I'm Thankful for Your Bad Mood
Hannah slammed into Zabini Manor and went straight out into the pool area. She was pulling her clothes off along the way, leaving a trail. She was so irritated that her skin felt hot. When she was down to just her bra and knickers, she dove into the pool.
Blaise had just finished dinner when he heard Hannah come in.
“Hey, Han--” he sputtered when a cardigan smacked into his face. She walked through the kitchen, tossing off her clothes, as she made her way to the pool. Blaise smirked and followed her, shedding his own shirt.
He was taking off his trousers when got to the pool. Hannah came up for air and he paused. “That isn’t your sexy time face. Shit.”
“This is not my sexy time face,” Hannah snapped. “If you touch me right now, I’ll hex you in the bollocks.”
She waded out of the way and flung herself on one of the lounge chairs. Probably not the best idea to tell him not to touch her then display herself in wet underthings, but Hannah was too irritated to care right now.
He stood at the edge of the pool, his hands on his belt buckle, and he had no idea what to do. “So, how did the dinner go?” When Didly appeared with some drinks, Blaise waved him away furiously. The elf popped away.
“It was horrid, if you must know. Buffy’s a maniac when it comes to dinner. She scolded me for my meat thermometer. I’m sorry bloody Americans don’t use the sodding metric system. Then everyone was drunk. Draco’s new house elf spiked the punch and Pevensie drank the bulk of it. She couldn’t even walk. It was an unparallelled disaster. I’ve never seen Draco so angry.”
This was bad. Blaise needed to leave, because he was close to absolutely losing it and laughing like a lunatic, which probably wouldn’t help Hannah’s mood. Of course Tindy would spike the punch. Draco always ordered her to do so at family functions when they were younger. Why would she stop now? He was sending Draco an owl with a message asking if karma really was a bitch.
He had to cover his mouth with his hand and cough a few times before he could keep a straight face. “I’m sorry to hear that. I hate your dinner was ruined.”
“Oh, it wasn’t my dinner, it was Buffy’s. She made that perfectly clear. Not to mention the vampires were there making snide comments and giving Theo a hard time and...” Her eyes narrowed. “Are you laughing?”
Blaise had a choice. He could either continue biting his tongue to keep a straight face or attempt to answer and end up laughing. Since the latter would get him hexed, he shook his head.
“You think this is funny?”
Hannah started looking around for her jeans because that’s where her wand was.
“No, no!” He rushed over and pulled her down onto the lounge, keeping his arms locked around her. “I’m not laughing at you. I meant it when I said I’m sorry your dinner was ruined. I’m laughing at Tindy spiking the punch because that’s what Draco always told her to when we were younger. I’m laughing because he’s angry and he knows exactly how his parents felt. That’s all.”
Hannah didn’t say anything. She was feeling rather comforted by his arms being around her.
“If that’s what the holidays will be like at Draco’s, I’m not entirely certain I’m up to it. Blaise, Pevensie and Verity were drunk, and Meredith was well past tipsy. It was just dreadful.”
He started snickering again.
“I can’t help it! You just described me, Draco, and Pansy at every party we were forced to go to.”
“And the strange woman from LA that was blue tinted was belching. I’ve not heard a woman belch like that. It was very wild. I don’t know if I fit there with things like that,” Hannah said, frowning.
She had always been so comfortable at the Council.
He had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, but Blaise was regretting his decision to say no to attending the dinner. It sounded fascinating. “You’ll be fine, Hannah. Although if you want to come live here and stay away from all the psychotic little girls and dangerous vampires, I wouldn’t be opposed to that either.”
She almost said she had her townhouse, but stopped herself.
Because... had he just asked her to live with him? And he was all right with that?
Blaise snorted. “Oh come on, you can’t be so shocked.” She turned around to look at him. “I’ve told you that I’m not happy about the knives so are you really that unprepared for me saying I would be okay with you quitting the council? Haven’t I said that before?”
Her eyes narrowed to tiny tiny slits.
She had been pleased with his offer, but now she was just damned pissed about it.
“No,” Hannah said evenly. “You haven’t said that before. You want me to quit
the only job I’ve ever had that means something to me?”
“Is that so hard for you to get?” he asked. “It’s dangerous. You were bitten the first time you went out. You bled on me. Draco and Pevensie have both been seriously injured. A watcher died
. So yes, I would love for you to quit the extremely dangerous job.”
Hannah sighed. “That’s not going to happen. I... I couldn’t leave them. I care about them. I care about Draco. I think he would be deeply hurt if I quit. I appreciate that you worry about me, but I’m not the same girl that was bitten her first time out. I do a bit of training every day to ensure I survive. I know that’s probably of little comfort, but please don’t ever ask me to quit. It’s part of who I am now.”
Blaise sighed. “Can I at least bitch once a week that I don’t like it?”
“Can I honestly stop you?” Hannah said with an amused look on her face. “I do believe asking a Slytherin not to bitch is like asking them not to breathe.”
He laid back on the lounge. “Then I will firmly exercise that right at every chance I get. And one of your arguments was really that Draco would be hurt?” Blaise rolled his eyes.
“We train our slayers together and talk,” Hannah said. “I eat lunch with him and Oz most every day. Xander too now. I’m... I’m becoming friends with them.”
He rolled his eyes again. “I still don’t like it. It’s not like you need the money.”
“Oh my goodness is it ever not about the money,” Hannah said. “I like working. I specifically like this kind of work. I really feel like I’m making a difference. Don’t you feel good about working at your family’s office in Italy?”
Blaise stared at her strangely. “Are you damaged? You’ve seen me when I come home from two days working there. Do I ever look like I feel good? Or do I look like I’d rather poke my eyes out with a hot poker than go back? I can’t handle more than two days there. I’d go on a hexing spree.”
“But everyone in your family says you do so well. That doesn’t give you some feeling of accomplishment?”
He snickered. “Everyone in my family is ecstatic that I’m not in the Alleys fencing illegal artifacts. If I became a recluse and stayed in my Manor drinking all my meals with a bottle of firewhiskey, they’d still say I’m doing so well.”
“Well, if you dislike it so much, why continue? And don’t give me any rubbish about not wanting to disappoint Alessandro or Tio Luca. You know they’d release you from your obligations if you were truly unhappy.”
Blaise cleared his throat. How did they get from her being upset about her ruined dinner to talking about his feelings when he worked? “I get paid well and get to boss people around.” He got up from the lounge. “Now, I’m going to go finish my dessert. You can continue...whatever it is you came out here to do.”
“I was so angry my skin felt hot,” Hannah said.
She felt like he’d just dismissed her. He always did that when things turned to him and how he felt. She knew one day that would change, but right now, it hurt her when he did it. He might as well just close a door in her face.
Blaise chuckled. “The pool’s not too cold. We have showers for that you know.” He turned to walk into the house. “Do you want some or are you too full from your ruined dinner?”
“I’m not hungry,” Hannah said, not really meaning to, but sounding like she’d had the life sucked right out of her.
She was beginning to wonder if things ever would get easier with him. Maybe that had changed now.
Blaise looked at her strangely. “Is this because I’m eating some of Didly’s desserts and not yours? I swear I’m not going to start dating my house elf. I’ll always love your sweets more.”
She wanted to blurt out something along the lines of why can’t you just tell me things
, but he’d run. He held onto his feelings so tightly.
“I’m pleased you like my cooking more than your house elf’s,” she said blandly.
There were so many other things she had wanted to say just then.
Blaise continued to look at her closely. She sounded off, but he had no idea what was going through her mind. He didn’t know if he really wanted to broach the subject. “What’s wrong?” he asked after a moment.
Hannah looked at him. She really looked at him for a long time.
“I know it’s difficult for you, but you do know anything we talk about as far as your feelings upon things, it won’t be discussed with anyone else. You know that, right? You know that anything that is said between us is only ever ours?”
Blaise used to think so, but he learned that nothing is ever kept secret between two people. Walls have ears and everyone has an ulterior motive. Voicing things out loud, thoughts, emotions, anything, was dangerous, even in his own home.
But nothing he could say would come out right. Even in his head, the arguments sounded weak and critical. So he just turned and walked away, waving Didly off when he presented a piece of cake.
Hannah just sat there. Her chest felt heavy. He hadn’t even responded to that. Maybe she was right. Perhaps everything had been changed. She heard this sound and then realized it was her own self panting for air. She might be mistaken, but she felt like she was hyperventilating. Hannah also felt like she might throw up. She knew she needed to leave, but it was as if her body had gone into shock. Just the very thought that the future she thought was hers might not be, terrified her. Not because of the little changes. She’d deal with those, but what was the point of most of it without him there?
Blaise sighed when he got to the kitchen and found her shirt that he had tossed away. It was under the table and he bent over, pulling it out. He walked back outside, shirt in hand, prepared to simply hand it off and then go upstairs, but he noticed Hannah was bent over and shaking in the lounge. “Hannah?”
She held up a finger as if to say to give her a moment. She was having a panic attack. Just like the one she’d had in the elevator that day in Zabini Charms when she’d had no memory of him. Invisible walls had closed in around her.
Then Hannah willed herself into a calm state. It would do no good to dwell on things. Her breathing evened out, and she collected herself.
“I should probably go home,” she said emotionlessly. “I suspect you have things to do. I’m sorry to have interrupted you.”
His eyebrow rose. “Dry off, at least. You’re under the warming charms now, but you’ll be freezing once you’re not. I don’t want your psychotic slayer coming after me because I allowed you to get sick.”
“I’ll be fine,” Hannah said, feeling numb already as she pulled her shirt on. She followed her trail back inside, dressing as she went. Her brain was working overtime, all those what-ifs. If the chain of events set in motion by Astoria had altered Hannah’s future so much that she did not end with Blaise, she didn’t know what she would do. She had never entertained the notion of it not happening in some form.
She was decidedly not fine. She had a panic attack. He knew what one looked like since his cousin Sonia had them when she was younger, but she never acted like an emotionless ice queen afterwards. “No, you won’t be. Hannah, what’s wrong.” He grabbed her arm to stop her progress and turned her toward him. “What is wrong?”
She shook her head no. She could form the words. If she tried, she’d cry, and she didn’t want to cry until she was alone and in her pajamas and had lots of ice cream.
Hannah was shaking again so Blaise grabbed her shoulders. “Look at me, Hannah. Just tell me what’s wrong.”
“I can’t,” she said finally. “I’m not entirely certain, given the realization I just had, that it matters. I need to think. I’m confused, and I’d never considered...”
She tried to get away from him, but he wasn’t having any.
While she struggled, Blaise pulled her into a tight hug, keeping his arms locked around her. She looked completely shell-shocked, but he had no idea what realization could have come from their previous discussion. Did she think he was leaving her for good? Just because I didn’t want to talk?
“You need to calm down,” he said in a low voice. “Just take a few deep breaths, all right?”
Blaise looked around for Didly. The elf was standing in the doorway. “Get a blanket, some tea, and a bit of chocolate.”
“I’m all right,” she said. “I’ll be fine. I just need to think, to decide what I’m going to do.”
She had no idea what she would do with herself if she didn’t have him in her life in the future. It frightened her that she could not longer imagine her world without him in it.
“To do about what?” he asked, still holding her tight. “You’re not making any sense. Is this about me asking you to quit the council? I understand why you won’t and I’m not going to force you.”
“No,” she said. “I’m not going to speak to you about this. I can’t. It’s not fair to you, and it’s certainly not fair to me. You are who you are, and I should stop wanting more. I should accept what I have. I should accept that it’s all I might ever have.”
And she shouldn’t have said even that much, but she wasn’t good at hiding her feelings.
Blaise clenched his jaw and gripped her shoulders, pulling back so he could see her. “Is this because I won’t talk to you sometimes? There’s no need to have a panic attack over it!”
“But what if you never talk to me? What if things have changed so much that my life isn’t my life anymore? I don’t want anything or anyone else. I want you!”
She was pretty certain her eyes were wide and panicked.
“Hannah, we actually did
talk about this,” he said firmly. “Things are going to be different. They’re going to change simply because you know. Some things might happen sooner, some might happen later, and some might not happen at all, but you can’t hyperventilate every time something changes!”
“But you didn’t even say anything when I said you could talk to me if you wanted to. It was as if I never even spoke. I’m trying to understand that’s how you are, I really am, but you turned and walked away. That hurt me. It makes me question myself. I don’t expect things to be instantly... oh I don’t even know what I mean. I have too many thoughts now, and none of them are very pleasant.”
Didly brought the blanket, tea, and chocolate. Blaise forced them to sit down on the bench in the kitchen and he wrapped the blanket around the shoulders. While he handed her the tea, he sighed. “I don’t talk about anything in this house. It’s a habit I had to learn early on. You know that rooms have listening charms on them, right? Well, I never put them there. In fact, I didn’t even know about them until I was twelve. So yes, I don’t like talking about personal things, but it’s a habit I’m not going to break out of anytime soon.”
“Yes,” she said. “I understand, but a nod there would have worked. It wouldn’t have left me feeling like a damned idiot. I wasn’t expecting you to instantly start speaking, and I know you’re going to do a great many things to hurt my feelings, but you need to understand something too - I’m not always going to handle that well. I’ve told you before that you have the power to destroy me if you wanted to.”
She did not add that if they ever did break up, it probably would destroy her. No, she knew it would. She was too invested in him.
“Well next time, I’ll pass you a damned note. Now drink your tea.”
Blaise sat back with a sigh. He thought everything would be easy with knowing they were wind up together. Now it seemed like he was working ten times harder for it.
“Good. Then I can keep all of them in a keepsake box.” Hannah sighed and leaned against him. “You’d think with all the feelings Draco has about things, you’d be used to stuff like this. I just considered for a moment what would happen to me without you, and I didn’t like it at all. I don’t want to think about it.”
It was like she couldn’t not share things with him. Maybe if she just kept at it, if she were open and hid nothing, one day he’d want to do the same. One day.
“Draco’s emotional outbursts and yours are vastly different. His are hilarious. Yours...not so much.” He put his arm around her and rubbed her shoulder back and forth. “And I think we’ve already gone over how we both tend to do drastically bad things when we aren’t together.”
“A part of me gets worried because so much of my happiness is now tied to you. Not that I don’t want it to be, but absolutely no one can affect my moods like you. The lengths I would go to to keep you safe frighten me a little.”
Blaise smirked. “That’s my Slytherin side rubbing off on you. That’s actually quite a good thing.”
“Not for anyone who ever tries to hurt you.”