April 14, 2005 11:48 AM
Willow busted through the wards at Zabini Manor and headed in the direction she sense Blaise was. He seemed to have been outdoors sunning himself. As she rounded the corner, she saw his wand was drawn.
"Oh! It's just me! And you're nearly naked. Oooooo."
Blaise immediately reset the wards and sighed. His first thought when his wards had been breached was another demon coming after him. "You're in the wards, you know. You don't have to punch through them to visit."
He walked back outside and out to the deck. "What are you doing here anyway? Can't you floo like a normal person?"
"I'm in your wards? That's so cute. I came here to talk to you, if that's all right."
Blaise resented being called cute, but didn't bring it up. He dropped into the lounger and laid back, closing his eyes. "Pull up a chair and talk, then. Didly will fetch something if you need it. Didly!"
He oomphed when the house elf appeared on his legs. Blaise raised up and glared at it.
"Oh he's so cute. I just love house-elves. They remind me of the cat in Austin Powers."
Willow pulled up a chair and sat down.
"Why are you sunning? You're pretty dark already, you know."
Blaise tried to move, but Didly was still on his legs. "She obviously doesn't want something, so go back and make sure the others aren't messing things up."
Didly instead started to work on the garden, which was fine by Blaise. "I like to come out here because I spent my summers in Italy. It's considerably warmer there, and most of my time was spent outside. I like the sun. Is this what you came to talk about?"
"No. I wanted to talk about Knockturn Alley. You know I go down there. You know I talk to people. I know what you did."
He tensed, but try not to let it show. "I would make a remark about how Knockturn isn't safe, but considering who I'm talking to, I don't think that it would carry much weight," Blaise said lightly.
He waited for the reprimand of his business, and wasn't holding out that she'd skip the part about how what he did was dangerous and extremely stupid for selling things that could and did hurt the slayers and watchers.
"You stopped. Was it because of Draco? They are saying bad things about you, and I had to threaten a few people. I would never let them hurt you. I just... I can't believe it. I'm so proud of you."
That was very unexpected. Blaise wasn't sure what to say to that.
"They said bad things about me before, and don't waste your threats. They'd be incredibly stupid to come after me."
"I know. Because I gave up making idle threats years ago. Demons and underbelly dwellers? Not too bright. I don't think I ever realized how much you actually cared about Draco. Does he know? It just makes me happy that you do have feelings."
That shocked a cynical laugh out of him. "Why the hell does no one think I'm a cold hearted bastard? Besides the fact that I can be that sometimes?"
"Because I saw your face when you came literally running to Draco. I saw it when Pevensie told you what happened. You aren't. You are just selective in who you care for."
"Because more often than not, growing up in the society Draco and I did, we got fucked over in the emotions department. Why do you think our mothers still try to arrange our marriages. If I could stand the bint my mother tried to hook me up with and if Draco hadn't turned his gay, I would be watching our children playing together."
"You act like you're a grandpa. You can still have oodles of kids. Lots of daughters for Draco's sons. And Tori's not gay. She's bisexual like me. The whole Marcus Flint thing sort of proves that. She sees things like I do. Not the packaging, more the person."
Blaise snorted. "I don't want oodles of kids. I have to babysit screaming brats for my family and that's enough of little ones for me. And can we not have this discussion?"
Talking about children made him antsy. When he was with Ella, it was fine, because it was expected. He was the oldest grandson, and it was expected of him to have children. He'd grown up knowing that and Ella knew that. Now that he was without a girlfriend and pretty much at the beginning of a new life he wasn't sure he liked, Blaise got a little testy.
"I'm not saying you have to have them today, cranky pants. Dang. But I don't think it's going to be as bad as you think is will be. Fine, though. We won't talk about it. What would you like to talk about since you're so fussy today."
Willow knew he was just unsure, and being unsure would make anyone cranky. He was doing something he had never done before, never thought he would do. It could be scary. She knew that as well as anyone did.
Blaise made a face. "You're the one who broke through my wards to have a heart to heart." He turned over to look at her. "How did you even know where this was? It's unplottable."
"Um... Draco brought me here once."
Blaise had a look.
"You were gone, and we were worried, so we came to ask your mother and Ella where you'd gotten off to. Ella kind of mad me mad and I cut off a big chunk of her hair."
The last was said in a rush.
Blaise's jaw dropped slowly. "You came here, met my mother, and cut off my ex-girlfriend's hair?"
He honestly didn't know whether to laugh, be pissed, or rant at Draco for bringing Willow to be in the near vicinity of his mother and ex-girlfriend.
"She made me cranky," Willow offered feebly. "She was making Draco very upset, and his emotions sort of overtook me. That happens sometimes."
"She makes everyone cranky, especially
Draco. It's her gift." Blaise settled on chuckling and decided to rant at Draco another day. "My mother wasn't terrible, was she?"
"She was very polite. I think I made her nervous."
Blaise leaned back in the chair. "Well, she probably knew exactly who you were, and she knows Ella and Draco don't mix. More than likely, she didn't want to deal with the backlash that an all-out fight would cause between the two. We didn't really talk about that much."
"Do you want to... talk about what happened? If you don't, it's okay, but if you need to, I have been told I'm a good listener."
Willow smiled at him.
He slowly turned to look at her. "Talk... about what happened? What happened that I need to talk about?"
"With your mother, with Ella. That must have been at the very least awkward. Do you not talk about stuff when bad things happen? Because if you need me to share something to level the field, I can. Draco's like that. He doesn't want to seem vulnerable unless I am too."
Blaise had no idea why she would want to talk about something like that. It was bad enough to live through it once, so there was no need to live through it again. "I kicked my girlfriend out of the house, moved out for a bit, kicked my mother out of the house, moved back in. I don't know about you, but that's almost normal for me. It certainly wasn't the first time I've had a fight with either of them."
Willow gave him a sad look. "That doesn't make you feel bad? When my girlfriend left me, I felt terrible."
"I knew Ella before I dated her. She dated my cousin for a few months before Sofia broke it off. I was used to her. I figured if I could stand her long enough to last this long, I could stand her for years to come."
He sighed. He would start to feel bad when his family gave him grief over not settling down. His little sister was married with two kids, his other younger sister was engaged, and Dona was freshly 18 with a serious beau. He was never going to live it down.
"Then what has you frowning, Blaise?"
She wasn't going to leave him alone. It didn't matter where he hid, she'd always find him and want to talk. Fucking Hufflepuff. He'd never had someone pester him so much. His family never questioned because they knew he didn't like it, but there were never secrets so no one had to ask. In school, no one asked because they didn't want a hex in the face.
"Why the fuck does it matter and why the fuck do you care?" he asked, honestly wondering what he'd done to deserve her acting like a spoiled puppy.
Willow recoiled like she had been slapped in the face. She stared at him for a long time before she just got up and started walking towards the edge of the wards.
Blaise sighed. "Oh damn it."
He'd been told he got snippy when he got defensive, and Willow wasn't used to his abrasive nature yet. Deciding that it was in his best interest to apologize to the witch who could kill him with a blink of her eye, Blaise started to get up when Didly appeared on his legs again and snapped him in the stomach with the spoon. He'd forgotten the elf had stayed outside and probably heard the interaction.
"You is being mean to nice Miss Willow."
Blaise didn't get a harsh reprimand or a swift kick to the elf's backside before it disappeared again.
Didly appeared in front of Willow, right in her path. "Misses Willow must not leave!"
Willow swiped at her eyes with her hands to wipe away the moisture there. "Why not, Didly? My concern is not welcome nor is it wanted."
The house elf wrung its hands in nervousness. "Master Blaise not being used to someone asking. Master Blaise not being used to anyone not family wanting to know."
"Well tough! I tend to start to care about the people I get to know! But I won't sit here and be snapped and cursed at for showing concern, Didly."
"And Master Blaise is knowing not to snap and curse anymore," Didly said, nodding furiously. "But previous mistress forbid Master Blaise from feeling talk."
"His mother or Ella?"
Didly whimpered and shook his head.
"He's not allowed to talk about my mother in a negative way. I may not be able to stand her and I'm very lenient when it comes to talking about me," Blaise said as he came up behind Willow, "but I draw the line at the elves speaking bad about her."
"Your mother forbid you to talk about your feelings?"
Willow considered that for a minute She knew Sheila Rosenberg was pretty much in her own world, but she was not that bad. Granted she still called Buffy 'that Bunny Summers', but that was beside the point.
"Are you honestly surprised? Most people aren't, but then you haven't known my mother for a very long time. It's common in the children in our circles."
"I'm going to hug you now."
Willow did not wait for him to respond. She pulled him in a hug and squeezed tightly.
"Well, she's not here anymore. You can talk about whatever you want."
Blaise rolled his eyes. "Thank you, but I will refrain from talking about it. I have nothing to say. It's happened, so what can I do?"
"Oh," Willow said, leaning back, arms still around him. "You've never vented? You so need to experience the joys of bitching about something until it's all out of your system. Draco's really good at that. So is Buffy."
"Oh I bitch, but it's usually to Draco or Pansy, and they're used to it. There's normally many swears, in different languages, followed by me hexing something into pieces."
"Well, I just ask you not hex anything at the Council."
She hugged him some more.
"You're very cuddly."
Blaise snorted, and vehemently denied it, despite the fact that they were hugging closely. "I don't know where you got that thought, but it can go right from your head. I don't cuddle."
"Says the man who is, in fact, cuddling right this moment."
"Oh shut up."