Sum: Tournaments, politics crossdressing, weapons and too many cousins. The TriWizard Tournament at Hogwarts, because they can't have a peaceful year. Yoai, yuri, het, language, violence, etc.
Authors note: There is more! At long, long last their is more! And have I mentioned that I hate authors block? And on another note, hello duckies, the maddness begins again.
Luna and Lunatics
Remus Lupin lowered his book slightly and gazed pensively into the partially organised clutter of the library of 13 Grimwald Place. Naturally the mayhem would reach breaking point just as he had found a book that was both interesting and still legible, and he couldn't help but wonder, just a little, if he couldn't just leave them too it.
Harry had a remarkable aptitude for deflecting the chaos before any major damage was done.
"WOTHLESS CUR! YOU SHAME MY BLOOD!"
Ah well, that changed matters. There could be no reading once Arabella and the painting entered one of their screaming matches.
The scene in the hall was, interesting. Arabella was swearing at the painting with her usual intensity, a tear in the shoulder of her shirt and her wand stuck in her hair. Sirius was sitting at the base of the stairs, head in his hands and wearing a pale pink ball gown. The portrait of Walpurger Black was in full voice and Kercher was hugging himself, wide eyed and swaying in a way that implied cannabis.
Remus sighed deeply and dragged his fingernails down the chalk board that was left in the hall for just this reason. Even the painting tried to cover her ears before she slammed her curtain shut.
A month ago she would simply have started shouting again, but being doused with paint thinner had done wonders for her manners and Remus turned his attention to his companions without waiting for a resurgence.
"What have you two been doing?"
"Choosing clothes for Perce wedding!" cooed Arabella, sighing in happy woe. "Ma boo, 'ee es leaven' me…"
"'Ah like dresses."
"I don't want to wear a dress!" squawked Sirius. "Only girls wear dresses! And these shoes are too small!"
Remus looked at the pink shoes, and couldn't help but consider the implications of Sirius's failure to complain about the heels.
They were interesting implications, alright?
"I, see." However was he supposed to deal with this? "Sirius, there is absolutely nothing wrong with men wearing dresses and the implication that it is wrong is simply sexism. That said, Arabella it is extremely bad manners to force anyone to cross dress against their will, particularly in such an unsuitable dress."
Dark eyes narrowed and Arabella folded her arms in the way that pushed up her breasts to reveal a threatening amount of cleavage. Remus still wasn't sure just how an exposed bust could seem dangerous, but Arabella had, somehow, made it possible.
"That 'es ma' dress, Remas."
His really name, abet incorrectly pronounced, rather than the nickname of 'husky that she had bestowed upon him. And he had just inadvertently insulted the Black Widows dress sense. Oh dear.
"I am sure that it looks lovely on you." Said Harry from the door he had, somehow, opened without anyone noticing. "However Sirius does not have the skin tone to pull that shade off. Perhaps a deeper colour?"
Oh thank goodness, back up. At this point Remus didn't actually care that his male adolescent ward was encouraging cross dressing.
"Mm…" Arabella paused to consider Sirius, her gaze intent. "You mee' 'ave ah point. Per'aps plum? Or red? Tch! Ah do not 'ave ze' colours!"
"I have no doubt that you will work something out." Said Harry comfortingly. "Now, if you will excuse me, I find myself in need of a bucket."
Naturally the three adults were peering though the doorway the moment that Harry was out of sight, and it was slightly alarming to see that a clear licquid was peering from a widening hole in the base of the caldron and the, seemingly, vanishing. It took them a moment to work out that it was eating though the stone floor.
"What is under this room?"
"Er… Torture chamber, nothing explosive in it." Sirius tipped his head and frowned at the scene. "What good is a bucket going to do here?"
"'oo can say? Ah am not prepared to ask."
Slytherin sensibilities were strange and mysterious things, but Remus could not take issue with her instincts in the slightest. The way that Harry fled from a mass of foam shortly after returning with a full bucket of what looked like chalk down after the potion only reinforced the fact that he Did Not Want To Know.
The long term ward always seemed to be quiet when they came to visit, like some bright church of non or barely responsive worshipers, disturbed only sometimes by the hushed footsteps of the medic-preists. Visitors were alien outsiders in this quiet realm, and sometimes Neville wondered if that was why the sedate long term patients received so few visitors.
The noisy ones, who screamed and raged and cursed always, seemed to have people around. His mother was rarely without a medic, but here the only activity came at meal times, and sometimes Neville wondered if his father ever left his vacant state long enough to get lonely.
Frank Longbottom was slowly playing solitaire on his small table when they arrived. His collage of old photos, newspaper cuttings and sweet wrappers had expanded again, and the collection of potted plants that Neville had painstakingly taught his father how to care for had all survived another year at St Mungos.
For a moment Neville hugged the miniature rose he carried, wishing it well and stealing himself for what was to come.
It took two and a half hours. Time enough for Augusta to end a visit to Alice and trust Neville to make his own way home. Time enough for the medi-wizzard to go though once. Time enough that Neville couldn't help but run from his father's terrible slowness as soon as the lesson was finished.
He kinda hated himself for doing that, but it was never enough to stop him from doing it the next time they came here.
"You look like shit.
Neville raised his head just enough to squint at the speaker.
"Ron? What are you doing here?" He frowned slightly. "You've grown."
"I have inherited the tall genes." Ron beamed, absurdly pleased by Neville's disapproval. "Soon I will be as tall as Percy! Or taller! Your gran turned up and made pointy comments. And have I mentioned that you look like shit?"
"Well, do something about it them. Where's your brother? Isn't this sort of thing supposed to be his job?"
Neville took a moment to try an work out what Ron was talking about and then gave up.
"He's unconscious. There was an explosion a couple of days ago."
"…He blew himself up?"
"Well, yeah, but only a little bit."
Ron cackled insanely for a little while, and Neville couldn't help but smile.
Luna peered at her cousin thoughtfully, ensuring that whatever potions had been administered held him deeply asleep before she carefully wound the necklace of butterbeer corks around the fingers of one limp hand. Not only would it ward of the nargles that she suspected were responsible for Indigos little accident, it would also help to deter any comparisons to fairytale princesses that might be made. It couldn't be helped really, Indigo was just to pretty, and his long hair did nothing to dispel the slight femininity of his features. But, if he had to be a fairytale princess he could at least be a princess untroubled by nargle induced muddle headedness.
Fairytale princesses were particularly vulnerable to nargles, it was why they were all so hopelessly silly and Luna would not permit Indigo to fall victim to such a thing.
"Er, Luna? What's with the necklace?"
"It will ward off nargles."
Luna blinked mistily at Jackie, and he hovered in the doorway like a perplexed could for a moment, before shrugging and coming in.
"Well, okay then. Is he showing any signs of waking up?"
"No. Why is he still asleep anyway?"
"Hm? Oh, Ma put him in a healing trance after he blew up his lab." Jackie huffed softly as he checked Indigo's pulse. "Daft boy. But it was bound to happen sooner or later."
Luna hummed a little in answer and slipped silently from the room, leaving Jackie and the sleeper behind.
The workroom, scorched and scuffed and half coated in ashes, it's heavy and heavily warded door resting apologetically against the opposite door, a few tools stuck in the surviving furniture at strange angles, though that could have been Indigo's doing rather than an effect of the blast. But did Indigo really need to make his tendency towards over kill so obvious? The burns on the ceiling would have been quite sufficient.
The scabbard was where she had known it would be, the dragon hide gloves ill fitting but serviceable and the sword, which lay oh so casually upon a suspiciously clean patch of the stone floor, buzzed with the barely trapped strength of a hurricane. Being too close to it made her shiver as an unfelt wind stole the warmth from her flesh.
Sheaving it, an act of supreme care, performed without actually touching the blade, helped, but Luna wrapped the weapon in damp towels before leaving anyway, just to be sure.
It was a perilous thing she carried, after all.
Bill Weasley lounged in the garden, watched the clouds go past and pondered upon the general confusion of his family.
Percy was getting married, which was unexpected but nice, and Mum was less then happy about it, despite how much she wanted then all to sit down and that she seemed to sort of approve of Penelope Clearwater. The entire wedding was being paid for by Ron's group of crazy purebloods, who were also the Twins and Percy's but mostly Ron's. Also the Twins were, as far as he could tell, dating a half fey boy in between conducting mysterious experiments in their room. It was all a bit strange, sure they all seemed fairly happy with the situation but it was still pretty damn weird.
"Good afternoon, William."
He manfully didn't squeak, but it was a near run thing.
"Luna would you please not sneak up on me like that."
She gave him one of those endless stares she was so good at.
"My apologies, I did not intend to sneak."
Somehow the fact that she sounded like she meant that made it worse. Fortunately she was carrying a distraction, and Bill nodded gratefully towards the buddle that was leaving damp patches on her dress.
"It belongs to Ronald, I must take it to him. Do you know where he might be found?"
"Er, I think he's by the pond with Neville."
"Thank you William. Good day."
"Good day Luna."
She drifted off in the general direction of the pond, and left Bill shaking his head at her back. Luna was weird and misty and talked about all sorts of bizarre things, but she was harmless and hard not to like.
It was then that he realised that she had avoided his question.
The sun was high, the air was still and Neville was crouched next to the pond with a few gnomes, annoying the tadpoles, which were probably froglets or toadlets by now but whatever. Considering how the day had started Ron though it was a pretty decent state of affairs.
"Good day Ronald."
Neville gave her a huge smile, and Luna gave him a small but intense smile in return, sweet and secretive.
Ohhh. Ron had no clue what was going on with them but he wanted in.
"This is yours." stated Luna firmly, dislodging one of her towels from her long bundle as she held it out to him. "You must take it and keep it and permit no other to wield it."
Ron opened his mouth to question her, and then shut it again on see the way she was looking at him. Luna was normally about as focused as a happy stoner, but the normal dreamyness had hardened and sharpened into something you would expect to see in the politicians' who were just tough enough to be really good at their jobs and it seemed best not to argue with her at this point.
The damp towels seemed to buzz under his hands, and fell off the pacage weirdly easily for bits of soggy material.
The scabbard was beautiful, in its way, gleaming red enamel and a delicate tracery of gold symbols, but the buzzing was stronger now, and he didn't spend too much time examining it before drawing the sword.
The grip was long enough for a double handed swing, there were stones he didn't recognise in the pommel and guard, the blade straight and double edged in the European fashion but it had an edge that looked like it would make a katana cry, and the metal had a curious, incandescent sheen.
He could feel the magic in it, a wild note, clear and sharp and as dangerous as a tsunami in a box, ready to break free and tear into him, but then it stilled for a moment and curled about him instead as his magic meshed with that of the sword.
It was dangerous and beautiful and his. And Neville took one look at Ron's grin and backed up a bit.
A careful flick of the wrist sent a ripple along the blade and Ron's grin widen to previously unknown levels of manic as an unseen arch of air snapped from the tip and cleanly sliced a dozen tendrils from the weeping willow at the other end of the pond.
Bill moved slowly to look over Ron's shoulder at the leaves drifting on the water and the sword that had put them there.
"Mum is going to kill me."
Next chapter (probably) : Special occasions ( and reasons to hate them)