June 22, 2005 11:45 AM
Pansy stood at a crossroads of hallways with her arms crossed, eyes narrowed, and foot tapping. She had taken a left, and somehow ended up back here because she was sure she'd seen that painting before.
It all started when she was bored. She went the easy route to find Blaise, but he wasn't home. Then she decided to bother Draco at his workplace, but she couldn't find his damn rooms. Pansy wasn't about to have some screaming teenage girl show her where the rooms where, but now she was a tad bit lost.
This time, she went right.
Theo walked around the corner after coming from the room of a slayer that had a cold. He froze when he saw Pansy Parkinson. He had not seen her much since school. She was still gorgeous to him. He tucked his clipboard under his arm.
"Let me guess. You were bored, came to look for Draco, and now you're lost."
Pansy knew Theo worked here, but hadn't known she would run into him so soon. She walked over to him and gave him a haughty smirk. "I refuse to be so simplified, but hypothetically, yes. I never expected to run into you in the halls."
"A slayer had a bad cold. I went to check on her in her room instead of making her walk all the way to the infirmary when she isn't feeling well. You should have owled or flooed first. I think Draco and Pevensie are out for the day."
Theo smirked at her.
She narrowed her eyes at him. It figured the one day she kept her day free everyone was off doing who knew what. "Careful. You sound a bit too pleased about the whole situation. I'd hate to have to hex you just after our reunion."
"Why should I hide the fact that I am pleased to have you all to myself? Draco and Blaise aren't the only ones who don't like to share, you know. I'm just less vocal about it. I'm on my way to the infirmary if you're truly that bored. I would love company that's of age for once."
Theo very politely held out an arm for her wondering if she'd take it.
It was no secret she hated ANY infirmary, and would rather lose a limb that go to St. Mungo's, but she was confident that Theo knew her well enough to not risk her ire by doing something stupid. "The moment someone bloody comes in, I am leaving. I want no bodily fluids on me that are not mine. Clear?" she asked as she took his arm.
"Crystal," Theo replied. "But is that all body fluids or only certain ones? Because from what I understand, certain ones might be acceptable. Or am I misinformed?"
She dug her nails into his arm, glad she'd had the mind to cast a strengthening and sharpening charm on them that morning. "Misinformed or not, I plan on doing nothing in this infirmary except talking."
"I would never ask you for an assist with healing, Pansy. I'm too much of a control freak in that area to do so, so no worries, and stop gouging me with your nails before I start to like it and get funny ideas about you."
Pansy chuckled. "You're too much of a control freak at everything." She dug her nails into his arm again before loosening her grip.
"So," he said as they entered the infirmary. "How did you like your travels abroad?"
Theo start organizing his supplies. He was very meticulous about the way things were placed. He always had been. Now that this was his infirmary, it would be organized as he saw fit. This was much better than St. Mungo's. Everyone there shared and was always messing up his organization. Here only Willow and Daisy touched stuff, but they had both already learned to put things back where they had found them. Willow was particularly good at that. So much so that Theo usually had little to no idea she had been in the infirmary.
"Rather boring to be honest," she said flippantly as she looked around. There wasn't much to see and she found herself walking over to Theo to observe him. "Very few places held my interest longer than a few months. The shopping was excellent though. I see all those nights of kicking your roommates out of the dorm so you could study paid off, Healer Nott. Are you still such a buzzkill?"
Theo did not move any of his body except his eyes to her. "Yes."
He knew what his housemates thought about him. Sometimes it bothered him, sometimes it did not. The real problem was that none of them really knew him. He was not like Draco or Blaise where everyone had known what shit his parents pulled with him. He kept his bottled.
Pansy shook her head. It was a shame. With his vast learning curve, Theo decided to become a healer. It was a profession that didn't pay well or get recognition unless he catered to the wealthy purebloods, and he'd already shown he had no interest in that.
"There are more things to life than work, Theo."
He looked at her again, only moving his eyes. Theo smirked. "Oh I know."
A part of him felt like maybe Pansy was hitting on him just a little bit, but that was impossible. Malfoy would have apoplexy, and Pansy knew it, so there was no way.
"You are supposed to entertain me, Theo," she said with a sigh and a glare. "I'm still bored."
Theo turned to face her fully and clasped his hands behind his back. It was his classic pose.
"Well, I can't carry a tune even if I had a bucket. I'm an above-average dancer, and theatrics were never my forte. I left that to Zabini and Malfoy, so what would you like?"
She rolled her eyes. "Now you're just being an arse."
"And that's different from any other day how, exactly? Pansy, you have known me since I was a toddler. Malfoy and Zabini aren't the only ones who've perfected the art of annoying purposefully. What would you like to hear? A story? I've a few of those that you might not have heard but none with happy endings."
"I refuse to believe you've done nothing but hang about with the old and dying all these years," Pansy said.
"Believe what you like. There are some things I'm not ready for people to know about me. I do have my hobbies, but I find I like solitude. It allows me to think. I read, and I enjoy listening to programs on the wireless. I have a date with the blonde vampire slayer. The one that died."
She'd been caught up by Blaise, and so she knew exactly which vampire slayer he was referring to. "The one Draco tried to have a fling with?" A smirk curled her lips. "Asking for trouble, aren't we?"
"I'm honestly interested," Theo said with a bit of a bite to his tone. "It has nothing to do with damned Draco, but you know him. He's going to say I'm doing it to get at him when really I don't care so much. The fact that he'll be bothered is just a bonus. Like I said, I happen to like her. We seem to blend well for some odd reason."
"I've yet to meet her so I can't comment on the situation, but since you are an opposite of Draco it would make sense that a woman he feels nothing but sisterly love for would be attracted to you. I do hope you can heal yourself, or that you're still quick enough to dodge hexes."
"If his eye still gives that slight twitch before he draws his wand, then I'm safe. If Malfoy's learned to hide that tell of his, then my healing is pretty spot-on. Though somehow Buffy doesn't strike me as the sort who allows a man to fight her battles. I imagine he'll earn some bruises if he forgets that... as he tends to do. His motto should be 'leap before you look' or possibly 'hex now and ask questions later'."
That made her laugh. Draco had a hard time curbing the impulse to hex on her behalf, and she had a feeling he would have to learn the restraint all over again. "So where are you taking this deadly woman for her date?"
"I have yet to decide. I gather that she likes shopping, so of course, you need to meet her. She has an affinity for cheese, so perhaps a fondue place. I haven't decided. I might ask her friend Willow for ideas."
"There is an excellent restaurant with fondue in Dublin, as well as spectacular shopping." She decided to help out, because if the date went well, there would be second dates, and Pansy was feeling vindictive of the fact that Draco wasn't here to entertain her.
Theo frowned at her. "All right. Why are you helping me? Do you just feel like seeing a Draco tantrum or something?"
"I haven't seen you since school, Theo. I'm feeling generous," Pansy replied. It was nice to throw people off balance. "Don't count on it happening again."
"I wouldn't dream of it. If you started being so magnanimous and generous all the time, I would check for the Imperius curse or you being potion-drugged."
She scoffed. "Then I would be insulted that you think me so weak-minded or stupid enough to take potions that I cannot confirm the source of."
"You do drink, though," Theo said seriously. "Would not be very difficult for someone versed in poisoning to tamper with what you imbibe. Why do you think Mad-Eye Moody carries a flask? No one said you were stupid, Pansy, but at least give me that there are people out there who are more clever than you. Snape could have done it if he'd a mind to, and you'd have never known you were drinking anything but what you ordered. Masterful at slipping things into people drinks, that man. Brilliant Potions Master. Though I hear Daphne is getting pretty good herself."
Pansy smirked and cocked her head. "Is that concern you're feeling for me Theo? I'm touched, really."
Theo glared. None of them had any idea.
"Oh do be quiet. Just be careful. With as many enemies are your two best mates have, I wouldn't be surprised if someone went after you to get at them, and you know Malfoy would blow something up and then Zabini would go around stabbing things. It wouldn't be pretty. We won't even get into what either of the Greengrasses would do."
Her smirk became wider. "It is
concern, but just about the reactions that would occur. It thrills my heart to hear such emotions expressed on my behalf."
Theo rolled his eyes. He would never admit to caring about any of them, but they were all he had now. Family was a foreign word to him, but just being here, seeing the way they worked at the Council, he was thinking that his housemates had always been his family and he had never known it.
"I do not express concern," he replied.
Pansy looked down at her nails. One needed to be repainted. "Then what would you call it then if not concern?"
"I don't call it anything," Theo said, his voice a bit snappish.
He turned to one of his cabinets and pulled everything out before putting it back inside with a slightly different order to it.
"We never get angry unless we are told a truth we do not like. If it's a falsehood, we mock it." She crossed her arms in satisfaction. "Did I just unravel a bit of your puzzle?"
"Do you really expect me to answer that?" Theo said, looking at her sharply.
Admit nothing - that was how he had been raised. It was one thing that had stuck with him. It had served him well thus far.
A wicked grin was his answer. By denying it, he'd admitted it. "Of course not. That would be too easy."
He almost said something, but the infirmary doors opened.
"Theo, I need... oh. Oh gosh. You have company. Hello, Theo's lady friend."
Theo glared. "Pansy, this is Alice. Alice, Pansy Parkinson."
It occurred to him he had no idea of Strange Alice's last name.
Her eyebrow rose as she looked over the slayer that just entered. "It's been a while since I've been called a lady friend. Refreshing." She glanced back at Theo. "I won't keep you from your work. Thank you for keeping me entertained."
"You don't have to leave," Alice said. "Sveta's been puking up everything but the kitchen sink the last few mornings, so I was after a stomach settling potion."
Theo raised a brow.
Pansy made a face. "She's not comingher, is she?"
"I was going to take it to her," Alice said, making a face.
Theo rolled his eyes. He reached into a cabinet and grabbed the potion vial. He handed it to Alice.
"Tell Sveta to come see me tomorrow or I will come find her. She won't like it if I have to hunt her down."
Alice blinked then saluted him before turning to leave. She misjudged and knocked her hip against the door frame. Theo winced.
Alice kept walking. Theo shook his head. As much as she walked into things, her hips were probably black and blue.
"That girl is a slayer?" Pansy asked skeptically. "She's one of the graceful fighters Draco goes on about? I'm deeply ashamed."
"For some reason if she's fighting, Alice is actually spot-on, but the simple task of walking eludes her. The girl is a strange bird. She has a crup that she found and half the time she has no idea what's going on around her... unless you throw a punch at her."
"Considering I never intend to do so, I believe I will have to imagine what you describe and not witness it myself. I find the whole concept distasteful."
"I find it interesting that someone as frail-looking as Alice could pick me up and hurl me across the room... and I have been. Not because I did anything, but I went to reset a broken bone. The pain was not well-received."
She chuckled at the image. "If that's the case then you could almost be some sort of masochist then. Do all your patients inflict harm on their healers?"
"No," he replied. "Just the younger ones with less training and control."
"How amusing. I could almost sell tickets."
"Willow wouldn't let you."
Theo smiled. There were three people in the Council he would never cross - Willow, Mr. Giles or Buffy.
"I could sell the memory. That way they could watch it over and over." Pansy grinned at the thought. "The idea has merit."
"I'd ask you not to even entertain the idea, but then you'd go ahead and do it for spite, so I'll just warn you that I'd be upset, and not the fun Malfoy tantrum kind of upset either, and leave it at that."
"My luck would be I'd wait around for you to get thrown about and it would never happen until the moment I left. I would be amused but I'm not going to follow you around to get what I want. I have a life," she replied with an eye roll.
"Hmm," was Theo's only response.
He didn't mention that her coming to him for entertainment suggested she didn't have as much of one as she thought she did.
Her eyes narrowed at him. "I don't know what kind of a response that was, but I'm taking it as an insult."
"You always take things as an insult if they can be construed as one. Don't take offense, Pansy. I don't have the energy to deal with it right now. I'd rather not have to avoid your hexes if it's all the same to you."
"Well if I am such a bother, I'll show myself out, Nott."
Theo sighed quietly. He didn't mind her being here, but he honestly was tired. It was one of his pet peeves with his housemates. Most of them had to be entertained all the damned time. He was content to just sit sometimes and just be. Theo rarely got bored. Not like the others did. It was fortunate because his ideas of hobbies were not as innocuous as Draco's lighting things on fire or Blaise's finding someone to snog, shag or both.
He was still dreadfully dull sometimes, and that was one of the reasons he hardly made friends in school. That and he hated to socialize with the rest of them. "Same old Theo," she replied offhandedly as she walked towards the doors. "Try not to die of dullness soon."
"I will do my best," he quipped without even looking up.