Dear Mr. Malfoy,
This letter is to inform you that you are approaching the age at which you will receive the full amount of your inheritance as stated in the laws governing the Malfoy Estate. However, we must note that there are a couple of conditions that you must meet before your 25th birthday, conditions that have been set for over 100 years: You must have gainful employment and you must be married.
Please make an appointment at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter.
Gringotts Estates manager
Draco had read and then reread the letter several times since he had received it two weeks ago on his 24th birthday. For probably the first time in his life he cursed the fact he was a pure-blood. It was typical for pure-bloods to be married once they had finished school and by this age he was supposed to have already had at least one child. It seemed that fighting in a war to end that type of thinking had not stopped the way the Goblins dealt with inheritances.
Since the end of the war, he had not thought much about inheriting the Malfoy Estate, but this letter reminded him he was the last in the line and he didn't want to see it die with him. He had taken great pains to distance himself from what the Malfoy name had meant in the past. It had helped that Harry Potter had spoken for him and his mother at their trials. He then entered Healer training, wanting to make a difference and rebuild the Malfoy name. He had found his calling in the Potions Mishaps ward, drawing on his skills in potions.
Finding no more information in the letter than before, he took out parchment and a quill and wrote a response. "Draco, is this seat taken?" Startled, Draco looked up to find Luna and Harry standing with lunch trays. "No please, sit. How is the day going for you two?" Harry and Luna were also Healers at St. Mungos. Harry worked in Pediatrics while Luna worked on the Long Term Care ward where Neville Longbottom's parents were.
"I think that the flu is making its way through all the children in England. I have been covered in vomit all day. This is the fourth set of Healer's robes I have had to change into." Draco made a show of shifting away from Harry, only to receive a carrot thrown at his head. "Not much with me. It has been slow. Now seems to be the time of year the families come to visit the most and are willing to do more for their family members. Are you alright, Draco?"
Draco pinched the bridge of his nose, cursing that Luna always seemed to know when someone was not at their best. Deciding it would only be worse if he tried to keep it from her, he handed her the letter. Harry leaned closer to read it as well. "Wow, you need to be married. You aren't even dating someone." This time, Draco threw a piece of celery at Harry. "Well spotted, Potter. What are the chances of finding someone, falling in love and then convincing her we need to be married by next spring?"
Harry opened and closed his mouth several time trying to find an answer, but Luna looked as though she was giving it some serious thought. "You could do that 'speed dating' that Muggles talk about." Harry nearly choked on the bite of sandwich he had just taken a moment before. "I don't think that is the answer. Where did you hear about that?" "Oh, Ginny said that she was going to give it a try. She said she was tired of the losers she was seeing in the Wizarding world."
Draco shook his head and tried to stifle his laughter at the thought of Ginny Weasley 'speed dating'. "At least I don't have to marry Pansy. That was who my father had chosen and my mother had even begun making plans during our 5th year. I shudder at the thought. No offence, Harry." Harry shook his head. He and Pansy had been dating for about two years and had known that she and Draco had had a contract for an arranged marriage that had been voided at the end of the war.
Draco began to slowly eat his lunch trying to think of anyone he would want to date, let alone spend the rest of his life with. "Sadly, you are the only single woman I have contact with, Luna. Everyone else seems to already be paired off. I seemed to have missed the boat on that one." Luna looked at him, surprised. "There was a boat? I should have gone on it was well." Harry and Draco both began choking on their lunch. "Luna, it is just an expression. It means you missed your chance at something." Luna nodded, but still seemed to be thinking on it.
"Draco you should just marry Luna." Harry thought it was a pretty good idea. They got on alright and more often than not were paired together since they were the only ones single. Draco stilled so suddenly Harry thought he had been stunned with a spell. Harry looked at Luna and noticed she still looked in deep thought, but from the earlier comment or his suggestion he wasn't sure.
Draco finally regained his brain functions to protest. "I can't do that." Draco looked at Luna, thankful that she appeared to be in another world. "Draco it's the best option. You could be happy. Besides, Luna wouldn't marry you just to get your money. There is that factor to consider." Draco cringed at the mention of his money.
"Draco, I really can't think of anyone for you. Do you have anyone is mind?" Draco and Harry stared at Luna wondering how she was unable to hear the conversation for the last 5 minutes. "No, there is no one in mind." Luna nodded and took on a thoughtful look again. Harry leaned over and whispered to him, although he didn't think Luna would hear any way. "Just think about it."
Sadly, Draco did think about it the rest of the day. And into the night. The idea even made its way into his dreams, showing him what kind of life he could have with Luna. He had dreamed of their wedding, Luna looking radiant in a white dress, and of their children with blond hair and silver-blue eyes. Needless to say, he had woken up many times through the night and was extremely tired the next day.
Thankful that it was a Saturday, Draco slept in and started his day later than normal. As a result, he was greeted at the kitchen table with a stack of letters several feet high. "Tibsy, what is the meaning of this?" A small elf popped in next to Draco. "Master Draco had received several letters by owl this morning. I collected them before the owls would become too numerous flying around the house." The elf was hopping from one foot to the other and wringing her hands nervously. Draco ran his hands through his hair in frustration. "Very well. Bring me something to eat as I see what this is about.
After the fifth letter, Draco realized he should have stayed in bed for the day. Every single female in England had written offering themselves as his new wife. He wondered how it was possible that they had gotten the information, but knew that most of the ladies were from pure-blood families and had probably known he wasn't with anyone at the moment. They had all probably been waiting for this day, some apparently for years if their ages were to be believed.
With a wave of his wand, Draco removed all the letters from single, money hungry women and burned them in the fire. One letter, from Pansy, remained. He wasn't too excited about reading her letter either since she had probably spoken to Harry about his crazy idea.
I hope that this letter will not be mixed in with the countless others you are sure to receive today. An 'unknown source' was kind enough to put a small article in the Daily Prophet about your single status and the money you are about to inherit. I'm investigating this and will maim the offending party.
Harry ran his hair-brained scheme past me and I must say it seems to be one of his better ones. I am all for you pursuing Luna. She would be the perfect wife for you, whether you want to admit it or not. Owl me back so that we can put this plan into action.
Loving you always,
Draco read the letter several times, his scowl deepening each time. Pansy's need to meddle in his life must be rubbing off on Harry and that was just not on.
Still deciding if he really wanted to talk to Pansy at the moment he was startled when Tibsy popped in. "Master Draco, there is a Miss Luna Lovegood here to see you. Shall I show her to the sitting room?" Draco closed his eyes and sent silent curses to Pansy. She was going to pay dearly for this. "That's alright. I will go see her now."
Draco entered the foyer to find Luna staring at a painting, nearly pressing her nose up against it. "Luna, what are you doing here?" Luna jumped slightly before turning and smiling. "That is a lovely painting. If you squint and tilt your head to the right, you can see a Nargle in the top of that tree. Pansy said you needed to see me today."
Draco's brain had a hard time following her line of thinking, but he did manage to hear the part about Pansy. Meddlesome girl. "Thank you, I think. Are you hungry for some lunch?" "That would be wonderful. Is that why you wanted me to come over? For lunch?" Draco thought a moment about how best to deal with the odd situation. "Not exactly. Let's head to the patio and eat outside."
Draco offered his arm and escorted Luna towards the terrace doors. "Draco how long have you lived here? This house is stunning. I would love to live in a house this large." Draco sat her down at the table and summoned Tibsy. "We'll be eating out here, Tibsy." "Yes, Master Draco, Miss Lovegood." Luna giggled at the small elf. "I have lived here for about a year. The manor was just too large once mother left for France. There are four bedrooms upstairs and the kitchen, study and sitting room on this floor. I was able to have the basement enlarged to fit a potions lab."
Tibsy arrived with soup and sandwiches for lunch. Luna nibbled as she looked around the back yard. "The yard is lovely. I like the trees that line the edge of the property. I can only imagine how large the manor was if you consider this downsizing." Draco chuckled and continued to watch Luna stare at everything.
"So, you never told me why you needed to see me." Draco sighed and wondered if he would be hurting her feelings by mentioning he hadn't needed to see her. "Actually, I didn't know you were coming over. Pansy invited you over." Luna looked surprised. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have imposed. Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Draco waved his hand dismissively. "It is fine. I enjoy your company."
Draco didn't get to say anything else before Luna asked the dreaded question. "Does this have anything to do with the fact that Harry thought you should marry me?" Draco's cup of tea stopped midway to his mouth and he blinked several times. "You were paying attention?" Luna smiled brightly. "You boys always think I'm not paying attention. So this meeting is about that." "Yes, I believe that was the plan. I'm truly sorry for Pansy being so meddlesome."
Luna was staring off into space but looked to be thinking, or plotting. Draco would want in on any revenge she was planning. "I will marry you Draco." Draco choked on his tea. "What?" "I will marry you. Do you not think that I would make a good wife for you?" Draco opened and closed his mouth several times, trying to come up with an answer.
"Luna, it's not about that. I would never want you to marry me just so that I will receive my inheritance. It's not fair to either of us." Luna narrowed her eyes at him. "That was not the question." Draco rubbed his eyes, feeling extremely tired again. "Luna, you would be an excellent choice for my wife. However, I will not marry you simply for gaining money. We are friends." "Alright, we can date first. I wouldn't want to jump into a marriage so soon anyway."
Draco really wanted to protest, but she seemed set on this course of action. Draco shrugged, thinking that if anything the other crazy single ladies would leave him alone.
"Scorpius, get down here this instant." Draco closed his eyes and counted to ten, waiting for his 7 year old son to come out from hiding. He shifted his 4 year old daughter, Tabitha, in his arms as she sobbed into his shoulder. They were leaving in 30 minutes and Scorpius had thought showing his sister a trick potion he had got at the Weasley's joke shop would be funny. Tabitha was now covered in purple goo from head to toe.
"Papa, I didn't know that would happen. I thought it would just smoke or make a spark." Draco eyed his son, wondering if he thought Draco was really going to buy his excuse. "Scorpius, I know that you are an excellent reader, so I'm sure the name of the gag, 'Goo Potion', did not get passed you. Why did you do this just before we had to leave?" Scorpius shrugged his shoulders, an action that Draco hated. "Not a good answer. You will be helping me clean cauldrons on Saturday instead of flying with James."
Scorpius was about to protest but his mother floated into the room. "Scorpius, go sit on the stairs until we are ready. Do I want to know what happened?" Draco shook his head. Tabitha had calmed slightly, but small sniffles were heard muffled by his shoulder. "Tabitha, let me put you down so that I can get rid of this goo." Draco was just about to wave his wand, but Luna stopped him. "You will ruin the dress with a Scourgify. Just clean her hair and I will help her change."
Finally they were ready to leave. Draco went through the floo first with Tabitha followed by Luna and Scorpius. "Thank you for watching the kids. We should be back by midnight. I am on this weekend." Draco handed Tabitha over to Harry and watched as James and Scorpius ran up the stairs. "It is no problem. Just remember you will be returning the favor next year." Draco shook Harry's hand and gave Pansy a hug, while Luna hugged both of them. They headed out the door so that Draco could side-along apperate them to their secret destination.
Luna was surprised when they landed back in the foyer of their house. "What are we doing back here?" Draco led Luna to the patio. "I thought we could celebrate 10 years of marriage by doing what we did when you suggested we get married. I hope you don't mind soup and sandwiches on the terrace?" Luna smiled and gave him a kiss.
Draco sat her down and watched as she looked out in the dark yard, much like she had done all those years ago. "I must admit, I didn't think it would work. I thought you would get tired of me and then I would be stuck finding someone else." Luna took Draco's hand and kissed his finger with his wedding band. "I didn't think it would work either, but Pansy had me convinced that it was the best thing to do. She can be very persuasive. But I'm happy it did. I love our life together and our wonderful children. Most of all, I love you, Draco."
Draco leaned over and kissed Luna passionately. "I love you, too." Perhaps the Goblins knew what they were doing after all.