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Chapter 14 : Of Uncomfortable Questions and Adequate Answers
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 17|
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It was still dark when Luna awoke from her dreams, only to notice happily that she had never left Rolf’s room. There he was on the bed, on her left, with his eyes closed and his chest heaving cadent with every breath. He was sound asleep, most probably succumbed in a dizzying state of reverie, deepened in the deadliest of silences. She could feel his hands brushing against her skin, as he moved closer to where the warmth of her body effused on the sheets.
Luna turned around and looked straight at him, her fingers caressing the dark strands that fell carelessly on his forehead, and her breath mixing with his somewhere in the joint space between their faces. She stared at him, bemused by his flawlessly, by his masculinity and above all things by the genuine innocence mirrored in the content curling that his lips had gained ever since he had closed his eyes.
She thought back on what had happened that night, yet as expected she could hardly believe that any of that had occurred to her, out of all people. There were not enough positive words in the English vocabulary to express her elation and deep sense of happiness that seemed to be overwhelming her heart with every beat. He had been tender and very much attentive towards her; he had helped her ease the embarrassment with his caring voice and the soft whispers that encouraged her that everything would be alright.
Luna could vaguely remember the sharp pain she had felt – the one he had numbed away with a tender kiss and an agreeable touch on her back. As vivid as it had seemed then, now she could just recall the barely audible squeal, which she had allowed to leave her throat, unconsciously. All that was left in her now was the deep rooted feeling that she had done the right thing, that despite never having surrendered to a man such selflessly, she had committed perhaps the best choice of her life.
She was still Luna Lovegood, but somewhat different than she remembered. She was happy and comprehended, which made her perceive the world in a whole new, better light.
She clutched the sheets tighter, making sure that they covered the nudity of her body and as she moved closer to him, hoping to fall asleep listening to his heart beat again, Rolf opened his eyes and smiled. There was something odd emanating from his dark eyes, which Luna found very much pleasing and intriguing in a way only Rolf could be.
He looked into her blue eyes, slightly taken aback by their sincerity. He could see bliss wavering in them; at some point even shame, idly poised by the determination not to break eye contact. He took his right hand from beneath the blanket and tucked a rebellious blond lock behind her ear, where he had seen her wand resting too many times. They stood in silence, not knowing what would make a pertinent sentence that would enable both to let behind the awkwardness.
“What’s the time?” he finally spoke tenderly, after several moments of hesitation.
“I think it’s around two in the morning, but I’m not that sure,” she replied, still maintaining eye contact.
“I don’t remember ever falling asleep,” he added confused. “Did you…?”
“I think I dozed off too…but I reckon it was after you,” she explained. “I recall you closing your eyes and snoring…”
“I don’t snore!” Rolf said frowning.
“I know, I was just joking,” she mumbled grinning. “Would you like something to eat? We still haven’t eaten after all…”
“Of course…My stomach is growling. But please, stay here, I’ll fetch it,” he pledged while turning around and then lifting from the bed, standing naked on the edge of the bed. Luna looked away and she blushed as she caught herself stealing glances of his back and well shaped shoulders.
“Now, can you remember where I’ve put my jeans?”
“Oh, I think they are here,” she said slightly leaning forward to get hold of his trousers. “Here you have them…”
He turned around, grabbed them and as their gazes met he brushed a kiss on her lips, making her blush even more vividly than before. Rolf lifted from the bed, pulling the trousers on and afterwards, heading straight to the desk where he remembered having seen food for the last time. She watched him curiously, strolling around the room, waist-up naked, giving off such poise and masculinity that Luna’s heart seemed to melt with every of his over-confident steps.
“Come on up here and help me with the pudding!” Rolf spoke all of a sudden and she soon found herself smiling for no apparent reason.
“Oh, I think I’ll be in need of clothes,” Luna replied, while looking for her dress on the floor.
“Stay still… I’ll summon your pyjamas from your room. Accio Luna’s pyjamas,” he whispered and as the blue night gown flew into his hands, he threw it on the bed.
He leaned on the desk, his arms crossed while his eyes fixed a rather abashed Luna, trying to get hold of her night gown without exposing additional skin.
“Err…” she murmured not knowing how to evade his stare.
“Yes Luna? Is something wrong?” he asked, flummoxed by her behaviour. She gestured him to turn around and he let out a sigh, upon performing the action she had required.
“Just so you know, I’ve seen all there was to see…” he said smirking, thinking that she was now most probably flushing fervently. “And there is absolutely no need to feel embarrassed when you’re with me…”
“Why is that?” she asked, making Rolf burst out laughing at the hearing of such a direct question.
“Can I turn around now?”
“Only if you care to explain what you’ve just said…” she responded as she tied her hair in a bun using her wand.
“Well…” Rolf began speaking as she approached him slowly. “People who have certain feelings for each other don’t have to feel abashed by this stuff, because they share everything… You’ll see that in time it will come natural,” he explained. She seemed to sip him with her stare.
“That’s what normal people do? They walk around naked in front of each other…?” Luna muttered quite intrigued, her eyes contemplating every of movements.
“Not all the time,” he replied giggling, while giving her a gulf of pudding. “But sometimes they do…it’s like the recognition of their bond. It’s their secret…”
“Oh,” she sighed. “Sounds like a complicity.”
“It is,” he replied. “How’s the pudding? Does it match the one from Hogwarts?”
“It’s marvellous…quite resembling that one. And do people do that often?”
“What…? The walking around or…err…the other thing?” Rolf asked, this time feeling his cheeks gaining warmth.
“Both,” she replied while gazing at him curiously and taking a sip from her glass of wine.
“They’re connected in a way, I guess,” he spoke rather clumsily, thinking that Luna indeed had a way with asking impossible-to-answer type of questions. “I mean it’s all a matter of taste…or mood, I daresay. One does this when he or she feels like…”
“How do you know that you want to?” Luna queried while dipping her spoon into the pudding.
“Err…it depends,” he spoke quite uncertain.
“What made you want to do it tonight?” he rejoined with a question, hoping that he would be able to find a better response meanwhile.
“It was kind of odd, now that I think about it…It was like being attacked by a pack of Wrakspurts, I guess, but cumulated with a sudden enhancement of perceiving the extraordinary – the kind that Gnome saliva develops,” she explained while beaming at him.
Rolf sniggered. He would have never put Gnome saliva, pack of Wrackspurts and lust in the same sentence but now that Luna had mentioned it, it seemed like the right way to explain the phenomenon. Yet again, he was astounded by her capacity to preserve her convictions and openly state them, even if for some people they were very much absurd.
She had her own manner of explaining life – sometimes by means of fantastic creatures with implausible names – which enchained Rolf and made him want to acquire such credo. She was unique in her own sort of way, that many would have labelled as odd, but Rolf, who knew more to Luna, thought that she was merely being open-minded and genuine.
“Tell me something, Luna,” he spoke hesitantly. “It was your first time, wasn’t it?”
“Yes,” she responded honestly and without any vacillation wavering in her voice. “I had never been with a man before; does it matter in general?”
“Again, it varies…it depends of the person in cause. Some take pride in it, some don’t bother at all and others care too much about it. I, personally, like to think that I’ve got a balanced opinion…”
“Meaning that I neither mind, nor ignore it totally… I value you because of it,” Rolf added heartedly. “It’s something that men like to boast about, but…err… not me! Can you please pass me the salmon grille?”
“Of course,” she said while handing him the required plate. “Why do you avoid my questions, Rolf?”
He stared at her, quite taken aback by her daring to ask such a direct question but nevertheless, despite his initial amazement, he decided to reply honestly. Luna could tell, surprisingly, when he was being truthful and when he was lying. It was perhaps one of the many gifts that she possessed and by far the one that could lead him into bashful situations.
“It’s not that I don’t want to respond them, but they are quite… how do I say this?” he inquired, touching his chin in a very pensive-like manner that made Luna smile. “The truth is that I’ve never given much thought to these things and neither do people in general…people are ashamed of asking this type of questions.”
“But you said that I shouldn’t be timid around you…and that people are not afraid to be themselves with their partner,” she replied. He laughed.
“Merlin, you’re so clever,” he added dumbfounded. “Of course I said that…and surely, it’s true. Well, I think an accurate explanation would be the fact that humans are complex and enjoy contradictions…”
“It’s slightly confusing, you know… Normal people are bold enough as to walk around naked but they don’t dare speak their mind…” Luna spoke and Rolf nodded.
“Luna, why don’t you include yourself amongst the people? I mean, you always seem to be calling people, normal… You’re normal too,” he queried.
“Because with me, it is exactly the opposite. I’m not afraid to tell what I think and that scares those around me. I’ve always been called different…”
“I’m not scared,” he said, making Luna smile. “I never was…As for you, being different, I’ll have to agree. But it’s in a good way, certainly. I know what you mean by having people calling you different…it’s because of the nicknames that children would give you in school, right?”
“Partly,” she admitted while playing with the fork. “Though I daresay that they were far from being the only ones who thought of me as being crazy…”
“But you’re not crazy, Luna!” Rolf spoke staunchly. “You just understand more…”
Luna gaped as she realized that no one had ever said something equally beautiful about her. People had often bespattered her and her father for displaying their convictions a bit too openly for common taste. At the beginning she would feel afflicted by their malevolence. But as time had gone by, she had learnt that people offended them merely because they were afraid to open their minds, their eyes and their hearts towards the truth.
Her mother had taught her that and, stoically, she had implemented this belief in her philosophy of life. Now that she had grown up and had seen the world confronted with the worst scenario, she realized that her mother had been right all along.
It was fear the one that pushed people into denying what’s beyond the obvious – the fear that Rolf did not feel. He had his own sort of bravery boiling in his veins, unlike the one that Harry, Hermione, Ron or Ginny had displayed in the many battles, the type of bravery that enabled him to perceive the world in a different manner. He had influence over people, but enjoyed being poisoned with others’ opinions as well. Again, Rolf Scamander proved to be the same man of contrasts, like Luna had thought him to be that day by the fountain.
“That’s really nice of you to say,” she spoke.
“I’m not being nice, rather truthful,” he replied and then handed her a flap-jack. “Taste this. It’s delicious!”
She thanked him and then took a bite from it, letting her taste buds indulge with the genuine sweetness. He watched her eating the goods and thought that maybe she was different from the rest of the world, as he had never met anyone quite like her. She knew so little about the customs and the habits around her, yet she had unravelled so many mysteries along her life. She knew nothing, but as contradictory as it sounded, also everything. He would teach her all she had neglected so far and in turn, she would do the same regarding the knowledge he had yet to acquire.
“You’re not that anxious to ask me questions anymore, are you?” he suddenly spoke, breaking the silence.
“Oh…I thought that maybe we could act like normal people for a while…” she replied, still biting from her flap-jack.
“Where’s the fun in that? If normal equals ignorance, then why should we even want to be normal?” he joked. “Ask away, darling!”
“This is fun!” she said clapping her hands excitedly. “Because I was actually wondering if…”
“Before you start…let’s get back to the bed, it would be more comfortable, wouldn’t it?” he cut her off and at the hearing of his suggestion she nodded, approvingly.
They lifted from their chairs and together headed towards the bed, where the ruffled sheets waited for them to tuck their bodies beneath their warmth. She grabbed his hand and leaned her head on his shoulder. He kissed her forehead and then stuffed his other hand into his pocket, along with his wand.
“And if we go back to the bed,” she suddenly whispered. “Will we do that again?”
Rolf laughed, “Only if we feel like…as I’ve said before it’s all about the mood. Do you feel your brain going fuzzy?”
“No,” she replied after a brief moment of cogitation. “Not now, at least…maybe later.”
“Good… we shall see then, shan’t we?”
The room was bathed in the pale light of an early morning, the shy rays of the sun protruding through the white curtains that framed Rolf’s room. The plates, where food had been served the night before, were still resting on the desk only that now they were empty except from the salmon grille that lay half eaten on a sparkling white dish.
Emerging from beneath the white sheets, there were two pairs of feet: one belonging to a man as they were quite large and bony and the other one, definitely, of a young girl, who fancied turquoise nail polish. The right foot of the young man was rubbing against the girls’ and as their fleshes met, one could easily make out a hushed moan escaping her throat.
His half-closed eyes barely distinguished her pale face and dirty blonde hair amongst the whiteness of the sheets, but as soon as she revealed her rosy lips from beneath the blanket, he managed to spot the differences. He did not dare to open his eyes wide and upon being struck by the light – that with every passing second seemed to become more intense – he sealed them again and abandoned himself to the cosiness of his fluffy pillow, while his left arm rested on her back.
There was a loud thud resembling very much to the banging of an opened door and as soon as both Rolf and Luna flinched by the grating sound, an army of people entered the room. They jumped, taken aback by the rude manner of being woken up, and as soon as they could open their eyes and take awareness of their surroundings, both noticed about ten people standing before them, wearing birthday hats and flaunting coloured pennons in their hands. All of them were suddenly struck by a scarlet shade moulding on their cheeks.
Luna nuzzled and as she glanced back at the gaping group of people, she noticed a birthday cake on a silver platter, on which she could make out the words “Happy Birthday Rolf!” scribbled with cream.
“Happy birthday, darling,” she spoke dreamily while gazing at him and tightening the grip on the sheet that covered her nakedness.
“Thank you,” Rolf muttered dumbfounded and then as his eyes met hers, he smiled. He then turned his gaze at the ten people whom he now recognized. “Luna, this is my family…”
AN Hi guys! Sorry for keeping you waiting for so long but I have recently relocated to London for my uni and it has been a wild ride so far... amazing, fun but wild nonetheless! I've barely had time for myself but rest assured that my frequent updates are bound to return:) On another train of thoughts, I am still quite sad because of the reviews stuff but I certainly don't expect any of you to go back and re-review the last four chapters so rest assured that I don't mind it. Love you all! and please, drop by to talk this chapter over:X
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