disclaimer: I do not own these characters. They belong to JK Rowling.
warning: Slight HBP spoilers.
AN: Written for Raye, who's been so sweet and very helpful to me lately.
She was one of Potter's little friends. He'd first noticed her at Slughorn's party last term. Well, he'd noticed her before. In the way one notices the grass under one's boots. He saw it there, but he didn't realize how green it was. He shouldn't have noticed her at all. But there was something lovely and unspoiled about her. She was so excited to be at the party, despite the fact that Potter mostly ignored her. Blaise had watched her covertly all evening. He had oddly been filled with the need to touch her hair.
Blaise didn't understand it.
Luna Lovegood was not the sort he'd even consider. Too bad all he seemed to do these days was think about her, and with far fewer students showing up for Hogwarts this year, there was less camouflage to distract him from looking at her. A Ravenclaw. Well, at least she wasn't a Gryffindor.
He'd still gone and done something very foolish.
Those radishes. They had to go. He sort of liked the butterbeer corks, though he'd never admit such a thing anywhere outside of his head. The radishes had to go though, so he'd gotten her some real ear bobs. Silver and moonstone. It was ideal for her. She seemed to have moon energy. There was something ethereal and flowing about her. Not to mention that name of hers fairly breathed it.
Blaise watched without trying to look as though he were watching as the school owl he had charged with delivering his package swooped down on the Ravenclaw table. She jumped when it landed before her. Blaise concentrated on his toast as she looked around to see if anyone was watching. When he was sure she wasn't looking anymore, his gaze returned to her.
He noted that she didn't rip into it. She also read the card first. He'd taken great pains writing that card. He didn't want to give himself away just yet, but he also didn't want to be insulting. It was very difficult for him. Slytherins liked to take credit, and they were also hard-pressed to be complimentary in any way. His first effort had gone something like 'take those ridiculous things off your ears and wear these instead' with his name signed at the bottom. He'd gone through several drafts before being satisfied that he wasn't being a rude snob. From the slight smile on her lips, he was guessing this last one had worked pretty well.
Blaise watched with what had to be excited joy bubbling in the pit of his belly as she removed the radishes and replaced them with the lovely pale blue moonstones. She even produced a small hand mirror to check them once they were on. He didn't figure her for the type to carry a mirror. Any girl who tucked a wand behind her ear, wore radishes for ear bobs, and had a necklace of butterbeer corks couldn't be all that concerned with her appearance. But she did study the moonstones in her ears for quite a while.
They matched her eyes. He'd noticed that the first time he'd seen them. Well, they had reminded him of her eyes, so Blaise was fairly certain it was because the colors matched. Now, how to get up close to get a better look at her to see if he was correct? But he was pretty sure he wasn't off on this one.
When she left the Ravenclaw table, he stuffed his books hastily into his book bag and followed her. She walked sort of slow, a dreamy stride. She was probably thinking about something else. She did that a lot, he'd noticed. She could be so far away from where she really was. Her wand was tucked behind her ear, and he could see the moonstone dangling from it. A small smile graced his lips.
Currently, his own head was so far from where he actually was just then that she quite shocked him by spinning about, throwing down all her books, and snatching her wand from behind her ear to point at him in a rather menacing manner.
"Why are you following me?"
"No magic in the halls, Lovegood." Blaise said smoothly, as if she had not startled him by knowing he was there and being bold enough to call him on it. He tapping his Head Boy badge. "I'd hate to take points."
She snorted. "No you wouldn't. You love to take points."
He actually laughed at that. It was true. He did like taking points. He also liked to know he was right about things. Blaise closed the distance between them to see if it was so. Did her eyes match her ear bobs? They did. The moonstones matched her eyes. He'd chosen rather well, he noted. Not only did the moonstones seem to match, but they made you notice how pretty her eyes were.
"I was getting tired of the radishes anyway." She said in a dreamy way before pulling a pair of Spectrespecs from her robes and placing them on her face, hiding her eyes from him.
"What?" Blaise asked. She couldn't have just said what he thought he had just heard her say.
All right, perhaps she had said it. "How did you..."
"I think you see me. Like I see the thestrals. They're there for most people, and people sort of know it in the backs of their minds, but not everyone notices them. You noticed my radishes. You picked out... this..." She touched her new earrings. "I never owned anything so nice."
He didn't know what made him say it. "They... they matched your eyes. Or what I imagined your eyes looked like when I was in the store. Those stones reminded me of you."
She shoved her Spectrespecs up on top of her head, so now they were an oddly-shaped swirling headband of sorts. He could see her pale eyes again though.
"Really?" She whispered. "If they reminded you... then you must..."
"Think about you?" He asked, dropping his bag from his shoulder and stepping closer.
She blinked at him owlishly. "Why?"
"I really couldn't say. I do believe it's because I find you intriguing."
She smiled then and tilted her head to the side like an animal hearing a funny sound too high-pitched for human ears. "You just made me feel like a real girl."
"You are a real girl." He was standing so close to her now that they'd probably get points taken away if a professor happened upon them.
"I don't feel like it sometimes. I don't think I'm really here. Like the thestrals sort of. Here but not. I'm vague, invisible, or maybe I'm smoke. I'm no more here than Moaning Myrtle."
"If you weren't here..." He didn't know what made him. "Could I do this?"
She didn't move at first except to close her eyes. She just stood there with her arms at her side and allowed him to hold her head as he kissed her. Then when he moved his hands to the back of her neck and the base of her spine to pull her closer, she placed a hand, one tiny hand, against his chest. He thought it might have been to push him away until her fingers closed. She had wadded up a bit of his school robes in her fist. The other hand of hers seemed to take rest on his shoulder somehow. He took that as invitation to deepen the kiss.
"Mister Zabini! And Miss... Miss... Lovegood?"
Blaise stepped back reluctantly, complete with utterly sly and Slytherin grin plastered on his face after a very thorough licking of his lips. He suddenly didn't give a damn what anyone else thought. She was there. Bloody hell, Luna Lovegood was so there, right there in that moment that it was damned near scary. Smoke, his arse. Smoke didn't kiss back like that.
And Professor McGonagall was stalking up to them in a fine state. "What.. what... well, explain yourselves!"
"Lovegood was insisting she was about as here in this realm as Myrtle. You know, Myrtle, Professor? Moaning Myrtle, ghost Myrtle, haunting the girl's toilet Myrtle-"
"I know very well who Myrtle is. Stop stalling and explain, Mister Zabini."
"I was." Blaise insisted.
Luna's eyes were as wide as they had ever been and her cheeks were flushed with pink. He took her arm and hooked it through his, ending with giving her hand an affectionate and comforting pat of support. McGonagall raised an eyebrow.
"I was just proving that she was here."
McGonagall's lips twitched. Blaise was quite certain she wanted to smile at that.
"Public displays of affection such as the one I just witnessed are frowned upon, Mister Zabini. I expect more from the Head Boy."
"Of course, Professor. I was... shall we say... in the moment. I will be more discreet next time."
That amused her enough for a slight smile. "I should take points away, but... I won't today. Now, in the future, I must warn you that I will not be so accommodating."
Luna nodded. Blaise bowed his head slightly in acknowledgment. McGonagall turned to leave them but stopped.
"By the way, Miss Lovegood, I do like your new earrings. They bring out your eyes."
Luna's arm tightened in Blaise's. "Thank you, Professor McGonagall."
McGonagall just smiled at them for a moment. Then she deliberately winked at Blaise before she hurried off.
"That was... strange." Luna offered after they had stood there for a bit silently.
"My kissing was... weird?"
"No. McGonagall. She... she winked at you, and she... well, she should have taken points."
"You wanted her to take points?"
"Well, no, but..."
"Care to take a walk with me?" He asked suddenly. "I'm sure we could find a place not in public for our affection."
"Surely you didn't think I was going to kiss you just the once."
"I... I hadn't had a chance to think about that really. The first kiss just happened, you know."
"I was there."
She smiled brightly. "And strangely so was I."
"Walk, I think."
He released her arm to grab his bag and gather up her books.
"You don't have to-"
"I have manners, despite what house I'm in."
"I know you didn't. I just recognize what examples of my house you've likely been shown."
She smiled again and reached around to undo her butterbeer cork necklace.
"What are you doing?" Blaise asked, his brow furrowed.
"I don't think my necklace goes with my earrings now. I'm taking it off."
"And the radishes went with the corks?"
She made a face at him as if to say she realized he didn't get it and didn't really expect him to.
"Don't." He said.
"I like them."
"You want them?" She asked. There was an odd look in her eyes. More sly than it should have been.
Was he being tested?
She motioned for him to turn around. He knew she had to stand on her tiptoes to tie the necklace around his neck. Luna took her books from him as Blaise turned back around tucking the chord under his collar, but making sure the corks rested nicely over his Slytherin tie. Then he smoothed down his robes over his chest.
Luna giggled. "I do believe they suit you."
"And now I have to replace your necklace."
"Oh, I'll know it when I see it." He nodded at her books. "And I'll be having those back now."
She made a playfully exasperated face, as if to say he was being such a boy, but she handed him her books all the same.
"What will your friend say?" She asked as she hooked her arm back through his.
"Your carrying my books and holding my arm... and proving to me that I'm real."
"I don't have any friends anymore." He said stiffly.
"Let's say you did."
"Then they'd know that this is my business and to stay the hell out of it if they knew what's good for them... if they prefer remaining un-hexed, that is. I won't be made to feel anything save happy about this, I think."
"Spoken like a true Slytherin."
"What about you?"
"What about me what?"
"What will YOUR friends say?"
"I don't have any friends."
"Let's say you did." He quipped, throwing her own argument back at her.
"I'll just quote a popular muggle film and say... I don't think the kind of friends I'd have would mind."
He chuckled at that. "Indeed."
"How did this happen?"
"Well, you're holding my books. You owled me jewelry. I'm holding on to your arm, and that part's quite nice, by the by, I like how your arm feels in mine. It's a very nice arm, and you're wearing my butterbeer corks with what looks suspiciously like pride."
"Thank you about the arm, and it is pride. Very astute of you."
"I am in Ravenclaw. We tend notice things and make note of them."
"How did this happen?"
"Not really sure. Let's just go with it, shall we?"
"All right." She slipped her Spectrespecs off her head and back over her eyes. "I'm going with it."