[ Printer Friendly Version ] [ Report Abuse ]
Chapter 11 : A Taste of Rolf Scamander
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 2|
Background: Font color:
I'm oozing it
Bit by bit
I'm taking it
Step by step
Boy here and now”
Rolf pushed the door open, silently, afraid to wake Luna up who by the looks of it was still sleeping. He closed it behind him and carefully tip-toed to the bed, while glancing around him mesmerised by the way she had decorated the room. He noticed the white vaporous curtains that he had seen so many times fluttering in the violent breeze coming from the sea, whilst he sat on the shore glancing at her window.
How many times had he wished to get to the bottom of her secrecy and now that he could do it, he no longer desired to uncover the mystery in her. He just wanted her to preserve it until the end of time; to be his wondrous adventure until he would get tired of discovering and analyzing. She would be the insatiable fountain of secrets, the one that would quench the thirst of his soul when the everyday would threaten his existence.
He kneeled next to her bed and carefully removed the sheets that were covering a large part of her face. How peaceful Luna looked… she breathed cadent, her hair was slightly dabbing her pale face and her pink lips seemed to be twisted in a strange manner. She was smiling in her sleep… Her long lashes were immobile and Rolf grinned as he recalled that he hardly got to see her with her eyes closed. She always gazed at people with her big bulging blue eyes that emphasized her curious nature - the one that Rolf found so charming.
He gently caressed her cheek, shivering as he felt the softness that resembled to the silky fabric of his grandmother’s robes. She flinched and he smiled as Luna opened her eyes, partly disturbed by the light coming through the curtains. She grinned as she saw him, standing kneeled on the ground with his head close to her own and his long thin fingers feeling her face. She moved her body towards the endmost corner of the bed and invited him to sit next to her. Rolf nodded and after lifting from the parquetry he laid on the bed, next to her, pulling her in a tight clutch. Her head rested on his chest as he put his arm across her frail body. He tucked himself between the sheets, his bare feet looking for hers beneath the blanket.
“Good morning, Luna…” he whispered. “Fancy an adventure today?”
“What kind of adventure?” Luna asked, still not being able to fully comprehend his words.
“Does a walk through the town sound exciting enough for you?”
“Will we buy brushes and colours?” she wondered.
He nodded. “And we’ll get fruits that have traveled a long way to reach our mouths…like mangos and papayas from Thailand and bananas from Africa,” he explained. “And then if we’re tired we’ll stop by and have a drink at a local pub…”
“Can we see those boxes that you talked about yesterday?”
“Of course…you’ll find them most exciting, I’m sure…” he responded.
“But it's Monday…Aren’t we…I supposed to work? I’m sure that your grandfather, as fond of you as he might be, will not allow me to leave all that paper work behind...” she replied.
“Oh, there’s no need to worry about that. You’ve got the week off… He said you’ve worked enough during the trip and a break would be most welcomed,” he sighed and then tucked her more between his arms. Luna smiled without him even noticing. “But I believe he hopes you’ll be able to keep a close eye on me…”
“Why would he want that?”
“I’m not sure,” he answered slightly tilting his head towards the left, not knowing why he had even got that impression. “I suppose because he’s always been interested where I go and what I do.”
“Why don’t you tell him?” Luna asked in a complete state of oblivion, as though not having noticed that between Rolf and Mr. Scamander there was that certain tension that allowed neither to enjoy even breakfast without having a row. “I used to tell my mother everything, but then she died, which was rather horrible but at least I’ve got my Dad.”
Rolf shrugged. Luna was surely the most honest person he had ever known. Who would talk such freely about a parent’s death and above all, using adjectives such as horrible or tremendous like Luna did? Certainly it must have taken her some guts to get over her mother’s parting and then to talk about it with such casualness wavering in her voice as if she had just lost her wallet.
“He wouldn’t understand,” he said, quite self assured with a distinct pride emanating from his tone of voice. “And I’m not in the least excited about explaining it to him… But I don’t want to talk about this now; I’d rather you got dressed as quick as possible, though.”
“Alright,” she responded and then lifted from the bed, climbing over him and then, as her feet touched the parquetry, she steadily moved towards the bathroom.
He stood astir, watching each of her moves, slightly embarrassed by the fervent manner in which his eyes must have stared at the sway of her hips as she moved forwards towards the bathroom; he bit his upper-lip. He liked her…and found her very much attractive, for that matter. He wished he made himself move, open the door that now separated them and have a shower with her. But common sense and a deep rooted feeling that she had never shared more than a living room with a man, stopped him from doing all that his heart required. Instead he started marching towards the entrance door and as he pressed the handler he thought that maybe he should let her know that he was leaving.
“Luna,” he shouted as he heard the water running.
“Yes,” Luna responded.
“I’m going to change my t-shirt…I’ll meet you downstairs, ok?” Rolf spoke in the same raised pitch.
“Right,” she replied and he pushed the door open, preparing to leave as she started speaking again. “Oh! Rolf! Is it hot outside?”
He pondered for while thinking that indeed he was very much hot, but not on account of the burning sun that was now taking over the first quarter of the sky.
“I believe it is…Downstairs, don’t forget…10 minutes,” he said and then emerged form her room, much to Gustav’s displeasure who just happened to be passing on the corridor on his way towards the ground floor.
The “jolly children”, as Mrs. Scamander called Rolf and Luna, left the house much to her content and as they ventured outside the protective garden of the house, they found themselves in an open green field that was such a familiar sight in that particular area of England. They walked, hand in hand, following the axis of the road that was sure to lead them to the nearby town. Its houses with grey fume emitting from the tall chimneys had become visible as soon as the couple had stepped out of the Scamander property.
The sun was sparkling on a forget-me-not sky with scattered milky clouds that appeared to have been made of candy floss and despite the habitual hotness of middle July, there was a lovely breeze blowing from the sea that cramped the air with a salty odour. The horizon line seemed to be getting farther and farther, as they walked towards it, every once in a while getting itself lost from sight, between the small Georgian houses with big windows and flower pots on the balconies.
On their left, on the other side of the road, Luna could clearly see a barley field and some four year old children running around, pretending that their red balloons were some forceful monsters that threatened to eat them, unless they ran as fast as their feet allowed them. She knew they were muggles by the clothes they wore: some dirty pairs of jeans and shirts that their mothers had surely insisted they should tuck in their pants, but which now hanged loosely, slightly covering the neat black belts.
A purple car walked past Luna and Rolf and she pointed it to him, claiming that she had never seen such colour on a muggle transport device, as she called them. He thought it was a nice shade and as they approached the entrance to the town he promised he would paint her with a purple flower in her hair, once he would get the chance. She smiled at the hearing of his words and then held tighter to his hand while leaning her blonde head in his shoulder. They walked past some of the little, but most charming houses Luna had ever seen and as they reached a crossroads, Rolf indicated that if they were to go to the shops they should turn left.
A couple of minutes after having reached the crossroads, they emerged on the long narrow street, cramped with all sorts of muggle shops, on both sides of the road. The windows were very clean, and as they walked past of them they could clearly see their reflection in them. Rolf stopped abruptly at one point and dragged Luna inside a little shop with a big dull advertisement banner hanging above the door, saying “Johnson and Sons”. He pushed the door open and a sparkling chime of bells filled the crowded space.
It smelled like paint inside and as soon as she could glance around, she noticed that every shelf was clustered with all sorts of brushes- some big, some very small- and colours so bright and eye-catching that it was almost impossible not to yearn to stretch a hand and dip your fingers in the muddy-like liquid.
“Good afternoon, Colin…” Rolf spoke, upon his gaze meeting a ten year old boy. “How’s the business?”
“Going smooth, as always,” he replied cheekily making Luna smirk. “Who’s this beautiful lady? I don’t advise you to introduce her to me, though…she might not like you that much afterwards.”
“I think I’ll take my chances,” Rolf said. “Colin, this is Luna…Luna Lovegood.”
“It’s nice to meet you Colin,” she spoke, outstretching her hand and meeting the boy’s.
“So now that we’re done with the courtesy… Can we please pass on to something more exciting?” Rolf queried and Colin nodded. “I need to get some oil colours… you know, the usual and I’d also like some shades of purple and some brushes, please.”
“Got that,” the boy replied. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
The boy disappeared behind a green curtain, leaving Rolf and Luna all by themselves in the shop. She stared at the crowded shelf, every once in a while contemplating the different red tones swirling inside the transparent recipients or simply running her fingers through the bushy brushes that lay still on the counter for the customers to examine.
“This shop is great,” she spoke, as Rolf watched her from between the shelves. He smiled and the leaned forward, picking a muggle magazine from the basket.
“Here, have a look…” he said, as he opened the magazine. “This was done by a muggle painter, Van Gogh. You see how detailed the sunflowers are? And how vivid they appear in contrast with the background? I like that about him,” he explained and she gaped. “He was rather odd, though…”
“Why would you say that?” Luna asked, while examining another picture of a man, which, by the title posted underneath it, must have been Van Gogh himself.
“He cut his ear off,” Rolf explained, while turning the page.
“The Wrackspurts must have got him too,” she reasoned, and he chuckled.
“You know what?” he said, as she beamed at him expectantly. “I think you are right…It makes perfect sense.”
They sat in silence for a while, Rolf turning the pages of the art magazine and Luna curiously gazing at them, analyzing every face with such interest and passion as though she had been fond of paintings since forever. Their quiet contemplation of different masterpieces of the muggle world was suddenly interrupted when Colin returned to the scene, holding a brown case in his hands. He placed it on the counter and then started typing something on the big cash point in front of him. Rolf pocketed his jeans and took out the precise sum of money needed to pay the purchase and after greeting Colin, they emerged from the shop, carrying the parcel along.
“You have muggle money?” Luna asked, as they walked forwards, walking past a clothes shop.
“My grandfather keeps some at home for us to use. It’s quite necessary when you live so near a muggle town,” he explained and Luna nodded. “Now, turn right…let’s enter this alley where no one can see us. I’d like to shrink this package.”
She did as told and when they made sure they were out of sight from any muggle intruder, she proceeded with the shrinking of the parcel. He took it in his hands, now looking at a button sized box, and congratulated her for her artistry. He then stuffed it into his jeans pocket and together they emerged again to the main road.
“Look, Luna!” he said while pointing at a window shop, some feet away from them. “The boxes that I’ve told you about…!”
“Oh, indeed!” she added. He grabbed her tighter by the hand and as they approached she gaped. “They do resemble our paintings; you were right…Hey! Sir?” she addressed the muggle reporter while knocking soundly on the window that separated them, making the shop assistant inside frown.
“Don’t bother,” he muttered disappointed. “They don’t reply, whatever you tell them. Look, he just talks like a loony-man.”
Luna chuckled. “That’s how some of my colleagues called me, when I was at school. Loony Lovegood…”
“But that’s just awful,” he admitted, while grabbing her hand again and looking straight at her. She turned her gaze towards the talking man and tilted her head as he began commenting the weather.
“Not really,” she spoke dreamily. “You get used to it at one point. People tend to fear what is unknown to them, so in their attempt to camouflage it they do tend to bespatter those who aren’t scared of speaking the truth. At the beginning I would get all upset about it, but then I met Ginny and the rest and it didn’t seem to matter anymore.”
“Children just like to be mean sometimes,” he added, rather assuring himself. “Do you reckon he’s alive?” he asked hoping that it would stray them from the awkward talk that Luna appeared to be rather fond of.
She analyzed the man who was vividly gesticulating over a map where all of the sudden had been covered by grey patches that resembled to children drawn clouds that poured rain. She frowned, feeling that for once she couldn’t find a decent explanation for his behaviour.
“He looks like it…” she replied slightly saddened by the thought that the Ravenclaw in her had so urgently submitted itself to ignorance. “I’m not sure, but I’ll surely ask Hermione about it this Friday.”
“Speaking of Friday…” Rolf added, wedging his hands. “We’ve been invited to a party… It’s my best friends’ birthday and he’s having this thing at his place. Thought you’d like to accompany me…”
“A party, you say?” she asked flabbergasted. She had not attended a celebration since Harry had so kindly taken her along to Slug’s Christmas party. She had gone there, then, as friend of Harry and she hadn’t had so much fun-not that anyone could have enjoyed themselves at the sight of a hungry vampire or even Slughorn, himself, who just like his ‘creepy’ guest, liked to suck out the fame, rather than blood out of his students.
“Of course, if you don’t want to come…it’s fine. I understand it…better things to do…” he started rambling possible excuses and then shifted her gaze from her, back to the box.
“I’d love to go there,” she replied while suddenly grabbing his hand. “With you…”
He smiled and then dragged her along the path, leading her to what appeared a massive, tall building with matching doors that now swung open, inviting people to step inside. He squeezed her hand assuring her that it was alright and as they walked past the grand door, Luna was greeted by the most pleasuring smell her nostrils had ever felt, or at least ranking second spot, preceding the one that her mother’s perfume had. She could not make out how the air smelled like, though with every intake of breath her lungs were filled with the infesting and almost intoxicating odour that she found so remotely fascinating.
At a second glance around her she knew they had entered the market that Rolf had so wonderfully spoken about the day before. She noticed the stocked shelves with all sorts of fruits and vegetables, exactly like Rolf had described it, and as she looked at him to seek his approval to go forwards, she saw a big red basket in his right hand. He slightly lifted it and then cocked his left eye brow, thus inviting her to venture between the stuffed racks.
She leaned over a large box that covered half of a shelf and dragged a big round orange from it. She looked at it curiously and then pressed it to her nose trying to figure out whether the smell that circled the room had been produced by it. Rolf pushed the basket forward, gesticulating that she should put it inside.
“Can we take this?” she asked, suddenly halting.
“Of course,” he replied quite self-assured. “You can take whatever you want… But beware, because you must eat them afterwards,” he joked and Luna gave out a rather grating laughter that caught the eye of several people around them.
She placed the orange in the basket and as Rolf pointed at a nearby shelf, she moved further, still glancing curiously at everything displayed. He picked up a brown coloured ball, with a fluffy surface, that seemed to fit his palm perfectly. He threw it in the air and then caught it between his long fingers, and as Luna displayed an interest in it, he gave it to her without any further ado.
“Oh…” she squealed, upon sensing the fluffy surface. “It feels like Arnold, Ginny’s Pygmy Puff. What is this?”
“This is a kiwi,” he explained while approaching her. “Sniff it…”
She did as told and as she placed her nostrils close to the brown fruit and started sniffing soundly, she felt a delightful sensation taking over her head. It was sweet, in a sinful way almost, and every parting of one’s nose from it would unmistakably lead to a desire to feel the smell again. After several recesses, Luna finally allowed herself to focus on Rolf’s mischievous sneering. She smiled and his malevolent jeer disappeared from his lips, being replaced by a resembling mimic, quite much like Luna’s.
“How did it feel like?” he asked as she placed the fruit in the basket, along with the orange, deciding that she should definitely take a bite from it.
“Good,” Luna replied, quite speechless as a matter of fact. “It was like… magic!”
Her crystal clear blue eyes beamed at him and before she could say anything else, he leaned over and sealed her slightly opened mouth with his own lips. Some elderly women glared at them, soundly muttering something about young people not having a scrap of common sense and education in them, but Rolf could hardly even focus on something else apart from their clasped mouths. He seized his left hand on her neck, fondly caressing Luna’s goose-bumped skin and as he grew more aware of the staunchly gaze of a shop assistant and the many malevolent glances of the two women he had heard mumbling, he drew his lips apart from hers and pulled her closer to him.
Her head now rested on his shoulder, slightly tilted towards his neck hoping her nose would engulf the tempting smell of his masculine cologne. His hand had glided smoothly around her neck and was now rubbing the soft skin stretching over the back bone, beneath the heaviness of the long blond hair that as always looked very much dishevelled.
He did not know why he had chosen that particular moment, or even that particular place, for such display of affection- the affection that he hardly allowed himself to believe he felt. He could have let such outburst to break at home, while in the garden when their kiss would be confined between the apple trees or even in her bedroom as he would come to wake her up and invite her to another adventure. He didn’t even know why he had asked her to accompany him to the party, knowingly still that she was bound not to fit in there.
His friends were hardly the people that would find Luna an enjoyable and engaging presence. She was too smart, too fragile and yet there was something utterly indulging about having her by his side that night, for some reason. She glanced around and at the sight of a roughly known vegetable she estranged herself from his clutch and grabbed what appeared to Rolf, like a carrot.
“Look, one that I know!” she shouted enthusiastically, discarding the inquiring looks of those around them. “Mrs. Weasley had plenty in her garden,” she explained while putting it down again.
“But a carrot can hardly be called an adventure, can it?” he asked steadily approaching her and bouncing the basket in his hand. “Now that’s something interesting…” he went while pointing at the strangest, yet cutest think Luna had ever seen.
“Oh…” she gasped. “It looks like a giant potato with green hair.”
Rolf let out a chortle. A pineapple, as a potato that had been submitted to an engorging charm and then, as a touch of humour, had been added bulging green strands of hair, was not exactly the image that one would picture. But then, Luna was not everyone- she was different and very much susceptible to what appeared normal to those around her. In a way, that comforted Rolf.
“It’s called pineapple, Luna,” he spoke after ceasing with the raging giggle. “It grows in very tall trees, in Africa. Look, you can taste those! Here, have a bite and then tell me how it feels like…”
He pushed a gold coloured piece of what once looked like a doughnut and as Luna engulfed, he surrendered his own senses to the contemplation of her bewildered face expression as the sweetness of the fruit tickled her tasting buds.
“So…tell me,” he spoke after she chewed the last bit.
“It was sweet, very sweet,” she replied beaming at him with her big bulging eyes that seemed to stick out more whenever he would gaze at her.
“Oh, come on…” he pledged. “You can do better than that. Described it… you were a Ravenclaw, weren’t you? Wit, if I’m not mistaken, is regarded as their distinctive trait, isn’t it?”
“Quite true,” she replied, vividly remembering the scribbled words on which her whole life had revolved ‘wit beyond measure it’s a man’s greatest treasure’. “Hmmm… it was indulging in a secluded manner, not too revealing about its grasp upon the senses but nevertheless, quite up fronted about its charming flavour. It slides through the teeth, making it harder to chew but when you’ve struggled to squeeze the juice, the true reward is finally showed-off. It’s like…things that I’ve felt before,” she explained.
“Like the first day of spotless skies in March, or the torrential rains that drown the hotness on August…or my mother’s perfume.”
There was a long pause that Luna did not seek to break and by the looks of his flushed cheeks, Rolf was not prone to end it anytime soon. That had been yet another of those moments when Luna would say what tended to abash people and particularly Rolf who had never experienced the things that Luna had been trough and therefore could not offer her the comfort she needed. And just when things had started to get even more embarrassing, Luna spoke again and the tension seemed to have diminished along with the slumberous tone of her voice.
“But what does it feel like for you?”
“It feels like the wildest of dreams, sugary and slippery; like… the fruit flavoured popsicles, yet not crusty and sandy-like they do. It feels odd but most pleasant at the same time…” he chimed but Luna did not seem to be satisfied with his answer.
“What does it make you remember?” she insisted while grabbing a big pineapple and placing in the basket.
“You…” he replied and curiously looked for her gaze.
She blushed. This time it was her turn to succumb herself to the abashing silence and deep within her mind, try to make a single coherent sentence that supposedly would make a good response to his words. But at that moment, with his eyes fixing her, her cheeks having awkwardly gained a scarlet complexion and the shivering hand that nearly touched his, things such as logic did not seem to be important any longer.
He didn’t speak and neither did she, but somehow there was something refreshing about the hush between them. He put his arm around her shoulders and together parted towards the cash point to pay for their purchase. The sun had lifted its majestic glitter on the third quarter of the sky and Luna and Rolf still had to take a rest at the local pub and have a cup of tea, as he had promised her they would do.
Perhaps, Mrs. Scamander would not complain tonight if they arrived a little late for dinner.
AN. Thank you to all my reviewers and to all the wonderful people who have recommended and nominated When Luna met Rolf. You are fantastic group of people whom I adore!
Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Other Similar Stories