Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
By Silver Sailor Ganymede
One would never have expected a Slytherin to like herbology in the slightest, seeing as they were inevitably blue-blooded and thus hated being dirtied in any way, be it physically or in their blood. This being said, there is always an exception or two to any rule, and the exception in this case, bizarrely enough, happened to be Pansy Parkinson, the reigning 'queen' of the serpent's lair.
Pansy was from a line as pure as any but, perhaps because of her name, she had always been fascinated by flowers, spending most of her free time as a child cultivating rare species in the greenhouses that covered her family's vast estate. This had always bemused her companions somewhat – companions, not friends, Slytherin's didn't bother with such trivialities as friendship – but Pansy didn't care. She loved flowers and that was all there was to it.
This love of plants and flowers had not faded in the slightest when she began her schooling at Hogwarts, something that had delighted Professor Sprout, for no other Slytherin seemed to have even the remotest interest in the subject, and often caused varying degrees of teasing from her classmates. She was a Slytherin after all, why bother herself with such stupid, pointless things as that? Pansy's love of flowers never faded though.
That was why Pansy Parkinson often found herself going down to the greenhouses that day. Professor Sprout didn't mind her doing this at all, and it was nice to have some peace away from her Housemates – the only other person she ever saw there was Neville Longbottom, and the stupid, bumbling Gryffindor was too terrified out of his wits to have said a word to her.
Needless to say that Pansy wasn't surprised when, upon entering the tropical mugginess of greenhouse five, she saw someone else there, someone she had never expected to have even a remote interest in herbology. Luna Lovegood was a Ravenclaw in the year below Pansy. She had dirty blonde hair, eyes as pale as the orb she had been named after, and was reportedly rather insane. That was all Pansy knew about the other girl. This was a rarity, as Pansy usually knew everything about everyone, at least everyone worth mention.
"Hello," the Ravenclaw was the first to speak. She turned to Pansy, who noted that her hands, face and robes were covered in dirt, the expression made it look as though she had been taking some sort of hallucinogenic potion, and if she stepped one inch backwards she was likely to be eaten by a carnivorous venus flytrap.
Pansy just nodded in reply as the strange girl in front of her began playing with her necklace, which Pansy soon realised was made out of a string of radishes.
"Do you like herbology too?" Pansy had not been expecting this; no Slytherin would have asked her anything like that outright, much less sounded so totally sincere about it.
"Yes, I do," Pansy replied. "And you're going to get eaten if you don't watch out."
Luna turned around then moved away from the venus flytrap, which looked as though it was about to start drooling all over its next potential prey.
"There must be some sort of kappa in there," Luna said. "They like cucumbers after all."
It was only then that Pansy realised that there was an odd scent of cucumber mixing in with the dirt, and reasoned it was probably some sort of perfume the Ravenclaw had invented. It wouldn't have surprised her in the slightest… But still, Pansy couldn't help but think that it was highly unlikely for a kappa to be hiding in one of those plants – in fact it was completely impossible.
"What's your favourite type of flower?" Luna asked. Again the question seemed to have come out of nowhere at all.
"I like roses," Pansy replied quickly. For some reason this odd girl didn't make her seem quite so uncomfortable as she had expected.
"They're beautiful, I've always loved them."
"You love them, and they mean love," Luna said, a wistful air in her voice. "It must be wonderful to know that there's someone out there who would give you a rose for that purpose. But I don't really like roses; they're too clichéd. I'd rather be given a different flower."
"And what flower would that be?" the Slytherin asked, genuinely interested.
"My favourite flower."
"What is your favourite flower?" Pansy asked.
"My favourite flowers," Luna said, a strange, almost Slytherinesque smile appearing on her dreamy features, "are pansies."
Pansy didn't reply; there was nothing left that she could have said.