Title: Hope in the Broken World
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Luna Lovegood, Nymphadora “Dora” Tonks, Remus Lupin (Luna/Tonks, Lupin/Tonks, Luna/Tonks/Lupin)
Summary: AU, post-HBP. A year after being tortured and driven mad by Death Eaters, Remus Lupin is released from St. Mungo’s. Where do you find hope in a broken world? What is Luna going to do with all those blueberries?
Word Count: 2837
Beta Reader: Nzomniac
Warnings: Sexual stuff including- femme slash, threesome, and Metamorphmagus gender switch. Please note Luna is seventeen in this story and is involved in said sexual stuff so if that’s a problem please don’t read this. There are allusions to torture and sexual abuse.
Hope in the Broken World
Luna had the dream that night. She’d been having it more and more frequently. It was always the same. The masked figures surrounding her, one of them was hovering over her, running fingers through her long, blonde hair.
“Look at this one, Lucius,” a cruel woman’s voice laughed. “She could be your little girl. She has your pretty hair.”
The flash of a knife hacking off her hair in frenzied motions. A man’s proud voice, full of disgust. “I will have nothing in common with a filthy blood traitor like her.”
The dream, always the same, came more and more frequently as the reality of it came nearer.
In the morning, Luna sat on the marble staircase, just above where the bushes and vines and flowering weeds swallowed it up. She was still in her night gown with her long, blonde hair (still intact) hanging down her back in loose tangles, sipping from a mug of milky coffee so big that she needed both hands to lift it.
“Luna,” Dora Tonks appeared at the top of the stairs. She was dressed for the city: a gauzy, blue-and-white dress over jeans; shit-kicking combat boots laced up to her knees; long, curling ribbons of cherry black, indigo and wine colored hair. So lovely. So very lovely. Luna got to her feet and kissed the woman on her plum-dark lips. Kissed her again, again and one more time.
“I’m due at St. Mungo’s in half an hour,” Dora said. “If you aren’t comfortable with this, Luna, I won’t go.”
So many times Dora had said this, or a variation on this, since she’d approached Luna a week ago and told her that Remus Lupin was being discharged from St. Mungo’s and that he had nowhere to go.
“It’s okay,” Luna had said. “It’s alright for him to come here. It’s alright for him to be with us.” She had said it that first time. She had said it many times since. On the stairs, she said it again.
“It’s okay. I understand. I know he needs to be with you.”
“I don’t love him anymore,” Dora said. “I’m with you now, Luna, I don’t love him any more.”
After Dora left, Luna went to the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures to pick blueberries.
The Ministry of Magic Headquarters was not quite what it had once been. Six months before, an attack by Death Eaters had left its hallowed halls transformed, transported and transfigured. Outside, it might look exactly the same, but inside, even the most subterranean floors were open to the sky. The place resembled nothing so much as a bombed-out city reclaimed by the wilds—ruins long abandoned to nature’s whims.
Here and there was an office perfectly preserved, an elevator that was still operable, but mostly it was a mess or meadow depending on your point of view. Somewhere in the mess, on floors made all but impassable by gnarled trees and biting thorns, there were still valuable, dangerous things, mysteries, prophecies and the like. To protect these things, the Aurors had been keeping guard in shifts, living in the abandoned Ministry. It was Dora and Luna’s turn.
Luna, of course, was not an Auror, far from it. Yet strangely enough, she was more or less accepted by the Aurors as one of their own. Not so long ago, it would have been unthinkable for the Ministry’s elite to count a seventeen-year-old girl with a fifth-year education among their numbers, but times had changed. Between deaths and injuries, they needed all the help they could get, and Luna was two battles up on most of them to start with.
The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures was her favorite level of the Ministry. It was wild, but not savage. The only animals she’d ever seen there were birds, rabbits and deer—no panthers or bears like you found on some of the lower levels. And then there were the blueberries. Bushes the size of small trees, she would stand under them, picking the berries off their little red stems. Bees buzzed around her feet, drunk and happy on fallen fruit.
Luna knew she was supposed to be threatened because Remus Lupin was coming to stay with them. She was expected to be upset because Dora still cared for him. Yet, in her loony mooniness that always seemed to run contrary to how she was supposed to feel, she was neither threatened nor upset. It was good that he was coming. Luna was glad Dora still cared for him. It would be upsetting if Dora did not care, if she could turn away from a man who had been her friend, and sort of her lover, when he was in desperate need.
There were so many things Luna didn’t understand.
At times like these, she wished there were someone who could explain things to her. She wished she could talk to Hermione Granger, or maybe Ginny Weasley. Ginny knew about being a girlfriend (well, maybe not about being the girlfriend of an ambi-sexual Metamorphmagus whose gay, pathological, werewolf ex-boyfriend was coming to stay). Hermione knew about everything else.
Unfortunately for Luna, both her friends were indisposed. Ginny’s parents had sent her to stay with her brother in
When Luna returned to the abandoned offices that served as their quarters, lips stained purple and a bucket of blueberries in her hands, she was introduced to a man as ruined and wrecked as the Ministry of Magic.
Remus Lupin had taught Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts when Luna was in her second year. Since then, she’d only glimpsed him a few times: at the battles in the Department of Mysteries and at Hogwarts; holding hands with Dora at Albus Dumbldore’s funeral; and finally, the year before when she and Dora had rescued him from Azkaban where he’d been the prisoner of Draco Malfroy and Peter Pettigrew. Since then, he had been in St. Mungo’s. At first, he had been wholly out of his mind. Pettigrew had cast some sort of spell that brought the wolf inside him to the forefront between the moons, in his human body.
After several months, the healers at St. Mungo’s had found a potion that kept him in his own mind most of the time, though he was still prone to attacks of the wolf madness. Unfortunately, bringing him back to himself, to the memories of his captivity, had unleashed a whole other form of madness that had taken even longer to sort out.
Now, he was stable … or as stable as he would ever be. His eyes were like an animal’s—wild with fear, a pinpoint pupil on a field of glowing gold, sunk deep in purple shadows. His bones and nerves and veins lay all too close to the surface, his hair mostly grey though he couldn’t have been more than thirty-seven or thirty-eight years old.
The first days, he kept to himself, cloistered in the room they’d prepared for him. So much so he did not come out even to eat. Dora finally had to put her foot down (not for nothing did she favor those shit-kicker boots).
“Remus Lupin, you are going to start eating,” she yelled, pounding on his door. “You may not starve yourself to death on my watch, you masochistic bastard.” It seemed to work. He emerged periodically, ate a little. Luna noticed he didn’t have a shadow. He was a shadow.
On level six, the Department of Magical Transportation, there was a small lake. Dora swam around it every evening. Luna came and sat on the mossy shore. She wasn’t disciplined like Dora was. She read a lot, she wrote her father ever day, but mostly she picked blueberries and enjoyed the peace. It would end soon enough then back to war and dreams come true.
Dora walked out of the lake, her head bare and shining. She shook off the water, and out of nowhere, hair unfurled, orange and pink and purple as the sky behind her. Her eyes, too, were layers of sunset. Luna went to her, kissed her, tugging at the straps of her swimsuit. Dora peeled it away, and Luna fell to her knees, burying her face between the woman’s tights, her hands running over the cool curves of her flesh still wet with lake water.
She slept that night beside the lake—head pillowed on Dora’s bare stomach, Dora’s legs still draped around her shoulders. She dreamed the dream.
“Look at this one, Lucius. She could be your little girl. She has your pretty hair.”
“I will have nothing in common with a filthy blood traitor like her.”
Lupin sat huddled at the top of the stair. He stood when he saw her.
“I’m sorry, Luna,” he said. “Is this your spot?”
“Please stay,” she said. He sat again, and she sat beside him.
“I’m not here to take anything from you, Luna,” he said. Luna sighed, smiled weakly. She seemed to be the only one who wasn’t concerned about that. “Dora told me you helped find me,” he went on haltingly. “That you helped get me away from Peter. She, she told me that you killed Fenrir Greyback.” He took her hands, like they were strange objects. There was a heavy, bewildered sorrow to his words. She could tell he was lost without Fenrir Greyback. “I never believed anything could hurt him, but you killed him with these little, white hands.”
“I’m sorry,” Luna said.
“No, don’t be. It’s right that he died; he was very evil. He hurt many people, innocent people. He preyed on children. He hurt me, unimaginably, for years…”
“He mattered to you,” she said. “You miss him.”
“I should hate him,” Lupin said. “I should be glad he’s dead. I’m sorry, Luna. I have to go now.” He rose hastily, awkwardly, to his feet and rushed away.
He left the Ministry that evening, disappearing into the
“Where is he going?” Luna asked.
“He’s looking for someone to hurt him,” Dora said. She waited for him till early morning with Luna curled beside her. He came back bruised … blood on his face. He was trembling as Dora healed him.
“It doesn’t work anymore,” he told her. “Before, I could get away from myself, get out of myself, if I could find someone stronger than me, give them control. It doesn’t work any more. It just makes things worse. It makes the fear worse.”
He was holding her hands in his, pressing his lips to her hand.
“Nymphadora.” He only said her name, but it was a plea.
Dora took him in her arms. She held him fiercely, tight and close, but when her eyes met Luna’s, they were filled with fear, filled with apology. Luna touched Dora’s hand where it rested on his back, then she left them.
Two nights Luna was woken by a cry in the night, wordless and horrible as a rabbit screaming. She knew he was dreaming. She had been dreaming too, dreaming the dream. The masks, the flash of the knife. Dora stirred beside her.
“Remus,” she said and slipped out of the bed. At the doorway, she stopped and looked back.
“Go to him,” Luna whispered. Dora went. She did not come back that night.
“The full moon is tonight,” Lupin said. “Is there anywhere you can lock me up?”
Dora grinned wickedly. “This is just what the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures is for.”
He stayed the night in the meadow of the Ministry’s fourth floor. In the morning, Luna went down to find him. Leaving the elevator, she almost stumbled over the body of a deer, its throat torn out. She knew he must have done it as the wolf. That was what wolves did; they hunted and killed. Somewhere, somehow, it made sense. Poor, beautiful thing.
She found him near where the blueberry grew, still sleeping, naked on the dew covered grass. She couldn’t look away from his body. She’d never seen so many scars. Criss-crossing like a map, lines of white and pink and red, puckered whorls and thick seams. He opened his eyes, saw her staring.
“Luna, please… Don’t…” He tried to cover himself, and she quickly turned away.
“I brought your clothes,” she told him. “I brought you water.”
“Thank you,” he said after he had dressed. “And I suppose I should thank you for the other night. For your understanding, for you’re generosity.” There was a weary anger in his voice. “You’ve been very generous to me, both you and Nymphadora. I wish you’d not bother.”
“Why?” she asked.
“It’s humiliating,” he said bitterly. “It’s humiliating how much I needed her, how much I need her. This is a woman I didn’t want. Did you know I refused her? That I put off for the better part of a year because she wasn’t what I wanted? I wanted a man who would own me even more completely than Sirius Black did, who would leave me nothing of myself. I got exactly what I wanted. I got Fenrir Greyback, then, in Azkaban, I got Draco Malfroy and Peter Pettigrew, and they left nothing. Nothing but need, and now I need Nymphadora like a child needs its mother. I need her so much that the other night I was willing to rip her away from someone who actually loves her. It’s pathetic.”
“It won’t always be like this,” Luna said. “You’ll get better.” He looked at her and failed to disguise his contemptuous pity.
“Do you really believe that?” he sighed. “Do you really think that lending me your girlfriend for a few nights can undo the worst acts of torture and violation that two deranged minds could come up with? You would believe that. You’re a little girl. What do you know? And what was Nymphadora thinking, getting involved with a child? The curse of the Blacks, I suppose. She’s as reckless and selfish as Sirus ever was.”
They were almost to the elevator. He was walking behind her, and suddenly he clamped his hands over her eyes, one palm over each grey eye.
“Don’t look, Luna,” he said all contempt fallen away. “Don’t look at what I’ve done. I’m sorry for everything I’ve said. I don’t want to be the one who ruins your dreams and shows you the broken world.”
“I’ve already seen,” she said. “I’ve seen the deer, and I’ve seen the broken world.” She put her hands on top of his. She did not move his away, only laid them there. “I understand more than you know. When I was seven, my mother killed herself in front of me. I’ve been alone and lonely most of my life. And the dreams I dream are telling me that what happened to you will be happening to me. Nothing Dora or I or anyone can do can change what happened to you, but it can only show you that there’s more than brokenness in the world. And it will make a difference. I have to believe it can make a difference, because soon I’ll be where you are now.”
She took his hands from her eyes and, still holding them, lead him around the body of the deer.
Luna stood in the doorway with her long, white nightgown, like the gauzy curtains, billowing in the breeze. Lupin was crouched against the mattress, knees folded to his chest, head cradled in his arms, his hands gripping his own hair. Dora knelt behind him, fucking him. She was a Metamorphmagus, she could do that. She saw Luna standing there, her eyes full of fear, full of pleading. Luna pressed against Dora’s back, hands stroking, cradling her full breasts.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Dora gasped. Luna kissed her neck. “Have I done the wrong thing? I loved him. I love you. He needs me. I don’t want to lose you.”
“You won’t,” Luna whispered. “It’s all right. This isn’t complicated. It isn’t complicated at all.”
They were two more weeks at the Ministry. There was an afternoon when she picked the last of the blueberries. And Dora’s hair was a purple blue, the color of blueberries, and they made love, the three of them. She remembered lying against his chest as he and Dora kissed. Dora’s hand in her hair. She remembered this, as the knife flashed and her hair fell to the floor.
“I will have nothing in common with a filthy blood traitor like her,” Lucius Malfroy said and he struck her across the face with his cane. It hurt. There was pain, but she remembered there was more than pain.