Disclaimer: No mine. I'm not making any money off this.
AN: lunaaaalovegreat on tumblr asked me to write something for Harry and Luna and honestly I've always wanted to write a real fic for them so... I did.
And honestly I'm kinda proud of it.
*the ones that seek and find*
*(six years in the relationship of harry and luna)*
i. - Year 2, January
The wizarding world is vast and magical and filled with wonder. And at the end of the day most of its fate comes down to chance. In this way it is not at all unlike the muggle world.
Four little boys share a compartment on a train and spend the next seven years becoming the terrors of Hogwarts. Two decades later a mountain troll wanders into a girls' bathroom instead of some abandoned classroom and so forges a lifetime long friendship between three first years.
And a year after that a twelve year old Harry Potter doesn't feel like going back to the Gryffindor common room to be gawked at by the few people in even his own House who think he opened the Chamber of Secrets. Instead he goes wandering around the castle, the soles of his feet skidding against the stone floor of the hallway and mind filled to the brim with flashes of resentment.
There's tittering laughter of more than one person coming from around the corner from Harry and he stops in his tracks as soon as he hears it. There's something a bit cruel about that sound, something colder than amusement. Something familiar.
Slowly he leans forward to get a glimpse of whatever is waiting for him, what meets him is the sight of a blonde first year with a blue tie, she's being cornered against the wall of the hallway by what looks to be three of her own housemates. There's wands in their hands and mean looks on their faces.
Harry's jaw clenches in reaction but for a moment he doesn't yet know how to proceed.
And then the girl speaks in voice so serene he almost thinks he's misread the situation. "We're gonna be late for Charms."
He wavers in place, considering if he should just turn around and leave before they notice his presence. But no, he knows what those jeers mean and he knows what bullies look like.
"You can go when we say you can go, Loony." The biggest of the bullies says and pulls up her wand higher, now pointing it directly in the girl's face. Harry doesn't know the bully's name but thinks she might be a third year.
A third year who looks about ready to cast a spell at an unarmed first year in a fight that's three to one. He thinks he's seen quite enough.
"Hey," Harry yells to startle them and pulls out his own wand, "leave her alone!"
"Mind your own-" The girl who had been about to cast starts saying and then almost jumps out of her skin alongside the other two bullies when they turn to see him, looks like the Ravenclaws believe he's the Heir of Slytherin too. Great.
"I said," he glares at them "leave her alone."
For a moment they blink in mute shock, then they scatter like frightened rabbits with a fox on their tails and despite how that was exactly what he wanted them to do something twists in his stomach. He hates that they're afraid of him now, like he's actually responsible for releasing the monster that is petrifying other students.
He avoids looking at the girl left behind, almost afraid that the young witch he just tried to help will look just as frightened. But when he looks at her she's just staring at him with a calm look, head tilted a bit sideways and blinking slowly.
"Hi. I'm Harry." Harry says, suddenly a bit uncomfortable under that wide-eyed stare, so without knowing what else to say he stares back.
She has messy pale blonde hair falling across her shoulders and down her back, it doesn't seem to have been combed today, - or possibly the day before that as well. There's a necklace of tiny pine cones in a strange rainbow of colors hanging around her neck. And she's staring at him through wide open eyes, it would almost make her look surprised but the look in them is as serene and measured as it had been when she'd been facing the bullies a minute before. Finally he notices her holding a stack of books to her chest, each of them seems to have some kind of flower stuck between the pages and hanging over the bindings.
Harry's not entirely sure what kind of an impression the picture she makes leaves on him but there's something very loud and strange and interesting about it.
"I know." She finally says after that extended pause and what were they... oh right, he'd introduced himself. "Everyone has been talking about you, they think you're the Heir of Salazar Slytherin."
"Oh." He mutters, his mood souring again.
"But of course I know that you're not." She tells him absently, like she hasn't noticed his reaction at all, or like she has but knows not to focus on it. Harry can't quite pin her down.
"Yes, it's quite obvious, Salazar Slytherin was an elf and you're not an elf, so you can't possibly be his heir." The girl says. "And I'm Luna by the way. Luna Lovegood."
Harry stares at her, eyebrows furrowing. She might be the oddest person he's met yet - well she would be if he didn't know the headmaster, - but he's still inexplicably relieved by her words. It's nice to know someone outside of Gryffindor believes him too.
Even if that someone is making his head spin a little in confusion.
"What did they want with you anyway? The other girls."
"Oh, they're just infested with Wrackspurts." Luna tells him.
"They're magical creatures that float through the air and get into you head through your ears. They make one quite confused."
Harry's not sure if he believes that, he thinks he's right and they're just bullies. But then again he doesn't really know all that much about the magical creatures that are or are not real, so he doesn't think it would be right to dismiss them as fantasy either. After all he hadn't known about House Elves before he met Dobby either.
"You said you were late for class?" He says once he realizes he doesn't know how else to respond.
"Yes but there's a shortcut through there," she says and points to a spot that looks like any other spot on the far left wall "I have a few minutes to spare."
She is however starting to look a bit antsy, arms squeezing the books closer to her chest, so he guesses she really is going to be late and is just being polite now.
"I could come with you, make sure you don't run into any more girls with... confused heads." He offers.
"That's very nice of you, Harry." Luna says, smiles at him and starts walking toward that wall, he belatedly notices that she's also only wearing one shoe on her feet.
"What happened with your shoe?" He asks, a suspicion already very present in his head.
"Oh, the Wrackspurts hid it. It's okay though, I'll find it eventually, I always do."
The Wrackspurts need a lesson in manners and Harry wonders if he can get Fred and George to help him give it.
Luna stops by the wall and before he has time to wonder if there really is a shortcut there Luna has leaned forward, hummed a quick tune he can't quite identify and the wall is quickly transforming into a doorway.
He follow Luna all the way to Flitwick's classroom as they chat about things Harry only halfway believes exist. But later after they've parted ways and he's back in the Gryffindor tower being slaughtered in chess by Ron, he realizes it was the first time since he found Mrs. Norris hanging by her tail on that wall that he forgot about being Hogwarts' pariah.
It was kinda nice, making a new friend. He wonders if tomorrow during breakfast he might find her for a quick chat in the Great Hall.
ii. - Year 3, November
It's the evening after Harry finally fully managed to escape the Hospital Wing, and it's been almost a week since the Quidditch game that ended up introducing his broom to the Whomping Willow but Harry still can't stop mournfully staring at the broken remains of his Nimbus 2000.
It seems so stupid to feel like crying because of a broom but it was the first brand new thing that really belonged to him that he loved. It was his in a way that nothing else has ever been before. And now because of some Dementors it's nothing but kindling for fire.
Not that he could ever bring himself to burn it - not that he's allowed to anyway, the broom is interwoven with so many charms that setting it on fire would probably make it explode or something. He wishes he was just allowed to keep it at the bottom of his school trunk but apparently it counts as a safety hazard and the school needs to dispose of it safely.
So here he sits on the seating around the Quidditch pitch, the splinters on top of the blanket in front of him, with Ron and Hermione on his right and Luna on his left, waiting until he can bring himself to turn them in to Madam Hooch so she can do whatever it is they do with old and broken brooms.
"I'm sorry, Harry." Hermione tells him and reaches past Ron to pat him on his shoulder.
He nods at her in thanks but can't quite hide the pained grimace that follows it.
"Yeah Buddy, I'm really sorry." Ron echoes her and gently bumps his side with his elbow.
"It's okay." Harry says past the Bezoar stuck in his throat and squares his shoulders to begin getting up, it's just a broom, he should stop acting like it's the end of the world.
"Hey, Harry?" Luna finally interrupts him for the first time since they sat down almost fifteen minutes ago, she'd been sitting quietly beside him the entire time, her elbows occasionally touching his own as one of them moved. He was just leaning forward to start wrapping the splinters back into the folds of the blanket but at her voice he stops to look at her.
She's got a thoughtful twist to her head, like she's considering an idea she's been musing over.
"Can I take that piece of the handle?" She asks pointing at one of the larger remaining pieces of his Quidditch broom.
"Why?" He asks and is echoed by the voices of his two best friends asking the same question, each of them with a slightly different inflection. Ron sounds gobsmacked. Hermione exasperated. And Harry just curious.
Luna doesn't answer any of them, just keeps staring at him in that assuring and very calming way she has.
"Sure?" He finally tells her and passes her the splinter she had pointed to.
Luna takes it from his hand with a smile and jumps forward for a quick hug before skipping away. Harry, Ron and Hermione stay in place, watching her leave back towards the castle.
"That girl is so strange." Ron tells him, a flabbergasted look on his face.
"I know." Harry says with a grin. That's why he likes her.
"Ready, Harry?" Hermione asks after letting out a long sigh, Harry knows she doesn't really know how to react to Luna, they've been friends with her for a year now and he knows that Hermione doesn't dislike Luna, that for the most part they get along okay, but that sometimes she kinda drives Hermione a little crazy.
And Harry's never going to say it, he's not stupid, but he sometimes thinks it's good for Hermione to be left wrong-footed as her logic crashes against Luna's irregularity. It pulls her out of her head when she gets so stuck in obsessing over her schoolwork that even Ron and Harry can't quite manage to make her come up for air.
"As I'll ever be." He says, putting away his musings and finding himself suddenly better prepared for what he needs to do as the three of them finally head off towards the broom shed.
It's about two weeks later that Luna finds Harry in the library and drops in front oh him a little red parcel decorated with doodles of lions and snitches he's pretty sure Luna did herself.
"What's that?" He asks, picking up his head from the books on the Patronus Charm he's been going through on Professor Lupin's suggestion.
"A holiday gift."
"It's not really Christmas yet?" He says but takes the package into his hands anyway.
"I know. But I finished making it and me and Daddy are going to be in the Norwegian Forests looking for Heliopaths this Christmas, and it seems rather cruel to make an owl fly that far with a package. So, happy early Christmas, Harry." Luna says and sits down on the other side of the table from him.
He slowly unwraps the package, not wanting to tear up her little drawings and feels something in his chest tightening and warming up unexpectedly as soon as he finds himself looking at a miniature carving of his Nimbus 2000. It's even painted the same colors as his broken broom.
"Wait." Harry flings up his head to look at Luna, realization dawning. "Is this why you wanted that piece of my broom?"
Luna nods seriously at him and looks directly back, face filled with honesty and voice as genuine as he's ever heard it. "It's really sad to need to throw away something you love. I thought you'd like to keep a part of it, even if it's only a piece of woodcarving."
"Thanks, Luna." Harry tells her, eyes filling up with the sort of tears he's almost not too embarrassed to shed.
iii. - Year 4, December
He leaves Cho in the Owlery, his face flushed with mortification and feeling like he'd like nothing better than for the earth to swallow him whole.
The pretty Quidditch player turning him down stings a bit, - alright, a lot - but that's not really why he's running away, he doesn't think. It's just, well, he'd been trying to pick up enough courage to ask Cho to the Yule Ball for ages and now he doesn't think he'll be able to summon up any kind of will to ask anyone else. And as one of the Champions he's not allowed to go by himself, which honestly sounds like a lot more attractive option.
So once he's back in the castle he titters in place, unable to decide where to go now. He could go find Ron so they can simmer in misery together but that won't really save him from whatever Professor McGonagall will do to him if he doesn't find a date for the first dance.
Which leaves him with a very narrow list of other options. Really it leaves him with only two.
And Hermione will definitely roll her eyes at him for waiting until the last minute instead of dealing with it months ago when the ball was first announced, so he decides his best bet is to head toward the Ravenclaw common room instead. He just hopes he's fast enough not to accidentally run into Cho again.
"What can't talk but will reply when spoken to?" The knocker asks once he's walked all the way up the spiral staircase.
"Don't know." He says and ignoring the indignant squawk of the bronze eagle uses it to knock on the door.
After about half a minute the head of some upper year Ravenclaw comes into Harry's line of sight past the edge of the door, the boy rolls his eyes and vanishes just as quickly. Harry just sighs, used to it by now.
A minute or two later Luna comes out to meet him.
"Hey, Harry. What's up?"
"I need your help, do you have a minute?"
"Sure, I was gonna go down to the lake to paint something in a bit anyway, we can go together if you want." She offers.
The lake is all the way on the other side of the castle from the Owlery so he nods and waits as she goes back into the common room to grab her art supplies and a set of warmer robes. Once she's back, her warm Ravenclaw scarf wrapped loosely around her neck and her fluffy Pygmy Puff earmuffs - a gift from Ginny for her last birthday - on her head, he follows her down the stairs.
Harry breathes a sigh of relief once they're outside and haven't run into either Cho or Cedric, - who he at the moment doesn't quite feel like seeing either, even though he does like Cedric.
They cast a pair of warming charms and he drops to sit beside her on the ground, there's a few minutes of comfortable silence while he watches her setting up her work station. Not that it can really be called that, Luna likes to put all her paints around her in what looks like the randomest of orders while the canvas rests on top of her crossed legs.
He's never quite been able to understand how she doesn't get uncomfortable within five minutes. But he's seen her rest like that for hours at a time as she paints whatever comes to her mind so he's stopped thinking all that much on it by now.
"So, what did you want to talk about, Harry?" Luna finally asks as she uses a spell from her wand to start mixing up three kind of blues together with some pink.
He opens his mouth but no sound seems to want to come out so he decides to change the subject instead. "What did you want to paint, anyway?"
"A Crumple-Horned Snorkack." She says and looks at him, waiting and clearly not at all fooled.
Harry's fingers start twitching in his lap.
"I tried to ask Cho to the ball but she's going with Cedric." Harry says in what seems almost one breath. "And McGonagall will kill me if I don't get a date because the Champions are supposed to open the dance."
"Alright." Luna answers but doesn't turn back to her work, clearly aware that he hasn't gotten to his point yet.
"Will you go with me to the Yule Ball, please?" He rushes out and then blinks, surprised, he was just going to ask her if she knew anyone who didn't have a date yet but now that the words are out he realizes this is the perfect solution. Luna is his friend. Going with Luna will be fun and he won't spend the whole evening with someone he barely knows. The only other girl he could say that about would be Hermione, and he's not stupid, Ron might be an oblivious idiot about it right now but Harry knows that if he asked Hermione his best friend would kill him. "We can go as friends."
"I don't really have a dress robe."
"Oh." He says, disappointed.
"But I guess Daddy can send me one of Mom's old ones, I think I have enough time to alter it to fit me if we hurry." Luna says and looks at him, a measuring sort of look on her face, like she's considering how serious he's being. Then she seems to nod to herself and smiles at him. "Alright Harry, I'll go to the Yule Ball with you. As friends."
And Harry smiles back at her, for the first time kind of excited about going.
iv. - Year 5 - April
Since the latest number of Educational Degrees the number of detentions Umbridge has been assigning to students has grown. But until now he's only noticed some of the upper years with bindings around one of their hands as evidence to the same kind of lessons she's been failing to teach Harry all year.
But that remains the case only until Harry turns a corner on his way to the Room of Requirement one day to set up for the latest DA lesson and runs into Luna and a crying first year Hufflepuff. The boy is clutching his hand to his chest while Luna's kneeling on the ground in front of him and trying to calm him down.
"It hurts." Harry hears the boy sniffle.
"Luna?" He says and then to make sure he understands the situation adds - "Did Umbridge-?"
"Yes." Luna says in a voice that he's not sure he's ever heard from her, it's sharp and cold and furious.
Harry gets the feeling.
He wavers in place for a moment uncertain of what to say or do to help the upset little Firstie calm down, or even if he should just go find someone better equipped for it, - like Hermione or a Professor, - but then decides to follow Luna's lead and joins her on the floor in front of him.
"What's your name?" Harry asks as gently as he can manage.
"Billy Wardyworth." The boy whispers wetly.
"Can you show me your hand, Billy?" Harry asks, starting to rifle through his pockets for something that could help - he hasn't left the Common Room without it since his own detentions started getting bad, - and grimaces once the boy does. The skin is swollen red, there's no blood or visible words yet but he can tell just by looking that Billy hadn't gotten away with just a few lines.
He pulls out the little bottle of Murtlap Essence that Hermione made for him and quickly unscrews the top. "Here, this should help."
Luna seems to understand what he's doing because she takes out her wand to cut away the edge of her sleeve with a spell and as soon as Harry's done applying the soothing solution on Billy's skin takes over to wrap it securely around the boys hand.
"Better?" Luna asks once she's done too.
Billy nods, still sniffling but starting to wipe the tears from his face with his unhurt hand.
"What happened? I haven't seen Umbridge forcing that sick quill on anyone younger than a fifth year." He asks Luna now that Billy is starting to look a bit better. Not that he thinks their High Inquisitor is doing it out of any kind of moral standpoint, his guess would be more along the lines of her being aware that it might be the thing that pushed the rest of the teachers over the edge into just killing her.
The feeling McGonagall has been projecting is certainly that the only reason she hasn't already is because getting sent to Azkaban would leave her students entirely unprotected.
"You know she's been reading all incoming and outgoing mail right?"
"Yeah?" He says, it's why he hasn't written Sirius anything in ages.
"Billy's dads didn't."
"What did she read?" He asks, his stomach sinking with a bad feeling but Luna doesn't say, just shakes her head angrily.
"Papa got bitten last year." Billy says, eyes on the floor and pulling his knees closer to his chest. "Dad was just letting me know everything went okay during the full moon so I wouldn't worry. He's been doing it every month."
And Umbridge is the one who drafted that anti-werewolf legislation that Sirius told him about. Of course she's also the kind of person who would take out her hatred for the boy's father's very existence on an eleven year old.
Harry starts cursing but when Billy flinches Harry's insides twist in guilt at realizing how the Firstie might have taken it.
"I'm glad your dad is okay." Harry says, trying to fix it and once Billy looks back at him hopefully he for good measure adds -"Umbridge had no right to do that."
"Thanks." The boy says.
Harry and Luna share a look and slowly get to their feet.
"Come on, Billy." Luna says, extending her hand to help the boy get up too. "I'll walk you to Professor Sprout, I'm sure she'll figure out how to make certain Umbridge can't give you any more detentions with her."
Harry catches her hand when she starts to turn. "Want me to come along?"
"No, we'll be alright." Luna says, squeezing his hand and smiling a bit weakly at him. "You've got stuff to set up."
"Okay. Stay after?" He says vaguely, not that he thinks Billy would tell someone about Dumbledore's Army but they did all sign the scroll. And he's not at all enthusiastic about finding out exactly what kind of spell-work Hermione did on that parchment.
"Alright." Luna says and then leaves, the little boy tucked against her side.
v. - Year 6 - July
The funeral happens on a cloudy Monday morning. Harry's head feels like it's moving through sludge or maybe through something more sticky, like toffee made by Hagrid.
He barely notices the world around him, though somewhere at the back of his mind he's aware that to his right Hermione is crying in Ron's arms. That Luna's head is tucked into the hollow of Harry's neck and her hair is tickling his face with the breeze from the wind. That somewhere behind him Ginny is squeezed between Fred and George who showed up this morning in the company of the rest of the Order. That Neville is standing there too, pale-faced and strong-jawed with hands around himself and tears running over his cheeks.
Harry himself isn't crying.
Harry's mind is too full of what he needs to do now to cry. And whenever a flash of green lights up in his mind, whenever he sees Dumbledore pleading and then falling, whenever he sees Snape killing him, the grief in his chest gets burned up by rage.
But he knows he doesn't have time for that either.
He needs to find the Horcruxes and destroy them and he doesn't even know where to start. They're at war now. He knows that technically they've been at war since end of last year, or even since Cedric died in that cemetery in what now feels like lifetimes ago. But now that Dumbledore is dead it's really truly here in a way it hadn't been before.
And the idea that it all now rests in his hands is crushing.
But he has no choice, he's going to need to find a way to do it, to kill Voldemort. To save his friends. To save everyone.
He barely hears the service. Barely notices as it finally ends and everyone gets up and starts walking back for the castle or out towards Hogsmeade.
He does notice it as Luna pulls on his elbow to change the direction of their steps and head for the lake. Harry lets her guide him, exchanging a last tired look with Hermione and Ron when they stay on their path.
Minutes later they're alone, watching the play of wind against the surface of the water when Luna speaks.
"You're not coming back to Hogwarts next year."
"No." He says, not at all surprised that Luna knows that, she doesn't know about the pieces of Voldemort's soul that he has to destroy but she's the most observant person he's ever met, she's probably read his plans in his face.
"Okay." She says.
He looks at her and feels his heart starting to hurt as soon as he does. Through the past year he's started to notice his feelings for Luna changing, Merlin they might have been changing even longer, maybe since before he asked her to the Yule Ball in fourth year. He just knows he's almost said something a hundred times by now only to chicken out at the last moment. Because he cares about Luna so much and he doesn't quite know how to risk their friendship on what feels like the most terrifying gamble ever.
And now that he can't because it wouldn't be fair, he wishes he'd taken at least one of the opportunities that had come before.
He wishes he knew what she would have said.
"But Harry?" Luna says, staring up into his eyes. Her own eyes wide and full to the brim with a kaleidoscope of thoughts.
"Yeah?" He asks, a little breathless. Her eyes are so beautiful.
"After you've done what you have to. When it's possible. Come back then." She says and he knows she's not talking about Hogwarts. He's not sure exactly what lays behind her words, and it would hurt either way right now so he chooses not to linger there and just nods.
Then Luna smiles sadly at him, and leans in to place a quick kiss on his cheek that leaves a line of burn from the spot on his skin straight into his heart and then hugs him so tightly it's almost hard to breathe. His own arms clutch around her like he's afraid to let go.
"Goodbye, Harry." Luna whispers into his ear.
vi. - Year 7 - May
"We did it." Ron exclaims in dazed shock. Like it hasn't really hit yet. Harry looks at him and then has to look away because there's tears in his eyes and behind the shock there's the avalanche of grief just waiting for Ron to slow down enough to be buried in.
Fred is dead.
So are Remus and Tonks.
They did it. They won, Voldemort is finally dead, his Death Eaters have been defeated and they've won the war. But the Great Hall is filled with dead kids and dead members of the Order and somehow the price feels too high. He knows the price was always going to be too high and yet now that he has space enough to let that truth crash into him he doesn't know what to do with it.
So he doesn't, instead he wraps one arm around Ron, the other around Hermione and then they hold each other up long enough so that they'll be able to stand on their own. Even if only just for a few more hours.
He doesn't know how long they stay like that, tears of grief mixing with tears of relief, Hermione's hair in his face and Ron's hand squeezing his arm, before he notices that they're not alone. That there's three more survivors by the window behind them.
But finally he notices them, Neville, Ginny and Luna, the trio who held up Hogwarts while Harry, Ron and Hermione were hunting for a way to save their world. The people who years ago went with him into the belly of the beast trying to save Sirius.
He can't believe they all survived. He's so glad that all six of them survived.
He smiles at them and laughs. Suddenly so giddy he doesn't even know what's coming over him.
"Hey." He chokes out and then suddenly their hug grows by three and all of them are giggling like they've been hit by overpowered cheering charms. They're all bloody, injured and dirty with sweat. And they're alive, and it's over, and it hurts but it's also the best feeling ever and Harry hasn't felt this free in- maybe ever.
There's tears running over his cheeks and a smile on his face and he doesn't know what tomorrow looks like.
Turns out tomorrow is cold and windy and the sunrise by the lake is the most beautiful thing he's seen in a year. The sky is red and golden and blue and purple all mixed together.
They'd all spent the night at Hogwarts. Not all of them having anywhere else to go, many of their homes having been compromised and destroyed and burned down months ago. It was so strange, sleeping in the Gryffindor dormitory after so long, as if nothing had changed, except that there were adults, - even parents, - down in the common room.
Harry had woken up first and restless he'd left before anyone else was even stirring.
Now he's by the very edge of the lake, his back to the destruction of much of the castle and eyes on the sky. Admiring something he hasn't had time or heart to look at in what feels like years.
When she comes to join him he doesn't feel surprised. It almost feels like he was waiting.
"Hey, Luna." He says as soon as she drops beside him and slides her hand around his elbow, leaning her head against his shoulder. He slips the fingers of his hand through hers and smiles when she squeezes their palms together.
"Hi, Harry." Luna says, toeing off her shoes and socks, - each a different color, he notices, his heart clenching at this reminder of Dobby - and sticking them into the water.
Her head is warm against his cheek and his mind snags on the memory of the last time she was in his arms. Not yesterday when he had arms full of friends and Luna was just one of them but before that when he was regretting never having said anything, never taking any of the opportunities handed to him.
This feels like another of those moments.
And this time he decides to be brave.
"Luna?" He says and turns his head to look at her, their faces only inches apart when Luna turns her own head too. "I-"
Words fail him but slowly he picks up his free hand and tucks her hair behind her ear, carefully so that it doesn't snag against her radish earring and lingers there.
Luna's mouth twists into a little knowing smile that's hard to misinterpret and then she leans forward and all Harry has to do is finish breaching the distance before his lips touch hers and his mind comes to a slow gentle stop.
Luna's lips are warmer than the sunrise he'd just been admiring. They move slowly against his, like she's exploring this feeling alongside him, or like she's searching for proof of one of her strange creatures and the answer is somewhere inside him.
His heart beats slow and steady but also impossibly loudly in his ears. And his entire world narrows down to Luna's lips against his, Luna's hand in his, the side of Luna's face against the palm of his hand and the softness of her hair between his fingers.
A lifetime later when they pull away from each other and the world slots back into place he doesn't feel any different. He's still exhausted, and a bit lost and mourning for far too many friends but he's also just little bit less alone.
"Thank you for coming back, Harry." Luna says and moves back into his side, chin resting against his shoulder.
They stay like that for a minute and then Harry finds himself wondering out loud what he hasn't let himself consider in his head. "What are we going to do now?"
"What do you want to do?" Luna asks, voice measured and thoughtful.
"I don't know."
"I don't think I do either." Luna says. "But won't it be wonderful to find out?"
He thinks about that. About how until now he'd only known that he either had to kill Voldemort or die trying, when he didn't know what he'd do after the war because there was no 'after the war'. Now his future is wide open and he has no idea what he wants to do with it but he does have choices, - chances, - in front of him that he didn't before.
He could join the Aurors like he planned even though it no longer feels like as attractive an option now that he's spent so long fighting. But he could. Or he could think more about Hermione mentioning once during DA how he'd make a good teacher. Or he could join Luna if she still wants to go off exploring the world and finding new magical creatures. It might be nice to take a vacation away from Britain.
He could play professional Quidditch. Or help the Weasleys fix their home. Or get to know his godson. Or help Hermione find her parents.
The future is just a hand's reach away now and it all looks so amazing.
"Yeah," he muses aloud and pulls Luna closer. "It really will be."
AN2: Please tell me what you think. Was it realistic? I'm just saying I did want to keep it close to canon because I honestly don't think an alteration in Harry's love life would have changed much for the larger world.
Anyways. Hope you enjoyed reading this.