Disclaimer: See chapter one.
Author's note: Hello. I really wasn't expecting to ever write a sequel to "Chance Encounter," but I got inspired again. This takes place during the summer before Harry's sixth year.
"Harry," a quiet voice called.
Harry rolled over groggily and looked at the clock. Eleven o'clock at night? Who would be calling for him at eleven o'clock? It wasn't Hermione or Ginny, he could tell that much, but who was it? He rolled out of bed and dragged himself over to the window. A blond girl stood out on the front lawn, wearing an outlandish purple dress and a pair of ridiculous glasses perched on her head.
"Luna?" Harry realized.
"Come take a walk with me," she said.
"Luna, it's eleven o'clock at night," he reminded her.
"I know," she replied. "But the moon's out, so we won't be bothered by nargles or anything."
"I wasn't worried about the nargles," he muttered.
"What was that?" she called.
"I'll be right down," he told her.
"I'll be waiting."
He threw on a pair of jeans, and began searching around for a shirt. Finally he found one under his bed and pulled it over his head, wondering why Luna was so insistent that he take a walk with her. Come to think of it, how did she know where he was? It was kind of creepy. He stuffed his wand in his back pocket, just in case, and crept downstairs.
He slipped out the front door easily. Luna was waiting on the lawn. She smiled.
"Hello Harry," she said. "Worried about heliopaths?"
"Your shirt," she explained. "It's inside out. That's what you do to ward off heliopaths. You shouldn't worry. They don't usually live around here. Most of them live in Australia. Honestly Harry; frightened of Nargles in the moonlight and Heliopaths in England. You're beginning to worry me."
Harry thought it should be the other way around. He should be worried about her. But everything was always backwards with Luna. He wished he could understand what went on in that blond head of hers.
"Come on," she said, glancing at a large pocket watch with seven hands moving at random speeds. "We're going to be late."
"Where are we going?" Harry asked.
"You'll see," she told him cryptically.
She took his hand and began walking away from the house. He walked alongside her, trying not to think about the fact that he had just snuck out of his house to go somewhere with a girl at eleven o'clock at night and that said girl's hand was now wrapped around his. This was Luna, after all. She was probably just looking for some strange magical creature no one else had ever heard of.
"You're blushing Harry," Luna told him matter-of-factly. "What are you thinking about?"
"Nothing," he lied.
"You can't be thinking about nothing," Luna insisted. "You'd have to be dead to do that, and I'm quite sure that you are not dead."
"Can you just drop the subject?" he requested.
"Certainly," she agreed. "What do you want to talk about?"
"Um, How was your summer?" he asked.
"It was great," she told him. "Daddy and I went to Africa to search for a Blibbering Humdinger."
"Did you find one?" Harry wondered.
"No," she replied. "They're very elusive. But don't worry. I'll find one someday."
"I'm sure you will," Harry agreed.
"You really think so?" she asked, eyes shining.
"Yeah," he replied, unable to tell her he had been joking.
"Thank you, Harry," she said. "You're so sweet. Anyone else would have just laughed at me."
"Doesn't that bother you?" he asked. "That people are always making fun of you?"
"Should it?" she replied. "I don't mind. It's not their fault that they don't believe in Blibbering Humdingers. They just weren't raised properly, that's all."
She looked at her watch again.
"Oh dear," she said. "We have to hurry."
She picked up her pace and Harry had to almost run to keep up with her. Finally, they crested a large hill and Luna stopped.
"We're here," she announced.
Harry looked around.
"Where exactly is here?" he asked.
"Aren't the stars beautiful?" Luna murmured, ignoring the question. "You can see for miles from here."
"Yeah, wonderful," Harry agreed.
The view was incredible, but had she really simply brought him here to go stargazing? Luna checked her watch again.
"Five…four…three…two…one," she whispered.
"Happy Birthday Harry!" she announced, producing a lollipop and a wrapped package.
Harry gasped in surprise. Today was his birthday, he recalled. At least, it was if it was midnight by now, which it probably was.
He slowly took the lollipop and the present.
"Thank you, Luna," he said quietly.
"Do you not like the lollipop?" Luna asked. "I thought you would, since you liked it last time."
Last time? Harry wondered. Suddenly, he remembered a little blond girl named Luna, with purple paint in her hair, on his eighth birthday. She had given him a lollipop and a kiss, and then disappeared from his life. Or so he thought. He couldn't believe he hadn't made the connection before.
"It was you," he realized.
"What was me?" Luna asked.
"On my eighth birthday," he said. "You were the only person who wished me a happy birthday."
"I was wondering when you'd remember," she remarked. "I'm sorry I haven't given you any presents since then, but I couldn't find you, and everyone knows you can't give someone a birthday present on any day other than their birthday."
Harry had never heard that, but he didn't question it. It made sense, in a strange sort of way.
"Well," Luna prompted. "Are you going to open it?"
Harry looked down at the present he was still holding. He tucked the lollipop carefully in his pocket, and tore open the paper, letting it fall to the ground. He was confronted with a plain, cardboard box. He opened the top and found a thin, rectangular object wrapped in fabric. He lifted it out of the box, which he then set on the ground, and carefully unwrapped it. It was a photograph, a moving, magical one, in a simple silver frame. It took him a second to recognize the subject, but when he did, he gasped in shock.
His godfather was much younger, but still recognizable. A young woman with long blond hair was in the picture with him, and they were dancing and laughing.
"That's my mother," Luna told him. "She and Sirius were very close, until he got sent to Azkaban."
"I didn't know that," Harry said.
"Not many people do," Luna replied. "They weren't very public about their relationship. She was a half-blood, see, and he didn't want his family to cause trouble for her. She pretended he had never existed after he was sent to Azkaban, and I never heard him mention her, although I did see him looking at me strangely every once in a while. I only know about it because I found her diary from school. It had that picture in it. I thought you should have it, since he was your godfather."
"Thank you so much," Harry told her. "You don't know how much this means to me."
He had been missing Sirius so much over the last few months. He was only just starting to realize how little he really knew about his godfather. Luna had given him one more piece of the puzzle that was Sirius Black, helping him move one step closer to understanding the man who had been the closest he had to a family.
It was a gift more precious than gold, from a friend of even greater value.
Thanks for reading.
Review, or I'll send the nargles after you.