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Chapter 10 : Realisation & Opportunity
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Realisation & Opportunity
Luna glared at Draco, “You little fibber.” She declared sticking her hands on her hips.
Draco couldn’t help himself, he burst out laughing at her statement, of all the things she could have called him a little fibber hadn’t even entered his head. “Sorry.” He managed to choke out when she pulled an I-wish-you-wouldn’t-laugh -at -a -time-like-this face at him.
“Really.” She muttered slipping her shoe back on.
“Sorry, Luna. But I didn’t expect that reaction from you,” He told her grinning and trying unsuccessfully to contain his laughter.
Luna allowed herself a smile and gave him a mock serious look. “But I was right wasn’t I? You are a little fibber.”
“Am I?” He wondered wiping at his eyes.
Luna nodded. ”Yes you most certainly are. Don’t think I don’t see what your doing, Draco Malfoy. You don’t want to take me to this Ball thing as a thank you, your just saying that because you know I wouldn’t turn around and say no. When really it’s just one big ploy to continue this game you’ve got going with your father. So you are a little fibber.”
Draco crossed the grass towards her grinning. “That’s partly true.” He admitted stopping in front of her. “But the other part is true as well, and I do think you’ll have a good time and I do want to take you as a thank you. You’ve done a lot for me and you said you wouldn’t take anything off me for helping me out so this is my way of saying thank you.”
Luna tilted her head slightly surveying him closely. “Your very sneaky.” She conceded at last.
“Yes.” She told him decisively. “You know how to wangle things to get your own way don’t you? But I’m not sure about this Ball thing. Don’t you think it’s a bit much letting everyone think we’re together? Plus you don’t know what your father might do.”
Draco considered her words carefully. She had a very valid point when it came to his father. He had wondered himself if Lucius had a hidden agenda in suggesting Luna come to the Ball as well. But he dismissed the thought almost at once. His father wouldn’t do anything to humiliate him in public that would ultimately mean humiliation for the Malfoy name and Lucius wouldn’t do anything to damage the Malfoy reputation.
He voiced his thoughts aloud to Luna and waited for her reaction. He figured she looked a little annoyed at his words.
Luna was annoyed, she felt Draco was going too far in trying to win over his father. She had been uncomfortable with the idea of lying to his parents in the first place but her pity for him and found herself saying she would come to dinner. But things had spiralled way out of control and she was now stuck sharing his room with him for two weeks and he wanted her to go out in public with him at an important event and pretend they were together.
Everything was snowballing and she was extremely uncomfortable with the whole thing. Being around Draco was affecting her in ways Luna hadn’t thought possible and is was extremely unsettling. “I don’t think it’s such a good idea, Draco.”
“Please?” His eyes took on a wide, innocent and hopeful look.
Luna sighed heavily, “Don’t look at me like that.” She snapped placing her hands back on her hips and glowering up at him. He looked so sweet, so approachable when he widened his eyes that way. When he pursed his lips in that pitiful way she had the urge to lean into him and kiss him.
Luna blinked rapidly, where in the name of Merlin had that though come from? Thoughts like these were dangerous, they could lead to untold complications and she couldn’t really afford to indulge in fantasy right now or she’d end up making a complete fool of herself.
“Like what?” He asked innocently. “I’m not doing anything.”
Luna frowned. “Your fibbing again.”
Draco shifted about from one foot to the other. “Oh come on, Luna, it’s just to say thank you.” He shot her a sneaky look. “You’ll hurt my feelings if you say no.”
“Oh!” She exclaimed crossly, her eyes widening with disbelief.
Draco grinned. “I feel a yes coming on.”
She jabbed a finger into his chest, “Your just…. Your so…..your…oh I don’t know what you are.” She threw her hands up in surrender. “Fine, if your going to be a worm about it I’ll go with you.”
Draco started to laugh again. “So let me get this straight, I’m a little fibbing worm?”
Luna nodded. “Exactly.” Somehow she managed to stifle her own giggles but her smile told him all he needed to know. She figured a worm was a very good description for him, he did worm didn’t he? He wormed his way around people to get what he wanted.
But what was even worse was that she was happy to let him. There were numerous reasons to back her up if she put her foot down and refused to go along with him, but Luna didn’t want to do that. Their “relationship” would be over soon enough when they returned to Hogwarts. Why hurry it’s demise? She liked spending time with Draco, probably a lot more than she bloody well should!
He considered for a few minutes. “I know, I’ll make you a proper offer shall I?” At the quizzical look she gave him Draco dropped down onto one knee dramatically making her laugh aloud. “Please go with me, Luna!”
“Oh all right. If you promise to stay right by me the whole night and not let me out of your sight for a second.”
Draco pressed his right hand to his heart and took her hand in his left. “I promise.”
Luna rolled her eyes smiling at him. She found herself thinking of how much nicer he looked when he wasn’t taking himself seriously. When he allowed himself to let go and have some fun he wore a carefree expression that somehow made him look even more irresistible than he usually did.
She had admitted to herself a while ago that if she had to pick one word to describe Draco she would have picked handsome. He was, there was no getting away from facts. And now having been so close to his parents she could see where he got his looks from, they were both very striking and Lucius was still attractive, Draco was a younger and slightly better looking version of his father.
It had frightened her when realisation had hit that she found herself attracted to Draco, and she had almost thrown the whole thing in and gone home; but she had found that she was drawn to him. She liked everything about him now that she’d had the chance to get to know him better.
“Actually, I do want something from you.” She said suddenly surprising him.
“What do you want?” He asked from his kneeling position.
“When we get back to Hogwarts I want us to still be friends.”
Draco smiled at her. “Of course we’ll be friends. You might not want to be around me for a while after spending all this time with me, but we will be friends. I don’t see how we couldn’t be friends.” He did a little mental dance of victory. Luna liked him, she considered him a friend now, half of his job was done all he had to do now was show her how good a boyfriend he would make to her.
He had plenty of time to do that, plus the Ball would give him the golden opportunity of showing how nice and attentive he could be. But, first things first, she would need something to wear wouldn’t she?
Standing up and brushing bits of grass from his knee he suggested, “Why don’t we go shopping? You’re going to need something for the Ball aren’t you?”
Luna looked alarmed. “Oh I didn’t think about that.” She admitted biting on her lower lip. “I can’t afford all those fancy dresses. Maybe Ginny or Hermione will have something I could borrow?”
Draco shrugged, “I’ll buy you something, anything you want. We’ll go out now and see if there’s anything around that you like.” He offered.
Luna’s face scrunched up in annoyance. “I’ve already told you that I don’t want your money, Draco.”
“I’m not offering you any money. I’m just offering to buy you something nice.” He tried to explain his actions to her without confessing to something that he shouldn’t and end up freaking her out.
Luna glared angrily at him. “I won’t show you up if that’s what your worried about.” She regretted her words as soon as they popped out of her mouth and she saw the wounded expression on his face. She’d upset him, she could tell, and she hadn’t meant to.
“Luna, that’s not what I meant.” Draco told her quietly. “I’m just trying to do something nice for you, like your doing for me and the only thing I can think of is to buy you something that you like.”
It hurt him that she had taken his attempt at doing something nice for her the wrong way. All he had ever wanted to do was be around her, spend time with her and give her everything she could possibly want. But he was now discovering that with Luna money wasn’t enough, money wasn’t the issue. She didn’t care how rich he was, she didn’t want his money, if he couldn’t win her over with money he wasn’t sure how else to go about it.
He had thought that buying her pretty and expensive things would show her that he thought she deserved all the fine things in life and ultimately that he cared about her. Why else would he shower her with gifts if he didn’t care?
Gifts, he had found out was not the way to Luna’s heart no matter how luxurious or expensive and he was at a loss for inspiration.
Luna sighed softly, “I’m sorry, Draco, I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t really mean it.” Smiling gently at him she took a step forward and tentatively slipped her arms around his waist in a hug.
Draco’s eyes closed briefly as his arms swiftly encircled her shoulders while he made a very conscious effort not to squeeze her but just hold her lightly against him, enjoying the feeling of being so close to her.
Still holding on to him she tilted her head back and smiled up at him. “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt if we went shopping and you bought me something would it?”
“No. It wouldn’t.” He replied throatily, although he was glad she didn’t seem to notice the sudden change to his voice.
“Come on. I have to change if we’re going out.” Luna let her arms drop from round his waist surprising him by catching his fingers lightly in her own and giving him a small tug forward.
Draco didn’t reply, he didn’t trust his voice to answer her. Instead he allowed himself to cautiously tighten his hold over her fingers as he walked with her into the house.
* * *
Lucius had been observing them from his bedroom window where he stood sipping at his brandy. A slow smirk crossed his lips. “Oh Draco, Draco, Draco.” He muttered taking a delicate sip of his drink. “Sometimes your just too easy.”
“What are you going on about now?” Narcissa asked, her forehead creasing slightly.
Lucius turned from the window, not because his wife had spoken but because he’d seen all that he needed to see. He had his new opportunity it didn’t matter what Draco and Luna did now.
“Nothing, Cissy. Do you want a drink?” He laughed when she groaned profoundly.
“I am never drinking again.” She informed him.
“You say that every single time, Cissy and before you know it your tipsy again.” Her husband told her smiling easily placing his glass on the bedside table and shrugging off his bathrobe.
Narcissa smiled leaning back into the pillows as her husband slid into bed beside her. “I’d forgotten how much adrenaline you get when your playing games.” She murmured when Lucius pressed his lips against her neck.
She felt him smirk against her skin. “You just wait and see how I am when I put my new plan into action. Draco’s good but he lacks the experience that I have.”
“What are you plotting now?” She demanded a little crossly.
“You want me to go into details now?” He asked her softly.
Narcissa let out a contented sigh when she felt his hands running over her body. “You dare and I might have to kill you.”
Lucius chuckled into her skin causing her to shiver intently.
He spared one fleeting thought for his son. Draco hadn’t checked himself, he had left himself open and vulnerable and had unknowingly given him the perfect advantage and opportunity to turn things around. Draoc had let his guard down once too often and Lucius, being able to read people the way he did now had all the information he needed and the perfect opportunity at his fingertips.
And when opportunity knocks, Lucius Malfoy was more than willing to open the door.
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