Disclaimer: I own nothing. Harry Potter belongs to J.K Rowling.
A/N: I apologize for the lack of update on my WIP stories lately but real life has not exactly been a pleasant thing. I hope you enjoy this little bit that I wrote a while ago and re-discovered while moving file onto a different computer *laughs*.
A/N2: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.
Spoilers: This story would occur somewhere within the final book - but honestly it is rather AU and you only just need a passing knowledge of the characters or cannon to read *grin*.
Harry has wished many times over the years that he was not the Chosen One, the one everyone turned to and stared at constantly, the one Voldemort went after year after year. But when it actually happens that Tom’s eyes slide over him and settle on someone else – lighting up in horrible delight, he wants to takes every single one of those careless wishes back. His chest feels tight and bile rises in his throat when, half way through the usual interrogation, he sees Voldemort's attention caught by her – sees that curiosity on his snake like face.
Luna, of course, in a cell next to his in the Death Eater's dungeon appears not to have even noticed anybody else enter the room - despite the fact that the questioning has been going on for a while now. It has become just Voldemort himself monologuing, really - the other Death Eaters left to do various assignments ages ago. And Harry isn't truly surprised by that (Tom's people getting away as subtly as possible once he's gotten off on a rant, yeah. But more the way Luna has reacted to all of this
), it's her way, has been as long as he has known her. She is currently humming to herself as she draws swirling patterns on the dusty floor with her fingers.
It's not until Voldemort walks right up to her, even going so far as to reach a hand through the bars to touch a lock of her ash blonde hair, that she even looks up. Those familiar silver eyes are luminous in the dark room - and they seem to confirm something for the Dark Lord (while at the same time make Harry grit his teeth not to simply yell ineffectively at him for touching her.) And then he lets his hand drop, a pleased look on his face.
"Well, well, Harry. I didn't know you had such interesting
friends," there is a slight hiss to the last word - but it is Tom
and he is fond of dramatics, so Harry decides to take a page out of Luna's book and just stare at the dark-cloaked man and not rise to the bait.
But, perhaps it wasn't
bait; because Voldemort is barely paying attention to him, still staring at Luna, and now she is gazing right back at him…
…..a slight smile on her face and still humming right along.
He leans forward then, dark and menacing, and to anyone else it would be intimidating. It is so incongruous with what he says next then, that Harry feel gob smacked when Voldemort, looks at her and states, utterly seriously, "I've always wanted to catch a fairy."
And she laughed right in his face - which made Harry feel considerably better. Not only because Luna, who believed in all things, found this as crazy as he did, but because her laugh always made him feel better. There were no tinkling bells in her voice, it was an earthy sound - loud and unabashed. But truly, Harry should have known better than to think he could have predicted her - because this was Luna
. And perhaps the only thing predictable about her was her unpredictability.
"Don't be silly, sir," she smiled up at the snake like man towering over her seated form. "The only way you can catch a fairy is if it lets you."
Voldemort smiled back but it was not a nice smile, it was filled with cruelty that didn't bother to hide. "Does that mean, little girl, that you wish to be caught?"
"No," she answered him, her mirth gone. She was suddenly and abruptly very still, her iridescent eyes watching him unblinkingly. "It means I haven't been."
The patterns she had been busily drawling earlier suddenly glowed the same bright silver as her eyes, they cast shadows on the sitting girl who no longer looked like simply just a girl - if she ever really had (and Harry suddenly wasn’t sure). They reminded him of runes, in a way, but not in any language he could recognize ever seeing at Hogwarts.
“Do you know what night it is, Tom Riddle?” she was almost teasing in manner now. “Your wolves burst from their human skin. Dear lady moon is round and ripe, full and heavy,” she dropped her hints like breadcrumbs, the cadence of her voice made it almost seem like a song, a haunting melody of death and renewal, that left the taste of copper in his mouth as it faded from Harry's ears.
“It doesn’t matter when it is. The moon cycle means nothing. You comfort yourself with nonsense and lies
. I am Lord Voldemort
and I have trapped you. This is not
your place of power, you shall not
escape me,” he hissed but Harry could clearly see the posturing, did not bother to stomp down his urge to smile at the mounting panic he could read in the other man.
In direct contrast she was perfectly serene, her expression utterly mild. “You weren't very careful, Tom,” she said in that same sing song voice. “You don't even know my name.” And it was a statement, a statement that struck like a blow making him take a step back and very obviously shaking his confidence badly – for he didn’t
know it, but he was a creature well aware of the power that such things held.
Luna finally stood, ever graceful (inhumanely graceful
) in Ravenclaw uniform, a butterbeer cork necklace, radish earrings, and a silvery glow from those odd runes hallow-ying her body. And then turned her head to look at Harry – who had been watching, largely ignored up until that point in their exchange, she gave him a different sort of smile then. And he could clearly read her intent, was happy do what she suggested in that look, follow along his friend’s weaving dance - meet out this blow.Name
her in front of he who was so careful to hide his own.
“Luna,” he said proudly and Voldemort reeled back again, almost tripping in his robes, those red eyes wide now.
In response to this, she only laughed again, but Harry could recognize now that there was power in it - wonderful and terrible power
- the power of nature. The power to pull tides and make beasts howl.
"You can not cage me,” she said and it was not a defiant statement screamed, it was a simply stated fact. And her magic reacted as such (shaping the reality around her, reforming it until it matched
) and there was no lock upon her door when she stepped forward and pushed it open.
“Luna, wait!” he said, as she calmly exited her cell and started to approach the nearly cowering and retreating Dark Lord. “I have to be the one to kill him. There's the prophesy. Remember?”
“Hmmm,” she murmured in response, making her way over to his cell and touching his door, having it swing open before her. She grabbed his face, none too gently, as Harry stepped through and kissed his forehead upon the scar. It seem to burn, her lips on his skin seemed to replace the previous mark there, moonlight chasing the shadows inside of him until that darkness he had always lived with was just..gone
. And he felt power flood him to replace the emptiness left behind in those places: rolling earthy power.
“Will that do?” she smiled at him in her mysterious way that he felt, perhaps he understood now – if only just a bit.
“It will,” he answered and both of their voices echoed, seeming to bounce off of corners of the room that weren't there. Power the Dark Lord knows not?
Well, this certainty fit that bill – Harry was really almost amused with this new turn in his life (despite the still imminent danger). He felt lighter and happier then he could remember being in years, nearly buoyant with that dirtiness clean from his magic.
He decided perhaps it really might be best to stop trying to predict anything when prophesies (and Lovegoods
) were involved.
When he glanced back Harry found that The Dark Lord was staring at them, backed up against the wall, a panicked animal looking for escape. He clutched his wand tightly before him - as if it were talisman that would hold them off.
Harry shared a look with Luna, smiled and they both took a step towards this creature whom had ruined so many lives – there was still work to be done this full moon, after all.