Heard Tell Tale
Snape had requested both his and Blaise’s presence. They’d met at the Council, each asking the other what this could possibly be about. As they entered Spinner’s End, Draco stopped short upon seeing Astoria standing by the fire.
He hadn’t seen her in a while, mainly because he was dead angry about what she’d done to Hannah, but she looked terrible. Had she and Flint ended it or something?
When Blaise walked in, he groaned. “Already I don’t like this. I’m not going to leave here happy, am I?”
“Probably not,” Astoria said.
“Are you all right, Tori?” Draco asked.
“A world of no,” she replied.
“What’s he done?” Draco snapped. “Where is he?”
“Do calm down, Draco,” Snape said as he stalked into the room.
He was looking much improved, much more like the Snape of old.
“If we were dragged here because Miss Psycho over there broke up with her boyfriend, I would like to state that I’ll happily rejoice and then leave. I have better things to do with my time,” Blaise snapped. He could care less if Greengrass broke up with Flint. It would serve her right after what he went through with Hannah.
The door opened and Willow walked in. “Hey, guys, um... what’s going on? Astoria, are you okay? What’s... where’s Daphne?”
Willow could sense something bad had happened.
Draco was frowning.
“Miss Greengrass and Mr. Flint are as coupled as ever,” Snape said. “But there are very specific reasons each of you is here.”
Draco didn’t like this, and then Astoria started weeping. He really did not like this. In fact, Draco was beginning to panic.
Snape was too calm and Greengrass was too emotional. “What happened?” Blaise asked in a low voice. “Something happened and it was bad.”
Willow had moved over and put her arms around Astoria to comfort her. The redhead’s belly was doing flip-flops. Astoria was usually so carefree or scary Slytherin.
“We know who drugged Willow and took her blood.”
The dots connected so quickly in Draco’s mind that he staggered with the knowledge.
“I don’t...” Willow was shaking her head.
Draco’s heart absolutely broke for his friend as he saw the realization cross her face. Someone she cared for had betrayed her utterly.
Blaise’s heart sped up as everyone realized what Snape was saying. Greengrass was crying because her sister had done this to Willow. He tightened his hands in a fist so tightly that his knuckles popped. “I’m going to kill her,” he said in a low voice. “And this time, I won’t be interrupted.”
He and the eldest Greengrass sister had never gotten along, but they were downright violent most of the times they were near each other. Their next meeting would be no different.
“You will not,” Snape said, enunciating every word. “What you will do is get me a list of everyone who know who knows how to work blood magic.”
Willow was in shock. Everyone sounded very far away. Like she was underwater.
Blaise was almost vibrating in anger and he planned to fully ignore Snape and go after Daphne Greengrass himself. “You realize that will be quite the long list? Am I to put myself and my mother on it?”
“Would your mother deal with Terence Higgs?”
Draco had to sit down then.
Willow still had not reacted, and that was beginning to concern Severus.
Blaise’s jaw dropped in shock. “Higgs? She gave it to fucking Terrence Higgs
? Looks like I’ll be putting two
Slytherins six feet under.”
“Marcus is going to talk to Higgs,” Astoria said weakly.
“Where is she?” Willow finally asked.
“I don’t know,” Astoria said. “I was angry. I was so angry at her. I don’t think I’ve ever been that angry. I threw her out. I told her if she came back to England, I’d let Marcus kill her.”
Draco’s mouth was hanging open in shock. He did not know what to do with any of this. As long as he had known the Greengrass sisters, nothing had ever torn them apart.
“Fuck that,” Blaise snapped. “I found her in the depths of Romania. I’m going hunting for that bitch. Besides, why does Flint get to kill her?”
“You will NOT,” Snap said through his teeth.
Draco couldn’t be certain, but he might have even seen some spittle.
“Why did... why?” Willow said, sounding very lost.
“They brought back Greyback, and Daphne wanted to kill him for what he did to her,” Astoria said. “They wanted the blood in exchange for Greyback.”
Blaise froze. He had a pretty good thought on who they
were, and he had heard the plot for bringing Greback to the land of living before. When he stopped selling for his mother, he had tried to get back all the trinkets and amulets he loaned out, but there were some he missed. Now he was going to have to tear through the dungeons at the Manor and pray that all the items for resurrection of any kind were accounted for.
Draco sat back on the sofa and put his hands over his face. What a buggering cluster fuck this was.
“She... used me?”
“No,” Astoria said. “She honestly liked you.”
“That just makes it worse,” Willow screamed, shoving away from Astoria and immediately bursting into tears.
Severus moved quickly when he felt the air shift in the room. He dropped to where she had fallen to the floor on her hands and knees and put his arms around her.
“Calm,” he said. “You are calm. You own this, it does not own you. Will yourself to remain calm.”
Blaise was already starting to get a headache. He turned to Astoria with a fierce glare. “You can show my girlfriend our entire future together with one touch, but you can’t see your own sister poisoning our friend right now
“I wasn’t...” Astoria started crying again. “I thought I could trust her. I never thought... I didn’t think she was that damaged.”
“Astoria, please stop weeping,” Severus said. “This is not your fault.”
“No,” Blaise snapped, “it’s her sister’s. Why aren’t we out looking for her right now?” He turned to Draco and kicked the chair he was seated in. “Why aren’t you throwing a tantrum right now? Why am I the only one in a murderous rage?”
Draco was just looking where Willow was crouched on the floor crying with Snape, of all people, holding her as she did so.
“Because I feel bad right now,” he replied. “What Daphs did to Tori would be like I betrayed you. It’s unthinkable, you know? I don’t understand. I know she’s fucked up, but... she crossed that line, you know?”
Astoria smiled sadly at Draco. He had such a tender heart for a heartless bastard. Blaise did as well, but Draco understood that when the ‘right’ person betrayed you, your world crashed down. It was how he felt about his father making him take the dark mark.
“It’s unthinkable because you would never do it,” he replied. “You’re not that selfish and self-serving as she is.”
Blaise sighed loudly and rubbed his hands over his face. He was going to go home and tear apart the dungeons until he was sure he didn’t contribute to Greyback returning, then he was going to compile a list of everyone he knew that could work blood magic and would go into business with Higgs. “Well, I was right,” he said wryly. “I’m not happy.”
things like that,” Astoria shouted, then looked briefly at Willow.
Draco held up a hand. “Tori...”
“I can say whatever the fuck I want!” Blaise shouted back at her. “Because it’s true! When I realized that my little side business was hurting the people I cared about, I stopped. All your bitch of a sister cares about is revenge!”
“Blaise...” Willow said so quietly she almost couldn’t be heard.
“And if she cared about anyone but herself, she would have made sure that none of us would be hurt by her need for revenge!” he continued, ignoring Willow. Blaise was rarely so angry, but he took betrayal seriously. He had given up his business, his life, and his mother because he had inadvertently hurt Draco and Pevensie. “What the fuck was going through her mind that she thought any of this was okay?!”
“Daphne has never liked anyone having any sort of power over her,” Severus said evenly to counter Blaise’s angry tones. “Greyback would have ended her life but for Theo being there. What greater power is there than that? I understand it. I would not go about it the same way, but I understand it. Daphne just lacks the imagination of some of my other students. She sees a straight line from point A to point B. However, she is not going to be especially pleased when I find her.”
It was quiet for a moment while Blaise still seethed.
“The thing I have always respected the most about yourself and Draco, Blaise, is that the two of you do happen to have very distinct lines that you will not cross. You will not take the easy route if it means hurting someone you care for.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t listen,” Willow said to Blaise. “But don’t take away from who you are by going after her. You’re so angry. I don’t want this for you.”
Blaise was angry, but he believed he was overcompensating for his panic. If he inadvertently supplied the way for a group to revive Greyback, then this was all his fault. “Too late. I can be as angry as I damn want.”
Severus glared at him. “Fine. Be angry. Be absolutely furious, but do not go after her. That’s my job.”
As upset and betrayed as Willow was, a part of her still did not want Daphne hurt.
“All right,” she said firmly, wiping her eyes. “Enough. This isn’t the first time my girlfriend or boyfriend has hurt me. I’ll wallow later. No more talk about Daphne and who’s going to do what. Right now I think we need a plan for what happened to my blood.”
Still full of restless energy, Blaise started to pace. “The one good thing we have going for us is that your blood is a hot topic and anyone who has it probably won’t keep quiet. If Higgs sells it, the price will be high, which means not many people will be able to afford it. I can make a list of probable buyers.”
“Like I said, Marcus is going to talk to Higgs,” Astoria said. “He might get the buyers’ names from him. If Higgs is smart, he’ll give them up, but then again, we are talking about someone dumb enough to try to sell the blood in the first place. I wouldn’t be surprised if Higgs was unable to talk again after this particular conversation. Marcus was less than pleased with the turn of events.”
Draco snorted. Higgs would be lucky to live.
“Higgs will say anything to get Flint to stop beating on him. And then he’ll stop talking completely because I refuse to believe Higgs gets to walk away from this breathing.”
“I told him not to kill him,” Astoria said. “I did mention I wasn’t opposed to there being a severe limp afterwards, though, and really does one actually need to eat solid foods?”
“You really think Flint won’t kill him?” Draco asked.
“Why?” Astoria said. “Why kill anyone when you can keep torturing them? Death ends it. Suffering can be prolonged indefinitely.”
Draco nodded in agreement.
Willow looked from one to the other. “You guys are kinda messed up, you know that, right?
Blaise rolled his eyes, looking at Astoria. "Has everyone forgotten that we have our own necromancer now? Why can't we all have a go at Higgs? If he dies, just grab Nott and bring Higgs back."
“We cannot have Theodore do such a thing,” Severus said.
Everyone, except Willow, got a disappointed look upon their face, as they had seemed to think it a grand idea to have Nott repeatedly resurrect Higgs.
“Nott’s magic is currently tied to a scroll that resides in Mr. Giles’ office. If he starts resurrecting Higgs multiple times, Rupert Giles will know, and while I do think he would appreciate the poetry of it, I do not want to put the man in that position. Let us not forget several of us are being carefully watched by Moody.”
“So what do
we do?” Draco asked. “Or more appropriately, what can we do? Personally, I’m leaning towards setting Higgs’ pants on fire while he’s still in them, but I gather that might be frowned upon.”
“You better be on a different continent when that happens,” Blaise said, “Because everyone and their crup will know it was you who did it.”
“No,” Willow said. “They could think it was me since I set a guy on fire after I’d skinned him.”
Astoria sighed and looked at Willow with a bit of longing. “I do wish Marcus would share. I think the three of us would have a lovely time.”
Severus, Draco and Blaise all gave her a disturbed look about that revelation.
“Well, I’m very flattered,” Willow said. “But I think I’m gonna be just Willow for a while since I’m bad at the dating thing.”
“You’re not bad at dating,” Blaise said, rolling his eyes. “You just have shit taste. Don’t worry. There was a point in my life where I considered the elder Greengrass too before she tried to kill me. We’re a lot more alike than you think.”
“I do not have bad taste,” Willow said. “My first boyfriend was Oz, and you think he’s all right, don’t you?”
“Maybe you should go out with Oz again,” Draco muttered.
“And Tara,” Willow smiled just saying her name. “Tara had a lovely soul. She was nice and kind and generous and just all around... zen. There was calm to her. I loved that.”
“I can’t think of a single calm person in my life. Ever.” He turned to Draco, trying to get his mind off of Daphne. If he tried going after her now, Snape would stop him. He would scheme far away from prying eyes. “I thought Pansy was doing something with the werewolf? Every time I see her, she’s muttering about him.”
“Harris bought her shoes. Good ones,” Draco said. “I warned her, but she didn’t listen, and Oz was never going to do anything with Pans. He likes her sure, but not that way
. He likes to annoy her because she reminds him of someone.”
“Cordelia,” Willow said. She smiled thinking of the former cheerleader. “She was in school with us. She was Xander’s girlfriend before Anya. She worked with Angel in LA.”
“You miss her,” Astoria said.
“Yeah, which is totally ironic since I used to hate her guts growing up. She made my school life hell. Oh!” Willow pointed at Blaise. “You haven’t met Xander. He’s mine and Buffy’s best friend. He’s back from travelling now. You have to meet him.”
Draco was grinning, glad Willow didn’t seem upset about Daphne, but then again, she might be holding it in until she was alone. He’d have to recall to check on her later.
Blaise’s eyebrow went up. “If he bought Pansy shoes that she actually approved of, I think I need to warn him away. She’ll never leave him alone until he has no money left.”
He looked at Draco, a curious expression upon his face. “That name sounds familiar. I think Hannah’s talked about him. Is he the one with the eyepatch or something?”
“Yeah,” Draco said. “He’ll set your teeth to grinding.”
Severus chuckled briefly at that remark.
“Can I meet him?” Astoria asked.
Then frowned when everyone said ‘no’ to her at once.
Blaise turned back to Draco. “Draco, you
set my teeth to grinding. How will he be any different?”
“He’s a one-eyed Muggle.”
“Now I really want to meet him,” Astoria said.
Severus groaned, but was thankful no one was wanting to run right out and kill Daphne or Higgs like earlier.