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Luna’s brain was often filled with dreams, but when she paid attention to something, it invariably stuck with her. Everything from the DA meetings was ingrained into her, and Harry had taught not only spells but basic defense techniques. Luna was currently using as many of them as possible, including screaming at the top of her lungs, looking for another weapon, and realizing hiding would be her smartest choice. There weren’t many options available, but, not pausing in her full-throated scream, she slid under the bedframe. He would probably move it with magic, but it would buy her some time.

“Bloody hell, Luna!” Draco roared when she stopped to take a breath. “The room has a silencing charm on it, so you might as well shut it!”

Luna considered this; no one seemed to have heard her, and even if they did, no one here would want to help her. It was better to conserve energy for an impending fight than literally waste her breath. She couldn’t see much from under the bed, but Draco’s shoes and the hem of his robes were still visible near the closed door.

“Come out,” Draco said. “I only want to talk to you.”

“Then talk from where you are,” Luna said. “I can hear you perfectly well from here.”

She heard him sigh, then saw his feet walking towards the bed, and a second later he knelt down to peer underneath it. As his face came into view, Luna jabbed right for his eye.

“Merlin, girl, I said I wouldn’t hurt you!” he yelled, slapping a hand over his face.

She noted that he was also bleeding from his left temple from the statue she had broken over his head.

“Think logically, Draco,” she said calmly. “Why would I believe anything you say?”

Silence filled the room for a handful of seconds before Draco muttered, “Fair enough.”

Luna watched as his feet turned around, and then she heard the mattress creak as he sat on it.

“That man hurt Mr. Ollivander to get me here,” she said angrily.

“He wasn’t supposed to harm anyone. I expressly forbade that.”

“Mr. Ollivander was trying to protect me,” Luna said, and suddenly, for the first time in months, she felt tears rising to her eyes. “I don’t know if he’s okay. Pettigrew said he’s not dead, but he looked badly hurt.”

Draco cursed under his breath.

“Was it Wormtail himself or that stupid silver hand he’s got?” Draco asked.

“The hand, I think,” Luna said, “but what difference does it make? It’s part of him. It’s still his fault. And yours, I suppose.”

Luna thought for a long moment about the crumpled form of her friend lying against the cellar wall, and tears burned again in her eyes.

“And mine too, if it comes to that,” Luna said.

“Stop being ridiculous. There are enough genuinely guilty people in this house without adding you to the tally,” Draco said. “You don’t even know what real guilt is.”

Luna considered Draco’s statement. She knew guilt, though not because she actually tried to hurt anyone. She supposed it would be very different if she’d harmed someone on purpose. Draco had certainly done that many times, and it seemed that would be a very uncomfortable feeling to carry about. She was quite glad not to know about that sort of guilt.

“You said you wanted to talk to me,” Luna said, hoping to return to the cellar soon. She preferred it to this place, not least because of the company. “I assume it’s something important. At least I hope so.”

Luna heard Draco take a steadying breath, and something in the sound convinced her that whatever he was about to say was costing him a great deal.

“You’re a friend of Potter’s, right?” he said.

“Yes,” Luna said, smiling in spite of the situation. Every time she thought of her friends, it gave her strength.

“Do you know where he is?” Draco asked.

“If I knew, I certainly wouldn’t tell you, but as it is, I don’t,” Luna said.

Draco cursed again and stood up, the bedsprings creaking again and a shower of dust falling on Luna’s head and back.

“Why do you want to know?”

“The Dark Lord is furious,” Draco said. “He’s been searching for Potter, and apparently there have been some very close calls. Something happened around Christmas that had him utterly murderous.”

“In his case, literally,” Luna said, furrowing her brow.

There was an awkward pause.

“I know something happened with your father, too.”

“Is he alright?” Luna asked, her heart racing.

“I think so,” Draco said. “From what I’ve gathered, Potter, Granger, and Weasley showed up at his home, and your father called the Snatchers and tried to swap the three of them for you.”

“No,” Luna said immediately. “He would never do that.”

“Not even to save you?” Draco said, the tone of mocking superiority she’d grown accustomed to from him at school completely absent from his voice.

Luna considered for a moment, and the doubt grew in her mind. Her father loved her more than anything in the world, she knew that, but did he love her enough to do something he would find morally repugnant to protect her?

The answer came to her at once, and it was yes.

“But they escaped?” Luna said.

“Yes, I’m sure,” Draco said. “The plan failed.”

“Thank Circe,” Luna said, not only for her friends but for her father as well. She knew he would never have forgiven himself if the Snatchers had taken them.

“Yeah,” Draco said. “If he gets hold of them, well, it’s going to be bad, Lovegood. Really bad.”

“He’s tried to kill Harry before and failed more than once,” Luna said.

“But it’s different this time,” Draco said. “Other times, he was angry or trying to prove to the Death Eaters that he was powerful again. Now, he’s… I think he’s actually scared of Potter.”

“Good,” Luna said. “He should be.”

“It’s more than that, though,” Draco said. “Harry is pretty much the only thing left the Dark Lord fears, and that might mean he’s the only thing that can defeat him. If that’s true, then if Harry dies, this nightmare is never going to end.”

The words chased themselves around Luna’s head, and she looked at them carefully. Then, very slowly, she pushed herself from under the bed and stood up.

“You called him Harry,” Luna pointed out, brushing dust from her ragged dress, “not Potter.”

“Did I?” Draco said.


“I suppose I did,” Draco said. “What of it?”
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