Shout out to everyone at Werepire Moon Resort, especially Hannah (Lady Katsa), Ella (TeardropsOfInception) and District (.Ariadne) who are amazing people and I love them very much.
This chapter is dedicated to District for being awesome and coming up with the name of Luna's owl ;D
Precisely sixteen minutes past two on a cold December morning Luna Lovegood opened the trapdoor in her bedroom ceiling and climbed onto the roof of her childhood home. Shivers ran through her at the coldness of the stone, which reached her despite the thick stripy socks she was wearing, and she pulled her jacket closer around her as the wind blew.
The easel was exactly where'd she had left it of course - no-one could move something which had been stuck in place using a Permanent Sticking charm - and her brushes still sat in their little pot by the trapdoor.
Smiling she reached for her favourite brush, running her fingers over it lovingly as she noticed a small golden dot of paint which had not been there last night. The smile grew as she padded over to the easel, her eyes trained on the upper left part where something was trembling in the breeze.
The note was still pinned to the corner, it's whiteness contrasting with the dark background of the painting. She closed her eyes, mind filled with festive thoughts and hopes of what was to come the next day.
Pale fingers reached and pulled out the pin, caressing the paper as she read it again, a hunger in her large eyes replacing the dreaminess which had been there in her schooldays. The note slipped into her pocket.
A soft curse word was carried away by the wind as Luna noticed her paints had frozen yet again. With a frown creasing her blonde brows she pulled her wand out of her left sock. It was an odd wand; longer than most at 17 and ¾ inches and it was so pale most people thought it was white. Intricate carvings traced their way up and down the length.
She flicked it in a complicated pattern and heat streamed out; melting the frozen paints instantly. Luna's perfect white teeth flashed in the moonlight and she set to work, barely noticing as her handsome barn owl settled beside her.
He hooted softly and she jumped, dropping the brush.
"Oh Skitchel, you startled me!" she chastised, noticing the letter that was tied securely to his scaly leg. "Who on earth is writing to me at this time of night?" He hooted again and flapped his wings a couple of times.
Sighing she pulled the letter off his leg and smiled as he nipped her finger affectionately before flying off to hunt.
A few miles away Charlie Weasley jerked awake with a grunt, his eyes blinking rapidly in the light which had suddenly filled his room. A groan left his mouth as he glanced blearily at the clock on his bedside table and rolled out of bed, feet landing on the floor with a soft thud.
"Damn it," he mumbled as he heard one of his brothers stir next door. He tensed, holding his breath and waiting for whoever it was to run into his room and stop him from leaving. Several minutes passed before loud snores sounded and Charlie relaxed.
A flick of his wand dimmed the light so he could still see but so it wasn't blinding him with it's brightness. It only took moments for him to be fully dressed and he crept down into the kitchen, padding silently across to where they kept the shoes. Thankfully he didn't trip over anything, although he nearly stood on the cat which hissed at him and flew under the table. He heard the soft rustle of feathers and glanced across to the window where a handsome barn owl was standing. Frowning he put his shoe down and walked over to the owl.
"Hey Skitchel," he murmured, letting the owl hop onto his arm. "What are you doing here?" The owl hooted rather loudly and he grimaced.
Noticing there was no letter tied to the owl's leg he carried him over to the stand where Errol was balanced precariously. He ran his fingers through the soft feathers on Skitchel's back as he set him down, then went back over to the shoes and picked his up again.
He had managed to get his left foot into the right shoe without falling over when the light flicked on.
"-do you think-"
He turned slowly to face his brothers who were smirking identically from their seats on the table. The twins were unmistakeable even in the dark. Both had stretched out their long legs in front of them and had crossed their arms over their chests. Their red hair was tousled, telling Charlie that they had just climbed out of bed and the dim light showed him bleary eyes. Not that he could judge, he'd had a similar appearance for the past week.
"Fred and George," Charlie acknowledged. "What are you guys doing down here at," he checked his watch, "half past two in the morning?"
"We could ask you the same question," they chimed together, raising their eyebrows simultaneously.
"Well, I asked first so you should answer first." The twins stood up and started to pace in unison, arms folded behind their backs.
"Sneaking out again?"
"Going where you go every night?"
"We've been watching, Charlie."
"We know you disappear."
"And then come back the next morning -"
"-acting like you were in bed the whole time."
"You're just lucky we very kindly haven't told anyone, though we should." Charlie groaned, rubbing his eyes heavily. This was why he hated Christmas with the family. Fred and George's room was right beneath his; meaning they could hear him moving about and of course they were the pranksters. They looked for any excuse to pull a prank. This would be perfect; bust the older, supposedly more responsible brother for sneaking out every night.
"Fred, maybe it's about time we had a talk with our brother."
"George, I've been thinking exactly the same." They turned to him at exactly the same time.
"Sit down Charlie."