Summary: Theodore and Luna attend The Quibbler’s Christmas party
Word Count: 2,500
Oh, yes! Happy New Year everyone!
Author’s note: Cory (Terpsichore) Smyth is eudorahawkins leading lady from her Just Looking series. If you want something funny and sexy and original to read, check out her work at the Sugar Quill: http://www.sugarquill.net/index.php?act
The Theodore/Luna pairing is from my story, The Frog Prince of Slytherin, archived at the Quill and Phoenix Song.
“Party?” Theodore Nott asked. His heart sank since this was the first time he had seen Luna in months and he really didn’t want to share her with anyone. “We’re supposed to go to a party tonight?”
“It’s The Quibbler Christmas party,” Luna answered. “Daddy booked the London Bridge, so there should be some spectacular views of the Muggle city lights and maybe we’ll spot that pod of sea serpents Ned has been talking about.”
“Ned? Does he go to Hogwarts?” He fought to keep the jealousy out of his voice.
“He writes The Quibbler’s nature column now.” Luna frowned. “Daddy had to fire the last three columnists since he felt they were ‘too enamored with Newt Scamander’ and unwilling to do the hard work of discovering new varieties of magical creatures.”
“Oh.” Theodore relaxed against the soft cushions of the settee and took a moment to watch Luna feed one of the many plants that filled the bay window of the Lovegood’s comfortably untidy sitting room. She was crooning something to a large pink flower that was opening and closing its petals in time to the blinking red earrings she wore.
“Are your earrings talking to the plant?” he asked - and then cringed as he realized how weird that sounded. He had been alone too long.
Luna frowned at him. “No.”
She stared at him a moment as if trying to judge what he really wanted to know. He stared back because there were so many things he wanted to know – like was Luna as glad to see him as he was to see her? Why hadn’t she hugged or kissed him when she first saw him? And why the London Bridge for a party?
Then she gave him a soft smile. “I’m glad you got rid of that hair on your face.”
It had been the first thing she said this afternoon when she saw him getting off the train at King’s Crossing. He ran his hand over his jaw. His skin still felt raw and irritated. “Whatever makes you happy, Luna.”
To his dismay, her eyes filled with tears. “I’m not really very happy, Theodore.”
He held out his arms and she came to him, kneeing on the settee and wriggling to get closer. Finally she settled with her arms around his neck and her cheek resting against his newly shaven one. Like so many things Luna did, this position didn’t make a lot of practical sense. He couldn’t kiss her since her cheek was plastered next to his. He couldn’t hug her properly because she was kneeling next to him. And he couldn’t move his hand from her waist without touching those parts of her that he had been dreaming about for months. While he would have liked to touch those parts of her he had been dreaming about for months, he didn’t think that was going to make her any happier.
“Luna?” he finally asked. It was difficult to talk with the pressure of her cheek on his face. “Are you unhappy because of the party tonight?”
“No,” she said against his face.
He gave up guessing at that point. “Why are you unhappy?”
Well that explained it. “What?”
“It’s not a what – it’s a she.” Finally Luna pulled away from his face. Theodore resisted the urge to rub his cheek. “Terpsichore Smyth.”
Mr. Lovegood greeted each of his employees as they struggled up the magical ladder to the east tower of the London Bridge. At his side stood a small, curvy witch with wavy brown hair and a warm smile. Terpsichore Smyth.
“Call me, Cory, Ted,” she said, after Mr. Lovegood introduced them.
Luna’s didn’t bother to smooth down the feathers of her headdress that had been buffeted in the wind before she spoke. “His name is Theodore,” she said frostily. “It means gift of God.”
Theodore could feel the heat rise in his face, but Cory Smyth ignored his discomfiture. “So it does! I just love names.” She looked up at Theodore, her eyes alight. “I’m a romance writer. I write a new sort of genre called fluff noir.” Then she beamed at Luna. “Yours and Martin’s last name is an inspiration to me, I can tell you that.”
Theodore turned to Luna. “I thought your Dad’s name was Louis?”
“It is,” Luna said, color washing over her face.
“Louis is his middle name,” Cory Smyth explained, looking askance at Luna’s set expression. “I understand that Luna’s mother preferred to call him by that name.”
“She did,” Luna said quietly. Then she stared at the buffet table over Cory’s shoulder and lapsed into silence.
“Well,” Cory said to Theodore. “It looks like Martin is having a spot of trouble with the management.”
Mr. Lovegood and a short, dark-haired man were both arguing with a wizard with a clipboard.
“I think I’ll er – nip over and find out what’s going on,” Cory said before turning on her heel.
Luna continued to stare at the buffet table, which was now surrounded by a group of rough-looking wizards in soot-covered robes.
“Er. Luna,” Theodore began as he watched the men heap their plates high. “Those blokes don’t work for The Quibbler, do they?”
Luna didn’t move and didn’t acknowledge his question.
Theodore sighed and ran his hand through his hair. If he could only write her a letter and receive an answer. Luna’s thoughts were so much clearer on paper. Back at Hogwarts when she had told him to grow his hair, it had taken him three days to understand why she wanted that. Today she wanted him to shave his beard. Why? Then he remembered how she had rested her cheek against his earlier in the evening.
It probably wasn’t good manners to stand cheek-to-cheek in the middle of a party, but hopefully everyone would think they were slow dancing to some silent music – not that the ravenous men at the buffet table would notice.
Luna closed her eyes and shuddered at soon as his cheek made contact with hers. “Theodore, that’s the woman who’s taking Daddy away from me.”
Already his back hurt from being hunched over, so he straightened and pulled her into an embrace instead. “Luna, your Dad isn’t going to forget about you because he found a nice witch to be with.”
“You think she’s nice?” Luna asked.
This sounded like a trick question if he ever heard one. “She seems to be solving the problem with the management,” he answered. It was true. Cory Smyth was smiling and talking to the wizard with the clipboard, while the dark-haired man was gesturing to the buffet table and pulling on Mr. Lovegood’s arm. Mr. Lovegood allowed himself to be pulled to the buffet table where two wizards were pouring bottles of what looked to be Giggling Gin into the punch bowl.
“Um. Luna? Don’t drink the punch,” Theodore warned.
“Because they just spiked it with Giggling Gin.”
“Maybe I want to giggle.”
“Luna . . .” Part of him was alarmed – who knew what Luna would be like under the influence of alcohol? The other part of him was intrigued - who knew what Luna would be like under the influence of alcohol? Maybe she would remember to kiss him.
He quickly shoved those thoughts away as she started to walk to the buffet table and the smoking punch bowl. “Luna.” He grabbed her hand. “Let’s find out what’s going on with the party first, okay?”
Cory Smyth was able to tell them. “They double-booked the bridge,” she explained with a grin. “To Martin and to Ralph over there. He owns a chimney sweep firm.”
That explained the soot-covered robes.
“Ralph and Martin are going to split the bill and the management has promised a twenty per cent discount for all the confusion,” Cory said.
“Sounds like you drove a good bargain,” Theodore said. As soon as he said it, he knew it was mistake since Luna huffed next to him.
“Oh, you’re sweet,” Cory cooed to him. “Honestly, Luna, I don’t know why Martin was worried about you and Theodore. I told him that you were of age and in your last year at Hogwarts and that he had to let go sometime.” She tapped her lip thoughtfully. “You’re not an Animagus, are you, Theodore?”
“Er – no.”
Her face cleared and she nodded. “I suppose you’re not on the run since the war is over and no one has to worry about you being a Death Eater anymore.”
Theodore blinked. No one had ever spoken to him so candidly about his father – except for Luna.
Cory beamed at both of them with a benevolent smile. “After meeting Theodore and watching you two dance, I just know you’re perfect together.”
Luna’s face was a study. Theodore knew she didn’t want to say anything against him, but it was killing her to agree with Cory.
“But I think Theodore should wear a beard,” Cory mused. “He has a thin face and a beard would make him even more brooding and dangerous looking – just like a character out of a fluff noir novel.”
Luna was back on sure footing. “I don’t think so,” she said in her dreamiest voice.
Normally that tone of voice would surprise most people, but not Cory. She put her hand on Luna’s arm. “You’re right, my dear. What was I thinking? You can’t dance with a bearded man.”
Luna’s eyes grew even wider. “That’s what I thought.”
Theodore was thoroughly mystified. “Theodore,” Cory said, not looking at him. “Be a love and run along and bring us some punch.”
“Um. They just spiked it with Giggling Gin.”
“I adore Giggling Gin,” Cory said. “It’s almost worth the headache and the purple spots the next day.”
Theodore hesitated, but Luna was raptly staring at Cory as if Cory could give her the answers to the universe and Cory was practically shoving him away. “We’re just going to have a bit of a witch’s talk, you understand?”
Bemused, Theodore wandered to the buffet table. Luckily the platters were filling themselves since the chimney sweeps were still hovering around the table, not bothering to sit down and eat. Mr. Lovegood intercepted him before he could reach the punch bowl. “No Giggling Gin for Luna,” he said firmly.
“Ms. Smyth wanted some, too.”
“None for Cory either - she always comes out in spots,” Mr. Lovegood said.
“What is there to drink, then?” Theodore growled.
Mr. Lovegood’s jaw dropped in alarm. He had the same wide eyes as Luna except his were brown. “I forgot to ask the management bloke about drinks!” He ran his broad hand over his forehead. “I’ll have to have Cory talk to him. Cory’s father used to be a diplomat, you see – and she knows how to talk to people – get things done.” He smiled proudly. “Quite a witch she is.” Then he frowned. “I wish Luna could learn to like her.”
“Luna wishes you could learn to like me,” Theodore said, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
Mr. Lovegood stared at Theodore and Theodore stared back.
“My goodness! Two alpha males! Who needs to go to the Forbidden Forest to see such a magnificent display?” Cory said as she approached them with Luna.
Theodore laughed. Mr. Lovegood was short and running to stoutness and he was tall and gangly. They were hardly two bucks ready to gouge each other to the death.
“Cory,” Mr. Lovegood said plaintively. “There’s nothing to drink except for spiked punch.”
“Now that’s not true, Martin,” Cory soothed, taking his arm and leading him away. “Behind that group of chimney sweeps is a small table full of fizzy drinks and butterbeer. Remember?”
Theodore watched them go and then turned to Luna. “Are you feeling better about Terpsichore Smyth?” he asked.
“Do you know who Terpsichore is?”
“She’s one of the nine muses,” Luna said dreamily, looking at the deserted ballroom beyond the crowded buffet table. “Of the dance.”
“I never thought I would like to dance,” Luna said thoughtfully. “Until Daddy told me about this party. And then I realized I wanted to dance with you.”
Now he understood about the beard. “And you wanted to dance cheek-to-cheek.”
Her eyes widened. “That’s how dancing is described in the Celestina Werbeck song.”
He wasn’t familiar with that song, but if that would make Luna happy, then that’s what they would do. Maybe then he could re-introduce the concept of kissing.
They swayed together for several songs until the band decided to take a break. Luna seemed quite content to stay in the circle of his arms even without music. Contentment was not what he was feeling, however, with her soft body pressed up against him. “Luna,” he finally said, feeling a little desperate. “Can I kiss you?”
She tilted her chin and looked into his eyes, and then she lowered her gaze to his mouth. “Oh!”
If she didn’t stop staring at his mouth, he was going to pounce like an over-eager fourth year, and pouncing never worked with Luna. “Luna?”
“I just –“ She looked into his eyes again. “Yes,” she breathed.
She was tentative at first and then her mouth relaxed under his, as she pressed closer to him. Time and distance had made this kiss infinitely sweeter, he thought joyfully as he started to run his hand through her hair and met feathers. Instead, he caressed her back and the curve of her hips.
“Ah,” she said a great while later. “I forgot.”
“Forgot what?” he asked, running his thumb over her bottom lip.
“I was thinking about dancing, I suppose.”
“You can do both,” he pointed out, pulling her close and swaying while he touched her lips with his.
“You can,” she sighed happily.
“Luna, I know you don’t want to hear this, but your Dad probably forgot about kissing until he met Cory.”
She started to say something, but then closed her mouth and nodded. Her feathers tickled his chin as they swayed together in silence.
“I like dancing now,” she finally said.
It seemed that most of the partygoers also liked dancing now as the Giggling Gin worked its magic. The chimney sweeps were stomping to the music in a large group. Cory and Mr. Lovegood were doing a graceful fox-trot. Ralph was dancing with The Quibbler’s advice columnist.
“Daddy always liked to dance,” Luna said.
Theodore tightened his hold on her, knowing what she was going to say next – and how hard it was for her to admit it.
“And to dance you need a partner,” she continued. She took a deep breath. “And I think Terpsichore is a good partner for Daddy.”
“He hasn’t forgotten your mother – or you,” he said. “It’s like Cory is –“
“An addition,” Luna said suddenly. “Like you are. At least that’s what I told Daddy a year ago.”
She nodded. “I think Daddy’s starting to think that way about you now. He asked me if you were coming to the party this morning.”
"He did?" It wasn't a whole-hearted welcome, but he would take it as such. Theodore smiled at her then, not knowing how to express what it felt like to belong to her – to belong to her quirky little family.
Instead, he placed his cheek next hers and danced with her the way she had been longing to dance since she heard about the party. When Mr. Lovegood tapped his shoulder so he could dance with his daughter, Theodore, relented with good grace. Luna would dance with him again.
She was his partner after all.