celestine_fics: The four Hogwarts founders in Potter Puffs style (Books - Harry Potter - House Unity)
celestine_fics ([personal profile] celestine_fics) wrote2010-06-18 10:02 am
Entry tags:

Harry Potter fic: The Things to Which All Roads Lead; Rating: R

Title: The Things to Which All Roads Lead
Author: [personal profile] celestineangel
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Harry/Luna.
Summary: We all walk our roads, together and alone. One day, those roads must end.
Warnings: Angst, character death, suicide, dark!fic. You know. The usual.
Word Count: 1,523
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Don’t own ‘em, making no money from ‘em, leave me alone.
Author's Notes: This was written for [profile] knopflergroupie at the [profile] hp_rarities exchange on LJ. I've never written Harry/Luna before this. It was fun. Thanks to LJ users [personal profile] icanhaspancake, [personal profile] ravenne_crion, and [profile] cymonie for various levels of beta. :)




The Things to Which All Roads Lead



There is a road we all must follow, with many twists and turns and forks. The road's scenery changes with every turn, and looks different to each of us who view it, but in the end we all walk in the footsteps of each other.

Luna knows this, as well as she knows how crossroads sometimes have unknowable repercussions on a million lives.

The day Harry arrived at her doorstep is a crossroad. Dirty from travel, hungry, he was lost on the path he'd been thrust down and unable to find his way to another. Luna thought Ron and Hermione had possibly received owls from him in the past three years, but she certainly hadn't. If she were honest with herself, she had nearly forgotten him as completely as a baby forgets their parents after long separation.

"I need somewhere to stay," he'd said, and of course she moved aside to let him in, without question. Luna is not the questioning sort.

Now, two months later, she sits in a chair next to her bed, elbows on her knees, chin in her hands, and watches Harry while he sleeps. He is pretty enough, she supposes, though she's never been attracted to his type before; she’s always been drawn more to people with more interesting looks than his generic attractiveness. So the fact he's in her bed and she's wearing one of his shirts is somewhat surprising to a girl who isn't surprised by much.

He doesn’t look good. There are ghosts around his eyes and mouth, as though he picked them up on the side of his lonely road and can’t find a place to leave them. He’s also far too thin to be healthy, even for someone who prefers interesting to attractive.

Perhaps what he’d picked up was a head full of wrackspurts. He doesn’t seem fuzzy in the head, though, at least not in the wrackspurt sense.

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Harry stays with her a long while, and shows no interest in contacting anyone else, not even Ron and Hermione. Luna could make a lot of money if she divulged the whereabouts of the missing “Boy-Who-Lived” to the Daily Prophet, or even in the Quibbler, but she never thinks of this. Once she brings up the idea of writing to his two best friends, and that he might want to see their new baby, but Harry only shakes his head.

He doesn’t talk much, but that’s all right.

After asking the once, Luna doesn’t ask again, nor does she write to them behind his back. If he wants to, he will, and that’s that.

When do they become lovers? Before the end of those first two months, for certain, but Luna cannot pinpoint the exact moment because it was not the first time they shared a bed or their bodies. There is more to being lovers than that, though there are many who don’t realize this. The road to lovers is littered with glances and touches that seem to mean little at first, but grow over time. Even if she could look back over that road to find the first look of invitation, she wouldn’t. It is there, it will always be there, finding it does not change it.

Though there are times he sleeps on the couch, they are together at night more often than not, and while sometimes Luna giggles or makes noises at the sensations going through her, Harry rarely makes a sound. Sometimes he cries after.

If he wants to tell her why, he will.

She suspects his road after Voldemort may have been a difficult one, though she doesn’t think on it very often. It does not do to dwell on things she does not know.

If he wants to tell her, he will.

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One day she returns from a meeting with someone wanting to buy the Quibbler—as though she could sell her father’s paper—to find Harry sitting outside in the grass, looking out at the sky like it is a sea with a ship coming just for him. He is bleeding from both arms, though none of the wounds are very serious. All the same, Luna hesitates before approaching. The sight of blood is not what makes her pause, but the thought of why he is bleeding, and what it makes her feel.

She is unaccustomed to being tethered to anything solid, in mind or spirit. Things, people: they are insubstantial and unreliable. Nargles and wrackspurts—being invisible and elusive—are more reliable than people.

Yet, the sight of Harry’s blood, red and bright over his pale arms, has reached to her and pulled her down, closer to him.

She still does not ask him why, though now it could be said this lack of interest is for her sake, not his. The more she asks, the more interested she will be, and the more it will hurt next time.

She remembers the hurt when her mother left.

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She is young. Her age doesn’t matter. What matters is she is young and her mother is a goddess of all things mysterious. Wonderful things happen in her mother’s lab, and to little Luna it seems as though her mother controls life and death and all things between.

Later, she will hear people tell her father they were sure Seraphina would never have let Luna in the lab if she’d though her experiment dangerous. Even later, and older, Luna knows her mother had known, and let her observe anyway, because while Seraphina may not have been able to control death, she did know death permeated life. She knew her daughter would see it one day. So she made no attempt to hide it.

Luna remembers hearing a loud sound. She remembers her mother turning to her with calm eyes and saying, “You will be able to see thestrals now.” Then light, and an explosion, and then her mother was gone forever.

The gift of thestrals was Seraphina’s last, and it did not make up for her leaving.

--------------------------------

Harry is a gift of himself, in ways he never knows.

Luna enjoys seeing him, even on days when he bleeds. The blood is easy to staunch and to clean, and she never thinks long on it. Her mother left no blood. Blood does not worry her.

What worries her, despite her long disconnect from worry, is the way Harry seems to drift. Strange, considering how many people have said Luna drifts, but Harry’s mind drifts further than Luna ever dreamed. She lets him go, knowing he will come back but afraid that one day he won’t. She lets him go because she sees no reason not to; it’s his choice to go, and to return or not. It’s his road to travel, not hers. It’s hard to know this, even harder to live by it, but in truth, Luna doesn’t know how not to live by it. She has lived her life her own way, why would she try to change someone else’s?

Sometimes, they talk. Mostly Luna talks, really, but on the occasions Harry says more than five words at a time, he has intriguing things to say. He tells her about France and Germany and Russia and America. Very little about the things he saw or did there, except where they are tourist innocence. Underneath, she hears the hint of more, but he still refuses to speak of Voldemort or of the reasons he needs to bleed.

She loves him, but fears he will bring more thestrals.

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Things, people: they are insubstantial and unreliable.

The day Harry leaves her, there is no light, no explosion to take him from her completely. There is blood, and there is a body in her bathtub.

Standing in the door, staring at what’s left of him, there is a deep, dull ache in her chest she last felt at nine years old when her mother gave her thestrals. It’s sorrow, but something else, something more dangerous, more destructive. She knows what it is but she can’t bring herself to name it. To keep it nameless keeps it away.

There are tears, she does cry. She sits on the rim of the tub and holds one of his cold hands, crying for the companionship he gave her and for the peace she couldn’t give him.

When she can shed no more tears, Luna drains the tub and cleans the mess with her wand, scourgifying blood from the tub, cleaning it with more care from Harry’s skin. The wounds she sews by hand because it seems more personal, something she feels Harry would appreciate. What will she tell those who must be told of his death?

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In the end, she tells them nothing. He rests not far from her home, under the patch of ground where he once sat looking up at the sky.

After all, the Boy-Who-Lived has been missing long enough. People are accustomed to his silence and his absence. Besides, they do not need to know where and how his road came to an end. Let them continue to think he walks his road still.