Lily sat across from Professor Snape with her arms folded across her chest, looking smug. He looked like his head was about to explode. His normally pale to the point of almost being sallow skin was mottled red in anger. If he could have gotten away with strangling her, he looked as if he might try.
Pansy Parkinson was in the infirmary crying her eyes out. Served the bitch right. You didn't mess with 'vampire Willow'. It always ended badly. She may have been in the body of a human teenager again, but Lily remembered quite a lot of her former self. She'd pushed it back into the dark recesses of her mind, but why bother? She was who she was. Best everyone learn that little lesson now.
"I ask again, Miss Rosenberg, what charm did you use on Miss Parkinson's head?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, professor."
He growled and slammed his hands on the desk. "Lily!"
Any other person would have jumped. She simply looked away. Nerves of steel.
"You have detention for the next two weeks, that's fifty points from Slytherin, and no Hogsmeade today."
"I have a date with Seamus Finnigan!"
Snape made a look of distaste about that comment. "Well, I suppose you should have considered that before you turned Pansy Parkinson into the living version of a Greek myth!"
Lily jumped to her feet. "I hate you!" She stormed out of the office.
She had just reminded him of himself when his father had told him he couldn't possibly fancy Lily Evans, that he could not ask her to marry him, that he would be a death eater and shut up about it. Well, he wasn't a bastard like his father. He wasn't doing this to be mean. He was doing it because she couldn't think that she could just run about doing whatever she liked with no consequences. There were always consequences. It was like that muggle Newton had said... for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Dawn and Draco were a million miles away. Ron was irritated about having to share a table in Three Broomsticks with Malfoy, but the blonde Slytherin might as well have not been there. He was staring off into space... just like Dawn.
She looked at Harry. "She turned her hair to snakes, Harry."
"I never seen anything like that. And Pansy just kept screaming. How can you be a Slytherin and be that scared of snakes?" Draco said.
"Well..." Dawn said slowly. "They WERE on her head. And moving. Yeesh."
Hermione shivered. Ron tightened his arm around her. "Look, I need to go to Gladrags to see about getting a hem let out."
"Harry and I were going to pop into Zonko's."
Ginny, who had been studiously ignoring Draco for some reason, sat up straighter. "I'll go with you, Hermione."
"Dawn?" Hermione asked.
Dawn looked startled. But then she should have known Hermione would not hold her being a Slytherin against her.
Everyone started to rise. Harry pecked Dawn on the cheek as Ron did Hermione with promises of seeing everyone back in Three Broomsticks in an hour. Draco stayed sitting in the booth as Harry and Ron left.
"Malfoy, I know you'll be bored, but do you want to accompany Dawn, Ginny and myself to Gladrags?" Hermione asked politely.
He smiled at her. A real smile. Hermione realized quite suddenly what Ginny must see. There had been hints of him before, but that smile was nice.
Ginny looked about ready to spit nails at Hermione. Ginny was jealous of Dawn, but Hermione was determined to show the redhead that Draco liked only her, that he and Dawn were just friends as Harry and Ron were friends. The four of them made their way out.
Tara was glad Severus had charged her with getting the supplies. He and Willow had opted to stay at Hogwarts with Amy. She was walking back, her arms full of parcels when someone grabbed her and yanked her into the alley just before the post office. Tara's scream was cut off by a hand clamping over her mouth.
"What have we here?"
Tara's eyes narrowed. She was frightened, but she was also SO not in the mood for this. She was surrounded by a group of guys who looked like they were barely out of their teens.
"You've g-got trouble if you d-don't back off."
"Yeah, you're real scary with that stutter." The one up front with the scary teeth said.
"She doesn't have to be scary, Dr. Teeth. I'm scary enough for both of us."
Tara almost sagged in relief when Faith came strolling down the darkened alley towards them.
"This doesn't concern you, girl. Back off."
Faith looked at Tara. "Girl?" Then she looked at the guy again. "Backing off ain't my style, babe. Best you be the one to back off my girl Tara, here, before I get violent."
"You? Violent?" One of the said laughing as he moved up behind Faith.
She didn't even look at him. Her arm flew up, and her fist smashed his nose, breaking it. The guy screamed as his hands went to his nose. Blood spewed out from under them.
"Yeah. Me. Violent."
Dr. Teeth drew his wand.
"Faith!" Tara screamed.
Faith dove out of the way with slayer speed. She landed with a tuck and roll behind a stack of crates. Tara screamed again when the guy grabbed her roughly to use as a shield.
"Hey! Fuckface!" Faith called. "I got a magical stick too!"
Tara screamed yet again when Faith shot out from behind the crates and threw her stake at the guy holding Tara. It hit the tiniest bit of shoulder sticking out from behind Tara's body. He howled in pain. Tara shoved away from him and ran towards another of the group that was attempting to sneak up on Faith.
Tara took a leap and fastened herself onto his back. Faith kicked a guy in front of her in the gut then spun around to punch the one Tara had a hold of. He reeled with it. Faith grabbed a handful of Tara's robes and punched the guy again. He went sprawling as Faith yanked Tara off of his back. She stumbled and fell against Faith hard. The slayer grinned and pecked the blonde witch on the mouth before tossing her onto a very squishy pile of trash bags.
Tara looked up. Oliver was at the end of the ally with his wand up. Faith was kicking the last guy standing with a beautiful spinning kick that was even more lovely because she had been hit with the blast of freezing charm from Oliver. She was flying and twirling in slow motion. You could see her muscles straining with the awesome effort. It was like ballet or something. So beautiful all you can do is watch and not say a word... or even move.
Faith's booted foot slammed into the guy's jaw, causing a wide arc of blood to fly forth. She landed perfectly, and immediately went into a fighting stance. She watched as her opponent fell in slow motion.
Oliver was rushing towards them, screaming both their names. Faith turned slowly and held her hand out to Tara. The witch took the offered hand and allowed herself to be pulled up. They were both moving as if the were in warm syrup. Everything was slow. Even the way Tara's blonde hair swirled around her face at the force used by Faith to get her standing again.
Tara stumbled as she and Faith were put back into 'real time'.
"You all right, Glenda?"
Tara just nodded. She was shaking badly.
Faith looked around. "Where'd the fifth one go?"
There were only four bodies moaning in pain in the alley. Dr. Teeth had disappeared with Faith's stake in his shoulder.
Tara stumbled. Faith caught her by the arm.
"Let's get you back to Hogwarts, hun."
Oliver was looking around. People had started to filter into the alley to see what all the ruckus was about.
"I'll take her." Faith said. "See you at the castle in a few?"
Oliver nodded. Faith lurched up and kissed his lips then steered Tara out of the alley.
Neville Longbottom was seen by Oliver standing around looking and was instructed to help carry the potions ingredients Tara had purchased. Neville didn't mind. He'd only been being irritated with watching Dean and Seamus be 'out' with Parvati and Lavender. Just because Lily couldn't go with him, Seamus had asked Lavender. It irritated Neville. He'd never do that to Lily. He'd go alone until she COULD go with him. Neville got the feeling the redhead would be hurt when she found out. That bothered him.
Not because he LIKE liked her or anything. Lily Rosenberg was SO not his type. She was too much of a wild child. No, it bothered him because she had been through enough, and if Seamus 'sodding' Finnigan really liked her, he'd wait. Because that's what you did for the ones you really liked. You held out a bit.
Draco sighed again loudly and folded his arms across his chest. Ginny was making a great effort to ignore him. He could not figure out why. A seamstress was not available just yet, so the girls were killing time by trying on stuff they could not afford.
"Dawn, could you help me?" Hermione called from a dressing room.
Dawn nudged Draco and mouthed 'ask her what's wrong' as she headed towards the dressing rooms.
"So..." Draco started. This was awkward as ass.
"Don't talk to me."
"What in the bloody hell is your problem?"
"My problem. You want to know what in the 'bloody hell' my problem is?"
He looked at her incredulously. "I did ask."
"You and Dawn."
Draco was confused. "What about us?"
"Oh! You're so stupid, Draco Malfoy!" Ginny got up and stormed out of the shop.
Draco sat there for a minute with his brows knitted together in confusion before he chased after her. "Ginny!"
"Leave me alone!" She called over her shoulder as she rushed down the street.
Draco growled and with a burst of speed, grabbed her around the waist and hauled her in between two buildings.
"Get off of me!" She hit at his chest with her little fists.
"Leave me alone!"
"Not until you tell me what I've done."
"Well, if you don't know, then I'm not going to tell you."
Draco growled and shoved away from her. He started to pace. "You drive me bloody crazy. I can't take all this hot and cold nonsense. Do you like me or not... because I think I adore you. Might even love you, so if you don't feel the same, tell me now while there's still some hope I can survive not having you."
"You might love me?" She whispered.
"All right! So I do. I do love you, but you obviously just want to torture me so-"
He was cut off by Ginny throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him.
Draco pulled back. "Now I'm confused."
"Oh, I love you too, you crazy git." There were tears spilling out of her eyes.
"I thought you, um, were liking Dawn."
"I do like Dawn."
Ginny's eyes narrowed.
"She's my best friend."
Ginny tilted her head to the side. "Do you love her?"
A great light of knowledge suddenly went off in Draco's brain, and he started laughing. She thought he... with Dawn. Oh it was too funny. He was about as interested in Dawn THAT way as she would be in Ron. Dawn could have danced around him naked, and Draco wouldn't have batted an eyelash at it. It was Virginia Weasley that moved him.
"Is that a no?"
"You silly twit."
She slapped at his shoulder. "I am not a twit."
"You really are. You thought... you thought that I fancied Dawn?"
"Not like that. And besides she's with Harry wanker Potter and happens to adore the pillock. Potter's all the girl talks about. It's enough to make a body want to puke."
Ginny smiled at him. Draco swiped whatever tears were resting on her skin away with his thumb.
"Done with this ignoring me nonsense now?"
He leaned down and kissed her.
"Oh bloody hell and dammit!"
Draco and Ginny pulled apart to see Harry and Ron standing within a few feet of them.
"Can you two not do that in public!" Ron screeched.
Ginny giggled and snuggled up to Draco, but he'd gone rigid, and his jaw was ticking in anger.
"Draco?" Then Ginny followed his line of vision.
To Seamus Finnigan snogging Lavender Brown.
Ginny's jaw dropped. "That son of a bitch."
"Ginny!" Ron sounded scandalized.
Harry turned and looked to where Ginny's and Malfoy's eye were locked. His jaw dropped too. Ron turned as well.
"That manky git!" Ron started to storm over, but Harry grabbed his arm.
"I thought he liked Lily. That git! Lavender? Lavender Brown over Lily? That Stupid article! Lily may be a Slytherin, but at least she has a brain."
"I wonder if she knows." Ginny said quietly.
"We better get back." Draco said. He looked at Harry. "Hermione and Dawn are in Gladrags."
Harry watched as Draco and Ginny practically ran towards Hogwarts. He couldn't believe Seamus. Everyone knew why Lily hadn't been able to go to Hogsmeade with him. It wasn't as if she didn't want to. She was being punished for Pansy Parkinson.
Lily had wandered into the infirmary. She was curious about Amy Madison. The Amy she knew from her world was a very dark witch. She was the right hand of a black magic dealer named Rack. The two of them drained whole covens of their power.
But that was Lily's old universe. The one where she was a vampire.
She'd heard that this Amy had been tortured by this universe's Rack. Lily crept in quietly. She could hear someone murmuring softly. She peeked through the drawn curtains. Willow was sitting on the edge of Amy's bed with her head next to Amy's on the pillow. She was whispering quietly to the other witch.
Lily just watched. She remembered being friends with Amy a little when they were children. Not like she had been with Xander or Jesse, but enough that they had played together, invited each other to their birthdays... that sort of thing.
"Thinking of doing some more damage?"
Lily turned. Pansy Parkinson was in the infirmary. Damn. How could she have forgotten?
"You better piss off before I hex you again." Lily said quietly.
"Ohh, someone's cranky. Could it be we're suffering from the ill of effects of being ditched for Lavender Brown?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Don't pretend it doesn't bother you. The great unflappable Rosenberg. It has to be painful to be ditched for someone who is substandard."
"Smoking crack is bad for you, Parkinson."
"You really don't know."
"Cryptic isn't a good look for you. What are you just DYING to tell me?"
"That Seamus Finnigan asked Lavender Brown to Hogsmeade today."
Lily didn't even move. Her face was a mask. This petty girl thought to get a reaction from her? Formerly Willow Rosenberg childe of the Master. As if. If there was one thing she knew how to do, it was to school her features.
"Hmmm. Interesting. Really." That mother fucking Irish manwhore!
Pansy lifted an eyebrow. "You can't tell me you don't care."
Sorry-arsed shamrock toting son of a bitch! Lily faked a yawn that she covered in an overemphasized manner with one hand. "Bored now."
Lily just looked at her. That Blarney Stone-smooching mick! Lavender Brown?! UGH! She was sorely tempted to rip off his Little Seamus and feed it to him. And gods be damned, hope he choked on it. Then again, considering present actions, it must not be all that. He didn't even have the balls to wait for her.
"Merlin, you really DON'T care."
Lily just shrugged. Seamus Finnigan was gonna rue the mother fucking day!
"Miss Parkinson? Miss Rosenberg? What's going on here?" Snape was looking at both of them with a very disapproving look on his face.
"We were just talking."
"Obviously, Miss Parkinson. Thank you for being so astute." Snape said sarcastically. "Perhaps you would be so good as to find somewhere else to be as your hair is no longer hissing."
Pansy glared at Lily before looking back at Snape. "Yes, sir."
And with that she was gone. Silence filled the room.
After a what seemed like an eternity, Snape started to speak. "What were the two of you...."
His voice died off as Lily's lips started to tremble.
She started crying.
"What did she do to you?" Snape growled.
Willow came out from where she had been with Amy. "Lily?"
"Wasn't... stupid... pug-face." She hiccupped. "Stupid fucking Seamus Finnigan..."
"What did HE do to you?" Severus snarled.
"He asked..." She sniffed. "Stupid air-headed Lavender Brown to Hogsmeade because I couldn't go!"
An unfamiliar feeling in regards to a student settled within Severus Snape... guilt. Now, he felt guilt for his actions all the time, but the ones that related to death eating things. He had never felt bad for something he had done to a student.
"Oh honey." Willow said as she enveloped the girl in a hug. She led Lily over to the nearest bed to sit down.
Severus stood stock still.
Lily looked up at him. "I don't hate you. I just get cranky."
"I am in no way familiar with that. What is this crankiness you speak of?"
Willow nudged Lily. "You see that? You see what he'd do to cheer you up? He joked. That must have hurt."
Lily giggled and swiped her eyes with the heel of her hand. Severus sighed and reached into his robes, producing a handkerchief. A black handkerchief.