The perfect blue sky mirrored Harry's calm demeanour as he ambled across the castle grounds. His broomstick rested carelessly on his shoulder, his hair was wild and windswept from an hour spent airborne during a particularly successful Quidditch practice.
The delectable scent of kippers and sausages from Hagrid's hut wafted over the grass. Small groups of students littered the ground, busy going through last minute assignments or lazily reclined on the fresh ground soaking up the unseasonably warm weather.
As he skirted the Black Lake he took in the calming sounds of the water lapping gently, the buzzing of the insects, the thrilling whoosh of a broom flying across its glittering surface... a broom?
Harry opened his eyes and searched the lake. In the distance he spotted the source of the noise. A student was sat astride an old Cleansweep 7 zigzagging over the surface of the lake. Her long tangled locks of blonde hair flowed behind her, the wind billowing the hem of her Ravenclaw robes. Her large, equable grey eyes probed the depths of the water.
He watched her for a while, leaning on the end of his broom. The rays of sunlight coupled with the diamond glow of the water's veneer and her slow, fluid motion was quite mesmerising and also a little more than confusing. What on earth was she doing?
After a few minutes Luna finally pulled her broom to a stop, hovering delicately over the water. She repositioned herself so that she was sat side saddle on her broom and delved a hand into the satchel that was hung over shoulder pulling out a small, tattered leather bound sketch book. Grabbing the pencil that was tucked firmly behind her ear she began to hurriedly scribble onto the pages, casting glances up from her work to look back into the water.
Harry blinked hard, giving his head a rough shake. He looked over towards the castle where a large group of students had begun to make their way inside, the same pupils who he had seen lounging about on the grass earlier. How long had he been stood there?
Luna's voice punctured Harry's mind. He looked back towards the water to find Luna still on her broom floating above the lake a few feet in front of him.
"Luna. Hi." He felt guilty for some strange reason, like he'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
"What are you doing here?" She asked smiling at him. She nodded towards his broom. "Quidditch practice was over ages ago."
Harry tilted his head to the side giving her a questioning look. "You're right. How did you know?"
"Oh I sometimes come to watch you practice on the weekends." She crossed her ankles and placed both hands on either side of her broom, as if she was sitting on a bench in the park not dangling above a lake with a giant squid in it.
"You do? You come to watch me?" He felt a hot itch tickle his collar. He pulled at it casually.
"Of course. You and Ginny, Ron too. When you're not playing Ravenclaw I like to show my support whenever I can for the Gryffindor team. I'm sure you've noticed me there?."
He hadn't. He felt rather foolish after realising she hadn't meant just him.
"What are you doing anyway Luna?" He asked quickly to shift the topic.
Luna grinned taking the book from her lap and waving it triumphantly. "Just doing a little a little research. Magizoology requires a keen interest and a commitment of a decent amount of free time. I've got to start thinking seriously about my future once I've finished school and after you defeat Voldemort of course." She added flippantly.
Harry grinned. "Of course."
Luna Lovegood, always so calm and certain. If only he could carry her round in his pocket whenever he needed her... what was he saying?
"Did you know the Black Lake contains the only known Bunyip in Great Britain? Native to Australia but this one came over during the Tri-Wizard tournament. It stowed away on the Durmstrang ship."
"But isn't that in Bulgaria?"
"Doesn't matter. I haven't spotted it yet but I've managed to find a few other intriguing things to take note of."
"It is. I don't normally study by broom but it does have a certain charm." She swung her legs lazily back and forth. She almost didn't notice when one of her shoes flew off and plopped like a stone into the water. "Oops." She peered down and squinted into the lake. "This is my last pair."
"Luna." Harry rolled his eyes.
"Don't worry I just need to..." she leaned forward on her broom her arm outstretched to the water below.
"Luna wait!" But Harry's words came to late as he watched her lose grip on the wooden handle of her ride and fall into the murky drink with a loud splash.
"Oh heck." He quickly tossed a leg over his broom and kicked off into the air, zipping over to where Luna was busy coughing up half the lake.
"Luna quick grab hold." He held his hand towards her. She smiled up at him, grabbing the weeds that had attached themselves to her hair, tossing them aside.
"Thanks." She coughed. She took his hand. The water was cold.
He made to pull her up but something impeded her movement out of the water. She frowned looking down before smiling again.
"I think the Giant Squid's got hold of my foot. The cheeky little scamp."
"Kick it off." Harry said giving a nervous look towards the water.
"No need. It's just playing. I just need to tickle a tentacle or two and then..."
"Luna." Harry bemoaned trying to shift his weight more evenly on the broom.
"If I can just reach with my other..." suddenly Luna gave a huge jolt downwards with Harry's hand firmly in tow followed by Harry's arm, Harry's shoulders, then his head and then the rest of him. He felt the icy water break his fall before kicking back to the surface taking in a huge breath of air.
"He let go. Don't worry." Luna bobbed beside him, brushing his matted hair away from his forehead. "Just took me by surprise."
"Oh well that's good." Harry grumbled giving an involuntary shiver. "I guess I was planning on taking a bath anyway."
He looked for his broom which had floated away towards the edge of the lake. He took hold of Luna's hand and followed it. "Come on then. I might as well see this mess of a rescue operation through to the end."
"So brave." She chuckled. He let a wry smile meet his lips.
They swam forward until their feet met the ground. They both waded, soaked to the bone back to the verge. He kept hold of her hand which she did not relinquish as they stumbled over the vines and weeds in the shallow water.
"At least it's not raining I guess." He mumbled trying to brush off the damp soil with his free hand.
"That would be great. The rain might bring out the Bunyip, the disturbance of the waters surface creates a..."
Harry didn't hear her last words. His foot caught awkwardly on a small patch of vines, wrapping around his foot. He stumbled pulling Luna's hand before crashing back once again into the cold water, taking the blonde haired witch with him. She landed on top of him, crashing her knee into his stomach.
He let out a howl of pain as water splashed around his head.
"Sorry, sorry." Luna pushed herself up placing her hands on his chest. She rolled off him and they both crawled the last few yards towards the fresh grass collapsing onto the ground again. She rolled onto her back blinking against the sunshine. "That must have hurt."
He laughed rubbing his stomach. "Not as bad as a Basilisk fang or the multiple broken limbs. This is child's play."
She chuckled turning her face towards him. "No need to put a brave face on it. If you want to cry you go right ahead." She teased.
Harry pushed himself up onto his elbow looking down at her. The last inch of water swam about her long locks of gold, they waved about her face, hazily framing her dream like silver globe eyes, her small inquisitive mouth, her lips rosy red from the dunk in the lake. They probably taste like pond water he thought with an involuntary grin.
A line of dirt traced the edge of her nose, a look not uncommon to Luna Lovegood. She splashed her hands by her sides casually letting the water run through her fingers. Her eyes looked over his face absentmindedly. Now that she was in the water she didn't seem that inclined to vacate it.
Maybe it was the heat from the sun or the surprise soaking he'd just received but Harry's mind had all but slowed to a crawl as he looked back at her. His stomach lurched but not in the way he recognised, this was different. A strange mix of nerves and excitement played a furious rhythm in his chest.
"Are you ok Harry?" She asked giving him a searching gaze. She lifted her hand and ran it through her sopping hair. She pulled a small black beetle from it and stared at the insect, letting out a small sigh.
Such a strange girl he thought watching the nape of her neck move with her breathing. Her voice was so soft and serene, alluring you might say... well he would anyway. Her neckless of Butterbeer corks floated on the waters surface away from her chest. He let out a small laugh.
"What?" She asked intrigued, facing him again.
This was not normal he noted as he took in the silence. People don't just stay put laying about in cold lakes unless they were waiting for something to happen. Why wasn't she getting up and why wasn't he for that matter. Could she be waiting for him to... no, no way. Luna?
Suddenly a fresh note of electricity volleyed around his body as he pondered... what if I did? What would she do? A girl like Luna. The thought alone was fascinating enough but he couldn't deny that the idea also aroused a strange impulse in his own mind.
Before he even realised what he was doing he was leaning over Luna, his hand across her, planted firmly in the squelching soil. Luna diverted her attention away from the beetle in her hand which took off scuttling down her arm and into the damp grass.
She looked up at him, blinking hard. "Harry?"
He leaned in closer, giving her chance to pull away. She just stared back, a curious frown played on her brow.
Was he mad? Had he lost all sense?
He could feel her deep breaths dance across the surface of his skin. The closer he got the shorter they became until they stopped altogether, holding the last in her throat as his nose touched hers.
Then as if coming to from a deep sleep her hand rose from the water and she placed it on his damp chest, keeping him at bay.
He stopped, his lips so close to hers even the slightest movement would connect them. He stared into her eyes, those large silver pools of mad ideas and crazy questions now asking just one. It was as if time had frozen whilst her mind ran double time trying to process his actions, every explanation lost to her.
Then letting her held breath go she moved her head upwards and let her lips find his, closing her eyes naturally, her hand on his chest shaking slightly.
Harry's mind fogged over as wave after wave of intoxication filled his brain. Her mouth moved with his, softly caressing each other. Her palm tightened and grabbed hold of his robes. He leaned in further letting her head fall back to the ground, taking his hand and placing it on her neck, softly running it up her cheek and into her hair.
This was nothing like the kisses he had shared with Cho. They had been awkward if rather pleasant affairs, this was something entirely different. He wasn't concerned with where they were or if he was doing it right, all he knew was that he wanted more of it. Each parting of their lips just left him instinctively searching for hers all over again.
If Harry's mind had been more sober he may have recognised the ludicrous state the two were currently engaged in. Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood tangled together by the edge of the lake out in the open, completely drenched whilst students wandered the grounds of the castle in the distance.
It didn't matter to Harry, this was perfectly fine. Luna knew him on a level few did. Didn't care that he was famous or for the lightning scar on his forehead. Whilst Harry was busy worrying about Voldemort or running about the castle solving mysteries Luna was busy dealing with her own problems, her own wants and worries yet here she was with him indulging in a moment of blissful escapism where none of that mattered.
He kissed her once more, soft and slow having to force himself to move away. Letting his body turn and roll onto his back next to her, his eyes finding the blue sky looking back at him from the heavens.
"Well." Luna said after a moment of silence. "That was unexpected."
Harry looked at her as she stared skyward. "Sorry if I..."
"No, no it's fine." She added quickly, grabbing his forearm. "I just don't really do that sort of... I did it right yeah?" She asked, her eyes suddenly inquisitive. "I squashed your nose a bit, and I didn't really know what to do with my hands but overall..."
"Well I thought it was pretty amazing." Harry pointed out.
She nodded, letting out a long sigh. "It was wasn't it. I mean I'm no expert but I do flick through the pages of Witch Weekly every so often."
Harry chuckled enjoying the relaxed mood.
"Ginny said once that..." but she didn't finish her sentence, letting the words fade into silence.
"Oh nothing." She pushed herself up into a sitting position, wringing out the sleeve of her robe. "Anyway I'd better be off. I've got to dry off before dinner. I really fancy some peanut butter ice cream for dessert." She said the last bit to herself, not looking back at Harry as she got to her feet. Large droplets of water fell off the hem of her clothes.
"Luna?" Harry sat up, peering at her, trying to catch her eye. It was as if in an instant the entire mood had changed.
She gave Harry a smile, taking off her shoe and tipping the water out. "And don't worry Harry. What happened is strictly between us. You have my confidence."
"What? Why?" He asked getting to his knees.
"We all have those moments don't we? We act first, think later. Even a Ravenclaw can be caught up in the moment sometimes and I confess I may have over indulged myself. You don't need to worry, I understand it was just a mad moment." Again Luna looked everywhere but in Harry's direction, busying herself with her drenched wardrobe.
Harry rubbed his head, feeling as though he'd been struck suddenly with no warning. "Luna it wasn't a "mad" moment at all. I just wanted to..."
"Thank you Harry. It's nice of you to be so kind about it but it's ok. Your head is positively chock full of Nargles, I mean just look at them." She waved her arm in his direction, Harry looked around him trying desperately to keep up with her train of thought.
"I know all too well what they can do to ones mind if unprepared, I really do."
"Luna stop." Harry made to grasp her hand as she turned to leave but slipped on a wet rock and missed.
"Besides at least I can now say I've snogged Harry Potter." She joked forcing a grin. "I might take a full page out in the Quibbler." She smiled again waving her hand at him before making off towards the castle, her broom and soaking wet satchel following behind. "See you Harry."
"Luna." He called after her but she just continued to walk. He sat back on the palms of his hands. What the hell was that about? Was he really that bad? Cho didn't seem to think so but then he had never actually asked her.
He dragged himself to his feet, taking hold of his broom. He didn't feel like going back to the castle, he needed time to think. He mounted his broom and kicked off into the air. A few laps of the Quidditch pitch were needed he thought and flew off in its direction, thoughts of Luna Lovegood and that kiss, her soaking wet hair, those deep serene eyes and those lips, soft and tempting heavily prominent in his mind.