AN: So I have a new chapter uploaded! Sorry it took me a while. I shouldn't really promise anymore but know that I will post the next chapter soon. I hope you like this chapter and please review and share your thoughts with me. Thank you!


Chapter 17

Past the safety of Hogwarts castle, Draco walked and walked with his head hung low and a tensed look plastered on his face. He looked back from time to time to see if anyone saw him walking away. Luckily, no one did. He pulled his black scarf up to cover his mouth and followed the usual path he took until he arrived at a single pine tree on the side of a desolate road.

Draco stood beside the tree and waited. He knew he was breaking the rules again by going outside the school's premises besides the scheduled Hogsmeade trip and abandoning his duty as a prefect. But tonight was not the time to think of all those things. He had more pressing matters to attend to. And that important matter was now in the hand of a person Draco had wavering trust in.

At last, Draco saw the familiar brown coat and green scarf walking from Hogsmeade. The blonde Slytherin straightened his posture and stood firmly.

"At last, you're here." Draco uttered and circled the witch. "Last time, you were not so very careful. How daft can you be?!

The blonde Slytherin huffed in madness but composed himself. "This time, be more vigilant. Take this vial and keep it safe from everyone until I say so."

Draco took a vial of brown liquid from his pant pocket and handed it to the witch staring with blank eyes.

"I will." The witch replied and placed it inside her coat.

"Now go back to Hogsmeade and again, keep that vial safe. I will let you know the date soon." Draco looked at the witch with focused eyes and cast the spell to seal the deal.

The witch blinked then nodded. She pocketed the vial inside her coat and walked back from her previous direction. Draco lingered for a few moments in contemplation then headed back to Hogwarts with a heavy heart and mind. He knew of the dangers he was doing and the consequences it brought once it failed. It was already doing a number of things to him. Guilt and fear pumped into his veins day and night leaving him a tensed mess of a young wizard. To add to that, he was abandoning his task as a prefect for weeks now. Draco missed days of doing his rounds and didn't bother more of his other duties as well. There was no point in doing a task that would not help him speed up his project. Why do something that would only take you away from your main goal?

Draco kept trudging until he arrived to the familiar view of Hogwarts castle. Trying to blend in, he walked and kept to himself until he let his feet take him to where it wanted. He already had an ample time fixing his project earlier and now, he wanted something as a distraction to his life. Maybe a quiet place to watch the scenery, something isolated and away from everything that was causing him all this trouble and anxiety.

It was nearing curfew and students were heading back their respective common rooms when Draco's feet lead him to the fourth floor of the South Tower and into the door of a familiar room where he previously had a row with Luna Lovegood. He surveyed the corridor and saw that the last student was already going down the stairs. Once the vicinity was clear, he went inside and walked to the window on the other side of the room.

The soft pitter patter of his feet was the only sound he had as distraction against his running thoughts. Draco walked to the large window that overlooked the black lake and past it, the Forbidden forest. He breathed a sigh of frustration and let the landscape calm him. From down below, he saw students walking back to Merlin knows where.

"Some of them must be worrying about their grades in their classes." Draco laughed bitterly. "And my mates, their probably betting right now who's knickers they'll take off."

The blonde Slytherin leaned forward and let his arms rest on the window ledge. Every waking moment, the plan of killing Dumbledore pops up in Draco's mind and never disappears. It goes to a point that he's afraid to sleep for if he did, it would mean less time to prepare for the task. The normal life will never be for him ever again. This path was what he carved now. A dark path he never imagined was as complicated as this. His friends envied the lies he told and everyone feared him. It was nice for old Draco but the Draco now was confused whether he really wanted that or not.

Everything he was doing now was to restore his family's old glory in the eyes of Lord Voldemort. It was a task he promised he would succeed for his mother. For his father? Not so much anymore. If he wasn't caught in the first place, this wouldn't happen. He would still be the careless teenage boy worrying only about his classes and his friends. Now, he had other priorities. To add to that, he had another matter in his mind: how and why was Luna Lovegood popping up in his thoughts from time to time.

"The stars look lovely don't they?" A soft voice uttered to his right. Draco's head spun quickly and saw Luna Lovegood looking up at the evening sky in with wide eyes and a smile etched up on her face. She turned her face to him and smiled at the Slytherin.

"What the bloody hell?! What are you doing here Lovegood?!" Draco became stiff at the blonde Ravenclaw's presence. He was adamant in keeping his promise by avoiding her in every way possible from averting his eyes during meals and choosing paths to class faraway from any sign of a Ravenclaw.

"I've been bothered by Wrackspurts for nights. Basking in the light of a full moon scares them away."

"Then how did you get in?"

"I walked here and entered the room."

"I know you walked here. But you knew there was someone already inside. Are you really that much of a creep to invade someone else's privacy?" He knew from the moment the words slipped out of his mouth, Draco regretted it.

"I like this place as well." She replied and went back to looking at the moon. If Luna heard what he said, she didn't show it.

Truth be told, there was something inside of him that made him feel happy being in the presence of Luna Lovegood. Even if it was contradicting every lesson he learned about being a proper pure-blooded wizard, he missed looking at her curly golden locks and wide eyes forever stuck in a dream. But, Draco knew he had to hate her. She was one of the epitomes of what a pure-blood shouldn't be besides the Weasley family.

"Oh..." Having no will to acknowledge his mistake,Draco looked at the witch by his side and slowly sat on the dusty floor and folded his arms on top of his knees. He rested his chin on his arm and looked at the door in front of him.

"I hope you put a bloody good invisibility spell here." He breathed.

"I did." Luna replied.

Draco Malfoy just sat and stared at the dimly lit space in front. He let the calm silence embrace him as his raging emotions of despair and worry coursed through his body. The stress of his task distracted him so much that he didn't notice something being slid to his side.

"You need some pasties." It was a soft whisper of a statement rather than suggestion that came from the girl beside him. Draco broke his train of thought and looked at Luna Lovegood then to his side where a couple of pasties were laid on top of a piece of cloth and a flask of pumpkin juice sat. "It's good for thinking."

The young wizard eyed the food by his side and realized that he didn't eat anything since lunch. His stomach rumbled in agreement but he refused to eat. The food came from a blood traitor and his lessons taught him never to trust people like her. So, Draco just denied and rested his head on the wall while he entered back to his dark despair.

But then, something surprised the young Slytherin. Soft hands gently took his left arm and placed a piece of pastry on his hand. He looked to his left and saw Luna Lovegood who scooted over to his side and if he let himself believe it, a worried look painted on her dainty face.

"I don't need this Lovegood." Draco masked his wavering voice in annoyance. Any vows of restraining himself were being tested.

"You haven't eaten dinner. Any thoughts that you are thinking of now can be done once you've got your stomach filled. Wrackspurts like pestering hungry wizards." She leaned in to him to add more effect.

He didn't want to admit it, but her face being merely inches away from his made his heart beat furiously. If it weren't for the lack of light, his face would have looked like the same shade as a ripe tomato. They held this position until Draco leaned back to the other side and started tearing away on the pastry. He focused on the food instead and felt his hunger being satiated.

Draco looked at Luna and saw her playing with her own dream catcher. In her white cotton sleeping gown, long blond hair and the moon light shining on her, the Ravenclaw witch looked like an etheral angel who came to rescue him.

"No one can save me." He whispered to himself.

"What?" Luna faced him and cocked her head to the side.

"Nothing." Draco looked back to the wall in front of him. "How did you even know I haven't eaten yet?"

"I pack food whenever I go here at night. Food's a good companion when you think. When I was packing this during dinner, I glanced at your table and saw you weren't there. And you look a bit paler than usual. Father always told me to bring extra in case I've got company. Good thing I listened." The blonde witch smiled at him softly.

Draco didn't know what to reply to her kindness so he just nodded and continued eating. The two settled on eating their pasties in silence until they heard a voice and footsteps coming from down the hall. "You heard them Mrs. Norris?"

Draco became alert but remembered Luna put enchantments to the room. He relaxed once more but then, he knew how intimidating and highly heightened senses Filch's cat, Mrs. Norris, has. If so much a sliver of a hair was seen, they would get detention. Draco looked at the witch beside her and saw that her shadow can be seen. Luna's whole left side was illuminated by the moon. Even if there was an invisibility spell on them, their shadows can still be seen. So, he did the best thing he could think of.

"Sit over here." He whispered furiously and waved his hand to him.

"Why? I put on a spell on the both of us." She whispered back.

"Your shadow. Sit over here before we get caught!" He hastily wrapped back the pasty with the cloth and pulled Luna's arm to him. Luna followed and they sat side by side in the dark corner enough for just the two of them if they hug their knees. "Do not make a sound."

"Okay." Luna nodded.

The two waited as the sound became closer and closer until they heard the Argus Filch's voice directly in front of the room's door.

"In here Mrs. Norris?" The voice said.

Draco, out of instinct, put his arm on Luna's shoulder and covered her as he bowed down. The door suddenly opened and in came the caretaker and his trusted cat. Draco heard them walking around and hoped that they would not notice the two of them. Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead but he continued to duck down and hope for the best.

"I know the bloody hell that you students are here. Mrs. Norris caught a whiff of you from a distance away." Filch said out loud. Draco heard him tap the desks and the chairs getting closer and closer to them. The caretaker was merely footsteps away until his cat meowed from the other side of the room. "Are you sure Mrs. Norris?"

Filch walked back to the door and closed the door. "I know you're there!"

When Draco, was sure the footsteps were long gone, he breathed a sigh of relief and looked back up. "They're gone now."

"You know, we didn't have to huddle together. But it's okay. You smell like mint and clean linen." Luna's silvery blue-grey eyes looked at him with a hint of amusement as she removed herself from his arms.

Draco looked at the witch beside her and realized what he just did. He held her arm, sat beside her and took her in to his arms, 3 things he never allowed himself to do. The gravity of what he did just dawned upon him and he looked away from her. He forgot they were invisible and there was no point in taking her in to his arms.What the bloody hell Draco! Why did you do that? Stupid, stupid Draco!

"I...uh...I...uh...just didn't want your shadow to get caught. I'll be dead too if Filch sees." He replied gruffly. Draco scooted away from the girl and sat near the board where it was still dark.

"Still, thank you." Luna smiled at him sweetly.

The young Slytherin looked away and stood up. "I have to go now. Filch must be in the floor down below."

"Okay. I think I'll stay here." She took back the cloth filled with pasties and the flask on the corner.

"Right. Okay." Draco walked back to the door.

"Oh and Draco!"

"What?"

"I know I didn't get to listen to you tonight because of what happened. You look like you need someone to talk to. Next time I promise I will listen."

Draco stopped abruptly from his walk and stood still. He was furious at how Luna dissected his actions so easily and came to that conclusion. Even if he was feeling something new for this girl, he can't help but be annoyed. "Okay."

The young Slytherin opened the door without looking back and continued to head down to the Slytherin common room. All of emotions were bursting to the seams. And once he was alone in the Slytherin stairwell, he let out a scream of frustration and wondered when all this act will end.