Characters: Luna, Selene (Mrs. Lovegood)
Summary: The hares have all gone, but they'll be back.
Pairings: None
Author's Note: I'm not the first to assume that Luna's mother's name was Selene, and I find I like the thought that it was Selene, since it means that Luna, in a roundabout sort of way, was named after her mother. Also, this is while Luna's still healing from the blow of her mother's death, so even if she seems more nonchalant than most would while grieving, she hasn't quite recovered her indestructible optimism yet. She's getting there, though.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

It all happens so fast. The air breaks, the world turns sideways and Luna's on the ground, winded, coughing and shaking stars of dust and ash out of her pale hair.

"Mum?" Only silence answers her, thick and coarse. "Mummy?" Luna hops to her feet—she is completely and miraculously unharmed—eyes trying to discern the form of her mother through choking clouds of ash and dust. The table is on its back, two of its legs broken and splintered. Shards of glass litter the floor and they too are like stars, or the shards of a broken moon.

A soft cough emanates from the other end of the workshop.


Selene Lovegood's blue eyes are open, still open and glazed when Luna reaches her and drops down beside her. Her clouds of silver hair fan out behind her like Ophelia in the water—she's drowning, Luna thinks vaguely—and a long, clever hand reaches for Luna's, and gives it an absent squeeze, before blue eyes close gently. A soft murmur of a sigh echoes in the silence.

"Mummy?" Her voice is hushed and pitifully small.

Luna understands. Her mother has gone to sleep the sleep of those who never find the mattress.

On the days when the sun is veiled by a shroud of silver cloud—in full sun, Luna's skin burns too hot, too fast—and the sky is nearly to the state of threatening rain, Luna ventures out from her home onto the moors, coming to her normal spot on a hill to sit and trace patterns in the clouds.

Mum used to come out here with Luna; Daddy too. They, all three of them would sit on the hill with its sweet-smelling grass and look for shapes in the clouds. Daddy would always say that there was a Crumple-Horned Snorcack trotting along and Mum would see a Heliopath gliding fiercely through the cotton ball sea, but wherever Luna looked, she saw hares running, sometimes solitary, sometimes in twos and threes. Eventually, she knew them all by name.

Luna comes alone now. Daddy locks himself away inside the house now with almost no reprieve, emerging only to water the dirigible plums or to take the occasionally day trip to Diagon Alley for groceries or clothes for Luna. And Mum… She can't come. She just can't.

The hares have all gone. No matter how Luna searches through the sea of clouds for them, she sees no hares. They've all fled for greener pastures, Luna can only suppose. There's not much left here for them; not even the clover can tempt the hares to stay and keep Luna company.

Lucan, Gwenhwyfar, Lysander, where are you now?

No one ever answers. They're all somewhere; they're just not here.

Sighing softly, Luna plucks a small white flower with many petals from the ground and starts to pull out its petals. If there's an even number, I'll get lifelong happiness. I'll never know want for anything. If the number's odd, I'll know great suffering instead.

What happens if I end up with both?

What then?

Mum would know. Mum always had an answer for everything, even when Daddy spread his hands helplessly and could only tell Luna to go with what her heart told her—that's what he still tells her, with a melancholy little smile and a kiss to her hair. Mum with her bright eyes always had an answer for Luna, even though she wasn't sure if it was the right answer.

Always persevere on. Always look for more knowledge, Luna. Look for answers, and they will find you.

Look for answers, Luna can still hear Mum telling her. She's supposed to always be at the height and the limits of curiosity, searching for new answers, new solutions, new insights.

It's hard to do that, without the silver moon over her.

Since Mum died, the moon hasn't glowed silver at night. Not once. It's untarnished white, yellow with the harvest or even tinged slightly blue at points, but never silver like it used to be. Never silver like it's supposed to be. Luna's silver moon has vanished, and has left her only with the feeling that to go on means to still be curious and curious and to seek answers and to see the light in dark places, and vice versa.

That lost feeling is still hard to shake, though. Nothing feels quite right, quite whole without Mum in the house. Everything's a little duller; Daddy is rusting and wasting away without her to brighten the room and provide a source of silver light (So Luna decides one day that from now on, she'll be the light, and maybe Daddy will be cheerful again and smile that big grin again instead of that wistful twitch).

Being curious for curiosity's sake and believing for the sake of believing feels hollow, without Mum here. It feels hollow, just like trying to find shapes in clouds when Mum's not there on the grassy hill with her feels hollow.

But it's not so bad, not as bad as some might think, and Luna finds herself counting blessings the way she does sheep when she wants to sleep.

Because Mum's just sleeping without a mattress. She's gone wherever the hares go, when Luna can't see them anymore. Not gone forever. Just somewhere where she's just out of sight, waiting to be seen and heard, for those who miss her to know that she's never really left. Maybe Mum's just floating on clouds far afield with the hares, and she's waiting for Luna to find the right spot, so she can see her.

Luna sits on the hill and stares into the clouds even though she hasn't seen the hares in three months, because she is confident that one day, they will return. Just like Mum.

She just has to wait until she can hear their voices.

Then, curiosity and believing will seem whole and worthwhile again.

Then, it will have all been worth it.

Luna just has to sit and wait, until the day the hares return to the clouds to eat cloud-clover, and she can hear Mum's voice on the breeze in her ear.