neigedens: shirley examining tiny nipples (Default)
Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? ([personal profile] neigedens) wrote2007-01-01 12:23 am
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Happy fun time fic post

Happy New Year, everyone! Instead of outlining the Constitution (ugh) like I'm supposed to be doing right now, I've brought you this little story, my fic for the [livejournal.com profile] govt_stole_toad Resolutions Challenge. I had prompt #5.

(BTW, we all acknowledge that the Government Stole My Toad is the best ship name ever, while the rest usually suck? Ok, good.)

Title: Unknown Territories
Author: Briana Rose ([livejournal.com profile] briana_rose07)
Format and Word Count: One-shot, 1600 words
Rating: G
Summary: "Everyone is frightened of something," she said. "Brave people just know exactly what it is.” After the funeral Neville and Luna discuss their futures.
Author's Notes: Kind of a companion piece to Thestrals.


Unknown Territories


After the funeral Luna stayed in her seat. She was not grieving; however benevolent and kind Dumbledore had been in life, he had been such an impressive and imposing figure that it was hard to feel compassion at his death, but at the same time her thoughts were strong and disquieting enough that she had to sit and feel how heavy her chest was. Neville was sitting and staring as well (at the ground, rather than at the lake and imagining the merpeople’s shimmering faces under the water,) his round face wet and his eyes swollen. Neither had made any move to leave after the centaurs did their salute and the merpeople were swallowed up by the lake again. She didn’t think Neville would go without her, and for the first time she consciously felt glad for the slip of companionship he provided. Normally she felt no such feeling, and so again was reminded of the effect Dumbledore had had on her life.

She sat there like an owl, watching the people around her disperse but not moving her eyes to follow where they went after they left her line of vision.

Seamus Finnegan was being dragged away by his mother.

Ron and Hermione were crying and sitting very close to one another.

Harry was talking to Ginny and looking serious. Neither was weeping anymore.

Dean was watching his best friend being taken away and screwing up his face in what was either an expression of grief or confusion.

Professor Lupin, the nice werewolf who for some reason had been back at the school the night of Dumbledore’s death, was whispering with the pink-haired woman and a tall black wizard who Luna thought was another Auror.

Neville suddenly gave a very large sniff and Luna decided they should go. She stood, and he followed suit.

“Back inside?” she asked.

“I can’t yet.”

“Why?”

“It’s too hot. I have to stay out here. Do you mind?”

Instead they walked across the lawn. Luna still watched the lake. She wanted to see if the merpeople were there or if they had retreated back to the bottom.

Rather surprisingly, Dean Thomas approached them, running and looking harried. He asked Neville to take his dress robe back up to their dormitory and leave it on his bed. He was going for a run around the lake. Neville was so puzzled by the apparent pointlessness of Dean’s actions that he forgot his previous desire not to return to the castle. He took the dress robe from Dean with bewilderment and watched him run off in the other direction.

“Come on,” said Luna and led him toward the lake.

“But the robe—”

“Never mind. I’ll carry it. You said you can’t go inside yet, right?”

“Well, I mean, I could—”

“Let’s go,” she said, and he followed her.

~


Gradually the heat that had settled over the funeral dissipated, and so did the Neville’s feeling that he was being choked by his surroundings. The sky grew a dark and royal purple.

“Are you cold?” he asked.

“Do you mind if we look at the stars a bit?”

Not many were visible yet, but they lay together on Dean’s robe by the side of the lake. Luna pointed out all the ones she knew.

“I should be taking my O.W.L. for Astronomy now, but I’m not. I have all this knowledge sitting in my brain but it’s not going anywhere. I have to tell somebody all of it.”

“Just don’t start reciting potion ingredients at me and I’ll be fine,” joked Neville. Luna did not laugh, but it didn’t bother him. Making Luna laugh was usually more trouble than it was worth.

“It’s a lovely night, anyway,” said Luna.

“Mm-hm.”

“Some people say looking up at the sky like this makes them feel insignificant, but it makes me feel the exact opposite. What about you?”

“Oh, I always feel insignificant, I suppose.”

“You aren’t. The sky makes me think of an Omni-dragon.”

“What are those?”

“Highly theoretical beasts.”

“Aren’t they all?

“Of course not. There are dozens of sightings of Snorcacks and Nackledirks. They’ve just been covered up. Omni-dragons, though, are fantastic. They’re supposedly the size of planets and live millions and millions miles away.”

“I should hope so.”

“They’re too big for any world to support, so they fly around the cosmos, feeding off of planets and intergalactic debris and even stars and galaxies if they’re big enough.”

“Bit odd, that.”

“Completely fantastic,” she agreed. Neville turned his head to look at her. It was fully dark now and behind her lay the castle, fully lit-up and illuminating her face. She went on factually, but she stared up at the night sky as if mesmerized. “There have been several reported sightings by wizards in the past few years, though, and there are alleged reports of Obliviators visiting Muggle observatories to rid the astronomers of the memories.”

“How typical.”

“A friend of Daddy’s wrote an article about it.”

“Fascinating.”

“To think, something that big, so far away. Obliterating everything in its path, causing all that destruction.”

“Yeah.”

“And the two of us, just sitting here, not a bit affected.” She paused. “I feel like the two of us have been forced together, you know that? Isn’t it odd, like it was fate, or rather, Fate, that compelled us to be around each other all the time.”

He rather wished she would go back to outlining some other fantastic, impossible creature because it certainly made more sense than what she was on about now. Or at least, it was much more familiar territory.

“I don’t think Fate compels people to do anything,” he put forth. “I think we make choices on our own.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Independently.”

“You mean we don’t get help from anyone?”

“Well of course that’s not what I meant. I mean, I don’t know about you—,”

“Yes you do.”

“—But I need help all the time. I can’t help it, I need it.”

“It can happen, sometimes.”

“What?”

“Needing someone.”

“Oh. Well, yeah, I guess—”

“I didn’t used to need anybody,” she said thoughtfully. “Now it’s very odd, it’s like I’m never alone.” All the while she talked she continued to stare up at the night sky, and so Neville couldn’t help but think her words were being directed upwards, even though she was speaking about him.

“Is that…bad?”

“Oh no. Just different. It’s a natural inclination, to make something different sound as if you think it bad.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I guess that’s true.”

They were quiet for a time before Luna went on. “You know what frightens me?”

“I didn’t think anything did.”

“Don’t be silly. Why wouldn’t I be frightened of something?”

“Well, I don’t know. You’ve always seemed fearless, I guess.”

“I never thought about what frightened me much until it became important, I suppose. Everyone is frightened of something. Brave people just know exactly what it is.”

Neville turned his head and caught a glimpse of her lit-up face again, reflecting in her too-large eyes.

“What I’m scared of,” she said, “is the school closing. I’ve thought about it, and I think it’s what frightens me most at this point. Out of every other possible thing, isn’t that odd?”

He shook his head. He supposed it was part of what had been needling him lately too. Suddenly something rose between the two because even if they had not yet fully acknowledged the connection between themselves, the school itself’s hold on them had never been clearer. “What’ll we do if that happens?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I suppose we won’t see each other again, if it does happen.”

“Don’t be silly.”

“I’m always a bit silly, but it’s true. What reason do we have to see each other again?”

“Plenty. Dozens. Hundreds.” He paused, hoping she wouldn’t ask him what these were, because he didn’t think he could articulate them at that moment. He felt panicky, suddenly. “We just…we have to. We’ll meet up in London. If the school closes. All right?”

She looked straight at him no and nodded slowly.

“We can’t just spend our lives going to rot, can we? Maybe they don’t need us, maybe we wouldn’t help them in all the most crucial ways, but we need them, dammit. We can’t just let things slip away, let people slip away…do you really promise me?”

“Yes,” she said, but he was too worked up to hear her well.

“Really, truly promise that if everything goes wrong you’ll…you’ll find me? And we’ll find D—”

“Not Dumbledore.”

“No. We’ll find Harry and…and do something. Do what we’ve been doing, I suppose. All right? You really, truly promise?”

“Yes,” and this time he heard her and the resolution in her voice. She was bemused and only a little surprised by his passion, which kept climbing even as he remained on the ground.

“Because, Harry’s what we have left, if the school closes. You realize that?”

“I do.”

“Because he’s all we have, I guess. If everything goes wrong, and the school closes.”

“Yes.”

He interpreted this yes as an invitation, grabbed her by the hand, rolled over and kissed her. She reacted barely at all and only laid there until he pulled away. “Come on,” he said, still holding her hand. “Let’s go inside, it’s getting late.” He stood up, pulling her up with him, grabbed Dean’s robe, and led her back to Hogwarts.

[identity profile] mosaic.livejournal.com 2007-01-03 06:24 am (UTC)(link)
OMG! I haven't even read the fic yet! I was just about to, when I noticed your "I have no powers but I can skip reasonably well!" header thing. You are one of my favorite people. Anyway, I had to tell you that. Expect another comment soon (though it may be a while as I'm doing about a million things) about the fic, though!

[identity profile] mosaic.livejournal.com 2007-01-03 06:51 am (UTC)(link)
Awwww, I like your Luna! She's sweet and simple. And Neville's resolve at the end is nice, too! I always see him as the type to not back down when he really truly believes in something.

[identity profile] neigedens.livejournal.com 2007-01-03 11:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the review.

I noticed your "I have no powers but I can skip reasonably well!" header thing.

I suppose you like "Prince of Space" VERY MUCH too, huh? ;)