Author's Notes: My second attempt at Luna/Draco. Written for the Lunar Eclipse! Challenge and the Cupcake Challenge on the HPFC forum. Please don't favourite without leaving a review (I don't feel like I should have to say that, but apparently I do). Enjoy.
Draco hesitated at the door to the basement. He ought to know better than to try and talk to Looney Lovegood any more than he needed to, but there was something about her. He just couldn't get her off his mind – her wide, silver eyes, her gentle smile, and her overwhelming, incredible forgiveness. She was his prisoner, yet she acted like some sort of honoured houseguest – thanking him kindly when he brought her food, complimenting the cooking, striking up pleasant conversation…
She was out of her mind, obviously. The girl was crazy, mad, insane. But she was so pleasant about it…
Which was why Draco Malfoy, heir to an old Pureblood family, the youngest Death Eater, the bloody epitome of Slytherin coldness, was standing at the top of the stairs, with a cup of tea and a cupcake on a tray, trying to decide whether he wanted to talk to her or not.
He sighed, and pushed the door in. There was no getting out of bringing her food. He could go down to the cell where she was imprisoned, and then decide whether to just shove the tray at her and leave, or stay and talk.
"Hello, Draco!" Luna said brightly, when he unlocked the door and stepped inside. "Oh! Is that for me?"
Draco put the tray down in front of her, and Luna beamed.
"I do so love cupcakes," she said, picking it up and peeling back the paper. "And Bellatrix is ever so good at them."
Draco stared at the cupcake, repulsed. He hadn't thought to make sure that the cupcakes were actually edible before putting one on the tray and bringing it downstairs. And if Bellatrix had been cooking again, the chances were good that the cupcakes were positively deadly.
"Good God, don't eat that!" he told Luna, grabbing the cupcake away from her. "You don't know what's in that! I don't know what's in that!"
Luna looked surprised. "Why, eggs, and flour, and sugar, I would imagine."
Luna shrugged. "Chocolate."
"Looks more like blood to me," Draco said darkly. "And knowing Bellatrix…"
"Oh, she wouldn't do that." She reached out and took the cupcake back.
"You have met her, haven't you?" Draco shook his head. "Of course she would."
Luna smiled, and took a bite of it. Draco watched her nervously, waiting for her face to twist with disgust. But she grinned, and took another bite.
"Oh, it's lovely," she said. "Do tell Bellatrix that they're good."
Draco shook his head. "If you think I'm ever going to go up to my crazy aunt and tell her that she makes good cupcakes…"
"You don't get on too well with her, do you?" Luna asked lightly. She took the cup of tea from the tray and sipped it.
"Yeah, my relationship with my certifiably insane bitch of an aunt leaves a little to be desired."
Luna shrugged, and took another sip of tea.
Draco hesitated. Now would be the time to leave. But he couldn't take his eyes off Luna. She was sitting in the middle of the room, drinking tea and eating a bloody cupcake – quite possibly literally – and yet managed to look completely and utterly at ease.
"Won't you join me?"
He sighed, and sat down on the floor next to her. Who was he trying to fool? Luna – crazy as she was – somehow managed to have both feet firmly on the ground, and that was something Draco desperately needed.
"Here, have a bit." She offered him the cupcake. "It's lovely."
Draco looked at it with trepidation, then carefully took it and tore off a bit with his teeth. He promptly spat it back out.
"Good god!" he sputtered, spitting onto the ground to get the flavour out of his mouth. "That's horrible!"
"Oh, no it isn't." Luna shook her head, and raised it to her lips again.
Draco knocked it from her hand, and it fell, icing-down, on the floor with a wet splat.
Luna looked at the cupcake on the ground, her eyebrows drawn together in confusion.
"Why did you do that?" she asked at last.
Draco didn't know quite what to say. Why had he done it? What did he care if Looney Lovegood wanted to eat something so disgusting? Even if it was poisoned, why should he care?
"Sorry," he said. It was true, he was sorry. "I'll make it up to you."
"How?" Luna tilted her head.
"I'll…" he searched for an idea, and blurted out the first one in his head. "I'll take you out tonight."
"For a walk," he amended quickly. "I'll take you out on a walk around the grounds. Tonight. Get some… some fresh air, you know?"
"Are you allowed?" asked Luna, all concern.
"No," Draco said honestly. "To Hell with it. I'll come down here for you once everyone's asleep."
"Draco," said Luna, her eyes suddenly sombre, "that's the sweetest thing I think anyone's ever done for me."
Draco grunted in response, and stood up, heading for the door.
"Thank you ever so, Draco."
He glanced back, for just a glimpse of her wide, beatific smile, before he shut the door and leaned against it.
What had he been thinking?
For the rest of the evening, Draco toyed with the idea of standing Luna up. But if he did that, he would still have to bring her food every day, and while she would be far, far too polite to ever mention it, he would know that he had been awful to her, and he would have to look into her wide, honest eyes, and act as if there was nothing wrong. And having to do that might just push him over the edge. So, in the end, Draco didn't stand her up. He waited until the rest of the Manor was asleep, then went down into the basement, and unlocked the door.
Luna was waiting for him, and Draco didn't think he'd ever seen such a huge grin on anyone's face, ever.
"Hello, Draco," she said. Draco looked away, already uncomfortable.
"Come on, then," he muttered, taking her arm, and leading her towards the stairs. When he got there, he turned to her and added, "You better not try to escape."
"Oh, I wouldn't do that," Luna said earnestly.
"Good." Draco opened the door, and stepped out into the Manor, Luna just behind him.
"Oh," she breathed, looking around. "You have a beautiful house, Draco."
"Thanks." He took her arm firmly, and pulled her towards the door.
"Oh, but can't I stay and look around?"
"No." Draco didn't want to have to give her some bloody tour of his house. "Come on. We're just going to take a quick walk around the gardens, and then you're going back into the dungeon."
"All right," Luna said brightly. She followed, looking around interestedly.
Before Draco opened the doors out onto the grounds, he turned Luna so she was facing him and glared at her.
"Right, I'm going to say this once more," he said. "You try to run away, and it's not going to be pretty."
"Of course," said Luna, blinking at him.
"I'll hex you if you do."
"I'll yell and wake everyone up."
Draco unlocked the door, and pushed it open. Luna gasped softly, and stepped out into the gardens. Draco followed closely.
The night was cold and clear, and their breath hung in the air, but Luna didn't seem to care about the temperature.
"Oh, it's beautiful," she whispered, looking around. "The gardens are amazing…"
"They're all right, I suppose." Draco stuffed his hands into his pockets and shifted from foot to foot.
"Oh, no, they're…" Luna tilted her head back, staring into the sky. "It's miraculous." She smiled. "It's amazing what a few months in a dungeon will do for your appreciation of nature."
Draco felt he should say something, perhaps apologize, but he didn't know how to do it. He couldn't take his eyes off her. In the moonlight, with her face upturned, she looked positively angelic.
"Look at the moon," she said. Draco looked up.
The moon was full, silvery and brilliant, and one edge was stained crimson.
"Lunar eclipse?" he asked, and Luna nodded.
"Draco," she said, looking at him hopefully, "can I please stay out just long enough to watch it? Please?"
Draco chewed his lips. "I don't know… won't that take a long time?"
"A few hours," Luna said. "Just until the moon's covered. Please, Draco?"
"Why not," he sighed, and sat down on the doorstep. Luna sat next to him, and rested her chin in her hands and her elbows on her knees.
"Isn't it amazing?" she asked dreamily.
"Yes," said Draco simply.
They sat for a while, Luna watching the moon, and Draco watching Luna.
"Are you cold?" he asked her at last.
"A little," she said, not taking her eyes off the moon.
"Do you want to go get a cloak?"
"Oh, no, I'm fine."
"Your lips are going blue."
"Just come in with me, to get a cloak."
"I don't want to miss any of the eclipse."
"It's not going to change in two minutes."
"No," Luna said firmly. "I want to stay out here."
"You'll get frostbite."
Luna didn't say anything to that, only kept stubbornly watching the sky. Draco let out an impatient huff, the mist from his breath hanging in the air between them.
"Well, I can't just let you freeze."
Luna didn't say anything to that. Draco stared at her, then sighed.
"All right," he said. "I'm not going to let you die."
He slid along the doorstep, and wrapped his arms around Luna.
She twisted to look at him.
"Why are you hugging me?"
"Just to keep you warm."
She laid her head on his shoulder, still looking up at the sky. The moon was nearly half-covered by red now.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" she asked.
"Yes," said Draco, looking down at her. "Beautiful."