Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. I am not J.K. Rowling. Therefore, Harry Potter does not belong to me.
Author's Note: There's not much to say about this one. I was inspired and bored, so I wrote it. Pretty much canon compliant, although the age difference between Harry and Luna might be a bit off. Enjoy.
Eight-year-old Harry Potter's heart was as heavy as the backpack on his back. That is to say, very heavy. Not only did he have to carry his own books and lunch bag, he also had to carry all of his awful cousin Dudley's things as well. But that was not what was making him so upset. He was stronger than he looked. What weighed down on his heart so heavily was the fact that today was his birthday and no one had remembered. Worst of all, Dudley had broken his brand new glasses. The glasses had been the first thing he had gotten in years that wasn't a hand-me-down. He had been so proud of having something all his own. Then, at lunch today, Dudley and his friends had ganged up on Harry and broken them straight down the middle. One of the teachers had been kind enough to offer him tape, but Harry knew that Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia would be furious. If he tried to tell them that it was their son who did it, they would only accuse him of lying and his punishment would be even more severe.
Harry hated his aunt and uncle. They always fawned over stupid Dudley, but never even gave him a second glance. It wasn't fair. Why should Dudley, who had everything he ever wanted, also have doting parents when Harry couldn't even remember his mother's face? Not that Harry wanted parents like Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, but he thought it would be wonderful to have at least one person who cared about him more than anyone else. He wouldn't mind if they were old, or ugly, or really, really strict. As long as they loved him, he would be happy.
The only thing Harry did know about his real parents was that they had died in a car accident. The same accident had given him the curious lightning bolt scar on his forehead. When he was younger, he had blamed them for dying and leaving him with the Dursleys. He had also secretly imagined that maybe they were really alive, but had faked their deaths and would come and take him away to a beautiful house in the country where they could all live together happily. The reason they faked their deaths tended to change quite often. One day, they were going undercover as spies. The next, they were accused of a crime and had to hide until they were proven innocent. Or maybe they were the rulers of some small country and they had to hide him, the crown prince, while they defeated the evil tyrant who had taken over their kingdom. But now, Harry had outgrown such foolishness. He knew that they were gone and he was stuck with the Dursleys until he grew up.
As his mind was occupied by these sullen thoughts, a tiny blond girl across the street gasped and whispered something to the tall man with her. Then, she dashed through the traffic, miraculously avoiding any cars, and stopped in front of Harry.
"You look sad," she observed.
Harry looked up to study her. She was younger than him, only about five or six and a bit small for her age. The top of her head just barely reached his shoulder. Her blond hair was pulled back in two messy pigtails, secured with mismatched hair ties. Some sort of paint was smeared all over her pink dress, her arms, and her face. There was even a bit of purple in her hair. Despite her messy appearance, Harry thought she looked like someone he would want to be his friend.
"What's wrong?" she asked innocently, her blue eyes gazing up at him.
"It's nothing," he lied.
"Then why are you so sad?" she persisted.
"Today's my birthday and not one person has wished me a happy birthday," he admitted.
The girl's already owlish eyes widened.
"That's horrible!" she gasped.
Suddenly, she brightened.
"I know just what to do!"
She dug into her pocket and pulled out a brightly colored lollipop.
"Happy Birthday!" she exclaimed, handing him the sugary confection.
His entire face lit up. He had never had such a wonderful present before. The only things the Dursleys ever gave him were dirty old clothes that Dudley had grown out of. That is, if they even remembered he had a birthday.
"Thank you so much," he said.
"It was nothing," she assured him. "I just wanted to make you smile."
Suddenly, the tall man who had been with the girl before appeared behind her.
"We need to go, Luna," he chided her gently. "We have to stop by the muggle pharmacy and get some medicine for your mother."
"Can I say goodbye to my new friend first?" she asked.
He indicated his approval with a small nod.
Luna threw her arms around Harry and gave him a big hug. Then, she stood up on her very tip-toes and planted a kiss on his forehead. His lightning bolt scar tingled slightly as her lips pressed against it.
"That was for good luck," she explained. "Bye!"
"Goodbye," he replied.
Somehow he knew that by 'good luck' she didn't mean the I-hope-you-do-good-on-your-math-quiz kind of luck. She meant really good luck; the I-hope-you-get-everything-you-ever-dreamed-of kind of luck.
"Happy Birthday, Harry Potter," Luna's father said before he turned to go. "I hope I'll get to see you again."
Harry stood staring after them with a dazed smile on his face for a full minute before he continued walking home. Luna was skipping merrily by her father's side, taking several steps for each one of his purposeful strides. Twice, she looked back and waved at him. Each time, he waved back.
Is this what having a real friend feels like? He wondered, before finally continuing his journey homeward.
Harry knew the Dursley's ways well enough to know that the only way for him to keep the lollipop would be to hide it. Long before he reached number four Privet Drive, he had tucked it away safely in his oversized shoe. Unfortunately, he couldn't hide the tape wrapped around his glasses.
"Take that wad of tape off your glasses!" Uncle Vernon ordered. "It looks ridiculous."
"But Uncle Vernon-" Harry started to explain about the broken glasses.
"No buts!" Vernon insisted. "Take it off."
Harry slowly unwound the tape, dreading having to explain how he'd broken his brand new glasses. To his surprise, as he pulled off the last layer, the glasses were completely whole. There was no sign of any crack. He hid his shock well as his uncle huffed in annoyance.
"Foolish boy," he muttered. "Does he want to look like an idiot?"
For the next several months, Harry had one lick of his lollipop each night. Each time it was absolutely delicious and he couldn't help but suspect that it somehow changed flavor every lick.
It would be four years before he tasted anything like it again, on the train to Hogwarts, and even longer before he met again the girl who had been his first friend.
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