Chapter 3 Wit Beyond Measure
Loony Loopy Relations
Disclaimer- Not mine. Just borrowing. Have no money. No need to sue.
Note- The chapter ended being really long, longer than the first two put together actually. I really didn't want to break it up so consider it an early end year gift.
Chapter 3: Wit Beyond Measure
Ginny stared at Draco, her eyes wide and mouth open. "What?"
The corner of Draco's mouth twitched. "Do you need me to say it slower? I asked how far along you are in the assignment."
Ginny let out a bark of shocked laughter. "We only got it yesterday, Malfoy."
Draco sneered at her. "I'm well aware of that, Weasel."
Ginny's anger flared and she started to draw herself up in a manner very similar to her mother when she was angry. "Who made you the leader anyhow? What makes you think you can just swan in here, like the pretentious show pony that you are, and tell us what to do?"
Shock wrote itself over Draco's face before he quickly schooled his expression into a fierce glare." Did you just compare me to a slow, witless animal?"
Ginny smirked at him. "Yep, fits pretty well, don't you think? I just call it how I see it, Malfoy."
Draco stood suddenly, his chair tipping backwards at the sudden burst of force. He braced his hands on the table and leaned forward, menacingly. Neither one of them noticed how quietly the library grew at the crash of his chair hitting the floor or the way Hermione had dug her heels into the floor and wrapped her arms around his waist in order to keep Ron from charging over to defend his little sister.
Luna couldn't help it anymore, she giggled. Both Ginny and Draco looked over at her, both of them glaring. Luna clamped a hand over her mouth, she couldn't help it; her shoulders jumped, a physical manifestation of her laughter. Luna's pale eyes sparkled with mirth. Ginny flushed, she had forgotten that Luna was there she was too involved in baiting Draco, trying to pop the Slytherin Prince's over inflated ego.
Draco continued to glare at Luna. "Something you find amusing, Loony?"
Luna smiled nicely at him. "Krymption."
Draco paused in picking up his chair and stared at her. "What?"
Luna grinned. "And moira."
Draco stared at Luna incomprehensibly. "What the bloody hell are you talking about, Loony?"
"Stop calling her that," Ginny snapped at him. "Her name is Luna Lovegood, use it."
Draco smirked, his 17-year-old male mind kicking in. "Love good?" He eyed her up and down.
Luna blinked at him, her grin settling into a somewhat confuse expression, the corners of her mouth still up turned. Ginny sighed, well aware of where his mind had gone; six brothers all with the filthiest minds that the wizarding world had ever seen (yes even Percy, he just hid his under a mask of propriety) had educated her thoroughly in the workings of the male teenage mind. Ron was doing very little to disprove her theories and Draco was just confirming that it was the male species as a whole rather than just the Weasley clan who couldn't pull their minds out of the gutter.
Ginny narrowed her eyes at him. "Don't."
Darco tried to school his face into a mask of innocence, failing miserably. "What? I don't know what you're talking about, Weasley?"
Ginny scowled. "Don't try to play innocent. Snakes are never innocent; it's something that they fail to possess from birth. Luna doesn't understand how your mind works."
Draco raised an eyebrow at her. "And yet you think you do."
Ginny tossed her hair over her shoulder and smiled smugly at him. "Six older brothers, Malfoy. Of course I do."
To add weight to her argument Ginny gestured over to the table where Harry, Ron and Hermione were sitting, Hermione having coaxed Ron back into his seat when Luna had defused the some of the tension between Ginny and Draco. Hermione was speaking rapidly, her hands moving to add emphasis to whatever she was saying. Ron stared at her with a dumb grin fixed in place.
Draco's lip curled. "You're comparing me to your brother?" He asked, completely horrified.
Ginny rested her chin in her palm. "Malfoy/ Weasley, you're both 17-year-old males."
"Fine, but I still detest that you would even think to compare me to some Gryff. First Longbottom, now Weasel, what's next? Granger?"
Ginny tapped her cheek, feigning a pensive expression. "Well, now that you mention it there are certain physical similarities."
Draco glared at her. "Very funny."
"I thought so," Luna stated.
Draco threw up his hands and ran them through his hair; his pale face flushed with anger, messing up his carefully executed style, once again not noticing in his frustration how the gaggle of swooning girls tittered. "Great," he growled. "I'm stuck with a pair of jokers."
Ginny stormed out of the library, her face making a group of first years squeak and huddle together as they scuttled timidly past her. "Who the hell does that pilock think he is, Voldemort?"
Luna straightened the strap of her bag on her shoulder. "I'm sure he doesn't think that."
Ginny huffed. "Fine, Snape then."
Luna giggled, imaging Draco in place of the feared Potions Master. She could see him in the all black attire, not that there was much change there, not many Slytherins could be found wearing other colours than black, silver or green; below chin length greasy hair; a very prominent nose; a permanent scowl, once again not much change for Draco; and the constant aroma of cauldron smoke around him. Luna smiled, the smell of cauldron smoke always soothed her, and it reminded her of her mother. When Luna was 7 and 8 her mother had spent the two years experimenting with potions and for those two years the house had smelt like cauldron smoke and the distinct fragrances of an array of potions. Luna loved walking into the room when she had Potions, even if Professor Snape did make her extremely jumpy.
"-una? Luna, you okay?" Ginny peered into her face. "I've been calling your name, you zoned out for a minute."
Luna blinked and smiled vaguely. "I'm fine."
Ginny squeezed her arm comfortingly. "Good." They turned and continued to walk down the corridor, nodding and waving at the familiar paintings as they called out greetings.
Luna looked over at Ginny.
Ginny started to rant again. "He gave us homework! He gave us homework! What does he think he is, a teacher?"
Luna smiled and hummed softly to herself as she listened to Ginny continue to rant loudly and gesture wildly as they walked back towards the stairs. She loved it when she was right.
Luna kicked her legs in the air as she lay on her bed, parchment in front of her. She considered her list. Draco had told them, no snapped at them, that they had to come up with a list of people they were going to research if they ever intended on getting their 'infernal' project over with. Luna looked down at her list; great wizards and witches were harder to think of than she had thought.
*Professor Dumbledore- Everyone said that Professor Dumbledore was the greatest wizard since the dark wizard Grindelwald and even then the Headmaster had defeated him and he was really the only person that made Voldemort afraid.
*Harry Potter- There was no need to explain why Harry was a great, his actions spoke for him. He was so brave.
*Voldemort- Luna had long since gotten over her fear of the name, spending time with Harry and his friends would do that to a person. Harry had told her on the holidays about the time he got his wand; Mr. Ollivander was right, Voldemort had do great things, even if they were terrible.
*Professor Snape- Luna thought he was a great wizard even without his work for the Order; her father had lent his efforts whenever they had asked and he told Luna everything that had happened while he was there. It had made her a little less tentative around Professor Snape and admire him a lot more.
*Ron Weasley- Even without her crush on him, Luna still thought he was a great wizard. He was loyal, brave, not too bad when it came to a duel and unbeatable with a chess set. He had very nice eyes as well.
*Hermione Granger- Until Luna had met Hermione she had thought that no witch could be smarter than her mother. And while she still may have the occasional rule breaking nervous attack, she would do anything to help a friend, from looking over homework to leaving Hogswart during the term and flying to London on an invisible, to her, Thestral to help Harry save his godfather.
*Neville Longbottom- Neville had grown so much since she had seen him during her first year, during the attack on the Ministry he had been nothing like he would have been in his second year, he was brave, calm and collected.
*Laura Lovegood- Her mother.
Luna sighed as she looked at her mother's name. There was no way she couldn't put her mother's name down, she was the most amazing witch Luna had ever met, apart from Professor McGonagall, Hermione and Ginny. This past summer her father had told her that her mother had worked in the Department of Mysteries, which was why she was always experimenting with spells and potions. A shiver ran down Luna's spine, after the battle even thinking about the Department made her shudder slightly, if from excitement rather than remembered fear and pain. Luna had never really known what she wanted to do once she graduated from Hogwarts, she had contemplated going to University or maybe working for The Quibbler but neither of them really grabbed her interest or impassioned her like being an Aurora did for Harry.
The veil at the Department had struck something in her. She had been having dreams about it lately. She could hear the voices calling out to her, trying to tell her something but she could never hear them properly. Whenever she tried to get closer she always woke up.
Luna sighed; she just wished she could hear what they were trying to tell her. Luna put the list and her quill on the bedside table. She pulled her curtains closed silently as the snores and loud breathing of her Ravenclaw 6th year roommates filled the room.
Luna though once again about the voices behind the veil as she climbed into her bed, fluffing the pillows and hanging her string of butterbeer corks over the frame of the bed. She wished they would just do the polite thing and speak up.
Draco scowled as he waited in the library. Ignoring the venomous glares of Madam Pince he propped his feet up on the table and started to drum his fingers loudly on the hard surface. Several people looked up at the noise.
Madam Pince fumed. "Draco Malfoy, you take your feet off that table and stop that noise this instant."
Draco rolled his eyes but removed his feet from the table and placed them back on the floor. He raised his eyebrow at her, as if to ask 'better?'
Madam Pince nodded at him. "Make sure it doesn't happen again." She turned on her heel and grabbed the book return trolley. She slowly wheeled it up the aisles. She would stop and replace books, occasionally caressing the spine of a book lovingly with a look of fond remembrance or opening one and flicking through a few pages before becoming lost in the tale. Madam Pince really loved her job.
Draco huffed irritably. How dare those two make him wait for them? Him, Draco Malfoy! It would be laughable if it weren't happening. As if he hadn't suffered enough humiliation in the last three years!
Draco growled as Ginny and Luna entered with Harry, Ron and Hermione. Great, just what his day needed, a visit from the Gryff Golden Trio to put the icing on the muggle cake. Draco sunk into his chair as they moved closer.
Luna smiled at him as she sat down. "Hello, Draco."
Draco ignored her and watched Ginny as she placed her bag on the table and continued to speak to Hermione, Ron and Harry. Harry and Ron tried very badly to disguise their grins. Draco glared as he saw her looking at him from the corner of her eye.
While usually the observant one, Hermione didn't see any of this; she was too caught up in explaining her project to Ginny. "It's fascinating really. I mean how many muggle myths and legends have been influenced by witches and wizards." Hermione grinned excitedly. "There are just so many possibilities. The Egyptian animal-headed gods and goddesses could have simply been half transfigured humans who took advantage of the gullibility and desires of the people at the time to omnipotent beings that would protect them, and they ended up becoming immortalized in myth."
"Then again they could just be something created by priests to get power over the people," Ron added.
Hermione threw him an exasperated look. "Or they could have been a power play," she conceded.
Ginny arched an eyebrow at her brother, grinning as his fiery blush rewarded her for her actions. "Gee, Ron, when did you get so knowledgeable about ancient Egypt?"
Ron glared at her. "Maybe when we went to Egypt, Ginny."
"But that was three years ago, Ron. I'm surprised you can still remember all that." Ginny blinked innocently at him, smirking the whole time.
Hermione looked between them, unsure of what was happening between the siblings. Harry knew perfectly well what Ginny was talking about, they had had a conversation about Ron and Hermione one night after they had run into each other in the kitchen at the Burrow. Harry flushed; it wasn't just Ron and Hermione they had spoken about. He looked over at Luna, who was peering up at them, playing with her strand of butterbeer corks. She would occasionally glance over at Draco, who had given up glaring at them and had taken to sulking.
Hermione groaned loudly and grabbed onto Ron's arm. "Not again."
Ron followed her gaze and started to glare meanly at the library doors. "What, the bloody hell, is that bugger doing here?"
Terry Boot smiled as he caught sight of Hermione, he waved enthusiastically at them and hurried over. "Hermione, there you are! I've been looking for you!" He stopped close to her, not noticing how she stepped back closer to Ron and how Rone growled and pulled Hermione closer.
"Hermione, I was wondering, 'cause me, Harry." Terry pushed past him. "Could we maybe speak over there?" He gestured to a secluded part of the library.
"Are you alright, Ronald?" Luna asked. "There's a vein throbbing in your forehead."
Harry and Ginny stifled their giggles.
Hermione peered up at Ron before turning back to Terry. "I don't think that's such a good idea, Terry."
"But-" he started to protest.
Draco rolled his eyes and sighed irritably. "Look you stupid pilock, as much fun as it would be to see how long Weasel could last before he pummeled you, you have to get it into your ironically thick skull that she isn't interested in you, mate. We all know that you've fancied Granger since 5th year but get over it! Now if you lot don't mind I'd rather not spend all night here."
"You're right. Sorry, Malfoy." Hermione grabbed Ron's arm, her face flushed with embarrassment, and dragged him over to an empty table leaving Harry and Terry to trail after them.
"You weren't very nice to Terry," Luna rebuked him.
Draco snorted. "Like I care. The idiot brought it on himself. Anyone with eyes can see how Weasley and Granger have been dancing around the tension for years now."
Luna grinned at him. "That was very nice of you then."
Draco looked at her in horror. "No, it wasn't."
Luna smiled at him.
Draco shook his head vehemently. "It really wasn't. I just wanted them to leave so I could get this torture session over with. You think I enjoy spending time with a Gryff and a Ravenclaw quite a few knuts short of a galleon?"
Ginny glared at him for that.
Luna arched an eyebrow at him. "If you say so, Draco."
Draco crossed his arms over his chest and slumped in his chair. "I do."
Luna winced as Draco's shrill exclamation abraded her eardrums.
"You two want to research Potter, Granger and Weasley? Not to mention Longbottom?!"
"You didn't see him at the Ministry battle. He was very brave," Luna informed him.
"Brave does not a great wizard make, Lovegood. I can understand Potter and Granger they support the thesis perfectly; but apart from Longbottom's appalling academic record as evidence to the contrary, he and Weasel are from pureblood lines. I doubt there's even a muggle in the family."
Ginny snorted. "Shows what you know. There's a squib on Mum's side. He's an accountant, married with kids and they're all muggles. 'Sides Mum said something about Neville's Gran being from a halfblooded family."
"Bloody hell," Draco cursed. "Fine, but you two are responsible for researching them."
"What are you going to do then?" Ginny asked him angrily.
Draco pushed back his chair and smirked at her. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
He walked into the stacks, chucking to himself as Ginny spluttered with rage and Luna's dreamy voice murmured calming sentiments.
'Uh, perhaps this muggle assignment could be fun after all."
Ginny looked at the piles of books on the table and groaned. "I never thought that there would be so many books for researching a few family trees."
Luna looked at the table in front of her, her eyebrows drawn together. "Hmmm."
The girls jumped a loud thud of yet more books dropping onto the table announced Draco's return.
Draco dropped into a chair and ran a hand through his hair. He looked at the laden table and sighed. "Bloody hell, we're going to be here all winter."
Luna reached for a book and pulled it in front of her. "May as well get started, it's not like these are infested with narggles or their lesser relations karggles. Karggles prefer books to mistletoe. I'm sure that Madam Pince would never allow them here though."
Draco shook his head at her. "You really are an absolute nutter, aren't you? You're not just taking the piss?"
Luna blinked at him. "I'm as sane as anyone else here."
Draco looked around at his fellow students. He shrugged. "Well I can't dispute that."
Luna grinned at him. She opened the book in front of her, her face lighting up with Ravenclaw curiosity and thirst for knowledge. She read through the first chapter, frowning at the author's tendency to ramble at the most annoying times. She looked at the masses of books before her, a familiar feeling rising inside her. Unique beliefs aside, there was a reason the sorting hat had placed her in Ravenclaw. Luna Lovegood loved a challenge.
Luna sat on her bed surrounded by books. They had stayed in the library as long as they could. Curfew was fast approaching and the library was emptying rapidly when they had decided to spilt the books up according to the family and borrowed as many as they could. She had brought her books back to room, determined to get some more reading done before she went to sleep.
Luna jerked, startled, as the door to her dorm room crashed up. Her roommates stampeded in, all giggling loudly. Luna shifted back towards the head of her bed and extinguished her wand. Luna hadn't felt like speaking to her roommates tonight so she had drawn her curtains around her bed as she usually did. Luna peered through a small silt in the joining of the two pieces of material. A tall girl with brunette hair looked around the room, her eyes lingering on Luna's closed off bed.
The girl sneered. "Oh, thank god! Loony Lovegood must still be in the library."
One of the other two girls looked over at her and giggled. "Oh, Sarah, you are so mean!"
Sarah perched on the edge of her bed and smirked. "If she wasn't such a freak, Sonia, I wouldn't have to be. God, I mean how hard is it to be normal?" Sarah tossed her hair over her shoulders. "All she does is read her father's freaky magazine thing and talk about things no one else believes are real. It's no wonder she doesn't have any friends."
A short quiet girl with long mousy brown hair spoke up. "She does have friends." The girl stammered as Sonia and Sarah turned and glared at her. "Luna's always with Ginny Weasley."
Sonia made a face as Sarah snorted derisively. "Please, Michelle. Ginny Weasley is almost as much of a freak as Loony is. I mean you did hear about her first year?"
Michelle nodded, her eyes wide with fear.
Sarah clenched her hand into a fist and thumped it against her mattress. "What really gets me is that those freaks get to spend so much time with some of the hottest guys at Hogwarts."
Sonia sighed and flopped back onto her bed. "Merlin, they are so lucky. Can you just imagine spending all that time with Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Draco Malfoy?" The girl squealed. "Hmm, heaven."
Luna pulled the curtain fully closed as the giggling rose once more. She pulled her knees up to her chest, tears welling up in her eyes. She knew that her roommates didn't understand her, but she never thought that they hated her or would speak about her like that behind her back.
A lone tear slipped it's way down her cheek, leaving a wet trail in its wake. Luna rocked herself backwards and forwards, trying to block out the voices of her mocking roommates.
Luna was glad that she had Ginny and the others but they didn't understand her either. Whenever she would talk about narggles or ghost infecting parasites she could literally feel them suppressing the urges to roll their eyes and Hermione always had a pinched look on her face.
A sob hitched in her throat. She wished there was someone else like her out there. Someone who could understand her.
Drusilla titled her head, a dreamy smile on her face. She dropped the body of her evening meal, the woman falling to a lifeless heap on the rubbish-strewn ground of the alley. Drusilla walked out into the disserted streets of St. Petersburg. The stars were whispering to her. They were telling a new song, a pretty new song.
Drusilla danced down the street, her dress swirling out behind her and getting caught by the wind. Her melodic laughter bounced off the buildings as the moonlight shone down on her, illuminating her dark hair and pale skin.
Drusilla reached out and gripped a nearby light post with one hand. She swung around it, admiring the light. She started to hum to herself. Swinging around once more Drusilla let go of the light post and continued to spin down the street.
"Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure." Drusilla sung.
'Yes,' she thought, smiling happily. 'A very pretty song indeed.'