Narcissa made her way through the crowded ballroom greeting everyone with smiles, hugs and kisses practiced over the years from hosting these events. She smiled a soft genuine smile when her gaze fell upon her top photographers, Ron Weasley and Blaise Zambini, talking with her favorite in house model, Ginny Weasley, and her most amazing assistant, Luna Potter.
Narcissa had hired Luna, at Ginny's insistence, when she had to fire her last assistant for assisting her husband in other ways. Ginny had explained that she had a friend that had recently lost her husband and needed a job.
Luna and her husband, Harry, had been married for a year when he was murdered. Narcissa had read it in the papers since Harry Potter was an up and coming prosecutor. He had been gunned down by those opposed to the ruling of a large crime boss. Besides being well known, her son, Draco, and Harry had attended school together, but had never been close friends.
Narcissa had immediately fallen in love with Luna the minute they met. She was shy and quiet, but highly organized and meticulous. After working together for a year and a half, she had also discovered that Luna had a wonderful sense of humor as well. Narcissa could bounce all sorts of ideas off of her and she would always listen patiently before stating her opinion. She especially liked that Luna was not afraid to give her opinion. Growing up as Black, then marrying into the Malfoy family, and now running the House of Black fashion house, Narcissa was used to people telling her what they thought she wanted to hear.
Thankfully at work, she had managed to surround herself with people that didn't trip over themselves when she was around. Ron Weasley had been working for her for five years now and had managed to get her to hire his boyfriend, Blaise, as a second photographer. She loved them both as she loved her own son. Ron had also introduced her to Ginny and she has been modeling for her for four years now. Now with Luna here, Narcissa felt she had the family denied her since her ex-husband had needed an heir, Draco, and nothing else.
Thinking of her son, she scanned the dance floor to find him twirling his girlfriend around. Narcissa prayed with every fiber of her being that they would never marry. Draco's father had introduced them three years ago, knowing that the Parkinson family was just as wealthy as they were and had the right social standing. Narcissa got the feeling that Draco was tiring of Pansy. She was a beautiful girl, but had nothing between her ears to keep Draco stimulated and happy.
"Narcissa? I don't mean to interrupt, but I just wanted to thank you for inviting me to the party and for the lovely gift." Narcissa smiled at the necklace shinning on Luna's neck. She had hand selected the four sapphires and diamonds on the necklace, knowing the blue would bring out her eyes.
"Luna, it was nothing. You are a gem and I would be lost without you. Have you been having a good time?" Narcissa was surprised to see her blush. "I have never danced so much in my entire life. I have had a wonderful time. I just wanted to say thank you before I left."
Narcissa wanted to protest, but knew that Luna welcomed in the new year by visiting Harry's grave. It had only been three years, but Ginny had explained that they were meant to be. She had never seen such a more devoted couple. Knowing this, it was not surprising that it had taken Luna two years before she removed her rings and up until about month ago before Ginny convinced her to pack up some of Harry's things.
"Have a lovely evening and I will see you in a week. Happy New Year!" Luna smiled brightly. "Happy New Year to you as well." Narcissa watched her head toward the exit and was surprised to see Draco stop her. Narcissa was about to go over and reprimand her son when she saw Luna wipe a few tears off her cheeks, but was stopped when Luna gave Draco's hand a squeeze and smiled.
The whole exchange seemed rather odd. Draco, of course, ran the finances for the House of Black, so saw Luna on a daily basis. Never had she seen him talk to her alone. Usually he addressed her if they were in meetings or in Narcissa's office. She headed over to make sure that he had not hurt her.
"Draco, darling, I love you dearly, but if you have her hurt her in any way, you will be sorry." Draco refrained from rolling his eyes, knowing his mother loved Luna like the daughter she never had and wanted. "Don't be ridiculous. I was wishing her a Happy New Year and reminded her to dress warmly when going to visit Harry." Narcissa's face softened.
"Alright, dear. Now, where is you lovely girlfriend?" This time Draco did roll his eyes and shuddered at the mention of Pansy. While she would be an ideal trophy wife, he found her boring and annoying. Draco wanted to blame Hermione for showing him that girlfriends could be smart and beautiful and cursed himself that he let her go to please his father.
"Pansy is probably waiting somewhere she thinks is romantic so that I will propose to her at midnight." Narcissa barely managed to hold back her disgust at the thought. "Not to worry mother. She will not be the next Mrs. Malfoy. Father had the big discussion last week about duty and the future. He even gave me a set of rings to give Pansy. I explained that he had a lot of nerve to lecture me considering what he did to you and told him that if he thought Pansy would be so wonderful then he could marry her." Narcissa smiled and hugged Draco just as the clocks chimed midnight.
A week later, when everyone had returned to work, Narcissa opened her morning paper and scanned the society pagers and found yet another article about the break-up of Draco and Pansy. Pansy had been rather upset that Draco was with his mother and not her at midnight. Draco had then calmly explained that he wanted to ends things. Pansy went on to throw a major tantrum, only hurting her reputation.
Since then, several stories had been written speculating as to why Draco would not want to marry her. Most believed he was going to return to Hermione, no matter that everyone knew she was living in the States with her husband and child. Another theory was that he was gay. Ron and Blaise had had a field day teasing him over that one. A few had managed close to the truth, painting Pansy as merely wanting to be a Malfoy for the money and social status. Draco had managed to take it all in stride and had made no comments to the papers.
Luna had returned from her vacation, with new resolve. Having spent most of New Years Eve talking with Harry, she decided that he wouldn't want her to be missing out on life. She could almost hear his voice scolding her for withdrawing from everything. Deciding that over three years was enough time to mourn, she spent the rest of the vacation packing up the rest of his things. She, of course, left pictures and other special mementoes of their time together, but she had managed to pack away his clothing and most of his books. At the end of the week, she decided that she also needed to find a new place to live.
She came back to work and everyone noticed that she seemed happier, like a weight had been lifted. She had told Ginny of what she had done and what she was planning to do about the flat. Ginny smiled brightly and hugged her tight. She had known that that had been a difficult task for Luna, but agreed that Harry wouldn't want her moping about and not moving on.
Luna came in Monday morning and was already swamped with details of the opening of a new store in New York. It was going to be opened at the end of January and she, Narcissa, Draco and Ginny were going to be out there a week before to make sure that everything was going according to plan. Luna was very excited since she had never been to the States. Narcissa promised that they would get to see some of the sights, perhaps staying a bit longer than necessary to have some fun.
Luna was brought out of her thoughts when the phone rang. "Luna, Mr. Malfoy has just stepped into the building." Luna sighed and rubbed her temples. It appeared it was going to be one of those days. "Thank you, Julie. Have a good day." Luna hung up and then knocked on the door. "Narcissa?" She waited for her to let her know she could enter. "Yes, Luna?" Luna opened poked her head in. "Mr. Malfoy is coming up. Shall I stall him?"
Narcissa closed her eyes and counted to ten. "Please. I need to make one phone call and then I will be able to face him. Could you call Draco to see if he could talk with him?" Luna nodded and then closed the door. Luna sat at her desk and didn't relish the thought of having to call Draco. For whatever reason, his secretary did not like her. Luna took a deep breath and dialed his extension.
"What do you need, Luna?" "I need to speak with Draco. I have a message from his mother." That was usually the only reason that Martha ever let Luna talk with Draco. "Just a minute." Luna could hear the sigh in her voice before being transferred. "Luna, how can I help you?" "Your father is here and your mother would like you to stall him because she is on an important phone call." Luna could hear Draco's growl at the mention of his father. "I will be right over." He hung up and Luna turned in her chair to be greeted by Mr. Malfoy.
Luna put on her best smile. "Mr. Malfoy, what a pleasure. Mrs. Malfoy is on an important call right now, but I believe that Draco is available." Mr. Malfoy smiled, giving Luna the creeps. She had known why she replaced the last assistant and was hoping that he wasn't having similar ideas with her. "It's alright, Ms. Potter. I was actually here to talk with my son." Thankfully, Draco came around the corner just at that moment.
"Father, to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?" Draco had a feeling that he had received a nasty phone call from the Parkinson's when Draco ended his relationship with Pansy and now his father was showing up to 'talk' to him about his decision. "Draco, I wanted to have word with you, in private." Draco wanted to roll his eyes, but motioned for his father to head toward his office. Luna let out the breath she had been holding, fearing a large confrontation to ensue.
Luna was just sitting down to go over the itinerary for the New York trip when Narcissa stuck her head out. "Has he arrived?" Luna nodded her head. "He wanted to talk with Draco. They are in his office." "He is probably going to discuss Pansy with him. I think that I will let them have some time to themselves. Why don't you order lunch for the three of us from that Italian restaurant that Draco loves since he will need something to cheer him up after dealing with his father?" Narcissa disappeared into her office again and Luna went to order lunch.
Draco had barely stepped a foot back into his office before his father began. "I received a rather angry phone call from Mr. Parkinson the other day. I was wondering why you failed to mention that you and Pansy were no longer together. I thought you were going to propose." Draco pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to stave off the headache that was threatening to come. "No father. You thought I was going to propose. I cannot stand her. I only agreed to date her because you insisted that I needed to find someone to carry on the Malfoy name. After what you did to mother, I have lost all respect for you and therefore will marry whom I choose to fall in love with."
Draco was surprised to see his father flinch at the mention of his infidelity, but he recovered to begin scolding. "You need to find someone who will be able to handle the Malfoy name. Did I teach you nothing? We need to protect our wealth and social standing. I think that Granger girl you were with tainted your ideals." Draco wanted to hit his father for bringing Hermione into this. While they had not been in love, had parted on amicable terms and still kept in touch, she was not the only reason Draco wanted a different life to live.
"You cannot bring Hermione into this. While she did open my eyes to the fact that I could be with someone who could hold their own, she did not 'taint' my ideals. I would like to point out that you and mother sent me to the best schools that were attended by some of the smartest women. I learned that they could have just as interesting things to add to any conversation as any man could, sometimes more. If anyone is to blame, you are. I will not settle for some trophy wife that will cater to my every need, like a slave."
His father was about to comment, but they were interrupted by a knock on the door. "Excuse me, Mr. Malfoy, but the New York business is on the line. They said that there was a problem with a delivery." Draco glared at his father. "Thank you, Martha. Father, this is the end of this discussion. You can either accept my decision and be happy for me, or you will not have contact with me for a very long time." Mr. Malfoy looked like he wanted to comment, but wisely remained silent and then left. Draco sat in his chair, rubbing his temples. Great, first a visit from father and now a problem in New York. This day just keeps getting better and better, he thought.
Luna was finishing up her phone calls with the hotel in New York, when a frazzled looking Draco came to her desk. "Is my mother done with phone calls? There seems to be a problem in New York." Luna paled considerably, knowing that a problem in New York was not what she needed right now. "I think she is done. Should I get the information for the store and join you?" "Please." Draco entered the office, while Luna gathered up several binders and folders detailing the opening to take place. She could hear Narcissa's voice beginning to rise in concern and Draco trying to calm her and offer solutions to fix the problem.
"Luna." Luna jumped at the panicking sound of her name and rushed into the office with the folders weighing her down. Draco took them from her and set them on the nearby table. "Luna, you and Draco are going to head out to New York tomorrow and fix this problem. Some idiot ordered the wrong furniture. Tom called saying that the company won't take back the stuff unless we pay some huge fee. I want it fixed. You have all the invoices and contracts, right Luna?" Luna dug into one of the huge binders and pulled out several papers. "Right here." Narcissa seemed to relax slightly. "Good, go home and pack and Draco will pick you up in the morning." Luna and Draco nodded and then left.
Luna had had to call Draco to find out if they were going to be there until the end of the month. He thought that they might be, but was unsure. She ended up packing nearly everything she owned. She had called Ginny for help, since she had been nervous about travelling. She had never travelled so far before and having Draco as her travelling companion did not calm her nerves. He tended to take after his mother and became rather scary when something went wrong or he didn't get his way. It also reminded her of Harry. She chuckled to herself about that as she packed another sweater.
Ginny had arrived to help pack while Luna had been on the phone, trying to get the hotel to give them a suite that the two of them could work from earlier than requested. The original hotel sadly, had already had another important client in the suite, but had recommended another one even closer to their destination. The other hotel had a much larger one with three bedrooms and an office and kitchen. The third bedroom would come in handy when Narcissa finally made it over. Luna had also had to ready the private jet. While she had thought that having a private jet always seemed silly, she was glad that she wasn't going to have to be trapped in the air with Draco and several other passengers. She didn't think that would be a pretty picture.
Draco arrived at 8am the next morning, looking less like himself then Luna had ever seen him. He was nursing a mug of coffee, probably not his first, and dressed in jeans, a grey jumper and wool coat. The thing that surprised her the most was that his hair was still messy, as if he had tumbled out of bed not ten minutes ago. "Are you ready?" She nodded and then grabbed her purse and carry-on bag while he took her two suitcases. "I'm surprised you only have two. Every other woman I have ever travelled with always had three or four. I can't imagine how many my mother will be coming with."
Luna laughed, having had the same conversation with Ginny the night before. Luna, having always been rather practical, even after marrying Harry and having more money than ever necessary, had never been a clothes horse. She explained that she could have things laundered and then Ginny nearly fainted. Ginny eventually allowed her to pack minimally if she promised to go out shopping when she arrived in a few weeks. Luna finally agreed, thinking that it couldn't hurt, especially since she was in the shopping capital of the States.
"Yes, well, Ginny was surprised as well. I promised she could take me shopping when she gets there to make up for my lack of wardrobe." Draco nodded and gave the bags to the driver. The ride to the airport was quiet, especially since it seemed that Draco was nearly asleep. Rethinking her assessment of having a private jet, Luna was grateful that they could clear through the airport quicker. It wasn't until they were buckled in the plane that Luna's nerves got the better of her.
Draco was just gathering pillows and blankets for them, when he noticed that Luna had gone pale. "Are you going to be alright?" Luna, clutching the arm rest of the seat, could only nod and then stare outside watching. "You have been on a plane before, right?" Luna nodded. "I have travelled a bit, but only with Harry. I haven't been on a plane without him before. He would usually hold my hand. I prefer travelling closer to the ground." Draco looked thoughtful as he sat next to her. He handed her a blanket and pillow.
"Would you like to hold my hand? I won't mind." Luna didn't look up nor did she say anything. Draco was about to tuck himself in when the pilot announced that they were ready to leave. At the first movement of the plane, Luna grabbed his hand. "Thank you. Harry always laughed at me. I guess it is rather silly." Draco just squeezed her hand. "I don't' mind. Did you know that Harry and I went to school together, before University? We weren't friends, but he always seemed nice." Luna smiled and began talking about Harry. Draco listened intently, not at all surprised that he was a wonderful person that Luna clearly loved.
Before she knew it, they were in the air. "Thank you, Draco. That was a good distraction. It also helps to talk about him." Draco nodded and then settled further into his chair feeling the need to sleep. Luna also relaxed and soon the two of them were sound asleep, Luna still clutching his hand.
Draco awoke a couple of hours later, to find Luna missing. Stretching his long legs, he stood and made his way to the galley to get something to eat. Turning, he spotted Luna in another chair, going over several folders and she had her laptop out. She had taken off her sweater, leaving her in a light pink button down shirt and had undone her hair so that it fell around her in soft waves. Draco had not realized that her hair was nearly to her waist as it was usually tied up in some fashion at the office. She also had on a pair of glasses the he had never seen her wear before. Looking at her now, all Draco could think was that she was stunning. He had always thought she was good looking, but something about watching her so unguarded made her even more beautiful.
"Is there something on my face?" Luna's voice brought him out of his thoughts and he tried to stop the blush threatening to crawl up his cheeks. "No, no, nothing. I have never seen you wear glasses before." Luna blushed and removed them. "I usually wear contacts. Flying, however, is hard on the eyes and the glasses are more pleasant." Draco watched as she put them back on and then went back to her paperwork. "I was going to get something to eat. Are you hungry?" Luna shook her head and pointed to her empty plate. "I ate while you were sleeping. I wanted to go over these contracts again and didn't have the heart to wake you. You look like you needed the sleep."
Luna was again grateful that Draco let her hold his hand as they landed in New York. While in flight, she had not been bothered that she was flying, but the take-offs and landings always scared her. The limo from the hotel was waiting for them once they had cleared through customs.
Luna was surprised that even though it was winter and extremely cold, the day was clear and bright. She pulled her wool coat tighter around her small frame and walked to the car. Draco settled in next to her, already on the phone with Tom from the store. Apparently, he said that some cheep plastic furniture was delivered instead of the expensive wooden ones agreed upon. The vendor claimed that those were what were listed on the invoice. Thankfully, Luna had multiple copies of everything, including the invoices.
Luna was startled as her phone went off, not at all surprising that it was Narcissa. "Hello, Narcissa." Luna was ready to be bombarded with questions that she didn't have the answers to yet. "We just landed and are heading to the hotel…Draco is on the phone with him now…Yes, we will check in and then head over to get to the bottom of this…The flight was fine…I will call you back later when I know more…I will keep an eye on him…Bye."
Luna turned to see Draco smiling at her. "I'm surprised we made it to the car before she called. I was expecting one of our phones to go off the minute we stepped off the plane." "Is there any reason that she told me to keep an eye on you?" Draco looked to be in thought for a moment before smiling. "Well, I have tendency to make people cry. She probably wants you to make sure I don't unnecessarily scare someone." Luna could only laugh. The rest of the ride was filled with Draco making a few more phone calls.
Luna had never seen a hotel room as big as this one. It was bigger than the flat she lived in now and it had stunning views of the city. They had arrived and been shown immediately to their room. Luna had unpacked her few things, showered and changed. She was now gathering up all the necessary binders and folders, along with her laptop, to take with them. The only thing she didn't have was the information on payments received. That was Draco's domain, but she should have had Martha send her copies as well. Sadly, she had not wanted to deal with Draco's secretary any more than she had to. She was still baffled as to why she didn't like her.
Draco emerged, having also showered and changed. He was now wearing a black suit with a light blue shirt and dark blue tie. Luna thought blue was a good color for him, bringing out the blue in his otherwise grey eyes. She thought he looked very handsome and wondered how long he was going to be single. She was sure there were women lining up to get the chance to catch his eye. Luna stopped packing, frowned and then scolded herself for feeling sadness at the thought of Draco with another woman. What is wrong with me? she thought to herself.
"Draco, do you have copies of the information of the payments. I want to make sure that the vendor was paid." Draco opened his own large binder and pulled out several pieces of paper. "Here are a list of all the vendors and their scheduled payments. Here is a list of funds drawn from our accounts for payment, along with the dates the payments were received by each vendor. I also had the bank fax me a copy for this particular vendor, showing cancelled checks for each payment. Did you not get copies from Martha?" Draco would need to have a chat with his secretary.
"Yes, well, I don't think Martha likes me. If you told her to send them to me, she probably would have. I might have asked her at the beginning, but I can't remember." Draco went to the office and made some copies for Luna, silently cursing Martha. She was an excellent secretary, but not the best with other women in the office. He handed Luna the copies and she filed them away. "Yes, Martha seems to dislike any other woman I have contact with. I think she has a crush on me. She is an excellent secretary and I just don't have the energy to find someone else."
Luna nodded her understanding. "It's fine. I just need to be more assertive. I just don't want to cause a problem at the office. I would always have to deal with her and it just seemed easier to ignore the problem and move on." Draco pulled on his wool coat and grabbed his briefcase. Luna followed suit with her own coat and bag. They headed down to the lobby to get a car and head over to the store to face the problems.
The opening of the store went off without a hitch. Once Draco had stormed into the furniture vendor's office and created a scene, everything went smoothly from there. Draco had calmly, yet rather forcefully, explained that they were returning the crappy stuff for a full refund and then going elsewhere. In light of the problem, Tom had found someone else that was willing to furnish a House of Black store at a much lower cost. The former vendors were practically giving away the furniture originally ordered, for free, but Draco held his ground. He would rather pay for good service then get poor service for free.
Luna and Draco had helped oversee the finishing of the store before his mother arrived. She was pleased with everything, just making a few changes here and there. Now they were at the party Narcissa had hosted for this event. Several models, including Ginny, were wandering around mingling in designer clothes that were to be sold at the store. Luna had been dancing the night away with Ron and Blaise and genuinely having a great time.
Luna had finally found a moment to sit and rest. "Luna, thank you so much for everything. I'm not sure what I would have done without you. I'm sure that Draco would have been less calm and collected without your presence. He has a temper to match my own." Luna smiled. She had not mentioned that he had in fact brought some secretary to tears while trying to undo the mess. "It was nothing, Narcissa. Draco is just very…passionate about the business." Narcissa and Luna laughed at her choice of words, knowing that was not how Narcissa would have put it.
"I do hope that you are not laughing at my expense?" Luna and Narcissa tried and failed to stop their laughing. "Draco, dear, I'm not sure what you are talking about. Luna and I we just discussing how well everything went. Thank you so much, darling." She gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek. "Was there any doubt? Luna was wonderful and made sure that I would be able to show my face in New York again. Thank you, Luna." Luna blushed and laughed. "I actually came over to ask Luna to dance. If you don't mind spending a few more minutes with me." Luna took his outstretched hand and led her to the dance floor.
Narcissa looked on wistfully, trying to squash her meddling instincts. She thought that Luna and Draco made a lovely couple and would love nothing more to see them together, but didn't want to risk losing Luna nor the wrath of her son. "I do think that they make a lovely couple. Draco is very similar to Harry. Shall I be the meddlesome friend?" Narcissa turned to smile widely at Ginny.
"I'm not sure. I don't want to lose Luna. I could handle Draco's ire alright, but Luna is different. They do make a lovely couple, though." Ginny agreed. Having known Luna for most of her life, she knew that Draco would be good for her. Draco had a similar personality as Harry's; stubborn, demanding and fiercely protective of those they love. Ginny knew that Draco could be just as caring, devoted and loving as Harry. She had witnessed some of his relationship with Hermione.
"I will see what I can do. It will probably take a while for Luna to even consider Draco as anything other than someone she works with, but I think that in the long run, they will be happy." Narcissa nodded, silently agreeing with Ginny's plans. She knew Ginny would be discreet and it would probably be better coming from her than from Narcissa.
Ginny had been watching her friend interact with Draco for a couple of months now. Ever since returning from the States, Luna seemed a little different around him. Ginny thought that she caught Luna staring at his retreating form after some of their meetings and was encouraged. She was also happy to find out that Draco was going to help her find a new flat. He had given her the names of several agents and said that he wouldn't mind going with her to look at some. A plan was beginning to form in her mind.
Luna looked worried. "What do you mean you can't come with me? You promised to help. I have no idea what I am doing. Harry was already living in the flat when we married. I'm terribly nervous about this." Ginny tried to squash the guilt about what she was going to do, but it was for the best. As if on cue, Draco came around the corner, heading to see his mother. Ginny pounced.
"Draco, could you be a dear and go with Luna this weekend to look at flats. I forgot that my brother was coming into town this weekend. She has narrowed it down to about 5 and just needs a second opinion. Please!" Draco looked between the begging face of Ginny and the worried look of Luna. Draco knew that she was looking to move and that it was a huge step in moving on, but he didn't realize that she would be so stressed about it. "I'm free on Saturday, if you want some company. I don't mind." Ginny did a mental happy dance. Luna nodded.
Luna was pacing the entire length of her flat waiting for Draco. She had woken up cursing Ginny to the far ends of the earth for making her do this without her. As she got ready, the weight of what she was doing was finally settling on her. While logically, she knew it was the right thing to do, emotionally she was having a hard time separating herself from this flat. I was all she had known once she had graduated and married. She had lived in the school housing during her education and then moved in with Harry once graduated. He had proposed at Christmas and they were married two months after school ended.
She knew that Harry would want this for her, but it didn't make it any easier. To make matters worse, she had wanted to visit Harry after seeing the flats and talk with him about it. Ginny had been to the cemetery with her before, but she had never taken anyone else. She didn't think that Draco would be too interested in watching her chat with her dead husband. I will have to kill Ginny when I see her again, Luna thought to herself.
Draco was nothing, if not punctual, and arrived right at 10am. She had to do a double take at seeing him in faded jeans, a while button down shirt, blue sweater vest and his wool coat. He was the epitome of good looks. She was still baffled that he was single. Narcissa was exasperated at the number of women that he turned down to date. All he offered her was that he wasn't ready. Luna shook her head and stepped aside to let him enter.
Draco was stunned when Luna opened the door. She was wearing grey wool trousers and a light green shirt. Her hair was down again, falling in soft curls to her waist. This was the reason that he was unwilling to date anyone right now. He had to face this beauty every morning at work and no one compared. "Are you ready? It seems that we will be spared the rain today, although it is rather chilly." Luna grabbed her purse and pulled on her sweater and coat.
Each flat they looked at was lovely. Luna had decided to downsize to a one bedroom flat, not needing an extra room. Draco walked with her through each one, doing most of the talking. She was glad that he had come with her, since he knew what types of questions to ask. She would have probably made an offer on the first one, based on the fact that was nice looking and near the tube station. Draco asked more questions about the building and maintenance and such, revealing things about the flat that Luna didn't like.
The last flat of the day seemed to be the one that Draco approved of. He seemed happy with the answers given to his questions and Luna like the layout and size. It was also close to the tube station and to a thriving nightlife, according to the agent. Luna said that she like it, but wanted a few hours to think about it. The agent reminded her that this was a very popular neighborhood and that she should make up her mind quickly.
Nervously, Luna followed Draco out of the building. "Did you need to think about it? Was there somewhere you wanted to go?" Luna nodded and looked at her feet. She wondered if Draco would want to accompany her to the cemetery. Draco noticed her hesitation and figured that she might be thinking of going to see Harry. "Do you want me to come with you?" Luna nodded. "Do you think it's silly that I want to 'talk' with him? Ginny doesn't say it, but I get the feeling that she thinks that I shouldn't have to 'discuss' everything with him."
"Not at all Luna. From what you have told me, this is how you two always operated. It appeared that you would discuss everything with each other. I understand why you still feel the need to do that. All I ask is that you also remember that there are people that are willing to discuss things with you that are still here." Luna smiled and gave him a hug. She was sure that she could hear Harry giving her the same speech. She wondered if there would ever be a time when she wouldn't have to visit Harry so much. She didn't think that she could give it up entirely, but hopefully she could find someone.
Draco stood under a nearby tree and watched as Luna 'talked' with Harry. He was far enough away that he couldn't hear, hoping to give her some privacy. He was touched that she would allow him to accompany her here. He was saddened that she felt the need to have to talk to Harry so often, but his heart also softened at knowing that she could be devoted to a person so much to want to not forget them after death.
After all the paperwork was signed and Luna had packed up the old flat, she was ready to take the next steps. Having Draco at the cemetery with her reminded her that she needed to move forward. Harry would have been disappointed in her. He would always be in her heart, but he could not be the all consuming presence he had been when they were together.
Ron, Blaise, Ginny and Draco all helped her move to the new place. She had further whittled down her things by giving away Harry's stuff. She gave away most of his clothes, knowing no one would want to wear them, and his books. Nobody would want all his law books, including herself. She could admit that they were not going to be missed, since she had never found an interest in them. Draco was surprised to find that her studies had been in finance as well. She had several of her school books still, most of which Draco had recognized.
Ginny and Narcissa were pleased with the progress of their plan. They knew that it was going to take some time, but were willing to put in the effort for the one's that they loved the most. The summer was coming to an end and Ginny was ready to put another part of her plan into action. She had decided to buy tickets to the opera that she was going to use for a 'date'. Sadly, the man in question was not going to be making it to a third date with Ginny, so she wanted to give the tickets to Luna.
"Why me? Who could I take? Maybe you should find another date, or give them to Ron?" Ginny stared at Luna for a good minute. "Really? Ron and Blaise at the opera. You have met them before, right. I think that they would be kicked out. I got those expensive private balcony seats. You know what they would do." Luna had to suppress her laughter at the thought. Those two had no sense of tact. They would be having sex all night, ignoring the show, and making everyone else in the theater extremely uncomfortable.
"I think that you should ask Draco. He would go and know how to behave himself." Luna fought the blush fighting to cover her face, but felt she wasn't doing a very good job. "I don't know. He probably has plans. Saturday is always hot date night. At least that it what you keep telling me."
"Just because Saturday is date night, doesn't mean he has one. I have yet to hear of him going out on a date since he broke-up with Pansy. I think you will have a good time. It's just the opera." Luna wanted to point out it wasn't just the opera, but a secluded balcony with someone she found attractive. "Fine, fine. Give me until Friday to ask him. I need to work up to this." Ginny smiled and hugged her friend. She would have to tell Narcissa that phase two of the plan had gone well.
Friday arrived and Luna was extremely nervous. She had been so out of it all week, even Narcissa had commented. It had been truly embarrassing, considering she was always so attentive and on top of things. To make matter worse, it seemed as though Narcissa had needed to consult Draco on a vast number of topics so he was constantly in her office.
Luna finally gathered enough courage to make her way to his office after lunch. She was surprised to find Martha grinning at her when she asked if Draco was in. She politely said yes and let her head in. Upon entering, she understood why Martha would want her to enter.
Luna stopped just inside the door and found Draco hugging the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. She could feel her chest tighten in pain and tears wanting to come to her eyes. From the embrace it seemed obvious that Draco was very familiar with this woman. She was just about to head out when Draco called to her.
"Luna, I'm glad that you are here. I want you to meet someone." He motioned for her to come closer and she felt her feet betray her and head towards him. The woman next to him was about three inches taller than Luna and had beautiful curly hair tied into a ponytail. She had deep brown eyes and a lovely slender figure. It was no wonder Draco would want her; she was stunning.
Luna contemplated her short stature, a good foot shorter than Draco, and her dirty-blond hair tied up out of her face. She considered her eyes her best feature, but this woman's seemed so much more rich and soulful.
"Luna, this is Hermione. Hermione, this is my mother's wonderful assistant, Luna Potter." Luna shook her hand, trying to place where she had heard the name before. "Luna it is so wonderful to meet you. Draco has nothing but wonderful things to say about you." Luna watched as Draco blushed beautifully before regaining his composure.
"Hermione is visiting her family. She and her husband come back once a year. She lives in Washington, D.C. and her husband is a lobbyist." A light bulb the size of Big Ben went on in her head. Hermione was Draco's ex-girlfriend. She lived in the States, was married, had a child and therefore was no threat to Luna.
"It is a pleasure to meet you. I hope I'm not interrupting anything. I could always come back later." "Sadly, I must be going. I'm going to say hello to your mother and then head back to my parents. Think on my offer, Draco." Hermione winked and another blush crept up Draco's face. Luna thought it was completely adorable.
Once she left, Draco sat on the couch and motioned for Luna to join him. "She is lovely. Why did you let her go?" "She is a fabulous person, but I don't think we would have made very good spouses. We have very similar personalities." Luna felt her chest ease up at the thought of Draco realizing he was not meant for her. "Did you or my mother need something? I just spoke with her this morning. There couldn't be a crisis already."
Draco was getting tired of having meetings with his mother everyday this week; it was rather odd behavior for her. The plus side was of course seeing Luna. He had been working up the courage to ask her to dinner, but had gotten a bad case of the nerves each time. Hermione's offer was to have dinner with her and her husband this Saturday. He had been emailing her about the situation for a couple of months.
"Your mother didn't send me. I wanted to ask you something." Luna fidgeted with the hem of her skirt for a moment. "So, Ginny had bought tickets to the opera to take the latest boyfriend to next Saturday. It turns out they won't be seeing each other again, so she gave them to me. Do you want to come with me?"
Luna was staring at a particularly interesting spot on the floor and missed Draco's 100 watt smile. "Luna, I would love to go with you. Actually, I wanted to know if you would come with me to dinner with Hermione and her husband tomorrow. I understand its short notice, but if you hadn't already made plans…" Luna looked up and smiled. "I would like that. Thank you." Draco walked her to the office door and boldly kissed her on the cheek. Luna blushed brightly, but gave his hand a squeeze in return. Luna returned to her desk just as Hermione was closing the door to Narcissa's office.
"Luna it was truly a pleasure to meet you. Will I be seeing you tomorrow?" "Yes. How did you know he would ask me?" Hermione smiled and sat in the chair next to her desk. "I've known Draco a long time. I love him dearly, like a brother. I've seen him around other women. He likes you. He acts differently around you and talks about you constantly. Give him a chance. He is a wonderful man." Luna smiled, already knowing Draco was wonderful. "Thank you."
Saturday night and Draco arrived with flowers in hand and gave her another kiss on the cheek. Luna put the flowers in a vase by the door. Draco was smartly dressed in khakis and a green button down shirt. Luna had opted for a cream colored skirt and yellow sweater. They were heading to a nice, casual restaurant. "Luna, you look lovely. Are you ready?" Luna grabbed her purse as they headed out.
Hermione and her husband, Blake, were very delightful people. Luna was sad to not get to meet their son, Jacob, but Hermione had enough pictures crammed into her purse. The dinner was nice, especially as Hermione told several embarrassing stories about Draco. The evening ended with them promising to visit next time they came across the pond.
Draco drove Luna home and she invited him in. Having only dated a few people when she was younger before Harry, Luna was unsure of what was appropriate. She figured she would do what was comfortable and knew that Draco would understand.
"Would you like some coffee of something else to drink?" "Coffee sounds wonderful. Thank you." Luna went to the kitchen to start the pot. She returned to find Draco looking at her pictures of her and Harry. "You two look very happy. Harry looks good. I remember a nerdy boy with ugly glasses and wild hair. I had speech and debate classes with him. He was very eloquent with his words."
Luna was surprised that he was so open about Harry. "Does it bother you?" She was worried that he might not want Harry to be a part of her life anymore. Draco put the picture down and turned to face Luna. "Of course not. You loved each other very much. I admit that I would like to date you, Luna. Harry was taken from you, rather violently. I don't expect him to never be a part of you. I can respect that." Luna smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek. The rest of the night was spent talking about themselves and getting to know one another better.
It was New Year's Eve again and Narcissa was floating around the large ballroom once again. She smiled when she spotted Blaise and Ginny on the dance floor and Ron talking with another model. Her heart melted at watching Luna and Draco gliding across the dance floor. They had been dating for about 4 months, but they both looked very happy.
"I told you it would work and neither seems to have noticed that we were scheming. I say that by Christmas next year, Draco will propose." Narcissa smiled at her partner in crime. "I would love nothing more, but I don't want to ever bring up the issue of marriage with Draco. I was worried since he was nearing 27 and had not done anything with Pansy. I know that Luna makes him happy, but I will not push. Promise you won't interfere too much." Ginny nodded, knowing she wouldn't have to.
Just after she and Draco had started officially dating, Luna had talked with Ginny about the possibility of marrying again. She hadn't mentioned Draco by name, but it was the feeling she got during the conversation. Ginny reminded her that Harry would want her happy and if finding someone else and getting married again included that, then he would be happy with her. Her biggest concern had been anyone she was with worrying about Harry in her life. Ginny had pointed out that anyone who was serious would understand how important he was to her. She also pointed out that Harry would need to take a back seat to anyone that she might be serious about, but he didn't need to be forgotten.
Draco could have danced with Luna forever, if given the chance. He was still stunned that she had agreed to date him and they have been together for this long. He knew he was a difficult person to get along with, given his stubbornness, but she weathered his storms calmly. He had the feeling that that was what she had done with Harry. Thinking on Harry made Draco realize that it was nearing midnight and Luna usually went to visit him. "Luna, are you going to visit with Harry tonight? Would you like me to come?"
Luna was startled by his voice. She had been enjoying the rhythm of his heartbeat, as she was pressed up against his chest. Even in heals she was significantly shorter than him. "Oh, is it nearly midnight already. Actually, I won't be going to visit Harry this year. I want to spend it with you, silly." Draco almost melted into a pile of goo as she smiled brightly. "I know where to find him if he is needed, but I want to be with you tonight. Did you want to go?"
Draco blinked several times, before what she asked made it to the thinking part of his brain. "No, but I could use some fresh air. Care to join me?" Luna smiled and took his arm as he led them out to the gardens. He found a bench hidden under a tree and not covered with snow and sat them down. They sat in silence for a few moments until the clocks chimed midnight. Draco leaned down and kissed Luna, trying to force all his emotions into the kiss, wanting her to know how special he thought her and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Luna returned the kiss just as passionately, excited about what the New Year would bring.
No one noticed a shadow, a light wisp of air, rolling over the tree where Luna and Draco were sitting. However, if one looked closer they could see brilliant green eyes smiling at his beloved and nodding in approval of her choice.