I Am For YouAuthor:
‘Grave’ for BtVS, and nothing really, for HP. HBP and DH don’t exist in this world, and there are no spoilers for season seven of BtVS.Disclaimer:
JKR owns HP and Joss Whedon owns Buffy. I don’t make any money off of them. No infringement intended. The title comes from Waking Ashland’s song, I Am For You. It’ll be explained at the very end of the fic.Distribution:
My livejournal, Fanfiction-dot-net, FA, and harrypotterfanfiction-dot-com.Summary:
Because of the Ministry’s new rules, Giles can’t take Willow to England. So, help must come to her…in the form of two Slytherins and one Gryffindor. What they don't know is Willow isn't the only person in desperate need of healing.Pairings
: Draco/Pansy, mentions of Harry/Ginny, Willow/Tara, and a whole lot of UST in the form of Draco/Buffy, which is the eventual pairing at the end of the fic.Author’s note:
This fic has been in the works since October of 2006. Yes, I have been working on this monstrosity for three years. And it’s not finished. I only figured out where this was going to go a few months ago. It is almost completed, though. I have 14 chapters done, and bits and pieces of others. One chapter will go up a week, and hopefully I’ll have it done soon. Each chapter is at least 3,000 words and 8 pages long. Some are longer than others, and some barely pass my personal requirements.
Reviews are nice, but please don’t give me an eye-twitch with net speak. LOL and stuff like that is fine, but leaving a review like ‘ur a rly good athor, update plz!’ will just irritate me and make me not want to update. I do like constructive criticism, but all out flames will be used to roast marshmallows and nothing else.
The whole purpose of this fic was to try to delve into a new way of looking at magic, magical theory, dark magic and dark magic addiction. I created a new branch of magic almost, just to see if I could. Blink and you’ll miss it, but it’s briefly mentioned in this first chapter.Special Thanks:
Dedicated wholly to Jacy Evans. She has been the backbone of this story, pointing out my mistakes and keeping me on track. Thanks for everything!
Everyone was gathered in the Summers’ living room, including a subdued Willow, discussing the plans for the next few months regarding where she would be staying. Xander and Buffy were on the couch, with Willow in between them, while Dawn and Anya sat in chairs across from them.
Willow stared at her hands blankly. The veins were a dark blue, and she could feel her pulse beat beneath her skin. Just a few days before, her blood turned black with evil, and her pounding heart had thrummed with power. Now, she felt empty. There was a hole inside her that felt bottomless. She ached, her heart missing both Tara and her magic. Without both in her life, it seemed pointless to continue.
She knew that everyone tiptoed around her because they were a bit unsure how to act since her episodes, as Giles was calling it. She nearly ended the world and he called it an ‘episode’. Willow wasn’t sure if she found it funny or insulting. Maybe a bit of both.
Belatedly, she heard someone call her name. Looking up, she saw Giles leaning against the fireplace mantle and staring at her intently. She probably needed to pay attention, since they were talking about her.
“The coven in Devon, which leant me their magical essences, is willing to teach Willow control. They have experience in helping individuals who have overdosed on Dark Magic.” He smiled gently at Willow, and she felt the hole inside get a bit bigger.
“But—” the witch began to protest, but Giles didn’t let her finish.
“Any doubts you have are not legitimate, Willow, you know this. They can help you,” Giles said softly, but firmly. They already talked out all the worries she had about going to a group of exclusive magic users and the fear she had of draining them dry.
“So, that’s settled then,” Buffy stood and smoothed out her pants, her voice resigned. “Willow’s going to England with you.”
Willow wanted to let the tears fall at the thought of leaving, but maybe it was good for her. Maybe she needed to leave and get away from the pain. She probably wasn’t wanted here anymore. She was a killer.
And then her friends did something that almost irritated her. As if they knew her thoughts, Xander put a hand on Willow’s knee. When she looked up into his sad eyes, he grinned at her—that same goofy grin she’d loved since kindergarten. Buffy also put her hand on Willow’s shoulder, and a look at Buffy’s face also showed sorrow.
“Even though I don’t want you to go, I want you to be happy and healthy. I know that seems far off right now but I know you’ll pull through. You just have to come back to us. No staying in the land of tweed and tea forever.”
Tears sprang up in Willow’s eyes and she let out a small laugh. “Merry old England, here I come.”
“Actually,” a voice said suddenly, “you’re not going anywhere.”
At the new voice, most of the people in the living room jumped in surprise. Willow tensed and was not afraid to admit she shrunk behind Buffy a bit. The magic that came with this newcomer was different, but at the same time familiar and a little bit frightening.
“Who the hell are you and how did you get into my house?” Buffy asked lowly, motioning for Willow to stay behind her. Giles, however, stepped in front of his slayer. “Giles, what are you doing?” she asked sternly.
Giles sent her an exasperated look. “Hush, Buffy. He’s a friend.” He turned back to the man with a glare. “Draco, what the devil are you doing here? Your mother—”
“Who do you think sent me?” the man asked, grinning. His hands were in pockets of fairly worn jeans and a blue t-shirt with faded, scripted writing fit snugly across his lithe body. He had on a thin white, long sleeved shirt underneath the t-shirt. Blond, unkempt hair fell in his narrow face.
“Indeed,” Giles said, grinning back at the young man. While it was a surprise to see Draco here, it was a relief that Willow was going to get help so soon. His grin quickly slipped off his face though, and a look of mild irritation came over his features. “What do you mean ‘she’s not’?”
“Fudge,” Draco said sharply, walking from the foyer into the living room proper.
“You mean a piece of chocolate is the reason why Willow can’t go to England?” Xander stood up slowly and looked between the two British men. “Somehow that doesn’t really bring up an image of terror in my brain.”
“It’s a person,” Giles said, sending a dry look at Xander. He then turned to Draco for more explanation.
Willow had her eyes trained on the man in front of her. He was obviously a friend of Giles, so that relieved her a bit, but his magic was making her on edge. She waited for his explanation.
“Fudge, along with most of the Wizarding World, felt the burst of dark magic that ‘out-eviled’ Voldemort, as they’re saying,” Draco sighed and a grimace came over his face. “Fudge feared the reactions of the people this time around, and constructed a new law, using his ‘powers in crises’. The law was finalized and put into motion without a single vote.”
“Oh, bloody hell,” Giles exclaimed, “He did something incredibly stupid, didn’t he?”
“Every witch or wizard residing in Britain must register their wands and meet three requirements to continue using magic. They must file a drop of their blood, a strand of their hair, and a reading of their magical essence at the Ministry of Magic.” Draco ignored the cursing from Giles and continued on. “Any witch or wizard not residing in Britain who wishes to enter Britain—not the Wizarding World, mind you, the actual country of Britain—must register their wands and meet the three requirements. If they’re pissy about it, they can be arrested and appeal to the Wizengamot.”
“He’s gone insane,” the elder man cried out. “Surely the people are not allowing this?”
Draco grinned sardonically and shuffled his feet a bit. “Ah, see, that’s where you’re wrong. Last time a dark force was felt like this, the world was almost destroyed. When everyone felt the powerful wave of magic, they were all too glad to protect themselves to an outrageous extent. It’s even worse for wandless witches and wizards. They have to fulfill the three requirements and also be tested magically. Anyone testing over the level ten must be submitted to the Ministry for extra testing.”
“Your mother…” Giles started to plead.
“Is being watched by Dolores Umbridge. The old frog may have liked me, but the grace stopped with my mother. Apparently, she’s not as cooperative as she should be.” The blond grinned with sincere amusement, but he quickly became somber again. “Besides, anyone caught sneaking in unregistered witches or wizards are to be imprisoned immediately, Sirius Black style.”
“Trying to get Willow to Devon…” Giles trailed off with a hint of defeat in his voice.
Willow perked up, not exactly following the entire conversation, but curious about the talk of wands and magical testing. It was just like the council had asked her and Tara when they’d co—
She had to take a deep breath and close her eyes against the pain she felt when remembering the other witch. When she opened them, she heard someone talking, but the man—Draco, was staring intently at her, as if he knew that she’d felt a pang of hurt. After a moment, he resumed speaking.
“I promise, if I could, then I would. Doing it illegally is not only horrifyingly hard, but deeply stupid.” Draco sighed, going over to stand next to Giles. He spoke softly in a low tone, making the others strain to hear what he said. “Mother sent me in confidence that I could help, since I have before. She’ll be sending others as soon as they can escape undetected.”
His serious expression changed to one of annoyance. “Apparently, I tend to not do what I’m told, and am a corrupting influence on those around me.”
Giles laughed, put his hands on the younger man’s shoulders and smiled. “I am glad you could come. I was actually hoping you would be available to help, because I truly believe you are one of the best people for this situation.”
Draco grinned. “Buck up, Rupert. You keep talking like that it’ll sound like you actually like me.”
“Can’t have that, now can we?” Giles asked sarcastically.
Draco laughed and looked toward the red head on the couch. “Join me upstairs?”
Willow looked up at Giles and then looked at Draco in shock. Her mouth opened a few times but no sounds came out. What just happened? Was she no longer going to England? How was she going to get better? She wouldn’t be able to control herself here. The thoughts were enough to make her hands shake in fear. “You mean now?” she asked suddenly, causing the wizard to laugh.
“What did you think you would be doing once you got to England? Sitting around with people talking about you?” Willow flushed under Draco’s gaze, hating that he was right. “Your healing starts now. Besides, I think you have something of mine, and I’d kind of like it back.”
Willow looked to Giles with an inquisitive gaze. “Healing? And I have something of yours? I don’t—” She stopped with a horrified look on her face as she looked between Draco and Giles. She now understood why he felt familiar, even though Willow had never seen him before in her life. “I have some of your magic?”
“Only a little bit, compared to some of the other witches and wizards who offered their essences up. Too much of mine would have driven you too far into the dark.”
Willow’s went from curious to guarded. She shrunk back into the seats of the couch, unknowingly closing in on herself. “You’re dark? And I’m supposed to believe you want to help me?” Dark wizards and warlocks were like Rack-only looking for payment for their deeds. She’d made that deadly mistake once; she wasn’t going to make it again.
Buffy moved in front of Willow and glared at Giles, her hands on her hips. Willow was clearly disturbed, and that made Buffy irritated. “You brought someone evil here to help Willow not be evil? How does that plan work?”
Giles started forward, a hand outstretched towards the slayer. “Now, Buffy—”
“Hold up,” Draco interrupted, his hands raised in defense. “I never said anything about being evil. I just said I was dark. There’s a difference. I—”
“It’s hot,” Anya said quietly, staring at Draco’s left arm. “Your arm is hot. I can feel the evil on it.”
As everyone followed her line of sight to Draco’s arm, Willow could feel the heat as well. It had to be a brand of some sort, or a charm wrapped around his arm that he kept hidden. It took all her strength to control her breathing and not run away as fast as she could. The temptation to reach out and touch the heat was almost unbearable.
Giles sighed and nodded at him. Draco rolled his eyes and pulled up the long-sleeved white shirt, revealing a skull and a snake tattooed on his skin. Instantly, Willow’s mind went to a customer of Rack’s, and one that had given her the wiggins. He’d been evil
, and it made Willow’s skin crawl when she saw the same mark that had adorned his arm on Draco’s arm.
“What is that?” Buffy asked, squinting at the mark.
“Holy crap!” Anya said, jerking back away from Draco. “It’s the Dark Mark. You’re a Death Eater?” she shouted at Draco before turning to Giles. “You know a Death Eater and brought him here? Are you insane?”
Xander sat down beside Willow. “Do you get all these magic references? Because I’m totally lost.”
The witch tried to not show her fear. “Rack had a customer with that mark on his arm.” She turned to Xander slowly and whispered, “He terrified me.” Xander’s eyes widened and he wrapped an arm around Willow’s shoulders and she curled into his side. Everything had gotten so out of control.
“What the hell is going on?” Buffy snapped loudly.
“Let me give you a preview,” Anya snapped. “He
is a Death Eater,” she said, pointing at Draco, who just glared at her. “Death Eaters are dark wizards dedicated to serving the Dark Lord Voldemort. Their agenda? Killing anyone who isn’t a magical pureblood. They would go to towns all over Great Britain in planned raids, killing innocent people just because they weren’t magical. They’re all rich, bigoted snobs and most of them got out of prosecution because they paid off the courts.”
“Will you bloody well shut up?” Draco shouted back at her, making Willow jump. “Yes, I was a Death Eater. I was also a spy. I’m also in the Order of the Phoenix.” He yanked up his right sleeve, revealing a bird done in bright reds and oranges, with flames behind it and two crossed wands. “Are you all right now, you crazy bint? You’re a bigger pain in the arse than a Gryffindor.”
“Is the birdie thing good?” Dawn asked, looking at the newly revealed tattoo.
“Oh,” Anya said quietly.
“Yes, oh.” Giles rolled his eyes. “Did you honestly think I didn’t know everything about Draco before I asked him to help Willow? Like he said, he was a spy. Without him, the war would have been lost.”
Draco pulled his sleeves down, crossing his arms and grinning. “Giles, I think I might cry.”
The Watcher rolled his eyes at Draco before turning towards Willow. “It’s all right, Willow. He’s going to help you, not hurt you.”
It would have been so easy to refuse and just run away, forgetting about everything that happened, but Willow knew Tara would want her better. With more confidence than she really felt, Willow stood up, and Draco gestured toward the stairs. After sending a scared look to Buffy and Xander, she started walking up the stairs. Draco turned back to Giles.
“See you tomorrow?”
Before he could answer, Willow turned around swiftly and panicked, determining if she could bolt out the front door. “Tomorrow? I’m going somewhere?” Draco laughed.
Willow opened her mouth, but Draco cut her off before she could start speaking.
“This is going to take time, Willow. Your mind needs to heal. All the magic you absorbed from both the books and from the coven wrapped around your essence. You absorbed it so quickly it expanded your aura, and now that you have it under control, the magic is dispersed, but it knows it doesn’t belong to you, and it wants out. When it does get back to its rightful user, it will leave a hole. You feel it already, don’t you?”
Willow opened and closed her mouth, breathing quickly. How had he known? Was it obvious? Her hands started to shake and she tucked them under her arms to hide it, but she knew Draco had seen.
“It’s all right,” he said softly. “You’re going to feel it for a while, until after we can heal that hole. You need to rest, and I mean a deep, healing rest. You won’t wake up until tomorrow.” Draco walked toward Willow and nodded his head upwards. “Now, we can start later, but the longer you have that magic and the hole around your essence, the harder it’s going to be to patch it up. We need to start as soon as possible.”
Willow’s breathing had calmed as she stared at the man in front of her. He really did know what he was talking about. There was something behind his eyes that hinted he was speaking from personal experience. Sadness laced through his words, and Willow knew there was a story she wanted and needed to hear. After a few moments, she nodded, and wordlessly turned to finish going up the stairs. Draco turned and sent a small smile to Giles, before following her up the stairs.
“He’s really going to help her?” Dawn asked Giles when the two people finished going up the stairs and were out of sight.
“He knows what she’s going through, believe it or not. It’s not my story to tell,” he added when he saw the incredulous looks sent at him, “But he’s used to handling people like this. He’s powerful enough to handle her and help her.”
“How, Giles?” Buffy asked softly, her eyes still on the stairs even though Willow had long disappeared from sight.
“He’s a Sealer,” Anya added in a small, but amazed voice.
“A what?” Buffy asked, turning to face the demon. “Is he some sort of creature?
Anya just smiled up at Giles, who returned her smile.
“Just look at her tomorrow. Really look at her. Just see if she’s not different.”
Willow walked into the master bedroom and her breath automatically quickened when she saw the room. The bedspread had been changed, and the room smelled clean. Despite having been in the room after it had been cleaned, the agony was still running deep through her.
“So this is where it happened.”
Willow jumped at the voice behind her, forgetting she was followed. She turned around and sent Draco an incredulous glance. “How did you know?”
“Besides the overwhelming smell of disinfectant?” Draco grinned at her look, and then quickly sobered. “I can feel it. Your anger,” he added at her look. “Your sorrow. Your shock. Your love.”
Willow stared ahead blankly and felt tears rising.
“Not now. You need to calm down. You can cry later, if you have tears still, but now—now you’re going to relax. Lay down on the bed.” The irrational part in Willow’s mind started to panic and she started backing up, which caused Draco to roll his eyes. “Oh for Merlin’s sake, even if I did
want to go after you, you’re not my type.”
She paused, unsure of his meaning. Stomping down the urge to ask if his type was even human, Willow just bit her lip and looked at him curiously.
“What?” Draco asked in annoyance. “Like girls are the only ones allowed to be gay?”
She laughed a bit and started breathe easier. “Well, no.”
“I’m not gay, by the way. I love having sex with the female gender way too much to be gay, much to some of my friend’s annoyance, but I have a girlfriend. Well, had. We’ve decided we’re much better off as friends who love to shag each other at every opportunity.” Draco noticed the tension leave Willow’s shoulders and let a bit of relief go through him. “She’s still rather possessive of me. We usually approve each other’s significant others. She’d castrate me if I took advantage of you as well.”
“Then… the bed?” Willow asked tentatively. Draco sighed and rolled his eyes toward the ceiling.
“Did you not hear my whole ‘deep, deep rest’ lecture I gave just a few minutes ago, which was amazing, by the way, and completely lost on the audience downstairs,” he finished with a flair.
“No, I-I heard it. I just didn’t really…” she trailed off with a somewhat pathetic look on her face.
“You didn’t really know what I meant by deep, deep rest?” Draco said with a small laugh. “Merlin save me from clueless witches.”
“Just get on the bed,” Draco said exasperatedly. “I’m not going to ravage you or anything. Your virtue is safe from me, Slytherin honor.”
Willow had turned toward the large bed, but she suddenly turned back to face him to obviously ask him a question.
“Bed! Now!” Draco pointed to the bed, which made Willow grin softly. He didn’t seem angry, just irritated.
“How do you want me?” As soon as the question left her mouth, she flushed and Draco just raised an eyebrow. “I meant on the bed!” She realized it still didn’t sound right, while Draco continued to look at her with his eyebrow raised. “You know what I meant!”
“Oh, I did. I just wanted to see how deep that hole you were digging was going to get.”
Willow glared at him and lay down in the middle of the bed on her back. Draco sat facing her on her left side and looked down at her calmly.
“I’m going to put a head on your head and on your chest—over your heart,” he added at her glare. “I may move them around depending on how well you respond to me, alright?”
“Now who’s digging the hole,” Willow said softly.
“Shut up,” Draco said, while rolling his eyes. He put his right hand over her forehead and his left hand over her collar bone. They hovered off her skin a few inches as he looked down at her face, which was getting more nervous as the time went on. “Are you ready?”
“Would you stop if I said no?” Willow asked, and Draco shook his head with a serious look on his face. She sighed in resignation. “Then no.”
“You’re going to be fine, Willow. You’re just going to sleep.”
Draco let his hands fall to her skin and closed his eyes. Willow’s eyes also fell shut and she immediately took a deep breath, before her chest rose and feel evenly.
Dawn shivered as she opened the door. The room was very cold. The lights were off, and the moonlight wasn’t coming in through the windows, as the drapes were closed. Her eyes had already adjusted to the dark from the hallway, so she could see into the room fairly well. She looked to her right and saw Willow sleeping on the bed. She didn’t see Draco anywhere, but she knew he was in the room, because he had never come out.
“This is where your sister found you, isn’t it?”
Dawn jumped and looked down to her left. He was sitting down where she had huddled staring at Tara’s body for hours before Buffy had come home. Where she had been tense, he was leaning against the wall with his arms loosely crossed and his legs spread out in front of him, ankles crossed. He was looking at the ground where Tara’s body had been, and then looked up at her.
“What?” she asked with a look of fear.
“You were sitting here looking at Tara’s body when your sister found you that night.” When Dawn didn’t answer, he looked back at the floor where Tara’s body had been. “I didn’t know who had been here, only that someone had sat here for hours waiting for someone—an older someone—to find them. I had a feeling it was you, but until you walked in here, I had no idea.” Draco looked back up at her.
“But—” Dawn started backing away from the room.
“Was I being too intense? Pansy gets on to me for that.”
“Pansy?” Dawn asked, looking down at him. Draco pulled his legs to him and sat cross legged on the floor. He motioned her to sit down in front of him, which made Dawn turn to look at Willow.
“She won’t wake up. I’ve also put a silencing ward around the room, so you won’t have to worry about anyone hearing you up. I knew the second you awoke and covered your steps so you wouldn’t wake up anyone.”
“Why?” Dawn asked looking down at Draco with a suspicious gaze on her face. Just because Giles trusted him to heal Willow didn’t mean she was going to trust him with own self.
“You need to be healed as well. Darkness touched you, and I know it wasn’t the first time, but this was personal, Dawn. This wasn’t some innate evil coming after you.” Draco motioned for her to sit down again. “It won’t hurt, I promise. It will only last for a few moments.”
Dawn sat down cautiously and mimicked Draco’s position, crossing her legs. Draco held his hands palm up at her and she put her hands above his.
“Who’s Pansy?” she asked in an inquisitive voice.
“A very close friend,” Draco grinned. “Now close your eyes.”
I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it really does get much better. I promise.