Zealots

by Polydicta

Summary:

When door-to-door religion comes calling, Luna has a unique approach to keeping her privacy. Her plan backfires as soon as Harry Potter is involved.

Take no offence, ye of spiritual natures, for this kind of void may be felt in all of us.

Disclaimer:

All fiction is derivative and fan fiction doubly so. I make no claim to own any part of any of the following, all I have done is an attempt to put together the elements in a novel fashion, using words and ideas like Lego ™ bricks.

There is no money involved – all I do is to share what I do for my own amusement.

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Zealots

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"Anathema! Anathema I say! Your soul is …"

The blond woman's voice dropped from a shriek to a normal tone.

"… Oh! Hello Harry. Come on in … I was expecting someone else."

"Hello Luna. Who were you expecting?"

"Oh, there's a group of religious zealots who come knocking on all the doors at this time of year. I thought you were them. Sorry about yelling at you."

"It's alright, Luna. I feel the same way that you do when they come a-knocking. Your dad asked me to look in – he was worried about you, and I guess that's why?"

The young woman nodded. "Yes, Daddy always suspects that they'd try to burn me at the stake if they found out that I'm a witch."

Harry coughed, "Flame Freeze!"

Luna giggled.

They were finishing a cup of tea when there was another knock at the door. Luna went to answer.

"Anathema! Anathema, I say! Your soul is tainted by the darkness of the evil within …"

Harry smiled and rose slowly from the table.

"Begone foul wretches, dregs of humanity's iniquity, else I shall drive forth the darkness from you with staff and scourge. Thrice I say, thou art darkness incarnate …"

Harry arrived at the door to find a ranting Luna facing three terrified individuals carrying religious tracts and green-bound bibles.

"You'd better leave quickly, she's been known to carry out her threats when the religious ecstasy is on her. Hurry, and don't look back …"

The three turned and fled to the continued sounds of Luna ranting and frothing at the mouth, sounding like a prophet of biblical doom. He vaguely recognised quotations from the Revelations, amongst other places.

"Luna, calm down. Are you alright?"

The woman was, by now, laughing quietly. She nodded and went inside. She rinsed out her mouth with a glass of water.

"Sorry about that. It's a prank that the twins came up with. Frothing at the mouth is always good for a religious ecstasy. Do you think they'll be back?"

Harry shook his head. "I doubt it."

Three days later Harry was accosted by Luna's patronus.

"Help! They're back in force! Floo here quick!"

Harry threw a handful of red powder into his fireplace and yelled. "The Rookery!"

He disappeared in a swirl of green flame.

Emerging from Luna's fireplace, he saw the young witch cowering in terror behind her sofa.

"It's alright, Luna, we can deal with them. Same thing, I would suggest."

Her eyes bright, she went to prepare herself. Harry opened the door.

"You! What do you want this time, disturbing a young woman's peace?"

A middle-aged man came forward. "We come seeking redemption. The young woman my friends met caused us to look inwards and to find ourselves wanting …"

He was cut off by a shriek.

"Unclean vessels, spawn of darkness, cast out the darkness within, with scourge and staff, with whip and wand, drive out the taint! Demon! Anathema! Begone foul creatures that would ensnare the innocent! Falsehood! You would entrap the world in falsehood!

"Scourgify yourselves, mortify your flesh with knouts and ashes and sackcloth! Fast until you weep tears of blood and bile! Purge yourselves of the unclean humours of your dark flesh until your blood runs clear of darkness!"

Luna carried on her rant until she began to run out of steam, so she collapsed, still foaming and spluttering incoherently.

"Go! Take care that you heed her words!"

The troop of awed zealots departed in stunned silence, shocked and horrified, and not a little terrified.

Luna was resting up after her exertions and nibbling a biscuit. She and Harry were plotting their approach should the poor, credulous fools return.

"They're just missing something special from their lives, Harry. Their religious dogma filled the gap to an extent, but it simply isn't enough for everyone, I suppose. They have little to fill the place that magic fills in our souls."

"So let's give them something to fill themselves with, Luna. Something to give them some magic – the magic of the imagination …?"

Together they planned and plotted.

It was morning when the muggles returned to find a group of robe-clad young people returning to The Rookery from the woods beyond. It had been a quiet, private celebration of the fall of Voldemort some five years previous, but the muggles didn't need to know that.

"You again? What can we do for you?"

The elder seemed hesitant, almost abashed.

"We seek guidance on out path toward the light, for we are lost and alone in the dark."

Harry nodded. "It is well that the lady Luna hasn't returned yet. Three of you return on Sunday morning at first light. I will meet you and show you what you need to do …"

The 'ancient' tome that Harry read from was written in parsel runes and contained everything that he and Luna had put together. He read them the directives and decrees and allowed them to copy the diagrams that were in the appropriate places in the text.

"And a knout, a scourge of twelve virgin linen cords of three knots each at three palms apart shall be used alternately to left and right to drive forth the spirits that invade the body, and too shall thee use a wand of willow, stripped and smooth of no more than an ell's length and finger's width to purify each other when the knout serves not…"

"The scourge and the wand? You have used these?"

Harry nodded and removed his shirt, revealing the scars given him by his abusive relatives, memories of the beatings he received at the hand of his uncle. There were gasps of shock and horror.

"That is …"

Harry nodded as he replaced his shirt. "It is all the same on the path to purity."

"The other scars …?"

"Sometimes evil comes from the outside, and in those times there are those who must risk all to prevail. Those of us you met on Friday are the ones who fought a great evil incarnate. The Lady Luna, too, survived the war against the dark one, and it is from what she saw and did that has left her prone to her … fits of zealous frenzy."

Sixty years later, when another dark lord rose in Britain, the wizarding world no longer stood alone, for the holy war was carried forth by a group from a religious house to the east of Ottery St. Catchpole in the County of Devonshire, fearless holy warriors hard of body and pure of spirit, able to put aside the needs of the flesh in favour of the call of the light.