Author: enchanted nightingale

Disclaimer: The characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I merely use them in my plot for fun.

Chapter 21

Luna followed Hermione as they headed back to the Muggle Liaison Department and nodded at Emily Walters, who was sitting at the desk right outside Hermione's office.

"Will you need me to make some tea?" Emily asked.

"I won't be staying that long," Luna commented, before they both disappeared inside the former Gryffindor's office.

Hermione showed her to a sit while she took her own. "I wanted to talk to you for a while but I had no idea how to go about it," the older witch admitted. She took a deep breath to fortify herself for the talk that would follow.

"I think you and Harry are Unspeakables," she begun. "I have no idea how, or with what capacity, but the only think I can deduce that makes sense, is that you two are working for the Department of Mysteries, in some way."

Luna blinked. "Is this what you wanted to say?"

"You won't deny it?" Hermione asked her.

"I can neither confirm nor deny anything," Luna told her. Technically, she could confirm or deny Hermione's comment. There was no penalty admitting she was part of the Department of Mysteries. But none of the Unspeakables ever made it that easy to the outsiders, family not counting. The blonde witch could see Hermione visibly getting annoyed at her.


"I doubt that is what you truly wanted to talk to me about."

"You are partly correct. I saw you, both of you, that day at the Muggle store," Hermione blurted out the main reason she had wanted to speak to Luna. Ever since that day she had seen the witch at the maternity section of that store, it had stuck in her mind.

"You were with Draco Malfoy of all people in a maternity store, strolling around, acting friendly," Hermione accused.

Luna blinked slowly, and then she allowed for a soft smile to appear on her face. "Why? Were we doing something wrong?"

"Are you out of your mind?" Hermione demanded of Luna, her voice raising in volume while the woman sited before her remained calm and unaffected.

The blonde witch blinked. "The Mind Healer gave me the all clear," she replied in a matter of fact way, her face still holding on that eerie calmness she was known for. "So I would have to say no, I'm not."

"I am really not in the mood for your usually tone Luna," Hermione commented. "I am talking about a week ago. I saw you out in the Muggle world, accompanied by non-other than Draco Malfoy of all people!"

"You should have come and greeted us," Luna responded, making the older witch bristle.

"That is not the point I'm trying to make, and you know it. Are you dating him? Is he making you do something you don't want to? And do not try and deny it. I saw how you were acting with each other."

"Why should I deny it? Draco is a very nice and capable boyfriend," the blonde Unspeakable commented. "He cares for me and my interests. He is not jealous of my friendship with Harry or resenting of my work hours," Luna commented. "We are good together."

From that list Hermione focused on one thing only. "Harry knows!?"

Luna blinked. "Harry and I work together," she remined Hermione in a rather pointed tone. "We spend hours at our desks next to each other. He's also my best friend, has been since we met at Hogwarts; of course, he knows," she replied.

The blonde witch could have told Hermione of all the times Harry had walked in on her and Draco kissing (once too many according to the green eyed wizard), or that one memorable time that they had gone out for drinks after work and Harry had caught her with her hand down Draco's pants (Even she had blushed at her friend catching her. Harry's mortified exclamation of 'Mordred!' and Draco face flushing a fetching pink and almost falling over in his attempt to cover up had been truly comic). Not to mention the last and most incriminating time, when she and Draco had joined Harry, Andy and Lucius for dinner at Grimmauld place. It had been a been a very pleasant evening and it had ended with Harry and Lucius walking in on her and Draco kissing by the house entrance.

Hermione was shocked at the revelation and looking at her. "You were kept prisoner in a dungeon under his bloody house!" Her voice was raising to levels that would made Molly Wealey's Howlers proud.

"I long since forgave him for whatever role he had in the events back then," Luna reasoned. "Why can't you? For the petty insults he gave when he was immature back in school? If he called you 'Mudblood' a couple of times, I could guarantee that I have been called far worse a lot and a lot more often than you. Sometimes even from people that were supposedly friends," the witch pointed out.

Her childhood friend Ginny had often called her 'Looney' and that was how many started calling her that while in Hogwarts. It had hurt young Luna to hear that from the mouth of the girl she grew up with. And then it had spread all over the school.

"Or for the actions his aunt took? For the mistakes of his father?" The blonde witch continued saying. "I tried very hard to leave the war behind, Hermione. And every day I try to judge the people I interact with by their current actions and words. If I did not, then I would have to avoid everyone who ever spoke ill of me and my father, anyone who called me 'Looney' to my face or worse behind my back, or bullied me at Hogwarts, or mocked me. I choose to be the bigger person, every time, every day. But that is just me," Luna stated with a small shrug of her shoulders.

"Yes, I am romantically involved with Draco. And that is my business. Not yours. Not Harry's. He's my friend, not my keeper. What I needed from him was support and he gave me plenty of that when I needed it. He helped me through the nightmares I got after I got out of the Malfoy Manor dungeons. Harry forgave my father for double crossing him. He listened when I spoke, and he has never judged me. Harry has been my friend from Hogwarts, during the war and throughout the aftermath and during all the mess that followed Voldemort's defeat. And I have to remind you that he reached out to many people after the war. Draco Malfoy was merely one of them. You and Ron and Ginny just disappeared. You, and Ron, you had your priorities and your expectations, and you acted according to that. And that's fine, I'm not judging that, " Luna stressed. Her voice had risen briefly, getting louder and stronger but towards the end if her longwinded speech she had softened again.

"I had to pick up my pieces, and my father's. I had to shoulder his recovery and mine and opening the Quibbler again and finishing school. Just like you had to find your parents. Like Harry had Teddy to raise. Andromeda's story is her own, so I will not do her a disservice and talk about her. But we all had to recover and fix ourselves, " Luna drew a deep breath and she continued to stare at Hermione's shocked face.

"I don't care what you think about this, but I will continue speaking and interacting with Draco Malfoy and anyone else I want. I don't care if they were Death Eaters or in Dumbledore's Order. I am an adult and I can judge people for myself, thank you. I certainly do not need your judgment Hermione Weasley. And I don't want you acting all righteous and knowing when it concerns my life. If you truly cared about my wellbeing you would have contacted me after the war, no excuses. You did not try. Not one letter. This little meeting just now, this is not an attempt you make as a friend but a judgmental attach on my decisions. I don't like it, so I'm going to let you continue." Luna pointed out. "Now, excuse me. I need to get back to my desk before the food cools off. I hate using heating charms."

And with that the former Ravenclaw stood and stormed out of Hermione's office, ignoring the surprised looks Emily shot her at the way out.

Further below, in the lower levels of the Ministry, Harry was busy pouring over the report he needed to turn in for his Department Head, when Luna, sweet, calm and usually chipper Luna, actually stormed into their designated office with a huff and nearly threw their take-out food on her desk.

Harry stopped writing and merely stared at her. He had not even seen her this upset when she learned about Narcissa speaking ill about the baby Lucius was carrying.

"Luna?" he carefully asked. "What happened?" he stood and walked over to her, walking softly and with a worried look on his face, as if he was afraid to upset her further. Harry hovered near her, not making a move to touch her. "What happened? Who upset you so much? And are they still breathing? If you need any help…"

At that the witch cracked a tired smile. "Oh, Harry!" she told him and reached to hug him.

The green-eyed wizard went willingly and held her for a while, feeling her as she gradually started to calm down. He waited until she was no longer visibly trembling before he spoke to her again.

"Can I help, Luna?" Harry asked her.

"If I tell you, you will be so angry," she sighed and took a step back from his hug. "I knew she noticed us. I expected the confrontation, but I just… I lost my patience. I just started saying what I wanted to say back when we had that lunch at the Barrow. What I wanted to say even sooner, after all those months after the war and when we had just entered the department."

Harry stilled. There were only so many people that fitted Luna's description.

"You were confronted by Hermione. And you got angry enough that you yelled at her. And that upsets you?" he asked.

Luna sighed. "I'm upset at the way she confronted me. And I was already upset with them for the way they had treated you and it just…" she made an odd gesture with her hands, like she was miming and erupting volcano. Then she visibly wilted. "I hate yelling at people. And she made it into an ambush and I just… I felt that I had to yell at her, because when I speak in my usual tone, she doesn't listen."

Harry sighed and pulled her back in a hug, squeezing her tightly. Luna went willingly and only pulled back when her stomach let out a particularly loud sound. Harry laughed and released her.

"Let's eat," the raven-haired wizard suggested. "And then you can tell me exactly what happen, what she said and what you said, if you want to. But know this, I trust you and I'm by your side, okay? And I'm sorry that you got ambushed. I know what a Hermione ambush is like. "

Luna shot him a timid smile and nodded.

"Come on. I know you love Indian and you hate re-heating the food with magic," Harry cajoled and the witch laughed.

"You know me so well."

"You're my friend."

End of Chapter