Glimpsed in the Light

Box & Comb

Draco glanced at his wife across the table. The flickering light from the candles danced across the curves of her face. Was now the right time?

As if she had heard his thoughts, she looked up, catching his eyes, and smiled softly. He reached out and laid his hand gently over hers.

'Luna – ' he started, and then broke off, because she was looking at him with big, grey, soft eyes and the whisper of a smile. She could be incredibly distracting sometimes. He ran his tongue over dry lips. 'I have – something, a gift, for you.'

He pulled it quickly out of his pocket – a small rectangular gift box, glimmering silver and catching the little, golden, reflected flickers of the candles. As he laid it on the table in front of Luna, she shifted the hand that lay beneath his, turning it over and threading small warm white fingers through his.

'Happy Birthday,' he murmured, feeling ridiculously shy. 'Your first – married birthday.'

She held his eyes for a moment, still with that little soft smile. 'Thank you,' she said, and squeezed his hand a little. Then she tugged the gauzy ribbon untied, and opened the box.

A little sharp shaft of pleasure pierced somewhere in his chest when he heard her little indrawn breath. 'Oh! It's… so beautiful.'

She gently lifted out his gift, and stood it on its four short curly legs: a dainty little jewellery box, curiously encrusted with blue stones, ranging from the pale eggshell of the morning sky to the aquamarine of shallow seas, the clear blue of deeper waters, and the deep inkiness of the evening shadows. A silver clasp formed the shape of two finned sea serpents, entwined, and Luna traced them with a light fingertip.

'Open it,' he said softly, and she tipped the clasp up and lifted the lid. Inside, deep shadow-blue silk nestled about his second gift – an ancient double-sided ivory comb, carved with twining vines and knots and flowers, undamaged, perfect. It was the same pale cornsilk colour as Luna's hair.

He watched as she lifted it and held it gently in her hands. 'Draco…' she said, and turned it over, lifting it up to inspect the carving more closely. Her eyes were big and fascinated, and he could see the reflections of those bright candle-flames in them.

'A Moon-Mouse,' she said.


'A Moon-Mouse… see, carved behind that big flower, with the extra-long whiskers. I didn't know that anyone knew about them back when this was made…' She ran her tongue over her lips, and carefully, slowly placed the comb back in its place.

Then she flung herself at his chest and hugged him hard, and raised her face urgently to his as he bent down over her. Their lips met, warm and sweet and blissful.

'I think…' murmured Luna into his neck, a long while later, 'that I like your last gift the most, after all.'

And he was left to make of that what he would.

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