The Last Night
This will likely be the last piece of this odd little series; I'm running out of appropriate Skillet songs to turn into ficlets. So unless something jumps out at me, they release a new CD soon, or I decide to jump the shark and compromise my intent for this series… this is it, folks.
'This is the last night you’ll spend alone.
Look me in the eyes so I know you know,
I’m everywhere you want me to be.
The last night you’ll spend alone,
I’ll wrap you in my arms and I won't let go.
You need me to be.'
He hated balls.
When all the factors were considered, the tiny bit of fun Harry sometimes experienced came nowhere close to all the cons. All that time and money wasted on dress robes and trying to get his hair to look halfway presentable, only to go trip over his own two feet as he did his best not to crush anyone's toes and got stared at by all his peers.
And now with Voldemort gone, girls as young as second year had tried to catch his attention so they could be his date. Second years! Harry shuddered. Fortunately, he'd found the perfect solution both to his dating woes and the staring of his peers.
Or rather, the solution had found him.
"They're still staring at us. It's really quite amusing; one would think they've never seen two people dance before." Luna smiled up at him as they spun around the dance floor. There was a meaty thump and a cry from nearby and Harry raised an eyebrow. "I heard someone commenting about the way the neckline of my dress was cut and so I gave him a reminder about how to properly respect women."
Ah. Harry looked over at where Illyria… Fred… Fredlyria… was standing over the fallen student. Nobody he recognized. Turning his gaze back to Luna, he shook his head. "You know, it's rather creepy when you talk about both of you in the first person like that."
Luna smiled angelically at him. "I know. That's why I do it." Laughing, she gave his hand a little squeeze and he obligingly spun her before pulling her close again. "Life without excitement isn't much of a life at all, Harry."
"True, true." Spinning Luna again, Harry contemplated that as he watched her blue-streaked blonde hair stream behind her like a comet as they moved. "Although I think the first seventeen years were an entire lifetime's worth of excitement, even if I live to be as old as Dumbledore."
Even as he brought Luna close again, another pair of arms wrapped around him from behind and a chin came to rest on his shoulder. Harry looked to his side to find Fred's smirking face. The brunette now mostly used her original Texas twang around him, which made her a lot easier to handle. Maybe she'd seen how much better Luna's peers received her more human persona and gotten jealous, or maybe her sense of godliness had never recovered from being nailed in the face with a pie during an interhouse food fight. "That's for sure. But I doubt you'll be complaining about the kind of excitement we bring to your life, Harry. Right, Illyria?"
Harry's gaze dropped to the blonde as an identical smirk formed. "Right you are, Illyria." Luna's hands slipped from his, brushing against his sides before he suddenly felt himself pressed tightly between two female bodies. Another pair of hands ghosted over his ribs from behind and he watched as Fred wrapped her arms around Luna's waist, hands dropping to rest at the small of her back. "Speaking of exciting, maybe once the Weird Sisters take the stage, we can sneak off for a… private Yule celebration?"
Harry very clearly remembered the time between Illyria's first appearance and that awful night when Lucius Malfoy had attacked her and Luna. She was cold, brusque, and her emotions were growing slowly but still mostly stunted. Then, somehow during the process of saving Luna from what should have been a fatal curse, Illyria had spread into Luna.
Now there were two of her, Fredlyria and Lunalyria as he sometimes referred to them in his mind, and it was like the best of each girl had blended into the other. It was a lot like dealing with Fred and George, honestly. Well, Fred and George if George was capable of seeing out Fred's eyes and Fred was capable of hearing with George's ears, that was.
They were so closely intertwined that anyone who hadn't known both before the change wouldn't know where one ended and the other began. But Harry could see the pieces in the odd, amalgam personality they both had now. Illyria's confidence, odd sense of humor, and very physical sense of problem-solving. Luna's humanity and emotions, as well as the ability to look past the obvious and see the bigger picture. They had even exchanged some physical characteristics, with Luna gaining a few centimeters of height and Fred gaining some of Luna's… womanly charms.
He wasn't sure which one of them contributed the bit that had both bodies wiggling against his as they danced to the slow song that had come on.
The reason he'd accepted their invitation to the Yule Ball was because they were kindred spirits: frozen, blue-tinged beings of a long-dead era. Their lives, like his, inexorably altered by something outside their control. Surrounded by people who would never want to understand, just admire or fear them from afar. They were perfect companions for him, the boy that the entire world wanted to point and stare and talk about without getting close enough to really know.
And in that moment, pressed between two very lovely young ladies, with the entire hall looking on in a combination of awe, envy, and disbelief… Harry came to a conclusion.
Maybe having to go to these damn balls wasn't so bad after all.