I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere and you know it's really hard to hold your breath
I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress
well, my feet they finally took root in the earth but I got me a nice little place in the stars
and I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
Her first memory after the Second War is looking at the sky in the early dawn while everyone stood in the middle of castle's rubble, surrounded by the memories of the loved ones that had been lost and the loved ones that still lived, thinking:
Pink is such a lovely colour for the sky to be.
She watched it fade from pink to purple to blue.
The history books won't recall this moment when they speak of the Battle of Hogwarts. Luna will one day tell Hermione that the books lost the most important part of the story.
Hermione will press her hand to Luna's shoulder and for once completely agree.
Lorcan and Lysander are born on different days in different months in different years. That's important to know. What's not important to know is that they are twins. Everyone she meets thinks it's the other way around. Luna always smiles that these people because she understands that most people miss what's important in the world.
[For all those who are wondering, and most people do, her sons were born on New Year's Eve and New Years Day, just on the cusp of midnight and morning. Lorcan followed Lysander into the world quiet like the other side of Lysander's mirror. What most people don't figure out is that Lysander is this side of Lorcan's mirror.]
Her boys are the sun and moon and she is their earth for all of their lives.
They don't remember what a life was before she spilled them out into the world.
Luna remembers a whole life before them.
Once she kissed Ron Weasley when she was twenty-two. It was at his engagement party. She smiled up at him and cupped his face before she pulls and pressed his lips against hers. He tasted like the champagne they were serving and Hermione.
Then she had leaned back on her heels, turned to Hermione, and kissed her too.
Hermione had laughed while Ron had flushed red all the way to his ears.
"For luck and I have always wondered."
Ron's voice broke as he asked, "And how was it?"
"I can see why you would want to kiss Hermione, Ron." She had answered, "She had very nice lips."
Ron had turned even redder, his skin clashing horribly with his hair, but Luna thought it would be polite to not to mention this.
Hermione had hugged Luna and pulled Ron away to her parents.
Luna had moved away to speak with Fluer's grandmother, who always had the most interesting stories about the Veela culture. Luna always found them very informative.
She met Rolf late in her life, especially when considering how most witches and wizards are married before their twenty-fifth birthday. She met him when she was searching for Heliopaths in the Peruvian rainforest. He was a man about twenty years her senior and he had long hair the colour of sand and eyes the colour the cocoa beans she sucked on during her time there.
Their courtship had been brief: one drink of the tribe's thick wine and one walk across the broken path near the river. They had spoken about their lives and shared notes of the magical creatures they had come across in their travels. He had touched her breasts and kissed her lips and they had left Peru together.
They never married though their sons share his name.
Neither had wanted to and when she realised she was heavy and swollen and not because of an engorgement charm gone awry she told him and they parted ways friends, lovers, and colleagues.
Rolf had never wanted to be father and he had Merfolk to study in Borneo.
Luna had never really thought on being a mother, but she thought about her old home, rebuilt after it had been broken during her sixteenth year, the dirigible plums, the fields that stretched out all around it, and knew she wanted to hear her children one day run and laugh in them.
First, of course, she remained in the Northwest Territories of Canada and studied the Qailertetan -- an inuit weather spirit -- who called the region home.
She's never had regrets.
Sometimes her friends look at her with such sad eyes and she wonders why they mirror their sadness in her.
They're all haunted by the Second War, some more than others, and there are nights she still has nightmares about how cold the Malfoy Manor had been.
When she wakes from these nightmares she walks her round house, makes herself some pumpkin tea, and waits for the sun to rise. She then makes a call to Astoria and goes round for tea.
[Oh yes, some will think this important too: Astoria Malfoy is a great friend of hers. They met while Luna was studying the secret royal linage of Veelas in France. They had drunk a lot of plum wine during those months of being flatmates and one night they had run into Draco and Pansy, who while had never pursued a relationship like their mothers had wanted, were on holiday together.
The next morning she had run into Draco in the small kitchen trying to figure how to work their Muggle stove for tea and thought it was interesting that he flushed much like Ron did when nervous. He had only flushed brighter when Pansy had left Luna's room and kissed Luna's cheek.
(Yes, there's a reason why Pansy and Draco never pursued a relationship that contrary to popular belief had nothing to do with spiting their mothers.)
Astoria had walked out in the thin silk robe that Luna gifted her at Christmas and smiled at the picture they presented.
"Luna, you have been outnumbered by Slytherins," Astoria had said.
Pansy had grinned, "I think you have it wrong, Astoria. Draco's been outnumbered by boobs."
Draco took them out to breakfast to shut them up.]
After tea with Astoria, Luna leaves always Malfoy Manor with a smile and is reminded: nightmares can fade over time.
Her father threaten to kill Rolf in a rare fit of paternal outrage when Luna came back home pregnant, alone, with her leather satchel filled of artefacts from her travels. (She is eternally grateful to Hermione for that Undetectable Extension Charm because her satchel is the only thing that travels with her.)
He forgot about the threat when she pulled out a what she thought to be a fossilised Crumple-Horned Snorkack's horn.
They had raspberry tea and raw fungi picked from the garden because they were they only things that settled Lorcan and Lysander, respectively, these days.
He asked her if she wanted to take up a column in the Quibbler full time now and Luna had smiled her yes.
She slept in her childhood room that night with the faces of her friends smiling down at her and thought about adopting a Porlock; she knew a lovely witch in Ireland that was always looking for homes for the ones she took care of. She also thought about getting a Jobberknoll or a raven since her father didn't have an owl anymore.
Right before sleep took her into dreams Luna did have one last thought: oh, I should give Ginny a call.
She never made it James and Lily's births. She had been out of the country in Sweden when she she got the owl from Harry about James and in Laos when she got the owl from Ginny about Lily.
She was the seventh person to hold Albus. There's luck in that.
She had been lunching with Ginny when the pains started. Ten hours later there was a new person in the world.
Luna was in the room alone with Ginny when she held him. He was so small and his eyes so blue and his soul so young. He smelled like the scented blanket that Molly had knitted for him and like a cloud in summer. So clean and light.
"And his name will be?" She asked Ginny, curling her babe to her, his fingers weaving through her hair.
Ginny smiled, her gaze was on her child and yet so far away, "Harry wants to call him Albus Severus."
Luna frowned. It felt foreign on her face for she didn't frown often. The name wafted through the room and attached itself to the child in her arms. He whined and gurgled and then settled. His soul felt suddenly older in her arms and Luna knew this would now be the baby's name.
She shifted him and walked to Ginny, sitting at her side, watching as Ginny's hand became a mother's hand when she adjusted the baby's blanket.
"What did you want to name him, Ginny?"
Ginny blinked in such a way that Luna wondered if anyone had asked her this before, and when Ginny answered her answer was sure and strong which lessened Luna's worry for her friend.
"Michael Fredrick," Ginny leaned back on the pillows and grinned at Luna and her son.
Luna laughed and the boy who would be called Albus Serverus (too old and heavy a name in Luna's opinion) drooled on her hair.
"An angel and joker. A flying prankster," she looked down at the baby. "Yes, that's why I think he'll be." She kissed the baby on his tiny unmarred forehead and gave him to his mum. "You will be a flying prankster, little one. Laughing and kind." The baby yawned and cuddled up to Ginny's breast, mouthing for a meal, but Luna could tell: his soul was light again.
Luna's had a lot of lovers in her life, but two will always have a special place in her heart.
One is a dear friend, the other is lost to a life lived.
They always say you'll remember you first time and it's true. Luna remembers it double because she had two.
Tara was a beautiful girl she met on a trip to Istanbul when she was seventeen almost eighteen, a year after the Second War ended. She had been dark and brash with pink and green streaks in her black hair. She had kissed Luna under the stars and pressed her against the mattress of Luna's rented room. She had made Luna understand what lust was and until Luna left they had not parted each other's side. Some days when Luna sits in her favourite tree and reads her favourite Quibbler issues she thinks that had she been older and of the mind to settle she could have live her life with Tara. It's not a regret though, it's just a thought she thinks from time to time.
At nineteen her first time happened again. Neville had been so nervous and in the end they had laughed and laughed. It had happened after Ginny's nineteenth birthday party and both of them had too much sweet wine. They had tumbled into Luna's room and giggled when they tripped. Neville had rolled them so she laid on top of him and palmed his hand under her dress pressing his fingers against her until her could not stand it any more. It had hurt, but Neville held her and made sure the pain didn't last too long. After they had laid on her floor and looked up at her room.
"Blimey, Luna, did we just have sex while all our friends were looking down at us," the words had tumbled from his lips as he looked at the painted faces on her walls.
(She had painted the faces on the new walls again as not to forget she still had friends. That the war had not taken them all.)
It was then they started to laugh.
Neville also threatens to kill Rolf until she kisses his cheek. He calms after that and then offers to help her with the changes she's planning to make to the house. As it stands there's no room for children or a Porlock.
He's the first person she tells. She meant to tell Ginny first, but on the way to Grimmauld Place she ended up at Hogwarts.
Neville is a wonderful teacher, full of patience and genuine affection for his students. She knows he'll never really leave Hogwarts. She's known since the Battle. The castle has become his to protect.
It has to be said: Luna once thought she was in love Harry.
She told Ginny this one. Ginny had asked if Luna was still in love with Harry.
Luna had said, "No, I don't believe I am anymore. He runs his fingers through his hair too much."
Ginny had laughed, but Luna hadn't understood what was funny.
It also has to be said: Luna had been in love with Harry.
She didn't tell Ginny this.
What did she did was: hold his hand and kiss the corner of his mouth one night thinking, well, being in love with Harry isn't so bad.
This was all many years ago.
She was almost married once. Not to Rolf, and it's the reason is why she couldn't marry him, aside from the fact she did not love him enough to marry.
Her one and only almost spouse was Maggie who she met in Louisiana while she was studying why the city had such a strong history of vampire lore and magic.
Maggie had been a muggle-born witch, with thick red curls, spoke with deep southern accent and kissed Luna's fingers. During that time Luna wore many rings on her fingers and some around her neck. Maggie wore even more and their fingers always clinked when they intertwined them. She had been twenty-three and in love. Maggie had been twenty-seven and in love back.
She had meant to tell her father and her friends but it had happen so fast and then...
What is all the magic in the world good for if it can't stop death?
She had Maggie for six months and lost her in one day. [She turns the rings they would have used on their fingers -- celtic knots made of rose gold and silver -- into earrings and they quickly replaced the radishes as her favourites.]
A war took most of her childhood, but life always took the ones she loved.
After Maggie she never stayed in a city longer than four months until she moved to France and found a flatmate named Astoria Greengrass.
Nobody likes to talk about it anymore but once when Luna was eighteen Harry and Ginny broke up. Ginny was going on tour with the Harpies and Harry was working too hard as a Junior Auror. They broke up and for months Harry didn't visit the Burrow and Ginny didn't visit the flat he and Ron shared.
Luna had been walking Diagon Alley one afternoon when she ran into Harry at the quill shop. She was home for a while, saving up and working at the Quibbler until she had enough gold to go on her Dragons of the East expedition.
Harry had smiled at her and they had sat for lunch.
Three weeks later, Harry kissed her. She curled her fingers in his cloak and sighed into his mouth.
[For those who like to keep their timelines straight, yes, you are right it would be in one year that Luna sleeps with Neville and has her second first time. Luna never sleeps with Harry, though they do fall asleep one night in her garden. This is not important information to know, though some will consider it so.]
When she left near the end of August for China he helped her pack and cooked her supper. That night she kissed the corner of his mouth when he left her house. They had been together all summer and had spent his birthday drunk on Firewhiskey with Ron and Hermione at the Hog's Head.
She doesn't remember if she kissed Harry that night in front his friends, but if she had she figured it wouldn't have mattered, because Ron and Hermione's first loyalties are to Harry, his secrets, and nobody's ever mentioned anything about that night. Also, from what she does remember, Harry's a bit of sloppy drunk and likes kissing everyone.
Five months after she's left England she gets two owls. One from Harry, one from Ginny. They both say the same thing in very different ways.
The letters, like all the letters she gets during her travels, get tucked in her purple notebook. When she answers them back she sends one letter via a crane.
I always knew your paths would find their way to each other again.
Her hanzi is rough but she knows they'll know it's from her.
When she returns to England she goes to Weasley's house for dinner one day and she kisses Harry and Ginny on the cheeks. Ginny is glowing, newly engaged and Harry's smile widens when Luna tells him she saw a panda that reminded her of his smile.
One year Luna lived in the Brazilian rainforest.
She'll never say a word about it to anyone.
It's because nobody thinks to ask.
There was a lake in the middle of Germany where she swan naked once. Her dress, a long green shift with orange stripes, was in pile on the shore next to her printed wellies, her wand, and her butterbeer caps necklace. Luna let herself be held by the water and pressed wet fingers to herself. The world was never brighter than it was at that moment.
Her sons are conceived [she does the math one day when Lysander presses against her ribs and Lorcan against her kidneys] on the border of Peru and Brazil. She and Rolf had smoked the herbs one of the guides had given them on the river and later he pressed her against the dirt and flowers.
When they are born she will smell the rainforest in her sons.
She lives part of her life in her squat, Rook of a house, with fields all around her and a Porlock in her yard. She takes over The Quibbler when her father passes and takes her children to Platform 9 3/4 when they are of age. There she sees Ginny and Harry with Lily who is in her last year. The Potters all come to them and say hi and Lily promises to look out for the boys. Her sons smile up at Lily and happily each take her hand.
Luna smiles at the young girl, "They'll look out for you too then."
Lily kisses her cheek, just like she kisses her parent's cheeks and herds the boys onto the train. Lysander runs back one last time to press his cheek against her side and Lorcan leans out one of the windows waving until she can't see him anymore.
After Luna goes to lunch with Harry, Ginny, and the Potter boys.
She tells them that she'll been in Ireland for a few weeks looking for selkies and if they wouldn't mind if she had her mail forwarded to their house because she's planning to spend a lot of time underwater.
They agree, her dear friends, who bonds to her were made as strong as dragon scales by war and time. Molly and Arthur already agreed to take care of Pi, the boys' Porlock.
She gets a letter from each of her boys just before she leaves. Lorcan was sorted into Ravenclaw and Lysander into Hufflepuff. Sounds about right, she thinks, remembering their conception and how Lysander would always calm down when she at Hodgeberries during her pregnancy, while Lorcan always preferred the Acai berries . Her boys have never eclipsed each other in their lives as they orbited hers.
She folds the letters, tucks them into her old notebook, and makes sure to answer them back before she finishes packing. She'll be back before the winter holidays and she'll pick them up at the station and time for the first time in eleven years will have passed differently for the three of them, she knows this, and it makes her happy.
She closes up her house and apparates away. The world is still so wide and the moon never stops orbiting it.