Life's Little Annoyances
May 3, 2005 8:42 AM
Hannah knocked on and opened the door to Giles' office a crack. He was on the phone.
"Oh, I see. That long ago?"
"Ah. You didn't think it necessary to tell me?"
"Well, I thank you for deciding that I needed to know that now."
"Buffy? She's doing fine. A bit restless... Wants to fight something... You know how it is. And how is Samantha?"
Giles motioned Hannah into his office and asked the person on the other end of the line, "When is she due?"
"That soon? My goodness. Well, congratulations. I'm about to step into a meeting, but do remember me to her and pass on my congratulations."
"All right, then. Thank you for returning my call."
Giles hung up his phone. "Hello, Miss Abbott. What can I do for you today?"
Hannah held up the wooden box Ian had given her. "I got this from the Council's stalker Ian. He said it is an amulet and that you would know how to destroy it. I did not open it. His manner led me to believe it could be dangerous."
Hannah set the box on his desk.
"Might I ask what you are planning on doing about this fellow," she continued. "I worry about him sitting in his vehicle and not eating. I took him a plate of bikkies, but then he annoyed me, so I did not get to speak to him as much as I would have liked. Only enough to glean he thinks the lots of us are rank amateurs and have no idea what we are doing, and are entirely too ethical and idealistic about evil. Of course, he did not seem to realize you have a nickname, did not know who Anya or Oz really were, and had no clue about Draco. Not that any of us are rightly evil here, but our white hats can be a bit gray sometimes. I really wanted to hit him with a hex. I could tell he thinks I'm overly sweet."
She had just talked a lot, but talking about it reminded her that she was annoyed, so Hannah paused to allow that to absorb.
He raised an eyebrow. "And which nickname would that be? I have so many." His tone warned of thin ice.
Hannah swallowed nervously. "The one that starts with an R. Would you prefer I feed him a laxative with his bikkies next time for being a doubter? Because I could do that. Or is it my babbling that has you upset?"
He removed his glasses. "I am sorry, Hannah. I'm afraid that I've just had some bad news about an old acquaintance of mine... it seems he's escaped a maximum security detention facility in the states, and he did it more than a year ago. I really did not need to hear about Ian Bloody Barton's escapades and I took out my irritation on you. I apologize."
"It's quite all right. After knowing Blaise, I am a bit used to mood swings. Is there anything I can do to help? I could have a few strings pulled and have Mr. Barton, was it? I could have him obliviated. See how ethical he thinks we are then."
"Hannah, if I wanted his memory wiped, I would go down to Willow's stores and do it myself. As it stands, he may yet be salvaged as an employee in a few different capacities, artifact retrieval being only one. Before we can bring him back on, he needs to understand that we do not do things the way that things were done before, and as such, we do not have room for him in the organization in his former capacity."
"Well, the offer is on the table. I'm perfectly aware that you know how to handle a situation, but I was offering to help, not because I think you could not take care of it yourself, but because I think I might enjoy messing with him, the smug wanker."
"Ah. Feel free to mess him about as much as you wish. Just do not tamper with his memory. That's a bit... taboo, and had you suggested it to Willow you would not have liked the results."
"What am I missing?" Hannah asked.
There were so many curves and shadows with this group, so many little histories to commit to memory.
"It is a philosophical stance we have, much like our moratorium on killing humans. We will, of course, do both if absolutely necessary, however we will exhaust every other avenue available to us first. As for Willow's reaction... That is not my story to tell."
Hannah nodded. She liked Rupert Giles. She almost hoped she got fired from the Ministry because she would love to work for this man. He reminded her of Dumbledore in a small way, and that reminded her of a time when she was happier.