Author’s Note: This is the direct sequel to Luna Lovegood and the Dark Portrait Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, J.K. Rowling and Joss Whedon do. Thanks very much to my Betas , Letomo and EllandrahSylver, but all mistakes are still mine. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. And you can thank Twilightwanderer for the Abbott and Costello. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.# Thanks very much for Blackett and Panaka for recommending this story. Many thanks as well to all my kind reviewers for encouraging me with their views. Chapter 12 Going Percy
Harry Potter was grumpy. This had to do with the fact that he could not leave the grounds of Hogwarts, and the fact that Luna Lovegood seemed altogether too chummy with Draco Malfoy. And his parents. Draco’s parents, if one ignored their Pureblood beliefs, obnoxious manners, torture of house elves and the attempted murder of Ginny, were rather cool. Or at least good looking. A lot more attractive than the Dursleys at any rate. Rich as well. It was true that Luna would probably not give a toss about any of that, but still the fact remained that Harry was grumpy. To show how grumpy he was, he had left the castle on the sly and alone, leaving his friends behind. He was headed towards the Forbidden Forest, wandering along the lake through the afternoon gloom and mist when he saw it.
The dog was big, and it was black and it was shaggy. But now that Harry was quite certain that it was not a Grim, he could see that it was scruffy and malnourished. It was looking at him intently, almost hungrily, but Harry doubted it really wanted to eat him. Harry hesitated and then reached into his robe pocket, pulling out a sandwich he’d shoved in there at lunch to eat later. Or give to Ron, when he started complaining about being hungry.
“Here boy. Want a nice elf-made…” Harry checked what kind of sandwich he had actually snatched. “Mayonnaise, tomato and egg sandwich?”
The dog sat on its haunches, looking at Harry with its head slightly tilted. Harry sighed. “I know it looks squishy. Come on boy. Have a bite.”
The dog rose and took a few steps towards Harry, sniffing the air. Harry smiled. “Well, at least you’re pickier than Ron; he’d have scarfed this down by now.” He temptingly held the sandwich out and finally the dog came close enough to lick it, and then eat it in two bites. Harry looked at the hungry expression and patted his pockets again.
“Sorry, boy, that’s all I have. Err… would you like to take a walk with me? To the Forest? I can ask Dobby to get some dog food for you tomorrow.”
The dog wagged its tail, leaving Harry to wonder if it was at the word food or the word walk. It trudged along by Harry’s side without any hesitation, tongue lolling out.
As Harry reached the Forest it eyed him and then moved to walk between him and the Forest’s edge. Harry chuckled. “Don’t worry, boy, I’m not going in there. Hmmm, why don’t we go visit Hagrid. He’ll like meeting you. Come on.”
The dog seemed satisfied, if hesitant and followed Harry to the hut that served the Assistant Professor of Care of Magical Creatures as home. “Hagrid? You there?”
The door flew open and the huge boarhound Fang emerged, threw himself at the black dog and whuffled happily as he sniffed at its butt.
Hagrid’s voice rang out. “In ‘ere Harry! Come in!”
“Hagrid! Call off Fang!” Harry called back, as the black dog was turning away from the even bigger dog, rather desperately. “I’ve got another dog out here.”
“‘Nother dog?” Hagrid came to the door and saw the two dogs turning around each other as Fang tried to sniff at the black dog, as well as lick him. He chuckled. “Down Fang, let ‘im be.” Fang sat, looking rather disappointed. Hagrid walked towards the wary looking black dog and grabbed him by the scruff of his neck before it could escape. “You’re a handsome lad! There now, easy.” Hagrid ran a knowing hand through the scruffy black hair, immobilized the dog with one hand and then peeled back his lips with the other, gently prodding at the teeth.
He looked up at Harry, concern on his face. “‘E’s not in good condition, Harry. He’s anaemic from the fleas and far too thin an’ ‘is teeth need work,” he released the rather put upon looking dog. “He’s a fine Irish Wolfhound otherwise.”
“Oh. W-would it cost a great deal to-” Harry began.
Hagrid waved a hand. “Harry! I wasn’t thinking about cost. But it will take time to get him back up to ‘is old self. We’ll begin wit’ a bath.” Hagrid grabbed the suddenly cringing dog by the scruff of his neck again, lifted it yelping into his arms and carried him to the stables. “We can use the shower inna stables.” Hagrid looked thoughtful. “Some Wolfhounds ‘ave infected anal glands, remind me to check them, Harry.”
From the darkness, the yellow eyes of Crookshanks looked on, and his ragged ears perked up as the great black dog let out a mournful howl. The half-kneazle let out a cat like snigger and swaggered back to the castle.
“Are you in love with Harry?” a voice demanded and Luna looked up from her book.
“Oh, hello, Ginny. In love with Harry?” Luna took out a bookmark, inserted it carefully and then looked at Ginny again. Luna sat in Calder’s Nook, a small room of a corridor just below the level of the embrasure. It was the place where her parents had first kissed, and Luna felt comfortable there. She bit her lip, looked at the ceiling, and then at her hands, folded across the book. “No, no I don’t think so.”
Ginny blinked, obviously not expecting this answer. “Oh. Ewww. You’re in love with Malfoy, aren’t you?”
Luna blinked again. “In love with Draco?” She spoke as if contemplating an entirely knew concept. “Hmmm. No. No I’m quite sure that I’m not currently in love with anybody. You see, I think I’m far too young to truly understand love. There are aspects of being in love for which I do not think I am ready,” Luna looked up at her oldest friend. “And I don’t think you are either, Ginevra.”
Ginny blushed and then dropped on the window seat beside Luna. “So why do you spend so much time with them?”
“Because they are my friends, or they need me. You do not need me as much, and you spend most of your time with other Gryffindor girls, so you have not seen me as often.”
Ginny bit her lip. “Sorry about that.” Her face lit up, “Hey we can get together when we are both home for Christmas.”
Luna smiled. “I’d like that.”
Ginny rose. “I need to get to the Library; I have a Charms Essay to finish.” Ginny stopped in the doorway. “Are you really, absolutely sure you are not in love with Harry? You swear? Y-you won’t try and take him away from me? Or get between us?” She asked plaintively.
Luna smiled and lifted her hand, took her wand from behind her ear. “I swear I will not take Harry Potter away from Ginevra Weasley, or get between them.”
Ginny swallowed, walked back into the room and hugged Luna. “Thank you, Luna. You are the best of friends.” She dashed a tear or two from her beaming face and then almost danced to the library. Luna tucked her wand behind her ear, opened her book and resumed reading.
Luna Lovegood looked up at the portrait, the scrawny body of Mrs. Norris in her lap, feeding the old cat some filet of salmon. “How old is she, can you tell?” She directed the question at the portrait, but the answer came from beside her.
“She’s seventeen next January. She’s getting a bit crotchety in her old age,” Myrtle answered the question as she looked on rather enviously. “I remember when she was a kitten, always trailing after pupils and trying to play with bits dangling from their bags.”
Luna blinked. “Oh. How did she become so... Mrs. Norris like?”
Myrtle scowled. “Because she is Mr. Filch’s cat and lots of people want to hurt Mr. Filch.”
Luna’s eyes narrowed. She meowed at the cat on her lap, and got a soft purr for an answer. “We will see about that!” Luna said softly, but with a cold and hard edge to her voice. “That will never happen again.”
There was a cough. “Well, now that is arranged, and you have apologised for calling her a fat lead bomb, no matter how inadvertently, we can proceed with teaching you to defend yourself against Dementors,” the portrait stated.
Luna nodded, carefully rising and putting the old cat on her pillow. A younger cat approached and Mrs. Norris stretched her paw and extended her claws. The cat sat down and made a mewling sound.
Luna blinked. “Did she just call Mrs. Norris ‘your majesty’?”
“Yes. Mrs. Norris is the only cat who is permanently in residence, as well as the wiliest one. Cats do have a form of hierarchy,” the portrait explained, looking on somewhat fondly as the old grey cat curled up and went to sleep. “And ask Mr. Filch if you can take her to see Madame Pomfrey, her teeth need cleaning.”
“Why should I ask him, and not tell him?” Luna asked while removing her wand from behind her ear. Then she grew thoughtful. “Oh, Slytherin thinking. You think showing real attention to her will make him like me more.”
The portrait nodded approvingly. “Excellent, you understood my reasoning. Now, besides the Patronus spell there are two other spells I want you to learn that are useful against Dementors. They are the Memento Mori
and Carpe Diem
“WHAT!!!” Myrtle and Luna chorused, eyes wide and faces filled with excitement. “Really?”
The portrait hesitated at their reaction. “Yes. I realize they may be a trifle advanced, but…”
“They’re lost! They’re two of the Lost Spells! Oh! Oh! OH!” Luna was hopping up and down, her face animated by incredible joy and excitement. “DoyouknowtheSemantusspellaswell? OrtheDomusAurea? OrSapientiaMaior? TenebreousDies?”
The portrait gestured and an invisible hand softly clamped over Luna’s mouth, stopping her babbling. “Luna, calm down. Yes, I think I know all the spells you just named. Now take deep breaths.”
Myrtle’s eyes were filled with a deep glowing joy. “Luna, we need to copy the List of the Lost! We’ve got to get him to teach you!”
Luna suddenly sagged and looked at the portrait. “Do you know Emendo Fecunditatis?” she asked in a tiny voice.
The portrait looked down at the girl. “Yes. I do.”
Luna’s eyes flashed and she growled, seizing her wand. “I HATE YOU!! CONFRINGO!!”
The spell bounced off the portrait, dissipating without doing damage. Luna’s wand flew into the air and stuck to the frame of the portrait and the girl herself was gently grasped by invisible hands. Luna started sobbing uncontrollably. “Why couldn’t you have taught that to someone sooner! Why didn’t you teach Myrtle, before she died!” Luna shouted at the black form. “I hate you! Maman could still be alive if you had taught someone…” She broke off, sobbing, and fell to her knees. Mrs. Norris rose stiffly from her pillow and wandered over, pushing her old, grey head under Luna’s hand. The blonde girl lifted her and cradled the aged cat to her chest, rocking forward and back as she cried. Neither the ghost nor the portrait moved to interfere until the worst storm of Luna’s grief had passed.
When it had, the invisible hands lifted her up and cradled her and the ghostly ones petted her blonde hair. And Luna Lovegood wept for her mother.
LLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSD An unspecified day in early November
The old man looked at the three younger ones with distaste and disdain. “So you three idiots thought you could go and murder one of Britain's most influential wizards in some asinine way and then hope no investigation would ensue? Are you stark raving mad as well as irrepressibly stupid? Oh, wait; don't answer that one, its obvious you are.” The old man glared at them and they could not meet his eyes.
“With the quality of your support it is no wonder Our Lord was defeated. Idiots and fools that is what you are. You challenged Lovegood in places where his knowledge, power and experience gave him every advantage. And you wonder he defeated you and made you look like fools? He is an Arithmancer of incredible skill; do you delude yourself he did not realize what you were doing? What you did is put him on his guard. We were carefully manoeuvring, trying to discredit him by letting him hang himself with his own rope, his own delusions. Now he knows we are after him. Get out of my sight.”
The three men left, leaving the older one alone in his luxurious study. Saxiphrage Avery looked at the fire in the hearth and then a thoughtful look crossed his face. He coughed softly and a House elf, dressed in an embroidered pillowcase popped into view. “Crandy, a glass of Firewhisky, and after that tea. And pop over to the Archives and bring me the last five years of the Daily Prophet.”
The house elf nodded and disappeared, returning seconds later with the Firewhisky, minutes later with a tray with tea and a blanket which he draped over his master's knees. The old wizard sipped his whisky, and then his tea and then pored over the large bound editions of the Daily Prophet until the stupidity of the common wizard had soothed his worries. Even now, when he had to take an action he much preferred not to, he could work things to his advantage. Avery smiled.
LLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSD Saturday 16th of December, Hogsmeade Weekend
Hogsmeade was filled with the voices of the Hogwarts pupils allowed to visit. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley were outside Honeydukes, wondering if they should go in and get something for Harry when Draco Malfoy came out of the shop and stopped on the steps, to glare at the two Gryffindors. He eternal shadows, Goyle and Crabbe, were oddly absent and he clutched a paper bag in his hand.
“Malfoy. What are you doing out without your gorillas?” Ron snarled.
“Weasley,” Draco retorted, coldly. “I see that even your mother cannot teach you manners.”
Ron growled, until Hermione put a hand on his arm. “Ron, he's trying to get you to react and get in trouble. Calm down.”
Draco snorted. “Hardly, Granger. The ridiculous idiot mu- mouthbreather can get himself into more trouble by merely walking through this village with his uncouth behaviour than I ever could in a year of planning.”
Ron growled again. Hermione extended her arm, stopping Ron from hexing Malfoy.
“Ron, don't! If you do we will both get detention and I for one have enough of scrubbing floors in storerooms untouched by man for centuries! Malfoy, we'd like to go in.”
Draco stepped down and let them pass. Once they were inside he let out a sigh of relief and checked to see that the content of his bag was undamaged. Clutching the bag in his hand he quickly moved away.
LLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSD Saturday 16th of December, Hogsmeade Weekend
Luna Lovegood skipped past the three Gryffindors and sniffed and then turned to Harry, wrinkling her nose. “You smell of Butterbeer, Harry. Did Ron and Hermione get you some?”
Harry glared at her, barked at Sir Cadogan and stomped off up the stairs. Hermione looked worried. Luna’s looked after Harry in confusion. “What’s wrong with Harry?”
“He heard some things down in Hogsmeade he didn’t know, and they upset him,” Ron replied.
Hermione groaned. “RON!”
Luna’s eyes narrowed. She took a step towards Ron. “Hogsmeade? Get that idiotic Gryffindor back down here right now, Ronald Bilius Weasley!” she growled.
Ron blinked. His mind went back to a day, long ago, when a nine year old Luna on play date with Ginny, had launched herself at Percy, who had not merely tossed a gnome out of the Weasley garden but had decided to try some of his newly acquired hexes on it, tormenting the poor thing. After Percy, scratched and bitten and kicked had managed to dislodge the raging Luna, he had gone to his mother to complain, received an earful for torturing a poor, dumb creature, and had been forcefully reminded of Molly’s dislike of such things. It was the only time anyone in Ottery St. Catchpole could remember Luna losing her equanimity.
Ron therefore knew that look and hastened up the stairs. “Harry! Harry! You’ve gotta come down! Lovegood is going to lose it! She’s gonna go Percy on you unless you go down!”
Percy, Fred and George who were in earshot, paled, as did Ginny who also gasped. Fred and George hurried over, grabbed Harry under the arms and dragged him back down the stairs. “Hey! Let go off me!” Harry protested in vain. Sir Cadogan swung aside and George and Fred deposited Harry in front of Luna.
Luna grabbed Harry’s sleeve and pulled him to Calder’s Nook. Hermione and Ron followed silently. Once in the nook Luna grabbed her wand and pointed it at the stone archway to the hall, cast a Silencio
pushed Harry down on the window seat and crossed her arms while glaring at him. “You went to Hogsmeade?”
“Yes,” Harry said defiantly.
“You went to Hogsmeade,” Luna repeated. “You, Harry Potter, whose emotions attract Dementors to stalk him, who is the primary target of Sirius Black, went down to Hogsmeade.”
“Yes,” Harry repeated, now a trifle uncertainly, his gaze going to Hermione, who looked smug for just a second.
“And why exactly did you think that was a good idea?” Luna asked in a dangerous voice.
“Err… Everybody else was going?” Harry said nervously.
“Everybody else is not the target of a mass-murderer!” Luna nearly shouted. Her pale skin was flushed and her silvery eyes were flashing. Harry felt an odd thump in his chest at the sight of her.
“Ron thought it was a good idea-”
“Ron thought it was a good idea? Ron thinks it’s a good idea to change his socks once a week! At the end of the week the socks have more intelligence than he does!” Luna raged.
“Oi!” Ron protested.
“Shut up, Ronald!” Luna growled at him. “The last thing Harry needs is to be encouraged to do is risk his life,” she turned back to Harry. “I understand you feel left out, I understand it’s a disappointment. I even understand you are a Gryffindor and think with your impulses and not with your brains. But before you risk your life again, I want you to remember that I don’t have enough friends that I want to bury one! Do you understand me, Harry Potter!”
Harry rose. “Oh, yeah, I understand. I understand you can’t order me about! And I understand that Sirius Black betrayed my parents and that’s how Voldemort found them!”
Luna gasped, her face going even paler. “And now I suppose you just want to hand him the Trifecta? Are you that eager to die Harry? Do you know what it is like to see magic carving bits out of people? To hear them scream? To see the blood spurt and the pain and the tears? Do you want your friends to know that’s what happened to you, do you Harry?”
Harry had retreated before the raging blonde, frightened by her rage. Hermione and Ron stood looking on, gaping, until Ron’s mouth clicked closed. “Oh Merlin! It’s the sixteenth!” he whispered.
“What?” Hermione asked, annoyance in her voice.
“The sixteenth of December. It’s the day Luna’s mum died,” Ron whispered.
“Don’t you dare die, Harry Potter! Don’t you dare go out there again and get killed! Do you understand me, Harry!” Luna raged.
Harry, backed against the wall looked at Ron and Hermione. The terrifying anger and fear in Luna’s face finally brought home to him that the risks he was taking did not just affect him. If he died, there would be people who would mourn him. “Yes. I do. I’m sorry Luna.”
Suddenly there was blip as the Silencio spell fell and Professor Flitwick was standing in the doorway, wand pointed. Myrtle hovered behind him, her face distraught.
Harry gulped. *Great, now I’m gonna get detention until I’m a seventh year*
“Miss Lovegood,” Flitwick began, his voice gentle, as if soothing a wild animal.
Luna turned to him, her flushed cheeks blanching in an instant. “No. No! NO!!”
Flitwick winced. “Miss Lovegood, I’m afraid I have to tell you that something very serious has happened to your father.” End Note: And going dark again…