There were a lot of things that Cordelia didn’t like about working for the Council (besides coming back from the Upper Realms to find that was actually a possibility.) One was the whole diplomatic thing. As soon as the number of Slayers ratcheted up and the Council became noticeably international, playing nice became a top priority. And, because Cordelia didn’t believe in tact, diplomacy wasn’t her strong suit.
But, despite the fact that they had absolutely no fashion sense and were still horribly naïve despite their recent troubles, Cordelia still liked the people of the Wizarding World. Well, as much as she liked anyone that she hadn’t known Before.
The young lady showing her around was flaky and friendly but subdued, the ghastly scars running down her face answer enough as to what had stripped away what had likely been joyful innocence. Miss Brown still managed to make her feel old, though, despite the fact that they were near the same age. Cordelia’s scars had seeped into her soul and this woman’s hadn’t quite made it that far. Not yet, anyway.
Miss Brown pointed and said, “And that’s Ne-er, Professor Longbottom, who teaches Herbology.”
Cordelia looked at the man indicated and blinked. He was dusty, there was mud on his boots and the bottoms of his badly hemmed pants, and he appeared to be speaking to a plant that kept puffing little bits of flame at him. With a sinking feeling, Cordelia felt that part of her brain that had been dormant since she ascended, descended, ‘died’, and recorporealized stir with interest. She’d been back a year, since Angel’s little chat with the Circle of the Black Thorn, and she hadn’t been interested that way
in any man. And, of course, it would have to reawaken at the sight of this man. She’d bet her entire room of shoes that he had a heart of a lion under that ugly sweater because she’d realized her type many years ago: slightly nerdish, awkward, backward, heroes-in-the-making.
Cordelia bit her tongue, not interested on putting her heart out there to be smashed into smithereens again. Miss Brown was watching her, entirely too inquisitively for her own good. Cordelia gave herself a couple of seconds to think bad thoughts about the woman’s style choices (Puce
robes, for TPTB’s sake) and made herself ask, “Could you introduce us?”
Miss Brown smiled and Cordelia found herself thinking that she was pretty despite the scars. “Professor Longbottom’s already late for class,” she said even as Longbottom disappeared with a soft pop. “And his next class is First Years and they’re always too curious for their own good.” A dark shadow passed behind her eyes before they brightened again. “Maybe you’ll meet him later.”
“Maybe,” Cordelia said and stomped down the disappointment that tried to choke her. There wouldn’t be a meet-cute if she had anything to say about it.