The Duality of Darkness

Pairing: Bellatrix Lestrange/Luna Lovegood............Luna Lovegood is a new Trainee Healer on the fourth floor of St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. She finds that her mind might also be in need of some healing when she is introduced to one particular long-term patient, Bellatrix Lestrange; who was mistakenly presumed dead at the Battle of Hogwarts, only one year before......................Warnings (current, and in the future): AU, FEMSLASH, background OCs, destructive personalities, self-injury, conspiracy, subject matter on a close-relative's death, neglect, forms of child abuse (although, nothing descriptive, and it is very much in context and relevant), mental disturbances......................I originally posted this story up on FF.net, so, if you're on there, search for me and leave me a nice little message (or some harsh critique) if you like via PM or review! My writer name on there is 'ShelleyRusalki' also.

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1. Maniae Rays

The world had spotted, and cracked, and fallen away from me, and then I did dream of a comforting blue light beneath the waters. A fear took hold as I felt my body stiffen, and the proceeding countless adrenaline rushes began to drown me as my breath was spirited away, and, as my neck seized, I was forced to look up to a stone cold sky at nothing in particular. My skeleton seemed to grow and envelop me, and my muscles became a quick sand that I began to filter through. My heart thudded loud from deep within my chest, a drum roll to a much anticipated event. I screamed for help but my mouth lay outstretched and denied to form the words, and no hands reached inside my skull. I was deep within the waters now, and vibrating through rock. The thing inside me, which is the essence of me, could not keep afloat, and it had nothing to grab on to. I had nowhere to go, I could not run from me. My soul naturally began to ache and plead of its own accord to some higher being; but it was webbed in that enchanted ceiling. My skin withered away from me, and I heard the bang as I hit the floor like a beam of wood hitting an ocean. I remember that the surface was hard and icy against my head, and it caused my tongue to stick through my teeth.. and then all saturated thought was snatched away in those mere seconds.

Seconds.

Minutes.

Hours.

The heart.

The heart does beat.

It trickles through lost tiny streets.

A breath.

A breath of air.

A butterfly creaks and seems to flare.

Before I awoke in a stone cold nest,

Such strange sounds, I can't recall.

Save the thudding noise within my chest,

That echoes now, but feels so small.

The eyes.

The eyes do see.

They flicker through eternity.

I feel.

I feel too much.

I don't remember feeling touch.

Stripped bare when eyes do dart at me,

Demon screams all opened wide.

I fear these giants, I wish to flee,

A pain is dashed right through my side.

Why do you wish to make me feel so sore?

All is dark and gauzy, but not so as before.

...

Luna Lovegood stood just before the reception desk. The flower in her hair had come lose, and so she dragged it through the pale tresses to fix it up again. The large flower was deep violet in colour and with a large glass gem in the middle, she smiled and remarked to herself just how pretty it had looked in the mirror this morning alongside her lime green robes. Once it was all fixed up again, she stepped towards the desk where the Welcome Witch sat.

The Welcome Witch was a little woman, with sparkling blue eyes, and shoulder-length hair. She had a warming glow about her, which, Luna guessed, was good. A Welcome Witch who did not make you feel welcome, would not have been very welcoming at all. As, despite her calm demenour, Luna was a little nervous. It was her first day at work as a fully fledged trainee healer, at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries; she would have been stupid not to have a few knots tying themselves up and causing her upset in the stomach. She had promised herself to polish her badge several times this morning, which sported the St. Mungo's emblem of a wand crossed with a bone, but she had instead left it to collect some dust. Dust had a million or more origins, and she hoped that these origins would send her some luck.

Her eyes skittered around the room, to see many witches and wizards seated on the rickety wooden chairs. There was a lot of noise and hustle and bustle, she glanced briefly at a wizard who was covered in purple boils, and another who was having a heated argument with a witch who had fire spitting out of her ears. She thought it best not to gaze at them for too long and listen to what their argument was about. Old copies of Witch Weekly addorned the wooden tables, and she was happy to see a few copies of the Quibbler scattered about too, despite that they were obviously being used as tea coasters.

"Hello, could you point me in the direction of the Janus Thickey ward, please?" she said with a broad smile at the older witch.

The Welcome Witch didn't even look up, and seemed to be writing some notes on a piece of parchment very fast. "Fourth floor, straight down the corridor to your left. I suggest you check in at Miriam Strout's office beforehand; for your induction. Which is to your right, just as you get on to the fourth floor." she said, rather gruffly, and not in a tone that Luna expected to come from a Welcome Witch.

The young witch wondered where the stairs were to the fourth floor. She couldn't quite place where Mirium Strout's office was, either. It shouldn't be too hard to find; she had been here before several times in the years gone by.

She meandered around some corridors on the ground floor in search of some stairs, and came to a cosy looking ward which had around thirty beds, and she knew it to be a section of the hospital dealing with Artifact Accidents. The walls were painted in lilac, and each bed had blankets to match with magically pristine white pillows and sheets, that cleaned themselves of any bodily fluids which dared to touch them. It was not a same-sex ward, as all of the beds seemed to be occupied by both witches and wizards, although most had their curtains drawn. Only a handful of Healers seemed to work here, and they stuck out rather fantastically from the hoards, thankfully due to their lime green robes. They were rushing around and cleaning the bed spaces, as well as talking and observing each patient, some were changing dressings, others were assisting the immobile to feed, inbetween giving them various bubbling broths and brightly coloured potions. The waiting and treatment rooms were just as crowded as the one by the admissions desk down the hall, and she was a little taken aback by how busy it seemed to be. The blonde guessed that a lot of the people in the waiting room here were waiting to be admitted, but it looked like none of patients currently occupying the ward were ready to leave any time soon. There was a lot of shouting, crying, and loud conversation, wrapped up within a normal hospital buzz that the Ravenclaw knew well. It was a really warm and sunny day outside, and she knew that this often brought out an experimental side to those with magical blood, an experiemental side which can so often lead to many fun escapades as well various, and thankfully small, disasters.

The blonde saw a large oak door across the other side of the ward, and managed to get to it without anybody spying her lime green uniform and asking her any questions; which she would not yet know the answer to.

The door had no knob or handle to open it with, but instead sported a large and dark mahogany sun at its centre, with rays of a much lighter wooden shade that splayed out into each corner of the door. Just as Luna began to trace her finger around the sharp edges of it, the door burst open and another Healer rushed out of it and knocked her to the floor.

"Oh... I'm so so sorry!" A man's voice came from above her. "Here, let me help you to your feet.. what were you doing there? Ah, I really am sorry."

The wizard seemed to be perhaps a little older than her, tall but a little plump in shape, with raggedy brown hair which fell to his shoulders, and a most unique beard which was long in some places but patchy in others, and seemed to have been persevered with. He helped Luna scramble to her feet and she smiled. "Don't worry, I've always been a little light on my toes." she said.

"You're new aren't you?" The wizard continued to fumble and fuss over her, and wiped at her elbows when he saw that a little dirt had appeared on them from her fall. "You're not hurt, are you?"

"No, thankyou, and yes, I'm Luna Lovegood." The blonde was quite happy that the wizard had now stopped his fussing and had taken a step back from her.

"Ahh, one of our new trainees. I'm Augustus. Augustus Pye." He held out his hand to her and she politely clasped it and shook. "I've been summoned from upstairs to create some more bed space down here to make the ward a little larger, it's been very busy today in Artifact Accidents. It always is when the sun is out. You'd think everyone would like to stay at home and relax on such a lovely day, but no, instead they all seem to yearn for bits of broom stuck up their noses, broken fingers, or potion making of a risqé nature."

Augustus beamed when Luna giggled loudly.

"I assume you're not working down here, or you would have been warned not to have gone through this door until the spells were completed." The young wizard said, and he shut the door behind him. "Whereabouts are you to be stationed? Up in Dai Llewellyn?" His tone sounded hopeful.

"The Janus Thickey ward." Luna smiled. "I've been told that it's on the fourth floor, but I don't even know where the stairs are."

"Oh, well, I've finished down here anyway, and I work on the first floor. I can take you to your ward, if you like?" he smiled back at her, and his questions were almost rhetorical as he started to walk her. "It's no trouble, I need the exercise anyway. Strout's office, I guess? Ooh, I just need to let the Healers down here know that I've sorted out their bed situation."

He quickly advanced on the first Healer who walked by, who was a tiny and very stressed looking witch, with a small smoking silver cauldron atop a tray, but Luna couldn't hear their conversation over the numerous commotions from the rest of the ward.

The stairs had been behind the reception of the desk where the Welcome Witch had sat, but Luna didn't think too much on the fact that she must have seen her walk in the wrong direction earlier. She did seem awfully busy, and was almost snapping her quill with how hard she seemed to be writing onto her piece of parchment.

Luna decided that she really liked Augustus, and although she didn't speak much to him, he did plenty of talking for the both of them. He gave her a brief overview of where the general things were, that they all usually took lunch at scattered times in the visitors tea rooms on the fifth floor, and where his ward was if she needed any advice from him at all. He briefly spoke of his interest in muggle healing techniques, that he had been sorted into Hufflepuff when he was a student at Hogwarts, and he also explained that he had been working here a good few years, but was only recently qualfied to be a full-time Healer.

The stairs were awfully long and winding, but Luna didn't mind too much. She would need to climb these probably several times a day, and her legs would just have to get used to the idea. Lots of beautifully framed paintings and pictures addorned the walls, and many of the people occupying them welcomed Luna with sentimental words and broad smiles. She would have to make the time to come and introduce herself properly to them all at some point.

"And here we are," Augustus said cheerfully. "Fourth floor. Spell Damage. It can get quite exciting up here, I've heard. I am suprised that a Trainee is starting their journey up here, you must have seriously impressed the Trust of Healers."

"I used to fix broken bones at school, only minor injuries though." The Ravenclaw said.

"And now you have me impressed!" The wizard was entirely sincere. "I always thought it strange that Hogwarts never implemented any Healer type classes into their curriculum. It's different now, of course, I read in the Daily Prophet that they were to introduce it in some form as a subject. I can still bet that it won't take much precedence. Everyone seems to think that they are invincible, of course, as invincible as Harry Potter himself." He chortled, and Luna felt herself shy away a little at the mention of her friend's name. She did not feel the need to tell anybody of her affiliation with him, Ron Weasley, or Hermione Granger, just yet. Even more so if they didn't already know. "There aren't too many broken bones up here though, at least, the ward is not established for that specific reason. You must have a good mind for other minds, too."

"I really hope so." The blonde grinned at him from ear to ear. She knew very well that the certain affiliation with a certain trio had helped her immensely on the career front, as it had with everyone who had been involved with bringing down Tom Riddle, who was no longer referred to by his preferred name of Lord Voldemort.

"Anyway, the door infront of you is Miriam Strout's office, and I shall leave you to get your teeth stuck in!" Augustus bowed low.

"Oh, can you please tell me how to open the door?" She asked, after seeing that Strout's office door also had a large mahogany sun with all its rays emblazoned on the front.

Augustus laughed, "Ahh, of course. I always forget how that these darn things confuse the newcomers. The patients and their families never seem to take note of them, I guess because they have other things on their minds." he said. "You might want to knock on this particular one, though, and any which you don't know what lurks behind it. That's one thing that does get the heckles up on our superiors; they do like you to knock, even in an emergency. Once you've had your induction, a senior, or Strout, in this case, will ask you to place your hand on a specifically designed St Mungo's Crystal Ball in her office, which speaks to the rest of the hospital. The building will then remember your finger prints, hand shape, everything... and then once that's been done, you can place your hand at the centre of any sun, on any door, that you have permission to enter here. The rays will proceed to pull back, and can be quite loud depending on the age of the door, to unbolt it and the door will then open for you."

"It's a really beautiful idea." Luna mused aloud.

"It is." The young wizard smiled and stroked his immature beard. "Anyway, you'd best be off to Madame Strout, I'm sure you're already fairly late."

"I got here extra early, I think I'm not actually due for my induction for another two hours or so." The Ravenclaw said wistfully. "I think it looks enthusiastic, to be early. I will have to come and visit your ward sometime soon."

"If you get the time, that would be nice." Augustus gave her a low bow again and began to descend down the stairs. "Your hair flower is really pretty by the way, I'm sure that it'll strike some conversation with the patients." He shouted back.

Luna was glad of their meeting as it had made her have a small taste of feeling a little more settled, before getting to the bits that she just wanted to be over and done with. She was sure that Miriam Strout would be a lovely lady, from what she had heard, but she hated such formalities that she knew would soon ensue. She began to knock at the large door infront of her, forgetting that she had to be careful of the sharp rays of the wooden sun, and the grooves of skin on the joints of her fingers became heated and began to sting.

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