Author's Notes: Written for the Friendship Boot Camp Challenge with the characters Lucius and Luna, Lady Phoenix Fire Rose's Boot Camp One Hour Challenge/Hardest Challenge Ever with the prompt "meddlesome child" and the friendship slice of thefirstservant's Chinese Moon Festival Competition.
Luna Lovegood's behaviour almost made Lucius wish that the Dark Lord hadn't kidnapped her in the first place.
For the first few days – perhaps a week or two – during which she had been trapped in Malfoy Manor, things had been uneventful enough. She had behaved like any other prisoner – frightened, silent, occasionally pleading with Draco or Narcissa or Lucius to let her out and let her go back to her father, but ultimately aware that she was in a very dangerous, very serious situation and that being sombre would do her good. And so Lucius had thought that Luna Lovegood – for all the stories that Draco had told him about the crazy girl who didn't understand the simplest of social norms – was going to be no trouble at all.
He had thought that until one morning, when he woke to her kneeling on the foot of his bed.
"Good Lord!" he cried, sitting up and grabbing at the sheets. Narcissa, who had been sound asleep beside him, jolted up and rubbed her eyes.
"What's wrong?" she demanded, grabbing instinctively for her husband.
"What are you doing here?" Lucius demanded of Luna, then added, "How did you get out of the cellar?"
"The door was unlocked," Luna said mildly. She was watching Narcissa and Lucius both with wide eyes and a rather thoughtful expression. "Draco must have forgotten to lock it last night, after he brought me my dinner."
Lucius swallowed, shifting nervously, and he could have sworn that he felt a twinge in his Dark Mark. The Dark Lord would kill him and Draco both if he knew that the door had been left open – what if Lovegood had escaped?
Why hadn't Lovegood escaped?
He regarded her warily, a thousand explanations dashing through his head. Perhaps she had a wand hidden behind her back and she would whip it out now and kill him and Narcissa in bed. Or perhaps she had stolen their belongings and had been intending to take something from their bedroom when they had woken up…
Or perhaps she was as absolutely out of her mind as Draco had said that she was.
"What are you doing here, then?" he demanded. He grabbed his wand from the table where it lay and aimed it at her chest. "What do you want?"
"I rather wanted to talk to you," she said brightly. "Mostly you, Lucius, though I'd love to chat with you too, Narcissa–"
Narcissa let out a small moan. "Get her back to the cellar, Lucius, before the Dark Lord hears that she's gotten out – you know what he'll do to us if–"
"Oh!" Luna said swiftly. She looked a little startled – even more startled than she usually did. "I'm terribly sorry, I didn't think that you might get into trouble from the Dark Lord if you knew that I was out of bed. Terribly sorry!" She jumped off the bed, eyes still on Lucius.
"Get her downstairs!" Narcissa ordered him sharply and he climbed out of bed and grabbed Luna's arm. She smiled up at him sweetly and he fought the urge to slap the smile off her face. Girls who were prisoners were not supposed to look happy like that.
"Come on," he growled, trying his best to sound intimidating, rather than just sullen and frustrated at his sleep being disturbed. It was better that she disturb him than that she run away, but it would have been far better if she had just stayed in the cellar where she belonged – and what had Draco been thinking, not locking the door? Perhaps he was out of his mind too, going crazy from spending too much time with Luna…
"You don't seem happy at all," Luna observed as he pulled her down the flight of stairs.
The obviousness of the statement was almost enough to make Lucius want to laugh. He stared at her incredulously, then let out one short, harsh bark of laughter.
"Don't I? I don't seem happy to you?"
"No," she said, and the thoughtful way that she was saying it made it seem more as though she was talking to herself than to him. "No, you really seem quite miserable, which is odd, since I'm the one who's being imprisoned. But then, if you don't particularly want to support the Dark Lord, I suppose you're being imprisoned too…"
Lucius drew in a short gasp of breath. Had she said that sort of thing before the Dark Lord, it could have been enough to condemn Lucius to death. He had a mad urge to clap his hand over her mouth and only barely managed to resist it.
"What makes you think," he said in a low voice, through gritted teeth, "that I don't particularly want to support the Dark Lord? He – and his cause – are my life…"
"Just because they're your life doesn't mean that you want them to be," Luna said mildly. She didn't seem at all perturbed by Lucius's anger, nor by the rather rough way in which he was pushing her towards the cellar door. "I don't blame you, you know. If I were you, I wouldn't support the Dark Lord either."
"Which is why you are not me," he said sharply. The girl was out of her mind, completely out of her mind – it was only by thinking that, over and over, that Lucius could convince himself that there was no truth whatsoever in her statements.
"I suppose it is," Luna conceded, still speaking in that infuriatingly serene, gentle voice. "If I were you, I probably wouldn't be keeping an innocent girl locked up in my cellar all the time. And, you know," she added, "if I were you and I did keep that innocent girl in my cellar, I think that I might want to do some new things to keep her happy. To make sure that she didn't say anything that might incriminate me in front of the Dark Lord." She stopped at the top of the cellar stairs and smiled positively angelically at Lucius. "I might, for example, want to feed her a little better and talk to her sometimes and let her out into the house once in a while. Just to be sure that she didn't mention to the Dark Lord how I didn't want to support him."
She was a meddlesome devil of a child.
"I see," he said, voice shaking a little. "I will… think on your methods." Then he slammed the door shut behind her and turned his back, shaking a little.