Owls and Kneazles
Author’s Note: This is the direct sequel to Luna Lovegood and the Dark Portrait Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, J.K. Rowling and Joss Whedon do. Thanks very much to my Beta, Letomo. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. And you can thank Twilightwanderer for the Abbott and Costello. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.# The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.# Reviews are appreciated; they are not just there to strike the ego of the author, but to leave feedback that helps me develop my story telling and plotlines. Posted a day early, I will not be able to post tomorrow, so I thought I’d get this up early rather than late. Luna Lovegood and the Shaggy Dog Chapter one: Owls and Kneazles
All things considered, Luna Lovegood thought as she rather maliciously grinned at her friend Ginny’s seventeenth attempt to clear her family home’s garden of Gnomes, there were worse ways to spend the summer. She was lying on her stomach underneath a large gorse bush, kicking her legs. Myrtle was floating by her side, almost translucent, so as not to draw the attention and formidable ire of the youngest Weasley. Ginny did not think her punishment at all amusing, unlike her friends. Her parents had been adamant that despite everything, not telling them about the journal of Tom Riddle was worthy of severe punishment. Ginny had been doing chores for most of her holidays, using normal methods since she was underage and not allowed to perform magic.
Of course Ginny would have been truly outraged if she knew that Luna and Myrtle were in league with the gnomes and that every time the young red headed girl cleared the garden the gnomes went into deep hiding, or used carefully crafted tunnels to return. Both Ginny and Molly would be very upset to find out that Arthur Weasley knew about these tunnels and was writing an Essay on ‘Gnomish relocation methods under extreme pressure’, for Wizarding Wildlife Weekly
The silvery eyed blonde grinned again. Ginny, sweaty and dirty and with rather more arm muscle than at the beginning of the Hols, was throwing a rather large nosed specimen of gnome. It landed with a thud and Luna made a notation. “I’d say that was ten points. What do you think Myrri?”
Myrtle looked at her friend. “I think you should get back home and do the extra homework Mr. Portrait set for you. And you might help Ginny.”
“Mrs Weasley won’t allow me to help Ginny. And Ginny wouldn’t listen when I told her to stop the tunnels up.” Luna replied placidly. “But you’re right about the homework. Daddy was very impressed by my progress too!”
“Well, you have been practicing since Porty found out about the useless teachers at the school.”
“Hmmm. And we can do a bit more work on the Portrait list too.”
Myrtle grumbled. “Stupid portraits, wanting to preserve their privacy and not wanting to be listed by location…”
“At least it gives a short description of them. We can at least filter out the women.”
“True.” Myrtle grinned as Ginny swatted a gnome with stick, launching it about five feet before its tumbling flight ended. “Let’s go before she decides we’re gnomes in need of throwing. Maybe your Dad needs a hand with mores Spectrespec frames.”
Luna smiled. “I never thought so many people would want one! It’s wonderful!” She backed away and crawled out of the bush. Ginny Weasley tossed a gnome in their general direction. Luna grinned.
Harry Potter was sitting at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream parlour and eating an Ice Cream Sundae. He had been doing that lot, reading the old Daily Prophet’s that Florean kept on his Reading table as well as doing his homework. There had been articles about Lockhart, who was still a fugitive from justice and his victims, about Hagrid, who had received twenty thousand Galleons in compensation from the Ministry, posing with his new wand and with an interview. The Weasleys after winning their lottery, on their holidays. And Sirius Black, who had escaped Azkaban and was apparently Voldemort’s most dangerous servant, having killed at least thirteen Muggles. He was just re-reading the interview with Hagrid, who was beaming up at him from the picture beside it, when he heard the girl call out.
“Daddy, come on and meet Harry!”
He heard the breathy, breezy voice and saw a blonde haired, silver eyed girl in a red summer dress and summer robes approaching his table, dragging a weirdly dressed man with even longer blond hair towards him. The man seemed to be looking around, as if he was searching for something. Behind Luna floated the ethereal shape of Myrtle.
“Hello Harry! This is my Dad!” Luna said enthusiastically.
“Errr. Hello Mr. Lovegood.
“Hello Harry, good to meet you. Have you seen a Drang beetle anywhere?”
“Yes, I heard rumours there might be one here, they are actually native to the area around Durmstrang, so it would be rather a nice coup if I spotted on here.” Mr. Lovegood beamed.
“Right. Yes. Of course.”
“Yes, my little Moonflower?”
“Can I have a Sundae too?”
Xenophilius Lovegood smiled and winked at Harry. Harry suddenly realized that the man was not quite as vague as he seemed and knew quite well that Luna had introduced him just so that she could try and wheedle an icecream out of her father.
“Of course, Luna. Florean! Can we have an ice cream sundae each, please? Harry, may we join you?”
Harry nodded as Florean came to the table to greet his new guests.
Florean grinned. “Certainly. Would you be willing to cast a Nargle repellent on my Ice maker?’
“Oh, congregating again? We might consider insulating the freezer component better.” Mr. Lovegood suggested.
Florean smiled. “No, no, the Nargles aerate the ice cream, just if I get too many, it turns into whipped cream before the milk freezes.”
“I did tell you that crafting your decorations from mistletoe would spell
Florean made a face. “Spare me the puns, Xeno.” He grinned, took their orders and left.
“So, Harry. Luna tells me you were raised by Normals?”
“Err. You mean Muggles?”
“Luna pointed out to me that might be what did you call it again, dear? Oh yes, discriminatory. As if they are less than we are. We have to realize that they are far numerically superior, and using the rules of zoonomical classification, that makes them the norm and us the exception. But how are you finding the wizarding life?”
“Ah. A bit strange, on occasion.”
“I see. Hmmm. Well, may I make a suggestion?”
“Err. Of course?”
“Luna, dear, would you mind lending Harry some of your books?”
“Not at all Daddy.”
“Children’s books. Read not the dry history, but what is living today.” Mr. Lovegood said. Then he beamed as the three Sundae’s were brought and tucked into his sundae with as much enthusiasm as the children.
“So what have you been doing with yourself, Harry?” Luna asked as she savoured a chocolate covered coffee bean.
“Homework. Writing an essay for history of magic. About the Witch hunts.”
Luna’s face became pinched. “And let me guess, that Bagshot woman’s book?”
“Err…Something wrong with it?”
“She writes very nastily about great-great-great-great grandmother.” Luna said repressively. “Her research into the matter was abominable and her manner of writing more sensational than academic.” Luna’s short review of Bagshot’s magnum opus was quite scathing.
“Ah. I see.” Harry thought it might be wise to remain silent and ate his sundae. Luna, her father and Myrtle discussed various strange beasts. Harry wasn’t sure if they all existed, but it was an interesting conversation to listen to.
After the ice cream had been finished Harry ventured to ask another question. “Mr. Lovegood? Do you know anything about the Monster Book of Monsters
“Why, yes. It was recently removed from the banned and dangerous books list. Why do you ask?”
“Well, it’s on the Hogwarts Booklist. And it bit me.” Harry held up his bandaged finger.
“Oh, I see. Well, you just need to pet it and stroke it, like it says in the Owner’s Manual.”
“Don’t tell me they didn’t sell you the manual? It’s only a pamphlet of course. The care and maintenance of your Monster Book of Monsters
Harry shook his head in denial.
“Dear me. Well, I’d better go and visit the bookstores then, tell them to order it in.” He grinned. “I may need to print up a new run. I’ll send you one by owl, Harry. Lun-Lun, did you bring your booklist?”
Luna rolled her eyes, but only lightly. “Yes Daddy, this is only my back to school shopping trip.”
“Are you cheeking me, young lady?” Xeno asked sternly.
“Yes, of course.”
“Excellent! Never hesitate to needle the authorities!” Xeno beamed happily.
Harry opened his mouth and closed it again. Questioning authority was not something he was used to; it tended to end in bruises and pain.
Mr. Lovegood rose. “Well then, I’ll quickly cast a ward for Florean and then we’ll continue shopping. If you’ve had quite enough ice cream?” he teased Luna, kissed her forehead and went into the shop.
Harry gaped after him. “Is he always like that?”
“Daddy? Of course. Why would he be different?” Luna asked. Then her eyes widened in fear. “You-you don’t think the Hinky-dinkies got to him? He’s been in the woods near the river a lot, and they congregate there. Or do you think a Sumpfgeist inhabited him? Or a Maninker t-took over his mind?” Luna looked about ready to cry.
“No, Luna! I meant, well, he’s a lot different from any other father I know, even Mr. Weasley.”
“Oh. He’s just Daddy.” Luna shrugged.
Myrtle smiled. “He takes a little bit of getting used to. But he’s a very nice man. And Luna, I would know if something was affecting him.”
Luna smiled. “Oh. Good.” And returned her attention to getting the last remnants of ice cream from the cup.
Harry saw the Grangers and Ron as he wandered back to Florean Fortescue’s after a look at the magnificent Firebolt.
Hermione’s parents had accompanied her to Diagon Alley, obviously still worried about their daughter and as she sat on the little metal chair outside the Ice Cream Parlour, Hermione held onto their hands and seemingly to startled at every noise. Both Mr. and Mrs. Granger wore brown-framed wooden spectacles with tinted, varicoloured lenses. Lockhart was still a fugitive from justice, but his crimes had been reported so widely it was unlikely he was anywhere in the United Kingdom. Reports had placed him everywhere from Russia to China to the Philippines to the United States. Harry didn’t know what the Grangers might do to defend their daughter, but he was the last person to underestimate the love of a parent.
Harry thought the Grangers had bought Ron and Hermione ice cream and there was much hugging and backslapping when the two of them greeted Harry. Mr. and Mrs Granger quietly shook his hand, Mrs. Granger looking sharply at his thin frame. Harry had the uncomfortable feeling Mrs. Granger knew how the Dursleys treated him and that only politeness stopped her from making inquiries.
Both Ron and Hermione had obviously been in the sun and were burned lobster red and nut brown respectively. And very happy to see Harry after the holidays. Their school purchases lay next to them, and, as Mrs. Granger watched the crowding wizards like a hawk, the three friends caught up on the news.
“So, any news?” Harry asked.
Ron grinned. “Ginny’s got huge arm muscles from doing chores all Summer. She might go for Beater.”
“And Egypt was good?”
“Incredible…except, well.” Ron dug out his old pet rat. Scabbers, who was quite plump from what Harry could remember, looked ragged and in worse shape than ever. His ragged ear and missing toe were minor inconveniences to the sagging skin and lustreless eyes. Ron prodded him a bit with the wand his parents had bough for him with the compensation for Lockhart’s crimes. “He isn’t eating and he hardly moves anymore, except to tremble.” Ron said with a slight quaver in his voice.
“He doesn’t look good, mate. I’m sorry.” Harry said sympathetically. Scabbers was not much as pets went, but Ron took care of him as Percy had before him and Harry knew his friend would be very upset when the old rat finally died and went to whatever place rats went to after their deaths.
Hermione pursed her lips. “Maybe we can get him something? To help him eat? And ointment for his joints?”
Ron dug into his pockets and came up with a hand full of lint, three empty packets of Bertie Bott’s All Flavour beans, a wrinkled Albus Dumbledore Chocolate frog card and one sickle and four knuts. “They might have something at the menagerie, come on.”
Mr. Granger went with them to the Menagerie. Ron had to chase Scabbers after the old rat showed a surprising amount of speed and agility to avoid one of the Menagerie’s cats. Hermione’s father brought him the Rat Tonic and Hermione bought the huge, bow legged, squash faced cat that had wanted to eat Scabbers, a wicker cat basket, a cat lead and a brush. The latter three were eyed by the glaring cat with great distrust, even as it purred contentedly in Hermione’s arms. It also eyed the frantic Scabbers.
Jean Granger sighed rather heavily as she spotted the huge ginger tom, shaking her head in amusement at her husband, who looked rather sheepish, but she did pet its ugly bullet shaped head.
Ron and Hermione spent the next ten minutes bickering about the wilful danger Hermione put Scabbers in by buying the evil ref-furred monstrosity.
Jean and Molly looked on for a bit as Harry tried to smooth the matter over. Then Jean turned to the older woman.
“Mrs. Weasley?” Jean Granger began diffidently.
Molly Weasley smiled. “Molly. My name is Molly. And I’ll take care of her like one of my own. Percy has promised to send a daily owl as well.”
Jean let out a breath. “You probably think I’m over reacting…”
“Hardly. That scumbag Lockhart is still out there. On the other hand, all the teachers and wizards now know what he is. If he comes anywhere near Hogwarts, he will get what’s coming to him.” The redheaded witch grasped her wand fiercely as she said it.
“Thank you.” Jean said gratefully.
“You are most welcome. Hmmm, why don’t me and Arthur come and pick you up some time next week and show you The Burrow? And then we can meet at your place next weekend. I’m sure Arthur is experimenting with all sorts of dangerous Mu…normal things. Maybe you can convince him to stop before he does something foolish” She looked hopefully at Jean.
Jean looked at Norman, who was being questioned closely by Arthur and grinned. “Give him time to get some references. Make it three weeks?”
“That will be fine. I must admit it will be the first time that I will visit a Mu...non-magical household.”
“Why don’t you say Muggle, if I might ask?”
Molly looked a bit sheepish. “An article in The Quibbler about demographics. I didn’t even know the word until I read it. How many people there are who can do magic, and how many who don’t. I can lend it to you if you want to read it? There’s another one by Professor Kettleburn, he’ll be teaching the children Care of Magical creatures this year, about inbreeding and why the Pureblood Doctrine is foolish.”
Jean nodded. “I’d like that.” She took Molly’s hand. “Thank you.”
Molly smiled. “Not a problem. Jean, might I suggest you get Hermione another pet? Students are allowed a pet or familiar besides
a message owl…”
“And she could write us directly!” Jean’s face lit up at the notion. “Oh, that’s a wonderful idea. Do you know anything about owls?”
Molly shook her head, “Not all that much, no. But I see someone who does! XENO!”
Jean blinked and then grinned as she took in the rather differently dressed wizard, looking more like a hippie than anything else.
“Xeno, this is Jean Granger, Hermione Granger’s mother. Jean, this is Xenophilius Lovegood, the creator of those spectacles you’re wearing and Luna’s father.”
“Oh, yes, the clever girl. Hermione was quite effulgent about her. Err…Is it true she has a ghost as a friend?”
Xeno beamed. “Oh my, yes. Myrtle, a wonderful young lady. She and Luna are in the Menagerie at the moment, looking at cats.”
“Ah, the basket of Kneazle kittens by the counter. Yes, remind me to show them to you, Jean.” Molly beamed. “Now Xeno, after everything that happened last year, Jean wants Hermione to be able to get in touch without problems or using a school owl. You helped us pick Errol and he does good service.”
Xeno shook his head. “You really should get a younger one and let Errol retire, Molly. He’s getting too old. But let us go and get Hermione an owl. Would she like to join us, you think?”
Hermione was trying to keep Crookshanks from chasing Scabbers. Molly sighed. So did Jean.
“After she’s locked up the cat.” Jean said, and went to fetch her daughter.
“I will be watching your behaviour and actions all the time, like a hawk!” Percy told his younger brothers pompously.
Penelope Clearwater, invited to the dinner table due to her relationship with the newly minted Head Boy, rolled her eyes. After several more denouncements of his brothers and announcements of his superiority, she drew her possible Intended aside.
“Really, Percy. Stop acting like a pratt. You’re Head Boy, not King of the Wizarding world. If you can’t act like a normal human being with your family, what are you going to be like at school?”
“Penelope, it is incumbent upon my position to keep my personal life separate from my duties as Head Boy.”
“Really?” Penelope gave him an ice glare. “I’m very glad to hear that. I’m certain there’s a rule somewhere prohibiting Head Boy’s and prefects from indulging in a relationship.”
“Penelope, being Head Boy is a great responsibility!”
“No doubt. And an honour. And yet you’re still human and you still put on your trousers one leg at a time.”
“Is there something you’re trying to say, Penelope?”
“I’m saying Percy, that I prefer Percy to the Head Boy.”
“Well, I’m sorry, but they are inseparable.” Percy intoned with a sniff.
“Inseparable? Very well, then the Head Boy and Percy can go and have fun together tonight. Head Boy Weasley, I will no doubt see you when you instruct me and the other Prefects as to our duties!”
Penelope walked over to where Molly and Arthur were drinking tea and sat down, uninvited. Molly had seen the conversation, though she had not heard it, and sighed. “A disagreement?”
“Yes. I’m sorry. He’s just, just insufferable! He thinks his position has to define him.”
“I see. Percy has always been very earnest.”
“I know! But he used to laugh and joke and even prank. I miss that Percy.”
Molly lightly clasped the girl’s hand. “So do I dear, so do I.” End note: Note to readers: For those of you worried about Ginny’s punishment, clarification will be given in chapter 3; it just did not fit in 1. My apologies and please bear with me.