Title: A Necessary Bother
Word Count: 2790
Summary: Luna can see more than Thestrals; she can see that Harry needs someone to comfort him—and a little pragmatic "bothering."
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Written for celtgrrl as part of the hlficexchange. Thank you, fodirteg and gilly131, for beta'ing.
The first thing Harry saw when he Apparated to Hogwarts' gate was Hagrid and Madam Pomfrey sitting in a Thestral-drawn carriage. He didn't speak as the nurse scrambled down to examine his friend; his mind was still filled with the memory of having had to pry Hermione from Ron's dead arms.
"She'll live, Harry. It's going to be okay," the witch said, running her wand over the unconscious girl. "Help me, Hagrid. I need to get her to the Infirmary as soon as possible."
Harry opened his mouth to snap that nothing was okay, that things would never be okay again, but the sudden scent of ozone stopped him. He drew his wand and turned, ready to face the new danger. It was a movement he'd had plenty of time to perfect since Dumbledore's death.
Tonks stood there, just inside of the gate, breathing heavily. "Wotcher—it's just me," she assured Harry, lowering her wand in time with him. "Ron's alive! He's alive, Harry! Moody's bringing him—Harry? Harry!"
Harry ignored Tonks, barely registering Hagrid's rumbling, "Let 'im go. He's had a rough night," as he stormed off toward the stables.
He was afraid of the relief flooding through his body.
It's a lie. It won't last. They almost died. I almost got them killed destroying Ravenclaw's Horcrux! he berated himself, while clinging furiously to his misplaced grief.
It was the only thing that had held the shattered pieces of his heart together as he'd been carrying Hermione home, and he wasn't certain he'd know how to feel if it left him entirely.
And I can't very well fall to pieces in front of an Auror, now can I? Harry thought, desperate for the honest, quiet company of the Thestrals.
He knew that they wouldn't lie to him, and he was suddenly so desperate to be in their company that he didn't notice that someone was following him into the stable until she spoke his name.
Stifling a sob, he snapped, "Go away, Luna."
Harry angrily strode deeper into the stable's darkness, and Luna followed him, the soft, floral perfume she wore preceding her and enveloping him as if to taunt him with thoughts of a spring that would never come.
"I said go away."
"And I said no."
"Why?" Harry demanded, turning on Luna and scowling at her. "Why can't you just leave me alone? You don't see Ginny down here bothering me, do you?"
"That's because Ginny's with Ron. He almost died, you know."
"I KNOW! I WAS THERE! I—"
A shovel flew into the air and dug itself into the ceiling, then, causing the Thestrals to whinny and stamp, and Harry frantically threaded his fingers into his hair, pulling it and repeating, "Stop!" until his unintended surge of power had ceased to flow.
Luna caught him as his knees buckled, and held him as he sobbed.
"You're much stronger now, aren't you?"
"I . . . have no . . . control—you call that strength?"
"Uncontrolled strength, but strength nonetheless," Luna answered, rocking Harry against her breasts and carding her fingers through his hair to soothe him.
It did not.
Harry felt his cock harden and tried to pull away. "Luna, I'm sorry I yelled at you, but—"
"I don't mind your erection, Harry. I know that happens to boys. You don't mean it."
The hell I don't, he thought, not finding it at all bizarre to hear Luna speak so clinically. "Look, Ginny's—"
"With her brother. I told you that. She should be with Ron because Hermione can't be, but you need someone to comfort you, as well."
"I need—I need to be alone, Luna. And I was going to say that Ginny's my girlfriend. She ought to be comforting me if anyone should. You . . . you can't help me. No one can. I . . . ."
Harry gave up attempting to explain and stopped his half-hearted attempt to shrug Luna off. It was pointless, as she obviously had no intention of respecting his wishes.
"I have a pretty strong grip for a girl, don't you think?"
Harry laughed without wanting to; he couldn't help it. He had always found it next to impossible to persuade Luna to do anything. She was not like a normal girl.
"So, that's the third one? The Horcrux, I mean?"
"Yeah," Harry said, allowing himself to relax as much as he could in Luna's arms and to ignore his "erection" without feeling guilty that it was not Ginny who had caused it.
"Riddle's diary, Gaunt's ring, and Ravenclaw's Time-Turner destroyed—that leaves Slytherin's locket, Hufflepuff's cup, and Gryffindor's wand?"
Harry tensed. "You've been talking to Ginny."
"We don't even know where to begin to look for Godric Gryffindor's wand," Harry said, beginning to feel drowsy in spite of the ever-present press of responsibility with which he was plagued.
His alertness returning with his irritation, Harry snapped, "I just said—Luna, why are you asking me about the Horcruxes?"
"Because I think you need help. You've done a great deal in the past six months, but—"
"We may not have a lot of time. Yeah," Harry replied, forgetting his previous embarrassment and sitting up. "I know."
"But you don't know where Gryffindor's wand is."
The only Gryffindor wand I know about is trying to punch a hole through my— "Look, I know you mean well, but I'm trying to be alone here, and I can't very well think things through if you keep talking to me."
Luna stood up and brushed herself off, never taking her eyes off Harry. "I think you're not thinking straight because of the distraction."
"You call Ron and Hermione almost dying a dis—"
"You're horny. That's the distraction," Luna interrupted, fixing her eyes upon the front of Harry's straining trousers. "I doubt you'll be able to think straight until you take care of that, and there are some things you don't know which might help you to think clearly if you did."
If Luna had been a boy—or hell, almost anyone else—Harry would have punched her, but Luna's "Luna-ness" in this instance was so matter-of-fact that all he could do was answer her. "Right. I'm horny. But if you think I'm going to go pull Ginny away from Ron's bedside, you're—"
"Ginny's seeing Blaise Zabini, Harry. She has been since the third month of the term."
"It's true. I suppose I don't blame her, not really. A girl can only take being 'protected' for so long, especially when she thinks she ought to get to protect her boy back. You pushed her away. You told her to 'do whatever you have to do to be happy'." What did you expect?"
"She's let you read my—"
"You never write that you miss her, and you mention Ron so often that she may even believe you're—"
One of the Thestrals snorted in protest at Harry's exclamation.
"I don't think you should yell. They don't like it."
"I'm not shagging Ron. I've never even thought about shagging Ron," Harry hissed, beginning to pace, which was made difficult because, annoyingly enough, his prick was still demanding attention.
"No," Luna said, falling into step with Harry. "If you'd ever thought about shagging another boy, it would have been Draco Malfoy, wouldn't it have been?"
Luna's comment, rather than killing the inconvenient lust Harry was experiencing, intensified it, and he went rigid with frustration, balling his fists to keep control of himself. "Go. Away. Luna," he ground out between clenched teeth, seeing red behind his eyes, which he had shut so as not to look at the Ravenclaw.
Strong emotion didn't mix well with his magic.
"No," Luna said, from below his waist.
Harry's eyes flew open as her hands began quickly undoing his trouser buttons. Before he could protest, Luna was mouthing his cock through his y-fronts. The sensation was too good to deny. Instead, Harry stumbled backward until he was caught between Luna and a stall door.
He didn't mind.
With a Thestral's moist breath playing over his neck and the wet slide of Luna's mouth upon his prick, Harry could only babble incoherently, ride the tide of pleasure thrumming through his body, and hope that it wouldn't wash his legs out from under him.
His mind didn't even register the fact that straw and other bits of stable detritus had seemingly flung themselves into the air.
"God, so . . . yeah, like tha—oh, Luna, I—"
The power of speech temporarily abandoned Harry as he felt one of Luna's slim thumbs brush up past his balls and press into his arse, and then he was crying out his orgasm.
"I don't . . . think so," Luna panted in reply, wiping a bit of semen off of her lips to examine it before licking her finger experimentally.
It was one of the most erotic sights Harry had ever seen; it made him look at Luna as if he were seeing her for the first time. So beautiful. "You're so—"
"It's a bit salty—what have you been eating?"
"I am?" Luna asked, pulling herself up off the floor by grabbing Harry's shirt. "You seemed to like it, but it's not as though I've got anything to compare your reaction to. I didn't think it was weird."
"It wasn't. Weird, I mean—I liked it. Wait—you mean you've never—"
"No, I've 'never', Harry. The only penises I've even seen have been in books. Speaking of books," Luna continued, while picking bits of the straw that had been flying about out of her hair, "I've got something to tell you about Gryffindor's wand—if you're calmer now, that is."
No one had ever sucked Harry off before, but he was fairly certain that it would be wrong of him to just carry on as if it hadn't happened. "Luna, you . . . I . . . shouldn't we—"
"Oh, you're not calmer. I'm sorry. I thought it would help."
Hastily pulling up his trousers, Harry exclaimed, "You gave me a blow job to calm me down! That's what this was about?"
Luna's face crumpled in dismay, and, for the first time, she looked embarrassed. "I've made you mad at me."
"No!" Harry yelled, seizing Luna by the shoulders to prevent her from leaving. "I'm not angry, just . . . oh, hell!"
Luna didn't pull away when he kissed her, much to Harry's relief.
Nice—no, brilliant—almost better than having her mouth on my prick. "Luna," Harry breathed, breaking the kiss long moments later, "I think you've got the wrong idea about blow jobs. You shouldn't be giving them just to calm people down."
"But you needed calming, and I like you, Harry."
"Well, of course I do. Do you really think I'd've—"
Their second kiss lasted much longer than their first, and it ended with Harry lying atop Luna on the hay-strewn floor of the stable, one hand lightly running up and down her inner thigh.
"Is that bad? Should I stop?"
"That depends. Where were you thinking of going?" Luna teased.
"Well," Harry replied, smirking as his fingers brushed one lacy edge of Luna's knickers, "that depends on how far you want to go."
Luna's eyes widened. "Do you mean intercourse?"
"Shagging, Luna. Not 'intercourse'," Harry corrected her with a laugh, "but I was actually just thinking that I might um, you know—"
"I don't know."
"Then let me show you," Harry said, adjusting his palm so that it was covering her mons and pressing down upon it lightly.
"Oh! Can you do that some more if I take my knickers off?"
"I can do a lot more if you take your knickers off," Harry replied, trying to keep his tone serious despite his excitement; he didn't want Luna to think he was laughing at her.
He didn't really want to think, at all.
"Harry," Luna said, slipping out of her knickers and laying back again, "you like me, too, don't you?"
Shit. What an utter bastard I'm being. Shit! Harry thought, straightening up.
"I'm sorry," he said, pulling down her skirt and helping her sit up next to him. "I shouldn't be doing this. It's wrong. I'm—"
"In love with Ginny."
"—taking advantage of you," Harry replied, finally remembering Ginny.
He decided that the fact he hadn't given her a moment's thought before meant something important.
"I wasn't even angry with her," Harry said, surprised. "Before, I mean. I didn't even imagine that you were her. . . . I suppose—and I'm not just saying this—that means I'm not in love with Ginny anymore. I thought I was, but . . . ."
"You felt as thought you ought to be in love with Ginny?"
"Yeah. I think that's right. I've um, I've been feeling like I ought to feel lots of things, lately, and it's . . . it's been hard—it's been like I was . . . trapped."
Luna laid her head on Harry's shoulder and murmured, "'The most important thing is for each of us to have some freedom in our heart, some stability in our heart, some peace in our heart. Only then will we be able to relieve the suffering around us'."
Harry sighed. "You sound like a philosopher, you know that?"
"Oh, those aren't my words. They're from a reading given by Thich Nhat Hanh."
"He's a Buddhist monk my Dad knows, sort of. Hanh works with refugees, and Dad interviewed him once for the Quibbler. The quotation begins, 'And once we have the condition of peace and joy in us, we can afford to be in any situation. Even in the situation of hell, we will be able to contribute our peace and serenity'. I thought of it because what you've been doing seems like—"
"'The situation of hell'?" Harry asked, placing an arm over Luna's shoulders and pulling her closer.
"Exactly. . . . You're my friend, Harry. I want to help you. I was just trying to make you feel joy—before, I mean."
Luna's words caused tears to burn, unshed, in his eyes. He didn't feel as if he deserved her friendship.
I'm not even sure I should accept it, not now. Isn't that why I . . . rejected Ginny?
As if she could sense the turn of his thoughts, Luna turned to regard Harry and said, "I'm not afraid to help you. It's not just because you're my friend, either. It's because this is my world, too, and I want to help keep it safe. That's reasonable, isn't it?"
"I think it's the most reasonable thing you've ever said, actually. I've been an arse, haven't I?"
"A bit of one—at least, to Ginny—but I think she'll forgive you."
Harry chuckled. "If she's seeing Zabini, she can't be all that mad."
Luna snorted. "You weren't here for the worst of it."
Harry groaned. "I suppose I should apologize to her."
"For shutting her out, yes, but not for me."
"There isn't any reason to apologize for you, Luna Lovegood," Harry said firmly.
The smile that overspread Luna's face was dazzling. Harry had never seen anyone shine with as much happiness as he could see radiating from her face.
"You really are beautiful, you know."
"Oh dear, you must like me."
"Luna, I'm serious."
Kissing his cheek, Luna gently pushed Harry's arm off her shoulders, stood up, and offered him her hand. "I know you are, but I really do need to tell you that I think I've found Mr. Ollivander, and Mr. Ollivander is who's been hiding Godric Gryffindor's wand."
"That's what I was trying to tell you before, but you were too upset to listen to me."
Harry grabbed Luna around the waist and pulled her into another kiss. "I'm not upset now."
"I feel what you are," Luna replied shyly. "We could—"
"No. No, I don't think so. I do like you, and I'm not going to—I want to . . . when this is over, when I can really come home, I want to have you to look forward to."
"Harry, I'm not just going to wait for you, you know. I don't want—"
"I promise—I won't shut you out—I just want to go about this properly. That's all right with you, isn't it?"
Luna smiled. "That seems reasonable to me, yes, but I still think you should have something to remember me by."
Harry gazed at Luna's joyful, light-filled face and said, hoping he didn't sound like a git, "I'll have your smile to remember. I'll think of your smile, and it will bring me peace."
"Know what?" Luna whispered against Harry's lips.
"You sound less like an arse and more like a poet every time we speak."
Hearing Luna's words, any doubts that Harry had harbored about her motivations in seeking him out dispersed. Because when a girl says that to you, it has to mean she loves you. "I'm so glad you came down here to 'bother' me."