A/N: After writing the first memory, I realised that Draco isn't going to be at Hogwarts for his seventh year, after the events in HBP. Terribly sorry about that, but I'm not sure how to change it now…so just assume Draco is going back to Hogwarts…
Thanks to Diana for beta-reading.
Petal of a Daisy
I've always liked peculiar people. Perhaps that's why I liked her. The day we first met is burnt in my memory as clearly as if it was yesterday. And to think it all started with a radish…
Draco Malfoy walked out of the Great Hall, down the castle steps and onto the grounds. He blew his hair out of his eyes and took a swig from a black bottle, which had been concealed, in his cloak. The heat always made him thirsty. He had just come out of his NEWT exams. Only another week before he left Hogwarts for good, but Draco wasn't really looking forward to it. He suspected that his father would want him to attended numerous meetings and equally boring dinner-parties. After all, he didn't have any plans for after Hogwarts – yet. Depending on his NEWT results, he might get a job –a strange sight interrupted Draco's thoughts. Bare feet. Now what ridiculous person would be bare-foot on a day like this?
He watched the feet swishing through the grass for a moment, when a small orange thing fell to the ground. Without looking up, Draco bent down and picked it up. It appeared to be an earring. An orange radish earring. Odd, but odd things were good. Slowly he rose. The bare-footed person was still walking. Well, skipping, her dirty-blonde hair flowing down her back, moving to and fro in the sunlight. He caught up with her, and tapped her on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, but I think this belongs too you…" Draco said, politely for once. After all, he didn't seem to know this girl and you never knew who was attractive and who wasn't…
The girl spun round, a dreamy expression on her face. Her protuberant silvery eyes were looking at him curiously. Draco held up the earring. He was lost for words. Who in their right mind would wear jewellery like that and stitch brightly coloured stars on their robes? A badge pinned to her chest answered that for him. Luna Lovegood – Rescue Mission, it read. Rescue Mission? He raised his eyebrow. It was now obvious who this girl was. Loony Lovegood, the joke of Hogwarts. She had helped Potter at the ministry that time, hadn't she? He couldn't help wondering why he had never met her before; she was clearly someone he could have some fun with. Her father ran a magazine that published nothing but rubbish and as for her weird dress sense…
"Oh thank-you, that is mine!" Luna exclaimed, taking the radish earring from him. She fixed it back in her ear and gave him a vague smile. "You're nicer than they say you are," she remarked. Her voice matched her expression perfectly.
Draco frowned, "What?" he asked, visibly puzzled.
"I have seen you before though…in the train once, a few times round school and...Oh!" She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. "You're the one who gate crashed Professor Slughorn's party last year, aren't you?" She looked amused at this.
"Yeah, well my invite was misplaced," he replied, embarrassed. "Well I don't remember seeing you before, even if you've seen me." It was true; he couldn't re-call seeing her on the train, at the party or anywhere else for that matter.
She did not reply to this, but tilted her head to one side. "Did you want something?"
"No…I…no thanks," Draco replied, un-aware that he was turning pink.
Luna smiled again. She had a nice smile, Draco noted.
"Well did I not thank you then?"
"Err yeah…you did…"
"Then why are you still here?" she asked. You could tell she was trying not to be rude.
Draco blinked. Why was he still there? Maybe because of her smile, enchanting and inquisitive…or her voice, that dreamy quality made him feel sleepy and relaxed. Her hair was nice too; in this light it almost looked golden. His face turned a darker shade of pink. "I…I was just…" he hesitated, then an idea came to him. "I was just wondering why your radishes are orange?" Pathetic, he knew, but what else could he say?
"Radishes are orange! That's why…what colour did you think they were?" She looked thoroughly amused now, which made Draco feel uncomfortable.
"Radishes are red, I've never heard of an orange radish before," he replied coldly.
Luna did not seem faxed by his cold tone; on the contrary she even laughed.
"A few people seem to think that, quite funny really but radishes are definitely orange. There was a survey in The Quibbler last month. Besides, Daddy grows radishes and they have always been orange. "
"The Quibbler? No wonder you think radishes are orange! That magazine publishes nothing but rubbish," Draco replied easily. Well that was a relief; for a moment he thought he was colour-blind, that or rather ignorant.
"I'm sorry to hear you think that, but I do not agree. Daddy is the editor," Luna said, the dreamy quality in her voice had vanished and she sounded very offended.
"Yeah, well sorry but honestly you really believe that the aurours are trying to bring down the ministry with gum? And you think there is such a thing as a Crumply Horned Snail?"
"No, I believe the auroras are working with the Rotfang Conspiracy to bring down the ministry using a combination of dark magic and gum, and there is such a thing as a Crumple Horned Snorkack," she replied haughtily and turned around. Draco watched as she strode away, hair bouncing with every step she took. Oh why had he said that? Cursing himself, he slowly turned and began to walk back towards the castle.
I'll never forgive myself for behaving like that. These days I read every issue of The Quibbler in her honour. In that next year, I fell in love with her, Luna Lovegood. Every time I saw her was like being stabbed in the back. She never spoke to me, and I never spoke to her. I would just watch; watch her smile and her hair falling down her back. Listen; listen to her dreamy voice and enchanting laughter. Although by this time I had left Hogwarts, I kept a close eye on Hogsmeade at the weekends, hoping to bump into her. And in the end, I did…
Draco Malfoy sat in The Three Broomsticks, watching the door. A glass of Fire Whiskey stood on the table in front of him; his third in the two hours he had been there. Each time the door to the pub swung open, he could look up eagerly, but it was never who he hoped entering. Occasionally someone would come and talk to him, Crabbe and Goyle came to inform him that his former girlfriend, Pansy Parkinson was engaged, but even that didn't shock him. Why didn't she come?
At long last, there was a tinkle as the door opened, knocking a tiny bell to make the sound. Draco's eyes automatically swivelled to the doorway and there she stood. Luna Lovegood, looking much weirder than his last sighting a few months ago. But more beautiful too. Her hair was longer than ever, braided with two tiny plaits at even sides of her head, while the rest hung loose. Her eyes weren't quite as bulging as they had been, but they were still round with enthusiasm. Then there was her smile. That wonderful, magical smile. She was wearing two familiar orange radish earrings in her ears. Draco remembered that dreadful day and moved his eyes downwards. She wore a long sleeved blouse and pleated blue skirt, both highlighted with funky badges. Chunky, rainbow coloured bracelets decorated her wrists, while her old butterbeer cork necklace hung from her neck. A floppy pale blue hat was on her head, with a pink flower on top.
Draco stood up and followed her over to the bar. He waited whilst she ordered a drink, ('Gillywater with onion please, oh and do you have any spare butterbeer corks?') and turned around.
"Hi…" he said, thrusting his hands into his pockets.
Luna looked at him for a few long seconds, before speaking, "Hello…Mr. Malfoy," she said, expressing no emotion.
"Draco, call me Draco…would you sit with me?"
She hesitated, before nodding and followed Draco to his table. He quickly pushed the glass of Fire Whiskey to one side and watched Luna take a seat opposite him.
"So…how's school?" he asked, pointlessly.
"Not bad, I miss Harry and everyone though; they left last year, with you. He's meeting me here soon actually," Luna replied, eyeing him carefully.
Draco coughed, "How's lessons?" Could she remember their last conversation, he wondered. Could she tell how he felt?
"Fine thank-you," she paused and took her Gillywater off the waiter approaching. After taking a sip she continued, "Draco, I'm sure you didn't ask me to sit with you, just to ask me how school was."
True Ravenclaw, was Luna, despite being rather gullible. He sighed and reached for the Fire Whiskey. He took a long swig and began to speak, "Luna this is hard-"
He broke of as Harry Potter burst into the pub and raced over to their table.
"Luna, come quick, we need you….Voldemort…quick!" he said desperately, tugging Luna's arm. She jumped up and followed him, until they came to the door. She paused in the doorway and gave Draco a long look, before running out.
That was the last time I saw her. If only she had come in a few minutes earlier, so I could have told her how I felt. Or if Potter hadn't come in, and ruined everything. Even my father is to blame, for not telling me The Dark Lord's plans. But most of all, I blame myself, for not speaking earlier or going after her. The next morning, I heard the dreadful news. And it as then, that I knew I had to kill Harry Potter.
Draco Malfoy took a sip of his coffee and quickly put the mug down again. When would that stupid house-elf learn to make a good cup of coffee?
Before he could yell for the creature to make another, he heard heavy footsteps coming down the corridor. The door opened and Gregory Goyle walked into the Malfoy Manor kitchen. He looked pale for once, even shaking. He threw a copy of The Daily Prophet onto the table, in front of Draco.
"Dead…my dad…dead," Goyle said, glaring at the paper. Draco leant forward and picked up the paper. He'd never seen Goyle like this before.
"Sorry about your father…" he muttered absent-mindedly. The headline glared at him.
'Potter Save Us All' it read. Draco frowned; he was starting to get sick of The Prophet's stories.
"The Dark Lord….dead…Potter killed him…" Goyle continued in the same lost voice.
"What?" Draco exclaimed. "Dead? What about Potter? Who else died?"
Yesterday, the pub…what was it Potter had said? He needed Luna…something about Voldemort…
"Potter killed him, Dad and a few other death-eaters, his friends helped," Goyle said quietly.
"His friends? Are they all alive?" Draco asked anxiously.
But he didn't need to hear Goyle's reply. His eyes were already scanning the paper in his hand.
"Yeah….Loony Lovegood died and so did Weasel's little sister. The mud-blood's in St Mungos."
Draco hardly heard his friend's words, as he read the same few lines of the article over and over.
'Luna Lovegood, seventeen year-old and close friend of Potter's, died saving him. "You Know Who raised his wand to kill Harry, but Luna jumped in the way and took the curse for him," Neville Longbottom, witness says. Her funeral will be held next Friday at-"
The page went blurry, as his tears fell on the paper.
"What is it? I couldn't read very much of it – they use lots of hard words…someone you know dead?" Goyle asked, taking a sip of Draco's coffee.
Draco did not reply, but stood up, "My father…is he…?"
"He escaped…good coffee this…"
"Its disgusting coffee you moron! Get out of here!" Draco yelled angrily. He took the mug from his friend's hand and threw it at the wall. It smashed and the shattered pieces fell to the floor as Goyle backed out of the room. The coffee, which had been in the mug, left an ugly brown stain on the wall.
Draco sunk back into his chair and thumped his head on the table. Dead. Gone forever. Died to save that idiotic Potter. Well, there was no more to be said. He had business to attend to. Draco stood up once more and left the room. He would need help if he was to kill Harry Potter.
I never did kill Potter. I'm not quite sure why. Probably because I know Luna would hate me for it, if she were still alive. Who wants to be the baddy all the time anyway? Voldemort had finally been defeated, the wizarding world was rejoicing. I didn't want to ruin that happiness. I'm not my father. Someday Potter will die just like the rest of us, and I hope to be there when it happens, but for now I'll just stay content hating him. Poor Luna. I sat at the kitchen table for days, just waiting for her funeral.
And eventually, it came…
Draco Malfoy stood in the small cemetery of Ottery St Catchpole in his most formal black robes. It was sad, to see only a few people attending Luna's funeral. Weasley, Longbottom and Granger stood together; obviously the mud-blood had made a quick recovery. Standing not far away from a certain grave, stood an odd looking man, whom Draco assumed was Mr. Lovegood. Standing a metre apart from Luna's father was another peculiar looking man, wearing a kilt. A tiny, black-robed wizard stood in front of the grave. When Draco squinted, he could make out the word 'Lovegood' on the stone. Probably a family member's grave. No woman in sight, so perhaps Luna was motherless? If only he had known her better.
It felt so wrong. He should know all about her family. He should know what her favourite flower was, how she liked her tea and what she did on a rainy day. He should have been there, saved her and it would be not her funeral he was attending, but Mr. Goyle's.
Draco watched silently, as Harry apparated, looking shaken and miserable. The limp body of Luna Lovegood lay in his arms. Unlike the majority of dead bodies, Luna had not been dressed up or hidden by a cloth. She appeared to have come straight from the battlefield. She wore a baggy blouse, with a green stain at the front, her cork necklace still encircling her neck. A blue checked and pleated skirt covered part of her legs. The sight of her left knee however, made you sick. Grotesque, thought Draco. The cut was open and her knee was covered in blood. He also noticed that she was wearing a small daisy chain round her ankle, and her feet were bare, like they had been when he first met her. Her face shocked him. There was definite terror in her eyes, but you couldn't help getting the impression she was happy. How could she be happy? Millions of witches and wizards were probably glad that she had died; after all Luna was quite a heroine now, dead or not. Because, if you thought about it, it wasn't Potter who had saved everyone. It was Luna. The one who died to save Harry Potter, along with the rest of the wizarding world. Luna, who had jumped in front of Harry and taken the unforgivable curse for him, leaving him time to kill Voldemort himself.
Did that please Luna, Draco wondered. Had she thought it would be fun to die, or something? What else would explain the happiness in her face?
Her hair was the same, long, straggly and dirty blonde, yet wonderful. Her radishes were still there too, swinging a little in the breeze than ran through the graveyard. She might be dirty and rather loony, but she was the still the same beautiful girl he had seen those many years ago, alive or dead.
The black-robed wizard coughed and began to speak, but Draco wasn't really listening. The others were staring at him and whispering; probably wondering what he was doing there. He glowered at them.
Eventually the little wizard was silent and stepped away from the grave. Harry slowly began walking towards the monument, carrying Luna in his arms. Draco put out his hand to stop him. Harry looked surprised, but came to a halt. Draco looked around hesitantly. Stealing a rose off Asmerta Bopple's grave probably wasn't the best thing to do…
He bent down and picked a daisy. It wasn't an expensive lily or anything, but it was a flower all the same. He stroked Luna's soft hair and placed the daisy amongst her straggly golden locks.
"Good-bye Luna…" he said softly and stepped back. Harry stared at him, puzzled, but didn't linger long and continued to walk. He placed Luna's body next to the other grave, whispered something and went to join his friends. Hermione began to sob, noisily into his shoulder.
Mr. Lovegood took Harry's place, beside his daughter and took her hand. Pale and smooth. A tear rolled silently down Draco's check, but he quickly blinked the rest back. Oh Luna.
Mr. Lovegood moved aside and they all watched in silence as flames erupted around Luna's body. Lilac and blue coloured flames, twirling together in the air. A few smoky shapes seemed to materialize in the air. Odd-looking creatures, they appeared to be – surely not one of those legendary horned snail things? He blinked, but when he opened his eyes they were gone.
The flames grew higher, much higher than any of the mourners standing in the graveyard. And then, as quickly as they had appeared, they were gone again. Vanished. In place of the flames and Luna's body, was a small grave, standing next to the bigger one, which also encased a Lovegood. In front of Luna's grave, on the scorched grass lay a single daisy petal and two familiar orange radish earrings.
Draco did not even try to stop the tears this time.
"Two funerals in a row…it's just too much…I need a frog," Ron said after some time. Was he making a joke? Stupid Weasley…wasn't he upset about the death of Luna? Or even his own baby sister?
Draco looked at him. Ron didn't look that good. He looked like he had slept in his clothes (not a surprise) and his face was white. Maybe he did care, after all.
"A frog?" Harry repeated blankly.
"A chocolate frog, mate!" Ron said, feebly slapping his friend on the back. Unexpectedly Neville burst into tears and began to wail.
Draco turned away.
The air was bitter, miserable and glum. The Scottish man had begun to play the bagpipes, but Draco blocked out the awful sound. He walked. Walked over to the small gate. The entrance and exit to this atrocious place.
Before he cold swing it open, a voice from behind him said, "She used to come here every day after her mother first died."
Draco turned, to see Mr. Lovegood, staring at him forlornly.
"She never had many friends, our Luna, but she spoke greatly of those she did have. I can't re-call her mentioning you though…"
Draco cleared his throat, "We didn't know each other well…I'm Draco M – Draco."
The man's eyes flickered, but Draco couldn't tell what he meant.
"Oh yes, I believe she did mention you…" He appeared to want to say more, but didn't. "Well thank-you for coming…"
Mr. Lovegood stared at Draco for a moment with his poignant eyes and began to walk away.
"Wait…excuse me, sir?" Draco called out. The man turned back, in surprise.
"I'd….I'd like a subscription to The Quibbler…" Draco said, surprising himself this time.
"Why of course! Mr. Malfoy isn't it?" Mr. Lovegood replied, looking slightly happier, but Draco hadn't missed the little raised eyebrow when he had first spoken.
He nodded and pushed the gate open.
Draco cast a last look at Luna's grave before leaving. It looked good there, he decided. He hoped that nobody would remove the petal or radishes.
Draco turned and walked out of the Ottery St Catchpole graveyard. He did not need to linger behind for chitchat with his enemies. He just needed to leave. The place gave him a bad feeling. It made him wish that he were dead, lying beside Luna.
One day, it would happen, but not today. Today, he was going away, although he did not know where. Sweden perhaps or maybe Ireland; at least there would be some good Quidditch matches there to take his mind off things.
And so he left, leaving a small percentage of his heart behind to live amongst the graves.
I visited the graveyard often, and even now the daisy petal as good as new lies on the scorched grass, two orange radish earrings beside it. I wonder if they know what happened to their mistress?
I never learnt to love again. I'm the only one out of my friends who never got married or had children. I wonder if that would be the same, had Luna still been alive. I don't know and I never will. Some days I sit in the Malfoy Manor, doing nothing, simply staring out of the window, thinking about her. But most of the time I try to get on with my life. Ever since my father died, mother has taken to weeping in her bedroom day and night. She is paler than ever, like a ghost. She never goes out anymore and rarely comes down for food. I'm determined not to be like that. I won't waste away like her. I won't bring death upon myself. I'll simply carry on as normal, and when it comes, I shall be ready. Ready to see my sweet Luna again.