All That I Am
March 25, 2005 5:36 PM
Blaise wanted to check on Draco after the whole dark mark debacle the day before. In a way, he was glad that he'd gotten the topic away from the skirmish he and Willow had, or why he was avoiding Hannah, but he wished it hadn't come at such a cost. When he got to Draco's rooms, he went inside the bedroom, expecting Draco to be resting.
"You up for a visit?"
"I'm fine, you know," Draco said. "I do wish everyone would stop hovering. It's starting to freak me out. I'm not going to explode or anything. Or suddenly go mad."
Blaise smirked. "Because you've never done any of that before, and it most certainly doesn't run in your family. Deal with it."
"My slayer is watching me," Draco said, pulling on a t-shirt. "What's wrong with this picture?"
"Besides your pasty chest or the besides the fact that the dark mark on your arm that's been dormant for years suddenly flared to life despite the bastard who can control it being dead for quite some time? I'm confused."
"I'm supposed to be looking out for her, not the other way around. I don't know what happened."
His owl to certain people on the matter had been returned unopened, but his was not the only mark that burned. From what Draco could gather, they all had, and it was freaking everyone in the wizarding world out.
It was getting Blaise worried and he could see, despite the bravado, that Draco was worried as well. "I know there's not much I can do, but I'll start asking around to see if anyone's heard anything about a new dark wizard."
"Like anyone just going to be talking about it. Don't get yourself into hot water about this."
A small part of Draco that he often ignored knew that Blaise's family, on his mother's side, had the connections to find out these sorts of things.
Blaise snorted. "Like it'll be any trouble. People talk, and they talk every more when they owe me things." He crossed his arms in irritation and thought about the different people he could ask about the dark marks. Some people owed him favors. "Maybe I can get someone to talk at the damn poker game if they're not laughing at me too hard."
Draco frowned. "Why would they talk to you? It's not as if... poker game? Why would they laugh?"
He was getting an odd feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"It's nothing. Just had a misunderstanding at a friendly gathering last week. Point is, I'll try to find out anything I can about why this is happening," Blaise said, brushing off Draco. He didn't want him upset.
"Friendly gathering? With whom? Where? How come I don't know about this?"
Blaise huffed. There was no point getting into this now. His focus right now was making sure Draco was okay and that nothing was going to rise and put the country into a lovely state of panic again. "It's a poker game, Draco. Can we focus not on what I do in my spare time but important things like that bloody great evil that triggered your mark to burn?"
"And I'm trying to gather why you would be talking to anyone who might know anything about it. You saw Willow. You saw me. That was very dark stuff, so why would you know anyone who'd know anything about that?"
He rubbed his hands over his face. "You pillock, I bloody well live with someone who would know something about that." Blaise paused. "Well, I did. My mother? Ring any bells?"
"You're lying," Draco said in shock. "You're lying to me right now. Why are you lying? What have you been doing? What... you're the one. You've been. I suspected, but... what have you been doing, Blaise?"
Blaise narrowed his eyes at Draco. "What the hell do you mean I'm the one
? You can't possibly think I'm the one behind your dark mark burning. I don't know whether to be flattered that you think I have that kind of power and can make your mark burn while I'm standing right next to you without a wand in my hand or insulted that you'd think I'd do something so stupid!"
"No, you're not that stupid, but you're pretty damned close. Calanthe isn't the one keeping all her oldest clients happy - you are. You're the one dealing down there."
It was silent and tense.
"Go on. Lie to me some more. Tell me it's not you."
He had his arms crossed and was glaring at Draco. The secret was out now, and he'd managed to keep it for years, but there was point now. "You know I've done handling since Hogwarts. I started in fifth year, and you couldn't possibly be naive enough to think I stopped. I just moved up."
Draco had to sit down. No, he was not that naive, but he had hoped. To have one's hope dashed so calmly was painful. He wanted better for his best friend. Blaise was so much more than this.
"You do know that you help the sort that would kill me? Kill Pevensie? Kill Willow if they had a chance? And Hannah? Everyone who works here. They would kill us if given the chance, and you help them."
It was something Blaise had been avoiding when the issue came up. Draco's name had come up a few times in Knockturn, and not in the good way. Blaise was very careful with whom he loaned and sold things to. Nothing could be used against a slayer, and more often than not, nothing he lent out would do any harm.
Draco felt like someone had just punched him in the chest.
"You know?" Draco looked down, eyes burning a little.
He had not felt this disappointed and betrayed in a long time.
"And you still do it. You know, and you don't care. That's how little value I have to you now. I see. Would have been nice to know sooner. Like perhaps when Voldemort was threatening to off you and my mother if I didn't kill Dumbledore."
Draco looked up with bright eyes full of anger and hurt. "I trusted you. I thought of you as my own brother. You know the last straw with Astoria was a very public fight in Belladonna's? Do you know what we fought about? You. She said you would betray me, that she had seen it. I refused to believe her."
"I didn't say I didn't care!" Blaise snapped, unable to be silent anymore. "You think I throw things out and not give a damn? I'm careful. I've turned down plenty of deals because I was worried what would happen if that potion or that amulet or that dagger was put against you. I go over every possible scenario I can!"
"Oh well that makes me feel LOADS better! My best mate deals with the kind that would like nothing better than to kill me, but he's really careful! You don't know what they do! What if they're using it for something other than what they tell you? Or giving the items to someone else?" Draco stalked closer to him. "Didn't your mother have this problem once with the distant cousin of one of her dead husbands? Bitch tried to kill her with one of her own potions as I recall, not knowing your mother makes herself immune to all her brewings."
"So you expect me to just stop? I should just stop what I've been doing for years with no regards to the dozens of people who will come after me? Including my own mother? Why can't you just accept that this is part of me?"
"Because you're better than this," Draco shouted. "I know who you are. You don't have to do this, and if Calanthe really loved you, she would not ask you to. You know how I'm not the spoiled brat who was content to ride on my father's evil coattails? Well, you're not the arrogant selfish bastard who is content to follow in his mother's footsteps. You're better, and I don't know why you can't see that."
Blaise threw his hands up in the arm and started pacing. This was why he never told Draco. Draco's parents weren't like Blaise's. There was no evil overlord demanded his loyalty. Blaise did this because he wanted to.
"Don't you get it? You threw off your father's evil coattails because you had to, you wanted to. Why would I want to stop? What else do I have for myself if I stop doing this?"
"You can't really think that this is all you are. I won't believe it. You'd want to stop to keep the people you care about from harm."
He chuckled. "And how do you propose I do that? What is your grand plan for me?"
"I don't have a plan for you, but there must be something else you like to do, something else you're interested in."
"Just because you got off on your own redemption kick doesn't mean I will. Why should I even want to change? I like who I am, and you did too until this came out."
"For fuck's sake, Blaise. I like who you are. I just don't want anything to happen to you. You keep this up and something will. You will get in over your head. Trust me. That part I actually do know about."
Blaise sat on the bed with a sigh. "Why can't you trust that I know what I'm doing? I haven't gotten in over my head yet, and my connections could actually help you. See? There's a positive side to this."
"You don't get it. There are some people the Council won't take help from. Because they know better, because they've been burned before, and because Willow can see into the heart of things. We have enough enemies, and they will use you. It doesn't matter how long you've dealt with them. They will risk your ire to take us out."
"Then I guess I'll have to live with getting pissed off, because there's nothing for me if I stop." He couldn't tell Draco that this gave him a purpose and respect, even if it was out of fear. Blaise didn't have the luxury of starting over. There was nothing wrong with what he was doing, so he would keep doing it. If Draco got mad at him over it, then Draco got mad.
"So this means more to you than me? You think I knew what I was going to do with myself when I quit being Draco Malfoy, prodigal brat? No, and it's not going to be easy. In fact, it'll probably suck. It will probably suck a lot, but you get through it. You find out who you really are. And this... all this that you're doing now - it's not you, and I wish you could see that."
Blaise wanted to bang his head into the wall. "But this is
me, Draco! This is what I do. This is what I've been doing for a decade. Why the hell can't you get it through your head that this is me and I don't want to change? I like doing this. Do you think I wouldn't stand up to my mother if I didn't?"
"Just get out," Draco said, a hysterical tone to his voice. "You don't care about me, you don't care about Pevensie, and you certainly don't care about Abbott."
"Stop putting words in my mouth; I never said that!" Blaise snapped. "Stop trying to victimize yourself."
"You never say anything you really mean! I've learned to read between the lines! You know what yours say to me? I don't give a shit about you. You don't care about me as long as I shut my damned cake-hole about your life and stay out of your way! It's been like that our whole lives! So you go on and do your business!"
Draco backed away, shaking his head. "Don't worry about me. I'll stay out of your life from now on. Obviously my input isn't wanted."
There was no talking to him like this. His luck, Pevensie would come in and the entire thing would escalate. He would come back in a few days when both he and Draco were calmed down and they could talk rationally.
"This is why I never brought it up. You would take it the wrong way." Blaise stood and walked over to the door. "Get some rest." With that, he slammed the door behind him.
"How the fuck am I supposed to take it," Draco asked himself.
Then he snarled and raked his arm across the table, knocking all the contents to the floor.