Chapter 1 : Guardian Angel
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I was bullied and tormented since my first day at Hogwarts, mostly by my fellow Ravenclaws, but also by the other houses, including Hufflepuff, who were supposed to be the ‘nice’ house.
But there was always someone there, stood in the background, watching me. Whenever I was picked on, that someone would raise her wand and send them all flying. Always, always before I could speak to her, she would turn and flee. From what I could see, she was very beautiful, but I could never get close enough to study her properly.
She was in Ravenclaw, too, because she first appeared in my first year in the common room. I was sitting by myself on the stairs to the dormitories, reading the latest edition of The Quibbler, of which my father was the editor. One of the Ravenclaw boys, Michael Judd, grabbed The Quibbler out of my hands and looked at it for a moment.
‘You’re such a weirdo, Lovegood,’ he sneered. I didn’t say anything. I just sat there and watched in horror as he tore apart the magazine. ‘You deserve everything that’s coming to you, you freak. Nobody likes you! You don’t belong here, so just go back to where you came from!’
Tears pricked my eyes but I was determined to keep them back. I blinked at him.
‘Aw, are you crying? You’re a crybaby as well as a strange nonentity then, are you?’ Judd seized my arm and threw me into the main common room. I lay on the floor, ignoring the pain in my right elbow. ‘Look at him!’ Judd called to the whole common room. ‘What a pathetic little specimen!’ He kicked me in the gut. My body curled inwards and I let the tears stream down my face. I saw him raise his fist, but he was blasted backwards by some unknown force.
I heard a soft voice. ‘You think it’s funny, do you, to laugh at someone just because your own life is stupid and miserable?’ She was speaking quietly but everyone seemed to be listening. ‘You’re sick, all of you.’ I looked up, clutching my stomach. I opened my mouth to say something, but she’d already gone.
In my second year, Judd threw me down some stairs where there were no teachers about. I felt my leg twist painfully as I crashed to the bottom. Everyone was laughing. He’d announced the event last night, and everyone came to watch the stupid freak being shoved down the stairs. Judd came bouncing down, bent double with laughter.
‘Did you like that, Lovegood?’ he demanded. ‘Well, did you? Would you like another go?’ I was too weak to reply. He dragged me back up the stairs, stood me up and pushed me, hard. I fell backwards this time, rolling over and over until my face met the floor. I saw Judd’s feet beside my nose. I felt his hands grasp my robes to shove me again. He was going to keep pushing and pushing and he wouldn’t stop until I was dead. I was so sure this day would be my last. I wasn’t sure if I would ever live to see the next hour. But suddenly I heard that voice again.
‘Don’t. Touch. Him.’ She sounded very angry. Judd’s hands let go. ‘Why are you pushing him? Would you like to see how it feels?’
Judd laughed. ‘Ha! You can’t touch me. I’m all the way down here.’
The girl laughed softly. ‘I don’t need to be near you to push you.’ With a tremendous roar, she brought down her wand and Judd tumbled down the next flight of stairs. Nobody laughed. She came rushing down to help me up. She sat me on a bench and put her face in front of mine. My vision was blurred so all I could see was the vague shape of a face. She checked I was alright and then, as quick as a Wrackspurt, she was gone.
My next encounter with her was in Hogsmeade the next year. I was coming out of the Three Broomsticks when Judd and his friends thought it might be amusing to throw boiling hot Firewhisky over me. I could feel my skin burning and angry red welts started appearing on my hands, my neck, everywhere. Unfortunately, I had discovered when I was small that I was also horribly allergic to something in the Firewhisky and a fierce rash crept up my jaw and over my face almost instantly.
As I stood there dripping, Judd and the others started laughing. One of them actually fell over because apparently I looked so ridiculous. I must admit I’d been counting on my guardian angel to suddenly appear and blast them to bits. But she didn’t come. After a few minutes of laughing, Judd ripped off my hat and scarf and dumped it in a flaming torch nearby. I watched as my clothes burned. I closed my eyes and slumped down on the step, feeling as pathetic as they treated me to be.
A jet of water appeared out of nowhere and doused the flames. She strode forwards and stood on her tiptoes to take my clothes out of the brazier. Without looking at me, she put the smouldering remains of them on the snow next to me and turned to the crowd.
‘I cannot believe you still get kicks out of torturing him. Haven’t any of you learned a lesson yet? You’re all lucky I’ve not been to Dumbledore before all this!’
‘So why haven’t you?’ Judd shot back.
‘Because you all need to be taught a lesson, which won’t get through to you with detention and docking points off Ravenclaw.’ The crowd slowly started to disperse. She stayed with me until they’d gone. I looked up at her. She looked at me for one fleeting second before she ran down the street and didn’t look back.
After she’d saved me for the third time, I decided to try to seek her out. I managed to draw a picture from what I saw of her (I’d always been handy with a quill) and asked around to the people who didn’t torment me, or at least, just stand there laughing.
But always, always, they said no.
‘I don’t know her name’ or ‘Are you sure she’s in our year?’
I never stopped searching.
When I landed in the hospital wing in my fourth year, she came to see me. She didn’t come close. She stood at the end of her bed, her face bathed in shadow.
‘Thank you,’ I said to her. ‘I don’t think I’d be here without you.’
Instead of replying, she just nodded her head.
‘What’s your name?’
I saw her open her mouth, which looked like a dark hole. I sat up in anticipation. But then the mouth clamped shut. Just like that, she was gone again. Madam Pomfrey bustled over after the mystery girl left.
‘We need to put the ointment on your burns again,’ she said. ‘Nasty, nasty burn that is. Looks like acid, or maybe poison. But, of course, that is banned from the school.’
‘It was just a silly curse,’ I told her as she dabbed the squelchy pink stuff on the left side of my face and down my left arm. ‘Some stupid joke that went wrong,’
‘If you say so, Lovegood,’ Madam Pomfrey said. It was obvious she didn’t believe me.
‘Madam Pomfrey?’ I said nervously, wincing when the ointment stung as it touched my skin. ‘Who was that girl? That was here earlier?’
‘Oh, her?’ Madam Pomfrey furrowed her brow. ‘Oh, well, I think her name was … hmm, let me think …’ I looked up nervously. Finally I was about to learn the name of my saviour. ‘Ah, yes, I have it! I remember her now. Her name is –’
I should have seen it coming. Just before Madam Pomfrey was about to say her name, one of Judd’s friends came lumbering in and towered over me.
‘You’re gonna pay, Lovegood,’ he growled.
‘Now, now,’ Madam Pomfrey said, standing up. ‘None of that in here!’
He ignored her. ‘I’m going to beat you so hard you’ll forget your own name.’ He raised a fist, but a jet of light knocked his arm off course. Madam Pomfrey was standing with her wand raised.
‘I’m afraid,’ she said in a quaky voice, ‘that you’re going to have to leave.’
My next attack happened after my last OWL exam by the lake. We exited the Great Hall and I let myself be carried away by the stream of students longing for the sunshine. As soon as we reached the lake, the girls tore off their shoes and socks and dipped their legs in the water. The boys, me along with them, sat under the shade of the huge oak tree. I noticed the girl, sitting by herself among the reeds, picking at the long grass and twisting it into a braid. I watched as her clever fingers knotted the reed into her long, dirty blonde hair.
‘What are you watching her for?’ Someone poked my shoulder hard, and I nearly fell onto my face.
‘None of your business,’ I muttered, going red.
‘Ha!’ Judd said. He prodded me again, harder.
‘Ow,’ I said instinctively, rubbing my shoulder.
‘Aww, the little Flobberworm is hurt!’ Judd teased. ‘Should I stop now? Should I? Should I? Should I?’ With every ‘should I’ he poked me harder. I was sure to bruise. My skin was very sensitive.
‘Leave me alone, Michael,’ I said, turning round. ‘I don’t know why you bully me, but I am sick of it.’
He looked taken aback that I had actually retorted, but his face slid into the usual, ugly sneer. ‘He answered back. I think the runt needs to be taught a lesson.’ Before I could react, he had his wand out. He flicked it and I was blasted backwards and landed in the lake with a splash! Several of the girls were doused in water. They started screaming and ran backwards. When I surfaced, the girl was sitting at the edge, her legs in the water, watching me curiously.
Then she turned to Judd, who was guffawing loudly, marched right up to him and slapped him, hard. Even from the distance, I could see the red mark on his face.
‘You’re going to regret that,’ Judd growled as I swam to the shore and climbed back onto the grass. I could feel the heat of the sun beating down on me as Judd pointed his finger menacingly towards me, then to the girl. ‘Both of you. You’re going to wish you were never born!’
It got worse. He threw me down a higher set of stairs just before the end of the term and I spent the last few days of my fifth year in the hospital wing.
In my sixth year, the Triwizard Tournament came to Hogwarts. Last time, when I was in my first year, it was held at the Beauxbatons, in France, and only a selected few were allowed to go and put their names in the Goblet.
Judd, of course, put his name in at once. But on the night of Halloween, a completely different person became the Hogwarts champion … me.
I never put my name in. Everyone was so disappointed and angry that the person representing Hogwarts was little old me, who drank an infusion of Gurdyroots and believed in Heliopaths and Umgubular Slashkilters.
For my first task, I had to battle a forty-foot mountain troll in order to get the golden skull in the group of rocks behind it. I nearly died when the troll smashed a rock against my head. I fell against the stones and felt the blood trickle down my face, knowing this was it … the end … I would be counted on the death toll of those who had died during the Tournament.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the troll raise another rock. He threw his arm down, but the rock stayed hovering in the air. I glanced up at the crowd. I saw my mystery girl holding her wand up towards the rock, but so that no one could see it. The troll looked confused. He twirled on the spot gazing at the rock, tripped over his own massive feet and went crashing to the floor. With effort, I managed to heave myself up, make my way over the rocks, past the unconscious troll, grab the golden skull and hold it up.
Everyone cheered. Did I finally have everyone on my side?
No. At the Yule Ball, I had decided to ask my Gryffindor cousin, one of the only people in the school who didn’t bully me. She was in fourth year, and happily agreed. She was a very good dancer.
I was outside, getting some air, when I saw a shadow walking towards me. It was the girl. Before she could reach me, Judd jumped out of nowhere and brandished his wand at her. A jet of green light issued from the tip. Without thinking, I leaped forwards and pushed her to the floor, so the Killing Curse whizzed over our heads. The spell hit a statue, which crumbled to dust on the floor.
The girl broke her arm. She didn’t blame me. I spoke to her in the hospital wing. She told me to stay back. She didn’t tell me her name.
Judd really was desperate. He tried to kill me again, twice. Both times she was there to shove me out of the way. Both times I was afraid she would take the hit, but she dodged out of the way and sent a hex at Judd. She was perfect.
In my seventh year, Judd was unable to do anything to me, after badly hurting himself on the first day and being confined to bed.
One cold morning in December during the winter holidays, I decided to head down to the forest and feed the Thestrals. After making a quick trip to the kitchens for some raw meat, I shoved my hands in my coat pockets and made my way down to the Forest. I entered the clearing where I usually fed the Thestrals and was surprised to see someone already there.
She had her back to me, but I saw the cascade of long, dirty blonde hair and knew who it was at once. She was patting one of the Thestrals on the nose, and it was neighing softly, like a horse.
‘Hello,’ I said. She jumped and turned around, clutching the Thestral in terror. ‘It’s OK, I can see them too,’
‘Oh,’ she said. ‘Alright then.’ The Thestral came up to me and started to sniff me. I took the meat out of my pockets and gave it to the Thestral.
‘I wanted to say thank you,’ I said to the girl, who was watching me cautiously, ‘I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.’
‘Don’t be silly,’ she said.
‘No, I’m serious. If you weren’t there, Judd would have killed me by throwing me down those stairs. Or – or, that troll would have smashed my head in if you didn’t help.’ I said.
‘You saw that?’
‘Yes,’ I said. ‘You’re very clever.’
‘Thank you,’ she said. She fumbled for something in her back pocket and took out what I recognised as a pair of Spectrespecs. She put them on and started to pull out the latest edition of The Quibbler.
‘You read The Quibbler?’ I asked, a little surprised.
‘Yes. It’s very interesting,’ she replied, flicking through the pages. ‘And these Spectrespecs are very helpful. For instance, you might want to move away from there because there are a lot of Wrackspurts trying to get into your ears.’
After dodging away from my spot, I looked up at the girl. ‘You … you believe in them too?’
‘Of course. Nargles, Wrackspurts, Gulping Plimpies, Heliopaths, they’re all real,’
‘Well, if The Quibbler says so, it must be true. I’d believe anything it says,’
‘I’ll be sure to tell my dad,’ I said, smiling.
‘What’s your dad got to do with anything?’ she asked, taking another lump of meat out of her bag and tossing it to the Thestral.
‘Oh, my dad’s the editor. I’ll be taking over when he retires,’ I told her.
‘Really? I never realised. I mean, I know it says Lovegood but I didn’t think it was your dad.’
‘How do you know my name?’ I said. ‘I’ve never really spoken to you before,’
She shrugged. ‘I’m a Seer,’
‘Are you, by any chance related to Cassandra Trelawney?’ I asked her.
She laughed. She was very pretty when she laughed. ‘No, no. I don’t know who in my family is a Seer. My mother isn’t. I know it skips three generations but I’ve never really looked into it,’
‘Oh. Well, seeing as I’m not a Seer, would you care to tell me your name?’ I asked bravely. She glared at me for a moment, her eyes stony, but then her gaze softened and she smiled at me.
‘Forgive me,’ she said. ‘My name is Xenia Holloway. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr Lovegood,’
Xenia Holloway. Even her name sounded like an angel’s. I considered her for a while, before I realised I was gawking like an idiot. ‘It’s lovely to meet you too, Miss Holloway.’
Making that trip down to the Forest was possibly the best decision I’d made in my whole life. From then on, Xenia Holloway and I became best friends. She stuck with me all the time, especially after Judd got out of the hospital wing just after the New Year.
She taught me defensive spells so I could stand up to Judd more often. And it worked. He confronted me again and whipped out his wand, but before he could hex me, I yelled,
‘Stupefy!’ He flew across the common room and landed on the stairs. He looked fine, but he was limping a bit.
‘Where did you learn that, Lovegood?’ he demanded. ‘Your new girlfriend?’
Xenia, who was sitting in an armchair reading a book, looked up. She wasn’t even blushing. ‘For your information, Michael,’ she said calmly, ‘I am not his girlfriend, so you can go and stick that up your wand.’
He glared at us both and did something I never expected would happen. He shook my hand.
‘I guess you’re a worthy opponent, Lovegood. It’s all in the past now, right?’
I wanted to whack him and tell him no, but Xenia raised her eyebrows at me and I nodded. ‘Sure. Let’s all be friends now, yes?’
He looked at me as if he was wondering if he should punch me or not, but he refrained. And nodded.
Everything got better after that. Judd stopped trying to kill me. Xenia and I spent our free days feeding Thestrals and going over The Quibbler.
After we finished Hogwarts, I took her to see my father. She told him she loved The Quibbler and thought my father was a great role model. My parents loved her and my mother joked with me and said,
‘She’s a keeper, Xeno,’
Xenia laughed. ‘Oh, we’re not together, Mrs Lovegood, we’re just friends,’
‘That’s a shame,’ my mother said. ‘I’d love you as a daughter-in-law and I think you’d produce some beautiful children.’
‘Mum!’ I cried, blushing. But Xenia was laughing.
‘It’s fine, Xenophilius,’ she said, smiling. When my parents bustled into the kitchen to make some more Gurdyroot infusion, she leaned over and said, ‘I love your parents. They’re so much better than mine.’
At that moment, I didn’t realise she’d seen both of our futures. She told me later, when she turned twenty, that she knew what I was going to do exactly five minutes later, and she didn’t look surprised at all when I asked her to marry me.
She said yes, and my mother cried, saying she knew me and her would have a long and happy future together.
And we did.
I still think about it as I sit beside her grave with our daughter Luna beside me.
I miss her terribly. She loved to experiment with spells and one day, it went wrong and her curiosity was the death of her.
When Luna cries, I tell her that her mother is watching us. Luna stops crying, looks up at the sky and says, ‘Hello, Mummy!’
I cry after that. Whenever she says hello to her mummy, I cry when Luna has gone. Luna says I’m the bravest man she knows, to not cry when I think about Xenia. She doesn’t know the truth.
Xenia Holloway was my light, my guidance, my guardian angel, and now she’s gone.
A/N: Hi guys! Thanks for reading this. I decided to take a break from my other stories and I don't think I've ever read a Xeno/Luna's mother fic before, so I thought I might have a go. Soo ... what do you think? I thought maybe Xeno might be bullied because of his odd beliefs (not that they're odd because I believe in them too!) and because he's different to everyone else, like Luna. Anyway, I hope you liked it!! Please review!! Love you xxx