Thoughts of Pudding by Brian64.
Summary: Chaos theory; a nargle flaps its wings in China, and Luna responds differently to Harry during their conversation before the leaving feast at the end of OoTP. AU, Harry/Luna/Hermione. NB: no nargles were harmed during the writing of this fic.
Disclaimer: Is there anyone on the planet (or at least, anyone reading this story) that doesn't know Harry Potter and associated characters were created by JK Rowling? Well anything you recognise in this story belongs to her, and anything you don't… probably belongs to her as well. I'm just playing in her world and have no intentions of making any profit from this story or messing with her copyrights (and neither should you!).
Author's Notes: Early chapters are shorter because the story was originally written for a drabble contest on Potterficforum. Since I hate Author's notes interrupting a story, you should only find them at the beginning and end of my fics. If one is posted at the end of a chapter, it will be removed when the next chapter appears.
This story has been edited several times since it was originally posted, and I'd like to thank the betas that have helped me in the past, including my current beta; Alix33. The latest version will always be posted on my Yahoo group.
This story was last revised in 2012.
Chapter 1: Thoughts of Pudding.
Saturday 22nd June, 1996.
It was the end of term in her fourth year and Luna's thoughts were on pudding as she wandered around the castle, putting notices on the various boards outside classrooms. She didn't really mind the hide-and-seek games her roommates played with her, but it did make packing a chore.
She noticed Harry walking along the corridor as she stepped back from fixing her last notice and greeted him. Taking in his manner and appearance, Luna sighed a little to herself – he looked so sad and lost, and she wondered where his friends were. Why had they left him alone like this after all that had happened to him recently?
"How come you're not at the feast?" he asked.
Realising that he had quite enough to worry about already, she decided against telling him about her lost possessions. "Oh, I was just about to go now. I was following a Tri-winged Scruffy Nerfherder and got a little distracted. Would you like to walk down to the Great Hall with me?"
"Huh? Oh, okay, then," Harry replied distractedly as he looked over the various notes on the notice board. He was curious to see what had attracted Luna's attention.
"Come on, Harry," she said, moving to block his view of the notice board. "We should hurry before they run out of pudding."
She was too late, as Harry's eyes were already fixed on what looked like a list of books and other items on one of the notices, and he stepped around her so he could read the rest of it.
He was clearly annoyed after he read the last line: 'Please return to Luna Lovegood, Ravenclaw tower.'
Harry turned to her. "Luna, why are your–"
Luna interrupted him and grabbed his hand, dragging him off in the direction of the Great Hall. "It doesn't matter, Harry. Pudding, remember? What kind are you hoping for?"
Harry gave her a steady gaze before appearing to relax slightly, as though realising she wasn't going to talk to him about it. "Well, I usually go for the treacle tart for dessert. What about you?"
Luna gave him a radiant smile and squeezed his hand in thanks for dropping the topic. "Oh, I don't mind what I have as long as it's sweet and yummy. I don't think I've tried the treacle tart before... Do you always choose that for dessert?" she asked, staring straight at him.
Harry gave in and simply continued talking about desserts with Luna. Her hand and conversation were both very comforting given recent events, and he liked how they made him feel. But as they walked on towards the Great Hall and the leaving feast, a part of Harry's mind was still wondering why Luna's things had gone missing.