A/N: I'm the worst updater ever. Also, this story is kind of an experiment to me: I'm using it to improve my writing, so I can't promise any sort of regularity in posting. I'm sorry :(
But it's suh-suh-summertime! And I have a LOT of time on my hands. And sleepless nights. Much like our favorite bespectacled wizard and quirky witch.
So please enjoy (I hope). And please R/R!
And also.. Thank you to everyone who has alerted or favorited or reviewed! La-la-love to you all.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Jo is a goddess.
The first time Harry and Luna "spent the night together" was completely unplanned.
Harry usually found ways to entertain himself while waiting for sleepiness to hit. Often late at night (or early morning, depending on how you looked at it), Harry made a trip to the kitchens for a light snack— filling his stomach with something warm usually made him drowsy enough to finally go to bed. While quickly scanning the Marauder's Map to make sure his pathway was clear, Harry noticed a set of footsteps next to the name 'Luna Lovegood' moving about the entrance hall. He briefly wondered what Luna was up to roaming the castle so late at night but brushed off any curiosity concerning the girl's eccentric antics. That is, until he realized 'Argus Filch' was only a few of hallways away and was currently heading towards Luna's labeled dot.
Perhaps it was his "saving-people thing" (as Hermione so often put it), but within seconds Harry had grabbed his trainers and invisibility cloak and headed out of the of the Gryffindor tower. The castle corridors were dark and silent with barely any moonlight shining through the stained-glass windows from high above. He moved quickly. With the aid of the map, Harry was able to make it to where Luna was in record time.. avoiding Peeves and utilsing different shortcuts along the way.
Although, her back was to him, he saw that she was still fully dressed in her day clothes and carrying a picnic basket. The tip of her wand was lit and guided her down the dark hallway.
"Luna!" he whispered loudly to her, panting slightly as he slowed his steps, still hidden in his Cloak.
She turned around slowly, unsure where his voice had come from, yet, at the same time, seemingly unsurprised to hear a voice at all. "Hello?" she asked calmly into the empty hall.
He made his way towards her, shedding the Cloak and revealing himself. "Luna, you can't go that way. Filch is coming and he's not that far from here."
"Hello Harry. That was a cool trick," she told him warmly, "I thought I recognized your footsteps."
Harry could only blink at her, momentarily caught off guard by her greeting. "My footsteps? Wha— Luna, didn't you hear me? We have to go or Filch will give you detention," he repeated more urgently. He didn't think Luna understood how dire the situation was. Or how much Filch loved getting students into trouble. Harry and his friends in particular.
The distant sound of a mewling cat interrupted their conversation. "Nox!" Luna whispered quickly as both she and Harry looked up in alarm towards the end of the hallway, afraid they'd been caught. Luckily, Filch and his lantern had not yet turned the corner, so the two of them remained temporarily unseen in the dark.
"Get under here," Harry whispered, trying to get closer to where she was. They collided softly and he reached out to grab hold of what felt like Luna's arm. He then threw his Invisibility Cloak over the two of them.
"Is this your invisibility cloak?" Luna asked intrigued. "I've never been invisible before."
"Errr.. yeah it was my dad's," he told her busily, "Lumos." Harry checked the Map to see if Filch was still... right about to turn into their hallway. Fuck.
"It feels no different than being visible I gu—"
"Silencio, nox!" Harry cast quickly, just as a lantern illuminated the end of the hallway. Harry found Luna's hand and pulled her away from the caretaker's advancing form.
He felt bad about using a spell on her, but she was talking too much. Luna was weird that way, remaining calm, composed and somewhat chatty during even the most chaotic of situations. It was as if nothing in life surprised her.
Harry expertly navigated an escape route, single-mindedly determined to put as much distance between Filch and them as possible... so much so that he forgot about the enchantment on his blonde friend. When he felt like they were a safe distance away from Filch, he shed the Cloak.
"Err.. sorry about that Luna," he apologized after undoing his silencing charm.
"Oh, I didn't mind Harry," Luna told him, "It was actually really exciting. I've never been silenced before either... that's two firsts in one night!" She looked cheerful considering that they had just narrowly avoided detentions. "I didn't expect any of this to happen tonight, but all of the excitement was lovely."
They continued walking along the hall, Harry's wand lighting the way. He wanted to escort Luna back to her dormitory to make sure she wouldn't accidentally wander into Filch again. And he was also curious about what exactly Luna had been doing tonight.
"When I realized I was silenced, I actually started singing."
Harry balked slightly and glanced sideways at her; he always forgot how barmy Luna could be. She seemed completely serious. They had been practically running to avoid Filch's capture, and she had been singing a song the whole time? "You were singing," Harry repeated to verify he had heard what she said correctly.
"Only for a little bit. Then I grew short of breath from our running." She flashed a quick, soft smile. "So I just started talking to myself a bit."
Harry didn't know how to respond so all he said was, "Errrrr.."
"It's very nice, being able to say what you're thinking about aloud and actually use words instead of keeping it all inside. Even when only you can hear you." She paused her steps for a moment before adding, "Perhaps especially when only you can hear you."
Luna took the lead and steered them towards the West Wing as Harry mentally rehashed the confusing sentences that she just uttered. Hmmm, he thought, am I going mad or did what Luna just say make perfect sense?
"Is that why you were walking around the castle tonight? To clear your mind?" Harry asked her as she led them up a flight of stairs to the fifth floor. They passed through a tapestry hiding a hole in the wall and ended up at the base of a spiral staircase. It's seemed that they had reached their destination because this is where Luna stopped before turning to him and answering, "What would be the use in having a clear mind, Harry? That would be boring."
"Somehow I doubt that your mind would ever be boring, Luna. Clear or opaque," he told her sincerely.
They stood there, silently facing each other for a moment. He was smiling at her, genuinely amused by tonight's turn-of-events, while Luna just tilted her head and observed him. If she was pleased or flattered by his unintentional compliment (It was a compliment, wasn't it?), Harry couldn't tell. So he cleared his throat to break the silence.
"Ahem. So, erm, just keep an eye out for Filch the next time you decide to have a midnight picnic, alright?" He playfully poked at the picnic basket that she was holding.
He nearly screamed when a small, furry head peeked out.
"This is Corcoran, Harry. He's my rabbit," she announced, unaware of Harry's rapidly beating heart. He felt slightly embarrassed at how jumpy he had been at the unexpected third-party; it was only a typical, harmless rabbit. The only thing mildly peculiar about it was its shade of fur.
"He's ginger!" Harry laughed.
"Yes, but I like to think he's turning into a handsome auburn," she told him seriously. She lifted the basket up towards her face and kissed the rabbit quickly on the head.
Harry was suddenly concerned for the rabbit's health. Had it been in the basket the whole time they were fleeing from Filch? He had the horrible image of the poor creature bouncing around haphazardly inside Luna's basket. "Is he okay?" he asked.
"Oh don't worry Harry, Cory is a very heavy sleeper. Especially after hopping around the forest and chasing Bowtruckles," she said fondly while scratching the rabbit's tiny, ginger ear. She looked up at Harry meaningfully, "That's why I went outside tonight."
Harry looked again at the fuzzy animal. That small, innocent-looking rabbit was responsible for the night's rescue mission.
"Well, you must really love him if you snuck out to the grounds so he could hop around at two in the morning," Harry joked.
"Yes, I do," she softly sincerely. "And I'm usually up anyways, but for some odd reason, Cory was awake as well and didn't want to be left alone. He normally sleeps through the night; his sleep schedule is much more solid than mine..."
Harry had noticed that Corcoran—or Cory—was no longer poking his head out at them but had once again retreated deeper into the basket. Presumably to sleep.
Luna continued, "And I could tell that he wanted to go outside. So we went." End of story. As if a bunny's inexplicable insomnia was reason enough to break curfew rules and risk disciplinary punishment.
Then again, insomnia was a weird thing.
"I think it worked, and you should probably get some sleep, too," he told her.
"Perhaps," she mused, as if weighing her options. "I don't think anything else could happen tonight that would be more exciting than running away invisibly from Mr. Filch." She smiled at him. "Thank you for the adventure, Harry."
"No problem, Luna. You were good company," he told her truthfully.
She beamed at him once more and made her way up the spiral staircase to the Ravenclaw Common Room Entrance, picnic basket swaying gently by her side.
As he headed back towards the direction of Gryffindor tower, Harry had the distinct feeling that Luna wasn't accustomed to being in her room so "early" in the night. He thought of all her mentionings that hinted that she was used to entertaining herself during this time. From what he gathered, Luna may have the same sleeping schedule as he did— or in their case, the complete lack of a sleeping schedule.
He wondered if he looked at his Map tomorrow night—really looked at it—would he find another person wandering around the castle too, waiting, like him, for something to happen or for sleepiness to hit… whichever came first?
PS. All mistakes are mine. I have no beta :/
PPS. "Corcoran" is Gaelic for "a reddish complexion".
PPPS. I have no idea what the castle blueprint is, but I'm fairly positive that Ravenclaw Tower is on the west side, right?