Who: Susan Bones, Blaise Zabini
Where: 8 Hufflepuff Way
When: 28 May 2001, morning
Susan was trying really really hard not to panic, but her mind was going to all sorts of awful places. Hannah was supposed to come round last night for dinner but she’d never showed up. At first Susan had reasoned that she was busy at work, which was plausible enough. But then as the hours had ticked on she’d become increasingly worried. It wasn’t like Hannah to forget to come round.
After a broken night’s sleep, Susan decided she’d go over to Hannah and Blaise’s cottage to set her mind at ease. Last night she’d convinced herself she was overreacting and Hannah was fine, but as she hurried down the street her decision seemed stupid. Worse, it seemed dangerous. Why hadn’t she checked earlier if Hannah was okay? What if she was lying in a ditch somewhere and it was all Susan’s fault for not raising the alarm sooner?
Reaching the cottage, she pounded on the door in desperation, paying no heed to the fact that it was barely 7am.
Whoever was banging on his door was severely lacking in common decency. Without coffee and still yearning for his bed, Blaise tugged on a pair of boxers and scowled as the noise continued. He hadn’t shared his bed with anyone in the last few weeks, so it wasn’t a jealous partner, as far as he knew, nor would any of his friends make such a racket to announce their arrival. Even Draco had more class than that.
Blaise pulled open the front door. Oh, look. One of Hannah’s Hufflepuffs. “What a lovely morning it is,” he drawled. “How nice of you to drop by.”
Susan’s face fell as Blaise opened the door. She’d been hoping against hope that it would’ve been her best friend standing there. “Is Hannah in?” she blurted out, without any preamble. This was no time for social niceties!
A moment after the question left her mouth she suddenly noticed Blaise’s lack of clothing and a deep crimson blush spread over her cheeks. Well, perhaps there was time for social niceties such as putting clothes on. Who on earth answered the door in just their underwear, for goodness’ sake?!
“If she is, she’s still in bed,” Blaise said, stressing the most important part. He had another thirty minutes until his alarm was due to go off. Maybe if he got rid of Susan quickly, he could doze a bit. Or at least make some coffee. “But you can check, if you want.” If Hannah was sensible, she would be hiding under the covers and ignoring people trying to pound their front door down.
He smirked as he saw her blush. It felt increasingly rare that he could make a girl do that, such was life. “See something you like?”
“If?” Susan asked, pouncing on that one small word. “You mean you didn’t see her come in last night?” Part of her wanted to push past Blaise and rush straight to Hannah’s bedroom and check, but she didn’t really want to get that close to Blaise in his state of undress.
“Certainly not,” she spluttered, determinedly avoiding looking, well, there.
“Hannah wasn’t home when I went to bed last night, but that’s not the first time that’s happened.” He didn’t pry into Hannah’s love life and she tried not to make too many remarks about his. “Maybe she had a hot date. Or the band needed her.” It wouldn’t be the first time that had happened, either. Sighing, he stepped back, pulling the door open wider and giving Susan a nod. She could come in, if she wanted.
“So first you wake me up early, then you insult me.” Blaise flashed her a sharkish grin. “You’re just lucky I put something on.”
Blaise’s explanations were plausible enough, but Susan couldn’t imagine Hannah standing her up without Floo calling her to let her know. Cautiously edging her way past Blaise, she made her way into the cottage.
She felt her cheeks grow even hotter at his next comment, but managed to remark dryly, “Thank Merlin for small mercies.” Honestly, he really was the limit! How Hannah put up with him she would never know.
Hastening down the corridor to Hannah’s bedroom, she knocked on the door. “Hannah? Are you up?” But even as she pushed open the door she knew from the silence within what she would find.
Blaise dearly wanted to retort that there was nothing small about him, but he thought that Susan might very well combust upon hearing such innuendo. At least Hannah wasn’t like that.
He followed after Susan at a more leisurely pace. “What’s brought all this on?”
“Hannah was supposed to come round for dinner last night, but she never turned up,” Susan said, as the door to Hannah’s bedroom swung open, revealing an empty room. “Her bed hasn’t been slept in,” Susan said in a small voice, feeling for a moment quite lost. What did you do when the person you relied on to be strong disappeared and you had to cope on your own?
Taking a deep breath, Susan pulled her shoulders back. “We have to Floo call the DMLE. Right away.”
It seemed there was no chance that Blaise was going to be able to crawl back into bed this morning. Even his vital coffee seemed a very long way away. Was Susan truly expecting him to be sympathetic at this hour?
“Or,” he said slowly, “you can try the Duke house first.” Chris and Brody were probably awake by now, so maybe Kirley would be, too. “Kirley might have seen her. Just don’t… panic.”
Susan wasn’t just expecting Blaise to be sympathetic, she was expecting him to start worrying too. How could he stand there and tell her not to panic? Didn’t he care that his housemate was missing? That there was a murderer on the loose?!
“The Duke house,” she echoed. “Right.” Okay, maybe Blaise had a point there. Susan also made a mental note to write a plea in her journal before she called the DMLE, just in case someone had seen Hannah. But her instincts were telling her that something was wrong, and the sooner she reported Hannah’s absence, the better. With all this swirling round her mind, she turned to go, so distracted by her anxiety that she didn’t even say goodbye to Blaise.