Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter in any way, shape or form. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.


They say that love hurts.

Well yes, that's true. But then again, life hurts. So to live is to love and to love is to love. It doesn't seem likely, now does it? Well, it does to her at least. But then again, almost everything makes sense to Luna, even if everybody else claims it to be absurd.

"So, Lovegood," Morag McDougal asks one morning, "what latest discovery will be featured in the next edition of The Quibbler?"

"My daddy says somebody spotted a Gorgon not too long ago!" she announces proudly to the Ravenclaw table, only to be met by snickers and humorous looks. She purses her lips and raises her chin defiantly, turning back to her breakfast in a curt manner.

It's to Luna whether they believe her or not, because she and her father believe enough for the world. And that's all that matters really. So whenever they laugh, or whenever they leer and call her nasty names, she ignores it and tells herself that when she proves them wrong, they'll be the ones left alone by the fireplace. They'll be the ones who feel out of place and more importantly-- she'll know that she's right.

That day hasn't come though. Instead, the teasing continues and she merely turns the other cheek. But it's not always the Ravenclaw's, though. She can hear Hufflepuffs giggling as she wanders by, and Gryffindors gawking at her latest pineapple shaped hair pins or her turquoise colored stockings.

The Slytherins are always bound to have some crude comment ready about her appearance, and she can ignore them like all the others. But there is one boy; a nasty boy, an older boy, who relishes every opportunity he gets to insult the puzzling young Ravenclaw and who sneers contemptuously at her as his companions snigger loudly.

"Tell me, Lovegood," he mutters, "does Daddy realize that he's a joke? That the Quibbler's going down the drain now that pretty-Potter's done his stint in it and nobody's interested anymore?"

Her eyes narrow and she shakes her head. "Daddy doesn't care for the opinions of nasty people, and neither do I."

"Nasty am I?" he chortles. Crabbe and Goyle are shaking with laughter as Pansy giggles loudly.

"Yes," she states in a placid and forced voice. "You're very mean and nasty and I see now why you don't have any friends. I feel sorry for you, Draco Malfoy."

"Ah, but I do have friends," he announces, gesturing towards Crabbe, Goyle and the red-faced Pansy who is glaring at Luna from across the corridor.

"They're not friends," she murmurs, drifting back into her vague persona. "They're lackies. In fact, sometimes those two-" she pointed to the two lumbering oafs on either side of the young Slytherin, "- look like bodyguards."

She laughs softly, a small smile capturing her lips; causing Crabbe and Goyle to stare at her in confusion and a small crimson blush to spread across Draco's cheeks. Pansy steps forward, an insult look on her face, but Draco raises her hand and blocks her way.

"Go," he tells her. "Take Crabbe and Goyle with you."

Pansy tries to protest, but he won't hear of it. He gives her a quieting look and hesitantly, she agrees, throwing one last venomous glare over her shoulder as she stalks away with the two bulky figures trailing behind her.

"Do you think yourself smart, Lovegood?" he asks darkly, annoyed by the dreamy, distant look on her face.

"No," he says vaguely. "Many people assume we Ravenclaw's are smart and wise and whatnot, but it's not necessarily true."

"I wasn't talking about Ravenclaws," he announces through clenched teeth, obviously aggravated. "I was talking about you."

"Oh," she murmurs. "But I am a Ravenclaw."

"That's hardly the point," he announces, rolling his eyes and running a hand through his white-blonde hair, shifting his weight from foot to foot as he tried to find whatever sense there was in this girl.

"Is there anything you want, Malfoy?" she asks in an obscure voice, her eyes watching as his companions' backs disappear down the distant corridor..

"What I want," he mutters loudly before pausing for a moment, running the scene through his head one more time; trying to register the exact reason why he'd pulled Luna aside. Meanwhile, she merely begins to hum softly, watching through the arched windows a rather beautiful scene as snowflakes gracefully drifted down, littering the ground in a blanket of fresh, white snow.

"You were saying?" Luna murmurs softly, not looking away from the scene outside. Caught between curiosity and annoyance, Draco followed her gaze until he caught sight of the falling snow outside.

"I was saying," he began curtly, his eyes traveling back to her carefree face, "that Crabbe, Goyle and Pansy are my friends, and a person such as yourself would do well not to make such assumptions."

Luna blinks for a moment. The usual look of dottiness returned to her and she nods, answering, "Very well then, as long as you don't insult those who needn't be insulted."

Draco considers retorting some witty line, but surprisingly enough, none comes to mind. He shoves his hands deep in his pockets and frowns, leaning himself against the nearest wall in an uncommon air of laziness. It silence feels awkward to him as Luna gazes out the window once more.

"It's snowing," she whispers, her eyes lighting up like a christmas tree.

"I know."

"Do you like it when it snows?"

He shrugs, uncomfortable for a moment at the younger girl's behavior. Just a minute ago, hadn't she been laughing at him? As restless as he felt, there was something soothing about the way her grey eyes danced with joy at the sight of the winter wonderland being slowly lain outside.

"Sometimes I do," he answers.

"When is 'sometimes'? Goodness knows how often sometimes can be. Tomorrows, yesterdays, it's such an unplottable answer."

A confusing question, yes. One had hadn't expected at all. And grudgingly, he forces himself to remember ages ago, whenever children are supposed to remember playing in the snow with their friends and laughing jollily. However, no such thing exists in his mind. He remembers his fathers insistence that he study and his mother preparing him for the latest winter ball.

So he looks down at her; the little girl with dirty blonde hair and soft, relentlessly calm eyes as she observes him closely, cheerfully giggling at his lost expression. A small, genuine smile captures his lips.

"Now would definitely be a 'sometimes'."