Luna awoke to a storm raging outside. She never did like them much, for the loudness they produced made her feel incredibly small. She looked around the Ravenclaw tower at her roomates and upon hearing their heavy breathing and the slight rustles they made while they slept, she realized that she never did care for them much. Sure, they were nice enough when it was just them in their room alone, but around others they called her names like everyone else. Loony Lovegood, ha! How original! She found she was ok with not having friends though, for they were all the same. All had the same close minded, naïve views on anyone and anything different from them. Since her mother died when she was nine, Luna often forgot that the people around her had their own thoughts and feelings. She did not feel as they apparently did, did not experience things the same way. That's what made her so inclined to speak her mind; she forgot that not everyone felt as she did, that not everyone chose to be as oblivious to the world as she was, living in their own minds as though it could turn them away from all the wrong in the world. It wasn't a lack of intelligence as some thought it to be, she was in Ravenclaw after all, but for a lack of empathy towards others, a lack of a connection. She had felt terribly disconnected from everyone, like she didn't quite work the same and she never could get over that. And so it seemed, neither could anyone else.
She often woke in the middle of the night, as she did just then, and wandered about Hogwarts, taking in the beauty that she never allowed herself to acknowledge in the brightness of the day. The night was always her favorite, hence her name Luna. Ever since she was small, she was always a night owl, always came alive when the sun went down. In the rare moments she spent alone and unoccupied in the protection of the night, she allowed herself to feel the emptiness her loneliness produced and though she had tried to find any way to fill it, to make it go away, nothing ever worked. So during the day she shut it off. She became the distant, preoccupied, yet seemingly oblivious Luna that everyone knew, and that worked for her. She was used to being alone. She sat up in bed on this night, pushing the sheets to the side and rubbing her eyes as she tucked the loose strands of dirty blonde hair that fell from her braid, behind her ear. Slipping on her faded white bunny slippers and her blue robe, she tiptoed to the door and opened it as quietly as she could, exiting Ravenclaw Tower before anyone noticed her.
Hogwarts was eerily quiet at night. It was dark, and even the paintings that covered every available space of the corridor walls, seemed to be asleep. Her lantern, while bright, still only allowed her to see a few feet in front of her. The walk to the great hall was nice though, the storm outside allowed for a bright illumination when she passed by a few of the larger windows. She hummed to herself quietly, an old English song her mother used to sing to her when she was a child, and just looked up at the towering castle around her. She came to the great hall and looked interestingly at the goblet that was still perched at its post for receiving names for the Triwizard Tournament. She didn't understand the fuss over the whole thing, but of course, voicing that sort of opinion would only make her seem more weird given that it was supposedly an "honor" to get chosen. Some honor it is to risk your life to provide others entertainment, but no matter, she was too young to be considered and that was just fine for her; she wouldn't concern herself with things that weren't relevant to her. She also noticed she was not alone, and although this didn't exactly bother her, she still felt odd about sharing her alone time with someone else. Draco Malfoy sat at the Slytherin table alone, seemingly preoccupied. Books were strewn across the table and his head was bent over them as though it was his most important mission to uncover their secrets. She always enjoyed watching people when they were preoccupied. Their guard was down, and they were unaware of all that was going on around them. Luna felt that watching a person when they felt no one was, was the only real way to get to know them.
Draco's hair was adorably disheveled, a word she never often used to describe people of the opposite gender. You could tell he hadn't cut it in a while, but it was still short enough to be perfect in a boyish sort of way. He bit his lip and flipped the page in the book he was reading, pausing a moment to write something on his bit of parchment. His face was drawn into a look of utter concentration, his brow furrowed and his gaze unbreakable. She never realized how handsome he was. Everyone was caught up in the fact that he was a Slytherin and the idea that the vile attitude he showed to the world was the only side he had, and that meant no one paid him much attention. But Luna felt they should. She knew that people always had two sides, no matter how they acted or what they showed to the world, there was always the softer side that no one else saw. You just had to be patient enough to find it.
His white blonde hair was shining under the bewitched ceiling. The conjured moon illuminated his pale skin in a way that gave him an almost transparent hue. Luna felt a flutter in her stomach, a feeling she'd never experienced before but felt inclined to act on. Almost of their own accord, Luna's legs hesitantly made their way to where Draco sat transfixed at the Slytherin table. She felt almost cruel for bothering him, but just as she was about to turn away, he looked up at her. He tried to cover what he was reading, a reflex most likely, but failed miserably and Luna noticed he was reading books on Aurors.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. I didn't know anyone else would be in here" Luna said regrettably. Draco's glare softened as he took in the pretty girl standing in front of him, and he motioned for her to sit.
"It's fine. I was just getting some schoolwork done" he said as he shrugged and started closing and gathering his books.
"Oh no, it's quite alright, I didn't mind them where they were" She said happily as she sat, reaching out to hesitantly grab one. Draco tensed, but nevertheless let her pick one up as he noticed the fluffy bunny slippers on her feet. They made him smile.
"I was just reading into it for Defense class. Mad Eye has us reading about what exactly it means to be an Auror and I was…intrigued I guess" He laughed lightly, but it didn't reach his eyes and Luna got the feeling he was just as broken inside as she was.
"I find Aurors fascinating as well" Luna said thoughtfully as she paged through the book, attempting to make him feel better.
Draco took the time to study this girl. Luna, he knew her name was. He also knew she was a Ravenclaw, but he never heard much about her other than that she was crazy. But she didn't seem to be, at least not to him. There was a wisdom in her grey eyes, like she somehow knew more than she'd ever be able to tell you in one conversation, but made you want to ask anyway. Her face looked young and innocent, she was a third year after all, but she seemed…sweet. And Draco didn't quite know what to do with that, seeing as how sweetness was never something he'd experienced before from another person.
"What are you doing up this late?" He asked. She looked at him and smiled, her straight white teeth glimmering in the soft lighting her lantern produced and he noticed the slight blush in her cheeks. She thought for a moment and then answered in her musical voice.
"I can't sleep sometimes. My father says it has to do with the moon. It gets terribly lonely up there in the sky by itself, and when it storms or everyone's asleep, there's not a single person to admire its beauty and that makes it sad" She frowned.
It sounded odd to Draco and he could see why others thought her weird, but there was a sort of sense in what she said and he wondered if anyone else had ever noticed it before. He guessed not, for she blushed and looked away from him, letting out an uncomfortable giggle and bending her head back over the book. A loose strand of hair fell into her face and upon a split second impulse, he reached out to hesitantly tuck it back behind her ear. She looked up at him from under her long eyelashes and smiled. He found her cute, which was odd because he never used that word in the fond way he did just then, and to describe another person no less.
"It would make sense, wouldn't it? The moon would get lonely up there by itself; the stars not paying it much attention and the clouds forcing it out of the sky. That would make me sad as well" He smiled at her softly and her face brightened up as she shifted onto her knees.
"Why yes. That's what I always thought as well. But storms make me uncomfortable anyways, it's almost like a power battle. With too much noise. It's not the rain I mind much, but it feels as though every time it thunders, the earth shakes with it. The lightning demands attention and I find that rather upsetting. It would be beautiful, as it is, but the idea that it competes with thunder for attention makes it seem terribly vain" She laughed at her own words and that made Draco smile, even though he couldn't quite grasp what she was saying.
All he knew was that when she laughed, it sounded like music to his ears. She had this raw beauty about her that made him happy to just be able to look at her. Luna noticed how Draco looked at her, and it made her heart beat a bit faster in her chest, her body flushing and making her hot in her long lace nightgown and heavy robe. She didn't dare take it off though because to do so would leave her feeling quite exposed and that made her nervous.
"Do you ever feel lonely Draco?" Luna asked curiously. He looked away and after a moment, nodded in affirmation.
"My father always makes it hard to enjoy things. He's too intense about everything, always going on about schoolwork and quidditch and all the things I'm doing wrong. He doesn't like that I'm second in my class instead of first and second best seeker instead of first and that Slytherin has lost to Gryffindor for the house cup every year so far. My mother isn't necessarily the type for emotion or affection, so it's kind of like talking to a robot sometimes. That's how everyone is, really, so I opt to be alone most of the time" Draco frowned.
Luna felt sad for him. He just wanted to feel loved by people, but it was obviously hard for him considering no one actually tried to have a real relationship with him.
"I understand" Luna started. "But the way I see it, letting others get to you is a waste of time and happiness. Being happy with yourself is better than being unhappy for others to be happy, especially when making them happy is such hard work."
Draco thought about that for a moment and then smiled.
"Thanks Luna" He said softly and she beamed at him.
"I feel quite lonely as well. I don't have any friends really, and since my mom died it's just been me and dad, but he works a lot. For the most part I don't mind, but it's unfortunate that the only reason I don't have friends is because people think I'm crazy" She giggled, but Draco could hear the sadness in her voice and that hurt him.
"I don't think you're crazy Luna...and I wouldn't mind being your friend" Draco said quietly as he looked away. Luna looked at him and smiled widely.
"And I don't think you're evil Draco, so I wouldn't mind being your friend either" Luna giggled and hugged him suddenly. He jumped at the contact, but after a moment, he hugged Luna back while taking in the vanilla scent of her hair and relaxing into her embrace.
After she pulled away, they sat and chatted about the moon and their lives for a while longer, until they heard light shuffling in the corridors outside and realized people were awake.
"This was lovely Draco, really, but I feel we must go before we get in trouble" Luna laughed. Draco paused for a moment and then frowned.
"Do you think we might be able to do this again?" He asked hesitantly and Luna smiled.
"Of course" She giggled.
She hopped off the bench and put Draco's book back on the table as she bent and kissed his cheek lightly. It lasted only a moment, but as she skipped away back to Ravenclaw Tower, she couldn't help but feel the tingles from her lips radiate through her. She felt like maybe she'd found someone to take away her loneliness and although that worried her, she also hoped it to be true. After Luna left, Draco touched his cheek where she kissed him and smiled, sitting dazed for a moment before finally gathering his things and making his way back to the Slytherin common room to prepare for his morning classes.