Title: Hands, Chapter Eight: Bedraggled
Prompt: 318: Bedraggled
Word Count: 1825
Summary: Hands are the window to the soul.
Chapter Eight: Bedraggled
The girl really does need a haircut, thought Molly Weasley, eyeing Luna’s bedraggled appearance. She surreptitiously surveyed the uneven ends of Luna’s blonde hair and wondered if she could talk the young girl into getting a haircut before the wedding, which, she reminded herself, was only two days away.
The past months had been gloriously busy for Mrs. Weasley, and even though there were still a few last minute preparations that had to be dealt with, she found that she was relaxed. She figured it was the numerous candles that Luna had lit and placed strategically around the dining room; the soft warmth pulsating around them created a very calming effect, especially in contrast to the cold winter wind bustling just outside the window.
They were at the Lovegood house for dinner. Next to Mrs. Weasley sat her husband, Arthur, and down from Arthur was Harry, Hermione and Ginny. Fred, George, Charlie and his wife were seated on the other side of the table. Bill and Fleur would be arriving tomorrow. Molly took a moment to look at Ron and Luna who were seated at either end of the table and a smile quickly formed on her lips.
Although Luna did not fit Mrs. Weasley’s common idea of a daughter-in-law (and the wedding was certainly less traditional than the previous Weasley weddings), the girl had an endearing quality to her soft voice and sparkling eyes. She had been watching the two carefully since they got engaged, and she noticed there were a lot of unspoken looks and little touches between them. Every now and again, she’d catch a soft gentle kiss or an arm around a shoulder; she’d see Ron brush his thumb against the back of her hand, or she’d see Luna play a silent song on Ron’s knee.
She noticed that Ron would look at Luna as if she was the answer to every problem in the world, and Luna would look at Ron as if he was the world.
She also noticed that Luna was a rather good cook, and since Ron was a rather good eater, this seemed to work out rather well.
After their dinner guests had left, Ron found himself sitting in front of the fireplace with Luna leaning against him. He was slumped down into the couch, his head resting against the back cushion. Her feet were tucked underneath her as she pulled the sleeves of her jumper over her hands, and she snuggled closer to him, resting her head on his chest.
“Are you cold?” he asked, wondering if he should put another log on the fire.
“Yes, but I don’t mind. I like the cold . . . . I’m Winter, you know . . . and you’re Summer.”
“How do you figure that?”
“I’m don’t mind being cold, and Winter doesn’t mind being cold either. You’re always warm, so I figure you must be Summer, because Summer is always warm too. Except sometimes at nights, Summer can be quite cool, but really, it’s still considered to be warm, because it’s a warm cool, instead of the cold cool that Fall likes.”
“Oh,” he said, and then asked, uncertainly, “So does that mean you want me to put another log on the fire, or not?”
“No–the fire doesn’t really keep me warm, Ronald,” she said. He could feel her jaw move against his chest as she spoke. Her hands, still bundled up in the sleeves of her jumper, were shoved behind him, between his back and the couch.
“Oh . . .do you want to go to bed, then?” he asked.
She moved her head upwards, until her nose was against his neck, and then she slid back a little, looking at him carefully, her eyes starting at his jaw line and progressing steadily until they connected with his own.
“Father told me one time,” she whispered, “that when you find someone you love, you must tell them that you love them. I think he felt guilty about not telling mum he loved her everyday she was alive. I don’t want to feel guilty either, so I’m telling you now . . . .”
The tone of her voice had gotten strangely hard and serious, and he furrowed his brows together in worry.
“I love you, Ronald,” she finished, her voice returning back to its regular dreamy tone. Her mouth was so close to him that he could feel the words against his skin as they left her mouth. “I will always love you, Ronald.”
“I love you too, Luna,” he said, his voice sounding a bit breathy as well, because when she said those words– I love you, Ronald –his chest stopped moving and for a minute he thought he was a little bit of Winter too, his chest frozen in ecstasy, and all he could think was: Merlin, I love her.
On the morning of December twelfth, the yard of the Lovegood house was covered in a thick blanket of white snow. The trees stood tall and grey, frosted with icicles, and there was a heavy stillness in the air.
When Ron opened his eyes and rolled over, he found that the bed was empty. There was a sense of anticipation rolling around in his stomach as he remembered what day it was, and he tried to grasp the idea that he was marrying Luna Lovegood–that Luna Lovegood was going to be Luna Weasley and the Lovegood house was going to become . . . the Weasley house . . . Luna could come up with a better name later.
He felt he should probably be scared of spending the rest of his life with the same person.
Strangely, his only fear was that he would screw up the ceremony somehow–say the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Not-so-strangely, he knew that Luna wouldn’t care if he screwed up the ceremony. In fact, she’d probably take his lead and screw it up too.
Making his way downstairs, he found that his mother had sent his brothers over to begin setting up. His father was there too, telling Fred how to direct a row of floating chairs through the doorway.
“No, you’ll never get it through that way, Fred . . . a little more to the left. Not that far left . . . .”
Ron yawned. “Isn’t it a bit early for all this?” he asked.
“Ron!” said Arthur, giving his son a large hug. “How are you feeling? Nervous? No reason to be nervous! We’ll take care of setting everything up, and you just worry about getting dressed on time!”
“I’m not nervous . . . .” he mumbled, but his father had continued talking.
“Oh, Bill! Will you help Ron get dressed?”
“I don’t need help getting dressed . . . .” he protested, but both his father and oldest brother seemed to be ignoring him.
Bill took a hold of Ron’s shoulder and led him in the direction of the kitchen saying, “How about we get you some breakfast first, uh?”
Pushing his way through the kitchen door, Bill went straight to the counter, where an array of breakfast foods were waiting to be eaten. “Luna made some breakfast before she left,” he said pulling two stools over.
After he ate, Bill followed Ron into the bedroom, where they began to manoeuver their way through the traditional wedding robes. Ron included an additional layer of a jumper underneath the dress shirt, in an attempt to help him stay warm during the ceremony.
“I don’t need help,” said Ron, tying the black bow tie around his neck.
“I know.” Bill sat down on the chair in the corner, glancing idly out of the window. “But at least this will get me out of that.” He pointed through the window, at his brothers stomping through the snow to set up the chairs, tables, and a large tent.
“So . . . you nervous?” asked Bill.
He shrugged, saying. “Not really.”
Bill nodded. “That’s good.”
“Were you nervous when you married Fleur?”
“Yeah, I was. I was afraid we’d be standing there, about to exchange our vows or something and she’d suddenly realize what a mistake it all was . . . .”
“Should I be nervous, you think?”
“No–it just means you love Luna. You’re not worried that you’re making the wrong decision, because you all ready know you’re not making the wrong decision.”
“Is that normal?”
It was Bill’s turn to laugh. “Normal?” he said with a smile. “Normal’s overrated, Ron.”
By the time Ron and Bill returned downstairs, the guests had begun to arrive, making their way to the backyard, and Ron followed them. A warming spell had been cast around the chairs for the guests, and the snow on the ground had been cleared, except for a small circle where Ron and Luna would stand.
There was a lot of handshaking and congratulations as he made his way towards the altar. After everyone had taken their places, the crowd hushed and, after what felt like a lifetime, the wedding began.
Although your wedding is supposed to be a momentous occasion in your life, one that you should remember every detail of, Ron found that it flew passed him a blur, and he could only remember certain moments.
He remembered Luna walking down the aisle, escorted by Harry (a brotherly gesture he had felt the need to extend since Luna’s father had passed away only months ago). He remembered his hands sweating even though the warming charm he had placed around him wasn’t all that strong.
He remembered, of course, how Luna looked: the wedding bell necklace was around her neck and played the wedding march (although a few of the bells would jingle out of place with each step, making the song sound a bit off). Her hair was long and uneven (Mrs. Weasley didn’t have the heart to say anything that might be construed as criticism towards her appearance). Her cheeks and nose were red with cold but somehow she still looked positively glowing, as if the sunlight pouring down from the sky was a warm pink instead of a cold blue. Her wedding gown was white, but over it she had worn her favorite jumper, the one his mum had made for her last Christmas.
He barely remembered fumbling through the vows and exchanging rings (matching gold bands; Luna’s had the shape of a crescent moon etched into it, while his had a crown. She had made them herself, sitting at the kitchen table humming “Weasley Is Our King” under her breath).
He couldn’t remember leaning in to kiss her, but he remembered kissing her, her lips cold but her breath warm and sweet. He couldn’t remember grabbing her hand as they turned around, but he remembered that he had grabbed her hand and that her hand was cold, which probably meant that she hadn’t cast a warming spell before she came outside–he remembered worrying that she would get sick.
But most of all, the one thing he could truly remember was Luna’s smile, and that it had been the brightest he had ever seen it.