Chapter 1 : An absence of gulls
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They’d gone to collect driftwood. The air was heavy with fog and dementors and the tang of the sea, but getting into the great outdoors was an outlet of sorts. Being cooped up in a cottage with strangers was suitably awkward enough for Dean to want to escape, and Luna was convinced that the true beauty in the world lay in nature. Her incarceration at Malfoy Manor had only left her with an increased craving for fresh air. So, in a very roundabout way, circumstances had dictated that Luna and Dean would go to the beach on this particular afternoon.
There was an absence of gulls from the air and nobody else passed them as they made their cliff top journey. He thought she was absolutely bloody barmy as she skittered along the edge of the drop. She didn’t really think about him.
Luna’s head was more wrapped up in how her father was doing, whether Mr. Ollivander was recovering, what Harry was planning with Griphook. The only time the majority of the inhabitants of Shell Cottage saw the goblin was when he slinked his way down to dinner. It was unnerving. The way he tore at food; how his eyes glistened, beady and dark as midnight; why exactly Harry was consorting with him.
Today, however, Luna was entirely in the present. She’d gone to collect driftwood, so that’s exactly what she’d do. She could see from her elevated perch that the shoreline had receded, leaving the beach full of debris which was perfect for harvesting. To be of help to those hosting her was her duty, but to be of help to those harbouring Harry Potter was imperative in her mind.
Her step was sprightly as she descended onto the beach and, arms loaded down with wood, she embraced the feeling of sinking into the sand.
Dean merely loped along behind her.
They were an odd a pair as any could be. It was well known at Hogwarts that Loony Lovegood was mental and nobody really wanted to take the time to befriend a nutcase. Unfortunately, Dean had yet to escape this restriction that had been planted in his mind by his peers. In recent days, his respect for her had increased infinitely, but the same could not be said for his understanding of her.
He preferred to think of himself as more of a realist than Luna. In fact, he preferred to think that Luna wasn’t living in the world of the sane. They’d both come face to face with death too many times to count of late, but Luna didn’t react to it like he did. She was plain speaking, but she ploughed on almost as if what had happened was an ephemeral blot on her life. Maybe she was right. Dean just couldn’t begin to fathom how she did it.
‘I think you should sit down,’ Luna said, breaking the silence as she turned and saw Dean’s still figure.
‘What?’ Dean’s forehead crinkled up like discarded wrapping paper.
Rain was now falling to the sand in fat, individual droplets – no longer a cloud of impenetrable damp. An impression of each collision was visible on the ground. The ground where Luna was suggesting Dean should sit.
‘You seem rather sluggish. I think your head’s been invaded by Wrackspurts. They fuzz up your brain and make you do all sorts of silly things.’
‘I’m alright, Luna,’ Dean said, bundling a lonely twig into his arms to support his point.
‘You’re not,’ she said, carrying on with her task, ‘but you will be.’
The Wrackspurts were after you, so you sat down. Things got worse before they got better. Harry Potter was the Chosen One. Plain and simple, Dean, plain and simple.
This was my entry for Round One of the TGS writathon and I'd love to hear any thoughts on it you may have! It's not especially shippy, but I always thought Luna and Dean would make a cute couple in DH. I suppose I intend for this to be a bit of a missing moment.