DISCLAIMER: This story contains characters. locations and things created and owned by J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic, Inc. and AOL/Time Warner, Inc. .
No permission has been given and since no money is being made, no infringement is intended.
THANKS: This is the “revamping” of an older work of mine. I want to thank Lord Dreadnault, and Deense who kindly agreed to beta and Perfect Imagination the site that helped me find these gentle betas.
NOTE: This was born as a lullaby fiction. You sing to kids a lot of lullabies about twelve moons, seven market days, four seasons, and so on. As a basic lullaby, I chose Branduardi’s one.
La luna del ghiaccio
la luna dei fantasmi
la luna calda del sole che ritorna
la luna dei fiori
la luna dei germogli
la luna gialla del grano che matura
la luna del riso
la luna del raccolto
la luna bianca del volo degli uccelli
la luna grande
la luna delle foglie
la piccola luna del sole che muore.
E la pioggia goccia a goccia consuma la roccia.
Così notte dopo notte le dodici lune.
Beware! There are twelve months, but, actually the moons are thirteen.
THE TWELVE MOONS (Lullaby Fic)
“Have you noticed? There’s no moon tonight.” The student sitting at her side on the fence suddenly looked embarrassed.
The blond girl sighed, ill at ease. Everyone in this ancient school appeared to know everybody else, while she was just a Beauxbatons student visiting her aunt and feeling a stranger.
They had packed her off to Hogwarts like a Christmas present. She looked attentively at her dress trim, hating every inch of the pale lace. The sentence ambiguity had mirrored reality; she had literally felt like a parcel at the station, looking for her aunt, her dress completely covered in lace.
At the same time, she had understood this trip was meant as a present to her, they were trying to be nice. She couldn’t complain. Her aunt really loved her and she really loved her aunt.
Yet, somehow, love appeared not to be enough.
Maybe it was just that she was growing up faster than her aunt expected, or maybe it was just that cosy and warm don’t always mean entertaining.
Let’s face it, she thought in an attempt of utter honesty; the core of the matter was that she was not good at making new friends. Just two years ago, everything was much simpler. A that time being herself was considered enough, but now she was expected to be funny, but not too much, interesting, but not too much, sexy, but not too much, bright, but not too much.
Probably she was more on the too less side.
She sighed and looked tentatively at the student at her side, still silent.
“I think the moon is usually so beautiful at night,” she tried again. Yes, she was stubborn and apocalyptical. Now he will think I am just the usual blond-haired, silly ditz,shethought. He will go get a drink and not come back. I’ll probably spend the whole evening sitting here, alone in this dark spot, not daring to move. I don’t need an orb to predict that.
She looked nervously at her nails, obviously bitten. I’d like him to get it over with and do what he obviously wants to do – disappear. It would be better for both of us.
By that time she had learned that the agony of a boy searching for the right words is often worse than peaceful loneliness.
The boy was studying her. No, she wasn’t a silly girl, he decided. She was just shy, like he was. But she was also feeling very lonely, like he had been, yet somehow he wasn’t anymore.
Or maybe, on a party night, you couldn’t help mentioning the moon, that moon that wasn’t there at all.
He smiled at her, trying to be kind: “You know? Once upon a time I didn’t like it at all.”
“Really?” She was perplexed.
“Really. You could say I hated the moon.” He shrugged with casualness. “But later, I discovered there are up to twelve different moons.”
“Twelve?” The girl gave him a defiant glance. She was not ugly at all and she had discovered too soon that ‘beautiful and dumb’ was an obvious pairing some boys found entertaining. She had no intention oh helping him laugh at her.
“Indeed. There are twelve moons.” His voice was very patient. “There is the silvery moon of the frost. She shines on the freezing snow in the dark of the forest and makes ice glow dimly.
It’s the moon of the wild runs to warm up your body; breath becomes smoke escaping from your lips.
Your nose freezes and the smells, well the smells are sharper, like sudden stings, but rare. Everything is sleeping. Quite everything; if you look closely, you’ll discover foot-prints across the paths, fading into the dark, and reappearing further along.
This is the moon of the silent step that suddenly crackles out, and shouts ‘I am here’…”
“It looks like a nice moon…”. She didn’t know what to think about this boy.
“Indeed. You can really say it aloud, and mean it. The moon of the frost is a good moon. But,” he added slowly, “I like the moon of the ghosts too.”
The girl shot him an amused glance “Ghosts?”, she asked.
“Yes, ghosts, because, you see, there’s no more snow, no more diffused light at all. Only a lot of long shadows. A centaur or a rabbit, they share the same silhouette: a moon of treachery and a hidden world. There are giants hiding in the dark, and you must rely only on your ears. It’s the moon of the defiant steps.”
The girl smiled shyly in the dark, “But, later…”, she hesitated, “but later you meet the warm moon of the sun coming back.” She had followed his thoughts.
They smiled in the darkness, not daring to look at each other. “Springtime is going to come back again,” she whispered.
“Yes, and here it comes, the moon of the flowers.”
“The one I like the most,” she said quietly, looking at him with a smile.
“Well, in the moonlight you cannot discern the differences in all of the colours.” His voice held shades of sadness.
“But the smells, the smells are different!” she appeared excited, “You must have noticed!”
“Oh yes.” A broad grin lit up his face. “The smells are different. Something sweet but spiked, mixing with the wild damp of the woods. ”
“It’s true,” she said thoughtfully, “the first flowers aren’t so powerful.”
“And then you have the moon of the sprouts.” The boy smiled, as if thinking of something funny.
The girl giggled softly. “I know next moon very well. It’s the yellow moon of the ripe corn. Where I was born, it’s the beloved moon.”
He nodded. No, she isn’t silly at all… he thought.
She found courage and took a deep breath. “Then you have the cosy moons. The moon of laughter. Women come back from the rice-fields singing. It is too hot to sleep quietly. This moon tastes like never ending silly chats: you share the bed with your best girl friends, and you speak of the boy you fancy…” she stopped abruptly as if ashamed.
“A girl is no different than a boy.” She stated quickly. Am I being too rash?
“Oh yes, of course…” the muttered. Am I answering too quickly?
They blushed, looked at each other carefully, and burst out laughing.
The girl went on. “The harvest moon…” Now she was really at ease, she could look into his eyes. Such dark eyes. She hadn’t noticed them really, the boy had just been an unexpected presence in the dark, but he indeed had beautiful eyes.
The boy looked into her eyes and found them beautiful. Pale green eyes, like a cat. He hadn’t noticed them really, before this, the girl had just been an unrequited presence in the dark, but she indeed had beautiful eyes.
“Well… “, he suddenly broke the silence, “I never saw those moons. When they come, school is over and my friends are at their homes…”
It was easy to detect the gloom in his voice. The girl asked kindly, “So, when your friends are back at school, which moon do you see then?”
“Well, the first moon I see again is the white moon of the birds’ flight.” He grinned. “They go south for the milder weather. And the big, big moon of the first brisk air.”
The girl nodded slowly. “I know that moon very well. It’s the moon I can look at from my window. Not quite cold enough for logs in the fireplace, but not warm either. The kettle is always whistling and the wind causes my skin to tingle.”
“The eleventh moon is the moon of the leaves. Shrivelled leaves everywhere, smooth in the damp, frail under your paths. Your foot rustles. Or creaks.”
The girl chuckled “It is so true. I love to wander under the trees, making noise.”
And the last moon? They looked at each other smiling and said it together “It is the little moon of the dying sun.”.
The girl smiled happily, “The queen moon.”
The boy said sorrowfully, “The longest and darkest moon.”
Now the ice was broken. “I’ll go get you something to drink,” the boy said politely.
She couldn’t help smiling. He would come back. She was sure.
And, well, if he dared not to come back at once, she would go get him. Sure. She would look for him all over this old castle.
She smiled, not looking at him.
While the boy was preparing two glasses of iced pumpkin juice, a tall boy approached him.
“Not bad that girl over there. It seems you two get along. But Remus, what have you been talking to her about for so long?”
“About the thing I know best.”