Chapter 7 : Falling Into Place
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Snape walked in and began talking forcing Draco to pay attention, and thankfully causing Pansy to do the same. He could see her pouting out of the corner of his eye, and he couldn't care less. She required being the center of attention too much for her own good. Draco thanked the Gods every day that his mother had given up any hopes of an arranged marriage between the two. She was too openly spoiled to be good for the Malfoy image. Of course—Luna wasn't good for the Malfoy image either, but Draco tried really hard not to think about that.
Snape did his usual brooding speech about the effects of the Potion they'd be brewing that day. It was a simple sleeping potion that he could make with his eyes closed. Which was probably a good thing because Potter looked happier today than usual. His imagination began to run wild with images of Luna relieving her guilt over kissing him, by overdoing things with Potter. By the amount of passion she'd thrown at Draco—she'd probably let Potter shag her out guilt. Just the thought of that had Draco gripping his wand—Avada Kedavra on the tip of his tongue.
Before he could kill Potter Snape walked by him. “I said to start Mr. Malfoy.”
Draco looked up at him, “I'm sorry Professor.” He let loose the grip he had on his wand, and immediately went to work.
For the first ten minutes Potter and Weasley's table was silent, but then Potter whispered something to the Weasel. “Why didn't you tell me?”
“Tell you what?” Weasley asked.
“That Ginny was in love with me, and has been since she was nine!” Draco risked a glance over to them. The look on Weasley's face was a mixture of annoyance, and disbelief.
“She told you. A week or so before you made your move on Luna. Remember?” He reached over throwing the ingredients he'd been chopping into the cauldron. “She ran away crying when you told her you loved her like a sister.” Weasley's annoyance began to seep into his work. Draco could hear his cutting from his own station. “How could I have made it any clearer to you?”
Harry seemed oblivious to his friend's current mood. “Yes I remember, but she didn't tell me that she'd loved me that long.” The look on Weasley's face was comical. He was in complete disbelief, but Harry continued before Ron could say anything. “I thought she wasn't serious. I though she was fascinated by the whole Famous Harry Potter thing.” Ron's face was scarlet, but Harry continued anyway. “That's how it was when I first met her, and I wasn't aware that it had grown past that. Plus she's your sister. I'd never thought of her that way, but now...”
Ronald apparently couldn't take any more. “But now what?” He said putting his blade down. Draco couldn't help but smile at the mental image of Weasley stabbing Potter in the jugular. “Now she's attractive to you? Now you love her too? Is Luna not enough for you? Or are you going to keep them the way that they are? One with you, and one pining away after you?” Snape shot them a glare to be quiet. They both turned back to their work, once again in silence. Draco could tell that Potter was angry at his friend's words, and that he was thinking of an appropriate way to respond.
Draco waited anxiously for Potter to retort. He was only half paying attention to anything else going on in the room. Could Potter really be considering the Weaslette? Draco hoped so. Luna would be devastated of course, but Draco thought he could pick up the pieces.
He was almost going crazy at the silence from behind him. Why couldn't Potter say something to fill in the gaps that Draco's imagination was filling wildly? Draco needed concrete facts, not his own wild hopeful abandon! The next hour went by in painful agony. Draco's mind was laying out plans on how to approach Luna after Potter broke her heart. How would he possibly console her? How could he be support for her when he was so happy for her pain?
“Is that how I seem?” Potter asked quietly. “I'm just trying to look at the situation in a new light you know? Just what Luna said to me.” He paused. Draco assumed to take a breath, but he didn't dare look back to show his interest. “What she said to me has made me see Ginny differently. I've been thinking about how I feel about her, and what that means.” He paused again, but Weasley didn't respond. “I like Luna. I've always been infatuated with her, you know that, but Ginny?” Draco stopped all movement, completely absorbed in what Potter was saying. “Ginny feels like home.”
Draco couldn't stop the grin from spreading across his face. Potter was considering the Weaslette. He turned back to his station and added the last ingredient needed for the potion to be completed. He then poured some into a vial and corked it. It seemed that the Weasel was going to ponder what Potter had said, and this gave him time to take his potion up to Snape who examined it closely. “Very good as always Mr. Malfoy.” Draco thanked him and then went to clean his station.
When he got back Potter was talking again. “I don't know what I'm going to tell Luna. I need to talk to Ginny.” Just as Draco finished cleaning the bell chimed signaling the end of the lesson.
There was a mad rush and the sound of glass clanking together as people gathered their vials in order to turn their Potions into Professor Snape. Draco, having already turned his assignment in, took the opportunity to slip out ahead of every one else. He slipped into an empty classroom to wait for Potter and Weasley to pass. He needed to figure out what Potter's next move was going to be so that he could plan his counter. If Potter broke up with Luna (his heart jumped at the very thought with joy) he would need to think of some way to console her, but if Potter chose to pursue both girls...at the same time, well then Draco would be owling his aunt, or father for a few choice dueling spells. A particularly nasty few choice dueling spells.
Potter and Weasley were damn near the last ones to exit. How either of them managed to get into advanced Potions was completely beyond him honestly. Potter he could see. He was all Saint Potter like, but Weasley? He rolled his eyes at the thought. Granger was probably behind that one. He didn't understand her wasting her time on one of the Weasels. Mudblood or not. They were by far the lowest of the Wizarding world.
He entered the hallway just far enough behind them to hear their conversation. He walked at a pace matching theirs, but was pretending to be busy looking at the paintings and tapestries feigning interested in anything, but the two in front of him. He didn't have to wait long. Thank the Gods! He thought.
“Explain this to me again?” Weasley prompted.
“I always thought that Ginny liked me just because of the whole Boy Who Lived thing. The first time I saw her was the summer before second year, and she ran away from me.” Draco could see Potter's shoulders rise as he shrugged. “It's how everyone reacted to me. I was just starting to get used to it so I just wrote it off. How was I to know that she felt that way? Then as time progressed and we started to get to know each other she fit in so well it was just like having another mate around to talk Quidditch with. Plus she's your sister Ron.”
“So?” Weasley rebutted.
“So?” Potter's voice was laced with disbelief. “So I didn't want Charlie to sick a Dragon on me, or Fred and George.” Potter went silent and shivered. Apparently whatever he thought the twins would do was something horrible. “And not to mention your Mum.” Ron paled on that one. Draco had never met Mrs. Weasley, but he had to admit he was slightly intrigued. “The first time I ever thought of her beyond a little sister was the Yule Ball and she went with Neville. I just resigned to remain like her brother. I didn't want to plague myself over some one that didn't want me because she had someone else.”
Weasley looked at his friend for a long time. Thank the Gods though they kept walking. “You are daft mate. You truly are.” Weasley looked away then and shook his head. “And when she told you how she felt you wrote her off as a sister because you finally had a plan to woo Luna, her best friend of all people. Not only are you daft, but you sound like an arse mate. Just saying.”
Potter at least had the grace to look ashamed of himself. “It's like I said. I've always been infatuated with Luna, but now that I have her...” Draco's eyes narrowed and his hand went to his pocket to rest on his wand. “It was great at first. I could tell she was torn up by Ginny's reaction, but things got better once Ginny started talking to her again.” Draco felt a strange relief that the Weaslette and Luna were friends again, but he couldn't imagine where the relief had come from. What did he care? “She's been very distant lately.”
Weasley laughed. “More than usual?”
Draco suppressed the snarl that crawled up his throat. Potter frowned at Weasley. “Yes. More so than usual. She's always reading, and sneaking off to the library. I know she likes poetry, but that book of poems she's always carrying around? You'd think that new ones were popping up in it every once and awhile with how much she checks in it. She has to have them memorized by now. Plus when she is reading it I don't even bother talking to her. I won't be able to get an answer out of her because she's not paying attention.”
“Jealous of a book mate?” Weasley joked. Draco's insides swelled. Ha! Was his mental rebut.
“Sort of honestly.” Potter admitted. “The point is though, that being with her isn't what I thought it would be.”
“Then what are you going to do?” Draco held his breath.
“I don't know. Either way, some one I care about is going to be hurting.”
“Such is life mate, such is life.” Weasley looked apathetic. “I don't envy you. I especially won't envy you if it's my sister that you hurt. She's a bad combination of Mum's anger and the Twin's trickery. You won't even see it coming.”
They had reached the entrance to Gryffindor Tower and Draco fell back.
He all, but skipped back to the Slytherin Common room.
is my only
Even the beating
of this silly heart
at the remembrance
of your face.
refuse to capture
of who you
can be pushed
Only to surface
once and awhile.
do I doubt
the staying Constance
Luna read Draco's words and her jaw clenched out of frustration. He had put her in a very difficult position. She cared deeply for Harry. He was her friend, and always had been. Being with him, as his girlfriend, was something new that she was learning to be comfortable with. She had been trying to not be herself when thinking of her reaction to Draco. Her initial instinctual reaction was to just dive head first into the passion he brought forth in her. She took everything at face value. It's just who she'd always been. Now, however, it was just complicated.
Luna didn't like complicated.
She had ran from him out of fear. This was also a reaction that she wasn't used to. Yet she had been afraid. She'd been afraid because things with Draco shouldn't feel the way that kiss had felt. She shouldn't want to be with him that way when she was already attached to Harry. On top of that she shouldn't feel like she needed to be with him.
Logically she knew that it wouldn't last. Her family, though pure, did not possess the proper social standing to be alluring to a Malfoy. The fact that Draco was pursuing her was in and of itself odd, but he wasn't doing so publicly was he? He was writing anonymously to her in a journal. The very nature of the journals made his anonymity secure. No one would believe her if she said it was Draco who wrote these poems about her, and all he had to do was deny it—destroy his journal and all proof was gone. He'd never written his name. Never signed his works. If she went to him she'd have a few short days, weeks, if she was lucky months of happiness and then he'd be gone.
She closed the journal and rested her head in her hands trying to stifle the urge to cry. She had no one that she could talk to, she realized. She wanted to talk to Ginny, but thought better of it. All of her friends hated Slytherin. They hated Draco most of all the Slytherins. She supposed that was another thing that she would have to consider. They could never tell anyone they cared about if her and Draco did have a relationship. Her friends would be cruel to him, more so than they already were, and it would be the same for the Slytherins that Draco was friends with.
She had been avoiding Draco like he was a carrier of the plague since they kissed. She knew that it was cowardly of her, but even now she didn't think that she could face him. Well—face him and control her body's reaction to him. She sighed audibly before getting out of her bed and standing. She needed to do something. So she grabbed a parchment out of her bag and a quill as well.
She scribbled a quick note, and headed up to the owlery.
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