Disclaimer:Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling
Authors Note: My Apologies for the horrific delay in posting this chapter...my computer crashed and I just NOW got it running again!
So this is it...end of story...super long chapter plus an epilogue!!
For readers on my other stories, I SWEAR I will get to them soon!!! This chapter went much much longer than planned.
The Storm Before Dawn
Azkaban Part II
The hallways of the wizard prison were deadly silent, the only sound came from the echo from the clicking of her shoes on the cold stones and this immediately told Luna that something wasn't right. She had been expecting to find other prisoners, the innocent, the guilty, the damned.
But hallway after hallway, floor after floor, was empty and silent...but for the echo of the click of her shoes.
It was almost enough to make her turn around and run back for the broken window on the ground floor, to run back to George and the safety of his arms.
But by now he had know that she had gone, he would be furious with her. Knowing George, she was probably safer where she was.
Besides, her fathers cell was only a few feet away, just around the corner. Luna looked up and saw a dim light, like the light from her nightmares. She paused for a minute and took a deep breath.
"It's only a coincidence" she told herself "it doesn't mean anything"
Not believing herself, she nodded and moved on.
She found herself wishing furiously that she had brought George with her. But then, he was better off where he was, he was safely back in Diagon Alley, in his shop, nothing and nobody could hurt him there.
Luna would not be responsible for his being hurt, the Weasley's wouldn't lose another they loved. It was better this way.
Her reasoning sounded dim and lame, even to her. She had lied to him, conned him. Just after giving herself to him completely. He was going to be furious with her and he had every right to be...but that was okay, as long as he was alive and well to be so.
Luna's mind flew back to almost a month before, to the storm at Hogwarts, when she had first encountered George Weasley by the boat house. Oh he had been so infuriating! But then, she had been quite the shrew herself that night, her nerves so brittle and prickly that she had behaved totally unlike herself.
Had she really punched him so hard he flew across the landing? Yes, she had...but she had done something else that was much, much worse. She had told him of her plan to rescue her father. That was the worst thing she did to him, telling him her secret.
It was because of that that he had insisted on coming along to protect her. It was because of that he had nearly had his soul devoured by dementors on Rankloch Island, and been trapped in that horrible cave by Ludo Bagman on Deppart Island.
No, it wasn't because of a promise...it was because of her. George had fallen in love with her...and she loved him too, that was why she had done what she did, why she couldn't allow him to risk himself for her one more time.
Luna loved George Weasley too much to allow him to die for her.
She had seen it too many times, and somehow Luna knew that if George came to Azkaban, he would die. Like in her nightmares.
She couldn't let that happen.
Without realizing it, Luna had come to the end of the corridor. She turned her head and looked into the dark cell but could see little despite the brightness outside.
Her hand shook as she reached for the barred door and pushed it open, it didn't occur to her to wonder why it wasn't locked, her mind was occupied with the huddled forms in the corner, both covered by a single bloody sheet.
Her feet moved as if they were slogging through frozen slush as they crossed the room, she fell to her knees and put her hands out for the sheet and pulled it away.
Her father and George lay side by side, eyes open and staring at her as if accusing, while blood ran furiously from their mouths and noses.
"You left me and left me die" her father said
"You gave yourself to me and then you abandoned me" George accused
"No" Luna whimpered and wrapped her arms around herself "no"
"Traitorous bitch!" George hissed as he reached for her with bloody fingers
Luna screamed again and rose to her feet to run, George and her father on her heels.
Luna screamed again as a pair of arms locked around her and held on tightly
"Let me go!" Luna fought George furiously
"It's okay, its me!"
"Ridikkulus!" came from somewhere behind them
"Let me go! Let me go!" Luna pounded against George's chest
George took her face in his hands "Luna, It's okay, it was a boggart."
"A boggart?" She whispered
"A boggart" He kissed her and pulled her into his arms again and held her tightly until she seemed to calm down. Then slowly and carefully he led her down the stairs, out of the prison and back into the inky black night.
Then they left Azkaban.
A storm was brewing and the dementors were beginning to gather again, so rather than risk flying home they flew to tiny Lewej Cove for the night. The time had come to tell Luna about her father. They had debated about who should do it, but then decided that it should be all of them, Harry, George and Ginny.
After, Ginny and Luna hugged for an eternity and then Harry pulled Luna in for a tight hug of his own. Then he took her hand and announced that he was stealing her for a moment and tucked her hand in his and he gave George no chance to protest before walking off with her.
George watched them his expression less than amused.
"Why does he have to ...to..."George spluttered as he watched Harry and Luna sitting close together on a log, her hand still held in his. "Sit so close to her and...touch her like that?"
Ginny chuckled quietly into her hand and George turned on her.
"What the hell are you laughing at?" He demanded through narrowed eyes
"What the hell am I laughing at?" Ginny mimicked "You, that's what I'm laughing at. I'd actually thought maybe the green monster gene had skipped a Weasley...but, I guess not."
"What are you babbling about Ginny?"
George didn't give her time to answer because he was now heading toward Harry and Luna. Harry had just put his arm around Luna's shoulders.
Ginny grabbed his arm "George!"
"What?!" He turned and half growled, half yelled at Ginny.
"Wow" She said in awe "You really do have it bad don't you?"
George looked at her and mentally shook himself. He was being stupid...totally stupid.
"Sorry." He gave her an sheepish grin "I think not only did I get the green monster gene, but I think I got Fred's share."
"Well the last person you have to worry about is Harry Potter." Ginny laughed and ran up behind him and jumped on his back like she had when they were kids.
"Yeah? And whys that?" George said looking back at her with a grin
"Because I have it on very good authority that Harry Potter is madly, crazily, passionately in love with some girl named Ginny Weasley."
"I'm being silly?"
"Totally." Ginny nodded
"Then you won't mind if I tell you that I just saw Harry touch Luna's bum."
"I..." Ginny faltered and George grinned, letting go of her arms to let her slide off his back.
"I'll kill him." Ginny glared through the darkness of Lewej Cove
"I was wrong" George said with a small grin "I think you got Fred's share."
"I think you upset George Harry" Luna said softly
Harry shrugged "Not my fault you have a jealous boyfriend."
"I'm sure he is quite furious with me for what I did, I doubt he will still..." she trailed off
"Don't be daft Luna, he's here isn't he?" Harry tugged her hand until she looked at him.
"Yes, he's here. And he's furious. He probably can't wait to start rowing. It's one of our better abilities."
"He loves you Luna. And judging by the way he reacted when he found you, rowing is the last thing on his mind."
"You mean he wants to throttle me too?"
Despite himself, Harry laughed and Luna couldn't resist a small smile.
"I doubt he came all this way to save your life just to kill you himself by throttling you. Besides, you didn't see his patronus."
"His Patronus? You mean he...finally..." Luna looked at him, her eyes huge silver circles."what was it? Blast-Ended Skrewt right?"
Harry laughed "No...no. Good guess though."
"What other animal explodes?" Luna asked
"Oh...this doesn't explode...at least, I don't know ... the horn might I guess."
"You don't mean?" Luna's eyes, if possible, went even wider.
"The crumple horned snorkack."
Luna put her hand over her mouth, seconds later it became clear it was to smother laughter.
"You've been saying for years they were real." Harry smiled "Even Hermione is questioning now."
Luna shook her head "Harry, they came from my mothers fairy tales. My father and I guess...he pretended for me, and I pretended for him even though we must have both realized..."
Luna smiled sadly "What did it look like?"
"Like a Pegasus...but a Unicorn too. It flew, instead of running I mean."
"Like my mothers lullaby."
Luna was quiet for a moment then she looked sadly towards the water. "My mum died when I was so young. My memories of her have started to get fuzzy. Now I've lost Daddy too. How long will it be before he's fuzzy too?" Her next words were so soft they would have been lost had the wind carried them the other way.
"I feel so all alone."
"Do you remember Luna, after we went to the hall of mysteries, when Sirius died?"
"Do you remember what you said to me?"
Luna shook her head
"Everyone but you and I were at the feast. I suppose you could say I was moping about miserably and you were putting up posters because all your things were missing. I asked if you wanted help looking and you said no. Then you said that your mum always said that the things we lose had a way of coming back to us in the end...if not the way we expect them to."
Luna looked up and smiled "My mum did say that, I remember telling you that now."
Harry put his arm around her and gave her a squeeze.
"I know it's not the same as having your parents to love you, but George does love you. Ginny and I love you, and Ron and Hermione, and so many others. Your not alone Luna."
"Oh Harry." Luna whispered softly, too overcome with emotion to say anything else. She pulled away and kissed his cheek, then ran to throw herself into the arms that she belonged in.
The arms that she longed for.
"Harry" Ginny wrapped her arms around herself, still in her seat after the funeral for Xenophilius Lovegood "I'm worried about Luna."
Thinking her chilled Harry slid off suit coat and spread it over her back, then left his arm around her shoulders.
"Any reason?" She looked up at him and he shifted closer "Besides the obvious I mean?"
Ginny shrugged "You know how it was for them, Luna's mother died when she was very little. She's lost everything she has ever known...all that is familiar to her."
Harry looked up to where Luna stood next to her fathers grey/white marbled tomb. Her hands rested atop the marble, her head down and though Luna's hair covered her face, her shaking shoulders gave away her sobbing.
But she was far from alone.
George stood at her side, just as he had since leaving Lewej Cove two days before. He had been at her side when she identified her fathers remains, and when she had called the straggling remainder of her fathers family, and while she struggled through making arrangements for the funeral.
George had been at her side while she watched the remainder of the only home she had ever known broken down and cleared away. He had been at her side as it was transformed into a quiet and beautiful garden. The kind of place she knew her father would have loved visit, and bring his books to study in.
And George had been at her side today, when Xenophilius Lovegood had been laid to rest in that garden, and he had prayed that he would find peace there.
No, As much as Luna might mourn and miss her father, she was far from alone.
She had George.
"He'll never leave her." Harry said
"What?" Ginny looked at him and Harry nodded to where George stood watch over Luna.
"Even though she's lost her father, she's not alone." Harry looked at Ginny and stood, offering his hand. "You know your brother, she's stuck with him now."
Ginny smiled wryly as she took his hand and stood "Heaven's, I don't know whether to be relieved or more worried."
Harry shrugged "He hasn't blown anything up in ages."
"They've been back two days."
"Got me there." Harry shrugged.
Luna was passive as she bid farewell to the last of the mourners. Not that there had been that many actual mourners, after all, her father had betrayed the side of good in the end. He had attempted to hand Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley over to Voldemorts death eaters. Luna also realized that her hasty departure after the battle must have made things look like maybe she had been in on it too. Besides, it wasn't as if the Lovegood's hadn't had a touch of the pariah about them even before all the atrocities of the past year.
But while mourners were scarce, reporters were everywhere. Harry had told her it had been like that at all of the funerals...a lot of press, still Luna wondered what all the gossipers, not all of them press, would have to say about the heavy Weasley population at her fathers funeral. Even George's aunt Muriel, having long since been told the full and true story, had come. George had been quite delighted to actually overhear Muriel telling off a gossipy woman in defense of Luna's father and Luna, having been told the story by George, gave Muriel an extra warm hug as she departed.
Luna hoped, not for herself, but for her fathers sake, that Harry, Ron and Hermione being there would speak volumes to gossip mongers. Luna had nearly blanched when Rita Skeeter had appeared, yet Hermione had been quite sure that anything written by HER at least would be entirely favorable.
The pain was intense, eating at every part of her heart. Luna had been so sure once she got to Azkaban everything would be okay. She would find her father and she would save him from that dreadful place. That was why she had taken so many foolish risks, why she had allowed George to take those risks along with her. .
He looked up and found her watching him, his face crinkled into the beautiful smile that she had so come to love and adore.
When he smiled at her she could even forget how much he had yelled at her for the "dumbass little stunt" she had "pulled" when she had tricked him.
How he could forgive her, she didn't know. She didn't deserve that forgiveness, she didn't deserve his love, but he gave it anyway.
That was the miracle that was George Weasley.
The garden had long since been emptied of everyone but them and a spectacular sunset had begun to spread its glory over Ottery St. Catchpole. A slight breeze stirred the leaves overhead, causing a small involuntary shiver down Luna's back.
George slid his coat off and lay it over Luna's shoulders and she looked up at him, giving him a small trial smile in gratitude. The smile faltered and she lapsed back into tears. George put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer.
"I'm sorry George" She said softly "I can't seem to stop."
"Shhh" He reached out his other hand and lay her head on his shoulder "It's okay, todays a day to cry. That's why they have funerals."
"But what if I still want to cry tomorrow?" she asked sadly
"Then I'll put on a clean shirt and you can get that one all wet too."
Luna laughed a little
"And what if you run out of clean shirts?"
"Then I send for Mum to pick up my laundry, she does it, brings it back and we can start fresh."
"Your poor mum" Luna said "Tell me she doesn't really do your laundry"
"Of course not." George rolled his eyes and Luna looked at him suspiciously
"She does, doesn't she?"
Luna lifted an eyebrow
George smirked "Ginny does."
Luna laughed "You better be kidding."
George brushed her cheek with his fingers. "I've missed that."
George kissed her gently. "Your laugh."
Luna smiled a little "You make me want to laugh again."
George kissed her deeper, burying his fingers in her hair, then remembering where they were, and that he had something he wanted to do, he pulled away.
"Come on" He stood up and took her hand "Lets walk"
"Oh, right. I'm sorry...your family is waiting for us. Were holding dinner up aren't we?."
"Nah, don't worry about it" George took her hand
"Are you sure you wouldn't rather apparate?" she asked
"I have something I want to do on the way. Besides, you can't apparate well, remember?" he snickered
"And you can't conjure a Patronus right?" Luna giggled a little
George mumbled something under his breath that Luna couldn't understand but she was pretty sure she could make out the name Harry and the word dismemberment.
They walked in silence hand in hand until the roof of the burrow came into view. George stopped in the high grass and abruptly pulled Luna into his lap.
"George...what are you..." she gasped
"Kiss me Luna." he demanded, a roguish grin on his face.
Luna considered arguing, but then another idea came to mind and she tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled his face to hers, sliding around so she straddled his lap. Then she kissed him, putting as much heat and passion into it as she was able to summon on the spot.
Georges hands moved from the tangle of hair down her back to her hips where he pulled her more firmly against him.
"Hey George!" Ron called from the house "Mum saw you out here so you better zip em back up!"
George shoved Luna from him, unceremoniously dumping her on the ground.
"Rooooonnnnnn!!!" Hermione yelled after him followed by a loud slap
Luna giggled as she watched Georges face turn bright red.
"Damn 'Mione...it's just a hunch. I don't know if he's really out here!" Ron protested "Why do you have to be so damn mean?"
"Poor little Won-Won" Harry chortled
"I'll Won-Won you Potty" Ron yelled just before the door slammed shut
George narrowed his eyes at Luna, laying stretched out now on the ground.
"What did you have to kiss me like that for?"
"You don't like it?" she batted her eyes at him.
"Am I a living breathing male over the age of nine?" George lifted an eyebrow.
"You're the one who pulled me down here." Luna accused "And you said you had something you wanted to do!"
"Not that!" George's ears turned red "Naughty girl! Trying to ravage my boyish -though horribly manly and sexy body!"
Luna was having hysterics now.
George smiled down at her and scooped her back up into his arms.
"I really did miss hearing you laugh."
Luna's heart was overcome with warmth as he held her, George out here, and knowing there was a family inside who accepted her and would welcome her soon into their home despite the pain her family had brought on them was too much and she nearly cried again, but now out of joy.
"I have something I want to give you." George whispered softly into her ear as he reached inside the jacket she still wore to an inside pocket and pulled out a small tied hanky.
"What is it?"
"I thought you might need to blow your nose." George teased as he fought with the knots
"Ha ha." Luna rolled her eyes
"Close your eyes" George whispered
"Cause I said so."
"Can you ever just do something without fighting me on it?" George rolled his eyes
"Well if you want to get technical...." Luna began
"Look Lovegood, you can either argue, or you can get the contents of this hanky." George stared her down.
"It's not a booger is it?" Luna looked at him
George looked at her, mouth agape.
"Because I have given you so many boogers in the past."
Luna giggled and closed her eyes "Okay, but if you put a booger in my hand I'll hurt you Geo..."
Luna opened her eyes, it wasn't a booger. It was a ring, an elegant antique white gold engagement ring. It was their diamiond, but the diamond had been cut into seven stones, one very large princess cut diamond in the middle and three baguettes on each side. It was incredible.
"George." Luna gasped "It's beautiful...I...thought I lost it, that night, in Azkaban."
"You did. I found it in the control room, just before we left and I was checking to make sure the grids were all down."
"And it's still okay" Luna smiled
"It's better than okay I'd say. But then I'm biased, did the wand work myself." He grinned as he slid it onto her finger.
"The things we lose always come back to us in the end." Luna smiled as a flood of tears washed over her cheeks.
"What?" George smiled
"I told Harry that, It was something my Mum use to say and Harry reminded me of it the other night in Lewej Cove. The things we lose always come back to us in the end, if not in the way we expect."
George looked at her.
"I thought I lost everyone I loved, who loved me, but Harry showed me that wasn't true, that lots of people loved me still. And I lost our diamond after I left you, I was sure that away from us it would turn to sand, but it didn't, it came back, different yes, but still so beautiful, more so."
"I can't replace your parents Luna." George said sadly
"And I can't replace Fred. I wouldn't even begin to know how to try."
She smiled and took his face in her hands.
"But I can love you the best that I know how to, do you see...we've been given a brand new person to love."
George's own eyes were damp now as he looked into the glistening silver pools that were Luna's eyes. He kissed her then pulled her close
"I love you." he whispered against her neck "I love you so much"
Luna pulled her arms around his shoulders and pulled him even closer.
"I love you too"
George opened his eyes to see the first signs of ominous looking clouds.
"I guess we better hurry. " he said pulling Luna to her feet as a clap of thunder sounded somewhere in the distance.
"My family is waiting dinner and besides, it sounds like a storm is coming."
"It's okay" Luna smiled up at him as she took his hands in hers to pull him closer for a kiss.
"I don't mind storms too much these days."
Epilogue-Magic of the Lullaby
19 Years Later
hehehe Just Kidding
Three Years Later
Sweet precious one
don't be alarmed
to keep you from harm
take hold of my hand
fly with me
I'll take you away
far from this angry sea
to a land of princes and princesses
and magic rings
with iced sugar castles
and other nice things
nothing to fear sweet one
you'll come to no harm
Just go on and dream love
you're safe in my arms.
"Messing with family tradition are you?"
George looked up to smile at his wife.
"Go back to sleep mum, were fine."
"Sorry, can't do that, my breasts say Fred's hungry."
George winced as he got up out of the rocker and followed Luna back to their bedroom.
"Freddy" He said as he handed the baby over"Please for the sake of my sanity, call him Freddy when speaking of him and your breasts in the same context. You say Fred and I have visions of my brother doing things that make me want to pummel him from beyond the grave."
Luna giggled down at Fred as he nursed with enthusiasm.
"This jealousy thing of daddy's is getting just a little silly isn't it Fred. Besides he's messing with a family tradition, so I say were even."
George slid onto the bed next to them and rested his cheek on Luna's shoulder to watch the baby nurse.
"Who says it has to be mother to daughter?" he protested "Why can't it be father to son?"
"It's a little odd don't you think? A father whisking his son away to a land of iced sugar castles on a crumple horned snorkack?"
George looked at Luna indignantly "Who says its a crumple horned snorkack? Where in the song does it say "I'll whisk you away on a crumple horned snorkack?"
Luna shook with laughter as she switched Fred over to the other breast. "You know that's what your thinking when your singing!"
"Is not." George looked like a petulant child as he pouted over the head of his son.
"What's your Patronus these days Weasley?" Luna looked at him critically
"It's a Pegasus, like always." George said "I'm getting some water, want some?"
"A Pegasus with what on its head?"
George stopped in the door, his shoulders slumped. He had been trying for the better part of three years to adjust his Patronus, but it still remained the same.
He came to the side of the bed and scooped Fred out of her arms and took him back to his room to pace trying to work a burp from him. Once the burp was achieved he lay Fred back in his bassinet then went to lay next to his wife.
"Okay, fine, it's a crumple horned snorkack."
Luna giggled softly as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. In the two weeks since they had brought Fredrick Xenophilius Weasley home their quiet time together had been extremely limited.
"You know, it's all your fault that I have such a goofy looking Patronus Mrs. Weasley." George accused, playing idly with a lock of hair that fell over her shoulder.
"My fault?" Luna giggled
"Yes, first you told me those silly stories, bewitched me with your lullaby and then you made me fall in love with you."
"My silly stories?" Luna said indignantly "My silly stories...what about you? Huna and Luna."
Fred gave an angry squeal from his bassinet and George jumped up.
"Saved by the crying baby! Yeah, he's daddy's boy, aren't you daddy's boy? EWWWWWWWWWWWWW !!!! Ohhhhh nasty! Who did a nasty? Mum!! Freddy did a nasty squishy in his nappy!"
Luna giggled as she listened to George baby talk to their son. The light in the nursery clicked out and the sweet melody of the familiar lullaby began to fill the quiet once again. George couldn't sing on key to save his life, but the song was just as sweet coming from his lips.
Maybe George was right, maybe it wasn't just for a mother to sing to her daughter. After all, hadn't she sang it to George when he was sick on Rankloch Island after the dementor attack?
No, George was absolutely right. He should sing it to their son, and their son to his.
It was a lullaby meant to be sung with love, to someone you loved...
That was what made it magical.
-Please please please review!!!!!
-Thanks to everyone who has read and stuck with this story through all the technical difficulties! Muahhhhhh!!!