A Soul Sighing SweetlyAuthor:
Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire SlayerDisclaimer:
All characters contained within are property of JK Rowling and Joss Whedon. I make no profit from this exercise.Distribution:
Supernatural Blondes, Twisting the Hellmouth, Cauldron Chronicles. Anyone else please ask.Rated:
warning for innuendo of the femme varietyPairings:
Through Order of the Phoenix for HP, up to the beginning of S4 for BtVS, but none of the S4 events have happened yet.Summary:
Luna takes an assignment for the Quibbler to live life as Muggle and is amazed at what she finds when she attends school at UC Sunnydale.Notes:
I’ve made Tara and Luna the same age here, both starting as freshmen at UCS. This puts HP events two years past OotP and all necessary events in that world have been alluded to.
This also takes place BEFORE Willow and Tara meet. Consider it AU for S4, though some events are similar.
I usually don’t work with HP and BtVS in the same world, but here it was necessary. I’ve written in a brief explanation as to the mechanics of it all, but as Willow isn’t even in this story, I don’t want to hear one word of ‘Why didn’t Willow go to Wizarding school?’ I would hope that it would be evident from my explanation.
Looking at the air dates for S4, Hush aired on Tuesday, December 14, 1999. This simply doesn’t gel with the plot, so take it with a grain of salt. The diary style entry dates will just have to do, so suspend disbelief and go with what I’ve got.Dedication: Captain Boulanger
, for your Secret Santa fic. You asked for a romance/drama, so here’s my best attempt at a romance without the dark undertones. This is about as fluffy as I get. I tried to incorporate elements of writing styles that you favor as well as one of the pairings you requested. I do hope you like your present.~~~A Soul Sighing Sweetly~~~Day 1
This is it. The very first day in my life as a Muggle. Not a real Muggle, mind you, but close enough. It was one of my best subjects in school so this shouldn’t be too hard. Er, I hope.
Over tea one afternoon, I said, “Wouldn’t it be lovely for our readers to have a better understanding of Muggle culture? The Quibbler specializes on the odd or barely known, and what’s more mysterious than Muggles with their motor coaches and electric lumps?”
My father looked at me the way my teachers at Hogwarts sometimes did, like I’d shifted and somehow moved a bit to my left when they weren’t paying attention and they weren’t sure how to get me back to where I was before.
But then he did the loveliest thing. He didn’t hem and haw, pat my shoulder, or look away. He smiled, bright and wide, as if I’d said the most wonderful words.
“Luna, my dear, I think that’s just the thing.” He took the paper from my hands, turned it right side up and smoothed it flat. I saw him glance down at yet another picture of an enraged Voldemort and flinch, remembering all the way back to my fifth year and the Battle of the Ministry, the day his little girl could have died.
But I didn’t.
So much time since then, but he still remembers. I can see him drift off sometimes, wrapped up tight in memories that drown rather than fly. I’m all grown up and about to start working at The Quibbler, my Hogwarts graduation only one month ago and he still saw his little baby girl. He saw and he looked at Voldemort’s picture and he smiled that smile.
So here I am, my first day as a freshman at the University of California at Sunnydale. Father said there was nothing more quintessentially Muggle than California, nor anything more baffling than students at university. I’m beginning to think he’s right.
If I could just figure out where to put my cauldron so it looks innocuous. Or what all the students keep looking at my robes for. Or why my roommate keeps staring at my owl. Noel really is the sweetest little screech owl, hardly noisy at all. She was a lovely graduation present from the staff at The Quibbler
I asked Ginny all the right questions, I thought, about how to live with Muggles. After all, her dad is rather an expert. I guess I didn’t ask exactly the right questions, though, since I didn’t learn anything about why Lenore, my roommate, seems not to have enough of sockets in the walls. Or what I’m supposed to use to fit all my clothes in that tiny little dresser if not a shrinking charm. This is ridiculous. How are you supposed to fit anything in this closet?
I thought I had hidden everything well, but Lenore went through my closet anyway and saw my potions kit, stocked with all the essentials and said, “Is that pot?”
A pot of what I wondered but when she didn’t elaborate, just stared at me some more and muttered about the RA finding out about wildlife living in our room.
Maybe it’s not as easy living as a Muggle as I had thought. There are so many things I’m not allowed to do; it’s hard to remember them all.
But I can do this. After all, I won’t let Father down. There are readers to consider after all.Day 3
No more Lenore. She’s allergic to owls she claims. I’ve never heard of anyone being allergic to owls, not even cranky old Filch and he seems allergic to everything. She turned me in to the RA who says I’m not allowed to have pets. Don’t know what she’s on about as Noel is not a pet, but now she lives in the bell tower with the pigeons and I bring her treats every day.
Now there’s Angela. Angela reminds me of Lavender Brown and I’m not sure I like that. She swept in here this morning hauling three trunks of dresses and four boys, giggling up a storm. Her hair was perfect and shiny, and she wore glitter on her cheeks.
The boys didn’t even look at me, not that I minded, but Angela flipped her hair and wiggled her hips and glared at me. I just tilted my book upside down and pretended she wasn’t there. It’s not as hard as it looks, making everyone else go away. I had lots of practice at Hogwarts. You just look for the things that aren’t there rather than the things that are, and the laughs hardly matter any more.
Classes were…interesting. I wrote up a full account for my first article to send back to the Quibbler, and I hope our readers find them interesting. Chemistry is like a boring Potions, but where nobody gets turned inside out or blue and fuzzy or floats up to the ceiling. Or at least that’s what the TA said when I asked. All the rest of the students just stared at me, but that was alright. The first time one of them messes up and adds the wrong type of monkey hair and sprouts daisies from their eyebrows, I’ll stare right back.
Dinner was rather dull. The cafeteria lady had never heard of pumpkin juice, and the boy behind me gave me a funny look, though he suggested I try the health food store down on the main street across from the coffee shop. He had the nicest smile, and even shook my hand. His name was Riley. I think he’s the TA for my psychology class.
I decided I should take psychology of Muggles, even though they don’t call it that. I’m also taking a film class and a cultural anthropology class to learn about Muggle culture. It’s all so fascinating! Imagine not being able to really make things fly and having to use something they call ‘animation’. It would be so much easier to just leviosa it all, but Father says I mustn’t.
There are many things I must remember I mustn’t do.Day 7
No more Angela. She tried to use my wand as a hair stick and caught herself on fire. I don’t know why the wand reacted to her so badly since she’s not a witch, but maybe it’s the air here. It feels funny, sort of like the air in Dumbledore’s office, too full of magical things.
So Angela burned her hair of and had to go home to a place she called Beverly Hills. Now there’s Molly.
I rather like Molly. She’s studying astrophysics. I looked at her books and it appears to be like Arithmancy and Astronomy. I asked her if she’d met any centaurs as they were most excellent at that sort of thing, but I forgot they don’t have centaurs in the Muggle world, not real ones anyway. She didn’t laugh, though. Pulling her hair back into a pony tail, she looked at me over her glasses and frowned, saying they didn’t have any centaurs that she knew of in Sunnydale but she was sure to ask them if she saw them, and that was that.
She’s different from the rest of the Muggles here, really, never going out after dark. The others are always herding around in great groups, laughing and chattering, but not Molly. I asked her why and she just shrugged, saying it was habit. Sunnydale was an unpredictable sort of place.
Classes are going well, and Father was pleased by my first article. Samson, his barn owl, even hopped around for his treat trying to show how pleased he was. I quite like my film class; we’re watching something called Casablanca. It’s quite thrilling. One day I want to be in love like that.Day 12
I hate being a Muggle, or should I say I hate living with them. They stare and make snide little comments that they don’t think I can hear. And everything has to be done on something called a computer. I turned in my first psychology paper on a scroll with lovely lavender ink and the professor, Walsh, was terribly mean. I have to learn how to type. Imagine that!
But for everything else, I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. It can’t be this hard, can it? I miss home. I miss Hogwarts. I miss witches and wizards and self washing dishes.Day 14
I had a visit today from Ginny and Hermione. Ginny got my emergency owl and brought reinforcements. Hermione took me to someplace called a Mall and showed me how to properly shop with those plastic things that Muggles seem to fancy. She also showed me the right clothes to wear. She didn’t laugh when I finally figured out the right questions to ask and I think I’m all straightened out.
They thought I looked smashing in a powder blue top. Perhaps I shall wear it when my floor has the residence hall party. It couldn’t hurt. I didn’t even want to go but they said it would be good for me to interact with other students.
I’m not so sure.Day 15
I have met the most marvelous person at the party. She has long blonde hair and eyes like she sees the things that aren’t there too. Something about the way she holds herself calls to me, someone who understands. I only spoke to her for a moment but she made me think of the water sprites. No one believes they’re real, but I know.
Her name is Tara.Day 20
They have witches here! Or at least I think so. There’s a flyer outside the dining hall announcing a meeting for the campus Wicca group in two days. I shall go, I think. Father and the readers will be most interested in this. No one mentioned a magical community here, especially one that’s out in the open.
I’ve decided that chemistry is nothing like Potions, and the professor is much nicer than that nasty Snape. I don’t care if he is top of the rank; he’s a vile sadist who gets off on torturing students. Dr. Weiss is tall and loomy and just a little scary, though when he pulled me aside after class to ask about my lab technique, he was pleasant. Seems he’s never seen anything like it before. I guess I got his attention when I blew up my beaker and didn’t flinch. I’m not sure he believed me when I said I knew some very determined practical jokers.
I never see Molly anymore. Too much work to do I suppose, but it would be nice to have someone to talk to other than my owl. She didn’t care that I let Noel back into the room and promised not to tell the RA. She even fed her a treat. Day 21
Father says that the colonies didn’t follow the same rules of magical education as the continent. America in particular relied on family education rather than institutions. There are some American wizarding schools, obviously, but apparently the witches and wizards contact them instead of the other way around. Something about not wanting to be told what to do. Father says this is why there never were any good American witches and wizards of note.
I think he’s a bit biased.
I saw Tara passing across the quad this afternoon. I waved, and she smiled, but she seemed a bit lost. Is that how people see me? Lost? The girl that reads things upside down and talks to magical creatures that not everyone can see?
I’m not lost. I know exactly where I am. It’s just not always where everyone else is. It’s always sunny here. I miss the clouds.Day 22
They don’t have witches here. I don’t know what they are, but they’re not witches. They’re planning a bacchanal and a bake sale and want to cleanse the spirit or some such rot. I nearly wet myself laughing so hard. There was one person, though, who seemed as out of place as I did.
Maybe she’d like to go for pumpkin juice at the health food store one afternoon. It’s not quite the same as home, but it is close enough.Day 30
She said yes! We’re going this afternoon. It’s been eight days. Eight long days. First I couldn’t find her, and when I finally did I almost didn’t say anything. What if she didn’t like pumpkin juice? What would I do then?
But I took Ginny’s advice and just got over it.
I am so nervous my hands might shake right off my wrists. Wouldn’t that be a sight?Day 30, again
There really are witches here! I was afraid Tara would laugh when I asked her if she used a wand, but she just blushed saying she was more hands on.
I don’t think we were talking about the same thing.
Then she blinked and looked at me closer and said, “My family doesn’t use wands.”
“What do you mean, all witches use wands, don’t they?”
“Not here. My mother taught me without one.”
And that was that.
We’re going to meet tomorrow to compare spell books. Imagine having one that’s been in your family for generations, all the spells unique. I can’t wait to see it!
And she says she likes owls. I wonder if Noel will like her. I’m sure the water sprites would.Day 31
Being a Muggle isn’t so bad. Not around here anyway. Weird things happen all the time in Sunnydale. No one even looked at me funny when I forgot the rules and shrunk my books to fit in my bag better. I wonder what else they don’t notice.
I saw Molly today in the dining hall. She looked a bit peaked, but inquired about Noel. I asked where she’d been spending all her time and she got all pale and nervous and said she wasn’t feeling well; she was anemic. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked, but I actually like her. She doesn’t laugh like the others and even tried reading her book upside down once, to see what it was like. I hope she’s alright.
Tara and I had a wonderful afternoon. The sky was so blue and clear and the sun was so warm on our backs for our picnic. She knew just the place, a small glen in the woods around campus. It smells different here, the ocean maybe, or the plant life. She says the trees are eucalyptus and maybe that’s why. We don’t have eucalyptus trees at home.
I wondered if there are pixies in the underbrush. She blushed and suggested maybe we go look for them sometime. I think I might like that, but I didn’t know what to say at the time. The light was so soft on her hair, like spun gold and it reminded me of sunset from the Ravenclaw tower, the way the light rippled off the lake. When I told her that she didn’t get upset, like I thought she might. Instead, she took my hand in hers and said she’d love to see the tower sometime, if I’d like to show her.
I think I would.Day 40
There were thestrals in the woods instead of pixies, but that was fine by me. Tara could see them too. She pricked her finger and let them lick the blood. She said she didn’t know anyone else who could see them, she thought she imagined them. She got so terribly sad then, the shine of tears in her eyes. I don’t think I care for her family overly much. They don’t sound like nice people at all.
So, I pricked my finger too and told her that she wasn’t alone.Day 41
The series of articles in The Quibbler is a huge hit. Father’s sales have gone through the roof. He is so proud of me.
Maybe now he’ll let me grow up. It doesn’t matter though, since I’m happy here.
I’m actually happy here.
The Muggle school isn’t that bad, and isn’t that Muggle after all. The classes are interesting and the town is bizarre. My roommate doesn’t look well, but she’s still here and not abandoning me to any more Lenores and Angelas.
And best of all, there’s Tara. That makes the rest of the world go round. We have picnics in the woods, go for coffee and juice, and even sit in on those silly Wicca meetings for fun. No real witches, but we have a good time giggling about them all. There was even a red head last time that might understand us, but we’ll see.
So what if the town’s been struck by laryngitis and everyone’s gone mad. I still have Tara and things will be just fine. Tonight we’re going to sit around in the silence and watch Casablanca. ~~~The End~~~