From the Playground to the Castle
Luna Lovegood smiled happily dropping her bright yellow sand pail on the wet brown sand. The ocean lapped the dirt, gently teasing her toes. She flopped onto the floor spreading her legs open and wide and began piling dirt in the empty space before her.
Luna loved the playground. Even though her father kept insisting she call it a beach. Whenever he told her that, Luna wrinkled her nose and pulled on her two ponytails, "No, daddy, it's a playground." To which her father just smiled and watched his little girl with admiration.
She always begged her father to take her to the playground on her birthday. And he always did bring her. Today was her sixth birthday. She was contentedly spending it making mud-cakes with twigs for candles. She would have liked it if her father was there with her adding little twigs to her cake and singing her happy birthday, but he was so busy with an article on Nargles. She really didn't blame him. It was okay as long as she was at the playground and her father would be with her later. He had forbidden her to go to the 'beach' alone at first but she'd managed to convince him otherwise.
Luna piled more dirt onto her cake and shaped it. Humming softly she admired her cake. It was perfect. All it needed was six twiggy candles. She stood up and wandered around looking for six perfect-sized twigs.
When she had accomplished her mission she returned to her cake ready to put on the twigs when she saw a dark-skinned boy kick over the mud-cake she'd carefully built and pick up her pail.
"That's mine." Luna said to the boy
He turned. He was quite lean, with soft honey colored eyes and a perceptible frown stretched across his features. Luna guessed he was about her age.
"The pail's mine. So was the cake."
The boy scoffed. "Cake? That was mud."
Luna shook her head. "Cake. And you kicked it over. That was rude."
He looked at her with disdain etched clearly on his face. "Don't tell me you were going to eat it? You can't be that dumb."
"Of course not," Luna smiled. "I'm Luna Lovegood."
His eyes opened wide and an appalled look made its way onto his face. "Lord, you're the daughter of that crazy man who writes the Quibbler."
Luna tugged on her hair. "He is NOT crazy."
The boy rolled his eyes.
"I want my pail back." She said stubbornly; the boy was mean and she did not like him at all.
"I don't think so. It's mine now."
Luna was shocked. "It's mine. Besides if you steal it, the doyvetters will come haunt your dreams. It's not nice. They are attracted to thieves. I don't like you very much but I don't want them to torture you."
The boy looked at her incredulously. "You're a loon."
Luna blinked in response.
The boy walked away with her pail and Luna felt tears well up in her eyes.
He'd called her a loon.
3 Years Later
Blaise Zabini rolled around in his bed as his mum's maid came in and drew the curtains back, letting the sunlight penetrate the darkness in his room. He groaned as the bright, harsh light seeped in, burning his eyes.
His mum was firmly against house elves. Not because she believed they deserved to be treated like humans or any other caring gesture like that, she was simply disgusted by them. She looked upon house elves with a mixture of repugnant horror and disdain. She preferred to hire humans to work in her house. Maids, gardeners, repairmen. Most of them males whom winded up become "Uncle-this" or "Uncle-that" or "Mommy's special little friend".
Blaise took this with as much normalcy as he could bear. Ever since his father left them when he was four his mum moved on from husband to husband like some people changed socks. None of them ever lasted long; he was used to seeing a new "father" about every four months.
The current one was tall, Irish, smoked a lot of cigarettes and enjoyed to call him sport in his mother's presence. When she was gone, he just looked at him as if he were scum. He didn't like this one at all. He sent off a bad vibe and was to smiley. Plus, he sent the maid in at four in the bloody morning to wake him up. He had convinced his mother that as a growing boy, Blaise needed to seize the day and spend time outdoors, not cooped inside the large mansion. And his mum, unsure about what proper things she should be teaching a young boy, took the advice of her new husbands as they came, and as soon as they divorced the advice was forgotten.
He would just live with it. When he complained to his mother the marriages tended to last longer, so he'd just learned to keep his mouth shut and take the new influences as they came, reminding himself that they never lasted. Blaise got up angrily and yelled at the maid for waking him up.
It really wasn't the maid's fault but he needed to let out his anger on someone. She just happened to be there.
He pulled on some clothes and left the mansion. They were spending some time in Italy due to his mother's 'urges'. Something about the country calling her name. He walked to the beach kicking sand up as he went wishing his mum was a normal mother.
He was so absorbed in his thoughts he didn't see her until the small blonde thing collided with him knocking him to the floor.
"What are you doing?" He exclaimed as the person who'd crashed into him giggled.
He looked at her. She was tiny, with long flowing golden blonde hair and very large, very blue eyes. She giggled again. "I'm sorry." Another lapse of giggles. "I was trying to chase a Moygel. It's so FAST!" She was smiling brightly.
For some reason he couldn't name he was increasingly annoyed. How could she be happy, when he was not? "Watch where you're going, you stupid girl."
She stopped smiling at looked at him oddly. "Don't I know you?"
He scoffed. "No. I wouldn't hang out with a loon like you."
Her eyes widened to a point of impossibility; she looked like a deer caught in the headlights. In a soft garbled whisper she said. "You stole my pail."
"What?" he asked angrily
"You stole my pail, three years ago."
Blaise was about to tell her to bugger off when he remembered. She was that odd little blonde thing with the two lopsided ponytails that'd been making 'cakes' by the beach that one day. He'd been looking for a pail to replace his old one so he took hers.
What was her name? He remembered her last name was Lovegood, but that was all. He remembered her because she told him something about having nightmares and he'd had them. The stupid girl had cursed him or something. "Right. Whatever, Looney."
She frowned and he could of sworn he saw her eyes fill with tears but he didn't have time to make sure, she'd ran off in the other direction.
2 Years later
Luna hummed skipping along the halls happily.
Hogwarts was okay. It wasn't anything special.
The people there were overly gossipy and they all looked and acted the same. The girls wore their hair up and fussed over what others would think. They worried about failing exams and gossiped about Harry Potter. They insulted the Slytherins, mostly behind their backs and talked about how Snape was unfair. The boys spent their time on brooms, showing off and complaining about unfair teachers. They swore and they got into duels to prove themselves strong and they insulted Slytherins as well.
It was all so petty.
She had envisioned Hogwarts as a great place free of prejudice and filled with amazing splendor, but in reality it was just like any other place. Tedious, trivial and picky.
She groaned pulling her bag up. It was really heavy. Books were nasty inventions to have especially when one didn't have knowledge about lightening charms.
"Shoot!" Luna exclaimed as she hit someone and all her books toppled to the ground. The someone she'd bumped into was tall. She barely reached him halfway. She looked up feeling dwarfed. His skin was the color of milk chocolate and his eyes were an almond shape with a color of golden honey. She remembered him dimly. He was the boy who'd stolen her pail when she was six and the boy who'd called her loony when she was nine. "Sorry." She muttered softly, not to keen on talking to him.
The last few times she'd done and tried that he'd insulted her.
He narrowed his eyes. "You're so fucking clumsy. Idiot first-year."
Luna bristled. "You catch more honey with flies than with vinegar."
His brow furrowed. "What are you talking about, Loony? Its more flies with honey than with vinegar. Lord, I bet you're an idiot Hufflepuff."
"Hufflepuff's are kind people. One shouldn't use Hufflepuff as an insult; that is just incorrect."
He snorted. "Whatever you have to tell yourself."
Luna resisted the urge to tell the snobby boy that she was a Ravenclaw. She didn't have to prove herself to an idiot like that. "You are mean and I don't like you."
He sneered. "I don't fucking care."
Luna bent to pick up her books but the dark-skinned boy kicked them across the hall. She stood up. "Why did you do that?"
Luna blinked. She wiped at her eyes hastily and went to retrieve her books.
"By the way, Loony, that necklace is stupid."
Luna lifted her hand to her butterbeer cork necklace. Her mother had made it for her. It was really the only thing she had left from her mother. Luna wiped at her eyes again willing herself not to cry.
3 Years Later
Blaise watched her with minimal interest.
She was leaning against a tall oak tree flipping through an upside-down magazine. Her golden hair was pulled up into three ponytails piled on top of her head; her huge blue eyes were looking passively at the magazine. She had radishes swinging from her ears and was trembling slightly from the cold.
He was bored. Boredom never sat quite well with Blaise and she was occupying a significant amount of said boredom. Lately he'd taken to 'borrowing' one of her possessions every time he saw her. This he did for no other reason than to ease his boredom.
Everyone insulted her.
It was the one inter-house thing that went around Hogwarts. She was just Loony Lovegood, the crazy Ravenclaw that never made any sense.
It surprised him that even after being insulted and taunted and picked on as much as she was that she still never did anything about it.
The last time he saw her show any emotion to the taunts was her first year when he'd kicked her books across the hall and insulted her necklace. After that she usually just blinked and turned away or accepted the insults with indifference.
He liked taunting her. Not because he didn't like her, but because he couldn't help himself. She was fourteen and she was very pretty. She had that sweet sort of innocence and always looked happy.
There was a time when her happiness pissed him off. It got on his nerves that she could be happy when he felt nothing but horrible bitterness toward himself and the rest of the world. Now, all her happiness did was confuse him. He wanted to know what it was that made her so happy when her life didn't seem all that great.
She didn't seem to have any friends.
Not any real ones.
Almost everyone insulted her.
And it seemed unlikely that more than a handful of people knew her real name.
He walked toward her pausing by her feet. He stood there saying nothing wondering if she would even acknowledge his presence.
"You're blocking the sunlight." She turned a page. "I wouldn't mind normally but to read this I need sunlight." She adjusted her spectacles. They were large and swirling oddly. He believed she called them Spectrespecs. "So, would you mind?"
"Actually I would."
She raised her head and cocked it to the left; tendrils of golden hair falling off her shoulders. "Okay." She then resumed staring at the magazine.
"What's it?" She mumbled in a shaky voice.
Blaise scoffed. "You clearly need to learn how to defend yourself."
"Hmm." that's all she said.
He leaned down and pulled the magazine out of her face with his index finger. "It's no wonder why people pick on you, Lovegood."
"It doesn't bother me."
Blaise snatched the magazine from her hands. "Very well." He stood up and flipped through it. "Thanks for the magazine, Lovegood." He muttered walking away leaving her under the tree.
Hours later, Blaise was lying on his back on the floor reading the magazine. It was slightly pathetic. He was reading the Quibbler and actually found it interesting. Not that he thought it was a good source of news or such, but the 'facts' were humorous.
He didn't know why he'd taken it from her. He'd like to say it was to teach her a lesson, but that wasn't really it.
For some odd reason, whenever he was near her he just felt the need to taunt her. It wasn't perhaps logical, but it was how he was.
He taunted her, she accepted it.
What was even stranger was that he was always slightly irked when he saw anyone but himself taunting her. It was as if taunting the odd Ravenclaw was a thing only he was allowed to do and if anyone else did it, then it was just wrong.
It annoyed him really.
Quite a few people ended up the hospital wing because of him.
He came to a page that she'd dog-eared. He skimmed the page quickly when something caught his eye. In the left hand corner she'd written something in dark blue ink.
Is there somewhere I can go?
Is there someone I can be?
I can't stand this life anymore.
I can't stand all this civility.
Is there something I can do?
Is there someplace I can breathe?
I can't handle who I am anymore.
I can't keep pretending I can see.
This world just isn't meant for me.
He wondered if that was how she really felt. Blaise almost felt guilt for taunting her at that moment. Almost. But the feeling still lay there. The strange feeling that compelled him to taunt her. He traced his fingers across the letters. It was strangely pretty. Not that he would ever admit that to anyone.
1 Year Later
Luna fiddled with the sleeves of her spangled silver robes, feeling distinctly bored. Harry had just left, saying something about using the bathroom which she really didn't believe, but who was she to judge?
It really wasn't that bad of a party. Slughorn had clearly tried his hardest to make it interesting. He even went as far as to invite a vampire – Sanguini.
Luna bit her lip then decided to go talk to the vampire. Really, everyone else at the party, with the possible exception of Trewlaney, either hated her or thought her odd and was avoiding her like the plague.
"Hello." She said dreamily.
The vampire regarded her coldly but said nothing. His dark eyes traversed to her neck.
"What does blood taste like?" She asked. "I mean I figure everybody has different tasting blood. Is it like that? Is blood more salty or is it sweet," The vampire edged closer, his eyes still on her neck, but Luna didn't seem to notice, "or what? My father says it's really just an impulse, he says that vampires don't have to drink blood, they just like it. Which naturally makes me wonder what it tastes like; so what does it taste –"
A hand snaked behind her and clasped her wrist pulling her away from the vampire. "Excuse me," the elegant, cold and domineering voice holding her wrist said, "I need to speak with her."
The person dragged her far away from Sanguini then turned her around.
It was Blaise Zabini.
"What the hell do you think you're doing, Lovegood?"
She blinked. "Talking." Conversations with Blaise always disturbed her. Sometimes he started off nice and then he either stole something or called her Loony. There was something deeply disturbing about him. He was the only person who could actually affect her with his taunts. Maybe it was because he was the first person who'd ever taunted her.
"That vampire looked about ready to sink his teeth in your neck. What are you stupid?"
She shrugged. "Some people call me stupid."
He grimaced. "Where is that bloody Potter? Isn't he supposed to be your date?"
"He's my friend."
"Lot good friend he is, leaving you to get eaten by a vampire."
Luna opened her mouth but said nothing. Blaise was dressed in elegant blue robes and he looked put-together, handsome and defiant, as he usually did.
"Nice to see you at least have the logic to put away your awful radish earrings for a party."
"They aren't awful…"
Luna blinked and fiddled with the sleeve of her robes again. "Why are you talking to me?" She said lifting her head to see his golden eyes.
He raised an eyebrow, "Because I felt like it."
"You're very unstable you know? Unstable people have a tendency to become the minister of magic."
"And everyone knows that job always leads to becoming corrupt and starting a legion of subservient goblins to brainwash others."
He snickered. "All of them?"
Luna blinked. "Yes."
"And it's bad to have other people thinking what I want because…?"
"It's not right."
He tapped her nose. "You're too moral, love."
"What do you mean?"
"Too ethical, too decent, too proper."
"I meant about the 'love' part."
"Whatever you want to think."
"I don't." She paused, becoming confused. He was starting off too nice. Sooner or later he was going to steal something from her. What he would steal was an entirely different question. "Want to think about it, I mean."
"Fitting." He said with a smirk. "It seems you hardly ever want to think about anything that's not utterly preposterous."
"Subservient goblins, I mean really."
"It's true! Fudge did it and now Scrimgeour is doing it!"
He tugged on her robe pulling her closer. Luna smacked into his chest. "Love, you're crazy."
Luna blinked feeling tears rise to her eyes. What was it with him? Why could he make her cry?
He brushed his hand across her chin trailing it slowly to her right ear. He rubbed her ear in-between his fingers and shivers passed through her.
His hand pulled away with something silver in his hand.
Luna's hand shot up to her ear. Her moon-star earring was gone. "Give it back."
"Don't know what you're talking about."
"My father gave it to me on my birthday, please give it back."
Luna bit her lip and willed herself not to cry.
She was a big girl, she would NOT cry.
He lifted her chin up so she was looking into his eyes. "Crying, Lovegood? How pathetic."
"I am NOT crying."
"Good. I don't like crybabies."
"You don't like me at all."
He took a step back looking utterly surprised.
Then he leaned forward and kissed her lightly on the lips.
Luna's jaw dropped open.
"Don't be so sure, love."
Blaise sat in his room contemplating the night's events. They were odd at best, but then again she wasn't called 'Loony Lovegood' for no reason.
He didn't really know why he was so upset that Potter had left her alone at the party. It seemed obvious that it would be because Sanguini looked about ready to suck her dry, but if he were a half-way decent Slytherin he wouldn't care about any random person. And as far as Blaise was concerned he was a damn good Slytherin.
He reached into his pocket and withdrew the silver earring. He turned it in his hand, studying it: the earring was a crescent moon surrounded by three dangling stars. They danced about the moon as if taunting it for being unable to move along with them. It was very delicate and when he looked closely he could see it wasn't made of silver but of a simple aluminum alloy. Ordinarily this would prove as evidence that a person was poor, but with someone like Luna Lovegood it was hard to tell. Perhaps this alloy warded off Nargles or some other pathetically impossible nonsense like that.
He'd almost given the earring back to her when her eyes welled up with tears. It wrenched his heart to see her protuberant eyes watering, but at the same time he felt a possessive need.
The earring should be his.
The only plausible explanation he could come up with for this feeling was that something so pretty should not be worn by her.
But even that didn't sound right.
It wasn't all that pretty.
Yet, he couldn't shake the feeling that she shouldn't wear it.
He smiled remembering her attire. She'd been wearing sparkly silver robes that stood out amazingly even in the crowded room. Smith's date – Padma – had blatantly mentioned the 'atrocity of Loony's robes' to Smith at a volume that reached every corner of the room. He'd turned to see her reaction but it was as if she hadn't heard.
Which was ridiculous, of course she heard.
Blaise just reasoned she was far too engrossed with her conversation with Trewlaney. Trewlaney had looked drunk.
Later that night the bowl of punch 'happened' to fall all over Padma's honey-colored robes.
Blaise's mood shifted again to the present. He stared up at the darkness still playing with the earring. Funny, Luna Lovegood chose to wear an earring of a moon. Blaise was quite fluent in Italian. Luna, moon.
He kissed her.
Blaise smirked. Of course it wasn't a proper kiss at all. No tongue or open lips or any such nonsense. It was just a light peck on the mouth.
Now that was quite odd. He had no idea what compelled him to do so. It was just something about the way she spoke back. She'd never talked back to anyone before…
"Crying, Lovegood? How pathetic."
"I am NOT crying."
"Good. I don't like crybabies."
"You don't like me at all."
He really hadn't given her a decent kiss at all; perhaps he should fix that sometime.
The next day on his way to Potions, she bumped into him. A small "Oomph!" escaped her lips. The right half of her hair was done up in a million tiny little braids with different colored beads strung onto it and the left half was curled to a point of impossibility tied with a thin white ribbon. She was wearing the dratted butterbeer cork necklace she always had. The thing he noticed, were her earrings. They matched the necklace. They dangled from her ears with three corks each, lightly brushing her shoulders occasionally.
"Clumsy." He said to her.
She looked up at him with indifference.
Blaise kept looking at her earring. It swayed rhythmically mocking him. "Why do you always seem to bump into me, Lovegood? You really need to learn how to walk. It's an ordinary human concept."
"There's no such thing as ordinary."
"Did Potter ever come back to his date?" he sneered feeling slightly irked that she acted as if nothing had happened.
"We went as friends."
He scoffed. "As if anyone would be your friend. There's only one reason to put up with someone like you and that's to get something."
Luna blinked and he saw her eyes well up again.
"I would really like my earring back if you wouldn't mind." She said suddenly.
"Shame, because you aren't getting it back."
She shifted. "Okay." She tried to move around him.
He rolled his eyes and grabbed her robes pulling her close to him. "And here I thought you'd actually gained a backbone." He muttered his lips hovering mere centimeters above hers.
She trembled slightly. "What are you doing?"
"Right now? Contemplating how stupidly inept you are at defending yourself." He closed the gap between their mouths. "Now," he forced his tongue in her mouth, which she easily granted him access to, "I'm kissing you." He bit down softly on her lip. He pulled away before she could come to her senses. Taking one last look at the dangling butterbeer cork earring still taunting him, he came to a decision. He lifted his hand to her ear and took it out. "Now, I'm taking my trophy." He pocketed the earring and kissed her once more. "And, now, I'm going to class." He walked off leaving Luna standing there confused.
He grinned as he stuffed his hand into his pocket and felt the earring.
Funny, he always did seem to take something from her.
A few months later
His tongue was in her mouth again.
But to be fair her tongue was in his too.
She just didn't understand him. She pushed him back. "Stop."
He blinked looking surprised. "What?"
"Just," Luna frowned not sure what she thought was wrong, but there it was, she could feel it. Something was wrong. She just wasn't all too sure what that something was. "I don't know. Can you let me think for a bit? I can never think when your tongue is in my mouth."
Blaise smirked, and obeyed, albeit reluctantly. His hand was still resting at her waist and he was still eyeing her with that lustful hunger.
Luna sighed trying to figure what was bothering her. He was really very handsome, what with his dark skin and almond eyes. He was kind and nice to her except for that odd bit about him always stealing one of her earrings every time. It would make more sense if he stole both, but he only took one. She didn't see the point in that. What was there to do with one earring? You couldn't really wear it. Not that she actually thought he wore her earrings but… Luna sighed trying to figure out what exactly was bothering her about Blaise. She couldn't put her finger on it. Then it struck. "Why?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Why, what?"
"I'm not pretty or smart or funny so why?"
"I still don't understand what you're asking…Oh! You mean…?" He shook his head in disappointment. "I thought you were crazy, love, not daft."
"You're quite pretty. A simple, small kind of pretty. You're obviously very smart, you are in Ravenclaw for a reason and as for being funny, you are the only person who can actually make me laugh. That must count for something."
"I don't like being described as simple."
He grinned. "Very well, you're an unearthly, strange, small, bizarre kind of pretty."
"Are you lying?"
"I'm a Slytherin."
"So you are?"
"I don't think you're crazy or daft. Eccentric, yes. Insecure, yes. Unique, yes. Unconfident, yes. But neither crazy nor daft. Everything else was truth."
He leaned forward and kissed her again.
"I wasn't done." She protested in-between his gentle hungry kisses.
"Couldn't help myself, love; it's your fault, you just have to look so appealing."
Luna smiled. "Any particular reason you always take my earrings?"
A small smile crept on his face. He said nothing but pulled her forward and kissed her again. Meanwhile they were kissing she felt his hand ease about her ear and remove the earring. This time it was a fake gold eagle earring.
"If you keep stealing my earrings, I'm going to run out."
Blaise merely smirked.
2 Years Later
He pulled her along, her tiny hands in his. She was happily humming behind him her eyes closed. Blaise grinned. The action was still a little strange to him, he had never grinned until he met her; for some reason she just made him want to smile.
"You know," she began, "I don't mind this too much, but I might go blind if I have to close my eyes any longer."
Blaise laughed. "And I suppose you've never had your eyes closed longer before?"
He glanced back at her. True to her word, her eyes were still closed, not that he doubted her, of all the things she was, honesty was the most important one to her, and she swore she wouldn't open her eyes until he'd said she could. "I guess you aren't counting how long you sleep, that is, unless you sleep with your eyes closed?"
She paused. "Huh. I forgot about sleep."
He snickered. "I guess you aren't going blind anytime soon."
"I guess not." Her fingers pressed into his palm. "The sand is squishy."
"Well, it's wet. I'd figure it would be a little," he smiled "squishy."
"Squish, squish." She chanted.
Blaise couldn't help but grin again. She really was an odd girl, but she kept him very entertained. Most girls were very nosy and spoiled and dishonest. She was the complete opposite of that. When he had asked her to come to his house in Italy and meet his mother, she looked at him with confusion and said, 'I don't see why, but if you want. I'd like to meet her. Is she nice like you? I hear she's a model. I've heard models are very vain and selfish people.' She'd said all that in one breath and hadn't mentioned it again.
She had kicked off her sandals a little while ago and left them somewhere in the vicinity between the house and where they were now. He hadn't bothered to ask her where exactly she'd left them when he noticed they where gone, or tell her that they would probably get lost if she just left them; he'd long since learned that reasoning with her would get him nowhere. He finally reached the place he was looking for. It was under a fishing dock, he pulled her under. "Duck your head."
She did as he said. "It's squishier here." She noted.
He released her hand and walked behind her. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. She smelled pretty. It was the one thing he always marveled at. She didn't smell like perfume or flowers or fruit, she smelled like the earth. Fresh and calming. "Okay, you can open your eyes now."
She rustled in his arms. "Wow."
He glanced at her line of vision and smiled. It was really a stupid thing to show a girl, but he'd had a feeling she would appreciate it. It was a largely constructed sand castle that closely resembled Hogwarts. It had towers, and courtyards, and long winding halls. Some of the sand castle was poorly built, sloppy and seemed to be created by a young child, other parts were more intricate and specifically designed.
"It's pretty." She whispered. She wormed around in his arms so that she was facing him. He hadn't dropped or loosened his hold on her so she was pressed up tightly against him, "Who built it?"
He smiled at her. "Me."
He blue eyes widened. "All by yourself?"
He kissed her. "Yes."
"Wow, must have taken you a long time."
"I've been building it ever since that day I stole your pail. I'd tried building it close to shore but the water seemed to keep washing it away, it even washed away my pail. I found this place, but it wasn't working so well without a pail, so I took yours."
She smiled. "It's pretty. If you had just wanted to use my pail to build a castle I would've given it to you."
"I never take charity, love; then or now."
"So you steal things instead?"
He smiled. "Well, when you say it like that it doesn't make much sense."
She frowned. "I don't see how else you could say it."
"Well," he nuzzled her neck, "you could say I borrowed it."
"Borrowing entitles that I receive the object back at some point."
He let go of her and approached the sand castle. He reached behind some crates that were beside the castle and pulled out a faded yellow pail. He stretched it out to her. "And now, I am returning it."
She shook her head and pushed the pail back to him. "It's not finished. You can't give it back yet."
He grinned. "Well, then, care to help me finish it?"
She smiled. "Okay."
A while later Luna Lovegood was covered in dirt. Her cheek was smudged, her hands were filthy and the clothes she was wearing seemed to magnetically attract the mud. Blaise could've laughed if he wasn't in the same state. Even covered head to toe in dirt she was that strangely unearthly sort of pretty. Luna Lovegood inspired feelings in him he wasn't aware he could feel. She was his gem. She lifted her head and stared at him. "What?" She asked.
"You're covered in dirt."
"So are you."
"But I don't look ridiculous."
"Look at you," He smiled, "all grown up and with a spine. Talking back to me."
Luna stuck out her tongue.
He closed the space between them and kissed her. "Shouldn't be sticking you tongue out at me love. I might just be tempted to stick mine in your foul mouth."
"I don't have a foul mouth."
He grinned. "Says you."
"And I know everything." She teased.
"Won't your mum want us back soon?"
He shrugged and lay down on the sand. "Who cares?"
"She's your mum, you should care."
"She's not on my good side right now."
He felt a little sick as she asked this. He'd introduced Luna to his mum and his mum had wrinkled her nose in distaste and said the 'whore' was only trying to steal his money. She'd said that Luna was stupid and insane, and that he could do better. And she'd said all that in front of her. "Because of what she called you."
Luna lay down beside him. "It doesn't bother me. I've been called those things all my life. Well, except for the stealing money bit and whore. Those are the newer ones.
Blaise narrowed his eyes. "What do you mean by that?"
"That it's a new insult. Only started two years ago."
"We started being together two years ago."
"Who calls you that?" He asked anger filling him.
He sat up. "That is—"
"It's alright, Blaise, it doesn't bother me. It's not true, so I don't care." She explained calmly, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. "It's not true, you know." She added.
"I know it's not true, that doesn't mean it's alright for people to say it." He spat.
"Your mum said it."
"Which is exactly what I mean!"
"I don't understand."
"I'm not feeling charitable toward my mum because of what she thinks of you. She may have given birth to me, but as far as I'm concerned she's not my mother. She was always too busy gallivanting with another man to pay any attention to me."
"Why do you care so much about me? I don't matter; I'm just me. She's your mum and…and…I've seen you get mad at your friends and I don't know why. I'm not – I don't see why you pick me over them." She looked at her hands. "I'm just Luna. There's no reason for you to even want to be with me; I mean, you're just so…you."
His eyes narrowed. "Now, I'm not quite sure, on what you mean by all this 'just me' nonsense, because you're can never be just anything. And I can list a million reasons why I pick you over everyone else, but I don't fancy sounding like a Hufflepuff, so I'll just say this: I love you. That's why."
She looked at him. "I never thought someone would say that to me."
He rolled his eyes and drew her forward. "Shut up."
"I don't want to right now."
He kissed her. "Oh, right, I have something for you."
"Okay." Luna sat up. "I love you too, you know."
"I know, you've said it to me many times before." He reached into his pocket, "First is this. I'm going to give you something I've never given anyone else and don't plan to give anyone else so you better accept it."
"I would never decline it if it means that much to you, but whatever it is, I don't think you should give it to me, surely there are—"
"Luna," He interrupted slightly bitter at her words, "I want to give it to you. Worse even, I need to give it to you."
"I don't see how you need to give it to me."
He smiled. "Wait; let me see your hand. It looks like there's a nargle on it."
Luna lifted her hand and looked at it, "There's no—"
He snatched her hand to him. "I'm sure it's here let me find it."
Luna sighed not sure what he was thinking. Nargles were quite large; one would see it immediately if it was there, plus Nargles didn't like playgrounds. She felt something cool slide across her finger. "Blaise—"
"Nope, turns out you were right, it's not a Nargle." He said with a smirk and dropped her hand. Luna raised her hand and looked at it because she still felt that coldness on it. On her ring finger there was a thin slender silver band with a very pretty diamond adorned by a bunch of other tiny diamonds. She'd seen rings like it before but they usually meant something…very serious and when people got a ring like that they jumped around happily, but surely that's not what Blaise was trying to do. He probably didn't know what the ring meant. She took it off and handed it back to him. "You shouldn't give me that, people might start to think things if they see me wearing it."
He raised an eyebrow. "What kind of things, Luna?"
"That you proposed to me."
"Ah, I see, that would be terrible," He took the ring but didn't let go of her hand. Blaise turned it around and began to put the ring back on her hand. "Of course it would only be terrible if I didn't want to marry you, but as it turns out, I do, so, it seems your stuck wearing this ring, unless you don't want to marry me?"
"You want to marry me?" Luna asked astonished.
"Well, when you phrase it that way I begin to have second thoughts."
"You really should think about it, I mean, if you're having—"
"Luna," Blaise interrupted warmth in his voice, "I'm not having second thoughts, I KNOW I want to marry you; I've known for awhile now. But if you don't want to marry me, then we won't do it."
She shook her head violently. "Yes."
Blaise frowned. "Love, you just shook your head no, but you said 'yes' I'm not quite sure what you're telling me."
"I was shaking my head to what you said about me not wanting to. I do want to marry you."
"Good." Blaise reached into his pocket. "Here's the second thing, I would've given this to you first, but if you didn't want to marry me I wouldn't have given them back." He placed the item-in-question in her hand. Luna looked at it. It was every single earring he'd ever 'borrowed' from her. The silver moon-star earring, the golden eagle and the butterbeer cork necklace were all there along with all the others he'd taken. "Now, that you're going to marry me it seems pointless to keep your earrings if I'm going to have them in my house soon, with you as well."
She blinked. "I thought you would've thrown them away. Why did you keep them?"
"No idea. No idea why I took them to begin with."
Luna smiled. "I'm glad I came. I usually only come to the playground on my birthday; I missed it last year because my dad was short on money."
He grinned. "It's a beach, love."
She pouted. "Playground."
She was so cute when she pouted. He kissed her. "Playground then."