an: the ol' soulmate au. because im re-reading hp and i love these two losers.
an2: sorry this is hella angst/soppy! i did this all in one sitting too so soz if it doesn't read good!
hold on darling, this body is yours
this body is yours and mine
he remembers staring at the word in the bath at a young age. a dark blue hue, etched into the crevice of his left elbow; luna.
for a long time he tried scrubbing at it in an attempt to banish the word from his flesh. he didn't understand it, though he was old enough to realise it wasn't simply a mole or a birth mark. it used to make him feel uncomfortable, as if it had simply appeared overnight and attached itself to him. he'd sometimes leave the bath red raw, skin cracked and sore, tears burning the backs of his eyes, in an attempt to rid the word.
but slowly, very bloody slowly, the word soon became a part of him—he never really showed his arms though. oddly, he was still a little ashamed of it.
at twelve his mother finally told him what it meant.
"it's a name, love," she said with soft eyes.
"whose name?" he'd snapped, irritated that nobody had bothered to tell him this information before.
his mother looked at his father and slowly she lifted the hair from the back of her neck and turned around. in small, neat handwriting (his father's!) the word lucius was written across the nape of her neck, not in blue but in black.
his eyes drifted to meet his fathers, who had already turned his right hand over and spread his fingers. there, crammed along his pinky, was the word narcissa.
draco looked between them both. it slowly dawned on him (though these days he wonders how he could ever be so stupid) that the word luna was not just a tattoo or some weird reference to the moon. no—luna was the person he'd come to love. possibly soon or possibly not for a great many years.
he lifted his shirt sleeve and stared down at those four letters, something heavy resting inside his chest.
at sixteen draco has seen all his friends marks.
theodore has the name daphne written in purple cursive on his ankle, blaise has the name ginevra in a fiery red scrawl across his shoulder and crabbe and goyle each have the names tracey and millicent in deep greens upon their arms.
he still thinks his name is in the most bizarre place though.
it becomes a habit to touch the crease in his elbow every time he meets a girl—he never feels anything different but he still isn't entirely sure what he's supposed to feel. both his parents tell him he'll just know but how can he know for sure? what if luna walks past him one day and they never meet? what if he flat out never meets her to begin with?
he tries asking these questions to theo and blaise but neither of them know either.
for a long time he stops caring about the mark.
(though he still touches it a lot)
blaise finds ginny at seventeen.
they meet on a night out and draco understands almost immediately why her name is scrawled in red upon blaise's shoulder. her hair is like ember, the deepest of autumn, and her temper is almost a match. blaise tells him that he didn't really know until she'd touched him. something that felt oddly like an anchor weighed him down and he felt an almost impossible pull towards her.
he tells draco she kissed his shoulder just where the y ends and it felt like he'd never feel alone again.
(in small black capitals, just above ginny's hip bone, rests the name blaise)
he tells blaise he's glad but something bitter rests on his tongue as he walks home, hands stuffed in his jeans.
theo is next.
daphne greengrass kicks him in the ankle by accident in a supermarket, too busy fucking about on her phone. she lifts her head to quickly apologize but theo is already biting his lip. when she meets his eyes theo said she became self-conscious, her hand flying towards her cheek. there, against the tip of her cheekbone, is the name theodore—small, neat and precise in the darkest green, almost charcoal.
to draco he says it's like finding something you never realised you'd lost.
he hates to admit it but this is where he begins losing hope.
without realising it he scrubs harder on the word than usual. he scrubs so hard his skin burns, red and raw once again. he watches as drops of water slide past the words and for the first time since he was eight he wishes it would just wash away.
draco is twenty-three. luna exists somewhere on this earth but nowhere near him.
"what happens if you end up hating your soulmate?" he asks, one evening, as he sits in a pub with blaise and theo.
they both look at him with varying degrees of worry. draco sneers and downs his pint, feeling ashamed and embarrassed and ridiculous, not for the first time. drinking is never a good idea these days but he often finds it helps in other ways.
"look," theo sighs. "this name—it's not just a guess. this person is your other half, draco. you'll know when it happens—"
"oh fuck when it happens!" draco snaps, his emotions spilling out like somebody has unceremoniously opened the floodgates.
theo bites back a comment and sits back. blaise rolls his dark eyes and sets his beer down. "you're being a child," he intones. "stop acting like a fucking baby and grow up. we all know you're only doing this because you're jealous."
it stings. he feels, oddly, a sensation like burning where the name resides between his elbow and swallows thickly. "yeah, well, that's easy for you to say," draco mutters, looking away.
neither of them bother to reply. they leave not long after.
he doesn't see them both for a good few months.
when both crabbe and goyle meet their supposed soulmate, draco swears he might as well just give up.
twenty-five and still unaware of what it feels like to really care about somebody. meaningless sex and too much alcohol; he calls them all luna, whispers into their ear that he's been waiting his entire life for them. they never sound like he imagines luna to. they never stay like luna is supposed to either.
his friends begin to get married; daphne is pregnant and blaise and ginny live together.
draco lives in an apartment in london that overlooks the city—he stares out at the bright lights most nights and wonders whether luna is there somewhere, just waiting to accidentally knock into him or to pick up the same newspaper as him on the tube.
luna never does.
(the burning sensation becomes worse)
at twenty-seven he leaves the city and buys a small cottage on the outskirts of east sussex. it's far enough away from the city that he doesn't feel quite so suffocated but close enough to civilisation that he isn't entirely isolated. every marriage he has attended he's gone alone. his friends have stopped telling him it'll happen soon because no matter what anyone says he doesn't believe them any more.
even his mother has stopped asking about luna.
there is no luna—he tells her she may never meet luna before she dies. she doesn't speak to him for a solid two months.
days pass by in quick succession and before long somebody moves into the cottage next door. its been empty since the old couple died several months back. nobody wanted to live there because they'd died in their sleep—draco had found them the next morning. he'd quite liked them both. they'd showed him their marks and said they'd been together for almost fifty years.
(he didn't want to admit it but it restores just the smallest bit of faith in him)
he thinks it'll be a family but is surprised when a lithe girl steps out of a car and stares up at the cottage. her blonde hair is pulled up in a messy bun on her head, held together with all sorts of strange clips. she's wearing a loose fitting dress that rides just above her pale knees. she smiles at the cottage before she walks to the door and disappears.
he doesn't see her very often.
on the second week of her arrival they meet by chance outside.
"oh hello," she says.
up close he can see that her eyes are a silvery sort of blue, they remind him distinctly of an oyster shell. wide, wistful and beautiful. "hi," he replies stiffly. to be honest, he hasn't really spoken to many people properly since the old couple died. even his friends have stopped calling.
"you must be my next door neighbour," she continues as if she hasn't noticed how uncomfortable he's come. "my name's lu—"
"look," draco cuts her off abruptly. "i'm in a bit of a hurry. sorry."
she nods, though a little sadly. he turns on his heel but stops when she calls out, "what should i call you?"
he hesitates. "...malfoy."
he hears her say, almost as if to herself, "that's a peculiar name," but doesn't reply.
lu is often out in the garden he notices. she tends to her flower beds almost religiously. whenever he goes outside she talks to him (talks at him really) until he retreats back inside to the safety of silence. she's a writer, she tells him. she likes to write children's stories because she's always had a very large imagination. her first book was called the very silly adventures of the crumple horned snorkack. he thinks she's mental.
she never asks about him which he's relieved about. always, she fills the silences with inane chatter about her childhood and her family. she talks in rapid succession, breathless, almost always smiling and somehow she always looks radiant. everyday he sees her with different clips and odd accessories—he wonders whether she's a hoarder.
on a particularly sunny day in july she finds him outside and draco, for the first time since she moved in, doesn't tense at her presence.
"it's a beautiful day," she comments.
draco grunts his agreement.
"the gulping plimpies love the sun," she adds.
draco narrows his eyes. "what the bloody hell is a gulping plimpy?"
she laughs and turns to look at him over the small fence. he can't see her eyes because she has a pair of ridiculously large sunglasses on, but her lips are curved and he wonders if she's teasing him. "a fairytale creature found in lakes," she says as if this is obvious.
draco rolls his eyes. "are they part of your books?" he finds himself asking though.
lu nods. "yes," her tone takes on a soft quality. "my dad used to make up all sorts of creatures in his stories he told me when i was a little girl. i suppose it's copyright, isn't it?"
he smirks. "i could sue you for that, y'know."
(he hasn't smiled in so long)
she removes her sunglasses and their eyes connect and they share a small smile. his mark burns. draco subconsciously covers it with his hand but lu doesn't notice, she's too busy picking daisies. it occurs to him, only briefly, that he's never seen a name upon lu—perhaps it's hidden elsewhere but he finds himself curious as the why she is alone like him too.
like clockwork lu goes out into the garden to tend to her plants, usually in the late afternoon when the sun's heat begins to wear off. draco, too, finds himself joining her.
not long after she begins inviting him for dinner and slowly he begins accepting.
her cottage is much like her personality—scattered, unorganised but strangely warm and welcoming. he can safely confirm that she is indeed a hoarder but he doesn't find it quite as off-putting as he might have once before. her cottage smells like honeysuckle and daisies—there are plants and flowers and pots and vases strewn about everywhere. none of her decor matches.
she sits him down at a small table in the kitchen that overlooks her garden. the sun is setting against the kitchen, a warmth against his fingertips upon the wooden tabletop. he feels nervous but not in a bad way. draco watches as she throws together dinner, her hair falling out of a bun, her neck slightly tanned.
lu seats herself opposite him and says with a grin, "dig in!"
draco's gaze sweeps across the mash up of salad and potatoes and freshly picked fruit. it isn't exactly what he'd call dinner but he piles all three condiments onto a plate and slowly begins to eat. they eat in mostly silence, lu occasionally dropping her fork and staring out the window to watch the sun descend. bathed in a soft orange light, draco thinks she looks extremely beautiful. he swallows a lump in his throat and itches the crease between his left elbow.
lu looks back at him. "i'm glad you don't look so tense any more, malfoy."
his mouth goes dry. "what do you mean." he says bluntly.
"well," lu rests her chin in her palm, several bracelets slipping further down her forearm. "when i first met you, it seemed as if you didn't want to talk to me. in fact, for a long time it seemed like you didn't like me."
she's not accusing him he notices. it's just a simple observation.
draco sets his fork down and straightens his back. "i came here—to sussex—to have some alone time," he says. he sounds awkward and stupid. lu doesn't judge him though. he notices a small frown form on her lips, something he isn't used to.
"yeah. me too."
they dont speak much after that (she points out the sun has finally set) and draco leaves.
but not before he thanks her, earnestly, for being who she is.
(he lays awake all night wondering who she really is)
in september she takes him to a flower festival.
she talks the entire way there and draco is okay with that. he has come to realise that when lu is around he doesn't have to fill the silence with his thoughts. he forgets that all his friends are happy and married. he forgets that his mother still thinks he's being stupid. even when she tells him about the creatures her father made up to put her to sleep draco doesn't really mind. he's become quite fond of hearing about them, though he'll never bloody admit it.
lu points out all the flowers she wishes to plant in her ever-growing garden, her smile growing ever larger with each new species.
draco stands a little behind her, his arms crossed, as she bends down and delicately touches the stem of a japhet orchid. her long, bony fingers trace the petals with such care he finds himself almost growing a little jealous of a goddamn plant. she looks up at him with this look in her eyes and draco isn't entirely sure how she manages to do it but—
his index finger touches the petal timidly, scared he might just break it.
"you don't need to be a afraid," lu says softly. "just rub the petal between your thumb and index finger. it feels lovely."
he follows her instructions.
the flower feels light between his fingers. he's still afraid he'll break it but she's right—lovely. it's the only way to describe how it feels.
that evening she invites him back for coffee. he drinks his straight black and she adds just one sugar and milk.
they stand in her kitchen at opposite ends.
she brought back so many buds that all he can smell is soil; her fingers are dirty and she has a little bit of soil on her cheek. he hasn't told her yet because it's kind of cute. draco looks down at his muddy trainers and wonders when he stopped caring about how expensive his clothes are.
he sees her put down her mug and open her mouth but draco knows that if he doesn't do this now me may never do it again.
to hell with soulmates he thinks as he sets his mug down and strides towards her. he doesn't give her a moment to breathe—his lips connect with hers before she can register what is happening and he feels her hand awkwardly land on his left forearm, her thumb resting in the crease. his eyes close and he breathes in the scent of honeysuckle and the taste of coffee—something warm spreads throughout him like wildfire.
(it feels like coming home)
he pulls away a moment later, his eyes flickering open like he's woken from a deep sleep.
lu is staring up at him with those wide silver eyes, her hand still touching him, still touching the mark.
she doesn't blink.
regret pools in his stomach and he tries to wrench away because he's fucked up again (he just wants to love someone) but her grip tightens and heat floods his veins where her thumb presses sharply against four letters.
"you're not leaving," she says with so much conviction he scarcely recognises her.
draco looks away, fighting a sneer. "that was a mistake," he says firmly.
"no," she barks and he looks at her, eyebrows raised. "that was not a mistake."
he finally pries her fingers from his arm, red raw just like when he was young, and takes a large step away from her.
shame and anger and embarrassment comes back to him like a tidal wave. he wants to tear from this cottage that smells so familiar and leave this town—move to the middle of nowhere and come to terms with the fact that maybe luna really is the moon.
"malfoy," she says his name firmly, stubbornly.
he meets her gaze, which is ablaze, somewhat reluctantly.
"i want you to see something."
she holds his gaze as her hands take ahold of the hem of her dress. panic begins to boil beneath his skin and he tries to stop her because no this is fucked up and she isn't luna but she slaps his hand away like an angry cat, hissing. draco remains rooted as the dress comes up over her head and tumbles to the floor. he stares at it, heat in his cheeks, and wonders whether he should just bolt now because—
her hand touches his forearm again and it's ice against fire.
lu tugs him forward and he finally looks at her.
he searches her face because he knows he shouldn't look anywhere else but she guides his hand down her her neck and stops just below her breast bone. his eyes follow slowly, his fingers covering several letters that are written in what looks like his handwriting. black, stark as the night sky.
his heart almost leaps out of his chest.
just above her left breast is his name, in tiny script, almost impossible to see is you weren't looking but no—that is his handwriting and yes that is his name.
draco's eyes fly back to meet her gaze which is still set in hard determination. she pulls his forearm down and there is the word he's loathed, he's despised, he's loved, he's hoped would disappear, he's missed, he's prayed for.
his mouth opens but no words form.
"i tried to introduce myself once," she explains in a low voice, eyes softening like she's recalling a fond memory. "but you cut me off before i could," she traces her fingertip across the four words like she did with the petal. "i wonder if things might have been different if you hadn't cut me off," she adds.
seconds tick by as draco pieces it all together—the way his mark has burned, as if it knew she'd be near him soon, the way she'd found a way into his thoughts without him ever realising, the way he'd grown fond of her, the way she'd made him feel without ever having to do anything.
he thought... "you never existed," he finishes the sentence thickly.
luna lets go of him and brings her hand to his cheek. instinctively, draco closes his eyes. "i've always been here," she says as the other hand touches his mark.
"that's lame," he croaks out—unsure as the whether he's trying to make her laugh or himself.
she does laugh though and it brings a smile to his face.
"when did you know?"
"oh," luna releases his cheek and he opens his eyes slowly. "not long ago. i suppose i just knew that nobody else could possibly put up with me for this long."
draco laughs now too because her attempt at a joke is even worse than his. "it feels..."
luna looks at him. "like coming home?"
and that's all the confirmation he needs.
draco kisses her again, this time much harder, because he's spent twenty-seven years away from home and he finally feels like he deserves to be back.