Written for the QLFC - Round 11
Falmouth Falcons - Seeker
Prompt: Song - Don't Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John & Kiki Dee, Lyrics used - 'When I was down, I was your clown'
The bell signalling dinner, and the end of the day's classes, rang loudly throughout the potion dungeon classroom. As quickly as possible the seventh year N.E.W.T. students began packing their things away as Professor Slughorn called reminders about their impending essay that was due as they all half-ran towards dinner. Draco Malfoy lingered behind as usual, waiting behind intentionally in order to be rid of the stares. Even Slughorn avoided his company the majority of the time, and barely anybody bothered to look him in the eyes. He ignored that as much as he possibly could. The stares and whispers he had gotten from the beginning of the year were slowly dwindling down. So much so that, as he entered the Great Hall for dinner, only one or two younger students from the other houses bothered to notice his existence. The conversation at the Slytherin table was the same as usual and Draco didn't feel much like joining in recently. Bolting down his dinner, he headed down towards the black lake and set up in his usual spot. Retrieving his unfinished potions essay, Draco got out his quill and ink and began writing his rather lengthy conclusion. Too soon he had finished and his last distraction from the black pit that constantly threatened to engulf him had gone.
Staring into the depths of the black water, Draco gave himself over to the overwhelming pain once again. He let his head fall into his pale, spindly hands and scrunched his long fingers through his snowy blonde hair. I'm fine…. I'm fine…. Draco repeated the words to himself over and over again, crunching his body tightly together in an attempt to dull the never ending pain. Draco was grateful that he was always alone when these episodes occurred. The pain never fully went away, it was always there… in the back of his mind. Never waning, never stopping. It felt like he was drowning and yet, nobody was there to save him. Nobody wanted to save him, Draco thought bitterly to himself. The one thing that could be said for him was that the pain was getting dimmer, he could feel it. It could be controlled better now and that was the main thing. Losing people that you loved was not the easiest thing in the world… especially when you were alone in it. A single tear rolled down his left cheek and he wiped it away absentmindedly. The time for tears was over, and yet they continued to threaten him even then.
Auntie Bella…. Professor Snape….. Crabbe….. I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry, Crabbe. If it weren't for me you'd be alive. I killed my best friend. You are dead because of me. I miss you all so much, but especially you Crabbe. My friend, my brother. Draco succumbed to his grief once again, falling into the depths of his despair. The world was just too much for him at these times, so it was a surprise to even think that it continued during these moments. Yet it did. It was the sound of a branch snapping that dragged him back to reality. Someone's here, the thought crept into his mind unwillingly. Draco looked around and saw that the sky had since turned a brilliant orange. He leapt up and spun around, looking for the source of the invasion, before seeing her standing there with her eyes as round as dinner plates. The dirty blonde haired girl stared intently at Draco as though he were a very interesting puzzle, yet he could also see the pity that invaded her gaze.
"You saw nothing," Draco shouted, his anger flaring. He gathered his things and began walking very quickly away from the scene. Once he had gotten a fair distance away, Draco looked back in one last moment to see the girl's reaction. Luna Lovegood simply stared at him, her gaze unwavering, and Draco turned storming off back to the castle, angrier and lonelier than ever.
Time went on. Minutes stretched into days that stretched into weeks. The day after the event occurred, Luna Lovegood had attempted to speak to Draco though he merely brushed her away and continued his stony silence. Draco maintained his cool exterior as he had decided that ignoring the problem would be the best way to approach the situation. However, that did not mean that he had been able to block everything out. For one thing, Draco couldn't help but replay the events of that evening in his head. How stupid he must have looked. Humiliated was not the word. Not to mention that each time Draco encountered Luna, no matter how much he tried to ignore her, he still noticed that her gaze rarely moved away from him. It was like she still hadn't solved the puzzle of him but was still dying to. This angered Draco more than anything, though he couldn't shake the feeling that he needed to talk to her. After over a month of battling with himself, Draco finally decided to confront her. He would talk to Luna Lovegood. The thought frustrated him and, although he would never willingly admit it, terrified him.
Almost a week after deciding to confront the girl, Draco was standing inside an unused classroom just waiting for Luna to appear. He had wasted his free period just to talk to her and Draco was determined that he would go through with his plan. When the bell rang signalling the end of classes, Draco stood by the slightly ajar door and peered through the gap he had left just waiting for the person he had been obsessing over for weeks. Soon, the familiar mane of dirty blonde hair appeared some way down the hall as the girl walked alone towards dinner. Without hesitating Draco grabbed the crook of her left elbow and tugged her into the empty classroom. He closed the door quickly and turned to stare at the only witness to his humiliation.
Slowly Luna turned around, blinking stupidly with her overlarge, sparkling eyes. As she spotted Draco he saw a dreamy smile spill over her lips. "Oh, hello Draco," Luna smiled at him. Draco felt his eyes narrow as he stared accusingly back towards her.
"You keep staring at me," Draco half-spat. He noticed that Luna's expression did not waver.
Draco was taken aback, this was not how he had planned this conversation going at all. Bewildered Draco could do nothing but stare at her stupidly. "Why?" He found himself asking.
"Well," Luna paused, never taking her eyes away from his. "You always look so lonely."
"And?" Draco challenged, his temper rising.
"Don't you want friends?" asked Luna, her expression quizzical.
"Friends?" Draco laughed, though the notion did not even slightly amuse him. "Why would I want friends? All that happens when you have friends is that they either betray you or leave you. They leave a huge gaping hole in your life that you have no chance of ever filling again. Caring about people is utterly ludicrous," spat Draco, merely inches away from Luna's face though she never even flinched throughout his entire rant. Breathing heavily, Draco ran one hand through his pale locks and dragged himself away before he hurt the girl. She merely stood there, staring at him, as though she were trying to figure it out. He wondered why she did not say anything until he realised that she was waiting for him to continue. "Even if I wanted friends," said Draco bitterly. "Who would want to be friends with me? I'm the Death Eater, the one who followed Voldemort. Nobody in this damn school even deigns to look at me…."
Draco looked down at the desk in front of him, ashamed to meet her gaze. The conversation had spiralled wildly out of control. His thoughts were so deep that he hadn't noticed Luna had crept closer to him until he felt her soft hand take his. Draco looked up at her, startled.
"I do," Luna began. "I look at you. I know what it is like to be lonely, better than anyone. It's not about who you were or what you did but about who you now are. Show them that and I am sure that some people will want you in their lives." Draco stared at her for a moment, taken in by her sweet words, before reality came crashing down again and he ripped his hand from beneath her own.
"What do you know about it?" Draco snarled. "Absolutely nothing, that's what. Get out of here Loony Lovegood."
At the instant the words left his mouth, Draco regretted them. Tears pooled in her oversized eyes and pain flashed over Luna's face. He wanted nothing more to reach out to her and make the hurt go away, but he could not find the words. Luna's pain felt as though it were his own. For some strange reason Draco could not bear to see her hurt.
"You can be awfully horribly you know," Luna replied, turning to leave.
Luna was half-way across the room before Draco consciously decided to stop her and she had reached the door when Draco caught up with Luna and spun her around to face him. The kiss was not a decision he had made. Upon feeling his lips planted upon Luna's, Draco was just as surprised as he was sure this dirty blonde haired girl was. He felt all of the books she had been holding drop around the two of them as they embraced and although one heavy volume landed on his toe, Draco did not care. That kiss. It was like nothing he had ever experience. Nothing he could have imagined. It was as though the puzzle had been solved at last. Then, Draco realised, this was the first time he had been truly happy in months. As the two of them drew apart Draco gazed into Luna's eyes. Her mouth was drawn into a silent 'o' shape but her eyes were alight with happiness. Draco softly brushed a stray strand of hair away from Luna's face and smiled at her, a true joyous smile. It took her a minute to return but, when she did, it was the most radiant thing Draco had ever experienced.
"That was nice," Luna smiled up at him. Draco couldn't help but grin at that.
"More than nice I think," replied Draco.
The two of them laughed and gripped each other tightly in a fierce hug. That was when Draco realised. He needed Luna like a lame man needed a crutch. She was his saviour. What he did not realise was how much Luna also needed him.