Luna passed by another smirking slayer as she made her way to the recreation room Draco had designated for their first date. She swore that more slayers were out and about the halls, or peeking out of doors, than normal. Which she supposed meant that Draco was correct in thinking that she had been the only one who was unaware of his attention.
She’d tried not to agonize over her choice of outfit, but that was a lost cause. She’d changed three times, asking the crups’ opinions on each outfit. Luna swore that Vasel rolled his eyes at her after the first time she had asked. She ended up in a light teal linen skirt paired with a white blouse. It was comfortable, and something that she would normally wear to have dinner with a good friend.
She took a deep breath before opening the door to the room, only to let it out in a rush when she discovered that it was empty. Was she too early? Too late?
The newest house elf to the Council came trotting in floating a picnic basket in front of her. She had recently been reassigned here, and could not be more proud. Master Lucius had disliked her because she was “mouthy” so Mistress Narcissa had sent her to watch over Master Draco, as she used to do when he was a little boy.
Tindy could not be more pleased.
“Master Dracos is being a bit late. Tindy is bringing your dinners on time Mistress Luna is being very pretty tonight. Tindy is happy to serve her.”
Master Draco was quite different to her now than when he was a boy. Tindy had always cared for her little lord, but now she had great pride in being his again. Now he treated her in a way that honored Tindy.
Tindy started setting out the food on the coffee table in the room. Master Draco had been adamant that there be tomato soup and cheesy sandwiches. He had also called for fresh fruit, some crisps and chocolate pudding with whipped cream on top.
Luna nodded uncertainly. At least she knew that he had not forgotten. Or something worse.
“Thank you, Tindy. Do you happen to know how late Draco will be?” Maybe she should have brought a book. Or she could pop into the library for a bit. She was sure that something had gotten out of place in the two hours since she had left the Council.
“I’m right here,” he said as he walked in. “Sorry. There were... issues getting dressed.”
He was not about to tell her how many times he’d changed clothes because he didn’t want to look too formal or too casual. Then there had been the stubborn bit of hair on his head that had not wanted to do right that he’d cursed at then ended up spelling it to his head.
“Oh.” Luna clasped her hands in front of her so that she would not fidget. “Did someone charm your cloths pink again? Mac told me about that. And suggested that I seek out Buffy for photographic evidence. But, honestly, the image in my head is so absurd that I can’t imagine a snap being any better.”
Rowena’s diadem, she was babbling! Like a fool.
“Er, no, and please don’t go seeking out snaps. I’m already ridiculous enough without photographic proof.”
He shifted awkwardly.
“I, uh, didn’t make dinner myself because I wanted us to be living at the end of the evening. About all I can do is salad or toast, but salad’s not really cooking, it’s chopping, and toasting is well... toasting.”
He sounded like a right IDIOT.
“Well, why would you?” Luna shook her head. “You’ve always had house elves to do it, right? Your family has them, and then Hogwarts had them. Now, you live here at the Council, where there’s house elves to do the cooking. If you’ve never had to learn to do it, then of course you didn’t.”
She plopped down onto the floor near the coffee table. The house elf who had delivered it had disappeared somewhere.
“You probably don’t know how to do more than the basic cleaning charms, either. It makes perfect sense.”
Draco sat down next to her and raised a brow. “What else don’t I know how to do?”
He was also making a mental note to ask Hannah to teach him some cleaning charms.
She thought for a moment. “Cooking and cleaning really are the big two. At least, if you are applying them in broad terms. Cleaning could include laundry, dishes, and other things. The charms are different, depending on what you’re cleaning. You would not use floor cleaning charms on breakable dishes.
“We were taught food stasis charms by Flitwick, so you should be good on that. Did he tell you the same story about a seventh year who tried to have a romantic picnic with his girlfriend in the Astronomy Tower but ended up with food poisoning? I wonder if that actually happened.”
“I always wondered what everyone thought was so romantic about the sodding Astronomy Tower,” Draco said. “I would have gone for the lake. Beach picnic with the giant squid as a special guest.”
“I suppose it was the idea of looking at the stars. And it was better than a broom closet. But I always supposed that it was rather crowded on the weekends. I can’t see walking in on one of your school mates in the middle of their endeavours as very romantic. Or worse, being walked in on!”
Luna poured them both a glass of water as she continued. “The Room of Requirement, you know what that is, right? That always made more sense to me. You have an actual bed and candles and things. And a door. That locked.”
“I’m familiar with the Room of Requirement,” he said, but did not expand.
Draco didn’t like to think about that, and he sure didn’t want to remind her about it. Not now.
“I suppose the only person I ever walked in on was Blaise, and that’s happened so many times it doesn’t even bother me any longer. At first I was all hands over my eyes and I don’t want to see that, but now I just ignore it. It’s like my brain has this Blaise filter and I don’t notice the naked. Hannah doesn’t like it, but like you said, if they’d learn a sodding locking charm, it wouldn’t happen.”
Luna shuddered. “No, thank you. I don’t think I could ever not see ‘the naked’.” She paused as she had a realization. “He’s not the same way with you, is he?” It was definitely something that gave her pause. If their relationship progressed, then she and Draco would be naked together at some point. Hopefully at multiple points. She did not think she could handle Blaise Zabini randomly wandering in during their naked time. Not that Luna was a particularly prudish, but there were some things that were private.
“How do you mean? Like he acts differently with me than other people? Well, sure. We’re best mates. He’s a bit different with Hannah than he is with me too. Just like I don’t treat you as I would Nott. If I did, you’d hardly be sitting here with me right now. Sometimes with us Slytherins is takes a bit of pulling back layers to find the real person in there. We’re built to protect ourselves, to not show any weakness. Sometimes people like what they find when they pull back those layers, sometimes they don’t.”
He was slightly uncomfortable discussing this with her because a part of him was a little worried that when she pulled back everything on him, she’d decide she really was crazy for ever thinking it might work.
“No, everyone is that way. It’s human nature. I meant walking in and ignoring the nakedness. He’s not going to walk in on us kissing or... Well, more, and just ignore it, is he?”
Both Draco’s eyebrows went up at the ‘or more’ part.
“He bloody well better not,” Draco said. “Besides, I know how to lock things. I know how to get out of places and I know how to keep other people from getting in. Did you know some of my blood helps seal the wards here at the Council? Andromeda’s too. Black blood is good for that sort of thing. Probably why all of us are such escape artists.”
“No, I did not know that. Wards have never been something I was particularly interested in. I know how to do the basic house ones, Daddy taught those to me. But anything more complicated, and I’m afraid that I’m instantly lost. Bill Weasley was kind enough to help me out with the wards on my flat. I would have had to hire out if he did not think so fondly of me.”
She smiled and popped a grape into her mouth.
“I think we’ve possibly gone off topic, though. Aren’t we supposed to be doing date things? I’m not sure what date things you had planned, but I can’t think that Zabini and blood wards figured into it.”
“And I thought we established there were to be no rules,” Draco said. “But yes, I don’t think we ought to be talking about Blaise and blood warding and I certainly don’t want to think about Bill Weasley.”
Draco picked up the device Pevensie call the remote, and began pushing the buttons he’d learned would turn the images on. The girls had assured him this moo-vee would be a good one.
“If you want popcorn with this, all I have to do is call for Tindy.”
Luna glanced from the funny entertainment box to the the table full of food. “No, I think we have enough.” The entertainment box had started making noises and Luna frowned at it.
“Do you even know what this moo-vee thing is?”
“Pevensie said it was called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. If it’s about making chocolate, I’m in.”
Luna passed him a plate and sandwich and focused on the moo-vee. It seemed to be much like a wizarding snap, with the little moving people, though not so little, since the entertainment box itself was quite large. She resisted the urge to get up and examine it more closely. She could also hear the images speak with some type of sonorus
spell, judging by the way some of the sounds came from the sides or behind her.
It did not seem to be about a chocolate factory, though. Instead, it was about a poor child named Charlie and a treasure hunt to find a golden ticket.
“If he’s so poor, then surely the gold in the ticket would be worth more than the prize?”
“That’s what I was just thinking,” Draco said.
He did find himself laughing rather loudly when the tubby kid ate the end of the voice recording device, but he did not find amusing was Veruca Salt. She reminded him a little of himself at that age. Draco kept stealing looks at Luna to see how she was reacting, but she seemed to just be watching and not associating the little bitch with him.
Luna found the moo-vee fascinating. She wanted to visit this chocolate factory herself and wondered where it was. She had no idea that Muggles could do such things, though she suspected that the Wonka fellow was really a wizard. And the Oompa creatures were obviously hariteals.
“How does Wonka get away with breaking the Secrecy Statute?”
“I know, right?” Draco said, looking at her. “Unless he’s killing all of them. In which case he should be arrested for murder. And slave labor. You can’t tell me the Oompa Loompas like mixing and pouring and singing all damned day. And did they choose those ridiculous outfits? I think not.”
He did, however, this he would love a garden like Willy Wonka. The chocolate river particularly fascinated him.
“Hariteals,” she corrected. “They live in the jungles of Africa. Wonka must have captured them and enslaved them. And the outfits are completely silly, aren’t they? He must have spelled them to stay on, since hariteals do not wear clothing in nature. Not that anyone would want to see that. They have a rather... Interesting anatomy.”
Draco looked at her out of the corner of his eye. Were they really going to have this conversation?
“More than one penis?”
And had he really just said that?
“No...” She debated on how much she wanted to tell him. “Prehensile. And apparently long enough to be useful.” She shuddered in remembrance of the stories the Quibbler reporter had told her. The man had revealed much more detail in private than he had been allowed to in the paper. And judging by her father’s reaction to the information, much more detailed than a young Luna had needed.
Draco made a face. “It could... grab things with it?”
How did they end up having this conversation? He was equal part curious and horrified.
“Like an elephant’s trunk. Ugh. The thought is truly horrifying, isn’t it? I suppose to them it’s completely normal, and my father taught me to be accepting to other creatures’ differences... But, ugh!”
Draco’s mouth was hanging open. He had no clue how to respond to that. She had rendered him speechless.
“I did it again, didn’t I?” Luna started cleaning up the mess from their meal. Straightening their glasses so that they lined up, stacking the fruit neatly.
“My housemates always told me that I should stop talking a good five sentences before I did. I’m sorry.”
“I just... it’s kind of nice not to be the one whose turned the conversation to something a bit weird or inappropriate for normal people for once.”
Anyone else he’d have told them not to straighten up, but he knew she had to. Draco took a seat on the sofa and noticed Pevensie had set a blanket in there. He hoped when she got finished with her organizing that Luna sat next to him and not somewhere else.
She finished cleaning and glanced around for something else to do. Finding nothing, Luna joined Draco on the couch. It was one of those long ones that would hold at least three people, but she sat right next to him, which caused Draco to smile. She kicked off her shoes and pulled her feet up beside her.
“I think Wonka needs to be arrested for murder. Or for Muggle baiting, at least. He’s disposing of those children right and left. If he’s not murdering them, then he’s holding them captive and obliviating them later.”
Draco put his arm on the couch behind her. He planned eventually to inch it down so it was around her shoulders.
“And his outfit is terrible,” Draco said. “He’s luring them in with things they can’t resist then not really stopping them when they start to falter. He’s an evil genius. And that outfit is so ridiculous no one would think him a proper villain. If I ever go dark again, I’ll have to remember to dress like that and sing songs about imagination to throw people off.”
Luna snickered and relaxed into his side. This was nice. She’d forgotten how nice it was to just be
with a guy.
“It’s the little purple flowers on his vest,” she assured him. “They get overlooked because the tie, jacket, and top hat are so overwhelming. But, really, it’s the vest you need to be wary of. Does he actually think that Muggles dress like that?”
“Have you ever seen an old school pureblood try to dress like a Muggle? It’s hilarious. I think we should be most wary of the hair, though. Do you see how it makes his head lopsided? It’s crazy person hair.”
She was leaned into his side, and Draco was trying very hard to keep the conversation going and not let that affect him.
“It sort of reminds me of Harry’s hair, actually.” She tilted her head to consider the man in the box. “Maybe he’s just never heard of a comb. Or shampoo. Do you think he washes with sweets? Everything else in his life seems to revolve around them, so why not?”
Draco laughed at that. Not that Potter part, because mentionings of that wanker never made him laugh, but the washing in sweets.
“Well, think about it. He keeps doing things like eating his teacup. And floats down a chocolate river. There’s been no sign of sanitation spells or hand washing stations. And you know that the river must be germy after that one rolly polly boy fell into it. Not to mention what the hariteals might do in it. I shudder to think. Remind me later to check to make sure that any sweets I buy are not from his factory.”
Draco chuckled even harder. He didn’t have the heart to try to explain it was a story and Willy Wonka wasn’t real. It had taken Willow and Buffy forever to get him to realize that, and he still got confused about moo-vees based on factual events.
“Well, I only get mine from Honeyduke’s, so I suspect we’re safe.”
“You don’t suppose that Honeydukes has something like this in the basement,” she asked suspiciously. There were rumors about a secret tunnel in that basement. Luna had always taken them with a grain of salt, but now she was not so sure.
“There’s nothing like that in a basement, but there used to be a secret passage that led to Hogwarts. It was sealed off what would have been your sixth year.”
His arm had sort of slid down and was resting around her shoulders. The hand there had discovered a lock of her hair and was absently playing with it.
“Where is Wonka’s, then? I’d never heard of it before today.” Had she mentioned that this was nice? Because it really was.
“This might be a made-up story. I get confused about moo-vees,” Draco said. “I’ll have to ask Pevensie. Sometimes they just make stuff up to do and sometimes it’s about real things. I hope this is real, though. For the chocolate river alone. But you’re right - tubby probably contaminated the supply there. Fat-kid-flavored chocolate water. Ewww.”
Then Draco started chuckling.
“Augustus Gloob reminds me of Crabbe.”
Luna considered it. “So they’re a cross between a play and a wizarding snap. Got it. And I can see Gloob as Crabbe. Both have rather appropriate names.”
He couldn’t know it, but Luna loved having her hair played with. It was one of her enduring memories of her mother and she found it very soothing. She found herself rubbing her cheek against his shoulder a bit as she enjoyed the sensation.
She was nuzzling him. Draco wondered if she realized that.
“I think you should know,” Draco said in an overly calm voice. “That I’m going to kiss you now. Just a warning in case you wanted to run or something.”
Luna lifted her head to look at him. “Not that I don’t appreciate the warning, but why would I run? You didn’t rinse your mouth out with toilet water, I assume. And kissing you is more than pleasant. Much more.” Just to prove her point, she leaned forward and took care of the kissing herself.
So to say he was feeling quite pleased with himself just now would have been an understatement. Draco did realize, however, that just because she was kissing him did not me he could go with his first impulse here. Which was to lean her back against the arm of the couch and just see what all happened. She had mentioned slow, and while slow was certainly not his forte, Draco was determined to be slow about this, to savor.
After all, this was quite a long way from her needing the window open when he was in the room with her.
She pulled back after a moment and smiled. “There, now it’s out of the way and you don’t have to worry about it.” She settled back against his side to finish the movie.
“I will worry about it, thank you,” Draco said. “I’ll worry about getting to do it again. I’m greedy about you, you know.”
Luna shook her head. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
“What do you mean you don’t know what I mean? I’m a more kind of bloke. You give me something I like, and I want more of it. What if you decide this isn’t for you, you know? I’ll need to be stocking up, won’t I?”
She frowned at him. “No, I don’t understand why you are greedy with me. I’m just me. Loony Luna Lovegood. I’m nothing special. Don’t get me wrong, I like
that you like me... I guess I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that you do.”
“If I ever meet the toerag that’s made you think so little of yourself, I’m going to hit him in the face. Hard. Unless it was me. I don’t know if I could hit my own self in the face. Just know that I do like you. I like who I am when I’m with you. That bloke’s not such a bastard. I think you’re very special, so we’ll have to agree to disagree there, won’t we then?”
She was still frowning at him. Draco took his finger and pushed up on the corners of her mouth.
“Yes, that nutter ex Death Eater Draco Malfoy likes you and you stand a good chance of being accidentally lit afire, but there’s no reason to frown so.”
“So you’re saying that I should brush up on the charm witches and wizards used when being burned at the stake?” She wasn’t going to try to explain that it was not a single person who made her doubt her own self-worth. The number of people who accepted her for herself was far fewer than those who teased her. For the most part she did not mind it, but after a few years, it does start to weigh on a person.
Would her few friends accept this new relationship? Neville had abhorred Erik, though he’d tried to keep his feelings hidden. No doubt he’d hate Draco as well, especially considering their past.
Her father would possibly be another problem. She was not sure how to even begin to broach the subject with him.
“That might not be the worst idea ever,” Draco said, pulling her more into his side and turning back to see what mischief this Wonka fellow was up to now.