The Sugar Quill
Author: Arya (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Boats and Birds  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

If you be my star

Boats and Birds

Thanks to my lovely beta, Zsenya, and also to Delleve for posting this song on her LiveJournal!  The song is “Boats and Birds” by Gregory and the Hawk. 




If you be my star
I'll be your sky
you can hide underneath me and come out at night
when I turn jet black and you show off your light
I live to let you shine
I live to let you shine

            “Mummy, Mummy, watch me!  I’m flying!”


            Arms held out like a bird, the tiny girl spun around in a circle.  Faster and faster she twirled, until her face was hardly visible and her bright blue robes were a perfect circle around her body.  She felt like a bird, or one of the strange animals her daddy was always talking about.  Her bare feet hardly noticed the cold of the workroom’s cement floor as she came to a halt and turned to look at her mother. 


            Blaire Lovegood smiled at her daughter from her workbench.  “You’re such a wonderful flyer, Luna,” she said before turning back to the cauldron she’d been tending for the past two hours. 


            “Daddy says he’ll let me fly his broom with him!” Luna exclaimed.  She ran up to her mother and rested her chin on the table.  “Mummy, can I fly Daddy’s broom?  He said we could go and look for Snorkacks and dragons!”  Daddy was forever talking about his Crumple-Horned Snorkacks.  He said that they only came out for special people, and Luna so wanted to be one of those special people. 


            Blaire nodded.  “Of course,” she replied.  “But you have to draw pictures for me, okay?”


“Why can’t you come, Mummy?” Luna asked, tugging at her mum’s potion-splashed robes.  “Don’t you want to see the Snorkacks?”


Blaire turned to her daughter with a faint smile.  “I’m sure you’ll tell me all about it, darling.”


Luna put on her best pout face and stuck out her bottom lip.  “You never come with us to find the Snorkacks,” she said sadly.  Mummy always stayed in her workroom, putting strange things in her bubbling cauldrons and occasionally creating exciting noises.  But the noises were never exciting for long, especially when they happened in the middle of the night when Luna was sleeping. 


Blaire pushed her chair away from the cauldron and leaned over to pick up her daughter.  Setting the six-year-old on her lap, she sighed and tried to explain.


“Mummy has important work, Luna,” Blaire explained. 


“What kind of work?” Luna asked, tilting her head to the side.  She kicked her feet against the side of the chair and looked at her mother, her orb-like eyes wide and unblinking. 


Blaire smiled at her daughter and pushed a curl out of Luna’s face.   “Important work for the Ministry,” she said.  “Mummy’s trying to find a cure for a really bad disease that the Ministry says isn’t curable.”


“What kind of disease?” Luna asked. 


“A very bad disease,” Blaire said.  She sighed and looked back at the notebook on her desk.  Luna twisted her head to see, but Mummy’s scribbles were always hard to read.  It was a good thing that Daddy was the one who did her school stuff.  “Why don’t you go play outside, darling?  It’s a lovely day.”  She helped Luna down, and the small girl ran off, her mind wandering off into the world of Snorkacks and happiness.   

but you can skyrocket away from me
and never come back if you find another galaxy
far from here with more room to fly
just leave me your stardust to remember you by


            The noise woke Luna in the night, just as it had a thousand times.  But this time it was louder; this time it was different.  A silence followed the noise, and Luna felt scared.  Fear had never been an issue in a house where anything was possible, but this one night, something had changed. 


            Curled up in her bed, Luna waited for the sound of her mother’s laughter, the familiar and comforting burst of giggles that always followed the explosions.  She waited for it, needing it to follow the sound so that everything would be all right.


            But the laughter did not come.  The chilly silence that had followed the noise continued.  Luna looked down at her arm and noticed the hairs standing straight up.  She shivered and wondered why Mummy wasn’t laughing…perhaps the noise had scared her.  Or perhaps the noise had been a good one, and Mummy was too excited to laugh.  The thought made Luna smile.  That was it.  Mummy had finally found the cure she’d been searching for all these years.  Finally she would be able to take it to the Ministry and show them that there was a cure for the terrible disease. 


            If Mummy had found the cure, Luna wanted to be there.  Smile still on her face, Luna slipped out of her bed and tiptoed out of her room.  Daddy was gone tonight, chasing after his elusive Snorkacks, so the study was silent.  At the end of the hall, the light from Mummy’s workroom shone under the door.  Heart pounding with excitement, Luna hurried to the door and flung it open, ready to congratulate her mother at her success.

if you be my boat
I'll be your sea
a depth of pure blue just to probe curiosity
ebbing and flowing and pushed by a breeze
I live to make you free
I live to make you free

            It had been an accident.  A terrible accident.  It was no one’s fault, not even Mummy’s.


            Luna repeated the words over and over in her mind as her father rubbed her shoulders, trying to hold back his own tears.  She knew they were true, but they refused to stick in her mind.  They were strange to say, strange to think, because they were connected to something that could not be real.  Something that could not have happened.  Something that did not happen. 


            But it had.  Luna shut her eyes and tried to block out the memory.  It came anyway, and tears welled up in the corners of her eyes.  She’d seen Mummy lying on the floor of the workroom, her hand clutching the notebook that Luna could never read.  Luna had run to her and touched her, whispering in her ear that Daddy would come and make everything better.  And Mummy had whispered that Luna had to be brave, that everything would be different now.


            Luna shook her head and forced the memory out of her mind.  She did not want to remember.  Because if she remembered, then it was real.  If she remembered, it had happened, and it could not have happened. 

but you can set sail to the west if you want to
and past the horizon till I can't even see you
far from here where the beaches are wide
just leave me your wake to remember you by


The days passed slowly, and Luna spent most of them in her room, doodling on scrap pieces of paper.  Her mind wandered often, retreating to the safe places of Daddy’s world, where Snorkacks flew through all the clouds and Mummies didn’t die.  She had come to terms with the truth, though she hated to accept it as reality. 


Some nights she lay in her bed and imagined she heard a voice, a quiet whispering voice, that told her that everything was all right, that everything would be happy.  Those nights, she went to bed with a smile on her face. 


She cried the other nights. 


if you be my star
I'll be your sky
you can hide underneath me and come out at night
when I turn jet black and you show off your light
I live to let you shine
I live to let you shine

            “Be sure to write me a letter when you arrive, Luna!  I’ll want to know what House you’re in!”


            Luna smiled down at her father, who stood underneath the window in the train compartment.  “Of course, Daddy,” she said brightly.  “And don’t forget to send me The Quibbler!”


            Her father nodded.  “Yes, yes.  You’re my number one subscriber!” He reached up, and Luna stuck her hand out the window.  In the distance, she could hear the train starting, and she felt her heart begin to beat loudly in her ears.  She wasn’t frightened, she told herself.  Lovegoods were never afraid of anything. 


            “I’ll miss you!” her father called out as the train began to move slowly out of the station.  She smiled weakly and waved at him as the train gained speed and he became no more than a slim figure in the distance. 


            Sighing, Luna sat down on one of the seats.  She’d somehow managed to find an empty compartment, and she was quite happy for that.  It wasn’t that she’d mind talking to the other students, but she had an advance copy of The Quibbler in her bag that she was just itching to read.  Pushing her hair out of her face, Luna reached into her bag and pulled out the newspaper.


            The picture on the front made her smile.  Her mother’s face, wonderfully familiar, smiled back.  She would have been proud of this particular issue, Luna thought.  It had always been her dream to discover the cure for lycanthropy and have it published in The Quibbler.  Though her results were not complete and the potion was yet to be finished, Luna’s father had decided that it was time the public knew about Blaire Lovegood’s discoveries.  Luna had helped him decipher the handwriting in the notebook all summer long, finally understanding just how incredible of a witch her mother had been.  She hoped to someday finish the research and find the cure.  Perhaps then she would be able to end the guilt in her heart for a witch whose life was unfinished. 

but you can skyrocket away from me
and never come back if you find another galaxy
far from here with more room to fly
just leave me your stardust to remember you by
stardust to remember you by

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