bookishwench: (Meltha fireswirl)
[personal profile] bookishwench
Final section in the series.


For previous parts, see here

141.
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.

142.
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.

143.
“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.

144.
“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.

145.
“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.”

146.
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?”

147.
“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.”

148.
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.

149.
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.

150.
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.

Epilogue
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.

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