Once they were down the long stone path that led to the street from Malfoy's house, Luna stopped and turned to face Harry. He blinked and looked at her, grinning. "That was a nice escape, wasn't it?" she asked, cocking her head to the side. He nodded.
"Felt a bit like I was back at Hogwarts, avoiding detention or something." he admitted. "Seems Malfoy's become more insufferable since school. Now is he not only a prat, he's a bloody creep." Luna laughed and nodded, taking off her gloves and wiping off her silver lipstick on the back of her hand. She smacked her lips and smiled, and Harry noticed that it wasn't as fake as the one she held for Malfoy. "Funny, he was usually the reason I had detention anyway."
Harry followed Luna absentmindedly when she started walking down the street, first pausing to kick her shoes off, holding them by the backs with two fingers as they walked. He watched her with interest as she sighed, relieved. "Oh, thank Merlin." the blonde gasped, and Harry smirked. "Things are bloody impossible to walk in."
"You don't mind walking barefoot?"
"Oh no, I usually prefer it. It's not smiled upon in most public places, though."
"But why wear those awful heels? N-Not that you don't look good in them." he stammered, cursing himself inwardly at how awkward he was. Luna just let out a light giggle and shrugged.
"It's all about the image, Mr. Potter." she said. "Speaking of-- well, not really, but- Who did you mostly have detention with? Most of the Ravenclaws were sent to Professor Sprout. I'm not really sure why."
He paused to think. "... Snape. Definately Snape. He'd usually be the one to give me detention anyways! I'm suprised my Quidditch record wasn't completely dismal, considering how many practices I missed. Though, I'd be getting detention at least once every week when Umbridge was there." he laughed. Luna cringed and made a disgusted noise. "Did you ever get detention?"
"Oh, me? Yes. I served detention quite often."
This suprised Harry.
"Oh, you know, not returning books, exploring the castle after curfew, going into the Forbidden Forest alot, stealing potions supplies... Nothing big, I guess, unless you count that one time..."
"That one time?"
"You never heard? I punched Cho Chang."
"Right in the nose." the blonde said, nodding. Harry swore he heard, "Served her bloody right." under Luna's breath. They turned a corner. "She made some nasty comment about my father, I forget exactly what it was, but I guess I got tired of hearing her talk, so I socked her in the face. Now, where would you like to go? The night is still young!" Luna smiled then, curling a few strands of hair behind her ear and out of her face.
The-Boy-Who-Lived blinked a bit dumbly, thrown off by the sudden change in subject. He decided not to question it, and supposed that Cho most likely deserved it (if it came from someone as nice as Luna). "Well, err... I'm not sure. I'll leave it up to you."
"Do you drink?"
She stopped, clapping her hands together. "Oh, that's absolutely perfect! Let's go to a Muggle bar. I've always wanted to see one!" Luna said excitedly, grabbing on to Harry's arm once again. He bit his lower lip and frowned.
"Luna, how old are you?"
"Why, I'm 22, two years younger then you!"
"Alright, then. Just wondering. Luna, I don't think we're properly dressed for a Muggle bar. They tend to be a bit more casual. How about a different night?" he suggested. To be honest, he was a bit antsy, there was a flush to Luna's cheeks that Harry recognized to be his joy, Luna nodded eagerly without complaint, although her eyes were fixated on the sky now.
"Alright! Although I could use a drink. We could go back to my house if you want to rest, or we could have ourselves a nightcap. Shall we?"
"Go ahead, we'll Apparate." he said, holding their linked arms closer while looking at Luna. She seemed to glow, like the moon, Harry thought, along with a thousand other metaphors in his head. As if he said it out loud (which he most certainly did not), Luna looked over at him with curious blue eyes, blushing a bit before looking away. She closed her eyes and stepped closer to Harry, a loud crack filling the air as they disappeared.
Once they landed (right outside the Apparation wards for Luna's house), Harry lurched forward, stumbling to catch his balance. Luna stifled a laugh. "Oh, shut it, Luna." he said, smirking. "I still haven't gotten the hang of it. The only time I don't fall over when landing is if I run when I hit the ground."
"Then why don't you do that every time?" she asked. They began to walk up the path to the house and Luna skipped ahead.
"Because it looks a bit silly if it's not a serious situation." Harry replied, but Luna wasn't listening, already hopping up the steps and fiddling with the locks on the door. Once they were unlocked, she tapped the tip of her wand against the doorknob and whispered something. The doors parted. Harry walked up the steps. "Is this the only thing protecting your house?" he asked. Luna stepped inside and Harry gasped as the previously-unlit candles lit up across the walls as they entered. The doors swung shut behind them, making Harry jump.
"I have a few sensory wards to detect intruders, but nothing big. Should I get more?" the blonde asked in an airy tone, and Harry followed her up the main stairs, to the hall where both their rooms were.
"What about something to detect and block Dark Magic?"
"Well, that's not terribly useful here, I'm afraid." she said, opening her bedroom door and gesturing for Harry to come inside. He did so, hesitantly. "If Dark Magic was blocked, how would I hold my Quibbler functions? There are many Dark wizards out there, Harry Potter. Who's to say I don't know a few? You're practically glowing with Dark Magic, too."
"What? No I'm not!" he said. Luna let out a bemusing laugh and sauntered over to her wardrobe. She opened it and bent in, rummaging through her things.
"Yes, you are. Don't take insult, please, it's not a bad thing all the time. I assume it's from your connection to Lord Voldemort."
"Ex-connection. He's dead."
"So is my Mother, but I still feel connected to her."
Harry opened his mouth to retort, but found he didn't have anything to say to that. He frowned and watched as Luna pulled back from her wardrobe, two large green bottles in each hand. "Let's have a change of subject, shall we?" she cried, grinning like no tomorrow. The black-haired Auror squinted to read the labels of the bottles. Luna saw what he was doing and walked over to him. "Merlin's Mix For Magical Madness." she said. "It's my favourite!"
The blonde uncorked a bottle, and Harry sniffed the air. He crinkled his brow, being able to smell the alcohol without it being poured. "That's got to be way too strong for you, Luna!" he admonished. Luna shook her head, cocking her head to the side in a gesture for Harry to follow her. They left Luna's bedroom and ventured off down the corridor once again.
After a minute, they ended up in the kitchen, and it reminded Harry a bit of the kitchen at Grimmauld, but a bit bigger and much more hygienic. Luna put the bottles down on the counter, hopping up to open the cupboard above her. She couldn't get a grasp on the handle. "Harry, could you please help me? The fancy goblets are in here and I really wanna use them."
The Auror smiled and sighed, walking over and opening the cupboard. He grabbed the two silver goblets that Luna pointed to. Upon further inspection, he saw emeralds lining the edges. "These are amazing, Luna." he whispered as Luna took them and put them on the counter. She poured a bit of the green liquid into each glass, giving herself a generous amount.
"Thank you. They were a gift from Augustus Rookwood." she said absentmindedly, handing Harry a goblet. Harry paused.
"The Death Eater? Augustus Rookwood... sent you silver goblets. Silver goblets... with emeralds in them."
She shrugged. "Turns out he was a fan of my advertising for Borgin & Burkes, I think. He's a very nice man once you get to know him, really."
Harry raised an eyebrow. "Borgin & Burkes? Luna, that's a really sketchy place. You don't want to be associated with them. Why do you know so many Dark Wizards?" he asked, raising the goblet to his nose and sniffing it, although he doubted there was poison in it. Old habits die hard.
"Well, Dark Wizards still hold more power then the regular wizard nowadays, even though Voldemort's gone. No one has taken them out of power yet. Power means connections. Connections mean money. Money means fame. And that's the game I'm in. So, therefore, I have to associate with Dark wizards on many an occasion. But, Harry, Dark magic does not always mean Dark people. I thought you would know that." she said quietly. Harry felt a bit guilty.
"I'm sorry, Luna, I didn't mean to insult you, I just.... I'm an Auror. As you said, it's my job to be paranoid."
Luckily, Luna laughed and nodded. "Yes, that it is. But for example, Draco's a rather Dark wizard. But do you really think he could actually do something bad, besides just pissing people off?" she asked. Harry choked back a laugh.
"I know." she said simply with a cheeky grin. "So, what should we drink to? You are my guest, so you may choose."
Harry thought for a moment. He raised his glass. "To old friends?" he asked. Luna cringed at the cheesy suggestion. "Then how about... to... er..."
"Constant vigilance?" piped Luna. Harry's eyes widened and he nodded. Luna raised her glass.
"TO CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" they shouted together, laughing as they both took a large gulp of their drinks. Harry coughed at the sharp taste, forcing it down so he wouldn't look like a fool in front of Luna. Luna had taken her sip with ease, letting out a sigh at the heat that ran through her. She looked up, observing Harry with glittering eyes (Harry thought vaguely on how eyes usually don't glitter).
"Is it too strong for you?" she asked in a concerned tone as Harry coughed again.
He shook his head. "J-Just needs some getting used to." he muttered, composing himself before taking another sip. He braced himself for it, and it wasn't so bad. A bit minty. Pleasant, though, after his 3rd sip, warming his throat as it went down. "It's actually not that bad."
Luna brightened up immediately, small hands clasped eagerly around her cup. "Isn't it?" she asked, taking another drink with a smile. It didn't seem right, Harry thought, seeing Luna so happy about alcohol. But she was an adult, and so was Harry, and he trusted Luna to take care of herself. "I love it."
"So, who's it a gift from this time? Anyone I know?" he joked. Luna just blinked at him for a moment.
"Actually, yes!" she said. Harry groaned. "My first bottle was given to me by Fred and George when I was a 5th year! I know it sounds young, but I had always been curious about drinking--"
"--So the twins gave you the strongest drink they could find? A whole bottle of it?"
"Mmhmm. At first it was a bit strong, but after awhile I started to really like it. Now I get it on my own!" the blonde said, a dazed-but-brilliant smile on her face. "Fred and George are quite funny. They were the only ones who could call me Loony without me minding."
Harry frowned. "I'm sorry that everyone tormented you in school, Luna." he whispered, taking another sip of his drink.
"I am too." she said, and Harry felt a bit awkward for a moment. The air was tense as they both looked at the floor, but the friendly air quickly came back when Harry heard Luna let out a giggle. "Harry!" she shouted. He looked up. "You have a tattoo!"
"What? I-- Oh, yeah, I do. I've got a few." he mumbled, embarassed. He had rolled his sleeves up at some point during the night, and a green snake was visible on his skin, wrapping around his right forearm and wrist. It's eyes were yellow, and it seemed to be crying a tiny drop of blood. Luna reached for his arm and Harry extended it, shivering at her cold fingers. She traced the tattoo with dainty hands, eyes wide, fascinated by it. "I-It's, uhm, to represent a basilisk. I fought one in, err, my 2nd year at Hogwarts, I think."
"Oh, I heard about that!" she whispered excitedly, finally pulling away to take a sip of her drink. "What other tattoos do you have?"
"I... erm... I've got two broomsticks and a snitch on my upper arm..." he trailed off, pointing to his right bicep. "... Got what's written on the Mirror Of Erised around my other arm... my parent's names and Sirius's on the back of my neck..."
Luna squinted. She'd see if she could glimpse it later.
"... And the Gryffindor crest on my back..."
Luna started putting together a mental image.
".. And a phoenix on my chest. That's it."
Her ears perked. "CanIseeit?" she blurted out, regretting it instantly. She looked away and finished off her drink. "
"Uhm... Maybe another time." Harry said with an awkward chuckle, watching Luna as she finished her drink and moved to fill the goblet again. "Do you have any tattoos?"
Luna shook her head and gulped half of the drink down. "Not yet. I was thinking of getting one, but I'm not sure. It could ruin my career."
"What do you mean?" he asked, finishing his drink. Harry's eyes widened as Luna finished her 2nd drink in one last chug.
"Well, it's hard to cover up magical tattoos, especially in certain outfits. My agent would lose his marbles over it. Which would be kind of funny." she said with a smile. There was a long pause, and Luna blinked slowly, smiling, her cheeks flushed.
"What is it?" Harry asked with a raised brow.
"I... I think I find myself rather drunk." she said, and Harry snorted. Luna giggled at this, biting her lower lip and looking up at Harry. Her eyes swerved to focus on him. "You're Harry Potter."
"... I know."
"I don't think you do. You're Harry Potter."
"Well, what are you doing here?"
"Er... Protecting you."
"... Oh." she said, pouting.
"Luna? Are you okay?"
She looked up and nodded. "What? Oh, yeah, I'm fine. Don't listen to me. Want another drink?" she asked. Harry said no and she shrugged, beginning to put away the goblets and corking the bottles again. "I should probably stop as well. I drink too much anyhow."
Harry laughed. "I was wondering about that. You drank alot at Malfoy's party."
"He kept refilling my glass. What was I supposed to do? It was a Quibbler fundraiser, it wouldn't do for me to make him angry when the party's for me." she sighed. Harry understood. He stepped closer, a bit dizzy.
"Hey, uh, next time that starts to happen... want me to, I dunno, step in?" he offered. Luna smiled up at him, and for a moment, Harry felt like he was the most important man in the world. He passed it off as a drunken pause of emotion.
"I don't want to make it seem that I can't fend for myself, but that would be nice." she said, raising a hand to pat Harry on the cheek affectionately. "I'm sorry I'm so terribly useless."
Harry shook his head. "No, no, it's my job to protect you right now. Don't be sorry! It's... it's a bit endearing, really." the man muttered, blushing. Luna smiled and retracted her hand, watching Harry try not to lean into the touch. She frowned.
"Poor boy. All these years and still no one's shown you true affection."
"What are you talking about?"
"Nothing. What are you talking about?" she asked.
"Uhm, nothing." Harry muttered, and he felt a bit stupid. He decided it was his turn to change the subject, so he shuffled his feet and laughed. "So, uh, do you have any pets?"
Luna nodded. "I've got quite the family of Nargles living in the swamp out back! I've got a fair number of owls, they all like to live in the east tower." she said, gesturing vaguely upstairs with her hand.
"Wait, Nargles? You... you have them? They, uhm.... they actually exist?" he said slowly, trying not to offend her. Luna pouted, looking a bit hurt, and nodded.
"They're all probably asleep by now, but would you like to see them in the morning? You can come feed them with me!" she said excitedly.
Harry grinned. "Sounds perfect. We should probably be, err, getting to bed, it's kind of late...." he trailed off, then took out his pocketwatch and glanced at it. 1:04 am. "Well, kind of early, actually." he added.
Luna yawned. "Mm, that's a good idea. You're very smart, Harry Potter." the blonde whispered, and twirled on her bare heel to start walking out of the kitchen. Harry blinked, then rushed to follow her to their rooms.
He dreamt of Luna. He was chasing her through a thick fog on the grounds of Hogwarts. His glasses were absent and everything was blurry, except for Luna. He could see her clearly when she wasn't hidden by fog or trees, fixated on flashes of her blonde hair through leaves and branches as he chased her into the Forbidden Forest. She was laughing, shouting at Harry to keep up, to catch her, and humming a familiar tune that Harry couldn't quite place, but he knew he didn't like, because he let out a growl and ran faster whenever Luna started humming.
The scene suddenly changed.
Harry found himself in the Department of Mysteries. He was staring up at the Veil. It was fluttering, but there was no wind. And no whispers. Harry was perplexed, there were always whispering voices coming from the arch. But it was completely silent. He couldn't even hear himself breath. But then he heard the sound of soft chimes clinking together, emanating from the Veil. Something was in there. He watched with anticipation, waiting for something to...
A foot formed through the ripped fabric, then a slender leg, another foot, and slowly, a full person. It was Luna. She was smiling down at Harry. "You waited for me." she said. Harry didn't know what she was talking about, but he replied anyways, and his answers felt honest.
"I'll always wait for you, Luna. You're my--"
His sentence was cut off in the blink of an eye, and again the scene of the dream changed. There was Luna again, but something was wrong. She was on her knees, bent over a body and cradling it's head in her arms. She was sobbing. Harry stepped forward, hand outstretched. "Luna--"
"How could you?!" she shouted, looking up with fire in her eyes. "He didn't do anything to you! He respected you! HE SAVED MY LIFE!" Luna was shaking with fury, and Harry was confused. He thought he had done something good... why wasn't she happy? "He LOVED me!"
Harry's confusion was replaced by passionate anger. "He didn't love you! He could never love you! He was USING you!" he yelled back. He was holding his wand in a fierce grip, and he saw red staining the green carpet beneath them, running from the body Luna was holding... was that who they were fighting about? Who was he? He saw a tuft of white-blond hair through Luna's arms, and skin so pale it challenged Luna's...
"He wasn't using me! We loved eachother! Just because you hate him doesn't give you the right to kill him!"
Kill? That can't be... Harry would never kill someone... Right as he was about to open his mouth, the scene changed again.
Harry woke up.
A/N: Sorry it took so long to update. I'm an awful person.