June 10, 2005 11:40 AM
Mac was doing a patrol in Knockturn. Willow had a lot of the more seasoned slayers doing so nowadays. All ears to the ground. Everyone had an eyes out for this Ethan guy. He was proving elusive.
Mac knew that voice. She dreaded turning around.
Suddenly a hex hit her in the back and she went down with a gasp. Oh he was going to pay for that with more teeth.
Blaise had seen the entire thing. He hadn't meant to. Since the last time he'd come down to Knockturn had ended in bloodshed, he was much more careful about when he came down and where he showed his face.
Part of him wanted to turned around, walk away, and forget it ever happened, but this was different. This was Magpie and the man he bet with and used Magpie's feelings as gambling chips.
Oh he was going to fucking hate himself after this.
"I find it humorous that you hexed her in the back," he said, walking out of the shadows. "Too scared to do it from the front, Boot?"
Mac got to her feet with her teeth bared. She was going to hit terry Booth so hard his grandchildren were going to feel it. And of all people to see her go down - Blaise. It was like rubbing salt in an old wound.
"Oh this is hilarious. You're going to chastise me on hurting her. That's very funny, Zabini. It's like a little reunion here. I owe this bitch for some missing teeth."
"Yer 'bout to miss a few more."
"And I'm going to laugh," Blaise said with a grin. "Did you stand around here and wait for her or something? What business do you have in Knockturn?"
Boot looked pinched, so Mac started laughing. "Yer stalkin' me? For somethin' I did to ya tha' ya deserved seven years ago?"
"You put your filthy hands on me. You were just another whore that cost me money because none of you stupid witches could keep you legs together when he was around."
"Careful. You put a hand on me and Longbottom has an accident."
Mac froze. She was going to kill him. Painfully.
Blaise's eyebrows went up. Who knew Terry Boot could actually give a good threat. "What makes you think you could even get close to him? Magpie here is ten times stronger and faster than she was the first time she bloodied your face. And working for Longbottom is a werewolf and a pissy teenage version of Magpie that has connections to Draco, who would most certainly damage you if you nearly hurt her. Add on to the fact that Willow would hate it if you pissed off Mac and she did almost end the world."
He looked down at his nails nonchalantly, still watching Boot in his peripheral vision. "If I could have avoided this altogether, I would have, but now I'm involved. Be that smart Ravenclaw you could be and walk away."
It was silent for a long moment before Boot threw a wild hex at Blaise that had him ducking then one that clipped the side of Mac's head as she leapt at him.
"You're both going to rue the day," he screeched as he ran off.
Mac sat on the dirty ground looking on in bewilderment. Rue the day? Who talked like that?
Blaise laughed loudly. He knew he was supposed to be silent for his own necks' sake, but Boot taking off like a little girl was too funny.
Mac looked at him. "Did tha' really jus' happen? I'm embarrassed for my house. He ran off like a wee lass. I canna believe he's had sand in his vagina for this long 'bout some teeth he had magically regrown anyhow."
He was still chuckling. "It was the rue the day
that did it for me. Retreat was actually a smart tactic, but the last words and screeching like a barn owl ruined the effect."
Mac laughed herself. Until she tried to get up and her center of balance was off. He must have done more than graze her. She stumbled unsteadily like a drunk.
Before he realized what he was saying, Blaise looked over at her. "Are you all right?"
She looked about as surprised as he did at the question.
"I'm dizzy. Bastard actually hit me."
She tried to walk and started stumbling all over. She felt like she had water trapped in her ears. Her balance was practically nonexistent.
Blaise grabbed her arm and leaned her against a wall. He cast a charm at her back to see what she was hit with. "Well, lucky for you, it's nothing too serious, but he certainly fucked up your center of balance and your depth perception."
He shrugged. "I'm good to figuring out what's wrong with people. I'm shite at fixing it."
After thinking about returning to the Council, Blaise made a face. "You really want to risk Nott fixing you up, especially since I'm in the vicinity? There are others who could look you over."
"I'm supposed to go to him. Willow wants records kept of anything we see healers for. He'll heal me right, or I'll tear his arms from their sockets."
Mac stumbled and grabbed onto him to stay upright.
Blaise made a face. "Fine. Let's get you back to the Council then. Think you can stand a side-along? I don't want to splinch myself trying to do a good deed."
Mac nodded and closed her eyes. She had never been this dizzy in her entire life. She was not sure how they got to the Council. She did not pay attention. Her head was starting to hurt. When she could not manage the stairs, she groaned because Blaise had to lift her up to carry her. This had to be payback for him being carried by her. There were a great many slayers milling about today, and they all gasped at him carrying her up the stairs.
"I canna believe this. I'm so embarrassed."
Blaise hitched her up so he had a better grip on her as he finished going up the stairs. "Well you're not being carried over the shoulder of someone half your size. That's
embarrassing. You can tough it out."
It was strange. Not too long ago, she would not have even allowed him to touch her. Maybe something within her was mellowing and letting go. He'd helped her with Boot. He did not have to, just like he did not have to now.
Her vision swam when she opened her eyes, but Mac knew enough to know Theodore Nott had dropped something when Blaise carried her into the infirmary.
Blaise rolled his eyes as he put Mac on a bed. "Tell me you're good for something besides wasting air and doing a fish impersonation, Nott."
"Fuck off, Zabini. What happened?"
"Terry Boot clipped me wit' a hex. Now I have no center of balance. I'm dizzy."
Theo did a diagnostic charm on her. "Why would he do that? Surely not about his teeth? And a suped-up befuddlement charm is all he had? What an arse pansy."
He did a countercurse, and Mac relaxed against the bed with a sigh. There had been a moment or two when she thought Blaise would hate her all over again because she would have thrown up on him.
Blaise stood back as Nott did his work, listening closely for the charms he used to get rid of the hex. If he heard something he didn't like, he would have owled the family in the charms business to double check. He and Magpie may have been on rocky terms, but his relationship with Nott was shitty at best. Nott won the 'Who Blaise Can't Stand' competition hands down.
"He was a disappointing Ravenclaw. Are you done now?"
"No," Theo snapped, stepped between Blaise and Mac to edge the other Slytherin out of the way.
He really was finished, and Mac would be quite fine, but this was an excellent opportunity to annoy Zabini.
"I didn't know you were hanging out with this arsehole again, MacDougal."
Mac grinned. She and Theodore Nott had had an interesting conversation several years ago when she was still at Hogwarts. She was in detention with Filch for knocking Boot in his teeth, and Nott, though he rarely got caught, just so happened to be in the same detention for hexing one of his housemates into unconsciousness. Mac could never be certain, but she'd had an odd feeling he'd gotten himself a detention just to speak with her.
The gist of the conversation was that she was strong and Blaise was unworthy of her. Mac had never forgotten it or how much she had needed to hear those words at that point in her life.
"He just happened to come along. He's pretty handy to have 'bout in a duel, you know."
Blaise glared at Nott's back. He was loathe to stand around with no purpose but he didn't want to leave anyone
alone with the bastard. "What else do you have to do?"
Theo looked at him and smirked. Oh this was fantastic. Zabini didn't want to leave MacDougal alone with him. That was actually funny. Blaise didn't trust him. Like Mac couldn't break several bones before Theo could manage to hurt her. He'd observed many of the slayers to get a feel for what their healing needs might be, but Mac was fast. Summers was deadly. Jade was another he would not mess with. Not because she was quick, not that she wasn't fast, but it was mostly because she was fearless and a little crazy.
"No one said you had to stay," Theo replied innocently.
Blaise narrowed his eyes. Nott was done, but was hanging about to piss him off. If only someone else needed a healing could come busting through the door, or if Draco could come in and help him get Nott to back off.
"And no one said you had to grow up to be a bitchy little pillock, yet here you are."
"Not everyone thinks I'm so terrible," Theo grinned with lots of teeth. "Hannah certainly doesn't."
Mac looked from Nott to Blaise. She was ready to jump between them if things got physical or magical. Willow would not like hexes or punches being thrown in the infirmary.
He forced himself to look nonchalant. "Hannah would invited You-Know-Who over for tea. She's just that type of girl. It doesn't surprise me she feels pity for a berk like you."
"Pity? She certainly does visit the infirmary and go to lunch a lot with people she feels pity for. In fact, I think, being here now, I see her more than you do. Funny that. If you're not entirely careful, she might fall under someone else's charm."
Mac looked at Blaise nervously. Everyone who observed them swore he and Hannah were the real deal, and for Hannah Abbott's sake, Mac hoped that was true. Though, if anyone could turn a head around here, it was probably Theodore Nott. Salazar Slytherin had made a great many of them handsome and charismatic. Nott had that 'I just rolled out of bed' look to him and very startling blue eyes. It was a bit sexy. Even she could admit that.
Not that Blaise wasn't. He oozed it. Even as a teen he'd had energy to him that drew girls in. He still did, but Mac knew that was not what it was about with Abbott. She honestly liked the person under all that man-pretty.
"That's assuming someone else around here has
charm," Blaise said icily. "And even if they did, she wouldn't look. Fuck off, Nott."
"She would not look if she knew there was a reason to be loyal. Does she, Zabini? Have you made you intentions clear so she's not confused? You have this habit of not saying what you mean. You give mixed signals. People get conflicted about it. Isn't that right, MacDougal?"
Mac could not deny that, but at the same time, a part of her did not want to agree with Theo because that meant being against Blaise.
"Do you ever get tired of trying to piss me off?" Blaise asked with a laugh. "I don't think I've realized before how sad and pathetic your infatuation with this really is. Give it up, Nott. Find someone else to goad into your entertainment."
"This isn't about you, you egomaniac. Ask yourself what's different this time."
Mac frowned. Blaise looked confused.
"Since when do I not wait until after you're finished?" Theo quirked a brow. "You don't even know what you have, and if you're not careful, someone could take it away before you fucking figure it out."
That was it. Blaise's wand was out in a flash, and he didn't give a shit who saw him or what hex he threw, as long as Nott's face was obliterated. "Say that to me again, Nott, and we'll see how quick you bleed out."
Mac jumped off the bed and grabbed Blaise's wand arm, forcing it to point to the floor. "No."
Theo just smirked before turning to walk off.
Blaise tried to raise his hand, but she was able to keep his arm still. His jaw was clenched so tight he should have been worried about cracking a tooth. "Someday I'm going to break that bastard in half."
"No' in Willow's infirmary ya aren't," Mac said quietly. "Tis what he wants. Make yerself feel better and go by Draco's rooms or Hannah's office, aye?"
He finally put his wand away. Going by Hannah's wouldn't make things better, so he decided to go bitch to Draco. "You're better? No side effects?"
"Aye. I am," Mac replied, quietly. "Thank you."
Something has shifted with them, and Mac was unsure how to proceed. She was so used to hating him. Now she did not know where she stood.
Blaise let out a deep breath. "Then I'll guess I'll get out of your hair and go see Draco. Next time do us a favor and don't wait for Boot to toss a hex. Punch his teeth out again. Aim for shoving them all down his throat."