Author's Notes: Written for the second round of ToxicRainfall's Diversity Competition on the HPFF Forum.
A romance set in trio era, including any students that are at Hogwarts at the same time Harry is, no matter which year (eg. Colin Creevey or Percy Weasley, etc.)
It must be at least 750 words.
But mostly a birthday present for my dear friend Rose, Lessa-the-Lioness. Happy birthday, darling!
I hope you enjoy…
Draco was not pleased.
The whole year so far – his whole life, really, ever since the promise he had made to the Dark Lord back in the summer after receiving his Mark – had been unpleasantly surreal, almost dream-like, but out of everything that had happened – learning Unforgivable curses, nearly killing two other students, making friends with Moaning Myrtle, for God's sake –paled in comparison to almost being killed himself, and by Harry Potter, of all people!
He gritted his teeth against self-righteous anger – how dare Potter call himself a hero when he would do this? Draco's hand strayed absently to the bandages criss-crossing his chest, practically holding him together since Potter had attacked him.
That Draco had himself been a more-than-active participant in the fight was a thought that he tried to put out of his mind. He far preferred thinking of himself as victimized. After all, he was the one who had been put in the hospital wing.
Draco turned his head towards the voice. It was light and dreamy and vaguely familiar, but he couldn't place it.
Or, rather, he couldn't place it until he saw the source. Then he recognized it instantly.
What the hell was she doing here?
She had on her usual insufferably serene smile, and was toying with a lock of scraggly, pale hair. Even though she had addressed Draco, she was gazing dreamily out of the window, not looking at him at all.
"What?" he asked peevishly.
She looked to him, blinking her large eyes once and looking quite surprised to see him. "Hmm?"
"Were you planning on saying anything else?" he sneered, "or did you just come in to say my name and stare out the window?"
"Oh, no," she said, smiling once again. "Madam Pomfrey sent me, actually."
"What?" Draco was instantly wary. "Why?"
"Because some people went into the forest on their own and no one seems quite sure what happened to them. They've gone a bit funny, you see."
Draco thought he had never heard anything quite so stupid as Luna – Looney – Lovegood saying that someone else had "gone a bit funny", but he didn't say so.
"So, Madam Pomfrey's gone to try to get them to stop clawing out their own eyes and she told me to come up and change your bandages," Luna said matter-of-factly.
"I don't much fancy entrusting my medical care to you, thanks very much," Draco said, giving Luna a disparaging glance. "I'm not putting my life in the hands of someone who can't even comb her hair."
"It's a good thing your life won't actually be in my hands, then." Luna was already opening the cabinet where Madam Pomfrey kept bandages. "It won't hurt, I promise. I think," she added, turning back and frowning thoughtfully.
"Oh, but that is comforting."
"You need to take your shirt off."
Draco stared, dumbfounded. Surely he had misheard her – there was no way that Luna Lovegood had just told him to take his shirt off. "Excuse me?"
"You need to take your shirt off," she repeated, very clearly.
"So that I can put on your bandages," Luna said, her eyebrows drawing together slightly, as though the answer should have been completely obvious. "I don't believe I know of any ways to change bandages on the chest of a person wearing a shirt. Do you know a way, Draco?"
He burned with embarrassment. There was something quite different about having girl his own age – or close enough – wrap bandages around him from having an aged, no-nonsense person like Madam Pomfrey do it. He briefly considered telling her off and saying that he'd just wait to have them changed until there was someone else around to do it – but no, that would come off as if he were shy, and the last things he needed right now were all sorts of unflattering rumours flying around about him.
But there was his mark.
How could he avoid letting her see that?
Draco could have sworn he felt a pulse go through his forearm, as if the tattoo wished to make its presence known. His heart rate was increasing, surely to an almost unhealthy level, and he could hear the blood pounding in his ears as the utter inescapability of his situation hit him.
Madam Pomfrey never asked questions, and Draco knew that Snape had had a special word with her to be sure that she didn't ask Draco about the Dark Mark, but it was far too much to ask for Luna – Looney – Lovegood to keep her mouth shut about the matter.
"Is something the matter, Draco?"
Draco took a deep breath, taking a moment to be sure that he would not throw up if he tried to speak, then said with all the derisive carelessness that he could muster, "Just the fact that my health is going to be entrusted to someone like you. You can be sure that my father will hear about this."
Luna nodded thoughtfully, then said, "All right. Will you take your shirt off now, please?"
Draco swallowed and nodded, forcing a sneer onto his face while he pulled his shirt off over his shoulders and off one arm, allowing it to dangle in what he hoped was a carelessly nonchalant manner off one arm so it concealed his Dark Mark. Luna seemed satisfied by this, setting down the bandages and climbing onto the bed. Draco flinched away automatically, but this didn't faze her in the slightest. She swung one leg over him and reached for the bandages.
This was a far more intimate position than Draco was comfortable with. He avoided meeting Luna's eye and stared inseeingly at the mark her shoe had left upon the formerly pristine sheet instead.
She hummed softly while she unwound the bandages from around him, leaning forward and giving Draco an eye-ful of her chest each time she looped the growing handful of fabric around his back, then leaning away. Her hips rocked steadily against his legs.
"Enjoying yourself, Lovegood?" he drawled, forcing as much scorn as he could muster into the words.
"Oh, yes," she said brightly. She set aside the old bandages and reached for the new ones, then went back to that steady rocking against him, winding the lengths of cloth around his chest. Draco forced himself to think about Quidditch instead of the way that she was moving.
It seemed to take forever – an eternity of avoiding looking at her or thinking about her before she said, "Would you lift up your arms?"
"So I can tie up the bandage in the back."
All the panic from before the bandaging started came back. There was no possible way for him to lift up his arms – even with his shirt dangling off his left one and making him look a prat in the process – without her seeing…
"You don't need to keep your arm covered," Luna said.
Draco didn't know how to respond. He could hardly tell her that he did, yes, he did need to be covered. And how did she know that he was covering his arm? Did that mean she suspected…
"It's all right." Luna leaned against him, their chests pressing together while she tucked the bandages into place. Her warm breath tickled his ear and she whispered, "It's all right."
But Draco couldn't finish. In one smooth movement, Luna pulled the shirt from his arm and her long, warm fingers wrapped around it, her thumb brushing over the tattoo of the skull and snake.
"I won't tell anyone."
Then she was standing up and leaving and Draco couldn't manage to say another word. He just stared after her.
And he thought Potter trying to kill him had been surreal…