Disclaimer: Not mine.
Title: The Little Things that Matter
Challenge: All Aboard the Love Boat
Paring: Luna Lovegood and George Weasley
One Year BD (Before Dating)
Not quite sure why, George sat up in his bed. Something wasn't right, which might explain why he was moving on a sort of autopilot, pulling on jeans over his boxers and pulling on a t-shirt and a jacket.
George moved quickly down the hall, out the back door, and onto his porch, coughing at all the black smoke in the air.
He could just make out the flames of a fire, just a few blocks or so away from him, reaching up and licking towards the sky. That looked like . . .
Apparating quickly, George appeared on the sidewalk, right next to Luna. She didn't even move as he popped besides her, her arms crossed over her chest, Henley and Hadley crushed to her, mewing in protest, as she shivered despite the hot night air and the fire in front of them. She was barefoot, having probably rushed out of her flat as she was, the bottom of her night pants singed slightly.
Fire Control Wizards rushed around, trying to put out the fire with their wands, but George could see it was of no use. The fire was too wild, too hot. Putting his arm around Luna's shoulders, he pulled her away from the apartment building across the street. Neighbors glared at her as they pass, probably mad because they were dragged out of a peaceful sleep or whatever they had been doing.
They didn't even care that she was alright.
"What happened?" he asked softly.
She shook her head. "I don't know. I was being real careful, with everything, the potions and stuff."
"What were you doing with potions and stuff, Luna?"
Luna looked up at him. The look in her eyes was different from anything he had ever seen before . . . it was so much more . . . un-lively . . . as if she had given up hope. George didn't think he'd ever see that look in Luna's eyes. "I was trying to surprise you is all. To show you some of the joke ideas I've come up with because you're were having a 'block'. I . . . I must have mixed the wrong potions or something. . . . Next thing I knew my work area was on fire. I tried to put it out but it was more of a small explosion than anything. I had enough sense to, you know, grab my Gringotts' key and my wand before I got out but I always keep those where they are easily accessible so. . . . Hadley and Henley followed me out, thank Merlin. That's the guy who lives below me. I think I blew a hole in his floor."
"Miss?" Luna turned as one of the FCWs came to her, wiping the sweat from his brow. "We were able to contain the fire but I'm afraid there was too much damage to actually save your apartment. Was there . . . was there anyone else in there?"
Luna shook her head. The man opened his mouth to speak again, but George held up his hand, stopping him. "Can't you tell she's still shaken up? Just – give her a while."
The man frowned before nodding and walking away. George took off his jacket and wrapped it around Luna's shoulders. It was easy to see why she was so shaken . . . this was exactly the same way her mother had died. Luna had gotten off lucky.
"Well," Luna said in a flat voice, "I guess, tomorrow I'll go to Gringotts' and get the money out to pay the flat owners' and for that guy's floor. Than I'll use whatever's left to buy new clothes and things. And then starts the search for a new place."
"What about until then?" George asked.
Tears brimmed in Luna's eyes. "I guess the Leaky Cauldron will be alright for a while."
He hesitated before lightly wrapping his arm around her shoulders again. "Come on."
Moments later, they were outside of the shop, Luna stopping at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the flat. "Oh, George," she said, her voice thick.
"What is it then?" he asked, giving her a small smile.
She shook her head . . . tears slid down her cheeks. "I couldn't. This is awfully sweet of you, George, but I really couldn't. You've just – we just – I couldn't let you do that George. I can't."
"And I can't let you stay in the Leaky Cauldron," George said. He took Henley from her, cradling the cat in one arm before reaching out his free hand to her. "Come on, now."
"Luna, just come on."
She hesitated before taking his hand, letting him lead her up the steps to the flat. Setting her down on the couch, George went about getting Fred's old room ready, putting on new sheets and things.
When he was done, it was to look up and see Luna staring into the room with wide eyes. "George, you really don't have to do this," she said softly.
"It's fine," he said, moving towards her. "It's yours to do whatever you will until you get your own place. Have at it."
She still stood there though, in the bedroom, unmoving and as solid as a statue. . . . This is why it was a big surprise to George when she leapt onto him in a very unexpected hug.
She smelt like candy, George realized . . . and smoke of course, but he thought it was strange that that was the first thing he had noticed. Slowly, hesitantly, he wrapped his arms around her waist to return the hug, but sooner than he realized it was over.
"I promise to pay rent and everything," she said, stepping back from me as tears continued to stream down her face. "You really can't understand how grateful I am for this."
George shrugged, gently nudging her into the room. It was a little thing, for him anyway. But the way Luna looked at him, it was like he had just bought her a mansion. "You don't have to pay rent. This is something that I want to do. Now, get some sleep."
Finally, for the first time that night, Luna smiled, moving into the room. He closed the door, softly, watching for a moment as she folded up his jacket and laying it down on the end of the bed before crawling under the covers.
A small smile came to George's face as Hadley and Henley twined around his legs. He opened the door slightly again, letting them slink inside before moving back towards his room. He hoped he was doing the right thing.
"Thank you, George," he heard Luna call out softly from the room.
George chuckled, slightly. "You're welcome."
Yeah, he was doing the right thing.
A/N: So, finally an update. Thanks for reading. I'm really glad everyone likes this story so far