The palace is quiet in the late afternoon. All the ladies of the court have retired to their chambers and the lords and dukes no longer in council. With the King's sudden return Luna doubts they'll be any sort of celebration after the foul mood in which he made his presence known.
Most of the servant have finished their duties unless they work nights but Luna has one final job before she can sleep.
As a girl she'd always dreamed of seeing the palace never thought she'd actually stay here. Her father had no royal status, was a common trader and her mother had died when she was eleven. Hermione had been the one who found her and offered her the position as one of the His Majesty's Consort ladies, but that was before Draco became the King's Queen, when he was just a son of a Lord, back when Draco was just a child only fifteen, sent to court to find himself a suitable husband. Draco had many suiters desiring a smart, beautiful Barer. Draco took full advantage of this as well and made quite the reputation for himself. And of course by doing this caught the attention of the young King with a heart of ice which he managed to melt, something to this day Luna will never understand.
Luna's mother would tell her stories of the beautiful race of young men gifted with a feminine beauty and the ability to carry child. Draco was the first one Luna saw and it was only in that moment that her mother's stories became more than a fairy tale and Luna had expected to find some stuck up, conniving member of the court as that seems to be what they're all like. But Draco captured her with his charming smile and soft eyes, he was polite and friendly and everything her mother had described about his race.
But then she got to know the real Draco underneath the confident, flirtatious image, which was a scared, vulnerable child.
He had his ups and downs, he was probably the only person who could go from insanely happy in the morning to hugely depressed in the afternoon. But it was mostly just Hermione that dealt with him when he was like that. He could be many things; jealous, possessive, murderous, crazy, ridiculous, funny, stupid, pompous, angry, suicidal. He could go through these emotions in a whole hour though it could be very entertaining and she would get a good laugh out of it, she'd sees the look in Hermione's eyes like she knows something.
Tonight however Hermione isn't here, in bed with the flu and usually that would leave Lady Ginny but Hermione had told her that she was spending the evening with the King and that she'd much prefer if Luna tended to Draco instead.
Luna knocks on the chamber door, waiting a few seconds before entering not receiving an answer. She is hit by the smell of exotic spices and the expensive royal silks and the multicoloured flowers. A four poster bed, concealed by silk curtains. The room is fit for the best of the best and Luna dreams of just lying in that bed, surrounded by flowers and all the dresses she could ever want.
It's then that Luna notices cloths, an over robe, corset, sliver and jewels lying messily on the unmade bed.
"Your Majesty?" Luna calls a nervous stutter coming into her voice.
Nothing. Not a sound till...
Luna gives a shout of surprise her heart bucking into a pace. She nearly forgets her place almost shouting at the man. It takes her a while to take him in and steady her heart. She takes one look at his messy hair and unbuttoned waist coat, creased and untucked shirt for her to work out the obvious. She recognises him now, one of the Lords that came to court the same time as she the palace. Lord Creevey, yes she remembers he rarely speaks at court one of the lower ranking Lords, his father however was very respected in King James's day and she doesn't doubt that he could be just as good if he was more vocal.
He is stupid though to come here and do this, when he'll be seen by the guards or maids, when the news will spread to court that he was seen leaving The Consort's Chambers in such a state. The King would punish him, torture him, degrade his family name or even kill him. The King is cold man, he has a fury that can just every corner of this world. And Draco she can't bare to think what will happen to him, the King would surly never harm him, even if he has committed Adultery. Rules never change, the King can have who he wishes in his bed but a Queen or Consort can not or at least not get caught. She thought Draco would be smart than this, unless...
"Forgive me, Miss I didn't mean to startle you."
It takes Luna a few moments to remember her manners. She curtseys, "My Lord, I am here to tend to His majesty, apologies for my bluntness but I must ask you to leave so I may do so." She tries to keep the coldness out of her tone but Lord Creevey doesn't seem to notice.
"Yes, of course." And without another word leaves, his footsteps echoing through the hall and Luna closes her eyes. She can practically hear the Maids whispering outside because the idiot has no brains, doesn't even think to make himself look discreet.
Luna must admit that six years ago she would be use to it sending a nameless knight or sleazy Duke on his way but this is different, Draco has not been with another since the King.
She walks through the bedroom, heading towards the huge bathroom where Draco undoubtedly is.
The bathroom is a sea of endless white, the double doors open and in the middle a large white tub that could fit two grown men easily. Draco is there, tub filled half with - now gone cold - water, wearing his white night robe which is too baggy on him and very unflattering on his petite figure. His blond locks are messy, his lips still painted red, once powdered skin pale, eyes lined with smudged black. One arm rests on the tub holding a glass of what looks like Champagne and the other hangs like death weight.
Luna clears her throat curtsying. "Your Majesty."
Draco looks at her with those vacant, heartbroken eyes confusion clouding them. "Your not Hermione" and his voice sound horse from crying, heavy with sobbing.
"Hermione is ill Your Highness, I've taken over her duties tonight."
Draco closes his eyes, sinking further into the water, a hand rubbing his temples.
"I won't be needing you tonight thank you." It sounds Strained, tired and Luna hesitates, not wanting to leave Draco in such a state.
"Your Majesty if I could just-"
"I couldn't do it you know." He says suddenly, still not opening his eyes and Luna is confused in till he continues. "He was there ready and willing and I couldn't do it. And of course he's probably fucking her in the mattress and I'm here feeling sorry for myself. It's pathetic." He snaps harshly and it makes Luna shiver at how cold his voice sounds, how vacant his now open eyes are.
"I should have expected it," he continues "I did my duty, gave him his heir, his son." Draco gives a small humourless laugh. "I thought it would be like a fairy tale, I'd get the handsome prince and we'd live happily ever after. Obviously not." He let's the glass slip from his grasp and it shatters into a million pieces, a puddle of champagne and glass.
He raises himself from the tub and Luna quickly covers his dredged night gown with a dry robe. She winces as he walks, not bothering to avoid the glass. "Well clean it up," he snaps at her uncharacteristically "it's why you're still here, is it not?"
Luna starts before quickly obeying.
Draco is already dressed for bed when she's finished. His face is clear, his eyes no longer smudged with black, his lips no longer a blood red. It's rare thing for Luna to see Draco without his make-up, fancy royal cloths and golden finery. He looks very naked, vulnerable like the young boy she first met.
It's only when he's under the bed covers and Luna is putting away his cloths and jewels and she's straightening the sheets getting ready to leave.
"Is there anything else Your-"
Draco grabs her wrist. She meets scared grey eyes. "Please don't leave." He whispers.
Luna hesitates. It's always been Hermione who dealt with him when he was like this as his Lady in waiting and good friend. And then there was The Duchess Pansy who had been a very good friend to Draco in court. She is manipulative, conniving and at the best of times a bitch, but Draco seems to value her as a friend and as his conferment. But neither of them were here so Luna sits at the foot of the bed not letting go of Draco's hand.
"I've done a stupid thing haven't I?"
Luna bites her lip not wanting to over step her bounds.
"You're free to speak, believe me I won't get angry."
Luna speaks before she can stop herself. "Honestly, I think you're all mad. If you love someone You should be faithful no matter what your status. And neither should you be trapped by what is expected of you."
Draco laughs and Luna can't stop from blushing. "Oh no don't be embarrassed, it's just that's exactly how I used to think before all this," he leans forward smiling "you know, His Majesty proposed to me twice before I accepted."
Luna's eyes widen she can't believe what she's hearing. "What?"
Draco chuckles, "yeah, third time lucky."
"Why? I mean he's the King." Luna blurts out.
"Precisely, it was this life, all the royalty and sophistication. My father send me here to find a Duke or a Viscount at the least, he never in his life thought I would be courted by the King let alone fall for him and be married."
Luna shudders, Lucius Malfoy had been one of The followers of The Dark Lord before he was defeated by the now King, the Malfoy name had been disgraced their status stripped and it had taken many years for Lucius Malfoy to once again be reinstated as a Count.
"It's getting late," Draco sighs "I'll need my strength for tomorrow, I'm sure half the court knows already."
Luna worries for him and she prays to the gods he'll be alright. She places a kiss on his hand, "goodnight Your Majesty."
"Luna," he calls as she heads for the door turning shocked that he even remembers her name, "thank you." It's all he needs to say.
And the next morning when they walk through court, Hermione with her worried expression and Pansy with her cold mask, as Draco heads for the throne room through the gossiping whispers of the court, the smirking women and the staring men, just before he goes through the double doors to meet his King, he winks at Luna and she suddenly feels at ease, come what may.