Title: Lunch Date

Author: Shadowgrl

Fandom: Harry Potter

Rating: G

Disclaimer: The Harry Potter characters do not belong to me. They belong to JK Rowling.

Summary: Luna muses, Harry beams and Fred and George spy during the lunch date.

Challenge response from my buddy Raye. I had to use the following five words as well as make mention of a red, gray and blue checkered tie. I threw in an extra tie for kicks. My words were appendix, cleanse, between, rhinoceros, paleontology.

Luna Lovegood hummed softly to herself as she wandered around the town of Hogsmeade. All her shopping had been completed already; all she had left to do was to meet Harry at the Three Broomsticks for lunch and that was over an hour away.

She supposed she could go find Harry but it was such a nice day out and Daddy had asked her to be on the lookout for any signs of the Bow-Legged Cricklump. Creatures like that, ones that were unable to move quickly due to their body shape, often enjoyed lying out in the sun in secure areas. Which, Luna reluctantly concluded, Hogsmeade was not.

Therefore it seemed highly unlikely she would find one here today. And if she left to go look in the forest, she would miss Harry and then he would worry.

Luna found it amusing that Harry worried about her more than he worried about himself. She wasn't the one people wanted to kill, after all.

Deciding to go early to The Three Broomsticks, Luna maneuvered her way between the masses of people and into the bar.

It was absolutely packed but she was able to find a table tucked away in a back corner. Unfortunately, the people who had been there before were apparently very messy judging from the state they left the table in. With a sigh, she decided she had best wipe the table off. Aiming her wand downward at the table she swished and flicked. "Cleanse," Luna intoned and the table was immediately wiped clean of debris and actually seemed to be sparkling up at her.

"Neat," Luna heard Harry say. She turned to see him and saw Fred and George Weasley with him. She knew who they were but doubted they could say the same for her. She had to blink her eyes after looking at them though for in addition to their bright red hair, they were wearing red, blue and gray checkered ties that had a moving geometric pattern on them. It would have been fascinating to watch the patterns flow and shift if the garish red hadn't been making her eyes hurt.

"Hello Harry." Luna then turned to the twins. "Hello Fred. Hello George."

Evidently the twins were in a good mood as Fred decided to try and prank her. "I'm not Fred, I'm George."

Luna looked carefully at him. "No," she said. "You're not."

Fred and George blinked at her calm statement but Harry just took a seat and smiled at one of his newest, and most intriguing, friends.

"We're both early, it seems. Hope you don't mind I brought the twins. They were getting hungry and when I stopped by they decided now was a good time for lunch."

"That's perfectly alright, Harry. Its always nice to have company."

Fred and George recovered from their surprise and also sat down and Harry introduced them to Luna properly.

Being somewhat similar in temperament, Harry and Luna were both content to sit there in silence. It was rare for them to have quiet times as Ron, Hermione and Ginny were not exactly quiet people. Fred and George, however, were not used to quiet and quickly grew uncomfortable.

Ron had told them all about this Luna Lovegood person in his letters. He had told them that Harry really liked Luna but that he thought she was awfully strange and rather creepy. He wasn't sure if she was to be trusted or not.

What that really meant, of course, was that ickle Ronniekins was jealous that Harry had a new friend that could understand him in ways he couldn't.

Still they decided that it would be best to check this girl out so when Ron had owled complaining about how Harry and Luna had made lunch plans together Fred and George had decided to show up for those lunch plans.

They were rapidly beginning to understand what Ron had meant. Both Harry and Luna were simply sitting at the table, not talking or even looking at each other, but they both seemed incredibly relaxed. It was odd and it was a bit creepy but it wasn't really anything to get worked up over.

"It's a nice day out, don't you think, Luna?" George thought that maybe if they got her talking they could get to know more about her and could form a better opinion on whether or not Ron was simply spouting nonsense again.

Luna blinked her large blue eyes at him. "Oh, yes," she agreed. "A lovely day. Especially for Bow-Legged Cricklumps. I was going to see if I could find one, Daddy asked me to keep an eye out, but then I would have missed our lunch date and I am enjoying it so, Harry."

Fred and George watched in confused bemusement as Harry beamed back at Luna. "Its great, Luna. Just like you said."

Fred shook off the oddness that was Luna and Harry enjoying a lunch they hadn't even ordered yet in favor of Luna's other comment. "A Bow-Cricket what?" he asked.

"A Bow-Legged Cricklump," Luna corrected patiently. "Daddy has been trying to find one for ages. Almost as long as the Snorkack. There was an article in The Quibbler about them," she continued. "They were supposed to have been extinct. They were thought to have died out because they were so slow in movement, due to their body shapes, that they couldn't outrun the predators and they all got eaten up.

"They've been the focus of paleontology courses for years now.

"But just last month they found tracks that could only have been made by a Bow-Legged Cricklump. They have very distinctive tracks, you know. Because of the bowed legs." Luna finished with an air of decisiveness.

Looking at Harry George was somewhat torn between amusement and horror to see him looking at Luna as if he was in complete agreement with every word that came out of her mouth.

Harry quickly added to the twins bemusement by chiming in. "Yes, I read that article. They said one Bow-Legged Cricklump was as big as a Muggle rhinoceros."

"Oh, yes," Luna agreed. "And those were just the babies. The adults could get to be much larger. But they are really gentle creatures. You have to watch out for their feet though."

Just then a harried Madam Rosmerta appeared for their lunch order and the twins took the opportunity to make their escape.

"Lovely meeting you," they heard Luna call after them.

Neither Fred nor George stopped moving until they reached the safety of their room at The Burrow where they promptly burst into howls of laughter. A long while later, after they had both stopped laughing, they compared notes. Still holding onto an aching stomach, George groaned. "We're never listening to Ron again."

Fred groaned in agreement and tried to sit up only to promptly fall back down. "Ow," he whimpered. "I think I sprained my appendix."

George tossed a pillow at him. "The one you got removed when you were six?" he asked sarcastically.

Fred reconsidered his comment. "I think I sprained my spleen."

That night, after a half-hour struggle with Pig, Ron was finally able to liberate the letter the twins had sent him.

Ron,

She's barmy.

Trust her.

Gred and Forge