Chapter 7 by Razial
Note: Again not beta read, so if you find something that doesn't fit we would be thankful if you point us to it friendly.
Willow had to force herself to calm down as she prepared to cast her love spell, finally Xander would be all hers and hers alone. No longer would she have to watch him fawn over Buffy and every other girl who was not her. Finally when she was ready she began to chant the spell she had found in one of her books. She had all the ingredients prepared and readied thus all what was needed was the spell itself. Her eyes darkened somewhat without her knowledge, she ignored any thought of the fact she was casting a dark magic spell on her best friend to bend him to her will. That was basically what the spell did, it would make Xander love her completely and wipe out his feelings for Buffy. Once that was done she could control him from that point on. She smiled at the thought as the spell reached its apex. The spell exploded outward in search of its target, drained Willow collapsed to the floor panting and sweating badly.
‘It worked,’ she thought giddy with glee. “I can’t wait to see Xander,” she said before she passed out.
Xander lay on his bed still going over his rather startling discussion with his father. The shock of finding out he was a wizard and an ex Death Eater to boot was quite bad. It was the second revelation that stunned him more. The very thought of being the son of a Death Eater made him sick to his stomach. But at least now he knew why his father had been the way he had. Trying to escape ones past he could understand. It was something Dumbledore should have been doing, but the old man it seemed was either truly evil or just able to ignore the things he did in his pursuit of the so called ‘greater good’. Before he could think or do anything else he was hit by a spell of some power, it was only due the fact he had inherited Dumbledore’s natural resistance to magic and his Occlumency shields that the spell did not do whatever it was supposed to do straight away. He pulled his wand and quickly raised the strongest shield he knew. The power of the spell splashed against the shield for a few minutes before it faded out.
Dropping of his bed onto his knees he gasped as he dropped the shield and let out a snarl of anger. Someone had just tried to cast a very powerful spell on him and he would find out who had cast it. Once he had recovered he stood up and cast a unique detection charm the old man had devised, it quickly revealed who had been behind the spell. His eyes opened wide as he realized who had cast the spell, worse it had been a damn love spell she had tried to cast on him. His anger grew as he realized she had just crossed a line he had hoped never to see her pass over.
“Oh you are going to regret that Willow,” he swore aloud. “Tomorrow will not be a good day for any of us,” he spat as he decided to cast a few wards around his house to ensure anymore attempts by his red headed friend would not get through while he slept.
(Sunnydale High, Library, next day)
Willow sat next to Buffy waiting for Xander’s arrival which was due anytime now. She could hardly wait for him to arrive and start showing her the attention he always should have been giving her from day one. Giles was off the side reading a newspaper for once instead of an old book. Jenny Calendar sat beside him doing some marking she had forgotten to do the night before. The sudden noise of the doors to the library been shoved open almost forcibly made them all spin around. The doors banged against the wall as Xander stormed in and he did not look happy to any of the occupants already inside.
“Xander, is something wrong?” Giles asked as he stood up, his newspaper forgotten.
“Ask Willow,” Xander shot back with a growl as his eyes pinned Willow to her seat.
Willow suddenly felt a wench in her gut; she did not see love in his eyes as she expected, she saw rage, anger and even a little hatred mixed in. ‘How was it possible that her spell had failed? How had it not worked?’ she asked herself.
“What does that mean?” Jenny cut in with a perplexed look, but she had a bad feeling something was about to happen.
“She tried to cast a god damn love spell on me last night,” Xander exploded as his rage spiked.
Willow went pale as Xander spoke and she had to fight to control herself as Buffy and the others spun to look at her, she had to deny this anyway she could.
“I did not,” she managed to retort with what she hoped was an angry upset tone. “I wouldn’t do such a thing to you Xander, you know that,” she added.
“DO NOT LIE TO ME,” Xander shouted, almost losing control of himself and forcing Buffy to interpose herself between him and Willow who had begun to shake a little at the rage she saw from him directed sorely at her. “I know it was you Willow. The magic I control can tell me who cast a spell and what kind of spell it was, and guess what?” he asked sarcastically. “It was you and it was a love spell,” he spat.
“Willow, is this true?” Giles demanded to know. He didn’t doubt Xander one bit. He knew the things he could do with the magic he controlled. “The truth Willow,” he ordered as the red head went to reply with what he was certain would be a lie.
Willow went red in the face at that and she knew Giles believed Xander and the look of Miss Calendar’s face said the same. She looked at Buffy and noted she looked angered, yet she could also see some confusion in the blonde’s eyes. “Buffy I didn’t do it,” she said.
“Yes you did and I can prove it,” Xander said as he brought out his wand, making Willow instantly back off in fear. “Oh don’t worry I’m not going to curse you. I’m just going to use a nifty little spell I know to show whether you cast any magic recently,” he told her as he began the wand movements for it.
Willow couldn’t help it and made a break for it only to be intercepted by Buffy. She noted the blond was now fully glaring at her. She glanced back to see Xander had stopped what he was doing and was watching her calmly with his arms crossed over his chest. Giles and Jenny looked very disappointed and she suddenly realized Xander had played her, her shoulders dropped in defeat.
“How could you Willow?” Jenny said with a shake of her head. “You have been told time and again how dangerous magic can be, that it is not to be used for such things,” she lectured her.
“I’m sorry,” was all Willow said.
“Sorry doesn’t cut it,” Giles retorted as he removed his glasses and began to polish them as he tried to gather his thoughts on how to handle this. “This is a serious matter and it must be dealt with before we leave for England,” he stated as he put his glasses back on. “I am forbidding you to use anymore magic until we have discussed this and found a solution,” he told her with a hard gaze. “Jenny and I will come over and remove all the spell books and ingredients you have there, until we can be certain you can use them properly,” he stated.
Willow blanched in horror at the watcher’s statement. She noted Jenny and Xander both nod in agreement with Giles. “That’s not fair,” she shouted.
“No, what is not fair is that you tried to take your best friend’s choice from him,” Giles shot back with a slight glare. “You have shown you can’t be trust to wield such power just yet,” he told her.
“Buffy tell them this is going too far,” Willow demanded, turning to the blond who remained in front of her.
“I’m sorry Willow I agree with them,” Buffy told her with a shake of her head, almost unable to believe what Willow had tried to do. “You crossed a line and now you have to pay for it,” she stated.
Willow let out a sob as she charged past Buffy and fled the library. She couldn’t believe her last gambit to win Xander had backfired so badly on her. Buffy watched her go with a sad look in her eyes. It was mirrored in the eyes of Xander, Giles and Jenny.
Nate smiled as he put the phone down as Chloe came out of the shower dressed in nothing but a towel, which didn’t a good job to hide anything. He leaned against the wall and watched as she made her way over to the bed where her clothes lay. He knew she knew he was watching her, but she did nothing to stop him. He watched as she undid the towel and let it drop the floor giving him a full on look at her naked body that never failed to gain his full attention.
“You are beautiful,” Nate couldn’t help to say as she pulled her panties on, making her glance up at him with a smile.
“Thank you,” Chloe responded as she put her trousers on. “I always like hearing you say that,” she added.
“I got through to Sully and Charlie and they’ve agreed to help out,” Nate told her, turning serious as she put her bra on hiding her breasts from his view before she finally put her t-shirt on.
“And Lara?” Chloe inquired with a touch of jealously in her tone that Nate had no trouble detecting.
“Lara is in too,” Nate told her with a sigh as he ran a hand through his hair. “We are all meeting up at her manor,” he added. “Once we have a plan of action, we’ll move out and get that artifact back from Vintoz no matter what it takes,” he explained.
“Wonderful,” Chloe responded as she dropped onto the bed with a sigh. “When do we leave?” she asked as she felt him join her and pull her into his side.
“We head for the airport at twelve and our plane leaves at twelve thirty,” Nate answered. “We have another two hours to go, want to go and get something to eat?” he asked.
“Why not?” Chloe replied, hoping it would distract her from her worry about their meeting with Lara Croft, a woman she knew had a history with Nate.
While she knew Nate loved her not just for her looks she knew Lara Croft was to most men a goddess and men constantly tried to get her attention. Nate had for a time gotten her attention, as they were in the same kind of business that should not be a surprise. She didn’t know the full details of their relationship, but she feared what would happen when they met up again. She did her best to push her fear and jealously away as it wouldn’t do her any good in the long run. She should have more faith in Nate and the love they shared. Nate noted the look in her eyes and just prayed he didn’t do anything stupid when they met Lara. He was happy where he was in his life, especially his relationship with Chloe and he did not want to do anything to jeopardize that.
(Rosenberg House, two days later)
Willow lay curled up on her bed glaring at the wall as the events of the last couple of days replayed themselves constantly in her head. Everything had gone wrong for her and she was angered beyond all belief by what the others had done to her in response to her actions. She had thought she would be happy once the love spell was cast, but she was not. She was enraged and lost in a sea of loss and sadness. Xander wouldn’t speak to her, hell he would barely even acknowledge her and that really annoyed her. Buffy only rarely spoke to her at the moment. She was unsure how to treat the redhead now that she knew what she had tried to do to Xander. Giles and Jenny were constantly trying to get her to understand that what she had done was wrong, that she had crossed a line that should never be crossed. They had taken all her books and spell ingredients and other magical instruments. That was a major source of her rage having to watch that and been treated like a child.
The thing that caused the most pain was the fact that Oz had somehow found out what she had done, she believed Cordelia had a hand in that as Xander had told the brunette what she had done. She didn’t doubt for an instant that Cordelia would do such a thing. Oz had shown more emotion than she was used to seeing from him as they argued over everything. He had broken up with her and kept his distant from her, the group when it came together was a very quiet one these days. Her eyes strayed to the nearby desk where she had hidden a written copy of the love spell she had used. She still didn’t know why she had done so. Maybe she knew what might happen should she be found out, or maybe she just wanted a second chance to get Xander to be hers and hers alone. She had nothing left to loose now, she allowed her anger to drive her as she sat up. She decided to go the magic shop and buy the things she would need to cast the spell once more, only this time she would use all the power she possessed to make it work.
Nate yawned as he blinked his eyes tiredly. He looked around the darkened hotel room he was in and felt Chloe curled up to his side. He smiled as he trailed a finger lightly over her face. She shifted a little at his touch, but didn’t wake up. Their trip to England from L.A had not been easy. First their flight had been delayed twice and thus they hadn’t left L.A the day after their scheduled flight much to their annoyance. Once they had gotten to England and left the airport they had been attacked by Vintoz’s men, which must have been keeping an eye out for him and Chloe. It had been no easy task avoiding and then losing them. As soon as they had evaded them he had contacted Lara worried about Sully and Charlie. He was relieved to hear that both had arrived at Croft Manor without incidence, clearly Vintoz had not expected him to call in help.
Sully was like a father to him, hell if he was honest Sully could be considered his father. The man had raised him from the day he had tried to steal his wallet as young street kid. They had been through so damn much together and a lot of his values and views he got from Sully. He was not just a thief anymore like he had been when they first met, he considered himself a good guy who did his best to do the right thing, even if it cost him whatever it was they were searching for. His last three big adventures had been proof positive of that. Granted the adventures since then had been just as dangerous which is why he had lost Elena, someone Sully was very fond of. Sadly his constant risking of his life as well as those close to him had proved too much for Elena in the end and so they had separated permanently. Chloe had the same fears as Elena, but she understood what drove Nate to do what he did and she was prepared to follow him into whatever madness they were mixed up in. Charlie could be considered his best friend if you excluded Sully, he was one of the few in their line of business who could be trusted to have their backs and not to betray them and Lara was another person like that. He didn’t want to put their lives at risk once more, but they all understood the risks of what they did. Plus he believed it was worth the risk to stop Vintoz from releasing whatever evil was hidden in the locket on the world. Glancing at Chloe he hoped one day he could finally resist the urge for adventures and settle down with her, but whether he and Chloe could resist that urge was a question he couldn’t answer and he doubted Chloe could either.
Willow sat cross legged as she stared down at the written down spell. Everything was prepared for the casting yet she hesitated. ‘Should she do this?’ she wondered. If it failed then she would be in even more trouble that she was already in, however she was certain putting all her power into the casting would be enough to overwhelm Xander’s own power and make him hers finally. After losing so much she felt she was owed something. Taking a deep breath she began to chant. The power built as she put more and more of her power into the spell. Magic swirled around her as she neared the end, when the spell reached its climax the spell exploded outward once more in search of its target. However Willow had underestimated the result of putting so much power into the spell and so was flung backwards into her bed causing her to yell out in pain before she slumped to the floor unconscious, completely drained of energy.
Xander sat at his desk trying to work out things he would need to do once they reached England, he had no clue what the situation was in magical Britain right now. How was Harry Potter? Would Dumbledore prove more of a problem than he already believed he would be? Would the old man realize or was he already somehow aware that Xander had his powers and memories? Too many questions and not enough answers Xander thought bitterly as he looked out his window. Tony had tried multiple times to convince him not to go to England, but he assured his father he had to go and ensure Voldemort was killed permanently this time. Tony had finally relented. Being sober for three days had done wonders for his father’s ability to think logically. He’d had a heart to heart with Jessica although he had left out the true horrors of his past; the two were slowly beginning to mend their relationship much to Xander’s surprise. After that his father had given him a key which would grant him access to their family vault at Gringotts.
Any thought about Willow and what she had tried to do to him was quickly pushed away, he could barely stomach thinking about what his oldest friend had tried to do, but before he could think or do anything else the wave of magic from Willow assaulted him. It was so strong it blasted him from his chair to the floor, where he quickly climbed to his knees as he tried to fight this new attack off. He didn’t kid himself for a minute as to who was behind this latest attack. It had to be Willow once more trying to make him fall in love with her. Using his anger he tried to form his shield, but he quickly realized it was too much for a shield. The only hope he had was to redirect the spell to someone else and he had the perfect candidate in mind. Forcing all his power into rebounding the spell onto Angel he focused as hard as he could on that one goal. Slowly he felt the magic being pushed back until a few minutes later the spell was diverted away from him and straight for Angel. Smirking a little he collapsed to the floor and passed out. Using all his power had drained him badly and he vowed to make Willow pay for what she had done.
Buffy tapped her foot in growing annoyance, as Angel continued to try and convince her that Xander had used his new magic powers to make her fall in love with him. For three days the souled vampire had stalked her on and off patrols, constantly trying to convince her to take him back and that her new found romantic feelings for Xander were false. She was reaching her wits end with him, and she berated herself for not seeing this side of Angel before. Had she been so smitten with him that she had not allowed herself to see the worse traits Angel had? The honest answer was probably yes she had been. She glared at Angel as he paused as he tried to think of what else he could say to convince her of his argument.
Before he could say anything he staggered as the love spell hit him full force, however due to two factors, one his status as a vampire and second, that it had been rebounded, it did not make Angel fall in love with Willow. Instead it amplified his love for Buffy beyond anything he could control. He snarled as she turned to leave and he ended up slamming her up against a nearby tree capturing her off guard. He quickly tried to grope her breasts as she screamed out in pain and fear. He used other hand to force her hands above her head as the other trailed over her left breasts. Buffy panicked and did the only thing she could think of and head-butted Angel, capturing him enough to back off from her and let her go. Acting on instinct she kicked him in the balls making him collapse in agony as she pulled her stake and staked him before he could recover.
Joyce ran out of the house a moment later having heard her daughter’s scream. “Buffy what is it?” Joyce asked as she watched in concern as Buffy stumbled backwards dropping her stake and beginning to shake.
“He tried to rape me,” Buffy stuttered in shock as she feel into her Mother’s arms. “Angel tried to force himself on me as if stalking me was not bad enough,” she spat. “I staked him,” she muttered.
Joyce could hardly believe what she was being told, but she quickly pulled her daughter back into the house, she doubted Buffy would be able to think, let alone fight if they were attacked. She doubted this night was going to be a good one for either her or Buffy. Setting her daughter down on the chair she reached for the phone and called Giles to inform him of what had happened. She then sat herself down and tried to help her daughter work through what had happened.
(Sunnydale High School, next day)
Buffy sat in between Giles and Joyce as they waited for Jenny and Xander to arrive. Cordelia, Oz and Willow had already arrived although none of them would speak to the other. While they were all still committed to the fight the group’s friendships had been broken after what Willow had done and Giles feared it might never be repaired. Jenny final arrived five minutes later with Xander storming in right behind her. Giles and the others could all see he was as pissed as he was a few days before, if not more so.
As Xander saw Willow he pulled his wand and yelled “Petrificus Totalus.” At the shocked faces of the other Xander spat, “SHE DID IT AGAIN.”
“Excuse me?” Giles inquired not understanding what Xander meant as his mind was still processing everything Joyce had told him last night.
“Willow tried the love spell again last night, this time she put so much power into it that it almost worked,” Xander shot back as he locked his gaze on Willow.
Willow tried to get up back away from him as Oz and the others glanced between them, but thanks to Xander’s spell couldn’t move an inch. Only Buffy remained looking at the table, still lost in her own thoughts, she barely heard the argument that was brewing.
“The only way I was able to fight it off was rebounding it off me onto someone else,” Xander explained, keeping his gaze pinned on Willow. “Not exactly a nice thing to do to someone, but as it was dead boy I thought it wouldn’t hurt anyone else,” he added.
“Oh lord,” Giles exclaimed as he glanced at Buffy as Xander said this and things began to make sense.
According to Buffy Angel had staggered as if he was been attacked before he had tried to force himself on her. If Xander had indeed rebounded a full powered love spell onto him it was possible it had driven Angel into a frenzy and thus hadn’t been in control of his actions. Granted Xander could not have known Angel would have been anywhere near Buffy at the time, if as he said it almost worked then he most likely acted on instinct to save himself.
“I am afraid Xander that your actions had unforeseen consequences,” Giles finally responded. “Angel was with Buffy at the time and I believe the love spell being rebounded drove him into a frenzy of sorts and he tried to rape Buffy, forcing her to stake him,” he informed Xander, who went pale at hearing this.
“Oh god,” Xander said in shock as he looked to the silent blond haired Slayer. He stumbled over to her and knelt next to her. “I didn’t know Buffy I swear I didn’t know,” he told her as she finally looked him in the eye. “This is my fault, I should have taken into consideration where he would be,” he said in self-loathing.
“No it is not your fault Xander, it is Willow’s,” Jenny interrupted him with a hand on his shoulder. “You were fighting off an attack and had little time to think of a plan of action. You did what you had to with what facts you had,” she told him. “Willow is to blame here for putting you into that position even after what happened the last time. Rupert I think you know what has to happen now?” she added, turning to Giles who reluctantly nodded his head in agreement.
“Gilles,” Willow tried to say but couldn’t say a word due to being bound by Xander.
Giles looked at her and growled at her with a glare that would have made her back away in fear if she could. “Your actions disgust me and they have had terrible effects for Buffy and Xander that you and they will have to deal with,” he told her. “You will be stripped of your powers permanently as I do not think you have what it takes to control magic or to use it responsibly,” he added. “Now keep sitting down and being quiet, while I try and help Xander understand he is not at fault for what Angel did. You will be bound before you leave here and if you think of running you will regret it,” he warned her.
Willow wanted to collapse to the ground and bury her head into her hands as she realized she had lost everything now and Xander would never be hers, but still being under Xander’s spell she couldn’t she began to drive her crazy. Cordelia glared at her while Oz looked conflicted. Jenny ignored her and did her best to get Xander to realize he was not at fault for the attack on Buffy. Joyce was concerned for both teenagers as Xander was now as silent as Buffy. She did glance at Willow and couldn’t help herself but to glare at her for causing this.
(Hogwarts Express, on its way to London)
Finally the last days of school for this year were over and they all were on their way home, or something like that. Harry sat in a compartment of the train only together with Hermione at the moment. Luna and Neville had left a few minutes again, because Luna wanted to inspect Neville for some of her imaginary creatures. Harry had to smile at that thought. The two had really become close in the last year and Neville finally had the gut to ask her to be his girlfriend just before the Yule Ball.
“What are you smiling about Harry?” Hermione asked curios, because she liked to see Harry smile, but sadly that didn’t happen too often.
“Oh nothing Mione. I just had to think about how Neville finally asked Luna out,” he replied with a smirk.
At that Hermione had to smile as well. “Yes, that was a long time overdue and they look good together, don’t they?” she asked her friend with a smile that made her look like the sun, at least in Harry’s opinion and so he could only nod in response.
They talked a bit more about Luna and Neville until Hermione asked, “So what was that about Ron storming away bright as a tomato from you this morning as I entered the hall?”
Harry shook his head sadly before he replied, “He came to me this morning like we still were the best mates and that last year didn’t happen at all. No apology nothing at all and so I asked him what he wanted and he replied he just wanted to hang out with his best mate. As I looked at him strangely and then asked him why he came to me then, he stormed away like you saw.”
Hermione shook her head in disbelieve and was quiet for a few moments. “I just can’t understand him, but frankly I don’t want to anymore. I think we did quite well without him this year and we became good friends with Neville, Luna, Tracy and Daphne.”
“Yes, but it is still a shame. He was my first friend ever, but in retrospect I must ask myself if he ever was my friend or just ‘the boy who lived’ ones,” Harry said in a quiet tone.
Noting his mood turning sour Hermione pulled Harry into a hug, but before Harry could revel in this feeling Hermione startled him with her next question. “So what’s up with you and Daphne?
“What?” Harry asked surprised. “Daphne and me? What do you mean?”
Hermione looked at her friend and smiled. “So you didn’t notice that she has a huge crush on you?”
Harry looked in disbelieve at his friend and was silent for a moment, then shook his head. “No, I didn’t. I mean I like Daphne, but only as a friend, nothing more.”
Hermione had to smile at that and still enjoying the warmth that Harry gave off, she continued, “So you like her just as a friend? Anyone else you do fancy?” she asked innocently.
Noting that he was still in Hermione’s arms he blushed and muttered in such a low tone that Hermione nearly didn’t understand him. “Yes, there is.”
Smiling again Hermione said, “So it’s Tracy or one of the twins then? I would never have guessed.”
Jumping out of Hermione’s arms he turned around to face her and muttered, “Tracy? The twins? No, it’s you that I fancy. I…i...i…,” he said and realizing what he just said he blushed deeply and turned around to run out of the compartment.
“Harry James Potter, don’t you dare to run out on me,” Hermione said in a fierce tone, which stopped Harry on the spot and Hermione couldn’t help but to smile at the ‘deer caught in the headlight’ look on Harry’s face. Seeing that Harry was still in ‘flee and flight’ mode she said quietly, “Sit down Harry, please?”
Harry nodded and still a bit red faced he sat down again.
“I’m sorry Harry,” Hermione said and seeing the look of panic in Harry’s eyes she quickly continued. “I shouldn’t have teased you like that, but I just didn’t want to wait anymore for you finally coming out and saying you like me more than a friend. I waited and hoped to long for that already and I just feared you would turn to someone else instead,” she said quietly.
Harry looked a bit dumbfounded at Hermione and after a few moments finally said, “You...you…teased that out of me and you are not angry that I see more in you than a friend?”
“No you dofus...,” she said smiling. “I noted how you changed to look at me last year from the beginning and hoped you would come out and ask me to be your girlfriend, but you never did. While having some ‘girltalk’ with Daphne, Luna and Tracy I realized that you probably would never do so and so I decided to act. I hope you are not angry with me?” she finished in an unsure tone.
Harry looked at her quite a while and a bit speechless and as he continued to be quite Hermione started to become nervous. But before she could say anything Harry suddenly pulled her into an embrace. “No I’m not angry with you and you are right. I would have continued to dream of you until some other lucky guy would have snatched you away from me. So to do it right,” he said and then continued. “Hermione…will you be my girlfriend?”
Smiling Hermione answered without words by giving Harry a short kiss, which quickly turned into a longer one. Several minutes and still kissing later Harry heard how the door to their compartment was ripped open and a voice said, “How disgusting… kissing a mudblood.” Then Harry saw how Draco pointed his wand at Hermione and yelled “Sectumsem…”
Before Draco could finish the spell Harry pulled Hermione down to the floor and before he could pull his wand he heard several more spells being cast.