Shall We Dance
She was nervous. She hadn't been on a date in so long she wondered if she could just have a normal date for once. None of her dates ever turned out well. Something also showed up and had to be killed, someone was in trouble, the hellmouth wanted to open... something.
Buffy looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was partially pulled back and straightened. The dress she'd picked out was flirty but not skanky and she could hide plenty of weapons underneath it. Her wedge shoes were also easy to run in.
She made a face. No, she could never have a normal date. But Theo was picking her up in a few minutes, so it wasn't like she could figure out any other way to be dressed up.
Theo was a little nervous. He had not worn his dress robes. He had opted for a muggle suit instead. All black, of course. He didn't know if she was ready for all of that. He'd noticed even the watchers who were also wizards wore more muggle clothing. Hell, even Malfoy did.
His wand was tucked into his jacket. His spare was attached to the inside of his left calf. He also had a pouch of Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder in his jacket as well. Theo could fight in the dark if he needed to. He adored the darkness. He was betting a vampire slayer could do damage without light as well.
He held his lone flower behind his back and rapped on the door.
Buffy looked over to the door and contemplated not answering, but she was a big girl. She'd faced demons and vampires and all other things that would make most people run. She could go on a date. It was just Theo. After taking a few deep breaths, she opened the door with a smile on her face. Theo looked nice and his grin put her at ease. "Hi."
He held out the single orange rose to her.
"You look lovely, and I am pleased to see you've chosen sensible shoes because I am going to attempt to take you dancing. This could be catastrophic on many levels as I have not danced in almost a decade."
She took the orange rose with a grin. It was unique and she appreciated the gesture. "Dancing, huh? We're not waltzing or anything are we? Because that would be catastrophic."
"We will be, among other things. Where I am taking you to dinner has a dance floor. Don't worry - I have a feeling you'll pick it up quickly. And you have all of dinner to study the floor and see what you think."
Theo offered her his arm. He was determined to be charming tonight. He had an idea what Malfoy had probably told her, so he planned on being a perfect gentleman.
She took his arm and they headed down the hall together. "Is this place a wizarding joint?"
"It is, but it is run by Muggleborn wizards. They cater to a more Muggle style of entertainment. If you don't like it, we can leave. You won't hurt my feelings. I've never been."
"No, that's not it," she said quickly. "I've just been wanting to have a fun night out with everyone so we could have a relaxing night and this place sounds ideal. I'm excited."
Theo raised a brow at her.
"Will it bother you to apparate? If so, I acquired a portkey. I really don't think we ought to floo. Your dress would need a cleaning charm after."
"The key is the object thing, right?" He nodded slowly. "Okay, I would rather do the pop thing. The other I named the swirly tunnel of doom. Not a fan."
Theo laughed. She was terribly amusing without meaning to be.
"Apparation it is then. We'll have to walk outdoors. Willow's wards don't allow it from inside."
He was quite aware of the looks they got before they made it out the door. Theo apparated them to the Leaky. They made their way through Diagon Alley quickly to the high end. Terpsichore was fairly new and quite popular. They also had a fancy menu with lots of cheese on it. It was not as high end as Allegra's, but Allegra's was mostly pureblood society. Theo didn't think she was ready for that.
He could hear the live band playing a waltz as the entered. Theo smiled.
"Ooh, this does look fun." Theo was a gentleman and pulled out her chair for her and she grinned as he sat down. Despite what she'd heard, this was turning out to be a wonderful date. She was handed a menu and looked over it. There were no prices, and that usually meant high as the sky. She gave him a sly glance. "You aren't breaking the bank for me, are you?"
"I believe you know I grew up with Blaise and Draco. Our parents all knew one another. You let me worry about the bank. I know you slayers eat a lot. Don't be concerned. You have whatever you like."
Buffy nodded and looked over the menu. She had been too nervous earlier in the day to eat, and now she was a bit more than starving. When the waiter came by and offered wine, she looked helplessly to Theo. The only wine she'd really had was either out of a box or ordered for her.
Theo smirked and ordered something white bottled by the Zabinis. They did make a good white wine. This particular vintage had a hint of lavender and was more sweet than tart and was named after Blaise's cousin. He also ordered a fruit and cheese tray for them to nibble on until their meal came.
"This is from Blaise's family's vineyard in Italy. He'd probably have apoplexy if he knew how much of it I drank. Zabini Sonia is a sweet white wine with a hint of lavender. It's named after Blaise's cousin."
She did know to smell the wine and swirl it before she took a drink. She liked the taste of it, and he to remind herself not to indulge in too much. She didn't want a repeat of beer bad Buffy.
"You don't get along well with Draco and Blaise, do you?"
"I think we both know that is an understatement," Theo replied. "Is that what you wanted to speak about? Draco and Blaise?"
Buffy really didn't, and decided to steer clear of using those names again. "Have you always wanted to be a healer?"
"I developed an interest in it. My housemates were always getting hurt. I spent a great deal my my last years at school in the infirmary. Helping. In fact, your ministry liaison had a rather ghastly cut on her cheek after the Battle of Hogwarts that I healed for her. She was in shock, doesn't recall. That was my first real taste of it. No hand holding. I had to heal people. I get a certain amount of satisfaction from mending."
He took a drink.
"What about you? Did you ever want to have another job? I know you've no choice, but did you want something different for yourself?"
Buffy shrugged. It was a question she'd been asking herself for years. "I was called when I was 15, and as much as I tried denying it, slaying is in my blood. I could do other things, but I've resigned myself to the fact, and as much as I bitch about it, slaying is who I am."
He had something like that within him - not that Theo could speak of it. It would not be denied, was part of who he was.
"Have you decided what you would like to eat?"
"Hmm? Oh, yeah." She hadn't even noticed the waiter slipped up next to the table and was looking at her patiently. "I'll have the roast duck, a sirloin that's medium well, and one of those little turkey things wrapped in bacon."
To his credit the waiter showed no surprise at that.
"Shall I bring two plates, sir?"
"No," Theo replied. "I will have the seared salmon."
Theo smirked at the man. He was looking at how thin Buffy was without trying to look at her.
"She's a vampire slayer. They require vast amounts of food as they burn energy rather quickly."
That got the wide eyes.
"Oooh, and a salad. Italian dressing." She was in the mood for something light as well. A runner brought out the fruit and cheese plate. There were some cheeses on there she had no idea what they were, so she stuck to the good old Cheddar.
"That sounds good as well. I do believe I shall have a salad also, but with balsamic vinegar dressing."
Buffy grinned as the water wrote everything down and left. She popped another piece of cheese in her mouth. "Tell me more about you. Everyone knows tons about me but they don't know a lot about you."
"You really must try the smoked Gouda," Theo said, gesturing to it on the plate. "What would you like to know? There isn't a terrible lot to tell, I must warn you."
She did as he suggested and decided she would have to add the smoked Gouda to the list of cheese she liked. "The people who say that are usually the most interesting."
"Now, I know Malfoy told you I was boring. I don't blow anything up or set things afire, nor do I respond to every situation with a resounding hex to someone's face. I have boring pursuits. I spend a great deal of time healing, potion-making and attempting to perfect my healing charms."
Truth be told, he manipulated death, but Theo didn't think she would like that description of his hobbies and passions.
"I don't think any of that is boring, but it may just be because it's all new. I'm definitely not a fan of hospitals or doctors, especially since I nearly die every time I'm in one, but the potion thing and charms and stuff? Your type of magic is new."
"This is going to sound terribly arrogant, but you need never worry about dying again if they bring you to me. I rarely lose a patient."
If she only knew how true that was.
Buffy smiled. "And I don't plan on dying anytime soon, but when do I ever? I think I've dodged most bullets quite nicely, but it's nice to know that someone's got my back."
It was nice that she didn't mind speaking about death. It was his favorite subject. Most people weren't too keen on speaking about it. Also, the idea of having any part of her, even her back, was not unappealing. She had a rather nice shape to her.
Between the two of them, but it was really mostly her, they finished the fruit and cheese plate just in time for the salad. "So, are you an only child?"
"I am not," Theo replied. "I have an older brother. He's um... away. I suppose that's the best way to say he's rotting in prison like he so richly deserves to. I had a sister once. She um, died. She was ten years my junior and rather frail."
She was ready to throw in the towel and just call it quits. Every subject she brought up was a sore one. Perhaps she should give up on finding out more about him and talk about the weather. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to bring up bad things."
"You didn't. It happened when I was fifteen. Clara is the main reason I became a healer. As for my brother... Azkaban? Best thing for the bastard, really. Clara was the only one who really was family. It doesn't bother me to speak of it. I just don't want you to think I'm indelicate."
That made her feel a bit better. "Well, I just know if anything happened to Dawnie, I'd lose it, but we have a special, sometimes over the top protective, relationship that has nothing to do with the fact that she attracts more trouble than all slayers combined."
Theo chuckled at that. "I would so like to meet such a sister. I can't imagine anyone getting into that
Their meal came after that, and he made polite conversation. He learned things about stuffed pigs named Mr. Gordo. She learned about dead fathers and trust funds he refused to touch, how he took a paying job just to be annoying.
When they'd finished the meal, Buffy giggled at the waiter's blinking expression when she asked to see the desert menu. She was in the mood for something sweet and chocolate-y, but her eyebrows went up when she looked over the menu. "Wow. What happened to just ice cream and hot fudge."
"I have the perfect place for that, but another time. I am deducing that you would like chocolate then?"
Theo looked over the menu.
"I think the chocolate mousse with the chocolate raspberry cake. You do like raspberries, yes? The cake is made with raspberry liqueur. I do believe there's a raspberry sauce garnish as well."
Her mouth was already watering. She just nodded. The waiter took the menus and disappeared again. "Sweets at the council are severely limited. I try to indulge whenever I can."
"Then if you do not mind my company, allow me to take you to Honeyduke's some day. I guarantee it is the best chocolate you will ever have. I have already decided Fortesque's for ice cream is a must. Has no one ever taken you anywhere in the wizarding world? This is a travesty. The shopping alone will be fascinating."
Buffy shrugged. "I've been to that one alley where Pevensie works a couple of times, and I've been down the dark alley a few times for a patrol. I'm usually there on business and don't have time to shop, but sometimes I indulge."
"You haven't seen anything," Theo replied. "You're always telling your girls to live their lives, and you don't. I'm afraid we shall have to remedy this. You must have a Hogsmeade weekend, and if you tell me Malfoy never took you up on a broom, I shall have to hex him."
She gave a sad smile. "I tell the girls that because they have lives they can live. There is no 'one girl in all the world' anymore. My life is to protect them."
"I see. You're a hypocrite then. Protecting someone can not be your whole life. That never works out well. Trust me."
Their waiter set Buffy's dessert before her. Theo smiled at the helping of mousse garnished with fresh raspberries next to a small chocolate cake. There was an artistic dribble of raspberry sauce on the plate as well. He smiled at the look on her face when she saw it.
She let the argument go as her dessert was placed in front of her. "Ooh, nummy." Buffy closed her eyes and moaned lightly as she took her first bite. "This is incredible"
"I am glad you like it. You're not going to be so full you can't dance, are you?"
"Are you kidding? I've got to burn all these extra calories off somehow. Dancing's just as good as slaying."
Theo chuckled. "Your metabolism is quick anyhow. I can tell."
Her eyebrow went up. "Doesn't mean I don't have to work for it. I envy the younger girls. They can put away twice as much as me and not have to work it off."
"Well, it's good to stay active."
Theo let her finish her dessert before he rose and held out a hand.
Buffy made a face. "Madam? Really?" She put her hand in his anyway and let him lead her to the dance floor. Thankfully, he didn't start them on a waltz, but just gripped her right hand and she laid her left on his arm and swayed to the music.
"It's polite, Buffy."
He didn't think it would be otherwise, but she had an excellent sense of rhythm.
She snorted. "My personality and my job don't put me in the polite line when it comes to people. In fact, if I hear a 'hey you' yelled, I tend to run away. Too many close calls with principals, policeman, and professors."
Theo smiled. "I promise never to call you 'hey you'. You have no one to report to now. I was rather fortunate to not get caught doing things to cause reprimands."
He was pleased at her ability to carry on a conversation and dance. It was very nice.
Buffy snorted, a bitter pang resounding in her heart when she remembered Snyder blaming her for Kendra's death. "I got caught and blamed for things I didn't
do. I guess I got enough for the both of us."
"Well, that's terrible. If I'm to be punished for something I would at least liked to have done it. I'm afraid you're dancing with a very boring bloke, though. I rarely got caught because I rarely did anything wrong. Dull is the word for it, I believe. Frightfully dull."
"I don't believe you. A magic school in a castle?" Buffy asked disbelieving. "There had to be some crazy antics."
"Honestly, I spent most of my time studying. It didn't help that I roomed with four of the biggest douchebags I've ever met either. There was no way anyone was going to see me with Zabini and Malfoy standing there. I didn't mind. It allowed me the anonymity I needed to pursue my interests."
She shook her head. "You never had one adventure in school? Not even a mini one? Do you have adventures now?"
"I've put someone in bed when they were drunk and placed them so he wouldn't choke on his own vomit. Several times, actually, and in retrospect, that might have been a bad plan."
Buffy chuckled. "My experiences with alcohol in school were not of the good, so we're similar there. Even our talent shows were screwed up."
"Well, every year I was in school someone tried to kill Harry Potter. It ended with an epic battle that killed half my classmates. I understand you blew up your school. Twice, was it?"
"Technically three, but the last time the whole town caved in and I wasn't really the one doing the caving. But both times I had to. The first time the gym was full of vampires and the second time the town Mayor ascended into this giant demon snake and tried to eat our graduating class."
"See? You're going to find me dull. I've never blown anything up. Ever. Not even my cauldron in potions class."
"It's overrated," she replied with a teasing grin. "Sure, there are pretty colors, but fire bad, tree pretty."
Theo smiled down at her as a waltz started.