Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Luna's Hubby


by Meteoricshipyards 2 reviews

Harry goes on vacation for the first time. Then Harry and Luna go off on their own adventure.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Harry, Luna - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2006-07-14 - Updated: 2006-07-14 - 8298 words - Complete

DisclaimerI am not J.K. Rowling. I don't own Harry Potter, his world, or anything or anyone in it. However, it is fun playing with it.
Many thanks to Moine Green for beta-ing.

Chapter 4 Vacation

Harry and Luna really enjoyed the rest of the Selene's day off. Selene introduced them to a number of household charms, some they could do, and some they couldn't. Levitating the dishes to the table didn't work. Getting the scrub brush to clean the dishes in the soapy water did. They couldn't make Scourgify work, but the drying charm for the clothes as they came out of the washer did. They couldn't create water with the Aquamenti spell, but they could cause water from a bucket to sprinkle the flower garden with the Fonticulus charm. It seemed that the more specific a spell was, like the stirring spell Harry learned that morning, the easier it was for them to learn. More generalized spells, levitation, or cleaning, or spells that actually created something, like the Aquamenti, were beyond their ability. That was OK. They could get some spell practice in, and still be fairly safe. She heard a sound from in the house - the fireplace was calling. She left the kids with the bucket of water and went in to talk to whoever was calling.

It was Mrs. Weasley calling her back. She had called this morning, but Molly couldn't talk at the time, and Selene had been gone all morning after she got the letter. She had to tell Molly that Luna wouldn't be over this Friday, they would be too busy getting ready for their vacation. They chatted for a few minutes, and closed the connection. Selene had been listening to the kids playing outside, and knew they weren't getting into too much trouble. She had heard Luna squeal, and Harry laugh. Then Harry yell, and Luna laugh. And while she didn't know what they were up to, she figured it couldn't be too dangerous. She went out to check on them, as she heard both of them laughing.

When she got outside she saw they were both near the stream, each had used the Fonticulus to direct a spout of water out of the stream to the other. They were totally soaked, and enjoyed every moment of it. She called a halt to the game, though, and took back the wands. She would not let them use them unsupervised again. She sent them into the house to shower and put on dry clothes.

The rest of the afternoon was lessons. They practiced writing, arithmetic, geography, and reading and vocabulary. Harry had a lot of trouble learning to write with a quill, but Selene was encouraging, and it wasn't an unpleasant experience.

That evening they played a board game as a family, a new experience for Harry. They played the Wizarding version of Candy Land, where the figures were enchanted to move, and when they got stuck the pieces acted like they really were stuck or lost. Harry enjoyed it immensely. Two happy, tired children went to bed without a fuss after that.

Selene talked with Larry for a while. They discussed the preparations they still needed to do, his job, and the magic she had been teaching the kids. He was impressed, but worried about the under age rules. Selene made sure he understood that the children had to be actively supervised whenever they had their wands. She mentioned the water fight. They both had a good laugh at that.

Then she presented him with the legal documents that they had received from Gringotts. He looked them over, and signed under his wife's signature. He put a drop of blood in the correct box, and gave it back to Selene. They kissed in celebration of their new foster child. They turned off the lights, hooked arms, and went upstairs to celebrate some more.

- - -

The next day was a rainy day. Luna and Harry were issued their wands for cleanup after meals, but otherwise had to mostly keep themselves occupied. They did a little packing, and Harry had one anxiety attack when he was asked to get the luggage out of the cupboard under the stairs. Luna was the only one who noticed, though, and she calmed him down.

The big event of the day though was after Selene came home from work. She took Harry to the bedroom and put the Eye-Dye (TM) drops in. After having him keep his eyes closed for ten minutes, they checked them. After the looks he got, he ran to the bathroom to look at himself. His reflection stared back, except he had two big, brown eyes. He still looked like himself, but sort of not.

That night in bed Harry and Luna talked.

"I still find it hard to believe that there are wizards out there who want to get me because of something I did as a baby."

"But it was you. Everyone says it was. And I can still see the black spells touching your scar."

"How come you can see them, and I can't?"

"Mum says different witches and wizards have different gifts. You can talk to snakes. I can see magic. It's funny sometimes. When Mummy and Mr. Lupin were startled by the door opening, I knew it was going to happen, because I saw the spell go from the paperweight on the desk to the door."

"I think it would be much more useful to see magic than to talk to snakes."

"Mum says you might be an animagus, though."

"What's that?"

"A wizard who can turn into an animal."

"Any animal?"

"No, just one. And you don't find out until you try."

"I'd probably turn into a snake. That would be useless."

"I don't know, it might be interesting. You could probably get into a lot of places that people can't. You could become a spy! Or a private eye, like Encyclopedia Brown!"

"He doesn't turn into a snake to solve his cases."

"True, but he doesn't have the option either. I bet if he could turn into a snake he would."

"Well, I can't even turn into a snake, so it doesn't matter."

"I wonder if Mr. Lupin is an animagus?"

"What makes you say that?"

"He has some of the same brown color that you do in his magic. But there's some black, too."

"Does he have black lines?"

"No, just black magic. Sometimes seeing magic isn't really that useful. I can see the black and brown, but I don't know what it means."

They were quiet for a while, then Luna started again.


"Yes, Luna."

"You know those lines from the dark curse?"


"Do you want to try to find what they're connected to?"

"I suppose. How are we going to do that?"

"Follow them, I suppose."

"When can we do that?"

"It will have to wait until after the vacation. But then we'll do it."

"OK. Do you think it will be dangerous?"

"I don't think so. The lines aren't very big."

"OK, then. Good night, Luna. I love you."

"Good night, husband. I love you too."

- - -

It was Harry's first vacation. He wasn't sure what to expect. He certainly didn't expect all the running around, packing, unpacking, and re-packing that they did on Friday. Nor the early morning breakfast, moving all the luggage into the living room, and the wait while Aunt Selene and Uncle Larry checked and double checked what they had packed, as if they hadn't done the same thing the day before. And he really didn't expect the strange, dizzying, unsettling, and nauseating trip that occurred after Uncle Larry took a book out of a box and had everyone touch it while holding the luggage. They called it a portkey, but he told Luna that it should have been called a puke-key.

They found themselves in a hotel room in New York City. He didn't expect New York City to be the way it was, either. He had trouble believing any building could be so tall, even while he was looking at them. That, more than anything else, helped him to come to terms with the fact that he had defeated the Dark Lord while he was still a baby. He had trouble believing it, but he finally accepted that it was true.

They went to the top of the World Trade center, visited Central Park zoo, and saw a Broadway show about a man who ran a circus. Luna and Harry kept singing the first line from the penning song: There's a sucker Born every minute. . . . /Unfortunately, they couldn't quite remember the rest of the song.

They also met with Mr. Lacey, Croaker's friend from the FBI. He examined Harry's forehead, and declared the scar immune from magical healing because of all the dark magic that still surrounded it. He helped arrange a Muggle operation to try to hide it. They spent a day in the Muggle hospital, and Harry ended up with a big bandage on his forehead. Selene and Larry were given instructions on how to care for it.

They spent a week at a place called the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National park in the Rocky Mountains. They went on ranger led nature hikes every day. One hike took most of a day, and took them to a small, round lake with cliffs around a third of it. The amazing thing was the lake was filled with chunks of ice, some as big as cars. It was called Iceberg Lake, and the water was very cold. They all pulled off their socks and shoes and waded in -- it had been a very hot 8km walk. They also played by the lake near the hotel, joining the other children in their effort to fill the lake with stones. Larry taught Harry how to skip rocks, and that slowed the eventual demise of the lake by a few hours as skipping rocks was slower than just throwing them in.

- - -

While in one of the visitor centers, Luna looked at the 3d scale model of the park. "Daddy?"

"Yes, little spruce?"

"If you know what direction something is, can you find it just with that?"

"Not very well. But if you know what direction it was from two different places, you can find it. What are you looking for?"

"Oh, a treasure, I think."

"Sounds exciting, lodge pine. Let's say you know that the treasure is south of this peak, and east of this glacier. You go east from here, south from here, and where the two lines cross, there's your treasure. So, where is this treasure you're looking for? Is it in these mountains?"

"Oh, no. It's back at home."

"Oh, good. I'd hate to have to tell your Mum that you wondered off and was eaten by a bugbear while searching for treasure on our vacation."

"Are there bugbear in these mountains?"

"I don't know. But there are certainly enough bear, so it wouldn't surprise me at all. We'll have to keep our eyes peeled for evidence."

Harry whispered to Luna, noticing the funny looks Uncle Larry was getting from other visitors, "What kind of things are evidence?"

"Oh, Daddy can turn just about anything into evidence for the Quibbler."

"So there really aren't things called bugbears?"

"I don't know. I'll have to read the article Daddy writes and see what the evidence is."

Harry nodded, not sure what to say about that. He would have to keep his eyes open for evidence, too.

- - -

They saw a lot of wildlife in their walks, but no evidence of bugbears. One hike had to wait for a grisly bear to get out the way on the trail. They saw eagles, deer, mountain goats, ground sQuirrells and cougar tracks. Luna insisted that she saw a small, gray jackalope, but no one else did. She told Harry later that she was glad it was only one of the small ones. The purple, mountain jackalopes ate bears and mountain lions as well as people, so if you ever see one, well, it's probably too late.

Harry just nodded and watched more carefully when they hiked.

Each evening there were ranger talks about the various subjects. There were talks on the plants and animals, the history, geology, and the native people. One talk had the ranger dressed up as an 1890's buffalo hunter. He pointed at the audience, and then Harry and said, "Now imagine you're a herd of buffalo and I shoot him. What would you do?" He asked the little girl on the other side of Harry.

"I'd cry."

"Nope! Buffalo don't cry. . . ."

Luna piped up, "I'd trample you for killing my husband." That got a laugh from the rest of the audience.

"Nope, buffalo are about the dumbest animals alive. If he's dead, that's his problem. You'd go back to eating your grass...." and the lecture continued.

Later that night Selene had another talk with Harry and Luna about not telling people they were married. She had given up trying to tell them that they weren't married. Especially as she knew that Luna could see the magical vows.

Harry's birthday came while they were in the mountains. Selene held a family conference in the hotel room. Harry accepted that he had to hide from the followers of the Dark Lord who still hated him. So they decided to change his birthday. They would move it to the beginning of September, and make him a few months younger and put him in the next school year. What sold the deal to the kids was that Harry would be in the same class as Luna when they started school at 11. Otherwise, she'd have to stay home for a year after he went away to school. They both wanted to stay together, so they agreed. Harry got a kiss from Selene and Luna for his real birthday and a promise of a party on his new birthday.

- - -

Remus was getting up when a knock came at his window. He let the owl in and retrieved a thick envelope from it's leg. The letter was from Gringotts.

July 31, 1988
/Mr. Remus Lupin:/

In the will of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Potter certain funds were set aside to paid to the people with responsibility to guard and guide their heir, Harry James Potter. No instructions were given for the situation where some of those so designated would not be able to carry out their responsibility. Nor were your exact responsibilities specified. Therefore, it is our decision that you, as the only person still able to fulfill this request be paid the entire monthly amount that would have gone to the five designated people. As this is contingent on you executing your responsibility, we expect written confirmation that you are doing so each month.

This month's payment has been placed in your vault, and is recorded on your monthly statement, which is included with this communication.

May your gold breed,

Remus checked his statement. His eyes widened. His monthly salary had just doubled. He let the owl go, and sat down to think.

He was a proud man. With so much taken away, he felt that his pride was something he couldn't afford to lose. He hated getting charity, and he hated getting it because of James and Lily's death.

But it wasn't charity, was it? It was more a salary. And if he was being paid to do a job, by God he'd do it well. His pride wouldn't accept anything less.

But how to do it? He'd have to see Harry at least once a month; preferably more. He could invite him over. Well, maybe not. But if he used some of the money to get a better place. . . . He would write Harry, and he'd tell him all about his parents. Yes, he could earn the money, and be part of Harry's life, too.

He noticed the time. He was going to be late! He rushed to get ready.

Later, during his walk to work, he realized what day it was.

"It's Harry's birthday, but I got the best present of all!"

- - -

The Lovegoods portkeyed to a magical resort in Washington State. There they went on hikes and saw magical creatures. The highlight of the trip was a hike led by a Sasquatch named Saul. He was very funny. At one point they saw a bear on another slope, perhaps a bit less than a kilometer away.

"Anyone know how to tell the difference between a male and a female bear, without being so close that you get mauled? No? Well there really isn't a very good way. But if you see a big bear with up to four little bears, it's a female. Unless the big bear is busy stuffing the little bears into it's mouth. Then it's a male."

Harry asked about jackalope.

"Ah, most of them are pretty easy going. You leave them alone, they leave you alone. But the giant, purple variety are killers. The chromium in their fur that gives them the pink or purple color also makes them almost as impervious to physical or magical attacks as dragons. They're carnivorous, and work in packs. In other words, bad news, stay away. You mostly see them further east and north, in less populated areas of the Rocky Mountains."

The room they stayed in while in Washington was similar to the hotel room in New York, a large room with two queen sized beds in it. Harry and Luna slept in the same bed, but found it uncomfortable. Luna was an active sleeper, and the larger bed didn't seem to protect Harry with distance -- no matter how far from her he slept, she wound up rolling into, or onto him during the night. At the Many Glacier Hotel the rooms were so small that there wasn't enough room to fit the whole family in one, so Harry and Luna had a room with two twin beds, and during that part of the trip he had had quiet nights.

One new thing that happened after his birthday was Luna would kiss him goodnight every night. And they would tell each other their love.

- - -

If anyone had noticed, they would have said that it was the most incongruous group they had ever seen lounging on the beach on Malta. There was a very old man with shoulder length, white hair, and a beard that would reach his belt, if it weren't casually tossed over his shoulder. He wore Bermuda shorts, and sandals, and a T-Shirt that read "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards." He downed a small glass of ouzo in one gulp, and put the empty glass next to the half dozen others on the table next to his chair. To his companions, he looked ridiculous.

The other man had dark hair, and a big bushy black beard, that was at least six inches long, and cut flat across the bottom. He wore a long sleeve shirt, and long pants, despite the heat, and boots. If anyone else had noticed him, they would have said he looked like a Cossack. He drank dark beer from a huge, glass stein. His companions, keeping their impressions to themselves, thought he looked ridiculous.

The third member of the group was a rather good looking woman. She probably would have been better looking if she hadn't had her hair up in such a tight, severe bun. It didn't do anything for her. She wore a bikini and had been for most of her vacation, and sported a rather nice tan. She was also over nine feet tall and well proportioned for her height. She lay on a magically expanded lounge chair, and drank a diet cola, liberally enhanced with rum. Held by the string that tied the bikini bottom together was her wand. Her companions, more used to seeing her in a very different, formal environment, thought she looked ridiculous.

They would have stood out, except for the Notice-Me-Not wards around them. They took turns getting drinks. They had had to expand the table that held their empties. That was a tradition.

This was the traditional end-of-the-school-year gathering of the headmasters' of the three top Wizarding schools in Europe. The usual goals of commiseration, exchange of embarrassing stories (about other people), and getting drunk were only partially being fulfilled this year. For some reason, Dumbledore was not getting into the spirit of it all. In a word, he was morose.

His friends had tried to talk to him, draw him out. But it didn't work. That could be because the unwritten goal of the gathering was collecting inside information about the other schools, or -- even better -- blackmail material. They were just too used to the game, and Albus didn't give anything away.

After several days, Olympe Maxime and Igor Karkaroff came up with a different plan. Unlike headmasters in the past, the relations between the three schools were much more friendly, and they really didn't try to achieve the unwritten goals. In fact, they worked to keep each other from getting too drunk. But, in an effort to help their friend, they decided to let him get as smashed as he wanted, and see if that didn't loosen him up a bit.

It seemed to have worked.

"We're doomed! Doomed, I say! I don't know how I'll face the children again, knowing that there's no hope."

"Dumbly-door, please tell us, so we may have trouble facing our children, too."

Misery loves company, and Dumbledore was to the point where he could share the wealth. "It's the Dark Lord, Voldemort. He's not destroyed, he's just without corporeal form. He's going to come back some day, and the boy who's prophesied to defeat him died."

Karkaroff paled listening to Dumbledore's words. "Albus, what do you mean, he's not destroyed. Of course he was destroyed! That Potter boy did it -- somehow."

"No, my friends. He only postponed the battle between good and evil. No, I foresaw a momentous, epic battle, with thousands of dead strew on the field of battle, and noble, Gryffindor, strong Harry Potter defeating the Dark Lord in a magical duel that would be the talk of generations, and ending the reign of evil for all time. And then Glenda the good witch of the south would come and take him home to live happily ever after."

Igor and Olympe looked at each other, worried expressions on their faces. "Maybe six wasn't a good number, my dear Igor."

"Albus, why do you think the Dark Lord isn't gone?"

"The mark, Igor. The mark still has active magic. He's weak! But he's still there. I've studied Snivelus' extensively.

"Snivelus, Snivelus. . . . He said maybe I'm not reading the prophecy right. Maybe someone else fits the prophecy, too, and Harry's unfortunate death doesn't matter! This could be it!" He started fumbling for his wand.

"Dumbly-door, what are you doing?"

"I must protect the prophecy! I'll just Obliviate you while you're not looking, and we'll all just go on with our vacation."

Karkaroff finished his beer, and brought the heavy mug down on the Hogwart's headmaster's head, muttering "Stupefy!"

"Don't drink and hex," he said, as he went to get another round of drinks for the still conscious heads of the three greatest schools of magic in all of Europe.

- - -

"Alright, Mr. Lupin! Confess! It's no good trying to hide!"

"And what exactly am I supposed to be hiding, Fr. John?"

"You've been walking around like the cat who ate the canary. You're so happy, it's annoying the rest of us. Who is she, and when do you bring her over for dinner at the Rectory?"

Remus laughed. "Sorry, I'm lucky, but not that lucky. Less than two weeks ago the son of some deceased friends of mine came back into my life. Seems I was supposed to be keeping track of him these last six years, and only now is the will being enforced. But I know the woman who's going to be his foster mother, and she's a good person."

"And will you be bringing her to dinner at the Rectory?"

"She's married. But she rescued Harry from an abusive family, and is providing a loving home."

"And you'll be involved in his life now? And that's why you're happy?"

"Yes. It's like," and he paused, trying to think of a word. "It's like being part of a family."

"Then you'll have to bring the whole crew over for dinner some time."

- - -

It seemed like in no time the vacation was over. They portkeyed back to their house, and put away the portkey/book, which had started out blank. They had filled it with their activities each day. It was now a souvenir and keepsake of their trip.

Harry's bandages came off. There were several small scars still on his forehead. But the lightning bolt shape was gone. Selene had another talk with Luna and Harry about keeping his identity secret. They had come up with a story about his parents being killed in the war against the Dark Lord, and him living with Muggle relatives for a few years until they too died in a car crash. That's where he got his scars. The simplicity and truth of the story would make it easy to remember.

Things went back to what Luna considered normal. They played a lot when her father was working in the house. They were allowed their wands to clean up, and Selene tried to teach them more charms. Some they mastered - lighting the stove, cleaning the rugs, extinguishing real candles. Some they didn't get - cleaning the bathtub, bug repellent. Sometimes she understood the reason - for example the bathtub cleaning was too close to the general purpose Scourgify. Sometimes she didn't.

Their lessons continued even though it was summer. Harry mastered writing with a quill, and concentrated on his penmanship.

- - -


"Yes, tulip?"

"Can you get me a map?"

"What kind of map?"

"Oh, of the world, I suppose."

"OK, daisy."

- - -

Uncle Ollie came to dinner soon after they returned from vacation. He listened to the story of how Harry had joined the household. He was impressed with Harry's disguise, but suggested that they do something about his hair. James had had very similar hair. He suggested that they either let it grow long, or cut it very short.

Harry related his experience with the haircut -- or more accurately hair hack -- that Petunia had given him, and how it had grown back over night. They decided to try it, and Selene promised to try to make it look good, and maybe Harry's accidental magic wouldn't kick in.

Ollivander seemed happy to have Harry in the family, and asked him if he had any interest in wand making. Harry confessed that he hadn't given it any thought. Upon prompting from his new uncle, he agreed to think about it.

- - -


"Yes lilac?"

"Can you show me where we live?"

"Yes. Let me see. This is Great Britain, and see London there? We're about three eighths of an inch to the left of that, somewhere around there."

"That's really small. Is there another, bigger map available?"

"Is there a particular part of the world you're interested in seeing better, cabbage?"

"Britain, I think."

"OK, I'll get you one. But on this one, you can see how far we traveled on our vacation. . . ."

- - -

They tried giving Harry a hair cut the day after Ollivander had visited. It was cut to between a quarter and a half inch long. Selene and Luna agreed that it looked good, and Harry agreed, but said that the image in the mirror wasn't him. Selene smiled at that, and pointed out that that was the goal, and no matter what he looked like on the outside, he was still Harry on the inside.

Luna and Harry thought the feel of the crew-cut was strange, and kept running their hands through it. Luna more than Harry.

The next day the hair remained short. Harry let out a sigh of relief. Luna complained that her hair was (in her words) "yucky." Selene told her it would look better if she brushed it. When Selene had gone to work, Harry brushed Luna's hair for her. Luna thought that getting her hair brushed was very nice. After that it became part of their nightly traditions for Harry to brush Luna's hair.

- - -

Another big change in Harry's life occurred the Friday after they returned from their vacation. On most Fridays both Selene and Larry went to work and Luna, and now Harry, too, went to the Weasleys. When Harry got there he found, to his discomfort, that he was the center of attention. He was engulfed in a hug by Mrs. Weasley, introduced to Ginny, "Who will be in your year" (whatever that meant), Ron, who was eight ("It will be nice to have another guy to play with"), the twins who were ten ("I'm George, he's Fred." "Wait a minute, I thought I was George!" "Oh, that's right, I made a mistake. As he said, I'm George." "And don't you forget it!"), Percy, who was going to be in his second year at Hogwarts ("Pleased to meet you, Mr. Lovegood."), Charlie, who was 15 ("Hi"), and Bill, who had recently finished Hogwarts (who gave something between a "Hi" and a grunt).

Ron apologized for his oldest brother. "Don't mind him. Mum says that happens to teenagers. They get all surly and unfriendly."

"Why's that?"

"Don't know. But I heard her talking to Dad about teenagers have more mones, whatever those are, and it causes problems."

Harry didn't know what to say about that. He was feeling a bit confused with all the red-headed kids around. It didn't help that Fred and George were still going on about who is who, and switching every few minutes which name they agreed meant which one.

"Want to go out to play?"


They were followed a moment later by Luna and Ginny.

"Oh, no!" Ron groaned. "The girls."

"What's wrong with girls?"

"They always want to play girl games, like house."

"I've played house with Luna, it's fun."

Ron looked at Harry as if he were diseased.

"You can't be serious! It's all about cooking and cleaning. . . ."

"I cook. Breakfast at least. And we clean. It's a lot more fun when you work with someone."

Ron wasn't sure what to make of this new boy, but he didn't want to become like him.

"Don't you play other games?"

"Sure. We play Aurors and Robbers, and Pirates, and we explore the back yard." He looked around. The "back yard" of the Weasleys appeared to be a nebulous term. While the Meadow's yard ended at the woods, the Weasley's yard included a large vegetable garden, a field, a pond, and perhaps an apple orchard. There was no real stopping point. "This is neat," he said, looking around.

Ron looked around, confused. He didn't see anything neat about it. It was just the yard.

"Come on, Harry! I want to show you something," Luna yelled as she ran away. Harry smiled, and ran after her, followed by Ginny and Ron. Luna led them to a large maple tree half a field away. There she grabbed a branch about four feet off the ground, swung her legs up around it so she was hanging upside down like a sloth, hooked a foot on the trunk, and leveraged herself over the branch. She then stood up on the branch, and climbed to another a bit higher, and further around the tree.

"Come on Harry," she said.

Harry tried to do what she did, and after a few tries got his feet up to the branch. It took a little while, but he was able to get himself on the top of the branch eventually, too. At that point, Luna moved to the next branch over, and higher up. Harry started following.

"It's not fair!" Ginny complained. "I can't climb."

"We can help you up," Harry offered.

"No, Mum says that ladies don't climb trees. Besides, I'm wearing a dress." Harry noticed she was wearing a sun dress. It was loose enough to allow her to run, so he couldn't see why it would interfere with climbing a tree. Luna, like Harry, was wearing shorts, which seemed right on that hot, summer day.

"That's too bad," Ron said, as he tried to get on the first branch by crawling over it, which sort of left him hanging with his arms over the branch with nothing to do except hold him there, and his feet kicking free without anything to push against. He dropped to the ground to try again, which wasn't any more successful.

"You should be able to climb, even in that dress," Harry said, trying to be helpful.

"But then anyone might come along and see my knickers," she said.

"I'm telling Mum you said knickers!" Ron gasped, still trying to get over the branch.

"What's wrong with that?" Harry said, confused.

"Oh! You're just trying to see them! Mum said there would be boys like you, who only want to see my knickers!"

Harry looked at Luna, confused.

"It's that privacy that Mum's gone on about. I better go talk to her." She squatted down on the branch she was standing on, took hold of it, dropped, so she was dangling about three feet off the ground, and let go. She ran after Ginny.

"Girls!" said Ron, who somehow ended up draped over the branch at his waist, with both his head and feet hanging down. He was holding on to the branch with his hands. There was more of him over the branch on his chest side, so if his hands weren't holding him still, he probably would have continued over, and fallen on his head.

"Harry, can you give me a hand, please?"

- - -

"He wasn't trying to see them, you know."

"Then why did he want me to climb the tree?"

"Because we were climbing the tree, and he was having fun, so he wanted to share the fun. He's like that. He didn't grow up with anything to share or anyone to share it with. He's really nice."

"Well if he's so nice, why don't you marry him!"

"I will."

"Well, I'm going to marry Harry Potter!"

Luna suppressed a laugh. She had heard this before. "What happens if he's already married?"

"He can't be married. He's only eight."

"Oh, that's right. We won't make you climb the tree. We'll play something else."

- - -

Harry convinced Ron not to tell on Ginny. Luna convinced Ginny to play with them again. Later they played tag, and the twins joined in, which eventually ended the game after one of the twins was tagged and then they both acted like they were "it" and both Ginny and Harry were tagged "it" and the twins wouldn't tell them who was really "it".

Harry and Luna went home tired after a fun day.

That night Luna climbed into Harry's bed. Larry had moved his office to the newly expanded room downstairs, and Harry was moved into his own bedroom. They would sometimes get in bed with each other to talk before going back to their own bed.

"Harry, can rats be magical?"

"I don't know. I suppose. Mail owls are magical. The Centaurs are magical. Wackspurts are magical. I suppose rats can be, too. Why?"

"Percy's rat had a lot of magic around it, that reminded me of your magic, sort of. It had a bunch of animal magic."

"Well, it is an animal."

"But animals don't have animal magic. Owls have knowledge magic. They need it to find who they're delivering the mail to. Kneazles have communication magic, so they can tell who's trustworthy and who isn't. Mum showed me a Whomping Willow last year in France. It had animal magic so it could move. Why would a rat have animal magic?"

"I don't know. We should ask your Mum, she's a spell-crafter. She knows all about magic."

Luna nodded. They kissed, and told each other their love, and went to sleep in their own beds.

- - -

"This isn't going to work unless we know exactly which way is which on this map. I asked Daddy, and he doesn't have a compass."

"In school I read a way to do it without a compass. You put a stick in the ground, and mark where the shadow stops. Wait fifteen minutes, and mark where the shadow is then. Draw a line from the first mark to the second, and you have a line from the west to the east." He looked outside at the pouring rain. "We'll have to figure it out another day."

Luna nodded. "Finding out where your dark lines go is almost more trouble than it's worth."

"We'll do it on a sunny day. But look what I found on the bookshelf." Harry went over to the couch and pulled a dark book from under it. The two children huddled together and held it between them. /The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk. /They looked at it wide eyed and opened it to the first chapter.

- - -


"Yes, pine cone?"

"Can we go to Fortescue's for ice cream?"

"Sorry, snapdragon, but I have to get this written."

- - -

"Daddy, can we go now?"

"It's only been five minutes since you asked. I'm not done."

- - -

"Daddy, are you done yet?"

"No, but that's the seventh time you've interrupted me in the last fifteen minutes."

"I won't bother you again if you take us to get ice cream."


- - -

"Uncle Larry?"

"What is it!"

"I was thinking, once you're done with that, you can drop it off at the Quibbler while we have ice cream, and you'll get two jobs done at once."

"Yeah, that would work. Now leave me alone so I can get this finished."

- - -

"Are you sure he'll take us?" Luna asked Harry, thinking they should ask her father again.

"We just have to leave him alone for a little while. We'll have to watch, and when he's done with that paper, we'll check if he's ready to go."

- - -

"We promise to sit right here and not move. I /promise/, Daddy!"

"Me, too."

"Alright, but don't move. Uh, what's that stick doing on the table?"

"That's our sun-stick. We're measuring the shadow. See, here is where it's at now. And when you come back, we'll see where it is then."

Larry scratched his head and shrugged. Kids! He went off for an unexpected visit to the office.

- - -

"Is it far enough?"

"I think so."

"OK, set out the map. Now lean over, a little more. That's good. Hang on while I mark the map."

A short time later, Luna told Harry to sit down. She completed some lines on the already marked map.

"I'm not sure, but I think one is in London somewhere. This one is in Scotland, the Highlands. Here's one in Cumbria. Unless I'm confusing those two lines, then there's one in Strathclyde, and the other is Northumberland. I don't think we'll be able to tell unless we can get near Scotland. I'm pretty sure there's one in Swindon, which isn't too far from home. There's one near Portsmouth, or maybe even on the Isle of Wight. And the last one is far away to the South East. It's not in England.

"Did you want to see if we can find the one in London?"

Harry thought about it for a moment. "No. We need to plan this. We need. . . ."

"Hello, Harry, little one. Finished your ice cream? Oh, checking out the map? Hmmm, these lines look like they cross Hogwarts. Well, pack up, let's go home."

"Thank you Daddy, for bringing us."

"Yes, thank you Uncle Larry."

"You're welcome kids. Now let's go."

- - -

"Got the wands?"

"Yes. And the invisibility cloak. They hid it way up high."

"I've got the broom. Are you sure you want to go to the Isle of Wight instead of Swindon?"

"I've never seen the sea. I'd like to see it."

"Alright, let's go."

"Hold out my hand and say UP! Hey, it worked. This broom seems like it wants to get going."

"Yes. Oh, wait a minute. DADDY! We're going over to the Weasleys' to play! See you later!"

"Be good. Come back before dinner."

"Ok, let's go."

- - -

It turned out that the line didn't point to the Isle of Wight, or Portsmouth, but an area by the ocean a few miles east of Portsmouth. The exact place it pointed to was a rocky, flat area about a hundred meters from the ocean. They landed out of sight, and walked to where the line disappeared straight down into the rock.

"This doesn't make sense," Luna said. "The line points down, as if whatever it attaches to is buried below us."

"It can't be buried like a pirate's treasure. This is all rock here. Even if we had a shovel, we couldn't get through this."

After a few moments of puzzling, they decided to go over to the cliff and give Harry a better look at the ocean. As they were staring down at the water, Harry suddenly looked up.

"Maybe it's in a cave we can't see from here! Like a pirate cave! Want to fly down along the cliff and check it out?"

They got out of sight again, donned the invisibility cloak, and took off. After a few minutes, they found the cave, and flew right in.

"Lumos!" Luna waved her wand and produced a light. They had been practicing the spells in the first level spell book they found. Some didn't seem to work, no matter what they tried, but some did. They landed in the cave. Luna looked around, and led Harry to a wall.

"This wall is glowing with magic. Seems to be the same color as your blood protection. But it's not a protection. A key? Can you make a key out of blood?"

"I don't think so. Could blood itself be the key? A sacrifice?"

"Oh, yuck, if that's what it takes we'll never get in there."

"How about just a little blood? Could that work?"

Luna squinted at the wall. It didn't help her mage-sight at all. "I don't know. I don't think it would hurt."

Harry looked around and found some broken bottles. Obviously, others knew about the cave, but didn't know about the magic wall. He poked his finger with a sharp piece of glass. Then he put his finger to the wall, and it disappeared while a glowing silver arch appeared. They entered a dark room. Luna looked around.

"Wow! This place is just glowing with magic. The water's magic, the ceiling, that island out there in the lake is really bright with it. That's were the line is pointing. Oh, there's some sort of link over here." She led Harry around the lake. Harry was getting very nervous. The darkness felt like it was pressing in, and his and Luna's lit wands didn't seem to penetrate the gloom like they should.

"Don't touch the water. It's got some sort of magic trigger. I can't tell what it triggers, but I don't want to spring any traps."

"Luna, I'm scared."

She looked at him, concerned. "You don't have to be, you know. There isn't anything to be scared of yet. Triggering something would be cause for alarm, but we haven't done anything like that. Hold my hand. We'll be fine."

Her calm, matter of fact way had relaxed him. He held her hand with his left hand, and the wand and broom in his right.

"Oh, I think I've figured out the ceiling - it's an anti-light spell. I think whoever set it up wanted to frighten people."

"It's working," Harry said with a genuine smile.

"May I have my hand back? There's something here." Harry let go, and she brought her wand and hand to a point that looked as black and empty as the rest of the room. Suddenly Luna was holding a green chain that was moving from the direction of the water to pile up near her feet. A small boat appeared, being pulled by the chain.

"Well, let's get in."

"Is it safe?"

"I think so. Once we're in, I think it will take us to the green island in the middle of the lake."

Harry held Luna's hand as she stepped into the boat. As soon as her second foot was in, the boat started moving. Harry had to jump in.

"I think it only expects one person in. It's not very big. I don't think you could get two grown-ups in this boat. I think that's important."

"You mean that there's something that takes two people out there, and there's only room for one in the boat?"

"I'm guessing, but yes. If this is pirate treasure, the pirate had a really powerful wizard to set all this up. Oh yuck! A body floating in the water!"

Harry was feeling very scared now, and held Luna's hand again, while the boat moved through the darkness towards the green glow.

The boat came to rest at the island. They carefully got out together, and walked to the only interesting thing on the island - a stone column holding up a stone basin filled with a sickly glowing green liquid.

"Ewww. That stuff is just loaded with dark magic. The bowl is surrounded by anti-magic wards for all sorts of magics. And your line points right into the bottom of the bowl."

"Are we supposed to reach in and get it?"

"No, I think one of things the potion is protected against is someone touching it. Ewww, again! That would be really strange if you drank it. It would probably really mess up your insides if you did, as well as whatever the potion does. Do you still have your water bottle?"

"Yes, it's almost finished. Did you want a drink?"

"Sure. I want to finish it and use the bottle. You can share mine on the way home."

"Alright. Here."

Luna finished the little bit of water from the .5 liter bottle. She found she could push the bottle into the potion, and fill it. She took the bottle of potion out and poured it on the ground.

"That's no good. See, it filled up again."

Luna laughed.

"What's so funny?"

"I can see where it's filling from. You can't see it, but there's a tank of this potion on the far side of the lake. When we don't do the right thing, which I think is drink it, the bowl moves more potion over here."

"Too bad we haven't gotten any wards to work. We could ward the island against the potion."

Luna laughed at that, and Harry's spirits rose.

"But it would take way too long to empty the take with this bottle. It looks like a really big tank. Let me see. . . ."

"Harry, it's warded against all sorts of spell types. More than I've ever heard of. But I don't think whoever did this thought of household spells."

"I don't think a Scourgify will do it, even if I could cast it."

"No, that's probably too powerful. Try something simpler."

"Alright. Fonticulus!"

The potion followed Harry's wand motion and arched out of the bowl, and broke up into many little streams, perfect for watering plants. Luna cast it too, and the potion started going down faster. But then it started filling up. Luna and Harry cast the spell again, and the basin was emptying faster than it was filling. It was almost pretty with the glowing green liquid arching through the air.

They saw the opening where the potion was magically coming from the unseen storage tank. Harry cast the spell a third time, intercepting the liquid before it joined the rest of the potion in the basin. They watched, careful not to get any of the potion on themselves. Suddenly, the bottom of the basin was visible, and lying there was a gold cup. Luna grabbed the cup, and put it in her backpack.

"This is it. This is where your line connects. Uh-oh!"

Harry looked around. Coming up from the water in every direction were pale people. They made not a sound and had no expression on their faces.

"Ut-oh is right. Shall we go?"


"UP!" They quickly flew over the zombies, and Harry followed Luna's directions towards the exit. As they landed on the beach, they noticed more zombies starting to come up out of the water near them. Harry took the piece of glass that he had used before from his pocket, and cut himself again. This time it was rather serious, but the blood still worked, and they passed through the arch well before any of the slow moving zombies reached them. They stopped at the edge of the cave long enough to pull the invisibility cloak around themselves, and they headed home.

- - -

Somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains a thing that was less than a ghost felt something new. It had been slowly gaining a sense of self, along with an anger against its current situation. It knew at some level that what it was wasn't what it was supposed to be, and someone caused it to happen. But now it had a new sensation -- fear. The spirit of Lord Voldemort did not rest easy.

It hadn't progressed to the point of having real memories. When it finally reached that point, it would try in vain to remember the cause of its fear. And being unable to remember only increased its fear.
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