A/N- I do not own Harry Potter nor do I own this plot because I just kinda adopted this. But the characters really reminded me of HP ones.
Anyway I hope that I will read your reviews someday! This fic is kinda AU, so deal with it!
"'Mione! 'Mione, over here!"
I glanced in the direction of the familiar voice. When I spotted Luna Lovegood waving to me from outside the stable yard, I grinned from ear to ear. Dragging Crookshanks behind me by the reins, I hurried over to her.
"Luna! I didn't know you were coming today! It's so great to see you again!" I cried as I looped Crookshanks' reins around one of the rails and scrambled over the fence.
"It's so great to be back!" Luna said happily. After we threw our arms around each other in a large bear hug. I stepped back to look at Luna, to see that she hadn't changed a bit since last summer- same sparkling eyes, long blonde hair, and same infectious smile.
Luna's family had been spending their vacations at Briar Grangers, the resort where my father was head landscaper, since Luna and I were both nine. That's when we first met. Most of the kids who came to Briar Grangers with their parents were snobbish little brats, but Luna wasn't like that at all and we became instant best friends. Now we were seventeen, and our friendship had never wavered. It was hard seeing each other only during the summer, but the rest of the year we kept in touch with long letters and even longer phone calls.
"Listen," I said, glancing at my watch, "let's meet at the pool in about an hour ok? I have to exercise Crookshanks now, but when my shift is over, we can hang out for the rest of the afternoon." Luna nodded eagerly.
"Terrific! See you then,'Mione. We've got a lot of catching up to do!"
As she bounded off, I untied the ginger mare and sprang into the saddle. Gently nudging her sides with my heels, I urged her into a trot. As soon as we passed through the corral gate into the pasture beyond, I let Crookshanks have her head and she broke into a smooth canter. I leaned in close, savoring the feel of the warm breeze as it caressed my face.
When we had circled the pasture several times, I slowed Crookshanks to a walk, picking up one of the trails that led through the forest. It was peaceful and serene beneath the tall trees, and much cooler than out in the open. I loved the forest, but then, I loved everything about Briar Grangers. After all, it was the only home I'd ever known-I had lived there year-round since I was barely old enough to walk. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the resort offered every imaginable luxury, including designer "cabins" that were more like mini-mansions, English riding stables, manicured golf courses, tennis courts, and an Olympic-size pool. It even had its own quaint little village where guests could patronize elegant shops and boutiques and attend concerts or shows at various theaters. There was also a ballroom where dances were held and a rec room where Briar Grangers' guests could play everything from Table Tennis to video games.
If it hadn't been for my father's job, I would never have set foot on these rolling acres, much less ridden any of the horses-Dad and I were hardly what you call rich.
In fact, my part-time stable job helped me earn some spending money. It also allowed me to add to my for college, since I whatever school I decided on.
Crookshanks whinnied and pricked up her ears as we emerged from the shelter of the trees into another pasture, where a series of jumps were strategically placed. Knowing how much the mare enjoyed jumping, I said,
"Let's go around the course, okay, girl?"
I didn't have to ask her twice. Crookshanks took off at a canter for the first jump, a two-barred gate, and as she sailed over it with plenty of room to spare, I laughed from the sheer joy of being airborne.
"Good girl!" I praised her, patting a silky shoulder.
We continued around the course, effortlessly taking jump after jump. The final obstacle, a hedge about four feet high, loomed ahead. Crookshanks and I had jumped that hedge many times before, but this time as we approached it, something suddenly flashed past us. It took only a split second, but it was enough to distract me and spook the mare. Instead of soaring over the jump, she swerved abruptly to one side, throwing me totally off balance. Before I knew what was happening, I hit the ground with a bone-jarring thud and Crookshanks galloped away.
I gingerly flexed both arms and legs, then felt myself all over and discovered to my relief that nothing was broken. Shaking my head to clear it, I slowly stood up, looking around for whatever frightened Crookshanks and caused my fall.
That's when I saw the other rider. Mounted on a big coal black horse named Sirius, he had just rounded the far end of the field at a full gallop and was racing towards me.
"You-you-you creep!" I yelled as he sped by. "What do you think you are doing?"
He slowed Sirius down, then turned and trotted back to me. "I'm riding which is more than I can ay for you," he said with a cocky grin. "Took a tumble, huh?"
For the first time, I got a good look at the guy. I'd never seen him before, but I knew his type too well. He was one of those snotty rich kids I couldn't stand, the ones who came to Briar Granger each summer and acted like they owned the place. Ok, he was more handsome than most, with all that thick untamable black hair and those bright emerald eyes, but that didn't make the slightest bit of difference to me.
I planted my fists on my hips. "You bet I did, and it's all your fault!" I said, glaring up at him. "Coming out of nowhere like that, you scared the daylights out of my horse, and she threw me!"
"Sorry about that. Are you ok?"
"If I am, it's no thanks to you," I snapped. "This happens to be the jumping pasture, not a racecourse. You should have read the rules and checked out the map before you came charging out here, spooking my horse and endangering my life!"
"I said I was sorry," the guy replied. "But maybe it wouldn't have happened if you'd been paying attention to what you were doing."
Was this guy for real? I stepped forward, shaking with anger.
"Where do you get off telling me what I should have been doing? You're the one who caused the accident, and I'm going to report you when I get back to the stable!"
"Is that so?" his green eyes twinkled. "What makes you queen of the hill? You own this place or something?"
"Maybe I do," I shot back.
"Yeah, right! Tell me another one." Laughing, he dug his heels into Sirius's sides, and as the big horse trotted off, the guy called over his shoulder, "See you around, little girl."
Little girl! That was absolutely the last straw. He couldn't have been more than a year or two older than me, the spoiled brat! True, I wasn't all that tall, but my figure had filled out a lot that year, as my snug t-shirt and jeans clearly revealed.
Still fuming, I began trudging back to the stables. Crookshanks would probably get there long before I did, which meant that Hagrid, the head groom, and the other stable hands would be wondering what had happened to me. I only hoped none of them had told my Dad that the mare had returned without me. If he found out, he'd be a nervous wreck.
And that would be your fault too, Mr. High-and-Mighty, I thought grimly.
"See you around" the guy had said. Well, if I never saw him again, it would be too soon!
It took me a good twenty minutes to reach the stables, and sure enough, I found Crookshanks in her stall munching some hay while Hagrid rubbed her down.
He let out a sigh of relief when he saw me.
"'Mione! Are you alright? We were really worried when Crookshanks came back on her own. Did she give you some trouble?"
"Not really. I mean, she threw me, but it wasn't her fault. You didn't tell Dad, did you?"
"Nope. You're a real good rider. No sense getting him all upset, at least not unless you didn't show up. So what happened?"
"Well, this obnoxious guy was racing Sirius in the jumping pasture, and…" when I had finished telling the whole story, Hagrid said, "That's a real shame. I let several new riders out today and it bugs the heck out of me when they don't obey the rules." He shook his head. "That kid you described, the one riding Sirius- I remember him. Never thought he'd caused any trouble, though. He was well-mannered, and real polite. Seemed to know his way around horses. The way he handled Sirius- well, I liked him."
Stroking Crookshanks' velvety nose, I said, "I guess he just knows how to make a good impression- but not on me. Believe me, Hagrid, I sure didn't see that side him."
Hagrid winked at me. "Maybe he was just flustered by running into a pretty young thing like you, 'Mione."
"Oh, Hagrid, get out of here!" I punched him playfully on the arm.
"Now, don't go getting all upset," he said with a chuckle. "Why can't you women ever take a compliment the way it's meant?"
I smiled shyly. "Thanks, Hagrid." Then I looked at my watch. "Oh, wow! I told Luna I'd meet her at the pool over an hour ago! I'd better make tracks."
"Go on. I'll finish up with Crookshanks here. Have fun, 'Mione."
Twenty minutes later, wearing my new turquoise bikini, I joined Luna at poolside.
"What kept you?" she asked, peering at me through her sunglasses. "I was beginning to think to wonder if my best friend had stood me up!"
I flopped down in the lounge chair next to hers. "No way. But I'm lucky I made it here at all. You would not believe what's happened since I since I saw you last. I might have been killed!"
Luna's eyes widened. "What are you talking about?"
"I was taking Crookshanks over the jumps when this incredible jerk came barreling out of nowhere, scaring her to pieces. I fell off, and then this guy rode over and started making cracks. He was arrogant, egotistical, conceited and a total-"I fumbled for the right word, but all I could come up was "creep!"
Luna sighed. "Leave it to you to have a confrontation with one of Briar Grangers' brat pack the first week the resort opens." She rolled over onto her stomach. "So tell me. Was he cute?"
"Cute? You're asking me if the guy who almost caused my death is cute." I squawked.
"Yeah, that's what I'm asking."
I hesitated for a moment, and then said reluctantly, "I guess he was, if you go for a great body, black messy hair, and green eyes. But that's not the point. Cute or not, he's the absolute pits!"
"Hmmm…" Luna smoothed some suntan lotion onto her arms. "Black hair, great body, and green eyes. Sounds like a hunk to me. Maybe he didn't mean to be rude, 'Mione. Maybe what he said just came out that way."
I snorted. "Ha! That's a joke he's just your basic snotty rich kid."
"Hey, I resent that!" Luna swung around and sat up, frowning at me. "I'm a rich kid."
"But you're different," I said, smiling. "You know I didn't mean you, Luna. You're not like the others. Sometimes I forgot that you're one of them." I waved a hand at the direction of the pool, where a bunch of teenagers were showing off their swimming technique and diving style.
"'Mione, not all wealthy people are snobs." Luna grinned. "Can I help it that I'm beautiful and rich?"
We both laugh. "Oh, you!" I said, flicking my towel at her. "Let's forget about Mr. High-and-Mighty, ok?"
"Whatever you say," she agreed. "Too bad Draco or Harry or Ron isn't here- I know you'd like them."
"Who are they?" I asked.
"Hermione Jane Granger!" Luna exclaimed. "Don't you pay any attention to all the letters I keep writing?"
"Of curse I do," I said quickly. But the truth was that Luna's letters were always so full of different boy's names that I'd stopped keeping track of them. "I just don't remember who's who. Refresh my memory."
"Harry, Draco, and Ron are only the cutest, most popular guys in the 7th yr. at Hogwarts, that's all. They're genuinely nice too, especially Harry."
"You dated all of them?"
"Just one of them, Ron." Luna began putting lotion on her legs. "I went out with Ron several times last year. I told you about it on the phone, remember?"
I nodded, but my memory was kind of vague.
"So who's the man of your life now?"
Luna shrugged. "I don't know. Ron hasn't asked me to be his girlfriend yet. So, I'm not quite sure."
I nodded and stood up. "I'm going to get a soda. You want anything?"
"A mineral water, I guess."
I wrinkled my nose. "Those things are so gross! Wouldn't you rather have something with tons of sugar?"
"And ruin my perfect figure?" Luna joked. "Are you kidding? I'll stick with the gross stuff."
"Ok. Be back in a few."
I headed for the snack bar at the far end of the pool. When I was about halfway there, I heard rowdy voices and pounding footsteps behind me. Before I could get out of the way, somebody rammed into me, shoving me to the edge of the pool. For a moment I teetered there, trying desperately to regain my balance, but it was no use. I feel in with a huge splash, letting out a shriek as the warm chlorinated water closed over my head and shot up my nostrils.
Furious and spluttering, I bobbed to the surface, ready to do battle with whoever had pushed me in.
"Hey, are you alright?" a male voice asked anxiously as I swam to the side of the pool.
My wet hair was hanging in my eyes, so I couldn't see who the voice belonged to at first. But when I brushed the sopping strands out of my face and looked up, I found myself staring into a pair of incredibly green eyes.
"You!" I gasped. "I don't believe this. It's you again!"