Astronomy Tower
Luna Lovegood Ron Weasley
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 07/25/2003
Updated: 07/25/2003
Words: 2,728
Chapters: 1
Hits: 1,634

Searching for Something Unseen


Story Summary:
Loony Luna Lovegood is not the cartoon caricature that her Housemates and her acquaintances think she is. She is a deeply thoughtful and observant young woman. Not especially pretty. And not always tactful. But will Ron notice on a bright, boring July day in the middle of Ottery St. Catchpole?


Searching for Something Unseen

By Aerie22

* * *

Ron sat on the bench in the park, lost in thought.

It's not that he particularly disliked Ottery St. Catchpole. It was a very pleasant little village. But, quite frankly, it was boring. About as boring as his life was back at the Burrow.

He sighed. It was different in the past, when his brothers still lived at home. But now Percy was gone. Maybe not for good. But his dad had said that Percy never came out of his office and the few times dad did see Perce, his older brother would flush, look down and scurry off.

Ron shook his head. Perce was beyond a prat. He was an utter and total arse. He knew he was wrong. That he had been wrong all along. And now he was ashamed. Ron was still furious with Percy. But now it was because Percy couldn't bring himself to face the people who loved him. All Ron wanted was a few good punches at his older brother and it would be over. But Percy couldn't face it.

A total arse.

And now Fred and George were gone. Not that they hadn't shown up for supper a couple times in the past few weeks. But they were suddenly free of all constraints. And, by the sounds of it, they were having the times of their lives.

The Weasley Wizard Wheezes business was doing very well. So they had taken a flat in a small wizarding community out in the country where they could blow up things to their hearts' content. And Fred had Katie, despite her parents' angry warnings about lay-about dreamers who couldn't even be bothered to take their N.E.W.T.s. And George had Angelina, who had all but moved in and was helping with the business.

They were having the times of their lives, all right. But they weren't here at the Burrow to share it with Ron. He missed them desperately.

Ginny was okay. But she had other things on her mind. She had been joking about dating Dean Thomas. Or at least Ron thought she was. He sighed. She could do worse, he thought, surprising himself. Dean was nice and funny and a decent sort. And he was friends with Ron, which meant that he would respect Ginny or kno Ron would smack him. In a friendly sort of way, of course. But sack Dean he would, Ron thought with a grin.

Harry would be just as good, or even better, for Ginny. Ron liked to think about his best friend dating, and maybe even marrying, his sister. That would make them even more like brothers. And Ron liked that idea.

But Harry had been so preoccupied and angry lately. And Ginny, as much as she liked Harry for all these years, seemed to sense that Harry was wrestling with demons and not ready for a real girlfriend. Ron sensed that Ginny was biding her time to see what happened with Harry.

And Ginny was getting tougher to tease. He would raise any number of ridiculous prospective beaus for her, from Colin Creevy to Neville. But somehow, he could no longer het her to rise to the bait.

Instead, she would turn around and give it right back. Like her comment on Neville being nice, but not having tight enough buns. Or asking about Colin's 'equipment.' Ron pondered this comment for a day and a half before he understood what she was talking about. And, instead of cowering before his furious tirade about what was, and what wasn't, an appropriate topic for speculation among 15-year-old girls, she simply laughed and threatened to find out herself.

So he was lonely. He had heard a couple times from Harry and from Hermione. But Harry's messages were brief and cryptic, as usual. And Hermione was merely chatty, rather than informative. Now he understood why Harry was so angry last summer when he and Hermione were forced to be so vague in their owls. Now, rather than elation, Ron felt like banging his head against the wall after reading their owls.

Ron looked around the park. In past years, he would occasionally run into Cedric Diggory in the park when both parents were shopping for small things that weren't worth the trip to Diagon Alley. And he remembered playing with Susan Bones in the park as a toddler when she came to visit her grandparents. But that was before they were murdered by renegade Death Eaters after the first fall of You-Know-Who.

And once, just after their first year, he had run into Lavender Brown shopping in the town. The Brown clan, of course, was everywhere, so you were bound to run into one Brown or another wherever you went. He shrugged. He wouldn't mind running into Lavender again. But there was little chance of that. She lived a good 40 miles away and there wasn't anything in Ottery St. Catchpole that she couldn't get within a broom ride of the Brown estate.

So he sat on the bench and waited for his mother and Ginny to emerge from Calvin's Antiques. Calvin's was a wretched looking establishment that was closed more often than not to discourage the Muggle trade. Of course, Calvin's was also the gateway to the magical district of Ottery St. Catchpole. And rather than let his mum and Ginny drag him along through various local versions of Gladrags and Madame Malkins Robes for All Occasions, Ron elected to sit out in the park.

He was still woolgathering when someone plopped down on the bench beside him. He looked up with a bored expression, then started. It was Luna Lovegood.

"Hello, Ronald," she said with a smile.

Ron opened his mouth, then shut it again. "Luna?"

She nodded, her long, dishwater blond hair bouncing around her shoulders.

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

She blinked with a puzzled smile. "I live here."

Ron turned to think, then nodded. "That's right. You live on the far side of St. Cat, right?"

She tilted her head and gave him a cryptic smile. "No, I live on the near side. You live on the far side."

Ron looked away with a puzzled look. "Oh," he said in confusion. "Okay, you live on the east side, and I live on the west side. Is that better?"

Her smile widened a little, her gray-blue eyes twinkling. "I live on the east-by-northeast side. You live on the west-by-northwest side."

Ron frowned. He wasn't used to someone who would draw such fine lines over something as trivial as this. "I guess," he said in a bored tone.

"And you are sitting here waiting for your mum. And Ginny, too, I suppose."

Ron turned to her. "How did you know?"

She pursed her lips. "Well, you are sitting here alone, not doing anything and having no apparent purpose. So you are no doubt waiting for someone. And I heard that Fred and George are now living out in the country somewhere, leaving just your parents and Ginny at home. And your father is no doubt is at work. So you are most likely waiting for your mum...and probably Ginny, too."

Ron scowled. "I could be waiting for my date to show up."

Luna tilted her head forward. "At 2:45 on a Tuesday afternoon?"

Ron shrugged. "Maybe Hermione is late."

Luna smiled softly. "I think Hermione is your best friend, Ronald. I don't think she's your best girl," she said quietly.

Ron frowned, annoyed. "What do you know?"

"Oh, I watch things. And I watch people. Hermione likes you. And she likes Harry. But she is waiting for her heart to talk to her. It hasn't spoken yet."

Ron gave her an angry look. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

Luna shrugged. "She is trying to decide. At the beginning of the year, she was trying to decide between you and Harry. Now she is trying to decide 'whether' Harry."

Ron blinked in confusion. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Luna sighed and reached out to touch Ron's arm. "She loves you," she said softly, and Ron leaned in to stare at her intently in anticipation. "But she's not in love with you. I'm sorry, Ronald."

Ron felt a chill despite the warmth of the afternoon July sun. "So you're saying she loves Harry, not me?" he said angrily.

Luna shook her head slowly. "She does love you, Ronald. But not in the way you would like her to. And she loves Harry. But she is a little afraid of him. And a lot afraid for him. So she is not in love with him. Not yet. Maybe not ever. He is not trying to hurt you, Ronald. Neither is she. She is afraid. And he is confused. He can't let himself think about what he wants. He can only think of what is to come. He doesn't know what he wants any more than you do."

Ron looked at her in anger and confusion. "So, if you're so smart, tell me. What do I want?"

Luna pursed her lips and looked at him. She made a face as if thinking intently. "What do you want?" said in a quiet, uncertain voice.

Ron glared at her. "I asked you first. What is it that I want?"

Luna lowered her head. "You want something of your own," she whispered. "Something important that is yours and yours alone. Something you don't have to share."

Ron's anger dissolved into confusion. "I don't understand."

Small pink dots appeared on Luna's cheeks. "Are those your jeans?" she asked mildly.

Ron started getting annoyed again. "Yeah. So what?"

"Were they always yours?"

Ron blushed. "So what? Fred and George wore them. Are you making fun of me? If you are, then the hell with you."

Luna reached out and grabbed Ron's arm, looking up at him with pleading eyes. "Jeans aren't important. But there are important things in life. I'm just trying to tell you that what you want is for there to be something important in your life that you don't have to share."

Ron turned away in anger. It was bad enough to sit there on the bench bored out of his mind while waiting for Mum and Ginny without having this...this...oddball girl insult him and...make him think.

Finally he turned back to Luna, who had an anxious look on her face. "So, what is it you want?" he snapped.

Luna's expression slowly softened and her eyes drifted from Ron's as she looked off into the distance. She was quite for a few moments before she sighed. "Someone to share with," as if in a dream.

"What do you mean?" he asked sulkily.

She sighed again. "Some one who I can talk to. Who I can tell things to. Like when my dad has time to come home for supper. Or when we have time to get away from the office to search for things together. That's my favorite time. When my dad and I go on adventures together. Times when we can talk and laugh. That's all I want. Someone I can share things with."

Suddenly, Ron's anger drained away again and he took a good look at the girl beside him. She wasn't pretty, but she pleasant looking had a nice complexion and nice coloring. Her hair wasn't all that noticeable, but if you did notice it, you saw that it was soft and clean. And her figure--well, her frame was long and coltish, like Ginny. But he had heard that Luna had recently turned 15 and she was definitely developing into a woman.

But she was Loony Luna Lovegood, he thought to himself.

Ron frowned. "But what does that have to do with me and Hermione...and Harry."

Luna's gaze seem to refocus. "She's what you think you want right now. But I don't think she is what you really want, Ronald."

Ron lowered his head and shook it in frustration. What was she talking about?

Luna reached out and touched Ron's arm again. "You may win her, Ronald. But in your heart, you know you'll always have to share her with Harry. Maybe not as a boyfriend or as her love. But he'll always be there."

Ron turned his head away from her. He was confused and uncertain about what she was talking about. But somewhere in the back of his mind, something in what she had said made sense. He knew there was a tension, some undercurrent going on between him and Hermione at the beginning of the year that he didn't feel now. He had shielded this feeling from himself for the past few months. But he understood now. He wanted Hermione. He wanted her to love him. But all he felt from her now was affection, friendship. Not what he wanted. But maybe what he needed.

He hung his head, a little angry that this odd young woman should appear out of nowhere and spoil his afternoon. And spoil his dream. And make him face his reality.

"What are you doing here, anyway?" he muttered in a sulk.

Luna sighed. "I'm waiting for my dad. He's in Catchpole Alley, sending out owls for a new copy editor."

Ron grunted. "What's a copy editor?"

"Someone to proofread and correct poorly written copy. To do fact checking and confirm quotes."

Ron snorted. "What facts," he said in a surly tone. "I thought the Quibbler was a fact-free publication."

Luna's smile faded. "You don't really think that, do you, Ronald?"

Ron looked up into her hurt eyes, and felt ashamed. "I'm sorry, Luna. It's just that there are so many weird articles...I don't know. All that stuff about nargles and crumple-horned snorkacks. I mean, after all, nobody's ever seem such things. Yet the Quibbler is full of stories about them and other things like that."

Luna frowned. "Ronald, life is about searching for things, learning about things, reaching out to understand what we don't understand. Things like crumpled-horned snorkacks. Or the perfect Quidditch move. Or the perfect song. If we never searched for things, we would be doing the same thing over and over again. Every day would be the same and there would be nothing to look forward to. And my dad's and my search for things like a crumple-horned snorkack is part of that reaching for understanding. Some people invent new potions. Some people create new spells. And some people search out the truth about the strange and the unknown and the wonderful in our world."

Ron scowled, deep in thought. Then he looked up at Luna and was surprised by the intensity of her gaze, the earnestness and eagerness for him to believe. He felt his heart turn over. "But why chase after things that may not exist? That no one has ever seen before?" he said with a catch in his throat.

Luna lowered her head. "We are always seeking, searching for things that may not exist. It is part of life. When you stop searching for them, you cease to be human. You stop being alive."

Ron, too, lowered his head. His mind was awhirl. Who was this young woman? And why did she...intrigue him so? Why did he...like her so? "I don't know. That all seems like such a waste of time," he said softly.

Luna looked up at Ron, her head tilted again. "Ronald, have you ever seen love?"

Ron's head jerked up as he stared at her. "What?"

"Have you ever seen love?"

Ron's puzzlement increased. He shrugged, staring deeply into her eyes.

"You've never seen love, but that doesn't stop you from looking for it, does it?"

Ron looked into Luna's eyes, which now seemed to take on a new shine. He smiled. "No, it doesn't."

She smiled at him. "Just because you can't see it, that doesn't mean you won't keep searching for it. And that you won't stop searching until you find it," she said gently.

Ron continued to look into her eyes. Her warm, trusting, earnest eyes. And then relaxed, suddenly understanding what his heart had been trying to tell him since she first sat down. He smiled at her. A broad, warm smile. Maybe, just maybe, he would not have to search. Because maybe, just maybe, he had found it after all.