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The "L" Land by SiriuslyCrack

Format: Short story
Chapters: 6
Word Count: 13,445

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Mild Language

Genres: Fluff, Romance, AU
Characters: Luna, Draco, OC
Pairings: Draco/Luna

First Published: 05/10/2008
Last Chapter: 08/08/2008
Last Updated: 08/08/2008

Amazing! banner by the_tofuubeaver @ TDA.

The universe of Harry Potter is already magical. But what if there is magic inside magic? Well, Draco Malfoy and Luna Lovegood are just about to find out that parallel universes just don't exist in fairy-tales. Written in response to GubraithianFire's Mini-Random Slytherin-only Challenge. Love ya, Gubby!

Chapter 1: No Man's Land
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A/N. Story idea derived from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" by Tim Burton. However, the plot is completely different. The movie merely was the inspiration for this fic.

Chapter 1
No Man's Land

It was one of those days when Luna Lovegood felt more ‘normal’ than she usually was. That morning when she woke up, she felt hyper and excited, as if something unusual was about to happen to her. Whenever Luna felt like that, she skipped work and went hunting, hoping that the ‘something unusual’ would be a crumple horned snorkack or a collection of wollyprickles.

After putting on her coat and boots, Luna swung her bag of important accessories behind her shoulder and hopped out of her house happily. Diagon Alley was pretty busy in the mornings, especially the Wizarding Bank, Gringotts. People rushed in and out of it, most of them walking out with huge jingling purses.

Luna knew where she wanted to go. What better place to go hunting than the forbidden forest? She apparated near the Hogsmeade village and from there she took the lane to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Maybe she would pay Hagrid a visit before continuing with her adventure.

Unfortunately for Luna, Hagrid was not in his cabin. She could hear the frantic barks of Fang, the boarhound, behind the door but no Hagrid came out to greet her and offer her rock cakes, which she was so fond of. With slightly low spirits, Luna ventured into the Forbidden Forest.

However, as soon as she stepped onto the forbidden territory and the breathed the fresh forest air, her spirits rose and she walked ahead with a spring in her step. She was so sure that something was about to happen that not even the strange noises of the forest scared her. Luna calmly stuck her wand behind her ear and pulled out a map from her bag. She pretended to study the strange and completely nonsensical lines drawn on the map and nodded as if she understood what the lines meant.

“Hmm, it says I need to go straight,” Luna muttered to herself. “There must be a group of Boggartaries very near.”

According to Luna, Boggartaries were little creatures with a lot of power. They were the only creatures in the world that boggarts were terrified of. Ironic, but true. If she could capture some and take them back with her, her house would be free of boggarts forever!

It was getting darker as Luna walked further into the forest. The trees were very closer here. “Lumos,” she whispered, lighting her wand and holding it above her head. “Where are you, little Boggartaries?” She searched the ground, the tree trunks and the branches alike. They could be anywhere.

The sound of a twig snapping somewhere behind her, startled Luna and she whirled around, expecting to see a wondrous creature. But there was nothing there. Confused, Luna turned back ahead and took a couple of steps before she heard another noise. “I am brave. I am not scared. I am not going to die,” she mumbled to herself, gripping her wand tighter and treading cautiously ahead.

For a while, everything was silent. Then, suddenly, she heard the rustling of leaves and her eyes fleetingly caught sight of something silver as it dashed towards her through the trees. “Stupefy!” Luna shouted just as the creature came into sight. She gasped. It was not a creature at all. It was a human being. Luna’s curse had hit him square in the stomach and he slumped down hard on the forest floor. Luna hurried up to the body and knelt down, pointing her lighted wand at his face.

“Oh, it’s you,” smiled Luna. “What are you doing here, Mr. Malfoy?”

When she got no answer from him, she asked again. “Are you deaf? I said, what are you doing here?”

He grunted in anger and Luna gasped guiltily. “Oh, I am sorry. Ennervate,” she said softly, lifting her curse. “Are you okay?”

Draco Malfoy sat up and glared at her. “Are you bloody crazy?” he shouted. “What are you doing in this part of the Forbidden Forest at this time? I thought I was being ambushed by centaurs!”

Luna giggled. “Centaurs are friendly creatures, Draco,” she said. “They don’t ambush people.”

“Whatever. And don’t call me Draco,” he grunted. “You never answered my question. What are you doing here?”

“I could ask you the same question,” said Luna, sitting down properly beside him. “Are you here to search for Boggartaries too?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know, Boggartaries…the creatures that scare boggarts. Were you looking for them too?”

Draco gazed at her as if she had grown two horns. “You are crazy, Lovegood,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I am not here to look for Boggartomories or other imaginary creatures.”

“Boggartaries,” corrected Luna calmly. “And they are real. Look, I have a picture.” She rummaged inside her bag and pulled out a worn and yellowed parchment. She shoved the picture under Draco’s nose. “See?”

It was a most heinous looking creature. Completely ugly with big uneven eyes and droopy lips. Its head was bigger than its body and it had no hands, only feet.

Draco looked up. “That’s not a photograph, you idiot. Somebody drew this. Probably a baby.” It was the ugliest drawing he had ever seen his life.

“Of course not! My daddy gave this to me. It’s a real photograph,” insisted Luna defiantly, snatching it back from him and cradling it in her hands.

Draco pursed his lips in annoyance. Who in their right mind would claim that a picture drawn with obvious black ink was a photograph? But then again, Luna Lovegood hardly had a brain. Merlin only knew how she had been sorted into Ravenclaw. “Whatever you say, Lovegood. Now take yourself out of this forest. It’s dangerous for silly girls.”

“I am not going anywhere,” announced Luna, stuffing the picture back into her bag and getting to her feet. “I came here to search for Boggartaries and crumple-horned snorkacks. That’s what I’m going to do.”

“Fine but if you get yourself into trouble, don’t expect me to help you,” snapped Draco angrily. Even the Forbidden Forest couldn’t offer him the peace and solitude that he so craved. Someone always had to intrude.

Much to Draco’s dismay and annoyance, Luna would not leave. She continued her search around and her mouth was like a wireless radio. It just wouldn’t stop talking. By now, Draco knew about every imaginary creature possible, along with their stupid imaginary descriptions.

“Can’t you leave me alone and search for Bogmortaries somewhere else?” he ground out when he couldn’t take anymore.

“But then, you’d be all alone. There are creatures here who prey on humans, incase you don’t know,” stated Luna, her large protuberant eyes staring at him. “And it’s Boggartaries.”

“Yeah, whatever. And I know that but I want to be left alone. I don’t need anyone’s company,” said Draco, frowning in her direction, daring her to argue with him.

Luna shrugged. “As you wish, Draco. I-”

“It’s Malfoy to you.”

“…will say good bye now. It was nice seeing you again.”

Draco rolled his eyes and turned his back to her. What a stupid girl that Lovegood was! “Completely mental,” he muttered to himself, closing his eyes and hoping she had already left. After a good few minutes when he opened his eyes, he was alone again. Luna was gone. “Good riddance.”

Suddenly, an ear-shattering scream pierced the air and Draco’s eyes snapped open. “Lovegood!” He got to his feet and looked around frantically. “…told her not to go off like that…dangerous creatures…silly girl!” he muttered to himself angrily as he ran in the direction of the scream.

“Lovegood, where are you?” Draco called out, holding his wand in front of him for a possible attack of some kind. Anything could happen in here. It was a jungle…and he was lost deep within it.

“Draco! Over here!”

He stopped at the sound of her voice and turned around, confused. “Where? I can’t see you,” he shouted, adding quickly, “Don’t call me Draco.”

“Follow my voice. I am in a clearing of sorts,” came Luna’s voice, still muffled by the distance between them. She screamed again and Draco quickened his pace. What was going on?!

There was a thick wall of green ahead of him (“Oh God!” whispered Draco) and closing his eyes, he jumped right through it, hoping against hope that he wouldn’t crash into any tree trunks. Fortunately for him, he passed through without any obstacles but out he flew…straight into Luna, who was standing on the other side.

She shrieked when Draco collided with her and both of them fell to the ground. To Draco’s utmost surprise, Luna seemed to be alone in the strange little clearing. He stood hastily and turned angry eyes on blonde. “What happened? Why did you scream?” he asked her, wondering if danger was lurking just around the corner waiting to ambush him. “Is this an ambush?”

Luna stared at him unblinkingly for a while and then started laughing so hard that tears came to her eyes. “Why,” she hiccupped, “are you so worried about an ambush?” She ended her laughter with a snort. “Sorry,” she said quickly when she noticed Draco glaring daggers at her. “I think I saw a crumple-horned snorkack. I couldn’t contain my excitement; that’s why I screamed.”

Draco took deep breathes of calm himself. He didn’t trust himself in such situations. Anger drew him out of control. “You scared me, you loon! I thought you were being attacked,” he scolded her, crossing his arms across his chest.

“Well then, I should thank you for coming to save my life,” smiled Luna.

“But I didn’t save your life,” said Draco with a frown. “There was nothing to save you from.”

“But you came. That’s what counts.”

Draco cooled down a little but refused to respond. Instead, he turned his intense gaze to their surroundings. Obviously, they were deep within the Forbidden Forest and Draco had never been here before. It was a strange place – a little stretch of land (without grass or bushes or any kind of greenery) surrounded by half a dozen trees with thick trunks.

“What is this place?” whispered Luna, looking around in awe.

Draco shook his head, busy gazing at big colorful shapes carved on the tree trunks along with some text, which seemed to be in a different language because Draco couldn’t understand a word of it. A strange little picture of red horns was drawn on a trunk directly in front of him, and exactly beside that tree, another tree trunk displayed a carving of white wings, just like that of an angel.

On another tree trunk, a pretty little heart was carved and Luna was standing there, examining it. “There’s something written here that I can’t understand,” she told Draco, who was busy sniffing the air.

“Huh?” he asked her.

Luna turned to look at him. “What is it?” she asked, curious at the odd expression on his face.

“Didn’t you notice the sudden absence of all sounds when you came here?” On an impulse, Draco turned back to look at the thick foliage he had just dashed through. To his shock, he found himself staring at a vast tree trunk. Just like the others, this one had a carving of a golden chest which was being struck by a bolt of lightening. “What the hell!” exclaimed Draco, stumped.

He looked back at Luna, whose eyes, if possible, had grown bigger. “Draco, I don’t think we are on Earth anymore,” she whispered fearfully.

“”Don’t be stupid,” snapped Draco, rolling his eyes. “I think someone’s playing a silly prank on us.”

“You think?”

Draco nodded. “And don’t call me Draco,” he said forcefully. “Come on, let’s go.” He made to squeeze himself between two tree but something made him bounce back. “What in Merlin’s name…” he muttered trying again. But there seemed to be some kind of an invisible wall that would not let him pass through. Frustrated, he craned his neck to see what was behind the trees but all he could see was nothingness. This is so strange, he thought to himself.

Luna was still lingering by the tree that had a heart carved on it. When Draco went up to tell her that something was seriously wrong here, she announced, “Look, there’s a knob here!”

“What? Don’t be silly,” said Draco, although he leaned in to look properly. Luna was right. There it was – a little red colored knob, affixed to the tree trunk, right beside the heart.

Luna excitedly said something about a hidden door and Draco rolled his eyes. “Don’t be silly,” he repeated. He hardly believed in such fantasies. Secret hiding places inside tree trunks, talking animals, fairy godmothers… “That’s bullshit!”

Luna glared at him. “I am not being silly, Dra-” She quickly corrected herself before Draco opened his mouth, “…Malfoy. I think there is something…”

“There’s nothing in there!” argued Draco. “Let’s just go, okay? I don’t want to – hey!”

Before he could even complete his sentence, Luna grabbed the knob and pulled it. After that, everything happened so fast that, today, when Draco Malfoy looks back to that day, he can hardly describe what exactly happened. All he remembers is that there was a huge gust of wind and he and Luna found themselves falling…falling…falling into the darkness…falling down the rabbit hole.

Were they really in a fairy-tale?

A/N. A bear hug to Gubby for giving me such a cool prompt. Thanks, girl. I hope you enjoy it. And Gubby, I won't post the second chapter until you review. I know how much of a procrastinator you are :P

CC is appreciated, dear readers. :)

Chapter 2: The Strange Land of Love
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Chapter 2
The Strange Land of Love

The darkness gradually dissolved and the world around them materialized again. Luna refused to open her eyes during their fall because she was mighty afraid of heights. She stretched her arms in hopes of catching Draco but, at that moment, their fall ended and Luna found herself sprawled right over him.

He groaned and pushed her off, though surprisingly gently. “Dammit! I think my arm’s broken,” he said, struggling to sit up. “And I bumped my head really bad. And my…” He suddenly realized he was being whiny and childish and, so, he clamped his mouth shut.

Luna looked worried but as their eyes adjusted to the brightness of their surroundings, their pain was forgotten and their mouths dropped open in surprise. They had fallen onto a small grassy hill and down below, they could see little red houses, each of different shapes and sizes. All of them were different shades of red and pink.

“What in the name of Dumbledore’s beard is this place?” asked Draco, wide-eyed, staring curiously at the weird little houses. He had never seen such a thing before in his life. “Lovegood, where’s this place? Where did you bring us?”

Luna, who was busy admiring the clear blue sky, gave him an excited look. “I think we are in the fairy-tale land!” she cried, to which Draco rolled his eyes sarcastically.

“Yeah, sure.”

“Look how beautiful everything looks. The sky is clear and the village looks so pretty,” she explained cheerfully. “And look at all the pinkness. Pink makes me hyper!” She grinned at Draco and, for a moment, he forgot to be irritated and angry at her. “And I bet there’s a castle here, too.”

Draco shook his head, mildly amused, but still alert. “Lovegood, this cannot be a fairy-tale,” he told her firmly. “I wonder if we are still in London…” He looked around with a sigh. Why did bad things happen to him? If he hadn’t been so stupid as to follow Lovegood, this would never have happened. Draco sometimes feared he was going soft. “Do you have a map or something?” he asked Luna, his eyes occasionally glancing at the row of weird houses down the hill. He still could not comprehend how someone could live in such out-of-this-world houses. Didn’t the pink-and-redness hurt their eyes?

Luna nodded absently and pulled out the same old yellowed parchment she had referred to in the forest. She handed it to Draco, hardly sparing him a glance, because she was so engrossed in the beauty of the place they had landed into.

Draco unfolded the parchment eagerly, thinking that it would help them in some way, but his face fell when he saw that it only contained stupid criss-cross lines. “Is this supposed to be a joke?” he asked Luna, a huge frown on his handsome face. “What is this rubbish?”

Luna stared at him, puzzled. “It’s a map.”

All Draco could do was stare at her in disbelief. “A map?” he repeated incredulously. “This is a piece of junk, you idiot! What do you make of these nonsensical lines?”

“This map has helped me many times in the past, Draco,” explained Luna. “It’ll help us again, I am sure of it.”

“Sure of it, my arse! This thing’s useless,” he snapped angrily, crumpling up the map and throwing it at Luna. Her smile faded and she quietly put it back in her bag. Draco ignored her and tried to move his left arm. “I was right,” he muttered, grunting in pain. “It is broken.”

“Maybe I can fix it,” said Luna immediately, shifting closer to him and pointing her wand at his arm.

“Do you know the spell?” Draco asked in surprise.

Luna nodded proudly. “Madam Pomfrey taught me in seventh year. I learned some important healing spells,” she told him, before muttering a complicated sounding spell under her breathe.

A red-colored bubble in the shape of a heart burst out of her wand and popped when it touched Draco’s skin. Luna looked amazed. “This is not what I expected,” she said. “Try to move your hand.” Draco shook his head. It still hurt him. “Okay, I will try again.”

The same thing happened. On saying the spell, her wand produced the heart-bubble which popped the second it touched Draco’s arm. “What’s wrong?” questioned Draco.

“It’s not working!”

“Maybe you are saying the wrong spell,” he suggested.

“No, I am quite sure this is the one,” replied Luna, disappointed that she had failed on her first attempt at this spell when the situation really required it. “You try something,” she said suddenly. “Any spell.”

With his right hand, Draco pulled out his wand from within his robes and waved it, saying clearly, “Expecto Patronum.” Both of them stared in astonishment at the heart shaped bubble that came out of his wand and floated away in the breeze. “This is so not normal!”

“It may be the wollyprickles, you know,” said Luna. When Draco looked at her in confusion, she explained, “They are little parasitic creatures that live inside a person’s ear and gradually suck all of their magic. Perhaps this place is full of wollyprickles and now, we are infected.”

“Right.” Draco put a hand to his forehead and prayed for patience. What had he gotten himself into? “I merely think that we are unable to perform magic in this place, wherever this is.” But none of them could explain the red heart-bubble.

“Let’s go to one of the houses below. They might be able to help us,” suggested Luna wisely and, for the first time, Draco seemed to agree with her. Clutching his left arm in his right hand, he stood up and both of them walked (skipped, in Luna’s case) downhill. It was a busy time of the day and people (Draco was quite relieved to see that they looked pretty normal) were rushing about but almost all who noticed the two new-comers took time to smile and greet them on their way. It surprised Draco and Luna because this would be a very unusual happening in London. There, people usually minded their own business.

Draco had a hard time deciding which door they should knock. Each cottage was more bizarre than the previous one. Luna was growing impatient by his behaviour. “All of them look great. How can you even choose one?” she asked him and Draco suppressed a snort. If only she knew why he was taking such a long time…

“Alright, let’s go to that one.” He pointed to a comparatively large house which was a light shade of red and seemed rather classy. But as they neared it, he noticed that it had a heart shaped door. “On a second thought, let’s not!” He stopped abruptly, looking disgusted.

Luna giggled. “I like it.”

“You would,” muttered Draco darkly. “I don’t know what it is with this place and hearts.”

“Come on, let’s go. Your arm’s swelling up!”

A plump, grey-haired lady answered their knock. “Hello, may I help you?”

“Yes, please,” replied Luna immediately. “My friend’s,” Draco coughed rather loudly, “arm is broken. Could you tell us where to find a doctor?”

“Why, you have come to the right place,” beamed the lady. “I am Ellie Lovely. My husband’s a doctor. Please come in.”

Draco was amused. Lovely? He leaned in and whispered to Luna, “She must be kidding us.”

Mrs. Lovely led them into a spacious-looking den, chattering all the while about how wonderful her husband was and how fortunate they were to come here. Luna nodded to her every word.

“That’s wonderful, Mrs. Lovely. I am so glad we came here first,” she smiled.

“I’ll go fetch my husband. He hasn’t left for work yet.” When Mrs. Lovely left them alone, Luna turned to grin at Draco.

“Isn’t she wonderful?”

“Sure,” replied Draco sardonically. “A little too lovely, if you know what I mean.”

Luna waved a hand casually. “Come on, she’s helping us, isn’t she?” she argued good-naturedly.

“So? That doesn’t erase the fact that she makes me want to throw up.”

Just then, Mrs. Lovely re-entered with her husband. He was a wispy looking man with a wild mop of snowy hair on his forehead. He looked more like a mad scientist rather than a doctor. What amused Draco was that he was shorter than his wife.

“Who’s the patient?” he asked in a soft but manly voice that surprised both Draco and Luna.

While Draco was ushered out of the room by Mr. Lovely, his wife offered Luna tea and cookies. All of them were shaped like hearts. Luna thought they were delicious. She thanked Mrs. Lovely but the older woman waved her polite ‘thank you’ away.

“It’s my pleasure, really, dear,” she stated. “Being the sister of the Mayor, it’s my duty to help new people.” She nodded her head at Luna’s impressed expression. “Yes, my brother is the Mayor of this land.”

Luna was about to ask what land was this when the doorbell rang and Mrs. Lovely excused herself. She came back with two red-faced girls at her heels. They introduced themselves as Mrs. Lovely’s daughters – Gina and Tina, who had returned from their morning walk.

“It is to maintain the body and stay in shape,” they told Luna matter-of-factly. “We, girls, grow very fast unless we exercise regularly.”

“And why is that?” Luna asked, awed by the way they talked and the manner in which they did things.

“Food,” they said in unison, as if the word explained everything and there was no arguing against it. Luna arranged her lips in an ‘O’.

The three girls talked for a while, Luna merely nodding and shaking her head wherever needed. She found that she enjoyed listening to the Gina and Tina. Just then, Draco came out again, followed by Mr. Lovely. His arm was in a sling.

“He’s okay,” said Mr. Lovely at large. “’Twas just a minor fracture. It’ll be okay in a week or so.”

”Oh, that’s wonderful!” said his wife cheerfully. “Go sit by the girls, dear.”

While Mr. Lovely hurried back into his lab (“No time for breakfast, honey, I am late for work!”) Draco walked over to Luna and sat down beside her, ignoring the giggles and stares of the other two girls. “Who are they?” he whispered in Luna’s ear.

“The Lovely daughters,” replied Luna with a grin.

“So, what exactly is this land called and where is it?” Draco asked, during breakfast. Gina and Tina were sitting opposite him and they blushed red whenever Draco looked at them, which annoyed him very much.

“This is the L land,” replied Ellie Lovely, scooping some butter from a heart-shaped plate and spreading it on her toast. “But I am not sure what you mean by your second question.”

“You mean you don’t know here this place is situated?” asked Draco, knitting his eye-brows together.

“Of course, I know that, dear. We live on the Earth.”

Draco looked at Luna, who shrugged. “Right. So what does ‘L’ land mean?” he asked. These people were weird, even weirder than Luna Lovegood.

“L stands for love, Draco,” one of Mrs. Lovely’s daughters said immediately and started giggling.

“I am sorry, what?” Had he heard her right? What kind of person would name a place ‘Love Land’? Something started to click in his brain and he noticed the plates, the interior of the house, the little things that usually went without notice – all of it was either heart-shaped or red/pink in color. And comprehension dawned on him.

“Didn’t I tell you we were in fairy-tale land?” said Luna, her face glowing with delight.

Mrs. Lovely smiled but looked puzzled. “What’s a fairy-tale?”

“Draco, I think Gina and Tina like you,” said Luna, sprawled comfortably on her bed, her body covering more than half of the polka dots on her baby-pink sheets.

“Didn’t you hear what Mrs. Lovely said?” muttered Draco irritably. “They develop a crush on every boy they lay eyes on. It’ll go away.” He went over to stand beside her bed. “But will you listen to me for one second, Lovegood?”

“Yeah, I know. I should not call you Draco,” replied Luna blandly.

Draco raised his eye-brows. He had even forgotten to reprimand her for that. “That too,” he said. “Listen, I don’t think these people can be fooling us. They seem genuine enough…”

“Of course they are genuine! It’s a fairy-tale.”

“Will you stop saying that?!” snapped Draco, impatiently. “Now listen. I think this is a completely different universe. A universe which consists only the ‘L’ land.”

Luna sat up. “You mean to say we are in a parallel universe?” she whispered, and Draco could see her badly suppressed excitement.

He nodded seriously. “That explains the strange houses and shapes…”

“…and our magic,” Luna reminded him.

“Exactly. This stupid land is all about love!” The blonde Slytherin shook his head in dismay. “We need to get outta here.”

“But I want to stay! I want to tell them fairy-tales,” protested Luna. “I want to learn to bake heart-shaped cookies and I want-”

“Are you insane, Lovegood? They’ll be worried back in our universe. We can’t stay here forever! We have to go back,” Draco said sternly.

“But let’s at least stay till your arm’s healed,” insisted Luna and Draco looked down at the sling he was wearing in dismay. He had no choice but to agree.

Luna was ecstatic. She spent the whole day in the kitchen with Mrs. Lovely and her daughters, baking cakes and cookies and telling them fairy-tales which left them in awe, while Draco stayed in their room, feeling bored and frustrated. Even staring at the ceiling did not soothe him. The pink hurt his eyes. Finally, he slouched out of the room, following the wonderful scent of strawberry pie which wafted from kitchen.

“So, where exactly are you from, Luna?” Tina (or was it Gina?) was asking when Draco entered.

“London,” came the reply.

“I’ve never heard of London before. Where is it?”

“Oh, it’s not here,” Luna told them, without thinking.

“Then how did you come ‘ere?”

“We fell down from the sky.”

Draco hurried inside, inwardly cursing Luna and her thickhead. “Hello ladies!” he said loudly. “I am hungry.” It had the desired effect. Gina and Tina immediately set about preparing the table for supper and Mrs. Lovely made tea for them all. Draco shifted closer to Luna and whispered, “What’s your problem? You know we can’t explain things to them.”

“I am sorry, I was just telling the truth,” Luna whispered back defiantly.

“Well, zip the truth, then!”

“Okay, but on one condition,” said Luna, her face lighting up into a brilliant smile. “We go exploring the village tomorrow.”

Read and review, people! ^_^

Chapter 3: Bewitched?
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A/N. Thanks to all those who reviewed the last two chapters. You guys are great! *hugs*

Chapter 3

Unfortunately for Draco, the Lovelys had only one room to spare and so, Draco and Luna had no choice but to share a room during their stay. While Luna was not at all concerned about this, Draco couldn’t be any more annoyed. He was not used to being kind to others and now, being the gentleman that he was taught to be, he offered the bed to Luna while he camped near the bed on a low mattress.

Both of them could not sleep for obvious reasons. Luna was excited and could not wait for the next day to dawn so that she could go exploring the village; Draco, on the other hand, was dreading the next day. He could not believe he was in a parallel universe. He had always thought that if there was a parallel universe, it would be better than theirs but this was turning out to be a nightmare. Oh, was I wrong, he thought to himself bitterly. All this love business made him sick.


Instinctively, he said, “Hmm?”

“Are you awake?” Luna whispered.

“Yeah.” He had even forgotten to correct her each time she said his name. He didn’t like to admit it but he liked the way she said his name.

“What are you thinking?” she asked him, her face peeking at him from above. Her blonde hair shone in the moonlight as it fell down her shoulder, long enough for Draco to touch it if he wanted.

“Stuff,” he replied vaguely. “You?”

“Stuff.” When Draco gave her a dry look, she giggled. “Do you like it here?”

Draco snorted. “Is that a trick question?” he muttered sarcastically.

Luna stared at him, her eye-brows knitted together in thought. When she did not say anything, Draco began to feel uncomfortable. “What?” he demanded.

“Why do you hate this land so much? Is it the bright colors or is it the concept of love that’s been instilled in everyone?” she asked him, curiously.

“Both,” he told her, pulling a face. “They make me sick. Besides, I don’t believe in love.”

“Why don’t you?”

“Because it’s a load of rubbish.”

Luna looked affronted, as if it was her who he had insulted. “No, it’s not!” she cried out in a whisper. “Love is what is holding the whole universe together. If there’s no love, there’d be no Draco and no Luna.”

“And thankfully, no Love land,” he muttered, her words hardly affecting him.

“What do you have against love?” she asked him, still leaning awkwardly over the edge of her bed.

“I can’t believe I am having this conversation with you, of all people, Lovegood,” said Draco, but he did not look in the least bit surprised or annoyed.

Her face fell at his words. “If I like you, why can’t you put aside our differences and like me back?”

Draco gaped at her, stumped. Had he heard her correctly? He somehow knew that Luna did not mean it in that way but it still surprised him that she could be so open and frank about stuff she said.

Not knowing how to reply to her question, Draco sighed, “Goodnight, Lovegood.” He turned over and closed his eyes.

* * * * *

“LOVEGOOD!” boomed Draco, thumping on the bathroom door with his fist.

He had been waiting outside for more than half an hour and she still didn’t show any signs of coming out soon. Why was she taking so much time? What exactly was she doing in there, anyway? He wondered to himself. Draco rubbed his aching hand on his clothes before stamping his foot angrily and slapping the bathroom door again.

“Draco, love, what’s the matter?” It was Mrs. Lovely, hurrying inside their room. “I could hear you downstairs!”

Draco resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Great, that’s what I need – a scolding. But Mrs. Lovely did not look angry in the least. Although she looked slightly confused, she was smiling at him as she always did.

“It’s her!” croaked Draco, his throat hoarse from all the yelling he had done. “It’s like she’s doing this on purpose. I have to use the bathroom, too, you know!”

Instead of asking Luna to get out, the woman giggled, much to Draco’s annoyance. “She’s a girl, son. Girls take time. She’ll come out soon.” Draco watched her leave with a scowl on his face. Of course, she would take Luna’s side.

He turned back to beat on the bathroom door again but it was open and Luna was standing there, looking amused. Draco jumped back in surprise. Her hair was dripping wet and so was her blouse. What had she been doing in there!

“What happened to you?” he asked her, forgetting to be angry at her.

Luna grabbed a handful of her hair and started squeezing the water out of it. “You were knocking like crazy; so in the hurry to get out, I pulled on the clothes without drying my body properly,” she told him calmly. Draco stared at her in astonishment. She didn’t look at all angry or irritated, considering what he had made her do.

Without realizing it, he said, “Sorry.” What did I just say?

Luna smiled at him. “Go ahead. I’ll wait here,” she said. What was her problem? Why was she always so nice when all he did was shout at her and insult her?

Draco raised his foot to step forward but was surprised when he found himself stepping back. He felt possessed. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “I’ll wait.”

He sat on the bed, thinking over what he had done five minutes ago. Acting kind was not normal for him and he felt odd, almost humiliated. He wanted to bang his head against the wall in frustration. Either he was growing soft or else this stupid land was having an adverse effect on him. Yes, that explains it, he decided stupidly. Perhaps the Lovelys had put some kind of enchantment on him.

He told this Luna when she came out of the bathroom, dry this time. “This land is dangerous for us, Lovegood,” he said urgently. “As soon as my arm is healed, we’ll get out of here.”

Luna chuckled. “You are paranoid. There’s nothing wrong with this place, Draco,” she said, touching his arm. But he shrugged it off and stepped back angrily.

“Fine, then. You can stay here, if you want. I’ll go back alone!” And he slammed the bathroom door behind him.

Draco’s mood still hadn’t improved by breakfast. The Lovely couldn’t understand what was wrong with him and kept throwing confused looks his way. Finally, Mrs. Lovely asked, “Are you alright, dear?” When Draco nodded without replying, she turned to Luna for explanation. “He looks odd,” she whispered.

“He’s just angry at me,” said Luna, smiling slightly in a ‘not-to-worry’ way.

“You mean he is unhappy?”

Luna glanced at Draco, sitting opposite her with his head lowered; he was holding a piece of crumpet in mid-air as he tried to listen in to their conversation casually. Luna repressed the urge to giggle and replied, “Yes, but he angry too.”

“Angry?” They still looked puzzled. Didn’t they understand her?

“Yes,” Luna replied slowly. Am I speaking in French? “That’s what I said. You know that emotion you feel when something goes terribly wrong or someone hits you for no reason…”

The Lovelys exchanged looks. “Weird. That sounds a lot like when you are unhappy,” Mr. Lovely said, buttering his toast, which not so strangely, was heart-shaped.

Draco stared at them, the crumpet in his hand forgotten. “Don’t you people ever get angry?” he asked them, bemused.

“Not much, no. We are a happy lot,” said Gina cheerfully, blushing when he turned to look at her.

“You mean to tell me people here never fight?” He looked positively incredulous now.

Mrs. Lovely smiled and shook her head and spoke in a voice that is usually used with a child. “We are born to love each other. Not fight. That’s a ridiculous thought.”

Luna beamed at her. “I completely agree with you!”

Draco rolled his eyes and returned to stuffing food into his mouth, his anger at Luna forgotten.

“These people are weird,” said Luna when she and Draco had left the cottage for a village tour.

Draco actually laughed. “Coming from you, that’s something,” he said but Luna hardly heard him. She was already skipping ahead of them, peeking into different shops as they walked past and muttering enthusiastically, words that Draco could not understand. As much as he did not like to admit it, Draco was fascinated by the various things they saw and learned in this land. For example, he was shocked to know that they had only one season here all year round – Spring.

“Of course, we have seen snow. It snows once a year and we gather the powdery stuff and dump it in one cold place,” said a kind old shopkeeper who had convinced Luna to buy a silver necklace with a heart-shaped pendant. While she fussed over it, Draco chatted with the man, gathering information about this strange land. He even wondered if this was all part of a big dream that he was currently trapped in.

“Come on, Lovegood, let’s go,” he said, tugging on her dress. She turned to face him, her face glowing and her eyes sparkling with delight. Draco stared at her.

“Let me buy this necklace,” she pleaded, holding up the jewelry in front of him. “It’s so pretty.”

“But…but we don’t have money,” stammered Draco, suddenly feeling very lightheaded, and unable to tear his eyes away from her glowing face. “We can’t. I only have a few galleons and a couple of sickles in my pocket,” he added in a whisper so that no one other than Luna could hear.

Her face fell and she seemed to understand, because she put the necklace in its box and handed it back to the shopkeeper. “You can buy it for four gold coins instead of five,” he said eagerly. When Luna shook her head, he tried again, “How about three, eh? Come on, that’s a fair bargain.”

“I don’t -,” began Luna but Draco cut her off.

“We have different kind of money but it’s pure gold, if you are willing to accept it,” he said to the shopkeeper, who looked on with curiosity as Draco extracted a galleon from his pocket and tossed it on the counter.

The old man picked it up and examined it, fascinated by the unfamiliar marks and symbols on its face. After a long time, he nodded. “It does look like real gold,” he said to Draco, who looked smug. “We’ve a deal, Mister. Cough it up.”

The couple walked out of the jewelry shop with Luna’s new necklace with them. She was already wearing it and Draco thought it looked pretty on her. “Thank you,” she said after a while and Draco started.

“About what?”

Luna grinned happily and pointed to the pendant resting on her neck. “You were kind enough to buy it for me when you could very well have used it elsewhere,” she said.

“I wanted to,” he said and, for the first time since coming here, he smiled a genuine smile and it looked so new and strange on his face that Luna stopped to stare at him.

“What?” he asked her, feeling self-conscious.

“You have a wonderful smile,” she said dreamily. “You should smile more often.”

He watched her skip ahead of him, his head spinning. What was happening to him?

Chapter 4: The Snow Shed
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A/N. I am so sorry for the delay in posting this chapter. But life's been busy. Also, in the hurry to update and please my readers, I did not have this chapter beta-read. So please tolerate minor errors. I wrote this in a real rush. But I hope it's enjoyable for you. :)

Chapter 4
The Snow Shed

As the days passed, Luna Lovegood noticed a change in Draco Malfoy. The Lovelys noticed it, too. Draco had stopped being complaining about everything and he had stopped being grumpy all the time. The usual air of superiority that surrounded him had seemed to fade a little. He was almost like a nice, normal human being. And the best thing was, Draco knew that he had changed.

More than a few times, Luna had seen him, slumped on the bed, staring confusedly at the ceiling, as if wondering what was wrong with him. But as soon as this puzzling bout of questions left him, he was back to being happy again. Of course, he didn’t talk much, nor did he help around in the house, but he was definitely an improvement from the previous Draco Malfoy. For Luna, the surprising bit was that he was good to her and most of the times, seemed interested in what she was telling him.

“It’s like a big, horned monkey, you know. Only worse,” Luna was saying once, four days after he had bought her the necklace.

“Sounds more like Satan,” joked Draco. His arm was much better now, but Mr. Lovely insisted he use it less often, though he had removed the sling. “Have you ever seen it, then?”

“No, but I’ve dreamed about the horned monkey,” she replied. “In my dream, it kept chewing my hair off.”

Draco snorted. “What do you call it?”


“You are joking, right?” sputtered Draco, eyes widening. “Do you even know what hormone means?”

“I like to think so, yes,” smiled Luna. “Hormones make you do silly things. But what I am talking about- it’s h-o-r-m-o-n.”

Draco inwardly rolled his eyes. He was actually beginning to enjoy talking to Luna Lovegood but sometimes, she was just plain silly. I mean, who had ever heard of a horned monkey called Hormon?

The last time they had had a silly conversation, it was about colors, which had somehow led to talk about love.

“What’s your favourite color?” Luna had asked him, to which he had shook his head and replied vaguely, “Dunno. Black, probably.”

“Why black?”

Draco shrugged and Luna sighed. “You are hopeless. Make pink your favourite color and you’ll always be happy,” she told him.

Draco had rolled his eyes then. “What’s so special about pink?”

“Not just pink. Liking bright colors affects our mood, you know,” explained Luna. And although her explanation was vague, Draco completely understood her. Still, he couldn’t force himself to like pink. That color sickened him!

“Don’t you want to know my favourite color?” Luna asked.

“I already know your favourite color. Pink, isn’t it?” She always talked about pink and how it made her feel hyper and happy.

But Luna shook her head. “Red,” she said, sighing softly.

“Red is the color of danger.”

“No. Red is the color of love, Draco,” she corrected him and Draco made a face. “That’s why I like red roses so much. No one except Neville has presented me with a red rose.”

Before he could think about it, Draco blurted out, “I can get you a rose too.” Luna looked surprised and he added hastily, “That is…er…if you want.”

It was not the fact that he was beginning to like The Love Land, it was the fact that he dreaded the day when his arm would be completely healed and he would’ve to leave it that terrified Draco. He had absolutely idea when his hate for this place had grown into fondness and he could not understand why. Malfoys weren’t supposed to like mushy stuff, do mushy things and stay in mushy places. That was against the law for Draco Malfoy, and yet, he wished that the day of their departure would never come.

Why? He did not know. And that’s what irked him.

“Let’s visit the Snow Shed,” suggested Luna. “That’ll take your mind off things.”

The Snow Shed was the place where the people of the Love Land stored the snow since they only had snow-fall about once a year. It was a wonderful place; the ground was totally covered with soft white snow and the ceiling was decorated with confetti and balloons. It was freezing there, so that the snow wouldn’t melt.

Draco and Luna paid a galleon each for their tickets and were ushered in by the guard. Luna gasped at the beautiful sight. She immediately pulled on her gloves, skipped down the stairs and jumped right into the snow below. Draco, looking slightly amused, followed her but did not step into the sheet of white that covered the ground.

“Lookit!” Luna exclaimed, making a snow-angel and giggling softly.

Draco chuckled and shook his head. He never did childish things, however much fun they might be. But when a snowball suddenly hit him on the face, he couldn’t stop himself from taking revenge. He stepped forward into the snow and bent down, grabbing a handful and moulding it in his hands.

“You are dead now,” he said to Luna, who giggled and darted off to hide behind a pillar.

A huge snowball in hand, Draco slowly inched towards the pillar and flattened his body to it. One…two…three. Luna poked out her head and Draco slammed the snow to the face. She shrieked with mirth and scampered away from him, quickly scooping up some snow and throwing it at him. He hurried to make another snowball but before he could even get up, Luna’s snowball hit him square on his chest. Another followed. And then another…

Luna was fast. Very fast. She never even gave him time to prepare his attack. Half an hour later, a thoroughly soaked Draco put up his hands in defeat. “Alright, alright, you win,” he mumbled, pretending to be exhausted.

Luna flashed him a triumphant smile and walked back towards him. Just when she was close enough, Draco tripped her and she fell face down in the snow. Laughing madly, he scooped up more white and threw it on Luna’s back.

“I win!”

Luna rolled over on her back and looked up at him. “That was cheating, Draco,” she said huffily, but she did not look angry.

Draco shrugged, grinning broadly. “Everything’s fair in war, right?” He lay down next to her on his stomach, propping himself up on his elbows. “But you were really good,” he told her. “Very agile.”

A smile tugged the corners of her lips and Draco suddenly had the urge to kiss her. No. NO! He gave himself a physical shake and tried to think about something else. But it didn’t work. All he could think about was Luna’s flushed cheeks, her light hair spread out on the white snow and her red – very kissable – lips.

“Your arm looks perfectly healed, Draco,” Luna observed, breaking the silence, and he tore his eyes away from her lips and looked down at his injured arm. He hadn’t even remembered to be careful when he was snowball-fighting with her. It didn’t even pain him anymore.

“Yeah,” he replied, feeling as if a giant weight had settled down in his stomach.

“What is it?” asked Luna, looking confused. “Aren’t you happy?”
“Huh? Of…of course, I am glad!” said Draco, frowning. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

Luna raised an eye-brow. “You don’t want to leave this place, do you?” she asked him knowingly.

Draco sighed and dropped his face into the snow. “We can’t stay here forever,” he murmured and Luna seemed to understand. They stayed there for a while, lying in the snow, talking occasionally. Later that day, soaked and freezing, they left the Snow Shed, a smile on their faces.

“So, when do we leave, Draco?” Luna asked him that night, sticking her head over the edge of her bed to look down at him.

“Day after tomorrow,” Draco replied. “I don’t think Mr. Lovely would get me go yet…”

Luna was silent for a while. “What happens if we don’t go back?” she asked. Draco glanced at her, contemplating her question. He had been wondering about the same thing these past couple of days.

“I don’t know. But nothing good, I presume.” His parents would be worried and so would Pansy. They all expected him to propose her anytime now. Before now, Draco hadn’t had the courage, but now, he wondered if he even wanted to marry Pansy. She didn’t love him anyway. “What are you thinking about?” he asked Luna, curiously. She had gone quiet again.

“The fact that we might never meet again after we get back.”

His eyes shot to hers but she wasn’t looking at him. Her eyes were glazed over and she seemed to be lost in her own world.

“Why do you say that?” he asked her, feeling worse by the second.

Luna shrugged, blinking her huge eyes and looking back at him. “Just a hunch. If I remember correctly, you’ve told me a dozen times before that we are from completely difference classes of human. I assume you’d never want to see me again,” she told him, nervously playing with the loose threads on her sheet.

“That’s not true!” Draco countered immediately. “We’ll keep seeing each other.”

“I hope so,” she sighed and rolled over. Draco couldn’t see her face anymore. He breathed deeply and put an arm over his eyes. Sleep didn’t come to him very soon.

The next day passed by so fast, Draco seriously doubted his wrist watch. He prodded it with his finger to see if it was working properly. The Lovelys had been disappointed when Draco and Luna had told them that they would be leaving the next day. But they helped in packing them lunch and a few spare pastries for their journey, since they had no idea where their young guests were from.

Gina and Tina were very sad, indeed, to see Draco going but if he was glad about one thing, it was to be away from those two girls, whose giggles still echoed in his head.

“They irritate me,” he complained to Luna as they marched back to their room.

“Well, they like you, what’s so irritating about that?” questioned Luna. She tripped on the rug and Draco instinctively caught her arm. “Thanks.”

Well, either they stare at me and start giggling stupidly or else they give me the sad face, which I totally don’t understand!” grunted Draco, making a face. Girls were a mystery.

“They are sad to see you go, that’s all,” soothed Luna. “Just forget about them, okay? We are leaving tomorrow anyway. For now, we need rest or else we’ll be easy prey to the Meerukas.

“What’s that?”

The next morning, Mrs. Lovely and her daughters gave Draco and Luna a kiss on each cheek before sending them on their way. “Hope to see you again, dears,” sniffed Mrs. Lovely. “It was lovely to have you both with us.”

“Thank you,” replied Draco politely. “Um, Mrs. Lovely, is there a forest on this land?”

“Why, yes. There are three woods in our land. The nearest one is on the other side of the mountains. Why do you ask?”

“Oh, just wondering,” smiled Draco, waving his hand casually. “Come on,” he said to Luna, who was actually crying at their departure. Draco bit his lip in amusement. He was sad to leave them, too, but not as much as Luna. “Let’s go.” He tugged her sleeves, throwing her a significant look.

Luna nodded and hugged Mrs. Lovely. “Bye...sniff…I’ll miss you all. Tell Mr. Lovely my dad is just like him,” she called out as Draco dragged her away, back up the hill where they had landed days ago. The sun was right over their head but it didn’t seem like afternoon at all. The atmosphere was as cool as it usually is in the mornings.

They reached the top of the hill and Luna was still sniffing. Draco looked back at her. “Stop crying, Luna.” He didn’t expect her to obey him so quickly. She was looking at him in surprise. “What?”

“You just called me Luna,” she said, her eyes wide.

Draco hesitated, biting his tongue. “So?” he asked as casually as he could. “That’s your name, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but you never call me by my name.”

“Okay, I get the point,” said Draco quickly, getting angry. “I won’t make that mistake again.”

“Please do.”

He paused. “What?”

Luna smiled, wiping her wet eyes with the back of her hands. “I like it when you call me Luna,” she told him.

Draco stared at her, speechless for the first time in his life. He opened his mouth to snap at her for doing such a thing to him but all that came out was, “Right, okay.” Damn you, Malfoy!

An awkward silence stretched between them for a couple of minutes before Luna remembered something and knitted her eye-brows together. “Why did you ask Mrs. Lovely about the forests?” she asked Draco, who snapped out of his confused thoughts and explained, “We fell down the hole in the tree, right?” Luna nodded. “But do you see any trees here?” Luna shook her head. “So how will we get back then?”

“Ohhhhh,” uttered Luna, looking like she understood what he was trying to tell her. “You mean to say, we’ll live in the jungle.”

Draco sighed in defeat. “No, Luna. I mean we found the clearing in the Forbidden Forest, didn’t we?” he said. “I think it was a no man’s land of sorts. There’s a chance we might find it in one of the forests in this land and thus, get back to our universe.”

Luna nodded, looking impressed. “I didn’t think of it that way.”

“Yeah, you didn’t. Now, come on, we’ve a long journey to make.”

Thus, both of them set off towards the mountains, hoping to find the so-called no man’s land, as Draco called it, and go back home.

R&R please ^_^ Constructive criticism is appreciated.

Chapter 5: The Enchanted Wood
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A/N. Thanks to everyone who reviewed up till now. You guys are great!

Chapter 5
The Enchanted Wood

Draco and Luna traveled for three days across the mountains surrounding the village. It was a long and tiring journey and by the end of the third day, their water supply had run out and the couple huffed and puffed as they trotted on, looking for a suitable place to camp in.

“I think we should stop now,” panted a tired Luna, as the sky began to grow darker.

“Yeah, I think we should,” agreed Draco; his shoulders were slouched and he looked exhausted. “Over there! Under that tree.”

Luna nodded and pulled out a sheet from her handbag. Mrs. Lovely had given it to them, saying that they’d need it on the way. She spread it on the ground under the tree and sat down on it. Draco slumped down beside her.

“How much far is it?” Luna asked him.

“The Forest? Dunno…it’ll probably take us another day to reach the first one,” replied Draco. There were three forests in the Love Land as Mrs. Lovely had told them.

“I am thirsty.”

“Me, too.”

“Would you like a sandwich? Actually, there’s only one left.”

“No, thanks. You have it, Luna.”

“If I eat it, I’ll want water. I don’t want to be any thirstier than I already am.”

Draco shrugged and lay down, staring up at the glittery stars that were beginning to appear in the sky. It was a wonder how you could see them all so clearly. Draco hardly saw so many stars in London. Perhaps it was because of too much pollution…he glanced side-ways at Luna; she was staring at the stars too.

“They are beautiful, aren’t they?” she sighed.

“Yeah,” he whispered, still looking at her. She didn’t look at him, but her cheeks were slowly tingeing red.

“Are you really sure we’ll find the No Man’s Land again?” she asked abruptly.

“I am not sure…I believe we will. If it’s really a No Man’s Land, then it should be everywhere, I mean on every land, shouldn’t it?” said Draco. Luna shrugged carelessly. Draco knew she didn’t care. She would happily go back to living with the Lovelys.

“I don’t really have anyone to worry for me,” she spoke after a short silence. “My daddy’s dead.”

Draco glanced at her. Luna never talked about her dad. He suddenly understood why she was so possessive about some of her things. They must have been a gift from her father.

“I am sorry,” mumbled Draco, not knowing what else to say.

“Don’t be, I am not,” she replied. “I knew he wouldn’t stay with me forever. No one does. People are busy with their own lives; everyone has to separate sooner of later,” she continued, her eyes transfixed on the stars. “Including us.”

It was as if something heavy had fallen inside Draco’s stomach and his heart skipped. He turned on his side to face her and spoke. “Luna, I am not going leave you,” he said in a firm voice, before adding, “ever.”

Luna blinked and slowly turned to look at him. “You are just saying that.”

Draco shook his head. “No…no, I am not.”

She blinked again and, for the first time, Draco noticed the smokiness of Luna’s big eyes. There was a depth in them that drew him in. “Why?” she asked him and Draco hesitated.

“Because I…well, I…” He trailed away. Did he know the answer to that question? Of course, he did! He had been thinking about nothing else these past few days. But he was still in denial. He could not admit the simple fact that he was beginning to grow fond of Luna, that he might actually like her more than a friend. When did she become my friend, anyway?

“Yes?” she urged him.

“Because I want…,” he paused, then said, “to be your friend.”

Draco thought he saw disappointment flash through her gray orbs but it was gone in a second. A slight smile spread across Luna’s face and she raised her head and kissed his cheek. Heart thumping madly, Draco merely nodded when Luna thanked him.

Suddenly, he found that he wasn’t sleepy at all. He stayed awake the whole night, watching the beautiful form of Luna sleep peacefully. But it was when the sun slowly began to show its face again that sleep finally claimed him.

“Draco! Wake up!” Someone was tickling his sides. He wasn’t ticklish, so it felt nice. He did not budge. “Come on, Draco, you have to get up.” When he didn’t move, the voice added, “It’s midday!”

The word registered inside his head and Draco’s eyes snapped open. “What?” He realized the position they were in and awkwardly removed his arm from Luna’s waist. She sat up and looked around.

“Yeah, we slept through the whole morning,” she informed him, pointing at the brilliant sun shining directly over their heads. “We are late!”

“Oh dammit!” Ignoring his rumbling stomach, he got to his feet and offered his hand to Luna, which she took graciously. He had forgotten to remove his wand from his robes last night and the tip was cutting into his side. He threw his wand into the empty food basket, which probably only contained the three-days-old stale sandwich. “Rotten thing. Doesn’t even work!”

Luna squeezed his hand knowingly. “We’ll be back soon. I know you are hungry. So am I,” she said. Draco nodded, feeling slightly better; Luna’s presence somehow encouraged him. And they set off again…

The day passed uneventfully and they spent the night on the grass. This time, there was no tree in sight to give them shelter. It wasn’t until late afternoon the next day that Luna suddenly bounced on her heels and squealed. “Look, look, we are here!”

Indeed, she was right. They had reached the first forest of Love Land. Draco could see the high tree-tops in the distance. Finally, he thought with relief as he and Luna half-ran towards the jungle.

It was very unlike the Forbidden Forest in London. For one thing, it wasn’t dark; every inch of the amazing wood was covered in green plants or shrubs or fallen leaves and everything was bathed in the golden light of the sun. They came across different colored birds, some of which they had never seen before in their life…not even Luna! It was almost magical.

“It’s an Enchanted Wood,” whispered Luna and Draco laughed.

“Of course, it isn’t, Luna. Come on.” He pulled her further inside the forest. “Let’s hope we’ll find something to eat here.”

They walked for about a mile in silence, their stomachs grumbling with hunger and their mouths dry. Then, suddenly, Luna grabbed his hand and they stopped. She had spotted something red to her right. Draco squinted at it. His eyes widened and a grin spread across his tired face. It was an-

“Apple tree!” Luna ran towards the tree and jumped up, plucking an apple from one of the lower branches and sinking her teeth into the juicy fruit. “Hmmm, heaven!” she said, gobbling it up hungrily.

Draco plucked one apple for himself and imitated Luna in hogging it up in a few minutes. It was wonderful; he had always taken food for granted because he had never gone hungry. Now, he was beginning to see the importance of food. Munching on his third apple, Draco wondered how he had managed to walk all this way for more than a day without anything to eat.

“That was a close call,” Luna said later, as they sat leaning lazily against the apple tree, apparently full. “I am sure I’d have died of hunger if had to go through another day without food.”

“Yeah, same here.”

A comfortable silence followed. Then, Luna spoke again. “Do you think there are wild beasts in this forest?” she asked.

Draco shrugged. “This seems more like a harmless wood rather than a dangerous forest,” he said. “But I can’t be sure.”

A pretty yellow butterfly fluttered past them and Draco watched Luna’s eyes follow its progress contentedly. She looked at him and smiled. “I am sure if there’s anything remotely dangerous in here, you’ll save the day,” she said; her eyes were twinkling at him and it gave him the impression that she was joking but her tone had been sincere which left him wondering.

“Without a wand? No chance!” exclaimed Draco, grinning.

Luna giggled and shrugged. “I just hope there aren’t any wollyprickles nesting in these woods,” she muttered, looking slightly worried.

“Are these the creatures that live in your ears or are they the ones who eat you alive?” asked Draco, amused. After living together for days, he prided himself on being the one person who knew so much about Luna’s imaginary creatures. Who knew, maybe they did exist, after all.

“They are parasites living inside your ears and they gradually suck the magic out of you,” replied Luna.

“Well then, they won’t trouble us. We can’t do magic here,” Draco reminded her. Before Luna could reply, he asked, “So have you ever seen one of these creatures before?”

“No. But my dad says he saw a crumple-horned snorkack once.”

“How do you know they exist then?”

“I don’t. But it’s fun to imagine they do.”

Draco’s jaw dropped and he gaped at her. He had never expected this answer. Luna always spoke about such creatures with so much confidence that Draco thought she really believed they existed. And here she was, telling him it was fun to imagine anyway.

“You are kidding, right?” he asked her with raised eye-brows.

Her lips twitched upwards. “No, I am not,” she said. “I have no proof that they exist but I’d love it if they did. That’s why I have dedicated my life to finding them. I go on various expeditions regularly in hopes that I might find a snorkack or a nest of wollyprickles or Boggartaries.”

Draco blinked and shook his head. “You are crazy, Luna. Definitely loony,” he mumbled and Luna giggled.

“But you like me.”

“Yeah, I do,” admitted Draco, smiling.

“Are you sure it’s not the Enchanted Wood that’s making you say this?” she asked him and Draco knew she was remembering the time when he had blamed this whole land of love for bewitching him.

He grinned. “Not this time.”

Chapter 6: No Man's Land Again
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A/N. That's it, guys. This story is over. *sniffle* Great big hugs and delicious chocolate cookies to everyone who reviewed up till now. You guys have been awesome. I would again like to thank Gubby (GubraithianFire) for giving me this challenge. It was fun to respond to. *squishes Gubby*

Also, I've a new one-shot up - The Name's Snarky. Do check it out. If anything, it'll definitely make you smile :D

Chapter 6
No Man's Land Again

The days passed pretty fast for Draco and Luna now that they had discovered new levels of their friendship. The one disappointment in their life was that they were still lost. It had turned out that the Enchanted Wood, although being really vast, didn’t have what they were looking for – the No Man’s Land.

“That’s it, Luna,” Draco said, bending down and putting his palms on his knees tiredly. “It’s not here.”

They had reached the other edge of the wood. Draco wondered if it was as big as the Forbidden Forest, because it had taken them more than four days to cross it. Apart from that, they kept straying from their path, just to be sure that they weren’t missing anything by walking in a straight line.

During that time, they had been living on fruits or any other stuff that they found hanging on trees. They had had encounters with monkeys, strange big birds which either didn’t know how to fly or else were pretending to act tame, because Luna kept feeding them stuff.

In the end, Draco had to admit that he had actually had fun these past few days, being lost with Luna Lovegood. Initially, he had been doubtful but Luna proved to be a good companion.

Presently, she was looking back at the wood sadly. Draco didn’t know what was more disappointing for her – leaving the Enchanted Wood (as she so claimed it to be) or not finding the No Man’s Land there.

“Maybe it disappeared when it saw us coming,” she suggested.

Draco laughed. He had been doing that a lot lately, and it felt good. He took her hand and tugged her away from the trees. “I don’t think it can do that, Luna,” he said. “That’d be cheating.”

She sighed. “I guess you are right. So, what do we do now?” She looked at him and when he didn’t answer fast enough, continued hastily, “Maybe we should just stay here. The birds would love it.”


“They are good company, you know.”

“I know,” Draco said gently. He pulled her towards him and wrapped his arms around her waist. Her eyes widened but she did not resist. “I’ve wanted to do that for a while now,” Draco informed her with a grin. “Listen, Luna, I know you like it here, but we can’t stay here, alright? This is not where we belong.”

“Where you belong,” Luna corrected him in a whisper. “I feel like I can be happy here. I won’t get such bliss in our universe, Draco.”

Draco stared at her helplessly, feeling slightly stunned. Absently, he tightened his arms around her, afraid that she would pull apart and run off. How could he explain to her that he wanted to be with her? How could he tell her that she belonged with him now?

“No,” he said firmly. “Don’t you get it, Luna? I don’t want you to stay here. I want you to come with me.”

“Because you are suddenly fond of Boggartaries and want to help me find them?” she asked innocently.

Draco’s lips twitched but he didn’t smile. He wanted her to understand. “That, too. But more so because I,” he paused hesitantly. Just do it, Malfoy! “Well, because I like you, and I want to be with you.”

She stared at him in mild surprise and her eyes grew wider, if possible. When she didn’t react, Draco grew slightly uncomfortable. Doubts began to creep inside his head. Did she actually like him? She had never told him that she did? She was good to everyone…maybe he was just another one of those people she met along the way and befriended.


Her soft whisper spread relief through his whole body and Draco relaxed considerably. Grinning shyly, he nodded. “Really,” he said sincerely.

“Since when?” she asked in the same whispering voice.

He shrugged. “It doesn’t matter now, does it?” Luna beamed and wrapped her arms around him in a death grip. Usually, Draco would’ve pushed away the person who dared hug him, but this time, it was Luna. He hugged her back just as tightly; realizing that he enjoyed being in this position with her. Besides, she smelt good.

“So, it’s settled, you are coming with me? No more whining?” he asked into her hair.

“Okay, can we at least take one of those birds home with us?” she asked him and Draco regarded her in amusement. She was one of a kind, truly. Draco pretended to think for a moment, while she looked at him hopefully.

“Alright, but first, you let me kiss you,” he finally said, his age-old smirk gracing his lips again.

Luna giggled. “That’s not a fair deal. Will you first let me check if your lips are not infested with morbus?” she asked, her eyes twinkling mischievously.

Draco stared at her incredulously. “Are you serious?”

Luna kept a straight face for a minute before she burst into giggles. “No, I am totally jesting,” she replied, giving him a cheeky smile. He rarely saw this side of her and he liked it.

“Good,” he murmured, leaning in to kiss her. “Because I’d have hated to torture you for annoying me like this.” Luna let out a breezy giggle; she closed her eyes in anticipation. Their lips were merely centimeters apart. Anytime now, they would touch…


The couple broke apart abruptly, Luna looked slightly flushed. Draco had a brief moment to admire her before he saw a tree moving out of the corner of his eye. His head whipped in that direction and he looked hard for any other sign of moving trees.

“What was that?” Luna asked, stunned.

“I dunno, but I saw that tree move,” Draco answered, pointing east. “Come on, let’s check it out.” He realized that they hadn’t scoured the eastern area of this side of the wood. Luna followed his him but not before informing him, quite matter-of-factly, that trees normally did move and it was not really a big deal.

She slid her fingers into his big hand as they hurried over to their right. She didn’t understand why he was so worked up over a moving tree. It happened all the time. When they finally reached the place, their mouths dropped open in surprise.

“Oh Merlin,” Luna murmured, stepping forward cautiously, right into the familiar clearing. Draco followed her. It seemed like a million years had passed since they had last been here.

“The No Man’s Land,” Draco muttered, looking around at the familiar carved trees. He remembered them perfectly; and there was that huge tree and on its truck was carved a chest which was being struck by a lightening bolt. Much like the scar on Potter’s forehead, Draco thought absently. “I don’t believe it…”

“We are here! Draco, it’s the No Man’s Land!” Luna exclaimed excitedly, and suddenly, for some odd reason that he didn’t understand, Draco didn’t want to go back anymore. Luna’s face was a mixture of bittersweet emotions, but mostly, she looked glad to be here again.

“I want to tell everyone that Draco Malfoy likes me!” She was happily twirling in her place. “I want to shout it out to the world.”

Draco watched her with growing discomfort, trying hard to squash the wriggly feeling inside his stomach. The sight of their tree brought all the bad things to his mind. Till now, he had wanted to go back, but now that he had told Luna that he liked her, Draco wondered if they would be accepted in their world. His parents would be the first and foremost protestors of such a relationship, which they would deem low and dirty. Luna’s friends wouldn’t approve either.

“I don’t,” he mumbled. Luna paused and looked at him questioningly.

“You don’t what, Draco?”

“I don’t want to go back.” His voice was low, but Luna heard him.

She looked confused. “But a moment ago, you were convincing me otherwise,” she said with a slight frown. When he didn’t reply, she pressed gently, “What is it, Draco?”

He slumped down on the ground, leaning his back against the tree leading to The Love Land that had appeared behind them the moment they had stepped into the clearing. Luna sat down beside him and put a comforting hand on his knee.

“What made you change your mind?” she asked him.

He didn’t look at her. “The tree to our land.”

Luna nodded. “Understandable,” she said knowingly. “It’s meant for us to feel bad. That chest…it’s Pandora’s Box, you know.”

Draco’s eyes snapped up in surprise. He stared hard at the carving of the chest and the bolt of lightening. “How…how do you know that it’s Pandora’s chest?” he asked Luna in awe, still looking at the tree. There was no indication or sign that confirmed what Luna said, but it was beginning to make sense to Draco.

“Pandora’s chest signifies the evil part of our world. Jealousy, greed, anger…all this and more came right from that chest,” responded Luna wisely. “That’s what makes our world different from the others that we see here,” she added, pointing around at the different worlds surrounding them in the No Man’s Land. “But the same box gave us hope, too. It gave us wizards like Harry Potter.”

Her eyes traced the lightening bolt and then, she turned back to look at Draco, who was regarding her with new-found respect and admiration.

When Luna smiled expectantly at him, he sighed, “I don’t want to lose you, but it’ll be really hard for us to be together in our world, Luna.”

Luna shook her head, her blonde hair shining as it caught the light beams pouring through the trees. “You don’t understand, Draco, it’s our choice. That’s what matters,” she told him, her voice full of faith. “If you really like me, then nothing can tear us apart except for our own actions. That’s the basic secret of the universe.”

Draco wasn’t sure if he really understood what she was saying but he had an idea about what she meant. She understood why he was upset and she still wanted to be with him. Draco wondered why he hadn’t noticed her before…when they were at Hogwarts. She had always been Loony Lovegood or ‘that crazed Ravenclaw’ to him, but here she was, talking to him about choices and making so much more sense than he, Draco, had ever had in his life.

“It’s going to be aright, Draco, trust me.”

“What if it doesn’t?” He couldn’t help asking. Pessimism was a part and parcel of Draco Malfoy.

“Then, it won’t be the end,” she replied simply. His eyes found hers and his heart skipped a beat. He wanted to believe her. He wanted to believe that everything would be alright once they returned to their own world.

He stood up abruptly. Luna was startled, but imitated him. She could see the determination in his eyes. She had convinced him. They were going back, after all. Draco held out his hand and Luna placed hers on it with a smile. He smiled back at her, taking in every feature of her pretty face. She belonged to him. The thought gave him a kind of satisfaction he had rarely felt before.

“Shall we, then?” he asked. “Or do you want to see what the other lands are?”

Luna wrinkled her nose and giggled at his teasing. “Maybe some other time,” she said, hiding her longing very well, biting her lip and staring straight ahead. “This adventure is enough for now. Besides, I am hungry. Let’s just do this!”

Both of them took a deep breath and broke into a run, crossing the clearing with hands clenched tightly. Still running, Draco raised his hand as they got nearer and pulled open the door to the tree trunk that would lead them back to their world.

A strong gust of wind burst out from the door and both of them were pulled inside. Luna screamed and Draco closed his eyes, his sweaty hand was slipping from Luna’s as they fell through the darkness. It seemed like eternity before they hit solid ground, landing on top of each other in a tangle of limbs.

Draco opened his eyes. A grin spread across his face when he saw their surroundings. They were back in the Forbidden Forest – the place where it had all begun. Perched atop his body, Luna shook her head and opened her eyes, too. “Are we back?” were her first words.

“Yep,” he said, looking down at her contentedly. They were back. Luna was with him. He was happy…for now.

“Oh,” she mumbled and perhaps for the first time in her life, Luna Lovegood had nothing better to say. She looked at Draco in confusion. “So, what now?”

“Oh, I have a great idea,” replied Draco, his eyes glinting mischievously as he pulled Luna’s face towards his and captured her lips in his in a long-awaited kiss.

The End.