But there's always the chance
The tension between them was so strong the walls themselves seemed to be touched with frost. Draco marched on, his face betraying absolutely nothing. To anyone who didn't know him, they would think he's simply tired. But to everyone in the mansion, they could see the slight twitch of his eye his jaw clenched, both clear signs to stay away.
Draco wasn't sure what was bothering him more; his embarrassment for letting so much of his personal feelings slip, or the anxiety creeping into the back of his mind. He risked a glance at Luna, whose eyes were burned into the ground, jaw tightly sealed shut. Luna had walked out of scoldings from professors singing and skipping, she walked away from bullies like they were flies on a summer day, heck; she had gotten away from a gun fight still expecting Starbucks in the morning.
Never in his life, did he think he would ever silence The. Luna. Lovegood. If teachers back at high school had known it was possible they would have worshiped him like a King. But Draco knew better. Silence and Luna meant nothing good. He wondered if he had gone too far, said too much.
"No, you just said the truth. Nothing more nothing less, if she can't deal with that it's not your problem." Draco shook his thoughts away, turning his eyes forward. "The medical room is just ahead. And just a fair warning, it's only a medical room by name." Luna only hummed slightly in response. The two of them strode around the corner finding themselves in front of a large doorway.
Luna reached for the doorknob, but just when the door clicked Draco heard a nonsensical sound of panic from inside the room. Before he could process anything, the door was flung open by an explosion of gas. The sound paralleling that of a grenade shook the floor beneath them as the gas surged towards them. On instinct, Draco reached for Luna, and wrapped his arms causing her to give a mouse like squeak. He pulled her into a crouching position, still in his arms, and spun her around so he was between her and the danger. He forcefully pushed his hand over her mouth to keep her from breathing in the gas, before squeezing his own eyes shut.
The two stayed completely still, breathing heavily. After Draco guessed enough time had passed for the smoke to clear away he risked opening an eye. He turned his head to survey their surroundings. The doors lay wide open before him, cracks protruding from the walls. In the room before them there were a few cups that had fallen, though the room overall still looked in pretty good shape. The walls which were currently covered in dust from the explosion; were all lined with desks, filled with beakers nailed down to their places. Draco had never bothered trying to figure out what most of them contained. Different tools that looked like they could be used for torture as well as complex surgery hung throughout the room. Scraps of what appeared to be notes were scattered around the room, with terms and phrases so beyond him Draco couldn`t be sure if they were about science or deciphering ancient ruins. Standing in the center of the room stood a man with a full head of wild looking brown hair, wearing a large brown coat, a bowtie and large goggles covering most of his face his mouth opened in a perfect oh.
"SMITH!" Draco yelled, no longer worrying about the consequences of his fury. "WHAT WAS THAT?"
Smith reached up, brushing some of the debris off of his dirt coated hair. "sorry 'bout that Draco, I was doing an experiment on the reactions of the gun powder with the poison roots of the sun glassed flower scientists recently discovered in the rain forest along with.."
Draco cut him short. "Smith we've talked about this, I'm fine with your experiments, but when you do them GIVE ME A WARNING! SHOOT ME A TEXT; HELL PUT A SIGN ON THE DOOR SOMETHING!"
At that moment, Luna squirmed her arms. Draco realised that he was still clutching her protectively to his chest, possibly so tightly he might have been cutting off her oxygen. He released her. He turned back his back to Luna to face Smith as Luna took some deep breaths.
"Well if people would be mannerly and knock before barging in we wouldn't be having this problem now would we?" Smith returned in a nonchalant fashion. "Trust me from experience I can say walking into a minor explosion is ranked at the bottom of the list when it comes to awkward situations. In fact there was this one time in France I believe-"
"I don't want to hear it Smith." Draco snapped, running a hand through his hair. If he didn't get such good results, Draco would have locked the man up in a cell just for fear of his reckless behaviour.
Remembering the reason for his visit, he stepped aside a bit so Luna was in Smith`s line of sight. "Smith, this is Luna Lovegood, she's under Malfoy protection for a little while so she'll be staying in the mansion."
Smith seemed to notice the girl for the first time now. "Oh forgive my rudeness." He took a few steps towards her, dusting his hands on his coat, which did nothing to dispel the dirt. He reached a hand out towards her grinning eagerly. "Pleasure to meet you Miss Lovegood, call me the Doctor."
"The Doctor? Doctor who?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "His name is John Smith, but he insists on people calling him by that name. Thus why we call this room the so called 'medical room.'"
"What don't you think it's a good name? A strong name if I dare say so myself." The Doctor smiled proudly as he shook Luna's hand.
"I am not one to be pulled into a dare Mr Smith but I do find the power we hold in names to be a very interesting study and to find the results of the title you have chosen on those around you would be an interesting study." She gave a little wink, leaving Draco unsure as to how much of that was a joke or not.
Smith just grinned slightly as if he were a child who had successful stolen the cookie jar. "Boring names are simply so hard to remember, especially since I do have a habit of forgetting my names. Not to say there's anything particularly wrong with the name Smith, I quiet like it, however it doesn't possess all the bravado that is required of a name to fully encompass my personality."
"Dear lord it's just a name calm down." Draco sighed.
"Draco a name if the first impression a person can ever have on another, it is entirely within said person's right to wish to be called something that truly conveys who they are."
"I couldn't have said it better myself Miss Lovegood."
"Thank you Sir Doctor."
Draco's head went back and forth between the two of them, as if they were speaking a foreign language. "This was definitely a mistake. Luna lets head to-"
At that moment there was a knock behind them. All three turned to the direction of the noise. Morgan stood in the doorway, standing on edge as he tried to avoid the broken fragments around him.
"Smith do I want to ask what happened here?"
"Well as a matter of fact with the resulting explosion I did discover that the materials were in fact much more susceptible than I first expect-"
"That'd be a no." Morgan interrupted. He turned his attention to Draco. "Sir an issue has come up at the front gate you're needed there."
"If Finn smashed the car into the gate again I swear to-"
"Sir I'm sorry but I am going to have to ask you to hurry."
At that Draco stopped. He took in Morgan's formal behaviour for the first time before turning to Luna. "Stay here with Smith."
"Doctor." She corrected.
Draco scowled. "And don't leave till I or someone I send to you gets back." Draco turned, but after a moment's hesitation added, "No experiments with her in the room Smith." With that he followed Morgan out the door, making little effort to avoid the glass and debris in his haste.
Luna stared after him, part of her wanting to follow to figure out what was going on, the other part glad for the breathing room from Draco.
"Well." Luna returned her attention to the Doctor. "So...you're Luna?"
"Luna Lovegood's the name." Luna chirped. She immediately began to make herself at home, walking deftly around the room as her eyes wandered over the various items surrounding her. "And if I'm not mistaken sir these things hardly appear to be of use to those in the medical profession."
The Doctor grimaced at the large set katana's hanging from the walls that Luna was eyeing. "Well I am not a medical doctor per say. My job here is... A rather unusual one of sorts."
Luna lightly lifted herself on a stool, swirling around to face the doctor. "The more unusual the more the fun."
"That fun may also be more dangerous."
"Those two are different things? I never realised."
Doctor smirked. "You're gonna be an interesting one." the Doctor moved to finally start to pick up his notes that had been left on the floor. "How much clearance has Draco given you?"
"Do you know the difference between a BB8 and a C3PO?"
"Good enough for me." The Doctor placed a stack of papers on the table. "The Malfoy Family has made their fortune and their name in this century from the various weapons they sell. Among the families we are known best as the silent killers, our weapons usually best for assassination or any killings that someone would prefer to go as unseen as possible."
"And it is your job to create these weapons?"
"Quite the contrary, it is my job to stop them."
"That seems rather unproductive. Is that the right word? No? Yes? Never mind. Why hire someone to create a way to stop the weapons you're selling?"
"I believe the Malfoy's reasoning for hiring me is to complete a few tasks. Firstly so that they are always protected even from their own weapons, as well in order to always be on top of the competition. When I find a problem that can be exploited in any of our products, then our manufacturers simply use it as a challenge to make something better."
Luna considered his words for a moment. It did seem reasonable, though a lot of extra work in her opinion. "Now would it be alright if I asked you a question miss?"
Luna looked up to find his eyes studying her. "You are welcome to ask but I have no obligation to answer you."
"Fair enough. My question is why are you here? Forgive my boldness but you do not strike me as one from the families, my first thought was that you were an ex member looking for shelter. However you do not have the same, how shall we say it? Presence? Air? Posture?"
"You hold yourself differently. Those from the families have through many years grown to be very alert, even when they don't feel in danger; it becomes habit to hold oneself in a strong position, so that they can move at less than a moment's notice. It's other things as well, you will never see a Malfoy enter a room and their eyes not scan for every available exit. Most people's first instincts when meeting someone is to look at their face, maybe their clothes. Those from the family immediately look for any traces of hidden weapons. These habits make it easy to spot a family member out from a crowd."
"You talk as if you are not one of them."
"Well, technically speaking I'm not. A good time ago one of the Malfoy's allied families, the Disney family-"
"Disney? Wait you don't mean that the Walt Disney family is-"
"don't go looking in that can of bean hun, trust me you don't want to have your childhood ruined." The Doctor cleared his throat. "as I was saying they gave me a hand. Mr Malfoy, Draco's father, asked me to return the favour to come help with an issue here."
"They called you out just to experiment with their weapons?"
The Doctor didn't answer that one. "So since you're not a family member, may I ask who are you to gain yourself Malfoy protection Miss Lovegood?"
"Oh, I'm not anyone of any importance to the families. I'm an, old…acquaintance of Draco's."
The Doctor looked unconvinced. "Draco rarely ever brings old... acquaintance here as you put it, and when he does he never brings them down to my lab. What are you two then?"
"We're." Luna paused. She wasn't sure what to call them. Ex-lovers? She had a feeling Draco would not be comfortable with his people knowing about that. Ex-friends? That didn't sound right. "To be honest, I'm not sure what we are."
The Doctor studied her as she starred off at something random lying on the desk. "I know I may seem like a genius." He cut in, breaking the silence forming the room. "But not all of my experiments do turn out as I intend them to. There are always those that end with me gaining dubious results or none at all."
Luna nodded, unsure where he was heading with this. "Well, it would be rather pointless for me to continue with the experiment the way it is, however I can't just leave a big bumbled mess of bubbling chemicals on my desk and a mystery left unsolved. So what do you think would be the best course of action?"
"I have a feeling you already know the answer otherwise you wouldn't have started talking about it"
"I start again. Hit the reset button. Not literally that'd probably rip a hole in the space time continuum. But I start the experiment again, clean up what was left of the last one and start from scratch. Sometimes starting from the beginning is the only way to get results."
Luna was silent for a moment, considering the implications to his words. "And what if that's not possible?"
"Then it might be time to give up on the experiment." Luna frowned. "It's not pleasant. But sometimes it's your only option."
Luna turned and stared after were Draco left. "Perhaps you have a point."
"A point about what miss? I was simply making a comment on my current experiment." But he grinned at her. Luna smiled back.
"Well" Luna hummed "Draco did say that you weren't allowed to do experiments, but he didn't say anything about me giving it a little shot, with a little bit of tutelage from the master."
The Doctor shuddered. "Ugh, please make your choice of words more carefully darling."
"Sure thing sweetie."
Draco marched alongside Morgan as they proceeded toward the front gate. "So you planning on letting me know what this is about or are you going to keep me in suspense?"
"Man trust me you're not going to like it. And if you have to get bad news I'd prefer it not come from me."
"So instead you just lead me to the crime?"
"Well I still have to do my job."
Draco sighed walking around the corner to the front of the building. "Well how bad could this possibly be if you can't ev-"
Draco stopped short when he caught sight of the front gate. A bunch of his family was standing in a semi circle all surrounding something tied to the game with barb wire. William's body, dripping with blood from a gunshot wound was hanging off of the fence. Draco made a disgusted face.
"I hate it when this job gets nasty." Morgan grumbled.
Draco gave him a look. "Ok everyone split off get back to your posts." The crowd looked up startled at Draco's presence, started hurrying off to their respective tasks. Killian and Natasha peeled off from the crowd and moved towards Draco.
"Hey Boss, how do you like this Mise-en-scene?"
Draco glared at him. "Yes it's very nice though I have a feeling this was done for less than artistic reasons."
"Hey don't be so quick to judge boss everyone has their own sense of creativity."
Draco raised an eyebrow at him. "What goes on in that head of yours?"
"Oh just because I like to keep an open mind to different perspectives."
"Ignoring Killian's insights," Natasha interjected "this had a very clear perspective up to little interpretation."
"Yeah, the little screw you is pretty clear." Morgan added.
"Really? I thought it was more of a threat, like this is what happens when you cross me."
"What's the difference? And more importantly what does it matter?"
"Actually I was thinking the note left on his body made things perfectly clear." Natasha added as she casually flipped up a blood stained envelope.
Morgan and Killian looked at each other. "Oh. Well. I guess that could help." Killian mumbled.
Draco rolled his eyes as he took the letter Natasha offered him. He took only a minute to scan it over. "Well good to see Madame Hearts still abides to some of the family rules."
"Oh is that what she calls sending spies to other families now?" Killian scoffed.
"Apparently that's what this is, her way of compensating for breaking the rules. Good to see that she still retains her manners." Draco huffed out, handing back the letter to Natasha.
"Or simply her way of looking good in front of the Families."
Draco paused. "What are you talking about?"
Natasha took a deep breath. "Your father called this morning."
Killian and Morgan immediately sobered. "Oh guys come on; you know he checks in every now and then."
"Yes and it's never a pleasant experience." Killian added.
"Unfortunately it's not overbearing daddy come to see how his wittle son's doing this time." Natasha scowled. "More of a pissed off papa. Also the fact that you didn't come to the phone didn't help."
"Why wasn't I informed of the call before now?"
"He called right after Luna dragged you out of the meeting."
Draco was silent, Killian and Morgan barely hiding their smirks. "Wipe those off your faces." Draco snapped. They didn't. "What did my father say?"
Natasha bit her lip. "The Families are calling a council meeting."
Everyone's head snapped to her. "What?"
"Apparently Cora decided to go tattletale on us and told the Family head council about you attacking her last night."
"Oh come on she was on our land, I was dealing with her spy, she was the one breaking 2 of the Family Council's Laws. Spies and crossing boundaries, those were both in the first drafts of the Code."
"Well that's what I told your father, but apparently her story was that we were threatening one of her members that she had lent to us for a short period."
"Sure I guess that's one way to put it. Another is placing a spy in our ranks, but what's in the details?" Morgan quipped.
"But so is shooting at one of the station heads without notifying said family head about justified reason."
"What? That's ridiculous Cora's a pompous lackey not a station head."
"Well apparently she got promoted to station head a few days ago when the last one died."
"How'd he die?" Killian questioned
"Do you really have to ask?" Natasha responded. "And going against station heads is a no no. a century ago we could have gotten away with stuff like this but since the Families created the council we have to follow the Code if we want to survive."
"ah the good old days. Killing people was such a simple thing back then." Killian sighed. Morgan raised an eyebrow at him but didn't comment.
Draco was silent, his hands clasped in fists at his sides. "Of course. Having one of your own turn out to be a spy, then the council meeting-"
"Then ex girlfriend showing up to add some icing to the top." Everyone glared at Killian. "Can't forget any facts."
"Fine fine, where's it taking place?"
Natasha hesitated. "Here."
"You're the one on trial Draco. And you're father's coming in a few days to help you prepare."
Draco stepped away from the group, clasping his hands behind his back. Natasha strolled after him. "You ok?"
"Fine fine. Just got to, find a way to deal with this one now."
"You will." Natasha reached up and gently put a hand on his shoulder. "You always do." Draco let out a breath, nodding. Natasha paused. "What if we sent Luna to another station?"
Draco dropped his arms to his sides. "What?"
"There's enough going on with you right now, there's no reason you should have to deal with an ex right now to. She'll be safe at another station till this all blows over and she's in the clear to go home." Draco was silent. "Unless… you don't want her to go?"
"No…I mean you're right of course it's just" Draco stopped.
After a moment Natasha spoke. "Just, think about it. We'll give it some time, see how this goes." Draco nodded. "But sir, if this becomes a problem, we will have to move her." Natasha's voice turned cold, and Draco knew that she would do it whether he ordered her to or not.
Draco sighed. "Yeah. Yeah you're right." He turned back to Killian and Morgan, waiting patiently. "Guys get someone to clean this up." He called, waving at the gate. He started walking away. "I better get back to said ex as you call her. Leaving her alone with Mr. Smith is just begging for a problem on my already growing list."
Draco trudged along the hallway towards the Doctor's office. He knew Natasha was right, with the family heads all meeting at his house, and Luna in the building? Nothing good could come of it. Especially since Luna had shown that morning at his meeting that trying to get her to follow regular protocol would be a failing enterprise. But if he made her leave, then what? She stays at a different station, then goes back to her regular life as if nothing ever happened. What about him? go back to normal, keep tracking -he refused to call it stalking- her keeping her safe. Would she just pretend not to notice? Or make him stop? And then what? Just keep going, having no idea if she was ok? Draco wasn't even sure he could do that.
Draco's head snapped up as he heard an explosion down the hall. Without waiting a second he hit the ground running. He saw hints of smoke coming through the door as he charged though it.
"LUNA WHAT HAPPENED ARE YOU BOTH O-"Draco stopped as he took in the state of the room. The room, the desks, the papers, furniture and both the Doctor and Luna were covered in what appeared to be bright neon pink powder. Luna was jumping around excitedly while the Doctor was grinning ear to ear examining the powder on the desk.
"Don't make such a fuss Draco!" Draco returned his gaze to Luna, who was smiling ecstatically. "It was a successful experiment."
Draco's eyes shot around the room. "This was…successful?"
"Oh indeed Draco!" Draco turned to look at the Doctor, who was cheerily writing down results on his paper, which was also now bright pink. "The combination of the elements to create a harmless explosion. I found research that suggests that the resulting powder of the explosion may have medical properties."
Draco's dumbfounded expression didn't change, unable to take his eyes off the surrounding room. "I told you no more experiments."
The doctor just looked up, face a mask of innocence. "The guest asked me Sir. Did you expect me to say no to a guest?"
Luna just grinned happily; Draco just rolled his eyes in defeat. "Luna come on, let's go."
"What? But we had agreed to finish the experiment on the nargle detection goggles." Draco narrowed his eyebrows. "Fine fine." She turned and gave a short playful bow to the Doctor. "I thank you for guiding me in this wonderful path of discovery Mr. Doctor Sir."
The doctor happily gave an overly dramatic bow in return. "Anything for such an inquisitive assistant. Please don't think twice before stopping by at another time."
After a few more comments in the same manner Luna skipped her way over to Draco who begrudgingly led her outside. Luna's mood had greatly improved since he was last with her, her bubbly glee greatly outshining his own dark cloud. As Draco began to lead her towards the dining hall for their supper, Luna interrupted his little speech on the history of their family's smugglers during the prohibition.
"Do you guys ever make gnocchi?"
Draco paused. "You interrupt my story of the Malfoy head shooting past the police to ask about gnocchi?"
Luna just shrugged. "I like gnocchi. And if I'm going to be here a while there better be some available."
Draco stared at her. "Yes the chef makes gnocchi. As I was saying-"
"How long are you planning on keeping me here?"
Another pause. "I'm not sure."
"Weeks? Months? Years?"
"I'm sure it won't be years."
"Just like you were sure about where that sushi restaurant was during our class trip to Toronto."
"The restaurant moved locations since I had last been there how was I supposed to know?"
"Well you could have let me ask for directions but no we ended up walking around down town Toronto for nearly 3 hours before you gave up and let me bring you to the old spaghetti factory instead."
"Oh come on it wasn't three hours."
"we left at exactly 4:35 to start looking, and didn't' arrive at the spaghetti factory till 7:45. Forgive me 3 hours and 10 minutes to be exact."
"Oh sure of all the things you remember about Toronto it's the time I made a mistake."
"Are you implying something Draco?"
"Oh just the convenience of your memory. Unless we're just ignoring the time you made us miss the Museum tour so you could go find a niffler."
"That was legitimate reason; those things could get run over quiet easily in Toronto."
"You never even found one!"
"It got away from me."
"We ran up half the CN Tower to catch a thing I never even saw!"
"Well we did end up having a tour at the tower then thanks to me."
"No, you did! I ended up being dragged away by security for the afternoon while you snuck around the whole place searching for it! I had to call the Family station in Toronto to pull some strings for me to get out of there!"
"Oh that's how you got out. Always wondered."
"No you didn't."
"Don't pretend to know what I'm thinking."
"You never gave it a second thought! You were so concerned on finding a jewelry store to bait the niffler I had to search for you for hours; you hardly even noticed I returned."
"Well I got you a nice little tie for your troubles."
"A tie doesn't make up for making me feel like an idiot when the guards looked at me like I was insane when I told them what happened."
"You're always so concerned about what people think of you."
"If you hadn't been so hell-bent on getting in trouble I wouldn't be running around trying to fix your messes!"
Both of them paused, allowing themselves to catch their breaths. After a tense silence Luna looked away, crossing her arms against her chest. "So I'll be here a while then?"
Draco glowered at her. "yes." However Natasha's suggestion of sending her away was looking pretty nice right now.
Luna was silent for a moment before letting out a breath, as if stealing her nerves. "Guess there's no choice then." She turned and stared in straight in the eye. She shot one hand out offering it as a handshake. "Hello, my name is Luna Lovegood, I'm a starbucks addict and I have a tattoo of a rabbit on my right hip."
"Luna what are you-wait when did you get a tattoo?"
"If you and I are stuck here together then we're just going to make life miserable by bringing up the past. That was years ago. You're different and I'm different. Rather than fighting against the people we used to be might as well get to know the people we are now."
Draco took a moment to try to process her words. "You want to start over."
"In a way. A fresh slate."
"you can't just expect someone to forget everything."
"No." Luna admitted. "But we can promise to try to focus on the future. To try and judge each other based on who we are now, not who we were."
Draco considered it. He was the one forcing her to be stuck in his house for who knows how long. The request wasn't unreasonable and it might make their lives just slightly more bearable. "You know things are bad when Luna Lovegood is the one being responsible."
"Oh another thing you'll learn to know about me is I'm a very responsible person."
"Oh I'm sure." But Draco grinned. "alright." He reached forward and took Luna's hand and shook it. "My names Draco Malfoy. I always take my coffee black and-" he couldn't believe he was going to say this- "I have a secret obsession with the Friends TV show."
Luna twister her lips. "That's not a secret Draco. Everyone is secretly obsessed with Friends. Though that if very Chandler of you to say I'll admit."
Draco finally laughed at that.