Joe's Note: Yay! More fic, now with actual crossover!
"You do realize, Miss Lovegood, that I am a wandcrafter and not a gunsmith, correct?"
Hermione's eyes widened at Ollivander's words, even as Luna nodded enthusiastically and she skipped up to the counter he was standing at. "It works. It's actually the second of its kind, so the person who made it for me was just revisiting familiar territory. Were you able to reassemble it completely or do you need my help?"
One bushy eyebrow rose and then Ollivander turned away, wandering back between the shelves of his shop and out of sight. "I said that I am not a gunsmith, Miss Lovegood; I didn't say I was incompetent." His voice trailed off into mutters and as seconds ticked away and became minutes in which the old man didn't reappear, Hermione looked over at Luna incredulously. A gun? What on Earth did she need a gun for? How had she gotten her hands on one and learned to use it? "Here we are." Ollivander returned moving far more slowly than he'd left, carrying a box that was easily two times larger than the average wand box, if not more. "A grossly oversized revolver made of an alloy of nickel, gold, blessed silver, and Tibetan meteoric iron, with a handle of acacia inside of which rests the core you asked me to add for you, Miss Lovegood: a hair from a thestral's tail. May I present the Chaotic Good Samaritan?"
With that, he opened the box and Hermione gasped as she took in the massive, old-fashioned revolver within. Forget where had she gotten it and how had she learned to use it… how on earth could the slim blonde lift that thing? Quite easily, it turned out. Setting down her purse - shaped like a coffin, morbidly enough - Luna hefted the revolver and tested its weight before thumbing the release latch and swinging the cylinder out, reaching into her purse and retrieving an obscenely large bullet to match her oversized gun. Holding one up, Luna allowed Hermione to inspect it for a moment before slipping it into the first chamber of the cylinder. "Red calls them Whoppers. White oak, holy water, garlic, and silver shavings for him… and a bit of naga jolokia added to that mix for mine." When all four chambers were loaded, she pushed the cylinder back into place and slid the weapon into a black holster that had been invisible against Luna's hip until the movement had drawn Hermione's attention to it. "He says shooting people full of hot peppers is cruel, but I think that if you've done something that makes me shoot at you, you probably deserve what you get…"
The idea of shooting anyone was cruel! There was a reason England banned private ownership of most any form of firearm: the things were barbaric and the average person had absolutely no need to possess one. Which then brought her back to her unanswered questions: what was Luna doing with herself these days and where had she gotten this monstrosity to bring to Ollivander to have it turned into a wand? And why wasn't she excusing herself to return to her office and contact someone over at Number 10 about Luna and her toy? Yes, Luna was a friend and all, but if she was caught up in something dangerous or illegal, she'd technically be doing the blonde a favor and… "Pay for your wand." Hermione let out a shriek as the low, growly words emerged from Luna's dog. "Pay for your wand, Luna. I'm hungry. You promised me chips."
"Yes, yes, you'll get your chips, Dante." Reaching into her coffin purse, Luna pulled out a handful of coins and offered them to Ollivander before slipping her arm through the purse's straps and turning to Hermione with a bright smile. "Shall we? I do believe I offered you dinner and you offered me conversation."
Hermione merely continued to stare in shock at Luna's pet. "He… he can speak."
Turning to stare at her, the Doberman let out a low growl. "I'm right here."
"Mmm. I'm sure Hermione realizes that, Dante. She's just not used to you yet." Approaching Hermione, Luna leaned against her and lowered her voice as her lips brushed against the brunette's earlobe. "Don't treat him like a normal dog. Dante gets tetchy about that." Oh. The dog got tetchy. Well she'd hate to have a dog annoyed at her. A slim arm wrapped around her waist and Luna rested her head on Hermione's shoulder as her free hand gestured to what Hermione had previously thought to be nothing more than Luna having odd taste in pets. "I've been very rude, haven't I? Dante, this is Hermione Granger. We went to school together. Hermione, this is Dante the Barghest. He's my partner. Although sometimes I feel like he only sticks around because he has nowhere to put a wallet and he needs someone to buy things for him."
Oh. Of course. After all, barghests could talk - among other unnatural abilities - and what better to accompany this new, darker Luna than a walking omen of death? Although weren't they supposed to be considerably more… evil looking, for lack of a better term? Huge, glowing red eyes, sharp claws, and so on? Some type of glamour charm, perhaps, to hide his true appearance from both muggles and wizards alike to keep them from panicking? Hermione opened her mouth to introduce herself to Dante properly, onto to find herself cut off. "Luna's mentioned you before. A lot, actually. I've even heard her say your name in her sleep. Although that's mostly during her good dreams." Dante's tongue lolled out of his mouth as he gave her another of those peculiar doggy grins that reminded her of Padfoot. "Nice to finally have a face for the name."
Well, it was nice to know that Luna hadn't forgotten about her. Although… what were these 'good dreams' that Luna talked about her during? Looking down at the head resting on her shoulder, Hermione found the blonde's pale cheeks blushing almost as brightly as Ron before one of his explosions. Oh. Oh! Luna had… about her? Hermione found herself blushing to match. Although that certainly made things easier for her; if Luna already liked her that way, then it should be easy to… wait! No! There was no way she could possibly go through with her idea anymore. Luna was a crazy - or perhaps 'crazier' was the more accurate term - woman now with an incredibly illegal gun/wand hybrid and a barghest as a familiar. On the other hand, she liked Hermione, was a pureblood, and watching her face off with members of the Wizengamot should they protest the union had the potential to be incredibly amusing. To say nothing of Harry's reaction… or Ron's.
It said something sad about the state of her life and the wizarding world, Hermione mused, when the only four options for her future were 'marry a potentially dark witch', 'be a pureblood's walking uterus', 'emigrate to another country', or 'give up magic'.
It said something even sadder that 'marry a potentially dark witch' was the most appealing of the future paths her life could take. Especially given she'd never even looked at a woman before in that way. And she most certainly wasn't a dog person in the least.
Sighing, Hermione gave in to the inevitable. She had plenty of questions she wanted answered first and plenty of reasons why she probably shouldn't even bother sticking around to ask them… but the price of leaving was just to high. Unless she wanted to floo over to Harry's place and beg Pansy for an introduction to one of her snobby little pureblood girlfriends, this was her last chance to use the loophole she'd found. "So, the 'Chaotic Good Samaritan'… is there a story there?"
"Hmm? Oh, Red calls his the 'Good Samaritan' after the Bible parable." Pulling away, Luna shrugged before returning her hand to the small of Hermione's back as she guided the brunette towards the door. "Wouldn't know anything about that; I keep meaning to sit down with the copy he bought me but I get distracted by important things. Like washing my hair, or brushing Dante. But anyways, mine's a bit of a play on that. Combines 'Good Samaritan' with 'Chaotic Good' from…"
Hermione tried to keep her attention on Luna's words, rather than the warmth she could swear she felt radiating through the fabric of her robes where Luna's hand lay. It seemed so surreal that a real witch, much less a pureblood, was familiar with… "…Dungeons and Dragons. My father used to play while at university and actually kept playing with a group of friends right up until I turned eleven. He said it felt a bit strange to be playing at being a wizard when his daughter was a witch. That doesn't explain how you know what it is, though."
As Luna guided Hermione through the archway and into the Leaky Cauldron, she chuckled softly. "The same way your father does, of course. I play a level six Paladin of Freedom in the campaign we just started back home. I would have been just a plain paladin but they have to be lawful good and I think I'm more of a chaotic good."
"You can say that again."
"I think I'm more of a chaotic good."
Sighing mightily, Hermione shook her head and looked down at where Dante was trotting beside her. Talking to a dog seemed so unnatural, but she might as well start getting used to it if she intended to go through with this insanity. "I set myself up for that one, didn't I?"
Dante's head bobbed a few times in a fairly decent imitation of a nod. "Yup. Now let's go find my chips."
As they wandered south along one of the Golden Jubilee Bridges towards the Royal Festival Hall, Hermione did her best to appear like she was enjoying the fried cod she had agreed to share with Luna while she awaited the quirky blonde's thoughts on the problem she found herself facing. Finally, the silence - which might have been comfortable for Luna but certainly wasn't from her perspective - got to her. "Well?"
"That's where you get water. We have one at the Rookery." Hermione sighed. As much as Luna had grown up while she was gone, it seemed she hadn't outgrown certain things. "As for your conjugal conundrum, your idea seems like it'll work in general, but my job might pose certain… difficulties… if I was the one you chose to attach yourself to. Assuming I agreed to offer you a contract for your hand in marriage, which I may or may not be willing to do because I'm not sure entirely you're right to carry the name of the Quirky and Most Ancient House of Lovegood. We have a long and proud tradition of exploring the world with open eyes and open minds, and you might be too… well…" Leaning in again, Luna lowered her voice. "…you're a bit of a boff, Hermione."
She was what? Hermione opened her mouth to argue as the blonde pulled away, only to bite her tongue. She could argue her 'boff'ness at a later date. For now, she needed to keep on task. Namely, Luna's mysterious new lifestyle that involved a figure named 'Red' and a gun turned wand capable of firing massive bullets packed with pretty much every substance known to wizardkind that reacted with a magical creature. "What exactly do you do for a living, Luna? Because it's a bit hard to try and figure out the potential complications your job would have on us attempting to marry and what the ramifications might be if we succeed if I don't know what I'm supposed to be worried about."
Dante let out a series of low, growling chuckles that were cut off when Luna turned and flicked a chip at him. Returning her attention to Hermione, Luna looked… almost uncertain. Given the blonde had been nothing but confident, a whirlwind dragging Hermione along for the ride, up until that point, it was rather jarring. "Why don't you wait until we reach the London Eye and meet Red? We're almost there and as they say, seeing is believing."
Well, if there was an altogether less reassuring response Luna could have given her, Hermione wasn't sure what it was. Not wanting to argue, though, she simply nodded in agreement and discreetly slid her wand out of her sleeve, tapping the tip against one finger at a time as she cast weak Cleaning Charms to remove the grease and bits of batter from her skin. As the silence of dubious comfort fell again, Hermione cast about for something to kill time with. "If your boss is Red, what does that make you? White?"
"Elphaba." The Wicked Witch of the West? Once again, Hermione found herself reassessing Luna and wondering how much she didn't know about this new version of her friend. And what her coworkers knew, that they would stick her with such a moniker. Luna supplied an answer, or at least part of one. "They know how I feel about animals; they met me while I was freeing illegally trafficked animals from a troll market. And they've seen me use the Killing Curse a few times in the field. So… green, terrible power, animals. Elphaba."
Hermione let out a sigh of relief. Oh. Well that made sense. Then she stopped dead, Luna continuing on without her, leaving her staring at the blonde's back incredulously. Luna knew how to cast the Killing Curse?
Hellboy was bored. Which, considering the BPRD had paid the London Eye people to leave them alone all day and also overlook the sizable quantity of food they'd brought into their capsule, was surprising. But still, even with Luna's Bag of Holding Hot Dogs and a keg of beer to amuse himself with… "Abe, I'm bored."
Not even bothering to turn away from his view of the night sky, Abe Sapien shrugged. "I told you that Luna was capable of handling this assignment on her own, Red. She's much more familiar with the area than anyone else at the BPRD and can fly and teleport to boot. You're the one who insisted that she needed to have 'experienced help' on hand in case something happened."
"So this is my fault?"
As their capsule reached the bottom of the wheel and passed along the boarding platform, Hellboy perked up as a familiar voice reached him, arguing with the two human agents stationed at the capsule's doors to keep it from being accidentally boarded by civilians. As far as London knew, after all, he and Abe were merely two men in costumes, going around and around to be visible as a publicity stunt regarding the first issues of the Hellboy comic being released in England. Turning around to find out what all the commotion was about, Hellboy found his two human minders bookending a pair of young women. Luna was familiar. The very nervous looking woman with frizzy brown hair and wide eyes who looked ready to scream at any moment was not. "I thought you were going to pick up your gun, not a new librarian for the base."
Giggling, Luna leaned against the brunette, arms wrapping around the taller woman's waist and hugging her tight. "This is Hermione, someone I used to go to school with. It turns out the magical government here in the UK is talking about passing a law to make different magical groups intermarry for genetic reasons. Except they forgot to say that it has to be a man and a woman marrying. So Hermione wants to marry me so she doesn't have to marry some stranger and push out babies. I warned her there might be problems because of my job, but she's still interested. What do you think?"
"…aww crap. Father's not going to like this."