Chapter 2 : Back To Normality
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I saw you smile.
It was then that I knew—
I loved you.
Luna watched from the window of the Hogwarts Express as her father disappeared with all of the other parents. She knew that he would miss her terribly, and it was the only thing that made her sad about going back to Hogwarts. Putting these thoughts from her mind she instead turned from the window and examined the people in her compartment.
Ginny was next to her as always and currently doing everything in her power to not look at Harry, who was in the seat directly across from her. Harry had his head next to Ron’s trying to get a closer look at the latest issue of Quidditch Weekly, which if Luna was correct had the recently leaked pictures of the newest racing broom prototype the Firebolt Infinity. Sitting next to them with her head in a text book was Hermione Granger, and next to Ginny, rambling on about his toad Trevor, was Neville Longbottom.
“Gran wouldn’t let me bring him this year.” Neville was saying. “She said that he only distracted me. Said I spend more time looking for him than I do studying.” Ginny nodded her agreement.
“Sorry Neville, but I think I have to agree with your Gran.” Ginny said.
Luna agreed with Ginny and was about to say so when Harry said her name. “Luna?” She turned her large silver eyes on him.
“Yes Harry?” She asked in a wispy sort of voice.
Harry cleared his throat, “Will we being see a lot of you in the common room this year like last year?” Luna had spent most of her time last year in three places; Gryffindor tower, the library, and the stables. It was easier for her to be amongst the Gryffindors then it was for her to be around the Ravenclaws. The Gryffindors didn’t steal her things.
“Most likely.” She replied with a smile. “Unless you don’t want me to of course.”
Harry shook his head violently a blush creeping up his neck. “Of course I want you there! I mean, you’re always welcome in Gryffindor tower. Everyone loves you.” He was stretching the truth. She made most of the Gryffindors nervous, especially the first and second years. The only reason anyone smiled at her, or paid her any sort of attention was because they knew that the famous Harry Potter was her friend.
Luna beamed at Harry, all of her ivory teeth gleaming. “Well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint you Harry.” This only made the blush that had spread to Harry’s ears shoot to his cheeks, rivaling even Ron’s shade of red.
“What a weird question Harry,” Ginny broke in. Of course Luna’s going to hang around Gryffindor tower. If I have to drag her along kicking and screaming,” which Ginny knew she would never have to do, “she’ll be there.”
That seemed to be the end of the conversation. Ginny had a knack for ending conversations that way. Everyone went back to what they had been doing (in Hermione’s case continued what they were doing, as she had been completely oblivious to the conversation going on at all). Luna went back to looking out the window. The countryside had turned wilder, which meant that they were well out of London by now. She knew that they still had at least a couple of hours because the witch hadn’t been by with the trolley of sweets yet.
Reaching into her bag she grabbed the journal, and a copy of The Quibbler to conceal it with. For some reason Luna didn’t want to share, what to her seemed like private thoughts and feelings, with anyone else just yet. The poems were good, not Dickinson of course, but still good. She felt like they were addressed to her in a way. She knew that it might be a bit bold for her to assume anything of the sort, but she did. The journal had been given specially to her. It was natural to assume that any of its contents were meant for her eyes only because they were about her. Mostly a large part of her wanted to be admired the way the Poet admired his subjects.
She flipped to the last written on page of the journal. She’d read each poem perhaps a dozen times. Much to her surprise that morning she had been flipping through the pages when on one that was supposed to be blank, a new poem had appeared. Luna had never doubted that the journal might have been magic. How could she have thought otherwise really? She had been really delighted to find that it was though. She thought that twelve poems were too few for such a thick tome. The Poet must have an identical copy that he writes in, and Luna had the copy that was meant to just be read. She knew that it wasn’t a two way journal meant for pen palling because she had tried to write the Poet a message. No matter how much she dipped her quill into her ink, the writing would not show up on the pages.
The new entry was short, and she could tell that it wasn’t completed.
My words are a sigh—
On this page’s breath—
To somehow be
A more audible note.
Luna wanted to know more than anything who was the writer of this book. She wanted to thank whoever decided to share this much of themselves with her. Funny she thought, they’re sharing so much yet she doesn’t even know their name. The short addition seemed to hint at a frustration, but what were they frustrated with? It sounded like they wanted her to know who they were, that they wanted to verbalize what they’d been writing. Just then the compartment door slid open, and much to everyone’s disdain a familiar blonde head appeared.
“Potter, Mudblood, Sidekick, Weaslette, Loony, and Troadbottom.” Malfoy sneered at them each in turn, “Such a shame to see you all here. “
“Sod off Malfoy.” Harry growled. Luna couldn’t help but find humor in Harry and Draco’s antagonistic relationship. She always thought that they could be friends if they weren’t rivals. They had a lot in common. They were both smart, (though Draco did always get higher marks, and Harry was better at wandsmanship) they both loved Quidditch, they were both quick to anger, and they both led their own trio, if you will. Though Harry was by far more generous, and kind to most, Luna always sensed that maybe Draco wasn’t as horrid as he wanted to seem.
“How original Potter, really do come up with a more interesting reply.” He said rolling his eyes. “I’ve come to collect Weasel and Granger, we have a Prefects meeting in the head compartment. Looking at Hermione he wrinkled his nose. “Strange that the Head Girl would forget.”
At that Hermione’s head shot up. “What time is it?”
Before anyone could answer she jumped out of her seat grabbing Ron’s robes as she went. “I can’t believe I got that into my book! We’re going to be late for the meeting.” Almost slamming into Draco who showed no inclination to get out of her way, she stopped. “Malfoy what are you still doing here? We’re late.”
“As I was telling you, I was sent to get you. You’re already late.” That fact and the paleness of Hermione’s skin put a look of pure delight on Draco’s face.
“Out of my way Ferret.” Hermione said as she pushed Draco out of the way.
He swept his arm to the side in a theatrical way. “After you.” He then turned back to the compartment. “As fun as this has been the Queen has clearly spoken.” His silver eyes caught Luna’s for the briefest of moments before the compartment door closed and all was silent again.
For about 2 seconds anyway.
“Can’t we have one year without that slimy, self-loving git barging into our compartment?” Ginny exclaimed. Then a smile crossed her face. “We get next year. The grease ball graduates this year.”
“But we also lose his entire reason for joining us in the first place.” Luna added. “He only comes in here to have rows with Harry.” Luna nodded at Harry. “He also graduates this year.”
Ginny’s gaze went to the floor. “Don’t remind me.” She whispered so that only Luna could hear.
Ginny and Luna had, had this conversation many times over the past six years. Ginny would get depressed over spending an entire year without Harry, and Luna would remind her that she would see him most likely at every holiday because the Weasley’s were the only family that he had, and that she could always owl him between holidays. Ginny would then burst into tears and go on about how Harry would never see her that way and etcetera, until Luna would give up and change the subject. Luna thanked herself that they were on the train and in the same room with Harry so the conversation could not be repeated. She would always be there for Ginny, but she wished that she would tell Harry how she felt so that she could see if the feelings were reflected. Luna thought that they were, but Ginny would not believe her.
“If we make it through the year you mean.” Harry added.
“Don’t be silly Harry. We’ll make it through the year just fine.” Luna said looking at him consolingly.
“I hope you’re right.” He mumbled before grabbing the forgotten copy of Quidditch Weekly and burying his nose in it. Ginny started up a conversation with Neville again which allowed Luna the chance to go back to her book.
When she reopened the book to the last page to reread the partial poem she was surprised to find that the unfinished entry was now complete. She read the poem quickly the first time, then more slowly the second.
My words are a sigh—
On this page’s breath—
To somehow be
A more audible note.
Yet I look at you,
In all of your innocence
And cannot find it within myself,
To take those things from you
With the knowledge of me.
Because I cannot know you
Without the longing.
I would mark you—
And you would have to be mine.
The strong possessiveness of that last stanza settled strangely with her. She couldn’t explain it, but she didn’t feel, what they viewed as such an innocence robbing thing, that it would be bad. She felt instead that it was an inevitability. That by simply knowing the poet in this way her innocence was tainted, because she felt the longing that the poet did. Maybe in a different way, but she still felt longing. She traced the words with her fingertips before slowly closing the book and letting it slip back into her bag leaving only The Quibbler in her hands. However, not even the finding of a new breed of unicorn could fully distract her mind from the book in her bag, or the words on its pages.
The professors didn’t waste any time at all once the beginning of term started. Luna had only attended a week’s worth of classes and already she was hidden behind a stack of books in the library. She didn’t mind much; studies were always a useful distraction. Snape had been particularly cruel with the length of his first paper. 60 inches of parchment for an essay on the effects of Doxycide on various animals. Sighing Luna reached for a book of potions. All she had left was to look up the animals that had broken out in boils and the reasons why, and she was done with her research. All that was left after that was actually writing the paper. She knew it was going to be a long night. Even though the paper wasn’t due for a few more days Luna wanted to finish it. In her life and with her friends there always seemed to be distractions. So in Luna’s opinion it was better to prepare for them.
The chair across the table from her skid across the stone floor with a high pitched screech.
Almost instantly the sound was repeated as whoever pulled the chair out sat down and scooted closer to the table. “Sorry, sorry.” She heard, and the voice made her smile.
“Hello Harry.” Luna said as she moved books aside so she could see him.
Harry started, “Lu-Luna?” He obviously hadn’t realized someone was sitting at the table.
“Yes?” She could fully see him now. He looked tired as usual. He was Quidditch captain this year and Ronald had been badgering him non-stop with different strategies and plays. “Come here for some silence?”
“Yes.” He replied. “I don’t mind talking to you though Luna. As long as it’s not about Quidditch, or Vol- You Know Who.” That would be because of Hermione Luna wagered.
“No need to worry about that Harry.” She smiled at him. “What do you want to talk about then?”
He ran his hands through his always messy hair. She watched as the raven strands fell back into their natural state of disarray, and it was as if they were never touched in the first place. She continued to smile at him as he made his decision. It was hard for Harry to talk to her, she had noticed this over the years. It had become more difficult for him after their conversation about the Thestrals, but she couldn't understand why. He seemed to stumble over his words in an almost endearing way.
He shifted his eyes to the side avoiding eye contact while twisting his mouth to the side continuing his line of thought. “How have your lessons been so far? Are they piling on the work, like they are for us seventh years?”
Neutral ground she thought, but she pushed her judgmental thoughts aside. “They certainly are giving us their all.” She commented. “Snape is especially cruel for the first week of classes. He must have had a bad summer holiday.”
“I think we all had a hard holiday.” Harry muttered.
“Mine wasn't all too disagreeable.” She tried to make things lighter, she didn't like remembering Dumbledore, and she knew that was the direction Harry would eventually go.
He looked up a little bit of disbelief in his shockingly green eyes. “I'm glad to hear that Luna. That's a commodity these days. I guess mine wasn't all bad either, just busy, and tedious.” He sighed, seemingly struggling with his next words. “We almost didn't come back to school this year you know? We were going to go full time in the Order, but McGonnagal insisted that we come back to better prepare ourselves by finishing our schooling.” He smirked. “This made Hermione happier than it probably should have, you know how much she loves it here. We're all going to miss it next year.” He reached down into his bag and pulled out his parchment and a quill. “I guess it would be best to just throw ourselves into lessons, homework, and friends. Try to remember this time fondly, even if it's never been normal, even by wizarding standards, not for us three anyway.” He tilted his head to the side and looked at her. “It hasn't been normal for you either has it? Though probably less exciting.”
She had heard almost the same speech from Hermione earlier in the week. It was nice knowing about the Order, so they didn't have to be too secretive around her. “I'm not sure anything is 'normal' for anyone. I've had normal moments, spending time with Ginny, and Hermione, girl time you know,” she wrinkled her nose, she didn't like girl time. “but no, I guess you're right, being ostracized by a majority of your peers isn't normal is it?” She laughed lightly, “I don't mind though, contrary to what you may be thinking. Being secluded doesn't bother me, because then the friends that I have are true, and not temporary.”
“You're something you know that Luna? You're always so above everything, and you can always see the truth and positive side of every situation. I really like that about you.” Blush started working it's way up his neck.
“Thank you Harry.” she replied simply, smiling. “Are you warm? I didn't think it was hot in here, but it could just be me.”
That comment made his blush spread up to his cheeks. “Maybe it is warm in here. I think I'm going to go step outside for a minute then go up to the Gryffindor Tower to finish my homework. It was nice talking to you Luna.
She was perplexed by this, because he jerked up out of his chair almost toppling it over backwards before shoving his parchment and quill back in to his bag, and all but bolted out of the library. “Okay.” She said to herself before going back to her paper, pushing Harry and his sudden departure out of her mind.
She was half-way through her paper when Ginny found her. “It's dinner time.” She all, but sang as she approached the table. “Harry told me that I'd find you here.” She looked down at Luna's parchment. “Wow. I haven't even started on Snape's assignment. You're almost done.”
Luna beamed up at her best friend. “I've learned that it's best to get things done early because things always come up that prevent me from putting the proper amount of time into my studies.” She glanced at the clock on the library wall, and as if her body just registered the time, her stomach rumbled. “Let me put this away, and then we can go to the Great Hall.”
“Sure, sure.” Ginny said distractedly. “Hey, Malfoy is hanging out at that table and he keeps staring over here.” Her brows furrowed in disapproval. “Has he bothered you?”
Luna glanced up from her bag in Malfoy's direction. As soon as their eyes locked he scowled at her and went back to what he had been doing. “No, I didn't even notice he was there.” She stood swinging her bag over her shoulder and putting her wand behind her ear. “He was probably just distracted from his work when you came in.” Luna brushed it off, and started walking towards the hallway, Ginny on her heals.
“Probably.” Ginny agreed. “So...” Ginny locked her arm around Luna's as they walked to the Great Hall. “Are you coming to our first Quidditch match next week?” She looked at Luna hopefully, though she knew the answer.
“Of course.” Luna had been to every Quiddich game that Ginny had played in. She rather enjoyed watching the games, and the energy of the crowd always made her giddy.
“Good.” Ginny squealed. “It's been interesting having Harry as Captain. I mean I knew that he was going to be the Captain, and Ron and I practiced with him when he was at the Burrow, but I never thought it would make everything so much more...” She thought about the word, “enjoyable.”
“Have you told him how you feel yet?” Luna prodded.
“I tried.” Ginny said quietly. “It's so hard to tell Harry--”
“Tell me what?” Harry walked up behind them. “Hi Luna, hi Ginny.”
“Um--” Luna could tell that Ginny was going to go into a panic attack unless she figured out something to follow up her one syllable, shocked reply. “I'll tell you later okay?” She said awkwardly. “In private, it's kind of personal.” The further in her reply she got the quieter she became. Luna wanted to comfort her, but didn't know how with Harry right there.
“Is it about practice tonight?” Harry asked completely oblivious.
“No” Ginny said. “I'll tell you later.”
“Okay, well I'll talk to you later then.” He sped up once he spotted Ron. “See you later Luna”
“Great.” Ginny stopped, and since her arm was locked with Luna's, Luna stopped as well. “Now I have to tell him. Unless I can think of something else to tell him, lie or something.” She looked up at Luna panicked. “What do I do?”
“Tell him the truth. Talk to him, and tell him how you feel. He'll feel the same I know he will.” Luna tried to reassure her.
Ginny didn't look in the least bit reassured. “If you say so.”
By then they'd reached the Gryffindor table, and they sat down. It was easy to be quiet and blend in once everyone started eating. Luna watched and laughed at people's jokes, and just let herself be part of the group. She felt completely at home here, and nothing made her happier. All too soon the meal was done, and she found herself hugging Ginny goodnight, before making her way up to the Ravenclaw common rooms. She was making plans to finish her Potions assignment, when she turned the corner and collided with someone. The impact caused her to drop her bag and she knelt down to pick it up and slew of apologies escaping her lips.
“Here, let me.” A hand reached out and handed her the book of poems. Her breath caught in her throat as an unreasonable fear spread through her. She didn't want anyone to know about the book, or mysterious Poet. She reached out and grabbed it stuffing it in her bag. “I wasn't watching where I was going. It appears that neither were you, maybe we should both be more careful next time. She reached out to grab her wand that had fallen from behind her ear, but he was a step ahead of her, grabbing it and standing up. She straightened hesitantly also. Draco Malfoy was standing in front of her holding her wand. “Here let me.” He repeated his first words as he reached out and put the wand back in place. “There.” She was shocked, more so than she had ever been in her entire life, at Malfoy's actions.
“Thank you.” She whispered.
“You're welcome. Goodnight.” He walked briskly away without so much as a smirk, snide comment, or scowl. Even though Luna had always thought that he wasn't as mean as he made himself out to be, she never once thought that she would be on the receiving end of his kindness. She walked the rest of the way to the common room in a state of shock as she replayed the bump in with Malfoy over and over again, still unable to believe that it had actually happened.
Maybe Harry was playing with Polyjuice potion again, or maybe Malfoy didn't recognize her, but that seemed unlikely, who else put their wand behind their ear? Once she sat down on her bed though she was resigned to just let it go. Everyone had off days, and everyone was prone to acts of kindness. That was that.
She pulled her potions assignment out of her bag and prepared herself for finishing it before bed. Tomorrow was Saturday, and she planned on going to the stables, but she had to have her homework done first. So she sighed and once again put quill to parchment, putting Malfoy completely out of her mind.
A.N.: Sorry for taking so long to update! I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those annoying authors who take months to write a chapter. ^_^ Thank you for all of your comments. They’re greatly appreciated. This is my first fan fiction so bear with me.
I own nothing from Harry Potter, the only thing I own is the poetry, completely original.
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