Head in the Clouds

Title: Head in the Clouds
Author: ExcentrykeMuse
Pairing: Luna/Draco (one sided Luna/Harry)
Summary: When Luna was small, her mother had said her head was always in the clouds.
Card Interpretation: PAGE OF CUPS—The beginning of a new relationship and the dawning of a new perspective on a difficult situation.

Author Notes: I’ve wanted to write the character of Luna for a long time, especially Harry/Luna, but, well, Luna had ideas of her own.

Warnings: cruelty to children; brief references to violence and injury (canon)

When she was small, her mother had said her head was always in the clouds.  She said it with a smile on her face, a lilt to her voice, and Luna had loved her for it.  “You’re so aptly named,” her mother had said—before she had died.  “The moon rests in a blanket of clouds, just like my little Luna.”

Ginny Weasley from the village called her strange because of it, but Luna didn’t really mind.  She preferred to be alone, anyway, who needed friends?  And she would lie in the grass on a summer’s eve and look up at the moon, resting in the blanket of clouds, and knew that her mother had been right.  She dreamed one day of sleeping in the clouds, as well, but sadly she had no wings with which to fly up to the moon.

Where other children learned to ride brooms, Luna had never been allowed, her father too afraid to allow his daughter close to such a dangerous sport that could end in her death.

Luna understood, really she did.  She was all her father had left now.  She pretended not to mind when Ginny had laughed at her for not wanting to break into her family broom shed.  When she finally arrived at Hogwarts and Professor Flitwick pulled her aside to tell her she had a waiver from her father not to learn to fly like the other students, she placed a dreamy smile on her face in order to hold back the tears that wanted to fall.

That’s when she’d first been called Loony.  The smile, she supposed later, must have been a bit strained, and once again she forced it on her face, pretending not to care, dreaming of sleeping in the sky.

She was not as ignorant as anyone believed.  Her second year, when one of her roommates said quite loudly that “Loony’s head was in the clouds,” she knew it was an insult, but still it brought (for once) a small genuine smile to her face as she remembered what her mother used to say to her.

If she saw Thestrals, it didn’t really matter.  Luna knew she often could see and understand what others could not, whether real or imaginary.  She would try to put it into words, but language was too limiting—and so her fellow students continued to laugh at her, and if some of her essays came back with lower marks than she hoped with comments on how Humdingers weren’t real, well, one day she knew she’d fly away, and it wouldn’t matter anymore.

Ginny started talking to her third year, though Luna was never quite certain why except that it had to do with dresses.  She would absently listen—something about some boy and the Boy-Who-Lived, and dress robes—and Luna would smile to herself, wondering what it would be like to dance on air, though she began to realize that perhaps she would never know.  She imagined what it would be like to dance on the ground, with a boy, but no one asked her to the ball, and she didn’t bother to try and sneak into the great hall, instead taking advantage of the fairy lights as she climbed to the top of Ravenclaw Tower and for once, looked down at the magical scene below her instead up into the sky.

Cedric died at the end of that year.  She didn’t cry—Why would she cry when death was just the next step in existence?—and the other Ravenclaws called her strange and heartless for that.  No one ever used her name, not anymore.  She was always Loony Lovegood now.  Her things began to disappear and some of the girls would taunt her, asking her if midgets had come and taken them away, laughing behind their hands, their eyes sparkling in cruelty.

Luna again forced the smile onto her face—the strange, peculiar one that had become so familiar at Hogwarts—and turned her face more often than not to the sky, watching the lunar calendar shift until she was almost in tune with it.  At night, if she couldn’t sleep, she would try to pretend that she wasn’t sleeping on a bed on the earth, but instead was high above in the sky, and she would go to sleep with a genuine smile on her face that was always gone by breakfast the next day.

Then there was a boy, with sad green eyes, that reminded her of the sky before a storm.  He didn’t call her Loony, not like his friend Granger, and she tried to smile at him, truly, but found that she was out of practice.  Sometimes he would say a quiet greeting to her in the halls, and she would like him a little for it, and while his conversation was stilted, he would talk to her without being cruel.  He was different, he was special, and it wasn’t the scar on his forehead—although almost immediately she saw that it was poisoning him.  She tried to tell him, but couldn’t find the words and, afraid of being laughed at by the first kind person she had come across, she held her tongue, crying under the light of the moon.

Watching the boy fly made her heart jump, and the joy on his face when he came down from the clouds made her soul ache … she tried to dress up like a lion to show him that she understood the smile, that perhaps he too was meant to sleep in the clouds, but everyone just laughed at her, and he had blushed and looked away.

She never wore the costume again and hid it in her trunk; whenever she saw it, it brought her pain.  Luna supposed that’s why she wasn’t in Gryffindor, she wasn’t quite brave enough, although she did skirt around the High Inquisitor’s Rules and even broke into the Ministry, hoping the boy would understand that she was doing it for him, not because of the War.

One night, under the moon, she thought that he was almost like a friend.

For some reason, though, she cried herself to sleep that night.

Her fifth year, Luna saw less of him, but for the first time she truly began to see the boy called Malfoy.  He had fear written in his gray eyes, and she noticed how he didn’t eat, how he skidded away from answering certain questions.  At first she thought he was named for dragons, but then one day she found him in Moaning Myrtle’s toilet (she often went in there to hide from some of the Ravenclaws, just so she could have time and space to think) and, when she told him she was named for the moon, he mentioned that he was named for the stars.

The thought made her smile, and she asked if his head was in the clouds.

He smiled at her sadly and said only that it couldn’t be anymore.

Luna didn’t wish to pry, so she didn’t ask him anything else.

Strangely, the next week she found him there again.  Luna thought less about the boy in the clouds, and occasional when she turned her eyes to the heaven, would turn her wonderings to the boy of the stars.  He seemed to find solace in her presence, and they would talk of nothing significant, not really. Once, she caught him alone, confiding in Myrtle the ghost, and she left him to the his peace, knowing what it was like to only want to confide in the dead.  The dead, after all, could rarely tell your secrets.  Still, the next time she went to hide there, he was waiting for her eagerly.  If he held her hand, she didn’t stare at him, instead just letting it be, and her heart soared into the sky—she wondered if that’s where it belonged.

He never called her Loony.  Neither had the other boy, of course, but when the boy of the stars defended her to the Slytherins one day in the hall when one of the older girls pulled at her hair and bumped into her so she would drop her bag, Luna found a genuine smile for the first time in years.

Later that week, when they were sitting alone in their toilet and holding hands, he whispered to her that it had taken his breath away—her smile.

The Slytherins, at least, had never bothered her again.  It was more than the other boy had ever done for her.

“I wish I could ask you to the Slug Club Yule Party,” the boy of the stars said to her one day in early December.

Luna had looked at him, his name hovering on her lips but unspoken, and he squeezed her hand gently.  She looked into his eyes, taking in the gentle slope of his eyebrow, the dark circles under his eyes, and wished quietly that he would find more peace in his sleep, child of the stars that he was.

Nervous despite herself, she licked her lips, and noticed that his eyes flickered to the movement before coming back to meet her gaze.  “Why can’t you?” she inquired, her voice hoarse.

He gave out a laugh, tinged with desperation and sadness, and rested his blond head against her shoulder.  “I’m not a member.  My father, after all, is a convicted Death Eater.”

The two of them had never talked about the war, and the subject hung between them.  “My father,” Luna began, “supports Harry, you know.”  There it was.  She’d said the other boy’s name—taking him from flying, from the clouds, from her heart.

“I know,” he whispered back to her, his voice breaking.  She wondered what his eyes would betray if she could see them, and that night found no comfort thinking about sleeping in the clouds, her thoughts plunged to the earth.

Luna was surprised when she was asked to the party—by the boy who smiled at her indulgently, never calling her Loony.  Harry said they would be going as friends, and she’d never been to a party, though she was saddened to learn she couldn’t practice sixth-year transfiguration and try to turn her eyebrows a different color to match her dress.  Magic helped her get through the long days before him—before Draco—and still often did when she found herself alone and trying to ignore the whispers, the strained smile on her face.

She hadn’t expected for Draco to crash the party, was hurt that he hadn’t invited her to that, she would have said ‘yes’.  The hurt in his eyes was evident when he saw who she was standing with.  Her date had disappeared, forgetting her most-likely, and, saddened, Luna left the party on her own a little early, only to find Draco waiting for her.

“Potter?” he asked, in disbelief.  His body was strained, and it seemed almost that he wanted to reach out for her but was afraid to.  In the shadows, his skin appeared almost completely gray, which frightened her a little, though she didn’t let him see it.

“He needed a friend, and he is almost like one,” she admitted quietly, slipping her hand into his unresponsive one.  “You said you couldn’t take me—and didn’t when you crashed.”

“I didn’t mean to crash,” Draco admitted hesitantly, his fingers slowly and tentatively curling around hers.  “I was—“  He stopped, darkness making his gray eyes strangely appear almost a dark midnight blue.  She knew something was bothering him, a shadow almost always seemed to loom over him even in the line of the sun, as if he could not shake it off.  It was sinister and ever-present.

“You are haunted, are you not?” Luna whispered, her eyes not quite meeting his.  “I see the Fairy King often lurk behind you.”

Draco’s lips quirked up a small amount, and he pulled Luna to him, resting their foreheads together.

“Be my girlfriend,” he whispered, his voice hesitant.

“I thought I already was your friend,” she answered, but he cut her off, stealing her breath away in her first kiss.

Luna had no one to tell, and Draco didn’t advertise it either.  The Slytherins, though, somehow seemed to know.  Before they grudgingly left her alone, but now one would occasionally help her pick up her books when someone pushed them out of her hands, and a tall, slender boy with dark skin and mysterious eyes even hexed a Gryffindor who called her Loony loudly in the hallways.  The only exception was a dark haired girl who trapped her into a deserted classroom, barring the door, and staring at her coldly.

“He was mine, you know,” she stated imperiously.  “What could he possibly love about you, when you clearly worship the Chosen One?  Loony, you are, and clearly it’s catching.”

It only occurred the once, and Luna never told Draco, though somehow he seemed to know, and the witch with a pug face never came near her again.

“I may not be in favor outside of these halls, but in Slytherin I still hold sway,” Draco had commented lightly, kissing the tip of her nose.

When he was attacked, Luna was too afraid to ask who had done it, though the answer was clearly in Draco’s eyes.  Professor Snape seemed surprised when she appeared in the Hospital Wing, Moaning Myrtle having told her vaguely what had occurred.  She didn’t leave his side all night, instead whispering to him about the moon, the stars, how one day they would sleep in the clouds although their hearts and minds were already there.

Draco squeezed her hand lovingly, though never said a word, and when sleep finally claimed him, she slipped back to Ravenclaw, although she wanted to fly away with him to somewhere safe, somewhere away from the war, from politics, from choosing sides.

Luna knew that Draco couldn’t change his allegiance just as she couldn’t change hers.

He disappeared the night that Dumbledore was killed and wasn’t there to hold her as she cried.  Still, one muggy night early in July, she heard a tapping on her window, and found him hovering on a broom in the moonlight.  “Climb on,” he whispered, and not even hesitating, Luna scrambled onto her first broom—to be flown to the clouds where she rested her head against Draco’s chest and fell asleep, cradled in the arms of the stars.

Her sixth year, Harry was missing, and Hermione on the run.  Luna was scared and Draco couldn’t protect her, not from the Carrows, although he tried.  He held her hand as he walked her between classes, whispered that he was trying to convince the new order that she did not necessarily agree with her father’s political beliefs, and that’s how she realized that he must love her—at least a little.

On the weekends, they would fly in the clouds, and although Headmaster Snape caught them once or twice, he merely looked the other way, reminding Draco that rules were in place for a reason.

In Potions when they learned about Amortentia, Luna smelled starlight, the musky smell of the haunted girl’s toilet, and damp Autumn leaves.

That Christmas, Draco escorted her to the Yule Ball, and even danced with her although no one else was dancing.  He kissed her under the mistletoe and his haunted eyes appeared a little more relaxed.

If her thoughts strayed to Harry, it was only to worry about his safety, about the war, about He Who Must Not Be Named being defeated for good.  Luna tried not to think about what this would mean for Draco, for his family whom she knew he desperately loved … if the smile on her face was forced, it was from being trapped on both sides, not clearly seeing a happy ending for either alternative.

Then they had taken her and thrown her into a cellar dungeon with a goblin and Ollivander.   There was no light, but she let her mind soar to the clouds, to the happy memories of flying among them, of falling asleep against Draco’s chest when he first took her up close to the moon.

She was frightened when she learned she had been taken to Draco’s home, when she realized that the woman who would question and hurt her was his aunt.  But then—sometimes—Draco would come in the night, breath harsh from fear of discovery—and he would hold her as she quietly cried.  Neither the goblin nor Ollivander spoke to her of this, although Luna often felt their eyes lingering on her.

When they were rescued, part of her was relieved, but now she spent the nights alone, without Draco, and she wondered if he dreamed about kissing her among the clouds as she often did before she fell into a restless sleep.

She didn’t see him on the battlefield that had once been Hogwarts, and for that Luna was thankful.  She told Harry about the diadem, and when he appeared almost ready to kiss her, she turned her head away, gazing across the war torn grounds toward the cloudless night sky.  Head in the clouds, her mother had once said.

There were no clouds tonight.

She wondered what that meant.

The battle seemed to go on for days and yet was over within the flash of a second.  When she walked among the dead, looking for a shock of platinum hair, she didn’t find it, to her relief.  Still the future was so uncertain.

In the months that followed, her father kept her at home where she could rest, regaining her strength and slowly teaching her stomach to digest more than moldy bread and stale water.  Draco did not come to her and she couldn’t bring herself to read the Daily Prophet that her father occasionally picked up for the latest Ministry decrees.

Harry came by, bringing her flowers he picked himself, causing her to smile and thank him.

Then, a few nights before her seventh year began, she heard a familiar tapping at her window.  She rushed to the window and there, hovering in the air with a smile on his face, was Draco, his skin a little less gray from worry and his hair not quite as lank as it had been her fifth year.  “Fly me to the moon?” she whispered, and he held out his hand to her.

“Where else could I take you but the stars?” he laughed, their eyes both turning heavenward toward the cloudy sky.

The End.

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