A/N: Thank you for the response to the last chapter! It makes me happy to know that you are enjoying reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it! I have said before that sometimes you can't make stuff like this up and all you have to do is write down what happens. In the case of Sirius, he is an amalgamation of several people I have met over the summer. It'll be great to see how he will grow and progress from here on.
Some of you will have remembered Blaise Zabini from Masks and Roses. If you're like me, you probably would have wondered what he would have done after Hogwarts, and if he would still be as outrageous as ever! I guess in this chapter we find out.
Thanks to MissMaryLiz for inspiring this next chapter!
The Roommate – Chapter Four
12 Grimmauld Place certainly was an interesting place in these days, helped particularly by two of the three inhabitants. One of them was firmly ensconced in their study with a stunning specimen of man.
Perched on Sirius' desk, looking like bored royalty, was events organiser extraordinaire Blaise Zabini. Blaise certainly was immune to the passage of time, growing even more ridiculously handsome and outrageous from his Hogwarts years. He had settled into his finely-sculpted features and used them to carve a perfect niche for himself. Once he'd finished with Hogwarts, Blaise had attended a Muggle university in events management, and since enjoyed a fantastic career organising the most illustrious parties in London.
Even back at Hogwarts he had been known as an infamous libertine, seducing male and female alike. The only traits more famous than his parties were his many, many affairs. It was as if he was trying to sleep his way through his thick address book, one high-profile client at a time.
In a moment that Hermione had called a brief aneurysm, Sirius had booked an appointment with him to arrange table settings and for catering. Strange that he didn't ask Blaise's help for any of the decorations.
It was like looking into a scene from the Great Gatsby: two bored members of the upper echelons of society lazily discussing their next big to-do. Sirius was deadly attractive in a linen shirt and slightly fitted jeans. He was seated on his desk's surface speaking to Blaise, who was a vision in a navy blue shirt and a tie. Both men had their heads bowed over a menu list, going over appetisers and mains.
"Mr Black, I can combine the salmon rissoles and the hummus bread starters with the coq au vin main…"Blaise started when Sirius cut in.
"Swap the hummus bread for the teriyaki beef sushi and I think we have dinner."
This had Blaise slowly raising his head with a look of distaste on his face. He would rather shave with a pair of scissors than allow such a tacky approach to one of his dinners.
"I think adding beef sushi is a mite over your budget Mr Black, it would be smart to stick to the hummus bread…"he began.
"Don't worry about the budget, I detest hummus," Sirius said, not even looking up from the papers in his hand. Hermione saw Blaise roll his eyes and scratch out an item on his list with his elegant owl feather quill. If Sirius Black hadn't come from such an old Pureblood family, he would have stormed out a long time ago. It didn't help either that the older man was the sexiest being he had seen in a long, long time.
"Blaise, please Mr Black. Mr Zabini is one of mother's many ex husbands and I like to keep the distinction between him and myself firmly in place," Blaise said in a low purr.
"Fine then, Blaise. Keep the cutlery and flatware as simple as possible, I don't want them to clash with the decorating," Sirius said. He was slightly affronted when Sirius didn't seem to react.
"Could do, although if I may ask Mr Black, who is doing the decorations?"
"Miss Granger is installing the chandelier outside, and I will be handling the rest. I will be supplying the wine and glasses, but I do need someone to pour them out. " Sirius answered.
"Miss Granger…Hermione Granger?" Blaise asked. That bushy-haired little swot was shacking up with him?
"Yes, she is living here indefinitely. Can I get you to hire someone to pour drinks or shall I ask Kreacher?" Sirius answered, almost a little too indifferently. It was almost as if he didn't want to discuss the implication of having her under his roof.
"Ah. I can get someone, but they are paid on an hourly basis if you wish me to factor that in," Blaise replied, shuffling more papers around the desk.
"As long as they recognise a merlot from their ass then you can hire a garden gnome for all I care," Sirius said.
On the other side of the office door was Hermione, seated on the ballroom floor. She was trying to make sense of the manual that came with the chandelier. She was surrounded by bolts, nuts and screws and couldn't make top or end of anything.
She wasn't very good at admitting defeat, but this was pushing her rather close. She had always depended on magic for these sorts of things, but that would be conceding to her left-handedness with a screwdriver. No, what she wanted to do was prove she wasn't just book smart. She could be just as handy as anybody and didn't need a magic wand to do it.
She consulted the manual levitating in front her. All the diagrammes even looked the same. She could feel the unfamiliar rise of panic in her chest as she realised she was absolutely clueless. The extent of her handiness sans magic was the ability to change a light bulb and reset the circuit breaker.
Even more unsettling were the snatches of conversation coming out of Sirius' study. It sounded like he knew exactly what he was dong. Salmon rissoles? Coq au vin? It was like listening to a very masculine Nigella Lawson effortlessly putting together a cosy sit-down dinner.
If Nigella Lawson was six foot three and devastatingly handsome of course.
It figures, she snorted to herself. Rich boy with all his rich boy parties.
She could hear the surprise in Blaise's voice when she heard Sirius tell him she was living there. The outrageous man-slut of Slytherin turned party planner. Even she knew about his legend back in the day. He had never given her a second glance when they had been at Hogwarts, but that was all right. Hermione had long suspected he was exclusively into men, but being the entrepreneur he was, didn't want to exclude fifty per cent of his possible clientele.
While she was twiddling with all the bits and pieces in front of her, she hadn't realised Blaise was standing behind her, watching.
"I'd always known you had a pair in there. I just didn't know you'd stolen them from Bob the Builder," he said. Even she had to smile at that. While they had never been romantically involved, she had always been amused by his acerbic wit and sharp sense of humour. He wasn't mean by default; he was just so out there that everyone else was boring by comparison.
"And here I thought being on my hands and knees was doing it for you Blaise. How goes the party planning?" Hermione asked, swatting the hovering manual away for a moment. It flitted off to inspect the fireplace for a moment.
He sighed theatrically and wandered over. "The man has impeccable taste in everything else but dinner menus. Beef sushi with salmon rissoles. What on earth could he be thinking?"
Hermione had to tamp down a laugh. She had no idea what the fuss was about, but in his world it must have been frightfully tacky. "I'm sure he knows what he's doing, I've learned to just leave him to it" she said.
Blaise turned sharply on his heel to face her. "And you know this how?" he asked, a discreetly tweezed eyebrow raised.
She coloured. "Well, I have known him for a while. Plus I live here. So you know, draw your own conclusion?" she fumbled. That didn't help the situation at all, she might have given up more than was necessary.
If he picked up on her nerves he didn't let it show. "What on earth are you doing living here anyway?"
"I needed a place to stay and he offered," Hermione said, carefully guarding her responses. He might not be a mean person but that didn't mean he wasn't conniving.
Blaise had been facing her, but now he walked straight at her. His movement reminded her of a fluid and graceful raven, but nothing so harmless.
"If you say so. Normally I wouldn't even need to speak to you about this, that I fully intend to have my way with Mr Black," he said, as nonchalantly as if he were stating that he liked smooth peanut butter over crunchy.
Her eyes bugged out, but he went on. "But I suppose your brilliant mind would have figured out this conversation is strictly recon, to see if you were wanting to have at him yourself."
She didn't even know what to say. Of course she wanted Sirius. She had been in a state of heated arousal ever since that afternoon they had ice cream. She could picture his tongue flicking over her skin the way it did over his white chocolate macadamia ice cream.
"Oh, don't look at me like that. Surely you already know that I like my partners rich and male," he said, puffing up like an annoyed peacock.
"Yes, I did know that. But I didn't think you needed my permission…"Hermione began when she was cut off by his laughter.
"You're adorable Granger. I can see why Weasley liked you so much. I'm not asking your permission. I'm just letting you know that you now have an unbeaten opponent for Sirius' affections," he said, an amused smirk crossing his face. He had picked up his briefcase and coat and was just about to leave the room when he turned back to face a blushing Hermione.
"And don't think your intelligence will win you this one Granger. We know very well you were never the physical type," he smirked, before tipping his hat at her and striding out the door.
A/N: Sorry this took a while to put up. I had to go over and over to make sure Blaise was perfect. He was always such a fun character to play with, and it'll be great to see how he twists them both around. See you soon!