A/N: This will be my first story I've published on here, so I hope you like it.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter or anything from it nor do I own the song/lyrics to 'Odd One' by The Sick Puppies; I'm just a lowly fanfic writer... *sighh
Odd one, you're never alone
I'm here and I will reflect you
Both of us basically unattached
To anything or anyone unless we're pretending
Smoke poured over onto the platform as the whistle blew, the scarlet and black train preparing to set off on its journey back to the Hogwarts castle. Many students, younger and older, were hanging out of the windows, waving and shouting goodbyes to their families. The train slowly and steadily began to move forward as three sixth-year Gryffindors made their way through the crowds of fellow schoolmates. Two of them - gangly, redheaded Ron Weasley and curly-haired, know-it-all Hermione Granger - conversed merrily as they pushed through the aisle in search of an empty compartment to sit in, while the third of the group - Harry Potter, of course - brought up the end in silence. The quiet boy pushed his glasses up on his nose, accidentally ramming into someone as he tried and failed to keep up with his friends, who had almost left him behind completely. The boy he had hit - a Slytherin, probably in his fourth or fifth year - glared at him before continuing on his way down to the opposite end of the train car.
"Sorry," he called after the irritated Slytherin, who only shot him a rude gesture over his shoulder in return before opening a compartment door and disappearing inside. Sighing, the bespectacled boy focused his attention in front of him again to find that his friends had pushed onward without him and he definitely wouldn't be able to catch up to them now. 'Thanks, guys,' he thought to himself, stopping in the middle of the narrow aisle. Truthfully, he didn't even want to try and keep up with them, especially if they were going to constantly forget him like they've seemed to be doing more often these days. Ever since the two began dating, they've been so completely absorbed with each other that they don't think about anything else anymore. Harry was glad for them, of course, but it hurt him quite a bit; they were his best friends and now they won't even give him the time of day.
His reverie was interrupted when someone pushed roughly into his side. "Could you move, maybe?" the girl grumbled as she walked past him. Coming back to his senses, he walked up to the compartment closest to him and looked inside. He almost thought it was empty before he saw that there was someone inside. It was Luna Lovegood. She was sitting alone, but looked completely at ease and even delighted by the solitude as she read her copy of the Quibbler upside-down.
At first, he was hesitant to enter, not wanting to disturb her. But eventually, she looked up and noticed him standing in the hall outside of her door. He felt embarrassed for being caught just standing there and staring at her like a nerd or a creep, but all she did was smile at him and wave. Taking this as a sign that she wouldn't mind his company, he opened the door and stepped inside. "Hi, Luna," he said, taking a seat across from her.
"Hello, Harry Potter," she greeted in return, her voice light and dreamy as always. The girl paused before she continued. "Where are Hermione and Ron?"
Harry looked away, cringing the slightest bit. "Uh..." he began before deciding to not speak the full truth, "I told them to go on with me."
Luna nodded slowly, studying him carefully. She knew he was lying, she just had to, and Harry felt guilty for doing it. But the thought of saying what had really happened - that he just ditched them because they had already virtually ditched him first - was too uncomfortable for him. He felt it would sound more like whining rather than something anyone would sympathize with him on.
"Hm," Luna hummed after a moment of staring at him. "Okay, if you say so." Then she turned back to her Quibbler. Harry studied the cover of the upside down magazine, not sure of what else to say but not even considering getting up and leaving the compartment.
You live your life in your head
Some call it imagination
I'd rather focus instead on anything except
What I'm feeling, what I'm feeling
"What are you reading about?" the black-haired boy ventured after about ten minutes of silence. Luna hadn't once turned the magazine upright nor had she flipped a single page since Harry had came in. Occasionally, she tip her head from side to side, but nothing more. For a few seconds, she didn't acknowledge him. It seemed like she didn't hear him at all and he was about to speak up again, but she finally dropped the magazine to her lap and responded.
"Its an article on a newly discovered race of garden faeries that are believed to help revive dead plants or ward off anything that tries to harm live ones. Not much is known about them, of course - they're extremely elusive. You can't even see them unless you look hard enough. But they're there." Her soft voice sounded so factual and serious while explaining something so unbelievable that it made Harry want to laugh. Not in a cruel way though, more in a fond, familiar way. There was really no one like Luna.
She was so persistent in her beliefs, no matter how crazy to everyone else they seemed, and it was something that Harry could easily envy of her. From all of the abuse she takes from other classmates, she still retains her unique personality and doesn't change herself for anyone.
Luna had still been talking when Harry had fazed out, due to his musing, but he quickly snapped back to the conversation, nodding as she spoke. "-What I've been doing is staring at this picture of a rosebush for quite some time now, but I still haven't seen a single one yet."
"How do you know what it looks like?" the dark-haired boy asked. "I mean...if they're extremely elusive, how would you know what to be looking for?"
"Well, no one really knows what their true form looks like just yet, only their camouflage. They become nearly transparent so that they blend in with their surroundings." Luna fiddled with the pages of her magazine as she spoke, then glanced down at the picture once again. "I'm just watching to see if anything moves. My vision's getting kind of fuzzy from staring for this long though."
"I could look," Harry offered quickly, speaking before he had totally formed the thought to say anything at all. "You know, to give you a bit of a break. I wouldn't mind to have a look for myself either."
Luna smiled gratefully and handed the Quibbler to him. "Thank you, Harry. I should really change into my uniform anyway, before I forget." The blond girl pulled her trunk from the shelf overhead, took out her Ravenclaw school robes, and went to exit the compartment. She turned back to Harry and said, "I'll be back soon."
He nodded and she left, and then he was alone again. This time though, he wasn't so upset about it; he knew she would return.
Odd one, I wish I was you
You're never concerned with acceptance
We are all desperately seeking out,
And fitting in with anyone
Who will accept us
But not you, odd one
The dark-haired Gryffindor sat in silence as he stared at the picture, drowning out the sounds of other students in neighboring compartments. The brown-tinted picture he was looking at seemed to not be moving at all; if it wasn't for the occasional bee zooming by and landing on one of the roses from time to time, he wouldn't find it so hard to believe that this was simply just a motionless Muggle photo.
A rustling outside of the door caused him to look up and he saw Luna had returned, but she had stopped to talk to someone. He narrowed his eyes as he watched. The boy didn't look familiar and the way he seemed to be acting - arrogant, superior, and just plain nasty - had Harry on his guard; something wasn't quite right.
Then it happened. The unknown boy laughed and knocked the clothes that Luna had changed out of onto the floor. Though Luna looked unfazed, Harry was furious. He rose from his seat and went over to the door, sliding it open sharply. The bully looked up, startled by the suddenness of Harry's actions, and proud sneer fell from his face.
"Was that really necessary?" he bit out, causing the boy to flinch. He shook his head slowly, but didn't say anything in response. Luna had crouched down to pick up her clothes and folded them, and was now standing back up, calmly looking between Harry and her bully. She was acting as if she were watching them having a pleasant conversation. Harry moved to the side and Luna entered the compartment once more, the Gryffindor staring at the sort of shell-shocked boy all the while.
Harry waited for him to say something and when he didn't, he widened his eyes and shrugged reflexively. "Have you got anything else to say?"
"Sorry," the boy said before he zoomed off. Rolling his eyes, Harry closed the door once again. 'Git...'
He turned around and saw that his fair-haired friend was having trouble getting her trunk from the overhead shelf and he went over to help her. When he retrieved the surprisingly heavy piece of luggage, she looked up at him and beamed. "Thank you, Harry."
"No problem," he replied, exhaling heavily as he dropped it down onto the seat. Returning to his previous spot, he picked up the Quibbler magazine again but didn't look at it just yet. Instead, he watched as Luna put her clothes away with care, in a particular way, before she closed the lid and latched it.
"Want me to put it back for you?" Harry offered as she grabbed the handles on either end. Luna shook her head, blowing a piece of her long hair out of her face before she answered him.
"No, I've got it under control." It was the first time he had heard any sort of change in her dreamy voice as she lifted the trunk up and pushed it back over onto the shelf. She had sounded very strained and he was shocked that she could actually pick up the thing at all; it practically weighed a ton! Once it was securely above them again, Luna didn't move for a moment, breathing a bit heavier than normal, before she turned around and resumed her previous seat by the window. They'd moved on to a lightly wooded area - they were getting close to the half-way point, it seemed.
Harry hesitated before he spoke, watching the blond girl as she watched the scenery. "Luna..." he started, and she turned her head to meet his gaze. "What did that boy back there say to you?"
The younger girl shrugged. "It was nothing, really. That sort of greeting from Tony is normal - he's a real jokester."
Harry raised an eyebrow, thrown by her cavalier response to such cruelty. She did get made fun of quite a bit - people even stole her things for sport - but he never expected her to be so calm about it when it was right in her face, and so blatantly at that.
"So you know him?"
She nodded. "He's in my year, and my House as well."
Harry nodded, understanding a bit more. So it wasn't a random act of immaturity, this sort of thing probably happened all the time all year round from him. Hell, he probably lead the 'let's-take-Luna's-stuff' club as well.
"Well, I don't like it. Fred and George Weasley are jokesters, that kid is just foul."
Luna smiled faintly. "No need to fret, its fine. I don't care."
"But, why? How could you not?"
Another shrug. "I just don't. It doesn't seem like its worth the effort. Are you done with that?" She nodded to the magazine that Harry still had in his hands. He was confused for a moment until he looked down a realized what she had been gesturing to.
"Oh! Uh, yeah. Couldn't find anything," he said, passing it back to her. He gave her a sheepish grin, in apology. "Sorry."
"Its alright. I quite enjoy looking for them," she stated as she brought the magazine back up, tilting her head to the side. Harry chuckled to himself as he watched her, yet she didn't notice; she had totally tuned out the world, just like she always does. And she does it well.
Hey, it's gonna be okay
Hey, we're gonna laugh at this one day
Don't let someone tell you you're no-one
Don't let someone tell you you're no-one
Again, Harry felt a rush of envy. Luna was excellent at completely drowning out the world. When the trolley lady passed by, she only shook her head when he asked what she wanted. He wasn't even sure if she had heard him though, so he bought a couple extra treats just in case. As he munched on a Cauldron Cake, he watched the scene outside go from a little wood to a complete forest and he knew that they would soon be arriving to the castle.
Harry was quite surprised and saddened that neither Hermione nor Ron had come in search of him, but what shocked him even more was the amount of caring he actually didn't give at all. This had been a very relaxing train ride and he had truly enjoyed himself. Harry really liked spending time with Luna. Though they didn't talk non-stop, it was nice and the atmosphere was completely at ease. Together, it didn't feel like there needed to be conversation at all. Or at least, that's what Harry felt. He would honestly not care to sit in silence with Luna, even if that's the only thing they did all day, and it still wouldn't feel like wasted time.
She is a very interesting person and she doesn't even have to try. Doesn't even have to say a word.
It was then that Harry realized that he was staring at her. A smile had formed on his face at some point and Harry was glad that she didn't look up or notice at any time; he was sure that he looked pretty creepy at the moment. With the slightest shake of his head, Harry broke his musing and cleared his throat. Luna looked up at him and he sort of faltered, momentarily forgetting what he wanted to say.
"Um, I just wanted to let you know that...from before...you don't deserve that kind of treatment. From that Tony git or anyone else," he said, mentally cringing at the blush that was creeping on his face. "You're too good for it."
Luna smiled, her cheeks growing pinker as well. "Thank you, Harry Potter," she replied, looking away from him. "That means a lot."
Not sure of what to say, Harry just smiled at her. Seeming to have grown shy, Luna avoid his rather intense gaze, then brought her Quibbler up to block her face from his stare. Chuckling a bit, he got up and sat down beside her. The blond was surprised by his decision and it showed. There seemed to be a bunch of firsts happening with Luna today: first, he hears her voice sound anything but gentle and foggy for the first time, and now he saw beyond her dreamy exterior into what lurked beneath the depths. He saw some real, strong emotion in Luna's eyes and expression, and honestly, it was a bit comical. Then again, he was sitting a bit close as well, closer than social norms considered friendly; they were leg to leg and shoulder to shoulder, side by side, as if there was simply no room for them to have space in.
"I'm going to help you look for those faeries, Luna," he said, to which she grinned. "Maybe if we work together at the same time, we can catch one."
The girl nodded, letting a laugh escape as she turned back to the picture and moved it over to that it was equally between them. The dark-haired boy grabbed the side closest to him and held it up, both of them searching intently and with fun eagerness.
Outside of the compartment, someone glanced in passing to see the two sitting so closely. It was Ginny Weasley, who grinned but didn't intrude. Instead she rushed down toward the end of the train car, to the second to last compartment. On one side of the cabin was Neville, Dean, Pavarti and Seamus, while the other side was occupied solely by Hermione and Ron. They all looked up, startled by the sudden, excited entrance of the youngest Weasley. She came in and sat down more calmly than she had entered, yet the girl was still unable to control the smile spreading across her face.
"What's up with you?" Ron asked.
"Nothing, just something I saw," she replied vaguely, before adding (as if the events were completely unrelated), "Oh, and no worries, I found Harry. He's doing just fine."
Before anyone could ask what she meant, they felt the train begin to roll to a stop and all stood up, preparing to finally get off of the train and begin another exciting year at Hogwarts.
There you have it! I hope you liked reading it because I certainly enjoyed writing it (rather than doing the homework I should be working on about now). Anyway, I really do recommend the song I used in the story; if you like light rock music, then you'd really enjoy it. And I'll say it before anyone else says it: my new creatures are lame. But I fail at making new types of animals and the faeries fulfilled their function in the story. So you meanies can suck it! ;)
Please review! It'll help me suck less!