"Liver alone" comes from 'Scream'.
*~* Liver Alone *~*
Severus was gnashing his teeth by the time they got the whole tale out of Tara about the alley. He was pacing and cursing. He was talking about dismembering Marcus Flint... slowly. That was the name of the boy with the teeth. Amy had her blanket pulled up to her eyes. Faith was staring at him in awe.
"Red, I like your man." Faith whispered. "He's just vicious."
Willow glanced at her. "Hands off."
"Like he'd go for me anyhow. I'm not the one bursting with dark fruit flavor here. 'Sides, I'm thinking I like them younger and more Scottish."
"You hurt Ollie and I'll beat you to death with a shovel... then I'll go to work on you."
"Be still my beating crotch. You're kinda hot when you're all threatening and shit, Red."
"Faith, focus here."
Lily's eyes were sparkling with something wild. "When we catch him, we should chain him up and drop lit matches on his bare chest."
They all looked at her.
"Or something less flame-y and chain-y that doesn't make me sound like the evil vampire dominatrix I used to be."
Spike burst into the infirmary. "Tara! That Longbottom bloke said you'd been attacked. You all right, pet?"
Amy squeaked and burrowed further into her bed.
"I'm fine, Spike." Tara glanced at Amy. "And perhaps we should move this discussion elsewhere. I think we're making Amy nervous."
"Someone has to stay with her."
Spike sighed. "I will."
Willow gave him a look that said 'oh yeah, like I'll trust YOU'.
"Hey! I resent that." Spike snapped. "I'll just sit in the chair and watch the witch sleep... and kill anyone who gets too close."
"Spike..." Tara started, but she noticed that Amy had lowered her blanket to just under her nose and was looking at Spike curiously.
"Lily, you should go back to your common room... if you're all right." Willow suggested.
She nodded. The group headed out of the infirmary. Everyone but Lily headed for the staffroom. The Slytherin girl headed for her common room.
Lily spun about with her wand drawn. Neville Longbottom jumped about two feet in the air.
"Oh. Sorry, Longbottom. You startled me."
"Where're you off to?"
Lily arched an eyebrow. "Slytherin Common Room. Wanna join me?"
"Me?" He squeaked.
She grabbed his hand and started dragging him off. "Come on, Longbottom. Show me some of that infamous Gryff bravery. I won't let any of the big bad Slytherins hex you."
Neville bristled and fell into step beside her instead of behind. His chin even went up a notch. Lily smiled. Interesting. Neville Longbottom had a spine after all.
Harry and Ron found Hermione and Dawn giggling like mad as the seamstress kept insisting that Hermione 'hold still' while she altered the hem on the robe draped over the curly-haired brunette.
"Will you be much longer?" Ron asked.
"A few more minutes." The seamstress hissed. She appeared to be having a stressful day.
"He didn't mean anything by it, ma'am." Harry said very politely. "We don't wish to rush you. it's just that one of our teachers was accosted in an alley earlier, and we'd just rather get back to Hogwarts to check that she's as fine as she said that she was."
"Oh dear." The seamstress said. "I'll be swift then."
"Thank you." Harry murmured.
Dawn stared at him for a second. Harry Potter just had this way about him. He was a nice guy. Sort of weird that she'd had crushes on Spike and Xander, but it was the Riley type she ended up falling for.
Not that Harry was really at all like Riley. He had a personality.
"Who was it?" Hermione whispered.
Dawn shivered, and Harry wrapped an arm around her. "It's all right. Faith and Oliver stepped in."
"Wait. You said alley. What were Faith and Oliver doing in an alley?" Dawn asked.
"I don't think we want to know." Ron said with a wriggle of his eyebrows.
"Oh honestly." Hermione huffed.
"It was probably the same thing we found Malfoy and Ginny doing."
Ron looked at Harry harshly. "Oy!"
"Oh they made up." Hermione said with a dreamy look on her face. "Excellent."
Ron made a face at her. Harry and Dawn exchanged a look and snickered.
"Oh!" Ron said and smacked his forehead.
Harry looked at him. "What?"
"What?" Dawn and Hermione said in unison.
"The git took Lavender Brown to Hogsmeade since Lily couldn't make it."
Dawn and Hermione both made this offended noise.
"She'll be so upset." Dawn said. "We need to get back. Where are Draco and Ginny?"
"Already on their way."
"I need... to... " Dawn started grabbed her stuff.
Harry was watching her in awe he'd never seen Dawn move so fast, yet in such a jerky fashion. She was trembling. "Dawn..."
"Harry, why don't you two go on ahead. I'll stay with Hermione. Then we'll be along."
Harry nodded and hurried after Dawn who was already out the door.
"Poor Lily." Hermione whispered.
"Yeah. I could just beat the shit out of Finnigan."
"Ron, don't swear."
"I can't help it. He makes me so mad."
He turned his blue eyes onto her. Hermione shivered. There was such intensity to him just now.
"Because when you truly like someone, you wait. You wait until there's no hope left."
The corner of her mouth turned up slightly. He so was not speaking of Finnigan with that statement. The seamstress finally finished her work and took the robe off Hermione.
"How long would you have waited for me?" Hermione whispered.
Hermione was glad humans couldn't actually melt at the right words, but she really wanted to. Ron sure could say the wrong thing to her. He seemed to specialize in it since the day they'd met on the train first year, but when he said the right thing, by Merlin, he really said the right thing.
Willow was alone with Severus in the staffroom. Her mind was reeling. It seemed Voldie was on the move again. Should she contact Buffy? She seemed like maybe she had enough trouble on her own in Sunnydale. Perhaps she and Severus should pop in by floo and see if Buffy needed a hand.
She jumped when hands settled on her shoulders.
"You are thinking far too hard, Little Red."
"Can't be helped, Cranky Pants."
"And what has you so entranced?" He murmured as he placed a soft kiss on that spot that was not quite neck and not yet shoulder.
"Bad things are coming."
Willow spun about. "Has your mark been bothering you?"
"How do you know? You feel it."
Willow nodded. "So what do we do, oh surly one."
"Well, first, you cease a desist with those ridiculous nicknames you have for me."
"Whatever, Bitchy Butt."
"Oh baby. I love it when your lip curls back like that. Do it again."
Draco pulled Ginny through the door to the Slytherin common room, despite her protests. She didn't think she ought to be there, upset Lily or not.
They both stopped short at the site of Lily and Neville at one of the large tables in the very sinister looking common room playing wizard's chess. Why, Lily Rosenberg didn't look upset at all. She was just then laughing loudly at something Neville had said to her. The Gryffindor boy happened to look right at Draco then. He jerked as if someone had hit him.
Ginny walked forward. "Neville? What are you doing?"
"I was... well... I was carrying... then infirmary... and walking... then Lily."
"Neville's been keeping me company since he helped Faith get Professor Maclay back safely."
Draco looking at the other boy. "Thanks, Longbottom. Not so useless after all, ay?"
Both Ginny and Lily slapped at him. Well, Ginny slapped. Lily treated him to a fist in his gut. That was right about the time most of the upperclassmen started pouring in from Hogsmeade. Crabbe and Goyle must have met up with Pansy in the yard because she was walking in between them.
"What in the hell are two Gryffindors doing in the SLYTHERIN common room?"
Lily rose. Pansy stiffened. She obviously had not seen the redhead. She was standing at and angle in which she had only seen Draco, Ginny, and Neville.
"Ginny's here with Malfoy... obviously, Parkinson, and Longbottom is my guest."
"Moving up in the world, ay, Rosenberg? From Finnigan to Longbottom." Pansy sneered. "He shouldn't even be a Gryffindor. He's a soft as a Hufflepuff."
"Say that again." Lily snarled, her fingertips caressing her wand in the manner in which a gunslinger might have touched his gun in the old west.
"Lily, don't..." Neville whispered.
The two girls inched closer.
"Lily." Draco said. "You're already in enough trouble about this wench."
Pansy's eyes and her wand shot in his direction. Ginny yelled out. A solid form stepped into the middle of all of it.
That dark haired quidditch captain had the wrist of Pansy's wand arm gripped tightly and pulled away. "Back off, Parkinson. Put your wand away, Rosenberg. Malfoy's right. You're in enough trouble. I won't have my keeper punished out of the game we have against Ravenclaw in a few weeks."
Pansy jerked her arm free and rubbed her wrist. Montague turned to look at Lily. She had folded her robes back so that her wand was not on display like a colt .45 in a hip holster or something. Suddenly, Neville shot to his feet and pointed his wand over Montague's shoulder.
Everyone blinked. Pansy Parkinson had been about to hex Montague from behind when Neville Longbottom had frozen her. She teetered then hit the green rug like a fallen log. Crabbe and Goyle moved a bit.
"Don't!" Neville snapped.
Draco's jaw had dropped. "Bloody hell, Longbottom."
"Really, Neville." Ginny said, looking at him like she'd never seen him before. This was not the same awkward boy who'd taken her to the ball in her third year.
Montague eyed him. "I can't believe I'm about to say this, but thank you, Longbottom. Never thought she'd try to hex me in the back. Poor form, even for a Slytherin."
"You were fairly quick there, Longbottom." Draco said.
"Yeah. Thanks for hexing me all those times, Malfoy."
Draco actually laughed.
It was during dinner that night when it happened. Things just hadn't been odd enough. They needed to get weirder.
Giles had volunteered to stay with Amy and take his supper in the infirmary with Poppy. The young Sunnydale witch was still not talking. Though Spike had gotten her to keep her blanket under her chin and not over her face.
Said vampire was currently arguing with Anya about which was the best Ramones song EVER. Remus was listening with amusement. Wesley was watching Faith and Oliver flirt while he rolled his eyes. Finally McGonagall tore him away by engaging in conversation. In short order they found a common ground.... Bridget Jones. Apparently Wesley had read the book almost as many times as the Transfiguration professor had. Willow was sitting as close to Severus as she dared and still remain appropriate. They were having a whispered conversation. Dumbledore and Flitwick were having quite a loud one about the merits of spray deodorant.
Tara and 'Moody' were suspiciously absent.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, and most of Gryffindor were listening to Ginny relay the tale of Neville in Slytherin earlier. Neville was blushing. Especially when Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown squealed simultaneously and pecked a cheek each in unison for his petrificking the pug-faced girl. When Ginny was finished telling what a brave Gryff Neville had been, Ron went straight to glaring at Seamus. Especially after Lavender went back to sitting next to the Irish boy after kissing Neville.
Lily, Dawn, and Draco were sitting at the Slytherin table giggling like mad about Longbottom out-hexing Parkinson. Montague got up from his seventh year buddies to sit next to Lily.
Aaron Montague leaned into Lily's ear. "Don't look now, Rosenberg, but Finnigan's watching."
Lily went stiff. Montague snaked an arm around her body and blew in her ear. Lily let out a loud giggle.
"Don't look at him. I'll tell you what he's doing, copperhead."
Lily smiled. Copperhead. A venomous snake. A play on her hair as well. She could deal with a nickname like that.
"He's actually gnashing his little white teeth. Brown's asking him what's wrong."
Lily gasped when Montague swept aside her hair and kissed her pulse. That was such a vampire thing to do.
"Mister Montague, kindly remove your lips from Miss Rosenberg's neck."
The boy flashed Snape a devious smile and scooted over, placing proper distance between himself and Lily. She looked across the way at the Gryffindor table to see Neville shaking his head at her. She shrugged, then her eyes locked with Seamus's. She swallowed audibly.
Lily would have made quite the fool of herself, but for the doors to the great hall banging open and a ton of commotion coming through them. Something prickled across her skin. Something familiar. Dawn had looked up. Her jaw dropped.
Filch was trying, and failing, to keep a group of people from storming the hall.
Well, people wasn't exactly true either. Not for all of them.
"Back off, needs a bath, I know how to use this."
Dawn rose slowly. "Cordelia?"
A deep voice startled her. "Dawn?"
At that, there were several gasps. Anyone who'd been in on the Society of the Slayer knew the name Angel quite well. Spike was already stomping towards the crew.
"Peaches, what in the whole of Hades are you doing here?"
"They came for me." Faith snapped. "Ain't that right?"
Wesley jumped to his feet. "Well, you can't have her!"
He took in the group. Gang was all here. Angel, Cordelia, Fred, Gunn, Lorne... even Connor.
No one noticed that Lily had moved slowly behind the group with her wand drawn. Well, no one except Angel's son.
It didn't take long for all hell to break loose because Connor mistook Lily for what she used to be. The two of them hit like the thunder of storm clouds. Several students screamed and cleared the area. Especially when Lily grabbed Connor and body slammed him onto the Ravenclaw table. The kick he sent to her gut should have winded her. All it did was cause her to stumble back against the wall. The boy whipped out a stake and threw it. Lily dodged and batted the thing away angrily.
"Try harder. Try again." She hissed, all her anger at Seamus manifesting itself at the boy before her.
Connor roared in agitation. He did not like being taunted by his prey.
Snape and Angel were each rushing towards the teenager they had called. Two things happened. Angel got the kick to the groin meant for his son, and Snape got the pop to the jaw meant for Lily.
Seeing her robe-clad boyfriend go spilling across the floor to land in an unconscious pile was just about enough of THAT for Willow.
"ENOUGH!" Her voice was distorted.
The light in the room seemed to dim. She came over the teacher's table looking like anger. Black bled from the roots of her hair to the tips, and her eyes went solid onyx.
"Willow?" Cordelia whispered in awe.
"Whoa." Lorne said. "Hello dark side of the moon."
Gunn inched up next to Cordelia. "That's Willow? The one you called sweet, nice, 'never harm a fly' Willow. She looks more like 'fuck with me or mine and I'll eat your liver with some pinto beans and a nice herbal tea' Willow."
Cordelia look at him.
"Hey, I'm from the 'hood. Nobody from the 'hood eats fava beans or drinks Chianti. That's prissy and white boy."
"And pinto beans and herbal tea aren't?"
"Would it make you feel better if I said she was 'I'll eat your liver with some hamhocks and a nice black cherry Kool-Aid' Willow? That be 'hood enough for you, Queen C?"
"Tacos." Fred whispered.
"Maybe she eats the liver with tacos."
"Yeah." Cordelia said, looking at Fred incredulously. "She's 'I'll eat your liver with some tacos and a nice Mexican tequila' Willow."
"Chicken tacos?" Fred said wistfully.
"Sure. Why not?"
But Willow was too busy bent over Severus to notice.
"Is he all right, Professor Rosenberg?" Dumbledore asked as he joined her.
Willow was rubbing her fingertips along Snape's jaw, looking positively stricken.
"His life force is still going strong, sweetie. He'll come 'round soon."
Willow looked up at the green-skinned demon. "Lorne, right?"
"Yeah, hon. Sorry to barge in... and get your...." He grinned. "The love of your life all knocked out."
"Love of her..." Angel gasped as he got to his feet. "That's one hell of a kick you've got there...." He froze when his eyes landed on the face of his attacker. "Willow..."
Lily shook her head. "Not anymore."
Cordelia stalked up. "Huh?"
About that time Severus groaned, and Willow's head snapped back to him.
"Oh, Sev, are you all right?"
"What hit me?"
"The..." Willow looked at Connor. "Handsome, yet androgynous, boy that attacked Lily."
"Hey!" Angel snapped. "That's my son!"
While at the same time Connor snapped. "Hey! I am NOT androgynous!"
Then they both folded their arms across their chests.
Spike blinked twice then had a seat... on the floor... right in the center of the aisle.
Faith blinked herself. "Oh B is just gonna LOVE this."
Dumbledore cleared his throat. "All students will please return to your dormitories... except you, Miss Summers... and you Miss Rosenberg."
No one moved while the hall cleared. Not many people talked either. Those that did, did so in muted whispers. They moved around Spike as he sat and stared in shock at Connor and Angel.
"So..." Willow said as she helped Severus sit up. "What are you guys doing here?"
"We came for Faith." Angel said.
Willow stood slowly. Her voice came out low and dangerous. "Well, you can't have her."
Gunn leaned over to Cordelia. "Why do I suddenly have the feelin' our livers are in mortal peril, here?"