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A/N- Thank you to everyone who has been lovely enough to let me know what you think so far. I'm glad you seem to be enjoying it. Hope you continue to do so. Please let me know what you think of this next chapter. xxx

Chapter 4

Still Inside the Cupboard

I’ll listen in future I promise. 
Honestly I’ll be good. Please don’t leave me. 
Please let me out. Please. Mother! I want my mother! Help me!

Luna could feel the violent quivering of Draco’s body pressed close to her own. She realised her own body was shaking. It was as if the fear in Draco transferred itself to her, soaking itself through her skin to mingle with her blood and pump itself through her body, oozing into her heart and mind.

She bit her lip nervously, trying to still the urge to scream and batter at the door herself. Whatever Draco was remembering must be horrific for him, but he was scaring her. Luna could feel her nerves jumping around all over the place. She disliked the useless feeling that settled itself over her as she listened to the ragged breathing and the pitiful whimpers that came from the boy she had always imaged to be strong and fearless.

Timidly she tried again. “Draco, what happened? What happened to you for you to be so scared?”

Draco sighed heavily, it had been an unrealistic thought that she would sit quietly and just be there instead of trying to stick her nose into his business. Well, he thought, in all fairness he would probably ask questions as well. The difference was that Luna was asking to try to help him, he would ask to try to exploit someone else.

“Why go into it?”

Luna twisted in his grasp to look at him. His voice was tired sounding and he looked even paler than he usually did. Draco was fighting himself, Luna could see it on his face. Deep lines had suddenly appeared around his mouth, stormy eyes showed an internal battle to keep himself from losing his mind altogether.

“Because I’d like to know,” she replied quietly, flicking a lock of his now un-kept hair out of his eyes. “I can keep secrets you know. I’ll never tell anyone.”

“Just forget it. It doesn’t matter.”

Luna frowned, “Of course it matters. It matters a lot, you should try to get some help to handle it. Perhaps your parents can book you into St Mungo’s or something to talk to someone?”

Draco snorted. “My parents? Yeah, that would happen.”

She looked at him quizzically. “Don’t they know?”

Draco sighed heavily, “Just leave it.”

“But they must know. Draco. They’re your parents,” she persisted.

Draco scowled at her. “Yeah they are, I doubt they know and I doubt they care either. Just leave it, Luna.”

“You can talk to me, Draco, I won’t tell anyone. You can trust me.”

He snorted again. “Trust," he muttered contemptuously.

Luna tilted her head slightly pushing the lock of hair back again, her fingers grazing the smooth skin of his forehead. “You don’t trust anyone do you? You’ll never let anyone close will you?”

“No,” Draco answered sharply. “If no-one is close to you, no-one can hurt you,” he continued when he spotted the questions floating in her eyes.

The muted dreaminess came out in her eyes and her face turned wistful as she gazed at him. Draco had the feeling she wasn’t actually looking at him with that hint of longing in her eyes, she was looking past him at something or someone he couldn’t see. “No-one can love you either.”

“Love,” he replied scornfully. “What’s that?”

Her eyes came to focus back on his face at the sarcastic tone of voice. “It’s like what you feel for your parents, only better, because it’s different. It’s stronger, it’s a connection between two people, the greatest power of all. Love causes miracles, changes everything. Nothing can beat love. It’s what makes us human.”

Draco studied her for a few minutes, she believed it, she believed every word she said. Luna Lovegood believed in love, in trust, in a happiness that lasted beyond time. He knew better than this naive girl sitting curled against his chest trying to help him.

“It must be nice to be you, to actually believe all that nonsense,” Draco said dryly.

Luna considered carefully before answering. “It’s ok being me I guess. It’s not great, but I do ok I suppose. What’s it like being you?”

He blinked with surprise. “What?”

“What’s it like being you?” she repeated.

“Oh, just great,” he muttered, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Why aren’t you happy? I’d be happy if my mum was alive and I had both my parents with me.”

Mother! Where are you?

“Well you can bloody have mine if you think they’re so sodding great!” Draco snapped angrily.

“I just meant that….”

Mother help me!

“Luna, you need to stop prattling on about things you know nothing about. Not everyone has the perfect life you seem to think comes from having your parents around. Not all parents are like yours you know.”

He hadn’t meant to start shouting at her, but talking about his parents had started that little voice off in the back of his mind and Draco didn’t want his memories to come washing back over him. He was doing ok at the moment, just talking and listening to Luna. If he changed the topic of conversation perhaps he would be alright until Filch came along and let them out.

“Is that why you're not happy? Are your parents not happy?” she wondered aloud.

“What did I just say?” Draco demanded irritably. “I told you not to prattle about things you know nothing about.”

“If you told me then I’d understand,” Luna pointed out, in what she hoped was a reasonable and comforting tone.

“Oh for the love of Merlin, Luna!” Draco yelled suddenly. “What do you want me to tell you?”

“Just the truth,” she whispered, her eyes soft when she looked at him, silently communicating an understanding for something he hadn’t even told her.

“The truth? You want the truth? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” he informed her heatedly.

“Try me.”

“Leave it.”

“Tell me.”

“Luna!” Draco yelled irritably.

“Draco!” she snapped back, “I can help if you tell me. You need to trust someone, you can trust me.”

He moved so suddenly that Luna fell forward to her knees as he climbed to his feet needing to storm around, but there was nowhere to storm to. So he turned back to hammer at the door again. Balling his fist up Draco punched the door. Again and again he hammered repeatedly, a frantic rhythm pounding at the obstruction to his freedom.

Why did Filch not come? Where was everyone? Did no-one in Hogwarts wander the corridors except for him and Luna?

Luna watched his back, the muscles taunt with a ferocious anger. The noise level he managed to produce echoed around the cramped space assaulting her ears. She needed to make him stop doing that. He would break his arm if he carried on trying to knock the door down, which was clearly what Draco hoped would happen somewhere in his disturbed mind.

“Draco, stop doing that! Stop it now!” Luna cried out in alarm when she spotted a clear sighting of blood smearing across the pale skin of his hands. Grabbing at his arm she tried to pull him back round to face her.If he looked at her again perhaps he would calm back down and they could sit together quietly.

Draco heard her, but he chose to ignore her and continue to beat his fists into the door. His hands were hurting, the skin was beginning to peel away and he saw the blood for himself. Draco ignored that as well, if he was doing something, if he was in physical pain maybe, just maybe it would be enough to keep his past at bay.

Luna swallowed anxiously, tugging harder at his arm that didn’t even seem to notice she was hanging onto it, continuing with its hammering as thought the extra weight of her was nothing at all. “Draco, please,” she begged loudly, trying desperately to keep the teary fright out of her voice.

Draco spun round so fast Luna stumbled backwards over a broom in an effort to get away from his swinging arms. Viciously he grabbed at her shoulders, pushing her back, pinning her against the wall his face lowered, mere inches from hers.

Luna could feel his warm breath tickling her cheek, could see the hard line of his sneering, scornful mouth, the strong jaw as hard as rock and the granite looking grey of his eyes without even a speck of any other colour. Just clear, hard grey eyes staring panic stricken out at her.

His lips curled up over his teeth, his face set like stone when he hissed vehemently at her. “Please? Please? You think you can get what you want by begging please? Well you don’t, Luna, I know that for a fact. Please doesn’t get you anywhere. I should know, it was the one word I begged over and over but it didn’t get me anywhere!”

Luna could feel her own breath clogging in her throat, her heart racing madly in her chest as she watched him with terror filled eyes. Now that Draco had come close to telling her why he was so scared Luna wasn’t sure that she wanted to know. There were probably some things about people that you shouldn’t know.

“You want me to trust you do you, Luna? You expect me to trust you just because you say I can? Saying it doesn’t mean anything, just like being parents doesn’t mean anything. You have to earn trust, Luna, except when your parents, then you automatically have it. But, it doesn’t mean that you automatically deserve it does it? I learned that you can’t trust anyone, not even the parents that you seem to think so highly of.”

Luna could feel her body trembling but she wasn’t sure if it came from her or from Draco. She did know that this new feeling of sudden fear that enveloped her senses did come from him. Draco Malfoy was close to some form of breakdown, or maybe a break through? But she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be the one involved in it.

She had pushed him to it, she had nagged at him to tell her. Now Luna wished she hadn’t. She had in all honesty believed she would be helping him if she could get him to talk about it, but now she had the dreaded feeling that what Draco would actually come out with would haunt her mind as it did his.

Even with all her swirling doubts Luna was a good person and she did what she thought to be the right thing for Draco.

“You can trust me, Draco. I’ll help you,” she whispered, her voice quivering slightly. She was in half a mind as to whether he would tell her or whether he would strangle her. Draco looked wild enough at the moment to be capable of anything.

“Help me? You’ll help me will you, Luna?” Draco asked scathingly.

“Yes. I’ll help you, Draco. If you want me to?” No matter what she did, Luna couldn’t seem to compose her voice. Sounding nervous and jumpy was not a good combination if she intended on keeping Draco calm. 

Luna winced slightly. He was leaning all his weight against her shoulders and she felt as though he were about to snap her arms at the sockets.

Draco laughed, a dull, hollow, haunting sound that chilled Luna to her very bones.

“You’ll help me if I want you to? Like my mother helped me when I wanted her to? Is that the kind of help you're offering, Luna?” he asked a harsh, mocking tone to his voice.

“I don’t know,” she replied truthfully. “I don’t know what your mother did.”

“NOTHING!” Draco roared at her, “that’s what she did, Luna, nothing!”

Luna swallowed again, grasping all her courage to her, she raised her eyes to lock with his. “When did she do nothing, Draco?”

Draco was unsure as to why he opened his mouth and allowed the words to rush from him. The secret he had kept hidden inside him for years came spilling out to Luna Lovegood because he felt something from her. Something Draco could not put his finger on, but there was something he saw in her misty blue eyes that he trusted.

His voice was dull and lifeless when he replied. “When my father locked me in a coffin.”

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