Flight of the Moon
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.# Chapter 21 Flight of the Moon Auror Headquarters, Ministry of Magic, December 27th 1995
There were very few people in the Ministry who knew what the alarm meant, or even that it existed. Alastor Moody had chosen the office he occupied because he knew. He also knew that this particular monitoring office was safer than almost all others. It had been specifically constructed to be able to withstand tremendous damage and one of the most dangerous opponents that a wizard, anyone really, could face. Once, centuries before, this room had housed the Slayer Containment Unit of the DMLE. Once the Wizards had successfully infiltrated the Council and gained effective control of the Slayer and the wealth of the institution, they had dissolved the SCU. Moody wasn’t certain that had been a good idea. But then he wasn’t sure setting up the SCU in the first place had been a good idea. The Slayer was Chosen to fight the Darkness. If she felt she had to kill a Wizard who had turned Dark, more power to her. *A Slayer would have been damned handy while we were fighting Grindelwald.*
Moody grimaced. *And the fucker isn’t even dead. Bloody stupid Dumbledore! Redemption my arse!*
But most Wizards considered the Slayer to be a Magical Creature in a class all of it’s own, immensely and terrifyingly dangerous to Wizards and their way of life. And so the Ministry tax allowing the Council to ‘keep her’ was accordingly set at the immense yearly sum of six-hundred thousand Galleons. It was raised whenever the Ministry felt the need for some extra cash. And the Council, thoroughly whipped and controlled, had always paid. But no longer. Someone had taken down the upper echelons of the Council and the new incumbents of the Thirteen Seats were unwilling to kow-tow to the Ministry’s wishes. They had refused to pay, thereby blowing a large hole in the Ministry’s budget.
Moody had been expecting the Council to get rid of the dead wood sooner or later. They were no longer solely British, but the upper rank had been. And too many of the field Watchers had seen that the support they got was not good enough, not sufficient. It was costing them Slayers. And most of the Watchers who trained the Potentials loved those girls. Yes, they would send them to their deaths. But never without good reason. And very few of the truly good ones lasted very long after their Slayer fell. Every month, week, day, hour that their girls lived longer was treasured, cherished. That mere money, mere politics would get in the way of helping them, keeping them as safe as possible, was unpalatable to them, and to Moody as well. Moody was an Auror and knew all about REMF’s.
He had learned the term while hunting a Dark Wizard in Korea in the ‘Fifties. It was a good, strong term that said exactly what Moody thought about most of the desk-bound idiots at the Ministry. He had also seen the then Slayer at that time. And had helped bury her, like he had helped do with one before and two since. Alastor Moody did not think that the Slayer was a danger to anyone who was not a danger to humanity or the world. He tended to rather like the girls, even. And hate that such young, innocent children were forced to live the brutal, short lives they did. So he had taken this office when the opportunity presented itself, and had tried to disable the alarms, in which he had failed. But a simple spell to ward out noise, and keep conversations unheard outside of his room, a precaution all of his colleagues thought was due to paranoia, served quite nicely to keep people from hearing it. He had carefully removed or destroyed the other devices that sounded the alarm, one in the Minister’s office, one in that of the Head of the Aurors, one in the office of the Director of the DMLE and one in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
So when the alarm went off, the sound of it did not penetrate beyond the walls of Moody’s office. And Alastor Moody was the only man in England who knew that the Slayer had landed at Heathrow.
LLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSD Hogwarts Great Hall, morning of 27th of December
“Ginny, Luna! We’re leaving!” Molly called out, pulling on a woollen bobble hat and then her gloves.
A number of rather sheepish looking Weasley boys were standing around the great hall, from the eldest to the youngest. Molly had made it a tradition to take them all to Diagon Alley the day after Boxing Day for a small treat. This year she was going to spend money on her children that she had never had before. In a corner sat Narcissa Malfoy with Draco, looking as if she was making notes. Draco smirked at the collective Weasley discomfort.
Molly shook her head. “Never thought it would be more difficult to get girls to come shop than boys.”
“We just want to get it over with,” Ron muttered to Harry, who was wearing a facial expression between relieved and annoyed.
“I heard that Ronald! Now Harry, Lady Malfoy has promised to look after you today, so be on your best behaviour,” Molly told her youngest sons.
“Yes, Mum!” Harry told her brightly, eyeing Draco in a way that seemed to say that ‘best behaviour’ might include copious loads of snow down the other boy’s immaculate Slytherin robes.
“And don’t worry, we’ll get you measured for some clothes for you later, after Black has been captured,” Molly added. “Some nice robes, a few formal outfits…” She reached out and straightened his tie.
“Ooaw! Mum!” Harry whined.
“It’s amazing how fast he picked up on that one,” Percy remarked dryly. “Must be all the good influences,” he glanced sideways at the twins who immediately assumed ‘Who, me?’ expressions.
Molly smiled affectionately. “Scamps. Ah, here are my girls! Come on, Madam Malkin’s awaits!” She led the way towards the Floo, her children following, Arthur bringing up the rear. He winked one more time at Harry and then left.
Harry turned towards Draco and Narcissa. “Tell me, Malfoy… have you ever had a snowball fight?”
BtVSBtVS BtVSBtVS BtVSBtVS BtVSBtVS BtVSBtVS BtVSBtVS BtVSBtVS Diagon Alley, twenty minutes later
They had arrived safely in the Leaky Cauldron and quickly made their way to Madam Malkin’s. Having been told about the considerable sum paid into their account, Molly Weasley was determined to buy her children good quality, new clothes. They would not have to suffer the indignity of being looked down upon by richer children ever again. She made a mental note to speak to Narcissa and Andromeda about establishing a fund of some sort to help poor pupils buy their school supplies, through anonymous donations. Several children would have had much easier lives had such a thing been available earlier.
“Arthur, you know what you need, we discussed it last night. Now, Bill, Charlie, you are old enough to know what you like and have a sense of proportion, and you also know what a young man should wear. So here’s some money,” she handed them a clinking purse, “There’s no need to spend it all and don’t forget that you’ll need formal robes…” she winked at Percy, who flushed slightly. “Percy, Fred, George, Ron, we’ll start with you. Then the girls and I can take our time while you wander around,” Molly decided.
Luna and Ginny nodded and sat down. As the heaps of robes started to rise, Luna murmured something about going to the bathroom and slipped behind a curtain. Less than a minute later she was walking towards the exit of Diagon Alley.
The Weasleys were not the only family with a tradition of having an outing during the Christmas Holiday. The Lovegoods had always, every year for as long as Luna could remember, visited the British Museum. And Luna was determined to have her own excursion, and remember the good times with her father. She stepped out of the Leaky Cauldron, ignoring the curious look Tom sent after her, and headed off to the British Museum. It would be easy, she knew the way by heart.
Draco Malfoy looked at the grin on Potter’s face with some trepidation. He took a small step backwards to stand slightly behind his mother. Potter’s grin broadened and a slightly feral glint appeared in his green eyes.
“Mother? Could Potter have rabies?” Draco whispered.
Narcissa lifted a shapely eyebrow. “I doubt it, dear. Madam Pomfrey would have noticed it.”
“He’s looking at me strangely,” Draco whispered.
“Well dear, it has to be almost the first time he has seen you with Gregory and Vincent not hulking behind you,” Narcissa stated, slightly disapproving.
Draco gulped. “D-do you think he’ll get physical?”
Narcissa looked the dark-haired boy up and down and pursed her lips. “Possibly. He was raised by Mu- Normals after all. As you’re frightened, I shall go inquire.”
“Mum!” Draco hissed in embarrassment as Narcissa gracefully moved over to Potter. He heard a snigger behind him.
“Scared of the big, bad Potter, Dracky?” an amused feminine voice came from behind him.
Draco swerved round and saw a pretty, slim brunette with a full head of dark, glorious curls, a pale heart-shaped face with a strong, straight nose, a firm mouth and twinkling dark grey eyes. She wore a very fetching dress and formal robes that complemented her eyes and hair and accentuated her curves and figure .
“Who’re you?” Draco asked, suspiciously.
“Your cousin Nymphadora Cassiopeia, Draco,” Andromeda Tonks told him as she appeared beside her daughter.
“MUM!” Tonks whined.
“Errr… Cousin?” Draco looked between the two women, ignoring Tonks’ put upon expression. “I-I thought that errr…” he made some gestured at his mother and himself, rather helplessly.
“Hmmm, yes. Most people in this school are cousins,” Andromeda smiled slightly. “And as your mother and I have come to an agreement, it seemed no more than reasonable to introduce you to your cousins.”
“Indeed it does,” Narcissa concurred, dragging a wide-eyed and reluctant Harry with her. “Harry, this is my sister Lady Andromeda Tonks, and her daughter Nymphadora Cassiopeia. They are your cousins too, through your grandmother.”
“Aunt Cissa! Please call me Tonks!” Tonks begged.
“Whatever for, Nymphy? You have a beautiful name,” Narcissa said with a straight face and a slight twinkle in her eyes.
Tonks glared at her mother. “Opinions are divided on that point,” she muttered.
“I see. Well, no matter what, you’ll have to live with it,” Narcissa noted.
“Hmpph,” Tonks crossed her arms and pouted.
Narcissa’s gaze raked the girl, then she took Tonks by her arm and led her away. They stepped behind a nearby Christmas tree and Narcissa cast a Silencio.
“You pout like this dear,” Narcissa demonstrated, pressing her breasts up slightly with her crossed arms, “your method is cute but needs a little work, it’s a bit too childish. You have charms dear, use them.”
“Aunt Cissa!” Tonks groaned.
“And you walked like a boy again when we walked here,” Narcissa reproved with a slight smile. “And though Tomboys do have a certain appeal, I assure you that all men like to peel off a dress from-”
“AUNT CISSA!” Tonks wailed in horror, her hands over her burning red ears. “PLEASE!!”
Narcissa laughed gently. “Dear me, Nymphy, I never took you to be a prude.”
“I am not a prude. I can just do without the imagery of you and Uncle Lucius and Mum and Dad,” Tonks took a deep breath, “‘Peeling’.”
“Very well dear,” Narcissa smiled. “Come on, there are some things I want to share with you. When is your father coming in, by the way? I look forward to meeting him.”
Tonks gasped. “Y-you want
to meet Dad?”
“Oh yes indeed. Andy always was very reserved as a child and young woman and I really want to meet the man who ‘peeled’ her so thoroughly she defied her upbringing and family. ‘Peeled her away’ so to say,” Narcissa replied blithely.
“AUNT CISSA!!!” Tonks wailed again.
Narcissa let out a tinkling laugh and guided the mortified Tonks towards her sister and son. Harry looked at them curiously.
Narcissa smiled at the two boys. “Why don’t you two go out and play in the snow?”
in the snow? Play in the snow
?” Draco asked aghast.
“Yes, Draco, Play in the snow. You’re far too young to act so old. And a little play will clear the cobwebs out of your head. You seem to be repeating yourself,” Narcissa told him in a dry tone but with a fond smile.
“B-but its cold!” Draco eyed the evilly grinning Harry again. He looked even scarier close up.
“Oh, don’t worry Draco, it will allow you and your cousin to bond. And you’ll be able to eat more of the delicious food that elves are preparing,” Narcissa coaxed.
“Bond?” Draco’s mind was alive with horrible visions of being tied to a tree for hours, his slim, white wrists cut by the rough, Muggle ropes the malicious Gryffindor was sure to use.
“Yes, bond, an excellent notion!” Came Lucius’ voice from behind Draco. “And it will allow your Mother and me some time to discuss… certain matters.”
Draco’s eyes widened. He looked at his parents and then at Potter, his white teeth gleaming and his green eyes alive with wickedness. “Errr… Merlin save me,” he muttered under his breath.
LLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSD Hogwarts Grounds, morning of the 27th, later
Draco Malfoy was making his way through the snow, an expression of distaste on his face. The south of England got a lot less snow than northern Scotland and Draco hated
snow. With a passion. “Go outside and play in the snow, Draco, it will be good for your appetite. Take Harry with you, Draco, it will allow you to bond. Go, son, your mother and I have things to discuss…” Draco shivered, and not from cold, as he remembered his parents’ words and the look in his father’s eyes. Draco was fully aware of the facts of life, thanks to Mrs. Weasley and his Aunt Andromeda. Draco shivered. *Don’t think about that! Cold shivers are not a good thing in weather such as this. That is not a lesson you want to think back on. Possibly even Old Kettleburn would have been better!*
Draco considered the last thought, a trifle glumly. *Okay, maybe not.*
Draco looked around, his face twisted in distaste, the cold seeping through his boots and robes. Ordinarily the enchantments on them kept out the chill, but with the copious amounts of snow that Potter had seen fit to throw at him, and the fact that Draco was pants at warming charms, the robes’ enchantments were labouring to keep him comfortable.
And now he had lost sight of Potter again. That was not a good thing. So far every time he had lost sight Potter he had received a lashing of snowballs. Once the cad had even jumped him and rubbed his face with snow.
“YAHAAA!!” a loud voice called from above and a sizeable amount of snow struck Draco in the back of the neck as it slid of the branch of the tree he was passing under.
Draco reflexively arched his back, trying to get the snow away from him. Then he was hit in the face with the snowball and heard the laughter and the thud of Potter landing on a lower branch. “That’s three times, Malfoy.”
Draco spluttered and glared up, receiving another face full of fine, powdery snow. Potter laughed and jumped down, a hand of snow at the ready.
Draco cringed. Then he straightened and flicked his wand. “Wingardium Leviosa!” he snapped. A pile of snow rose up underneath Potter and up his robes and trousers.
Harry yelped. Loudly. He dropped his handful of snow and grasped, whimpering, at his suddenly very cold groin. Draco sniggered, though not without wincing a little in sympathy. “And so we see the superiority of magic over Mu- Normal methods, Potter!”
Harry glared at him. “Merlin, that’s cold.”
“Yeah, I think that Draco got you on points there, Harry,” came an easy voice from the woods. Tonks came into view, her dress and dress robes gone and replaced by laced up knee high boots and thick brown-green woollen robes over a pair of Muggle jeans. A slight scattering of snow lay over it, allowing the Auror trainee to blend in to the background. “You two did pretty well, I must say. Harry is quite good at ambushes and Draco, that last move was just sneaky. Of course neither of you is as good as an Aur-”
Tonks words were cut of by two simultaneously thrown snowballs to the face. Two boyish voices laughed at her spluttering and then she glared at their retreating forms indignantly. “I’ll get you for that, you little buggers!”
LLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSD Hogwarts Staff Lounge, later
“Well, you did challenge them, dear,” Andromeda soothed her newly dried and warmed up daughter as she shivered in front of the huge fire, a warm tartan blanket around her pyjama clad shoulders and wearing pair of very new badger shaped slippers that her Aunt and Uncle had given her for Christmas. Tonks sipped her cocoa and eyed the two boys who were sitting opposite from her, a slightly smug look on their faces. Both were wearing pyjamas as well, while House elves cleaned and dried all of their clothes. The boys drank their own cocoa and their hair was mussed. Tonks took slight satisfaction from the way the boy had reacted to having their hair dried by Aunt Cissa and her mother. That had lasted all of two minutes, until her mother had decided that Tonks hadn’t dried her own hair sufficiently.
Getting your hair spelled dry at her age was really not good for her cool, Tonks decided. “I’m just glad Moody didn’t see that,” she muttered.
A soft chuckle came from behind her. “Oh, Filius and I were walking around the grounds and saw most of it. We’ll share it with him in a Pensieve, over a few Firewhiskies,” Kettleburn rasped.
Tonks let out something suspiciously like a whimper. “Oh, Merlin! I’m never going to live this down!”
Filius laughed. “Well, to be fair Alastor wasn’t always the Champion of vigilance he is now. I remember a time-”
The fire flared green and the anxious face of Charlie Weasley appeared, his eyes seeking out a friendly face and alighting on Flitwick. “Professor Flitwick, is Luna over there?”
Flitwick’s eyes widened. “No, she is not. We would have noticed had she taken any of the useable Floos. She’s not with you?”
Charlie groaned. “She slipped away while Fred, George and Ron were being fitted. We can’t find her. Someone said she headed for the Cauldron but Tom doesn’t remember her, but I hoped…”
Draco and Harry sat frozen, their eyes wide. Narcissa’s eyes narrowed. “What is being done?”
Charlie’s shrug was visible even through the fire. “We called the Aurors. But if she doesn’t use magic… She’s just a little girl,” his voice sounded hopeless.
“Can’t you use a tracking spell? Didn’t you put a Child Follow Charm on her wand? Or herself?” Andromeda demanded sharply.
“ ‘Course we did! It was the first thing Mum and Dad did when we got her home,” Charlie answered indignantly. “But Luna’s a smart girl and it doesn’t hold as well when it’s cast by a non-relative. And she’s the Head of a Royal House, of age or not.”
Andromeda groaned. “Oh, wonderful. Just plain wonderful. Where can she be?”
Harry raised a hand. “I think she said her dad took her to the Museum every holiday. C-could she have gone there?”
Charlie looked at him gratefully. “She very well might have! Good thinking, Little Bro! Look, I’m gonna tell that to the Aurors, Floo them you have anything else, we’ll let you know as soon as we know anything.”
LLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSDLLSD Hogwarts, some time later
The fire flared green and Bill Weasley stepped through, a shivering bundle in his arms.
Narcissa saw the long, straggly ash-blonde hair and immediately realised who it was. She rose and strode over. “Is she alright?”
Bill nodded. Behind him the fire flared again. Molly Weasley, her face still showing the traces of tears, strode through. She gestured with her wand and spoke a few words, sotto voce. A streak of pearlescent silvery light shot out from it and up towards the Infirmary. Madam Pomfrey was up there inventorying the potions with Snape, seeing what had to be replenished for the next term. Molly cast a hopeless at Narcissa and whispered. “She ran away. She ran away from us…”
Narcissa and Andromeda moved towards the older woman but it was McGonagall who got to her first. “Yes, she did. She’s a very young and frightened girl. She lost her father barely a fortnight ago and she is still learning to cope with that. You were doing your best, including her in your family.”
Molly nodded. “I know. Once Poppy has checked her, we’ll go back, show her… show her that her family, Xeno and Soleil, will not be forgotten.”
Bill smiled a little and then very carefully carried Luna through the passages towards the stairs to the infirmary. Peeves swooped down, whooping. Bill tensed, his eyes widening as he tried to find a way to protect Luna from the Poltergeist’s onslaught. But suddenly the Grey Lady hung in front of him, eyes blazing and Peeves was thrown back, flying into the wall. There was a frightened yelp that echoed through the halls and then the Bloody Baron appeared through the wall that Peeves had fallen into, his sword drawn. He looked at the Lady, inclined his head and then took up position beside Bill, his eyes bleak and unmoving and his face melancholy. The Grey Lady, for the first time in memory, acknowledged his presence with a nod.