Chapter Three: Part One
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling & BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon.
A/N: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.A/N2:
I have had a few people ask how (or even if) this story fits into the Buffy cannon and I have been working on bits of this chapter for a while to answer that to my liking. It becomes a bit AU, but hopeful it is not overly confusing.Luna’s Third Year: In Which There Are Lots of People at the School (and a Tournament)Part One:
It was during the summer between Luna’s Second and Third Year that her monthlies started.
And it felt rather odd to her, to come upon this normal stage of adulthood, for her body to signal that it was now a young woman, when she had experienced such a larger more all encompassing change already, years ago. A twist of fate which affected her development and future in a much larger way than a bit of blood.
She must admit that waking up that first morning to red on her sheets was disturbing though. Before the haze of sleep had left her and her brain could register the true reason for it, her mind had been flooded with memories from her sisters (past injuries and battle wounds that Slayer healing could not keep up with
It was not a good way to wake up.
Being male did not mean her Father was clueless about women in this aspect though, and when she had told him what had begun, he had been rather perfect in his response. Quick to hug her and usher her back to bed (handing her stones with fresh Heating Charms on them for her cramped stomach and back
) - then right to the store where he purchased all of the things she would need (as well as instructions on their uses so they would not need to have awkward conversations of those sorts). Lots of chocolate too.
Nearly exactly a month before, Ginny started as well, and it became a bonding experience of a sort. Her best friend had been more frustrated than angry when Luna sat close to her on the train leaving Hogworts - their heads leaning against each other as they whispered - and told the tale of what happened at the end of the school year.
"Why didn't you tell me when it first happened - when you first knew something was wrong?” was the red heads initial question.
And Luna had just stared at her for a moment, her mind stumbling on that thought. Because being a Slayer was so very entangled with being alone
, and her mind's constants companions were beings that had been raised in that thought process. Harry was part of the adventure because her entire task began with trailing him - and Hermione was there because Harry was being lead by the other girl with the Time Turner. (And she would always be there - always be nearby to assist, she was his Watcher.
"I did not think of it," Luna simply admitted.
Ginny had frowned at her before saying firmly, "You’re my best friend Luna - I care when your run off into danger. Next time think of it." (Next time, think of me
, Luna could hear the words not said almost as clearly as the ones spoken.)
And she knew that she would - Ginny was important to her. Ginny was not family or within her head - she chose
to stick beside Luna, she was her friend. Her best friend.
And friendship was important to Lovegoods. She almost felt as if it was a word used with an entirely separate definition within the outside world. (There was a difference between friends, allies, and contacts after all - and the same term should not blanket the three
.) Because, it was not something to be thrown around, or said lightly; it was important
. There was a definite weight to it when you decided that - yes, this person is my friend.
Because once a Lovegood befriended you, you would always
be loved - even if you left them, by death or by choice. Luna had exactly three friends: Ginny, Glinda, and Harry. She thought there might be more added to that short list as she grew up but did not exactly expect it - her family's reclusiveness and oddity made them a bit hard to get to know for some. And truly, she would not be upset if three was the number that it stayed at.
After all, her father had only ever had four: Terry Sovor (a very nice older man with dark skin who wore his bright white hair in braids, who ran a magizoological persevere in Germany. He laughed often and, not having known her own, Luna thought of him as her grandfather - he had been her baby sitter whenever it was needed growing up
), Alice Longbottom (Neville’s Mum who she only knew through Daddy’s pictures. A cheerful but stubborn woman who had been driven insane by Crucitas
), Selene (her own mother, who had been her Father’s best friend long before they fell in love in a different sense, who had died in their home right in front of her
), and Madhukar Patil.
Mr. Patil (whom she had always called Uncle Bee because that was the Hindi meaning of his name and when she was little, Luna had had a difficult time pronouncing Madhukar
) was a mostly silent partner to her father’s paper. Mostly, because occasionally, Padma and Pravati’s father, would write a recurring column about the racism his family had come up against, and the constant pressure to assimilate into European Wizarding culture - only he would do it almost as a fairy tale of sorts. Specific creatures standing in for political figures and allegories to modern problems amongst a hero’s journey.
Those, “in the know” would clearly recognize what he was saying and all others would continue to dismiss the Quibbler as tripe - it made the publication a safe place for actual magizoologial reporting and biting satire alike. Daddy liked his paper covering such a diverse spectrum and being so confusing to the general public. Most recently he had introduced another column that was breaking new ground, yet again, and becoming a very large hit.
It was entitled: “The Dogstar and The Professor”, authored by those of the same name and jumping through topics such as prison conditions, treatment of different species, the opportunities outside of the Wizarding community - and the Quibbler readership was quite excited to see what they would tackle next. They had an engaging way of writing; witty and serious in turns.
And Luna was happy that Stubby and Professor Lupin seemed to be doing so well - they both seemed to be a bit worn down last time she saw them. And her father must have seen it too, because the particular safe house he sent Harry’s godfather (and later her teacher) to was quite peaceful. They used to go there in the summer often when Mum was alive; it was on unplotabble land, upon warded property.
And that is how it’s always been, vacations and otherwise, Luna does not believe she has been off of magically protected ground her entire life. Her parents have always been very
careful about this, very aware of the Watcher’s Council's searches for her kind (as Potentials, and now - more seriously - the Slayer
). And their gravity in this manner made her aware of it’s great importance, even when she was quite young.
She would perhaps feel more trapped by this careful life, feel stifled by it even, if she didn’t have her Mother right before her, for her first seven years, who had to live within the same lines. Making it all rather normal amongst the Lovegoods - the intense wards on their home (creating almost a buzzing always in her periphery
) and careful planning for each and every outing, becoming something that their family simply did.
And by the time Mother had passed, Luna had put together a fuller picture of the lives of the women she dreamt of each night. To understand what she was being protected from
, the sort of life that she would be forced into.
This particular summer though she doesn’t go to a safe house; and Ginny and her wile away those certain days of the month taking Pain Potions and laying in the large hammock in the Lovegood garden. They watch as the pattern of the sun through the leaves shift with the breeze as their conversation meanders. Gossip, giggling, existentialism, Slayer history, and family antics come up in turn.
When they felt a bit better they make a large pan of mint brownies (the fragrant herb picked right from the large bush in the garden
) and eat the entire thing between them throughout the day.
She is very grateful for the comfort though, because there are many things troubling her. For one, every time someone mentions the Quidditch World Cup she feels unease curl through her. Not quite
a premonition, but a sensation happening too often to brush off.
Luna must admit though, that she is far more distracted by things going on strictly within the landscape of her own mind. Because previously she had thought that her Calling had come to her after the death of the Slayer, Kendra. A young woman fierce and shy in turns that always seemed quite content to let the others steer the conversation until she had specific knowledge to contribute - and with so many, that meant she did not often speak.
But lately there is another that has been breezing through the corners of her mind, like a flickering shadow. Blonde and tan, bright smiles and intense sadness. She gets bits of memory of fighting in a place sunny in the day, and full of graveyards at night, alongside of a core group of people: a middle aged English gentleman with greying hair, in the process of cleaning his glasses - Giles (her Watcher and her father far more than her Dad ever was
). A younger man with dark hair, quip on the lips - Xander (love and comfort, he would do anything to protect her
). A woman, the same age, with bright red hair, jumping back and forth between nervous and determined - Willow (there for her always, a shoulder to cry on or a spell at the ready
And Dawn: sister, family, teasing, yelling and bickering on a constant basis and God oh god, I have to keep her safe. Can’t let Glory take her.
The swan dive is perhaps the clearest and most persistent image projected. Running down the ramp, jumping, arms spread, into a pool of light.My gift
, there is relief in the mental tone, fulfillment.
The new Slayer always disappears before she can be hailed by the others though - before she even notices them herself probably. Not quite used to being here, flitting through the different planes open to the passed, exploring as only a spirit can (Kendra was the same initially before she chose to stay around the comfort of her Sisters.
“Tha’s Buffy,” Kendra murmurs to her, as she slides up beside Luna. They both watch as the young woman flickers away again in the dreamscape. “Ah was nex’ in the cycle after her. Met her in Sunnydale.”
“I thought there was only ever one of us at a time?” Luna asked, just as quietly. This brought up so many questions, unraveled so many assumptions she had been holding without knowing they were assumptions (because all of the others in her mind, for generations, had held the same knowledge as fact
What still brought her up short, made her pause, was the presence of a Watcher. The clear sign of Council involvement - the very thing her parents had always attempted to protect her from. She wished she could ask the older girl about it, know if things were different now.
“Special case,” the Jamaican Slayer’s lips quirked, as she answered Luna’s question. “But mos’ things were like that wit, Buffy. She died then ah friend brought her back. Won’ be surprised if it happens like tha’ again.”
“So, did I come after you?” Luna decided it best to ask.
And Kendra shook her head even before she had finished speaking. “There was anotha for a few months before you. A Greek Slayer named Thea. She does nah come here often. She was nah alive very long after she was Called, killed by Polgaras. It makes her feel shamed that she did nah last.”
“That’s not right,” Hazel burst into the conversation, clutching her skirts, scandalized - but on another's behalf this time. “I trained my whole life but only survived three months once I was Called. That doesn’t make me any less of a Slayer.”
“It doesn’t,” Luna agreed, and heard others echo her. “I do not face the same things much of you went up against, but I am still a Slayer. We are Called, we live, and we die,” she stated simply the knowledge that had been solid within her since she had watched her Mother pass; the simple inevitability of their blood.
“There is still ah gap,” Kendra insisted pulling them all back to the initial conversation. “Before Thea. Anotha’ who should have been next in line after me.”
“Perhaps she died - but only for a short while - like this Buffy did when you were Called,” Aguta, who had lived in the Artic and still appeared mainly in furs, suggested nodding to Kendra. “That would be enough for Thea and then Luna after her. Correct?”
Many either nodded or shrugged at this but Luna felt troubled by the lack of solid knowledge that was intrinsic to her. The thought of another Slayer out there somewhere. (What was her life like?
And she kept her eyes out every night, waiting for the flickering image of the blonde Californian to solidify so that she might get some answers.
But….it never did. And about five months after Buffy started appearing, she stops.