Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. This story was written for fun, not profit.
Denial

Luna is not long blond hair and twinkling blue eyes. She is not something out of a storybook, an eccentric fairy queen, and when she spins in the courtyard with leaves blowing around her and tiny bells chiming in her hair, she is not beautiful.

And of course Ron doesn't dance with her, because he's self-respecting and seventeen and there's something utterly mental about dancing in the middle of a courtyard. It's not the sort of thing Head Boys do.

He is not anything special. He is not a knight or a hero, and he does not practice hexes long into the night. He does not spend his time worrying that he will be inadequate, that he will let Harry down when he needs him most, that he will make a fatal mistake and spend the rest of his life wishing everything was different.

But he is standing in beams of sunlight and a whirlwind of golden-red leaves, and the laughter of the students around the courtyard is something strange and distant. He does not think that maybe she is onto something -- that he can't remember the last time he had nothing to worry about and could do whatever he liked.

Luna stops in her spin with one hand poised above her head, the other stretched out toward him. Her smile is not warm and her bells do not sound like something out of a storybook.

"Would you like to dance with me, Ronald?" Her voice is not full of laughter. She is not beautiful.

He folds her small hand in his large one, feeling ringed fingers close around his own, and tells himself that he does not envy her.