Nobody ever asked my birthday

Uncooperative Creativity

By the time Harry had gotten near Luna, he'd half convinced himself that Luna had something to do with making off with the rest of the castle (save Pince, who looked still as stone). It was Luna Lovegood, and with her, all things were possible, after all.

And there was this disquieting, almost itchy feeling under his skin. Snape had said to enjoy himself. Snape wasn't a person one thought of as happy, no, never. Gleeful, perhaps, but not happy. His enjoyment of something was a darker thing - Hermione's laugh was bright, and Ron's smile was gay, but Snape? His enjoyment felt more like a brief and bittersweet indulgence.

So it was downright odd for Snape to order Harry Potter to enjoy something.

What in the ducky is going on? Harry thought.

Before Harry could really think about tucking tail and turning round, Luna looked up at him. She hadn't been reading, just maundering - looking down and out the window.

"Oh, Harry! there you are!" Luna said, with that soft and airy smile.

"Where is everyone, Luna?" Harry asked, trying to keep any hard edges out of his voice.

"Outside, of course," Luna said, smiling. "There's a great big bonfire, and the house elves brought warm spiked cider, and treats!" Luna jumped off the windowsill where she'd been sitting, and did a soft pirouette.

Harry had to smile at that, even as his nose belated (and with help) decoded the subtle scent of fire. "Why aren't you outside?"

Luna smiled, showing off a bottlecap necklace, "Because I've got these, they keep the nargles away." Luna smiled, looking warm, "Nobody else will wear them, so we must resort to more extreme measures." Luna leaned over and winked.

"Like what?"

"Why, like bonfires and dancing and a feast! To chase the hobs away!" Luna smiled.

"It sounds lovely. Why aren't you down there with everyone else?" Harry persisted.

"I don't like fire," Luna said, "Particularly when it's out of control. It reminds me... of things I'd rather not think about."

Harry shifted uneasily, from foot to foot, "Do you need some company?"

Luna looked up at him, then gripped his hands, pulling him closer to her, "It's do you want company, Harry." Luna's blue eyes turned cold as a moonless night, "Or it's a lie." Luna's lips quirked into a devilish smile, "Don't lie to me."

"Are you feeling lonely? I hate feeling lonely, and would keep you company if you were." Harry said, trying to choose his words with enough precision.

"Go join the lot of them, Harry," Luna said, using her hands on his wrists to spin him, until his backside was touching her front. She lightly patted him on the nearest available surface, "Get going, lil' doggie."

Harry did, thinking as he plummeted down the empty stairs, Luna is so strange.

[a/n: reviews? Yes, I am fully aware that I sent a good part of you running for the encyclopedia last chapter. I am innocence and light!]