Harry learns various things while in the woods.
Luna woke the next "morning" to find that Harry's bed was empty. She went outside to discover him sitting at the table with a group of objects on it. He was touching each object with his wand, transfiguring it; then moving on to the next item. An acorn became a fork. The fork next to it became a rock. The rock next to the former fork became a cap, and so on. Bottle, parchment, brick, leaf, shoe, arrow, knife, wand, sock, and, finally, the last item back to an acorn, and around the table again. He made no sound, his eyes were open but not looking at anything; the wand not making any extra movements except to touch each item. Luna recognized advanced spell casting when she saw it.
"That's very good, Harry! They don't usually teach silent spell casting until sixth year, and even then many students don't master it."
Harry shook himself, and blinked. He looked at Luna.
"Oh, hello, Luna. Been there long?"
"No. I was just wondering what you were doing."
"Trying to do as much practicing as possible. According to that book," he indicated the one on magical cores, or as it called them, magical trunks, "magical exercise will increase your stamina and magical reserves. That one," he pointed to the other book, "is all about transfigurations, and says that to achieve silent spell casting, you repeat the spell over and over, saying the words quieter and quieter until you reach the point when you're not saying them at all. And since you said I had to practice my meditation before trying to do the occlumency book, I've been trying to mediate at the same time. I have to admit, that I was less successful with the meditation part, but eventually, the repetition let me clear my mind; except for remembering to turn the sock into an acorn. When I started, I turned the brick into a bat, but it flew away, so I decided to not do moving things."
"How long have you practicing?"
Harry squinted at the sun, stretched out his arm it's full distance, and counted off the two hand widths that the sun had traveled while he was working. "About two hours." It was a trick that Luna said a Blackfoot Indian had taught her.
"How about breakfast?"
He smiled at her. "Coming right up. You get the dishes out, I'll start the fire and fry us some eggs."
"After apparition lessons, want to go on a hike?"
"Sure. Where did you want to go?"
"How about we try to find the source of that stream," she pointed to the one that fed the nearby lake.
"Sounds good to me."
- - -
They found the source of the stream in a swampy area. As the water was much colder than the air, Luna guessed that it was being fed by an underground stream.
"Luna," Harry said, as they sat in a clearing with their shoes and socks off, drying in the sun. They had found the swamp before realizing what it was. "I just want to thank you for inviting me. I'm enjoying myself more than I can remember. . . ."
"Even with all that spell practicing and mediation?"
"Even with that. It's the place and the people. I just wanted to thank you."
"You're very welcome, Harry."
"I also got you this as a little thank you present," he said, as he handed her the earrings.
"Oh, Harry! You shouldn't have!" she exclaimed, and then seemed to get sad.
"What's the matter?"
"They'll be stolen. The nice things I take to Hogwarts? They don't come back." Harry felt angry about that.
"They're just things, Harry. Don't worry about it."
"No, it isn't right. There will be some changes this year."
"Harry, don't make a fuss. . . ."
"Don't worry about it. We'll just use a little magic to make sure they don't go missing, along with the rest of your stuff."
"But. . . ."
"Hush. Everything will be alright."
"Thank you, Harry," she said, and gave him a hug. He hugged her back, and soon they were kissing too. Eventually, Harry pulled back.
"I don't want to stop," Luna complained.
"Me neither, but we have to head back. We don't want your father wandering off to try to find us."
"No, that wouldn't be good. But this isn't over, Mr. Potter!" she said, sternly.
"What isn't over?" He was confused until she broke into giggles.
- - -
The days fell into a pattern. Harry got up early, and soon Luna was, too. They would do magical exercises, and mediate, practice apparition, either go for a walk, or go for a swim (they didn't spend much time in the water, it was too cold). Sometimes two of them would do something, sometimes all three. Harry didn't want to steal vacation time from the father and daughter, and found the books he had fascinating, so he would read, and send the two Lovegoods off for half a day. They went to Stockholm a few times to go to a restaurant when it was raining and they wanted to get out of the tent. They visited Oslo to test Harry's apparition ability. Every three days, Harry had Mr. Lovegood go to Stockholm, or Oslo, or once to Copenhagen (which he promised to take Harry and Luna to before they went back to England) to overnight a letter to his friends.
One morning they practiced charms. He had come up with a set of charms, warming, silence, cheering, a color change, a gust of wind, and a finite, and they started casting them on some unfortunate trees that had been volunteered for the job. Luna was surprised at Harry's dedication. He worked at it for two hours every morning. He was able to cast the spells without speaking within a half hour, and by the end of the session, he was barely moving his wand. Luna didn't achieve either of those goals. She also couldn't reach the meditative state that Harry did. She was forever having to concentrate on the words and wand movements, and which spell came next. Harry insisted that the constant spell practice would help her magical core grow and learn to replenish itself.
Another morning Harry worked on shields. With the help of Mr. Lovegood's translation, he found one of the books had turned out to be all about shields. That one, Odd joined in as they cycled through casting various shield. Harry, broke away from his trance when he noticed Luna having trouble, and he helped her modify her practice. He had her continually practice one shield for up to 20 minutes; just casting it and canceling it. That turned out to be the problem -- she got too confused and flustered trying to change spells each time. Working on just one spell at a time she was able to eventually cast them silently.
Another day they practiced hexes. Harry conjured two stone figures to use as targets this time. They cast hexes from the silly -- the tickling hex -- to the dangerous -- cutting curses -- and everything they could think of in between.
Not that he ever wanted to see the man again, but Harry felt he had fully achieved Snapes' oft repeated command, "Clear your mind" as he successfully cast spells in what he called his meditative state.
After two weeks of this, Mr. Lovegood and Luna thought he would be ready to write his Occlumency book. Harry prepared an area to work. It was a bit of ground, not too far from the camp site, but far enough so they couldn't see what he was doing. He transformed the ground to white marble. He followed Mr. Lovegood's instructions and carefully scratched specific runes into it. He made other marks and drew a circle around the whole diagram in charcoal, taken from their fire pit (not that that was important). Mr. Lovegood carefully taught him the chant he would need to know, and presented him with a blank book and a large bottle of ink, as well as a set of quills. Harry cast the spells on the ink, quills, and book as Mr. Lovegood taught him, went to his ritual circle, dropped his clothes outside it, and sat in the middle on a transfigured pillow. He opened the bottle and started to chant, letting himself move into a meditative state.
He felt the passage of time, slightly, and experienced many, many memories, but in a meditative way -- they didn't evoke any emotion in him. They were like someone else's memories, barely touching him. A great many of them were about his life with the Dursleys, but eventually he finished them. That was followed by memories of Hogwarts and his friends. What he had learned, what they had done, what he had experienced.
The memories kept coming. He relived the Triwizard tournament. He had a harder time keeping his emotions quiet. He concentrated on the chanting more, and the feelings faded. He saw Cho at the Ravenclaw table, but also saw Luna there. He watched his family come out of Voldemort's wand. His emotions almost overwhelmed him here, but then he let the discipline he had built over the last few weeks help him get through it. He met Luna on the train, and saw the thestrals. He had detention with Umbridge and mind rape from Snape. Sirius' death -- that hurt a lot less after some of the talks he had enjoyed with Luna, telling her about his godfather -- but it still hurt. He saw Dumbledore and Voldemort dueling. He noticed the speed and accuracy with which they fought, and the calm expression on Dumbledore's face. But Voldemort had barred his teeth in hate. Dumbledore was using his occlumency skills during the battle, while Voldemort wasn't. Briefly, the question of whether this was important slid over his mind, but it flowed away. There was the prophesy. What did it mean, "the one /with the power?/" Did he already have something to defeat Voldemort with? He was on the train and in the woods, and lying with Luna and holding her hand and kissing her and naked in the woods writing.
Then he was back to himself. He looked at the book he had written. The first chapter was titled "Search Patterns." He started reading. It was his knowledge of Seeking. He felt glad and sad at the same time. He knew he needed to learn more about Defense against the Dark Arts. But he also wanted to teach his children Quidditch some day. He would have to see the limits of the ritual when that day arrived.
Where did that thought come from? He never thought of children before. And why was he thinking about Luna suddenly? He wasn't even sixteen, and he was thinking about marriage? He was too young for that!
He got up and went to get his clothes. He smirked. They were gone. He summoned the pillow he had been sitting on, and cast a Finite Incantatem on it. It reverted to his swim trunks and he slipped them on He had expected something like this since Mr. Lovegood explained the ritual and he saw Luna smile at the fact that he had to take his clothes off before entering the circle. He disenchanted the circle and took his book back to the camp.
Luna and her father were sitting around the campfire.
"Hello, Luna. You wouldn't happen to know what happened to my clothes, would you?"
"Your clothes? I cannot tell a lie, I accidentally summoned them."
"Yes, I'm pretty sure it was accidental. But then Daddy wouldn't let me take them back afterward." She frowned at her father.
"Didn't seem polite, to me," he said, without looking up from his book.
"I thought it was impolite to not return them," Luna countered.
"And I'm the Daddy, so I win."
Luna stuck her tongue out at him.
"In the tent Harry. The writing went well?"
"Good. We should get that book back to your vault."
It was evening. The sun had been dipping below the horizon for a short time the last few nights. The day still never got darker than a bright twilight. Harry and Luna sat on the hill on the far side of the lake, near the stream that fed it. They were watching the herd of Snorkacks drinking from the water.
"Luna? There's something I don't understand. Why aren't you taking pictures and announcing to the world that the Snorkacks aren't extinct?" He himself had many pictures of the golden fleeced animals.
"We've known where to find them for years. Mum led us here when I was little. She really was a remarkable witch."
"Then why does the Quibbler make it sound like they're extinct?"
"They were driven to the brink of extinction by being used for potion ingredients. This is the last herd. If anyone finds out that it's here, there soon won't be any left."
"That's terrible. They're such majestic creatures. Luna, thank you for sharing their secret with me."
"I trust you, Harry."
"Thank you, Luna. And I trust you. Can I trust your father?"
"Oh, yes. Daddy is quite good at keeping secrets. Of course, most people think he's crazy, but that's because of Mum. She enchanted him, you see."
"She put him under a spell?"
"No, the old meaning of enchanted. You had to be enchanted by stories or music or with the magic of the world to enter Faerie. She beguiled him with her beauty and charm -- er personal charm not a spell -- and enchanted him, and a few years after they were married she took us to visit the Summer Country. She brought Grandma's body back to be buried. Grandma was of the Fae. I wish I could remember her. Mum told such wonderful stories about her. I'm probably the last person to have a real fairy grandmother!"
"The Summer Country? The land of the Good People? Avalon?"
Luna smiled. "Yes! Exactly. The homeland of the Veela, the Merpeople, the Leprechauns, the fairies." She became serious. "That's why I have so much trouble when there are other people around. They lived in this world when people were enchanted, and as fewer and fewer -- even among the wizarding folk -- are enchanted they had to leave. But Phineas Ollivander was a throwback. He was pixiated. My grandmother felt it even in the Summer Country and came back. So Mum was a halfling -- half human and half Fae. They traditionally don't have happy ending, but she had a happy life, Harry. She loved me, and she loved Daddy."
She smiled and sighed. "He really is quite whimsical. I think you dating his daughter doesn't show him in the best light. Once he relaxes around you, he'll be sillier, you'll see."
Harry, his arm already around Luna hugged her tighter. "Thank you, Luna, for sharing this with me. I feel special."
"You make me feel special. It's after midnight, do you think we should head back?"
"I've got to get a watch! Mine died during the second task. With it bright all the time, I don't think we're quite following the normal day and night cycle."
"That happens in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Expect problems when we're back in England."
"I don't want to go back."
"Vacations don't last forever, Harry. Comes a time to get back to work.
"Happy birthday, by the way."
"Oh, I completely forgot!"
Note: Luna's grandmother being a magical being was first (as far as I know) hinted in Michelle-31a's story "Luna's Year."