With a Capital T
May 12, 2005 11:51 AM
Hannah was smiling as she came down the stairs. Theodore Nott was waiting by Daisy's desk. The all-purpose assistant was smiling up at him.
"You're here. You found it," Hannah said, surprised.
He had mentioned visiting, but she had not expected him to take it upon himself to find her.
"I was curious and wanted to see you again. I've been to Wiltshire before," Theo replied and left it at that.
"I want you to meet Buffy and Willow," Hannah said, linking her arm in his and hurrying him in the direction she suspected they'd be.
Blaise's warnings were in here head, but Theo seemed so nice, and he had looked her up. She did not want to believe there was something so horrible about him that she could not even be near him.
Buffy and Willow were sitting in an open lounge area that was empty this time of day because of classes. It was one step Buffy was forcing Willow to do--be in an open area where slayers could come and go as they please. She saw Hannah first.
"Hey Willow? I thought Hannah was dating Draco's friend?"
Willow turned and looked. "She is. Marta said she walked in on them making out last week."
"Willow, Buffy," Hannah said with a grin as she approached. "This is Theo. He's a healer at St. Mungos. He wanted to have a look around. I wanted him to meet you both."
Willow had known he was within the wards. He'd been restricted to the entry area until a known person had walked him through. Hannah was recognized by the Council wards. It was why there was a sign in the reception area that read 'visitors must be escorted'.
Theo did a slight bow. Willow was the first to offer her hand. She was surprised when he did not shake it, but brought it up to his lips. It was a very Draco or Blaise thing to do. Willow gave Buffy a look.
Buffy kept a small grin on her face when Theo turned to her. "Someone's old school," she commented as she offered her hand to Theo. He treated it the same. "How do you two know each other?"
Hannah blushed darkly.
"Hannah's looking into having her scar removed," Theo replied quickly. "Oh."
He was looking at her neck. She had a few of her own. He reached out to touch them as he had Hannah's, but stopped himself.
"Sorry. I just wondered if the texture was the same. Yours look older."
Willow's eyes went wide. She wondered how Buffy would react to that.
Buffy leaned back out of his reach and tensed a bit. "They are, and no, I'm not looking to remove mine. I wouldn't stare at the necks of any of the girls around here like that though. You'd find yourself against a wall with a piece of wood in your heart. They don't all have my self-control."
"I didn't mean any offense," Theo replied honestly. "I was merely curious. I'm a healer, and Hannah told me hers won't be moved by magic. I certainly would not wish to alter you."
Willow grinned. He was a nerd like her. He was all experiments and stuff. She imagined she could even smell the cauldron smoke on his skin.
"Well considering my marks were made by vamps considerably older than the one who went after Hannah and they happened years ago, I doubt it would work even if I wanted to. But if anyone could help you figure out why they won't be healed by magic, it would be Willow. She's our magician around here, besides Draco, Daisy and Mac."
"What?" Theo snapped.
He only knew one Draco.
"Draco Malfoy? He's here? He works here?" Theo looked around. "Gods dammit all the way to hell and back."
Willow blinked. "Not Draco's friend?"
"Decidedly not. He and that Zabini manwhore who calls himself his best friend made my life hell just because our mothers are friends. Not all of us want to be all-out evil. We don't get tacky tattoos and we don't sell illegal artifacts in Knockturn and we don't flounce around in masks worshipping a thing that has no nose and saying our Daddy made us do it."
Hannah blinked in surprise. She knew Blaise did not like Theo, but it seemed Theo did not like him and Draco just as much.
"Well then," Willow said.
Buffy was a bit shocked. She knew that Draco had problems getting along with others, and didn't tell people that he'd switched to work with the Council, but he'd done his fair share of bad things. Buffy still felt the need to defend him.
"I'd watch your opinions about those two. There are more than a few slayers who would defend them and not just verbally. Plus, not very smart blasting my boyfriend, not to mention Hannah's
boyfriend, right in front of us."
When Willow looked at her in shock, Buffy turned her head and gave her a small wink.
Hannah gasped. "Blaise isn't my... I mean to say... we haven't... and I didn't think you and..."
"Please," Theo said. "I've known Draco and Blaise since we were in nappies. They are just as vocal in their dislike of me. Dating him? Interesting. Did he tell you what happened to his last serious girlfriend? And not the one that lit his bed on fire with him in it. The one before that."
Willow could not help it. She giggled. She knew all of this, the bed being on fire, but it was sort of funny to hear it from someone not Draco.
"Buffy," she said. "It's okay. None of them talk like they like one another. Marcus doesn't like Draco. Blaise doesn't like Astoria or her sister-"
"Well, Daphne did try to kill Blaise," Theo added. "That would make me a bit put out with her as well."
"Draco doesn't like anyone but Blaise," Willow continued.
"No, Draco doesn't like anyone but Draco," Theo added.
"Well, he likes Pevensie and I think he's growing on Pevensie's boss. What's his name again? Neville something."
"Longbottom?" Theo chuckled out. "Right. Malfoy never liked anyone less. Except for maybe Potter, Weasley or Granger."
"Harry's nice," Willow said.
Theo snorted. "Harry Potter is a lucky moron. He's a self-important wanker. He didn't defeat the Snakeface because he was better - he defeated him because he was damned lucky."
Hannah was shocked. She had not heard such disparaging descriptions of Harry since everyone thought he was the heir to Slytherin in second year.
"And you're a regular ball of sunshine," Buffy replied. "Compared to you, Draco's downright chipper."
"Please. Catch him at the right time. I'm guessing you've yet to see one of his spectacular temper tantrums. There are two year olds that can't outdo him there."
Willow nodded. She could not disagree there. Draco could be moody and fussy. He could also be childish and prejudiced. And his temper tantrums? She'd only seen one. That was enough.
"Ever think of leaving the wizard hospital and working somewhere else?" Willow asked out of nowhere.
Hannah blinked in surprise. After all of that - he gets a job offer?
"No," Theo replied. "What makes you ask?"
"We need a real healer here, and everyone we've approached says no."
Buffy laughed out loud. "He won't be able to heal anyone because he and Draco and going to be duking it out every other minute."
"You really think Draco would defy me?" Willow asked. "If I asked him not to fight, do you think he'd do it anyhow?"
Theo frowned. "Which one of you is he dating again?"
"Me," Buffy said cheerfully. "Blaise is the one trying to get Willow to come back from the lesbian side."
Hannah didn't mean to, but she glared at Willow.
"I'm not," Willow said quickly, marvelling at how mean Hannah looked just then. "Blaise is just a friend."
Theo arched a brow. "That might just be the first time a woman has said that about Blaise Zabini without adding the words with benefits
Hannah glared. "Hey."
"Back on track, we do kind of need a healer on staff. Slayers tend to get roughed up, even if they're not out battling vampires and demons, and some can be serious." Buffy shrugged. "If we can vet you, I have no problem bringing you on board to help my girls."
"I haven't agreed," Theo said.
"But I think you will," Willow added. "You'd have your own infirmary and lab."
Theo looked at her.
"And Daisy knows a little and I do too. We could help you."
Dammit. "I'll consider it," Theo replied nonchalantly.
His own lab and infirmary was a big draw. He had to share a lab with his coworkers currently. There was allotted time and schedules and all of that nonsense. Malfoy and Zabini were a big check in the cons column, though. He'd have to do a bit more research on this Council. He'd have to make a list, see if it seemed better.
"Of course, you'll have to be approved by the head of our Council, Giles. He's the one you have to watch out for," Buffy added with a grin.
Theo smirked at her. If he could survive growing up with Thaddius and Hortense Nott as parents and an older brother like Bradley, he could survive anyone. Theo still had scars on his back from the lashing he took for refusing to take the dark mark. His father and brother had taken turns. His were made by magic too, and would not go away. It was one of the reasons he was so fascinated with scars, especially magical ones.
"Giles gives me a little leeway with the hiring," Willow said.
"Of course he does. He just tells me to go kill things."
Theo frowned. Were they trying to scare him? Because he did not frighten easily. He kept a stoic look on his face.
"I would assume as a slayer you do the killing quite often."
Hannah's eyes were wide. Who asked that? Then again - Slytherin.
"Well, it's a kill or be killed situation. And dying? Not so much fun."
Now Theo was intrigued. "You've... died and come back?"
"I would very much like to hear that story."
Willow frowned slightly then made her face relax. Theo was looking at Buffy oddly now. With interest he did not have before, and Willow had to wonder why. It was almost as if he suddenly decided she was desirable, but Willow could not figure out what had triggered it. She hoped it was just the scientific part of him being curious.
Theo did not know how he was remaining still. This was very exciting. He was extremely curious about the slayer now.
"Well then google me. It's not something I like telling to complete strangers." Buffy frowned and turned to Willow. "Can I be googled?"
"You have a wikipedia page, but he's a wizard, Buffy, and unless I am mistaken, a pureblood one at that. I don't think saying 'google me' will help." Willow looked at Theo. "I suppose I could let you read an edited version of my journals."
"You keep journals?"
Willow grinned at Buffy. "I do a lot of things you don't know about."
"I'm not sure whether to be intrigued or terrified. My reactions will vary on the things I read in these journals, because I'm curious," she replied back before turning to Theo. "The whole caveman thing? Totally didn't happen."
She was funny. Theo suspected she did not mean to be. It was interesting.
"Well, I can see I shall have to come back and visit, and yes, I am a pureblooded wizard."
Hannah smiled. She liked that Theo was being so affable. Perhaps Blaise was mistaken about him. Then again, he had been awfully nasty about Blaise and Draco, but he was interested in learning more about Buffy, and was willing to spend time with Willow. Perhaps he was like Blaise and Draco - wicked but not evil.
"And I can see you're going to stir up trouble. I hope you're ready for it," Buffy said.
"More than you know," Theo replied with a smirk.
he knew she took it as he was more than ready for what came his way, but Theo meant he would stir up more trouble than she could comprehend. Malfoy was going to have a fit when he realized Theo was here.
That was going to be a very good day for Theo. He did like watching Malfoy and his goons sputter in apoplexy. He always had.