Takes place after HBP, Harry is by the Lake, thinking about betrayal when a friend joins him for a much needed conversation and to kick his butt.
Quest for Pieces
By: Geovanni Luciano
Harry Potter was a boy that was barely getting by. He had a weight that had been placed on his shoulders with all the time that he had spent with his former headmaster. A weight and a puzzle that needed to be desperately solved, and time was running out.
Now was not the time for feeling sorry for himself, he mused over and over again. He had just broken up with Ginny Weasley and although that break up was supposed to be to make sure that she would be safe, that she wouldn't be a target, through her words he knew that they would never get back together.
She had said that he would never be happy unless he was chasing after Voldemort. She was very wrong, and he spent the past three hours sitting here, quietly by himself by the lake at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
He sat there mulling over his thoughts as they drifted to the subsequent conversation and then confession that Ginny had provided only an hour later. She had used Amortentia on him. It had only been the last couple of months, however she had done it.
Since the Headmaster had passed away, she had seen how desperately hopeless Harry Potter had been and with her own thoughts of what had happened to her brother Bill, she had stopped in her attempts to provide him of his regular dose. She had finally thought of him as Harry, and not the boy-who-lived.
He thought about his initial reaction to her revelation about the love potion and conveyed the story of Merope Gaunt and the subsequent consequences, the birth of the darkest Dark Lord that the Wizarding world has seen to date. His words were violent and venomous that were reflected in his eyes.
She had been distraught when he left, and the tears that stung her eyes did show that she was remorseful. He had to leave. He had to be out of her presence, so he stormed off, down corridors and finally out the front entrance towards where he found himself sitting now.
He had questions, now. Questions that he had failed to ask while the headmaster was still alive. He had always put them off until maybe later, he'd get a chance to ask. Maybe later, the answers would come and clarification would be had. But later never came, because of school work or because of another encroaching adventure.
He mulled over those unasked and unanswered questions. Why had the headmaster failed to train him from the day he was separated by death from his parents? If I am the wizarding worlds last hope for a chance to beat Tom Riddle why was my training so lax, especially since the end of fourth year when Voldemort had regained his body.
As Chief Mugwump, why had the headmaster permitted Deloris Umbridge, or allowed her obvious torture, he asked himself staring at the back of his scarred hands and the words that were etched in his flesh for the rest of his life. Why put it on us that year to train ourselves?
The biggest question he had failed to ask was about Sirius Black, his godfather. Why was Sirius chucked into Azkaban without a trial? Why was he deliberately placed in a house, he would not call it a home, where he had been obviously hated.
Sirius had a house that was under the Fidelus Charm, Harry thought bitterly, and then thought again about the second part of his unasked question about Sirius. Why at the end of fourth year had Harry not been permitted to live in a house where the death eaters would never find him?
He felt his anger starting to swell within him, now. He thought bitterly of his parents, and ask the question that he dared never thought of until just right at that moment. Why couldn't Dad or Mum been the Secret Keeper at Godric's Hollow, and who cast the Fidelus? He knew that it wasn't an easy charm to cast and only a handful or Witches or Wizards would be strong enough in Charms-work to pull it off.
Harry had plenty of unanswered and unasked questions and was beginning to feel the start of righteous fury starting to swell within him when he heard to soft foot-fall of someone approaching him from behind.
"Hullo Harry." Luna said solemnly looking at him now, the dreamy look not present in her eyes. The sight of her red and puffy eyes from obvious tears had immediately replaced his anger with concern for his friend. He patted the ground next to him and gave her a soft smile indicating his wish for her to sit with him.
She sat next to him silently and quietly stared at the giant squid as it played in the lake in front of them. From the corner of his eye he saw her tears return as she soundlessly sobbed to herself.
Harry reached up for her taking Luna into an embrace, while she let loose a shaky sob in the nape of his neck. It tickled slightly, but Harry, having dated Cho Chang knew that it would have been inappropriate to laugh. He sat holding her silently rubbing his hand up and down her back while she cried.
"Luna, what is wrong. Why are you so sad." Harry asked quietly.
"I just talked with Ginny about what she had done to you. It wasn't fair for you Harry. I know that with the exception of taking me to Professor Slughorn's party that we've not seen too much of each other, but you deserve better than that. It was a selfish thing that she did, and it upset me. I'd looked for you for such a long time inside the castle, even going to the room of requirement, which in retrospect I s'pose was a bad idea as you wouldn't have gone there with what happened, but I just wanted, no needed to check on you."
"You're a very good friend, Luna. Thank you." Harry smiled his first genuine smile in a very long time, while reaching up taking Luna's face in his hands. He carefully wiped her eyes. "It just isn't natural to see tears in these eyes of yours."
Harry leaned back against his favorite tree, while Luna put her head on his shoulder and they sat there silently watching as the giant squid began lobbing merpeople into the air. In this time a healing began for the two friends. There were still the unasked and unanswered questions but for Harry, being here with Luna was something that he knew, at that moment that he needed.
"Why?" She asked plainly.
"Why what, Luna?" Harry asked with an honesty in his voice that he truly didn't know.
"Well..." She said, and then paused. She thought about her question long and hard. She knew that there was a time for truth and that time had rapidly approached until it was staring her directly in the face. She questioned her motivation for a moment. Could she trust him with that secret. Her secret?
He had been truthful and honest. Sure, she had heard the stories of the boy-who-lived from her friend, Ginny, growing up, but in the end, he had been a baby, she had finally rationalized. There wasn't much more to it than that. Having seen him in the halls of Hogwarts intermittently throughout her time here, and finally meeting him and seeing what a nice boy that Harry Potter was, had changed her opinion. She had never seen him as some valiant knight come to rescue a fair maiden. He was an enigma.
Harry looked up at her and for the very first time in his entire time of knowing Luna Lovegood, saw a look that he had never seen before. He had seen a look of wonder and that of distance. He had seen that dreamy look in her eyes over and over again, constantly. He had seen a look of quiet contemplation, but he had never, ever in his life, seen a look of utter bewilderment, and that of sorrow.
The sorrow plucked at his heart to the point it hurt him on such a deep level that he couldn't convert that contemplation into anything rational. She was Luna. She was always happy, or engaged in thought and she was above all things honest. In retrospect, that had been what had drawn him to her and to be her friend was that she was just her. For people to pick on her for being who she wanted to be would drive him into madness, because beyond everything else that she had presented to the world, she was a good person.
"Harry, I may not have been completely honest with you as I should have been." She finally finished meekly.
"What do you mean?" He asked with a little bit of hesitation. She noticed it immediately, but when she looked up and her crystal blue eyes met his and he noticed the look of worry in her eyes, he soften his gaze for a moment.
"Please don't tell Ronald?" She asked, with a pleading in her voice which was almost an admission of guilt. He could tell that there was something that she was hiding. There was some great secret that was just on the tip of her tongue. He could tell more than anything else that she was about to tell him this great secret and the apprehension of telling him this was weighing heavily upon her.
Harry Potter was a great many things, and while he was cunning to a fault, having had the need to be thrust upon him in having to deal with his relatives, he was also loyal to those whom he had faithfully laid claim to calling his friends. She, Luna Lovegood, had been luckily lumped into that group that he claimed to be friend. He was apprehensive, but the Gryffindor prior and courage one out in the end.
"Please tell me." He said finally, flat, but with a resolve and an openness that had reached his eyes that she could not help but see and commit to believing that he would understand.
"Ronald, at one time; while we were growing up, had been very cruel to me. Harry, you have to understand one thing about me. First, I have a bit of advantage over you, and I say this with the utmost and deepest respect for you as my friend that I'm not looking down upon you with pity or anything else, and that is that I had a mum that I knew and that had loved me a great deal. My mum was a very imaginative person and on quite a few occasions sent me to bed with fancy stories of strange and unbelievable creature. Every night, in fact, she would tell me stories of these fantastic creatures and make these stories believable. Now, I can see the look of incredulousness in your eyes but remember, that my mum died when I was quite young and still too early for Hogwarts." She strung together completely together in a way that reminded Harry very much of Hermione, however the speed of which wasn't in exasperation but of nervousness. Harry quickly reached out, took Luna's hand in his, intertwined their fingers and gave a soft squeeze of encouragement. "Harry, we have some Fae blood in our family line on mum's side and while that is increasingly rare, mum fancied herself a bit of a fictional writer. Not to be publishing stories of great epic battles but that of children's night-time stories. So you have to understand that some of the stories she told me were true but on other accounts they were flights of fancy."
"Luna I think that I can see where you're going with this and I want you to know that beyond anything that you reveal to me and even before you do it, you are now and will always be my friend."
"Harry, I'm afraid a lot of the times I was having one on Ronald. I'd do things a bit off, but only because he was a bit cruel to me before I could properly deal with mum's accident. He would mock and tease me growing up and unfortunately I became accustomed to it. I didn't dissuade him from it because in a sense, his belief in what I conveyed to me that my mum was still with me on some level."
"Luna, look at me please." Harry said, almost pleading and once her eyes were locked with his he could see that the entire Loony Lovegood personality had been a fairy story of it's own, and while she may have some abilities that other witches and wizards may not have, she was more than capable of keeping up appearance. He could even see somewhat of a devilish glint to her eyes which conveyed that she had be, and had also continued to be having one over on Ron. He could also see that on some levels that Ron had deserved what she had done to him.
"Harry, look I'm trying to tell you something, and I'm having a bit of a difficult time with it, so if you could give me a moment I think I might be able to muddle my way through it."
"As long as you're not going to tell me that you're someone I really never knew in the first place, I'm fine, because on that level you are scaring me a bit. I hope I know you. I pray that I do, in fact. You've really been a good friend, and I would hate for it to be ruined by this." Harry said with a trace amount of fear.
"Harry, most of the odd things that I say or do when I was around Ronald Weasley was because I knew that it would erk him. I did it to him to keep him off of his guard and so that he would leave me the bloody hell alone. I didn't think that it would go this far, but unfortunately, with you not around he was a bit mean. Not overly cruel as he had been, but I can probably attribute it to being his life work and that he would have the opportunity to do other extracurricular activities."
"Snog Hermione?" Harry questioned, and when Luna nodded briefly, he sighed and looked back to the lake.
"Harry?" Luna said very quietly, almost hesitantly, and when she finally saw him peeking at her from the corner of his eye, she took his face in her hands. "Harry, they're going to have to figure it out on their own. You have to know this."
"Well, it's just funny. So many people taking bets on when they'd finally get together, and I didn't want to think about it. The three of us won't survive this and in the end I'll be lost and alone, yet again."
"Harry Potter, you are my friend too. I hope that you would know that I'd never abandon that post, nor would Neville for that matter. Ginny, I'll admit that I was somewhat disappointed after finding out the depths that she had gone through to attain your affection, however that was really potion induced. I will forgive you a moment of temporary insanity." She said with an absolutely.
"You're Ravenclaw through and through." Harry said with a grin.
"And you're a Slytherin hiding out in the Gryffindor Tower." She said beaming at her friend, and that smile grew brighter when she saw the mock look of Horror.
"How did you know that?" He asked, completely curious as to how she came to that determination.
"Well, realistically, you're one of the most cunning people I've ever met. For you, life has been hard with challenges, and not just at school but with your family at home as well."
"They're not really my family. They're related by blood, but that's all. Luna, how are you at divination."
"Well, Trelawney thinks I'm rubbish, however I know that is only because she is jealous of me because her gift is so passive and uncontrollable. I'm fairly spot on when reading people as far as their potential. Also, once I make a connection to someone, I sometimes know when they need me."
"Like with me, today?"
"Precisely. Harry, what Ginny did was a horrible mistake that could have had even more dire circumstances."
"Well, Amortentia is somewhat like a liquid imperius curse. It's strips you of your free will and makes you feel for someone even if there was nothing there before. Unfortunately, for Ginny there was something there before, wasn't there Harry?"
"Truthfully, yes, I had noticed her before, but she had always been too shy to even talk to me, until last year. Then she was dating Michael and then Dean, I figured that she had gotten over her crush. Out of the blue she finds her voice and we have conversations every now and then, and I realized that she was nice when she wasn't dipping her elbow in butter or running from me."
"So that has to hurt, what she did, but at the same point it was an act of desperation."
"Luna, look, I know what you're trying to do, and while I can forgive Ginny for what she did, it doesn't change the fact that she did it, whatever the motivation." Harry stopped for a moment to gather his thoughts and while Luna was more than prepared for what she thought that was coming next. She remained pensive. "Do you know what she said to me after we broke up? She said that she knew that I wouldn't be happy unless I was chasing after Voldemort."
"How could you understand her?" Luna said with a knowing grin.
"What are you going on about?"
"Well, I was just curious on how you could understand her when she said that as she clearly had her trainer stuck in her mouth." She said which cause him to laugh out loud so much so that they toppled over, and Luna was lying atop his chest.
She stared deep in his eyes for what seemed forever. He could feel the smile on his face and realized that he hadn't felt happy, truly happy since he had taken her to Slughorn's party. She had a way with him that made him smile. She brought it out in him, and then his smile faltered when thinking that had probably been when Ginny had stepped up her use of the love potion. His smile faltered even more when he thought of the end of that date and realized that he never did properly give Luna her good night kiss.
"Harry, it does not do well to dwell on dreams of the past. We cannot change what has already come to pass." She said with her normally dreamy expression.
"Just thinking about our date." He said, with a little bit of a lost look in eyes.
"Well, it could have gone better, I admit. It probably would have gone better if you had properly kissed me at it's conclusion." She said, standing up and brushing herself free of leaves and grass. She reached down and he took her hand. She helped him up, as well.
"You're probably right." He said, looking at her now in a whole new light. "I hate to say it but I wish I had gotten the opportunity that I have had now in just this short amount of time to get to know you. I really do. You're a great friend, Luna." He said and she smiled a real and genuine smile that reached her eyes.
Harry walked up to her slowly, wrapped his arms around her, leaned in and placed a chaste kiss upon her lips. It lingered for what seemed to last forever, neither one deepening the kiss, however the emotion behind it was of utter honesty. Pulling back he looked at her, finally seeing the girl for who she was all along.
"Wow." They said together and them burst into gales of laughter.
"Luna, thank for today." Harry said, grabbing her hand. He interlaced his fingers with her, and then slowly the two of them walked back towards the castle. He used his thumb to carress the back of her hand and she mirrored his actions providing reassurances. Harry plucked up his courage. It hadn't been three hours of being single. "Luna?"
"Yes Harry." She said smiling at him.
"Well, you see..."
Harry, I believe I just gave you that answer."
"Remember what I said about being able to read you?" She said, just a little warily.
"Yes." He said.
"Well, then, let's leave it as I would have been more than happy to pursue a relationship with someone whom I consider to be one of my very best friends, even though he fell to a nefarious plot concocted by one of my other friends to ensnare the boy who has never called me, nor thought of me as Loony Lovegood. A boy who has questioned the creatures I mention but not out of mockery but genuine curiosity."
"Luna, I would never..."
"I know, and that's why I am glad that you invited me to Professor Slughorn's party, and I'm very glad that, even though you were a bit late in delivering it, that your kiss was much better than Cho had described." She said looking at the mock disgust that colored his face at the mention of Cho. "Yes, that being said, I plan on writing to you during the summer, and should you want to look for some more diaries or other brick-a-brack with a piece of Tom Marvolo Riddle inside, I'd be more than happy to lend my Ravenclaw expertise."
"How did you..."
"Harry, Ginny has been one of my best friends for a very long time. We grew up no more than five kilometers apart and often home schooled together. She told me about the diary. She told me about Tom, and whom he is. It was obviously a Horcrux that was attempting to reactivate and re-embody the severed soul piece."
"Luna, where did you learn about Horcruxes, they're supposed to be obscure and the blackest of dark magic."
"Harry, there is no light and dark magic, there's only magic. What makes that magic light or dark is the intent of the castor. Surely you know that. As far as where I learned it, that's really quite simple." She said with a smile.
"You're doing that on purpose, now, aren't you?"
"Yes, sir." She said, deliberately delaying in her conveyance of truth. "The Room of Requirement is where I learned it. While you were busy with Ginny this year, I spent a lot of time there, studying and the room provided many books on the subjects that I was looking for. I had to get better, be better prepared should you need me again. I couldn't fail you again like with the department of mysteries so I've been training." She said with a look of utter determination in her eyes.
"And have you improved?"
"Vastly." She said, smiling at him. Care to try me out?" She said, wiggling her eyes brows at him, grinning ear to ear.
"On the honor of my friend, Luna Lovegood, I challenge you to a duel." Harry announced formally.
"I accept your challenge, dear sir. We shall negotiate the terms of the duel."
"What would you like, should you prove valiant, dear lady." He asked, watching her pensively. For a long moment she sat in silent contemplation, before a smile crept over her face.
"Another kiss, dear sir." She said, blushing slightly.
"I accept." He said, and then turned his back to her. They stood back to back. Counted out ten steps, and then turned to fire a spell. Unfortunately for Harry, Luna was quick, with a silent compulsion spell, Harry suddenly without forethought on the matter. "Legilimens!"
The world around him faded to nothing. For the longest time he was surround so completely and entirely that he didn't know if his was standing, sitting or kipping off. This seemed to last for an eternity, before the overwhelming darkness subsided. Slowly, the darkness transformed into a rather large room with wooden floors, with dark blue walls. There wasn't a stick of furniture in this room, however there were windows with white lace curtains. There were two doors. Harry walked quickly to one and opened it to reveal a closet with no clothes however there were hundreds upon hundreds clothes hangers. Confused he stepped back and walked across the room to the other door, wrenched it to reveal the same thing, a closet with hundreds of clothes hangers, however when reviewing the contents it dawned on him that this was the same closet. Looking across the room, he did so again, and again, feeling a sense of Closter phobia, before he could turn around he heard her voice.
"Welcome to my mind, Harry Potter." She said, and he whirled around to see Luna Lovegood standing in the center of the room.
"Sorry, Harry, but you've already lost." She said, rather victoriously and with a huge smile pushed him out of her mind.
Harry's world became a flood of light, and rather awkwardly at that being suspended upside-down and bound in tight ropes. The blood had long since rushed to his head, and then he saw her. Luna approaching and she gently lowered him to the ground.
"Finite Incantatem." She said almost at a whisper, but still had the same effects.
"OK, I concede your victory my lady. You have bested me and your prize awaits." He said, with a bow of his head.
"First, why did you lose?" She asked curiously.
"I wasn't prepared for the mental assault."
"Correct, five points to Slytherin." She said smiling at him.
"Why do you keep going on about my being Slytherin," Harry asked plaintively, with just a hint of annoyance.
"Harry, I'm a natural Legilimens. I've seen your conversation with the Sorting hat and I'm sorry to say if it wasn't for Mr. Malfoy you would have been Slytherin, would you not agree."
"I'll concede to that point and offer a counter, that if you've seen the conversation in question, I could have very well ended up in your house or Hufflepuff, as well as my traits were prevalent for all houses, Alastor was only tossed between the two because he could sense my nervousness and due to my family being in Gryffindor for ages." Harry said in a mock Hermione tone, which did not go unnoticed.
"I have expected you to proceed your retort with an 'Honestly,' Mr. Potter."
"And I'm getting to like you more and more, the longer that we talk, and I thought we were heading back." Harry said, noticing that they had stopped and still had quite the way to go.
"Well, I have still to collect my prize." Luna said quietly, looking down and the still jointly clasped hands.
Harry was at a loss. He had only just broken up with Ginny, however acknowledging the falsity of the relationship in general. He was moving a bit fast. Looking at Luna rather nervously, he leaned down and brushed his lips gently against hers. What he didn't expect was that she wanted to deepen the kiss, and so when she parted her lips only slightly; allowing the tip of her tongue to brush gently against his lips, he instinctively open his own allowing her entrance.
Eyes shut, he didn't realize the passage of time, not that time existed at all. To be honest with himself, Luna' s kissing was so much more than what he expected, or what he had experiences with both Cho and Ginny. There were no tears, nor desperation, there was only the warmth that he felt surround and engulf him and a deep yearning for it to never stop.
Next he felt her hand, the only that wasn't still fimly clasped with his, snake up behind his head and gently carress his neck. He hopingly plucked up his Gryffindor pride and slipped his tongue into her mouth. It was warm and sweet with the taste of fruit juices that he couldn't describe, but not at all unpleasant.
He wrapped his free arm around her waste, stroking the small of her back with his thumb. The slight pressure that he used with it elicited a moan of agreement that the meager effort on his part was well placed and encouraging him to continue.
When they finally broke free of each other there was no panting, nor deep-seeded lust swelling in their eyes, but rather an acceptance and acknowledgement that this was something that the two of them, mutually wished to both continue to do.
"Wow!" Harry exclaimed looking at Luna incredulously.
"Indeed. You're an excellent kisser, Harry, I may wish to keep you." She said, beamingly as the smile on her faced was surpassed only by the joy that he could see in her eyes.
"Why didn't we do this earlier?" Harry wondered aloud.
"Ginny drugged you with Amortentia, and you failed to give me a proper good night kiss on our one date." She said, plainly, however not losing the look of contentment provided Harry the reassurance that she wasn't angry as they got to the point where they should be anyhow.
"Oh, yeah." He said, with a grin. "Well, I do hope you don't intend to make me stop."
"No, I suppose we can have a few more duels with prizes proclaimed prior to commencement." Luna said with a devilish glint in her eyes that spoke of knowledge through suffrage.
"You do know that you are brilliantly scary, right?" Harry said with mock fear.
"Be afraid, be very afraid." She said, scrunching up her face, before giggling and putting her head on his shoulder.
"Tell me something?"
"Does your dad really take you to search for the Crumpled-horned Snorkacks?"
"Are you mocking me, Mr. Potter?"
"No, honestly curious." Harry said, with a look showing that he genuinely wanted to know.
"Daddy didn't take mummy's death well at all Harry. She was very dear to him and they were soul mates, which is a rarity. Daddy internalized a lot of things and ended up losing his job at the Department of Mysteries. He was well compensated and started the paper. He took mummy's creatures literally I'm afraid and while a lot of them that I tell you about aren't quite real, nargles are only visible with Fae sight, for example and are quite real. Snorkacks, I'm afraid have not been sighted in quite some time and are believed to be extinct altogether. However, I digress. Yes, we do go searching for them." She finally finished, looking him directly in the eye as if to question him.
"Well, it sounds like loads of fun going on those hunts. You know, with the exception of here, I've not really been to anywhere other than much." He finished off, with a dreamy look of his own that didn't go unnoticed.
"You really hate it there, don't you Harry?"
"Well, it wouldn't be so bad if my uncle wasn't so horrible. My aunt hardly spoke to me whatsoever except when the opportunity arose for addressing which chores I should complete. There's never been a time when I have even been addressed by name. So, to say that I hate it there wouldn't been appropriate. It's just a house. I will not miss them, after this summer."
"Well, saying I'm sorry doesn't quite touch what I want to say. I know that you don't deserve that. You're a good person to spite there efforts, and I; for one, am glad that you are you."
This had an effect on Harry that he couldn't quite put into words. She liked him for him. She did not the bloody boy-who-lived-to-annoy-he-who-looks-like-a-snake. She didn't see him as the fan girls did, and she was honest.
He looked at her now, truly. He felt honored that Luna had decided to come out here today. He was shown a side of her that she had taken precious care to hide from the whole world. She was truly beautiful, with her straight golden blonde hair and eyes the color of a clear summer sky. The eyes that were looking deep into his own and understanding his thoughts without having the need to voice them.
"Yes, Harry, to answer your question, I will help you train. I will help you with Voldemort, and yes, you're not going to be getting rid of me anytime soon, but Harry..."
"Hmmm?" He inquired looking at the determination in her eyes.
"You're going to have to pluck up your Gryffindor courage and use your Slytherin cunning to ask my father permission to court me." She said, smiling at the smile that broke across his face.