grasped the stems of the plums and they held on together. The moment in which their eyes met, blue embracing grey. The moment in which Luna’s heart fluttered, and unbeknownst to her, Rolf’s gave a little jump in his chest. It surprised him; Luna didn’t know. It moved him to ask what he was about to ask; Luna didn’t know this, either.
“What’s your name?” he said suddenly. He wasn’t smiling anymore, but Luna thought that his expression was not unpleasant.
“I’m Luna,” she whispered. Unable to bring her voice any higher. “Luna Lovegood.”
He smiled once more, and thanked her for the plums, heading off into the night.
Luna watched as he walked to the top of the nearby hill, his brown hair glinting in the moonlight, but the rest of him a silhouette that appeared to be holding a very tiny bouquet of balloons.
Luna was sitting at the Gryffindor table to have breakfast with Hermione before the day’s classes. She was one of the few older students who had come back to complete their Seventh and final year at Hogwarts—but Hermione had come to redo hers, so she wasn’t entirely alone.
She had spread out the most recent edition of the Quibbler in front of her face, and her Spectraspecs obscured all of her vision besides the hidden clues on page fifty-seven. She reached out blindly for her pumpkin juice, taking a sip, when she heard Hermione exclaim.
“Luna,” she said, “you’ve got a letter!”
Luna’s head cracked up, the movement dramatic because of her limited vision. She removed the spectacles after a moment, and folded the Quibbler, setting it down beside her.
“I expect Daddy wants to know how I’ve settled in,” she remarked peacefully, glancing down at her blue and bronze tie. She was glad to be back at Hogwarts, even though things had changed.
Hermione smiled. “He’s probably worried about you,” she conceded, nodding and looking back to her Runes text.
Luna regarded the envelope that lie on the table next to her goblet. She didn’t recognize the type of parchment—it was a dark, sandy colour—or the handwriting. It was too neat and round to be her father’s.
She reached for it around her plate and weighed it in her hands for a moment. The parchment was thick, good quality. Luna knew her father never would have spent the money on such nice stationery. Wondering who else would be writing her, she flipped the envelope over, slipping a thumb underneath the unfamiliar wax seal—it was a vibrant shade of blue, with a sort of lizard or salamander impression. She felt it with the pad of her left index finger. It was smooth.
She flipped open the envelope and retrieved the letter inside. She opened it, humming to herself.
Hermione noticed that after a moment, Luna had stopped humming. She looked over at the girl, whose large eyes were open wide, a faint blush tinging her cheeks. Hermione frowned.
“Is it your dad?” she asked, putting down her book.
“No,” Luna said, and her voice was a breath of air. “No, it isn’t Daddy.” She shook her head, strands of dirty-blond hair swinging around her fair face. She looked up at Hermione with a dazed, but pleased expression.
“It’s Rolf Scamander—writing to thank me for the Dirigible Plums.”
A/N: This is a gift for long_live_luna_bellatrix for Valentine's day! I tried gathering information about her favourite ships/eras, and since her own collection of stories is so extensive, I retreated to her MTA page where I noticed that she mentioned Luna/Rolf. I'd never written one before, or a story from Luna's perspective, but I hope that it's nice anyways, and Happy (belated) Valentine's day, long_live_luna_bellatrix!!