No One Knows Where Our Secrets Go
May 18, 2005 7 PMAstoria,
Dinner at Allegra's tonight?
Blaise wasn't exactly sure if Astoria would come when he owled, but he figured it was worth a shot. He needed to call in his favor, and if he had any chance of her being agreeable and not so bloody irritating, he needed to be a gentleman, hence the polite owl and the invitation to dinner.
Allegra's and Belladonna's were her two favorite places in Diagon Alley. Allegra's was more price-y. For Blaise to ask her to dinner here - it must be serious. She put on her best little Chanel suit. She even put her hair up and wore a matching hat. She had not eaten all day in anticipation. She had not known why she was not eating until his owl had arrived, though.
"Well," she said, grinning like the kitty who ate the canary. "Imagine my surprise. You know how I love surprises, it being so difficult to actually surprise me. What on earth can you need from me?"
The waiter got her chair for her. Astoria took off her hat and gloves, smiling.
Blaise bit back a remark about her looking too damn cheerful and sat up, stretching his back but remaining relaxed. "I'd comment how I'm hurt that you would think I wanted something from you, but you know me too well." He took a drink from the wine he'd already ordered. "Shall you enjoy the free meal or would you like to get right down to business?"
Astoria let out a sinister chuckle.
"I'll have a glass of white wine and a salad to start. Also, bring us some bread. Rye please, and make certain it's still warm," Astoria said to the waiter. "What would you like, darling?"
Blaise nodded to the waiter. "The same. Let's keep things simple while we can."
Once the waiter left, Blaise rotated his glass and watched the wine swirl through the crystal. "I'm surprised you actually came. Curiosity get the better of you? Been obscenely bored?"
"Oh darling," Astoria said. "I'll always come when you crook your finger."
She waited for that to settle in.
Blaise chuckled. There were times when they were like crups and kneazles and were lucky to not kill each other, and then there were times when it was a damn shame they held no attraction for each other. This was one of those times.
"So vulgar. Does your mother know you speak like that?"
"Of course not. Can you imagine the look on her face?"
Astoria did just that and started chuckling.
"She's still in denial Daphne prefers quim to cock."
The waiter had picked then to bring their drinks and salads. He nearly dropped the plates.
Blaise smirked when he noticed the embarrassed flush on the waiter's face when he walked away. "No need to be purposefully cruel," he mockingly admonished.
"There is every need where Queenie Greengrass is concerned."
Astoria grabbed the waiter's sleeve when he tried to leave. The poor boy gave a shout of alarm.
"I'll have the Cornish game hen with blackberry sauce with a side of grilled vegetables."
"Crown roast of lamb in the orange mint sauce with grilled lemons on the side," Blaise said flippantly. "And remind the chef to take care not to burn the meat, will you?"
The waiter quickly nodded his head and scurried off. "A bit green around the edges, isn't he? Must be new. Tomorrow we'll no doubt be engaged according to the local rag of a paper with all the sordid details of our long affair splayed out for all the commoners to see."
"Don't get my mother's hopes up," Astoria groused. "I quite prefer Marcus. He leaves nice bruises. I'm always engaged to someone. Did you know Theodore Nott is back in England? Yes, you did. Someone told you. Interesting, isn't it? All we need is Pansy back from abroad and Vincent out of Azkaban, and we'll have a full set. Unless you want to include Pucey, Warrington and Montague as well. Bletchley and Higgs, maybe?"
Blaise snorted. "Oh yes. Let's have a Slytherin massacre. You know we'd all kill each other if put in the same room with no level-headed person to try to get between us, although I wouldn't mind having Pansy back. It would be nice to be around a female I didn't want to constantly strangle."
"You don't want to strangle your little blonde. Unless that's what they're calling it nowadays, but I would like to have Pansy again. Daphne's so busy with her potion-making, she has no time to shop, and at least Pans could appreciate any discussion of Marcus' finer qualities."
He made a face at her. "I actually like this wine, which is a very large feat in and of itself, so can we steer to another direction of conversation before I revisit it in an unpleasant manner?"
"What has you upset? My discussing you and Abbott or my delight in what a naked Marcus Flint is really good for?"
He opened his mouth, but Astoria held up a hand.
"Fine. Why don't we broach the subject of what you want from me?"
Blaise nodded. "Very well. You mentioned Nott being back in the fold. He's taking Hannah out for a lunch date. I don't trust the smarmy bastard, and Hannah trusts everyone. Since he's the one making the arrangements and I can't very well spend my precious time intercepting owls, I figured you could prowl in the shadows for me, since you're so damn good at it."
"A compliment? From you?"
Blaise was glaring.
"You needn't be jealous of Theo, darling. Abbott only sees you. She's quite besotted and is just as possessive as you can be, but if it would please you, I'll follow him. I'd like to speak with him anyhow. His current habits will not take him from being a bachelor."
"It's not her becoming attached I'm worried about," he said thoughtfully. "But I am worried about what his interest is. If you don't think he would prefer her as a partner, what are
"That's between myself and Theodore. It's extremely private. I'll take care of it. You need not worry for your Hannah. He would not harm her. He would not harm anyone living."
Blaise finished off his wine. "Well, since you'd like to speak to him anyhow, I don't suppose there is a chance that you'd do this for old times' sake and not because you owe me a favor. I rather like having that dangle over your head."
"Oh course this counts as your return favor, but if it's any conciliation, I will be asking you for another favor in the near future. That would put you back on top."
Astoria wiggled her brows suggestively at him.
"I'm intrigued... on both counts. You strike me as the sort of person to be on top."
"Not always. There's something to be said for being... bound."
Blaise grinned. "It's a shame you're so attached to another. Catch us in the right mood and we can actually be affable to each other."
"I know. Such a pity. With your fetish and my proficiency with a riding crop..." Astoria just shook her head.
The waiter was standing there with their dinner looking stricken. Astoria chuckled as he set their plates before them, hands shaking.
Blaise raised an eyebrow. "Is there something wrong? Surely your supervisor doesn't need to be alerted to some sort of ailment you seem to have come with."
"Blaise, stop it. The poor man is already frightened. It's all right. Neither of us bite... hard."
"Be anything else?" Astoria finished. "Not for me. This looks lovely. Do run along. We'll motion if we need you."
Blaise looked over his dinner. Everything looked decent enough to eat. "Not bloody likely," he muttered. "The only reason I'd motion him over again is for the entertainment value."
"His unease is delicious."
There were a few moments of silence as they both situated their food and began eating.
"So you wish me to learn the location of Theo and Hannah's lunch then owl you? Send a patronus? Make a floo call? You know, this sounds very familiar. You are Draco are completely ridiculous in your jealousy."
"Well, why don't you just alert me however you did Draco, then," he replied, making a face.
"Very well," Astoria responded, with an enigmatic smile.
Blaise glared. "Aren't you going to tell me how you did it? It's not my fault Draco doesn't like to be kept in the loop. I actually do."
"How I alerted him? Simple really. He waited by the floo, I followed, then flooed. He was unnaturally fussy about it."
Astoria took her time eating. She wondered if this would be filling or if she'd need dessert as well. If Blaise was paying, she should probably make it hurt.
He rolled his eyes. "I go on one date without talking it over with him first and he throws a fit. I can have a sex life without his help."
He was completely missing the point.
She sighed. Loudly. "It isn't always about you, darling."
She could explain further, but Astoria chose not to. She did hope she happened to be there when he figured it out. His face would be priceless, as was hers when she knew. It was improbable and problematic, but not impossible.
"Of course it is," he replied lightly, scraping off another sections of lamb off of his fork with his teeth. "I'm an egotistical, self-centered, self-righteous bastard. Everything has to be about me."
Astoria rolled her eyes. "When you figure out what I am talking about, then we can discuss it. I'm not doing all the work for you, Blaise. He's your
best friend, you know. Perhaps you should pay a bit more attention to him."
"Oi, I pay plenty of attention. He's the one who threw me at a drunk woman, hexed my clothes off, and left me there. When that wasn't good enough, he had to take said woman and hijack my date for no apparent reason, punching
me when all is said and done..."
Blaise trailed off with a sigh of irritation. "I do wish he'd stop throwing me at her. Literally."
Astoria did not know how he had survived this long being in Slytherin and being so oblivious.
"Whatever else he does, Draco does want you to be happy. He might have a funny way of showing it, but you know how he is. He does things in his own manner. It's brash and catastrophic most times."
"Oh really?" he asked in mock interest. "I had no idea. He's acting like he did when we were young and I stole his toy and he would throw other toys at me to distract me."
Blaise chuckled, going to spear another piece of meat, but missed completely, sending the meat clattering off the plate onto the table. His eyes widened as he looked up at Astoria. "No."
Astoria just raised one eyebrow slowly. "Look who finally decided to join the class discussion."
He dropped his fork completely. "Not all of us have the luxury of getting to see the future." Blaise sat back in shock. "What the hell is he thinking? What's he trying to distract me from?"
Astoria slammed a hand to her face. "Once again, not about you
"Then fucking spell it out for me!" he snapped. "What else have I shown an interest in besides..."
He groaned and let his head fall back. "Oh Merlin. Not her. Anyone but her."
Astoria folded her arms across her chest and leaned back in her chair with a glare. It was not her fault he could not follow the figurative trail of bread crumbs here. There was no need to shout.
"How long have you been sitting on this?" he asked, still trying to put all the pieces together.
"I've had my suspicions for some time now, but he does not allow me to touch him, so I could not be certain. You can't say anything, Blaise. Not to him. He hasn't figured it out yet. He has no idea, and I'm worried he's going to get hurt."
Blaise let out a shocked laugh. It shouldn't have surprised him that Draco didn't know what he was doing. If anyone was more clueless than him, it was Draco. But he wouldn't say anything. No, he could do much more with his actions. It looked like Miss Lovegood was going to be invited on many more dates in the future.
"I don't like what you're thinking, and no, I don't have to be a Seer to know what you're thinking."
"Well lucky for me you have no say in what actions I take."
"Well, no, of course not, but I can always take my own actions. Just ask Marcus about that. You best tread lightly. You hurt him by accident, by stepping over those lines you're so fond of stepping over with people, and you are not going to like what happens. And yes, that very much was a threat."
She smiled and put a bite in her mouth.
Blaise just raised a brow. "What are you going to do? Spoil me for what I'll have for dinner the next night?"
Astoria just stared at him. "I'll step over some lines of my own. Big ones."