Alright, so this story was really, really weird for me. I've never been a Luna/Harry fan, but somehow this just clicked. So I wrote it. In this fic, I'm not bashing anyone. Ginny, Hermione, the Weasleys are all good- just blind. And the poem at the bottom is not mine, just something I thought Luna would have told Harry (or vice versa). So enjoy!
It was the day after the war ended that the glow finally faded. He woke up, more calm and relaxed than anytime before in his life, only to feel, instead of that small glow of happiness and perfection that ought to have been there (you've fucking killed a Dark Lord), a blank sort of numbness.
He stared up at the ceiling, and let his arms rise, but the only way he knows it is because of the fact that he sees them enter his field of vision (you're so tired, all you want is to let everything go) rather than that he can feel them.
Finally rising, he got dressed and headed down to the common room, only to be accosted by hundreds of reporters (you've never really gotten used to the fame, you've always preferred the dark and the small and the cold, you've always loved your cupboard, because it was your first home) shouting any and all questions at you.
"How was You-Know-Who defeated?"
"How does it feel to be called the Man-Who-Conquered?"
"How are you taking the loss of so many people from Hogwarts?"
He is frozen, a statue displaying none of his feelings save his panic, even as he left to escape the surging crowd of hot bodies. Ironically, it is Rita Skeeter's question, the last one he hears, that really sticks with him as he manages to escape the hounds.
"What will you be doing in the future, Potter?"
He had spent his whole life running- from his cousin, from a Dark Lord, and now, he ran from his demons. But he is the Man-Who-Conquered (such a stupid nickname, you want to scream at them all, "I'm Harry, just Harry!") and the world has placed him on a pedestal.
The days, months, even years after Voldemort's fall are dream-like. The terror and need for survival (Your Slytherin side, the part of you that was hidden and pushed away during the year and embraced during the summer) has faded, and somehow the Gryffindor in you is not enough (never enough), so he begins to slip away.
From the meaningless banter and quick ripostes of the media that has come to characterize his life, from the robotically perfect relationship with Ginny, from the broken, shattered friendship that has become Ron and Hermione.
(All to the one person who told you this would happen in musical, echoing words that you never really understood.)
He runs away, but others have run away too. So what is different about him, you ask? He always returns. He runs from Dudley but returns to the Dursley's, he runs from Voldemort but returns to defeat him, and now he runs from the media, but always returns.
It is a perfect life.
But he has lived knowing that he will not, cannot, should not ever be perfect.
And so he runs.
But he returns.
It is two years later that he realizes what the sidelong glances and sly, hopeful expressions of the Weasley's, Hermione, and Ginny are for. (You have been called many things, but obtuse is not one of them.) And so, weary and terrified and feeling trapped, he gets down on one knee and asks her the question that seals his fate.
"Will you marry me?"
If the words are flat and the look in his eyes is empty, no one comments. (Maybe you've spent so long acting no one knows who you really are.) And he marries Ginny to the love and adoration of the entire Wizarding World.
They do not know he runs. Always to the same place, and in the years he has spent with Ginny he knows how to avoid her and in the years he has spent at Hogwarts he knows how to escape attention.
He leaves everyday at lunch. The Aurors think him in deep love with his wife (enough to fucking spend more time with her? Not if hell freezes over) and his wife thinks him busy at the Ministry (how can they all be so blind?) so no one knows the truth save for her.
The young woman he never really knew until Ginny (and if that isn't poetic irony you don't know what is) introduced her. The girl who lost her mother and her family and her mind one after the other. The girl who told him, quietly, under the silence of the stars and the cold, cold emptiness of the moon she is named for, "You are cold Harry Potter. You have only ever known winter. But when you decide you want to feel the buds and the scent of the flowers, tell me. And I can tell you that such a decision is not easily made and not easily turned away from. But if you want spring, I will help you." (It took you forever to understand. And by the time you do it is too late to choose her path).
He doesn't love her, not in that way. And she knows it. He is too broken, too shattered, too undone to love in that manner. But she is there for him. When he screams in his nightmares and when he feels like the world is a cloth that suffocates him even as he admires its beautiful colors, she is there for him.
(But it is the closest damn thing you've ever felt to love.)
Sometimes, when he leaves his home to run to his Savior's home, he is ashamed of himself. He ought to be stronger; he ought not to feel like he needs her, he ought to never return to her home. He ought to be a fucking hero and say, "I can deal with my demons on my own."
But somehow he can't.
And somehow the only times he sleeps properly is when he sits in the middle of her home, and it is the only time he can let his wand two feet away from him instead of in his sleeve and no daggers in his boots instead of three.
And slowly, bit by bit, she drags him, kicking and screaming, to the world. (Maybe it isn't normal. You don't care anymore.) To the Eiffel Tower and to the Amazon and to the Statue of Liberty. To all the places he'd dreamed of and never thought of as more than a child's dream (and if that doesn't mean that you can't love her you don't know what can).
And finally, finally, he steps away. (Perfection is not human, never human.) Away from his family and his friends (because if you have her you're content), away from his life.
It's a Weasley dinner when he Floos out and asks for Ginny (for the first time in months). The spark of hope in her eyes burns him, but he doesn't back down. He tells her, quietly, dignified, what he's been doing. (You tell her you aren't ready.) And she crumbles. The pillar of strength he'd always thought of her as is no longer visible, and it is with guilty eyes that he sees what he has been too self-absorbed to notice before.
The dark shadows under her eyes. The less-than-perfectly coiffed hair that doesn't quite hide the thinning and falling. The pale, pasty skin. The small waist that reminds him of past liaisons, of young love, of a story where neither the prince nor the princess were ready or whole enough to be together, of a history of love and lies and masks and shadows.
Sadly, gently, he presses his arms around her, and it is the first time he notices the way she doesn't fit anymore. Her heels make her too tall, her body is too thin, her warmth is nonexistent, (and you just want to tell her, this is all a bad dream, don't you?) but he cradles her for a moment, a moment where he thinks about possibilities and laughter and love, and for a dizzying, spiraling moment he loves her.
But then he remembers her. The girl who has managed to help him when no one else would (could, should).
And he steps away, smooths his hand along her spine, and tells her quietly, "I'm sorry. You- I- (there are a hundred, thousand, million ways to finish that sentence. But in the end, none of them will ever be enough.)"
Ginny nods, her arms loose, her eyes wide, her body empty. She wanted him, but she didn't want the baggage that came with him.
And every person has a breaking point. (She should be glad he hasn't killed her.) So he leaves, and he knows this will be the last time he ever sees any of them again.
For they are a family, touched by grief, yes.
Drowned in grief?
Not even close.
They cannot understand you. So you leave. And this time, you will not return.
His departure from the Wizarding World is quiet, with no fanfare or recognition. In the hours, days, months (even years) after he leaves the fallout will be bad, but for now, no one recognizes the slender youth who stands on a pier on the other side of the world, surrounded by the stink of fish and the shouts of rough sailors, with one hand resting on the waist of a blonde girl right next to him.
No one sees how he sees, the beauty of the setting sun (all warm colors and fire and blazing sky). During the day the water is the mirror and the opposite of the sky.
But during the night, it is hard to tell when one begins and when one ends, a slipping, sliding maelstrom of beauty and violence that he cannot help but revel in.
And the girl beside him smiles, a secret smile that he returns, and they join their hands, weaving together a promise, and answer, a question (you've never been this happy).
He smiles at her. She doesn't smile back, only asks with the ringing, ephemeral, ethereal tone that he has only ever heard from her, "Can we go find the Wrackspurts today?"
Harry grins (for the first time in what feels like years) and nods.
And Luna turns, and they dance away into the twilit world, a broken man and a delusional girl (a hero and your love) for the rest of eternity.
Ut mare reversum gaudium litus
Risum reputavi errorem, et accende intus stupam potest auxilium per animam.
Sicut enim res amatur ventus saltare
Inluminata est a gratia, a gravitate tua.
Sicut dignitatem restituenda lunam a terra,
Inclina Domine vestras, cum metu et reverentia.
Ut forma sit in aqua, quicquid habet,
Quis tu ut sis liber.
Quid arridet trans silentio dicens
Ut adducam sensu ironia, ut diximus.
Libera format omnium temporum,
Ut animus maneat, patet quod in omnibus nominibus.
Magis magisque audire sat est, ut oratio tua,
imo in risus ad Deum. "
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.
As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.
Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.
As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.
As silence smiles on the other side of what's said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.
As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.
May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god."
By: John O'Donahue
(The poem, not fic)