Title: Extraordinary Luna Confirmed
(4th story in Sandcastles and Stars series)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling (some things are even borrowed from Pottermore), BtVS belongs to J. Whedon.
Ankhseram belongs to -
Summary: When Luna comes home from her second year at Hogwarts; she meets with her father who informs her of terrible news … he got married and she has gained a Stepmother. Is she an evil stepmother and an older step sister? Is she a wicked step sister?
Chapter 1: Moon child
February 13, 1984 England the Lovegood House, near the village of Ottery St. Catchpole
He waited, pacing a circle in the carpet, and then poured himself a glass of fire-whisky. Waiting for the midwife-witch to come down to the Lovegood living room to say to him, 'Congratulations sir, you are a father.'
Xenophilius Lovegood has always prided himself on being a man with high ideas and guts to stand up for them, guts that almost landed him in Gryffindor house. But then after a very long pause, that was almost classified as a hat-still, the Hat decided to put him in Ravenclaw.
Ravenclaw, it was there that he had met his future wife Pandora Gambol. She was a sight to behold; she was like one of those Veela, or more accurately Vila. Veela after all, were a subspecies of Vila, just like …
"Mr. Lovegood?" the voice of mediwitch interrupted his thoughts.
"Hm, oh..." he mumbled startled.
"Congratulations, Mr. Lovegood, you have a healthy baby-girl."
"Can I see them?" Xenophilius asked quietly; the mediwitch smiled.
"Yes, of course, Mr. Lovegood. Please right this way."
The mediwitch walked up the stairs at a brisk pace, Xenophilius following close behind. On the bed lied his wife Pandora, her silvery hair fanned out on the blue pillows, tresses plastered on her face. She looked tired, but still she smiled her usual wide smile at him.
"See, Xeno, dear I was right; it is a girl," she said, nodding at the wrapped bundle in her arms. Cautiously, Xenophilius picked up the colourful blanket wrapped loaf of his baby girl. Carefully pulling at an edge of the blanket to take a good look at the baby's face, he came face to face with smooth pink skin, a small mouth that curved into a small smile, and big, big light blue eyes.
The mediwitch pulled out a quill and parchment. "I need to note down the child's information."
Pandora smiled, "We decided to name her Luna; Luna Selene Lovegood."
The midwife-witch started to write out the name on the parchment. Adding the width and length of the child, then pounds.
"Now, just for the records, Mrs. Lovegood, your wand's length, core, and wood are?" At Pandora's questioning look, the mediwitch smiled, "It is a new survey, we are trying to determine what effects wands types of the parents have on wizarding children."
"Oh, oh, I'd like to see the results of this survey. How long are you noting the information?"
"Mrs. Lovegood, the results are in no way secret, and I'll be happy to listen to your opinion. Besides we have already sent our results to Mr. Ollivander. It helps him to determine how many and which kind of wands he should make per year. We started about seventy years ago."
"Splendid. Now my wand length is fifteen inches and a half, very swishy, and yew with dragon heartstring core."
"And you, Mr. Lovegood?"
"Ten inches - pliable, apple wood and unicorn hair."
"We will file all this under the Lovegood family health ledger," the mediwitch said, while putting the tip of the quill on the parchment and then started to write it all down.
***Week later – Pandora Lovegood study, top of the rook house***
Pandora was already walking; she knew that traditionally she should be in bed for at least another week. A remnant of the time, before the postnatal potion was invented, some pure blood families insisted for the young mothers to lie in bed, being cared for by house elves. But she never was much of a traditionalist in the first place, much like her fore-mother, Ottaline Gambol who visited Muggle parts of London frequently.
"Ellfy." Pandora's light blue eyes turned to the little house elf that popped in.
"Yes Mistresz." Ellfy stepped forward to her very tall Mistress, who was a head taller than her husband; in fact Ellfy remembered with anger how bad, bad children teased her young Mistress for her height.
"Can you make pudding, strawberry this time, please?" Pandora asked, kindly. Just because House Elves were considered property by the Wizarding kind, and in a way they were, that did not mean that they had to be treated as such.
Like that poor elf, Dobby, Pandora reminded herself, that that clot of a Malfoy had in his family employ. Just because Mafoy family was posh, that didn't mean that they should treat their serfs this bad. Still, a fact that made, when he was a schoolboy, Lucius Malfoy very cross at her, below the Gambol Family.
House Elves had to work in magical household to survive, and didn't survive for long if it got freed unless a magically powerful human took him or her into service of the household.
"Ellfy will doz it. Shouldz Ellfy bringz little Missz Luna?"
"Yes, bring my daughter. She is probably getting peckish," Pandora said, twirling around so that her silver robes billowed around her as she sat down beside her writing table, which held a bookshelf that reached the ceiling, an inkpot and quills, and lots of parchment.
Mrs. Sylwian sent her by the Owl post the latest results in the survey of parents' relation to the possible wand that will chose them, or rather the mediwitch said chosen by the wizarding child. But Pandora did make a study of Wandlore, and she knew that it did not work that way.
It had to be a magical symbiosis between the child and the wand, and she could, based on the report, predict what her child's possible combinations could be. She wondered which one it will be in the end. Pulling her long white-golden hair to the nape and tied it there, like she saw some of the witches do in Japan, Pandora smiled sadly.
The days she spent in Mahoutokoro as an exchange student in her final year were one of the best years in school. She had met some lovely people there. Even if they were overly formal, but she'd liked their system. They didn't segregate by house, but students of the opposite sex didn't room together.
Not that the student body was large, about the size of two Hogwarts houses put together. She remembered her indecision if she'd rather go to the North American school, Ilvermorny. When she was little she dreamed of going there since Isolt Sayre was her role model when she was little. They did have a common ancestor of Morrigan, albeit not direct one as the Sayre family was.
Back to her daughter's possible wand; Pandora doubted that Luna's core would be dragon heartstring, like her own was, or yew wand wood, or the same as Xeno's apple, or cherry. Yew and oak were also not compatible with the little mite.
That left phoenix feather or unicorn hair as a possible wand core; as for the wand wood; pine, acacia, beech, cedar, dogwood, ebony, larch, laurel, or vine.
There was a soft pop and Ellfy appeared holding Luna in her arms. "Here, it'z little Miss, Ellfy needed to change the Missez Luna nappy and gevez her food, Ellfy did."
"Thank you Ellfy," Pandora said. Then she straightened up when Xeno entered her study, pressing a quick kiss to Luna, then to Pandora's forehead, before he pulled them both to the sofa, where he heavily sat, pulling his wife and infant daughter to him, his usual cheerful disposition shrouded in gloom.
"What is it dear?" she asked worried.
"He who must not be named is dead," Xeno said, then his hold on her tightened. "He attacked the Potters, both Lily and James are dead. Murdered by You-know-who himself. Potter's son Harry survived."
Pandora stilled; yes she was merely acquainted to Lily Potter nee Evans, because to Pandora James Potter was, what was the Muggle term? Boyfriend? Yes, James Potter was Pandora's boyfriend in his fourth year. They dated until the end of term. Just before the end, they then decided that they were better friends … and Pandora had noticed James's preoccupation with Lily Evans.
And she and Lily were on the way to becoming real friends; in fact in her last letter, before Potters went to hiding …
"How about their toddler?" Pandora asked, remembering how Lily scoffed at the prophecy, but being a mother, she took it as a precaution, because Voldemort believed in the prophecy, and so she decided to hide with her husband and son. Pandora did the research for Lily on Protection Blood Magic's, something that the European Wizarding world considered dark, because it required three things: a ritual sacrifice, murder, and protection or in Lily's case mother's love.
And love could be dark. But there was nothing dark about the love Lily felt, so Pandora was sure that it had worked; after all Harry survived a Killing Curse, and Tom Riddle was defeated by his own power.
Pandora's eyes closed, when she held her little daughter a little closer to her chest, and Pandora herself was burrowed in her husband's loving embrace. All the same, the words of the ritual that Lily cast that night, the night before they went into hiding, when Lily became the willing sacrifice, wrapping her blood protection around her son, Harry... Pandora could see it in her mind's eye…
To the time two months ago….Pandora was massaging her own back, and then smiling softly, she rubbed her bulging belly. "Wait just a little while more little one and you will be out."
Then Ellfy popped in. "Mistresz," Pandora's house elf said. "An owl came and brought letterz, the owl waitz for reply."
"Now who is this?" muttered Pandora, then she picked up letter opener and carefully pried the sealing wax from the parchment. Then she read.
You are probably wondering why I'm writing this to you, or not. You were always frightfully perceptive. You probably guessed what I wanted when I questioned you about child protection at your baby bash.
But I'm desperate; Albus Dumbledore came to us, saying that Voldemort is hunting us and the Longbottoms, and that we should use the Fidelius charm to hide somewhere.
But I would like the additional insurance that my baby grows up, Please Pandora, if you know of anything that would inure that?!
I'm begging you to help me, help us, and little Harry!
Sincerely, Lily J. Potter.
Pandora re-read the letter, thinking that the things that were in book she bought in Japan would become useful for Lily Potter as well as for her. The problem was that the protection required specific conditions to take affect, conditions that were all too easily met in these troubled times. She carefully sat on the sofa and wrote a reply.
"I have to admit, I hadn't expected this," Lily said when she brushed away the stray red fringe that fell into her almond shaped green eyes when she was leaning over the book.
"I already set up the ingredients the moment the owl flew your way with my replay. When are you expected?"
"Soon, I said I'm going to Muggle chemist's …" Lily trailed off when she found a stronger protection spell, the one that required a ritual sacrifice.
"This one, we will use this one!" she exclaimed and showed the page to Pandora. Pandora's pale blue eyes quickly scanned the page. "If you do this spell, your life will be forfeited."
"If it will protect Harry, even after my death, then let it be forfeited. I'll give up my life hundreds of times if it meant that Harry would survive." Lily's voice carried finality that she could respect.
Pandora sighed, "Then let's do this."
She pulled out a large cloth made of linen and put it on the meadow, which was lit by bonfires and by the stars above. Then she put out a bronze mirror, a Tamagushi - branch cut from an asakaki-tree branch decorated with paper strips made from the paper mulberry shrub, and silk ribbons which she swiped through the air, purifying the site. There were also two silver bowls filled with white rice on a low table along with the ceremonial silver dagger.
Lily laid down her wand on the table, well away from the place of casting. She will have no need for wand in any case.
Then she grabbed her son, who was dozing off in his blanket, and one bowl of rice. She put the dozing toddler on the white cloth and poured the rice all around Harry. Then she went back, took ceremonial dagger and the second silver bowl of rice, and cut the veins on her right wrist. Pandora's hand tightened over her wand, but she held back. Lily was not in danger of bleeding out, she was protected – a willing sacrifice. Then she held her freely bleeding wrist over the bowl until every grain of rice was soaked in her blood.
All the while chanting "Kabā Harry Potter. Satsujin miraj Potter Evans Lily Jade Gishiki-teki tosatsu."
When the rice was red, Lily bound her wound with gauze. Pandora would heal the cut later with magic. But for now it was important that no wand magic interfered with the ritual.
***Nine years later (1993) ***
Pandora was putting her daughter to sleep, her mind vivid with plans for hers and Xeno's second child. There was time for another little mite for Lovegoods as they agreed that when little Luna reaches her ninth year they'll make a go at making another baby. She already had a name picked out; after a very brave woman Jade; it could be a boy's name as well as a girl's.
"Mummy, tell me a story."
"Oh what do you want to hear this time?"
Luna thought for a moment then beamed, her silvery eyes lighting up in anticipation.
"About your year at Mahoutokoro, mum, you already told me about one year at Hogwarts."
"All right, Mahoutokoro is located on the volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima, and the palace of Mahoutokoro is made up of mutton-fat jade. Students also don't travel there by train or boats or carriages drawn by Thestrals." Pandora smiled when she saw Luna's eyes widened; she just knew that her daughter's mind pictured the Japanese school of witchcraft in her head.
"You know what a Thestral is, Luna?"
"Yes, mum, the only ones who can see them are the ones that have witnessed death."
"Now Wizards of Mahoutokoro refer to themselves as Majishan, which translates to magician, and they refer to Muggles as Ningen, which translates to human."
"But we are humans too."
"Yes, we are. But they prefer to set themselves apart and not Muggles. Mostly, because of the belief that anyone can learn a certain type of magic and that there is indeed many different kinds of magic in the world," Pandora explained.
"Is that true?" Luna asked eagerly.
"Well, Ellfy can use magic and can not use a wand. In fact House Elves don't need wands to work their magic. They use different source than Wizards do. Who is to say that other types of magicians can't harness other types of magic?"
Then Pandora thought for a moment, "Magic is like how people talk, little Luna. Shop assistants talk smooth and fast. Farmers and the ones that take care of animals, like a veterinarian, speak in a gentle monotone. And sailors talk very loudly."
Pandora then smiled, "But we can go through magical theory later, since it is usually Unspeakables, but they are also sometimes closed minded about things that don't fit into already existing theories. For example they think that an American Muggle landing on the moon was a Muggle hoax."
"Well considering they invented a way to travel by air in an aeroplane, I'd say that it is true that there was a man on the moon. But you wanted to know more about my year in Mahoutokoro. "
"Mmm, how do students get to the school?"
"On the backs of a flock of giant storm petrels. When I came to Japan through the Ministry of Magic, I was picked up by one of those." Pandora explained. "And when we arrived at the palace, I received a faint pink robe, that when I put it on it started to change colour to sunflower yellow. They explained that when a student achieves top grades in every magical subject the robes become golden. If they turn white, however, that means that a student has betrayed the Japanese wizard's code and adopted illegal practices or broke the International Statute of Secrecy. To 'turn white' is a terrible disgrace, and it is an instant expulsion from the school and a trial at the Japanese Ministry of Magic."
Little Luna's eyes winded, "That's harsh."
Pandora nodded, "They take abuse of power seriously. That and the magic's we consider dark, such as Blood or Rebirth based spells, are not considered such if the reason for casting them serves the good of Wizards and Witches and Muggles."
Pandora then gathered her thoughts. "But you probably want to hear about my adventures at Mahoutokoro, not about the difference of dealing with the Dark Arts and the politics between British and Japanese Wizards."
Luna nodded; Pandora smiled. "Well I can tell you about my first night there, and a crush on a certain boy that I developed. And a found and bought book that affected many lives," she said, while she again, tucked her daughter in her bed.
"When I arrived the students were gathered, and I was introduced to a girl named Hikari Shiori, that means gleaming light or white gleam if it's written correctly, and she became what they referred to as my Big Sister or One-sama."
Next day, Pandora was drawing magic circles with runes and kanji inscribed all over; she was using simple chalk bought in a Muggle shop.
"Mum, what are you doing?" Luna asked, when she came into the Lovegood's living room. Then she came closer to her mother to look at the book – it was an old looking, leather bound book. It had no title gracing its cover.
"What's this spell book and why doesn't it have a title, who wrote it?"
"That's the book I bought in Japan. I don't know, it never did have a title. And no idea, someone who knew a lot about all kinds of Magic I suppose."
"But mummy, if you bought the book in Japan, wouldn't it been in, uh, in …" Luna stalled trying to remember the words for the script that her mother told her they used there.
"Kanji?" Pandora said, guessing the word her daughter was searching for. "Before I bought it yes, all the letters were indeed in Kanji format, but now the whole book is written in western letters."
"Ohh, so is the book alive?" Luna asked; Pandora blinked, startled, she hadn't thought of that.
"You know, there is a lot of magic in this book, so it is possible the book is somewhat aware."
"Huh, then perhaps we should name it, poor book hasn't got a title." Luna said in airy voice, her small hands patting a book.
"All right, what should the name of this book be, hmm?" Pandora asked amused.
"Well," Luna looked outside dreamily, "today I made sandcastles with Ginny Weasley. And daddy said we will be looking at the stars tonight!" she said exited "So the book's name will be Sandcastles and Stars."
"Sandcastles and Stars it is," Pandora said. "Now be a dear and stand in that protective circle that I drew over there."
Luna did, she sat down eagerly, and she always liked to watch her mum do new magic that she was experimenting with. And her mum had always made sure that she was protected.
Come to think of it, Luna thought, this circle was inscribed in that book. Luna smiled a small smile. It looked like that her friend Sandcastles and Stars was protecting her all this time.
Pandora then closed the book and started to work the spell; she created it in hopes to see in things unseen. But what Pandora forgot was that the magic of the book and the magic of the wand should never combine. So when she cast the spell with her wand, she was still holding onto the book.
The spell's effect was painful as it ripped through the witch's insides, soul and magic, pulling, tearing them apart, while her body stayed erect, and only slight winds stirred her hair. So little Luna who was sitting in that protective circle had no idea that her mother just died right in front of her.
Eleven year old Luna was looking at a light yellow envelope, and there on the front written in green ink:
Miss L.S. Lovegood
Room to the Left
Rockery Lovegood House
Ottery St. Catchpole Village
That was her invitation letter from Hogwarts; she turned to the handsome barn owl that delivered it and gave her a biscuit. The owl hooted its thanks after he ate the biscuit and then took flight back to his home, leaving Luna to open and read her letter.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc. Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confederation of Wizards)
Dear Miss Lovegood,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find the enclosed list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on the 1st of September.
Luna read, then she opened the envelope again, and yes, there it was another slip of parchment.
Uniform – First year students will require:
3 sets of black work robes
1plain black pointed hat
1 pair of protective gloves (dragon skin or similar)
Please note all students' clothes should carry name tags.
Looks like she'll have to visit Madam Malkin's in Diagon Alley, Luna thought, then ducked her head to read about her book list.
The standard book of spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adablers Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emerie Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
Marauding with Monsters by Gilderoy Lockhart
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set of brass scales
Students may also bring an owl OR toad OR cat.
Parents are reminded that 1st years are not allowed their own broomstick.
It was her Hogwarts letter, she quickly went searching (for) her father(;) after all, she needed to go shopping.
Pandora opened her eyes; she remembered that she was lying on the floor, watching Luna and her dear Xeno mourn … her passing.
She abruptly sat up…
"Yes, you are quite dead," the male voice echoed in the golden hall. Pandora turned to see a male definitely, but the male in question had silvery skin, pitch black eyes, and green leafy hair. Pandora then did a double take; those eyes were not solid black, they were two voids.
"Who are you?" Pandora asked. "And you say I'm dead, but what is this place?"
"Mph, ever the inquisitive, my name, I have many. But I mostly prefer the name Ankhseram," he said. "This is my place, which I hold in Multiverse."
"Multiverse, what's that?"
"Consider it as a multi-layered cake, and your dimension is a strawberry filling.
"Never mind my metaphors; you, by botching that spell, created a rip in the cake."
Pandora lowered her head; she caused death and destruction there.
"Yes you did, however the man that you saw snap would have done so anyway, since things had gone wrong even before you accidentally ripped into that dimension," Ankhseram said.
"But you, your spell book," he continued. Pandora was startled when she saw that she was still clutching the leather bound spellbook. "And your rip can enable me to fix this grievous wrong that occurred."
"And in return, well I can't revive you, but I can insure your reincarnation …"
"I'd like to insure my daughter's and Xeno's happiness; I would like to, for you to somehow insure my unborn child comes into the world for my husband, and I would like to move on when you don't need me anymore," Pandora said.
"That can be done," Ankhseram declared, "But you'll have to do most of the legwork; I have no idea how to match-make people. I can narrow it down for possible matches however. I already have five possibilities that could resolve the Dragneel issue."
Pandora nodded then Ankhseram waved her over to the golden basin filled by silvery liquid.
"Hmm, this is like a Pensive."
"Yes, similar, only it shows whatever place I want it to. Now the possibilities, I'll start with the oldest." He waved his hand over the basin and an image of a pale dark haired woman appeared.
"This is Drusilla Hornby. Now the next," The liquid rippled like somebody casted a stone into the basin. And a boy appeared, a boy, "His name is Michael Czajak, he is about years older than your daughter, then the next is…" Another ripple and Michael's image was replaced with an image of a girl.
"Her name is Nancy McNeal, she lives in a little town called Sunnydale in California."
There was another ripple, and there was this adorable blonde girl; she had a stuffed pig in her hands. "This one is Buffy Anne Summers. She is 3 years older than your daughter Luna."
And finally the liquid rippled for the fifth time, to reveal…
"And your daughter, Luna Selene Lovegood."
To be continued…
*From HP wiki: Ottaline Gambol- was born sometime prior to 1827, rose to the office of Minister for Magic in 1827 and proved to be effective in the solution of the problem of how to transport hundreds of students to and from Hogwarts Castle without attracting the Muggles' attention.
Majishan – magican
Ningen - human
Kabā - wrap protection
Satsujin - murder
Gishiki-teki tosatsu – ritual sacrifice
Miraj – future