Chapter 2 : Chapter 2
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All this time I was waiting for you...
~ “All This Time” by OneRepublic
The week that passed by after that day took too long.
Draco Malfoy hadn’t slept for days.
Luna Lovegood was more detached from reality than usual.
Both of them had, more than once, found themselves staring into space (not unusual for Luna) and... just thinking.
Neither of them could get the other out of their minds. Luna couldn’t figure out the cryptic youth who had changed so much. Draco didn’t understand why she suddenly mattered to him.
Finally, the day came.
“Miss Lovegood? Your duties in the new ward start--”
“I know, I know!” Luna replied cheerily to the secretary as she flew towards the elevators.
“But you don’t begin for another half an hour!” the confused secretary called after her.
Luna turned, winked, and continued in her rampage.
A little breathless, she arrived at room 409 and raised her hand to the door, ready to knock-- when she realized she had no idea as to what was waiting for her inside. Would he be willing to talk to her? Or would he turn away? She shook her head in an attempt to clear it. Of course-- Christmas was nearing, mistletoe was all over the place so as to try to cheer up visitors-- and mistletoe was full of nargles. Everyone knows that.
She took a breath and knocked.
“Come in,” was the surprisingly soft reply.
She opened the door.
“Loveg-- Healer Lovegood?”
He was sitting in the same armchair again, reading a book. His hair was messy in a careless way. His eyes were thoughtful again.
“A bit... early, isn’t it?”
She shrugged. “I lost my watch.” She lowered her voice to a dramatic stage whisper. “I suspect nargles.”
“Nargles,” Draco repeated.
“They enjoy hiding in mistletoe, which is all over St. Mungo’s this time of year. They’re quite mischievous, really.”
He gently folded the corner of his page, closed the book, and set it down on the small table by him while laughing softly. “You haven’t changed much, Loveg-- Healer Lovegood.”
“I know,” she said lightly. “I wish--” She bit down on her lip to stop herself from saying what was bound to come out.
“You wish you could say the same for me.” He raised his eyebrows with a wry smile, eyes glittering. “Sit down.”
She did. “How’ve you been?”
He snorted. “How do you think?”
“Well, you’re in a relatively good mood today,” she pointed out with infuriating logic.
He shrugged. “With me, that can change in less than a second.” He gestured towards his file. “That’s somewhere on page two, I think. I know it starts with a ‘B.’”
“Funny,” Luna said dryly, but she was already looking through it. “Borderline personality disorder?”
“That’s the one.”
“I don’t understand-- how can you talk so calmly about this?” Luna mused.
Draco’s eyebrows shot up higher. “Calmly? Who said anything about calm?”
“Well, you’re here because someone, at least, decided that you needed help. Or did you check yourself in?”
Draco pulled a face. “I don’t really remember-- it was around a year and a half ago, I think. My... my girlfriend dragged me here. That’s how I got here.”
“Girlfriend?” Luna asked, surprised.
Draco thought for a second. “Yeah. We’d only been dating for a couple months. I guess she was just sick of me turning out to be such a disappointment.”
“Have you heard from her since--”
“I don’t particularly want to, either.”
That was a surprise-- Luna had expected at least a surly “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”
“She wasn’t really my type, I wasn’t particularly nice to her, and... it just wasn’t a relationship either of us wanted to pursue.” He looked back at Luna, only to find her resting her chin on her hands, eagerly looking at Draco. “What?” he asked, exasperated by her strange habits.
“Oh! Sorry,” Luna said and blushed, sitting back up normally. “Your story was interesting.”
He rolled his eyes. “Please. Like we all haven’t been through that.”
Her eyes were open wide, sincere. “I haven’t.”
“Really?” Seeing that she was serious, he continued. “Do remind me to tell you of my miserable excuse for a love life sometime in the future.”
“I’d like that,” she replied quietly.
He looked at her strangely. “You’re a very unusual person. Has anyone ever told you that?”
She laughed. “No, not at all. Never, in fact!” she said, good-natured voice somehow dripping sarcasm.
He smiled. “Like I said-- a very unusual person.”
She raised her eyebrows, imitating him. “Is this a good thing or a bad thing?”
“A little bit of both,” he said, and-- finally-- the trademark Malfoy smirk slid over his face. He looked so similar to that boy who had ruled the halls of Hogwarts just a few years ago that Luna had to smile.
“You smirked!” she said gleefuly.
“Yes,” he said, bemused. “That’s what I do. You act strangely, I smirk.”
Her smile broadened. “You’re quite funny, you know.” She paused and considered this. “When you’re in a good mood, like now.”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you if I pull out a knife and attempt to stab you, Loveg-- Healer Lovegood,” he joked. “It’s all on page whatever of my file.”
Luna couldn’t help it-- she laughed. Some disobedient strands of her hair fell out of her so-called “tight bun” that all Healers had to wear. It was long and curly and golden-blond, almost honey-colored. As she sought to tuck them back into some semblance of normalcy, she didn’t notice Draco staring at her but then stopping, reprimanding himself for daydreaming.
Once she’d finished, she looked at her schedule very quickly and grimaced. “I-I have to go,” she said softly, standing. To her surprise, Draco stood too. It was really incredible how much taller he was than her. He positively towered. He opened his mouth a little uncertainly and was clearly about to say something when--
“How tall are you?”
Draco closed his mouth, train of thought derailed completely. “Erm-- about six foot one, I guess.”
Luna beamed. “I’m five foot two!”
He raised one eyebrow, smiling faintly. She looked a little sheepish, but then continued. “I’m sorry, I interrupted you. You were about to say something?...”
“Say something? Oh! That’s right.” Draco colored ever so slightly-- which didn’t escape Luna’s notice. “Well, I was wondering if you knew about the Christmas Ball.”
“Ball? Ball! Right.” Luna thought for a second. “The mixed patients and Healers one that’s in two weeks here, right?” Draco nodded. “Then yes! Why?”
“Has anyone asked you yet?”
She smiled and looked at the floor. Draco’s heart sank sharply, which he didn’t understand. “Yes, I have.” She turned her eyes back up at Draco (who hurriedly tried to conceal the more-than-slight twinge of disappointment he was feeling) and leaned in conspiratorially. “But only twice, both by rather greenish middle-aged men from the second floor!” She giggled, winked, and pulled back. “I decided that saying no would make me feel guilty later, so I suggested a couple of other Healers they could ask.”
“So... you’re not going with anyone yet.”
“No,” she replied sunnily.
Draco cleared his throat softly. “Well, then... would you care to go with me?”
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