me, my merry heart and the windy side of care (corvidae9) wrote in hplyric,
me, my merry heart and the windy side of care
corvidae9
hplyric

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Title: Riptide
Author: corvidae9
Rating: PG
Word Count:~1950
Summary: Harry retreats to a beach somewhere to keep his angst to himself; Luna comes to find him. Post-War.
Challenge: Base a fic on Jamie Callum's "All at Sea"
Archive: If it makes you happy, go for it. Just let me know where. :)
Author Notes: Written for hiddenhibiscus for hplyric: This is NOT a musical. :) Lyrics are at the end. Incredibly late as my plot muse went to personally inspect the beach in question and left my dumb arse here to party with the RPG muse. Many thanks to my faithful minions flist who told me who to cast, who in turn omg brought the plot right back. Now I want to flesh in the backstory. *waves carrots at the plot bunnies* And, as ALWAYS, thanks to the ever-awesome merrycontrary for the beta. *loves*




Harry studied the waves lapping at the soft sand, barely comprehending the peace and utter perfection of just existing in this place. Arms around his knees, he sat in silence, allowing the warm sunshine to splash onto his pale skin.

It was wrong, he thought, to be here. To sit in peace after so many years of war and turmoil. On what had begun as an enforced vacation; a result of Lupin's ordering to him to 'get some rest'. Ridiculous. He'd exposed and destroyed the most powerful megalomaniac in hundreds of years... and then did away with his puppet Dark Lord. Who knew Voldemort would so easily be defeated once Albus Dumbledore was no longer pulling his strings?

Harry dropped his head on his knees. There was the thought that did it every time. Their fierce leader had been working against them since day one, and still no one knew why. But sure as he was ashes and cinders floating among the remains of 12 Grimmauld Place, Harry had killed him, and now Harry was warm and comfortable and basking in the gratitude of the whole of Wizarding kind.

Sickened, he shut his eyes against a wave of nausea. He didn't know how long he'd been here anymore. And he didn't care.

###

Again on the beach, enjoying the complete lack of other people, he noted that his skin did not seem to tan or burn, and detachedly making the connection with his ever-mussed hair. The hair would never calm down, his eyes would stay a bright, hard, jade green, glasses forever askew, his clothes would always hang off of his bony frame, skin would stay cupboard-pale and he would always be the man that killed Albus Dumbledore.

He was a bit past wondering if that made him angry. He closed his eyes and settled in to rock along with the nauseous waves.

###

An owl found him there yet another day; a message from Remus, wondering if he was alright? Wondering if he needed anything? Wondering how he was feeling.

Harry scrawled "Yes" on a corner of the parchment and watched the owl go, missing Hedwig. It was stupid, to miss an owl when so many people were gone from his life, or from those of others, but he did nonetheless.

The sun set slowly behind the waves and he wrapped his arms about himself, imagining them to be the arms that he never really remembered. If he was destined to be alone, this was the place to do it.

###

He crawled back to the oceanside bungalow that he thought might be rented but from whom he had no idea near upon one AM to find a message waiting for him. A bit of parchment propped against the door: "Sorry I missed you. Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow."

Furrowing his brow slightly, straining to recognize the writing, he wondered who would try and track him down and how they'd found him, and why they'd think he gave a toss. But again, past caring, he walked in, leaving the door unlocked and unwarded and dropped into the low bed, almost immediately sinking into sleep.

###

Harry was used to waking at whatever time he woke; it was always sometime before noon, but exactly when he couldn't say.

Today his eyes fluttered open to the smell of food and for a sweet moment he thought that it had all been a dream; that he would open his eyes to a room he'd never had, with loved ones he had never known; that he would sit and run a hand through his hair and curse over his terrible too-long nightmare and let it sift away out of his memories as he stood and stretched and padded downstairs in his pyjamas and--

"Harry?"

--or not. The dreamy voice was achingly familiar, but he couldn't tell if he was glad to hear it or not.

"Harry? Are you awake now?"

He stood and pulled on his dressing gown after staring at the ceiling for a brief moment and tied it tightly around himself, making his way into the kitchen. And there she was, standing at the stove as if she'd been there all along; perfectly comfortable in a large green apron, strings wrapped twice around, hair held in a half-knot with her wand, tendrils of varying shades of dark blonde snaking around her neck.

"Luna." His voice sounded alien in his ears; he hadn't had a need to address anything or anyone out loud since he'd been here, and how long that had been was anyone's guess.

Eyes turned wide on him with indeterminate emotion, she smiled vaguely. "Yes. Hello. There's food."

Staring hard at her, he seemed to recall that she had been thinner; her hair shorter; that she had been more focused, but maybe that was because there was something to fight. The only emotion he could muster was a hint of disgust and it was readily apparent in his reply. "Why are you here?"

Unmoved by his tone, she answered, "Because I was fast. And lucky. Eggs?"

He knew, knew that he should not do this. That this was Luna, standing here; had come to find him because she cared; that he should make an effort not to be... however he was being. But the effort required was beyond him and he opened his mouth and said whatever it was that came out, in whatever tone it willed.

"That's bollocks. You know what I'm asking you, I know you can be normal enough to answer."

What might have been a flicker of hurt crossed Luna's face faster than few people other than Harry would have noticed, but her answer was as even as ever. "Because I wanted to make sure you were alright. It appears that you're still yourself to an extent, in that you're alright, except for when you aren't." In a smaller voice she added, "And I missed you. I thought you might have missed me too. But it's fine that you didn't."

Turning back to the stove, she shut the heat off and shifted the pan from the burner, unstacking plates that had come from some indeterminate source, as Harry had never seen them. Her pale, slender hands moved purposefully, bringing his attention to her hap-hazard nail varnish, nails pink or green or blue, some chipped and others glossy, and he felt a small lurch somewhere in the vicinity of his stomach; a remnant of the emotions he'd shut off here.

Swallowing hard, he took a tentative step forward. "Luna..."

Luna did not turn to face him, merely muttering, "Hmm?" while she served eggs and pulled rolls from a bag on the counter and fruits from a colander sitting in the sink.

He wanted to reach out to her, to wrap his fingers around her wrist and be sure she was real; to pull her hair down and let it fall where it would and say that he had missed her; but his job was done. He didn't want to inflict himself on anyone anymore and she was far better off without him. Instead he cleared his throat and took the plate she offered, "I-- thank you."

Watching him sit at the tiny table, Luna held her plate as if trying to decide whether to sit or not, apparently speaking before she made her decision. "We're not done needing you, you know."

Forkful of eggs halfway to his mouth, Harry looked up at her for a brief moment before stuffing the fork in his mouth, deliberately chewing and swallowing, and only then answering, "Too bloody bad. I'm done. Tell them to get a new hero."

Luna dropped her eyes to the plate in her hand and took a breath, pushing away from the counter and toward the table. "Not them. Me." Taking a seat at the table to Harry's right side, she set her meal down and examined it, still not eating.

Sneaking a glance at her, Harry furrowed his brow at her expression; one which he knew he'd never seen. Without looking up, he muttered, "You don't need me. I did what I was supposed to do."

Finally picking up the roll, Luna said quietly, "That you did."

They ate in silence and when Harry finished the food on his plate, Luna pushed hers over to him, still mostly-full, and watched him devour it as well. When he finally stood, she did too, gathering the dishes and crumbs. She looked up and made a shooing gesture at Harry saying, "Go ahead. I'll clean up here." Returning her attention to the dishes, she added, "I'll go when I'm done."

Harry stood watching her for a moment longer, before turning and walking away, hoping that she wouldn't try and come back. Stopping in the doorway, he murmured, "Bye, Luna. Thanks. Tell-- tell everyone not to worry," and hurried away without waiting for a response, leaving the door to slam shut behind him.

###

Harry sat in the sun again, feet firmly buried in the sand before him, though there was no chance of sunburning them. Catching sight of several seabirds skimming the waves and occasionally diving, he wondered if he'd ever see one not surface; if perhaps one of them would find that the water suited them best and never come back.

A shadow crept over him, and once he processed the shape of it, looked up to find Luna standing next to him, holding a blue paper parasol covered in bronze dragons. She was wearing a loose pale yellow cotton dress which he hadn't noticed earlier at all, and her hair now hung about her face and shoulders, stirred by the warm offshore breeze.

Having no need to say anything, he turned and resumed his vigil.

Luna dropped to her knees next to him, planting the parasol in the sand behind her and sitting back onto her feet, not pulling her gaze from the ocean. She reached out and took Harry's hand quietly, holding it for an indeterminate amount of time before he thought to speak again.

"You should go." The words burned as they left his throat, but he knew... he knew that this was best.

Though his attention was still on the water, Luna turned to look at him, only a trace of urgency tinging her usual detached speech. "Harry. I need you to come back. We need you." She pulled his hand up and kissed it, pressing it to her stomach, which he realized with a start was definitely rounder and harder than he remembered it being. "We need you. No one else. If you won't come, it'll be just me."

Mind reeling, his hand clenched, fisting the material of her dress, fingers brushing the beginnings of her swollen belly. He wrenched his eyes from the water and met her gaze, serenity belied by her shiny blue eyes; thinking back to the night before... the night before it happened; when things were still making sense though everything was miserable, because they were miserable in a way that he was more than familiar with... and she'd been there for him just like she always had been and he'd known then it was the end and she stayed just the same...

It was all he could do to manage one strangled word as he dropped his head into his free hand and shook with quiet sobs. "Luna."

Moving closer, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders holding him tightly as he turned into her embrace. Lifting one hand to stroke his hair, she whispered, "I'm here."


~*~*~*~*~

ALL AT SEA
I’m all at sea
Where no-one can bother me
Forgot my roots
If only for a day
Just me and my thoughts sailing far away
Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to
All at sea
I’m all at sea
Where no-one can bother me
I sleep by myself
I drink on my own
Don’t speak to nobody
I gave away my phone
Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to
All at sea
Now I need you more than ever, I need you more than ever, now
You don’t need it every day
But sometimes don’t you just crave
To disappear within your mind
You never know what you might find
So come and spend some time with me
We will spend it all at sea
Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to
All at sea
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