AN: Long time, I know. For those of you who were patient with me I thank you. Heartily. Being allowed to do my own thing in my own time is precious to me. For those of you that weren't patient... well... I don't thank you.
*~* Talks *~*
"How much do you like that boy?"
It was several days after Christmas, and they had come back to Hogwarts as a family. Ginny and Molly were finally having their 'talk' about Draco. Well, they were supposed to be. So far her mother hadn't said a word about him to Ginny. They were sitting in one of the lesser-used tea rooms by a roaring fire. McGonagall had been good enough to set it up for them. She'd even had tea readied. Molly was currently pouring herself some.
Ginny looked at her mother to answer. "A lot."
"What do you mean why? He's Draco. I just do. He likes me a lot. He told his father he suspected that he wanted to marry me one day."
"Have you been intimate with him?"
"Only kissing. I'm not ready."
Molly smiled and took a sip of her tea. "Good."
"But when I am ready, it's so going to be Draco."
Molly promptly spit her tea everywhere.
Draco was in last year's winter cloak. It was just as warm as it had been then, but he'd gotten a bit taller and there was a snag that Dawn'd had to repair for him. Mending charms were not his forte. He was learning to be more careful with his things. Since his parents, or his father at any rate, had all but disowned him, new clothes were not in his future.
It didn't seem to bother Ginny. It didn't bother Dawn or Lily either. They rarely had new things themselves. In fact, Ginny's winter cloak was one he knew she'd had last year AND the year before. She'd likely had it the year before that as well. It was in a sadder state than his.
And all these cloak thoughts were merely to keep him from thinking about the fact that he was currently walking the grounds with Mr. Weasley.
Draco had said some really horrid things about this man in his years at Hogwarts so far. Both to Ron and Ginny and other people. He didn't even know him at all, and he'd made many a disparaging remark. It was because of what his father had said of Mr. Weasley, but that didn't excuse it in Draco's mind.
He was nervous here. He wanted Ginny's father to approve of him. He wanted that almost as much as he wanted Ginny.
"I'll cut right to the chase, Mister Malfoy."
"Please, sir, I'd prefer to be called Draco."
"All right, Draco." Arthur paused. He knew the boy was squirming already. He hated to torture him, but Arthur had to be sure. This was his only daughter. "What are your intentions?"
"Oh! Right." Draco scowled. "Am I meant to be honest here?"
Arthur stared at him.
"Right. Of course I am. Bloody stupid Draco. I mean, how honest would you like me to be, sir?"
Arthur was confused. It showed on his face.
"I fear if I am brutally honest about my feelings and all my intentions towards Ginny that you might lock her away and hex me in my balls, sir."
Arthur just stared. He didn't know if he wanted to laugh or not. He didn't think anything could be more comically awkward than his first chat with Molly's father, but here it was. The most humorous part was that Draco Malfoy was not meaning to be humorous at all.
"Pardon?" Arthur said.
"I'm fucking this up utterly. Oh fuck. I just said fuck. Three times. I apologize, sir. Dammit"
Arthur clenched his teeth. He would not laugh. He would not.
"I don't mean to be so bloody swear-happy, sir. I assure you I don't talk this way in front of Gin, but I do believe I'm nervous as shit."
Arthur did laugh then. He clapped Draco on the back. "My eldest sons have the most foul mouths you will ever hear... not that their mother knows this. Don't worry about the swearing, Draco. Just tell me your plans."
"For Ginny, and I do believe you can leave out anything of an intimate nature that would make me want to have my wand at your back while someone marries you to my daughter. I mean, that I wanted to know your intentions in regards to both your futures."
"Right. I like her. Love her even. She likes ME, not my fortune... ME. Not that I have a fortune anymore, and she's still around, so I know."
"My daughter wouldn't just like you for your money." Arthur said hotly.
"I know! But for just a moment, sir, think about what I knew before I knew Ginny. I know that now, but at first I couldn't be sure. I'd never been around anyone like Ginny in a close way."
"Did Ginny ever tell you what happened last term? With... my father?"
"Just that he tried to kill you."
"He tried to kill HER too."
"It's the most horrid thing in the world to realize you're falling in love with someone who had a death curse hurled at them. He pointed his wand at her, and I could have killed him with my bare hands. My father was so affronted when Ginny called me her boyfriend. I loved that. I told him I wanted to marry her."
"I could... if she'll have me."
Arthur didn't know if he was bothered by all of this or not. Certainly he was troubled by this teenage boy talking about his teenage daughter, his only daughter, in terms of forever, but Draco Malfoy was turning out to be not so bad. If he could get so nervous about someone like Arthur, then he had to be human, and human was something Arthur Weasley had never suspected any of the Malfoys of being.
"And what are your plans, Draco?"
"I just told you."
"No, for yourself."
"You do have some idea of what you'd like to do with your life, don't you? I mean, it's all right if you don't. You still have time to figure that out."
"I thought I might...." He stopped and seemed to war with himself.
"I thought I could train to be a watcher. Like Professor Giles. I sort of like research."
"I like the idea of being able to help train someone who fights. I like that idea of helping make someone who's already special just for being chosen into something a little more extraordinary. It's dumb, I know."
"Actually, that doesn't sound dumb at all. Not as silly as Misuse of Muggle Artifacts anyhow."
Draco snorted. "There's nothing wrong with your job. You make an honest living. I've come to appreciate what that takes in the last year. There's no shame in doing something others look down on... if you like doing it. Sometimes it's harder to do that. Temptation is an easy thing to give into, and an honest life in the wizarding world is not as common as it should be."
Arthur eyed him. "I think you and my Ginny are going to be just fine, and it's bloody cold out here. Let's nip back in and see if we can't rustle up some hot chocolate."
"With the little marshmallows?"
Sirius had not been dissuaded from the idea of Anya having a little talk with Harry.
Harry turned five shades of scarlet after Anya slapped a model of a penis with a suction cup on the bottom on the table between them. It was sort of wobbly and reminded him of lime Jell-O. It frighteningly accurate with the veins and scrotum and stuff. Harry made a mental note to never eat green gelatin ever again.
"Wh-what's THAT for?"
"This is muggle Sex Ed, Harry. Ever had it?"
"Excellent. Lesson the first... proper condom application."
Harry's wide eyes got wider.
"You do know what a condom is, don't you, Harry?"
"Good." She tossed a condom package at him.
"What's this for?" Just when he thought his face could not go any more red.
"I thought you just told me you knew what a condom was."
"I do, but what are you expecting me to do with it right now?"
"It's for you to put on the green ding-dong to show me you know how."
Harry made a squeak noise.
Tara had been slightly miffed at Sirius's high-handed manner in dealing with Harry on the sex talk situation, so she had gotten Buffy to agree to letting Sirius and Remus have a talk with Dawn about boys. Buffy had been amused by the idea. She told Tara she already had that chat with Dawn, but another lecture couldn't hurt. But Tara had explained she wanted Dawn to torture them a bit. Buffy had been highly amused by that and had said she wanted Tara to get back to her with details. Dawn had been a bit shocked when Tara had warned her about the talk then told her what questions she should ask.
So currently Dawn was sitting in Remus's office with him and Sirius. Both men looked extremely uncomfortable.
Sirius had already tripped himself up by somehow mentioning oral sex as a way not to get pregnant, and now both men were trying to field Dawn's numerous questions without sputtering in embarrassment. Who knew there could be so many and varied and multiple part questions on the subject? And she was so technical about it too.
Dawn had even asked Remus for some parchment and a quill. She was making notes. Remus didn't know a person could feel as embarrassed as he did just now. He knew Tara had orchestrated this as punishment for what he and Sirius had arranged to put Harry through with Anya. If Buffy ever found out what Sirius was very reluctantly telling her sister, she'd likely break every bone is both their bodies. Sirius for telling, and Remus for providing her with parchment.
And Remus was horrified by how bloody honest Sirius was being here.
"Is that it?" Dawn asked.
Sirius had his face in his hands. She was horribly good at pulling information from people.
"If there's nothing else, I'd like to go find Harry."
Sirius pointed at her. "You are NOT to go find Harry."
"Why not?" Dawn asked innocently. "Who else am I gonna practice this stuff on?"
Remus actually gasped. Sirius fell from his chair. It was then that Tara slipped out from under Harry's invisibility cloak and snapped a picture of the two of them.
Dawn cackled loudly. "You should see your faces!"
Sirius actually growled.
Tara glared at him. "I can't believe you told little Dawnie all that... that stuff."
Dawn huffed and put her hands on her hips. "I'm not little anymore. Don't treat me like I'm a baby... even though technically I never was a baby."
"She's terribly good a wrestling information away from unwilling sources!" Sirius defended. "I couldn't help but talk!"
"That's because I put Veritaserum in your tea." Tara said sweetly. "Don't forget that I help manage Severus's stores."
"You wait until I tell him you pilfered one of his brews."
Tara snorted. "Pilfered? Padfoot darling, he OFFERED it to me. Especially when I mentioned it was to be used to torture you a bit."
All Remus could do was stare. If ever there had been doubts that she had Malfoy blood in her veins, this dispelled those doubts utterly.
"Here." Dawn said, handing her parchment to Tara. "Why don't you keep this."
Tara flushed as her eyes caught some of the words on the page. Sure, she had heard most of the telling, but she had not thought Dawn would actually write any of it down.
"Look, I'm going to find an elsewhere to be. I just wanted to help you teach them a lesson about meddling. I don't need that stuff yet. That's like sexual Olympics type stuff, and Harry and I just aren't ready."
The other three people in the room smiled at her.
"But you guys have GOT to trust us to know when we are ready fro ourselves." She slipped out the door.
Sirius rose slowly and walked over to Tara. He took the parchment from her hands. "What do you say to you and I adjourning to your quarters and me testing you on this material?"
"I know she's having your child, Padfoot, but can you NOT proposition my daughter with me in the room?"
"Sorry, Moony." Sirius turned to Tara then. "Well?"
"I always did like trying new things." Tara looked at her father. "See you later?"
Remus was pinching the bridge of his nose with one hand and shooing them with the other. Could this afternoon get any more uncomfortable? He really needed some tea. Hot tea. Strongly brewed. He almost grabbed Sirius's cup and finished his off... until he remember the Veritaserum.
Remus sighed and went to making his own.
Lily was tired of the infirmary.
Though she had gotten to leave to have the holiday meal and open presents with two people she was thinking of more and more as her parents... Willow and Professor Snape. She really could pass for theirs with her Willow looks save that jet hair, the jet hair giving her a bit of a Snape-ness. They'd even gotten her presents. Presents. Her. It seemed lifetimes ago since someone had parented her or gotten her holiday presents. In a way, it HAD been lifetimes.
Willow had asked if she was Jewish in her dimension or if she followed another faith. Lily had asked if vampirism counted. It had not. They'd had this hybrid of Hanukkah and Christmas that Lily had liked a lot. Among one of her presents had been a dreidel. She and Willow had made Snape play the dreidel game. He got good at it rather quickly due to his liking for the peppermint prizes. Lily was surprised she recalled it. Snape had looked at Willow as if she was a loony when she had first suggested playing... because he didn't play childish games. Then he'd gotten in the spirit of spinning and winning. Apparently he just loved peppermint, and there was also the fact that he was a Slytherin and hated to lose anything.
Currently he was standing at the foot of her bed looking sour.
He sighed. Loudly. "In light of certain people returning, I was coerced into asking you if you require a... contraceptive potion."
"A contraceptive potion. Clean out your ears."
"Willow wishes for you to be protected if you are to be sexually active."
She was almost amused. He sounded like this was physically hurting him to say.
"I don't need any potion. Save that for you and Willow, ay?"
"Now see here-"
"Don't get your panties in a bunch. Anyone can see how much you two are into each other. It's only natural that you are... you know."
"We are not having this conversation."
"I'll say. How about you and Mom trusting me to know if I need a protection or not. If I need a potion, you're the first one I'm asking, don't worry. But trust me to know when to ask, ok?"
"Agreed." His brow furrowed. "Did you just refer to Professor Rosenberg as your mother?"
"I suppose I did."
"And your adopted father would be..."
"You, of course."
Just when she thought his face could not get any more pinched.
Connor had come by floo for Christmas, and now he was about to floo back to the school. Things had been tense and awkward the whole time of his visit. There had also been MUCH talk of Lily Rosenberg that had others grinning and whispering about Connor having a crush.
Which had led to the current awkwardness.
"So you like this Lily person who used to be Willow?"
"Of course I like her. I helped to save her. Why would I do that for someone I disliked?"
"Right." Angel shifted from foot to foot. "Have... have you kissed her."
"That's not your business."
"Have you done more than kiss?"
"I would prefer not to talk about this with you."
"Do you want me to get Cordelia or... or Gunn or somebody?"
"No!" Connor shouted. "I just don't want to talk about it. At all. With anyone."
"You know about sex, right?"
"Oh my God."
"I know how it is done."
"Have you ever..."
"I prefer not to talk about it."
"No! I haven't. Will you please stop now?"
"If you do do it, you know about condoms, right?"
"There's never anyone throwing death curses when you need them, and do you realize you just said doo-doo?"
"Look, I'll be careful. I had thought that sexual intercourse was merely for procreation, but Lily explained that there were other reasons to have sex."
"She... explained?" Angel croaked.
"Yeah. She also explained about lesbians. I found that interesting."
"Yeah, two women who-"
"I know what lesbians are!"
"Oh good. I don't think I could have explained it as well as Lily does."
"So..." Angel croaked. "She told you all this stuff about... sex."
"Yeah, and then I slept with her."
"What?! You just said you'd never had sex."
"We didn't have sex. We slept together."
"She was asleep, and my arms were around her for comfort."
"I was confused about it at first as well. I thought she meant for us to fornicate in the hospital wing with Cassie right there. I wasn't sure I could perform in those circumstances. I can not imagine having sexual intercourse with others watching, can you?"
"Well, this one time Darla, er your mother and I..." Angel stopped himself. "And that story's not appropriate, so just forget I almost said anything."
"You and my mother had relations of a sexual nature while others watched?"
Angel was looking very sheepish. "Well, we were evil at the time."
Connor shook his head. "Was the room well-lit? Could everyone see all your-"
"Can we NOT talk about this. Forget I mentioned it even?"
"You are the one who-"
"Don't you have school to get to or something?"
Connor grinned. So that was how one turned the tables on an adult. Simply steer the conversation from something you do not wish to discuss to a semi-related subject the adult wishes to discuss even less. He would have to tell Dawn her embarrassment methods worked well. He had not suspected it would, but he'd just bee proven wrong. Dawn was very clever and devious. He would not doubt her again.
He noticed the rest of the 'family' coming down to the fireplace that had been built into one of the rooms at the Hyperion. He placed a hand on Angel's shoulder. "Don't worry, Dad. If I decide to have sexual relations with Lily, I will use one of those condoms you spoke of. I am sure she knows they way of them. Lily's very knowledgeable about sex."
Connor had been very loud. There was no way the rest of the gang had not heard that. You could have heard a pin drop in the stunned silence that followed his announcement.
"Merry Christmas, everyone. See you at the end of the term."
With that, he threw some floo powder into the fire and was gone moments later.
Severus Snape entered his chambers almost silently.
"How'd it go?" Willow asked, looking up from the Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook they were using for the third years this term.
He glared at her.
"I am very much inclined to spank you for putting me through that... horrific exorcise in conversational torture, woman."
"Spank me? Woo hoo. Naughty."
"This is not the time for joking."
"Ooooo, is it the time for spanking? I've never been spanked before. Usually everyone's getting spanked but me."
Severus glared at her even more harshly.
How was it possible that he loved a creature that was so very irritating?
And though he had not been serious about the spanking, the idea did have merit. He actually found it rather appealing. Especially since she had not seemed opposed to the idea. Perhaps they could try it sometime.