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Light in Shadow

Chapter Text

“Is there someone else here?” someone called into the darkness. “If there is, please say something, but if there isn’t, then don’t.”

It was the oddness of the request, made in such a perfectly calm voice, that intrigued Ollivander. He had become used to the occasional visits from Death Eaters intent on further torture or the irregular delivery of food by completely silent House elves, but this didn’t sound like anyone he’d encountered before in the cellar of Malfoy Manor. This voice sounded very young and strangely gentle.

“Yes,” he ventured to say, his voice cracking from disuse. “I’m here.”

“Oh, good,” the voice said, and he heard footsteps coming tentatively closer in the darkness. “They told me I wouldn’t be completely alone, but I wasn’t sure whether to believe them.”

“Believe who?” Ollivander asked.

“The Snatchers,” the voice said. “A group of them took me from my father and brought me here. I’m very worried about him.”

“Did they harm him?”

“Not physically,” she said, “but I know he’s very worried about me. I wish I could let him know I’m not hurt. How long have you been here?”

“What month is it?” he asked, realizing he didn’t know.

“It’s December,” the voice said, and it was closer now. “Nearly Christmas.”

“Then about seven months,” Ollivander replied. He’d known it was winter from the chill of the place, but the rest had been merely a guess.

“That’s a very long time,” she said sympathetically. “I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I might step on you. Where are you?”

“Against the far wall,” he said, tottering to his feet. “Don’t worry, child, you won’t hurt me.”

“My name is Luna,” she said.

“Lovegood?” he asked immediately. He remembered: white pine, eight and a half inches, unicorn hair, flexible.

“Yes, Mr. Ollivander.”

“How did you know it was me?” he asked. His voice had grown weak during his imprisonment.

“Oh, I remember you, just the same as you remembered who I am,” Luna said. “You helped me find such a lovely wand. Thank you for that. I’m afraid they took it from me, though.”

Ollivander grunted in distaste. They’d stolen his as well, of course. No doubt they’d burned them or snapped them in half, the fools. No appreciation at all for anything but destruction. And yet, as children, they’d excitedly come to him for their own wands. He couldn’t have known.

“Is there anyone else down here?” Luna asked.

“No,” he said. “A rat or two and a few spiders in the corners, but that’s all.”

He didn’t tell her about the other captives who had been there and left in ways he didn’t want to think about. Most of them had been potentially useful in some way that hadn’t gone as Voldemort wished, dead ends in his pursuit of the Potter boy and his friends. Luna would be close to his age. Perhaps that was why she was here.

It didn’t do to get attached to someone in this place.

“A friend of mine had a pet rat once,” Luna said. “I’m afraid it didn’t turn out very well, though. He turned out to be an Animagus who’d had his friends murdered, but I don’t suppose that’s a common problem with rats.”

“Peter Pettigrew?” Ollivander asked sharply.

“Yes, that was his name,” Luna said.

“We’ve met,” Ollivander said with obvious distaste. “He’s a sort of lackey to the Death Eaters, half servant, half slave. If you stay here any length of time, you’ll make his acquaintance.”

“I think I’d rather not,” Luna said, “though I doubt I’ll have that option.”

By now Luna had carefully picked her way across the uneven stones of the cellar. It was much too dark to see, though during the day sometimes a bit of weak sunlight poked through one of the small windows set high out of reach near the ceiling. Unfortunately, this being Britain, sunlight was hard to come by in the winter months, and the darkest nights of the year were approaching quickly. He didn’t think he’d ever appreciated sunlight properly when he was free, but now he wasn’t even sure if his weakened eyes would be able to bear it anymore.

“Is it all right if I sit against your wall?” Luna asked from about three feet away. “I’m really rather tired, and I’d rather have something solid at my back.”

“A wise strategy,” Ollivander said.

“Oh, we covered that sort of thing in Dumbledore’s Army,” Luna said. “Harry made a point of saying we should always try to know what was coming up behind us.”

He knew what Harry she must be referring to. That might be why she was here.

“It’s not my wall. Sit anywhere you like, child. Of course you’re tired,” he said. “So what’s Dumbledore’s Army?”

“That was what we called our Defense Against the Dark Arts group in fifth year after Professor Umbridge made it impossible for us to learn anything in school,” Luna’s voice said from somewhere near the floor. “Some of us decided it would be better if we knew how to defend ourselves, all things considered.”

“Doesn’t look like it helped you too much,” Ollivander said.

“Some,” Luna said. “I was able to hit one of the Carrows with a *disarming spell and another Death Eater is still spitting slugs, but eight against one is a bit much for anyone to handle.”

“Good on you, then,” Ollivander said, mildly impressed. “Give them something to chew on, in one case literally.”

Luna laughed just a little, but the sound was thin, like the sunlight that visited him sometimes. Even it seemed to want to be somewhere else.

“I suppose things could be worse,” Luna said.

“Oh? How?” Ollivander said.

“I could be down here all alone, like you’ve been for so long,” Luna said. “At least there’s someone to talk to.”

Ollivander considered that. If she stayed, and that was far from certain, she would indeed be an improvement over the endless quiet.

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Ollivander had long since stopped trying to figure out what time it was. The poor girl must be very tired, though, regardless of the time.

“There’s a camp bed a few paces to your left, and a blanket. Get some sleep.”

“Thank you,” she said, “but what about you?”

“I’ve my own spot in the other corner,” he lied. “Rest now. Nothing down here will harm you tonight, and I’ll wake you when it’s morning.”

“Good night, though I suppose it’s not really all that good,” she said, and he heard the creaking of the hinges as she lay down.

Morning came. Daylight and night were the only things that changed in this place, and even those were uncertain with weather. Meals did come, usually Apparating directly from the Malfoy kitchen, but not with any regularity. He had realized long ago that House-elves were the only beings that could break the tight security on the cellar. Any attempts he made were completely useless.

Ollivander had slept on a pile of old sheets in the corner, but he’d still slept soundly out of habit. He’d found that he never knew when his sleep might be interrupted by another round of questioning.

The gray light of dawn made the blackness of the cellar less dense, and he could just make out Luna’s sleeping form on the camp bed, a tangle of blonde hair and blankets. She was still, and for her sake he hoped she was dreaming of somewhere different, something good. Sometimes dreams had been his only escape here, but now even that seemed to be ebbing away. Last night, though, he’d dreamed of a wood, green and gold in the sunlight, where the trees practically hummed with magic. It had felt hopeful, but waking brought reality and a hungry belly.

“Good morning, Mr. Ollivander,” Luna said a few minutes later, her face still turned to the stone wall.

“Morning,” he said. “Did you sleep well?”

“Not well exactly, but I slept,” she said, stretching stiffly. “I hate to ask, but do you think that we might get some breakfast?”

“That’s hard to say,” Ollivander said. “We may, or we may not.”

Luna sat up, and her large eyes reflected in the dim light.

“I don’t think they want to starve us,” Luna said reasonably. “I’m being held as a sort of hostage, I think. I wouldn’t be much use dead.”

Her words had lacked any hint of fear. The Death Eaters thrived on making their victims terrified, but this girl seemed somehow beyond that sort of thing. At least he hoped so. The few who had been here with him and left hadn’t gone home, and he held very little hope that their deaths had been swift. If she was right, though, then there was a chance she might leave here alive. He had no such hope for himself, mainly because of his secret, something he had told no one and refrained from even thinking as much as he could.

By now Luna had stood up and was looking carefully at her new surroundings, as much of them as she could see. Oddly, her expression was more one of curiosity than despair. There wasn’t much at all to the cellar, only a long, stone rectangle without much variation except for the uneven flooring and a few random bits of old or broken furniture.

“There’s something strange about this place,” she said, more to herself than to him, but sound carried here.

“What do you mean?” Ollivander asked.

“I’m not sure yet,” she said, continuing her exploration. “It’s like something’s missing.”

Ollivander considered a long list of all the possible missing things: freedom, light, air, comfort, color, an unlocked door, hope, warmth. Until very recently, companionship would have been another one, but unbelievably this morning he had not awakened to that problem. That was at least something, but he immediately felt guilty for drawing a modicum of comfort from this girl’s capture.

“You might be feeling the anti-escape charms,” Ollivader ventured. “Apparition isn’t possible down here. They’ve made certain of that.”

“That could be it,” Luna said uncertainly. “Yes, it does feel like I’m bound up somehow. But there’s something else.”

“I believe you,” Ollivander said. “A great many things are missing here.”

Luna seemed to be concentrating hard, eyes closed and head tipped to one side as though she were trying to hear something.

“I don’t like this place,” she finally said, and there was a break in her voice, the first sign she had shown of really sorrow. “I’d thought, perhaps, it might be Dementors, but there aren’t any here. Wouldn’t you think this would be the perfect spot for them?”

“Yes, now you mention it,” Ollivander said. “I’d never thought of that before, though it seems obvious now.”

Dementors had been breeding like mad since Voldemort’s return. Places that typically might spawn them, like prisons, cemeteries, or places associated with horrible tragedies, had always been prone to their chilling presence, but now things were so muddled that one couldn’t stroll through St James’s Park at midday without the possibility of one lurking in the shadows. In retrospect, that none had darkened the cellar of Malfoy Manor struck Ollivander not simply as bizarre but nearly impossible.

“Something must be keeping them out,” Luna said.

“And keeping them from coming into being in the first place,” Ollivander said. “How odd.”

“You haven’t been conjuring a Patronus without a wand down here, have you?” Luna asked, looking impressed at the mere idea.

Ollivander gave her a half-hearted smile.

“No. I couldn’t produce one even at the best of times,” he said, rather embarrassed. “All I got was glowing vapor, and even that wasn’t certain.”

“That’s nothing strange. Most wizards never have one. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to do it if Harry hadn’t taught us all so well,” Luna said kindly. “Mine’s a hare.”

“You can produce a Patronus?” Ollivander said, and it was his turn to be impressed.

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“Yes,” Luna said. “I don’t think I can manage it with non-verbal spellwork. I do miss my wand.”

Ollivander tried not to be jealous of this girl who was able to conjure a corporeal Patronus when she wasn’t even out of her teens, a feat the majority of grown wizards would envy. She wasn’t boasting about it, though.

“I’ve often wondered what mine would have been if I’d managed it,” he said, surprising even himself.

“I did too before I had one,” Luna said. “I never considered a hare, though. I’d thought perhaps a Nargle, or maybe a Crumple-Horned Snorkack.”

“A what?” Ollivander asked.

“Which one?” Luna said.

“Either. Both,” Ollivander said.

Luna spent an hour explaining Nargles as well as the Crumple-Horned Snorkack and her travels with her father to try to find one of the elusive beasts. Ollivander was secretly concerned at first that her kidnapping and subsequent imprisonment might have affected her mind, but he came to the conclusion that she was fine, if a bit fanciful. As whimsy was in short supply in the Malfoy’s cellar, he was more than happy to find a bit of it, and talking about her strange creatures cheered her up.

At about midday, two bowls of porridge unceremoniously appeared on the floor of the cellar along with two glasses of water. It was as plain as possible, but it was edible. Ollivander had sometimes gone as long as two days without food, usually when Voldemort was questioning him endlessly on wand lore, but sometimes it seemed the House-elves weren’t permitted to send meals. But today there was something, and it was even still hot.

“I rather like porridge,” Luna said. “My mother used to read me ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ when I was little, so I suppose that’s why.”

The perfectly empty bowls disappeared the moment they were replaced on the floor. Luna still held the glass of water in her hand, sipping the last half of it slowly, a wise choice. Ollivander had barely tasted the food, bland as it was, but it had filled his stomach, and that was nothing to take lightly. He was also glad to see that his original assessment of Luna’s situation seemed to be right. The Death Eaters were using her as a hostage, not for questioning, so she would probably be safe for a while. He was very glad of that.

Days passed, and life began to take on an odd normalcy. Ollivander had been alone for so long that he wasn’t quite sure how to talk to Luna sometimes, and he enjoyed quiet occasionally. Thankfully, she did as well. He’d been worried she might turn out to be of the giggly, chattering variety of teenage girl, but she was also capable of quiet. As prison companions went, she was perfection.

He winced every time he thought that. He felt guilty for being grateful she was trapped here, but he also thought she might be the only thing saving his sanity.

The cellar of the Malfoy house grew colder as the days grew even shorter. Luna attempted using wandless magic to create a small fire, but she hadn’t got the knack of it yet. Once she had managed to produce a small, smoldering ember on the floor, and her eyes had danced with hope in its light. Ollivander was certain that, given enough time, she would be able to do it. Unfortunately, time was a risky thing to count on in this place. He hoped both that she would succeed and that she wouldn’t because she would go home before then.

Ollivander never attempted the spell himself, simple though it was. He had tried to conjure up a light many times when he was first brought here; however, his lifelong career with wands had left him in possession of many of their secrets but also completely dependent upon them for any magic at all. Wands were a crutch on which he had come to rely. He knew he could have coerced a bit of magic out of even the most rudimentary of wands if he had the right tools and supplies, but nothing at all suitable was available to him here.

During the days, Luna and he talked. He learned about her mother’s death, the bullying she endured from her housemates, and how she had finally made friends with a small but devoted group of students, including Potter. Most of all, Ollivander learned she had a kind heart. He’d sometimes wished he’d had a child of his own, but he had spent so many hours poring over tomes of wandlore that he never married, never had a family, and never realized he had missed his chance until it was too late. He’d never expected a proxy daughter to share his imprisonment.

The longest night of the year passed. Ollivander had kept a rudimentary calendar since her arrival, and though he could see no difference at all yet, he could almost feel that the sun was returning. With it, and with the introduction of Luna, he had the oddest feeling of hope. He had honestly given up believing he would ever be outside the cellar again, and yet somehow the smallest kernel of belief he might survive had grown in Luna’s beautiful, whimsical, unexpected sunlight.

They were going to survive. He knew it. He would find a way to help them both.

It was, fittingly enough, Christmas Eve when the miracle occurred. December 24th had gone as any other day in their captivity. Death Eaters were not predisposed to any shows of holiday leniency or generosity towards their captives, nor did Ollivander or Luna expect anything of the kind. They had their typical meal (Ollivander noted with concern Luna was getting too thin; he’d long since stopped noticing his own bony frame), chatted a bit about this and that: wands, school, family, what the people they knew might be doing this night.

Then it happened, and Ollivander was stunned into delighted silence.

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“I think I have a present for you, Mr. Ollivander,” Luna said with a smile.

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, then quietly said, “Lumos.”

A ball of light the size of a Snitch gathered itself together in front of her, its flames tinged a delicate shade of peach. Ollivander stared in wonder at light, actual light, as long as his weakened eyes allowed.

“Merry Christmas,” she said. “I believe I can conjure it whenever we need it. I hope you like it.”

“Like it? Luna,” he said, barely holding back tears, “you’ve given me the Christmas star.”

It was amazing how much the light was able to cheer both of them. No longer dependent solely on the feeble sunlight from their prison window, they were able to see one another clearly when they spoke, avoid tripping over the uneven stone floor, even draw use their fingers to draw pictures in the dust to illustrate their points. But they were careful to blot out any sign of their activities immediately in case one of the Death Eaters were to pay them an unexpected call.

Just before New Year’s Eve, they received exactly such an unwelcome visitor: Peter Pettigrew.

Ollivander’s instinct was to shield Luna as the door to the cellar opened, but he knew there was very little he could do to protect her. As he watched Pettigrew’s shoes descend the staircase, unwilling to look any higher at the man, he thought wildly that perhaps Luna was going to be released. He no longer even considered the possibility for himself. But Pettigrew’s interest was not with the girl.

“Ollivander!” he yelled it what Pettigrew must have thought was a commanding voice, though it had a distinctly rodent ring to it. “You’re wanted upstairs!”

His only feeling was relief.

“May I come with him?” Luna asked quietly.

Pettigrew looked at her in shock, and Ollivander was horrified.

“No, child!” Ollivander said. “This isn’t going to be pleasant.”

“Not at all,” Pettigrew said with an evil grin. “I can assure you of that.”

“I know,” she said simply. “I don’t want him to be alone.”

Pettigrew continued staring at her, his mouth hanging open.

“No,” he finally said, to Ollivander’s everlasting gratitude. “You stay here.”

Luna nodded and threw her arms around the old man in a hug.

“I’m sure I’ll see you soon,” she said in a calm voice.

Ollivander followed Pettigrew up the stairs without resistance. His mind, however, was reeling from Luna’s close call. He’d been through these sessions before, and he knew how they went. The only question was who would be doing the interrogation: a Death Eater or Voldemort personally.

After he was led to the dining room of the Malfoy house, his question was answered. The fireplace was the only light in the room, but he could still see the room’s other occupant. Seated at the table, his red eyes glittering in the firelight, was the Dark Lord. And he did not look happy.

“I would wish you a happy new year, but I’m not overly fond of lies,” Voldemort said, his high voice caressing the words. “As you already know, I am always aware when someone is not telling the truth.”

Ollivander inclined his head to show his knowledge of this. He had learned that the less he spoke during these encounters, the better, not that anything helped much.

“Very well,” Voldemort said, drawing his wand. “Let’s begin then, shall we? Tell me all you know about the Elder Wand.”

“No,” Ollivander said firmly.

“I rather thought you’d say that,” Voldemort said. “Crucio!”

“I must congratulate, Mr. Ollivander,” Voldemort said some time later. “You really do have remarkable resilience, especially for a man of your age. I give credit where it is due.”

Ollivander barely heard him. He had long since been unable to keep his feet under the barrage of torture, and now he lay on the table itself. He remembered poor Charity Burbage. She’d been a very kind woman, and Pettigrew had informed him mockingly of the details of her death. He wondered if he too was to be fodder for Nagini.

“I must admit, as much as I admire your stamina, I am weary of our little visits,” Voldemort said, flicking his wand to create another stab of pain. “Now, give me the information I desire and I will show you how merciful I can be. Your death will be swift and painless.”

“I don’t know anything,” Ollivander repeated for what felt like the hundredth time.

“Lie,” Voldemort said, spitting the word as he sent another wave of pain through him. “Dear, dear. Whatever am I to do with you? You’re no good to me dead. How can I motivate you?”

“I cannot tell you what I do not know,” Ollivander said. “I’m not a hero. I would have given you the information a long time before this.”

“And again, you are lying,” Voldemort said, fury written on his face. “You have gone beyond trying my patience! Wormtail!”

“Yes, my lord,” he said, appearing at once from the corridor.

“Does this man have no family at all?” he said.

“None, my lord,” Wormtail said, groveling.

“How very similar we are, then,” Voldemort said, giving Ollivander a look of mock pity. “Of course, I killed mine, but the outcome is the same.”

Ollivander was not skilled at wandless magic, but he had trained himself over the years to be able to achieve one feat that was remarkably difficult for most wizards. Many competitors had tried to steal the secrets of his business. For this reason, he had worked long and hard at Occlemency. It had saved his life to this point since Voldemort couldn’t penetrate his thoughts.

And it apparently now saved Luna’s as well since the Dark Lord didn’t realize that all he would have to do is threaten the girl to make Ollivander reveal every secret he had ever known.

Chapter Text

Voldemort could have nearly superhuman patience when he was trying to get something, and the session with Ollivander lasted hours. Ollivander thought of anything and everything he could that had nothing to do with the Elder Wand or Luna: the contents of his pantry, people he knew who had names beginning with the letter R, the step-by-step process of closing down his shop each night, and words he could make from his mother’s full maiden name.

“Wormtail!” Voldemort eventually called. “Get him out of here before I decide whatever he knows is worth less than the pleasure of killing him!”

The pain stopped, or at least no fresh wave of it crashed over him. He lay on the carpeted floor, panting, staring at the intricate pattern woven into it. A pair of shoes came into view, and he felt himself being hoisted up, one arm draped around Pettigrew’s neck as he was half-carried, half-dragged out of the room. He opened his eyes to see the outline of Voldemort still silhouetted against the fire, menacing and unreal.

As Pettigrew staggered into the hall, Ollivander unexpectedly made eye contact with Malfoy’s son standing in the shadows, pale and gaunt as a wraith.

Ollivander had never been fond of the Malfoys. He had sold Lucius his wand long ago, and Draco’s more recently, but the aura that they controlled the universe and it was in their debt for the honor of their attention was palpable in both father and son, a certainty of superiority.

Looking at the him, barely more than a boy but with eyes haunted as much as any old man’s, all that had been burned out of him until even the ashes were gone. A pitying look passed between them for the briefest moment, then dissolved in pain and hopelessness.

Pettigrew opened the cellar door, and Ollivander thought he was going to be tossed down the stairs like a bag of rubbish. However, probably because Voldemort thought he might still have some hidden arcane knowledge on the Elder Wand, Pettigrew reluctantly guided him to his prison, then dumped him on the floor before spitting on him and returning back upstairs.

Not one second later, Luna was kneeling next to him on the floor.

“Are you alive?” she asked tremulously. “Can you hear me?”

He tried to speak but found it impossible. Instead, he managed to grasp her hand weakly.

“Just rest,” she said, and he felt her blotting away Pettigrew’s spittle with the edge of the tattered jumper she was wearing. “I think they’ll leave you alone for a while now at least.”

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realized she was probably right. Voldemort wouldn’t ask for more information from him again until he was truly desperate. Still, he wondered what had prompted the interest again. Perhaps something had happened near Christmas.

It was his last thought before consciousness left him, either from deep, inexorable sleep or from passing out. The difference was hard to tell.

Ollivander didn’t know how long he slept, but when he woke, Luna was nearby.

“Are you feeling better?” she asked.

She was trying to be cheerful, but he knew he must look a fright, and worry was clear in her eyes.

“I’m alive,” he managed to say.

“That’s always good,” Luna said, smiling, but still concerned. “It’s fairly late in the morning, but there isn’t any breakfast yet.”

And that meant no water. Ollivander chewed on his dry lips. It would be like their tormentors to punish him by withholding food and drink. Unfortunately, Luna was suffering the same fate.

“I’m sorry, child,” he managed from his parched mouth. “This is my fault.”

“No,” Luna said simply.

“I won’t tell them anything, and now they won’t even give us water,” he explained.

“No, you aren’t doing this to us. They are,” Luna said, inclining her head towards the stairs. “My father always tells me that hatred destroys the one who hates, but it’s getting a bit hard to stop that feeling. They’re dreadful.”

“They are,” he agreed.

“Do you want to sleep more?” she asked.

“I’ve slept long enough,” Ollivander said, stretching carefully, trying to see what damage was done.

Ollivander took a quick inventory of his injuries. His feet felt sore, as though he’d walked a very long way. His hands were swollen, his head splitting, and he suspected he’d cracked two ribs. The Cruciatus curse didn’t normally leave external injuries, but he might have broken the bones himself just from shrieking for so long. Aside from that, he hurt all over, but he would survive. Even more amazing, his sanity was still intact.

He was about to say something encouraging to Luna when he heard the sound of the door at the top of the stairs being unlocked.

Ollivander’s first instinct was to push Luna out of the thin beam of light coming from upstairs, but he couldn’t move enough for that. Why Pettigrew would be returning so soon he didn’t know. Was Voldemort finally about to kill him? He would rather Luna didn’t see that, particularly if he was to be fed to Nagini.

But the slithering rasp of scales over the steps did not come. Instead, only the sound of shoes on stone echoed through the empty room, and when Ollivander looked up, the silhouette was not the same as the oafish, perpetually hunched over Pettigrew.

As the figure was lit from behind, Ollivander couldn’t make out the details of his face at first, but he did know he was carrying something, and by the smell of it, it was food. He heard the footsteps abruptly stop, probably because whoever it was had seen Ollivander’s huddled form on the ground.

“Hello, Draco,” Luna’s voice said from somewhere behind Ollivander, her tone completely neutral.

The figure twitched as though startled. Apparently he hadn’t known there was anyone else down here.

“Luna?” he asked.

Of course, Ollivander realized, she would have been at school with the Malfoy boy.

Chapter Text

“Yes,” she said. “I’ve been here for a few weeks now.”

“I—,“ Draco began, but he simply let his voice drift away.

“Mr. Ollivander could do with some water, if you have any,” Luna said.

An earthenware jug was set down on the floor by Ollivander’s head as well as a single mug.

“I didn’t know there were two of you,” he said, staring stupidly at the cup.

Luna nodded, then filled the cup and carefully held it against Ollivander’s lips. The water was cool, and it was possibly the most delicious thing his parched mouth had ever tasted.

“Why didn’t the food and water just appear this time?” Luna asked, her tone conversational, as though she were anywhere other than being held prisoner in this boy’s cellar.

Draco said nothing, but Ollivander guessed Voldemort had ordered them not to have anything. More than likely Luna was included because they suspected she might share her food and water. Voldemort had done this before when Ollivander had refused to speak, starving poor Charity for four days along with him. Poor, poor Charity…

“No, the real question is why did you bring it at all, boy,” Ollivander asked through dry lips.

Draco remained silent, though every inch of him silently screamed he was wishing he were anywhere else. His eyes flickered to the door, obviously worried someone might catch what he was doing.

Ollivander tried to feel some bit of pity for him, but the pain and the torture and the darkness of his imprisonment had leached away his ability to sympathize. Luna took the empty mug away from his lips. He hadn’t meant to drink it all.

“Can you manage some bread?” Luna asked gently.

He nodded. She carefully tore the small loaf into bite-sized chunks which he gratefully swallowed.

He ate mindlessly, tasting nothing, until it too was gone, and he hated himself for it. He should have told her to take it instead, but he couldn’t seem to think clearly. Sleep was starting to pull at the corners of his brain, a deep tiredness that refused to be turned aside in spite of a cold floor or the dull reminder of pain in every muscle and bone.

“Rest, Mr. Ollivander,” Luna said. “I think you’ll be okay now.”

She picked up the mug and plate and stood to return them to the boy.

“Thank you, Draco,” she said.

He looked at her with a mixture of confusion and horror, unable to make himself take the things from her.

“Thank you?” he said in disbelief. “Do you know what they did to him up there?”

“No, but I know what you did for him down here,” she said. “You didn’t have to come, and it was a risk, so yes, thank you.”

He huffed out a breath that seemed an attempt at the disdainful pride Ollivander remembered from in him in his shop at age eleven, but it sounded more tired than vain.

“You always were loony,” he muttered.

“I suppose I am,” she said. “I don’t mind, though, because I can sleep at night. When was the last time you slept without nightmares?”

From anyone else it would have been an accusation, but from Luna it was only a question with a hint of sadness behind it. The boy’s mouth worked soundlessly, then he closed his lips tightly and walked up the stairs, closing the door behind him. Ollivander had only a moment to ponder what had happened before sleep dragged him into darkness for many hours.

When he woke the next day, their food appeared as usual.

Days passed, then weeks. Ollivander began losing track of the date again, but he knew winter was coming to a close. Light was returning in the evenings, and each day lasted just a bit longer. The vernal equinox would come one day, or so he told himself. He just wasn’t always certain they’d both be there to see it.

Luna had become adept at conjuring the little ball of light now, though they were careful to extinguish it at the first sign of someone approaching the stairs. Those times were rare. Draco did not come again, but food appeared regularly.

“Mr. Ollivander, why does a wand choose someone?” Luna asked on a rainy day in February.

The damp of the cellar was oppressive, make both of them feel chilled to the bone, and while the light she could conjure was comforting, it brought very little warmth. They were both shivering, and the only defense left was distraction.

“I haven’t the vaguest idea,” he admitted. “I’ve made a study of wands, everything from their wood and cores to their forms and history, but I still don’t have a clue why a wand picks someone. I do know there’s a reason, though.”

“I like that,” Luna said, closing her eyes dreamily. “Not every mystery in the world should be solved, or it would be a dreadfully boring place. That’s why when Dad and I travel, I’m perfectly happy when we don’t find the creatures we’re looking for. I don’t need to know everything. Sometimes believing is quite enough on its own.”

Ollivander smiled at her. Sometimes things like hope or faith or magic were the realest of all. Even here. Especially here.

For a moment, he wouldn’t have been surprised at all to see a Crumple-Horned Snorkack curled up in the corner.

The rain came every day for a solid week, sometimes disappearing for a few hours only to return again with a terrible downpour. The Malfoy cellar was beginning to leak. Tiny rivulets of water seeped down the walls, and standing puddles had formed in some spots. The perpetual damp was making Ollivander’s joints ache. Luna, on the other hand, had caught an absolutely frightful cold. He only hoped it wouldn’t progress into something worse.

The girl spent nearly two days sleeping on the old bed, huddled under Ollivander’s coat as an extra blanket, but he could still see her shivering.

Chapter Text

Ollivander was an old man, stronger than many his age, but after the long confinement in nearly total darkness and precious little food, he knew he was probably tottering on the edge of death. The chill wrapped around him like the coils of a giant snake, squeezing him in freezing cold, making each muscle shudder violently through the night. He hoped vainly for the rain to stop, for warmth.

It never even occurred to him to take his coat back from Luna as she lay on the old camp bed. Even if he died, he knew she needed it more.

Dawn eventually came, a tiny bit earlier than the day before, and a few rays of light penetrated the cell. Ollivander put a hand to Luna forehead as she slept but pulled it back at once. She was burning up.

He wondered if he should risk pounding on the door of the cellar and screaming for help. It was possible they might decide she was too important to let die, but it would be just as possible the Death Eaters would decide to make sport of her. There were worse ways to die than illness, and he’d seen them here.

He knew he had to do something, though, anything to get her help. His mind raced from one useless possibility to the next until the morning’s breakfast appeared in front of him. He stared at it for a moment, wondering for the first time where it came from, and the obvious answer was this place had House-elves. It was the sort that would.

“Now, listen here,” Ollivander grumbled quietly to no one in particular. “I know you elves listen so you can serve. The girl needs help. I’m afraid she may die if she doesn’t get it. Please. Please help.”

He hadn’t meant to start crying, but the tears came down his face. It was a remote chance. House-elves had powerful magic, but going against their masters’ orders was sometimes physically impossible for them. Even if they managed it, they could face horrible punishment. Still, Ollivander guessed that they had been treated as poorly as any servants ever, and perhaps a few of them harbored a spark of defiant rebellion from it. Maybe one of them would believe Luna was worth the risk.

Ollivander waited for a long time, but nothing at all happened. Oddly, that’s what gave him hope.

The breakfast always vanished within a few minutes of its sudden appearance. More than once, he and Luna had seen it disappear right out of their hands.

But the two bowls of porridge and mugs of water were still sitting there. At least half an hour had passed, and there they were.

This meant House-elves had heard him; of that he was completely certain. He even guessed from the silent but meaningful act of disobedience that they were willing to help if they could, bless them.

Despite his hunger, Ollivander didn’t touch the food. He clung to its continued reality.

The sunlight had moved to a completely different angle before anything else happened. An elf who had certainly not appeared to be there before suddenly stepped between the bowl and Ollivander.

Most importantly, it had something in its hand as it bowed to him.

Quickly, it put its finger to its lips to indicate silence, and Ollivander nodded. Then it passed him a stoppered flask that felt delightfully warm to the touch. The elf point to it, then Luna, then mimed drinking it down in one go.

Ollivander mouthed the words “thank you” silently, and the elf smiled, then disappeared.

He would have run to the camp bed except that he feared breaking the beautiful flask. The simple glass vial was the single most wonderful thing he’d ever laid eyes on. He didn’t even have to guess what was in it.

“Luna,” he said quietly. “Child, you need to wake up. Everything is going to be all right now.”

She stirred feebly, and he helped her to sit up against the wall.

“You need to drink this,” he said. “You understand?”

She nodded, but she was too weak to hold the flask. He carefully tipped the potion into her mouth.

No sooner had Luna swallowed the potion than a thin vapor of smoke started coming from her ears. Gradually, it got stronger until finally it appeared as though she had a pair of locomotive smokestacks on her head. She smiled up at him as he laughed in pure relief.

“How did you ever get Pepper-Up Potion?” Luna asked, and her voice was already stronger.

“That’s the strongest batch I’ve ever seen in all my years,” he said, still laughing. “You’ll look like a house on fire for hours!”

She giggled as well, and the world was almost right again.

The potion did its work, and by morning Luna was as close to her old self as she could be: thinner, paler, but no longer in any danger.

“It’s probably best not to talk about what happened,” Ollivander warned her gently. “Someone could get in trouble.”

The glass vial had disappeared in the night, and no other trace was to be found from their helpers.

“I agree,” Luna said, “but we can certainly think about it as much as we like. That’s one of the good things with thoughts. You can think whatever you like without getting anyone in trouble.”

Unless, of course, someone was a Legilimens, Ollivander silently thought, and he knew very well that there was a horrific one just above their heads. Even so, the chances Voldemort would choose to invade Luna’s thoughts were slim. Ollivander was beginning to doubt he remembered putting her here at all. She’d never been summoned to his presence, and for that he was deeply grateful.

He sent one silent, wordless thought of thanks to the House-elves who had saved her, then told himself to think of them no more, but the knowledge someone wanted them to live filled him with hope.

Chapter Text

Ollivander had no way of knowing what the potion had really cost.

The House-elves of Malfoy Manor were silent as a rule. For generations they had been in servitude to the family. In the best of times, they were so quiet and so invisible that their masters and mistresses completely forgot about their existence. At the worst of times, they were prey.

Except for Dobby. His name was never spoken aloud, but his blatant and successful rebellion lit the tiniest of fires in each of them. Without him, it’s doubtful whether Tippy would have had the courage to do anything.

Ollivander’s plea for help had not gone unheard, but the elves had looked at one another with their large eyes filled with despair. The Malfoy rules were clear. The prisoners in the basement were the property of Lord Voldemort, and what he chose to do with them was his right. They were not to interfere. Interference was grounds for punishment, and punishments had become much more vicious and common since the Dark Lord had taken up residence. He and most of his devoted followers seemed to have an inexhaustible appetite for cruelty. The penalty for helping would likely be death.

Tippy had shaken in the shadows for a long time before realizing she had to go to the only one who could help the girl, and as it happened, he was visiting the manor then to report on activities at Hogwarts. The coincidence was too much.

Praying to anything that might have pity on a House-elf, she knocked timidly on the guestroom door.

“Rodolphus, if you are attempting to bother me again about that ludicrously mythical enrichment potion, I will only point out to you once more that you are a buffoon for believing in such chicanery!” Snape’s voice bellowed.

“No, Sir,” Tippy said, barely whispering and not daring to turn the doorknob. “I is needing to speak with you, please.”

A moment later the door opened as an apparently livid Snape stared down at the elf.

“Well?” he said, and Tippy swore she saw sparks coming from his eyes. “What is it?”

By this point, punishment boils were starting to erupt on the soles of her feet, but Tippy managed not to flinch.

“Please, Sir, one of the prisoners is being ill and needs a potion or might die,” Tippy said.

Snape looked confused.

“Ollivander is ill?” he asked.

“No, Sir, it is being the girl,” Tippy said.

Snape inhaled disdainfully through his nose, then motioned the elf inside the room, closing the door swiftly behind her.

“What girl?” he asked.

“Miss Luna Lovegood,” Tippy said.

“So that’s the carrot he’s using on old Xenophilius,” Snape mumbled to himself, “and the stick into the bargain, I’ll wager. She’s ill?”

“Dangerously, Sir,” Tippy said. “Surely, they is not wanting their hostage to die?”
“She’s being held to make her father more compliant, not for ransom,” Snape said smoothly. “He has been promised her return if he aids in capturing Potter.”

“But then, if he is finding Harry Potter, he will be wanting his daughter back, yes?” Tippy squeaked, unable to keep from shifting from foot to foot now.

“The Dark Lord never stated what condition she might be returned in, if the promise is even deemed worthy to be kept,” Snape said evenly. “Lovegood’s motivation is all that is necessary. The girl is therefore expendable as he will never know the difference until it is too late.”

Strangely, as Snape was saying these callous words, he was taking a vial from his pocket and silently pressing it into Tippy’s hand.

“I is understanding, Sir,” Tippy said, looking at the glass container in her hand. “I is sorry I has been bothering you.”

“Get out of my sight,” Snape snarled, opening the door, “quickly.”

Tippy nodded and sped off down the corridor, and despite the pain she didn’t stop running until she had made it safely back to the Malfoy kitchens, the precious cargo gripped protectively in her hand. From there, she could legitimately Apparate into the cellar. Finger on her lips, she handed the vial to the old man, and happiness and gratitude transformed his face. The girl would live.

As Tippy left the makeshift prison, she was less certain of her own fate. Breaking family rules could be fatal, and she had done that in spades. Worse, part of the magic the Malfoy family used meant she was unable to conceal her own guilt. She would be forced to confess what she had done, though she could not be compelled to say what role Snape had played, something she had no intention of doing.

When she Apparated back to the kitchens, she saw that she would have even less time than she thought until she was made to speak.

The young master was there, eating a slice of toast by the fire. He did that fairly often now when he was at home; if possible, he avoided the dining room since the incident with Professor Burbage.

The words magically sprang from Tippy’s mouth without her consent.

“I has been bad, Master Draco! I has brought medicine to the Lovegood girl in the cellar when I is not getting permission to do so,” Tippy said, throwing herself on the floor before him.

“Luna’s been ill?” Draco asked.

“Yes, but she is out of danger now, I is thinking,” Tippy said.

Draco stared at the elf’s prone form. He should ask how the elf managed to help her, but he had no desire to find out. The less he knew, the better it would be for them all.

He considered his words carefully, then said, “Your punishment is never to speak of this again or your tongue will catch fire and smolder for three days. If a similar situation occurs, you are to tell me immediately so long as no one else is present. Is that clear, elf?”

Tippy nodded.

“Go soak your feet in cool water,” Draco added, then left.

Chapter Text

Days passed, and the sun came back slowly. By now, Ollivander thought he and Luna would have exhausted every possible subject of conversation, but somehow the girl’s imagination consistently opened into new directions of completely unexpected topics.

“Tell me, Luna,” he asked one day. “Do you like art?”

She nodded.

“I thought you might be an artist,” he said, chuckling. “Your mind works the way most of them do.”

“I miss my pencils and paints as much as my wand,” she confided, then added, “more sometimes. They’re just a different sort of magic. I still paint pictures in my mind.”

“What pictures are you painting in that head of yours, then?” Ollivander asked, surprised by this unexpected aspect of her that he hadn’t suspected existed.

“Portraits of my family, usually,” Luna said, “and my friends, too. I like imagining them somewhere happy, filled with sunlight, maybe laughing. I realize that’s probably not what they’re doing just now, but it’s nice to think they could be doing that again someday. Who knows, they may even be thinking about me as well, and I know they wouldn’t want to picture me as being sad, so even here I try not to be.”

“So what do these portraits look like?” Ollivander asked.

“Oh,” Luna said shutting her eyes as though to see the imaginary pictures better, “there’s my father first, of course. He’s standing in our home, looking out the window at the sunrise. He loves sunrises and sunsets. Something about all the colors coming together, I think. The light from the sun gives his face a sort of ruddy look, and his eyes are twinkling. You can see right off that he’s not an ordinary person. He dreams a lot, and I guess I’m one of his dreams dancing around his head.”

Ollivander nodded. He hadn’t seen Xenophilius since Luna had got her wand, but he could picture the man perfectly in the setting.

“Then there’s Mum,” Luna said, her voice sounding a little sad. “I like picturing her outside in the little grove of trees not far from home. Her favorite flowers were wild violets, and I imagine her with a few tucked behind her ear. She’s wearing the old blue dress she loved, and she’s singing in her portrait. Her voice wasn’t perfect, but it made her happy to sing, and when she was happy, I felt that way too.”

“Do you have any other family?” Ollivander asked.

“Not really,” Luna said, opening her eyes. “Dad has a sister who lives in Cardiff, and I think Mum’s cousin lives somewhere near Dingle, but we don’t see them more than once every ten years or so. I still like them quite a lot, of course, but it’s not the same thing.”

It was the “of course” that was telling to Ollivander. Plenty of distant relations didn’t like one another at all, let alone as an automatic response.

“And friends?” he asked.

“I have more of those than I expected,” she said.

“Why wouldn’t you think you’d have friends?” Ollivander said.

“Well,” Luna said looking away, “some of the others think I’m a bit foolish, I suppose, or odd at any rate. Quite a few of the Ravenclaws think I shouldn’t be in their house, and some of them steal my things or make fun of me when they get the chance. I’m not sure why. I think perhaps I annoy their practical sensibilities. It’s not so bad as it used to be, though, since I do have friends now. There’s a certain safety in numbers, even when they’re not always there.”

“And one of those is Potter,” Ollivander said, his heart hurting with remembered cruelties from his own school days. Some things never changed.

“Yes, though Ginny Weasley was my first friend,” Luna said. “We’re in the same year, and we take Herbology together. One class, some of the others caught me talking to a Flutterby Bush. It seemed rather rude to ignore it when it was obviously waving at me, but they started calling me Loony again. Ginny piped up that they were a bunch of fools because plenty of studies show plants grow better if someone talks to them.”

Ollivander took an immediate liking to the other girl. He remember Ginevra as being very tiny when she came to get her wand, her freckled nose barely over the counter.

“In my portrait of her, she’s flying on her broomstick, playing Quidditch,” Luna said. “I think that’s when she’s happiest. She’s a very good player. I’d wish she were on the Ravenclaw team instead, but she belongs in Gryffindor. She’s very adventurous, and I’m not especially. That’s no reason we can’t be friends, though. We like most of the same books, too, and that’s a good sign for a friendship.”

“It is indeed,” Ollivander said wistfully. “I remember Bortigone Huffpecker from my schooldays. We bonded over The Perils of Leander the Unwise. Good old Borti.”

“Are you still friends with him?” Luna asked.

“Her, actually,” Ollivander said, “and she died some years ago. Dragon pox.”

“I’m sorry,” Luna said, and she sounded like she meant it. “What’s your portrait of her?”

Ollivander blinked, but realized he could conjure it up immediately.

“I always think of her when we were about thirteen, sitting in the third window of the Hogwarts library, laughing. She had hazel eyes that sparkled when she laughed.”

He hadn’t thought of Borti in a long time, and it hurt, but the memory was a good one in spite of that. Luna remained quiet, letting him take his time to remember.

“Do you have other friends?” Luna asked.

“Florean Fortescue was a good one,” Ollivander said, but his eyes darkened at that thought

“The man who ran the ice cream shop?” Luna asked.

“Yes. The Death Eaters murdered him not long before they took me,” Ollivander said, shooting an angry look at the ceiling. “There doesn’t even seem to be a reason for it other than pointless cruelty.”

Chapter Text

“They seem to do that rather a lot,” Luna said sadly. “I don’t understand how they think murdering someone is good fun. I wouldn’t treat a doll the way they do humans.”

Ollivander grunted agreement. Florean had been a nice man, kind to others and a source of joy to practically everyone he met, and they destroyed him. Maybe that was why: because he made others happy. Death Eaters might well find that dangerous and subversive.

“And your other friends?” Ollivander asked, trying to bring the subject to happier times.

“Besides Ginny, there’s Neville, Hermione, Ron, and Harry,” Luna said.

“Tell me about them, then. What are their pictures like?” Ollivander asked. He knew each of them, had helped them find their wands in what felt like another world, had even read about their exploits The Daily Prophet, but he wanted to know what she thought of them.

Luna thought for a moment, then said, “I like to think of Neville in Herbology. He’s quite good in that subject, and it makes him smile. Something about the plants makes him feel less nervous. Plants don’t call you horrid names, you see, and he’s very sad a lot of the time.”

“Has a hard time of it, does he?” Ollivander said. He remembered when the Longbottom case had been in the headlines. It had all been a dreadful business, and he supposed they were probably still alive.

“He does,” she said simply. “He’s a nice boy and all, but his parents are, well, I suppose you would know from when it all happened.”

“Yes, but how would you?” Ollivander said, slightly surprised.

“I wondered why he never spoke about his parents, so I asked him once,” Luna said. “He seemed rather relieved to be able to talk about them with someone.”

She noticed, he thought. He wondered if anyone else had.

“And Hermione?” Ollivander said.

“Her perfect picture involves lots of books, of course,” Luna said with a smile. “I wasn’t so sure about her at first. She’s very logical, and I’m not. Sometimes she thought she had to sort of fix me, to make me more like her. I didn’t like that much, but eventually she let that be. Once Hermione Granger has decided she’s your friend, she’s as loyal as a person can be.”

“And she’s definitely your friend?” Ollivander asked.

“I’d trust her with my life,” Luna said.

“No one can say more than that about someone,” Ollivander said. “What about the youngest Weasley boy?”

He had a series of red-headed Weasleys parading in front of his mind’s eye, but aside from the twins, the rest blended together in a muddle.

“Ron? I’ll admit that at one point I fancied him a bit,” Luna confided in him. “Actually, now that I think of it, that might have been one of the reasons Hermione and I didn’t get on so well at first. Neither of them seems to know it yet, but they’re very well suited to one another.”

“What changed your mind about him?” Ollivander said curiously.

“He’s very funny, but sometimes he can be rather cruel,” Luna said. “I don’t think he means to be, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is. His picture is him standing on the top of high hill, alone, laughing at the wind. He likes feeling he stands out.”

The temptation to blame him for wanting attention quickly faded as Ollivander realized he’d fallen into the same trap of not being able to tell him from the rest of his brothers. It really would have to be depressing, he supposed.

“Then there’s Harry,” Luna said, and Ollivander noted she was frowning.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I’m worried about him,” Luna said.

“Yes, with the Dark Lord repeatedly trying to kill Potter since he was small, I can see why,” Ollivander said sympathetically.

“Oh, not about that. I’ve always known Harry will come out all right in the end,” Luna said. “You-Know-Who won’t win. I’m sure of it.”

Ollivander wished he had her certainty. Most days, the idea of standing in daylight again seemed an impossible dream, let alone vanquishing Voldemort. However, he only asked, “Then why are you worried?”

“Because ever since Harry was born, he’s had a destiny that he didn’t pick. A lot of his choices were made for him, and I think still more will be. Once whatever it is he’s supposed to do is finally done, I’m not sure he’ll know what to do with himself. Before all this began, he was treated very badly by his aunt and uncle, and afterwards I think he’s going to be on his own. I think he’s much lonelier than even he knows,” Luna said thoughtfully. “If you’ve been lonely your whole life, you don’t know anything different.”

Ollivander thought about what she had said. He had certainly known friendship and family at different times in his life, but not for a long time it seemed. Had it not been for Luna, he couldn’t bear to think how alone he would be now, and he supposed the same was true in reverse. If he weren’t there, he shuddered to think of her alone in this place too.

“So what is Harry’s portrait, then?” Ollivander asked curiously.

“He’s with friends, possibly even family,” Luna said. “He’s not alone. He’s part of something. And no one is staring at him.”

Luna brought the little ball of sunlight into existence as the sun dipped too low. Despite Ollivander’s best efforts, wandless magic was still beyond him, but he didn’t strive for it much anymore. He trusted Luna would be there.

Suddenly, the door opened, and he shuddered as Luna doused the light. Voldemort wanted him again. It had been longer than he could have hoped possible since the last time, and he wondered what had prompted the new audience with the Dark Lord.

But when Pettigrew grabbed Luna roughly by the arm instead of him, Ollivander’s world spun out of orbit.

Chapter Text

“What are you doing?” Ollivander said, panic in voice.

This couldn’t be happening. The girl knew nothing of importance that could aid the cause of the Death Eaters.

At least, he didn’t think she did.

“Orders from above,” Pettigrew said mockingly as he started to pull Luna towards the stairs. “She’s been summoned. I’m just doing as I’m told, old man.”

“The bloody hell you are!” Ollivander said, rage filling him like fire. “You let her go now!”

He didn’t know where he got the strength to lunge at Pettigrew, but he didn’t care. He wouldn’t let them take her.

Pettigrew was surprised by the attack, but his silver hand reacted instinctively. It stuck out with more force than a normal human could possibly have, sending Ollivander reeling into the wall at the opposite end of the room. Pain burst through him, but he still saw the two of them at the other end of the cellar, Pettigrew forcing the resisting Luna through the door that led to he didn’t want to think what.

“Mr. Ollivander!” Luna cried out, and he knew she was worried for him, not herself.

It was the last thing he heard before unconsciousness took him.

Luna’s eyes were unaccustomed to so much light after long months in the cellar, so the main floor of Malfoy Manor was painfully bright to her. Pettigrew pushed her forward with one arm twisted awkwardly behind her back.

“I’m quite capable of walking on my own,” she said as calmly as possible, though her anger at seeing her friend flung into a wall like a piece of garbage made that very difficult. “You’re actually slowing us down. There’s no need to be so rough.”

“You haven’t seen rough yet, girl,” Pettigrew said with an ugly smile. “Get a move on.”

“I want to know if Mr. Ollivander is okay,” she said firmly, fighting to stand still but losing.

“He’s not dead,” Pettigrew said when he realized she was going to make things more difficult until she had some reassurance. “The hand wouldn’t work against the Dark Lord’s plan, and he’s still necessary.”

“That’s not the same thing as okay,” Luna said.

“No, it isn’t,” Pettigrew said, “but it’s all he deserves, the stupid old fool.”

Furious, Luna stomped on Pettigrew’s foot for all she was worth. He set up a sniveling howl of pain, but his iron grip never lessened.

“What’s all the fuss?” a woman’s voice said from the other room, one Luna remembered from that night at the Ministry. “Am I missing any fun?”

A moment later Bellatrix Lestrange’s angular form swept into the corridor, and Luna felt the woman’s wand jab under her chin, lifting her head to look her in the eye.

“I remember you,” she said, squinting. “You were there the night I killed my cousin.”

Luna remained silent, glaring at her.

“You were a lot less dirty then,” she said, looking appraisingly at her, “but to your credit, you did just make Wormtail squeal.”

A grin spread across the tall woman’s face, but the effect was more deranged than comforting as she withdrew her wand and patted Luna on the head. Luna was strongly reminded of a cat playing with a mouse.

“Where’s this one off to, then?” she asked Wormtail, and her smile became even more unpleasant. “Dining room?”

“No. Upstairs,” he said.

She laughed as though this was the best joke she’d heard in a long while.

“Oh, pet, you’re going to have such fun,” she said. “Well, at least someone is. But probably not you, now that I think of it.”

They left Bellatrix cackling to herself in the corridor, and even though Luna’s blood was turning to ice after what she’d said, she was still oddly relieved to be going anywhere that didn’t involve her.

Wormtail manhandled her up a flight of stairs and through a labyrinth of passages. Luna’s main impression of the house was it was very dark. For all its size and richness, she wouldn’t want to live here. It didn’t feel like a home at all. She wondered if it ever had.

They finally stopped outside a large, nondescript wooden door. Wormtail pounded on it roughly.

“I’ve brought her,” Pettigrew said.

Several different scenarios rushed through Luna’s head, none of them good. She considered trying to make a break for it, but she wasn’t even sure where the stairs were anymore, and anything could be behind any of the doors. Eventually she decided just to keep quiet, remember what she had learned in Dumbledore’s Army, and be ready for anything from Voldemort to Fudge’s private army of heliopaths. Shaking slightly, she missed her wand more than ever.

The door opened, and she was surprised to find nothing she had envisioned on the other side of it.

Draco stood there, glaring at Wormtail.

“Took you long enough,” he said.

“Some trouble with the old man trying to play the knight in shining armor,” he said. “He got his head cracked for his trouble.”

No expression crossed Draco’s face, but he grabbed Luna and pushed her into the room behind him.

“That will be all, Wormtail,” Draco said. “We do not require a chaperone.”

“I’ll just bet you don’t,” Wormtail said with an ugly laugh as his steps echoed down the corridor. “Call for me when you’re done with her and I’ll put her back in her cage.”

The click of the door shutting sent a chill down Luna’s spine, but she remembered her training. A glance around the room showed little that could be used as a weapon. No one else was in the shabby bedroom. There was no window, no other door, no means of escape. An ugly porcelain figurine of a witch in frilly robes sat on a small table, and she picked it up, ready to hurl it at Malfoy.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said as he turned around, which was when she smashed it into the side of his head.

Chapter Text

Luna’s brain was often filled with dreams, but when she paid attention to something, it invariably stuck with her. Everything from the DA meetings was ingrained into her, and Harry had taught not only spells but basic defense techniques. Luna was currently using as many of them as possible, including screaming at the top of her lungs, looking for another weapon, and realizing hiding would be her smartest choice. There weren’t many options available, but, not pausing in her full-throated scream, she slid under the bedframe. He would probably move it with magic, but it would buy her some time.

“Bloody hell, Luna!” Draco roared when she stopped to take a breath. “The room has a silencing charm on it, so you might as well shut it!”

Luna considered this; no one seemed to have heard her, and even if they did, no one here would want to help her. It was better to conserve energy for an impending fight than literally waste her breath. She couldn’t see much from under the bed, but Draco’s shoes and the hem of his robes were still visible near the closed door.

“Come out,” Draco said. “I only want to talk to you.”

“Then talk from where you are,” Luna said. “I can hear you perfectly well from here.”

She heard him sigh, then saw his feet walking towards the bed, and a second later he knelt down to peer underneath it. As his face came into view, Luna jabbed right for his eye.

“Merlin, girl, I said I wouldn’t hurt you!” he yelled, slapping a hand over his face.

She noted that he was also bleeding from his left temple from the statue she had broken over his head.

“Think logically, Draco,” she said calmly. “Why would I believe anything you say?”

Silence filled the room for a handful of seconds before Draco muttered, “Fair enough.”

Luna watched as his feet turned around, and then she heard the mattress creak as he sat on it.

“That man hurt Mr. Ollivander to get me here,” she said angrily.

“He wasn’t supposed to harm anyone. I expressly forbade that.”

“Mr. Ollivander was trying to protect me,” Luna said, and suddenly, for the first time in months, she felt tears rising to her eyes. “I don’t know if he’s okay. Pettigrew said he’s not dead, but he looked badly hurt.”

Draco cursed under his breath.

“Was it Wormtail himself or that stupid silver hand he’s got?” Draco asked.

“The hand, I think,” Luna said, “but what difference does it make? It’s part of him. It’s still his fault. And yours, I suppose.”

Luna thought for a long moment about the crumpled form of her friend lying against the cellar wall, and tears burned again in her eyes.

“And mine too, if it comes to that,” Luna said.

“Stop being ridiculous. There are enough genuinely guilty people in this house without adding you to the tally,” Draco said. “You don’t even know what real guilt is.”

Luna considered Draco’s statement. She knew guilt, though not because she actually tried to hurt anyone. She supposed it would be very different if she’d harmed someone on purpose. Draco had certainly done that many times, and it seemed that would be a very uncomfortable feeling to carry about. She was quite glad not to know about that sort of guilt.

“You said you wanted to talk to me,” Luna said, hoping to return to the cellar soon. She preferred it to this place, not least because of the company. “I assume it’s something important. At least I hope so.”

Luna heard Draco take a steadying breath, and something in the sound convinced her that whatever he was about to say was costing him a great deal.

“You’re a friend of Potter’s, right?” he said.

“Yes,” Luna said, smiling in spite of the situation. Every time she thought of her friends, it gave her strength.

“Do you know where he is?” Draco asked.

“If I knew, I certainly wouldn’t tell you, but as it is, I don’t,” Luna said.

Draco cursed again and stood up, the bedsprings creaking again and a shower of dust falling on Luna’s head and back.

“Why do you want to know?”

“The Dark Lord is furious,” Draco said. “He’s been searching for Potter, and apparently there have been some very close calls. Something happened around Christmas that had him utterly murderous.”

“In his case, literally,” Luna said, furrowing her brow.

There was an awkward pause.

“I know something happened with your father, too.”

“Is he alright?” Luna asked, her heart racing.

“I think so,” Draco said. “From what I’ve gathered, Potter, Granger, and Weasley showed up at his home, and your father called the Snatchers and tried to swap the three of them for you.”

“No,” Luna said immediately. “He would never do that.”

“Not even to save you?” Draco said, the tone of mocking superiority she’d grown accustomed to from him at school completely absent from his voice.

Luna considered for a moment, and the doubt grew in her mind. Her father loved her more than anything in the world, she knew that, but did he love her enough to do something he would find morally repugnant to protect her?

The answer came to her at once, and it was yes.

“But they escaped?” Luna said.

“Yes, I’m sure,” Draco said. “The plan failed.”

“Thank Circe,” Luna said, not only for her friends but for her father as well. She knew he would never have forgiven himself if the Snatchers had taken them.

“Yeah,” Draco said. “If he gets hold of them, well, it’s going to be bad, Lovegood. Really bad.”

“He’s tried to kill Harry before and failed more than once,” Luna said.

“But it’s different this time,” Draco said. “Other times, he was angry or trying to prove to the Death Eaters that he was powerful again. Now, he’s… I think he’s actually scared of Potter.”

“Good,” Luna said. “He should be.”

Chapter Text

“It’s more than that, though,” Draco said. “Harry is pretty much the only thing left the Dark Lord fears, and that might mean he’s the only thing that can defeat him. If that’s true, then if Harry dies, this nightmare is never going to end.”

The words chased themselves around Luna’s head, and she looked at them carefully. Then, very slowly, she pushed herself from under the bed and stood up.

“You called him Harry,” Luna pointed out, brushing dust from her ragged dress, “not Potter.”

“Did I?” Draco said.


“I suppose I did,” Draco said. “What of it?”

“There’s power in a name,” Luna said. “Professor Dumbledore was right about that.”

“He meant people should use the Dark Lord’s name,” Draco said.

“Yes,” Luna said, sitting carefully on the edge of the mattress and hearing an enormous squeak, “but I don’t think that’s all he meant. He usually meant a lot of things at once.”

“Fine, so I can humanize my enemy and call him by his first name,” Draco said sarcastically. “Hooray for me.”

“Yes, actually,” Luna said. “Except this isn’t school. Harry isn’t your enemy anymore. If what you say is right, he’s our last hope.”

“You have no idea how much I hate the idea of that,” Draco said. “He’s a moronic idiot raised by Muggles with no proper blood pride and no understanding that in order to win this war, he’s going to have to be just as vicious as the Death Eaters.”

“No. That would be losing, not winning,” Luna said firmly. “If hate makes more hate, it doesn’t end hate, now does it?”

Draco shook his head at her, still looking very weary.

“You’re either a fool or the only sane one of us left,” he said. “I don’t know which anymore.”

“I think there are plenty of sane people out there,” Luna said. “They’re just twisted up inside because of all that’s happened. Like you. You seem to be making more sense now than you ever did at school.”

Draco said nothing, only looked at the dusty floorboards.

“It feels like a very long time ago to me, too,” she said. “You still haven’t told me what you want. It must be important for you to plot out all of this.”

“Do you have a way to contact them?” Draco asked, facing her. “Can you get them a message at least?”

“Oh good,” she said, smiling with relief. “I thought you were going to ask me something that would make me have to lie, and I’m pants at it even after all the training from the D.A. I can answer that one truthfully without putting anyone in danger. No. We’re completely out of communication.”

“I suspected as much,” Draco said. “I figured if they know their friend was here, they’d have come to get you.”

“It’s the sort of thing Harry and Ron and Hermione would do,” Luna agreed, “so I’m glad in a way they didn’t. Mr. Ollivander needs company.”

“You really care about what happens to that cranky old man?” Draco said.

“Yes,” she said, almost confused by the question. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“With everything else going on, how important can he be?” Draco said. “Snatchers are capturing dozens of people every day, killing a lot of them, and the Dark Lord is winning. The whole world is undone, and you’re worried about an old man who sold wands?”

“Yes,” Luna repeated. “You’ve got to care about something, you know.”

“Do you?” Draco said in a tone that said he didn’t think so. “Why?”

“Because that’s what life is.”

Draco opened his mouth as though he wanted to say something, but he sighed instead, his shoulders drooping.

“Maybe you’re right,” he said.

“Why did you want to get in touch with Harry?” Luna asked.

“To tell him if he’s as crucial to the Dark Lord’s destruction as he seems to think, then Harry needs to get out of Britain and stay hidden,” Draco said.

Luna laughed, the noise startling him.

“Are you laughing at me?” he asked angrily.

“Yes, if you think Harry would run from a fight,” Luna said. “Ron and Hermione too, if it comes to that.”

“I’m serious,” Draco said. “If he gets himself killed, we’re all doomed here. It’s better to live to fight another day.”

“Maybe,” Luna said, “or maybe he needs to fight. Maybe that’s what You-Know-Who truly fears.”

“A seventeen-year-old wizard against the greatest dark wizard who has ever lived?” Draco said. “What chance has he got?”

“Well, Harry beat him not too long after his first birthday, so I’d say a fair one,” Luna said.

“That was a coincidence.”

“And then again when he was eleven, and again at twelve, and fourteen, and fifteen, sixteen,” Luna counted off on her fingers.

“Merlin, she’s right,” Draco muttered to himself.

“Possibly a couple more times,” Luna said, nodding. “I get it a bit confused, but whatever the whole tally is, it’s always been in Harry’s favor.”

“It better stay that way,” Draco said.

“Aren’t you rather worried that You-Know-Who will be able to tell what we’ve been discussing?” Luna asked.

“Snape’s been teaching me Occlumency,” Draco said. “He’s surprisingly good at it, and You-Know-Who, despite his act, is a rather weak Legilimens. Otherwise he wouldn’t need torture.”

“I thought he might be,” Luna said, but Draco wasn’t sure exactly what part she meant.

“I don’t suppose there’s any chance we could get some better food in the cellar?” Luna asked, sensing their discussion was nearing a close. “Maybe warmer blankets? More daylight? Fresh air? Something?”

“I don’t know,” Draco said. “This really isn’t my home anymore.”

“So you’re trapped too, just with better accommodations?” she asked.

He grunted.

“Well, I must admit, if you live with Wormtail and that Lestrange woman walking about all the time, I’ve got the better end of things for companionship,” she said.

“You’re not wrong there,” he said. “We don’t have much time left before they come back.”

Chapter Text

“Would you at least tell me what day it is?” she asked. “I’ve lost count.”

“It’s Monday, the thirty-first of March,” Draco said. “Easter was yesterday. That’s why I’m home, if you can call it that. It’s the hols.”

“So it’s the first Monday after the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox,” Luna said quietly. “That’s a rather tricky equation to put together, I suppose, but it means the sun is coming back now. No one can stop that.”

“No, some things they can’t do,” Draco said, then sighed, “and some things I can’t do either.”

Luna nodded. The blood on Draco’s face had dried, and a black eye was developing where she’d poked him. While she hated violence, a small part of her was pleased she’d come out the victor in a one-on-one battle.

“You’d better clean yourself up before you leave,” she said.

“No. It will add to the realism,” he said. “They’ll assume you put up a good fight. That reminds me, though.”

He picked up his wand with a look of distaste.

“I’ll make it so it goes away quickly, but we’ve got to have the look of the thing,” he said.

“Right,” Luna said.

Draco cast a glamor that made it appear Luna was more of wreck than she actually was. Her eyes looked red from crying, hand marks appeared on her arms and throat, and bruises started to come on her legs. None of it actually hurt, but it looked horrid.

“One last thing,” he said, then promptly incinerated the bed.

“I don’t want them to find, or not find, any other evidence that what they think was going on in here didn’t occur. When in doubt, burn the whole thing down,” he said as the smoky air cleared away.

“Is that what you intend to do if Harry loses?” Luna asked. “Burn everything down?”

“At that point, I doubt it would matter,” Draco said. “I just want to keep my family alive, and if Harry winning will do that, then so be it.”

“What if You-Know-Who is your best chance?” Luna said.

“I’m a Slytherin, Lovegood,” he said, and she noted he was using her last name again. “Our loyalties are towards ourselves. I intend to do whatever I have to.”

Luna said nothing, but she thought of her father betraying Harry to the Death Eaters to protect her.

“I don’t agree,” she said, “but I think I understand. Can you please send some help for Mr. Ollivander?”

“I don’t know if I can,” Draco said. “The Dark Lord wants him alive now, so I don’t think there’s any great danger.”

“But I nearly died a few months ago and…” her voice drifted away as the reality hit her. “You-Know-Who doesn’t care if I die, does he.”

Draco looked at her and seemed to deflate under her gaze.

“I don’t think he cares whether anyone dies unless they fulfill some use for him. Otherwise, he appears to enjoy it."

“It’s time,” he said. “I…”

His voice drifted away, and Luna had the impression he wanted to apologize for something, for everything maybe, but he still couldn’t bring himself to say it. Her protuberant eyes took in the image of a defeated enemy who had only shreds of dignity left to cling to, and she found she didn’t need to hear it. This wasn’t the real villain of the piece, only a shadow of him.

“Then let’s go,” she said, glancing around the room again. “I don’t like the cellar, but I don’t like this place either. Too many Nargles.”

Luna was taken back down to the cellar by Wormtail, and she assumed her appearance must have been sufficiently disturbing as even he kept relatively quiet and merely opened the door to her usual prison and shoved her in the direction of the stairs. The door was closed and bolted behind her.

The second she was certain she was alone, she ran down the stairs even in the darkness.

“Mr. Ollivander!” she cried. “Where are you?”

“Here, child,” came a soft voice from the corner.

She cast the spell for light and immediately saw him lying on the little bed.

“What did they do to you?” he said, looking in horror at the bruises on her face.

“These are nothing, just a spell,” she said. “They should be almost gone by morning.”

“Then they didn’t hurt you?” he asked.

“No,” Luna said. “Draco had some questions that I couldn’t answer and that was all. But what about you?”

“I’m tired and weak, and my head hurts, but I should be fine, I think,” he said. More than anything, relief colored his words. Luna was safe and unharmed. His throbbing head and bruises ceased to bother him because nothing else mattered.

Dinner arrived shortly after, but not in the usual way. Instead, a House-elf appeared with a tray as well as a small bag.

“Bandages is in there, Miss, for the other one’s injuries,” she said.

“Thank you,” Luna said, opening the bag to find the bandages as well as some ointment.

“You is most welcome, Miss,” the elf said, then vanished.

Suspecting something was strange, Luna took the medical supplies out of the bag and beneath it were two things: a note and a very sharp, rather deadly-looking bent metal nail.

Use if needed. Be Slytherin enough to save yourself.

The ointment Luna applied to Mr. Ollivander’s injuries was a great help, and the food, though still meager, was of very slightly better quality. A few more pieces of meat could be found in the broth, and the bread had a pat of butter with it. While they both celebrated the better meal, Ollivander felt a stab of grief that something so small could look like a feast.

“Yesterday was Easter,” Luna said conversationally. “I always like spring. It feels like new things will happen. Good things.”

“I hope you’re right, my dear,” he said. “I do hope you’re right.”

Chapter Text

The next day, new prisoners arrived. While Luna was happy to see Harry, Ron, and Dean, the last thing she’d wanted was for them to be captured, and her feelings rocketed between joy that they were alive and sorrow that they were here.

Then Hermione’s screams started as Bellatrix began torturing her, and Luna could think only of finding the nail and using it to cut her friends’ bonds. Those wild cries of pain were the worst things she had heard since she’d come here, worse even than her nightmares.

Harry called for help, and suddenly, miraculously, Dobby was there.

Shell Cottage was beautiful. The roaring of the waves on the beach and feel of the sea air was almost too much for Luna and Ollivander after their long time of imprisonment. But then poor Dobby came back with the others, Bellatrix’s cruel knife still piercing him, and Luna’s heart broke. She had hoped they might all come away alive, but the one little fellow who had rescued them all so bravely had ultimately traded his life for theirs. There was no perfectly happy ending.

But something troubled Luna even as she spoke over Dobby’s grave. Something didn’t make sense.

“Mr. Ollivander?” Luna said as she gently knocked on the door of his guest bedroom in the cottage. “May I come in?”

“Yes, child,” he said.

She pushed open the door, the effort it took reminding her that she was still very weak, but Mr. Ollivander was in even greater need of rest from how long he’d been held captive. The daylight in the bedroom was muted through the pale blue curtains, but it was still so much brighter here, and so much easier to see one another and all their hurts.

“How are you feeling?” Luna asked him gently.

“I’m going to be fine,” he said. “I just need rest, as you do. Sleep as long as you can, and you may wake feeling alive again.”

Bill had promised to get word to her father via that Order that she was well, though it could take time. Luna was very grateful for that, especially after he had called the Death Eaters on Harry and the others. Bill did seem a little upset about it still, but Fleur had given him a look that clearly said not to worry Luna with such things while she was recovering from her ordeal.

“I do have a question for you, if you’re feeling up to it,” Luna said as she settled into a soft, clean chair beside the bed. Everything here felt soft and clean. She had begun to forget that the world could be like that.

“What is it?” Ollivander asked.

“It’s about Dobby,” Luna said, bringing her drifting thoughts back to the point. “How was he able to get into the cellar?”

“House-elves have their own magic, different from the kind wizards use,” Ollivander said. “They don’t need a wand, and they can get in and out of places we can’t.”

Luna nodded. That much she had already understood.

“Yes,” Luna said, “like the ones in the kitchen could send us our food or come into the cellar when they needed to.”

“Exactly,” Ollivander said, but then he hesitated. “Except…”

“Except they were following orders from their masters,” Luna said, voicing her thoughts. “They were able to move in and out of the Malfoy house because the Malfoys commanded them to, even into the cellar that had protections on it to keep us from escaping. But Dobby was a free elf. Why could he go through the defenses without their permission?”

“House-elf magic is very strong,” Ollivander said uncertainly. “It hasn’t been studied much either. It’s possible he might have been able to Apparate and Disapparate there entirely under his own considerable power.”

Luna considered this carefully.

“Yes,” she said slowly. “That’s possible. But…”

“But the cellar had a great many protections on it to avoid things just like that from happening,” Ollivander said. “It seems like other prisoners who had House-elves could have used the same trick, or the Order could have asked House-elves to spy on Malfoy Manor for them since they already know it’s You-Know-Who’s base of operations.”

Ollivander and Luna looked at each other silently, each knowing what the other was thinking. Possibly the reason Dobby had been able to enter the house so easily was one of his former masters had given him permission. It would certainly explain things.

A wordless understanding passed between them, and they never spoke of it again.

Luna thought of it often, though, and wondered how much it had cost Draco to make that choice. What penalty he would pay if Voldemort ever found out? Did one act of conscience erase years of cruelty? No.

But it was better than nothing.

Over the weeks, they recovered quietly at Shell Cottage, Fleur feeding them exquisite French food while they healed. Luna found she liked Fleur despite the stories Ginny had told about her.

Luna was well again before Mr. Ollivander, and Luna took to reading to him each day as the light returned.

“Child, you needn’t spend all your free time with me,” he said. “Go run on the beach and feel the wind on your face.”

“The wind will still be there when we’ve finished this chapter,” Luna said with a gentle smile, and she would read until he fell asleep.

The Battle of Hogwarts came, and Luna fought alongside her friends. Though they won in the end, the price of victory was high. But it meant that at last she could go home to her father.

The world had changed in many ways since the last time she had seen the painting of her friends adorning the ceiling of her bedroom. Ginny, Ron, Harry, Neville, and Hermione smiled down at her, waving hello as the banner proclaiming the wonderful word “friends” sparkled in the sunlight.

But something was missing. Thoughtfully, she picked up her paintbrush and added one more figure.

Life returned to normal, but Luna didn’t forget Mr. Ollivander. A week rarely went by without an owl from Luna and his reply as he began to rebuild his shop. Finally, a note came asking her to come to tea in Diagon Alley to celebrate his newly reopened business.

“You know,” she said as they ate chocolate biscuits in his office, “I hated being imprisoned, but I’m quite glad I got the chance to know you.”

“I feel the same, my dear,” Mr. Ollivander said, smiling as he sipped his tea.

They were finally home.

It was a wonderful day.