Golden

"Luna had decorated her bedroom ceiling with five beautifully painted faces: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville. They were not moving as the portraits at Hogwarts moved, but there was a certain magic about them all the same…"

- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, p.417


She started with Neville. Tracing his friendly, slightly pudgy features with a thin, frayed paintbrush, she was able to capture the innocence in his face. She coloured him in with a thicker, much older brush, taking special care not to make him look too fat, but just enough to be recognizable. She took a while to find the right colour for his dark hair – it was a mixture between gray and brown, but not quite… in a burst of inspiration, she added a drop of blue. The resultant colour appeared before her eyes, and she smiled. And from that point on, the rest was easy.

Ginny Weasley. Her hair floated about her joyful, radiant face, like fire, or a ruby-red halo. Her brown eyes were expertly coloured, a small white dot in the corners to show how they twinkled in the light. Her lips were parted, like she was trying to say something; perhaps words of comfort or encouragement, or fiery words of rage when she was spitting at the people who taunted her friends. Luna could never repay her for all the times she had defended her, firing her famous Bat-Bogey Hex at them. She could remember her face quite clearly, as they spent so much time together, to the extent where she could remember the exact locations of the constellation of brown freckles on her face, dotted just below her eyes, a few of them spattered on her perfectly sized nose.

Then Hermione. It was hard to capture her frizzy, bushy hair at first, but she got something close to that effect by tracing wispy strands of brown on the edges. She looked wild, untamed, but not in a bad way; Luna's Hermione was free to do whatever she pleased. Her chocolate eyes sparkled in a similar way to Ginny's, but not as brightly; however, they did have a certain warmth that her red-haired friend did not possess. She had particularly long lashes, Luna remembered, and carefully drew them on, mindful not to smudge the eyes below them. Her lips were full and red, bordering on pink, lined carefully with Luna's loving hand; she added a slight pink blush to her cheeks as a finishing touch, making her Hermione look more lively than she already did.

Ron was the easiest out of them all. She had no trouble tracing the features which looked so similar to his sister's; the only difference was his robin's egg sky-blue eyes, his hairstyle and an extra helping of brown freckles. His eyes were friendly, curious and unmistakably loyal, smiling down at her as she craned her neck to paint them. His hair was moderately wavy at the edges. The freckles were dotted with the thin brush she had begun with, and he was done.

Finally, Harry. Now, he was a challenge; her interpretation of him was probably the most difficult portrait to paint. She had difficulty pinpointing exactly what made him so difficult. It wasn't the hair, she realised; she only needed to take care and make sure it stuck up at the back. It wasn't his nose or mouth, effortlessly and beautifully done, the mouth curving upwards in a small, bashful smile. It wasn't the glasses, though her hand did tremble just a bit when she traced the round circles, but managing to do it just right. She even added a glint of white to the left, so it looked like light was reflecting off the lenses. No, it wasn't any of those things at all.

It was the eyes. Those irises were a startling green she had never seen anywhere else. They were captivating and bright, full of emotion; Luna doubted for a moment that she could ever replicate his gaze. She's come this far; she couldn't give up now. She could try.

Luna took a long time. She used the blue she'd done for Ron's eyes, and the yellow like the sunshine. After some experimentation, it resembled something like freshly grown grass. She continued to add yellow and watched it grow steadily brighter and paler, but stopped when it bordered on lime. No, that isn't it. She bit her lip, staring at the colour in her palette, then looked around the room for inspiration. Her gaze fell on a pot of golden paint – a colour she used rarely, as she didn't paint golden things very often. There wasn't a lot of it, either – the container was much smaller than the rest of her paints. Did she want to use it? Yes, she decided. Would it work? Did she dare?

She opened it carefully and dipped the brush into it, then spread it onto the palette. Finally, the green became emerald; it glittered as she looked at it, and she was satisfied.

She took a moment to admire her handiwork, staring mildly at the five beautifully painted faces on the ceiling. It wasn't perfect, she knew. Nothing ever was. They looked so alive to her, their faces eternally shining with happiness. Now they would always be with her, especially when she was feeling particularly alone. Even her father thought she had done well, when she took him by the hand and led him into her room, pointing at the ceiling. "Your mother would have been proud, my Luna," he said softly. "You inherited her gift for art, my darling girl." Tears filled his eyes, and she stood quietly as her father turned his back and walked back down the staircase.

She thought it was complete, but after a week or so, she was staring at her bedroom ceiling one late night, feeling rather annoyed. Something was missing, but what? She turned over in her bed in her frustration, the covers rustling, and immediately spotted the golden pot of paint she had used to mix Harry's eye colour. Her own eyes brightened. She got out of bed, tiptoeing to the shed to find a ladder to climb.

Quietly, lovingly, she took her thinnest paintbrush and started to finish her painting. Her handwriting was small and a bit slanted, and she wrote in a neat cursive between each of the faces she knew so well. Friends… friends… friends… friends… friends… friends… friends…

When she was done, she climbed back down the ladder and sighed. Her fingers and face were covered in gold, but she didn't mind, that could easily be fixed. She gave a flopped backwards onto her bed, staring at the ceiling with mixed emotions in her heart. Her friends were now connected by a long, glittering chain, forever entwined in a circle of gold. It was finally complete.

Author's Note:

Want more Luna? Try reading Buttercups and Lost and Found for non-ship fics, while Accidentally on Purpose and/or Virtuoso are fan favourites whereby she is romantically involved with other characters.

I honestly hope you enjoyed this drabble. Is it a drabble if it's a little more than a thousand words?! Anyway, it took me quite some time to think about how to write it, but I think I managed it in the end. Don't you agree?

Please read and review, as usual. If you like my stories, don't forget to give your feedback to the others I've written as well! Thanks for reading :)