Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling
()Special thanks to SueAdams, my unofficial sounding board and the ultimate butter fan, for your help in coming up with Luna's drug of choice!
George Weasley shivered and bent lower to shield himself against the blinding snow. Heavy winds lashed him from all sides...he couldn't see a thing; it was only the compass attached to the end of his ancient clean sweep that told him he was headed in the right direction.
He knew he was a fool to be out in the storm; the weather wizard on the wireless had told people to stay inside and not risk it. The Floo network had shut down and apparating wasn't recommended due to the heavy winds, yet he couldn't not risk it. His family, particularly his mum, needed him back home at the Burrow…tonight more than ever.
It was their first Christmas without Fred.
George had been watching his family closely all week, waiting for signs of returning cracks. He knew it would never be as bad as it had during the long and terrible summer, but with the arrival of Christmas, he couldn't help but worry about the effect of the holiday on his family.
He knew people thought it odd that he had been the strong Weasley while the others went to pieces. He and Fred had always been so close, closer than was normal for even twins. People had hovered in the early days, waiting…watching…for the moment he would lose it and come apart. Obviously, in some people's opinion, he was mourning Fred all wrong. He was supposed to be spending his time in a bottle, drowning in a pit of angst and having sex with Angelina Johnson because it was his job now to take Fred's place in her life…and hers to use him as Fred's proxy.
He and Angelina had had more than a few laughs over that one. That was the wonderful thing about best friends; Lee, Angelina, Katie, Alicia…they all understood exactly why George hadn't lost it in the weeks after Fred's death.
George loved his brother too much to disgrace his memory by ruining his life. That didn't mean he didn't mourn Fred; he wept as he stood by Fred's casket, spent more than one night crying into his pillow, and despite his resolve to be strong he did have an angst filled moment or two. When it came down to it though, George knew that Fred would have wanted him to be strong; his family needed him. What better way to honor his brother?
George pulled the collar of his cloak up higher around his neck, and then laid his body flat over his broom. Hard as it was to imagine, the wind was getting even worse. He closed his eyes against the stinging snow; it wasn't as if he could see anything anyway.
It was a big mistake; he didn't see the darkness looming up out of the blinding white. His first inkling that something was wrong was a sickening grinding sound, a sharp snap as the handle of his broom splintered in into pieces. Then, the sensation of falling…blinding white, his body rocked in the violent winds; and then…horrific pain before it all went away.
George was swallowed by darkness.
Luna Lovegood stared quietly into the dying fire. She would have to go for more wood soon, but she was dreading it. A horrible storm had blown up that day and Luna had never liked storms…not since that horrible snow storm when she was nine years old; the one that changed everything.
She shuddered slightly and took another gulp from her mug of Hot Buttered Gurdyroot Rum. A particularly loud howl of wind rippled the tent and she pulled the quilt more tightly around her, praying that it would hold up to the storm. The tent was her home now; the only home she had ever known was nothing but a rubble filled shell several yards behind where she had erected the tent. It was ironic really…it was a perfect representation of the way she felt inside. Destroyed, empty…a shell of her former self.
Her mother was long dead, her father's body recently unearthed from a shallow grave outside Azkban, even her home…Luna Lovegood had lost everything.
It was a daily battle, holding onto herself, not slipping into the deep pits of depression that threatened to smother her whole. School work was a help, cherishing the normal; laughing off her missing shoes, arguing with her schoolmates when they challenged her beliefs…the problem was, these days Luna Lovegood was only going through the motions.
The flames of the fire flickered down to red cinders and Luna realized if she didn't get more wood on it now, the fire would go out. With a deep sigh she downed the rest of her drink and tossed off the heavy quilt, slid off the sofa and then crossed to the door.
"What the hell was I thinking?" She muttered and began to pull on her boots over the feet of her footie pajamas "Stacking the wood away from the tent."
She shook her head in disgust, pulled her cloak off the chair next to the door and pulled it on. At the moment, she didn't care that she had worried that the wood might fall over in the wind and tear holes in the side of the tent. She did not want to be logical…not when it meant going outside.
"Not like you have a choice." She grit her teeth, pulled on her mittens, hat and scarf, then pushed the door to the tent open.
The wind hit her hard in the face, nearly knocking her to her behind. Luna steadied herself and glared into the wind as if her worsening temper might scare it into behaving. The trudge to the wood pile took three times longer than it should have; Luna was small and thin, hardly someone who could put up much resistance. She piled her arms full and then turned back to the tent…she would make another trip now; this wouldn't be enough to get her through the night…might as well get it over with.
She returned the wood and piled it into the wood box, tossed a couple of pieces onto the cinders and waited for the flames to flicker back to life before venturing back out into the wind. This time, she stopped at the wood pile, her eyes unwillingly glancing at the black lump several yards up the hill. An ache filled her heart as she thought that, if not for Voldemort, she would have been sitting there with her father in front of a warm happy fire watching the sparkling wings of a few thousand Christmas fairies lighting up their Christmas tree. Luna hadn't even bothered with a tree. Once again, Luna felt bitterness swarm over her; she picked up a piece of wood and stomped to the side of her former home.
"Fuck you!" She screamed into the wind, striking the cement as hard as she could "Fuck you, fuck you, FUCK YOU!"
The last hit fell with such intensity that it made her hands sting. She fell to her knees in the snow.
"Ouch." she sniffed softly, rubbing her hands together as bitter tears wet her cheeks. Feeling quite foolish now, she began to get to her feet. It was then she heard a loud snap and a horrifying scream … followed by a sickening thud.
"What in the …" Luna looked around, seeing nothing in the blowing snow. She knew she hadn't been hearing things. "Lumos"
Very slowly, she walked around the perimeter of the destroyed house. Someone had screamed out very near her...they could be badly hurt…she had to find them. Yet even after she had circled the house twice she had found nothing. With a small shrug, Luna turned back towards the house. She was freezing half to death…perhaps she had been hearing things.
That was when she saw it; the toe of a boot, barely visible, just poking out of a deep hole in the snow. Luna moved closer, pointing her wand into the darkness. The light fell across the broken handle of a broom, half buried now; the other half several feet way, only a few bristles still visible.
Someone had crashed into the side of the house!
With a gasp, Luna rushed over the hole in the snow, praying that the stranger was still alive. Afraid of burying him deeper, she waved her wand over the hole
Little by little the stranger came out of the snow. A leg and an arm pointed at an odd angles…obviously broken, and when his head cleared, it left a trail of blood.
"Oh no." Luna put her hand over her mouth, and then moved her wand to lead the stranger into the tent. First and foremost, she needed to get him out of the cold. The wind threatened to break her spell at every turn, but inch by inch Luna managed to get him back to the tent and then inside. Very carefully, she laid him on her bed in the only bedroom, and then went into the kitchen for a bowl of water, cloth and a first aid kit.
It wasn't until she returned and had begun to wash the blood from his face that she realized who it was. Her eyes went huge and she nearly jumped back in shock.
George felt like he was buried under a deep haze, the only thing he was cognizant of was pain…horrible, mind shattering pain. Above that though, somewhere else, there was a feeling of deep comfort. Something warm moved gently over his throbbing head while a soft voice spoke soothing words.
"You're going to be okay George; don't worry, I'll take good care of you."
He knew that voice, it was familiar in a vague sort of way. He knew he had only to open his eyes to discover the face that went with the voice, yet his eyelids felt leaden, as if they weighed a million tons each and even moving them the smallest bit made his forehead hurt horribly. He tried then to move his arms and his body seared with pain…he yelled out, unable to stop himself.
"No George, don't move." The voice gently admonished. "I haven't fixed your arm or leg yet."
He felt gentle pressure on his forehead, a wand moving over his skin, and then a warm feeling with a slight tickle that meant the skin was knitting back together. Realizing the pain in his head was gone, George forced his eyes open. His vision was blurry at first, the room semi dark…then it began to clear.
He'd been right, he did know the girl. The huge silver eyes, the long dirty blonde hair...now pulled up in high pigtails at the top of her head, there was only one girl like this that he had ever known.
"Luna? Luna Lovegood?"
"Yes George Weasley." Luna smiled and laid her wand back on the dresser, picked up the cloth from the bowl of hot water and rang it out, then smoothed it over his forehead again. "Luna Lovegood."
"What happened? How did I get here?"
"I brought you here…I found you in the snow after you crashed into what is left of my house."
George blinked up at her, it almost sounded like she was expecting him to apologize.
"I'm sorry." He was raised to be polite after all.
A look of intense pain crossed over Luna's face. Most would have been confused by her reaction…but George understood perfectly, it was one that he had become all too familiar with. It was a look of mourning.
"Nothing to apologize for, it's not as if you can make it worse than it is." Catching the harshness of her voice, Luna looked down at him and smiled. "You're going to be okay George, once I fix your arm and leg; you'll be almost as good as new."
"Thank you." George worked up a smile, from the pain that lingered in his face he obviously had more than a few bruises. "How bad is it?"
"Not terribly bad. You broke the arm and leg on your right side, that's the worst. I gave you some Skell-Grow to help the bones settle into the right place, once it has had some time to work I'll fix them." She rinsed the rag out, and then went back to washing the blood off his face. "You also had a big gash on your forehead, you've lost a lot of blood I'm afraid. You're quite lucky actually…it could have been much worse."
George shivered horribly as he realized just how lucky he was, not only could his injuries have been worse, but he could have never been found. If not for Luna, he would have lain there all night and frozen to death in the storm.
"Thank you." He looked up at her, his light brown eyes wide and sincere…his voice was so soft it was barely above a whisper. "I would have died if not for you."
Luna started to speak but her voice caught on the first word. She had been avoiding thinking of what his fate might have been and she had been doing it on purpose. She was sick of it, death, sadness, loss…lives ended far too soon; families left behind to pick up the pieces when the whole would never be complete again.
"It's lucky that I ran out of wood." She tossed off the words without so much as a smile. "It could…it could have been much worse."
George wrinkled his brows in confusion. Luna looked so miserable; it didn't jibe with the Luna he remembered. That girl had always been so happy, so carefree. This Luna looked as if she carried the weight of three worlds on her shoulders. She dropped the rag back in the bowl and turned back to him, her smile now a mask.
"I need to check your arm and leg to see if they've set…I'm afraid it will hurt. I don't really have anything to give you for pain…I left my potions kit at school and all I have is just a basic first aid box."
George nodded and grit his teeth. He had never been big on pain…ironic considering all the damage he and Fred had inflicted on one another. But this wasn't the first time he had broken his arm, or even his leg, he had been a beater after all…at least he knew what to expect.
"Oh, wait." Luna sat back, her finger on her lip. "I think…yes. I'll be right back George."
She left the room, for the first time giving George a chance to see that she was wearing a the cutest pair of footie pajama's... complete with a bunny tail and a hood that had bunny ears attached to the top. It was an odd choice of apparel, particularly for someone Luna's age. How old was she now? Ginny was seventeen…Luna had to be close. George had just begun to ponder what she could be up to when she was back with a small mug in her hand.
"Here George, drink this. It might help numb the pain a bit." She put the mug in his good hand then helped him sit up enough to drink.
The mug was hot and George wrapped his fingers around it, thankful for the warmth. He looked inside at the frothy yellow liquid, it reminded him of his mothers favorite holiday drink, Hot Cinnamon Butterbeer. He tested the scent…it didn't smell like that, but it didn't smell horrible. It obviously had some form of alcohol in it if Luna thought it would help lessen his pain. His arm and leg throbbed…he was willing to try anything.
George took a long swallow from the mug and promptly spit it across the room. Not only did it taste terrible…something like candied onion that had been left inside an old smelly trainer…but it tasted five hundred times stronger than any alcohol he had ever tasted.
"You don't like it?" Luna took the mug from him and took a long swallow herself…she didn't even flinch.
"What is that?"
"Hot Buttered Gurdyroot Rum." Luna took another deep swallow "It's my fathers recipe."
That explained a lot.
"How can you drink it? It's so…strong."
"Only two hundred and ten proof." Luna shrugged. "Actually though, Daddy never let me drink it with the Gurdyroot Rum…just the mixer because …" She trailed off and the painful look was back in her eyes again. "Well, we should check your arm and leg."
George nodded and rested back against the pillows, his mind far from the oncoming pain now. There was something in Luna's eyes, a pain so fierce that it haunted him. She was all alone, and…she was drinking. He realized now that he had smelled that horrible brew on her breath before she had drunk from the mug she brought in for him. The sudden pain he felt had nothing to do with Luna's tiny hand moving over his broken bones.
"Wonderful!" Luna smiled, for the first time George noticed how red her eyes were. "It's set enough for me to fix them."
She stood from the bed and picked up her wand. "Okay George, this is going to hurt badly, but I really need you to lie still. It won't last but a minute okay?"
"Been there, done that." George smiled nervously. "Go ahead Luna. I'll be okay."
George closed his eyes and grit his teeth again, managing to only wince when she repaired first his arm, and then his leg. He opened his eyes to see Luna gripping her wand, her bottom lip caught tightly between her teeth.
"Are you okay?" She asked nervously "Did I make it worse?"
"I don't think so." George lifted his arm, and then moved his leg. The pain, while still present, was greatly diminished. Within a day or two, he would be perfectly fine. "Well done Luna, Brilliant."
George pushed himself into a sitting position, the better to look the rest of his body over that way. Now he could see numerous scratches and bruises, the worst of which were on the arm and leg that Luna had just fixed. For the first time as well, he realized he was in his tank and boxers…the rest she had obviously cut off of him.
"I'm sorry." Luna glanced up and sat on the edge of the bed. "I couldn't see how badly you were hurt with your clothes on, they aren't too bad…I can fix them."
"It's okay." George smiled and leaned back against the headboard.
"You must be freezing." Luna stood and began to tug at the blankets beneath him…she hadn't bothered to pull them back when she lay him there. Then, she realized that the bed had only a sheet and a thin blanket…she hadn't bothered much with linens…it was only her after all. Yet, there had been one thing from her room that she had been able to salvage. Luna left again, returning with the heavy quilt from the sofa, then threw it over his legs.
"Thank you." George said again as Luna pulled the pillows up and fluffed them behind his back. He couldn't help musing that she would make someone a wonderful wife someday. "You've been very kind."
"It's the least I can do." Luna smiled a little. "It's my fault you're hurt…in a way at least. It's my house you ran into."
"That hardly makes it your fault."
"It is though really." Luna sat down in the chair next to the bed, curing her knees up under her chin. "I should have had it leveled last summer…I just…" She shivered; the memories were too close again, far too near the surface. She picked up the now cold mug and drained it while George watched in shock. He had nearly gagged on one swallow…Luna was not only drinking…Luna was practiced in drinking.
"I guess you didn't care much for this." She smiled sweetly "But could I get you anything else? I think I have a few bottles of butterbeer, I could warm one of those for you."
"Err…yeah sure." George watched her go nervously, he was positive she was going to come back with another mug of the nasty Gurdyroot brew. He was right.
"Here you go." She handed him the mug of hot frothy butterbeer, then took a long drink from her own mug…the nasty smell wafted over to George when she set it on the table and he nearly gagged. Luna went to the corner to where she had tossed his clothes. "I was thinking I should fix these, it might be a good idea for you to get up and walk a little."
"Good idea." He smiled when she came back and sat the pile in her lap. After taking another long drink from the mug, she smoothed them out on the bed…
When the last stitch was back in place she picked the mug up again, shook it and then frowned. The mug was empty.
"Can I get you anything else?" Luna smiled as she stood. "Are you hungry?"
"Err…no, not really." George was starving, but he wasn't about to give her another excuse to go back into the other room. He didn't want her making another drink. "Why don't you sit here and keep me company?"
"Alright." She smiled and picked up her mug. "Just one minute." Luna was beginning to weave when she walked and George felt his concern double. How long had she been drinking like this? It wasn't normal.
Not that anything about Luna Lovegood had ever been normal, but it hit George now that he really thought about it…Luna had always been not normal in the sweetest, most charming ways. Granted, he had barely known her during their years together at Hogwarts, but he had spent enough time with her during their tenure in the DA to know that she was extremely likeable. She was incredibly kind and cared about others, not only had she risked her life to save the life of Sirius Black…someone she didn't even know, but she was one of only two people to answer the call to fight the night Albus Dumbledore died.
George felt a terrible sadness fall over him. No wonder Luna was drinking… after all the kindness she had shown to others...it was the holidays, and she was all alone.
"Okay." Luna smiled dreamily. It was a different kind of dreamy than he remembered, this was the kind that made him realize that she had slammed a few drinks while he wasn't watching.
"I've came to keep your company George." Luna slurred, sitting down hard in her chair.
"You know." George said, a bit of inspiration coming to him. "I don't think I gave that stuff a fair try. Why don't you drink my butterbeer, and I'll drink that."
"I could make you another, would only take a moment." Luna stood, but George took her hand to stop her. He wasn't letting her go anywhere near that kitchen again.
"No sense in wasting perfectly good butterbeer, I don't mind using your mug…unless you don't want George Weasley germs." George's lips quirked into a little smirk
"Of course I don't mind your germs." Luna rolled her eyes and took the mug of butterbeer solemnly, determined to drink it quickly. "What shall we talk about?"
"Well…" George lifted the mug to his lips, no way was he drinking the nasty Gurdyroot goop…but if Luna didn't at least think he was... she would. "Tell me about school."
"School is school." Luna shrugged. "Nothing there ever changes, you must know that."
"I suppose I do, that is probably why I miss it so much."
"You do?" Luna was too surprised to notice that she had stopped drinking. "I never would have thought you would miss school. You and Fred never seemed all that interested in it."
"We weren't. But you know…absence makes the heart grow fonder." He smiled and raised the nasty mug to his lips again, not missing how Luna's eyes looked at it longingly. "Life was safe there; it was an easier time…more simple I suppose."
"Nothing about Hogwarts has ever been simple for me." George couldn't miss the bitterness in Luna's voice. He remembered then the taunting, the teasing…the cat calls of Loony Lovegood.
"People can be mean, particularly kids."
"You've got that right." Luna raised the mug of butterbeer to her lips and drained half of it in a swallow. She wanted it gone.
"You know Luna, I know we never really knew one another well…but I admired you."
Luna gaped at him. Why, of all people, would George Weasley admire her?
"Do you remember Bill and Fleur's wedding? People had been staring at the side of my head all day and I felt like a circus sideshow. But I remember you…you were dancing alone, your face was so peaceful and serene. People stared at you but you never let it bother you. I admired that."
"Don't admire me." She spat angrily, drained the remaining butterbeer in a gulp then rose and left the room.
Luna stalked angrily to the kitchen, bracing herself against the counter while she fought off the urge to sob. Who was George Weasley to admire her? He, who still had his home, his family, who had always had loads of people who flocked around him and adored him. The person he saw as admirable no longer existed…she had died with her father, her ashes were spread among the rubble of her childhood home.
Luna slammed the mug down hard on the counter and then reached for the bottle of Gurdyroot rum and pulled it towards her, then began to twist off the lid.
A pale hand reached to cover hers, the long fingers gently caressing her cold fingers. Her eyes went up the hand, to the arm, the shoulder and then to his face…locking on the concerned eyes of George Weasley.
"Please don't." He spoke softly; his hand pulled hers off the bottle and held it tightly. "I know that you're sad, and that you feel all alone…but your not alone. Not anymore."
"You're not my friend." Luna's voice was bitter. "You never were."
"You're right, I wasn't." The words were true, but George spoke them with regret. He had missed out by not having Luna as a friend all these years, he was only just beginning to realize how much. "But I'd like to be."
"Why?" Her bottom lip trembled, wanting so badly to believe, yet scared to death to let another person into her life. Alone was much safer…so much less risk. "Why do you care ?"
"Because you're hurting." George turned her to face him. "I know how it feels to hurt. When Fred died it hurt so bad … the only thing that got me through it was knowing that I wasn't alone."
"I am all alone. That's why…"
Luna didn't have to finish, George knew what she was about to say. People had expected it of him after all, that he would down his sorrows in a bottle. He had proved them wrong, but he could have very easily have gone the other way. The only thing that saved him was having people he loved around him to give him strength. He may have been the one who was hurt that night, but it was Luna who desperately needed to be saved.
George knew without the slightest doubt…he wanted to be the one to save her.
There was something special about Luna Lovegood, and it was still in there…he didn't care how long it took; he was going to find it.
"You're not alone anymore." George brushed his thumb over her cheek, his eyes burning into hers. "I'm here, and I won't let you be alone again."
Luna was torn, she saw nothing but truth and sincerity in his eyes…but there had been others, others who had pretended to care about her and then let her down. She tried to turn her face away; instead his hands cupped her cheeks and brought her eyes back to his.
"You can trust me." He brushed his lips over her forehead. "I won't let you down, I promise."
"Do you mean it? " Luna's voice was tiny and so afraid, but she looked at him, the slightest glimmer of hope shimmering in her silver eyes.
"I don't lie."
"You lied in school." Luna countered "When Flitch asked if you were the one who set off dungbombs in the hall around the corner from the Room of Requirement."
"That's different… I was protecting the DA. " George grinned.
"Dad always said that a lie is a lie, no matter what the reason." Luna tensed, waiting for the shiver of pain. When it did come, she was oddly surprised to find that the edge had lifted from it somewhat. Whether that was because of George or the Gurdyroot Rum, she didn't know…she didn't care to analyze it.
"So maybe I do, little white lies when the situation demands them." George looked at her, his eyes shimmering "But I am not lying about this. I would never lie to you Luna, not about something this important."
Oddly, Luna found that she believed him. "I'll trust you then. I'm afraid, but…I trust you George."
George smiled and pulled her into his arms to hug her tightly. He held her for several long wonderful moments; he couldn't help but notice how perfectly she seemed to fit in his arms. His eye fell on the bottle of Gurdyroot Rum, still sitting on the counter behind them.
"Do you mean that?" He pulled away nervously, wondering how she was going to handle what he was about to ask…no, demand. "Do you really trust me?"
"Yes." Luna worked up a small smile, the first that actually seemed genuine.
"Then you don't need that." George nodded and took her hand, turning her to the counter again. "Can we please dump it out?"
Luna looked afraid for a moment, she hadn't been drinking long, just the few days since she had been home on holiday… it wasn't like she was like Mundungus Fletcher or the other people she saw passed out along the barrels outside the Hogshead sometimes. But she had come to trust it…it was her escape, her place to go when the loneliness got to be too much.
"You have me now, remember?" George whispered. "Please, for me? The way you've been drinking tonight…it scares me."
Luna stepped up the counter and picked up the bottle, she twisted off the lid and poured it down the sink. George felt himself fill with relief with each inch that disappeared. She was going to be okay… he was sure of it.
"I have more you know." Luna looked at him nervously and pointed to the counter…there were two more huge bottles sitting in the corner.
"Well, let's get those too then." Working together, they dumped both down the sink. When the last was drained, George turned to her with a little smile. "You must have really been planning some drunk there Luna."
"Oh Gurdyroot Rum doesn't make you drunk." Luna looked at him in surprise. "I would never dream of drinking alcohol."
George looked puzzled…Luna had been weaving when she walked; she had been slurring her words. If she hadn't been drunk…what in the world was she?
"What does it do?"
"It makes the Wrackspurts come so your head gets all fuzzy." Luna's smile reminded George so much of the way he remembered her smiling at Hogwarts and the idea of her drinking to bring about the appearance of one of her magical creatures made him feel an incredible about of hope.
Luna was going to be okay…he was sure of it. With a huge grin he pulled her hood up into place so the bunny ears flopped down on the sides of her head. She was so adorable… George wondered how he had ever missed how cute she was.
"You should be in bed you know." Luna took his hand and began to drag him into the bedroom. "You really shouldn't have gotten out of bed."
She stopped and tried to push him back down on the bed, but George resisted, tugging on the bunny ears that flopped on the side of her head. "You should sleep too."
"I'll sleep on the sofa." She smiled and began to push on his shoulders again.
"With no blankets?"
George rolled his eyes and pulled her down into the bed with him, then threw the quilt over them. Friends could cuddle up on a cold winter night after all, couldn't they?
"George," Luna pulled the hood off her head and lifted it to look into his eyes. "Would it be bad for me to say that I am kind of glad that you flew into my house tonight?"
George raised an eyebrow and Luna sat up, a shocked and deeply apologetic look on her face.
"Oh, not that you got hurt…of course not. I just mean…I'm glad that you're here, that I'm not alone tonight. I don't like storms much, well… my mum died during a storm you see."
"I'm sorry, about your mum." He sighed and brushed the hair away from her face. "I'm glad that you're not alone anymore too…and I'm glad to be the one that is here with you."
Luna lay back down next to him and he pulled his arms tight around her, drawing her in close…once again he realized just how well she fit into his arms…like she was meant to be there. Luna picked her wand up from the table and gave it a lazy flick, turning out all of the lamps.
She lay quietly with her cheek resting on George's chest. Even as his light snores began to fill the room, sleep evaded her…and she knew why. On quiet feet she tiptoed out into the kitchen and opened the cupboard door under the sink. She pulled out five large bottles and then uncapped them and poured them down the sink.
Behind her, George watched with a small smile on his face. It didn't matter that it was only Gurdyroot Rum…it was a sign that Luna had decided to put her trust in him.
And George was just starting to feel an inkling of why it was so important to him that Luna trust him.
Very quietly he turned and tiptoed back to bed.
The morning dawned clear and cold, the storm had blown itself out on the night. Feeling a warm body next to him, George rolled over and put his arms around Luna, pulling her against his chest.
All too soon he was going to have to get out of the warm bed and get his butt to the Burrow somehow…his family was sure to be worried…he was supposed to have been there the night before.
Next to him, Luna began to stir. Her eyes opened in surprise and she pushed against him.
"George! What are you doing here?" She gasped out, her eyes wide and afraid.
George recoiled, instantly worried. What if Gurdyroot Rum made you forget, what if she had forgotten everything that occurred between them the night before?
"You don't remember?" He reached for her hand carefully; her own wand was within reach…he didn't want to get hexed. "I flew into your house and you brought me in and took care of me….then…"
"Oh no…" She waved his words away. "I remember all of that. I guess I just … I'm just a little surprised that you are still here."
George rolled his eyes. "Where else would I be?"
"It's Christmas morning…so…with your family maybe?"
He reached up and cupped her cheek, then pulled her face down to his. His lips brushed gently over hers for a moment, and then he pulled back.
"Maybe I am."
Luna's lips trembled into a smile as her eyes began to water madly.
George nodded. Yes, very soon he would have to leave. His mother would be out of her mind with worry and his father must be ready to send the others out to search for him now that the storm had let up. Besides, Christmas was meant to be spent with the ones you love. He would have to leave here, and he would have to leave soon.
But he wasn't going to leave Luna behind… she was leaving with him.
George smiled and pulled her close for another kiss.
() Hope you enjoyed..this is the part where I beg desperately for reviews. I won't lower myself to mentioning that I spent my entire day writing this one-shot and that I will be totally crushed if no one reviews to get people to review or anything. But, please review if you feel so lead. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!