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The Ground Beneath their Feet

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It can be difficult to organize large groups of people without a leader. Democracy is a slow, wieldy thing. Having representative leaders instead of a straight democracy can make change come faster, policies run smoother. If, of course, that leader is any good. 

And then there are some people that are curiously charismatic. Who, despite being far from perfect, can inspire people to train along in their wake. 

Luna became such a person. She was not born such a person, but she had the potential and molded herself into someone who overwhelmed and inspired with her very presence. 

Luna took her first step on that path during her first year at Hogwarts. She took it in response to her initial encounters with Hadrian. 

Not that those encounters were direct. Rather, during her first days at Hogwarts the reader will likely be unsurprised to hear that Luna saw the runes he and company set around the dorms. She wondered at them. 

And then she was one of the recipients of Hadrian’s particular form of justice. Her shoes went missing and reappeared in the space of a single morning. And then the group with the particularly strong concentration of nargles appeared to simultaneously all lose their quills. 

Luna found it far from coincidental. It wasn’t, after all, a difficult conclusion to reach. It made her curious. She’d hoped, at first, that the culprit might be a relative of a niffler, interested in quills instead of shiny metals. 

She paid attention when things went missing and for who. She paid attention and she saw. 

Luna had always been good with patterns.

Someone hadn’t been content to view viciousness as a necessary evil. 

Luna found that in the runes along classroom tables. She found in those notes, calls to pause and think. She found calls for respect and consideration. 

It was disconcerting and terrifying and beautiful. It suggested a world where people didn’t let nargles fester and instead focused on being more than a grudge. 

It didn’t take Luna long to find the responsible parties. 

Luna saw the three when they whispered to one another in class and in the library. She saw them because she did not look at them. They were like so many magical creatures that vanished when one looked at them straight on. One had to avoid looking at them to see them. 

Luna was good at that. 

She was also good at considering what all of those things meant and seeing how they tied together. 

But she also saw how the three shied away from direct engagement. None of them wanted to be the center of anyone’s attention. Hadrian, Luna thought, might have erased all memories of him outside his group if he could have. 

She thought about their goals. She thought about what they complained about and how they grit their teeth at certain kinds of injustice. She found herself agreeing with them. She started dreaming of a kinder world that demanded different Beings respect one another. She wanted it to be real. 

Luna, like so many people in this story, was absolutely brilliant. In another universe, she might have used that brilliance to escape the horrors of the homo sapien magical world and turn instead toward working with other Beings. She might have viewed homo sapiens as narrow sighted and limited and never thought to try and shape her world. She would absent herself with only brief appearances to a few loved ones. 

Here, Luna never experienced some of the low depths to which Beings can descend. Here, she was never locked in a closet or a dungeon. There was no torture. 

Instead of being crushed, Luna flourished with visions of promise and possibility. And she saw it as her responsibility to take advantage of that. 

She saw it as her responsibility in part because the stars and circumstance had aligned for her to do so. Luna knew that. She read the heavens in her first years and saw Jupiter’s placement in a fortuitous quadrant. 

Luna also knew that she had a privileged name. Her mother’s family name was on the appropriate lists and her father’s respectable for its magic even if not for its influence. 

Between those stars and those names, Luna mused in her second year at Hogwarts that she couldn’t--under the current system at least--take a seat in the Wizengamot. She could, however, become Minister of Magic. 

Luna contemplated the possibility. She spoke about it with Rowena in the Ravenclaw tower. She told Hogwarts her thoughts so that the castle could make informed decisions. She talked with the doxies in the curtains and discussed the matter with the house elves in the kitchens. 

Luna did not make decisions without long consideration. And here, the small, tiny child with more sight than size began deliberating how she could shape the world according to her vision before she even began her school electives and she took her time even beginning the case formulations to her plans.

By the time she did start in fifth year, her astronomy teacher was moving from bemused appreciation of innate talent to viewing Luna as the next possible Morgana and a physical embodiment of the rejuvenation of magic. 

Sinatra had, after all, seen some of Luna’s star charts and arithmetic calculations. She had spot checked a few of them. 

Even those few--hardly all--were enough to convince the teacher that this was someone important. The stars suggested it could be so.

Luna had run and rerun hundreds of calculations, each growing more complex as she took additional angles and Beings into account. She’d decided that the smoothest, least revolutionary path to her goal was to take control. 

She buzzed with the desire to do so. 

Heady with visions of control, she set Hadrian and his working group as her moral compass because any leader needed an outside bar. And then she began to develop plans. The stars might be aligned for her, but they did not give information on minutia.

To do so, Luna opened some of her mother’s closed rooms at home to create webbed networks of formula. Hadrian spun similar webs focused on warding or stones. Luna’s were about groups and individual Beings. 

She started with Hogwarts and its inhabitants, trying to account for everyone down to the spider familiars. She kept a crystal sphere in her pocket with an active image of her calculations, sending back notes and considerations. 

In studying those webs, in calculating the most secure paths to her goals, she noted that she would do better with a partner. She wanted someone to be a confidant and she needed someone to see her. She suspected that if she could not find the later that she might end up dissolving into the magics she manipulated. That happened, after all, to some Beings. Ghosts, for example, needed to be seen to continue to linger. 

It was not, then, entirely happenstance that saw Luna in Gringotts on a particular, fateful day. Luna had looked at the variety of paths open to her and chosen the one that sang to her in the sweetest tones. 

Luna was pleased that she took her chance and went. 

Luna liked Theodore. At first, she appreciated his sensitivity to those magical resonate tremors that made the skin tingle whenever something momentous happened. And then, even better, she adored that he could keep up and move right alongside her. 

Hadrian, Hermione, and Millicent might have been able to keep up too. They were brilliant and had lovely ideas, but they preferred to hide. They had little interest in influencing the system directly. 

But Theo, he burned with the desire to change his circumstances. He burned with the desire to rip away certain of the privileges and practices of some of those named to the Wizengamot. Children, he believed, should not have to suffer through their parents. 

For her, Theo was almost perfect and became more so. 

He studied at her plans and then looked at her in awe. It was nice to know that someone felt her capable of achieving her dreams. 

It also didn’t hurt that he lit up when she walked into a room. There was something about the way his breath would catch in his throat when he listened to her that she found sweet.   

They worked. 

They worked in part because they trusted one another. And because Theo loved watching her weave her complex webs.

It took Theo some time to realize the array of levels to which she was working. Even her suggestions, her seemingly innocuous phrases built one on the other. She could comment as an aside that it was such a shame that people like V--- had destroyed so much magical heritage that was worth celebrating. Her eyes would shine with sweet sorrow when she’d comment that there was a house that folded up and was gone. The Avery house was gone, the House Black had almost died. So much tradition, so much heritage, wantonly destroyed. 

V---, she implied over dozens of conversations, had been a brutal--if powerful--thug. She didn’t, her smile so sweet, understand why people would give up so much for a leader instead of asking the leader to work for them. V---, according to the tales their parents woven, hadn’t created anything but rather stepped on the necks of his followers. 

Parkinson had frowned at the thought. She could imagine being stepped on. She knew what it was like to be shoved by older, more powerful people. 

Luna commented that she was unsure why their society didn’t strive to reach even greater heights. They were magic and had so many possibilities. Why stick to the mundane. Collaboration would mean they could be even more.

Abbott began to dream. 

Those kind of interactions were the ones that made Theo look at Luna with wonder. She had whispered inspiration and encouraged aspiration. People around Luna wanted to be more, do more, be kinder. Theo knew he was besotted.  

Luna, for her part, found Theo to be a very useful friend. 

Theo would not be the last of Luna’s useful friends, even if he would remain the closest. 

But no one person can be all things. 

Luna also found Andromeda ne Black, who became Tonks and then Black again. She worked those changes into her calculations first when she read about the uproar in the papers. She then learned more nuance from Hermione. 

It was Hermione who agreed to introduce them. 

Luna had never met such a heavy presence. Andromeda Black could sweep into a room and have every eye look her way. She fit neatly into Luna’s calculations. 

The Black interim head was old money with an impeccable pedigree, and a cutting tongue. She offended everywhere she went and people loved to hate her for it. 

She was on everyone’s tongue and on every page of every paper. Her daughter was an auror and her husband, by all accounts, was trying to resurrect an old loom.

Black symbolized the union of old and new. She was the perfect embodiment of what people thought a Black should be even as she spit in the face of her parents’ beliefs.

Luna wove her webs around Andromeda and pulled her securely to her side with words of building and renewal.

Andromeda looked over Luna’s plans, nodded her head, and gave her support. With concessions. But this was politics. 

Eventually, she supported Luna publicly. 

Eventually, the majority of the homo sapien magical world supported Luna publicly. 

Luna would be the most popular leader the magical homo sapien world had had in hundreds of years. People cheered as she took the world as they’d understood it apart.