-Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling
George Weasley sighed as he stood in the sea of people trying to get near the crowded bar. Soft, sweet music filled the air around him, mingling with laughter and voices both loud and soft. On the dance floor a few feet away his brother danced with his new wife held close, her head resting on his shoulder, eyes closed...perhaps dreaming of the magic yet to come when at last they left the others behind and were alone.
A few feet away from Bill and Fleur were Fleur's parents, dancing closely, expertly and next to them, were George's parents...dancing just as lovingly as if they were newlyweds themselves.
George sighed and pulled his attention back to the matter at hand. He had been standing there for nearly fifteen minutes, and still, the crowd in front of him had hardly thinned. The truth was, he didn't mind at all. He was in no hurry to return to his brother and the two girls they had gone off with. In fact, he had volunteered to come, knowing the line was sure to be long.
He'd needed to get away, the Veela were driving him mad...and not in the way Veela were supposed to.
The two girls, Felicity and Dominique, were cousins of the bride. Felicity had been quite taken with Fred, and Fred, being who he was, wasn't about to go anywhere without his brother. Unfortunately, they both seemed to think that losing his ear had also made George lose his hearing. Of course, that wasn't the case. He had heard quite clearly the arguing between them, the promise that had finally been bartered in exchange for Dominique agreeing to go along with as she so delicately put it "The Freak"
It had been like that all day for George. From Aunt Muriel calling him lopsided to the children of guests staring at the side of his head...he was far past the stage of feeling like a walking freak show and heading towards something he didn't even want to imagine.
"Vhy is she doing that?" George looked to his left and saw Harry Potter, disguised as "Cousin Barney" talking to the famous Quidditch star Viktor Krum. George followed Krums mocking gaze to see a slight girl dressed in bright yellow robes at the side of the dance floor, a sunflower tucked over her ear. Her face was calm and peaceful, as if she were in a cozy bubble, protected in a world all her own.
With her face so content and at peace, George thought she looked a hundred times more beautiful than any other woman there that night, about a thousand times more beautiful than the stuck up Veela cousins.
Just behind her, he could see girls laughing and pointing, and though he couldn't hear what they said, he knew they were making fun of her. Yet, the girl was oblivious. She just continued to move along in her own world, her body relaxed and her arms swaying gently to the music. If only George could find that kind of contentment. He felt something, a feeling strong and heady growing in his chest and he realized it for what it was...envy. Luna Lovegood didn't care what people thought of her, she never had. She went on and did what she wanted, lived her life on her terms and to hell with those who thought she was a freak.
"George!" Fred called from behind him, the two Veela trailing him. "Did you forget us?"
"No." He forced his eyes away from Luna's face and looked back at them "Been standing in line."
"Oh" Fred nodded as he looked around at the crowd of people "Right."
"Fred." Felicity said "Who is zat?" She nodded toward the dance floor, towards Luna.
"Her name's Luna Lovegood." Fred said with a small smile. "She's one of our neighbors. "
"Not a friend of yours zouh?" Dominique said, her tone superior.
"What if she was?" George asked, nettled by the girls attitude once again.
Fred stepped forward and reached through the crowd at the bar for four bottles of butterbeer, then turned swiftly back. "Shall we?"
They turned around, the girls talking among themselves...and once again, he heard it loud and clear "Zis place is full of zees freaks."
This time Fred heard it too. "She is our friend." He said, thinking about Dumbledores Army and how Luna had risked her life with Harry Potter while trying to save the life of Sirius Black, of how she had been one of two people who had answered the call to fight the night Albus Dumbledore had died. "In fact, we are part of an Army of Freaks."
"Well!" Dominique took Felicity by the arm and lead her away, her face red with brewing anger and disgust.
"Were better off really." Fred said with a smirk and a shrug "You saw those bird things they turned into at the world cup."
George just looked at Fred and grinned. "I'll be back."
He cut through the crowded dance floor, smiling at first his brother and sister in law, then his parents as he passed. When he reached the edge, he gave the laughing girls a glare that sent them to the other side of the room, and then, he stepped inside Luna's bubble and took her hand.
"May I cut in?" He asked, a huge smile on his face.
"You want to dance with me?" She said, her eyes even bigger than normal.
"I've seen the pointing and laughing." She said simply "Most people here seem to think I'm a freak."
George threw his head back and laughed.
"Luna, do you really care what people here think?" he smiled, a picture of Luna dancing warming his heart once again. "I mean, really care what people think?"
Luna dimpled up at him, her thoughts matching his. "Obviously not."
Out of the corner of his eye he spotted Felicity and Dominique standing and staring at them near the bar.
"And so, obviously, neither do I." He smiled, then put his arm around Luna's tiny waist and pulled her out into the middle of the dance floor, then, he bent down and kissed her forehead and pulled her close against him.
Luna sighed and rested her cheek on George's chest. She was clueless as to what exactly had possessed him to ask her to dance, but she was definitely going to enjoy it while it lasted.