Watching the Snow Fall (Harry/Luna)
Title: Watching the Snow Fall
Pairing: Harry/Luna, plus references to Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny
Summary: Feeling low on Christmas Eve, Harry gets an unexpected visitor that turns his holidays upside down.
Disclaimer: Obviously I do not own these characters.
Watching the Snow Fall
Harry swore under his breath as he stepped out of the Ministry, wintery air slapping his face and piercing his lungs. 12 straight hours of practice for his Auror exams ached in his limbs as he trudged through the heaving mass of Muggles making their own way home. He could have apparated of course, but it wasn’t far to walk, and part of him dreaded returning home.
The off-key warbling of carol-singers hit his ears, encouraging Harry to pull his hat more firmly over his ears. Surely he shouldn’t be feeling this miserable on Christmas Eve of all times? The Muggle world was in its usual festive state, bolstered by the snowfall and severe reduction in mysterious disappearances and/or terrorist attacks. The Wizarding world was of course celebrating the first Christmas since the downfall of Lord Voldemort, still revelling in the euphoria of a free world. Yet Harry wasn’t feeling it. Sure, they’d defeated the most powerful dark wizard ever to have existed, but at what cost?
As the half-melted snow soaked through his worn trainers, his mind drifted to 12 Grimmauld Place, and Christmas with Sirius. If only he was still here, Harry thought, the brilliant image of his Godfather wearing a bright red Santa hat and the biggest smile in the world bursting into his head. He could almost hear that bark-like laugh booming out through the streets of London. He thought of the Weasleys, preparing for their first Christmas without Fred, remembering him cracking jokes at the Burrow, swapping jumpers with George to confuse everybody. He thought of Hogwarts, of Dumbledore sporting a fetching pink bonnet, Dobby decorating the Room of Requirement, Hedwig spreading her wings and flying through the snowy sky. Each memory brought a fresh pang of longing, of missing. Most will be celebrating still being alive this Christmas. Harry only remembers those who are not.
He turned the corner onto the street where he shared a small apartment with Ron (and by proxy, Hermione). He felt a fresh sense of dread as he realised that Ron would already be home, ready for another bout of trying to convince him to go to the Burrow tomorrow. His apprehension doubled as he realised that he would probably have recruited Hermione for a good old-fashioned guilt trip, and he purposefully slowed his walk. Most years he would have jumped at the chance of spending Christmas at the Burrow, but right now he couldn’t face all those memories, all those toasts to victory and the glossing-over of its cost. And to be honest he couldn’t face seeing Ginny. They had only seen each other once since the break-up when she came to collect her stuff, and those had been possibly the five most awkward minutes of Harry’s life. The prospect of spending an entire not knowing what to say to her made his skin crawl. So, on the flimsy excuse of having a lot of work to do, he rejected Mrs. Weasley’s offer and had decided to spend Christmas on his own. Alone.
Entering his complex, he ambled his way up to the middle floor, brushing snow off his coat as he went. Taking a deep breath, he turned his key in the lock and opening the door to see a figure at the other end of the room. He had expected Ron to be back, or Hermione to be standing there with a why-are-you-wallowing-in-grief look on her face. He had even been prepared for Mrs. Weasley herself dropping in to try and convince him. However, the last thing he had expected was Luna Lovegood kneeling on his sofa, watching the snow fall through the dusty window.
“What…. Luna?” It was all he could manage at that moment.
“Oh, hello Harry.” came the dreamy reply from the other side of the room, her gaze not moving from the window.
“Erm, hi,” he mustered. “Luna… what are you doing here?”
“I’m watching the snow.”
Harry was rather wrong-footed by her literal response to his question, and just stood in silence for a few seconds. She seemed remarkably unperturbed by his presence, and began to hum a wordless tune. Harry threw his coat on the table and walked over to her.
“How did you get in?”
“Oh, it was very simple. Just a simple Alohomora. You should really be more careful. Anybody could get in.”
Harry perched himself on the arm of the sofa, still eyeing Luna nervously. She was dressed in what would be considered a normal outfit – jeans and a white jumper – if it wasn’t for the wreath of holly on her head, and was watching the slowly drifting snowflakes with unmoving eyes and a faint smile on her lips, as though the snow was telling a vaguely amusing joke. Shifting uncomfortably in his seat, he tried a different question.
“Why are you here, Luna?”
For the first time since he had entered the room, she blinked. “I thought you might want some company. I like to watch snow when it falls, you see, and I thought we could watch it together.”
He frowned slightly as he looked at the heavy sleet. As far as he was concerned it was just very cold rain. What was there to watch?
“Oh, I know what you’re thinking,” she said, taking him by surprise. “But it’s really quite entrancing once you try it.”
Reluctantly, he swung his body round and knelt on the sofa next to Luna. He looked at her, yearning for some instruction as to how he was supposed to watch snow, but she continued to gaze at the window, and so with a sigh he turned his head and followed suit. For a few moments, nothing happened. White stuff went from a high place to a less high place, as it had been doing all day. Then something almost magical happened. The snow began to dance in front of his eyes. It didn’t so much fall from the sky as it flew, looping and pirouetting in mid-air. It came in groups and parades, the next sleet coming from where you least expected it, gleefully twisting and turning, almost falling upwards at some points. Occasionally a group of flakes would stop, hanging in the sky as though held by fine strings, then dropping as one, cascading toward the Earth below.
“Huh…” His voice utterly failed to articulate the beauty his brain was experiencing. The two of them knelt in silence, just watching, until Luna spoke.
“There’s an old story,” she said, her voice softer than a whisper. “It says that the snowflakes are messages from the heavens. They are our lost ones, letting us know that they’re happy, and that they love us.”
Harry thought he heard a dog bark somewhere over the rooftops, almost sounding like a hearty laugh. He felt a pair of eyes on him, and turned to see Luna looking at him for the first time. He could see falling flecks of snow reflected in her silvery orbs. She took his hand in her, and her warm skin reminded Harry of how cold he was.
“Memories don’t have to be a burden, Harry. Without the past, there is no future.”
She turned back to the window with her hand still clasped in Harry’s, as a wonderful feeling of calm swept through his insides.
“Don’t you think…” his voice cracked a little as he verbalised the question that had been burning in him for weeks now. “Isn’t it wrong to be celebrating? After everything that happened… do we have the right to be happy?”
She looked at him with a genuine look of confusion on her face. “Have you been suffering from a particularly bad swarm of Wrakspurts recently?” she asked sincerely.
“Um… no, I don’t think so.”
“Well that was a very silly question to ask.”
He gave a little laugh as he played his question back to himself mentally. “Yeah, I suppose it was…”
“You shouldn’t feel guilty, Harry. You should be happy.” She beamed a massive grin at him. “It’s Christmas.”
From Luna’s mouth it sounded bizarrely simple. For the first time he felt a huge sense of anticipation and happiness. “I guess you’re right.”
“Don’t assume that.”
He furrowed his brow in confusion. “But… you said…”
“Oh, you can listen to me if you want. But don’t take my word as gospel. I’m only right some of the time.”
Harry had never felt such a strange mix of comfort and confusion. “Um, er…”
“You have to decide for yourself really.” She took his other hand, and Harry suddenly realised how close they were, their knees just touching. “Do you think you can be happy?”
“I… I am happy.”
She smiled. Her mouth was unnaturally close to his “That’s good.” Her smile dropped in fraction of a second. “Unless of course you’ve had a run-in with a Star-crested Dumdiggler. They induce false happiness to throw their prey off, you see…”
He grinned. “No. This definitely isn’t a Star-crested Dumdiggler.”
“Oh. That’s very good then.”
They knelt for a moment, clutching hands and locked in each others eyes. Harry tried desperately to remember how he had got into this position, but all logical parts of his brain had shut down. Her eyes flicked upwards.
He looked upwards to see a sprig hung magically in mid-air just above them. “Oh yeah. Hermione put it up a few days ago.” He looked back to see her face even closer, so close he could feel her warm breath on his face. His mind bizarrely leapt to his fifth year at Hogwarts. “Probably infested with Nargles though” he chuckled.
“Oh no,” she breathed, her lips ever closer. “I think this branch is quite Nargle-free…”
She was centimetres away, and Harry still wasn’t moving away. His body felt locked in position, his brain completely unable to fathom any coherent thought. ‘This is Luna’ reasoned a part of his brain that seemed to be getting quieter… ‘It’s Luna Lovegood’… there were barely millimetres separating their lips… ‘She’s about to kiss you’… mere atoms between them… ‘Oh God…’
He felt her surprisingly soft lips press against his, nervous yet needy. His brain gave up completely and let his body take control. His mouth moved of its own accord, pushing against hers, yearning for more contact. Both pairs moved clumsily and desperately, as their bodies pressed lightly together, sending a rush through Harry’s entire body, which doubled in intensity as her tongue awkwardly forced its way into his mouth. They kissed for god-knows-how-long, establishing a sort of rhythm as both parties became more acquainted with each other’s tongues, before sadly they parted, gasping for breath.
Luna was the first to speak. “That was very nice, thank you.” she said with a strange formality.
“Uhn…” His mouth seemed oddly disconnected from the rest of his body.
The look in her eyes shifted suddenly from joy to worry. “Did you enjoy it?”
“I did!” he exclaimed, his voice suddenly connecting to his brain. “It was really… wow.”
“Good.” The sparkle in her silver-blue eyes returned. “I have to go now.” She jumped off the sofa and made her way to the door.
“Oh…” A weight fell in his stomach. “Should we… I mean will we…”
“Oh, I expect we’ll be seeing each other tomorrow. You’ll be at Ronald’s house, won’t you?”
She nodded. “Daddy’s on a solo expedition to Sweden. He says that Crumple-horned Snorcacks are more likely to approach solitary humans.”
Harry nodded, but didn’t say anything. “So… I’ll see you there then.”
“Yes, you will.”
The two stood nervously opposite each other, neither knowing quite what to say.
His words were cut off by a yank on the lapels of his shirt, pulling him into another kiss, hungry and forceful. It ended as quickly as it had started, but was so less stunning than the first. She smiled at him and made her way out the door.
She closed the door, leaving Harry in flabbergasted silence. ‘You just kissed Luna Lovegood’ taunted a nagging voice at the back of his mind. ‘And you loved it’ came a louder, stronger voice that filled him with joy. He bounded across the room back to the sofa, and looked out the window. After a few seconds, Luna appeared from the building, and began skipping down the street. Harry watched her go, unable to resist a smile forming on his face. Although she disappeared into the distance, he continued to watch the snow falling, grinning madly the whole time. Perhaps this Christmas wouldn’t be so bad after all.
So, what do you all think?
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|