Written for the 2011 LJ Wishlist
Requested By: Jazzibear
Prompt: "They couldn't help themselves." "It seems they have helped themselves, and pretty freely too!"
Disclaimer: I don't own HP or BtVS, this was written purely for enjoyment. Conversion
The abandoned house shook again under the assault from outside. The protections hastily put up were slowly breaking down. They were outnumbered - about fifty of them to their meager four - trapped, tired and quickly losing hope. They’d been sent to meet with a witch named Willow in a no-man’s-land outside Loch Lomond, Scotland and been ambushed almost immediately.
Harry wasn’t sure on the details, but apparently this Willow person had news that could help with the war. A war she’d tried to stay out of thus far for some reason. But McGonagall had said that Dumbledore knew and trusted her, so Harry hadn’t pressed the issue. But now that they’d been ambushed in the abandoned house they were meeting at, he was questioning what side this red headed woman was really on. Had she led them into a trap? Called the Death Eaters here? And why wasn’t she doing any magic? She’d just sat there as they’d run around throwing up protection spells and tried to think up a plan for escape.
“Another ward’s down,” Hermione called where she stood by Ron, sweating and trying to repair the spells as quickly as she could.
As soon as the words were out of her mouth, a pop came and two black robed figures appeared not ten feet away. Before Harry could even get his wand up, one of them had turned on the other and murmured “Avada Kedavra” with the bored, oily tone Harry knew only too well.
“Potter,” he drawled, pulling off his mask. “It seems you’ve once again managed to completely disregard everyone’s efforts at keeping you alive.”
“We were careful!” He yelled, in no mood for Snape’s attitude. “And it’s quite the coincidence that we come to meet her and suddenly we’re ambushed.”
Willow’s eyes came up to meet his in surprise, but Snape’s exasperated voice brought his gaze back to his professor.
“Miss Rosenberg is
the reason they’re here. But she’s not
how they found you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Harry barked out, sick of Snape and his cryptic crap. They had Death Eaters practically banging down their front door and he still couldn’t just say what he meant straight out instead of beating around the bush?
“It means, Mr. Potter, that the Dark Lord has heard of Miss Rosenberg and would very much like the… opportunity
to persuade her to his cause,” Snape said, sneering as Willow shifted uncomfortably under his gaze. “But the reason they were able to track you was that
one’s absolute need to have some candy
for your trip.”
Snape’s disgusted words and harsh gaze had transferred to Ron, who went pale and fish mouthed. “Wh-what?”
“You were seen by a Death Eater entering Honeydukes, Mr. Weasley. Those Every Flavored Beans you just had to have before you left have a tracking device in them.”
Harry smacked his forehead and Hermione actually smacked Ron on the back of the head.
“You stopped for candy
before our super-secret mission?” She hissed.
“What about her?” Ron asked, turning red and trying to get the attention off of him. “Why’s You-Know-Who so interested in her?”
“Because she’s one of the most powerful witches in history. It’s been rumored that she can do things even the Dark Lord is envious of.”
Willow shook her head and opened her mouth, but Ron went on, oblivious.
“But she hasn’t even done anything since she’s been here,” he gaped. “If she’s so powerful, why hasn’t she been helping?”
Her mouth closed and she looked down at the ground again. If she hadn’t introduced herself, Harry would’ve been wondering if she was actually mute.
“Because, Mr. Weasley, that kind of power can be darkly seductive. Addictive. Once you feel that rush, that level of godhood, it’s almost impossible to give it up,” Snape said, then sneered at Ron. “Obviously you wouldn’t know anything about that given your paltry talents though.”
Harry ignored Snape’s barbs and Ron’s outrage, instead turning his eyes on Willow with new appreciation. With wide eyes that wouldn’t look at anyone, the way she was nibbling on her lower lip and how her hands were tugging at her scarf, she seemed like the last person in the world that could be capable of things Voldemort would be jealous of.
Hermione was watching her with the same thoughtful look. Harry could already see the wheels turning, the fires of curiosity were being fanned. It wouldn’t take long for them become a blazing inferno and poor Willow would find herself being bombarded with questions.
Another blast hit the house, shaking it on its foundation. Snape rolled his eyes and pulled his wand, going around the perimeter inside and re-warding.
“Well, how and why this happened isn’t really the main concern anymore,” Hermione said, taking control. “What we need to do is find a way out of here.”
“We could try for a distraction and run for it,” Ron suggested.
“You won’t be fast enough,” Snape shot from across the room.
“What about if we drop the anti-apparition ward?” Harry asked. “I think we could apparate out of here quicker than they could apparate in.”
“Possibly - if they hadn’t put their own anti-apparition ward over yours,” Snape drawled. “They’d feel yours drop. That’s how my dead cohort and I got in in the first place. Then you’d be stuck trying to get out while they flooded the place.”
“How about you
come up with a plan then?” Harry said in exasperation. “Instead of just shooting down everyone else’s.”
“I’m afraid you’ve dug yourself in too deep of a hole for even me to get you out of this time, Potter,” Snape said, sounding more tired than anything else.
That statement left a wake of silence in the room. If Snape, the master of saving his own hide, couldn’t think of a way out of there…
“Willow,” Hermione said suddenly. “What do you think?”
“Uh, well, I work mostly in theory these days,” she said.
“So, any theories on how we can get out of here?” Harry asked.
“Well, yes, actually,” she said, her eyes brightening as she sat forward in her chair. “But, it might sound a little crazy to you…”
“I think we need something a little crazy about now,” Hermione said, giving her a kind smile.
There was a moment where the two witches just looked at each other, then Willow nodded and sat up straighter in her chair, the uncomfortable, unsure girl morphing into a confident woman before their eyes.
“Okay, they’re using huge amounts of magic against us right now,” she said, another barrage hit the house to punctuate her statement. “I say that we turn that power against them.”
“We can’t counter that much dark magic!” Hermione said, sounding shocked but looking a little intrigued despite herself.
“We’re not going to try - we’re going to harness
it. Use their own power against them.”
“Are you mad
?!” Hermione gaped. “You can’t control that amount of dark energy! It’s impossible!”
“I hope you’re not suggesting you do such a thing, Miss Rosenberg,” Snape said, with an eyebrow raise. “I understand you’re very powerful, but I think I’d rather face the crowd outside than you after you’ve been seduced by dark magics.”
“None of us will actually be channeling the energy personally. We’re going to do the spell that absorbs and redirects it. It’s too dangerous any other way.”
“I think it’s already dangerous enough,” Snape said. “You do realize this could kill us all just as quickly as the Death Eaters out there?”
Harry wasn’t sure about any of this, but he did know one thing. “I’d rather die trying to escape than die doing nothing.”
Snape looked unmoved, Ron looked like he was about to have a stroke, Hermione looked thoughtful and Willow looked like she was doing complicated math in her head. After a moment she nodded and knelt down, then started drawing on the dusty floor with her finger. Hermione dropped down next to her and within minutes was pointing at certain things and asking questions. After about five minutes both girls sat back, Willow looking gravely satisfied and Hermione looking awed.
“Brilliant,” she whispered, eyes soaking in the circles lines and symbols that were incomprehensible to Harry.
“Come over here,” Willow motioned to them. “This is what we’re going to do.”
Minutes later, Harry still had no idea how this was going to work, but he knew his part - which was all that mattered. Hermione was convinced and Snape even looked approving, something that was so rare that Harry actually thought they might have a chance at getting out of there alive. Ron, though, was losing it.
“This is barmy! We’re going to blow ourselves up for nothing! Something evil can’t be changed into something good! It’s not possible!”
“Ron,” Hermione breathed out in aggravation.
“I can’t- I have to believe that’s not true,” Willow said softly. “That something that’s done bad, that was used to hurt, can be changed... Can be used to save lives. I just- I have to.”
Hermione looked at Willow with an odd expression on her face, then looked up at Ron.
“Everything’s not black and white, Ron. You have to see the grey every once in a while, too.”
Harry watched this all unfold silently. He didn’t see the problem with using the Death Eaters magic against them, but he hadn’t been raised as pureblooded wizard whose family always fought against the dark, either. He was sure Ron had had it drilled into him how nothing good had ever come from using dark magic since he was little. He watched as his best friend struggled with the idea and finally nodded reluctantly.
Snape had been surprisingly quiet and when Harry looked over at him, he caught the briefest glimpse of regret on his professor’s face before he was caught looking. Snape’s face hardened immediately.
“Let’s get this over with. I have more important things to be doing than constantly pulling you out of the fire, Potter.”
Soon they were all in position. Harry said a quick prayer, asking his parents to watch over them - then they began. The swell of magic in the air was incredible, but it was nothing compared to the moment they actually caught the next barrage of spells, using their own to harness and recycle the blast back at the Death Eaters. It was like grabbing a hurricane - terrifying and exhilarating all at once. When it was over, Harry wasn’t sure whether he was relieved or disappointed.
They all rushed to the windows and looked out to find the field around the house was empty. The plan had worked.
Ron was the first to break the silence. “I can’t believe that worked…”
Hermione laughed and turned to Willow with a huge smile.
“That was amazing
Then she reached up, grabbed Willow’s face, and kissed her.
Willow, like the rest of them, looked completely shocked. Then she closed her eyes and laid her hands on Hermione’s arms and kissed her back fervently.
“Bloody hell,” Ron breathed.
Some people just found intelligence incredibly sexy. It seemed Hermione was one of those people. Seeing as she was with Ron, she was probably starved for intellectual conversation. And since Willow didn’t really practice magic any more, it was probably a rush to find someone to theorize with.
“They couldn’t help themselves,” Harry shrugged, not really that surprised now that he’d thought about it.
“It seems they have
helped themselves. And pretty freely, too,” Snape said dryly. “I’m going. You should get back to the castle immediately. Or as soon as you can pry those two apart.”
Snape left with a crack, leaving Harry and Ron staring at the two women making out.
“Blimey, that’s hot…”
“That’s your girlfriend, Ron, don’t you think you should do something?” Harry said, hiding a smile.
“You’re right, she is my girlfriend…” He said thoughtfully. “Think that means they’ll let me join in?”