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Chapter 11 : Sore Feet
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Luna had been at Malfoy Manor for over a week; she had four days left to get through plus the Ministry Summer Ball that was taking place tomorrow night. After his initial shocking behaviour Lucius had seemed to calm down and had satisfied himself with little digs here and there. He hadn’t thrown anything else horrendous at them preferring instead to drop little hints about activities behind closed doors taking great delight in their obvious embarrassment.
Cissy was different, Luna liked her a lot. She included Luna in anything she decided to do that day seeming to enjoy having female company for a change. Luna had learnt a lot from just watching the way Cissy composed herself, the way she spoke and handled her husband. To Luna’s mind Narcissa Malfoy was what she would call a lady. And Cissy for her part was happy to help Luna improve herself.
It was early afternoon when Luna arrived back at the Manor with Cissy after a day of pampering at her favourite spa in Paris. It amazed Luna that Cissy could just wake up in the morning and decided she fancied going to Paris and then just go. That was the sort of person she was, if she felt like doing something then Cissy did it.
Luna wished that sometimes she could be like Cissy, that she could have her freedom. True, Lucius knew exactly where she was at all times of the day and night but he didn’t control her. Cissy did what she wanted to do, so long as she informed her husband he didn’t seem to mind. Cissy didn’t just have freedom in her life but she had the freedom to do absolutely anything, her wealth gave her the freedom.
She bought anything she fancied without looking at the price tag and Luna had been extremely uncomfortable when Cissy had forced her into buying any little thing she looked at out of Draco’s money. His mother had informed her that Draco could afford it and he liked to spend money so why shouldn’t she spend it for him? There was always more were that came from.
Lucius had been coming from his study when they had arrived back at the house via the floo network and he had eyed their bags suspiciously before becoming rather awkward when a slightly tipsy Narcissa, Luna had discovered that Cissy took any opportunity that she could to drink champagne, had informed him she had been shopping at his favourite lingerie shop and he would get his monies worth.
Luna had hurriedly excused herself and disappeared up the stairs to go to Draco’s room. She was loaded down with shopping bags and she felt a little sad that she would be unable to keep the things she had bought; but at least she’d had the opportunity of owning them for a little while even if she didn’t get to wear them. Draco couldn’t return any clothes she had worn could he? But it would be nice to look at them and know that they were hers for now. She hadn’t ever owned anything so beautiful and expensive before.
Draco was lying out on his stomach on his bed reading when she came through the door. He grinned at the sight of her shopping bags. “Productive day?”
Luna rolled her eyes, “I like shopping as much as the next girl but your mothers in a whole other league to me.” She informed him crossing the room and dumping her bags on the sofa. “All your receipts are still in the bags so you can return them. My feet hurt.” She complained taking her shoes off and rubbing at her feet.
Draco frowned. “Why would I want to return them?”
Luna shifted uneasily. “Well, I sort of bought them with your money.” She admitted. “But your mother made me.” She added hastily.
He laughed closing his book and swinging himself off the bed. “It doesn’t matter. You can keep them.”
She frowned at him, “I can’t afford them.”
Draco sighed inwardly as he crossed the room towards her, she was wearing that stubborn expression that she always wore when he was trying to do something nice for her and she would insist on taking it the wrong way. “I’ve already bought them now, and my mother would die of shame if she had to return all of those. There’s not much else to do about them is there? You’ll have to keep them.”
The creases in her forehead deepened as she surveyed his innocent expression, the expression she knew meant that he was as innocent as the devil! She knew him well enough now to know when he was up to something, when he was trying to push her into doing something she didn’t really want to do. Luna jabbed a finger at him her tone accusing, “Your worming again.”
Draco nodded. “Yes I am. Is it working?”
He couldn’t stop himself smiling at her. Since the day by the waterfall where she had called him a little fibber and a worm he had found himself falling for her even more. The expressions she used when she was accusing him only made him laugh and endeared her to him even more. She regularly accused him of “worming” when he was trying to talk her around on something, more often than not he managed to succeed which he had come to notice half annoyed her and half pleased her.
He knew she was comfortable around him now, she spent nearly every waking moment in his company and she was extremely relaxed with him. She told him stories and would absently touch him when she spoke. He found she would automatically brush out the wrinkles in his top or flick his hair out of his eyes as though she had been doing that same thing for years.
But his favourite thing was when he made her laugh, really made her laugh, she would look so happy, her eyes would sparkle with amusement and she would more often that not end up hugging him. She always linked onto his arm whenever they walked anywhere even when it was just down to the dinning room and Draco was happiest when she was close to him and touching him.
He had been more than happy to admit to himself that he no longer just liked Luna. He had fallen so totally and completely for her that it scared him. He was worried she was going to figure out how he really felt and she would be mad at him for tricking her, for trying to worm his way into her affections. This was worming he was desperately trying to achieve and he was unsure how far along he was.
If she had started to feel something for him Luna didn’t give anything away which made things very difficult for him. Luna was the one thing his money or the Malfoy name couldn’t get him, when he slept near her knowing she was curled up in his bed his body ached for her, ached to just hold her close to him; but he knew he couldn’t until he saw some spark from her that spoke of something other than friendly feelings.
Luna sighed heavily pushing her hair out of her face, the wrinkles in her forehead disappearing. “If your going to worm there’s no point in my arguing with you is there? You always end up winning somehow.” She wiggled her feet back into her shoes. “And I’m not sure exactly how you do it.” She added, sounding so genuinely miffed that he started laughing.
“I’m a Slytherin, we’re good at worming, as you put it. So? What did you buy?”
Luna’s face lit up at his words and she hopped on the spot wincing suddenly at the pain in her feet. “I forgot, I got you something.”
Draco’s eyebrows raised in surprise. “You did?”
She glanced over her shoulder at him, “Why not?”
“Well, I would have thought you were having so much fun shopping that I wouldn’t have entered into your head.” He replied slyly.
Luna giggled, “Well you did.” Luna though it was best that she didn’t mention that she thought about him much more that she should. “You popped up as soon as I saw it, I thought of you straight away.” She told him rummaging round in her bags. “You know, I like your mother and everything but does she tell everyone personal details about her life?”
Draco made a quizzical face. “I don’t follow.”
Luna flushed a little, “About her and your father….”
“Don’t tell me!” He yelled, covering his ears a horrified expression crossing his face.
Luna laughed curling her fingers round his wrist and pulling his hand from his ear, “I wasn’t going to tell you anything. I was just wondering. All that aside I like your mother, she’s lots of fun.”
Draco didn’t reply, he was busy trying to make sure his erratically beating pulse didn’t escape from beneath his skin. His skin tingled the same way every time she touched him and each time she did he had to fight himself to keep his arms at his side.
Draco knew her habits by now and as he expected her fingers released his wrist to slide over his hands and hook her fingers round his while she chattered on at him. He closed his eyes briefly, not telling Luna the truth was slowly killing him but he had to be patient for another few days. Only at the end of the two weeks could he risk the chance of telling her. If he confessed before then she could leave and he didn’t want her to leave, and it was only a tiny bit to do with his father. Mostly it was because he wanted Luna around him all the time.
Luna swallowed nervously at the heat in her fingertips. It was the same whenever she touched him. Sharp shocks of electrical heat would spear up her arm and turn her mind to mush. It became rather difficult to keep hold of her train of thought when she touched Draco; but Luna couldn’t help herself reaching for him when the opportunity presented itself. His skin was always so smooth, so warm beneath her hand she had the strongest urge to hold him tightly and never let him go.
“Here it is. I saw it and thought of you.” Taking a steadying breath she turned back to face him handing him a small box.
He took the small package from her regretfully releasing her fingers so that he could open it. She was watching him anxiously biting her bottom lip as she usually did when she was nervous. She was worried he wouldn’t like it he could tell, if he didn’t like it he would never show her that, even if he hated it he would love it at the same time because it came from her.
He untied the black ribbon around the small red box excitement building in him, he wondered what she could possibly have seen that would make her think of him? His eyes widened in surprise, this he had not been expecting. He would never have guessed that Luna would buy him something like this; a small silver serpent pin sat on a bed of red silk with an emerald glistening for an eye. This wouldn’t have come cheap he knew that, this would have cost her much more than the dress for the Ball he had bought for her a few days ago.
“You don’t like it?” She questioned worriedly.
“Of course I like it, what’s not to like? Luna, it’s very…”
“Slytherin.” She finished for him.
“Yes, very Slytherin.” He agreed taking the pin out of the box and examining it closely.
Luna smiled happily, “Besides, it was the closest thing I could find to a worm.”
Draco laughed his eyes soft when he looked at her. “Thanks, Luna.” Hesitantly he reached out to hug her.
Luna easily hugged him round the waist, “Your welcome, Draco.” She stayed against him for a while listening to the steady sound of his breathing while he inspected her present. It had been extremely expensive, in fact it was the most expensive thing she had ever bought, but she had thought of Draco as soon as she saw it and had thought he would like it. She was glad that he did. She’d had a good time staying with him the last week now that Lucius had backed off from them, and she had wanted to get him something that would remind him once they got back to school that they were friends.
“This must have cost a bit.” He said after a few minutes silence.
Luna shrugged in his arms, “It doesn’t matter does it?”
“Well you didn’t want me to buy you a dress for the Ball and you didn’t want to keep any of the stuff you bought today and then you turn up with something like this. I don’t get it?” Draco admitted.
“It’s sort of in exchange for the dress.” She told him leaving his side and moving towards his walk in wardrobe where her dress for the Ball was hanging up where she could look at and touch it every now and again to make sure it was there.
It had taken a lot of doing on Draco’s part to get her to agree to him buying it for her, and he was glad he had persisted. The enjoyment she got from just looking at the dress made him happy, and he was glad that he had finally done something to make her happy.
“I didn’t want anything in exchange for the dress, the dress was a thank you remember?”
Luna shot a look at him over her shoulder, “I know, but I thought the pin was very you.”
Draco sighed softly, “It is, it’s great. Thanks, Luna.” He replaced the pin back in the box. “I can wear it tomorrow night can’t I?”
“Yes, it’ll be nice with your dress robes.” She agreed closing the door to the wardrobe. “I’m going to take a bath.”
Draco bit the inside of his mouth to keep his groan of frustration quiet and just nodded at her. As soon as she was inside the bathroom he released his pent up groan and kicked the side of the sofa petulantly. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep his secret to himself. Not knowing how she was feeling was driving him mad.
He slouched down in the corner of the sofa his eyes on the bathroom door wishing he had the power to see through it for just a minute. Sighing heavily he allowed his imagination to wander.
* * *
After dinner Draco and Luna had gone straight back to his room, she had been trying to stop herself yawning all through dinner and her eyes had been drooping. She’d been leaning on him up and down the stairs her feet were still hurting from shopping with his mother.
He was at this moment sitting on the one end of the sofa with her feet in his lap as she stretched out across the seat while she slept. He’d been in the middle of a story when he realised that she had fallen asleep.
Draco smiled softly at her, she looked like a peaceful angel when she slept with her hair puffed around her head like a halo. He noticed the skin on her feet was still slightly red, gingerly he took her tiny foot in his hands and gently began to knead the soreness of her muscles; his eyes watching her face carefully for any sign that she might wake and become uncomfortable.
He heard her sigh contentedly when he switched feet and she wiggled a little in her sleep. Draco grinned to himself, everything about Luna was in perfect proportion, she was small in build and she had tiny hands and feet that reminded him of a doll. Her eyes however weren’t on the small side but they seemed to suit her, he had noticed that at any time of the day or night they held the same dreamy look that sent shivers down his spine.
Draco froze, his eyes coming back into focus at the soft satisfied sound that came from her. He let out a sigh of relief when he realised she was still asleep. Carefully he placed her foot back in his lap. He didn’t want to run the risk of waking her and being caught massaging her feet.
Running a hand through his hair with aggravation he watched as her one foot curled at the toes and ran the length of her calf to her knee.
“Humm, Draco.” She murmured faintly.
Draco’s eyebrows shot up, a tiny burning flame of hope alighting in his stomach. “Yes, Luna?” He held his breath waiting for her reply. He had to bite his lip to keep his shout of triumph from escaping his lips. She was dreaming about him, Luna was dreaming about him!
“Draco.” Luna breathed softly wiggling slightly, her hand running weakly through the ends of her hair.
Draco just sat quietly watching her, his fingers flexing over the arm of the sofa willing himself to keep his hands away from her. “Oh, Luna.” He groaned quietly closing his eyes with frustration, she was going to kill him.
Very slowly Luna was going to kill him.
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