Chapter 24 (of 24)
By the time she came to, energy slowly returning, the news had spread like wildfire amongst those that knew Sirius. Remus was there. Harry was there. Ginny, Ron, Bill. . .
The list went on and on.
“That was very foolish,” Severus intoned humorlessly from beside her bed. His bed, she told herself. In his room, deep down in the dungeons. She’d never seen this room before, and found herself drinking the experience in with eyes that she would have liked to think were wide, though knew deep down they were only half-open. She was too tired still for wide-eyed curiosity. “You allowed all of your energy into the spell. One minute longer and –“
He didn’t have to say it. She knew the toll for exceeding her limits. How many times had she walked that line and still lived to tell the tale? Power came and power went. As long as she didn’t go too far she’d be fine.
Though, it had been close this time; and frighteningly, she hadn’t even realized it until she pulled Sirius through and the spell ended. Right as she was falling into unconsciousness she saw what had happened. Riding high on the power of the spell she hadn’t been in a position to see how weak it was making her.
She gave him a small smile.
“I got it done, though. That makes it worth it.”
He raised an eyebrow at her. “Risking your life to get that mutt back in our lives is far from –worth- it. You’ll see soon enough. He’s more trouble than he’s worth.”
Willow rolled her eyes. She’d known about the animosity the men shared for each other, she reminded herself. There was no way that Sirius’ near-death was going to change things.
“Seeing Harry happy is worth it,” she shrugged, infusing her look with a glare that she hoped would keep any snide comments at bay. It was hard to tell who her current boyfriend disliked more – Sirius Black or Harry Potter; but it was a close running, to be sure.
Severus snorted, but wisely kept his mouth shut. She reached out, tugging at his sleeve.
“Lay down with me?”
“I would have thought that you were too tired still for that sort of thing.”
Willow felt a blush heat up her cheeks, and shot her lover an embarrassed glare. “Lay down to sleep. Not. . . you know. . .”
He chuckled under his breath, easing down until he was laying next to her. His hand crept up, caressing her cheek in one of the most tender moments she could recall sharing with him. Shutting her eyes, Willow let her exhaustion finally win out; abandoning herself to the world of sleep and the touch of Severus’ fingers.
Remus grabbed hold of Sirius’ arm, yanking him back from taking off straight way to the dungeons to ‘rescue’ his niece from the clutches of the ‘evil’ Severus Snape.
“They’re happy together, Padfoot,” the werewolf murmured, giving his friend a shake when it looked like the other wasn’t paying attention to him. They had put off telling him about Willow and where she was for as long as possible. But inevitably the question had come. Who was that red head that had rescued him? Where was she now? And they’d told him, of course; albeit, reluctantly.
Which had set off fireworks in Sirius’ head. His niece was being tended to by Snape? She was down there with the greasy git that they had waged personal war on for most of their lives?
Remus gave him another shake, hoping that Sirius would just listen to reason this once and not go off half-cocked to do something that would alienate Willow forever and always. Dumbledore and the others were in the next room, he reminded himself. If all else failed, he supposed they would be there to back him up. “Do you hear me? They’re happy together.”
“No, they really are,” Harry cut in, earning himself a look from his Godfather. “You’ll see. . .”
Sirius sighed, relaxing in Remus’ grip until, at last, his friend released him. “Moony –“
“No,” Remus shook his head. “You’ll just have to learn to live with it. We did. Some of us took it better than others, mind you.”
Harry grimaced, and Sirius raised his eyebrows.
“Believe me when I say you definitely don’t want to know,” the teen shuddered, eyes wide with some remembered horror.
“And you’re sure she’s my niece?”
Remus rolled his eyes. There were times when Sirius, though his best friend, could be so stubborn. Sure, just write Willow off simple because she did something that he didn’t approve of. The man was more like his mother than he let on at times. “She’s a wonderful girl, you know. Smart, beautiful. Definitely a Black, to judge by her temper at times. And Dumbledore did all the research himself. So, unless you’re doubting him –“
“I’m not,” Sirius snapped. “It’s just. . . I can’t believe she’s dating that git! My own niece. Flesh and blood and all that. It goes against everything I stand for!”
Harry laughed, smothering it with his hand when his Godfather turned another look his way.
“Soon to be git-in-law if they keep at it the way they’ve been going,” Remus dared to add.
Sirius groaned, falling back into a chair.
“This is Hell, right? I finally died and went to Hell. Merlin, help me.”
~*~End Fic. No Sequel. No Prequel.~*~