Harry sighed heavily as he wandered down the crowded hallways towards the Court Yard. He was alone, he'd needed to be alone. It was too difficult for him to stay in the common room with Ron, Hermione and Ginny discussing their plans for presents for their mothers for Mothers Day. Even now, after all these years it still hurt that his parents weren't with him. In fact it had become much more difficult for him since he had found out the truth about himself.
He had made his peace with the car crash that had taken his parents away once he was old enough to fully understand and accept that accidents happened and sometimes there wasn't anything you could do about it. But the day that Hagrid had turned up and told him the truth about himself; the truth about his parents death, old wounds that he had believed were healed he had found out had in fact only scabbed over and they were still raw and painful.
Harry had been brought up with Aunt Petunia's saying of honesty was the best policy, that the truth should always be told. She had seemed to overlook the fact that she had kept the truth about her sister; his mother from him and would never have told him if it had been left to her. Sometimes Harry wasn't so sure about the truth, sometimes he thought the truth could hurt much more than it helped. How much good had it done him to find out that his parents hadn't been involved in an accident but had been murdered?
Frowning deep in his own thoughts he rounded the corner forcefully bumping into someone and knocking them over. "Sorry." He looked down in surprise to find Luna Lovegood looking back at him from the floor.
"Hello, Harry." She accepted the hand he held out to her as he helped her to her feet. "Where are you storming off to?"
"I'm not storming."
Luna surveyed him for a few minutes. "Do you mind if I don't storm along with you?"
Harry smiled at her, "No, I was heading for the lake."
Luna stepped to his side. "Alright. I won't talk to you until you talk to me. I wouldn't want to disturb your thoughts."
Harry sighed brushing his hair from his forehead. "I'd rather talk to you than think my thoughts," he admitted, jamming his hands in his pockets.
Luna walked sedately at his side for a while sneaking glances at him out of the corner of her eye. He didn't look happy, she realised that Harry looked distinctly miserable about something, he was glowering into thin air and his eyes looked rather dull.
When they reached the lake Harry automatically followed Luna along the pebbles until she came to a huge oak tree and settled herself down on the roots. He slumped against the trunk beside her now actually feeling he would prefer her quiet presence than wandering around by himself. Harry liked Luna, he always found himself drawn to her and he liked her eccentric ways and odd way of giving advice.
They sat in companionable silence for a long time until finally Luna spoke to him. "Why don't you like your thoughts, Harry?"
"Ron, Hermione and Ginny were talking about mother's day presents and I started thinking about my parents." He replied quietly.
Luna glanced over at him as she began to thread some daises together to make a chain. "That makes you sad?" She queried.
Harry frowned across at her. "Of course it does. They were murdered."
Luna sighed softly her face scrunching up in concentration as she made a slit in the stem of a daisy. "Well, I guess that's hard to live with, but it's not as though they've really gone is it?"
"It's alright Harry. You don't have to pretend to be interested in what I think. I was just saying that's all." Luna dismissed his question and continued to thread her daisies.
"I'm not pretending to be interested, I would actually like to know what you mean." Harry twisted into a more comfortable position against the tree trunk so that he could see her better. Luna's philosophy was bound to be better than anything he could come up with himself and perhaps her beliefs would stop him hurting so much.
Setting her ever growing daisy chain in her lap she took a deep breath and tucked her hair behind her ear before turning her dreamy eyes on to his face. "Well, I don't always remember everything about my mother dying, about the time surrounding it, where I was, who I was with and so on. It's strange, sometimes I remember days very clearly and other times I look back and everything is just blank. But I always remember the story that my grandmother told me before she died. She died a few months after my mother, but she knew she was dying and she prepared me for it. As much as you can prepare for a death, it's always going to hurt isn't it?"
Harry nodded feeling immensely better at just the sound of her voice, sweet, dreamy and lilting, just flowing over him and easing his pain with the sincerity throbbing through it. "I should imagine that it will hurt. You don't want people you love to go do you?"
"No you don't." She titled her head to look at him. "It was bad enough when my mother died. But for you to have both your parents ripped from your life with that kind of violence…" she shuddered "… I don't know how you stand it."
"I don't really." He admitted, blinking rapidly to keep the stinging tears at bay.
"If you want to cry you can. I won't look at you." Luna told him serenely turning her attention back to her daisy chain.
Harry watched her profile for a few minutes hardly aware of the tiny tears that leaked from the corners of his eyes. He would never have thought he would be sat here with Luna watching her making daisy chains and crying quietly beside her without any worries about it.
He didn't worry about his tears. He knew that in a way Luna expected them and even though she wasn't looking at him she wasn't ignoring him either; but was sitting quietly waiting for him to feel able enough to talk to her again. Luna he realised didn't judge, she just accepted.
"What's your story then? The one that helped you?" He wondered using his sleeve to wipe his cheeks.
She sank back against the tree and gazed up at the sky a small smile on her lips before she replied. "I was still upset over my mother naturally, but I figured my grandmother would be there instead, to look after me. But grandmother said that she wouldn't ever take the place of my mother and it was wrong for me to try to replace her, she said it would hurt my mothers feelings. Mum would like to look down at me and see me happy and comfortable with another woman in dad's life, but there wouldn't be anyone to actually replace her, just take up the role of my mother,"
"I guess in a way you could still have a mother couldn't you? If your father did re-marry there would be someone to "take up the role" as you put it." Harry felt even worse after this revelation. He could see how the story would make Luna feel better but it wouldn't work with him, he didn't even have one parent in his life. Just an Aunt and Uncle who would prefer his absence from their lives more than they wanted him in it.
Luna reached out suddenly and squeezed his hand. "That's not the story. I was building up to that."
"Oh. Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt." Harry twisted his hand round to lace his fingers through hers. Her hands were tiny and soft in his and he didn't feel so bad when she was close to him and he could listen to her soft voice.
Luna just continued to smile sweetly. "My grandmother told me that when you die it's just your body that actually dies, you, yourself, your soul that lives on, it goes up to Heaven. Once you reach Heaven you don't need your body anymore because you become an angel…. What's that face for?" She wondered when she spotted Harry grimace.
Harry pulled a face, "I was just remembering when I was an angel that's all. Never mind, carry on with your story."
"How could you possibly have been an angel?" Luna asked him.
Harry managed a grin, it was the first time he had ever seen anything that could be taken as disbelief cross Luna's face. Luna Lovegood who believed in The Quibbler was actually wondering whether she should believe that he had been an angel.
"It was the Christmas when I was seven, or was I eight? No, I was seven. The school were putting on the play of the Nativity, I wanted to be one of the Wise Men. But Dudley got to be one of the Wise Men, he got to wear a blue cloak and this really cool golden crown." He frowned with annoyance. "I got to play angel number two and I got to wear Aunt Petunia's old petticoat."
"I don't understand." Luna admitted give him a very confused look.
Harry laughed suddenly. "It's a whole other story Luna. I'll tell it to you some other time. I don't think I feel like remembering Aunt Petunia's old petticoat just now. I'd rather hear the rest of your story, I keep interrupting you, sorry."
Luna chewed her lip, "You will tell me the story won't you, Harry?" After his nod of agreement she continued with her story. "Where was I? Oh yes, your soul goes up to Heaven and you become an angel. Well, I guess people think that angel's don't have much to do all day, but that's not totally true. You see angel's amuse themselves by lying out on the clouds and peeking through the cracks at the people below. Whenever I feel sad that my mother isn't here I remember that and start feeling happy again."
Harry shook his head his index finger gently tracing over her knuckles. "I don't see how that can possibly make you happy."
"You don't? I'd have thought it was simple. Our mothers are up there peeking down at us, and mothers don't like their children to be sad do they? Imagine how they feel knowing we were sad over them, they wouldn't like it would they? I know my mother wouldn't like to peek down at me and know she was the reason I was unhappy."
"I guess I didn't think of it that way." Harry admitted.
Luna squeezed his hand affectionately, "Just because your parents aren't on earth doesn't mean that you can't give them a gift on their birthday or mother's day or any other day for that matter." Luna told him firmly. "They're your parents, the best gift they ever gave you was life, and now they aren't here the best gift you can give them is happiness. You'll always love them and they know that, but they'd want you to be happy as well."
Harry gazed at Luna for a few minutes. How had she managed to twist his misery right the way round so that he ended up feeling guilty about it? He had always assumed that he should feel miserable over his parents death and it had always upset him that he had no memories of his own to thumb through at a particularly low point.
"How do you do that? How do you twist everything around to make it better?"
Luna smiled softly, "It's not about twisting things around, it's about looking for the positive in a situation, anyone can look at something and see the bad points; they're always easy to find, it's the good points that you have to look for." She joined her daisy chain together. "Sometimes it's hard work, but when you find them its worth it. You'll find the best things in life are worth working hard for."
Harry smiled at her as she shook out her daisy chain. Luna always seemed to know what to say to get him thinking about things and make him feel better about whatever he was worrying over at the given time. She somehow managed to instil some peace into his troubled mind and he was always grateful for that. She was a good friend to him and he valued her opinion and advice even though he knew that most people at school would never even consider listening to anything she said.
His eyes widen in surprise when the realisation hit him that she was right, the good points were usually difficult to find. Except with her. All her good points were right out in the open for anyone to see; but he had been rather slow in seeing them.
"Your good points aren't difficult to find." He told her quietly.
"Thank you. This is for you." She leant forward and looped the daisy chain around his neck. "Men should wear flowers more, I wear flowers." She told him firmly.
Before he realised exactly what he was doing Harry's hand had curled around the back of her neck pulling her closer, his lips captured hers in a deep, sweet kiss.
"Harry?" She managed to gasp in surprise when he released her.
"Sorry, Luna. I didn't mean to upset you or anything. I just needed to do that, it felt right. Didn't it?" Now he'd gone and done it, he'd gone and messed up his whole friendship with Luna.
Luna sighed softly. "But why did it feel right, Harry? Because I made you feel a little better?" She smiled wanly at him. "I can't let you kiss me to help you forget. You have to want to kiss me for me."
Harry didn't release his hold on her, he was afraid she would get up and walk away if he let her go. Gently he traced her cheek bone with his free index finger. "I do want to kiss you for you. For who you are, for how you make me feel…" He paused and looked up at the fluffy, white clouds that floated over them. "Besides, you did say that my mother wanted me to be happy. You make me happy, Luna."
Luna smiled running her fingers through the mad tangle of his hair. "My mother wants me to be happy too," she whispered, her lips brushing over his as she spoke.
Harry wrapped his arm around her waist pulling her closer. "So, lets make them happy." He suggested as he pressed his lips to hers in a hot and hungry kiss.
Distantly Harry hoped that at this precise moment his mother wasn't peeking down at him.