Two Ravenclaws, One Slytherin, and Lots of Food
April 15, 2005 at 10:14 pm
Luna poked her head around the corner of the hall and tried to decide where exactly she was. Willow had shown her around the Council on her first day of organization, had invited her to use any of the facilities and amenities available, but this was the first time that she'd ventured out of the library alone. She hadn't felt like eating lunch before coming to Wiltshire and had planned on leaving in plenty of time to eat dinner. But got distracted by the books instead. Now it was late, late enough that she did not feel like cooking at home and no take away places would be open.
Now, if she could just find the kitchen again. The house elves had been nice enough when she had been introduced to them and she was sure that they would happily feed her. House elves tended to do everything happily.
Draco had ventured from his room - it being devoid of food due to his slayer the human locust. He spotted Lovegood wandering around like she was a bit lost. He made sure he was at a distance.
"What are you looking for, Lovegood?"
Luna jumped a bit and turned towards the voice. Malfoy stood near the end of the hall, wearing sweats and a t-shirt. No shoes. It was an odd thing to notice, his lack of shoes. Maybe she noticed because of her own bare feet. She tended to take her shoes off whenever she was able and didn't always bother to put them back on. It was one of the reasons she'd had no problems with her house mates hiding them back in school.
"The kitchens," she told him. She resisted the urge to wrap her arms around herself. Malfoy had made it a point to visit her several times in the library, letting her get used to his presence. But she'd never encountered him outside the comforting confines before.
"It's this way," he said with a nod of his head and headed off.
Normally Draco did not like people walking behind him, but she was the more nervous of the two of them here. Draco frowned when he arrived in the kitchen. MacDougal was already there. She had food spread out everywhere.
Luna eased past Malfoy and smiled in pleasure at seeing her friend. "Hello, Mac. I knew you were around here somewhere, but hadn't had a chance to find you yet. Does all this food have a purpose, or are you willing to share?"
She cast a glance back to Malfoy, and he was still standing near the door.
"Thank you for showing me the way."
"I was coming here anyway. I was hungry. Pevensie ate everything in my fridge."
Draco stepped to the huge refrigerator and started pulling things out.
Mac gestured to her spread. "Help yerself."
Luna looked over the feast for a moment before deciding on bangers and mash. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a lone house elf pop in and out of the kitchen, silently checking that they had everything they needed before going about it's chores.
"How have you been, Mac? Neville told me that you were working here now, and that he needed to owl you for a date. Did he do that?"
"I slept with him."
Malfoy turned and looked at her.
"As in actual sleep no' sex. I dinna work here, Luna. I'm a slayer."
Luna nodded as she took a bite out of the end of her sausage. "I thought so. It makes perfect sense that you are. But I didn't know if it was something you wanted known. How's it working out for you?"
She was very aware of Malfoy still in the room, some part of her making sure that she knew where he was at all times. He wasn't a threat to her. She knew
this. Just as she knew that alphabetizing books would not keep the darkness away. But she did it anyway.
"Well, I've seen the snappin' jaws of a hellhound up close."
Draco made himself a huge sandwich and sat at the other end of the table.
"We dinna have cooties," Mac snapped. "What th'fock is wrong wit ya?"
Draco sighed loudly and came to sit next to her, plunking his plate loudly on the table.
"Don't worry, Lovegood. She'd kill me if I tried anything."
"He..." She couldn't explain how Malfoy made her feel. Nervous was not the right word. Or scared. How could she explain that every time she saw him, every time she heard her voice, she smelt the mold of the cellar again? That every time he came into the library he opened windows because if he didn't, she freaked out.
better. A little bit. Maybe his tactics were working.
"It's fine," she finally said with a shake of her head.
"Ya dinna look fine." Mac glared at Draco. "Wha' have ya done?"
"Nothing," Draco snapped. "Oh, for fuck's sake!"
He grabbed his plate and moved again.
Mac blinked. She was confused. That was actually considerate. He made Luna nervous, so he stayed at a distance. That surprised her.
"She said it were fine. Dinna be a wee baby."
"I'll stay right here and eat, thanks."
"He didn't do anything," Luna told her old friend as her fingers picked apart the sausage. "Honestly." She felt bad that Malfoy had moved again. He was trying very hard to be nonthreatening. The students he had terrorized back in school would be shocked to see him now.
"No," Draco said. "I like my legs not broken, thanks. I know how you work. Just enjoy your visit. Don't mind me."
"I will carry ya."
Draco gave her and incredulous look before moving his plate yet again.
"You shouldn't threaten boys," Luna teased Mac with a smile. "They get the wrong idea and start thinking that they should pull your pigtails." She took a few bites of food and giggled at Mac's eye roll.
"So... You had a sleep over with Neville? Did you paint each other's nails? Braid hair? Tell scary stories?"
"Oh, gods," Draco groaned. "I'm eating, MacDougal. Eating here."
"He asked me to be his girl. I said yes."
"I'm trapped in hell," Draco muttered.
Luna was definitely going to have to make a visit to Neville. She thought that she could at least get a blush out of him over this. And maybe a stutter is she were good.
"Good for you," Luna told Mac with a grin.
"Yes, excellent. Very good. Can we talk about something not destined to give me indigestion?" Draco snapped. "Since we insisted I sit here?"
Mac grinned at Luna. "Seein' anyone?"
"No," she replied with a quick shake of her head. "And no prospects on the horizon." She refused to think about Mrs. Wintourfall's insistence that Zabini had been flirting with her. Even if she had been right, she had a feeling that Blaise Zabini would flirt with anything in a skirt.
"Most of my time is taken up with work. I'm part time at Flourish and Blotts, and here the rest of the time now. Willow hired me to organize the library, with the option to become the librarian once it's all done. I don't know if I'll take her up on the offer yet."
Draco stopped eating. He did not know why the idea of her and her odd ticks being in the library all the time interested him.
"Havin' ya about all the time would be nice," Mac said.
"We'll see," Luna said. "I don't need to make a decision right now. And was offered the chance to organize another private library once this one is done. I have options. Maybe I can make a second career out of traveling the country and setting neglected libraries to rights." She wouldn't do that even if it were an option. It would mean getting too far out of her comfort zone.
"What private library?" Draco asked, knowing it was none of his business, but not caring.
"Blaise Zabini's," she answered, never expecting the reaction she got. Mac and Malfoy both started yelling obscenities, making her drop her fork and cover her ears to protect them from the sudden volume.
A house elf popped into appearance right beside the table, adding her own squeaky voice to the din, asking what was wrong and how "Zyngi" could fix it.
Luna felt her stomach turn over and worried that she would lose the food she had managed to eat. She could feel her hands shaking against her ears. She'd never reacted to people yelling before. But outside of battle, this was possibly the first time she'd been yelled at since getting out of that cursed cellar.
Draco noticed. He used his wand to silence MacDougal.
"Easy," he said, using his soothing voice. "It's all right. Apologies for shouting."
It was a challenge. Could the person who scared her calm her? He went to put his hand on hers, curious as to whether she'd let him touch her.
Luna took several deep breaths, holding each in her lungs for a count of five before releasing them, her hands still protectively over her ears. She became aware of Malfoy easing one hand away from her head and realized that the noise had stopped. Breathing immediately became easier.
Mac was standing on her other side, alternately looking worriedly at her and glaring at Malfoy. And Zyngi was twisting her ears viciously.
"I'm OK," she whispered. "I'm OK. Could I get a glass of water, please?"
The house elf looked relieved to have something to do and rushed around until an ice-cold glass of water was in her hand. She had to free her other hand from Malfoy in order to bring it to her mouth, an easy task since he was barely touching her.
Draco was looking at her intently. She was damaged. Not as much as him, naturally, but she had issues. It was interesting to him.
Mac hit him in the arm.
He gave her her voice back.
"Sorry, Luna," Mac said. "Ya canna go over there alone. Ya must have protection."
"From the books that will jump out and eat me? I doubt Zabini has The Monster Book of Monsters
"He's th'monster," Mac snapped.
"Hey," Draco snapped back. "Blaise isn't a monster, but he does have dangerous books in there. Be careful."
"They're books," Luna told them with a shake of her head. "Some contain knowledge that can be used for ill, but the knowledge itself is not evil. Neither are the books that contain the knowledge." She thought of the books the Council kept locked away and suppressed a shiver. Just because they had given her the creeps did not mean that the books were evil.
"And what do you mean, he's a monster? He looked pretty human to me."
"You do know he and Mac dated in school, and it ended badly," Draco said.
"Badly?" Mac snapped.
"No," Luna said, interrupting the rant she could sense coming from Mac. "I didn't pay much attention to who was dating whom in school. Too busy looking for gulping plimpies and feeding thestrals. But what does that have to do with me organizing his library?"
The smile on Draco's face was slow. Then he started chuckling. MacDougal was glaring at him, and he knew there was a distinct possibility he was about to be boxed in the face, but he kept looking at Lovegood and chuckling.
"Not a blessed thing."
"I'll be goin' wit ya."
"Like hell you will," Draco said to MacDougal. "She's a big girl. She can handle what comes her way, and besides that, what makes you think Blaise would ever let you into his home? I know he hurt you, MacDougal, but that doesn't mean he hurts everyone."
"Thank you," Luna said to Malfoy. She had a feeling that his laughter was directed at her. She didn't mind, really. She was used to people thinking that she was odd. But she did wonder what she had done this time.
"And I never said I was going to do it," she reminded Mac. "Just that it was offered. I might decide that I've had enough of books once the Council library is presentable and become a waitress at the Leaky." Which was about as likely as her waitressing at the bar she'd heard rumors about in Knockturn. But they didn't need to know that.
"I dinna recommend waitressin'," Mac said. "Just be careful. He talks a pretty game. He'll talk ya right out of yer knickers, and aye, I do know tha' from experience."
Draco sighed. He couldn't actually deny anything MacDougal was saying.
"Look, he's my best mate, but Slytherins are tricky. I think that's all MacDougal is saying. Still, it's worth taking the job to see Zabini Manor. That is a very beautiful place, and I've always felt he neglected the library."
He'd just make a point to check on them when he knew she was there. Make sure Blaise wasn't shouting or anything. He was willing to bet that Lovegood didn't scuttle away from Blaise like she did him. Draco had no idea why Luna Lovegood being skittish with him bothered him so much.
"Tha's no' all I were sayin' - I were sayin' she needs to watch her knickers."
Luna felt her mouth quirk into a smile. As she'd told Mrs. Wintourfall, Zabini was more likely to flirt with a crup than her. But she was amused that they were both so worried about the state of her knickers when it came to him.
"I assure you both that I have no plans to jump into bed with Zabini. And even if I did, I would make sure to remember that he's not the commitment type. I might not have paid much attention to relationships at school, but even I knew that he was a boywhore."
Draco frowned. He poked at his sandwich menacingly and scowled.
"Surely there's someone else ya can sleep wit'," was Mac's only comment.
"Can we not talk about this?" Draco snapped.
"I'm not planning on sleeping with anyone
, Mac." She rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Why are you both so obsessed with this? It's not like he'd ever want to flirt with me anyway."
"Why wouldn't he?" Draco asked, causing MacDougal to look at him sharply.
Luna shook her head. She didn't understand either of them.
"Are we done talking about this yet? Or do you want me to swear an unbreakable oath that I will never be alone with a man who is not interested in me?"
"Do ya know how to do one?" Mac asked Draco.
Draco had started sweating at the words unbreakable oath. That brought up a bad memory - a very bad memory.
"I'm not doing that," Draco said, entire body tense, head full of what he knew, what his mother and aunt had done and what it had cost everyone.
"Oh, hell," Luna snapped, setting her glass carefully down before pushing back from the table and standing. "You're impossible. There will be no unbreakable oath. I'm an adult and am perfectly capable of making my own decisions. And even if I make a mistake, I can handle it. I'm not made of glass!"
She huffed out a breath and turned towards the door.
"Luna, I'm sorry," Mac called. "I'm just worried 'bout ya. Old habits an' all."
Draco closed his eyes and tried to center himself.
"And I appreciate it," Luna told her as she turned back around. She absently noticed that Malfoy looked a bit pained. It was probably good that she didn't have the type of personality that demanded that she do exactly the opposite of what people insisted that she should.
"I really do. But this isn't our house mates hiding my books as a joke. This isn't even anything. I don't need to be protected."
Draco was thinking maybe she did. Maybe just a little. Everyone needed to be protected now and again.
"I might need to be reminded of tha'. Repeatedly. I'm no' good at no' protecting people. It's wha' I do. Tis always wha' I done."
"And I would guess being a slayer just makes those urges stronger." Which made perfect sense. Slayers were the muggles' protection from demons. One who had no desire to protect people would not be very effective.
She sighed and sat back down. "Why don't we drop it for now? Find something else to talk about and finish dinner."
"Agreed," Mac said. She'd let it lie for now, but Zabini had better not hurt Luna, or promise or not, she'd break his jaw again.
"All right," Draco responded, feeling this was the oddest late dinner conversation he'd ever had, and considering who his friends were, that was saying a lot.