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Chapter 12 : Lucius' New Plan
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Lucius’ New Plan
Draco titled his head to the side and smiled softly at Luna’s sleeping form, should he stay exactly where he was and allow her sleep to go undisturbed? That way he could keep her close to him all night.
She muttered something under her breath and stretched out, her back arching off the sofa like a cat stretching in the sun.
No, Draco thought, he’d be better off moving her away from him. She’d drive him mad if he had to endure this wiggling all night!
Carefully he eased himself up and knelt beside the sofa. His arms slipped beneath her warm body and gently lifted her against his chest.
He crossed the room, balancing himself on his knees he deposited her in the middle of the bed with great care not to wake her. She sighed softly and yawned a little but she didn’t wake. An indulgent smile twitched at his lips as he knelt next to her and he flicked a stray strand of hair from her cheek.
Luna murmured again and shifted position rolling onto her side. Her one hand fell from her body and her fingertips rested over his knuckles. Wincing in worry that she would wake and find him staring at her Draco grudgingly attempted to pull his hand from beneath hers. His breath caught in his throat when the small, delicate fingers curled through his and held him firmly in her grasp.
Draco’s grey eyes darted around the room wildly, looking for inspiration to get him out of this situation. He didn’t want to move away from her, but he couldn’t very well stay like this all night either could he? Biting his lower lip distractedly he tried to clear his mind; tried to draw his thoughts away from the tingling in his blood that came from her touch, and the overwhelming urge he had to wrap her up in his arms and keep her close to him, breathing in the scent of her hair.
Suddenly Luna shifted position again, she moved backwards, twisting on to her other side her fingers still curled through his own and therefore pulling him with her.
It was an extremely weak excuse and Draco knew that, but he allowed himself to be pulled, telling himself that he couldn’t disentangle himself without waking her. Waking her could result in embarrassing her and he wouldn’t want to do that.
He settled himself on his side next to her, as close as he dared go. Sighing heavily he curled his free hand into a determined fist and kept it gripping hold of the bed sheet. This was not exactly how he had envisaged sharing a bed with Luna, but it was as good as he was going to get for the time being.
Draco wasn’t complaining though, he was happy to have an opportunity to stay close to her. Closing his eyes he breathed deeply the smell of her hair and the scent of her perfume. Always fresh and clean, nothing to heavy or overwhelming for Luna, she liked subtle scents.
His eyes flew open and a patch of guilty red stained his cheeks, “sorry, I… I brought you here to… no, I mean I took you to bed …. No, I don‘t mean….” he paused when he realised Luna wasn’t listening to him. She wasn’t even speaking to him, she was still dreaming.
Draco let out a breath of relief to discover that his presence next to her in bed was as yet undetected. This was a very dangerous game he was playing, he could ruin everything if she woke to find him there. He felt the pressure lift off his fingers and his lips automatically sat in a pout that she had released him. Now he didn’t have a valid reason for staying where he was, but he left his arm lying over her waist; just for a few minutes more, he told himself.
Luna twisted again and Draco’s eyebrow quirked, she certainly wiggled a lot when she was asleep. The amusement faded quickly from his face when he realised she was moving closer to him. Her body inched closer and closer to his own until she was right next to him, nestled quite comfortably in the crook of his arm.
Panic engulfed him and his heart beat quickened. What did he do now? This was all his own fault, he had insisted on staying when he should have moved. Now he was stuck!
Ordering himself to calm down Draco took a deep steadying breath, all he had to do was gently roll her the other way, no need to break out in a sweat over it.
Luna however seemed to want to spoil his plans and push him completely over the edge. Her free arm crept around his waist and she breathed deeply, pressing herself closer to him. Her voice was soft, dreamy and contented when she whispered his named again, a lazy smile briefly crossing her lips.
Draco groaned in despair. He had to stay exactly where he was until she moved and that was not as great as he had first though it would be. He was totally and utterly aware of her body moulding to his own, how long would it be before she was aware of him?
What would she say when she woke to find him there with her?
* * *
Later the following day Luna stood before Draco’s full length mirror examining her reflection critically, she looked ok, in fact she looked better than ok, she hadn’t looked so good before. But Luna wasn’t happy with how she looked, she felt she lacked something, something that gave her a little extra sparkle.
Maybe Draco would have an idea of what was missing, after all, he attended these kind of affairs all the time didn’t he? He might be able to shed some light on the subject.
Luna frowned at herself, she should have asked Narcissa earlier. She’d had plenty of time to talk things through with Cissy and she had given Luna lots of tips and advice on getting through the evening. She’d hardly seen Draco all day, today was the day she spent all her time with Cissy for yet more pampering in Paris spa’s plus lots of one on one time with expert stylists in top salons. It had amazed Luna the lengths that Cissy went to and the money she spent on her appearance to look absolutely perfect.
She sighed heavily as she surveyed her reflection again, she loved the dress and was glad she had allowed Draco to buy it for her. The pale blue silk had threads of silver running through it that made it shimmer and shine when the light hit it at certain angles. It was an off the shoulder dress and with her hair piled up on top of her head in riotous curls her neck, shoulders and chest were on display which made Luna slightly self-conscious; but there wasn’t much she could do about that now.
A small frown creased her forehead, what would Draco think when he looked at her? Would he see her as just plain Loony Lovegood or would he see someone different? Pressing her hand to her stomach Luna tried to stop her muscles quivering; she had no right to be hoping for things like that from him. She was here trying to help him, not make her own life even more complicated than it already was.
But she couldn’t help it. She couldn’t help the way her stomach swooped when he laughed, the way her blood rushed in her veins to thunder in her ears whenever his hand touched her bare skin. She couldn’t be held responsible for the way her senses went into overload whenever he was close to her.
It wasn’t her fault that she had fallen asleep last night dreaming about him. Luna had done everything she could think of to stop him invading her dreams; but it hadn’t worked. Those smoky grey eyes haunted her, his lean, athletic frame sent her mind into a whirl as she allowed herself to imagine, just for a little while; what he would look like without his shirt covering the muscles she knew rippled beneath the cool silk.
Her eyes fluttered to the corner of the mirror when she heard the door open and spotted Draco coming into the room.
“Hey, Luna are you…..” Draco trailed off in mid sentence, stopping in mid-step to stare open mouthed at her.
She turned to face him twisting her fingers together nervously, her wide eyes took on a hint of panic at the shock on his face. She’d known something wasn’t right with her and obviously Draco saw it too, if he told her what it was perhaps she could fix it before they had to leave. “What? What’s the matter?” She stammered anxiously.
Draco blinked rapidly trying to rid his eyes of the hungry look he was sure was swimming there. “Um, nothing. There’s absolutely nothing the matter.”
“You’re looking at me rather strangely. If you tell me what’s wrong I can fix it.”
He moved towards her slowly, drinking in every tiny detail about her, from the delicate curls of her hair, to the deep blue eyes that seemed even bluer from the colour of her dress. His eyes trailed the graceful line of her neck over the smoothness of her bare shoulders, over the gentle swelling of her breasts and down the soft curves of her body.
He would never tire of looking at her, to him she was perfect the way she was. And he now knew how it felt to have her pressed close to him, to hold her against him all night when she slept. Luna however remained as unaware of his presence in bed with her as she had during the night. He had managed to untangle himself from her arms in the early hours of the morning and regretfully crept back to the cold, lonely sofa.
“Wrong? Nothings wrong, you look perfect, Luna.” He whispered, gazing longingly at her.
He saw her breathe out and relief cross her face, although her cheeks stained a pretty shade of pink at his words. Or perhaps it was his intent stare, Draco wasn’t totally sure.
“I had the feeling something was missing.” She told him, turning back to the mirror to examine herself again.
Draco frowned moving to stand beside her. “I don’t think anything’s missing.”
Luna shrugged smiling up at him easily, “Perhaps it was just you then,” she suggested, tilting her head and surveying their mirror images.
“Just me.” He agreed quietly, liking the way they seemed to fit together. “Oh, my mother said you might want to borrow this.” He opened a box for her to see the string of diamonds sitting inside.
“Oh yes please. We agreed my chest might look a little bare.” Luna explained. “Will you put them on for me?”
Draco silently told himself her chest was most definitely not too bare, at least not for him, but he didn’t like the idea of anyone else examining Luna’s chest either. Carefully he clipped the necklace round her neck. “My mother also asked if you had borrowed her engagement ring?”
Luna laughed, “No, I didn’t.”
“Why would you?” He wondered. He wasn’t exactly interested in what Luna did with his mothers jewellery but he was interested in the new bond that his mother and Luna seemed to have. They spent large amounts of time together and were always talking about things that he and his father had no idea about. It didn’t bother him, he liked the idea of his mother and Luna sharing their own inside jokes, if everything went well he was hoping that this would continue.
“She was telling me about when your father proposed to her and I was trying the ring on, but she had it back and put it in the jewellery box. She’s probably sent it with her jade necklace to be cleaned by mistake.” Luna explained, turning her head slightly to get a good look at the effect of the necklace.
“Just the right touch.” Draco murmured, allowing his hands to rest lightly on the warm skin of her shoulders.
Luna bit her bottom lip her eyes meeting his in the mirror. “You’ll stay right by me all night won’t you?”
* * *
Draco watched Luna over the rim of his glass, he was stood half listening to Mr Pessall of the department of Magical Games and Sports, he wasn’t totally sure what the man was saying but Mr Pessall only seemed to require his presence, it didn’t matter that Draco wasn’t listening to a word he said, so long as Mr Pessall had an audience he was happy.
“This is how I’m going to die.” Draco muttered into his champagne glass.
For the most part he had kept to his promise and he hadn’t left Luna’s side, but his mother had put pay to that by turning up and dragging her over to a table full of women to talk about Paris. But he stayed exactly where he was so that he could still see her and rescue her should she get into difficulties.
He sighed heavily taking a drink of the cool champagne. It was so hot today, the Ball started late afternoon and went on well into the early hours of the following morning. It was always held outside under large white marquee’s in the vast garden of the Ministry of Magic himself; although the ballroom doors were always open with the band situated inside for those who wanted to dance. Draco was hoping that a little later on in the evening he would be able to persuade Luna onto the dance floor. Dancing wasn’t his favourite thing to do, he was an alright dancer, but he would take any opportunity he could to hold Luna close to him.
She was smiling and laughing at something the sister of the Minister had just said, Draco had met her on numerous occasions but he could never remember her name.
“Luna seems to have made a lasting impression.” Lucius’ voice broke into his thoughts, he hadn’t even heard his father approach and Mr Pessall disappear.
Draco looked up at his father, “Oh, yes she has. You can’t not like Luna though can you?”
Lucius raised his eyebrows slightly. “She’s a little dreamy, but apart from that, I think she’s very nice.”
“That’s because she is.” Draco informed him firmly. He wondered exactly what his father would say if he knew the real Luna, the Luna who believed in The Quibbler. She had been really good about not mentioning anything in the magazine during her stay at the Manor and he felt bad that she had been forced to hide the quirky, creative part of her.
Lucius smiled and patted his son on the arm, “I’m looking forward to making the announcement of her becoming part of the Malfoy family.”
His father looked so sincere that Draco couldn’t stop his smile spreading across his lips. He had finally done it, his father now believed his relationship with Luna was real and he’d even managed to pick a girl his father liked. Now all that was left was for him to tell Luna the truth and hope that he had done enough over the last week and the rest of the time he had with her to make her like him.
“That’s good to know.” Draco replied.
Lucius smiled at his son, it was easy for him to mask the annoyance he felt at Draco‘s cowardly behaviour. He wondered if his son thought he was blind? Or worse, a complete and utter idiot? He had taught Draco at a young age to conceal all emotions from others; emotions made you weak and could drag you down. Draco had been a keen listener and eager to please back then; he had mastered the art of becoming icy cold and disdainful at the drop of a hat with ease.
Lucius smirked inwardly, now however, his son was failing miserably; although it was only he who could see that. He knew Draco well and could read him most of the time. Draco was good at hiding his real feelings, he had been pretty good lately at hiding the truth from him. But it was when he didn’t realise that he was being watched that Draco let his guard down.
Lucius brushed a strand of hair from his face his grey eyes dancing with mischief. Draco didn’t seem to be so good at verbally expressing his feelings, rather like him in a way. His own life could have been simpler if he had learned to speak the words rather than have Narcissa guess what he was thinking.
Suddenly he was extremely angry with Draco, he had not raised a spineless fool for a son; he did not suffer fools gladly, and Draco was doing nothing but behaving like a ninny! Lucius glared at the young boy stood in front of him, why didn’t he say something? Why did he just stand back and do nothing? Hadn’t he taught him to reach for his goals, not to settle for less than perfect, to do whatever was necessary to get what he wanted? Why wasn’t Draco doing these things?
“Don’t be a damn fool, Draco.“ He warned quietly. “I’ll see you later, I’m going to talk to the Minister.”
Draco’s smile froze on his face and he stared stupidly at his father as he walked away. What the hell was he going on about now? Sighing heavily he pushed the thought from his mind not wanting to dwell on unpleasant things today, and his eyes reverted back to Luna. She was looking over at him a soft smile on her lips and he felt his heart flutter in his chest. Smiling back at her he jerked his head slightly indicating that he wanted her to come over to him.
She looked slightly relieved which made him chuckle. Luna excused herself and crossed the grass towards him.
“You’ve looked bored for the last twenty minutes, but I couldn’t think of a way out of the conversation. Your mother still can’t find her engagement ring.” She said smiling.
Draco shrugged, “She’s always loosing things. Glad you came now?”
Luna looked up at him and nodded, “Yes, thank you for worming.”
She was glad that he had managed to convince her to come today. The Yule Ball at Hogwarts had been beautifully done, but the Minister knew how to throw a good party, with beautiful, sweet smelling flowers for decoration and brightly coloured butterflies fluttering through the air. But Luna’s favourite thing was the peacocks, they roamed across the grass fanning their jewelled tails and managing to look so elegant , they seemed to give the Ball a whole new touch.
And Draco was wearing his pin, it had pride of place on the front of his robes and she’d noticed that his hand would pop up to touch it every now and again as if to make sure it was still there. Luna traced the pin with her index finger, it had been worth every single sickle, she’d spend it all over again just to see the look on his face when he had opened the box.
“I’m always happy to worm.” He replied as he watched her examining his pin. “You didn’t have to buy me anything, Luna.”
Luna sighed softly, “I wanted to. We don’t have long left now do we? Until we go back to school.”
“No. Only four days left. You’ll be glad to get back to school, get back to your own life I expect?” He was not looking forward to her response, but it was a question he had to ask.
Luna pulled a face resting her head against his shoulder, “I don’t have that much to get back to really,” she admitted quietly.
Lucius Malfoy stood on the other side of the crowd, his eyes trained on his son and Luna, his eyebrows knitted together with annoyance. Hadn’t he taught his son to read people? Hadn’t he shown him the art of picking apart a persons defence and exposing their true feelings? Why didn’t Draco do what needed to be done and stop all this nonsense?
Lucius cleared his throat glaring over at his son. Fine, if Draco wasn’t man enough to do speak his mind, it looked as if he would have to take matters into his own hands and execute a new plan. “Please excuse me Minister, I must see my son for a moment,”
“Well of course, Lucius,” Fudge nodded, and returned to his other companions to continue his discussion.
Lucius strode through the gathering and closed in on Draco and Luna. “Having a nice time?” He queried pleasantly.
“Oh yes, it’s simply lovely.” Luna told him, smiling radiantly.
“Good, good.” Lucius nodded and looked expectantly at his son. Draco looked a little confused as Lucius expected him to. He smiled lazily, “I haven’t told your mother, Draco. I wouldn’t want to take away the surprise, but I do already know.”
Draco frowned, “you do?” He questioned slowly.
“Yes I know, I saw you.”
“You did?” Draco replied, looking blankly at his father.
Rolling his eyes Lucius nodded again. “If you would like me to make the announcement tonight I’d be very pleased to, but you will have to tell your mother yourself first or she’ll be beside herself.” He dug around in his pocket with the air of someone who knew exactly what was going on and was pleased to be involved.
Luna glanced up at Draco with quizzical eyes, she could tell straight away that Draco was as completely clueless as she was.
“Ah, here it is. This is the ring that I used to propose to your mother, it has been handed down the Malfoy line for generations, and I was of course to hand it to you when the time came, Draco. I honestly didn’t expect the time to come so soon, imagine my surprise to look out of the window and end up catching my son in mid-proposal.”
Realisation crashed over Draco like a tidal wave. His father had spotted him that day by the waterfall on one knee to Luna and had jumped to conclusions!
Lucius shot a look at Draco and Luna from under his lashes. Luna looked as though she would like nothing better than for the ground to swallow her whole; while Draco looked as though someone had just punched him in the stomach and knocked the air from his body.
“I appreciate that it may not be your correct size, Luna, but Draco knows the shrinking charm don’t you Draco?” He didn’t wait for his son to reply, but carried on regardless of the horror he saw on their faces. “Like I said, if you’d like me to make the formal announcement tonight I will, but of course it’s your decision. I must say I’m disappointed that you haven’t yet told us about this, Draco. However, should your mother ask we’ll all say it happened tonight, it’ll be easier than having to endure her hard-done-by attitude.”
“Well….” Draco began, but trailed off, he had nothing to say.
“Have a think about it, Draco.” Lucius advised. He squeezed his son’s shoulder and smiled warmly, bending slightly he kissed Luna’s cheek. “Narcissa and I will be very proud to announce that you will be a Malfoy very soon,” he told her.
Luna managed a weak smile and nodded, “thank you,” she responded automatically.
As he walked away Lucius glanced back over his shoulder. “Smile, Draco,” he muttered under his breath. “I’ve done it all for you seeming as your too pathetic to say anything yourself.”
Draco felt Luna sag back into his chest. She looked up at him but he couldn’t determine the look in her eyes. “What happens now?”
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