Chapter 5 : Pleasant Plots
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Narcissca yawned widely, “Excuse me, I’m so tired I think I’ll go on up to bed. Good night everyone.” She stood up smiling easily at Luna and planting a light kiss on Draco’s cheek as she passed him to go to the door.
“I’ll be up shortly.” Lucius told her, swirling the remaining liquid around the bottom of his glass.
Luna eased herself slowly into the seat that Draco held out for her. She watched Lucius warily, she couldn’t help it; Lucius had a sort of aura about him that spoke of unhidden authority and confidence. She had a strong sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach that Lucius wasn’t a man who gave up easily and he was not a man to mess with.
Draco was smart and he was sneaky; she knew that from his various altercations with Harry, but did he have the astuteness to take on his father and actually win? She was willing to help him, willing to create a lie for him; but she still thought it would be best if he came clean with his father. She knew enough about Draco to know that dealing with humiliation was not one of his strong points, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going to go wrong and either leave him extremely red faced or leave the two of them in one big mess.
Lucius smirked to himself; his sons face was smooth and devoid of expression, he was acting the closed book as he himself had taught him to do; but there was nothing Draco could do to hide the tension in the room.
The air was thick with it, it was as obvious as a ten foot wall. Lucius however was nice and relaxed. He could feel the muscles in his shoulders begin to ease after their initial stiffening from the shock of Luna’s agreement of actually staying at the Manor. Having Luna around could be fun, he could have a lot of fun with these two. He would enjoy placing them in difficult situations and watching his son try to scrabble his way out of them.
“Well, good night you two,” He said tipping the remaining contents of his glass down his throat. “Don’t stay up too late Draco, the Manor can get quite chilly at night.”
“Good night father.”
“Good night, Mr Malfoy.” Luna whispered, feeling herself relaxing knowing that he was going to be leaving the room.
Once Lucius had closed the door softly behind him and Draco had heard his footsteps moving away from them he let out a huge sigh and flopped into the chair next to Luna. “I guess Mika won’t be too long with your things.” He muttered quietly.
“No I suppose not.” Luna replied nervously, her fingers entwining together and fiddling with the ring that sat on her middle finger.
Draco cleared his throat and shifted in his seat, he couldn’t think of anything to say to her. After all the stress of the evening they were now sitting in a newly calm atmosphere with the underlying pressure of the situation bubbling precariously close to the surface. Draco knew something was bound to come their way; something horrible and horrendous that he would have to tell even more lies to cover, but he knew he would do it.
Draco knew that no matter what his father would say, no matter how many snide comments and tricks came from him to try to trip them up he wouldn’t cave. He would stand his ground and do whatever it took to keep the upper hand. It was even more important now than any other competition he had been involved in with his father.
This time Luna was here, she was sitting with him in his house, she was going to be staying with him for two whole weeks; Draco wasn’t going to give up on this little lie he had created. His lie had brought him Luna and for that reason only he was going to do everything in his power to keep it going.
“Are you worried?” She wondered, idly playing with her necklace.
“Yes, but I think we’ll be ok.” He replied quietly, his grey eyes locking themselves around her throat where her necklace moved against the skin. “What happened to your usual necklace?”
Luna sighed, “I left it at home. I didn’t think it was the kind of thing that would make the right impression with someone like your father.”
Draco flushed a little at her honesty. “I guess not.” He agreed feebly.
“I won’t mention The Quibbler, Draco. I know what people think of the magazine and I would guess your father is one of those who doesn’t believe.” Luna told him softly.
He flushed again. Luna had a nasty habit of speaking the truth and the truth made him feel extremely uncomfortable. He didn’t care if she talked about The Quibbler and all of it's creatures; but he knew what his father would say, the comments he would make and he was glad that Luna could see that for herself without him having to bring it up.
The last thing Draco wanted was to ask Luna to be someone she wasn’t. He liked her as she was, he found her incredibly creative and wonderfully weird, but he knew there were many who did not share his opinion.
“No, father doesn’t believe.” He agreed, running a hand through his already messy hair.
“Do you believe, Draco?”
Draco glanced back up at her, “I could believe. If there was something worth believing in.” He told her after a few minutes thoughtful silence. The truth was he didn’t believe in The Quibbler, he never would. But it was a part of Luna and he was happy to fake a belief if it would make her happy or more comfortable with him.
Luna smiled and covered her mouth as she yawned widely. “Good answer.”
He grinned easily, “Tired?”
“Yes, I’m exhausted, it’s been a bit of a stressful night. “
“Come on, I’ll show you to your room.” He stood up and she followed suit rubbing at her forehead and trying to stifle another yawn.
Luna’s eyes darted around madly as she walked with him up the stairs and down the dimly lit corridor. “How big is your house exactly?”
“Fairly big. I’ll take you on a tour tomorrow if you like. I live in the West Wing and my parents rooms are in the East Wing.” He explained, using his arms to motion to the relevant Wings.
“You have an entire wing to yourself?” She looked suitably impressed at this statement and Draco was happy to have impressed her at last. His wealth usually did the trick with everyone else, but Luna wasn’t like anyone else, she was special; at least to him.
“Yeah I do. Apparently I was a noisy kid so my mother shoved me in the opposite wing where I could run around and make as much noise as I wanted to without giving her a headache.”
Luna laughed, seeing in her minds eye a mini Draco running through the rooms she was walking by yelling and shouting as he played his games. “Are there any pictures around of you as a child?”
“None that you're going to see.” He informed her firmly, which just made her laugh harder.
“I bet your mother would show me if I asked her.” She teased prodding him in the arm.
Draco groaned and rolled his eyes, “She most probably would. In here.” He opened the door for her and she walked into the room.
Luna gasped in surprise, the room was almost three times as big as her bedroom at home. A large four poster bed stood against the wall with red and white sheets and red silk curtains. French doors directly opposite her led out onto a small balcony and gave her a lovely view of the gardens below. The polished surfaces of the table tops and the tops of the draws shone like glass in the light from the moon and a fire roared in the grate.
“It’s beautiful, Draco.” She whispered gazing around her in awe.
“You like it?”
“Oh yes, what’s not to like?” She moved towards the windows and peered out into the darkness. “I’ll have a lovely view in the morning.”
“Most views around the house are good,” He smiled easily at seeing Luna standing amongst all the luxury and finery the Manor had to offer. To his mind she should be here all the time, enjoying the good things from life. He hoped that by the end of the two weeks he would be able to show her that she deserved to have nice things and of course be with him.
“Your bathroom is through that door there,” He indicated a door to his left. “And my room is just here.”
Luna came back to him and peeked around the door frame to the right where he was pointing. “That first door?”
Draco nodded, “Yeah, that’s me. I’ll be close by.”
Luna wasn’t totally sure how she felt about having Draco so close to her. On the one hand being in unfamiliar surroundings it was nice to know he was near by, someone she knew, someone familiar. But on the other hand it was Draco Malfoy and he was very close by; for some unexplainable reason it made her slightly nervous.
“Luna, I really appreciate you offering to do this for me.” He told her throatily. She was close to him, so close he could smell her shampoo underneath the subtle hint of perfume. He could feel his breath starting to clog in his throat at the knowledge that she would be here all night; close to him.
“You're welcome, Draco.” Luna glanced up at him, she was surprised to find a strange look in his eyes as he stared down at her. She hadn’t had anyone look at her like that before and she wasn’t sure what it meant, if it was good or bad.
“Night, Luna.” Draco said suddenly. He had to leave, he had to walk away now and go and lock himself in his bedroom where he would be safe from the soft, sweet look on her face.
“Oh, good night, Draco. I’ll see you in the morning. Pleasant dreams.” Luna smiled and backed into the room closing the door gently behind her.
Draco stalked to his room with frustrated strides, he didn’t release his troubled groan until he was safe in the confines of his room. He would see her in the morning, she would be there with him all day and the thought gave him a warm feeling all over his body.
But pleasant dreams? Of everything she could have said why had she said that? He knew exactly what he was going to dream about tonight and it would just drive him even crazier than he was already!
Sleep crept very slowly over Lucius, he always found it difficult to sleep when he was plotting; but once the plot was sorted in his head he slept like a baby. There was nothing that could send him into such a restful sleep as a well thought out plan that was as smooth as glass and would go off without a hitch.
His new plan was going to be just like that. Lucius smirked, Draco’s face would be a picture when he dumped this on him tomorrow morning. Or maybe he would wait until the afternoon? Yes, he decided to wait until the afternoon when Draco and been lulled into a false sense of security, then he would pounce.
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