Disclaimer: Anything recognisable belongs to J.K. Rowling.
A/N: Written for a challenge at the hbp_ficafest community on LiveJournal. Huge thanks to my extremely busy beta, Mistral! Am considering donating a park bench or something in her name. :)
"Four hundred and fifty to a hundred and forty!" Ron yelled for the twelfth time. He was standing near Hermione, wearing an enormous grin and crumpled Quidditch robes, and was gazing at the silver Cup with a love-struck expression. Grinning, Dean poured himself a glass of pumpkin juice, shaking his head. Apparently unable to bear parting with the thing, Ron hadn't even bothered to change.
"Want us to leave you two alone, mate?" Dean heard Seamus ask with a snort, just as Ron raised the Cup and kissed it enthusiastically. Parvati, standing nearby, snickered behind her chocolate frog. Hermione just grinned, her cheeks red and her brown hair fluffed out above the Gryffindor scarf. She was watching Ron openly, eyes lit, and Dean instinctively looked around for Lavender. The last thing they needed was more wailing and hysterical mutterings about bloody "Won-won". The girl was doing his nut in.
A dark-haired girl pushed rudely by his elbow, sending a wave of pumpkin juice over his hand. Swearing, Dean grabbed a cloth and glared at her back. Impatience was coming off the fourth-year in waves. Romilda Something-or-other, he remembered. He eyed her thoughtfully. She reminded him of someone, didn't she?
"Where's Harry?" Romilda demanded belligerently of the entire room. Her voice was slightly nasal, her eyes greedy, and Dean was suddenly put forcibly in mind of Rita Skeeter.
"I don't think he's back yet," Parvati said, sighing and rolling her eyes. Romilda pursed her lips and heaved an enormous sigh, as if Harry had purposely sought a detention and missed his biggest match as Captain in order to vex her personally. Stomping ostentatiously toward the drinks table, she nearly knocked over Ginny but didn't stop to apologise. Dean swallowed as he watched his ex-girlfriend right herself and glance, taken aback, at the sulking Romilda. Unlike her brother, who was still fondly stroking the Cup with one hand, she'd showered and changed after the match, and her long red hair swung free about her shoulders. Rubbing the freckles on her nose, she cast a smiling look at Hermione and Ron, standing closer together than ever.
Dean stared into his glass of juice and wondered whether he ought to go over there. Okay, they hadn't been on the best of terms these last few months, and he was still a bit -- a lot -- bitter about being thrown off the team when he'd worked jolly hard for them, but...well, he'd missed her, hadn't he. Ginny was funny and very pretty...and she had amazingly long legs for someone so short. If she was prepared to admit that she often overreacted to things (the incident with the portrait hole being a shining example; excuse him for trying to be a bloody gentleman!) and that she was the one in the wrong, maybe they could give their relationship another go...
He should at least congratulate her on her performance today, anyway; she'd played brilliantly. The end of the match had been the most exciting to watch all season: Ginny had spotted the Snitch first, but Cho, taking advantage of a viciously-hit Bludger, had managed to dart ahead. For a short, horrible time, it had seemed as though victory was Cho's, and the crowds below had lost it, the protests just drowning out the cheers. Then, just before Cho could seize the moment, Ginny had come up from behind and closed sure fingers around the Snitch. The pitch had erupted in mixed glee and frustration, and Cho had been seen sporting the same expression that now seemed permanently seared to Romilda's face.
Dean watched Ginny approach her brother and say something to him, laughingly gesturing at the Cup. Ron tried to scowl at her, but the ecstatic grin wouldn't slip from his mouth. Ginny gave him a friendly shove to the shoulder and turned toward the food table. As she did so, her eyes caught Dean's, and she flushed a little, unable to hold his gaze. His lips tightened slightly. Yeah, well, she should be embarrassed, shouldn't she? Picking a fight with him over some stupid thing like that, when they'd been together for months...
Just then, the loud celebratory hum peaked into thrilled screams, and Dean glanced up to see a rather gormless-looking Harry, cobwebs caught liberally in his messy hair, being hauled inside. The other boy gaped at the joyful scene, blinking as Ron rushed to thrust the Cup in his face and bellow the score again. Harry all but ignored him, seemingly intent on scanning the room. His eyes focused on someone, a determined look appeared behind his glasses...and the bottom of Dean's stomach dropped out as Ginny Weasley scooted round Romilda's lustful smirk and flung herself into Potter's arms. Aware that it was his turn to imitate a stunned house-elf, Dean was nonetheless unable to look away. Feeling slightly sick, he watched as that...Potter unhesitatingly bent and pressed his lips to Ginny's. What could have been a quick, congratulatory, brotherly kiss was most definitely turning into something else. In fact, he rather thought Potter had forgotten there were other people in the room. As the shocking snog went on -- and on -- Dean vaguely heard the sound of shattering glass echo in the still room.
Finally, they pulled back from one another, Ginny's eyes wide and Potter's traitorous face flushed. Seamus broke the hush with the first wolf-whistle, and Dean glared at him ferociously. Parvati couldn't quite cover a giggle with her hand, and, beside her, Neville looked faintly surprised but not astounded. Ron, on the other hand, looked as if someone had taken to him with a Beater's bat. Dean couldn't help a rush of (admittedly nasty) glee as he waited for the inevitable explosion. Ron had been on his back constantly while he and Ginny were going out; it would be a hundred times worse when it was Ron's best mate with his lips all over his sister, his hands gently rubbing her upper arms. To Dean's amazement, and deep resentment, hypocritical git exchanged understanding look with two-faced prat, and that was that. He watched angrily as Potter looked back down at Ginny, a smarmy grin on his face, and jerked his head toward the portrait hole. They departed the lingering whistles and giggles, clutching one another's hands and gazing with fascinated eyes in a completely disgusting, unnecessary way. It seemed that Romilda agreed with him, he noted distractedly. Her sneer was about touching her hairline now.
As the portrait swung closed and he found himself, in a fit of fancy, wishing that the Fat Lady could give Potter a good boot up the bum as he passed, Dean became aware that his hand was wet. He looked down to see the pumpkin juice pooling at his feet, and scowled viciously. Bloody brilliant. Ignoring Seamus' sympathetic thump on his back and aware that he was being a complete masochist, Dean couldn't keep his feet from walking toward the common room windows. As he peered angrily at the grounds below, he didn't have to wait for long. Two figures appeared on the stone path and stopped, pressed closely together, their haste apparently forgotten away from the gossiping throngs. Ginny's glorious hair danced wildly in the wind, and the memory of its silkiness slipped through Dean's mind. His teeth gritted together as Potter's hands reached out to discover for themselves. Ginny tugged playfully on his school tie, and the prat kissed her again, lifting her slightly from the ground. Dean swore he could hear her laughter rise to touch the glass.
Scowling, he turned abruptly away. Well, bugger her then. Bugger them both. She'd eventually get tired of the attention-seeking tosser, anyway. Kicking at the ground with the toe of his trainer, he didn't hear the quiet tread of feet approaching him and consequently jumped at a sudden voice.
"You shouldn't be too upset," a blonde girl with wide, protruding eyes advised him calmly. "It was going to happen eventually."
Dean stared at Luna Lovegood in astonishment. What in the hell... "What?" he asked blankly.
"Ginny and Harry," she clarified, looking as if she thought him a tiny bit dim. "Meant to be. Didn't you know?" As if everyone knew.
"No," he retorted testily. "I didn't know. Seeing as how I went out with her most of the bloody year."
Luna nodded thoughtfully. "Yes, I know. And Ron dated Lavender Brown for most of the year, didn't he?"
Dean blinked. "Yeah. So?"
"Nothing," Luna replied airily. "I just enjoy the way things fit together. It's all part of a secret plot, you know. This has all been predetermined from the beginning."
"Has it," said Dean without enthusiasm, wishing she would go. In fact... "What are doing in here, anyway?" he asked, beyond caring about his rude tone. "This is the Gryffindor common room."
"Yes," Luna nodded. "It's very nice, isn't it? I like the fireplace," she said, looking at it approvingly. "There's a similar one at our underwater cottage in Little Plimpton," she confided. "That's where we set up base in the summer, to look for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks."
"Uh huh," he said flatly. "Shouldn't you be looking at the fireplaces in the Ravenclaw common room?"
"Fireplace," she corrected him cheerfully, "We only have one. And I'm here because Neville and Ginny invited me."
Dean frowned at the mention of her name. "I don't think that's allowed."
"Probably not," Luna said, contemplating the matter seriously. "But I don't think anybody's really noticed that I'm here." She seemed singularly unconcerned by that fact. Reaching out, she patted him vaguely on the arm. "Anyway, you seemed sad so I just thought I'd remind you that you did help Ginny in a way. If it hadn't been for you, I don't think she and Harry would appreciate what they've found nearly so much."
He blinked again. "Gee, Luna, thanks. I can't tell you how happy that makes me."
"And you're really quite nice, you know," she said, large eyes focusing on him in a sudden, discomforting perusal. "You'll find someone else."
Oh, Merlin... Dean eyed her warily. She didn't...fancy him, did she? Luna was a nice enough girl and all, but she was a bit, well...
"By the way, I noticed that you spilt your pumpkin juice on the floor. It was a good idea, but if you want to catch Wrackspurts, you have to throw butterbeer over your shoulder. I can show you if you like."
Barmy as a barn owl.
Seriously, he thought, disgruntled, can this day get any worse? First, he had to watch his dorm-mate slithering all over Ginny; then, when he found out someone else fancied him, it had to be Luna Lovegood.
"Oops, there's Neville. Never mind," she murmured absently, patting him again, "I'll help you another time."
Luna Lovegood -- who apparently preferred Neville Longbottom's company to his. Dean watched, half-sour and half-amused, as the blonde girl approached Neville and, ferreting around in her bag, produced something that looked like a large onion. She handed it to him triumphantly and was rewarded with a bemused smile.
Shaking his head, Dean threw himself down on a sofa and shut his eyes. Maybe he'd just sleep through the rest of this sod-awful day, before things did get worse. The cushion depressed a bit as someone dropped down beside him. A loud sigh preceded the angry, somewhat breathy voice.
"It's about time those two sorted things out, don't you think? I've known he fancied her for ages, of course. He was probably afraid of what Ron would say, but of course Won-won would never stand in the way of true love. It's only her that might have objected. She likes to ruin things for everyone. Look at her; she's staring at him again. She's so obvious... Friends. Please..."
Dean's eyes popped open, and he glared at the crack in the ceiling. Lavender's indignant monologue continued to drift about his ears.