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Summary: The battlefield is red . . .

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Angel-CenteredEenaAngelFR1812,561052,47926 Aug 0326 Aug 03Yes
Title: Unscathed?

Author: eena_angel2001


Rating: R-ish

Category: BTVS/HP

Disclaimer: Don’t own any of them.

Spoilers: None really for AtS, OotP for HP.

Summary: The battlefield is red . . .

Notes: Song lyrics from Alanis Morissette’s “Can’t Not” from her album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie.


The grass is kind of red.

The blood of the battle had painted the grass red. Bodies lay here and there, dotting the landscape as far as the eye could see. Some were piled on top of each other, some were laying by themselves. Some had their eyes closed, seeming blissful in death. Others had their eyes open, horrifying agony written all over their faces. Good men had fallen, bad men had died. It was as any other war, destruction everywhere you looked. And this field, it embodied that destruction.

The humans and wizards scamper about, looking at this field with awe and weariness. They look at it and they remember the horror of not only the battle, but also the entire war. Years and years of fear and death, all which had finally come to an end, but at a very big cost. They looked at this red field and felt the weight of many memories.

I looked at it and felt hungry.

***I'd be lying if I said I was completely unscathed***

The hunger was the reminder. It was the thing that separated me from everyone around me. They were humans, they were mortals. They had lives, they worked, and they walked in the light of the sun without fear. I’m the exact opposite.

I am the darkness. I live in only one world, but feel for both. I live my life in Hell.

A vampire with a soul. A creature that should not exist, but somehow did. A demon with a conscience, a demon with a streak of light in him, a demon commissioned to do good if he ever wanted to achieve redemption.

And I’m always a step away from returning to evil. I was a gamble not worth taking. But people put their faith in me anyway, because I have done many good things. They think that I am some sort of saviour, that I will be the answer to their prayers.

I helped; I’ll admit that much. I fought in this battle with everything I had. But I’m nowhere near the hero that these people think I am. In fact, I wonder how many of my fans would turn on me knowing everything that I had ever done?

Or in this case, failed to do.

***I might be proving you right with my silence or my retaliation

Would I be letting you win in my non reaction? ***

It was stupid to dwell on it. To think so hard on something that I couldn’t change. It had happened so fast, so many years ago. I had forgotten about it up to the last year. It never occurred to me that it would be important. It had been a fleeting moment in my life, one that didn’t warrant any special kind of analysis.

But I was wrong.

How could it be that one simple choice led to all this death and destruction? How could one simple act, or non-action, end like this? How could the repercussions be so large, so widespread? I thought I had done good that day. I thought that I had done something that was so great. I overcame something dark inside myself, denied my most basic instincts. My soul had won over the demon that day and I went away thinking that I would be better for it.

But I was wrong.

***How would I explain?

How would I explain this to my children if I had them?

Because I can't not

Because I can't not***

Fifty years ago, one random day in the darker alleyways of London. I had been there, I had been hungry. And I had stumbled upon a very foolish schoolboy.

I was gaunt, pale and malnourished. The soul had been plaguing me with guilt non-stop. I could not shut my eyes without seeing the faces of my victims. Any thought of food triggered the sounds of my victims’ screams, ringing through my brain. I could not even think of blood without some sort of repercussion. Even killing rats had become too hard to do. They were so tiny and pitiful when I caught them, squeaking in panic right before I snapped their necks. Decades of that had made even rats unacceptable victims for my thirst.

And so I starved.

It worked at first. I went days without killing any rats. But in the end, the hunger would weaken me so much that I would run to the dirtiest of alleyways, snatching up the critters left and right, gorging on the tiny amount of blood they had to offer.

It had been on one of those nights when I ran across him. I was hungry, rats nowhere to be found. I could hear them but was so weak that I didn’t have the energy to chase them. I had fallen into a pile of trash, causing a slight cacophony of noise. Laying there, I had closed my eyes and debated if I should just stop now and wait for the sun.

But then I heard the footsteps.

***Because I can't afford to be misread one more time

Would I be whining if I said I needed a hug?

Would you feel slighted if I said your love's not enough? ***

I smelled blood, rushing through the veins of the new arrival. Opening my eyes, I found a teenaged boy. He had dark hair and piercing green eyes. Pale skin and a slightly noble face, with an expression of clear distaste stamped across it. He had the audacity to kick my foot, scowling down at me ferociously.

“Stupid drunken Muggle,” he had spat at me. “Go away. I have business to attend to.”

I remember feeling rage boiling up in my veins. I got to my feet with a sudden burst of strength. The boy had been disrespectful; he had practically fallen into my lap. And his abuse of me made the situation seem all the more justified.

My true face came out and my supposed victim had backed up in terror. I remember smirking and inwardly celebrating the arrival of my first warm meal in weeks. The demon had been clamouring for his blood, trying to push its way to the front. I was so close to the edge that night, so very close.

But then, I paused. I pulled back and just looked at this boy fumbling in his pockets for something to save his life. I could kill before he even had the chance to grasp a weapon, drain him completely within seconds. I had his life in my hands.

And I chose to let him live.

***How can I complain?

How can I complain when I'm the one who reaches for it?

Because I can't not

Because I can't not***

I had been elated, proud even. The demon was wailing angrily inside of me but I paid him no attention. My mind had cleared and for once I was able to enjoy something good that I had done. In one of my weaker moments I had looked my dark side right in and the eye and defeated it. The soul had won its first real battle.

“What’s your name boy?” I had demanded, allowing my human face to slip back on. He was trembling, not able to speak a word. I remember shaking my head and turning to leave when he finally mustered up enough courage to reply.

I had stopped mid-step when I heard him speak and turned back around to face him. A young boy, innocent he looked to my eyes, and so I turned around once more, leaving him there with only one word of advice, using his name for the first and last time.

“You shouldn’t be out so late Tom Riddle. Go home before something finds you.”

Too bad nothing did.

***Because I cannot walk without my crutches

Because I can't not

Because I can't not***

It was the one night of my long life that I would now remember as a failure. I had a chance to do something back then, something no one would be able to do for a long time. I had a chance to rid the world of a great evil, before it even began. I could have ended his life right then and there, sparing the whole world his darkness. I could have stopped this war from ever coming.

But I didn’t. And because of that failure, countless lives were lost. People were killed, others destroyed. Families were torn to shreds and an entire world of people lived in virtual fear for over decades because of one man. War came not once but twice, shaking that world right to its very foundations.

And all because I let one snotty little boy live.

My demon’s laughing at me right now. I wonder who else is.

***Because I can't help wonder why you ask me

To all the unheard wisdom in the schoolyard***


The voice is tentative, so softly spoken that a human wouldn’t have heard it. But I am not human. I haven’t been for a very long time.

“Yes Fred?”

“It’s getting late,” she replies, stepping up next to me, her tiny hand coming to rest on my arm. For a minute we both stand there, watching as various people ran over the field, collecting the wounded and the dead. She’s feeling sombre and reflective, joining me in silence for a few minutes as she tallies up her own losses in this war. She’ll take Pansy’s death hard, so impressed by the tireless spy for the side of good. Pansy had been cut down by the man himself, put through unimaginable torture before she finally faded from this life. Fred knew this and she mourned the death of her newfound friend.

I felt sick thinking about it. I even hurt Fred with my failure. I would die for this little brunette pixie at my side, and I had caused her pain by denying my demon so long ago.

It’s frightfully ironic.

***You think you're the right ones

You think you're the charmed ones I'm sure

How can you go on with such conviction? ***

“We should go.”

She finally speaks again. But her words are meaningless as she leans her head on my shoulder, as if she is settling in for a bit. I spare her a quick glance, watching as the nightlight washed over her face. There were smudges of dirt there and here on her cheeks, a small scar healing on her forehead, and blood smeared across her neck. Someone else’s blood no doubt and I briefly wonder who.

“Why should we go?” I asked her, wanting her to look up at me so that I could see her eyes. Fred had lovely brown eyes, so warm and full of life and hope. That hope had been achieved in the months after her escape from Pylea. It was hope for herself and everyone around her, hope that the world wasn’t as cruel as she thought and hope that one day others could see that. I desperately needed to see that hope right now.

She seems to read my mind, turning her head upwards. Her eyes are tired, bags underneath them and red from crying. The light that had been there was temporarily dimmed as the horrors of the battle ran through her mind. My heart dipped a bit, but not a lot.

Because the hope was still there.

***And who do you think you are why do you question me?

Because we can't not

Because we can't not***

“The sun is going to rise soon,” she gave me a gentle nudge with her elbow. “Let’s get inside before you go up in flames.”

I nodded, eyes going back to the battlefield and straying to the horizon. The dark blue of the sky was starting to lift and I could see the first telltale lines of purple. The sun was surely rising, and fast.

I suddenly had the urge to greet it.

***Because we can't help laugh at underestimations

Because we can't not

Because we can't not***

“Do you ever think about how you could have lived your life differently? Better?”

My question confused her. Fred lifted her head, looking at me with concern in her eyes. She bit her lip, looking back out at the battlefield before letting out a sigh.

“How could you have known Angel?” she asked, shaking her head. “You had no way of knowing who he was, or who he would become.”

“But I had the chance,” I muttered. She gave me a sharp look, mouth setting into an angry line.

“Angel, none of this is your fault,” she stated firmly. “But if you really want to give the old guilt trip a workout, think about how you’re regretting not killing a random boy you met in an alleyway.”

“Is that what you think?”

***Because we can't afford to be misled one more time

Because we can't not

Because we can't not***

“Angel, we’re the good guys in all this. And sometimes that means making calls that seem foolish in hindsight. But we make them because we know they’re the right decisions to make. However, when it comes to the point where we regret doing the right thing, that’s when we have to worry about our souls.”

***Because we cannot help without your willingness**


Her voice was softer than before, like she feared that her words had the opposite effect than what she intended. I took an unnecessary breath, shaking my head and turning to face her.

“I can’t help but think, what if?”

She gave me a tiny smile, her nose scrunching in that adorable manner of hers.

“There will always be ‘what ifs’,” she told me. “But they don’t mean anything in the end. The important thing is accepting what is. And ‘what is‘ is the fact that you helped save a lot of lives tonight. And within a day, you‘ll be right back to saving more.”

“You sure have a lot of faith in me Fred,” I chuckled. She gave me another deep look.

“You’ve never given me reason not to.”

***Why do you affect me? Why do you affect me still?

Why do you hinder me? Why do you hinder me still? ***

“Come on,” she tugged on my arm. “Inside. I don’t want to be bringing you back to the others in a pile of ash. They might get mad at me.”

I let her drag me away, my eyes still on the battlefield. So many bodies, so much blood, as far as the eye could see.

***Why do you unnerve? Why do you unnerve me still?

Why do you trigger me? Why do you trigger me still? ***

“He’s gone for good now,” she offered me helpfully. A rueful smile curved my lips and I followed her to the nearest shelter.

“But that doesn’t mean it’s over.”

“It’s never over Angel,” she reminded me. I nodded, pausing to send a weak smile the way of the medical examiner, a redhead named Ginny that reminded me entirely too much of Willow.

“But we’ll always be there,” Fred added, a firm tone to her voice. I smiled at that; taking the first seat I saw, suddenly very tired right down in the centre of my being.

“I know Fred. I know.”


The End

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