Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine.
Author notes: I'm dabbling.
And actually, this will be the place for all my drabbles. It wasn't planned before, to be honest. I've just realized I have a lot of little incomplete nick knacks on my computer. Of course, this one and the next drabble have to do with the pairing Tom/Luna. But the series will really be about Luna Lovegood and her adventures—and misadventures. Whatever comes to mind...
"I've never been much of a dancer, you know," she said, slowly. "I think I've found this to be the case. It seems so planned out, mapped ahead of us, and we have to move just so. Like we're all attached to strings. It doesn't make sense to me."
She told him her view in confidence when she first spotted him.
He was wandering amongst the shadows, and she mistook him for those who prefer to watch then be a part of the crowd. She didn't much mind this, as she was following a similar path. It's better to observe at times, to see what is to be seen instead of having what is to be had.
His eyes were drawn in stark contrast in his face.
She thought him interesting and moved closer to him to get a better look. Her mother's dress robes were too heavy it seemed, especially for dancing. She thought this to be a good sign, like the robes were to be worn for something more and she would find out in good time what that something was.
Vacancy seemed to be in residency for his stance, and she watched as he watched a certain thunder-struck boy who danced awkwardly to the beat, seeming like he wasn't meant to be part of the masses and always a step behind or ahead.
Her voice made no impact for his gaze did not ever waver from the object of study.
"What do you think? Why aren't you dancing?" Luna inquired, coming closer.
His robes looked as out of place as he did, too formal even for the dance. He looked like he was guarding a secret. You can always tell those who have a great deal to say and never say it. The act of guarding becomes more of a way of life then they may even forget what they were guarding in the first place.
He stood quite absorbed in his thoughts, unaffected by time and the noise. She could block noise out, if she tried, and perhaps he was as skilled in the method as she was. His thoughts must have been tightly woven, if he could not hear her.
So she decided to tap him on the shoulder, lightly, to bring some light of awareness into his features. She thought he might look very handsome if he stepped out of the shadows.
She wasn't quite sure what to make of what happened next.
It was a flurry of motion, a sudden burst of what she believed to be…shadows of birds even, flints of a spark about to become a fire. A ripple in the water she had thought was the sky. She remembered crying out, not from fear but from surprise.
Time was not even real. It ran around her, like a stream that eroded the rocks in between forever.
For it could have never even happened, since it happened so quickly.
She had touched him and then before she knew it, she felt the cold floor and saw the stars in the enchanted ceiling and her hair sprawling out around her and her legs caught up in one of the spare chairs…
And the boy was not there. He had vanished into thin air.
Well…she would add that to a possible effect caused by touching someone. Or something very strange had occurred. Her hands tinged, tinged by whatever the sparks could have been made of.
In a mute kind of absorbing awe, her mind wandered as fast as he had disappeared. What had she stumbled upon? Had he looked at her, in a sudden movement, with flashing eyes? In such a motion, maybe she had stumbled into time, if time seemed not to have even…
"Are you all right…down there?" someone asked warily. A red-headed girl with batches of freckles peered over the table curiously.
All right…well, she wasn't right all the time.
"I suppose I am all right," Luna muttered and tried to stand.
"Let me help you," the girl said quickly and offered a hand. Luna took it after a moment's hesitation, for usually, it seemed, she was too heavy in most cases of proffered assistance. They assisted half-way then abandoned their efforts, letting her fall.
The girl did not let her fall but rather helped her to her feet. Her tousled hair flowed around her as she crossed her arms and she smiled casually, like Luna's earlier fall was next to nothing and that she was used to such demonstrations occuring regularly.
"Do you want to go outside and get some fresh air? I think I've had all I can stand of dancing," she laughed and pointed to her feet. Luna laughed.
Can't stand…yet standing on your feet, and…
She laughed and the helpful girl started, apparently not aware of the brilliant joke. But in the end she laughed too. Still giggling, they made their way past the collage of robes and dresses and though the grandiose open doors. The night air was all encompassing and crisp, and Luna was thankful.
The strange numbness that had assaulted her had not quite evaporated. It felt like her mind was still caught, trying to get around the snag in her reason. She was shivering and felt very off-centered indeed.
Maybe she had stumbled onto a Yule tide secret, where the gods would come down from the stars to join in the celebration, adorning dark cloaks and bring gifts. Perhaps the twelvth month held power on the clock, when the twelvth hour is pointed to by two hands.
She had heard tale of these kinds of moments. Where your life before a mere moment could be considered on a different plain, and suddenly a new chapter would begin. It was the sort of thing one felt, with gossamer threads that were slowly surrounding them.
"So are you Luna Lovegood?" A voice broke through her thoughts. "I think I've seen you in some of my classes."
"Yes, that's my name. And you are a Gryffindor and you are Ginerva Weasley."
"How…how did you know my first name? I really don't care for it much, it's so... I go by Ginny."
"The name is so full of fate, right. It already has a story," Luna replied absently, her thoughts still with the stoic. "Well, I saw your full name on one of your papers. I was handing back our Tranfiguration essays last year, and as I passed by your desk, you had your name in the corner of your notebook, with numbers assigned to the letters. It was quite interesting."
Ginny's face had bloomed with dull red, even to her ears.
"Erm, that was…I was just…"
Luna then remembered she had another name with numbers. Harry Potter. But Luna had found the whole chart, as she perceived it, as an attempt at trying to find a pattern. Numbers had meanings, she was sure.
"Finding meaning. I like numbers too."
"Yeah," Ginny still looked rather embarrassed, though Luna didn't quite know why. Her yellow gown was pale when not in the light in the ball and the vivacity left the picture, leaving only a memory behind. In fact, it added to the snag. She was still trembling, her heart fluttered.
She couldn't get around the cause. Haunted…she was haunted, it was safe to say, and wondered if she would wake up soon. She never liked Balls anyway. What goes around comes around, and she felt like she was about to be struck, risking the impact with each intake of breath.
It was worse knowing about the strike-to-be than actually being struck, in Luna's opinion.
"That was quite a fall, you know," Ginny began, searching for words to say while leaning against the terrace. "You sure you're okay?"
Fear and thrill…did he have a face? All she saw were those eyes, endless and yet very fleeting.
"I can't say I'm sure…the person I was speaking with didn't help me up. He was rather rude."
"Oh…" Ginny tilted her head curiously and looked away, biting her lip. "I-I guess I'll go back inside. Neville's probably waiting for me…"
"Wait," Luna said, seeing the change in her expression. "Did you know him? The boy in the shadows?"
"Um…I didn't see anyone. I might have missed him," Ginny muttered, looking back towards the doors eagerly, shifting nervously.
"He is very tall, you know," Luna said. "Dark hair. He was quite shady though."
Luna didn't know why she continued to speak. She had grasped something and was chasing it. Proof…she was determined to have proof. She didn't imagine him. Did he really…was it a lapse? In the walls, the walls remember everything…was there someone who had leaned against the wall at one time? But he was watching…
"I think you must have seen him, when he walked away," she spoke quickly. It was bordering on necessary. It almost hurt…not understanding what had happened. She had to. She had to.
And so was the case. She would fall harder if Ginny did not, well, see.
"I'm afraid…I didn't see him, Luna. But maybe…maybe it was just…"
Yet Ginny looked so pale. She was trembling. Was she cold?
"A trick of the light. The shadows can play tricks on us, sometimes."
Luna let her off the hook. Her thoughts weren't agreeing with her, obviously. There was no need for… making Ginny pale, like a wilted flower.
Yet the night had become colder.
Luna did not let the feeling go or rather, it would not let her go.
What a terrible snag.
Her covers did not warm her tonight. She sat up, with her wand light, and thought it through. Her mother's dress was hung by her bed, looking like a guardian, or a bellsoon to chime. She believed each thread, each detail of the design, crossed the bridge to whatever land thather mother had journeyed to.
She relived the moment a thousand times and she would have a thousand times more if it wasn't for the rustling.
Then she fell back to the present, having been caught in the past.
The bounteous blue curtain, half sham-shell grey with bits of white thread, moved lightly, like a dream coming to life. She could see the fingers brushing the veil, painfully slow.
Yet the motion held a tinge of creation, of a great pattern of rain drops and wings.
Was she dreaming?
Then she saw the face beyond the curtain, angled and pale and surprisingly consuming.
"Do you believe…that I am here?"
His eyes were more real than she had ever felt in her whole life. So the answer was simple, even though she had to drag it from within, and it stumbled on its way.
"Yes, I do," she said simply.
Hello! Thanks for reading, and the next drabble to come…T/L.