Part the Fifth
Title: I’ll See It Through
Spoilers: s7 b5
Set: AU b7, Hogwarts & the Kendra Memorial School for Slayers
Disclaimers: J.K. owns all things HP, Joss owns all things BtVS.
Summary: Pow-wows, punching bags, and plots.
A/N: So, a Slytherin comes to her rescue, Luna’s seeing things in a new light, and Ron’s being a douche. Oddly enough, all of that was in the original plot (except it was Malfoy - and a flirtation with Dean Thomas). To quote the Scouting for Girls song (which came out nearly six years after I got the idea for the story but fits perfectly) this isn’t a love song - it’s a goodbye. A goodbye to childhood misconceptions and feelings on Luna’s part anyway. WARNINGS:
Also, there are some rather disturbing revelations in this chapter. Part the Fifth
Blaise and Millicent were nearly ambushed in the Slytherin common room when they returned that afternoon. Nott, Malfoy and Goyle were keeping to themselves, but Pansy, the Greengrass chit and Crabbe fell in on them along with a fewer younger cronies.
“Whatever do you think you’re doing, Zabini? Are you trying to get in Looney Lovegood’s pants for the Dark Lord?” Pansy tittered nastily, looking down her nose at them. “And which Gryffindork are you
diddling for the Dark Lord, Bulstrode?”
“Besides one who’d want you to wear a mask?” Daphne Greengrass shrieked nasally. “Or would want you to drink a polyjuice potion?”
“Merlin, preserve me from strangling them,” Millicent rolled her eyes. “I’m too young to spend my best years in Azkaban, like someone’s dearest, darlingest godparents.”
“What you say about my godparents, you fat stupid cow?” Pansy shrieked.
“And there goes my left eardrum,” Blaise winced. “I’m not getting into Lovegood’s pants for the Dark Lord, Pansy. Not that it’s any of your concern.”
“I’d diddle all the Gryffindors, Pans,” Millicent smirked. “If only just to prove that I can get them instead of you.”
“Like I’d want any of those Mudblood loving freaks.”
“And none of them would have you anyway, so get out of my face already. I’ve had a tiring afternoon,” Millicent sneered. “I’m quite in the mood to bitch-slap you across the common room, but we played that game last week. I find repetition rather boring these days.”
“You’ll pay for your repeated stupidity,” Pansy snarled, turning her half-pretty face rather ugly.
Pansy and her troupe of Dark-Mark wanting idiots trouped out of the common room, leaving it blissfully quiet. No younger students lingered about - it was clearly marked as the 7th years domain. With Snape being so involved in the protection of the campus from Death Eaters and the organizing of the slayer school, he had little time to monitor the students of his house closely.
Theo lounged on the antique chaise Pansy’s mother had sent as a ‘generous donation’ that no one besides Pansy ever used because it looked extremely breakable. It had also had a bewitched listening device stuffed in the cushions that Blaise had found the first day. Not that any of them were stupid enough to speak plainly in public. Theo, Blaise and Millicent had come up with a code in their third year, once they realized the Golden Trio had infiltrated the common room their second year. Goyle and Draco had been let in on the secret after both of their fathers had ruined their lives at the end of their fifth year.
“Pansy’s chuffed about that fall on her bum for no reason,” Goyle spoke first, giving the slightest nod to the candelabra on the mantelpiece.
“It isn’t as if she hasn’t the cushioning to sustain such a blow,” Millicent winked at him.
“Her reactions seem a bit excessive,” Theo reasoned, meaning she was being told to overreact to any slight.
But for what purpose? She was one of the few Slytherin 7th years that still had any contact with their parents. Everyone suspected the Parkinsons of being Death Eaters but they had no proof to back the supposition. The void the elder Malfoy and Nott patriarchs had left in their imprisonment or deaths had quickly and quietly been filled by those of lower rank.
“Who do you think has the best advantage in the match tomorrow?” Millicent turned the conversation towards their school and campus mates. None of them had spoken of the Slayer school in the common room.
“Gryffindor’s got brute strength. Ravenclaw’s still trying to recover from losing their girl,” Blaise caught Millicent’s eye, and she knew he was thinking about Luna.
“It’ll be close, they’ve been training harder, and Ravenclaw’s tougher than they look,” Nott added.
“I’d just like to see Gryffindor go down …in flames,” Draco mused.
Honestly, just once, Millicent wished she hadn’t bee the only girl to defect in the group. Because Malfoy knew
they were talking about Lovegood, Summers, and Weasley and what Pansy was going to do to them. He just had to throw in the sexual innuendo.
“We don’t face Gryffindor until the end of the season,” Millicent rolled her eyes at them. “So there’s nothing to worry about from that corner, and we play Hufflepuff in the next match.”
“Hufflepuff hasn’t had any decent players since Diggory -” Goyle snorted. It was a warning. Diggory had died at the Dark Lord’s hands. Those three girls were as good as marked just by their proximity to Potter. Which would make any boy courting them targets as well.
“Doesn’t mean anything,” Blaise said quietly, catching Millicent’s eyes. She fought to not groan. The idiot had kept himself aloof for six years and now, because of some fragile looking little Ravenclaw chit, he was going to risk it all. “They could surprise us.” ~*~
Luna’s head throbbed from the impact. And from all of the thoughts of what had happened between Blaise, Ron, the girls and herself. She didn’t wish to rush the medi-witch but she should have a pain potion on hand for such emergencies. Instead, she was sending an owl to Professors Snape and Sprout for more materials. So Luna stared out the window, trying not to think on the constant throbbing of her head.
“Thinking about boys won’t make your headache go away, Lu,
” a ghostly whisper said from beside her.
“Yes, but I can’t help it,” Luna responded without ever taking her eyes from the window.
Cassie hovered beside her, twining her wispy hair around her finger. She watched what Luna watched - happy, normal teenage witches and wizards coming back happily from a normal Hogsmeade visit. Luna had never seen the point of being so boringly normal before today - when they had been having a perfectly normal time. No secretive DA meetings, no watching out for the newest trick up Voldemort’s sleeves. Just being a girl.
“Careful what you wish for, you just might get it, Lu.
“I suppose so.”
“You looked amazing, coming on the grounds in his arms,”
the teenaged ghost grinned goofily at her.
“I don’t understand it,” Luna shook her head, trying to ignore the ache.
“Damsel in distress. Boys seem to eat that shit up with a spoon,
” Cassie shrugged.
“When you died, you didn’t lose your gift of foresight, did you?” Luna asked quietly, her eyes catching the ghostly ones.
“And that question came from left field
,” Cassie looked away first.
“You encouraged my friendship with Dawn. Dawn in turn did this,” Luna gestured to her now spoilt outfit and make-up, “To me. Dawn didn’t invite Andrew which upset him, in turn Andrew upset Pansy, and I tried to protect him. Making Blaise come to my aid. It stands to reason that you saw all of that.”
“Curses, foiled by Ravenclaw logic
,” Cassie smiled.
“To distract me from Ronald?”
“In part. You know he’s madly hooked-up on Hermione,
” Cassie sighed. “It’s like fate or something.”
“I know,” Luna sighed as well. You had to be blind to not see the way his eyes followed her. Or the way hers followed him. Still, she had held onto a nugget of hope. “And Blaise Zabini is your next best option?”
“Well, you kind of intimidate Neville, and I thought maybe Harry -
“Is baffled by me, even though he understands me best of all.” Not that her heart hadn’t flickered a bit in his direction for a brief moment. “Yeah. Hadn’t thought of that. Anyway, you needed someone stronger, and he was there.”
“It doesn’t mean it will come to anything, or that -”
“Ye of little faith!
” Cassie huffed. “Seer here
. I know what I saw
Luna looked at her full on then, her eyes scrunched up to focus on her ghostly companion. After a long, probing moment she turned away from the ghost.
“You saw more than that. And it’s not all good.” ~*~
Luna hadn’t been released in time for the evening meal, which left an edgy Dawn and annoyed Ginny to stew in their concern for their friend. Hermione, Harry and Ron had been arguing all afternoon. Dawn had been freaking out about the Millicent meet-up. And Ginny had been plotting her revenge on Pansy.
“She’s not going!” Ron hissed.
“You’re not the boss of me, Weasley,” Dawn poked at her dinner.
“That beast tried to kill Hermione!”
“I’m sure she had a good reason,” Dawn snapped. “And don’t call her a beast, butthead.”
“You have to stop bossing everyone around, Ron,” Hermione huffed. “It’s none of your business who Dawn chooses to be seen with - even if she is slightly psychotic.”
“Me or her?” Dawn frowned at the comment.
“My brain just shuddered at the words coming from your mouth!” Ron pushed himself away from the table.
“It shuddered?” Ginny snorted. “Sure that’s just not it’s normal rattle in that big thick head of yours?”
Ron glared at his sister, but still stormed out. Hermione crossed her arms angrily, but didn’t follow him out. Harry just looked resigned to it all, which Dawn was taking as a sign that she’d become friends with lunatics. Still, beat living on the hellmouth. Plus, there were boys, so she wasn’t knocking it.
“Honestly, he is such a drama queen,” Dawn rolled her eyes. “But seriously, what could Millicent have to talk to me about?”
“You’re the safest for her to speak to publicly,” Hermione shrugged.
“Huh? You guys have known her for years
,” Dawn frowned.
“Yes, but we’re Gryffindors
,” Ginny answered, as if that made all the sense in the world.
“I’m a Scrappy, what’s your point?”
“Bulstrode’s a Slytherin,” Harry finished, catching Dawn’s still blank look. “Mortal enemies? House rivalry? Our founders hated each other and parted under a dark cloud?”
“Oh, like jocks vs. nerds? That seriously happens here at a magic
“Doesn’t it happen in the Slayer school?” Hermione asked.
“Nope, too new yet for us to hate each other. And bonus, our founders are still best of buds,” Dawn shrugged and went back to eating her dessert.
Despite the whole cliff-notes version of why she was picked, the meal was over far too quickly for her taste. But then she did have a meeting with the one girl in the school who kind of scared her. Which was why she was hedging in the doorway, keeping an eye on the thinning crowd of students and faculty. It’s not like Buffy or the others wouldn’t come looking for her if she should not show up for curfew. Plus, she promised Luna she and Ginny would walk her back to Ravenclaw.
“I’m not going to brain you, Summers,” Millicent’s voice came from the shadowed hall.
“I know that!” Dawn hissed, stepping out into the hallway. “What did you want?”
“To talk about Lovegood, Zabini and our mutual problem,” Millicent sighed.
problem? What, Pansy?” Dawn crossed her arms and stared at the slightly shorter girl. She was so sick of towering over most of the junior slayers and witches at the two schools. It was nice to be eye to eye with girls her own age again.
“Partly, but only because her parents are Death Eaters,” Millicent sighed. “And Weasley.”
“The brother. Ron.”
“What’s that idiot got to do with anything?”
“I want to know why you’re trying to pit Weasley against Blaise over Lovegood,” Millicent leaned against the wall. “ Especially since you know it’s only gonna break that girl’s heart.”
“He doesn’t care about her,” Dawn shrugged. Millicent saw what only a dozen people really noticed - Luna was hung up on that stupid ginger boy, and he was awful to her.
“Which he are we speaking about?”
“Ron. It’s a crush, and he’s a jerk. And since only the Slytherins are forward enough to hit on her, who else would I choose?”
“Yeah, Harry’s firmly in the friend zone with Lu and Mione,” Dawn rolled her eyes.
“So Blaise is just a convenient body to you?”
“A tasty and delicious looking body,” Dawn chirped, then quickly sobered once she realized Millicent’s frown had only deepened. “Not that we only want him for his body.”
“You’re new and your sister is half-decent for a magical non-wizard, so I’m not going to bash your head against the walls, Summers,” Millicent sighed.
“Thanks, I think.” Dawn cautiously took a step away from her.
“Slytherin house is balanced on a knife’s edge. There are those of us following in our parents footsteps, and those of us scrambling away in the night,” the Slytherin spoke quietly. “And while I firmly believe that Lovegood is the right kind of girl to shake the stone wall that is my best mate, I also don’t want it to tip him onto the blade.”
“Luna wouldn’t do that to anyone,” Dawn crossed her arms.
“Not intentionally, but she hangs with a dangerous crowd. And because of Blaise’s family, I don’t see him acting in any way but one where she’s concerned.”
“What’s his family got to do with it?” Until earlier, she hadn’t really heard anything about the good-looking Slytherin boy.
“Blaise was raised by his mother and his older half-sister Augusta,” Millicent motioned to an empty hallway now that the last stragglers from dinner were going past. “Signora Zabini’s put six husbands in the ground, Blaise and Augusta’s fathers, and the four in between.”
them in the ground?” Dawn’s eyes widened comically.
“Not all of them intentionally,” Millicent flicked her eyes up to the ceiling. “Rumor has it that Augusta’s father beat the Signora. He contracted a mysterious illness when Gussie was three. She remarried within the year, but her husband was elderly and he passed on shortly after their first anniversary. There’s twelve years between Augusta and Blaise in age, and nearly another twelve between Blaise and his youngest sister.”
“Wow. Wizards age differently, don’t they? That’s why there’s such a big age gap between them, right?” Dawn forgot about the whole screw-over-Ron-and-hook-Luna-up plan for a few minutes.
“Yes and no. Signora Zabini was forced into a marriage at fifteen, just like my mother,” Millicent looked away, her jaw clenching.
“What? How can that even be legal?” Dawn felt nauseous, remembering her own child-bride mishap with the demon Sweet.
“It is when your parents sign away your rights in order to gain a social or monetary connection that benefits them. It crushed my mother, but it made the Signora stronger.”
“Your mom was only twenty-seven when she died, wasn’t she?” Dawn caught the her eyes. Millicent had been an angry twelve
year old for a reason.
“Died in childbirth, but did so giving him another blasted daughter,” Millicent shook her head. “Not for lack of trying. She’s miscarried five times. The medi-witch told her not to attempt a seventh pregnancy.”
“And your father?”
“No one would willingly marry him the first two times,” Millicent said quietly.
“The Signora took you and your sister in?”
“My sister has been in her care since the day after my mother died,” the Slytherin turned away from her. “Father died last winter, after I showed up at the Villa sporting day old bruises from his attempts to breed a whelp on me.”
Dawn felt her jaw drop and her lovely dessert crawl up the back of her throat. Okay, that explained a lot
about Millicent’s anger issues. But it didn’t tell Dawn squat about why she was so worried about Blaise’s heart. Unless…
“And no, I don’t fancy Blaise as more than a mate,” Millicent rolled her eyes.
“But he’s so dreamy,” Dawn frowned.
“He is, but it would be like you wanting a snog with your Andrew to me.”
“Okay, well, we just want Luna to be happy and for Ron to stop calling her names. Ginny and I have no intention of throwing Blaise under the bus. But they would make a cute couple,” Dawn sighed.
“Of that, I have no doubt,” Millicent shrugged when Dawn frowned at her. “I just wanted you aware that if you wanted Luna to be with Ron or any other ‘nice’ wizard after getting Blaise all worked up about her that it wouldn’t happen that way.”
“Alpha possessive type?” Dawn sighed.
“Never been that way before, but there’s always a first for everything.”
A half an hour later, after plotting with Millicent who was nicer than she seemed, Dawn made her way over to Luna in the hospital wing. Ginny had told her earlier that they would probably keep her overnight, and Dawn had got permission to hang out with the injured girl. Dawn didn’t mind. Scrappy House got quiet at night with just her in it and Buffy out on patrol with Mr. Hagrid.
“Dawn, you don’t have to keep me company,” Luna tucked her copy of the Quibbler away. Ginny had left not five minutes before, sneaking her down the paper and several other ‘girlier’ magazines from her and Dawn’s stash.
“I know, but I want to and they won’t let you come to Scrappy house, so the semi-sleepover in the hospital wing. Besides, I don’t trust the medical profession as a whole because - you know what, that so doesn’t matter. That nurse Madame whatever looks shifty, and besides, you know me and Gin’ll kill each other within a month.”
“I’m used to being by myself, Dawn.”
“Yeah, so am I. So shush, while I get the quality bonding on with a person my own age, okay?” Dawn sighed, holding up two bottles of nail polish. “So Blush or Bashful?”
“They’re both pink.