A Crown of Flowers


Draco sat down on a fallen log at the edge of the forbidden forest grumpily, and stretched out his legs, glaring at the crowd across the lake. Students were running about, laughing and giggling as they collected chocolate eggs, which had been hidden around the school grounds by the teachers. Even the older students seemed to be enjoying themselves. It had been Madam Promfrey's idea to make sure everyone got a bit of Easter chocolate before they headed home for the Easter break. She thought it especially important while the Dementors were guarding the exits.

"Are we resting then?" A small, fragile looking girl asked sitting down on the grass at his feet. She began peeling the foil off a small egg, a vacant smile on her lips. Of course, it had been Dumbledore's idea to have them separated into 'teams' of two, no pair containing two members of the same house. Probably one of his daft ideas about inter-house bonding and socializing. Draco scowled. That man really is thick if he thinks we Slytherins are going to 'bond' with the 'Golden Trio'. He laughed out loud as he recalled Potter's look of shock at being partnered up with Pansy, and wondered how they were getting on, and if Potter was still breathing.

"Here you go Draco." Draco jumped at being addressed by his first name. He had become accustomed to the name 'Malfoy' around any of Potter's friends. What surprised him even more was the fact that this girl was holding out the now unwrapped chocolate egg, a sincere smile on her thin lips.

"They're half yours, after all," she said, motioning to the small basket. "We're a team."

Draco nodded stiffly, and took the egg. He hadn't expected her to share, considering she had been the one to find them all. Her hand brushed his, sending shivers down his spine.

"Thanks Luna," he said quietly.

They watched in silence as Neville and Padma walked past, or rather, Padma walked and dragged a contemptuous looking Neville behind her. Luna waved to Neville, but he didn't seem to see her. Padma was muttering under her breath, and Neville looked thoroughly unhappy. When they had gone, Luna stood up again, picking up the basket. "I suppose we better get going," she said happily, holding out her hand to help Draco up. Shunning the offer, Draco pushed himself up, but Luna didn't seem to mind. They continued in the same direction as Neville and Padma.

"Look, I've found one!" Draco exclaimed, running eagerly over to the edge of the lake. A green egg was trapped in the reeds, bobbing up and down in the water.
Luna looked impressed. It was a large egg, but seemed to have been charmed to take on the colour of its surroundings, making it difficult to spot.

"I wonder if there are many like that," said Luna thoughtfully and Draco nodded grimly, knowing that it was quite possible they had passed many of them unknowingly.

Draco snatched the egg up and dropped it into the basket with the rest of Luna's eggs, noticing proudly that it was the largest. It immediately blended in with the assortment of colors.

"Ooh look!" Luna had put the basket down, and was heading quickly away from the lake and back towards the forest. Draco picked up the basket, feeling slightly foolish carrying it, and hurried after her. When he caught up, he found her standing in a small patch of flowers, bending over slightly to admire them.
"Lislacker Lilies," Luna explained, her voice full of awe. "They're very rare; they bloom once a year for a single hour. I've only ever seen pictures."

To Draco, they just looked like multi-colored daisies overgrown with an engorgement charm, but he didn't say anything. He had already worked out that sarcastic comments and snide remarks had no effect on this girl.
Quite suddenly, Luna began to dance or at least, Draco assumed that was what she was doing. She was spinning around slowly, making strange gestures with her hands. The lightness of it made her look even more delicate and pretty. Draco cleared his throat and gave himself a strict telling off for that last thought.
"Luna," he said loudly, almost sternly. "What on earth are you doing?"

Luna stopped waving her arms and rotating and smiled at him. "It's good luck to dance around Lislacker Lilies, and if you're really lucky, the Lislacker pixies might just reward your dancing by appearing themselves. Wouldn't that be amazing?"
Draco gaped at her. He knew she was ridiculous, but he hadn't realized just how much.

"Right," he said awkwardly. "Well, you do your dancing thing then. I'm going to take a nap."

"You don't want to join me?"

Draco scoffed. "Hell no." And before he could see Luna's look of disappointment, he lay down on the grass a few metres from Luna and her flowers. Just a few moments later, Luna began to sing to herself, and Draco rolled his eyes. Why was he putting up with her? He should just march back to castle and demand to be excluded from the silly little game, or better yet, curse the wench. He yawned widely; he was much too tired to do either.

Draco couldn't help admitting she had a nice voice. It was soothing and peaceful. He closed his eyes. He couldn't make out the words to her song; he supposed it was in another language. He wouldn't be surprised if it was a language made up by the Ravenclaw girl herself.

He could smell the grass. It was a smell he quite liked, and it reminded him of days he'd lay on his lawn back home to watch the clouds.
His breathing evened out, and quite soon he was asleep, Luna's chanting following him to his dreams.

Draco woke an hour later, and opened his eyes slowly. A pair of wide, bright blue eyes took up his vision, making him start. They were framed by very long, pale lashes, and had a slightly glazed look to them. Luna leaned back, and Draco noticed with embarrassment that she was sitting on his legs, her knees on either side on his outer thighs, a very undesirable position, considering what house she was in.

"I didn't mean to wake you," Luna said brightly. "But I wanted to see what it looked like on you." Draco allowed himself to be confused for a moment, before realizing there was something atop of his head. He reached up a hand, and felt to his horror a ring of interlocked flowers. He yanked it off his head immediately. and tried to stop himself from flushing.

"Luna, how long have I been wearing this?"

"Oh, not long." She smiled. "Do you like it?"

Draco stared at her. Was she serious?

"Men don't wear flower...crowns." He said very seriously, and Luna giggled.
"But you're not exactly a man, Draco. Besides, I thought it really brought out your beauty. But then, that might have been the way you smiled while you slept. Some people don't notice it when your scowling." she added softly, and this time Draco really did blush.

She leaned in a little closer, and Draco felt his heart beat a little faster and his face flush a little deeper. From embarrassment, he told himself firmly. Who'd want to be caught in this situation with Loony Lovegood?

But that thought was wiped immediately from his mind when she took his hand in hers, and fished the wreath from his fingers. She placed it back on his head, and he made no move to take it off. Her hands were very warm. He licked his lips absently, and seemed to forget how to breathe as she drew closer. He could smell the daisies on her skin, and see a speck of chocolate on her lips.

She placed her mouth to his ear, and he could feel her warm breath. Her chest was crushed to his and her legs tight on his hips as she balanced herself.

"You're not really such a bad person, Draco." Her voice was a whisper in his ear, and remained there even as she began to pull herself away, freeing her hand from his and releasing him from the warmth of her body.

The intensity seemed to end quite abruptly as she rose to her feet and took up the basket, and Draco let out a sharp breath and closed his eyes, trying to discern what had just happened.

"We'd best head back to the castle," Luna said without any trace of awkwardness, and when Draco opened his eyes again, she was already skipping away, her loose blond hair trailing behind her.

He hurried to his feet and followed at a brisk walk, the crown of flowers forgotten on his head.

Authors Note: this is my Draco/Luna submission for The Easter Project at the Reviews Lounge forum. As always, reviews would be lovely.