Same as It Ever Was
February 1, 2005 9:12 AM
Hannah had been studiously avoiding Draco Malfoy for the last week. She knew she was going to have to run into him sometime, but she had been trying to stall. He’d been a nasty git in school. She did not hold out much hope that he had changed. People like him didn’t change in her opinion.
She was so nervous about this job. Everyone had been really nice to her, though. Willow and Buffy were especially helpful, and she found Mr. Giles pleasant enough. She just didn’t understand how the Draco Malfoy she had known fit in with these people. He just didn’t seem the sort.
Hannah was getting to know the slayers a bit. She had already noted in her daily report that Xander Harris was out on assignment. Another slayer had been located. She also noted that she still had not met the recovered Anya. That truly baffled Hannah. The woman had been a woman and had chosen to be a demon. For over a thousand years she’d been a demon, and then a woman again, was left at the altar, became a demon again, died and was brought back. It was too strange.
She’d read the history, had been allowed the library. In fact, that’s what most of her first week had been – her sitting in the library here and reading the Watcher’s Journals.
“Hannah Abbott. You don’t floo, you don’t owl.”
She bristled. His voice certainly hadn’t changed. It still held that superior and mocking tone. Hannah turned to face Malfoy. He did look a bit different from what she recalled. She was surprised to see him in a suit and tie with his light hair slicked back. It eerily reminded her of when they were children. The last photo she’d seen of him in The Prophet had him with long hair and battered clothing. Now he was perfectly pressed.
Draco smirked. He’d only seen her in passing, but Hannah Abbott was quite mature. Pretty even, if you liked the delicate sort. She looked very professional in her business suit and hair pulled back into a tight bun at the base of her skull. Her blue eyes were wary. He was used to that from former schoolmates.
“Aren’t you the picture,” he said, walking around her, knowingly making her nervous.
Hannah shifted and clutched her clipboard and files more tightly to her chest.
Draco sometimes marveled at how easily he fell back into his old self. The insults were right on the tip of his tongue, but he spotted Willow and stopped.
“I have to wonder if a bit of fluff like you is equal to the task before you.”
Hannah’s eyes narrowed. “And I have to wonder what a spoiled rich brat like you is doing here? Sowing your good oats before settling into the family business?”
She had no idea where that came from. It was a very nasty comment. It was rather unlike her, but he’d put her off balance already. She was nervous and felt backed into a corner.
Draco actually laughed. He’d considered being offended, but she honestly looked remorseful about saying it, and he had goaded her. It was good she could defend herself. There was hope for Hannah Abbott yet.
“Have a good day, Abbott.”
“You as well, Malfoy,” she replied in shock as he walked away.
He hadn’t come back at her with a cutting remark. She was surprised.
“What you recall?” Willow asked as she sided up to Hannah.
“Mostly he is,” Hannah replied. “But some of him isn’t.”
“Buffy wanted to talk to you.”
“Oh. Right. Here to work, not speculate on former classmates.”
Willow grinned and walked with Hannah towards the training room.