-Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling
Truth and Moonlight
George was horribly grateful that there was a large crowd looking on as he waited for an answer from Xenophilius Lovegood. The expression on the mans face was not good, in fact, he looked like he would adore the idea of using a certain unforgivable curse at the moment were there not so many witnesses to testify against him.
"Let YOU take my granddaughter home? To Luna's apartment?" His normally gentle voice trembled with rage "Are you gone barking mad boy?"
"No sir...I.." George began, only to be cut off
"It's the only place she is SAFE from you, where you can't find her."
George felt as though he had been punched in the gut and he sank into a chair weakly.
"I know I've made a lot of mistakes this past month...but..."
"Past month?" Xenophilius scowled angrily "How conveniently you forget the past five years."
Molly stepped in as the Weasley brothers shooed the crowd away.
"Now just a minute Xenophilius, I admit George hasn't exactly been an angel...but I won't be having you blame him for something that was a misunderstanding." George took Callie's sweater from Xenophilius and put it over her shoulders. A motion not lost on Xenophilius.
"Misunder..." Xenophilius began, but he was cut off by George.
"No Mum, it was a lie, Angelina set the whole thing up." George began to burn with anger "She wanted me to replace Fred, and she didn't care who she hurt or who's life was ruined in the process."
"Angelina?" Xenophilius said as he sank weakly into a chair "Your wife?"
"EX" George corrected vehemently "Ex-wife." Callie's shoe slipped off and George bent down to pick it up and carefully slid it back on.
"Well, what about tonight? Why was Luna so upset?" He questioned
"I don't know exactly." He shook his head "Only that Angelina followed Luna into the bathroom and cornered her, then lied to me and said she hadn't seen her."
"That girl is quite a piece of work." Xenophilius remarked, his tone angry. He smiled a little when he noticed George reach over and pick up Callie's tiny hand and hold it in his, his thumb rubbed over her tiny fingers.
"She had us all fooled" Molly shook her head
"That's why I need to talk to Luna." George said, letting go of Callie's hand and brushing his fingers through his hair in frustration. "I can't begin to imagine what Angelina said...what would upset her so much that she would just leave."
Xenophilius released a deep sigh. "She'll kill me. You know that right? Luna will absolutely kill me."
"Maybe she'll get all her aggression out by killing me first." George shrugged
Xenophilius looked at him "You are barking mad."
"Like I haven't heard that one before." George grinned
He sighed again, his mind had been made up the moment he had watched George with Callie. "Fine. You win. But if you hurt her...I swear, they will never find your body."
George's smile was huge. "Give me five minutes to change."
He ran off towards the house.
Angelina knew George would be coming and she was ready for him when he threw open the door to his and Fred's old room. He stopped in the middle of the room, shocked by her nerve, sickened by her audacity.
"Hello George" she purred
"What the hell..." His voice was acerbic
Angelina purred and sat up on her knees to face him, allowing the blankets to fall down, exposing more bare skin.
"What the holy fuck, do you think you are doing? Where's Lee?"
She brushed her hand down his arm "Out there, talking Quidditch with the boys. I was thinking...we might have a bit of play ourselves. For old times sake." Angelina leaned closer and tried to kiss him, but George pushed her backwards so she landed back on the bed.
"Get out of my bed" George said through gritted teeth "Get your clothes on, and get the hell out of my parent's house.... then, get the hell out of my life."
"It's her isn't it?" Angelina angrily grabbed her dress from the end of the bed and pulled it over her head, letting the blanket drop. George was relieved to see that she hadn't been completely naked after all.
"Luna Lovegood." Angelina's voice spit venom
George stepped forward and bent down so his face was right in hers.
" It always has been, the whole time since you conned me into marrying you."
"She's so perfect, so wonderful...you forgetting now how she just left you..."
"She never left me in the place that mattered."
"The place that mattered..." Angelina scoffed
"I never stopped loving her." George turned away and began to gather his own clothes that he had left earlier in the day to change into.
"What about me?"
"You only ever wanted me because I look like Fred. You lied to my parents, you lied to me...it was your fault she left, your fault my daughter has been without a father. I never loved you Angelina, not for one minute of the past five years. Just as you never loved me. "
"So that's it then, that's your choice?"
"There never was any choice, she gave birth to my child Angelina, my child! And even if she hadn't...it's been her, since that night...it's always been Luna, you knew..."
George turned around, Angelina had gone.
Luna sat quietly on her terrace, her hair and nightgown ruffled softly in the breeze. She sat quietly lost in thought, a bottle of water in her hand, surrounded by the flowers and plants she loved so much. The sound of the leaves in the soft breeze had always had a calming influence on her as did the silver blue moonlight that spilled down from the nearly full moon directly above her.
Moonlight, soft aromatic candlelight and sunlight, were the only light she had ever allowed on the terrace. It was her sanctuary, her place to come after a mad day at the office, to slip out to after Callie had gone to sleep and her father (and babysitter) had left. It was also the one place she could do magic in muggle London without worrying about being caught.
Luna lived on the top floor, and the terrace had high brick walls on every side, not that you could actually see them, once Luna had worked a little illusionary magic. A distant waterfall graced the farthest side, it fed into a small pond that was set into a tiny hill which ended at the sea colored ceramic tiles. The other three sides were covered with hilly flower covered meadows as far as the eye could see.
In the middle of it all was a smattering of white wicker furniture, among them Luna's favorite rocking chair with enormous squishy pillows. She had spent hours in that chair when Callie was a baby, feeding and cooing and just admiring the perfect little being that she had been blessed with. Even now she loved to hold Callie and rock with her, but Callie was allowing it less and less, even less in the weeks since she had met her father.
Callie was fascinated by George, not that Luna could blame her. He was the new and unknown father she had been dreaming of for so long. She knew once the new wore off, things would balance out once again. Still, she couldn't help feeling the odd man out.
Luna felt a stabbing sensation in her chest as her mind drifted back to the horrible accusations made by Angelina.
'Are you enjoying my life?'
But she wasn't! She had never meant to take anyone's place, or cause problems between Angelina and George. That was why she had left five years ago. But ...
'And did he tell you WHY were divorced.... You destroyed my marriage before it even started'
Luna felt a tear slip down her cheek and she wiped it away. All these years she had consoled herself with the fact that she had done the right thing once she found out, but now to find that she had done it all for nothing...
'Ever try to have a marriage with three people? ..... you got exactly what you wanted... he was already mine'
"I'm sorry!" Luna sobbed into her hands "I'm so sorry."
It was then that Luna heard the door behind her softly open. She didn't look up.
"Please..." The voice was soft and full of worry. "don't cry."
Luna dropped her hands hastily and whirled out of her chair to face him.
"George...what are you doing here?"
"I brought Callie home." he took a tentative step towards her "I hoped we could talk."
Luna looked away then started walking towards him, when she reached him she tried to take Callie but succeeded only in waking her.
"Come on punkin' head" Luna crooned softly in her ear "Time for dreamland."
Callie began to whimper and her arms tightened around Georges neck. "No. I want Daddy."
"It's okay sweetie, mummy's just trying to take you to bed." George said gently.
Callie's arms only tightened and now her other hand hand latched onto Luna's sleeve. "I want mummy AND daddy to put me to bed."
"Callie" George said patiently, trying to work her fingers loose "It's okay, you need to go with your mum now."
"No!" Callie cried "I want both"
Luna looked over Callie's head and said "It's okay. She's stubborn by nature and overtired. When she gets like this, you'll never win."
George grinned " I see, a trait she inherited from both parents then."
Luna motioned with her head down a short hallway "Follow me."
She turned into the last door on the right and turned on a light switch. Instead of the glaringly bright muggle lights he was expecting a soft pink glow filled the room from what appeared to be hundreds of butterflies, fluttering along the ceiling.
All of the furniture was white, a dresser with a large mirror, a play vanity and toy box and a wonder of a full sized bed with a high canopy draped in pink, purple, blue and white was adorned with even more fluttering glowing butterflies.
"Wow" George said softly as he lay Callie down "It's really nice."
Luna blushed a little and sat down by Callie's feet to take off her shoes and tights. George stood with Callie still clutching his hand, looking awkward.
"George, would you mind taking the pins out of her hair?"
"Pins?" George looked at Luna, his eyes huge.
"Yeah Daddy" Callie began to dig around in her hair "Mummy stabbed me in the skull with about a bazillion pins today" triumphant at last, she pulled a hairpin from a wild tangle of curls and held it up for him to examine.
"Oh" George relaxed visibly "hairpins." He lifted Callie by the shoulder's and lay her head in his lap to attack the pin job.
"What kind of pins did you think I meant?" Luna lifted an eyebrow at him "If you think I would put sewing pins in my daughters skull..."
"No..no, of course not." George winced, embarrassed and feeling like a proper idiot.
"Good." Luna went back to struggling Callie into her pajama bottoms. "I only use the stapler for that."
George dropped the handful of hairpins he had been holding which by now was quite large. "What...the hell?"
"She's only taking the mickey daddy."Callie rolled her sleepy eyes "Mummy thinks she's funny. And don't say swears...it's naughty."
"Guess she told you." Luna smiled as she sat Callie up to take her dress off and put her pajama top on. Then she brushed through Callie's tangled hair and tucked her into her blankets.
"Mummy, will you sing to me?"
"It's awful late Callie."
"Please? Just one song?"
And so Luna sang, the lullaby was soft and sweet, one that she remembered from her childhood. She had often sang it to Callie and it was one of her favorites. When the song was finished she leaned over and kissed her on the forehead and tucked the blankets up around her chin.
"Will daddy be here when I wake up?" she asked, her eyes tightly closed.
Luna sighed deeply and looked over her shoulder at George, but he had left the room sometime while she had been singing. Luna thought about her answer, how she could word in a way a four year old could understand.
"Callie, I'm sure daddy will be with you as often as he can be."
Callie had fallen asleep.
George had listened as long as his heart could bear it. But the sound of Luna's voice as she sang to their daughter was a reminder to him of all the nights that he had missed with them. A horrid ache began in his chest and worked its way out, slowly until it had reached to the tips of his fingers and toes, even his hair seemed to throb with the injustice of all Angelina had stolen from them.
Even if he moved in with them on the spot and married Luna the next day...it still couldn't bring back the past five years. He had missed so much. Missed seeing Luna's stomach grow bigger as Callie grew inside her. Had she had weird cravings the way that Fleur had when she carried Victoire' ? He hadn't been there to hold her hand when Callie came into the world either...his place had been taken by Neville Longbottom. Had Luna swore at him and hit him like Fleur did Bill?
And Callie herself...so many milestones, her first tooth, first words, first steps...all things that Angelina had stolen from him, all things that he could never, ever have back.
George had found his way back to the peaceful moonlit terrace where he had found Luna and wandered aimlessly among the flora, stopping in front of a miniature waterfall. He suspected that Neville spent a great deal of time here, particularly as growing things was his forte'. George was unprepared for the ugly stab of jealousy that went through him as he realized that all the things that he had missed, Neville had likely witnessed...and he wondered just how close Neville and Luna were. If they were too close...if they were...involved...
He turned and Luna stood just past the doorway, walking towards him. His breath caught in his throat and squeezed tight. Her hair was down, a wild cascade of ringlets that went past her hips. Arms and shoulders completely bare but for the thin straps of her white night gown. The nightgown itself was tied close over her breasts and then fluffed out very full all the way to her bare feet. The bright moonlight rained down on her hair and skin, haloing her in a spectacular bluish silver glow.
Somehow he found that he had moved to a chair next to the one that she had chosen to sit in. For the first time in his life, George made a conscious effort to perform the process of sitting for fear that he would miss the chair and make a fool of himself.
"Have you put my father under the Imperius curse?" Luna asked
"What?" George started "How can...why would I do such a thing?"
Luna shrugged "It's the only way I can imagine my father telling you where I lived, much less allowing you to bring Callie home instead of doing it himself."
"No Luna." George shook his head "I haven't cursed your father."
"Then what have you done to him?" Luna nervously twisted a ring on her finger "Where is he?"
"I assume he went home, all I did was talk to him, explained that I needed to see you."
Luna looked at him doubtfully then nodded "I suppose thats reasonable. Daddy's mind has been slipping a bit of late, he is getting on in years."
George rolled his eyes and tried not to lose his temper, but damn this woman was frustrating!
"Luna, I came because we need to talk...about so many..."
"We don't need to talk about anything George." Luna sighed "Now if you don't mind..."
"Please, let me explain, about Angelina."
"You don't don't owe me any explanations about Angelina or otherwise George." George opened his mouth to protest but Luna hushed him with a raised hand.
She got out of her chair and walked to the edge of the pond, George right behind her.
"What happened between us five years ago...well, it was a mistake. It never should have happened."
"You're sorry it happened?" he asked angrily
"I can't say that. If it hadn't happened we wouldn't have Callie."
"So you're not at all sorry."
"I can't say that either."
George felt a horrible sinking in his heart. What if she didn't return his feelings?
"Would you mind telling me just what you can say then?"
Luna wrapped her arms around herself protectively.
"I'm not sorry to have the memory of what we shared, or that because of what we shared we have a beautiful little girl."
Luna sighed sadly "But I am sorry about the things that happened to others because of what happened."
George turned Luna around and took her gently by the arms
"You don't have to pretend anymore George, I know."
"What do you know?" George had a feeling they were about to get down to what had happened in the bathroom between Luna and Angelina
"I know that you were engaged to Angelina that night, I overheard your parent's talking about it the next morning. I also know that I ruined your marriage George, that its my fault you and Angelina split up!"
Tears were streaking down Luna's face now and George pulled a hand from her arm to wipe them away.
"Is that what she told you? Tonight in the bathroom?" His voice shook with the effort of keeping his anger under control.
"It doesn't matter George, because I could never be happy with a life built on someone else's unhappiness. That's why I left in the first place, why I didn't tell you about Callie."
"You didn't want me to cause me problems with Angelina?" George clenched his teeth
"But it was for nothing, because I'd ruined your life already. It was too late."
George wanted to be sick. He had never known anybody in his life who was so selfless. Luna was everything that Angelina wasn't and so much more. She had given up her happiness, her right to have a husband and Callie's right to have a father, for his happiness.
"Luna, you didn't ruin my life that night. You ruined it when you left me." George gently brushed her hair out of her face and behind her ears. Then he took her hand and lead her back to the chair and sat her down, sitting across from her so he could hold her hands.
"What you overheard...it wasn't true. Angelina lied to my father after the battle about me wanting to marry her."
"Why would she do that?" Luna whispered
"She and Fred were engaged, she wanted me to take his place."
Luna gasped and put her hand to her mouth "But you can't...it doesn't..."
George nodded "As for why our marriage didn't work, she was in love with Fred, and I couldn't be him. I can't say that you aren't part of the reason though. Angelina wasn't the only one who was still in love with someone who had left them, and to make things worse, the person I loved was still alive somewhere, though I had no idea where."
"George..." Luna whispered on a sob
"Then, about six months ago I guess, I found out Angelina was having an affair with my old mate Lee Jordan."
"Oh George!" Luna gripped his hands tightly "Oh no. How could she?"
"You have to understand what our so-called marriage was like by then. I was spending most nights in the storage room in the shop, since I rented the flat out years ago. We saw each other only long enough to have these really spectacular rows and break loads of the expensive things she insisted on buying for the house she insisted on having, which I-by-the-way hated."
George shuddered slightly
"How horrible, for both of you."
"Toward the end we didn't even bother to keep up the act around one another. She took to comparing me to Fred and I always came up short. And I...well, I never did it out loud, but I compared her to you, and she lost every time."
Luna turned away slightly
"It's easy to think fondly of someone when you are apart from them, but when you are face to face... Remember me... I kept Callie away from you for five years."
George took a deep breath
"Yes, you did do that. And I can't just say 'Oh well', no matter what the reason. But if I want you in my life, to be a part of my life, which I do, all I can do is say that I forgive you and move on from that point."
Luna bit her lip and tried to stop the tears that were burning her eyes.
"You want me in your life?"
George nodded and smiled
"So, would that be just as Callie's mother or..."
George leaned forward and kissed her quickly then pulled back.
"So then, just to clarify..."
This time he leaned forward while pulling her closer. He threaded his fingers into her thick hair and pulled her lips to his, kissing her thoroughly and leaving no room for doubt. When he pulled his mouth from hers he looked down into her eyes and grinned.
"Is that clear?"
George felt the fogginess of sleep lifting off him in slow lazy waves, in its place an uncomfortable feeling, however, was taking its place. He grew up in a house full of mostly brothers, and to be fair, he and Fred had not been the only ones who had been fond of, nor able, of pulling off a fairly good prank. But the worst had been his little sister Ginny, sweet, innocent, tricky as hell and nearly impossible to catch.
So this uncomfortable feeling wasn't totally unknown to George. It was the feeling of someone very close by, perhaps watching him sleep while in the process of pranking. But he had also become familiar with the feeling since becoming an uncle and Victoire had snuck into his room one of the rare nights he had stayed at the Burrow...so he knew to be careful as well. It wouldn't do to hex the niece...not at all.
Another wave of sleep wore off and George drifted into a state of semi-consciousness. He peeked an eye open and that's when he saw the enormous brown eyes and red mass directly in front of his face.
He grinned and scooped Callie up to lie next to him on the sofa.
"Daddy!!" She gave an exasperated sigh" I told you, don't call me Cal, that's a boys name!"
"Oh...sorry." George grinned and gave a red curl a tug. "Where's your Mum?"
"Still sleeping." Callie yawned "It's still dark out. See?"
George looked closer at the horizontal blinds and noticed for the first time the pink horizon waiting for the sun to make its appearance.
"Should you be awake this early?" He asked, noticing for the first time that she had turned on nearly every light in the room.
"No." she giggled
"Then why are you?"
"I had to go potty." she whispered
"Well, I think you better go back to bed for a little while sweetie."
"I wanna lay with you Daddy."
George pondered that for a minute. Would Luna be mad?
"I sleep with Grandpa all the time, it's okay, Mummy won't get mad. Promise, cross my heart." Callie made the gesture, crossing her heart with her fingers.
"Okay then, but no talking."
"Yay!" Callie clapped her hands while George used his wand to put out the lights.
Callie was back to sleep in a matter of minutes but now George lay awake, unable to fall back into sleep. He was still waiting to wake only to discover that this was all a dream.
But he didn't wake.
He was really on Luna's sofa, she had offered to let him stay since they had decided to spend Sunday together, with Callie of course.
George had bought that land near the Burrow and they were going to look at house designs, he thought that Callie might like to help pick out her room. Secretly, he had thought Luna should have some say too...since eventually she would be living there.
He had really kissed her, many times in fact, though both had agreed that they would take things slow for Callie's sake. Neither wanted to break her heart.
A part of George was horribly afraid. He was so close to having everything he had ever wanted, he had been here once before...then Fred had died and he had found himself pitched into a life that he barely recognized as his own. But now the stakes were so much higher. He had Luna to think about, and Callie. What would he do if something happened to them? What if they were taken away from him?
His mind wandered back to that night, when he had felt the need to escape the party in Gryffindor tower. He was bringing it down, ruining it for everyone else. Somehow he had ended up in the potions lab and he spread his blanket out on the floor and lay down, covering himself with another blanket.
He let the tears come then, for the first time, really let them come. It didn't take long before he'd turned into a sobbing mess.
The room was pitch black and he lay on his side, tears running across his face and into the blanket. Then he had heard a soft voice, like the sweet voice of a seraph it came closer, then came the light, illuminating her beautiful features.
Luna came to him, glowing in the light of the candelabra like a heavenly beacon in the darkness.
"Are you hurt?" the Seraph like voice was like a whisper of healing to his soul
He shook his head and she began to rise to leave. He had to do something...something to stop her. He reached out his hand and grabbed her wrist.
"I do know you, don't I." she said
He sat up and brushed the hair from his face.
Luna was so beautiful in the candlelight
"I thought so. Your Fred Weasley, I have always loved you."
George woke with a jolt.
He was still on Luna's sofa, Callie still slept tucked next him, her head resting on his arm.
"Just a dream" he told himself "Just a dream"
Luna rolled over and felt the pillow next to her. Usually Callie ended up in her bed by morning. She smiled a little, she had a sneaking suspicion she knew where Callie had defected to.
She got out of bed and padded down the hall to where she had left George the night before.
Just as she suspected, Callie lay curled up next to her father, her head laying on his shoulder, his arms tucked around her.
Luna smiled, they were so sweet together, so adorable.
She had done the right thing, telling George at last about Callie. She just wished she could be as sure about the rest, about allowing him back into her life, allowing him to get so close to her.
Luna bent over the back of the sofa and pulled the blankets up over them, tucking them around their necks. She went to the kitchen and made tea before disappearing into her sanctuary on the terrace.
George and Callie found her there, dozing in her chair, when they woke thirty minutes later.
It was time to start a new day.
Not sure if I will end this here or not...it kind of feels like it has run its course, but I had another plot in mind, but it seems a bit contrived. So I am going to focus on Beautiful Consequences II: A Beautiful Rebellion for a while and MAYBE come back to this.-