Pairing: Male Canon Character/Luna Lovegood
Word Count: 1132
Summary: A wizard in hiding is discovered by his future bride.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling, and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by the posting of this fic.
Author's Note: florahart prompted me with Mail-order bride. AU or not, pretty much anyone. Words to prompt if you want (however you want): driven, sparse, chatter. Thank you, shiv5468, for beta'ing.
People usually sent away for mail-order brides; it was unusual to read about a would-be bride advertising her wish to be sent for in such a manner:
Wanted: a wizard with sparse chest hair, all his own teeth, and a working wand to send for me, a shapely witch who's good at spells, unusual cookery, sewing charms, open-minded conversation, and sex. Object: matrimony. Will discuss further particulars in person. Reply to Box #777.
Shapely. That could mean anything, the advert's reader thought, staring glumly into his morning porridge. And so could unusual cookery, but it's probably more interesting than mine.
He was a fool for replying, a bored, lonely fool—which was precisely why he decided to do it.
Hiding in plain sight had proved harder than he thought it would, glamour or no.
He almost Disapparated when he saw her; shapely, she was, but if she hadn't changed much since last he'd seen her, he doubted that he could stand her cheerful chatter without revealing himself to her. Before he could turn away, however, she called, "Stephen?"
"I'm so glad that you came," she said, sliding her arm through his and leading him into the Three Broomsticks. "I was certain that you wouldn't. All the others seem to have taken one look at me and fled."
Unusual sewing charms, indeed, he thought, attempting not to stare at her twinkling robes as doing so made him dizzy.
They settled into a table at the back of the pub, and Lovegood eyed him in a way that made him worry about his glamour.
"I can't think why," he said, not quite regretting that he hadn't fled. What others?
There was nothing subtle about her—she was certainly not the kind of woman with whom one could involve oneself discreetly—but she'd filled out nicely and was smiling at him, and the press of her body against his had been promisingly warm.
"So, you wish to be married?" she asked.
"Perhaps, but I fail to see why you're advertising for a husband. Surely you could find—"
"Oh, finding someone interested isn't the problem. That is, there are plenty of wizards who're interested in shagging me, but none of them know what to do with their wands."
He sat back in his chair. "I take it you're being euphemistic?"
Lovegood blinked. "What? Oh, no, not at all. I teach Charms at Hogwarts, and I also develop my own spells. You'd be surprised by how many wizards find it off-putting to be with a witch whose wand-work is more accomplished than theirs. I want someone driven enough to succeed in his own endeavours not to mind mine, someone who might find what I do interesting enough to involve himself in it, and someone sufficiently confident in his own skill with a wand to not be jealous of mine. Oh, well, and of course I want someone who can shag properly—if that's what you meant by 'euphemistic'."
"What do you mean by 'properly'?"
"Perhaps it would be better if I showed you—after we've eaten, of course. We'll need our strength."
Smiling, he replied, "Tell me more about your wand-work."
By dawn, he'd shown her more than a fair share of his, and gasping, he collapsed into the pillows of his bed.
"Oh! That was . . . I like you, Stephen. Are you ready to send for me properly, now?"
When his breathing had stilled, he asked, "What do you mean?"
"I'm supposed to be a mail-order bride, you know, and the rules about that are clear: if you want to marry me, you have to send for me. There's a form."
She climbed nimbly out of bed and pulled a scroll of parchment from her robes, which she then handed to him. He recognised the magical contract for what it was.
"Since when has George Weasley been in the match-making business? Isn't selling Wheezes and rare ingredients enough for him?"
"Does the form bother you?" Luna asked, kneeling up on the bed to stare down at him, her hair brushing over her breasts.
Frowning, he said, "Couldn't we just skip all that nonsense? If there's a fee involved, I'll pay it."
"The only fee was friendship, and George already has mine."
He glanced back at the form. Damn. The name section—the magic would require honesty, and there was no way that Luna would still want her nondescript-looking apothecary owner once she knew him.
"And it's not as though we have to tell people your real name," Luna said, stretching out next to him and drawing her hand lightly up and down his chest.
He shivered. "I don't know what you mean."
"Of course you do. My advert was spelled for your eyes only. Did you think that George wouldn't know who you were, no matter what lengths you've gone to hide yourself? Your personality is particularly distinctive. And did you think that I could have forgotten your kindness to me, everything we said to each other? I've been looking for you for ages."
"Then . . . then why haven't you said my name—if you know it?"
"Because you haven't given it to me, yet," Luna replied, rolling up to kiss his nose before rising from the bed and beginning to dress. "If you want me, fill out the form, and I'll come to you and sign it, too—and then we'll be married, and you won't be alone. I think it's very brave, you know, your going into hiding to protect your mother the way you did. Harry says they've got the last of them, now, though, so you don't have to keep hiding."
"What if I want to?"
"Then you'll still be you, and I'll be Mrs Stephen Tumbleton."
He owled off the form on Saturday so that Weasley would receive it by close of business. That way, Luna wouldn't miss any of her classes. He fully expected to wake up Monday morning, a married man sharing his wife's quarters at Hogwarts.
He never thought he'd see the castle again, and he didn't know if he'd keep his glamour—until he received the person-sized box and Luna burst out of it.
"I knew you'd send for me as soon as you knew I wanted to be sent for! I knew it!"
Catching Luna up in his arms, Draco laughed. "There were other ways to tell me you'd found me."
"Yes, but none that were fairytale-like enough."
Draco shook his head. "I don't understand."
"Silly—it was in the dungeons, after you brought Mr Ollivander the Healing balm? You told me that you were sorry, that you wished your life could be less a nightmare, and—"
"More a fairytale," Draco said, in time with Luna.
And before his luck could change, he asked her to sign Weasley's contract and took his bride to bed.