The Sugar Quill
Author: Ninian Echo  Story: Utter Lunacy: A Foray Into The Department of Mysteries  Chapter: Elevation
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Chapter 3: Elevation

Chapter 3: Elevation

 

The ministry itself was eerie, unlike either of the times Harry had visited before, it felt more subdued. A mixture of both extremes of Harry’s past visits. Though pools of people were teeming though the halls and into the elevators, few of them were actually talking to each other. Memos no longer flapped around the elevators incase of interception and elevator security rode in each cabin.

 

“It’s sad to see that wizarding kind, in of all places the Ministry, can no longer trust each other,” Harry observed shaking his head.

 

“Can you blame them, Harry,” replied Luna somberly “when in Voldemort’s previous rein the Ministry was destroyed from within; crucial, confidential information being passed directly to Voldemort’s spies by the very forces employed to stop him?”

 

Harry hadn’t quite considered it that way and assessed Luna in a new light, not with wonder or pity, but with respect.

 

The elevator came to halt and Mr. Lovegood bustled out, Luna followed in tow, and Harry –caught off guard- squeezed out and jogged down the hall to catch up. He hadn’t been paying attention to the elevator ride and was unaware of which floor they had gotten off on. All too soon it became apparent and Harry stopped in his tracks, suddenly quite furious.

 

In front of him was a long corridor with a door at the end. Brighter than in his dreams and with few people coming and going, Harry hadn’t been instantly aware of their surroundings. His legs had turned to lead, his stomach knotted violently, and white heat ran down his body in waves. How could they bring him here? Here of all places! Here, where Harry had lost so much and had been so foolish! Was this their idea of a “special expedition”? A birthday return to Harry’s haunts? He no longer regarded Luna amicably, brutally wondering what kind of utter lunatic would bring him to a place like this given his history.

 

As if the thought had reached out and touched Luna she slowly spun around reaching out and grabbing her father’s cloak in an attempt to stop him. Mr. Lovegood turned around curiously to face Luna finally laying eyes on Harry stalk still at the end of the hall. He sighed heavily, lowering his head.

 

“I told you he wasn’t ready, Luna,” Mr. Lovegood said somberly.

 

“He’s ready,” Luna affirmed softly never breaking eye contact with Harry down the hall.

 

Slowly, deliberately, Luna approach Harry, practically floating towards him, and despite Harry’s want to, he didn’t move.

 

“Harry,” she started in that far-away voice. Harry shook his head; he didn’t want to hear it. But Luna was upon him. “Harry,” she said again soothingly, taking his hand and rubbing the back of it. “Have a little faith, Harry. I went through that door with you in friendship; return me the favour today in friendship and I shall never ask more of you.”

 

Harry’s thoughts raced furiously between anger, confusion, curiosity, and mild guilt. He felt Luna give a slight tug to his hand and, like a lost lamb, he followed her back to the flock.

 

Standing in front of the unmarked door burned into Harry’s mind, Luna still hadn’t released his hand. Instead, she squeezed it softly in a reassuring manner. Harry couldn’t remember a time he had been physically guided. Luna’s gesture was entirely natural. Innate. Motherly. He gave himself over to her soothing presence knowing that, for the first and maybe last time in his life, he didn’t have to cross a threshold alone.

 

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