The Greenhouse Effect
March 5, 2005 11:41 AM
The boxes weren't that heavy, but it was still a lot to carry. The plants were fresh and needed to be delivered quickly or the plants would die within a day, otherwise he would have waited for Pevensie and send her home with the order.
Neville grunted as he plopped the boxes down on Daisy's desk and winced when she jumped at the loud noise. "Sorry Daisy. Mind sending me some help. I can't magic these up to Willow's office and they're hard to carry myself."
A thin slayer with bug eyes holding a crup giggled. "She fainted. You scared her."
Daisy had fallen out of her chair and was in a pile on the floor.
"I can help ya wit' those," Mac said with a grin as she walked up. "Alice, put down yer pet and help Daisy back into her chair.
"Giles said if he messed the rug again, he'd let Oz eat him next full moon."
"Bollocks. M'watcher doesna eat dog."
Mac watched in amusement as the very gentle and soft-spoken Alice shifted her crup to one arm and lifted Daisy by the waist of her slacks as if she weighed no more than a feather. She maneuvered her into the chair then patted Daisy's head.
Mac just shook her head.
Neville picked up one of the boxes and rolled his eyes when Mac easily lifted the other with one arm. "Show off. You both are."
Alice blushed darkly, made an odd squeaking noise and then hurried off with her crup.
"I thin' ya scared her too."
"Why? I didn't do anything. I should be the one scared of her. One well placed knock about my head and I'm napping like a baby."
"Alice is brand new, and slightly off. She's most likely to miss yer head entirely. Sweet though. Very sweet little mouse."
Neville hefted the boxes, carefully not to jostle the plants too much. "Right. We can go over the slayers and their temperaments after we put down these boxes in the greenhouse. You may think they're light as a feather, but the rest of us aren't that lucky."
As they started to walk towards the greenhouses, Neville struck up conversation. "So I met Mr. Giles the other day. Nice bloke."
"Aye. I like him. Dinna know iffen he likes me though. Why'd ya have to meet him? Were if random or did he call ya to him? Iffen I can ask."
"Sure, it's no big secret. He wanted to talk about business and payments and that sort of thing. He, um, always warned me not to push you into anything you're not ready for and warned that we should keep the public displays of affection to a minimum." Neville grinned as he nudged Mac. "He said he didn't want the younger slayers to get a free show."
Mac sat the boxes down roughly in the first greenhouse. One of the slayers that worked in there had wide eyes.
"I'm an adult, and Iffen I wanted to shag ya right on this table, I would."
"Oh my god," the other slayer said before turning and running off.
Neville grinned at her. "Are you upset? I thought it was funny. He wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything against your will, which I find hilarious. Sure, it was an awkward talk at the time but I can see where he's coming from."
"I'm offended on yer behalf. Ya would never do such a thin'! No' to anyone! No' even to someone who couldna break both yer legs! Aye, I'm upset. Ya dinna just go accusin' a decent mon of such thin's!"
He laughed because he thought it cute she was so angry on his behalf. "Trust me, the accusation didn't offend me. I even told him I thought it funny that he should I think I could try to do anything against you that you didn't want me to. I'm not the one who molests people, I'm the molestee," he joked.
The slayer from before had come back to attempt to get one of the boxes.
"Someone molested ya?"
"Oh my god," the other slayer said again. She put a hand up to shield her eyes before grabbing a box quickly and running to the second greenhouse with it.
Oh he'd put his foot in it now. Neville winced. "It was nothing, just a Slytherin trying to rile me up. It didn't work, and it wasn't like a physical assault or anything."
He hoped he didn't get Astoria Greengrass killed for this.
Sure, she had not laid any sort of claim, but if someone was messing with Neville, she was going to put the hurt on. He was dear to her family. Brody was fond of him, and Connor had liked Neville a great deal, even before he'd taken to chopping the heads off of Dark Lords' pets.
"Mac," he said firmly. "I'm not telling you because there's no point getting riled up over it. I shouldn't have even brought it up. I don't want this short time I have here to be ruined because you're planning someone's demise."
"I'll no' kill anyone, but I might break a finger or two. Who was it tha' messed ya?"
"I'm not telling." At her glare, Neville stood firm. "There's no point. It was a single kiss. She did it playfully and she won't do it again. I was just shocked the first time or else she wouldn't have even done it in the first place. Let it go, will you?"
"Like hell. I want to know what tarty Slytherin bitch thought to do tha'. I'll bust her lips so's she dinna do so again."
Neville crossed his arms. He could be stubborn too. "No. There's no need for violence."
She could make him tell her, but when faced with it, Mac had a real problem even attempting to hurt him. She supposed her only option was to erase the memory, replace that kiss witha better one. She smiled deviously and stepped closer to him. Mac placed a hand on his chest gently.
"What iffen I were to promise no' to damage anyone?"
"Then I wouldn't believe you. You have your family wrapped around your finger and could send one of them to do and they wouldn't even know why." Neville sighed as he uncrossed his arms. "Drop it, please? It's no big deal. I've got to go back to work soon and I'd really like to not harp on how the little sister of someone who nearly made me piss myself in school got the drop on me."
"All righ'," Mac said sweetly, moving her hand up his chest and around his shoulder to the his nape.
She moved her body in and cuddled up to him a bit.
"Were her sister a Slytherin too?" she asked innocently.
The urge to stomp his foot in irritation almost overcame him. Neville tried to ignore Mac as she was in his personal space, much like Astoria had been. "I'm not answering that. Stop prying."
"Canna help m'self. I have a burnin' desire to keep ya safe and happy. Dinna know wha' tha's 'bout."
He smelled like sweat and fresh earth. Mac sniffed his shirt. She had to mentally check herself from gripping his arm or neck because she could bruise him.
Neville grinned, finally put his arms to use. He wrapped them around her back and sighed. "I can take care of myself, especially against snobby Slytherins. Thanks for the look out, but I'm more than capable of fending them off."
"But I happen to like defendin' ya. Tis familiar for some reason. I dinna understand it."
He'd chalk it up to being a slayer. "Well if I can't protect myself from a little thing like Astoria Greengrass, then I'll be sure to call for help."
There was a pause in which he replayed what had just come from his mouth. "Oh bugger," Neville groaned.
Mac leaned back and looked at him. "She willna bother ya again."
"I know she won't, and it's not because you're going to remove her legs or anything. Please
, Mac, just leave her alone."
She'd leave Greengrass intact, but there would be some glaring. The woman visited here. She seemed to be friends with Malfoy and Willow.
Mac just grinned at him. "Wha' will ya give me to leave her be?"
"Oh this is some sort of blackmail now, is it? I always thought Ravenclaws had a touch of Slytherin to them." Neville grinned. "What would you like?"
"Wha' Greengrass took b'force," she answered without missing a beat. "Given to me, no' me takin' it from ya."
Neville rolled his eyes. "It's not like I was some poor virgin and she threw me to the floor and had her wicked way with me. But for the record, if you kissed me, you wouldn't be taking it."
With that, he moved one of his hands up from her back to her neck and leaned down, pressing his lips gently to hers. For someone so rough, her lips were incredibly soft. Neville pulled her closer.
She had to make an effort not to hurt him.
"Oh my god."
Without opening her eyes or looking, Mac reached back and grabbed a nearby spade from the table she and Neville were standing next to and chunked it in the general direction of the slayer that kept interrupting her Neville time.
Neville pulled back with a laugh. "I promised Mr. Giles no public affection. I think you just made me break my promise."
"He best get used to it. I feel affectionate when yer about."
Mac stopped as she heard movement behind her.
"Throw tha' trowel at me, Chelle, and I'll break yer legs. Ya might hit him, and he's nothin' to do wit this. Run along a'fore ya make me cranky."
She looked back at Neville with a smile as she heard the younger girl hurry off.
"Just tell him it were m'fault."
"I can't. I'm a Gryffindor. You're not the only one who is protective." Neville grinned as he looked over her shoulder. "Now, walk me out? I do have to get back to work."
Mac tucked her arm into his and set a leisurely pace to the front of the house.
"We should do somethin' where it's no' my pickin' up Pevensie or ya bringing an order."
Then she was suddenly embarrassed. She should have let him ask that.
"That sounds wonderful. I'd offer to go to Brody's pub, but something tells me that wouldn't fly too well with our privacy. Maybe some place in Diagon would work? That is if you want to go out to dinner sometime," he hurriedly added.
"Yes," she said loudly. A bit too loudly.
This had the potential for disaster though. Her and public?
"I mean, I would love to have dinner wit ya. Aye. Thanks."
"Excellent." They arrived at the front and Neville smiled down her. "I'll owl you sometime. If you can't go, we can reschedule or something."
"I'd like to see someone stop me," she said before pulling him down for another kiss.
The thought of that amused him, and he could make a killing if he tried to sell tickets. When whispers broke out around him, Neville ended the kiss and smiled down at her. "Bye, Mac."
He waved at Daisy. "Sorry about earlier. I'll try to announce myself next time."
With a last grin, he walked out the doors of the Council.
Mac leaned again the door frame and took great enjoyment in watching him walk away.