Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers apply. I don't own Harry Potter or the Harry Potter universe, of course.

Luna's Radishes

[Author's Note: Just a goofy little story here. Apologies in advance, et cetera. No continuity with any of my other stories.]

Boxing Day at Number 12, Grimmauld Place was a subdued affair this year, with Arthur Weasley still recovering from the attack of Voldemort's snake Nagini. Sirius Black was sitting in his study, nursing a third glass of firewhisky. It was good stuff – Corby's Very Old. From Canada, apparently. A gift from Moody, who said "I know you're an Ogden's man, but you never know when Death Eaters will poison a whole vat. You have to mix it up, Black. Keep them off-guard. CONSTANT VIGILENCE!"

Happy Christmas, indeed.

His godson, Harry Potter, joined him in the study. Sirius immediately perked up and began talking to his nephew about his school year. Quidditch was a taboo topic, with Harry having been unjustly suspended. Classes were okay for him, except for Defence, which had been Harry's favourite class. At least he was enjoying Dumbledore's Army, but Sirius thought it should be a school club, rather than the students having to sneak around behind the back of this so-called High Inquisitor.

Sirius wanted to give this Umbridge woman a hexing she'd never forget, but he was stuck here in this Godforsaken house.

At least there was the Corby's.

"Having fun with any of the girls at Hogwarts? You must be cutting quite the swath through the ladies there," Sirius said with a leer.

"Er, not really. I kissed Cho Chang under the mistletoe," he said sheepishly.

"Cute girl?"

"Oh yeah. Beautiful. Long black hair. Smart, athletic..." Harry said wistfully.

"Sounds like my kind of girl. How was the kiss?"


Sirius laughed. "Harry, you dog!"

"What? Oh, no. She was crying. Look, it wasn't anything I did! She was just all emotional about Cedric Diggory. He was her boyfriend before..."

"Oh. Well, I'm sure next time will be better."

"Maybe," Harry said, clearly not believing it.

"Any other girls catch you under the mistletoe?"

"No, not really. I accidentally met Luna Lovegood there, I suppose, but we didn't kiss."

"Too shy, is she?"

"Er, no. I jumped away."

Sirius shook his head. "Why would you do that? Something wrong with this girl?"

"She's weird. Nice enough, but weird. Everyone calls her 'Loony'."

Sirius laughed. "Harry, some of my best times were with the crazy ones. Don't ever let that stop you."

"I didn't jump away because there was anything wrong with her. But I like Cho."

"So? School is for learning, experiencing new things. That means lots of girls. How did this Luna react to you jumping away?"

Harry shrugged. "I don't think she cared. Mentioned something about 'Nargles'. I told you, she's a weird one."

Sirius said, "Harry, in my experience every girl has at least one thing delightful enough about them that makes them worth meeting under the mistletoe. Anything you like about her?"

"Look, I don't like her that way."

"Humour me."

Harry thought about it. "Well, she's certainly not boring. She smiles a lot. She believes in me. Her radishes are cute."

Sirius involuntarily spit out his firewhisky, laughing. "Radishes?"

"Yeah. They're really the first thing you notice about her."

He laughed again, uproariously. This was a euphemism he hadn't heard. Kids these days.

Ron and Ginny Weasley walked in at that point. "What's so funny?" Ron asked.

Sirius managed to sputter through his laughing, "Harry was telling me how he thinks this Luna girl's 'radishes' are cute."

Ron frowned, and Ginny said, "You shouldn't call them 'radishes', Harry."

"I'll bet," Sirius said, laughing.

"Luna calls them plums," Ginny added.

Sirius broke down laughing some more.

"What's the matter?" Ginny asked. "I think they're cute too."

"What?" Sirius said.

"They're very distinctive. I was the first one she showed when she got them," Ginny said. "We're good friends."

"I think they look stupid," Ron said.

Sirius turned to him. "You don't like her 'radishes'?"

Ron shook his head. "Nah, they look weird."

"Is it just hers you don't like?"

"No, I don't like radishes at all. I hate how they taste."

Sirius was shocked. And he thought the Weasleys were so conservative.

"Anyway, why are we talking about Luna's radishes?" Ron asked. "She just uses them to get attention, I'm sure."

Sirius said, "I have to meet this girl."

"I have a picture of her in the photo Colin took of all of us at the D.A. Christmas party," Harry said, heading out to retrieve it. When he returned, he showed Sirius. "That's Cho."

"She is pretty," he said.

"Yeah," Harry said with a sigh. "And that's Luna."

Sirius saw a sweet-looking, slightly dotty blond girl, who was young-looking and very slim.

"Not what I pictured," he said.

Harry pointed to the side of her head. "Those are her radishes."

"Plums," corrected Ginny.

Sirius squinted. Once he saw what they were talking about, he broke down into hysterical laughter. Wheezing, he managed to say, "Best... prank... in months!"

"What's the matter with him?" Ginny asked again.

"Too much time cooped up here, I suspect," Ron said. "C'mon, Harry, let's go find Hermione."

"Going to look at her radishes?" Sirius managed to get out, laughing again.

Ron shook his head sadly as they left. "Barmy, that one. Completely gone 'round the twist."