“Why are we here, again?”
Hermione rolled her eyes and, grinning, pulled at her husband’s hand.
“C’mon, Ron. Luna has been talking about this Christmas party for almost a year, now. ”
Ron looked up at the bright blue house and lowered his voice to a whisper.
“But don’t you remember the last time we ate at this place?” He shuddered.
“It’ll be different this time. Luna wasn’t married to Rolf then. You know, I hear he’s a great cook.”
“Of what, Freshwater Plimpy Soup?” Ron grumbled as Hermione knocked on the door. Luna opened it at once, beaming.
Harry, Ginny, Neville, Hannah, Rolf and Xenophilius were waiting for them around the table. Ron and Hermione slid into their seats and exchanged pleasantries (Ron, rather stiffly) with Luna’s father, while Luna disappeared into the kitchen.
When she returned, her arms were laden down with the most delicious smelling foods. Yams, turkey and stuffing, sprouts, salad, potatoes and gravy, rolls – Ron’s mouth started watering against his will.
“It looks fantastic, Luna,” Harry said, grinning. Ron stared at the food in awe. He was just reaching for a roll when Luna spoke.
“Oh, wait a moment, Ron. I’ve forgotten the Christmas pudding.” She headed toward the kitchen. Ron settled back in his chair, hands empty.
When Luna returned, everyone but her husband and her father (who was busy examining the tablecloth for who-knew-what, now) gawked at her. In her arms was the largest bowl any of them had ever seen. It seemed more appropriate for serving soup to Grawp than Christmas Pudding to them.
But it wasn’t the size of the bowl that held their attention, but the ghastly contents. It was filled to the brim with, what looked like, dusty brown gravel.
“I may have overcooked it,” Luna said, absently, as she placed the bowl on the table.
She began doling out the… Pudding
. Ron shrank in his chair as a large scoop of the stuff was plopped on his plate. Slowly, the people around him began helping themselves to the other foods on the table. After a moment or so, Ron sat up and grabbed the roll he had been after earlier.
Soon, on either side of him, Hermione and Harry tentatively began digging into their helpings of Christmas pudding. Ron, despite a dark look from Hermione, ate around his serving of gravel as nonchalantly as possible.
Luna, sitting at the head of the table, smiled serenely. “Aren’t you going to have any pudding, Ron? I made it.”
Ron looked up at Luna and gulped. She looked so hopeful, so childlike. He didn’t want to be rude…
“Of course, Luna. Leaving the best for last, you know.” And, picking up his fork, he lifted a bite of the stuff to his lips.
He could feel Hermione’s eyes on him. Trying not to grimace, he put the spoon in his mouth and swallowed the contents.
He was the last to recover from the three day bellyache.