[personal profile] valentine_veela
Title: Roasted Duck Goes Well With Chocolate, We All Know
Author: [profile] savepureness
Pairing: Harry/Ginny basically, Harry/Ginny/Luna
Prompt #: 112
Rating: PG13
Word Count: ~2800
Warning(s): (highlight to read)*Mixed-up memories of suggested past relationships between Harry and Luna, and Ginny and Luna; innuendo; explicit mention of a hard-on. *
Disclaimer: This piece of art or fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made, no copyright or trademark infringement, or offence is intended. All characters depicted in sexual situations are above the age of consent.

“Hello! Yes? Oh, of course! Yes, yes… huh. Hmmm. I got it. You should come over, then, and I’m sure we can work something out. Yes, the schedule is the one published in the newspaper. No worries, we’ll get you fixed. Yes. Yes, yes. Certainly. Have a nice day. Ta!”

Sometimes Luna Lovegood felt exhausted after speaking for two minutes on the phone – this was one of those days. She hung up, then spent a while staring at the purple device that served as means of communication between her and the outside world. If she were to be asked, she’d say she’d rather have isolation, and peace, and spend quiet days in no one’s company but her own; even four years after graduating from Hogwarts she still favoured solitude, and still fumbled with odds and ends.

Sighing, she stood up and left her comfortable armchair – it was an old piece, inherited from her late father. She was very fond of it, mostly because it had been Xenophilius’ favourite. It was pretty ragged, and there was plush poking out of holes in strategic spots, but she didn’t care. When she sat in it, she felt like sinking, and she could close her eyes and dream. The armchair was an excellent trigger for daydreaming, and its faded colour was far from distracting her.

“I wonder”, Luna spoke to herself while advancing to the kitchenette, “who was this, and what does he really want. I wonder if he knows what he wants himself. They usually don’t.”

Truth be told, she was the one who was supposed to show them the way, and to tell them what to do. Luna wasn’t very sure she actually liked that; she had never considered herself to be too much of a leader. Stepping inside the small kitchen, she pointed her wand at the stove, and watched the tiny blue flame for a while. Then she decided it was hot chocolate, and not coffee, that she wanted.

“Rats!” Luna jumped at the sudden sound of the doorbell, hitting the pot and spilling boiling water everywhere. A few drops landed on the back of her hand, and she promptly stuffed it into her mouth, trying to suck the pain away. “He’s early”, she muttered; she swished her wand quickly and reassembled the broken pot, then wiped off the water and lit the fire again.

“Coming”, she yelled, trying to reach the door and not worrying about her disheveled looks.

Some things never changed.

“Oh. It’s you.”

Luna Lovegood was quite surprised, and it didn’t occur to her very often. But finding herself in front of an equally disheveled Harry Potter was among the things that disconcerted her.

“I wasn’t expecting you, to be honest. I… I got a call earlier, there was this guy – it wasn’t you, was it? I would have known your voice. But voices can change in time, and it’s been a while, Harry Potter.”

He stood on the doormat, blinking at her; his eyes hadn’t changed: they were still green, still troubling Luna.

“Um, I guess I should invite you in”, she gasped, then stepped asides to make room for him.

“I brought you something.”

Harry’s voice wasn’t steady at all. Luna wondered if it was just his usual shyness; it was one thing he didn’t grow past, in spite of all the events he had undergone recently. He was still a hero, and one recognized and adored by the whole community of witches and wizards. She would have liked to know how many of them were aware that he blushed easily when someone made a direct comment about him, or that he stammered a bit every time he needed to ask a favour – like now.

“Here, I hope you like them. I didn’t have whom to ask about your preferences, I’m afraid. Ginny… she said the two of you have lost contact. So here.”

Harry handed her a box of chocolates. It looked expensive, as the box was exquisite, and it said it contained a full assortment of flavours. They were supposed to pop in your mouth and fill your whole body with taste and scent alike. Luna took them, and nodded. She wasn’t sure what to say.

“Would you like some tea? Or some hot chocolate? I was just…” Luna slapped her forehead. “Not again”, she muttered, and stormed out of the room, leaving Harry alone.

He wasn’t very sure what to do next. He could have gone after her, but he thought that might be perceived as intrusion; the last thing he wanted was to invade Luna’s private space. He could imagine that seeing him after all that time – and him bringing Ginny up so early in the conversation – wasn’t very easy for her to deal with. He decided to stay put and look around, instead.

His eyes traveled over the scarcely furnished room. It was a large space filled with nothing more than two mismatched armchairs, a small round table, and a rickety shelf. The armchair he was sitting in was in a better condition than Luna’s; that one looked very old, and quite worn out. There weren’t too many things on the rickety shelf: a couple of moving photographs, a few decorative objects that looked alien to him (he imagined they might have belonged to Xenophilius Lovegood, who was collecting eerie stuff), and a small vase with wild flowers that looked far from fresh.

“Forgive me”, Luna interrupted his observation, “I spilled the water before you arrived, and now it nearly happened again. Luckily I was able to stop it, so here; we can have a nice mug of hot chocolate.”

“It’s complicated”, started Harry, his voice still unsteady.

Luna noticed he had a mustache of hot chocolate stretching upon his upper lip, but said nothing and tried not to laugh. She knew he’d think her hysterical; it wouldn’t have been the first time.

“It’s been a while, Luna.”

The words lingered between them. They could both taste the same bitterness. Luna straightened up and threw her hair back on her shoulders – she knew it was something that made people swoon, although she had never understood them. It was just hair, her hair; light blonde and silky, indeed, but hair. Veela hair, alright, but that she had discovered only after reading her father’s will. And that was a different story.

“Yes.” Harry was staring at her, his fingers curled tightly around his mug. “Harry Potter, don’t stare. It’s not something other people find pleasant.”

“Do you mind?” he asked.

“I guess I don’t mind as much as I used to”, Luna said in a tiny voice.

Harry sipped the last drop of hot chocolate and put his mug on the table; it clanged. They both flinched. There was too much tension in the air, inside the room that was already stuffy with memories and regrets.

“I’m running an agency of a sort, you know. Nothing fancy. The Muggles would call it matchmaking; I think it’s beyond that. I merely help people find the right person, that’s what I’m doing. I am the agency, actually”, giggled Luna. The unexpected sound made Harry frown. “I’m not doing it for money, or for fame – that’s why few people know about me. I have enough money. I’ve been left with a… let’s say, intriguing inheritance to bear.”

“I never knew.”

Luna tilted her head to the left, and looked at him. “No”, she decided, “you did not.”

“I liked you for what you were.”

She nodded.

“And so did Ginny.”

Luna sketched a smile; it barely stretched her mouth, though. This was one of the reasons she was taken aback by finding Harry on her doormat. She knew they would – they had to – talk about the past.

“Did she send you?”

“No. It’s my initiative. She… Ginny never mentions you.”

Another grimace twisted Luna’s face. Her eyes narrowed. She found it difficult to breathe.

“It’s getting stuffy in here”, she said. “I’ll open the window.”

She walked to the window slowly, as if floating. Harry followed her with his eyes, and wondered, as he had done countless times before, how could she move so graciously and not be aware of it. Her charm, her allure, her scent, everything was cascading over him, as it used to; there were too many memories whispering between the two of them, too many things they both had tried to forget, but were now coming back and hitting them hard, like a boomerang.

“I need your help”, Harry blurted out.

Luna cracked the window open. It was a tall window, its lower rim on the floor, and its upper side a few inches away from the ceiling. She pulled harder, until the window opened fully, and the crisp winter breeze got inside.

“I thought so.”

Her forehead leaning against the window, Luna breathed in the cold air – it did her good.

“It’s February, you know, and Ginny… she grew up with a strong attachment to traditions. There are holidays and celebrations she’s frowning at, but this time she means business.”

“Valentine’s”, whispered Luna.

“You know about it too? I thought it was a Muggle feast.”

“I celebrated it once… with her.” Luna’s voice grew thick with memories. “It’s been a while, of course. We were young, too young; she was pining over you; I was undecided. So we thought, why not, it would be fun. It was a whim, don’t think too far. We… we braided each other’s hair. We made flower garlands and offered them as mutual gifts.”

Harry nodded, though he knew Luna couldn’t see him. He took off his glasses and wiped them carefully, using his sleeve.

“Why did you come here, Harry Potter? Why, after all these years?”

It took him a while to steel his voice; it was difficult, for a whirlpool of feelings was quickly forming within his chest. He wasn’t sure what he felt; there was love for Ginny, and longing for Luna, and a touch of heavy nostalgia weighing upon it all.

“Come to us”, he finally managed. “For Valentine’s.”

A week later, Luna Lovegood was confused. She had spent the days since Harry’s unexpected visit pondering, and avoiding people’s calls. She went as far as to disconnect the phone – it was making her restless. The other people’s issues weren’t her own anymore, although she still felt compelled to find a cure for broken hearts, and to mend wobbly passions.

But every now and then in her life, she felt the need to mend her own woes. Harry Potter had offered her a sudden way to do it.

He was worried, and she could feel that even from a distance. They didn’t talk, not after his visit, but she sensed his restlessness. Things weren’t going well between him and Ginny; apparently, the flame between them was barely burning any longer. They had tried to find ways that hadn’t worked, so she finally suggested the only solution they were afraid of: getting back in touch with Luna.

“A night, that’s all we’re asking for. Valentine’s night. Spend it with us. No plans, no preparations. Just the three of us, finally – possibly something we always longed for.”

That was what Harry said. Luna had certainly imagined that often enough to try and burry it very deep inside her. She didn’t know they had wanted it, too. And now that it seemed possible, she wasn’t sure if she could take it.

On the 13th of February, Luna locked the tiny house and took her father’s broom off its closet; it was dusty, but glad to feel her touch again. Luna hated planes. She didn’t take anything with her; she cast an Invisibility Charm upon herself, and upon the broom, and then rode it silently into the cold night.

“Come… come in. Please.”

Ginny was still short – it was the first thing Luna noticed. She nodded at her broom.

“Oh, this. It’s weird, I seem to ride them so often in competition, and in practice, than I seldom use them as transportation means anymore. But we do have a rack. In a closet. I’ll show you there.”

Luna nodded; her voice was bundled in a burning ball deep in her throat. She didn’t feel like talking, anyway. Ginny’s tension was obvious, though she moved swiftly, getting out of the house – they had a large, pretty hut – and reaching a barn. A few brooms were aligned inside the closet; Luna noticed Ginny’s professional brooms, all in excellent condition and shining with cleanliness.

“Here”, Ginny showed her an empty space. “It’ll be in good company.”

Once back inside, they found an awkward Harry trying to set the table using magic. It worked out well – it was Harry Potter performing magic, after all – but his hands were trembling heavily on his wand, so plates often clashed on the table, and forks and knives clanged while bumping into each other in midair.

“It smells good”, dared Luna. “What is it?”

“I tried roasted duck. I remembered you used to like it, back at Hogwarts; you thought it was a treat each time they served it, so… It’s simple, though, no orange sauce, no French touch”, said Ginny. Her lips curved in a smile; Luna giggled without thinking. They looked at each other, suddenly feeling at ease.

“Roasted duck sounds delicious”, said Luna, the burning ball slowly melting down her throat. She looked around – they were going to eat in the kitchen, she thought. It was a big kitchen, anyway, warm and welcoming, very different from the narrow space she used at home. But then again, by cooking she understood boiling water to make the daily hot chocolate and the occasional soup.

Luna sat on a chair, her hands folded in her lap.

Ginny and Harry exchanged a quick glance, then he announced he’d go down in the cellar to fish a bottle of wine. Off he went, leaving the two women alone. Ginny stood with her back at Luna, mashing potatoes in a huge bowl. She hummed softly to herself – it was a familiar tune.

Luna remembered: that tune, Ginny used to sing it to her when they spent part of the summer together at the Burrow; they were lying in the tall grass, hidden from prying eyes. Luna’s head was in Ginny’s lap, her hair – her Veela hair – spread between her fingers. Ginny was singing to her; it was that tune.

Luna tried to chase away the thought that everything felt very much like home there.

The roasted duck had been delicious – somehow the three of them had managed to devour it all. There had been mashed potatoes and cranberry jam next to it, and Harry had found an excellent wine in the cellar. They were all feeling more or less drowsy with great food, alcohol, and mostly, each other’s company.

“I have to congratulate you”, said Harry lazily, grabbing Ginny’s hand and dragging her to sit in his lap. “Too bad you decide to cook so seldom.”

“We have a very special guest; I wanted to. Otherwise, it doesn’t happen too often, he’s right”, said Ginny, talking to Luna. “The Quidditch events are usually giving me hell.”

Brash and straightforward, just as she used to be; Luna couldn’t understand how come the flame between Ginny and Harry needed to be rekindled. Ginny was fiery and passionate; Harry looked ready to satisfy any whim of hers.

“You’re glowing.”

Harry’s words were sudden and completely out of context; for once, Luna didn’t mind. She thought it was true: she should be glowing; good food, good wine, good company. She leaned over the table, face tugged in her hands. Her face looked dreamy.

“Do you remember?”

Ginny’s question hit her hard, but she didn’t have the time to react, for Ginny leaned in as well, and touched Luna’s lips with the tip of her finger. “You should remember”, she whispered.

Harry’s arm flinched around Ginny’s waist; his thighs contracted. Ginny felt him getting hard, and sat more comfortably in his lap, a wicked smile on her face. Luna licked her lips – they still bore Ginny’s taste upon them.

Suddenly, spending Valentine’s night with them didn’t seem like a bad idea at all.


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