The Sugar Quill
Author: birgit (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Planets, Brains and Curses  Chapter: Chapter Two: Luna
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: This is an Alternate Point of View story, inspired by J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". This story contains many direct quotes from aforementioned book. It's all JKR's, I'm not making any money of it. I'm just having fun.

Author's Note: Many thanks to my amazing beta reader RoarBaby and my wonderful SQ beta reader Arianrhod!

Planets, Brains and Curses

Chapter Two: Luna


Luna found this fascinating. This whole Department of Mysteries, with all its rooms full of uncommon objects, was so appealing. And now she and her five new friends were in a room full of tiny glass balls. Really intriguing. Harry had stretched out his hand to the dusty glass ball with his name on it. Hermione and Neville didn’t seem to be so sure he should touch it – they both looked extremely frightened. But there were so many balls, it couldn’t hurt if Harry picked up one.

Luna saw Harry lift the ball from the shelves. He looked at it apprehensively, as did Luna. Nothing happened. She had begun to lose interest in the glass balls when a slow, drawling voice spoke.

“Very good, Potter. Now turn around, nice and slowly, and give that to me.”

Luna looked to the right and saw several black figures appear. Ginny gave a gasp of horror, and Luna understood. They had a very good reason to be afraid. These were Death Eaters. On her left, another half a dozen of them had appeared. All of them had their wands lit and pointed towards the six Hogwarts students.

“To me, Potter,” repeated the drawling voice. The voice sounded familiar to Luna, but she didn’t know where she had heard it before.

“To me,” the same voice said again. Luna didn’t find the man remotely frightening. Why hadn’t they all been hexed on the spot? These guys were supposed to be dangerous, weren’t they?

“Where’s Sirius?” Harry asked.

The Death Eaters laughed, which made them even less frightening. Death Eaters killed and tortured, but didn't laugh! At least, that was what Luna was told. Clearly, in reality, they had forgotten how to kill, and laughed instead.

“The Dark Lord always knows!” spoke a female voice.

“Always,” agreed the drawling voice. “Now, give me the prophecy, Potter.”

“I want to know where Sirius is!” Harry insisted.

Luna still didn’t know who this Sirius was. He wasn’t Stubby Boardman, that much was clear. Sirius was someone real. Luna could see he was really important to Harry. For this reason, she didn’t really care who Sirius was, as long as he remained unharmed.

“I want to know where Sirius is!” repeated the female Death Eater mockingly.

“You’ve got him,” said Harry rather stubborn. “He’s here. I know he is.”

“The little baby woke up fwightened and fort what it dweamed was twoo,” said the female Death Eater in a baby voice, confusing Luna. What did a little baby's dreams have to do with Sirius?

She saw Ron trying to raise his wand unnoticed.

“Don’t do anything,” Harry muttered to him. “Not yet.”

The Death Eaters seemed to find it hilarious that Harry was giving instructions, but Luna didn’t. She had come to respect Harry’s leadership so much that the order almost seemed to comfort her, in a way. Yes, Harry was quite an amazing person, and not just because of his leadership abilities. He had accomplished some great things in his life. He had never done anything like fight off Heliopaths, but Acromantulas and dragons came pretty close. There was no way someone like Harry would let a few Death Eaters, who so far had showcased nothing but their ability to perform Lumos, get in his way.

Then the drawling voice said, “Now give me the prophecy, or we start using wands.”

Well, that could be interesting.

“Go on, then,” said Harry. He raised his wand, and Luna did the same. But no one acted.

“Hand over the prophecy and no one need get hurt,” said the Death Eater with the droning voice.

Harry laughed.

“Yeah, right!” he said. “I give you this – prophecy, is it? And you’ll just let us skip off home, will you?”

The female Death Eater made a sudden movement and shrieked: “Accio proph–”

Protego!” Harry interrupted, deflecting the jet of light.

“Oh, he knows how to play, little bitty baby Potter,” the female Death Eater said. “Very well, then –”

“I TOLD YOU, NO!” the man with the nasally voice bellowed, and suddenly Luna knew where she had heard it before. This was the way Draco Malfoy always spoke to his friends, Crabbe and Goyle. This Death Eater was probably his father. Lucius Malfoy had a great deal of influence at the Ministry. Apparently Luna’s father had been right in what he often wrote in The Quibbler: the Ministry was corrupted.

The female Death Eater pulled off her hood. Another one identified. This was the escaped convict Bellatrix Lestrange. Luna had read about her in the paper, a couple of months ago.

“You need more persuasion?” she asked. “Very well – take the smallest one. Let him watch while we torture the little girl. I’ll do it.”

Luna and the others closed in around Ginny. Luna began to wonder about Bellatrix Lestrange. People sometimes said Luna was mad, and maybe it was true, but she was nothing compared to this Death Eater. Bellatrix was unquestionably raving mad.

“You’ll have to smash this,” said Harry, holding up the glass ball, “if you want to attack any of us. I don’t think your boss will be too pleased if you come back without it, will he?” He waited a moment. “So, what kind of prophecy are we talking about, anyway?”

That was exactly what Luna liked to know. It seemed that the Ministry stored prophecies in little glass balls. Maybe it would make a nice story for The Quibbler.

“What kind of prophecy?” Bellatrix Lestrange repeated. “You jest, Harry Potter.”

“Nope, not jesting,” said Harry. “How come Voldemort wants it?”

Luna had heard Harry using the name before. It wasn’t really a big deal, but then, her father didn’t say the name. And her father was usually right about everything. The Death Eaters were now hissing and looking afraid. Luna thought it was odd they reacted like this. Wasn’t You-Know-Who supposed to be their friend?

“You dare speak his name?” whispered Bellatrix Lestrange.

“Yeah,” said Harry. “Yeah, I’ve got no problem with saying Vol–”

“Shut you mouth!” shrieked Bellatrix. “You dare speak his name with your unworthy lips, you dare besmirch it with you half-blood’s tongue, you dare –”

“Did you know he’s a half-blood too?” said Harry lightly. “Voldemort? Yeah, his mother was a witch but his dad was a Muggle – or has he been telling you lot he’s pure-blood?”

Luna made a mental note to tell her father about this. It would most certainly make a nice story.

Bellatrix Lestrange seemed to loose control. “STUPEF–”

“NO!” roared Lucius Malfoy, again sounding very much like his son whenever Crabbe or Goyle were about to do something stupid. He deflected Bellatrix’s spell. The jet of light hit a shelf and a few glass balls shattered. Two ghostlike figures appeared and began to speak. But as they spoke at the same time, and as Malfoy and Bellatrix were still shouting, Luna couldn’t hear the prophecies properly. She didn’t care and was much more interested in the fact that the Death Eaters apparently did know more spells than Lumos. They didn’t appear to want to use them, though, because of that tiny glass ball Harry was still holding.

“You haven’t told me what’s so special about this prophecy I’m supposed to be handing over,” said Harry, voicing exactly what Luna was thinking.

“Do not play games with us, Potter,” said Malfoy.

“I’m not playing games,” said Harry.

“Dumbledore never told you the reason you bear that scar was hidden in the bowels of the Department of Mysteries?” Malfoy asked.

“I – what?” said Harry. “What about my scar?”

“Can this be?” said Malfoy, who sounded very happy for some reason. “Dumbledore never told you? Well, this explains why you didn’t come earlier, Potter, the Dark Lord wondered why you didn’t come running when he showed you the place where it was hidden in your dreams,” Malfoy rambled on. “He thought natural curiosity would make you want to hear the exact wording ...”

“Did he?” said Harry. “So he wanted me to come and get it, did he? Why?”

Luna was distracted. Ginny was whispering something to Ron, while on her other side Hermione was muttering to Neville. Then Neville turned to Luna herself.
“When Harry says now,” he whispered, “we must smash the shelves. We must use Reducto.”

Luna nodded. She understood. Harry probably wanted to distract the Death Eaters, so they could run away. Luna raised her wand slightly and pointed to the shelves nearest to Lucius Malfoy.

“NOW!” bellowed Harry.

REDUCTO!” yelled Luna, and the others around her did the same. All around them shelves exploded and glass balls shattered. Dozens of white figures emerged from the fragments and started floating in the air.

Luna started to run, knocking several Death Eaters out of the way as she went, and saw Ron and Ginny sprinting beside her. Her heart was beating very fast, and she could only think of escaping the Death Eaters. Wherever they might end up, it didn’t matter as long as those Death Eaters weren’t there. They raced to the end of the row of shelves, and turned left. After a couple of yards, a door appeared to their right. Ginny skidded to a halt, smashed her body into the door and fell inside when it opened. Luna and Ron went after her and quickly shut the door. Panting, Luna looked around. The room was quite big. There were about thirty desks in it, and the walls were covered with chests of drawers. There were three other doors in this room.

“Not much space for hiding here,” she commented.

“Let’s try one of the doors,” said Ginny.

They dashed to the door in the wall on the right, but when they were nearly there, two Death Eaters came running through the door behind.

STUPEFY!” one of them shouted.

Luna ducked just in time behind a desk and saw the jet of light fly over her head. Ron and Ginny were also hiding behind a desk. They tried to get to the door as quickly as possible without being seen by the Death Eaters, but then another door burst open, and a few other Death Eaters ran in. Luna, Ginny and Ron gave up all caution and ran as fast as they could to the door ahead. The Death Eaters shouted curses; flashes of light were all around them, a desk overturned, a Death Eater screamed; but luckily Luna, Ginny and Ron weren’t hurt. They stumbled into the next room to find there was no floor to stand on. Luna didn’t see any doors or walls. Everything was dark, although there seemed to be a red ball floating several feet ahead.

Luna grabbed Ron’s robes and pulled him with her through the dark. She felt Ginny at her other side. They weren’t going very fast, ploughing through empty space, but when the group of Death Eaters who were following them reached the room, Ron, Ginny and Luna were at least far enough away to be out of the Death Eaters’ range of vision – which didn’t mean much, as the whole room was pitch-black. The group of Death Eaters were soon surprised to discover that their progress was to be impeded by the absence of a floor.

STUPEFY! STUPEFY! STUPEFY!” one of them shouted, and Luna recognised the voice of the mad woman, Bellatrix Lestrange. She was blindly shooting Stunners in every direction. Although she didn’t hit anyone, one of them was a narrow miss, and Luna saw Ginny’s face light up when the red jet of light flew past.

“There they are!” a man’s voice shouted.

Ron tried to get away and pulled Luna with him. Suddenly, Luna felt ground under her feet. For a couple of yards, they could run properly. Then the floor suddenly stopped again, and Luna collided with another floating ball, which she recognised immediately as a small model of Saturn. They were in a room full of planets.

Then, without warning, a violet flash of light hit Ron full in the head. Luna’s breath caught in her chest when she felt Ron’s body go limp. She desperately hoped he wasn’t dead, and was only knocked unconscious. She pulled him along with her. Maybe there was a way out after Pluto. All of the outer planets seemed to be on the same side of the sun, so if they would just try to find their way to each of the planets in turn, they would go in roughly the right direction. The Death Eaters were still firing curses in their direction, and the situation was getting more and more dangerous. Luna plunged on and saw Ginny near Uranus, a few feet ahead. At that moment, Ron woke up.

“Hey, what’s this? What are you doing?” he shouted.

Relief that Ron wasn’t dead battled in Luna with fright that the Death Eaters heard them. Luna tried to put her hand on his mouth, but she couldn’t find his mouth and didn’t have the time to look properly. Luckily there was a bit of floor again, and she tried to get Ron on his feet.

“What’s that? Hey, it’s Uranus!” Ron yelled. “Uranus! I can see Uranus!” He seemed to think that was funny, because he started to giggle.

Luna gave up trying to get Ron on his feet, and lay down herself, just as another curse was sent at her.

“Ginny!” she said. “Help me!”

“I’m right here,” said Ginny. “What’s happened to Ron?”

“I don’t know, but we need to get out of here, quickly!”

“Ginny? You also here?” Ron asked. “Why is it so dark?”

Together, Ginny and Luna moved Ron in the direction where Luna hoped that the exit was. But the Death Eaters had moved faster. Luna could clearly distinguish shouted curses now.

Expelliarmus!

Luna ducked, causing the red flash of light to hit Neptune. The planet sailed a few feet through the space before continuing his orbit.

“Do you see the planets?” Ron said. “Neptune was moving ... ha ha ha ...”

Petrificus Totalus!

Ginny ducked. Luna pointed her wand to where the flash of light had come from, and yelled, “Stupefy!

“Hey, look!” Ron said. “Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are in one line ... ha ha ... that means grave danger is coming ... ha ha ha ...”

Avada Kedavra!

Luna and Ginny threw themselves to the ground, pulling Ron with them. After the green light had disappeared in the dark, they pulled Ron upwards again and ran again to the tiny ball of light ahead that was Pluto.

Expelliarmus!

Protego!” Ginny yelled. A Death Eater shouted, hit by the rebounded spell.

When they had just made it past Pluto, the floor ceased to exist again, and Ron fell, pulling Luna with him. Then Ginny screamed. In the feeble light caused by Pluto, Luna saw one of the Death Eaters holding Ginny’s foot. Luna pointed her wand at Pluto.

Reducto!” she yelled. Pluto exploded right in the face of the Death Eater. He howled and turned around, but did not let go of Ginny. There was a horrible crack.

Luna could finally see the door, only a few feet ahead, and the Death Eaters were confused for a few moments. She took Ron’s arm in one hand, and Ginny’s arm in the other, and then ploughed through the space to the door. The door opened when they reached it. They literally fell through it and found themselves in the circular hallway where they had been before.

“Ron! Ginny – are you all –?”

Luna looked up and saw Harry running towards them. Behind him, Neville was standing, holding an unconscious Hermione. Neville’s face was covered with blood, and Harry’s face was etched with worry, but he didn’t seem to be injured himself, except for a large bruise on his face.

Luna could also see Ron properly now. He was very pale and looked quite unhealthy.

“Harry,” giggled Ron, “there you are ... ha ha ha .. you look funny, Harry ... you’re all messed up ...”

Ron grabbed Harry’s robes with both hands, and sunk to the ground. Blood dribbled out of his mouth.

Luna got to her feet and looked at Ginny, who also was trying to get up, but not with much success.

“Ginny?” Harry said fearfully. “What happened?”

Ginny shook her head, abandoned the attempts to get up, and sat down on the floor.

Luna bent over her. “I think her ankle is broken, I heard something crack.” She shuddered as she recalled the horrible sound. “Four of them chased us into a dark room full of planets; it was a very odd place, some of the time we were just floating in the dark –”

She was interrupted by Ron, who was still giggling. “Harry, we saw Uranus up close! Get it, Harry? We saw Uranus – ha ha ha –”

“Anyway,” Luna continued, “one of them grabbed Ginny’s foot, I used the Reductor Curse and blew up Pluto in his face, but ...”

She gestured at Ginny, who was very pale and had closed her eyes.

“And what about Ron?” asked Harry.

Luna looked at Ron, who was still hanging on the front of Harry’s robes. “I don’t know what they hit him with, but he’s gone a bit funny, I could hardly get him along at all.”

“Harry,” said Ron, “you know who this girl is, Harry? She’s Loony ... Loony Lovegood ... ha ha ha ...”

Luna already knew what people were calling her, but it was a bit disturbing to hear it out of Ron’s mouth. She knew he would never say that in a more normal condition.

“We’ve got to get out of here,” said Harry. “Luna, can you help Ginny?”

“Yes,” said Luna. She put her wand behind her ear to free her hands, and pulled Ginny up.

“It’s only my ankle, I can do it myself!” said Ginny. She tried to get up without using Luna’s support, and collapsed at once. Luna heaved her up and started to walk to the door that Harry was trying to pull Ron to.

Suddenly, another door opened and the Death Eaters who had chased Luna came out, although one of them was missing. Luna happily concluded that her explosion of Pluto had done a lot of damage.

There they are!” Bellatrix Lestrange cried.

Stupefy! STUPEFY!” the other Death Eaters yelled.

Luna ducked, grabbed Ginny tight and ran to the door Harry had just run through. She nearly collided with Harry who came out again. She pulled Ginny into the room and saw Harry, Neville and Hermione come in after her.

Colloportus!” shouted Harry, which closed the door. Luna thought that a lot of trouble could have been avoided if she had known that spell before.

“It doesn’t matter!” said a Death Eater outside in the circular hallway. “There are other ways in – WE’VE GOT THEM, THEY’RE HERE!”

Luna looked around. They were in the room with brains, the same one they had been through on their way in. It was a large room, and desks of all sizes stood at random places in it. All around the room were doors, and footsteps, no doubt from the Death Eaters, were already audible behind those doors.

“Luna – Neville – help me!” Harry shouted. His intention was clear. They ran around the room, sealing the doors with the Colloportus spell. Tables were turned over on their way, but nobody cared.

As Luna reached her third door, she heard loud footsteps right behind it. She wasted no time, and started her incantation while still rushing towards it. But it was of no use.

Collo– aaaaaaaaaaargh ...”

A flash of light had came through the door, hit her and sent her flying. Then her head hit a desk and everything went black.

***

A headache. A headache like she had never had before. It felt like at least a thousand people were hammering into her head at the same time.

Luna opened her eyes. Just beside her was a desk, somewhat blurry around the edges. She blinked and blinked and blinked, but her vision wouldn’t improve.

Then there was sound. A door was thrown open, footsteps were echoing loudly. A woman shouted something. More footsteps. A splash. Luna tried to lift her head, and failed miserably. She groaned. A shadow leapt over her. Someone said something, far away. Then everything went quiet again.

After a while, a boy started saying the same word again and again. It sounded like Ron. His voice was full of joy. After a couple of seconds, Luna decided that Ron still hadn’t recovered from the curse that had hit him in the room with the planets.

Someone new entered the room. The footsteps came nearer and finally stopped beside Luna. An old face wearing half-moon glasses bent over her.

“Are you all right?” Dumbledore asked.

“Yes – no – I suppose,” Luna said. “Headache,” she added simply.

“We’ll be sending you all to the hospital wing at Hogwarts,” the Headmaster said, nodding, before he turned and walked away.

Luna sat up cautiously and rested her back against the desk beside her. She surveyed the room. The floor was splattered with green potion. The tank with the brains had smashed into the floor. Brains were scattered around the room, but they seemed quite harmless.

A lonely stretcher floated in mid-air, a couple of feet away from Luna. Someone with bubblegum pink hair was lying on it. At the opposite side of the room, Ron was walking in circles. Somewhere behind him, Hermione was lying, apparently still unconscious. Luna wondered what had hit her. A single Stunner wouldn’t knock you out for such a long period of time. No matter how curious she was as to what had hit Hermione, Luna didn’t feel up to standing up and walking over to her to get a better look. Finally, there was Ginny, to whom Dumbledore was now talking. Ginny was sitting in the same place Luna had left her, directly after entering the room. It made Luna wonder how long she had been out cold. Not much seemed to have changed.

Currently there were no Death Eaters in sight, but Harry and Neville were also missing.

At that moment Neville walked into the room. Beside him was a tall black man Luna hadn’t seen before. The man looked around the room once, and immediately began conjuring stretchers. Dumbledore then pointed his wand at a desk, which glowed blue for a short time. Luna guessed he was turning the desk into a Portkey.

“Can you get on yourself?” the tall man asked Luna, arriving with an empty stretcher.

“I don’t think so,” Luna replied.

“All right. Mobilicorpus.”

It was a most peculiar feeling to be floated on a stretcher, but it was comfortable. Luna’s head was still throbbing, and she was yearning for something as ordinary as a Dreamless Sleep Potion. She had seen enough strange things for one night.

Dumbledore said something in an undertone to the tall man, and strode out of the room.

At last they were ready to leave. The stretchers were all grouped around the Portkey, and many hands reached out to touch the desk.

“Here we go,” the man said. “One – two – three –”

In a swirl of colours and sounds, they travelled back to Hogwarts.


//
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