Luna stepped cautiously out of the fireplace and ran one finger over the silver filigree mirror hanging over the mantle. It hummed slightly at her touch. Good—Blaise’s wards and Floo were still set to allow her to come and go.

Maybe things weren’t as bad as she had thought, if Blaise hadn’t set them to repel her yet. She had a moment of disquiet. Perhaps this was all a bad idea. He might still come around on his own…

She shook her golden head restlessly. Best to get on with it, to get back to Ginny’s place before it became too late. She tiptoed toward the main hall, raising her wand and whispering “Homenum--oh, wait, that’s right, Canis Revelio.” A bright green orb appeared in front of her before whisking off down the towards the guest room wing. That was odd, but perhaps Blaise could no more stand the sight of the rooms that they had spent so much time in than she could. She padded softly after it, fingering the leash in her hand. The orb finally lit upon a particularly well used door handle and she eased it open slowly, raising her wand again.

There, sprawled across the bed lay a large shaggy dog in a chaotic tumble of long limbs, sleeping amidst the carnage of at least three eviscerated feather pillows. A shredded sock draped over the edge of the bed and other bits of destroyed clothing littered the drifts of white feathers. Each snoring breath caused feathers to flutter wildly about his snout—one kept persistently settling onto his forehead.

It would have been cute, if she hadn’t known that he could be a complete bastard.

Luna carefully made her way into the room, shutting the door firmly behind her. The beast on the bed stirred fitfully and buried his head deeper into the covers as she padded forward and slipped the leash under his neck, clipping it back onto itself. Luna rocked back onto her heels. This would be so much easier had he turned into a lap dog. Then again, it made sense, since life with Blaise was never easy. She tapped her wand against her lips thoughtfully. A Confundus charm, perhaps? It would make it easier to lead him around and hopefully reduce any desire to bite—he was a very big dog, with a big mouth full of teeth, after all. And a bit kinder than simply Stunning him and levitating him out of the manor. Plus, should she be seen, it was looked less like kidnapping—or dognapping—if he was on his own four feet. Confundus it was then, she decided.


“Right. On with it then,” she murmured to herself. She tugged sharply on the leash; a grumpy moan rumbled out of the creature as he stretched and rolled over to his back. He didn’t even open his eyes. How typical. Getting Blaise out of bed was like moving mountains.


She tugged again, sharper this time. The dog buried his head under a pillow with a sulky, high pitched whine. “Confundus,” she whispered.


Disoriented, the dog shot to his feet—unfortunately, he miscalculated and fell straight off the bed and into the nightstand, and then tumbled to the floor with a loud crash. Dazed, he picked himself up from the floor, wobbling slightly as he stumbled into Luna’s legs. He fixed her with a mournful—if somewhat bleary—gaze, and Luna sighed.


“Now, see, this is exactly why you’re going to Ginny first,” she scolded. “Don’t give me those puppy eyes, Blaise, my heart can’t take it.”


She took off at a quick pace, tugging harshly on the leash as they trotted down the hallways of the rambling manor. She was nearly in the clear now, just shy of the foyer…


“Luna?" Blaise’s sleepy voice murmured from behind her.


She froze in her tracks and slowly turned to the dog trailing behind her—who hadn’t been paying any attention and clumsily stumbled right into her, leaning hard against her shins. “Oh, please, please, let that have been you,” she whispered, not willing to peek up through her blonde fringe into the dark hallway.


The sound of bare feet slapping against marble echoed down the hallway. Her eyes drifted shut. This couldn’t be happening. She needed the warm weight against her to belong to Blaise.


Something reached out and gently brushed the hair from her face, lingering gently at her temple before dropping away. Her eyes opened slowly and she briefly mourned the loss of the warm, affectionate touch. Blaise stood before her, his eyes still clouded with sleep as he frowned at the dog half-slumped against her legs. With a pang, Luna remembered how drowsy and slow to wake Blaise was in the morning.


“Did…d’you… did you get a dog... d’you feel that you need protection, or… Luna, are you scared of me?” he rasped hoarsely, dragging one hand down his face. Maybe it was his sleep befuddled brain, but he had a sudden sense that he was missing some piece of the puzzle.


“N-no,” she stammered, turning away quickly and moving to step away, tugging harshly on the leash in her hand. As she moved towards the Floo, Blaise could see her beginning to retreat behind her mask. “I-I just—this was a bad idea. Wrackspurts and… and Jobberknolls must be around and...” she blabbered, waving her free hand distractedly as she quickly increased the distance between them and half-dragged the dog along with her, “and Ihavetogorightnow!”


Blaise shook his head as she disappeared into the fireplace in flash of green. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he had missed something important, something he would regret not noticing later, but it was the hollow feeling in his chest that had him sinking to his knees in the room that echoed with sudden emptiness.

--

Luna fell out of Ginny’s fireplace bare moments later, bowled over by the weight of the hairy beast that had followed her through the Floo. Oh, what in the world was she going to tell Ginny?

Author notes: To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, "Get your characters up in a tree. Then throw rocks at them."

To Be Continued.
Paradoxically is the author of 2 other stories.
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