Notice: Harry and all other characters you might recognize are the property of JKR and whoever else might have the rights to them. Alas, I am not one of the "whoever else."
Harry Potter and the Missing Towels
Scene: 5th Year, Harry rushes into the D.A. Meeting 10 minutes late from Quidditch practice. His hair is wet, and his clothes are sticking to him in patches.
"Sorry I'm late, everybody. For some reason there are only ever hand towels in the Quidditch locker rooms," He apologizes. "Now, let's get to work. I had planned on working on everybody's shield spells today..." The meeting proceeds to go as planned.
One Week Later
Harry is sitting down in the Great hall, enjoying his breakfast, Ron and Hermione are busy reading through the latest issue of the Prophet, which had just been dropped off. An unfamiliar owl drops off a note to him, with his name written in block letters.
Curious, he opens the letter. "Harry, if you want to know about the missing towels, meet me at the far side of the lake tonight at dinner time. Please bring me a sandwich made of three pieces of very rare roast beef, three slices of cheddar cheese, water cress and peanut butter. Oh, and six cubes of sugar, please." The letter was unsigned. He was a bit grossed out by the contents of the sandwich, but intrigued by who might be sending him the message.
After his last class, he snuck down to the kitchens, and asked Dobby for the strange sandwich and sugar cubes. Dobby was thrilled to have been of service for "his Great and Powerful Harry Potter, the most Kindest and Powerful-est Wizard ever."
As Harry was making his way around the lake, he saw a young blonde girl sitting on a log, apparently deep in conversation with the Giant Squid. Harry didn't know of anybody, other than perhaps Dennis Creavey; that would willingly chat with the Squid, but that didn't seem to faze the girl. Harry never heard the Squid answering the girl, but she seemed to be having a very animated, if one sided chat with the beast. That meant that there could only be one person this could be.
"Good evening, Luna. How are you?" Harry asked as he walked up to the young Ravenclaw.
"Oh, hello, Harry. I'm fine. I was just chatting with Artemis here until you arrived. Did you bring my sandwich and sugar cubes?" Luna asked.
"Yup. Got them right here." Harry replied as he held out the bag.
"Thank you, Harry. I really appreciate it." Taking the bag, she opened up the sandwich and withdrew the water cress. Tossing it to the Squid, she called "Here you go, Artemis. Have a great night!"
Turning to Harry, she said "Are you ready to go, Harry?" She leaned forward, and grabbed Harry around the inner thigh about halfway to his knee to help herself up. "Hmm. Well, it seems that Katie was right." Luna muttered, more to herself than to anyone else.
Harry immediately turned red and hoped she didn't squeeze too hard. "Umm, what do you mean, Luna? What does Katie have to do with this?"
"Hmm? Oh, nothing really. Care to walk with me?" Luna replied, and started walking off into the Forbidden Forest.
"Uh, Luna? We aren't supposed to go in there. It's dangerous." Harry said.
Luna laughed, and said "That's funny, Harry. It seems that you never seem to have a problem with going in there. Besides, there's nothing in there that can hurt us."
Harry, thinking back to the previous encounters of giant spiders, centaurs, and werewolves, shuddered. He couldn't let Luna wander into the Forest by herself, though, so he quickly caught up to her.
"Um, so. You said that you had figured out about the missing towels in the Gryffindor Men's Quidditch Locker Room?" Harry asked.
"Oh, yes. That was quite simple really." Luna asked, as she wandered along some path seen only by her. As she did so, she was taking the cheese off the sandwich, and placing two pieces of sugar into each slice and then squishing the cheese around it. She closed it off, and then proceeded on to the next slice.
"Luna, are you going to share what you found out?" Harry asked. He was starting to get worried, because the sun was dropping behind the mountains, and he had no idea how to get back to the castle now.
Luna dropped the cheese by a strange looking mound and turned to her right, and continued on. "Oh, certainly. I just dropped by the kitchens and asked who cleaned the locker rooms. Then, I asked Cassie. She's the house elf that takes care of them. Did you know that?"
"Um. No, I didn't. Did you ask her to start putting full sized towels in there for us?" Harry asked.
"Hmm? Oh, no. I didn't think of that. But Cassie said that she was following orders from the founders. Rowena and Helga had told her great grand mother to never put full sized towels in the Gryffindor Men's Locker Room. I don't think that she'd approve of changing that now." Luna stopped, and seemed to be waiting on something.
"What? Why would the founders care about that?" Harry asked.
"Oh, for that she said I needed to talk to one of the girls that play for Gryffindor. I spoke to Katie, Alicia, and Angelina yesterday, and they told me the rest." Luna replied.
At that moment, a small Thestral came up behind Luna and nuzzled her arm. "Oh, there you are Beemer. I was beginning to wonder about you." Without another word, she reached into the bag and pulled out a piece of the roast beef. There were juices running off of it. It seems that when Dobby is told "very rare," he takes it seriously.
Beemer quickly ate the roast beef, and nuzzled her for more. She handed the next two slices to Harry, and Beemer came over to him. "Well, don't just stand there, or he might take your fingers with it." Luna chided.
Quickly, Harry began to feed the Thestral, while Luna carefully inspected one of his wings. Taking the bloody piece of bread from the sack, she placed it on one of the beast's wings. She pulled her wand from behind her ear, muttered something and a blue light encased the wing and the bread. When it disappeared, the bread was gone.
She then picked up the sack, and Harry gave the last of the beef to the Thestral. "Well, that should do it for tonight. Shall we go now?"
"Wait a minute. What's going on here? And you still haven't told me about the deal with the towels, other than that Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff said not to put them in." Harry said.
"Oh, that's right. Care to join me back at the lake and I'll explain everything." Luna held out her arm, and Harry took her hand. Luna took out the last piece of the bread with the peanut butter on it and folded it over. Taking a bite of the sandwich, she offered to share it with Harry. As they were walking, they quickly devoured the last of the strange sandwich Luna had asked Harry to provide.
It had gotten dark enough that Harry was about to cast a Lumos spell to be able to see, but Luna stopped him. "Harry, that wouldn't be a good idea, and besides, I know right where we are. Trust me?"
Harry, thinking about all the things in the forest that might be attracted by the light, decided that he had no choice in the matter. "Sure, Luna." With that, he took her hand and allowed her to lead him back through the forest.
Without saying a word, Luna led Harry back to her spot at the lake. Sitting down, she pulled Harry's hand in silent invitation.
As he was sitting, Harry asked "Now, are you going to tell me what's going on tonight?"
"Which would you prefer, Harry? The information about the towels, or what was going on tonight?" Luna asked.
"Um, how about what happened tonight first, and then the towels."
"Okay, Artemis loves water cress. The lake is too cold for it to grow properly here, so he doesn't get it, except once a week when I come down here and give it to him. The mound was a fairy mound. I found it, and noticed that some of their wings were a bit on the flimsy side, and it was causing some of them to get broken wings when they were flying. They needed more calcium in their diet. The only thing is, they don't like the taste of milk or cheese. They love sweets. That was why I put the sugar inside of the cheese. This way, they can't get to the sugar without eating the cheese, so they get their calcium and their sweets. After Hogsmeade weekends, they really go wild. I put Honeyduke's chocolate in them. It makes them hyper then. Beemer has a bad wing, and needs to have a blood poultice worked into it. The only way for him to allow it is to eat the roast beef while I work on his wing. Usually it takes more slices as I have to stop to feed him, and then work for a bit and then stop again. Thank you very much for your help tonight, Harry." Luna said.
Feeling stunned, Harry just muttered "No problem."
"Now, as to the towels. Are you sure that you want to know?" Luna asked.
"Definitely." Harry replied.
"Okay." Luna said. "I spoke with the girls on your team. It seems that Rowena and Helga were voyeurs. They liked to watch the boys in Godric's team while they were in the showers. Did you know that Alicia, Angelina and Katie have nicknames for you all? I also learned that not being very well endowed seemed to be a Keeper's trait. They said that Oliver was smaller than Angelina's baby brother when she was changing his diaper. They didn't specifically say how Ronald stacked up, other than Katie waving her pinkie finger around calling him 'Baby face.'
"It also seems that the twins are not completely identical. Fred is long and thin, while George is about average sized in length, but as big around as a butterbeer bottle. They call them the Bottle and Straw.
"Now, your name apparently is Tripod. They told me that if you had an erection you'd walk with a limp. I must say that from what I felt earlier they just might be right. I must admit that I would love to find out first hand, strictly for research purposes, you understand." Luna smiled and blushed a bit.
Harry had been blushing since the beginning of the explanation. He felt that he no longer needed a light to make his way to the castle from here. His face was burning enough to easily show the way.
"Um... Well... Uh... Thank you, I think, for the information. I guess from now on I need to take my own towels to the locker room with me, huh?" Harry managed to sputter out after a few minutes.
"Oh, I don't know. You know, they won't see anything MORE if you don't bring down the towel, now will they? Besides, who knows. Now that you know, maybe you'll enjoy giving them a show now and then." Luna said with a smile.
Harry's jaw dropped. Here was a girl that was wanting him to show off to a bunch of other girls? Only Luna.
Before Harry managed to get his thoughts collected, Luna said "Well, must be off to the library. Thank you very much for your help." With that, Luna kissed his lower lip gently and skipped back up the path to the castle.
After a moment, Harry limped back up the path himself.
The next morning, Luna received a note from Hedwig. "Thanks for last night. Let me know if you need more help with Beemer. -Harry"
With a smile, she thought about asking him to pick up some Horseradish to use as a salve for the blisters the peeping terwilligers had developed for tonight's little jaunt. Maybe she could watch him limp up to the castle from behind this time.
Thanks, all. Review if you like. Just another plot bunny running through while I was trying to sleep.