By Any Other Name
Connor had been on some weird missions for the Council but this one was weird for more reasons than one. Being asked to pop out to the middle of fucking nowhere to ‘check in’ on someone that wasn’t missing, calling for help, or lost was just odd. Until he met Luna Lovegood and that’s when things began to become confusing in very odd ways.
But Xander seemed inclined to indulge Charlie Weasley, for whatever reason, so Connor had let Dawn pop him into the middle of a forest somewhere where he stumbled around for an hour before falling, literally, at the feet of the very person he’d been looking for. He looked up and went still when the...thing wrapped around her shoulders hissed, flashing a million sharp, pointy teeth, before it floated up and disappeared in a swirl of colors.
Mr. Giles liked to say there was truth to every tale and Connor could see how a tripping human could mistake the malicious beasty for a helpful, if tricksy cat and how they could get onto a magical animal preserve in the first place. He still didn’t get the shit with the flamingos, though.
Luna looked at him, eyes alight with curiosity. “The Ches’t’ire didn’t seem to like you. Of course, they only seem to like curious mortals.”
Which could explain why the thing hadn’t mauled Luna Lovegood as soon as she wandered into its territory.
“Right, well, I’m Connor. The Weasley’s were worried about you and so they asked my organization to check in with you,” he said.
And, instead of getting pissed like most people Connor knew would have at being kept an eye on, she gave him a bemused smile and said, “Of course. Mrs. Weasley’s still fretful. She needn’t worry. I’ve only come to the preserve to see the Lunar Roses and to gather a few samples for Neville. It only blooms at 11:58 on the third Thursday of June, you know, and the blooms only last until midnight. Two minutes once a year and they have more magical properties than dragons’ blood. Fascinating, isn’t it?” She looked at him, all wide blue eyes and Mona Lisa smile and he maybe understood why Charlie thought she could benefit from Council interference.
“Yeah,” he said, because it was the way she told it, with enthusiasm and wonder. “But after they bloom, I’d like to take you back to the Council so you can check in.”
Her eyes lit. “You work for the Council? They were to be my last stop, after the Lunar Roses.”
Connor nodded, even as he gently turned her and said, “Your flowers.”
She lifted her wand as hundreds of beautiful whitish-blue flowers that dazzled like diamonds burst into bloom. She quickly swished and flicked, gathering easily fifty in a few seconds before pausing and asking, “Would you like some?”
He hesitated before saying, “A dozen. Two for planting and the others just as they are now.”
She nodded, setting quickly to work. His dozen were carefully selected and frozen and then, as his internal clock ticked to midnight, the petals fell from the stems and their light winked out.
Connor felt something and spun, skewering the Ches’t’ire through its gaping mouth.
“Oh,” Luna said sadly. “It must have missed the bit about the Council.”
Connor blinked, confused. He knew demons
that made more sense than Luna Lovegood.