These started life on Tumblr so if you follow me on there apologies for the repeat! As ever I would love to know what you think, (no pairing hate please) and hope you enjoy. I've stolen olivieblake's excellent one-shot category system so you get a head's up as to what's going on...
Universe: Post-Hogwarts, EWE
Hogwarts had been home for a while but it had become a prison too: a place where he was trapped between his destiny and his homework. Sirius had left him Grimmauld Place but the air of it was choked with ghosts, and the nightmares were always worse when he stayed there. The Burrow was suffocating, and the idea of Privet Drive being home was laughable.
When he'd told her he was leaving, Ginny had offered him the quick, bright grin that he had fallen in love with. The quick, bright grin that had started to burn and blister his shadowed heart. The quick, bright grin that had become tinged with sadness whenever she looked his way. She'd known it couldn't last. He found her brilliance far more bearable from a distance.
"You had to walk a path that was laid out for you for nearly twenty years," she said, "I really don't see what the problem is with wanting to wander a bit."
It's more than wandering, Harry wanted to yell. Wanted to whisper. It's running towards something that's never there.
Hermione had feigned resignation, her worry only showing in the tightness of her hug before he left her flat for the last time. He had felt her hand trace the jut of his shoulderblades. "I have to," he whispered, "I can't stay here."
She'd nodded in reply, her hair scratching against the few day's growth of stubble that covered his cheek. "I know," she said, stepping back and swiping a hand across her eyes.
Draco had wrapped an arm around her shoulders, reaching the other hand to clasp Harry's. "Keep yourself safe, Potter," he'd murmured, "She'd be ever so upset if you didn't."
Harry had smiled ruefully at his former nemesis, "I'll be fine."
He went to move away but Draco had gripped his hand tighter, "It doesn't have to be a place, you know," he breathed, so quietly that for a moment Harry wasn't sure he'd heard him properly. "Home," Draco continued, his eyes moving to the top of Hermione's head, "It can be a person."
It had been a wet spring and he'd been glad, in the end, that Hermione had insisted he take a tent. He charmed the canvas so that it reflected the sky above him and left the porch unzipped to admit the cool night air. His boots were beginning to fall apart, too far gone for even reparo spells to really have much effect. He'd need to buy new ones soon, but the idea of braving Diagon Alley filled him with dread.
He knelt by a stream to fill his water bottle with something that didn't have the stale taste of an aguamenti charm, then stretched himself upright and trudged on through the dawn mist.
The field appeared gradually, the young, green corn gleaming in the morning sun. Harry felt as though he were walking out of a dream as he crossed from the cool shade of the woods and into the sudden warmth of summer.
A quick tempus told him it was May Day. Beltane, whispered that hushed part of his mind that had come to life in his months of silence. He knew, as he'd journeyed across the British Isles, that he'd started instinctively following ley-lines. Fairy paths, he remembered Professor Binns saying, mostly lost after the Goblin Wars. A cornfield on May Day seemed a fitting destination for someone walking in the steps of the fair folk.
Somehow, he wasn't surprised to see the flash of her golden hair. She was sat in a clearing in the middle of the field, on a patchwork rug, what looked like a full tea service arranged before her. She'd been staring off into the distance but when his shadow fell across her she turned towards him. Her mouth made a shape that was strange and beautiful and might have been a smile.
"Hello Harry," she said simply, "It's a lovely day for a walk."
He ran a hand through his hair, tugging awkwardly at its tangled length. "Hi, Luna," he replied finally. "What are you doing here?"
She'd been reaching for a teacup, the pot already hovering in the air beside her, but at his words she glanced up at him, grey eyes huge and curious. "Waiting to be found," she said, handing him the now-full cup on its dainty saucer.
Harry took it and sat down, setting the tea on the ground as he shrugged out of his pack. He was aware suddenly that his t-shirt was stuck to his back with sweat; that he had dirt beneath his fingernails. Luna, by contrast, appeared so clean that she was almost shimmering. Harry picked up his tea and sipped it, at once floral and astringent. Rose, he thought. Rose and orange and something that could have been hazel.
Luna watched him as he drained the cup, and when he'd finished Harry set it down once more and smiled to himself. He had spent months surrendering himself to the land, letting it lead him somewhere.
It doesn't have to be a place, Draco had said.
"I brought food, too," Luna whispered, producing figs, honeyed pastries; soft cheeses and strawberries. When she lifted one of the red fruits to his mouth Harry bit gently into it, his lips brushing against her thumb, his eyes never leaving hers.
She tasted of mint leaves, and when he twisted his fingers in her hair she gave a sharp little gasp that had him breaking away, searching her eyes for permission. Luna blinked slowly, cocking her head like a bird and raising her hand to trace the faded lightning scar on his brow. She moved her fingers to his jaw, drawing his chin forwards and letting him kiss her again, her mouth languid against his.
When she pushed him back it was a gentle movement, hands splayed on his chest as she straddled him, her mouth breaking away from his as she removed his shirt, as she slipped herself free from the gauzy slip that had been all she was wearing.
Harry felt the insistent press of the earth against his spine as she rode him, and when the magic surged and roiled he tucked an arm around her waist and rolled so that he was atop her. Her fingers found the spaces between his ribs and grasped him as she tightened and moaned, and beneath them the ley line crackled and sparked with renewed life.
When, many hours later, darkness began to slip and coil around them, Luna threaded her fingers through his and bent to pick up the picnic basket. She hummed softly as she started picking her way back through the cornfield. "We find the things we're looking for, in the end," she said, casting Harry a small smile over her shoulder. "If not always in the way we expect."
So, yeah. I've got a few of these to stick up. Say hi, and if you'd like me to write you something then drop me a PM or a review with pairing + scenario (I won't do Romione, Harmony, Snamione or non-con)