It began like any other day. Luna awoke with a sense of peace, love and joy. As always she woke to her mother’s singing, a voice that sounded like tinkling bells.
Luna immediately got out of bed, slipping into her purple Furple slippers, and her matching fluffy robe.
“Good morning, Moonshine,” her father greeted her from behind his upside-down Quibbler.
“Good morning, Dad,” she replied.
Xenophilius inwardly sighed. It had been months since she had called him ‘Daddy,’ and he was pretty sure that it was just another sign that her childhood was waning.
“Good morning, Lu Lu,” her mother smiled.
“Hello, Mum. What are we discovering today?” Luna asked, excitedly.
“Well, I thought we might walk through the near by woods and gather roots.”
“And look for Twiterpated Winkies,” Luna added.
“Of course,” her mother agreed. “After that we can have lunch and then I wanted to tinker around in the workshop.”
“What are you making?” Luna asked with great interest.
“I’m not sure. We’ll see what presents itself,” she placidly answered.
After a filling breakfast, Luna went up and dressed. She picked out her purple jumper dress, with the matching purple and white stripped shirt and tights. Most of her body looked like a lilac candy cane. She also made sure to tie an onion to her belt to ward off the Diggities.
Downstairs she slid into her cherry red galoshes, and her long light-blue overcoat. She picked up the basket beside the door, and met her mother in the garden. Sol Lovegood was picking some of the ripe vegetables from their garden. She held up two tiny radishes that she had fixed to wires.
“For you my dear,” she said, as she attached them to Luna’s ears.
“Oh, thank you, Mummy.” Luna literally jumped with joy.
“They help to ward off the Nargles,” Sol explained.
“I know, I know,” Luna said, as she spun in circles.
Sol laughed at her little free spirit, and gently took her daughter by the hand. She walked briskly as Luna skipped, by her side, and into the woods.
This was Luna’s favourite thing to do. She adored the forest. Its dark, sweet, loamy aroma and the buried treasures that lay under their feet just waiting to be discovered. Looking through the tender green leaves and seeing the sun filter through them, was very much like a cathedral with light streaming through stained glass windows. This was a sacred, hallowed place. The forest was to be both revered and feared. Luna had learned this from her mother and kept it close to her heart.
They spent most of the morning digging, unearthing roots that would become soups or potions or ornaments. By the time they made their way back home they were smattered with dirt and sweat, but Luna’s basket was filled with her earthy treasures.
“Look at this one,” she bubbled. “It’s Soapwort Root. This will help with Dad’s winter colds.”
“That’s right,” Sol agreed. “I’ll be sure to start brewing a batch of cough medicine soon, before the fall sets in.”
They washed their findings together and then washed themselves and took in a simple lunch.
Luna gathered her sketchpad and pencils and brought them into her mother’s workshop. She had a small corner of her own that Sol had set up for her. There was a little table, an easel and a stool. Luna’s work area also met at the corner of two windows. She could look out in one direction and gaze into the woods; in the other direction she could see a small garden she herself had planted. Today she decided to concentrate her efforts on the woods. She took out her pencils and began to sketch the trees’ outlines.
Her mother was checking on a cauldron that had been simmering for about a week. She decided to use her second cauldron to get started on making the cold remedy. They both worked intensely and quietly, each focused on the task at hand. The only sound was the roll and simmer of the potion bubbling.
Sol broke the silence, muttering to herself, “I wonder if I just added…” And then there was a horrific explosion and a burst of pink light. Luna caught it all out of the corner of her eye and jumped. She ran over to where her mother was lying on the floor, covered in pink goo.
“Mummy,” she said, tentatively. “Mummy, are you ok? Mum…” Her mother had taught her not to touch potions with her hands just incase they were dangerous; so Luna took the pencil she had tucked behind her ear and prodded her mother with the dull end. It was then she knew something wasn’t right.
The rest of the day was a blur. Luna couldn’t really recall what happened. Some how her father came home quickly after the accident. He scooped Luna up in his arms and put her in her bed. She slept fitfully and woke to different sounds. Someone who must have been a physician was speaking, then she heard more footsteps and more people asking many questions, then finally the most frightening sound of all, quiet muffled crying. In an explosion of pink light and a stifled whimper, Luna’s life had been torn apart at the seams.
The two years that followed crept by at a dirge like pace. Xenophilus worked out of his home and took care of Luna. She was never alone and that comforted her greatly. By the second year she had begun helping to take care of her father. Her father was shocked by her resilience, although he saw her loss in small ways. She gave up drawing, and she no longer skipped, but other than little things, Luna was still the light-hearted, gentle creature she always had been. She had become more so lately, because of her excitement of going off to school. Xenophilius was silently dreading it, but he did not let her know and pretended to share her enthusiasm. He hugged her perhaps too tightly and was reluctant to let go on the platform at the train station, but he did finally release her and she bounded onto the Hogwarts Express.
That night Luna was unable to sleep. With all the excitement of the Sorting and the loneliness of being in a new place, she needed to find a quiet place to settle.
‘The forest,’ she thought.
Although she knew it was not allowed, she couldn’t keep herself from walking towards it. It called to her. As she stepped into the trees they enfolded her in their cool, dark embrace. She held her wand in front of her, so it was difficult to make out more than shadows, but quickly her eyes adjusted to the indigo night.
She saw something ahead moving. At first she was afraid; it had suddenly dawned on her: she was in the Forbidden Forest at night and no one knew where she was. She didn’t even know what resided in these woods. She watched the slight movement and the animal in question approached her hesitantly. It had the appearance of a horse, but something was slightly odd. It was too skinny. The animal stood right in front of her and looked her dead in the eye. She made herself grow still. She knew to give each creature respect, so she stared serenely at the animal as it regarded her. After a moment it put its head down and began sniffing.
It circled Luna, who stood very calmly, as it smelled her. It finally found what it had been searching for in her coat pocket. The sandwich she had saved after the feast. Her stomach had not allowed her to eat much at the opening feast, so she saved something for later. The horse-like creature put its mouth in her pocket trying to retrieve the sandwich. It tickled, and Luna began to laugh.
“So this is what you want,” she said, gently, as she took the food out of her pocket.
The animal quickly picked at the meat, leaving the bread, cheese, and toppings to spill to the ground.
“You only like meat I see,” Luna acknowledged.
The animal regarded her as if to ask for more.
“I have no more. Not with me,” she stated, airily. “But I will come back tomorrow night, and I will bring only meat.”
The horse-like creature nodded its head in agreement, and then trotted off into the forest.
And for the first time since that fateful day, Luna skipped. She skipped out of the forest, her heart as light and buoyant as her gait.
A/N: Thanks to 2kool4skool and Ron_Hermione_Forever_246 for betaing.
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