A/N: I'm so sorry for my long absence, I hope you'll forgive me. I'm taking two severly time consuming studio courses that are kicking me in the pants. (But I am taking a Philosophy of Harry Potter Class, which is AMAZING!) Look for updates, I swear I haven't forgotten HPFF.

There was nothing more despicable than “a long spell of detentions” with Professor Flitwick. I hadn’t been able to see Luna on my own or talk to her for a week and a half. Finally Professor Flitwick asked me if I had “learnt my lesson,” and asked if I’d be disrespecting any other ladies in the near future.

I had no “disrespecting” in mind I was plotting revenge. Sweet revenge toward Ginny Weasley. How could she have done what she had? And how could she use it as leverage over Luna and me?

Had she told anyone yet? Had Luna been suffering on her own? I shuddered to think of Harry Potter giving Luna the fatherly “stay away from boys like that,” speech. Or worse a talk about intimacy. And the worst of all, a talk about how he would attempt to kill me on his own for poisoning her mind.

Harry Potter was an arrogant busybody who tried to remedy situations that hardly concerned him. He could do nothing to “fix” me. He could do nothing to “save Luna from my grasp” when she did not want to be saved.

But what if the work had already been done? Could she have already been swayed to their way of thinking? Could she already be sitting in the library, holding the hand of Neville Longbottom, though hating every moment of it?

God, how I hated all of these insecurities I was harboring. It was my last detention, and Flitwick was stacking his books at his desk to stand on during tomorrow’s class. He looked at his timepiece and looked down at me with a curious gaze, “learnt your lesson, Mr. Malfoy?”

“Yes, Professor.” I said insistently.

“You’re free to go now. I will see you in class.”

“Yes, Professor,” I repeated halfway out of the door.

I raced to the owlery where I skidded to a sudden halt, slipping—but regaining myself at once—as my eyes fell upon Neville Longbottom. “You.” He said quite plainly.

“Yeah?” I asked insolently.

“I want you to leave her alone.”

“Look, I don’t give a damn about what you want.” I said half heartedly. I didn’t much feel like being intimidating or cruel or imposing. I clicked to Tybalt. He lighted upon my shoulder and snipped at my shoulder hood for the treats he deserved for having to remain in the owlery with all the other owls.

Neville took a step toward me looking a bit frightened as he did. “I know what you did, and you’re not going to do it again.”

“Neville, stay out of my business.” I said, “And don’t pretend you know a thing.”

“I saw it! I know what you’ve done!” My heart sank into the very bottom of my stomach.

“You what?” Had he been under the cloak with Ginny? My heart was thrumming in my ears and I wanted to shoot something, anything at him, but nothing came to mind except, “You—you what?”

“I saw what you did to Pansy,” he said, straightening up, noticing the effect his prior remarks had had on me. “And you are not going to do anything of the sort to Luna. So I’ll tell you again. Stay away from her.”

I shrugged, “Fine.”

Neville, naïve as he was wore a triumphant look as he threw one of the schools owls out of the window and left me standing there with Tybalt. I appeased my bird with his treats, then scrawled a post script on the note I had written last night.

Detentions are over, meet me as soon as you can. Please tell me that you are alright. I’ve missed you.
Ps. I’ll wait for you in the owlery right now. I’ll wait fifteen minutes. If you are busy or cannot get away send me an owl when you can.
I love you.

With the severity of Neville, I flung Tybalt out the window. He screeched angrily at me, and I just waited. I sat in a dropping free window frame, where the breeze lifted my hair and once even let chills ripple down my spine as I continuously checked my watch. It had been five minutes already and still she had not yet come. I thought back to the night I had been waiting outside for her, waiting with the flower… I had anxiously torn it to pieces.

There were footsteps on the stone stairs leading up to the owlery from the interior of the castle and to my dismay it was none other than Granger and Weasley (the lanky one). She was again grasping his hand with some anxiety as her eyes fell upon me and not only did he notice her tension, but I did as well. Hermione looked as if she were about to say something to me, something fierce, but Weasley leaned down and whispered in her ear, never taking his eyes off of me.

It was imposing, I have to admit. The Weasel had become more of his own man and less of the bumbling sidekick since he had taken up with Granger. It was true, I imagined, that women as courageous and strong change us for the better. (Was I calling Granger courageous and strong?) It almost made me smile, had it not been for the realization of how close I was to being knocked out of the window upon which I sat.

Granger proceeded to capture Weasley’s tiny and energetic owl, managing to affix a small parcel and letter onto its legs before it took of into the day. “You may be done with detentions, Malfoy,” Hermione began lifting her head with a burning gaze, but Ron stopped her.

“Come on, it’s really not worth it.”

I wanted to say something sarcastic. Something nasty to the boy who just saved me from a hell of a lot of trouble from Granger and possibly Potter, but my voice seemed to be absent.

It had been thirteen minutes and still Luna had not arrived. I was beginning to lose faith that she would. I stood up and gathered what feeling I had left within. I stared out the window for the remaining moments, feeling more dejected than I had in a long time. I turned to the stairs leading outside, and as I began to descend them staring sadly at my feet.

I reached the bottom when I walked right into someone. I walked right into her. Reflexively, I caught her about the waist, catching her before she fell.

It was then she did something unexpected.

Her eyes were swimming in tears. She looked up at me once more as though looking directly through me. She didn’t say a word as she cupped my face in her hands and kissed me. I felt her tears meet my lips. I tasted the salt in our kiss. She pulled away suddenly and shaking her head with trembling lips she took a pace back from me. I advanced, reaching for her.

And she hit me.

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