Written for MissingMommy as a prize for winning The 61 Themes Competition. You should really check out some of her stories. They're terrific! Anyway, I hope you like this! And I apologize for it taking that atrocious amount of time that it did. :)
There are those who think that I'm strange
They would box me up and tell me to change
But you hold me close and softly say
That you wouldn't have me any other way
Harry cursed the foul weather as he stalked from the warmth of the castle. He wrapped his cloak more tightly around himself, shivering when it seemed to have little effect and the chill seeped into his clothes and settled in his bones.
Hagrid had invited Harry to his hut earlier that day and, though Harry hadn't really wanted to go, he hadn't been able to refuse his friend. So now here he was, trudging through the icy late November air for tea that would surely be too strong and cakes that would be too tough to eat. That was true friendship, he thought.
Harry halted suddenly when a small motion by the edge of the lake caught his eye. There weren't many people outside today. Everyone was inside hiding from the cold underneath huge blankets and sweaters, shielded by the flames of a hundred roaring fires. But of course there was one person who wouldn't be deterred by a little bad weather.
"Luna? Is that you?"
The elfin girl turned at the sound of her name. When her eyes met Harry's, a gentle smile settled across her lips. "Oh hello, Harry," she said, before turning back towards the lake.
Harry watched in slight fascination as the wind whipped her blonde hair around her body. "Luna, what are you doing out here?"
She shrugged her shoulders. Harry noticed she wasn't wearing a cloak. Or shoes, for that matter. "I was visiting with the Giant Squid."
"Er … really?" Harry asked, his eyebrows disappearing into his hairline. He took a few steps closer and caught the soft sound of humming. Some sort of discordant melody she had no doubt made up on the spot but beautiful nonetheless.
"I'd imagine he gets very lonely sometimes. Merpeople aren't much company."
Finally reaching her side, he searched the inky blackness of the water for any sign of the creature. "I don't think he's out today."
More humming, the sound almost swallowed up in the wind. "That doesn't mean he isn't listening."
Harry sighed and glanced over her form once more. "Where are your clothes? You'll catch your death out here."
She looked up at him through silvery eyes. "I'm not quite sure. Though, I suspect they'll turn up sooner or later."
Sighing again and laying a hand on her shoulder, he struggled against the blush that settled in his cheeks when their skin made contact. He quickly removed his cloak and draped it over her shoulders, tensing in the icy air. "Come on, we'd better get you inside."
She allowed Harry to lead her back towards the door of the castle, stopping only once to whisper a goodbye to the squid and promising she would be back tomorrow. Harry tried hard to ignore the sound of his teeth chattering.
"Are you cold, Harry? You can have your cloak back."
He shook his head in protest. "No, you need it more than I do. Besides … it looks better on you."
Harry watched her closely from the corner of his eye, but she did not outwardly react to what he'd said. He wasn't sure if that was a good or bad sign. Maybe she just hadn't heard him?
Looking up, he realized they had reached the front doors of the castle. Placing his hand on the small of her back, he led her up the stairs. The boy smiled when, instead of shying away from his touch, she leaned into it.
The warmth of the castle washed over Harry as he pushed open the door. He sighed as his muscles slowly relaxed and the cold began to ebb away.
"Here you go."
Luna held his cloak out to him, her usual soft smile playing around her lips. As he moved to grab it, she took a step forward and placed a gentle kiss to his cheek. It was nothing more than a brush of her lips against his skin, but it set every nerve in his body ablaze.
"Thank you, Harry. It was very sweet of you."