They Live Inside Us
"Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” -Stephen King
March 7, 2005 12:50PM
When Draco had flooed Blaise's study and had been told by the house elf Didly that the master had left and no one had heard from him, that put Draco in a place no one wanted him to be if they were smart - in a state of panic. He and Blaise might be continents apart at times, but they always had a general idea where the other one was. This was unacceptable, so he was on a mission to find out what had happened.
Willow had insisted she come with him to the figurative lion's den. If she had been anyone else, he'd have said no, but neither Calanthe nor Ella scared him, and he knew Willow did not frighten easily. Hannah, on the other hand, had not even been told. Neither had Pevensie. Draco had a feeling one or both of them would have insisted on joining himself and Willow as well, and he was in no mood to protect anyone. They were here to find out where Blaise was. Draco made it through the wards easily. He was sure Willow just punched a hole in them and stepped through, probably setting off alarms, but at least that might get Blaise to show himself.
They were standing in the foyer when they were noticed by more than house elves. Draco was keyed into the wards here. Willow had likely picked the lock. The wards on Zabini Manor were good. In fact, Draco had set some of them himself, but Willow was better than him. Of course, there was the possibility that Blaise had added Willow, but Draco doubted it. He was not good at remembering things like that.
"What the hell
do you think you're doing?" Ella snapped as she came into the foyer. "Even if you were welcome here, which you're not, you certainly wouldn't be after puncturing the wards like that. Why the hell shouldn't I have you arrested?"
Draco remained calm, even though he wanted to hex her hair on fire. "Where's Blaise?"
Wilow was shocked by the animosity that was suddenly choking all the air from the room.
A slow grin formed on Ella's face. "You don't know?"
Willow did not like that grin. It was not a nice grin. It was a look that told her Draco would set something on fire.
"Know what, Bitchface? If you've done something to him, I will disfigure you permanently."
Ella's eyebrow went up, but she was stopped from commenting when footsteps sounded behind her.
"Now, now, Draco. There's no need to be so temperamental."
It was one of the most beautiful women Willow had ever seen. She was just lovely with skin like coffee with only a hint of cream in it. Long hair and flawless bone structure. She knew Blaise had lots of sisters. Perhaps this was one of them.
"When have you ever known me not to be temperamental, Calanthe? If someone will just fetch your son so I know why he's been hiding from me, all of this unpleasantness can end."
Willow's eyes were wide. This was Blaise's mom? She didn't look like a mom. Then again from what Blaise had told her she had not wanted to be.
Calanthe grinned as she stopped by Ella. "Then I'm afraid the unpleasantness will continue because Blaise is not here and has not been here for quite some time. Days, at least. I'd assumed he was off with you."
She shared a grin with Ella.
Draco opened his mouth, but Willow interrupted him.
"Hi. I'm Willow. I'm a friend of Draco's and now Blaise's. The smiling and the cryptic are getting not only old, but kind of annoying, so why don't one of you just tell us what happened before Draco sets something on fire or I get cranky, and trust me when I say out of those two options, you prefer him setting things on fire."
She smiled brightly.
Draco chuckled sinisterly to himself. He knew what was going to happen here, and part of him relished the anticipation of it all. They were going to be rude, and Her Darkness was going to join them.
"If I knew where he was, I would tell you, Draco," Calanthe said, raising her eyebrow. "All I know is what the house elves have told me. He packed his things and left, not even leaving a note. You're welcome to search his room. I told you, I thought he was with you."
Ella crossed her arms. "He didn't say where he was going, just that he was leaving. I've owled a few of our friends. He doesn't seem to be in the country anymore. Have a fight?" she asked innocently.
"You know what happens when he and I have a fight. This isn't it. What are you two not saying? And don't give me that rubbish of you have no idea what I am on about. You know. You two keep grinning at one another, so what in the bloody hell happened? Which one of you did it?"
Ella narrowed her eyes at Draco. "Which one of us did what
? Are you implying that I'd hurt him? He dug his grave and now he has to lie in it."
"Ella," Calanthe said softly. "You'll be late for your conference. I'll deal with this."
"You're lucky I have prior engagements."
Willow held up a hand and then clenched her fist. "I think you're going to be late."
Draco's eyes went wide. Her voice was low. He turned slowly and looked. Willow's eyes were wavering between green and solid black.
"And thank you both for pissing off the dark witch lying dormant within the nicer one," Draco snapped sarcastically. "Someone had better start talking. He's been annoyed with the both of you since returning to England, so I want to know which one of you did what and I want to hear it NOW
Draco's upset shouting pushed her. Willow's eyes went black. Her friends being upset or hurt seemed to be her trigger these days. She tried not to, but it was easy to let out. Draco was frightened and angry. It was bleeding into her. His emotions magnified within her.
Ella tried to turn, but her feet were frozen to the floor. "What the hell is going on?" She looked into Willow's black eyes. "What? Did you do a deal with him and he not pay? Is that what's going on? Take it up with him, not me."
"It was you," Willow said, walking towards her.
She was hoping turning the conversation away from the payment and making deals would distract Draco from the comment. The fact that this petty insect was trying to hurt Draco by telling him something Blaise needed to be telling him angered Willow even more. You did not hurt her friends.
Draco watched and swallowed nervously as Willow's hair bled to black. He'd seen her do that as a lark, but never when she was upset. He did not think he liked it.
"No," Willow snapped. "She's going to tell me what happened before I get really upset and do to her what Athena did to Medusa. Tell me... how many jobs do you think you'd book with snakes for hair?"
Ella's eyes widened, but she kept silent, weighing her options. She looked over at Draco. "He'll never trust you. He's told me things he would never tell you and it kills him that you would throw away the one person who would understand him. He's gone because you
and that wretched blonde bitch drove us apart."
The air in the room went heavy.
"Ella, you are really fucking stupid," Draco said. "Tell the truth before she hurts you."
Draco wasn't so much concerned with Ella being hurt as he was Willow feeling bad about it later. He jumped when Willow put her hand on Ella's heart.
"Jealous. She sees that Blaise cares for Hannah. She blames you for introducing them. She can't understand why because she's prettier." Willow laughed sinisterly. "Only on the outside. Blaise is tired of escorting a shell. And you lie. Blaise never told you anything he hasn't told Draco. Not anything that matters anyhow."
It was silent for a moment.
Well, there was one thing, but Willow herself knew that, and now she knew all of it. She and Blaise would be having a talk again really soon.
"I think there should be a punishment for lying," Willow said, touching a lock of Ella's hair in a manner befitting her vampire counterpart.
"I doubt that," Ella said shakily. "I'm not afraid of what he does, and I'll be the only one. Are you really going to put that in danger by doing this to me?"
She glanced over at Calanthe. "Are you going to let them treat me like this?"
Calanthe was silent for a few moments. "What would you have me do? This witch is far more powerful than myself, and wandless. Draco tends to be irrational when it comes to Blaise. And as I recall, Blaise ordered you out of the house. I believe that means he is done with you."
Draco's smile was slow. When it reached as far as it could go, then he started chuckling.
"He ordered you out of the house. That's excellent," Draco said, chuckling still. "Willow don't do anything to her. She's not even worth it."
Willow shrugged and let Ella go. She stepped back next to Draco. He was half hoping Ella tried something. At least Calanthe was smart. She was not saying much of anything and was staying very still.
"I recall it being mentioned that Blaise threatened to burn anything you leave here. I would suggest taking your things and leaving. He might have Draco do the burning and we both know he will not stop at just your items."
Calanthe stood firm as Ella sputtered. The woman huffed and turned to Draco. "You haven't seen the last of me, you bastard."
Willow turned and glared at Ella. Her eyes and hair were still ebony. Her skin had gone sallow and the veins pulsed a bit as wind from nowhere blew her hair.
"Touch him, touch Blaise, touch the blonde, and I will show you how there are things far worse than death. You can't even imagine. I am pretty close to the vampires known as Angelus the Scourge of Europe and William the Bloody. They were all about torture to the pain instead of to the death. I'm sure either or both of them have lovely ideas to share with me on that front."
She hated to name drop, but if she didn't want a trip to wizard prison over this bitca. The petty little shrew was not worth it; however, Willow did feel she still needed to let Ella know she wasn't messing around.
"Bored now," Willow said as she flicked her hand a chopped off a giant chuck of hair from the side of Ella's head.
Ella screamed as the hair fell to the floor. She immediately rushed from the room. Once she was gone, Calanthe chuckled. "Well that was highly amusing. I'd forgotten how fun you can be, Draco."
"You really don't know where he is?"
"You have something of his?" Willow asked, her eyes and hair slowly returning to their nature color. "Because I can find him."
Calanthe just grinned. "If I know my son, he is off with one of his relatives. He would not go blindly with no place to go. One of his sisters perhaps, or his favorite cousin Sofia. He might even go to his father's."
Draco's eyes narrowed. "Why are you being so helpful?"
He didn't trust Calanthe at all.
"Why shouldn't I be?" she asked, her brow raised at Draco. "My son just returned home. Forgive me if I'd like him around more than he has been. Perhaps with Ella gone, he will stay home more often. He does not keep it hidden that he finds your company more agreeable than hers."
Draco believed that about as much as he believed he and Potter would be best chums one day.
"Right. That's nice," he said sarcastically. "We'll just be going then. See you later. Much later."
"Don't stay away too much, Draco," Calanthe said with an amused grin as she walked away. "You used to enjoy my company when you were younger, and I believe you have only excelled in your conversational lessons since then."
"Bitch," Draco muttered under his breath.
That viper had seduced him when he was all of fifteen because she'd been in a snit at his parents, and she was never gonna let Draco forget it.
"Let's get out of here, Willow."