Chapter 17 – Luna's Present
Luna Lovegood stepped from the floo and was instantly the center of attention of the few witches and wizards who were within the Leaky Cauldron. The petite witch was still dressed in the muggle garb of an elf of Father Christmas after all. The wizards leered suggestively while the witches tsked disapprovingly at such a brazen display of bare skin. Undeterred by either kind of looks the young witch stepped over to the bar and greeted the establishment's owner.
"Merry Yule, Tom," Luna offered the pub proprietor with a warm smile, neither ashamed or embarrassed with her choice of attire. Luna hadn't failed to notice how Harry's eyes had been glued to her chest as she'd bounced down the stairs earlier that day, nor had the young wizard had much success in removing his eyes from that location throughout the day. Luna had even gone out of her way to pass by him several times just to see if Harry would continue to stare…which he had, much to her delight!
"A Merry Yule to you as well, Miss Lovegood," Tom replied as he pulled a rather large handbag from behind the bar and set it on the counter. "I suppose you'll be wanting this?"
"I think it for the best," Luna agreed as she accepted the handbag she had sent by owl earlier that morning. The Cauldron was not the warmest of places and with nothing under her top it was becoming readily apparent that she was cold. "Have you a room I might borrow to change?"
Tom gestured with one thumb over his shoulder. "Use the kitchen lass, it's a bit warmer than the other rooms," he told her."Hanna is in there and will make sure no one will bother you. I'll keep an eye on things out here as well," he added so that she knew he wouldn't let anyone in while she was changing.
"Thank you, kind Sir," Luna replied before making her way to the kitchen. It was only a few minutes, and several explanations to Hanna about her outfit, later that the former Ravenclaw emerged dressed once again in proper witch's attire.
"Off for a bit of last minute shopping are you?" Tom enquired politely upon seeing the young woman again. Receiving a nod from the witch in question he added, "You best hurry then as the shops will be closing early tonight I suspect."
Luna thanked him for his help before making her way to the courtyard behind the pub and from there into Diagon Alley. The Alley was nearly deserted as most witches and wizards were already home with their families and loved ones. Darkness was falling and the wind had a decidedly sharp bite to it, causing the witch to pull her robes tightly about her. Families, the young witch thought as she stepped over to the Gringotts Cashpoint and using her vault key withdrew galleons from the Lovegood vault via the automated teller machine.
"I don't have any family," Luna mumbled to herself as she slipped the gold coins into her handbag which had shrunk down to a smaller size to match her outfit. Well, there is Harry, she corrected herself as she recalled that her father had made him her magical guardian as well as the Lovegood heir. So technically speaking he is the head of the Lovegood family now. Still, he's not really related to me, she told herself silently as she made her way down the street.
If only Daddy hadn't made Harry swear that oath, she growled in frustration to herself. If not for the oath she would have no qualms pursuing a lasting relationship with the bespectacled wizard. If that led to children and a family someday, all the better, she mused as her cheeks blushed warmly at the thought. Harry is so kind and sweet he most certainly would be a gentle lover and a loving father, the petite woman thought as her heart did backflips within her chest.
The young witch stopped at Amanuensis Quills and purchased a set of matching quills and Everfill inkwells for Daphne and Tracey, feeling that as the two were almost always together they themselves were somewhat of a matching set as well. Harry has been terribly sweet to me, Luna thought, continuing her soliloquy as she left the shop and continued on her way down the Alley. The few passersby were in too much of a hurry to finish their shopping and get home to notice the witch lost in her ruminations.
The mere thought of the wizard filled her being with warmth and brought forth a smile upon her features that threatened to remain there for days to come. The young witch hadn't forgotten about their picnic or how caring Harry had been when he had come to Hogwarts for her. The days after her father's death had seen the young wizard almost never leaving her side. It was a fact that, in looking back, had cemented her feelings for the wizard. Luna still missed falling asleep with Harry's arms around her.
"I truly am in love with Harry Potter," she admitted to herself for the first time just before stepping into the Junk Shop. It wasn't long before she emerged, an obscure book titled Prefects Who Gained Power, safely tucked within her hand bag as a gag gift for Hermione. "So what do I do about it?" she asked herself, picking up her thoughts once again as soon as she stepped out the shop as if she had left them at the door to await her return. Just as one might do with a wet umbrella on a rainy day.
The bright witch had not been sorted into Ravenclaw on a fluke after all so she could well and truly see what was happening. I am not the only one that has feelings for Harry, she admitted to herself. One would have to be blind and deaf not to have noticed the love that Hermione and Harry hold for each other.Granted, being able to see and hear didn't seem to be able to allow either of them to see what was right before them both, she scoffed both amused as well as frustrated by their obliviousness. The witch was ever so happy that they had apparently finally acknowledged their feelings for one another.
Doing a little window shopping Luna couldn't help but feel a bit guilty about falling for Harry, especially as she knew of Hermione's feeling for the man. It's not my fault Harry has such a big heart, she told herself thus by justifying her actions somewhat. That man has a limitless ability to love others, often at the expense of himself, she reasoned. The open minded witch didn't see an issue with Harry loving Hermione or anyone else so long as the wizard loved her as well. Harry has a large enough heart for all of us.
Luna's feet brought her to Obscurus Books next. Early on in the creation of Hermione's library she had noticed it was lacking something. Harry may have built the library but I know who it is truly for, she thought with a small smile at just how thoughtful Harry could be. Since moving into Westfield Luna had been finding herself in the library more often than not. Hermione's not the only one that enjoys a good read, she thought with a slightly amused smile. A short stop in and soon the witch was leaving the shop with a new unabridged copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them safely stored in her handbag for Hermione.
The closing of the shop door saw her once again picking up her thoughts of the wizard who most certainly held her heart and several others less she missed her guess. I am really glad to see that Harry hasn't allowed house prejudices to inhibit him, she mused. Everyone knew of the hostilities between the Gryffindor and Slytherin houses at Hogwarts. Students such as Draco and Ronald are very good at insuring that such hatred continues on, she thought with a small resigned sigh. Luna was bright enough to realize that there would always be those who disliked others for any number of contrived reasons. Hatred was just the opposite of love and kept the world balanced after all. Love, hate, happiness, sadness, light and dark, they all have their place in the world.
"I must admit that I didn't expect him to take up with not just one but two Slytherin witches," she mumbled as she proceeded down the Alley, bypassing Gringotts in favor of entering Potage's Cauldron Shop. Several galleons lighter the witch left the shop having purchased an Apothecary grade cauldron for Andi. The item would be delivered to the daughter of the Black family at St. Mungo's as Luna didn't want to give out Harry's address without his permission.
I knew that if there was anyone who could reach Tracey it would be my Harry, she mused silently as she meandered along the Alley, peeking into windows here and there. She was much like a caterpillar, Luna thought. It just took Harry to turn her into a beautiful butterfly, Luna realized with a quirky smile at the image that brought to mind. The young girl's feet and thoughts soon led her to Rosa Lee Teabag where she purchased two gift baskets of tea. One for Mary and one for Headmistress McGonagall.
Daphne was a bit of a surprise, Luna admitted as she once again stepped out into the alley. As pretty as she is I would have thought that she would have gone after someone else. Not that Harry isn't worth having, she hastily added. The witch strolled along past Scribbulus Writing Instruments and Slug & Jiggers Apothecary without stopping in as she didn't believe she would find anything there for Harry. Luna's lips turned upward into a smile, Still, Daphne does have great taste in wizards!
Twilfitt and Tatting's was soon passed as Luna didn't feel that Harry would enjoy the upscale clothing that was offered there. Luna stopped at Whizz Hard Books and picked up a title she had been meaning to get for some time, Hairy Snout, Human Heart. It had been highly recommended by the late Headmaster Albus Dumbledore who had stated it was a heartrending account of one wizard's struggle with lycanthropy. As the witch stepped back out onto the street she realized she was quickly running out of shops.
Daphne has been rather good for Harry, Luna reflected. The wizard had been a bit more relaxed as well as flirtatious, facts Luna attributed to Daphne's presence. He certainly is having a great deal more fun these days, the young witch thought recalling hearing about a certain trip to a women's store. I'll have to see if I can't get Harry to take me as well, she mused with a naughty smile. Turning about the petite blonde made her way back along the opposite side of the Alley, quickly passing the Daily Prophet offices as well as the ones for Ministry Press.
Luna meandered along the lane, pausing to look in windows but failing to find anything for Harry. Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment was skipped as was Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions as Luna believed Harry had what he needed already. For a moment she pondered going to Magical Menagerie but recalling what had happened to Hedwig she passed it as well as Eeylops Owl Emporium, not wishing to have Harry remember such a painful memory.
The young witch suddenly came to an abrupt halt in front of Madam Primpernelle's Beautifying Potions. Not because she thought Harry needed wart remover of an ointment for flaky skin but rather because she had a sudden revelation. Everyone gives Harry something that he needs! she had realized with a bit of surprise. Hermione is his closest friend and has always been there for him as well as being brilliantly smart. Daphne was playful and had a keen grasp of wizarding customs as well as being ambitious and cunning enough to keep Harry from making social mistakes.
Tracey…she fulfills Harry's need to save people, Luna reasoned silently. Even Andi fills the place of a loving relative. "So what of me? What can I give Harry?" Luna asked herself. The blonde witch didn't have an answer for that question. Daddy has already given Harry everything we own, she recalled. Harry being the head of the Lovegood family meant that everything was his.
The bright witch's mind shot off, trying to determine exactly where she fit into everything. It was readily apparent to her that Harry had everything he needed and that there was truly nothing that she could give him that the others couldn't. Lost in thought Luna wondered past Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, Quality Quidditch Supplies, Ollivanders and the remaining stalls and shops.
The former Ravenclaw prefect once more thought over all that had happened and just what Harry meant to her. Her deduction also revealed that she had been thinking almost non-stop about the wizard while in the Alley. I miss Harry, she admitted with a sad little pout as she continued along. The witch froze once again in realization. I can't stop thinking about Harry! Without meaning to Luna realized that she herself had accidentally completed the final requirement.
Slowly the witch started moving once again as she tried to decide if that was a bad thing or a good thing and just what it meant for her relationship with Harry. In the end she concluded that it didn't matter as it was already a done thing so she turned her mind once more to Harry. By the time she had reached the wall to the Leaky Cauldron she had found something, that while not unique to her, she could certainly do for Harry. It was a much happier witch that waved bye to Tom upon returning to the pub before stepping to the fireplace only to disappear once again into the floo network.
Bloody hell! Harry swore to himself. How does my life always become so complicated? The young man took another pull from his butterbeer before following it up with a gulp of firewhiskey. As no one had come searching for him as yet Harry assumed that Hermione and Tracey were still going at it. Only the presence of the Headmistress and the others prevented him from being worried that the confrontation would escalate into something more than an exchange of heated words.
It's not like I don't have my own problems to worry about, Harry mused silently, setting aside the arguing women upstairs for the moment. Married? Married to Daphne!Harry tried to wrap his head around that fact and as before, really couldn't. Nearly seven years of suspecting Snape and Draco of trying to hurt him had honed his natural self-preservation instincts to a razor's edge. Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean there isn't someone after me. Let's not forget to mention having Voldemort set on my demise every year while at Hogwarts.
The fact that Gerald Greengrass had set him up was abundantly clear to the young wizard. How purchasing a wand can lead to a marriage is beyond me, Harry thought. Not that it really matters as apparently it's a done deal already, he realized, recalling how the Black wedding ring had appeared upon Daphne's finger. Magic like that didn't make mistakes after all. If it did no one would use it then, he reasoned as he took another gulp of the firewhiskey, enjoying the slow burn as it made its way down his throat.
That leaves me with only one real question, was Daphne a part of it? With Snape and Draco their actions had made it pretty much apparent that they disliked Harry and would have felt little remorse if the Dark Lord had offed him as Tom had intended. It wasn't till nearly the end of war that Harry had found out just how brave Snape had been. Or stupid, depending on how you want to look at it, Harry ruminated. A part of the young wizard wished that things had turned out differently and that Snape was actually still alive.
The trouble is that Daphne didn't display any of their typical behavior. Either she didn't know about what her father was doing or she is the best actress in the world, he speculated silently. So either I am married to someone who wants to harm me or I'm married to someone who now truly hates me. Neither were a promising prospect for a quiet life with a large happy family. The young man drained the last of the whiskey only to have the elf beside him refill his class.
"Thank you, Kreacher," Harry said automatically. The old elf had been kind enough to pop away and fetch the strong alcohol for him when Harry had asked for it. If ever there was an occasion to get drunk this certainly has to be it, Harry reasoned as he took another gulp of the fiery liquid and followed it with a pull from his butterbeer.
Add Tracey to the list of witches that now hate me. The fact that Hermione had tried to come to his defense earlier gave Harry some hope that they could remain friends. That they could apparently only be friends truly hurt him as he had been hoping for a great deal more. So much for brown bushy haired babies, he thought sadly recalling the image of their children he had in his mind. At least with Andi they were family so he hoped that she would give him a chance to explain and allow him to remain a part of Teddy's life.
The same could be said for Luna though he wasn't looking forward to telling the petite witch what had happened. Harry was fairly certain that Luna was developing feelings for him as well. I know I certainly have feelings for her, he finally admitted to himself. The thought of a life with the young witch brought a warm smile to his face till he recalled he was married now and any such life was surely gone. Bloody hell I hate my life sometimes!
Harry's head began to hurt from all the thinking. Try as he might he just couldn't decide what he was to do next. Right now it's the middle of the night on Christmas Eve so there isn't anything I can do, he finally decided. I'll drink a bit more then head to bed I guess. Draining the last of his butterbeer he set the empty bottle aside only to be handed another by Kreacher. Harry turned his head and regarded the elf for a long moment. "Winky."
Kreacher let out a long suffering sigh before answering."Winky," the old elf confirmed.
"Would it be better if I were to order her to leave you be?" Harry offered, hating the idea as he disliked ordering his elves to do anything. Still, if I can't help myself maybe I can at least help Kreacher.
"No," Kreacher replied with a slow shake of his head."Young Master is very kind but he does not like to order elves about." Every elf was quick to learn the likes and dislikes of their owners so that they could serve them to the best of their abilities. Kreacher was no different and knew that Harry would hate to issue such an order to any elf in his service.
Harry took a sip of the whiskey and followed it up with some butterbeer. "Would it really be so terrible?" he asked in a slightly curious but mostly confused tone. Having no real understanding of how relationships worked between elves Harry didn't see a problem with what Winky was asking. Then again he was no expert on relationships be they elf or human. What do I know? Maybe it's some kind of mating ritual they have to go through, playing hard to get and all.
It was several long moments before Kreacher answered. "No, not terrible," the aged elf admitted before taking a long pull from his own bottle of butterbeer.
"Then what's the problem?" Harry enquired. It was far easier to think about someone else's problems than his own at the moment.
"Winky deserves better," was the old elf's response."Kreacher has not always been a good elf, as Young Master knows," Kreacher confessed. "Kreacher would not want that to follow Winky or the baby."
Harry thought that over for a long moment as he formulated his response. "Kreacher, I've not always been good either," the young wizard finally said only to receive a look of disbelief from the elf beside him. "Honestly," Harry assured him. "I think we all do things we later regret," he said, recalling his own relationship with Hermione and how he had often sided with Ron in their arguments. There were many times when I wasn't a very good friend to her or Ron.
"People can change. Elves can too," Harry continued with. "Look at Regulus. He saw that he had made a mistake and decided to do the right thing to atone for his actions. It was because of that we were able to obtain the necklace and finally destroy it. It's alright to make mistakes Kreacher. It is what we do afterwards, how we atone for our shortcomings that rightfully matter." Harry knew that mentioning Regulus would snare the elf's full attention.
"In the end your former master Regulus was a hero," Harry told Kreacher only to see the elf take on a proud expression. "You yourself rallied the Hogwarts elves and led them into battle. That sounds more like a hero to me. I'm certain that Regulus would have been proud of you then just as he would be proud of the elf you've become." Harry saw the elf's chest swell slightly as Kreacher sat up straighter upon hearing his words."Winky and any baby would no doubt be proud to have you as a part of their lives. I know I'm glad that you're a part of mine."
The two of them sat in silence for several minutes as Harry nursed his drinks and Kreacher thought over his master's word. Several times Harry heard the old elf mumble 'Regulus was a hero' and 'Regulus would be proud of me'. Harry finished his butterbeer and was about to ask for another one when there was a soft pop, announcing the arrival of a house elf.
"Found you!" Luna's cheerful voice came from out of the darkness just before the witch spoke Lumos and blinded the two males.
"Bloody hell!" Harry exclaimed, hastily raising one hand to shield his eyes from the bright light. After sitting in total darkness for so long the sudden light was like looking directly at the sun.
"Language, Harry!" Luna admonished even as she dimmed the light down to a much lower level to spare the wizard seated upon the floor.
"Sorry," Harry offered automatically, having been well trained by Hermione. "How did you find me?"
"Winky did not know that Master Harry did not wish to be disturbed," Winky offered in a doleful tone.
"It's alright Winky," Harry was quick to assure the distressed elf. "You're correct in that I didn't tell you not to bring anyone to me."
"Harry, we need to talk," Luna cut in with before the wizard could say anything further. "Alone," she added as her eyes darted over to Kreacher and then back to the seated wizard.
The wizard sighed heavily. Now's as good a time as any, he reasoned. "Kreacher, Winky, could you excuse us please?" Harry didn't feel he needed an audience when he told Luna what had happened while she was gone.
The old elf stood and brushed the dust from his tux before walking over to Winky and taking her hand somewhat hesitantly in his own. "Winky will come with Kreacher." Winky's eyes grew large upon having her hand taken and told to go with him but she none the less gave a slight nod. There was a pop as the two elves disappeared leaving the witch and wizard alone.
Someone's getting lucky tonight, Harry thought with a smirk only to realize that he wouldn't be and might never get lucky, ever!"I'm actually glad you're here, Luna as there is something I need to tell you as well," Harry said, seeing no reason to delay the inevitable.
"Ladies first, Harry," Luna chided him gently with a playful smile only to see the wizard nod in acceptance. "Do you recall the oath you gave Daddy at St. Mungo's?"
Harry fidgeted, crossing his legs at the ankles where they stretched out before him. Of course I recall the oath though I haven't a clue as to what I exactly agreed to. His solicitors were still working on the matter and hoped to have an answer for him after the New Year. The nervous wizard simply gave a nod not trusting his voice at the moment.
"Do you recall the words of the oath, Harry?" Luna pressed.
"That I would care and provide for you," Harry summarized.
"Shelter and hearth, which you have given me when you allowed me to live in your home," Luna clarified. "Protection, which you have also given me both in furthering my education as well as being the head of the Lovegood family. That comes with an obligation to protect anyone who is a Lovegood."
"I would protect you anyways, Luna, even if I wasn't the head of your family," Harry assured her. "I'm only holding the family name till you're of age then you can have it back."
Luna smiled warmly at the wizard's heartfelt words and kind offer. Is there any wonder why we love him so much? she mused. "It's not really that simple Harry. The head of family, or House as it is commonly referred to in our world, can only be passed down to a male heir," Luna explained.
"Great," Harry growled as he reached for his glass of whiskey and took a healthy swig of the liquid. So the children I may very well never have is the only way to insure the continuation of the Lovegood name. It took only a second for Harry to cotton on that the same held true for the Potter and Davis houses as well then. At this rate even the Black line may die out, he realized. I just can't see Daphne agreeing to allow me to touch her after everything that has happened. Harry was fairly certain he'd be fortunate to still have his bits attached after their next meeting.
"May I?" Luna asked as she approached and knelt by Harry's feet.
Harry looked at the glass of firewhiskey in his hand that Luna had gestured to and with a mental shrug passed it over to her. Maybe if she is good and drunk she'll take the news that the Lovegood line died out her father better, the man's addled brain reasoned. It was with some surprised that the wizard saw the witch down the remainder of the beverage in one long gulp before holding the glass out for more. Harry picked up the bottle of Blishen's Firewhiskey next to him and dutifully refilled the glass.
Luna took another long drink of the liquor, feeling as though she needed the additional courage for what was coming next. "Do you mind if I…umm…turn the light off, Harry?" the suddenly nervous witch asked as she passed the mostly empty glass back to the wizard before her.
Harry drained the glass and quickly refilled it."Please," he replied only to be plunged into complete darkness as Luna canceled her spell almost before the words had left his mouth. Much better, he mused as the light had been hurting his eyes. Harry puzzled over just where to begin when he was stopped by the petite witch's voice.
"Before visiting Mummy and Daddy tonight I stopped by Diagon Alley for some last minute shopping," Luna confessed with a nervous tremor in her voice. "I didn't have any money on me so I had to pull some from the Lovegood vault."
"That /is/why you have your key, Luna," Harry said, seeing nothing wrong with her actions, though they did remind him of something. "I still need to give you your present."
"That's sweet, Harry," Luna offered with a warm smile that the wizard couldn't see. "Stay focused now, please," she directed as she leaned forward and slowly crawled along the wizard's legs, straddling them in the process. "Do you recall what else you promised Daddy?"
Harry mind was much like a motor running on only three cylinders, that is to say that it was running rather roughly. The young wizard took another long pull of the firewhiskey as Luna made herself comfortable in Harry's lap. "Not really," Harry confessed as he set the glass aside in favor of grasping the witch's hips and pulling her in a bit snuggly. Drunken hormones are terribly demanding things after all. "Was there something else?" he asked, proud of the fact that he had as yet slurred a word.
"Two things actually," Luna replied a bit breathlessly, feeling that Harry pulling her closer was a good thing and bode well for what she had in mind. "I suspect the first thing will certainly lead to the second one," she told him bit evasively. "You swore to share the bounty of your family with me. By bounty that means the wealth of your family, Harry." I can't believe I forgot that as the Head of the Lovegood family the money on the Lovegood vault is Harry's, she admonished herself.
Harry's head cleared a little. A change of blood flow to a southerly direction will do that sometimes. "I don't see the issue, Luna. If you need anything I have you know you're more than welcome to it. I meant what I promised Mr. Lovegood. As long as I'm alive and you have need of it, I will take care of you!"
Luna leaned in and captured Harry's lips in a hungry kiss as she pressed her body against his. Her hands where tangled within Harry dark locks even as the man's hands traversed her back and sides. It was several longer moments before the young witch broke their kiss and rested her head against the wizard's. "I love you," she breathed out ethereally.
Harry's alcohol fogged mind caught the witch's words and replayed them several times before they finally made any sense at all. "What?" he articulated rather brilliantly.
Luna squirmed a bit nervously as she awaited Harry's reply. The man remained silent for so long that she thought he might reject her. As she was fairly certain that it wasn't Harry's wand in his pocket she was feeling beneath her she could only hope for the best. Harry's answer when it came was a bit confusing. "I love you, Harry Potter," Luna reiterated firmly.
"Really?" Harry heard himself ask in disbelief. Shifting from a pleasant snog to a serious topic such as love was forcing the young man's brain to engage and think when it really didn't want to.
"Really, really," Luna replied with a small grin. Several long moments passed without anything further being said. "Are you alright?" Luna finally asked, with growing concern for the man beneath her.
There was a soft quiet sniffle. "No one has told me that before," Harry confessed, overcome by emotions and not really certain how to handle them. Harry was fairly certain that his parents had told him that they loved him but he had no memory of it. Other than his parent's ghosts, no one had openly admitted to loving him. Sure Hermione and I sign our mail that way but that is just mail, he reasoned. Hermione signs all her letters that way. It was an entirely different matter to hear someone actually say that they loved him.
"Oh, Harry," Luna said softly as she reached out and caressed his face only to feel the tears that she knew would be there. Slipping her arms around Harry's neck she pulled him into a hug and held him tightly even as the wizard's arms wrapped around her and crushed her to his person.
Harry buried his face into Luna's chest and clung to her as the alcohol induced stupor was momentarily pushed back. "I love you too, Luna," he stated after a few minutes of being held. The witch's arms tighten about him upon hearing his words making him feel every bit wanted as much as he wanted Luna in his life. His mind replayed the events of that evening and he mentally chuckled. Only my life could have so much upheaval in such a short period of time.
Something else caught his attention though which finally caused him to lean back and regard the young witch in his lap. Enough time had passed that his eye sight was adjusting to the darkness and he could just make out Luna's quizzical expression in the dim lighting filtering down the stairs."You said there were two things?" he prompted her.
Luna could feel the heat rising in her cheeks at his question."Yes, there is one other thing. Having met all the requirements of the oath you need only give me a family," she said in a rush only to be met by stunned silence. "Merry Christmas!" Luna tittered after several agonizing long moments passed in silence.
Harry listened to Luna's nervous laughter as his mind puzzled over what he was supposed to do. "Family?" he final asked. "Just how am I supposed to do that?" he asked, uncertain and unwilling to have Luna adopted by some other family when he needed her so much in his.
"Well, I've never done it before," Luna explained with a nervous tremor in her voice as she sat back a bit. "But you're a guy and I'm a girl so it should be fairly natural I should think. I mean how hard could it be? You'll be gentle with me, won't you, Harry? I've heard that the first time can be rather painful for the girl," Luna rambled on nervously, her uncertainty getting the better of her. She wasn't even sure that Harry would want to give her a family.
"What?" Harry asked as his mind shut down there by proving to Luna that if you want something done you really had to do it yourself where males were concerned.
Mummy told me that but I didn't believe her, mused the young witch. "It's alright Harry," Luna said as she laid a gentle hand upon the wizard's chest only to feel his heart beating a mile a minute. Great, he's as scared as I am."It's just sex, Harry. Couples do it all the time. Without it we would have died off as a species a long time ago," she told him, dropping into lecture mode as she had seen Hermione do countless times over the years.
Harry calmed somewhat upon hearing the tone of Luna's voice. Ivan Pavlov would be so proud! Harry, like most men the world over, opened his mouth and spoke before he thought. "Luna," the wizard said in a soft tone as he reached up and captured the hand upon his chest in his own, "it would never be 'just sex'with you. I love you and while I don't know much about love, I'm certain it would not be just sex with you. Ever."
The snogging that followed his words lasted for several minutes and left both participants gasping for air. The two sat and tried to catch their breath for a long minute before Luna got unsteadily to her feet. The young witch hadn't had much to eat and the firewhiskey she had drunk not all that long ago was the first in her young life. "Come on Harry," Luna said as she held her hand out to the wizard. "I want my Christmas present, then you can have yours."
Harry accepted the hand up and then swayed unsteadily as alcohol and vertigo surged through his system and took control of his body as well as his mind. Harry, leaning on the smaller witch, led the way up the stairs to the floor above them. He was rather proud of the fact that he didn't fall back down the stairs upon reaching the top of them. It's the small achievements in life that matter, he thought amusedly to himself. It was only a small walk down a hall before Harry paused before aclosed door. "It's in there," he told Luna.
The witch didn't need to be told twice and hastily opened the door, not really knowing what to expect. Whatever she had thought it might be it certainly wasn't was awaiting her. "How?" Luna asked as her eyes misted up upon seeing what her present was. The witch slowly stepped into the room and rested one hand lovingly upon the aged metal.
Harry leaned drunkenly against the door jam and grinned, glad that he had been able to surprise her with this. "I'm Harry Potter. There isn't anything I can't do," he replied in a teasing voice.
Luna ran her hand along the frame as she walked around the item. There on one side was the picture of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack that she had drawn when she was five. That confirmed that it was indeed the Lovegood printing press that had been used to publish the Quibbler. "But it was crushed when our house collapsed," Luna pointed out.
"I had it excavated and restored," Harry explained."I know how much the Quibbler meant to you and your father. I thought you might want to start publishing it once again," he added with an embarrassed shrug at the loving look the witch was giving him.
"You are the sweetest and most thoughtful man alive," said Luna as she crossed the room and wrapped the wizard in a hug, burying her face in his chest. "I love you, Harry," she said as she felt his arms enfold her. "Now take me upstairs to your room so I can show you just how much!"
Far be it from me to argue with a pretty witch, the alcohol told Harry. A small voice in the back corner of Harry's mind asked what about Daphne or Hermione or the others but he wasn't really listening to it. Luna loved him as no other and after all that he had been through and was apparently still going through he felt that he was due a little love in return."Merry Christmas to me!" Harry answered with a grin before disapparating them both directly up to his four-poster bed.
Opening one crusty eye Harry regarded the canopy above his bed. The poor wizard's head hurt and throbbed painfully with each beat of his heart. His mouth tasted like one of Madam Pomfrey's potions had matted with a bottom of his Gryffindor Quidditch locker and then had deposited the offspring to someplace just behind his lips and before his furry tongue. "Bloody hell, what was I thinking," Harry moaned as he threw one arm over his eyes to block out the insolent light that dared to slip past the bed curtains.
In a flood of memories, the events of the previous evening came rushing back to Harry, effectively making him feel even worse than he had a moment before. Poor Daphne, was his first thought. I'm lucky she didn't hex me into oblivion. The rest of the night played out behind his eyes causing him to remove his arm and hesitantly crack open an eye to regard the bed next to him. Empty? Luna must have been an alcohol fueled dream then, he thought with some relief.
The wizard's relief was short lived as he heard the sound of the loo being flushed in the room adjacent to his bedroom. It was only a minute or two before a very naked Luna pushed aside the bed curtains. Harry watch as the young witch froze as soon as she noticed him regarding her. The surprised wizard couldn't help but crack a grin as he could have sworn Luna thrust out her chest a bit as if to proudly show off her assets.
"Like what you see?" Luna asked brazenly even though she could feel her cheeks heating up rapidly under the wizard's intense gaze. The young witch wasn't as large as Andi or even Tracey was but she wasn't small either. I still have a bit of growing to do yet, she believed.
Harry's smile turned into a full on grin. "You have no idea!" he told her, the truth slipping out before he could stop himself. His answer must have been the right one as Luna's face lit up in a blinding smile as she slipped under the covers and slid over to snuggle into the shocked wizard's side.
"Good answer," she told Harry, giving him a kiss as a reward. Several minutes passed where Luna snuggled in to get warm and Harry enjoyed the feeling of the naked witch's body against his own. Harry's arm was around her and his hand was caressing Luna's back in the most distracting of manners. "So, are you going to tell me how you got that black eye?" Luna finally asked. She hadn't noticed while in the basement as it was rather dark there and then later…well we were rather busy, she thought with slight grin recalling the present she had given the man next to her.
The hand caressing Luna's back stopped for a moment as the wizard froze in fear. What do Itell her? Harry thought in a panic. His mind raced, thinking of several excuses for what happened but in the end he simply gathered his vaunted Gryffindor courage and told her the truth. "I'm married."
Luna's heart swelled with love for the wizard beside her as a smile spread once more across her features. The young witch snaked her left arm out from under the covers and held it up for them both to see. "Of course we are, Harry," Luna replied, showing him the wedding ring upon her ring finger. "I was there for it after all," she reminded him.
Harry eyed the ring with some confusion for a long moment."Wait, how can that be?" he voiced aloud. I'm married to Daphne. How is it possible that I'm married to Luna as well?
Memories of asking Luna to marry him surfaced in his head. He had just been about to accept her present to him when he had asked her to marry him. He recalled at the time his thoughts were that he wanted some choice in who he married. He loved Luna and she had told him that she loved him as well, which was more than anyone else had ever told him. Luna had accepted just before he had entered her but neither noticed the flash of magic when the ring appeared. Harry because he was lost in the pleasurable sensation and Luna because she was distracted by the pain of losing her virginity.
"I admit that I was a bit surprised when you asked, Harry, but it was very sweet and romantic of you," Luna replied. The bright witch didn't think it was the magic of Harry's oath making him ask, which made it all the more special. The oath, given time, would have seen Harry gifting her with a family in the form of a child eventually. It probably would have taken a year or more though for it to get to that point, she reasoned. At least I think so.
Harry sighed heavily realizing that Luna, having been gone to see her parents last night, hadn't a clue as to what had happened with Daphne and the others. The last thing Harry wanted to do was hurt Luna but he knew that she would discover the fact sooner or later. He had never lied to the former Ravenclaw witch and he didn't really want to start now. In slow hesitant words the brave wizard relayed the events of the previous evening to the witch next to him.
"There was a flash of magic and suddenly the Black marriage ring appeared upon Daphne's finger. The next thing I knew she had cold-cocked me in the eye and I was on the floor. Daphne left in tears just as Hermione and Tracey started to exchange heated words. I figured it was a good time to make strategic withdraw." Harry confessed. "Not one of my stellar moments, I admit," he added.
Luna lay there and pondered what Harry had said for several long moments before she said anything. "So Daphne received the Black marriage ring while I have the Lovegood one," she said as if weighing her own words."I've never heard of someone being married to two witches at the same time, Harry," the bright witch admitted. "Then again I've never heard of anyone being the head of so many houses before either."
"Bloody hell! How do I get myself into these things?" Harry exclaimed in frustration.
"Language, Harry," Luna admonished before leaning in and giving him a peek on the cheek. "I'm sure we'll figure this out."
Harry sighed sadly. "You might have made a mistake, Luna. Maybe you'd be better off without me," he told the witch next to him.
Luna rolled over onto Harry and straddled him before sitting up, the covers sliding off to reveal both their nakedness. Listen to me, Harry James Potter!" she said in a fierce tone of voice. "I love you and now that I'm yours and you are mine I am not giving you up for anyone! Not even you! I may be willing to share you but I will never let you go, no matter what!So just forget any foolish Gryffindor notion you may have of sparring me your life. We're a team and are in this together!"
Harry didn't know exactly how to respond to the irate witch's words. It was abundantly clear to him that no matter what Luna would always be by his side, then again she always had been ever since Dumbledore's Army in fifth year. The petite blonde had been with him in the failed trip to the Department of Mysteries, the escape from Malfoy Manor and had seen him through the rough time when he buried Dobby. Harry looked up into Luna's fiery silver eyes and said the only thing he could. "I truly love you, Luna."
Luna smiled softly upon hearing his words, believing that Harry wasn't going to fight her on the matter and attempt to get rid of her. "I love you too, Harry," she replied. "As much as I would love to show you again just how much, I'm still a bit sore from last night," she admitted with a slight blush.
Harry blushed as well. "I'm sorry if I hurt you, Luna," he offered a bit awkwardly. Neither had truly known what they were doing so there was a great deal of fumbling around before they got it right. Harry didn't like the thought that he had hurt her in any way.
Luna waved his apology away with one hand, her movement making her assets sway and giggle in a distracting manner. "It can't be helped, Harry. You can always make it up to me later," she said with a coy smile only to realize that the wizard's eyes were several inches below her face at the moment.
With a supreme effort Harry tore his gaze away from the bare breasts before him and looked up and into Luna's eyes. "I'll do my best," he told her with a small smile. "What do we do now?" he asked, returning to the topic they had been discussing.
"For now we do nothing," Luna answered as she rolled of the wizard, much to his dismay, and arranged the pillow to prop herself up in bed. "I don't know about you but I'm famished!"
Harry's stomach let out a loud rumble before the wizard could say anything. "Apparently I am as well," the man replied as he propped himself up in bed beside his new wife. "Winky," Harry called only to be answered by the telltale pop of house elf arrival.
"How may Tibby be of service to Master Harry and his Misses?" the elf asked.
"Where's Winky?" Harry asked, surprised that the she-elf didn't come herself.
"Winky and Kreacher be unavailable today, Master Harry," Tibby answered with a joyful smile.
Harry smiled knowingly. "Please tell them to take as long as they need."
"Of course, Master Harry," the elf answered with a slight bow.
"How are the others after last night," Harry enquired, dreading the answer.
"Headmistress McGonagall returned to Hogwarts last night with Misses Hermione," Tibby stated. "Misses Black and Misses Tracey left for Greengrass Manor as well. Misses Andi is off to work already and Misses Mary is still asleep."
It took a moment for Harry to realize that Misses Black was in reference to Daphne. "So they left," Harry said softly, disheartened that even Hermione had apparently fled his company. Not that I blame Hermione, or any of them for that matter. I'm sure they all hate me right now, Harry mused. It was the feeling of Luna's hand slipping into his which finally broke him from his thoughts.
"It will be alright, Harry," Luna assured him. She was well aware that the witches who had left were in love with Harry. She could but hope that given time they would return to Westfield and the man beside her."Give them some time and then we'll figure this all out," she added in what she hoped was an encouraging tone.
"Thanks, Luna," Harry replied, offering her a weak smile while giving the small hand in his a gentle squeeze of appreciation. Through the years Harry had come to realize that there were things he just couldn't control. Such as a crazed Dark Lord set on killing him. Rather than dwell on what had happened he had learned to just sort of accept it and move past it."I think some breakfast in bed is in order," Harry stated only to see Tabby pop away to see to their needs.
Luna smiled at her husband of a few hours, finding it hard to believe that she was actually married to such a wonderful man and that he loved her as well. Years of bulling at school were suddenly a small price to pay for being with Harry. Losing her mum at an early age had hurt and had actually kept her from trying to get close to others. It hurt far too much when you lost them she had reasoned. The intelligent witch knew she would do anything to keep from losing Harry. As Tabby returned with trays laden with food Luna turned her sharp mind to the task of just how to make Harry happy.
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