Disclaimers: The characters belong to JK Rowling. Luna is mostly based on someone I know. Various lines in the story are lyrics from the CD Lovejunk, by The Pursuit Of Happiness.

Story involves a girl who is in love with another girl who kisses her; a tiny bit of swearing. I guess it could be PG.

I

It was her skirt that first attracted my eye- long, a wheel of colors. Vertical strips of red orange yellow green, and I imagined purple on the back. Then up her long brown shirt and scraggly lemon hair, her arms lightly tanned from sitting by her house most of the summer, making notes on Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and other phantasms of disorganized minds. Then there was her face- quite delicate except for the eyes, pale and protuberant like something glued onto her skin. They weren't as shallow as that would imply, though, and I lost myself a moment looking at them. Tried to give her an uncaring nod but felt the blush rise up my face as it was kind of late for nonchalance.

"Hi!" I said. "How was your summer?"

She squinted at me. "Quite nice, I think. Yours?"

"Nothing much happened except I went to stay with the twins for a while. Their shop's going really well but-"

She cut in. "Sorry- who are you?"

"I'm Ginny, remember? Ginny Weasley from the DA?"

She blinked. "You do seem vaguely familiar."

I thought she was joking, if you can believe that. "Thought I would. Well anyway, when I was there this bloody old wizard came in and asked Fred if they carried-"

"Look," she broke in, rubbing her eyes, "I- Ginny, is it?- I don't know who these people are."

"You know, my brothers. Fred and George? Played all the tricks on Umbridge, then they left to start a joke shop? Come on, you must remember the swamp."

"Oh, right!" Luna said, brightening. "I remember you. You're going out with Dean Thomas."

"Er, yeah."

"And you were in Dumbledore's Army. You're really funny."

"Thanks!" We talked for the rest of the ride, except when we changed into our robes. Two days later, when I headed over to the Ravenclaw table to say a shy hello, she looked blank at me and I had to jog her memory again.

II

I didn't hate my parents because Ron was so much worse. It seemed inconceivable to him that I could be hurt or changed by anything, that I could ever be something other than his pure, giggly little sister. In almost direct contradiction, he was constantly trying to protect me. Not really a creature of logic, that Ron, and I delighted in provoking him. So when he told me not to spend so much time with Luna, I couldn't do anything else but become her best friend.

At least, other people said I was her best friend, but I couldn't see that Luna treated me with any particular affection. I'd be plunged into deep darkness, her long hands over my eyes. "Guess who!"

"Luna?"

"No."

"Luna?"

"Yes. How'd you know?" She tagged along with me in the halls too but I couldn't help feeling it had nothing to do with me; she would've followed anyone who let her. Mostly she rambled on about people and things, but she did mention me from time to time. "Your hair looks nice like that," she'd say- I hadn't brushed it- or "you know that drawing isn't shaded right." This made me sad although I knew she meant it in good humor, so I tried to criticize her back. "Why do you always wink at nothing?" I asked her one day.

"Because," she said, "if one day I can't wink I'll know there's something wrong with my eyes."

III

She bought stripes and colors; I wore purple and black. We went shopping in Hogsmeade and Luna bought dreamcatcher earrings. They were blue. Then she bought a shirt that changed color and some skittery Ice Mice. "To make a necklace," she explained. "But you should get something too."

"I don't have any money," I said, which was true, although I could have borrowed. Didn't really want anything though.

When we got back her bookbag was gone. She said she'd left it in the dining hall, and now she couldn't find it. She sighed. "Marietta, probably."

"Marietta?"

"You must remember her." I thought that was a bit rich coming from Luna, but yeah. I remembered.

"She's a... bitch. She likes to hide my things."

"I know." I didn't really, but it wasn't much of a surprise. Luna seemed all-knowing sometimes but most people thought she was easy to trick and I suppose that was kind of true. Or maybe she just didn't care to stay on alert; it's all a matter of perspective.

While I figured this out, Luna walked slowly in the direction of a door. I followed her down a dark hall. She walked twitchily, slower and slower till she slid down the wall and curled up like an armadillo, wrapped around herself.

"Luna?" I said.

"Goddammit," she said. "I have my mother's picture in there."

"I'm sorry." She lowered her head until her face was obscured by the yellow weeds that sprouted from her scalp. I looked heavenwards and struggled to find the right cliche, something to bring her out of where she was. I could've told her about Tom, but I didn't remember much, I thought, and didn't want to be pretentious. I just didn't know how to help her at all. I was thinking: even Luna can make me feel better, and she's crazy. But I can't do anything at all.

I clenched my fists. She couldn't see me, but it was the only thing I could think of that might show how much it hurt me that she felt this way. After a long time, she unfolded, got up, and went walking on. Eventually I realized she was going to the Ravenclaw common room, so I felt stupid following. "Um, I'm going. Have a nice day."

She pressed the earrings into my hands.

IV

I always felt bad discussing girly things with Luna. She wore skirts and jewelry, but not makeup, and I don't think boys asked her out. But I never felt smug because she seemed so happy single. In fact I sometimes wondered if she thought I was petty and stupid with my dates and my attention to looks. One day I asked her "Do you hate me?" We were holed up in the library. Transfixed by the rain outside she turned to me and asked me to repeat what I'd said. "Do you-"

"No. I don't hate you at all." She turned back to the window and that hurt so much more. I didn't know why, so I worked on my Charms homework. Soon I was in a daze, reading the same line over and over and seeing little Lunas in the corner of the page.

Her voice- like a slide, like a breeze- brought me back. Maybe that's the secret of life- finding someone to keep you in the world. I had to ask her what she'd said.

"Virginia, you're not stupid but you're looking for the solution to a problem that does not exist."

"What?"

"Er..." Luna looked a little muddled, like she was having trouble putting her idea into words. She fumbled around in my stacks of books, parchment, and quills, like she was thinking of drawing a diagram. Then her eyes cleared, and she beckoned me towards her. I scooted over, and she carefully tilted her head, leaned forward, and brushed her lips against mine. It wasn't skilled or probing, but I saw her point.

I spent hours, days, a week waiting for her to kiss me again or at least explain what this was all about. She didn't. Eventually, I stopped waiting. I realized the kiss had meant exactly what it seemed to mean- she was showing me why I dated so many boys. It was a rare moment of insight, a gesture of nothing at all.

V

Every time I see her hair falling across her face, it hurts. Not to be melodramatic but it's like my insides are being ripped out. My God, I love that girl. And she loves her mum, Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and other things that don't exist. Not me, because I'm real. I only gain her fleeting interest, and I can deal with that.

Merlin, I can.

And when she holds my hand in public because she doesn't have good balance or care what other people think, or when she falls asleep on me and dreams weird dreams, I laugh. I laugh at Loony Luna Lovegood because I have to laugh, to prevent myself from crying.