Prompt: Five places they might have met, and the one place they did. Suggested: Luna/Rolf, Luna/Harry
Characters: Luna/Rolf, various others
Word Count: ~ 1,843
Beta(s): triskellion and angel_vixen
Summary: There were many times Luna and Rolf nearly met throughout the years, and who knows how things might have gone if they had then. But Fate thwarted them many times…
Author's/Artist's Notes: Written for hpholiday's Fantastic Men fest in 2014. I used primeideal's prompt.
They might have met in Diagon Alley, when she was eleven and he was just a wee mite of a lad, as his mother would say.
The day was bright and sunny, and Luna vibrated with excitement, because they were shopping for her school supplies. Her Hogwarts letter, folded into the shape of a dragon, sat safely in the pocket of her small bag.
“Here next!” she announced to her father, dragging on his hand as she headed for the bookstore with a glint in her eyes. A breeze blustered down the street, tugging wildly at her pale hair and her lightweight bag. The dragon stored inside fluttered out, paper wings catching the air as it flew off.
Luna cried out in dismay, but her father patted her shoulder reassuringly and prodded her toward the door. “I’ll get it, never fear. Go on in.”
Father had never lied to her, as far as the young girl knew, so after hesitating for a moment, she dashed inside. She didn’t see the little boy who had grabbed the dragon from the air as it tried to continue its escape. She didn’t see her father trade him a paper flower created with his wand for the all-important supply list.
She didn’t see little Rolf Scamander’s lip wobble as the dragon disappeared. A dragon was so much better than any measly flower.
They might have met on the Hogwarts Express as Luna journeyed to begin her sixth year. Rolf was just an ickle firstie, one of many tiny hellions that many of the older kids teased or simply ignored on the trip.
The littlest ones stumbled into many compartments indiscriminately, looking for a place to sit where they wouldn’t be tormented. Luna would have been something of a safe haven, since aside from Neville and Ginny, there was hardly anyone who paid her any decent sort of mind. Harry and Ron and Hermione were off somewhere – only striped golly-whippers knew where – so she didn’t have their company.
Neville sat beside her, a warm and solid and safe presence. Unease crept around the edges of her consciousness, but he allayed a lot of her worries about school and all the uncertainties of what was going on in their world. The door jiggled, and a small face peered in, slightly pinched with anxiety, a mop of hair a little too long for start-of-school falling into his eyes.
“This one’s taken, mate,” Neville said kindly. “Sorry.”
By the time Luna looked up from the engrossing book she was reading, the door was sliding closed. Her smile of welcome faded as she saw no one, and she sighed, leaning further into Neville for comfort.
So Rolf was left to find a different compartment, having not quite met Luna Lovegood.
Luna Lovegood nearly met Rolf at Shell Cottage, sometime after that long and horrible time in the Malfoy dungeons. She didn’t want to leave, not yet. Not when she still felt so fragile. So she made herself useful and started helping out Fleur with as many things as possible.
Many people went in and out of the cottage. Luna never would have guessed that the Weasleys the younger would have been that instrumental as a thoroughfare, that the dream cottage of a newlywed couple would be a safe haven. She helped Fleur cook, clean, care for the wounded. She wrote out coded letters for Bill. She looked after the various patients and kept them company.
She finished mixing up another batch of pain potion one dreary afternoon, decanting it into dosage vials. The Floo sounded, and she heard Fleur’s lilting, calm voice. Another patient, then, Luna thought. She headed for the door, peering around it with her patented reassuring expression. “Fleur?” she inquired, seeing only patched trouser knees, the patch slightly ripped, and a dirty shirt sleeve around the tall woman.
A shout sounded from a room off to the side, and Luna’s head snapped around in that direction. It was Ollivander, she knew; he still had not recovered much from their shared time of torment.
“Go, go,” Fleur said, giving the younger girl a strained smile. “I ‘ave this one.”
“Thanks, Fleur,” Luna said vaguely, though her actions were decisive as she pulled a pain potion vial from her pocket and strode down the hall, not bothering to look back. After all, Fleur had things well in hand.
She didn’t see the pair of big, brown eyes looking mournfully after her, older than they had been on the Hogwarts Express, aged with pain and things someone so young should never have seen in the halls of a place where he should have been safe.
She didn’t see Rolf Scamander as his hand slipped into Fleur’s, clinging desperately, or meet him later in the day. Ollivander took much care, and Rolf was already long gone by the time she finished.
The exotic lands of India held many peoples and many rare magical creatures. Then perhaps it wasn’t so odd that amid the chaos, Luna missed a chance to meet Rolf yet again.
She’d spent three months hunting the jungles for the elusive Occamy, the giant feathered serpent whose eggs were poached so often. Not nearly enough about their lives were known because most often people managed to get themselves injured or killed when they came too close to the animal’s nesting sites. She’d had only glimpses so far, though, and her funding was running dangerously low. She didn’t take well to being urged to quit, at least for now, like her father and her employer at the Research Institute were both doing. She found herself back in the city, frustrated but determined not to quit yet.
She hired on for a spell at a small menagerie there, taking care of the animals and giving the owner a chance for a much-needed vacation. It was only her and Asha, the other clerk, to watch the shop. She heard the bell ring in the back and began migrating that way.
She peered through the door, an Indian greeting ready on her lips, to see that Asha had the situation well in hand. Hip propped on the counter, sari showing off her figure perfectly, the Indian woman tilted her head and smiled flirtatiously at the customer. He looked, Luna saw, a little starstruck and very English to her eyes. It made her smile a little wistfully. The sudden homesickness surprised her, as did the sudden longing to talk to even this stranger, who even now looked vaguely familiar.
Luna rubbed her temple and tugged on a radish earring, ducking her face behind her hair and returning to the back to finish her current task. Soon she’d have enough money to return to the jungle for a while longer, at least. She didn’t have time to long for home, or talk to handsome English strangers. Her first impression was confirmed – she could hear his accent even through the wall.
But though she could hear his accent, she could not hear his words – not his inquiry to Asha about the blonde who’d just come from the back of the shop, or his thought that he recognized her from somewhere.
Nor did she hear pretty Asha’s jealous reply, or her turning him out of the shop, his errands incomplete. By the time Luna came back to the front for her next set of tasks, the place was busy with two families picking out magical pets, and she forgot to ask Asha who the man had been, or if he was coming back. The next day, she was paid and returned to the jungle. She missed his subsequent visits completely.
The Leaky Cauldron bustled with business. The booths were all full, as well as the tables, and the bar had standing room only. Business was booming: upcoming Victory Day Events had what seemed like the entire world in the streets. Luna sat smushed in between Hermione and Ginny on one side of a booth, with Harry and Ron across from them. A happy smile covered her face as they all seemed to talk at once, intent on catching up all at the same time. Hands waved in the air, rich with descriptions and stories. More than once, boisterous laughter drew the patrons’ attention to that corner.
A sandy-haired man leaned up against the bar, nursing a pint. His gaze kept seeking out that corner booth, lingering on the zany blonde in particular. Finally, he finished off his drink, visibly steeling himself, and started across the crowded room.
He glanced only at the people around him at first, trying not to jostle anyone or get in the way. A loud welcoming squeal made his head came up – he glanced up in time to see Luna stand in her seat and practically leap over Hermione Granger, arms going around the broad shoulders of a very recognizable Neville Longbottom.
“Neville! You made it!” Luna declared loudly.
The man twirled her around, careful of the crowded room. “I did, I did, caught the last Portkey back from Burma. I told you I wouldn’t miss the reunion.”
Luna smacked a happy kiss on each of his cheeks and then on his lips.
“Welcome back, mate,” Rolf heard Harry say. “Glad to have you, though I’m not going to welcome you quite that thoroughly, if you don’t mind.”
Luna just laughed, hooking an arm through Neville’s, not embarrassed at all. Rolf flushed, however, and eased back out of the crowd and out the door.
Just when he’d got his courage up to approach her, he found himself once again unable to meet her at all.
The conference was filled from people from all around the world. But that was bound to happen – it was the International Magizoology Conference, and it boasted of its best attendance ever this year. It was possibly the single worst place in the world at this time to actually meet up with any specific individual, what with all the things to do and panels to attend and run and the incredibly crowded halls. Panels were crowded, and most of the panelists were hectically shuffled from room to room without being able to talk to the crowds.
Luna was focused on her small bag, working out the schedule she’d folded, in her habitual manner, into a little origami figure, this time a mermaid, complete with pointy breasts and wavy hair. She had yet another panel to moderate in just a few minutes – her reputation in the field put her in high demand, but she had no idea what room she was supposed to go to, her guide having long since failed to keep up in the crowd. Unsurprisingly, she ran into someone in her preoccupation, and the schedule went swimming through the air to the ground.
“I’m so sorry,” a baritone voice said as she cried out in dismay. They crouched at the same time, and Luna barely missed knocking her head into his.
“No, I’m sorry,” she said. “Never looking where I’m going. Happens all the time.”
They both reached for the mermaid, fingers brushing, and then both pulled back, fingers awkwardly tangled. His were warm, she noticed, and a little rough, and she felt the touch keenly. Their eyes found each other, grey and brown, and both paused, caught up in a feeling of déjà vu so strong that Luna’s sight blurred before realigning.
“Do I know you?” she asked, tilting her head, her usual vague gaze unusually clear.
“I don’t think we’ve managed to meet yet,” he said. “But I’ve wanted to meet you for quite a while. I’m Rolf Scamander. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Luna Lovegood.” The strong hand slipped all the way into hers, shaking firmly but gently.
“The pleasure is all mine,” she said and smiled warmly into his dark eyes.
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