A/N: First of all thanks to all my lovely reviewers, I start every writing session by looking at some of them so they really do help the process!
Okay, this is a kind of messy chapter of different story lines meshing together but I wanted to get some things established before continuing the story properly. Not much Luna in it, but never fear, she will be back. As usual, sorry for the long wait.
Blaise could only stare at the blond man in front of him. Three declarations in rapid succession had shocked him out of the power of speech. Considering his nature it was quite impressive, actually. Slowly, he tried to get his brain to take it in. Malfoy had arrived and after a curt knock had entered uninvited, stopped on the doormat just inside the door (the Christmas one that said "ho ho ho" since Blaise had not been able to find a normal, plain one. The all had soppy messages, lame jokes or stupid looking animals on them and he was damned if he was going to…nevermind, that, brain!).
Then he'd said, "My father is dead." Blaise knew their relationship had been virtually non-existent after Malfoy the younger had decided Voldemort was not so cool after all and that it had turned from cold to heated in anger when Weasley had turned out to be what seemed like a permanent fixture in the Slytherin Prince's life. Still, he'd expected a little more emotion from his friend than just the blank expression and the short sentence. Having caught up on that part his mind replayed the next sentence,
"I'm marrying Ginny."
If his life had been a cartoon show he'd have fainted from shock and tiny little birds would dance around his head. Marry? He knew the Malfoy was silly over her but to marry her, spend the rest of his life with her? A Gryffind-He interrupted himself. He wasn't at school longer for heaven's sake.
Also, this would make awesome material for a long time. A picture of Malfoy in a billowy pirate shirt, on one knee in front of Weasley, holding up a ring with a devoted expression not unlike the one he'd seen on a dog begging outside Fortescue's the other day appeared in his head and he snorted. Yes, this could be good. Wedding jitters would probably be fun to play with as well.
Then the third sentence hit home.
"You're the best man." What? What?
"I'm the best friend you have?" Malfoy didn't seem surprised this was the declaration he chose to make first. He just crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow,
"Oh, and what's the name of your best friend again? The one with the permanent invisibility spell?" Blaise realized the blond man was right. His best friend was Malfoy. Freaky. He shrugged inwardly, why not? He was rather funny and seldom behaved in the inane ways Blaise had seen male friends act. No stupid arm punching or grinning constantly.
"Want a beer?"
"No champagne for your best friend's happy news?"
Luna knew already, of course, since she was friends with Weasley.
"It's not weird, Blaise. Draco has had little family of his own so now he wants to make one himself. Marrying means he'll be certain Ginny will stay with him. That's why she's agreed, even though they're young. She knows he needs to feel part of something." It always astounded him how someone who paid so little attention to most things going on around her could perceive so much. It made sense when she said it though, about Malfoy wanting a family.
"But Ginny is upset, because her brothers are refusing to come to their wedding. I think they're being small minded. It's not like she's marrying a four legged Karni." He chose not to ask about the animal in question. Besides, whatever it was he was pretty sure Weasley's brothers' estimation of Malfoy was probably somewhere beneath a toad. Normally it'd make him laugh. Now he just felt annoyed. They weren't at school anymore, the war was over, Malfoy hadn't sided with the baddies and fine, he was an annoying git at times but that wasn't reason enough to not come to your own sister's wedding. For all their big talk about forgiveness and welcome the "good" were surprisingly narrow-minded.
Maybe someone would have to fix that. He could be that someone. It wasn't as if he had a lot to do. He still mostly lounged around the house, waiting for Luna to finish working so he could take her out, or as of recently cook her something. Cooking was pretty much like Potions except for not to annoyingly exact. He enjoyed thinking of Professor Snape's expression when he "guesstimated" some salt in a casserole or dumped a spice he thought might work in a big pot. Then, when he'd fed her one way or the other, he'd try and get her to stay the night, which he succeeded in most nights but Luna still refused to move in with him, spending one or two token nights a week at her own shared flat.
At least she'd picked London to live in, thank Merlin for small mercies, and was working for her dad's paper. Writing it seemed was what she wanted to do and her first piece had been a report on their Crumple-Horned Snorkack safari in Sweden last summer. Then a second article, a travel piece on Stockholm before she'd been wholly convinced that's what she wanted to work with. Blaise was now in his second year of doing nothing and was at his wits' end about what to do. He'd tried a Ministry job, which had driven him insane from boredom, he'd tried to be a bartender and realized most people were idiots and he didn't want to deal with them and he'd tried involving himself with investing as Malfoy seemed to enjoy. It was all boring him senseless. He couldn't complain that the projects Malfoy had gotten him to invest in were giving back a healthy return but he didn't experience any thrill from it like his friend did.
So, as he was currently unemployed he might as well be the fairy godmother of the Weasley-Malfoy union.
It had been surprisingly fun. Tracking them all down, observing them to find out when the best time to approach them was, get a peek inside their everyday lives. You could find out such interesting things. The Weasley working for the Ministry for example, Blaise was pretty sure had not told anyone in his family he was as gay as Christmas morning. The one working in Romania seemed assured no one would look through his windows in the dark of night in the rural area he lived and Blaise sincerely hoped no ne else ever would. He'd need therapy if he dwelled too long on it. The youngest male Weasley met his wife every Wednesday at noon for lunchtime sex in her office which he would also need therapy to forget knowing but all in all Blaise thought it had been entertaining to have a look at someone else's life for a while. He had the resources to travel freely and give "gifts" to people manning doors and guarding documents. He might be on to something he could actually do for a living.
Not necessarily make them do things like he had to browbeat the Weasleys into going to Malfoy's wedding to their little sister but to find people, watch them and report on it. It would always be varied, he'd be working for himself, on his own time and he had more than enough capital to back even a business at a loss.
And so there it was. A door in a building that rented out small offices to one and two men businesses with a discreet sign on it bearing the words "B. Zabini – Private Investigator".
Inside was a desk, already piled with files and a shelf holding so far the "office warming" gifts he'd received. From Malfoy he'd gotten a bottle of whisky for "emergencies" and a hideous hat that some fictional Muggle detective apparently always wore – to hide your ugly face, as he had charmingly put it. From Luna, who could be surprisingly practical when she chose to be he received an ever refilling, ever warm coffee travel mug and all volumes of the muggle detective's adventures for "stake-outs.", or "make-outs" as she thought they were called, mixing up her Muggle terminology. He wouldn't mind her coming along to a "make-out"…
An ad in the Prophet later and he was officially in business. It was surprising how many people needed his services for such a varied number of reasons and it never ceased to amuse him.
"I don't know how you did it, Zabini, but thanks. All the Dreadful Six have accepted the invitations and Ginny's happy to proceed planning. Whatever planning our mothers will let her do anyhow. Who knew a Malfoy and a Weasley matriarch could get along as long as there is a wedding to plan?"
"Malfoy. I will be your best man but if you're going to talk about wedding planning I'm going to go over there and shoot myself." Malfoy shrugged and leaned back in the booth, as usual looking like he owned the place.
"However much fun that would be I'm happy to not speak of it myself. The flowers alone…hours…hours…." Malfoy's pained expression was ruined as he smirked when Blaise pretended to jam his fork in his eye. "On the topic as well, what have you planned for the bachelor party? You haven't invited a lot of people have you?"
"As if a lot of people would agree to go to your bachelor party. Your execution or possibly a public whipping – people would come, en masse. To a party confirming you're marrying one of the hottest women in the wizarding world – not so much."
"Don't take it personally, it's just a side effect of being an insufferable git."
"Thanks, honey. You always know what to say. No, what I meant was have you invited the Dirty Dozen? I can't very well relax of they're going to be there but Ginny seems to be under the impression they're going to come."
"I don't know where she got that idea." Blaise said innocently.
"You did! You invited them. Do you want me to slither down the aisle to Ginny after her brothers relieve me of my limbs?" He'd had his doubts about it but seeing the usually so composed blonde with two bright spots of red burning on his cheeks convinced him he'd been right. This ridiculous animosity had to end if Ginny and Draco were to stand a chance. She couldn't live without the support of her family forever and Draco couldn't live without Ginny. So, Blaise Zabini to the rescue, fairy godmother of all now, apparently. Damn Luna and her good influence.
"It's for better and worse, isn't it? Chin up, how bad can it be? They're just twelve of them or something. We can take them if things go badly." He wasn't letting them go badly. He'd lock them all up at the world's longest bachelor party, not letting them leave until at the very least a tentative truce existed.
"Besides, you probably won't even have time to obsess over her brothers since I also invited her honorary brother and ex-boyfriend, savior to all big and small." Malfoy went puce and Blaise gave himself an inner slap on the back.
A/N2: It might seem mean but he has a plan for all this. I hope you liked this chapter, which is kind of different from the others, I admit. I did have fun writing it though, so hopefully it's not too bad.