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Chapter 15 : Meet the Parents, Part I
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The noisy gathering of people, that Luna now knew to be Rolf’s family, left the room quietly, occasionally bumping with different pieces of furniture on their way. Rolf smiled at Luna, who could hardly make up a coherent sentence in her head to summarize her brief encounter with his relatives. They stared at each other for a while without making any sound and then, as they both heard Porpentina scolding her sons, they burst into fits of laughter that neither managed to cease until a couple of minutes had passed.
He then tucked her in a tight embrace, remembering everything that had happened the night before: the kisses, the way she had allowed him to touch her, her childish yet most charming questions and her bewildered face expression as he had told her about everything she needed to know. He cupped her face, losing himself again into the blue depth of her iris, while her hands grabbed his in a tender squeeze.
Her hair fell on her shoulders, slightly dishevelled and wild, but nevertheless quite chicly in its apparent inordinacy. He smiled and she mimicked the gesture, but it seemed to Rolf that the manner in which her lips curled was far more sincere than his. He knew then that he was changed, perhaps in a way that he would have never thought he could be altered by a woman.
Yet Luna, with her wittiness and dreaminess and vivacity had managed to awoken the inner child that had been hidden behind an adult mask for too long. He found her extremely beautiful that morning as they sat in his bed, flanked by messy sheets and ruffled pillows, wearing nothing but their hearts on their sleeves. He fingered her back, while she rested her head on his shoulder, carefully sniffing his skin hoping to preserve the memory of it forever.
He smelled like a man should, spicy tones mixing in the scent that remembered Luna of the Asian fruits she had sniffed that day at the market with him. His hands – the ones now run freely on her back – brought along with their master touch, a deep feeling of hope and happiness to her heart. She had never felt the way she now felt.
The saccade sound of his heart pulsating in his chest resounded like a melody. She could sense the forceful pounding as she laid her hand on his chest and its mere pace brought so much confidence to Luna. This heart, the one that she was listening to, was beating for her and at that point she realized that no heart had ever lived for her, before.
There was something romantic about him being the first in so many fields; he was the first one in kissing her, the first who had made her smile with such heartedness, the sole whose heart beat for her, the one who had initiated her the night before in so much more than just the bed issue and perhaps the only one who could claim that he had taken over her mind. She felt happy, so happy that she could hardly control herself from not shouting out loud her feelings.
And then as his eyes sparkled in the pale light of the morning she thought that she loved him.
Luna knew nothing of romantic love, of its joys and thrills, of its anguish and despairs, but in her ignorance towards such matters, she could tell that her feelings for Rolf involved much more than just friendship or even the infatuation she had so often heard people talking about. There was something more than that – it was passion burning her heart to cinders, it was admiration that overwhelmed her mind, it was adventure that his clutch promised every minute and perhaps it was an exaggerated affection that made her lose reason whenever he was around.
She felt dizzy by his fervent stare and slightly inebriated by his manly cologne. She looked around, sniffed the air, watched for any kind of movements and then sighed defeated. There were no Wrackspurts around to mess with her head. This was just her and the reactions that he would cause whenever he would look at her like that.
“Good morning,” he finally spoke breaking the awkward inlay of chaotic sentences forming in her mind with such speed that not even she could keep track. “Sorry about my family…I think they just wanted to surprise me…”
“I guess they were the ones who got surprised in the end,” she replied smiling. “You didn’t mention that today was your birthday.”
“As odd as it may sound I had forgotten all about it…My mind was occupied with other thoughts, thoughts of you.”
She blushed. “If I had known it was your birthday I would have baked you a cake and got you something…” explained Luna, while caressing his right cheek.
“You are my gift,” Rolf whispered, quite taken aback by his own daring.
He had never told anyone such a thing and as those words left his mouth, he realized that while he was the first for her in so many things, so was she for him. Between them was so much novelty that every passing minute was an adventure. He wondered now what more could he discover in her, but most importantly in himself. What secrets did her heart cover and perhaps what else could his reveal at her side? She was new, but then so was he when Luna was around.
He could be everything he had ever dreaded being: a naturalist, a man with so many possibilities ahead… a descendant of a great family who was not afraid of stepping into the shoes of his forefathers.
“Shall we go and properly greet my family?” he spoke again and she nodded happily. “I reckon that cake is delicious if it was made by my mother…”
“Let me just go to my room, get dressed and we’ll go downstairs…” she explained as she lifted from the bed allowing the sheets to slide from her naked body. He gazed at her for a while feeling unable to say a single word that could explain his amaze.
“What?” she queried as she headed towards the desk, looking for her wand.
“Err…you…” he mumbled.
“Oh, I decided to listen to your pledges,” she replied and as she picked her wand she headed towards the door.
“Luna, darling…” he spoke. “You might want to put some clothes on if you intend to go out on the hallway. I have an underage cousin…”
“Oh…” she whispered while covering her mouth with her fingers and summoning her clothes.
“Sorry, I forgot that we aren’t alone in the house.”
He giggled. “Meet me in ten, alright? I’ll come and pick you up from your room…”
She nodded and after pulling the night gown over her head, she emerged on the hallway, where she spotted a jolly ten year-old strutting along.
Almost half an hour later they descended the stairs leading them to the ground floor, where they both knew who was waiting. One could easily hear a couple of girls giggling in the dinning room, accompanied by the occasional voices of some older men and a grating child’s laughter who must have belonged to the little boy that Luna had seen strutting on the first floor hallway. Rolf guided her trough the long corridor and as they reached the dinning room door, he stopped and took her both hands in his.
“Ok, so here we are,” he mumbled, not knowing what had made him want to say something in the first place. “Err… well, there’s no need to worry. It’s just fine… you see my family is a bit odd but other than that, I think you’ll like them.”
“I like oddness,” she spoke while smiling. “I’m odd too, you see…”
“You’re not odd,” he replied staunchly. “So having settled that, let’s go in. After you…”
He opened the door revealing the beaming faces of about fifteen people, most of them women in their youth, plus a blond boy that Luna knew to be Rolf’s underage cousin. Together they marched forward, still holding hands, much to Mrs. Scamander’s pleasure and as they approached the crowd, they saluted them.
“Hi,” Rolf said, clutching fiercer to Luna’s hand.
“Happy birthday honey,” a tall woman spoke while lifting from her chair and rushing to hug him.
“Thanks Mum,” he replied lovingly and as he estranged himself from his mother’s clutch, he grabbed Luna’s hand again this time facing the crowd of relatives. “Everybody, this is my girlfriend, Luna Lovegood. Be nice to her,” he warned them and they all laughed heartedly, warming the stiff atmosphere a bit.
“It’s very nice to meet you,” spoke Rolf’s Mum. “Luna… that’s a beautiful name… I’m Eva Scamander and the handsome man over there is my husband, Alex, and Rolf’s father.” The man grinned and waved at her while stretching his other hand meeting his son’s.
“Now going on with the introductions,” Rolf added while returning to his girlfriend’s side.
“The one talking to Dad is his older brother Joseph, whom we call Joe. His wife is that gorgeous woman over there,” Rolf indicated in a high pitch so as to be heard by his aunt.
“Happy birthday, Rolf!” she shouted from across the room, where she enjoyed a nice conversation with another aunt of Rolf’s. “Hello dear. I’m Aurelia and this is my sister in law, Selena.”
“Oh, it’s wonderful to meet you all!” Luna exclaimed happily.
A tall, beautiful looking girl of about eighteen approached them and, upon hugging Rolf lovingly and wishing him a happy 20th birthday, she extended her hand meeting Luna’s in a firm, yet caring shake.
“I’m Lucy, one of Rolf’s many cousins. As you can see by yourself he’s about the only man around…” the red haired girl spoke quite amicably.
Luna looked around and noticed that indeed Lucy was right. There were seven grandchildren in the Scamander family and amongst them, there were only two boys: Rolf and little Nicholas who hadn’t even reached the proper age for beginning his education as a wizard. One could easily understand now, why Rolf had been so spoiled; he had been the only male to be born in the family, surrounded by a loving mother, two aunts and four older female cousins.
The other members of the family were Arturo Devries, Aunt Selena’s husband and father of Lucy, little Nick and twenty-two year-old Valerie, who sat all by herself in the endmost corner of the room, with a quill and a rolled piece of parchment in her hand. Rolf joked that she was most probably missing her boyfriend, Jack, who, as Lucy pointed, was a Muggle- not a Muggleborn- just a Muggle who had no idea that magic even existed. Apparently, Valerie had lied to him for several years concerning her family and her job and up until that moment he had believed her. Now, the situation seemed to have gained a new twist since he had recently proposed to her.
The truth needed to be told, the future-to-be groom would probably have a heart-attack at the hearing of her words, his family would most certainly be outraged, but other than that the wedding plan seemed to be going on just fine, as Selena, the future mother-in-law, confirmed that same afternoon, in a conversantly manner as though she was merely talking about the latest robe she had purchased from Paris.
By far, the most agreeable of all cousins was Lucy who was not only close in age with Luna, but also had her fair share of oddness and wittiness. She had studied at Beauxbattons, Gustav being her one year superior, but she had completely hated the school and the rigorist manner in which the Headmistress liked to educate her students. Luna merely saw Lucy as the female version of Fred and George, but slightly moderate, though just like the twins she had rebelled quite a few times against the regime.
Joe and Aurelia had fathered children as well, but only daughters. The three Scamander sisters, the only ones bearing the famous last name, were quite expansive and open towards their relatives but were rather shy and introvert whenever a stranger meddled in their family gatherings, as Luna happened to do that morning.
Isabella, Sylvia and Virginia, all three older than any of the other cousins, were crazy for Rolf, as they had basically helped his parents to bring him up. Sylvia, being the oldest one, often bragged that she had been for Rolf like a mother, more or less, which needless to say was a bit exaggerated given that there was merely a five years gap between them.
After the proper introductions had been made and the cake had been eaten, the family retreated to the drawing room to hear Valerie playing the piano. She played a pretty mournful tune that did nothing to entertain the guests, except for Rolf and Lucy who were smirking at each other constantly and joking that the oldest of the sisters was most probably getting ready for the funeral of her fiancé rather than their wedding.
To Luna it appeared that Valerie was someway depressed and at that point she wished she had one of George’s day dreaming patented-potions… that would have certainly lifted her mood and consequently that of the family.
And then as usual, it was time for Nicholas to sing a song or to recite a poem that his mother had taught him. There was a short random of applause to encourage the young man to step up and face his audience, to which he obliged immediately. He chose a poem, but as soon as he began reciting it with a shenanigan smile flaunting on his lips, one could easily notice that surely his mother had not taught him that. It was a rather childish poem that managed to make Luna flush, given the words the boy had used. His mother had been outraged by his vocabulary and its sudden flourishing and consequently had reprimanded him, much to the guests’ amusement.
Luna reckoned that Rolf’s family was very much pleasing and as ‘coloured’ and diverse as it was it still managed to imprint the feeling of closeness towards them. She did not know why but she was slightly envious of everybody, because they all had mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts and grandparents. She had no mother and the only relative, except her father, that she remembered vaguely was her mother’s sister who lived in Tibet, all alone with no husband and no children that Luna could have played with as a child.
The Scamanders were rather fun to be around, simply because they were so different that little disputes and arguments never ceased to arouse between the members and particularly between the girls. There were little, innocent discussions that added a distinct note to the Scamanders, making them genuine in Luna’s eyes. They were everything that a family ought to be like.
“Darling,” Rolf suddenly spoke as she sat in his lap. “Your glass is empty…would you like me to fetch you some more pumpkin juice?”
“Oh, yes, thank you,” Luna said after glancing down at her empty glass. She had been so absorbed by the contemplation of his family that she hadn’t even noticed that she was thirsty. “I would love some more.”
He lifted from his chair, thus forcing her to do the same gesture and as he proceeded to the door he cast her, a loving glance, to which she blushed faintly. He entered the kitchen, which this time was empty – as all the house elves were busy serving the guests in the drawing room – and as he leaned over to pick the pumpkin juice jar, he heard someone entering. He glanced up, only to notice his father standing in the doorway with the same flirty smile dancing on his lips just like Rolf’s. He was as much as his father as he was like his mother.
“Hey Dad,” he greeted the man. “Are you enjoying the party?”
“Quite a lot, I daresay. Nick’s bit of poetry was brilliant, though my sister did not seem to enjoy herself.” Rolf laughed while pouring some of the orange liquid into the glass. “Grandpa has told me that you went on a field trip with him…”
“Yes, I did,” Rolf admitted bitterly, suddenly realizing to what his father was hinting.
“It’s been a while since you last went on one of these,” his father remarked as he approached his son, eager to pour some juice for himself. “It made me wonder, Rolf… how come you don’t stop by the house anymore?”
“Tuscany does not suit me,” he replied dismally. “The weather is too hot for my taste. I like Dorset better.” His father sighed defeated but nevertheless, he went on speaking as though he had not perceived the tone of his son’s voice.
“I thought you didn’t want to become a naturalist,” Alexander spoke again and this time it was Rolf’s turn to sigh.
“And I still don’t,” his son replied somewhat irritated, but obviously aware that he was lying through his teeth. “I did not go there because I wanted to deepen again into researches… I didn’t even go for grandpa.”
“You went there for Luna, didn’t you?”
“Perhaps I did, I’m not sure yet…” Rolf added in a very matter of fact sort of way. “But I don’t understand why that would surprise you, anyway. I’m hardly the first man to pursue a woman.”
“This girl, Luna…” his father said, rather concerned, while taking a seat at the table.
“What about her? Is she not to your liking, Father?” Rolf mocked but Mr. Scamander did not laugh.
“Oh, I like her,” he replied pensively. “But she’s hardly the girl to your liking, Son. She’s beautiful; one would have to be blind not to see it, but I do not see her as your type of girl. I’ve met the women whom you’ve occasionally fancied and I can honestly say that I don’t recognize anything of them in Luna.”
“Hardly the point, Father… hardly the point,” he echoed. “Maybe I have changed my tastes. Maybe I have decided that it was time I started dating some other type of women.”
“Maybe you have… but I know you Rolf. You’re my son and this girl… you’re going to break her heart. Perhaps not today, not tomorrow, but one day you will.”
Rolf glared at his father, not believing his ears. “You don’t know that…”
“Oh believe me… I’ve gained enough experience as to realize what’s going on between you and this girl…”
“Her name is Luna,” Rolf retorted angrily.
“Well, Luna,” he agreed.
“Why are you telling me these things? I don’t see the point…You hardly know her and even if I were to break her heart, it would do you no wrong…”
“You see Rolf? That’s where you are mistaken… It would do me all the wrong because I’m tired of cleaning after you…I know her father. God knows what he’ll print in that paper of theirs…”
“So this is not about Luna or how she would be heart broken…? This is about your honour and your integrity being in line!” Rolf spoke in a high pitch voice. “This is about the Scamanders maintaining appearances, isn’t it?”
“Now, Son… I wouldn’t put it that way. I was merely trying to point some of the aspects of your relationship.”
“Aspects…?” Rolf echoed quite displeased. “Those are not the aspects of our relationship, certainly not! Aspects are the way she makes me feel, the things she teaches me and those that I try to teach her… aspects are the facts that she understands and what she makes me see.”
“That’s all good and romantic…I agree,” his father said. “But let’s keep it realistic… How many women have you loved so far, Rolf?”
“None,” he admitted. “But that’s not the point, Father… I didn’t share anything with the other women…”
“I’ve had the opportunity to talk to her. She’s quite unique; she’s asked if I had ever seen a Crumpled-Horned Snorkak,” he replied humorously. “As far as our conversation allowed me to perceive her, I think she’s sincere and a bit naïve at one point. She likes to dream as much as she loves being a naturalist… Now, after listening to my first impression which I believe to be accurate, tell me how much do you share?”
Rolf stared blankly at him. He couldn’t believe that his father could be so intransigent about such a thing. Since when did he bother about the women that his son was dating and particularly since when did he take the liberty to express his views upon Rolf’s life? Preposterous, Rolf thought to himself as his father stared back at him with a bolt of thriving glistening in his eyes, as though confirming that he was right.
“You know nothing of me,” Rolf shouted picking up the glass and marching towards the door furiously. He turned around, his hands shaking angrily and his glare cutting his father. “And you most certainly know nothing of Luna!”
He banged the door, causing Mauler – the kneazle – to shrink into a dark corner, thus disappearing from sight. Rolf headed determinedly towards the drawing room, forcefully clutching the glass. His mind was pestered with thoughts…his father’s words resounded in his ears like the broken tune of an old piano.
“You’re going to break her heart” the voice inside his head kept repeating much to his distress. He would not break her heart; he would prove to his father and to his whole family that he would do the right thing, this time. Luna was different than all the other girls and he felt different too, when she was around. He would not allow his father to interfere between him and Luna.
With these very thoughts in mind he opened the door to the drawing room and as he entered, he noticed Luna talking to Lucy, Isabella and Virginia in a corner.
“Of course, when you read the Runes upside-down they reveal a totally different meaning,” Luna explained to the girls, at which they nodded hesitantly. “It’s actually a spell to turn someone’s ears into kumquats!” she went on excitedly.
“What are kumquats?” Isabella asked rather confused, while Rolf joined the little gathering.
“Oh, they are the most interesting things…” Luna replied, as Rolf passed her the pumpkin juice glass.
“Darling, why don’t you tell them about Crumpled-Horned Snorkaks? I find them more indulging as a subject…” Rolf pledged, and Lucy cocked her left eyebrow in disbelief.
“You think?” Luna asked and he nodded.
“Excuse me, Crumple-what?” Valerie bugged in after hearing bits of their conversation.
“Crumpled-Horned Snorkaks, Val,” Rolf spoke excitedly upon noticing his father entering and taking a seat between his wife and his brother-in-law, Arturo. “Luna and I are going to find one these days…”
“Are we, dear?” Luna inquired, beaming at him with her big blue eyes.
“Of course we are…Now, please, tell them all there is to know about them. Perhaps they spot one in Tuscany…”
“I’d rather doubt that,” Luna replied, not paying attention to the mutters of the girls. “They’re native to the Scandinavian countries…”
“Nevertheless…” Rolf assured her. “We oughtn’t to leave a rock unturned.”
Luna smiled and then went on to explain them the differences between a Crumpled-Horned Snorkack and the Ungubular Slashkilter, under the careful eye of the adults. Luna felt happy that Rolf had agreed to help her in her quest but what truly made her feel all serene and buoyant was his attitude, the lovingness he showed towards her despite being in the company of his family and perhaps, the change that she knew she had caused in him. She knew then that she had irremediably and madly fallen in love with Rolf Scamander.
And from that moment on there was no turning back…
AN Hey! I told you the fast updates were coming back:D Anyway, I hope you like this chapter as it contains a bit of the Scamanders. I'm looking forward to the next chapter however, as it has the wedding and the introduction of Rolf to Xeno Lovegood. That should be interesting, right? Well, in case you have the time I've posted a new story(well, re-posted an older story but following different timelines). It's called Anatomy of a Heart so feel free to give it a look if you're into Daphne Greengrass/Theo Nott or you simply like Slytherins:). Roe!!!
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