Ginny is the only one who meets Luna the morning she gets released from the hospital wing. Luna had been hoping maybe Harry or Neville might, but her disappointment dissolves when Ginny sees her and breaks out into a huge grin. Being alone with Ginny will be nice.

"Hi," Ginny says, stepping forward. "All better? Feeling up to a small walk?"

Luna smiles. "Yes, I'm all better."

Ginny leads the way out into the sunny grounds, waving to various groups of students as they pass. Everyone is lounging around, relaxed by the good weather despite the news that Lord Voldemort is back.

"You're very popular," Luna observes as Ginny smiles at yet another friend.

Ginny glances at her and shrugs. "I didn't used to be. People didn't notice me my first year and hated me my second."

"They didn't hate you," Luna says. "They were scared of you. People do cruel things when they're scared."

"Fear isn't an excuse," Ginny says firmly.

"No," Luna agrees. "I don't think there is an excuse for cruelty."

They're beside the lake now and Ginny stops by a patch of wildflowers. She looks hard at Luna, like she's studying her.

"You see a lot more than you let on, don't you?" she says finally.

"I don't hide it," Luna says, "but nobody ever asks."

Ginny nods slowly. "Well I want to ask you something."


"Yeah. Just a sec." Ginny bends down and picks a bunch of flowers, arranging them quickly then thrusting them out for Luna to take. "Do you want to go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend?" she says.

Luna stares at her, wondering if she's misheard. But no, Ginny is still holding out the flowers for her to take, is still looking at her expectantly and, perhaps, a little nervously.

A smile creeps onto Luna's face and she reaches out to take the flowers. "I'd love to."