Disclaimer: I am not JKR and that means I'm not writing this for profit. I am claiming no rights to the original content borrowed from the published works of "Harry Potter."

Read & Enjoy.

All day he'd been brooding, and it was a fine day to brood in the courtyard of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If anyone made eye contact with him he'd sneer, and sometimes even challenge them for giving him "a look." People thought they knew him well, and for the most part avoided him, but Draco Malfoy wasn't just acting like a prat to continue the legacy he's created for himself as a school bully from a family of purists. Today Draco brooded simply because he was upset that everyone else was enjoying their weekend with a smile and a friend.

Crabbe and Goyle were great companions, but in just one way: they did as they were told. Lackeys, as they should be called, but nothing more than that. Draco Malfoy knew that he was perpetuating a very unhealthy image of himself but breaking the pattern wasn't as easy as it sounded in his head. He slammed himself against the tree trunk where he'd plopped down to brood earlier and thought about all the things he should be excited about…

The Malfoys, while being purists, were a very wealthy and powerful family. In many ways, he was a sort of prince in the wizarding world. There wasn't a family anywhere that didn't know of the Malfoys and how they had their hand in just about everything at one point or another. Aside from that, he had girls swooning over him all over. Even some of the Beauxbatons girls would take time to stop and giggle at him during meal times. If it weren't for their blushing, though, Draco would be worried that they laughed at him for being pathetic.

As, it would seem, he often felt when he these rare moments alone. When he didn't have Crabbe and Goyle following along at his sides, he had a bit of an entourage throughout the school day. In spite being a Slytherin, he was easily the top of his year with Hermione Granger – his only true academic rival. Between classes, this student or that would be asking for copies of his notes. Others would ask for his help mastering a particular skill, all the while Pansy was never far behind pleading for him to go out for a drink to Hogsmeade with her.

Time alone was rare, and even though it would seem that he is often able to do as he wishes, most of his time is spent doing work. If it is not schoolwork, then it is work on the Quidditch pitch practicing for matches. It is without a doubt that he could give Oliver Wood a run for his money in practice time.

The silence reminded him exactly how imperfect his life was even though he had plenty of privileges. Draco grew tired of brooding and stood to return to his dormitory, and he left in a flourish. His eyes remained focused on his feet, and he did his best to avoid anyone he might have passed. It was a clean run until he rounded a corner and slammed into a person with so much blonde hair he was temporarily convinced his father might have been visiting the school to personally deliver his dress robes for the ball.

Then he heard a voice that could only belong to one person; "Oh sorry, Draco Malfoy, I was distracted." Her hands pushed her hair back from her face just before bending over to gather the books she'd dropped. Draco stood there and gawked nervously at her. Usually he'd have snapped right away but he was caught off guard by her gentle tone and the way she lingered even after she stood up; "I was looking for Crumple-horned Snorklacks, you see, and I get a bit lost in my own thoughts when I'm focused."

There a pause brief as a breath before she finished her thoughts; "Do beg my pardon."

"Of course, Lovegood." Draco whispered, curious by how calm she remained even though she was speaking nonsense. It was precisely the kind of comment that had people mocking her at every opportunity. Draco supposed in that moment that perhaps she wasn't too unlike him in that way. Everyone had a perception of her but it was not necessarily reality. His heart rate increased for a moment and as she shifted to leave he said more; "It was just an accident. I'm not a monster, you know."

Luna smiled, "Of course you aren't, Draco Malfoy. Why would anyone think that?"

A smile curled onto her lips and she left in a flourish afterwards, skipping as she went. Draco lingered for a moment. Perhaps it was his teenage boy mind that was affecting his thoughts, but he couldn't resist the possibility that Luna Lovegood might be loony, but she was also confident and splendid and carefree in this mysterious way that is impossible to ignore. In his gut he knew that a fascination had begun to brew.

Forcefully, he turned and returned to the route he'd been taking back to his dormitory. However, after only a moment he changed his mind. Returning to the common room would mean more people badgering him for this or that, so he decided that the Library would be a better place to be. So there he went, and there he stayed.

And there he considered how he could better connect with Luna Lovegood, and maybe finally start unraveling the mess he knew was buried deep inside of him.

Author's Note:

This fanfiction was original posted on May 19, 2011 (previously titled The Court Yard). In the original posting I did not write Draco Malfoy to have any redeeming qualities. He was one-dimensional and not a very healthy representation of how truly complex his character is, in my opinion. That version was 587 words versus the now 909 words I've used to convey they same concept in a more respectable fashion.