Hardly Rational by xErised
The Marvels Of A Properly Utilized Pair of Spectrespecs
Harry's mind was currently bordering on insanity.
He had initially see-sawed between a bout of disbelief, a flurry of excitement and sizzling lust, and a longing hope that it would all go away eventually, but oh no, Harry's misdirected and entirely inappropriate ardor for Draco Malfoy had lingered and stayed mulishly like a particularly well-executed love bite, and there was absolutely nothing that Harry could do about it.
His eyes were like the prettiest ice-grey licks of flickering flames that were fringed with whispers of silver blaze, and his lilting laughter was like the dreamy quality of a ballad, and his hair, oh, how many sleepless nights Harry had endured, just thinking, fantasizing about combing his fingers through the flaxen locks of the angelic blond!
Harry had never fallen so damn hard for anyone before.
Granted, the 'whispers of silver blaze' in Draco's eyes were probably the anger and jeers that Draco had directed freely towards Harry, and the 'dreamy quality' of Draco's laughter was when the Slytherin was laughing at him, not with him, and well, the only chance that Harry would get to 'comb his fingers' through Draco's hair was oh no, not in the throes of passion as Harry dreamt about, but probably when the both of them were punching the living daylights out of each other.
Not a very bright outlook of reality, but how Draco set Harry on fire, and how Harry wanted to melt the arctic doubts that lay concealed challengingly behind Draco's eyes!
Cho's pure jet-black hair had been nothing but a smear on the landscape compared to his teenage crush on Draco, it was obvious that redheads didn't do anything for Harry, judging by the fact that he only lasted with Ginny for a week, and Cedric's gorgeous brown hair did send his pulse racing, but blond, ooh la la, earth-shattering, mind-blowing and orgasm-causing blond was in a whole new league altogether.
Blond wasn't just beautiful, blond was bloody sodding brilliant!
"Harry, mate, you're stirring your orange juice with your quill."
With that, a thoroughly smitten Harry jerked himself rudely out of his whimsical smog of adoration and reined his thoughts into safer territory. And, true to Ron's words, Harry had indeed been mutilating his orange juice with globules of ink while his mind had been scurrying off into a marvelous, impossible world where Harry could simply get Draco Malfoy butt-naked with just a mere snap of his fingers-
The brunette cursed under his breath as he extricated his poor quill from his goblet and wiped it on his robes. His half-drunk orange juice gave one last, sad swirl before dissolving completely into the deluge of inky blackness.
Hermione and Ron shared a Look.
The trio of eighteen-year-olds was seated in the Great Hall for their usual routine of morning breakfast, and Harry's books and parchment were sprawled all over the breakfast table as he tried to scrawl through his homework in a last minute bid to complete his essays before class started. It had become some sort of a habit for the past week, simply because Harry wasn't concentrating during classes, and also because of his sleepless nights, mainly with only his right hand for company in bed (Ron could vigorously attest to that fact).
"Harry, all of this pining away isn't good for your health," Hermione pointed out in her characteristic matter-of-fact tone. Ron let out a displeased huff, but the redhead maintained his silence, choosing to shovel in more scrambled eggs in his mouth.
Harry froze in his actions to dry his quill off, his eyes as round as full moons as he absorbed the hidden meaning behind Hermione's words. He had tried to keep his feelings (obsessions) as quiet as possible, because he knew that his two best friends might not be too thrilled about it. Harry could imagine it now; the downward tug of Hermione's lips, signaling her passive disapproval, and Ron…
Ron would crap himself if he knew.
"P-Pining away? For orange juice? There's no such thing at all! I could get milk, or pumpkin juice, or… apple juice, I love juices! Juices are the best thing in the world!" Harry blurted out and squeaked out a laugh at the end, thinking that he sounded rather mad.
As though he was emphasizing his point, a widely-grinning (unthinking) Harry took a long, hard swig of his inky orange juice.
Ron could only disguise his snort of laughter behind a cough, and Hermione sighed in distress, resting her forehead against her palm when Harry hurriedly spat out his mouthful of ink amidst mutters of "Shit, I totally forgot-".
"We're not as dense as you make us out to be when it comes to matters of the heart," Hermione started, but back-tracked and corrected herself, "Well, Ron is, but I realized that you fancied Draco like mad, but I didn't say anything about it, because I thought it might just be a passing thing, but you've already been liking him for the past two months-"
"It's fifty four days and six hours as of right now, Hermione," Harry remedied without missing a beat, his eyes centered fully on the blond yet again, his heart pirouetting to its own rhythm and reverie of pink, candy-coated love.
Ron and Hermione could only stare at him.
"Merlin, I've got it bad, haven't I?" Harry moaned, his head sinking and his face crumpling as he took stock of what he had just said.
Hermione only managed to catch Harry narrowly before the poor boy accidentally dunked his head into his bowl of cornflakes.
"I had to let Ron know about it so that he wouldn't go ballistic with fury when he eventually learnt about it, and besides, we're your friends, Harry! You shouldn't be keeping such things from us," Hermione exclaimed and patted Harry's hand consolingly.
"How did you know? And… does it mean that you two are… okay with it?" The brunette asked as he exhaled heavily and tossed his studying paraphernalia messily in his bag. There was no way that he could think about homework now.
"Well, we did take into consideration your tendency to doodle the initials HPDM on your parchment during classes with a dreamy, sometimes lustful smile on your face," Hermione said with as straight a face that she could summon, eliciting a flustered squeal from Harry.
"It's not really much of a story, is it? You make advances to Malfoy, he rejects you with one of his biting remarks, thus breaking your fragile heart into smithereens and swearing you off love forever, well, that is, until the next good-looking bloke comes along. He's Malfoy, for Merlin's sake!" Ron blustered insensitively, earning a Stern Glare from Hermione.
"It's not going to be that disastrous, is it? There could be… you know, a remote possibility that he could… like me back just a little bit? I mean, the War's already over and done with, so we could… start on a fresh slate all over again, couldn't we?"
With that trigger, Ron and Hermione immediately turned their heads back towards the Slytherin table, where the much-discussed Draco Malfoy was taking zero notice of the Gryffindors.
"No, don't look at him all at once!" Harry hissed frantically, and let out a miserable sigh when Draco deigned to sweep the trio with a searching glimpse of a look, his eyebrow raised in dainty query. The brunette's face was flooded with pink, fluffy clouds of embarrassment as he quickly looked down at his cornflakes, prodding the soggy bits with the curve of his spoon.
"Draco hasn't tried to establish any contact with you ever since the new school year has started, Harry, nor has he returned the lovelorn looks that you've been shooting in his direction, so I highly doubt that he is interested in you, so obviously, you've got to make the first step," Hermione said, her voice as patient as a saint. She placed her utensils down on the table primly, bunched her unruly hair up and pushed it to the back in a business-like manner.
"W-What first step? There will be no steps at all!" Harry protested heatedly, his eyes widening with consternation and his head shaking furiously.
"Don't you want to hold him in your arms properly, Harry? Don't you want to confess your feelings to him, instead of hoarding it away? There's nothing to be ashamed of! I just think that you deserve a bit of happiness after all that you've done during the War, and if Draco makes you happy, then I'm perfectly fine with it, but I'm not speaking for Ron, obviously. If you want to make Draco Malfoy yours, you've got to let him know!" Hermione coaxed, and Harry was almost tempted to agree with her, but as beads of anxiety and skepticism wound their way up his chest, Harry licked his lips and hesitated.
"I can't just go right up to him and tell him that I'm crazy for him, can I? It doesn't work that way! He'll think I've gone completely bonkers! I don't know… I don't know how to go about doing it!"
Hermione only smiled confidentially and dropped her voice down to a secretive whisper, her rather naughty grin crinkling her eyes up at the ends.
"Mandy Brocklehurst and Matthew Kettletoft. Everyone knows that the two of them were always at loggerheads, always sniping at each other at every opportunity they've got, and Luna managed to get them together! I don't know how she did it, but two weeks after Matthew asked Luna for help, they were kissing and holding hands all the way to Hogsmeade!"
"But they only lasted for two days!" Ron pointed out, much to Hermione's chagrin. "And Matthew was going barking mad during those two weeks, I heard that Luna was asking him to do things that completely made no sense at all-"
"Yes, I do agree that Luna's a bit unorthodox-"
"A few bezoars short of a potion, more like it," Ron interjected, sticking a finger out and making a few whirly motions around his temple. Hermione rolled her eyes and waved a hand airily in Ron's direction as though to show that his argument was debatable.
"But the fact that they were together meant something!" Hermione cried out and quickly shushed a crooning Ron. The witch immediately rattled off pairs of names, and Harry tilted his head curiously and listened. He could identify some that were still together, and some couples that had already broken up.
But the facts were undeniable; Luna's dubious gift of matchmaking was definitely not a one-off, and that Hermione was correct; all of these couples needed much more than a little nudging in the right direction to be paired up.
"So… you're saying that if I want to get a fighting chance with Draco, my best bet would be to ask Luna for help?" Harry summarized, swallowing nervously when Hermione nodded gravely. This idea shouldn't even be entertained, let alone voiced out in the open like that, but Hermione's words were whistling sadly around Harry's heart. He did want to tell Draco how he felt about him, the never-ending pull that he felt towards the blond and how much he would like to cuddle him to sleep and keep him safe, but to actually do something about it, moreover on Luna's instructions, it was incredulous, absurd, completely insane-
But it might just work.
"Come on, Hermione! Harry's not gonna let Luna fiddle around in his life like that- bloody hell, Harry, you're actually thinking about it!" Ron said, astonishment registering in his blinking blue eyes when he saw how serious Harry was.
"I… really want him, Ron," Harry stammered shyly, going pink all over again when his emeralds immediately latched onto the sashaying figure of Draco exiting the Great Hall for his first class.
"I don't want to leave Hogwarts knowing that I've done nothing to get him after all of my mooning over him. I don't… want to regret anything that I've done or never done. If I get rejected outright by him even after Luna's help, at least I won't look back and wonder whether we could have been together if only I had just grabbed life by the balls and done something. You get what I mean?" Harry asked quietly, his gaze falling forlornly down to his empty hands. His fingers twitched slightly, as though they were waiting, waiting to hold the hands of a particular Slytherin boy-
"Well, if that's the case… Go on, Harry. Go and chase him, although it's going to need a lot more than that to bring me around to the idea of you snogging Malfoy," Ron relented, but sniffed at the thought. "You serious about it, then? It's gonna be real interesting, mate, to see how you're going to go about doing it. Good luck," Ron chortled, leaning across the table and clapping Harry heartily on the back, an impish grin poised on his lips.
A visible jostle rippled through Harry, and the brunette drew himself up, his shoulders squaring with ambition and his lips tightening with sheer determination.
"Okay, I'm going to call Luna over and talk to her. I doubt she knows about my… feelings for Draco, so I'm going to ease it slowly into the conversation. I'll start off with the usual polite pleasantries, perhaps some talk about the weather, and then subtly bring up those couples that she matched up, before mentioning the whole obsessing about, erm, liking Draco thing. We'll do it real slowly, alright?" Harry said, taking charge of the situation, his neck craned as he scoured the Ravenclaw tables for the blonde.
Ron and Hermione nodded obediently.
As if the formidable fates were conveying their blessings onto Harry, it was at that exact moment that Luna got up, gathered up her books, including three copies of The Quibbler, in her arms and happily skipped her way down from the stretch of tables towards the exit of the Great Hall. Harry waved enthusiastically at the Ravenclaw and beckoned her over. He was already skimming through an impromptu conversation with Luna in his mind.
"Hello, Harry! Have you come to ask for my help to woo Draco?" Luna queried without preamble as she rocked herself up and down the balls of her feet, her lips quirked up in her usual dreamy smile.
A stunned silence descended upon the trio.
Harry went a bit purple in the face.
"Oh, I've been seeing a higher population of Humping Wrackspurts wafting around your head, Harry. It's what happens when someone's in love. And well, the logical deduction is that you're currently hopelessly, unfailingly and desperately in love with Draco Malfoy, for exactly the past fifty four days and six point five hours," Luna finished grandiosely, having whipped out a pair of Spectrespecs, deposited it snugly on her nose and gestured vaguely to the blank space around Harry's head.
Harry didn't want to ask how Luna got to her 'logical deduction'.
"Hmmm, the Humping Wrackspurts around both of your heads are especially active today," Luna reported helpfully, slipping the Spectrespecs off and looking meaningfully at Ron and Hermione. In response, the tips of Ron's ears went red and Hermione blushed bashfully, both not daring to look the other in the eye.
"Want to take a look, Harry? But you've got to differentiate between the normal Wrackspurts and the Humping ones," Luna offered kindly, extending the Spectrespecs to him.
"Er, no thanks," Harry refused politely. "Does the Spectrespecs tell you about Draco's… sexual preferences, I mean, that's important, isn't it…" Harry trailed off uncertainly, feeling the color mounting in his cheeks yet again.
"Oh, Draco definitely likes boys. The color of the Humping Wrackspurts around his head tells me that, so you have nothing to worry about at all!" Luna reassured the brunette with a comforting beam.
"Hang on, Wrackspurts can hump?" Ron asked, his nose wrinkling in bewilderment.
"Wrackspurts can do anything you want if you ask them nicely," Luna whispered conspiratorially, and a cryptic twinkle flittered playfully in Luna's eyes that made the trio rather fidgety. "They're also very reliable when it comes to predicting love matters, so I'll be using them for a teeny bit of reference about Draco's possible feelings for you," Luna added.
Harry didn't know what was worse, that there were miniscule invisible creatures around his head engaging in humping activities, or that said miniscule invisible creatures were going to indirectly assist him in his love life.
"Does it matter to you that… well… Draco and I are both boys, so is it okay with you?" Harry stammered out.
"It's alright. I don't see the fuss about homosexuality; they're practically the same thing as compared to heterosexuality, really," Luna trilled melodiously.
Ron choked a bit on his sausage.
"I'll have something prepared for you tomorrow morning!" Luna promised, casting a sunny grin on the trio and turning around. With that, Luna Lovegood merrily skipped her way out of the Great Hall, her radish earrings dangling gaily from her earlobes, all the while whistling a jaunty, high-pitched tune.
Harry buried his head in his hands.
This could be the best or the worst mistake of his life.
"I'll get his attention, alright! He'll probably bash me up into a bloody pulp after I'm done with this!" Harry wailed with mortification, increasing his grip on the list and waving it agitatedly in Luna's face. "If you're not clear, I want Draco to like me, not dislike me even more!"
"Of course I do know that, Harry! Do you think I'm mad?" Luna asked calmly.
Harry tactfully chose not to reply.
"Shut it, Ron," Harry sighed, huffing at his best friend. Ron was roaring with laughter as he peeked over Harry's shoulder, delight shrieking from his eyes.
"No one, not a single soul in this world could come up with something like this, bloody hell, Harry, even Matthew didn't have to do all of this! Luna, you're bloody brilliant, let me tell you that!" Ron proclaimed, his guffawing spiraling upwards when he caught sight of the thoroughly affronted expression on Harry's face.
"Thank you, Ron!" Luna chirped graciously, pleased at the unexpected praise.
"Luna, I'm sorry, but this is ludicrous! Look, thanks for the help, I really appreciate the time that you took to do this up, but there's no way I can do all of this!" Harry protested doubtfully, his harried eyes scanning the list once more.
"Harry, that's not very nice of you to refuse Luna's help, come on, Ron, at least let me have a look-" Hermione stormed, leaning precariously over the breakfast table and trying to snatch it away from the redhead, but failed as Ron dodged her swipe neatly.
"Oh, I had the vague impression that you actually wanted a proper relationship with Draco. If you only want to bed him, then I could make a few changes for you. Hmmm, I think random, uncalled-for gropings in the school corridors would be an excellent touch, wouldn't it? Would you prefer his crotch or his bum, Harry?" Luna asked seriously. With that, she whipped out a quill from behind her ear, whisked the list away from Ron's paws and positioned the nib of her quill strategically above the parchment as she awaited Harry's reply somberly.
Ron dissolved into fresh peals of raucous laughter.
"Oh no, it's fine," Harry said hastily, grabbing the list back from Luna. "I just thought it would be the norm, you know, flowers, chocolates, love letters, moonlit walks on the school grounds, things like that! I didn't expect it to be so… far-fetched!" Harry elaborated, his eyebrows knotting together in dejection.
"If it was that simple, you wouldn't need my help, would you?" Luna pointed out serenely.
"She does speak sense for once, Harry," Ron whispered in awe, his eyes wide with amazement.
"I know!" Harry bawled. This only meant that his work was going to be cut out for him, and Harry thrust a hand in his unruly thatch of hair, tugging forlornly at it.
"Listen, the first item's pretty tame, so why not you just start with it and see how things go? Besides, Luna's got a pretty good record, so there's really no harm in trying," Ron advised, but ended up bursting into amused chuckles again, "You've only got your pride to lose!"
"Okay, when should I start?" Harry asked, resigned. He had spent the whole of last night thinking (wanking) and dreaming about Draco as though he was already his boyfriend, and the brunette realized that no matter how ridiculous or farcical everything was, Harry had to at least give it a shot.
"You'll start in oh… about fifteen minutes. Your first class for this morning is Double Potions with the Slytherins and Snape, so it's just perfect. May the Blibbering Humdingers be with you!" Luna grinned and cantered off, leaving only a faint scent of fresh flowers in her wake.
"Hang on, how did you know my schedule for the day, and in fifteen minutes, I'm not ready! Luna, Luna!" Harry called, horrified as he stared despairingly at the first item on the list. Yes, it wasn't as appalling as the rest of the things he was slated to do, Harry realized with a gulp, but-
"No time better than the present, don't you think?" Ron quipped exuberantly and slapped his friend so hard on the back that the top half of Harry's body jerked violently forward.
"We're going to be late! Hurry up and finish your breakfast, Ron!" Hermione urged. The Slytherin tables were already cleared, and it wasn't long before the trio of Gryffindors hurried out of the Great Hall and wounded their way down to the dungeons, with Harry clutching tightly on the list the whole time.
1) Start a proper conversation with Draco Malfoy.
It was just talking, right? Nothing to it! Hell, Harry talked to all sorts of people everyday, so why should this be different? Harry would do his best to come up with some sort of witty repartee and clever bon mot that would knock Draco's socks off! This was going to be easy, he was Harry sodding Potter, heroic vanquisher of the Dark Lord and in charge of general arse-kickery, for Merlin's sake!
Except that he had to strike up conversation with a boy that he had not spoken to properly since the War, and well, the rather… insalubrious history that Draco and Harry had shared did present a rather tricky problem.
And Harry would be bloody lucky if he got his sex drive in control for once and stopped fantasizing about bending Draco over there and then in Potions class and shagging him silly.
When they entered the dungeons, Harry's eyes immediately hooked onto a lone figure sitting alone at the middle benches of the class. The rest of the Slytherins were positioned a short distance away from Draco, and Harry's heart leapt up and began to do a giddy tap dance. This was a great sign; usually Draco was flanked by Goyle, and sometimes Blaise and Theodore.
And now, Draco Malfoy was all for his taking!
At this point, Harry let out an inner, ferocious cackle.
"Go on," Ron nudged, indicating the empty seat beside Draco and giving Harry a confident thumbs-up. Ron and Hermione were sitting together at the table just in front of Draco. Harry ran his tongue inside his mouth apprehensively and minced forward to the Slytherin. His insides were writhing and tangling up in knots of foreboding. He knew he didn't have much time to waste. Today's theory lesson was going to be rather short, and when the practical aspect of the class took over, Draco was definitely going to re-join his housemates.
Draco, on the other hand, was paying no attention to Harry, who had taken to hovering uselessly at the edge of Draco's table and was wringing his hands rather impotently. The blond was executing the finishing touches on his essay, and Harry admired how his pale, bony wrists tapered down to elegant, alabaster fingers that were wrapped demurely around his quill, just like how Harry thought about wrapped around his-
Harry growled angrily at himself and smacked his forehead sternly with the heel of his hand. There was absolutely no room for inappropriately sexy thoughts right now!
Well, here goes, Harry encouraged himself bravely and wiped his sweaty palms on his robes, his chin tightening with resolve. Unfortunately, at the very second that Harry chose to take a bold step forward, Ron stuck a foot out, his intentions meant to ease Harry towards Draco. A tussle of limbs ensued, and twinned with the elongated, careless strap from Harry's book bag thrown into the mix, Harry squawked and lurched forward, banging his hip painfully at the frame of the table. The table jarred to the side and Draco started, resulting in a mussed-up writing of belladonna. The frown lines between Draco's eyebrows pinched together in frustration and he barely shot Harry a glimpse before sighing and painstakingly correcting his essay.
Harry threw a daggered look of murder in Ron's direction, to which Ron winced apologetically and mouthed 'sorry!'
With his anxious bespectacled green eyes peering out from beneath his tousle of black fringe, Harry advanced towards Draco and slotted himself smoothly beside him. This is how things should be, Harry thought, relaxing fractionally. A rather surprised Draco stowed his essay away and channeled a wary look at the Gryffindor.
Harry could feel the gathering remnants of arrogance that had been cultivated since birth emanating from the other boy. Even after the ruins of the War, the Malfoys had stoically maintained their stiff upper lip and carried on with life as though everything had simply been a mere scratch on the surface. Much of this was achieved only by Harry defending all three Malfoys during court, if not the whole family would have been mercilessly thrown in Azkaban without a backwards glance.
The Malfoys had maintained their formal dignity and distance, complete with their cut-glass voices during court, but no one could mistake the way Narcissa's face sagged with relief, the brief sear of incredulity that had glimmered across Lucius' and Draco's eyes like fluid quicksilver when the court had only sentenced the Malfoys to a much lighter sentence compared to Azkaban. On their way out, Narcissa had sought Harry's eyes out and rewarded him with an arresting and prolonged gaze of gratitude. Lucius had simply given Harry a brash nod, but Harry saw his grip on his wife and son tighten imperceptibly.
Draco, on the other hand, had marshaled his features into a proper smile that was as rare as the Golden Snidget, the corners of his mouth gracefully turning up and his lips having the gentle curve of a crescent moon…
Maybe that was when Harry had started thinking about Draco a lot more than he should be.
And now, here he was, sitting beside Draco Malfoy, with his heartbeat and blood pressure rocketing up like a madman. Draco's lips were a wicked combination of downright kissable strawberry-raspberry pink, and Merlin, Harry could smell the other boy, that fresh, silvery scent of vanilla cream wafting around that sweet spot at the side of Draco's neck, it was simply divine-
Harry angled his head towards the Slytherin and sniffed him shamelessly.
A rather horrified Draco inched away.
"M-Morning, Draco," Harry murmured shyly, the close proximity to Draco having remarkable effects on his body; a virulent blush was spreading up from his neck up to the crests of his cheekbones, his clawed fingers were gripping hard on his bag, there was electricity pumping all over his every nerve and vein, but yet, there was this comforting, cotton-wooly feeling of affection, like the slathered, sweet honey of luurve all over his skin, coursing through his blood, filling up his system and heating up all his warm and cold places and everywhere in between-
"Good morning," Draco replied stiffly, but just when Harry was about to exhale softly in consolation, Draco picked up the flailing thread of conversation, his voice kept as deceptively light as silk, complete with Draco's patented expression of a bland smile, "How… strange, Potter. I don't recall giving you any permission to use my first name."
And with that loaded sentence, Harry was descending freefall into the gaping abyss of eternal doom, with absolutely no one to save him.
In front of the struggling pair, Ron and Hermione cringed in sympathy.
Summoning up whatever vestiges of pride that wasn't torn ruthlessly to shreds, Harry plodded on.
A grin would be good, wouldn't it? Hermione always said that he had a real nice smile that could brighten up anyone's day! That was what had been going on! He should have started with one of his most brilliant beams that Draco could bask in! With that futile, yet optimistic thought lodged firmly in his brain, Harry mustered up a watery smile, resplendent with his lips plastered inanely across his teeth and his eyes scrunched up in a terrific imitation of a raccoon.
Draco thought that Potter looked fairly constipated.
The blond squinted curiously at Harry and asked, "Is your face suffering from some sort of tic?"
The floundering smile slid off Harry's face completely.
"You're not acting right today, Potter," Draco concluded and tossed a look of genuine puzzlement towards the other boy, his words spilling forth in one of his trademark unhurried drawls. "I think you're sitting at the wrong table."
And with his jaw hanging limp and rendered speechless, an incapacitated Harry could only watch in escalating horror as Draco, the darling object of his puppy love, packed up his books, parchment and Potions kit and relocated himself smartly to the Slytherin tables.
Harry turned back to the front, only to see Ron and Hermione shaking their heads gravely at him.
An utterly depressed Harry sloped off and plonked himself unceremoniously between Ron and Hermione, his tongue-tied heart sinking all the way down to his shoes with every second that he replayed the scene over and over.
"Killing Dark Lords, sure, no problem! Save the whole wizarding world, I'm there! But no, when it comes to romance, I'm just… horrible. Does he have to be so intimidating? I can't even handle talking to him, how am I going to do the rest of this?" Harry sighed sadly and pulled the list out again from his pocket, surveying it with disheartened eyes.
"The beginning is always the toughest part," Hermione remarked sagely, and tugged the list away from the brunette. She had no chance to read it during breakfast, thanks to Ron hogging it the whole time. She smoothed her hair back behind her ear and scanned it, but within seconds, her rising eyebrows and gaping mouth told Harry everything that he needed to know.
A bubble of giggles spluttered from Hermione's mouth, and Hermione tried to swallow it back inexpertly.
"Oh come on, Hermione, not you too!" Harry exclaimed, dismayed.
What was this, his love life sorted out, cut and dried and all strung out on a bloody washing line that triggered everyone's funny bone?
"Look at number seven, you're going to have to… to s-s-suh, oh, Harry!" Hermione blubbered between fits of snickers, unable to complete her sentence due to another undignified snort erupting from her lips.
"No, Hermione, number five! Five has got to be the best one out of the lot, what does number four even mean? It's going to be a bloody circus round here, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't skin you alive at the end of everything!" Ron joined in with Hermione's convivial laughter, having grabbed the list from Hermione and poking it with a finger.
"You two are not helping at all!" Harry hissed in a frenzy, elbowing his friends urgently as Snape's head snapped up from his perch, his glittery eyes already pinioning Harry's.
But the other two Gryffindors didn't seem to have heard Harry, they were too busy guffawing right in the middle of Potions class. Hermione's shoulders were quavering with muffled hysteria, while Ron was completely gone, his head face-down on the desk and his out-of-control laughter booming around the cold, echoing walls of the dungeon.
And there was a very annoyed Harry sandwiched between his howling friends.
Class was well and truly disrupted.
Harry cursed under his breath and agilely wrenched the list from Ron's grasp, shoving it in his pocket when he saw Snape swooping down on them.
"What is the reason, pray tell, for this unruly outburst?" Snape barked, and Hermione immediately straightened up, while Harry stepped hard on Ron's foot under the table. The witch apologized and skimmed the tears of mirth off her eyes, her chortles petering off gradually.
"Fifty points from Gryffindor," Snape commanded and skewered the three of them with his gaze before surging back to the board.
"Mate, to sum it all up for you, you're royally screwed," Ron surmised, having recovered his equilibrium after a string of his last few chuckles.
Harry sighed deeply, withdrew the list and regarded it with a critical eye, and then it slowly dawned on him that Ron's deduction wasn't that far off after all.
Luna giving any sort of advice is already rather laughable, much less love advice. It had purely been a flyaway idea, but I thought that it actually had potential. I was practically jumping at the chance to write Luna, and I admit that I actually burst out laughing in the train when I cooked up the various sorts of mischief that Luna could make Harry do (unwillingly).
Hardly Rational will consist of seven chapters, updates will be on every Friday, but there will be a short period of time when there will be no updates since I'll be overseas.
God, Harry is going to be a poor, poor sod after I'm done with him. /very, very evil grin