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If I had to beg for your love, would it ever be enough

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If I had to beg for your love, would it ever be enough

When she was eleven – almost twelve – Luna fell in love with Ginny Weasley.

The two of them had been friends since they were small, and Ginny had always been Luna’s favourite person, but it was in the aftermath of the terrible thing that happened to Ginny in first year that Luna quietly, unremarkably lost her heart to her best friend.

Ginny had always been strong, and brave, aside from occasional fits of nervousness – Ginny had too many brother to not be strong – but shattered and distraught, Ginny showed a resolve and strength of character that had never had a chance to show itself before.

“I’m not going to be guilty or ashamed anymore,” Ginny told Luna angrily, her brown eyes full of anguished fury. “It was his fault, he was the one who did everything, not me. And I’m not going to let him make me feel broken for the rest of my life. I’m not going to let anyone. Never again!”

She glared so fiercely, looked so indomitable in that moment, that Luna felt something new blossom in her heart.

“I know you won’t,” she said, belief in every syllable. And for the first time that summer, Ginny smiled.

They didn’t talk about it again, but Luna never forgot their conversation, or that glimpse of the fire Ginny carried inside her.

Ginny ended up making friends with most of her dorm-mates, after they went back to school for second year. Ginny said they knew something bad had happened to her in first year, just not what, and felt curious and guilty about leaving her alone all of last year. Despite this, Luna was still the person Ginny told everything to.

It was Luna who heard about how Ginny doesn’t have the patience for Potions, and about how awful Jasmine’s new haircut is. It was Luna who Ginny talked to about Harry Potter (who Ginny swore she was going to marry one day, with his lovely green eyes and heroic deeds.) It was Luna who listened, sympathetically and without judgement, when Ginny confessed that she sometimes wondered if maybe ‘Tom’ left something of himself behind in her. It was Luna who told her not to be silly, that all Tom did was awaken the parts of Ginny that are fierce and strong.

It was always Luna Ginny went to, was the point, and it was Luna who was always there for her. And it was Ginny who always stuck up for Luna, and said she didn’t deserve the way everyone else treated her. In the end, it was always the two of them.

For several years, Luna was puzzled at the fact that everyone else, even Ginny – especially Ginny – seemed to have gone all funny about boys. The other girls all seemed to want to kiss and hold hands with boys (except for Lucia, who stared at Elena in class a lot and blushed), and even though a lot of them didn’t have anyone to do that with, they wanted to.

The boys seemed to feel the same way about the girls, too, although they showed it through bravado and ridiculous preening. Luna didn’t understand it at all. She thought that Ginny was the most beautiful person alive, and loved to look at her, but she never wanted to kiss her. And no one else came anywhere near Ginny in Luna’s estimation. It was all very puzzling.

In the end, Luna came to the conclusion that she was simply different to the others. It all seemed very strange, the way everyone else behaved, but it also seemed to be normal, among people who had romantic feelings for each other. So perhaps it was simply something that Luna would have to bear, if she ever found herself dating another person. She was fairly certain that she wouldn’t mind kissing too much, if she liked someone enough to think them worth it. Luna would do a lot for the people she loved.

Luna doubted that would ever happen, though. The only person she loved like that was Ginny, and Luna was fairly certain Ginny was the only person she ever would. After all, no one else had ever measured up.

The years passed, and nothing changed, but Luna was quite content with that.

Harry Potter had invited Luna to Slughorn’s Christmas party.

He’d immediately added ‘as friends,’ his expression filled with horror at the prospect of a misunderstanding and embarrassment at his maladroitness. Luna didn’t mind, though, she was just happy to be asked to something for once, and perfectly understood Harry’s wariness of potential entanglements. Rather a lot of girls had been chasing him lately, and he didn’t seem to quite know how ot deal with them. She sympathised.

Luna was enjoying the party immensely when Ginny popped up next to her to get a glass of punch.

“Hello, Luna,” she said, brown eyes sparkling, her hair shining like copper in the bright candlelight. Luna could see all the freckles spattered across her nose. “Harry hasn’t deserted you, has he?” she added, suddenly, all sharpness and suspicious in a way that boded ill for the absent Harry.

“I don’t think he meant to,” Luna explained. “He caught sight of the Malfoy boy and got distracted.”

Ginny rolled her eyes.

“Honestly, you’d think he was keen on him, the way he keeps on after Malfoy,” she told Luna. “Stalker.”

Then Ginny was off again, back to a cluster of people, smiling beautifully, and grinning wickedly when Dean Thomas ventured to rest a hand on the outside of her thigh.

Abruptly Luna didn’t feel very festive any more, and went looking for some breathing space among the crowd.

She’d retreated behind a tapestry when Hermione Granger ducked behind it as well, flushed and a bit rumpled, and looked startled to find Luna already there.

“Oh, hello Luna,” she said breathlessly, absently trying to pat her hair back into place.

“Are you playing hide and seek?” Luna asked curiously. “I don’t think Cormac will find you here, you know. He might give up looking if he can’t find you.”

It seemed a strange thing to be doing at a party, of course, but Luna had long ago decided that the things other people did weren’t going to make sense to her.

Hermione reddened quite a bit.

“Actually, I’m trying to avoid him,” she explained in a constrained voice. “He thinks I – well, he’s got the wrong idea, anyway.”

Luna pieced this together, but the pieces didn’t seem to fit.

“Weren’t you trying to give him that idea, then?”

Hermione flushed bright crimson and fled from behind the tapestry with a disjointed, embarrassed mutter.

Luna decided that really, she should try to enjoy the party, and soon left the spot behind the tapestry as well. Maybe she’d find her errant companion somewhere.

Luna was expecting it when Ginny sat down to tell her all about how she was now with Harry Potter.

One of the Ravenclaws had mentioned it a few days earlier – an overheard “did you hear Potter’s dating the Weasley girl?” had intruded suddenly into Luna’s busy thoughts in the middle of dinner, making her drop her fork. Luna had felt cold all over. She didn’t let it show, however, just picked up her fork and mechanically continued eating as the gossip flowed around her.

Ginny had always wanted to be with Harry Potter. She’d gone out with lots of boys in the last couple of years, but they were just boys she’d gone out with. Harry Potter? He was the one person Ginny had always carried a burning torch for, and if he’d finally noticed… Well, Luna knew that if it was Harry Potter, then Ginny was serious about things for the first time in her life.

So Luna had been given time to think it over, and was fairly composed when Ginny sought her out to tell her all about it herself.

“I’m dating Harry,” she said, with an urchin’s grin, devious and happy.

“Katie told Charis,” Luna agreed noncommittally. The fierce, bright joy in Ginny’s eyes tugged hard at something in Luna’s chest.

Ginny’s eyes flashed a little at that, but it was only momentary.

“Yeah, well, after the last Quidditch match we were all celebrating, and when I got to the common room I saw Harry being congratulated by everyone. I thought I’d go over and do the same, but Harry met me halfway and before I could get a word out, he kissed me.” There was a flash of happy, embarrassed pride, and slight exasperation. “So we went and talked it over somewhere quiet, of course, and agreed that we feel the same way about each other and we’re officially going out.”

The soft, bashful smile on Ginny’s face was new, all tender feelings she’d never been free to express before.

The tugging in Luna’s chest was painful now.

“You’ve always fancied him, haven’t you?” Luna noted. Ginny smiled ruefully.

“Kind of, yeah, but not exactly. I fancied Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, for ages. But then I actually got to know Harry, and the thing is, he’s not the storybook hero; the hero is just part of the bigger, complicated picture of who he is. And for years I was too busy crushing on the Boy Who Lived to realise that there was a real person under the myth, just as wonderful, who just wanted to be treated like a human being. Once I realised that person was there, I couldn’t help beign in love with him no matter how hard I tried."

Ginny suddenly grinned.

“Not that it doesn’t drive me mad the way he gets into his dramatic moods, and he’s completely oblivious sometimes, but that’s just who he is.”

“He’s quite kind,” Luna said, a little distantly. “He was rather upset when he found out that my housemates take my things. He doesn’t really understand it when people are cruel, I think.”

Ginny’s eyes went hard and glittering.

“I wish you’d let me make them stop, Luna,” she said hotly. “And no, I don’t think he does. He’s not like that himself.

“I think you could be cruel, though, if someone did something that you felt deserved it,” Luna mused.

“Yes,” said Ginny. “I could.”

It was after the headmaster’s funeral that Luna found Ginny in the shrubbery, quite by accident, and crying bitterly.

Luna took in Ginny’s red-all-over look and the way she was trying to press back great gulping sobs by putting her hands to her mouth, and sat down beside her friend to fold her into a comforting hug.

Ginny didn’t say anything, just cried for a long time, and afterwards they sat in silence, surrounded by the comforting garden sounds while Luna gazed contemplatively at the sky and tactfully gave Ginny time for the red blotchiness around her eyes and nose to fade away.

Ginny didn’t offer any explanations, and Luna didn’t ask.

Luna next saw Ginny at Bill Weasley’s wedding. She received the offered hug gladly, with a faint tingle of –not-quite-guilt as she loosely wrapped her arms around the slim figure and inhaled the honeysuckle scent that clung to Ginny’s hair, alongside the warm smell of Ginny’s skin.

“Aren’t these dresses hideous?” Ginny greeted her, stepping back so that Luna could get a better look. “Phlegm chose them. Of course, it looks fantastic on Gabrielle.”

“You’re being unfair,” Luna observed, hearing the undertones of spiteful resentment. “I think she’s actually rather lonely, you know. No one cares who she is underneath.”

Ginny frowned, and battled at an errant curl that had fallen into her eyes. Luna watched it wistfully.

“Stay out of it, Luna. You don’t have to live with her.”

“No, but I have met her. I think you’d find she’s rather nice if you stopped hating her. Haven’t you always wanted a sister?”

No!” Ginny snapped loudly. “I haven’t!”

“Exactly,” Luna agreed happily. “I’m sure she didn’t want a sulky, snippy little sister-in-law full of jealousy, either. But she loves William, so it can’t be helped.”

Ginny gaped at Luna.

“I hate it when you do that,” she said finally.

“You do love your brother, don’t you?” Luna asked vaguely.

Ginny gave a long, drawn-out sigh.

Yes. Fine. I’ll go and talk to them.”

Ginny disappeared into the crowd of people, and Luna looked around.

Harry Potter was at the wedding too, of course. He didn’t look like himself, but his movements and facial expression – a conflicting mess of what am I doing here/I can do this/wizards are strange – were distinctive enough that Luna recognised him at once. Harry always gave off an aura of being simultaneously baffled by, apprehensive about, and yet fundamentally unintimidated by the wizarding world.

Luna had often wondered about it. It was a strange combination.

Harry was a friend, so Luna talked to him politely enough. Besides, who could blame him for recognising how amazing Ginny was? It wasn’t his fault; it wasn’t anyone’s fault. It made Luna unhappy, that was all.

Conversation over, Luna went away to find where Ginny had gotten to. She wanted to take a photograph of Ginny in the puffy dress.

During that horrible year that followed, when Luna felt afraid and alone, especially during the time she was held hostage, Luna sometimes wrote letters to Ginny in her head.

In her mind she told Ginny of keeping poor frightened Mr Ollivander company, of the dreariness of their cell and the faint screams that echoed form elsewhere in the house, making her wonder was else was being held captive there and why. Of her worry for her father, and of how sometimes she was tortured but never gave up anything useful, and of how other times her mild, meditative stare made her tormentors uneasy, so that they left without a word. And she wrote of how she loved Ginny so much, and hoped that Ginny was safe more than anything in the world.

On several occasions Luna woke suddenly to find herself abruptly, disorientingly in her cell, after dreaming of playful laughter and a smile like daybreak. Luna had experienced dreams like these before, of whispered secrets and entangled hands, but during that time of horror her dreams were more alive than ever, so vivid, as though her sleeping mind sought to escape in the only way it could. She knew that they were only dreams, but sometimes, in that harsh unreality, it was hard to remember.

Afterwards, when the war was over, and people were just beginning to realise that they could put their lives back together, Luna sought Ginny out.

“Hello, Ginny Weasley,” Luna greeted her softly, smiling gently. It was strange, but good to see Ginny again after all those months where Ginny’s only presence in her life was during dreams.

“Hello, Luna,” Ginny said, a little absently, and with a quick smile.

Observing her friend, Luna found her harder, savager than before, from the expression in the brown eyes to the way she stood, uneasy challenge in every muscle.

“Thanks for helping Harry escape last night,” Ginny added briskly. “I think the crowd was a bit much for him, after all that time alone in a tent with two people.” Ginny’s eyes narrowed slightly. “That’s the last time he’s going off without me like that for as long as we live, I swear.”

“Oh,” said Luna uncertainly. “Ginny–”

“I suppose I’d better go find him, in case he’s moping again,” Ginny interrupted, not really paying any attention. Luna felt like she was somehow invisible. “I’ll talk to you later, Luna.”

Luna stood and stared after her friend as Ginny walked away, a cold, hollow feeling in her chest. Luna was far from alright – it had been months, anything could have happened as far as Ginny knew, and yet Ginny couldn’t spare a moment to talk to her.

Ginny hadn’t even asked if she was okay.

As Luna slowly began to walk back to the Ravenclaw dorms, she wondered whether, in all that time that she was being starved and tortured for the sake of Ginny’s boyfriend, Ginny had thought of her at all.

It wasn’t a pleasant thought.

Oddly enough, over the next few months, the person Luna came to depend on when she needed to talk was Harry Potter. He’d come out calmer, more thoughtful after the war; more inclined to think through all the angles of a situation, and slower to anger.

Luna was having an ice cream at Fortescue’s the day it reopened when Harry joined her.

“Hi, Luna.”

His green eyes were contemplative, and a sense of quiet power and authority clung to him like a cloak. He looked peaceful, these days, and unmistakeably happy.

A sense of unaccustomed jealousy welled up.

“Hello, Harry.”

“How are you?” Harry smiled at her. It was kind and gentle, and behind the smile there was genuine not-quite-concern in his eyes: caring, Luna thought. “I saw you, and thought I’d ask how things have being going. After everything.”

Luna wondered what she should tell him. Whether she should say that her father had been broken by the fear that he’d lost her, just like he had her mother; that he wandered around like a shadow of himself, and that it was Luna’s fault, even if she hadn’t meant to. Or that Luna half-ran The Quibbler herself, these days. Or that the girl Luna loved like breathing hadn’t spoken a word to her in two months.

She decided on a little of all those things.

“Daddy hasn’t really recovered from thinking that he might lose me, the way he lost Mum. I’m all he has, you see. And Ginny hasn’t tried to speak to me once since the war ended.”

Harry straightened a little, looking surprised and troubled.

“What do you mean?”

“Ginny was my best friend for years,” said Luna. “After the Battle of Hogwarts, she didn’t even ask me how I was. And I haven’t heard from her since.”

Harry was frowning in distress.

“I’ll let her know she should talk to you,” he began.

“No,” Luna contradicted him firmly. “I don’t want her to talk to me because of obligation, Harry. I want her to talk to me because she wants to.”

And if she didn’t want to… well, the world would keep on spinning, Luna thought bleakly.

Harry didn’t look happy with the idea, but let the subject drop. The two of them talked of other things instead, and Luna found to her pleasure that Harry happily discussed all manner of things now, and intelligently so.

So when he said, “We should do this again sometime,” she agreed, and as time passed, Luna realised that Harry was the person she most trusted to be her friend.

The wonder of the realisation didn’t erase its bittersweetness.

When Hogwarts new term started, instead of returning for seventh year, Luna took up the position of roving reporter for The Quibbler instead. She needed time away from everything.

It was fun, though, looking for mysterious creatures and investigating rumours. She enjoyed seeing the different sights and meeting different people; so much so, that although she went home for Christmas, Luna decided to take on the position on a permanent basis.

Luna wrote to her father every week, and sometimes sent postcards to Harry. Otherwise, she tried to forget Britain.

It was both easier and harder than she expected.

Almost two years after the end of the war, Luna received an envelope made from thick, expensive parchment. Opening it, she almost dropped it when she saw what was inside it.

For a long time, Luna just sat and stared at the words, ‘You are invited to the wedding of Ginevra Weasley and Harry Potter.’

In the end, Luna went to the wedding.

She turned up in a pretty blue robe she’d bought in Nice, and wearing a pair of African earrings. She sat near the back so that she could leave if she had to.

Harry looked handsome, anxious and giddy up the front, Ronald Weasley patting him awkwardly on the shoulder. As the wedding march began, Luna drew back into her seat, but turned her eyes towards the entrance.

Ginny looked more grown-up than Luna was used to. She was wearing a beautiful cream-coloured gown, her copper hair pulled loosely away from her face to flow down her back, and wearing rubies in her ears and around her neck, her eyes blazing with a fierce, incandescent joy. She looked stunning.

Luna couldn’t pull her eyes away as Ginny joined Harry, his own eyes shining like stars as they met those of his bride. Luna sat as rigid as a statue all throughout the ceremony, until the moment when the newly wedded couple smiled at each other, and Ginny pulled Harry into a passionate kiss.

Luna fled the room then, unable to prevent the tears from pouring down her cheeks.

She was in the women’s lavatory in the vestibule when the door creaked open outside Luna’s cubicle.

“Luna?” It was Hermione Granger’s voice, tentative and worried.

Luna didn’t remove her face from her hands, trying to choke back the sobs.

There was a quiet “Alohamora,” and the door swung open.

“Oh, Luna.” Hermione looked sad. “Ginny?”

“Always,” Luna managed to say. “I could have lived with this, but she hasn’t – she won’t even talk to me.” Another sob fought its way out.

Hermione put a sympathetic hand on Luna’s shoulder, and stayed with Luna until the tears finally dried up.

After her brief return to Britain, Luna went back to travelling. The Quibbler’s readership enjoyed reading stories of her travels even when she didn’t have much to tell. The Roving Reporter’s Journal became one of the most popular segments of the magazine.

“You should write a travel book,” Rolf told her earnestly. He and Luna were both stuck in a run-down hotel in South America, the only two wizards for miles. Jungle was a short walk away. “You have a unique voice, and you write as though everything is an adventure.”

“Everything is an adventure,” Luna advised serenely.

“Exactly!” Rolf beamed shyly, with that enthusiasm which Luna had so far found endearing. “And that’s why people would read it. To experience that adventure. Other writers forget that the whole point of reading about another person’s travels is for the excitement and novelty.”

Rolf, like Luna, had been drawn to the area by reports of fearsomely large winged serpents, the mythical Quetzalcoatl. Rolf was a naturalist. Most people in his profession believed that the Quetzalcoatl was only a story. Rolf didn’t.

Luna had never met anyone she connected with so easily before. It was a new feeling, and a nice one.

That year, Luna brought Rolf home for Christmas.

Eventually, Luna and Rolf got married. By coincidence, Luna’s first book, Roving Reporter in Search of the Hornswoggle, was published the same week, although Luna suspected that it wasn’t so much a coincidence as shrewd business strategy.

Harry turned up at the signing, with a small pile of books he wanted autographed.

“The rest are for Hermione, Ginny, and Bill,” Harry explained, as Luna signed Harry’s copy. “It’s his birthday soon, and I wasn’t sure what to get him.”

“The next book is about exploring dragon country,” Luna informed him as she finished scrawling ‘To my friend Harry Potter, the kindest person I know,’ and began to write on the flyleaf of the second copy, ‘To Hermione Granger, my friend.’

Harry brightened.

“Excellent. I can get that for Charlie’s birthday.”

Luna finished signing Bill’s copy and put it aside. She stared at the last book.

Harry watched her with gentle eyes.

After a moment Luna opened the book to the flyleaf, and after some thought, finally wrote: ‘To Ginner-pinners, who swore she saw a hornswoggle in her garden, once.’

Harry glanced at the inscription, and grinned, before tilting his head to where Rolf stood proudly, but a bit vaguely.

“Congratulations, by the way, Mrs Scamander.”

Luna smiled at him, and waved Rolf over.

“Sweetie-pie, this is my best friend, Harry Potter.”

“Hello,” said Rolf happily, shaking hands and beaming at Harry. “Always lovely to meet a friend of my wife’s. I’m sorry, but have we met before? Your name sounds familiar.”

Harry looked startled and amused, but somehow kept a straight face.

“Probably because I defeated Voldemort,” he said gravely, raising an eyebrow at Luna.

“That’s probably it,” Rolf agreed, blushing in embarrassment. Harry just grinned at him, before collecting the books Luna had signed for him.

“It’s good to see you looking so happy, Luna,” Harry said sincerely, before moving away with his purchases. The next person in line was cross enough about having to wait for so long that Luna drew a little picture of a hornswoggle next to her signature, to make up for it.

She didn’t stop smiling.

After the twins were born, Luna and Rolf decided to settle down a little. They weren’t planning to stop travelling altogether, but it was probably a good idea for the boys to spend some time in a stable environment. Luna’s father was ecstatic when the couple moved back to Britain, with plans to travel for only part of the year. He was besotted by the twins, and Rolf’s grandfather, a marvellous old man, promised to share tales of his own adventures with the boys when they were older.

One of the strangest parts of moving back home was getting in touch with all her old friends again. Harry invited her over to his and Ginny’s place several times. It was always delightful to spend time with Harry, and his three children were adorable, and Luna was always carefully polite to Ginny.

The fifth time Luna went over for lunch, without Rolf or the twins this time, Ginny suddenly slammed down the salad bowl and glared at Luna, without warning.

“We were best friends for years!” Ginny exploded. Harry winced a little. “But ever since you came back you’ve treated me like a complete stranger!”

Luna sat back in her seat and gazed pensively at Ginny. She wasn’t a teenager anymore, and she knew how to deal with this.

“During the war I was tortured for several months for information about your boyfriend,” Luna said tranquilly, and saw Ginny blink and look startled, thrown off-balance by the apparent change in subject. Harry just closed his eyes, looking resigned and a little sad.

Ginny opened her mouth, but Luna went on before she could say anything.

“I didn’t tell them anything, of course; I’ve always liked Harry. But months of that for your boyfriend’s sake, and when I next saw you, you didn’t even ask me how I was. You said you didn’t have time to talk because you had to see if Harry was moping. That was the last thing you ever said to me; you never bothered to speak to me again. So don’t try the ‘best friends’ line on me, Ginevra Potter.”

Ginny looked like she’d been slapped. Harry looked uncomfortable, but didn’t intervene.

“I… I must have…”

“Not in all the months between the war and school starting, not when I didn’t turn up to school, not at your wedding or even when you heard I was married,” Luna replied promptly. “And the one time I actually needed support, after everything that had happened during the war and Dad as bad as when Mum died, you simply stopped being my friend.”

Ginny looked pale.

“And the worst part,” Luna continued, calmly but inexorably, because while it didn’t hurt the way it used to, she had been sitting on this speech for such a very long time now, and it was a relief to finally get to say what she had been bottling up for years, “was that I was in love with you, from the time we were eleven. But I never mattered to you the way you mattered to me.”

“I did wonder,” Harry said unexpectedly, his tone thoughtful, saving Ginny from having to answer. “You were so miserable after the war when you said Ginny wasn’t speaking to you, and then I saw you cry at our wedding, and Hermione sent disapproving looks at Ginny all night at the reception.”

“Hermione is observant,” Luna agreed. She stood. “If you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time I went home, don’t you?”

As she left, Luna heard Ginny say, sounding lost,

“I didn’t mean to… Harry, why didn’t you ever say anything? Why?”

“Don’t you dare blame me, Ginny,” Luna heard Harry reply. “It was killing Luna for years that you’d forgotten about her, but it was between you and her. She said she wanted you to talk to her because you wanted to, not out of obligation. And I’ve had a long time to think about it, and I have to agree with her. For once in your life, accept the blame where it belongs.”

Luna shut the door quietly behind her, and apparated home.

The next morning there was a knock on the front door, and Luna found Ginny standing on the stoop. Her expression was simultaneously earnest and determined.

The two women stared at each other.

“I’m sorry,” Ginny blurted, some of the determination in her face giving way to remorse and regret. “Is there anything I can do to make things okay?”

Luna thought about it. All the years she’d spent mourning what she’d lost… but then, she’d eventually come to realise it had never really been hers anyway.

For all that they had been friends, she and Ginny had never really understood each other.

“I don’t think so,” she said, not unkindly. “We don’t really know each other anymore, Ginny.”

“But I want to,” Ginny persisted, her eyes full of resolve. “I know you and Harry are friends, and – I’m so sorry, Luna - if I could go back and change things–”

“You can never step in the same river twice,” Luna chided. “Not without catastrophic consequences to causality, at least,” she added as an afterthought.

“I was so… glad everything was over, and so focused on Harry,” Ginny said a little hesitantly. “I never meant to forget about you, Luna. You were always there for me. I don’t know how it happened.”

Yes, you do, Luna thought. You just don’t like it. It was a true thought, but not a charitable one, so Luna didn’t voice it aloud.

“I’m sorry,” Ginny said again. “Please, Luna…”

“I’m sure Ginny Potter and Luna Scamander get along quite well,” Luna said. “But Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood stopped being friends years ago, Ginny.”

Ginny made a little noise like half a laugh.

“What are you saying? That I’m just Harry Potter’s wife? Not your friend?”

And Luna answered firmly,


“Why?” Ginny demanded, and really, Luna was quite tired of all of this. Had been tired of it for years.

“Because that’s all you are,” she said sombrely, and shut the door between them.

“Mummy?” Lorcan asked, bouncing into the room and stopping to stare at his mother in concern. “Sad?”

“No, flibbertigibbet,” Luna said, sweeping him into her arms, making him giggle, “Mummy is just fine.”