Complicated Before Vindicated
*~* Complicated Before Vindicated *~*
Wesley jumped when the brightly polished red apple popped into existence on his desk. He set his quill down and surveyed the empty classroom. He saw a flash of blonde hair duck back around the door frame.
"Miss Hope. Do come in."
She entered almost shyly. Odd for one usually as bold as she tended to be.
"Don't think for a moment that your offering excuses you from the trouble you are in."
"Oh no. I just noticed you didn't eat lunch today. I thought you might be... hungry."
Wesley was puzzled. She'd noticed he hadn't eaten lunch? How? He dismissed it. "Are you ready for your detention?"
Raven shut the classroom door with a bang and leaned against it. She did not know how she was going to get through this. How in the hell had she allowed herself to get a detention with HIM? This was all going to end in badness. Her heart was pounding as she made her way to a desk.
"I think having to retake the quiz you failed should be punishment enough. Well, it's over the same information, but the questions are quite different. I want essay answers." He said as he placed a bit of parchment before her.
Raven was panting. She could sort of smell his aftershave. Or was that her overworking imagination? His five o'clock shadow was showing. Man, that was sexy.
"Miss Hope, are you quite all right?"
"Do you need to take a trip to see Madam Pomfrey? You look overly flushed."
"N-no!" She shouted, then lowered her volume at his look. "I'm fine. I just... uh... hurried to get here, is all."
Wesley regarded her suspiciously. "All right."
Drusilla sat up as much as she could in the bed she was strapped into. They strapped her and the one called Alex who looked like the one called Xander into beds during daylight. At night they were allowed to wander the locked room. She spoke to Alex often. The pain was something difficult for the both of them to wrap their minds around. Not that she had much of a mind left.
But Dru did have her moments of clarity.
Like now. Something significant had happened. She could feel it. The winds were changing here. The call to arms was coming, but were those who were to take up such arms ready? They had to be. It wasn't a matter of ready, but a matter of must. One of Mozart's works was playing so loud in her head, and she couldn't figure out how to turn it off. Drusilla whimpered. She couldn't even press her hands to her temples to chase it away. She hated when she couldn't will herself not to be a little crazy.
"Drusilla?" Alex whispered.
No one came.
So she started screaming. "SPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!!!"
Tears started leaking out of her eyes. Drusilla thrashed about trying to free herself. "SPIKE!"
Alex started struggling as well. He called for the only person he could think of. "WILLOW!" He paused to think on it. "I mean... LILY!"
Drusilla yanked so hard on her restraints that she thought she'd pull her arm out of the socket. She roared and changed into gameface. She gave a mighty pull that tore free one of her wrist restraints. Her hand was shaking as she stared at it. She gave a weak little wibble.
"Merciful heavens!" Madam Pomfrey was trying to open the door.
Drusilla frantically tore at her other restraints and freed herself right as the school nurse burst in the room. She rolled off the edge of her bed right as the witch sent a binding hex at her. Drusilla hit the floor and rolled under her bed. She came out on the other side and sprung to her feet with the grace of a cat. She avoided the next two hexes shot her way somehow. She dodged and moved like a football player.
"Sorry, Poppy." She said right before she knocked Madam Pomfrey against the wall... effectively knocking the other woman out.
Drusilla looked at Alex. "She's just sleepin', dearie."
"Let me up."
"Can't. Sorry. Places to be just now. Next time?"
With that she left their cell behind. She was avoiding the sunlight, but moving down the corridors at a dead run.
It might have been the only time ever that Severus Snape shouted in alarm, and if Doyle hadn't been a ghost, that hex sent his way might have done some damage.
"Who in the bloody hell are you?"
Lily chuckled. "Were, Father. He's a ghost."
Then Lily spotted Cassie.
"Holy fuck me on a stick."
Snape turned with a fierce glare. "Lily Joyce Rosenberg Snape!"
Something in her chest clenched. He'd said that so effortlessly. Like he always said it. Like he had raised her from infancy and that had always been her name.
"Watch your mouth, young lady!"
"Yes, Father. Sorry." She gestured. "But... Cass..."
"Bloody hell. How-"
"No time now!" Cassie shouted. "Tara's having pains."
Snape bristled. "Too soon. Where is she?"
Doyle nodded his head at the door. "Follow us."
Willow had finally found her. She skidded to a stop next to where Tara was lying on the floor slumped against the wall. "Tara? Baby?" Her voice was shaking as hard as the hands she laid on her friend's shoulder.
"I don't feel so good, Will."
A second after that Dawn and Fred had joined them on the floor.
"Something's happened. Something bad. I can feel it." Her brow was all sweaty and her skin looked too clammy.
"You felt it too."
Tara looked up at Willow. "He's hurt. I can sense it. Foolish man-person. Why does he have to be so like he is."
Willow smoothed some of Tara's hair back. "Easy. We'll get you to the infirmary."
"Right." Fred said. "I'll get her legs if you two can get her upper body."
"No need." Said Severus.
"Severus, how did you..." Willow paused when she saw the ghosts. "Cassie."
"Doyle. Cassie took the liberty of liberatin' me from Tara."
By now Severus had managed with Fred's help to get Tara situated in his arms. The group then began as brisk a walk as they dared to the infirmary.
"Mmm?" Spike responded without opening his eyes.
"Something big is happening."
"I think Drusilla escaped, and Tara's having belly pains."
Spike sat straight up in his bed and glared at the ghost of his brother. "What?!"
Drusilla skidded around the corner before the group, looking wild indeed.
Snape sucked in air sharply and tightened his hold on Tara. Dawn let out a little shout of alarm. Willow had her wand out. She sent a binding Dru's way, but Tara batted Willow in the arm, making the shot got wide. A wall sconce bore the brunt of it.
"I seen it." Drusilla said, walking slowly towards them.
The group involuntarily tightened in.
"Your puppy just sleeps. He still breathes and dreams, luv. He just can't wake. He knows you were right now. He should 'ave stayed. His safe was keepin' you and little Celi safe."
"I just know things sometimes. They whisper to me in the day, my dark. And I was clear just now, so I thought I'd tell you. The dark days come, and in your darkest, he won't be with you, but two that love you will be. You're like my Spike. Glowing. It's that glow that draws us all in to you lot."
This whole time she had been walking forward. She rested a hand on Tara's belly.
"I'd rip to ribbons any that touched you bad. I could sing to the little one too." Her face changed a little. Some of the awareness went out of her eyes. She sang a bit. "They cried out for mercy..."
She turned. Spike was walking toward her slowly. All he had on were his jeans. They weren't even buttoned, just zipped. He looked like he'd flung himself out of bed and dressed in less than five seconds. His bare feet padded noiselessly across the stones.
"I don't want to go back to that little room, Spike. Please can I stay with you? Can you take care of me again? Please. Like before. I won't sleep with Daddy. I'll be a good girl."
He engulfed her in a hug and placed her teary face against his bare chest. "I'll speak to Dumbledore about it, luv."
"This is all very enlightening, but can you two step aside so that we might get Tara to the infirmary?" Severus snapped.
Spike's eyes jumped to Tara. "What's wrong with you?"
"I don't know."
"Well, come on then!"
She was doing more secretive glancing at him than work.
Finally Wesley snapped. "Miss Hope, do I have funny things growing out of my head?"
He shoved his chair back, rounded his desk, and advanced on her. "I asked if I had funny things growing out of my skull. The amount of staring and glancing you keep doing my way suggests that I do."
"What?" Oh, I mean... no?"
"What is so terribly fascinating about me then?"
He was hovering over her with his hands on his hips. It was quite possibly the sexiest thing she'd ever seen.
"What?! Oh, um, yes. You. Fascinating?" She chewed her bottom lip.
"What?" Something was obviously wrong with her. She had a fever or something. She was muttering almost unintelligibly and bright pink color was on her cheeks and fastly spreading to all visible skin.
"Everything." She breathed.
"Everything about you is fascinating."
What? Oh dear. It was beginning to make some horrible sense, but he realized it too late. Good Lord, she had a schoolgirl crush on him.
"Oh to hell with it." She muttered before she launched her tiny body into his.
Wesley stumbled back with the force of her. In his attempts to keep his balance, her lips fastened onto his. She was freakishly strong for a girl of her age and size.
He finally managed to pry her off of him. "Miss Hope!" He shrieked in a very unmanly manner. "What do you think you are doing?"
"What I've wanted to do since I first clapped eyes on you, Wes. Can I call you Wes?"
"Certainly not! I'm Professor Wyndam-Pryce to you."
"But you don't have to be. You could be... more." She had cornered him against the wall. She pressed herself into him and took a bit of the skin on his throat in her teeth, nipping lightly, then kissing the marks away.
A horrified part of him realized he didn't find it repulsive. In fact, there was some sort of spark to her that clicked with him in a way that he didn't think possible for him. He felt like such a lecherous old pervert-man.
"This is highly inappropriate." He muttered, trying to remove himself from her attentions.
"I'll say." Said a third voice.
They jumped apart. Dumbledore was standing in the doorway looking very amused.
"Headmaster..." Wesley sputtered. "I can... I mean... that is to say... I can explain."
"I really wish you wouldn't."
"Miss Hope..." Dumbledore said, eyes sparkling. "You are needed in my office."
"Yes, sir." She nodded curtly, then hurried off.
"Professor Dumbledore..." Wesley began.
"Professor Wyndam-Pryce, things are not always as they seem. Do keep that in mind." With that, Dumbledore exited, closing the door behind him.
And Wesley was more confused than ever.
Madam Pomfrey was glaring at Drusilla with a cold compress pressed to the bump on her head while Lorne listened to her instructions on checking Tara for trouble.
Draco and Giles rushed in closely followed by Dumbledore.
"Tara? I mean, Professor Maclay, are you all right? Edward found me. He told me you'd taken ill."
"I'm fine, Draco. Just had a little scare." She smiled at the worry on his face. Goodness, Draco Malfoy was turning out to be interesting.
Dawn and Lily both moved close to their best friend. Draco wrapped an arm around each girl. There was a loud squeaking, and everyone looked down just in time to see Gutterflower scurry up Draco's leg to rest on the shoulder closest to Dawn. The ferret nipped at the shell of the boy's ear before deciding to mess with some of Dawn's hair.
"Oh... pretty thing." Drusilla said.
Gutterflower reared up a bit. She studied Drusilla for a moment then hustled back down and rushed across the room to Drusilla's waiting hands.
"There's a pretty pet. Yes." Drusilla cuddled the ferret up into the crook of her arm and started cooing at it.
Gutterflower was eating up the attention. Dawn was just grinning. Buffy was so gonna kill her, but that moment right there won Dru for her. Like with Spike, Dawn no longer saw a vampire, a creature. She saw a person. She saw someone who seemed to like Gutterflower as she had... instantly.
Dumbledore moved to Tara's side. "He's all right. Just unconscious. I suppose you know he was wounded. Our contact with Kingsley is trying to find out some details."
"Contact?" Giles asked. "Who?"
"That I can not say, Professor Giles. Not yet. Just know details of the ambush are being gotten as we speak."
Tara nodded, but her face still showed some despair.
"Sirius has been in worse shape before, my dear. Do try not to worry."
Severus snorted. "Well, if he hadn't decided to go gallivanting about to Merlin knows where, then none of this-"
Willow pinched him.
"Now's not the time, darling."
Willow yanked his ear down to her mouth. "You're right." She whispered. "I know you're right. Everybody knows you're right. He should not have run off. He didn't need to. We know, but this IS NOT the time to crow. Other things matter more right now."
Severus nodded once in agreement, then looked at Tara. " I apologize, Tara."
"It's ok. You were just being all mad and stuff on my behalf. That's nice of you."
"Perish the thought." Draco muttered.
Lily elbowed him.
"I think perhaps Tara should stay overnight in the infirmary." Madam Pomfrey said, still glaring at Dru.
"Agreed." Doyle said from the place he was hovering.
"I could stay with you, dearie." Dru offered.
Everyone looked at her like she was crazy. Well... crazier.
"I need to speak with you about that, headmaster." Spike said. "My Dru's getting a bit stir crazy. I was thinking she should have a bed in my chambers. I could look after her."
Severus snorted. "You are only a breath more sane than she is. It would be the blind leading the blind."
Spike's lip curled back and her let out a feral snarl in Snape's direction. Willow shoved her Cranky Pants behind her and blackened her eyes at Spike.
"Ok, whoa now." Fred stepped between them. "I think Spike helpin' out Drusilla is a fine idea. I mean, he ain't so crazy. Turns out the nobody we thought he was talkin' to was a somebody only Malfoys can see. Not so crazy. I mean, I know a little bit about being loopy. I think havin' somethin' familiar might help her out. I mean, how long did you two date? Like over a century?"
"I agree." Dawn said. "Spike's excellent at taking care of people."
"Thank you, Niblet."
"This isn't a vote." Snape snapped in horror.
"Well, Gutterflower likes her." Draco added. "She can't be all bad. Gutty only likes the wicked not the truly evil."
Drusilla giggled and winked at Draco before delicately kissing Gutterflower on the head.
"I used to be a vampire." Lily offered. "I'm doing ok out in the world."
"Is that what we're calling Connor now? Ok?" Dawn joked.
"What?" Then Lily got it. "Oh. Doing ok. Funny."
Snape sputtered. "You had... better not..."
He made a strangled sound.
"Lily." Willow admonished. "Stop tormenting your father. He's just getting used to the idea of you. He's not ready for the idea that his little girl is having sex."
"But we haven't-"
She tucked some black hair behind her ear in a very Willowy manner. "Yes, Mum."
"I hate to interrupt, but could somebody come with me to Gryffindor? I'd really like to see Neville. I think I have A LOT to explain."
Draco's mouth was hanging open. In all the fuss, he had not noticed Cassie until she had spoken just now.
"Cassie!" He shrieked. Then he fainted.
Spike rolled his eyes. "What a soddin' pansy. You'd think this school wasn't just filled with ghosts."
"Ruff!" Dru snapped. "Be nice."
"Oh you be nice, kitten. You aren't the one related to the ponce laid out cold on the floor."
"He had a fright."
"Like he's never seen a ghost before. Hello, one of his relatives is haunting us."
end part 49