The Date Crashers
April 23, 2005 7:51 PM
So far it had been a pleasant evening. Zabini had picked her up from Flourish and Blotts, baring a single yellow carnation to give to her. Which made her put a check in her mental "date" column. She needed to actually ask him about the definition of the evening, she supposed.
Blaise, because if this was
a date then she couldn't continue to call him Zabini, had taken her to a little cafe that she had never been to before. It was a nice place, but not too fancy. The menu was in English and there were no candles on the table. Which, given all that she knew about him, added a check to the "not a date" column.
So, basically, Luna had no idea what the night was. Beyond fun.
"So, what was the most outrageous thing you did in school," she asked, continuing the conversation about the antics he and Malfoy had gotten up to.
Blaise chuckled and took another drink of his scotch. "Outrageous embarrassing or outrageous 'I can't believe you didn't get expelled for that on the spot'? Because believe it or not there is a difference."
"Embarrassing, if anything ever embarrassed you. And then 'how did you not get expelled'." She took a sip of her own white wine as she waited for him to answer. The cafe, though small, had excellent food.
"Well, if it was ever embarrassing, I quickly got over it." He let out a sigh and thought. He couldn't give away anything too incriminating but he didn't want to be dull either. "Most embarrassing was probably the day after I got smashed and woke up in a dress. That's the same as not getting expelled because I was informed that I ran through the entire dungeons in said dress screaming at the top of my lungs at two in the morning. I've never seen Snape so horrified."
Luna laughed loudly at the mental picture of Professor Snape's face. She couldn't actually imagine his face looking that horrified, which made it even funnier.
"The two of you must have driven him insane."
"Who the hell do you think convinced me to put on the dress in the first place?"
"What did you do in retaliation?" She didn't have any stories like this from school. She snuck out for Dumbledore's Army practice, sure, but Flitwick had all but given his express permission for that. They had all thought that they were putting one over on their professors, but Luna remembered the sly smiles. Professor Flitwick had never been good at hiding his emotions.
What had he done? "I think I switched out his Transfiguration homework with a third year's. It was either that or hexed all his trousers a size too small. I can't remember which."
Blaise grinned at her as he leaned back in his chair. "And what about you? Hex anyone for revenge or for the fun of it?"
"No," she said with a shake of her head. "It was all good clean fun. I don't think I even cast the jelly legs hex until fourth year. Had it cast at me a few times, but my housemates soon decided that it was more fun to hex someone who got mad about it. I'm afraid that I was rather the straight arrow. So no sneaking down to the kitchens or up to the Astronomy Tower for me."
"Weren't you bored?" Blaise asked. "I think I would have gone mad if it weren't for plotting evil plans to take down my housemates."
"Not at all," she said with a laugh. "I had a whole library full of books to read. I think I spent more time in there than I did in our common room."
He liked reading as much as the next person, but he got most of his work done quicker in his own rooms. "I don't think I ever actually went into the library to read. Interesting. Was it a decent library, and please answer as if I didn't live in the same castle in which the library was housed but never thought to actually use it as a place to read books."
"You had to have gone in to do research, didn't you? It's a wonderful library. The books aren't limited to subjects that someone has deemed appropriate for students. There were Master level potion manuals, if you knew where to look. And research into how to become an Animagus.
"But I didn't live in the library," she assured. "I spent a lot of time out of doors, especially by the lake. I think the squid learned to recognize me."
"Ah, I love the outdoors as well, but I stayed on the lawn just past the courtyard. Draco used to bitch that he'd burn and he stopped coming out with me until we figured out a way to increase the strength of the sun protection potion he used. My favorite season is summer just for the sunshine."
She looked into the cafe and saw them there talking. Hannah felt this was a very bad idea. Very bad. Draco had talked her into this.
"They're in there," Astoria Greengrass aid. "You owe me, Malfoy."
Draco grinned. "Did he see you?"
"Don't be insulting."
Hannah was looking between the two of them with wide eyes. She needed to leave. The only way she had allowed herself to be talked into this was because she had not seen Blaise all week. In fact, she suspected he was avoiding her. Before she could make an escape, Draco pulled her inside the cafe and tucked her arm into his.
"Draco, this is crazy," Hannah whispered.
Blaise was grinning and about to take a drink of his scotch when he saw a familiar face out of the corner of his eye. Draco was leading Hannah into the cafe looking like he'd just caught the snitch. "Oh, you son of a bitch," he muttered. Blaise cleared his throat and gave Luna a tight smile. "I do hope you're up for some company."
She looked around, confused, and spotted Malfoy and a familiar blonde. Hannah Abbott, if she wasn't mistaken. She knew the other witch was the Ministry Liaison to the Council, but had not seen her about the Council yet.
"Shouldn't you be happy to run into a friend? It's not like he's here to cause problems." Judging by the scowl on his face, the answer was an emphatic no
. Which made her remember all the stories Blaise had been spinning about the trouble the two had gotten into. And wondering, once again, if this was one of those "bring a weirdo" dates.
"It's Draco. He's always around to cause problems. I just hope he doesn't try to ruin anything. I didn't tell him I was even going out tonight for this reason."
"Because you expected him to show up out of the blue? Does he often do that when you're having interesting conversations?" Or dates. She still wasn't sure about that. But if Malfoy showed up on all of Blaise's dates, then maybe she should slip him a book on dealing with homosexual revelations.
Hannah gasped when Draco put an arm around her waist and steered her to the table. "Hello, all."
Hannah's eyes were wide. She could not have spoken if she wanted to. How had she let herself be talked into this? It was already awkward.
"Hello, Malfoy," Luna said, standing from the table. She noticed that Blaise was still leaning back against his chair, looking like a storm cloud.
"I don't know if you remember me," she said, holding her hand out for Hannah to shake. "But I'm Luna Lovegood. I think you were a year above me in school." She'd ask them to join them for desert, but from the look on Blaise's face, that was not a good idea.
"H-Hannah," Hannah responded, shaking Luna's hand but her eyes were on Blaise.
He looked very upset. She was a bit surprised. Then she looked at the table. Hannah frowned. It looked like they'd had dinner.
"Dating again?" Draco asked, false smile on his face.
His fingers tightened on Hannah's hip and she yelped.
Blaise narrowed his eyes. Pink hair and roaring lions were going to be the least of Draco's worry in the future.
"Luna and I are just making pleasant conversation. Once she's done slaving away at the Council library, I'm going to tempt her to the manor to work on my own. We reconnected when I bought out Flourish and Blott's section on decorating. And yourself?" He looked between the two of them carefully. "I didn't know your positions allowed for romances."
"Reconnected?" Hannah asked. "You were... connected before?"
"Willow and Oz used to date. Her last girlfriend was a slayer. I almost had a thing with Buffy except for the lack of snogging chemistry. No one said anything about that. I think I can go out with who I want. Besides, we're just eating. People have to eat. Tori and I eat. Doesn't mean I'm back with her. I also eat with Willow all the time. Not dating her. In fact, we could say, unlike some people, I am not dating anyone. Very much not dating. No dates in sight. None."
Hannah was looking at Draco in confusion. What was wrong with him?
Luna quietly sat back down and looked between Hannah, Malfoy, and Blaise. There was something she was missing here. Some undercurrent that was not obvious. But as Malfoy all but ranted about dating, she began to get a picture. Hannah and Blaise used to date. Recently. And she had a sinking sensation that Malfoy had drug Hannah out just to rub it in Blaise's face that he could.
They had a very skewed definition of friendship, Blaise and Malfoy.
"No," she assured Hannah. "We never talked before the other day."
"Oh," Hannah said, nodding. "Of course I know who you are, Luna. We were in Dumbledore's Army together. Your patronus is a hare."
Draco looked at Hannah and grinned.
"Yes, it is," Luna said. She cast a glance at Malfoy, who was exchanging glares with Blaise. It was becoming obvious to her that Malfoy was marking his territory when it came to Hannah and both women had the misfortune of being caught in the middle of the pissing contest.
She couldn't do anything to rescue Hannah from the men, but she could extract herself. She dug enough galleons to cover her half of the food from her bag and placed them on the table before standing.
"Well," she said to Blaise. "Dinner and the conversation was lovely. You should owl me once you've finished the Morons and Muggles
book I gave you. We can have tea and discuss it."
She smiled pleasantly at the three and turned to walk away.
Hannah extracted herself from Draco and hurried after Luna. "Luna, wait. Don't leave because Draco is an arse. I'm sorry we ruined your evening. If you want to see Blaise, then you have every right to. I have no claims upon him."
"I'm perfectly aware of that," Luna assured the other blonde, who looked taken aback by her frank declaration. "But in any case, the two of us are not dating. I'm leaving because I have no desire to see Malfoy and Blaise get into some territorial dispute over a girl." She glanced back at the two friends, who were glaring at each other, arms crossed over their chests in almost the same posture.
"You should see if you can manage to drag Malfoy away. You two look like you've just started your evening, which means the date can still be salvaged. Mine was over anyway, and for the most part was rather pleasant."
"There is no Draco and I. He has some strange ideas about the best way to hurl me in the path of his best friend. He's very convincing. I think the next time he tries to talk me into something, I should cover my ears and start humming the Sorting Hat Song rather loudly. I do believe I might leave with you and let them figuratively duke it out."
From the look of the two men, there might not be any "figuratively" involved in the duking it out.
"Sounds like a plan to me," Luna said as the two of them headed towards the door.
Blaise had been half expecting Hannah to coerce Luna to coming back, but when both of the women disappeared, he threw his balled up napkin onto the table and finally stood. "I can't believe you would even fucking attempt something so juvenile!"
"You can't?" Draco asked, chuckling. "Who're are you friends with?"
Well that was true. He had just told Luna about the time Draco convinced him to run around in a dress. "What the hell are you trying to pull and what good did it do? They both walked out of here. I was having a nice time!"
"When you started this whole thing with Hannah, I warned you. I told you not to mess it up. You're messing it up. She has some jealousy going for her that makes mine look like kid stuff. And no matter what you seem to do to her, she still likes you, and I don't understand that at all. And I knew you were here because I asked Tori to follow you."
Draco waved at Astoria. She have a pert little beauty queen wave with a gloved hand from a table in the corner, obviously having watched the whole exchange.
With wide eyes, Blaise spun around to stare incredulously at Astoria. The little bitch had followed him again! Not caring who might see, he held up two fingers and flipped her off. An elderly woman at the next table over gasped, but Blaise ignored her in favor of throwing down galleons.
"I would say I can't believe you did this, but I know you. You do realize that all you've managed to do is scare both Hannah and Luna off, correct? Brilliant plan."
"Hannah isn't scared off by anything you do, and I don't care if she doesn't want to date me. I'm not after her. Hannah Abbott honestly likes you, and she's a broken doll, so you need to decide if you want to take the time. Because if you don't, you need to kill it now. It's affecting her work, which affects my work."
Blaise snorted and threw enough galleons to cover the rest of the meal and started to leave. "I gave her half a dozen opportunities and she shot me down. I'm not about drop everything because she's had a change of heart."
Draco stood there for a moment. So he was moving on to Luna Lovegood? The whole situation angered him. Greatly. Before he knew what he was doing, Draco had punched Blaise.
His head snapped back with the force of the punch and it was only Blaise putting his hand on a nearby table that saved him from falling on his arse. Patrons moved away from the fight, and Blaise quickly felt around his face. There was no blood, but he would bruise.
"If you fucked up my face, I will kill you."
"You're just going to give up because it wasn't easy? You spent all that time getting her to fall for you, and then ditch her when she does? I know you're a work in progress, but that's a shitty thing to do to a woman who's been left and cheated on as much as she has, and no, she didn't tell me. The girls talk. They don't know anything for certain, but things Hannah says and does not say tell a lot about her. If you're finished with her, then you need to man up and tell her, so when she sees you out with others, she doesn't start crying again and let me talk her into things she would never do because she too sodding nice."
Draco turned and went to storm off.
A part of him was quite pleased he could now hit properly and had made a grown man stagger with his punch.
Blaise rubbed his sore jaw and glared at Draco as he stalked out of the cafe. His night had started out so well. Now it was ruined, and he wasn't sure who to blame. With a growl, he headed out of the cafe through the side door, not sure if Draco would be lying in wait outside the front entrance or not. He had some pottery to hex.