As soon as Amy Madison entered the infirmary with Emily Hartness, Draco was right behind them. He followed Amy everywhere she went, not saying a word. Hartness was watching this, but not commenting.
“What are you doing?” Amy finally asked.
“Buffy doesn’t trust you,” Theo replied. “And quite frankly after hearing what you did to Willow, neither do I, but I know you can heal. That’s why you’re here. Draco’s here to make certain that’s all you do. If so much as look sideways at anyone, he has instructions to take you out.”
Draco just smirked at her.
Amy looked down and nodded.
“Don’t,” Draco said. “Don’t come in here looking like the hippogryff ate your homework. Be professional, do what you were asked to do while you’re here, don’t cause any sort of trouble, and don’t try to talk to Buffy unless she talks to you first. The trust has been broken.”
Amy just nodded, held her head back up and went about the business of seeing that all the bruises, cuts, scrapes and whatnot she could get to were as healed as she could get them without draining herself.
Hannah was holding Bacon and standing next to Alice while Theo looked her over.
“I’m fine,” Alice protested. “It’s just a bump.”
“Yes, but I’d feel better if Theo had a look anyway,” Giles said, breezing into the infirmary. “While your slayer healing will take care of most things, there are lots of things that look innocuous, but end up causing serious problems.”
Theo gestured to Giles in a way that suggested he had already said something similar to Alice repeatedly. “Thank you.”
“Alice, gods dammit, let Nott sodding look you over,” Draco snapped.
“Draco, don’t shout at her,” Hannah said.
“Well, she’s been hanging about Pevensie too long. Thinks she’s bloody well indestructible. Neither of you are, by the way - indestructible.”
Hannah leaned over to Alice. “You just scared him. That’s why he’s cranky. Don’t take it personally.”
Giles asked, “What sort of injuries do we have?”
“Mostly just some scratches and bruises from those that got a bit too close. Alice, Daisy, and Theo were the only ones knocked out,” Hannah said. “Well, unless you count the trolls. Buffy kicked one’s head in and went choppy on the other one.”
“Could be worse,” Giles commented. “Much worse.”
“Yes,” Draco agreed. “The building could be on fire.”
He got several glares for that remark.
“What? I didn’t say I’d set
it on fire, just that it could
be and that would be worse.”
“Yes, Draco, perhaps next time you might keep it to yourself,” Giles suggested, sounding exhausted. “We all know what you’re thinking. There is no need to elaborate.”
Theo started snickering and trying to stifle it because Draco was currently pouting. He was following Amy Madison, and he was very obviously going into a full pout.
“And do stop pouting. You look ridiculous.” Giles didn’t look impressed.
Draco grumbled something and folded his arms across his chest like a child. Theo lost it. He started laughing outright.
“Theodore, how hard did you hit your head?” Hannah asked, looking slightly concerned.
“Yes,” Giles said, completely ignoring Malfoy. “Hannah mentioned that you were knocked out by the troll. Are you quite all right?”
“I’m fine,” Theo snapped.
“Who’s a bad patient now?” Alice muttered.
“Here, let me have a look,” Amy said.
That’s when Buffy came from seemingly nowhere and grabbed the witch.
“I’ll have a look, if that’s all right then,” Emily said.
“Um, Buffy,” Amy said. “You want to ease up on your grip just a little bit? I swear I wasn’t going to hurt him.”
If anything, Buffy put more pressure on her arm, just enough to bruise. She had come from the training room to check on the slayers just in time to see Amy heading toward her boyfriend and was not okay with that. “I think Theo can handle the rest himself. And in case you didn’t get it, that was my polite version of back the hell off.”
“Why do you get to grab people?” Draco said.
“Buffy, she wasn’t doing anything harmful,” Hannah said in a worried tone, looking from Buffy to Giles.
She would have started wringing her hands but she was still holding Alice’s crup Bacon; the pup was being very wiggly. She didn’t think adding ‘on the loose crup’ to the mix would be good just now.
“Buffy,” Emily said in a very even tone. “Please release Amy. She will not harm anyone here.”
“What, do you read minds like Tori does?” Draco snapped. “How do know what her intentions are? Everyone thought she was going to help Willow before, but instead she did a spell that started turning her into the guy that Willow... did bad things to.”
Emily Hartness just looked at Draco very slowly. “Because she knows I won’t allow it.” Then Hartness looked at Giles. “Your healer is fine. Just bruised. No need to worry, Rupert.”
“Thank you, Emily.” Giles now sounded exhausted and pinched.
Draco frowned. He had not been around Emily Hartness much, but he had this gut feeling something was a little off about her.
“No offense,” Buffy said, still keeping a grip on Amy. “But I don’t know you, so saying you won’t allow it doesn’t give me warm fuzzies. And now that everyone’s doing fine, I want you out. I’ve got enough to worry about that I can’t focus on you.”
“Buffy. Let her go.”
The slayer looked at Giles and started to protest, but he repeated himself before she could get a word in edgewise. “Buffy. Let. Her. Go. She won’t do anything because I
will not allow it.” His eyes flashed a fluorescent shade of green, which reminded Buffy of some of the characters from an old cartoon based on a comic book from her childhood. She turned back into what Giles was still saying. “...Because Draco
will not allow it, even for all his whinging and carrying on.”
“Thank you, I think,” Draco said.
She took a deep breath and clenched her jaw, but slowly released Amy from her grasp. “Get out,” Buffy replied in a low voice.
“Thank you, Miss Madison,” Theo said. “I appreciate your coming to aid us. I do believe Mr. Malfoy will see you out.”
“Oh I will, will I?” Draco snapped. “I’m not your dancing monkey.”
Everyone looked at him like he was crazy. Except for Giles; Giles was glaring.
Giles warned, “Draco...”
Draco sighed. “Fine. This way. I’m not doing this because you said, Nott. Just so you know.”
“Of course not,” Theo said. “Far be it from you to act like an adult.”
Theo walked up to Buffy. “Look, I’m not asking you to like her. I’m not even asking you to trust her, but is this or is this not my infirmary? Am I not the healer here? My asking her to be brought here was business. She wasn’t unattended. In fact, Malfoy was never more than a person’s width away from her the entire time. I know she’s made things difficult for you in the past and hurt Willow tremendously, but please don’t do things like that when she’s trying to heal people, Buffy. I needed help tonight.”
Hannah just held on to Bacon, wondering how Buffy would take that. Theo hadn’t been rude by any means, but Buffy was like Draco or Blaise in the fact that she sometimes let her emotions take the wheel.
“Emily, Amy... thank you for coming tonight. We appreciate the assistance. Draco, please see them off safely.” Giles was wearing ‘resolve face’.
“Now that’s a request I never thought I’d hear... Draco, see people off safely
,” he muttered to himself. “It’s usually, Draco, don’t set anything afire
or Draco, make sure your pants stay on
Emily nodded at Giles before gesturing to Amy to follow Draco. Amy actually looked about half amused by Draco’s mutterings despite the fact that her upper arm already had red Buffy-sized fingerprints on it, and there would probably be bruises by morning.
“Buffy, Theodore, please see to the rest of the patients as expediently as possible and send them on their way. I’d like a private word with the two of you.”
“If Alice is quite well enough, I could see her back to her room,” Hannah offered. “And I should probably check on Blaise and the troll removal. He wasn’t terribly pleased at being handed that chore.”
Theo nodded, and Hannah set Bacon down to be ready if Alice was unsteady on her feet.
“Everyone’s pretty well taken care of, but Daisy has a concussion,” Theo said. “I’ll be staying here with her tonight to make certain she heals properly. Anyone else can come back tonight if something starts troubling them. Most everything was superficial, nothing really damaging.”
“Shall we adjourn to someplace more private, then?” Giles indicated the door to Theo’s office.
Buffy stood back as everyone left. Daisy was lying on a bed on the far side of the infirmary and was quickly settling in. “We’ll be in there in a second,” Buffy told Giles. “Go on in.”
She took a deep breath and turned to Theo once they were mostly alone. Daisy was far enough away that they could speak in low tones. “I don’t care who you have help you here, as long as it isn’t her. We will find someone else for you but I don’t trust her around the girls and I’m not going to give her a shadow every time she steps in here.”
“I know you don’t trust her. I know you have no reason to, but trust me, all right? She helped me when she had no reason to. She didn’t even know me. You’ll give WIllow second chances; Malfoy, and everyone else. Why is this woman different?”
“Because she already had her second chance,” Buffy said. “She said she would help Willow when she was the one to curse her in the first place. She cursed Willow and she started turning into the man she killed. She has been nothing but poison since she entered our lives. She took Willow to see the dark magic dealer that sent her on a downward spiral. Hell, she turned me into a rat!”
Theo kissed her forehead. “I’ll bet you were the most attractive rat ever. Look, I know how hard it is to try and be a good person when your upbringing has fucked up you up almost beyond recognition. Trust me, I know; all Slytherins know. It’s easier to just give in and be a bad person. Forgive her. Do not hold on to your anger. If you do that, it can control you, but never forget, never let your guard down. You may not trust her, but I believe that you can trust Hartness. My mother hated Emily Hartness, so she must be a good woman.”
Buffy took a deep breath and let it out. “Fine. But I still want her shadowed. Now, I guess we better go see what Giles wants. This isn’t going to be pretty.”
As they walked in, she glared at Giles. “You know, this is all your fault. The first year we had a Halloween together, you said nothing ever happened. You jinxed us.”
“I did not. I told you that vampires and demons take the night off. I believe that it was same day you asked me if I stuffed my own shirts or if I sent them out.” He scowled at her. “I may be getting older, but my memory has not failed me, Buffy.”
He switched to the other lens.
“I realize that I have never had to say this before, but you two are managers in this organization. Mr. Nott is the Chief Medic at this branch office, and as such, makes all of the decisions regarding staffing of the infirmary. You are the head slayer of this branch office -- indeed of the whole organization -- and you have final say in the staffing of the slayers. Buffy, You are also on the executive board. Because of these factors, I do expect the two of you to maintain some level of professionalism when dealing with other organizations, especially when their members have been requested by another department.”
Buffy squeaked in protest and was silenced by Giles’ look.
“Mr. Nott, I am happy that when you need help, you reach out to our friends and ask for it. However I would prefer it if Emily left Amy at home in the future -- at least until we can determine Amy’s motivations. I’m certain that Buffy filled you in on some of Amy’s past activities, and I’m sure you understand my reluctance to have her here. I will also speak to Emily about her as well.”
It took every ounce of self control in Theo not to say something that would have gotten him fired - not that Mr. Giles had been rude by any means. Theo did not like being told who he could and could not heal with, and being monitored had never been his favorite. He had always prided himself on being a keen observer of people, and Theo had seen nothing in Amy Madison to make him think she wanted to hurt him... and she could have. She well could have. She had enough power to connect with his necromancy and turn it on him, but she hadn’t. Theo suspected the thought had not even occurred to her.
Still if he wanted to continue to work here, he needed to toe the line.
Then again, he just couldn’t help himself. “Point taken and understood, but to be fair, technically I invited Hartness and asked her to bring Miss Madison along. Malfoy and I made it perfectly clear that she was not invited, she was not considered a friend - she was here to do a job. She’s quite skilled. It would have taken me much longer to heal the burns on my hands. She could be better than Hartness had she been using her gifts for healing all this time. If I was to be healing without Daisy or Willow, I wanted the best. I wanted someone who could keep up, and I knew she could just from watching her before. She’s never harmed me, and I feel unjust holding a past I was not a part of against her. Perhaps that is foolish of me, but when I look at her in a professional light, without any bias from anyone else, I see an equal.”
They were both looking at him like they were wondering why he’d suddenly decided to defend himself when no one had accused him of anything.
He held up his hands. “Just to state where I am coming from in my request to have her here.”
"And it is entirely possible that she has finally seen the error of her ways," Giles conceded. "Emily Harness certainly thinks so. However, Amy is a consummate actress, and she has fooled us in the past. I know that we are all hoping that she is in earnest this time, but you were not present the last few times she caused trouble. I nearly died after what she did to Willow, and I rather dislike convalescing. If you think Alice is a poor patient..."
"Though, I am pleased that you did ask Draco to monitor her while she was working... Though I do have to ask. Why Draco?"
“Because I’ve seen him take someone down,” Theo said. “I might have no love for the berk, but he’s fast, efficient, resourceful when the situation calls for it and he goes to the pain not to the death. It’s why he has so many enemies - he doesn’t kill people.”
Buffy already knew that, since she, Willow, and Giles knew about Draco’s backstory before they even hired him, but it was nice hearing it from someone who was often critical of Draco. Their grudging respect was starting to show.
“As much as I would love to have him shadow Amy everytime she comes here, he has other duties. How could we ever know that Amy is being honest this time? For all we know, she is trying to gain our trust so she could hurt Willow or the girls. And I hate to be pessimist girl, but past precedent makes me cautious.” She turned to Giles. “I know I shouldn’t have grabbed her, but it’s my first instinct. I still see her as an enemy.”
“Just my opinion,” Theo said. “But perhaps further decisions with this need Willow’s input. After all, she was the one who Amy wronged.”
“I’m going to visit her soon. I’ll talk to her then and see how she reacts. I guess it depends on how stable she is.” Buffy sighed loudly. “This is not how I imagined my Halloween going.”
“Willow’s opinion should be included. We should also poll the rest of the executive board for their input. I am certain that Xander will have something to say as well,” Giles commented.