This drabble tied for 1st place in the HiH Music Club Orchestra Drabble Challenge. Write a drabble about HP characters participating in an orchestra.

The Solo

Hermione ran her tongue over her lips, nervously flexing her fingers around her flute. She was determined to get the solo. She had practiced, practiced, driven her roommate insane with the practice. She knew the piece backwards and forwards, could manage the key change without batting an eye, could even nail the timing in the odd two measures that were in 6/8 time.

But in the bottom of her heart, she knew that wanting it, practicing it, knowing it wasn't enough.

Because she was competing with Luna Lovegood, a prodigy. For every hour Hermione practiced, Luna took a minute, or so it seemed. Hermione's shoulders and fingers cramped, and Luna seemed to smile, as impossible as it was to smile and play the flute at the same time.

And the worst thing, the absolute worst, was the Luna was so nice.

It made her impossible to hate.

Finally, Conductor Flitwick called them up to play. They went, Hermione tightly gripping her flute, hyperaware of the rest of the orchestra silently observing, and Luna absently dropping her music and smiling as she picked it up.

Flitwick gave Hermione a kind smile, and she felt her heart sink. It was a smile that said I know you'll do your best, but it isn't good enough.

The moment came, and Hermione raised her flute to her lips.

And froze, unable to remember the first note.

"Just play," came Luna's kind, breathy voice, as she placed her own sheet music on a stand before Hermione. "Don't think so much."

And play Hermione did, cursing Luna for helping her, cursing herself for needing help. She was pitch perfect, note for note, every measure flawless.

And then she was finished and Luna raised her own flute to her lips, and Hermione closed her eyes, taken by the lilting sound. She could not help but find it beautiful even as her heart broke.

For she knew before Flitwick spoke that the solo would go to Luna, and she couldn't dispute the decision. Listening to the difference between her playing and Luna's, Hermione realized something.

For all that she practiced and knew music theory, for all that her technique was flawless...

She had mastered only the body, and Luna had mastered the soul.