A/N: Hello again. The old stories are gone. I was literally 14 when I wrote them. I'm older and I want to write Fanfiction again. We'll see how this one goes.
Summary: The war is over. The new ministry has decreed that any witch or wizard who followed Voldemort may move back into mainstream society but only after going through an intense rehabilitation program. In order to move on into mainstream society, get a job, vote, etc, the witch or wizard must obtain a signature from their rehabilitation specialist. Luna is assigned to Draco Malfoy. They meet once a week in her small office. This is what happens when Luna refuses to quit.
Transference is the redirection of feelings and desires and especially of those unconsciously retained from childhood toward a new object.
They met every Monday morning 9am sharp.
He would leave his tiny flat above the laundry shop at 8:30, stop by a café to read the prophet and have a tea (no sugar, no milk), then walk across the street to her office. It was in the new art district that had sprung up after the war. Her door was faded lavender and had a moon painted into the thick pane of glass embedded into the wood. He'd ring and she'd buzz him up immediately.
Her office sat on the third floor of the old building. The first floor belonged to some sort of art collective. The second was all apartments. He was now used to seeing people chasing each other in dressing gowns, or screaming about paint or clay, arguing about sculptors and aesthetics. He had a feeling she owned the building somehow and rented it out, but didn't know how she'd come into ownership.
Her door sat at the top of the stairs on the landing. There was a plaque that read, Luna Lovegood, LRS. The new ministry's seal sat next to it. It seemed to smolder and move but Draco ignored it. He'd walk in without knocking. She was always ready for him with two cups of tea on the coffee table. The morning light seeped in through her large French windows and created a halo around her slim body. The windows were so large and the light so striking she never seemed to turn on the lights and so the rest of the room was bathed in cool darkness.
The first month he did nothing but sit silently. He'd look at the bookshelf behind her head, or at the clock on the wall above it. He'd study the oriental rugs and the crystal bowl full of oranges (a different fruit every session) and the tissue box on the coffee table. He wondered if any of her clients actually at the fruit she laid out. He noticed there weren't any portraits full of witches and wizards who would stare at him or listen in to any of his supposed thoughts and feelings.
She would sit in the chair before him; one leg perched easily over the other showing off her bony knees, her slim ankles, her pygmy feet in those garish purple heels. Her eyes so large and almost clear – sometime blinked, sometimes didn't. Never held within them a sense of judgment or disdain or impatience. He wished they did. Thought they ought to.
And they would sometimes watch each other, and sometimes watch each other watching each other. Sometimes she would smile, or sigh contentedly. But she never seemed bored, or disinterested. Instead she lay in wait for the day when he would finally break.
At 10 o'clock on the dot she would shut her notebook and he would fetch his cloak from the rack in the corner. He would pull the door closed quietly behind him as he left.
The 30th day of his rehabilitation he entered her office, took his cloak and hung it on the old iron rack in the corner and paused. On the coffee table along with the crystal bowl of fruit and the tea and the tissues, was a small package neatly tied up with some ribbon. A card sat atop it in a cream colored envelope. It read, Happy Birthday.
He sat down and starred at it. He had forgotten it was his birthday. How old was he now – 19? 20? Old enough to be out of school, living on a government stipend, in a grungy flat above a laundry.
He remembered his birthdays growing up at the Manor. Large formal events – family and friends – one year his father hired a lion tamer. The poor beast made his 13-year-old self so delighted.
He gingerly opened the envelope, trying not to look as excited and nervous as he felt. Would this be the only present he received this year?
The card came to life and began to play a small gentle tune that reminded him of a lullaby. It sang, "Happy birthday - have a birthday full of love and joy!" Small pieces of confetti and glitter sprung from the mouth of the card and it wobbled around mid air as if dancing. "Happy birthday Draco Malfoy!" It said gleefully before gently floating to the table and folding itself up again.
"A girl down stairs makes those cards," Draco looked up surprised. He hadn't heard her voice since the first session when she introduced herself. "I thought you might like it. I find it absolutely darling." He didn't know how to reply so he moved onto the present.
Inside the box was a small plant in a ceramic pot. Draco carefully took it out of the box and inspected it. Small, just about the size of a milk glass, little pods colored pale pink sprung up from delicate green stems.
"It's similar to an aloe plant," Luna said. Her voice still startled him. "Those little pods are full of sap that cures burns and other small ailments."
Aloe? Mudblood shit.
Draco frowned. "A healing potion works much better."
"This is for putting in your kitchen on the window sill. If you ever burn your hand reaching for the kettle – this will help in a flash."
"I suppose I'm supposed to thank you now," he said, placing the pot onto the coffee table.
"You can do whatever you'd like," she said. "But please do water it once a day and let it drain in your sink before placing it back on the window. They like southern sunlight if you can hack it. They also like poetry and riddles. I fear they get terribly bored sometimes." He blinked at her and looked down at his newfound responsibility. He could throw the damned thing into the dustbin as soon as he left. He could throw it at her head and watch it shatter on her white floorboards. He could throw it out the window and dump all the soil on her carpet.
But instead he brought it home and placed it on his windowsill. When Draco got home, without even thinking, he placed the small plant in his kitchen window, noting that he did indeed get southern sunlight and thought for a moment of asking it a riddle. But then he felt foolish and made himself some tea.
Luna awoke around 6am and made herself breakfast. She lived alone in the attic of her building and found that if she woke too late the noise from the tenants downstairs ruined her tranquil mornings. She made some toast and slathered jam on it. She noted she had to go to the market this afternoon. She received mail from owls that had been waiting patiently for her to awake. She thought that perhaps today she would mail her friend Ginny and she what she was up to. She remembered that Ginny was in Ireland on vacation. She felt suddenly alone. She watered her plants and sang to them. She took a bath and got dressed then went down stairs to her office. He always arrived right on time. She wondered if he was taking care of the plant she gave him. She wondered if he had thrown it out as soon as he left –
The door of her office flew open. Draco was walking with full intention towards her – small ceramic pot in his hands. He looked livid. His eyes were stormy grey and dark. His hair, though combed, looked mussed. He must have run here from his flat. Her file said that he lived about 15 minutes away in the district that housed most witches and wizards out of parole. Government housing. Projects.
"It's dead." He looked so angry. And nervous. Like a small child who was afraid of being punished but used anger to hide any outward impressions of guilt or worry. He shoved the potted plant towards her. She looked at it. Indeed, it was in a sorry state.
Luna took it in her hands and brought it to the large window behind her. Held it up in the light.
"You're over watering it," she said with a smile. "And have you been reciting any poetry?"
Draco stood in the middle of her room, dumbfounded. His cloak was still on. His body still tense. "You were serious about that?"
"As serious as a heliopath on a Sunday," she replied. Then added, "they're usually bored silly by Sundays and must go out and burn something."
Draco nodded, not quite hearing her. He thought he had done something wrong. He thought he had killed it. That stupid plant. He had been angry. He had felt she had given him a task she knew he would fail. He thought she would laugh at him – tell everyone at the ministry that Draco Malfoy couldn't keep a damned plant alive for a week.
He realized she was speaking again, but not to him. Her delicate, tinkling voice was aimed towards the fucking plant.
"Trickster, trickster, stole the sun for a prank. Will you really ride it? Where will you hide it? Down by the riverbank."(1) The plant did seem to perk up, but Draco told himself it was his eyes playing tricks again. They had been doing that lately.
Luna gave the plant back to him, her small fingers gracing his hand. "There, it should be fine. Don't water it so heavily, it needs time to breathe."
Draco didn't know what that meant. But he felt so relived. He hadn't fucked up. Things could be fixed. He sat down on the sofa, still holding the plant, cloak still on.
Luna sat down too in her chair. Her notebook lay unopened on her coffee table. Her head cocked to the side.
"You were really worried weren't you?"
Draco frowned. No! He would never get worried over a simple plant. He defiantly looked out the window on his right. He gripped his hands, rubbing his knuckles over and over. But he knew she wasn't really asking him. This is why he hated these rehabilitation therapists. Only looking for the answers they wanted to hear. Like his last specialist and the specialist before them…
"It's okay to care about things, even when they're simple things like plants," she continued. "I'm glad you brought it to me. You probably feel that I tried to sabotage you. I'm not trying to control you, or make you feel incompetent. I promise."
He looked at her then, still tense as ever. He felt so foolish.
"I just," he said, looking back and forth from her eyes to the wall behind her and back again. "I didn't want to fail."
She nodded as if she understood everything he meant by that. "Of course you didn't."
They sat in silence for the rest of the session. At 10 o'clock sharp he picked up his plant and left quietly. She stood at the window and watched him walk down the street, blending in with the bustling crowd.
She had read his file of course when he was first assigned to her. He had been through three previous specialists. The first one had him for six months but he had refused to talk. The second one had the same story. The third had tried for the longest – a whole year. The file mentioned something about violent tendencies, refusal to cooperate, and felt that he was never going to complete his rehabilitation. She had recommended he be placed with a specialist that had a history of working with extremely challenging clients. In a sense, she had given up on him. They all had.
Of course, Luna had been nervous. Draco Malfoy. She had known him in school. Seen him in the war. Watched his family crumble and break beneath the harsh gaze of the media. The prophet destroyed his reputation.
But still, the program was voluntary. And yet after two years, he continued. She thought – he must want something. Without completion and signature from a LRS, he wouldn't be able to get a job and move on with his life. She knew he wasn't allowed to live off of any money acquired by means through the dark lord, which accounted for most of his family's wealth. She knew this couldn't be easy for him. She wondered how he'd feel about working with her. If he'd remembered her.
She hadn't told her friends due to confidentiality. But she often wondered what they'd think about their old bully – betrayer – being her newest client. In a way, she held his future in her hands. She could send him off to another specialist or flat out refuse to give him her signature. She could lie to his parole officer and tell them that he had dark objects or drugs in his flat.
The first day he was to arrive, she told herself that she needed to take care of herself first and if for one moment she felt uncomfortable or unsafe she should transfer him. But he came in, and sat down to quietly. And he looked so stuck. And when he left he shut her door so softly behind him. She couldn't give up. Not quite yet.
1. This is a poem from the Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemison. I highly recommend it.
A/N: And that's the first chapter. This is a slow burn. I want to really try to explore this relationship in this new universe. Tell me what you think. See you next time.