Canis Familiaris by Paradoxically
Summary: After five months, Blaise and Luna's relationship is on the rocks and breaking up fast. He's callous; she's determined to teach him a lesson. Ginny is all too willing to contribute to Luna's cause, and Draco... well, he just keeps stepping right into the middle of things and suffering the consequences.
Categories: Works in Progress Characters: Blaise Zabini (boy), Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood
Compliant with: None
Era: None
Genres: Humor
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 4 Completed: No Word count: 5421 Read: 3157 Published: Aug 08, 2015 Updated: Sep 25, 2015
Story Notes:
Let me make it clear right here and right now that no, I don't actually think all men are dogs. This is just a fun fic.

1. Break-up by Paradoxically

2. Bier und Wurst by Paradoxically

3. Insolent Boy-o by Paradoxically

4. Wrackspurts and Jabberknolls by Paradoxically

Break-up by Paradoxically
Author's Notes:
So I have this theory about Luna... I think the aloof/ out of it demeanor is just a mask, a way of keeping people from actually affecting her. This definitely influences the way that I write her, so I'm sure that most people will feel that she is out of character.
Luna Lovegood was, when she was in a “mood”, most certainly not a woman to be trifled with if one had any hopes for a peaceful life; her ethereal air vanished without a trace when she had been crossed. She had a tendency to become very focused on the object of her ire in those moments. Unfortunately for Blaise Zabini, he was a man who didn’t know when to quit—a right-fighter to the very end, he was most definitely the type to beat a dead horse when he had a point to prove. He also had a tendency to rely on his ability to talk his way out of almost anything. Luna seemed to have an unnatural resistance to that—as Blaise was learning all too well. A relationship that had been perfectly dignified and altogether tranquil rapidly descended into squabbling chaos sometime around the fifth month—and Draco Malfoy became an unwitting party in the rapid decay of his best friend’s bliss when, one breezy morning in late autumn, he quite literally “popped” over to Blaise’s to confirm all the details of Gregory Goyle’s stag party that night. In the half-second it took him to settle his insides after apparating, a Wedgwood vase cracked him in the ear and clattered to the floor noisily. Dead—and deadly—silence was all that followed as clapped one hand over the injured appendage, but judging by the fuming Luna on his right and the glowering Blaise on his right, he’d waltzed right into the middle of their latest altercation.

Perhaps it was that his grey matter had been a little rattled, and it could have been the sight of his own blood on his fingers when he pulled his hand from the side of his face, or maybe it was because he just didn’t have that much experience interacting with a woman that he wasn’t intent on charming into his bed, but “Bloody hell, Blaise, is this how you let that harpy treat your friends?” slipped out before he could think better of it. He completely missed the icy flash of Luna’s eyes, one that Blaise had become all too familiar with of late, as her face suddenly smoothed and her wand hand snapped up. He did register the wand pointed right at his chest, and the woman on the end of it with the dangerously flared nostrils—funny, that, noticing all the little things just a moment too late.

“Fine. If you want to be a dog like him, go right on ahead. I won’t stand for it,” she sniffed, then Apparated with a harsh crack. Draco’s eyebrows knit together in the middle of his forehead as he turned to his best friend, mouth open, surely ready to utter something else terrible.

It was probably for the best that Blaise, in a fit of pique, Stunned Draco in that moment, before he could ask what exactly she meant by that.

Yes, Draco definitely needed to notice those little things a bit sooner.
--
Ginny Weasley knew the drill all too well by this time—that frenzied knocking on her door meant that Luna had appeared at her flat. Her eyes would be fierce with rage, but that never prevented her from bursting into bewildered tears sometime before the end of the night after giving voice to her hurt. It always amazed Ginny that Blaise could make her best friend lose her ethereal composure with little to no effort at all. No one else had ever affected Luna quite the same way, which was exactly why Ginny was convinced that the two were soul mates. Privately, she thought that Luna’s imperturbable aura was just a way to keep others at arm’s length—and it was good for her to let someone past that. With a sigh—she’d really been hoping for a quiet night tonight—she drew back the bolt on the door and swung it open. For just a moment, Luna looked to be her detached, unruffled self, but burst into tears with a tiny wail as soon as Ginny opened her arms for a hug. Shushing her softly, Ginny pulled Luna over to her comfortable broken in sofa and detached herself with a slightly soggy squelch to fetch the tissues. This wasn’t good. Waterworks were supposed to wait until at least an hour in, right about the time that Ginny broke open a hand-packed quart of Florean Fortescue’s Triple Chocolate Mayhem, complete with Chocolate Frog garnish (childishly, they always named the frog Blaise and proceeded to chase it down with spoons before putting the enchanted chocolate out of its misery).

And Luna was not a pretty crier—her whole face seemed to dissolve and melt. Merlin knew she usually went through enough tissues to make it look like a blizzard had rolled through Ginny’s living quarters every time she had a tiff with Blaise. But this time, Ginny was genuinely worried. Luna and Blaise hadn’t ended things, had they? Just last week, she’d been effervescently bubbly; delighted over some vacation he had planned for them to the habitat of some obscure (and possibly unreal) animal, and wasn’t it such a good sign, that he knew her interests and listened? Ginny was sure that her friend loved Blaise, and though she was less sure of Blaise’s feelings, he surely had some inkling of how wonderful Luna was… didn’t he?

As Ginny sat next to her friend, Luna drew her knees up into her chest and let her long hair spill over her shoulder. She fixed Ginny with an unnaturally clear gaze as Ginny proffered the first tissue. “I don’t know what to do now,” she whispered, leaning her head on Ginny’s shoulder and blowing her nose heartily. One tear trickled slowly down her cheek.

Something in the region of Ginny’s heart cracked. This was not Luna, this defeated, heart-broken creature. “Well, why don’t you tell me what happened and I’ll see if I can’t come up with something?” Ginny said, injecting a false amount of cheer into the statement. She poked Luna in the ribs with one bony elbow in a bid to win a smile. “I’ll even be the judge and jury for you. Let’s see if Blaise deserves to have his balls fricasseed or maybe something more creative. I’m not a Weasley for nothing!” A bare shadow of a dimple showed itself in Luna’s cheek.

And so Ginny teased and prodded her friend into a better mood, laying it on thick enough for Luna to finally giggle just a bit. And that was reason enough to break out the wine and chocolate, which in turn led to some very interesting conversations. Somewhere after the second bowl of ice cream and before the third glass of wine, Luna started to spill the beans—and found herself utterly unable to stop.

“I told him I loved him, and he didn’t say a thing, Ginny, not a thing! For a minute I thought he must have stumbled into a nest of Nargles, but then he opened his mouth and told me that no, no, I didn’t love him, how could I possibly? I hadn’t known him long enough!” Luna huffed, her cheeks pinking with anger, before continuing sarcastically, “And he’s right you know, we haven’t been together that long, and of course I’m stupid for thinking that five months is long enough to know that I love him, how could I? And then he says that I should date other people. Diversify. We should be smart about this, date around and compare, like Draco bloody Malfoy. Like a relationship is the same shopping for a- a new mattress or something!” Ginny couldn’t help but snort in her glass at that, as she felt a secret sense of relief that Luna’s vengeful ways had returned. That, she knew how to handle. Ginny pulled a throw pillow into her lap, hiding her face so that Luna couldn’t see the start of a smile on her friend’s face as Luna continued on. “So of course we shouldn’t be exclusive, because how could I possibly know him or anyone else well enough to know that this is it, how could I trust my own judgment when my head is always in the clouds? And then he didn’t say a thing when Draco called me a harpy, seriously, a harpy Ginny, who the hell does he think he is?”

“Hold on, when did Draco show up into the middle of this?”

“Well, roughly about the same time that I threw one of Blaise’s knick-knacks.” There was that blithe, slightly dotty demeanor again. Luna was hiding something, and that Ginny knew for sure.

Ginny snorted again. “Seriously? And who were you throwing it at, Blaise or Draco? And Luna, did you forget all about your wand? You are a witch, you know, and there are all these brilliant hexes...” Luna broke off that train of thought by dealing Ginny a heavy thwap with the other throw pillow.

“I wasn’t trying to actually hit Blaise, but Draco just Apparated into the middle of everything, and it was already too late by then. And anyway, all men are dogs, so I’m convinced he deserved it anyway, giving Blaise ideas and all.”

“Wait, what did you say?”

“That Draco gave Blaise ideas?”

“No, right before that, the bit about all men?” Ginny was alert now, on the verge of what the twins like to refer to as a “diabolical breakthrough.”

“That all men are dogs?”

Ginny snapped her fingers and bounced up off the couch, eyes burning with purpose—and maybe a little too much alcohol. “That’s it! That’s his punishment—we’ll turn him into a dog!”
End Notes:
A plot bunny bit and held on while I was working on the next chapter of "Red", so.. yeah. This should be just a few chapters, followed by a companion piece or two. Maybe.

More relevant to the situation at hand: I could use a beta, and/or someone to bounce ideas off of one in awhile. My email address is in my profile if you're interested.
Bier und Wurst by Paradoxically
Author's Notes:
I could be a good little author and put the italics back where they belong... but I don't want to. Not right now, anyway.

It's been a rough week at work. I'm sure that there's probably a great big glaring mistake or inconsistency in here somewhere, but I can't find it right now... so be a dear and let me know when you find it.
“Fuck, Blaise, you deserve every horrible thing that woman can dream up,” Draco hissed as he came to—his lip curled menacingly as his hands went to his hair first, only to discover the gummy mess of half dried blood and tangled hair over his right ear. He winced as he tugged the worst of the mess off the partially formed scab. “Bloody terrible friend you are, you great big wanker.”

Blaise merely twirled his wand between his fingers, one hand still extended to help Draco up off of the floor. “Are you quite finished? I thought we had plans.”

“No, no I don’t think I’m finished, because you’re a prat and if we didn’t both have to show our faces at a wedding this weekend, I’d take great pleasure in knocking your teeth in.” Despite the venom in his voice, Draco hauled himself up off the floor with Blaise’s aid—then briskly gave his friend a hard shove that sent Blaise staggering back a step or two. “And now I’m convinced I should leave you holding the bag with the stag party half-planned.”

“You wouldn’t dare. Who’s going to call off Luna the next time you say something stupid? Because there will be a next time and she’s really not as innocent as she looks.”

Draco huffed indignantly. “Are you deaf or stupid? I’m pretty sure she just ended things with you. And that did not sound like a woman who wanted you back. Especially if she’s throwing things. That’s pretty much the grand send-off there, Blaise, chucking things at your head. What the hell did you do anyway?”

“Nothing worse than anything you’ve ever done,” Blaise sneered. Draco paused—sneering was Draco’s signature expression. Blaise was usually as non-reactive as a solid gold cauldron, so a break in his friend’s normally calm demeanor was a sure sign of something gone wrong. Draco had thought that Blaise’s relationship with Luna was just a casual thing, a time-filler, before he was on to the next new thing. Draco frowned; so what did it mean that Blaise was so defensive? He picked up the vase at his feet and turned it in his fingers restlessly before abruptly changing the subject. Better to drop this for now. One head wound was enough for today.

“So, are all the reservations for tonight in order then? And have you heard anything about the return Portkey? I haven’t gotten any confirmation on them yet, but I s’pose we could make do without. Though I don’t much care for the idea of staying in Munich until everyone is sober enough to Apparate again…”

---

Luna sank against the counter until she was level with the lip of Ginny’s battered (“But well-loved!” she had insisted) old cauldron and peered into the mixture frothing happily away on Ginny’s stove. Blue flames licked out from underneath the curved cast-iron belly as pearly blue bubbles rose to the surface and broke with a gentle pop-pop.

“You know, for a means of vengeance, this sure is a, well, happy potion,” Luna muttered, slightly sullen now that some of her sugar euphoria had worn off and a crying headache had set in. Ginny was humming happily, bouncing back and forth between three different books and one crackly, much folded collection of loose parchments. Judging by the torn, tattered, and just slightly burnt nature of the hand-written notes, Luna felt it was a safe bet that they had been handed down from the twins. A shiver traced its way down her spine—a slight bit of foreboding mixed with eager anticipation.

Ginny looked up at her friend, a single wrinkle marring her forehead. “Do you need something for the headache?”

“Mmm, no, ‘fraid the problems a bit lower and more heart than head,” Luna murmured, her eyes going glassy and unfocused.

“Aww, my poor Luna-Moona,” Ginny crooned, patting Luna’s head softly, still preoccupied with her notes.

Luna snorted indignantly, eyes clearing and gaze as sharp as her wit. “Aww, Ginny-Ninny,” she mocked back.

Ginny laughed, the sound ringing out like a bell. “Point taken. Save the mothering for someone who wants to be coddled. Got it. Now, be useful and come over here and stir the potion. Three times clockwise, fifteen leaves of dogfennel, crushed, then anti-clockwise ten times.”

“You’re adapting the recipe for Canary Creams, aren’t you?” Luna mused, taking her position over the cauldron. “How long do you think it will last, though?”

“Right in one, you certainly weren’t sorted into Ravenclaw for nothing. I think it should last about a week, give or take a day. Long enough for him to miss being a human, I’d say. Though what exactly are we going to do with our new Fido?”

“Mm, I vote for shared custody, mainly so I don’t get soft on him. And embarrassing sweaters, the kind with the little bobbly bits and say horrific things like ‘Mummy’s little angel’ and all that.”

“Rhinestone collars and gaudy leashes, I definitely support that. Wonder what breed he’ll turn into though.”

Luna cocked her head to the side, contemplative. “You mean you’re not just going to turn him into a yappy little ball of fuzz of a predetermined size and type?”

“Nope, what’s the fun in that?” Ginny’s grin was wicked now. “What breed of dog he turns into will reveal something about his nature. Lemon balm and chamomile to calm, blue forget me not to remember who he is no matter what the form, winter cherry to stabilize his mood, and just a hint of wormwood in case this all upsets his poor tummy,” she sang, adding in the last of the powdered ingredients and motioning Luna to stir again. The resulting mixture turned dark, settling into a soft warm brown. Ginny lifted a brimming ladle, letting it trickle back into the cauldron. “Perfect. Because it’s just the color of a dog’s eyes.” Her eyes cut to meet Luna’s gaze impishly. “And didn’t you say that Blaise never could resist a good chocolate truffle?”

--

It was late, and everything was horrible, just completely and terribly horrible, according to Draco. He’d been stuck on Goyle watch—“Not babysitting,” he had sneered at Blaise, “because babysitting is infantile”—which was no easy task, given that they’d dropped themselves right down in the middle of Oktoberfest (something else that Draco dubbed “utterly stupid”, given that it was actually September). No one had descended into debauchery, but it was rather like letting a small child loose in a candy shop—Goyle had run here and there, delighted that his two great wishes had been fulfilled (“Just good beer and good food, and no strippers or I’ll get left at the altar,” were the only guidelines he had set for Blaise and Draco) and several times Draco had lost him in the crowds. Chasing him down frequently meant leaving off flirting with a pretty woman to run after his lumbering oaf of a friend. Hardly Draco’s preferred activity. And then, while the return Portkeys had been worked out and functioned perfectly at the end of the night, whisking their small party (and plenty of beer and wurst) back to Zabini manor’s front hall right on time, he had forgotten to account for one little thing—the side effect of Portkeying on a stomach full to the brim with alcohol.

Goyle had been the first to lose his stomach, retching the second his feet touched the ground. Unfortunately for Draco and his favorite pair of loafers, Goyle’s aim was completely lacking. The slimy feeling in his socks and the queasy heaving of his own stomach had him waving his wand with great haste—and in addition to the shoes and the terrible mess, he managed to Vanish his own trousers.

Blaise crowed with laughter, nearly falling down at the sight of Draco clad in just shirt and pants, his pale legs shining like a beacon in the dark of the hall. Goyle and his two work cronies joined in as well, ‘til everyone was lying in one great laughing heap—well, everyone except Draco.

Well, that was quite enough, Draco thought, storming off towards the guest rooms. He didn’t even feel bad as he nicked the box of chocolates from the foyer table for later.

After all, it was the least Blaise could give him after what he’d been put through.
End Notes:
Thoughts? Likes? Dislikes?
Insolent Boy-o by Paradoxically
Author's Notes:
And now Draco gets his very own chapter, since he doesn't like to share.
The wedding itself had gone off without a hitch—the bride was glowing, the groom sobered up in time for the ceremony, and all the old matrons had shed an obligatory tear when the two were pronounced man and wife, witch and wizard. Goyle’s mother had absolutely bawled her eyes out. Blaise had to suppress a laugh when he realized that Goyle’s eyes were glassy with tears and settled for elbowing the best man instead; unfortunately for Draco, that was him, and Blaise had the absolute sharpest elbows known to wizardkind.

And Draco? Draco had just barely made it through the whole affair without fidgeting right out of his skin. Standing silent at Goyle’s shoulder, remembering to hand over the rings at the right moment, and then posing for photos was an exercise in slow, prolonged torture. The photos were especially bad—he was sure that, in the fully developed shots, his photographic self would be flashing a smirk, then trying to escape the frame. He was sure the new Mrs. Goyle—he’d already forgotten her first name--wasn’t going to be too pleased with that.

She probably wasn’t going to be too pleased when she discovered that he planned on ducking out shortly after his best man’s speech either.

Not that it mattered. He was going to make plenty of people unhappy tonight anyway. He didn’t have any patience for the curiosity he knew he’d have to face tonight, with everyone looking, looking and wondering at his shirtsleeves, buttoned all the way down to his wrists when nearly everyone else in the wedding party had already shed their jackets and rolled their sleeves up to the elbow. He’d already determined that he would be insufferably rude, since that was what it would take to get them to shut their fat gobs. Inappropriate questions always following the impertinent gazes. It didn’t even matter that he would not be the only one disfigured with the fading grey scar. If anything, it made it worse that there were others there, with a shared past that he had no desire to remember, even as he knew that he could never be free of it. Walking into the reception, he reflected that the fact on this was a mixed crowd, half people who knew his past and half people who had only heard the rumors, was not at all to his benefit.
Well, not unless you knew how to work an air of mystery like Blaise Zabini did, he reflected—Draco pulled a chair into a dark corner intending to stay hidden until the bride and groom made their big entrance and watched his friend flit about, ever the social maven, leaving women sighing and staring in his wake.

Bloody lucky bastard, that one. His past didn’t haunt, didn’t hang around his neck like a rotting albatross. And Blaise wasn’t even going to take advantage of the fact that he had the attention of nearly every woman in the room, no matter what he had said when he was out with the guys last night; Blaise was just that hung up on Luna. Draco would lay down good gold that Blaise would have made the first overture towards reconciliation by Monday morning. And as far as Draco could tell, Blaise was going to be the next one walking down the aisle, and probably doing it inside of a year at that. Gods, what was wrong with his friends? Next there would be little miniature versions of each of his friends toddling around and he’d be overwhelmed by the snot-nosed little whelps. Blaise’s manipulative little brats were going to be the absolute worst.

Draco snorted at the thought. This entire affair was making him morose and much too contemplative. The sooner he was out of here and back to Blaise’s to collect his things, the better.

He shelved his thoughts for the moment and stood, stalking towards his friend. If he was going to be miserable, he wanted company.

And so he passed most of the night pestering Blaise, occasionally heading back to the bar for another glass of champagne. He found himself forced out onto the dance floor a few times, twice by a nattering old woman with enough wrinkles and mustache to make a walrus proud. She’d called him an “insolent boy-o” and smacked him in the ankle with her walking stick when he’d smarted off, much to Blaise’s amusement. Judging by the bruise already rising on his left ankle, the old woman hadn’t lost any of her muscle tone. He was never going to live that down, but he made it through—through that, and the rest of the night, including the short and simple speech (“Make her happy, Greg—don’t do anything that I would. To the newlyweds!”) and made good on his escape, leaving the party before it had even begun to wind down.

He sighed as he stomped back through Blaise’s foyer and to his semi-permanent guest room. It was a testament to the quality of Blaise’s house elves that the room was near to immaculate, despite the fact that he’d left it in complete disarray. His laundry was already pressed and neatly folded into his leather valise, which had also been neatly polished. He was halfway through changing into more casual clothes when he noticed that the only thing that was out of place was the small gold-foil box that he’d knicked from the entry table last night—now was as good a time as any to partake, he figured. He pulled the ribbon on the package and flipped back the lid to find four chocolate truffles resting in paper nests. He popped the first in his mouth, savoring the sweet rush. It was an unusual combination, the sharpness of lemon breaking through the richness of the chocolate, tempered with…was that chamomile and wormwood? Oddly good. He pulled the second truffle out of the box nearly as soon as he’d finished the first, and it was halfway down his throat before he registered that his stomach was giving an odd gurgle.

Huh. Maybe he should have eaten more with the champagne. It didn’t deter him from snagging the third and fourth truffles, throwing them in the air and catching them in his mouth as he reached for his valise. His fingers slid off of the leather as a strange wrenching sensation hit somewhere near his thumb; he looked down and squealed in a most unmanly fashion to see his fingers receding into his palms and a thick growth of hair spreading over his skin. In fact, the whole world seemed to be receding, except for his nose, which was growing at an exponential rate and absolutely furry.

This was not good.

Dropping to all fours, Draco was overcome by a shivering sensation as his limbs rearranged themselves with a series of unsettling pops and cracks that ripped through his body. Before it even registered if he was in pain or not, it was all over. He shook his head, trying to force it all to make sense—and then he caught a glance of himself in the full-length floor mirror. Where his sleek, toned physique had been moments ago was a huge, leggy dog with messy pale fur and oddly grey eyes. And was that--surely not-- a tail? And the beast was still in Draco’s pants and had Draco’s socks falling down around his paws. Damn.

Someone was going to have to pay for this.
End Notes:
So... any guesses on the dog breed? I'm curious to know what you think.
Wrackspurts and Jabberknolls by Paradoxically
Author's Notes:
Written during three different sittings.... still not sure if this came together right. If anyone out there is interested in being a beta for the rest of this story (or even just volunteer to give a super quick read-through), please let me know.
Luna stepped cautiously out of the fireplace and ran one finger over the silver filigree mirror hanging over the mantle. It hummed slightly at her touch. Good—Blaise’s wards and Floo were still set to allow her to come and go.

Maybe things weren’t as bad as she had thought, if Blaise hadn’t set them to repel her yet. She had a moment of disquiet. Perhaps this was all a bad idea. He might still come around on his own…

She shook her golden head restlessly. Best to get on with it, to get back to Ginny’s place before it became too late. She tiptoed toward the main hall, raising her wand and whispering “Homenum--oh, wait, that’s right, Canis Revelio.” A bright green orb appeared in front of her before whisking off down the towards the guest room wing. That was odd, but perhaps Blaise could no more stand the sight of the rooms that they had spent so much time in than she could. She padded softly after it, fingering the leash in her hand. The orb finally lit upon a particularly well used door handle and she eased it open slowly, raising her wand again.

There, sprawled across the bed lay a large shaggy dog in a chaotic tumble of long limbs, sleeping amidst the carnage of at least three eviscerated feather pillows. A shredded sock draped over the edge of the bed and other bits of destroyed clothing littered the drifts of white feathers. Each snoring breath caused feathers to flutter wildly about his snout—one kept persistently settling onto his forehead.

It would have been cute, if she hadn’t known that he could be a complete bastard.

Luna carefully made her way into the room, shutting the door firmly behind her. The beast on the bed stirred fitfully and buried his head deeper into the covers as she padded forward and slipped the leash under his neck, clipping it back onto itself. Luna rocked back onto her heels. This would be so much easier had he turned into a lap dog. Then again, it made sense, since life with Blaise was never easy. She tapped her wand against her lips thoughtfully. A Confundus charm, perhaps? It would make it easier to lead him around and hopefully reduce any desire to bite—he was a very big dog, with a big mouth full of teeth, after all. And a bit kinder than simply Stunning him and levitating him out of the manor. Plus, should she be seen, it was looked less like kidnapping—or dognapping—if he was on his own four feet. Confundus it was then, she decided.


“Right. On with it then,” she murmured to herself. She tugged sharply on the leash; a grumpy moan rumbled out of the creature as he stretched and rolled over to his back. He didn’t even open his eyes. How typical. Getting Blaise out of bed was like moving mountains.


She tugged again, sharper this time. The dog buried his head under a pillow with a sulky, high pitched whine. “Confundus,” she whispered.


Disoriented, the dog shot to his feet—unfortunately, he miscalculated and fell straight off the bed and into the nightstand, and then tumbled to the floor with a loud crash. Dazed, he picked himself up from the floor, wobbling slightly as he stumbled into Luna’s legs. He fixed her with a mournful—if somewhat bleary—gaze, and Luna sighed.


“Now, see, this is exactly why you’re going to Ginny first,” she scolded. “Don’t give me those puppy eyes, Blaise, my heart can’t take it.”


She took off at a quick pace, tugging harshly on the leash as they trotted down the hallways of the rambling manor. She was nearly in the clear now, just shy of the foyer…


“Luna?" Blaise’s sleepy voice murmured from behind her.


She froze in her tracks and slowly turned to the dog trailing behind her—who hadn’t been paying any attention and clumsily stumbled right into her, leaning hard against her shins. “Oh, please, please, let that have been you,” she whispered, not willing to peek up through her blonde fringe into the dark hallway.


The sound of bare feet slapping against marble echoed down the hallway. Her eyes drifted shut. This couldn’t be happening. She needed the warm weight against her to belong to Blaise.


Something reached out and gently brushed the hair from her face, lingering gently at her temple before dropping away. Her eyes opened slowly and she briefly mourned the loss of the warm, affectionate touch. Blaise stood before her, his eyes still clouded with sleep as he frowned at the dog half-slumped against her legs. With a pang, Luna remembered how drowsy and slow to wake Blaise was in the morning.


“Did…d’you… did you get a dog... d’you feel that you need protection, or… Luna, are you scared of me?” he rasped hoarsely, dragging one hand down his face. Maybe it was his sleep befuddled brain, but he had a sudden sense that he was missing some piece of the puzzle.


“N-no,” she stammered, turning away quickly and moving to step away, tugging harshly on the leash in her hand. As she moved towards the Floo, Blaise could see her beginning to retreat behind her mask. “I-I just—this was a bad idea. Wrackspurts and… and Jobberknolls must be around and...” she blabbered, waving her free hand distractedly as she quickly increased the distance between them and half-dragged the dog along with her, “and Ihavetogorightnow!”


Blaise shook his head as she disappeared into the fireplace in flash of green. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he had missed something important, something he would regret not noticing later, but it was the hollow feeling in his chest that had him sinking to his knees in the room that echoed with sudden emptiness.

--

Luna fell out of Ginny’s fireplace bare moments later, bowled over by the weight of the hairy beast that had followed her through the Floo. Oh, what in the world was she going to tell Ginny?
End Notes:
To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, "Get your characters up in a tree. Then throw rocks at them."
This story archived at http://www.dracoandginny.com/viewstory.php?sid=7527