Title: Summon the Shadows
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things HP belong to JK Rowling, et al.
Author's Note: For someone on my list who said they'd like to see a fic where Dru and Luna meet.
She shouldn't be out here, not with twilight heavy in its descent. Not when the Professors all made it very, very clear that the Forbidden Forest was, well, forbidden. And certainly not tonight, when everyone else was celebrating and making merry.
But Luna couldn't help it.
She wove her way into the very outskirts of the first of the large trees, running her hands along the twisted black bark. It felt funny beneath her fingers, tingly. The trees themselves were tainted, hadn't they always been told that? The forest wasn't just a forest. It was alive and filled to the tip top with the Darkness that evil brought. Nasty thing lived within it. Giant spiders, slippery snakes. . . and others that she had studied for years in Defense and yet still didn't feel prepared to meet.
Just amongst those bad things, though, there were brief spots of Light. The unicorns, for one; though she had never had the good fortune to see one up close. Centaurs, as well. She had met them, though. That fateful night that they had come to cart away that awful Ministry woman.
And, of course, there were the thestrals. She was out here tonight to visit them. On this hallowed evening of tricks and treats all she wanted to do was to see those magical creatures that she had come to adore during her years at the school. It wasn't because they were pretty. Truth be told, they were far from it. Skeletal and altogether ghastly looking - they were still just creatures.
Most people couldn't even see them. They thought that the carriages that bore them to and from school were pulled along purely by magic. She knew that wasn't the case, as did a good handful of students now. The thestrals could only be seen by those that had witnessed death first hand. More and more students, it seemed, were able to see them as the years went by. And even more so would be added to that list before it was all said and done. The Dark Lord lived. He walked the streets, casting his Mark for all to see.
At this rate the only ones not seeing the thestrals would be those already in the ground.
She hitched up her robes, hopping delicately onto a dead log to look into the distance. Fog and trees. That was all you could ever see, day or night - just fog and trees. She sighed. Perhaps this wasn't the brightest of ideas. The moon was only half full, though, another few days and she'd have had the werewolves to worry about. And the night was beautiful, despite where she was spending it. The stars were out, twinkling.
A small smile curled her pale pink lips. Sometimes she could hear the stars talking like the melodic little creatures she always thought they would be. It was silly, of course. Not even her father believed in talking stars - and he believed just about everything else. They whispered things to her sometimes, though she never told a soul. They would think she was crazy, hearing voices in the stars. And St. Mungo's was not the kind of place where she wanted to live out her life.
She paused, listening now to that mystical serenade. They were singing tonight, in wordless tones that suited their dazzling nature, she thought. Her eyes closed slowly, and she swayed back and forth, losing herself for one moment out of time in the music. She let it wash over her skin, through her senses; reveling in all that it offered and the hints of what it promised. There was more to this world than what could be seen with just one's eyes. The thestrals were proof enough of that. Everyone thought she was loose in the head, she knew; but how did one talk to the rest of the world when they were used to hearing the language of the heavens?
"Pale moon, hiding in the darkness. . ."
Luna felt a shiver run up her spine, and her eyes opened. She turned slowly, wishing that this was just some nightmare. There wasn't supposed to be anyone in the forest, which meant that anyone that -was- there wasn't someone she wanted to run into. She took a step back, stumbling off of the log she was perched up. A soft cry of pain left her throat in a groan as she landed hard on her backside, dirt smudging her outer robes.
The woman that stood there, peering down at her very curiously, seemed so pale in the little light that filtered down through the trees. She had long, straight black hair, bound back with some kind of clip so that none of it fell into her face. Her dark eyes glittered with something unreadable to the sixth year, and Luna felt the rush of pure fear run through her veins.
"You'll get all dirty, sitting on the ground." The woman chided, moving slowly around the log. "Good little girls don't play in the dirt."
"You scared me," Luna breathed by way of explanation, hurriedly rising to her feet. She wasn't sure what this woman was, but she could tell not all was as it seemed. No normal person would be out in the forest on a night like this. And something about this woman just didn't seem. . .right.
"What were you doing, little moon?" The dark haired woman pressed on, taking a step closer. She tilted her head to the side, as if listening to something that even Luna couldn't hear.
"Little moon?" She whispered, curiosity overriding her fear for that one brief moment. Little moon. Luna. It all made so much sense to her, though, "How do you know my name?"
The woman giggled. "The stars tell such sweet stories. . .the moon who comes to listen. . .they sing to her. . .do they sing to you?"
Luna nodded, wondering what had given the stars the right to tell her own, personal secrets. To give this somewhat batty woman the knowledge of who she was and what she had been standing there doing. Of course, it also meant that she talked to the stars, too.
"You can hear them?" She whispered.
"They tell such lovely tales. . .there are horses in the woods. . .did you know?"
"I was coming to see them," Luna admitted hesitantly.
"Yes, let's go see the horsies." The woman clapped. "And you shall be my little sister, and we shall pet the ponies and dance in the moonlight. We'll play in the shadows until daylight comes to chase us away."
Luna cast a glance over her shoulder, in the general direction of the school. Would it be too obvious if she went for her wand, tucked neatly behind her ear?
"You may call me Dru," the woman purred, linking her arm through Luna's before the blonde haired witch could cast another thought to retrieving her wand. Certainly they were too close now for her to get it out and aimed in time to get off any sort of curse before the woman could grab it.
"Are you from around here?" Luna attempted to strike up a conversation as they wandered deeper into the forest.
"From here?" Dru smiled serenely. "My sister went to the castle. . . The castle couldn't save her when my Daddy came 'round. . . He ate her all up."
"Ate. . .her?" Luna squeaked.
"Drank her dry. . .good to the last drop. . ." Dru giggled. "And then there were no more cakes for her. . . "
The witch felt her blood run cold. Drank. Ate. It was all the same. She knew what she was walking with now, in the Forbidden Forest at night. The daylight -would- come to chase her away, but none too soon. Or maybe not nearly soon enough. It would only take moments for the vampire to kill her, after all.
Years of Defense came down to nothing, when it counted, she thought wryly even as she began to commit the meeting to memory. If she lived to tell the tale her father would adore her for it. He'd buy her some new robes, and put the story right there, on the front of The Quibbler.
"You're afraid. . . it smells so sweet. Why fret, little moon?"
She debated not answering the simple question, for fear that anything she said may just enrage the creature. But what choice was there when Dru's black eyes were staring at her so intently, waiting for a response.
"You're a vampire."
Dru smiled, nodding. "Yes."
Luna wasn't sure what she'd expected from the woman, but it certainly wasn't such a simple agreement. Perhaps more flowery words or sentence fragments strung together in such a way that none of it made sense. But not - 'yes'.
"And vampires kill. . .people."
Another smile. "The stars speak such wonderful things. . are you listening?"
The truth was, the stars were the last thing on Luna's mind at that point. She took a deep breath, trying to calm the frantic beating of her heart. They were there, still; just outside of the edge of her hearing while she was this upset. Whatever they said, she wondered if it went something along the lines of 'don't kill the witch'.
She hoped, at least.
"There! Horsies!" Dru stopped, releasing Luna. She clapped her hands together, mouth agape with wonder.
The thestrals came, without hesitation, allowing themselves to be petted. They really were magnificent, Luna smiled to herself. When asked later, she knew she wouldn't be able to recall how long they stood there, under the moonlight, petting the ghostly horses that many didn't even know existed.
"The school waits, sister-mine."
Luna blinked, looking up from the thestral she was petting to the vampire that had escorted her through the forest.
Dru nodded, and there was something almost like amusement in her eyes. "They are starting to worry. . . The ones with the claws of ravens."
"My House?" Luna snorted. "I doubt they worry."
The vampire shrugged. "If they harm you, sister-mine of the stars, I will come and make their blood stain the walls."
"Right," the blonde haired witch nodded frantically.
"They hide what doesn't belong to them. Sticks and books." Dru frowned. "Nasty children. Now, we go."
Luna didn't know what to say. It was hard to believe that she was with a vampire, let alone that she was with one -and- that said vampire was offering to deal with the less than savory members of her house. It was almost laughable, though she was sure it was the hysterical kind of laughter and not the amused sort.
It wasn't until after the vampire had left her, standing dazed at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, that the witch tried to listen to the stars again. She smiled, shaking her head with wonderous amusement.
Protect the moon, indeed.