Chapter 4 : Mask.
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“So maybe I got curious and read the Quibbler!” He argued back defensively, “Where’s the harm in that? Hell! Malfoy reads it!”
“Alright, alright!” Ginny said, raising her arms as if surrendering, “No need to get your wand in a knot!”
“I’ve only just realised how wrong that could sound…” Luna’s dreamy voice trailed. I turned to see her face scrunched up, as though cringing from a thought.
“Wha - ?” Ron started, raising an eyebrow. Suddenly the light inside of his head sparked as his eyes widened, “Ooooooh!”
“Luna!” Ginny giggled.
“Are you going to deny the wrongness?”
“Definitely not!” Ginny chimed as the boys shifted uneasily.
“Moving on,” Ron and Harry both threw me thankful looks, “What took you so long?”
“Long? I wasn’t given a time I should be here, was I?” She asked thoughtfully.
“Well, no… but - ”
“Then I took the time I needed to get the food and to walk back here.”
“Okay – my bad.” However I still wasn’t convinced. I watched as she sat down, she looked as though she was hiding something. I know it isn’t my place to judge those who appear to be hiding a secret. Hell, I don’t think anyone could keep a deeper secret than I’ve kept for the past 3 years. Even if Luna was hiding something from us, she most definitely was not forced to wear a mask. Forced to pretend she was something she was not. Forced to act okay when really the suspense she held was eating away at her insides. I felt terrible for keeping this secret from my four best friends, but they could never find out. Never.
“So, Luna,” Harry’s voice interrupted my thoughts, “What really happened with Malfoy?”
“I’ve already told you, Harry. He bumped into me; he was polite and seemed interested in my father’s article. Nala turned up, Draco told her to go, she sulked off and then you guys turned up and he left.”
“I think he’s up to something.” I stated, totally aware and uncaring of the reaction I was going to get off Luna. I knew I’d have the other three on my side. I know I sound like a bitch when I say that I didn’t care of Luna’s reaction, don’t get me wrong – I love Luna, she’s one of my best friends and I trust her one hundred percent, but her simplicity aggravated me beyond belief, and this business with Draco was just yet another example of her simple mind. I have to admit, her way of looking at life was an optimistic one – with the whole ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ business, but she needed to view the bigger picture. In this world, not all wizards are good and you don’t to have an encounter with them to know that.
“I agree with Hermione, he’s always up to something.” Ron shrugged and Harry and Ginny made grunts of agreement.
“You just need to give him a chance.” She smiled her usual mysterious smile.
“I gave him a chance, he called me a mudblood. Ron gave him a chance, but apparently, the Malfoy’s are far to superior for the Weasleys and does Harry really need a reason?” I argued back. It annoyed me how stubborn she was.
“Hermione has a point.” Ginny murmured, giving Luna an apologetic look. Harry, Ron and Ginny were all afraid to tell Luna the harsh truth because of her supposed innocence. I wasn’t buying any of that. Again, it makes me sound like a heartless bitch but she was a year younger than us, she’s fought evil alongside us on numerous occasions – and that evil wasn’t necessarily in the form of deatheaters – yet still her mind was clouded with Nargles and whatever Crumple-Headed beast Harry had looked into.
“Then I guess you’ll never get to appreciate the man that he really is.” Did she really just say that?
“No, I guess not.” I smiled, “I need to finish Snape’s potions essay that’s due in Monday, if you need me I’ll be in - ”
“The Library.” Harry and Ron chorused, both grinning like they’ve never grinned before. I stuck out my tongue at them before turning towards the main doors.
I had just passed through them and come to the end of the corridor as I turned and walked smack bang into Nala Bates.
“Watch it, Granger!” She growled, smoothing down her robes. She was incredibly skanky. Her shirt and blazer clung to her outline perfectly, capturing every single curve of her body – and she had curves. Her skirt was tugged up over her knees and her tights, they weren’t transparent, but they were right there in that neighbourhood. Even her cloak was shorter than the average.
“Whatever.” I muttered as I marched passed her, “And tell your good friend Draco, that whatever he’s up to with Luna, we’re on to him.”
“Draco doesn’t want shit to do with that loony, so you’ve got yourself a false lead, mudblood.”
“Don’t call me that, you hateful hag!” I snarled back. She threw her head back and let out the most sickly sweet laugh that I’d ever heard, she flipped back her hair and continued to strut down the corridor as she cackled “Hateful hag and proud.”
“Ugh.” I shuddered, she really did go through me. I daren’t think of where she was heading, and seriously – was it even legal to wiggle that much?! If I tried to wiggle as much as she did, I’d end up in the hospital wing. Brushing down my robes, I carried on my route to the library, passing numerous students who I waved and nodded to.
As I entered the library, I smiled a ‘hello’ in the direction of the librarian and made my way to the potions section of shelves. It took me a while to find the book I was after, it really did amaze me how much different books there was on the one potion. However, eventually I found it and shuffled off to find myself a nice quite table to work on. I settled for my favourite unoccupied table by the window, and made my way over. Then something caught my eye. A blonde something. A blonde something that wasn’t really a something, but rather a someone. Draco Malfoy. I threw my books on the table and stormed over to where he was sitting, occupying the seat opposite him.
“I wasn’t aware we were friends, Granger.” He said without even a glance in my direction. It bugged me when people did that, how did he know it was me? I considered asking however I soon realised that smart arse answer he’d come up with, ‘I could smell you’re dirty blood’ or something to that effect.
“We’re not,” I stated, “And neither are you and Luna – so what’s your deal, huh? Using her to get to Harry? What?"
“Is it really so hard to believe that I actually like the girl?” He snapped.
“Stupid question, you little ferret. Of course it is.” I snapped back.
“Luckily, what happens between Luna and I is precisely up to Luna and I, so your judgement isn’t required.”
“Nothing is “happening” between you and Luna, Malfoy. Understand that.” I affirmed, air quoting the word ‘happening’.
“That’s not really for you to decide, is it?” He sniggered.
“What’s your game, Malfoy? I mean really… what do you achieve from this?”
“Well honestly, up until she was leaving the Ravenclaw common room I didn’t think I’d achieve anything.” He smirked that irritating boyish smirk of his. As much as I wanted to tell him to “do-one” I was interested – he was the reason she was so long getting her food, and I wanted to know why, to see exactly what she was hiding.
“Oh, much more than an apple… I never knew Lovegood had it in her, not many girls make the first move.” He winked. A lump formed in my throat, causing me to swallow hard.
“The first move?” I chocked.
“Yes, Granger. She kissed me, and I enjoyed it and hope to do it again sometime.”
“I don’t believe this…” I whispered, more to myself than him. “You stay away from her, okay? You stay away!” I shrieked, standing up, pointing my finger at him.
“Make me.” He smirked.
Without another word to him, I collected my books and stormed out of the library. Ignoring the crude words he was yelling at me. If what he said was true, then I had to tell the other three. I didn’t want to believe it, to believe that whilst we had been waiting patiently – okay, I hadn’t exactly been patient, but the others had – for her to come back to we could try and figure up what scandal Draco was involved with, Luna had been locking lips with him. Ugh – Gross. I wanted to believe that she had had to fight off some Nargles or even one of those Crumple-headed beasts but I couldn’t force the image of Draco and Luna pressed up against a wall out of my mind. Draco’s story made sense, well – most of it anyway. He said that she’d kissed him. I couldn’t believe that. Luna wasn’t that forward with anyone, especially not Malfoy, at least that’s what I thought up until today. If anything, Draco would have kissed her – maybe she even tried to push him away? And that’s why she took so long, she was fighting off Draco. Despite wanting to believe that with all my heart – I couldn’t. I always followed my gut feeling, it never let me down and at this very moment, my gut was telling me that Draco kissed Luna, no matter who inflicted the kiss – it happened and neither one of them wanted to stop it.
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