Characters: Draco/Luna, Narcissa, Lucius
Warning (highlight to view): For ignoring the Epilogue completely.
Word Count: 2095
Summary: Looking for forgiveness—and a job—Draco applies to Luna.
Disclaimer: This work of fan fiction 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 from (and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by) the posting of this fan work.
Author's Note: eaivalefay prompted me with Luna/Draco: needed, forgotten, tribal. The resulting answer represents complete drabble!fail on my part, but I hope she doesn't mind. Thank you, shiv5468, for beta'ing.
Draco needed to be forgiven, but he didn't know how to go about it. No one had forgotten what his family had done, what he had done, and it seemed as though no one ever would—especially since it had got around that the Wizengamot expected him to find a "decent job within the wizarding community" if he wished to rejoin it as a citizen. By that, of course, the judges meant that he couldn't have his wand back until he had a lawful need for it; consequently, Draco found himself treated little better than a Squib . . . until desperation led him to the Quibbler's door.
He'd owled ahead to the paper's new location to avoid being hexed for showing up uninvited, and Luna Lovegood had owled back telling him that she was prepared to offer him an interview, but that her "questions would be difficult ones."
The door opened. "Well, don't just stand there," Lovegood said, stepping aside, "come in before you're late."
"I thought you said you'd be interviewing me?"
"Oh, I will be," Lovegood replied, as a clock chimed three, "but Daddy says that punctuality in an employee is paramount." She shut the door and laughed. "I don't know why he says that. He's never punctual."
"Miss Lovegood," Draco said, swallowing, "please allow me to tell you, again, how very sorry I am for—"
"Oh, stop that. If we're to be co-workers, you're just going to have to learn to let things go."
"But how can you?"
Lovegood led him to a sofa and patted its cushion as she sat down. "I haven't. I remember how scared you were, and how you brought us food and blankets, how you brought Mr Ollivander that pain potion—I know you're not entirely nice, but you're not evil, either—are you?"
"No," Draco said quickly, glancing around the office as he joined her. There was only the sofa and the clock, which hovered overhead and provided the only noise in the room. "Forgive me, but where's the press? Where are the other employees?"
"Oh, well, as to the press, it's broken. Death Eaters broke it." Her gaze was without malice but painfully direct.
Draco tried not to squirm under it. "I'm sorry about that, as well."
"Not your fault," Lovegood replied, with unexpected crispness, "but I suppose Daddy would accept you more easily if you would be prepared to provide the funds for a new one, and office furniture, of course."
"Oh." No wonder she agreed to see me. "I think that could be arranged."
Lovegood beamed at him. "All right, well, are you a curious person, Dra—Mr Malfoy?"
Draco flushed. "Not as much as I used to—I mean, yes, I'm interested in many things. I could easily report for your publication."
"Could you? Easily? Not many people like you."
"Glamour?" Draco almost squeaked.
"Oh, you mean you'd use one?" Lovegood shook her head. "That wouldn't do. The Wizengamot wouldn't approve, and a journalist must be honest."
Draco suddenly lost his nerve and rose. "I think I'm wasting your time, then."
"Sit down, Mr Malfoy," Lovegood said, almost coldly. "I'll tell you when our interview is at an end."
Draco sat. You need this job. You need this—
"Are you the sort of person," Lovegood continued, "who considers that his differences—be they familial, political, or tribal—set him apart and, perhaps, above, other people?"
"Are you asking me if I'm too much of a pure-blood wizard to take a job seriously?"
"I think I'm asking a lot of things, Mr Malfoy." Lovegood's gaze didn't waver.
Draco looked down, annoyed to discover that he was fidgeting. He stilled his hands and said, looking at her, "I need this job, and I will take it seriously. I don't think . . . I don't think I'm too good for it, or for anyone. I, er, I used to think that sort of thing, but now . . . ."
"I like dragons. I expect your parents must, as well, given your name."
Draco blinked. "Er, yes, that's true." She's fucking with me now. That's why I'm here, isn't it?
"Charlie Weasley works in Romania at a dragon preserve. Apparently, Voldemort—"
Draco took a breath at the name.
"—tried to recruit several dragon biologists before he attacked Hogwarts. Did you know that?"
"I . . . I may have heard it discussed," Draco replied, suddenly wondering if Lovegood was assisting the Ministry with further inquiries with regard to him and paling.
Lovegood startled him again by patting his hands. "I'm not trying to trick you. I'm trying to decide how best to use you."
Her words didn't fill Draco with hope. "I thought we'd established that," he spat, unable to help himself.
"Oh, you mean having you fund a new press? Don't be silly. That's just an investment. Daddy's going to retire, you see, and I want to get the paper going again. I just don't have the Galleons to do it."
"I don't understand."
Lovegood cocked her head at him. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but it's simple: not everyone is wealthy, Mr Malfoy."
"No," said Draco, in frustration, "I meant that I don't see how my paying for your press would be an investment."
"I'm prepared to give you partial ownership in the Quibbler," Lovegood told him, "if you're actually prepared to help me fund its operation."
"Are you serious?" Draco asked, so astounded that he leapt up.
Lovegood's face fell. "I see. I know we're not . . . conventional, but I thought, under the circumstances, that—"
"Are you kidding? Of course I'll help you! I'd be delighted to—Lovegood? Are you all right?"
She was crying, just sitting there, ramrod straight, with tears running down her face.
"Please don't do that," Draco said, kneeling before her and taking her hands. "I didn't mean to shout. It's just that—"
Draco suddenly found himself knocked back on the floor with Lovegood pressed atop him.
"Oh, thank you, thank you," she told him, placing light kisses all over his face. "Daddy's so depressed since . . . since everything that he won't help . . . me and we . . . need the money, and I didn't . . . know what else to do! But you'll help me, really?"
A lapful of warm witch was definitely not what Draco had expected when he'd applied to Lovegood for a job; he couldn't help but react to her.
"Oh, is that your penis?"
"Shit!" Draco exclaimed, rolling her off of him and rising quickly to his feet. "I'm so sorry. I, er . . . ." He flushed and held out his hand to her, not knowing what else to say and hoping that he hadn't ruined things.
"There's more of it than I thought there was."
Draco flushed more deeply, completely at a loss as to how to respond.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I've made you uncomfortable," Lovegood said, pulling herself up. "Are you going to leave me?"
Am I going to what? thought Draco, as he stared into her eyes.
He didn't like the fear he saw there, and he realised that Lovegood really was asking him a lot of things, things she might not even know, herself. She wants me to fix . . . everything, he realised, because she doesn't have anyone else on whom to rely. He stood a little straighter at the thought.
"You haven't let go of my hand. Are you still thinking about it?" she asked.
"Where's your father?"
Her lower lip trembled. "I don't know. He said he couldn't . . . stand to look at me after what he did—you know he tried to give Harry to—"
"Yes, I've read about that."
"In the Prophet," Luna retorted.
It was the angriest Draco had ever heard her.
"Daddy said that he was too ashamed to see me after what he did, and before I went back to finish the year, he left. I don't know where he is."
"Have you reported him missing?"
"No, because he's not. He wanted to go, and he did. There's nothing the Aurors can do about that."
Suddenly furious with Xenophilius, whom he'd never met and didn't want to, ever, except to give the man a piece of his mind, Draco pulled Luna into a fierce embrace. How could he have abandoned you? he wondered, suddenly feeling a rush of gratitude for his own parents.
No matter how awful things had got, no matter the mistakes they'd made, they'd always tried their best to look out for him.
Mother lied to the Dark Lord for—
"This is nice," Luna murmured, interrupting his thoughts.
Hoarsely, Draco asked, "Is it?"
"Your penis seems to think so."
"Luna, I don't think it's . . . you shouldn't . . . I, er . . . ."
Luna pulled away and laughed. "I'm sorry. I won't talk about your penis anymore."
Embarrassed, Draco replied, "I prefer 'cock'."
"You do?" Luna's eyes grew almost impossibly wide. "Does your pe—are you sure?"
"Oh. My. Gods. No, Luna, I mean the term 'cock'—to 'penis'. Penis is a clinical word, and—Merlin! Should we truly be talking about this when we're trying to start a business together?"
"I suppose the interview has been a little odd."
Draco laughed. "Yes, yes it has been, so I think we should end it and go to lunch."
"To discuss business?" asked Luna.
"Well, that, and other things. . . . Picnic?"
"Draco, that was almost a non sequitur. I think you will fit into the Quibbler tribe—once we establish it again, of course—but are you asking if I want to go on a picnic?"
"I think so," Draco replied, not quite certain of anything at the moment.
"Why? Do you not want to be seen with me? I don't think it would hurt your reputation."
"Oh, Luna, it's not my reputation I'm worried about."
She glanced pointedly down at the placket of his trousers.
Draco snorted. "Go on, you can say it."
"You're worried about your penis."
Flushing, Draco nodded.
"Should I give you some privacy?"
"Wha—no. I don't need privacy." I think I just need you.
"Well, it is my fault. I could—"
"Okay, stop. Sit . . . sit down here with me," Draco told her, pulling her down onto the sofa and cradling her against him. "If we're going to do this, we're going to do it right."
"Start a business, you mean?"
Draco took a deep breath. "Everything, I mean. We need a contract—for our business—and . . . and—"
"Kissing," Luna said, turning to look at him, "before any penis business."
Draco groaned and pressed his mouth to Luna's . . . and didn't think about anything else but her until the clock chimed midnight.
His mother was standing in the hall when he arrived home. "Oh, thank goodness! I was so wor—Draco, what's happened?"
Behind her, his father snorted. "I should think that would be obvious, dear."
Draco flushed. "Mother, Father, I have some news."
"Oh?" asked his mother.
Draco drew himself up straight. "I'm going into business, and . . . and after a suitable courtship, I'm marrying Luna Lovegood—and I will never forgive you if you stand in our way!"
The stunned silence in the wake of his declaration didn't surprise him, but his father's next words did.
"So, what you're telling us is that it was more of a honeymoon than an interview?"
Draco surprised himself by grinning. "Yes, I suppose it was."
His father smirked. "Then what the hell are you doing here?"
"Oh, shit," said Draco, "you're right! I never should have—"
Lucius and Narcissa clasped hands as the Floo Powder settled.
"Dear?" asked Lucius.
"Just how did you manage that?"
"What makes you think—"
"All I did was write to Miss Lovegood to apologise . . . and to put in a good word for Draco."
"'A good word'? Was the ink charmed?"
"Of course not, Lucius, but I did mention that I would give anything—even my first born son—if it meant securing her forgiveness."
"Thus putting the idea of marriage into the mind of a pretty, pure-blood witch who is, from all appearances, entirely without financial or parental resources."
"No one could possibly accuse us of being in a position to know about that, darling, but Draco was a source of comfort to her, and she to him, I believe, while she was . . . our guest."
"No charm? No hex? No spell of any kind?" Lucius pressed.
"I promise, nothing like that at all—just my knowledge that Miss Lovegood is . . . an unusually pragmatic young woman."
"Whom you knew would understand how to read between the lines."
"Well done, my dear, well done, indeed." Lucius kissed her. "Should we make an effort to find Xenophilius Lovegood?"
"Oh, I should leave that to Draco. You know how little he cares for it when we interfere in his life."