I Didn't Mean to Get so Lost
Blaise made sure Astoria was standing on her own before hurrying back to get Pevensie. They both walked her up to the Council and through the front doors. He didn’t even stop when slayers said hello or asked questions of him or Pevensie; he marched them straight to Draco’s rooms.
“Listen, bossy the cow, stop forcing me about,” Pevensie snapped.
Draco looked up when his door opened. Blaise lead Astoria and Pevensie in.
“What the... what’s wrong?”
“I was hoping you could tell me,” Blaise admitted. “Although I think she might have had a bit of a shock and gotten too angry. I certainly wasn’t going to take her to Flint.”
Draco got up and moved to Astoria. “Tori?”
She didn’t respond to him. Pevensie looked worried.
“It’s all right,” Draco said. “It’ll be fine. Just got on and study. I’ll take care of it. It’s happened before, and she was fine after.”
Pevensie left with a suspicious look on her face.
Blaise let out a huff of air and rubbed his face. “If she’d stayed behind like I told her to, this never would have happened, and then that one got it in her head that I needed a bodyguard.”
“Dare I even ask where you were?”
Draco led Astoria to his couch and sat her down. Her eyes were glassy and vacant. It bothered him more than he would like.
Blaise pulled the book he shrunk and re-sized it. “I was getting information for Willow.” He hesitated, and then figured Astoria would just tell Draco everything anyway. “From Becklin.”
“You didn’t need to do that,” Draco said, trying to control his temper. “I have what we need. What did he ask of you? And don’t you dare try to tell me he did that out of the kindness of his heart. I’m not an idiot.”
“She asked me to help her, and so I did,” he snapped. “And what we talked about is none of your business. It wouldn’t have been so bad if Greengrass hadn’t pissed him off!”
“What did she do? What did she say? You said Tori got upset? Why?”
Blaise made a face. He really, really
didn’t want to tell, but Draco would hound him until he did. “Becklin was the one who gave Ethan Rayne the information about the Dark Marks and the names of those still marked, including her sister, Flint... and you.”
“I guess things with Flint are serious then.”
He got the Daphne part, but what Draco did not get was the part about him.
“And I can’t believe you just told me it was none of my business. What is he having you do? I’ll have him killed before he does something that hurts you.”
“You will do nothing of the sort. I agreed to it, and it’s my decision. I can take care of myself,” Blaise said firmly.
“Let me explain something about Willow. I know you haven’t known her that long. If you are doing something for her that will make her unhappy, she won’t be able to live with that. The guilt will eat at her.”
Blaise waved the book. “This isn’t just for her. I’ve been wanting to know a few tricks out of this for a while. There are selfish motives, I promise.”
“I don’t like it,” Draco said. “You’re up to something. That’s never a good thing.”
He snorted and deflected. “When am I ever up to something good?”
“If this ends with my trying to kill someone on your behalf, I’m going to be rather upset with you.”
Draco got up and started to pace. He could always use Legilimency, but he could never do that to Blaise.
He stole another look at Astoria. “Enough about me. What about her? She’s been like that since Knockturn.”
“The last time I saw this was when we broke up,” Draco said quietly, looking at Astoria.
He was just staring at her and feeling worse and worse. He did not know what to do to fix it. Perhaps he needed to get Willow. She’d gone into Buffy’s mind and gotten her before.
That brought him hope. “Well how did you make her snap out of it then?”
“I didn’t. Her mother put her in Mungo’s and she just snapped back one day. Flint’s going to kill you, you know.”
“Oh hell,” Blaise exclaimed. “I didn’t do anything. I didn’t want her to come but she insisted! This isn’t my fault!”
“Let’s consider what we know about Flint. Do you really expect the ‘not my fault’ excuse to fly? We have to figure out what to do. I suggest we get Willow involved. She won’t let Flint hurt you.”
In his mind, having little Willow stand up to Flint was almost comically until he remembered exactly what she was capable of. “Yes, lets.”
Draco opened the door and nearly barrelled over Willow.
“I felt her... and not.” She looked around Draco at Blaise. “She cares for you in her way.”
Draco pulled Willow inside and shut the door.
“The agreement, Pevensie’s feeling’s on it, they upset her, Blaise. I can’t see that part, but...”
“No,” he said firmly. “You are here for Greengrass and Greengrass only. I’m staying out of it.”
Willow shook her head ‘no’. “You’re already in it. I don’t know why you can’t see that.”Astoria...
Astoria could heard the voices, but she could not make herself respond. It was as if she were watching her life from a great distance. Her name way in the wind. It called her.
“I hear you,” she whispered. “I can make you stop.”
Blaise’s eyebrow went up. “What the bloody hell is she going on about?”Astoria.
Astoria got up and walked to the window. She pressed her palm to the glass.
“Stop calling me. I have things to do, places to be, people to be in love with.”Miles to go before you sleep.
“Yes,” Astoria replied. “Miles to go before I sleep.”
Willow shivered. She could hear a faint whisper, but could not make out the words. Was Astoria’s madness seeping into her the way other people’s emotions tended to?
Blaise leaned over to whisper to Draco. “Why do I get the sense that this isn’t really working?”
“Least she’s talking now, and not sitting there staring into space,” Draco replied.
He was completely freaked out, though. Astoria was beginning to frighten him like this. She was so different, so, well, not sane. It worried him, and it made him feel all sorts of guilt that he’d triggered this once. Draco hated guilt. He tried not to feel it whenever possible.
“Tori, can you hear me?” Willow asked. “Are you in the woods?”
Draco frowned. What did the sodding woods have to do with this? They were inside.
“She’s sitting right across from you... inside a room,” Blaise said slowly.
Willow ignored him. “You have promises to keep, you know.”
Willow walked up beside Astoria and put her hand over Astoria’s.
“I can’t save everyone,” Astoria said then turned suddenly to look at Willow.
Her eyes then landed on Draco and Blaise, and she burst into tears, throwing herself into Willow’s arms.
He just stared at the scene in shock. “I am so bloody confused.”
Astoria looked at him when he spoke. Before anyone could stop her, she ran at Blaise and threw herself at him, still crying. Draco blinked in surprise.
Blaise held his arms out in shock. “I am still so bloody confused.” He looked over at Draco. “What the hell do I do?”
Astoria lurched up and kissed him. As she did this, she sent him a few random snippets of a possible future with his Hannah.
“Ah!” Draco shouted. “NO! STOP THAT! FLINT WILL KILL HIM! No kissing!”
His head was splitting open with images and he finally got up the energy to push Astoria away from him. Blaise panted and felt his legs go weak. The flashes... Hannah moving all her things in his bedroom at the Manor, babysitting his sister’s children, being a bridesmaid in Dona’s future wedding, him holding her as they relaxed in a hammock on a beach... she was completely ingrained into his life. It was one of the most terrifying things he’d seen.
“Astoria,” Willow admonished. “My goodness, you can’t just-”
She was cut off by Astoria kissing her next. There was no tongue or anything, but just lips touching, and Willow saw things to come that terrified her.
Draco did not know what to do, and when she lunged at him next while Willow was falling to her hands and knees, Draco hexed Astoria.
She locked up and fell to the rug.
He was coughing and trying to catch his breath. “What... the bloody fuck... was that?”
Willow was shaking. “I saw a man in a billowing black cloak, long black hair, and a sharp nose. With gentle hands. He hides in the dark, but he knows how to help me. He knows how to beat darkness.”
Draco looked at Willow with wide eyes. He knew exactly to whom she was referring. He only hoped Blaise didn’t pick up on it.
Blaise’s hands were still shaking from his own visions, but after Willow’s testament, he relaxed a bit. “That’s impossible. That man is dead, and has been for years.”
“He’s not,” Willow said, looking at Draco in surprise. “You take me to him. I saw. How can you take me if he’s dead? He isn’t. He’s hiding.”
Draco swallowed nervously, willing Willow to stop talking. He looked down at Tori. Her eyes were the only things on her moving. She was looking at him with watery eyes.
His head really was going to split open; Blaise was sure of it. But he still managed to glare up at Draco, who wasn’t at all protesting. “What the fuck is she talking about? Snape’s alive
“If you want to call it living,” Astoria whispered.
Draco shivered. Astoria was fighting his freeze, and Blaise was looking pissed.
“Severus Snape?” Willow asked, looking at Draco. “You’ve been hiding him? He’s alive? I thought the snake, it bit him? I read that. It ripped his throat out. How is he alive? That was the story Harry Potter told. Did he lie?”
“No,” Draco said. “He died. For a bit. There must have been a healer. I’m not sure how... he was... revived. He won't say. Only that he awoke. He contacted me. He swore me to secrecy, and after all I’d made him do... for me... because of me. He wants everyone to think him dead. I take him groceries, and potion ingredients. He doesn’t leave... ever, so I have to take care of him.”
Astoria was just letting herself cry now. They way that Draco loved the people he loved was always humbling to her. He could be a right horrible arse sometimes, but other times, he could be like he was now - heartbreakingly devoted.
Blaise was still too weak to stand but he kicked out at Draco’s legs. “You right bastard! You’ve been keeping him secret this whole time?”
“I’m sorry! He’s... different. Half the time I go, he won’t even come out and see me. He doesn’t want anyone to know he’s there. After what he did for me, all he’s done for me, how can I deny him? My gods, I think it’s the only secret I’ve ever kept in my entire life, and I just broke it.”
Draco moved to the couch and sat down heavily. He out his head in his hands.
“Draco,” Willow said softly. “Now we can help you. You should not have tried to carry this alone.”
“He always tries to carry things alone,” Astoria said. “It’s usually what gets him in over his head. He’s not good at asking for help - even when he desperately needs it.”
Draco looked at Blaise. “I’m sorry.”
Blaise finally had the energy to sit up and lean his back against a nearby piece of furniture. He wanted desperately to be mad at Draco, but he was still too shaken up about the visions. “It’s not like I haven’t kept secrets from you. I’m pissed, but I’m not going to hold it against you.”
“What secrets?” Draco asked, frowning.
Astoria couldn’t help it - she started laughing.
“Don’t be angry, Blaise,” Willow said as she crawled over and sat next to him.
She leaned her head on his shoulder. Willow was still trying to sort out all she had seen. She was also worried about Marcus Flint trying to throttle her for kissing his girlfriend. Even though it had been Astoria that had kissed her.
He could barely put his arm around her and he leaned his own head against hers. With a glare, he pointed at Astoria. “And don’t think I’m not pissed at you for that flashforward.”
“You asked a question. I gave an answer.” She was still lying on the floor frozen except for her head. When Blaise looked confused, she explained. “You said ‘what do I do’.”
Blaise rolled his eyes. “I wasn’t talking to you, you stupid bint.”
“Well, I’m sorry that in my ‘grasping at sanity’ state that I misunderstood. You didn’t get any of the really interesting stuff. Just keep your knickers on, sweetpea.” She looked at Willow. “But Willow got the really juicy stuff.”
He glared at Draco. “And you lucked out. How nice that we’re the only ones with the splitting headaches and no energy.”
“Only because I’m quick with my wand.”
“Oh, Blaise,” Astoria said. “You know what he’d have seen. Can I be unfrozen now?”
“No,” Draco snapped. “What are you talking about?”
“You’ll figure it out, Drake. You always do. It just takes longer when it has to do with you.”
“Don’t unfreeze her, she’s liable to attack my face again.” Blaise huffed. “That’s twice you’ve snogged me with no thought as to the damage it might do. Thanks ever so. If I die, I’m going to haunt you.”
“Marcus would never hurt you. I wouldn’t allow it. You’re my family, both of you, and now you too, Willow.”
“Oh vomit,’ Draco said. Inside he was grinning.
A wicked smirk came over Blaise’s face. “Can I be there when you tell your horrid bitch of a sister that? I want to see if her eye twitches right out of its socket.”
Astoria rolled her eyes. “I wish you and Daphs would try to get along.”
“Yeah,” Draco said sarcastically. “That’ll happen.”
Willow giggled. Her head was still resting on Blaise’s shoulder. It comforted her. She supposed she had Slytherin affinity. She had not met a one she did not like.
Draco waved his wand and released Astoria. She stretched.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “About the stuff. It’s not set in stone. I wasn’t in control. Don’t be afraid of what you saw, either of you. Thank you for bringing me here, Blaise. Marcus would have been upset. I don’t him seeing me like that.”
Blaise snorted. “Like I’m going to walk you to one of the people who already hated me. Self-preservation is still a top priority for me.”
“Marcus doesn’t hate you.”
“I’ll protect you,” Willow said, giggling. “He likes me. Or Pevensie could. He’s fond of her.”
Draco glared at Willow.
“In a kid sister sort of way. Geez. He already let her know it’s not like that.”
Astoria smiled. “She’s getting over him.”
“Thank Salazar,” Blaise said loudly. “It’s bad enough you
have the indecency to go shagging the bastard.”
“I can’t help it if he gives me the good tingles in my lady parts.”
Draco looked horrified. Willow started giggling.
“I like him,” Astoria said. “He treats me exactly as I want to be treated. I’ve known I would be with him since I was a first year. He calms the voices in my head. Marcus grounds me to this plane. He makes me not want to just give into my madness.”
It was silent for a moment before Blaise snorted. “Well, I think I’ll just go be sick now.”