It was half past eight o'clock on the eve of Halloween when the unexpected owl tapped its beak against George's kitchen window. Feminine handwriting, he noted, as he opened the window and gave the bird a treat in exchange for the letter it carried. Interesting, he thought, reading:
Please bring an unenchanted pie pumpkin to my office's rear entrance around 9:30 p.m. As well, please carve off the pumpkin's top (cleaning it smooth), and scoop out all of its pulp (reserving the cleaned seeds and scraping the insides smooth) before you arrive.
P.S. I want the seeds, too.
George laughed. He'd seen a great deal of Luna in passing since she'd moved The Quibbler's offices to Diagon Alley, but he hadn't realised that their "relationship" had progressed to the pumpkin-bearing stage. But as it obviously had . . . .
Rap! Rap! Rap!
Pushing open the door, George found himself in another kitchen. There was no sign of Luna, but there were signs that someone had been preparing to cook a meal on the benchtop by the cooker.
"Planning to stuff a pumpkin, Luna?" he called, placing the pie pumpkin and seeds down next to the other ingredients.
"Well, no. You'll be doing that," she said, appearing in the doorway, "but then I thought we might eat something." She grinned.
George's mouth fell open. Luna was wearing a sheer orange puff of a gown with a black silkscreeneded face strategically placed over her bits. Completing her ensemble was a bestalked cap from which leafy vines hung.
Luna spun, giving George a brief glimpse of her arse. "I make a good pumpkin, yes?"
"Unquestionably—best one I've seen in ages." George swallowed. "When you said I was going to, er, 'stuff a pumpkin', did you mean—"
"Sex," Luna interrupted. "I thought you might enjoy stuffing me." She moved to stand as close to him as her costume would allow. "Of course, if you'd rather I do the stuffing, I know a charm for that."
George's mouth fell open.
"You seem confused, George," said Luna, bumping him with her pumpkin belly. "Most men I know respond to an offer of sex when it's put to them."
She bumped him again and laughed. "They don't matter. It's you I want to have sex with."
Thoroughly gobsmacked, George said, "Oh."
Luna's face fell. "You don't want to have sex with me."
"I didn't say tha—"
"Don't worry. You're still invited to dinner. You d—did bring the p—pie pumpkin, after all."
Oh, crap. I've made her cry. "Luna, I don't want din—"
"May I at least have the pumpkin?" she interrupted, opening the kitchen door.
Without thinking, George stepped through it. "Of cour—"
"Fuck. How did I manage to cock things up so badly without even trying?"
As he walked away, George was so upset to have hurt Luna's feelings that he didn't notice the pair of Extendable Ears that was being reeled back up into the air from Luna's open rear window.