June 1, 2005 8:39 PM
Neville let her off early, so Pevensie decided to see if Marcus was around. Little did she know Neville had also let Rowan off work early and he followed her.
"What are you doing?" he snapped. "Knockturn is no place for a girl like you."
"I've been down here loads of times, fleabag. Back off."
Rowan grabbed her arm roughly and started hauling her back towards Diagon Alley.
Blaise's head snapped toward the familiar voice and he leaned around the corner with a curious expression. He certainly did not expect to see Pevensie and that damned werewolf tussling in the middle of the main walkway back to Diagon.
"What the hell are you doing?" he snapped.
"She walks around here like it's nothing," Rowan snapped. "I was taking her back to Diagon to wait for who's picking her up."
Pevensie jerked her arm out of his grasp. "I don't need a babysitter, Blackwood."
"That remains to be seen, Karlsen."
They glared at one another.
"She's just going to gawk at Flint," Rowan said nastily. "And I guarantee Malfoy would not be pleased about that."
"Damn right," Blaise said firmly. "I'm
not pleased about it either. March both your arses back up the alley. The last thing I need is Draco and Longbottom coming after me."
"Well, look at what we have here," a new voice said. "It's Zabini and two snacks."
"Oh fuck," Rowan muttered as bodies walked from the shadows to surround them.
"Didn't figure you'd be stupid enough to show your face around here again. Greengrass hexing the piss out of people in your name must be making you bold."
Pevensie shook herself out and rolled her neck. She was ready. There were a lot of them, but Rowan was pretty strong and Blaise had his wand. They didn't know the 'snacks' were a slayer and werewolf.
Then she recalled what Draco said - try to walk away from a fight. If that does not work, thrash them into next week.
"Walk away," she said. "Let us leave."
"Or what, little girl?"
"Or the first thing I am going to do is shatter your right kneecap then break both your wrists, so you can't walk or use your wand."
Rowen had closed his eyes and appeared to be concentrating.
Blaise huffed and turned back to the speaker of the group. "Bixby. It's so pleasant to see you."
The man glared at him. "You're a liar, Zabini."
"Well, of course I am. I just told you it was pleasant to see you."
The other wizard drew his wand and Blaise tensed, keeping a tight grip on his own. "You disappeared, taking with it all your deals, one of which was mine. Or did you forget that?"
He did his best to appear bored. "I remembered. I just didn't deem it important enough. Now please, can we be adults about this and walk away? I'd really hate for this to escalate. I just had this suit cleaned."
Blaise zoned in the man to the right of Bixby. His name was Wrigley and did most of the heavy hexing for Bixby. The moment he raised his wand, Blaise fired off a hex that made the man scream and lean forward, blood dripping from his mouth. Two other wizards stepped up to take his place.
Pevensie dodged and hex and rushed forward she landed a solid kick to the man's kneecap, shattering it. He screamed in pain. When he brought his wand arm around, she grabbed and snapped his wrist. He screamed again. He tried to punch her, and that's when she grabbed and broke his other wrist.
When she heard an inhuman shout, she turned. Rowan had decided to forego his wand. He'd been punching until he took a hex. Pevensie plowed through their attackers to help. Blaise seemed to be doing all right with his own wand.
Blaise spun around and sent a hex to a man trying to grab at Pevensie. It was one of his favorites--shattering bones in the leg. As a result, a slashing hex hit his arm and he yelped.
"Bloody hell!" he glared at the wizard. "I damn well told you I just had this suit cleaned!" That wizard fell to a blood boiling curse, but it was clear after Blaise sent it, his right hand would be useless. It took a bit for him grab his wand with his left hand and by the time he got it up again, his back was to a wall and his arm was burning with pain.
Someone grabbed Pevensie by the hair and hauled her back. She screamed. When she saw that Blaise was bleeding and surrounded, she screamed louder and started fighting almost mindlessly.
A fist was swinging towards Blaise's face when it was grabbed.
"Tha's no' nice, laddie."
Mac headbutted the guy and he went down like a felled tree. Then she just sort of unleashed. She had not had a proper fight in ages.
Pevensie gaped for a moment. She had not see Mac fight in a while. It was a little awe-inspiring. The Scotswoman was fast and brutal. She was not killing anyone, but they sure as hell were not getting back up either.
Blaise cradled his right arm to his chest. His left hand wasn't as good as his right when it came to casting, but his father had insisted he train with both hands. He'd never been so grateful. This time around, he was much more careful with his aim, but the hexes were still ruthless. He hexed the witch who had insisted on playing like a girl and pulling Pevensie's hair.
When he saw a dagger flash in the limited light of alley, and heading straight towards his surprising and lethal Scottish savior, he didn't even pause. Blaise hexed him so hard he went flying into a wall and the crunches and snaps were highly satisfying.
Mac stopped. She just stopped and gave Blaise a bewildered look. She could have stopped the dagger assailant, but the fact that Blaise had, for her - it gave her pause.
When crazy Alice and some of the other young slayers who'd come with Mac rushed into the alley, it was over in a matter of minutes. They were no where near as talented as Pevensie, and even farther away in talent from Mac, but they knew how to throw a punch or two. Mac was particularly proud of strange Alice. She'd taken down two by herself.
Mac walked slowly to where Blaise was. "Let me see then?"
She motioned for his arm. She was very confused.
Blaise's eyebrow went up, and he still had a tight hold on his wand. "So you can break it? I rather think I like it just bloodied, thanks."
"Dinna be such a wee baby. Iffen I wanted to hurt ya, I'd have done it already. Lemme see the damage, Blaise."
Rowan opened his mouth to say something, but Pevensie held up a hand to stop him. Mac was standing very close to Blaise and not punching his lights out.
He was shocked at hearing his name come from her lips. She hadn't called him anything less than "fucking bastard" in years, but she'd stopped someone from potentially damaging him more. "And how goes those healing charms, Magpie?"
The name slipped out before he could stop it, and for a moment, he was ready to bring his wand up again.
"Fair, but you'll need to actually show it to me first a'fore I can heal it."
He had not called her Magpie in anything other than malice in a very long time. He'd said it like he used to this time. It threw her a bit off balance.
Content in the knowledge that if she did manage to finish the job the other wizards started, she would have his family and close friends to deal with, he painfully took off his outer jacket and started to roll up his sleeves. "Simple slashing hex. It didn't get too deep."
He looked over at Pevensie. "You all right?"
"I'm more worried about you." Pevensie looked at Rowan. "You all right?"
Mac took the bandanna out of her back pocket and mopped up some of the blood before cleaning the wound with her wand. Blaise hissed, and she held him tighter, so he would not pull away.
"Easy. Almost finished."
She then closed the wound. It would be tender for several days, and he likely needed to see a legitimate healer, but it would do for now.
"Thanks," she said quietly. "I could have stopped the bloke wit' dagger, but I appreciate the help."
"And I could have done the same with the bastard who was about to punch me, but likewise."
He couldn't come out with the words thank you outright, but it was a start for him, he supposed.
Mac smiled up at him. "Still canna say the words 'thank you'. Some thin's dinna change. Ya need to see a real healer to make sure that doesna scar. We have one at the Council now iffen ya like to come back wit us."
Blaise sighed and decided he might as well have Willow heal it, provided she didn't make his arm fall off altogether, and make sure Pevensie got back in one piece. Draco could check on him at the same time as chewing his arse for being back in Knockturn in the first place.
As the were exiting, Aurors were coming in. Mac gave them one of the Council's business cards. The Auror taking lead starting looking at all the teenaged girls warily and let them pass. She sent the girls flooing while she apparated Blaise herself.
Mac still did not know what to do with him saving her life. She wanted to hate him still, but she did not know if she had the energy for it any longer. There were more important things to worry about. It was a long time ago. They were both different people. She knew she'd never trust him again, but she could at least be around him without wanting to tear his arms off.
"Oh what happened?" Willow looked frenzied. "Oh Blaise. Let's get you upstairs to Theo. Hurry."Bugger
Blaise dug his feet down and stopped dead in the middle of the hallway. The little bastard had done it. He'd actually accepted the healing position. "Fuck that. I'd rather gnaw my own arm off. My cousin is a healer. I'll just go see her."
Mac grabbed his chin in her hand. "Dinna make me carry ya. We're here. He'll see to you proper. Iffen he doesna, I'll beat the shit out of him."
Willow looked between them. Something had changed here.
"if you're not going," Pevensie snapped. "Then get out of our way because Rowan's bleeding."
"Heal the werewolf, but I'm going home," Blaise said firmly. "Nott hates me. I don't trust him and refuse to be healed by him."
Mac sighed before she bent down and grabbed Blaise in a fireman's carry. She started up the stairs with him.
"Mac..." Willow was watching in shock.
At first he did not know what happened. His world was turned upside down. Then he realized Magpie was bloody well carrying him. Carrying him
. "WHAT THE BLOODY FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!
" he shouted, trying to squirm and get out of her grasp. "All right, all right! I'll go, just put me down!"
She did not. She carried him all the way to the infirmary before putting him gently on a bed. Theodore Nott was frozen in shock.
Mac pointed at the healer. "Ya heal him proper or I will break yer legs."
"I told you he's not coming anywhere near me with a wand!" he hissed to Mac. "Threats or no! Why couldn't you just let me go to my cousin!"
"Shut up," she roared in his face. Then she pointed her wand at Nott. "Heal him. Now."
"I will," Willow offered. "Here, Mac, just calm down, all right."
Blaise was equally as confused as everyone else. Sure, he took care of a threat to her, but she could have handled it. He really shouldn't have been questioning her motives. It was nice to have her threaten to break bones on his behalf. "Just don't blind me or anything, Willow."
"Will you at least let Theo look at it after I'm done? Just to make sure your arm isn't going to fall off."
Theo was smirking.
Blaise nearly didn't curb the urge to hex him. "Keep looking at me like that, Nott. I made a bloke's teeth shatter in his mouth earlier. I wonder if you could still heal me if I tried the same out on you."
"All right," Willow snapped, using her mean voice. "That's enough! Nobody is hexing anyone. Theo, Blaise is my friend, and Blaise, Theo is our healer. You know how hard it was to get one. Don't mess it up."
Daisy had followed Rowan and Pevensie in. Everyone was looking at Willow. Daisy had even paused in her bandaging of the cut on Rowan's forehead to stare.
"I'm not letting him heal me," Blaise said through clenched teeth. "You? Fine. If you insist on getting a healer to look at me after, I will gladly floo my cousin to come look. Anyone but him."
Willow turned to him, her eyes going black. "You are being ridiculous. I trust him. Can't you trust me?"
He held his tongue about how the black eyes might be intimidating to some, but he still found it sexy. "Of course I trust you... insomuch as I trust you might give me a raging headache again, but just because you trust him doesn't mean he still won't do something to me. I don't understand why I absolutely have to have him heal me. He doesn't even want to."
"I'm going to heal you, you stupid man. Theo is going to to check you out after to make sure you won't be ground a third eye later or something."
Blaise tried to cross his arms but grimaced when the newly healed skin on his arm pulled tightly. He sighed and nodded. "Fine."
Willow put her hands on Blaise's arm and gave him her energy. She felt the skin healing.
Mac watched curiously.
Blaise made a face as the skin on his arm tickled. Thankfully there was no headache this time.
Willow kissed his cheek.
Theo stepped forward to check the healing. Mac grabbed his arm. "Nothin' funny."
"Why do you care?"
"Surprised we can hold a civil conversation?" Blaise asked with a smirk.
"Completely," Theo replied as he did a diagnostic charm on Blaise "You're going to live... unfortunately."
Willow slapped Theo lightly on the arm. He grinned at her.
Blaise mocked laughed before rolling his eyes. "Now, if you think you can manage not to mangle her, look over Pevensie before Draco comes in here and has a tantrum."
"Rowan is the one bleeding," Pevensie protested. "And Draco said not to let you touch me."
Theo rolled his eyes and did a diagnostic charm on her. "Bruises only."
"Thank you, Theo, "Willow said.
She looked at Blaise and Mac as Theo moved in to look at Rowan's forehead.
Blaise twisted his right arm carefully. His shirt was a lost cause and he sighed, holding the tattered fabric up. "Bastards." He glared over at Pevensie. "What exactly were you doing down there?"
"I told you," Rowan said. "She was going to look for Flint. She does it all the time."
Pevensie glared at him.
"He's sort of way too old for you and with Astoria, sweetie," Willow said.
"I dunno," Mac said. "And older, experienced mon can sometimes..."
Willow was glaring.
"Right. I'm no' helpin'."
Blaise made a face at Mac. "Ew. Flint? Really? I thought you had higher standards than that."
"Lemme see iffen I can explain this to ya, Blaise. Have ya ever looked at someone, knew they were bad for ya, but ya wanted it anyhow? No matter how bad. There were just somethin' tha' drew ya in? And besides that', he's actually a pretty mon. Raw, sexual."
Willow cleared her throat. "Neville."
"Now m'Nev is the whole package."
He faked gagged. "I don't know if that's worse than Flint or not."
"Stop it," Willow said, poking him in the arm.
Theo was looking at the three of them with a furrowed brow.
"Oi, newly healed here," he said. "And I'm down a nice suit after being ambushed during what was a nice stroll to get a book I wanted. Be nice, if you're capable Miss Black Eyes."
"Just make Draco buy you a new suit," Pevensie said. "He owes me fancy dinner and a visit to you relatives for locking me in that crypt with those vampires."
He blinked. "What the hell? He promised another trip to Italy with my
family. Do I get a say in this? Never mind the fact that you'll be coming to a family event this June, but a little time to plan would be nice."
"I was crying. I think he panicked."
Willow grinned at that.
Blaise snorted and shook his head. "I'll let nonna know that you and Draco want to come by for a dinner sometime. You learn to cry on demand and you'll have him wrapped around your finger. He was always a sucker for crying women."
"I didn't cry because I wanted something. I cried because I thought he'd left me alone in a crypt with vampires."
He fell back onto the bed. "Oh he's a moron."
"You know how Draco makes bad plans and then goes ahead and carries them out sometimes?" Willow asked. "Yeah. It wasn't pretty. I thought Buffy was going to break something on him."
"Mayhap she should have," Mac said. "Iffen Oz had done tha' to me..."
"Mac? There's a cut on your leg. Will you allow me to see to it?" Theo asked.
Mac looked down. Sure enough there was a slash in her jeans that was bloody. She had not even noticed. She pulled off her boots and shrugged out of her jeans before hopping up on the bed next to Blaise.
"Whoa," Rowan whispered, staring at her legs and very lacy black knickers.
He was a professional, but even Theo could not resist one admiring glance. She did have very shapely legs, and those knickers were not what he'd have pictured on her - not that he went around thinking about MacDougal's underthings.
Blaise snickered at all the looks she was getting, even though she was oblivious. He thought about making some smart arse comment about how she had upgraded her knickers, but she was within arms reach and he didn't fancy himself a smear on the wall.
"You demand I get seen when you have a gaping hole in your leg? Take a hit to the head, did you?"
Mac glared at him. "Tis but a flesh wound."
Theo raised a brow at her.
"I heal faster than ya do, Blaise. I'll be all right. Dinna tell me ya were worried. No' 'bout me."
"Hardly," he said, brushing her off. "I just think you went mental for a bit."
Willow poked Blaise in the arm. Here they were having a moment, and he had to go and ruin it by being all snarky. Didn't he realize who odd it was that Mac had not tried to hit him once?
Blaise sat up and glared at her. "I don't know why you're poking me. If you're bored, poke someone else. I'm delicate."
"Dinna bother, Will," Mac said. "He and I wouldna know what to do iffen we weren't dislikin' one another for some reason. Tis all his fault, though."
"That's because we've always been like kneazles and crups even when we were dating in seventh year. It's not my fault you have a clashing personality," Blaise retorted.
"Oh ho," Mac said. "Cauldron callin' the kettle black then? I'm the difficult one? It's just me. No' yer fault at all there then."
Pevensie, Rowan and Theo were busy having a private conversation.
Blaise lounged back on the bed, stretching out his spine. "Of course not. I'm perfectly affable and agreeable," he said with a slight smile.
"Typical Slytherin - deny everythin', admit nothin'. Oh, I'm sure Abbott thinks you're a right prince... until yer done wit' her."
Theo was suddenly looking at them with interest.
He glared at her. Half the time he thought about really going the distance with a girl because no one else thought he could. "Why does everyone assume my relationships last weeks?"
"Because most of the time they do," Mac said.
Willow frowned. She would like to see Blaise happy, settled... something where he was content and smiling.
"And why does everyone assume that I break off the relationships?" he asked.
"Yer really goin' to go there
wit me sittin' in th'room?"
Blaise sincerely hoped he didn't get his teeth knocked out for what he was about to say. "You were... different. Extenuating circumstances."
Mac felt that old anger well up inside her, the hurt, the betrayal, Terry Boot laughing.
Willow felt it wash over her, and suddenly she could breathe properly. She staggered and grabbed for something, anything. Her hand hit a tray of Theo's supplies, upending it and spilling things noisily.
Blaise sat up quickly. "What the hell?"
Theo ran and slid on his knees where she went down. He knew about her.
"Anger?" Theo asked.
"It's choking me," Willow whispered.
Theo looked at Mac. "You need to calm down. Right now."
Blaise didn't know where to look; his gaze went from Mac to Willow then back to Mac. "You're doing this to her?"
"Not on purpose," Pevensie said, defending her fellow slayer. "Willow feels us, the slayers. We can effect her mood. She can sense us."
Willow breathed easier. Pevensie's calm was balming Mac's anger.
"I'm guessing you made Mac mad. Good job."
Theo grinned at Blaise.
"Not on purpose," he growled out. "How do we get her to calm down?"
Theo gave him a look. "You could always just apologize to MacDougal."
Pevensie grinned. "I think that's a great idea."
"He willna mean it," Mac snapped. "He doesna care."
Rowan leaned forward braced his arms on his legs in a typical slacker pose. Daisy was even looking on with interest.
"Like hell I won't!" he snapped. "I never say sorry and don't mean it. Stop thinking you know me, Magpie."
"I only know what ya showed me! What else have I to go by? Show me somethin' different then!"
Theo's eyes widened when Willow's face flushed, as if she had been the one screeching in anger.
Blaise scoffed. "Like that will make a difference to you. You have this evil image of me in your head and nothing I say or do will change that. Why should I waste my time for a woman who has determined to hate me?"
"Mayhap I wouldna iffen ya showed me somethin' else! The Blaise I knew never existed, which is a fockin' shame, 'cause I liked tha' Blaise. All I have is... this. I have this hope tha' ya aren't a total bastard, but ya always seem to fail me there."
"Maybe I should take Willow out of here?" Pevensie said.
He hopped off the bed and continued to glare at Mac. Without looking at Pevensie, he answered her. "Perhaps you should." He was trying not to let his anger get a hold of himself.
"You may want this to be public, but if I'm going to say anything else to you about this, it'll be private. I refuse to make this a debacle for outsiders to gawk at."
Before Mac knew it, the infirmary was deserted except for her and Blaise. Pevensie had actually picked up Willow and carried her while Daisy had all but shoved Rowan and a protesting Theo out.
Mac raised one black brow at him.
He half hoped that wouldn't have worked. "You want me to apologize? Fine. I'm sorry things turned out like they did."
The question surprised him. "What do you mean why? Why do you want me to apologize? Hell if I know."
"No," Mac said. "Why are ya sorry?"
Blaise crossed his arms in an unconscious defensive gesture. "I know you think I treat women like filth and consider them less than such, but you're wrong."
"Am I?" Mac replied, stepping closer to him. "Goin' to prove me wrong then? Goin' to finally make all my hope no' be in vain?"
Against his better judgment, Blaise decided to tell Mac something he had realized until he'd looked down at her face after their last night in the Astronomy Tower seventh year. "No woman deserves to be treated like I treated you."
She sucked in air sharply, utterly surprised. It was probably as close as she was going to get to any sort of real peace with him. He had admitted to being wrong. That was unexpected.
Mac held a hand out to him.
He raised his eyebrow. "Are you trying to give me a warning to duck?"
Mac grabbed his hand, pleased when he jumped a bit. She was awfully fast.
"Iffen ya ever hurt someone like ya done me again, I'll break yer bones."
She squeezed his hand.
"Ya do right, ya never have to fear my breakin' yer jaw again, aye?"
"I don't supposed you'd be willing to give me a detailed list of what you define as 'right'? I'm a Slytherin. I'm a master at walking the line."
Mac used her grip on his hand to yank him closer to her than he'd been in almost a decade.
"You will know iffen tis wrong. Twill be in the lass's eyes like it were in mine."
He took a deep breath. "By that time it's usually too late. Any more advice?"
"Yer smart. Use yer godsdamned brain. Iffen ya think it might chaff, dinna do it."
Blaise nodded, feeling oddly pleased with himself. Some tension bled out from his body. "Duly noted."