There seemed to be a lot going on with the Council right now. Mac liked to escape as much as possible. More girls were arriving. Xander was back and acting as watcher to three of the Sunnydale girls plus Alice. Willow was behaving more like Willow and actually doing watcher work. It was just so busy. Mac snuck out to see her boyfriend whenever possible.
What she didn’t expect to find was the blonde that was passed out on his sofa. Mac just stood there and stared, still trying to decide what she was going to do. She would hate to get blood on Neville’s couch.
Then Neville walked in.
He froze when he saw Mac standing over Lavender, still asleep on his couch. He honestly was going to go tell her about Lavender, hopefully with Oz standing beside him to validate the story, but he just hadn’t had time.
“Lavender,” Neville said slowly. “You need to wake up now.”
He took a few steps forward toward Mac. “It isn’t what it looks like.”
“What?” Lavender asked loudly then rolled over. Her eyes locked with MacDougal’s. “Shit. This is not how I wanted to die.”
Mac was looking at Neville. She didn’t know what she was going to do, but she did need to trust him.
“I’m... I’m going to go... out... somewhere that’s not here, and um, let you two talk. I would also like to say I like my limbs attached and the bones inside of them not broken. He was just helping a friend who doesn’t have anywhere else to go.”
Lavender removed herself from the room very quickly.
Mac was still looking at Neville.
“She came here to warn Rowan about a plot to kidnap him. Oz knows. You can ask him and your brother.” Neville licked his lips nervously. “Please, Mac. She’s an old classmate with nowhere else to go and no money. I told her she could crash on the couch. I was going to tell you, honest.”
“I dinna like it,” was all Mac said.
She was feeling insanely jealous. That was Lavender Brown, and she’d always thought Lavender was very pretty. Her and the Patil twins. With the exception of that chit who’d come from France that time, Mac thought them the prettiest girls she’d ever seen.
“You can stay here the entire time she’s crashing here if you want. I just...I can’t put her out. She’s trying to help Rowan and Lyra. We fought beside each other. I can’t say thanks and boot her out.”
“Mayhap I can talk to Brody about a room there. I...” Then she just started shouting. “Oh for fock’s sake, I’m jealous. I dinna want her here wit’ her hair and her tits and her nice little arse sleepin’ on yer sofa. She’s too damned pretty to sleep here.”
The more she yelled, the wider Neville’s eyes got. “If you think you can convince Brody to let her stay there, then that’s fine! But I wasn’t looking! At all! Not even a little bit!”
“How can ya no’ have looked? I dinna even like lasses and I looked!”
“Probably because when she first got here I was more concerned about the werewolf who broke into my shop than if said werewolf had long legs!”
Neville winced. “Damn it.” He honestly hadn’t meant to scream it out like that. He really was trying to keep Lavender’s secret.
Mac leveled her gaze at him. “She’s a werewolf? Lavender Brown is a werewolf?”
It made sense to her now that he’d said she’d come to warn Rowan and Lyra.
“Wait. She broke in? Did she hurt you?”
Mac started to turn and go after her.
He rushed to get in front of her. “She didn’t hurt me. I know how to defend myself but she didn’t try to hurt me and I had my wand on her at all times.” Neville just left the part out about Lavender pinning him to the wall.
“I dinna want ya stayin’ alone wit’ her. What if she tries to take advantage of ya?”
Mac was very worried about this. She didn’t know she could feel so possessive or jealous. It wasn’t that Neville couldn’t have lady friends. He was friends with Luna and Willow and Hannah and Mac suspected he saw Granger every so often, but lycanthropy had treated Brown pretty well. She looked good.
“Mac, please,” he said, exasperation creeping into his voice. “She’s not going to take advantage of me. All she wanted was a place to stay. She was going to sleep on the soil bags but I offered my couch.”
Mac let out a rush of air. She was trying very hard not to be unreasonable, but she was fairly certain she was failing.
“Yer too... she could take advantage. Werewolves are strong, and you’re... well, yer pretty.”
Neville held back a grin. She was trying hard to stay mad, but she wasn’t very good at it. Her arguments were falling apart. “Mac, when she heard we were dating, I’m pretty sure her top priority shifted from helping others to not getting her pretty face smashed in.”
At Mac’s look, he rolled his eyes. “I’m trying to say it in her words, not mine. She’s not my type.”
“But... she’s pretty, and probably a great deal more girlie than I am. Yes, she probably has to shave more, but... she thought I could take her?” Mac started to grin.
He would take any conversation that was going in a different direction. “Did you not just hear her talk about keeping her limbs in place? And when she first showed up, she didn’t even know you were slayer.” Neville stepped up to her and smoothed some hair out of her face. “My galleons are on you in that fight.”
“Really?” Mac said, getting a goofy grin on her face until she recalled what they were talking about. “Dinna change the subject. I dinna want ya havin’ strange girls to stay over. I dinna like it. Yer heart is too kind, Nev. What iffen she’d hurt ya in yer sleep, bit ya or somethin’? I’d have to skin her alive. I worry ‘bout ya at times. Now I’ll worry double wit some strange wolf stayin’ in yer place.”
He dropped his hands. “Will it help if I go talk to Brody right now? She didn’t have any money for the Leaky. What else was I supposed to do? And if she wanted to hurt me, she had plenty of time before she found out we were an item.”
Mac narrowed her eyes. “Why? What all happened when she broke in? Ya said she dinna hurt ya? Did she rough ya? I’ll bloody her nose iffen she roughed ya any.”
“You’ll do no such thing!” he snapped. “I tried to hex her and she defended herself. Once she realized who I was, she stood down immediately. Her intentions are noble and if you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe your brother and your watcher. I’m fine with her going to Brody’s and I trust her not to molest me or off me in my sleep.”
Mac considered this.
“Iffen yas want her to stay, then she can, but I’ll be stayin’ here too. Or she can go to Brody. Oz has met her?”
She was definitely having a chat with her watcher and Miss Lavender Brown.
“Yes, he has. And he obviously didn’t think she was dangerous.” Neville sighed. “Why don’t we ask her what she would be comfortable with?”
Mac sighed. “Fine. I dinna like it, and when she broke in, ya should have called me. Ya should have yer wards looked to. I dinna like that someone could come in here in th’night and damage ya.”
He rolled his eyes. “I was at the council hours after she showed up and Oz said you had done a patrol with some of the younger slayers and you were still sleeping. Everything’s fine now anyway, isn’t it?”
“No’ by half,” Mac said as she walked out to try to locate Lavender.
Who just happened to be standing right outside.
“Thought ya were goin’?”
“I... I um...”
“Ya were listenin’.”
“Yes,” Lavender said.
“He’s mine. Ya dinna even look at him like he’s a mon, ya ken?”
“Uh, right. Neville’s not a man. Got it.”
Neville gave them both exasperated glares. “Also not a piece of meat to fight over, thanks. I can take care of myself, not that Lavender is going to attack me.”
“Well, if I’d have known you were going to turn out looking like this, I might have been nicer to you,” Lavender said with a grin.
Mac glared at her.
“I’m not going to do anything about it. He likes you. He talks about you and plants all the time. We’re just friends, MacDougal. It’s all we’re ever going to be. I don’t know why you think he’d even look at me. You’re all fit and raven haired and blue-eyed and curvy. Plus your accent’s hot.”
Neville shook his head. He was never going to understand girls. “Do you want to continue crashing on my couch or see if Brody can put you up in a proper room?” he asked.
“I think I’d rather be at the Sticks, but I don’t have any money, and as cute as your brother is, I’m not working it off in trade.”
Mac laughed at that.
“He’ll make ya work it off in the pub.”
“He won’t care that I’m a... werewolf?”
“M’brother dinna care ‘bout stuff like tha’. He likes the person, no’ wha’ they are. One of his favorite people is m’watcher Oz, and he’s a wolf too.”
“Yeah,” Lavender said with a grin. “I noticed.”
Neville groaned. He didn’t know if they were baiting each other or doing some other girly tradition. “So, we’ll work on getting you settled in at the Sticks and Mac can stop worrying about my honor.”
Lavender laughed loudly at that. Neville got this offended look on his face. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t... not him
“Why no’?” Mac snapped.
“Probably the same reason I wouldn’t with her
, Mac. We grew up together in the tower. This is probably the most we’ve spoken. Ever.”
Lavender gestured to Neville as if to say what he said
“Why? Do you want me to be attracted to him?”
“No,” Mac snapped.
“Well, okay then. Don’t be act affronted because I don’t think he’s sexy like you do. No offense, Neville.”
She was feeling a bit better about Mac since it seemed like the other woman wasn’t going to pummel her. Lavender had been worried about it before she knew what Mac was. Knowing what she knew now, Lavender wasn’t surprised that Mac had always seemed more adept and physical fighting than all the other girls and even some of the boys at Hogwarts.
“None taken,” he responded dryly. “Now why don’t we go look into getting you a place at Brody’s?”
“Sounds good. Too bad he seems set on Lyra. I like a man in a skirt.”
Mac grabbed Lavender’s arm, making the blonde growl involuntarily. Mac raised a brow about that. It was a rather impressive sound. It took Brown’s menacing up a notch.
“Sorry,” Lavender said. “Instinct.”
“What did ya just say?”
“It seems like your brother has a thing for Lyra. He got all sorts of protective about her when Oz tried to take her to stay at the Council.”
Neville held his hands up in surrender. “I am not getting into this. At all. Keep me out of it. And try not to kill each other in my apartment.”
Mac glared at him. “How come ya dinna tell me m’brother migh’ be fancyin’ Lyra Blackwood?”
“This is actually amusing when I’m not the one being looked at murderously,” Lavender said.
Neville didn’t know how he became the bad guy in this situation. “I didn’t know! I’m a bloke, Mac. We don’t really notice these things.”
Both Mac and Lavender made some sort of unladylike snort noise that did not sound wholly unalike.
“Typical,” Lavender added.
He simply backed away. “I’m going to go talk to Brody. You can continue your girl chat here.”
Mac turned back to Lavender. “So werewolf, aye?”
Lavender nodded. “So vampire slayer, yeah?”