And then there were three.
Three people mutely watching Luna Lovegood at suppertime.
Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, and Severus Snape.
Snape was, no surprise, better at it than Draco and Harry combined. Harry caught him stealing quick glances at her. Assessing glances.
Harry himself, found himself wondering how Snape knew about Lovegood's work on the mistletoe. She wouldn't have told him, not outright... That just wasn't Luna's way.
Maybe she'd just wished Snape a Happy Yule, and Snape was letting his paranoia run away with him.
Well, in that case, he was right to be paranoid, just this once. Well, maybe oftener than that - if Harry Potter had plans, Harry was willing to wager that other people did too.
Idly, he grabbed Hermione's textbook away from her (she'd been eating a bite of prime rib).
"Harry!" she said, through her mouthful of food (Victory for Harry! He'd gotten Hermione to talk with her mouth full. Harry knew how much she hated that - she'd told Ron often enough).
Harry, of course, was leaning back, far enough away that she couldn't get to the book without getting up and rounding half the table (they'd sat in the middle) to actually get the book back.
"Why don't I remember any of this?" Harry asked quietly. It was true. This was today's lesson - he had a vague recollection of it. But the time had seemed to dart by like silverfish scattering before - wait, what eats silverfish? Call it a Kingfisher - it sounded nice, even if it was wrong. Sometimes Luna had the right Idea, Harry considered, naming things willy-nilly like she often did.
Hermione got her book back after supper, and Harry continued to try the Charm that he was supposed to have learned in class. It didn't feel like it was any easier than a random spell he'd pick up out of any random book.
Harry really should try paying attention in class. Borrowing Hermione's notes was one thing, but not paying any attention at all? He didn't even have much of an excuse this time. A few weeks ago he'd been busy. Call it true, he'd been frantic. Once again, something had Come Up that required his full attention.
This wasn't that. This was something wrong.
Back in his dorm, back in the Gryffindor Common Room, Harry didn't want to play chess with Ron, or a game of Exploding Snap with Seamus (it didn't matter if anyone else were playing, Seamus had the devil's own luck with the game). He retreated up to his room, opening that old (surprisingly well-treated) Defense book. He was going to study.
Hours later, he looked up, and saw the moon streaming in the window.
Well, that was a relief! at least he could still study, if he put his mind to it.
[a/n: It should say something that Harry doesn't know 3rd year defense backwards and forwards. Reviews?
Luna does have something planned - she wouldn't have helped otherwise.]