disclaimer: Not mine. They belong to Joss Whedon and JK Rowling.
shout: For Mynuet.
"Well, this is certainly the least boring evening I've had in a long time."
Ginny glared at him. "Draco."
Blaise Zabini started chuckling. He tried to mask it as a cough, but that failed miserably. His wife Luna looked up from where she had been holding an ice pack to Theodore Nott's black eye.
"Blaise, don't laugh." She scolded.
Pansy Parkinson snorted. "Let them laugh, Luna." She looked at Nott. "What did I tell you, hmmm? Does anybody ever listen to Pansy? Noooo. She hangs about with all the Slytherins' wives and girlfriends, but do any of the Slytherins take her advice when dealing with said wives and girlfriends? Nope. Never."
The kitchen door swung open and Marcus Flint stalked in. "Have I missed the no one ever listens to Pansy part of the lecture?"
"Only just." Draco quipped.
Pansy spun around and struck a pose near the kitchen sink. "Mock if you will, but who's now married to Katie with two lovely children?"
"Lovely? Now there's no need to be insulting."
"Theo, why don't you just let me do a healing charm on it?" Ginny asked.
Draco smiled what he knew was a very sappy smile at her. She had sounded so worried about Theodore Nott.
"Where is she?" Pansy asked. "Perhaps I should have a word with her."
All the men in the kitchen looked at her in alarm.
Pansy snorted. "It's not the end of the world. Theodore just asked her to marry him. And while her punching him in the eye was very amusing, I don't think that was really the response she intended. I think you just took her by surprise, Theo."
Theodore snatched the ice pack off of his wounded eye, so he could glare at her with both.
"You just frightened her, Theo." Pansy said as she stepped up next to where he was sitting and ruffled his sandy blonde hair. "Let me have a word, all right. I'm sure I can get this sorted for you."
"What a horrible thing to say, Theodore Nott. Why, I wouldn't... oh yes I would, but I won't, ok. Just trust me. Now where is she?"
"Snape's speaking to her." Marcus said.
"Oh bloody hell." Pansy snapped and rushed out of the door.
"Well, Nott. " Marcus said. "You certainly know how to liven up a gathering. I haven't seen Katie laugh that hard in ages. When your feet went over your head as you toppled out of that chair after you got punched, I was amazed. I do hope your girl says yes. I like her."
"You like her because she punched me?"
Luna petted Theodore's hand. "Of course he likes her, Theo. She's meaner than Pansy."
"I just..." He seemed so lost.
Ginny sat on his other side. "She cares for you, Theo. Pansy will figure out what's going on here, and if she doesn't Luna and I will go to work on her."
Theodore chuckled a bit. His friends' wives and girlfriends might have looked sweet, but they were quite scary and devious at times. It was no wonder they'd landed Slytherins.
Pansy walked up and waved Snape off with an irritated hand. He raised one brow at her. Narcissa Malfoy chuckled a bit and grabbed Severus' arm. She knew the look in Pansy's eye. She also knew this poor girl of Theodore's was horrified by her physical actions. She had not meant to react as she did, but he'd just startled her with his question.
"Pansy." Narcissa said with a nod.
"Mrs. Malfoy. Professor Snape."
"I do not think..." Snape started.
Narcissa yanked on his arm quite roughly. "Come, Severus, let us check on Theodore."
Pansy sat down. "So, Anya, what's going on?"
She was from another dimension. She'd died there. Voldemort had brought her here because of what she had been in that dimension. A vengeance demon. What he had not counted on was her affinity for humans. What he had not counted on was her affinity for Nott. What he really had not counted on her joining up with the insider rebellion of Snape and Malfoy the younger. She'd turned so many junior Death Eaters against him. She'd helped Snape save the future of Slytherin. She was their friend.
Anya sighed. "When I was the other Anya, there was this guy, and the world was going to end. Well, we thought it might end, so he asked me to marry him. Then he left me at the alter, and I became a vengeance demon again. Oh, it messed everything up."
"Do you still love him?"
"But it's different with Theo. He likes all of me. Xander, while he loved me, there were parts of me he wished weren't. Theodore thinks I'm great. He knows things about me I never thought I could tell anyone."
"Does he know about this Xander person?"
"He knows everything."
"And he still likes me."
"So what's the trouble?"
Anya blinked, as if what she was about to say had just occurred to her. "There isn't any."
"So why'd you box him in the eye?"
"He should have just known better than to go asking something like that in front of all of you guys. He knows I have wedding issues. It... it scared me. I lashed out."
Pansy chuckled and hugged Anya to her side. "Well, if he didn't know before, he does now. You want to know something funny? I don't think he meant to ask you. I think it just slipped out. I mean, I think he meant to ask you... just not exactly when he did."
Anya rolled her eyes.
"Remember how Blaise asked Luna to marry him?"
Anya giggled. "He was shouting at her so loudly that her hair was ruffling."
"We're none of us conventional."
"I suppose I should apologize for hitting him."
Pansy snorted. "Hell no, you should not." She stood and helped Anya to her feet. Pansy tucked some of Anya's golden hair behind her ears. "Just talk to him, but don't give him any slack. Just answer the question."
"What should I say?"
"You don't need me for that, Ahn. You already know your answer. You knew your answer even before you punched him." Pansy leaned up and pecked Anya on the nose. "Go get him. He's waiting for you to." She turned Anya around, gave her a little push towards the kitchen, and swatted her playfully on the rear for good measure.
Everyone froze when Anya stepped into the kitchen.
"Why don't we all go into the living area?" Luna said loudly before grabbing Blaise and dragging him out.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Merlin love Luna, but she can be so awkward sometimes."
Ginny slapped his arm. "Don't be mean to Luna."
The kitchen cleared.
Anya was left standing and staring at Theodore with the ice pack still on his eye.
"Why didn't you have Ginny heal that?"
"Needed a reminder of your answer."
"Are you stupid? Wait, you're male, of course you're stupid."
"Hey!" He snapped, rising and hurling the ice pack viscously at the sink.
"That was not my answer, Theo."
"Oh? What was it then?"
"That was for surprising me like that."
He reached into his pocket. "You hit me before I could even get this out."
Anya blinked at the ring box. "You're serious about this. You meant to ask me."
"No, I asked you for the hell of it. I like being muggle-punched in my soddin eye."
"But it wasn't, like, an accident. You intended it."
Anya closed the distance between them. "Can I see it?"
Theodore smirked at her.
"The ring, pervert. Can I see the ring?"
The box creaked a bit when he snapped it open. Anya gasped. Silver filigree carrying an very dark ruby stone. It was not a diamond, but she had noticed none of the Slytherins gave diamonds. The jewelry always had a darkness to it. Rubies, emeralds, and onyx. Silver too, hardly ever gold. Most of it had also been in the family for generations too.
"It was my mother's."
"Will you put it on me already?"
"Does this mean you're going to marry me, Anya?"
"If I don't kill you first."