warning : The usual. Also, I'm aware the characters are British. I'm not. I probably won't get the expressions they use and I'm not going to try very hard to write what I can't write, and I do understand that is deterrent to enjoyment for a lot of people because Harry Potter, with its universal appeal, has very British characters. So I'm saying it as an advanced warning.
Because if it happened faster than a dragon laying eggs, it wouldn't be as much fun.
Tales of Rolf and Luna
prelude to part 3 : what they have in common
Rolf Scamander had seen the death of his great great grandfather on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. It happened the moment the glasses slipped from Newt Scamander's nose as he bowed to the Hippogriff in their paddock and before the Hippogriff made its answering bow, his great grandfather collapsed to the ground.
The Muggles had called the cause of death a "cardiac arrest" and his mother called it "poor dear was getting so old.." as a way of comfort. Either of those consolations made him want to laugh, because the image of the Hippogriff bowing to his great great grandfather's dead body was funny in a morbid way. You see, death is not something to be laughed at, and whenever he thought of his great great grandfather's death, Rolf Scamander wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. He had seen Thestrals since.
Luna Lovegood saw the death of her mother, a blinding white light after her mother's wand jerked in her hand, and her mother dropped, eyes wide open. Her father bawled at the sight of the body but Luna did not cry. Luna watched, her tiny fingers held the chest of her frock like she would break in two, but she did not cry. She would see her mother again, she would find meaning to her death and carry on her mother's legacy. She had seen Thestrals since.
part 3 : a practice in ignorance and denial of romantic attraction, as observed by Charlie Weasley.
What was Rolf playing at?
He had gotten drunk in front of her, and possibly had made a fool out of himself and yet here he was, talking to her about Thestral breeding as cold and composed as ever.
She, however, was unassumingly herself. Well, that is what Charlie had to assume when in the middle of her conversation with Rolf, she nearly boxed his ear claiming that a Billywig or Fillywag or Letusshag or whatever it was hovering near Rolf's ear.
Okay, the Let Us Shag might be a part of his bored imagination.
So when he brought a tub of meat to feed a herd of Thestrals in the nearby forest, he asked, "What is that all about? Aren't you going to ask her out?"
"I'll be seeing her again." Rolf replied, cool as you please, watching her calling Thestrals in a high pitched shriek that frankly scared the shit out of Charlie.
"When?" Charlie asked as Rolf took the tub from him. "I have seen dragons lay eggs faster."
"Tomorrow. She is going to be working with me. After the breeding program finishes, we are going to look for creature called Crumple Horned Snorkack. If I am satisfied with her research to believe such a beast exists, that is." Rolf answered. "I am not going to take an entire night to lay a single egg like a Mummy Horntail, Weasley. Or whatever your metaphor was. I forget."
Charlie cocked an eyebrow as Rolf turned his back on him,walking towards the forest. "Really."
"For god's sake, just because she is going to be closeted in close quarters with you for research doesn't mean you should take a year to show interest."
"I never said that."
"Of course you didn't, Scamander. But I know you like I know a dragon's hide. Just ask her out."
"You are paranoid, Scamander."
Rolf turned back and smiled. "That is why I only have you as my best friend, don't I, Charlie?"
"I'm not a woman to be moved by that kind of flattery, bastard, so help me Merlin" he called out as Rolf laughed, taking the tub off meat to where Luna stood.
prelude to part 4 : What Rolf saw.
Charlie may call it paranoia, but it isn't the 'trust issues' that stops him from asking her out. Neville Longbottom had been present before the breeding program started, joking about illicit substances his most creative students made from plants to group of Herbology enthusiasts who attended the commencement day. He saw her watching him. The tenderness and envy in her expression caught him off guard. It was frightening how composed she was, watching Neville, so sure of her own feelings. Her envy at his ability to find a new love, and forget her. Frightening as her expression was, Rolf also found himself enamored by the disarming vulnerability in her face, the honesty in her demeanor that he himself could never be able to emulate. He wanted to know more, and yet he was hesitant.
She was no ordinary witch, of that he was sure. He wasn't sure that fact entirely pleased him.
part 4: the conversation Charlie didn't overhear
Rolf's plans to charm her dropped the moment he tried to make a conversation. To be piously honest, how could he have charmed her holding a tub of fresh meat?
It wasn't the most romantic of images.
So he did the lesser evil than attempting to woo a beautiful woman while carrying fresh meat. He told her, not entirely sure, whether he actually intended to, about Hippogriffs. Again.
"Hippogriffs make me laugh" he had said. "I have this urge to laugh my head off whenever they bow. I take care not to show that though. Perceptive and proud creatures they are. They would rip me to shreds if I so much as smirk at them."
Why was he talking about that now?
He never talked about it. Except one drunken time with Charlie, who he wasn't sure, entirely understood what he was trying to say because he kept hicupping through his narration.
She had looked at him,curiously. "Why?"
He didn't answer. If he answered, she was going to think he was crazy. Or stoned with the illicit substances Neville had told his most creative Herbology students make.
She was looking at him expectantly, and for some reason, with compassion. [What? Did he look upset?]
He had stared at her, she didn't break eye contact until he muttered, "What would you know about it?"
"I understand!" she had said, suddenly fierce. The gentle, placid expression gone. "I lost my mother to her own invention! I was 9 and I watched her die! For someone as wonderful as she, it was a small way to go. " Her voice shook but she continued. "Too abrupt. Too unkind. But I have seen a war and I know death never is, to anybody."
She looked at him, her anger still present in her expression. " I know that was what you were trying to say, weren't you? You watched somebody die. You can see them too."
He didn't apologise. "Yes. My great grandfather. Newt Scamander. Died while bowing to a hippogriff. Of cardiac arrest. It was a fucking joke."
There it was, an anger. Apart from the morbid amusement, and the helpless sadness. An anger that death could not grant someone he loved and admired so much an ending with dignity. He watched her anger settle into compassion again, and he felt like an asshole for not apologising for his gross assumption.
Yet, he still couldn't bring himself to apologise.
The thestrals came to him, nuzzling his shoulder, so he threw their share of meat, one by one in the air and watching some of them leap and others wait till the flesh hit the ground with a dull splat.
She stood next to him, and rubbed his back as if he was a Bowtruckle that needed to be soothed. It wasn't an unpleasant sensation.
"Alright." he said, finally, turning around to face her. "Luna, I'm not going to be a teenage boy about this. We are far too old to dance around each other. Merlin knows how many mating dances I have seen, and the scarier ones end up with the female devouring the male after intercourse."
She laughed, and it was the most ridiculous laughter he had ever seen. She rocked back and forth clutching her stomach, crying with mirth.
It had made him smile.
"I'm not sure why I said that. The point is, I fancy you."
She was still laughing when she came to him, and brushed her hand against the side of his face. "I know."she said softy.
He groaned. "Was I too obvious about it?"
"Yes." she said and she kissed him.
There you go, Charlie, Rolf brought her closer to him. It happened faster than a dragon laying an egg. Of course, that usually means it will end in a disaster.
Plenty of time to worry about that later though. He backed her against a tree, she held onto his neck ,fingers in his hair, blurring out sounds of Thestrals scraping at the bottom of the tub to look for more meat to eat.
read and review!
since it is a copy i oversaw half asleep, do point errors. :)