What's to Come
Through tears and hugs, Willow said her goodbyes to Xander, Oz, and Spike. She would miss them more than words could impart, but ... it was kind of nice being the one to leave this time. She had been on the other side of such partings far to often.
Even Snape found himself hugged by an over-emotional Xander. Though Spike abstained, the handshake they shared was filled with the same sentiment. Snape was a part of the extended family now - especially if things continued as they seemed to be between he and Willow.
"Take care of Red for me, eh?"
"Of course, though I'm quite certain she can take bloody good care of herself."
Spike watched their friends board, his heart aching. But he turned to the two members of his little family that remained. "So, you two wanna move in? I got plenty of room - and I need someone to pay the rent. Freelance security isn't nearly as profitable as one might hope."
Oz looked at Xander, who nodded his agreement. "Sure."
"We'll just stop by the motel on the way home then," Xander said. He smiled. Always interesting to see the twists life brought you.
Snape offered a rare smile at the three men as he boarded behind Willow. They sat as the world began to pass them through the windows. Snape was delighted to be heading home, and rather pleased that Willow was accompanying him.
Willow, for her part, felt more like she was going home than she had since Sunnydale had fallen. It was better than going back to the coven she had spent time with during her recovery. The world of Hogwarts was a fun, exciting place. A place where she might be accepted and encouraged. She looked at Snape and thought, perhaps, she might even be loved at some point in the near future.
"You know, Willow..." Snape began.
"This should be a very interesting year at Hogwarts. Unless I miss my guess, we'll be having a bit of a celebrity in attendance."
"Mm-hmm. And I hate to presume, but I've a nasty feeling things won't go at all the way we might hope. Nothing ever does, really. But these coming years, I believe we'll see some very interesting occurrences."
"Well, Severus, you wouldn't want to get board, would you?" Willow smiled and sighed in happiness. "We never really know, what's to come."
A/N: Well, thats the end, my friends! Please offer any feedback you can think of. I'm new to writing and really appreciate your opinions, criticisms, and encouragements. Thank you very much for reading!!