A Tangled Web
AN: The authors at Scriptificus just wanted to thank everyone who's been reading and reviewing so far. Your support means a lot to us.
April 10, 2005 4:00 PM
Astoria spotted Draco coming out of the apothecary in Diagon. She began following at a distance. He also had what looked like a sack of groceries with him as he made his way into the Leaky and out into the Muggle world. Astoria followed. Something was compelling her to do so. He did not know she was there, but she did not want him to know as of yet.
He moved into the alley and disapparated.
Astoria rushed to the spot where he had disappeared and put her hand in what was left of the magical signature before catching his direction in her Sight and following. She was not surprised to see where she had ended up. She knew Draco came here often. It was his debt he felt he needed to pay.
He had no idea what he used to give away to her in the vulnerability of sleep when her bare skin brushed his.
Astoria waited until he had knocked on the door before rushing to stand next to him. Astoria was not surprised to find his wand tip pressing into the pulse of her throat not soon after that. Draco could move fairly quickly when he chose to.
Draco had been replenishing the groceries in Spinner's End just in case. Since the mark had burned, no one had been around in the house when he stopped by, but someone was eating the food he brought. It was very frustrating because he wanted to talk about what was happening to someone who was involved, who had been there like he had. His choices were few and most of those were unappealing.
He was startled into drawing his wand when someone rushed up to stand next to him.
"Astoria," he snapped. "What in the hell are you doing here?"
"I followed you."
"You have to leave. You can't be here."
Astoria turned and sniffed at the house. "He's not here, you know. He disapparated when he felt you breach the wards." She put her hand on the door. "His burned as well, and no, he's not ready to speak to you about it." She made a face. "Also? The door's open."
Astoria opened the door and stepped inside.
Draco glared at her back as she moved into the tiny place. "What... how..."
"I'm a Seer, Draco, or have you forgotten? He knows I know about him. He also knows I would never say anything. I haven't even told Daphne, and you know how she adored him. I like to send him people who are trying to raise Voldemort. I think he enjoys obliviating them. One of my Avery cousins is in Mungo's and thinks he's a crup after visiting here repeatedly. Quite amusing because I'm sure you recall what a bastard Tamaran could be."
"Well, his was obliviated so hard and so many times that his brain got scrambled."
"No, not that. I don't give a rat's arse about Tamaran. You're right. He was a bastard."
"And now he's a crup."
Draco sighed in frustration. "How did you know about... here?"
"You told me."
Draco glared at her. He had not even told Blaise. He had told no one. He would have recalled doing so.
"In your sleep, darling."
"I don't talk in my..." Then it dawned on him. She had been in his mind when they'd shared a bed. Likely not on purpose, as most of her findings were actually an accident. She had limited control of her gift. That much he did know about her. "Why did you never say anything to me?"
"Because at the time you needed to be the only one who knew. Now there is the possibility you have need of assistance since you have so many other pressing responsibilities."
"And you're offering to help."
Astoria took the bag of groceries from him and started putting them away. Draco did not even have to say where. She just knew, but she always just knew. It was a trait that could be both convenient and frustrating.
"I am sorry it did not work out with that slayer and yourself," she said after a moment. "You did seem suited. Perhaps you shall find someone else, though."
Her eyes were sparkling with mischief.
"No," Draco said. "Just no."
He put the potion ingredients he'd gotten from the apothecary in the cabinet where they went.
"What no?" Astoria asked with a grin.
"You know what no," Draco snapped. "I am in no mood for your little helpful life path hints today."
"Well, you get one anyway. You needn't worry about Marcus and your slayer any longer. First of all, he's mine, but I would never harm her to prove such a point. I do hope you know that. She leaves such a good trail of herself. I am sure I like her already. She's noble for one so young, and she will do great things because of the love you have for her."
Draco was frozen. He'd been drawn in by her words. He shook his head to clear it.
"Stop that, dammit!"
"What? I was merely explaining that your slayer will be getting over her crush on Marcus. He's really only capable of being handled by me, not that Marcus can be tamed."
"Can you just shut up," Draco snapped, incredulous face firmly on. "I have no desire to hear about the handling or not of Marcus bloody Flint."
"His middle name is Myles, not bloody."
Draco glared at her. "You are still an annoying pain right in my arse."
Astoria threw back her head and laughed. "Come have tea with me after this. I heard Blaise tossed Calanthe out and got rid of that hateful cow Ella."
"He's not dealing any longer. Did you know? People have ugly things to say about him due to this, but they have no idea how much wrath will rain down upon them if he is harmed."
"You? But I thought..."
"Oh I still quite despise him at times, but that doesn't mean I want some filthy bottom-dweller with a damned grudge to harm him. He's one of us, and as much as we all can't stand one another most times, no one touches one of us without paying."
Draco could not have said it better himself.
"And the sad thing, it isn't even the rest of our generation of Slytherins they'd need to worry about."
Draco didn't say anything to that. He knew who Astoria was referring to. He finished restocking the potions cabinet and noticed she was already finished replenishing the food stores. It was obvious he'd not have the conversation he wished to have today.
"Tea then? All right. Fine. Where?"
"Allegra's," Astoria replied without missing a beat. "And you're paying."
Draco groaned. It was the most high end tea house in Diagon. "Fine."
He held an arm out to her. Neither were aware of the eyes that watched the from the shadows as they headed out of the house.