Luna glanced out the window,
seeing the sun shining bright on her new husband, Harry Potter. She had
been looking forward to this day for the longest time, a day before
Harry's birthday, for them to clean up the wreckage of her house two
years after the end of the second war.
Unfortunately for her, a strain of magical resistant flu had spread out in the Auror team's office. The muggleborns and halfbloods, who already had their mundane flu shots this year, were spared from the flu outbreak. But Harry was one of the exceptions because he'd had his vaccination scheduled two weeks later.
In turn, it had to be resolved the muggle way, with medicine, bed rest and tender loving care which Luna had been doing for the past few days. She soaked a face towel in cold water, rolled and squeezed to remove the excess water before wiping the cold sweat from Harry's face, arms and torso. Every shiver or contact with his fever-riddled skin made Luna all the more depressed, as it gnawed at her inability to just magic away his pain.
After the wipe down, Harry went back under their comforters, but maintained a smile at Luna in between the sneezing and coughing. With his voice weakened from the constant coughing, he apologetically asked, "Moon flower, are you sure you want to go on alone without me? Maybe you could wait a few more days, then I can help you with clearing up the house."
Her heart felt something suddenly crush it with a vice grip, the agonizing void of gloom filling every nook and cranny of her body, his words intent solely for her happiness.
'Even after all these years and after everything he went through, he's still so selfless. It reminds me why I love him from the time with the threstrals up to this very day.' Luna thought to herself.
"Sometimes, I still feel I don't deserve you, Harry." Luna whispered.
She then felt his right hand hold her right hand while their simple tungsten wedding rings glistened in the radiance of the sun.
Harry looked into her teary eyes and could see every bit of turmoil behind her dreamy, almost absentminded mask. The sadness of her soul felt almost tangible to his lips, a bittersweet morning dew.
"Luna Lovegood-Potter, you have nothing to worry about. I am always with you, for richer or poorer, sickness or health, till my life after life begins. I won't be brought down by this flu, moonflower. Promise me you'll come back safe and sound?" Harry held out his right pinky finger, which Luna shook with her own right pinky finger.
"I promise. I can do this, love." Luna replied, kissing Harry's lips softly then stood up, before she headed for the door. "This is for his first birthday with me. I want it to be perfect." She told herself and she took one last glance at Harry before apparating away.
Taking a moment to get her bearings, she took a breath of fresh air before opening her eyes. It had been two years since she came to her childhood home and she never really knew what to expect. For her last memory, it was the shape of a chess rook on top of a hill with a creek on the base.
The destroyed and derelict state of her house was the red carpet to the arrival. The only things left standing were the half of the house where the printing press, Luna's room and kitchen area were to be found. The other half had caved in and collapsed from the explosion two years prior. The support beams were covered in moss, while weed, creeping vines and the dirigible plums grew haphazardly on the kitchen floor. There were rotted issues of the Quibbler newspaper all around where the plants have not grown. Different birds, from sparrows to crows had called parts of the place home.
For the second time in her life, Luna felt truly and utterly furious. Every pore of her body screamed anger, her knuckles were white from the tight clenching of both fists and her eyes burned with righteous fury, narrowed to an almost vorpal blade-like sharpness. It was the exact thing she felt during the debacle at the Department of Mysteries all over again. If anyone had been with Luna that time, no one would recognize her because entire posture exuded the words cold, precise and scary with a wand, while the wind blew her hair wildy.
A moment later, she screamed into the wind. She shook her head and knelt down on the grass. Her sanctuary from all those people who disbelieved in nargles and creatures she saw, heard and touched even up to this day, called her a lunatic or worse…
It felt like disbelief at first, the question of how could a solid structure, like their stone tower house, collapse in such a way from an explosion
Now, it was gone in a flash. 'This place is my home, my only home… Where I wanted to house, raise and grow my new family with Harry… It's gone, all gone.' Luna's thoughts went, as she fell on the ground and agonized over those thoughts over and over again for what felt like centuries in her head, but lasted for at least ten minutes or so.
The crying caused her lungs to crush up and her sobs became labored panting. She wanted to stay there on the ground, wrapped up in melancholy that slowly strangulated her, to just forget about everything that happened and to sleep and never to wake up. Simply she wanted nothing more that to give up.
"Promise me you'll come back safe and sound?" Harry's words echoed in her head and a pinky promise she wanted to never break.
When she stood up, her entire soul found itself stuck in the middle of a void. With her drive flattened and her heart deprived of all senses, she walked mechanically to the remains of her house, with the intention of an accomplished obligation to her husband.
Getting inside the house through an open wall, she flicked her wand and the dirigible plums moved outside like a marching band. She left the moss on the support beams untouched for now and once the plums were out of the way, sliced off the weeds and creeping vines on the ground. Instead of a clean set of precise wand strokes Luna had been known for, it came out erratic. Some plants were chopped with jagged slices, while others appeared pulled.
Even the marble tiles underneath the vines were not spared. The cutting curses caused cracks and shrapnel even flew around with the sheer force of Luna's spellwork.
Half an hour later, Luna composed herself as she leaned on the moss padded support beam and surveyed her handiwork. It was a sobering sight to her eyes. The entire kitchen floor was littered by shredded vegetation and chunks of the marble tiles scattered all throughout the area.
The cleanup of her house was supposed to reparation to the memory of her childhood home. But she tore right through the kitchen floor with the injustice in front of her, coupled with her helplessness without Harry. Luna sobbed once more into her grimy, dusty and leaf sprinkled hands. It was unfair. Harry was supposed to be with her right now as her strength in the middle of this desolation. Her emotions became frazzled with thoughts of giving up, going back to Harry and forget ever doing this chore.
She steadied herself and began to walk out of the kitchen, through the same place she went in.
Just as she was about to step out, she took one last look at the product of her emotional eruption. One thing caught her eye and she ran back to inspect it.
She banished the leaves that covered the wall and cleaned up the soot, dirt and mud in the general area to have a better look.
It unraveled a colorful scene in the kitchen. There were Pastel colors painted in abstract designs. Childhood dragon drawings running around with a stick drawing of Luna while being chased by Xenophilius and her mom. Everything appeared so alive in that little space of the kitchen wall, and like the sun rising over the darker reaches of mountains. Luna's wand work blew the leaves out of the kitchen, repaired the tiles and scourgified the walls and counter tops.
Her pace became frantic as the minutes passed by, while her efforts were fueled by desire to see her old kitchen back, just as she remembered it before she left it for the world. It felt like a huge rush to her, a sugar high that seemed to never stop within her.
The sun was at high noon when she finished her work at the kitchen. She pointed her wand at the ward scheme for the house and powered it before she rested down on the spotless kitchen floor of mixed marble tiles ranging from white, cream and black.
The entire scene was surreal, even for her standards. The pots, pans and silverware cleaned themselves up on the sink. Every doodle, shape art work or sketch on the kitchen walls moved around. She watched snorkacks frolicking in daffodils and circles dancing with squares and lines. But the one she found the cutest was a doodle of her riding a broomstick with her enchanted lion quidditch hat. It was all alive to her, a vibrancy that had been only matched by the times when her mom was still alive.
After a while, she decided that the kitchen could clean up after itself for now and headed upstairs to her room. All the while, she continued to slice off the undergrowth coming up her house, but this time, with her surgical preciseness to the fore and a genuine smile to her lips.
Her smile disappeared however, when she got to the outside of her room. The oak door was lined by creeping vines on the outside and stopped only at the edges of the entrance.
Her good mood disappeared and the feelings of dread and despair found itself screaming out her heart and resolve once more. She looked back and wanted to leave the house again. Her instincts screamed for her to leave and Luna was about to, until she remembered part of what Harry said in the morning.
"Luna Lovegood-Potter, you have nothing to worry about. I am always with you, for richer or poorer, sickness or health, till my life after life begins."
Luna looked at the door once more, shook her head and muttered, "You are really a bad influence on me, Harry. You and the nargles definitely, Harry love."
She sliced the vines and opened the door gently, walked inside and turned on the light.
She saw that room ceiling had cracks and it was the same with the floor. The pale blue carpet had patches missing because these were eaten by moths and the end of Luna's bed had fallen through the floor.
Luna was about to cry again as frustration ebbed within her for being unable to have this place spared from the mess. That is of course, until she looked up and let out a voice of shock. The ceiling painting she made glowed softly, the cracks surrounding the painting but stopping at the edge of the glowing gold chain of the words friends with Hermione, Ron, Harry, Neville and Ginny in the middle.
Her lips mouthed the words, "Wow" in amazement that the portrait had remain intact and pristine after the damage to the house in general.
Musical notes came out of the background and she hummed along the tune. After a moment more, it was Tsaikovski's Waltz of the Flowers, the music she listened to while she painted the ceiling.
"I listed to that while making the portrait in the ceiling. This waltz feels like I'm walking on flower fields." Luna whispered to herself, walking gracefully in the music.
Luna got back into the groove as she scourgified the walls to reveal the stationary Ravenclaw sigil she painted, covered in stars and swirls that floated and moved around the walls. There were rough doodles of unicorns and nifflers running after gold on the lower part of the wall. It felt an exhilarating rush to finally see all her art works back to life.
Just as she walked by the ruined bed, a slight reflection caught her eye underneath the worn and scattered sheets and dust. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be rectangular, smooth polished maple on the sides. She picked the item up and turned it around.
The item she held was a picture frame of a younger and well groomed version of herself, around when she had been seven or eight years old, being hugged by a woman that looks exactly like her, except for the silvery blue eyes.
"Mum." Luna whispered, her face's brightness lessened and the gleeful smile from the music turned into a sad one once more. "I never got the chance to thank you for enchanting all my drawings and doodles. The doodles unfortunately only appeared when I'm in the house."
Luna stifled the tears that were threatening to come out of her eyes as she continued, "You know what the saddest thing is besides not having you at my wedding? I never figured out how to enchant my drawings to move. With that, my painting in the ceiling would have been perfect."
She held the picture close to her heart, clasped the window curtains and moved them to the side. The entirety of Ottery St. Catchpole appeared before her. The sun's position told her it was almost three o'clock and she would need to go back to Harry soon.
With her wand pointed at the closet, she whispered "Accio Lion Hat." She expertly caught it and thanked her lucky stars that her charms to keep the contents of her closet dust free and clean were still intact.
Luna wore the hat and let out a soft melancholic sigh at not finding Harry a perfect gift for his birthday tomorrow.
She glanced at her surroundings and had a gut feel to bring along her sketch pad and drawing implements. The moment it touched her hands, she knew she found the perfect gift.
The sun shone from the window and she guessed it was already four o' clock. "See you soon, house." Luna whispered, a prayer and a promise thrown into the universe to be fulfilled before she apparated back home.
It was exactly four o' clock by the time Luna arrived home, judging by the felix the cat wall clock Harry bought during their travels around garage sales. Excited to be with her husband, she walked towards their room with a sketch pad in her hands, while the tune from the Waltz of the Flowers whistled in her lips.
With the door that opened slowly when she came in, she saw her husband sound asleep underneath the blankets. An empty bowl of chicken noodle soup was on the bedside table and his glasses beside it.
Luna sat down and caressed Harry's face and hair. She felt his temperature had slowly went back to normal, saw the color of his cheeks regain their vitality and heard his breathing mellowed down from the raspy sound it used to make a few days ago.
Harry felt Luna's hand on him, and opened his eyes. He saw her with same plain white shirt and jeans before she left, only this time, she wore a soft Gryffindor lion hat that mewled at him. "Welcome back home, my love. You kept your promise" He greeted. He pushed down the blankets and slowly raised himself up the pillows to sit. He traced the outline of her tears and wrapped his arms around her.
"I'm sorry I could not be there with you, Luna. I'm sorry I was weak and could not be your strength." Harry whispered into her ear.
Luna shook her head and replied, "I was never alone. Everytime I wanted to give up, I had you."
She removed herself from her husband's embrace and she took out the sketch pad from behind her. She opened the pages and it read in pastel colors of red, blue green and yellow letterings,
Happy Unbirthday to you Harry! I hope you like this little gift from me to you!
Turning another page, it showed a series of doodles outlining the rook, with various creatures running around. There are unicorns with daffodils, daisies and dirigible plums on the bottom. And there was Harry and Luna on broomsticks with dragons in the sky.
"Would you like to draw something in this page Harry?" Luna asked and handed him a box full of coloring implements.
Harry took some and drew two snitches in front of them and drew a small quaint house on top of the hill with a creek underneath.
"One last gift too, Mr. Potter." Luna intoned and showed him the picture frame she found.
Harry accepted the small frame from her hands and said, "Hi mum. I hope you're watching me and moonflower along with my mum up there."
He felt a loose bit of paper on the side of the picture frame and gently pulled it. It contained a small note and it reads,
Picturae Locomotor, just a quick 45 degree right swish followed by three counterclockwise turns, say the incantation above then point at your doodles, my moonchild.
Luna saw the note written in her mom's handwriting and pieced it all together at once. Taking out her wand, she did as the note instructed and the doodles in her sketchpad came to life.
"This is the best gift I've ever received, besides you becoming my wife." Harry said, gently held Luna beside him and they watched their doodles move around for both of them to enjoy.