Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 53

Harry, heading off to dinner, tried to pretend to himself that he wasn't hurt that he was going to have to do the rest of the plan by himself. Oh, it didn't hurt too much not to be letting Ron in - he was always a hothead, and if Harry'd had any plans before this that even verged on what he was doing now, he'd have left the redhead out in a heartbeat. He was simply too volatile for anything resembling delicacy.

Not that Harry intended to do anything delicate, today.

However, it was really Hermione not wanting to help that upset him. She always had such a level head on her shoulders, and she was good at plans, like scary good. And they had always done these sorts of things together. True, this time he hadn't had a "good enough reason" (whatever that would take... Harry knew Hermione didn't hate Malfoy, but if you consider someone a rather obnoxious bit of slime, it's hard to think anything good about them at all, isn't it? Harry himself had to think about what Snape had said about Malfoy's loyalty before he could really find anything good to say about Malfoy, and that was in the secludedness of his own mind!).

Harry was so preoccupied with his thoughts, that he almost missed Luna Lovegood coming down a sidepassage towards the Great Hall and dinner. This was a more impressive feat than it sounds, as she had colorful swirls of light arrayed around her, so she looked like some sort of completely clad belly dancer, or possibly a faerie. Either way, it was quite a marvellous sight, and Harry was glad that he had stopped - was that a butterfly net?

"Luna?" Harry asked, reluctant to intrude if she was really preoccupied with catching something imaginary. He'd done so before, and been roped into helping her on her hunt. While normally he was game for such frivolity, today he really was hungry - and at any rate he had things to do.

"Oh! Harry Potter! I didn't notice you were there." Luna said, dropping the net.

Harry approached softly, hoping that if she was looking for something it would be attracted by silence, rather than by a lot of noise. Luna looked the type to have a good pair of lungs on her, and he didn't fancy her screaming in his ear.

"You look like you're thinking pretty hard about something." Luna said with a smile.

Harry looked up and down the hallway, before swiftly sketching a well-memorized spell with his index finger, speaking the privacy spell in low tones. "Yeah, I've been working on getting out of leading the Homework Group I started last year..."

"You're still doing that?" Luna said, then changed her mind, "Someone's still doing that? I figured with Snape..."

Harry smiled, and said, "It's still a good idea. You saw last year how much you learned about the other houses..."

Luna smiled and nodded, and then looked a little sad, "All except the Slytherins..." Harry was vaguely surprised that had worked, as he hadn't really expected to lead her right there - he hadn't really been trying, at any rate.

"Maybe..." Harry started, pausing, "Maybe you could help me with that..."

Harry explained what he had come up with, and Luna nodded, before smiling angelically. "You say just that, and I'll take care of the rest." So saying, she got out a book to read on the way to dinner.

[a/n: well, no dinner. sorry, Luna flew by. Catch the Luna Moth!


Brightening, Luna smirked, and took Harry by the arm, "Maybe I could at that! You know you don't always have to plot with your Gryffindor friends..."