As I was running away from the crazed rainbow-people faster than Ron runs towards food — which is quite fast, by the way — I ran past my Ravenclaw friend, Luna Lovegood. She was skipping along merrily with her long blonde hair in its usual disarray, radish earrings swinging, and her wand tucked behind her ear.
"Hullo Ginny," she said in her airy voice, as if I wasn't running a million kilometres a minute in the opposite direction. "You shouldn't be running in the corridors. You'll disturb the jacklespurts."
I skidded to a halt and stared at her for a moment. She stared right back with wide blue eyes. "Erm... Hello there, Luna…" I glanced behind me fearfully. They were still a ways behind me, as I had taken a shortcut that Fred and George had shown me, but I could still vaguely hear their shouts of, 'Where'd she go?!' and 'Let's head this way!'
"Jacklespurts are really very friendly, Ginny. You shouldn't be so afraid of them," she continued, fingering her butterbeer cork necklace and adopting a tone scarily similar to my mother's when she was about to start a lecture.
"Oh... Okay," I said uncertainly. "Well, I'm actually trying to hide from a group of murderous rainbow-Gryffindors, too... So, I'd better go..." I could hear them. They were getting close.
They'll never get me alive!
"You can hide in here," she said, opening a nearby broom cupboard. "I won't tell them."
I blinked in surprise. I hadn't even known there was a broom cupboard there. "Um, thanks Luna. You're a lifesaver."
"Thank you," Luna said politely, as I climbed into the cupboard. "I do try to be a nice friend."
"You're a great friend, Luna." I said sincerely. She is, honest! Yeah, it's a given, she is a little strange, but she's a very nice person once you get past her various oddities.
She grinned hugely at me before quietly closing the door. I held my breath for a few minutes, listening closely, as footsteps approached the broom cupboard. "Oi," a voice yelled. "Lovegood!"
"Are you aware that your skin is multicolored?" Luna's voice drifted back to me.
I grinned as I heard a low growling noise. "Er, yes. That's why we're here... Have you seen a little red-haired and freckled twerp go by?"
A twerp? Well, gee! I'm so offended.
And then another voice, "About this tall?" I figured they were gesturing with their hands.
"No, I'm afraid I haven't..." Luna said. "You're infested by nargles, you know. Don't worry though. They're perfectly harmless."
"Um..." There were a few coughs and a spluttering, choking sound followed by a few moments of silence. The awkwardness practically seeped through the broom cupboard door.
"What are nargles?"
"Well, they-" Luna started, but then was cut off.
"We don't have time for this, Lovegood. Let us know if you see Weasley, will you?" At that point, I was pretty sure that the voice was, in fact, Tina.
There was a few beats of silence, then Luna said in a very convincing voice, "Well, I do hope you find Ginny. I'm sure she would love your company."
Like hell I would!
There were a few mumbled goodbyes, then their loud footsteps started to sound farther and farther away. Unfortunately, their voices were still as loud as ever.
"Who was that?" someone asked, in a weirdly strangled voice. "She's a bit…"
"Loony?" another snickered.
"Well, they do call her Loony Lovegood for a reason." Tina said.
Cue the creeping fantasy about stringing these people up by their undergarments, ripping hair follicles out one-by-one, and then writing embarrassing things about them in the bathroom stalls!
When their footsteps faded, Luna knocked on the door. "You can come out now, Ginny. They're gone."
"Thanks," I said. I stood up and brushed off my robes. "How can you stand it, Luna?"
"Stand what?" She cocked her head to the side and peered at me curiously.
"Y'know... the name calling and all that," I said, uncomfortably. I had to admit, I had called her 'Loony Lovegood' once or twice. Almost no one ever called her by her actual name. Thinking about it made me feel sufficiently guilty.
"I ignore it." Luna shrugged and smiled (a bit too knowingly) at me, making me squirm. "They don't know me. They're intimidated by something they don't understand. It's quite a common occurrence, you know." I stared at her. Coming from Luna, it was quite deep and surprising. "I think the nargles have something to do with it."
"Nargles?" I chuckled as she nodded sagely. What are they, exactly?"
"Well, they infest mistletoe."
"Uh, okay then." I glanced at her. She was smiling a bit sadly. "It's the nargles."
Later that week, I entered the common room to find a surprising sight. No, sadly, Ron and Hermione hadn't finally come to their senses and weren't snogging each other's brains out.
That was quite a conflicting thought for me at that time, honestly. While, I held the opinion that they were both complete dunderheads with extremely thick skulls and are absolutely perfect for each other, I honestly don't think I could've watched them kiss without barfing up all of my innards.
But I digress.
What I was seeing made me skid to a halt. My idiot brother (Ron, of course! Who else?) was sprawled out on the floor and wailing pathetically to anyone who would listen. A few second year girls looked terrified and were trying to edge away from him when I finally walked over to him. "Ron? What are you doing on the floor?"
"Ginny!" he cried, throwing his arms around my legs and making me stagger in surprise. "Ginny, I've done something terrible and now I'm going to DIE!"
I looked down at his pitiful form, bemused. "What did you do?"
Knowing Ron, it probably had something to do with either a girl, or food. He smashed his face into the carpet and mumbled something unintelligible and muffled.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" I hauled him up and shoved him in a chair. "Say that again, now that you don't have a face full of floor."
"Isortofmightaveaskd — FLEUR DELACOUR — totheyulball." he said, wincing as if preparing himself for a blow.
Now, I, fortunately, had had much experience when it came to trying to figure out what was said when boys spew their word vomit all over the place. I had no trouble whatsoever discerning his words. Of course, the way he screamed 'FLEUR DELACOUR!' with a horrified and pained expression might've helped, as well.
"You asked Fleur to the ball?" I asked incredulously. Ron nodded, slumping in his chair. "Why the bloody hell would you do that, Ron?" I groaned, feeling sorry for my brother, despite his idiotic predicament.
Why must us Weasley be prone to such idiotic tendencies? WHY MERLIN?
"I don't know!" Ron cried, throwing his hands up in the air. "She didn't even answer me!"
I rubbed his arm sympathetically. "Uh... It's alright, Ron. She's an arrogant cow, anyway. She's stuck up and snooty... and cares about nothing other than her perfect hair." I wrinkled my nose and tried to keep my voice soothing instead of revolted. "She's too good for us Weasleys," I said sarcastically and Ron groaned, dropping his head in his hands. "Seriously, Ron, don't waste your time brooding on this. She's not worth it."
Ron just groaned again. Well, no one can say I didn't try. To make things about a million times worse, I saw Harry walking towards us. Oh no, I groaned mentally. I was sure to make a fool of myself.
"Hi Ron, Ginny," Harry said, as he drew near. He brushed his hair out of his eyes and smiled.
Damn, why did he have to be so attractive? I mean, its already hard enough, trying to get over him... But did he have to smile like that? My heart beat faster and I felt a smile of my own form on my face. And, DAMN IT, a blush starting as well.