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Chapter 2 - Night is Falling
"Harry," Hermione's voice rang out over the rubble that was the back of the school. They were still in the process of slowly rebuilding Hogwarts.
"Hermione? Where did you go off to last night?" he asked. He was helping Ron and Ginny with a rather large piece of stone that needed to be replaced. Hermione pointed her wand and helped them with a large smile on her face.
"No where really," she replied. He eyed her with suspicion in his green eyes.
"You're lying and I can tell from the smile on your face," he said with a frown. The stone was set in place and Hermione moved away from them to sit in the middle of the garden they were building. It was in memory of everyone who lost their lives in the war and Luna had helped with the design. She came from around the large stone wall and leaned on it slowly.
"Hermione was with me," Luna said proudly. The brunette snapped her head around to stare into silvery blue eyes. In those eyes was complete serenity. It was something that Hermione always saw in those eyes. She has come to know that Luna was the most peaceful person she would ever know.
"What do you mean with you?" Ginny asked. She looked from Hermione to Luna then over to Harry and Ron for some kind of answer.
"What she means is," Hermione cleared her throat, "that me and her were just spending some time together."
Ron shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. "You've both been doing that a lot lately," he noted. "More so than ever."
"I don't see what's so wrong with that," Harry said. "I'm glad that all of my friends are together and happy. Now come on, we have to finish this small garden for Dobby."
They worked throughout the day and once the work was over, the sun was setting in the sky once again. Hermione looked over to Luna who was casting spell after spell to make a glass roof over the plants. A warm smile spread over her lips and she decided to that they both needed to leave.
Luna was on her way to completing her seventh year as was Hermione who had lost her 7th year due to the war. It was interesting being in the same year, technically, as Luna. "I heard you had made head girl once again Hermione," Luna smiled almost slyly. Her smile was crooked, and bared her teeth slightly.
"Yes," Hermione breathed. "I'm still getting used to all the attention I'm receiving lately. I mean, I do hope no one thinks I got it because of that."
"I doubt it," Luna said with confidence. "They all know that you are brilliant and that's all there is to it. I have been treated different since all of this happened and I, in some way, feel different. I'm not sure how."
Hermione stood next to her for a moment before pulling on her sleeve, "did you get your house fixed up?"
"Why, yes, I did. Why? That was rather random," Luna stated.
Hermione bit her lower lip and grabbed a hold of Luna's robes. She pulled her slowly to one side, "Would your father mind if I stayed with you tonight?"
"I don't think he would," she answered. "I think he rather likes you even though he says you are closed minded to our views."
Hermione let out a sigh, "do you think that?"
"Sometimes, but I think you could be open to it," she said. "But I respect you enough not to push it."
"Thank you," she said. She looked at Harry and Ginny then her eyes shifted to Ron. He was already with the tall brunette whom he had been seeing. She moved her eyes from them to Luna. Her head was tilted to the side and she was looking up at the sky. Hermione followed her gaze and noticed she was looking at the clouds.
"Are you seeing Nargels again?" Hermione asked.
"No," she replied. "Rabbits actually. Don't you see the ears?"
Hermione chuckled, "Yes. I do. Luna?" She turned her eyes to scan her face. "I want to go home with you."
The silvery dreamy eyes did not leave the clouds. "That's good to hear. Would you like to leave now?"
"Yes Luna, but I need to say goodbye," Hermione said. She tugged on Luna's robes again. They moved closer to the group. "I think I'll be going with Luna now."
Harry nodded, "thanks for the help today. The garden is looking lovely and McGonagall said we would take the first years through here this year."
"Sounds great," Hermione smiled. "See you later then?"
"Yeah," Ginny chimed. "See you later. Have fun you two."
Hermione eyed her best friend carefully. Ginny seemed to, for whatever reason, know what was going on. "Thanks see you then."
Hermione apparated away with Luna and the two stood in the Lovegood lawn. The sun was hanging low in the sky. Hermione was already walking away from Luna but she was pulled back by the young Ravenclaw. "Luna?"
"Sorry," she said dreamily. "I was caught up with the sky again. It looks as if someone took a paint brush and painted the sky."
Hermione stopped and stood there with her. They both looked up at the fading sun with wonder. "Luna?"
"Did you paint that mural in your room by hand?" Hermione asked.
The blonde witch nodded slowly. "I did," she replied. "Magic didn't feel right. I wanted to do something the muggle way."
Hermione smiled softly, "When did you paint it?"
"Christmas break, 6th year," Luna said with a slight sigh. "I spent more time on you. I wanted you to be prefect."
"It looks amazing Luna," Hermione said.
"That does mean a lot coming from you," Luna said. She turned her heel and pulled Hermione close only to tug her towards the house. "Come, night is falling and I don't want to be here with the nargals."
Hermione chuckled but said, "alright." She went along with Luna into the house and the sun was almost out of their sight.