Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers apply. It should be intuitively obvious that I have no rights to Harry Potter or anything associated with it, but on the off chance it is not, the reader should know that I in fact have no such rights.

The Judgement of Harry

There were legends in those days, heroic witches and wizards who bestrode the Earth like colossi, wielding mighty powers and fighting epic battles. They shaped the land with their thoughts and actions, and fought legendary wars among themselves to determine who would dictate the course of the future.

It came to pass that some of those immortals gathered for a Christmas party, hosted by that mighty brewer of potions and prince of Influence, Professor Slughorn. Many of those mythic heroes were gathered for an evening of song, wine and merriment, to enjoy the company of those that Professor Slughorn had deemed most powerful and important, and much revelry and laughter was enjoyed by the participants.

There were those who were not happy, however, and they included the beautiful but vindictive Pansy Parkinson. "Why was I not invited to attend the party?" wailed Pansy. "Am I not a star student of Slughorn? He denies me my rightful place among the immortals! But I shall not take this lying down. I shall destroy his whole party with my greatest power, that of Discord!"

And so, laughing cruelly all the while, Pansy took her wand and transfigured a goblet into a Golden Apple, more beautiful than anything she had ever created. She carved the word "kallisti" into it, and strode towards the party, carrying the precious fruit.

Those legends at the party were fun of mirth and joy, some exchanging laughs and jokes, some exchanging gentle kisses, some exchanging warnings about vast conspiracies. Their celebration was interrupted, however, when the doors to the hallway flew open with a crash, and they beheld Pansy standing there, her long hair flowing in the breeze, the colour of midnight, her black dress clinging to her curves, and a cruel smirk upon her ruby lips. "Enjoying the party?" she shouted. "Even though I was not invited! No matter, for I have brought a gift for you all despite your thoughtless ignorance of me." She then tossed the Golden Apple into the assembled crowd, and shouted, "Happy Christmas!" as she turned and left the party, laughing vindictively.

The party-goers beheld the apple lying on the floor, and Professor Trelawney, the Seer whose prophesies were doomed never to be believed, foretold a terrible doom would result from Pansy's gift. Then the throng noticed the word written upon the Apple, and Professor Slughorn translated it to English: "To the Most Beautiful". Many of those witches attending the party began to quarrel among themselves as to who was most deserving of the apple. They then turned to Professor Slughorn, and said that as he was the host of the party, he should choose who truly deserved the Apple. Professor Slughorn demurred, and suggested that the decision be made by Headmaster Dumbledore, that Universal Spider, he of the innumerable and far-reaching plots and plans.

Then Professor Snape, creator of many powerful and vicious spells, spoke up and noted that Pansy had obviously intended the Apple to stay among the heroes at the party. He suggested the decision be made by Harry Potter, as the Chosen One should make the choice himself.

All eyes turned to Harry, who had been foretold to defeat Voldemort, the greatest evil the world had yet known. Surely such a simple decision should be easy to make, thought the crowd as the beheld the young man.

He rested his gaze upon three of the witches assembled before him. Ginny Weasley, her long red hair so like the fire of her temperament, her flawless beauty and athletic figure enticing the young man. Hermione Granger, her eyes flashing with confidence and knowledge, her bushy brown hair and perfect smile showing a beauty more subdued, but no less real than that of Ginny. Finally, Luna Lovegood, her long flowing golden hair, her delicate features and misty eyes, showing an ethereality that made her the equal of the other two.

"I cannot decide among such beautiful witches who is most deserving of this Apple!" despaired Harry, as Professor Trelawney forecast his doom should he choose incorrectly.

Ginny stepped forward, giving Harry a smile showing warmth and caring at the same time as promising more earthy delights for the young man. "If you give me the Apple, I promise you endless passion, complete devotion, and a loving family in the future." He gazed upon her and found himself lost in the thought of what the flame-haired girl promised.

Hermione then stepped forward, her eyes swimming with wisdom and hidden secrets. "If you give me the Apple, I promise to give you the knowledge and power to defeat your enemies, and make you master of magic!" This gift was sorely tempting for Harry, as he well knew the good he could do were he able to vanquish Lord Voldemort.

The crowd then looked at Luna, who was looking around with a distant and dreamy expression on her face. "Oh, right," she said, once she realized that everyone was watching her. "Well, I don't have a gift to offer you, Harry, as until you invited me, I didn't even know this party was happening, you know. But I suppose if you give me the Apple, I can give you this," she said as she reached up to her ear and removed one of her radish earrings. "I think a fruit for a vegetable is a fair trade, and I can carve 'to the bravest' on it, if you'd like." She then stared at Harry and smiled vaguely.

Harry considered this, and realized that what she was truly offering him was simple friendship and guilelessness, which seemed the greatest gift of all to him. So he stepped forward to Luna, and gave her the Apple, to the gasps of the other assembled witches and wizards. "A radish for an Apple," he said, and she took the Apple and hung it from her ear in place of the radish. She then stood on her tiptoes, kissed his cheek, and grabbed his hand.

"Let's go find some punch," she said, leading him away from the crowd.