This is the first multi-chapter story that we have written, and this also features some of Madame Jade's amazing writing talents, and editing skills! This is a story that the two of us are writing together, as we feel it will give it a better feel, with both of us writing. Trust us when we say it's difficult to write as Luna, but we hope you like what you read! Reviews would be kind. =]
Madame Jade and Madame Aurora
"Luna! Run! Leave before they find you!"
My eyes opened abruptly, a loud gasp passed my lips, as I looked frantically around my surroundings. Sighing with relief when realizing I was safe and snug in my Ravenclaw dormitory, I regained composure.
Haunted. That's what I had to be; haunted. I have never felt so real before, so human. Ever since the Malfoy's and Voldemort kept me as prisoner, the reminder of my mortality and my fragility was always fresh. Ever since I found out daddy died, I've forgotten the days of gnargles and Crumple-Horned Snorcacks. Ever since the war ended, I've been numb.
Oh, sure I am happy that the wizarding world is no longer threatened by Voldemort. Of course I am thrilled that my friends are all oaky. But, I couldn't find a way to break this shell, locking me in this hurt, this silent suffering. I could not stand who I had become; I wanted to find myself again.
My father's words echoed in my mind, as though we were still at home. As though that had just happened. I felt my lip tremble, but I wouldn't cry; I couldn't.
The sun was just peeking over the horizon as I finished smoothing my robes, ready for the day. The Ravenclaw crest pinned me here, yet I didn't feel like I belonged here. Yes, I was very smart and wise, but I had seen so much, and I've been through too much. Was I brave like a Gryffindor? Yes. Smart like a Ravenclaw? Yes, again. Social and kind, like a Hufflepuff? Yes, up until very recently. Was I clever and sneaky, like a Slytherin? Sure. So, where did I belong, if anywhere? Or was I an outcast, not belonging anywhere?
Walking into our common room, I avoided looking at the blue walls bordered by silver swirls, or any of the decorations. I curled up on one of the fluffy blue couches, and sighed softly. What was I going to do until breakfast- if I ate? I had decided to flip through my divinations book, to see if there was anything interesting I could read. As I turned over page 534, which was about augury, a piece of parchment fell from onto my lap. Curiously, I unfolded the paper, and a sudden twist of guilt ran through me.
I stared at the letter from Harry, which he had written two weeks ago. I never talked to Harry or Ron much, not that they didn't mean to, they were busy with auror training, so it was understandable. And I was busy with school, same with Hermione, and Ginny. My eyes scanned the letter once again, his edgy handwriting popping out to me.
I was just thinking about you today, and how you were doing. I know it wasn't too long ago since we talked, yet still, I figured I should let you know I'm thinking about you.
I miss you tons, Luna! I sometimes wish I was back at Hogwarts, but it would be overkill. The students would probably faint or scream when they saw me, not that I want that… you understand. Even in auror training the wizards are so intimidated, except for Ron of course. How was that for you, Hermione and Ginny by the way? You were heroes yourselves; I owe you all so much still.
How is Hogwarts now? Are you doing any better? Don't lie to me, you know I'll know! I know that it's tough to deal with what you're going through, and I'm sorry that you have to live this. But it's will get better, you are so strong, Luna.
I wish I was back at Hogwarts with you guys, it would be nice to have most of us hanging out like we used to do.
Sorry I had to end this abruptly, training to attend to. Write back when you can, and I'll write back hopefully not too long after that!
PS- Tell Hermione not to worry and that I wrote her a letter as well, please? Thanks, Luna.
Sighing, I folded the parchment back up, and closed my eyes tightly. This was going to get better? How can I even think it will? All I ever felt was nothing, or so much pain. Yes, I did want to be happy again, but no, I didn't know how. And right now, it seemed like optimism was forgotten, just like the Crumple-Horned Snorcacks.
After receiving four detentions in one day, I was informed to report to Headmistress McGonagall's office, after supper. I honestly didn't care if I was in trouble, I was just so apathetic. Normally, I would be floating down the halls, barefoot, my long, wispy blonde hair cascading down my back. With a pair of radish earrings and an upside down edition of The Quibbler. But now, my hair was chopped to the nape of my neck, and I tried my hardest to hide myself away from everyone instead of trying to stand out.
With my fork, I played with the mashed potatoes and meat on my plate; not taking a bite. I only ate when it was absolutely necessary, because of a lack of appetite. Doing so had caused me to drop my weight to an unhealthy level, but to me it didn't matter. The last thing I was concerned about was how I looked.
The girls who sat by me stared and whispered to each other. Their eyes were watching my every movement. My defense level and alertness rose dramatically, as I caught every word they whispered.
"-Haven't seen her eat in days,"
"-She was so pretty, now she's-"
I didn't care what they had to say, or how they judged my appearance. But the anger boiled inside of me as I just sat there. They knew I could hear, though I was numb, I wasn't catatonic!
Finally, I couldn't bear it any longer; I threw down my fork with a clatter. With as much dignity as I could muster, I vacated the Ravenclaw table and joined the Gryffindors at theirs. I could feel the hundreds of eyes track my ever movement as I sat down.
Hermione glanced up from her book briefly in greeting before burying herself in it once more. She looked just as miserable as I felt, and I could tell she wasn't reading so much as staring at the page. I prised it from her hands and closed it with a gentle thud. She blinked owlishly at me.
"Where's Ginny?" I heard myself croak. Hermione took her book back and shut it away in her bag. No more pretending for her today.
"Quidditch practice," She murmured, picking up a knife and stabbing at a treacle tart without anger. I had forgotten that Ginny was the team captain.
"How's Ron?" I asked without thinking. She smiled a tired grin, no real meaning or conviction.
"He's fine," She fiddled with her own shorter hair. "No one writes me much either, Luna."
I looked at her, surprised. I'd known that she hadn't found her family in Australia yet, but I thought that she had at least been getting letters from Harry and Ron semi-regularly. We were two friends in the same boat, it seemed. I noticed she was still mutilating the treacle tart, and asked her about it.
"Pretending it's Harry's face," Hermione grumbled, jabbing it with a particularly violent stab. "The dolt still hasn't sorted things out with Ginny."
I almost giggled. Almost. I decided that it was now time to face the Headmistress and got up, murmuring a brief goodbye to Hermione, and gave a short wave as I left the Great Hall.
I glared at my shoes as I walked, knowing the route well enough by now. Imagine my surprise as I bumped into a very large something that wasn't usually there, and landed on my bum, wincing as the stone floor bruised me. The large something peered over the ample box it was carrying. At once I realized who it was; Neville.
"Luna! I'm so sorry," he stammered, dropping the crate and offering me a hand. "I couldn't see you, are you all right?" He asked me, sounding very concerned.
"It's all right Neville, and I'm fine," I offered convincingly. "What are you doing at Hogwarts? I thought you left."
He puffed out his chest proudly, and I couldn't ignore the large grin on his face. "I'm student teaching for Herbology! Sprout's retiring soon, you know."
"No, I didn't. Or perhaps I did. Maybe a Wrackspurt got me, and I forgot." I blinked at my own words, my voice suddenly catching as a sharp twinge of pain ran through my heart. Wrackspurt? I hadn't thought about those in weeks. Neville grinned and picked up his box again, brown eyes sparkling with pride. He stepped to the side to let me by and waved as I walked on down the corridor. I smiled in response.
Soon enough, I was facing the newly restored gargoyle, and felt my nerves suddenly kick in. Now is where the questions began to soar through my mind. Why had I been asked to see Headmistress McGonagall? What had I done?
Taking a deep breath, I opened the doors, and my feet walked inside on their own accord.
"Good evening," Professor McGonagall declared, "Have a biscuit, Ms. Lovegood."