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A/N: This might be inspired by a multichapter B/Hr idea that I've been hoping to write soon *shifty*
100quills prompt: Dream
For odyssey01 (welcome back, hon!) and tamlane!

Originally Posted: September 20, 2006

This is just a bad dream. That’s the only logical explanation. Blaise is convinced that he will wake up from this ridiculous situation if he just pinches his arm very hard. The only thing preventing him from doing so, besides the obvious lack of interest in actually marring his skin with something as unattractive as a bruise, is the smirking man seated at the lopsided desk across from him. He just knows the man is secretly enjoying his discomfort. Besides, the prat would probably drool on his desk should Blaise actually remove his coat and roll his shirt up to his forearm. While Blaise has no qualms in being drooled over, which is fortunate since it happens so frequently that it’s become rather tediously routine, he finds the sight of drooling Irishmen very unattractive.

So he’s stuck sitting in this uncomfortable chair with vinyl seats waiting for the uptight priss to call him in for his appointment and trying not to think about the fact that his clothing is actually touching vinyl. The very idea is enough to make him sneer, which makes the Irishmen look away and quiver in fear. Blaise smiles smugly at that before he hears the horrid sound of vinyl squeaking when he shifts. He shudders slightly and prays to any higher being willing to listen that they destroy all things vinyl---and pleather, while they’re at it. If he’s going to do the world a service with his prayers, he’s certainly going to ensure that it benefits him, too.

The lopsided desk is highly annoying. What sort of investigator can be trusted when they care so little for appearances that the front desk is wobbly and the chairs are like something found in a Muggle resale shop? Blaise has a fondness for old things, often buying antiques whenever the mood strikes, but he wouldn’t even send one of these ugly, atrocious chairs to his worst enemy, though he is tempted to arrange the purchase of one to send to Parkinson as a wedding gift because, really, he finds the idea rather amusing. He could even include a brief note of condolence regarding the marriage and mention just where he happened to procure the hideous vinyl covered chair. If nothing else, it would eliminate his name from Parkinson’s list of contacts.

He stares at the desk for what feels like hours before he finally removes his wand and performs a charm to straighten the bloody thing. He gives Bennigan or Finnigan or whatever the Irish git’s name is a superior smile and arches a brow, waiting for the thank you that should accompany his good deed. When the man fails to even stammer out a ‘thanks’, Blaise sneers and contemplates turning the horrible vinyl into imported leather. The office smells, too, like old dirty socks and damp animals.

There’s probably some living creature that licks itself clean, well, besides the Irishman, crawling about and hiding beneath desk plotting plans to ruin his expensive Italian loafers or scratch his suit. He hates animals and forgets about vinyl as he looks for some Slytherin-hating pet. The priss has to have one, probably that fat orange monstrosity she had back at school, only now old and fatter and meaner.

“Zabini, do you plan to come into my office or sneer at the carpet?”

Fuck. The bitch once again managed to catch him off guard. His dislike for her intensifies when he sees that she’s smirking at him. He curls his lip in an action that sends everyone running for cover, but she merely looks bored. He stands up and glares at the chair before he runs his hand over his clothes, making sure they aren’t permanently damaged from bad furniture. Once he’s content that he looks as brilliant as he did when he left his flat, he allows her the pleasure of his company.

He enters her office and scans it quickly, taking note of every pile of folders, book, quill, and odd thing she has on her desk and walls. This room smells better, thankfully, though she definitely has more style issues than he even suspected. The chair in here is actually leather and much more comfortable, but he continues to sneer so she’ll know that he is used to and expects better furnishings to surround him. He hates that she manages to make him act in this way, but refuses to give her the satisfaction of knowing that she can fluster him with her refusal to allow him to fluster her. It also nags at his ego that she’s clearly unaffected by his handsome face and charm like everyone else. It just confirms his suspicion that she’s obviously not as smart as everyone claims.

When she sits down and looks at him, arching a brow in a ‘make this worth my time’ way, he thinks again that it must be a bad dream. There is no other explanation for him actually seeking her out, much less planning to hire her. At least he can blame this on Helene. He tends to blame most of the unfortunate events in his life on her, of course, but this time it’s actually justified. She may be his mother, in a very loose meaning of the word, but he knows that the majority of things in life that are miserable are her fault. If not her, then he can always blame Weasleys, since there are so bloody many of them and they seem to be multiplying at horrifying rates.

Blaise trusts no one and respects few, one of whom is now tapping her foot impatiently while he deliberately makes her wait. He knows the reputation that Helene has, based on jealousy and the little fact that all of her husbands seem to have the misfortune of dying after marrying her, but he also knows that rumors are not fact. She’s many, many things, but she’s not an outright murderer. It’s that belief that has brought him here today, ready to make a deal with a Gryffindor devil. He sits back in the chair and gives Granger a look that lets her know she’s fortunate that he’s chosen her to help him prove Helene’s innocence in this little fiasco she’s managed to get herself entangled with.

As he’s establishing himself as the one in power in this little arrangement, he notices Granger glance at his hands and watches as her cheeks flush. His lips curve into a smug smile, and he lazily brings his hand up and strokes his bottom lip with his thumb. Her gaze follows before she looks at her desk and mutters that she has another appointment soon, which he knows is a lie because he snuck a peak at her calendar when Irish-boy went to the loo. He moves his eyes over her, taking in the curve of her breasts and the fullness of her lips with casual interest. Perhaps this won’t be as tedious as he feared. In fact, he has a feeling that he might even enjoy it.