Revenge Is A Dish Best Served With Pudding
"No, no," Fred was saying, "that's an urban myth."
"The Muggles have been perpetuating that story for ages," agreed George heartily. "Good for tourism."
Luna looked to Ginny and back to the twins. "But the Egyptians used millions of stones to build the pyramids," she said mystifyingly. "The ancient quarries still exist."
"Natural depressions in the rock," explained George off-handedly.
"That's right," echoed Fred. "In actual fact, they chiseled those pyramids out of small mountains."
"But – "
Ginny flashed her brothers a warning glare. "Listen, you two – "
"They want people to wonder how they were built – adds to the mystique," continued Fred, undeterred.
"It's all part of a great Muggle conspiracy to hide the truth," added George.
Luna's eyes widened. "A conspiracy?" she asked breathlessly.
"As sure as I'm not on Umbridge's short list for Prefect," said Fred assuredly. He looked to George. "Same probably goes for you."
"Oh, that's it," snapped Ginny, grabbing Luna by the hand and dragging her along the courtyard's worn cobblestones and away from her brothers. "You two should be ashamed of yourselvesཀ"
Luna didn't resist being dragged along, simply looking at Ginny with a quizzical expression.
"By the way, we saw a Crumple-Horned Snorkack yesterday," called out George. "Near Hagrid's -- beautiful creature! Shame Fang had to eat it..."
At this, Luna tried to come to a stop, but Ginny's pull was relentless.
"He said – "
"Never mind what he said!" snapped Ginny, unintentionally venting some of her anger at her friend.
It was only once they were outside the castle walls and well out of earshot of the twins' laughing that Ginny finally released her grip. She whirled on Luna.
"They're laughing at you!"
Luna looked at her with the same expression she'd had in Professor Binns' class earlier that morning.
Ginny hesitated. But as much as she loved her brothers, she couldn't very well stand idly by while they made fun of Luna, even if only in jest. "They think you're gullible, Luna," she said more somberly. "They think you'll believe anything, and they're pushing it to extremes just to give themselves a laugh. Well, I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm not laughing."
"Yes, I have noticed," said Luna serenely. "But I'm certain they don't mean any harm, it's all in good fun – "
"Don't you defend them!" blurted Ginny, her cheeks flushing. "They – they just – they're not showing you any kind of respect! Luna, you need to stand up to them!"
Luna gazed at her silently, twirling her fingers absent-mindedly through straggly blonde locks.
"I mean it," continued Ginny, pressing the point. "It's the only way, believe me, I know my brothers."
"But it's not my way," said Luna, a hint of a smile forming at the corners of her mouth.
Ginny let out a low groan of frustration.
"Oh look, it's almost noon," said Luna distractedly, gazing up at the sun. "I think I'll go look for some Gurdyroot, it'll be quite easy to find today..."
"Do it for me," pleaded Ginny in desperation. "If you won't do it for yourself, do it for me...please?"
Luna looked at her curiously.
"I don't like it when people laugh at you, it makes me want to hex them," said Ginny. She drew closer, taking Luna's hand in her own. "Please do it for me..."
Fred did a double-take when he saw Ginny and Luna Lovegood ambling towards them from the direction of the lake. He elbowed his brother lightly in the ribs.
"Think fast...what say we ask if she'll sign a petition against plucking Hippogriffs to stuff pillows of high-ranking Ministry officials?" suggested Fred with a wry smile.
"We don't exactly have a petition handy, though," observed George.
"No problem," said Fred. "We'll just say it's a verbal one."
"I'll wager you my date with Angelina she doesn't bite," countered George as they got to their feet.
The odd blonde girl made a beeline for the twins, Ginny following close behind. In truth, they were quite fond of Luna – she was beautifully nonconformist – but she presented just too good an opportunity to pass up!
"Well hello there!" said George brightly. "It's a beautiful day, isn't it?"
"Hello," said Luna. "And yes, it is quite lovely..."
"Tell them," urged Ginny from behind.
"Tell them what?" asked Fred, casting a mischievous glance at his brother.
Luna looked at him, her large silvery eyes fixed and unblinking. "Ginny's rather upset. She says that you tell me falsehoods and fabrications – "
"Falsehoods and fabrications!" said George, feigning shock. "Why I, never!"
" – and in order to make her feel better, I've decided to avenge myself."
The twins looked at each other, hardly believing what they'd just heard.
"Well, that's a fright."
"Isn't it?" said Fred. He looked back to Luna, doing his best to keep from laughing. "So, you've come to avenge yourself, eh? Mind if we ask how're you going to manage that, exactly?"
"Well, I did have something in mind," said Luna serenely, drawing her wand from behind her ear. She leveled it straight at the twins.
"Whoa!" exclaimed George, fumbling for his wand in his jacket as Fred took a nervous half-step back, mumbling a few expletives – they'd never been caught so completely flat-footed.
"Luna!" cried Ginny, her eyes wide with alarm. "No one said anything about hexes!"
"I must avenge myself," pronounced Luna softly, her gaze almost trancelike. "For Ginny's sake."
"Now look, let's not overreact – "
"We're sorry, all right??"
"Luna, give me the wand – "
Luna waved her arm in a wild casting motion; George's heart skipped –
George dropped flat to the ground as his brother dove headfirst into a prickly bush –
Fred's cries were drowned out by the sound of raucous cackling. George chanced a glance – he couldn't believe it: both Luna and Ginny were leaning against each other, weak-kneed and laughing. It was then he noticed a stick slowly trickle from Luna's pale fingers and drop to the ground – along with two wands protruding from Ginny's back pocket.
"Fred, old boy," he said with a grin, "I have the distinct feeling we've just been handed our arses in a wicker basket."
"I know!" exclaimed Fred, hidden from view in the nearby thistles. "It's brilliant!"