That Other Clothes Fluke
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything, BtVS and it’s characters belong to J. Whedon while the HP-verse belongs to J.K. Rowling. Thanks to Dulcinea for being such a great beta and helping me so much!
Summary: Willow and Xander weren't the only Scoobies to experience a clothes fluke. Giles' skeletons, or rather his boot, come out of the closet for this story.
He glared at the roasting pan. One of the children – most likely Xander – had persuaded him to buy the oversized monstrosity. Excellent idea, until it was time for him to pack up his kitchen. Every other utensil and piece of equipment fit neatly into the cardboard boxes, all except for the blasted roasting pan. Quickly deciding that his time would be better spent trying to pack his books and music collection, he added the roaster to the ever-growing pile of impromptu "gifts" for the children. Turning back to the cabinet of dishes that still needed to be packed, he was interrupted by Willow calling for him from his bedroom.
Wondering what she needed, considering she had the easiest task of packing his clothing, he bounded up the stairs. He found her sitting on the floor of his closest with a scuffed-up leather boot in one hand and a baffled look on her face.
"I give up. I can’t find the other boot. I’ve looked everywhere."
"Don’t worry about it."
"But I can’t find it and it’s not going to get packed and you’re going to go out in England one day and only have one boot when you really need to have two boots and your foot’s going to get wet because it’s going to be raining because that’s what it does in England and you’ll be walking funny because there’s a shoe on one foot and not the other and people will laugh at your funny walk and it’ll be all my fault!"
He almost laughed. Almost. He didn’t want her to think that he was laughing at her, so he bit his tongue. "Really, Willow. It’s fine. That shoe doesn’t have a mate."
She cocked her head to one side and gave him an odd look. "But every shoe has a mate."
"That one doesn’t."
"Of course it does! You’re trying to be nice to make me feel better for being a horrible shoe-loosing sort of friend and it’s not going to work, mister! Shoes are sold as pairs, and this shoe must have a mate! Oh, wait, they’re sold as pairs in this country – does England sell single shoes? That’s just further proof that England’s bizzaro-land and you have no business in a place that sells single shoes."
"It has a mate, then. Trust me, it’s better off without it’s mate."
She looked like she could cry. "That’s so sad! A lone shoe destined to roam the world by itself, destined to live without its soul mate. Um.. wait.. bad choice of words, that didn’t sound right. But what happened to its mate?"
"And again, trust me, it’s better off without it." He tried to distract her before she asked again. "If you’re done here, mayhap you can help me pack the library?"
The ruse worked. She skipped at the room, leaving him standing in the shambles of what had been his bedroom, holding on to a lone leather boot, feeling glad that he’d escaped without having to share that particular story.
~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ .
The sullen girl in the corner had just motioned for her fifth drink of the night. She’d caught his eye as soon as she’d stomped into the pub and threw her cloak at the barkeeper. Her anger had mellowed as the firewhiskey flowed, and she’d stopped throwing plates at the waitress after her third double. She hadn’t hexed a man in a full ten minutes.
The man at the bar nodded his head at her, indicating his interest to his drinking buddy. He figured it would only take another double before he could start his approach.
"Bloody ‘ell Ripper, give the hellcats a rest for once. Tup the trollop at the third booth instead, at least you stand a good chance of escaping with all your limbs."
The man just laughed. "The danger’s part of the fun, mate. Don’t you recognize the bird?"
His friend carefully looked towards the girl, being sure to not make eye contact. He was certain he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. Full lips in a pout, long hair that hid her rest of her face like a veil. No distinguishing features that he could see. "Don’t see what makes her so special, Ripper."
"Don’t be blind, Ethan. Pretend the hair was a bit shorter, couple that with a deep laugh. If that doesn’t help, check out her ring instead."
Ethan surreptitiously watched the girl. She lifted her head to glare at the waitress, and he could see her face without the wall of hair blocking his view. The most noticeable thing about her was the heavy makeup, kohl rimming her eyes and blood-red lips. The sparking ring on her left ring finger caught his eyes as she flicked a galleon at the waitress. The large emerald encircled by diamonds was immediately identifiable to him, as was the diamond-encrusted "M" that hung at the hollow of her throat.
"Merlin! I can’t believe Malfoy let his woman come in a place like this!"
Ripper grinned at him. "Mate, Malfoy has no clue the bird even knows places like this exist. She’s here without him, drinking heavily and glaring at everything that thought about being male. Perfect opportunity."
"Perfect opportunity for suicide. He’ll kill you for even thinking about it."
"Only if he finds out. And what a way to go."
. . . . . . . . . .
‘Stupid man. Stupid men. Stupid everything.’ She tossed back another drink, wishing to feel the burn of liquor, but she’d had the waitress just bring her colored water after her first shot. ‘I can’t help that I’m not what he wants. His father made that stupid agreement before I was ever born. Lucy just wants what he can’t have, rather than wanting what he already has.’ She giggled to herself at the mental image of her fiancé’s reaction if she ever called him Lucy to his face, but then remembered she was supposed to be sulking rather than laughing. ‘Stupid Lucy, won’t even let me sulk in peace.’
Another smile flirted across her face, and she swung her hair around to hide her face. It wouldn’t do to let the other denizens of the place to see her giggling. She was pretending to throw a first-class sulk, and it wouldn’t do to let on that she was far happier than they thought she was. It was only her temper and her fast wand actions that had kept unwanted attention away from her. Problem with that was that it also kept away wanted attention. She’d seen some of fellow Hogwarts classmates at the bar – granted, they were Gryffs, but at least they were familiar Gryffs - and they kept glancing her way. She couldn’t decide, however, if they had recognized her yet or not. She waited until she was sure one of them was looking at her, and carefully tossed her head to make sure Lucy’s necklace and ring were clearly recognizable. They should be able to recognize his symbols.
She was determined to get out of her engagement. He had more patience than she had originally expected, but there was no way Lucy would marry a woman who dallied with Gryffindors. If nothing else would work, she was sure this would.
. . . . . . . . . .
He waited until another drunk made his way to her table, then slowly sauntered over. As she raised her wand to hex her other admirer, Ripper casually lowered himself onto the booth bench beside her. He slipped his left arm around her shoulders as yet another petrificus totalus zinged out from her wand. Survival instincts kicked in as she swung her wand around towards him, and he wrapped the fingers of his right hand around the wand and tugged, disarming her before she had a chance to hex him.
"Is that any way to greet an old friend, my dear?"
She glared at him, but didn’t say anything. He took that as a good sign, and signaled the waitress to bring them a bottle of firewhiskey.
. . . . . . . . . .
‘Success!’ was the first thought in her head, quickly followed by a laugh at how egotistical he was. She wondered if he’d ever realized that she’d allowed him to disarm her. She almost snorted out loud when he ordered a full bottle rather than just another drink. He was so sure of himself and his abilities to seduce her.
"You look so familiar… who are you?" she trailed off, knowing that he would jump at the chance she was offering him.
"One of Andromeda’s friends. How’s she doing?"
Perfect opportunity to see if her plan would work. She needed to know how much he was willing to put up with before she put part two into action. Gathering a deep breath, she called upon all her acting skills. "Andi, Andi, Andi! It’s always about precious little Andi! Or Narci! Pretty little Narci that everyone just adores! What about me? Why is it never about Bella?" To end her temper tantrum, she cast a quick accio and took a large swig of firewhiskey. It took all the willpower to not cough, but that would ruin her carefully crafted appearance of a witch accustomed to hard alcohol.
‘Gah! That burned! This had better work!’
. . . . . . . . . .
Ripper signaled Ethan to go ahead and leave. He was almost finished here himself. No point in Ethan hanging around just to find out the Ripper had other plans for the evening. Once Ethan signaled back that he understood, Ripper turned back to the brunette beside him.
"Now, where were we my dear? I do believe it was your turn for another shot." He grinned at the girl as she tried to grab the shotglass.
She pouted. "I don’t understand. I thought I just did a shot. I’m confused. Is it hot in here or is it just me? Can I have some water instead? Or, oooh, ice cream. Ice cream would be soooo good. Or chicken. Chicken ice cream? No, that’s sick. Baby, can we get some ice cream?"
"Be a good girl, Bella, and you can have all the ice cream you want." Oh yeah, she was definitely drunk enough and it sounded like she was almost ready to leave. He grabbed her hips and pulled her onto his lap. She just giggled and grabbed his shoulders to help steady herself. Lightly running his fingers along her side, he tickled her, and she started squirming.
"Stop that! That tickles! Baby, stop, please?" She tried to pout, but was giggling too hard. Her eyes were dilated and she couldn’t seem to focus on his face.
"Why should I? What would I get in return?"
"My eternal grat..grat…grati… I’d be really happy?"
He pretended to think about it before shaking his head. "Sorry, ducks, that doesn’t really do anything for me."
"What do you want then?" She giggled and squirmed as he ran his fingers up the back of her leg. "Stop that! Please? I’ll do anything, just stop that already."
"Kiss me then."
. . . . . . . . . .
He was putty in her hands. Everything was going according to plan. She couldn’t believe he’d fallen that inane babbling about ice cream, but he had. Silly Gryffs, they were so easy to fool. When he asked for a kiss, she knew her plan would work.
She allowed him to kiss her once, but when he tried to a second time, she slid off his lap and ducked under his arm, trying to make her escape from their booth. He caught her, and pulled her back to him.
"That wasn’t very nice, Bella. Trying to run out on a fellow."
She kissed him again and while he was distracted, she slid closer to the end of the booth. This time she did run when the kiss ended.
He didn’t catch her until she’d passed the door of the pub. Trapping her against the rough bricks of the building, he kissed her again.
"Oh, well done, darling. You caught me. What are you going to do with me now?" Please, oh please, let him fall for this. This just had to work! When he didn’t immediately answer, she grabbed his belt and pulled him close, grinding against him. A low growl was his only verbal response. "Want to take this back to my place?"
Before he could answer, she pulled him closer to her and apparated them away.
. . . . . . . . . .
Moonlight filtered into the room through the gauzy curtains on the window. The bed was covered by a dark green satin duvet turned down to reveal black satin sheets.
The room was silent until the intertwined couple appeared in the middle of the bed.
Bella giggled when they appeared exactly where she meant for them to appear. The hard part of the plan was over – she’d picked up a Gryffindor and brought them back to Lucy’s bedroom. Only thing to do now was to get Ripper naked and then get Lucy into the room.
"Baby? I wanna dance." She grinned at him as she started swaying slightly. She allowed him to help her to her feet, but she fell back against the bed when she stood up. "Ooooh, I’m so dizzy. This is fun, again, again! Or… oooh, I like this… can you dance for me? Please?" If only she could Imperio him, this would be so much easier…
. . . . . . . . . .
"What the bloody hell?!?!" Lucius couldn’t help but to exclaim out loud. He’d been spending a quiet night at home when a loud "pop" alerted him to Bella’s apparition into the room next to his study. What was that girl doing apparating into his bedroom? He could her giggling, and then… was that a man laughing with her? What was going on here?
He grabbed his wand, and made his way to the doorway of his room. It took a minute for him to comprehend what was going on. Bella was sprawled out on his bed, and some stranger was dancing in front of her.
Lucius waited until the stranger started stripping. The man easily slipped out of his shirt, but appeared to be having trouble removing his pants. Lucius had to bite the inside of his jaw to keep from laughing out loud when the stranger tripped and fell to the ground. He’d gotten his belt off, and his pants and boxers down, but couldn’t slip the clothing over his boots.
Lucius couldn’t decide if he should interrupt now or wait for more material for his pensieve when he got a good look at the man’s face. Sweet Merlin, that pit viper he was engaged to had brought a mudblood Gryff into his house!
. . . . . . . . . .
The evening wasn’t turning out exactly the way Ripper had planned it. The bird was clearly drunk, check. They were at her place, check. His clothes were off, uncheck. He’d forgotten that he’d tucked his jeans into the top of his boots, and had subsequently tried to remove the pants before removing the boots. He was currently sitting bare-arsed on the floor, trying to tug his boots off as Bella laughed at him. He’d gotten one boot off and was undoing the lacings on the other boot when a reducto flew over his head, and a nearby vase exploded.
"What may I ask is going on here?"
That voice was so familiar. Ripper turned to see Lucius Malfoy standing in the doorway, smoking wand pointed at him.
Oh shite. She’d apparated them into the wrong bedroom.
A quick hex caused Ripper’s belt to explode into flames, which then set his shirt on fire. He’d better get out of there – Lucius was likely to set him on fire next. Ripper quickly apparated out, thankful that there weren’t any anti-apparation wards up.
. . . . . . . . . .
Yes, yes, yes! This evening was going exactly according to plan! She’d even remembered to remove the wards to allow the Gryff to make a quick escape. She looked over at Lucy, it looked like he was close to being able to formulate words again. He’d just been ranting and screaming obscenities for five minutes.
The first words out of his mouth were "and if that’s the way you feel, the engagement is OFF! Do you hear me, OFF! I renounce you!" Lucy was screaming so much, his face was a mottled shade of purple.
"Good! Wait, good?"
"Yes, Lucy, good." It’s not like he could get any madder at her right now, so decided to slip her little pet name for him into the conversation.
"You don’t want to be engaged to me?"
"Well spotted, Lucy. No offense, but kissing you is like kissing my brother."
"Too true. That’s what seven years of Hogwarts will do to a pair… you planned this, didn’t you?"
"You think I’d kiss a Gryff for fun? Please."
"Oh, thank Merlin! Do you think your father will let me marry Narcissa now?"
"I’ll trick him into it, just as long as you don’t tell him you caught me with a Gryff. Tell him you caught me with anyone, Snape even, just please, don’t tell him it was a Gryff."
Both Slytherins laughed.
"Well, that just leaves us with one thing now."
"What’s that, Bella? Telling our parents?"
"No. What are we going to do with the boot the Gryff left behind?"
"Oh, my dear, I have a plan for that boot." Bella was slightly disturbed by the smirk on Lucius’ face, but just slightly. Their laughter filled the night.