Written for Rose of the West in the Teachers' Lounge Exchange: Love Is In The Air Edition. My prompt was Cupid.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, the Harry Potter Universe, or any of the related intellectual properties. This is just fanfic, folks.
It began, as these things often did, with Luna Lovegood trying to help someone out. She sat on an overstuffed couch in front of a fire in the Ravenclaw common room. Alone, as usual. No matter – humming a merry tune, absentmindedly twirling her wand in her left hand, reading the book on Roman mythology that her father had given her for Christmas, she was perfectly happy sitting by herself in front of a fire, taking her time and enjoying this last night of January.
Her thoughts were interrupted when she felt a thump at the other end of the couch. She looked over and saw Cho Chang sitting there, her face in her hands, quietly sobbing.
This was not an entirely unusual sight for Luna, or indeed for anyone from Ravenclaw. Cho had a reputation of being emotionally fragile, although this thankfully did not show on the Quidditch pitch. But in situations other than sporting ones, she tended to tear up at the drop of a hat. It had got worse since poor Cedric Diggory died a year and a half previous, of course. Luna thought that Cho probably hadn't adequately dealt with that.
Full-on sobbing was unusual for Cho, though. Luna didn't recall seeing Cho so affected since she ran into her after her meeting with Harry and Hermione and Rita Skeeter at Valentine's Day last year. Something very sad must have happened to the poor girl.
So Luna closed her book, tucked her wand behind her left ear, and slid over next to Cho.
"It's all right to cry, Cho Chang," Luna said in what she hoped was a reassuring voice. "You don't want to hold your tears in. You could drown that way, you know."
A slight giggle accidentally escaped from Cho. The dark-haired girl lowered her hands from her face and looked at Luna. Her eyes were red and puffy, her face was streaked with tears, and her body shuddered involuntarily every few moments from her sobs. "Hi, Luna," she said very quietly. "Is it okay if I sit here? I don't want to talk to Michael at the moment," she said.
Luna looked across the common room to where Michael Corner was sitting with Terry Boot and Anthony Goldstein, laughing and joking with his two friends. "He seems to be busy at the moment," she said, which caused fresh sobs from Cho. "I don't think you have to worry about him coming over, though. He thinks I'm crazy. Why are you crying? Did Michael do something?"
"Yes. No. Not really – that's the problem. I mentioned last week that Madam Puddifoot was going to be having her tea shoppe all decked out for Valentine's Day. I hoped he would take the hint and ask me there, but he just nodded and said 'oh'." She sobbed some more. "So tonight I told him we should go, and how nice it would be to spend Valentine's Day there, and he said he going to be hanging out to at pub with Terry and Anthony!" Once again she broke down in tears.
Luna retrieved her wand from behind her ear and transfigured a spare piece of parchment into a pink silk handkerchief, and gave it to Cho, who dabbed it at her eyes and blew her nose rather loudly, causing a few heads to look at her.
"This is just so typical," Cho said, her sad voice tinged with bitterness. "C-C-Cedric was too busy preparing for that stupid, stupid Tournament. Harry rushed away just because Hermione Granger tossed her hair and smiled at him. And now Michael doesn't even want to go at all! I'm never going to get to have a proper Valentine's at Madam Puddifoot's!"
Yet more tears came. Luna was beginning to worry Cho would get dehydrated.
"Am I such a bad girlfriend?" Cho cried quietly.
"Oh, I don't think so," Luna said, using her (hopefully) reassuring voice again. "You're very pretty, and everyone agrees you're very nice and smart, although you do cry an awful lot, and you should probably talk to someone about that. But I know lots of boys like you. Why, just the other day, I heard Dennis Creevey telling his brother how he thought you were the 'prettiest bird in the Ravenclaw aerie'."
Cho sighed. "Great. I could let a thirteen year-old who likes cheesy metaphors take me to the tea shoppe."
"Dennis is very popular among the third-years, you know," Luna said. "You could do worse. But I blame wrackspurts. They make boys insensitive."
"Wrackspurts," Cho said. She had stopped crying now.
"You know how they make people's brains go all fuzzy," Luna said, looking at Cho and waiting for her to nod. Eventually she did. Luna then leaned in, and whispered, "Well, I think that they're attracted to adolescent boys in particular. It's the only thing I can think of that makes them so insensitive. Look at Harry Potter. He wasn't very nice on your date at Valentine's Day last year, was he? And when he took me to Professor Slughorn's Christmas party, he just left me alone for almost an hour! I know we just went as friends, but it was not very nice. At least he apologized afterwards – otherwise I might not be so quick to accept any more invitations from him!
"Now, I know what you're thinking," Luna continued, although by the look on Cho's face, she had no idea what the blond girl was thinking. "You think that maybe they just affect Harry, or that they just make boys be insensitive to Ravenclaw girls. But look at Michael – he ignored you, and he wasn't very nice when he was with Ginny Weasley last year." Luna ignored the frown that appeared on Cho's face at that. "I don't think he's trying to be mean to you at all, though. I think it has to be wrackspurts."
Cho looked sceptical. "I don't think that's it. I think he's just a jerk. All boys are jerks."
"Yes. Because of wrackspurts."
"No! Because they're mean, jerky, stupid jerks."
"That's rather tautological, Cho. I don't think that's a reason. Anyway, you could always find a boy who isn't infested, although he'd have to be much older than any student here. Or a younger boy. Like Dennis Creevey."
"I'm not going to date Dennis Creevey!" Cho said, exasperated. "So unless you can stop boys from being jerks, it looks like I'm going to be on my own for Valentine's Day." She began crying again, and Luna put her arm around her to try and comfort her, while thinking there had to be a way to remove Michael's wrackspurts. And if it worked for him, it might work for other boys as well.
Several owl deliveries home later, Luna had what she needed. She thought of asking to borrow Harry's Cloak of Invisibility, but decided against it for many reasons, not least of which was that if her experiment worked, she might have to try it out on Harry, and see if he would be more attentive than he was at the Christmas party if he was dewrackspurted. Purely in the interests of research, of course.
Fortunately, Luna was a resourceful young woman who paid attention in class, and was used to not being noticed. And so it took virtually no effort on her part to cast a disillusionment charm on herself, sneak up on Michael, stun him, disillusion him, cast Mobilicorpus on him, take his prone form to an abandoned classroom, sit him in a chair, cast Incarcerous on him, and cast a locking charm on the door. It almost made her think that the multiple detentions she would get if any professor saw her would be worth it, simply for the acclaim. Almost.
As she transfigured a scarf from her canvas bag into a dark black hood with nose holes and ear holes, and put it over Michael's head, she smiled at the thought of her playing Cupid for Michael and Cho. She didn't particularly like Michael, but she did like Cho, and Cho liked Michael, so here she was. A part of her thought she should really dress the part, but she didn't own a bow and arrow, and other than that Cupid wore nothing at all. And Michael falling for her obvious charms, as she knew he would should his mask slip, would not fit at all with her plan to dewrackspurt the boy and make him treat Cho better. Too bad, Luna thought. She would look cute in wings, she was sure.
Time to get to work.
She dug out two wrackspurt siphons her father had sent her from her bag, and stuck them into Michael's ears through the whole in his hood. She then cancelled the stunning spell on Michael and the disillusionment charm on both of them, and began speaking.
"Michael. Michael. Are you awake?"
"Who are you? What are you doing?" he asked fearfully, his voice muffled.
"Don't worry, Michael. I'm here to help. You've got an infestation," she said, trying to sound soothing. She had come to the conclusion that wrackspurts would fight the siphoning if they knew what she was doing, so she had resolved not to mention them. She tapped the siphons, and waited as they begun their work.
"What's happening?" he said, his voice full of panic.
"They're leaving you, but you have to stay perfectly still. This might hurt otherwise."
"Don't hurt me!"
"Don't be silly. I'm not going to hurt you," Luna said, placing a hand on his shoulder to calm him. "You've been hurting Cho, though."
"I have not! Who is this?"
"I'm a friend. I'm trying to help you. And you have been hurting her. She wanted you to take her to Madam Puddifoot's."
"I'm going to be hanging out with the lads!"
"It will be Valentine's Day. You have someone to be with, someone nice. Not everyone does. You should take advantage of that," she said.
"Hey! You lay off, whoever you are! Me and Cho are doing fine!"
"She cries an awful lot. It's how she is, I know, but you don't want to be the one to make her cry, do you?"
"Shut up! What are you doing?"
"I told you. I'm making you better. You don't listen very well, do you?"
"I listen... who the hell are you? Let me go!"
Luna sighed. "It's nearly done. You should really treat Cho better. You don't want her running into the arms of Dennis Creevey, do you?"
"Dennis Creevey? The little Gryff?"
"He's very charming, and he likes Cho."
"Now that's it. You tell me who you are, or so help me I'll..."
"Done!" Luna exclaimed brightly. "I'm going to stun you now. When you wake up, you'll feel much better, I'm sure. Less confused. And hopefully less callous to Cho."
"Sweet dreams!" She stunned him, took out the wrackspurt siphons, detransfigured the hood into a scarf, cancelled the Incarcerous spell, made sure Michael had his wand, disillusioned herself once more, and left the room for the Great Hall.
A good evening's work. She hoped they still had some pudding at the Ravenclaw table. She deserved it.
The next few weeks were rather raucous. Obviously the dewrackspurting hadn't worked entirely, as Michael was quite paranoid for a few days. He accused Marietta Edgecombe of stunning him and tying him up, but she had a good alibi. After a few more days of accusing random people, he stopped, having convinced himself it was all a dream.
Michael did end up getting detention for a week for threatening Dennis Creevey, who got a week's detention himself. Dennis acquitted himself well in his confrontation with Michael, and found himself with a few offers from the younger girls to go to Hogsmeade. He ended up going with a shy Hufflepuff fourth-year, who smiled warmly and frequently at him, and clung to his arm. Michael decided to take Cho to Madam Puddifoot's after all, to Cho's delight, which caused her to tear up repeatedly on Valentine's Day, although they were tears of happiness, she said, and Michael didn't seem to mind.
Luna herself spent Valentine's Day as she usually did – alone. No love for Cupid that year, unfortunately. However, she had a lovely meal at the Hog's Head, had a good time wandering the village, and was teased less than usual. She smiled at a few boys she thought could use a dewrackspurting themselves. A couple smiled back.
It was good to have possibilities.