Chapter 19 : I wish you wouldn't.
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But she didn’t want to sit at the Ravenclaw table either. Rather decisively, Luna wrapped up some food into the embroidered blue and gold Ravenclaw napkins, and we took our dinner to the astronomy tower where we had once been discovered, and attacked by my fellow Slytherins. Luna must have been mad, under the pretense that they wouldn’t strike the same tower twice.
That was my one and only fear in our new approach to our new unabashed, unmasked relationship. I feared more than ever that Luna would be in danger. Pansy was unkind, unforgiving, and not keen on sharing things that weren’t even hers to share. I found myself hating her more everyday. Today, though, nothing could get me down. At least that’s what I thought.
Luna had finished her dinner and was leaning against the stone arch of the entrance to the tower, looking up into the sky that was now just turning to dusk. I watched her as she contentedly began to mouth things inaudibly. “What are you doing?”
“Shh,” she replied and continued.
I gave a half smile and moved closer to her, taking her left hand and giving it a squeeze. I looked up at the sky in silence and as I had settled into place and ceased all movement and sound, I heard her.
“One hundred and ninety-eight, one hundred and ninety-nine…. Two hundred, two hundred and one, two hundred and two….”
“Two hundred and seven, Shh.”
“Shh. Two hundred and twelve…”
“Are you counting the stars?”
“No, I’m trying to….Shh! Two hundred and…. and…. and…You’ve ruined it. I’m never going to know.”
“…..Sorry, never going to know what?”
What she was never going to know, I wasn’t going to know for a few moments.
“Hi, Luna,” Harry Potter didn’t see me. Luna sat in the arch of the door. I was sitting just outside the doorway.
“Hi, Harry.” She said, placidly.
“Ginny and Hermione said that you wanted to talk to me up here.”
“Did they?” Luna said, almost sounding as though she had forgotten whether or not she did in fact tell them she wanted to talk to Harry. “I don’t… I don’t remember telling them that I did, Harry.”
“Oh,” said Harry, not sounding entirely too crestfallen. “Alright then. You mind if I sit down anyway? It was a long walk.”
“Not at all.”
Harry sat down right inside the doorway, right next to Luna, still oblivious to my presence. This was fine with me. “How are you, Luna?”
“I’m alright.” She said, “I’ve been very busy lately.”
“Oh yes,” Harry said appreciatively, “A lot more homework, lately.”
“No, not really.” She said, “I’ve been busy studying the mating patterns of the lunar squarms.”
“Oh?” Harry feigned interest which was not at all convincing. “Oh that’s very…. Nice.”
“What are the lunar squarms, Luna?” I asked, suddenly unable to control my curiosity.
Harry scrambled to his feet. Luna did too. So, I decided I had better get up too. Just for good measure. “Malfoy,” he said in a voice of deepest loathing.
“Potter,” I replied curtly.
“What are you doing here?” Potter asked as though it had been I who had crashed the party.
“Eating dinner.” I replied, “I’d ask what you are doing here, but I already know that Weasley and Granger lied to you to get you to come up here to see that I was with Luna to make you believe that I am harming her in some way, so you’ll threaten me, and I’ll threaten you to strengthen our bond as arch nemeses. Well that is the purpose of all of this, isn‘t it? I mean, honestly, Potter… what else would you want to see Luna about? You‘ve ignored her for nearly a year.” I felt ashamed at once. Not only had I accomplished my goal, at stinging Harry Potter-- accusing him of insensitivity, but I had also struck a nerve with Luna. I hadn’t intended to hurt her as well.
Harry was silent a moment. “Luna, go inside.”
Oh honestly, confrontation with Harry Potter on top of the Astronomy tower just at dusk, this was going to be good. Fighting for the honor of a girl who wasn’t being wronged in any way. Harry Potter--oozing chivalry from every pore, trying to pry Luna from my evil tainted arms. The only problem was, Luna liked my evil tainted arms.
“Why?” she asked, no longer pleased with either of us.
“Just go, Luna.” He said. “Now.”
“Why Potter? Don’t want her to see you rough me up? Don’t want her to see the Chosen One getting his hands dirty? Getting your hands dirty over what?” I was provoking him, yes… egging him on, but I felt the question was valid enough. What was there for Potter to be threatening me over… especially in such a way that he needed to send Luna away? Sure, he would take any excuse he could to pick a fight with me… Hell-- I’d do the same to him, but I wish to Hell he’d leave Luna out of our eternal argument.
“Luna!” Harry shouted, clearly my words were effective. “Go back to Ravenclaw, now! We‘ll talk about all of this later. Right now, you need to go.”
“Harry, stop it.” She said, quietly. She slipped her hand into mine and leaned into me, as though protectively.
“Luna,” I said evenly, loosening my hand from hers, “Go on, Luna. Go back inside.”
She looked up at me. She released my hand as though it had electrocuted her. She didn’t approve of my cold and aggressive nature and I knew it, but when it came to someone equally as stubborn as myself I couldn’t help but reciprocate Harry Potter’s threats. Her eyes were both sad and vacant at once. “I wish you wouldn’t,” was all she said.
My eyes were unblinkingly fixed on Harry and flickered only a moment across her face with a genuine apologetic gaze, “I know.” I replied. “I’m sorry.”
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