Ginny blew out a long breath and rubbed her face. She had an exam in less than three hours and she was nowhere near ready. She heard an exasperated sigh from a study carrel a few feet down and another girl comforting the frustrated student.
Ginny leaned back to stretch and saw Luna, a girl from her class, being comforted by an older girl she recognized from around campus, but couldn’t remember her name.
“I’ll never get this right, Hermione. Why did I sign up for this class?” Luna grumbled.
“Because you thought it would be fun.” The other girl told her, moving a piece of hair from her face. “And because you needed a science credit.”
Luna leaned into her touch. “I should have listened to you when you told me otherwise.”
“And since when do you do what others tell you?”
Luna laughed and then she caught Ginny watching. “Hey, how are you doing with this mess?”
Ginny shrugged. “Failing miserably.”
“My girlfriend here took the class before. She’s trying to explain it, but I’m not getting it.”
Ginny gathered her things and moved closer. “I’m getting a few things, but I’m stuck.” She froze when Hermione gave her a once-over. “Hi. Ginny Weasley.” She held out her hand.
“Hermione Granger. You’re on the soccer team.” Hermione said as she shook the other girl’s hand.
“I am. And if I want to stay on, I have to pass this test.” She sat down on the other side of Hermione. “
They all three leaned over the books as Hermione explained the things they were both stuck on. By the time they had to go for the test, there was a better understanding. All three walked out of the library together.
Hermione squeezed Luna’s hand. “You’ll do great. I know you will.” She smiled at Ginny. “The both of you. And once you’re done with the exam, come to the café and I’ll pay for your coffees. You deserve it.”
Ginny smiled. “Thank you.”
“See you later, darling.” Luna said, kissing Hermione on the cheek.
During the exam, Ginny couldn’t stop her eyes wondering across the room to Luna. She didn’t realize that the other young woman had a girlfriend. All those months of crushing on the slightly eccentric girl were for nothing. Too bad. But at least they were sort of friends. That was a start.
She brought her exam to the front of the room just a few steps in front of Luna. She paused outside the class room and took out her book. She cursed softly to herself.
“Which one?” Luna asked from beside her.
Ginny pointed. “That one about the mating rituals of the praying mantis.”
“Yes, all the options were very much the same. It confused me as well. But I think I got everything else.”
“I don’t know if I did. And I’m not going to worry about it today.” She put the book back. “So what are you going to do now? Do you have another class or something?”
Luna shook her head. “We can go to the café where Hermione works for a while, if you’d like. She’ll give us free pastries. And she did promise to buy us a coffee.”
Ginny shrugged. “All right.”
“She and I live in a flat just off campus. Do you live here?”
Ginny nodded. “Yeah. Unfortunately. But the soccer scholarship pays for it.”
“That’s good. Do you want to drop off your things first?”
“Yeah, that would be great.” Ginny headed for the dorm. “How did you and Hermione meet?”
Luna smiled. “She was a teaching assistant in my very first class. I was hopelessly lost and she helped me sort some things out. We became friends. And then she invited me to an upperclassman party. I was the only freshman there and I felt so awkward. But she sat by me all night and then walked me home when I had had enough. And she kissed me on the doorstep.” Luna smiled nostalgically. “I never even realized I liked girls. I really had never found anyone attractive at that point. There were too many other things I liked to do. But a few days later, she asked me out and I said yes. We’ve been inseparable ever since.”
“That’s sweet.” Ginny opened the door to her room. “Please ignore the clutter. I am very bad at keeping clutter at bay when I study.”
“I have trouble all the time. Hermione and I fight about it quite a bit.”
Ginny chuckled. “But she must love you.”
Luna grinned. “She says she does.”
Ginny felt Luna watching her. She changed her wallet and keys from her messenger bag into a purse. She turned with a smile. “Ready.”
They chatted about the test they had just taken as they walked to the coffee shop. Hermione smiled at them as they walked in. She pointed to a set of chairs near the counter. The café was about half full.
“Your usual, Luna?” Hermione asked.
“And for you, Ginny?”
Ginny looked over the menu and then shrugged. “Just a regular coffee? Black?”
“I can do that.” She smiled and went to work on the order.
“Oh, and, my darling?” Luna leaned over the counter and pulled Hermione across it for a kiss. “In think I passed that exam and it’s all thanks to you.”
“It was all you, my love.” Hermione assured her. “Now let me make coffee for my girlfriend.”
“Yeah, you better.” Luna teased as she took a seat.
Ginny smiled. “You two are kind of cute.”
Luna giggled. “Thanks. She doesn’t think so half the time.”
“Well, you are.” Ginny sighed. “So jealous.”
Luna watched her in that same strange way she had earlier. What was she thinking?
Hermione brought over their drinks and sat down beside her girlfriend. “I have fifteen minutes. Talk to me.”
“About what?” Luna asked, draping an arm over Hermione’s shoulders.
“Anything. This mindless work is driving me batty.” She chuckled.
“Shouldn’t you have heard something by now?”
“It could be any day.”
Luna explained, “My amazingly intelligent girl over here is going to law school.”
Ginny smiled. “Wow. Really?”
“Well, I have to be accepted first.” Hermione said. “Luna just has a lot of faith in me. She has faith in everyone, though.”
Luna shrugged. “I can’t help it. I see the best in everyone. So do you. That’s why we work so well.”
“I don’t see the best in everyone.” Hermione argued. She squeezed Luna’s knee. “Just those that really matter.”
Luna kissed her girlfriend’s cheek. She whispered something in her ear and Hermione nodded.
Ginny and Luna spoke with her of the exam for a few minutes. Even though they said they weren’t going to worry about it, they both did. Ginny caught Hermione’s smile. It was very understanding.
“You’ll both do fine. It was a thing I had to learn the hard way.”
Luna added, “Yes. Stop worrying and move on. It’s already done.” She sighed.
Ginny said, “I do most of the time, but this one is important. I’m barely passing that class.”
“I’ll help you if you need.” Hermione offered. She looked at the clock on the wall and sighed. “I have to get back to work.”
“But what’s that that you always say? Hard work makes you better.” Luna gave her an encouraging smile. “And one of us has to pay the bills.”
Hermione chuckled. “Your silly little magazine is picking up steam. One of these days you’ll be famous.” She winked and hurried away.
“Magazine?” Ginny asked.
“I call it The Quibbler.” Luna pulled a homemade magazine out of her bag and moved closer to Ginny. “It’s got some updates on conspiracy theories I’ve been following. And people can submit essays and stuff for it. It’s kind of crazy, but I have fun putting it together. Hermione humors me mostly. She thinks it’s ridiculous.” She smiled. “But she also thinks it’s good to have something you’re passionate about.”
“Awesome. How much is it? I’ll buy a copy from you.”
“You don’t have to buy one. You can have this one.” She handed it over. Luna chewed her lip a moment and then asked, “Would you like to have dinner with us tonight? It’s my night to cook. I’m just baking some chicken. Mashed potatoes and a simple salad on the side. We aren’t too fancy.”
Ginny nodded. “All right. Sounds great.” She opened up the magazine and started skimming over the pages. “This seems really well put-together.”
“Thank you.” Luna said. “It’s something I’ve worked on for years. When Hermione and I started hanging out, she took over as editor and helped me out a lot. So it’s a bit of a labor of love for her. She wouldn’t do it otherwise. She thinks most of those theories are a little too out there.”
Ginny smiled. “Maybe, but you write so convincingly that I may believe it if I read farther.”
Luna nodded. “And if you have questions, just ask. Nothing seems too stupid. I promise. Most of that is kind of stupid on a ‘normal’ level.”
“You just see things differently.”
They talked for another couple hours, sipping their coffee and munching on the croissants and other things Hermione passed them.
Luna looked down at her phone. “I need to get home and start cooking.”
“So am I coming with you?” Ginny asked.
“If you want. Or you can stay and hang out if you’d rather. Hermione will bring you home with her.” Luna started gathering her things.
“No, I’ll come with you.”
“Sweetie, we’re leaving.” Luna said as she walked toward the counter.
Hermione nodded. “Okay, love. I should be done in an hour and a half.”
“Dinner will be waiting.” Luna assured her.
“It better be.” Hermione warned playfully. She walked off to take an order from a new patron.
As they walked over a few blocks to Hermione and Luna’s apartment, Luna looked to Ginny and asked, “Have you heard of polyamory?”
Ginny gave her a critical look. “I have.”
“Good.” She said nothing else.
Ginny asked, “Why did you ask that?”
“Well, I kind of like you. And I noticed you looking at me in class sometimes. I’m with Hermione and it’s a pretty solid thing there. But we’ve discussed dating someone else.”
“‘We’ as in one person dating both of you?”
Luna smiled. “Well, yes.”
Ginny cleared her throat. “So, you want to date me?”
“I do. Hermione and I have to actually talk about it. But would you be interested in something like that?”
“I’ve never dated anyone seriously in a singular relationship, so it’ll have to go pretty slowly with two people.” Ginny said uncertainly. “And I don’t know how I feel coming into an established relationship.”
“We don’t have to go beyond being friends if you don’t want to. But think about it. It could be lots of fun either way.”
Ginny nodded. “Okay.”