2011, Cadracally Castle , Rathlin Island
She hadn’t really expected it, but she’d hoped her father would come with her.
She’d had to go by to get the key. After the war, Xenophilius had traveled for several years and then eventually visited the property where the tower had been destroyed. True his name, he’d taken up housekeeping with the Hamadryad within a week after; she didn’t want him ever to stop telling her how pretty her acorns were, and he was pleased with the reciprocal benefits. He’d built the new house away from where the tower had been, around the oak where his longtime-paramour, Chrysopeleia, lived. Both tree and the new abode were on the bank of the stream where Luna had first become fascinated with observing magical creatures as a child.
She knocked, now, when she visited. This time, the nymph had answered, shutting the door to leave Luna to wait on the small front porch while she went to rouse Xenophilius.
Luna looked out over the stream and contemplated the idea of home as she waited.
When finally he came, he seemed a bit affronted she would even consider going back. She was saddened by the disheveled state of him; he’d thrived, somehow, in the excitement of the war, but since… well. George Weasley was running The Quibbler out of Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes now, which seemed to work, and Father did still contribute from time to time. His legacy secure, the Death Eaters done, and the Hallows put to rest so unequivocally he could hardly deny it, he seemed rudderless and too tangled in the past, now.
He had, however, finally given her the key. She was the secret keeper, but only he had the means to open the wards. They had meant, once, to return together. But at least she would go with his consent, however grudging.
She was supposed to wait - bring the elves, bring Neville, maybe even Harry and Hermione - but once the key was in her hand, she turned on the spot and went.
While it had been sunny in Ottery-St. Catchpole, it was raining here, and several of the windows had broken.
Luna looked around the cobweb-draped, dust-carpeted great hall and sighed. She thought it was supposed to look smaller when she grew, but the stone-hewed flying buttresses continued to soar at a breathtaking distance. She could barely pick out any of the little grotesques carved among them through the cobwebs, but for one with bat-like wings and a toothy leer, which did little to comfort her.
Well. Time to set up a base camp.
(She knew, if she thought of this as an expedition, she’d feel less at sea.)
She Reparo’ d the windows first. Her mother had cut and bevelled every pane of glass, melting the leading with her wand. Most of it had been done before she was born, but she remembered the day the Sphinx had been installed - all beautiful golds and browns in surrounded by clear glass to let the light in. She managed to summon all the scattered pieces and make it just about whole again before turning to the Unicorn, the Snorkack, and the Phoenix. She could see tiny cracks though - little misalignments. She wondered if she could learn to fix them, but warded them to keep the cold out for now.
The room was quieter now, and that helped, but still so cold - and with the few steps she’d yet taken, she’d raised enough of a cloud of dust she had had to transfigure her handkerchief into a mark to put over her note and mouth to stop coughing. She bit her lip in thought. With this much dust in the air, it seemed a bad idea to light the hearth yet - her great uncle Bibliophilius Lovegood had died in a dust explosion when searching his long-untouched cellar for an old grimoire by candlelight, and her father had told the story often when she was a child who was fascinated with fire. But a simple Scourgify couldn’t possibly reach the… oh!
Taking a moment to gather her happiest thoughts, she picked the one of Hermione hugging her fiercely, beside herself with worry, and declaring that they were sisters now. When the silvery hare coalesced, she sent it with a message to Kreacher, asking if he might be able to spare one of the younger elves to help.
She’d only managed to right a bookcase, which used to help frame a small sitting area in front of the enormous hearth, before suddenly the quiet was gone again - but companionably.
“Mistress!” “Mistress!” “Oh, Mistress Luna!” “Hrmph, young miss, coming here , alone , Kreacher should … I do not even KNOW what Kreacher should do!”
Luna was beset by three hugs and a glare. “The Mistress Luna was supposed to bring us, yes, distinctly Kreacher remembers all agreeing to this.”
Luna knelt to look at Kreacher from below his eye level, her pale, pale blue eyes serious. “Please accept my most humble apologies, sir. I just… had to come. I’ve fixed the windows, but I can’t light the fire or the lamps, because…” She gestured helplessly around at the considerable accumulation of cobwebs and dust. “I wondered… if one of you might know any spells I might use to address all this?”
Kreacher drew himself up, eyes bulging in outrage. Behind him, the velvet settee facing the hearth, which had been knocked onto its back, soared up and landed on its feet, suddenly miraculously clean and back to its original eggplant hue. At the same time, the Turkish carpet they hadn’t flown since before the Ministry’s ban beneath it and the few surrounding small tables and chairs also became suddenly clean and bright - as if they had never spent so many years fading in the sun. Then, Kreacher pointed to the settee. “Mistress will sit there and let the professionals work.” Seeing her blinking in shock, clearly beside herself at having so offended him, he continued in a still gruff but considerably less frightening tone, resting a hand on her shoulder reassuringly. “Took will fetch Mistress a nice hot cocoa and some chopped radishes, but she must sit.”
Luna felt a complete and utter fool for never studying house elves like Hermione had. They might be the most powerful beings she’d ever known, and she had never guessed it. She half-hid behind the back of the settee and watched them work in slack-jawed awe.
By the time they’d been zipping and levitating and pointing and casting and grumbling and coaxing at and around the echoing hall for ten minutes, it was cleaner than it had ever been while Luna had lived here. The Lovegoods had been a large family with many friends and neighbors once, and their lands held one large and several small settlements between rolling pastures, orchards, and farmlands - even a tiny but magically significant port had once operated from the small harbor. Because it had been such a crossroads, the Castle and especially this room within it were enormous - but it had been a hundred years since it was properly used, for reasons Luna wasn’t entirely clear on. Occasionally, Mother had put on shows or invited minstrels who’d used the gallery, but they were always small affairs, and there’d never been more than six chairs along the two long banquet tables occupied that Luna could remember.
The tables were so much like those at Hogwarts, but for the chairs, which were carved with laurels and upholstered with fabric a Muggle called William Morris had designed. Apparently her grandmother had been absolutely smitten with this artist’s work and so had papered walls, curtained windows, and reworked furniture all over the castle with his patterns - animating leaves to blow and rabbits to hop here and there, of course. Their tapestry-like quality did seem to fit well among the ancient stones, and add a bit of lightness to what might easily have been a dark place.
The high chandeliers’ self-replenishing candles were lit again, now, and the little grotesques carved into the buttresses laughed down at the room. The fire roared a bit overzealously, too, thanks to Stoke’s attentions. Another reason this room had continued to be a place the family came together was the fireplace itself - Luna wasn’t certain her centaur friend, Ronan, would even need to duck to come through it.
So many memories were unearthed in Luna’s mind as the great room was dug free of the ravages of time and neglect.
Luna had stopped her constant sputter of thank yous after Kreacher had come over and asked her, please, to stop upsetting the younglings, who would respond better to one round of gratitude after they were done.
Looking around as the four conjured a pot of tea and took a brief rest to survey their handiwork, Luna blurted it out. “Oh, please, come and live here with me! You seem so happy, doing such incredible magic together, and there’s ever so much to do, and it was so very quiet here before, and, well, I’d love to have you be here with me, always! Would you like to stay? You needn’t clean a thing, unless it pleases you - and you can have your pick of the bedrooms!”
The younger elves were dumbstruck. Kreacher looked warily between them and her. “Perhaps Mistress Luna should speak to Mistress Granger about this. It is very kind of you - and, yes, the younglings are affiliated with you rather than the House of Black - now Potter - too. But… you need to learn about bonds . For now… Kreacher, Took, Stoke, and Went will help you as friends of Master Harry, which will do, yes, do just fine.”
Luna nodded eagerly. “Oh, of course. Kreacher, I meant you, too, if you would like - I’m sorry if it was rude of me, or if it is , but you’re just all so… incredible! My family is who I choose now, and I’d like you to be a part of it.”
Kreacher stifled a little sniffle and put his teacup down to blow his nose, loitering with his handkerchief over his face a moment before emerging. “Mistress is… most singular among beings, and it is an honor to call her friend. We… we need to go and find the kitchen, yes. Much to do, now, yes.”
With sheepish little grins, the three younger elves waved and followed their mentor, popping out of the room with little cracks.
Luna, left to her own devices, could gaze around the room for only so long. The elves were right - one of the four doors from the hall led to the enormous kitchen, of course, and she could hear the clinking of dishes being washed within. The two far doors led to the great stone terrace over the sea, where she remembered her mother insisting they eat breakfast whenever the weather was nice, and where a fountain had burbled, when she was young. Out the largest, final door, however, if she remembered correctly…
There . Luna peered out into the grand entryway, haunting in the dim light of its great windows and skylight. Ribbons of cobweb draped down the three storeys, woven among the two looming stone staircases that lead upward, each switching back at and once between the floors. There was one enormous door, perhaps 20 feet high and carved in knots of dragons, directly ahead of her, which she knew led out to the cobbled court where the road led in through the portcullis. She was fairly certain there had been a vacant servant’s suite out there that she’d taken over to play pretend in, as well as the stables and various store rooms. But… well, perhaps best to face it.
The dust parted about her ankles and forgot gravity, floating up behind her as she strode to the door and levitated up its gargantuan bar as only a Lovegood or sworn friend could. Then, she pushed the creaking portal open.
The tremendous copper beech still stood there in the middle, carved with generations of initials and declarations of love. She could hardly see the char marks on the one side, these many years later, and the branches had filled back in around where the wound was made. The tree still stood at the hub of the beautiful triskelion some ancestor had made of different-colored stones in the cobbles.
And there it was. The pile of basalt, pumice, and glittering obsidian that had destroyed her life. She supposed that, after it had killed Mother, after Father had taken her and fled, it had just died there, far from its volcanic home.
Mr. Weasley had been the closest cousin her mother had left, so they’d gone to the Burrow for shelter and, ultimately, settled nearby. Arthur had come back here to the island with his older sons to recover Pandora’s body. She could see where the Cherrufe’s monstrous form had been chipped away at to get her out from under it. Luna had only been to the grave for the funeral, and it was some ways away - she would visit later. For now, she stood and looked at the hulk of the creature that had ruined everything . She had wished ever since that she could stop wondering why.
She loved thestrals and she could usually find a deep well of calm within herself to think of silver linings and facts of life that, in some lights, she found beautiful. But not now, about this.
Mother and Father had been so excited about the stones the Cherrufe had been meant to give them. Great magical potential. It had been all they’d talked about for weeks, so Luna knew, and snuck down to the rooms where she played after they tucked her in that night, and waited.
She wondered, now, if the stones its body had become had been the stones they’d sought. She doubted it; her mother could never harm another living thing.
She had known she was sad. But she wondered if she’d ever have known how angry she was had it not been for the Boggart’s gift of fearlessness. Nothing here scared her anymore; even the precaution against exploding dust had been based on logic rather than fear.
She almost never felt anger, she reflected. She didn’t much like it.
Luna drifted back to the door, wiping her tears, as the black dust that had been stone started to wash away in the suddenly heavy rain.
She dimly recalled that, not wanting to have to explain herself to the elves, not with this heat still distorting her, she’d wandered up the stairs. Then up, and up.
Now, she realized, she was in the huge attic her mother had so loved. Somehow, the cobwebs looked thinner here, and more appropriate to the rough, unfinished beams and slanted ceilings besides. Little dormers poked out along the roomline, and several arched windows of various heights filled the two tall, triangular stone walls. One of them was ajar, but none were broken, she noted with relief.
She wandered the enormous space with the occasional muttered Scourgify , finding some old furniture and trunks of keepsakes beneath white linen drapes, and then - ah! Mother’s potion’s bench. And her easel, her glass working tools and supplies… but there… yes.
One of the most magical things of Luna’s childhood had been watching her mother sculpt. Pandora had told Luna that she listened to and felt the stone. Then, she’d said, whatever was inside merely used her hands to free itself. It was a testament to the sturdiness of the thick planks of the floor that they remained unbent under several blocks Mother had never gotten to carve.
There were some finished works, here - a satyr cavorting with a nymph, her head thrown back in pleasure and her legs locked around his dancing hips. It was exquisite, but his hooves were still only roughly started, as if they’d sunk into the jagged stone. She wondered if she knew someone who could help her finish it, or even just move it to the garden as it was.
And there, in a burst of light that blinked through the clouds for only a moment, she saw another that took her breath away.
Carved in black Kilkenny marble, reclining on a bed of white marble carved to resemble draping cloth, was a full-size sculpture of a man. It reminded Luna of so many her mother had shown her of Perseus or David, but without the overhanging attitude of tragedy or violence. This sculpture, rather, had large, closed eyes and an elegantly strong nose, and the corners of his full lips were curved up in a mysterious smirk. His tumbling curls hung down over his interwoven hands, which pillowed his head. The attitude that resulted, though, of his arms pulled up thus, made an entrancing spectacle of his subtly muscled chest and stomach, all the way down to the tangle of his long legs and lovely feet. She suspected that, had he been standing, he’d be quite tall, all long, lean muscle and beautifully tapering limbs.
In the midst, though, rather than a fig leaf, rose a beautiful stone phallus, erect and proud.
Luna chuckled to herself as she slowly walked a circuit around the remarkable piece, thinking of how Neville’s body carried on when he woke in the morning. Perhaps it was nearing dawn for this stony Adonis. Or perhaps he dreamt a lover’s dream.
Luna, who had not fallen far from the tree, wondered if her mother had known the spell Minvera McGonagall had used to rouse the statues of Hogwarts in the war. The thought brought her a little giggle.
… which caused the statue to blink open its lambent orange eyes.
“Pandora?” His voice was hopefully, but confused. “Pandora, my goddess, is that you?”
The luster of the polished stone did not change as the recumbent figure arched and pandiculated, then finally propped its head on an elbow and looked at her. His arousal, she noticed, had not ebbed - if anything, the opposite.
“I have missed you. It’s felt like years.” His voice wasn’t at all gravelly. She wished she could hear it sing. It was a voice that lilt through woods, redolent of ballads about shepherdesses, if ever there had been such a voice.
“I… it has. I’m sorry. You speak of my mother.”
The glowing eyes widened. “You, you’re Luna? But… she said it would be…” He shook his head, regarding her curiously. “Then she really did die, and I have been alone for… how many years?”
“Twenty,” Luna replied softly.
“Ah,” he said, and then looked down, seeming lost in thought.
They stood there in silence a moment. “You… were her lover, then?”
He looked up swiftly, smiling, and shook his head. “I was her model.”
She arched a brow, looking down at his most prominent feature. “Surely she didn’t just ignore…?”
He smirked and made no effort to conceal himself and in fact seeming to preen under the attention. “It wasn’t for want of my trying.”
Luna licked her lips, her eyes flickering over him as she imagined turning this down. “Hmm. And would you say you have… consistent tendencies in what you find comely?”
His eyes burned hotter. “Yes.”
“Did she turn you down because you were evil?” Luna asked, walking a circuit around him, her eyes raking him up and down.”
“No. I… I was young.” He squirmed a little but held still, his black tongue flickering over his full, black lips
“Hmmm,” Luna mused. “Please forgive me, I know it’s rude to inquire but… not a golem, not a Boggart…” Luna stared at him, biting her lip. “You’re… an extremely unusually clever chameleon ghoul?”
He smiled lazily and swept a little bow, watching her with interest. “My name’s Dunstan, and I am both those things, for my sins. A pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
Luna smirked. “The name suits you.”
He laughed, throwing back his head. His throat was polished to a shine, and it seemed surreal to see it so exposed. “Your mother gave it to me.” He chuckled a little more, then settled, though his eyes still glittered with mirth.
Luna stopped in front of him, running her hands over his chest and pushing him back to sit on an uncarved block of stone. She knew she couldn’t force him - he was, for all intents and purposes, living rock - but he let her. “I’d like to give you things, too. I’m unable to be afraid of anything right now, you see, and it’s made me quite angry, only angry seems to run toward other heatings of the blood. So much so that I have absolutely no inclination to study you, and absolutely every inclination to know you.”
He swallowed. “If I don’t mistake you, you’re just as… rapidly decisive as she was.”
“Stop talking about my mother and fuck me,” she snapped. “Fuck me fit to make a human woman snap - snap me, if you can . I’m writhing in my own skin with fury and I demand to be used.”
His eyes widened and his member twitched and swelled.
She noted this with a grim little smile. “And how do chameleon ghouls-”
He seized her by the hips and pulled her astride his lap. “Much as you do.”
She squirmed a little there, letting him see her rub herself over first his left thigh, then his right, gnawing at the corner of her lower lip.. “Would you be more comfortable in your na-”
“Natural form?” he finished. “This is it, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t remember what my body should be like but a statue. I invented this. I shaped it. It’s me. I’m… well, heavy, and a bit cold, though. And don’t have a great deal of give unless I actively will it so.”
Luna eyed him speculatively. “Can you do that, around your hips, say? I find the weight and temperature of you rather fascinating, but I don’t want to be pinched or crushed.”
He slid her down his gleaming thighs. “I can certainly do that. Any other limits I should know about?”
She half growled, clawing but not gouging at his impenetrable abs. “Think of any limits you’ve heard before, then transgress them every way you’ve ever wanted, and you may half-sate me.”
His eyes flashed. “Likewise. If I deign to lend you the upper hand.”
She nearly glared, her eyes burning as bright as his. “Then you have my quite intrigued consent. Don’t disappoint me.”
Kissing cool, moving rock, pressing her body tight to it with its surface everywhere at a high polish, was an incredible experience. She didn’t ask him to make his tongue soft, and just let him lead the dance between their lips with some relish at his unbendingness. He tasted like cold spring water, not wet exactly, but slippery despite the spit and sweat she’d worried might make her skin stick and chafe against him.
His fingers were surprisingly, maddeningly gentle as he coaxed her dress off over her head. After he did so, he slid her back down his knees to simply stare at her a moment, though she half bared her teeth in impatience and he had to pin her thighs down against his to still her. “In art, beautiful young women seem to originate nude or at least disheveled, or to be covered in endless layers. You came to me neither, though I can think of nothing that would detract from this masterwork I dandle on my knees.”
His cool, unyielding hands ventured to free her then brushed over the planes of her face and combed through her hair as he looked at her, his expression reflective.
“Do you feel softness, textures?” she asked, finding his chest as hard as the stone it appeared to be beneath her hands. “You seem so impervious to soft things.”
He smiled lopsidedly, his fingers delicately pushing at knots of stress along her neck and shoulders until they relented and unclenched. “I feel everything with the acuity of one who reflexively learns to mimic, witch. You feel of warm embers and rushing blood, and smell of jasmine, dust, and sex. And sex, and sex, and sex. Your breath is quickening, hearing me describe you to yourself, and your back is arching, pushing out your bosom to me. I know you want me to touch you there, but I find this… frustration of yours quite arousing, so you’ll be patient until I reach for you, you desperate little wanton - I’ll quench your thirst before I’m through.” He paused and drew in a deep breath. “But yes, I feel you.”
Luna couldn’t help shuddering as his glossy hands swept down her arms in a swift, cool stroke, then lifted her fingers to his mouth to kiss their tips.
“I feel your callouses - from quills, I think, and your neck is tense as a reader’s tends to be. You are elsewhere exquisitely pliant, though - not just in comparison to my stone, but as a being. You must work to be so bendable. I can only imagine how useful a woman of your alleged appetites could find that, if your lovers have been properly coupling with you.”
A smirk tugged at her lips. “I have few complaints. You make me curious, though, about what you consider proper coupling.”
He pulled her suddenly forward along his glassy legs again, seizing one of her nipples to pinch it firmly between his full lips and prodding it with his tongue tantalizingly before pulling back, stretching her breast to a taut point that set her squirming with little mewls before he let it go. “I’ll demonstrate.”
Several minutes later found her with her curving upper back supporting some of her weight on the block of virgin marble she’d so recently been sitting on, her straight legs crossed over each other in a tall X at the center of his chest and the backs of her feet alongside his ears. His hands grasped her ankles, and since even what she could reach of him around her own hips was too slippery to grasp, she let her hands knead and tug at her own breasts, which he seemed to enjoy watching. He was utterly in control of this exceptional pas de deux, lifting her entire weight from his grasp high on her legs and thrusting his hips to repeatedly drive his rock shaft into her. It was a show of strength, and it was as closed and submissive a position as she could imagine ever being put in. It made her cunny seem tight as a drinking straw in the most shockingly pleasurable way.
“Well, aren’t you the wettest girl ever to be ravished? Like that, do you? What a miracle, what a vision you are. Let me see if I can make your lovely breasts bounce and ripple faster for me, dove, let me just…”
She eventually gave up trying to reach for him and just let herself dangle and endure his literal upper hand, basking in the fading coolness of his pulsing intrusion in her most intimate place. She was heating him up and drinking him down.
“Hmm,” he mused, looking down at her calculatingly. “I think… yes.”
His wicked grin was the only warning she had before he stepped backward, pulling her shoulders from the stone and leaving her dangling straight down. Then, very quickly, he dropped her ankles - but before she could shriek or fall, his hands shot down to grasp her hips, leaving her legs leaning loosely back over his chest as she dangled upside down. He had no trouble holding her thus, and used the additional control he had lifting and lowering her over himself here to add a little hitch to his rhythm that made him glide over the sensitive patch of her front wall deliciously.
Her arms draped down over the pool of her hair below her and she heard a roaring in her ears as she began to tense. She arched, then, crying out, and tried to hook her ankles over his shoulders to pull him into her even deeper as she mewled through the delicious orgasm. It was all the more intense because, when her walls pulsed and fluttered around him, his rock cock did not yield one bit.
“You like that, do you, Luna? Is that what you needed?”
“Yes,” she panted. “More. Deeper. Much, much harder.”
He smiled down at her, something ruthless in the sharp edges of his mouth. “Remember you asked me for that, love.”
He widened his stance slightly, letting more of her buttocks slide into the hollow between his thighs and get under and around a fuller portion of his length. She shuddered and moaned as he slid farther into her kitty, crying out in time with his every sharp jerk upward and breathing his name when she could muster a word as she reveled in two more climaxes.
“Good girl, well done - look, getting less quarrelsome now you’ve been worked over some. Now, keep your arms above your head, I’m going to move you again. You look so thoroughly debauched I could watch you wring me ten more times like this, and I know I could make you, but I want you to remember more than just my ploughing you delirious, and you stopped remembering to close your mouth ten strokes back.”
Luna gave his impertinent cheek a kick and he smiled as her foot slid off him ineffectually, grabbing her foot to kiss her delicate arch in response before he swiftly moved back and down, catching the small of her back and holding it suspended as she naturally dropped into a bridge position. He had somehow managed to keep rutting into her the whole while.
“Now, we’ll play a little game. You try and hold this position taut without falling to the floor and I’ll try to distract you.”
And then, kneeling and pushing her knees wide, he moved.
Luna shook at the shoulders as he gripped her hips and had at her, her feet leaving the ground with his every thrust. By Rowena, he’s a jackhammer, Luna thought, drawing on her knowledge of non-magical construction from that one year of Muggle studies. The things had looked so tantalizing to her she’d had dreams about riding one with a blunt bit upside down for a year, but she gathered it wasn’t so for everyone. She sighed, enjoying this thoroughly and darkly hoping she’d be too sore to move tomorrow.
He shifted one hand to work at her clit and she just disintegrated, his immovable member as it impaled her the only thing holding her up through a moan so low she sounded possessed to her own ears.
“Good lass, good. Hmm. But I haven’t gotten to see much of the other side of you, have I? Perhaps that’s where we’ll finish for now, with your love of depth and all.”
He lifted up one of her legs, kissing the back side of her knee glancingly as he draped it over his far shoulder. Then, reaching under her raised leg, he grabbed the one now supporting her, yanking it under and onto his other shoulder. With her sheath spitted on his unyielding phallus, then, she spun such that she ended face-down.
“By the gods and goddesses, I can’t decide which view is more lovely.” He smoothed his hands from the backs of her knees down to her buttocks, grasping and kneading at them, setting them jiggling around his view of his slick ebon rod where it disappeared amid her pink folds. “You really want me to hurt you, princess?”
Before she could so much as open her mouth, he grasped her hips and stood, leaving her to support herself on her elbows on the floor as he towered over her. Positioning his hands to spread her lips and cheeks wide, the better to see himself disappearing into her, he set about his work with a brutal vengeance.
She screamed with every thrust, now, though sometimes the scream came “Yes!” or “More!”
He was past caring, though. “Where would you have me spill myself, filthy princess? I can paint you, decorate any part of you you wish. I can get to your mouth or ease in here,” he said with a light slap at her beautifully bouncing arse.
“Stay… inside...” she managed to bite out.
He looked down at her, licking his lips. “Have you a contraceptive brew?”
She managed to shake her head.
He blinked, speeding up without meaning to. “You’d let me… you’d…”
She nodded, gasping and moaning. “Please.”
His eyes started rolling back at that, and before they could finish a slow circuit of heated disbelief, he was pouring the potential for life into her, giddy with her want of it, from him .
“ My mother apparently thought me an oddity, which is how I came to be abandoned not far from here,” he said, looking down at her naked form laid out atop him and dragging her up by her buttocks to reach her for a kiss. “You were right - my kind isn’t typically so intelligent. It’s possible I’m half-human, but we were never sure,” he shrugged.
Luna sucked at his stony lip, sure he’d softened it just enough to let her bend it to her mouth, before disengaging with a pop. “Where does my mother come into this?”
“She found me when I was young and lost, and brought me here. I was in my adolescence and you were not yet conceived, at the time. She taught me to read,which few of my kind ever learn, and once I figured out that I could help her here, posing, she talked to me a great deal about the child she had Seen in her future. Mentioned she’d be a remarkable woman who would change the world for and through individuals like me.”
Luna blinked, letting herself slip down away from his mouth so she could watch his face. “She… she Saw me?”
He nodded. “I was to tell you that she was so very, very proud of you. She Saw she wouldn’t be here to see you grown, too, but that I… well. She thought you and I would be close, and it brought her some happiness.”
Luna stared at him, a bit shocked.
He shrugged. “How is old Xenophilius these days?”
Luna hemmed a moment, biting her lip.
“That well, eh? He never deserved her, but they were in love, and she Saw you, so that was that.”
Luna felt some weak stirring of filial piety. “Why do you say that?”
Dunstan sighed. “It was hard - very hard - after they married, for Pandora not to risk any other child being conceived but you, if you follow me.”
Luna squinted at him. “Which is important because..?”
“Because any daughter of Pandora’s pedigree was not meant to sow her fields narrowly,” he said, reaching down and flipping her onto her back to roughly fondle her breasts, “thank the goddess.” He lost himself in making her mewl and cry out a moment, pulling her upper back clear of his chest by her nipples while she writhed for him.
Panting, after, she asked, “Because of her pedigree?”
Misunderstanding, he shrugged, skimming his fingers more lightly over her now. “And because Xenophilius, possessed of various masculine human foibles as he was, continued to rut with anything that held still, often not coming to his wife first.” Luna was poised to interject but Dunstan, dropping his hands to his sides and tensing beneath her, went on. “Pandora thought it was charming, thought it boded well he’d tolerate her ways after the most important work they had to do together - the creation of you - was done. He persisted, however, in being a negligent fool .”
He had spat this last with venom. Luna bent back her neck and watched him, both upset by his words and uncomfortably sensing that she was missing something at the magnitude of his investment in all this, but waiting for him to calm himself before she questioned him further. He lifted her gently off him, now, burning eyes cast down.
Finally he shook his head, realizing after the fact that he’d expressed his ire quite loudly without words. Then he looked up at her, and his face fell. “Oh, oh no. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. She tried to teach me compassion and I still turned out to be an utter and complete lout. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He gathered her into his lap, daubing at her silent tears with the hem of her cast off dress. “I’m an absolute idiot. Please, please forgive me.”
He sighed and just held her until she calmed.
“I… she seemed sad, lonely sometimes, but I know she did have lovers, they both did, though I didn’t know who. But there was a melancholy and a distance, and I didn’t know. And,” she said, pulling her shocking silvery gaze up to meet his, “She was half Veela , but that doesn’t mean she had to use her powers, well, broadly .”
Slowly, stroking her hair with his cool, sleek hand, he shook his head. “Her father was half Veela. Your mother was the daughter of Medb, Queen of Elphame and Daughter of Titans. I’m… not certain your father knew.”
Luna stared in shock. “What?! No!”
Dunstan’s brow furrowed. “I’m sorry. It’s true. Your grandmother is the Queen of the Sidhe. It’s… well, now you’re an adult, it’s not safe for you not to know. I would be amazed if she didn’t know about you. ”
Luna shook her head, fingertips rubbing fitfully at her temples. “My grandmother, some sort of fairy queen? That can’t be - that’s… nonsense and sticking names together. And - why wouldn’t she tell Father?!”
Dunstan paused a moment before he replied. “There aren’t fairy queens . There is a fairy queen . There are tens of subordinate courts, but only one Queen .” His voice had grown gentle, but its revelatory tendencies were not yet done with her yet, or so she thought, watching him search for more words. “As intimidated as he already was to be chosen by such a woman as Pandora,” he said, finally, “I suspect she had good reason not to tell him.”
“How is it,” Luna asked him, looking up at him, “that you’re the one who knew these things?”
His glowing gaze was inscrutable for a moment. “I think she wanted me to tell you before you heard or read it somewhere. She… told me a little, but mostly, she let me know where to look for her diaries when she was gone. I can bring you to them, when you are ready to see.”
She laughed, dashing tears from her cheeks. “I used to be very good at being calm. Hmm. It seems to have all evaporated, of late.”
The animate statue looked at her appraisingly. “Anyone would be upset, having all this fall down on their head. And… your mother was anxious, but found ways to calm herself. Maybe the diaries could help, too?”
Luna smiled sadly, “I hadn’t known she’d been anything ever but calm. Maybe he would have told me, but when she died Father… was never entirely there again. He alternately obsessed over conspiracies and buried himself in anyone willing and warm for days on end without eating or bathing or remembering that I needed to go to school.”
He blinked, his face falling. “I’m so sorry. I… I don’t know what I could have done, but I didn’t know, and if I had…” He shook his head. “That’s… not helpful. But really, that should never have happened to you.”
Luna forced a smile and picked up the discarded frock. “Dunstan, I need some cocoa and space to think. I… I’ll come back later. Will you be here?”
He nodded. “I look forward to it. I’m… I know no social graces and I’m sorry. There must have been better ways to talk about… everything. I… I was pretty young, when she died, too. Maybe I should have left. Tried,” he sighed in frustration, ruffling his marble hair in agitation in a way that mesmerized with its impossibility, “Maybe tried finding others like me, if there are any.”
Luna shook her head. “Thank you for apologizing. I’m glad you stayed, though,” she said, standing and pulling on her dress. “And if I have any say in it… you’ll have plenty of headstrong companionship to polish any rough edges soon enough. I want this place to live again if I’m to be a part of it. Oh! And I should introduce you to the Boggart!”
He blinked. “The Boggart?”
She smiled, toeing on her shoes, and waved it away. “Later. I’ll see you.”
And steadying her mind more than her body with a firm grip on the railing, she went back down the stairs.
She didn’t return for a couple of hours. The elves had gotten groceries, bless them, and managed to get the kitchen in good enough order for them to have a meal together. She’d had to insist and threaten not to eat if they wouldn’t sit with her, but precedent was important in new places, and she’d persuaded them in the end.
She brought Dunstan a bowl of stew when she returned to him, which he looked at as if it were an incredible relic of great value. “I… wow. I’ve been foraging doxies and rats and garden gnomes for years, now. I… never learned to cook, didn’t know if I could safely buy food, looking as I do. Thank you. This is amazing.”
They chatted a little about the surrounding countryside as he ate. Apparently he occasionally played gargoyle for a while, and knew the abandoned village and the nearby Muggle settlement well.
Inevitably, things came back around to more personal topic, however.
He peered at her curiously. “You have disparaged your father’s… personal life a couple times now. Not that I disagree with you, but I wonder: are you unlike your parents? Your mother, in particular, was insatiable, and you...”
Luna laughed, glancing sidelong at him. “I would say, then, that I’m very like my parents. Although… I want my children to have siblings. I hadn’t thought I’d come back here, but now that I am… I want to fill every bedroom with laughter and every night with ecstasy. I want this place to burgeon with life after so long falling into darkness.”
He nodded, understanding. “So, hence the…”
She nodded. “I’m trying to conceive, and I… would be gratified to raise them to love differences in each other and show the world how it can be done.”
His eyes narrowed in thought a moment. “There are… quite a lot of bedrooms here.”
Luna grinned. “That doesn’t worry me, somehow. I enjoy sex, and I enjoy fascinating people. Are you complaining?”
The light of his eyes dimmed a bit as he looked at her. “May I continue to help you, then? It’s the least I can do, after upsetting you so, and apparently we’re destined to be intimate besides.”
Luna glanced down to see that, indeed, Dunstan was quite eager to assist.
“Perhaps,” she said, looking at him appraisingly.
The sun was rising when they finally ground to a stop and let their bodies still.
He looked down at her, hair drenched and matted with sweat, panting where she’d fallen onto his chest, his rod still agonizingly spurting little volleys of seed inside her hot tightness. He had so heavily spent himself within her - everywhere within her and on her besides, but especially just there - that he could barely resist the urge to flip her and rub his hands over her belly, cooing to urge his efforts on. Perhaps it was a Fae thing; he’d woken and/or wandered occasionally, before and after Pandora’s death, and he’d been no celibate, but he’d never lusted to fill a woman with his get before - quite the opposite. This one… this one had an entirely unique effect.
Her eyes blinked open and focused on him, her mouth smirking as if she knew his thoughts.
He hoped she did.
“Let me stay, as I have, and if you ever fear a night without ecstasy, you Fae thing, I will stand ready to assist you.”
She looked up at him, filthy, so exquisitely filthy, and lovely, speculation in her gaze. Finally, she shrugged. “Let’s try it.”
He hadn’t thought he could, but with a groan that was half pain, he found himself needing her again, and needing her to beg him never to go.
Around noon, a basket of food had appeared beside them, but he wouldn’t reach for it yet. Luna had transfigured her dress into a warm blanket, and had slept sprawled atop him on his carved pedestal as he languidly stroked her back. He’d slept most of the last twenty years - now, he’d gaze at her.
She had his body almost as heated as hers, now, though she’d had to cast some warming charms in order to comfortably lend him so much. He was delighted by this.
Finally, Luna woke, blinking, and smiled. “You should come down to the hall. The hearth is lit and the fire is warm. Stand, sit near it. Crawl into the embers and bask, if you like and it wouldn’t hurt you, just don’t burn me after or crack yourself.” She nuzzled at his neck, which he’d allowed to flex - some - to make her more comfortable. It felt right with the warmth.
He was so deliriously pleased to be so toasty and sated - that she’d stayed to hold him after, lavished intimacy and comfort on him, trusted him enough to sleep with him, that it took him a moment to parse what she had said. “Come down? To the hall? But I…”
She looked up at him, frowning slightly. “Do you not want to?”
He furrowed his brow. “I’ve always had to stay up here, or conceal myself. You’d openly house... me? I’m a monster!”
“Well,” she bit her lip mischievously, “I’d especially love it if you could help me to pull some little pranks on friends when they arrive, if you don’t feel it’s a misuse of you.”
His eyes lit up like a little ghoul’s. “Can I make myself a statue on horseback and gallop at them?”
She cackled. “Only at a few of them, and I’ll tell you which ones ahead of time. And, er, you’d better just be nice to Neville. He’s my fiance - a wizard.”
His eyes dimmed some, looking at her searchingly.
“Oh!” She waved her hand. “No, no, I love Neville, but he loves and knows me enough to understand that that love is inviolate, whoever else I may also love. He won’t monopolize my heart or my body. I think… after he thought about it a while, he decided he enjoyed my telling him about my… adventures… for his own arousal when I’m with him - and you can’t know how fortunate I feel to share that with such an old friend. If anything, it makes me feel… tethered, and freer to take risks with my heart elsewhere. I am happy to have made this start with you, however unexpected, and eager to see where it may lead.”
Her pale blue eyes blinked up at him earnestly. He thought, satisfied, that all her anger was truly gone, now.
Finally, he sighed. “Have you considered a harem? Or maybe a spouse of each kind of being?”
Luna pursed her lips thoughtfully. “I’ll keep those ideas in mind - although, just one merman would be tricky…” She bit her lip, then sighed and shook away a memory. “For now, come, let me dress and I’ll take you to meet the elves. Hmm. Yes. I suspect they’d love the chance to ask you questions about this place - as would I.”
She started to stand, but his hands closed over her hips and dragged her astraddle him again. “Maybe after.”
She smiled down, wincing with aches but undeterred, before she shifted herself to find him.