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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.”

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