The burning fairy
Luna Lovegood is a curious girl, ever interested in what lies outside the knowledge of man. Some of that knowledge would better have stayed outside. Horror. Crossover Rowling/Lovecraft.
Warning: This is a Lovecraftian horror-story with a certain dreamy-eyed Ravenclaw in the lead role. I do like Luna a lot, and I wish her all good, but there are certain things she would have come better off not dabbling with. I am afraid this will not end that well...
There are some people in this world that seems never fully to belong to it. As fairies of light they descent from their own realm to live with us for a while, walking among us but not really being as the rest of us. They are burning so brightly with the light of there own world that if you look at them close enough you feel that you can almost see through the veils clouding your sight, catching a glimpse of the strange, non-human world beyond. They are burning so brightly that eventually they burn out and disappear.
That is what I was thinking that fatal night when I realized that that cursed book was missing, that that blasphemic vault had indeed been opened and that the person I had regarded as a friend had burned out.
Luna Lovegood has always been considered a bit odd, also by the few selected persons that considered her a friend. Only child of an experimental witch and a wizard devoted to make official the truth he felt was left out from other publications, Luna was from very early age taught in the subtle art of seeing what other did not see. Her childhood, from all I can infer, was a happy time, filled by fairies, snorkacks and limitless love from her parents. That is how I like to think of it.
I got to know Luna as we both attended the same school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Our friendship was not immediately forged, however. She was a year younger then me and we were in different houses, limiting our number of contacts. Also when we started to meet regularly, mostly due to common friends and certain common activities, our relationship was of a cold and formal kind rather than a friendly. In the name of honesty I must confess that this was due to my own attitude rather than her. Luna has always been a very warm person, also to those not returning her affection. I pride, or at least, by that time I did pride, myself in being a rational person, able to infer the connections between observed events with my own reasoning and thereby being able to in a logical way distinguish between what is false and what is true. Luna's almost aggressive belief in just about anything ever rumoured, hinted or guessed rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. Nargles and helipoaths seemed for my studious mind as an insult almost as big as downright lie, and secretly I couldn't help worrying that the girl was in a subtle way making fun of me when she ranted about those mythological critters. I am sad to say that this made me act fairly cold towards her.
Still, the first link and the strongest link of our friendship was to be just that clash in our belief systems. Provoked as I was by her crazy statements I often underwent substantial difficulties and work to prove her wrong. I cannot but smile when I think back at those long evenings spent in the library, checking on names and places and references, followed by the shouting matches with Luna the day after. That explorer could not have been in that place since he was at another expedition at the time. That creature could not possibly live in that desert due to dehydration problems, and so on. It was only me who did the shouting. Luna only smiled fondly at me and calmly answered my questions. Annoyingly often her points were more valid than mine, spurring me to new rounds in the library.
We were both young, and it was obvious that we actually shared a large amount of curiosity and eagerness for knowledge, and to top it all we were having those discussions almost weekly when we were as most active. I do not doubt in the least that we actually would have become friends soon enough even if it had not been for the Snorkack incidence. But as it was, fate gave our friendship a little nudge to help it on the way.
It had started just as any other of our small disputes, which by now had become routine for us as well as for our class-mates. Why, I remember a boy of my year asking another whether he thought the weekly Quidditch -practise or the weekly Lovegood-Granger row would be more entertaining. I do not remember the answer, but for me I know that I at this time was looking forward to our weekly row with anticipation. This particular dispute had started with a report published in the magazine of Luna's father - The Quibbler - about her very favourite creature, the Crumple-Horned Snorkack. The report, which she defended with slightly more energy than she usually did, claimed to have observed a small group of Swedish snorkacks during several days. It also contained photos. As usual I scrutinized the report most carefully, but to my increasing annoyance I could not spot anything self-contradicting in it. Several days I devoted to the snorkack and I can tell you without lying that no detail, however trivial, escaped my ruthless inspection. The photos were sharp, and as far as I could tell not a forgery, but nevertheless I contacted a few photographers and learned that they shared my opinion. One of them even expressed his fascination for the existence of this animal finally being proved. I then wrote to the Swedish ministry of magic to confirm the expedition, and I got the answer just the day after, without doubt clarifying that the expeditions had indeed taken place as described, and also that the ministry were currently working on a conservation plan for the snorkacks. Finally in a desperate attempt to find ammunitions against Luna and her article I managed to track down the article writer himself. I flood to him late one night and I am afraid to say that I had the old dear go through all but a full-scale inquisitorial trial before my curiosity was satisfied. Back home I could only stare at the massive amount of information I had gathered, and the next day I sought Luna out and told her that in the face of evidence I could have no opinion other than that the journal was telling the truth and that the Snorkack actually did exist. From her reaction it was clear that I had gained a friend for life.
For life, however futile and short.
Together we put together the information I had gathered to an article, proving without doubt the truthfulness of the first report. We distributed it at school and gave it to our teachers, and some of them were impressed enough to pull some strings that landed our article, together with the original report, in the big newspapers of the country. We also sent a copy to Sweden and as far as I have gathered it was well received. For me and Luna this was the end of our rows and the beginning of our partnership. From that day we worked together, and it was clear that it was a fruitful cooperation. Her imagination and brilliant creativity together with my methodical search for knowledge and rational reasoning made us all but unstoppable. She would open up the research field, bubbling with ideas and theories, and I would examine them one by one to limit down our research to the possible and the imaginable, and then she would go over my work and open up that I had ruled out as impossible, making me regard it from yet another angel. In that way we would push on, and we did learn many things that I don't think many people would believe in if I told them. Some of our findings we published, most of it was shelved. I can't readily give an account on what we were looking for, what we were hoping to achieve with this frantic, time-consuming research. All I know is that I enjoyed this cooperation with Luna more than I had enjoyed anything in my life before. It might very well have been the sole purpose with our research, at least from my point of view. However, lately I have come to wonder if she had another goal than just the joy of exploration, that she was looking for something in particular.
As I said, Luna was the one opening up our research fields, and I soon understood and accepted that her mild disposition apart, she was the natural leader of the two of us. Half of the time I didn't understand the whole extent of what we were studying until we were in the middle of it. I pride myself with being pretty brainy, but Luna was the single most intelligent person I had ever met.
As time went by our focus shifted from mythological beast and creatures and more and more came to deal with the human mind and some particular hard to believe reports of dream travelling, astral projections and similar observations. The inherited subjectivity of this field made my research methods harder to use, but the more rewarding were the observations I actually managed to rule out or confirm. Luna was urging me on, and I did not want to make her disappointed.