Gardening in the Dark by Carla
Summary: They can't be the only ones left, but they'll make do.
Categories: Harry Potter Characters: Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom
Genres: drama, romance
Warnings: character death, heterosexual relationship
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 1153 Read: 1826 Published: 14 November 2008 Updated: 14 November 2008
Story Notes:
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Rowling.
Written for: savepureness for the 2008 apocalyptothon
Prompt: no Harry (I'm not stating he should be dead; just, y'know, out of the picture); Draco/Ginny and/or Neville/Luna implied -- they also must be the main characters, if possible those trying to save the world/rebuild it from scratches.
Gradening in the Dark by Carla
Survival was easier if you were crazy.

Neville didn’t think Luna was insane, not precisely. She was simply different. He could understand how the things she said were at times hard to take. He found her interesting, like a plant which shouldn’t grow the way it did, but somehow managed to survive.

She looked at him like he was a particularly interesting specimen.

They were an odd pair, examining each other. The next step would be dissection, and when she reached out and poke his cheek the first time, it felt something like a knife against his skin.

She dropped her arm, took his hand, and he felt cut open for all to see.

~~*

Harry died.

It was – Nevile had no words for it. His stomach dropped and his chest tightened. His eyes burned. It hurt worse when he cried, the heat of his tears scalded his cheeks and made his chapped lips ache.

Luna was the one who found him where he sat in the garden in the dark.

The tip of her wand glowed, but she put it out with a soft word before she sat next to him and put her head on his shoulder.

He’s heard what they say. “Harry’s in a better place now.” “At least he’s with his parents.” “He did so much good in his life.”

People said similar things to him about his parents. It made him feel worse then. He wasn’t sure how it made him feel about Harry.

Luna said nothing, of course. She didn’t say what other people said, she didn’t do what they thought she should do.

She reached out and took his hand. This time he felt protected, covered. She knew his secrets, and kept them safe.

~~*

Within six months, hundreds of wizards and witches were dead. He stopped crying when his friends fell. He had no tears left, no matter how much water he drank. He was dried up, burnt out.

They had fought evil so many times.

With nothing to fight, no evil ending the world, he didn’t know what to do.

Luna took them away. She gathered some clothes, and her father’s favorite books. Neville packed few things; he had long ago memorized all he needed to know to grow plants for survival. He didn’t need things to remind him of his family, his parents and his strict grandmother who had loved him so much.

They traveled for days, and under the darkness of the new moon, Luna brought him home.

~~*

She cut her hair short to keep it out of the way. She knelt in their garden, beautiful with dirt on her cheeks and under her fingernails. She knew how to plant the strangest things, but they grew and flourished beneath her fingers, curled their leaves across her wrists.

Luna told them stories. Some she let him hear, things her father taught her or she had learned in the secret halls of Hogwarts. In time she moves on to tales of Hermione and Harry and Ron, of professors who failed and succeeded and were more than they said and less at the same time.

They grew carrots and potatoes and lettuce, beets and corn, and other things, plants to protect them from illness or to help them heal faster when they were cut, or to just make delicious tea.

Luna kissed him in the darkness, kneeling in the dirt. Her fingers felt gritty when she pressed them to the back of his neck and as they clung to each other, the heat of the distant stars reached them.

~~*

Her stomach bulged. Luna held her baskets of food to the side, and carried less with each trip. She braced herself when she stood, curved her arm under her belly. He caught her singing little songs to herself while he cooked, her head bent over so she aimed it at her womb.

At their child.

Neville wished his mother and father could see him, his grandmother. His friends. He wished he would see them come down the walk, arms slung over each other’s shoulders, walking not quite in step. He would grin and greet them, make a little extra for dinner, and they would sit out under the stars, sipping his version of firewhiskey.

Luna brought him a mug and sat next to him. She put her hand on his thigh and tilted back her head, looked up at the sky.

She named the stars for him, constellations and planets and told him all the stories she had ever learned of them. Werewolves danced beneath moons and tore up dirt with their claws. Unicorns pierced cloud people and creatures he had never heard of before sang songs of monsters and ruin.

“I love you,” he said, breaking her off during a story, in the middle of a sentence. She looked at him, her eyes bright with starlight, and the smile spread wide across her face.

“I love you too.” She kissed him, pressed their mouths together. He could feel her warmth, and her stomach resting against him.

~~*

The baby came while he was harvesting their summer crops, stocking the food away for winter. Luna bit her lip until it bled, holding back her screams, but they burst out of her, and called him away from his work.

She had collapsed in the middle of their main room. He found her there, curled in on herself, clutching her stomach.

Blankets and hot water were but a wand wave away.

He wished for someone who knew about child birth, for anyone else in the world. He did not want to do it alone, because if he failed – there would be blood on his hands and all his hope would be gone.

His world would be empty.

Luna pressed her fist to her mouth while he moved her. She mumbled instructions, and some of them made sense but the majority did not. Still, for her, he tried them, and wiped her brow when he was done.

“I love you,” she mouthed, too worn out to speak, and her throat strangled when she tried to scream.

~~*

They sat together, Luna in his lap, the baby in her arms, and watched the sun rise. Their daughter fed while Luna sang to her, and when the sunshine warmed them, she turned to him, her face pale but her eyes full.

“Dawn?” she asked, her voice low.

“If you like it, I do.”

He loved her, Luna and their little Dawn.

They were safe in their home, their tiny corner of the world. When Dawn has grown, when she is stronger, they will leave their garden behind and go out in search of others. Surely they were not the only survivors.

He brushed Luna’s hair off her forehead and she sang a song to him, to their daughter, to the stars.

End
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