Taken by AidaLuthien
Summary: Luna's trip back to Hogwarts is interrupted by Death Eaters on the train.

This is AidaLuthien of Hufflepuff writing for Round One of the 2012 Character Triathlon.
Categories: General Fics Characters: None
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 1909 Read: 1220 Published: 06/21/12 Updated: 06/27/12
Story Notes:
Thanks to the owl, Sophie, for being a great beta!

1. The Train by AidaLuthien

The Train by AidaLuthien
Going back to Hogwarts for Spring Term was always a bit difficult. Christmas holidays were lovely, and it was wonderful to be with her father. It was hard to leave her father alone again, though she did enjoy the journey: trekking down to London and going to King’s Cross, being surrounded by Muggles and then taking the Hogwarts Express back to school. Muggles were so unaware of the world around them. They didn’t, well, couldn’t, see Blibbering Humdingers or any other magical creatures. It made Luna sad in some ways and really intrigued in others, but with times as hard as they were, maybe it was better that they didn’t know. It was such a long trip, but at least she had The Quibbler and her books to keep her occupied. For once the strange Muggle fashions and technologies weren’t enough to keep happy.

Everything about traveling this year was worse. It was amazing that the Muggles didn’t realize something was wrong. Everyone was grim faced; there was no joyous talk of the holidays, Christmas, trips taken, presents received, or anything. The Muggles were too loud, too bright, too happy... couldn’t they tell something was wrong? The Invisible Meese were all missing from King’s Cross this year. Invisible Meese knew better than to hang around places of misery.

She walked through King’s Cross trying to enjoy the brief amount of anonymity she had. Just one girl with her luggage going back to school. Muggles could be an amazingly unobservant lot.

Luna had spent Christmas working on the new edition of The Quibbler with her father. They were the only ones who were still publishing the truth. The Daily Prophet hadn’t got much better. People were looking to The Quibbler for their source of unbiased news. On the one hand, it made her happy that people were finally paying attention to the publication that her father had spent so much time on. On the other hand, she was worried about his safety. They had been threatened, but not harmed... at least, not yet.

She wasn’t worried about herself – every magical student was required to go to Hogwarts. Certainly the Carrows were bad, but at least she was with friends, and they were safe from the Snatchers. Justin and the other Muggle-borns who were out on the run – she worried for them. They were out there, alone.

She was a pure-blood, and that gave her some protection from the Carrows and the new pure-blood supremacist government. The Quibbler was banned at school, but she had several copies that had been Transfigured into other things. She would pass them out to the DA, and the other students would get them somehow. It was amazing how much practice they had at these kinds of things since Umbridge.

She had reached platform nine and three-quarters. She took a deep breath, and ran through the wall, pushing her luggage. The platform seemed very much the same - students and parents milling around, everyone trying to get on the train and get their luggage - but it was somehow so much more somber.

As she reached the train, she heard a familiar voice.

–Luna!” Neville waved to her as he walked up to her.

She smiled at him. –Neville, it’s good to see you after the holidays.”

–Let me get that for you,” he said, bending down to pick up her trunk.

–I’ve got the Quibblers,” she whispered. –Oh, thank you, Neville, that’s very kind of you,” she added a bit louder. Luna was getting a bit better at subterfuge. She had always spoken her mind, exactly as she thought, which, she found, most people did not appreciate.

–Ah, you’re welcome, Luna,” Neville said lifting the trunk. Sometimes he was strange around her. She wasn’t sure why. They were friends. Besides, with the Carrows around, they had many more important things to worry about.

Neville hefted her trunk on to the train. –Ginny already has a compartment.”

Luna nodded. They passed students in the corridor. The first-years looked terrified to be returning to Hogwarts. She hoped that some managed to flee the country. Death Eaters seemed to be less active on the continent. If they could leave, take their Muggle families... she sighed. They were so young and so unprepared for the new world they had entered.

Thankfully, Ginny had claimed the compartment at the very end. There was less foot traffic down there. Most of the Slytherins kept to the front parts of the train, particularly the former prefects’ carriage which was now a Slytherin sixth- and seventh-years’ carriage.

Michael Corner was already there. Ginny was carefully not looking at him. It was strange how dating someone and then breaking up made their future company difficult. But Luna wasn’t necessarily good at normal social interactions, she knew that.

–It’s good to see you, Ginny, and you too, Michael,” she greeted them. –Did you have a good Christmas?” She sat down next to Ginny, and Neville sat down next to her. Ginny and Michael looked at her blankly, as if there would never be happiness in the world again. –I worked on The Quibbler with Daddy.”

Ginny’s face cleared. –It’s nice to know that you’re still working on the magazine.”

Luna nodded. They couldn’t be sure whether the Hogwarts Express was bugged with listening spells. It was unfortunate, but they wouldn’t be able to talk until they got to Hogwarts and used the Room of Requirement. If they asked for a place that was safe from spies, then they would have it. The only other place that might be safe would be Gryffindor common room, but even then, they couldn’t just meet there whenever they wanted, not when the Carrows knew every password to the common rooms. In a way, this made Ravenclaw Tower the safest – but only if you could answer the riddles.

–Yes, it’s simply too bad that you couldn’t bring any copies with you.” Neville added.

She smiled, and added, –Yes, simply too bad. We worked very hard, all through Christmas putting out the issue.”

The other members of Dumbledore’s Army nodded back. She had copies.

The train pulled out of the station. They tried to settle into normal talk about lessons and homework, but everything was in disarray. –I am looking forward to Care of Magical Creatures,” Luna ventured.

Everyone nodded. Despite the Carrows’ objections about his bloodlines, Headmaster Snape had kept the half-giant as the Professor of Care of Magical Creatures and Gamekeeper. He also insisted that most detentions be handled by Hagrid.

–Do we have any ideas about what Hagrid will be covering for this term?” Neville asked.

Ginny shrugged.

–We should see him. Maybe I can help him catch a Crumple Horned Snorkack or a Wrackspurt. Those would make fascinating lessons for Care of Magical Creatures. I think I still have my Spectrespecs in my trunk.”

They chatted awkwardly for a while longer.

–Is the train slowing down?” Ginny asked suddenly.

They froze. –We’re nowhere near Hogwarts.” Michael whispered anxiously.

The train halted completely. –Where are we?” Neville peered out of the window. The countryside was open, and nearly featureless.

–Luna Lovegood!” a magically enhanced voice boomed from the front of the train. –Leave the train immediately!”

Everyone turned towards Luna, eyes wide, mouths open.

–I suppose I had better do what he wants,” Luna submitted. –It’s rude to keep people waiting.” She started to stand up.

Ginny grabbed Luna’s arm. –You can’t! They’ll kill you! We won’t let them take you.” The boys nodded, and started pulling out their wands. –We’ll find someone who can Apparate. They can take you away.”

Luna smiled slightly, and put her hand on top of Ginny’s. –Then they’ll hurt you too. We can’t fight them directly and we have to protect the first-years.”

The compartment doors were opening. People were spilling into the corridors.

Luna stood up, and Ginny was forced to stand with her to maintain their connection. –They’ll want to keep me alive to try and force Daddy to stop publishing.” She looked into Ginny’s eyes intensely. –I’ll be fine.” She glanced at her bags. She could leave those behind. She wouldn’t need them. –Please trust me,” Luna said. –I’ll be going now.” She tried to keep her tone casual as if she wasn’t walking into their grasp.

–Luna Lovegood!” the magically enhanced voice shouted again.

She stepped out into the hall. Almost as if someone had cast a spell, everyone fell silent. The students retreated from her, backing into the compartments. Even the Slytherins didn’t have anything to say. She didn’t dare turn around to see Ginny, Neville and Michael. The first-years looked so scared. Neville and Ginny would have to lead the DA without her.

She walked up the train slowly, silently saying goodbye to everyone.

Suddenly, a Death Eater Apparated behind her. –There you are, girlie,” Bellatrix whispered in her ear. –What a naughty blood traitor you are.” Bellatrix pocketed Luna’s wand.

Luna braced herself, but Bellatrix just grabbed her shoulder.

–We’re taking the blood traitor! Let this be a lesson to the rest of you! You don’t defy the Dark Lord without consequences!” Bellatrix shouted. The next thing she knew, she was Apparating away.

Luna only had time to wonder where they were going, and then they had arrived.

When she could see something beyond the everything and nothing of Apparition, Bellatrix was marching her up a long driveway lined with hedges. In another moment, they stood in front of the gates to a large manor house. It was a very handsome house, but Luna had never cared for these giant country estates. This one felt particularly cold. She shivered. Of course, she had forgotten her coat on the train.

Bellatrix snarled something at the gate, then shoved Luna through it. –You should feel lucky, blood traitor. The Malfoys wouldn’t normally let one of your kind set even one foot inside this place.”

–Yes, it’s very nice of them,” she responded blithely. No reason to insult her hosts.

A man had Apparated to the drive way. –You’re supposed to wait for me, Bellatrix,” he growled when he had caught up.

Bellatrix muttered something darkly. Her guards escorted her down a long, dark hallway.

–Throw her in the basement,” a familiar looking man said. –The Dark Lord doesn’t wish to see her now. Send a message to her father. Let him know that we have her.”

As she was pushed downstairs, into a hidden basement, Luna realized who the man must be. He was Mr Malfoy, Draco’s Father.

They locked the door behind her. She sat still for a while waiting for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. Someone else was here.

–Hello?” a man called hesitantly.

–Hello,” she replied pleasantly. –I’m Luna Lovegood.”

–Ah, Miss Lovegood! Ten and a half inch dogwood with unicorn hair, yes, I remember you.”

–Mr Ollivander, what are you doing here?”

He sighed. –It’s a long story, I’m afraid. But come over here, it’s warmer.”

As Luna moved closer to Ollivander, she tried to trust that her friends would come for her eventually.
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