You Get What You Give

Luna Lovegood walked through the halls of Hogwarts, wondering where Ginny was. Luna had trapped a Wrackspurt earlier in the day, and wanted to show her friend. Of course, there was always the chance that Ginny would think it wasn't real, because it was trapped in a jar, and Wrackspurts were invisible, but all the same, she wanted to show someone. And Ginny was one of the few people she knew who wouldn't make fun of her for it . . .

Luna was so busy daydreaming about how amazing it would be if she caught a Blibbering Humdinger that she didn't even notice when she walked right into Professor Snape.

He was exceptionally unused to this, because people usually skirted around him in the corridors, afraid of getting detention, or worse, getting greasy stains all over their school robes. So naturally, when Luna walked into him, he was caught off guard and fell right on the floor, scattering the many potions ingredients he kept on him at all times. (You know, because he was the Potions master. Yeah, it's true. He's one of those guys.) Nearly all the people in the corridor stopped to watch the little scenario unfold.

Everyone simultaneously gasped. So did Snape and Luna. Luna was startled to find that she'd bumped into anyone at all; she had been so busy with her daydreaming.

"Oh, Professor," she gasped. "I'm so sorry, sir! Can I help you up?"

"I'm fine!" snarled Snape angrily. "You just pushed me over!" Snape tried to get up again and pull himself together, but he let out an involuntary gasp of pain that couldn't mean anything good . Nobody in the vicinity had ever heard such a sound coming from Professor Snape. Actually, nobody in the entire world had ever heard Snape let out a screech like the one that followed, but that was probably because he had never made a sound like it.

"My leg is broken," Snape said after he had stopped yelling, his face contorting in rage and pain. "Croris Steti," he muttered, and then stood up, though he was a little shaky.

"Do you need me to help you to the hospital wing, Professor?" Luna asked, genuine anxiety in her voice.

"NO!" Snape shouted, so loudly that half the people jumped in alarm and a first year started crying. She had to be taken down to the infirmary, where Madam Pomfrey gave her something for nerves, and she still didn't feel better.

After the first year was escorted down to the hospital wing by one of her friends, Snape pointed at a skinny boy with pimples and said, "You! Stebbins! Stop gawking and get me to the infirmary!" The boy he indicated let out a small squeal and scampered away.

Everybody else dispersed as well, leaving only Luna.

Snape groaned. Looks like I'm stuck with wacko here, he thought. "Miss Lovegood!" he shouted, causing her to jump. "Get me down to the hospital wing!"

* * * * *

Two minutes later, Snape was trying to support his own weight while Luna walked aimlessly next to him, occasionally walking into walls and apologizing to them. Snape snarled, but she didn't seem to notice. They soon got to the hospital wing, and Madam Pomfrey exclaimed over the twisted state of Snape's leg.

"One moment, dear," she said to Luna. "This one" (she jerked her head over to the first year girl) "needs something. From what she's said, a teacher yelled quite loudly and reduced her to tears." The little girl sitting on the bed in the corner shot one frightened look at Snape, but as as Madam Pomfrey hadn't dismissed her yet, she had to stay put. Luna felt rather bad for this poor girl.

Once she had finished with the first year, Madam Pomfrey turned to Snape and Luna. "Who did this to you?"

"It was an accident, Madam Pomfrey," said Luna apologetically, "but I walked into him in the hallway, and I guess it was because he was never hugged as a child, but he reacted rather badly."

Madam Pomfrey's face softened. Then she turned to Snape. "You were never hugged as a child?"

Snape didn't really know how to react to this. It was true, but how did the Lovegood girl know? "Well – I – you know – oh, who cares what my childhood was like?" he spluttered uncontrollably. "Yes, my mother never hugged me, and my father did nothing but yell, but – honestly, who cares? Just mend my stupid leg, Poppy!" Why did the stupid Lovegood oddity have to be so perceptive? He just wanted to be left alone. If only his childhood had gone a little differently, maybe he would be a little less crabby …

Snape felt himself getting all soft and fuzzy inside. This was certainly a new sensation to him. He thought he felt the old crabbiness leaving as he gave up to the tears. Snape tried to pull them back, but the damage was done. Luna had gotten to him.

"Oh, sir," said Luna softly. "I didn't mean to make you cry." Luna watched in curiosity as tears slipped down the professor's face. She couldn't help feeling guilty. After all, she was the one who had made him fall down. Also, she realized she tended to blurt things out a bit too much. Luna decided she would have to work on that. But she felt genuinely awful about all the trouble she had caused. Luna was a very genuine kind of person, in case you hadn't noticed.

Therefore, Luna felt she owed Snape something. It was her fault that he was here with a broken leg. It would be fixed in a jiffy by Madam Pomfrey, but still. She knew he wasn't very nice, and she didn't like him much. But she wanted to cheer him up. All of a sudden, she remembered the reason she had bumped into him in the first place. She had been looking for Ginny, hadn't she? And why had she been looking for Ginny?

"Professor Snape?" Luna asked tentatively. She had no idea how his feelings were at the moment, so she decided to be gentle.

"Yes?" asked Snape. Luna noted how he was slowly coming back to his own crabby self.

"Professor, I was wondering," Luna continued. "I was wondering if you would like to – to see a – a Wrackspurt I caught?"

"A what?" Some more of the old impatience was returning. "I suppose," continued Snape heavily.

Luna slowly withdrew the clear jar from inside her robes. "See?" she said. "It's a Wrackspurt. Oh, they're invisible," she said, in response to Snape's raised eyebrows and his hint of a sneer. Luna panicked. She knew now she had only a few seconds. "They're actually very common, though very hard to catch. I was lucky to get this one here."

Unfortunately, Snape chose right then to come back to his right mind. "Oh, get out of here, Lovegood! Before I give you a detention!"

Luna quickly left and headed straight to Ravenclaw Tower

* * * * *

"Guess what?" she told everyone in the common room later that night. Nobody really answered. As you probably know, Luna was very unpopular.

"I got Professor Snape to cry!" she exclaimed.

The rest of the year was very unpleasant for Severus Snape.