Luna "Kohaku" Potter was not having a good day. It all started with running out of Privet Drive and right into the waiting arms of Sirius Black, her godfather.
That hadn't been too bad, but then they had been attacked by Death Eaters and caught in the middle of some sort of spell. In the resulting aftermath, the portkey took her to someplace she had never seen before.
That had been two years ago, and she had recently turned seventeen. She had tried to get in touch with the Ministry, but aside from avoiding the King's Wizard (a woman by the name of Sullivan) who had detected her magic, there had been nothing.
What made her day bad was the fact that because of her dislike of large crowds, she had taken a back road and was now stuck dealing with one of the soldiers trying to flirt with her.
All she had been trying to do was find the bloody bakery! Was that too much to ask for?
Luna was not even remotely interested in the soldiers. She tried to back away, but found herself caught. The idiot didn't even pick up the subtle queues she was giving that he was making her very uncomfortable!
Suddenly she backed into a firm chest, male from the feel of it.
"Hey there. Sorry I'm late," spoke a voice from behind her.
Considering how dense these two were, she chose to pick the newcomer.
"Where've you been?" asked the man.
She turned and found a blue-eyed blond wearing somewhat outlandish clothing and a rich blue pendant around his neck.
"Who are you?"
"I'm with her. Why don't you two take a little walk," he said, waving his fingers grandly.
The two soldiers found themselves under a spell and forced to leave.
"Nice marionette spell," she said.
His eyes twinkled in surprised delight.
"How did you know it was a spell?"
"Because they were too dense to figure out I wanted nothing to do with them after five seconds of me trying to back away," she said flatly.
He laughed, and it sounded like bells tinkling.
"Don't blame them. Things are pretty tense. So where to? I'll be your escort," he said.
She gave him a look. She had that too-familiar feeling of something sneaking up on them.
"Who's chasing you?" she asked.
"How did you know I was being chased?" he asked as they walked.
"I know the feeling of someone stalking me, but the fact the hairs on the back of my neck have yet to go up means that they aren't interested in me. And your timing is far too convenient," she said.
"The Witch of the Wastes," he admitted.
"That old hag?" said Luna incredulous, "What did you do to annoy her?"
"I discovered her cruel side and dumped her," he said with a shrug.
They suddenly took off into the air as they had been surrounded. Luna didn't act uncomfortable at all, she was used to flying after all, though this was a new one.
"You're a natural," he complimented her.
"I'm used to flying...though not without something to keep me up," she said.
He left her on the upstairs walk at the bakery she had been trying to find.
"I'll draw them off. Until we meet again my fair lady," he said with a grandiose bow.
"Show off," she said.
"Luna! Are you alright? I heard you had a run in with a wizard!" said Sophie. Her sister worked at the bakery.
"I'm fine Sophie. He actually helped me find this place," said Luna.
"You need to be more careful. What if that had been Howl?"
"The day someone like Howl succeeds in gaining my heart is the day I get a boyfriend," she said, rolling her eyes. It was well known that Luna had no interest in any of the boys in town.
"Why don't you stay at the shop tonight. The last thing I would ever want is for my friend to be captured by that ghastly Howl," offered Sophie.
"Sure. I need to catch up on a bit of work anyway," said Luna.
Luna worked part time at the Hatter's, mostly because they were the only ones to hire her without any references or proof she was a citizen of the country. Besides, who would expect a powerful witch to work in such a tacky looking hat shop?
Luna locked the door. Sophie had gone to bed an hour ago, leaving her to mind the store until closing. She heard the bell go off...and she knew she was in trouble. She had securely locked the door not one minute ago.
"What a tacky little hat shop...and you're the tackiest thing of all," said the old woman.
Luna suppressed a growl. She knew she was going to get into trouble after Howl had stumbled on her while being chased. She was going to give him a black eye for this!
"The Witch of the Wastes I presume," she said turning around.
"So you aren't as stupid as you look. How surprising," she said snidely.
"I should have guessed you would show up after that idiot Howl bumped into me. I have no interest in your lover's quarrel," said Luna flatly.
"And what a tongue to boot! A pity you haven't got any magic... I would have loved to teach someone as spunky as you," said the Witch.
Luna didn't feel like telling her that Sullivan had tried to nab her for her magic, but she had declined. If she wanted to be trained, she would have accepted the offer to become Sullivan's apprentice two months after falling into this place!
The Witch smirked evilly. Luna fell back into a defensive position when she felt something latch onto her body. That hag just cast a curse on her!
"The best part is that you can't tell a soul about that curse. My regards to Howl," she said smugly.
Luna looked in the mirror the first chance she had.
"That...that hag!" she nearly screamed.
She looked like something out of a horror movie! Her eyes were cat-shaped, her hair had turned silver, she had fangs poking out of her mouth and her nails had been filed into claws. Seeing twin bumps on her head, she carefully touched them to find horns.
This was a disaster!
Luna growled. So that witch thought it funny to curse her, eh? Next time she saw that woman she was giving her a piece of her mind!
Hearing Sophie come down the stairs, likely having heard her near shriek, she quickly cast a glamour spell.
It wouldn't hold up to any real scrutiny from another magical, but it would keep a muggle like Sophie from realizing anything had changed.
"Luna? You alright?"
"It's fine, I just had a really irritating customer. I had to kick her out and she wasn't too pleased with my manners," lied Luna.
"Oh. Well get some sleep and we'll start bright and early tomorrow," said Sophie.
"About that... Sophie, maybe it would be best if I took some time off. After the stress of running into that wizard earlier I don't think I could give my best," said Luna.
"True...you could use a vacation. When you're ready to come back to work let me know," said Sophie.
"Thanks. I'll finish closing up and get some sleep," said Luna.
Luna managed to leave without alarming Sophie too much, and grabbed some lunch from a nearby vendor.
First things first, she had to give Howl a piece of her mind for getting her mixed up in his lover's spat with the Witch of the Wastes. Then she was going to hex that bint until she removed the curse she put on her!
It took her the better part of the day to get to the Wastes, and she was starting to tire from so much up-hill walking.
Spying a handy stick, she tried to remove it.
She uncovered the oddest scarecrow she had ever seen in her life. His head was a turn-up and his clothes were all ratty.
"Ouch. Who put that curse on you?" she asked. She could tell that this wasn't a scarecrow at all from the amount of magic on him.
The magic itself felt familiar, though she couldn't place it. It wasn't the Witch's work though.
"Don't suppose you could find me a place to rest for the night while I hunt down the two idiots responsible for turning me into this could you?" she asked.
The scarecrow starting bouncing off, reminding her of a pogo stick.
Several minutes later it came back with a familiar looking castle.
She beamed at him.
"Why thank you! That's the home of one of the people I was looking for!" she said brightly.
She wanted to have...words...with a certain wizard.