Every ill person she came across could be saved, but only with magic. Luna hadn't been sure whether or not she should use it at first, but after a while she didn't have any other choice. She would have to if she wanted to stop anyone from dying. Muggles were not the only ones affected by the sickness, but they seemed to be the ones with less help. The magical community of 547 AD was not the friendliest group, and their magic was dull compared to hers. The number of spells they hadn't yet developed was astonishing and, if she were honest with herself, she was disappointed by their lack of knowledge.
A woman held out a hand to Luna, her arm shaking as if even the effort to hold it up was too much. Luna knew it was, so she quickly took the hand and settled herself onto the pallet next to her. She did the usual spells, the magic coming more naturally to her than it had since she arrived in the past. It had been a long time since she and her friends ran through the Ministry halls while Death Eaters chased behind.
"You're going to be all right," Luna said gently. "Take a deep breath—That's it, good." Luna smiled and ran a hand through the woman's sweaty hair. "I'm going to leave some medicine with your family. I know it will taste funny, but please take it."
The woman nodded, just barely, and Luna pulled away. As usual, she refused payment from the family and handed them some jars and vials. So far, she had yet to meet anyone who did not follow her directions, and this man looked no different. He even repeated the instructions back before thanking her endlessly. She left before the man could try to pay her.
Luna had been trapped in the past for a long time already. She hadn't meant to do it, and she wasn't even sure how it happened. The last thing she remembered was racing through the Ministry of Magic behind Hermione, watching her hair bounce and wondering if the other girl knew that she had shards of prophecy glass scattered through the thick locks. Something had shattered and Luna felt sand digging into her eyes, and when she opened her eyes again, a man stood over her speaking in a strange tongue. With a casual flick of her wand, she had wisps of words under him, as he told Luna he was glad she was alive.
She had arrived just as the plague of Justinian was winding down. She had no choice but to help in whatever way she could, so she quickly took stock of what she remembered in Healing and got to work. It hadn't taken long for her to earn a reputation and the village opened their doors to her with no hesitation after that. She stayed on the edge of town, though, in a borrowed tent, and kept her distance, waiting for any word from her friends.
Her Dumbledore's Army coin still hung around her neck, charmed to be invisible to anyone but herself. She checked it every day for messages, but none came despite the many she sent out. She refused to give up hope, though. They would turn up eventually - she was sure of it.
Learning the local language had not come easily, but she got around the not knowing by never speaking unless she knew exactly what she would be saying. Professor Snape had taught her what the power of a Look could do and she put that to use here. It helped that the village took no notice, caught up as they were in people sick and dying all around them.
When she returned to her tent that night, Luna pulled out her wand to cast privacy charms. She didn't want to be bothered. Her potion store was running low and as it was she didn't think she would have enough for the next day. Taking a deep breath, she settled in her make-shift garden and got to work.
Thirty years passed and she never aged a day.
Luna splashed some water on her face at the nearest river, watching as a line of red went with the current, testament to the smears of blood marking her cheeks. The past was full of death. If it wasn't from plague, then it was war. Still, she couldn't just sit back and do nothing and she taught herself to fight with the Muggles' weapons as best she could. If she was careful and dressed properly, none of the soldiers even noticed that a woman was fighting alongside them.
A soft popdrew her attention away from the river and she glanced around, glad that she had remembered to cast the proper charms around herself. Twigs snapped in front of her and then two people stepped into the small clearing.
"That is the lasttime we travel like that. It hurts," one of them said, rubbing at his arm.
"Stop your complaining. It might be new, but it's faster than your silly carpet." The other one pulled his hair out of his face. "Where are we?"
"I don't know. You're the one that started this."
The two continued to bicker, but the words seemed of little importance. One of them had obviously just Apparated, which was a new spell for witches and wizards now, but Luna only saw the mist following them. Familiar shapes that she hadn't seen in years floated within the mist, giving off a gentle light. Swingbillags, only around for about ten minutes after someone Apparated, danced behind the oblivious wizards.
One of them even had a Nargle hidden in his hair.
Luna let her charms drop and she stepped closer to the bickering wizards. "Excuse me…"
They stopped to look at her, shock evident on their faces.
"Do you know where Hogwarts is?"
"Hogwarts?" The taller one looked to his friend, who shrugged. "Never heard of Hogwarts."
Of course; Hogwarts wouldn't be around yet. Luna tried to remember the year, but it escaped her. "The nearest Wizarding village will also work."
The shorter one stepped forward, his wand out. It looked a little fragile to Luna, but she said nothing about it. "Why should we show you if you don't know?"
Luna shrugged, tucking her wand behind her ear and holding out her hands. "Because I mean no harm. I've been a little lost and haven't been able to leave the Muggles."
The taller one pushed the shorter one's arm down. "Come on, Douglass. I think she's telling us the truth. I know this stuff, remember?" He tapped his head.
Douglass scowled and tucked his wand away. "You still need to teach that to me."
"I will, I will. I'll teach you to disappear, too."
The man laughed and stepped up to Luna, offering a hand. "My name is Marcus Longbottom. This is Douglass Parkinson."
Luna took the hand. "It's nice to meet you both. My name is Luna."
"Just Luna?" Marcus asked, letting go of her hand to step back.
"Just Luna." Just in case there were any Lovegoods around, she didn't want there to be any awkward introductions. "Are wizards involved in the war?"
"The Muggle war? Some of us."
Douglass nodded, looking in the direction of the Muggle camp. "My brother died the first week."
"We're thinking of pulling out, though. Douglass and I were just here to see how everything was going." He hesitated. "My goodness, have you been fighting with them?"
"It seemed like the right thing to do." Luna smiled as the Nargle settled down on Marcus' shoulder, watching her. It was just one; she hoped it would find its family.
"But a girl? Where's your parents?"
"They're not here," Luna told them honestly. Had anyone discovered time travel by now? She couldn't remember "But my father would be proud of me."
Douglass frowned at Marcus. "We can't just leave her here."
"I never said I was going to." Marcus held out his hand to Luna. "Come on, I'll take you to my mum's. She'll get you cleaned up."
"Thank you." Luna took the hand.
"Be right back, Douglass."
With a crack, they were gone. It was, quite possibly, the worst feeling Luna had felt since a Slytherin had doused her with boil-inducing potion. Her father had Apparated her before and it never felt like this; she hoped Douglass would perfect this mode of transportation before he taught it to others.
He patted her back gently once they landed. "Sorry about that. It's a new thing I'm trying and sometimes the magic doesn't come together that well."
"It's fine." Luna nodded once. "I'm sure you'll figure it out. Magic is versatile enough."
"That's what I told Douglass!" Marcus let out a groan and pushed Luna toward a cottage. The gardens were filled with fairies; the Nargle on her shoulder snickered at them, chasing some into the rose bushes with the noise.
Luna smiled at the chase, glad to see some semblance of normality within this new world. "It's very lovely."
"Yeah, my mum is proud." He opened the door and ushered her inside. "Mum! Mum, we have a visitor!"
A plump witch, almost as short as Luna, came out of the kitchen. "Douglass? Oh my! What happened, dear?" She took Luna's face in her hands, tutting as she turned her head from side to side to examine her.
"Mum, this is Luna. Luna, this is my mum."
It was odd to think that this sweet woman would have a family of Slytherins, but that was still generations away. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Parkinson."
"And so polite, too." The older woman looked to her son. "Where did you find her?"
"The battlefield. Her mum and dad are gone."
She hadn't exactly said that, but it was certainly more believable than the truth. She didn't correct him. "I'm sorry to intrude."
"Nonsense." Mrs. Parkinson pulled Luna against her chest. "You poor child. A bath and a meal for you!"
"Sounds perfect." Douglass put a hand on Luna's shoulder. "I have to go back to Marcus, but you're in good hands."
"Be safe, dear." Mrs. Parkinson leaned up to press a kiss to her son's cheek before he could walk out the door. "Don't forget to come home in time for dinner."
"Will do, mum." He waved at the two women and left.
"Your son is very kind."
"That's because his mum raised him right." She took Luna's hands. "Come now, dear. We need to clean you up!"
Luna nodded and let the woman lead her to the bathing area. This world was still so strange to her, even after living here for so long, and she was always glad to find someone kind enough to help her along, no matter for how short a time.
Twenty-five more years passed, and eventually Luna accepted that this was just how things would have to be. There was nothing else she could do about it. She left Douglass and his mother after barely a decade, not wanting to answer what should have been simple questions about why she never aged. How could she tell them that she should be nearing her seventies? While witchcraft was an open subject between Muggles and Wizards, they still had their lines and she would have crossed them.
The latest group she had settled with didn't seem to care much, but Luna blamed that mostly on the ale they drank and the drugs they pushed into their systems. Still, being with a group was better than being alone.
The fact that the group was led by a man named Augustus Lovegood had nothing to do with her decision to stay, either. That was what she told herself every time he invited her to sit with his family and spin tales to his children. She continued to tell herself this long after the children thought of her as their surrogate mother and after Augustus asked if she wouldn't mind being his wife.
She did mind, but she didn't tell him why. Her refusal had upset him, but he let her help take care of his children all the same. He chose not to remarry after that, and Luna felt twice as guilty for it. She knew how devastating it was to lose a mother, and she felt deeply for his children.
The older ones spoke of meeting her, of how they would see their mother again once they passed on. Luna shared their sentiments throughout the day, offering what little stories she knew of her own mother. The one time they asked how long ago she died, Luna almost told them the truth, but managed to hold her tongue. They would never believe the truth.
Shebarely believed the truth.
At night, Luna sat in the treetops above the camp, watching the night sky and wondering. Would she see her mother one day? Her father? What if she didn't die? Would there even be a purpose to living if death did not follow? Perhaps she was like the famous Peverell brother and death would not see her. Was that possible without one of the Hallows? Her father used to read her the story every night, and she knew it by heart.
"Auntie Lulu, may I come up?"
Luna leaned over and smiled at the eldest Lovegood. Cassia took great care of her siblings, though she stepped back and let Luna take over most of the time. It eased an ache in Luna's chest to know that if she had to leave, the children would be in good hands. She waved the girl up.
Cassia smiled and carefully climbed through the branches to settle near Luna. "It sure is lovely up here."
"That's why I come up here. The view and the Willows are comforting."
Luna reached up to her shoulder to pull a Willow Faerie off. "They are attracted to high places and to sadness. It's a rare combination, so not many know of them." She pretended not to notice Cassia's frown or how her eyes tracked over Luna's hands. Even among her own family, she was the only one who could see them. That still held true.
"Are you sad, Auntie Lu?" Cassia squinted as if trying to get a better look at the air above Luna's hands. "Papa said you might be."
"I am just remembering, and that makes me a little sad."
Luna closed her eyes and leaned back, her face tilted toward the sky. "The people I've left behind. I miss them."
"Like your mum?"
"And others." Luna rested against the trunk of the tree. She smiled as a Willow settled on her nose. "My friends most of all. We separated unexpectedly and I'm not sure what happened to them."
"That's scary." Cassia swung her legs and the tree swayed gently with her. "I wouldn't be as calm as you if that happened to me."
"It took me a while to get here. Now I just hope I can meet them again soon." Luna brushed the Willow off her nose and watched as it floated to dance in Cassia's strawberry hair. The girl never noticed.
"I hope you do, too." Cassia leaned against the trunk and reached out to take Luna's hand.
They sat there, watching the sky together, until the sun rose over the tree tops. Luna gently brought a sleeping Cassia to the ground and tucked her in before going to her own bed, her thoughts jumbled and confused.
No one would truly believe her, and it all went against what she had learned at Hogwarts, but after seeing it, it all made perfect sense to Luna. Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Helga Hufflepuff were four of the closest friends she had ever seen. Much of the history she knew had been wrong about this time period. There were some Muggles worried about magic and sorcery, but they were quiet and stayed outnumbered by those who just didn't care.
Luna had met Godric one evening and entertained him with tales of the creatures she saw. Since then, he had kept her close to his side. If he noticed that she never aged a day, he said nothing of it. When she had the fortune of meeting Salazar, however, things changed. The cunning man occasionally gave her a curious look and Luna wondered what he suspected of her.
Godric and Salazar had met during a dueling game. Luna had had a front-row seat to their growing friendship and watched as they argued and teased each other. She had even been there the day they began to formulate plans for an elite wizarding school and she smiled when names like Toadsbreath and Mollusk were thrown around. They had finally settled on "Hogwarts" during a drunken party celebrating the anniversary of their friendship.
For his twenty-sixth birthday, Godric gave Salazar a beautiful silver locket with an s-shaped snake popping out. Salazar had hissed at the snake, grinning as it hissed back. To Luna's surprise, Godric joined in on the Parseltongue conversation until it ended with both men laughing.
On his next birthday, Salazar gifted Godric an item Luna had seen in Dumbledore's office many times: a goblin-made sword with blood-red rubies gleaning in the handle. Godric joked that he didn't need a sword when he had his wand, but he proudly wore the weapon at his belt nonetheless. It was the first time Luna had seen Salazar blush as he was thanked for the gift.
The two built a solid friendship and Luna let herself ease more and more to an outside observer. Godric still asked for her opinions and stories, but he relied on Salazar more and more. It was supposed to be that way, she told herself. The history books had no mention of a girl named Luna.
Salazar Slytherin was infatuated with Godric Gryffindor, and the oblivious red-headed man took no notice of it. Salazar tried his best to woo Godric, a process which (honestly) reminded Luna of her father's tale of when he tried to woo her mother, but nothing worked. It wasn't until Rowena Ravenclaw came, with a smile and raw humor, that Salazar figured out why.
Luna felt her own heart break as Godric went about wooing the obviously uninterested woman. Rowena noticed and quickly introduced Salazar to Helga Hufflepuff, a plump woman reminded Luna of Molly Weasley. Salazar was uninterested, but developed a strong friendship with her as well.
With the four founders together, Luna quietly took her leave watch them from afar. The four of them talked endlessly of teaching others what they knew, of using their strong magical powers to assist rather than keep it selfishly to themselves. They had the same ideals and it was finally Salazar that put their plan in motion.
It would be another ten years before construction began, but only a year after that, Hogwarts opened its doors to the first wave of children, all eager to learn. There were no houses, no fighting, and no set curriculum practices. Luna helped with the grounds and the animals that soon populated what would one day become the Forbidden Forest. Content for the first time in years, she simply lingered on the edge of their world and watched.
She watched Rowena welcome a baby girl into the world, never revealing the father.
Watched Godric dote on the child as if she were his own.
Watched Salazar grow more and more upset as Rowena and Godric grew ever closer.
Watched Helga distance herself from her friends, too afraid to get between them and the petty squabbles.
Luna didn't stay to find out how one large house split into four, or exactly how or when Salazar left. The peace of the castle had disintegrated the more the founders fought and it was truly a wonder that it lasted through her time. She had mentioned the innate magic once to Godric, but the man just shrugged and claimed he felt nothing.
She wondered, not for the first time, how wizards could be so blind to magic.