Author's Notes: Written for the "Welcome Home" Harry Potter Ficathon at kolms on Livejournal.
Luna Lovegood, Non-magic AU, They jab you with a fork, you drop the tray and go berserk/While you're cleaning up the mess the teacher's looking up your skirt/Hey, you've been used,
And this is the time when we add "Non-magic AU" to the list of things that Gamma once thought that she'd never write. Fic memes do funny things to a person…
Everything would be all right if she could just manage to avoid looking at them.
Luna was clutching her lunch tray so tightly that her knuckles were white and the rough plastic edges were digging into her skin. The cafeteria swam before her, a blur of denim and foul-looking food and sneering, laughing faces.
If Luna had had the nerve, she would have turned and marched right out and found somewhere quiet to sit, far away from all the
rest of the students, but people had seen her (she was, after all, impossible to miss), and if she turned away now, she would look like a coward.
And the belief – however misplaced – that Luna was tough, that she didn't care, was all that she had going for her.
So she held her head high, fixing her eyes on a point on the ceiling and staring at that as though all the answers to the universe were printed on the stone, and she marched in between the rows of tables, trying to get to the one at the very back (the shadowy little table where the other girls like her; the girls who saw things that weren't there and didn't know how to hide it), where she would be safe.
She had gotten nearly halfway across the room when she felt something cold and sharp dig into her side.
The tray slipped from Luna's hands and she whirled, just in time to see a boy smirking as he lowered a fork. The tray crashed to the ground, but Luna didn't hear it.
There was a rushing in her ears. She would have slapped him, but she couldn't, she just couldn't. Her arms and legs had gone stiff and she stood perfectly still, glaring at the boy. As though from a great distance – behind the sound of blood in her ears – she could hear the mutterings.
What's the matter with her? Just standing there like that… crazy…
Luna winced at the all too familiar sound of a teacher's voice – of course, to them, this was all her fault because she was Loony Luna Lovegood and she dropped her tray and froze in the middle of the cafeteria because she wanted to…
She sank to her knees, picking up the apple that had been on her tray (bruised and muddy and no good to eat now) and the remains of her carton of milk (split open from the impact), all too aware of every eye in the school upon her.
Luna allowed herself just a moment – while she was on the ground and her long, pale hair fell forward to hide her face – to shut her eyes and let out one small, silent sob.
But when she stood again and went on to her table, she was smiling just as serenely as she ever had, as though she didn't mind what had happened in the slightest – as though she wasn't even aware of it.
Oh, how she wished that she wasn't.