Here Comes the Rayne Again
May 6, 2005 10:01 PM
Once she had calmed herself and Blaise was on his way, Willow went after Giles. He needed to know. Maybe Andromeda and the coven needed to know, but she'd let Irulan deal with that. Irulan was terribly rational.
She knocked on his office, but no one answered, so Willow hurried to his private rooms. She knocked on those a bit more forcefully, dancing from foot to foot in nervousness.
The door whipped open. "Yes?" He sounded -- and looked -- cross, but his features softened when he saw who it was. "Ah, hello, Willow."
"You need to come to the infirmary and talk to Tori. She had a vision and it burned her. Like literally, and she saw stuff."
He grabbed his dressing gown and stepped out of the door. "Right. After you."
Willow hurried to the infirmary with Giles behind her. Irulan had already gone. Daisy was talking to Astoria who was sitting up and eating jello.
"I'll just turn in for the night," Daisy said.
"I suppose you're here about my vision?" Astoria smiled. "I knew you'd come. I just don't know why."
"Probably because I have a pretty good idea of who's behind it," Giles stated.
"I think he knows I saw him. I somehow got a magical burn from the vision, but I did pull his mask off. He's using three demons to complete a magical chant, each of their energies working in a different way."
Giles nodded. "What did he look like?"
"Handsome. Brown hair with some gray. Brown eyes. Thin lips. Older, perhaps your age. Taller than me. I had to reach up in the vision to get the mask. He has a goatee, but I don't think he always has one."
"Did you see a mole... Right about here?" He indicated on his own face where the mole would be on the other man.
"Yes," Astoria replied in surprise.
He'd surprised her. A stream of expletives flowed from Giles' mouth. That surprised her as well.
"Well," Astoria said, finally. "If I didn't fancy Marcus, I'd be in love right now. You've a very filthy mouth, Mr. Giles."
"What's wrong, Giles? Do you know who it is?" Willow asked, ignoring Astoria's flirting.
Astoria's comment stopped Giles in his tracks. "Ah... Thank you, Astoria. I'm certain that if the situation were different, that would still be the least appropriate thing to say." He turned to look at Willow. "That doesn't sound like anyone we know? Do the words, 'The ghost of what, exactly' ring any bells?"
Willow frowned. Maybe she was tired. Nothing was ringing any bells.
Then it hit. Hard.
"Oh. Oh no. Why? How? I thought... we can't let anyone eat any candy bars."
"I think that enchanted candy bars are the least of our problems at this point, Willow." He looked at Astoria. Did you happen to see where he was hiding?"
"He burned me," Astoria said, gesturing to her bandaged arm. "He burned me in the shape of the dark mark. He has to be magically cloaked, but I don't think he anticipated a Seer as experienced as I am. I've been seeing for almost twenty years, but you give me a name, and I can find him. Someone has to have heard something. You don;t use three different demons and not be talking to someone
in Knockturn about it."
"Ethan Rayne." Giles' voice was cold.
Astoria removed both her gloves and held out a hand. She needed ammunition. The tone in Giles' voice led her to believe she needed to be at her most Slytherin to find this man, and find him she would. She owed him pain.
He took her hand.
Astoria closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She ran the hand not holding his over his knuckles. Images assaulted her because he was not trying to keep her out. He was likely close, judging from the past. Yes, she would start asking around in Knockturn. Someone had to know something.
"When I find him, what would you like me to do?"
She was not the sort that was squeamish about killing. She never had been. Daphne was just better at it. If she told her sister this man, this Ethan Rayne, was making the marks burn, Daphne would probably kill him.
"I'd like you to tell me his location. We will need answers; if I know Ethan Rayne -- and I do -- the dark mark nonsense is a smokescreen for something else. There's nowhere near enough chaos being generated by this for it to be his sole aim."
"So you'd like him alive then."
"Tori," Willow said in surprise.
"Oh Willow, there's none of us in this room that hasn't taken a life or two."
Willow did know Astoria could be dangerous. The coven always remarked on it, but it was hard to imagine her killing someone. Then again, people often said the same of her.
"Indeed, I would like him alive." Giles was calm outside. Inside, he was having lovely visions of what might be necessary to extract information from his old mate.
Astoria raised a brow. "You should not think so loudly, Mr. Giles. I am liable to develop a crush."
"Yes, well, we cannot have that... I'd hate for Andy to start throwing curses at you."
"I believe she would, yes, and Marcus happens to be terribly territorial. I do not like to think on what he would do if I strayed."
"You should rest and stuff," Willow said, slightly uncomfortable with the 'significant other' turn the talk had taken.
"I am quite tired. Please owl Marcus."
Willow nodded, though she really did not want to. Hopefully he would not want to come to the Council tonight. She did not think her nerves could take that.
"Rest, now. We can discuss Ethan later."