A/N: Beware, this is a long chapter and it's the last one! I'm sorry if Cho seems a bit out of character to some people, but I despise her and can't help writing her like I do. Anyway I would like to thank a few people, for various things as this is the last chapter:
Lily – you don't know how good it is to have someone that I can constantly blabber to about my fanfic, even though you haven't read it properly yet.
Tashi – every time I come on and see one of your reviews, I smile. I'm really glad you like this fanfic and it's really good to know that I can make you laugh.
The rest of my reviewers – thank-you for reviewing this story, it's great to know that I'm not just a hopeless writer and there are some people out there who actually do want to read this.
Polly – You were the first person to read this, even before I typed it up, and you encouraged me to continue it. Thanks for giving me your opinion and ideas (I credit you for Neville's slippers, amongst a few other things)
Diana – Thank-you for beta-reading my fanfiction, I am glad you have enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of this last chapter.
My beloved book and pens – I really owe all this writing to my blue-lined exercise book and my many blue biro's. They did the writing and those pens are very inspirational. My margin's have also been very helpful, it's good to jot down ideas for chapter names and future plots, random doodles and cries for what to write, not to mention scribbles when I'm trying to make a pen work.
This has become much too long, but I hope you enjoy the last chapter. I'd really like to get reviews for it and find out what you think of the end. Maybe I'll do a sequel if people like it, let me know what you think on that idea. Oh and be sure to check my profile in the future, a story from Ron's point of view is coming very soon (don't worry, Luna is a main character) and possibly a oneshot with Padma and Luna.
Chapter Ten – Click!
Luna slowly walked into the great-hall, now decorated accordingly for the Christmas ball. Mistletoe was hung over all the doorways and a big archway in the middle of the room also held a large bunch. Luna wasn't quite sure why there was an archway in the middle of the room, and decided not to bother herself with that for the time being. Small paper-chains in seasonal colours, faeries and a large Christmas tree also decorated the room.
Hearing footsteps behind her, and a cough that sounded like, 'Get out of my way Loony', Luna stepped forward a few paces. Padma Patil and Terry Boot stepped around her, followed by Neville and Susan Bones, whom Luna recognized from the D.A. Smiling at them all absent-mindedly, Luna looked around for Draco. She couldn't see him though, so walked over to the drinks table instead.
"Hello Ronald." she said, finding herself standing next to Ron. He jumped and spilt a bit of his butterbeer down his tatty maroon robes.
"Err…hi," he muttered, blushing. Luna assumed it was because they hadn't talked since the incident in the corridor.
"So who are you with?" Luna asked conversationally, looking around for his companion.
"Orla Quirke…she's in your house…just getting us drinks." Ron mumbled, looking at his feet shamefully.
"Orla Quirke?" Luna said, looking horrified. "Ronald, you might not want to hear this, but it's probably best if you do…"
"What? Is she a vampire or I know, that horned sandsnail thing lives in her hair, does it?" Ron said sarcastically, his previous feelings of guilt gone.
Luna blushed faintly and replied calmly, "No Ronald, but I do know that it's Harry she likes, not you."
"Ha ha, very funny. Why don't you go and see Malfoy, I'm fed up with your stupid ideas, but he'll gladly agree, I'm sure." Ron said, glaring at her.
"I know it's hard. Coming second all the time, at school and home…but you're a good person, and there are some who like that person, rather than the hero. Orla Quirke isn't one of them however, so go and find somebody who does like you, for your own good." Luna said, and Ron stared at her gormlessly.
"H…how do you know?" he asked plainly.
"I see things other people don't. I have lots of time to observe, especially watching the people I care about."
"No Ronald, I'm not one of those people, but I am your friend." Luna said, cutting him off.
Ron, who had started to look scared, recovered slightly and put his hand on her shoulder. "Right. Friends…and look, Luna I'm really sorry…"
She smiled, "I was waiting for that, you were quite cruel really, but then who isn't? It's all forgiven and forgotten now, don't worry."
Ron held up his butterbeer meanlessly, "How did you know about Orla?"
"I hear a lot of things in the Ravenclaw tower. Just remember Ronald, people rarely notice I'm there." Her eyes averted to the butterbeer bottle in his hand, and without another word she departed from the table.
Luna headed over to where Ginny was standing with Colin Creevey.
"Hi Ginny, Colin!" she said smiling at them. "Ginny you look truly wonderful in that dress!" she exclaimed, at Ginny's golden dress, next to Colin's Gryffindor coloured robes.
Ginny grinned, "Thanks, you look great too. Look, mum gave this to me!" she said fingering a gold chain around her neck. At the end was a delicate gold witches hat charm.
"Beautiful…" Luna said softly, although if it was her necklace she would have preferred a crumple horned snorckacks or a thestral.
Colin grinned enthusiastically and said, "Just going to get some photos of my lovely Ginny and her friend…then some of the other couples. Did you know, I'm going to be the photographer of the Hogwarts yearbook!" he stepped backwards and after getting a few shots of the girls, began wandering around the room with is precious camera.
"He's not that bad actually, and he is kind of cute…" Ginny started, but was interrupted by practically the whole school bursting into laughter. Luna turned around and saw Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas standing at the entrance, wearing Gryffindor quidditch robes – which was causing the laughter. A few of the younger Gryffindor's rose Dean and Seamus onto their shoulders and began carrying them round the hall, chanting something which Luna never understood, because at that moment there were two loud screams. Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil strode towards the boys, looking hilariously angry. The young boys immediately dropped Dean and Seamus, and quickly hurried away.
"How could you? You're heartless pigs!" Lavender shrieked, jabbing her fingers at each of them in turn.
"You ruined my Christmas!" wailed Parvati.
"What did we do?" Dean asked boldly, although he looked confused.
The two girls rolled their eyes and glared at Dean.
"You wore Quidditch robes to the Christmas ball! Dumbo's!" Lavender shouted. Parvati nodded, "Yeah and you don't even play Quidditch!"
At this point Luna noticed Harry standing with Hermione – who looked happy – and Ron. After a low conversation, Harry and Ron went over to Seamus, Dean, Parvati and Lavender.
"Just because we're not on the team doesn't mean we don't play Quidditch!" Seamus protested.
"Oh yeah, then where did you get the Gryffindor robes?" asked Harry, trying to hide a grin.
Ron nodded, and pulled a serious face. "That looks like my robe you're wearing Dean…"
Lavender and Parvati looked shocked.
"You stole their Quidditch robes?" Lavender said, her eyes bulging. Dean and Seamus blushed and looked down at the floor.
"We only borrowed them for a laugh, you don't need to go mad!" Dean mumbled.
"And now we're accused of being mad? Come on Lav, let's go and find some sensible boys." Parvati said, tossing her dark hair. She picked up the skirt of her pink dress and walked away, closely followed by Lavender. Luna noticed that Parvati was wearing a matching dress to her sister, Padma although the latter was wearing orange. Her gaze was caught up on the tiny embroidery on the hem, so she wasn't aware of the conversation going on around her until she turned back to find Harry staring at her. He quickly turned away and Luna turned to Ginny.
"Ermm have you spoken to Hermione yet?" she asked, worried that Hermione wasn't paying her very much attention.
"She's fine, Harry complimented her dress or something…" Ginny replied as Colin came back over to them.
"I got lots of good pics of Seamus and Dean! There's a really good one of Lavender and Parvati shouting too!" Colin said eagerly.
"Colin, you haven't seen Drac – Malfoy anywhere have you?" Luna asked, starting to worry that he wasn't going to appear.
"Nope, none of the Slytherins are here yet…" he replied whilst fiddling with the back of his camera. "Hey Gin, do you think we'll be able to sell some of these?"
"Ok thanks, well I'll talk to you later!" Luna said brightly to both of them, although she wasn't in a very happy mood, as she was worrying about Draco, Harry and Hermione.
Luna turned around and started to head back towards the drinks table, when a familiar voice caught her attention.
"Yeah, well I know you're just after my best mate! I do have inside sources you know! Now shove off, Orla, because I definitely don't want to be used like that." Ron yelled at Orla Quirke, who looking quite terrified backed away, and hid amongst a crowd of girls.
Angrily, Ron turned around and bumped into Padma Patil, who was red in the face from crying.
"Hey, what's the matter?" Ron asked in a completely different tone.
"Terry Boot…I just found out that it was him who stole my birthday cake in the third year, and then he asked me to the ball! How could he do that?" Padma wailed miserably, shooting a positively horrid look at Terry Boot, who was already dancing with Orla Quirke.
Ron looked at Padma for a moment. "Well I know we didn't get off to a good start…at the last ball and stuff, but if you want to dance…?" he asked, fidgeting uncomftably and Luna saw Hermione shaking her head from the other side of the room, and smiling bemusedly at Ron's tactics.
Padma replied, but Luna couldn't here what she said. At any rate a few minutes later the two were dancing, despite Ron's habit of treading on Padma's toes. Luna could also see Neville dancing with Susan Bones, and to her amusement she saw that Neville had forgotten to take off his pink bunny slippers, which seemed to be getting in the way of the two dancing. Rather a good addition to his outfit, Luna thought and if she hadn't known him for being so forgetful she would have thought he had worn them on purpose.
Suddenly there were two horrid squeaks, echoing in the hall as Crabbe and Goyle entered the room, standing either side of the doors and blowing into trumpets – the cause of the ear-splitting noise.
Malfoy strode into the hall, followed by nearly all the Slytherin students. Luna smiled at this grand entrance and gazed at him happily. He was wearing long black robes with a silver outline and a carefully detailed snake at the bottom left. She also spotted Pansy in the crowd behind him, looking very happy with a boy Luna knew as Blaise. Pansy's long-sleeved dress-robes covered her wrists, so Luna couldn't tell whether she was wearing the friendship bracelet or not. Her eyes lingered on the dark green material for a moment, before flicking over to Blaise, who was wearing lime green robes, which Luna thought were rather nice, although Cornelious Fudge – that 'stuck-up' man – would have suited them better. Luna couldn't remember how many times she had complimented the man's lime green bowler hat at various interviews and meetings of her fathers. Mr. Lovegood had told her not to, but Luna found it amusing as she knew and shared her father's low opinion of Fudge and the ministry, even now he no longer possessed the job as minister of magic. It was something that made her father smile, and although Luna knew one day Fudge would get tired of it and take action, it was worth it just to see him frown and twirl the hat round in his hand.
A cold hand tapped Luna on the shoulder and she turned around.
"Weasel, where's Luna?" Malfoy asked, surveying her as though she was a man-eating hippogriff, which ought to be locked up. "Hang on…Luna?" Malfoy said, looking astonished. Luna nodded and he ran his fingers through her shiny red hair.
"What did you do to it? You look like a Weasley!" Malfoy said accusingly.
A look of dismay appeared on Luna's face, but Malfoy quickly took her hand. "Don't worry, we'll get it back to normal later, it does look good with your dress. You look beautiful actually," he said, smiling as he viewed Luna properly. She did look beautiful, her normal straggly hair was a bright shiny bob, even if she looked like Ginny Weasley and her two strange earrings in the form of cherries dangled from her ears, but Malfoy rather liked her odd touches. Luna's dress wasn't really 'Luna-ish' but it looked great, even with Luna's necklace of dried pasta and her jingly metallic bangles.
Luna smiled vaguely as she felt Harry's eyes on her again, she turned around and their eyes met for a moment until Malfoy said,
"What are you looking at?"
"Err the decorations. Very nice, aren't they?"
"Luna, you're not very good at lying." Malfoy said irritably and he turned to see where she had been looking. He glared at Harry. "Potter, who do you think you are, a Slytherin?" Malfoy scoffed.
Luna looked confused, until she realized he was talking about Harry's green dress robes. She tugged on Malfoy's arm.
"Leave him, Draco."
"Well he'd better stop looking at you then, surely the Boy Who Lived has the ability to keep his eyes off beautiful girls!" Malfoy muttered sarcastically. Luna blushed and changed the subject,
"Draco, why were you so cruel to Pansy?"
"What?" he replied, looking bewildered.
"I know you left her, and treated her like a dirty Snorkack."
He stared at her for a moment,
"Dirty snail…no…Snorkack…" he muttered to himself and then said bashfully, "I'm sorry for whatever it is I did to Pansy, but Blaise had his eye on her for ages, it's a good thing really!"
Luna frowned, "She was heartbroken, Draco!"
"So you're saying I should have stayed with Pansy, even though I liked you? Because you might want to remember you did the same thing to Potter, and broke his heart, it's not just me!" Malfoy replied, starting to get angry.
Luna stared at the elegant ball floor for a moment, and realized what she had done.
"Draco…I…don't know what to do! I'm horrid! Poor Harry, what in Diagon Alley's name am I supposed to do?" she said desperately.
Malfoy sighed, "Luna if you're going back to Potter, please warn me now."
Luna looked into his eyes. She saw a miserable boy, trying to hide his feelings by faking anger and using sarcasm. She could tell that Draco loved her, and his intentions were good, he simply did not realize what he had done wrong, but Luna was hopeful that she could change that eventually. His eyes reflected how he felt about her, and the little shine that was there comforted Luna.
Her gaze turned to Harry. They had been friends for a few years now and she admired him. But when Luna looked into his eyes, she did not see the same hopeful love like Draco's did. Harry's eyes showed love, but in more of a friendly way. What Luna saw was a schoolboy crush, not love. Contentedly she looked back at Malfoy.
"Draco, I'm not going to leave you. Harry likes me now, but he'll get over it soon." Luna replied firmly and she squeezed his hand. She did not get a reply, but followed his gaze to where Cho Chang and Roger Davies faces were plastered together. She looked away uncomfortably and noticed Harry too was watching. Maybe she had made a mistake. Perhaps Draco had liked Cho all along?
"Draco, you don't still like her, do you?"
"Huh?" he said, distractedly.
"Cho Chang, do you still like her?"
Malfoy tore himself away from the couple kissing, and looked at her.
"Luna, it's you that I like, what else shall I do to prove it?"
She smiled, and helped herself to a gillywater, glad that Cho wasn't the main feature of everyone's love interests.
At the other side of the room, a strange scene caught Luna's attention. Hermione was talking to Pansy and although Luna couldn't hear what they said, she saw Hermione hand Pansy the pair of spiral earrings, which had been given to her the previous night. Luna watched as Hermione skipped back to Harry, and Pansy began to fix the earrings to her earlobes.
Suddenly words began to appear on Pansy's face, which when completed read, 'Beware or you'll lose all your hair'. Luna opened her mouth in horror as Millicent Bullstrode pointed this out to Pansy, in a tiny hand-mirror.
"Ahhhh! Loony and Granger have RUINED me!" Pansy screamed and wincing, Luna hurried over to her, dragging Malfoy behind.
"Pansy! Your face…Hermione!" Luna called, and Hermione ran over, looking rather pleased with herself.
"Loony how dare you do this to me! Come crawling all nice then you send old mud-blood with those earrings and play this cruel trick on me!" Pansy yelled at Luna, and Blaise patted his girlfriend on the back. Luna saw Hermione flinching at the use of 'mud-blood' and hesitated. Cho Chang and Roger Davies joined the group and Cho looked at Pansy pityingly.
"I'm so sorry Pansy…Granger did this to my friend Marietta once before…" Cho said and glared at Hermione. "Think it's clever do you Granger? Well, learn a new spell, this one isn't funny anymore!"
"No, you don't understand Pansy!" Luna looked at her pleadingly and whispered to Hermione, "Hermione, why did you do that?"
"I thought you were being way too soft on her, someone needed to teach pug-face a lesson." Hermione whispered back and turned to Pansy. "Don't blame Luna, it was me – she didn't know anything about it."
"Err why the 'compliments of Luna Lovegood' then?" Pansy asked, glowering still.
Hermione blushed and looked shameful, "It was just a joke…and I'm sorry."
Pansy narrowed her eyes and Luna said,
"Please take the spell off now Hermione."
"Oh she just has to take off the earrings, quite simple really, I put a charm on them that…"
"Save it for someone who actually cares, Granger." Cho said spitefully and Luna wondered how anyone could like her, especially Harry and Draco.
Pansy hurriedly took off the earrings and threw them at Hermione's feet. She stormed away with Blaise on her arm, followed by Cho and Roger.
"Well thank-you." Luna said to Hermione, rather glumly.
"For what? I thought you were mad with me!"
"Well I suppose it wasn't very nice of you to say the compliments of Luna thing and what you did to Pansy was horrid, but…" seeing the look on Hermione's crestfallen face, Luna continued, "But you did it for me and you told her how to get rid of it…"
Hermione smiled weakly and said, "Don't worry, next time I'll think before I act." she uttered a small chuckle. "I sound like a book!"
Luna nodded slowly, fixing her protuberant eyes upon Hermione.
"You are like a book. You can be read in many different ways, and each is like a page…or sometimes a whole chapter." she smiled. "Everyone's like a book really, I think that's how I see people. Each person I meet is a new story…most last forever or have sad endings, but every person is different just like every book or story is, and even the sad ones are interesting."
Malfoy, who had been rather quiet, and Hermione stared at her.
"That's a…well interesting way of putting it." Hermione said timidly. Luna shrugged and turned to Malfoy. After a moment of her eyes staring at him unblinkingly, he asked,
"Luna, would you like to dance?"
Luna finally blinked, and although she wasn't fond of dancing nodded.
"I would like that." she said and took his hand as he led her onto the dance-floor.
After the dance, Malfoy and Luna mingled amongst the crowd for a bit, and watched a hilarious scene take place with Seamus and Dean complaining that if they weren't allowed to wear their quidditch robes, Neville wasn't allowed to wear his bunny slippers. Ignoring Susan Bone's protests, they dragged Neville away and locked him in a broom cupboard, out of pure humor and possibly the fact that they had drunken too much butterbeer. Eventually, a hot and bothered Susan let him out.
There were a few comments about Finnigan and Thomas being the 'New Weasley Twins', which annoyed Ron who burst into a shouting match with Ernie Macmillan, about how nobody could ever be as brilliant, stupid or ambitious as Fred and George. Eventually he retreated blushing heavily, when Ginny remarked how like their mother he was.
Harry approached them and Luna looked around for Hermione, but she was busy calming Neville down.
"I was wondering if I could have this dance Luna? If that's ok with you of course?" he said humbly, looking at Malfoy for approval. Luna smiled at the politeness of it all.
Malfoy hesitated but nodded, "Fine." he muttered in a very strange tone.
"You were right." Harry stated mysteriously as they danced.
"I can live without you and there are other girls that like me."
"Hermione. It was so obvious when I asked her to the ball, her eyes lit up and she was overly enthusiastic."
Luna stayed silent.
"I don't like her in that way, but I might be able to teach myself how. She's a wonderful girl..." he paused and looked into her eyes sadly. "She's just not you, Luna."
"Harry you don't like me in that way either. That's what you've got to teach yourself."
"You do know me well." Harry said sarcastically.
"Yes I do actually, and I also know that me and you aren't meant to be. Harry please move on, you're wasting time. The Dark Lord is still out there and you need to love those people that need you, and the ones that you need yourself. Tomorrow Hermione could be gone. You wouldn't want that as a regret Harry."
Slowly Harry nodded, "Hermione…I'd be…" he blinked a few times then asked, "But what if one of those people I need is you, Luna?"
"Then I'll be there, as a friend. I'll always be willing to help you, Harry."
Harry looked at her for a moment as the dance came to an end. "I know. Thanks." He said simply. "I need to talk to Hermione now." he let go of her hand and went to find Hermione.
Another hand held Luna's.
"Now this is my dance." she heard Malfoy whisper in her ear, as a slow song began to play. Eventually they reached the curious archway in the middle of the room.
Malfoy led Luna up the steps and said obviously,
"Quick…get away! Mistletoe is nearly always infested with nargles, surely you know that Draco!" Luna said, looking upwards worriedly.
"What in my father's name are nargles?" Malfoy asked incredulously.
"Nargles are these horrid creatures, they give you narglenectious and bite your mouth until it bleeds. They are well disguised to look like part of mistletoe though, so…"
Malfoy lifted his hands to her face, and moved her head to face him.
"Who cares about nargles? Kiss me you fool!" he said exasperatedly. His unwanted feelings had finally gone; no longer did he care what people thought of him or how weird Luna was.
Luna looked at him for a moment, then the mistletoe. A smile spread on her face and she leaned forward. He kissed her and there was silence throughout the hall, apart from the click of Colin Creevey's camera.
Finally Draco Malfoy had been honest and shown his feelings. That was what mattered, and that night Luna Lovegood slept well for the first time in ages. She had proven Draco to be not so bad after all, and that was an achievement, even if she was the only one to see it.