Luna's Delirium

Luna Lovegood sat all alone on the roof of the dark Hogwarts castle, comfortably leaning back against an old chimney pipe, talking softly to the girl next to her. Crossover Rowling/Gaiman, and those are the rightful owners of the characters.

If you are not familiar with Neil Gaiman's Sandman universe, please just take this little narratory as yet an example of that Luna sees a lot of things that other don't - and that those things occasionally see her.

It was in the darkest hour of the night. Pale light from the waning moon sieved down to the sleeping earth, sprinkling silver over the lake, over the forbidden forest and over the dark Hogwarts castle. On the roof of the castle, all alone, sat Luna Lovegood, comfortably leaning back against an old chimney pipe, a faint smile on her lips. Her large, unblinking eyes, silvery in the cold moon light, gazed over the shadowy world below. She enjoyed watching the way each straw of grass was illuminated by the celestial light, making each and one of them glow in its own truly unique way, watching the travels of the whimsy, nocturne gusts of wind that played their carefree game in the canopies of the distant forest trees, startling the occasional bird or thestral, as they had done every night since the dawn of times. She enjoyed the music the stars played for her from the dark night sky.

The day, Luna felt, belonged to the busy and the noisy, to lectures, teachers, peers and those strange, intensive, socializing games other people of her age seemed to be so fond of. The night, on the other hand, belonged to silence, to moonlight, to scents, and to those faint whispers so many people have taken to habit not to hear. Luna enjoyed the night, and even if she knew that it was unfair to compare the day with all its many sounds and business with the silvery rays of moonshine and the smell of the air when the world slept, she couldn't help thinking, sometimes, that she perhaps liked the night just a tiny little bit better. But she felt bad about it, and she apologized to the day once the sun rose in the morning.

Luna sat all alone on the roof of the castle, comfortably leaning back against an old chimney pipe, gazing into the night. She talked to the girl that sat next to her with low, calm voice. She didn't say anything much important, or urgent. She simply let her mind unfold, unloading its burden of thoughts and impressions. The girl she talked to never minded listening.

"Today, I showed Hermione the article about the Snorkack hair samples," she said leisurely. "But she said that it was not analyzed properly to prove that it really was from a Snorkack." She paused and glanced for a moment at her conversation partner who gave her a faint smile, encouraging Luna to go on. She did so, frowning just a little bit thoughtfully. "I asked her where else it could come from, being Snorkack hair, but she did walk away then." The other girl nodded.

"I had a fish once..." she said vaguely.

"I mean, Snorkack hair could hardly come from Bumbilgers, could it? So why wouldn't she believe it?" Luna went on, with a slightly complaining tone of voice. "I just wish she would try, that's all. She has such a beautiful mind, so why doesn't she want to use it?"

"At least I think it was a fish... But it wouldn't swim, it only sang... Are fins supposed to be on the inside or outside?" the girl went on in sing-song voice. Luna considered this.

"I have never seen fishes with fins on the inside, you know, but I couldn't be expected to see them there, I suppose. I'll have to ask dad."

"I like fishes..." the girl concluded. She seemed to be of about the same age as Luna, but rather than the strict Hogwarts robe she had muggle clothes; torn jeans and a t-shirt so worn that it was hardly possible to guess its original colour anymore. Her hair was a wild assembly of green, orange and pink in all possible shapes except those normally expected of hair. Her left eye was green with silver flecks that moved, the right was blue. They were vaguely focusing at a spot of empty air a few inches from her face.

"I lost my charms book yesterday," Luna went on. "It's a bit inconvenient, actually. I have to go to the library now to read after classes."

"My brother has a library, I think..." she answered with slightly uncertain voice, as if she herself was questioning what she was about to say. "There are so many books in there that some of them get lost now and then, and then they get to me to ask for directions... I was a book for a while, and people would read in me and learn all kind of things and I would tell them stories that I made up... And then the stories would be real and the books would be real people, who were reading other books about other stories..."

"Not that I mind the library, with all the books and Willybinger nests and such," Luna continued dreamily, not really paying attention to what the other girl was saying. "But sometimes I don't have time to do my homework at day, and then I'll have to go there at night instead, and mister Filch doesn't like to be disturbed when he walks the castle at night... Isn't that curious? Why does he look so hard for people if he doesn't want to find them?"

"There are so many stories..." the girl answered, "but my brother can be quite scary sometimes... Is there a word for a story that doesn't end when it is supposed to end, but go on and on and on until everyone in it is worn out and thin, and then their bones grind to dust, just out of weariness? I think there is a word for that..."

"Maybe I should write about the library Willybinger's and ask daddy to publish it?" Luna mused. "I think it would be a rather good article, actually. But they can be quite elusive when they wish to, so I would have to be quite careful..."

The girl smiled in satisfaction as a butterfly emerged in thin air, at the spot she had been looking at. Unlike other butterflies, this seemed to have words written all over its wings with small, neat handwriting. Luna followed it with her eyes, mildly interested in what the words read.

"Ginny says that there are a lot of people who wants to kill us now, after we went with Harry to the ministry," she went on. "It's a bit scary, you know, not knowing when one of them will jump up behind me and do horrible things to me... Are you afraid, sometimes?" The girl looked at her, smiling sympathically, but the smile soon faded to give way to a vague frown.

"I met Night," the girl said with sudden force. "He wasn't very nice... I made him go away until he apologized, but then there was so very much day everywhere that people got hurt and my sister asked me to bring him back again..." Luna shot her a curious glance. The butterfly fluttered away into the night, leaving a trail of gold dust after it.

"What was he like?" she asked. The girl pondered over this for a moment. Luna leaned back against her chimney pipe, shifting slightly to find a more comfortable position. The chimney pipe was, in fact, in the very end of the roof. The girl she was talking with sat, quite comfortably by the look of it, in thin air. This didn't seem to bother any of them.

"Vanilla," the girl said at last, and Luna nodded.

"I met your sister once," she said after awhile. "When I was nine. I was really sad then, but she was nice to me and comforted me."

"My sister is nice," the girl agreed. "But not many people like her. Or at least I think they are people... I don't really know."

"People can be funny like that, sometimes," Luna said. "There are many people who don't like me either, even if they hardly know me. I don't mind much, but there are times when I would like to have friends." They were silent for a little while.

The girl looked up at Luna, studying her calm, moon-lit face for a few moments. Luna met her gaze.

"Um... Luna, are you happy? Are you happy in my realm?" she asked at last. Luna nodded without any hesitation.

"I'm very happy, Delight," she answered reassuringly. "I like your realm very much."

The other girl suddenly looked very old, much older than any human, or indeed humanity, and when she spoke her eyes focuses at Luna's face, they both were of the same colour. There was nothing dreamy or vague in her voice, only an overwhelming, overpowering sadness.

"I am not Delight anymore," she said quietly, and a single tear rolled down her cheek. Luna smiled at her, and reached out and brushed it away, just for a moment letting her fingers linger on the girl face. Neither her voice had any of the usual dreaminess or vagueness when she answered.

"Yes, for me you are," Luna said matter-of-factly, and no other words were exchanged.

On the roof of the dark, sleeping Hogwarts castle, all alone, sat Luna Lovegood, comfortably leaning back against an old chimney pipe, a faint smile on her lips. Her large, unblinking eyes, silvery in the cold moon light, gazed over the shadowy world below. She enjoyed the night, perhaps a tiny little bit more than she did enjoy the day. She enjoyed the realm in which her mind travelled, to which she belonged with all her heart and soul, very much. For those who watch from the outside, the difference between madness and happiness, between Delirium and Delight, can be infinitely small. But for those who live in her realm, in the everchanging, evergrowing plane of colours, sensations and true wonders, there is a world of differences.