Pairing(s): Luna Lovegood, Blaise Zabini
Prompt: After the war, a lot of Slytherins end up having to stay at Hogwarts over the holidays. Luna decides it's her job to spread some holiday cheer amongst those who aren't so cheerful.
Word Count/Art Medium: 941
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: It's been a while since I've written anything, and I think this fic can certainly attest to that fact if you can manage your way through it. I just couldn't let this minifest season go by without contributing something. And hey, at the end of the day I'm happy I made it. I hope it can spark some joy in even just one person.
Summary: Luna finds an unexpected surprise at the end of a floating cookie trail.
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Truffles and figgy puddings floated down the halls, disappearing round the corner. Luna watched them with delight, the tinted candlelight dancing across her pale face; coloring her cheeks with holiday cheer. Gliding along beside the procession of sweet treats Luna mused to herself with great curiosity, pondering just what or who could be performing such a silly spell.
Surely it wasn’t the moonmice or the overly festive but troublesome peppermintmaned pixie... both of these creatures she would’ve seen carrying the treats away on their backs with a gleeful grin and a jovial skip in their step. Underneath these particular sweets however was nothing, nothing at all. It seemed it might just be a mischievous witch or wizard at work, but if there was a chance it could be a hoard of reclusive and invisible butterscotch spirits, Luna felt it was her utmost duty to investigate.
Mind tuned to a quest for answers and the potential encounter with mythical creatures, Luna paid no heed to the other students watching her. Most everyone knew who she was, particularly after the battle, but in many ways things had stayed the same between others and Luna. They still found her quite kooky, though in a much kinder way than before, and they still kept their distance from her; particularly when she was off in search of the unknown and the invisible. Luna knew this, and while she had no intention of changing her ways, she appreciated the effort people made at least appreciate her oddities. A small conversation here and there, a genuine smile or wave, the occasion words of encouragement. Most of them probably still didn’t really believe her, but their interest was nice all the same.
It wasn’t long before the people began to fade away, each new corner offering fewer and fewer curious gazes. Had she been paying attention, to more apparent observables that is, she might have noticed her trail of mystery sweets was leading her ever closer to the practically desolate dungeons. The once vibrant and couth hangout of the Slytherins.
While most Slytherin students still chose to return to Hogwarts this year, it seemed as though they never ventured much further than their rooms if they could help it. Even the holiday spirit had done little to lure them from their self imposed confines.
Luna paused briefly as the sweet treat trail slipped underneath a particular door. This hardly phased Luna, who saw fit to let herself into the room. She would’ve been equally as inclined to ignore the people in this room as she was in the hallway, except for the fact that the trail led her right to one of them.
“Er, hello?” the boy looked down at her from his seat on the bed. He was, despite his current position, noticeably taller than she.
“So, no butterscotch spirits then,” Luna sighed resolute, “That’s a terrible shame. You’re sure there isn’t a moonmouse behind your ear?”
“Um, no,” the boy answered, somehow more perplexed by this strange girl who had entered his room without invitation.
“Mm, I suppose I should leave then,” Luna tapped one of the sweets floating by.
“...You don’t have to… If you don’t want to.”
Luna looked at the boy for what seemed to be the very first time, assessing him with a soft but introspective gaze. The look lasted for too long, and the boy was almost beginning to regret offering her the opportunity, “-Alright,” Luna agreed suddenly, floating onto the bed beside the boy, “You’re Blaise, I already know; but I don’t know if you’re aware I’m Luna.”
“Your character precedes your name, at least amongst Slytherins,” Blaise nibbled on a freshly delivered tart.
Luna hummed softly, watching as the sweets neatly piled themselves atop the duvet. It was a delicate but simple charm, one that seemed to suit the student in front of her. He was obviously beautiful, even with his deeply melancholy gaze. Even as unhappy as he clearly was, things still had to remain orderly and perfect.
“It’s not entirely fair is it?” Luna hummed again, bopping a floating pastry, “Feeling out of place. I’ve felt that way all my life, but I imagine it must be quite hard for someone like yourself. It will get easier with time, to some degree, but I suspect you’ll find a way to integrate yourself back in. You don’t seem like you belong out of sorts. And that usually has a way of righting itself.”
“Perhaps,” Blaise mulled over her words between chews, “But I don’t really know if I want to go back.”
Luna remained silent, which Blaise seemed to take as an opportunity to elaborate, “It's just… It all seems like a dream. The years spent pretending everything was alright, the secrecy and the lies… If I insert myself again, I go back to all of that. I just know I will. But if I do nothing… It can stay this way. I can just… Be.”
A small smile graced Luna’s lips as she finally selected a particularly delightful looking truffle from the cavalcade of treats, “... I think these were a particularly excellent choice.”
And for the first time that evening, Luna noticed, Blaise smiled too.
He may not have been as exciting as an encounter with a peppermintmaned pixie, but Luna didn’t regret following the trail of crumbles he had left. Maybe he didn’t realize it just now, but Blaise was looking for a friend and Luna was, she could proudly say, an excellent friend.
These things she could sense would come in good time, but for now, it was enough to share in this sweet fest together.