*~* Touched *~*
Oliver threw his hands up in the air and stalked, rather comically, in a circle. Faith didn't think he was meaning to be funny, so she didn't laugh. She got quidditch. She really did. Faith just liked hearing him explain things. He seemed to get really irritated whenever she said that the snitch being worth one hundred and fifty points was stupid. Maybe one day he'd figure out that she just liked to needle him. And that he had a nice voice, and she just liked hearing it.
Hell, she wouldn't mind him needling her a bit. The boy was a babe and a half. Boy, ha, he was only about a year and a half younger than her. Oliver was the assistant flying instructor. How cool was that? He was polite and kind and passionate. All the things she'd never had in anyone. Faith could crush him like a worm. She never would. Oliver knew her past, well most of her past, and he didn't give a damn. He seemed to seek her out for company. The nice guy had tried to woo Faith once. It had ended badly for him. Ask Xander.
So she couldn't do anything to Oliver Wood, with Oliver Wood, or even around Oliver Wood. Not ever. He was too sweet. People were trying to kill her. She'd hate for dear sweet Ollie to get caught in the crossfire.
"You're REALLY frustrating, Faith." His cheeks were slightly pink from the growing cool.
She sighed. "I know."
The two of them continued their trek across the quad.
Lily had decided outdoors for studying today.
Draco was cold and fastly becoming irritated. Dawn was in a bright red sweater and jeans on the blanket they'd brought out and thrown across the grass. Gutterflower was resting on the small of Dawn's back as the girl laid on her belly reading a potions text. The book was laid open on the ground, and Dawn twirled a strand of hair around her finger as she read. Lily sat cross-legged next to her scribbling on a parchment furiously. She was wearing green tights with muggle sneakers, a matching green sweater, and a black corduroy jumper dress over it. Her black-streaked red hair was pulled back into a ponytail.
He was just glad his arm wasn't sore anymore. Didn't stop him from complaining though.
"This is fucking boring."
"Shut up." Dawn muttered.
"It's Friday afternoon. This could wait until Sunday."
Lily snapped her book shut and tucked the scroll she been working on away in her bag along with her quill and other supplies. "Ok, Draco, let's do something fun then."
Dawn sighed. She knew studying was hopeless now. Two against one. "Like what?"
"Well there's this thing I've been working on."
"A spell?" Dawn asked.
Draco arched an eyebrow in a manner that so reminded Dawn of Spike she nearly gasped aloud.
"I mean, I don't know, but I could try."
"I have a bad feeling about this." Draco said.
Lily scowled at him. She pulled a CD case out of her bag. She took the CD out and set it on the blanket before her. Lily took out her wand. She swished and flicked.
The CD rose a bit off the blanket and began spinning clockwise. The sound started slowly and grew louder. Draco gasped as Jimmy Eat World spilled out into the quad.
"Holy shit, Lily."
"Pretty cool, huh? Who needs a CD player." She was smiling widely.
"You rock the casbah."
"That's nothing. Check this." She flicked her wand at the CD.
It 'switched' to the next track. The opening beats of "A Praise Chorus" filled the quad. Dawn was suddenly up and shaking her hips to the beat. She had a little head bob thing going on too. Her hair started to fling every which way. Draco had seen her dance before. She was an energetic little thing. Well, if she could be called little. Draco watched her dance around the blanket with a bit of abandon. It suddenly didn't matter that he was wearing jeans with holes in them, an old t shirt, and a gray sweater that had once belonged to a former librarian, current watcher and Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor.
Lily poked him with her wand. "Dance, bitch."
Draco jumped up so fast he startled her. His mother had taught him how to dance. Really dance. Lily was a squealing maniac as she had no choice but to follow Draco's lead. His was spinning her all about.
Then he started snarling the words in her face. "I'm on my feet. I'm on the floor. I'm good to go."
Dawn popped up in the circle of his and Lily's arm. "All I need is to hear a song I know."
They stopped singing as the three of them just kept dancing. It was sort of mind-blowing the way Draco could spin both of the about and yet keep up. They did not know they had and audience.
Faith and Oliver had come back by at the sound of the music. It was unusual. Soon they were joined by Willow and Snape
Across the quad Willow could see a group of Gryffindors watching. She knew one of them was Harry. She could see his black hair sticking up even in the distance.
Tara was getting stuffy in the staffroom. She was trying to make a list of the ingredients she was going to replace for Severus at the apothecary in Hogsmeade tomorrow... so he and Willow could enjoy the town together. It made Tara feel really good that despite her inability to help him thus far, he was still ready to trust her with something important.
She had tried to make her list in the dungeons of Snape's classroom, but it was just too darn cold down there. So she had come up to the staffroom where the fire was roaring. Perhaps roaring a little too well in her opinion. Tara made her way to one of the windows and hefted it open. She breathed in the cold air.
Music hit her ears. Tara looked down into the quad and saw Lily, Draco, and Dawn dancing. She grinned. She'd have to ask them what they were doing and how they had done it.
"What is that?" A very familiar voice asked her.
Tara spun around. Sirius was standing just inside the closed door of the staffroom... as Sirius. Not as Moody.
"Are you crazy?" She rushed over to him. "Someone could see you."
"I put a locking charm on the door."
"So I could do this."
He cupped the side of her face and descended on her mouth. Tara kissed him back for a full, agonizing ten seconds before her brain took over again, and she wrenched her mouth from his.
"No." She cried, sounding like she was in pain.
She was kissing his face.
She sure wasn't acting like she couldn't. He buried his face against the column of her throat and sighed. She shivered.
"I'm sorry." He muttered. "I don't know what it is about you. It's compounded by watching Snape and Rosenberg try to flirt covertly."
"You're jealous." She said in awe.
"Of them being able to be open with one another? Hell yes."
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." She was shaking.
Sirius pulled her over to a couch the was set near the fireplace. They sat side by side.
"It's all right." He said rubbing her back.
Tara looked at him with wide eyes. "I'm scared to... have you... to let you... and I'm petrified of never knowing."
"Do you know what it's like to watch you... to never... to know I can't..." He wasn't even looking at her face anymore. His eyes had fallen to the floor.
Tara took his stubble-y chin in her hand and made him look at her. There was so much of him that was rough and coarse. Not like a woman. He was unknown territory. Dare she know it? Could she handle going through the rest of her life wondering 'what if' in she didn't know it?
Sirius watched as she shrugged out of her robes and started unbuttoning her blouse.
"Tara, what are you doing?" His eyebrows were furrowing. Had he suddenly started hallucinating? It was a damn good hallucination if he had.
"Showing you what you can t-touch." She was shaking like a leaf in a wind storm.
"Shh." She placed two fingers to his lips.
Sirius grabbed her wrist and gently moved her hand away. "This is a dangerous game you're playing, little girl."
"I'm n-not playing. And d-don't call me little girl."
"Once we start, I don't stop."
"I'm counting on it." She chewed her bottom lip a bit. "Just don't be rough with me. I've never... not with..."
"Shouldn't we move this... elsewhere?"
"Locking charm on the door."
"It just feel so, you know, open in here." But the he started kissing her again, and she wasn't thinking about how 'open' the room was.
And neither of them seemed to remember the staffroom fireplace was the one set up too the floo network as Sirius leaned Tara back into the sofa they were on.
Harry stared and tried not to feel jealous. He noticed Ginny clenching her fists. She and Malfoy had been a bit distant since the quidditch match last Saturday. He knew it was because Ginny was jealous of Dawn... the same way he was jealous of Draco Malfoy. He tried not to be. Harry knew he was a better person than this, but did they really have to be this close? He knew there were things that Draco and Lily knew of Dawn that he did not know. That he might never know.
It didn't help that Draco and Dawn seemed perfectly at ease touching one another. It still made him nervous.
And then all that melted. Her eyes caught him, and she ran. Harry barely had time to consider what the hell she was doing before she threw herself at him, wrapping her endless legs around his waist.
"Afternoon, Potter." She said in a jaunty manner before kissing him full on the lips.
Seamus was staring. "Blimey."
"I'll see your 'blimey'." Ron said. "And raise you a 'bloody hell'."
Dean was looking at the small of Dawn's back since her red sweater had rode up a bit. "I didn't know Dawn had a tat."
Ron, Dean, and Seamus leaned in to study the black tribal art that flanked a green heart on the base of her spine.
"It's some nice muggle work." Dean commented.
"Honestly." Hermione said rolling her eyes.
Harry and Dawn were showing no signs of stopping. Hermione noticed Professor Snape glaring at them from across the quad. Then he started stalking towards them.
"Ohhhhh, Harry. Um, Dawn. Here comes Snape."
Dawn jerked back suddenly. "Buffy?"
"So nice to know you're thinking of your sister while we kiss." Harry said drolly.
Dawn scrambled out of his embrace. Her eyes shot up to the open window of the staffroom. "Buffy!"
Dawn took off running. Her long legs carried her very quickly. She kept screaming her sister's name.
Faith suddenly stiffened when Dawn started screaming Buffy's name. The hair on the back of her neck prickled. "No."
In no time she was pacing Dawn. Slayer speed, and all.
Tara heard a strange sound and peered over Sirius's shoulder as the orange-y glow of the fire in the staffroom went quite green. Her hair was all sorts of sweaty. Some of it was plastered to her forehead. Hair? Hell, most of her was a bit sweaty and boneless.
Sirius looked over his shoulder as three people tumbled out of the floo, looking more than just sooty from their means of travel. Tara and himself barely had time to grab their clothes before the door gave the impression of being rammed in. Sirius blinked. Someone with an awful lot of leg power was kicking at that door. He wasn't sure how much longer his locking charm would last. He began digging through his clothing frantically looking for his flask of polyjuice potion.
Tara was scrambling frantically to get more clothing on herself when one of the bodies looked up.
"Hi, Tara." Xander said. "You're naked."
When Dawn and Faith reached the locked door, it was like they didn't even have to speak. The both of them started trying to kick it down.
"What's going on?" Anya asked in a panic as she and Remus wandered up.
There was a group of Gryffindors, Draco and Lily, Snape, Willow, and Oliver. All of them had their wands drawn as Dawn and Faith went after the door.
"Tara's in there." Remus said in slight alarm.
It was then that the door splintered in with a bang.
The site was a bit odd. Tara looked like she had gotten dressed in the dark. Then run a marathon. 'Mad-Eye Moody' was sitting on the sofa by the fire with a flask in his hands, breathing heavily.
And on the floor was a very dirty and roughed up Xander. Next to a bloodied Buffy who was holding a third person in a blanket.
"Buffy!" Dawn ran to her sister.
Willow flew into the room next, skidding on her knees next to Buffy and Xander. "What happened? Oh goddess. Oh goddess."
"Infirmary?" Snape asked.
Faith didn't wait. She hefted Xander over her shoulder in a fireman's carry. She was glad he seemed so out of it that he didn't notice who was carrying him. There might have been issues. The last time she'd been this close, she'd tried to kill him. But that was then. She understood all the words in the mission statement this time around.
"Buffy?" Willow said looking at Buffy's tired eyes.
Buffy let the blanket fall away to reveal the face of the person inside.
"Amy." Dawn said in shock.
Amy Madison. Looking like a piece of raw meat. She was so cut up and bruised she had hardly been recognizable.
"Who did this?" Willow whispered dangerously. Sure, the last time she'd seen Amy they'd sort of had a fight, but that didn't mean Willow wanted the witch to have the tar beaten out of her.
Buffy held Willow's steady gaze. "Rack."
The air around Willow shifted and her eyes went black.
Snape instantly grabbed her arms and pulled her to her feet. "Calm down."
"Yes." He purred against her ear in a whisper only she could hear. "Will it back down. Do not let the anger rule you."
"What in the bloody hell is all the fuss?" Spike said as he made his way through all the bodies to the main attraction. "Slayer?"
Then she fell forward in a faint. She would have hit the floor with her face were it not for Spike's vampiric reflexes. Spike swung Buffy up into his arms. Draco stepped forward and lifted Amy with a bit of help from Dawn.
Harry was trying to process everything that was going on. Remus Lupin was looking at his daughter with the strangest look. Harry studied the scene. Lupin's nostrils were flaring as if he'd caught a scent. Tara was looking bashful. Moody was just watching with his flask in his hand. He was shaking slightly as he watched Remus.
It hit Harry like thunder. Moody wasn't Moody. Yet again. And there was only one person that Remus Lupin would be this ticked about being alone with Tara... Sirius.
*~*~*The missing NC-17 scene between Tara and Sirius can now be found by going to a story on my author's page titled "Lemondrops" and clicking on the chapter entitled "Retouched".