Swing Swing Swing from the Tangles Of
May 4, 2005 11:50 AM
He'd been buying more books and stocking them when Luna was not around. At some point she had turned into Luna instead of Lovegood in his head. He was trying to extend her sorting and organizing. It was very Slytherin of him. He was beginning to wonder if she had noticed. They were all logical choices for the council library, but he was running out of occult bookstores in the immediate area.
He strolled past her table and put an apple on it before heading to his own and grabbing books for research. He watched her discreetly out of the corner of his eye.
Luna did not look up to acknowledge Draco or his gift of the apple. He'd been leaving her presents of food every time he came into the library. Which was a bit odd. Maybe he thought that she wasn't getting enough to eat? Or he was part cat. At least he wasn't bringing her dead birds.
She frowned down at the book that she was currently cataloging. She was absolutely sure that she'd already seen this particular book, but it did not have a CLC number on the spine. And while in most libraries multiple copies were common, the same couldn't be said for the Council library.
She set the book on her table and strolled over to the section that the book belonged in. Sure enough, there was a copy sitting on the self, CLC number clearly engraved in the leather.
"Huh," she muttered, turning away from the shelf and going back to the table.
"Something amiss?" Draco asked.
He was thinking perhaps she had noticed his clever trick to extend her time within the council.
"No," she said. "I just wasn't expecting to find multiple copies of any of the books. I wonder if Willow and Mr. Giles even realize that they have multiple copies. And if anyone
really needs two copies of Six Thousand Uses for Bracken Spines
He would need to get a list of the cataloged books so not to get any more duplicates.
"These have been donated and collected from several sources. Duplicates are possible. I can't speculate on bracken spines."
"How do you even collect bracken spines," she wondered, gazing off into the distance as scenarios ran through her head. She was pretty sure that the demon would have to be dead to collect the spines. And that was just a gruesome idea.
She marked the book on her master list, engraved the CLC on the spine, and set it in the pile to be shelved before stretching her arms over her head and leaning backwards. She needed to take a break.
"What are you researching," she asked, standing and moving towards his table.
"Combinations of demons strong enough to create a magical signature to override Voldemort and make those marks burn," he answered.
It was all he did in his spare time. He could not figure out why this was happening. And why now? It bothered him because it made no sense.
Luna nodded. It was an interesting subject. And important.
The sound of a bird outside the window caught her attention and she rose from the table to look out the window. It was gorgeous outside and she suddenly wanted to be out in the sunshine. She sometimes forgot to do simple things like enjoy the day.
She debated on going outside for just a moment, before turning back to the table to find her discarded shoes. She was making good progress of the sorting and did not think that Willow would begrudge her a walk in the gardens.
Luna found one shoe easily, then looked around for it's match, crouching down to look under tables and standing on tiptoe to look over piles of books with no luck.
"Have you seen my other shoe," she asked Draco after a few minutes of this.
Draco took out his wand. "Accio shoe."
The shoe shot out from behind a stack of books. Draco caught it in his left hand before walking to her. He crouched to put the shoe on her foot. Maybe he kept his hands on her ankle a little longer than was appropriate.
"Oh, thank you." She didn't know why it had not occurred to her to do the simple spell.
"I'm going to take a walk in the garden," she said once her foot was safely on the ground again. "I'll see you when I get back, if you're still here."
"Would you like company?"
He was unsure if they had reached a point where she would allow such a thing.
She blinked at him. "I couldn't ask you to interrupt your research just to keep me entertained. Especially not knowing how important the research is."
"And as a Ravenclaw, I'm sure you know all research stints need breaks. I could stand a walk. I could show you my favorite place in the gardens."
"But you just started," she argued even as she started for the door. "It's not a very good habit to get into, stopping so soon after starting. But maybe it will help. Sometimes just a change of location, of pace, helps. It was one of the first things they taught us in the Ravenclaw common room. That if the information was starting to become a blur, you need to quit for awhile."
She walked with him out of the building, waving and exchanging a few quick words with the slayers that they passed on the way. They had all popped into the library at least once, just to learn her name and face or to return books.
The gardens were beautiful, well kept and elegant. A path of crushed limestone meandered through the greenery with the occasional bench to rest upon.
Draco led her to the private cemetery. It was his favorite place, morbid as it seemed. The place had Willow's girl, Buffy's mom and Giles' lady-friend. He paused before the slayer wall. Yes, this was his favorite place. It reminded him of what he was doing.
Luna looked at the headstones, taking in the names. She'd heard enough, drips and drabs, to figure out who two of them belonged to. Joyce Summers was obviously Buffy's mom. And Tara Maclay was the girl Willow had almost ended the world for. The graves were well tended, with fresh flowers at the base of the monuments and small stones stacked on top of them. She did not understand the small stones, but figured it had to be a Muggle thing.
She briefly touched the monuments, paying her respects even though she had not known the women, before moving to where Draco was studying a wall of names. All feminine names. None she recognized, but there were a lot.
"Slayers," she guessed, looking to him for confirmation.
"All fallen," he said. "Pevensie has a deep appreciation for her calling. She comes out here often and finds journals on who she can. She wants to understand who she is."
"That's good," Luna said. Her fingers found the dips of the engraving and she gently traced the names, repeating them in her mind as her fingers explored each one. The past was important and honoring these women, these little girls, really, who had possibly saved the world was equally important.
"This is your favorite place," she asked after a moment. It seemed odd.
"It's quiet, and it reminds me of what's at stake, no pun intended. It helps me remember who I am. I forget sometimes." Draco shook himself. "Greenhouses? We have those too. We even have swings if you are so inclined. The swings were Buffy's idea."
"Swings?" Everything she had heard about the prime slayer made her less than surprised by the news that she had suggested swings. Luna would bet that they were not for the young slayers either.
"I don't think I've been on a swing since," she paused to think. "Third year, at least. The summer before, the swing in my garden broke and Daddy never quite remembered to replace the rope." And then the war had been starting in earnest and childish pursuits had been set aside.
"Oh, well good gods, now we have to swing, don't we?"
She did not seem to protest when he took her hand and pulled her in that direction. The swings were therapeutic. Buffy often came out here to think, and he'd noticed a slayer or two wander out to swing a bit.
The swings were sturdy, not the flimsy frames she had seen in back yards. And the seats were made of wood instead of curved, flexible ones. Instead of sitting on the seat, she put one foot on the wood and pushed off with the other before hopping on and grasping the chains for balance. She dipped and used her legs to gain momentum, glad that she was wearing trousers instead of a skirt today.
She glanced over to find Draco sitting in the swing next to her, not moving, just watching her go back and forth.
"Aren't you going to swing?"
He pushed off slightly with one foot. He was really more content to watch her instead, but he did not think saying so would go over very well.
Luna enjoyed the feel of the the breeze in her hair and against her face. She wasn't pushing the swing very high, happy to enjoy the lazy push and pull.
"Now that I know this is here, I'll have to come back." She waited until the swing had reached it's forward peak before jumping off the seat, taking a few running steps to keep her balance despite the fact that it had not been a very high jump.
"I forgot how much fun that is," she laughed as she came back and caught the still swinging seat. "Almost as good as flying on a thestral."
He had not been able to see thestrals until the end of his sixth year, but Draco had heard the stories. She'd ridden one. It was an odd thing to think of as fun, but then again, he had his own ideas of entertainment that were likely odd to other people as well.
"Yes, the grounds are here for exploring. You're welcome here. You don't have to just come to work. Hannah Abbott even brings her kneazle when she's bored of her townhouse."
Luna settled back into the swing and pushed off again, this time swinging more traditionally. She was silent as she matched Draco's own slow motion, then glanced at him with a wide smile when they were briefly in sync.
"Willow already told me that I should feel free to make use of things. But the library takes up all of my attention when I'm here. I forget that there's anything other than the books."
"There's all sorts of things. Do you know about the tee vee thing? Like wizard snaps, but that talk and the scenery changes. And there's this thing called moo-vees that tell a whole story. And they make popped corn and eat it while watching the moo-vee stories. Some of them are ridiculous, but interesting."
"Are there cows involved," she asked. "It sounds like there should be, with a name like moo-vee. Willow has talked about a come-pewter. Which apparently has nothing to do with pewter. And will change my life, if I let it. But I don't understand how it will. There's actually one buried under all the books in the library. Not sure how a funny looking box does anything, though."
"It has eeee mail and web sees," Draco explained. "Eeee mail is like sending owls with no owls, but very weird. The other person has to have eeee mails too. Web sees are like text books on that picture box they call a screen. Some of them have naked people doing sex stuff, but Willow said it was prawn and I should not look. I fail to see what any of that had to do with seafood, though. I don't even really like prawns all that much. I kept looking for them to see what all the fuss was about, but it was all tits and arse, pardon my language."
"They have pictures of sea life mating? That has to be the oddest thing I've ever heard. But... I guess it takes all kinds, right?" She shook her head in confusion. She was not the type to make a fuss over other people's proclivities, but personally, she'd stick with Playwitch
for that sort of thing.
"How do you read on the come-pewter screen? There's nothing about the one in the library that reminds me of a book."
"There's a thing call a mouse, which looks a bit like an actual mouse, sort of, that you use to move the page down. It's like a never-ending scroll, sort of. I can show you a little. Maybe Willow could teach you too. You could get an eeee mail and I could send you prawn pictures. I just learned how to put pictures on an eeee mail."
"I can live without prawn pictures, I think. I don't like them at all, either the texture or the taste. But the eeee mail and moo-vees sound interesting. Do you think one of the Muggles would have time to show me how it works?"
"Oz probably could or Willow. She's fond of you, you know, and not in a sex way. I mean, she thinks you're pretty, but she's not wanting you here to want
you, you know?"
Draco made a face. Well, that had been awkward.
"Was that even a sentence? And, yes, I think Willow thinks of me as a friend. But not as a sex type friend. Which is good, since I'm pants at relationships and would not even know how to politely decline."
"Well, someone asks you, and you say no, but no like 'well, I'm flattered, but I don't think on you that way'."
This was turning into a weird conversation.
"Unless you do think about them that way, or you could, then maybe you say 'we'll see'."
She considered the advice with a small frown. "Wait... Does that mean that Michael Hogancamp thought I was hitting on him?" Off his look, Luna explained. "Michael Hogancamp works for Daddy at the Quib
. And when I was working there, right after Hogwarts, I asked if he wanted to get lunch with me. It was only because I could hear his stomach growling from two desks away. I had wondered why he had mentioned his husband and their two dogs when I asked."
Draco chuckled. "It sounds like he thought you were hitting on him. Is this Michael Hogancamp at all attractive?"
Luna shrugged. "I thought he was a bit too brown. Brown hair, brown eyes, brown robes. Even his personality was brown. Which is possibly why all he does is organize the advertisements and personals. I'm not sure he could see the fantastic even if it were sitting on his desk."
Draco laughed. "Too brown. That's a new one. Though Astoria used to tell me before that the both of us were too blonde together. Light eyes, pale skin, light hair. I half think that's when she went ginger."
"At least you would know what your children would look like," she countered. "What was that one Muggle dictator so famous for? The one in Germany? Oh, yes, some nonsense about the master race. You could have joined his followers and fit right in. It's no less stupid than the idea of wizards being better than Muggles, but there you go."
She realized, belatedly, that what she had said was perhaps a bit too blase. And that she had stepped over the invisible line of their odd and tentative friendship. She skidded the swing to a halt, kicking up dust as she stopped, and looked sheepishly at him.
"Sorry. Sometimes my mouth says things without my brain's permission. I blame nargles."
"Blame whomever you like. There's very little that shocks me anymore. And I believe her mother would be quite pleased if Tori and I went after creating a master race, but alas, we do better as friends. Or at least I think we will. I think she's attempting friendship. Astoria is so strange, though. You never know with her."
"You could ask. I find that asking solves a lot of life's questions. Even if the answer isn't as easy as 42."
Draco made a face at her. "She'd tell me no just to spite me. She's dating Flint because she knows I'll worry about it. She's a Seer, and she's a little crazy, so one can not deal with her as one would any other person."
Luna searched her memory for the name Flint and came up with a vague impression of a brutish boy in Slytherin. He'd been on the Quidditch team, she thought.
"She's dating someone just to make you worry? That's odd, isn't it? Of course, some of the things I consider odd other people do not. And most people consider me odd. But, it is, isn't it?"
"Well, she says they're supposed to be together, so maybe I'm being vain, but I do think my annoyance is a bonus for her. We Slytherins do like to pick. But yes, Astoria is odd. You'll likely meet her. She'll see I have been speaking to you and seek you out. She'll try to touch your bare skin with hers, don't let her unless you want to know things. It's how her gift works."
He was wondering why he'd just taken the time to warn her.
"It could be interesting, getting a glimpse into the future. Or utterly horrid. I've never met a real Seer. Professor Trelawny does not count, of course. Her prophecies were few and far between and the ones she made up were always horrid. I think she thought that the students would like her better if she were all doom and gloom."
She'd have to consider the idea more before meeting the infamous Astoria. She was sure the other witch did not go around touching people without their permission, but it was still something she needed to think on.
"Has she ever given you any interesting glimpses? Other than the fact that you two would not work out in the long run."
"Lots of them about me, and you can guess what sort of things. She knew how my sixth year would go before I did."
Draco left it at that.
Luna started the swing going again, her gaze focused on the patch of ground that had been worn away by the multitude of feet that had scraped over it.
"Why did you do it, then?" Her voice was a raw whisper. "Why didn't you try to change it all?"
"Because I never let her tell me what she saw. It was where she and I differed greatly. Tori is always trying to change fated things, and some things are fated, and trying to change them and still getting the same end chips away bits of her sanity. I was too afraid to know what she saw. I didn't want it to influence the choices I made. She always tries to help, and it usually makes her miserable. Or crazy. She's done her stints in Mungos, but Tori isn't truly crazy. She just uses more of her brain than the rest of us."
"I'm not sure I could do that. Know that someone knew how it all would end and not ask. Not try to change things." She thought of the possibilities. Maybe she wouldn't have went home during her sixth year, would never have gotten taken off the train. Never trapped in the dark, listening to the screams.
She shivered and rubbed her arms despite the warmth of the day.
"Are you cold then? We could go back inside. Or my warming charms are pretty decent. Anything to do with heat or fire I manage fairly well."
He wanted to steer them away from reminding her of his family's cellar. He was beginning to be able to tell when her mind was back there.
"No, I'm fine," she assured him, forcing her hands away from her arms. It was a bloody gorgeous day and there was no reason for her to feel cold. If anything, she should be feeling too warm.
"We could head into the greenhouses. Take the chill right out," Draco said, smiling.
"I think I'd rather stay here for a bit. Just soak up the sunshine." She returned his smile and started the swing once again.
He nodded and started swinging too.