March 12, 2005 11:43 AM
Willow walked into the room she had been showed into. Blaise was asleep on the couch in there in just his underpants. It was a terribly attractive picture, so she took a moment to appreciate it before walking to the window to peek out. She had no idea if his sister had followed her, nor did she care. The sister had seemed a little surprised that someone she did not know had found him.
But Willow wasn't concerned about that. What concerned her was Draco acting like a bear, and Hannah unable to properly do her job at times for snapping at people or so bogged down with dreary thoughts. The little blonde woman was particularly irritated that they had not fetched Blaise as of yet. Especially when they knew where he was. Draco had said Blaise would surface when he wanted and not to worry about it for now since they all had work to do, but he had brought Willow something to scry with for Blaise just in case. Draco said it was in case she got impatient. She had nearly snorted aloud at that. Willow was not waiting.
She'd had enough of his sour mood and Hannah's stressed one. She'd heard them having a row already this morning. She knew Draco and Hannah weren't fighting about what they were fighting about. They were fighting because Blaise was gone. Well, Willow would just correct that.
"You know," she said loudly. "I've never been to France. Italy, sure. We spent a lot of time in Italy, but never France. Pity that the first time I get to visit it's because you're a moron."
Blaise was woken up suddenly by a familiar voice, but it still jostled him. He flailed for a moment, the blanket he'd tossed off during his nap tangled in his legs, and he went crashing to the hard wooden floor. He groaned when his head hit the floor with a thud. When he finally managed to blink the sleep from his eyes and see who had spoken, all he could do was stare.
"Willow?" He looked around. No, he was still at his sister Nora's place in France. "What the hell are you doing here? Did Nora owl you? How did you find me?"
Willow gave him the you're very stupid
look. "I always know where to find the people I have come to care about. You're so important to Draco. I don't think you even have any idea. Plus, Hannah's been a bit crazy with worry. I'm really tired of her looking like something the slayers ought to be slaying."
He was just staring.
"I got Draco to give me something personal of yours and scried you. It wasn't that difficult. You're like a bear with a thorn in his paw. Your pain echoes."
He was still asleep. That was the only excuse. "Right. You found me. Good for you. Now you can tell Draco and Abbott that I'm perfectly fine and bugger off. I need sleep." Blaise climbed back up on the couch.
"I think emphatically not. You're coming home, mister. Even if I have to tie you up and cart you there by force. No running away and being avoid-y. You could end up invisible and flayed by demons, so no."
Blaise just peered blearily at her. "Oh Merlin, I'm still drunk, aren't I? I'm hallucinating again. Damn it." He sat up slowly. "Nora! Get me a hangover potion!"
Willow threw her hand out behind her and slammed the door.
"You are seriously about to make me cranky, and do not shout at your sister like that. Like she really wants your moping hiney up in her place. You are a black rain cloud darkening everyone's day. You are leaving with me right now, so pack. Now."
Now convinced that he was not hallucinating, because his hallucinations would be much more sexual in nature, Blaise crossed his arms and glared. There was no way he was going back to England until he was sure Ella was out of the Manor. He'd have no place to stay. Since they'd been exchanging owls and her residence was still listed as his own home, he was determined to stay in France.
"I'm not going back," he said with a bit of a pout. "I refuse to go home, and if Nora wants me out, I have plenty of relatives who would take me in all over the hemisphere. You can keep scrying for me all you want but my arse is staying away from England."
Willow put on her resolve face. Sure, he didn't know exactly what it meant yet, but he'd learn.
"I mentioned the taking you by force, yes? Because I'm prepared to do just that. Draco's miserable. You can stay with us at the Council house if you like. I'm sure Draco would love to have you as a roommate again. Don't you even care that Hannah looks like she got diagnosed with cancer of the puppies since you left?"
Willow waved a hand and created a picture in the air, much like D'Hoffryn had done for her once. It showed Hannah walking through the halls of the council with her head hanging, looking pathetic indeed.
He was a Slytherin, damn it, and he would not be affected by a truly pathetic image of a Hufflepuff who rejected him being dejected by his leaving. She was such a complex woman.
"I don't think your dear Council would survive if Draco and I roomed together."
Blaise was running out of excuses. He knew that, but he was not
going back. Even if he and Ella were talking again, it just wouldn't happen.
"If they really miss me, they can owl or floo here. It's a two way road."
"They don't know where you are. You didn't tell anyone. Draco came to me, desperate. I've never seen him look so lost. I know he has been, but him not knowing where you actually were, having no idea - it didn't set well. He'd try to hex me for even admitting he has feelings, but I think you hurt his feelings."
"There were only so many places I could be," Blaise said, rolling his eyes. He was truly uncomfortable though, at the thought of Draco not knowing where he was. They'd always known where the other was. Even when he was traveling, he'd owl with his location. He wasn't sure if that was because he was nervous Ella would off him or because he missed England.
If he could get Willow to leave, he'd escape to his father's villa in southern Italy. There were so many charms around the house a person couldn't be located inside. Blaise didn't care that he was acting like an immature brat. He wanted to be left alone.
"Nora," Willow called loudly. "I am removing your brother by force since he has decided to be a big babyman. Hope that's okay."
It was a bit selfish, but it really was not for her. She was using her magic for others. Ever since the battle in Sunnydale, it had been easier - the light and the dark, the balance. Not always, but not as threatening. Willow could feel her hair going dark. The pupils of her eyes growing and making black voids.
Blaise's eyes widened when he saw Willow accessing her powers. As usual, he thought it very stunning, but his less-than-professional feelings died instantly when he heard his sister shout "Be my guest!" through the door.
"Nora?! What the fuck?" His jaw dropped as he heard his normally calm and patient sister walk away from the door. He whimpered and let his head fall forward. "Can I at least get my clothes? I don't want to be mauled when I arrive with only my pants on. Draco's liable to jump me right then and there."
Willow studied him. "No tricks. You try anything, and I will make you so sorry, and not in the fun spanking way. I swore I wasn't leaving here without you in tow, and I mean to keep that one. Though I do think my depositing you in Hannah's office in just your pants would be more interesting. But you're right. You should see Draco first. He's the fussier of the two of them."
She paused a moment.
"But never for one moment doubt your effect." She left the unspoken on Hannah
just hanging there.
Blaise grumbled under his breath as he stood and stretched, trying to get the kinks out of his back. He suspected Nora undid the cushioning charms on her sofa when he fell asleep on it in the afternoons. She may have been the level-headed one out of all of his siblings, but she was also the sneakiest.
He padded into the spare room that he threw some of his things into and ordered them to pack themselves into his bags. He acquired much more clothing when he came to France, mostly because shopping was therapeutic and he wanted to spend some of the money he and Ella shared. He wouldn't be able to take it all in one go. After he shrunk his things, he pulled on the shirt and jeans he laid out and padded into the living room.
When he stood in front of Willow, he crossed his arms and glared at her. "Do I at least get to transport myself or do I get to play the ickle baby while you cart me across the Channel?"
Willow grinned. She stepped up and made him let her hug him. While he was distracted by that, she moved him and his belongings to the common room in the council that Draco and Hannah just happened to be having a shouting match in that Pevensie was attempting to referee - and badly.
"I don't trust you not to be sneaky," Willow said, stepping back.
"Whoa," Pevensie said.
Draco and Hannah had stopped shouting. They were now both staring.
Blaise blinked, his head throbbing a bit. His vision was a bit blurry from the tears in his eyes. "Ow. I could have done a simple side-along that wouldn't have broken open my skull, thank you very much. Must you always injure me when you do magic on me?"
"Blaise," Hannah said in shock.
She hurried over to him and started checking that he was all right.
Draco was just glaring. He looked at Willow and glared at her too. "I was joking. I knew he'd come back when he was good and ready. You fetched him? Really?"
"I told you I could."
"I will not doubt in the future. Bloody hell."
Blaise was a bit shocked when he finally focused and had hands running all over him. When he looked down and saw who it was, he couldn't help himself. "Why, Madam Liaison, I do believe you better make an honest man out of me after this groping session."
Hannah stepped back suddenly and removed her hands. "I'm sorry. I... well... where have you been," she shouted. "I've been worried to death!"
Draco raised his eyebrows. He knew Abbott liked his best mate, but this was an interesting display. Willow just grinned a little.
"Well, since Ella and I are on the outs, I decided to go stay with my sister Nora for a bit. I was planning on staying a bit longer until I was rudely awakened by someone yelling and drug back here earlier than I planned," Blaise said, aiming a glare at Willow.
"What," Hannah practically sputtered. She looked at Draco. "Did you know about this? Did you know that way why he left?"
"I did," Draco replied calmly. "But not because he told me. His mother did."
"Oh dear," Hannah whispered, suddenly very nervous. The thing that was supposed to keep her at bay was no longer there. Now she was unsure.
Draco watched. Abbott was certainly interestingly free with the emotions that tended to play across her face.
"I'm bored," Pevensie announced. "I'm glad you're back, Blaise. I'm going to go hit stuff."
Willow took that as her cue as well. "My offer stands, Blaise. You are welcome here."
She made to leave as well.
He let out a laugh. "I'm not staying here. I came back, but I said nothing about staying. Now that everyone knows where I am, I fully plan on hitting up Sofia in Barcelona."
Draco's jaw ticked. "Go on then. Run away. No matter what's been going on here where no one knew where you were."
"You can't leave," Hannah practically screeched before Blaise even had time to think about responding to what Draco had said in that overly calm and cold tone that Willow had come to know meant he was hurt.
"Well now you know where I'm going so you won't pitch such a fit now. I sure as hell can't stay here! If I go back to the Manor I'll likely kill Ella and my mother! I don't fancy rotting in Azkaban for the rest of my life!" Blaise snapped.
"Then stay with me," Draco shouted.
Willow jumped when he snapped liked that. He could be so calm one moment, then the next he was lighting things on fire and shouting. Almost as if a switch inside of him were flipped.
"Here now, no shouting. I have a guest room in my place," Hannah offered. "You'll just stay with me until we get this sorted. That way nothing gets burned down and no one runs off to far away places."
Blaise had been fully prepared to engage in a full-on shouting match with Draco, the likes of which they hadn't had since school, when Hannah's words filtered into his brain. He slowly looked over at her with his eyebrow raised.
"You want me to stay with you
She was certainly singing a different tune now. The last time they'd spoken she practically ran away from him.
"Well, we have to work something out where you stay, don't we? I've been dreadfully worried, and Draco's just a terrible bear when you aren't about. It isn't as if you'd be sleeping in my bed. You'd have your own room."
Draco raised an eyebrow. He was betting it would not be long before Blaise actually was sleeping in Hannah's bed.
Blaise snorted. He'd see how long that lasted. "You really have no idea what you're getting into. Deal. When do we leave?"
He was willing to see this through. It would be entertaining and keep his mind off of Ella, and keep Draco happy at the same time. It was a win-win situation.
"You aren't going to argue with me about it?"
"Well," Hannah paused to think. "I suppose we could go now if you like, get you settled in."
Oh this really was going to be fun. "Just a moment," he said, turning to Draco. They had some unfinished business. "So, you heard? Talked to my mum then? You didn't shag her this time, did you?"
Willow's eyes went wide. Proof again that she did not know everything all the time.
"That was near a decade ago. I was fifteen. I think I can control myself."
Blaise grinned. "I can never know. Last time I was away she married and buried a bloke two years our junior. Wasn't sure if I needed to start calling you 'dad'."
The only sign that there was any effect was one tiny muscle in Draco's jaw twitched before he stormed through everyone and left the room.
"That wasn't very nice," Hannah remarked.
Willow sighed and went after Draco with a nasty look shot in Blaise's direction.
He sighed. "I know." Blaise had a tendency to not know when he crossed a line until after he had crossed it. There was to be much groveling in the future. "I'll let him simmer and sulk before I apologize. I need to get a good gift as well. Bugger."
Blaise stared at the doorway Draco and Willow had gone through with a sigh before turning to Hannah. "Well? Shall we?"
Hannah regarded him for a moment. "You could always try not getting close to the lines of people that you supposedly love. Then you wouldn't have to worry about apologies and gifts and things said that can never be taken back."
"I could," he agreed before shrugging, "but I won't. It's just not me. I push. I tend to push too hard, which really sucks because I hate apologizing, but my mouth gets away with me."
Hannah sighed. This was really going to be a social experiment because she tended to get hurt so easily by things said.