Ok, you all seem to want another chapter so I'll have a go. There was always a chance that maybe I would go back to this but I wasn't entirely sure. Still, seeing as you don't think the story is over just yet, I'll give you one more chapter. And this will be the last one, so please stop asking for more. You're going to see yet another side to Luna in this one, quite a different one at that. :) This chapter is the reason why the rating is now raised to a T.
Chapter 4 – The Art Of Being Discreet
It was Christmas day and usually Harry appreciated this time of year. It was always the one celebration that he had stood by and looked on in the years he spent with the Dursley's: the one he wished he could be a part of. And now that wish had come true. But this year, his heart was sinking.
Luna had replied to the invitation saying that she would be delighted to come to Christmas dinner but Harry knew that the real reason that she had decided to come was so that she could see him again and pick up where their last "conversation" left off. Luna had mastered the art of being discreet but Harry dreaded that Ginny or one of the kids would suspect something and soon she would be blurting out all the details of their kiss…Why did such a thing have to befall him at Christmas? It was the season of goodwill, where it is better to give than to receive, where you think of others rather than yourself and where you start thinking of ways to improve for the coming year. And he had betrayed his wife's trust by kissing another woman.
Soon it was five o'clock and the tablecloth was set along with the various cutlery and then the doorbell rang. It was Ron and Hermione with their children, Rose and Hugo. They were carrying 2 bags worth of presents for everyone and all the children in the room were getting excited at the prospect of opening them all after dinner. Soon afterwards, Mr and Mrs Weasley were at the door, then George, his wife and son, Fred (named after his once inseparable twin) and lastly, Neville. Time was passing so quickly and the meal was almost ready. Meanwhile, Harry was beginning to wonder if Luna would show up after all…
However, when everyone was seated around the table, there was a knock at the door. "Harry, I'm dishing out the meal, could you get that?" shouted Ginny from the kitchen. Harry opened the door and there, with a beaming smile on her face was Luna. She was dressed in a fitted scarlet sweater, a grey tweed skirt, black suede boots and her hair was flowing over her shoulders, framing her angel-like face. She had obviously had kept her hair down as she now knew how much Harry preferred it that way. Once again, Harry was amazed at her beauty, it was no wonder he fell for her that night…Then he snapped back into his senses again.
"Uh, Luna, come in, take a seat," he said. As she walked by, she threw him a sultry look with her always-expressive eyes. Harry's heart took a leap at the same time sank.
They sat around the table but as there were so many people, the eight adults sat around the dining table and the children sat in the nearby couches with their plates on their knees. Luna was now sitting opposite Harry which he supposed was better than sitting next to him. But over nearly every mouthful that she ate (although it seemed like every single one) she would look up very slightly at Harry and look at him deep in the eyes. It caused him to be caught off-guard several times which meant that he kept tipping his soup spoon causing the soup to resume its original place back in the bowl or spilled on the tablecloth from time to time.
By the time the main course arrived, more conversation was beginning to form as everyone caught up on each other's lives and by dessert, the conversation had moved round to Harry.
"So, how are things at the Ministry now, Harry?" asked Mr Weasley. "You know how I still want all the information after I retired."
Harry looked straight ahead to see Luna subtly flicking her long blonde waves of hair. He knew that she was doing this deliberately, anything to remind him of that night. "Everything's…fine. Nothing out of the ordinary," said Harry, keeping his head down. "Are you alright, dear?" asked Mrs Weasley.
"Yes, of course," said Harry.
"You just seem a bit…jumpy, that's all."
"Really, I'm okay, honestly."
There were a few minutes of silence and then Ron said: "The kids getting on alright at school, then.
"Oh, yes, they're fine," said Ginny, answering for him. "Of course, boarding school is a big change but I'm sure they'll adapt. Won't they, Harry?"
Harry mumbled a quiet: "Yes," still avoiding eye contact with Luna.
"You're being really quiet, Harry. Are you sure there's something you're not telling us?" said Hermione.
As soon as she finished saying these words, Harry felt a strange sensation sweeping over his leg. It was a minute before he realised that it was Luna's suede boot that was stoking his inner thigh…As realisation struck, Harry's knee jerked upwards, hitting the underside of the table, making everyone (except Luna) jump.
"Bloody hell, Harry, what's up?" said Ron.
"It's just…so warm in here," lied Harry.
"Harry, it's winter and under five degrees in here," said Hermione.
"Well, I just feel warm, I think I'll go to the kitchen to cool down…I'll wash the plates while I'm there, shall I?"
"Harry, we use magic to wash the dishes," said Ginny.
"I know, but…I just want to help out," said Harry, as he rushed round the table, gathering up the empty plates and hurriedly snatched Luna's out of her hand when she offered it to him.
"I wonder what's up with him?" said Ginny, as she stood up and made for the kitchen but just at that moment, she heard the voice of one of her children.
"Mum, we're bored, can we go outside for a snowball fight?" shouted Lily from the living room.
"Oh, alright, I'll get your outdoor jackets and gloves," said Ginny, running up the stairs. "Everyone, go into the living room now and make yourselves at home," she called from the first floor. Everyone trooped through to the living room. All except one.
Harry was scrubbing the dishes vigorously in the kitchen, relieved to get away from Luna for a while. He was suddenly aware of a hand on his shoulder.
"Ginny, I'm fine, really."
"Wrong answer," said a dreamy voice.
Harry turned around to see Luna standing there. Now that they were alone, this was the best situation to talk.
"Look, Luna, I don't know what the hell you were playing at back there and did you have to do it in front of my wife, for crying out loud?"
"I didn't do anything in front of her, as she couldn't see it. I know how to be discreet."
"Luna, what is it you want from me?"
Luna advanced towards him and Harry nervously backed away closer to the sink.
"Isn't it obvious? I want you and me to be together. I knew it was meant to be ever since we kissed."
"Luna, don't get me wrong. I like you a lot but there's no way I can be with you, it's too late in the day for that."
"I knew it would take a while for you to come around, so let's discuss it as we wash the dishes. You wash, I'll dry."
Harry reluctantly began carrying out her request. They discussed the matter over and over and Harry was still coming to the same conclusion:
"I've got three kids, I can't leave Ginny with them, what kind of father would I be? They're the first stable family I've ever had. I'd be turning my back on everything I've ever wished for."
"Well…we'd take the kids with us."
"We can't do that! What if they react badly to having a stepmother? The point is, I can't separate them from their mother."
"Now, imagine that you didn't have kids…"
"I still couldn't do it. Ron would kill me if I left his sister…especially for you. No offence. For anyone really. The entire Weasley family would never speak to me again and my kids probably wouldn't either. It would all end in tears."
"Who says that you have to leave Ginny?"
Harry turned to look at her: "You mean…"
"Yes," said Luna. She walked closer to Harry so that her body was pressed against his. She tilted her head upwards so that her lips were millimetres away from his…
She whispered: "It may be forbidden, it may be wrong. But is it so wrong when we both love one another? Everything will be fine. It's all about being discreet."
Harry considered the matter. Luna was never going to escape his mind now. Would trying to wipe her out of the picture only make things worse? His feelings for Luna were getting stronger by the minute, trying to blot them out would only make them stronger. She had given him an offer that he couldn't refuse.
"Well…why don't we meet up in my lunch hour at work, or anywhere where none of the family will catch us?"
Luna paused for a few moments then nodded: "Better than nothing," she said.
"Maybe we could sneak in a night out or two, but not overdo it. We don't want to make Ginny suspicious."
"Alright, deal. On your first day back, I'll be there."
She reached up and kissed him quickly on the lips and as Harry felt her arms drape over his shoulders, he in turn wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him. Luna then broke away and said: "Come on, let's wash the rest of these dishes by magic, so no one guesses why we're taking so long."
They joined the others in the living room and sat as far away from each other as possible so that no one would suspect a thing…
Once everyone had left and the children had been put to bed, Harry and Ginny sat beside one another on the couch. Ginny was leaning against Harry with his arms around her.
"This was a great Christmas," said Ginny. "It's so nice to see old friends again. I really want to keep in touch with Luna, I forgot how much I missed her."
Harry's grip around Ginny's shoulders tightened a little. He did feel guilty for what he was about to embark on but he was starting to look forward to having some excitement in his life once again. After he married Ginny, life seemed so normal once again, to the point where it became boring. It couldn't compare to his old life which he seemed to be risking every five minutes. It was scary at the time but now he felt he yearned for that adrenaline rush due to doing something exciting once again. Could Luna be that adrenaline rush? After nineteen years living a clean risk-free existence, it was time to break the rules again.
"I'm glad you got over that odd streak earlier. I'd swear it was like you were keeping something from me. You would never keep secrets from me, would you, Harry?" asked Ginny.
"Of course not," said Harry.
Yes, Luna was right. Sometimes it was the best thing to remain discreet…
Yes, everyone, that is the final chapter, no more updates now. I'm quite glad I made this though, it was rather fun. I got the whole "discreet" idea from the movie, Fatal Attraction (considering Luna's patronus was a rabbit, I doubt she'd be a bunny boiler though!) It was so much fun making her all seductive in this one. I'm so flattered about the requests for updates but I really must stop now. This is the end of the story, I'm afraid.