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Chapter 13 : Self Pitying Drivel
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Self Pitying Drivel
The hot water of the shower beat down against Luna’s body, relaxing her muscles and taking the chill from her skin. Grimmuald Place could turn very cold late into the night and first thing in the morning. She was smiling this morning, even though by the time she had woken Draco had crept back to his own room, he had been with her through the night, enabling her to sleep undisturbed.
Touching her fingers lightly to the small silver dragon that rested against her chest, Luna couldn’t stop the smile crossing over her face. She almost slipped on the tiled floor when she got out of the shower, she was in such a hurry to get down the stairs and see Draco.
As she toweled herself dry, Luna wondered how Harry was this morning. She wondered if Hermione had managed to sleep at all last night, and how Remus was feeling on this first morning without Tonks. Dressing quickly in a pair of black leggings and a faded blue t-shirt, Luna cleaned the bathroom and skipped down the stairs to the kitchen.
As soon as she entered the kitchen Luna could see exactly how the land lay. Lucius sat in his usual spot at the head of the table, the only sign that he was under any strain at all showed in the lines around his eyes and mouth. He smiled thinly at her and nodded a greeting.
Ron never raised his eyes from his breakfast plate, but Hermione looked up as soon as she heard footsteps as though she was looking for any kind of distraction from her thoughts. Luna had to fight to keep away her shocked expression, Hermione looked pale and tired, her eyes were red raw and her skin was patchy. Hermione absently pushed her bushy hair from her face, she didn’t smile or speak to Luna, but watched her as she crossed the room to the table.
“Did you sleep at all, Hermione?” Luna asked quietly.
Hermione nodded slowly, “Yes, I did actually. How could I have slept so soundly after everything that happened yesterday?” the guilt in her voice was evident.
“You were exhausted, of course you slept all night,” Lucius said, pouring himself some more coffee.
Luna smiled softly, “Your body will need to heal itself, Hermione.”
“I wasn’t hurt,” Hermione said duly.
“From the inside,” Luna explained, “You can’t function if you're exhausted, your body will automatically try to rejuvenate itself.”
“Yes, I suppose so,” said Hermione.
Luna sighed softly, this was a testament to exactly how deeply the battle at Hogsmead and affected Hermione, she couldn’t even think straight. Hermione Granger was usually the one handing out explanations and advice, this morning however, she couldn’t even bring herself to carry on a conversation.
As Ron bit loudly into his toast, Luna chanced a glance at Draco and was disappointed to find that rather than looking at her, he was staring directly at his plate as though his toast and jam was the most fascinating thing in the world. Luna figured that Draco was probably extremely uncomfortable this morning, being in the same room as Harry and Hermione who had witnessed his telling off the previous night.
The vibes in the room wouldn’t help him either, Luna thought. Being in this room was frightening, there was no banter, no whispering, no conversation whatsoever. There wasn’t even the general noise of cutlery against plates. There was a distinct air of depression weighing down the room, a feeling of despair that unsettled Luna, she was by nature an optimistic person, and she disliked anything too gloomy. By the feel of this room, Luna would hazard a guess that nothing would ever be right again. She however, refused to believe that to be the case.
“Has anyone seen Professor Lupin this morning?” she asked mildly.
“He doesn’t want to come down. I’ve sent the house elf up with some tea and toast for him,” Lucius told her.
Luna felt a little bit better at this news, Lucius at least was himself, taking charge of the situations that needed dealing with. “Harry? How are you this morning?”
Harry blinked, dragging his dull green eyes in to focus on her face. “Me?”
“Just great,” Harry said scathingly. “I feel wonderful, Tonks and many others are dead, some I didn’t even know who they were, yet they’re still dead because of me,”
Luna’s eyes widened in surprise. “You? How did you work that one out?”
“Oh for goodness sake!” Harry snapped irritably. “I’m the bloody Chosen One, aren’t I? People follow me, they fight for me and they generally end up dying for me. First my parents, then Sirius, Dumbledore and now Tonks. They all died for me, and who knows how many others will die before this is even half way over!” Harry’s voice broke and useless tears began to leak from the corners of his eyes. “I try to do my best, I try not to put other people in danger, but no matter what I do someone dies, even Cedric Diggory died because I was busy being the good guy, and insisted that he take the Triwizard Trophy as well as me.”
Sighing heavily, Harry scrubbed at his eyes angrily, “I can’t keep doing this to people. I can’t keep having people, good people, fight for me and die for me. I just can’t,” he finished, his voice cracking again.
“I’ve never heard so much self-pitying drivel in all my life,” Luna replied, a small frown creasing her forehead.
Harry’s head jerked to the side and he stared at her in surprise. “What?”
Moving to kneel down beside Harry, Luna took his hand, warming it between her own two smaller ones. “You still don’t see do you, Harry? You have never asked anyone to fight for you, that’s not what’s happening. Your friends, the Order, all those opposing the Dark Lord, they’re fighting with you, Harry, they’re fighting beside you not for you. All those who want to stand up and be counted want to stand shoulder to shoulder with you. They aren’t giving their lives for you, Harry, but for freedom.”
Harry blinked, opening his mouth to say something but closing it again quietly. Luna always stumped him when she spoke the truth. He had often heard that words of truth were extremely powerful, but Harry hadn’t fully realised the absolute truth of that statement until Luna started talking. Even Ron had taken his eyes off his food to listen to her.
Absently stroking Harry’s hair from his face Luna said gently, “The freedom to be who you want to be, to think and believe whatever you want to. We all want to live in a world better than the one we have now, a world where our children can grow up without fear, where we‘re free to do anything we please. Freedom is the only thing in the world worth fighting for, Harry, it’s the only thing worth dying for.”
“I’ve never heard anything put so well in my entire life,” Lucius commented, folding his arms and leaning back in his chair.
Ron nodded, “Yeah, Luna’s right.”
Harry smiled crookedly, “You make me feel ashamed of myself.”
“That wasn’t my intention,” Luna assured him.
Harry sighed, “I know that, you’ve only ever helped me, and I’m grateful, Luna.”
“You’re always welcome, Harry,” Luna lent forward and pressed a light kiss to Harry’s lips.
Facing burning bright red, acutely aware of Ron grinning stupidly at him, Harry croaked, “What was that for?”
Tilting her head to the side Luna said simply, “Because you needed it.”
“Well, um…. Thanks,” Harry stammered awkwardly, making Ron snigger and Hermione snort into her cup of tea.
Draco was livid. He glared viciously at Harry, his grey eyes dark, shooting daggers at the boy sitting across the table for him. He couldn’t understand it. Wasn’t it he, Draco, who had taken Luna home to pay her respects, he, Draco she had been looking after. It was he, Draco, Luna had slept with. He, Draco she wanted so badly that it was impossible for her to hide the effect he had on her whenever he was in close proximity to her. Wasn’t it him she had been comforting and then turned to him for comfort? It was his arms she had slept in, his necklace Luna wore, although, to his great annoyance, it was currently hidden from sight. It was he, Draco she wanted to kiss, after all, hadn’t she nearly kissed him three times the previous night?
So, why for the love of Merlin, had Luna just kissed Potter?
His body stiff, his eyes boring severely into the back of Potter’s skull, Draco cursed Harry Potter to the moon and back. He really wanted to grip handfuls of Potter’s hair and bash his head into the table over and over again. Draco wanted to hex Potter into next week. He wanted to yell loudly with frustration and shake the other boy until his teeth rattled in his head.
Just what exactly was going on, or had indeed gone on, between Luna and Potter that he didn’t know about?
Draco conveniently forgot that he had in fact been planning on distancing himself from Luna, starting today. He was absolutely incensed, he could feel his anger bubbling through his veins, sending a red flush over his skin, and his jaw was clenched so tightly that his neck was aching.
He was so focused on Luna and Potter, that Draco didn’t feel his father’s eyes on him, studying his face with interest, noting every little twitching muscle and every different flicker of expression in his eyes. Draco didn’t notice the knowing look dancing in his fathers grey eyes, so very similar to his own, or the sly smirk that crossed over Lucius Malfoy’s lips.
All Draco was concerned about in that moment in time was working out a way to stop Harry Potter taking what he wanted.
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