Chapter 6: The Only Carefree Day
"Really, Ron," Hermione said with exasperation, "you live with them. I'm sure that by now you would know how to spot their pranks. Even Neville is getting better at avoiding them."
"It's true!" Neville smiled. "They've only gotten me twice and it's already the second week of school!."
Five Gryffindors made their way down to the Black Lake. It was unusually warm for mid-September, so it was only natural for them to be outside. It was just after noon, and the group wasn't letting Ron live down his tongue issue. Ron was currently a bright shade of red.
"Don't worry Ron, one day you'll get back at the twins and will reclaim your honor," Ginny said.
"Oh you're right! I will get them back with an amazing prank that will put them in their place!" Ron was practically yelling. Harry shook his head as he went to his favorite tree that looked out into the lake. He was surprised to see that there was someone else there.
"Hello, Harry Potter," Luna said. She looked up from her tattered book to smile up at Harry. Harry found himself smiling back.
"Hi, Luna. Can I sit with you?" Harry wasn't sure why he asked, but he did. Luna nodded and scooted over to make room. "Luna, I didn't get the chance to ask earlier, but what are zwaizyles?"
"A zwaizyle is a little creature that protect people while they sleep. They are very helpful for children and soldiers." Luna's eyes were bright. She loved telling people about creatures.
"You should tell them thank you for me," Harry said as he stretched out beside the Ravenclaw. The other four Gryffindors came over to the tree. Neville was instantly distracted by some plant that was growing on the tree. Ginny sat on the next to Harry and got his attention by talking about Quidditch.
"How do you think Gryffindor will do this year?" Ginny asked.
"I'm sure we'll do great. Angelina hasn't said when we'll have practice, but I'm sure that we'll get back into it no problem."
"Of course Gryffindor is going to win! Harry is just being modest!" Ron said proudly.
"I think Ravenclaw will win," Luna said. Ginny and Ron looked at Luna as if she grew an extra head. Harry grinned.
"I can't wait to meet the Ravenclaw team in the final match then," Harry said with mirth. "As long as we are all in agreement that Slytherin can't win."
"I'm sure Harry will do something miraculous and win for us, and right before the very last game he will do something incredibly ridiculous. Like fighting an army of trolls." Neville said from above. He was still inspecting the plant growing on the tree.
Everyone laughed, including Harry. Harry let the moment of happiness wash over him and run its course. He knew better than anyone else that small moments like the one he was sharing with his friends could end the moment they started.
The beginnings of his friendship with Cedric being the case in point. Harry knew that he would protect the people around him with his life. He also knew that very soon, he would have to. Harry closed his eyes and took a deep breathe in. A smile wound itself onto his face. He silently wished that the moment would never end.
"Does anyone want to play a game of tag?" Harry said suddenly.
"Tag?" Hermione asked. "Harry-"
"Think of it this way, whoever wins can ask for anything they want free of charge…" Harry more asked than said.
"How about whoever wins gets a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavored Beans." Ginny said. "I have a few boxes of them."
"I have chocolate frogs that can go in as well." Hermione said.
"I can put in a few Elastic Lollipops," Neville said.
"I have all kinds of fudge," Luna said whimsically.
"Alright!" Harry jumped at the sound of the twins' voices. "We'll put in a month free of pranks to the winner! But we have to play tag the wizard way!"
Harry bolted up, pulling Luna with him, and ran as fast as he could away from the twins as possible. Ginny was close behind him. Hermione was putting up shields around her faster than Harry thought possible. The game was on and the twins were it.
"Harry you are a sucker!" Fred was still laughing. "But I think Ron was better!" George pretended to throw himself in front Fred. Ron had tried to protect Hermione from getting out, but failed miserably because of his bad timing. Hermione ended up saving them both and she was able to get George out. Who was laughing Ron.
Fred had went to off Harry, Luna and Ginny. He was able to get out Ginny and almost got all three of them out at once. Harry had to dive down and Ginny ended up tripping over him. In Fred's second attempt, Harry jumped in front of Luna so she wouldn't get out.
Luna was able to hold her own against Fred, so he went to regroup with George. Fred ended up sneaking up on her and got Hermione out. Neville bravely did a sneak attack on Fred, but was out gunned. Luna got Fred while he was distracted with Neville. And Luna became Champion of Weasley Tag.
"Well, I'm proud of Neville! He almost avenged us!" Harry laughed. Neville took a quick bow. Ron was still red from embarrassment. Hermione had tagged Ron out when Fred snuck up on her by accident. She was still apologizing. "And congratulations Luna. You are able to not only best Gryffindors, but the Mighty Weasley Twins!"
Harry and Neville both bowed to Luna who was staring whimsically back at them. The twins draped an arm on either side of the little Ravenclaw.
"You are now an honorary Weasley Twin!" they chimed.
"But I suppose that would make us triplets," George said.
"Indeed it would George," Fred thought for a moment. "I've got it! When the three of us are together we are triplets but when it's just two of us we are twins!"
Everyone except Luna and George looked at Fred with confusion and disbelief. The three of them looked as though they had been friends for years. Luna smiled a small smile. Harry watched her grey-blue eyes sparkle, and he felt a warmth that came from his heart spread across his body.
Harry was shocked that despite all of the pain and sorrow that he had felt that summer and the previous year was replaced by simple joy. It was the kind of joy that Harry couldn't feel bad about, because deep down, Harry knew that Luna needed a day of fun almost as much he did. And he was glad to see her smile.