Title: Quiet

Author: Goldy

Pairing: Harry/Luna, mentions of Harry/Hermione and Luna/Other

Disclaimer: Still Jo's. pouts

Summary: Theirs is a quiet kind of love.

Rating: PG

A/N: My first "real" H/Lu fic. I haven't read much in the way of H/Lu fic, so I hope I've managed to somewhat convey their dynamic.

Theirs is a quiet kind of love.

He's never liked being the center of attention—now, since the end of the war, his need to be left alone has risen to a level that's almost obsessive. It worries her, though she never tells him. She likes being around other people. She finds them interesting. She's always enjoyed being able to study others.

Still, she understands him, better than he thinks she does. Once the war ended, they moved out into the country, bought the house with the white picket fence and called it their home.

They're happy—as happy as they can be. They're not demanding people. All he wants is to live out the rest of his life, now that he has it, in peace. She's grown accustomed to the country. She likes rising early each morning (he always sleeps late). With her mug of coffee in one hand and her notebook in the other, she sits on their front porch.

Sometimes she spends minutes there. Sometimes hours. Sometimes she writes. Sometimes she just looks. She finds she likes to study nature just as much as she likes to study other people.

When she goes back inside, he'll have risen and made them breakfast. They'll kiss in greeting and he'll marvel at how her lips are always warm and how she always tastes like sugar. He doesn't know how, especially after she's had her morning coffee. But he likes it, the slight-sugary taste of her mouth on his.

Occasionally, after these kisses, they'll leave their breakfast behind and go upstairs again. But usually they'll sit down and eat together. They always talk. About her job. About what she's writing. About nothing and everything.

He'll look at her, the sun streaming in through their kitchen windows and catching on her hair. He likes the way her hair looks glinting in the sunlight. He likes when she smiles at him, her face momentarily losing her dreamy expression because he's said something to make her laugh.

After breakfast, she helps him clear the dishes and she leaves for work, her notebook clutched in her hands. He'll walk her down their driveway, their arms brushing, and they'll share a lingering kiss before she Apparates away.

She likes that his face is the last thing she sees before going to work. She loves her job. She loves being in her small office at The Quibbler, with owls zooming in and out. She loves to write. She loves knowing she's making her father proud. But those looks he'll give her, right before she Apparates away, those looks sometimes make her stay with him. She hates leaving him alone.

Theirs is a quiet kind of love.

He doesn't have a job. He says he can't go back into the public eye. He can't bear the questions of what happened and how did you do it. Most of all, he can't stand the thought that he's been offered jobs for his name alone.

It wasn't just me, you know, he says. There were loads of other people there. But it's always me they focus on, isn't it? It's always me. I'm tired of it.

So when he gives her that look, that don't leave me, I can't stay alone, I'm thinking about that day, I can't do this look, she can't help but stay.

People ask him why all the time. She's off her rocker, don't you know. Haven't you noticed? She's obsessed, really, writing fantastic articles and chasing after Snorkacks. Bloke like you, you could have anyone.

He always says that he thinks it's admirable what she does. She writes because that's what she loves. She goes in search of Snorkacks because she believes in it. That's more than most people have, isn't it? Something they believe in.

He hates it when people take shots at her. She doesn't. She knows they've been whispering about her behind her back her entire life. But she likes that he cares. She likes that she has him in her corner, this almost-mythic-hero in the eyes of the rest of the world. To her, he's simply someone that takes her for who she is. And that's enough.

Every Wednesday they have dinner with her father. Those are some of her fondest memories. He likes her father. They hit it off from their very first meeting. They complain about how no one else understands her, not like they do, their little Loonie Lovegood. They smile at her, proud smiles, and she thinks she might burst from happiness.

Every Friday night they have dinner with the Weasleys. Those are harder for him, she knows. He goes because he feels honor-bound. Because it's his family. Because he loves them. He goes and he holds her hand under the table and he sits there and lets Molly coddle him.

Theirs is a quiet kind of love.

On the first Monday of every month, he goes to visit Ron and Hermione.

Hey, mate, he says. Loads to tell you.

He prattles on about the Canon's and their shot this coming year. He tells Ron about Ginny, how beautiful she's gotten, how happy she is with Neville, and that they're expecting their first child in a few months. They're going to name it after him. Ron Longbottom. Imagine that, eh?

He never remembers what he tells Hermione, if he tells her anything at all. He wonders if he apologizes, over and over again. He wonders if he tells her about himself and this life he's built and the cottage and the fact that he's actually happy and that he really does love Luna very much. He wonders if he expresses regret for what was, what could have been.

He always leaves flowers on their graves. Red roses for him, yellow for her. The first Monday of every month.

When he first discovered he was in love with Hermione, he'd been wracked with guilt. He'd told her, because he hadn't known what else to do.

I know, she had said simply. I know. I've loved other people too. She paused. Her voice was gentle. But they're dead. And we still—we still have each other.

He's so relieved that this is true. When the war took Ron and Hermione, he was certain he'd never be able to carry on. But he has.

Theirs is a quiet kind of love.

Secretly he's glad that it took him almost a full year after Hermione's death for him to realize his feelings. It made the pain more bearable, somehow.

No regrets, he tells her. No regrets.

She smiles and nods, even though she knows he's lying. He regrets everything. That's the way he is. He regrets not being fast enough, strong enough, smart enough to save them.

But she likes that he tries to seem optimistic for her. She likes that he's almost always waiting for her when she comes home. She likes that he'll have dinner ready and that, once a week, he'll make their favourite—spaghetti and meatballs. She likes that he seems genuinely interested in what she's doing at work. She likes how he's never made fun of her. Ever.

Their favourite time of night is when they crawl into bed together. Darkness descends on their little cottage in the woods. The only noise is the whizzing of the moths that fly past their window.

Their sheets are white and the bed is always made. She's notoriously messy, but he doesn't mind cleaning up, he says he enjoys it. You make the money, he says. The least I can do is some laundry every once in a while.

Never mind that he's richer than she'll ever hope to be.

Sometimes she'll bring her quill and notebook with her. They hardly ever read—books bring back all kinds of painful memories for him. Mostly they just snuggle down under the blankets, hidden away in their cottage in the woods with the moths outside their window and the rest of the world far, far away.

She falls asleep first. He likes the sounds of her soft breathing. It's reassuring. Sometimes he'll roll over on his side and watch her chest move up and down. He's amazed that she's lying next to him—real and alive and keeping him content. Keeping him sane. Funny that—Loonie being the one who keeps him sane. Funny joke.

He always watches over her for a while, feeling protective. He's long since learned that he's failed at protecting the people he most cares about. Still, he watches her. It's good to see her steady breathing. It's good to know she's still lying next to him.

Theirs is a quiet kind of love.