Title: Darkened Path Excerpts

Chapter: Momma, Please Wake Up

Characters: Luna Lovegood, Celeste Lovegood (Luna's mother,) Melanie (Nargle)

Warnings: Character death, slight angst

Ships: N/A – H/Hr/L, N/Sus B, J/L in "Darkened Paths"

Rating: PG

Key: "Speech", 'Thought',

Summary: Scene of the past where Luna's mother, Celeste Lovegood, dies. This is to explain my version of events for the "Darkened Paths" universe. Canon is not explained, so I have offered my own story.

Setting: Luna is eight years old and playing in her front yard in late June. Told from a child's third-person perspective where applicable.

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"I don't know. Are you sure this is going to work?" Luna asked, looking at a spot on her shoulder where seemingly nothing but air rested. After a few seconds, Luna looked down at the small rope she had snuck out of her parents' basement of animal hunting gear, nodding resolutely. "Alright. If you say so."

Sticking out her tongue and curling it up and to the left as she bent down, the chipper, eight-year old blonde girl began to hum a funny song she heard when her mother took her on her birthday to this place the muggles in the town over had shown in their big movie place with seven dwarves singing and taking care of a princess. Those muggles! They had the bestest of ideas ever!

"Here?" Luna asked, pointing at what looked like the best spot on the rope to cut and staring at her shoulder again. A second later, she nodded and grinned as she began to saw at the rope, using her mother's nail filer. All of the knives were charmed so they couldn't be touched by her, much to her chagrin. Her mother had gotten so angry with her after she tried to play doctor on that chicken!

The chicken wasn't too thrilled, either. It kept running and squawking. It was funny to watch it lay an egg while running, though.

"You know, we should really think of how we're going to decorate when we make this." Pause. "Oh! Right! I mean when we're done making it!" Luna giggled at her own silliness. Of course they would have to wait until they were done!

Suddenly, the rope snapped, surprising her enough to fall backwards onto her bum with a soft 'oomph' as the rope snapped, sliding through the little hook she put in the ground as the young willow tree rose back up from its lowered position. It pulled up another rope, that was also threaded through another loop on the ground and pulled up on a mass of ropes and cloth that was on the ground.

Suddenly, a large tent loomed in front of the laughing girl, blocking out the sun. It looked oddly like a circus tent, but had used branches and the stolen elastic bands of her father's underwear to make the roof keep its shape while the walls were simply ropes that were netted together with some of her mother's dresses to make the perfect fort!

"Haha! It worked!" She cried out gleefully, clapping her hands together rapidly as she kicked her feet on the ground. "We did it, Melanie! We made our own hideout from those dreaded Muffles!" Her face contorted into a fierce scowl, or at least as fierce as an eight-year old could provide, as she considered the horror that was a Muffle. They were absolute evil in the worstest of ways! They made her mother make her take... baths! And she was pretty sure they were the culprits that somehow made her have to wear clothes, too. "We'll have to make sure they can't find us in here, too."

"Luna! It's time for lunch!" Celeste Lovegood called out from the kitchen window of their modest cottage home. Her daddy had bought it for her mom right after they married because it was cozy and had a huge amount of land that they warded against non-magical people and where her mommy took her on long walks where she taught Luna about all sorts of magical creatures and critters that apparently only they saw.

"Aw! But I just now raised my fort!" Luna cried out. It had taken her a whole half day to make that with Melanie's help! "Can't I finish it first?"

"Come along, Luna Celeste! You already got me to agree to let you have a small breakfast! You're not missing lunch, too!" Celeste called out, watching her daughter scowl and put her Nargle friend down to watch over their new little home so the Muffles couldn't find it and get in without their knowledge. She regretted, sometimes, that Luna had the Sight. It allowed her daughter to see so many vast and wonderful things, but as a child was wont to do, she talked about them to anyone and everyone.

The Weasleys were a prime example. While Ginny found it slightly amusing, and the parental figures tolerated it as a child's antics, the others scorned her and wanted nothing to do with her, which was something she deeply regretted Seeing that Luna would have to deal with for several years. Perhaps she could get Luna to spend a little more time with Ginevra. Her daughter needed friends beyond that Nargle that kept changing its name.

The door to the kitchen crashed open as Luna rushed in, chattering about how she had to protect her new fort before the Muffles found it while Celeste smiled and gave her daughter the sandwiches she had prepared, beginning to talk animatedly with her mouth full. "And when we're done, I'll invite you in, but you can't decorate! Melanie and I are gonna decorate and when we do, it's going to be really neat and pretty! And..."

Celeste listened with amusement as Luna continued, eating her way through most of her sandwich and crisps. "Ah, ah!" She called out from closing the oven on a roast as Luna tried to rush the door. "You know you have your lessons after lunch," she said in a tone only a mother could pull off. Luna normally enjoyed learning math and reading, doing as well as the average muggle adult by this point. Celeste had seen to that. But the girl had a focus like nothing else!

"But I have to protect my fort!" Luna said loudly, honestly shocked her mother would try to stop her. She already told her mother what she was doing! Surely she saw the need! There could be no delays! She could not have to take another bath!

Celeste shook her head as she walked from her oven to the counter to pull down some books from the counter. "They can wait until you've studied. You know they don't come out until an hour before bedtime anyway."

Luna stomped her right foot to the ground and fisted her hands at her sides. "But Mum! If I don't get them now, then they'll be here tonight!"

"Study now, protections later, Luna. Be a good girl and sit down," she said, turning to get a quill and some parchment.

Luna closed her eyes and fisted her hands tightly, screaming at the outrage. She had worked so hard on that fort! She was unseeing of her effects, but her rage manifested itself as she accidentally touched her magical core and let loose a bout of accidental magic.

A false wind picked up, blowing both girls' hair wildly as Celeste turned to look in shock at her daughter as she fully lost control over her magic. Luna's anger held no true target, but merely existed at the injustice she was feeling and latched onto the closest, similar thing that it found, the magical fires that stoked the oven where Celeste was making a slow-cooked roast. The fire was like her anger at that time, unbridled and burned to consume. As Luna's magic touched it, the magical flames erupted, exploding the oven and the door rushed outwards to hit Celeste in the back and on her head, knocking her down as the flames caught onto the walls and cabinets over the stove.

Luna's eyes popped open as soon as the explosion was heard and she saw in seemingly slow motion as the door broke off and hit her mommy, sending her several feet forward with her arms flailing out at her sides. "Momma!" With sudden tears of guilt and fear, Luna rushed to her mother and turned her over from her stomach to her side. "Momma! Momma!"

Celeste's eyes opened slowly, seeing the fire eating at the walls and beginning to catch on the ceiling. "L-Luna," she mumbled, barely able to think straight as the concussion fogged her brain.

"Momma! I'm sorry! I'll study!" Luna shook her mother's shoulders, trying to rouse her from what seemed like a sleepy state. She knew she wasn't sleepy, but she also knew she had somehow caused what hurt her mommy.

Celeste saw the magical fire spreading, consuming the house quickly, far more quickly than an average fire would. The smoke was beginning to fill the room and her own eyes began to burn. Through the haze, only the thought of her daughter was solid. "L-Luna," she whispered, "get out. Go to th'Weasleys' and ge' help."

"I'm not leavin' you, Momma!" Luna looked around in fear as the fire consumed all of the walls and spread to the living room and beyond. She screamed and shuddered, curling in closer to her mother as part of the roof fell closest to the stove where the fire was oldest. "Momma! Let's go! Let's go, Momma!"

A large, wooden beam from the roof fell almost immediately following Luna's pleas and she screamed, instinctively falling over her mommy to protect her. Celeste's higher brain functions ceased on hearing her daughter scream and all that was left was a primal urge to protect her only daughter. "Luna," she spoke, suddenly becoming clear-headed enough to speak clearly, her magic taking over on some subconscious command, "always remember that I love you and be good."

Without another word as Luna turned to look at her in confusion as tears streaked down her ashen face, leaving trail marks on her cheeks where the soot already caked onto her skin, Celeste's magic lashed out, blowing a hole in the wall behind Luna and then banished Luna's body out, forcing the terrified girl to let out a high-pitched scream as she flew through the air.

Luna tumbled to a stop and got up just in time to see fire burst through the windows and saw a portion of the wall nearest the stove cave in as the fire caused the building to begin to crumble. Then Luna could hear screams of pain as her mother began to burn alive. "Momma!"

Luna was scared and confused as she curled into a ball, sitting on her haunches and rocking back and forth for several long minutes before the screaming ended as the building collapsed. By the time Molly Weasley arrived, alerted by the smoke her youngest son had seen, she found Luna rocking back and forth.

"I'll be good, Momma, I promise, I'll be good."

"I won't get angry again, Momma, I promise. I'll be good."

"I'll be good, Momma, I promise, I'll be good."

"I won't get angry again, Momma, I promise. I'll be good."

"I'll be good, Momma, I promise, I'll be good."

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[Author's Note:] I know it's sad, but it takes place before my "Darkened Paths" story starts, and is necessary for the plot.